Science.gov

Sample records for acidic protein-positive astrocytes

  1. Fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis in astrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Auestad, N.

    1988-01-01

    Astrocytes were derived from cortex of two-day-old rat brain and grown in primary culture to confluence. The metabolism of the fatty acids, octanoate and palmitate, to CO{sub 2} in oxidative respiration and to the formation of ketone bodies was examined by radiolabeled tracer methodology. The net production of acetoacetate was also determined by measurement of its mass. The enzymes in the ketogenic pathway were examined by measuring enzymic activity and/or by immunoblot analyses. Labeled CO{sub 2} and labeled ketone bodies were produced from the oxidation of fatty acids labeled at carboxy- and {omega}-terminal carbons, indicating that fatty acids were oxidized by {beta}-oxidation. The results from the radiolabeled tracer studies also indicated that a substantial proportion of the {omega}-terminal 4-carbon unit of the fatty acids bypassed the {beta}-ketothiolase step of the {beta}-oxidation pathway. The ({sup 14}C)acetoacetate formed from the (1-{sup 14}C)labeled fatty acids, obligated to pass through the acetyl-CoA pool, contained 50% of the label at carbon 3 and 50% at carbon 1. In contrast, the ({sup 14}C)acetoacetate formed from the ({omega}-1)labeled fatty acids contained 90% of the label at carbon 3 and 10% at carbon 1.

  2. Astrocyte-derived phosphatidic acid promotes dendritic branching.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yan-Bing; Gao, Weizhen; Zhang, Yongbo; Jia, Feng; Zhang, Hai-Long; Liu, Ying-Zi; Sun, Xue-Fang; Yin, Yuhua; Yin, Dong-Min

    2016-02-17

    Astrocytes play critical roles in neural circuit formation and function. Recent studies have revealed several secreted and contact-mediated signals from astrocytes which are essential for neurite outgrowth and synapse formation. However, the mechanisms underlying the regulation of dendritic branching by astrocytes remain elusive. Phospholipase D1 (PLD1), which catalyzes the hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine (PC) to generate phosphatidic acid (PA) and choline, has been implicated in the regulation of neurite outgrowth. Here we showed that knockdown of PLD1 selectively in astrocytes reduced dendritic branching of neurons in neuron-glia mixed culture. Further studies from sandwich-like cocultures and astrocyte conditioned medium suggested that astrocyte PLD1 regulated dendritic branching through secreted signals. We later demonstrated that PA was the key mediator for astrocyte PLD1 to regulate dendritic branching. Moreover, PA itself was sufficient to promote dendritic branching of neurons. Lastly, we showed that PA could activate protein kinase A (PKA) in neurons and promote dendritic branching through PKA signaling. Taken together, our results demonstrate that astrocyte PLD1 and its lipid product PA are essential regulators of dendritic branching in neurons. These results may provide new insight into mechanisms underlying how astrocytes regulate dendrite growth of neurons.

  3. Astrocytes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kimelberg, Harold K.; Norenberg, Michael D.

    1989-01-01

    Describes the astrocytes' function as equal partners with neurons in both the normal and the abnormal brain. Discusses the developmental scaffolds, inert scar tissue, Huntington's disease, psychiatric disorders, and the identification of these brain cells. (RT)

  4. Arachidonic acid stimulates glucose uptake in cerebral cortical astrocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Yu, N; Martin, J L; Stella, N; Magistretti, P J

    1993-01-01

    Arachidonic acid (AA) has recently been shown to influence various cellular functions in the central nervous system. Here we report that AA increases, in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, 2-deoxy-D-[1-3H]glucose ([3H]2DG) uptake in primary cultures of astrocytes prepared from the cerebral cortex of neonatal mice. This effect is mimicked by an unsaturated fatty acid such as linolenic acid, while palmitic and arachidic acids, two saturated fatty acids, are inactive. Pharmacological agents that increase the endogenous levels of AA by stimulating AA release (melittin) or by inhibiting its reacylation (thimerosal) also promote [3H]2DG uptake by astrocytes. We also report that norepinephrine (NE) stimulates the release of [3H]AA from membrane phospholipids, with an EC50 of 3 microM; this effect is accompanied, with a temporal delay of approximately 4 min, by the stimulation of [3H]2DG uptake, for which the EC50 of NE is 1 microM. Since the cerebral cortex, the brain region from which astrocytes used in this study were prepared, receives a massive noradrenergic innervation, originating from the locus coeruleus, the effects of NE reported here further stress the notion that certain neurotransmitters may play a role in the regulation of energy metabolism in the cerebral cortex and point at astrocytes as the likely targets of such metabolic effects. PMID:8483920

  5. Medium-chain fatty acids inhibit mitochondrial metabolism in astrocytes promoting astrocyte-neuron lactate and ketone body shuttle systems.

    PubMed

    Thevenet, Jonathan; De Marchi, Umberto; Domingo, Jaime Santo; Christinat, Nicolas; Bultot, Laurent; Lefebvre, Gregory; Sakamoto, Kei; Descombes, Patrick; Masoodi, Mojgan; Wiederkehr, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Medium-chain triglycerides have been used as part of a ketogenic diet effective in reducing epileptic episodes. The health benefits of the derived medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are thought to result from the stimulation of liver ketogenesis providing fuel for the brain. We tested whether MCFAs have direct effects on energy metabolism in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived human astrocytes and neurons. Using single-cell imaging, we observed an acute pronounced reduction of the mitochondrial electrical potential and a concomitant drop of the NAD(P)H signal in astrocytes, but not in neurons. Despite the observed effects on mitochondrial function, MCFAs did not lower intracellular ATP levels or activate the energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase. ATP concentrations in astrocytes were unaltered, even when blocking the respiratory chain, suggesting compensation through accelerated glycolysis. The MCFA decanoic acid (300 μM) promoted glycolysis and augmented lactate formation by 49.6%. The shorter fatty acid octanoic acid (300 μM) did not affect glycolysis but increased the rates of astrocyte ketogenesis 2.17-fold compared with that of control cells. MCFAs may have brain health benefits through the modulation of astrocyte metabolism leading to activation of shuttle systems that provide fuel to neighboring neurons in the form of lactate and ketone bodies.-Thevenet, J., De Marchi, U., Santo Domingo, J., Christinat, N., Bultot, L., Lefebvre, G., Sakamoto, K., Descombes, P., Masoodi, M., Wiederkehr, A. Medium-chain fatty acids inhibit mitochondrial metabolism in astrocytes promoting astrocyte-neuron lactate and ketone body shuttle systems.

  6. Uniquely hominid features of adult human astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Oberheim, Nancy Ann; Takano, Takahiro; Han, Xiaoning; He, Wei; Lin, Jane H C; Wang, Fushun; Xu, Qiwu; Wyatt, Jeffrey D; Pilcher, Webster; Ojemann, Jeffrey G; Ransom, Bruce R; Goldman, Steven A; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2009-03-11

    Defining the microanatomic differences between the human brain and that of other mammals is key to understanding its unique computational power. Although much effort has been devoted to comparative studies of neurons, astrocytes have received far less attention. We report here that protoplasmic astrocytes in human neocortex are 2.6-fold larger in diameter and extend 10-fold more GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein)-positive primary processes than their rodent counterparts. In cortical slices prepared from acutely resected surgical tissue, protoplasmic astrocytes propagate Ca(2+) waves with a speed of 36 microm/s, approximately fourfold faster than rodent. Human astrocytes also transiently increase cystosolic Ca(2+) in response to glutamatergic and purinergic receptor agonists. The human neocortex also harbors several anatomically defined subclasses of astrocytes not represented in rodents. These include a population of astrocytes that reside in layers 5-6 and extend long fibers characterized by regularly spaced varicosities. Another specialized type of astrocyte, the interlaminar astrocyte, abundantly populates the superficial cortical layers and extends long processes without varicosities to cortical layers 3 and 4. Human fibrous astrocytes resemble their rodent counterpart but are larger in diameter. Thus, human cortical astrocytes are both larger, and structurally both more complex and more diverse, than those of rodents. On this basis, we posit that this astrocytic complexity has permitted the increased functional competence of the adult human brain.

  7. Astrocyte fatty acid binding protein-7 is a marker for neurogenic niches in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Young, John K; Heinbockel, Thomas; Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie C

    2013-12-01

    Recent research has determined that newborn neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of the macaque are frequently adjacent to astrocytes immunoreactive for fatty acid binding protein-7 (FABP7). To investigate if a similar relationship between FABP7-positive (FABP7+) astrocytes and proliferating cells exists in the rodent brain, sections of brains from juvenile rats were stained by immunohistochemistry to demonstrate newborn cells (antibody to Ki67 protein) and FABP7+ astrocytes. In rat brains, FABP7+ astrocytes were particularly abundant in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and were frequently close to dividing cells immunoreactive for Ki67 protein. FABP7+ astrocytes were also present in the olfactory bulbs, arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, and in the dorsal medulla subjacent to the area postrema, sites where more modest numbers of newborn neurons can also be found. These data suggest that regional accumulations of FABP7+ astrocytes may represent reservoirs of cells having the potential for neurogenesis. Because FABP7+ astrocytes are particularly abundant in the hippocampus, and since the gene for FABP7 has been linked to Alzheimer's disease, age-related changes in FABP7+ astrocytes (mitochondrial degeneration) may be relevant to age-associated disorders of the hippocampus.

  8. Characterization of Amino Acid Profile and Enzymatic Activity in Adult Rat Astrocyte Cultures.

    PubMed

    Souza, Débora Guerini; Bellaver, Bruna; Hansel, Gisele; Arús, Bernardo Assein; Bellaver, Gabriela; Longoni, Aline; Kolling, Janaina; Wyse, Angela T S; Souza, Diogo Onofre; Quincozes-Santos, André

    2016-07-01

    Astrocytes are multitasking players in brain complexity, possessing several receptors and mechanisms to detect, participate and modulate neuronal communication. The functionality of astrocytes has been mainly unraveled through the study of primary astrocyte cultures, and recently our research group characterized a model of astrocyte cultures derived from adult Wistar rats. We, herein, aim to characterize other basal functions of these cells to explore the potential of this model for studying the adult brain. To characterize the astrocytic phenotype, we determined the presence of GFAP, GLAST and GLT 1 proteins in cells by immunofluorescence. Next, we determined the concentrations of thirteen amino acids, ATP, ADP, adenosine and calcium in astrocyte cultures, as well as the activities of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and acetylcholine esterase. Furthermore, we assessed the presence of the GABA transporter 1 (GAT 1) and cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB 1) in the astrocytes. Cells demonstrated the presence of glutamine, consistent with their role in the glutamate-glutamine cycle, as well as glutamate and D-serine, amino acids classically known to act as gliotransmitters. ATP was produced and released by the cells and ADP was consumed. Calcium levels were in agreement with those reported in the literature, as were the enzymatic activities measured. The presence of GAT 1 was detected, but the presence of CB 1 was not, suggesting a decreased neuroprotective capacity in adult astrocytes under in vitro conditions. Taken together, our results show cellular functionality regarding the astrocytic role in gliotransmission and neurotransmitter management since they are able to produce and release gliotransmitters and to modulate the cholinergic and GABAergic systems.

  9. Aspects of astrocyte energy metabolism, amino acid neurotransmitter homoeostasis and metabolic compartmentation.

    PubMed

    Kreft, Marko; Bak, Lasse K; Waagepetersen, Helle S; Schousboe, Arne

    2012-04-27

    Astrocytes are key players in brain function; they are intimately involved in neuronal signalling processes and their metabolism is tightly coupled to that of neurons. In the present review, we will be concerned with a discussion of aspects of astrocyte metabolism, including energy-generating pathways and amino acid homoeostasis. A discussion of the impact that uptake of neurotransmitter glutamate may have on these pathways is included along with a section on metabolic compartmentation.

  10. Aspects of astrocyte energy metabolism, amino acid neurotransmitter homoeostasis and metabolic compartmentation

    PubMed Central

    Kreft, Marko; Bak, Lasse K; Waagepetersen, Helle S; Schousboe, Arne

    2012-01-01

    Astrocytes are key players in brain function; they are intimately involved in neuronal signalling processes and their metabolism is tightly coupled to that of neurons. In the present review, we will be concerned with a discussion of aspects of astrocyte metabolism, including energy-generating pathways and amino acid homoeostasis. A discussion of the impact that uptake of neurotransmitter glutamate may have on these pathways is included along with a section on metabolic compartmentation. PMID:22435484

  11. The Effects of Alpha Boswellic Acid on Reelin Expression and Tau Phosphorylation in Human Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Fathi, Esmat; Katouli, Fatemeh Hedayati; Riazi, Gholam Hossein; Shasaltaneh, Marzieh Dehghan; Parandavar, Elham; Bayati, Samaneh; Afrasiabi, Ali; Nazari, Reza

    2017-03-01

    Reelin is an extracellular glycoprotein which contributes to synaptic plasticity and function of memory in the adult brain. It has been indicated that the Reelin signaling cascade participates in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Besides the neurons, glial cells such as astrocytes also express Reelin protein. While functional loss of astrocytes has been reported to be associated with AD, dysfunction of astrocytic Reelin signaling pathway has not received much attention. Therefore, we investigated the effects of α-boswellic acid (ABA) as one of the major component of Boswellia serrata resin on primary fetal human astrocytes under a stress paradigm as a possible model for AD through study on Reelin cascade. For this aim, we used streptozotocin (STZ), in which from an outlook generates Alzheimer's hallmarks in astrocytes, and assayed Reelin expression, Tau and Akt phosphorylation as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and apoptosis in the presences of ABA. Our results indicated that while STZ (100 µM) down-regulated the expression of Reelin, ABA (25 µM) up-regulated its expression (p < 0.01) for 24 h. ABA efficiently reduced hyperphosphorylated Tau (Ser404) in STZ-treated astrocytes (p < 0.01). Furthermore, STZ-induced apoptosis by increasing cleaved caspase three (p < 0.01) and ROS generation (p < 0.01), a further pathological hallmark of Tauopathy. On the other hand, ABA decreased ROS generation and promoted proliferation of astrocytes through elevating Survivin expression (p < 0.01). These results showed that ABA could be considered as a potent therapeutic agent for prevention and decreasing the progression of Alzheimer's hallmarks in astrocytes; however, more in vivo studies would be needed.

  12. Aging results in copper accumulations in glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells in the subventricular zone.

    PubMed

    Pushkar, Yulia; Robison, Gregory; Sullivan, Brendan; Fu, Sherleen X; Kohne, Meghan; Jiang, Wendy; Rohr, Sven; Lai, Barry; Marcus, Matthew A; Zakharova, Taisiya; Zheng, Wei

    2013-10-01

    Analysis of rodent brains with X-ray fluorescence (XRF) microscopy combined with immunohistochemistry allowed us to demonstrate that local Cu concentrations are thousands of times higher in the glia of the subventricular zone (SVZ) than in other cells. Using XRF microscopy with subcellular resolution and intracellular X-ray absorption spectroscopy we determined the copper (I) oxidation state and the sulfur ligand environment. Cu K-edge X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy is consistent with Cu being bound as a multimetallic Cu-S cluster similar to one present in Cu-metallothionein. Analysis of age-related changes show that Cu content in astrocytes of the SVZ increases fourfold from 3 weeks to 9 months, while Cu concentration in other brain areas remain essentially constant. This increase in Cu correlates with a decrease in adult neurogenesis assessed using the Ki67 marker (both, however, can be age-related effects). We demonstrate that the Cu distribution and age-related concentration changes in the brain are highly cell specific.

  13. Is there in vivo evidence for amino acid shuttles carrying ammonia from neurons to astrocytes?

    PubMed

    Rothman, Douglas L; De Feyter, Henk M; Maciejewski, Paul K; Behar, Kevin L

    2012-11-01

    The high in vivo flux of the glutamate/glutamine cycle puts a strong demand on the return of ammonia released by phosphate activated glutaminase from the neurons to the astrocytes in order to maintain nitrogen balance. In this paper we review several amino acid shuttles that have been proposed for balancing the nitrogen flows between neurons and astrocytes in the glutamate/glutamine cycle. All of these cycles depend on the directionality of glutamate dehydrogenase, catalyzing reductive glutamate synthesis (forward reaction) in the neuron in order to capture the ammonia released by phosphate activated glutaminase, while catalyzing oxidative deamination of glutamate (reverse reaction) in the astrocytes to release ammonia for glutamine synthesis. Reanalysis of results from in vivo experiments using (13)N and (15)N labeled ammonia and (15)N leucine in rats suggests that the maximum flux of the alanine/lactate or branched chain amino acid/branched chain amino acid transaminase shuttles between neurons and astrocytes are approximately 3-5 times lower than would be required to account for the ammonia transfer from neurons to astrocytes needed for glutamine synthesis (amide nitrogen) to sustain the glutamate/glutamine cycle. However, in the rat brain both the total ammonia fixation rate by glutamate dehydrogenase and the total branched chain amino acid transaminase activity are sufficient to support a branched chain amino acid/branched chain keto acid shuttle, as proposed by Hutson and coworkers, which would support the de novo synthesis of glutamine in the astrocyte to replace the ~20 % of neurotransmitter glutamate that is oxidized. A higher fraction of the nitrogen needs of total glutamate neurotransmitter cycling could be supported by hybrid cycles in which glutamate and tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates act as a nitrogen shuttle. A limitation of all in vivo studies in animals conducted to date is that none have shown transfer of nitrogen for glutamine amide

  14. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunoreactive astrocytes in dogs infected with canine distemper virus.

    PubMed

    Headley, S A; Soares, I C; Graça, D L

    2001-01-01

    An experiment based on astrocyte immunoreactivity to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was designed to determine whether the astrocyte response in canine distemper encephalitis (CDE) was associated with the age of the animal, type of lesion and the cerebellar region affected. Four histopathological types of CDE lesion were examined, namely acute (11 dogs), acute with necrosis (four dogs), subacute (22 dogs) and chronic (six dogs). The animals were divided into three age groups, namely, 0-2 years (27 dogs), 2.1-4 years (12 dogs), and 4.1-12 years (four dogs). Three different cerebellar regions were evaluated. Cerebellar sections from three healthy dogs were used for control purposes. The highest number of astrocytes occurred in the cerebellar white matter and in dogs with acute distemper encephalopathy. In animals with subacute distemper encephalitis, the numbers of astrocytes appeared to increase with age, but the opposite effect occurred in dogs with acute or chronic encephalitis; age appeared not to influence the astrocyte numbers in dogs suffering from acute encephalitis with necrosis.

  15. Valproic acid mediates the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory balance through astrocytes--a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chao-Chuan; Chen, Po See; Hsu, Chien-Wen; Wu, Shou-Jung; Lin, Chieh-Ting; Gean, Po Wu

    2012-04-27

    Valproic acid (VPA) is one of the most widely used anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing agents for the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. However, the underlying therapeutic mechanisms of the treatment of each disease remain unclear. Recently, the anti-epileptic effect of VPA has been found to lead to modulation of the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory balance. In addition, the therapeutic action of VPA has been linked to its effect on astrocytes by regulating gene expression at the molecular level, perhaps through an epigenetic mechanism as a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. To provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the actions of VPA, this study investigated whether the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) balance could be mediated by VPA through astrocytes. First, using the primary rat neuronal, astroglial, and neuro-glial mixed culture systems, we demonstrated that VPA treatment could regulate the mRNA levels of two post-synaptic cell adhesion molecules(neuroligin-1 and neuregulin-1) and two extracellular matrices (neuronal pentraxin-1and thrombospondin-3) in primary rat astrocyte cultures in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, the up-regulation effect of VPA was noted in astrocytes, but not in neurons. In addition, these regulatory effects could be mimicked by sodium butyrate, a HDAC inhibitor, but not by lithium or two other glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta inhibitors. With the known role of these four proteins in regulating the synaptic E/I balance, we further demonstrated that VPA increased excitatory post-synaptic protein (postsynaptic density 95) and inhibitory post-synaptic protein (Gephyrin) in cortical neuro-glial mixed cultures. Our results suggested that VPA might affect the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory balance through its effect on astrocytes. This work provides the basis for future evaluation of the role of astroglial cell adhesion molecules and the extracellular matrix on the control of excitatory and

  16. High molecular weight hyaluronic acid limits astrocyte activation and scar formation after spinal cord injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khaing, Zin Z.; Milman, Brian D.; Vanscoy, Jennifer E.; Seidlits, Stephanie K.; Grill, Raymond J.; Schmidt, Christine E.

    2011-08-01

    A major hurdle for regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) is the ability of axons to penetrate and grow through the scar tissue. After SCI, inflammatory cells, astrocytes and meningeal cells all play a role in developing the glial scar. In addition, degradation of native high molecular weight (MW) hyaluronic acid (HA), a component of the extracellular matrix, has been shown to induce activation and proliferation of astrocytes. However, it is not known if the degradation of native HA actually enhances glial scar formation. We hypothesize that the presence of high MW HA (HA with limited degradation) after SCI will decrease glial scarring. Here, we demonstrate that high MW HA decreases cell proliferation and reduces chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) production in cultured neonatal and adult astrocytes. In addition, stiffness-matched high MW HA hydrogels crosslinked to resist degradation were implanted in a rat model of spinal dorsal hemisection injury. The numbers of immune cells (macrophages and microglia) detected at the lesion site in animals with HA hydrogel implants were significantly reduced at acute time points (one, three and ten days post-injury). Lesioned animals with HA implants also exhibited significantly lower CSPG expression at ten days post-injury. At nine weeks post-injury, animals with HA hydrogel implants exhibited a significantly decreased astrocytic response, but did not have significantly altered CSPG expression. Combined, these data suggest that high MW HA, when stabilized against degradation, mitigates astrocyte activation in vitro and in vivo. The presence of HA implants was also associated with a significant decrease in CSPG deposition at ten days after SCI. Therefore, HA-based hydrogel systems hold great potential for minimizing undesired scarring as part of future repair strategies after SCI.

  17. Arachidonic acid has protective effects on oxygen-glucose deprived astrocytes mediated through enhancement of potassium channel TREK-1 activity.

    PubMed

    Lu, Li; Zhang, Guangru; Song, Chunli; Wang, Xuexi; Qian, Weina; Wang, Zhuanling; Liu, Yanan; Gong, Sheng; Zhou, Shuning

    2017-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have neuroprotective effects against ischemic brain diseases. The newly discovered potassium channel "TREK-1" is a promising target for therapies against neurodegeneration. Arachidonic acid (AA) is an n-6 PUFA, as well as a potent TREK-1 activator. We previously showed that TREK-1 is expressed at high levels in astrocytes. However, the effect of AA on astrocytes in ischemia remains unknown. Here, we assessed the effects of 3-30μM AA on astrocyte apoptosis, glutamate uptake, and expression of the astrocytic glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) and TREK-1 under different conditions. Under normal conditions, 3-30μM AA showed no effect on astrocytic apoptosis or TREK-1 expression, whereas glutamate uptake decreased significantly and its change paralleled the decreased expression of GLT-1. When astrocytes were subjected to 4h of oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), 10μM AA markedly alleviated OGD-induced cell death, recovering from 63.50±1.90% to 82.96±4.63% of the control value. AA also rescued the decreased glutamate uptake and increased mRNA, as well as protein levels of GLT-1 and TREK-1. Our results provide new evidence of a protective effect of AA on astrocytes under OGD conditions, suggesting that a low concentration of AA may protect against brain ischemic diseases.

  18. The phosphorylation status and cytoskeletal remodeling of striatal astrocytes treated with quinolinic acid

    SciTech Connect

    Pierozan, Paula; Ferreira, Fernanda; Ortiz de Lima, Bárbara; Gonçalves Fernandes, Carolina; Totarelli Monteforte, Priscila; Castro Medaglia, Natalia de; Bincoletto, Claudia; Soubhi Smaili, Soraya; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2014-04-01

    Quinolinic acid (QUIN) is a glutamate agonist which markedly enhances the vulnerability of neural cells to excitotoxicity. QUIN is produced from the amino acid tryptophan through the kynurenine pathway (KP). Dysregulation of this pathway is associated with neurodegenerative conditions. In this study we treated striatal astrocytes in culture with QUIN and assayed the endogenous phosphorylating system associated with glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin as well as cytoskeletal remodeling. After 24 h incubation with 100 µM QUIN, cells were exposed to {sup 32}P-orthophosphate and/or protein kinase A (PKA), protein kinase dependent of Ca{sup 2+}/calmodulin II (PKCaMII) or protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors, H89 (20 μM), KN93 (10 μM) and staurosporin (10 nM), respectively. Results showed that hyperphosphorylation was abrogated by PKA and PKC inhibitors but not by the PKCaMII inhibitor. The specific antagonists to ionotropic NMDA and non-NMDA (50 µM DL-AP5 and CNQX, respectively) glutamate receptors as well as to metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGLUR; 50 µM MCPG), mGLUR1 (100 µM MPEP) and mGLUR5 (10 µM 4C3HPG) prevented the hyperphosphorylation provoked by QUIN. Also, intra and extracellular Ca{sup 2+} quelators (1 mM EGTA; 10 µM BAPTA-AM, respectively) prevented QUIN-mediated effect, while Ca{sup 2+} influx through voltage-dependent Ca{sup 2+} channel type L (L-VDCC) (blocker: 10 µM verapamil) is not implicated in this effect. Morphological analysis showed dramatically altered actin cytoskeleton with concomitant change of morphology to fusiform and/or flattened cells with retracted cytoplasm and disruption of the GFAP meshwork, supporting misregulation of actin cytoskeleton. Both hyperphosphorylation and cytoskeletal remodeling were reversed 24 h after QUIN removal. Astrocytes are highly plastic cells and the vulnerability of astrocyte cytoskeleton may have important implications for understanding the neurotoxicity of QUIN in neurodegenerative

  19. Anti-inflammatory signaling actions of electrophilic nitro-arachidonic acid in vascular cells and astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Trostchansky, Andrés; Rubbo, Homero

    2017-03-01

    Nitrated derivatives of unsaturated fatty acids (nitro-fatty acids) are being formed and detected in human plasma, cell membranes and tissue, triggering signaling cascades via covalent and reversible post-translational modifications of nucleophilic amino acids in transcriptional regulatory proteins. Arachidonic acid (AA) represents a precursor of potent signaling molecules, i.e., prostaglandins and thromboxanes through enzymatic and non-enzymatic oxidative pathways. Arachidonic acid can be nitrated by reactive nitrogen species leading to the formation of nitro-arachidonic acid (NO2-AA). A critical issue is the influence of NO2-AA on prostaglandin endoperoxide H synthases, modulating inflammatory processes through redirection of AA metabolism and signaling. In this prospective article, we describe the key chemical and biochemical actions of NO2-AA in vascular and astrocytes. This includes the ability of NO2-AA to mediate unique redox signaling anti-inflammatory actions along with its therapeutic potential.

  20. Quinolinic acid induces disrupts cytoskeletal homeostasis in striatal neurons. Protective role of astrocyte-neuron interaction.

    PubMed

    Pierozan, Paula; Ferreira, Fernanda; de Lima, Bárbara Ortiz; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2015-02-01

    Quinolinic acid (QUIN) is an endogenous metabolite of the kynurenine pathway involved in several neurological disorders. Among the several mechanisms involved in QUIN-mediated toxicity, disruption of the cytoskeleton has been demonstrated in striatally injected rats and in striatal slices. The present work searched for the actions of QUIN in primary striatal neurons. Neurons exposed to 10 µM QUIN presented hyperphosphorylated neurofilament (NF) subunits (NFL, NFM, and NFH). Hyperphosphorylation was abrogated in the presence of protein kinase A and protein kinase C inhibitors H89 (20 μM) and staurosporine (10 nM), respectively, as well as by specific antagonists to N-methyl-D-aspartate (50 µM DL-AP5) and metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (100 µM MPEP). Also, intra- and extracellular Ca(2+) chelators (10 µM BAPTA-AM and 1 mM EGTA, respectively) and Ca(2+) influx through L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel (10 µM verapamil) are implicated in QUIN-mediated effects. Cells immunostained for the neuronal markers βIII-tubulin and microtubule-associated protein 2 showed altered neurite/neuron ratios and neurite outgrowth. NF hyperphosphorylation and morphological alterations were totally prevented by conditioned medium from QUIN-treated astrocytes. Cocultured astrocytes and neurons interacted with one another reciprocally, protecting them against QUIN injury. Cocultured cells preserved their cytoskeletal organization and cell morphology together with unaltered activity of the phosphorylating system associated with the cytoskeleton. This article describes cytoskeletal disruption as one of the most relevant actions of QUIN toxicity in striatal neurons in culture with soluble factors secreted by astrocytes, with neuron-astrocyte interaction playing a role in neuroprotection.

  1. Sophorolipid Butyl Ester Diacetate Does Not Affect Macrophage Polarization but Enhances Astrocytic Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Expression at Micromolar Concentrations in Vitro.

    PubMed

    Ziemba, Alexis M; Gottipati, Manoj K; Totsingan, Filbert; Hanes, Cheryl M; Gross, Richard A; Lennartz, Michelle R; Gilbert, Ryan J

    2017-02-07

    Peritoneal macrophages (PMACs) and spinal cord astrocytes were exposed to varying concentrations of soluble sophorolipid butyl ester diacetate (SLBEDA) in vitro. Macrophages and astrocytes demonstrated no decrease in viability in response to SLBEDA. Studying pro- and anti-inflammatory genes, PMACs did not show a shift toward a pro-inflammatory phenotype. However, at higher concentrations (3 and 30 μM), astrocytes showed an increase in their expression of glial acidic fibrillary protein. This novel category of compounds poses low risk to PMAC and astrocyte viability; however, the effect on PMAC polarization and astrocyte reactivity requires more elucidation.

  2. The antidiabetic drug metformin decreases mitochondrial respiration and tricarboxylic acid cycle activity in cultured primary rat astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Hohnholt, Michaela C; Blumrich, Eva-Maria; Waagepetersen, Helle S; Dringen, Ralf

    2017-03-19

    Metformin is an antidiabetic drug that is used daily by millions of patients worldwide. Metformin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and has recently been shown to increase glucose consumption and lactate release in cultured astrocytes. However, potential effects of metformin on mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolism in astrocytes are unknown. We investigated this by mapping (13) C labeling in TCA cycle intermediates and corresponding amino acids after incubation of primary rat astrocytes with [U-(13) C]glucose. The presence of metformin did not compromise the viability of cultured astrocytes during 4 hr of incubation, but almost doubled cellular glucose consumption and lactate release. Compared with control cells, the presence of metformin dramatically lowered the molecular (13) C carbon labeling (MCL) of the cellular TCA cycle intermediates citrate, α-ketoglutarate, succinate, fumarate, and malate, as well as the MCL of the TCA cycle intermediate-derived amino acids glutamate, glutamine, and aspartate. In addition to the total molecular (13) C labeling, analysis of the individual isotopomers of TCA cycle intermediates confirmed a severe decline in labeling and a significant lowering in TCA cycling ratio in metformin-treated astrocytes. Finally, the oxygen consumption of mitochondria isolated from metformin-treated astrocytes was drastically reduced in the presence of complex I substrates, but not of complex II substrates. These data demonstrate that exposure to metformin strongly impairs complex I-mediated mitochondrial respiration in astrocytes, which is likely to cause the observed decrease in labeling of mitochondrial TCA cycle intermediates and the stimulation of glycolytic lactate production. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Morphological changes in glial fibrillary acidic protein immunopositive astrocytes in the hippocampus of dietary-induced obese mice.

    PubMed

    Cano, Victoria; Valladolid-Acebes, Ismael; Hernández-Nuño, Francisco; Merino, Beatriz; Del Olmo, Nuria; Chowen, Julie A; Ruiz-Gayo, Mariano

    2014-06-06

    Long-term consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD) has been shown to trigger both metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. In contrast, the effect of this type of dietary regime on the central nervous system, particularly outside the hypothalamus, has been investigated poorly. Astrocytes, the most abundant population of glial cells in the brain, are pivotal in regulating glutamatergic transmission as they are responsible for most of the glutamate uptake and metabolism. Mice on an HFD show deficits in learning and memory, together with neurochemical and electrophysiological changes compatible with the impairment in hippocampal glutamatergic activity. Because astrocyte function and morphology have been shown to be interdependent, we speculated whether HFD would trigger changes in astrocyte morphology. For this purpose, we have used a model of diet-induced obesity in mice. We have analyzed astrocyte morphology and density by glial fibrillary acidic protein immunohistochemistry, as well as the expression of the glutamate transporters, GLT-1 (glutamate transporter type-1), and GLAST (astrocyte glutamate transporter), in the CA3 area of the hippocampus. We found that astrocytes from HFD mice showed longer and less abundant projections. These changes were accompanied by the upregulation of both GLT-1 and GLAST. Our data show that the functional impairment detected previously in HFD mice is concomitant with morphological changes within the hippocampus.

  4. 1H NMR-based metabolic profiling reveals the effects of fluoxetine on lipid and amino acid metabolism in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Bai, Shunjie; Zhou, Chanjuan; Cheng, Pengfei; Fu, Yuying; Fang, Liang; Huang, Wen; Yu, Jia; Shao, Weihua; Wang, Xinfa; Liu, Meiling; Zhou, Jingjing; Xie, Peng

    2015-04-15

    Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is a prescribed and effective antidepressant and generally used for the treatment of depression. Previous studies have revealed that the antidepressant mechanism of fluoxetine was related to astrocytes. However, the therapeutic mechanism underlying its mode of action in astrocytes remains largely unclear. In this study, primary astrocytes were exposed to 10 µM fluoxetine; 24 h post-treatment, a high-resolution proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR)-based metabolomic approach coupled with multivariate statistical analysis was used to characterize the metabolic variations of intracellular metabolites. The orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) score plots of the spectra demonstrated that the fluoxetine-treated astrocytes were significantly distinguished from the untreated controls. In total, 17 differential metabolites were identified to discriminate the two groups. These key metabolites were mainly involved in lipids, lipid metabolism-related molecules and amino acids. This is the first study to indicate that fluoxetine may exert antidepressant action by regulating the astrocyte's lipid and amino acid metabolism. These findings should aid our understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying fluoxetine therapy.

  5. Excitatory amino acid-stimulated uptake of /sup 22/Na+ in primary astrocyte cultures

    SciTech Connect

    Kimelberg, H.K.; Pang, S.; Treble, D.H.

    1989-04-01

    In this study we have found that L-glutamic acid, as well as being taken up by a Na+-dependent mechanism, will stimulate the uptake of 22Na+ by primary astrocyte cultures from rat brain in the presence of ouabain. By simultaneously measuring the uptake of 22Na+ and L-3H-glutamate a stoichiometry of 2-3 Na+ per glutamate was measured, implying electrogenic uptake. Increasing the medium K+ concentration to depolarize the cells inhibited L-3H-glutamate uptake, while calculations of the energetics of the observed L-3H-glutamate accumulation also supported an electrogenic mechanism of at least 2 Na+:1 glutamate. In contrast, kinetic analysis of the Na+ dependence of L-3H-glutamate uptake indicated a stoichiometry of Na+ to glutamate of 1:1, but further analysis showed that the stoichiometry cannot be resolved by purely kinetic studies. Studies with glutamate analogs, however, showed that kainic acid was a very effective stimulant of 22Na+ uptake, but 3H-kainic acid showed no Na+ -dependent uptake. Furthermore, while L-3H-glutamate uptake was very sensitive to lowered temperatures, glutamate-stimulated 22Na+ uptake was relatively insensitive. These results indicate that glutamate-stimulated uptake of 22Na+ in primary astrocytes cultures cannot be explained solely by cotransport of Na+ with glutamate, and they suggest that direct kainic acid-type receptor induced stimulation of Na+ uptake also occurs. Since both receptor and uptake effects involve transport of Na+, accurate measurements of the Na+ :glutamate stoichiometry for uptake can only be done using completely specific inhibitors of these 2 systems.

  6. HIV-1 Tat Induces Unfolded Protein Response and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Astrocytes and Causes Neurotoxicity through Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) Activation and Aggregation.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yan; He, Johnny J

    2016-10-21

    HIV-1 Tat is a major culprit for HIV/neuroAIDS. One of the consistent hallmarks of HIV/neuroAIDS is reactive astrocytes or astrocytosis, characterized by increased cytoplasmic accumulation of the intermediate filament glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). We have shown that that Tat induces GFAP expression in astrocytes and that GFAP activation is indispensable for astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not known. In this study, we showed that Tat expression or GFAP expression led to formation of GFAP aggregates and induction of unfolded protein response (UPR) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in astrocytes. In addition, we demonstrated that GFAP up-regulation and aggregation in astrocytes were necessary but also sufficient for UPR/ER stress induction in Tat-expressing astrocytes and for astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity. Importantly, we demonstrated that inhibition of Tat- or GFAP-induced UPR/ER stress by the chemical chaperone 4-phenylbutyrate significantly alleviated astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity in vitro and in the brain of Tat-expressing mice. Taken together, these results show that HIV-1 Tat expression leads to UPR/ER stress in astrocytes, which in turn contributes to astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity, and raise the possibility of developing HIV/neuroAIDS therapeutics targeted at UPR/ER stress.

  7. Systemic administration of 3-nitropropionic acid points out a different role for active caspase-3 in neurons and astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Duran-Vilaregut, Joaquim; Del Valle, Jaume; Manich, Gemma; Junyent, Fèlix; Camins, Antoni; Pallàs, Mercè; Pelegrí, Carme; Vilaplana, Jordi

    2010-02-01

    The intraperitoneal administration of 3-nitropropionic acid, which is commonly used to induce toxicity models of Huntington's disease in experimental animals, produces severe brain injury in the lateral part of the striatum. We studied the presence of active caspase-3 in neurons and astrocytes from brains of rats treated with 3-nitropropionic acid following a subacute administration protocol. Active caspase-3 was almost absent in the core of the striatal lesion. However, it was expressed, albeit weakly, in the neurons present in the rim of the lesion. In cortex and non-injured striatal areas, and in the cortex and striatum of control animals, active caspase-3 staining was widely distributed and vivid, but localized in the cell bodies of astrocytes rather than in neurons. In treated animals, some of the active caspase-3 positive neurons localized in the rim of the lesion were also positive for TUNEL staining. This indicates the presence of a caspase-mediated apoptotic process. TUNEL was not present in control animals or in the astrocytes of treated animals. Thus, the presence of active caspase-3 in astrocytes may be merely constitutive.

  8. Manganese accumulation in membrane fractions of primary astrocytes is associated with decreased γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) uptake, and is exacerbated by oleic acid and palmitate.

    PubMed

    Fordahl, Steve C; Erikson, Keith M

    2014-05-01

    Manganese (Mn) exposure interferes with GABA uptake; however, the effects of Mn on GABA transport proteins (GATs) have not been identified. We sought to characterize how Mn impairs GAT function in primary rat astrocytes. Astrocytes exposed to Mn (500 μM) had significantly reduced (3)H-GABA uptake despite no change in membrane or cytosolic GAT3 protein levels. Co-treatment with 100 μM oleic or palmitic acids (both known to be elevated in Mn neurotoxicity), exacerbated the Mn-induced decline in (3)H-GABA uptake. Mn accumulation in the membrane fraction of astrocytes was enhanced with fatty acid administration, and was negatively correlated with (3)H-GABA uptake. Furthermore, control cells exposed to Mn only during the experimental uptake had significantly reduced (3)H-GABA uptake, and the addition of GABA (50 μM) blunted cytosolic Mn accumulation. These data indicate that reduced GAT function in astrocytes is influenced by Mn and fatty acids accumulating at or interacting with the plasma membrane.

  9. Acute treatment with 17beta-estradiol attenuates astrocyte-astrocyte and astrocyte-neuron communication.

    PubMed

    Rao, Shilpa P; Sikdar, Sujit Kumar

    2007-12-01

    Astrocytes are now recognized as dynamic signaling elements in the brain. Bidirectional communication between neurons and astrocytes involves integration of neuronal inputs by astrocytes and release of gliotransmitters that modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. The ovarian steroid hormone, 17beta-estradiol, in addition to its rapid actions on neuronal electrical activity can rapidly alter astrocyte intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) through a membrane-associated estrogen receptor. Using calcium imaging and electrophysiological techniques, we investigated the functional consequences of acute treatment with estradiol on astrocyte-astrocyte and astrocyte-neuron communication in mixed hippocampal cultures. Mechanical stimulation of an astrocyte evoked a [Ca2+]i rise in the stimulated astrocyte, which propagated to the surrounding astrocytes as a [Ca2+]i wave. Following acute treatment with estradiol, the amplitude of the [Ca2+]i elevation in astrocytes around the stimulated astrocyte was attenuated. Further, estradiol inhibited the [Ca2+]i rise in individual astrocytes in response to the metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist, trans-(+/-)-1-amino-1,3-cyclopentanedicarboxylic acid. Mechanical stimulation of astrocytes induced [Ca2+]i elevations and electrophysiological responses in adjacent neurons. Estradiol rapidly attenuated the astrocyte-evoked glutamate-mediated [Ca2+]i rise and slow inward current in neurons. Also, the incidence of astrocyte-induced increase in spontaneous postsynaptic current frequency was reduced in the presence of estradiol. The effects of estradiol were stereo-specific and reversible following washout. These findings may indicate that the regulation of neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission by astrocytes is sensitive to rapid estradiol-mediated hormonal control.

  10. [Immunohistochemical staining of the astrocytic expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin in the central nervous system of dogs with canine distemper].

    PubMed

    Orsini, Heloísa; Bondan, Eduardo Fernandes; Sanchez, Melissa; Lallo, Maria Anete; Maiorka, Paulo César; Dagli, Maria Lúcia Zaidan; Graça, Dominguita Luthers

    2007-12-01

    Considering that many aspects involved in the pathogenesis of the central nervous system (CNS) demyelinating diseases are still poorly understood and that astrocytes seem to mediate such processes, this study analyzed the participation of astrocytes in the demyelinating processes of CNS by using immunohistochemical staining of two astrocytic proteins--glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin (VIM)--comparing samples of cerebellum and brainstem from eight dogs with canine distemper and from two healthy dogs, from different breeds and ages varying from 1 to 4 years old. Histological sections were submitted to the avidin-biotin-peroxidase indirect method of immunohistochemical staining (ABC) and the astrocytic reactivity, observed in light microscopy, was quantified in a computer system for image analysis. It was possible to notice, on most of the sections from sick animals, degenerative lesions that indicate demyelination. The immunostaining for GFAP and VIM was more intense on animals with canine distemper, specially around the ventricules and near degenerated sites. There was no significant difference between the immunostaining (GFAP and VIM) of animals with canine distemper with and without inflammatory infiltrate of the cerebellar white matter. The increased immunoreactivity of astrocytes for GFAP and the VIM reexpression in injured areas indicate the astrocytic involvement on nervous tissue response to the demyelinating lesions induced by the canine distemper virus (CDV) in the CNS.

  11. Post-treatment with the Ca(2+)-Mg(2+)-endonuclease inhibitor aurintricarboxylic acid prevents peroxynitrite-induced DNA damage and death of murine astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Keqing; Lu, Huafei; Ying, Weihai

    2006-06-09

    Oxidative stress plays critical roles in aging, cell death, and many diseases. Peroxynitrite is one of the major reactive oxygen species which mediates cell injury in a number of illnesses. It is of importance to identify the downstream events in peroxynitrite-initiated cell death cascade for preventing peroxynitrite toxicity. Ca(2+)-Mg(2+)-endonucleases have been suggested as the endonucleases that execute DNA fragmentation in several apoptotic cascades. In this study, we determined if astrocytes and neurons express the genes of Ca(2+)-Mg(2+)-endonucleases. We also tested our hypothesis that post-treatment with the Ca(2+)-Mg(2+)-endonuclease inhibitor aurintricarboxylic acid can decrease peroxynitrite-induced DNA damage and death of astrocytes. We found that both astrocytes and neurons express DNase I-like endonuclease-a major isoform of Ca(2+)-Mg(2+)-endonucleases. Treatment of astrocytes with aurintricarboxylic acid either before or after peroxynitrite exposures can profoundly decrease peroxynitrite-induced DNA damage and cell death. These results suggest that Ca(2+)-Mg(2+)-endonucleases may be a key downstream component in peroxynitrite-initiated cell death cascade in astrocytes and some other cell types, and aurintricarboxylic acid could be used to decrease peroxynitrite-induced DNA damage at delayed phases.

  12. A mesenchymal-like ZEB1(+) niche harbors dorsal radial glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive stem cells in the spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Sabourin, Jean-Charles; Ackema, Karin B; Ohayon, David; Guichet, Pierre-Olivier; Perrin, Florence E; Garces, Alain; Ripoll, Chantal; Charité, Jeroen; Simonneau, Lionel; Kettenmann, H; Zine, Azel; Privat, Alain; Valmier, Jean; Pattyn, Alexandre; Hugnot, Jean-Philippe

    2009-11-01

    In humans and rodents the adult spinal cord harbors neural stem cells located around the central canal. Their identity, precise location, and specific signaling are still ill-defined and controversial. We report here on a detailed analysis of this niche. Using microdissection and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice, we demonstrate that neural stem cells are mostly dorsally located GFAP(+) cells lying ependymally and subependymally that extend radial processes toward the pial surface. The niche also harbors doublecortin protein (Dcx)(+) Nkx6.1(+) neurons sending processes into the lumen. Cervical and lumbar spinal cord neural stem cells maintain expression of specific rostro-caudal Hox gene combinations and the niche shows high levels of signaling proteins (CD15, Jagged1, Hes1, differential screening-selected gene aberrative in neuroblastoma [DAN]). More surprisingly, the niche displays mesenchymal traits such as expression of epithelial-mesenchymal-transition zinc finger E-box-binding protein 1 (ZEB1) transcription factor and smooth muscle actin. We found ZEB1 to be essential for neural stem cell survival in vitro. Proliferation within the niche progressively ceases around 13 weeks when the spinal cord reaches its final size, suggesting an active role in postnatal development. In addition to hippocampus and subventricular zone niches, adult spinal cord constitutes a third central nervous system stem cell niche with specific signaling, cellular, and structural characteristics that could possibly be manipulated to alleviate spinal cord traumatic and degenerative diseases.

  13. The balance between oligodendrocyte and astrocyte production in major white matter tracts is linearly related to serum total thyroxine.

    PubMed

    Sharlin, David S; Tighe, Daniel; Gilbert, Mary E; Zoeller, R Thomas

    2008-05-01

    Thyroid hormone (TH) may control the ratio of oligodendrocytes to astrocytes in white matter by acting on a common precursor of these two cell types. If so, then TH should produce an equal but opposite effect on the density of these two cells types across all TH levels. To test this, we induced graded TH insufficiency by treating pregnant rats with increasing doses of propylthiouracil. Propylthiouracil induced a dose-dependent decrease in serum T(4) in postnatal d 15 pups, a dose-dependent decrease in the density of MAG-positive oligodendrocytes, and an equal increase in the density of glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes in both the corpus callosum and anterior commissure. Linear regression analyses demonstrated a strong correlation between glial densities and serum T(4); this correlation was positive for astrocytes and negative for oligodendrocytes. Surprisingly, oligodendrocyte density in the corpus callosum was more sensitive to changes in TH than in the anterior commissure, as indicated by the slope of the regressions. Furthermore, we measured an overall reduction in the cellular density that was independent of changes in myelin-associated glycoprotein and glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells. These data strongly support the interpretation that TH controls the balance of production of oligodendrocytes and astrocytes in major white matter tracts of the developing brain by acting on a common precursor of these cell types. Moreover, these findings indicate that major white matter tracts may differ in their sensitivity to TH insufficiency.

  14. Notch1-STAT3-ETBR signaling axis controls reactive astrocyte proliferation after brain injury.

    PubMed

    LeComte, Matthew D; Shimada, Issei S; Sherwin, Casey; Spees, Jeffrey L

    2015-07-14

    Defining the signaling network that controls reactive astrogliosis may provide novel treatment targets for patients with diverse CNS injuries and pathologies. We report that the radial glial cell antigen RC2 identifies the majority of proliferating glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive (GFAP(+)) reactive astrocytes after stroke. These cells highly expressed endothelin receptor type B (ETB(R)) and Jagged1, a Notch1 receptor ligand. To study signaling in adult reactive astrocytes, we developed a model based on reactive astrocyte-derived neural stem cells isolated from GFAP-CreER-Notch1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice. By loss- and gain-of-function studies and promoter activity assays, we found that Jagged1/Notch1 signaling increased ETB(R) expression indirectly by raising the level of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), a previously unidentified EDNRB transcriptional activator. Similar to inducible transgenic GFAP-CreER-Notch1-cKO mice, GFAP-CreER-ETB(R)-cKO mice exhibited a defect in reactive astrocyte proliferation after cerebral ischemia. Our results indicate that the Notch1-STAT3-ETB(R) axis connects a signaling network that promotes reactive astrocyte proliferation after brain injury.

  15. Bipotential precursors of putative fibrous astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in rat cerebellar cultures express distinct surface features and neuron-like. gamma. -aminobutyric acid transport

    SciTech Connect

    Levi, G.; Gallo, V.; Ciotti, T.

    1986-03-01

    When postnatal rat cerebellar cells were cultured in a chemically defined, serum-free medium, the only type of astrocyte present was unable to accumulate ..gamma..-(/sup 3/H)aminobutyric acid (GABA), did not express surface antigens recognized by two monoclonal antibodies, A2B5 and LB1, and showed minimal proliferation. In these cultures, nonneuronal A2B5/sup +/, LB1/sup +/ stellate cells exhibiting neuron-like (/sup 3/H)GABA uptake formed cell colonies of increasing size and were GFAP/sup -/. After about one week of culturing, the A2B5/sup +/, LB1/sup +/, GABA-uptake positive cell groups became galactocerebroside (GalCer) positive. Immunocytolysis of the A2B5/sup +/ cells at 3 and 4 days in vitro prevented the appearance of the A2B5/sup +/, LB1/sup +/, GABA-uptake positive cell colonies, and also of the GalCer/sup +/ cell groups. If 10% (vol/vol) fetal calf serum was added to 6-day cultures, the A2B5/sup +/, LB1/sup +/, GABA-uptake positive cell groups expressed GFAP and not GalCer. If the serum was added to the cultures 2 days after lysing the A2B5/sup +/ cells, only A2B5/sup -/, LB1/sup -/, GABA-uptake negative astrocytes proliferated. It is concluded that the putative fibrous astrocytes previously described in serum-containing cultures derive from bipotential precursors that differentiate into oligodendrocytes (GalCer/sup +/) in serum-free medium or into astrocytes (GFAP/sup +/) in the presence of serum, while the epithelioid A2B5/sup -/, LB1/sup -/, GABA-uptake negative astrocytes originate from a different precursor not yet identified.

  16. Enhanced GLT-1 mediated glutamate uptake and migration of primary astrocytes directed by fibronectin-coated electrospun poly-L-lactic acid fibers.

    PubMed

    Zuidema, Jonathan M; Hyzinski-García, María C; Van Vlasselaer, Kristien; Zaccor, Nicholas W; Plopper, George E; Mongin, Alexander A; Gilbert, Ryan J

    2014-02-01

    Bioengineered fiber substrates are increasingly studied as a means to promote regeneration and remodeling in the injured central nervous system (CNS). Previous reports largely focused on the ability of oriented scaffolds to bridge injured regions and direct outgrowth of axonal projections. In the present work, we explored the effects of electrospun microfibers on the migration and physiological properties of brain astroglial cells. Primary rat astrocytes were cultured on either fibronectin-coated poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) films, fibronectin-coated randomly oriented PLLA electrospun fibers, or fibronectin-coated aligned PLLA electrospun fibers. Aligned PLLA fibers strongly altered astrocytic morphology, orienting cell processes, actin microfilaments, and microtubules along the length of the fibers. On aligned fibers, astrocytes also significantly increased their migration rates in the direction of fiber orientation. We further investigated if fiber topography modifies astrocytic neuroprotective properties, namely glutamate and glutamine transport and metabolism. This was done by quantifying changes in mRNA expression (qRT-PCR) and protein levels (Western blotting) for a battery of relevant biomolecules. Interestingly, we found that cells grown on random and/or aligned fibers increased the expression levels of two glutamate transporters, GLAST and GLT-1, and an important metabolic enzyme, glutamine synthetase, as compared to the fibronectin-coated films. Functional assays revealed increases in glutamate transport rates due to GLT-1 mediated uptake, which was largely determined by the dihydrokainate-sensitive GLT-1. Overall, this study suggests that aligned PLLA fibers can promote directed astrocytic migration, and, of most importance, our in vitro results indicate for the first time that electrospun PLLA fibers can positively modify neuroprotective properties of glial cells by increasing rates of glutamate uptake.

  17. Increasing cellular level of phosphatidic acid enhances FGF-1 production in long term-cultured rat astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Nagayasu, Yuko; Morita, Shin-Ya; Hayashi, Hideki; Miura, Yutaka; Yokoyama, Kazuki; Michikawa, Makoto; Ito, Jin-Ichi

    2014-05-14

    We found in a previous study that both mRNA expression and release of fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF-1) are greater in rat astrocytes that are long term-cultured for one month (W/M cells) than in the cells cultured for one week (W/W cells). However, FGF-1 does not enhance phosphorylation of Akt, MEK, and ERK in W/M cells, while it does in W/W cells. In this work we studied the mechanism to cause these differences between W/W and W/M cells in culture. As it is known that long term culture generates oxidative stress, we characterized the stresses which W/M cells undergo in comparison with W/W cells. The levels of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and mitochondrial Bax were higher in W/M cells than in W/W cells. W/M cells recovered their ability to respond to FGF-1 to enhance phosphorylation of Akt, MEK, and ERK in the presence of antioxidants. Oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) had no effect on mRNA expression of FGF-1 in W/W cells, although H2O2 enhances release of FGF-1 from W/W cells without inducing apoptosis. The influence of cell density was studied on mRNA expression of FGF-1 and cellular response to FGF-1, as an increasing cell density is observed in W/M cells. The increasing cell density enhanced mRNA expression of FGF-1 in W/W cells without suppression of responses to FGF-1. The decrease in cell density lowered the FGF-1 mRNA expression in W/M cells without recovery of the response to FGF-1 to enhance phosphorylation of Akt, MEK, and ERK. These findings suggest that oxidative stress attenuate sensitivity to FGF-1 and higher cell density may enhance FGF-1 expression in W/M cells. In addition, we found that the cellular level of phosphatidic acid (PA) increased in H2O2-treated W/W and W/M cells and decreased by the treatment with antioxidants, and that PA enhances the mRNA expression of FGF-1 in the W/W cells. These findings suggest that the increasing PA production may enhance FGF-1 expression to protect astrocytes against oxidative stress

  18. Notch1–STAT3–ETBR signaling axis controls reactive astrocyte proliferation after brain injury

    PubMed Central

    LeComte, Matthew D.; Shimada, Issei S.; Sherwin, Casey; Spees, Jeffrey L.

    2015-01-01

    Defining the signaling network that controls reactive astrogliosis may provide novel treatment targets for patients with diverse CNS injuries and pathologies. We report that the radial glial cell antigen RC2 identifies the majority of proliferating glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive (GFAP+) reactive astrocytes after stroke. These cells highly expressed endothelin receptor type B (ETBR) and Jagged1, a Notch1 receptor ligand. To study signaling in adult reactive astrocytes, we developed a model based on reactive astrocyte-derived neural stem cells isolated from GFAP-CreER-Notch1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice. By loss- and gain-of-function studies and promoter activity assays, we found that Jagged1/Notch1 signaling increased ETBR expression indirectly by raising the level of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), a previously unidentified EDNRB transcriptional activator. Similar to inducible transgenic GFAP-CreER-Notch1-cKO mice, GFAP-CreER-ETBR-cKO mice exhibited a defect in reactive astrocyte proliferation after cerebral ischemia. Our results indicate that the Notch1–STAT3–ETBR axis connects a signaling network that promotes reactive astrocyte proliferation after brain injury. PMID:26124113

  19. HIV-1 Tat Promotes Lysosomal Exocytosis in Astrocytes and Contributes to Astrocyte-mediated Tat Neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yan; He, Johnny J

    2016-10-21

    Tat interaction with astrocytes has been shown to be important for Tat neurotoxicity and HIV/neuroAIDS. We have recently shown that Tat expression leads to increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression and aggregation and activation of unfolded protein response/endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in astrocytes and causes neurotoxicity. However, the exact molecular mechanism of astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity is not defined. In this study, we showed that neurotoxic factors other than Tat protein itself were present in the supernatant of Tat-expressing astrocytes. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry revealed significantly elevated lysosomal hydrolytic enzymes and plasma membrane-associated proteins in the supernatant of Tat-expressing astrocytes. We confirmed that Tat expression and infection of pseudotyped HIV.GFP led to increased lysosomal exocytosis from mouse astrocytes and human astrocytes. We found that Tat-induced lysosomal exocytosis was tightly coupled to astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity. In addition, we demonstrated that Tat-induced lysosomal exocytosis was astrocyte-specific and required GFAP expression and was mediated by ER stress. Taken together, these results show for the first time that Tat promotes lysosomal exocytosis in astrocytes and causes neurotoxicity through GFAP activation and ER stress induction in astrocytes and suggest a common cascade through which aberrant astrocytosis/GFAP up-regulation potentiates neurotoxicity and contributes to neurodegenerative diseases.

  20. Involvement of p300 in constitutive and HIV-1 Tat-activated expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein in astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Wei; Wang, Zhenyuan; Liu, Ying; Fan, Yan; Zhou, Betty Y.; Yang, X. Frank; He, Johnny J.

    2010-01-01

    HIV-1 Tat protein is an important pathogenic factor in HIV-1-associated neurological diseases. One hallmark of HIV-1 infection of the central nervous system (CNS) is astrocytosis, which is characterized by elevated GFAP expression in astrocytes. We have shown that Tat activates GFAP expression in astrocytes (Zhou, et al., Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 27:296, 2004) and that GFAP is an important regulator of Tat neurotoxicity (Zou, et. al., Am. J. Pathol. 171:1293, 2007). However, the underlying mechanisms for Tat-mediated GFAP up-regulation are not understood. In the current study, we reported concurrent up-regulation of adenovirus E1a-associated 300 kDa protein p300 and GFAP in Tat-expressing human astroytoma cells and primary astrocytes. We showed that p300 was indeed induced by Tat expression and HIV-1 infection and that the induction occurred at the transcriptional level through the cis-acting elements of early growth response 1 (Egr-1) within its promoter. Using siRNA, we further showed that p300 regulated both constitutive and Tat-mediated GFAP expression. Moreover, we showed that ectopic expression of p300 potentiated Tat transactivation activity and increased proliferation of HIV-1-infected astrocytes, but had little effect on HIV-1 replication in these cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate for the first time that Tat is a positive regulator of p300 expression, which in turn regulates GFAP expression, and suggest that the Tat-Egr-1-p300-GFAP axis likely contributes to Tat neurotoxicity and predisposes astrocytes to be an HIV-1 sanctuary in the CNS. PMID:20578042

  1. LRRC8A protein is indispensable for swelling-activated and ATP-induced release of excitatory amino acids in rat astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Hyzinski-García, María C; Rudkouskaya, Alena; Mongin, Alexander A

    2014-01-01

    In mammals, cellular swelling activates release of small organic osmolytes, including the excitatory amino acids (EAA) glutamate and aspartate, via a ubiquitously expressed volume-regulated chloride/anion channel (VRAC). Pharmacological evidence suggests that VRAC plays plural physiological and pathological roles, including excitotoxic release of glutamate in stroke. However, the molecular identity of this pathway was unknown. Two recent studies discovered that LRRC8 gene family members encode heteromeric VRAC composed of LRRC8A plus LRRC8B-E, which mediate swelling-activated Cl− currents and taurine release in human non-neural cells (Z. Qiu et al. Cell 157: 447, 2014; F.K. Voss et al. Science 344: 634, 2014). Here, we tested the contribution of LRRC8A to the EAA release in brain glia. We detected and quantified expression levels of LRRC8A-E in primary rat astrocytes with quantitative RT-PCR and then downregulated LRRC8A with gene-specific siRNAs. In astrocytes exposed to hypo-osmotic media, LRRC8A knockdown dramatically reduced swelling-activated release of the EAA tracer d-[3H]aspartate. In parallel HPLC assays, LRRC8A siRNA prevented hypo-osmotic media-induced loss of the endogenous intracellular l-glutamate and taurine. Furthermore, downregulation of LRRC8A completely ablated the ATP-stimulated release of d-[3H]aspartate and [14C]taurine from non-swollen astrocytes. Overall, these data indicate that LRRC8A is an indispensable component of a permeability pathway that mediates both swelling-activated and agonist-induced amino acid release in brain glial cells. PMID:25172945

  2. Role of astrocytes in manganese mediated neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes are responsible for numerous aspects of metabolic support, nutrition, control of the ion and neurotransmitter environment in central nervous system (CNS). Failure by astrocytes to support essential neuronal metabolic requirements plays a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of brain injury and the ensuing neuronal death. Astrocyte-neuron interactions play a central role in brain homeostasis, in particular via neurotransmitter recycling functions. Disruption of the glutamine (Gln)/glutamate (Glu) -γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) cycle (GGC) between astrocytes and neurons contributes to changes in Glu-ergic and/or GABA-ergic transmission, and is associated with several neuropathological conditions, including manganese (Mn) toxicity. In this review, we discuss recent advances in support of the important roles for astrocytes in normal as well as neuropathological conditions primarily those caused by exposure to Mn. PMID:23594835

  3. αB-crystallin negative astrocytic inclusions.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Brad P; Bressler, Joseph; Chen, Terina; Hutchins, Grover M; Crain, Barbara J; Kaufmann, Walter E

    2011-04-01

    We report on an unusual pathological finding of astrocytes, observed in the brain of a 16-year-old African-American male with severe intellectual disability and spastic quadriplegia. The brain showed bilateral pericentral, perisylvian polymicrogyria and pachygyria, in conjunction with a large number of hypertrophic astrocytes with eosinophilic granular cytoplasmic inclusions. The astrocytic abnormality was more severe in the dysgenetic area but present throughout the cerebral cortex. Astrocytic inclusions stained with acid fuchsin, azocarmine and Holzer's stain, and were immunoreactive for GFAP, S-100, and ubiquitin, but not for αB-crystallin, filamin, vimentin, nestin, tau or α-synuclein. Based on the case and a review of the literature, the authors postulate that these astrocytic inclusions in the cerebral cortex reflect abnormalities in radial glial developmental processes, such as migration, differentiation, or glial-neuronal interaction function during neuronal migration.

  4. The effect of gallic acid on cytotoxicity, Ca(2+) homeostasis and ROS production in DBTRG-05MG human glioblastoma cells and CTX TNA2 rat astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Shu-Shong; Chou, Chiang-Ting; Liao, Wei-Chuan; Shieh, Pochuen; Kuo, Daih-Huang; Kuo, Chun-Chi; Jan, Chung-Ren; Liang, Wei-Zhe

    2016-05-25

    Gallic acid, a polyhydroxylphenolic compound, is widely distributed in various plants, fruits and foods. It has been shown that gallic acid passes into blood brain barrier and reaches the brain tissue of middle cerebral artery occlusion rats. However, the effect of gallic acid on Ca(2+) signaling in glia cells is unknown. This study explored whether gallic acid affected Ca(2+) homeostasis and induced Ca(2+)-associated cytotoxicity in DBTRG-05MG human glioblastoma cells and CTX TNA2 rat astrocytes. Gallic acid (20-40 μM) concentration-dependently induced cytotoxicity and intracellular Ca(2+) level ([Ca(2+)]i) increases in DBTRG-05MG cells but not in CTX TNA2 cells. In DBTRG-05MG cells, the Ca(2+) response was decreased by half by removal of extracellular Ca(2+). In Ca(2+)-containing medium, gallic acid-induced Ca(2+) entry was inhibited by store-operated Ca(2+) channel inhibitors (2-APB, econazole and SKF96365). In Ca(2+)-free medium, pretreatment with the endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) pump inhibitor thapsigargin abolished gallic acid-induced [Ca(2+)]i increases. Conversely, incubation with gallic acid also abolished thapsigargin-induced [Ca(2+)]i increases. Inhibition of phospholipase C with U73122 abolished gallic acid-induced [Ca(2+)]i increases. Gallic acid significantly caused cytotoxicity in DBTRG-05MG cells, which was partially prevented by prechelating cytosolic Ca(2+) with BAPTA-AM. Moreover, gallic acid activated mitochondrial apoptotic pathways that involved ROS production. Together, in DBTRG-05MG cells but not in CTX TNA2 cells, gallic acid induced [Ca(2+)]i increases by causing Ca(2+) entry via 2-APB, econazole and SKF96365-sensitive store-operated Ca(2+) entry, and phospholipase C-dependent release from the endoplasmic reticulum. This Ca(2+) signal subsequently evoked mitochondrial pathways of apoptosis that involved ROS production.

  5. Imipramine activates glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor via early growth response gene 1 in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yeni; Kim, Se Hyun; Kim, Yong Sik; Lee, Young Han; Ha, Kyooseob; Shin, Soon Young

    2011-06-01

    Recent evidence has suggested that deficits in glial plasticity contribute to the pathophysiology of depressive disorders. The present study explored early growth response 1 (EGR-1) transcriptional regulation of imipramine-induced glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) expression in astrocytes. After we observed the induction of GDNF mRNA expression in rat astrocytes in response to imipramine, deletion mutant studies showed that the proximal region between -493 and -114 of the GDNF promoter, which contains three binding sites for EGR-1, was essential for maximal imipramine-induced activation of GDNF promoter. The dose-dependent upregulation of EGR-1 by imipramine, the activation of GDNF by the over-expression of EGR-1 without imipramine and the reduction in the imipramine-induced GDNF mRNA expression after silencing of endogenous EGR-1 demonstrated that EGR-1 is upregulated by imipramine to activate the GDNF promoter. Furthermore, imipramine-induced GDNF mRNA expression was strongly attenuated in primary astrocytes from Egr-1(-/-) mice, and the immunoreactivity to an anti-GDNF antibody in glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells was lower in imipramine-treated astrocytes from Egr-1(-/-) mice than in those from Egr-1(+/-) mice. To determine whether mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) were associated with imipramine-induced EGR-1 expression, we examined the induction of MAPK phosphorylation in response to imipramine. Pretreatment of rat primary astrocytes with the MAPK kinase inhibitor U0126 or the JNK inhibitor SP600125 strongly inhibited imipramine-stimulated EGR-1 expression. In conclusion, we found that imipramine induction of EGR-1 upregulated GDNF in astrocytes in a dose-dependent manner. This upregulation may occur through the MEK/ERK and JNK MAPK pathways, which suggests a new therapeutic mechanism of action for depressive disorders.

  6. Astrocyte Elevated Gene-1 Is a Novel Modulator of HIV-1-associated Neuroinflammation via Regulation of Nuclear Factor-κB Signaling and Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter-2 Repression*

    PubMed Central

    Vartak-Sharma, Neha; Gelman, Benjamin B.; Joshi, Chaitanya; Borgamann, Kathleen; Ghorpade, Anuja

    2014-01-01

    Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1), a novel human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-inducible oncogene, has generated significant interest in the field of cancer research as a therapeutic target for many metastatic aggressive tumors. However, little is known about its role in astrocyte responses during HIV-1 central nervous system (CNS) infection and whether it contributes toward the development of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Therefore, in this study, we investigated changes in AEG-1 CNS expression in HIV-1-infected brain tissues and elucidated a potential mechanism of AEG-1-mediated regulation of HAND. Immunoblotting and immunohistochemical analyses of HIV-1 seropositive and HIV-1 encephalitic human brain tissues revealed significantly elevated levels of AEG-1 protein. Immunohistochemical analyses of HIV-1 Tat transgenic mouse brain tissues also showed a marked increase in AEG-1 staining. Similar to in vivo observations, cultured astrocytes expressing HIV-1 Tat also revealed AEG-1 and cytokine up-regulation. Astrocytes treated with HAND-relevant stimuli, TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, and HIV-1, also significantly induced AEG-1 expression and nuclear translocation via activation of the nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathway. Co-immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated IL-1β- or TNF-α-induced AEG-1 interaction with NF-κB p65 subunit. AEG-1 knockdown decreased NF-κB activation, nuclear translocation, and transcriptional output in TNF-α-treated astrocytes. Moreover, IL-1β treatment of AEG-1-overexpressing astrocytes significantly lowered expression of excitatory amino acid transporter 2, increased expression of excitatory amino acid transporter 2 repressor ying yang 1, and reduced glutamate clearance, a major transducer of excitotoxic neuronal damage. Findings from this study identify a novel transcriptional co-factor function of AEG-1 and further implicate AEG-1 in HAND-associated neuroinflammation. PMID:24855648

  7. Electrophilic nitro-fatty acids prevent astrocyte-mediated toxicity to motor neurons in a cell model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis via nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor activation.

    PubMed

    Diaz-Amarilla, Pablo; Miquel, Ernesto; Trostchansky, Andrés; Trias, Emiliano; Ferreira, Ana M; Freeman, Bruce A; Cassina, Patricia; Barbeito, Luis; Vargas, Marcelo R; Rubbo, Homero

    2016-06-01

    Nitro-fatty acids (NO2-FA) are electrophilic signaling mediators formed in tissues during inflammation, which are able to induce pleiotropic cytoprotective and antioxidant pathways including up regulation of Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) responsive genes. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of motor neurons associated to an inflammatory process that usually aggravates the disease progression. In ALS animal models, the activation of the transcription factor Nrf2 in astrocytes confers protection to neighboring neurons. It is currently unknown whether NO2-FA can exert protective activity in ALS through Nrf2 activation. Herein we demonstrate that nitro-arachidonic acid (NO2-AA) or nitro-oleic acid (NO2-OA) administrated to astrocytes expressing the ALS-linked hSOD1(G93A) induce antioxidant phase II enzyme expression through Nrf2 activation concomitant with increasing intracellular glutathione levels. Furthermore, treatment of hSOD1(G93A)-expressing astrocytes with NO2-FA prevented their toxicity to motor neurons. Transfection of siRNA targeted to Nrf2 mRNA supported the involvement of Nrf2 activation in NO2-FA-mediated protective effects. Our results show for the first time that NO2-FA induce a potent Nrf2-dependent antioxidant response in astrocytes capable of preventing motor neurons death in a culture model of ALS.

  8. A cortical astrocyte subpopulation inhibits axon growth in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Liu, Rui; Wang, Zhe; Gou, Lin; Xu, Hanpeng

    2015-08-01

    Astrocytes are the most heterogeneous and predominant glial cell type in the central nervous system. However, the functional significance of this heterogeneity remains to be elucidated. Following injury, damaged astrocytes inhibit axonal regeneration in vivo and in vitro. Cultured primary astrocytes are commonly considered good supportive substrates for neuron attachment and axon regeneration. However, it is not known whether different populations of cells in the heterogeneous astrocyte culture affect neuron behavior in the same way. In the present study, the effect of astrocyte heterogeneity on neuronal attachment and neurite outgrowth was examined using an in vitro and in vivo coculture system. In vitro, neonatal cortical astrocytes were co-cultured with purified dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons and astrocyte growth morphology, neuron attachment and neurite growth were evaluated. The results demonstrated that the heterogeneous astrocyte cells showed two different types of growth pattern, typical and atypical. Typical astrocytes were supportive to neuron attachment and neurite growth, which was consistent with previous studies, whereas atypical astrocytes inhibited neuron attachment and neurite growth. These inhibitory astrocytes exhibited a special growth pattern with various shapes and sizes, a high cell density, few oligodendrocytes on the top layer and occupied a smaller growth area compared with typical astrocytes. Neurites extended freely on typical supportive astrocyte populations, however, moved away when they reached atypical astrocyte growth pattern. Neurons growing on the atypical astrocyte pattern demonstrated minimal neurite outgrowth and these neurites had a dystrophic appearance, however, neuronal survival was unaffected. Immunocytochemistry studies demonstrated that these atypical inhibitory astrocytes were glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) positive cells. The existence of inhibitory astrocyte subpopulations in normal astrocytes reflects the

  9. Astrocytic Clasmatodendrosis in Hippocampal Organ Culture

    PubMed Central

    HULSE, RAYMOND E.; WINTERFIELD, J.; KUNKLER, PHILLIP E.; KRAIG, RICHARD P.

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms by which astrocytes are irreversibly injured from ischemic brain injury remain incompletely defined. More than 90 years ago Alzheimer showed that astrocytes lose their distal processes (i.e., undergo “clasmatodendrosis”) when irreversibly injured by a reduction in blood flow, a process shown by Friede and van Houten (1961) to be due to energy failure and acidosis. Such alterations in astrocytic morphology can relate directly to changes in cell function. However, astrocytic clasmatodendrosis has largely been lost to the modern literature, perhaps because of a inability to study it under controlled conditions. In the present study, novel four-dimensional (4D) and digital deblurring imaging of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunostaining changes in hippocampal organ cultures (HOTCs) were used to establish an in vitro model of astrocytic clasmatodendrosis. Also, astrocytes in primary culture were transfected with green fluorescent protein (GFP) to show the occurrence of clasmatodendrosis via a parallel and separate means. In HOTCs, a significant reduction in astrocytic process length occurred 15 min (and remained for 60 min) after exposure to acidic Ringer’s and mitochondrial inhibition in the pyramidal cell body layer. Time-lapsed images of primary cultures showed thinning of cell processes within 15 min of exposure to acidic Ringer’s and mitochondrial inhibition. Distal processes subsequently broke away but retained their fluorescence for minutes before disintegrating along with their parent cell bodies. This report shows the spatiotemporal occurrence of clasmatodendrosis in astrocytes of HOTCs closely parallels that seen in vivo. Thus, HOTCs, where microenvironmental conditions can be controlled and single, identified cells can be followed in space and time, can be applied to study the interrelations between energy metabolism and pH that result in clasmatodendrosis. PMID:11180514

  10. Purines regulate adult brain subventricular zone cell functions: contribution of reactive astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Boccazzi, Marta; Rolando, Chiara; Abbracchio, Maria P; Buffo, Annalisa; Ceruti, Stefania

    2014-03-01

    Brain injuries modulate activation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult brain. In pathological conditions, the concentrations of extracellular nucleotides (eNTs) raise several folds, contribute to reactive gliosis, and possibly directly affect subventricular zone (SVZ) cell functioning. Among eNTs and derived metabolites, the P2Y1 receptor agonist ADP strongly promotes astrogliosis and might also influence SVZ progenitor activity. Here, we tested the ability of the stable P2Y1 agonist adenosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) (ADPβS) to control adult NSC functions both in vitro and in vivo, with a focus on the possible effects exerted by reactive astrocytes. In the absence of growth factors, ADPβS promoted proliferation and differentiation of SVZ progenitors. Moreover, ADPβS-activated astrocytes markedly changed the pattern of released cytokines and chemokines, and strongly modulated neurosphere-forming capacity of SVZ progenitors. Notably, a significant enhancement in proliferation was observed when SVZ cells, initially grown in the supernatant of astrocytes exposed to ADPβS, were shifted to normal medium. In vivo, ADPβS administration in the lateral ventricle of adult mice by osmotic minipumps caused diffused reactive astrogliosis, and a strong response of SVZ progenitors. Indeed, proliferation of glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive NSCs increased and led to a significant expansion of SVZ transit-amplifying progenitors and neuroblasts. Lineage tracing experiments performed in the GLAST::CreERT2;Rosa-YFP transgenic mice further demonstrated that ADPβS promoted proliferation of glutamate/aspartate transporter-positive progenitors and sustained their progression toward the generation of rapidly dividing progenitors. Altogether, our results show that the purinergic system crucially affects SVZ progenitor activities both directly and through the involvement of reactive astrocytes.

  11. Astrocytes optimize synaptic fidelity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita; Jung, Peter; Levine, Herbert

    2007-03-01

    Most neuronal synapses in the central nervous system are enwrapped by an astrocytic process. This relation allows the astrocyte to listen to and feed back to the synapse and to regulate synaptic transmission. We combine a tested mathematical model for the Ca^2+ response of the synaptic astrocyte and presynaptic feedback with a detailed model for vesicle release of neurotransmitter at active zones. The predicted Ca^2+ dependence of the presynaptic synaptic vesicle release compares favorably for several types of synapses, including the Calyx of Held. We hypothesize that the feedback regulation of the astrocyte onto the presynaptic terminal optimizes the fidelity of the synapse in terms of information transmission.

  12. Growth of purified astrocytes in a chemically defined medium

    SciTech Connect

    Morrison, R.S.; De Vellis, J.

    1981-11-01

    Astrocytes purified from primary cultures of neonatal rat cerebrum can not be grown in a synthetic medium supplemented with putrescine, prostaglandin F/sub 2//sub ..cap alpha../, insulin, fibroblast growth factor, and hydrocortisone. These five supplements have a marked synergistic effect on growth when used in combination but have little effect when used individually. Astrocytes grown in the defined medium exhibit dramatic changes in morphological characteristics in comparison to cells grown in serum-free or serum-supplemented medium. In addition, these cells express the astrocyte-specific marker glial fibrillary acidic protein and are estimated by several criteria to be greater than 95% astrocytes.

  13. Astrocytes Potentiate Synaptic Transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita

    2005-03-01

    A recent experimental study shows that astrocytes, a subtype of glia, are able to influence the spontaneous activity in the brain via calcium dependent glutamate release. We model the coupling mechanism between an astrocyte and a neuron based on experimental data. This coupling is dynamic and bi-directional, such that the modulations in intracellular calcium concentrations in astrocytes affect neuronal excitability and vice versa via a glutamatergic pathway. We demonstrate through simple neural-glial circuits that increases in the intracellular calcium concentration in astrocytes nearby can enhance spontaneous activity in a neuron, a significant mechanism said to be involved in plasticity and learning. The pattern of this marked increase in spontaneous firing rate in our model quantitatively follows that observed in the experiment. Further, depending on the type of synaptic connections diverging from the neuron, it can either inhibit or excite the ensuing dynamics and potentiate synaptic transmission, thus reinstating the integral role played by astrocytes in normal neuronal dynamics.

  14. Heterogeneity of Notch signaling in astrocytes and the effects of GFAP and vimentin deficiency.

    PubMed

    Lebkuechner, Isabell; Wilhelmsson, Ulrika; Möllerström, Elin; Pekna, Marcela; Pekny, Milos

    2015-10-01

    Astrocytes have multiple roles in the CNS including control of adult neurogenesis. We recently showed that astrocyte inhibition of neurogenesis through Notch signaling depends on the intermediate filament proteins glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin. Here, we used real-time quantitative PCR to analyze gene expression in individual mouse astrocytes in primary cultures and in GFAP(POS) or Aldh1L1(POS) astrocytes freshly isolated from uninjured, contralesional and lesioned hippocampus 4 days after entorhinal cortex lesion. To determine the Notch signaling competence of individual astrocytes, we measured the mRNA levels of Notch ligands and Notch1 receptor. We found that whereas most cultured and freshly isolated astrocytes were competent to receive Notch signals, only a minority of astrocytes were competent to send Notch signals. Injury increased the fraction of astrocyte subpopulation unable to send and receive Notch signals, thus resembling primary astrocytes in vitro. Astrocytes deficient of GFAP and vimentin showed decreased Notch signal sending competence and altered expression of Notch signaling pathway-related genes Dlk2, Notch1, and Sox2. Furthermore, we identified astrocyte subpopulations based on their mRNA and protein expression of nestin and HB-EGF. This study improves our understanding of astrocyte heterogeneity, and points to astrocyte cytoplasmic intermediate filaments as targets for neural cell replacement strategies.

  15. The morphology and spatial arrangement of astrocytes in the optic nerve head of the mouse.

    PubMed

    Sun, Daniel; Lye-Barthel, Ming; Masland, Richard H; Jakobs, Tatjana C

    2009-09-01

    We evaluated the shapes, numbers, and spatial distribution of astrocytes within the glial lamina, an astrocyte-rich region at the junction of the retina and optic nerve. A primary aim was to determine how the population of astrocytes, collectively, partitions the axonal space in this region. Astrocyte processes labeled with glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) compartmentalize ganglion cell axons into bundles, forming "glial tubes," and giving the glial architecture of the optic nerve head in transverse section a honeycomb appearance. The shapes of individual astrocytes were studied by using transgenic mice that express enhanced green fluorescent protein in isolated astrocytes (hGFAPpr-EGFP). Within the glial lamina the astrocytes were transverse in orientation, with thick, smooth primary processes emanating from a cytoplasmic expansion of the soma. Spaces between the processes of neighboring astrocytes were spatially aligned, to form the apertures through which the bundles of optic axons pass. The processes of individual astrocytes were far-reaching-they could span most of the width of the nerve-and overlapped the anatomical domains of other near and distant astrocytes. Thus, astrocytes in the glial lamina do not tile: each astrocyte participates in ensheathing approximately one-quarter of all of the axon bundles in the nerve, and each glial tube contains the processes of about nine astrocytes. This raises the mechanistic question of how, in glaucoma or other cases of nerve damage, the glial response can be confined to a circumscribed region where damage to axons has occurred.

  16. Transcriptional Regulation of the Astrocytic Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 1 (EAAT1) via NF-κB and Yin Yang 1 (YY1)*

    PubMed Central

    Karki, Pratap; Kim, Clifford; Smith, Keisha; Son, Deok-Soo; Aschner, Michael; Lee, Eunsook

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytic glutamate transporter excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT) 1, also known as glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST) in rodents, is one of two glial glutamate transporters that are responsible for removing excess glutamate from synaptic clefts to prevent excitotoxic neuronal death. Despite its important role in neurophysiological functions, the molecular mechanisms of EAAT1 regulation at the transcriptional level remain to be established. Here, we report that NF-κB is a main positive transcription factor for EAAT1, supported by the following: 1) EAAT1 contains two consensus sites for NF-κB, 2) mutation of NF-κB binding sites decreased EAAT1 promoter activity, and 3) activation of NF-κB increased, whereas inhibition of NF-κB decreased EAAT1 promoter activity and mRNA/protein levels. EGF increased EAAT1 mRNA/protein levels and glutamate uptake via NF-κB. The transcription factor yin yang 1 (YY1) plays a role as a critical negative regulator of EAAT1, supported by the following: 1) the EAAT1 promoter contains multiple consensus sites for YY1, 2) overexpression of YY1 decreased EAAT1 promoter activity and mRNA/protein levels, and 3) knockdown of YY1 increased EAAT1 promoter activity and mRNA/protein levels. Manganese decreased EAAT1 expression via YY1. Epigenetic modifiers histone deacetylases (HDACs) served as co-repressors of YY1 to further decrease EAAT1 promoter activity, whereas inhibition of HDACs reversed manganese-induced decrease of EAAT1 expression. Taken together, our findings suggest that NF-κB is a critical positive regulator of EAAT1, mediating the stimulatory effects of EGF, whereas YY1 is a negative regulator of EAAT1 with HDACs as co-repressors, mediating the inhibitory effects of manganese on EAAT1 regulation. PMID:26269591

  17. Structural remodeling of fibrous astrocytes after axonal injury.

    PubMed

    Sun, Daniel; Lye-Barthel, Ming; Masland, Richard H; Jakobs, Tatjana C

    2010-10-20

    Reactive astrocytes are a pathological hallmark of many CNS injuries and neurodegenerations. They are characterized by hypertrophy of the soma and processes and an increase in the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein. Because the cells obscure each other in immunostaining, little is known about the behavior of a single reactive astrocyte, nor how single astrocytes combine to form the glial scar. We have investigated the reaction of fibrous astrocytes to axonal degeneration using a transgenic mouse strain expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein in small subsets of astrocytes. Fibrous astrocytes in the optic nerve and corpus callosum initially react to injury by hypertrophy of the soma and processes. They retract their primary processes, simplifying their shape and dramatically reducing their spatial coverage. At 3 d after crush, quantitative analysis revealed nearly a twofold increase in the thickness of the primary processes, a halving of the number of primary processes leaving the soma and an eightfold reduction in the spatial coverage. In the subsequent week, they partially reextend long processes, returning to a near-normal morphology and an extensive spatial overlap. The resulting glial scar consists of an irregular array of astrocyte processes, contrasting with their original orderly arrangement. These changes are in distinct contrast to those reported for reactive protoplasmic astrocytes of the gray matter, in which the number of processes and branchings increase, but the cells continue to maintain nonoverlapping individual territories throughout their response to injury.

  18. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids ameliorate neuroinflammation and mitigate ischemic stroke damage through interactions with astrocytes and microglia.

    PubMed

    Zendedel, Adib; Habib, Pardes; Dang, Jon; Lammerding, Leoni; Hoffmann, Stefanie; Beyer, Cordian; Slowik, Alexander

    2015-01-15

    Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA n3) provide neuroprotection due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties as well as their regulatory function on growth factors and neuronal plasticity. These qualities enable PUFA n3 to ameliorate stroke outcome and limit neuronal damage. Young adult male rats received transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO). PUFA n3 were intravenously administered into the jugular vein immediately after stroke and 12h later. We analyzed stroke volume and behavioral performance as well as the regulation of functionally-relevant genes in the penumbra. The extent of ischemic damage was reduced and behavioral performance improved subject to applied PUFA n3. Expression of Tau and growth-associated protein-43 genes were likewise restored. Ischemia-induced increase of cytokine mRNA levels was abated by PUFA n3. Using an in vitro approach, we demonstrate that cultured astroglial and microglia directly respond to PUFA n3 administration by preventing ischemia-induced increase of cyclooxygenase 2, hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and interleukin 1beta. Cultured cortical neurons also appeared as direct targets, since PUFA n3 shifted the Bcl-2-like protein 4 (Bax)/B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl 2) ratio towards an anti-apoptotic constellation. Thus, PUFA n3 reveal a high neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory potential in an acute ischemic stroke model by targeting astroglial and microglial function as well as improving neuronal survival strategies. Our findings signify the potential clinical feasibility of PUFA n3 therapeutic treatment in stroke and other acute neurological diseases.

  19. Astrocytes in Migration.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Jiang Shan; Gao, Kai; Chai, Rui Chao; Jia, Xi Hua; Luo, Dao Peng; Ge, Guo; Jiang, Yu Wu; Fung, Yin-Wan Wendy; Li, Lina; Yu, Albert Cheung Hoi

    2017-01-01

    Cell migration is a fundamental phenomenon that underlies tissue morphogenesis, wound healing, immune response, and cancer metastasis. Great progresses have been made in research methodologies, with cell migration identified as a highly orchestrated process. Brain is considered the most complex organ in the human body, containing many types of neural cells with astrocytes playing crucial roles in monitoring normal functions of the central nervous system. Astrocytes are mostly quiescent under normal physiological conditions in the adult brain but become migratory after injury. Under most known pathological conditions in the brain, spinal cord and retina, astrocytes are activated and become hypertrophic, hyperplastic, and up-regulating GFAP based on the grades of severity. These three observations are the hallmark in glia scar formation-astrogliosis. The reactivation process is initiated with structural changes involving cell process migration and ended with cell migration. Detailed mechanisms in astrocyte migration have not been studied extensively and remain largely unknown. Here, we therefore attempt to review the mechanisms in migration of astrocytes.

  20. Form follows function: astrocyte morphology and immune dysfunction in SIV neuroAIDS.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kim M; Chiu, Kevin B; Renner, Nicole A; Sansing, Hope A; Didier, Peter J; MacLean, Andrew G

    2014-10-01

    Cortical function is disrupted in neuroinflammatory disorders, including HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Astrocyte dysfunction includes retraction of foot processes from the blood-brain barrier and decreased removal of neurotransmitters from synaptic clefts. Mechanisms of astrocyte activation, including innate immune function and the fine neuroanatomy of astrocytes, however, remain to be investigated. We quantified the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-labeled astrocytes per square millimeter and the proportion of astrocytes immunopositive for Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) to examine innate immune activation in astrocytes. We also performed detailed morphometric analyses of gray and white matter astrocytes in the frontal and parietal lobes of rhesus macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), both with and without encephalitis, an established model of AIDS neuropathogenesis. Protoplasmic astrocytes (gray matter) and fibrous astrocytes (deep white matter) were imaged, and morphometric features were analyzed using Neurolucida. Gray matter and white matter astrocytes showed no change in cell body size in animals infected with SIV regardless of encephalitic status. In SIV-infected macaques, both gray and white matter astrocytes had shorter, less ramified processes, resulting in decreased cell arbor compared with controls. SIV-infected macaques with encephalitis showed decreases in arbor length in white matter astrocytes and reduced complexity in gray matter astrocytes compared to controls. These results provide the first evidence that innate immune activation of astrocytes is linked to altered cortical astrocyte morphology in SIV/HIV infection. Here, we demonstrate that astrocyte remodeling is correlated with infection. Perturbed neuron-glia signaling may be a driving factor in the development of HAND.

  1. Astrocytes in the epileptic brain.

    PubMed

    Wetherington, Jonathon; Serrano, Geidy; Dingledine, Ray

    2008-04-24

    The roles that astrocytes play in the evolution of abnormal network excitability in chronic neurological disorders involving brain injury, such as acquired epilepsy, are receiving renewed attention due to improved understanding of the molecular events underpinning the physiological functions of astrocytes. In epileptic tissue, evidence is pointing to enhanced chemical signaling and disrupted linkage between water and potassium balance by reactive astrocytes, which together conspire to enhance local synchrony in hippocampal microcircuits. Reactive astrocytes in epileptic tissue both promote and oppose seizure development through a variety of specific mechanisms; the new findings suggest several novel astrocyte-related targets for drug development.

  2. Astrocytes in the Epileptic Brain

    PubMed Central

    Wetherington, Jonathon; Serrano, Geidy; Dingledine, Ray

    2014-01-01

    The roles that astrocytes play in the evolution of abnormal network excitability in chronic neurological disorders involving brain injury, such as acquired epilepsy, are receiving renewed attention due to improved understanding of the molecular events underpinning the physiological functions of astrocytes. In epileptic tissue, evidence is pointing to enhanced chemical signaling and disrupted linkage between water and potassium balance by reactive astrocytes, which together conspire to enhance local synchrony in hippocampal microcircuits. Reactive astrocytes in epileptic tissue both promote and oppose seizure development through a variety of specific mechanisms; the new findings suggest several novel astrocyte-related targets for drug development. PMID:18439402

  3. Impairments of astrocytes are involved in the D-galactose-induced brain aging

    SciTech Connect

    Lei Ming; Hua Xiangdong; Xiao Ming Ding Jiong; Han Qunying Hu Gang

    2008-05-16

    Astrocyte dysfunction is implicated in course of various age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Chronic injection of D-galactose can cause a progressive deterioration in learning and memory capacity and serve as an animal model of aging. To investigate the involvement of astrocytes in this model, oxidative stress biomarkers, biochemical and pathological changes of astrocytes were examined in the hippocampus of the rats with six weeks of D-galactose injection. D-galactose-injected rats displayed impaired antioxidant systems, an increase in nitric oxide levels, and a decrease in reduced glutathione levels. Consistently, western blotting and immunostaining of glial fibrillary acidic protein showed extensive activation of astrocytes. Double-immunofluorescent staining further showed activated astrocytes highly expressed inducible nitric oxide synthase. Electron microscopy demonstrated the degeneration of astrocytes, especially in the aggregated area of synapse and brain microvessels. These findings indicate that impairments of astrocytes are involved in oxidative stress-induced brain aging by chronic injection of D-galactose.

  4. Astrocyte regulation of cerebral vascular tone

    PubMed Central

    Iddings, Jennifer A.

    2013-01-01

    Cerebral blood flow is controlled by two crucial processes, cerebral autoregulation (CA) and neurovascular coupling (NVC) or functional hyperemia. Whereas CA ensures constant blood flow over a wide range of systemic pressures, NVC ensures rapid spatial and temporal increases in cerebral blood flow in response to neuronal activation. The focus of this review is to discuss the cellular mechanisms by which astrocytes contribute to the regulation of vascular tone in terms of their participation in NVC and, to a lesser extent, CA. We discuss evidence for the various signaling modalities by which astrocytic activation leads to vasodilation and vasoconstriction of parenchymal arterioles. Moreover, we provide a rationale for the contribution of astrocytes to pressure-induced increases in vascular tone via the vasoconstrictor 20-HETE (a downstream metabolite of arachidonic acid). Along these lines, we highlight the importance of the transient receptor potential channel of the vanilloid family (TRPV4) as a key molecular determinant in the regulation of vascular tone in cerebral arterioles. Finally, we discuss current advances in the technical tools available to study NVC mechanisms in the brain as it relates to the participation of astrocytes. PMID:23792684

  5. Dexmedetomidine Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide Induced MCP-1 Expression in Primary Astrocyte

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Huan; Faez Abdelgawad, Amro

    2017-01-01

    Background. Neuroinflammation which presents as a possible mechanism of delirium is associated with MCP-1, an important proinflammatory factor which is expressed on astrocytes. It is known that dexmedetomidine (DEX) possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. This study aimed to investigate the potential effects of DEX on the production of MCP-1 in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated astrocytes. Materials and Methods. Astrocytes were treated with LPS (10 ng/ml, 50 ng/ml, 100 ng/ml, and 1000 ng/ml), DEX (500 ng/mL), LPS (100 ng/ml), and DEX (10, 100, and 500 ng/mL) for a duration of three hours; expression levels of MCP-1 were measured by real-time PCR. The double immunofluorescence staining protocol was utilized to determine the expression of α2-adrenoceptors (α2AR) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) on astrocytes. Results. Expressions of MCP-1 mRNA in astrocytes were induced dose-dependently by LPS. Administration of DEX significantly inhibited the expression of MCP-1 mRNA (P < 0.001). Double immunofluorescence assay showed that α2AR colocalize with GFAP, which indicates the expression of α2-adrenoceptors in astrocytes. Conclusions. DEX is a potent suppressor of MCP-1 in astrocytes induced with lipopolysaccharide through α2A-adrenergic receptors, which potentially explains its beneficial effects in the treatment of delirium by attenuating neuroinflammation. PMID:28286770

  6. Differentiation of purified astrocytes in a chemically defined medium

    SciTech Connect

    Morrison, R.S.; de Vellis, J.

    1981-01-01

    Homogeneous cultures of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes provide an excellent model system for studying the regulation of glial structure and function. Recently, a chemically defined (CD) medium was developed for purified cultures of astrocytes, thus eliminating the requirement for serum and providing a controlled system for the study of astroglial properties. Due to the widespread use of astrocyte cultures and the potential benefits to be gained from using a defined medium, astrocyte cultures raised in CD medium were analyzed for purity as well as morphological and biochemical properties. Purity was assessed using immunocytochemical staining for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and fibronectin. Astrocytes raised in CD medium are 95% pure using the expression of GFAP as a criterion. Fewer than 1% of the cells in CD medium stained positive for fibronectin eliminating the possibility that CD medium is selective for meningeal or endothelial cells. Astrocytes raised in CD medium exhibit a striking degree of morphological differentiation as seen in scanning electron micrographs. They also exhibit a high degree of biochemical differentiation illustrated by increases in the specific activity of S-100 protein and the induction of glutamine synthetase by glucocorticoids. A defined medium that supports the proliferation of rat astrocytes and enhances numerous morphological and biochemical properties should greatly facilitate the study of factors controlling glial proliferation and differentiation.

  7. Dexmedetomidine Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide Induced MCP-1 Expression in Primary Astrocyte.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huan; Davis, Jacques R J; Wu, Zhi-Lin; Faez Abdelgawad, Amro

    2017-01-01

    Background. Neuroinflammation which presents as a possible mechanism of delirium is associated with MCP-1, an important proinflammatory factor which is expressed on astrocytes. It is known that dexmedetomidine (DEX) possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. This study aimed to investigate the potential effects of DEX on the production of MCP-1 in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated astrocytes. Materials and Methods. Astrocytes were treated with LPS (10 ng/ml, 50 ng/ml, 100 ng/ml, and 1000 ng/ml), DEX (500 ng/mL), LPS (100 ng/ml), and DEX (10, 100, and 500 ng/mL) for a duration of three hours; expression levels of MCP-1 were measured by real-time PCR. The double immunofluorescence staining protocol was utilized to determine the expression of α2-adrenoceptors (α2AR) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) on astrocytes. Results. Expressions of MCP-1 mRNA in astrocytes were induced dose-dependently by LPS. Administration of DEX significantly inhibited the expression of MCP-1 mRNA (P < 0.001). Double immunofluorescence assay showed that α2AR colocalize with GFAP, which indicates the expression of α2-adrenoceptors in astrocytes. Conclusions. DEX is a potent suppressor of MCP-1 in astrocytes induced with lipopolysaccharide through α2A-adrenergic receptors, which potentially explains its beneficial effects in the treatment of delirium by attenuating neuroinflammation.

  8. Generation of an immortalized astrocyte cell line from H-2Kb-tsA58 mice to study the role of astrocytes in brain metastasis.

    PubMed

    Langley, Robert R; Fan, Dominic; Guo, Lixia; Zhang, Chenyu; Lin, Qingtang; Brantley, Emily C; McCarty, Joseph H; Fidler, Isaiah J

    2009-10-01

    Astrocytes play a critical role in maintaining cerebral homeostasis and their dysregulation is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of several diseases, including brain cancer and metastasis. Similar to the human disease, we found that lung and melanoma metastases in the mouse brain are accompanied by a reactive gliosis. To begin to study the biology of astrocytes and examine how these cells might contribute to metastasis formation and progression in the brain, we generated a conditionally immortal astrocyte cell line from H-2Kb-tsA58 mice. Astrocytes grown in culture expressed glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP), glutamate receptor 1, and the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. Astrocytes also expressed the glial-specific transporters excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (EAAT1) and EAAT2. Astrocytes grown under permissive conditions (33 degrees C) expressed SV40 large T antigen and had a doubling time of 36 h, whereas expression of SV40 large T antigen was negligible in astrocytes grown at 37 degrees C for 72 h, which coincided with a plateau in cell division. In a co-culture assay with human lung adenocarcinoma cells (PC14-PE6), astrocytes activated programs in the tumor cells that signal for cell division and survival. Hence, the immortalized cell line will be useful for studying the role of astrocytes in disease processes in the brain, such as metastasis.

  9. The astrocytic contribution to neurovascular coupling--still more questions than answers?

    PubMed

    Kowiański, Przemysław; Lietzau, Grażyna; Steliga, Aleksandra; Waśkow, Monika; Moryś, Janusz

    2013-03-01

    Cerebral blood flow adequate for brain activity and metabolic demand is maintained through the processes of autoregulation and neurovascular coupling. Astrocytes undoubtedly make an important contribution to these processes. The critical factors that determine the polarity of astrocytic response include: metabolites (e.g., arachidonic acid and its derivatives, lactate and oxygen concentrations), ions (H(+), Ca(2+) and K(+)), gliotransmitters (glutamate, Glu; gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA; d-serine; adenosine 5'-triphosphate, ATP and brain derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF), neuronal activity and vascular tone. Although the astrocytic contribution to neurovascular coupling has been intensively studied, a few important questions still remain, such as: (1) the modulatory function of astrocytes in tripartite synapses, including effects related to the strength of synaptic stimulation and the particular signaling pathway (astrocytic or neuronal) that becomes activated, (2) the significance of the vasoconstrictive reaction evoked by arachidonic acid metabolites (e.g., 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, 20-HETE) under both physiological and pathological conditions, (3) the relationship between brain activity level and metabolic processes occurring in astrocytes, which is studied using neuroradiological techniques and (4) the astrocytic contribution to the neurovascular response under pathological conditions. Hence, the function of astrocytes in neurovascular coupling remains ambiguous. The function of astrocytes is beneficial and integrative in physiological conditions, but under definitive pathological conditions may become detrimental and involved in the development of diseases like ischemic stroke, arterial hypertension and Alzheimer's disease.

  10. Effects of aspartame metabolites on astrocytes and neurons.

    PubMed

    Rycerz, Karol; Jaworska-Adamu, Jadwiga Elżbieta

    2013-01-01

    Aspartame, a widespread sweetener used in many food products, is considered as a highly hazardous compound. Aspartame was discovered in 1965 and raises a lot of controversy up to date. Astrocytes are glial cells, the presence and functions of which are closely connected with the central nervous system (CNS). The aim of this article is to demonstrate the direct and indirect role of astrocytes participating in the harmful effects of aspartame metabolites on neurons. The artificial sweetener is broken down into phenylalanine (50%), aspartic acid (40%) and methanol (10%) during metabolism in the body. The excess of phenylalanine blocks the transport of important amino acids to the brain contributing to reduced levels of dopamine and serotonin. Astrocytes directly affect the transport of this amino acid and also indirectly by modulation of carriers in the endothelium. Aspartic acid at high concentrations is a toxin that causes hyperexcitability of neurons and is also a precursor of other excitatory amino acid - glutamates. Their excess in quantity and lack of astrocytic uptake induces excitotoxicity and leads to the degeneration of astrocytes and neurons. The methanol metabolites cause CNS depression, vision disorders and other symptoms leading ultimately to metabolic acidosis and coma. Astrocytes do not play a significant role in methanol poisoning due to a permanent consumption of large amounts of aspartame. Despite intense speculations about the carcinogenicity of aspartame, the latest studies show that its metabolite - diketopiperazine - is cancirogenic in the CNS. It contributes to the formation of tumors in the CNS such as gliomas, medulloblastomas and meningiomas. Glial cells are the main source of tumors, which can be caused inter alia by the sweetener in the brain. On the one hand the action of astrocytes during aspartame poisoning may be advantageous for neuro-protection while on the other it may intensify the destruction of neurons. The role of the glia in

  11. Neuronal glutamate transporter EAAT4 is expressed in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Hu, Wen-Hui; Walters, Winston M; Xia, Xiao-Mei; Karmally, Shaffiat A; Bethea, John R

    2003-10-01

    High-affinity excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) are essential to terminate glutamatergic neurotransmission and to prevent excitotoxicity. To date, five distinct EAATs have been cloned from animal and human tissues: GLAST (EAAT1), GLT-1 (EAAT2), EAAC1 (EAAT3), EAAT4, and EAAT5. EAAT1 and EAAT2 are commonly known as glial glutamate transporters, whereas EAAT3, EAAT4, and EAAT5 are neuronal. EAAT4 is largely expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells. In this study, using immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, we found that EAAT4-like immunoreactivity (ir) is enriched in the spinal cord and forebrain. Double-labeled fluorescent immunostaining and confocal image analysis indicated that EAAT4-like ir colocalizes with an astrocytic marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The astrocytic localization of EAAT4 was further confirmed in astrocyte cultures by double-labeled fluorescent immunocytochemistry and Western blotting. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated mRNA expression of EAAT4 in astrocyte cultures. Sequencing confirmed the specificity of the amplified fragment. These results demonstrate that EAAT4 is expressed in astrocytes. This astrocytic localization of neuronal EAAT4 may reveal a new function of EAAT4 in the central nervous system.

  12. Aberrant iPSC-derived human astrocytes in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Jones, V C; Atkinson-Dell, R; Verkhratsky, A; Mohamet, L

    2017-03-23

    The pathological potential of human astroglia in Alzheimer's disease (AD) was analysed in vitro using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. Here, we report development of a human iPSC-derived astrocyte model created from healthy individuals and patients with either early-onset familial AD (FAD) or the late-onset sporadic form of AD (SAD). Our chemically defined and highly efficient model provides >95% homogeneous populations of human astrocytes within 30 days of differentiation from cortical neural progenitor cells (NPCs). All astrocytes expressed functional markers including glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), excitatory amino acid transporter-1 (EAAT1), S100B and glutamine synthetase (GS) comparable to that of adult astrocytes in vivo. However, induced astrocytes derived from both SAD and FAD patients exhibit a pronounced pathological phenotype, with a significantly less complex morphological appearance, overall atrophic profiles and abnormal localisation of key functional astroglial markers. Furthermore, NPCs derived from identical patients did not show any differences, therefore, validating that remodelled astroglia are not as a result of defective neural intermediates. This work not only presents a novel model to study the mechanisms of human astrocytes in vitro, but also provides an ideal platform for further interrogation of early astroglial cell autonomous events in AD and the possibility of identification of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of AD.

  13. In Vitro Adult Astrocytes Are Derived from Mature Cells and Reproduce In Vivo Redox Profile.

    PubMed

    Souza, Débora Guerini; Bellaver, Bruna; Terra, Silvia Resende; Guma, Fatima Costa Rodrigues; Souza, Diogo Onofre; Quincozes-Santos, André

    2017-04-04

    Astrocytes are versatile cells involved in synaptic information processing, energy metabolism, redox homeostasis, inflammatory response and structural support of the brain. Recently, we established a routine protocol of cultured astrocytes derived from adult and aged Wistar rats, which present several different responses compared to newborn astrocytes, commonly used to characterize the role of the astrocytes in the central nervous system. Previous studies hypothesized that astrocyte cultures prepared from adult animals derive from immature precursors present in the adult tissue throughout life. Since our group has already demonstrated that the glial functionality of adult astrocytes differs from newborn cultures, the aim of this study was to confirm that our in vitro astrocytes were derived from mature cells. Therefore, we evaluated cytoskeleton proteins, such as glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin, as well as Sox10, an essential marker of immature glial cells, in ex vivo tissue and in in vitro astrocytes from the same animals (1, 90 and 180 days old). In addition, we examined the mitochondrial functionality and the cellular redox homeostasis. Our results suggest that adult and aged astrocytes are derived from mature cells and that changes in mitochondrial parameters in ex vivo tissue were reproduced in in vitro astrocytes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  14. Receptor-mediated glutamate release from volume sensitive channels in astrocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takano, Takahiro; Kang, Jian; Jaiswal, Jyoti K.; Simon, Sanford M.; Lin, Jane H.-C.; Yu, Yufei; Li, Yuxing; Yang, Jay; Dienel, Gerald; Zielke, H. Ronald; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2005-11-01

    Several lines of work have shown that astrocytes release glutamate in response to receptor activation, which results in a modulation of local synaptic activity. Astrocytic glutamate release is Ca2+-dependent and occurs in conjunction with exocytosis of glutamate containing vesicles. However, astrocytes contain a millimolar concentration of cytosolic glutamate and express channels permeable to small anions, such as glutamate. Here, we tested the idea that astrocytes respond to receptor stimulation by dynamic changes in cell volume, resulting in volume-sensitive channel activation, and efflux of cytosolic glutamate. Confocal imaging and whole-cell recordings demonstrated that astrocytes exhibited a transient Ca2+-dependent cell volume increase, which activated glutamate permeable channels. HPLC analysis revealed that glutamate was released in conjunction with other amino acid osmolytes. Our observations indicate that volume-sensitive channel may constitute a previously uncharacterized target for modulation of astrocyte-neuronal interactions. electrophysiology | exocytosis | neurotransmitters | osmolarity | synapses

  15. Regulation of astrocyte activity via control over stiffness of cellulose acetate electrospun nanofiber.

    PubMed

    Min, Seul Ki; Jung, Sang Myung; Ju, Jung Hyeon; Kwon, Yeo Seon; Yoon, Gwang Heum; Shin, Hwa Sung

    2015-10-01

    Astrocytes are involved in neuron protection following central nervous system (CNS) injury; accordingly, engineered astrocytes have been investigated for their usefulness in cell therapy for CNS injury. Nanofibers have attracted a great deal of attention in neural tissue engineering, but their mechanical properties greatly influence physiology. Cellulose acetate (CA) has been studied for use in scaffolds owing to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, and good thermal stability. In this study, stiffness of CA nanofibers controlled by heat treatment was shown to regulate astrocyte activity. Adhesion and viability increased in culture as substrate became stiffer but showed saturation at greater than 2 MPa of tensile strength. Astrocytes became more active in terms of increasing intermediate filament glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The results of this study demonstrate the effects of stiffness alone on cellular behaviors in a three-dimensional culture and highlight the efficacy of heat-treated CA for astrocyte culture in that the simple treatment enables control of astrocyte activity.

  16. Establishment and characterization of a new conditionally immortalized human astrocyte cell line.

    PubMed

    Furihata, Tomomi; Ito, Ryo; Kamiichi, Atsuko; Saito, Kosuke; Chiba, Kan

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cell types in mammalian brains, within which they participate in various neuronal activities, partly by utilizing the numerous transporters expressed at their plasma membranes. Accordingly, detailed characterization of astrocytic functions, including transporters, are essential for understanding of mechanistic basis of normal brain functions, as well as the pathogenesis and treatment of various brain diseases. As a part of overall efforts to facilitate such studies, this study reports on the establishment of a new human astrocyte cell line, which is hereafter referred to as human astrocyte/conditionally immortalized, clone 35 (HASTR/ci35). This line, which was developed utilizing a cell immortalization method, showed excellent proliferative ability and expressed various astrocyte markers, including glial fibrillary acidic protein. When co-cultured with neuronal cells, HASTR/ci35 cells could facilitate their dendritic network formation. Furthermore, HASTR/ci35 cells not only possessed significant glutamate and adenosine transporter activities but also exhibited organic ion transporter activities. To summarize, HASTR/ci35 cells possess several key astrocytic characteristics, including various transporter functions, while simultaneously showing infinite proliferation and scalability. Based on these findings, HASTR/ci35 cells can be expected to contribute significantly to various human astrocyte study fields. In vitro astrocyte models are valuable experimental tools in various astrocyte studies. Here, we report the establishment of a new human astrocyte cell line, HASTR/ci35, which show various key astrocyte properties, including astrocytic transporter activities, glycogen storage and facilitation of neuronal cell differentiation. Thus, HASTR/ci35 is expected to significantly contribute to advances toward detailed understanding of human astrocyte functions.

  17. Inducible functional expression of Bcl-2 in human astrocytes derived from NTera-2 cells.

    PubMed

    Ozdener, Hakan

    2007-01-15

    Astrocytes provide structural support for neurons and may also play important roles in both neuroprotection and neurodegeneration. We, here report that human astrocytes derived from on NTera-2 (NT2) cell line expressing a functional anti-apoptotic protein bcl-2 under the control of a tetracycline responsive promoter using the Tet-On and Tet-Off expression systems. NT2 cells were transfected with the Tet On or Tet Off vectors followed by pTRE carrying human bcl-2. Drug resistant cells were differentiated into astrocytes under retinoic acid exposure. These astrocyte lines were found to express astrocyte specific markers such glial fibrillary acidic protein and chemokine receptors (CCR5, CXCR4) but not CCR3 and CD4. Furthermore, NT2 astrocytes expressing bcl-2 showed rapid response to doxycycline presence in the Tet On and Tet off system. The inducible expression of bcl-2 was found to be tightly regulated by doxycycline concentration in the NT2 astrocytes. We also showed that the induction of bcl-2 expression prevented NT2 astrocytes from camptothecin-induced cellular damage. These results indicate that this system may be useful for the study of specific effects of bcl-2 gene expression on astrocyte function(s) and cellular damage.

  18. Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability.

    PubMed

    García-Cáceres, Cristina; Quarta, Carmelo; Varela, Luis; Gao, Yuanqing; Gruber, Tim; Legutko, Beata; Jastroch, Martin; Johansson, Pia; Ninkovic, Jovica; Yi, Chun-Xia; Le Thuc, Ophelia; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Cai, Weikang; Meyer, Carola W; Pfluger, Paul T; Fernandez, Ana M; Luquet, Serge; Woods, Stephen C; Torres-Alemán, Ignacio; Kahn, C Ronald; Götz, Magdalena; Horvath, Tamas L; Tschöp, Matthias H

    2016-08-11

    We report that astrocytic insulin signaling co-regulates hypothalamic glucose sensing and systemic glucose metabolism. Postnatal ablation of insulin receptors (IRs) in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-expressing cells affects hypothalamic astrocyte morphology, mitochondrial function, and circuit connectivity. Accordingly, astrocytic IR ablation reduces glucose-induced activation of hypothalamic pro-opio-melanocortin (POMC) neurons and impairs physiological responses to changes in glucose availability. Hypothalamus-specific knockout of astrocytic IRs, as well as postnatal ablation by targeting glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST)-expressing cells, replicates such alterations. A normal response to altering directly CNS glucose levels in mice lacking astrocytic IRs indicates a role in glucose transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This was confirmed in vivo in GFAP-IR KO mice by using positron emission tomography and glucose monitoring in cerebral spinal fluid. We conclude that insulin signaling in hypothalamic astrocytes co-controls CNS glucose sensing and systemic glucose metabolism via regulation of glucose uptake across the BBB.

  19. Astrocytic TDP-43 pathology in Alexander disease.

    PubMed

    Walker, Adam K; Daniels, Christine M LaPash; Goldman, James E; Trojanowski, John Q; Lee, Virginia M-Y; Messing, Albee

    2014-05-07

    Alexander disease (AxD) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder characterized pathologically by the presence of eosinophilic inclusions known as Rosenthal fibers (RFs) within astrocytes, and is caused by dominant mutations in the coding region of the gene encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). GFAP is the major astrocytic intermediate filament, and in AxD patient brain tissue GFAP is a major component of RFs. TAR DNA binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) is the major pathological protein in almost all cases of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and ∼50% of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), designated as FTLD-TDP. In ALS and FTLD-TDP, TDP-43 becomes insoluble, ubiquitinated, and pathologically phosphorylated and accumulates in cytoplasmic inclusions in both neurons and glia of affected brain and spinal cord regions. Previously, TDP-43 was detected in RFs of human pilocytic astrocytomas; however, involvement of TDP-43 in AxD has not been determined. Here we show that TDP-43 is present in RFs in AxD patient brains, and that insoluble phosphorylated full-length and high molecular weight TDP-43 accumulates in white matter of such brains. Phosphorylated TDP-43 also accumulates in the detergent-insoluble fraction from affected brain regions of Gfap(R236H/+) knock-in mice, which harbor a GFAP mutation homologous to one that causes AxD in humans, and TDP-43 colocalizes with astrocytic RF pathology in Gfap(R236H/+) mice and transgenic mice overexpressing human wild-type GFAP. These findings suggest common pathogenic mechanisms in ALS, FTLD, and AxD, and this is the first report of TDP-43 involvement in a neurological disorder primarily affecting astrocytes.

  20. A TRP among the astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Scimemi, Annalisa

    2013-01-01

    TRP channels were first identified as membrane proteins mediating phototransduction in fruit flies. Astrocytes were initially referred to as the silent elements of the nervous system. At the time these discoveries were made, few would have suspected TRP channels and astrocytes could contribute significantly to our understanding of brain signalling. Recent findings, however, put TRP channels and astrocytes in the spotlight, describe their ability to modulate the activity of specific sets of synapses, and raise some interesting questions. What makes astrocytes capable of exerting cell-specific effects on interneuronal signals? How do different synapses respond to changes in astrocytic function and in the local micro-structure of the neuropil? Can astrocytes be considered good candidate targets for therapeutic intervention to treat neurological diseases? Here I discuss the recent developments on TRP channels and astrocytes that have made us aware of the many structural and functional features of synapses that still need to be discovered and that could lead a new avant-garde in decoding the cellular and molecular basis of brain (dys)function. PMID:23045334

  1. Astrocyte development: A Guide for the Perplexed.

    PubMed

    Molofsky, Anna Victoria; Deneen, Benjamin

    2015-08-01

    Astrocytes are the predominant cell type in the brain and perform key functions vital to CNS physiology, including blood brain barrier formation and maintenance, synaptogenesis, neurotransmission, and metabolic regulation. To fully understand the contributions of astrocytes to brain function, it will be important to bridge the existing gap between development and physiology. In this review, we provide an overview of Astrocyte development, including recent insights into molecular mechanisms of astrocyte specification, regional patterning and proliferation. This developmental perspective is complemented with recent findings that describe the functional maturation of astrocytes and their prospective diversity. Future progress in understanding Astrocyte development will depend on the development of astrocyte- stage specific markers and tools for manipulating astrocytes without affecting neuron production. Ultimately, a mechanistic approach to Astrocyte development will be crucial to developing new treatments for the many neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative, neuroimmune, and neoplastic diseases involving astrocyte dysfunction.

  2. Probing astrocytes with carbon nanotubes and assessing their effects on astrocytic structural and functional properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gottipati, Manoj K.

    Single-walled carbon nanotubes, chemically-functionalized with polyethylene glycol (SWCNT-PEG) have been shown to modulate the morphology and proliferation characteristics of astrocytes in culture, when applied to the cells as colloidal solutes or as films upon which the cells can attach and grow. These changes were associated with a change in the immunoreactivity of the astrocyte-specific protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP); the solutes and films caused an increase and a decrease in GFAP levels, respectively. To assess if these morpho-functional changes induced by the SWCNT-PEG modalities are dependent on GFAP or if the changes in GFAP levels are independent events, I used astrocytes isolated from GFAP knockout mice and found that selected changes induced by the SWCNT-PEG modalities are mediated by GFAP, namely the changes in perimeter, shape and cell death for colloidal solutes and the rate of proliferation for films. Since the loss GFAP has been shown to hamper the trafficking of glutamate transporters to the surface of astrocytes, which plays a vital role in the uptake of extracellular glutamate and maintaining homeostasis in the brain and spinal cord, in a subsequent study, I assessed if the SWCNT-PEG solute causes any change in the glutamate uptake characteristics of astrocytes. Using a radioactive glutamate uptake assay and immunolabeling, I found that SWCNT-PEG solute causes an increase in the uptake of glutamate from the extracellular space along with an increase in the immunoreactivity of the glutamate transporter, L-glutamate L-aspartate transporter (GLAST), on their cell surface, a likely consequence of the increase in GFAP levels induced by the SWCNT-PEG solute. These results imply that SWCNT-PEG could potentially be used as a viable candidate in neural prosthesis applications to prevent glutamate excitotoxicity, a pathological process observed in brain and spinal cord injuries, and alleviate the death toll of neurons surrounding the injury

  3. Astrocyte morphology, heterogeneity, and density in the developing African giant rat (Cricetomys gambianus)

    PubMed Central

    Olude, Matthew A.; Mustapha, Oluwaseun A.; Aderounmu, Oluwatunde A.; Olopade, James O.; Ihunwo, Amadi O.

    2015-01-01

    Astrocyte morphologies and heterogeneity were described in male African giant rats (AGR; Cricetomys gambianus, Waterhouse) across three age groups (five neonates, five juveniles, and five adults) using Silver impregnation method and immunohistochemistry against glial fibrillary acidic protein. Immunopositive cell signaling, cell size and population were least in neonates, followed by adults and juveniles, respectively. In neonates, astrocyte processes were mostly detected within the glia limitans of the mid and hind brain; their cell bodies measuring 32 ± 4.8 μm in diameter against 91 ± 5.4 μm and 75 ± 1.9 μm in juveniles and adults, respectively. Astrocyte heterogeneity in juvenile and adult groups revealed eight subtypes to include fibrous astrocytes chiefly in the corpus callosum and brain stem, protoplasmic astrocytes in the cortex and dentate gyrus (DG); radial glia were found along the olfactory bulb (OB) and subventricular zone (SVZ); velate astrocytes were mainly found in the cerebellum and hippocampus; marginal astrocytes close to the pia mater; Bergmann glia in the molecular layer of the cerebellum; perivascular and periventricular astrocytes in the cortex and third ventricle, respectively. Cell counts from twelve anatomical regions of the brain were significantly higher in juveniles than in adults (p ≤ 0.01) using unpaired student t-test in the cerebral cortex, pia, corpus callosum, rostral migratory stream, DG, and cerebellum. Highest astrocyte count was found in the DG, while the least count was in the brain stem and sub cortex. Astrocytes along the periventricular layer of the OB are believed to be part of the radial glia system that transport newly formed cells towards the hippocampus and play roles in neurogenesis migration and homeostasis in the AGR. Therefore, astrocyte heterogeneity was examined across age groups in the AGR to determine whether age influences astrocytes population in different regions of the AGR brain and discuss possible

  4. S-100 protein-positive cells in hidrocystomas.

    PubMed

    Tokura, Y; Takigawa, M; Inoue, K; Matsumoto, K; Yamada, M

    1986-04-01

    The histogenesis of hidrocystomas was examined by the use of immunostaining for S-100 protein. In normal sweat glands, S-100 protein was found exclusively in the secretory cells of eccrine glands, whereas this protein was not present in the other parts of eccrine glands or at any levels of the structure of apocrine glands. On the bases of this immunostaining pattern in normal sweat glands, we attempted to correlate the origin of 8 cases of hidrocystoma to the presence of S-100 protein-positive cells. S-100 protein was detected in the cells of one solitary eccrine hidrocystoma, but not in those of 2 cases of "classic", multiple-lesion type of eccrine hidrocystoma. This indicated that the former arose from the secretory portion of the eccrine gland and the latter from the eccrine ductal cells. Two of the 5 cases of apocrine hidrocystoma showed positive staining in a part of the lining cells of the cyst wall, while the other 3 cases were negative to this protein. This finding suggests that some of the tumors diagnosed morphologically as apocrine hidrocystoma differentiate in the direction of eccrine secretory cells. In addition to S-100 protein, we also surveyed for the presence of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and all cases examined were consistently positive to this substance. The detection of S-100 protein was considered to be more helpful in classifying hidrocystomas than that of CEA.

  5. Dysfunctional TCA-Cycle Metabolism in Glutamate Dehydrogenase Deficient Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Nissen, Jakob D; Pajęcka, Kamilla; Stridh, Malin H; Skytt, Dorte M; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2015-12-01

    Astrocytes take up glutamate in the synaptic area subsequent to glutamatergic transmission by the aid of high affinity glutamate transporters. Glutamate is converted to glutamine or metabolized to support intermediary metabolism and energy production. Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) catalyze the reversible reaction between glutamate and α-ketoglutarate, which is the initial step for glutamate to enter TCA cycle metabolism. In contrast to GDH, AAT requires a concomitant interconversion of oxaloacetate and aspartate. We have investigated the role of GDH in astrocyte glutamate and glucose metabolism employing siRNA mediated knock down (KD) of GDH in cultured astrocytes using stable and radioactive isotopes for metabolic mapping. An increased level of aspartate was observed upon exposure to [U-(13) C]glutamate in astrocytes exhibiting reduced GDH activity. (13) C Labeling of aspartate and TCA cycle intermediates confirmed that the increased amount of aspartate is associated with elevated TCA cycle flux from α-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate, i.e. truncated TCA cycle. (13) C Glucose metabolism was elevated in GDH deficient astrocytes as observed by increased de novo synthesis of aspartate via pyruvate carboxylation. In the absence of glucose, lactate production from glutamate via malic enzyme was lower in GDH deficient astrocytes. In conclusions, our studies reveal that metabolism via GDH serves an important anaplerotic role by adding net carbon to the TCA cycle. A reduction in GDH activity seems to cause the astrocytes to up-regulate activity in pathways involved in maintaining the amount of TCA cycle intermediates such as pyruvate carboxylation as well as utilization of alternate substrates such as branched chain amino acids.

  6. Active Sulforhodamine 101 Uptake into Hippocampal Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Schnell, Christian; Hagos, Yohannes; Hülsmann, Swen

    2012-01-01

    Sulforhodamine 101 (SR101) is widely used as a marker of astrocytes. In this study we investigated labeling of astrocytes by SR101 in acute slices from the ventrolateral medulla and the hippocampus of transgenic mice expressing EGFP under the control of the astrocyte-specific human GFAP promoter. While SR101 efficiently and specifically labeled EGFP-expressing astrocytes in hippocampus, we found that the same staining procedure failed to label astrocytes efficiently in the ventrolateral medulla. Although carbenoxolone is able to decrease the SR101-labeling of astrocytes in the hippocampus, it is unlikely that SR101 is taken up via gap-junction hemichannels because mefloquine, a blocker for pannexin and connexin hemichannels, was unable to prevent SR101-labeling of hippocampal astrocytes. However, SR101-labeling of the hippocampal astrocytes was significantly reduced by substrates of organic anion transport polypeptides, including estron-3-sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, suggesting that SR101 is actively transported into hippocampal astrocytes. PMID:23189143

  7. (13)C heteronuclear NMR studies of the interaction of cultured neurons and astrocytes and aluminum blockade of the preferential release of citrate from astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Meshitsuka, Shunsuke; Aremu, David A

    2008-02-01

    Citrate has been identified as a major tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle constituent preferentially released by astrocytes. We undertook the present study to examine further the nature of metabolic compartmentation in central nervous system tissues using (13)C-labeled glucose and to provide new information on the influence of aluminum on the metabolic interaction between neurons and astrocytes. Metabolites released into the culture medium from astrocytes and neuron-astrocyte coculture, as well as the perchloric acid extracts of the cells were analyzed using 2D (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy. Astrocytes released citrate into the culture medium and the released citrate was consumed by neurons in coculture. Citrate release by astrocytes was blocked in the presence of aluminum, with progressive accumulation of citrate within the cells. We propose citrate supply is a more efficient energy source than lactate for neurons to produce ATP, especially in the hypoglycemic state on account of it being a direct component of the TCA cycle. Astrocytes may be the cellular compartment for aluminum accumulation as a citrate complex in the brain.

  8. Rat nucleus accumbens core astrocytes modulate reward and the motivation to self-administer ethanol after abstinence.

    PubMed

    Bull, Cecilia; Freitas, Kelen C C; Zou, Shiping; Poland, Ryan S; Syed, Wahab A; Urban, Daniel J; Minter, Sabrina C; Shelton, Keith L; Hauser, Kurt F; Negus, S Stevens; Knapp, Pamela E; Bowers, M Scott

    2014-11-01

    Our understanding of the active role that astrocytes play in modulating neuronal function and behavior is rapidly expanding, but little is known about the role that astrocytes may play in drug-seeking behavior for commonly abused substances. Given that the nucleus accumbens is critically involved in substance abuse and motivation, we sought to determine whether nucleus accumbens astrocytes influence the motivation to self-administer ethanol following abstinence. We found that the packing density of astrocytes that were expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein increased in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore) during abstinence from EtOH self-administration. No change was observed in the nucleus accumbens shell. This increased NAcore astrocyte density positively correlated with the motivation for ethanol. Astrocytes can communicate with one another and influence neuronal activity through gap-junction hemichannels. Because of this, the effect of blocking gap-junction hemichannels on the motivation for ethanol was examined. The motivation to self-administer ethanol after 3 weeks abstinence was increased following microinjection of gap-junction hemichannel blockers into the NAcore at doses that block both neuronal and astrocytic channels. In contrast, no effect was observed following microinjection of doses that are not thought to block astrocytic channels or following microinjection of either dose into the nucleus accumbens shell. Additionally, the motivation for sucrose after 3 weeks abstinence was unaffected by NAcore gap-junction hemichannel blockers. Next, Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) were selectively expressed in NAcore astrocytes to test the effect of astrocyte stimulation. DREADD activation increased cytosolic calcium in primary astrocytes, facilitated responding for rewarding brain stimulation, and reduced the motivation for ethanol after 3 weeks abstinence. This is the first work to modulate drug-seeking behavior with

  9. Astrocyte membrane properties are altered in a rat model of developmental cortical malformation but single-cell astrocytic glutamate uptake is robust.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Elizabeth; Danbolt, Niels Christian; Dulla, Chris G

    2016-05-01

    Developmental cortical malformations (DCMs) are linked with severe epilepsy and are caused by both genetic and environmental insults. DCMs include several neurological diseases, such as focal cortical dysplasia, polymicrogyria, schizencephaly, and others. Human studies have implicated astrocyte reactivity and dysfunction in the pathophysiology of DCMs, but their specific role is unknown. As astrocytes powerfully regulate glutamate neurotransmission, and glutamate levels are known to be increased in human epileptic foci, understanding the role of astrocytes in the pathological sequelae of DCMs is extremely important. Additionally, recent studies examining astrocyte glutamate uptake in DCMs have reported conflicting results, adding confusion to the field. In this study we utilized the freeze lesion (FL) model of DCM, which is known to induce reactive astrocytosis and cause significant changes in astrocyte morphology, proliferation, and distribution. Using whole-cell patch clamp recording from astrocytes, we recorded both UV-uncaging and synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents (TCs), widely accepted assays of functional glutamate transport by astrocytes. With this approach, we set out to test the hypothesis that astrocyte membrane properties and glutamate transport were disrupted in this model of DCM. Though we found that the developmental maturation of astrocyte membrane resistance was disrupted by FL, glutamate uptake by individual astrocytes was robust throughout FL development. Interestingly, using an immunolabeling approach, we observed spatial and developmental differences in excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT) expression in FL cortex. Spatially specific differences in EAAT2 (GLT-1) and EAAT1 (GLAST) expression suggest that the relative contribution of each EAAT to astrocytic glutamate uptake may be altered in FL cortex. Lastly, we carefully analyzed the amplitudes and onset times of both synaptically- and UV uncaging-evoked TCs. We found that in

  10. Photostimulation of astrocytes with femtosecond laser pulses.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yuan; Zhang, Yuan; Liu, Xiuli; Lv, Xiaohua; Zhou, Wei; Luo, Qingming; Zeng, Shaoqun

    2009-02-02

    The involvement of astrocytes in brain functions rather than support has been identified and widely concerned. However the lack of an effective stimulation of astrocytes hampers our understanding of their essential roles. Here, we employed 800-nm near infrared (NIR) femtosecond laser to induce Ca2+ wave in astrocytes. It was demonstrated that photostimulation of astrocytes with femtosecond laser pulses is efficient with the advantages of non-contact, non-disruptiveness, reproducibility, and high spatiotemporal precision. Photostimulation of astrocytes would facilitate investigations on information processing in neuronal circuits by providing effective way to excite astrocytes.

  11. Activation of Egr-1 expression in astrocytes by HIV-1 Tat: new insights into astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yan; Zou, Wei; Green, Linden A; Kim, Byung Oh; He, Johnny J

    2011-03-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Tat plays an important role in HIV-associated neuropathogenesis; the underlying mechanisms are still evolving. We have recently shown that HIV-1 Tat induces expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a characteristic of HIV-1 infection of the central nervous system. We have also shown that the Tat-induced GFAP expression in astrocytes is regulated by p300 and that deletion of the early growth response 1 (Egr-1) cis-transacting element within the p300 promoter abolishes Tat-induced GFAP expression. In this study, we further examined the relationship between Tat and Egr-1 in astrocytes. We found increased Egr-1 protein expression in Tat-expressing human astrocytoma cells and mouse primary astrocytes. Using the Egr-1 promoter-driven firefly luciferase reporter gene assay and the site-directed mutagenesis, we demonstrated that Tat increased Egr-1 expression by transactivating the Egr-1 promoter and involving specific serum response elements within the promoter. Consistent with these data, we showed that Tat transactivation of the Egr-1 promoter was abrogated when astrocytes were cultured in serum-reduced media. Taken together, these results reveal that Tat directly transactivates Egr-1 expression and suggest that Tat interaction with Egr-1 is probably one of the very upstream molecular events that initiate Tat-induced astrocyte dysfunction and subsequent Tat neurotoxicity.

  12. Combination of nanoparticle-delivered siRNA for Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA): an effective therapeutic strategy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)

    PubMed Central

    Rajasekaran, Devaraja; Srivastava, Jyoti; Ebeid, Kareem; Gredler, Rachel; Akiel, Maaged; Jariwala, Nidhi; Robertson, Chadia L.; Shen, Xue-Ning; Siddiq, Ayesha; Fisher, Paul B.; Salem, Aliasger K.; Sarkar, Devanand

    2016-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a fatal cancer with no effective therapy. Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) plays a pivotal role in hepatocarcinogenesis and inhibits retinoic acid-induced gene expression and cell death. Combination of a lentivirus expressing AEG-1 shRNA and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) profoundly and synergistically inhibited subcutaneous human HCC xenografts in nude mice. We now have developed liver-targeted nanoplexes by conjugating poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and lactobionic acid (Gal) (PAMAM-PEG-Gal) which were complexed with AEG-1 siRNA (PAMAM-AEG-1si). The polymer conjugate was characterized by 1H-NMR, MALDI and mass spectrometry, and optimal nanoplex formulations were characterized for surface charge, size and morphology. Orthotopic xenografts of human HCC cell QGY-7703 expressing luciferase (QGY-luc) were established in the livers of athymic nude mice and tumor development was monitored by bioluminescence imaging (BLI). Tumor-bearing mice were treated with PAMAM-siCon, PAMAM-siCon+ATRA, PAMAM-AEG-1si and PAMAM-AEG-1si+ATRA. In the control group the tumor developed aggressively. ATRA showed little effect due to high AEG-1 levels in QGY-luc cells. PAMAM-AEG-1si showed significant reduction in tumor growth and the combination of PAMAM-AEG-1si+ATRA showed profound and synergistic inhibition so that the tumors were almost undetectable by BLI. A marked decrease in AEG-1 level was observed in tumor samples treated with PAMAM-AEG-1si. The group treated with PAMAM-AEG-1si+ATRA nanoplexes showed increased necrosis, inhibition of proliferation and increased apoptosis when compared to other groups. Liver is an ideal organ for RNAi therapy and ATRA is an approved anti-cancer agent. Our exciting observations suggest that the combinatorial approach might be an effective way to combat HCC. PMID:26079152

  13. D-Serine Is a Substrate for Neutral Amino Acid Transporters ASCT1/SLC1A4 and ASCT2/SLC1A5, and Is Transported by Both Subtypes in Rat Hippocampal Astrocyte Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Alan C.; Farnsworth, Jill; Lind, Genevieve E.; Li, Yong-Xin; Yang, Jia-Ying; Dang, Van; Penjwini, Mahmud; Viswanath, Veena; Staubli, Ursula; Kavanaugh, Michael P.

    2016-01-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play critical roles in synaptic transmission and plasticity. Activation of NMDA receptors by synaptically released L-glutamate also requires occupancy of co-agonist binding sites in the tetrameric receptor by either glycine or D-serine. Although D-serine appears to be the predominant co-agonist at synaptic NMDA receptors, the transport mechanisms involved in D-serine homeostasis in brain are poorly understood. In this work we show that the SLC1 amino acid transporter family members SLC1A4 (ASCT1) and SLC1A5 (ASCT2) mediate homo- and hetero-exchange of D-serine with physiologically relevant kinetic parameters. In addition, the selectivity profile of D-serine uptake in cultured rat hippocampal astrocytes is consistent with uptake mediated by both ASCT1 and ASCT2. Together these data suggest that SLC1A4 (ASCT1) may represent an important route of Na-dependent D-serine flux in the brain that has the ability to regulate extracellular D-serine and thereby NMDA receptor activity. PMID:27272177

  14. Electrical coupling of astrocytes in rat hippocampal slices under physiological and simulated ischemic conditions.

    PubMed

    Xu, Guangjin; Wang, Wei; Kimelberg, Harold K; Zhou, Min

    2010-03-01

    Mammalian protoplasmic astrocytes are extensively coupled through gap junction channels but the biophysical properties of these channels under physiological and ischemic conditions in situ are not well defined. Using confocal morphometric analysis of biocytin-filled astrocytic syncytia in rat hippocampal CA1 stratum radiatum we found that each astrocyte directly couples, on average, to 11 other astrocytes with a mean interastrocytic distance of 45 microm. Voltage-independent and bidirectional transjunctional currents were always measured between directly coupled astrocyte pairs in dual voltage-clamp recordings, but never from astrocyte-NG2 glia or astrocyte-interneuron pairs. The electrical coupling ratio varied considerably among astrocytes in developing postnatal day 14 rats (P14, 0.5-12.4%, mean = 3.6%), but became more constant in young adult P21 rats (0.18-3.9%, mean = 1.6%), and the coupling ratio declined exponentially with increasing pair distance. Electrical coupling was not affected by short-term oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) treatment, but showed delayed inhibition in an acidic extracellular pH of 6.4. Combination of acidic pH (6.4) and OGD, a condition that better represents cerebral ischemia in vivo, accelerated the inhibition of electrical coupling. Our results show that, under physiological conditions, 20.7-24.2% of K(+) induced currents can travel from any astrocytic soma in CA1 stratum radiatum to the gap junctions of the nearest neighbor astrocytes, but this should be severely inhibited as a consequence of the OGD and acidosis seen in the ischemic brain.

  15. Long-Term Culture of Astrocytes Attenuates the Readily Releasable Pool of Synaptic Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Kawano, Hiroyuki; Katsurabayashi, Shutaro; Kakazu, Yasuhiro; Yamashita, Yuta; Kubo, Natsuko; Kubo, Masafumi; Okuda, Hideto; Takasaki, Kotaro; Kubota, Kaori; Mishima, Kenichi; Fujiwara, Michihiro; Harata, N. Charles; Iwasaki, Katsunori

    2012-01-01

    The astrocyte is a major glial cell type of the brain, and plays key roles in the formation, maturation, stabilization and elimination of synapses. Thus, changes in astrocyte condition and age can influence information processing at synapses. However, whether and how aging astrocytes affect synaptic function and maturation have not yet been thoroughly investigated. Here, we show the effects of prolonged culture on the ability of astrocytes to induce synapse formation and to modify synaptic transmission, using cultured autaptic neurons. By 9 weeks in culture, astrocytes derived from the mouse cerebral cortex demonstrated increases in β-galactosidase activity and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression, both of which are characteristic of aging and glial activation in vitro. Autaptic hippocampal neurons plated on these aging astrocytes showed a smaller amount of evoked release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and a lower frequency of miniature release of glutamate, both of which were attributable to a reduction in the pool of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. Other features of synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission were retained, for example the ability to induce structural synapses, the presynaptic release probability, the fraction of functional presynaptic nerve terminals, and the ability to recruit functional AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptors to synapses. Thus the presence of aging astrocytes affects the efficiency of synaptic transmission. Given that the pool of readily releasable vesicles is also small at immature synapses, our results are consistent with astrocytic aging leading to retarded synapse maturation. PMID:23110166

  16. Astrocyte lipid metabolism is critical for synapse development and function in vivo.

    PubMed

    van Deijk, Anne-Lieke F; Camargo, Nutabi; Timmerman, Jaap; Heistek, Tim; Brouwers, Jos F; Mogavero, Floriana; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Smit, August B; Verheijen, Mark H G

    2017-04-01

    The brain is considered to be autonomous in lipid synthesis with astrocytes producing lipids far more efficiently than neurons. Accordingly, it is generally assumed that astrocyte-derived lipids are taken up by neurons to support synapse formation and function. Initial confirmation of this assumption has been obtained in cell cultures, but whether astrocyte-derived lipids support synapses in vivo is not known. Here, we address this issue and determined the role of astrocyte lipid metabolism in hippocampal synapse formation and function in vivo. Hippocampal protein expression for the sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) and its target gene fatty acid synthase (Fasn) was found in astrocytes but not in neurons. Diminishing SREBP activity in astrocytes using mice in which the SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) was deleted from GFAP-expressing cells resulted in decreased cholesterol and phospholipid secretion by astrocytes. Interestingly, SCAP mutant mice showed more immature synapses, lower presynaptic protein SNAP-25 levels as well as reduced numbers of synaptic vesicles, indicating impaired development of the presynaptic terminal. Accordingly, hippocampal short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity were defective in mutant mice. These findings establish a critical role for astrocyte lipid metabolism in presynaptic terminal development and function in vivo. GLIA 2017;65:670-682.

  17. Generation of GFAP::GFP astrocyte reporter lines from human adult fibroblast-derived iPS cells using zinc-finger nuclease technology.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ping-Wu; Haidet-Phillips, Amanda M; Pham, Jacqueline T; Lee, Youngjin; Huo, Yuqing; Tienari, Pentti J; Maragakis, Nicholas J; Sattler, Rita; Rothstein, Jeffrey D

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes are instrumental to major brain functions, including metabolic support, extracellular ion regulation, the shaping of excitatory signaling events and maintenance of synaptic glutamate homeostasis. Astrocyte dysfunction contributes to numerous developmental, psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. The generation of adult human fibroblast-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has provided novel opportunities to study mechanisms of astrocyte dysfunction in human-derived cells. To overcome the difficulties of cell type heterogeneity during the differentiation process from iPSCs to astroglial cells (iPS astrocytes), we generated homogenous populations of iPS astrocytes using zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) technology. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) driven by the astrocyte-specific glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter was inserted into the safe harbor adeno-associated virus integration site 1 (AAVS1) locus in disease and control-derived iPSCs. Astrocyte populations were enriched using Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) and after enrichment more than 99% of iPS astrocytes expressed mature astrocyte markers including GFAP, S100β, NFIA and ALDH1L1. In addition, mature pure GFP-iPS astrocytes exhibited a well-described functional astrocytic activity in vitro characterized by neuron-dependent regulation of glutamate transporters to regulate extracellular glutamate concentrations. Engraftment of GFP-iPS astrocytes into rat spinal cord grey matter confirmed in vivo cell survival and continued astrocytic maturation. In conclusion, the generation of GFAP::GFP-iPS astrocytes provides a powerful in vitro and in vivo tool for studying astrocyte biology and astrocyte-driven disease pathogenesis and therapy.

  18. P2X7 receptors stimulate AKT phosphorylation in astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Jacques-Silva, Maria C; Rodnight, Richard; Lenz, Guido; Liao, Zhongji; Kong, Qiongman; Tran, Minh; Kang, Yuan; Gonzalez, Fernando A; Weisman, Gary A; Neary, Joseph T

    2004-01-01

    Emerging evidence indicates that nucleotide receptors are widely expressed in the nervous system. Here, we present evidence that P2Y and P2X receptors, particularly the P2X7 subtype, are coupled to the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway in astrocytes. P2Y and P2X receptor agonists ATP, uridine 5′-triphosphate (UTP) and 2′,3′-O-(4-benzoyl)-benzoyl ATP (BzATP) stimulated Akt phosphorylation in primary cultures of rat cortical astrocytes. BzATP induced Akt phosphorylation in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, similar to the effect of BzATP on Akt phosphorylation in 1321N1 astrocytoma cells stably transfected with the rat P2X7 receptor. Activation was maximal at 5 – 10 min and was sustained for 60 min; the EC50 for BzATP was approximately 50 μM. In rat cortical astrocytes, the positive effect of BzATP on Akt phosphorylation was independent of glutamate release. The effect of BzATP on Akt phosphorylation in rat cortical astrocytes was significantly reduced by the P2X7 receptor antagonist Brilliant Blue G and the P2X receptor antagonist iso-pyridoxal-5′-phosphate-6-azophenyl-2′,4′-disulfonic acid, but was unaffected by trinitrophenyl-ATP, oxidized ATP, suramin and reactive blue 2. Results with specific inhibitors of signal transduction pathways suggest that extracellular and intracellular calcium, PI3K and a Src family kinase are involved in the BzATP-induced Akt phosphorylation pathway. In conclusion, our data indicate that stimulation of astrocytic P2X7 receptors, as well as other P2 receptors, leads to Akt activation. Thus, signaling by nucleotide receptors in astrocytes may be important in several cellular downstream effects related to the Akt pathway, such as cell cycle and apoptosis regulation, protein synthesis, differentiation and glucose metabolism. PMID:15023862

  19. Human Astrocytes Develop Physiological Morphology and Remain Quiescent in a Novel 3D Matrix

    PubMed Central

    Placone, Amanda F.; McGuiggan, Patricia M.; Bergles, Dwight E.; Guerrero-Cazares, Hugo; Quiñones-Hinojosa, Alfredo; Searson, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant glial cells in the brain and are responsible for diverse functions, from modulating synapse function to regulating the blood-brain barrier. In vivo, these cells exhibit a star-shaped morphology with multiple radial processes that contact synapses and completely surround brain capillaries. In response to trauma or CNS disease, astrocytes become reactive, a state associated with profound changes in gene expression, including upregulation of intermediate filament proteins, such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The inability to recapitulate the complex structure of astrocytes and maintain their quiescent state in vitro is a major roadblock to further developments in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Here, we characterize astrocyte morphology and activation in various hydrogels to assess the feasibility of developing a matrix that mimics key aspects of the native microenvironment. We show that astrocytes seeded in optimized matrix composed of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and matrigel exhibit a star-shaped morphology with radial processes and do not upregulate GFAP expression, hallmarks of quiescent astrocytes in the brain. In these optimized gels, collagen I provides structural support, HA mimics the brain extracellular matrix, and matrigel provides endothelial cell compatibility and was found to minimize GFAP upregulation. This defined 3D microenvironment for maintaining human astrocytes in vitro provides new opportunities for developing improved models of the blood-brain barrier and studying their response to stress signals. PMID:25542801

  20. Persistent oxygen-glucose deprivation induces astrocytic death through two different pathways and calpain-mediated proteolysis of cytoskeletal proteins during astrocytic oncosis.

    PubMed

    Cao, Xu; Zhang, Ying; Zou, Liangyu; Xiao, Haibing; Chu, Yinghao; Chu, Xiaofan

    2010-07-26

    Astrocytes are thought to play a role in the maintenance of homeostasis and the provision of metabolic substrates for neurons as well as the coupling of cerebral blood flow to neuronal activity. Accordingly, astrocytic death due to various types of injury can critically influence neuronal survival. The exact pathway of cell death after brain ischemia is under debate. In the present study, we used astrocytes from rat primary culture treated with persistent oxygen-glucose-deprivation (OGD) as a model of ischemia to examine the pathway of cell death and the relevant mechanisms. We observed changes in the cellular morphology, the energy metabolism of astrocytes, and the percentage of apoptosis or oncosis of the astrocytes induced by OGD. Electron microscopy revealed the co-existence of ultrastructural features in both apoptosis and oncosis in individual cells. The cellular ATP content was gradually decreased and the percentages of apoptotic and oncotic cells were increased during OGD. After 4h of OGD, ATP depletion to less than 35% of the control was observed, and oncosis became the primary pathway for astrocytic death. Increased plasma membrane permeability due to oncosis was associated with increased calpain-mediated degradation of several cytoskeletal proteins, including paxillin, vinculin, vimentin and GFAP. Pre-treatment with the calpain inhibitor 3-(4-iodophenyl)-2-mercapto-(Z)-2-propenoic acid (PD150606) could delay the OGD-induced astrocytic oncosis. These results suggest that there is a narrow range of ATP that determines astrocytic oncotic death induced by persistent OGD and that calpain-mediated hydrolysis of the cytoskeletal-associated proteins may contribute to astrocytes oncosis.

  1. Hypothyroidism affects astrocyte and microglial morphology in type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Nam, Sung Min; Kim, Yo Na; Yoo, Dae Young; Yi, Sun Shin; Choi, Jung Hoon; Hwang, In Koo; Seong, Je Kyung; Yoon, Yeo Sung

    2013-09-15

    In the present study, we investigated the effects of hypothyroidism on the morphology of astrocytes and microglia in the hippocampus of Zucker diabetic fatty rats and Zucker lean control rats. To induce hypothyroidism, Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty rats at 7 weeks of age orally received the vehicle or methimazole, an anti-thyroid drug, treatment for 5 weeks and were sacrificed at 12 weeks of age in all groups for blood chemistry and immunohistochemical staining. In the methimazole-treated Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty rats, the serum circulating thyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels were significantly decreased compared to levels observed in the vehicle-treated Zucker lean control or Zucker diabetic fatty rats. This reduction was more prominent in the methimazole-treated Zucker diabetic fatty group. Glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactive astrocytes and ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba-1)-immunoreactive microglia in the Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty group were diffusely detected in the hippocampal CA1 region and dentate gyrus. There were no significant differences in the glial fibrillary acidic protein and Iba-1 immunoreactivity in the CA1 region and dentate gyrus between Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty groups. However, in the methimazole-treated Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty groups, the processes of glial fibrillary acidic protein tive astrocytes and Iba-1 immunoreactive microglia, were significantly decreased in both the CA1 region and dentate gyrus compared to that in the vehicle-treated Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty groups. These results suggest that diabetes has no effect on the morphology of astrocytes and microglia and that hypothyroidism during the onset of diabetes prominently reduces the processes of astrocytes and microglia.

  2. Modulation of interleukin-1beta mediated inflammatory response in human astrocytes by flavonoids: implications in neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Vivek; Mishra, Mamata; Ghosh, Soumya; Tewari, Richa; Basu, Anirban; Seth, Pankaj; Sen, Ellora

    2007-06-15

    The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) contributes to inflammation and neuronal death in CNS injuries and neurodegenerative pathologies, and astrocytes have been implicated as the primary mediators of IL-1beta induced neuronal death. As astrocytes play an important role in supporting the survival and functions of neurons, we investigated the effect of plant flavonoids quercetin and luteolin, with known anti-inflammatory properties in modulating the response of human astrocytes to IL-1beta for therapeutic intervention. Flavonoids significantly decreased the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from astrocytes stimulated with IL-1beta. This decrease was accompanied by an increase in expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD-1) and thioredoxin (TRX1)-mediators associated with protection against oxidative stress. Flavonoids not only modulated the expression of astrocytes specific molecules such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), glutamine synthetase (GS), and ceruloplasmin (CP) both in the presence and absence of IL-1beta but also decreased the elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) and chemokines interleukin-8 (IL-8), interferon-inducible protein (IP-10), monocyte-chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and RANTES from IL-1beta activated astrocytes. Significant decrease in neuronal apoptosis was observed in neurons cultured in conditioned medium obtained from astrocytes treated with a combination of IL-1beta and flavonoids as compared to that treated with IL-1beta alone. Our result suggests that by (i) enhancing the potential of activated astrocytes to detoxify free radical, (ii) reducing the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and (iii) modulating expression of mediators associated with enhanced physiological activity of astrocyte in response to injury, flavonoids confer (iv) protection against IL-1beta induced astrocyte mediated neuronal damage.

  3. Acute death of astrocytes in blast-exposed rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures.

    PubMed

    Miller, Anna P; Shah, Alok S; Aperi, Brandy V; Kurpad, Shekar N; Stemper, Brian D; Glavaski-Joksimovic, Aleksandra

    2017-01-01

    Blast traumatic brain injury (bTBI) affects civilians, soldiers, and veterans worldwide and presents significant health concerns. The mechanisms of neurodegeneration following bTBI remain elusive and current therapies are largely ineffective. It is important to better characterize blast-evoked cellular changes and underlying mechanisms in order to develop more effective therapies. In the present study, our group utilized rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHCs) as an in vitro system to model bTBI. OHCs were exposed to either 138 ± 22 kPa (low) or 273 ± 23 kPa (high) overpressures using an open-ended helium-driven shock tube, or were assigned to sham control group. At 2 hours (h) following injury, we have characterized the astrocytic response to a blast overpressure. Immunostaining against the astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) revealed acute shearing and morphological changes in astrocytes, including clasmatodendrosis. Moreover, overlap of GFAP immunostaining and propidium iodide (PI) indicated astrocytic death. Quantification of the number of dead astrocytes per counting area in the hippocampal cornu Ammonis 1 region (CA1), demonstrated a significant increase in dead astrocytes in the low- and high-blast, compared to sham control OHCs. However only a small number of GFAP-expressing astrocytes were co-labeled with the apoptotic marker Annexin V, suggesting necrosis as the primary type of cell death in the acute phase following blast exposure. Moreover, western blot analyses revealed calpain mediated breakdown of GFAP. The dextran exclusion additionally indicated membrane disruption as a potential mechanism of acute astrocytic death. Furthermore, although blast exposure did not evoke significant changes in glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) expression, loss of GLT-1-expressing astrocytes suggests dysregulation of glutamate uptake following injury. Our data illustrate the profound effect of blast overpressure on astrocytes in OHCs at 2 h

  4. Acute death of astrocytes in blast-exposed rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Anna P.; Shah, Alok S.; Aperi, Brandy V.; Kurpad, Shekar N.; Stemper, Brian D.; Glavaski-Joksimovic, Aleksandra

    2017-01-01

    Blast traumatic brain injury (bTBI) affects civilians, soldiers, and veterans worldwide and presents significant health concerns. The mechanisms of neurodegeneration following bTBI remain elusive and current therapies are largely ineffective. It is important to better characterize blast-evoked cellular changes and underlying mechanisms in order to develop more effective therapies. In the present study, our group utilized rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHCs) as an in vitro system to model bTBI. OHCs were exposed to either 138 ± 22 kPa (low) or 273 ± 23 kPa (high) overpressures using an open-ended helium-driven shock tube, or were assigned to sham control group. At 2 hours (h) following injury, we have characterized the astrocytic response to a blast overpressure. Immunostaining against the astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) revealed acute shearing and morphological changes in astrocytes, including clasmatodendrosis. Moreover, overlap of GFAP immunostaining and propidium iodide (PI) indicated astrocytic death. Quantification of the number of dead astrocytes per counting area in the hippocampal cornu Ammonis 1 region (CA1), demonstrated a significant increase in dead astrocytes in the low- and high-blast, compared to sham control OHCs. However only a small number of GFAP-expressing astrocytes were co-labeled with the apoptotic marker Annexin V, suggesting necrosis as the primary type of cell death in the acute phase following blast exposure. Moreover, western blot analyses revealed calpain mediated breakdown of GFAP. The dextran exclusion additionally indicated membrane disruption as a potential mechanism of acute astrocytic death. Furthermore, although blast exposure did not evoke significant changes in glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) expression, loss of GLT-1-expressing astrocytes suggests dysregulation of glutamate uptake following injury. Our data illustrate the profound effect of blast overpressure on astrocytes in OHCs at 2 h

  5. H1-antihistamines induce vacuolation in astrocytes through macroautophagy

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Wei-Wei; Yang, Ying; Wang, Zhe; Shen, Zhe; Zhang, Xiang-Nan; Wang, Guang-Hui; Chen, Zhong

    2012-04-15

    H1-antihistamines induce vacuolation in vascular smooth muscle cells, which may contribute to their cardiovascular toxicity. The CNS toxicity of H1-antihistamines may also be related to their non-receptor-mediated activity. The aim of this study was to investigate whether H1-antihistamines induce vacuolation in astrocytes and the mechanism involved. The H1-antihistamines induced large numbers of giant vacuoles in astrocytes. Such vacuoles were marked with both the lysosome marker Lysotracker Red and the alkalescent fluorescence dye monodansylcadaverine, which indicated that these vacuoles were lysosome-like acidic vesicles. Quantitative analysis of monodansylcadaverine fluorescence showed that the effect of H1-antihistamines on vacuolation in astrocytes was dose-dependent, and was alleviated by extracellular acidification, but aggravated by extracellular alkalization. The order of potency to induce vacuolation at high concentrations of H1-antihistamines (diphenhydramine > pyrilamine > astemizole > triprolidine) corresponded to their pKa ranking. Co-treatment with histamine and the histamine receptor-1 agonist trifluoromethyl toluidide did not inhibit the vacuolation. Bafilomycin A1, a vacuolar (V)-ATPase inhibitor, which inhibits intracellular vacuole or vesicle acidification, clearly reversed the vacuolation and intracellular accumulation of diphenhydramine. The macroautophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine largely reversed the percentage of LC3-positive astrocytes induced by diphenhydramine, while only partly reversing the number of monodansylcadaverine-labeled vesicles. In Atg5{sup −/−} mouse embryonic fibroblasts, which cannot form autophagosomes, the number of vacuoles induced by diphenhydramine was less than that in wild-type cells. These results indicated that H1-antihistamines induce V-ATPase-dependent acidic vacuole formation in astrocytes, and this is partly mediated by macroautophagy. The pKa and alkalescent characteristic of H1-antihistamines may be the

  6. Astrocytic GABA transporter activity modulates excitatory neurotransmission

    PubMed Central

    Boddum, Kim; Jensen, Thomas P.; Magloire, Vincent; Kristiansen, Uffe; Rusakov, Dmitri A.; Pavlov, Ivan; Walker, Matthew C.

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes are ideally placed to detect and respond to network activity. They express ionotropic and metabotropic receptors, and can release gliotransmitters. Astrocytes also express transporters that regulate the extracellular concentration of neurotransmitters. Here we report a previously unrecognized role for the astrocytic GABA transporter, GAT-3. GAT-3 activity results in a rise in astrocytic Na+ concentrations and a consequent increase in astrocytic Ca2+ through Na+/Ca2+ exchange. This leads to the release of ATP/adenosine by astrocytes, which then diffusely inhibits neuronal glutamate release via activation of presynaptic adenosine receptors. Through this mechanism, increases in astrocytic GAT-3 activity due to GABA released from interneurons contribute to 'diffuse' heterosynaptic depression. This provides a mechanism for homeostatic regulation of excitatory transmission in the hippocampus. PMID:27886179

  7. The Effect of Glutamate Receptor Agonists on Mouse Retinal Astrocyte [Ca2+]i

    PubMed Central

    Blandford, Stephanie N.

    2016-01-01

    Calcium-imaging techniques were used to determine if mouse retinal astrocytes in situ respond to agonists of ionotropic (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid, AMPA; N-methyl-D-aspartate, NMDA) and metabotropic (S-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine, DHPG; trans-1-amino-1,3-cyclopentanedicarboxylic acid, ACPD) glutamate receptors. In most cases we found no evidence that retinal astrocyte intracellular calcium ion concentration ([Ca2+]i) increased in response to these glutamate agonists. The one exception was AMPA that increased [Ca2+]i in some, but not all, mouse retinal astrocytes in situ. However, AMPA did not increase [Ca2+]i in mouse retinal astrocytes in vitro, suggesting that the effect of AMPA in situ may be indirect. PMID:27413752

  8. The Effect of Glutamate Receptor Agonists on Mouse Retinal Astrocyte [Ca(2+)]i.

    PubMed

    Blandford, Stephanie N; Baldridge, William H

    2016-01-01

    Calcium-imaging techniques were used to determine if mouse retinal astrocytes in situ respond to agonists of ionotropic (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid, AMPA; N-methyl-D-aspartate, NMDA) and metabotropic (S-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine, DHPG; trans-1-amino-1,3-cyclopentanedicarboxylic acid, ACPD) glutamate receptors. In most cases we found no evidence that retinal astrocyte intracellular calcium ion concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) increased in response to these glutamate agonists. The one exception was AMPA that increased [Ca(2+)]i in some, but not all, mouse retinal astrocytes in situ. However, AMPA did not increase [Ca(2+)]i in mouse retinal astrocytes in vitro, suggesting that the effect of AMPA in situ may be indirect.

  9. Methamphetamine inhibits the glucose uptake by human neurons and astrocytes: stabilization by acetyl-L-carnitine.

    PubMed

    Abdul Muneer, P M; Alikunju, Saleena; Szlachetka, Adam M; Haorah, James

    2011-04-27

    Methamphetamine (METH), an addictive psycho-stimulant drug exerts euphoric effects on users and abusers. It is also known to cause cognitive impairment and neurotoxicity. Here, we hypothesized that METH exposure impairs the glucose uptake and metabolism in human neurons and astrocytes. Deprivation of glucose is expected to cause neurotoxicity and neuronal degeneration due to depletion of energy. We found that METH exposure inhibited the glucose uptake by neurons and astrocytes, in which neurons were more sensitive to METH than astrocytes in primary culture. Adaptability of these cells to fatty acid oxidation as an alternative source of energy during glucose limitation appeared to regulate this differential sensitivity. Decrease in neuronal glucose uptake by METH was associated with reduction of glucose transporter protein-3 (GLUT3). Surprisingly, METH exposure showed biphasic effects on astrocytic glucose uptake, in which 20 µM increased the uptake while 200 µM inhibited glucose uptake. Dual effects of METH on glucose uptake were paralleled to changes in the expression of astrocytic glucose transporter protein-1 (GLUT1). The adaptive nature of astrocyte to mitochondrial β-oxidation of fatty acid appeared to contribute the survival of astrocytes during METH-induced glucose deprivation. This differential adaptive nature of neurons and astrocytes also governed the differential sensitivity to the toxicity of METH in these brain cells. The effect of acetyl-L-carnitine for enhanced production of ATP from fatty oxidation in glucose-free culture condition validated the adaptive nature of neurons and astrocytes. These findings suggest that deprivation of glucose-derived energy may contribute to neurotoxicity of METH abusers.

  10. Intermediate filaments are important for astrocyte response to oxidative stress induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion.

    PubMed

    de Pablo, Yolanda; Nilsson, Michael; Pekna, Marcela; Pekny, Milos

    2013-07-01

    As a response to central nervous system injury, astrocytes become reactive. Two cellular hallmarks of reactive gliosis are hypertrophy of astrocyte processes and upregulation of intermediate filament (nanofilament) proteins glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vimentin, nestin, and synemin. Astrocytes in mice devoid of GFAP and vimentin (GFAP (-/-) Vim (-/-)) do not form cytoplasmic intermediate filaments. GFAP (-/-) Vim (-/-) mice develop larger infarcts after ischemic stroke (Li et al. in J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 28(3):468-481, 2008). Here, we attempted to analyze the underlying mechanisms using oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), an in vitro ischemia model, examining a potential link between astrocyte intermediate filaments and reactive oxygen species (ROS). We observed a reorganization of the intermediate filament network in astrocytes exposed to OGD. ROS accumulation was higher in GFAP (-/-) Vim (-/-) than wild-type astrocytes when exposed to OGD followed by reperfusion or when exposed to hydrogen peroxide. These results indicate that the elimination of ROS is impaired in the absence of the intermediate filament system. Compared to wild-type astrocytes, GFAP (-/-) Vim (-/-) astrocytes exposed to OGD and reperfusion exhibited increased cell death and conferred lower degree of protection to cocultured neurons. We conclude that the astrocyte intermediate filament system is important for the cell response to oxidative stress induced by OGD followed by reperfusion.

  11. Genetic control of astrocyte function in neural circuits

    PubMed Central

    Jahn, Hannah M.; Scheller, Anja; Kirchhoff, Frank

    2015-01-01

    During the last two decades numerous genetic approaches affecting cell function in vivo have been developed. Current state-of-the-art technology permits the selective switching of gene function in distinct cell populations within the complex organization of a given tissue parenchyma. The tamoxifen-inducible Cre/loxP gene recombination and the doxycycline-dependent modulation of gene expression are probably the most popular genetic paradigms. Here, we will review applications of these two strategies while focusing on the interactions of astrocytes and neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) and their impact for the whole organism. Abolishing glial sensing of neuronal activity by selective deletion of glial transmitter receptors demonstrated the impact of astrocytes for higher cognitive functions such as learning and memory, or the more basic body control of muscle coordination. Interestingly, also interfering with glial output, i.e., the release of gliotransmitters can drastically change animal’s physiology like sleeping behavior. Furthermore, such genetic approaches have also been used to restore astrocyte function. In these studies two alternatives were employed to achieve proper genetic targeting of astrocytes: transgenes using the promoter of the human glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) or homologous recombination into the glutamate-aspartate transporter (GLAST) locus. We will highlight their specific properties that could be relevant for their use. PMID:26347607

  12. The psychostimulant modafinil enhances gap junctional communication in cortical astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinhe; Petit, Jean-Marie; Ezan, Pascal; Gyger, Joël; Magistretti, Pierre; Giaume, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Sleep-wake cycle is characterized by changes in neuronal network activity. However, for the last decade there is increasing evidence that neuroglial interaction may play a role in the modulation of sleep homeostasis and that astrocytes have a critical impact in this process. Interestingly, astrocytes are organized into communicating networks based on their high expression of connexins, which are the molecular constituents of gap junction channels. Thus, neuroglial interactions should also be considered as the result of the interplay between neuronal and astroglial networks. Here, we investigate the effect of modafinil, a wakefulness-promoting agent, on astrocyte gap junctional communication. We report that in the cortex modafinil injection increases the expression of mRNA and protein of connexin 30 but not those of connexin 43, the other major astroglial connexin. These increases are correlated with an enhancement of intercellular dye coupling in cortical astrocytes, which is abolished when neuronal activity is silenced by tetrodotoxin. Moreover, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, which at a millimolar concentration induces sleep, has an opposite effect on astroglial gap junctions in an activity-independent manner. These results support the proposition that astroglia may play an important role in complex physiological brain functions, such as sleep regulation, and that neuroglial networking interaction is modified during sleep-wake cycle. This article is part of the Special Issue Section entitled 'Current Pharmacology of Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels'.

  13. Cortical Astrocytes Acutely Exposed to the Monomethylarsonous Acid (MMA(III)) Show Increased Pro-inflammatory Cytokines Gene Expression that is Consistent with APP and BACE-1: Over-expression.

    PubMed

    Escudero-Lourdes, C; Uresti-Rivera, E E; Oliva-González, C; Torres-Ramos, M A; Aguirre-Bañuelos, P; Gandolfi, A J

    2016-10-01

    Long-term exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) through drinking water has been associated with cognitive impairment in children and adults; however, the related pathogenic mechanisms have not been completely described. Increased or chronic inflammation in the brain is linked to impaired cognition and neurodegeneration; iAs induces strong inflammatory responses in several cells, but this effect has been poorly evaluated in central nervous system (CNS) cells. Because astrocytes are the most abundant cells in the CNS and play a critical role in brain homeostasis, including regulation of the inflammatory response, any functional impairment in them can be deleterious for the brain. We propose that iAs could induce cognitive impairment through inflammatory response activation in astrocytes. In the present work, rat cortical astrocytes were acutely exposed in vitro to the monomethylated metabolite of iAs (MMA(III)), which accumulates in glial cells without compromising cell viability. MMA(III) LD50 in astrocytes was 10.52 μM, however, exposure to sub-toxic MMA(III) concentrations (50-1000 nM) significantly increased IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, COX-2, and MIF-1 gene expression. These effects were consistent with amyloid precursor protein (APP) and β-secretase (BACE-1) increased gene expression, mainly for those MMA(III) concentrations that also induced TNF-α over-expression. Other effects of MMA(III) on cortical astrocytes included increased proliferative and metabolic activity. All tested MMA(III) concentrations led to an inhibition of intracellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity. Results suggest that MMA(III) induces important metabolic and functional changes in astrocytes that may affect brain homeostasis and that inflammation may play a major role in cognitive impairment-related pathogenicity in As-exposed populations.

  14. The expression of kainate receptor subunits in hippocampal astrocytes after experimentally induced status epilepticus.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Jay R; Takahashi, D Koji; Thomson, Kyle E; Wilcox, Karen S

    2013-10-01

    Astrocytes have emerged as active participants of synaptic transmission and are increasingly implicated in neurologic disorders including epilepsy. Adult glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive hippocampal astrocytes are not known for ionotropic glutamate receptor expression under basal conditions. Using a chemoconvulsive status epilepticus (SE) model of temporal lobe epilepsy, we show by immunohistochemistry and colocalization analysis that reactive hippocampal astrocytes express kainate receptor (KAR) subunits after SE. In the CA1 region, GluK1, GluK2/3, GluK4, and GluK5 subunit expression was observed in GFAP-positive astrocytes during the seizure-free or "latent" period 1 week after SE. At 8 weeks after SE, a time after SE when spontaneous behavioral seizures occur, the GluK1 and GluK5 subunits remained expressed at significant levels. Kainate receptor subunit expression was found in astrocytes in the hippocampus and surrounding cortex but not in GFAP-positive astrocytes of striatum, olfactory bulb, or brainstem. To examine hippocampal KAR expression more broadly, astroglial-enriched tissue fractions were prepared from dissected hippocampi and were found to have greater GluK4 expression after SE than controls. These results demonstrate that astrocytes begin to express KARs after seizure activity and suggest that their expression may contribute to the pathophysiology of epilepsy.

  15. HB-EGF affects astrocyte morphology, proliferation, differentiation, and the expression of intermediate filament proteins.

    PubMed

    Puschmann, Till B; Zandén, Carl; Lebkuechner, Isabell; Philippot, Camille; de Pablo, Yolanda; Liu, Johan; Pekny, Milos

    2014-03-01

    Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF), a vascular-derived trophic factor, belongs to the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family of neuroprotective, hypoxia-inducible proteins released by astrocytes in CNS injuries. It was suggested that HB-EGF can replace fetal calf serum (FCS) in astrocyte cultures. We previously demonstrated that in contrast to standard 2D cell culture systems, Bioactive3D culture system, when used with FCS, minimizes the baseline activation of astrocytes and preserves their complex morphology. Here, we show that HB-EGF induced EGF receptor (EGFR) activation by Y1068 phosphorylation, Mapk/Erk pathway activation, and led to an increase in cell proliferation, more prominent in Bioactive3D than in 2D cultures. HB-EGF changed morphology of 2D and Bioactive3D cultured astrocytes toward a radial glia-like phenotype and induced the expression of intermediate filament and progenitor cell marker protein nestin. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin protein expression was unaffected. RT-qPCR analysis demonstrated that HB-EGF affected the expression of Notch signaling pathway genes, implying a role for the Notch signaling in HB-EGF-mediated astrocyte response. HB-EGF can be used as a FCS replacement for astrocyte expansion and in vitro experimentation both in 2D and Bioactive3D culture systems; however, caution should be exercised since it appears to induce partial de-differentiation of astrocytes.

  16. Astrocytic Expression of CTMP Following an Excitotoxic Lesion in the Mouse Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Nara; Yi, Min-Hee; Kim, Sena; Baek, Hyunjung; Triantafillu, Ursula L.

    2017-01-01

    Akt (also known as protein kinase B, PKB) has been seen to play a role in astrocyte activation of neuroprotection; however, the underlying mechanism on deregulation of Akt signaling in brain injuries is not fully understood. We investigated the role of carboxy-terminal modulator protein (CTMP), an endogenous Akt inhibitor, in brain injury following kainic acid (KA)-induced neurodegeneration of mouse hippocampus. In control mice, there was a weak signal for CTMP in the hippocampus, but CTMP was markedly increased in the astrocytes 3 days after KA treatment. To further investigate the effectiveness of Akt signaling, the phosphorylation of CTMP was examined. KA treatment induced an increased p-CTMP expression in the astrocytes of hippocampus at 1 day. LPS/IFN-γ-treatment on primary astrocytes promoted the p-CTMP was followed by phosphorylation of Akt and finally upregulation of CTMP and p-CREB. Time-dependent expression of p-CTMP, p-Akt, p-CREB, and CTMP indicate that LPS/IFN-γ-induced phosphorylation of CTMP can activate Akt/CREB signaling, whereas lately emerging enhancement of CTMP can inhibit it. These results suggest that elevation of CTMP in the astrocytes may suppress Akt activity and ultimately negatively affect the outcome of astrocyte activation (astroglisiois). Early time point enhancers of phosphorylation of CTMP and/or late time inhibitors specifically targeting CTMP may be beneficial in astrocyte activation for neuroprotection within treatment in neuroinflammatory conditions. PMID:28243164

  17. Central Role of Maladapted Astrocytic Plasticity in Ischemic Brain Edema Formation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu-Feng; Parpura, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Brain edema formation and the ensuing brain damages are the major cause of high mortality and long term disability following the occurrence of ischemic stroke. In this process, oxygen and glucose deprivation and the resulting reperfusion injury play primary roles. In response to the ischemic insult, the neurovascular unit experiences both intracellular and extracellular edemas, associated with maladapted astrocytic plasticity. The astrocytic plasticity includes both morphological and functional plasticity. The former involves a reactive gliosis and the subsequent glial retraction. It relates to the capacity of astrocytes to buffer changes in extracellular chemical levels, particularly K+ and glutamate, as well as the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The latter involves the expression and activity of a series of ion and water transport proteins. These molecules are grouped together around glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and water channel protein aquaporin 4 (AQP4) to form functional networks, regulate hydromineral balance across cell membranes and maintain the integrity of the BBB. Intense ischemic challenges can disrupt these capacities of astrocytes and result in their maladaptation. The maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke cannot only disrupt the hydromineral homeostasis across astrocyte membrane and the BBB, but also leads to disorders of the whole neurovascular unit. This review focuses on how the maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke plays the central role in the brain edema formation. PMID:27242440

  18. Binaural blood flow control by astrocytes: listening to synapses and the vasculature.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Anusha

    2017-03-15

    Astrocytes are the most common glial cells in the brain with fine processes and endfeet that intimately contact both neuronal synapses and the cerebral vasculature. They play an important role in mediating neurovascular coupling (NVC) via several astrocytic Ca(2+) -dependent signalling pathways such as K(+) release through BK channels, and the production and release of arachidonic acid metabolites. They are also involved in maintaining the resting tone of the cerebral vessels by releasing ATP and COX-1 derivatives. Evidence also supports a role for astrocytes in maintaining blood pressure-dependent change in cerebrovascular tone, and perhaps also in blood vessel-to-neuron signalling as posited by the 'hemo-neural hypothesis'. Thus, astrocytes are emerging as new stars in preserving the intricate balance between the high energy demand of active neurons and the supply of oxygen and nutrients from the blood by maintaining both resting blood flow and activity-evoked changes therein. Following neuropathology, astrocytes become reactive and many of their key signalling mechanisms are altered, including those involved in NVC. Furthermore, as they can respond to changes in vascular pressure, cardiovascular diseases might exert previously unknown effects on the central nervous system by altering astrocyte function. This review discusses the role of astrocytes in neurovascular signalling in both physiology and pathology, and the impact of these findings on understanding BOLD-fMRI signals.

  19. Electrophysiology and pharmacology of tandem domain potassium channel TREK-1 related BDNF synthesis in rat astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Lu, Li; Wang, Weiping; Peng, Ying; Li, Jiang; Wang, Ling; Wang, Xiaoliang

    2014-04-01

    In the present study, the functional properties and pharmacology of two-pore domain potassium channel (K2P) TREK-1 in primary cultured rat brain astrocytes were investigated. Western blot, patch clamping techniques, and ELISA were used to detect the distribution and function of TREK-1 as well as the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on the primary cultured astrocytes. It was shown that TREK-1 protein expressed in astrocytes was 2.4-fold higher than it was expressed in microglia. Single channel recording via patch clamping showed that the TREK-1 outward currents in astrocytes could be activated by arachidonic acid (AA) or chloroform with the conductance of 113 ± 14 and 120 ± 13 pS, respectively. The current was also sensitive to mechanical stretch and intracellular acidification. Negative pressure (-30 cm H2O) and acidification of intracellular solution (pH 6.8 or 6.3) both enhanced TREK-1 channel open probability significantly. Further pharmacological studies showed that TREK-1 antagonist penfluridol inhibited AA-induced currents, and both penfluridol and methionine (TREK-1 blockers) significantly increased BDNF level in astrocytes by 50 %. These results indicated that TREK-1 channel current was a major component of K2P currents in astrocytes. TREK-1 channels might play important roles in regulating the function of astrocytes and might be used as a drug target for neuroprotection.

  20. CREB decreases astrocytic excitability by modifying subcellular calcium fluxes via the sigma-1 receptor.

    PubMed

    Eraso-Pichot, A; Larramona-Arcas, R; Vicario-Orri, E; Villalonga, R; Pardo, L; Galea, E; Masgrau, R

    2017-03-01

    Astrocytic excitability relies on cytosolic calcium increases as a key mechanism, whereby astrocytes contribute to synaptic transmission and hence learning and memory. While it is a cornerstone of neurosciences that experiences are remembered, because transmitters activate gene expression in neurons, long-term adaptive astrocyte plasticity has not been described. Here, we investigated whether the transcription factor CREB mediates adaptive plasticity-like phenomena in astrocytes. We found that activation of CREB-dependent transcription reduced the calcium responses induced by ATP, noradrenaline, or endothelin-1. As to the mechanism, expression of VP16-CREB, a constitutively active CREB mutant, had no effect on basal cytosolic calcium levels, extracellular calcium entry, or calcium mobilization from lysosomal-related acidic stores. Rather, VP16-CREB upregulated sigma-1 receptor expression thereby increasing the release of calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum and its uptake by mitochondria. Sigma-1 receptor was also upregulated in vivo upon VP16-CREB expression in astrocytes. We conclude that CREB decreases astrocyte responsiveness by increasing calcium signalling at the endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria interface, which might be an astrocyte-based form of long-term depression.

  1. White matter astrocytes in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Lundgaard, I; Osório, M J; Kress, B T; Sanggaard, S; Nedergaard, M

    2014-09-12

    Myelination by oligodendrocytes is a highly specialized process that relies on intimate interactions between the axon and the oligodendrocytes. Astrocytes have an important part in facilitating myelination in the CNS, however, comparatively less is known about how they affect myelination. This review therefore summarizes the literature and explores lingering questions surrounding differences between white matter and gray matter astrocytes, how astrocytes support myelination, how their dysfunction in pathological states contributes to myelin pathologies and how astrocytes may facilitate remyelination. We discuss how astrocytes in the white matter are specialized to promote myelination and myelin maintenance by clearance of extracellular ions and neurotransmitters and by secretion of pro-myelinating factors. Additionally, astrocyte-oligodendrocyte coupling via gap junctions is crucial for both myelin formation and maintenance, due to K(+) buffering and possibly metabolic support for oligodendrocytes via the panglial syncytium. Dysfunctional astrocytes aberrantly affect oligodendrocytes, as exemplified by a number of leukodystrophies in which astrocytic pathology is known as the direct cause of myelin pathology. Conversely, in primary demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, astrocytes may facilitate remyelination. We suggest that specific manipulation of astrocytes could help prevent myelin pathologies and successfully restore myelin sheaths after demyelination.

  2. Multifaceted roles for astrocytes in spreading depolarization

    PubMed Central

    Seidel, Jessica L.; Escartin, Carole; Ayata, Cenk; Bonvento, Gilles; Shuttleworth, C. William

    2015-01-01

    Spreading depolarizations (SD) are coordinated waves of synchronous depolarization, involving large numbers of neurons and astrocytes as they spread slowly through brain tissue. The recent identification of SDs as likely contributors to pathophysiology in human subjects has led to a significant increase in interest in SD mechanisms, and possible approaches to limit the numbers of SDs or their deleterious consequences in injured brain. Astrocytes regulate many events associated with SD. SD initiation and propagation is dependent on extracellular accumulation of K+ and glutamate, both of which involve astrocytic clearance. SDs are extremely metabolically demanding events, and signaling through astrocyte networks is likely central to the dramatic increase in regional blood flow that accompanies SD in otherwise healthy tissues. Astrocytes may provide metabolic support to neurons following SD, and may provide a source of adenosine that inhibits neuronal activity following SD. It is also possible that astrocytes contribute to the pathophysiology of SD, as a consequence of excessive glutamate release, facilitation of NMDA receptor activation, brain edema due to astrocyte swelling, or disrupted coupling to appropriate vascular responses after SD. Direct or indirect evidence has accumulated implicating astrocytes in many of these responses, but much remains unknown about their specific contributions, especially in the context of injury. Conversion of astrocytes to a reactive phenotype is a prominent feature of injured brain, and recent work suggests that the different functional properties of reactive astrocytes could be targeted to limit SDs in pathophysiological conditions. PMID:26301517

  3. Transient receptor potential canonical 3 (TRPC3) mediates thrombin-induced astrocyte activation and upregulates its own expression in cortical astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Shirakawa, Hisashi; Sakimoto, Shinya; Nakao, Kenji; Sugishita, Aiko; Konno, Masakazu; Iida, Shota; Kusano, Ayaka; Hashimoto, Emina; Nakagawa, Takayuki; Kaneko, Shuji

    2010-09-29

    Reactive astrogliosis, defined by abnormal morphology and excessive cell proliferation, is a characteristic response of astrocytes to CNS injuries, including intracerebral hemorrhage. Thrombin, a major blood-derived serine protease, leaks into the brain parenchyma upon blood-brain barrier disruption and can induce brain injury and astrogliosis. Transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels, Ca(2+)-permeable, nonselective cation channels, are expressed in astrocytes and involved in Ca(2+) influx after receptor stimulation; however, their pathophysiological functions in reactive astrocytes remain unknown. We investigated the pathophysiological roles of TRPC in thrombin-activated cortical astrocytes. Application of thrombin (1 U/ml, 20 h) upregulated TRPC3 protein, which was associated with increased Ca(2+) influx after thapsigargin treatment. Pharmacological manipulations revealed that the TRPC3 upregulation was mediated by protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR-1), extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase, c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase, and nuclear factor-κB signaling and required de novo protein synthesis. The Ca(2+) signaling blockers BAPTA-AM, cyclopiazonic acid, and 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate and a selective TRPC3 inhibitor, pyrazole-3, attenuated TRPC3 upregulation, suggesting that Ca(2+) signaling through TRPC3 contributes to its increased expression. Thrombin-induced morphological changes at 3 h upregulated S100B, a marker of reactive astrocytes, at 20 h and increased astrocytic proliferation by 72 h, all of which were inhibited by Ca(2+)-signaling blockers and specific knockdown of TRPC3 using small interfering RNA. Intracortical injection of SFLLR-NH(2), a PAR-1 agonist peptide, induced proliferation of astrocytes, most of which were TRPC3 immunopositive. These results suggest that thrombin dynamically upregulates TRPC3 and that TRPC3 contributes to the pathological activation of astrocytes in part through a feedforward upregulation of its own

  4. Photothrombosis ischemia stimulates a sustained astrocytic Ca2+ signaling in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Shinghua; Wang, Tiannan; Cui, Wenju; Haydon, Philip G.

    2009-01-01

    While there is significant information concerning the consequences of cerebral ischemia on neuronal function, relatively little is known about functional responses of astrocytes, the predominant glial-cell type in the central nervous system (CNS). In this study, we asked whether focal ischemia would impact astrocytic Ca2+ signaling, a characteristic form of excitability in this cell type. In vivo Ca2+ imaging of cortical astrocytes was performed using two-photon (2-P) microscopy during the acute phase of photothrombosis-induced ischemia initiated by green light illumination of circulating Rose Bengal. Although whisker evoked potentials were reduced by over 90% within minutes of photothrombosis, astrocytes in the ischemic core remained structurally intact for a few hours. In vivo Ca2+ imaging showed that an increase in transient Ca2+ signals in astrocytes within 20 min of ischemia. These Ca2+ signals were synchronized and propagated as waves amongst the glial network. Pharmacological manipulations demonstrated that these Ca2+ signals were dependent on activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) and metabotropic γ-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABABR) but not by P2 purinergic receptor or A1 adenosine receptor. Selective inhibition of Ca2+ in astrocytes with BAPTA significantly reduced the infarct volume, demonstrating that the enhanced astrocytic Ca2+ signal contributes to neuronal damage presumably through Ca2+-dependent release of glial glutamate. Since astrocytes offer multiple functions in close communication with neurons and vasculature, the ischemia-induced increase in astrocytic Ca2+ signaling may represent an initial attempt for these cells to communicate with neurons or provide feed back regulation to the vasculature. PMID:18985731

  5. Astrocyte calcium signaling: the third wave.

    PubMed

    Bazargani, Narges; Attwell, David

    2016-02-01

    The discovery that transient elevations of calcium concentration occur in astrocytes, and release 'gliotransmitters' which act on neurons and vascular smooth muscle, led to the idea that astrocytes are powerful regulators of neuronal spiking, synaptic plasticity and brain blood flow. These findings were challenged by a second wave of reports that astrocyte calcium transients did not mediate functions attributed to gliotransmitters and were too slow to generate blood flow increases. Remarkably, the tide has now turned again: the most important calcium transients occur in fine astrocyte processes not resolved in earlier studies, and new mechanisms have been discovered by which astrocyte [Ca(2+)]i is raised and exerts its effects. Here we review how this third wave of discoveries has changed our understanding of astrocyte calcium signaling and its consequences for neuronal function.

  6. Astrocytes: Everything but the glue

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Perez, Oscar; Lopez-Virgen, Veronica; Quiñones-Hinojosa, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    The current knowledge in neuroscience indicates that neural tissue has two major cell populations: neurons and glia (term derived from the Greek word for glue). Neuronal population is characterized by the capacity to produce action potentials, whereas glial cells are typically identified as the subordinate cell population of neurons. To date, this point of view has changed dramatically and growing evidence indicates that glial cells play a crucial role in normal mental functions and the pathogenesis of neurological diseases. Classically, glial cells include four major populations clearly discernible in the adult brain: astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia cells and NG2 glia. Astrocytes, also referred as to astroglia, are by far the most abundant cell lineage in the adult brain. These cells are in close contact with several tissue components of the brain parenchyma including neurons, vasculature, extracellular matrix and other glial populations. Hence, the number and strategic position of astrocytes provide them with exceptional capacity for modulating multiple functions in the neural tissue. PMID:25938129

  7. Glutamate pays its own way in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    McKenna, Mary C

    2013-12-16

    In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that glutamate can be oxidized for energy by brain astrocytes. The ability to harvest the energy from glutamate provides astrocytes with a mechanism to offset the high ATP cost of the uptake of glutamate from the synaptic cleft. This brief review focuses on oxidative metabolism of glutamate by astrocytes, the specific pathways involved in the complete oxidation of glutamate and the energy provided by each reaction.

  8. Slow degradation in phagocytic astrocytes can be enhanced by lysosomal acidification.

    PubMed

    Lööv, Camilla; Mitchell, Claire H; Simonsson, Martin; Erlandsson, Anna

    2015-06-12

    Inefficient lysosomal degradation is central in the development of various brain disorders, but the underlying mechanisms and the involvement of different cell types remains elusive. We have previously shown that astrocytes effectively engulf dead cells, but then store, rather than degrade the ingested material. In the present study we identify reasons for the slow digestion and ways to accelerate degradation in primary astrocytes. Our results show that actin-rings surround the phagosomes for long periods of time, which physically inhibit the phago-lysosome fusion. Furthermore, astrocytes express high levels of Rab27a, a protein known to reduce the acidity of lysosomes by Nox2 recruitment, in order to preserve antigens for presentation. We found that Nox2 colocalizes with the ingested material, indicating that it may influence antigen processing also in astrocytes, as they express MHC class II. By inducing long-time acidification of astrocytic lysosomes using acidic nanoparticles, we could increase the digestion of astrocyte-ingested, dead cells. The degradation was, however, normalized over time, indicating that inhibitory pathways are up-regulated in response to the enhanced acidification. GLIA 2015.

  9. Astrocyte scar formation aids CNS axon regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Mark A.; Burda, Joshua E.; Ren, Yilong; Ao, Yan; O’Shea, Timothy M.; Kawaguchi, Riki; Coppola, Giovanni; Khakh, Baljit S.; Deming, Timothy J.; Sofroniew, Michael V.

    2017-01-01

    Summary Transected axons fail to regrow in the mature central nervous system (CNS). Astrocyte scars are widely regarded as causal in this failure. Here, using three genetically targeted loss-of-function manipulations in adult mice, we show that preventing astrocyte scar formation, attenuating scar-forming astrocytes, or deleting chronic astrocyte scars all failed to result in spontaneous regrowth of transected corticospinal, sensory or serotonergic axons through severe spinal cord injury (SCI) lesions. In striking contrast, sustained local delivery via hydrogel depots of required axon-specific growth factors not present in SCI lesions, plus growth-activating priming injuries, stimulated robust, laminin-dependent sensory axon regrowth past scar-forming astrocytes and inhibitory molecules in SCI lesions. Preventing astrocyte scar formation significantly reduced this stimulated axon regrowth. RNA sequencing revealed that astrocytes and non-astrocyte cells in SCI lesions express multiple axon-growth supporting molecules. Our findings show that contrary to prevailing dogma, astrocyte scar formation aids rather than prevents CNS axon regeneration. PMID:27027288

  10. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

    Fifteen years ago the concept of the "tripartite synapse" was proposed to conceptualize the functional view that astrocytes are integral elements of synapses. The signaling exchange between astrocytes and neurons within the tripartite synapse results in the synaptic regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity through an autocrine form of communication. However, recent evidence indicates that the astrocyte synaptic regulation is not restricted to the active tripartite synapse but can be manifested through astrocyte signaling at synapses relatively distant from active synapses, a process termed lateral astrocyte synaptic regulation. This phenomenon resembles the classical heterosynaptic modulation but is mechanistically different because it involves astrocytes and its properties critically depend on the morphological and functional features of astrocytes. Therefore, the functional concept of the tripartite synapse as a fundamental unit must be expanded to include the interaction between tripartite synapses. Through lateral synaptic regulation, astrocytes serve as an active processing bridge for synaptic interaction and crosstalk between synapses with no direct neuronal connectivity, supporting the idea that neural network function results from the coordinated activity of astrocytes and neurons.

  11. Astrocytic Actions on Extrasynaptic Neuronal Currents

    PubMed Central

    Pál, Balázs

    2015-01-01

    In the last few decades, knowledge about astrocytic functions has significantly increased. It was demonstrated that astrocytes are not passive elements of the central nervous system (CNS), but active partners of neurons. There is a growing body of knowledge about the calcium excitability of astrocytes, the actions of different gliotransmitters and their release mechanisms, as well as the participation of astrocytes in the regulation of synaptic functions and their contribution to synaptic plasticity. However, astrocytic functions are even more complex than being a partner of the “tripartite synapse,” as they can influence extrasynaptic neuronal currents either by releasing substances or regulating ambient neurotransmitter levels. Several types of currents or changes of membrane potential with different kinetics and via different mechanisms can be elicited by astrocytic activity. Astrocyte-dependent phasic or tonic, inward or outward currents were described in several brain areas. Such currents, together with the synaptic actions of astrocytes, can contribute to neuromodulatory mechanisms, neurosensory and -secretory processes, cortical oscillatory activity, memory, and learning or overall neuronal excitability. This mini-review is an attempt to give a brief summary of astrocyte-dependent extrasynaptic neuronal currents and their possible functional significance. PMID:26696832

  12. Relaxin Protects Astrocytes from Hypoxia In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Willcox, Jordan M.; Summerlee, Alastair J. S.

    2014-01-01

    The peptide relaxin has recently been shown to protect brain tissues from the detrimental effects of ischemia. To date, the mechanisms for this remain unclear. In order to investigate the neuroprotective mechanisms by which relaxin may protect the brain, we investigated the possibility that relaxin protects astrocytes from hypoxia or oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD). Cultured astrocytes were pre-treated with either relaxin-2 or relaxin-3 and exposed to OGD for 24 or 48 hours. Following OGD exposure, viability assays showed that relaxin-treated cells exhibited a higher viability when compared to astrocytes that experienced OGD-alone. Next, to test whether relaxin reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) astrocytes were exposed to the same conditions as the previous experiment and a commercially available ROS detection kit was used to detect ROS production. Astrocytes that were treated with relaxin-2 and relaxin-3 showed a marked decrease in ROS production when compared to control astrocytes that were exposed only to OGD. Finally, experiments were performed to determine whether or not the mitochondrial membrane potential was affected by relaxin treatment during 24 hour OGD. Mitochondrial membrane potential was higher in astrocytes that were treated with relaxin-2 and relaxin-3 compared to untreated OGD-alone astrocytes. Taken together, these data present novel findings that show relaxin protects astrocytes from ischemic conditions through the reduction of ROS production and the maintenance of mitochondrial membrane potential. PMID:24598861

  13. Hyperoxia causes reduced density of retinal astrocytes in the central avascular zone in the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Bucher, Felicitas; Stahl, Andreas; Agostini, Hansjürgen T; Martin, Gottfried

    2013-09-01

    The mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) is commonly used to investigate various aspects of the pathogenesis of the retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) as well as angiogenesis in general. Retinal astrocytes were suggested to be involved in retinal angiogenesis. This study aimed to describe their localization and cell density during the course of physiological vascularization and pathological revascularization. Mice expressing H2B-GFP (green fluorescent protein fused to histone 2B) from the endogenous Pdgfra promoter were kept in 75% oxygen from P7 (post natal day 7) to P12 (mouse model of OIR). Retinal flatmounts or cryosections were immunostained for glial fibrillary acidic protein (Gfap), glutamine synthetase (Glul), collagen IV (Col IV), desmin (Des), caspase 3 (Casp3), paired box 2 (Pax2), or Ki67. Astrocytic nuclei were counted with the ImageJ macro AuTOCellQuant. The hypoxic state of the retina was investigated by Hypoxyprobe. The GFP signal of the Pdgfra reporter mice co-localized with Pax2, a nuclear marker for retinal astrocytes. This bright label was much easier to quantify than Gfap or Pax2 staining. Quantification of the cell density of astrocytes during physiological development specified the spreading of astrocytes in a concentrical wave from the optic nerve head towards the periphery. Astrocyte density was reduced during the remodelling of the primary vascular plexus into a hierarchical vascular tree (maximal astrocyte density at P1: 2800 astrocytes/mm2, final astrocyte density: 800 astrocytes/mm2). In the OIR model, cell density of astrocytes was elevated in the peripheral vascularized zone. In contrast, astrocyte density dropped to a half (400 astrocytes/mm2) of the normal value in the central avascular zone during the hyperoxic phase between P8 and P10 by apoptosis and rose only after P17 as the retinal network normalized. An additional drop of astrocyte density was observed within the angles between the large vessels of the central

  14. Activation of glutamate transport evokes rapid glutamine release from perisynaptic astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Uwechue, Nneka M; Marx, Mari-Carmen; Chevy, Quentin; Billups, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Stimulation of astrocytes by neuronal activity and the subsequent release of neuromodulators is thought to be an important regulator of synaptic communication. In this study we show that astrocytes juxtaposed to the glutamatergic calyx of Held synapse in the rat medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) are stimulated by the activation of glutamate transporters and consequently release glutamine on a very rapid timescale. MNTB principal neurones express electrogenic system A glutamine transporters, and were exploited as glutamine sensors in this study. By simultaneous whole-cell voltage clamping astrocytes and neighbouring MNTB neurones in brainstem slices, we show that application of the excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT) substrate d-aspartate stimulates astrocytes to rapidly release glutamine, which is detected by nearby MNTB neurones. This release is significantly reduced by the toxins l-methionine sulfoximine and fluoroacetate, which reduce glutamine concentrations specifically in glial cells. Similarly, glutamine release was also inhibited by localised inactivation of EAATs in individual astrocytes, using internal dl-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartic acid (TBOA) or dissipating the driving force by modifying the patch-pipette solution. These results demonstrate that astrocytes adjacent to glutamatergic synapses can release glutamine in a temporally precise, controlled manner in response to glial glutamate transporter activation. Since glutamine can be used by neurones as a precursor for glutamate and GABA synthesis, this represents a potential feedback mechanism by which astrocytes can respond to synaptic activation and react in a way that sustains or enhances further communication. This would therefore represent an additional manifestation of the tripartite relationship between synapses and astrocytes. PMID:22411007

  15. A neuronal and astrocyte co-culture assay for high content analysis of neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Anderl, Janet L; Redpath, Stella; Ball, Andrew J

    2009-05-05

    -culture studies, astrocytes have been shown to protect neurons against several types of toxic insult and to critically influence neuronal survival. Recent studies have suggested that the use of astrocytes in an in vitro neurotoxicity test system may prove more relevant to human CNS structure and function than neuronal cells alone. Accordingly, we have developed an HCA assay for co-culture of neurons and astrocytes, comprised of protocols and validated, target-specific detection reagents for profiling betaIII-tubulin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). This assay enables simultaneous analysis of neurotoxicity, neurite outgrowth, gliosis, neuronal and astrocytic morphology and neuronal and astrocytic development in a wide variety of cellular models, representing a novel, non-subjective, high-throughput assay for neurotoxicity assessment. The assay holds great potential for enhanced detection of neurotoxicity and improved productivity in neuroscience research and drug discovery.

  16. Glycans and glycan-binding proteins in brain: galectin-1-induced expression of neurotrophic factors in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Endo, Tamao

    2005-06-01

    Astrocytes are a major cell type in the central nervous system (CNS). They are considered to act in cooperation with neurons and other glial cells and to participate in the development and maintenance of functions of the CNS. Immature astrocytes possess a polygonal shape and have no processes, and continue to proliferate, while mature astrocytes have a stellate cell morphology, increased glial fibrillary acidic protein expression, and proliferate slowly. Stellate astrocytes, which immediately appear at the site of brain lesions by ischemia or other brain injuries, are thought to produce several neurotrophic factors to protect neurons from delayed post-lesion death. Previously we reported that galectin-1, a member of the family of beta-galactoside-binding proteins, induced astrocyte differentiation, and the differentiated astrocytes greatly enhanced their production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is known to promote neuronal survival, guide axonal pathfinding, and participate in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity during development. The effect of galectin-1 is astrocyte-specific and does not have any effect on neurons. Prevention of neuronal loss during CNS injuries is important to maintain brain function. Induction of neuroprotective factors in astrocytes by an endogenous mammalian lectin may be a new mechanism for preventing neuronal loss after brain injury, and may be useful for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

  17. Differential Pro-Inflammatory Responses of Astrocytes and Microglia Involve STAT3 Activation in Response to 1800 MHz Radiofrequency Fields

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yonghui; He, Mindi; Zhang, Yang; Xu, Shangcheng; Zhang, Lei; He, Yue; Chen, Chunhai; Liu, Chuan; Pi, Huifeng; Yu, Zhengping; Zhou, Zhou

    2014-01-01

    Microglia and astrocytes play important role in maintaining the homeostasis of central nervous system (CNS). Several CNS impacts have been postulated to be associated with radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields exposure. Given the important role of inflammation in neural physiopathologic processes, we investigated the pro-inflammatory responses of microglia and astrocytes and the involved mechanism in response to RF fields. Microglial N9 and astroglial C8-D1A cells were exposed to 1800 MHz RF for different time with or without pretreatment with STAT3 inhibitor. Microglia and astrocytes were activated by RF exposure indicated by up-regulated CD11b and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). However, RF exposure induced differential pro-inflammatory responses in astrocytes and microglia, characterized by different expression and release profiles of IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, PGE2, nitric oxide (NO), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2). Moreover, the RF exposure activated STAT3 in microglia but not in astrocytes. Furthermore, the STAT3 inhibitor Stattic ameliorated the RF-induced release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in microglia but not in astrocytes. Our results demonstrated that RF exposure differentially induced pro-inflammatory responses in microglia and astrocytes, which involved differential activation of STAT3 in microglia and astrocytes. Our data provide novel insights into the potential mechanisms of the reported CNS impacts associated with mobile phone use and present STAT3 as a promising target to protect humans against increasing RF exposure. PMID:25275372

  18. Bidirectional Control of Blood Flow by Astrocytes: A Role for Tissue Oxygen and Other Metabolic Factors.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Grant R J; Howarth, Clare; MacVicar, Brian A

    2016-01-01

    Altering cerebral blood flow through the control of cerebral vessel diameter is critical so that the delivery of molecules important for proper brain functioning is matched to the activity level of neurons. Although the close relationship of brain glia known as astrocytes with cerebral blood vessels has long been recognized, it is only recently that these cells have been demonstrated to translate information on the activity level and energy demands of neurons to the vasculature. In particular, astrocytes respond to elevations in extracellular glutamate as a consequence of synaptic transmission through the activation of group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors. These Gq-protein coupled receptors elevate intracellular calcium via IP3 signaling. A close examination of astrocyte endfeet calcium signals has been shown to cause either vasoconstriction or vasodilation. Common to both vasomotor responses is the generation of arachidonic acid in astrocytes by calcium sensitive phospholipase A2. Vasoconstriction ensues from the conversion of arachidonic acid to 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, while vasodilation ensues from the production of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids or prostaglandins. Factors that determine whether constrictor or dilatory pathways predominate include brain oxygen, lactate, adenosine as well as nitric oxide. Changing the oxygen level itself leads to many downstream changes that facilitate the switch from vasoconstriction at high oxygen to vasodilation at low oxygen. These findings highlight the importance of astrocytes as sensors of neural activity and metabolism to coordinate the delivery of essential nutrients via the blood to the working cells.

  19. Astrocytes gate Hebbian synaptic plasticity in the striatum

    PubMed Central

    Valtcheva, Silvana; Venance, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes, via excitatory amino-acid transporter type-2 (EAAT2), are the major sink for released glutamate and contribute to set the strength and timing of synaptic inputs. The conditions required for the emergence of Hebbian plasticity from distributed neural activity remain elusive. Here, we investigate the role of EAAT2 in the expression of a major physiologically relevant form of Hebbian learning, spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). We find that a transient blockade of EAAT2 disrupts the temporal contingency required for Hebbian synaptic plasticity. Indeed, STDP is replaced by aberrant non-timing-dependent plasticity occurring for uncorrelated events. Conversely, EAAT2 overexpression impairs the detection of correlated activity and precludes STDP expression. Our findings demonstrate that EAAT2 sets the appropriate glutamate dynamics for the optimal temporal contingency between pre- and postsynaptic activity required for STDP emergence, and highlight the role of astrocytes as gatekeepers for Hebbian synaptic plasticity. PMID:27996006

  20. Reactive Retinal Astrocytic Tumor (Focal Nodular Gliosis): A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Lauren E.; Mendoza, Pia R.; Yan, Jiong; Grossniklaus, Hans E.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose To report the clinical and histopathological findings of a reactive retinal astrocytic tumor (RRAT) that progressed to massive retinal gliosis. Observations The patient presented with an elevated, white-yellow retinal mass and extensive retinal exudation in the left eye. Progressive enlargement of the mass and proliferative vitreoretinopathy eventually led to phthisis bulbi and enucleation. Histologically, the mass showed a predominant astrocytic component with intense glial fibrillary acidic protein staining, hyperplasia, fibrous metaplasia, and osseous metaplasia of the retinal pigment epithelium. The Ki-67 proliferative index was <5%, and few scattered vascular channels were observed. Conclusions and Importance These findings show that this tumor is the result of a reactive glial process rather than of neoplastic vascular proliferation. Massive retinal gliosis probably represents the advanced stage of RRAT.

  1. DJ-1 knock-down in astrocytes impairs astrocyte-mediated neuroprotection against rotenone.

    PubMed

    Mullett, Steven J; Hinkle, David A

    2009-01-01

    Mutations that eliminate DJ-1 expression cause a familial form of Parkinson's disease (PD). In sporadic PD, and many other neurodegenerative diseases, reactive astrocytes over-express DJ-1 whereas neurons maintain its expression at non-disease levels. Since DJ-1 has neuroprotective properties, and since astrocytes are known to support and protect neurons, DJ-1 over-expression in reactive astrocytes may reflect an attempt by these cells to protect themselves and surrounding neurons against disease progression. We used neuron-astrocyte contact and non-contact co-cultures to show that DJ-1 knock-down in astrocytes impaired their neuroprotective capacity, relative to wild-type astrocytes, against the neurotoxin rotenone. Conversely, DJ-1 over-expression in astrocytes augmented their neuroprotective capacity. Experiments using astrocyte conditioned media on neuron-only cultures suggested that astrocyte-released, soluble factors were involved in the DJ-1-dependent, astrocyte-mediated neuroprotective mechanism. Our findings support the developing view that astrocytic dysfunction, in addition to neuronal dysfunction, may contribute to the progression of a variety of neurodegenerative disorders.

  2. From in silico astrocyte cell models to neuron-astrocyte network models: A review.

    PubMed

    Oschmann, Franziska; Berry, Hugues; Obermayer, Klaus; Lenk, Kerstin

    2017-02-08

    The idea that astrocytes may be active partners in synaptic information processing has recently emerged from abundant experimental reports. Because of their spatial proximity to neurons and their bidirectional communication with them, astrocytes are now considered as an important third element of the synapse. Astrocytes integrate and process synaptic information and by doing so generate cytosolic calcium signals that are believed to reflect neuronal transmitter release. Moreover, they regulate neuronal information transmission by releasing gliotransmitters into the synaptic cleft affecting both pre- and postsynaptic receptors. Concurrent with the first experimental reports of the astrocytic impact on neural network dynamics, computational models describing astrocytic functions have been developed. In this review, we give an overview over the published computational models of astrocytic functions, from single-cell dynamics to the tripartite synapse level and network models of astrocytes and neurons.

  3. Astrocytes and Developmental White Matter Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sen, Ellora; Levison, Steven W.

    2006-01-01

    There is an increasing awareness that the astrocytes in the immature periventricular white matter are vulnerable to ischemia and respond to inflammation. Here we provide a synopsis of the articles that have evaluated the causes and consequences of developmental brain injuries to white matter astrocytes as well as the consequences of several…

  4. Human astrocytes in the diseased brain.

    PubMed

    Dossi, Elena; Vasile, Flora; Rouach, Nathalie

    2017-02-13

    Astrocytes are key active elements of the brain that contribute to information processing. They not only provide neurons with metabolic and structural support, but also regulate neurogenesis and brain wiring. Furthermore, astrocytes modulate synaptic activity and plasticity in part by controlling the extracellular space volume, as well as ion and neurotransmitter homeostasis. These findings, together with the discovery that human astrocytes display contrasting characteristics with their rodent counterparts, point to a role for astrocytes in higher cognitive functions. Dysfunction of astrocytes can thereby induce major alterations in neuronal functions, contributing to the pathogenesis of several brain disorders. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on the structural and functional alterations occurring in astrocytes from the human brain in pathological conditions such as epilepsy, primary tumours, Alzheimer's disease, major depressive disorder and Down syndrome. Compelling evidence thus shows that dysregulations of astrocyte functions and interplay with neurons contribute to the development and progression of various neurological diseases. Targeting astrocytes is thus a promising alternative approach that could contribute to the development of novel and effective therapies to treat brain disorders.

  5. Three-dimensional culture conditions differentially affect astrocyte modulation of brain endothelial barrier function in response to transforming growth factor β1.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Brian T; Grego, Sonia; Sellgren, Katelyn L

    2015-05-22

    Blood-brain barrier (BBB) function is regulated by dynamic interactions among cell types within the neurovascular unit, including astrocytes and endothelial cells. Co-culture models of the BBB typically involve astrocytes seeded on two-dimensional (2D) surfaces, which recent studies indicate cause astrocytes to express a phenotype similar to that of reactive astrocytes in situ. We hypothesized that the culture conditions of astrocytes would differentially affect their ability to modulate BBB function in vitro. Brain endothelial cells were grown alone or in co-culture with astrocytes. Astrocytes were grown either as conventional (2D) monolayers, or in a collagen-based gel which allows them to grow in a three-dimensional (3D) construct. Astrocytes were viable in 3D conditions, and displayed a marked reduction in their expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), suggesting reduced activation. Stimulation of astrocytes with transforming growth factor (TGF)β1 decreased transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) and reduced expression of claudin-5 in co-cultures, whereas treatment of endothelial cells in the absence of astrocytes was without effect. The effect of TGFβ1 on TEER was significantly more pronounced in endothelial cells cultured with 3D astrocytes compared to 2D astrocytes. These results demonstrate that astrocyte culture conditions differentially affect their ability to modulate brain endothelial barrier function, and suggest a direct relationship between reactive gliosis and BBB permeability. Moreover, these studies demonstrate the potential importance of physiologically relevant culture conditions to in vitro modeling of disease processes that affect the neurovascular unit.

  6. Nitric Oxide in Astrocyte-Neuron Signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Nianzhen

    2002-01-01

    Astrocytes, a subtype of glial cell, have recently been shown to exhibit Ca2+ elevations in response to neurotransmitters. A Ca2+ elevation can propagate to adjacent astrocytes as a Ca2+ wave, which allows an astrocyte to communicate with its neighbors. Additionally, glutamate can be released from astrocytes via a Ca2+-dependent mechanism, thus modulating neuronal activity and synaptic transmission. In this dissertation, the author investigated the roles of another endogenous signal, nitric oxide (NO), in astrocyte-neuron signaling. First the author tested if NO is generated during astrocytic Ca2+ signaling by imaging NO in purified murine cortical astrocyte cultures. Physiological concentrations of a natural messenger, ATP, caused a Ca2+-dependent NO production. To test the roles of NO in astrocytic Ca2+ signaling, the author applied NO to astrocyte cultures via addition of a NO donor, S-nitrosol-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP). NO induced an influx of external Ca2+, possibly through store-operated Ca2+ channels. The NO-induced Ca2+ signaling is cGMP-independent since 8-Br-cGMP, an agonistic analog of cGMP, did not induce a detectable Ca2+ change. The consequence of this NO-induced Ca2+ influx was assessed by simultaneously monitoring of cytosolic and internal store Ca2+ using fluorescent Ca2+ indicators x-rhod-1 and mag-fluo-4. Blockage of NO signaling with the NO scavenger PTIO significantly reduced the refilling percentage of internal stores following ATP-induced Ca2+ release, suggesting that NO modulates internal store refilling. Furthermore, locally photo-release of NO to a single astrocyte led to a Ca2+ elevation in the stimulated astrocyte and a subsequent Ca2+ wave to neighbors. Finally, the author tested the role of NO inglutamate-mediated astrocyte-neuron signaling by

  7. Changes in the Transcriptome of Human Astrocytes Accompanying Oxidative Stress-Induced Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Crowe, Elizabeth P.; Tuzer, Ferit; Gregory, Brian D.; Donahue, Greg; Gosai, Sager J.; Cohen, Justin; Leung, Yuk Y.; Yetkin, Emre; Nativio, Raffaella; Wang, Li-San; Sell, Christian; Bonini, Nancy M.; Berger, Shelley L.; Johnson, F. Brad; Torres, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a major risk factor for many neurodegenerative disorders. A key feature of aging biology that may underlie these diseases is cellular senescence. Senescent cells accumulate in tissues with age, undergo widespread changes in gene expression, and typically demonstrate altered, pro-inflammatory profiles. Astrocyte senescence has been implicated in neurodegenerative disease, and to better understand senescence-associated changes in astrocytes, we investigated changes in their transcriptome using RNA sequencing. Senescence was induced in human fetal astrocytes by transient oxidative stress. Brain-expressed genes, including those involved in neuronal development and differentiation, were downregulated in senescent astrocytes. Remarkably, several genes indicative of astrocytic responses to injury were also downregulated, including glial fibrillary acidic protein and genes involved in the processing and presentation of antigens by major histocompatibility complex class II proteins, while pro-inflammatory genes were upregulated. Overall, our findings suggest that senescence-related changes in the function of astrocytes may impact the pathogenesis of age-related brain disorders. PMID:27630559

  8. Deletion of Monoglyceride Lipase in Astrocytes Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide-induced Neuroinflammation*

    PubMed Central

    Grabner, Gernot F.; Eichmann, Thomas O.; Wagner, Bernhard; Gao, Yuanqing; Farzi, Aitak; Taschler, Ulrike; Radner, Franz P. W.; Schweiger, Martina; Lass, Achim; Holzer, Peter; Zinser, Erwin; Tschöp, Matthias H.; Yi, Chun-Xia; Zimmermann, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Monoglyceride lipase (MGL) is required for efficient hydrolysis of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG) in the brain generating arachidonic acid (AA) and glycerol. This metabolic function makes MGL an interesting target for the treatment of neuroinflammation, since 2-AG exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and AA is a precursor for pro-inflammatory prostaglandins. Astrocytes are an important source of AA and 2-AG, and highly express MGL. In the present study, we dissected the distinct contribution of MGL in astrocytes on brain 2-AG and AA metabolism by generating a mouse model with genetic deletion of MGL specifically in astrocytes (MKOGFAP). MKOGFAP mice exhibit moderately increased 2-AG and reduced AA levels in brain. Minor accumulation of 2-AG in the brain of MKOGFAP mice does not cause cannabinoid receptor desensitization as previously observed in mice globally lacking MGL. Importantly, MKOGFAP mice exhibit reduced brain prostaglandin E2 and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels upon peripheral lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration. These observations indicate that MGL-mediated degradation of 2-AG in astrocytes provides AA for prostaglandin synthesis promoting LPS-induced neuroinflammation. The beneficial effect of astrocyte-specific MGL-deficiency is not fully abrogated by the inverse cannabinoid receptor 1 agonist SR141716 (Rimonabant) suggesting that the anti-inflammatory effects are rather caused by reduced prostaglandin synthesis than by activation of cannabinoid receptors. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that MGL in astrocytes is an important regulator of 2-AG levels, AA availability, and neuroinflammation. PMID:26565024

  9. Changes in the Transcriptome of Human Astrocytes Accompanying Oxidative Stress-Induced Senescence.

    PubMed

    Crowe, Elizabeth P; Tuzer, Ferit; Gregory, Brian D; Donahue, Greg; Gosai, Sager J; Cohen, Justin; Leung, Yuk Y; Yetkin, Emre; Nativio, Raffaella; Wang, Li-San; Sell, Christian; Bonini, Nancy M; Berger, Shelley L; Johnson, F Brad; Torres, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a major risk factor for many neurodegenerative disorders. A key feature of aging biology that may underlie these diseases is cellular senescence. Senescent cells accumulate in tissues with age, undergo widespread changes in gene expression, and typically demonstrate altered, pro-inflammatory profiles. Astrocyte senescence has been implicated in neurodegenerative disease, and to better understand senescence-associated changes in astrocytes, we investigated changes in their transcriptome using RNA sequencing. Senescence was induced in human fetal astrocytes by transient oxidative stress. Brain-expressed genes, including those involved in neuronal development and differentiation, were downregulated in senescent astrocytes. Remarkably, several genes indicative of astrocytic responses to injury were also downregulated, including glial fibrillary acidic protein and genes involved in the processing and presentation of antigens by major histocompatibility complex class II proteins, while pro-inflammatory genes were upregulated. Overall, our findings suggest that senescence-related changes in the function of astrocytes may impact the pathogenesis of age-related brain disorders.

  10. SNAT3-mediated glutamine transport in perisynaptic astrocytes in situ is regulated by intracellular sodium.

    PubMed

    Todd, Alison C; Marx, Mari-Carmen; Hulme, Sarah R; Bröer, Stefan; Billups, Brian

    2017-03-08

    The release of glutamine from astrocytes adjacent to synapses in the central nervous system is thought to play a vital role in the mechanism of glutamate recycling and is therefore important for maintaining excitatory neurotransmission. Here we investigate the nature of astrocytic membrane transport of glutamine in rat brainstem slices, using electrophysiological recording and fluorescent imaging of pHi and Nai+. Glutamine application to perisynaptic astrocytes induced a membrane current, caused by activation of system A (SA) family transporters. A significant electroneutral component was also observed, which was mediated by the system N (SN) family transporters. This response was stimulated by glutamine (KM of 1.57 mM), histidine, and asparagine, but not by leucine or serine, indicating activation of the SNAT3 isoform of SN. We hypothesized that increasing the [Na(+) ]i would alter the SNAT3 transporter equilibrium, thereby stimulating glutamine release. In support of this hypothesis, we show that SNAT3 transport can be driven by changing cation concentration and that manipulations to raise [Na(+) ]i (activation of excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs), SA transporters or AMPA receptors) all directly influence SNAT3 transport rate. A kinetic model of glutamine fluxes is presented, which shows that EAAT activation causes the release of glutamine, driven mainly by the increased [Na(+) ]i . These data demonstrate that SNAT3 is functionally active in perisynaptic astrocytes in situ. As a result, astrocytic Nai+ signaling, as would be stimulated by neighboring synaptic activity, has the capacity to stimulate astrocytic glutamine release to support glutamate recycling.

  11. Deimination level and peptidyl arginine deiminase 2 expression are elevated in astrocytes with increased incubation temperature.

    PubMed

    Enriquez-Algeciras, Mabel; Bhattacharya, Sanjoy K; Serra, Horacio M

    2015-09-01

    Astrocytes respond to environmental cues, including changes in temperatures. Increased deimination, observed in many progressive neurological diseases, is thought to be contributed by astrocytes. We determined the level of deimination and expression of peptidyl arginine deiminase 2 (PAD2) in isolated primary astrocytes in response to changes on either side (31°C and 41°C) of the optimal temperature (37°C). We investigated changes in the astrocytes by using a number of established markers and accounted for cell death with the CellTiter-Blue assay. We found increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein, ALDH1L1, and J1-31, resulting from increased incubation temperature and increased expression of TSP1, S100β, and AQP4, resulting from decreased incubation temperature vs. optimal temperature, suggesting activation of different biochemical pathways in astrocytes associated with different incubation temperatures. Mass spectrometric analyses support such trends. The PAD2 level was increased only as a result of increased incubation temperature with a commensurate increased level of deimination. Actin cytoskeleton and iso[4]LGE, a lipid peroxidase modification, also showed an increase with higher incubation temperature. Altogether, these results suggest that temperature, as an environmental cue, activates astrocytes in a different manner on either side of the optimal temperature and that increase in deimination is associated only with the higher temperature side of the spectrum.

  12. Differential Acute and Chronic Effects of Leptin on Hypothalamic Astrocyte Morphology and Synaptic Protein Levels

    PubMed Central

    García-Cáceres, Cristina; Fuente-Martín, Esther; Burgos-Ramos, Emma; Granado, Miriam; Frago, Laura M.; Barrios, Vicente; Horvath, Tamas

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes participate in neuroendocrine functions partially through modulation of synaptic input density in the hypothalamus. Indeed, glial ensheathing of neurons is modified by specific hormones, thus determining the availability of neuronal membrane space for synaptic inputs, with the loss of this plasticity possibly being involved in pathological processes. Leptin modulates synaptic inputs in the hypothalamus, but whether astrocytes participate in this action is unknown. Here we report that astrocyte structural proteins, such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin, are induced and astrocyte morphology modified by chronic leptin administration (intracerebroventricular, 2 wk), with these changes being inversely related to modifications in synaptic protein densities. Similar changes in glial structural proteins were observed in adult male rats that had increased body weight and circulating leptin levels due to neonatal overnutrition (overnutrition: four pups/litter vs. control: 12 pups/litter). However, acute leptin treatment reduced hypothalamic GFAP levels and induced synaptic protein levels 1 h after administration, with no effect on vimentin. In primary hypothalamic astrocyte cultures leptin also reduced GFAP levels at 1 h, with an induction at 24 h, indicating a possible direct effect of leptin. Hence, one mechanism by which leptin may affect metabolism is by modifying hypothalamic astrocyte morphology, which in turn could alter synaptic inputs to hypothalamic neurons. Furthermore, the responses to acute and chronic leptin exposure are inverse, raising the possibility that increased glial activation in response to chronic leptin exposure could be involved in central leptin resistance. PMID:21343257

  13. Astrocyte reactivity after brain injury—: The role of galectins 1 and 3

    PubMed Central

    Sirko, Swetlana; Irmler, Martin; Gascón, Sergio; Bek, Sarah; Schneider, Sarah; Dimou, Leda; Obermann, Jara; De Souza Paiva, Daisylea; Poirier, Francoise; Beckers, Johannes; Hauck, Stefanie M.; Barde, Yves‐Alain

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes react to brain injury in a heterogeneous manner with only a subset resuming proliferation and acquiring stem cell properties in vitro. In order to identify novel regulators of this subset, we performed genomewide expression analysis of reactive astrocytes isolated 5 days after stab wound injury from the gray matter of adult mouse cerebral cortex. The expression pattern was compared with astrocytes from intact cortex and adult neural stem cells (NSCs) isolated from the subependymal zone (SEZ). These comparisons revealed a set of genes expressed at higher levels in both endogenous NSCs and reactive astrocytes, including two lectins—Galectins 1 and 3. These results and the pattern of Galectin expression in the lesioned brain led us to examine the functional significance of these lectins in brains of mice lacking Galectins 1 and 3. Following stab wound injury, astrocyte reactivity including glial fibrillary acidic protein expression, proliferation and neurosphere‐forming capacity were found significantly reduced in mutant animals. This phenotype could be recapitulated in vitro and was fully rescued by addition of Galectin 3, but not of Galectin 1. Thus, Galectins 1 and 3 play key roles in regulating the proliferative and NSC potential of a subset of reactive astrocytes. GLIA 2015;63:2340–2361 PMID:26250529

  14. Astrocytes in the aging brain express characteristics of senescence-associated secretory phenotype.

    PubMed

    Salminen, Antero; Ojala, Johanna; Kaarniranta, Kai; Haapasalo, Annakaisa; Hiltunen, Mikko; Soininen, Hilkka

    2011-07-01

    Cellular stress increases progressively with aging in mammalian tissues. Chronic stress triggers several signaling cascades that can induce a condition called cellular senescence. Recent studies have demonstrated that senescent cells express a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Emerging evidence indicates that the number of cells expressing biomarkers of cellular senescence increases in tissues with aging, which implies that cellular senescence is an important player in organismal aging. In the brain, the aging process is associated with degenerative changes, e.g. synaptic loss and white matter atrophy, which lead to progressive cognitive impairment. There is substantial evidence for the presence of oxidative, proteotoxic and metabolic stresses in aging brain. A low-level, chronic inflammatory process is also present in brain during aging. Astrocytes demonstrate age-related changes that resemble those of the SASP: (i) increased level of intermediate glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin filaments, (ii) increased expression of several cytokines and (iii) increased accumulation of proteotoxic aggregates. In addition, in vitro stress evokes a typical senescent phenotype in cultured astrocytes and, moreover, isolated astrocytes from aged brain display the proinflammatory phenotype. All of these observations indicate that astrocytes are capable of triggering the SASP and the astrocytes in aging brain display typical characteristics of cellular senescence. Bearing in mind the many functions of astrocytes, it is evident that the age-related senescence of astrocytes enhances the decline in functional capacity of the brain. We will review the astroglial changes occurring during aging and emphasize that senescent astrocytes can have an important role in age-related neuroinflammation and neuronal degeneration.

  15. Astrocyte heterogeneity revealed by expression of a GFAP-LacZ transgene.

    PubMed

    Lee, Youngjin; Su, Mu; Messing, Albee; Brenner, Michael

    2006-05-01

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is an intermediate filament protein present primarily in astrocytes. The gene is first expressed as astrocytes mature, and in the adult is strongly upregulated in response to CNS damage. Thus, in addition to its astrocyte specificity, transcriptional regulation of the GFAP gene is of interest as a reporter of CNS signaling during development and injury. Several laboratories have shown that approximately 2 kb of 5'-flanking DNA of the human or mouse GFAP gene is sufficient to direct transgene expression to astrocytes and to confer developmental and injury-induced regulation. Enhancer regions have been identified adjacent to the basal promoter and about 1500 bp upstream of the RNA start site. Juxtaposition of these two segments yielded a 447 bp promoter, gfa28, which strongly drove reporter activity in transfected glioma cells. We report here that in mice a gfa28-lacZ transgene expresses in only certain brain regions, revealing an unexpected heterogeneity among astrocytes. The restricted pattern of expression is present early in development, is not altered by injury, and is preserved in cultured astrocytes. However, astrocytes cultured from an inactive region strongly express a transiently transfected gfa28-lacZ construct, and activity of the embedded gfa28-lacZ transgene is partially restored by treatment with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. These results indicate that the absence of gfa28-lacZ expression in specific brain regions results from a developmental failure to remodel GFAP chromatin to an open structure. Thus, expression of the gfa28-lacZ transgene appears to serendipitously mark a distinct set of astrocyte precursors.

  16. Vimentin-positive astrocytes in canine distemper: a target for canine distemper virus especially in chronic demyelinating lesions?

    PubMed

    Seehusen, Frauke; Orlando, Enzo A; Wewetzer, Konstantin; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang

    2007-12-01

    In canine distemper demyelinating leukoencephalitis (DL), caused by canine distemper virus (CDV), astrocytes represent the main virus target. In these cells, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the main intermediate filament, whereas vimentin occurs early in the astrocytic lineage and is replaced gradually by GFAP. To further characterize the role of astrocytic infection in dogs with DL, an animal model for multiple sclerosis, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded cerebella were investigated immunohistochemically and by immunofluorescence. The expression and morphological alterations of these intermediate filaments were also determined by immunofluorescence studies of CDV-infected canine mixed brain cell cultures. In acute distemper lesions, the astrocytic response was mainly composed of GFAP- and CDV-positive cells. In contrast, vimentin-positive astrocyte-like cells were present in advanced lesions, which represented the main cell type harboring the pathogen, indicating a change in cell tropism and/or susceptibility of glial cells during lesion progression in CDV encephalomyelitis. Canine cell cultures were composed of GFAP-positive astrocytes, vimentin-positive cells and other glial cells. Following infection with the CDV-R252 strain, GFAP-positive astrocytes, especially multinucleated syncytial giant cells, displayed a disrupted cytoskeleton, whereas vimentin-positive cells though more frequently infected did not show any alteration in the filament network. This indicates increased vulnerability of mature GFAP-positive astrocytes compared to immature, vimentin-positive astrocytes. The latter, however, exhibited increased susceptibility to CDV. To conclude, the present findings indicate a change in cell tropism of CDV and/or the occurrence of less differentiated astrocytes representing a permanent source for virus infection and spread in advanced lesions of DL.

  17. Effects of heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72) on evolution of astrocyte activation following stroke in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Barreto, George E; White, Robin E; Xu, Lijun; Palm, Curtis J; Giffard, Rona G

    2012-12-01

    Astrocyte activation is a hallmark of the response to brain ischemia consisting of changes in gene expression and morphology. Heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72) protects from cerebral ischemia, and although several protective mechanisms have been investigated, effects on astrocyte activation have not been studied. To identify potential mechanisms of protection, microarray analysis was used to assess gene expression in the ischemic hemispheres of wild-type (WT) and Hsp72-overexpressing (Hsp72Tg) mice 24 h after middle cerebral artery occlusion or sham surgery. After stroke both genotypes exhibited changes in genes related to apoptosis, inflammation, and stress, with more downregulated genes in Hsp72Tg and more inflammation-related genes increased in WT mice. Genes indicative of astrocyte activation were also upregulated in both genotypes. To measure the extent and time course of astrocyte activation after stroke, detailed histological and morphological analyses were performed in the cortical penumbra. We observed a marked and persistent increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and a transient increase in vimentin. No change in overall astrocyte number was observed based on glutamine synthetase immunoreactivity. Hsp72Tg and WT mice were compared for density of astrocytes expressing activation markers and astrocytic morphology. In animals with comparable infarct size, overexpression of Hsp72 reduced the density of GFAP- and vimentin-expressing cells, and decreased astrocyte morphological complexity 72 h following stroke. However, by 30 days astrocyte activation was similar between genotypes. These data indicate that early modulation of astrocyte activation provides an additional novel mechanism associated with Hsp72 overexpression in the setting of ischemia.

  18. The cannabinoid 1-receptor silent antagonist O-2050 attenuates preference for high-fat diet and activated astrocytes in mice.

    PubMed

    Higuchi, Sei; Irie, Keiichi; Mishima, Shohei; Araki, Maiko; Ohji, Makiko; Shirakawa, Atsunori; Akitake, Yoshiharu; Matsuyama, Kiyoshi; Mishima, Kenji; Mishima, Kenichi; Iwasaki, Katsunori; Fujiwara, Michihiro

    2010-01-01

    Endocannabinoids have been shown to activate reward-related feeding and to promote astrocytic differentiation. We investigated whether high-fat diet (HFD) intake produced a preference for HFD via an endocannabinoid-dependent mechanism. In the conditioned place preference test, the 2-week HFD-intake group showed preference for HFD and had increased expression of a marker for reactive astrocytes, glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP), in the hypothalamus. The cannabinoid CB(1)-receptor antagonist O-2050 reduced the preference for HFD and expression of GFAP in the hypothalamus. These results suggested that HFD intake led to the development of a preference for HFD via astrocytic CB(1) receptors in the hypothalamus.

  19. Acrylonitrile-induced oxidative DNA damage in rat astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Pu, Xinzhu; Kamendulis, Lisa M; Klaunig, James E

    2006-10-01

    Chronic administration of acrylonitrile results in a dose-related increase in astrocytomas in rat brain, but the mechanism of acrylonitrile carcinogenicity is not fully understood. The potential of acrylonitrile or its metabolites to induce direct DNA damage as a mechanism for acrylonitrile carcinogenicity has been questioned, and recent studies indicate that the mechanism involves the induction of oxidative stress in rat brain. The present study examined the ability of acrylonitrile to induce DNA damage in the DI TNC1 rat astrocyte cell line using the alkaline Comet assay. Oxidized DNA damage also was evaluated using formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase treatment in the modified Comet assay. No increase in direct DNA damage was seen in astrocytes exposed to sublethal concentrations of acrylonitrile (0-1.0 mM) for 24 hr. However, acrylonitrile treatment resulted in a concentration-related increase in oxidative DNA damage after 24 hr. Antioxidant supplementation in the culture media (alpha-tocopherol, (-)-epigallocathechin-3 gallate, or trolox) reduced acrylonitrile-induced oxidative DNA damage. Depletion of glutathione using 0.1 mM DL-buthionine-[S,R]-sulfoximine increased acrylonitrile-induced oxidative DNA damage (22-46%), while cotreatment of acrylonitrile with 2.5 mM L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid, a precursor for glutathione biosynthesis, significantly reduced acrylonitrile-induced oxidative DNA damage (7-47%). Cotreatment of acrylonitrile with 0.5 mM 1-aminobenzotriazole, a suicidal inhibitor of cytochrome P450, prevented the oxidative DNA damage produced by acrylonitrile. Cyanide (0.1-0.5 mM) increased oxidative DNA damage (44-160%) in astrocytes. These studies demonstrate that while acrylonitrile does not directly damage astrocyte DNA, it does increase oxidative DNA damage. The oxidative DNA damage following acrylonitrile exposure appears to arise mainly through the P450 metabolic pathway; moreover, glutathione depletion may contribute to the

  20. Astrocytes regulate cortical state switching in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Poskanzer, Kira E.; Yuste, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    The role of astrocytes in neuronal function has received increasing recognition, but disagreement remains about their function at the circuit level. Here we use in vivo two-photon calcium imaging of neocortical astrocytes while monitoring the activity state of the local neuronal circuit electrophysiologically and optically. We find that astrocytic calcium activity precedes spontaneous circuit shifts to the slow-oscillation–dominated state, a neocortical rhythm characterized by synchronized neuronal firing and important for sleep and memory. Further, we show that optogenetic activation of astrocytes switches the local neuronal circuit to this slow-oscillation state. Finally, using two-photon imaging of extracellular glutamate, we find that astrocytic transients in glutamate co-occur with shifts to the synchronized state and that optogenetically activated astrocytes can generate these glutamate transients. We conclude that astrocytes can indeed trigger the low-frequency state of a cortical circuit by altering extracellular glutamate, and therefore play a causal role in the control of cortical synchronizations. PMID:27122314

  1. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    PubMed Central

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B.; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  2. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    PubMed

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-04-19

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  3. Swelling-activated taurine and creatine effluxes from rat cortical astrocytes are pharmacologically distinct.

    PubMed

    Bothwell, J H; Styles, P; Bhakoo, K K

    2002-01-15

    Primary cultures of rat cortical astrocytes undergo a swelling-activated loss of taurine and creatine. In this study, the pharmacological characteristics of the taurine and creatine efflux pathways were compared, and significant differences were shown to exist between the two. Both taurine and creatine effluxes were rapidly activated upon exposure of astrocytes to hypo-osmotic media, and rapidly inactivated upon their return to iso-osmotic media. The relative rates of taurine and creatine efflux depended upon the magnitude of the hypo-osmotic shock. Anion-transport inhibitors strongly inhibited taurine efflux, with the order of potency being NPPB > DIDS > niflumic acid. DIDS and NPPB had less of an inhibitory effect on creatine efflux, whereas tamoxifen and niflumic acid actually stimulated creatine efflux. These data are consistent with separate pathways for taurine and creatine loss during astrocyte swelling.

  4. Nitric oxide from brain microvascular endothelial cells may initiate the compensatory response to mild hypoxia of astrocytes in a hypoxia-inducible factor-1α dependent manner

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Qinghai; Liu, Xin; Wang, Ning; Zheng, Xinchuan; Fu, Jianfeng; Zheng, Jiang

    2016-01-01

    The physiological level of nitric oxide (NO) released by brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs) at normoxia can block the degradation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) in astrocytes and initiate the compensatory response to hypoxia. However, it is unclear whether this occurs at mild hypoxia. This study was to investigate the expression of HIF-1α, VEGF and LDHA and the lactic acid production in astrocytes with or without co-culture with BMECs after mild hypoxia exposure. During mild hypoxia (5% O2), exogenous NO blocked the degradation of HIF-1α in astrocytes but up-regulated the transcription of VEGF and LDHA, accompanied by elevated expression of VEGF protein and increased production of lactic acid. This was further confirmed by silencing of HIF-1α expression in astrocytes. In astrocytes co-cultured with primary rat BMEC under mild hypoxia, NO was released by the BMECs and prevented the degradation of HIF-1α in astrocytes, leading to the up-regulated mRNA expression of VEGF and LDHA, elevated VEGF protein expression and increased production of lactic acid. In BMECs, NO was derived from intracellular eNOS. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that, under mild hypoxia, even though astrocytes do not respond to hypoxia, NO produced by BMECs may transmit a hypoxia signal to astrocytes, triggering their adaptive response via HIF-1α. PMID:27904676

  5. Astrocytes going live: advances and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Nimmerjahn, Axel

    2009-01-01

    Astrocytes are one of the most numerous cell types in the CNS. They have emerged as sophisticated cells participating in a large and diverse variety of functions vital for normal brain development, adult physiology and pathology. Recent in vivo studies have provided exciting new insight into astrocyte physiology in the intact healthy brain. This review will summarize some of their most intriguing findings, discuss some of their implications, and look ahead at some of the challenges we face in studying astrocyte function in vivo. PMID:19204050

  6. Astrocyte-derived CO is a diffusible messenger that mediates glutamate-induced cerebral arteriolar dilation by activating smooth muscle cell KCa channels

    PubMed Central

    Li, Anlong; Xi, Qi; Umstot, Edward S.; Bellner, Lars; Schwartzman, Michal L.; Jaggar, Jonathan H.; Leffler, Charles W.

    2012-01-01

    Astrocyte signals can modulate arteriolar tone, contributing to regulation of cerebral blood flow, but specific intercellular communication mechanisms are unclear. Here we used isolated cerebral arteriole myocytes, astrocytes, and brain slices to investigate whether carbon monoxide (CO) generated by the enzyme heme oxygenase (HO) acts as an astrocyte-to-myocyte gasotransmitter in the brain. Glutamate stimulated CO production by astrocytes with intact HO-2, but not those genetically deficient in HO-2. Glutamate activated transient KCa currents and single KCa channels in myocytes that were in contact with astrocytes, but did not affect KCa channel activity in myocytes that were alone. Pre-treatment of astrocytes with chromium mesoporphyrin (CrMP), a HO inhibitor, or genetic ablation of HO-2 prevented glutamate-induced activation of myocyte transient KCa currents and KCa channels. Glutamate decreased arteriole myocyte intracellular Ca2+ concentration and dilated brain slice arterioles and this decrease and dilation were blocked by CrMP. Brain slice arteriole dilation to glutamate was also blocked by L-2-alpha aminoadipic acid, a selective astrocyte toxin, and paxilline, a KCa channel blocker. These data indicate that an astrocytic signal, notably HO-2 derived CO, is employed by glutamate to stimulate arteriole myocyte KCa channels and dilate cerebral arterioles. Our study explains the astrocyte and HO dependence of glutamatergic functional hyperemia observed in the newborn cerebrovascular circulation in vivo. PMID:17991880

  7. Monocarboxylate transporter-dependent mechanism confers resistance to oxygen- and glucose-deprivation injury in astrocyte-neuron co-cultures.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chen; Zhou, Liya; Zhu, Wenxia; Wang, Hongyun; Wang, Ruijuan; He, Yunfei; Li, Zhiyun

    2015-05-06

    Hypoxic and low-glucose stressors contribute to neuronal death in many brain diseases. Astrocytes are anatomically well-positioned to shield neurons from hypoxic injury. During hypoxia/ischemia, lactate released from astrocytes is taken up by neurons and stored for energy. This process is mediated by monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) in the central nervous system. In the present study, we investigated the ability of astrocytes to protect neurons from oxygen- and glucose-deprivation (OGD) injury via an MCT-dependent mechanism in vitro. Primary cultures of neurons, astrocytes, and astrocytes-neurons derived from rat hippocampus were subjected to OGD, MCT inhibition with small interfering (si)RNA. Cell survival and expression of MCT4, MCT2, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and neuronal nuclear antigen were evaluated. OGD significantly increased cell death in neuronal cultures and up-regulated MCT4 expression in astrocyte cultures, but no increased cell death was observed in neuron-astrocyte co-cultures or astrocyte cultures. However, neuronal cell death in co-cultures was increased by exposure to MCT4- or MCT2-specific siRNA, and this effect was attenuated by the addition of lactate into the extracellular medium of neuronal cultures prior to OGD. These findings demonstrate that resistance to OGD injury in astrocyte-neuron co-cultures occurs via an MCT-dependent mechanism.

  8. Cypermethrin induces astrocyte damage: role of aberrant Ca(2+), ROS, JNK, P38, matrix metalloproteinase 2 and migration related reelin protein.

    PubMed

    Maurya, Shailendra Kumar; Mishra, Juhi; Tripathi, Vinay Kumar; Sharma, Rolee; Siddiqui, Mohammed Haris

    2014-05-01

    Cypermethrin is a synthetic type II pyrethroid, derived from a natural pyrethrin of the chrysanthemum plant. Cypermethrin-mediated neurotoxicity is well studied; however, relatively less is known of its effect on astrocyte development and migration. Astrocytes are the major components of blood brain barrier (BBB), and astrocyte damage along with BBB dysfunction impair the tight junction (TJ) proteins resulting in altered cell migration and neurodegeneration. Here, we studied the mechanism of cypermethin mediated rat astrocyte damage and BBB disruption, and determined any change in expression of proteins associated with cell migration. Through MTT assay we found that cypermethrin reduced viability of cultured rat astrocytes. Immunolabelling with astrocyte marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein, revealed alteration in astrocyte morphology. The astrocytes demonstrated an enhanced release of intracellular Ca(++) and ROS, and up-regulation in p-JNK and p-P38 levels in a time-dependent manner. Cypermethrin disrupted the BBB (in vivo) in developing rats and attenuated the expression of the extracellular matrix molecule (ECM) and claudin-5 in cultured astrocytes. We further observed an augmentation in the levels of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2), known to modulate cellular migration and disrupt the developmental ECM and BBB. We observed an increase in the levels of reelin, involved in cell migration, in cultured rat astrocytes. The reelin receptor, α3β1integrin, and a mammalian cytosolic protein Disabled1 (Dab1) were also up-regulated. Overall, our study demonstrates that cypermethrin induces astrocyte injury via modulation in Ca(++), ROS, JNK and P38 pathways, which may alter MMP expression and reelin dependent astrocyte migration during brain development.

  9. Tissue plasminogen activator contributes to morphine tolerance and induces mechanical allodynia via astrocytic IL-1β and ERK signaling in the spinal cord of mice.

    PubMed

    Berta, T; Liu, Y-C; Xu, Z-Z; Ji, R-R

    2013-09-05

    Accumulating evidence indicates that activation of spinal cord astrocytes contributes importantly to nerve injury and inflammation-induced persistent pain and chronic opioid-induced antinociceptive tolerance. Phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) and induction of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) in spinal astrocytes have been implicated in astrocytes-mediated pain. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a serine protease that has been extensively used to treat stroke. We examined the potential involvement of tPA in chronic opioid-induced antinociceptive tolerance and activation of spinal astrocytes using tPA knockout (tPA(-/-)) mice and astrocyte cultures. tPA(-/-) mice exhibited unaltered nociceptive pain and morphine-induced acute analgesia. However, the antinociceptive tolerance, induced by chronic morphine (10mg/kg/day, s.c.), is abrogated in tPA(-/-) mice. Chronic morphine induces tPA expression in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-expressing spinal cord astrocytes. Chronic morphine also increases IL-1β expression in GFAP-expressing astrocytes, which is abolished in tPA-deficient mice. In cultured astrocytes, morphine treatment increases tPA, IL-1β, and pERK expression, and the increased IL-1β and pERK expression is abolished in tPA-deficient astrocytes. tPA is also sufficient to induce IL-1β and pERK expression in astrocyte cultures. Intrathecal injection of tPA results in up-regulation of GFAP and pERK in spinal astrocytes but not up-regulation of ionized calcium binding adapter molecule 1 in spinal microglia. Finally, intrathecal tPA elicits persistent mechanical allodynia, which is inhibited by the astroglial toxin alpha-amino adipate and the MEK (ERK kinase) inhibitor U0126. Collectively, these data suggest an important role of tPA in regulating astrocytic signaling, pain hypersensitivity, and morphine tolerance.

  10. Calcium wave of Brain Astrocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornell Bell, A. H.

    1997-03-01

    Time lapse confocal scanning laser microscopy was used to study hippocampal astrocyte cultures loaded with a calcium indicator, Fluo3-AM (4 uM). kThe neurotransmitter kainate (100uM) overwhelms the Na+-buffering capacity of astrocytes within 100 sec resulting in reversal of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger. This results in a subcellular site where Ca2+ entering the cytoplasm contributes to a long-distance Ca2+ wave which travels at 20 um/sec without decrement. Image analysis has shown calcium waves not only at a high Kainate dose, but also at a low Kainate dose, e.g. 10uM. These are, however, shortlived and burried in an extremely noisy background and only detectable by analyzing the calcium waves images for spatio-temporal coherence. As the kainate dose increases, more large scale coherent structures with visible geometric features (spiral waves and target waves) can be observed. Multiple spiral waves are produced when the Kainate dose increases to 100 uM. These waves travel at a constant velocity across entire microscope fields for long time periods (>30 mins). Na+ channels have no effect on the Kainate wave. Voltage-gated Ca2+ channels are not involved and Ca2+ enters through reversal of the exchanger. Ca2+ release from stores does not contribute to the kainate wave. Removal of Na+ or Ca2+ from outside and the specific Na+/Ca2+ exchange inhibitor benzamil (10 uM) inhibit the kainate wave. A functional antibody to alpha6-Integrin which is localized to membrane regions between cells inhibits the spread of the kainate wave in a dose and time-dependent manner. Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleach (FRAP) techniques indicate that gap junctions remain open between cells. This would imply that Ca2+ or IP3 need not pass through the gap junction, but reversal of the exchanger would propel the Ca2+ wave at the cell surface.

  11. Knockdown of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 affects ischaemia-induced astrocyte activation and glial scar formation.

    PubMed

    Cheon, So Yeong; Cho, Kyoung Joo; Song, Juhyun; Kim, Gyung Whan

    2016-04-01

    Reactive astrocytes play an essential role in determining the tissue response to ischaemia. Formation of a glial scar can block the neuronal outgrowth that is required for restoration of damaged tissue. Therefore, regulation of astrocyte activation is important; however, the mediator of this process has not been fully elucidated. Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is an early responder to oxidative stress, and plays a pivotal role in the intracellular signalling pathway of apoptosis, inflammation, and differentiation. To confirm whether ASK1 mediates astrocyte activation and leads to glial scar formation after cerebral ischaemia, we conducted in vivo and in vitro experiments. C57BL/6 mice were subjected to occlusion of the middle cerebral artery, and astrocyte cultures were exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation. After silencing of ASK1 , astrocyte-associated genes were downregulated, as seen with the use of microarrays. The glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) level was decreased, and correlated with the reduction in the ASK1 level. In astrocytes, reduction in the ASK1 level decreased the activity of the p38 pathway, and the levels of transcription factors for GFAP and GFAP transcripts after hypoxia. In the chronic phase, ASK1 depletion reduced glial scar formation and conserved neuronal structure, which may lead to better functional recovery. These data suggest that ASK1 may be an important mediator of ischaemia-induced astrocyte activation and scar formation, and could provide a potential therapeutic target for treatment after ischaemic stroke.

  12. Astrocytes generate Na+-mediated metabolic waves.

    PubMed

    Bernardinelli, Yann; Magistretti, Pierre J; Chatton, Jean-Yves

    2004-10-12

    Glutamate-evoked Na+ increase in astrocytes has been identified as a signal coupling synaptic activity to glucose consumption. Astrocytes participate in multicellular signaling by transmitting intercellular Ca2+ waves. Here we show that intercellular Na+ waves are also evoked by activation of single cultured cortical mouse astrocytes in parallel with Ca2+ waves; however, there are spatial and temporal differences. Indeed, maneuvers that inhibit Ca2+ waves also inhibit Na+ waves; however, inhibition of the Na+/glutamate cotransporters or enzymatic degradation of extracellular glutamate selectively inhibit the Na+ wave. Thus, glutamate released by a Ca2+ wave-dependent mechanism is taken up by the Na+/glutamate cotransporters, resulting in a regenerative propagation of cytosolic Na+ increases. The Na+ wave gives rise to a spatially correlated increase in glucose uptake, which is prevented by glutamate transporter inhibition. Therefore, astrocytes appear to function as a network for concerted neurometabolic coupling through the generation of intercellular Na+ and metabolic waves.

  13. How Do Astrocytes Participate in Neural Plasticity?

    PubMed Central

    Haydon, Philip G.; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2015-01-01

    Work over the past 20 years has implicated electrically nonexcitable astrocytes in complex neural functions. Despite controversies, it is increasingly clear that many, if not all, neural processes involve astrocytes. This review critically examines past work to identify the commonalities among the many published studies of neuroglia signaling. Although several studies have shown that astrocytes can impact short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity, further work is required to determine the requirement for astrocytic Ca2+ and other second messengers in these processes. One of the roadblocks to the field advancing at a rapid pace has been technical. We predict that the novel experimental tools that have emerged in recent years will accelerate the field and likely disclose an entirely novel path of neuroglia signaling within the near future. PMID:25502516

  14. Astrocytes: The missing link in neurological disease?

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Chia-Ching John; Deneen, Benjamin

    2013-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) is comprised of numerous cell types that work in concert to facilitate proper function and homeostasis. Disruption of these carefully orchestrated networks results in neuronal dysfunction, manifesting itself in a variety of neurological disorders. While neuronal dysregulation is causative of symptoms manifest in the clinic, the etiology of these disorders is often more complex than simply a loss of neurons or intrinsic dysregulation of their function. In the adult brain, astrocytes comprise the most abundant cell type and play key roles in CNS physiology, therefore it stands to reason that dysregulation of normal astrocyte function contributes to the etiology and progression of varied neurological disorders. We review here some neurological disorders associated with an astrocyte factor and discuss how the related astrocyte dysfunction contributes to the etiology and/or progression of these disorders. PMID:24365571

  15. Astrocyte-neuron interaction in diphenyl ditelluride toxicity directed to the cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Heimfarth, Luana; da Silva Ferreira, Fernanda; Pierozan, Paula; Mingori, Moara Rodrigues; Moreira, José Cláudio Fonseca; da Rocha, João Batista Teixeira; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2017-03-15

    Diphenylditelluride (PhTe)2 is a neurotoxin that disrupts cytoskeletal homeostasis. We are showing that different concentrations of (PhTe)2 caused hypophosphorylation of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vimentin and neurofilament subunits (NFL, NFM and NFH) and altered actin organization in co-cultured astrocytes and neurons from cerebral cortex of rats. These mechanisms were mediated by N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors without participation of either L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels (L-VDCC) or metabotropic glutamate receptors. Upregulated Ca(2+) influx downstream of NMDA receptors activated Ca(2+)-dependent protein phosphatase 2B (PP2B) causing hypophosphorylation of astrocyte and neuron IFs. Immunocytochemistry showed that hypophosphorylated intermediate filaments (IF) failed to disrupt their organization into the cytoskeleton. However, phalloidin-actin-FITC stained cytoskeleton evidenced misregulation of actin distribution, cell spreading and increased stress fibers in astrocytes. βIII tubulin staining showed that neurite meshworks are not altered by (PhTe)2, suggesting greater susceptibility of astrocytes than neurons to (PheTe)2 toxicity. These findings indicate that signals leading to IF hypophosphorylation fail to disrupt the cytoskeletal IF meshwork of interacting astrocytes and neurons in vitro however astrocyte actin network seems more susceptible. Our findings support that intracellular Ca(2+) is one of the crucial signals that modulate the action of (PhTe)2 in co-cultured astrocytes and neurons and highlights the cytoskeleton as an end-point of the neurotoxicity of this compound. Cytoskeletal misregulation is associated with cell dysfunction, therefore, the understanding of the molecular mechanisms mediating the neurotoxicity of this compound is a matter of increasing interest since tellurium compounds are increasingly released in the environment.

  16. Bioenergetic Mechanisms in Astrocytes May Contribute to Amyloid Plaque Deposition and Toxicity*

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Wen; Shi, Diya; Westaway, David; Jhamandas, Jack H.

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized neuropathologically by synaptic disruption, neuronal loss, and deposition of amyloid β (Aβ) protein in brain structures that are critical for memory and cognition. There is increasing appreciation, however, that astrocytes, which are the major non-neuronal glial cells, may play an important role in AD pathogenesis. Unlike neurons, astrocytes are resistant to Aβ cytotoxicity, which may, in part, be related to their greater reliance on glycolytic metabolism. Here we show that, in cultures of human fetal astrocytes, pharmacological inhibition or molecular down-regulation of a main enzymatic regulator of glycolysis, 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase (PFKFB3), results in increased accumulation of Aβ within and around astrocytes and greater vulnerability of these cells to Aβ toxicity. We further investigated age-dependent changes in PFKFB3 and astrocytes in AD transgenic mice (TgCRND8) that overexpress human Aβ. Using a combination of Western blotting and immunohistochemistry, we identified an increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein expression in astrocytes that paralleled the escalation of the Aβ plaque burden in TgCRND8 mice in an age-dependent manner. Furthermore, PFKFB3 expression also demonstrated an increase in these mice, although at a later age (9 months) than GFAP and Aβ. Immunohistochemical staining showed significant reactive astrogliosis surrounding Aβ plaques with increased PFKFB3 activity in 12-month-old TgCRND8 mice, an age when AD pathology and behavioral deficits are fully manifested. These studies shed light on the unique bioenergetic mechanisms within astrocytes that may contribute to the development of AD pathology. PMID:25814669

  17. 6-Hydroxydopamine and lipopolysaccharides induced DNA damage in astrocytes: involvement of nitric oxide and mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Sonam; Goswami, Poonam; Biswas, Joyshree; Joshi, Neeraj; Sharma, Sharad; Nath, C; Singh, Sarika

    2015-01-15

    The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of the neurotoxins 6-hydroxydopamine and lipopolysaccharide on astrocytes. Rat astrocyte C6 cells were treated with different concentration of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)/lipopolysaccharides (LPS) for 24 h. Both neurotoxins significantly decreased the viability of astrocytes, augmented the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and the astrocyte marker--glial fibrillar acidic protein. A significantly decreased mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity, mitochondrial membrane potential, augmented reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, caspase-3 mRNA level, chromatin condensation and DNA damage was observed in 6-OHDA/LPS treated astroglial cells. 6-OHDA/LPS treatment also caused the significantly increased expression of iNOS and nitrite level. Findings showed that 6-OHDA/LPS treatment caused mitochondrial dysfunction mediated death of astrocytes, which significantly involve the nitric oxide. Since we have observed significantly increased level of iNOS along with mitochondrial impairment and apoptotic cell death in astrocytes, therefore to validate the role of iNOS, the cells were co-treated with iNOS inhibitor aminoguanidine (AG, 100 μM). Co-treatment of AG significantly attenuated the 6-OHDA/LPS induced cell death, mitochondrial activity, augmented ROS level, chromatin condensation and DNA damage. GFAP and caspase-3 expression were also inhibited with co-treatment of AG, although the extent of inhibition was different in both experimental sets. In conclusion, the findings showed that iNOS mediated increased level of nitric oxide acts as a key regulatory molecule in 6-OHDA/LPS induced mitochondrial dysfunction, DNA damage and apoptotic death of astrocytes.

  18. [Immunocytochemical demonstration of astrocytes in brain sections combined with Nissl staining].

    PubMed

    Korzhevskiĭ, D E; Otellin, V A

    2004-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to develop an easy and reliable protocol of combined preparation staining, which would unite the advantages of immunocytochemical demonstration of astrocytes with the availability to evaluate functional state of neurons provided by Nissl technique. The presented protocol of paraffin sections processing allows to retain high quality of tissue structure and provides for selective demonstration of astrocytes using the monoclonal antibodies against glial fibrillary acidic protein and contrast Nissl staining of cells. The protocol can be used without any changes for processing of brain sections obtained from the humans and other mammals with the exception of mice and rabbits.

  19. Electrophoretic pattern and distribution of cytoskeletal proteins in flat-epitheloid and stellate process-bearing astrocytes in primary culture.

    PubMed

    Ciesielski-Treska, J; Ulrich, G; Mensch, C; Aunis, D

    1984-01-01

    One- and two-dimensional electrophoresis patterns and distribution of major cytoskeletal proteins were studied in primary astrocytes with either flat-epitheloid or stellate appearance. No major differences in the electrophoretic patterns of actin, tubulin, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin were detected between flat-epitheloid and stellate process-bearing astrocytes produced by the exposure of cultures to dibutyryl cyclic AMP (dBcAMP). However the morphological changes of astrocytes were accompanied by marked changes in the quantitative distribution of cytoskeletal proteins. The most prominent change was a large and specific decrease in the amount of actin, detected by [(35)S]methionine incorporation, densitometric scanning of one-dimensional gels and DNase inhibition assay. In stellate astrocytes produced by a 4 day treatment with dibutyryl cyclic AMP, the amount of actin decreased by 50%. This decrease was not apparently related to the depolymerization of actin.

  20. The HIF-1 inhibitor YC-1 decreases reactive astrocyte formation in a rodent ischemia model

    PubMed Central

    Na, Jong-In; Na, Joo-Young; Choi, Woo-Young; Lee, Min-Cheol; Park, Man-Seok; Choi, Kang-Ho; Lee, Jeong-Kil; Kim, Kyung-Tae; Park, Jong-Tae; Kim, Hyung-Seok

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes become reactive after central nervous system injury, re-expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and nestin. Hypoxia-inducible transcription factor alpha (HIF-1α) is an important transcription factor for several genes including the VEGF and nestin genes, the expression of which generate reactive astrocytes and cause gliosis after cerebral ischemia. To evaluate the role of HIF-1α in reactive astrocyte formation, we applied the potent HIF-1α inhibitor YC-1 to a focal cerebral ischemia model and analyzed the expression of HIF-1α, VEGF, nestin, and GFAP. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and western blot analyses demonstrated that the expression of HIF-1α and its downstream genes (VEGF and nestin) were markedly attenuated in the YC-1-treated group versus the control group (HIF-1α, VEGF: p < 0.01; nestin: p < 0.05). GFAP expression was also effectively inhibited in the YC-1-treated group (p < 0.05). Immunohistochemical evaluations showed that GFAP-positive (GFAP+) cells in the YC-1-treated group were sparse in the peri-infarct area, while an immunofluorescence assay revealed that the number of VEGF+/GFAP+ and nestin+/GFAP+ reactive astrocytes were decreased in the YC-1-treated group (p < 0.05). These results demonstrate that HIF-1α suppression decreases the formation of reactive astrocytes and gliosis that occur following focal ischemia. PMID:26064442

  1. Hypothalamic Astrocytes Respond to Gastric Mucosal Damage Induced by Restraint Water-Immersion Stress in Rat

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Haiji; Li, Ruisheng; Xu, Shiguo; Liu, Zhen; Ma, Xiaoli

    2016-01-01

    Restraint water-immersion stress (RWIS), a compound stress model, includes both psychological and physical stimulation. Studies have shown that neurons in the hypothalamus are involved in RWIS, but the role of astrocytes and the interactions between astrocytes and neurons in RWIS are not clear. Here, we tested our hypothesis that hypothalamus astrocytes are involved in RWIS and interact with neurons to regulate gastric mucosal damage induced by RWIS. The expression of Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and c-Fos in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON) significantly increased following the RWIS. GFAP and c-Fos expression are similar in the temporal pattern, peaked at 1 h after the RWIS, then reduced gradually, and reached a maximal level again at 5 h which show “double-peak” characteristics. Intracerebroventricular administration of astroglial toxin L-a-aminoadipate (L-AA) and c-Fos antisense oligodeoxy nucleotides (ASO) both decreased RWIS-induced gastric mucosal damage. Results of immunohistochemistry assay revealed that both L-AA and ASO decreased the activation of astrocytes and neurons in the hypothalamus by RWIS. These results showed that hypothalamus neuron-astrocyte “network” involved in gastric mucosal damage induced by RWIS. This study may offer theoretical basis for some novel therapeutic strategies for RWIS-induced gastric ulcers. PMID:27847472

  2. Antidepressant imipramine induces human astrocytes to differentiate into cells with neuronal phenotype.

    PubMed

    Cabras, Stefano; Saba, Francesca; Reali, Camilla; Scorciapino, Maria Laura; Sirigu, Annarita; Talani, Giuseppe; Biggio, Giovanni; Sogos, Valeria

    2010-06-01

    Several recent studies have expanded our conception of the role of astrocytes in neurogenesis, proposing that these cells may contribute to this phenomenon not only as a source of trophic substances, but also as stem cells themselves. We recently observed in vitro that human mature astrocytes can be induced to differentiate into cells with a neuronal phenotype. Antidepressant drugs have been shown to increase neurogenesis in the adult rodent hippocampus. In order to better understand the role of astroglia in antidepressant-induced neurogenesis, primary astrocyte cultures were treated with the antidepressant imipramine. Cell morphology was rapidly modified by treatment. In fact, whereas untreated astrocytes showed large, flat morphology, after a few hours of treatment cells exhibited a round-shaped cell body with long, thin processes. The expression of neuronal markers was analysed by immunocytochemistry, Western Blot and RT-PCR at different treatment times. Results showed an increase in neuronal markers such as neurofilament and neuron-specific enolase (NSE), whereas glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and nestin expression were not significantly modified by treatment. Similar results were obtained with fluoxetine and venlafaxine. Hes1 mRNA significantly increased after 2 h of treatment, suggesting involvement of this transcription factor in this process. These results confirm the role of astrocytes in neurogenesis and suggest that these cells may represent one of the targets of antidepressants.

  3. Astrocyte-derived interleukin-15 exacerbates ischemic brain injury via propagation of cellular immunity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Minshu; Li, Zhiguo; Yao, Yang; Jin, Wei-Na; Wood, Kristofer; Liu, Qiang; Shi, Fu-Dong; Hao, Junwei

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes are believed to bridge interactions between infiltrating lymphocytes and neurons during brain ischemia, but the mechanisms for this action are poorly understood. Here we found that interleukin-15 (IL-15) is dramatically up-regulated in astrocytes of postmortem brain tissues from patients with ischemic stroke and in a mouse model of transient focal brain ischemia. We generated a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter-controlled IL-15–expressing transgenic mouse (GFAP–IL-15tg) line and found enlarged brain infarcts, exacerbated neurodeficits after the induction of brain ischemia. In addition, knockdown of IL-15 in astrocytes attenuated ischemic brain injury. Interestingly, the accumulation of CD8+ T and natural killer (NK) cells was augmented in these GFAP–IL-15tg mice after brain ischemia. Of note, depletion of CD8+ T or NK cells attenuated ischemic brain injury in GFAP–IL-15tg mice. Furthermore, knockdown of the IL-15 receptor α or blockade of cell-to-cell contact diminished the activation and effector function of CD8+ T and NK cells in GFAP–IL-15tg mice, suggesting that astrocytic IL-15 is delivered in trans to target cells. Collectively, these findings indicate that astrocytic IL-15 could aggravate postischemic brain damage via propagation of CD8+ T and NK cell-mediated immunity. PMID:27994144

  4. Monitoring Astrocytic Proteome Dynamics by Cell Type-Specific Protein Labeling

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Anke; Stellmacher, Anne; Freitag, Christine E.; Landgraf, Peter; Dieterich, Daniela C.

    2015-01-01

    The ability of the nervous system to undergo long-term plasticity is based on changes in cellular and synaptic proteomes. While many studies have explored dynamic alterations in neuronal proteomes during plasticity, there has been less attention paid to the astrocytic counterpart. Indeed, progress in identifying cell type-specific proteomes is limited owing to technical difficulties. Here, we present a cell type-specific metabolic tagging technique for a mammalian coculture model based on the bioorthogonal amino acid azidonorleucine and the mutated Mus musculus methionyl-tRNA synthetaseL274G enabling azidonorleucine introduction into de novo synthesized proteins. Azidonorleucine incorporation resulted in cell type-specific protein labeling and retained neuronal or astrocytic cell viability. Furthermore, we were able to label astrocytic de novo synthesized proteins and identified both Connexin-43 and 60S ribosomal protein L10a upregulated upon treatment with Brain-derived neurotrophic factor in astrocytes of a neuron-glia coculture. Taken together, we demonstrate the successful dissociation of astrocytic from neuronal proteomes by cell type-specific metabolic labeling offering new possibilities for the analyses of cell type-specific proteome dynamics. PMID:26690742

  5. Label-free optical activation of astrocyte in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Myunghwan; Yoon, Jonghee; Ku, Taeyun; Choi, Kyungsun; Choi, Chulhee

    2011-07-01

    As the most abundant cell type in the central nervous system, astrocyte has been one of main research topics in neuroscience. Although various tools have been developed, at present, there is no tool that allows noninvasive activation of astrocyte in vivo without genetic or pharmacological perturbation. Here we report a noninvasive label-free optical method for physiological astrocyte activation in vivo using a femtosecond pulsed laser. We showed the laser stimulation robustly induced astrocytic calcium activation in vivo and further verified physiological relevance of the calcium increase by demonstrating astrocyte mediated vasodilation in the brain. This novel optical method will facilitate noninvasive physiological study on astrocyte function.

  6. Induction of neural stem cell-like cells (NSCLCs) from mouse astrocytes by Bmi1

    SciTech Connect

    Moon, Jai-Hee; Yoon, Byung Sun; Kim, Bona; Park, Gyuman; Jung, Hye-Youn; Maeng, Isaac; Jun, Eun Kyoung; Yoo, Seung Jun; Kim, Aeree; Oh, Sejong; Whang, Kwang Youn; Kim, Hyunggee; Kim, Dong-Wook; Kim, Ki Dong; You, Seungkwon

    2008-06-27

    Recently, Bmi1 was shown to control the proliferation and self-renewal of neural stem cells (NSCs). In this study, we demonstrated the induction of NSC-like cells (NSCLCs) from mouse astrocytes by Bmi1 under NSC culture conditions. These NSCLCs exhibited the morphology and growth properties of NSCs, and expressed NSC marker genes, including nestin, CD133, and Sox2. In vitro differentiation of NSCLCs resulted in differentiated cell populations containing astrocytes, neurons, and oligodendrocytes. Following treatment with histone deacetylase inhibitors (trichostatin A and valproic acid), the potential of NSCLCs for proliferation, dedifferentiation, and self-renewal was significantly inhibited. Our data indicate that multipotent NSCLCs can be generated directly from astrocytes by the addition of Bmi1.

  7. Opioid-dependent growth of glial cultures: Suppression of astrocyte DNA synthesis by met-enkephalin

    SciTech Connect

    Stiene-Martin, A.; Hauser, K.F. )

    1990-01-01

    The action of met-enkephalin on the growth of astrocytes in mixed-glial cultures was examined. Primary, mixed-glial cultures were isolated from 1 day-old mouse cerebral hemispheres and continuously treated with either basal growth media, 1 {mu}M met-enkephalin, 1 {mu}M met-enkephalin plus the opioid antagonist naloxone, or naloxone alone. Absolute numbers of neural cells were counted in unstained preparations, while combined ({sup 3}H)-thymidine autoradiography and glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) immunocytochemistry was performed to identify specific changes in astrocytes. When compared to control and naloxone treated cultures, met-enkephalin caused a significant decrease in both total cell numbers, and in ({sup 3}H)-thymidine incorporation by GFAP-positive cells with flat morphology. These results indicate that met-enkephalin suppresses astrocyte growth in culture.

  8. Dynamic transition of neuronal firing induced by abnormal astrocytic glutamate oscillation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jiajia; Tang, Jun; Ma, Jun; Du, Mengmeng; Wang, Rong; Wu, Ying

    2016-08-01

    The gliotransmitter glutamate released from astrocytes can modulate neuronal firing by activating neuronal N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors. This enables astrocytic glutamate(AG) to be involved in neuronal physiological and pathological functions. Based on empirical results and classical neuron-glial “tripartite synapse” model, we propose a practical model to describe extracellular AG oscillation, in which the fluctuation of AG depends on the threshold of calcium concentration, and the effect of AG degradation is considered as well. We predict the seizure-like discharges under the dysfunction of AG degradation duration. Consistent with our prediction, the suppression of AG uptake by astrocytic transporters, which operates by modulating the AG degradation process, can account for the emergence of epilepsy.

  9. Dynamic transition of neuronal firing induced by abnormal astrocytic glutamate oscillation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiajia; Tang, Jun; Ma, Jun; Du, Mengmeng; Wang, Rong; Wu, Ying

    2016-01-01

    The gliotransmitter glutamate released from astrocytes can modulate neuronal firing by activating neuronal N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors. This enables astrocytic glutamate(AG) to be involved in neuronal physiological and pathological functions. Based on empirical results and classical neuron-glial “tripartite synapse” model, we propose a practical model to describe extracellular AG oscillation, in which the fluctuation of AG depends on the threshold of calcium concentration, and the effect of AG degradation is considered as well. We predict the seizure-like discharges under the dysfunction of AG degradation duration. Consistent with our prediction, the suppression of AG uptake by astrocytic transporters, which operates by modulating the AG degradation process, can account for the emergence of epilepsy. PMID:27573570

  10. Inclusion bodies in cerebral cortical astrocytes: a new change of astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Minagawa, M; Shioda, K; Shimizu, Y; Isshiki, T

    1992-01-01

    A unique pathological finding of astrocytes was observed in the brain of a 20-year-old man who had severe physical and mental retardation. The brain was malformed showing micropolygyria in several cortical areas. A large number of hypertrophic astrocytes with eosinophilic granular substances in their cytoplasm were found throughout the cerebral cortex. Several staining procedures and electron microscopical examinations were carried out on these intracytoplasmic inclusion. It was found that the appearance and staining character of these inclusions were different from other astrocytic changes, especially the Rosenthal fiber, described so far. The authors consider that these inclusion bodies in cerebral cortical astrocytes represent new pathological changes of astrocytes that appear to be associated with malformation of the brain.

  11. Distinct repertoires of microRNAs present in mouse astrocytes compared to astrocyte-secreted exosomes

    PubMed Central

    Gitler, Aaron D.

    2017-01-01

    Background Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the central nervous system (CNS) and secrete various factors that regulate neuron development, function and connectivity. microRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs involved in posttranslational gene regulation. Recent findings showed that miRNAs are exchanged between cells via nanovesicles called exosomes. In this study, we sought to define which miRNAs are contained within exosomes secreted by astrocytes. We also explored whether astroglial miRNA secretion via exosomes is perturbed in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease where astrocytes play a crucial role in driving disease progression. Methodology/Principal findings By isolating and profiling the expression of miRNAs from primary mouse astrocytes and from the exosomes that astrocytes secrete, we compared miRNA expression in the cells and secreted vesicles. We established that miRNA expression profiles of astrocytes and their exosomes are vastly different. In addition, we determined that exosomal miRNA expression in astrocytes is not significantly perturbed in a mouse model of ALS. Conclusions Astrocytes secrete numerous miRNAs via exosomes and miRNA species contained in exosomes are considerably different from miRNAs detectable in astrocytes, suggesting the existence of a mechanism to select certain miRNAs for inclusion or exclusion from exosomes. The exosomal miRNA profiling dataset we have generated will provide a resource to aid in the investigation of this selection mechanism. Finally, the miRNA expression profile in astrocyte-secreted exosomes is not perturbed by expression of mutant SOD1-G93A. PMID:28152040

  12. Isolation and Characterization of Ischemia-Derived Astrocytes (IDAs) with Ability to Transactivate Quiescent Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Villarreal, Alejandro; Rosciszewski, Gerardo; Murta, Veronica; Cadena, Vanesa; Usach, Vanina; Dodes-Traian, Martin M.; Setton-Avruj, Patricia; Barbeito, Luis H.; Ramos, Alberto J.

    2016-01-01

    Reactive gliosis involving activation and proliferation of astrocytes and microglia, is a widespread but largely complex and graded glial response to brain injury. Astroglial population has a previously underestimated high heterogeneity with cells differing in their morphology, gene expression profile, and response to injury. Here, we identified a subset of reactive astrocytes isolated from brain focal ischemic lesions that show several atypical characteristics. Ischemia-derived astrocytes (IDAs) were isolated from early ischemic penumbra and core. IDA did not originate from myeloid precursors, but rather from pre-existing local progenitors. Isolated IDA markedly differ from primary astrocytes, as they proliferate in vitro with high cell division rate, show increased migratory ability, have reduced replicative senescence and grow in the presence of macrophages within the limits imposed by the glial scar. Remarkably, IDA produce a conditioned medium that strongly induced activation on quiescent primary astrocytes and potentiated the neuronal death triggered by oxygen-glucose deprivation. When re-implanted into normal rat brains, eGFP-IDA migrated around the injection site and induced focal reactive gliosis. Inhibition of gamma secretases or culture on quiescent primary astrocytes monolayers facilitated IDA differentiation to astrocytes. We propose that IDA represent an undifferentiated, pro-inflammatory, highly replicative and migratory astroglial subtype emerging from the ischemic microenvironment that may contribute to the expansion of reactive gliosis. Main Points: Ischemia-derived astrocytes (IDA) were isolated from brain ischemic tissue IDA show reduced replicative senescence, increased cell division and spontaneous migration IDA potentiate death of oxygen-glucose deprived cortical neurons IDA propagate reactive gliosis on quiescent astrocytes in vitro and in vivo Inhibition of gamma secretases facilitates IDA differentiation to astrocytes PMID:27313509

  13. New frontiers for astrocytic tumours.

    PubMed

    Nano, Rosanna; Lascialfari, Alessandro; Corti, Maurizio; Paolini, Alessandro; Pasi, Francesca; Corbella, Franco; DI Liberto, Riccardo

    2012-07-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme, the most common type of primary brain tumour, remains an unsolved clinical problem. A great deal of work has been done in an effort to understand the biology and genetics of glioblastoma multiforme, but clinically effective treatments remain elusive. It is well known that malignant gliomas develop resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy. In this review we evaluated the literature data regarding therapeutic progress for the treatment of astrocytic tumours, focusing our attention on new frontiers for glioblastoma. The research studies performed in in vitro and in vivo models show that the application of hyperthermia using magnetic nanoparticles is safe and could be a promising tool in the treatment of glioblastoma patients. Our efforts are focused towards new fields of research, for example nanomedicine and the study of the uptake and cytotoxic effects of magnetic nanoparticles. The improvement of the quality of life of patients, by increasing their survival rate is the best result to be pursued, since these tumours are considered as ineradicable.

  14. Striatal astrocytes transdifferentiate into functional mature neurons following ischemic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Duan, Chun-Ling; Liu, Chong-Wei; Shen, Shu-Wen; Yu, Zhang; Mo, Jia-Lin; Chen, Xian-Hua; Sun, Feng-Yan

    2015-09-01

    To determine whether reactive astrocytes stimulated by brain injury can transdifferentiate into functional new neurons, we labeled these cells by injecting a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) targeted enhanced green fluorescence protein plasmid (pGfa2-eGFP plasmid) into the striatum of adult rats immediately following a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and performed immunolabeling with specific neuronal markers to trace the neural fates of eGFP-expressing (GFP(+)) reactive astrocytes. The results showed that a portion of striatal GFP(+) astrocytes could transdifferentiate into immature neurons at 1 week after MCAO and mature neurons at 2 weeks as determined by double staining GFP-expressing cells with βIII-tubulin (GFP(+)-Tuj-1(+)) and microtubule associated protein-2 (GFP(+)-MAP-2(+)), respectively. GFP(+) neurons further expressed choline acetyltransferase, glutamic acid decarboxylase, dopamine receptor D2-like family proteins, and the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit R2, indicating that astrocyte-derived neurons could develop into cholinergic or GABAergic neurons and express dopamine and glutamate receptors on their membranes. Electron microscopy analysis indicated that GFP(+) neurons could form synapses with other neurons at 13 weeks after MCAO. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that action potentials and active postsynaptic currents could be recorded in the neuron-like GFP(+) cells but not in the astrocyte-like GFP(+) cells, demonstrating that new GFP(+) neurons possessed the capacity to fire action potentials and receive synaptic inputs. These results demonstrated that striatal astrocyte-derived new neurons participate in the rebuilding of functional neural networks, a fundamental basis for brain repair after injury. These results may lead to new therapeutic strategies for enhancing brain repair after ischemic stroke.

  15. Defects in Motoneuron-Astrocyte Interactions in Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chunyi; Feng, Zhihua; Ko, Chien-Ping

    2016-02-24

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a motoneuron disease caused by loss or mutation in Survival of Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. Recent studies have shown that selective restoration of SMN protein in astrocytes partially alleviates pathology in an SMA mouse model, suggesting important roles for astrocytes in SMA. Addressing these underlying mechanisms may provide new therapeutic avenues to fight SMA. Using primary cultures of pure motoneurons or astrocytes from SMNΔ7 (SMA) and wild-type (WT) mice, as well as their mixed and matched cocultures, we characterized the contributions of motoneurons, astrocytes, and their interactions to synapse loss in SMA. In pure motoneuron cultures, SMA motoneurons exhibited normal survival but intrinsic defects in synapse formation and synaptic transmission. In pure astrocyte cultures, SMA astrocytes exhibited defects in calcium homeostasis. In motoneuron-astrocyte contact cocultures, synapse formation and synaptic transmission were significantly reduced when either motoneurons, astrocytes or both were from SMA mice compared with those in WT motoneurons cocultured with WT astrocytes. The reduced synaptic activity is unlikely due to changes in motoneuron excitability. This disruption in synapse formation and synaptic transmission by SMN deficiency was not detected in motoneuron-astrocyte noncontact cocultures. Additionally, we observed a downregulation of Ephrin B2 in SMA astrocytes. These findings suggest that there are both cell autonomous and non-cell-autonomous defects in SMA motoneurons and astrocytes. Defects in contact interactions between SMA motoneurons and astrocytes impair synaptogenesis seen in SMA pathology, possibly due to the disruption of the Ephrin B2 pathway.

  16. Astrocytes: Targets for Neuroprotection in Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Barreto, George; White, Robin E.; Ouyang, Yibing; Xu, Lijun; Giffard, Rona G.

    2011-01-01

    In the past two decades, over 1000 clinical trials have failed to demonstrate a benefit in treating stroke, with the exception of thrombolytics. Although many targets have been pursued, including antioxidants, calcium channel blockers, glutamate receptor blockers, and neurotrophic factors, often the focus has been on neuronal mechanisms of injury. Broader attention to loss and dysfunction of non-neuronal cell types is now required to increase the chance of success. Of the several glial cell types, this review will focus on astrocytes. Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the higher mammalian nervous system, and they play key roles in normal CNS physiology and in central nervous system injury and pathology. In the setting of ischemia astrocytes perform multiple functions, some beneficial and some potentially detrimental, making them excellent candidates as therapeutic targets to improve outcome following stroke and in other central nervous system injuries. The older neurocentric view of the central nervous system has changed radically with the growing understanding of the many essential functions of astrocytes. These include K+ buffering, glutamate clearance, brain antioxidant defense, close metabolic coupling with neurons, and modulation of neuronal excitability. In this review, we will focus on those functions of astrocytes that can both protect and endanger neurons, and discuss how manipulating these functions provides a novel and important strategy to enhance neuronal survival and improve outcome following cerebral ischemia. PMID:21521168

  17. Sodium signaling and astrocyte energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    Chatton, Jean-Yves; Magistretti, Pierre J; Barros, L Felipe

    2016-10-01

    The Na(+) gradient across the plasma membrane is constantly exploited by astrocytes as a secondary energy source to regulate the intracellular and extracellular milieu, and discard waste products. One of the most prominent roles of astrocytes in the brain is the Na(+) -dependent clearance of glutamate released by neurons during synaptic transmission. The intracellular Na(+) load collectively generated by these processes converges at the Na,K-ATPase pump, responsible for Na(+) extrusion from the cell, which is achieved at the expense of cellular ATP. These processes represent pivotal mechanisms enabling astrocytes to increase the local availability of metabolic substrates in response to neuronal activity. This review presents basic principles linking the intracellular handling of Na(+) following activity-related transmembrane fluxes in astrocytes and the energy metabolic pathways involved. We propose a role of Na(+) as an energy currency and as a mediator of metabolic signals in the context of neuron-glia interactions. We further discuss the possible impact of the astrocytic syncytium for the distribution and coordination of the metabolic response, and the compartmentation of these processes in cellular microdomains and subcellular organelles. Finally, we illustrate future avenues of investigation into signaling mechanisms aimed at bridging the gap between Na(+) and the metabolic machinery. GLIA 2016;64:1667-1676.

  18. The contribution of astrocytes to Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Birch, Amy M

    2014-10-01

    Astrocytes were historically classified as supporting cells; however, it is becoming increasingly clear that they actively contribute to neuronal functioning under normal and pathological conditions. As interest in the contribution of neuroinflammation to Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression has grown, manipulating glial cells has become an attractive target for future therapies. Astrocytes have largely been under-represented in studies that assess the role of glia in these processes, despite substantial evidence of astrogliosis in AD. The actual role of astrocytes in AD remains elusive, as they seem to adopt different functions dependent on disease progression and the extent of accompanying parenchymal inflammation. Astrocytes may contribute to the clearance of amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) and restrict the spread of inflammation in the brain. Conversely, they may contribute to neurodegeneration in AD by releasing neurotoxins and neglecting crucial metabolic roles. The present review summarizes current evidence on the multi-faceted functions of astrocytes in AD, highlighting the significant scope available for future therapeutic targets.

  19. Hypoxia inducible factor-2α regulates the development of retinal astrocytic network by maintaining adequate supply of astrocyte progenitors.

    PubMed

    Duan, Li-Juan; Takeda, Kotaro; Fong, Guo-Hua

    2014-01-01

    Here we investigate the role of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-2α in coordinating the development of retinal astrocytic and vascular networks. Three Cre mouse lines were used to disrupt floxed Hif-2α, including Rosa26(CreERT2), Tie2(Cre), and GFAP(Cre). Global Hif-2α disruption by Rosa26(CreERT2) led to reduced astrocytic and vascular development in neonatal retinas, whereas endothelial disruption by Tie2(Cre) had no apparent effects. Hif-2α deletion in astrocyte progenitors by GFAP(Cre) significantly interfered with the development of astrocytic networks, which failed to reach the retinal periphery and were incapable of supporting vascular development. Perplexingly, the abundance of strongly GFAP(+) mature astrocytes transiently increased at P0 before they began to lag behind the normal controls by P3. Pax2(+) and PDGFRα(+) astrocytic progenitors and immature astrocytes were dramatically diminished at all stages examined. Despite decreased number of astrocyte progenitors, their proliferation index or apoptosis was not altered. The above data can be reconciled by proposing that HIF-2α is required for maintaining the supply of astrocyte progenitors by slowing down their differentiation into non-proliferative mature astrocytes. HIF-2α deficiency in astrocyte progenitors may accelerate their differentiation into astrocytes, a change which greatly interferes with the replenishment of astrocyte progenitors due to insufficient time for proliferation. Rapidly declining progenitor supply may lead to premature cessation of astrocyte development. Given that HIF-2α protein undergoes oxygen dependent degradation, an interesting possibility is that retinal blood vessels may regulate astrocyte differentiation through their oxygen delivery function. While our findings support the consensus that retinal astrocytic template guides vascular development, they also raise the possibility that astrocytic and vascular networks may mutually regulate each other's development

  20. Structural remodeling of astrocytes in the injured CNS.

    PubMed

    Sun, Daniel; Jakobs, Tatjana C

    2012-12-01

    Astrocytes respond to all forms of CNS insult and disease by becoming reactive, a nonspecific but highly characteristic response that involves various morphological and molecular changes. Probably the most recognized aspect of reactive astrocytes is the formation of a glial scar that impedes axon regeneration. Although the reactive phenotype was first suggested more than 100 years ago based on morphological changes, the remodeling process is not well understood. We know little about the actual structure of a reactive astrocyte, how an astrocyte remodels during the progression of an insult, and how populations of these cells reorganize to form the glial scar. New methods of labeling astrocytes, along with transgenic mice, allow the complete morphology of reactive astrocytes to be visualized. Recent studies show that reactivity can induce a remarkable change in the shape of a single astrocyte, that not all astrocytes react in the same way, and that there is plasticity in the reactive response.

  1. Association of astrocytes with neurons and astrocytes derived from distinct progenitor domains in the subpallium

    PubMed Central

    Torigoe, Makio; Yamauchi, Kenta; Zhu, Yan; Kobayashi, Hiroaki; Murakami, Fujio

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes play pivotal roles in metabolism and homeostasis as well as in neural development and function in a manner thought to depend on their region-specific diversity. In the mouse spinal cord, astrocytes and neurons, which are derived from a common progenitor domain (PD) and controlled by common PD-specific transcription factors, migrate radially and share their final positions. However, whether astrocytes can only interact with neurons from common PDs in the brain remains unknown. Here, we focused on subpallium-derived cells, because the subpallium generates neurons that show a diverse mode of migration. We tracked their fate by in utero electroporation of plasmids that allow for chromosomal integration of transgenes or of a Cre recombinase expression vector to reporter mice. We also used an Nkx2.1Cre mouse line to fate map the cells originating from the medial ganglionic eminence and preoptic area. We find that although neurons and astrocytes are labeled in various regions, only neurons are labeled in the neocortex, hippocampus and olfactory bulb. Furthermore, we find astrocytes derived from an Nkx 2.1-negative PD are associated with neurons from the Nkx2.1+ PD. Thus, forebrain astrocytes can associate with neurons as well as astrocytes derived from a distinct PD. PMID:26193445

  2. Thyroid hormones upregulate apolipoprotein E gene expression in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Roman, Corina; Fuior, Elena V; Trusca, Violeta G; Kardassis, Dimitris; Simionescu, Maya; Gafencu, Anca V

    Apolipoprotein E (apoE), a protein mainly involved in lipid metabolism, is associated with several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease. Despite numerous attempts to elucidate apoE gene regulation in the brain, the exact mechanism is still uncovered. The mechanism of apoE gene regulation in the brain involves the proximal promoter and multienhancers ME.1 and ME.2, which evolved by gene duplication. Herein we questioned whether thyroid hormones and their nuclear receptors have a role in apoE gene regulation in astrocytes. Our data showed that thyroid hormones increase apoE gene expression in HTB14 astrocytes in a dose-dependent manner. This effect can be intermediated by the thyroid receptor β (TRβ) which is expressed in these cells. In the presence of triiodothyronine (T3) and 9-cis retinoic acid, in astrocytes transfected to overexpress TRβ and retinoid X receptor α (RXRα), apoE promoter was indirectly activated through the interaction with ME.2. To determine the location of TRβ/RXRα binding site on ME.2, we performed DNA pull down assays and found that TRβ/RXRα complex bound to the region 341-488 of ME.2. This result was confirmed by transient transfection experiments in which a series of 5'- and 3'-deletion mutants of ME.2 were used. These data support the existence of a biologically active TRβ binding site starting at 409 in ME.2. In conclusion, our data revealed that ligand-activated TRβ/RXRα heterodimers bind with high efficiency on tissue-specific distal regulatory element ME.2 and thus modulate apoE gene expression in the brain.

  3. Astrocytes Optimize the Synaptic Transmission of Information

    PubMed Central

    Nadkarni, Suhita; Jung, Peter; Levine, Herbert

    2008-01-01

    Chemical synapses transmit information via the release of neurotransmitter-filled vesicles from the presynaptic terminal. Using computational modeling, we predict that the limited availability of neurotransmitter resources in combination with the spontaneous release of vesicles limits the maximum degree of enhancement of synaptic transmission. This gives rise to an optimal tuning that depends on the number of active zones. There is strong experimental evidence that astrocytes that enwrap synapses can modulate the probabilities of vesicle release through bidirectional signaling and hence regulate synaptic transmission. For low-fidelity hippocampal synapses, which typically have only one or two active zones, the predicted optimal values lie close to those determined by experimentally measured astrocytic feedback, suggesting that astrocytes optimize synaptic transmission of information. PMID:18516277

  4. Reversible reactivity by optic nerve astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Sun, Daniel; Qu, Juan; Jakobs, Tatjana C

    2013-08-01

    Reactive astrocytes are typically studied in models that cause irreversible mechanical damage to axons, neuronal cell bodies, and glia. Here, we evaluated the response of astrocytes in the optic nerve head to a subtle injury induced by a brief, mild elevation of the intraocular pressure. Astrocytes demonstrated reactive remodeling that peaked at three days, showing hypertrophy, process retraction, and simplification of their shape. This was not accompanied by any significant changes in the gene expression profile. At no time was there discernible damage to the optic axons, as evidenced by electron microscopy and normal anterograde and retrograde transport. Remarkably, the morphological remodeling was reversible. These findings underscore the plastic nature of reactivity. They show that reactivity can resolve fully if the insult is removed, and suggest that reactivity per se is not necessarily deleterious to axons. This reaction may represent very early events in the sequence that eventually leads to glial scarring.

  5. Neuroinflammatory TNFα Impairs Memory via Astrocyte Signaling.

    PubMed

    Habbas, Samia; Santello, Mirko; Becker, Denise; Stubbe, Hiltrud; Zappia, Giovanna; Liaudet, Nicolas; Klaus, Federica R; Kollias, George; Fontana, Adriano; Pryce, Christopher R; Suter, Tobias; Volterra, Andrea

    2015-12-17

    The occurrence of cognitive disturbances upon CNS inflammation or infection has been correlated with increased levels of the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα). To date, however, no specific mechanism via which this cytokine could alter cognitive circuits has been demonstrated. Here, we show that local increase of TNFα in the hippocampal dentate gyrus activates astrocyte TNF receptor type 1 (TNFR1), which in turn triggers an astrocyte-neuron signaling cascade that results in persistent functional modification of hippocampal excitatory synapses. Astrocytic TNFR1 signaling is necessary for the hippocampal synaptic alteration and contextual learning-memory impairment observed in experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). This process may contribute to the pathogenesis of cognitive disturbances in MS, as well as in other CNS conditions accompanied by inflammatory states or infections.

  6. Derivation of Functional Human Astrocytes from Cerebral Organoids.

    PubMed

    Dezonne, Rômulo Sperduto; Sartore, Rafaela Costa; Nascimento, Juliana Minardi; Saia-Cereda, Verônica M; Romão, Luciana Ferreira; Alves-Leon, Soniza Vieira; de Souza, Jorge Marcondes; Martins-de-Souza, Daniel; Rehen, Stevens Kastrup; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2017-03-27

    Astrocytes play a critical role in the development and homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocyte dysfunction results in several neurological and degenerative diseases. However, a major challenge to our understanding of astrocyte physiology and pathology is the restriction of studies to animal models, human post-mortem brain tissues, or samples obtained from invasive surgical procedures. Here, we report a protocol to generate human functional astrocytes from cerebral organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells. The cellular isolation of cerebral organoids yielded cells that were morphologically and functionally like astrocytes. Immunolabelling and proteomic assays revealed that human organoid-derived astrocytes express the main astrocytic molecular markers, including glutamate transporters, specific enzymes and cytoskeletal proteins. We found that organoid-derived astrocytes strongly supported neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth and responded to ATP through transient calcium wave elevations, which are hallmarks of astrocyte physiology. Additionally, these astrocytes presented similar functional pathways to those isolated from adult human cortex by surgical procedures. This is the first study to provide proteomic and functional analyses of astrocytes isolated from human cerebral organoids. The isolation of these astrocytes holds great potential for the investigation of developmental and evolutionary features of the human brain and provides a useful approach to drug screening and neurodegenerative disease modelling.

  7. Derivation of Functional Human Astrocytes from Cerebral Organoids

    PubMed Central

    Dezonne, Rômulo Sperduto; Sartore, Rafaela Costa; Nascimento, Juliana Minardi; Saia-Cereda, Verônica M.; Romão, Luciana Ferreira; Alves-Leon, Soniza Vieira; de Souza, Jorge Marcondes; Martins-de-Souza, Daniel; Rehen, Stevens Kastrup; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes play a critical role in the development and homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocyte dysfunction results in several neurological and degenerative diseases. However, a major challenge to our understanding of astrocyte physiology and pathology is the restriction of studies to animal models, human post-mortem brain tissues, or samples obtained from invasive surgical procedures. Here, we report a protocol to generate human functional astrocytes from cerebral organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells. The cellular isolation of cerebral organoids yielded cells that were morphologically and functionally like astrocytes. Immunolabelling and proteomic assays revealed that human organoid-derived astrocytes express the main astrocytic molecular markers, including glutamate transporters, specific enzymes and cytoskeletal proteins. We found that organoid-derived astrocytes strongly supported neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth and responded to ATP through transient calcium wave elevations, which are hallmarks of astrocyte physiology. Additionally, these astrocytes presented similar functional pathways to those isolated from adult human cortex by surgical procedures. This is the first study to provide proteomic and functional analyses of astrocytes isolated from human cerebral organoids. The isolation of these astrocytes holds great potential for the investigation of developmental and evolutionary features of the human brain and provides a useful approach to drug screening and neurodegenerative disease modelling. PMID:28345587

  8. GABA uptake into astrocytes is not associated with significant metabolic cost: implications for brain imaging of inhibitory transmission.

    PubMed

    Chatton, Jean-Yves; Pellerin, Luc; Magistretti, Pierre J

    2003-10-14

    Synaptically released glutamate has been identified as a signal coupling excitatory neuronal activity to increased glucose utilization. The proposed mechanism of this coupling involves glutamate uptake into astrocytes resulting in increased intracellular Na+ (Nai+) and activation of the Na+/K+-ATPase. Increased metabolic demand linked to disruption of Nai+ homeostasis activates glucose uptake and glycolysis in astrocytes. Here, we have examined whether a similar neurometabolic coupling could operate for the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), also taken up by Na+-dependent transporters into astrocytes. Thus, we have compared the Nai+ response to GABA and glutamate in mouse astrocytes by microspectrofluorimetry. The Nai+ response to GABA consisted of a rapid rise of 4-6 mM followed by a plateau that did not, however, significantly activate the pump. Indeed, the GABA transporter-evoked Na+ influxes are transient in nature, almost totally shutting off within approximately 30 sec of GABA application. The metabolic consequences of the GABA-induced Nai+ response were evaluated by monitoring cellular ATP changes indirectly in single cells and measuring 2-deoxyglucose uptake in astrocyte populations. Both approaches showed that, whereas glutamate induced a robust metabolic response in astrocytes (decreased ATP levels and glucose uptake stimulation), GABA did not cause any measurable metabolic response, consistent with the Nai+ measurements. Results indicate that GABA does not couple inhibitory neuronal activity with glucose utilization, as does glutamate for excitatory neurotransmission, and suggest that GABA-mediated synaptic transmission does not contribute directly to brain imaging signals based on deoxyglucose.

  9. Mdivi-1 Inhibits Astrocyte Activation and Astroglial Scar Formation and Enhances Axonal Regeneration after Spinal Cord Injury in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Li, Gang; Cao, Yang; Shen, Feifei; Wang, Yangsong; Bai, Liangjie; Guo, Weidong; Bi, Yunlong; Lv, Gang; Fan, Zhongkai

    2016-01-01

    After spinal cord injury (SCI), astrocytes become hypertrophic, and proliferative, forming a dense network of astroglial processes at the site of the lesion. This constitutes a physical and biochemical barrier to axonal regeneration. Mitochondrial fission regulates cell cycle progression; inhibiting the cell cycle of astrocytes can reduce expression levels of axon growth-inhibitory molecules as well as astroglial scar formation after SCI. We therefore investigated how an inhibitor of mitochondrial fission, Mdivi-1, would affect astrocyte proliferation, astroglial scar formation, and axonal regeneration following SCI in rats. Western blot and immunofluorescent double-labeling showed that Mdivi-1 markedly reduced the expression of the astrocyte marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and a cell proliferation marker, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, in astrocytes 3 days after SCI. Moreover, Mdivi-1 decreased the expression of GFAP and neurocan, a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan. Notably, immunofluorescent labeling and Nissl staining showed that Mdivi-1 elevated the production of growth-associated protein-43 and increased neuronal survival at 4 weeks after SCI. Finally, hematoxylin-eosin staining, and behavioral evaluation of motor function indicated that Mdivi-1 also reduced cavity formation and improved motor function 4 weeks after SCI. Our results confirm that Mdivi-1 promotes motor function after SCI, and indicate that inhibiting mitochondrial fission using Mdivi-1 can inhibit astrocyte activation and astroglial scar formation and contribute to axonal regeneration after SCI in rats. PMID:27807407

  10. Hydrogen sulfide induces calcium waves in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Yasuo; Tsugane, Mamiko; Oka, Jun-Ichiro; Kimura, Hideo

    2004-03-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) modifies hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and functions as a neuromodulator. Here, we show that H2S increases intracellular Ca2+ and induces Ca2+ waves in primary cultures of astrocytes as well as hippocampal slices. H2S increases the influx of Ca2+ and to a lesser extent causes the release from intracellular Ca2+ stores. Ca2+ waves induced by neuronal excitation as well as responses to exogenously applied H2S are potently blocked by La3+ and Gd3+, inhibitors of Ca2+ channels. These observations suggest that H2S induces Ca2+ waves that propagate to neighboring astrocytes.

  11. The origin of Rosenthal fibers and their contributions to astrocyte pathology in Alexander disease.

    PubMed

    Sosunov, Alexander A; McKhann, Guy M; Goldman, James E

    2017-03-31

    Rosenthal fibers (RFs) are cytoplasmic, proteinaceous aggregates. They are the pathognomonic feature of the astrocyte pathology in Alexander Disease (AxD), a neurodegenerative disorder caused by heterozygous mutations in the GFAP gene, encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Although RFs have been known for many years their origin and significance remain elusive issues. We have used mouse models of AxD based on the overexpression of human GFAP (transgenic, TG) and a point mutation in mouse GFAP (knock-in, KI) to examine the formation of RFs and to find astrocyte changes that correlate with the appearance of RFs. We found RFs of various sizes and shapes. The smallest ones appear as granular depositions on intermediate filaments. These contain GFAP and the small heat shock protein, alphaB-crystallin. Their aggregation appears to give rise to large RFs. The appearance of new RFs and the growth of previously formed RFs occur over time. We determined that DAPI is a reliable marker of RFs and in parallel with Fluoro-Jade B (FJB) staining defined a high variability in the appearance of RFs, even in neighboring astrocytes. Although many astrocytes in AxD with increased levels of GFAP and with or without RFs change their phenotype, only some cells with large numbers of RFs show a profound reconstruction of cellular processes, with a loss of fine distal processes and the appearance of large, lobulated nuclei, likely due to arrested mitosis. We conclude that 1) RFs appear to originate as small, osmiophilic masses containing both GFAP and alphaB-crystallin deposited on bundles of intermediate filaments. 2) RFs continue to form within AxD astrocytes over time. 3) DAPI is a reliable marker for RFs and can be used with immunolabeling. 4) RFs appear to interfere with the successful completion of astrocyte mitosis and cell division.

  12. S100B Protein Regulates Astrocyte Shape and Migration via Interaction with Src Kinase: IMPLICATIONS FOR ASTROCYTE DEVELOPMENT, ACTIVATION, AND TUMOR GROWTH.

    PubMed

    Brozzi, Flora; Arcuri, Cataldo; Giambanco, Ileana; Donato, Rosario

    2009-03-27

    S100B is a Ca(2+)-binding protein of the EF-hand type that is abundantly expressed in astrocytes and has been implicated in the regulation of several intracellular activities, including proliferation and differentiation. We show here that reducing S100B levels in the astrocytoma cell line GL15 and the Müller cell line MIO-M1 by small interference RNA technique results in a rapid disassembly of stress fibers, collapse of F-actin onto the plasma membrane and reduced migration, and acquisition of a stellate shape. Also, S100B-silenced GL15 and MIO-M1 Müller cells show a higher abundance of glial fibrillary acidic protein filaments, which mark differentiated astrocytes, compared with control cells. These effects are dependent on reduced activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) downstream effectors, Akt and RhoA, and consequently elevated activity of GSK3beta and Rac1 and decreased activity of the RhoA-associated kinase. Also, rat primary astrocytes transiently down-regulate S100B expression when exposed to the differentiating agent dibutyryl cyclic AMP and re-express S100B at later stages of dibutyryl cyclic AMP-induced differentiation. Moreover, reducing S100B levels results in a remarkably slow resumption of S100B expression, suggesting the S100B might regulate its own expression. Finally, we show that S100B interacts with Src kinase, thereby stimulating the PI3K/Akt and PI3K/RhoA pathways. These results suggest that S100B might contribute to reduce the differentiation potential of cells of the astrocytic lineage and participate in the astrocyte activation process in the case of brain insult and in invasive properties of glioma cells.

  13. Astrocyte heterogeneity in the brain: from development to disease

    PubMed Central

    Schitine, Clarissa; Nogaroli, Luciana; Costa, Marcos R.; Hedin-Pereira, Cecilia

    2015-01-01

    In the last decades, astrocytes have risen from passive supporters of neuronal activity to central players in brain function and cognition. Likewise, the heterogeneity of astrocytes starts to become recognized in contrast to the homogeneous population previously predicted. In this review, we focused on astrocyte heterogeneity in terms of their morphological, protein expression and functional aspects, and debate in a historical perspective the diversity encountered in glial progenitors and how they may reflect mature astrocyte heterogeneity. We discussed data that show that different progenitors may have unsuspected roles in developmental processes. We have approached the functions of astrocyte subpopulations on the onset of psychiatric and neurological diseases. PMID:25852472

  14. Proteasome inhibition increases DNA and RNA oxidation in astrocyte and neuron cultures.

    PubMed

    Ding, Qunxing; Dimayuga, Edgardo; Markesbery, William R; Keller, Jeffrey N

    2004-12-01

    Increased levels of nucleic acid oxidation have been described as part of normal brain aging and have been demonstrated to occur in multiple neurological disorders. The basis for increased nucleic acid oxidation in each of these conditions is presently unknown. Proteasome inhibition occurs in a host of neurodegenerative conditions and likely contributes to increased levels of oxidative damage and neurotoxicity. In the present study we demonstrate for the first time the ability of proteasome inhibition to increase the level of nucleic acid oxidation in primary neuron and astrocyte cultures. Administration of proteasome inhibitors (MG262, MG115) at concentrations that do not induce neuron death in the first 24 h of treatment, dramatically increase the levels of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and 8-hydroxyguanosine (8OHG) immunoreactivity in both cell types. Neurons underwent larger increases in nucleic acid oxidation compared to astrocyte cultures. While both DNA and RNA oxidation were observed following proteasome inhibition, RNA appeared to undergo a greater degree of oxidation than DNA. Both 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA were dramatically decreased following proteasome inhibition. Interestingly, an accumulation of unprocessed and/or cross-linked RNA species was observed following proteasome inhibition. Taken together, these data indicate the ability of proteasome inhibition to increase the levels of nucleic acid oxidation in both neurons and astrocytes, and suggest that proteasome inhibition may have deleterious effects on transcription and translation in both neurons and glia.

  15. Spatial organization of astrocytes in ferret visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    López‐Hidalgo, Mónica; Hoover, Walter B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Astrocytes form an intricate partnership with neural circuits to influence numerous cellular and synaptic processes. One prominent organizational feature of astrocytes is the “tiling” of the brain with non‐overlapping territories. There are some documented species and brain region–specific astrocyte specializations, but the extent of astrocyte diversity and circuit specificity are still unknown. We quantitatively defined the rules that govern the spatial arrangement of astrocyte somata and territory overlap in ferret visual cortex using a combination of in vivo two‐photon imaging, morphological reconstruction, immunostaining, and model simulations. We found that ferret astrocytes share, on average, half of their territory with other astrocytes. However, a specific class of astrocytes, abundant in thalamo‐recipient cortical layers (“kissing” astrocytes), overlap markedly less. Together, these results demonstrate novel features of astrocyte organization indicating that different classes of astrocytes are arranged in a circuit‐specific manner and that tiling does not apply universally across brain regions and species. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3561–3576, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27072916

  16. New tools for investigating astrocyte-to-neuron communication

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dongdong; Agulhon, Cendra; Schmidt, Elke; Oheim, Martin; Ropert, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    Gray matter protoplasmic astrocytes extend very thin processes and establish close contacts with synapses. It has been suggested that the release of neuroactive gliotransmitters at the tripartite synapse contributes to information processing. However, the concept of calcium (Ca2+)-dependent gliotransmitter release from astrocytes, and the release mechanisms are being debated. Studying astrocytes in their natural environment is challenging because: (i) astrocytes are electrically silent; (ii) astrocytes and neurons express an overlapping repertoire of transmembrane receptors; (iii) the size of astrocyte processes in contact with synapses are below the resolution of confocal and two-photon microscopes (iv) bulk-loading techniques using fluorescent Ca2+ indicators lack cellular specificity. In this review, we will discuss some limitations of conventional methodologies and highlight the interest of novel tools and approaches for studying gliotransmission. Genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators (GECIs), light-gated channels, and exogenous receptors are being developed to selectively read out and stimulate astrocyte activity. Our review discusses emerging perspectives on: (i) the complexity of astrocyte Ca2+ signaling revealed by GECIs; (ii) new pharmacogenetic and optogenetic approaches to activate specific Ca2+ signaling pathways in astrocytes; (iii) classical and new techniques to monitor vesicle fusion in cultured astrocytes; (iv) possible strategies to express specifically reporter genes in astrocytes. PMID:24194698

  17. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify, which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical, and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways. PMID:23125832

  18. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify, which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical, and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

  19. Spatial organization of astrocytes in ferret visual cortex.

    PubMed

    López-Hidalgo, Mónica; Hoover, Walter B; Schummers, James

    2016-12-01

    Astrocytes form an intricate partnership with neural circuits to influence numerous cellular and synaptic processes. One prominent organizational feature of astrocytes is the "tiling" of the brain with non-overlapping territories. There are some documented species and brain region-specific astrocyte specializations, but the extent of astrocyte diversity and circuit specificity are still unknown. We quantitatively defined the rules that govern the spatial arrangement of astrocyte somata and territory overlap in ferret visual cortex using a combination of in vivo two-photon imaging, morphological reconstruction, immunostaining, and model simulations. We found that ferret astrocytes share, on average, half of their territory with other astrocytes. However, a specific class of astrocytes, abundant in thalamo-recipient cortical layers ("kissing" astrocytes), overlap markedly less. Together, these results demonstrate novel features of astrocyte organization indicating that different classes of astrocytes are arranged in a circuit-specific manner and that tiling does not apply universally across brain regions and species. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3561-3576, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Astrocyte dysfunction triggers neurodegeneration in a lysosomal storage disorder.

    PubMed

    Di Malta, Chiara; Fryer, John D; Settembre, Carmine; Ballabio, Andrea

    2012-08-28

    The role of astrocytes in neurodegenerative processes is increasingly appreciated. Here we investigated the contribution of astrocytes to neurodegeneration in multiple sulfatase deficiency (MSD), a severe lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the sulfatase modifying factor 1 (SUMF1) gene. Using Cre/Lox mouse models, we found that astrocyte-specific deletion of Sumf1 in vivo induced severe lysosomal storage and autophagy dysfunction with consequential cytoplasmic accumulation of autophagic substrates. Lysosomal storage in astrocytes was sufficient to induce degeneration of cortical neurons in vivo. Furthermore, in an ex vivo coculture assay, we observed that Sumf1(-/-) astrocytes failed to support the survival and function of wild-type cortical neurons, suggesting a non-cell autonomous mechanism for neurodegeneration. Compared with the astrocyte-specific deletion of Sumf1, the concomitant removal of Sumf1 in both neurons and glia in vivo induced a widespread neuronal loss and robust neuroinflammation. Finally, behavioral analysis of mice with astrocyte-specific deletion of Sumf1 compared with mice with Sumf1 deletion in both astrocytes and neurons allowed us to link a subset of neurological manifestations of MSD to astrocyte dysfunction. This study indicates that astrocytes are integral components of the neuropathology in MSD and that modulation of astrocyte function may impact disease course.

  1. Lrp4 in astrocytes modulates glutamatergic transmission.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiang-Dong; Li, Lei; Liu, Fang; Huang, Zhi-Hui; Bean, Jonathan C; Jiao, Hui-Feng; Barik, Arnab; Kim, Seon-Myung; Wu, Haitao; Shen, Chengyong; Tian, Yun; Lin, Thiri W; Bates, Ryan; Sathyamurthy, Anupama; Chen, Yong-Jun; Yin, Dong-Min; Xiong, Lei; Lin, Hui-Ping; Hu, Jin-Xia; Li, Bao-Ming; Gao, Tian-Ming; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Mei, Lin

    2016-08-01

    Neurotransmission requires precise control of neurotransmitter release from axon terminals. This process is regulated by glial cells; however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We found that glutamate release in the brain was impaired in mice lacking low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (Lrp4), a protein that is critical for neuromuscular junction formation. Electrophysiological studies revealed compromised release probability in astrocyte-specific Lrp4 knockout mice. Lrp4 mutant astrocytes suppressed glutamatergic transmission by enhancing the release of ATP, whose level was elevated in the hippocampus of Lrp4 mutant mice. Consequently, the mutant mice were impaired in locomotor activity and spatial memory and were resistant to seizure induction. These impairments could be ameliorated by blocking the adenosine A1 receptor. The results reveal a critical role for Lrp4, in response to agrin, in modulating astrocytic ATP release and synaptic transmission. Our findings provide insight into the interaction between neurons and astrocytes for synaptic homeostasis and/or plasticity.

  2. Lrp4 in astrocytes modulates glutamatergic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xiang-Dong; Li, Lei; Liu, Fang; Huang, Zhi-Hui; Bean, Jonathan. C.; Jiao, Hui-Feng; Barik, Arnab; Kim, Seon-Myung; Wu, Haitao; Shen, Chengyong; Tian, Yun; Lin, Thiri W.; Bates, Ryan; Sathyamurthy, Anupama; Chen, Yong-Jun; Yin, Dong-Min; Xiong, Lei; Lin, Hui-Ping; Hu, Jin-Xia; Li, Bao-Ming; Gao, Tian-Ming; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Mei, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmission requires precise control of neurotransmitter release from axon terminals. This process is regulated by glial cells; however, underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Here we report that glutamate release in the brain is impaired in mice lacking low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (Lrp4), a protein critical for neuromuscular junction formation. Electrophysiological studies indicate compromised release probability in astrocyte-specific Lrp4 knockout mice. Lrp4 mutant astrocytes suppress glutamate transmission by enhancing the release of ATP, whose levels are elevated in the hippocampus of Lrp4 mutant mice. Consequently, the mutant mice are impaired in locomotor activity and spatial memory and are resistant to seizure induction. These impairments could be ameliorated by adenosine A1 receptor antagonist. The results reveal a critical role of Lrp4, in response to agrin, in modulating astrocytic ATP release and synaptic transmission. Our study provides insight into the interaction between neurons and astrocytes for synaptic homeostasis and/or plasticity. PMID:27294513

  3. Clonal Astrocytic Response to Cortical Injury

    PubMed Central

    Núñez-Llaves, Raúl; López-Mascaraque, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes are a heterogeneous population of glial cells with multifaceted roles in the central nervous system. Recently, the new method for the clonal analysis Star Track evidenced the link between astrocyte heterogeneity and lineage. Here, we tested the morphological response to mechanical injury of clonally related astrocytes using the Star Track approach, which labels each cell lineage with a specific code of colors. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses at 7 days post injury revealed a variety of morphological changes that were different among distinct clones. In many cases, cells of the same clone responded equally to the injury, suggesting the dependence on their genetic codification (intrinsic response). However, in other cases cells of the same clone responded differently to the injury, indicating their response to extrinsic factors. Thus, whereas some clones exhibited a strong morphological alteration or a high proliferative response to the injury, other clones located at similar distances to the lesion were apparently unresponsive. Concurrence of different clonal responses to the injury reveals the importance of the development determining the astrocyte features in response to brain injuries. These features should be considered to develop therapies that affect glial function. PMID:24040158

  4. New roles for astrocytes: the nightlife of an 'astrocyte'. La vida loca!

    PubMed

    Horner, Philip J; Palmer, Theo D

    2003-11-01

    Like a newly popular nightspot, the biology of adult stem cells has emerged from obscurity to become one of the most lively new disciplines of the decade. The neurosciences have not escaped this trendy pastime and, from amid the noise and excitement, the astrocyte emerges as a beguiling companion to the adult neural stem cell. A once receding partner to neurons and oligodendrocytes, the astrocyte even takes on an alter ego of the stem cell itself (S. Goldman, this issue of TINS). Putting ego aside, the 'astrocyte' is also (and perhaps more importantly) an integral component of neural progenitor hotspots, where the craziness or 'la vida loca' of the nightlife might not be so wild when compared with our traditional understanding of the astrocyte. Here, astrocytes contribute to the instructive confluence of location, atmosphere and cellular neighbors that define the daily 'vida local' or everyday local life of an adult stem cell. This review discusses astrocytes as influential components in the local stem cell niche.

  5. Effect of stress and peripheral immune activation on astrocyte activation in transgenic bioluminescent Gfap-luc mice.

    PubMed

    Biesmans, Steven; Acton, Paul D; Cotto, Carlos; Langlois, Xavier; Ver Donck, Luc; Bouwknecht, Jan A; Aelvoet, Sarah-Ann; Hellings, Niels; Meert, Theo F; Nuydens, Rony

    2015-07-01

    Neuroinflammation and the accompanying activation of glial cells is an important feature of many neurodegenerative conditions. It is known that factors such as peripheral infections and stress can influence immune processes in the brain. However, the effect of these stressors on astrocyte activation in vivo remains elusive. In this study, transgenic Gfap-luc mice expressing the luciferase gene under the transcriptional control of the glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter were used to quantify the kinetics of in vivo astrocyte activation following immune challenges relevant to clinical inflammation. It was found that astrocytes respond rapidly to peripheral immune activation elicited by either bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or the viral mimetic polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)). By measuring bioluminescence and 18-kDa translocator protein radioligand binding in the same animal it was observed that LPS induces both astrocyte as well as microglial activation at 6 h post-administration. Furthermore, the astrocyte response decreased upon repeated systemic LPS injections, indicating development of tolerance to the LPS challenge. Finally, restraining Gfap-luc mice for 1 h daily on 5 consecutive days did not affect brain bioluminescence, thereby indicating that sub-chronic stress does not influence astrocyte activation under unchallenged conditions. However, stressed animals showed a reduced response to a subsequent systemic LPS injection, suggesting that the immune system is compromised in these animals. Here, we demonstrate that Gfap-luc mice can be used to study astrocyte activation in response to stimuli relevant for clinical inflammation and that this approach may provide a more complete characterization of existing and novel models of neuroinflammation

  6. TWIK-1 and TREK-1 are potassium channels contributing significantly to astrocyte passive conductance in rat hippocampal slices.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Min; Xu, Guangjin; Xie, Minjie; Zhang, Xuexin; Schools, Gary P; Ma, Liqun; Kimelberg, Harold K; Chen, Haijun

    2009-07-01

    Expression of a linear current-voltage (I-V) relationship (passive) K(+) membrane conductance is a hallmark of mature hippocampal astrocytes. However, the molecular identifications of the K(+) channels underlying this passive conductance remain unknown. We provide the following evidence supporting significant contribution of the two-pore domain K(+) channel (K(2P)) isoforms, TWIK-1 and TREK-1, to this conductance. First, both passive astrocytes and the cloned rat TWIK-1 and TREK-1 channels expressed in CHO cells conduct significant amounts of Cs(+) currents, but vary in their relative P(Cs)/P(K) permeability, 0.43, 0.10, and 0.05, respectively. Second, quinine, which potently inhibited TWIK-1 (IC(50) = 85 microm) and TREK-1 (IC(50) = 41 microm) currents, also inhibited astrocytic passive conductance by 58% at a concentration of 200 microm. Third, a moderate sensitivity of passive conductance to low extracellular pH (6.0) supports a combined expression of acid-insensitive TREK-1, and to a lesser extent, acid-sensitive TWIK-1. Fourth, the astrocyte passive conductance showed low sensitivity to extracellular Ba(2+), and extracellular Ba(2+) blocked TWIK-1 channels at an IC(50) of 960 microm and had no effect on TREK-1 channels. Finally, an immunocytochemical study showed colocalization of TWIK-1 and TREK-1 proteins with the astrocytic markers GLAST and GFAP in rat hippocampal stratum radiatum. In contrast, another K(2P) isoform TASK-1 was mainly colocalized with the neuronal marker NeuN in hippocampal pyramidal neurons and was expressed at a much lower level in astrocytes. These results support TWIK-1 and TREK-1 as being the major components of the long-sought K(+) channels underlying the passive conductance of mature hippocampal astrocytes.

  7. Digital implementation of a biological astrocyte model and its application.

    PubMed

    Soleimani, Hamid; Bavandpour, Mohammad; Ahmadi, Arash; Abbott, Derek

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a modified astrocyte model that allows a convenient digital implementation. This model is aimed at reproducing relevant biological astrocyte behaviors, which provide appropriate feedback control in regulating neuronal activities in the central nervous system. Accordingly, we investigate the feasibility of a digital implementation for a single astrocyte and a biological neuronal network model constructed by connecting two limit-cycle Hopf oscillators to an implementation of the proposed astrocyte model using oscillator-astrocyte interactions with weak coupling. Hardware synthesis, physical implementation on field-programmable gate array, and theoretical analysis confirm that the proposed astrocyte model, with considerably low hardware overhead, can mimic biological astrocyte model behaviors, resulting in desynchronization of the two coupled limit-cycle oscillators.

  8. Astrocyte calcium signalling orchestrates neuronal synchronization in organotypic hippocampal slices

    PubMed Central

    Sasaki, Takuya; Ishikawa, Tomoe; Abe, Reimi; Nakayama, Ryota; Asada, Akiko; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes are thought to detect neuronal activity in the form of intracellular calcium elevations; thereby, astrocytes can regulate neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. Little is known, however, about how the astrocyte calcium signal regulates the activity of neuronal populations. In this study, we addressed this issue using functional multineuron calcium imaging in hippocampal slice cultures. Under normal conditions, CA3 neuronal networks exhibited temporally correlated activity patterns, occasionally generating large synchronization among a subset of cells. The synchronized neuronal activity was correlated with astrocyte calcium events. Calcium buffering by an intracellular injection of a calcium chelator into multiple astrocytes reduced the synaptic strength of unitary transmission between pairs of surrounding pyramidal cells and caused desynchronization of the neuronal networks. Uncaging the calcium in the astrocytes increased the frequency of neuronal synchronization. These data suggest an essential role of the astrocyte calcium signal in the maintenance of basal neuronal function at the circuit level. PMID:24710057

  9. MCT4-mediated expression of EAAT1 is involved in the resistance to hypoxia injury in astrocyte-neuron co-cultures.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chen; Zhu, Wenxia; Tian, Lizhuang; Zhang, Jingke; Li, Zhiyun

    2015-04-01

    Hypoxic stressors contribute to neuronal death in many brain diseases. Astrocyte processes surround most neurons and are therefore anatomically well-positioned to shield them from hypoxic injury. Excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs), represent the sole mechanism of active reuptake of glutamate into the astrocytes and neurons and are essential to dampen neuronal excitation following glutamate release at synapses. Glutamate clearance impairment from any factors is bound to result in an increase in hypoxic neuronal injury. The brain energy metabolism under hypoxic conditions depends on monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) that are expressed by neurons and glia. Previous co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that MCT4 directly modulate EAAT1 in astrocytes. The reduction in both surface proteins may act synergistically to induce neuronal hyperexcitability and excitotoxicity. Therefore we hypothesized that astrocytes would respond to hypoxic conditions by enhancing their expression of MCT4 and EAAT1, which, in turn, would enable them to better support neurons to survive lethal hypoxia injury. An oxygen deprivation (OD) protocol was used in primary cultures of neurons, astrocytes, and astrocytes-neurons derived from rat hippocampus, with or without MCT4-targeted short hairpin RNA (shRNA) transfection. Cell survival, expression of MCT4, EAAT1, glial fibrillary acidic protein and neuronal nuclear antigen were evaluated. OD resulted in significant cell death in neuronal cultures and up-regulation of MCT4, EAAT1 expression respectively in primary cell cultures, but no injury in neuron-astrocyte co-cultures and astrocyte cultures. However, neuronal cell death in co-cultures was increased exposure to shRNA-MCT4 prior to OD. These findings demonstrate that the MCT4-mediated expression of EAAT1 is involved in the resistance to hypoxia injury in astrocyte-neuron co-cultures.

  10. Type-dependent oxidative damage in frontotemporal lobar degeneration: cortical astrocytes are targets of oxidative damage.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Anna; Carmona, Margarita; Portero-Otin, Manuel; Naudí, Alba; Pamplona, Reinald; Ferrer, Isidre

    2008-12-01

    Oxidative injury and stress responses are common features of many neurodegenerative diseases. To assess oxidative stress responses in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), we identified increased 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) adducts using gel electrophoresis and Western blotting in frontal cortex samples in 6 of 6 cases of FTLD with the P301L mutation in the tau gene (FTLD-tau), in 3 of 10 cases with tau-negative ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions, and in 2 of 3 cases associated with motor neuron disease. Selectively increased lipoxidation-derived protein damage associated with altered membrane unsaturation and fatty acid profiles was verified by mass spectrometry in FTLD-tau and FTLD associated with motor neuron disease. All FTLD-tau and most cases with increased HNE-positive bands had marked astrocytosis as determined by glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunohistochemistry and increased GFAP expression on Western blotting; 2 FTLD cases with tau-negative ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions and with increased GFAP expression did not have increased HNE adducts. Bidimensional gel electrophoresis, Western blotting, in-gel digestion, and mass spectrometry identified GFAP as a major target of lipoxidation in all positive cases; confocal microscopy revealed colocalization of HNE and GFAP in cortical astrocytes, superoxide dismutase 1 in astrocytes, and superoxide dismutase 2 in astrocytes and neurons in all FTLD types. Thus, in FTLD, there is variable disease-dependent oxidative damage that is prominent in FTLD-tau, astrocytes are targets of oxidative damage, and GFAP is a target of lipoxidation. Astrocytes are, therefore, crucial elements of oxidative stress responses in FTLD.

  11. Mutant astrocytes differentiated from Rett syndrome patients-specific iPSCs have adverse effects on wild-type neurons

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Emily Cunningham; Zhong, Xiaofen; Mohamed, Ahmed; Li, Ronghui; Liu, Yan; Dong, Qiping; Ananiev, Gene E.; Mok, Jonathan Chern Choong; Lin, Benjamin Ray; Lu, Jianfeng; Chiao, Cassandra; Cherney, Rachel; Li, Hongda; Zhang, Su-Chun; Chang, Qiang

    2014-01-01

    The disease mechanism of Rett syndrome (RTT) is not well understood. Studies in RTT mouse models have suggested a non-cell-autonomous role for astrocytes in RTT pathogenesis. However, it is not clear whether this is also true for human RTT astrocytes. To establish an in vitro human RTT model, we previously generated isogenic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from several RTT patients carrying different disease-causing mutations. Here, we show that these RTT iPSC lines can be efficiently differentiated into astroglial progenitors and glial fibrillary acidic protein-expressing (GFAP+) astrocytes that maintain isogenic status, that mutant RTT astrocytes carrying three different RTT mutations and their conditioned media have adverse effects on the morphology and function of wild-type neurons and that the glial effect on neuronal morphology is independent of the intrinsic neuronal deficit in mutant neurons. Moreover, we show that both insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and GPE (a peptide containing the first 3 amino acids of IGF-1) are able to partially rescue the neuronal deficits caused by mutant RTT astrocytes. Our findings confirm the critical glial contribution to RTT pathology, reveal potential cellular targets of IGF-1 therapy and further validate patient-specific iPSCs and their derivatives as valuable tools to study RTT disease mechanism. PMID:24419315

  12. Astrocyte arachidonate and palmitate uptake and metabolism is differentially modulated by dibutyryl-cAMP treatment.

    PubMed

    Seeger, D R; Murphy, C C; Murphy, E J

    2016-07-01

    Astrocytes play a vital role in brain lipid metabolism; however the impact of the phenotypic shift in astrocytes to a reactive state on arachidonic acid metabolism is unknown. Therefore, we determined the impact of dibutyryl-cAMP (dBcAMP) treatment on radiolabeled arachidonic acid ([1-(14)C]20:4n-6) and palmitic acid ([1-(14)C]16:0) uptake and metabolism in primary cultured murine cortical astrocytes. In dBcAMP treated astrocytes, total [1-(14)C]20:4n-6 uptake was increased 1.9-fold compared to control, while total [1-(14)C]16:0 uptake was unaffected. Gene expression of long-chain acyl-CoA synthetases (Acsl), acyl-CoA hydrolase (Acot7), fatty acid binding protein(s) (Fabp) and alpha-synuclein (Snca) were determined using qRT-PCR. dBcAMP treatment increased expression of Acsl3 (4.8-fold) and Acsl4 (1.3-fold), which preferentially use [1-(14)C]20:4n-6 and are highly expressed in astrocytes, consistent with the increase in [1-(14)C]20:4n-6 uptake. However, expression of Fabp5 and Fabp7 were significantly reduced by 25% and 45%, respectively. Acot7 (20%) was also reduced, suggesting dBcAMP treatment favors acyl-CoA formation. dBcAMP treatment enhanced [1-(14)C]20:4n-6 (2.2-fold) and [1-(14)C]16:0 (1.6-fold) esterification into total phospholipids, but the greater esterification of [1-(14)C]20:4n-6 is consistent with the observed uptake through increased Acsl, but not Fabp expression. Although total [1-(14)C]16:0 uptake was not affected, there was a dramatic decrease in [1-(14)C]16:0 in the free fatty acid pool as esterification into the phospholipid pool was increased, which is consistent with the increase in Acsl3 and Acsl4 expression. In summary, our data demonstrates that dBcAMP treatment increases [1-(14)C]20:4n-6 uptake in astrocytes and this increase appears to be due to increased expression of Acsl3 and Acsl4 coupled with a reduction in Acot7 expression.

  13. Differential molecular profiles of astrocytes in degeneration and re-innervation after sensory deafferentation of the adult rat cochlear nucleus.

    PubMed

    Fredrich, Michaela; Zeber, Anne C; Hildebrandt, Heika; Illing, Robert-Benjamin

    2013-07-01

    Ablating the cochlea causes total sensory deafferentation of the cochlear nucleus. Over the first postoperative week, degeneration of the auditory nerve and its synaptic terminals in the cochlear nucleus temporally overlaps with its re-innervation by axon collaterals of medial olivocochlear neurons. At the same time, astrocytes increase in size and density. We investigated the time courses of the expression of ezrin, polysialic acid, matrix metalloprotease-9 and matrix metalloprotease-2 within these astrocytes during the first week following cochlear ablation. All four proteins are known to participate in degeneration, regeneration, or both, following injury of the central nervous system. In a next step, stereotaxic injections of kainic acid were made into the ventral nucleus of the trapezoid body prior to cochlear ablation to destroy the neurons that re-innervate the deafferented cochlear nucleus by axon collaterals developing growth-associated protein 43 immunoreactivity. This experimental design allowed us to distinguish between molecular processes associated with degeneration and those associated with re-innervation. Under these conditions, astrocytic growth and proliferation showed an unchanged deafferentation-induced pattern. Similarly, the distribution and amount of ezrin and matrix metalloprotease-9 in astrocytes after cochlear ablation developed in the same way as under cochlear ablation alone. In sharp contrast, the astrocytic expression of polysialic acid and matrix metalloprotease-2 normally invoked by cochlear ablation collapsed when re-innervation of the cochlear nucleus was inhibited by lesioning medial olivocochlear neurons with kainic acid. In conclusion, re-innervation, including axonal growth and synaptogenesis, seems to prompt astrocytes to recompose their molecular profile, paving the way for tissue reorganisation after nerve degeneration and loss of synaptic contacts.

  14. Blast shockwaves propagate Ca(2+) activity via purinergic astrocyte networks in human central nervous system cells.

    PubMed

    Ravin, Rea; Blank, Paul S; Busse, Brad; Ravin, Nitay; Vira, Shaleen; Bezrukov, Ludmila; Waters, Hang; Guerrero-Cazares, Hugo; Quinones-Hinojosa, Alfredo; Lee, Philip R; Fields, R Douglas; Bezrukov, Sergey M; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2016-05-10

    In a recent study of the pathophysiology of mild, blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) the exposure of dissociated, central nervous system (CNS) cells to simulated blast resulted in propagating waves of elevated intracellular Ca(2+). Here we show, in dissociated human CNS cultures, that these calcium waves primarily propagate through astrocyte-dependent, purinergic signaling pathways that are blocked by P2 antagonists. Human, compared to rat, astrocytes had an increased calcium response and prolonged calcium wave propagation kinetics, suggesting that in our model system rat CNS cells are less responsive to simulated blast. Furthermore, in response to simulated blast, human CNS cells have increased expressions of a reactive astrocyte marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and a protease, matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9). The conjoint increased expression of GFAP and MMP-9 and a purinergic ATP (P2) receptor antagonist reduction in calcium response identifies both potential mechanisms for sustained changes in brain function following primary bTBI and therapeutic strategies targeting abnormal astrocyte activity.

  15. Blast shockwaves propagate Ca2+ activity via purinergic astrocyte networks in human central nervous system cells

    PubMed Central

    Ravin, Rea; Blank, Paul S.; Busse, Brad; Ravin, Nitay; Vira, Shaleen; Bezrukov, Ludmila; Waters, Hang; Guerrero-Cazares, Hugo; Quinones-Hinojosa, Alfredo; Lee, Philip R.; Fields, R. Douglas; Bezrukov, Sergey M.; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2016-01-01

    In a recent study of the pathophysiology of mild, blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) the exposure of dissociated, central nervous system (CNS) cells to simulated blast resulted in propagating waves of elevated intracellular Ca2+. Here we show, in dissociated human CNS cultures, that these calcium waves primarily propagate through astrocyte-dependent, purinergic signaling pathways that are blocked by P2 antagonists. Human, compared to rat, astrocytes had an increased calcium response and prolonged calcium wave propagation kinetics, suggesting that in our model system rat CNS cells are less responsive to simulated blast. Furthermore, in response to simulated blast, human CNS cells have increased expressions of a reactive astrocyte marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and a protease, matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9). The conjoint increased expression of GFAP and MMP-9 and a purinergic ATP (P2) receptor antagonist reduction in calcium response identifies both potential mechanisms for sustained changes in brain function following primary bTBI and therapeutic strategies targeting abnormal astrocyte activity. PMID:27162174

  16. Toxicity of organotin compounds in primary cultures of rat cortical astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Röhl, C; Gülden, M; Seibert, H

    2001-01-01

    The neurotoxic organotin compounds trimethyl (TMT) and triethyltin (TET) are known to induce astrogliosis in vivo, which is indicated by an increased synthesis of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in astrocytes. In contrast, tributyltin (TBT) does not induce astrogliosis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether trialkyltin derivatives can induce an increased GFAP synthesis in astrocyte cultures in the absence of neurons and whether differences between the action of TMT, TET, and TBT can be detected. Primary cultures of rat cortical astrocytes from 2-day-old rats were grown in 96-well plates until confluency and then exposed to various concentrations of TMT, TET, and TBT for 40 h. Effects on basal cell functions were measured by colorimetric determination of cell protein contents and by assessment of viability by means of the MTT assay. An indirect sandwich ELISA for 96-well plates was used for quantitative measurements of the GFAP content of the cells. All three compounds induced a concentration-dependent cytotoxicity indicated by parallel decreases of protein contents and MTT reduction. Half-maximum cytotoxic concentrations were 3 micromol/L (TBT), 30 micromol/L (TET), and 800 micromol/L (TMT). Cellular GFAP contents were reduced in parallel to cytotoxic action but no increase in GFAP expression at subcytotoxic concentrations could be observed. Thus, the astrocytes were not able to respond to TMT or TET exposure by an increased synthesis of GFAP in the absence of neuronal signals.

  17. Tenascin-C regulates proliferation and migration of cultured astrocytes in a scratch wound assay.

    PubMed

    Nishio, T; Kawaguchi, S; Yamamoto, M; Iseda, T; Kawasaki, T; Hase, T

    2005-01-01

    Tenascin-C (TNC), an extracellular matrix glycoprotein, is involved in tissue morphogenesis like embryogenesis, wound healing or tumorigenesis. Astrocytes are known to play major roles in wound healing in the CNS. To elucidate the roles of TNC in wound closure by astrocytes, we have examined the morphological changes of cultured astrocytes in a scratch wound assay and measured the content of soluble TNC released into the medium. We have also localized the expression of TNC mRNA, TNC, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vimentin and integrin beta1. After wounding, glial cells rapidly released the largest TNC isoform and proliferated in the border zones. Subsequently, they became polarized with unidirectional processes and finally migrated toward the denuded area. The proliferating border zone cells and pre-migratory cells intensely expressed TNC mRNA, TNC-, vimentin-, GFAP- and integrin beta1-like immunoreactivity, while the migratory cells showed generally reduced expression except the front. Exogenous TNC enhanced cell proliferation and migration, while functional blocking with anti-TNC or anti-integrin beta1 antibody reduced both of them. These results suggest that mechanical injury induces boundary astrocytes to produce and release TNC that promotes cell proliferation and migration via integrin beta1 in an autocrine/paracrine fashion.

  18. Immunohistochemical studies on the new type of astrocytic inclusions identified in a patient with brain malformation.

    PubMed

    Kato, S; Hirano, A; Umahara, T; Herz, F; Shioda, K; Minagawa, M

    1992-01-01

    Immunohistochemical studies were carried out on the new type of cerebral cortical astrocytic inclusions recently discovered in a 20-year-old patient with maldeveloped brain and micropolygyria. The inclusions appeared as eosinophilic structures (hematoxylin and eosin stain) and did not exhibit argyrophilia (modified Bielschowsky method). The inclusions were strongly stained by the antibody against S-100 protein (S 100) and to a lesser extent by the antibody to microtubule-associated protein 1B (MAP 1B). In contrast to Rosenthal fibers, the astrocytic inclusions did not react with antibodies to alpha B-crystallin, glial fibrillary acidic protein and ubiquitin. No positive reactions were obtained with antibodies against heat-shock protein 27 (HSP 27), HSP 72, actin, vimentin, desmin, cytokeratin, myelin basic protein, beta-tubulin, MAP 2, tau protein, paired helical filament, phosphorylated neurofilament protein (NFP), nonphosphorylated NFP, synaptophysin, cathepsin D, alpha 1-antichymotrypsin, alpha 1-antitrypsin and basic fibroblast growth factor. By immunoelectron microscopy, the products of the reaction with the anti-S 100 antibody appeared as heterogeneous granular deposits and with the antibody to MAP 1B they were randomly scattered throughout the astrocytic inclusions. Our results demonstrate that the immunohistochemical profile of the recently described inclusions differs from that of Rosenthal fibers. Whether the novel inclusions are involved in congenital astrocyte dysfunction and cerebral malformation remains to be established.

  19. Uptake of dimercaptosuccinate-coated magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles by cultured brain astrocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geppert, Mark; Hohnholt, Michaela C.; Thiel, Karsten; Nürnberger, Sylvia; Grunwald, Ingo; Rezwan, Kurosch; Dringen, Ralf

    2011-04-01

    Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe-NP) are currently considered for various diagnostic and therapeutic applications in the brain. However, little is known on the accumulation and biocompatibility of such particles in brain cells. We have synthesized and characterized dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) coated Fe-NP and have investigated their uptake by cultured brain astrocytes. DMSA-coated Fe-NP that were dispersed in physiological medium had an average hydrodynamic diameter of about 60 nm. Incubation of cultured astrocytes with these Fe-NP caused a time- and concentration-dependent accumulation of cellular iron, but did not lead within 6 h to any cell toxicity. After 4 h of incubation with 100-4000 µM iron supplied as Fe-NP, the cellular iron content reached levels between 200 and 2000 nmol mg - 1 protein. The cellular iron content after exposure of astrocytes to Fe-NP at 4 °C was drastically lowered compared to cells that had been incubated at 37 °C. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of Fe-NP-containing vesicles in cells that were incubated with Fe-NP at 37 °C, but not in cells exposed to the nanoparticles at 4 °C. These data demonstrate that cultured astrocytes efficiently take up DMSA-coated Fe-NP in a process that appears to be saturable and strongly depends on the incubation temperature.

  20. Chronic stress-induced disruption of the astrocyte network is driven by structural atrophy and not loss of astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Tynan, Ross J; Beynon, Sarah B; Hinwood, Madeleine; Johnson, Sarah J; Nilsson, Michael; Woods, Jason J; Walker, Frederick R

    2013-07-01

    Chronic stress is well recognized to decrease the number of GFAP⁺ astrocytes within the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Recent research, however, has suggested that our understanding of how stress alters astrocytes may be incomplete. Specifically, chronic stress has been shown to induce a unique form of microglial remodelling, but it is not yet clear whether astrocytes also undergo similar structural modifications. Such alterations may be significant given the role of astrocytes in modulating synaptic function. Accordingly, in the current study we have examined changes in astrocyte morphology following exposure to chronic stress in adult rats, using three-dimensional digital reconstructions of astrocytes. Our analysis indicated that chronic stress produced profound atrophy of astrocyte process length, branching and volume. We additionally examined changes in astrocyte-specific S100β, which are both a putative astrocyte marker and a protein whose expression is associated with astrocyte distress. While we found that S100β levels were increased by stress, this increase was not correlated with atrophy. We further established that while chronic stress was associated with a decrease in astrocyte numbers when GFAP labelling was used as a marker, we could find no evidence of a decrease in the total number of cells, based on Nissl staining, or in the number of S100β⁺ cells. This finding suggests that chronic stress may not actually reduce astrocyte numbers and may instead selectively decrease GFAP expression. The results of the current study are significant as they indicate stress-induced astrocyte-mediated disturbances may not be due to a loss of cells but rather due to significant remodeling of the astrocyte network.

  1. Hippocampal Astrocyte Cultures from Adult and Aged Rats Reproduce Changes in Glial Functionality Observed in the Aging Brain.

    PubMed

    Bellaver, Bruna; Souza, Débora Guerini; Souza, Diogo Onofre; Quincozes-Santos, André

    2016-03-30

    Astrocytes are dynamic cells that maintain brain homeostasis, regulate neurotransmitter systems, and process synaptic information, energy metabolism, antioxidant defenses, and inflammatory response. Aging is a biological process that is closely associated with hippocampal astrocyte dysfunction. In this sense, we demonstrated that hippocampal astrocytes from adult and aged Wistar rats reproduce the glial functionality alterations observed in aging by evaluating several senescence, glutamatergic, oxidative and inflammatory parameters commonly associated with the aging process. Here, we show that the p21 senescence-associated gene and classical astrocyte markers, such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vimentin, and actin, changed their expressions in adult and aged astrocytes. Age-dependent changes were also observed in glutamate transporters (glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST) and glutamate transporter-1 (GLT-1)) and glutamine synthetase immunolabeling and activity. Additionally, according to in vivo aging, astrocytes from adult and aged rats showed an increase in oxidative/nitrosative stress with mitochondrial dysfunction, an increase in RNA oxidation, NADPH oxidase (NOX) activity, superoxide levels, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression levels. Changes in antioxidant defenses were also observed. Hippocampal astrocytes also displayed age-dependent inflammatory response with augmentation of proinflammatory cytokine levels, such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-18, and messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2). Furthermore, these cells secrete neurotrophic factors, including glia-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), S100 calcium-binding protein B (S100B) protein, and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), which changed in an age-dependent manner. Classical signaling pathways associated with aging, such as nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2), nuclear factor kappa B (NFκ

  2. SOX9 is an astrocyte-specific nuclear marker in the adult brain outside the neurogenic regions.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wei; Cornwell, Adam; Li, Jiashu; Peng, Sisi; Osorio, M Joana; Su Wanga, Nadia Aalling; Benraiss, Abdellatif; Lou, Nanhong; Goldman, Steven A; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2017-03-23

    Astrocytes have in recent years become the focus of intense experimental interest, yet markers for their definitive identification remain both scarce and imperfect. Astrocytes may be recognized as such by their expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), glutamine synthetase (GS), glutamate transporter 1 (GLT1)quaporin-4 (AQP4)ldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member L1 (ALDH1L1)nd other proteins. Yet these proteins may all be regulated both developmentally and functionally, restricting their utility. To identify a nuclear marker pathognomonic of astrocytic phenotype, we assessed differential RNA expression by FACS-purified adult astrocytesnd on that basis evaluated the expression of the transcription factor SOX9 in both mouse and human brain. We found that SOX9 is almost selectively expressed by astrocytes in the adult brain except for ependymal cells and in the neurogenic regions, where SOX9 is also expressed by neural progenitor cells. Transcriptome comparisons of SOX9+ cells with GLT1+ cells showed that the two populations of cells exhibit largely overlapping gene expression. Expression of SOX9 did not decrease during agingnd was instead upregulated by reactive astrocytes in a number of settings, including a murine model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SOD1G93A), middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)nd multiple mini-strokes. We quantified the relative number of astrocytes using the isotropic fractionator technique in combination with SOX9 immunolabeling. The analysis showed that SOX9+ astrocytes constitute 10%∼20% of the total cell number in most CNS regions smaller fraction of total cell number than previously estimated in the normal adult brain.Significance Statement Astrocytes are traditionally identified immuno-histochemically by antibodies that target cell-specific antigens in the cytosol or plasma membrane. We show here that SOX9 is an astrocyte-specific nuclear marker in all major areas of the central nervous system outside of the neurogenic

  3. Manganese inhibits the ability of astrocytes to promote neuronal differentiation

    SciTech Connect

    Giordano, Gennaro; Pizzurro, Daniella; VanDeMark, Kathryn; Guizzetti, Marina; Costa, Lucio G.

    2009-10-15

    Manganese (Mn) is a known neurotoxicant and developmental neurotoxicant. As Mn has been shown to accumulate in astrocytes, we sought to investigate whether Mn would alter astrocyte-neuronal interactions, specifically the ability of astrocytes to promote differentiation of neurons. We found that exposure of rat cortical astrocytes to Mn (50-500 {mu}M) impaired their ability to promote axonal and neurite outgrowth in hippocampal neurons. This effect of Mn appeared to be mediated by oxidative stress, as it was reversed by antioxidants (melatonin and PBN) and by increasing glutathione levels, while it was potentiated by glutathione depletion in astrocytes. As the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin plays an important role in astrocyte-mediated neuronal neurite outgrowth, we also investigated the effect of Mn on fibronectin. Mn caused a concentration-dependent decrease of fibronectin protein and mRNA in astrocytes lysate and of fibronectin protein in astrocyte medium; these effects were also antagonized by antioxidants. Exposure of astrocytes to two oxidants, H{sub 2}O{sub 2} and DMNQ, similarly impaired their neuritogenic action, and led to a decreased expression of fibronectin. Mn had no inhibitory effect on neurite outgrowth when applied directly onto hippocampal neurons, where it actually caused a small increase in neuritogenesis. These results indicate that Mn, by targeting astrocytes, affects their ability to promote neuronal differentiation by a mechanism which is likely to involve oxidative stress.

  4. Handling of Copper and Copper Oxide Nanoparticles by Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Bulcke, Felix; Dringen, Ralf

    2016-02-01

    Copper is an essential trace element for many important cellular functions. However, excess of copper can impair cellular functions by copper-induced oxidative stress. In brain, astrocytes are considered to play a prominent role in the copper homeostasis. In this short review we summarise the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms which are involved in the handling of copper by astrocytes. Cultured astrocytes efficiently take up copper ions predominantly by the copper transporter Ctr1 and the divalent metal transporter DMT1. In addition, copper oxide nanoparticles are rapidly accumulated by astrocytes via endocytosis. Cultured astrocytes tolerate moderate increases in intracellular copper contents very well. However, if a given threshold of cellular copper content is exceeded after exposure to copper, accelerated production of reactive oxygen species and compromised cell viability are observed. Upon exposure to sub-toxic concentrations of copper ions or copper oxide nanoparticles, astrocytes increase their copper storage capacity by upregulating the cellular contents of glutathione and metallothioneins. In addition, cultured astrocytes have the capacity to export copper ions which is likely to involve the copper ATPase 7A. The ability of astrocytes to efficiently accumulate, store and export copper ions suggests that astrocytes have a key role in the distribution of copper in brain. Impairment of this astrocytic function may be involved in diseases which are connected with disturbances in brain copper metabolism.

  5. Estradiol regulation of hypothalamic astrocyte adenosine 5'-monophosphate-activated protein kinase activity: role of hindbrain catecholamine signaling.

    PubMed

    Tamrakar, Pratistha; Briski, Karen P

    2015-01-01

    Recent work challenges the conventional notion that metabolic monitoring in the brain is the exclusive function of neurons. This study investigated the hypothesis that hypothalamic astrocytes express the ultra-sensitive energy gauge adenosine 5'-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and that the ovarian hormone estradiol (E) controls activation of this sensor by insulin-induced hypoglycemia (IIH). E- or oil (O)-implanted ovariectomized (OVX) rats were pretreated by caudal fourth ventricular administration of the catecholamine neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) prior to sc insulin or vehicle injection. Individual astrocytes identified in situ by glial fibrillary acidic protein immunolabeling were laser-microdissected from the ventromedial (VMH), arcuate (ARH), and paraventricular (PVH) nuclei and the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), and pooled within each site for Western blot analysis of AMPK and phosphoAMPK (pAMPK) protein expression. In the VMH, baseline astrocyte AMPK and pAMPK levels were respectively increased or decreased in OVX+E versus OVX+O; these profiles did not differ between E and O rats in other hypothalamic loci. In E animals, astrocyte AMPK protein was reduced [VMH] or augmented [PVH; LHA] in response to either 6-OHDA or IIH. IIH increased astrocyte pAMPK expression in each structure in vehicle-, but not 6-OHDA-pretreated E rats. Results provide novel evidence for hypothalamic astrocyte AMPK expression and hindbrain catecholamine-dependent activation of this cell-specific sensor by hypoglycemia in the presence of estrogen. Further research is needed to determine the role of astrocyte AMPK in reactivity of these glia to metabolic imbalance and contribution to restoration of neuro-metabolic stability.

  6. TRAF6 upregulation in spinal astrocytes maintains neuropathic pain by integrating TNF-α and IL-1β signaling.

    PubMed

    Lu, Ying; Jiang, Bao-Chun; Cao, De-Li; Zhang, Zhi-Jun; Zhang, Xin; Ji, Ru-Rong; Gao, Yong-Jing

    2014-12-01

    The proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α and interleukin (IL) 1β have been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain, but the intracellular signaling of these cytokines in glial cells is not fully understood. TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) plays a key role in signal transduction in the TNF receptor superfamily and the IL-1 receptor superfamily. In this study, we investigated the role of TRAF6 in neuropathic pain in mice after spinal nerve ligation (SNL). SNL induced persistent TRAF6 upregulation in the spinal cord. Interestingly, TRAF6 was mainly colocalized with the astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein on SNL day 10 and partially expressed in microglia on SNL day 3. In cultured astrocytes, TRAF6 was upregulated after exposure to TNF-α or IL-1β. TNF-α or IL-1β also increased CCL2 expression, which was suppressed by both siRNA and shRNA targeting TRAF6. TRAF6 siRNA treatment also inhibited the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in astrocytes induced by TNF-α or IL-1β. JNK inhibitor D-NKI-1 dose-dependently decreased IL-1β-induced CCL2 expression. Moreover, spinal injection of TRAF6 siRNA decreased intrathecal TNF-α- or IL-1β-induced allodynia and hyperalgesia. Spinal TRAF6 inhibition via TRAF6 siRNA, shRNA lentivirus, or antisense oligodeoxynucleotides partially reversed SNL-induced neuropathic pain and spinal CCL2 expression. Finally, intrathecal injection of TNF-α-activated astrocytes induced mechanical allodynia, which was attenuated by pretreatment of astrocytes with TRAF6 siRNA. Taken together, the results suggest that TRAF6, upregulated in spinal cord astrocytes in the late phase after nerve injury, maintains neuropathic pain by integrating TNF-α and IL-1β signaling and activating the JNK/CCL2 pathway in astrocytes.

  7. Optogenetic control of astrocytes: is it possible to treat astrocyte-related epilepsy?

    PubMed

    Ji, Zhi-Gang; Wang, Hongxia

    2015-01-01

    Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects around 1% of the population worldwide. The two main therapies, pharmacology and the electrical stimulation, both have some shortcomings. For instance, pharmacological therapy is frequently accompanied by side effects, and current anticonvulsive drugs fail to be effective to around a third of patients. These patients could suffer astrocyte-related epilepsy, as increasing evidence indicates that dysfunctions of astrocytes can result in epilepsy. However, epilepsy drugs that affect astrocytes are not available currently. Although electrical stimulation has benefited many patients, the electrode stimulates unselective neurons or circuits. All these need to develop new strategies for improving the life of the patients. As channelrhodopsins (ChRs) were discovered, a novel method referred to as "optogenetics" was developed. It has advantages over electrical stimulation of being less-invasiveness and allowing spatiotemporally stimulation. Recently, a number of experiments have explored the treatments for epilepsy with optogenetic control of neurons. Here, we discuss the possibility that an optogenetic approach could be used to control the release of gliotransmitters and improve astrocyte function such as glutamate and K(+) uptake, and thereby offer a potential strategy to investigate and treat astrocyte-related epilepsy.

  8. Synchronization analysis of cultured epileptic human astrocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balazsi, Gabor; Cornell-Bell, Ann; Neiman, Alexander; Moss, Frank

    2001-03-01

    Astrocyte cultures from severely epileptic patients were cultured, and the fluctuations of the intracellular calcium ion concentration were visualized using the fluorescent dye Fluo-3. The resulting image sequences were analyzed by methods of stochastic synchronization. Increased synchronization was observed in the epileptic tissues, when compared to normal tissues from rats. The more pathological the tissue, the more synchronized the calcium oscillations. The results might lead to a better understanding of intracellular calcium dynamics and could help drug development.

  9. Spatiotemporal characteristics of calcium dynamics in astrocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Minchul; Othmer, Hans G.

    2009-09-01

    Although Cai2+ waves in networks of astrocytes in vivo are well documented, propagation in vivo is much more complex than in culture, and there is no consensus concerning the dominant roles of intercellular and extracellular messengers [inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) and adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP)] that mediate Cai2+ waves. Moreover, to date only simplified models that take very little account of the geometrical struture of the networks have been studied. Our aim in this paper is to develop a mathematical model based on realistic cellular morphology and network connectivity, and a computational framework for simulating the model, in order to address these issues. In the model, Cai2+ wave propagation through a network of astrocytes is driven by IP3 diffusion between cells and ATP transport in the extracellular space. Numerical simulations of the model show that different kinetic and geometric assumptions give rise to differences in Cai2+ wave propagation patterns, as characterized by the velocity, propagation distance, time delay in propagation from one cell to another, and the evolution of Ca2+ response patterns. The temporal Cai2+ response patterns in cells are different from one cell to another, and the Cai2+ response patterns evolve from one type to another as a Cai2+ wave propagates. In addition, the spatial patterns of Cai2+ wave propagation depend on whether IP3, ATP, or both are mediating messengers. Finally, two different geometries that reflect the in vivo and in vitro configuration of astrocytic networks also yield distinct intracellular and extracellular kinetic patterns. The simulation results as well as the linear stability analysis of the model lead to the conclusion that Cai2+ waves in astrocyte networks are probably mediated by both intercellular IP3 transport and nonregenerative (only the glutamate-stimulated cell releases ATP) or partially regenerative extracellular ATP signaling.

  10. Diversity of astrocyte functions and phenotypes in neural circuits

    PubMed Central

    Khakh, Baljit S.; Sofroniew, Michael V.

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes tile the entire CNS. They are vital for neural circuit function, but have traditionally been viewed as simple homogenous cells that serve the same essential supportive roles everywhere. Here, we summarize exciting breakthroughs that instead indicate astrocytes represent a population of complex and functionally diverse cells. Physiological diversity of astrocytes is apparent between different brain circuits and microcircuits, and individual astrocytes display diverse signaling within subcellular compartments. With respect to injury and disease, astrocytes undergo diverse phenotypic changes that may be protective or causative with regard to pathology in a context dependent manner. These new insights herald the concept that astrocytes represent a diverse population of genetically tractable cells that mediate neural circuit specific roles in health and disease. PMID:26108722

  11. Ceramide in primary astrocytes from cerebellum: metabolism and role in cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Riboni, Laura; Tettamanti, Guido; Viani, Paola

    2002-04-01

    Cerebellar astrocytes are equipped with an efficient molecular machinery able to control the levels, and possibly the subcellular location, of ceramide. The major metabolic routes that contribute to the maintenance and variation of the cellular ceramide include ceramide biosynthesis, by de novo pathway or sphingosine recycling, ceramide formation from complex sphingolipids degradation and ceramide catabolism. In cerebellar astrocytes from rat cerebellum a peculiar metabolism of sphingomyelin occurs. This includes the preponderance of acidic sphingomyelinase, paralleled by a deficiency of the neutral Mg2+-dependent enzyme, as well as the presence of an extra-Golgi form of sphingomyelin synthase, which shares many characteristics with PC-PLC. Moreover these cells are characterized by a high efficiency in converting sphingosine to ceramide, possibly functional to the role played by astrocytes in the prevention of neuronal damage by high sphingosine concentration. Recent evidence demonstrates that a change of ceramide level is one of the key steps in the chain of reactions elicited by mitogenic stimuli. In fact, low cellular levels of ceramide characterize, and appear to be required for, the proliferation of cerebellar astrocytes. In particular mitogenic stimuli, such as basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), rapidly down regulate the cellular levels of ceramide by stimulating sphingomyelin synthase. Ceramide acts as an intracellular physiological inhibitor of cell growth, being able to counteract the effect of bFGF by inhibiting the MAP kinase pathway. Although many questions remain in this field, the present knowledge strongly supports that ceramide represents a crucial member within lipid mediators, involved in the signaling pathways underlying cell proliferation in cerebellar astrocytes.

  12. Extracellular microvesicles from astrocytes contain functional glutamate transporters: regulation by protein kinase C and cell activation

    PubMed Central

    Gosselin, Romain-Daniel; Meylan, Patrick; Decosterd, Isabelle

    2013-01-01

    Glutamate transport through astrocytic excitatory amino-acid transporters (EAAT)-1 and EAAT-2 is paramount for neural homeostasis. EAAT-1 has been reported in secreted extracellular microvesicles (eMV, such as exosomes) and because the protein kinase C (PKC) family controls the sub-cellular distribution of EAATs, we have explored whether PKCs drive EAATs into eMV. Using rat primary astrocytes, confocal immunofluorescence and ultracentrifugation on sucrose gradient we here report that PKC activation by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) reorganizes EAAT-1 distribution and reduces functional [3H]-aspartate reuptake. Western-blots show that EAAT-1 is present in eMV from astrocyte conditioned medium, together with NaK ATPase and glutamine synthetase all being further increased after PMA treatment. However, nanoparticle tracking analysis reveals that PKC activation did not change particle concentration. Functional analysis indicates that eMV have the capacity to reuptake [3H]-aspartate. In vivo, we demonstrate that spinal astrocytic reaction induced by peripheral nerve lesion (spared nerve injury, SNI) is associated with a phosphorylation of PKC δ together with a shift of EAAT distribution ipsilaterally. Ex vivo, spinal explants from SNI rats release eMV with an increased content of NaK ATPase, EAAT-1 and EAAT-2. These data indicate PKC and cell activation as important regulators of EAAT-1 incorporation in eMV, and raise the possibility that microvesicular EAAT-1 may exert extracellular functions. Beyond a putative role in neuropathic pain, this phenomenon may be important for understanding neural homeostasis and a wide range of neurological diseases associated with astrocytic reaction as well as non-neurological diseases linked to eMV release. PMID:24368897

  13. Neuron-astrocyte interactions, pyruvate carboxylation and the pentose phosphate pathway in the neonatal rat brain.

    PubMed

    Morken, Tora Sund; Brekke, Eva; Håberg, Asta; Widerøe, Marius; Brubakk, Ann-Mari; Sonnewald, Ursula

    2014-01-01

    Glucose and acetate metabolism and the synthesis of amino acid neurotransmitters, anaplerosis, glutamate-glutamine cycling and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) have been extensively investigated in the adult, but not the neonatal rat brain. To do this, 7 day postnatal (P7) rats were injected with [1-(13)C]glucose and [1,2-(13)C]acetate and sacrificed 5, 10, 15, 30 and 45 min later. Adult rats were injected and sacrificed after 15 min. To analyse pyruvate carboxylation and PPP activity during development, P7 rats received [1,2-(13)C]glucose and were sacrificed 30 min later. Brain extracts were analysed using (1)H- and (13)C-NMR spectroscopy. Numerous differences in metabolism were found between the neonatal and adult brain. The neonatal brain contained lower levels of glutamate, aspartate and N-acetylaspartate but similar levels of GABA and glutamine per mg tissue. Metabolism of [1-(13)C]glucose at the acetyl CoA stage was reduced much more than that of [1,2-(13)C]acetate. The transfer of glutamate from neurons to astrocytes was much lower while transfer of glutamine from astrocytes to glutamatergic neurons was relatively higher. However, transport of glutamine from astrocytes to GABAergic neurons was lower. Using [1,2-(13)C]glucose it could be shown that despite much lower pyruvate carboxylation, relatively more pyruvate from glycolysis was directed towards anaplerosis than pyruvate dehydrogenation in astrocytes. Moreover, the ratio of PPP/glucose-metabolism was higher. These findings indicate that only the part of the glutamate-glutamine cycle that transfers glutamine from astrocytes to neurons is operating in the neonatal brain and that compared to adults, relatively more glucose is prioritised to PPP and pyruvate carboxylation. Our results may have implications for the capacity to protect the neonatal brain against excitotoxicity and oxidative stress.

  14. Hippocalcin Is Required for Astrocytic Differentiation through Activation of Stat3 in Hippocampal Neural Precursor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Min-Jeong; Park, Shin-Young; Han, Joong-Soo

    2016-01-01

    Hippocalcin (Hpca) is a neuronal calcium sensor protein expressed in the mammalian brain. However, its function in neural stem/precursor cells has not yet been studied. Here, we clarify the function of Hpca in astrocytic differentiation in hippocampal neural precursor cells (HNPCs). When we overexpressed Hpca in HNPCs in the presence or absence of bFGF, expression levels of nerve-growth factors such as neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4/5), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), together with the proneural basic helix loop helix (bHLH) transcription factors NeuroD and neurogenin 1 (Ngn1), increased significantly. In addition, there was an increase in the number of cells expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an astrocyte marker, and in branch outgrowth, indicating astrocytic differentiation of the HNPCs. Downregulation of Hpca by transfection with Hpca siRNA reduced expression of NT-3, NT-4/5, BDNF, NeuroD, and Ngn1 as well as levels of GFAP protein. Furthermore, overexpression of Hpca increased the phosphorylation of STAT3 (Ser727), and this effect was abolished by treatment with a STAT3 inhibitor (S3I-201), suggesting that STAT3 (Ser727) activation is involved in Hpca-mediated astrocytic differentiation. As expected, treatment with Stat3 siRNA or STAT3 inhibitor caused a complete inhibition of astrogliogenesis induced by Hpca overexpression. Taken together, this is the first report to show that Hpca, acting through Stat3, has an important role in the expression of neurotrophins and proneural bHLH transcription factors, and that it is an essential regulator of astrocytic differentiation and branch outgrowth in HNPCs. PMID:27840601

  15. Imaging neurotransmitter uptake and depletion in astrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Tan, W. |; Haydon, P.G.; Yeung, E.S.

    1997-08-01

    An ultraviolet (UV) laser-based optical microscope and charge-coupled device (CCD) detection system was used to obtain chemical images of biological cells. Subcellular structures can be easily seen in both optical and fluorescence images. Laser-induced native fluorescence detection provides high sensitivity and low limits of detection, and it does not require coupling to fluorescent dyes. We were able to quantitatively monitor serotonin that has been taken up into and released from individual astrocytes on the basis of its native fluorescence. Different regions of the cells took up different amounts of serotonin with a variety of uptake kinetics. Similarly, we observed different serotonin depletion dynamics in different astrocyte regions. There were also some astrocyte areas where no serotonin uptake or depletion was observed. Potential applications include the mapping of other biogenic species in cells as well as the ability to image their release from specific regions of cells in response to external stimuli. {copyright} {ital 1997} {ital Society for Applied Spectroscopy}

  16. Mechanisms of Astrocyte-Mediated Cerebral Edema

    PubMed Central

    Stokum, Jesse A.; Kurland, David B.; Gerzanich, Volodymyr; Simard, J. Marc

    2014-01-01

    Cerebral edema formation stems from disruption of blood brain barrier (BBB) integrity and occurs after injury to the CNS. Due to the restrictive skull, relatively small increases in brain volume can translate into impaired tissue perfusion and brain herniation. In excess, cerebral edema can be gravely harmful. Astrocytes are key participants in cerebral edema by virtue of their relationship with the cerebral vasculature, their unique compliment of solute and water transport proteins, and their general role in brain volume homeostasis. Following the discovery of aquaporins, passive conduits of water flow, aquaporin 4 (AQP4) was identified as the predominant astrocyte water channel. Normally, AQP4 is highly enriched at perivascular endfeet, the outermost layer of the BBB, whereas after injury, AQP4 expression disseminates to the entire astrocytic plasmalemma, a phenomenon termed dysregulation. Arguably, the most important role of AQP4 is to rapidly neutralize osmotic gradients generated by ionic transporters. In pathological conditions, AQP4 is believed to be intimately involved in the formation and clearance of cerebral edema. In this review, we discuss aquaporin function and localization in the BBB during health and injury, and we examine post-injury ionic events that modulate AQP4- dependent edema formation. PMID:24996934

  17. Multifunctional role of astrocytes as gatekeepers of neuronal energy supply

    PubMed Central

    Stobart, Jillian L.; Anderson, Christopher M.

    2013-01-01

    Dynamic adjustments to neuronal energy supply in response to synaptic activity are critical for neuronal function. Glial cells known as astrocytes have processes that ensheath most central synapses and express G-protein-coupled neurotransmitter receptors and transporters that respond to neuronal activity. Astrocytes also release substrates for neuronal oxidative phosphorylation and have processes that terminate on the surface of brain arterioles and can influence vascular smooth muscle tone and local blood flow. Membrane receptor or transporter-mediated effects of glutamate represent a convergence point of astrocyte influence on neuronal bioenergetics. Astrocytic glutamate uptake drives glycolysis and subsequent shuttling of lactate from astrocytes to neurons for oxidative metabolism. Astrocytes also convert synaptically reclaimed glutamate to glutamine, which is returned to neurons for glutamate salvage or oxidation. Finally, astrocytes store brain energy currency in the form of glycogen, which can be mobilized to produce lactate for neuronal oxidative phosphorylation in response to glutamatergic neurotransmission. These mechanisms couple synaptically driven astrocytic responses to glutamate with release of energy substrates back to neurons to match demand with supply. In addition, astrocytes directly influence the tone of penetrating brain arterioles in response to glutamatergic neurotransmission, coordinating dynamic regulation of local blood flow. We will describe the role of astrocytes in neurometabolic and neurovascular coupling in detail and discuss, in turn, how astrocyte dysfunction may contribute to neuronal bioenergetic deficit and neurodegeneration. Understanding the role of astrocytes as a hub for neurometabolic and neurovascular coupling mechanisms is a critical underpinning for therapeutic development in a broad range of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by chronic generalized brain ischemia and brain microvascular dysfunction. PMID:23596393

  18. Responses of astrocytes in culture after low dose laser irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Yew, D.T.; Zheng, D.R.; Au, C.; Li, W.W. )

    1990-03-01

    The effect of Helium-Neon low dose laser on astrocytes was investigated in cultures of isolated astrocytes from albino neonatal rats. The laser appeared to inhibit the growth of astrocytes as exemplified by the smaller sizes of the cells and the decreased leucine uptake in each cell after treatment. Temporary decrease in the number of mitoses was also observed, but this trend was reversed soon after. Electron microscopic studies revealed an increase in buddings from cell bodies and processes (branches) after irradiation.

  19. Motor neuron-astrocyte interactions and levels of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    O'Reilly, S A; Roedica, J; Nagy, D; Hallewell, R A; Alderson, K; Marklund, S L; Kuby, J; Kushner, P D

    1995-02-01

    Copper, zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is involved in neutralizing free radicals within cells, and mutant forms of the enzyme have recently been shown to occur in about 20% of familial cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To explore the mechanism of SOD1 involvement in ALS, we have analyzed SOD1 in sporadic ALS using activity assays and immunocyto-chemistry. Analyses of SOD1 activity in washed erythrocytes revealed no difference between 13 ALS cases and 4 controls. Spinal cord sections from 6 ALS cases, 1 primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) case, and 1 control case were stained using three different antibodies to SOD1. Since astrocytes are closely associated with motor neurons, antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin were used as independent monitors of astrocytes. The principal findings from localizations are: (1) normal motor neurons do not have higher levels of SOD1 than other neurons, (2) there was no detectable difference in SOD1 levels in motor neurons of ALS cases and controls, (3) ALS spinal cord displayed a reduction or absence of SOD1-reactive astrocytes compared to the control and PLS cases, and (4) examination of GFAP-stained sections and morphometry showed that the normal close association between astrocytic processes and motor neuron somata was decreased in the ALS and PLS cases. These results indicate the disease mechanism in sporadic ALS may involve alterations in spinal cord astrocytes.

  20. Glutamine synthetase stability and subcellular distribution in astrocytes are regulated by γ-aminobutyric type B receptors.

    PubMed

    Huyghe, Deborah; Nakamura, Yasuko; Terunuma, Miho; Faideau, Mathilde; Haydon, Philip; Pangalos, Menelas N; Moss, Stephen J

    2014-10-17

    Emerging evidence suggests that functional γ-aminobutyric acid B receptors (GABABRs) are expressed by astrocytes within the mammalian brain. GABABRs are heterodimeric G-protein-coupled receptors that are composed of R1/R2 subunits. To date, they have been characterized in neurons as the principal mediators of sustained inhibitory signaling; however their roles in astrocytic physiology have been ill defined. Here we reveal that the cytoplasmic tail of the GABABR2 subunit binds directly to the astrocytic protein glutamine synthetase (GS) and that this interaction determines the subcellular localization of GS. We further demonstrate that the binding of GS to GABABR2 increases the steady state expression levels of GS in heterologous cells and in mouse primary astrocyte culture. Mechanistically this increased stability of GS in the presence of GABABR2 occurs via reduced proteasomal degradation. Collectively, our results suggest a novel role for GABABRs as regulators of GS stability. Given the critical role that GS plays in the glutamine-glutamate cycle, astrocytic GABABRs may play a critical role in supporting both inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission.

  1. Type I interferons and microbial metabolites of tryptophan modulate astrocyte activity and CNS inflammation via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor

    PubMed Central

    Rothhammer, Veit; Mascanfroni, Ivan D.; Bunse, Lukas; Takenaka, Maisa C.; Kenison, Jessica E.; Mayo, Lior; Chao, Chun-Cheih; Patel, Bonny; Yan, Raymond; Blain, Manon; Alvarez, Jorge I.; Kébir, Hania; Anandasabapathy, Niroshana; Izquierdo, Guillermo; Jung, Steffen; Obholzer, Nikolaus; Pochet, Nathalie; Clish, Clary B.; Prinz, Marco; Prat, Alexandre; Antel, Jack; Quintana, Francisco J.

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes play important roles in the central nervous system (CNS) during health and disease. Through genome-wide analyses we detected a transcriptional response to type I interferons (IFN-I) in astrocytes during experimental CNS autoimmunity and also in CNS lesions from multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. IFN-I signaling in astrocytes reduces inflammation and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) disease scores via the ligand-activated transcription factor aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and suppressor of cytokine signaling 2 (SOCS2). The anti-inflammatory effects of nasally administered IFN-β are partly mediated by AhR. Dietary tryptophan is metabolized by the gut microbiota into AhR agonists that act on astrocytes to limit CNS inflammation. EAE scores were increased following ampicillin treatment during the recovery phase, and CNS inflammation was reduced in antibiotic-treated mice by supplementation with the tryptophan metabolites indole, indoxyl-3-sulfate (I3S), indole-3-propionic acid (IPA) and indole-3-aldehyde (IAld), or the bacterial enzyme tryptophanase. In individuals with MS, the circulating levels of AhR agonists were decreased. These findings suggest that IFN-I produced in the CNS act in combination with metabolites derived from dietary tryptophan by the gut flora to activate AhR signaling in astrocytes and suppress CNS inflammation. PMID:27158906

  2. Evidence that spinal astrocytes but not microglia contribute to the pathogenesis of paclitaxel-induced painful neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Haijun; Yoon, Seo-Yeon; Zhang, Hongmei; Dougherty, Patrick M.

    2012-01-01

    Paclitaxel often induces persistent painful neuropathy as its most common treatment limiting side effect. Little is known concerning the underlying mechanisms. Given the prominent role of glial cells in many types of neuropathic pain, we investigated here the morphological and functional changes of spinal astrocytes and microglia in a rat model of paclitaxel-induced neuropathy. Immunohistochemistry, western blotting and real-time polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR) were performed with samples from 109 rats up to 28 days after paclitaxel treatment. Paclitaxel (2mg/kg, i.p.) induced a rapid and persistent activation of spinal astrocytes assessed using glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), but not apparent activation of microglia assessed using OX42, Iba-1 and phosphorylated p38. In the context of astocyte activation, there was a significant downregulation of glial glutamate transporters GLAST and GLT-1 in spinal dorsal horn. The activation of spinal astrocytes by paclitaxel was not associated with expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) or interleukin-6 (IL-6) in spinal dorsal horn. Systemic treatment with minocycline (50mg/kg, i.p.) prevented activation of astrocytes and downregulation of glial glutamate transporters in spinal dorsal horn induced by paclitaxel. These data suggest the involvement of spinal astrocytes but not microglia in the pathogenesis of paclitaxel-induced neuropathy. PMID:22285612

  3. Astrocyte Cultures Mimicking Brain Astrocytes in Gene Expression, Signaling, Metabolism and K(+) Uptake and Showing Astrocytic Gene Expression Overlooked by Immunohistochemistry and In Situ Hybridization.

    PubMed

    Hertz, Leif; Chen, Ye; Song, Dan

    2017-01-01

    Based on differences in gene expression between cultured astrocytes and freshly isolated brain astrocytes it has been claimed that cultured astrocytes poorly reflect the characteristics of their in vivo counterparts. This paper shows that this is not the case with the cultures of mouse astrocytes we have used since 1978. The culture is prepared following guidelines provided by Drs. Monique Sensenbrenner and John Booher, with the difference that dibutyryl cyclic AMP is added to the culture medium from the beginning of the third week. This addition has only minor effects on glucose and glutamate metabolism, but it is crucial for effects by elevated K(+) concentrations and for Ca(2+) homeostasis, important aspects of astrocyte function. Work by Liang Peng and her colleagues has shown identity between not only gene expression but also drug-induced gene upregulations and editings in astrocytes cultured by this method and astrocytes freshly isolated from brains of drug-treated animals. Dr. Norenberg's laboratory has demonstrated identical upregulation of the cotransporter NKCC1 in ammonia-exposed astrocytes and rats with liver failure. Similarity between cultured and freshly isolated astrocytes has also been shown in metabolism, K(+) uptake and several aspects of signaling. However, others have shown that the gene for the glutamate transporter GLT1 is not expressed, and rat cultures show some abnormalities in K(+) effects. Nevertheless, the overall reliability of the cultured cells is important because immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization poorly demonstrate many astrocytic genes, e.g., those of nucleoside transporters, and even microarray analysis of isolated cells can be misleading.

  4. Evidence for involvement of the astrocytic benzodiazepine receptor in the mechanism of action of convulsant and anticonvulsant drugs

    SciTech Connect

    Bender, A.S.; Hertz, L.

    1988-01-01

    The anticonvulsant drugs carbamazepine, phenobarbital, trimethadione, valproic acid and ethosuximide at pharmacologically relevant concentrations inhibit (/sup 3/H)diazepam binding to astrocytes in primary cultures but have much less effect on a corresponding preparation of neurons. Phenytoin as well as pentobarbital (which is not used chronically as an anticonvulsant) are equipotent in the two cell types. The convulsants picrotoxinin and pentylenetetrazol, the convulsant benzodiazepine RO 5-3663 and the two convulsant barbiturates DMBB and CHEB similarly inhibit diazepam binding to astrocytes but have little effect on neurons. On the basis of these findings it is suggested that these convulsants and anticonvulsants owe at least part of their effect to an interaction with the astrocytic benzodiazepine receptor, perhaps by interference with a calcium channel.

  5. Glutamine-Glutamate Cycle Flux Is Similar in Cultured Astrocytes and Brain and Both Glutamate Production and Oxidation Are Mainly Catalyzed by Aspartate Aminotransferase.

    PubMed

    Hertz, Leif; Rothman, Douglas L

    2017-02-24

    The glutamine-glutamate cycle provides neurons with astrocyte-generated glutamate/γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and oxidizes glutamate in astrocytes, and it returns released transmitter glutamate/GABA to neurons after astrocytic uptake. This review deals primarily with the glutamate/GABA generation/oxidation, although it also shows similarity between metabolic rates in cultured astrocytes and intact brain. A key point is identification of the enzyme(s) converting astrocytic α-ketoglutarate to glutamate and vice versa. Most experiments in cultured astrocytes, including those by one of us, suggest that glutamate formation is catalyzed by aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) and its degradation by glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH). Strongly supported by results shown in Table 1 we now propose that both reactions are primarily catalyzed by AAT. This is possible because the formation occurs in the cytosol and the degradation in mitochondria and they are temporally separate. High glutamate/glutamine concentrations abolish the need for glutamate production from α-ketoglutarate and due to metabolic coupling between glutamate synthesis and oxidation these high concentrations render AAT-mediated glutamate oxidation impossible. This necessitates the use of GDH under these conditions, shown by insensitivity of the oxidation to the transamination inhibitor aminooxyacetic acid (AOAA). Experiments using lower glutamate/glutamine concentration show inhibition of glutamate oxidation by AOAA, consistent with the coupled transamination reactions described here.

  6. Glutamine-Glutamate Cycle Flux Is Similar in Cultured Astrocytes and Brain and Both Glutamate Production and Oxidation Are Mainly Catalyzed by Aspartate Aminotransferase

    PubMed Central

    Hertz, Leif; Rothman, Douglas L

    2017-01-01

    The glutamine-glutamate cycle provides neurons with astrocyte-generated glutamate/γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and oxidizes glutamate in astrocytes, and it returns released transmitter glutamate/GABA to neurons after astrocytic uptake. This review deals primarily with the glutamate/GABA generation/oxidation, although it also shows similarity between metabolic rates in cultured astrocytes and intact brain. A key point is identification of the enzyme(s) converting astrocytic α-ketoglutarate to glutamate and vice versa. Most experiments in cultured astrocytes, including those by one of us, suggest that glutamate formation is catalyzed by aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) and its degradation by glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH). Strongly supported by results shown in Table 1 we now propose that both reactions are primarily catalyzed by AAT. This is possible because the formation occurs in the cytosol and the degradation in mitochondria and they are temporally separate. High glutamate/glutamine concentrations abolish the need for glutamate production from α-ketoglutarate and due to metabolic coupling between glutamate synthesis and oxidation these high concentrations render AAT-mediated glutamate oxidation impossible. This necessitates the use of GDH under these conditions, shown by insensitivity of the oxidation to the transamination inhibitor aminooxyacetic acid (AOAA). Experiments using lower glutamate/glutamine concentration show inhibition of glutamate oxidation by AOAA, consistent with the coupled transamination reactions described here. PMID:28245547

  7. Astrocyte Hypertrophy Contributes to Aberrant Neurogenesis after Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Clark; Apgar, Christopher; Shapiro, Lee A.

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a widespread epidemic with severe cognitive, affective, and behavioral consequences. TBIs typically result in a relatively rapid inflammatory and neuroinflammatory response. A major component of the neuroinflammatory response is astrocytes, a type of glial cell in the brain. Astrocytes are important in maintaining the integrity of neuronal functioning, and it is possible that astrocyte hypertrophy after TBIs might contribute to pathogenesis. The hippocampus is a unique brain region, because neurogenesis persists in adults. Accumulating evidence supports the functional importance of these newborn neurons and their associated astrocytes. Alterations to either of these cell types can influence neuronal functioning. To determine if hypertrophied astrocytes might negatively influence immature neurons in the dentate gyrus, astrocyte and newborn neurons were analyzed at 30 days following a TBI in mice. The results demonstrate a loss of radial glial-like processes extending through the granule cell layer after TBI, as well as ectopic growth and migration of immature dentate neurons. The results further show newborn neurons in close association with hypertrophied astrocytes, suggesting a role for the astrocytes in aberrant neurogenesis. Future studies are needed to determine the functional significance of these alterations to the astrocyte/immature neurons after TBI. PMID:27274873

  8. Decoding astrocyte heterogeneity: New tools for clonal analysis.

    PubMed

    Bribián, A; Figueres-Oñate, M; Martín-López, E; López-Mascaraque, L

    2016-05-26

    The importance of astrocyte heterogeneity came out as a hot topic in neurosciences especially over the last decades, when the development of new methodologies allowed demonstrating the existence of big differences in morphological, neurochemical and physiological features between astrocytes. However, although the knowledge about the biology of astrocytes is increasing rapidly, an important characteristic that remained unexplored, until the last years, has been the relationship between astrocyte lineages and cell heterogeneity. To fill this gap, a new method called StarTrack was recently developed, a powerful genetic tool that allows tracking astrocyte lineages forming cell clones. Using StarTrack, a single astrocyte progenitor and its progeny can be specifically labeled from its generation, during embryonic development, to its final fate in the adult brain. Because of this specific labeling, astrocyte clones, exhibiting heterogeneous morphologies and features, can be easily analyzed in relation to their ontogenetic origin. This review summarizes how astrocyte heterogeneity can be decoded studying the embryonic development of astrocyte lineages and their clonal relationship. Finally, we discuss about some of the challenges and opportunities emerging in this exciting area of investigation.

  9. Understanding the role of dicer in astrocyte development.

    PubMed

    Howng, Shen-Yi Bruce; Huang, Yong; Ptáček, Louis; Fu, Ying-Hui

    2015-01-01

    The Dicer1 allele is used to show that microRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in astrocyte development and functions. While it is known that astrocytes that lack miRNAs are dysregulated, the in vivo phenotypes of these astrocytes are not well understood. In this study, we use Aldh1l1-EGFP transgene, a marker of astrocytes, to characterize mouse models with conditional Dicer1 ablation (via either human or mouse GFAP-Cre). This transgene revealed novel features of the defective astrocytes from the absence of miRNA. Although astrocyte miRNAs were depleted in both lines, we found histological and molecular differences in the Aldh1l1-EGFP cells between the two Cre lines. Aldh1l1-EGFP cells from hGFAP-Cre mutant lines displayed up-regulation of Aldh1l1-EGFP with increased proliferation and a genomic profile that acquired many features of wildtype primary astrocyte cultures. In the young mGFAP-Cre mutant lines we found that Aldh1l1-EGFP cells were disorganized and hyperproliferative in the developing cerebellum. Using the Aldh1l1-EGFP transgene, our work provides new insights into the roles of miRNAs in astrocyte development and the features of astrocytes in these two mouse models.

  10. Astrocyte Mitogen Inhibitor Related to Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nieto-Sampedro, Manuel

    1988-06-01

    Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a well-characterized polypeptide hormone with diverse biological activities, including stimulation of astrocyte division. A soluble astrocyte mitogen inhibitor, immunologically related to the EGF receptor, is present in rat brain. Injury to the brain causes a time-dependent reduction in the levels of this inhibitor and the concomitant appearance of EGF receptor on the astrocyte surface. Intracerebral injection of antibody capable of binding the inhibitor caused the appearance of numerous reactive astrocytes. EGF receptor-related inhibitors may play a key role in the control of glial cell division in both normal and injured brain.

  11. Astrocyte Reactivity Following Blast Exposure Involves Aberrant Histone Acetylation.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Zachary S; Grinter, Michael B; VandeVord, Pamela J

    2016-01-01

    Blast induced neurotrauma (BINT) is a prevalent injury within military and civilian populations. The injury is characterized by persistent inflammation at the cellular level which manifests as a multitude of cognitive and functional impairments. Epigenetic regulation of transcription offers an important control mechanism for gene expression and cellular function which may underlie chronic inflammation and result in neurodegeneration. We hypothesize that altered histone acetylation patterns may be involved in blast induced inflammation and the chronic activation of glial cells. This study aimed to elucidate changes to histone acetylation occurring following injury and the roles these changes may have within the pathology. Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to either a 10 or 17 psi blast overpressure within an Advanced Blast Simulator (ABS). Sham animals underwent the same procedures without blast exposure. Memory impairments were measured using the Novel Object Recognition (NOR) test at 2 and 7 days post-injury. Tissues were collected at 7 days for Western blot and immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis. Sham animals showed intact memory at each time point. The novel object discrimination decreased significantly between two and 7 days for each injury group (p < 0.05). This is indicative of the onset of memory impairment. Western blot analysis showed glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a known marker of activated astrocytes, was elevated in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) following blast exposure for both injury groups. Analysis of histone protein extract showed no changes in the level of any total histone proteins within the PFC. However, acetylation levels of histone H2b, H3, and H4 were decreased in both groups (p < 0.05). Co-localization immunofluorescence was used to further investigate any potential correlation between decreased histone acetylation and astrocyte activation. These experiments showed a similar decrease in H3 acetylation in astrocytes exposed to a 17

  12. Astrocyte Reactivity Following Blast Exposure Involves Aberrant Histone Acetylation

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Zachary S.; Grinter, Michael B.; VandeVord, Pamela J.

    2016-01-01

    Blast induced neurotrauma (BINT) is a prevalent injury within military and civilian populations. The injury is characterized by persistent inflammation at the cellular level which manifests as a multitude of cognitive and functional impairments. Epigenetic regulation of transcription offers an important control mechanism for gene expression and cellular function which may underlie chronic inflammation and result in neurodegeneration. We hypothesize that altered histone acetylation patterns may be involved in blast induced inflammation and the chronic activation of glial cells. This study aimed to elucidate changes to histone acetylation occurring following injury and the roles these changes may have within the pathology. Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to either a 10 or 17 psi blast overpressure within an Advanced Blast Simulator (ABS). Sham animals underwent the same procedures without blast exposure. Memory impairments were measured using the Novel Object Recognition (NOR) test at 2 and 7 days post-injury. Tissues were collected at 7 days for Western blot and immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis. Sham animals showed intact memory at each time point. The novel object discrimination decreased significantly between two and 7 days for each injury group (p < 0.05). This is indicative of the onset of memory impairment. Western blot analysis showed glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a known marker of activated astrocytes, was elevated in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) following blast exposure for both injury groups. Analysis of histone protein extract showed no changes in the level of any total histone proteins within the PFC. However, acetylation levels of histone H2b, H3, and H4 were decreased in both groups (p < 0.05). Co-localization immunofluorescence was used to further investigate any potential correlation between decreased histone acetylation and astrocyte activation. These experiments showed a similar decrease in H3 acetylation in astrocytes exposed to a 17

  13. Modulation of Corpus Striatal Neurochemistry by Astrocytes and Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) in Parkinsonian Rats.

    PubMed

    Yelkenli, İbrahim Halil; Ulupinar, Emel; Korkmaz, Orhan Tansel; Şener, Erol; Kuş, Gökhan; Filiz, Zeynep; Tunçel, Neşe

    2016-06-01

    The neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is widely used in animal models of Parkinson's disease. In various neurodegenerative diseases, astrocytes play direct, active, and critical roles in mediating neuronal survival and functions. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) has neurotrophic actions and modulates a number of astrocytic activities. In this study, the effects of VIP on the striatal neurochemistry were investigated in parkinsonian rats. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into sham-operated, unilaterally 6-OHDA-lesioned, and lesioned + VIP-administered (25 ng/kg i.p.) groups. VIP was first injected 1 h after the intrastriatal 6-OHDA microinjection and then every 2 days throughout 15 days. Extracellular striatal concentration of glutathione (GSH), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate (GLU), and lactate were measured in microdialysates by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Quantification of GABA and activity dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP)-expressing cells were determined by glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)/ADNP + glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) double immunohistochemistry. Our results demonstrated that a 6-OHDA lesion significantly increased the density of astrocytes in the striatum and VIP treatment slightly reduced the gliosis. Extracellular concentration of GABA, GLU, and lactate levels did not change, but GSH level significantly increased in the striatum of parkinsonian rats. VIP treatment reduced GSH level comparable to sham-operated groups, but enhanced GABA and GLU levels. Our double labeling results showed that VIP primarily acts on neurons to increase ADNP and GAD expression for protection. These results suggest that, in the 6-OHDA-induced neurodegeneration model, astrocytes were possibly activated for forefront defensiveness by modulating striatal neurochemistry.

  14. PPARβ/δ activation protects against corticosterone-induced ER stress in astrocytes by inhibiting the CpG hypermethylation of microRNA-181a.

    PubMed

    Ji, Juan; Zeng, Xiao-Ning; Cao, Lu-Lu; Zhang, Ling; Zhao, Zhan; Yang, Dan-Dan; Sun, Xiu-Lan

    2017-02-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) play neuroprotective roles in various neurodegenerative disease models in vivo and in vitro. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Astrocyte proliferation is a key process in neural development and plays significant roles in the regeneration of neural tissue after a penetrating injury. Corticosterone can significantly reduce the expression of glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) in cultured rat hippocampal astrocytes in vitro, and induce astrocytic dysfunction. Our research found that corticosterone treatment resulted in astrocyte damage and reduced the expression of PPARβ/δ. GW0742, a selective and high-affinity PPARβ/δ agonist, attenuated the corticosterone-induced astrocyte damage, but also significantly reversed the increase in the expression of GRP78 and CHOP, the two predominant proteins in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Moreover, GW0742 decreased the levels of caspase-12 and cleaved caspase-3, thereby protecting astrocytes against corticosterone-induced astrocyte apoptosis. We then confirmed that GRP78 was a target gene of microRNA-181a and found that PPARβ/δ activation increased microRNA-181a levels. Finally, we demonstrated that PPARβ/δ activation by GW0742 noticeably inhibited the activities and expression of DNA methyltransferases, and reduced the corticosterone-induced CpG island hypermethylation of microRNA-181a1 in astrocytes. Therefore, the present study is the first to reveal that PPARβ/δ activation suppresses CpG island hypermethylation-associated silencing of microRNA-181a and thereby protects against ER stress-induced damage in astrocytes. Our findings suggest that PPARβ/δ activation in astrocytes might be a promising target for regulating ER stress-induced astrocytic injury.

  15. Amyloid beta protein inhibits cellular MTT reduction not by suppression of mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase but by acceleration of MTT formazan exocytosis in cultured rat cortical astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Abe, K; Saito, H

    1998-08-01

    Alzheimer's disease amyloid beta protein (Abeta) inhibits cellular reduction of the dye 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT). Kaneko et al. have previously hypothesized that Abeta works by suppressing mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), but Liu and Schubert have recently demonstrated that Abeta decreases cellular MTT reduction by accelerating the exocytosis of MTT formazan in neuronal cells. To ask which is the case in astrocytes, we compared the effects of Abeta and 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP), a specific SDH inhibitor, on MTT reduction in cultured rat cortical astrocytes. Treatment with 3-NP (10 mM) decreased cellular activity of MTT reduction, regardless of the time of incubation with MTT. On the other hand. Abeta-induced inhibition of cellular MTT reduction was dependent on the time of incubation with MTT. The cells treated with Abeta (0.1-1000 nM) exhibited normal capacity for MTT reduction at an early stage of incubation ( < 30 min), but ceased to reduce MTT at the late stage (> 1 h). Microscopic examination revealed that Abeta treatment accelerated the appearance of needle-like MTT formazan crystals at the cell surface. These observations support that Abeta accelerates the exocytosis of MTT formazan in astrocytes. In addition to inhibition of MTT reduction, Abeta is known to induce morphological changes in astrocytes. Following addition of Abeta (20 microM), polygonal astrocytes changed into process-bearing stellate cells. To explore a possible linkage between these two effects of Abeta, we tested if astrocyte stellation is induced by agents that mimic the effect of Abeta on MTT reduction. Cholesterol (5 5000 nM) and lysophosphatidic acid (0.2-20 microg/ml) were found to accelerate the exocytosis of MTT formazan in a similar manner to Abeta, but failed to induce astrocyte stellation. Therefore, Abeta-induced inhibition of MTT reduction is unlikely to be directly linked to its effect on astrocyte morphology.

  16. Bicarbonate efflux via GABAA receptors depolarizes membrane potential and inhibits two-pore domain potassium channels of astrocytes in rat hippocampal slices

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Bao-Feng; Xie, Min-Jie; Zhou, Min

    2014-01-01

    Increasing evidence indicates the functional expression of ionotropic γ-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAA-R) in astrocytes. However, it remains controversial in regard to the intracellular Cl− concentration ([Cl−]i) and the functional role of anion-selective GABAA-R in astrocytes. In gramicidin perforated-patch recordings from rat hippocampal CA1 astrocytes, GABA and GABAA-R specific agonist THIP depolarized astrocyte membrane potential (Vm), and the THIP induced currents reversed at the voltages between −75.3 to −78.3 mV, corresponding to a [Cl−]i of 3.1 – 3.9 mM that favors a passive distribution of Cl− anions across astrocyte membrane. Further analysis showed that GABAA-R induced Vm depolarization is ascribed to HCO3− efflux, while a passively distributed Cl− mediates no net flux or influx of Cl-that leads to an unchanged or hyperpolarized Vm. In addition to a rapidly activated GABAA-R current component, GABA and THIP also induced a delayed inward current (DIC) in 63% of astrocytes. The DIC became manifest after agonist withdrawal and enhanced in amplitude with increasing agonist application duration or concentrations. Astrocytic two-pore domain K+ channels (K2Ps), especially TWIK-1, appeared to underlie the DIC, because 1) acidic intracellular pH, as a result of HCO3− efflux, inhibited TWIK-1; 2) the DIC remained in the Cs+ recording solutions that inhibited conventional K+ channels and 3) the DIC was completely inhibited by 1 mM quinine but not by blockers for other cation/anion channels. Altogether, HCO3− efflux through activated GABAA-R depolarizes astrocyte Vm and induces a delayed inhibition of K2Ps K+ channels via intracellular acidification. PMID:22855415

  17. Astrocytes, oligodendroglia, extracellular space volume and geometry in rat fetal brain grafts.

    PubMed

    Syková, E; Roitbak, T; Mazel, T; Simonová, Z; Harvey, A R

    1999-01-01

    Fetal neocortex or tectum transplanted to the midbrain or cortex of newborn rats develops various degrees of gliosis, i.e. increased numbers of hypertrophied, glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes. In addition, there were patches or bundles of myelinated fibres positive for the oligodendrocyte and central myelin marker Rip, and increased levels of extracellular matrix molecules. Three diffusion parameters--extracellular space volume fraction alpha (alpha = extracellular volume/total tissue volume), tortuosity lambda (lambda = square root(D/ADC), where D is the free and ADC is the apparent tetramethylammonium diffusion coefficient) and non-specific uptake k'--were determined in vivo from extracellular concentration-time profiles of tetramethylammonium. Grafts were subsequently processed immunohistochemically to compare diffusion measurements with graft morphology. Comparisons were made between the diffusion parameters of host cortex and corpus callosum, fetal cortical or tectal tissue transplanted to host midbrain ("C- and T-grafts") and fetal cortical tissue transplanted to host cortex ("cortex-to-cortex" or C-C-grafts). In host cortex, alpha ranged from 0.20 +/- 0.01 (layer V) to 0.21 +/- 0.01 (layers III, IV and VI) and lambda from 1.59 +/- 0.03 (layer VI) to 1.64 +/- 0.02 (layer III) (mean +/- S.E.M., n = 15). Much higher values were found in "young" C-grafts (81-150 days post-transplantation), where alpha = 0.34 +/- 0.01 and lambda = 1.78 +/- 0.03 (n = 13), as well as in T-grafts, where alpha = 0.29 +/- 0.02 and lambda = 1.85 +/- 0.04 (n = 7). Further analysis revealed that diffusion in grafts was anisotropic and more hindered than in host cortex. The heterogeneity of diffusion parameters correlated with the structural heterogeneity of the neuropil, with the highest values of alpha in gray matter and the highest values of lambda in white matter bundles. Compared to "young" C-grafts, in "old" C-grafts (one year post-transplantation) both alpha and

  18. Role of astrocytic glutamate transporter in alcohol use disorder

    PubMed Central

    Ayers-Ringler, Jennifer R; Jia, Yun-Fang; Qiu, Yan-Yan; Choi, Doo-Sup

    2016-01-01

    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is one of the most widespread neuropsychiatric conditions, having a significant health and socioeconomic impact. According to the 2014 World Health Organization global status report on alcohol and health, the harmful use of alcohol is responsible for 5.9% of all deaths worldwide. Additionally, 5.1% of the global burden of disease and injury is ascribed to alcohol (measured in disability adjusted life years, or disability adjusted life years). Although the neurobiological basis of AUD is highly complex, the corticostriatal circuit contributes significantly to the development of addictive behaviors. In-depth investigation into the changes of the neurotransmitters in this circuit, dopamine, gamma-aminobutyricacid, and glutamate, and their corresponding neuronal receptors in AUD and other addictions enable us to understand the molecular basis of AUD. However, these discoveries have also revealed a dearth of knowledge regarding contributions from non-neuronal sources. Astrocytes, though intimately involved in synaptic function, had until recently been noticeably overlooked in their potential role in AUD. One major function of the astrocyte is protecting neurons from excitotoxicity by removing glutamate from the synapse via excitatory amino acid transporter type 2. The importance of this key transporter in addiction, as well as ethanol withdrawal, has recently become evident, though its regulation is still under investigation. Historically, pharmacotherapy for AUD has been focused on altering the activity of neuronal glutamate receptors. However, recent clinical evidence has supported the animal-based findings, showing that regulating glutamate homeostasis contributes to successful management of recovery from AUD. PMID:27014596

  19. Biochemical effects of venlafaxine on astrocytes as revealed by (1)H NMR-based metabolic profiling.

    PubMed

    Sun, Lu; Fang, Liang; Lian, Bin; Xia, Jin-Jun; Zhou, Chan-Juan; Wang, Ling; Mao, Qiang; Wang, Xin-Fa; Gong, Xue; Liang, Zi-Hong; Bai, Shun-Jie; Liao, Li; Wu, Yu; Xie, Peng

    2017-01-31

    As a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor [SNRI], venlafaxine is one of the most commonly prescribed clinical antidepressants, with a broad range of antidepressant effects. Accumulating evidence shows that venlafaxine may target astrocytes to exert its antidepressant activity, although the underlying pharmacological mechanisms remained largely unknown. Here, we used a (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabonomics method coupled with multivariate statistical analysis to characterize the metabolic profiling of astrocytes treated with venlafaxine to explore the potential mechanism of its antidepressant effect. In total, 31 differential metabolites involved in energy, amino acid and lipid metabolism were identified. Ingenuity pathway analysis was used to identify the predicted pathways and biological functions with venlafaxine and fluoxetine. The most significantly altered network was "amino acid metabolism, cellular growth and proliferation", with a score above 20. Certain metabolites (lysine, tyrosine, glutamate, methionine, ethanolamine, fructose-6-phosphate, and phosphorylethanolamine) are involved in and play a central role in this network. Collectively, the biological effects of venlafaxine on astrocytes provide us with the further understanding of the mechanisms by which venlafaxine treats major depressive disorder.

  20. Anti-thyroperoxidase antibodies from patients with Hashimoto's encephalopathy bind to cerebellar astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Blanchin, Stéphanie; Coffin, Christine; Viader, Fausto; Ruf, Jean; Carayon, Pierre; Potier, Francette; Portier, Estelle; Comby, Elisabeth; Allouche, Stéphane; Ollivier, Yann; Reznik, Yves; Ballet, Jean Jacques

    2007-12-01

    A cohort of 10 Hashimoto's encephalopathy (HE) patients, 33 patients with unrelated neurological symptoms, 12 Hashimoto's thyroiditis patients and 4 healthy adult donors was studied to explore the neurological targets of anti-thyroperoxidase (TPO) autoantibodies (aAb) in HE. High levels of anti-TPO aAb were only detected in HE group's cerebrospinal fluids. In immunofluorescence assays on monkey brain cerebellum sections, both HE patients' sera and anti-TPO monoclonal antibodies (mAb) were able to bind cerebellar cells expressing glial fibrillary acid protein. Normal human astrocytes from primary cultures also reacted with anti-TPO mAb. Specific astrocyte binding of anti-TPO aAb suggests a role of these aAb in the HE pathogenesis.

  1. Distribution of astrocytic plaques in the corticobasal degeneration brain and comparison with tuft-shaped astrocytes in the progressive supranuclear palsy brain.

    PubMed

    Hattori, Manabu; Hashizume, Yoshio; Yoshida, Mari; Iwasaki, Yasushi; Hishikawa, Nozomi; Ueda, Ryuzo; Ojika, Kosei

    2003-08-01

    Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) have some clinical and pathological features in common. Each, however, has been shown to have specific astrocytic inclusions. CBD is characterized by astrocytic plaques, and PSP is characterized by tuft-shaped astrocytes. To clarify differences between these inclusions, we investigated intracerebral distribution of astrocytic plaques and tuft-shaped astrocytes in autopsied brains of patients with either CBD or PSP. Specimens from ten patients with CBD and five patients with PSP were stained by the Gallyas-Braak method. Densities of the astrocytic plaques and tuft-shaped astrocytes were determined for 11 cerebral cortical regions, 6 subcortical nuclei, 5 brain stem regions, the cerebellar cortex and the dentate nucleus. Astrocytic plaques were most abundant in the prefrontal and premotor areas in the cerebral cortex of CBD brains, whereas tuft-shaped astrocytes were most prominent in the precentral gyrus and premotor area of PSP brains. Many astrocytic plaques were observed in the caudate nucleus of CBD brains, whereas tuft-shaped astrocytes were abundant in both the caudate and putamen and moderate in number in the globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus and thalamus in PSP brains. Very slight accumulation of astrocytic plaques was seen in the brain stem of CBD brains, whereas numerous tuft-shaped astrocytes were found in the red nucleus and superior colliculus of PSP brains. Distribution of the astrocytic plaques and tuft-shaped astrocytes differed greatly. Thus, CBD and PSP can be considered different entities.

  2. Comparison of the gene expression profiles of human fetal cortical astrocytes with pluripotent stem cell derived neural stem cells identifies human astrocyte markers and signaling pathways and transcription factors active in human astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Malik, Nasir; Wang, Xiantao; Shah, Sonia; Efthymiou, Anastasia G; Yan, Bin; Heman-Ackah, Sabrina; Zhan, Ming; Rao, Mahendra

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the central nervous system (CNS) and have a multitude of functions that include maintenance of CNS homeostasis, trophic support of neurons, detoxification, and immune surveillance. It has only recently been appreciated that astrocyte dysfunction is a primary cause of many neurological disorders. Despite their importance in disease very little is known about global gene expression for human astrocytes. We have performed a microarray expression analysis of human fetal astrocytes to identify genes and signaling pathways that are important for astrocyte development and maintenance. Our analysis confirmed that the fetal astrocytes express high levels of the core astrocyte marker GFAP and the transcription factors from the NFI family which have been shown to play important roles in astrocyte development. A group of novel markers were identified that distinguish fetal astrocytes from pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells (NSCs) and NSC-derived neurons. As in murine astrocytes, the Notch signaling pathway appears to be particularly important for cell fate decisions between the astrocyte and neuronal lineages in human astrocytes. These findings unveil the repertoire of genes expressed in human astrocytes and serve as a basis for further studies to better understand astrocyte biology, especially as it relates to disease.

  3. Astrocytes Enhance Streptococcus suis-Glial Cell Interaction in Primary Astrocyte-Microglial Cell Co-Cultures.

    PubMed

    Seele, Jana; Nau, Roland; Prajeeth, Chittappen K; Stangel, Martin; Valentin-Weigand, Peter; Seitz, Maren

    2016-06-13

    Streptococcus (S.) suis infections are the most common cause of meningitis in pigs. Moreover, S. suis is a zoonotic pathogen, which can lead to meningitis in humans, mainly in adults. We assume that glial cells may play a crucial role in host-pathogen interactions during S. suis infection of the central nervous system. Glial cells are considered to possess important functions during inflammation and injury of the brain in bacterial meningitis. In the present study, we established primary astrocyte-microglial cell co-cultures to investigate interactions of S. suis with glial cells. For this purpose, microglial cells and astrocytes were isolated from new-born mouse brains and characterized by flow cytometry, followed by the establishment of astrocyte and microglial cell mono-cultures as well as astrocyte-microglial cell co-cultures. In addition, we prepared microglial cell mono-cultures co-incubated with uninfected astrocyte mono-culture supernatants and astrocyte mono-cultures co-incubated with uninfected microglial cell mono-culture supernatants. After infection of the different cell cultures with S. suis, bacteria-cell association was mainly observed with microglial cells and most prominently with a non-encapsulated mutant of S. suis. A time-dependent induction of NO release was found only in the co-cultures and after co-incubation of microglial cells with uninfected supernatants of astrocyte mono-cultures mainly after infection with the capsular mutant. Only moderate cytotoxic effects were found in co-cultured glial cells after infection with S. suis. Taken together, astrocytes and astrocyte supernatants increased interaction of microglial cells with S. suis. Astrocyte-microglial cell co-cultures are suitable to study S. suis infections and bacteria-cell association as well as NO release by microglial cells was enhanced in the presence of astrocytes.

  4. Neuron-glia interactions through the Heartless FGF receptor signaling pathway mediate morphogenesis of Drosophila astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Stork, Tobias; Sheehan, Amy; Tasdemir-Yilmaz, Ozge E; Freeman, Marc R

    2014-07-16

    Astrocytes are critically important for neuronal circuit assembly and function. Mammalian protoplasmic astrocytes develop a dense ramified meshwork of cellular processes to form intimate contacts with neuronal cell bodies, neurites, and synapses. This close neuron-glia morphological relationship is essential for astrocyte function, but it remains unclear how astrocytes establish their intricate morphology, organize spatial domains, and associate with neurons and synapses in vivo. Here we characterize a Drosophila glial subtype that shows striking morphological and functional similarities to mammalian astrocytes. We demonstrate that the Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor Heartless autonomously controls astrocyte membrane growth, and the FGFs Pyramus and Thisbe direct astrocyte processes to ramify specifically in CNS synaptic regions. We further show that the shape and size of individual astrocytes are dynamically sculpted through inhibitory or competitive astrocyte-astrocyte interactions and Heartless FGF signaling. Our data identify FGF signaling through Heartless as a key regulator of astrocyte morphological elaboration in vivo.

  5. Neuroimmunological Implications of AQP4 in Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Ikeshima-Kataoka, Hiroko

    2016-01-01

    The brain has high-order functions and is composed of several kinds of cells, such as neurons and glial cells. It is becoming clear that many kinds of neurodegenerative diseases are more-or-less influenced by astrocytes, which are a type of glial cell. Aquaporin-4 (AQP4), a membrane-bound protein that regulates water permeability is a member of the aquaporin family of water channel proteins that is expressed in the endfeet of astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). Recently, AQP4 has been shown to function, not only as a water channel protein, but also as an adhesion molecule that is involved in cell migration and neuroexcitation, synaptic plasticity, and learning/memory through mechanisms involved in long-term potentiation or long-term depression. The most extensively examined role of AQP4 is its ability to act as a neuroimmunological inducer. Previously, we showed that AQP4 plays an important role in neuroimmunological functions in injured mouse brain in concert with the proinflammatory inducer osteopontin (OPN). The aim of this review is to summarize the functional implication of AQP4, focusing especially on its neuroimmunological roles. This review is a good opportunity to compile recent knowledge and could contribute to the therapeutic treatment of autoimmune diseases through strategies targeting AQP4. Finally, the author would like to hypothesize on AQP4’s role in interaction between reactive astrocytes and reactive microglial cells, which might occur in neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, a therapeutic strategy for AQP4-related neurodegenerative diseases is proposed. PMID:27517922

  6. Astrocytes are central in the pathomechanisms of vanishing white matter

    PubMed Central

    Dooves, Stephanie; Bugiani, Marianna; Postma, Nienke L.; Polder, Emiel; Land, Niels; Horan, Stephen T.; van Deijk, Anne-Lieke F.; van de Kreeke, Aleid; Jacobs, Gerbren; Vuong, Caroline; Klooster, Jan; Kamermans, Maarten; Wortel, Joke; Wisse, Lisanne E.; Scheper, Gert C.; Abbink, Truus E.M.; Heine, Vivi M.; van der Knaap, Marjo S.

    2016-01-01

    Vanishing white matter (VWM) is a fatal leukodystrophy that is caused by mutations in genes encoding subunits of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2B (eIF2B). Disease onset and severity are codetermined by genotype. White matter astrocytes and oligodendrocytes are almost exclusively affected; however, the mechanisms of VWM development remain unclear. Here, we used VWM mouse models, patients’ tissue, and cell cultures to investigate whether astrocytes or oligodendrocytes are the primary affected cell type. We generated 2 mouse models with mutations (Eif2b5Arg191His/Arg191His and Eif2b4Arg484Trp/Arg484Trp) that cause severe VWM in humans and then crossed these strains to develop mice with various mutation combinations. Phenotypic severity was highly variable and dependent on genotype, reproducing the clinical spectrum of human VWM. In all mutant strains, impaired maturation of white matter astrocytes preceded onset and paralleled disease severity and progression. Bergmann glia and retinal Müller cells, nonforebrain astrocytes that have not been associated with VWM, were also affected, and involvement of these cells was confirmed in VWM patients. In coculture, VWM astrocytes secreted factors that inhibited oligodendrocyte maturation, whereas WT astrocytes allowed normal maturation of VWM oligodendrocytes. These studies demonstrate that astrocytes are central in VWM pathomechanisms and constitute potential therapeutic targets. Importantly, astrocytes should also be considered in the pathophysiology of other white matter disorders. PMID:26974157

  7. Motor neuron death in ALS – programmed by astrocytes?

    PubMed Central

    Pirooznia, Sheila K.; Dawson, Valina L.; Dawson, Ted M.

    2014-01-01

    Motor neurons in ALS die via cell-autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms. Using adult human astrocytes and motor neurons, Re et al (2014) discover that familial and sporadic ALS derived human adult astrocytes secrete neurotoxic factors that selectively kill motor neurons through necroptosis, suggesting a new therapeutic avenue. PMID:24607221

  8. Astrocyte transplantation for spinal cord injury: current status and perspective.

    PubMed

    Chu, Tianci; Zhou, Hengxing; Li, Fuyuan; Wang, Tianyi; Lu, Lu; Feng, Shiqing

    2014-08-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) often causes incurable neurological dysfunction because axonal regeneration in adult spinal cord is rare. Astrocytes are gradually recognized as being necessary for the regeneration after SCI as they promote axonal growth under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Heterogeneous populations of astrocytes have been explored for structural and functional restoration. The results range from the early variable and modest effects of immature astrocyte transplantation to the later significant, but controversial, outcomes of glial-restricted precursor (GRP)-derived astrocyte (GDA) transplantation. However, the traditional neuron-centric view and the concerns about the inhibitory roles of astrocytes after SCI, along with the sporadic studies and the lack of a comprehensive review, have led to some confusion over the usefulness of astrocytes in SCI. It is the purpose of the review to discuss the current status of astrocyte transplantation for SCI based on a dialectical view of the context-dependent manner of astrocyte behavior and the time-associated characteristics of glial scarring. Critical issues are then analyzed to reveal the potential direction of future research.

  9. Ghrelin Regulates Glucose and Glutamate Transporters in Hypothalamic Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Fuente-Martín, Esther; García-Cáceres, Cristina; Argente-Arizón, Pilar; Díaz, Francisca; Granado, Miriam; Freire-Regatillo, Alejandra; Castro-González, David; Ceballos, María L.; Frago, Laura M.; Dickson, Suzanne L.; Argente, Jesús; Chowen, Julie A.

    2016-01-01

    Hypothalamic astrocytes can respond to metabolic signals, such as leptin and insulin, to modulate adjacent neuronal circuits and systemic metabolism. Ghrelin regulates appetite, adiposity and glucose metabolism, but little is known regarding the response of astrocytes to this orexigenic hormone. We have used both in vivo and in vitro approaches to demonstrate that acylated ghrelin (acyl-ghrelin) rapidly stimulates glutamate transporter expression and glutamate uptake by astrocytes. Moreover, acyl-ghrelin rapidly reduces glucose transporter (GLUT) 2 levels and glucose uptake by these glial cells. Glutamine synthetase and lactate dehydrogenase decrease, while glycogen phosphorylase and lactate transporters increase in response to acyl-ghrelin, suggesting a change in glutamate and glucose metabolism, as well as glycogen storage by astrocytes. These effects are partially mediated through ghrelin receptor 1A (GHSR-1A) as astrocytes do not respond equally to desacyl-ghrelin, an isoform that does not activate GHSR-1A. Moreover, primary astrocyte cultures from GHSR-1A knock-out mice do not change glutamate transporter or GLUT2 levels in response to acyl-ghrelin. Our results indicate that acyl-ghrelin may mediate part of its metabolic actions through modulation of hypothalamic astrocytes and that this effect could involve astrocyte mediated changes in local glucose and glutamate metabolism that alter the signals/nutrients reaching neighboring neurons. PMID:27026049

  10. Ghrelin Regulates Glucose and Glutamate Transporters in Hypothalamic Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Fuente-Martín, Esther; García-Cáceres, Cristina; Argente-Arizón, Pilar; Díaz, Francisca; Granado, Miriam; Freire-Regatillo, Alejandra; Castro-González, David; Ceballos, María L; Frago, Laura M; Dickson, Suzanne L; Argente, Jesús; Chowen, Julie A

    2016-03-30

    Hypothalamic astrocytes can respond to metabolic signals, such as leptin and insulin, to modulate adjacent neuronal circuits and systemic metabolism. Ghrelin regulates appetite, adiposity and glucose metabolism, but little is known regarding the response of astrocytes to this orexigenic hormone. We have used both in vivo and in vitro approaches to demonstrate that acylated ghrelin (acyl-ghrelin) rapidly stimulates glutamate transporter expression and glutamate uptake by astrocytes. Moreover, acyl-ghrelin rapidly reduces glucose transporter (GLUT) 2 levels and glucose uptake by these glial cells. Glutamine synthetase and lactate dehydrogenase decrease, while glycogen phosphorylase and lactate transporters increase in response to acyl-ghrelin, suggesting a change in glutamate and glucose metabolism, as well as glycogen storage by astrocytes. These effects are partially mediated through ghrelin receptor 1A (GHSR-1A) as astrocytes do not respond equally to desacyl-ghrelin, an isoform that does not activate GHSR-1A. Moreover, primary astrocyte cultures from GHSR-1A knock-out mice do not change glutamate transporter or GLUT2 levels in response to acyl-ghrelin. Our results indicate that acyl-ghrelin may mediate part of its metabolic actions through modulation of hypothalamic astrocytes and that this effect could involve astrocyte mediated changes in local glucose and glutamate metabolism that alter the signals/nutrients reaching neighboring neurons.

  11. Astrocyte morphology is controlled by neuron-derived FGF

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Amit; Bergles, Dwight E.

    2014-01-01

    The highly ramified processes of astrocytes enable cellular interactions and extracellular homeostasis. In this issue of Neuron, Stork et al. (2014) report that extension and elaboration of astrocyte processes in Drosophila is controlled by the release of FGF by neurons. PMID:25033173

  12. Synaptic modulation by astrocytes via Ca2+-dependent glutamate release.

    PubMed

    Santello, M; Volterra, A

    2009-01-12

    In the past 15 years the classical view that astrocytes play a relatively passive role in brain function has been overturned and it has become increasingly clear that signaling between neurons and astrocytes may play a crucial role in the information processing that the brain carries out. This new view stems from two seminal observations made in the early 1990s: 1. astrocytes respond to neurotransmitters released during synaptic activity with elevation of their intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i); 2. astrocytes release chemical transmitters, including glutamate, in response to [Ca2+]i elevations. The simultaneous recognition that astrocytes sense neuronal activity and release neuroactive agents has been instrumental for understanding previously unknown roles of these cells in the control of synapse formation, function and plasticity. These findings open a conceptual revolution, leading to rethink how brain communication works, as they imply that information travels (and is processed) not just in the neuronal circuitry but in an expanded neuron-glia network. In this review we critically discuss the available information concerning: 1. the characteristics of the astrocytic Ca2+ responses to synaptic activity; 2. the basis of Ca2+-dependent glutamate exocytosis from astrocytes; 3. the modes of action of astrocytic glutamate on synaptic function.

  13. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide entrains circadian rhythms in astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Marpegan, Luciano; Krall, Thomas J.; Herzog, Erik D.

    2009-01-01

    Many mammalian cell types show daily rhythms in gene expression driven by a circadian pacemaker. For example, cultured astrocytes display circadian rhythms in Period1 and Period2 expression. It is not known, however, how or which intercellular factors synchronize and sustain rhythmicity in astrocytes. Because astrocytes are highly sensitive to vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), a neuropeptide released by neurons and important for the coordination of daily cycling, we hypothesized that VIP entrains circadian rhythms in astrocytes. We used astrocyte cultures derived from knock-in mice containing a bioluminescent reporter of PERIOD2 (PER2) protein, to assess the effects of VIP on the rhythmic properties of astrocytes. VIP induced a dose-dependent increase in the peak-to-trough amplitude of the ensemble rhythms of PER2 expression with maximal effects near 100nM VIP and threshold values between 0.1 and 1 nM. VIP also induced dose- and phase-dependent shifts in PER2 rhythms and daily VIP administration entrained bioluminescence rhythms of astrocytes to a predicted phase angle. This is the first demonstration that a neuropeptide can entrain glial cells to a phase predicted by a phase response curve. We conclude that VIP potently entrains astrocytes in vitro and is a candidate for coordinating daily rhythms among glia in the brain. PMID:19346450

  14. [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: is the astrocyte the cell primarily involved?].

    PubMed

    Sica, Roberto E

    2013-01-01

    So far, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is thought as due to a primary insult of the motor neurons. None of its pathogenic processes proved to be the cause of the illness, nor can be blamed environmental agents. Motor neurons die by apoptosis, leaving the possibility that their death might be due to an unfriendly environment, unable to sustain their health, rather than being directly targeted themselves. These reasons justify an examination of the astrocytes, because they have the most important role controlling the neurons' environment. It is known that astrocytes are plastic, enslaving their functions to the requirements of the neurons to which they are related. Each population of astrocytes is unique, and if it were affected the consequences would reach the neurons that it normally sustains. In regard to the motor neurons, this situation would lead to a disturbed production and release of astrocytic neurotransmitters and transporters, impairing nutritional and trophic support as well. For explaining the spreading of muscle symptoms in ALS, correlated with the type of spreading observed at the cortical and spinal motor neurons pools, the present hypotheses suggests that the illness-causing process is spreading among astrocytes, through their gap junctions, depriving the motor neurons of their support. Also it is postulated that a normal astrocytic protein becomes misfolded and infectious, inducing the misfolding of its wild type, travelling from one protoplasmatic astrocyte to another and to the fibrous astrocytes encircling the pyramidal pathway which joints the upper and lower motoneurones.

  15. Orexin-A promotes Glu uptake by OX1R/PKCα/ERK1/2/GLT-1 pathway in astrocytes and protects co-cultured astrocytes and neurons against apoptosis in anoxia/hypoglycemic injury in vitro.

    PubMed

    Shu, Qing; Zhang, Jianhuai; Ma, Wei; Lei, Youying; Zhou, Dan

    2017-01-01

    Orexin-A, which is an endogenous neuropeptide, is reported to have a protective role in ischemic stroke. High-concentration glutamic acid (Glu) induced by hypoxia injury in ischemic stroke can be inhibited by glial glutamate transporter GLT-1 which is only expressed in astroglia cells. A previous study reported that Orexin-A may regulate GLT-1 expression. However, the role of orexin-A in the regulation of GLT-1 in ischemic stroke still remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect and the underlying mechanism of orexin-A on Glu uptake in astrocytes in vitro and this effect on protecting the neurons from anoxia/hypoglycemic injury. The expression of GLT-1 significantly increased in the astrocytes with orexin-A treatment under anoxia/hypoglycemic conditions, promoting the uptake of Glu and inhibiting the apoptosis of co-cultured cells of astrocytes and neurons. However, these effects were significantly weakened by treatment with orexin-A receptor 1 (OX1R) antagonist. Orexin-A significantly up-regulated the expressions of PKCα and ERK1/2 under anoxia/hypoglycemic conditions in astrocytes, whereas the OX1R antagonist markedly reversed the effect. Furthermore, PKCα or ERK1/2 inhibitor significantly constrained the GLT-1 expression in astrocytes and facilitated the apoptosis of co-cultured cells, and GLT-1 overexpression could reverse those effects of PKCα or ERK1/2 inhibitor. Taken together, orexin-A promoted the GLT-1 expression via OX1R/PKCα/ERK1/2 pathway in astrocytes and protected co-cultured cells against anoxia/hypoglycemic injury.

  16. Endothelin-1 overexpression leads to further water accumulation and brain edema after middle cerebral artery occlusion via aquaporin 4 expression in astrocytic end-feet.

    PubMed

    Lo, Amy C Y; Chen, Ann Y S; Hung, Victor K L; Yaw, Lai Ping; Fung, Maggie K L; Ho, Maggie C Y; Tsang, Margaret C S; Chung, Stephen S M; Chung, Sookja K

    2005-08-01

    Stroke patients have increased levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1), a strong vasoconstrictor, in their plasma or cerebrospinal fluid. Previously, we showed high level of ET-1 mRNA expression in astrocytes after hypoxia/ischemia. It is unclear whether the contribution of ET-1 induction in astrocytes is protective or destructive in cerebral ischemia. Here, we generated a transgenic mouse model that overexpress ET-1 in astrocytes (GET-1) using the glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter to examine the role of astrocytic ET-1 in ischemic stroke by challenging these mice with transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Under normal condition, GET-1 mice showed no abnormality in brain morphology, cerebrovasculature, absolute cerebral blood flow, blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity, and mean arterial blood pressure. Yet, GET-1 mice subjected to transient MCAO showed more severe neurologic deficits and increased infarct, which were partially normalized by administration of ABT-627 (ET(A) antagonist) 5 mins after MCAO. In addition, GET-1 brains exhibited more Evans blue extravasation and showed decreased endothelial occludin expression after MCAO, correlating with higher brain water content and increased cerebral edema. Aquaporin 4 expression was also more pronounced in astrocytic end-feet on blood vessels in GET-1 ipsilateral brains. Our current data suggest that astrocytic ET-1 has deleterious effects on water homeostasis, cerebral edema and BBB integrity, which contribute to more severe ischemic brain injury.

  17. Involvement of astrocyte metabolic coupling in Tourette syndrome pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    de Leeuw, Christiaan; Goudriaan, Andrea; Smit, August B; Yu, Dongmei; Mathews, Carol A; Scharf, Jeremiah M; Scharf, J M; Pauls, D L; Yu, D; Illmann, C; Osiecki, L; Neale, B M; Mathews, C A; Reus, V I; Lowe, T L; Freimer, N B; Cox, N J; Davis, L K; Rouleau, G A; Chouinard, S; Dion, Y; Girard, S; Cath, D C; Posthuma, D; Smit, J H; Heutink, P; King, R A; Fernandez, T; Leckman, J F; Sandor, P; Barr, C L; McMahon, W; Lyon, G; Leppert, M; Morgan, J; Weiss, R; Grados, M A; Singer, H; Jankovic, J; Tischfield, J A; Heiman, G A; Verheijen, Mark H G; Posthuma, Danielle

    2015-01-01

    Tourette syndrome is a heritable neurodevelopmental disorder whose pathophysiology remains unknown. Recent genome-wide association studies suggest that it is a polygenic disorder influenced by many genes of small effect. We tested whether these genes cluster in cellular function by applying gene-set analysis using expert curated sets of brain-expressed genes in the current largest available Tourette syndrome genome-wide association data set, involving 1285 cases and 4964 controls. The gene sets included specific synaptic, astrocytic, oligodendrocyte and microglial functions. We report association of Tourette syndrome with a set of genes involved in astrocyte function, specifically in astrocyte carbohydrate metabolism. This association is driven primarily by a subset of 33 genes involved in glycolysis and glutamate metabolism through which astrocytes support synaptic function. Our results indicate for the first time that the process of astrocyte-neuron metabolic coupling may be an important contributor to Tourette syndrome pathogenesis. PMID:25735483

  18. Astrocytes Are an Early Target in Osmotic Demyelination Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Nicaise, Charles; Soupart, Alain; Boom, Alain; Schiettecatte, Johan; Pochet, Roland; Brion, Jean Pierre

    2011-01-01

    Abrupt osmotic changes during rapid correction of chronic hyponatremia result in demyelinative brain lesions, but the sequence of events linking rapid osmotic changes to myelin loss is not yet understood. Here, in a rat model of osmotic demyelination syndrome, we found that massive astrocyte death occurred after rapid correction of hyponatremia, delineating the regions of future myelin loss. Astrocyte death caused a disruption of the astrocyte-oligodendrocyte network, rapidly upregulated inflammatory cytokines genes, and increased serum S100B, which predicted clinical manifestations and outcome of osmotic demyelination. These results support a model for the pathophysiology of osmotic brain injury in which rapid correction of hyponatremia triggers apoptosis in astrocytes followed by a loss of trophic communication between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, secondary inflammation, microglial activation, and finally demyelination. PMID:21885671

  19. Optical modulation of astrocyte network using ultrashort pulsed laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, Jonghee; Ku, Taeyun; Chong, Kyuha; Ryu, Seung-Wook; Choi, Chulhee

    2012-03-01

    Astrocyte, the most abundant cell type in the central nervous system, has been one of major topics in neuroscience. Even though many tools have been developed for the analysis of astrocyte function, there has been no adequate tool that can modulates astrocyte network without pharmaceutical or genetic interventions. Here we found that ultrashort pulsed laser stimulation can induce label-free activation of astrocytes as well as apoptotic-like cell death in a dose-dependent manner. Upon irradiation with high intensity pulsed lasers, the irradiated cells with short exposure time showed very rapid mitochondria fragmentation, membrane blebbing and cytoskeletal retraction. We applied this technique to investigate in vivo function of astrocyte network in the CNS: in the aspect of neurovascular coupling and blood-brain barrier. We propose that this noninvasive technique can be widely applied for in vivo study of complex cellular network.

  20. Calcium dynamics in astrocyte processes during neurovascular coupling

    PubMed Central

    Otsu, Yo; Couchman, Kiri; Lyons, Declan G; Collot, Mayeul; Agarwal, Amit; Mallet, Jean-Maurice; Pfrieger, Frank W; Bergles, Dwight E; Charpak, Serge

    2015-01-01

    Enhanced neuronal activity in the brain triggers a local increase in blood flow, termed functional hyperemia, via several mechanisms, including calcium (Ca2+) signaling in astrocytes. However, recent in vivo studies have questioned the role of astrocytes in functional hyperemia because of the slow and sparse dynamics of their somatic Ca2+ signals and the absence of glutamate metabotropic receptor 5 in adults. Here, we reexamined their role in neurovascular coupling by selectively expressing a genetically encoded Ca2+ sensor in astrocytes of the olfactory bulb. We show that in anesthetized mice, the physiological activation of olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) terminals reliably triggers Ca2+ increases in astrocyte processes but not in somata. These Ca2+ increases systematically precede the onset of functional hyperemia by 1–2 s, reestablishing astrocytes as potential regulators of neurovascular coupling. PMID:25531572

  1. Induction of gp130-related cytokines and activation of JAK2/STAT3 pathway in astrocytes precedes up-regulation of glial fibrillary acidic protein in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine model of neurodegeneration: key signaling pathway for astrogliosis in vivo?

    PubMed

    Sriram, Krishnan; Benkovic, Stanley A; Hebert, Meleik A; Miller, Diane B; O'Callaghan, James P

    2004-05-07

    Reactive gliosis is a hallmark of disease-, trauma-, and chemical-induced damage to the central nervous system. The signaling pathways associated with this response to neural injury remain to be elucidated, but recent evidence implicates the Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway. Here, we used the known dopaminergic neurotoxicant, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), to selectively damage striatal dopaminergic nerve terminals and elicit a glial response. We then analyzed changes in gene expression and protein phosphorylation, in vivo, to identify ligands and mediators of the JAK-STAT pathway that accompany glial activation. Administration of MPTP caused rapid tyrosine (Tyr-705) phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of STAT3 in striatal astrocytes, prior to the induction of glial fibrillary acidic protein mRNA and protein. Pharmacological protection of dopaminergic nerve terminals with nomifensine abolished MPTP-mediated phosphorylation and translocation of STAT3 and prevented induction of astrogliosis. Among the Janus kinase family of tyrosine kinases, only JAK2 was associated with the phosphorylation of STAT3 after MPTP and, inhibition of JAK2 by AG490, in vivo, attenuated both the phosphorylation of STAT3 and induction of GFAP. The p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK; ERK1/2) also was activated by MPTP, but was not associated with activation of STAT3, because serine (Ser-727) was not phosphorylated. The mRNA for ligands of the gp130-JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway, interleukin-6, leukemia inhibitory factor, and oncostatin M were elevated prior to activation of STAT3 and induction of astrogliosis; neuroprotection with nomifensine blocked these effects of MPTP. Taken together, our results suggest that the gp130-mediated activation of JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway may play a key role in the induction of astrogliosis.

  2. Expression of familial Alzheimer disease presenilin 1 gene attenuates vesicle traffic and reduces peptide secretion in cultured astrocytes devoid of pathologic tissue environment.

    PubMed

    Stenovec, Matjaž; Trkov, Saša; Lasič, Eva; Terzieva, Slavica; Kreft, Marko; Rodríguez Arellano, José Julio; Parpura, Vladimir; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Zorec, Robert

    2016-02-01

    In the brain, astrocytes provide metabolic and trophic support to neurones. Failure in executing astroglial homeostatic functions may contribute to the initiation and propagation of diseases, including Alzheimer disease (AD), characterized by a progressive loss of neurones over years. Here, we examined whether astrocytes from a mice model of AD isolated in the presymptomatic phase of the disease exhibit alterations in vesicle traffic, vesicular peptide release and purinergic calcium signaling. In cultured astrocytes isolated from a newborn wild-type (wt) and 3xTg-AD mouse, secretory vesicles and acidic endosomes/lysosomes were labeled by transfection with plasmid encoding atrial natriuretic peptide tagged with mutant green fluorescent protein (ANP.emd) and by LysoTracker, respectively. The intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) was monitored with Fluo-2 and visualized by confocal microscopy. In comparison with controls, spontaneous mobility of ANP- and LysoTracker-labeled vesicles was diminished in 3xTg-AD astrocytes; the track length (TL), maximal displacement (MD) and directionality index (DI) were all reduced in peptidergic vesicles and in endosomes/lysosomes (P < 0.001), as was the ATP-evoked attenuation of vesicle mobility. Similar impairment of peptidergic vesicle trafficking was observed in wt rat astrocytes transfected to express mutated presenilin 1 (PS1M146V). The ATP-evoked ANP discharge from single vesicles was less efficient in 3xTg-AD and PS1M146V-expressing astrocytes than in respective wt controls (P < 0.05). Purinergic stimulation evoked biphasic and oscillatory [Ca(2+)]i responses; the latter were less frequent (P < 0.001) in 3xTg-AD astrocytes. Expression of PS1M146V in astrocytes impairs vesicle dynamics and reduces evoked secretion of the signaling molecule ANP; both may contribute to the development of AD.

  3. Stimulation-evoked Ca2+ signals in astrocytic processes at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses of adult mice are modulated by glutamate and ATP.

    PubMed

    Tang, Wannan; Szokol, Karolina; Jensen, Vidar; Enger, Rune; Trivedi, Chintan A; Hvalby, Øivind; Helm, P Johannes; Looger, Loren L; Sprengel, Rolf; Nagelhus, Erlend A

    2015-02-18

    To date, it has been difficult to reveal physiological Ca(2+) events occurring within the fine astrocytic processes of mature animals. The objective of the study was to explore whether neuronal activity evokes astrocytic Ca(2+) signals at glutamatergic synapses of adult mice. We stimulated the Schaffer collateral/commissural fibers in acute hippocampal slices from adult mice transduced with the genetically encoded Ca(2+) indicator GCaMP5E driven by the glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter. Two-photon imaging revealed global stimulation-evoked astrocytic Ca(2+) signals with distinct latencies, rise rates, and amplitudes in fine processes and somata. Specifically, the Ca(2+) signals in the processes were faster and of higher amplitude than those in the somata. A combination of P2 purinergic and group I/II metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) antagonists reduced the amplitude of the Ca(2+) transients by 30-40% in both astrocytic compartments. Blockage of the mGluRs alone only modestly reduced the magnitude of the stimulation-evoked Ca(2+) signals in processes and failed to affect the somatic Ca(2+) response. Local application of group I or I/II mGluR agonists or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) elicited global astrocytic Ca(2+) signals that mimicked the stimulation-evoked astrocytic Ca(2+) responses. We conclude that stimulation-evoked Ca(2+) signals in astrocytic processes at CA3-CA1 synapses of adult mice (1) differ from those in astrocytic somata and (2) are modulated by glutamate and ATP.

  4. GFAP isoforms in adult mouse brain with a focus on neurogenic astrocytes and reactive astrogliosis in mouse models of Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Kamphuis, Willem; Mamber, Carlyn; Moeton, Martina; Kooijman, Lieneke; Sluijs, Jacqueline A; Jansen, Anne H P; Verveer, Monique; de Groot, Lody R; Smith, Vanessa D; Rangarajan, Sindhoo; Rodríguez, José J; Orre, Marie; Hol, Elly M

    2012-01-01

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the main astrocytic intermediate filament (IF). GFAP splice isoforms show differential expression patterns in the human brain. GFAPδ is preferentially expressed by neurogenic astrocytes in the subventricular zone (SVZ), whereas GFAP(+1) is found in a subset of astrocytes throughout the brain. In addition, the expression of these isoforms in human brain material of epilepsy, Alzheimer and glioma patients has been reported. Here, for the first time, we present a comprehensive study of GFAP isoform expression in both wild-type and Alzheimer Disease (AD) mouse models. In cortex, cerebellum, and striatum of wild-type mice, transcripts for Gfap-α, Gfap-β, Gfap-γ, Gfap-δ, Gfap-κ, and a newly identified isoform Gfap-ζ, were detected. Their relative expression levels were similar in all regions studied. GFAPα showed a widespread expression whilst GFAPδ distribution was prominent in the SVZ, rostral migratory stream (RMS), neurogenic astrocytes of the subgranular zone (SGZ), and subpial astrocytes. In contrast to the human SVZ, we could not establish an unambiguous GFAPδ localization in proliferating cells of the mouse SVZ. In APPswePS1dE9 and 3xTgAD mice, plaque-associated reactive astrocytes had increased transcript levels of all detectable GFAP isoforms and low levels of a new GFAP isoform, Gfap-ΔEx7. Reactive astrocytes in AD mice showed enhanced GFAPα and GFAPδ immunolabeling, less frequently increased vimentin and nestin, but no GFAPκ or GFAP(+1) staining. In conclusion, GFAPδ protein is present in SVZ, RMS, and neurogenic astrocytes of the SGZ, but also outside neurogenic niches. Furthermore, differential GFAP isoform expression is not linked with aging or reactive gliosis. This evidence points to the conclusion that differential regulation of GFAP isoforms is not involved in the reorganization of the IF network in reactive gliosis or in neurogenesis in the mouse brain.

  5. Expression of familial Alzheimer disease presenilin 1 gene attenuates vesicle traffic and reduces peptide secretion in cultured astrocytes devoid of pathologic tissue environment

    PubMed Central

    Stenovec, Matjaž; Trkov, Saša; Lasič, Eva; Terzieva, Slavica; Kreft, Marko; Rodriguez Arellano, José Julio; Parpura, Vladimir; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Zorec, Robert

    2015-01-01

    In the brain, astrocytes provide metabolic and trophic support to neurones. Failure in executing astroglial homeostatic functions may contribute to the initiation and propagation of diseases, including Alzheimer disease (AD), characterized by a progressive loss of neurones over years. Here, we examined whether astrocytes from a mice model of AD isolated in the pre-symptomatic phase of the disease exhibit alterations in vesicle traffic, vesicular peptide release and purinergic calcium signalling. In cultured astrocytes isolated from a newborn wild-type (wt) and 3xTg-AD mouse, secretory vesicles and acidic endosomes/lysosomes were labelled by transfection with plasmid encoding atrial natriuretic peptide tagged with mutant green fluorescent protein (ANP.emd) and by LysoTracker, respectively. The intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) was monitored with Fluo-2 and visualized by confocal microscopy. In comparison with controls, spontaneous mobility of ANP- and LysoTracker-labelled vesicles was diminished in 3xTg-AD astrocytes; the track length (TL), maximal displacement (MD) and directionality index (DI) were all reduced in peptidergic vesicles and in endosomes/lysosomes (P<0.001), as was the ATP-evoked attenuation of vesicle mobility. Similar impairment of peptidergic vesicle trafficking was observed in wt rat astrocytes transfected to express mutated presenilin 1 (PS1M146V). The ATP-evoked ANP discharge from single vesicles was less efficient in 3xTg-AD and PS1M146V–expressing astrocytes than in respective wt controls (P<0.05). Purinergic stimulation evoked biphasic and oscillatory [Ca2+]i responses; the latter were less frequent (P<0.001) in 3xTg-AD astrocytes. Expression of PS1M146V in astrocytes impairs vesicle dynamics and reduces evoked secretion of the signalling molecule ANP; both may contribute to the development of AD. PMID:26462451

  6. Stimulation-Evoked Ca2+ Signals in Astrocytic Processes at Hippocampal CA3–CA1 Synapses of Adult Mice Are Modulated by Glutamate and ATP

    PubMed Central

    Szokol, Karolina; Jensen, Vidar; Enger, Rune; Trivedi, Chintan A.; Hvalby, Øivind; Helm, P. Johannes; Looger, Loren L.; Sprengel, Rolf

    2015-01-01

    To date, it has been difficult to reveal physiological Ca2+ events occurring within the fine astrocytic processes of mature animals. The objective of the study was to explore whether neuronal activity evokes astrocytic Ca2+ signals at glutamatergic synapses of adult mice. We stimulated the Schaffer collateral/commissural fibers in acute hippocampal slices from adult mice transduced with the genetically encoded Ca2+ indicator GCaMP5E driven by the glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter. Two-photon imaging revealed global stimulation-evoked astrocytic Ca2+ signals with distinct latencies, rise rates, and amplitudes in fine processes and somata. Specifically, the Ca2+ signals in the processes were faster and of higher amplitude than those in the somata. A combination of P2 purinergic and group I/II metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) antagonists reduced the amplitude of the Ca2+ transients by 30–40% in both astrocytic compartments. Blockage of the mGluRs alone only modestly reduced the magnitude of the stimulation-evoked Ca2+ signals in processes and failed to affect the somatic Ca2+ response. Local application of group I or I/II mGluR agonists or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) elicited global astrocytic Ca2+ signals that mimicked the stimulation-evoked astrocytic Ca2+ responses. We conclude that stimulation-evoked Ca2+ signals in astrocytic processes at CA3–CA1 synapses of adult mice (1) differ from those in astrocytic somata and (2) are modulated by glutamate and ATP. PMID:25698739

  7. Withdrawal from free-choice ethanol consumption results in increased packing density of glutamine synthetase-immunoreactive astrocytes in the prelimbic cortex of alcohol-preferring rats.

    PubMed

    Miguel-Hidalgo, José Javier

    2006-01-01

    Excess activation of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the cerebral cortex following ethanol withdrawal is considered to contribute to significant behavioural disturbances, and to alcohol craving. Astrocytes may play a role in these manifestations because astrocytes are essential in the regulation of released glutamate and its conversion to glutamine through the enzyme glutamine synthetase (GS). However, it is unclear if withdrawal from free-choice ethanol drinking causes changes in the numbers of astrocytes expressing GS or the cytoskeletal protein of astrocytes glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Alcohol-preferring (P) rats exposed to free-choice ethanol drinking were either maintained without forced interruption of ethanol drinking, subjected to a 3-day withdrawal period at the end of 2 months, or subjected to three 3-day withdrawal periods along 6 months. At 2 months, P rats were also compared with alcohol-naïve alcohol non-preferring rats (NP) rats. Packing density of GS and GFAP-immunoreactive (IR) astrocytes was measured in sections from the prelimbic cortex (PLC) using the optical disector probe. An alcohol deprivation effect was observed in P rats with withdrawals during a 6-month ethanol drinking period. Ethanol withdrawal significantly increased the packing density of GS- and GFAP-IR astrocytes in the PLC of P rats as compared with P rats with continuous access to ethanol. In addition, there was a positive correlation between the pre-withdrawal ethanol consumption and the packing density of GS-IR astrocytes. The present results suggest the involvement of astrocytes in the regulation of the glutamatergic activation associated with withdrawal from free-choice ethanol consumption and point to differential adaptations of GS and GFAP to prolonged alcohol drinking in the PLC of P rats.

  8. Genome-Scale Reconstruction of the Human Astrocyte Metabolic Network

    PubMed Central

    Martín-Jiménez, Cynthia A.; Salazar-Barreto, Diego; Barreto, George E.; González, Janneth

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cells of the central nervous system; they have a predominant role in maintaining brain metabolism. In this sense, abnormal metabolic states have been found in different neuropathological diseases. Determination of metabolic states of astrocytes is difficult to model using current experimental approaches given the high number of reactions and metabolites present. Thus, genome-scale metabolic networks derived from transcriptomic data can be used as a framework to elucidate how astrocytes modulate human brain metabolic states during normal conditions and in neurodegenerative diseases. We performed a Genome-Scale Reconstruction of the Human Astrocyte Metabolic Network with the purpose of elucidating a significant portion of the metabolic map of the astrocyte. This is the first global high-quality, manually curated metabolic reconstruction network of a human astrocyte. It includes 5,007 metabolites and 5,659 reactions distributed among 8 cell compartments, (extracellular, cytoplasm, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticle, Golgi apparatus, lysosome, peroxisome and nucleus). Using the reconstructed network, the metabolic capabilities of human astrocytes were calculated and compared both in normal and ischemic conditions. We identified reactions activated in these two states, which can be useful for understanding the astrocytic pathways that are affected during brain disease. Additionally, we also showed that the obtained flux distributions in the model, are in accordance with literature-based findings. Up to date, this is the most complete representation of the human astrocyte in terms of inclusion of genes, proteins, reactions and metabolic pathways, being a useful guide for in-silico analysis of several metabolic behaviors of the astrocyte during normal and pathologic states. PMID:28243200

  9. Genome-Scale Reconstruction of the Human Astrocyte Metabolic Network.

    PubMed

    Martín-Jiménez, Cynthia A; Salazar-Barreto, Diego; Barreto, George E; González, Janneth

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cells of the central nervous system; they have a predominant role in maintaining brain metabolism. In this sense, abnormal metabolic states have been found in different neuropathological diseases. Determination of metabolic states of astrocytes is difficult to model using current experimental approaches given the high number of reactions and metabolites present. Thus, genome-scale metabolic networks derived from transcriptomic data can be used as a framework to elucidate how astrocytes modulate human brain metabolic states during normal conditions and in neurodegenerative diseases. We performed a Genome-Scale Reconstruction of the Human Astrocyte Metabolic Network with the purpose of elucidating a significant portion of the metabolic map of the astrocyte. This is the first global high-quality, manually curated metabolic reconstruction network of a human astrocyte. It includes 5,007 metabolites and 5,659 reactions distributed among 8 cell compartments, (extracellular, cytoplasm, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticle, Golgi apparatus, lysosome, peroxisome and nucleus). Using the reconstructed network, the metabolic capabilities of human astrocytes were calculated and compared both in normal and ischemic conditions. We identified reactions activated in these two states, which can be useful for understanding the astrocytic pathways that are affected during brain disease. Additionally, we also showed that the obtained flux distributions in the model, are in accordance with literature-based findings. Up to date, this is the most complete representation of the human astrocyte in terms of inclusion of genes, proteins, reactions and metabolic pathways, being a useful guide for in-silico analysis of several metabolic behaviors of the astrocyte during normal and pathologic states.

  10. Secretome analyses of Aβ(1-42) stimulated hippocampal astrocytes reveal that CXCL10 is involved in astrocyte migration.

    PubMed

    Lai, Wenjia; Wu, Jing; Zou, Xiao; Xie, Jian; Zhang, Liwei; Zhao, Xuyang; Zhao, Minzhi; Wang, Qingsong; Ji, Jianguo

    2013-02-01

    Amyloid-beta (Aβ) aggregation plays an important role in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the AD brain, amyloid plaques are surrounded by reactive astrocytes, and many essential functions of astrocytes have been reported to be mediated by protein secretion. However, the roles of activated astrocytes in AD progression are under intense debate. To provide an in-depth view of the secretomes of activated astrocytes, we present in this study a quantitative profile of rat hippocampal astrocyte secretomes at multiple time points after both brief and sustained Aβ(1-42) stimulation. Using SILAC labeling and LC-MS/MS analyses, we identified 19 up-regulated secreted proteins after Aβ(1-42) treatment. These differentially expressed proteins have been suggested to be involved in key aspects of biological processes, such as cell recruitment, Aβ clearance, and regulation of neurogenesis. Particularly, we validated the role played by CXCL10 in promoting astrocyte aggregation around amyloid plagues through in vitro cell migration analysis. This research provides global, quantitative profiling of astrocyte secretomes produced on Aβ stimulation and hence provides a detailed molecular basis for the relationship between amyloid plaques and astrocyte aggregation; the findings thus have important implications for further investigations into AD development and therapy.

  11. Developmental alcohol exposure leads to a persistent change on astrocyte secretome.

    PubMed

    Trindade, Pablo; Hampton, Brian; Manhães, Alex C; Medina, Alexandre E

    2016-06-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is the most common cause of mental disabilities in the western world. It has been quite established that acute alcohol exposure can dramatically affect astrocyte function. Because the effects of early alcohol exposure on cell physiology can persist into adulthood, we tested the hypothesis that ethanol exposure in ferrets during a period equivalent to the last months of human gestation leads to persistent changes in astrocyte secretome in vitro. Animals were treated with ethanol (3.5 g/kg) or saline between postnatal day (P)10-30. At P31, astrocyte cultures were made and cells were submitted to stable isotope labeling by amino acids. Twenty-four hour conditioned media of cells obtained from ethanol- or saline-treated animals (ET-CM or SAL-CM) were collected and analyzed by quantitative mass spectrometry in tandem with liquid chromatography. Here, we show that 65 out of 280 quantifiable proteins displayed significant differences comparing ET-CM to SAL-CM. Among the 59 proteins that were found to be reduced in ET-CM we observed components of the extracellular matrix such as laminin subunits α2, α4, β1, β2, and γ1 and the proteoglycans biglycan, heparan sulfate proteoglycan 2, and lumican. Proteins with trophic function such as insulin-like growth factor binding protein 4, pigment epithelium-derived factor, and clusterin as well as proteins involved on modulation of proteolysis such as metalloproteinase inhibitor 1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 were also reduced. In contrast, pro-synaptogeneic proteins like thrombospondin-1, hevin as well as the modulator of extracelular matrix expression, angiotensinogen, were found increased in ET-CM. The analysis of interactome maps through ingenuity pathway analysis demonstrated that the amyloid beta A4 protein precursor, which was found reduced in ET-CM, was previously shown to interact with ten other proteins that exhibited significant changes in the ET-CM. Taken together our results

  12. Phosphoinositide metabolism and adrenergic receptors in astrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, E.P.; Ritchie, T.; de Vellis, J.

    1986-03-01

    Agonist-induced phosphoinositide (PI) breakdown functions as a signal generating system. Diacylglycerol, one breakdown product of phosphotidylinositol-4,5-diphosphate hydrolysis, can stimulate protein kinase C, whereas inositol triphosphate, the other product, has been proposed to be a second messenger for Ca/sup + +/ mobilization. Using purified astrocyte cultures from neonatal rat brain, the effects of adrenergic agonists and antagonists at 10/sup -5/ M were measured on PI breakdown. Astrocytes grown in culture were prelabeled with (/sup 3/H)inositol, and basal (/sup 3/H) inositol phosphate (IP/sub 1/) accumulation was measured in the presence of Li/sup +/. Epinephrine > norepinephrine (NE) were the most active stimulants of IP/sub 1/ production. The ..cap alpha../sub 1/ adrenoreceptor blockers, phentolamine and phenoxybenzamine, added alone had no effect on IP/sub 1/ production was reduced below basal levels. Propranolol partially blocked the effects of NE. Clonidine and isoproterenol, separately added, reduced IP/sub 1/ below basal levels and when added together diminished IP/sub 1/ accumulation even further. The role of adrenergic stimulation in the production of c-AMP.

  13. Astrocytes refine cortical connectivity at dendritic spines

    PubMed Central

    Risher, W Christopher; Patel, Sagar; Kim, Il Hwan; Uezu, Akiyoshi; Bhagat, Srishti; Wilton, Daniel K; Pilaz, Louis-Jan; Singh Alvarado, Jonnathan; Calhan, Osman Y; Silver, Debra L; Stevens, Beth; Calakos, Nicole; Soderling, Scott H; Eroglu, Cagla

    2014-01-01

    During cortical synaptic development, thalamic axons must establish synaptic connections despite the presence of the more abundant intracortical projections. How thalamocortical synapses are formed and maintained in this competitive environment is unknown. Here, we show that astrocyte-secreted protein hevin is required for normal thalamocortical synaptic connectivity in the mouse cortex. Absence of hevin results in a profound, long-lasting reduction in thalamocortical synapses accompanied by a transient increase in intracortical excitatory connections. Three-dimensional reconstructions of cortical neurons from serial section electron microscopy (ssEM) revealed that, during early postnatal development, dendritic spines often receive multiple excitatory inputs. Immuno-EM and confocal analyses revealed that majority of the spines with multiple excitatory contacts (SMECs) receive simultaneous thalamic and cortical inputs. Proportion of SMECs diminishes as the brain develops, but SMECs remain abundant in Hevin-null mice. These findings reveal that, through secretion of hevin, astrocytes control an important developmental synaptic refinement process at dendritic spines. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04047.001 PMID:25517933

  14. Evidence for heterogeneity of astrocyte de-differentiation in vitro: astrocytes transform into intermediate precursor cells following induction of ACM from scratch-insulted astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hao; Qian, Xin-Hong; Cong, Rui; Li, Jing-wen; Yao, Qin; Jiao, Xi-Ying; Ju, Gong; You, Si-Wei

    2010-04-01

    Our previous study definitely demonstrated that the mature astrocytes could undergo a de-differentiation process and further transform into pluripotential neural stem cells (NSCs), which might well arise from the effect of diffusible factors released from scratch-insulted astrocytes. However, these neurospheres passaged from one neurosphere-derived from de-differentiated astrocytes possessed a completely distinct characteristic in the differentiation behavior, namely heterogeneity of differentiation. The heterogeneity in cell differentiation has become a crucial but elusive issue. In this study, we show that purified astrocytes could de-differentiate into intermediate precursor cells (IPCs) with addition of scratch-insulted astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) to the culture, which can express NG2 and A2B5, the IPCs markers. Apart from the number of NG2(+) and A2B5(+) cells, the percentage of proliferative cells as labeled with BrdU progressively increased with prolonged culture period ranging from 1 to 10 days. Meanwhile, the protein level of A2B5 in cells also increased significantly. These results revealed that not all astrocytes could de-differentiate fully into NSCs directly when induced by ACM, rather they generated intermediate or more restricted precursor cells that might undergo progressive de-differentiation to generate NSCs.

  15. Increased phase synchronization of spontaneous calcium oscillations in epileptic human versus normal rat astrocyte cultures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balázsi, Gábor; Cornell-Bell, Ann H.; Moss, Frank

    2003-06-01

    Stochastic synchronization analysis is applied to intracellular calcium oscillations in astrocyte cultures prepared from epileptic human temporal lobe. The same methods are applied to astrocyte cultures prepared from normal rat hippocampus. Our results indicate that phase-repulsive coupling in epileptic human astrocyte cultures is stronger, leading to an increased synchronization in epileptic human compared to normal rat astrocyte cultures.

  16. HCMV induces dysregulation of glutamate uptake and transporter expression in human fetal astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Li, Ling; Wang, Bin; Qian, Dong-Meng; Song, Xu-Xia; Hu, Ming

    2014-12-01

    Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infections are the leading cause of viral induced birth defects, affecting the central nervous system (CNS) primarily. Fetal CNS is especially vulnerable to CMV induced injury. As HCMV permissive cells, astrocytes are responsible for major glutamate transport and regulate extracellular levels of glutamate avoiding its accumulation which is implicated in neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, highly purified astrocytes isolated from human first trimester aborted fetal brain were infected with HCMV AD169, glutamate uptake function was detected by (3)H labeling technic, and the expression level alterations of glutamate transporters (GLAST, GLT-1), glutamine synthetase (GS) and its activity were also investigated. Protein kinases C (PKC) inhibitor treatment was to identify whether PKC signalling involved in regulating glutamate uptake, protein expression of GLAST, GLT-1, GS and GS activity. Results indicated HCMV AD169 infection could modulate glutamate uptake, expression levels of GLAST, GLT-1, GS and it activity through PKC signalling, suggesting a great susceptibility of human fetal astrocytes to HCMV infection, which significantly alters the uptake and metabolism of an important excitatory amino acid, glutamate, may be a potential mechanism for HCMV associated neurological disease, and an effective therapeutic target in neural diseases.

  17. Radiation induction of the receptor tyrosine kinase gene Ptk-3 in normal rat astrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Sakuma, S.; Hideyuki, S.; Akihiro, I.

    1995-07-01

    Radiation-induced gene expression was examined in rat astrocyte cultures using differential display of mRNA via reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. A 0.3-kb cDNA that was consistently observed in irradiated cultures but not in unirradiated cultures was cloned and sequenced. It was found to be identical to Ptk-3, a receptor tyrosine kinase gene identified recently. The protein encoded by Ptk-3 is a member of a novel class of receptor tyrosine kinases whose extracellular domain contains regions of homology with coagulation factors V and VIII and complement component C1. Northern blot analysis revealed that the expression of Ptk-3 was increased in rat astrocytes by 0.5 h after exposure to 10 Gy and remained at the same elevated level for at least 24 h. The maximum increase occurred after 5 Gy cloning studies indicated the presence of at least two Ptk-3 mRNA transcripts, which are probable the result of an alternative splicing mechanism. The short isoform lacks a 37 amino acid sequence in the glycine/proline-rich juxtamembrane region. The splicing pattern of the Ptk-3 gene was not altered by radiation. However, the ratios of the longer to the shorter mRNA transcripts differed between adult cortex, neonatal cortex and in vitro astrocyte cultures. 36 refs., 5 figs.

  18. D-serine, an endogenous synaptic modulator: localization to astrocytes and glutamate-stimulated release.

    PubMed Central

    Schell, M J; Molliver, M E; Snyder, S H

    1995-01-01

    Using an antibody highly specific for D-serine conjugated to glutaraldehyde, we have localized endogenous D-serine in rat brain. Highest levels of D-serine immunoreactivity occur in the gray matter of the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, anterior olfactory nucleus, olfactory tubercle, and amygdala. Localizations of D-serine immunoreactivity correlate closely with those of D-serine binding to the glycine modulatory site of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor as visualized by autoradiography and are inversely correlated to the presence of D-amino acid oxidase. D-Serine is enriched in process-bearing glial cells in neuropil with the morphology of protoplasmic astrocytes. In glial cultures of rat cerebral cortex, D-serine is enriched in type 2 astrocytes. The release of D-serine from these cultures is stimulated by agonists of non-NMDA glutamate receptors, suggesting a mechanism by which astrocyte-derived D-serine could modulate neurotransmission. D-Serine appears to be the endogenous ligand for the glycine site of NMDA receptors. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:7732010

  19. Nkx2.1 regulates the generation of telencephalic astrocytes during embryonic development

    PubMed Central

    Minocha, Shilpi; Valloton, Delphine; Arsenijevic, Yvan; Cardinaux, Jean-René; Guidi, Raffaella; Hornung, Jean-Pierre; Lebrand, Cécile

    2017-01-01

    The homeodomain transcription factor Nkx2.1 (NK2 homeobox 1) controls cell differentiation of telencephalic GABAergic interneurons and oligodendrocytes. Here we show that Nkx2.1 also regulates astrogliogenesis of the telencephalon from embryonic day (E) 14.5 to E16.5. Moreover we identify the different mechanisms by which Nkx2.1 controls the telencephalic astrogliogenesis. In Nkx2.1 knockout (Nkx2.1−/−) mice a drastic loss of astrocytes is observed that is not related to cell death. Further, in vivo analysis using BrdU incorporation reveals that Nkx2.1 affects the proliferation of the ventral neural stem cells that generate early astrocytes. Also, in vitro neurosphere assays showed reduced generation of astroglia upon loss of Nkx2.1, which could be due to decreased precursor proliferation and possibly defects in glial specification/differentiation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis and in vitro co-transfection studies with an Nkx2.1-expressing plasmid indicate that Nkx2.1 binds to the promoter of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), primarily expressed in astrocytes, to regulate its expression. Hence, Nkx2.1 controls astroglial production spatiotemporally in embryos by regulating proliferation of the contributing Nkx2.1-positive precursors. PMID:28266561

  20. The expression of CAP1 after traumatic brain injury and its role in astrocyte proliferation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haiyan; Liu, Yonghua; Li, Yao; Zhou, Ying; Chen, Dongjian; Shen, Jianhong; Yan, Yaohua; Yan, Song; Wu, Xinmin; Li, Aihong; Guo, Aisong; Cheng, Chun

    2014-12-01

    Adenylate cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1), a member of cyclase-associated proteins involved in the regulation of actin filaments, was recently reported to play a role in the pathology of sciatic nerves injury. However, the distribution and function of CAP1 in the central nervous system (CNS) remain unclear. To investigate whether CAP1 is involved in CNS injury and repair, we used an acute traumatic brain injury (TBI) model in adult rats. Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry showed a significant upregulation of CAP1 in ipsilateral peritrauma cortex compared with the contralateral and sham-operated ones. Double immunofluorescence staining showed that CAP1 was co-expressed with glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). In addition, we detected that Ki-67 had colocalization with GFAP and CAP1 after TBI. In vitro, during the process of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced primary astrocyte proliferation, we observed enhanced expression of CAP1. Specially, CAP1-specific siRNA-transfected primary astrocytes show significantly decreased ability for proliferation. Together, all these data indicated that the change of CAP1 protein expression was associated with astrocyte proliferation after the trauma of the central nervous system (CNS).

  1. Sequential neuronal and astrocytic changes after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat.

    PubMed

    Chen, H; Chopp, M; Schultz, L; Bodzin, G; Garcia, J H

    1993-09-01

    The temporal evolution and spatial distribution of ischemic cell injury was investigated after transient middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion. Male Wistar rats (n = 61) were subjected to 2 h of MCA occlusion induced by advancing a nylon monofilament into the right internal carotid artery. Animals were killed after different durations of reperfusion, ranging from 4 to 166 h (n = 6-11 for each group). Neuronal injury and astrocytic reaction were evaluated using hematoxylin and eosin (H & E) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunohistochemistry, respectively. Eosinophilic neurons were detected at 4 h of reperfusion in the basal ganglia, and at 10 h of reperfusion in the cortex. Focal brain infarct developed by 46 h of reperfusion, both in the cortex and the basal ganglia, and the volume remained constant between 46 and 166 h of reperfusion. Significant differences in astrocytic reaction were detected between the lesion and the periphery of the lesion at reperfusion times from 46 to 166 h; GFAP staining decreased in the core of the lesion and increased in the peripheral areas. Our data suggest that, after 2 h of MCA occlusion, brain tissue progresses from isolated neuronal injury to infarct with a time course dependent on anatomical site; and astrocytic reactivity, expressed by GFAP staining, reflects the outcome of the ischemic injury.

  2. Extensive astrocyte infection is prominent in human immunodeficiency virus-associated dementia.

    PubMed

    Churchill, Melissa J; Wesselingh, Steven L; Cowley, Daniel; Pardo, Carlos A; McArthur, Justin C; Brew, Bruce J; Gorry, Paul R

    2009-08-01

    Astrocyte infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is considered rare, so astrocytes are thought to play a secondary role in HIV neuropathogenesis. By combining double immunohistochemistry, laser capture microdissection, and highly sensitive multiplexed polymerase chain reaction to detect HIV DNA in single astrocytes in vivo, we showed that astrocyte infection is extensive in subjects with HIV-associated dementia, occurring in up to 19% of GFAP+ cells. In addition, astrocyte infection frequency correlated with the severity of neuropathological changes and proximity to perivascular macrophages. Our data indicate that astrocytes can be extensively infected with HIV, and suggest an important role for HIV-infected astrocytes in HIV neuropathogenesis.

  3. Ethanol exposure during embryogenesis decreases the radial glial progenitorpool and affects the generation of neurons and astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Rubert, Gemma; Miñana, Rosa; Pascual, Maria; Guerri, Consuelo

    2006-08-15

    Prenatal ethanol exposure induces functional abnormalities during brain development affecting neurogenesis and gliogenesis. We have previously reported that alcohol exposure during embryogenesis disrupts radial glia (RG) and gliogenesis. Taking into account the new role of RG as neural progenitors, we have investigated whether ethanol affects RG as a neural stem cell. We found that in utero ethanol exposure impairs cell proliferation and decreases neurons and astrocytes generated in cultured RG and in embryonic cerebral cortex. Telencephalic cultures obtained at E12 from ethanol-treated rats displayed a reduction in the proportion of actively dividing RG progenitors, as demonstrated by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation, and in the percentage of brain lipid binding protein-positive RG. Consistently, neurosphere formation assay from E12 telencephalon showed a reduced number of multipotent progenitor cells in cultures isolated from ethanol-treated rats in comparison with pair-fed control group. Moreover, levels of activated Notch1 and fibroblast growth factor receptor 2, which regulate the maintenance of the progenitor state of RG, are decreased by prenatal ethanol exposure. These findings demonstrate that ethanol reduces the telencephalic RG progenitor pool and its transformation into neurons and astrocytes, which may contribute to an explanation of the defects in brain function often observed in fetal alcohol syndrome.

  4. Dorsomedial hindbrain catecholamine regulation of hypothalamic astrocyte glycogen metabolic enzyme protein expression: Impact of estradiol.

    PubMed

    Tamrakar, P; Shrestha, P K; Briski, K P

    2015-04-30

    The brain astrocyte glycogen reservoir is a vital energy reserve and, in the cerebral cortex, subject among other factors to noradrenergic control. The ovarian steroid estradiol potently stimulates nerve cell aerobic respiration, but its role in glial glycogen metabolism during energy homeostasis or mismatched substrate supply/demand is unclear. This study examined the premise that estradiol regulates hypothalamic astrocyte glycogen metabolic enzyme protein expression during normo- and hypoglycemia in vivo through dorsomedial hindbrain catecholamine (CA)-dependent mechanisms. Individual astrocytes identified in situ by glial fibrillary acidic protein immunolabeling were laser-microdissected from the ventromedial hypothalamic (VMH), arcuate hypothalamic (ARH), and paraventricular hypothalamic (PVH) nuclei and the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) of estradiol (E)- or oil (O)-implanted ovariectomized (OVX) rats after insulin or vehicle injection, and pooled within each site. Stimulation [VMH, LHA] or suppression [PVH, ARH] of basal glycogen synthase (GS) protein expression by E was reversed in the former three sites by caudal fourth ventricular pretreatment with the CA neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). E diminished glycogen phosphorylase (GP) protein profiles by CA-dependent [VMH, PVH] or -independent mechanisms [LHA]. Insulin-induced hypoglycemia (IIH) increased GS expression in the PVH in OVX+E, but reduced this protein in the PVH, ARH, and LHA in OVX+O. Moreover, IIH augmented GP expression in the VMH, LHA, and ARH in OVX+E and in the ARH in OVX+O, responses that normalized by 6-OHDA. Results demonstrate site-specific effects of E on astrocyte glycogen metabolic enzyme expression in the female rat hypothalamus, and identify locations where dorsomedial hindbrain CA input is required for such action. Evidence that E correspondingly increases and reduces basal GS and GP in the VMH and LHA, but augments the latter protein during IIH suggests that E regulates

  5. Minocycline improves postoperative cognitive impairment in aged mice by inhibiting astrocytic activation.

    PubMed

    Jin, Wen-Jie; Feng, Shan-Wu; Feng, Zhou; Lu, Shun-Mei; Qi, Tao; Qian, Yan-Ning

    2014-01-08

    Astrocytes are proving to be critical for the development of cognitive functions. In addition, astrocytic activation contributes to cognitive impairment induced by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. Minocycline has been shown to exhibit long-term neuroprotective effects in vascular cognitive impairment rat models through the inhibition of astrogliosis, and has demonstrated potential for the prevention and treatment of postoperative cognitive decline in elderly patients. This study aimed to examine the effect of minocycline on hippocampal astrocytes and long-term postoperative cognitive dysfunction in aged mice. Mice were intraperitoneally injected with 45 mg/kg minocycline once a day for 30 days after 70% hepatectomy. Hippocampus-dependent spatial memory ability was evaluated using the Morris water maze test. The expression levels of hippocampal glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule-1 were evaluated by western blotting, and the hippocampal mRNA relative expression levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6 were tested using real-time PCR. The Morris water maze test showed that escape latency and swim distance were significantly prolonged by the surgery, but the extent of impairment was mitigated by minocycline treatment. Hippocampal GFAP levels and mRNA levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6 showed corresponding changes that were consistent with the variations in spatial memory. Minocycline was able to alleviate hepatectomy-related long-term spatial memory impairment in aged mice, and was associated with reduced levels of hippocampal GFAP and proinflammatory cytokines resulting from astrocytic activation.

  6. Curcumin alleviates oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Daverey, Amita; Agrawal, Sandeep K

    2016-10-01

    Oxidative stress plays a critical role in various neurodegenerative diseases, thus alleviating oxidative stress is a potential strategy for therapeutic intervention and/or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, alleviation of oxidative stress through curcumin is investigated in A172 (human glioblastoma cell line) and HA-sp (human astrocytes cell line derived from the spinal cord) astrocytes. H2O2 was used to induce oxidative stress in astrocytes (A172 and HA-sp). Data show that H2O2 induces activation of astrocytes in dose- and time-dependent manner as evident by increased expression of GFAP in A172 and HA-sp cells after 24 and 12h respectively. An upregulation of Prdx6 was also observed in A172 and HA-sp cells after 24h of H2O2 treatment as compared to untreated control. Our data also showed that curcumin inhibits oxidative stress-induced cytoskeleton disarrangement, and impedes the activation of astrocytes by inhibiting upregulation of GFAP, vimentin and Prdx6. In addition, we observed an inhibition of oxidative stress-induced inflammation, apoptosis and mitochondria fragmentation after curcumin treatment. Therefore, our results suggest that curcumin not only protects astrocytes from H2O2-induced oxidative stress but also reverses the mitochondrial damage and dysfunction induced by oxidative stress. This study also provides evidence for protective role of curcumin on astrocytes by showing its effects on attenuating reactive astrogliosis and inhibiting apoptosis.

  7. Effect of calcium channel noise in astrocytes on neuronal transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Jun; Liu, Tong-Bo; Ma, Jun; Luo, Jin-Ming; Yang, Xian-Qing

    2016-03-01

    In this study, a Langevin model is constructed by modifying a neuron-astrocyte coupled model that comprises a pyramidal neuron, an interneuron, and an astrocyte. This Langevin model considers random open-close transitions of calcium ion channels in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane of astrocytes. The effect of noise in the astrocytes on neuronal transmission is investigated numerically based on a random model under both normal and overexpression conditions of metabotropic glutamate receptors on astrocyte membranes. This study suggests that noise could change the firing patterns of two neurons during neuronal information transmission. Noise facilitates the occurrence of episodic spikes (ESs) in both neurons. However, the noise-induced ESs occur irregularly, compared with ESs in a deterministic model, and the change in regularity with noise exhibits the coherence- resonance phenomenon. Furthermore, synchronicity between noisy ESs in two neurons depends significantly on various parameters. ESs completely occur synchronously but irregularly in certain parameter regions, whereas ESs in other parameter values are antiphase synchronous. This study implies not only that the calcium dynamics in astrocytes could participate in neuronal transmission, but also that noise in astrocytes may be transferred to neurons and may affect synaptic transmission significantly.

  8. Simultaneous neuron- and astrocyte-specific fluorescent marking

    SciTech Connect

    Schulze, Wiebke; Hayata-Takano, Atsuko; Kamo, Toshihiko; Nakazawa, Takanobu; Nagayasu, Kazuki; Kasai, Atsushi; Seiriki, Kaoru; Shintani, Norihito; Ago, Yukio; Farfan, Camille; and others

    2015-03-27

    Systematic and simultaneous analysis of multiple cell types in the brain is becoming important, but such tools have not yet been adequately developed. Here, we aimed to generate a method for the specific fluorescent labeling of neurons and astrocytes, two major cell types in the brain, and we have developed lentiviral vectors to express the red fluorescent protein tdTomato in neurons and the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in astrocytes. Importantly, both fluorescent proteins are fused to histone 2B protein (H2B) to confer nuclear localization to distinguish between single cells. We also constructed several expression constructs, including a tandem alignment of the neuron- and astrocyte-expression cassettes for simultaneous labeling. Introducing these vectors and constructs in vitro and in vivo resulted in cell type-specific and nuclear-localized fluorescence signals enabling easy detection and distinguishability of neurons and astrocytes. This tool is expected to be utilized for the simultaneous analysis of changes in neurons and astrocytes in healthy and diseased brains. - Highlights: • We develop a method for the specific fluorescent labeling of neurons and astrocytes. • Neuron-specific labeling is achieved using Scg10 and synapsin promoters. • Astrocyte-specific labeling is generated using the minimal GFAP promoter. • Nuclear localization of fluorescent proteins is achieved with histone 2B protein.

  9. Ethanol inhibits neuritogenesis induced by astrocyte muscarinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Guizzetti, Marina; Moore, Nadia H; Giordano, Gennaro; VanDeMark, Kathryn L; Costa, Lucio G

    2010-09-01

    In utero alcohol exposure can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, characterized by cognitive and behavioral deficits. In vivo and in vitro studies have shown that ethanol alters neuronal development. We have recently shown that stimulation of M(3) muscarinic receptors in astrocytes increases the synthesis and release of fibronectin, laminin, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, causing neurite outgrowth in hippocampal neurons. As M(3) muscarinic receptor signaling in astroglial cells is strongly inhibited by ethanol, we hypothesized that ethanol may also inhibit neuritogenesis in hippocampal neurons induced by carbachol-stimulated astrocytes. In the present study, we report that the effect of carbachol-stimulated astrocytes on hippocampal neuron neurite outgrowth was inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner (25-100 mM) by ethanol. This effect was because of the inhibition of the release of fibronectin, laminin, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. Similar effects on neuritogenesis and on the release of astrocyte extracellular proteins were observed after the incubation of astrocytes with carbachol in the presence of 1-butanol, another short-chain alcohol, which like ethanol is a competitive substrate for phospholipase D, but not by tert-butanol, its analog that is not a substrate for this enzyme. This study identifies a potential novel mechanism involved in the developmental effects of ethanol mediated by the interaction of ethanol with cell signaling in astrocytes, leading to an impairment in neuron-astrocyte communication.

  10. Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors in mouse olfactory bulb astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Droste, Damian; Seifert, Gerald; Seddar, Laura; Jädtke, Oliver; Steinhäuser, Christian; Lohr, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Ca2+ signaling in astrocytes is considered to be mainly mediated by metabotropic receptors linked to intracellular Ca2+ release. However, recent studies demonstrate a significant contribution of Ca2+ influx to spontaneous and evoked Ca2+ signaling in astrocytes, suggesting that Ca2+ influx might account for astrocytic Ca2+ signaling to a greater extent than previously thought. Here, we investigated AMPA-evoked Ca2+ influx into olfactory bulb astrocytes in mouse brain slices using Fluo-4 and GCaMP6s, respectively. Bath application of AMPA evoked Ca2+ transients in periglomerular astrocytes that persisted after neuronal transmitter release was inhibited by tetrodotoxin and bafilomycin A1. Withdrawal of external Ca2+ suppressed AMPA-evoked Ca2+ transients, whereas depletion of Ca2+ stores had no effect. Both Ca2+ transients and inward currents induced by AMPA receptor activation were partly reduced by Naspm, a blocker of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors lacking the GluA2 subunit. Antibody staining revealed a strong expression of GluA1 and GluA4 and a weak expression of GluA2 in periglomerular astrocytes. Our results indicate that Naspm-sensitive, Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors contribute to Ca2+ signaling in periglomerular astrocytes in the olfactory bulb. PMID:28322255

  11. Direct Signaling from Astrocytes to Neurons in Cultures of Mammalian Brain Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nedergaard, Maiken

    1994-03-01

    Although astrocytes have been considered to be supportive, rather than transmissive, in the adult nervous system, recent studies have challenged this assumption by demonstrating that astrocytes possess functional neurotransmitter receptors. Astrocytes are now shown to directly modulate the free cytosolic calcium, and hence transmission characteristics, of neighboring neurons. When a focal electric field potential was applied to single astrocytes in mixed cultures of rat forebrain astrocytes and neurons, a prompt elevation of calcium occurred in the target cell. This in turn triggered a wave of calcium increase, which propagated from astrocyte to astrocyte. Neurons resting on these astrocytes responded with large increases in their concentration of cytosolic calcium. The gap junction blocker octanol attenuated the neuronal response, which suggests that the astrocytic-neuronal signaling is mediated through intercellular connections rather than synaptically. This neuronal response to local astrocytic stimulation may mediate local intercellular communication within the brain.

  12. Mechanisms of CO2/H+ Sensitivity of Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Turovsky, Egor; Theparambil, Shefeeq M; Kasymov, Vitaliy; Deitmer, Joachim W; Del Arroyo, Ana Gutierrez; Ackland, Gareth L; Corneveaux, Jason J; Allen, April N; Huentelman, Matthew J; Kasparov, Sergey; Marina, Nephtali; Gourine, Alexander V

    2016-10-19

    Ventral regions of the medulla oblongata of the brainstem are populated by astrocytes sensitive to physiological changes in PCO2/[H(+)]. These astrocytes respond to decreases in pH with elevations in intracellular Ca(2+) and facilitated exocytosis of ATP-containing vesicles. Released ATP propagates Ca(2+) excitation among neighboring astrocytes and activates neurons of the brainstem respiratory network triggering adaptive increases in breathing. The mechanisms linking increases in extracellular and/or intracellular PCO2/[H(+)] with Ca(2+) responses in chemosensitive astrocytes remain unknown. Fluorescent imaging of changes in [Na(+)]i and/or [Ca(2+)]i in individual astrocytes was performed in organotypic brainstem slice cultures and acute brainstem slices of adult rats. It was found that astroglial [Ca(2+)]i responses triggered by decreases in pH are preceded by Na(+) entry, markedly reduced by inhibition of Na(+)/HCO3(-) cotransport (NBC) or Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchange (NCX), and abolished in Na(+)-free medium or by combined NBC/NCX blockade. Acidification-induced [Ca(2+)]i responses were also dramatically reduced in brainstem astrocytes of mice deficient in the electrogenic Na(+)/HCO3(-) cotransporter NBCe1. Sensitivity of astrocytes to changes in pH was not affected by inhibition of Na(+)/H(+) exchange or blockade of phospholipase C. These results suggest that in pH-sensitive astrocytes, acidification activates NBCe1, which brings Na(+) inside the cell. Raising [Na(+)]i activates NCX to operate in a reverse mode, leading to Ca(2+) entry followed by activation of downstream signaling pathways. Coupled NBC and NCX activities are, therefore, suggested to be responsible for functional CO2/H(+) sensitivity of astrocytes that contribute to homeostatic regulation of brain parenchymal pH and control of breathing.

  13. Mechanisms of CO2/H+ Sensitivity of Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Turovsky, Egor; Theparambil, Shefeeq M.; Kasymov, Vitaliy; Deitmer, Joachim W.; del Arroyo, Ana Gutierrez; Ackland, Gareth L.; Corneveaux, Jason J.; Allen, April N.; Huentelman, Matthew J.; Kasparov, Sergey; Marina, Nephtali

    2016-01-01

    Ventral regions of the medulla oblongata of the brainstem are populated by astrocytes sensitive to physiological changes in PCO2/[H+]. These astrocytes respond to decreases in pH with elevations in intracellular Ca2+ and facilitated exocytosis of ATP-containing vesicles. Released ATP propagates Ca2+ excitation among neighboring astrocytes and activates neurons of the brainstem respiratory network triggering adaptive increases in breathing. The mechanisms linking increases in extracellular and/or intracellular PCO2/[H+] with Ca2+ responses in chemosensitive astrocytes remain unknown. Fluorescent imaging of changes in [Na+]i and/or [Ca2+]i in individual astrocytes was performed in organotypic brainstem slice cultures and acute brainstem slices of adult rats. It was found that astroglial [Ca2+]i responses triggered by decreases in pH are preceded by Na+ entry, markedly reduced by inhibition of Na+/HCO3− cotransport (NBC) or Na+/Ca2+ exchange (NCX), and abolished in Na+-free medium or by combined NBC/NCX blockade. Acidification-induced [Ca2+]i responses were also dramatically reduced in brainstem astrocytes of mice deficient in the electrogenic Na+/HCO3− cotransporter NBCe1. Sensitivity of astrocytes to changes in pH was not affected by inhibition of Na+/H+ exchange or blockade of phospholipase C. These results suggest that in pH-sensitive astrocytes, acidification activates NBCe1, which brings Na+ inside the cell. Raising [Na+]i activates NCX to operate in a reverse mode, leading to Ca2+ entry followed by activation of downstream signaling pathways. Coupled NBC and NCX activities are, therefore, suggested to be responsible for functional CO2/H+ sensitivity of astrocytes that contribute to homeostatic regulation of brain parenchymal pH and control of breathing. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Brainstem astrocytes detect physiological changes in pH, activate neurons of the neighboring respiratory network, and contribute to the development of adaptive respiratory responses to

  14. Investigation of astrocyte - oligodendrocyte interactions in human cultures.

    PubMed

    John, Gareth R

    2012-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by CNS demyelination and oligodendrocyte depletion, axonal loss, and reactive astrogliosis. Myelin loss causes conduction block, while remyelination is associated with recovery of conduction and return of function. Reactive astrocytes are a prominent feature of MS plaques, and have been implicated as producing factors regulating oligodendrocyte progenitor differentiation and myelin formation. Understanding their impact on these events may lead to new approaches for oligodendrocyte protection and/or remyelination in MS. Here, we outline protocols for the establishment and analysis of primary monocultures and cocultures of human astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. These approaches are designed to facilitate analysis of mechanisms underlying astrocytic regulation of progenitor survival and myelin repair.

  15. Neural activity triggers neuronal oxidative metabolism followed by astrocytic glycolysis.

    PubMed

    Kasischke, Karl A; Vishwasrao, Harshad D; Fisher, Patricia J; Zipfel, Warren R; Webb, Watt W

    2004-07-02

    We have found that two-photon fluorescence imaging of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) provides the sensitivity and spatial three-dimensional resolution to resolve metabolic signatures in processes of astrocytes and neurons deep in highly scattering brain tissue slices. This functional imaging reveals spatiotemporal partitioning of glycolytic and oxidative metabolism between astrocytes and neurons during focal neural activity that establishes a unifying hypothesis for neurometabolic coupling in which early oxidative metabolism in neurons is eventually sustained by late activation of the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle. Our model integrates existing views of brain energy metabolism and is in accord with known macroscopic physiological changes in vivo.

  16. Immunohistochemical localization of anterior pituitary hormones in S-100 protein-positive cells in the rat pituitary gland.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Motoshi; Yatabe, Megumi; Tando, Yukiko; Yashiro, Takashi

    2011-09-01

    In the anterior and intermediate lobes of the rat pituitary gland, non-hormone-producing cells that express S-100 protein coexist with various types of hormone-producing cells and are believed to function as phagocytes, supporting and paracrine-controlling cells of hormone-producing cells and stem cells, among other functions; however, their cytological characteristics are not yet fully understood. Using a transgenic rat that expresses green fluorescent protein under the promoter of the S100β protein gene, we immunohistochemically detected expression of the luteinizing hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, prolactin, growth hormone and proopiomelanocortin by S-100 protein-positive cells located between clusters of hormone-producing cells in the intermediate lobe. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that S-100 protein-positive cells are capable of differentiating into hormone-producing cells in the adult rat pituitary gland.

  17. S100 protein positive dendritic cells in primary biliary cirrhosis and other chronic inflammatory liver diseases. Relevance to pathogenesis?

    PubMed Central

    Demetris, A. J.; Sever, C.; Kakizoe, S.; Oguma, S.; Starzl, T. E.; Jaffe, R.

    1989-01-01

    A study to determine the location of dendritic cells, in chronic inflammatory liver disease was performed. S100 protein positivity and dendritic cytoplasmic morphology were used to identify dendritic cells. S100 protein positive dendritic cells (S100 + DC) were found inside the basement membrane between biliary epithelial cells of septal bile ducts of livers affected by early stage PBC, but were not present at later stages. S100 + DC also were seen in areas of piecemeal necrosis in chronic active hepatitis of various etiologies. In contrast, intra-epithelial S100 + DC were not found with any consistency in sclerosing cholangitis, secondary biliary cirrhosis, extrahepatic biliary atresia, or chronic liver allograft rejection, all of which are characterized by inflammatory bile duct damage. The possible relevance of DC in the pathogenesis of PBC is discussed. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:2705505

  18. Effects of Maternal Exposure to Ultrafine Carbon Black on Brain Perivascular Macrophages and Surrounding Astrocytes in Offspring Mice

    PubMed Central

    Onoda, Atsuto; Umezawa, Masakazu; Takeda, Ken; Ihara, Tomomi; Sugamata, Masao

    2014-01-01

    Perivascular macrophages (PVMs) constitute a subpopulation of resident macrophages in the central nervous system (CNS). They are located at the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to maintenance of brain functions in both health and disease conditions. PVMs have been shown to respond to particle substances administered during the prenatal period, which may alter their phenotype over a long period. We aimed to investigate the effects of maternal exposure to ultrafine carbon black (UfCB) on PVMs and astrocytes close to the blood vessels in offspring mice. Pregnant mice were exposed to UfCB suspension by intranasal instillation on gestational days 5 and 9. Brains were collected from their offspring at 6 and 12 weeks after birth. PVM and astrocyte phenotypes were examined by Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS) staining, transmission electron microscopy and PAS-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) double staining. PVM granules were found to be enlarged and the number of PAS-positive PVMs was decreased in UfCB-exposed offspring. These results suggested that in offspring, “normal” PVMs decreased in a wide area of the CNS through maternal UfCB exposure. The increase in astrocytic GFAP expression level was closely related to the enlargement of granules in the attached PVMs in offspring. Honeycomb-like structures in some PVM granules and swelling of astrocytic end-foot were observed under electron microscopy in the UfCB group. The phenotypic changes in PVMs and astrocytes indicate that maternal UfCB exposure may result in changes to brain blood vessels and be associated with increased risk of dysfunction and disorder in the offspring brain. PMID:24722459

  19. Controlled release of 6-aminonicotinamide from aligned, electrospun fibers alters astrocyte metabolism and dorsal root ganglia neurite outgrowth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaub, Nicholas J.; Gilbert, Ryan J.

    2011-08-01

    Following central nervous system (CNS) injury, activated astrocytes form a glial scar that inhibits the migration of axons ultimately leading to regeneration failure. Biomaterials developed for CNS repair can provide local delivery of therapeutics and/or guidance mechanisms to encourage cell migration into damaged regions of the brain or spinal cord. Electrospun fibers are a promising type of biomaterial for CNS injury since these fibers can direct cellular and axonal migration while slowly delivering therapy to the injury site. In this study, it was hypothesized that inclusion of an anti-metabolite, 6-aminonicotinamide (6AN), within poly-l-lactic acid electrospun fibers could attenuate astrocyte metabolic activity while still directing axonal outgrowth. Electrospinning parameters were varied to produce highly aligned electrospun fibers that contained 10% or 20% (w/w) 6AN. 6AN release from the fiber substrates occurred continuously over 2 weeks. Astrocytes placed onto drug-releasing fibers were less active than those cultured on scaffolds without 6AN. Dorsal root ganglia placed onto control and drug-releasing scaffolds were able to direct neurites along the aligned fibers. However, neurite outgrowth was stunted by fibers that contained 20% 6AN. These results show that 6AN release from aligned, electrospun fibers can decrease astrocyte activity while still directing axonal outgrowth.

  20. Ammonia upregulates kynurenine aminotransferase II mRNA expression in rat brain: a role for astrocytic NMDA receptors?

    PubMed

    Obara-Michlewska, Marta; Tuszyńska, Paulina; Albrecht, Jan

    2013-06-01

    Kynurenine aminotransferase II (KAT-II) is the astrocytic enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of kynurenic acid (KYNA), an endogenous inhibitor of the α7-nicotinic receptor and the NMDA receptor (NMDAr). A previous study demonstrated an increase of KYNA synthesis in the brain of rats with thioacetamide (TAA)-induced acute liver failure. Here we show that TAA administration increases KAT-II expression in the rat cerebral cortex and the effect is mimicked in cerebral cortical astrocytes in culture treated with high (5 mM) concentration of ammonia. KAT-II expression in control and TAA-treated rats was increased by NMDAr antagonist memantine, and the effects of TAA and memantine appeared additive. In astrocytes, the NMDAr antagonist MK-801 raised KAT-II expression as well, while NMDA added alone had no effect. Glutamate decreased KAT-II mRNA level, which was attenuated by MK-801. The results suggest that stimulation of KAT-II expression during hepatic encephalopathy may be associated with a partial inactivation of astrocytic NMDAr by ammonia.

  1. Immunohistochemistry in association with scanning electron microscopy for the morphological characterization and location of astrocytes of the rabbit retina.

    PubMed

    Haddad, A; Ramírez, A I; Laicine, E M; Salazar, J J; Triviño, A; Ramírez, J M

    2001-04-30

    The purpose of the present investigation was to establish a method for the morphological characterization and location of the several types of astrocytes in the rabbit retina. Whole retinas were incubated with unlabeled antibody to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and, afterwards, treated with secondary antibody labeled according to the requirements for the visualization of the antigen-antibody reaction either with the confocal or transmission electron microscope. Specimens treated similarly to the latter were osmium enhanced and analyzed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The different immunohistochemical approaches led to the conclusion that the cells selectively visualized with the SEM are astrocytes. The higher resolution and depth of focus of this instrument allowed a better morphological characterization and a more precise location of the astrocytes in the several levels of the inner portion of the rabbit retina. The method described herein, in which pre-embedding immunohistochemistry for GFAP on rabbit retinas was associated with osmium enhancement and examination with SEM, proved to be reliable and efficient for the morphological characterization and location of astrocytes.

  2. Concentration of astrocytic filaments at the retinal optic nerve junction is coincident with the absence of intra-retinal myelination: comparative and developmental evidence.

    PubMed

    Morcos, Y; Chan-Ling, T

    2000-09-01

    The structure of the lamina cribrosa (LC) and astrocytic density were examined in various species with and without intra-retinal myelination. Sections of optic nerve from various species were stained with Milligan's trichrome or antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein, myelin basic protein (MBP) and antibody O4. Marmoset, flying fox, cat, and sheep, which lack intraretinal myelination, were shown to possess a well-developed LC as well as a marked concentration of astrocytic filaments distal to the LC. Rat and mouse, which lack intraretinal myelination, lacked a well-developed LC but exhibited a marked concentration of astrocytic filaments in this region. Rabbit and chicken, which exhibit intraretinal myelination, lacked both a well-developed LC and a concentration of astrocytes at the retinal optic nerve junction (ROJ). A marked concentration of astrocytes at the ROJ of human fetuses was also apparent at 13 weeks of gestation, prior to myelination of the optic nerve; in contrast, the LC was not fully developed even at birth. This concentration of astrocytes was located distal to O4 and MBP immunoreactivity in human optic nerve, and coincided with the site of initial myelination of ganglion cell axons in marmoset and rat. Myelination proceeded from the chiasm towards the retinal end of the human optic nerve. Moreover, the outer limit of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC) migration into the rabbit retina was restricted by the outer limit of astrocyte spread. These observations indicate that a concentration of astrocytic filaments at the ROJ is coincident with the absence of intraretinal myelination. Differential expression of tenascin-C by astrocytes at the ROJ appears to contribute to the molecular barrier to OPC migration (see Bartsch et al., 1994), while expression of the homedomain protein Vax 1 by glial cells at the optic nerve head appears to inhibit migration of retinal pigment epithelial cells into the optic nerve (see Bertuzzi et al., 1999). These

  3. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Won-Suk; Clarke, Laura E.; Wang, Gordon X.; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Sher, Alexander; Chakraborty, Chandrani; Joung, Julia; Foo, Lynette C.; Thompson, Andrew; Chen, Chinfei; Smith, Stephen J.; Barres, Ben A.

    2013-12-01

    To achieve its precise neural connectivity, the developing mammalian nervous system undergoes extensive activity-dependent synapse remodelling. Recently, microglial cells have been shown to be responsible for a portion of synaptic pruning, but the remaining mechanisms remain unknown. Here we report a new role for astrocytes in actively engulfing central nervous system synapses. This process helps to mediate synapse elimination, requires the MEGF10 and MERTK phagocytic pathways, and is strongly dependent on neuronal activity. Developing mice deficient in both astrocyte pathways fail to refine their retinogeniculate connections normally and retain excess functional synapses. Finally, we show that in the adult mouse brain, astrocytes continuously engulf both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. These studies reveal a novel role for astrocytes in mediating synapse elimination in the developing and adult brain, identify MEGF10 and MERTK as critical proteins in the synapse remodelling underlying neural circuit refinement, and have important implications for understanding learning and memory as well as neurological disease processes.

  4. Copper handling by astrocytes: insights into neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Tiffany-Castiglioni, Evelyn; Hong, Sandra; Qian, Yongchang

    2011-12-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element in the brain that can be toxic at elevated levels. Cu accumulation is a suspected etiology in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and prion-induced disorders. Astrocytes are a proposed depot in the brain for Cu and other metals, including lead (Pb). This article describes the physiological roles of Cu in the central nervous system and in selected neurodegenerative diseases, and reviews evidence that astrocytes accumulate Cu and protect neurons from Cu toxicity. Findings from murine genetic models of Menkes disease and from cell culture models concerning the molecular mechanisms by which astrocytes take up, store, and buffer Cu intracellularly are discussed, as well as potential mechanistic linkages between astrocyte functions in Cu handling and neurodegenerative diseases.

  5. Custom astrocyte-mediated vasomotor responses to neuronal energy demand

    PubMed Central

    LeMaistre, Jillian L; Anderson, Christopher M

    2009-01-01

    Astrocytes mediate either constriction or dilation of local brain arterioles in response to synaptic activity. Recent work indicates that the directionality of this response may be dictated by ambient oxygen levels. PMID:19232077

  6. Transfer of mitochondria from astrocytes to neurons after stroke.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Kazuhide; Esposito, Elga; Wang, Xiaohua; Terasaki, Yasukazu; Liu, Yi; Xing, Changhong; Ji, Xunming; Lo, Eng H

    2016-07-28

    Neurons can release damaged mitochondria and transfer them to astrocytes for disposal and recycling. This ability to exchange mitochondria may represent a potential mode of cell-to-cell signalling in the central nervous system. Here we show that astrocytes in mice can also release functional mitochondria that enter neurons. Astrocytic release of extracellular mitochondrial particles was mediated by a calcium-dependent mechanism involving CD38 and cyclic ADP ribose signalling. Transient focal cerebral ischaemia in mice induced entry of astrocytic mitochondria into adjacent neurons, and this entry amplified cell survival signals. Suppression of CD38 signalling by short interfering RNA reduced extracellular mitochondria transfer and worsened neurological outcomes. These findings suggest a new mitochondrial mechanism of neuroglial crosstalk that may contribute to endogenous neuroprotective and neurorecovery mechanisms after stroke.

  7. Transfer of mitochondria from astrocytes to neurons after stroke

    PubMed Central

    Hayakawa, Kazuhide; Esposito, Elga; Wang, Xiaohua; Terasaki, Yasukazu; Liu, Yi; Xing, Changhong; Ji, Xunming; Lo, Eng H.

    2016-01-01

    Recently, it was suggested that neurons can release and transfer damaged mitochondria to astrocytes for disposal and recycling 1. This ability to exchange mitochondria may represent a potential mode of cell-cell signaling in the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we show that astrocytes can also release functional mitochondria that enter into neurons. Astrocytic release of extracellular mitochondria particles was mediated by a calcium-dependent mechanism involving CD38/cyclic ADP ribose signaling. Transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice induced astrocytic mitochondria entry to adjacent neurons that amplified cell survival signals. Suppression of CD38 signaling with siRNA reduced extracellular mitochondria transfer and worsened neurological outcomes. These findings suggest a new mitochondrial mechanism of neuroglial crosstalk that may contribute to endogenous neuroprotective and neurorecovery mechanisms after stroke. PMID:27466127

  8. Inhibition or ablation of transglutaminase 2 impairs astrocyte migration.

    PubMed

    Monteagudo, Alina; Ji, Changyi; Akbar, Abdullah; Keillor, Jeffrey W; Johnson, Gail V W

    2017-01-22

    Astrocytes play numerous complex roles that support and facilitate the function of neurons. Further, when there is an injury to the central nervous system (CNS) they can both facilitate or ameliorate functional recovery depending on the location and severity of the injury. When a CNS injury is relatively severe a glial scar is formed, which is primarily composed of astrocytes. The glial scar can be both beneficial, by limiting inflammation, and detrimental, by preventing neuronal projections, to functional recovery. Thus, understanding the processes and proteins that regulate astrocyte migration in response to injury is still of fundamental importance. One protein that is likely involved in astrocyte migration is transglutaminase 2 (TG2); a multifunctional protein expressed ubiquitously throughout the brain. Its functions include transamidation and GTPase activity, among others, and previous studies have implicated TG2 as a regulator of migration. Therefore, we examined the role of TG2 in primary astrocyte migration subsequent to injury. Using wild type or TG2(-/-) astrocytes, we manipulated the different functions and conformation of TG2 with novel irreversible inhibitors or mutant versions of the protein. Results showed that both inhibition and ablation of TG2 in primary astrocytes significantly inhibit migration. Additionally, we show that the deficiency in migration caused by deletion of TG2 can only be rescued with the native protein and not with mutants. Finally, the addition of TGFβ rescued the migration deficiency independent of TG2. Taken together, our study shows that transamidation and GTP/GDP-binding are necessary for inhibiting astrocyte migration and it is TGFβ independent.

  9. Leptin signaling in astrocytes regulates hypothalamic neuronal circuits and feeding.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jae Geun; Suyama, Shigetomo; Koch, Marco; Jin, Sungho; Argente-Arizon, Pilar; Argente, Jesús; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Zimmer, Marcelo R; Jeong, Jin Kwon; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Gao, Yuanqing; Garcia-Caceres, Cristina; Yi, Chun-Xia; Salmaso, Natalina; Vaccarino, Flora M; Chowen, Julie; Diano, Sabrina; Dietrich, Marcelo O; Tschöp, Matthias H; Horvath, Tamas L

    2014-07-01

    We found that leptin receptors were expressed in hypothalamic astrocytes and that their conditional deletion led to altered glial morphology and synaptic inputs onto hypothalamic neurons involved in feeding control. Leptin-regulated feeding was diminished, whereas feeding after fasting or ghrelin administration was elevated in mice with astrocyte-specific leptin receptor deficiency. These data reveal an active role of glial cells in hypothalamic synaptic remodeling and control of feeding by leptin.

  10. S100A6 (calcyclin) is a novel marker of neural stem cells and astrocyte precursors in the subgranular zone of the adult mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Jun; Jinno, Shozo

    2014-01-01

    S100A6 (calcyclin), an EF-hand calcium binding protein, is considered to play various roles in the brain, for example, cell proliferation and differentiation, calcium homeostasis, and neuronal degeneration. In addition to some limbic nuclei, S100A6 is distributed in the rostral migratory stream, one of the major neurogenic niches of the adult brain. However, the potential involvement of S100A6 in adult neurogenesis remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the role of S100A6 in the other major neurogenic niche, the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus in the adult mouse hippocampus. Immunofluorescent multiple labeling showed that S100A6 was highly expressed in neural stem cells labeled by sex determining region Y-box 2, brain lipid-binding protein protein and glial fibrillary acidic protein. S100A6+ cells often extended a long process typical of radial glial morphology. In addition, S100A6 was found in some S100β+ astrocyte lineage cells. Interestingly, proliferating cell nuclear antigen was detected in a fraction of S100A6+/S100β+ cells. These cells were considered to be lineage-restricted astrocyte precursors maintaining mitotic potential. On the other hand, S100A6 was rarely seen in neural lineage cells labeled by T-box brain protein 2, doublecortin, calretinin and calbindin D28K. Cell fate-tracing experiment using BrdU showed that the majority of newly generated immature astrocytes were immunoreactive for S100A6, while mature astrocytes lacked S100A6 immunoreactivity. Administration of S100 protein inhibitor, trifluoperazine, caused a reduction in production of S100β+ astrocyte lineage cells, but had no impact on neurogenesis. Overall, our data provide the first evidence that S100A6 is a specific marker of neural stem cells and astrocyte precursors, and may be especially important for generation of astrocytes in the adult hippocampus.

  11. Matrix metalloproteinase-3 is a possible mediator of neurodevelopmental impairment due to polyI:C-induced innate immune activation of astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Shinnosuke; Nagai, Taku; Nakai, Tsuyoshi; Ibi, Daisuke; Nakajima, Akira; Yamada, Kiyofumi

    2014-05-01

    Increasing epidemiological evidence indicates that prenatal infection and childhood central nervous system infection with various viral pathogens enhance the risk for several neuropsychiatric disorders. Polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidilic acid (polyI:C) is known to induce strong innate immune responses that mimic immune activation by viral infections. Our previous findings suggested that activation of the innate immune system in astrocytes results in impairments of neurite outgrowth and spine formation, which lead to behavioral abnormalities in adulthood. To identify candidates of astrocyte-derived humoral factors that affect neuronal development, we analyzed astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) from murine astrocyte cultures treated with polyI:C (polyI:C-ACM) by two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE). Through a quantitative proteomic screen, we found that 13 protein spots were differentially expressed compared with ACM from vehicle-treated astrocytes (control-ACM), and characterized one of the candidates, matrix metalloproteinase-3 (Mmp3). PolyI:C treatment significantly increased the expression levels of Mmp3 mRNA and protein in astrocytes, but not microglia. PolyI:C-ACM was associated with significantly higher Mmp3 protein level and enzyme activity than control-ACM. The addition of recombinant Mmp3 into control-ACM impaired dendritic elongation of primary cultured hippocampal neurons, while the deleterious effect of polyI:C-ACM on neurite elongation was attenuated by knockdown of Mmp3 in astrocytes. These results suggest that Mmp3 is a possible mediator of polyI:C-ACM-induced neurodevelopmental impairment.

  12. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) enhances GABA transport by modulating the trafficking of GABA transporter-1 (GAT-1) from the plasma membrane of rat cortical astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Sandra H; Jørgensen, Trine N; Cristóvão-Ferreira, Sofia; Duflot, Sylvie; Ribeiro, Joaquim A; Gether, Ulrik; Sebastião, Ana M

    2011-11-25

    The γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporters (GATs) are located in the plasma membrane of neurons and astrocytes and are responsible for termination of GABAergic transmission. It has previously been shown that brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates GAT-1-mediated GABA transport in nerve terminals and neuronal cultures. We now report that BDNF enhances GAT-1-mediated GABA transport in cultured astrocytes, an effect mostly due to an increase in the V(max) kinetic constant. This action involves the truncated form of the TrkB receptor (TrkB-t) coupled to a non-classic PLC-γ/PKC-δ and ERK/MAPK pathway and requires active adenosine A(2A) receptors. Transport through GAT-3 is not affected by BDNF. To elucidate if BDNF affects trafficking of GAT-1 in astrocytes, we generated and infected astrocytes with a functional mutant of the rat GAT-1 (rGAT-1) in which the hemagglutinin (HA) epitope was incorporated into the second extracellular loop. An increase in plasma membrane of HA-rGAT-1 as well as of rGAT-1 was observed when both HA-GAT-1-transduced astrocytes and rGAT-1-overexpressing astrocytes were treated with BDNF. The effect of BDNF results from inhibition of dynamin/clathrin-dependent constitutive internalization of GAT-1 rather than from facilitation of the monensin-sensitive recycling of GAT-1 molecules back to the plasma membrane. We therefore conclude that BDNF enhances the time span of GAT-1 molecules at the plasma membrane of astrocytes. BDNF may thus play an active role in the clearance of GABA from synaptic and extrasynaptic sites and in this way influence neuronal excitability.

  13. Expression of the human isoform of glutamate dehydrogenase, hGDH2, augments TCA cycle capacity and oxidative metabolism of glutamate during glucose deprivation in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Nissen, Jakob D; Lykke, Kasper; Bryk, Jaroslaw; Stridh, Malin H; Zaganas, Ioannis; Skytt, Dorte M; Schousboe, Arne; Bak, Lasse K; Enard, Wolfgang; Pääbo, Svante; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2017-03-01

    A key enzyme in brain glutamate homeostasis is glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) which links carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism mediating glutamate degradation to CO2 and expanding tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle capacity with intermediates, i.e. anaplerosis. Humans express two GDH isoforms, GDH1 and 2, whereas most other mammals express only GDH1. hGDH1 is widely expressed in human brain while hGDH2 is confined to astrocytes. The two isoforms display different enzymatic properties and the nature of these supports that hGDH2 expression in astrocytes potentially increases glutamate oxidation and supports the TCA cycle during energy-demanding processes such as high intensity glutamatergic signaling. However, little is known about how expression of hGDH2 affects the handling of glutamate and TCA cycle metabolism in astrocytes. Therefore, we cultured astrocytes from cerebral cortical tissue of hGDH2-expressing transgenic mice. We measured glutamate uptake and metabolism using [(3) H]glutamate, while the effect on metabolic pathways of glutamate and glucose was evaluated by use of (13) C and (14) C substrates and analysis by mass spectrometry and determination of radioactively labeled metabolites including CO2 , respectively. We conclude that hGDH2 expression increases capacity for uptake and oxidative metabolism of glutamate, particularly during increased workload and aglycemia. Additionally, hGDH2 expression increased utilization of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) during aglycemia and caused a general decrease in oxidative glucose metabolism. We speculate, that expression of hGDH2 allows astrocytes to spare glucose and utilize BCAAs during substrate shortages. These findings support the proposed role of hGDH2 in astrocytes as an important fail-safe during situations of intense glutamatergic activity. GLIA 2017;65:474-488.

  14. Mitochondrial-dependent manganese neurotoxicity in rat primary astrocyte cultures

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Zhaoobao; Aschner, Judy L.; Santos, Ana Paula dos; Aschner, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Chronic exposure to excessive levels of Mn results in a movement disorder termed manganism, which resembles Parkinson’s disease (PD). The pathogenic mechanisms underlying this disorder are not fully understood. Several lines of evidence implicate astrocytes as an early target of Mn neurotoxicity. In the present study, we investigated the effects of Mn on mitochondrial function. Primary astrocyte cultures were prepared from cerebral cortices of one-day-old Sprague–Dawley rats. We have examined the cellular toxicity of Mn and its effects on the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and activation of the precursor protein of caspase-3. The potentiometric dye, tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester (TMRE), was used to assess the effect of Mn on astrocytic mitochondrial inner membrane potential (ΔΨm). Our studies show that, in a concentration-dependent manner, Mn induces significant (p<0.05) activation of astrocyte caspase-3 and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK). Mn treatment (1 and 6 hrs) also significantly (p<0.01) dissipates the ΔΨm in astrocytes as evidenced by a decrease in mitochondrial TMRE fluorescence. These results suggest that activations of astrocytic caspase-3 and ERK are involved in Mn-induced neurotoxicity via mitochondrial-dependent pathways. PMID:18313649

  15. Two-pore Domain Potassium Channels in Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Ryoo, Kanghyun

    2016-01-01

    Two-pore domain potassium (K2P) channels have a distinct structure and channel properties, and are involved in a background K+ current. The 15 members of the K2P channels are identified and classified into six subfamilies on the basis of their sequence similarities. The activity of the channels is dynamically regulated by various physical, chemical, and biological effectors. The channels are expressed in a wide variety of tissues in mammals in an isoform specific manner, and play various roles in many physiological and pathophysiological conditions. To function as channels, the K2P channels form dimers, and some isoforms form heterodimers that provide diversity in channel properties. In the brain, TWIK1, TREK1, TREK2, TRAAK, TASK1, and TASK3 are predominantly expressed in various regions, including the cerebral cortex, dentate gyrus, CA1-CA3, and granular layer of the cerebellum. TWIK1, TREK1, and TASK1 are highly expressed in astrocytes, where they play specific cellular roles. Astrocytes keep leak K+ conductance, called the passive conductance, which mainly involves TWIK1-TREK1 heterodimeric channel. TWIK1 and TREK1 also mediate glutamate release from astrocytes in an exocytosis-independent manner. The expression of TREK1 and TREK2 in astrocytes increases under ischemic conditions, that enhance neuroprotection from ischemia. Accumulated evidence has indicated that astrocytes, together with neurons, are involved in brain function, with the K2P channels playing critical role in these astrocytes. PMID:27790056

  16. Astrocytes regulate heterogeneity of presynaptic strengths in hippocampal networks

    PubMed Central

    Letellier, Mathieu; Park, Yun Kyung; Chater, Thomas E.; Chipman, Peter H.; Gautam, Sunita Ghimire; Oshima-Takago, Tomoko; Goda, Yukiko

    2016-01-01

    Dendrites are neuronal structures specialized for receiving and processing information through their many synaptic inputs. How input strengths are modified across dendrites in ways that are crucial for synaptic integration and plasticity remains unclear. We examined in single hippocampal neurons the mechanism of heterosynaptic interactions and the heterogeneity of synaptic strengths of pyramidal cell inputs. Heterosynaptic presynaptic plasticity that counterbalances input strengths requires N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and astrocytes. Importantly, this mechanism is shared with the mechanism for maintaining highly heterogeneous basal presynaptic strengths, which requires astrocyte Ca2+ signaling involving NMDAR activation, astrocyte membrane depolarization, and L-type Ca2+ channels. Intracellular infusion of NMDARs or Ca2+-channel blockers into astrocytes, conditionally ablating the GluN1 NMDAR subunit, or optogenetically hyperpolarizing astrocytes with archaerhodopsin promotes homogenization of convergent presynaptic inputs. Our findings support the presence of an astrocyte-dependent cellular mechanism that enhances the heterogeneity of presynaptic strengths of convergent connections, which may help boost the computational power of dendrites. PMID:27118849

  17. Crucial role of astrocytes in temporal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Steinhäuser, C; Grunnet, M; Carmignoto, G

    2016-05-26

    Astrocytes sense and respond to synaptic activity through activation of different neurotransmitter receptors and transporters. Astrocytes are also coupled by gap junctions, which allow these cells to redistribute through the glial network the K(+) ions excessively accumulated at sites of intense neuronal activity. Work over the past two decades has revealed important roles for astrocytes in brain physiology, and it is therefore not surprising that recent studies unveiled their involvement in the etiology of neurological disorders such as epilepsy. Investigation of specimens from patients with pharmacoresistant temporal lobe epilepsy and epilepsy models revealed alterations in expression, localization and function of astrocytic connexins, K(+) and water channels. In addition, disturbed gliotransmission as well as malfunction of glutamate transporters and of the astrocytic glutamate- and adenosine-converting enzymes - glutamine synthetase and adenosine kinase, respectively - have been observed in epileptic tissues. Accordingly, increasing evidence indicates that dysfunctional astrocytes are crucially involved in processes leading to epilepsy. These new insights might foster the search for new targets for the development of new, more efficient anti-epileptogenic therapies.

  18. Astrocytes, Synapses and Brain Function: A Computational Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita

    2006-03-01

    Modulation of synaptic reliability is one of the leading mechanisms involved in long- term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) and therefore has implications in information processing in the brain. A recently discovered mechanism for modulating synaptic reliability critically involves recruitments of astrocytes - star- shaped cells that outnumber the neurons in most parts of the central nervous system. Astrocytes until recently were thought to be subordinate cells merely participating in supporting neuronal functions. New evidence, however, made available by advances in imaging technology has changed the way we envision the role of these cells in synaptic transmission and as modulator of neuronal excitability. We put forward a novel mathematical framework based on the biophysics of the bidirectional neuron-astrocyte interactions that quantitatively accounts for two distinct experimental manifestation of recruitment of astrocytes in synaptic transmission: a) transformation of a low fidelity synapse transforms into a high fidelity synapse and b) enhanced postsynaptic spontaneous currents when astrocytes are activated. Such a framework is not only useful for modeling neuronal dynamics in a realistic environment but also provides a conceptual basis for interpreting experiments. Based on this modeling framework, we explore the role of astrocytes for neuronal network behavior such as synchrony and correlations and compare with experimental data from cultured networks.

  19. Proteomic Modeling for HIV-1 Infected Microglia-Astrocyte Crosstalk

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tong; Gong, Nan; Liu, Jianuo; Kadiu, Irena; Kraft-Terry, Stephanie D.; Mosley, R. Lee; Volsky, David J.; Ciborowski, Pawel; Gendelman, Howard E.

    2008-01-01

    Background HIV-1-infected and immune competent brain mononuclear phagocytes (MP; macrophages and microglia) secrete cellular and viral toxins that affect neuronal damage during advanced disease. In contrast, astrocytes can affect disease by modulating the nervous system's microenvironment. Interestingly, little is known how astrocytes communicate with MP to influence disease. Methods and Findings MP-astrocyte crosstalk was investigated by a proteomic platform analysis using vesicular stomatitis virus pseudotyped HIV infected murine microglia. The microglial-astrocyte dialogue was significant and affected microglial cytoskeleton by modulation of cell death and migratory pathways. These were mediated, in part, through F-actin polymerization and filament formation. Astrocyte secretions attenuated HIV-1 infected microglia neurotoxicity and viral growth linked to the regulation of reactive oxygen species. Conclusions These observations provide unique insights into glial crosstalk during disease by supporting astrocyte-mediated regulation of microglial function and its influence on the onset and progression of neuroAIDS. The results open new insights into previously undisclosed pathogenic mechanisms and open the potential for biomarker discovery and therapeutics that may influence the course of HIV-1-mediated neurodegeneration. PMID:18575609

  20. HIV-1 infected astrocytes and the microglial proteome

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tong; Gong, Nan; Liu, Jianuo; Kadiu, Irena; Kraft-Terry, Stephanie D; Schlautman, Joshua D; Ciborowski, Pawel; Volsky, David J; Gendelman, Howard E

    2008-01-01

    The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) invades the central nervous system early after viral exposure but causes progressive cognitive, behavior, and motor impairments years later with the onset of immune deficiency. Although in the brain, HIV preferentially replicates productively in cells of mononuclear phagocyte (MP; blood borne macrophage and microglia), astrocytes also can be infected, at low and variable frequency, particularly in patients with encephalitis. Among their many functions, astrocytes network with microglia to provide the first line of defense against microbial infection; however, very little is known about its consequences on MP. Here, we addressed this question using co-culture systems of HIV infected mouse astrocytes and microglia. Pseudotyped vesicular stomatis virus/HIV was used to circumvent absence of viral receptors and ensure cell genotypic uniformity for studies of intercellular communication. The study demonstrated that infected astrocytes show modest changes in protein elements as compared to uninfected cells. In contrast, infected astrocytes induce robust changes in the proteome of HIV-1 infected microglia. Accelerated cell death and redox proteins, amongst others, were produced in abundance. The observations confirmed the potential of astrocytes to influence the neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 infection by specifically altering the neurotoxic potential of infected microglia and in this manner, disease progression. PMID:18587649

  1. Astrocyte functions in the copper homeostasis of the brain.

    PubMed

    Scheiber, Ivo F; Dringen, Ralf

    2013-04-01

    Copper is an essential element that is required for a variety of important cellular functions. Since not only copper deficiency but also excess of copper can seriously affect cellular functions, the cellular copper metabolism is tightly regulated. In brain, astrocytes appear to play a pivotal role in the copper metabolism. With their strategically important localization between capillary endothelial cells and neuronal structures they are ideally positioned to transport copper from the blood-brain barrier to parenchymal brain cells. Accordingly, astrocytes have the capacity to efficiently take up, store and to export copper. Cultured astrocytes appear to be remarkably resistant against copper-induced toxicity. However, copper exposure can lead to profound alterations in the metabolism of these cells. This article will summarize the current knowledge on the copper metabolism of astrocytes, will describe copper-induced alterations in the glucose and glutathione metabolism of astrocytes and will address the potential role of astrocytes in the copper metabolism of the brain in diseases that have been connected with disturbances in brain copper homeostasis.

  2. Astrocytic modulation of blood brain barrier: perspectives on Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Cabezas, Ricardo; Avila, Marcos; Gonzalez, Janneth; El-Bachá, Ramon Santos; Báez, Eliana; García-Segura, Luis Miguel; Jurado Coronel, Juan Camilo; Capani, Francisco; Cardona-Gomez, Gloria Patricia; Barreto, George E

    2014-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a tightly regulated interface in the Central Nervous System (CNS) that regulates the exchange of molecules in and out from the brain thus maintaining the CNS homeostasis. It is mainly composed of endothelial cells (ECs), pericytes and astrocytes that create a neurovascular unit (NVU) with the adjacent neurons. Astrocytes are essential for the formation and maintenance of the BBB by providing secreted factors that lead to the adequate association between the cells of the BBB and the formation of strong tight junctions. Under neurological disorders, such as chronic cerebral ischemia, brain trauma, Epilepsy, Alzheimer and Parkinson's Diseases, a disruption of the BBB takes place, involving a lost in the permeability of the barrier and phenotypical changes in both the ECs and astrocytes. In this aspect, it has been established that the process of reactive gliosis is a common feature of astrocytes during BBB disruption, which has a detrimental effect on the barrier function and a subsequent damage in neuronal survival. In this review we discuss the implications of astrocyte functions in the protection of the BBB, and in the development of Parkinson's disease (PD) and related disorders. Additionally, we highlight the current and future strategies in astrocyte protection aimed at the development of restorative therapies for the BBB in pathological conditions.

  3. Glucose Tightly Controls Morphological and Functional Properties of Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chun-Yao; Dallérac, Glenn; Ezan, Pascal; Anderova, Miroslava; Rouach, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    The main energy source powering the brain is glucose. Strong energy needs of our nervous system are fulfilled by conveying this essential metabolite through blood via an extensive vascular network. Glucose then reaches brain tissues by cell uptake, diffusion and metabolization, processes primarily undertaken by astrocytes. Deprivation of glucose can however occur in various circumstances. In particular, ageing is associated with cognitive disturbances that are partly attributable to metabolic deficiency leading to brain glycopenia. Despite the crucial role of glucose and its metabolites in sustaining neuronal activity, little is known about its moment-to-moment contribution to astroglial physiology. We thus here investigated the early structural and functional alterations induced in astrocytes by a transient metabolic challenge consisting in glucose deprivation. Electrophysiological recordings of hippocampal astroglial cells of the stratum radiatum in situ revealed that shortage of glucose specifically increases astrocyte membrane capacitance, whilst it has no impact on other passive membrane properties. Consistent with this change, morphometric analysis unraveled a prompt increase in astrocyte volume upon glucose deprivation. Furthermore, characteristic functional properties of astrocytes are also affected by transient glucose deficiency. We indeed found that glucoprivation decreases their gap junction-mediated coupling, while it progressively and reversibly increases their intracellular calcium levels during the slow depression of synaptic transmission occurring simultaneously, as assessed by dual electrophysiological and calcium imaging recordings. Together, these data indicate that astrocytes rapidly respond to metabolic dysfunctions, and are therefore central to the neuroglial dialog at play in brain adaptation to glycopenia. PMID:27148048

  4. Astrocyte Ca2+ Influx Negatively Regulates Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    Ormerod, Kiel G.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Maintenance of neural circuit activity requires appropriate regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. Recently, glia have emerged as key partners in the modulation of neuronal excitability; however, the mechanisms by which glia regulate neuronal signaling are still being elucidated. Here, we describe an analysis of how Ca2+ signals within Drosophila astrocyte-like glia regulate excitability in the nervous system. We find that Drosophila astrocytes exhibit robust Ca2+ oscillatory activity manifested by fast, recurrent microdomain Ca2+ fluctuations within processes that infiltrate the synaptic neuropil. Unlike the enhanced neuronal activity and behavioral seizures that were previously observed during manipulations that trigger Ca2+ influx into Drosophila cortex glia, we find that acute induction of astrocyte Ca2+ influx leads to a rapid onset of behavioral paralysis and a suppression of neuronal activity. We observe that Ca2+ influx triggers rapid endocytosis of the GABA transporter (GAT) from astrocyte plasma membranes, suggesting that increased synaptic GABA levels contribute to the neuronal silencing and paralysis. We identify Rab11 as a novel regulator of GAT trafficking that is required for this form of activity regulation. Suppression of Rab11 function strongly offsets the reduction of neuronal activity caused by acute astrocyte Ca2+ influx, likely by inhibiting GAT endocytosis. Our data provide new insights into astrocyte Ca2+ signaling and indicate that distinct glial subtypes in the Drosophila brain can mediate opposing effects on neuronal excitability. PMID:28303263

  5. Connexin43 null mice reveal that astrocytes express multiple connexins.

    PubMed

    Dermietzel, R; Gao, Y; Scemes, E; Vieira, D; Urban, M; Kremer, M; Bennett, M V; Spray, D C

    2000-04-01

    The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) is the primary component of intercellular channels in cardiac tissue and in astrocytes, the most abundant type of glial cells in the brain. Mice in which the gene for Cx43 is deleted by homologous recombination die at birth, due to profound hypertrophy of the ventricular outflow tract and stenosis of the pulmonary artery. Despite this significant cardiovascular abnormality, brains of connexin43 null [Cx43 (-/-)] animals are shown to be macroscopically normal and to display a pattern of cortical lamination that is not detectably different from wildtype siblings. Presence of Cx40 and Cx45 in brains and astrocytes cultured from both Cx43 (-/-) mice and wildtype littermates was confirmed by RT-PCR, Northern blot analyses and by immunostaining; Cx46 was detected by RT-PCR and Northern blot analyses. Presence of Cx26 in astrocyte cultures was indicated by RT-PCR and by Western blot analysis, although we were unable to resolve whether it was contributed by contaminating cells; Cx30 mRNA was detected by Northern blot in long term (2 weeks) but not fresh cultures of astrocytes. These studies thus reveal that astrocyte gap junctions may be formed of multiple connexins. Presumably, the metabolic and ionic coupling provided by these diverse gap junction types may functionally compensate for the absence of the major astrocyte gap junction protein in Cx43 (-/-) mice, providing whatever intercellular signaling is necessary for brain development and cortical lamination.

  6. Arsenic Exposure Induces Unscheduled Mitotic S Phase Entry Coupled with Cell Death in Mouse Cortical Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Htike, Nang T. T.; Maekawa, Fumihiko; Soutome, Haruka; Sano, Kazuhiro; Maejima, Sho; Aung, Kyaw H.; Tokuda, Masaaki; Tsukahara, Shinji

    2016-01-01

    There is serious concern about arsenic in the natural environment, which exhibits neurotoxicity and increases the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders. Adverse effects of arsenic have been demonstrated in neurons, but it is not fully understood how arsenic affects other cell types in the brain. In the current study, we examined whether sodium arsenite (NaAsO2) affects the cell cycle, viability, and apoptosis of in vitro-cultured astrocytes isolated from the cerebral cortex of mice. Cultured astrocytes from transgenic mice expressing fluorescent ubiquitination-based cell cycle indicator (Fucci) were subjected to live imaging analysis to assess the effects of NaAsO2 (0, 1, 2, and 4 μM) on the cell cycle and number of cells. Fucci was designed to express monomeric Kusabira Orange2 (mKO2) fused with the ubiquitylation domain of hCdt1, a marker of G1 phase, and monomeric Azami Green (mAG) fused with the ubiquitylation domain of hGem, a marker of S, G2, and M phases. NaAsO2 concentration-dependently decreased the peak levels of the mAG/mKO2 emission ratio when the ratio had reached a peak in astrocytes without NaAsO2 exposure, which was due to attenuating the increase in the mAG-expressing cell number. In contrast, the mAG/mKO2 emission ratio and number of mAG-expressing cells were concentration-dependently increased by NaAsO2 before their peak levels, indicating unscheduled S phase entry. We further examined the fate of cells forced to enter S phase by NaAsO2. We found that most of these cells died up to the end of live imaging. In addition, quantification of the copy number of the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene expressed specifically in astrocytes revealed a concentration-dependent decrease caused by NaAsO2. However, NaAsO2 did not increase the amount of nucleosomes generated from DNA fragmentation and failed to alter the gene expression of molecules relevant to unscheduled S phase entry-coupled apoptosis (p21, p53, E2F1, E2F4, and Gm36566). These findings

  7. Astrocyte Ca2+ Signaling Drives Inversion of Neurovascular Coupling after Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.

    PubMed

    Pappas, Anthony C; Koide, Masayo; Wellman, George C

    2015-09-30

    Physiologically, neurovascular coupling (NVC) matches focal increases in neuronal activity with local arteriolar dilation. Astrocytes participate in NVC by sensing increased neurotransmission and releasing vasoactive agents (e.g., K(+)) from perivascular endfeet surrounding parenchymal arterioles. Previously, we demonstrated an increase in the amplitude of spontaneous Ca(2+) events in astrocyte endfeet and inversion of NVC from vasodilation to vasoconstriction in brain slices obtained from subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) model rats. However, the role of spontaneous astrocyte Ca(2+) signaling in determining the polarity of the NVC response remains unclear. Here, we used two-photon imaging of Fluo-4-loaded rat brain slices to determine whether altered endfoot Ca(2+) signaling underlies SAH-induced inversion of NVC. We report a time-dependent emergence of endfoot high-amplitude Ca(2+) signals (eHACSs) after SAH that were not observed in endfeet from unoperated animals. Furthermore, the percentage of endfeet with eHACSs varied with time and paralleled the development of inversion of NVC. Endfeet with eHACSs were present only around arterioles exhibiting inversion of NVC. Importantly, depletion of intracellular Ca(2+) stores using cyclopiazonic acid abolished SAH-induced eHACSs and restored arteriolar dilation in SAH brain slices to two mediators of NVC (a rise in endfoot Ca(2+) and elevation of extracellular K(+)). These data indicate a causal link between SAH-induced eHACSs and inversion of NVC. Ultrastructural examination using transmission electron microscopy indicated that a similar proportion of endfeet exhibiting eHACSs also exhibited asymmetrical enlargement. Our results demonstrate that subarachnoid blood causes a delayed increase in the amplitude of spontaneous intracellular Ca(2+) release events leading to inversion of NVC. Significance statement: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)--strokes involving cerebral aneurysm rupture and release of blood onto the

  8. Glucocorticoid treatment of astrocytes results in temporally dynamic transcriptome regulation and astrocyte-enriched mRNA changes in vitro.

    PubMed

    Carter, Bradley S; Meng, Fan; Thompson, Robert C

    2012-12-18

    While general effects of glucocorticoids are well established, the specific cellular mechanisms by which these hormones exert tissue-dependent effects continue to be elaborated. Diseases that demonstrate altered glucocorticoid signaling have been associated with alterations in astrocytes, yet relatively little is known about the effects of glucocorticoids upon this cell type. We have analyzed mRNA expression patterns following glucocorticoid treatment of mouse primary astrocyte cultures. Microarray analysis of cortical astrocyte cultures treated with dexamethasone over an eight-point, 24 h time course identified 854 unique genes with ≥twofold change in mRNA expression at one or more time points. Clustering analysis associated subsets of these mRNA expression changes with gene ontology categories known to be impacted by glucocorticoids. Numerous mRNAs regulated by dexamethasone were also regulated by the natural ligand corticosterone; all of the mRNAs regulated ≥twofold by corticosterone were substantially attenuated by cotreatment with the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486. Of the mRNAs demonstrating ≥twofold expression change in response to both glucocorticoids, 33 mRNAs were previously associated with glucocorticoid regulation, and 36 mRNAs were novel glucocorticoid targets. All genes tested by qPCR for glucocorticoid regulation in cortical astrocyte cultures were also regulated by glucocorticoids in hippocampal astrocyte cultures (18/18). Interestingly, a portion of glucocorticoid-regulated genes were astrocyte enriched; the percentage of astrocyte-enriched genes per total number of regulated genes was highest for the early time points and steadily decreased over the time course. These findings suggest that astrocytes in vitro may initially deploy cell type-specific patterns of mRNA regulatory responses to glucocorticoids and subsequently activate additional cell type-independent responses.

  9. The role(s) of astrocytes and astrocyte activity in neurometabolism, neurovascular coupling, and the production of functional neuroimaging signals.

    PubMed

    Figley, Chase R; Stroman, Patrick W

    2011-02-01

    Data acquired with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) are often interpreted in terms of the underlying neuronal activity, despite mounting evidence that these signals do not always correlate with electrophysiological recordings. Therefore, considering the increasing popularity of functional neuroimaging, it is clear that a more comprehensive theory is needed to reconcile these apparent disparities and more accurately explain the mechanisms through which various PET and fMRI signals arise. In the present article, we have turned our attention to astrocytes, which vastly outnumber neurons and are known to serve a number of functions throughout the central nervous system (CNS). For example, astrocytes are known to be critically involved in neurotransmitter uptake and recycling, and empirical data suggests that brain activation increases both oxidative and glycolytic astrocyte metabolism. Furthermore, a number of recent studies imply that astrocytes are likely to play a key role in regulating cerebral blood delivery. Therefore, we propose that, by mediating neurometabolic and neurovascular processes throughout the CNS, astrocytes could provide a common physiological basis for fMRI and PET signals. Such a theory has significant implications for the interpretation of functional neuroimaging signals, because astrocytic changes reflect subthreshold neuronal activity, simultaneous excitatory/inhibitory synaptic inputs, and other transient metabolic demands that may not elicit electrophysiological changes. It also suggests that fMRI and PET signals may have inherently less sensitivity to decreases in synaptic input (i.e. 'negative activity') and/or inhibitory (GABAergic) neurotransmission.

  10. Role of pyruvate carboxylase in facilitation of synthesis of glutamate and glutamine in cultured astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Gamberino, W C; Berkich, D A; Lynch, C J; Xu, B; LaNoue, K F

    1997-12-01

    CO2 fixation was measured in cultured astrocytes isolated from neonatal rat brain to test the hypothesis that the activity of pyruvate carboxylase influences the rate of de novo glutamate and glutamine synthesis in astrocytes. Astrocytes were incubated with 14CO2 and the incorporation of 14C into medium or cell extract products was determined. After chromatographic separation of 14C-labelled products, the fractions of 14C cycled back to pyruvate, incorporated into citric acid cycle intermediates, and converted to the amino acids glutamate and glutamine were determined as a function of increasing pyruvate carboxylase flux. The consequences of increasing pyruvate, bicarbonate, and ammonia were investigated. Increasing extracellular pyruvate from 0 to 5 mM increased pyruvate carboxylase flux as observed by increases in the 14C incorporated into pyruvate and citric acid cycle intermediates, but incorporation into glutamate and glutamine, although relatively high at low pyruvate levels, did not increase as pyruvate carboxylase flux increased. Increasing added bicarbonate from 15 to 25 mM almost doubled CO2 fixation. When 25 mM bicarbonate plus 0.5 mM pyruvate increased pyruvate carboxylase flux to approximately the same extent as 15 mM bicarbonate plus 5 mM pyruvate, the rate of appearance of [14C] glutamate and glutamine was higher with the lower level of pyruvate. The conclusion was drawn that, in addition to stimulating pyruvate carboxylase, added pyruvate (but not added bicarbonate) increases alanine aminotransferase flux in the direction of glutamate utilization, thereby decreasing glutamate as pyruvate + glutamate --> alpha-ketoglutarate + alanine. In contrast to previous in vivo studies, the addition of ammonia (0.1 and 5 mM) had no effect on net 14CO2 fixation, but did alter the distribution of 14C-labelled products by decreasing glutamate and increasing glutamine. Rather unexpectedly, ammonia did not increase the sum of glutamate plus glutamine (mass amounts or

  11. Ornithine and Homocitrulline Impair Mitochondrial Function, Decrease Antioxidant Defenses and Induce Cell Death in Menadione-Stressed Rat Cortical Astrocytes: Potential Mechanisms of Neurological Dysfunction in HHH Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Zanatta, Ângela; Rodrigues, Marília Danyelle Nunes; Amaral, Alexandre Umpierrez; Souza, Débora Guerini; Quincozes-Santos, André; Wajner, Moacir

    2016-09-01

    Hyperornithinemia-hyperammonemia-homocitrullinuria (HHH) syndrome is caused by deficiency of ornithine translocase leading to predominant tissue accumulation and high urinary excretion of ornithine (Orn), homocitrulline (Hcit) and ammonia. Although affected patients commonly present neurological dysfunction manifested by cognitive deficit, spastic paraplegia, pyramidal and extrapyramidal signs, stroke-like episodes, hypotonia and ataxia, its pathogenesis is still poorly known. Although astrocytes are necessary for neuronal protection. Therefore, in the present study we investigated the effects of Orn and Hcit on cell viability (propidium iodide incorporation), mitochondrial function (thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide-MTT-reduction and mitochondrial membrane potential-ΔΨm), antioxidant defenses (GSH) and pro-inflammatory response (NFkB, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α) in unstimulated and menadione-stressed cortical astrocytes that were previously shown to be susceptible to damage by neurotoxins. We first observed that Orn decreased MTT reduction, whereas both amino acids decreased GSH levels, without altering cell viability and the pro-inflammatory factors in unstimulated astrocytes. Furthermore, Orn and Hcit decreased cell viability and ΔΨm in menadione-treated astrocytes. The present data indicate that the major compounds accumulating in HHH syndrome impair mitochondrial function and reduce cell viability and the antioxidant defenses in cultured astrocytes especially when stressed by menadione. It is presumed that these mechanisms may be involved in the neuropathology of this disease.

  12. Striatal astrocytes transdifferentiate into functional mature neurons following ischemic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Chun‐Ling; Liu, Chong‐Wei; Shen, Shu‐Wen; Yu, Zhang; Mo, Jia‐Lin; Chen, Xian‐Hua

    2015-01-01

    To determine whether reactive astrocytes stimulated by brain injury can transdifferentiate into functional new neurons, we labeled these cells by injecting a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) targeted enhanced green fluorescence protein plasmid (pGfa2‐eGFP plasmid) into the striatum of adult rats immediately following a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and performed immunolabeling with specific neuronal markers to trace the neural fates of eGFP‐expressing (GFP+) reactive astrocytes. The results showed that a portion of striatal GFP+ astrocytes could transdifferentiate into immature neurons at 1 week after MCAO and mature neurons at 2 weeks as determined by double staining GFP‐expressing cells with βIII‐tubulin (GFP+‐Tuj‐1+) and microtubule associated protein‐2 (GFP+‐MAP‐2+), respectively. GFP+ neurons further expressed choline acetyltransferase, glutamic acid decarboxylase, dopamine receptor D2‐like family proteins, and the N‐methyl‐d‐aspartate receptor subunit R2, indicating that astrocyte‐derived neurons could develop into cholinergic or GABAergic neurons and express dopamine and glutamate receptors on their membranes. Electron microscopy analysis indicated that GFP+ neurons could form synapses with other neurons at 13 weeks after MCAO. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that action potentials and active postsynaptic currents could be recorded in the neuron‐like GFP+ cells but not in the astrocyte‐like GFP+ cells, demonstrating that new GFP+ neurons possessed the capacity to fire action potentials and receive synaptic inputs. These results demonstrated that striatal astrocyte‐derived new neurons participate in the rebuilding of functional neural networks, a fundamental basis for brain repair after injury. These results may lead to new therapeutic strategies for enhancing brain repair after ischemic stroke. GLIA 2015;63:1660–1670 PMID:26031629

  13. Sex hormone-dependent attenuation of EAE in a transgenic mouse with astrocytic expression of the RNA regulator HuR.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Crystal; Nabors, L Burt; Barnum, Scott; Yang, Xiuhua; Hu, Xianzhen; Schoeb, Trenton R; Chen, Dongquan; Ardelt, Agnieszka A; King, Peter H

    2012-05-15

    In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and other neurodegenerative diseases, astrocytes play an important role in promoting or attenuating the inflammatory response through induction of different cytokines and growth factors. HuR plays a major role in regulating many of these factors by modulating RNA stability and translational efficiency. Here, we engineered transgenic mice to express HuR in astrocytes using the human glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter and found that female transgenic mice had significantly less clinical disability and histopathological changes in the spinal cord. Ovariectomy prior to EAE induction abrogated the protective effect. Our findings support a role for the astrocyte and posttranscriptional regulation in hormonally-mediated attenuation of EAE.

  14. Sex Hormone-Dependent Attenuation of EAE in a Transgenic Mouse with Astrocytic Expression of the RNA Regulator HuR

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, Crystal; Nabors, L. Burt; Barnum, Scott; Yang, Xiuhua; Hu, Xianzhen; Schoeb, Trenton; Chen, Dongquan; Ardelt, Anise A.; King, Peter H.

    2012-01-01

    In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and other neurodegenerative diseases, astrocytes play an important role in promoting or attenuating the inflammatory response through induction of different cytokines and growth factors. HuR plays a major role in regulating many of these factors by modulating RNA stability and translational efficiency. Here, we engineered transgenic mice to express HuR in astrocytes using the human glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter and found that female transgenic mice had significantly less clinical disability and histopathological changes in the spinal cord. Ovariectomy prior to EAE induction abrogated the protective effect. Our findings support a role for the astrocyte and posttranscriptional regulation in hormonally-mediated attenuation of EAE. PMID:22445740

  15. Novel cell separation method for molecular analysis of neuron-astrocyte co-cultures

    PubMed Central

    Goudriaan, Andrea; Camargo, Nutabi; Carney, Karen E.; Oliet, Stéphane H. R.; Smit, August B.; Verheijen, Mark H. G.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decade, the importance of astrocyte-neuron communication in neuronal development and synaptic plasticity has become increasingly clear. Since neuron-astrocyte interactions represent highly dynamic and reciprocal processes, we hypothesized that many astrocyte genes may be regulated as a consequence of their interactions with maturing neurons. In order to identify such neuron-responsive astrocyte genes in vitro, we sought to establish an expedited technique for separation of neurons from co-cultured astrocytes. Our newly established method makes use of cold jet, which exploits different adhesion characteristics of subpopulations of cells (Jirsova etal., 1997), and is rapid, performed under ice-cold conditions and avoids protease-mediated isolation of astrocytes or time-consuming centrifugation, yielding intact astrocyte mRNA with approximately 90% of neuronal RNA removed. Using this purification method, we executed genome-wide profiling in which RNA derived from astrocyte-only cultures was compared with astrocyte RNA derived from differentiating neuron-astrocyte co-cultures. Data analysis determined that many astrocytic mRNAs and biological processes are regulated by neuronal interaction. Our results validate the cold jet as an efficient method to separate astrocytes from neurons in co-culture, and reveals that neurons induce robust gene-expression changes in co-cultured astrocytes. PMID:24523672

  16. Astrocyte subtypes in the gray matter of injured human cerebral cortex: a transmission electron microscope study.

    PubMed

    Castejón, O J

    1999-04-01

    Astrocytic subtypes in different cortical regions of injured human cerebral cortex of 22 patients with brain trauma, vascular anomalies and brain tumours have been examined by means of light microscopy and conventional transmission electron microscopy. The cortical biopsies of frontal, parietal and temporal cortex were examined to analyse the heterogeneous astrocytic response and characterize astrocytic population subtypes. Swollen clear and dense astrocytes, glycogen rich- and glycogen-depleted astrocytes, aged or lipofucsin rich-astrocytes and reactive, dark, hypertrophic astrocytes were identified. Clear and dense astrocytes displayed bundles of glial filaments and dense inclusion bodies. Glycogen-rich astrocytes exhibited an accumulation of beta type of monogranular glycogen granules, which disappear in the glycogen-depleted astrocytes, suggesting anoxic mobilization of glycogen stores during ischemia or anoxia. Lipofucsin rich astrocytes were mainly related with ageing processes, although their presence in young patients suggests also an injured related process. Dark astrocytes with phagocytic properties were found. They exhibited bundles of glial filaments. The astrocytic response depended upon the nature of cortical insult, extent of damage, time course of pathological lesion and affected cortical region.

  17. Novel cell separation method for molecular analysis of neuron-astrocyte co-cultures.

    PubMed

    Goudriaan, Andrea; Camargo, Nutabi; Carney, Karen E; Oliet, Stéphane H R; Smit, August B; Verheijen, Mark H G

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decade, the importance of astrocyte-neuron communication in neuronal development and synaptic plasticity has become increasingly clear. Since neuron-astrocyte interactions represent highly dynamic and reciprocal processes, we hypothesized that many astrocyte genes may be regulated as a consequence of their interactions with maturing neurons. In order to identify such neuron-responsive astrocyte genes in vitro, we sought to establish an expedited technique for separation of neurons from co-cultured astrocytes. Our newly established method makes use of cold jet, which exploits different adhesion characteristics of subpopulations of cells (Jirsova etal., 1997), and is rapid, performed under ice-cold conditions and avoids protease-mediated isolation of astrocytes or time-consuming centrifugation, yielding intact astrocyte mRNA with approximately 90% of neuronal RNA removed. Using this purification method, we executed genome-wide profiling in which RNA derived from astrocyte-only cultures was compared with astrocyte RNA derived from differentiating neuron-astrocyte co-cultures. Data analysis determined that many astrocytic mRNAs and biological processes are regulated by neuronal interaction. Our results validate the cold jet as an efficient method to separate astrocytes from neurons in co-culture, and reveals that neurons induce robust gene-expression changes in co-cultured astrocytes.

  18. A Critical Role for Astrocytes in Hypercapnic Vasodilation in Brain

    PubMed Central

    Lind, Barbara Lykke; LeDue, Jeffrey M.; Ellis-Davies, Graham; Sibson, Nicola R.

    2017-01-01

    Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is controlled by arterial blood pressure, arterial CO2, arterial O2, and brain activity and is largely constant in the awake state. Although small changes in arterial CO2 are particularly potent to change CBF (1 mmHg variation in arterial CO2 changes CBF by 3%–4%), the coupling mechanism is incompletely understood. We tested the hypothesis that astrocytic prostaglandin E2 (PgE2) plays a key role for cerebrovascular CO2 reactivity, and that preserved synthesis of glutathione is essential for the full development of this response. We combined two-photon imaging microscopy in brain slices with in vivo work in rats and C57BL/6J mice to examine the hemodynamic responses to CO2 and somatosensory stimulation before and after inhibition of astrocytic glutathione and PgE2 synthesis. We demonstrate that hypercapnia (increased CO2) evokes an increase in astrocyte [Ca2+]i and stimulates COX-1 activity. The enzyme downstream of COX-1 that synthesizes PgE2 (microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1) depends critically for its vasodilator activity on the level of glutathione in the brain. We show that, when glutathione levels are reduced, astrocyte calcium-evoked release of PgE2 is decreased and vasodilation triggered by increased astrocyte [Ca2+]i in vitro and by hypercapnia in vivo is inhibited. Astrocyte synthetic pathways, dependent on glutathione, are involved in cerebrovascular reactivity to CO2. Reductions in glutathione levels in aging, stroke, or schizophrenia could lead to dysfunctional regulation of CBF and subsequent neuronal damage. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neuronal activity leads to the generation of CO2, which has previously been shown to evoke cerebral blood flow (CBF) increases via the release of the vasodilator PgE2. We demonstrate that hypercapnia (increased CO2) evokes increases in astrocyte calcium signaling, which in turn stimulates COX-1 activity and generates downstream PgE2 production. We demonstrate that astrocyte calcium

  19. Astrocyte-Like Cells Derived From Human Oral Mucosa Stem Cells Provide Neuroprotection In Vitro and In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Ganz, Javier; Arie, Ina; Ben-Zur, Tali; Dadon-Nachum, Michal; Pour, Sammy; Araidy, Shareef; Offen, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Human oral mucosa stem cells (hOMSC) are a recently described neural crest-derived stem cell population. Therapeutic quantities of potent hOMSC can be generated from small biopsies obtained by minimally invasive procedures. Our objective was to evaluate the potential of hOMSC to differentiate into astrocyte-like cells and provide peripheral neuroprotection. We induced hOMSC differentiation into cells showing an astrocyte-like morphology that expressed characteristic astrocyte markers as glial fibrillary acidic protein, S100β, and the excitatory amino acid transporter 1 and secreted neurotrophic factors (NTF) such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, and insulin-like growth factor 1. Conditioned medium of the induced cells rescued motor neurons from hypoxia or oxidative stress in vitro, suggesting a neuroprotective effect mediated by soluble factors. Given the neuronal support (NS) ability of the cells, the differentiated cells were termed hOMSC-NS. Rats subjected to sciatic nerve injury and transplanted with hOMSC-NS showed improved motor function after transplantation. At the graft site we found the transplanted cells, increased levels of NTF, and a significant preservation of functional neuromuscular junctions, as evidenced by colocalization of α-bungarotoxin and synaptophysin. Our findings show for the first time that hOMSC-NS generated from oral mucosa exhibit neuroprotective effects in vitro and in vivo and point to their future therapeutic use in neural disorders. PMID:24477074

  20. Astrocytic modulation of neuronal excitability through K(+) spatial buffering.

    PubMed

    Bellot-Saez, Alba; Kékesi, Orsolya; Morley, John W; Buskila, Yossi

    2017-03-06

    The human brain contains two major cell populations, neurons and glia. While neurons are electrically excitable and capable of discharging short voltage pulses known as action potentials, glial cells are not. However, astrocytes, the prevailing subtype of glia in the cortex, are highly connected and can modulate the excitability of neurons by changing the concentration of potassium ions in the extracellular environment, a process called K(+) clearance. During the past decade, astrocytes have been the focus of much research, mainly due to their close association with synapses and their modulatory impact on neuronal activity. It has been shown that astrocytes play an essential role in normal brain function including: nitrosative regulation of synaptic release in the neocortex, synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, we discuss the role of astrocytes in network modulation through their K(+) clearance capabilities, a theory that was first raised 50 years ago by Orkand and Kuffler. We will discuss the functional alterations in astrocytic activity that leads to aberrant modulation of network oscillations and synchronous activity.

  1. Calcium Signaling and Gliotransmission in Normal vs. Reactive Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Agulhon, Cendra; Sun, Min-Yu; Murphy, Thomas; Myers, Timothy; Lauderdale, Kelli; Fiacco, Todd A.

    2012-01-01

    A prominent area of neuroscience research over the past 20 years has been the acute modulation of neuronal synaptic activity by Ca2+-dependent release of the transmitters ATP, D-serine, and glutamate (called gliotransmitters) by astrocytes. Although the physiological relevance of this mechanism is under debate, emerging evidence suggests that there are critical factors in addition to Ca2+ that are required for gliotransmitters to be released from astrocytes. Interestingly, these factors include activated microglia and the proinflammatory cytokine Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNFα), chemotactic cytokine Stromal cell-Derived Factor-1α (SDF-1α), and inflammatory mediator prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Of note, microglial activation and release of inflammatory molecules from activated microglia and reactive astrocytes can occur within minutes of a triggering stimulus. Therefore, activation of astrocytes by inflammatory molecules combined with Ca2+ elevations may lead to gliotransmitter release, and be an important step in the early sequence of events contributing to hyperexcitability, excitotoxicity, and neurodegeneration in the damaged or diseased brain. In this review, we will first examine evidence questioning Ca2+-dependent gliotransmitter release from astrocytes in healthy brain tissue, followed by a close examination of recent work suggesting that Ca2+-dependent gliotransmitter release occurs as an early event in the development of neurological disorders and neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22811669

  2. Actin cytoskeleton remodeling governs aquaporin-4 localization in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Nicchia, Grazia Paola; Rossi, Andrea; Mola, Maria Grazia; Procino, Giuseppe; Frigeri, Antonio; Svelto, Maria

    2008-12-01

    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is constitutively concentrated in the plasma membrane of the perivascular glial processes, and its expression is altered in certain pathological conditions associated with brain edema or altered glial migration. When astrocytes are grown in culture, they lose their characteristic star-like shape and AQP4 continuous plasma membrane localization observed in vivo. In this study, we differentiated primary astrocyte cultures with cAMP and lovastatin, both able to induce glial stellation through a reorganization of F-actin cytoskeleton, and obtained AQP4 selectively localized on the cell plasma membrane associated with an increase in the plasma membrane water transport level, but only cAMP induced an increase in AQP4 total protein expression. Phosphorylation experiments indicated that AQP4 in astrocytes is neither phosphorylated nor a substrate of PKA. Depolymerization of F-actin cytoskeleton performed by cytochalasin-D suggested that F-actin cytoskeleton plays a primary role for AQP4 plasma membrane localization and during cell adhesion. Finally, AQP4 knockdown does not compromise the ability of astrocytes to stellate in the presence of cAMP, indicating that astrocyte stellation is independent of AQP4.

  3. Ceramide sensitizes astrocytes to oxidative stress: protective role of cannabinoids.

    PubMed Central

    Carracedo, Arkaitz; Geelen, Math J H; Diez, María; Hanada, Kentaro; Guzmán, Manuel; Velasco, Guillermo

    2004-01-01

    Cannabinoids induce apoptosis on glioma cells via stimulation of ceramide synthesis de novo, whereas they do not affect viability of primary astrocytes. In the present study, we show that incubation with Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol did not induce accumulation of ceramide on astrocytes, although incubation of these cells in a serum-free medium (with or without cannabinoids) led to stimulation of ceramide synthesis de novo and sensitization to oxidative stress. Thus treatment with H2O2 induced apoptosis of 5-day-serum-deprived astrocytes and this effect was abrogated by pharmacological blockade of ceramide synthesis de novo. The sensitizing effect of ceramide accumulation may depend on p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation rather than on other ceramide targets. Finally, a protective role of cannabinoids on astrocytes is shown as a long-term incubation with cannabinoids prevented H2O2-induced loss of viability in a CB1 receptor-dependent manner. In summary, our results show that whereas challenge of glioma cells with cannabinoids induces accumulation of de novo -synthesized ceramide and apoptosis, long-term treatment of astrocytes with these compounds does not stimulate this pathway and also abrogates the sensitizing effects of ceramide accumulation. PMID:14979873

  4. Simultaneous neuron- and astrocyte-specific fluorescent marking.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Wiebke; Hayata-Takano, Atsuko; Kamo, Toshihiko; Nakazawa, Takanobu; Nagayasu, Kazuki; Kasai, Atsushi; Seiriki, Kaoru; Shintani, Norihito; Ago, Yukio; Farfan, Camille; Hashimoto, Ryota; Baba, Akemichi; Hashimoto, Hitoshi

    2015-03-27

    Systematic and simultaneous analysis of multiple cell types in the brain is becoming important, but such tools have not yet been adequately developed. Here, we aimed to generate a method for the specific fluorescent labeling of neurons and astrocytes, two major cell types in the brain, and we have developed lentiviral vectors to express the red fluorescent protein tdTomato in neurons and the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in astrocytes. Importantly, both fluorescent proteins are fused to histone 2B protein (H2B) to confer nuclear localization to distinguish between single cells. We also constructed several expression constructs, including a tandem alignment of the neuron- and astrocyte-expression cassettes for simultaneous labeling. Introducing these vectors and constructs in vitro and in vivo resulted in cell type-specific and nuclear-localized fluorescence signals enabling easy detection and distinguishability of neurons and astrocytes. This tool is expected to be utilized for the simultaneous analysis of changes in neurons and astrocytes in healthy and diseased brains.

  5. Galunisertib inhibits glioma vasculogenic mimicry formation induced by astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chao; Chen, Wenliang; Zhang, Xin; Huang, Bin; Chen, Aanjing; He, Ying; Wang, Jian; Li, Xingang

    2016-03-15

    Gliomas are among the most lethal primary brain tumors found in humans. In high-grade gliomas, vasculogenic mimicry is often detected and has been correlated with prognosis, thus suggesting its potential as a therapeutic target. Vasculogenic mimicry mainly forms vascular-like channels independent of endothelial cells; however, little is known about the relationship between astrocytes and vasculogenic mimicry. In our study, we demonstrated that the presence of astrocytes promoted vasculogenic mimicry. With suspension microarray technology and in vitro tube formation assays, we identified that astrocytes relied on TGF-β1 to enhance vasculogenic mimicry. We also found that vasculogenic mimicry was inhibited by galunisertib, a promising TGF-β1 inhibitor currently being studied in an ongoing trial in glioma patients. The inhibition was partially attributed to a decrease in autophagy after galunisertib treatment. Moreover, we observed a decrease in VE-cadherin and smooth muscle actin-α expression, as well as down-regulation of Akt and Flk phosphorylation in galunisertib-treated glioma cells. By comparing tumor weight and volume in a xenograft model, we acquired promising results to support our theory. This study expands our understanding of the role of astrocytes in gliomas and demonstrates that galunisertib inhibits glioma vasculogenic mimicry induced by astrocytes.

  6. Accumulation of silver nanoparticles by cultured primary brain astrocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luther, Eva M.; Koehler, Yvonne; Diendorf, Joerg; Epple, Matthias; Dringen, Ralf

    2011-09-01

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are components of various food industry products and are frequently used for medical equipment and materials. Although such particles enter the vertebrate brain, little is known on their biocompatibility for brain cells. To study the consequences of an AgNP exposure of brain cells we have treated astrocyte-rich primary cultures with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated AgNP. The incubation of cultured astrocytes with micromolar concentrations of AgNP for up to 24 h resulted in a time- and concentration-dependent accumulation of silver, but did not compromise the cell viability nor lower the cellular glutathione content. In contrast, the incubation of astrocytes for 4 h with identical amounts of silver as AgNO3 already severely compromised the cell viability and completely deprived the cells of glutathione. The accumulation of AgNP by astrocytes was proportional to the concentration of AgNP applied and significantly lowered by about 30% in the presence of the endocytosis inhibitors chloroquine or amiloride. Incubation at 4 °C reduced the accumulation of AgNP by 80% compared to the values obtained for cells that had been exposed to AgNP at 37 °C. These data demonstrate that viable cultured brain astrocytes efficiently accumulate PVP-coated AgNP in a temperature-dependent process that most likely involves endocytotic pathways.

  7. Investigation on the suitable pressure for the preservation of astrocyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotome, S.; Nakajima, K.; Yoshimura, Y.; Shimizu, A.

    2010-03-01

    The effects of pressure on the survival rate of astrocytes in growth medium (DMEM) were investigated at room temperature and at 4°C, in an effort to establish the best conditions for the preservation. Survival rate at 4°C was found to be higher than that at room temperature. The survival rate of astrocytes preserved for 4 days at 4°C increased with increasing pressure up to 1.6 MPa, but decreased with increasing pressure above 1.6 MPa. At 10 MPa, all astrocytes died. The survival rate of cultured astrocytes decreased significantly following pressurization for 2 hours and the subsequent preservation for 2 days at atmospheric pressure. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain pressure when preserving astrocytes. These results indicate that the cells can be stored at 4°C under pressurization without freezing and without adding cryoprotective agents. Moreover, it may be possible to use this procedure as a new preservation method when cryopreservation is impractical.

  8. Astrocyte and Neuronal Plasticity in the Somatosensory System.

    PubMed

    Sims, Robert E; Butcher, John B; Parri, H Rheinallt; Glazewski, Stanislaw

    2015-01-01

    Changing the whisker complement on a rodent's snout can lead to two forms of experience-dependent plasticity (EDP) in the neurons of the barrel cortex, where whiskers are somatotopically represented. One form, termed coding plasticity, concerns changes in synaptic transmission and connectivity between neurons. This is thought to underlie learning and memory processes and so adaptation to a changing environment. The second, called homeostatic plasticity, serves to maintain a restricted dynamic range of neuronal activity thus preventing its saturation or total downregulation. Current explanatory models of cortical EDP are almost exclusively neurocentric. However, in recent years, increasing evidence has emerged on the role of astrocytes in brain function, including plasticity. Indeed, astrocytes appear as necessary partners of neurons at the core of the mechanisms of coding and homeostatic plasticity recorded in neurons. In addition to neuronal plasticity, several different forms of astrocytic plasticity have recently been discovered. They extend from changes in receptor expression and dynamic changes in morphology to alteration in gliotransmitter release. It is however unclear how astrocytic plasticity contributes to the neuronal EDP. Here, we review the known and possible roles for astrocytes in the barrel cortex, including its plasticity.

  9. Astrocytes and NG2-glia: what's in a name?

    PubMed Central

    Nishiyama, Akiko; Yang, Zhongshu; Butt, Arthur

    2005-01-01

    Classic studies recognize two functionally segregated macroglial cell types in the central nervous system (CNS), namely astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. A third macroglial cell type has now been identified by its specific expression of the NG2 chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan (NG2-glia). These NG2-glia exist abundantly in both grey and white matter of the mature CNS and are almost as numerous as astrocytes. It is well established that NG2-glia give rise to oligodendrocytes. However, the majority of NG2-glia in the adult CNS proliferate very slowly and are non-motile. Both astrocytes and NG2-glia display a stellate morphology and express ion channels and receptors to neurotransmitters used by neurons. Both types of glia make intimate contacts with neurons in grey and white matter, and their functional differences and similarities are only beginning to be unravelled. Recent observations emphasize the need to examine the relationship between astrocytes and NG2-glia, and address the question of whether they represent overlapping or two distinct glial cell populations. To be of any relevance, this classification must relate to specific functions in the neural network. At present, the balance of evidence is that NG2-glia and astrocytes are functionally segregated populations. PMID:16367796

  10. Accumulation of silver nanoparticles by cultured primary brain astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Luther, Eva M; Koehler, Yvonne; Diendorf, Joerg; Epple, Matthias; Dringen, Ralf

    2011-09-16

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are components of various food industry products and are frequently used for medical equipment and materials. Although such particles enter the vertebrate brain, little is known on their biocompatibility for brain cells. To study the consequences of an AgNP exposure of brain cells we have treated astrocyte-rich primary cultures with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated AgNP. The incubation of cultured astrocytes with micromolar concentrations of AgNP for up to 24 h resulted in a time- and concentration-dependent accumulation of silver, but did not compromise the cell viability nor lower the cellular glutathione content. In contrast, the incubation of astrocytes for 4 h with identical amounts of silver as AgNO(3) already severely compromised the cell viability and completely deprived the cells of glutathione. The accumulation of AgNP by astrocytes was proportional to the concentration of AgNP applied and significantly lowered by about 30% in the presence of the endocytosis inhibitors chloroquine or amiloride. Incubation at 4 °C reduced the accumulation of AgNP by 80% compared to the values obtained for cells that had been exposed to AgNP at 37 °C. These data demonstrate that viable cultured brain astrocytes efficiently accumulate PVP-coated AgNP in a temperature-dependent process that most likely involves endocytotic pathways.

  11. Interferon-Gamma Promotes Infection of Astrocytes by Trypanosoma cruzi

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Rafael Rodrigues; Mariante, Rafael M.; Silva, Andrea Alice; dos Santos, Ana Luiza Barbosa; Roffê, Ester; Santiago, Helton; Gazzinelli, Ricardo Tostes; Lannes-Vieira, Joseli

    2015-01-01

    The inflammatory cytokine interferon-gamma (IFNγ) is crucial for immunity against intracellular pathogens such as the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease (CD). IFNγ is a pleiotropic cytokine which regulates activation of immune and non-immune cells; however, the effect of IFNγ in the central nervous system (CNS) and astrocytes during CD is unknown. Here we show that parasite persists in the CNS of C3H/He mice chronically infected with the Colombian T. cruzi strain despite the increased expression of IFNγ mRNA. Furthermore, most of the T. cruzi-bearing cells were astrocytes located near IFNγ+ cells. Surprisingly, in vitro experiments revealed that pretreatment with IFNγ promoted the infection of astrocytes by T. cruzi increasing uptake and proliferation of intracellular forms, despite inducing increased production of nitric oxide (NO). Importantly, the effect of IFNγ on T. cruzi uptake and growth is completely blocked by the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antibody Infliximab and partially blocked by the inhibitor of nitric oxide synthesis L-NAME. These data support that IFNγ fuels astrocyte infection by T. cruzi and critically implicate IFNγ-stimulated T. cruzi-infected astrocytes as sources of TNF and NO, which may contribute to parasite persistence and CNS pathology in CD. PMID:25695249

  12. Potential protective effects of autophagy activated in MPP+ treated astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Cunzhou; Xian, Wenbiao; Zhou, Hongyan; Chen, Ling; Pei, Zhong

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes, which have various important functions, have previously been associated with Parkinsons disease (PD), particularly in 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) models of PD. MPP+ is the toxic metabolite of MPTP and is generated by the enzymatic activity of monoamine oxidase B, which is predominantly located in astrocytes. MPP+ acts as a mitochondrial complex I inhibitor. Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved self-digestion pathway in eukaryotic cells, which occurs in response to various types of stress, including starvation and oxidative stress. Lithium treatment has previously been shown to induce autophagy in astrocytes by inhibiting the enzyme inositol monophosphatase, which may aid in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington's disease, in which the toxic protein is an autophagy substrate. Therefore, using western blotting and MTT assay, the present study aimed to investigate the protective effects of lithium-induced autophagy against astrocyte injury caused by MPP+ treatment, as well as the potential underlying mechanisms. The results of the present study suggested that lithium was able to induce autophagy in astrocytes treated with MPP+, and this likely occurred via activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT pathway. PMID:27882077

  13. Methylene blue protects astrocytes against glucose oxygen deprivation by improving cellular respiration.

    PubMed

    Roy Choudhury, Gourav; Winters, Ali; Rich, Ryan M; Ryou, Myoung-Gwi; Gryczynski, Zygmunt; Yuan, Fang; Yang, Shao-Hua; Liu, Ran

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes outnumber neurons and serve many metabolic and trophic functions in the mammalian brain. Preserving astrocytes is critical for normal brain function as well as for protecting the brain against various insults. Our previous studies have indicated that methylene blue (MB) functions as an alternative electron carrier and enhances brain metabolism. In addition, MB has been shown to be protective against neurodegeneration and brain injury. In the current study, we investigated the protective role of MB in astrocytes. Cell viability assays showed that MB treatment significantly protected primary astrocytes from oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) & reoxygenation induced cell death. We also studied the effect of MB on cellular oxygen and glucose metabolism in primary astrocytes following OGD-reoxygenation injury. MB treatment significantly increased cellular oxygen consumption, glucose uptake and ATP production in primary astrocytes. In conclusion our study demonstrated that MB protects astrocytes against OGD-reoxygenation injury by improving astrocyte cellular respiration.

  14. Isolation of intact astrocytes from the optic nerve head of adult mice.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hee Joo; Sun, Daniel; Jakobs, Tatjana C

    2015-08-01

    The astrocytes of the optic nerve head are a specialized subtype of white matter astrocytes that form the direct cellular environment of the unmyelinated ganglion cell axons. Due to their potential involvement in glaucoma, these astrocytes have become a target of research. Due to the heterogeneity of the optic nerve tissue, which also contains other cell types, in some cases it may be desirable to conduct gene expression studies on small numbers of well-characterized astrocytes or even individual cells. Here, we describe a simple method to isolate individual astrocytes. This method permits obtaining astrocytes with intact morphology from the adult mouse optic nerve and reduces contamination of the isolated astrocytes by other cell types. Individual astrocytes can be recognized by their morphology and collected under microscopic control. The whole procedure can be completed in 2-3 h. We also discuss downstream applications like multiplex single-cell PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR).

  15. Adaptive autophagy in Alexander disease-affected astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Tang, Guomei; Yue, Zhenyu; Tallóczy, Zsolt; Goldman, James E

    2008-07-01

    The ubiquitin-proteasome and autophagy-lysosomal pathways are the two main routes of protein and organelle clearance in eukaryotic cells. The proteasome system is responsible for unfolded, short-lived proteins, which precludes the clearance of oligomeric and aggregated proteins, whereas macroautophagy, a process generally referred to as autophagy, mediates mainly the bulk degradation of long-lived cytoplasmic proteins, large protein complexes or organelles.(1) Recently, the autophagy-lysosomal pathway has been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders as an important pathway for the clearance of abnormally accumulated intracellular proteins, such as huntingtin, tau, and mutant and modified α-synuclein.(1-6) Our recent study illustrated the induction of adaptive autophagy in response to mutant glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) accumulation in astrocytes, in the brains of patients with Alexander disease (AxD), and in mutant GFAP knock-in mouse brains.(7) This autophagic response is negatively regulated by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). The activation of p38 MAPK by GFAP accumulation is responsible for mTOR inactivation and the induction of autophagy. We also found that the accumulation of GFAP impairs proteasome activity.(8) In this commentary we discuss the potential compensatory relationship between an impaired proteasome and activated autophagy, and propose that the MLK-MAPK (mixed lineage kinase-mitogen-activated protein kinase) cascade is a regulator of this crosstalk. Addendum to: Tang G, Yue Z, Talloczy, Z, Hagemann T, Cho W, Sulzer D, Messing A, Goldman JE. Alexander disease-mutant GFAP accumulation stimulates autophagy through p38 MAPK and mTOR signaling pathways. Hum Mol Genetics 2008; In press.

  16. Preclinical Studies of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Astrocyte Transplantation in ALS

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-10-01

    Pluripotent Stem Cell -Derived Astrocyte Transplantation in ALS PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Nicholas J. Maragakis, M.D...Pluripotent Stem Cell -Derived Astrocyte Transplantation in ALS 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-10-1-0520 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d...into astrocytes following transplantation. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Stem Cells , iPS cells , astrocytes, familial ALS 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF

  17. Gene expression in temporal lobe epilepsy is consistent with increased release of glutamate by astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tih-Shih; Mane, Shrikant; Eid, Tore; Zhao, Hongyu; Lin, Aiping; Guan, Zhong; Kim, Jung H; Schweitzer, Jeffrey; King-Stevens, David; Weber, Peter; Spencer, Susan S; Spencer, Dennis D; de Lanerolle, Nihal C

    2007-01-01

    Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) often have a shrunken hippocampus that is known to be the location in which seizures originate. The role of the sclerotic hippocampus in the causation and maintenance of seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) has remained incompletely understood despite extensive neuropathological investigations of this substrate. To gain new insights and develop new testable hypotheses on the role of sclerosis in the pathophysiology of TLE, the differential gene expression profile was studied. To this end, DNA microarray analysis was used to compare gene expression profiles in sclerotic and non-sclerotic hippocampi surgically removed from TLE patients. Sclerotic hippocampi had transcriptional signatures that were different from non-sclerotic hippocampi. The differentially expressed gene set in sclerotic hippocampi revealed changes in several molecular signaling pathways, which included the increased expression of genes associated with astrocyte structure (glial fibrillary acidic protein, ezrin-moesin-radixin, palladin), calcium regulation (S100 calcium binding protein beta, chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4) and blood-brain barrier function (Aquaaporin 4, Chemokine (C-C- motif) ligand 2, Chemokine (C-C- motif) ligand 3, Plectin 1, intermediate filament binding protein 55kDa) and inflammatory responses. Immunohistochemical localization studies show that there is altered distribution of the gene-associated proteins in astrocytes from sclerotic foci compared with non-sclerotic foci. It is hypothesized that the astrocytes in sclerotic tissue have activated molecular pathways that could lead to enhanced release of glutamate by these cells. Such glutamate release may excite surrounding neurons and elicit seizure activity.

  18. Selective astrocytic endothelin-1 overexpression contributes to dementia associated with ischemic stroke by exaggerating astrocyte-derived amyloid secretion

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Victor K L; Yeung, Patrick K K; Lai, Angela K W; Ho, Maggie C Y; Lo, Amy C Y; Chan, Kevin C; Wu, Ed X K; Chung, Stephen S M; Cheung, Chi W; Chung, Sookja K

    2015-01-01

    Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is synthesized by endothelial cells and astrocytes in stroke and in brains of Alzheimer's disease patients. Our transgenic mice with ET-1 overexpression in the endothelial cells (TET-1) showed more severe blood–brain barrier (BBB) breakdown, neuronal apoptosis, and glial reactivity after 2-hour transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) with 22-hour reperfusion and more severe cognitive deficits after 30 minutes tMCAO with 5 months reperfusion. However, the role of astrocytic ET-1 in contributing to poststroke cognitive deficits after tMCAO is largely unknown. Therefore, GET-1 mice were challenged with tMCAO to determine its effect on neurologic and cognitive deficit. The GET-1 mice transiently displayed a sensorimotor deficit after reperfusion that recovered shortly, then more severe deficit in spatial learning and memory was observed at 3 months after ischemia compared with that of the controls. Upregulation of TNF-α, cleaved caspase-3, and Thioflavin-S-positive aggregates was observed in the ipsilateral hemispheres of the GET-1 brains as early as 3 days after ischemia. In an in vitro study, ET-1 overexpressing astrocytic cells showed amyloid secretion after hypoxia/ischemia insult, which activated endothelin A (ETA) and endothelin B (ETB) receptors in a PI3K/AKT-dependent manner, suggesting role of astrocytic ET-1 in dementia associated with stroke by astrocyte-derived amyloid production. PMID:26104290

  19. Triptolide upregulates NGF synthesis in rat astrocyte cultures.

    PubMed

    Xue, Bing; Jiao, Jian; Zhang, Lei; Li, Kai-Rong; Gong, Yun-Tao; Xie, Jun-Xia; Wang, Xiao-Min

    2007-07-01

    Triptolide (T10), an extract from the traditional Chinese herb, Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TWHF), has been shown to attenuate the rotational behavior induced by D: -amphetamine and prevent the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra in rat models of Parkinson's disease. To examine if the neuroprotective effect is mediated by its stimulation of production of neurotrophic factors from astrocytes, we investigated the effect of T10 on synthesis and release of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in rat astrocyte cultures. T10 did not affect the synthesis and release of either BDNF or GDNF. However, it significantly increased NGF mRNA expression. It also increased both intracellular NGF and NGF level in culture medium. These results indicate that the neuroprotective effect of T10 might be mediated, at least in part, via a stimulation of the production and release of NGF in astrocytes.

  20. Astrocytes as an HIV Reservoir: Mechanism of HIV Infection.

    PubMed

    Li, Guan-Han; Henderson, Lisa; Nath, Avindra

    2016-01-01

    If we have any hope of achieving a cure for HIV infection, close attention to the cell types capable of getting infected with HIV is necessary. Of these cell types, astrocytes are the most ideal cell type for the formation of such a reservoir. These are long-lived cells with a very low turnover rate and are found in the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. Although astrocytes are evidently resistant to infection of cell-free HIV in vitro, these cells are efficiently infected via cell-tocell contact by which immature HIV virions bud off lymphocytes and have the ability to directly bind to CXCR4, triggering the process of fusion in the absence of CD4. In this review, we closely examine the evidence for HIV infection of astrocytes in the brain and the mechanisms for viral entry and regulation in this cell type, and discuss an approach for controlling this viral reservoir.

  1. Diverse subtypes of astrocytes and their development during corticogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Tabata, Hidenori

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes are one of the most abundant cell types in the mammalian central nervous system, and are known to have a wide variety of physiological functions, including maintenance of neurons, formation of the blood brain barrier, and regulation of synapse functions. Although the migration and positioning of neurons has been extensively studied over the last several decades and many aspects have been uncovered, the process underlying glial development was largely unknown until recently due to the existence of multiple subtypes of glia and the sustained proliferative ability of these cells through adulthood. To overcome these difficulties, new gene transfer techniques and genetically modified mice were developed, and have been gradually revealing when and how astrocytes develop during corticogenesis. In this paper, I review the diversity of astrocytes and summarize our knowledge about their production and migration. PMID:25904839

  2. Glioactive ATP controls BDNF recycling in cortical astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Vignoli, Beatrice; Canossa, Marco

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT We have recently reported that long-term memory retention requires synaptic glia for proBDNF uptake and recycling. Through the recycling course, glial cells release endocytic BDNF, a mechanism that is activated in response to glutamate via AMPA and mGluRI/II receptors. Cortical astrocytes express receptors for many different transmitters suggesting for a complex signaling controlling endocytic BDNF secretion. Here, we demonstrated that the extracellular nucleotide ATP, activating P2X and P2Y receptors, regulates endocytic BDNF secretion in cultured astrocytes. Our data indicate that distinct glioactive molecules can participate in BDNF glial recycling and suggest that cortical astrocytes contributing to neuronal plasticity can be influenced by neurotransmitters in tune with synaptic needs. PMID:28289489

  3. Are astrocytes executive cells within the central nervous system?

    PubMed

    Sica, Roberto E; Caccuri, Roberto; Quarracino, Cecilia; Capani, Francisco

    2016-08-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that astrocytes play a crucial role in the physiology of the central nervous system (CNS) by modulating synaptic activity and plasticity. Based on what is currently known we postulate that astrocytes are fundamental, along with neurons, for the information processing that takes place within the CNS. On the other hand, experimental findings and human observations signal that some of the primary degenerative diseases of the CNS, like frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's dementia, Huntington's dementia, primary cerebellar ataxias and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, all of which affect the human species exclusively, may be due to astroglial dysfunction. This hypothesis is supported by observations that demonstrated that the killing of neurons by non-neural cells plays a major role in the pathogenesis of those diseases, at both their onset and their progression. Furthermore, recent findings suggest that astrocytes might be involved in the pathogenesis of some psychiatric disorders as well.

  4. The Indispensable Roles of Microglia and Astrocytes during Brain Development

    PubMed Central

    Reemst, Kitty; Noctor, Stephen C.; Lucassen, Paul J.; Hol, Elly M.

    2016-01-01

    Glia are essential for brain functioning during development and in the adult brain. Here, we discuss the various roles of both microglia and astrocytes, and their interactions during brain development. Although both cells are fundamentally different in origin and function, they often affect the same developmental processes such as neuro-/gliogenesis, angiogenesis, axonal outgrowth, synaptogenesis and synaptic pruning. Due to their important instructive roles in these processes, dysfunction of microglia or astrocytes during brain development could contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders and potentially even late-onset neuropathology. A better understanding of the origin, differentiation process and developmental functions of microglia and astrocytes will help to fully appreciate their role both in the developing as well as in the adult brain, in health and disease. PMID:27877121

  5. Autophagy in astrocytes: a novel culprit in lysosomal storage disorders.

    PubMed

    Di Malta, Chiara; Fryer, John D; Settembre, Carmine; Ballabio, Andrea

    2012-12-01

    Neurodegeneration is a prominent feature of lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs). Emerging data identify autophagy dysfunction in neurons as a major component of the phenotype. However, the autophagy pathway in the CNS has been studied predominantly in neurons, whereas in other cell types it has been largely unexplored. We studied the lysosome-autophagic pathway in astrocytes from a murine model of multiple sulfatase deficiency (MSD), a severe form of LSD. Similar to what was observed in neurons, we found that lysosomal storage in astrocytes impairs autophagosome maturation and this, in turn, has an impact upon the survival of cortical neurons and accounts for some of the neurological features found in MSD. Thus, our data indicate that lysosomal/autophagic dysfunction in astrocytes is an important component of neurodegeneration in LSDs.

  6. Neuron–astrocyte interactions in neurodegenerative diseases: Role of neuroinflammation

    PubMed Central

    Rama Rao, Kakulavarapu V.; Kielian, Tammy

    2015-01-01

    Selective neuron loss in discrete brain regions is a hallmark of various neurodegenerative disorders, although the mechanisms responsible for this regional vulnerability of neurons remain largely unknown. Earlier studies attributed neuron dysfunction and eventual loss during neurodegenerative diseases as exclusively cell autonomous. Although cell-intrinsic factors are one critical aspect in dictating neuron death, recent evidence also supports the involvement of other central nervous system cell types in propagating non-cell autonomous neuronal injury during neurodegenerative diseases. One such example is astrocytes, which support neuronal and synaptic function, but can also contribute to neuroinflammatory processes through robust chemokine secretion. Indeed, aberrations in astrocyte function have been shown to negatively impact neuronal integrity in several neurological diseases. The present review focuses on neuroinflammatory paradigms influenced by neuron–astrocyte cross-talk in the context of select neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26543505

  7. Astrocytes from old Alzheimer's disease mice are impaired in Aβ uptake and in neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Iram, Tal; Trudler, Dorit; Kain, David; Kanner, Sivan; Galron, Ronit; Vassar, Robert; Barzilai, Ari; Blinder, Pablo; Fishelson, Zvi; Frenkel, Dan

    2016-12-01

    In Alzheimer's disease (AD), astrocytes undergo morphological changes ranging from atrophy to hypertrophy, but the effect of such changes at the functional level is still largely unknown. Here, we aimed to investigate whether alterations in astrocyte activity in AD are transient and depend on their microenvironment, or whether they are irreversible. We established and characterized a new protocol for the isolation of adult astrocytes and discovered that astrocytes isolated from old 5xFAD mice have higher GFAP expression than astrocytes derived from WT mice, as observed in vivo. We found high C1q levels in brain sections from old 5xFAD mice in close vicinity to amyloid plaques and astrocyte processes. Interestingly, while old 5xFAD astrocytes are impaired in uptake of soluble Aβ42, this effect was reversed upon an addition of exogenous C1q, suggesting a potential role for C1q in astrocyte-mediated Aβ clearance. Our results suggest that scavenger receptor B1 plays a role in C1q-facilitated Aβ uptake by astrocytes and that expression of scavenger receptor B1 is reduced in adult old 5xFAD astrocytes. Furthermore, old 5xFAD astrocytes show impairment in support of neuronal growth in co-culture and neurotoxicity concomitant with an elevation in IL-6 expression. Further understanding of the impact of astrocyte impairment on AD pathology may provide insights into the etiology of AD.

  8. Astrocytes in Oligodendrocyte Lineage Development and White Matter Pathology.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiasi; Zhang, Lei; Chu, Yongxin; Namaka, Michael; Deng, Benqiang; Kong, Jiming; Bi, Xiaoying

    2016-01-01

    White matter is primarily composed of myelin and myelinated axons. Structural and functional completeness of myelin is critical for the reliable and efficient transmission of information. White matter injury has been associated with the development of many demyelinating diseases. Despite a variety of scientific advances aimed at promoting re-myelination, their benefit has proven at best to be marginal. Research suggests that the failure of the re-myelination process may be the result of an unfavorable microenvironment. Astrocytes, are the most ample and diverse type of glial cells in central nervous system (CNS) which display multiple functions for the cells of the oligodendrocytes lineage. As such, much attention has recently been drawn to astrocyte function in terms of white matter myelin repair. They are different in white matter from those in gray matter in specific regards to development, morphology, location, protein expression and other supportive functions. During the process of demyelination and re-myelination, the functions of astrocytes are dynamic in that they are able to change functions in accordance to different time points, triggers or reactive pathways resulting in vastly different biologic effects. They have pivotal effects on oligodendrocytes and other cell types in the oligodendrocyte lineage by serving as an energy supplier, a participant of immunological and inflammatory functions, a source of trophic factors and iron and a sustainer of homeostasis. Astrocytic impairment has been shown to be directly linked to the development of neuromyelities optica (NMO). In addition, astroctyes have also been implicated in other white matter conditions such as psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Inhibiting specifically detrimental signaling pathways in astrocytes while preserving their beneficial functions may be a promising approach for

  9. Astrocytes in Oligodendrocyte Lineage Development and White Matter Pathology

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiasi; Zhang, Lei; Chu, Yongxin; Namaka, Michael; Deng, Benqiang; Kong, Jiming; Bi, Xiaoying

    2016-01-01

    White matter is primarily composed of myelin and myelinated axons. Structural and functional completeness of myelin is critical for the reliable and efficient transmission of information. White matter injury has been associated with the development of many demyelinating diseases. Despite a variety of scientific advances aimed at promoting re-myelination, their benefit has proven at best to be marginal. Research suggests that the failure of the re-myelination process may be the result of an unfavorable microenvironment. Astrocytes, are the most ample and diverse type of glial cells in central nervous system (CNS) which display multiple functions for the cells of the oligodendrocytes lineage. As such, much attention has recently been drawn to astrocyte function in terms of white matter myelin repair. They are different in white matter from those in gray matter in specific regards to development, morphology, location, protein expression and other supportive functions. During the process of demyelination and re-myelination, the functions of astrocytes are dynamic in that they are able to change functions in accordance to different time points, triggers or reactive pathways resulting in vastly different biologic effects. They have pivotal effects on oligodendrocytes and other cell types in the oligodendrocyte lineage by serving as an energy supplier, a participant of immunological and inflammatory functions, a source of trophic factors and iron and a sustainer of homeostasis. Astrocytic impairment has been shown to be directly linked to the development of neuromyelities optica (NMO). In addition, astroctyes have also been implicated in other white matter conditions such as psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Inhibiting specifically detrimental signaling pathways in astrocytes while preserving their beneficial functions may be a promising approach for

  10. KSRP: A Checkpoint for Inflammatory Cytokine Production in Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    LI, XUELIN; LIN, WEI-JYE; CHEN, CHING-YI; SI, YING; ZHANG, XIAOWEN; LU, LIANG; SUSWAM, ESTHER; ZHENG, LEI; KING, PETER H.

    2013-01-01

    Chronic inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS) is a central feature of many neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. As an immunologically competent cell, the astrocyte plays an important role in CNS inflammation. It is capable of expressing a number of cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) that promote inflammation directly and through the recruitment of immune cells. Checkpoints are therefore in place to keep tight control over cytokine production. Adenylate/uridylate-rich elements (ARE) in the 3′ untranslated region of cytokine mRNAs serve as a major checkpoint by regulating mRNA stability and translational efficiency. Here, we examined the impact of KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KSRP), an RNA binding protein which destabilizes mRNAs via the ARE, on cytokine expression and paracrine phenotypes of primary astrocytes. We identified a network of inflammatory mediators, including TNF-α and IL-1β, whose expression increased 2 to 4-fold at the RNA level in astrocytes isolated from KSRP−/− mice compared to littermate controls. Upon activation, KSRP−/− astrocytes produced TNF-α and IL-1β at levels that exceeded control cells by 15-fold or more. Conditioned media from KSRP−/− astrocytes induced chemotaxis and neuronal cell death in vitro. Surprisingly, we observed a prolongation of half-life in only a subset of mRNA targets and only after selective astrocyte activation. Luciferase reporter studies indicated that KSRP regulates cytokine gene expression at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Our results outline a critical role for KSRP in regulating pro-inflammatory mediators and have implications for a wide range of CNS inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. PMID:22847996

  11. Temporary sequestration of potassium by mitochondria in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Kozoriz, Michael G; Church, John; Ozog, Mark A; Naus, Christian C; Krebs, Claudia

    2010-10-08

    Increases in extracellular potassium concentration ([K(+)](o)), which can occur during neuronal activity and under pathological conditions such as ischemia, lead to a variety of potentially detrimental effects on neuronal function. Although astrocytes are known to contribute to the clearance of excess K(+)(o), the mechanisms are not fully understood. We examined the potential role of mitochondria in sequestering K(+) in astrocytes. Astrocytes were loaded with the fluorescent K(+) indicator PBFI and release of K(+) from mitochondria into the cytoplasm was examined after uncoupling the mitochondrial membrane potential with carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP). Under the experimental conditions employed, transient applications of elevated [K(+)](o) led to increases in K(+) within mitochondria, as assessed by increases in the magnitudes of cytoplasmic [K(+)] ([K(+)](i)) transients evoked by brief exposures to CCCP. When mitochondrial K(+) sequestration was impaired by prolonged application of CCCP, there was a robust increase in [K(+)](i) upon exposure to elevated [K(+)](o). Blockade of plasmalemmal K(+) uptake routes by ouabain, Ba(2+), or a mixture of voltage-activated K(+) channel inhibitors reduced K(+) uptake into mitochondria. Also, reductions in mitochondrial K(+) uptake occurred in the presence of mito-K(ATP) channel inhibitors. Rises in [K(+)](i) evoked by brief applications of CCCP following exposure to high [K(+)](o) were also reduced by gap junction blockers and in astrocytes isolated from connexin43-null mice, suggesting that connexins also play a role in K(+) uptake into astrocyte mitochondria. We conclude that mitochondria play a key role in K(+)(o) handling by astrocytes.

  12. TNF-alpha/IFN-gamma-induced iNOS expression increased by prostaglandin E2 in rat primary astrocytes via EP2-evoked cAMP/PKA and intracellular calcium signaling.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Han-Yun; Mak, Oi-Tong; Yang, Chung-Shi; Liu, Yu-Peng; Fang, Kuan-Ming; Tzeng, Shun-Fen

    2007-01-15

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glia in the central nervous system (CNS), produce a large amount of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) in response to proinflammatory mediators after CNS injury. However, it is unclear whether PGE(2) has a regulatory role in astrocytic activity under the inflamed condition. In the present work, we showed that PGE(2) increased inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) production by tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma (T/I) in astrocytes. Pharmacological and RNA interference approaches further indicated the involvement of the receptor EP2 in PGE(2)-induced iNOS upregulation in T/I-treated astrocytes. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and gel mobility shift assays also demonstrated that PGE(2) increased iNOS transcription through EP2-induced cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent pathway. Consistently, the effect of EP2 was significantly attenuated by the PKA inhibitor KT-5720 and partially suppressed by the inhibitor (SB203580) of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), which serves as one of the downstream components of the PKA-dependent pathway. Interestingly, EP2-mediated PKA signaling appeared to increase intracellular Ca(2+) release through inositol triphosphate (IP3) receptor activation, which might in turn stimulate protein kinase C (PKC) activation to promote iNOS production in T/I-primed astrocytes. By analyzing the expression of astrocytic glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), we found that PGE(2) alone only triggered the EP2-induced cAMP/PKA/p38MAPK signaling pathway in astrocytes. Collectively, PGE(2) may enhance T/I-induced astrocytic activation by augmenting iNOS/NO production through EP2-mediated cross-talk between cAMP/PKA and IP3/Ca(2+) signaling pathways.

  13. Dual role of astrocytes in perinatal asphyxia injury and neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Romero, J; Muñiz, J; Logica Tornatore, T; Holubiec, M; González, J; Barreto, G E; Guelman, L; Lillig, C H; Blanco, E; Capani, F

    2014-04-17

    Perinatal asphyxia represents an important cause of severe neurological deficits including delayed mental and motor development, epilepsy, major cognitive deficits and blindness. However, at the moment, most of the therapeutic strategies were not well targeted toward the processes that induced the brain injury during perinatal asphyxia. Traditionally, experimental research focused on neurons, whereas astrocytes have been more related with the damage mechanisms of perinatal asphyxia. In this work, we propose to review possible protective as well as deleterious roles of astrocytes in the asphyctic brain with the aim to stimulate further research in this area of perinatal asphyxia still not well studied.

  14. Self-renewal and differentiation of reactive astrocyte-derived neural stem/progenitor cells isolated from the cortical peri-infarct area after stroke.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Issei S; LeComte, Matthew D; Granger, Jerrica C; Quinlan, Noah J; Spees, Jeffrey L

    2012-06-06

    In response to stroke, subpopulations of cortical reactive astrocytes proliferate and express proteins commonly associated with neural stem/progenitor cells such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and Nestin. To examine the stem cell-related properties of cortical reactive astrocytes after injury, we generated GFAP-CreER(TM);tdRFP mice to permanently label reactive astrocytes. We isolated cells from the cortical peri-infarct area 3 d after stroke, and cultured them in neural stem cell medium containing epidermal growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor. We observed tdRFP-positive neural spheres in culture, suggestive of tdRFP-positive reactive astrocyte-derived neural stem/progenitor cells (Rad-NSCs). Cultured Rad-NSCs self-renewed and differentiated into neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Pharmacological inhibition and conditional knock-out mouse studies showed that Presenilin 1 and Notch 1 controlled neural sphere formation by Rad-NSCs after stroke. To examine the self-renewal and differentiation potential of Rad-NSCs in vivo, Rad-NSCs were transplanted into embryonic, neonatal, and adult mouse brains. Transplanted Rad-NSCs were observed to persist in the subventricular zone and secondary Rad-NSCs were isolated from the host brain 28 d after transplantation. In contrast with neurogenic postnatal day 4 NSCs and adult NSCs from the subventricular zone, transplanted Rad-NSCs differentiated into astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, but not neurons, demonstrating that Rad-NSCs had restricted differentiation in vivo. Our results indicate that Rad-NSCs are unlikely to be suitable for neuronal replacement in the absence of genetic or epigenetic modification.

  15. Disruption of IP₃R2-mediated Ca²⁺ signaling pathway in astrocytes ameliorates neuronal death and brain damage while reducing behavioral deficits after focal ischemic stroke.

    PubMed

    Li, Hailong; Xie, Yicheng; Zhang, Nannan; Yu, Yang; Zhang, Qiao; Ding, Shinghua

    2015-12-01

    Inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R)-mediated intracellular Ca(2+) increase is the major Ca(2+) signaling pathway in astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). Ca(2+) increases in astrocytes have been found to modulate neuronal function through gliotransmitter release. We previously demonstrated that astrocytes exhibit enhanced Ca(2+) signaling in vivo after photothrombosis (PT)-induced ischemia, which is largely due to the activation of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). The aim of this study is to investigate the role of astrocytic IP3R-mediated Ca(2+) signaling in neuronal death, brain damage and behavior outcomes after PT. For this purpose, we conducted experiments using homozygous type 2 IP3R (IP3R2) knockout (KO) mice. Histological and immunostaining studies showed that IP3R2 KO mice were indeed deficient in IP3R2 in astrocytes and exhibited normal brain cytoarchitecture. IP3R2 KO mice also had the same densities of S100β+ astrocytes and NeuN+ neurons in the cortices, and exhibited the same glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and glial glutamate transporter (GLT-1) levels in the cortices and hippocampi as compared with wild type (WT) mice. Two-photon (2-P) imaging showed that IP3R2 KO mice did not exhibit ATP-induced Ca(2+) waves in vivo in the astrocytic network, which verified the disruption of IP3R-mediated Ca(2+) signaling in astrocytes of these mice. When subject to PT, IP3R2 KO mice had smaller infarction than WT mice in acute and chronic phases of ischemia. IP3R2 KO mice also exhibited less neuronal apoptosis, reactive astrogliosis, and tissue loss than WT mice. Behavioral tests, including cylinder, hanging wire, pole and adhesive tests, showed that IP3R2 KO mice exhibited reduced functional deficits after PT. Collectively, our study demonstrates that disruption of astrocytic Ca(2+) signaling by deleting IP3R2s has beneficial effects on neuronal and brain protection and functional deficits after stroke. These findings reveal a novel non

  16. High effective cytosolic H+ buffering in mouse cortical astrocytes attributable to fast bicarbonate transport.

    PubMed

    Theparambil, Shefeeq M; Deitmer, Joachim W

    2015-09-01

    Cytosolic H(+) buffering plays a major role for shaping intracellular H(+) shifts and hence for the availability of H(+) for biochemical reactions and acid/base-coupled transport processes. H(+) buffering is one of the prime means to protect the cell from large acid/base shifts. We have used the H(+) indicator dye BCECF and confocal microscopy to monitor the cytosolic H(+) concentration, [H(+)]i, in cultured cortical astrocytes of wild-type mice and of mice deficient in sodium/bicarbonate cotransporter NBCe1 (NBCe1-KO) or in carbonic anhydrase isoform II (CAII-KO). The steady-state buffer strength was calculated from the amplitude of [H(+)]i transients as evoked by CO2/HCO3(-) and by butyric acid in the presence and absence of CO2/HCO3(-). We tested the hypotheses if, in addition to instantaneous physicochemical H(+) buffering, rapid acid/base transport across the cell membrane contributes to the total, "effective" cytosolic H(+) buffering. In the presence of 5% CO2/26 mM HCO3(-), H(+) buffer strength in astrocytes was increased 4-6 fold, as compared with that in non-bicarbonate, HEPES-buffered solution, which was largely attributable to fast HCO3 (-) transport into the cells via NBCe1, supported by CAII activity. Our results show that within the time frame of determining physiological H(+) buffering in cells, fast transport and equilibration of CO2/H(+)/HCO3(-) can make a major contribution to the total "effective" H(+) buffer strength. Thus, "effective" cellular H(+) buffering is, to a large extent, attributable to membrane transport of base equivalents rather than a purely passive physicochemical process, and can be much larger than reported so far. Not only physicochemical H(+) buffering, but also rapid import of HCO3(-) via the electrogenic sodium-bicarbonate cotransporter NBCe1, supported by carbonic anhydrase II (CA II), was identified to enhance cytosolic H(+) buffer strength substantially.

  17. Anisotonic media and glutamate-induced ion transport and volume responses in primary astrocyte cultures.

    PubMed

    Kimelberg, H K

    1987-01-01

    1. The responses of primary monolayer astrocyte cultures prepared from neonatal rat brains to hyper- and hypotonic media and to the addition of L-glutamic acid were examined as part of a systematic approach to use these cultures to obtain information on the mechanisms of the volume changes seen in astroglial cells in situ. 2. Addition of 200 mM mannitol to the medium to make it hypertonic caused cell shrinkage as measured with [14C]3-O-methyl-D-glucose, and also activated K+ and Cl- uptake measured with 86Rb+ and 36Cl- respectively. The increased ion uptake was completely inhibited by 0.1 mM bumetanide, showing that the Na+ + K+ + 2 Cl- co-transport system was being activated by cell shrinkage. 3. Studies of 86Rb+ uptake as a function of external K+ and hypertonic media showed a complex pattern. Increased bumetanide-sensitive, hypertonic-stimulated uptake of 86Rb+ was seen up to 20 mM K+0, with maximum stimulation being first reached at around 2 to 5 mM K+. At concentrations greater than 20 mM K+0 there was a further increase in bumetanide-sensitive 86Rb+ uptake, but there was no stimulation of this uptake by hypertonicity. There were also increases in bumetanide-insensitive 86Rb+ fluxes at [K+]0 higher than 20 mM that may have been due to opening of voltage-dependent K+ channels; this increased 86Rb+ flux was decreased in hypertonic medium. 4. When primary astrocyte cultures were swollen in hypotonic medium there was a rapid increase in volume as measured with [14C] 3-O-methyl-D-glucose, which then decreased in the continued presence of hypotonic medium. Thus, these cells exhibit volume regulatory decrease or RVD, as described for other cells. The possible ionic bases of this phenomenon have not yet been fully examined but the initial RVD did not appear to stimulate a furosemide-sensitive cotransport system. 5. Glutamate has been implicated as a possible endogenous effector of volume change in astrocytes. In the presence of ouabain, L-glutamate led to swelling of

  18. Angiotensin III stimulates ERK1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinases and astrocyte growth in cultured rat astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Clark, Michelle A; Tran, Hsieu; Nguyen, Chinh

    2011-10-01

    Angiotensin (Ang) III is a biologically active metabolite of Ang II with similar effects and receptor binding properties as Ang II. Most Ang III studies delineate physiological effects of the peptide but, the intracellular pathways leading to the actions are unknown and are a focus of these studies. We investigated in cultured brainstem and cerebellum rat astrocytes whether Ang III stimulates ERK1/2 mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinases and astrocyte growth. Ang III significantly stimulated ERK1/2 MAP kinases in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The maximal stimulation occurred with 100 nM Ang III (2.8±0.3 and 2.3±0.1-fold over basal, in brainstem and cerebellum astrocytes, respectively). This stimulation occurred as early as 1 min, and was sustained for at least 15 min. Moreover, inhibition of the ERK1/2 MAP kinase pathway by 10 μM PD98059 attenuated Ang III-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Ang III induction of ERK1/2 occurred via stimulation of the Ang AT(1) receptor since pretreatment with 10 μM Losartan, a selective AT(1) receptor blocker, prevented Ang III-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation. The selective AT(2) Ang receptor blocker PD123319 was ineffective. Comparable to Ang II, Ang III also stimulated astrocyte growth in a concentration-dependent manner, an effect that occurred via activation of the AT(1) receptor as well. These findings suggest that Ang III has similar effects as Ang II in astrocytes since it rapidly stimulates the phosphorylation of the ERK1/2 MAP kinases and induces astrocyte proliferation through activation of the AT(1) receptor. These studies are important in establishing signaling pathways for Ang III and provide validation of the central role of Ang III.

  19. Oleocanthal Ameliorates Amyloid-β Oligomers Toxicity on Astrocytes and Neuronal Cells: In-vitro Studies.

    PubMed

    Batarseh, Yazan S; Mohamed, Loqman A; Al Rihani, Sweilem B; Mousa, Youssef M; Siddique, Abu Bakar; El Sayed, Khalid A; Kaddoumi, Amal

    2017-04-06

    Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) has several health promoting effects. Evidence have shown that EVOO attenuates the pathology of amyloid-β (Aβ) and improves cognitive function in experimental animal models, suggesting it's potential to protect and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). Available studies have linked this beneficial effect to oleocanthal, one of the active components in EVOO. The effect of oleocanthal against AD pathology has been linked to its ability to attenuate Aβ and tau aggregation in vitro, and enhance Aβ clearance from the brains of wild type and AD transgenic mice in vivo. However, the ability of oleocanthal to alter the toxic effect of Aβ on brain parenchymal cells is unknown. In the current study, we investigated oleocanthal effect on modulating Aβ oligomers (Aβo) pathological events in neurons and astrocytes. Our findings demonstrated oleocanthal prevented Aβo-induced synaptic proteins, SNAP-25 and PSD-95, down-regulation in neurons, and attenuated Aβo-induced inflammation, glutamine transporter (GLT1) and glucose transporter (GLUT1) down-regulation in astrocytes. Aβo-induced inflammation was characterized by interleukin-6 (IL-6) increase and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) upregulation that were reduced by oleocanthal. In conclusion, this study provides further evidence to support the protective effect of EVOO-derived phenolic secoiridoid oleocanthal against AD pathology.

  20. D-ribosylation induces cognitive impairment through RAGE-dependent astrocytic inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Han, C; Lu, Y; Wei, Y; Wu, B; Liu, Y; He, R

    2014-01-01

    Non-enzymatic glycation of proteins by reducing saccharides for instance D-glucose is an important post-translational modification regulating protein function. Already two centuries ago, D-glucose (Glc) was identified in the urine of diabetic patients. Recently, abnormally high level of D-ribose (Rib) in the urine of type 2 diabetics has been discovered, which is highly active in protein glycation, resulting in the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Accumulation of AGEs leads to altered cellular function, for example AGE accumulation in the nervous system impairs cognitive ability, yet the mechanisms mediating this process for Rib are unknown. Here we found that treatment with Rib accelerated AGE formation in U251 and U87MG astrocytoma cells and in mouse brain, inducing upregulation of receptor for AGEs (RAGE). Astrocytoma cells with elevated levels of RAGE displayed enhanced activity of the proinflammatory nuclear transcription factor kappaB and increased expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha and glial fibrillary acidic protein. Moreover, injection of Rib induced astrocyte activation in mouse hippocampus and impaired spatial learning and memory abilities. These results indicate that mouse spatial cognitive impairment caused by Rib-derived AGEs is correlated with activation of an astrocyte-mediated, RAGE-dependent inflammatory response. This study may provide insights into the mechanism of Rib-involved cognitive impairments and diabetic encephalopathy. PMID:24625976

  1. Fluoro-jade B stains quiescent and reactive astrocytes in the rodent spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Kevin J; Fugaccia, Isabella; Scheff, Stephen W

    2003-11-01

    In an attempt to label dying neurons in the injured spinal cord, we used the novel fluorescein derivative Fluoro-Jade B, which has been reported to specifically label dead or dying neurons in the brain. Rats and mice were subjected to a moderate level of spinal cord injury using an IH impact device and sacrificed at 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, and 21 days post injury. Spinal cord tissue was processed for Fluoro-Jade B histochemistry and included sections throughout the injured region of the cord. No Fluoro-Jade positive neurons were observed in sections from any time point postinjury at any level of the spinal cord. Instead, Fluoro-Jade labeled astrocytes in uninjured control animals and injured animals. The specificity of astrocytic staining was confirmed by co-localizaton of Fluoro-Jade with glial fibrillary acidic protein. We also subjected a group of rats to a sequential cortical contusion injury and spinal cord injury. Sections from these animals showed numerous Fluoro-Jade positive neurons in the hippocampal formation and thalamus underlying the cortical contusion; however, the staining pattern in the spinal cord was identical to those animals that had received spinal cord injury alone.

  2. Astrocyte-to-neuron signaling in response to photostimulation with a femtosecond laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yuan; Liu, Xiuli; Zhou, Wei; Zeng, Shaoqun

    2010-08-01

    Conventional stimulation techniques used in studies of astrocyte-to-neuron signaling are invasive or dependent on additional electrical devices or chemicals. Here, we applied photostimulation with a femtosecond laser to selectively stimulate astrocytes in the hippocampal neural network, and the neuronal responses were examined. The results showed that, after photostimulation, cell-specific astrocyte-to-neuron signaling was triggered; sometimes the neuronal responses were even synchronous. Since photostimulation with a femtosecond laser is noninvasive, agent-free, and highly precise, this method has been proved to be efficient in activating astrocytes for investigations of astrocytic functions in neural networks.

  3. Role of Bioflavonoid Quercetin on Expression of Urea Cycle Enzymes, Astrocytic and Inflammatory Markers in Hyperammonemic Rats.

    PubMed

    Kanimozhi, Sivamani; Subramanian, Perumal; Shanmugapriya, Sakkaravarthy; Sathishkumar, Subramanian

    2017-03-01

    This study evaluates the role of quercetin on the expression of urea cycle enzymes, astrocytic, neuronal and inflammatory markers in hyperammonemic rats. Hyperammonemia (provoked by intraperitonial injections of (ammonium chloride-100 mg/kg b.w for 56 days), showed diminished expression of urea cycle enzymes [carbamyl phosphate synthetase-1 (CPS-1), ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC), argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS) and arginase (ARG)] in liver and decreased expression of neuronal and astrocytic markers-glutamine synthase (GS) and phosphate activated glutaminase (PAG) in brain and increased expression of brain inflammatory markers such as interleukin 6 (IL6), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nuclear transcription factor kappa B (NF-κB) (by western blot analysis) and exhibited downregulated expression of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in brain and ASS in liver investigated (by RT-PCR). Oral treatment of quercetin (50 mg/kg b.w) to hyperammonemic rats (1) increased the expression of urea cycle enzymes (CPS-1, OTC, ASS and ARG), neuronal and astrocytic markers (GS and PAG) (2) decreased the expression of IL6, iNOS and NF-κB and (3) upregulated mRNA expression of SGC, GFAP and ASS. Our results specify that quercetin's antihyperammonemic effects could be through its, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and hepatoprotective effects.

  4. Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks.

    PubMed

    Perea, Gertrudis; Gómez, Ricardo; Mederos, Sara; Covelo, Ana; Ballesteros, Jesús J; Schlosser, Laura; Hernández-Vivanco, Alicia; Martín-Fernández, Mario; Quintana, Ruth; Rayan, Abdelrahman; Díez, Adolfo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Agarwal, Amit; Bergles, Dwight E; Bettler, Bernhard; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Martín, Eduardo D; Kirchhoff, Frank; Araque, Alfonso

    2016-12-24

    Interneurons are critical for proper neural network function and can activate Ca(2+) signaling in astrocytes. However, the impact of the interneuron-astrocyte signaling into neuronal network operation remains unknown. Using the simplest hippocampal Astrocyte-Neuron network, i.e., GABAergic interneuron, pyramidal neuron, single CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapse, and astrocytes, we found that interneuron-astrocyte signaling dynamically affected excitatory neurotransmission in an activity- and time-dependent manner, and determined the sign (inhibition vs potentiation) of the GABA-mediated effects. While synaptic inhibition was mediated by GABAA receptors, potentiation involved astrocyte GABAB receptors, astrocytic glutamate release, and presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors. Using conditional astrocyte-specific GABAB receptor (Gabbr1) knockout mice, we confirmed the glial source of the interneuron-induced potentiation, and demonstrated the involvement of astrocytes in hippocampal theta and gamma oscillations in vivo. Therefore, astrocytes decode interneuron activity and transform inhibitory into excitatory signals, contributing to the emergence of novel network properties resulting from the interneuron-astrocyte interplay.

  5. Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks

    PubMed Central

    Perea, Gertrudis; Gómez, Ricardo; Mederos, Sara; Covelo, Ana; Ballesteros, Jesús J; Schlosser, Laura; Hernández-Vivanco, Alicia; Martín-Fernández, Mario; Quintana, Ruth; Rayan, Abdelrahman; Díez, Adolfo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Agarwal, Amit; Bergles, Dwight E; Bettler, Bernhard; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Martín, Eduardo D; Kirchhoff, Frank; Araque, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    Interneurons are critical for proper neural network function and can activate Ca2+ signaling in astrocytes. However, the impact of the interneuron-astrocyte signaling into neuronal network operation remains unknown. Using the simplest hippocampal Astrocyte-Neuron network, i.e., GABAergic interneuron, pyramidal neuron, single CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapse, and astrocytes, we found that interneuron-astrocyte signaling dynamically affected excitatory neurotransmission in an activity- and time-dependent manner, and determined the sign (inhibition vs potentiation) of the GABA-mediated effects. While synaptic inhibition was mediated by GABAA receptors, potentiation involved astrocyte GABAB receptors, astrocytic glutamate release, and presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors. Using conditional astrocyte-specific GABAB receptor (Gabbr1) knockout mice, we confirmed the glial source of the interneuron-induced potentiation, and demonstrated the involvement of astrocytes in hippocampal theta and gamma oscillations in vivo. Therefore, astrocytes decode interneuron activity and transform inhibitory into excitatory signals, contributing to the emergence of novel network properties resulting from the interneuron-astrocyte interplay. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20362.001 PMID:28012274

  6. Interleukin 15 activates Akt to protect astrocytes from oxygen glucose deprivation-induced cell death.

    PubMed

    Lee, Gilbert Aaron; Lai, Yein-Gei; Chen, Ray-Jade; Liao, Nan-Shih

    2017-04-01

    Astrocytes play a pivotal role in neuronal survival under the condition of post-ischemic brain inflammation, but the relevant astrocyte-derived mediators of ischemic brain injury remain to be defined. IL-15 supports survival of multiple lymphocyte lineages in the peripheral immune system, but the role of IL-15 in inflammatory disease of the central nervous system is not well defined. Recent research has shown an increase of IL-15-expressing astrocytes in the ischemic brain. Since astrocytes promote neuron survival under cerebral ischemia by buffering excess extracellular glutamate and producing growth factors, recovery of astrocyte function could be of benefit for stroke therapy. Here, we report that IL-15 is the pro-survival cytokine that prevents astrocyte death from oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD)-induced damage. Astrocytes up-regulate expression of the IL-15/IL-15Rα complex under OGD, whereas OGD down-regulates the levels of pSTAT5 and pAkt in astrocytes. IL-15 treatment ameliorates the decline of pAkt, decreases the percentage of annexin V(+) cells, inhibits the activation of caspase-3, and activates the Akt pathway to promote astrocyte survival in response to OGD. We further identified that activation of Akt, but not PKCα/βI, is essential for astrocyte survival under OGD. Taken together, this study reveals the function of IL-15 in astrocyte survival via Akt phosphorylation in response to OGD-induced damage.

  7. Primary cerebral and cerebellar astrocytes display differential sensitivity to extracellular sodium with significant effects on apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Tomohiko; Makinodan, Manabu; Fukami, Shin-ichi; Toritsuka, Michihiro; Ikawa, Daisuke; Yamashita, Yasunori; Kishimoto, Toshifumi

    2014-06-01

    Central pontine myelinolysis is one of the idiopathic or iatrogenic brain dysfunction, and the most common cause is excessively rapid correction of chronic hyponatraemia. While myelin disruption is the main pathology, as the diagnostic name indicates, a previous study has reported that astrocyte death precedes the destruction of the myelin sheath after the rapid correction of chronic low Na(+) levels, and interestingly, certain brain regions (cerebral cortex, hippocampus, etc.) are specifically damaged but not cerebellum. Here, using primary astrocyte cultures derived from rat cerebral cortex and cerebellum, we examined how extracellular Na(+) alterations affect astrocyte death and whether the response is different between the two populations of astrocytes. Twice the amount of extracellular [Na(+) ] and voltage-gated Na(+) channel opening induced substantial apoptosis in both populations of astrocytes, while, in contrast, one half [Na(+) ] prevented apoptosis in cerebellar astrocytes, in which the Na(+) -Ca(2+) exchanger, NCX2, was highly expressed but not in cerebral astrocytes. Strikingly, the rapid correction of chronic one half [Na(+) ] exposure significantly increased apoptosis in cerebellar astrocytes but not in cerebral astrocytes. These results indicate that extracellular [Na(+) ] affects astrocyte apoptosis, and the response to alterations in [Na(+) ] is dependent on the brain region from which the astrocyte is derived.

  8. YAP stabilizes SMAD1 and promotes BMP2-induced neocortical astrocytic differentiation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhihui; Hu, Jinxia; Pan, Jinxiu; Wang, Ying; Hu, Guoqing; Zhou, Jiliang; Mei, Lin; Xiong, Wen-Cheng

    2016-07-01

    ‪YAP (yes-associated protein), a key transcriptional co-factor that is negatively regulated by the Hippo pathway, is crucial for the development and size control of multiple organs, including the liver. However, its role in the brain remains unclear. Here, we provide evidence for YAP regulation of mouse neocortical astrocytic differentiation and proliferation. YAP was undetectable in neurons, but selectively expressed in neural stem cells (NSCs) and astrocytes. YAP in NSCs was required for neocortical astrocytic differentiation, with no apparent role in self-renewal or neural differentiation. However, YAP in astrocytes was necessary for astrocytic proliferation. Yap (Yap1) knockout, Yap(nestin) conditional knockout and Yap(GFAP) conditional knockout mice displayed fewer neocortical astrocytes and impaired astrocytic proliferation and, consequently, death of neocortical neurons. Mechanistically, YAP was activated by BMP2, and the active/nuclear YAP was crucial for BMP2 induction and stabilization of SMAD1 and astrocytic differentiation. Expression of SMAD1 in YAP-deficient NSCs partially rescued the astrocytic differentiation deficit in response to BMP2. Taken together, these results identify a novel function of YAP in neocortical astrocytic differentiation and proliferation, and reveal a BMP2-YAP-SMAD1 pathway underlying astrocytic differentiation in the developing mouse neocortex.

  9. Signaling molecules regulating phenotypic conversions of astrocytes and glial scar formation in damaged nerve tissues.

    PubMed

    Koyama, Yutaka

    2014-12-01

    Phenotypic conversion of astrocytes from resting to reactive (i.e., astrocytic activation) occurs in numerous brain disorders. Astrocytic activation in severely damaged brain regions often leads to glial scar formation. Because astrocytic activation and glial scar largely affect the vulnerability and tissue repair of damaged brain, numerous studies have been made to clarify mechanisms regulating the astrocytic phenotype. The phenotypic conversion is accompanied by the increased expression of intermediate filament proteins and the induction of hypertrophy in reactive astrocytes. Severe brain damage results in proliferation and migration of reactive astrocytes, which lead to glial scar formations at the injured areas. Gliogenesis from neural progenitors in the adult brain is also involved in astrocytic activation and glial scar formation. Recent studies have shown that increased expression of connexin 43, aquaporin 4, matrix metalloproteinase 9, and integrins alter the function of astrocytes. The transcription factors: STAT3, OLIG2, SMAD, NF-κB, and Sp1 have been suggested to play regulatory roles in astrocytic activation and glial scar formation. In this review, I discuss the roles of these key molecules regulating the pathophysiological functions of reactive astrocytes.

  10. Small RNA interference-mediated gene silencing of TREK-1 potassium channel in cultured astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiao; Tang, Ronghua; Liu, Yang; Song, Jingjiao; Yu, Zhiyuan; Wang, Wei; Xie, Minjie

    2012-12-01

    This study was aimed to examine the effect of TREK-1 silencing on the function of astrocytes. Three 21-nucleotide small interfering RNA (siRNA) duplexes (siT1, siT2, siT3) targeting TREK-1 were constructed. Cy3-labeled dsRNA oligmers were used to determine the transfection efficiency in cultured astrocytes. TREK-1-specific siRNA duplexes (siT1, siT2, siT3) at the optimal concentration were transfected into cultured astrocytes, and the most efficient siRNA was identified by the method of immunocytochemical staining and Western blotting. The proliferation of astrocytes tranfected with TREK-1-targeting siRNA under hypoxia condition was measured by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The results showed that TREK-1 was expressed in cultured astrocytes. The dsRNA oligmers targeting TREK-1 could be transfected efficiently in cultured astrocytes and down-regulate the expression of TREK-1 in astrocytes. Moreover, the down-regulation of TREK-1 in astrocytes contributed to the proliferation of astrocytes under hypoxia condition as determined by cell cycle analysis. It was concluded that siRNA is a powerful technique that can be used to knockdown the expression of TREK-1 in astrocytes, which helps further investigate the function of TREK-1 channel in astrocytes under physicological and pathological condition.

  11. Neutral glycolipid and ganglioside composition of type-1 and type-2 astrocytes from rat cerebral hemisphere.

    PubMed

    Murakami, K; Asou, H; Adachi, T; Takagi, T; Kunimoto, M; Saito, H; Uyemura, K

    1999-02-01

    We reported previously that the major gangliosides in primary mixed-type astrocyte cultures are GM3 and GD3. To obtain more information regarding the exact distribution of glycosphingolipids in different types of astrocytes, we established a line of type-1 astrocytes that are characterized by a Ran-2 positive, broad flat morphology, and by the absence of binding to A2B5 antibodies. We also purified O-2A progenitor cells by immunopanning and cultured them in the presence of 10% newborn calf serum. They differentiated into type-2 astrocytes that were identified by immunostaining for each of GD3, A2B5, and GFAP. Using these cell cultures, we demonstrate that the major gangliosides were GM3 in type-1 astrocytes and GM3 and GD3 in type-2 astrocytes. In addition, a set of neutral glycolipids was identified based on the HP-TLC migration properties of CMH, CDH, CTH, and Glob, but the component distribution of these glycolipids is related to that of glycolipids of astrocytes. A marked increase in the expression of CTH and Glob was shown in type-2 astrocytes. The amount of neutral glycolipid-sugar was higher in the type-2 astrocytes than in the type-1 astrocytes. These results suggest that the increase in the total glycosphingolipid content and the change in the neutral glycolipid composition produced by type-2 astrocytes may be related to their biological functions and the cellular compositions.

  12. A Model for p38MAPK-Induced Astrocyte Senescence.

    PubMed

    Mombach, José C M; Vendrusculo, Bruno; Bugs, Cristhian A

    2015-01-01

    Experimental evidence indicates that aging leads to accumulation of senescent cells in tissues and they develop a secretory phenotype (also known as SASP, for senescence-associated secretory phenotype) that can contribute to chronic inflammation and diseases. Recent results have showed that markers of senescence in astrocytes from aged brains are increased in brains with Alzheimer's disease. These studies strongly involved the stress kinase p38MAPK in the regulation of the secretory phenotype of astrocytes, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of senescence and SASP activation remain unclear. In this work, we propose a discrete logical model for astrocyte senescence determined by the level of DNA damage (reparable or irreparable DNA strand breaks) where the kinase p38MAPK plays a central role in the regulation of senescence and SASP. The model produces four alternative stable states: proliferation, transient cycle arrest, apoptosis and senescence (and SASP) computed from its inputs representing DNA damages. Perturbations of the model were performed through gene gain or loss of functions and compared with results concerning cultures of normal and mutant astrocytes showing agreement in most cases. Moreover, the model allows some predictions that remain to be tested experimentally.

  13. Spontaneous NA+ transients in individual mitochondria of intact astrocytes.

    PubMed

    A