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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 Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26883475

  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. Astrocytes Release Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids by Lipopolysaccharide Stimuli.

    PubMed

    Aizawa, Fuka; Nishinaka, Takashi; Yamashita, Takuya; Nakamoto, Kazuo; Koyama, Yutaka; Kasuya, Fumiyo; Tokuyama, Shogo

    2016-01-01

    We previously reported that levels of long-chain fatty acids (FAs) including docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) increase in the hypothalamus of inflammatory pain model mice. However, the precise mechanisms underlying the increment of free fatty acids (FFAs) in the brain during inflammation remains unknown. In this study, we characterized FFAs released by inflammatory stimulation in rat primary cultured astrocytes, and tested the involvement of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) on these mechanisms. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation significantly increased the levels of several FAs in the astrocytes. Under these conditions, mRNA expression of cytosolic PLA2 (cPLA2) and calcium-independent PLA2 (iPLA2) in LPS-treated group increased compared with the control group. Furthermore, in the culture media, the levels of DHA and arachidonic acid (ARA) significantly increased by LPS stimuli compared with those of a vehicle-treated control group whereas the levels of saturated FAs (SFAs), namely palmitic acid (PAM) and stearic acid (STA), did not change. In summary, our findings suggest that astrocytes specifically release DHA and ARA by inflammatory conditions. Therefore astrocytes might function as a regulatory factor of DHA and ARA in the brain. PMID:27374285

  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. PMID:26839375

  6. Effect of fatty acids isolated from edible oils like mustard, linseed or coconut on astrocytes maturation.

    PubMed

    Joardar, Anindita; Das, Sumantra

    2007-12-01

    The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) has been previously shown to facilitate some of the vital functions of astrocytes. Since some dietary oils contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3), which is a precursor of DHA, we examined their effect on astrocyte development. Fatty acids (FAs) were isolated from commonly used oils and their compositions were determined by GLC. FAs from three oils, viz. coconut, mustard and linseed were studied for their effect on astrocyte morphology. Parallel studies were conducted with FAs from the same oils after heating for 72 h. Unlike coconut oil, FAs from mustard and linseed, both heated and raw, caused significant morphogenesis of astrocytes in culture. ss-AR binding was also substantially increased in astrocytes treated with FAs from raw mustard and linseed oils as compared to astrocytes grown in normal medium. The expression profile of the isoforms of GFAP showed that astrocyte maturation by FAs of mustard and linseed oil was associated with appearance of acidic variants of GFAP and disappearance of some neutral isoforms similar to that observed in cultures grown in serum containing medium or in the presence of DHA. Taken together, the study highlights the contribution of specific dietary oils in facilitating astrocyte development that can have potential impact on human health. PMID:17823864

  7. 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. PMID:26915106

  8. Astrocytic Acid-Sensing Ion Channel 1a Contributes to the Development of Chronic Epileptogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Feng; Sun, Xiaolong; Ding, Yinxiu; Ma, Hui; Yang, Tangpeng Ou; Ma, Yue; Wei, Dong; Li, Wen; Xu, Tianle; Jiang, Wen

    2016-01-01

    Unraveling mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis after brain injury is an unmet medical challenge. Although histopathological studies have revealed that reactive astrogliosis and tissue acidosis are prominent features in epileptogenic foci, their roles in epileptogenesis remain unclear. Here, we explored whether astrocytic acid-sensing ion channel-1a (ASIC1a) contributes to the development of chronic epilepsy. High levels of ASIC1a were measured in reactive astrocytes in the hippocampi of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and epileptic mice. Extracellular acidosis caused a significant Ca2+ influx in cultured astrocytes, and this influx was sensitive to inhibition by the ASIC1a-specific blocker psalmotoxin 1 (PcTX1). In addition, recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors carrying a GFAP promoter in conjunction with ASIC1a shRNA or cDNA were generated to suppress or restore, respectively, ASIC1a expression in astrocytes. Injection of rAAV-ASIC1a-shRNA into the dentate gyrus of the wide type TLE mouse model resulted in the inhibition of astrocytic ASIC1a expression and a reduction in spontaneous seizures. By contrast, rAAV-ASIC1a-cDNA restored astrocytic ASIC1a expression in an ASIC1a knock-out TLE mouse model and increased the frequency of spontaneous seizures. Taken together, our results reveal that astrocytic ASIC1a may be an attractive new target for the treatment of epilepsy. PMID:27526777

  9. Lauric Acid Stimulates Ketone Body Production in the KT-5 Astrocyte Cell Line.

    PubMed

    Nonaka, Yudai; Takagi, Tetsuo; Inai, Makoto; Nishimura, Shuhei; Urashima, Shogo; Honda, Kazumitsu; Aoyama, Toshiaki; Terada, Shin

    2016-08-01

    Coconut oil has recently attracted considerable attention as a potential Alzheimer's disease therapy because it contains large amounts of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and its consumption is thought to stimulate hepatic ketogenesis, supplying an alternative energy source for brains with impaired glucose metabolism. In this study, we first reevaluated the responses of plasma ketone bodies to oral administration of coconut oil to rats. We found that the coconut oil-induced increase in plasma ketone body concentration was negligible and did not significantly differ from that observed after high-oleic sunflower oil administration. In contrast, the administration of coconut oil substantially increased the plasma free fatty acid concentration and lauric acid content, which is the major MCFA in coconut oil. Next, to elucidate whether lauric acid can activate ketogenesis in astrocytes with the capacity to generate ketone bodies from fatty acids, we treated the KT-5 astrocyte cell line with 50 and 100 μM lauric acid for 4 h. The lauric acid treatments increased the total ketone body concentration in the cell culture supernatant to a greater extent than oleic acid, suggesting that lauric acid can directly and potently activate ketogenesis in KT-5 astrocytes. These results suggest that coconut oil intake may improve brain health by directly activating ketogenesis in astrocytes and thereby by providing fuel to neighboring neurons. PMID:27430387

  10. GABAB receptor-mediated activation of astrocytes by gamma-hydroxybutyric acid

    PubMed Central

    Gould, Timothy; Chen, Lixin; Emri, Zsuzsa; Pirttimaki, Tiina; Errington, Adam C.; Crunelli, Vincenzo; Parri, H. Rheinallt

    2014-01-01

    The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) metabolite gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) shows a variety of behavioural effects when administered to animals and humans, including reward/addiction properties and absence seizures. At the cellular level, these actions of GHB are mediated by activation of neuronal GABAB receptors (GABABRs) where it acts as a weak agonist. Because astrocytes respond to endogenous and exogenously applied GABA by activation of both GABAA and GABABRs, here we investigated the action of GHB on astrocytes on the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the ventrobasal (VB) thalamic nucleus, two brain areas involved in the reward and proepileptic action of GHB, respectively, and compared it with that of the potent GABABR agonist baclofen. We found that GHB and baclofen elicited dose-dependent (ED50: 1.6 mM and 1.3 µM, respectively) transient increases in intracellular Ca2+ in VTA and VB astrocytes of young mice and rats, which were accounted for by activation of their GABABRs and mediated by Ca2+ release from intracellular store release. In contrast, prolonged GHB and baclofen exposure caused a reduction in spontaneous astrocyte activity and glutamate release from VTA astrocytes. These findings have key (patho)physiological implications for our understanding of the addictive and proepileptic actions of GHB. PMID:25225100

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 13N and 15N labeled ammonia and 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 synthesis

  12. Effects of arundic acid, an astrocytic modulator, on the cerebral and respiratory functions in severe hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Fukushi, Isato; Takeda, Kotaro; Yokota, Shigefumi; Hasebe, Yohei; Sato, Yutaka; Pokorski, Mieczyslaw; Horiuchi, Jouji; Okada, Yasumasa

    2016-06-01

    Mild hypoxia increases ventilation, but severe hypoxia depresses it. The mechanism of hypoxic ventilatory depression, in particular, the functional role of the cerebrum, is not fully understood. Recent progress in glial physiology has provided evidence that astrocytes play active roles in information processing in various brain functions. We investigated the hypothesis that astrocytic activation is necessary to maintain the cerebral function and ventilation in hypoxia, by examining the responses of EEG and ventilation to severe hypoxia before and after administration of a modulator of astrocytic function, arundic acid, in unanesthetized mice. Ventilatory parameters were measured by whole body plethysmography. When hypoxic ventilatory depression occurred, gamma frequency band of EEG was suppressed. Arundic acid further suppressed ventilation, and the EEG power was suppressed in a dose-dependent manner. Arundic acid also suppressed hypoxia-induced c-Fos expression in the hypothalamus. We conclude that severe hypoxia suppresses the cerebral function which could reduce the stimulus to the brainstem resulting in ventilatory depression. Astrocytic activation in hypoxia may counteract both cerebral and ventilatory suppression. PMID:26592145

  13. Fatty acid-binding protein 7 regulates function of caveolae in astrocytes through expression of caveolin-1.

    PubMed

    Kagawa, Yoshiteru; Yasumoto, Yuki; Sharifi, Kazem; Ebrahimi, Majid; Islam, Ariful; Miyazaki, Hirofumi; Yamamoto, Yui; Sawada, Tomoo; Kishi, Hiroko; Kobayashi, Sei; Maekawa, Motoko; Yoshikawa, Takeo; Takaki, Eiichi; Nakai, Akira; Kogo, Hiroshi; Fujimoto, Toyoshi; Owada, Yuji

    2015-05-01

    Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) bind and solubilize long-chain fatty acids, controlling intracellular lipid dynamics. FABP7 is expressed by astrocytes in the developing brain, and suggested to be involved in the control of astrocyte lipid homeostasis. In this study, we sought to examine the role of FABP7 in astrocytes, focusing on plasma membrane lipid raft function, which is important for receptor-mediated signal transduction in response to extracellular stimuli. In FABP7-knockout (KO) astrocytes, the ligand-dependent accumulation of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor receptor alpha 1 into lipid raft was decreased, and the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases and nuclear factor-κB was impaired after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation when compared with wild-type astrocytes. In addition, the expression of caveolin-1, not cavin-1, 2, 3, caveolin-2, and flotillin-1, was found to be decreased at the protein and transcriptional levels. FABP7 re-expression in FABP7-KO astrocytes rescued the decreased level of caveolin-1. Furthermore, caveolin-1-transfection into FABP7-KO astrocytes significantly increased TLR4 recruitment into lipid raft and tumor necrosis factor-α production after LPS stimulation. Taken together, these data suggest that FABP7 controls lipid raft function through the regulation of caveolin-1 expression and is involved in the response of astrocytes to the external stimuli. GLIA 2015;63:780-794. PMID:25601031

  14. Lactic acid inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication in in vitro astrocytes as measured by fluorescence recovery after laser photobleaching

    SciTech Connect

    Anders, J.J.

    1988-01-01

    Lactic acid can permeate plasma membranes, causing intracellular acidosis. Gap junctions are sensitive to pHi and can be reversibly uncoupled by weak acids. In this study, dye coupling between in vitro astrocytes, presumably mediated by gap junctions, was measured in the absence and presence of lactic acid. Fluorescence recovery after laser photobleaching (gap-FRAP analysis) was used to measure dye coupling. Astrocytes bathed in Eagle's minimum essential medium (EMEM) with lactic acid, pHo 5.5-6, showed no difference in their dye coupling (mean recovery of fluorescence 30%) when compared to control astrocytes (mean recovery of fluorescence 26%). However, 24 mM lactic acid in EMEM, pHo 4.5, decreased dye coupling (mean recovery of fluorescence 2.0%). This effect occurred within 5 min of treatment. When lactic acid-EMEM, pH 4.5, was removed from astrocytes after 30 min and the cells were incubated in EMEM for 24 hr, decreased coupling was not reversed (mean recovery 4.0%). When lactic acid-treated astrocytes were incubated in EMEM for 48 hr, the mean recovery of fluorescence increased to 15% (i.e., 42% of the recovery seen in controls). These observations suggest that brief exposure to high concentrations of lactic acid can have immediate and long-lasting effects on glial gap junctional communication. Under pathological circumstances, such a sequence could be initiated, and this might impair astrocytic control of the central nervous system microenvironment mediated by spatial buffering.

  15. Fatty acid-induced astrocyte ketone production and the control of food intake.

    PubMed

    Le Foll, Christelle; Levin, Barry E

    2016-06-01

    Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are major worldwide public health issues today. A relationship between total fat intake and obesity has been found. In addition, the mechanisms of long-term and excessive high-fat diet (HFD) intake in the development of obesity still need to be elucidated. The ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) is a major site involved in the regulation of glucose and energy homeostasis where "metabolic sensing neurons" integrate metabolic signals from the periphery. Among these signals, fatty acids (FA) modulate the activity of VMH neurons using the FA translocator/CD36, which plays a critical role in the regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis. During low-fat diet (LFD) intake, FA are oxidized by VMH astrocytes to fuel their ongoing metabolic needs. However, HFD intake causes VMH astrocytes to use FA to generate ketone bodies. We postulate that these astrocyte-derived ketone bodies are exported to neurons where they produce excess ATP and reactive oxygen species, which override CD36-mediated FA sensing and act as a signal to decrease short-term food intake. On a HFD, VMH astrocyte-produced ketones reduce elevated caloric intake to LFD levels after 3 days in rats genetically predisposed to resist (DR) diet-induced obesity (DIO), but not leptin-resistant DIO rats. This suggests that, while VMH ketone production on a HFD can contribute to protection from obesity, the inherent leptin resistance overrides this inhibitory action of ketone bodies on food intake. Thus, astrocytes and neurons form a tight metabolic unit that is able to monitor circulating nutrients to alter food intake and energy homeostasis. PMID:27122369

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:21753237

  17. 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.

  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. Fumaric Acid Esters Stimulate Astrocytic VEGF Expression through HIF-1α and Nrf2

    PubMed Central

    Wiesner, Diana; Merdian, Irma; Lewerenz, Jan; Ludolph, Albert C.; Dupuis, Luc; Witting, Anke

    2013-01-01

    Fumaric acid esters (FAE) are oral analogs of fumarate that have recently been shown to decrease relapse rate and disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS), prompting to investigate their protective potential in other neurological diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Despite efficacy in MS, mechanisms of action of FAEs are still largely unknown. FAEs are known to activate the transcription factor Nrf2 and downstream anti-oxidant responses through the succination of Nrf2 inhibitor KEAP1. However, fumarate is also a known inhibitor of prolyl-hydroxylases domain enzymes (PhD), and PhD inhibition might lead to stabilization of the HIF-1α transcription factor under normoxic conditions and subsequent activation of a pseudo hypoxic response. Whether Nrf2 activation is associated with HIF-1α stabilization in response to FAEs in cell types relevant to MS or ALS remains unknown. Here, we show that FAEs elicit HIF-1α accumulation, and VEGF release as its expected consequence, in astrocytes but not in other cell types of the central nervous system. Reporter assays demonstrated that increased astrocytic VEGF release in response to FAEs was dependent upon both HIF-1α and Nrf2 activation. Last, astrocytes of transgenic mice expressing SOD1(G93A), an animal model of ALS, displayed reduced VEGF release in response to FAEs. These studies show that FAEs elicit different signaling pathways in cell types from the central nervous system, in particular a pseudo-hypoxic response in astrocytes. Disease relevant mutations might affect this response. PMID:24098549

  20. Fumaric acid esters stimulate astrocytic VEGF expression through HIF-1α and Nrf2.

    PubMed

    Wiesner, Diana; Merdian, Irma; Lewerenz, Jan; Ludolph, Albert C; Dupuis, Luc; Witting, Anke

    2013-01-01

    Fumaric acid esters (FAE) are oral analogs of fumarate that have recently been shown to decrease relapse rate and disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS), prompting to investigate their protective potential in other neurological diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Despite efficacy in MS, mechanisms of action of FAEs are still largely unknown. FAEs are known to activate the transcription factor Nrf2 and downstream anti-oxidant responses through the succination of Nrf2 inhibitor KEAP1. However, fumarate is also a known inhibitor of prolyl-hydroxylases domain enzymes (PhD), and PhD inhibition might lead to stabilization of the HIF-1α transcription factor under normoxic conditions and subsequent activation of a pseudo hypoxic response. Whether Nrf2 activation is associated with HIF-1α stabilization in response to FAEs in cell types relevant to MS or ALS remains unknown. Here, we show that FAEs elicit HIF-1α accumulation, and VEGF release as its expected consequence, in astrocytes but not in other cell types of the central nervous system. Reporter assays demonstrated that increased astrocytic VEGF release in response to FAEs was dependent upon both HIF-1α and Nrf2 activation. Last, astrocytes of transgenic mice expressing SOD1(G93A), an animal model of ALS, displayed reduced VEGF release in response to FAEs. These studies show that FAEs elicit different signaling pathways in cell types from the central nervous system, in particular a pseudo-hypoxic response in astrocytes. Disease relevant mutations might affect this response. PMID:24098549

  1. 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

    2014-06-01

    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. PMID:24911388

  2. 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.

  3. Glucose Regulates Hypothalamic Long-chain Fatty Acid Metabolism via AMP-activated Kinase (AMPK) in Neurons and Astrocytes*

    PubMed Central

    Taïb, Bouchra; Bouyakdan, Khalil; Hryhorczuk, Cécile; Rodaros, Demetra; Fulton, Stephanie; Alquier, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    Hypothalamic controls of energy balance rely on the detection of circulating nutrients such as glucose and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) by the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH). LCFA metabolism in the MBH plays a key role in the control of food intake and glucose homeostasis, yet it is not known if glucose regulates LCFA oxidation and esterification in the MBH and, if so, which hypothalamic cell type(s) and intracellular signaling mechanisms are involved. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of glucose on LCFA metabolism, assess the role of AMP-activated Kinase (AMPK), and to establish if changes in LCFA metabolism and its regulation by glucose vary as a function of the kind of LCFA, cell type, and brain region. We show that glucose inhibits palmitate oxidation via AMPK in hypothalamic neuronal cell lines, primary hypothalamic astrocyte cultures, and MBH slices ex vivo but not in cortical astrocytes and slice preparations. In contrast, oleate oxidation was not affected by glucose or AMPK inhibition in MBH slices. In addition, our results show that glucose increases palmitate, but not oleate, esterification into neutral lipids in neurons and MBH slices but not in hypothalamic astrocytes. These findings reveal for the first time the metabolic fate of different LCFA in the MBH, demonstrate AMPK-dependent glucose regulation of LCFA oxidation in both astrocytes and neurons, and establish metabolic coupling of glucose and LCFA as a distinguishing feature of hypothalamic nuclei critical for the control of energy balance. PMID:24240094

  4. Nordihydroguaiaretic acid inhibits IFN-gamma-induced STAT tyrosine phosphorylation in rat brain astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Sae-Bom; Ji, Kyung-Ae; You, Hye-Jin; Kim, Jae-Hong; Jou, Ilo; Joe, Eun-Hye

    2005-03-11

    The Janus kinase (JAK) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) signal cascades are major pathways that mediate the inflammatory functions of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), an important pro-inflammatory cytokine. Therefore, regulation of JAK/STAT signaling should modulate IFN-gamma-mediated inflammation. In this study, we found that nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), a well-known lipoxygenase (LO) inhibitor, suppressed IFN-gamma-induced inflammatory responses in brain astrocytes. In the presence of NDGA, interferon regulatory factor-1 expression was significantly reduced. Expression of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and interferon-gamma inducible protein-10 mRNA in response to IFN-gamma was significantly suppressed in the presence of NDGA, as was tyrosine-phosphorylation of JAK and STAT. However, the 5-LO products, leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)) and leukotriene C(4), were not detected in cells treated with IFN-gamma, indicating that the effect of NDGA seemed to be independent of 5-LO inhibition. In addition, two other 5-LO inhibitors (Rev5901 and AA861) did not mimic the effect of NDGA, and the 5-LO metabolites, 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid and LTB(4), were unable to reverse NDGA-driven suppression of STAT activation or affect basal STAT phosphorylation. Taken together, these results suggest that NDGA regulates IFN-gamma-mediated inflammation through mechanisms unrelated to the inhibition of 5-LO. PMID:15694390

  5. Neuron-astrocyte interactions in spinal cord dorsal horn in neuropathic pain development and docosahexaenoic acid therapy.

    PubMed

    Manzhulo, Igor V; Ogurtsova, Olga S; Kipryushina, Yuliya O; Latyshev, Nikolay A; Kasyanov, Sergey P; Dyuizen, Inessa V; Tyrtyshnaia, Anna A

    2016-09-15

    The analgesic activity of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 n-3) was studied using a chronic constriction injury (CCI) rat model. Animals were subcutaneously injected with DHA emulsion at a dose of 4.5mg/kg (125mМ/kg) daily during 2weeks after surgery. We characterized the dynamics of GFAP-positive astrocyte, substance P (SP) and nNOS-positive neurons activity in the spinal cord dorsal horn (SCDH) superficial lamina. We found that DHA treatment decrease the intensity and duration of neurogenic pain syndrome, results in earlier stabilization of weight distribution, prevents the cold allodynia and dystrophic changings in denervated limb tissue. DHA treatment reduced the reactive astrocyte number, decrease SP-immunopositive fibers and nNOS-positive neurons number in the SCDH in neuropathic pain. PMID:27609281

  6. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is cytotoxic to 36B10 malignant rat astrocytoma cells but not to 'normal' rat astrocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Vartak, S.; McCaw, R.; Davis, C. S.; Robbins, M. E.; Spector, A. A.

    1998-01-01

    This study compares the effect of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and its precursor linoleic acid (LA) on survival of 36B10 malignant rat astrocytoma cells and 'normal' rat astrocytes. GLA was cytotoxic to 36B10 cells but not to astrocytes. By contrast, LA supplementation did not affect the survival of either cell types. There were minor differences in the uptake, distribution and use of radiolabelled GLA and LA by the 36B10 cells and astrocytes. GLA and LA supplementation increased the total polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content of the cells indicating increased oxidative potential. However, elevated levels of 8-isoprostane, an indicator of increased oxidative stress, were only observed in the GLA supplemented 36B10 cells. Addition of the antioxidant trolox to GLA-enriched 36B10 cells blocked the cytotoxic effect. Further, GLA enhanced the radiation sensitivity of the astrocytoma cells but not the astrocytes; trolox blocked the GLA-mediated increase in astrocytoma cell radiosensitivity. LA did not affect the radiation response of either cell type. While cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors did not affect GLA cytotoxicity, they blocked the enhanced radiation response of GLA-supplemented cells. The lipoxygenase inhibitor NDGA did not affect the toxicity produced by GLA. Thus, GLA is toxic to the neoplastic astrocytoma cells but not to normal astrocytes. PMID:9635836

  7. GABA release by hippocampal astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Le Meur, Karim; Mendizabal-Zubiaga, Juan; Grandes, Pedro; Audinat, Etienne

    2012-01-01

    Astrocytes can directly influence neuronal activity through the release of various transmitters acting on membrane receptors expressed by neurons. However, in contrast to glutamate and ATP for instance, the release of GABA (γ-amino-butyric acid) by astrocytes is still poorly documented. Here, we used whole-cell recordings in rat acute brain slices and electron microscopy to test whether hippocampal astrocytes release the inhibitory transmitter GABA. We observed that slow transient inhibitory currents due to the activation of GABAA receptors occur spontaneously in principal neurons of the three main hippocampal fields (CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus). These currents share characteristics with the slow NMDA receptor-mediated currents previously shown to result from astrocytic glutamate release: they occur in the absence of synaptic transmission and have variable kinetics and amplitudes as well as low frequencies. Osmotic pressure reduction, known to enhance transmitter release from astrocytes, similarly increased the frequency of non-synaptic GABA and glutamate currents. Simultaneous occurrence of slow inhibitory and excitatory currents was extremely rare. Yet, electron microscopy examination of immunostained hippocampal sections shows that about 80% of hippocampal astrocytes [positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)] were immunostained for GABA. Our results provide quantitative characteristics of the astrocyte-to-neuron GABAergic signaling. They also suggest that all principal neurons of the hippocampal network are under a dual, excitatory and inhibitory, influence of astrocytes. The relevance of the astrocytic release of GABA, and glutamate, on the physiopathology of the hippocampus remains to be established. PMID:22912614

  8. Cysteinyl-leukotrienes are released from astrocytes and increase astrocyte proliferation and glial fibrillary acidic protein via cys-LT1 receptors and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.

    PubMed

    Ciccarelli, Renata; D'Alimonte, Iolanda; Santavenere, Clara; D'Auro, Mariagrazia; Ballerini, Patrizia; Nargi, Eleonora; Buccella, Silvana; Nicosia, Simonetta; Folco, Giancarlo; Caciagli, Francesco; Di Iorio, Patrizia

    2004-09-01

    Cysteinyl-leukotrienes (cys-LTs), potent mediators in inflammatory diseases, are produced by nervous tissue, but their cellular source and role in the brain are not very well known. In this report we have demonstrated that rat cultured astrocytes express the enzymes (5'-lipoxygenase and LTC(4) synthase) required for cys-LT production, and release cys-LTs in resting condition and, to a greater extent, in response to calcium ionophore A23187, 1 h combined oxygen-glucose deprivation or 2-methyl-thioATP, a selective P2Y(1)/ATP receptor agonist. MK-886, a LT synthesis inhibitor, prevented basal and evoked cys-LT release. In addition, 2-methyl-thioATP-induced cys-LT release was abolished by suramin, a P2 receptor antagonist, or by inhibitors of ATP binding cassette proteins involved in cys-LT release. We also showed that astrocytes express cys-LT(1) and not cys-LT(2) receptors. The stimulation of these receptors by LTD(4) activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. This effect was: (i) insensitive to inhibitors of receptor-coupled Gi protein (pertussis toxin) or tyrosine kinase receptors (genistein); (ii) abolished by MK-571, a cys-LT(1) selective receptor antagonist, or PD98059, a MAPK inhibitor; (iii) reduced by inhibitors of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (KN-93), Ca(2+)-dependent and -independent (GF102903X) or Ca(2+)-dependent (Gö6976) protein kinase C isoforms. LTD(4) also increased astrocyte proliferation and glial fibrillary acidic protein content, which are considered hallmarks of reactive astrogliosis. Both effects were counteracted by cell pretreatment with MK-571 or PD98059. Thus, cys-LTs released from astrocytes might play an autocrine role in the induction of reactive astrogliosis that, in brain injuries, contributes to the formation of a reparative glial scar. PMID:15355318

  9. 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. PMID:26124113

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Anti-inflammatory roles of retinoic acid in rat brain astrocytes: Suppression of interferon-gamma-induced JAK/STAT phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Choi, Woo-Hyuck; Ji, Kyung-Ae; Jeon, Sae-Bom; Yang, Myung-Soon; Kim, Ho; Min, Kyoung-Jin; Shong, Minho; Jou, Ilo; Joe, Eun-Hye

    2005-04-01

    The anti-inflammatory effect of retinoic acid (RA) has been investigated for several decades. However, the underlying mechanisms responsible for this effect are largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that 9-cis-RA (cRA) and all-trans-RA (tRA) inhibit interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-induced inflammatory responses in astrocytes. In primary cultured rat brain astrocytes and C6 astroglioma cells, both cRA and tRA decreased IFN-gamma-induced expression of interferon regulatory factor-1. Both RA isoforms also reduced IFN-gamma-induced activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT)1, STAT3, Janus kinase (JAK)1, and JAK2. This inhibitory effect was significant when cells were pre-treated with RA prior to IFN-gamma. Furthermore, the effect of pre-treated RA was abolished in the presence of cycloheximide, indicating a requirement for de novo protein synthesis. Suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS), which are negative regulators of the JAK/STAT pathway, may be candidate mediators of the anti-inflammatory function of RA. Both cRA and tRA induced SOCS3 mRNA expression. These results suggest that RA induces an anti-inflammatory effect by suppressing the activation of the JAK/STAT pathway in IFN-gamma-treated astrocytes. SOCS3 may be at least one of the mechanisms that mediate the anti-inflammatory roles of RA. PMID:15721283

  13. Diphenylarsinic Acid Induced Activation of Cultured Rat Cerebellar Astrocytes: Phosphorylation of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, Upregulation of Transcription Factors, and Release of Brain-Active Cytokines.

    PubMed

    Negishi, Takayuki; Matsumoto, Mami; Kojima, Mikiya; Asai, Ryota; Kanehira, Tomoko; Sakaguchi, Fumika; Takahata, Kazuaki; Arakaki, Rina; Aoyama, Yohei; Yoshida, Hikari; Yoshida, Kenji; Yukawa, Kazunori; Tashiro, Tomoko; Hirano, Seishiro

    2016-03-01

    Diphenylarsinic acid (DPAA) was detected as the primary compound responsible for the arsenic poisoning that occurred in Kamisu, Ibaraki, Japan, where people using water from a well that was contaminated with a high level of arsenic developed neurological (mostly cerebellar) symptoms and dysregulation of regional cerebral blood flow. To understand the underlying molecular mechanism of DPAA-induced cerebellar symptoms, we focused on astrocytes, which have a brain-protective function. Incubation with 10 µM DPAA for 96 h promoted cell proliferation, increased the expression of antioxidative stress proteins (heme oxygenase-1 and heat shock protein 70), and induced the release of cytokines (MCP-1, adrenomedullin, FGF2, CXCL1, and IL-6). Furthermore, DPAA overpoweringly increased the phosphorylation of three major mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) (ERK1/2, p38MAPK, and SAPK/JNK), which indicated MAPK activation, and subsequently induced expression and/or phosphorylation of transcription factors (Nrf2, CREB, c-Jun, and c-Fos) in cultured rat cerebellar astrocytes. Structure-activity relationship analyses of DPAA and other related pentavalent organic arsenicals revealed that DPAA at 10 µM activated astrocytes most effective among organic arsenicals tested at the same dose. These results suggest that in a cerebellum exposed to DPAA, abnormal activation of the MAPK-transcription factor pathway and irregular secretion of these neuroactive, glioactive, and/or vasoactive cytokines in astrocytes can be the direct/indirect cause of functional abnormalities in surrounding neurons, glial cells, and vascular cells: This in turn might lead to the onset of cerebellar symptoms and disruption of cerebral blood flow. PMID:26645585

  14. Alternative mRNA Splicing from the Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) Gene Generates Isoforms with Distinct Subcellular mRNA Localization Patterns in Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Thomsen, Rune; Daugaard, Tina F.; Holm, Ida E.; Nielsen, Anders Lade

    2013-01-01

    The intermediate filament network of astrocytes includes Glial fibrillary acidic protein (Gfap) as a major component. Gfap mRNA is alternatively spliced resulting in generation of different protein isoforms where Gfapα is the most predominant isoform. The Gfapδ isoform is expressed in proliferating neurogenic astrocytes of the developing human brain and in the adult human and mouse brain. Here we provide a characterization of mouse Gfapδ mRNA and Gfapδ protein. RT-qPCR analysis showed that Gfapδ mRNA and Gfapα mRNA expression is coordinately increased in the post-natal period. Immunohistochemical staining of developing mouse brain samples showed that Gfapδ is expressed in the sub-ventricular zones in accordance with the described localization in the developing and adult human brain. Immunofluorescence analysis verified incorporation of Gfapδ into the Gfap intermediate filament network and overlap in Gfapδ and Gfapα subcellular localization. Subcellular mRNA localization studies identified different localization patterns of Gfapδ and Gfapα mRNA in mouse primary astrocytes. A larger fraction of Gfapα mRNA showed mRNA localization to astrocyte protrusions compared to Gfapδ mRNA. The differential mRNA localization patterns were dependent on the different 3′-exon sequences included in Gfapδ and Gfapα mRNA. The presented results show that alternative Gfap mRNA splicing results in isoform-specific mRNA localization patterns with resulting different local mRNA concentration ratios which have potential to participate in subcellular region-specific intermediate filament dynamics during brain development, maintenance and in disease. PMID:23991052

  15. 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

  16. Astrocytic involvement in learning and memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Marie E; Hutchinson, Dana; Hertz, Leif

    2008-07-01

    Astrocytes play fundamental roles in brain function, interacting with neurons and other astrocytes, yet their role in learning is not widely recognized. This review focuses on astrocytic involvement in memory consolidation following bead discrimination learning in day-old chick and draws parallels to mammalian learning, providing strong empirical support for the conclusion that the described neuronal-astrocytic interactions are universally valid. It identifies specific mechanisms whereby astrocytes support memory consolidation. Uptake of glucose, stimulated in astrocytes by beta(3)-noradrenergic receptor activation, provides energy by glycolytic/oxidative metabolism. Unlike neurons, astrocytes carry out net synthesis of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates needed for synthesis of transmitter glutamate formed by rapid degradation of glucose-derived glycogen and stimulated by beta(2)-noradrenergic receptor activation. This makes learning dependent on glycogenolysis and its stimulation by noradrenaline. Astrocytes take up most synaptically released glutamate, terminating transmitter activity and returning glutamate to neurons in a glutamate-glutamine cycle, interference with which abolishes learning. The various astrocytic activities follow a rigidly controlled time schedule, easily determined after bead discrimination learning but also detectable in other paradigms. PMID:18462796

  17. Increased arachidonic acid-containing phosphatidylcholine is associated with reactive microglia and astrocytes in the spinal cord after peripheral nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dongmin; Omura, Takao; Masaki, Noritaka; Arima, Hideyuki; Banno, Tomohiro; Okamoto, Ayako; Hanada, Mitsuru; Takei, Shiro; Matsushita, Shoko; Sugiyama, Eiji; Setou, Mitsutoshi; Matsuyama, Yukihiro

    2016-01-01

    Peripheral nerve injury (PNI) triggers cellular and molecular changes in the spinal cord. However, little is known about how the polyunsaturated fatty acid-containing phosphatidylcholines (PUFA-PCs) are regulated in the spinal cord after PNI and the association of PUFA-PCs with the non-neuronal cells within in the central nervous system (CNS). In this study, we found that arachidonic acid-containing phosphatidylcholine (AA-PC), [PC(16:0/20:4)+K](+), was significantly increased in the ipsilateral ventral and dorsal horns of the spinal cord after sciatic nerve transection, and the increased expression of [PC(16:0/20:4)+K](+) spatiotemporally resembled the increase of reactive microglia and the astrocytes. From the lipidomics point of view, we conclude that [PC(16:0/20:4)+K](+) could be the main phospholipid in the spinal cord influenced by PNI, and the regulation of specific phospholipid molecule in the CNS after PNI is associated with the reactive microglia and astrocytes. PMID:27210057

  18. Increased arachidonic acid-containing phosphatidylcholine is associated with reactive microglia and astrocytes in the spinal cord after peripheral nerve injury

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dongmin; Omura, Takao; Masaki, Noritaka; Arima, Hideyuki; Banno, Tomohiro; Okamoto, Ayako; Hanada, Mitsuru; Takei, Shiro; Matsushita, Shoko; Sugiyama, Eiji; Setou, Mitsutoshi; Matsuyama, Yukihiro

    2016-01-01

    Peripheral nerve injury (PNI) triggers cellular and molecular changes in the spinal cord. However, little is known about how the polyunsaturated fatty acid-containing phosphatidylcholines (PUFA-PCs) are regulated in the spinal cord after PNI and the association of PUFA-PCs with the non-neuronal cells within in the central nervous system (CNS). In this study, we found that arachidonic acid-containing phosphatidylcholine (AA-PC), [PC(16:0/20:4)+K]+, was significantly increased in the ipsilateral ventral and dorsal horns of the spinal cord after sciatic nerve transection, and the increased expression of [PC(16:0/20:4)+K]+ spatiotemporally resembled the increase of reactive microglia and the astrocytes. From the lipidomics point of view, we conclude that [PC(16:0/20:4)+K]+ could be the main phospholipid in the spinal cord influenced by PNI, and the regulation of specific phospholipid molecule in the CNS after PNI is associated with the reactive microglia and astrocytes. PMID:27210057

  19. Retinoic acid isomers facilitate apolipoprotein E production and lipidation in astrocytes through the retinoid X receptor/retinoic acid receptor pathway.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jing; Fu, Yuan; Liu, Chia-Chen; Shinohara, Mitsuru; Nielsen, Henrietta M; Dong, Qiang; Kanekiyo, Takahisa; Bu, Guojun

    2014-04-18

    Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is the major cholesterol transport protein in the brain. Among the three human APOE alleles (APOE2, APOE3, and APOE4), APOE4 is the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). The accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) is a central event in AD pathogenesis. Increasing evidence demonstrates that apoE isoforms differentially regulate AD-related pathways through both Aβ-dependent and -independent mechanisms; therefore, modulating apoE secretion, lipidation, and function might be an attractive approach for AD therapy. We performed a drug screen for compounds that modulate apoE production in immortalized astrocytes derived from apoE3-targeted replacement mice. Here, we report that retinoic acid (RA) isomers, including all-trans-RA, 9-cis-RA, and 13-cis-RA, significantly increase apoE secretion to ~4-fold of control through retinoid X receptor (RXR) and RA receptor. These effects on modulating apoE are comparable with the effects recently reported for the RXR agonist bexarotene. Furthermore, all of these compounds increased the expression of the cholesterol transporter ABCA1 and ABCG1 levels and decreased cellular uptake of Aβ in an apoE-dependent manner. Both bexarotene and 9-cis-RA promote the lipidation status of apoE, in which 9-cis-RA promotes a stronger effect and exhibits less cytotoxicity compared with bexarotene. Importantly, we showed that oral administration of bexarotene and 9-cis-RA significantly increases apoE, ABCA1, and ABCG1 levels in mouse brains. Taken together, our results demonstrate that RXR/RA receptor agonists, including several RA isomers, are effective modulators of apoE secretion and lipidation and may be explored as potential drugs for AD therapy. PMID:24599963

  20. 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. PMID:27060209

  1. Early release of arachidonic acid prevents an otherwise immediate formation of toxic levels of peroxynitrite in astrocytes stimulated with lipopolysaccharide/interferon-gamma.

    PubMed

    Palomba, Letizia; Amadori, Alessandra; Cantoni, Orazio

    2007-11-01

    Addition of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) to rat astrocytes in primary culture promotes an early release of arachidonic acid (ARA) associated with an immediate inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). Preventing the release of constitutive nitric oxide (NO) is indeed critical for activation of the nuclear factor kappa B, and for the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase responsible for the formation of large amounts of NO. LPS/IFN-gamma also promotes an early release of superoxide, via activation of NADPH oxidase, but the generation of peroxynitrite (ONOO-) is prevented by the different timing of superoxide (minutes) and NO (hours) formation. Upstream inhibition of the ARA-dependent nNOS inhibitory signaling, however, caused the parallel release of superoxide and constitutive NO, thereby leading to formation of ONOO- levels triggering loss of ATP and mitochondrial membrane potential followed by the mitochondrial release of cytochrome c, activation of caspase 3 and morphological evidence of apoptosis. Nanomolar levels of exogenous ARA prevented all these events via inhibition of early ONOO- formation. Thus, the ARA-dependent nNOS inhibition observed in astrocytes exposed to pro-inflammatory stimuli, as LPS/IFN-gamma, is critical for both the expression of nuclear factor kappa B-dependent genes and for survival. PMID:17666049

  2. Role of astrocytes in cerebrovascular regulation

    PubMed Central

    Koehler, Raymond C.; Gebremedhin, Debebe; Harder, David R.

    2006-01-01

    Astrocytes send processes to synapses and blood vessels, communicate with other astrocytes through gap junctions and by release of ATP, and thus are an integral component of the neurovascular unit. Electrical field stimulations in brain slices demonstrate an increase in intracellular calcium in astrocyte cell bodies transmitted to perivascular end-feet, followed by a decrease in vascular smooth muscle calcium oscillations and arteriolar dilation. The increase in astrocyte calcium after neuronal activation is mediated, in part, by activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors. Calcium signaling in vitro can also be influenced by adenosine acting on A2B receptors and by epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) shown to be synthesized in astrocytes. Prostaglandins, EETs, arachidonic acid, and potassium ions are candidate mediators of communication between astrocyte end-feet and vascular smooth muscle. In vivo evidence supports a role for cyclooxygenase-2 metabolites, EETs, adenosine, and neuronally derived nitric oxide in the coupling of increased blood flow to increased neuronal activity. Combined inhibition of the EETs, nitric oxide, and adenosine pathways indicates that signaling is not by parallel, independent pathways. Indirect pharmacological results are consistent with astrocytes acting as intermediaries in neurovascular signaling within the neurovascular unit. For specific stimuli, astrocytes are also capable of transmitting signals to pial arterioles on the brain surface for ensuring adequate inflow pressure to parenchymal feeding arterioles. Therefore, evidence from brain slices and indirect evidence in vivo with pharmacological approaches suggest that astrocytes play a pivotal role in regulating the fundamental physiological response coupling dynamic changes in cerebral blood flow to neuronal synaptic activity. Future work using in vivo imaging and genetic manipulation will be required to provide more direct evidence for a role of astrocytes in neurovascular

  3. Retinoic acid isomers up-regulate ATP binding cassette A1 and G1 and cholesterol efflux in rat astrocytes: implications for their therapeutic and teratogenic effects.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jing; Costa, Lucio G; Guizzetti, Marina

    2011-09-01

    Recent studies suggest that retinoids may be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, although exposure to an excess of retinoids during gestation causes teratogenesis. Cholesterol is essential for brain development, but high levels of cholesterol have been associated with Alzheimer's disease. We hypothesized that retinoic acid may affect cholesterol homeostasis in rat astrocytes, which regulate cholesterol distribution in the brain, through the up-regulation of cholesterol transporters ATP binding cassette (Abc)a1 and Abcg1. Tretinoin, 13-cis retinoic acid (13-cis-RA), 9-cis-RA, and the selective retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonist methoprene significantly increased cholesterol efflux induced by cholesterol acceptors and protein levels of Abca1 by 2.3- (± 0.25), 3.6- (± 0.42), 4.1- (± 0.5), and 1.75- (± 0.43) fold, respectively, and Abcg1 by 2.1- (± 0.26), 2.2- (± 0.33), 2.5- (± 0.23), and 2.2- (± 0.21) fold, respectively. 13-cis-RA and 9-cis-RA also significantly increased mRNA levels of Abca1 (maximal induction 7.3 ± 0.42 and 2.7 ± 0.17, respectively) and Abcg1 (maximal induction 2.0 ± 0.18 and 1.8 ± 0.09, respectively), and the levels of membrane-bound Abca1 (2.5 ± 0.3 and 2.5 ± 0.40-fold increase, respectively), whereas they significantly decreased intracellular cholesterol content without affecting cholesterol synthesis. The effect of 9-cis-RA on cholesterol homeostasis in astrocytes can be ascribed to the activation of RXR, whereas the effects of 13-cis-RA and tretinoin were independent of either RXRs or retinoic acid receptors. These findings suggest that retinoids affect cholesterol homeostasis in astrocytes and that this effect may be involved in both their therapeutic and teratogenic actions. PMID:21628419

  4. Astrocytic glutamate transport regulates a Drosophila CNS synapse that lacks astrocyte ensheathment.

    PubMed

    MacNamee, Sarah E; Liu, Kendra E; Gerhard, Stephan; Tran, Cathy T; Fetter, Richard D; Cardona, Albert; Tolbert, Leslie P; Oland, Lynne A

    2016-07-01

    Anatomical, molecular, and physiological interactions between astrocytes and neuronal synapses regulate information processing in the brain. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable experimental system for genetic manipulation of the nervous system and has enormous potential for elucidating mechanisms that mediate neuron-glia interactions. Here, we show the first electrophysiological recordings from Drosophila astrocytes and characterize their spatial and physiological relationship with particular synapses. Astrocyte intrinsic properties were found to be strongly analogous to those of vertebrate astrocytes, including a passive current-voltage relationship, low membrane resistance, high capacitance, and dye-coupling to local astrocytes. Responses to optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic premotor neurons were correlated directly with anatomy using serial electron microscopy reconstructions of homologous identified neurons and surrounding astrocytic processes. Robust bidirectional communication was present: neuronal activation triggered astrocytic glutamate transport via excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (Eaat1), and blocking Eaat1 extended glutamatergic interneuron-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents in motor neurons. The neuronal synapses were always located within 1 μm of an astrocytic process, but none were ensheathed by those processes. Thus, fly astrocytes can modulate fast synaptic transmission via neurotransmitter transport within these anatomical parameters. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1979-1998, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27073064

  5. 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. PMID:27012417

  6. Influence of thyroid hormones on maturation of rat cerebellar astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Manzano, Jimena; Bernal, Juan; Morte, Beatriz

    2007-05-01

    Thyroid hormone influences brain maturation through interaction with nuclear receptors and regulation of gene expression. Their role on astrocyte maturation remains unclear. We have analyzed the role of thyroid hormone in rat cerebellar astrocyte maturation by comparing the sequential patterns of intermediate filament expression in normal and hypothyroid animals. During normal development astroglial cells sequentially express nestin, vimentin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein. Differentiated astrocytes appeared in the superior medullary vellum by postnatal day 2 and reached the white mater and internal granular layer by postnatal day 4. Intermediate filament marker expression was transiently lost from postnatal days 6 to 8 in anterior lobes, without an increased apoptosis. Vimentin expression was replaced by glial fibrillary acidic protein between postnatal days 10 and 32. The differentiated astrocytes were evenly distributed throughout the cerebellar slices, including the internal granular layer. Differences between normal and hypothyroid rats were observed starting from postnatal day 4, with lack of differentiated astrocytes in the internal granular layer. The transient decrease of astrocyte markers immunoreactivity in the anterior lobe did not take place in hypothyroid rats. The vimentin-glial fibrillary acidic protein transition was delayed and most differentiated astrocytes remained confined to the white matter. The results indicate that thyroid hormone deficiency induces a delay and a partial arrest of astrocyte differentiation. Astrocytes express thyroid hormone receptor alpha and beta subtypes suggesting that astrocytes are direct target cells of thyroid hormones. PMID:17408906

  7. 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

  8. Methyl salicylate 2-O-β-D-lactoside, a novel salicylic acid analogue, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent on microglia and astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Neuroinflammation has been known to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Activation of microglia and astrocytes is a characteristic of brain inflammation. Epidemiological studies have shown that long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) delays the onset of AD and suppresses its progression. Methyl salicylate-2-O-β-D-lactoside (DL0309) is a new molecule chemically related to salicylic acid. The present study aimed to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of DL0309. Findings Our studies show that DL0309 significantly inhibits lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α; and the expression of the inflammation-related proteins iNOS, COX-1, and COX-2 by microglia and astrocytes. At a concentration of 10 μM, DL0309 prominently inhibited LPS-induced activation of NF-κB in glial cells by blocking phosphorylation of IKK and p65, and by blocking IκB degradation. Conclusions We demonstrate here for the first time that DL0309 exerts anti-inflammatory effects in glial cells by suppressing different pro-inflammatory cytokines and iNOS/NO. Furthermore, it also regulates the NF-κB signaling pathway by blocking IKK and p65 activation and IκB degradation. DL0309 also acts as a non-selective COX inhibitor in glial cells. These studies suggest that DL0309 may be effective in the treatment of neuroinflammatory disorders, including AD. PMID:21831328

  9. ASTROCYTES: EMERGING STARS IN LEUKODYSTROPHY PATHOGENESIS

    PubMed Central

    Lanciotti, Angela; Brignone, Maria Stefania; Bertini, Enrico; Petrucci, Tamara C.; Aloisi, Francesca; Ambrosini, Elena

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes are the predominant glial cell population in the central nervous system (CNS). Once considered only passive scaffolding elements, astrocytes are now recognised as cells playing essential roles in CNS development and function. They control extracellular water and ion homeostasis, provide substrates for energy metabolism, and regulate neurogenesis, myelination and synaptic transmission. Due to these multiple activities astrocytes have been implicated in almost all brain pathologies, contributing to various aspects of disease initiation, progression and resolution. Evidence is emerging that astrocyte dysfunction can be the direct cause of neurodegeneration, as shown in Alexander’s disease where myelin degeneration is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the astrocyte-specific cytoskeleton protein glial fibrillary acidic protein. Recent studies point to a primary role for astrocytes in the pathogenesis of other genetic leukodystrophies such as megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts and vanishing white matter disease. The aim of this review is to summarize current knowledge of the pathophysiological role of astrocytes focusing on their contribution to the development of the above mentioned leukodystrophies and on new perspectives for the treatment of neurological disorders. PMID:24340223

  10. Neuroinflammation alters voltage-dependent conductance in striatal astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Karpuk, Nikolay; Burkovetskaya, Maria

    2012-01-01

    Neuroinflammation has the capacity to alter normal central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis and function. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of an inflammatory milieu on the electrophysiological properties of striatal astrocyte subpopulations with a mouse bacterial brain abscess model. Whole cell patch-clamp recordings were performed in striatal glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-green fluorescent protein (GFP)+ astrocytes neighboring abscesses at postinfection days 3 or 7 in adult mice. Cell input conductance (Gi) measurements spanning a membrane potential (Vm) surrounding resting membrane potential (RMP) revealed two prevalent astrocyte subsets. A1 and A2 astrocytes were identified by negative and positive Gi increments vs. Vm, respectively. A1 and A2 astrocytes displayed significantly different RMP, Gi, and cell membrane capacitance that were influenced by both time after bacterial exposure and astrocyte proximity to the inflammatory site. Specifically, the percentage of A1 astrocytes was decreased immediately surrounding the inflammatory lesion, whereas A2 cells were increased. These changes were particularly evident at postinfection day 7, revealing increased cell numbers with an outward current component. Furthermore, RMP was inversely modified in A1 and A2 astrocytes during neuroinflammation, and resting Gi was increased from 21 to 30 nS in the latter. In contrast, gap junction communication was significantly decreased in all astrocyte populations associated with inflamed tissues. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the heterogeneity of striatal astrocyte populations, which experience distinct electrophysiological modifications in response to CNS inflammation. PMID:22457466

  11. 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.

  12. Targeting astrocytes in bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Peng, Liang; Li, Baoman; Verkhratsky, Alexei

    2016-06-01

    Astrocytes are homeostatic cells of the central nervous system, which are critical for development and maintenance of synaptic transmission and hence of synaptically connected neuronal ensembles. Astrocytic densities are reduced in bipolar disorder, and therefore deficient astroglial function may contribute to overall disbalance in neurotransmission and to pathological evolution. Classical anti-bipolar drugs (lithium salts, valproic acid and carbamazepine) affect expression of astroglial genes and modify astroglial signalling and homeostatic cascades. Many effects of both antidepressant and anti-bipolar drugs are exerted through regulation of glutamate homeostasis and glutamatergic transmission, through K(+) buffering, through regulation of calcium-dependent phospholipase A2 (that controls metabolism of arachidonic acid) or through Ca(2+) homeostatic and signalling pathways. Sometimes anti-depressant and anti-bipolar drugs exert opposite effects, and some effects on gene expression in drug treated animals are opposite in neurones vs. astrocytes. Changes in the intracellular pH induced by anti-bipolar drugs affect uptake of myo-inositol and thereby signalling via inositoltrisphosphate (InsP3), this being in accord with one of the main theories of mechanism of action for these drugs. PMID:27015045

  13. Gliotransmission: Exocytotic release from astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Parpura, Vladimir; Zorec, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Gliotransmitters are chemicals released from glial cells fulfilling a following set of criteria: i) they are synthesized by and/or stored in glia; ii) their regulated release is triggered by physiological and/or pathological stimuli; iii) they activate rapid (milliseconds to seconds) responses in neighboring cells; and iv) they play a role in (patho)physiological processes. Astrocytes can release a variety of gliotransmitters into the extracellular space using several different mechanisms. In this review, we focus on exocytotic mechanism(s) underlying the release of three classes of gliotransmitters: (i) amino acids, such as, glutamate and D-serine; (ii) nucleotides, like adenosine 5'-triphosphate; and (iii) peptides, such as, atrial natriuretic peptide and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. It is becoming clear that astrocytes are endowed with elements that qualify them as cells communicating with neurons and other cells within the central nervous system by employing regulated exocytosis. PMID:19948188

  14. Striatal astrocytes act as a reservoir for L-DOPA.

    PubMed

    Asanuma, Masato; Miyazaki, Ikuko; Murakami, Shinki; Diaz-Corrales, Francisco J; Ogawa, Norio

    2014-01-01

    L-DOPA is therapeutically efficacious in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), although dopamine (DA) neurons are severely degenerated. Since cortical astrocytes express neutral amino acid transporter (LAT) and DA transporter (DAT), the uptake and metabolism of L-DOPA and DA in striatal astrocytes may influence their availability in the dopaminergic system of PD. To assess possible L-DOPA- and DA-uptake and metabolic properties of striatal astrocytes, we examined the expression of L-DOPA, DA and DAT in striatal astrocytes of hemi-parkinsonian model rats after repeated L-DOPA administration, and measured the contents of L-DOPA, DA and their metabolite in primary cultured striatal astrocytes after L-DOPA/DA treatment. Repeated injections of L-DOPA induced apparent L-DOPA- and DA-immunoreactivities and marked expression of DAT in reactive astrocytes on the lesioned side of the striatum in hemi-parkinsonian rats. Exposure to DA for 4h significantly increased the levels of DA and its metabolite DOPAC in cultured striatal astrocytes. L-DOPA was also markedly increased in cultured striatal astrocytes after 4-h L-DOPA exposure, but DA was not detected 4 or 8h after L-DOPA treatment, despite the expression of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase in astrocytes. Furthermore, the intracellular level of L-DOPA in cultured striatal astrocytes decreased rapidly after removal of extracellular L-DOPA. The results suggest that DA uptaken into striatal astrocytes is rapidly metabolized and that striatal astrocytes act as a reservoir of L-DOPA that govern the uptake or release of L-DOPA depending on extracellular L-DOPA concentration, but are less capable of converting L-DOPA to DA. PMID:25188235

  15. Astrocyte response to St. Louis encephalitis virus.

    PubMed

    Zuza, Adriano Lara; Barros, Heber Leão Silva; de Mattos Silva Oliveira, Thelma Fátima; Chávez-Pavoni, Juliana Helena; Zanon, Renata Graciele

    2016-06-01

    St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), a flavivirus transmitted to humans by Culex mosquitoes, causes clinical symptoms ranging from acute febrile disorder to encephalitis. To reach the central nervous system (CNS) from circulating blood, the pathogen must cross the blood-brain barrier formed by endothelial cells and astrocytes. Because astrocytes play an essential role in CNS homeostasis, in this study these cells were infected with SLEV and investigated for astrogliosis, major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-I-dependent immune response, and apoptosis by caspase-3 activation. Cultures of Vero cells were used as a positive control for the viral infection. Cytopathic effects were observed in both types of cell cultures, and the cytotoxicity levels of the two were compared. Astrocytes infected with a dilution of 1E-01 (7.7E+08 PFU/mL) had a reduced mortality rate of more than 50% compared to the Vero cells. In addition, the astrocytes responded to the flavivirus infection with increased MHC-I expression and astrogliosis, characterized by intense glial fibrillary acidic protein expression and an increase in the number and length of cytoplasmic processes. When the astrocytes were exposed to higher viral concentrations, a proportional increase in caspase-3 expression was observed, as well as nuclear membrane destruction. SLEV immunostaining revealed a perinuclear location of the virus during the replication process. Together, these results suggest that mechanisms other than SLEV infection in astrocytes must be associated with the development of the neuroinvasive form of the disease. PMID:26975980

  16. Elusive roles for reactive astrocytes in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ben Haim, Lucile; Carrillo-de Sauvage, Maria-Angeles; Ceyzériat, Kelly; Escartin, Carole

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes play crucial roles in the brain and are involved in the neuroinflammatory response. They become reactive in response to virtually all pathological situations in the brain such as axotomy, ischemia, infection, and neurodegenerative diseases (ND). Astrocyte reactivity was originally characterized by morphological changes (hypertrophy, remodeling of processes) and the overexpression of the intermediate filament glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). However, it is unclear how the normal supportive functions of astrocytes are altered by their reactive state. In ND, in which neuronal dysfunction and astrocyte reactivity take place over several years or decades, the issue is even more complex and highly debated, with several conflicting reports published recently. In this review, we discuss studies addressing the contribution of reactive astrocytes to ND. We describe the molecular triggers leading to astrocyte reactivity during ND, examine how some key astrocyte functions may be enhanced or altered during the disease process, and discuss how astrocyte reactivity may globally affect ND progression. Finally we will consider the anticipated developments in this important field. With this review, we aim to show that the detailed study of reactive astrocytes may open new perspectives for ND. PMID:26283915

  17. Identification of genes associated with the astrocyte-specific gene Gfap during astrocyte differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Ito, Kenji; Sanosaka, Tsukasa; Igarashi, Katsuhide; Ideta-Otsuka, Maky; Aizawa, Akira; Uosaki, Yuichi; Noguchi, Azumi; Arakawa, Hirokazu; Nakashima, Kinichi; Takizawa, Takumi

    2016-01-01

    Chromosomes and genes are non-randomly arranged within the mammalian cell nucleus, and gene clustering is of great significance in transcriptional regulation. However, the relevance of gene clustering and their expression during the differentiation of neural precursor cells (NPCs) into astrocytes remains unclear. We performed a genome-wide enhanced circular chromosomal conformation capture (e4C) to screen for genes associated with the astrocyte-specific gene glial fibrillary acidic protein (Gfap) during astrocyte differentiation. We identified 18 genes that were specifically associated with Gfap and expressed in NPC-derived astrocytes. Our results provide additional evidence for the functional significance of gene clustering in transcriptional regulation during NPC differentiation. PMID:27041678

  18. A novel human astrocyte cell line (A735) with astrocyte-specific neurotransmitter function.

    PubMed

    Price, T N; Burke, J F; Mayne, L V

    1999-05-01

    Studies of brain cell function and physiology are hampered by the limited availability of immortal human brain-derived cell lines, as a result of the technical difficulties encountered in establishing immortal human cells in culture. In this study, we demonstrate the application of recombinant DNA vectors expressing SV40 T antigen for the development of immortal human cell cultures, with morphological, growth, and functional properties of astrocytes. Primary human astrocytes were transfected with the SV40 T antigen expression vectors, pSV3neo or p735.6, and cultures were established with an extended lifespan. One of these cultures gave rise to an immortal cell line, designated A735. All the human SV40-derived lines retained morphological features and growth properties of type 1 astrocytes. Immunohistochemical studies and Western blot analysis of the intermediate filament proteins and glutamine synthetase demonstrated a differentiated but immature astrocyte phenotype. Transport of gamma-amino butyric acid and glutamate were examined and found to be by a glial-specific mechanism, consistent with the cell lines' retaining aspects of normal glial function. We conclude that methods based on the use of SV40 T antigen can successfully immortalize human astrocytes, retaining key astrocyte functions, but T antigen-induced proliferation appeared to interfere with expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein. We believe A735 is the first documented nontumor-derived human glial cell line which is immortal. PMID:10475274

  19. 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. PMID:26118771

  20. Endothelin, Astrocytes and Glaucoma

    PubMed Central

    Prasanna, Ganesh; Krishnamoorthy, Raghu; Yorio, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    It has become increasingly clear that astrocytes may play an important role in the genesis of glaucoma. Astrogliosis occurs in response to ocular stress or the presence of noxious stimuli. Agents that appear to stimulate reactive gliosis are becoming increasingly clear. One class of agents that is emerging is the endothelins (ETs; specifically, ET-1). In this review we examine the interactions of ET-1 with astrocytes and provide examples where ET-1 appears to contribute to activation of astrocytes and play a role in the neurodegenerative effects that accompany such reactivation resulting in astrogliosis. These actions are presented in the context of glaucoma although information is also presented with respect to ET-1's role in the central nervous system and brain. While much has been learned with respect to ET-1/astrocyte interactions, there are still a number of questions concerning the potential therapeutic implications of these findings. Hopefully this review will stimulate others to examine this potential. PMID:20849847

  1. Novel astrocyte targets

    PubMed Central

    Carmignoto, Giorgio; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2015-01-01

    During the last 20 years, it has been well established that a finely tuned, continuous crosstalk between neurons and astrocytes not only critically modulates physiological brain functions but also underlies many neurological diseases. In particular, this novel way of interpreting brain activity is markedly influencing our current knowledge of epilepsy, prompting a re-evaluation of old findings and guiding novel experimentation. Here, we review recent studies that have unraveled novel and unique contributions of astrocytes to the generation and spread of convulsive and nonconvulsive seizures and epileptiform activity. The emerging scenario advocates an overall framework in which a dynamic and reciprocal interplay among astrocytic and neuronal ensembles is fundamental for a fuller understanding of epilepsy. In turn, this offers novel astrocytic targets for the development of those really novel chemical entities for the control of convulsive and nonconvulsive seizures that have been acknowledged as a key priority in the management of epilepsy. PMID:24609207

  2. Glycyrrhizic acid prevents astrocyte death by neuromyelitis optica-specific IgG via inhibition of C1q binding.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ji-Sun; Cheon, Soyoung; Kim, Seung Woo; Kim, Boram; Kim, Heejaung; Park, Ki Duk; Kim, Sung-Min

    2016-09-16

    Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system and is mediated by complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) of NMO-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies (NMO-IgG). Glycyrrhizic acid (GA) has numerous pharmacological effects including inhibition of the complement pathway. We aimed to study the influence of GA on NMO-IgG-induced CDC. NMO-IgG samples from 7 patients with NMO, together with human complement, induced CDC in an aquaporin 4 M23-overexpressing glial cell line, an in vitro NMO model. GA attenuated NMO-IgG-induced CDC in a dose-dependent manner. The mechanism of the GA-related CDC inhibition was sequentially dissected and found to involve inhibition of C1q binding to NMO-IgG. Consequently, GA attenuates NMO-IgG-induced CDC and may be a promising novel therapeutic agent against NMO. PMID:27462020

  3. Selenoprotein S expression in reactive astrocytes following brain injury.

    PubMed

    Fradejas, Noelia; Serrano-Pérez, Maria Del Carmen; Tranque, Pedro; Calvo, Soledad

    2011-06-01

    Selenoprotein S (SelS) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident protein involved in the unfolded protein response. Besides reducing ER-stress, SelS attenuates inflammation by decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines. We have recently shown that SelS is responsive to ischemia in cultured astrocytes. To check the possible association of SelS with astrocyte activation, here we investigate the expression of SelS in two models of brain injury: kainic acid (KA) induced excitotoxicity and cortical mechanical lesion. The regulation of SelS and its functional consequences for neuroinflammation, ER-stress, and cell survival were further analyzed using cultured astrocytes from mouse and human. According to our immunofluorescence analysis, SelS expression is prominent in neurons and hardly detectable in astrocytes from control mice. However, brain injury intensely upregulates SelS, specifically in reactive astrocytes. SelS induction by KA was evident at 12 h and faded out after reaching maximum levels at 3-4 days. Analysis of mRNA and protein expression in cultured astrocytes showed SelS upregulation by inflammatory stimuli as well as ER-stress inducers. In turn, siRNA-mediated SelS silencing combined with adenoviral overexpression assays demonstrated that SelS reduces ER-stress markers CHOP and spliced XBP-1, as well as inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 in stimulated astrocytes. SelS overexpression increased astrocyte resistance to ER-stress and inflammatory stimuli. Conversely, SelS suppression compromised astrocyte viability. In summary, our results reveal the upregulation of SelS expression in reactive astrocytes, as well as a new protective role for SelS against inflammation and ER-stress that can be relevant to astrocyte function in the context of inflammatory neuropathologies. PMID:21456042

  4. 5, 8, 11, 14-eicosatetraynoic acid suppresses CCL2/MCP-1 expression in IFN-γ-stimulated astrocytes by increasing MAPK phosphatase-1 mRNA stability

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α activator, 5,8,11,14-eicosatetraynoic acid (ETYA), is an arachidonic acid analog. It is reported to inhibit up-regulation of pro-inflammatory genes; however, its underlying mechanism of action is largely unknown. In the present study, we focused on the inhibitory action of ETYA on the expression of the chemokine, CCL2/MCP-1, which plays a key role in the initiation and progression of inflammation. Methods To determine the effect of ETYA, primary cultured rat astrocytes and microglia were stimulated with IFN-γ in the presence of ETYA and then, expression of CCL2/MCP-1 and MAPK phosphatase (MKP-1) were determined using RT-PCR and ELISA. MKP-1 mRNA stability was evaluated by treating actinomycin D. The effect of MKP-1 and human antigen R (HuR) was analyzed by using specific siRNA transfection system. The localization of HuR was analyzed by immunocytochemistry and subcellular fractionation experiment. Results We found that ETYA suppressed CCL2/MCP-1 transcription and secretion of CCL2/MCP-1 protein through up-regulation of MKP-1mRNA levels, resulting in suppression of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation and activator protein 1 (AP1) activity in IFN-γ-stimulated brain glial cells. Moreover, these effects of ETYA were independent of PPAR-α. Experiments using actinomycin D revealed that the ETYA-induced increase in MKP-1 mRNA levels reflected an increase in transcript stability. Knockdown experiments using small interfering RNA demonstrated that this increase in MKP-1 mRNA stability depended on HuR, an RNA-binding protein known to promote enhanced mRNA stability. Furthermore, ETYA-induced, HuR-mediated mRNA stabilization resulted from HuR-MKP-1 nucleocytoplasmic translocation, which served to protect MKP-1 mRNA from the mRNA degradation machinery. Conclusion ETYA induces MKP-1 through HuR at the post-transcriptional level in a receptor-independent manner. The mechanism revealed here suggests

  5. Astrocyte Dysfunction Induced by Alcohol in Females but Not Males.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Clare J; Hashimoto, Joel G; Roberts, Melissa L; Bloom, Shelley H; Andrew, Melissa R; Wiren, Kristine M

    2016-07-01

    Chronic alcohol abuse is associated with brain damage in a sex-specific fashion, but the mechanisms involved are poorly described and remain controversial. Previous results have suggested that astrocyte gene expression is influenced by ethanol intoxication and during abstinence in vivo. Here, bioinformatic analysis of astrocyte-enriched ethanol-regulated genes in vivo revealed ubiquitin pathways as an ethanol target, but with sexually dimorphic cytokine signaling and changes associated with brain aging in females and not males. Consistent with this result, astrocyte activation was observed after exposure in female but not male animals, with reduced S100β levels in the anterior cingulate cortex and increased GFAP(+) cells in the hippocampus. In primary culture, the direct effects of chronic ethanol exposure followed by recovery on sex-specific astrocyte function were examined. Male astrocyte responses were consistent with astrocyte deactivation with reduced GFAP expression during ethanol exposure. In contrast, female astrocytes exhibited increased expression of Tnf, reduced expression of the neuroprotective cytokine Tgfb1, disrupted bioenergetics and reduced excitatory amino acid uptake following exposure or recovery. These results indicate widespread astrocyte dysfunction in ethanol-exposed females and suggest a mechanism that may underlie increased vulnerability to ethanol-induced neurotoxicity in females. PMID:26088166

  6. Effects of wind-dispelling drugs and deficiency-nourishing drugs of Houshiheisan compound prescription on astrocyte activation and inflammatory factor expression in the corpus striatum of cerebral ischemia rats☆

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qiuxia; Zhao, Hui; Wang, Lei; Zhang, Qi; Wang, Haizheng

    2012-01-01

    This study explored protective effects of Houshiheisan and its compound prescription of wind-dispelling drugs and deficiency-nourishing drugs on cerebral ischemia in terms of astrocyte activation and inflammatory factor expression. Results suggested that Houshiheisan lessened neuronal degeneration in the corpus striatum on the ischemic side of rats following cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury, contributed to astrocyte activation and glial fibrillary acidic protein expression in the corpus striatum and decreased the levels of interleukin-2, interleukin-6, interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α. Factor analysis results demonstrated that deficiency-nourishing drugs were more beneficial in protecting neurons and upregulating glial fibrillary acidic protein expression than wind-dispelling drugs. However, wind-dispelling drugs were more effective in increasing the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells and reducing inflammatory factor expression than deficiency-nourishing drugs. These indicate that different ingredients of Houshiheisan suppress cerebral ischemic injury by promoting astrocyte activation and diminishing inflammatory factor expression. PMID:25624810

  7. Kappa Opioid Receptor Activation of p38 MAPK Is GRK3- and Arrestin-dependent in Neurons and Astrocytes*

    PubMed Central

    Bruchas, Michael R.; Macey, Tara A.; Lowe, Janet D.; Chavkin, Charles

    2007-01-01

    AtT-20 cells expressing the wild-type kappa opioid receptor (KOR) increased phospho-p38 MAPK following treatment with the kappa agonist U50,488. The increase was blocked by the kappa antagonist norbinaltorphimine and not evident in untransfected cells. In contrast, U50,488 treatment of AtT-20 cells expressing KOR having alanine substituted for serine-369 (KSA) did not increase phospho-p38. Phosphorylation of serine 369 in the KOR carboxyl terminus by G-protein receptor kinase 3 (GRK3) was previously shown to be required for receptor desensitization, and the results suggest that p38 MAPK activation by KOR may require arrestin recruitment. This hypothesis was tested by transfecting arrestin3-(R170E), a dominant positive form of arrestin that does not require receptor phosphorylation for activation. AtT-20 cells expressing both KSA and arrestin3-(R170E) responded to U50,488 treatment with an increase in phospho-p38 consistent with the hypothesis. Primary cultured astrocytes (glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive) and neurons (γ-aminobutyric acid-positive) isolated from mouse striata also responded to U50,488 by increasing phospho-p38 immunolabeling. p38 activation was not evident in either striatal astrocytes or neurons isolated from KOR knock-out mice or GRK3 knock-out mice. Astrocytes pretreated with small interfering RNA for arrestin3 were also unable to activate p38 in response to U50,488 treatment. Furthermore, in striatal neurons, the kappa-mediated phospho-p38 labeling was colocalized with arrestin3. These findings suggest that KOR may activate p38 MAPK in brain by a GRK3 and arrestin-dependent mechanism. PMID:16648139

  8. 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.

  9. Functions of mature mammalian astrocytes: a current view.

    PubMed

    Kimelberg, Harold K

    2010-02-01

    Before the roles of normal, mature astrocytes in the mammalian CNS can be discussed, we first need to define these cells. A definition proposed here is that such a class is best defined as consisting of the protoplasmic and fibrous astrocytes of the gray and white matter, respectively, the Bergmann glia of the molecular layer of the cerebellum, and the Muller cells of the retina. It is concluded that the established properties and functions of these mature astrocytes are essential support for neuronal activity, in the sense of Claude Bernard's principle of maintaining "la fixité du milieu intérieur." This milieu would be the extracellular space common to astrocytes and neurons. More specialized roles, such as the recently described "light guides" for retinal Muller cells can also be viewed as support and facilitation. The ECS is also, of course, common to all other neural cells, but here, I limit the discussion to perturbations of the ECS caused only by neuronal activities and the resolution of these perturbations by astrocytes, such as control of increases in extracellular K(+), uptake of excitatory amino acids, and alterations in blood vessel diameter and therefore blood flow. It is also proposed how this fits into the current morphological picture for the protoplasmic astrocytes as having small cell bodies with up to 100,000 process endings that occupy separate territories on which the processes of neighboring astrocytes scarcely intrude. PMID:20236950

  10. 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.

  11. Dynamic volume changes in astrocytes are an intrinsic phenomenon mediated by bicarbonate ion flux.

    PubMed

    Florence, Clare M; Baillie, Landon D; Mulligan, Sean J

    2012-01-01

    Astrocytes, the major type of non-neuronal cells in the brain, play an important functional role in extracellular potassium ([K(+)](o)) and pH homeostasis. Pathological brain states that result in [K(+)](o) and pH dysregulation have been shown to cause astrocyte swelling. However, whether astrocyte volume changes occur under physiological conditions is not known. In this study we used two-photon imaging to visualize real-time astrocyte volume changes in the stratum radiatum of the hippocampus CA1 region. Astrocytes were observed to swell by 19.0±0.9% in response to a small physiological increase in the concentration of [K(+)](o) (3 mM). Astrocyte swelling was mediated by the influx of bicarbonate (HCO(3-)) ions as swelling was significantly decreased when the influx of HCO(3-) was reduced. We found: 1) in HCO(3-) free extracellular solution astrocytes swelled by 5.4±0.7%, 2) when the activity of the sodium-bicarbonate cotransporter (NBC) was blocked the astrocytes swelled by 8.3±0.7%, and 3) in the presence of an extracellular carbonic anhydrase (CA) inhibitor astrocytes swelled by 11.4±0.6%. Because a significant HCO(3-) efflux is known to occur through the γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) channel, we performed a series of experiments to determine if astrocytes were capable of HCO(3-) mediated volume shrinkage with GABA channel activation. Astrocytes were found to shrink -7.7±0.5% of control in response to the GABA(A) channel agonist muscimol. Astrocyte shrinkage from GABA(A) channel activation was significantly decreased to -5.0±0.6% of control in the presence of the membrane-permeant CA inhibitor acetazolamide (ACTZ). These dynamic astrocyte volume changes may represent a previously unappreciated yet fundamental mechanism by which astrocytes regulate physiological brain functioning. PMID:23226475

  12. Gintonin stimulates gliotransmitter release in cortical primary astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyunsook; Lee, Byung-Hwan; Choi, Sun-Hye; Kim, Hyeon-Joong; Jung, Suk-Won; Hwang, Sung-Hee; Rhim, Hyewon; Kim, Hyung-Chun; Cho, Ik-Hyun; Nah, Seung-Yeol

    2015-08-31

    Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a simple and minor phospholipid, but serves as a lipid-derived neurotransmitter via activation of G protein-coupled LPA receptors. Astrocytes abundantly express LPA receptors and contain gliotransmitters that modulate astrocyte-neuron interactions. Gintonin is a novel ginseng-derived G protein-coupled LPA receptor ligand. Gintonin induces [Ca(2+)]i transients in neuronal and non-neuronal cells via activation of LPA receptors, which regulate calcium-dependent ion channels and receptors. A line of evidence shows that neurotransmitter-mediated [Ca(2+)]i elevations in astrocytes are coupled with gliotransmitter release. However, little is known about whether gintonin-mediated [Ca(2+)]i transients are coupled to gliotransmitter release in astrocytes. In the present study, we examined the effects of gintonin on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and glutamate release in mouse cortical primary astrocytes. Application of gintonin to astrocytes induced [Ca(2+)]i transients in a concentration-dependent and reversible manner. However, ginsenosides, other active ingredients in ginseng, had no effect on [Ca(2+)]i transients. The induction of gintonin-mediated [Ca(2+)]i transients was attenuated/blocked by the LPA1/3 receptor antagonist Ki16425, a phospholipase C inhibitor, an inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor antagonist, and an intracellular Ca(2+) chelator. Gintonin treatment on astrocytes increased ATP and glutamate release in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. BAPTA and Ki16425 attenuated gintonin-mediated ATP and glutamate release in astrocytes. The present study shows that gintonin-mediated [Ca(2+)]i transients are coupled to gliotransmitter release via LPA receptor activation. Finally, gintonin-mediated [Ca(2+)]i transients and gliotransmitter release from astrocytes via LPA receptor activation might explain one mechanism of gintonin-mediated neuromodulation in the central nervous system. PMID:26191656

  13. Striatal neuronal death mediated by astrocytes from the Gcdh-/- mouse model of glutaric acidemia type I.

    PubMed

    Olivera-Bravo, Silvia; Ribeiro, César A J; Isasi, Eugenia; Trías, Emiliano; Leipnitz, Guilhian; Díaz-Amarilla, Pablo; Woontner, Michael; Beck, Cheryl; Goodman, Stephen I; Souza, Diogo; Wajner, Moacir; Barbeito, Luis

    2015-08-15

    Glutaric acidemia type I (GA-I) is an inherited neurometabolic childhood disorder caused by defective activity of glutaryl CoA dehydrogenase (GCDH) which disturb lysine (Lys) and tryptophan catabolism leading to neurotoxic accumulation of glutaric acid (GA) and related metabolites. However, it remains unknown whether GA toxicity is due to direct effects on vulnerable neurons or mediated by GA-intoxicated astrocytes that fail to support neuron function and survival. As damaged astrocytes can also contribute to sustain high GA levels, we explored the ability of Gcdh-/- mouse astrocytes to produce GA and induce neuronal death when challenged with Lys. Upon Lys treatment, Gcdh-/- astrocytes synthetized and released GA and 3-hydroxyglutaric acid (3HGA). Lys and GA treatments also increased oxidative stress and proliferation in Gcdh-/- astrocytes, both prevented by antioxidants. Pretreatment with Lys also caused Gcdh-/- astrocytes to induce extensive death of striatal and cortical neurons when compared with milder effect in WT astrocytes. Antioxidants abrogated the neuronal death induced by astrocytes exposed to Lys or GA. In contrast, Lys or GA direct exposure on Gcdh-/- or WT striatal neurons cultured in the absence of astrocytes was not toxic, indicating that neuronal death is mediated by astrocytes. In summary, GCDH-defective astrocytes actively contribute to produce and accumulate GA and 3HGA when Lys catabolism is stressed. In turn, astrocytic GA production induces a neurotoxic phenotype that kills striatal and cortical neurons by an oxidative stress-dependent mechanism. Targeting astrocytes in GA-I may prompt the development of new antioxidant-based therapeutical approaches. PMID:25968119

  14. Expression of microtubule-associated protein 2 by reactive astrocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Geisert, E E; Johnson, H G; Binder, L I

    1990-01-01

    After an injury to the central nervous system, a dramatic change in the astrocytes bordering the wound occurs. The most characteristic feature of this process, termed reactive gliosis, is the upregulation of the intermediate filament protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein. In the present study, we show that reactive astrocytes express high levels of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2), a protein normally found in the somatodendritic compartment of neurons. When sections of injured brain are double-stained with antibodies directed against MAP-2 and glial fibrillary protein, all of the reactive astrocytes are found to contain MAP-2. The high levels of this protein appear to represent a permanent change in reactive astrocytes. In parallel quantitative studies, an elevated level of MAP-2 in the injured brain is confirmed by an immunoblot analysis of injured and normal white matter. This report demonstrates the direct involvement of a microtubule protein in the process of reactive gliosis. Images PMID:1692628

  15. Tau accumulation in astrocytes in progressive supranuclear palsy is a degenerative rather than a reactive process.

    PubMed

    Togo, Takashi; Dickson, Dennis W

    2002-10-01

    Tau-immunoreactive astrocytes in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) have a distinctive morphology and are referred to as tufted astrocytes (TA). We hypothesized that TA may be a degenerative change in reactive astrocytes. To test this hypothesis we examined the relationship of TA to gliosis in PSP. We first examined the distribution of gliosis [glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP)-positive astrocytes], TA, neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and pretangles in brain sections of neuropathologically pure PSP cases. Second, we examined PSP cases complicated by infarcts or Alzheimer's disease, since these cases would have reactive astrocytes associated with lesions. We used double immunostaining for GFAP and tau for cases with vascular lesions, and triple immunostaining for GFAP, tau and beta-amyloid protein for sections with senile plaques. There was no correlation between the distribution of gliosis and TA, with gliosis prominent in globus pallidus and subthalamic nucleus, and TA prominent in motor cortex and striatum. On the other hand, gliosis paralleled the distribution of NFT, but not the distribution of pretangles, suggesting that NFT contributes to gliosis in PSP. Although reactive astrocytes were present around infarcts and senile plaques, TA were not associated with these lesions. Tau accumulation in astrocytes in PSP was not preferential to (and was actually independent of) reactive astrocytes. This is consistent with the notion that tau accumulation in astrocytes is a degenerative rather than reactive process. Unlike NFT, astrocytic degeneration does not seem to contribute to gliosis or neuronal loss in PSP, and its clinical significance remains unclear. PMID:12200627

  16. A Novel Subtype of Astrocytes Expressing TRPV4 (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4) Regulates Neuronal Excitability via Release of Gliotransmitters*

    PubMed Central

    Shibasaki, Koji; Ikenaka, Kazuhiro; Tamalu, Fuminobu; Tominaga, Makoto; Ishizaki, Yasuki

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes play active roles in the regulation of synaptic transmission. Neuronal excitation can evoke Ca2+ transients in astrocytes, and these Ca2+ transients can modulate neuronal excitability. Although only a subset of astrocytes appears to communicate with neurons, the types of astrocytes that can regulate neuronal excitability are poorly characterized. We found that ∼30% of astrocytes in the brain express transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4), indicating that astrocytic subtypes can be classified on the basis of their expression patterns. When TRPV4+ astrocytes are activated by ligands such as arachidonic acid, the activation propagates to neighboring astrocytes through gap junctions and by ATP release from the TRPV4+ astrocytes. After activation, both TRPV4+ and TRPV4− astrocytes release glutamate, which acts as an excitatory gliotransmitter to increase synaptic transmission through type 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR). Our results indicate that TRPV4+ astrocytes constitute a novel subtype of the population and are solely responsible for initiating excitatory gliotransmitter release to enhance synaptic transmission. We propose that TRPV4+ astrocytes form a core of excitatory glial assembly in the brain and function to efficiently increase neuronal excitation in response to endogenous TRPV4 ligands. PMID:24737318

  17. 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. PMID:26091629

  18. Targeted deletion in astrocyte intermediate filament (Gfap) alters neuronal physiology.

    PubMed Central

    McCall, M A; Gregg, R G; Behringer, R R; Brenner, M; Delaney, C L; Galbreath, E J; Zhang, C L; Pearce, R A; Chiu, S Y; Messing, A

    1996-01-01

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is a member of the family of intermediate filament structural proteins and is found predominantly in astrocytes of the central nervous system (CNS). To assess the function of GFAP, we created GFAP-null mice using gene targeting in embryonic stem cells. The GFAP-null mice have normal development and fertility, and show no gross alterations in behavior or CNS morphology. Astrocytes are present in the CNS of the mutant mice, but contain a severely reduced number of intermediate filaments. Since astrocyte processes contact synapses and may modulate synaptic function, we examined whether the GFAP-null mice were altered in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. The GFAP-null mice displayed enhanced long-term potentiation of both population spike amplitude and excitatory post-synaptic potential slope compared to control mice. These data suggest that GFAP is important for astrocyte-neuronal interactions, and that astrocyte processes play a vital role in modulating synaptic efficacy in the CNS. These mice therefore represent a direct demonstration that a primary defect in astrocytes influences neuronal physiology. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8692820

  19. 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. PMID:27518562

  20. Role of Astrocytes in Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Coulter, Douglas A.; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes express ion channels, transmitter receptors, and transporters and, thus, are endowed with the machinery to sense and respond to neuronal activity. Recent studies have implicated that astrocytes play important roles in physiology, but these cells also emerge as crucial actors in epilepsy. Astrocytes are abundantly coupled through gap junctions allowing them to redistribute elevated K+ and transmitter concentrations from sites of enhanced neuronal activity. Investigation of specimens from patients with pharmacoresistant temporal lobe epilepsy and epilepsy models revealed alterations in expression, localization, and function of astroglial K+ and water channels. In addition, malfunction of glutamate transporters and the astrocytic glutamate-converting enzyme, glutamine synthetase, has been observed in epileptic tissue. These findings suggest that dysfunctional astrocytes are crucial players in epilepsy and should be considered as promising targets for new therapeutic strategies. PMID:25732035

  1. Astrocytes: Orchestrating synaptic plasticity?

    PubMed

    De Pittà, M; Brunel, N; Volterra, A

    2016-05-26

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity of a preexisting connection between two neurons to change in strength as a function of neural activity. Because synaptic plasticity is the major candidate mechanism for learning and memory, the elucidation of its constituting mechanisms is of crucial importance in many aspects of normal and pathological brain function. In particular, a prominent aspect that remains debated is how the plasticity mechanisms, that encompass a broad spectrum of temporal and spatial scales, come to play together in a concerted fashion. Here we review and discuss evidence that pinpoints to a possible non-neuronal, glial candidate for such orchestration: the regulation of synaptic plasticity by astrocytes. PMID:25862587

  2. Astrocytes in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Ludwin, Samuel K; Rao, Vijayaraghava Ts; Moore, Craig S; Antel, Jack P

    2016-08-01

    Recent experimental and clinical studies on astrocytes are unraveling the capabilities of these multi-functional cells in normal homeostasis, and in central nervous system (CNS) disease. This review focuses on understanding their behavior in all aspects of the initiation, evolution, and resolution of the multiple sclerosis (MS) lesion. Astrocytes display remarkable flexibility and variability of their physical structure and biochemical output, each aspect finely tuned to the specific stage and location of the disease, participating in both pathogenic and beneficial changes seen in acute and progressive forms. As examples, chemo-attractive or repulsive molecules may facilitate the entry of destructive immune cells but may also aid in the recruitment of oligodendrocyte precursors, essential for repair. Pro-inflammatory cytokines may attack pathogenic cells and also destroy normal oligodendrocytes, myelin, and axons. Protective trophic factors may also open the blood-brain barrier and modulate the extracellular matrix to favor recruitment and persistence of CNS-specific immune cells. A chronic glial scar may confer structural support following tissue loss and inhibit ingress of further noxious insults and also inhibit migration of reparative cells and molecules into the damaged tissue. Continual study into these processes offers the therapeutic opportunities to enhance the beneficial capabilities of these cells while limiting their destructive effects. PMID:27207458

  3. 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

    2014-05-01

    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. PMID:24806671

  4. Modeling Alexander disease with patient iPSCs reveals cellular and molecular pathology of astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Takayuki; Funayama, Misato; Miyake, Michiyo; Tsukita, Kayoko; Era, Takumi; Osaka, Hitoshi; Ayaki, Takashi; Takahashi, Ryosuke; Inoue, Haruhisa

    2016-01-01

    Alexander disease is a fatal neurological illness characterized by white-matter degeneration and formation of Rosenthal fibers, which contain glial fibrillary acidic protein as astrocytic inclusion. Alexander disease is mainly caused by a gene mutation encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein, although the underlying pathomechanism remains unclear. We established induced pluripotent stem cells from Alexander disease patients, and differentiated induced pluripotent stem cells into astrocytes. Alexander disease patient astrocytes exhibited Rosenthal fiber-like structures, a key Alexander disease pathology, and increased inflammatory cytokine release compared to healthy control. These results suggested that Alexander disease astrocytes contribute to leukodystrophy and a variety of symptoms as an inflammatory source in the Alexander disease patient brain. Astrocytes, differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells of Alexander disease, could be a cellular model for future translational medicine. PMID:27402089

  5. Complement Peptide C3a Promotes Astrocyte Survival in Response to Ischemic Stress.

    PubMed

    Shinjyo, Noriko; de Pablo, Yolanda; Pekny, Milos; Pekna, Marcela

    2016-07-01

    Astrocytes are the most numerous cells in the central nervous system with a range of homeostatic and regulatory functions. Under normal conditions as well as after ischemia, astrocytes promote neuronal survival. We have previously reported that the complement-derived peptide C3a stimulates neuronal differentiation of neural progenitor cells and protects the immature brain tissue against hypoxic-ischemic injury. Here, we studied the effects of C3a on the response of mouse cortical astrocytes to ischemia. We have found that chemical ischemia, induced by combined inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis, upregulates the expression of C3a receptor in cultured primary astrocytes. C3a treatment protected wild-type but not C3a receptor-deficient astrocytes from cell death induced by chemical ischemia or oxygen-glucose deprivation by reducing ERK signaling and caspase-3 activation. C3a attenuated ischemia-induced upregulation of glial fibrillary acidic protein; however, the protective effects of C3a were not dependent on the presence of the astrocyte intermediate filament system. Pre-treatment of astrocytes with C3a during recovery abrogated the ischemia-induced neuroprotective phenotype of astrocytes. Jointly, these results provide the first evidence that the complement peptide C3a modulates the response of astrocytes to ischemia and increases their ability to cope with ischemic stress. PMID:25972241

  6. Ballistic labeling and dynamic imaging of astrocytes in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures.

    PubMed

    Benediktsson, Adrienne M; Schachtele, Scott J; Green, Steven H; Dailey, Michael E

    2005-01-30

    Protoplasmic astrocytes in mammalian CNS tissues in vivo have a highly complex 3D morphology, but in dissociated cell cultures they often assume a flattened, fibroblast-like morphology bearing only a few, simple processes. By fluorescent labeling and confocal reconstruction we show that many astrocytes in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures exhibit a more native complex cytoarchitecture. Although astrocytes at the surface of slice cultures show a reactive form with several thick glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive processes, astrocytes situated in deeper portions of tissue slices retain a highly complex 3D morphology with many fine spine- or veil-like protrusions. Dozens of astrocytes can be labeled in single slice cultures by gene gun-mediated ballistic delivery of gold or tungsten particles carrying cDNAs (Biolistics), lipophilic dyes (DiOlistics), or fluorescent intracellular calcium indicators (Calistics). Expression of a membrane-targeted form of eGFP (Lck-GFP) is superior to soluble eGFP for resolving fine astrocytic processes. Time-lapse confocal imaging of Lck-GFP transfected astrocytes or "calistically" labeled astrocytes show structural remodeling and calcium transients, respectively. This approach provides an in vitro system for investigating the functional architecture, development and dynamic remodeling of astrocytes and their relationships to neurons and glia in live mammalian brain tissues. PMID:15585287

  7. Bone Marrow-Derived Nonreactive Astrocytes in the Mouse Brain After Permanent Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion

    PubMed Central

    Tóth, Zsuzsanna E.; Leker, Ronen R.; Shahar, Tal; Bratincsak, Andras; Szalayova, Ildiko; Key, Sharon; Palkovits, Miklós; Cassiani-Ingoni, Riccardo

    2011-01-01

    We studied the effect of permanent unilateral middle cerebral artery occlusion (PMCAO) on the generation of bone marrow (BM)-derived astrocytes in female mice previously transplanted with enchanced green fluorescent protein-expressing BM from male donors. In addition to an untreated PMCAO group, one group of mice also received intracerebral infusion of transforming growth factor-alpha, resulting in a decrease in the size of the infarct. Two months after PMCAO, we found a specific type of astrocyte of BM origin in the side of the injury, near the lesion. These astrocytes did not express glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) by conventional fluorescence immunostaining; however, GFAP was easily detectable by tyramide signal amplification. These cells also expressed S100β, confirming their astrocytic character. Unlike the endogenous reactive astrocytes, these BM-derived astrocytes did not proliferate during the first week of ischemia and did not contribute to the glial scar formation. Transforming growth factor-alpha infusion increased the number of BM-derived astrocytes, without affecting their distribution. Interestingly, exclusively by tyramide signal amplification staining, we found that endogenous astrocytes displaying an identical morphology were also present in control mouse and human brains. Our data demonstrate that a subpopulation of nonreactive astrocytes expressing low levels of GFAP can originate from transplanted BM in the ischemic brain. We believe that these cells represent a subpopulation of astrocytes earlier considered to be GFAP negative. The high number of astrocytes with identical morphology and chemical character in control brains suggest that these type of astrocytes may have important functional role in the central nervous system that calls for further studies. PMID:20604679

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Modulation of morpho-functional characteristics of astrocytes using chemically-functionalized water-soluble single-walled carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gottipati, Manoj K.

    In this thesis, I report the use of chemically functionalized water-soluble single-walled carbon nanotubes (ws-SWCNTs) for the modulation of morpho-functional characteristics of astrocytes. When added to the culturing medium, ws-SWCNTs were able to make astrocytes larger and stellate/mature, changes associated with the increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity. Thus, ws-SWCNTs could have more beneficial effects at the injury site than previously thought; by affecting astrocytes, they could provide for a more comprehensive re-establishment of the brain computational power. Keywords: Carbon nanotubes, graft copolymers, astrocytes, glial fibrillary acidic protein.

  11. Astrocyte pathology in major depressive disorder: insights from human postmortem brain tissue.

    PubMed

    Rajkowska, Grazyna; Stockmeier, Craig A

    2013-10-01

    The present paper reviews astrocyte pathology in major depressive disorder (MDD) and proposes that reductions in astrocytes and related markers are key features in the pathology of MDD. Astrocytes are the most numerous and versatile of all types of glial cells. They are crucial to the neuronal microenvironment by regulating glucose metabolism, neurotransmitter uptake (particularly for glutamate), synaptic development and maturation and the blood brain barrier. Pathology of astrocytes has been consistently noted in MDD as well as in rodent models of depressive-like behavior. This review summarizes evidence from human postmortem tissue showing alterations in the expression of protein and mRNA for astrocyte markers such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), gap junction proteins (connexin 40 and 43), the water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4), a calcium-binding protein S100B and glutamatergic markers including the excitatory amino acid transporters 1 and 2 (EAAT1, EAAT2) and glutamine synthetase. Moreover, preclinical studies are presented that demonstrate the involvement of GFAP and astrocytes in animal models of stress and depressive-like behavior and the influence of different classes of antidepressant medications on astrocytes. In light of the various astrocyte deficits noted in MDD, astrocytes may be novel targets for the action of antidepressant medications. Possible functional consequences of altered expression of astrocytic markers in MDD are also discussed. Finally, the unique pattern of cell pathology in MDD, characterized by prominent reductions in the density of astrocytes and in the expression of their markers without obvious neuronal loss, is contrasted with that found in other neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23469922

  12. Reactive Transformation and Increased BDNF Signaling by Hippocampal Astrocytes in Response to MK-801

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yueming; Li, Guanjun; Wang, Lihua; Li, Huafang

    2015-01-01

    MK-801, also known as dizocilpine, is a noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor antagonist that induces schizophrenia-like symptoms. While astrocytes have been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, astrocytic responses to MK-801 and their significance to schizotypic symptoms are unclear. Changes in the expression levels of glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP), a marker of astrocyte activation in response to a variety of pathogenic stimuli, were examined in the hippocampus of rats treated with the repeated MK-801 injection (0.5 mg/10ml/kg body weight for 6 days) and in primary cultured hippocampal astrocytes incubated with MK-801 (5 or 20 μM for 24 h). Moreover, the expression levels of BDNF and its receptors TrkB and p75 were examined in MK-801-treated astrocyte cultures. MK-801 treatment enhanced GFAP expression in the rat hippocampus and also increased the levels of GFAP protein and mRNA in hippocampal astrocytes in vitro. Treatment of cultured hippocampal astrocytes with MK-801 enhanced protein and mRNA levels of BDNF, TrkB, and p75. Collectively, our results suggest that hippocampal astrocytes may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia symptoms associated with NMDA receptor hypofunction by reactive transformation and altered BDNF signaling. PMID:26700309

  13. 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. PMID:26221781

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Neurovirulent simian immunodeficiency virus induces calbindin-D-28K in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Berman, N E; Yong, C; Raghavan, R; Raymond, L A; Joag, S V; Narayan, O; Cheney, P D

    1998-05-01

    Astrocyte activation has been postulated to be a major contributor to functional changes in the brain of AIDS patients. We assessed astrocyte activation in the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) model. Four groups of macaque brains were examined: uninoculated controls, animals inoculated with virus that did not cause disease, animals inoculated with virus that caused AIDS but did not cause encephalitis, and animals with SIV encephalitis. We examined expression of calbindin-D-28K, a calcium binding protein that is upregulated in astrocytes during excitotoxic events, as well as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The presence of calbindin in astrocytes was confirmed by double-labeling using confocal microscopy. Increases in calbindin staining were most apparent in the white matter, but increases in GFAP staining were most apparent in middle layers of the cerebral cortex. Six of the seven animals with SIV encephalitis had calbindin immunoreactive astrocytes in the subcortical white matter, corpus callosum, internal capsule, cerebral peduncle, pontine white matter, and cerebellar white matter. Very rarely, a few, very lightly calbindin-immunoreactive astrocytes were present in the uninoculated control brains. The increase in calbindin expression by astrocytes in SIV encephalitis suggests that these cells are subject to calcium toxicity. In uninoculated control macaques, and in macaques inoculated with virus that did not cause disease, GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes were present throughout the subcortical white matter and in layer I, but very few were found in layers III-V of the cerebral cortex. Two animals that died of AIDS without encephalitis had somewhat higher numbers of GFAP immunoreactive astrocytes in middle cortical layers. In seven animals that received passaged neurovirulent virus and developed both AIDS and encephalitis, the number of GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes in middle cortical layers was high, indicating widespread astrocyte activation. PMID

  17. 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

  18. 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

    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

    2015-08-19

    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. The 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 have now 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 (1)H-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 anticancer agent. Our exciting observations suggest that the combinatorial approach might be an effective way to combat HCC. PMID:26079152

  19. 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

  20. Insensitivity of astrocytes to interleukin 10 signaling following peripheral immune challenge results in prolonged microglial activation in the aged brain.

    PubMed

    Norden, Diana M; Trojanowski, Paige J; Walker, Frederick R; Godbout, Jonathan P

    2016-08-01

    Immune-activated microglia from aged mice produce exaggerated levels of cytokines. Despite high levels of microglial interleukin (IL)-10 in the aged brain, neuroinflammation was prolonged and associated with depressive-like deficits. Because astrocytes respond to IL-10 and, in turn, attenuate microglial activation, we investigated if astrocyte-mediated resolution of microglial activation was impaired with age. Here, aged astrocytes had a dysfunctional profile with higher glial fibrillary acidic protein, lower glutamate transporter expression, and significant cytoskeletal re-arrangement. Moreover, aged astrocytes had reduced expression of growth factors and IL-10 receptor-1 (IL-10R1). After in vivo lipopolysaccharide immune challenge, aged astrocytes had a molecular signature associated with reduced responsiveness to IL-10. This IL-10 insensitivity of aged astrocytes resulted in a failure to induce IL-10R1 and transforming growth factor β and resolve microglial activation. In addition, adult astrocytes reduced microglial activation when co-cultured ex vivo, whereas aged astrocytes did not. Consistent with the aging studies, IL-10R(KO) astrocytes did not augment transforming growth factor β after immune challenge and failed to resolve microglial activation. Collectively, a major cytokine-regulatory loop between activated microglia and astrocytes is impaired in the aged brain. PMID:27318131

  1. Meteorin is upregulated in reactive astrocytes and functions as a negative feedback effector in reactive gliosis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hye Shin; Lee, Soon-Hee; Cha, Jong-Ho; Seo, Ji Hae; Ahn, Bum Ju; Kim, Kyu-Won

    2015-08-01

    Reactive gliosis is a glial response to a wide range of central nervous system insults, which results in cellular and molecular changes to resting glial cells. Despite its fundamental effect on neuropathologies, the identification and characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain to be fully elucidated. The aim of the present study was to analyze the expression profile and functions of the astrocytic neurotrophic factor, meteorin, in the progression of reactive gliosis. A mouse model of photothrombotic ischemia, and a primary astrocyte culture were used in the present study. Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blotting and immunofluorescence staining were performed to examine the expression levels of meteorin and reactive gliosis markers. Increased expression levels of meteorin were observed in reactive astrocytes in a photothrombotic ischemia mouse model, as well as in cultured astrocytes, which were stimulated by transforming growth factor-β1. Exogenous treatment of the astrocytes with meteorin did not induce janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 signaling, however, silencing the expression of meteorin in the astrocytes resulted in an upregulation of reactive astrocyte markers, including glial fibrillary acidic protein and S100β, indicating that endogenous meteorin is required for the maintenance of astrocytic homeostasis. These results suggested a novel role for meteorin as a negative feedback effector in reactive gliosis. PMID:25873382

  2. Meteorin is upregulated in reactive astrocytes and functions as a negative feedback effector in reactive gliosis

    PubMed Central

    LEE, HYE SHIN; LEE, SOON-HEE; CHA, JONG-HO; SEO, JI HAE; AHN, BUM JU; KIM, KYU-WON

    2015-01-01

    Reactive gliosis is a glial response to a wide range of central nervous system insults, which results in cellular and molecular changes to resting glial cells. Despite its fundamental effect on neuropathologies, the identification and characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain to be fully elucidated. The aim of the present study was to analyze the expression profile and functions of the astrocytic neurotrophic factor, meteorin, in the progression of reactive gliosis. A mouse model of photothrombotic ischemia, and a primary astrocyte culture were used in the present study. Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blotting and immunofluorescence staining were performed to examine the expression levels of meteorin and reactive gliosis markers. Increased expression levels of meteorin were observed in reactive astrocytes in a photothrombotic ischemia mouse model, as well as in cultured astrocytes, which were stimulated by transforming growth factor-β1. Exogenous treatment of the astrocytes with meteorin did not induce janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 signaling, however, silencing the expression of meteorin in the astrocytes resulted in an upregulation of reactive astrocyte markers, including glial fibrillary acidic protein and S100β, indicating that endogenous meteorin is required for the maintenance of astrocytic homeostasis. These results suggested a novel role for meteorin as a negative feedback effector in reactive gliosis. PMID:25873382

  3. Imbalance between Glutamate and GABA in Fmr1 Knockout Astrocytes Influences Neuronal Development

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lu; Wang, Yan; Zhou, Shimeng; Yang, Liukun; Shi, Qixin; Li, Yujiao; Zhang, Kun; Yang, Le; Zhao, Minggao; Yang, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a form of inherited mental retardation that results from the absence of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), the product of the Fmr1 gene. Numerous studies have shown that FMRP expression in astrocytes is important in the development of FXS. Although astrocytes affect neuronal dendrite development in Fmr1 knockout (KO) mice, the factors released by astrocytes are still unclear. We cultured wild type (WT) cortical neurons in astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) from WT or Fmr1 KO mice. Immunocytochemistry and Western blotting were performed to detect the dendritic growth of both WT and KO neurons. We determined glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The total neuronal dendritic length was reduced when cultured in the Fmr1 KO ACM. This neurotoxicity was triggered by an imbalanced release of glutamate and GABA from Fmr1 KO astrocytes. We found increased glutaminase and GABA transaminase (GABA-T) expression and decreased monoamine oxidase B expression in Fmr1 KO astrocytes. The elevated levels of glutamate contributed to oxidative stress in the cultured neurons. Vigabatrin (VGB), a GABA-T inhibitor, reversed the changes caused by glutamate and GABA release in Fmr1 KO astrocytes and the abnormal behaviors in Fmr1 KO mice. Our results indicate that the imbalance in the astrocytic glutamate and GABA release may be involved in the neuropathology and the underlying symptoms of FXS, and provides a therapeutic target for treatment. PMID:27517961

  4. Human astrocytes develop physiological morphology and remain quiescent in a novel 3D matrix.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    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 activated, 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

  5. Glutamate Mediated Astrocytic Filtering of Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    Herzog, Nitzan; De Pittà, Maurizio; Jacob, Eshel Ben; Berry, Hugues; Hanein, Yael

    2014-01-01

    Neuron-astrocyte communication is an important regulatory mechanism in various brain functions but its complexity and role are yet to be fully understood. In particular, the temporal pattern of astrocyte response to neuronal firing has not been fully characterized. Here, we used neuron-astrocyte cultures on multi-electrode arrays coupled to Ca2+ imaging and explored the range of neuronal stimulation frequencies while keeping constant the amount of stimulation. Our results reveal that astrocytes specifically respond to the frequency of neuronal stimulation by intracellular Ca2+ transients, with a clear onset of astrocytic activation at neuron firing rates around 3-5 Hz. The cell-to-cell heterogeneity of the astrocyte Ca2+ response was however large and increasing with stimulation frequency. Astrocytic activation by neurons was abolished with antagonists of type I metabotropic glutamate receptor, validating the glutamate-dependence of this neuron-to-astrocyte pathway. Using a realistic biophysical model of glutamate-based intracellular calcium signaling in astrocytes, we suggest that the stepwise response is due to the supralinear dynamics of intracellular IP3 and that the heterogeneity of the responses may be due to the heterogeneity of the astrocyte-to-astrocyte couplings via gap junction channels. Therefore our results present astrocyte intracellular Ca2+ activity as a nonlinear integrator of glutamate-dependent neuronal activity. PMID:25521344

  6. Neuronal influences are necessary to produce mitochondrial co-localization with glutamate transporters in astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Ugbode, Christopher I; Hirst, Warren D; Rattray, Marcus

    2014-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that the predominant astrocyte glutamate transporter, GLT-1/ Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 2 (EAAT2) is associated with mitochondria. We used primary cultures of mouse astrocytes to assess co-localization of GLT-1 with mitochondria, and tested whether the interaction was dependent on neurons, actin polymerization or the kinesin adaptor, TRAK2. Mouse primary astrocytes were transfected with constructs expressing V5-tagged GLT-1, pDsRed1-Mito with and without dominant negative TRAK2. Astrocytes were visualized using confocal microscopy and co-localization was quantified using Volocity software. Image analysis of confocal z-stacks revealed no co-localization between mitochondria and GLT-1 in pure astrocyte cultures. Co-culture of astrocytes with primary mouse cortical neurons revealed more mitochondria in processes and a positive correlation between mitochondria and GLT-1. This co-localization was not further enhanced after neuronal depolarization induced by 1 h treatment with 15 mM K+. In pure astrocytes, a rho kinase inhibitor, Y27632 caused the distribution of mitochondria to astrocyte processes without enhancing GLT-1/mitochondrial co-localization, however, in co-cultures, Y27632 abolished mitochondrial:GLT-1 co-localization. Disrupting potential mitochondrial: kinesin interactions using dominant negative TRAK2 did not alter GLT-1 distribution or GLT-1: mitochondrial co-localization. We conclude that the association between GLT-1 and mitochondria is modest, is driven by synaptic activity and dependent on polymerized actin filaments.Mitochondria have limited co-localization with the glutamate transporter GLT-1 in primary astrocytes in culture. Few mitochondria are in the fine processes where GLT-1 is abundant. It is necessary to culture astrocytes with neurones to drive a significant level of co-localization, but co-localization is not further altered by depolarization, manipulating sodium ion gradients or Na/K ATPase activity. PMID

  7. Reactive protoplasmic and fibrous astrocytes contain high levels of calpain-cleaved alpha 2 spectrin.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung H; Kwon, Soojung J; Stankewich, Michael C; Huh, Gi-Yeong; Glantz, Susan B; Morrow, Jon S

    2016-02-01

    Calpain, a family of calcium-dependent neutral proteases, plays important roles in neurophysiology and pathology through the proteolytic modification of cytoskeletal proteins, receptors and kinases. Alpha 2 spectrin (αII spectrin) is a major substrate for this protease family, and the presence of the αII spectrin breakdown product (αΙΙ spectrin BDP) in a cell is evidence of calpain activity triggered by enhanced intracytoplasmic Ca(2+) concentrations. Astrocytes, the most dynamic CNS cells, respond to micro-environmental changes or noxious stimuli by elevating intracytoplasmic Ca(2+) concentration to become activated. As one measure of whether calpains are involved with reactive glial transformation, we examined paraffin sections of the human cerebral cortex and white matter by immunohistochemistry with an antibody specific for the calpain-mediated αΙΙ spectrin BDP. We also performed conventional double immunohistochemistry as well as immunofluorescent studies utilizing antibodies against αΙΙ spectrin BDP as well as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). We found strong immunopositivity in selected protoplasmic and fibrous astrocytes, and in transitional forms that raise the possibility of some of fibrous astrocytes emerging from protoplasmic astrocytes. Immunoreactive astrocytes were numerous in brain sections from cases with severe cardiac and/or respiratory diseases in the current study as opposed to our previous study of cases without significant clinical conditions that failed to reveal such remarkable immunohistochemical alterations. Our study suggests that astrocytes become αΙΙ spectrin BDP immunopositive in various stages of activation, and that spectrin cleavage product persists even in fully reactive astrocytes. Immunohistochemistry for αΙΙ spectrin BDP thus marks reactive astrocytes, and highlights the likelihood that calpains and their proteolytic processing of spectrin participate in the morphologic and physiologic transition from

  8. Functional Oxygen Sensitivity of Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Angelova, Plamena R.; Kasymov, Vitaliy; Christie, Isabel; Sheikhbahaei, Shahriar; Turovsky, Egor; Marina, Nephtali; Korsak, Alla; Zwicker, Jennifer; Teschemacher, Anja G.; Ackland, Gareth L.; Funk, Gregory D.; Kasparov, Sergey; Abramov, Andrey Y.

    2015-01-01

    In terrestrial mammals, the oxygen storage capacity of the CNS is limited, and neuronal function is rapidly impaired if oxygen supply is interrupted even for a short period of time. However, oxygen tension monitored by the peripheral (arterial) chemoreceptors is not sensitive to regional CNS differences in partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) that reflect variable levels of neuronal activity or local tissue hypoxia, pointing to the necessity of a functional brain oxygen sensor. This experimental animal (rats and mice) study shows that astrocytes, the most numerous brain glial cells, are sensitive to physiological changes in PO2. Astrocytes respond to decreases in PO2 a few millimeters of mercury below normal brain oxygenation with elevations in intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i). The hypoxia sensor of astrocytes resides in the mitochondria in which oxygen is consumed. Physiological decrease in PO2 inhibits astroglial mitochondrial respiration, leading to mitochondrial depolarization, production of free radicals, lipid peroxidation, activation of phospholipase C, IP3 receptors, and release of Ca2+ from the intracellular stores. Hypoxia-induced [Ca2+]i increases in astrocytes trigger fusion of vesicular compartments containing ATP. Blockade of astrocytic signaling by overexpression of ATP-degrading enzymes or targeted astrocyte-specific expression of tetanus toxin light chain (to interfere with vesicular release mechanisms) within the brainstem respiratory rhythm-generating circuits reveals the fundamental physiological role of astroglial oxygen sensitivity; in low-oxygen conditions (environmental hypoxia), this mechanism increases breathing activity even in the absence of peripheral chemoreceptor oxygen sensing. These results demonstrate that astrocytes are functionally specialized CNS oxygen sensors tuned for rapid detection of physiological changes in brain oxygenation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Most, if not all, animal cells possess mechanisms that allow them to detect

  9. Functional Oxygen Sensitivity of Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Angelova, Plamena R; Kasymov, Vitaliy; Christie, Isabel; Sheikhbahaei, Shahriar; Turovsky, Egor; Marina, Nephtali; Korsak, Alla; Zwicker, Jennifer; Teschemacher, Anja G; Ackland, Gareth L; Funk, Gregory D; Kasparov, Sergey; Abramov, Andrey Y; Gourine, Alexander V

    2015-07-22

    In terrestrial mammals, the oxygen storage capacity of the CNS is limited, and neuronal function is rapidly impaired if oxygen supply is interrupted even for a short period of time. However, oxygen tension monitored by the peripheral (arterial) chemoreceptors is not sensitive to regional CNS differences in partial pressure of oxygen (PO2 ) that reflect variable levels of neuronal activity or local tissue hypoxia, pointing to the necessity of a functional brain oxygen sensor. This experimental animal (rats and mice) study shows that astrocytes, the most numerous brain glial cells, are sensitive to physiological changes in PO2 . Astrocytes respond to decreases in PO2 a few millimeters of mercury below normal brain oxygenation with elevations in intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)]i). The hypoxia sensor of astrocytes resides in the mitochondria in which oxygen is consumed. Physiological decrease in PO2 inhibits astroglial mitochondrial respiration, leading to mitochondrial depolarization, production of free radicals, lipid peroxidation, activation of phospholipase C, IP3 receptors, and release of Ca(2+) from the intracellular stores. Hypoxia-induced [Ca(2+)]i increases in astrocytes trigger fusion of vesicular compartments containing ATP. Blockade of astrocytic signaling by overexpression of ATP-degrading enzymes or targeted astrocyte-specific expression of tetanus toxin light chain (to interfere with vesicular release mechanisms) within the brainstem respiratory rhythm-generating circuits reveals the fundamental physiological role of astroglial oxygen sensitivity; in low-oxygen conditions (environmental hypoxia), this mechanism increases breathing activity even in the absence of peripheral chemoreceptor oxygen sensing. These results demonstrate that astrocytes are functionally specialized CNS oxygen sensors tuned for rapid detection of physiological changes in brain oxygenation. Significance statement: Most, if not all, animal cells possess mechanisms that allow them to

  10. Astrocyte cell lineage. II. Mouse fibrous astrocytes and reactive astrocytes in cultures have vimentin- and GFP-containing intermediate filaments.

    PubMed

    Fedoroff, S; White, R; Neal, J; Subrahmanyan, L; Kalnins, V I

    1983-04-01

    When cells from mouse neopallium are grown in colony cultures for 10-12 days, small cells with many processes, resembling normal fibrous astrocytes, form on top of the astrocyte precursor cells independently of the presence of dBcAMP in the culture medium. These cells are distinctly different from the much larger, previously described reactive astrocytes which also form in colony cultures and whose maturation is greatly enhanced by the presence of dBcAMP in the culture medium. Immunofluorescence studies showed that both vimentin-containing and glial filament protein (GFP)-containing intermediate filaments (IF) are present in the small normal fibrous astrocytes as well as in the larger reactive astrocytes. The vimentin-containing IF are assembled first in astrocyte precursor cells, whereas GFP-containing IF are assembled later toward the final stages of astrocyte differentiation both in vivo and in vitro. Thus in respect to the expression of the two types of IF, astrocyte differentiation in vitro closely resembles that in vivo. Parallel studies by electron microscopy showed that the vimentin-positive but GFP-negative astrocyte precursor cells contain single IF or small groups of IF, whereas in the more differentiated normal fibrous astrocytes and reactive astrocytes which are also GFP-positive, additional IF arranged in large bundles are present. PMID:6303521

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Modulation of extracellular signal-related kinase, cyclin D1, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and vimentin expression in estradiol-pretreated astrocyte cultures treated with competence and progression growth factors.

    PubMed

    Bramanti, Vincenzo; Grasso, Sonia; Tibullo, Daniele; Giallongo, Cesarina; Raciti, Giuseppina; Viola, Maria; Avola, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    The present study seeks to elucidate the interactions between the "competence" growth factor basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and/or estrogen 17β-estradiol and the "progression" growth factors epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), and insulin (INS) on DNA labeling and also cyclin D1, extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and vimentin expression in astroglial cultures under different experimental conditions. Pretreatment for 24 hr with bFGF and subsequent exposure for 36 hr to estradiol (E2 ) and EGF, IGF-I, or INS stimulated DNA labeling in the last 12 hr, especially when the cultures were treated with progression growth factors. bFGF pretreatment and subsequent treatment with E2 for 36 hr stimulated DNA labeling. The 36-hr E2 treatment alone did not significantly decrease DNA labeling, but contemporary addition of E2 with two or three growth factors stimulated DNA labeling remarkably. When E2 was coadded with growth factors, a significantly increased DNA labeling was observed, demonstrating an astroglial synergistic mitogenic effect evoked by contemporary treatment with growth factors in the presence of estrogens. Cyclin D1 expression was markedly increased when astrocyte cultures were pretreated for 36 hr with E2 and subsequently treated with two or three competence and progression growth factors. A highly significant increase of ERK1/2 expression was observed after all the treatments (EGF, bFGF, INS, IGF-I alone or in combination with two or three growth factors). GFAP and vimentin expression was markedly increased when the cultures were treated with two or three growth factors. In conclusion, our data demonstrate estradiol-growth factor cross-talk during astroglial cell proliferation and differentiation in culture. PMID:26053243

  14. Expression and Activation of STAT3 in the Astrocytes of Optic Nerve in a Rat Model of Transient Intraocular Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shaodan; Li, Weiyi; Wang, Wenqian; Zhang, Samuel S.; Huang, Ping; Zhang, Chun

    2013-01-01

    Lamina cribosa, an astrocyte-rich region, is the origin of axonal degeneration in glaucomatous neuropathy. Astrocytes are particularly activated during optic nerve (ON) degeneration and are likely to contribute to the pathogenesis of glaucomatous optic neuropathy. Signalling mechanisms that regulate different aspects of astrocyte reactiviation in response to intraocular hypertensive injury are not well defined. Signal transducer and activator of transcription protein-3 (STAT3) is a transcription factor that participates in many biological processes and has been implicated as activator of reactive astrogliosis. In this study, we investigated the role of STAT3 in regulating the activation of astrocytes to transient intraocular hypertension in vivo by using a rat ocular hypertension model. ON astrocytes hypertrophy was observed early after intraocular hypertensive stress. Morphological changes in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) positive cells coupled with axon loss in the optic nerve was detected at day 7 after the injury. Nestin was significantly upregulated in ON astrocytes as early as day 2 post injury and kept elevated through post injury day 7. Phosphorylated STAT3 (pSTAT3) was markedly upregulated in ON astrocytes at post injury day 1, prior to the reactivation of ON astrocytes. These findings indicate that STAT3 signalling is involved in the initiation of astrocyte reactivation in optic nerve injury. PMID:23383263

  15. Chronic treatment with anti-bipolar drugs causes intracellular alkalinization in astrocytes, altering their functions.

    PubMed

    Song, Dan; Li, Baoman; Yan, Enzhi; Man, Yi; Wolfson, Marina; Chen, Ye; Peng, Liang

    2012-11-01

    Bipolar disorder I and II are affective disorders with mood changes between depressive and manic (bipolar I) or hypomanic (bipolar II) periods. Current therapy of these conditions is chronic treatment with one or more of the anti-bipolar drugs, Li(+) ('lithium'), carbamazepine and valproic acid. The pathophysiology of bipolar disorder is multifactorial and far from clear. Recent data on the dependence of normal brain function on neuronal-astrocytic interactions raise the possibility of astrocytic involvement. We will discuss our previously published and new results on effects of chronic treatment of primary cultures of normal mouse astrocytes with any of three conventional anti-bipolar drugs. The focus will be on several drug-induced events in relation to therapeutic effects of the drugs, such as myo-inositol uptake, intracellular pH and alkalinization, drug-induced modulation of glutamatergic activity in astrocytes and release of astrocytic 'gliotransmitters'. Finally, we will discuss the importance of phospholipase A2 (PLA(2)) and arachidonic acid cascade in drug-treated astrocytes, partly based on Dr. Barneda Cuirana's published thesis. All three drugs cause gradual intracellular alkalinization through different mechanisms. Alkalinization inhibit myo-inositol uptake, resulting in reduced inositolphosphate/phospholipid signaling. Accordingly, transmitter-induced increase in free intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) becomes inhibited, aborting release of astrocytic 'gliotransmitters'. The reduction of "gliotransmitter" effects on neurons may have therapeutic effects in mania. Alkalinization also up-regulates expression of cPLA(2), an enzyme releasing arachidonic acid, and triggered arachidonic acid cascade and production, but perhaps not release, of prostaglandins. Whenever tested, identical effects were observed in freshly isolated astrocytes, but not neurons, from carbamazepine-treated healthy animals. PMID:22965852

  16. Lipopolysaccharide modulates astrocytic S100B secretion: a study in cerebrospinal fluid and astrocyte cultures from rats

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Inflammatory responses in brain are primarily mediated by microglia, but growing evidence suggests a crucial importance of astrocytes. S100B, a calcium-binding protein secreted by astrocytes, has properties of a neurotrophic or an inflammatory cytokine. However, it is not known whether primary signals occurring during induction of an inflammatory response (e.g. lipopolysaccharide, LPS) directly modulate S100B. Methods In this work, we evaluated whether S100B levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum of Wistar rats are affected by LPS administered by intraperitoneal (IP) or intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection, as well as whether primary astrocyte cultures respond directly to lipopolysaccharide. Results Our data suggest that S100B secretion in brain tissue is stimulated rapidly and persistently (for at least 24 h) by ICV LPS administration. This increase in CSF S100B was transient when LPS was IP administered. In contrast to these S100B results, we observed an increase in in TNFα levels in serum, but not in CSF, after IP administration of LPS. In isolated astrocytes and in acute hippocampal slices, we observed a direct stimulation of S100B secretion by LPS at a concentration of 10 μg/mL. An involvement of TLR4 was confirmed by use of specific inhibitors. However, lower levels of LPS in astrocyte cultures were able to induce a decrease in S100B secretion after 24 h, without significant change in intracellular content of S100B. In addition, after 24 h exposure to LPS, we observed a decrease in astrocytic glutathione and an increase in astrocytic glial fibrillary acidic protein. Conclusions Together, these data contribute to the understanding of the effects of LPS on astrocytes, particularly on S100B secretion, and help us to interpret cerebrospinal fluid and serum changes for this protein in neuroinflammatory diseases. Moreover, non-brain S100B-expressing tissues may be differentially regulated, since LPS administration did not lead to increased

  17. Astrocytes Underlie Neuroinflammatory Memory Impairment.

    PubMed

    Osso, Lindsay A; Chan, Jonah R

    2015-12-17

    Neuroinflammation is being increasingly recognized as a potential mediator of cognitive impairments in various neurological conditions. Habbas et al. demonstrate that the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha signals through astrocytes to alter synaptic transmission and impair cognition in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. PMID:26687350

  18. Direct Reprogramming of RESTing Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chengzhong; Fong, Helen; Huang, Yadong

    2015-07-01

    Understanding the mechanisms underlying neuronal fate determination will provide important insights into brain development and regenerative approaches to neurological diseases. Now in Cell Stem Cell, Masserdotti et al. (2015) use neuronal conversion of astrocytes to dissect transcriptional mechanisms of fate determination and identify circuits that mediate cellular identity. PMID:26140600

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

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. Content and traffic of taurine in hippocampal reactive astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Junyent, Fèlix; De Lemos, Luisa; Utrera, Juana; Paco, Sonia; Aguado, Fernando; Camins, Antoni; Pallàs, Mercè; Romero, Rafael; Auladell, Carme

    2011-02-01

    Taurine is one of the most abundant free amino acids in the mammalian central nervous system, where it is crucial to proper development. Moreover, taurine acts as a neuroprotectant in various diseases; in epilepsy, for example, it has the capacity to reduce or abolish seizures. In the present study, taurine levels has been determine in mice treated with Kainic Acid (KA) and results showed an increase of this amino acid in hippocampus but not in whole brain after 3 and 7 days of KA treatment. This increase occurs when gliosis was observed. Moreover, taurine transporter (TAUT) was found in astrocytes 3 and 7 days after KA treatment, together with an increase in cysteine sulfinic acid decarboxylase (csd) mRNA, that codifies for the rate-limiting enzyme of taurine synthesis, in the hippocampus at the same times after KA treatment. Glial cultures enriched in astrocytes were developed to demonstrate that these cells are responsible for changes in taurine levels after an injury to the brain. The cultures were treated with proinflammatory cytokines to reproduce gliosis. In this experimental model, an increase in the immunoreactivity of GFAP was observed, together with an increase in CSD and taurine levels. Moreover, an alteration in the taurine uptake-release kinetics was detected in glial cells treated with cytokine. All data obtained indicate that astrocytes could play a key role in taurine level changes induced by neuronal damage. More studies are, therefore, needed to clarify the role taurine has in relation to neuronal death and repair. PMID:20082296

  2. Nucleoside transporter expression and function in cultured mouse astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Peng, Liang; Huang, Rong; Yu, Albert C H; Fung, King Y; Rathbone, Michel P; Hertz, Leif

    2005-10-01

    Uptake of purine and pyrimidine nucleosides in astrocytes is important for several reasons: (1) uptake of nucleosides contributes to nucleic acid synthesis; (2) astrocytes synthesize AMP, ADP, and ATP from adenosine and GTP from guanosine; and (3) adenosine and guanosine function as neuromodulators, whose effects are partly terminated by cellular uptake. It has previously been shown that adenosine is rapidly accumulated by active uptake in astrocytes (Hertz and Matz, Neurochem Res 14:755-760, 1989), but the ratio between active uptake and metabolism-driven uptake of adenosine is unknown, as are uptake characteristics for guanosine. The present study therefore aims at providing detailed information of nucleoside transport and transporters in primary cultures of mouse astrocytes. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction identified the two equilibrative nucleoside transporters, ENT1 and ENT2, together with the concentrative nucleoside transporter CNT2, whereas CNT3 was absent, and CNT1 expression could not be investigated. Uptake studies of tritiated thymidine, formycin B, guanosine, and adenosine (3-s uptakes at 1-4 degrees C to study diffusional uptake and 1-60-min uptakes at 37 degrees C to study concentrative uptake) demonstrated a fast diffusional uptake of all four nucleosides, a small, Na(+)-independent and probably metabolism-driven uptake of thymidine (consistent with DNA synthesis), larger metabolism-driven uptakes of guanosine (consistent with synthesis of DNA, RNA, and GTP) and especially of adenosine (consistent with rapid nucleotide synthesis), and Na(+)-dependent uptakes of adenosine (consistent with its concentrative uptake) and guanosine, rendering neuromodulator uptake independent of nucleoside metabolism. Astrocytes are accordingly well suited for both intense nucleoside metabolism and metabolism-independent uptake to terminate neuromodulator effects of adenosine and guanosine. PMID:15892125

  3. Neuropathic pain in aged rats: behavioral responses and astrocytic activation.

    PubMed

    Stuesse, S L; Crisp, T; McBurney, D L; Schechter, J B; Lovell, J A; Cruce, W L

    2001-03-01

    We used the Bennett and Xie (1988) model of chronic neuropathic pain to study the effect of age on thermal and tactile sensitivity and on astrocytic activation in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord after nerve injury. Fischer 344 FBNF1 hybrid rats in three age groups, 4-6, 14-16, and 24-26 months, were studied. Rats were either unligated (day 0, control) or the left sciatic nerve was loosely ligated to cause a chronic constriction injury (CCI). CCI causes a neuropathic pain condition characterized by tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia. Rats were behaviorally assessed for tactile and thermal sensitivity of their ligated and unligated hind paws up to 35 days postligation. Rats were sacrificed before or at various days postligation, and activated astrocytes were identified at the L4-L5 levels of their spinal cords by use of an antibody to glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP). The number of GFAP-ir astrocytes in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord in the control, uninjured condition decreased with age (P < or = 0.001) but increased after CCI in all three age groups. After CCI, astrocytic activation in the cord was less robust in aged rats than in younger ones (P < or = 0.01). Not all the CCI rats displayed hyperalgesia to touch and to heat. Rats with an increased sensitivity to heat had increased levels of GFAP-ir in their cords; however, rats with decreased thermal sensitivity also displayed increased GFAP-ir. Thus the presence of activated astrocytes was not correlated with a single behavioral manifestation of neuropathic pain. PMID:11315551

  4. Quantitative Evaluation of Changes in the Striatal Astrocyte Axons in Simulated Parkinsonism.

    PubMed

    Voronkov, D N; Khudoerkov, R M; Dikalova, Yu V; Sheloukhova, L I

    2016-02-01

    Three parkinsonism models using neurotoxin 6-OHDA and pesticides rotenone and paraquat were reproduced in Wistar rats and parameters of astrocyte processes in the striatum (axon number and length, area occupied by them, and axon branching pattern) detected by immunohistochemical reaction for acid glial fibrillary protein were studied by computer morphometry. By these parameters, three morphological types of astrocytes were distinguished. Two variants of changes were found in the used parkinsonism models: 1) more intense branching and even elongation of all axons and 2) reduction of small and elongation of the main remaining stems, which manifested in polarization of glial cell. Type 1 reaction was obviously associated with compensatory increase in astrocyte interaction with neurons, while type 2 reflected astrocyte response to injury and impaired glioneuronal interactions. PMID:26899846

  5. Dynamic reactive astrocytes after focal ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Shinghua

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes are specialized and most numerous glial cell type in the central nervous system and play important roles in physiology. Astrocytes are also critically involved in many neural disorders including focal ischemic stroke, a leading cause of brain injury and human death. One of the prominent pathological features of focal ischemic stroke is reactive astrogliosis and glial scar formation associated with morphological changes and proliferation. This review paper discusses the recent advances in spatial and temporal dynamics of morphology and proliferation of reactive astrocytes after ischemic stroke based on results from experimental animal studies. As reactive astrocytes exhibit stem cell-like properties, knowledge of dynamics of reactive astrocytes and glial scar formation will provide important insights for astrocyte-based cell therapy in stroke. PMID:25657720

  6. Involvement of astrocytes in neurovascular communication.

    PubMed

    Nuriya, M; Hirase, H

    2016-01-01

    The vascular interface of the brain is distinct from that of the peripheral tissue in that astrocytes, the most numerous glial cell type in the gray matter, cover the vasculature with their endfeet. This morphological feature of the gliovascular junction has prompted neuroscientists to suggest possible functional roles of astrocytes including astrocytic modulation of the vasculature. Additionally, astrocytes develop an intricate morphology that intimately apposes neuronal synapses, making them an ideal cellular mediator of neurovascular coupling. In this article, we first introduce the classical anatomical and physiological findings that led to the proposal of various gliovascular interaction models. Next, we touch on the technological advances in the past few decades that enabled investigations and evaluations of neuro-glio-vascular interactions in situ. We then review recent experimental findings on the roles of astrocytes in neurovascular coupling from the viewpoints of intra- and intercellular signalings in astrocytes. PMID:27130410

  7. 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. PMID:26814587

  8. Astrocytes in the tempest of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Miljković, Djordje; Timotijević, Gordana; Mostarica Stojković, Marija

    2011-12-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cell population within the CNS of mammals. Their glial role is perfectly performed in the healthy CNS as they support functions of neurons. The omnipresence of astrocytes throughout the white and grey matter and their intimate relation with blood vessels of the CNS, as well as numerous immunity-related actions that these cells are capable of, imply that astrocytes should have a prominent role in neuroinflammatory disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The role of astrocytes in MS is rather ambiguous, as they have the capacity to both stimulate and restrain neuroinflammation and tissue destruction. In this paper we present some of the proved and the proposed functions of astrocytes in neuroinflammation and discuss the effect of MS therapeutics on astrocytes. PMID:21443873

  9. Astrocytes Control Synapse Formation, Function, and Elimination

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Won-Suk; Allen, Nicola J.; Eroglu, Cagla

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes, through their close associations with synapses, can monitor and alter synaptic function, thus actively controlling synaptic transmission in the adult brain. Besides their important role at adult synapses, in the last three decades a number of critical findings have highlighted the importance of astrocytes in the establishment of synaptic connectivity in the developing brain. In this article, we will review the key findings on astrocytic control of synapse formation, function, and elimination. First, we will summarize our current structural and functional understanding of astrocytes at the synapse. Then, we will discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which developing and mature astrocytes instruct the formation, maturation, and refinement of synapses. Our aim is to provide an overview of astrocytes as important players in the establishment of a functional nervous system. PMID:25663667

  10. Disentangling calcium-driven astrocyte physiology.

    PubMed

    Rusakov, Dmitri A

    2015-04-01

    Astrocytes seem to rely on relatively sluggish and spatially blurred Ca(2+) waves to communicate with fast and point-precise neural circuits. This apparent discrepancy could, however, reflect our current inability to understand the microscopic mechanisms involved. Difficulties in detecting and interpreting astrocyte Ca(2+) signals may have led to some prominent controversies in the field. Here, we argue that a deeper understanding of astrocyte physiology requires a qualitative leap in our experimental and analytical strategies. PMID:25757560

  11. 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

  12. Fluoxetine Requires the Endfeet Protein Aquaporin-4 to Enhance Plasticity of Astrocyte Processes.

    PubMed

    Di Benedetto, Barbara; Malik, Victoria A; Begum, Salina; Jablonowski, Lena; Gómez-González, Gabriela B; Neumann, Inga D; Rupprecht, Rainer

    2016-01-01

    Morphological alterations in astrocytes are characteristic for post mortem brains of patients affected by major depressive disorder (MDD). Recently, a significant reduction in the coverage of blood vessels (BVs) by aquaporin-4 (AQP-4)-positive astrocyte endfeet has been shown in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of MDD patients, suggesting that either alterations in the morphology of endfeet or in AQP-4 distribution might be responsible for the disease phenotype or constitute a consequence of its progress. Antidepressant drugs (ADs) regulate the expression of several proteins, including astrocyte-specific ones. Thus, they may target AQP-4 to induce morphological changes in astrocytes and restore their proper shape or relocate AQP-4 to endfeet. Using an animal model of depression, rats selectively bred for high anxiety-like behavior (HAB), we confirmed a reduced coverage of BVs in the adult PFC by AQP-4-immunoreactive (AQP-4-IR) astrocyte processes with respect to non-selected Wistar rats (NAB), thereby validating it for our study. A further evaluation of the morphology of astrocyte in brain slices (ex vivo) and in vitro using an antibody against the astrocyte-specific cytoskeletal protein glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) revealed that HAB astrocytes extended less processes than NAB cells. Furthermore, short-term drug treatment in vitro with the AD fluoxetine (FLX) was sufficient to increase the plasticity of astrocyte processes, enhancing their number in NAB-derived cells and recovering their basal number in HAB-derived cells. This enhanced FLX-dependent plasticity occurred, however, only in the presence of intact AQP-4, as demonstrated by the lack of effect after the downregulation of AQP-4 with RNAi in both NAB and HAB cells. Nonetheless, a similar short-term treatment did neither modulate the coverage of BVs with AQP-4-positive astrocyte endfeet in NAB nor in HAB rats, although dosage and time of treatment were sufficient to fully recover GFAP expression in HAB

  13. 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. PMID:25732135

  14. 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

  15. Trafficking of astrocytic vesicles in hippocampal slices

    SciTech Connect

    Potokar, Maja; Kreft, Marko; Celica Biomedical Center, Technology Park 24, 1000 Ljubljana ; Lee, So-Young; Takano, Hajime; Haydon, Philip G.; Zorec, Robert; Celica Biomedical Center, Technology Park 24, 1000 Ljubljana

    2009-12-25

    The increasingly appreciated role of astrocytes in neurophysiology dictates a thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying the communication between astrocytes and neurons. In particular, the uptake and release of signaling substances into/from astrocytes is considered as crucial. The release of different gliotransmitters involves regulated exocytosis, consisting of the fusion between the vesicle and the plasma membranes. After fusion with the plasma membrane vesicles may be retrieved into the cytoplasm and may continue to recycle. To study the mobility implicated in the retrieval of secretory vesicles, these structures have been previously efficiently and specifically labeled in cultured astrocytes, by exposing live cells to primary and secondary antibodies. Since the vesicle labeling and the vesicle mobility properties may be an artifact of cell culture conditions, we here asked whether the retrieving exocytotic vesicles can be labeled in brain tissue slices and whether their mobility differs to that observed in cell cultures. We labeled astrocytic vesicles and recorded their mobility with two-photon microscopy in hippocampal slices from transgenic mice with fluorescently tagged astrocytes (GFP mice) and in wild-type mice with astrocytes labeled by Fluo4 fluorescence indicator. Glutamatergic vesicles and peptidergic granules were labeled by the anti-vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (vGlut1) and anti-atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) antibodies, respectively. We report that the vesicle mobility parameters (velocity, maximal displacement and track length) recorded in astrocytes from tissue slices are similar to those reported previously in cultured astrocytes.

  16. 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

  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. Antioxidant defense of the brain: a role for astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Wilson, J X

    1997-01-01

    Partially reduced forms of oxygen are produced in the brain during cellular respiration and, at accelerated rates, during brain insults. The most reactive forms, such as the hydroxyl radical, are capable of oxidizing proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Oxidative injury has been implicated in degenerative diseases, epilepsy, trauma, and stroke. It is a threshold phenomenon that occurs after antioxidant mechanisms are overwhelmed. Oxidative stress is a disparity between the rates of free radical production and elimination. This imbalance is initiated by numerous factors: acidosis; transition metals; amyloid beta-peptide; the neurotransmitters dopamine, glutamate, and nitric oxide; and uncouplers of mitochondrial electron transport. Antioxidant defenses include the enzymes superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase, as well as the low molecular weight reductants alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), glutathione, and ascorbate (reduced vitamin C). Astrocytes maintain high intracellular concentrations of certain antioxidants, making these cells resistant to oxidative stress relative to oligodendrocytes and neurons. Following reactive gliosis, the neuroprotective role of astrocytes may be accentuated because of increases in a number of activities: expression of antioxidant enzymes; transport and metabolism of glucose that yields reducing equivalents for antioxidant regeneration and lactate for neuronal metabolism; synthesis of glutathione; and recycling of vitamin C. In the latter process, astrocytes take up oxidized vitamin C (dehydroascorbic acid, DHAA) through plasma membrane transporters, reduce it to ascorbate, and then release ascorbate to the extracellular fluid, where it may contribute to antioxidant defense of neurons. PMID:9431439

  19. CHARACTERIZATION OF THE ASTROCYTE RESPONSE TO INJURY USING THE DOPAMINERGIC NEUROTOXICANT, 1-METHYL-4-PHENYL-1,2,3,6-TETRAHYDROPYRIDINE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The amount of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an astrocyte protein, increases following injury of the CNS. e used a radioimmunoassay of GFAP to characterize the astrocytic response to injury resulting from exposure to the dopaminergic neurotoxicant, 1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetra...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Early and widespread injury of astrocytes in the absence of demyelination in acute haemorrhagic leukoencephalitis.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Christopher A; Adiele, Reginald C; Tham, Mylyne; Lucchinetti, Claudia F; Popescu, Bogdan F G H

    2014-01-01

    Acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis (AHL) is a fulminant demyelinating disease of unknown etiology. Most cases are fatal within one week from onset. AHL pathology varies with the acuteness of disease. Hemorrhages, vessel fibrinoid necrosis, perivascular fibrin exudation, edema and neutrophilic inflammation are early features, while perivascular demyelination, microglial foci and myelin-laden macrophages appear later. Reactive astrocytosis is not present in early hemorrhagic non-demyelinated lesions, but is seen in older lesions. This case report presents the pathology of an AHL case with fulminant course and fatal outcome within 48 hours from presentation. Severe hemorrhages, edema and neutrophilic inflammation in the absence of circumscribed perivascular demyelination affected the temporal neocortex and white matter, hippocampus, cerebellar cortex and white matter, optic chiasm, mammillary bodies, brainstem, cranial nerve roots and leptomeninges. Perivascular end-feet and parenchymal processes of astrocytes exhibited impressive swelling in haemorrhagic but non-demyelinated white matter regions. Astrocytes were dystrophic and displayed degenerating processes. Astrocytic swellings and remnants were immunoreactive for aquaporin-4, aquaporin-1 and glial fibrillary acidic protein. These morphological changes of astrocytes consistent with injury were also observed in haemorrhagic and normal appearing cortex. Our findings reinforce that perivascular demyelination is not present early in AHL. This is the first study that highlights the early and widespread astrocytic injury in the absence of demyelination in AHL, suggesting that, similarly to neuromyelitis optica and central pontine myelinolysis, demyelination in AHL is secondary to astrocyte injury. PMID:24887055

  4. Expression of neuron specific phosphatase, striatal enriched phosphatase (STEP) in reactive astrocytes after transient forebrain ischemia.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, S; Morioka, M; Goto, S; Korematsu, K; Okamura, A; Yano, S; Kai, Y; Hamada, J I; Ushio, Y

    2000-02-15

    We studied the distribution and change of striatal enriched phosphatase (STEP) in the gerbil hippocampus after transient forebrain ischemia. STEP was expressed in the perikarya and in neuronal processes; it was not detected in non-neuronal cells of control animals. After 5-min forebrain ischemia, STEP immunoreactivity (STEP-IR) was preserved for 2 days; it disappeared 4 and more days after ischemia with completion of delayed neuronal death (DND) in the CA1 subfield. Furthermore, only in the CA1 after ischemia, STEP was expressed in reactive astrocytes for 4 to 28 days, showing different patterns of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive reactive astrocytes. After non-or less-than lethal ischemia, STEP expression in reactive astrocytes corresponded with the degree of neuronal degeneration. Immunoblot analysis of the CA1 subfield revealed the expression of three isoforms, STEP45, -56 and -61; their expression patterns changed with time after ischemia. These data suggest that neuronal STEP is preserved until cell degeneration after ischemia and that STEP is expressed in reactive astrocytes only after lethal ischemia, with different expression patterns for its isoforms. Of STEP45, -56 and -61, STEP61 was the most strongly expressed in the reactive astrocytes; both STEP45 and -61 were expressed in neurons and the expression of STEP56 was weak. STEP may play an important role not only in neurons but also in reactive astrocytes after ischemia, depending on neuronal degeneration. PMID:10652442

  5. HIV-1, Methamphetamine and Astrocyte Glutamate Regulation: Combined Excitotoxic Implications for Neuro-AIDS

    PubMed Central

    Cisneros, Irma E; Ghorpade, Anuja

    2012-01-01

    Glutamate, the most abundant excitatory transmitter in the brain can lead to neurotoxicity when not properly regulated. Excitotoxicity is a direct result of abnormal regulation of glutamate concentrations in the synapse, and is a common neurotoxic mediator associated with neurodegenerative disorders. It is well accepted that methamphetamine (METH), a potent central nervous stimulant with high abuse potential, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 are implicated in the progression of neurocognitive malfunction. Both have been shown to induce common neurodegenerative effects such as astrogliosis, compromised blood brain barrier integrity, and excitotoxicity in the brain. Reduced glutamate uptake from neuronal synapses likely leads to the accumulation of glutamate in the extracellular spaces. Astrocytes express the glutamate transporters responsible for majority of the glutamate uptake from the synapse, as well as for vesicular glutamate release. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of astrocyte-mediated excitotoxicity in the context of METH and HIV-1 are undefined. Topics reviewed include dysregulation of the glutamate transporters, specifically excitatory amino acid transporter-2, metabotropic glutamate receptor(s) expression and the release of glutamate by vesicular exocytosis. We also discuss glutamate concentration dysregulation through astrocytic expression of enzymes for glutamate synthesis and metabolism. Lastly, we discuss recent evidence of various astrocyte and neuron crosstalk mechanisms implicated in glutamate regulation. Astrocytes play an essential role in the neuropathologies associated with METH/HIV-1-induced excitotoxicity. We hope to shed light on common cellular and molecular pathways astrocytes share in glutamate regulation during drug abuse and HIV-1 infection. PMID:22591363

  6. Neuron-astrocyte signaling and epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Gerald; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2013-06-01

    Astrocytes express a plethora of ion channels, neurotransmitter receptors and transporters and thus are endowed with the machinery to sense and respond to neuronal activity. Recent studies have implicated astrocytes in important physiological roles in the CNS, such as synchronization of neuronal firing, ion homeostasis, neurotransmitter uptake, glucose metabolism and regulation of the vascular tone. Astrocytes are abundantly coupled through gap junctions allowing them to redistribute elevated K(+) concentration from sites of excessive neuronal activity. Growing evidence now suggests that dysfunctional astrocytes are crucial players in epilepsy. Investigation of specimens from patients with pharmacoresistant temporal lobe epilepsy and epilepsy models revealed alterations in expression, localization and function of astroglial K(+) and water channels, entailing impaired K(+) buffering. Moreover, malfunction of glutamate transporters and the astrocytic glutamate-converting enzyme, glutamine synthetase, as observed in epileptic tissue suggested that astrocyte dysfunction is causative of hyperexcitation, seizure spread and neurotoxicity. Accordingly, dysfunctional astrocytes should be considered as promising targets for new therapeutic strategies. In this review, we will summarize current knowledge of astrocyte dysfunction in temporal lobe epilepsy and discuss putative mechanisms underlying these alterations. PMID:21925173

  7. 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…

  8. Up-Regulation of TREK-2 Potassium Channels in Cultured Astrocytes Requires De Novo Protein Synthesis: Relevance to Localization of TREK-2 Channels in Astrocytes after Transient Cerebral Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Rivera-Pagán, Aixa F.; Rivera-Aponte, David E.; Melnik-Martínez, Katya V.; Zayas-Santiago, Astrid; Kucheryavykh, Lilia Y.; Martins, Antonio H.; Cubano, Luis A.; Skatchkov, Serguei N.; Eaton, Misty J.

    2015-01-01

    Excitotoxicity due to glutamate receptor over-activation is one of the key mediators of neuronal death after an ischemic insult. Therefore, a major function of astrocytes is to maintain low extracellular levels of glutamate. The ability of astrocytic glutamate transporters to regulate the extracellular glutamate concentration depends upon the hyperpolarized membrane potential of astrocytes conferred by the presence of K+ channels in their membranes. We have previously shown that TREK-2 potassium channels in cultured astrocytes are up-regulated by ischemia and may support glutamate clearance by astrocytes during ischemia. Thus, herein we determine the mechanism leading to this up-regulation and assess the localization of TREK-2 channels in astrocytes after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. By using a cell surface biotinylation assay we confirmed that functional TREK-2 protein is up-regulated in the astrocytic membrane after ischemic conditions. Using real time RT-PCR, we determined that the levels of TREK-2 mRNA were not increased in response to ischemic conditions. By using Western blot and a variety of protein synthesis inhibitors, we demonstrated that the increase of TREK-2 protein expression requires De novo protein synthesis, while protein degradation pathways do not contribute to TREK-2 up-regulation after ischemic conditions. Immunohistochemical studies revealed TREK-2 localization in astrocytes together with increased expression of the selective glial marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein, in brain 24 hours after transient middle cerebral occlusion. Our data indicate that functional TREK-2 channels are up-regulated in the astrocytic membrane during ischemia through a mechanism requiring De novo protein synthesis. This study provides important information about the mechanisms underlying TREK-2 regulation, which has profound implications in neurological diseases such as ischemia where astrocytes play an important role. PMID:25886567

  9. Nitric Oxide in Astrocyte-Neuron Signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Nianzhen Li

    2002-06-27

    Astrocytes, a subtype of glial cell, have recently been shown to exhibit Ca{sup 2+} elevations in response to neurotransmitters. A Ca{sup 2+} elevation can propagate to adjacent astrocytes as a Ca{sup 2+} wave, which allows an astrocyte to communicate with its neighbors. Additionally, glutamate can be released from astrocytes via a Ca{sup 2+}-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 Ca{sup 2+} signaling by imaging NO in purified murine cortical astrocyte cultures. Physiological concentrations of a natural messenger, ATP, caused a Ca{sup 2+}-dependent NO production. To test the roles of NO in astrocytic Ca{sup 2+} 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 Ca{sup 2+}, possibly through store-operated Ca{sup 2+} channels. The NO-induced Ca{sup 2+} signaling is cGMP-independent since 8-Br-cGMP, an agonistic analog of cGMP, did not induce a detectable Ca{sup 2+} change. The consequence of this NO-induced Ca{sup 2+} influx was assessed by simultaneously monitoring of cytosolic and internal store Ca{sup 2+} using fluorescent Ca{sup 2+} 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 Ca{sup 2+} release, suggesting that NO modulates internal store refilling. Furthermore, locally photo-release of NO to a single astrocyte led to a Ca{sup 2+} elevation in the stimulated astrocyte and a subsequent Ca{sup 2+} wave to neighbors. Finally, the author tested the role of NO inglutamate-mediated astrocyte-neuron signaling by recording the astrocyte-evoked glutamate-dependent neuronal slow inward current (SIC

  10. Three-Dimensional Environment Sustains Morphological Heterogeneity and Promotes Phenotypic Progression During Astrocyte Development.

    PubMed

    Balasubramanian, Swarnalatha; Packard, John A; Leach, Jennie B; Powell, Elizabeth M

    2016-06-01

    Astrocytes are critical for coordinating normal brain function by regulating brain metabolic homeostasis, synaptogenesis and neurotransmission, and blood-brain barrier permeability and maintenance. Dysregulation of normal astrocyte ontogeny contributes to neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, epilepsies, and adverse responses to injury. To achieve these multiple essential roles, astrocyte phenotypes are regionally, morphologically, and functionally heterogeneous. Therefore, the best regenerative medicine strategies may require selective production of distinct astrocyte subpopulations at defined maturation levels. However, little is known about the mechanisms that direct astrocyte diversity or whether heterogeneity is represented in biomaterials. In vitro studies report lack of normal morphologies and overrepresentation of the glial scar type of reactive astrocyte morphology and expression of markers, questioning how well the in vitro astrocytes represent glia in vivo and whether in vitro tissue engineering methods are suitable for regenerative medicine applications. Our previous work with neurons suggests that the three-dimensional (3D) environment, when compared with standard two-dimensional (2D) substrate, yields cellular and molecular behaviors that more closely approximately normal ontogeny. To specifically study the effects of dimensionality, we used purified glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-expressing primary cerebral cortical astrocyte cultures from single pups and characterized the cellular maturation profiles in 2D and 3D milieu. We identified four morphological groups in vitro: round, bipolar, stellate, and putative perivascular. In the 3D hydrogel culture environment, postnatal astrocytes transitioned from a population of nearly all round cells and very few bipolar cells toward a population with significant fractions of round, stellate, and putative perivascular cells within a few days, following the in vivo ontogeny. In 2D, however

  11. Large-scale recording of astrocyte activity

    PubMed Central

    Nimmerjahn, Axel; Bergles, Dwight E.

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes are highly ramified glial cells found throughout the central nervous system (CNS). They express a variety of neurotransmitter receptors that can induce widespread chemical excitation, placing these cells in an optimal position to exert global effects on brain physiology. However, the activity patterns of only a small fraction of astrocytes have been examined and techniques to manipulate their behavior are limited. As a result, little is known about how astrocytes modulate CNS function on synaptic, microcircuit, or systems levels. Here, we review current and emerging approaches for visualizing and manipulating astrocyte activity in vivo. Deciphering how astrocyte network activity is controlled in different physiological and pathological contexts is critical for defining their roles in the healthy and diseased CNS. PMID:25665733

  12. Podocalyxin expression in malignant astrocytic tumors.

    PubMed

    Hayatsu, Norihito; Kaneko, Mika Kato; Mishima, Kazuhiko; Nishikawa, Ryo; Matsutani, Masao; Price, Janet E; Kato, Yukinari

    2008-09-19

    Podocalyxin is an anti-adhesive mucin-like transmembrane sialoglycoprotein that has been implicated in the development of aggressive forms of cancer. Podocalyxin is also known as keratan sulfate (KS) proteoglycan. Recently, we revealed that highly sulfated KS or another mucin-like transmembrane sialoglycoprotein podoplanin/aggrus is upregulated in malignant astrocytic tumors. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between podocalyxin expression and malignant progression of astrocytic tumors. In this study, 51 astrocytic tumors were investigated for podocalyxin expression using immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, and quantitative real-time PCR. Immunohistochemistry detected podocalyxin on the surface of tumor cells in six of 14 anaplastic astrocytomas (42.9%) and in 17 of 31 glioblastomas (54.8%), especially around proliferating endothelial cells. In diffuse astrocytoma, podocalyxin expression was observed only in vascular endothelial cells. Podocalyxin might be associated with the malignant progression of astrocytic tumors, and be a useful prognostic marker for astrocytic tumors. PMID:18639524

  13. Podocalyxin expression in malignant astrocytic tumors

    SciTech Connect

    Hayatsu, Norihito; Kaneko, Mika Kato; Mishima, Kazuhiko; Nishikawa, Ryo; Matsutani, Masao; Price, Janet E.; Kato, Yukinari

    2008-09-19

    Podocalyxin is an anti-adhesive mucin-like transmembrane sialoglycoprotein that has been implicated in the development of aggressive forms of cancer. Podocalyxin is also known as keratan sulfate (KS) proteoglycan. Recently, we revealed that highly sulfated KS or another mucin-like transmembrane sialoglycoprotein podoplanin/aggrus is upregulated in malignant astrocytic tumors. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between podocalyxin expression and malignant progression of astrocytic tumors. In this study, 51 astrocytic tumors were investigated for podocalyxin expression using immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, and quantitative real-time PCR. Immunohistochemistry detected podocalyxin on the surface of tumor cells in six of 14 anaplastic astrocytomas (42.9%) and in 17 of 31 glioblastomas (54.8%), especially around proliferating endothelial cells. In diffuse astrocytoma, podocalyxin expression was observed only in vascular endothelial cells. Podocalyxin might be associated with the malignant progression of astrocytic tumors, and be a useful prognostic marker for astrocytic tumors.

  14. 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

  15. Rat Nucleus Accumbens Core Astrocytes Modulate Reward and the Motivation to Self-Administer Ethanol after Abstinence

    PubMed Central

    Bull, Cecilia; Freitas, Kelen CC; 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

    2014-01-01

    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

  16. Astrocytes are the primary source of tissue factor in the murine central nervous system. A role for astrocytes in cerebral hemostasis.

    PubMed Central

    Eddleston, M; de la Torre, J C; Oldstone, M B; Loskutoff, D J; Edgington, T S; Mackman, N

    1993-01-01

    Hemostasis in the brain is of paramount importance because bleeding into the neural parenchyma can result in paralysis, coma, and death. Consistent with this sensitivity to hemorrhage, the brain contains large amounts of tissue factor (TF), the major cellular initiator of the coagulation protease cascades. However, to date, the cellular source for TF in the central nervous system has not been identified. In this study, analysis of murine brain sections by in situ hybridization demonstrated high levels of TF mRNA in cells that expressed glial fibrillary acidic protein, a specific marker for astrocytes. Furthermore, primary mouse astrocyte cultures and astrocyte cell lines from mouse, rat, and human constitutively expressed TF mRNA and functional protein. These data indicated that astrocytes are the primary source of TF in the central nervous system. We propose that astrocytes forming the glia limitans around the neural vasculature and deep to the meninges are intimately involved in controlling hemorrhage in the brain. Finally, we observed an increase in TF mRNA expression in the brains of scrapie-infected mice. This modulation of TF expression in the absence of hemorrhage suggested that TF may function in processes other than hemostasis by altering protease generation in normal and diseased brain. Images PMID:8326003

  17. Octanol, a gap junction uncoupling agent, changes intracellular [H+] in rat astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Pappas, C A; Rioult, M G; Ransom, B R

    1996-01-01

    Octanol rapidly closes gap junction channels but its mechanism of action is not known. Because intracellular [H+], pHi, also affects the conductance of gap junctions, we studied octanol's effects on pHi in cultured rat astrocytes, which are highly coupled cells. Octanol (1 mM) caused an acid shift in the pHi of 90% of rat hippocampal astrocytes which averaged -0.19 +/- 0.09 pH units in magnitude. In 58% of the cells tested, a biphasic change in pHi was seen; octanol produced an initial acidification lasting approximately 10 min that was followed by a persistent alkalinization. The related gap junction uncoupling agent, heptanol, had similar effects on pHi. Octanol-induced changes in pHi were similar in nominally HCO(3-)-free and HCO(3-)-containing solutions, although the rate of initial acidification was significantly greater in the presence of HCO3-. The initial acidification was inhibited in the presence of the stilbene DIDS, an inhibitor of Na+/HCO3- cotransport, indicating that octanol caused acidification by blocking this powerful acid extruder. The alkalinization was inhibited by amiloride which blocks the Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE), an acid extruder, suggesting that the alkaline shift induced by octanol was caused by stimulation of NHE. As expected, octanol's effects on astrocytic pHi were prevented by removal of external Na+, which blocks both Na+/HCO3- cotransport and NHE. Octanol had only small effects on intracellular Ca2+ (Ca2+i) in astrocytes. Hepatocytes which, like astrocytes, are strongly coupled to one another, showed no change in pHi with octanol application. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) was used to study the effect of changes in astrocyte pHi on degree of coupling in hippocampal astrocytes. Coupling was decreased by intracellular acid shifts approximately -0.2 pH units in size. Octanol's effects on astrocyte pHi were complex but a prompt initial acidification was nearly always seen and could contribute to the uncoupling action of

  18. Peptidomic Analyses of Mouse Astrocytic Cell Lines and Rat Primary Cultured Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Ping; Knolhoff, Ann M.; Rosenberg, Harry J.; Millet, Larry J.; Gillette, Martha U.; Sweedler, Jonathan V.

    2012-01-01

    Astrocytes play an active role in the modulation of synaptic transmission by releasing cell-cell signaling molecules in response to various stimuli that evoke a Ca2+ increase. We expand on recent studies of astrocyte intracellular and secreted proteins by examining the astrocyte peptidome in mouse astrocytic cell lines and rat primary cultured astrocytes, as well as those peptides secreted from mouse astrocytic cell lines in response to Ca2+-dependent stimulations. We identified 57 peptides derived from 24 proteins with LC–MS/MS and CE–MS/MS in the astrocytes. Among the secreted peptides, four peptides derived from elongation factor 1, macrophage migration inhibitory factor, peroxiredoxin-5, and galectin-1, were putatively identified by mass-matching to peptides confirmed to be found in astrocytes. Other peptides in the secretion study were mass-matched to those found in prior peptidomics analyses on mouse brain tissue. Complex peptide profiles were observed after stimulation, suggesting that astrocytes are actively involved in peptide secretion. Twenty-six peptides were observed in multiple stimulation experiments but not in controls and thus appear to be released in a Ca2+-dependent manner. These results can be used in future investigations to better understand stimulus-dependent mechanisms of astrocyte peptide secretion. PMID:22742998

  19. Profilin Isoforms Modulate Astrocytic Morphology and the Motility of Astrocytic Processes

    PubMed Central

    Schweinhuber, Stefanie K.; Meßerschmidt, Tania; Hänsch, Robert; Korte, Martin; Rothkegel, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The morphology of astrocytic processes determines their close structural association with synapses referred to as the ‘tripartite synapse’. Concerted morphological plasticity processes at tripartite synapses are supposed to shape neuronal communication. Morphological changes in astrocytes as well as the motility of astrocytic processes require remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Among the regulators of fast timescale actin-based motility, the actin binding protein profilin 1 has recently been shown to control the activity-dependent outgrowth of astrocytic processes. Here, we demonstrate that cultured murine astrocytes in addition to the ubiquitous profilin 1 also express the neuronal isoform profilin 2a. To analyze the cellular function of both profilins in astrocytes, we took advantage of a shRNA mediated isoform-specific downregulation. Interestingly, consistent with earlier results in neurons, we found redundant as well as isoform-specific functions of both profilins in modulating cellular physiology. The knockdown of either profilin 1 or profilin 2a led to a significant decrease in cell spreading of astrocytes. In contrast, solely the knockdown of profilin 2a resulted in a significantly reduced morphological complexity of astrocytes in both dissociated and slice culture astrocytes. Moreover, both isoforms proved to be crucial for forskolin-induced astrocytic stellation. Furthermore, forskolin treatment resulted in isoform-specific changes in the phosphorylation level of profilin 1 and profilin 2a, leading to a PKA-dependent phosphorylation of profilin 2a. In addition, transwell assays revealed an involvement of both isoforms in the motility of astrocytic processes, while FRAP analysis displayed an isoform-specific role of profilin 1 in the regulation of actin dynamics in peripheral astrocytic processes. Taken together, we suggest profilin isoforms to be important modulators of astrocytic morphology and motility with overlapping as well as isoform

  20. Exposure of rat hippocampal astrocytes to Ziram increases oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Matei, Ann-Marie; Trombetta, Louis D

    2016-04-01

    Pesticides have been shown in several studies to be the leading candidates of environmental toxins and may contribute to the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Ziram (zinc-bis(dimethyldithiocarbamate)) is an agricultural dithiocarbamate fungicide that is used to treat a variety of plant diseases. In spite of their generally acknowledged low toxicity, dithiocarbamates are known to cause a wide range of neurobehavioral effects as well as neuropathological changes in the brain. Astrocytes play a key role in normal brain physiology and in the pathology of the nervous system. This investigation studied the effects of 1.0 µM Ziram on rat hippocampal astrocytes. The thiobarbituric acid reactive substance assay performed showed a significant increase in malondialdehyde, a product of lipid peroxidation, in the Ziram-treated cells. Biochemical analysis also revealed a significant increase in the induction of 70 kDa heat shock and heme oxygenase 1 stress proteins. In addition, an increase of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and a significant increase in oxidized glutathione (GSSG) were observed in the Ziram-treated cells. The ratio GSH to GSSG calculated from the treated cells was also decreased. Light and transmission electron microscopy supported the biochemical findings in Ziram-treated astrocytes. This data suggest that the cytotoxic effects observed with Ziram treatments may be related to the increase of oxidative stress. PMID:24193059

  1. pH-Sensitive K(+) Currents and Properties of K2P Channels in Murine Hippocampal Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Weller, Johannes; Steinhäuser, Christian; Seifert, Gerald

    2016-01-01

    Based on their intimate spatial association with synapses and the capillary, astrocytes are critically involved in the control of ion, transmitter, and energy homeostasis as well as regulation of the cerebral blood flow. Under pathophysiological conditions, dysfunctional astrocytes can no longer assure homeostatic control although the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Specifically, neurological diseases are often accompanied by acidification of the extracellular space, but the properties of astrocytes in such an acidic environment are still a matter of debate. To meet the homeostatic requirements, astrocytes are equipped with intercellular gap junctions, inwardly rectifying K(+) (Kir) channels, and two-pore domain K(+) (K2P) channels. One goal of the present study was to overview current knowledge about astrocyte K(+) channel function during acidosis. In addition, we combined functional and molecular analyses to clarify how low pH affects K(+) channel function in astrocytes freshly isolated from the developing mouse hippocampus. Extracellular acidification led to a decrease of K(+) currents in astrocytes, probably due to modulation of Kir4.1 channels. After blocking Kir4.1 channels, low pH enhanced K(+) current amplitudes. This current activation was mimicked by modulators of TREK-1 channels, which belong to the K2P channels family. We found no evidence for the presence of acid-sensitive ion channels and transient receptor potential vanilloid receptors in hippocampal astrocytes. In conclusion, the assembly of astrocytic K(+) channels allows tolerating short, transient acidification, and glial Kir4.1 and K2P channels can be considered promising new targets in brain diseases accompanied by pH shifts. PMID:26920692

  2. Small-Molecule-Based Lineage Reprogramming Creates Functional Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Tian, E; Sun, Guoqiang; Sun, Guihua; Chao, Jianfei; Ye, Peng; Warden, Charles; Riggs, Arthur D; Shi, Yanhong

    2016-07-19

    Growing evidence indicates important roles for astrocytes in neurodevelopment and diseases. However, astrocytes and their roles in these processes remain poorly understood. Despite recent progress in reprogramming somatic cells into different types of neural cells, reprogramming to astrocytes has lagged. Here, we show that functional astrocytes can be generated from mammalian fibroblasts using only small molecules. Induced mouse astrocytes resemble primary astrocytes in astrocytic gene expression and epigenomic status and exhibit functional properties in promoting neuronal maturation, glutamate uptake, and calcium signaling. Moreover, these cells can recapitulate the Alexander disease phenotype of protein aggregation when expressing Gfap with a disease-causing mutation. The same compounds can also reprogram human fibroblasts into astroglial progenitor cells that can further mature into functional astrocytes. These chemically induced astrocytes may provide cellular models to uncover roles of astrocytes in normal neurodevelopment and pathogenesis of neurological diseases. PMID:27396343

  3. Hippocampus-based contextual memory alters the morphological characteristics of astrocytes in the dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Choi, Moonseok; Ahn, Sangzin; Yang, Eun-Jeong; Kim, Hyunju; Chong, Young Hae; Kim, Hye-Sun

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes have been reported to exist in two states, the resting and the reactive states. Morphological changes in the reactive state of astrocytes include an increase in thickness and number of processes, and an increase in the size of the cell body. Molecular changes also occur, such as an increase in the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). However, the morphological and molecular changes during the process of learning and memory have not been elucidated. In the current study, we subjected Fvb/n mice to contextual fear conditioning, and checked for morphological and molecular changes in astrocytes. 1 h after fear conditioning, type II and type III astrocytes exhibited a unique status with an increased number of processes and decreased GFAP expression which differed from the typical resting or reactive state. In addition, the protein level of excitatory excitatory amino acid transporter 2 (EAAT2) was increased 1 h to 24 h after contextual fear conditioning while EAAT1 did not show any alterations. Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein was found to be increased at 24 h after fear conditioning. These data suggest that hippocampus-based contextual memory process induces changes in the status of astrocytes towards a novel status different from typical resting or reactive states. These morphological and molecular changes may be in line with functional changes. PMID:27460927

  4. Loose excitation-secretion coupling in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Vardjan, Nina; Parpura, Vladimir; Zorec, Robert

    2016-05-01

    Astrocytes play an important housekeeping role in the central nervous system. Additionally, as secretory cells, they actively participate in cell-to-cell communication, which can be mediated by membrane-bound vesicles. The gliosignaling molecules stored in these vesicles are discharged into the extracellular space after the vesicle membrane fuses with the plasma membrane. This process is termed exocytosis, regulated by SNARE proteins, and triggered by elevations in cytosolic calcium levels, which are necessary and sufficient for exocytosis in astrocytes. For astrocytic exocytosis, calcium is sourced from the intracellular endoplasmic reticulum store, although its entry from the extracellular space contributes to cytosolic calcium dynamics in astrocytes. Here, we discuss calcium management in astrocytic exocytosis and the properties of the membrane-bound vesicles that store gliosignaling molecules, including the vesicle fusion machinery and kinetics of vesicle content discharge. In astrocytes, the delay between the increase in cytosolic calcium activity and the discharge of secretions from the vesicular lumen is orders of magnitude longer than that in neurons. This relatively loose excitation-secretion coupling is likely tailored to the participation of astrocytes in modulating neural network processing. PMID:26358496

  5. 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

  6. 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

    2011-01-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. Astrocytes regulate cortical state switching in vivo.

    PubMed

    Poskanzer, Kira E; Yuste, Rafael

    2016-05-10

    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

  9. ASSESSMENT OF NEUROTOXICITY: USE OF GLIAL FIBRILLARY ACIDIC PROTEIN AS A BIOMARKER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Diverse neurotoxic insults results in proliferation and hypertrophy of astrocytes. he hallmark of this response is enhanced expression of the major intermediate filament protein of astrocytes, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). hese observations suggest that GFAP may be a us...

  10. 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

  11. Exocytosis of gliotransmitters from cortical astrocytes: implications for synaptic plasticity and aging.

    PubMed

    Lalo, Ulyana; Rasooli-Nejad, Seyed; Pankratov, Yuriy

    2014-10-01

    Maintaining brain function during aging is very important for mental and physical health. Recent studies showed a crucial importance of communication between two major types of brain cells: neurons transmitting electrical signals, and glial cells, which maintain the well-being and function of neurons. Still, the study of age-related changes in neuron-glia signalling is far from complete. We have shown previously that cortical astrocytes are capable of releasing ATP by a quantal soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex-dependent mechanism. Release of ATP from cortical astrocytes can be activated via various pathways, including direct UV-uncaging of intracellular Ca²⁺ or G-protein-coupled receptors. Importantly, release of both ATP and glutamate from neocortical astrocytes was not observed in brain slices of dominant-negative SNARE (dnSNARE) mice, expressing dnSNARE domain selectively in astrocytes. We also discovered that astrocyte-driven ATP can cause significant attenuation of synaptic inhibition in the pyramidal neurons via Ca²⁺-interaction between the neuronal ATP and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Furthermore, we showed that astrocyte-derived ATP can facilitate the induction of long-term potentiation of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex. Our recent data have shown that an age-related decrease in the astroglial Ca²⁺ signalling can cause a substantial decrease in the exocytosis of gliotransmitters, in particular ATP. Age-related impairment of ATP release from cortical astrocytes can cause a decrease in the extent of astroglial modulation of synaptic transmission in the neocortex and can therefore contribute to the age-related impairment of synaptic plasticity and cognitive decline. Combined, our results strongly support the physiological relevance of glial exocytosis for glia-neuron communications and brain function. PMID:25233403

  12. 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

  13. Astrocytes generate Na+-mediated metabolic waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-10-01

    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.

  14. Roles of glia limitans astrocytes and CO in ADP-induced pial arteriolar dilation in newborn pigs

    PubMed Central

    Kanu, Alie; Leffler, Charles W.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Purpose Astrocytes, neurons, and microvessels together form a neurovascular unit allowing blood flow to match neuronal activity. Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) is an important signaling molecule in the brain, and dilation in response to ADP is astrocyte-dependent in rats and newborn pigs. Carbon monoxide (CO), produced endogenously by catabolism of heme to CO, iron, and biliverdin via heme oxygenase (HO), is an important cell signaling molecule in the neonatal cerebral circulation. We hypothesize ADP stimulates CO production by glia limitans astrocytes and that this CO causes pial arteriolar dilation. Methods Experiments were performed using anesthetized piglet with closed cranial windows, and freshly isolated piglet astrocytes and microvessels. Astrocyte injury was caused by topical application of L-2-alpha aminoadipic acid (2 mM, 5 h). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was collected from under the cranial windows for measurement of ADP-stimulated CO production. CO was measured by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy analysis. Results Before, but not after, astrocyte injury in vivo, topical ADP stimulated both CO production and dilation of pial arterioles. Astrocyte injury did not block dilation to isoproterenol or bradykinin. Chromium mesoporphyrin, an inhibitor of HO, also prevented the ADP-induced increase in CSF CO and pial arteriolar dilation caused by ADP but not dilation to sodium nitroprusside. ADP also increased CO production by freshly isolated piglet astrocytes and cerebral microvessels, although the increase was smaller in the microvessels. Conclusions These data suggest that glia limitans astrocytes employ CO as a gasotransmitter to cause pial arteriolar dilation in response to ADP. PMID:19164779

  15. Methodological Limitations in Determining Astrocytic Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Liang; Guo, Chuang; Wang, Tao; Li, Baoman; Gu, Li; Wang, Zhanyou

    2013-01-01

    Traditionally, astrocytic mRNA and protein expression are studied by in situ hybridization (ISH) and immunohistochemically. This led to the concept that astrocytes lack aralar, a component of the malate-aspartate-shuttle. At least similar aralar mRNA and protein expression in astrocytes and neurons isolated by fluorescence-assisted cell sorting (FACS) reversed this opinion. Demonstration of expression of other astrocytic genes may also be erroneous. Literature data based on morphological methods were therefore compared with mRNA expression in cells obtained by recently developed methods for determination of cell-specific gene expression. All Na,K-ATPase-α subunits were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry (IHC), but there are problems with the cotransporter NKCC1. Glutamate and GABA transporter gene expression was well determined immunohistochemically. The same applies to expression of many genes of glucose metabolism, whereas a single study based on findings in bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic animals showed very low astrocytic expression of hexokinase. Gene expression of the equilibrative nucleoside transporters ENT1 and ENT2 was recognized by ISH, but ENT3 was not. The same applies to the concentrative transporters CNT2 and CNT3. All were clearly expressed in FACS-isolated cells, followed by biochemical analysis. ENT3 was enriched in astrocytes. Expression of many nucleoside transporter genes were shown by microarray analysis, whereas other important genes were not. Results in cultured astrocytes resembled those obtained by FACS. These findings call for reappraisal of cellular nucleoside transporter expression. FACS cell yield is small. Further development of cell separation methods to render methods more easily available and less animal and cost consuming and parallel studies of astrocytic mRNA and protein expression by ISH/IHC and other methods are necessary, but new methods also need to be thoroughly checked. PMID:24324456

  16. Glucocorticoid Regulation of Astrocytic Fate and Function

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Shuang; Yang, Silei; Holsboer, Florian; Sousa, Nuno; Almeida, Osborne F. X.

    2011-01-01

    Glial loss in the hippocampus has been suggested as a factor in the pathogenesis of stress-related brain disorders that are characterized by dysregulated glucocorticoid (GC) secretion. However, little is known about the regulation of astrocytic fate by GC. Here, we show that astrocytes derived from the rat hippocampus undergo growth inhibition and display moderate activation of caspase 3 after exposure to GC. Importantly, the latter event, observed both in situ and in primary astrocytic cultures is not followed by either early- or late-stage apoptosis, as monitored by stage I or stage II DNA fragmentation. Thus, unlike hippocampal granule neurons, astrocytes are resistant to GC-induced apoptosis; this resistance is due to lower production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a greater buffering capacity against the cytotoxic actions of ROS. We also show that GC influence hippocampal cell fate by inducing the expression of astrocyte-derived growth factors implicated in the control of neural precursor cell proliferation. Together, our results suggest that GC instigate a hitherto unknown dialog between astrocytes and neural progenitors, adding a new facet to understanding how GC influence the cytoarchitecture of the hippocampus. PMID:21811605

  17. Astrocyte Aquaporin Dynamics in Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Potokar, Maja; Jorgačevski, Jernej; Zorec, Robert

    2016-01-01

    The family of aquaporins (AQPs), membrane water channels, consists of diverse types of proteins that are mainly permeable to water; some are also permeable to small solutes, such as glycerol and urea. They have been identified in a wide range of organisms, from microbes to vertebrates and plants, and are expressed in various tissues. Here, we focus on AQP types and their isoforms in astrocytes, a major glial cell type in the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocytes have anatomical contact with the microvasculature, pia, and neurons. Of the many roles that astrocytes have in the CNS, they are key in maintaining water homeostasis. The processes involved in this regulation have been investigated intensively, in particular regulation of the permeability and expression patterns of different AQP types in astrocytes. Three aquaporin types have been described in astrocytes: aquaporins AQP1 and AQP4 and aquaglyceroporin AQP9. The aim here is to review their isoforms, subcellular localization, permeability regulation, and expression patterns in the CNS. In the human CNS, AQP4 is expressed in normal physiological and pathological conditions, but astrocytic expression of AQP1 and AQP9 is mainly associated with a pathological state. PMID:27420057

  18. Astrocyte Aquaporin Dynamics in Health and Disease.

    PubMed

    Potokar, Maja; Jorgačevski, Jernej; Zorec, Robert

    2016-01-01

    The family of aquaporins (AQPs), membrane water channels, consists of diverse types of proteins that are mainly permeable to water; some are also permeable to small solutes, such as glycerol and urea. They have been identified in a wide range of organisms, from microbes to vertebrates and plants, and are expressed in various tissues. Here, we focus on AQP types and their isoforms in astrocytes, a major glial cell type in the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocytes have anatomical contact with the microvasculature, pia, and neurons. Of the many roles that astrocytes have in the CNS, they are key in maintaining water homeostasis. The processes involved in this regulation have been investigated intensively, in particular regulation of the permeability and expression patterns of different AQP types in astrocytes. Three aquaporin types have been described in astrocytes: aquaporins AQP1 and AQP4 and aquaglyceroporin AQP9. The aim here is to review their isoforms, subcellular localization, permeability regulation, and expression patterns in the CNS. In the human CNS, AQP4 is expressed in normal physiological and pathological conditions, but astrocytic expression of AQP1 and AQP9 is mainly associated with a pathological state. PMID:27420057

  19. Stargazing: Monitoring subcellular dynamics of brain astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Benjamin Kacerovsky, J; Murai, K K

    2016-05-26

    Astrocytes are major non-neuronal cell types in the central nervous system that regulate a variety of processes in the brain including synaptic transmission, neurometabolism, and cerebrovasculature tone. Recent discoveries have revealed that astrocytes perform very specialized and heterogeneous roles in brain homeostasis and function. Exactly how astrocytes fulfill such diverse roles in the brain remains to be fully understood and is an active area of research. In this review, we focus on the complex subcellular anatomical features of protoplasmic gray matter astrocytes in the mature, healthy brain that likely empower these cells with the ability to detect and respond to changes in neuronal and synaptic activity. In particular, we discuss how intricate processes on astrocytes allow these cells to communicate with neurons and their synapses and strategically deliver specific cellular organelles such as mitochondria and ribosomes to active compartments within the neuropil. Understanding the properties of these structural elements will lead to a better understanding of how astrocytes function in the healthy and diseased brain. PMID:26162237

  20. Correlation between astrocyte activity and recovery from blood-brain barrier breakdown caused by brain injury.

    PubMed

    Ikeshima-Kataoka, Hiroko; Yasui, Masato

    2016-08-17

    Glial activation is associated with cell proliferation and upregulation of astrocyte marker expression following traumatic injury in the brain. However, the biological significance of these processes remains unclear. In the present study, astrocyte activation was investigated in a murine brain injury model. Brain injury induces blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown and immunoglobulin G (IgG) leak into the brain parenchyma. The recovery of BBB breakdown was evaluated by analyzing immunofluorescent staining with mouse IgG antibody. IgG leakage was greatest at 1 day after stab wound injury and decreased thereafter, and almost diminished after 7 days. Bromodeoxy uridine incorporation was used, and astrocyte proliferation rates were examined by coimmunostaining with anti-bromodeoxy uridine and anti-glial fibrillary acid protein antibodies. Consistent with IgG leakage assays, astrocyte activation was the highest at day 3 and decreased after 7 days. Moreover, in reverse transcriptase-quantitative-PCR experiments, genes associated with BBB integrity were downregulated immediately after BBB breakdown and recovered to basal expression levels within 7 days. These data indicated that astrocyte activation correlated with BBB recovery from breakdown following brain injury. PMID:27362437

  1. PPARgamma agonist curcumin reduces the amyloid-beta-stimulated inflammatory responses in primary astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hong-Mei; Zhao, Yan-Xin; Zhang, Shi; Liu, Gui-Dong; Kang, Wen-Yan; Tang, Hui-Dong; Ding, Jian-Qing; Chen, Sheng-Di

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder. Accumulating data indicate that astrocytes play an important role in the neuroinflammation related to the pathogenesis of AD. It has been shown that microglia and astrocytes are activated in AD brain and amyloid-beta (Abeta) can increase the expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), interleukin-1, and interleukin-6. Suppressing the inflammatory response caused by activated astrocytes may help to inhibit the development of AD. Curcumin is a major constituent of the yellow curry spice turmeric and proved to be a potential anti-inflammatory drug in arthritis and colitis. There is a low age-adjusted prevalence of AD in India, a country where turmeric powder is commonly used as a culinary compound. Curcumin has been shown to suppress activated astroglia in amyloid-beta protein precursor transgenic mice. The real mechanism by which curcumin inhibits activated astroglia is poorly understood. Here we report that the expression of COX-2 and glial fibrillary acidic protein were enhanced and that of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) was decreased in Abeta(25-35)-treated astrocytes. In line with these results, nuclear factor-kappaB translocation was increased in the presence of Abeta. All these can be reversed by the pretreatment of curcumin. Furthermore, GW9662, a PPARgamma antagonist, can abolish the anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin. These results show that curcumin might act as a PPARgamma agonist to inhibit the inflammation in Abeta-treated astrocytes. PMID:20413894

  2. 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

  3. Borna disease virus P protein inhibits nitric oxide synthase gene expression in astrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Peng Guiqing; Zhang Fengmin; Zhang Qi; Wu Kailang; Zhu Fan; Wu Jianguo

    2007-09-30

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is one of the potential infectious agents involved in the development of central nervous system (CNS) diseases. Neurons and astrocytes are the main targets of BDV infection, but little is known about the roles of BDV infection in the biological effects of astrocytes. Here we reported that BDV inhibits the activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in murine astrocytes induced by bacterial LPS and PMA. To determine which protein of BDV is responsible for the regulation of iNOS expression, we co-transfected murine astrocytes with reporter plasmid iNOS-luciferase and plasmid expressing individual BDV proteins. Results from analyses of reporter activities revealed that only the phosphoprotein (P) of BDV had an inhibitory effect on the activation of iNOS. In addition, P protein inhibits nitric oxide production through regulating iNOS expression. We also reported that the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-{kappa}B) binding element, AP-1 recognition site, and interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE) on the iNOS promoter were involved in the repression of iNOS gene expression regulated by the P protein. Functional analysis indicated that sequences from amino acids 134 to 174 of the P protein are necessary for the regulation of iNOS. These data suggested that BDV may suppress signal transduction pathways, which resulted in the inhibition of iNOS activation in astrocytes.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Neuronal modulation of calcium channel activity in cultured rat astrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Corvalan, V.; Cole, R.; De Vellis, J.; Hagiwara, Susumu )

    1990-06-01

    The patch-clamp technique was used to study whether cocultivation of neurons and astrocytes modulates the expression of calcium channel activity in astrocytes. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from rat brain astrocytes cocultured with rat embryonic neurons revealed two types of voltage-dependent inward currents carried by Ca{sup 2+} and blocked by either Cd{sup 2+} or Co{sup 2+} that otherwise were not detected in purified astrocytes. This expression of calcium channel activity in astrocytes was neuron dependent and was not observed when astrocytes were cocultured with purified oligodendrocytes.

  10. Neuronal and astrocytic metabolism in a transgenic rat model of Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Nilsen, Linn Hege; Witter, Menno P; Sonnewald, Ursula

    2014-01-01

    Regional hypometabolism of glucose in the brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, little is known about the specific alterations of neuronal and astrocytic metabolism involved in homeostasis of glutamate and GABA in AD. Here, we investigated the effects of amyloid β (Aβ) pathology on neuronal and astrocytic metabolism and glial-neuronal interactions in amino acid neurotransmitter homeostasis in the transgenic McGill-R-Thy1-APP rat model of AD compared with healthy controls at age 15 months. Rats were injected with [1-13C]glucose and [1,2-13C]acetate, and extracts of the hippocampal formation as well as several cortical regions were analyzed using 1H- and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and high-performance liquid chromatography. Reduced tricarboxylic acid cycle turnover was evident for glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons in hippocampal formation and frontal cortex, and for astrocytes in frontal cortex. Pyruvate carboxylation, which is necessary for de novo synthesis of amino acids, was decreased and affected the level of glutamine in hippocampal formation and those of glutamate, glutamine, GABA, and aspartate in the retrosplenial/cingulate cortex. Metabolic alterations were also detected in the entorhinal cortex. Overall, perturbations in energy- and neurotransmitter homeostasis, mitochondrial astrocytic and neuronal metabolism, and aspects of the glutamate–glutamine cycle were found in McGill-R-Thy1-APP rats. PMID:24594625

  11. Evidence for a novel functional role of astrocytes in the acute homeostatic response to high-fat diet intake in mice

    PubMed Central

    Buckman, Laura B.; Thompson, Misty M.; Lippert, Rachel N.; Blackwell, Timothy S.; Yull, Fiona E.; Ellacott, Kate L.J.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Introduction of a high-fat diet to mice results in a period of voracious feeding, known as hyperphagia, before homeostatic mechanisms prevail to restore energy intake to an isocaloric level. Acute high-fat diet hyperphagia induces astrocyte activation in the rodent hypothalamus, suggesting a potential role of these cells in the homeostatic response to the diet. The objective of this study was to determine physiologic role of astrocytes in the acute homeostatic response to high-fat feeding. Methods We bred a transgenic mouse model with doxycycline-inducible inhibition of NFkappaB (NFκB) signaling in astrocytes to determine the effect of loss of NFκB-mediated astrocyte activation on acute high-fat hyperphagia. ELISA was used to measure the levels of markers of astrocyte activation, glial-fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and S100B, in the medial basal hypothalamus. Results Inhibition of NFκB signaling in astrocytes prevented acute high-fat diet-induced astrocyte activation and resulted in a 15% increase in caloric intake (P < 0.01) in the first 24 h after introduction of the diet. Conclusions These data reveal a novel homeostatic role for astrocytes in the acute physiologic regulation of food intake in response to high-fat feeding. PMID:25685690

  12. GABAA Increases Calcium in Subventricular Zone Astrocyte-Like Cells Through L- and T-Type Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels

    PubMed Central

    Young, Stephanie Z.; Platel, Jean-Claude; Nielsen, Jakob V.; Jensen, Niels A.; Bordey, Angélique

    2010-01-01

    In the adult neurogenic subventricular zone (SVZ), the behavior of astrocyte-like cells and some of their functions depend on changes in intracellular Ca2+ levels and tonic GABAA receptor activation. However, it is unknown whether, and if so how, GABAA receptor activity regulates intracellular Ca2+ dynamics in SVZ astrocytes. To monitor Ca2+ activity selectively in astrocyte-like cells, we used two lines of transgenic mice expressing either GFP fused to a Gq-coupled receptor or DsRed under the human glial fibrillary acidic protein (hGFAP) promoter. GABAA receptor activation induced Ca2+ increases in 40–50% of SVZ astrocytes. GABAA-induced Ca2+ increases were prevented with nifedipine and mibefradil, blockers of L- and T-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC). The L-type Ca2+ channel activator BayK 8644 increased the percentage of GABAA-responding astrocyte-like cells to 75%, suggesting that the majority of SVZ astrocytes express functional VGCCs. SVZ astrocytes also displayed spontaneous Ca2+ activity, the frequency of which was regulated by tonic GABAA receptor activation. These data support a role for ambient GABA in tonically regulating intracellular Ca2+ dynamics through GABAA receptors and VGCC in a subpopulation of astrocyte-like cells in the postnatal SVZ. PMID:20422045

  13. 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

  14. Specialized contacts of astrocytes with astrocytes and with other cell types in the hypothalamus of the hamster.

    PubMed Central

    Suarez Najera, I; Fernandez Ruiz, B; Garcia Segura, L M

    1980-01-01

    Adult hamsters were used for this electron microscopic study of the hypothalamic region. Specialized contacts between astrocytes and astrocytes, and between astrocytes and other cellular elements, are described and illustrated. The specialized inter-astrocytic junctions occur primarily in perivascular and subpial regions, but also in areas of high synaptic density. The junctions between astrocytic processes are of hemidesmosomal type. Astrocytes are connected to oligodendroglial cells by means of desmosomes, and to neuronal processes by means of zonulae occludens. The functional significance of these arrangements is discussed. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:7364663

  15. Disentangling the Role of Astrocytes in Alcohol Use Disorder.

    PubMed

    Adermark, Louise; Bowers, M Scott

    2016-09-01

    Several laboratories recently identified that astrocytes are critical regulators of addiction machinery. It is now known that astrocyte pathology is a common feature of ethanol (EtOH) exposure in both humans and animal models, as even brief EtOH exposure is sufficient to elicit long-lasting perturbations in astrocyte gene expression, activity, and proliferation. Astrocytes were also recently shown to modulate the motivational properties of EtOH and other strongly reinforcing stimuli. Given the role of astrocytes in regulating glutamate homeostasis, a crucial component of alcohol use disorder (AUD), astrocytes might be an important target for the development of next-generation alcoholism treatments. This review will outline some of the more prominent features displayed by astrocytes, how these properties are influenced by acute and long-term EtOH exposure, and future directions that may help to disentangle astrocytic from neuronal functions in the etiology of AUD. PMID:27476876

  16. Molecular approaches for manipulating astrocytic signaling in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Alison X.; Petravicz, Jeremy; McCarthy, Ken D.

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes are the predominant glial type in the central nervous system and play important roles in assisting neuronal function and network activity. Astrocytes exhibit complex signaling systems that are essential for their normal function and the homeostasis of the neural network. Altered signaling in astrocytes is closely associated with neurological and psychiatric diseases, suggesting tremendous therapeutic potential of these cells. To further understand astrocyte function in health and disease, it is important to study astrocytic signaling in vivo. In this review, we discuss molecular tools that enable the selective manipulation of astrocytic signaling, including the tools to selectively activate and inactivate astrocyte signaling in vivo. Lastly, we highlight a few tools in development that present strong potential for advancing our understanding of the role of astrocytes in physiology, behavior, and pathology. PMID:25941472

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:27027636

  19. Unraveling the complex metabolic nature of astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Bouzier-Sore, Anne-Karine; Pellerin, Luc

    2013-01-01

    Since the initial description of astrocytes by neuroanatomists of the nineteenth century, a critical metabolic role for these cells has been suggested in the central nervous system. Nonetheless, it took several technological and conceptual advances over many years before we could start to understand how they fulfill such a role. One of the important and early recognized metabolic function of astrocytes concerns the reuptake and recycling of the neurotransmitter glutamate. But the description of this initial property will be followed by several others including an implication in the supply of energetic substrates to neurons. Indeed, despite the fact that like most eukaryotic non-proliferative cells, astrocytes rely on oxidative metabolism for energy production, they exhibit a prominent aerobic glycolysis capacity. Moreover, this unusual metabolic feature was found to be modulated by glutamatergic activity constituting the initial step of the neurometabolic coupling mechanism. Several approaches, including biochemical measurements in cultured cells, genetic screening, dynamic cell imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mathematical modeling, have provided further insights into the intrinsic characteristics giving rise to these key features of astrocytes. This review will provide an account of the different results obtained over several decades that contributed to unravel the complex metabolic nature of astrocytes that make this cell type unique. PMID:24130515

  20. Astrocytes in physiological aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Arellano, J J; Parpura, V; Zorec, R; Verkhratsky, A

    2016-05-26

    Astrocytes are fundamental for homoeostasis, defence and regeneration of the central nervous system. Loss of astroglial function and astroglial reactivity contributes to the aging of the brain and to neurodegenerative diseases. Changes in astroglia in aging and neurodegeneration are highly heterogeneous and region-specific. In animal models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) astrocytes undergo degeneration and atrophy at the early stages of pathological progression, which possibly may alter the homeostatic reserve of the brain and contribute to early cognitive deficits. At later stages of AD reactive astrocytes are associated with neurite plaques, the feature commonly found in animal models and in human diseased tissue. In animal models of the AD reactive astrogliosis develops in some (e.g. in the hippocampus) but not in all regions of the brain. For instance, in entorhinal and prefrontal cortices astrocytes do not mount gliotic response to emerging β-amyloid deposits. These deficits in reactivity coincide with higher vulnerability of these regions to AD-type pathology. Astroglial morphology and function can be regulated through environmental stimulation and/or medication suggesting that astrocytes can be regarded as a target for therapies aimed at the prevention and cure of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25595973

  1. Antioxidants and NOS inhibitors selectively targets manganese-induced cell volume via Na-K-Cl cotransporter-1 in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Alahmari, Khalid A; Prabhakaran, Harini; Prabhakaran, Krishnan; Chandramoorthy, Harish C; Ramugounder, Ramakrishnan

    2015-06-12

    Manganese has shown to be involved in astrocyte swelling. Several factors such as transporters, exchangers and ion channels are attributed to astrocyte swelling as a result in the deregulation of cell volume. Products of oxidation and nitration have been implied to be involved in the pathophysiology of swelling; however, the direct link and mechanism of manganese induced astrocyte swelling has not been fully elucidated. In the current study, we used rat primary astrocyte cultures to investigate the activation of Na-K-Cl cotransporter-1 (NKCC1) a downstream mechanism for free radical induced astrocyte swelling as a result of manganese toxicity. Our results showed manganese, oxidants and NO donors as potent inducer of oxidation and nitration of NKCC1. Our results further confirmed that manganese (50 μM) increased the total protein, phosphorylation and activity of NKCC1 as well as cell volume (p < 0.05 vs. control). NKCC1 inhibitor (bumetanide), NKCC1-siRNA, antioxidants; DMTU, MnTBAP, tempol, catalase and Vit-E, NOS inhibitor; L-NAME, peroxinitrite scavenger; uric acid all significantly reversed the effects of NKCC1 activation (p < 0.05). From the current investigation we infer that manganese or oxidants and NO induced activation, oxidation/nitration of NKCC1 play an important role in the astrocyte swelling. PMID:25817889

  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. PMID:26519880

  3. 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

  4. Effects of Salt Loading on the Morphology of Astrocytes in the Ventral Glia Limitans of the Rat Supraoptic Nucleus.

    PubMed

    Choe, K Y; Prager-Khoutorsky, M; Farmer, W T; Murai, K K; Bourque, C W

    2016-04-01

    In the ventral glial limitans (VGL) of the supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the rat, a unique astrocyte type is found with an ability to undergo striking morphological plasticity in response to a wide range of physiological stimulations such as chronic hypernatraemia. This includes a thinning of the VGL, which contains the somata and proximal processes of these astrocytes, as well as an almost complete withdrawal of their vertically-oriented distal processes. Currently, there is little information available on the types of astrocytes that reside in the SON-VGL and which of these exhibit state-dependent structural plasticity. To address this, we enabled the visualisation of single SON-VGL glia using two novel cell labelling techniques with fluorescence microscopy. First, we used an inducible genetic reporter mouse line that allowed the specific labelling of a low density of astrocytes expressing glutamate and aspartate transporter (GLAST)/excitatory amino acid transporter 1. This approach revealed a high degree of variability in the morphology of mouse SON-VGL astrocytes, in contrast to what has been reported for cortical astrocytes. Next, we used the DiOlistlic labelling approach to label single glial cells with DiI in the SON-VGL of rats. Astrocytes observed using this approach shared the morphological features of GLAST-expressing astrocytes in the mouse SON-VGL. Specific structural aspects of these cells were modified by chronic hypernatraemia achieved by 7-day salt loading. Notably, the average area of cells exhibiting protoplasmic features was significantly reduced in the horizontal plane, and the size of varicosities present on fibrous projections was significantly enlarged. These observations indicate that novel cell labelling methods can significantly advance our understanding of SON-VGL cells and reveal specific forms of morphological plasticity that can be driven by chronic hypernatraemia. PMID:26813227

  5. Differential response of GFAP-positive astrocytes in the rat prefrontal cortex following ethanol self-administration

    PubMed Central

    Bull, Cecilia; Syed, Wahab A.; Minter, Sabrina C.; Bowers, M. Scott

    2015-01-01

    Background Prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction is believed to contribute to the transition from controlled substance use to abuse. Because astrocytes have been suggested to play a key role in the development and maintenance of drug-seeking behaviors, we sought to determine if PFC astrocytes are affected by ethanol self-administration. Methods Ethanol consumption was modeled in rats by three self-administration paradigms where ethanol was made concurrently available with water in the home cage either continuously (CEA) or intermittently (IEA). In the third paradigm, ethanol was only available in the operant chamber (OEA). To avoid the potential confound of acute ethanol effects, all rats were sacrificed either 24 h or 3 wks abstinence. In all groups, the effect of ethanol consumption on PFC astrocytes was measured using unbiased stereological counting of cells expressing the astrocyte marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). GFAP immunoreactivity commonly changes in response to pharmacological insult or injury. Results GFAP-positive astrocyte number increased in the prelimbic and anterior cingulate cortex regions of the PFC after IEA. No change was found in the infralimbic or orbitofrontal cortex after IEA. After 3 weeks abstinence, there was a reduction of astrocytes in the prelimbic and orbitofrontal cortex of the CEA cohort as well as a reduction in the orbitofrontal cortex of the OEA cohort. Conclusion These findings demonstrate that discrete PFC subregions contain GFAP-positive astrocyte populations that respond differentially to distinct ethanol consumption paradigms. A better understanding of how specific astrocyte populations uniquely adapt to ethanol consumption could provide insight for targeted therapeutic interventions. PMID:25833026

  6. Crosstalk Among Disrupted Glutamatergic and Cholinergic Homeostasis and Inflammatory Response in Mechanisms Elicited by Proline in Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Loureiro, Samanta Oliveira; Sidegum, Daniele Susana Volkart; Biasibetti, Helena; Pereira, Mery Stefani Leivas; de Oliveira, Diogo Losch; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina; Wyse, Angela T S

    2016-03-01

    Hyperprolinemias are inherited disorder of proline (Pro) metabolism. Patients affected may present neurological manifestations, but the mechanisms of neural excitotoxicity elicited by hyperprolinemia are far from being understood. Considering that the astrocytes are important players in neurological disorders, the aim of the present work was to study the effects 1 mM Pro on glutamatergic and inflammatory parameters in cultured astrocytes from cerebral cortex of rats, exploring some molecular mechanisms underlying the disrupted homeostasis of astrocytes exposed to this toxic Pro concentration. We showed that cortical astrocytes of rats exposed to 1 mM Pro presented significantly elevated extracellular glutamate and glutamine levels, suggesting glutamate excitotoxicity. The excess of glutamate elicited by Pro together with increased glutamate uptake and upregulated glutamine synthetase (GS) activity supported misregulated glutamate homeostasis in astrocytic cells. High Pro levels also induced production/release of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. We also evidenced misregulation of cholinergic anti-inflammatory system with increased acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and decreased acetylcholine (ACh) levels, contributing to the inflammatory status in Pro-treated astrocytes. Our findings highlighted a crosstalk among disrupted glutamate homeostasis, cholinergic mechanisms, and inflammatory cytokines, since ionotropic (DL-AP5 and CNQX) and metabotropic (MCPG and MPEP) glutamate antagonists were able to restore the extracellular glutamate and glutamine levels; downregulate TNFα and IL6 production/release, modulate GS and AChE activities; and restore ACh levels. Otherwise, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs nimesulide, acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen, and diclofenac sodium decreased the extracellular glutamate and glutamine levels, downregulated GS and AChE activities, and restored ACh levels in Pro-treated astrocytes. Altogether, our

  7. Methamphetamine and HIV-1-induced neurotoxicity: Role of trace amine associated receptor 1 cAMP signaling in astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Cisneros, Irma E.

    2014-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is abused by about 5% of the United States population with approximately 10–15% of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) patients reporting its use. METH abuse accelerates the onset and severity of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) and astrocyte-induced neurotoxicity. METH activates G-protein coupled receptors such as trace amine associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) increasing intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels in presynaptic cells of monoaminergic systems. In the present study, we investigated the effects of METH and HIV-1 on primary human astrocyte TAAR1 expression, function and glutamate clearance. Our results demonstrate combined conditions increased TAAR1 mRNA levels 7-fold and increased intracellular cAMP levels. METH and beta-phenylethylamine (β-PEA), known TAAR1 agonists, increased intracellular cAMP levels in astrocytes. Further, TAAR1 knockdown significantly reduced intracellular cAMP levels in response to METH/β-PEA, indicating signaling through astrocyte TAAR1. METH +/− HIV-1 decreased excitatory amino acid transporter-2 (EAAT-2) mRNA and significantly decreased glutamate clearance. RNA interference for TAAR1 prevented METH-mediated decreases in EAAT-2. TAAR1 knockdown significantly increased glutamate clearance, which was further heightened significantly by METH. Moreover, TAAR1 overexpression significantly decreased EAAT-2 levels and glutamate clearance that were further reduced by METH. Taken together, our data show that METH treatment activated TAAR1 leading to intracellular cAMP in human astrocytes and modulated glutamate clearance abilities. Furthermore, molecular alterations in astrocyte TAAR1 levels correspond to changes in astrocyte EAAT-2 levels and function. To our knowledge this is the first report implicating astrocyte TAAR1 as a novel receptor for METH during combined injury in the context of HAND. PMID:24950453

  8. Enhancing Astrocytic Lysosome Biogenesis Facilitates Aβ Clearance and Attenuates Amyloid Plaque Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Qingli; Yan, Ping; Ma, Xiucui; Liu, Haiyan; Perez, Ronaldo; Zhu, Alec; Gonzales, Ernesto; Burchett, Jack M.; Schuler, Dorothy R.; Cirrito, John R.

    2014-01-01

    In sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD), impaired Aβ removal contributes to elevated extracellular Aβ levels that drive amyloid plaque pathogenesis. Extracellular proteolysis, export across the blood–brain barrier, and cellular uptake facilitate physiologic Aβ clearance. Astrocytes can take up and degrade Aβ, but it remains unclear whether this function is insufficient in AD or can be enhanced to accelerate Aβ removal. Additionally, age-related dysfunction of lysosomes, the major degradative organelles wherein Aβ localizes after uptake, has been implicated in amyloid plaque pathogenesis. We tested the hypothesis that enhancing lysosomal function in astrocytes with transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of lysosome biogenesis, would promote Aβ uptake and catabolism and attenuate plaque pathogenesis. Exogenous TFEB localized to the nucleus with transcriptional induction of lysosomal biogenesis and function in vitro. This resulted in significantly accelerated uptake of exogenously applied Aβ42, with increased localization to and degradation within lysosomes in C17.2 cells and primary astrocytes, indicating that TFEB is sufficient to coordinately enhance uptake, trafficking, and degradation of Aβ. Stereotactic injection of adeno-associated viral particles carrying TFEB driven by a glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter was used to achieve astrocyte-specific expression in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 transgenic mice. Exogenous TFEB localized to astrocyte nuclei and enhanced lysosome function, resulting in reduced Aβ levels and shortened half-life in the brain interstitial fluid and reduced amyloid plaque load in the hippocampus compared with control virus-injected mice. Therefore, activation of TFEB in astrocytes is an effective strategy to restore adequate Aβ removal and counter amyloid plaque pathogenesis in AD. PMID:25031402

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

    PubMed

    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 (MKO(GFAP)). MKO(GFAP) mice exhibit moderately increased 2-AG and reduced AA levels in brain. Minor accumulation of 2-AG in the brain of MKO(GFAP) mice does not cause cannabinoid receptor desensitization as previously observed in mice globally lacking MGL. Importantly, MKO(GFAP) 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

  10. Purines released from astrocytes inhibit excitatory synaptic transmission in the ventral horn of the spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Carlsen, Eva Meier; Perrier, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Spinal neuronal networks are essential for motor function. They are involved in the integration of sensory inputs and the generation of rhythmic motor outputs. They continuously adapt their activity to the internal state of the organism and to the environment. This plasticity can be provided by different neuromodulators. These substances are usually thought of being released by dedicated neurons. However, in other networks from the central nervous system synaptic transmission is also modulated by transmitters released from astrocytes. The star-shaped glial cell responds to neurotransmitters by releasing gliotransmitters, which in turn modulate synaptic transmission. Here we investigated if astrocytes present in the ventral horn of the spinal cord modulate synaptic transmission. We evoked synaptic inputs in ventral horn neurons recorded in a slice preparation from the spinal cord of neonatal mice. Neurons responded to electrical stimulation by monosynaptic EPSCs (excitatory monosynaptic postsynaptic currents). We used mice expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein under the promoter of the glial fibrillary acidic protein to identify astrocytes. Chelating calcium with BAPTA in a single neighboring astrocyte increased the amplitude of synaptic currents. In contrast, when we selectively stimulated astrocytes by activating PAR-1 receptors with the peptide TFLLR, the amplitude of EPSCs evoked by a paired stimulation protocol was reduced. The paired-pulse ratio was increased, suggesting an inhibition occurring at the presynaptic side of synapses. In the presence of blockers for extracellular ectonucleotidases, TFLLR did not induce presynaptic inhibition. Puffing adenosine reproduced the effect of TFLLR and blocking adenosine A1 receptors with 8-Cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine prevented it. Altogether our results show that ventral horn astrocytes are responsible for a tonic and a phasic inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission by releasing ATP, which gets

  11. Synaptic islands defined by the territory of a single astrocyte.

    PubMed

    Halassa, Michael M; Fellin, Tommaso; Takano, Hajime; Dong, Jing-Hui; Haydon, Philip G

    2007-06-13

    In the mammalian brain, astrocytes modulate neuronal function, in part, by synchronizing neuronal firing and coordinating synaptic networks. Little, however, is known about how this is accomplished from a structural standpoint. To investigate the structural basis of astrocyte-mediated neuronal synchrony and synaptic coordination, the three-dimensional relationships between cortical astrocytes and neurons was investigated. Using a transgenic and viral approach to label astrocytes with enhanced green fluorescent protein, we performed a three-dimensional reconstruction of astrocytes from tissue sections or live animals in vivo. We found that cortical astrocytes occupy nonoverlapping territories similar to those described in the hippocampus. Using immunofluorescence labeling of neuronal somata, a single astrocyte enwraps on average four neuronal somata with an upper limit of eight. Single-neuron dye-fills allowed us to estimate that one astrocyte contacts 300-600 neuronal dendrites. Together with the recent findings showing that glial Ca2+ signaling is restricted to individual astrocytes in vivo, and that Ca2+ signaling leads to gliotransmission, we propose the concept of functional islands of synapses in which groups of synapses confined within the boundaries of an individual astrocyte are modulated by the gliotransmitter environment controlled by that astrocyte. Our description offers a new structurally based conceptual framework to evaluate functional data involving interactions between neurons and astrocytes in the mammalian brain. PMID:17567808

  12. 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. PMID:26686654

  13. Reversible reactivity by optic nerve astrocytes

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23650091

  14. HIV protease inhibitors disrupt astrocytic glutamate transporter function and neurobehavioral performance

    PubMed Central

    Vivithanaporn, Pornpun; Asahchop, Eugene L.; Acharjee, Shaona; Baker, Glen B.; Power, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Objective: The neurotoxic actions of the HIV protease inhibitors, amprenavir (APV) and lopinavir (LPV) were investigated. Design: With combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), HIV-infected persons exhibit neurocognitive impairments, raising the possibility that cART might exert adverse central nervous system (CNS) effects. We examined the effects of LPV and APV using in-vitro and in-vivo assays of CNS function. Methods: Gene expression, cell viability and amino-acid levels were measured in human astrocytes, following exposure to APV or LPV. Neurobehavioral performance, amino-acid levels and neuropathology were examined in HIV-1 Vpr transgenic mice after treatment with APV or LPV. Results: Excitatory amino-acid transporter-2 (EAAT2) expression was reduced in astrocytes treated with LPV or APV, especially LPV (P < 0.05), which was accompanied by reduced intracellular l-glutamate levels in LPV-treated cells (P < 0.05). Treatment of astrocytes with APV or LPV reduced the expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and Ki-67 (P < 0.05) although cell survival was unaffected. Exposure of LPV to astrocytes augmented glutamate-evoked transient rises in [Cai] (P < 0.05). Vpr mice treated with LPV showed lower concentrations of l-glutamate, l-aspartate and l-serine in cortex compared with vehicle-treated mice (P < 0.05). Total errors in T-maze assessment were increased in LPV and APV-treated animals (P < 0.05). EAAT2 expression was reduced in the brains of protease inhibitor-treated animals, which was associated with gliosis (P < 0.05). Conclusion: These results indicated that contemporary protease inhibitors disrupt astrocyte functions at therapeutic concentrations with enhanced sensitivity to glutamate, which can lead to neurobehavioral impairments. ART neurotoxicity should be considered in future therapeutic regimens for HIV/AIDS. PMID:26558720

  15. Astrocytic Dysfunction in Epileptogenesis: Consequences of Altered Potassium and Glutamate Homeostasis?

    PubMed Central

    David, Yaron; Cacheaux, Luisa P; Ivens, Sebastian; Lapilover, Ezequiel; Heinemann, Uwe; Kaufer, Daniela; Friedman, Alon

    2010-01-01

    Focal epilepsy often develops following traumatic, ischemic or infectious brain injury. While the electrical activity of the epileptic brain is well characterized, the mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis are poorly understood. We have recently shown that in the rat neocortex, long-lasting breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) or direct exposure of the neocortex to serum-derived albumin leads to rapid up-regulation of the astrocytic marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), followed by delayed (within 4–7 days) development of an epileptic focus. We investigated the role of astrocytes in epileptogenesis in the BBB-breakdown and albumin models of epileptogenesis. We found similar, robust changes in astrocytic gene expression in the neocortex within hours following treatment with deoxycholic acid (BBB breakdown) or albumin. These changes predict reduced clearance capacity for both extracellular glutamate and potassium. Electrophysiological recordings in-vitro confirmed the reduced clearance of activity-dependent accumulation of both potassium and glutamate 24 h following exposure to albumin. We used a NEURON model to simulate the consequences of reduced astrocytic uptake of potassium and glutamate on excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs). The model predicted that the accumulation of glutamate is associated with frequency-dependent (>100 Hz) decreased facilitation of EPSPs, while potassium accumulation leads to frequency-dependant (10–50 Hz) and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA)-dependent synaptic facilitation. In-vitro electrophysiological recordings during epileptogenesis confirmed frequency-dependant synaptic facilitation leading to seizure-like activity. Our data indicate a transcription-mediated astrocytic transformation early during epileptogenesis. We suggest that the resulting reduction in the clearance of extracellular potassium underlies frequency-dependent neuronal hyper-excitability and network synchronization. PMID:19710312

  16. Freshly dissociated mature hippocampal astrocytes exhibit passive membrane conductance and low membrane resistance similarly to syncytial coupled astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Du, Yixing; Ma, Baofeng; Kiyoshi, Conrad M.; Alford, Catherine C.; Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Mature astrocytes exhibit a linear current-to-voltage K+ membrane conductance (passive conductance) and an extremely low membrane resistance (Rm) in situ. The combination of these electrophysiological characteristics establishes a highly negative and stable membrane potential that is essential for basic functions, such as K+ spatial buffering and neurotransmitter uptake. However, astrocytes are coupled extensively in situ. It remains to be determined whether the observed passive behavior and low Rm are attributable to the intrinsic properties of membrane ion channels or to gap junction coupling in functionally mature astrocytes. In the present study, freshly dissociated hippocampal tissues were used as a new model to examine this basic question in young adult animals. The morphologically intact single astrocytes could be reliably dissociated from animals postnatal day 21 and older. At this animal age, dissociated single astrocytes exhibit passive conductance and resting membrane potential similar to those exhibited by astrocytes in situ. To precisely measure the Rm from single astrocytes, dual-patch single-astrocyte recording was performed. We show that dissociated single astrocytes exhibit a low Rm similarly to syncytial coupled astrocytes. Functionally, the symmetric expression of high-K+ conductance enabled rapid change in the intracellular K+ concentrations in response to changing K+ drive force. Altogether, we demonstrate that freshly dissociated tissue preparation is a highly useful model for study of the functional expression and regulation of ion channels, receptors, and transporters in astrocytes and that passive behavior and low Rm are the intrinsic properties of mature astrocytes. PMID:25810481

  17. Bioimpedance modeling to monitor astrocytic response to chronically implanted electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConnell, G. C.; Butera, R. J.; Bellamkonda, R. V.

    2009-10-01

    The widespread adoption of neural prosthetic devices is currently hindered by our inability to reliably record neural signals from chronically implanted electrodes. The extent to which the local tissue response to implanted electrodes influences recording failure is not well understood. To investigate this phenomenon, impedance spectroscopy has shown promise for use as a non-invasive tool to estimate the local tissue response to microelectrodes. Here, we model impedance spectra from chronically implanted rats using the well-established Cole model, and perform a correlation analysis of modeled parameters with histological markers of astroglial scar, including glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) and 4',6-diamidino-2- phenylindole (DAPI). Correlations between modeled parameters and GFAP were significant for three parameters studied: Py value, Ro and |Z|1 kHz, and in all cases were confined to the first 100 µm from the interface. Py value was the only parameter also correlated with DAPI in the first 100 µm. Our experimental results, along with computer simulations, suggest that astrocytes are a predominant cellular player affecting electrical impedance spectra. The results also suggest that the largest contribution from reactive astrocytes on impedance spectra occurs in the first 100 µm from the interface, where electrodes are most likely to record electrical signals. These results form the basis for future approaches where impedance spectroscopy can be used to evaluate neural implants, evaluate strategies to minimize scar and potentially develop closed-loop prosthetic devices.

  18. Bioimpedance modeling to monitor astrocytic response to chronically implanted electrodes.

    PubMed

    McConnell, G C; Butera, R J; Bellamkonda, R V

    2009-10-01

    The widespread adoption of neural prosthetic devices is currently hindered by our inability to reliably record neural signals from chronically implanted electrodes. The extent to which the local tissue response to implanted electrodes influences recording failure is not well understood. To investigate this phenomenon, impedance spectroscopy has shown promise for use as a non-invasive tool to estimate the local tissue response to microelectrodes. Here, we model impedance spectra from chronically implanted rats using the well-established Cole model, and perform a correlation analysis of modeled parameters with histological markers of astroglial scar, including glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) and 4',6-diamidino-2- phenylindole (DAPI). Correlations between modeled parameters and GFAP were significant for three parameters studied: Py value, R(o) and |Z|(1 kHz), and in all cases were confined to the first 100 microm from the interface. Py value was the only parameter also correlated with DAPI in the first 100 microm. Our experimental results, along with computer simulations, suggest that astrocytes are a predominant cellular player affecting electrical impedance spectra. The results also suggest that the largest contribution from reactive astrocytes on impedance spectra occurs in the first 100 microm from the interface, where electrodes are most likely to record electrical signals. These results form the basis for future approaches where impedance spectroscopy can be used to evaluate neural implants, evaluate strategies to minimize scar and potentially develop closed-loop prosthetic devices. PMID:19721187

  19. Regulation of store-operated calcium entry by calcium-independent phospholipase A2 in rat cerebellar astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Singaravelu, Karthika; Lohr, Christian; Deitmer, Joachim W

    2006-09-13

    We have studied store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) in Bergmann glia and granule cell layer astrocytes in acute brain slices of the rat cerebellum, using the Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dye Fluo-4 and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Astrocytes were identified by their morphology, location, and their Ca2+ response in K+-free solution. Depletion of Ca2+ stores by cyclopiazonic acid (CPA) (20 microM) induced SOCE in both types of astrocyte. A similar Ca2+ influx was elicited by the calmodulin antagonist calmidazolium (CMZ) (1 microM). The SOCE channel blocker 2-aminoethoxy-diphenylborate (2-APB) (100 microM) and the Ca2+ release-activated channel blocker 3,5-bistrifluoromethyl pyrazole derivative (BTP2) (20 microM) suppressed the CPA- and the CMZ-induced Ca2+ influx. Pretreatment of acute slices with the specific Ca2+-independent phospholipase A2 (iPLA2) inhibitor bromoenol lactone (BEL) (25 microM) blocked the CPA- and the CMZ-induced Ca2+ influx. The lysophospholipid products of iPLA2, lysophosphatidylcholine (250 nM) and lysophosphatidylinositol (250 nM), but not lysophosphatidic acid (250 nM), induced a BTP2- and 2-APB-sensitive, but BEL-insensitive, Ca2+ influx. CPA or CMZ enhanced the BEL-sensitive enzymatic activity of iPLA2 in cerebellar astrocyte culture. Inhibition of iPLA2 expression by specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotide of iPLA2 reduced the SOCE and the Ca2+ store refilling in cultured astrocytes. Spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations in astrocytes in situ were reduced after inhibiting SOCE channels or iPLA2 activity. The results suggest that the depletion of Ca2+ stores activates iPLA2 to open Ca2+ channels in the plasma membrane by the formation of lysophospholipids in astrocytes, presumably to refill the stores and allow normal Ca2+ signaling. PMID:16971542

  20. Common astrocytic programs during brain development, injury and cancer

    PubMed Central

    Silver, Daniel J.; Steindler, Dennis A.

    2011-01-01

    In addition to radial glial cells of neurohistogenesis, immature astrocytes with stem-cell-like properties cordon off emerging functional patterns in the developing brain. Astrocytes also can be stem cells during adult neurogenesis, and a proposed potency of injury-associated reactive astrocytes has recently been substantiated. Astrocytic cells might additionally be involved in cancer stem cell-associated gliomagenesis. Thus, there are distinguishing roles for stem-cell-like astrocytes during brain development, in neurogenic niches in the adult, during attempted reactive neurogenesis after brain injury or disease and during brain tumorigenesis. PMID:19398132

  1. 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

  2. Local production of astrocytes in the cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Ge, W-P; Jia, J-M

    2016-05-26

    Astrocytes are the largest glial population in the mammalian brain. Astrocytes in the cerebral cortex are reportedly generated from four sources, namely radial glia, progenitors in the subventricular zone (SVZ progenitors), locally proliferating glia, and NG2 glia; it remains an open question, however, as to what extent these four cell types contribute to the substantial increase in astrocytes that occurs postnatally in the cerebral cortex. Here we summarize all possible sources of astrocytes and discuss their roles in this postnatal increase. In particular, we focus on astrocytes derived from local proliferation within the cortex. PMID:26343293

  3. Target cell-specific modulation of neuronal activity by astrocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozlov, A. S.; Angulo, M. C.; Audinat, E.; Charpak, S.

    2006-06-01

    Interaction between astrocytes and neurons enriches the behavior of brain circuits. By releasing glutamate and ATP, astrocytes can directly excite neurons and modulate synaptic transmission. In the rat olfactory bulb, we demonstrate that the release of GABA by astrocytes causes long-lasting and synchronous inhibition of mitral and granule cells. In addition, astrocytes release glutamate, leading to a selective activation of granule-cell NMDA receptors. Thus, by releasing excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters, astrocytes exert a complex modulatory control on the olfactory network. glutamate | GABA | inhibition | olfactory bulb | synchronization

  4. Activity-dependent regulation of astrocyte GAT levels during synaptogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Muthukumar, Allie K.; Stork, Tobias; Freeman, Marc R.

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytic uptake of GABA through GABA transporters (GATs) is an important mechanism regulating excitatory/inhibitory balance in the nervous system, however mechanisms by which astrocytes regulate GAT levels are undefined. Here we show at mid-pupal stages the Drosophila CNS neuropil is devoid of astrocyte membranes and synapses. Astrocyte membranes subsequently infiltrate the neuropil coordinate with synaptogenesis and a strocyte ablation reduces synapse numbers by half, indicating that Drosophila astrocytes are pro-synaptogenic. Shortly after synapses form in earnest, the GABA transporter, GAT, is up-regulated in astrocytes. Ablation or silencing of GABAergic neurons or disruption of metabotropic GABA receptor (GABABR1/2) signaling in astrocytes leads to decreased astrocytic GAT levels. Interestingly, developmental depletion of astrocytic GABABR1/2 signaling suppresses mechanosensory-induced seizure activity in mutants with hyperexcitable neurons. These data reveal astrocytes actively modulate GAT expression via metabotropic GABA receptor signaling, and highlight the importance of precise regulation of astrocytic GAT in modulation of seizure activity. PMID:25151265

  5. 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. PMID:25532161

  6. Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Davila, David; Thibault, Karine; Fiacco, Todd A.; Agulhon, Cendra

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes are a predominant glial cell type in the nervous systems, and are becoming recognized as important mediators of normal brain function as well as neurodevelopmental, neurological, and neurodegenerative brain diseases. Although numerous potential mechanisms have been proposed to explain the role of astrocytes in the normal and diseased brain, research into the physiological relevance of these mechanisms in vivo is just beginning. In this review, we will summarize recent developments in innovative and powerful molecular approaches, including knockout mouse models, transgenic mouse models, and astrocyte-targeted gene transfer/expression, which have led to advances in understanding astrocyte biology in vivo that were heretofore inaccessible to experimentation. We will examine the recently improved understanding of the roles of astrocytes – with an emphasis on astrocyte signaling – in the context of both the healthy and diseased brain, discuss areas where the role of astrocytes remains debated, and suggest new research directions. PMID:24399932

  7. Fluoxetin Upregulates Connexin 43 Expression in Astrocyte

    PubMed Central

    Mostafavi, Hossein; Khaksarian, Mojtaba; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi; Hassanzadeh, Gholamreza; Soleimani, Masoud; Eftekhari, Sanaz; Soleimani, Mansooreh; Mousavizadeh, Kazem; Hadjighassem, Mahmoud Reza

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Recent studies have shown that astrocytes play major roles in normal and disease condition of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis (MS). Molecular target therapy studies in MS have revealed that connexin-43 (Cx43) and Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) contents of astrocytes undergo expression alteration. Fluoxetine had some effects in MS patients unrelated to its known antidepressant effects. Some of fluoxetine effects were attributed to its capability of cAMP signaling pathway stimulation. This study aimed to investigate possible acute effects of fluoxetine on Cx43 and AQP4 expression in astrocyte. Methods Astrocytoma cells were treated for 24 hours with fluoxetine (10 and 20 µg/ml) with or without adenyl cyclase (AC) and protein kinase A (PKA) inhibition. Cx43 expression at both mRNA and protein levels and AQP4 expression at mRNA level were evaluated. Results Acquired results showed that fluoxetine with and without AC and PKA inhibition resulted in Cx43 up-regulation both in mRNA and protein levels, whereas AQP4 expression have not changed. Discussion In conclusion, data showed that fluoxetine alone and in the absence of serotonin acutely up-regulated Cx43 expression in astrocytes that can be assumed in molecular target therapy of MS patients. It seems that cAMP involvement in fluoxetine effects need more researches. PMID:25436087

  8. 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. PMID:27294513

  9. 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. PMID:27255639

  10. Expression of 300-kilodalton intermediate filament-associated protein distinguishes human glioma cells from normal astrocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Yang, H Y; Lieska, N; Glick, R; Shao, D; Pappas, G D

    1993-01-01

    The availability of biochemical markers to distinguish glioma cells from normal astrocytes would have enormous diagnostic value. Such markers also may be of value in studying the basic biology of human astrocytomas. The vimentin-binding, 300-kDa intermediate filament (IF)-associated protein (IFAP-300kDa) has recently been shown to be developmentally expressed in radial glia of the central nervous system of the rat. It is not detected in the normal or reactive astrocytes of the adult rat nor in neonatal rat brain astrocytes in primary culture. In the present study, double-label immunofluorescence microscopy using antibodies to IFAP-300kDa and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, an astrocyte-specific IF structural protein) identifies this IFAP in GFAP-containing tumor cells from examples of all three major types of human astrocytomas (i.e., well-differentiated, anaplastic, and glioblastoma multiforme). Astrocytoma cells in primary cultures prepared from all three astrocytomas also express this protein. It is not detectable in normal adult brain tissue. Immunoblot analyses using the IFAP-300kDa antibody confirm the presence of a 300-kDa polypeptide in fresh astrocytoma preparations enriched for IF proteins. These results suggest the utility of IFAP-300kDa as a marker for identification of human glioma cells both in vitro and in situ. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:8378327

  11. 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

  12. 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

    2016-01-01

    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 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. PMID:27162174

  13. 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.

  14. Norepinephrine-induced calcium signaling in astrocytes in the respiratory network of the ventrolateral medulla.

    PubMed

    Schnell, Christian; Negm, Mahmoud; Driehaus, Johannes; Scheller, Anja; Hülsmann, Swen

    2016-06-01

    The neuronal activity in the respiratory network of the ventrolateral medulla strongly depends on a variety of different neuromodulators. Since the respiratory activity generated by neurons in the pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC) is stabilized by astrocytes, we investigated potential effects of the neuromodulator norepinephrine (NE) on the astrocytic calcium signaling in the ventral respiratory group. In acutely isolated brainstem slices from wild type mice (postnatal day 1-10) we performed calcium imaging experiments using Oregon Green 488 BAPTA-1 AM as a calcium indicator dye. Astrocytes in the preBötC, which were identified by their unique intracellular calcium rise after the reduction of the extracellular K(+) concentration, showed calcium rises in response to norepinephrine. These calcium signals persisted after blockade of neuronal activity by tetrodotoxin (TTX) indicating that they were independent of neuronal activity. Furthermore, application of the endoplasmic reticulum calcium pump blocker cyclopiazonic acid (CPA) diminished norepinephrine-induced calcium signals. This results could be confirmed using transgenic mice with astrocyte specific expression of GCaMP3. Thus, norepinephrine might, apart from acting directly on neurons, influence and modulate respiratory network activity via the modulation of astroglial calcium signaling. PMID:26514085

  15. Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Apoptosis of Astrocytes: Therapeutic Intervention by Minocycline.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Arpita; Patro, Nisha; Patro, Ishan K

    2016-05-01

    Astrocytes are most abundant glial cell type in the brain and play a main defensive role in central nervous system against glutamate-induced toxicity by virtue of numerous transporters residing in their membranes and an astrocyte-specific enzyme glutamine synthetase (GS). In view of that, a dysregulation in the astrocytic activity following an insult may result in glutamate-mediated toxicity accompanied with astrocyte and microglial activation. The present study suggests that the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation results in significant astrocytic apoptosis compared to other cell types in hippocampus and minocycline could not efficiently restrict the glutamate-mediated toxicity and apoptosis of astrocytes. Upon LPS exposure 76 % astrocytes undergo degeneration followed by 44 % oligodendrocytes, 26 % neurons and 10 % microglia. The pronounced astrocytic apoptosis resulted from the LPS-induced glutamate excitotoxicity leading to their hyperactivation as evident from their hypertrophied morphology, glutamate transporter 1 upregulation and downregulation of GS. Therapeutic minocycline treatment to LPS-infused rats efficiently restricted the inflammatory response and degeneration of other cell types but could not significantly combat with the apoptosis of astrocytes. Our study demonstrates a novel finding on cellular degeneration in the hippocampus revealing more of astrocytic death and suggests a more careful consideration on the protective efficacy of minocycline. PMID:26188416

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Beneficial effects of gfap/vimentin reactive astrocytes for axonal remodeling and motor behavioral recovery in mice after stroke.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhongwu; Li, Yi; Cui, Yisheng; Roberts, Cynthia; Lu, Mei; Wilhelmsson, Ulrika; Pekny, Milos; Chopp, Michael

    2014-12-01

    The functional role of reactive astrocytes after stroke is controversial. To elucidate whether reactive astrocytes contribute to neurological recovery, we compared behavioral outcome, axonal remodeling of the corticospinal tract (CST), and the spatio-temporal change of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) expression between wild-type (WT) and glial fibrillary acidic protein/vimentin double knockout (GFAP(-/-) Vim(-/-) ) mice subjected to Rose Bengal induced cerebral cortical photothrombotic stroke in the right forelimb motor area. A foot-fault test and a single pellet reaching test were performed prior to and on day 3 after stroke, and weekly thereafter to monitor functional deficit and recovery. Biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) was injected into the left motor cortex to anterogradely label the CST axons. Compared with WT mice, the motor functional recovery and BDA-positive CST axonal length in the denervated side of the cervical gray matter were significantly reduced in GFAP(-/-) Vim(-/-) mice (n = 10/group, P < 0.01). Immunohistological data showed that in GFAP(-/-) Vim(-/-) mice, in which astrocytic reactivity is attenuated, CSPG expression was significantly increased in the lesion remote areas in both hemispheres, but decreased in the ischemic lesion boundary zone, compared with WT mice (n = 12/group, P < 0.001). Our data suggest that attenuated astrocytic reactivity impairs or delays neurological recovery by reducing CST axonal remodeling in the denervated spinal cord. Thus, manipulation of astrocytic reactivity post stroke may represent a therapeutic target for neurorestorative strategies. PMID:25043249

  19. 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.

  20. Astrocyte mega-domain hypothesis of the autistic savantism.

    PubMed

    Mitterauer, Bernhard J

    2013-01-01

    Individuals with autism who show high abilities are called savants. Whereas in their brains a disconnection in and between neural networks has been identified, savantism is yet poorly understood. Focusing on astrocyte domain organization, it is hypothesized that local astrocyte mega-organizations may be responsible for exerting high capabilities in brains of autistic savants. Astrocytes, the dominant glial cell type, modulate synaptic information transmission. Each astrocyte is organized in non-overlapping domains. Formally, each astrocyte contacting n-neurons with m-synapses via its processes generates dynamic domains of synaptic interactions based on qualitative computation criteria, and hereby it structures neuronal information processing. If the number of processes is genetically significantly increased, these astrocytes operate in a mega-domain with a higher complexitiy of computation. From this model savant abilities are deduced. PMID:23098371

  1. Functions of astrocytes and their potential as therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    Kimelberg, Harold K.; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2010-01-01

    Astrocytes are often referred to, and historically have been regarded as, support cells of the mammalian CNS. Work over the last decade suggests otherwise, that astrocytes may in fact play a more active role in higher neural processing than previously recognized. Because astrocytes can potentially serve as novel therapeutic targets, it is critical to understand how astrocytes execute their diverse supportive tasks while maintaining neuronal health. To that end, this review will focus on the supportive roles of astrocytes, a line of study relevant to essentially all acute and chronic neurological diseases. Furthermore, this review will critically re-evaluate our concepts of the functional properties of astrocytes and relate these tasks to their intricate morphology. PMID:20880499

  2. Astrocytic role in synapse formation after injury.

    PubMed

    Li, Ying; Li, Daqing; Raisman, Geoffrey

    2016-08-15

    In 1969 a paper entitled Neuronal plasticity in the septal nuclei of the adult rat proposed that new synapses are formed in the adult brain after injury (Raisman, 1969). The quantitative electron microscopic study of the timed responses to selective partial denervation of the neuropil of the adult rat septal nuclei after distant transection of the hippocampal efferent axons in the fimbria showed that the new synapses arise by sprouting of surviving adjacent synapses which selectively take over the previously denervated sites and thus restore the number of synapses to normal. This article presents the evidence for the role of perisynaptic astrocytic processes in the removal and formation of synapses and considers its significance as one of the three major divisions of the astrocytic surface in terms of the axonal responses to injury and regeneration. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:50th Anniversary Issue. PMID:26746338

  3. 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.

  4. Astrocyte Contributions to Flow/Pressure-Evoked Parenchymal Arteriole Vasoconstriction

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Ki Jung; Iddings, Jennifer A.; Stern, Javier E.; Blanco, Víctor M.; Croom, Deborah; Kirov, Sergei A.

    2015-01-01

    Basal and activity-dependent cerebral blood flow changes are coordinated by the action of critical processes, including cerebral autoregulation, endothelial-mediated signaling, and neurovascular coupling. The goal of our study was to determine whether astrocytes contribute to the regulation of parenchymal arteriole (PA) tone in response to hemodynamic stimuli (pressure/flow). Cortical PA vascular responses and astrocytic Ca2+ dynamics were measured using an in vitro rat/mouse brain slice model of perfused/pressurized PAs; studies were supplemented with in vivo astrocytic Ca2+ imaging. In vitro, astrocytes responded to PA flow/pressure increases with an increase in intracellular Ca2+. Astrocytic Ca2+ responses were corroborated in vivo, where acute systemic phenylephrine-induced increases in blood pressure evoked a significant increase in astrocytic Ca2+. In vitro, flow/pressure-evoked vasoconstriction was blunted when the astrocytic syncytium was loaded with BAPTA (chelating intracellular Ca2+) and enhanced when high Ca2+ or ATP were introduced to the astrocytic syncytium. Bath application of either the TRPV4 channel blocker HC067047 or purinergic receptor antagonist suramin blunted flow/pressure-evoked vasoconstriction, whereas K+ and 20-HETE signaling blockade showed no effect. Importantly, we found TRPV4 channel expression to be restricted to astrocytes and not the endothelium of PA. We present evidence for a novel role of astrocytes in PA flow/pressure-evoked vasoconstriction. Our data suggest that astrocytic TRPV4 channels are key molecular sensors of hemodynamic stimuli and that a purinergic, glial-derived signal contributes to flow/pressure-induced adjustments in PA tone. Together our results support bidirectional signaling within the neurovascular unit and astrocytes as key modulators of PA tone. PMID:26019339

  5. 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.

  6. The Neurogenic Potential of Astrocytes Is Regulated by Inflammatory Signals.

    PubMed

    Michelucci, Alessandro; Bithell, Angela; Burney, Matthew J; Johnston, Caroline E; Wong, Kee-Yew; Teng, Siaw-Wei; Desai, Jyaysi; Gumbleton, Nigel; Anderson, Gregory; Stanton, Lawrence W; Williams, Brenda P; Buckley, Noel J

    2016-08-01

    Although the adult brain contains neural stem cells (NSCs) that generate new neurons throughout life, these astrocyte-like populations are restricted to two discrete niches. Despite their terminally differentiated phenotype, adult parenchymal astrocytes can re-acquire NSC-like characteristics following injury, and as such, these 'reactive' astrocytes offer an alternative source of cells for central nervous system (CNS) repair following injury or disease. At present, the mechanisms that regulate the potential of different types of astrocytes are poorly understood. We used in vitro and ex vivo astrocytes to identify candidate pathways important for regulation of astrocyte potential. Using in vitro neural progenitor cell (NPC)-derived astrocytes, we found that exposure of more lineage-restricted astrocytes to either tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (via nuclear factor-κB (NFκB)) or the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) inhibitor, noggin, led to re-acquisition of NPC properties accompanied by transcriptomic and epigenetic changes consistent with a more neurogenic, NPC-like state. Comparative analyses of microarray data from in vitro-derived and ex vivo postnatal parenchymal astrocytes identified several common pathways and upstream regulators associated with inflammation (including transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ)) and cell cycle control (including TP53) as candidate regulators of astrocyte phenotype and potential. We propose that inflammatory signalling may control the normal, progressive restriction in potential of differentiating astrocytes as well as under reactive conditions and represent future targets for therapies to harness the latent neurogenic capacity of parenchymal astrocytes. PMID:26138449

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:27115671

  9. 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}

  10. Circadian regulation of ATP release in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Marpegan, Luciano; Swanstrom, Adrienne E; Chung, Kevin; Simon, Tatiana; Haydon, Philip G; Khan, Sanjoy K; Liu, Andrew C; Herzog, Erik D; Beaulé, Christian

    2011-06-01

    Circadian clocks sustain daily oscillations in gene expression, physiology, and behavior, relying on transcription-translation feedback loops of clock genes for rhythm generation. Cultured astrocytes display daily oscillations of extracellular ATP, suggesting that ATP release is a circadian output. We hypothesized that the circadian clock modulates ATP release via mechanisms that regulate acute ATP release from glia. To test the molecular basis for circadian ATP release, we developed methods to measure in real-time ATP release and Bmal1::dLuc circadian reporter expression in cortical astrocyte cultures from mice of different genotypes. Daily rhythms of gene expression required functional Clock and Bmal1, both Per1 and Per2, and both Cry1 and Cry2 genes. Similarly, high-level, circadian ATP release also required a functional clock mechanism. Whereas blocking IP(3) signaling significantly disrupted ATP rhythms with no effect on Bmal1::dLuc cycling, blocking vesicular release did not alter circadian ATP release or gene expression. We conclude that astrocytes depend on circadian clock genes and IP(3) signaling to express daily rhythms in ATP release. PMID:21653839

  11. Circadian regulation of ATP release in astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Marpegan, Luciano; Swanstrom, Adrienne E.; Chung, Kevin; Simon, Tatiana; Haydon, Philip G.; Khan, Sanjoy K.; Liu, Andrew C.; Herzog, Erik D.; Beaulé, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Circadian clocks sustain daily oscillations in gene expression, physiology and behavior, relying on transcription-translation feedback loops of clock genes for rhythm generation. Cultured astrocytes display daily oscillations of extracellular ATP, suggesting that ATP release is a circadian output. We hypothesized that the circadian clock modulates ATP release via mechanisms that regulate acute ATP release from glia. To test the molecular basis for circadian ATP release, we developed methods to measure in real-time ATP release and Bmal1::dLuc circadian reporter expression in cortical astrocyte cultures from mice of different genotypes. Daily rhythms of gene expression required functional Clock and Bmal1, both Per1 and Per2, and both Cry1 and Cry2 genes. Similarly, high level, circadian ATP release also required a functional clock mechanism. Whereas blocking IP3 signaling significantly disrupted ATP rhythms with no effect on Bmal1::dLuc cycling, blocking vesicular release did not alter circadian ATP release or gene expression. We conclude that astrocytes depend on circadian clock genes and IP3 signaling to express daily rhythms in ATP release. PMID:21653839

  12. 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

  13. Methylmercury-mediated inhibition of 3H-D-aspartate transport in cultured astrocytes is reversed by the antioxidant catalase.

    PubMed

    Allen, J W; Mutkus, L A; Aschner, M

    2001-05-25

    Astrocytes are essential for removal of glutamate from the extracellular space in the central nervous system. The neurotoxic heavy metal methylmercury potently and specifically inhibits the transport of glutamate in cultured astrocytes by an unknown mechanism. Glutamate transport in astrocytes is also inhibited by reactive oxygen species. A glutamate-induced transporter current is inhibited both by reactive oxygen species and thiol oxidizing agents. These observations suggest that oxidation of the transporter might mediate methylmercury-induced inhibition of glutamate transport. In the present study, we examined the ability of thiol reducing or oxidizing agents to inhibit transport of 3H-D-aspartate, a glutamate analog, in primary cultures of neonatal rat astrocytes. To assess if methylmercury-mediated inhibition of 3H-aspartate transport was due to overproduction of reactive oxygen species, we tested the ability of Trolox, alpha-phenyl-tert-butyl nitrone (PBN), or catalase to attenuate the methylmercury-induced inhibition of aspartate uptake. Neither the thiol reducing agent dithiothreitol (DTT), nor the thiol oxidizing agent 5,5'-dithio-bis(2-nitrobenzoic) acid (DTNB) had any effect on 3H-aspartate transport suggesting that the thiol redox state does not alter transporter function. In contrast, the antioxidant catalase (1000 U/ml) significantly attenuated methylmercury-induced inhibition of 3H-aspartate uptake, suggesting that excess reactive oxygen species, specifically H2O2, inhibit the function of an astrocytic excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT1). Prolonged exposure (6 h) to inhibitors of glutamate transport significantly decreased EAAT1 mRNA levels suggesting that transporter expression is related to function. This study suggests that methylmercury-induced overproduction of H2O2 is a mechanism for inhibition of glutamate transport and transporter expression in cultured astrocytes. PMID:11376598

  14. Role of Na+-H+ and Na+-Ca2+ exchange in hypoxia-related acute astrocyte death.

    PubMed

    Bondarenko, Alexander; Svichar, Nataliya; Chesler, Mitchell

    2005-01-01

    Cultured astrocytes do not succumb to hypoxia/zero glucose for up to 24 h, yet astrocyte death following injury can occur within 1 h. It was previously demonstrated that astrocyte loss can occur quickly when the gaseous and interstitial ionic changes of transient brain ischemia are simulated: After a 20-40-min exposure to hypoxic, acidic, ion-shifted Ringer (HAIR), most cells died within 30 min after return to normal saline (i.e., "reperfusion"). Astrocyte death required external Ca2+ and was blocked by KB-R7943, an inhibitor of reversed Na+-Ca2+ exchange, suggesting that injury was triggered by a rise in [Ca2+]i. In the present study, we confirmed the elevation of [Ca2+]i during reperfusion and studied the role of Na+-Ca2+ and Na+-H+ exchange in this process. Upon reperfusion, elevation of [Ca2+]i was detectable by Fura-2 and was blocked by KB-R7943. The low-affinity Ca2+ indicator Fura-FF indicated a mean [Ca2+]i rise to 4.8+/-0.4 microM. Loading astrocytes with Fura-2 provided significant protection from injury, presumably due to the high affinity of the dye for Ca2+. Injury was prevented by the Na+-H+ exchange inhibitors ethyl isopropyl amiloride or HOE-694, and the rise of [Ca2+]i at the onset of reperfusion was blocked by HOE-694. Acidic reperfusion media was also protective. These data are consistent with Na+ loading via Na+-H+ exchange, fostering reversal of Na+-Ca2+ exchange and cytotoxic elevation of [Ca2+]i. The results indicate that mechanisms involved in pH regulation may play a role in the fate of astrocytes following acute CNS injuries. PMID:15390092

  15. Astrocyte and glutamate markers in the superficial, deep, and white matter layers of the anterior cingulate gyrus in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Katsel, Pavel; Byne, William; Roussos, Panos; Tan, Weilun; Siever, Larry; Haroutunian, Vahram

    2011-05-01

    Most studies of the neurobiology of schizophrenia have focused on neurotransmitter systems, their receptors, and downstream effectors. Recent evidence suggests that it is no longer tenable to consider neurons and their functions independently of the glia that interact with them. Although astrocytes have been viewed as harbingers of neuronal injury and CNS stress, their principal functions include maintenance of glutamate homeostasis and recycling, mediation of saltatory conduction, and even direct neurotransmission. Results of studies of astrocytes in schizophrenia have been variable, in part because of the assessment of single and not necessarily universal markers and/or assessment of non-discrete brain regions. We used laser capture microdissection to study three distinct partitions of the anterior cingulate gyrus (layers I-III, IV-VI, and the underlying white matter) in the brains of 18 well-characterized persons with schizophrenia and 21 unaffected comparison controls. We studied the mRNA expression of nine specific markers known to be localized to astrocytes. The expression of astrocyte markers was not altered in the superficial layers or the underlying white matter of the cingulate cortex of persons with schizophrenia. However, the expression of some astrocyte markers (diodinase type II, aquaporin-4, S100β, glutaminase, excitatory amino-acid transporter 2, and thrombospondin), but not of others (aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member L1, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and vimentin) was significantly reduced in the deep layers of the anterior cingulate gyrus. These findings suggest that a subset of astrocytes localized to specific cortical layers is adversely affected in schizophrenia and raise the possibility of glutamatergic dyshomeostasis in selected neuronal populations. PMID:21270770

  16. 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

  17. A Digital Realization of Astrocyte and Neural Glial Interactions.

    PubMed

    Hayati, Mohsen; Nouri, Moslem; Haghiri, Saeed; Abbott, Derek

    2016-04-01

    The implementation of biological neural networks is a key objective of the neuromorphic research field. Astrocytes are the largest cell population in the brain. With the discovery of calcium wave propagation through astrocyte networks, now it is more evident that neuronal networks alone may not explain functionality of the strongest natural computer, the brain. Models of cortical function must now account for astrocyte activities as well as their relationships with neurons in encoding and manipulation of sensory information. From an engineering viewpoint, astrocytes provide feedback to both presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons to regulate their signaling behaviors. This paper presents a modified neural glial interaction model that allows a convenient digital implementation. This model can reproduce relevant biological astrocyte behaviors, which provide appropriate feedback control in regulating neuronal activities in the central nervous system (CNS). Accordingly, we investigate the feasibility of a digital implementation for a single astrocyte constructed by connecting a two coupled FitzHugh Nagumo (FHN) neuron model to an implementation of the proposed astrocyte model using neuron-astrocyte interactions. Hardware synthesis, physical implementation on FPGA, and theoretical analysis confirm that the proposed neuron astrocyte model, with significantly low hardware cost, can mimic biological behavior such as the regulation of postsynaptic neuron activity and the synaptic transmission mechanisms. PMID:26390499

  18. Astrocyte scar formation aids central nervous system axon regeneration.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-04-14

    Transected axons fail to regrow in the mature central nervous system. Astrocytic 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 ablating chronic astrocytic scars all failed to result in spontaneous regrowth of transected corticospinal, sensory or serotonergic axons through severe spinal cord injury (SCI) lesions. By 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 astrocytic 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 the prevailing dogma, astrocyte scar formation aids rather than prevents central nervous system axon regeneration. PMID:27027288

  19. 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. PMID:25917835

  20. Motor-Skill Learning Is Dependent on Astrocytic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Padmashri, Ragunathan; Suresh, Anand; Boska, Michael D.; Dunaevsky, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Motor-skill learning induces changes in synaptic structure and function in the primary motor cortex through the involvement of a long-term potentiation- (LTP-) like mechanism. Although there is evidence that calcium-dependent release of gliotransmitters by astrocytes plays an important role in synaptic transmission and plasticity, the role of astrocytes in motor-skill learning is not known. To test the hypothesis that astrocytic activity is necessary for motor-skill learning, we perturbed astrocytic function using pharmacological and genetic approaches. We find that perturbation of astrocytes either by selectively attenuating IP3R2 mediated astrocyte Ca2+ signaling or using an astrocyte specific metabolic inhibitor fluorocitrate (FC) results in impaired motor-skill learning of a forelimb reaching-task in mice. Moreover, the learning impairment caused by blocking astrocytic activity using FC was rescued by administration of the gliotransmitter D-serine. The learning impairments are likely caused by impaired LTP as FC blocked LTP in slices and prevented motor-skill training-induced increases in synaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptor in vivo. These results support the conclusion that normal astrocytic Ca2+ signaling during a reaching task is necessary for motor-skill learning. PMID:26346977

  1. Understanding the Role of Dicer in Astrocyte Development

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25962146

  2. 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

  3. Toll like receptor 9 antagonism modulates spinal cord neuronal function and survival: Direct versus astrocyte-mediated mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Acioglu, Cigdem; Mirabelli, Ersilia; Baykal, Ahmet Tarik; Ni, Li; Ratnayake, Ayomi; Heary, Robert F; Elkabes, Stella

    2016-08-01

    Toll like receptors (TLRs) are expressed by cells of the immune system and mediate the host innate immune responses to pathogens. However, increasing evidence indicates that they are important contributors to central nervous system (CNS) function in health and in pathological conditions involving sterile inflammation. In agreement with this idea, we have previously shown that intrathecal administration of a TLR9 antagonist, cytidine-phosphate-guanosine oligodeoxynucleotide 2088 (CpG ODN 2088), ameliorates the outcomes of spinal cord injury (SCI). Although these earlier studies showed a marked effect of CpG ODN 2088 on inflammatory cells, the expression of TLR9 in spinal cord (SC) neurons and astrocytes suggested that the antagonist exerts additional effects through direct actions on these cells. The current study was undertaken to assess the direct effects of CpG ODN 2088 on SC neurons, astrocytes and astrocyte-neuron interactions, in vitro. We report, for the first time, that inhibition of TLR9 in cultured SC neurons alters their function and confers protection against kainic acid (KA)-induced excitotoxic death. Moreover, the TLR9 antagonist attenuated the KA-elicited endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response in neurons, in vitro. CpG ODN 2088 also reduced the transcript levels and release of chemokine (C-X-C) motif ligand 1 (CXCL1) and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) by astrocytes and it diminished interleukin-6 (IL-6) release without affecting transcript levels in vitro. Conditioned medium (CM) of CpG ODN 2088-treated astroglial cultures decreased the viability of SC neurons compared to CM of vehicle-treated astrocytes. However, this toxicity was not observed when astrocytes were co-cultured with neurons. Although CpG ODN 2088 limited the survival-promoting effects of astroglia, it did not reduce neuronal viability compared to controls grown in the absence of astrocytes. We conclude that the TLR9 antagonist acts directly on both SC neurons and astrocytes

  4. 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

  5. Role of astrocytic glutamate transporter in alcohol use disorder.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-22

    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

  6. The neuroprotective effects of tocotrienol rich fraction and alpha tocopherol against glutamate injury in astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Selvaraju, Thilaga Rati; Khaza’ai, Huzwah; Vidyadaran, Sharmili; Abd Mutalib, Mohd Sokhini; Vasudevan, Ramachandran

    2014-01-01

    Tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF) is an extract of palm oil, which consists of 25% alpha tocopherol (α-TCP) and 75% tocotrienols. TRF has been shown to possess potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, neuroprotection, and cholesterol lowering activities. Glutamate is the main excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter in the central nervous system of mammalian, which can be excitotoxic, and it has been suggested to play a key role in neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. In this present study, the effects of vitamin E (TRF and α-TCP) in protecting astrocytes against glutamate injury were elucidated. Astrocytes induced with 180 mM of glutamate lead to significant cell death. However, glutamate mediated cytotoxicity was diminished via pre and post supplementation of TRF and α-TCP. Hence, vitamin E acted as a potent antioxidant agent in recovering mitochondrial injury due to elevated oxidative stress, and enhanced better survivability upon glutamate toxicity. PMID:25428670

  7. 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. PMID:26462451

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27304968

  9. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27304968

  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

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide entrains circadian rhythms in astrocytes.

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

    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, the authors hypothesized that VIP entrains circadian rhythms in astrocytes. They 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 100 nM 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. The authors conclude that VIP potently entrains astrocytes in vitro and is a candidate for coordinating daily rhythms among glia in the brain. PMID:19346450

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. Conditional depletion of methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 in astrocytes depresses the hypercapnic ventilatory response in mice.

    PubMed

    Garg, Saurabh K; Lioy, Daniel T; Knopp, Sharon J; Bissonnette, John M

    2015-09-15

    Mice that are deficient in the transcription factor methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) have a depressed hypercapnic ventilatory response (HCVR). The expression of MeCP2 can be selectively removed from astrocytes or neurons, thus offering a tool to dissect the role of this transcription factor in astrocytes from that in neurons. Studies were carried out in the progeny of mice that were a cross between those harboring a tamoxifen (TAM)-inducible Cre recombinase transgene driven by the human astrocytic glial fibrillary acidic protein (hGFAP) promoter, or Cre recombinase under control of the synapsin promoter, with mice containing a Cre-excisable exon III in the Mecp2 gene. The TAM-conditional excision of the Mecp2 exon allowed the respiratory CO2 response to be studied in the same animals before and after selective depletion of MeCP2 in astrocytes. Immunohistochemistry showed that following TAM treatment only ∼20% of GFAP-labeled cells in the retrotrapazoid nucleus and in the raphé magnus were positive for MeCP2. The slope of the relative increase in minute ventilation as a function of 1, 3, and 5% inspired CO2 was depressed in mice with depleted astrocyte MeCP2 compared with wild-type littermates. In contrast, selective depletion of MeCP2 in neurons did not significantly affect slope. While neurons which constitute the respiratory network ultimately determine the ventilatory response to CO2, this study demonstrates that loss of MeCP2 in astrocytes alone is sufficient to result in a dramatic attenuation of the HCVR. We propose that the glial contribution to HCVR is under the control of the MeCP2 gene. PMID:26205541

  17. 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

  18. Neuroimmunological Implications of AQP4 in Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    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

  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. Regulation of astrocyte glutamate transporter-1 (GLT1) and aquaporin-4 (AQP4) expression in a model of epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Jacqueline A; Szu, Jenny I; Yonan, Jennifer M; Binder, Devin K

    2016-09-01

    Astrocytes regulate extracellular glutamate and water homeostasis through the astrocyte-specific membrane proteins glutamate transporter-1 (GLT1) and aquaporin-4 (AQP4), respectively. The role of astrocytes and the regulation of GLT1 and AQP4 in epilepsy are not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the expression of GLT1 and AQP4 in the intrahippocampal kainic acid (IHKA) model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). We used real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blot, and immunohistochemical analysis at 1, 4, 7, and 30days after kainic acid-induced status epilepticus (SE) to determine hippocampal glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, a marker for reactive astrocytes), GLT1, and AQP4 expression changes during the development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis). Following IHKA, all mice had SE and progressive increases in GFAP immunoreactivity and GFAP protein expression out to 30days post-SE. A significant initial increase in dorsal hippocampal GLT1 immunoreactivity and protein levels were observed 1day post SE and followed by a marked downregulation at 4 and 7days post SE with a return to near control levels by 30days post SE. AQP4 dorsal hippocampal protein expression was significantly downregulated at 1day post SE and was followed by a gradual return to baseline levels with a significant increase in ipsilateral protein levels by 30days post SE. Transient increases in GFAP and AQP4 mRNA were also observed. Our findings suggest that specific molecular changes in astrocyte glutamate transporters and water channels occur during epileptogenesis in this model, and suggest the novel therapeutic strategy of restoring glutamate and water homeostasis. PMID:27155358

  2. 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

  3. Transcriptomic analyses of primary astrocytes under TNFα treatment.

    PubMed

    Birck, Cindy; Koncina, Eric; Heurtaux, Tony; Glaab, Enrico; Michelucci, Alessandro; Heuschling, Paul; Grandbarbe, Luc

    2016-03-01

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cell population in the central nervous system, have important functional roles in the brain as blood brain barrier maintenance, synaptic transmission or intercellular communications [1], [2]. Numerous studies suggested that astrocytes exhibit a functional and morphological high degree of plasticity. For example, following any brain injury, astrocytes become reactive and hypertrophic. This phenomenon, also called reactive gliosis, is characterized by a set of progressive gene expression and cellular changes [3]. Interestingly, in this context, astrocytes can re-acquire neurogenic properties. It has been shown that astrocytes can undergo dedifferentiation upon injury and inflammation, and may re-acquire the potentiality of neural progenitors [4], [5], [6], [7]. To assess the effect of inflammation on astrocytes, primary mouse astrocytes were treated with tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), one of the main pro-inflammatory cytokines. The strength of this study is that pure primary astrocytes were used. As microglia are highly reactive immune cells, we used a magnetic cell sorting separation (MACS) method to further obtain highly pure astrocyte cultures devoid of microglia. Here, we provide details of the microarray data, which have been deposited in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) under the series accession number GSE73022. The analysis and interpretation of these data are included in Gabel et al. (2015). Analysis of gene expression indicated that the NFκB pathway-associated genes were induced after a TNFα treatment. We have shown that primary astrocytes devoid of microglia can respond to a TNFα treatment with the re-expression of genes implicated in the glial cell development. PMID:26981349

  4. 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.

  5. Familial Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia Associated With Astrocyte-Predominant Tauopathy

    PubMed Central

    Ferrer, Isidre; Legati, Andrea; García-Monco, J. Carlos; Gomez-Beldarrain, Marian; Carmona, Margarita; Blanco, Rosa; Seeley, William W.; Coppola, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    A familial behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia associated with astrocyte-predominant tauopathy is described in 2 sisters born from consanguineous parents. The neuropathological examination revealed massive accumulation of abnormally hyper-phosphorylated, conformational, truncated at aspartic acid 421, ubiquitinated, and nitrated tau at Tyr29 in cortical astrocyte (including their perivascular foot processes) and Bergmann glia. Smaller amounts of abnormal tau were observed in neurons and rarely in oligodendrocytes. There was decreased expression of glial glutamate transporter in the majority of tau-positive astrocytes. Gel electrophoresis of sarkosyl-insoluble fractions showed 2 bands of 64 and 60 kDa and a doublet of 67–70 kDa (which are different from those seen in Alzheimer disease and in typical 4R and 3R tauopathies) together with several bands of lower molecular weight indicative of truncated tau. Analysis of expression of MAPT isoforms further revealed altered splicing and representation of tau isoforms involving exons 2, 3 and 10. Genetic testing revealed no known mutations in PSEN1, PSEN2, APP, MAPT, GRN, FUS, and TARDBP, and no pathological expansion in C9ORF72. However, a novel rare heterozygous sequence variant (p.Q140H) of uncertain significance was identified in FUS in both siblings. PMID:25756587

  6. Glycogen distribution in the microwave-fixed mouse brain reveals heterogeneous astrocytic patterns.

    PubMed

    Oe, Yuki; Baba, Otto; Ashida, Hitoshi; Nakamura, Kouichi C; Hirase, Hajime

    2016-09-01

    In the brain, glycogen metabolism has been implied in synaptic plasticity and learning, yet the distribution of this molecule has not been fully described. We investigated cerebral glycogen of the mouse by immunohistochemistry (IHC) using two monoclonal antibodies that have different affinities depending on the glycogen size. The use of focused microwave irradiation yielded well-defined glycogen immunoreactive signals compared with the conventional periodic acid-Schiff method. The IHC signals displayed a punctate distribution localized predominantly in astrocytic processes. Glycogen immunoreactivity (IR) was high in the hippocampus, striatum, cortex, and cerebellar molecular layer, whereas it was low in the white matter and most of the subcortical structures. Additionally, glycogen distribution in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 and striatum had a 'patchy' appearance with glycogen-rich and glycogen-poor astrocytes appearing in alternation. The glycogen patches were more evident with large-molecule glycogen in young adult mice but they were hardly observable in aged mice (1-2 years old). Our results reveal brain region-dependent glycogen accumulation and possibly metabolic heterogeneity of astrocytes. GLIA 2016;64:1532-1545. PMID:27353480

  7. Leptin suppresses adenosine triphosphate-induced impairment of spinal cord astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Li, Baoman; Qi, Shuang; Sun, Guangfeng; Yang, Li; Han, Jidong; Zhu, Yue; Xia, Maosheng

    2016-10-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes long-term disability and has no clinically effective treatment. After SCI, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) may be released from neuronal cells and astrocytes in large amounts. Our previous studies have shown that the extracellular release of ATP increases the phosphorylation of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2 ) and triggers the rapid release of arachidonic acid (AA) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) via the stimulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the downstream phosphorylation of extracellular-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2. Leptin, a glycoprotein, induces the activation of the Janus kinase (JAK2)/signal transducers and activators of transcription-3 (Stat3) pathway via the leptin receptor. In this study, we found that 1) prolonged leptin treatment suppressed the ATP-stimulated release of AA and PGE2 from cultured spinal cord astrocytes; 2) leptin elevated the expression of caveolin-1 (Cav-1) via the JAK2/Stat3 signaling pathway; 3) Cav-1 blocked the interaction between Src and EGFR, thereby inhibiting the phosphorylation of EGFR and cPLA2 and attenuating the release of AA or PGE2; 4) pretreatment with leptin decreased ;he level of apoptosis and the release of interleukin-6 from cocultured neurons and astrocytes; and 5) leptin improved the recovery of locomotion in mice after SCI. Our results highlight leptin as a promising therapeutic agent for SCI. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27316329

  8. State-dependent changes in astrocyte regulation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptor signalling in neurosecretory neurons.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Tiffany M; Scott, Victoria; Naskar, Krishna; Joe, Natalie; Brown, Colin H; Stern, Javier E

    2011-08-15

    Despite the long-established presence of glutamate NMDA receptors at extrasynaptic sites (eNMDARs), their functional roles remain poorly understood. Factors influencing the concentration and time course of glutamate in the extrasynaptic space, such as the topography of the neuronal–glial microenvironment, as well as glial glutamate transporters, are expected to affect eNMDAR-mediated signalling strength. In this study, we used in vitro and in vivo electrophysiological recordings to assess the properties, functional relevance and modulation of a persistent excitatory current mediated by activation of eNMDARs in hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus (SON) neurons. We found that ambient glutamate of a non-synaptic origin activates eNMDARs to mediate a persistent excitatory current (termed tonic I(NMDA)), which tonically stimulates neuronal activity. Pharmacological blockade of GLT1 astrocyte glutamate transporters, as well as the gliotoxin α-aminodadipic acid, enhanced tonic I(NMDA) and neuronal activity, supporting an astrocyte regulation of tonic I(NMDA) strength. Dehydration, a physiological challenge known to increase SON firing activity and to induce neuroglial remodelling, including reduced neuronal ensheathment by astrocyte processes, resulted in blunted GLT1 efficacy, enhanced tonic I(NMDA) strength, and increased neuronal activity. Taken together, our studies support the view that glial modulation of tonic I(NMDA) activation contributes to regulation of SON neuronal activity, contributing in turn to neuronal homeostatic responses during a physiological challenge. PMID:21690192

  9. 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.

  10. Thyroid hormone action: astrocyte-neuron communication.

    PubMed

    Morte, Beatriz; Bernal, Juan

    2014-01-01

    Thyroid hormone (TH) action is exerted mainly through regulation of gene expression by binding of T3 to the nuclear receptors. T4 plays an important role as a source of intracellular T3 in the central nervous system via the action of the type 2 deiodinase (D2), expressed in the astrocytes. A model of T3 availability to neural cells has been proposed and validated. The model contemplates that brain T3 has a double origin: a fraction is available directly from the circulation, and another is produced locally from T4 in the astrocytes by D2. The fetal brain depends almost entirely on the T3 generated locally. The contribution of systemic T3 increases subsequently during development to account for approximately 50% of total brain T3 in the late postnatal and adult stages. In this article, we review the experimental data in support of this model, and how the factors affecting T3 availability in the brain, such as deiodinases and transporters, play a decisive role in modulating local TH action during development. PMID:24910631

  11. 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

  12. Electron microscopy of astrocyte changes and subtypes in traumatic human edematous cerebral cortex: a review.

    PubMed

    Castejón, Orlando J

    2013-12-01

    The astrocyte subtypes in moderate and severe human brain trauma complicated with subdural hematoma or hygroma are described. Clear and dense edematous and hypertrophic reactive astrocytes are distinguished in severe vasogenic brain edema. Swollen perineuronal astrocytes appear compressing and indenting dark, degenerated pyramidal and nonpyramidal nerve cells. Glycogen-depleted and glycogen-rich astrocytes also are seen. Reactive hypertrophic astrocytes exhibit increased amounts of dilated smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum, microtubules, and gliofilaments. Perisynaptic astrocyte ensheathments of neuropil synaptic contacts are lost, and the perivascular astrocyte end-feet appear dissociated from the capillary basement membrane. The interastrocytary gap junctions appear fragmented. PMID:24134799

  13. Involvement of the Notch pathway in terminal astrocytic differentiation: role of PKA

    PubMed Central

    Angulo-Rojo, Carla; Manning-Cela, Rebeca; Aguirre, Adán; Ortega, Arturo; López-Bayghen, Esther

    2013-01-01

    The Notch pathway is a highly conserved signaling system essential for modulating neurogenesis and promoting astrogenesis. Similarly, the cAMP signaling cascade can promote astrocytic commitment in several cell culture models, such as the C6 glioma cell line. These cells have the capacity to differentiate into oligodendrocytes or astrocytes, characteristics that allow their use as a glial progenitor model. In this context, we explore here the plausible involvement of cAMP in Notch-dependent signal transactions. The exposure of C6 cells to a non-hydrolysable cAMP analogue resulted in a sustained augmentation of Notch activity, as detected by nuclear translocation of its intracellular domain portion (NICD) and transcriptional activity. The cAMP effect is mediated through the activation of the γ-secretase complex, responsible for Notch cleavage and is sensitive to inhibitors of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase, PKA. As expected, Notch cleavage and nuclear translocation resulted in the up-regulation of the mRNA levels of one of its target genes, the transcription factor Hair and enhancer of split 5. Moreover, the glutamate uptake activity, as well as the expression of astrocytic markers such as glial fibrillary acidic protein, S100β protein and GLAST was also enhanced in cAMP-exposed cells. Our results clearly suggest that during the process of C6 astrocytic differentiation, cAMP activates the PKA/γ-secretase/NICD/RBPJκ pathway and Notch1 expression, leading to transcriptional activation of the genes responsible for glial progenitor cell fate decision. PMID:24286475

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:27423629

  17. Calcineurin proteolysis in astrocytes: Implications for impaired synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Pleiss, Melanie M; Sompol, Pradoldej; Kraner, Susan D; Abdul, Hafiz Mohmmad; Furman, Jennifer L; Guttmann, Rodney P; Wilcock, Donna M; Nelson, Peter T; Norris, Christopher M

    2016-09-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that astrocyte activation, found in most forms of neural injury and disease, is linked to the hyperactivation of the protein phosphatase calcineurin. In many tissues and cell types, calcineurin hyperactivity is the direct result of limited proteolysis. However, little is known about the proteolytic status of calcineurin in activated astrocytes. Here, we developed a polyclonal antibody to a high activity calcineurin proteolytic fragment in the 45-48kDa range (ΔCN) for use in immunohistochemical applications. When applied to postmortem human brain sections, the ΔCN antibody intensely labeled cell clusters in close juxtaposition to amyloid deposits and microinfarcts. Many of these cells exhibited clear activated astrocyte morphology. The expression of ΔCN in astrocytes near areas of pathology was further confirmed using confocal microscopy. Multiple NeuN-positive cells, particularly those within microinfarct core regions, also labeled positively for ΔCN. This observation suggests that calcineurin proteolysis can also occur within damaged or dying neurons, as reported in other studies. When a similar ΔCN fragment was selectively expressed in hippocampal astrocytes of intact rats (using adeno-associated virus), we observed a significant reduction in the strength of CA3-CA1 excitatory synapses, indicating that the hyperactivation of astrocytic calcineurin is sufficient for disrupting synaptic function. Together, these results suggest that proteolytic activation of calcineurin in activated astrocytes may be a central mechanism for driving and/or exacerbating neural dysfunction during neurodegenerative disease and injury. PMID:27212416

  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. Astrocytes as a Source for Extracellular Matrix Molecules and Cytokines

    PubMed Central

    Wiese, Stefan; Karus, Michael; Faissner, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    Research of the past 25 years has shown that astrocytes do more than participating and building up the blood-brain barrier and detoxify the active synapse by reuptake of neurotransmitters and ions. Indeed, astrocytes express neurotransmitter receptors and, as a consequence, respond to stimuli. Within the tripartite synapse, the astrocytes owe more and more importance. Besides the functional aspects the differentiation of astrocytes has gained a more intensive focus. Deeper knowledge of the differentiation processes during development of the central nervous system might help explaining and even help treating neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinsons disease, and psychiatric disorders in which astrocytes have been shown to play a role. Specific differentiation of neural stem cells toward the astroglial lineage is performed as a multi-step process. Astrocytes and oligodendrocytes develop from a multipotent stem cell that prior to this has produced primarily neuronal precursor cells. This switch toward the more astroglial differentiation is regulated by a change in receptor composition on the cell surface and responsiveness to Fibroblast growth factor and Epidermal growth factor (EGF). The glial precursor cell is driven into the astroglial direction by signaling molecules like Ciliary neurotrophic factor, Bone Morphogenetic Proteins, and EGF. However, the early astrocytes influence their environment not only by releasing and responding to diverse soluble factors but also express a wide range of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, in particular proteoglycans of the lectican family and tenascins. Lately these ECM molecules have been shown to participate in glial development. In this regard, especially the matrix protein Tenascin C (Tnc) proved to be an important regulator of astrocyte precursor cell proliferation and migration during spinal cord development. Nevertheless, ECM molecules expressed by reactive astrocytes

  20. p53 isoforms regulate astrocyte-mediated neuroprotection and neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Turnquist, C; Horikawa, I; Foran, E; Major, E O; Vojtesek, B; Lane, D P; Lu, X; Harris, B T; Harris, C C

    2016-09-01

    Bidirectional interactions between astrocytes and neurons have physiological roles in the central nervous system and an altered state or dysfunction of such interactions may be associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Astrocytes exert structural, metabolic and functional effects on neurons, which can be either neurotoxic or neuroprotective. Their neurotoxic effect is mediated via the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) involving pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-6), while their neuroprotective effect is attributed to neurotrophic growth factors (e.g., NGF). We here demonstrate that the p53 isoforms Δ133p53 and p53β are expressed in astrocytes and regulate their toxic and protective effects on neurons. Primary human astrocytes undergoing cellular senescence upon serial passaging in vitro showed diminished expression of Δ133p53 and increased p53β, which were attributed to the autophagic degradation and the SRSF3-mediated alternative RNA splicing, respectively. Early-passage astrocytes with Δ133p53 knockdown or p53β overexpression were induced to show SASP and to exert neurotoxicity in co-culture with neurons. Restored expression of Δ133p53 in near-senescent, otherwise neurotoxic astrocytes conferred them with neuroprotective activity through repression of SASP and induction of neurotrophic growth factors. Brain tissues from AD and ALS patients possessed increased numbers of senescent astrocytes and, like senescent astrocytes in vitro, showed decreased Δ133p53 and increased p53β expression, supporting that our in vitro findings recapitulate in vivo pathology of these neurodegenerative diseases. Our finding that Δ133p53 enhances the neuroprotective function of aged and senescent astrocytes suggests that the p53 isoforms and their regulatory mechanisms are potential targets for therapeutic intervention in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27104929

  1. The Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecule, SynCAM1, Mediates Astrocyte-to-Astrocyte and Astrocyte-to-GnRH Neuron Adhesiveness in the Mouse Hypothalamus

    PubMed Central

    Sandau, Ursula S.; Mungenast, Alison E.; McCarthy, Jack; Biederer, Thomas; Corfas, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    We previously identified synaptic cell adhesion molecule 1 (SynCAM1) as a component of a genetic network involved in the hypothalamic control of female puberty. Although it is well established that SynCAM1 is a synaptic adhesion molecule, its contribution to hypothalamic function is unknown. Here we show that, in addition to the expected neuronal localization illustrated by its presence in GnRH neurons, SynCAM1 is expressed in hypothalamic astrocytes. Cell adhesion assays indicated that SynCAM is recognized by both GnRH neurons and astrocytes as an adhesive partner and promotes cell-cell adhesiveness via homophilic, extracellular domain-mediated interactions. Alternative splicing of the SynCAM1 primary mRNA transcript yields four mRNAs encoding membrane-spanning SynCAM1 isoforms. Variants 1 and 4 are predicted to be both N and O glycosylated. Hypothalamic astrocytes and GnRH-producing GT1-7 cells express mainly isoform 4 mRNA, and sequential N- and O-deglycosylation of proteins extracted from these cells yields progressively smaller SynCAM1 species, indicating that isoform 4 is the predominant SynCAM1 variant expressed in astrocytes and GT1-7 cells. Neither cell type expresses the products of two other SynCAM genes (SynCAM2 and SynCAM3), suggesting that SynCAM-mediated astrocyte-astrocyte and astrocyte-GnRH neuron adhesiveness is mostly mediated by SynCAM1 homophilic interactions. When erbB4 receptor function is disrupted in astrocytes, via transgenic expression of a dominant-negative erbB4 receptor form, SynCAM1-mediated adhesiveness is severely compromised. Conversely, SynCAM1 adhesive behavior is rapidly, but transiently, enhanced in astrocytes by ligand-dependent activation of erbB4 receptors, suggesting that erbB4-mediated events affecting SynCAM1 function contribute to regulate astrocyte adhesive communication. PMID:21486931

  2. Phosphorylation in the C-terminal domain of Aquaporin-4 is required for Golgi transition in primary cultured astrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Kadohira, Ikuko; Abe, Yoichiro Nuriya, Mutsuo; Sano, Kazumi; Tsuji, Shoji; Arimitsu, Takeshi; Yoshimura, Yasunori; Yasui, Masato

    2008-12-12

    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is expressed in the perivascular and subpial astrocytes end-feet in mammalian brain, and plays a critical component of an integrated water and potassium homeostasis. Here we examine whether AQP4 is phosphorylated in primary cultured mouse astrocytes. Astrocytes were metabolically labeled with [{sup 32}P]phosphoric acid, then AQP4 was immunoprecipitated with anti-AQP4 antibody. We observed that AQP4 was constitutively phosphorylated, which is reduced by treatment with protein kinase CK2 inhibitors. To elucidate the phosphorylation of AQP4 by CK2, myc-tagged wild-type or mutant AQP4 was transiently transfected in primary cultured astrocytes. Substitution of Ala residues for four putative CK2 phosphorylation sites in the C terminus abolished the phosphorylation of AQP4. Immunofluorescent microscopy revealed that the quadruple mutant was localized in the Golgi apparatus. These observations indicate that the C-terminal domain of AQP4 is constitutively phosphorylated at least in part by protein kinase CK2 and it is required for Golgi transition.

  3. Astrocytes and microglia in human brain share an epitope recognized by a B-lymphocyte-specific monoclonal antibody (LN-1).

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, D. W.; Mattiace, L. A.

    1989-01-01

    A B-lymphocyte-specific mouse monoclonal antibody, LN-1, recognizes two morphologic classes of glial cells in human brain. The nature and duration of tissue fixation and processing are critical in the detection of the two cell types. In tissue that is lightly fixed, LN-1 recognizes astrocytes. The astrocytic nature of the LN-1 reactive glial cell was confirmed by cytologic features, tissue distribution, immunoelectron microscopy, double labeling immunofluorescent microscopy, and staining of serial sections with antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein. In tissue that is fixed for longer periods or in Bouin's fixative, two glial cell types are recognized: astrocytes and microglia. The identity of the latter cell type as microglia was confirmed by morphologic features, tissue distribution, immunoelectron microscopy, and double staining with monoclonal antibodies or lectins to macrophage markers, including class II major histocompatibility antigens. The two cell types had different disposition in senile plaques of elderly individuals and of those with Alzheimer's disease. Astrocytes were present at the periphery of the plaques, whereas microglial cells were centrally placed, often in juxtaposition to amyloid. The results are discussed with respect to ontogeny of glial cells and the ability of monoclonal antibodies to recognize epitopes on unrelated proteins. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 PMID:2476034

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2004-07-01

    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. PMID:15232110

  6. Computational models of neuron-astrocyte interaction in epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Volman, Vladislav; Bazhenov, Maxim; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    2012-01-01

    Astrocytes actively shape the dynamics of neurons and neuronal ensembles by affecting several aspects critical to neuronal function, such as regulating synaptic plasticity, modulating neuronal excitability, and maintaining extracellular ion balance. These pathways for astrocyte-neuron interaction can also enhance the information-processing capabilities of brains, but in other circumstances may lead the brain on the road to pathological ruin. In this article, we review the existing computational models of astrocytic involvement in epileptogenesis, focusing on their relevance to existing physiological data. PMID:23060780

  7. Astrocytic beta(2)-adrenergic receptors: from physiology to pathology.

    PubMed

    Laureys, Guy; Clinckers, Ralph; Gerlo, Sarah; Spooren, Anneleen; Wilczak, Nadine; Kooijman, Ron; Smolders, Ilse; Michotte, Yvette; De Keyser, Jacques

    2010-07-01

    Evidence accumulates for a key role of the beta(2)-adrenergic receptors in the many homeostatic and neuroprotective functions of astrocytes, including glycogen metabolism, regulation of immune responses, release of neurotrophic factors, and the astrogliosis that occurs in response to neuronal injury. A dysregulation of the astrocytic beta(2)-adrenergic-pathway is suspected to contribute to the physiopathology of a number of prevalent and devastating neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, human immunodeficiency virus encephalitis, stroke and hepatic encephalopathy. In this review we focus on the physiological functions of astrocytic beta(2)-adrenergic receptors, and their possible impact in disease states. PMID:20138112

  8. Intracellular sodium homeostasis in rat hippocampal astrocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Rose, C R; Ransom, B R

    1996-01-01

    1. We determined the intracellular Na+ concentration ([Na+]i) and mechanisms of its regulation in cultured rat hippocampal astrocytes using fluorescence ratio imaging of the Na+ indicator SBFI-AM (acetoxymethylester of sodium-binding benzofuran isophthalate, 10 microM). Dye signal calibration within the astrocytes showed that the ratiometric dye signal changed monotonically with changes in [Na+]i from 0 to 140 nM. The K+ sensitivity of the dye was negligible; intracellular pH changes, however, slightly affected the 'Na+' signal. 2. Baseline [Na+]i was 14.6 +/- 4.9 mM (mean +/- S.D.) in CO2/HCO3(-)-containing saline with 3 mM K+. Removal of extracellular Na+ decreased [Na+]i in two phases: a rapid phase of [Na+]i reduction (0.58 +/- 0.32 mM min-1) followed by a slower phase (0.15 +/- 0.09 mM min-1). 3. Changing from CO2/HCO3(-)-free to CO2/HCO3(-)-buffered saline resulted in a transient increase in [Na+]i of approximately 5 mM, suggesting activation of inward Na(+)-HCO3- cotransport by CO2/HCO3-. During furosemide (frusemide, 1 mM) or bumetanide (50 microM) application, a slow decrease in [Na+]i of approximately 2 mM was observed, indicating a steady inward transport of Na+ via Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl- cotransport under control conditions. Tetrodotoxin (100 microM) did not influence [Na+]i in the majority of cells (85%), suggesting that influx of Na+ through voltage-gated Na+ channels contributed to baseline [Na+]i in only a small subpopulation of hippocampal astrocytes. 4. Blocking Na+, K(+)-ATPase activity with cardiac glycosides (ouabain or strophanthidin, 1 mM) or removal of extracellular K+ led to an increase in [Na+]i of about 2 and 4 mM min-1, respectively. This indicated that Na+, K(+)-ATPase activity was critical in maintaining low [Na+]i in the face of a steep electrochemical gradient, which would favour a much higher [Na+]i. 5. Elevation of extracellular K+ concentration ([K+]o) by as little as 1 mM (from 3 to 4 mM) resulted in a rapid and reversible decrease in

  9. Suprachiasmatic astrocytes as an interface for immune-circadian signalling.

    PubMed

    Leone, María Juliana; Marpegan, Luciano; Bekinschtein, Tristán A; Costas, Mónica A; Golombek, Diego A

    2006-11-15

    The hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), the site of a mammalian circadian clock, exhibit a dense immunoreactivity for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a specific marker for astrocytes. Although there is evidence of a circadian variation in GFAP-IR in the hamster SCN and of the participation of glial cells in input and output mechanisms of the clock, the role of these cells within the circadian system is not clearly understood. The fact that astroglia can express and respond to cytokines suggests that they could work as mediators of immune signals to the circadian system. In the present study, we have found a daily variation of GFAP-IR in the mouse SCN, peaking during the light phase. In addition, we have identified GFAP and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) in glial cells within the SCN and in primary cultures of the mouse SCN. Moreover, SCN glia cultures were transfected with an NF-kappaB/luc construct whose transcriptional activity was increased with lipopolysaccharide 2 mug/ml, tumor necrosis factor-alpha 20 ng/ml, or interleukin-1alpha 100 ng/ml, after 12 hr of stimulation. These results suggest that the glial cells of the SCN can mediate input signals to the mouse circadian system coming from the immune system via NF-kappaB signaling. PMID:16955486

  10. Induction of adult human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells into functional astrocyte-like cells: potential for restorative treatment in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Bahat-Stroomza, Merav; Barhum, Yael; Levy, Yossef S; Karpov, Olga; Bulvik, Shlomo; Melamed, Eldad; Offen, Daniel

    2009-09-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with its motor phenomena due mostly to loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra. Pharmacological treatments aimed to increase the deficient dopaminergic neurotransmission are effective in ameliorating the cardinal symptoms, but none of these therapies is curative. It has been suggested that treatment with neurotrophic factors (NTFs) might protect and prevent death of the surviving dopaminergic neurons and induce proliferation of their axonal nerve terminals with reinnervations of the deafferented striatum. However, long-term delivery of such proteins into the CNS is problematic. We therefore aimed to differentiate ex vivo human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells into astrocyte-like cells, capable of generating NTFs for future transplantation into basal ganglia of PD patients. Indeed, mesenchymal stromal cells treated with our novel astrocyte differentiation medium, present astrocyte-like morphology and express the astrocyte markers S100beta, glutamine synthetase and glial fibrillary acidic protein. Moreover, these astrocyte-like cells produce and secrete significant amounts of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor as indicated by messenger RNA, real-time polymerase chain reaction, ELISA, and Western blot analyses. Such NTF-producing cells transplanted into the striatum of 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rats, a model of PD, produced a progressive reduction in the apomorphine-induced contralateral rotations as well as behavioral improvement in rotor-rod and the "sunflower seeds" eating motor tests. Histological assessments revealed that the engrafted cells survived and expressed astrocyte and human markers and acted to regenerate the damaged dopaminergic nerve terminal system. Findings indicate that our novel procedure to induce NTF-producing astrocyte-like cells derived from human bone marrow stromal cells

  11. Astrocyte regulation of sleep circuits: experimental and modeling perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Fellin, Tommaso; Ellenbogen, Jeffery M.; De Pittà, Maurizio; Ben-Jacob, Eshel; Halassa, Michael M.

    2012-01-01

    Integrated within neural circuits, astrocytes have recently been shown to modulate brain rhythms thought to mediate sleep function. Experimental evidence suggests that local impact of astrocytes on single synapses translates into global modulation of neuronal networks and behavior. We discuss these findings in the context of current conceptual models of sleep generation and function, each of which have historically focused on neural mechanisms. We highlight the implications and the challenges introduced by these results from a conceptual and computational perspective. We further provide modeling directions on how these data might extend our knowledge of astrocytic properties and sleep function. Given our evolving understanding of how local cellular activities during sleep lead to functional outcomes for the brain, further mechanistic and theoretical understanding of astrocytic contribution to these dynamics will undoubtedly be of great basic and translational benefit. PMID:22973222

  12. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Won-Suk; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Sher, Alexander; Chakraborty, Chandrani; Joung, Julia; Foo, Lynette C.; Thompson, Andrew; Chen, Chinfei; Smith, Stephen J.; Barres, Ben A.

    2014-01-01

    To achieve its precise neural connectivity, the developing mammalian nervous system undergoes extensive activity-dependent synapse remodeling. Recently microglial cells have been shown to be responsible for a portion of synaptic remodeling, but the remaining mechanisms remain mysterious. Here we report a new role for astrocytes in actively engulfing CNS 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 normally refine their retinogeniculate connections and retain excess functional synapses. Lastly, 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 players in the synapse remodeling underlying neural circuit refinement, and have important implications for understanding learning and memory as well as neurological disease processes. PMID:24270812

  13. 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. PMID:27466127

  14. 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.

  15. Astrocytes in Multiple Sclerosis: A Product of their Environment

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Aji; Frederick, Terra J.; Miller, Stephen D.

    2010-01-01

    It has long been thought that astrocytes, like other glial cells, simply provide a support mechanism for neuronal function in the healthy and inflamed central nervous system (CNS). However, recent evidence suggests that astrocytes play an active and dual role in CNS inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Astrocytes not only have the ability to enhance immune responses and inhibit myelin repair, but they can also be protective and limit CNS inflammation while supporting oligodendrocyte and axonal regeneration. The particular impact of these cells on the pathogenesis and repair of an inflammatory demyelinating process is dependent upon a number of factors, including the stage of the disease, the type and microenvironment of the lesion, and the interactions with other cell types and factors that influence their activation. In this review, we summarize recent data supporting the idea that astrocytes play a complex role in the regulation of CNS autoimmunity. PMID:18516496

  16. 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. PMID:24880214

  17. Modulation of Factors Affecting Optic Nerve Head Astrocyte Migration

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Haixi; Crabb, Andrea W.; Hernandez, M. Rosario

    2010-01-01

    Purpose. The authors investigated the role of myosin light chain kinase (MYLK) and transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) receptor pathways in optic nerve head (ONH) astrocyte migration. They further investigated how the expression of these genes is altered by elevated hydrostatic pressure (HP). Methods. PCR was used to determine the isoforms of MYLK expressed in ONH astrocytes. siRNAs against MYLK (all isoforms) and TGFβ receptor 2 (TGFBR2) were prepared and tested for effects on the migration of cultured ONH astrocytes. Finally, the effects of elevated HP (24–96 hours) on the expression of MYLK isoforms and selected TGFβ pathway components were measured. Results. Multiple isoforms of MYLK are present in ONH astrocytes from Caucasian (CA) and African American (AA) donors. Both populations express the short form (MYLK-130) and the long form (MYLK-210) of MYLK and a splicing variant within MYLK-210. MYLK-directed siRNA decreased MYLK expression and cell migration compared with control siRNA. siRNA directed against TGFβ receptor 2 also decreased cell migration compared with control and decreased extracellular matrix genes regulated by TGFβ signaling. Elevated HP increased the expression of MYLK-130 and MYLK-210 in both populations of astrocytes. However, TGFβ2 was uniquely upregulated by exposure to elevated HP in CA compared with AA astrocytes. Conclusions. Differential expression of TGFβ pathway genes and MYLK isoforms observed in populations of glaucomatous astrocytes applies to the elevated HP model system. MYLK may be a new target for intervention in glaucoma to alter reactive astrocyte migration in the ONH. PMID:20375339

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Astrocyte Ca2+ Signaling Drives Inversion of Neurovascular Coupling after Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

    PubMed Central

    Pappas, Anthony C.; Koide, Masayo

    2015-01-01

    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 Ca2+ 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 Ca2+ 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 Ca2+ signaling underlies SAH-induced inversion of NVC. We report a time-dependent emergence of endfoot high-amplitude Ca2+ 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 Ca2+ 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 Ca2+ 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 Ca2+ release events leading to inversion of NVC. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)—strokes involving cerebral aneurysm rupture and release of blood onto the brain surface

  1. Astrocytes regulate heterogeneity of presynaptic strengths in hippocampal networks.

    PubMed

    Letellier, Mathieu; Park, Yun Kyung; Chater, Thomas E; Chipman, Peter H; Gautam, Sunita Ghimire; Oshima-Takago, Tomoko; Goda, Yukiko

    2016-05-10

    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 Ca(2+) signaling involving NMDAR activation, astrocyte membrane depolarization, and L-type Ca(2+) channels. Intracellular infusion of NMDARs or Ca(2+)-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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:25136294

  5. Glucose Tightly Controls Morphological and Functional Properties of Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    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

  6. Unveiling astrocytic control of cerebral blood flow with optogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Masamoto, Kazuto; Unekawa, Miyuki; Watanabe, Tatsushi; Toriumi, Haruki; Takuwa, Hiroyuki; Kawaguchi, Hiroshi; Kanno, Iwao; Matsui, Ko; Tanaka, Kenji F.; Tomita, Yutaka; Suzuki, Norihiro

    2015-01-01

    Cortical neural activities lead to changes in the cerebral blood flow (CBF), which involves astrocytic control of cerebrovascular tone. However, the manner in which astrocytic activity specifically leads to vasodilation or vasoconstriction is difficult to determine. Here, cortical astrocytes genetically expressing a light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), were transcranially activated with a blue laser while the spatiotemporal changes in CBF were noninvasively monitored with laser speckle flowgraphy in the anesthetised mouse cortex. A brief photostimulation induced a fast transient increase in CBF. The average response onset time was 0.7 ± 0.7 sec at the activation foci, and this CBF increase spread widely from the irradiation spot with an apparent propagation speed of 0.8–1.1 mm/sec. The broad increase in the CBF could be due to a propagation of diffusible vasoactive signals derived from the stimulated astrocytes. Pharmacological manipulation showed that topical administration of a K+ channel inhibitor (BaCl2; 0.1–0.5 mM) significantly reduced the photostimulation-induced CBF responses, which indicates that the ChR2-evoked astrocytic activity involves K+ signalling to the vascular smooth muscle cells. These findings demonstrate a unique model for exploring the role of the astrocytes in gliovascular coupling using non-invasive, time-controlled, cell-type specific perturbations. PMID:26076820

  7. Inositol phospholipid hydrolysis in cultured astrocytes and oligodendrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Ritchie, T.; Cole, R.; Kim, H.S.; de Vellis, J.; Noble, E.P.

    1987-07-06

    Cultures of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes were prelabeled with /sup 3/H-inositol and the accumulation of /sup 3/H-inositol phosphates was determined following stimulation with a number of neuroactive substances. In astrocytes, norepinephrine (NE) produced the greatest stimulation with significant increase also observed with bradykinin. In oligodendrocytes, the greatest stimulation was produced by carbachol with significant increase also produced by bradykinin, histamine and NE. Carbachol was found to be ineffective in producing stimulation in astrocytes. The accumulation of /sup 3/H-inositol phosphates in astrocytes in response to NE was found to be dependent on the presence of Li/sup +/. The NE stimulation in astrocytes was dose-dependent and had an EC/sub 50/ of 1.2 ..mu..M. This stimulation was blocked by the low concentration of the ..cap alpha../sub 1/-adrenergic antagonist prazosin but not by the ..cap alpha../sub 2/-adrenergic antagonist yohimbine. The NE-stimulated accumulation of /sup 3/H-inositol phosphates in astrocytes was inhibited by the cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase inhibitor isobutylmethylxanthine as well as by the cAMP analog dibutyryl cAMP. 34 references, 4 figures, 4 tables.

  8. NEURONAL ACTIVITY REGULATES GLUTAMATE TRANSPORTER DYNAMICS IN DEVELOPING ASTROCYTES

    PubMed Central

    Benediktsson, A.M.; Marrs, G.S.; Tu, J.C.; Worley, P.F.; Rothstein, J.D.; Bergles, D.E.; Dailey, M.E.

    2011-01-01

    Glutamate transporters maintain a low ambient level of glutamate in the CNS and shape the activation of glutamate receptors at synapses. Nevertheless, the mechanisms that regulate the trafficking and localization of transporters near sites of glutamate release are poorly understood. Here we examined the subcellular distribution and dynamic remodeling of the predominant glutamate transporter GLT-1 (EAAT2) in developing hippocampal astrocytes. Immunolabeling revealed that endogenous GLT-1 is concentrated into discrete clusters along branches of developing astrocytes that were apposed preferentially to synapsin-1 positive synapses. GFP-GLT-1 fusion proteins expressed in astrocytes also formed distinct clusters that lined the edges of astrocyte processes, as well as the tips of filopodia and spine-like structures. Time-lapse 3D confocal imaging in tissue slices revealed that GFP-GLT-1 clusters were dynamically remodeled on a timescale of minutes. Some transporter clusters moved within developing astrocyte branches as filopodia extended and retracted, while others maintained stable positions at the tips of spine-like structures. Blockade of neuronal activity with tetrodotoxin reduced both the density and perisynaptic localization of GLT-1 clusters. Conversely, enhancement of neuronal activity increased the size of GLT-1 clusters and their proximity to synapses. Together, these findings indicate that neuronal activity influences both the organization of glutamate transporters in developing astrocyte membranes and their position relative to synapses. PMID:22052455

  9. 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. PMID:25592426

  10. 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

  11. Optogenetic stimulation of astrocytes in the posterior hypothalamus increases sleep at night in C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Pelluru, Dheeraj; Konadhode, Roda Rani; Bhat, Narayan R; Shiromani, Priyattam J

    2016-05-01

    A distributed network of neurons regulates wake, non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and REM sleep. However, there are also glia in the brain, and there is growing evidence that neurons and astroglia communicate intimately to regulate behaviour. To identify the effect of optogenetic stimulation of astrocytes on sleep, the promoter for the astrocyte-specific cytoskeletal protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was used to direct the expression of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and the linked reporter gene, enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP), in astrocytes. rAAV-GFAP-ChR2 (H134R)-EYFP or rAAV-GFAP-EYFP was microinjected (750 nL) into the posterior hypothalamus (bilateral) of mice. Three weeks later baseline sleep was recorded (0 Hz) and 24 h later optogenetic stimulation applied during the first 6 h of the lights-off period. Mice with ChR2 were given 5, 10 or 30 Hz stimulation for 6 h (10-ms pulses; 1 mW; 1 min on 4 min off). At least 36 h elapsed between the stimulation periods (5, 10, 30 Hz) and although 0 Hz was always first, the order of the other three stimulation rates was randomised. In mice with ChR2 (n = 7), 10 Hz, but not 5 or 30 Hz stimulation increased both NREM and REM sleep during the 6-h period of stimulation. Delta power did not increase. In control mice (no ChR2; n = 5), 10 Hz stimulation had no effect. This study demonstrates that direct stimulation of astrocytes powerfully induces sleep during the active phase of the sleep-wake cycle and underlines the inclusion of astrocytes in network models of sleep-wake regulation. PMID:26369866

  12. Gliotoxin-induced swelling of astrocytes hinders diffusion in brain extracellular space via formation of dead-space microdomains

    PubMed Central

    SHERPA, ANG DOMA; VAN DE NES, PAULA; XIAO, FANRONG; WEEDON, JEREMY; HRABETOVA, SABINA

    2014-01-01

    One of the hallmarks of numerous life-threatening and debilitating brain diseases is cellular swelling that negatively impacts extracellular space (ECS) structure. The ECS structure is determined by two macroscopic parameters, namely tortuosity (λ) and volume fraction (α). Tortuosity represents hindrance imposed on the diffusing molecules by the tissue in comparison with an obstacle-free medium. Volume fraction is the proportion of tissue volume occupied by the ECS. From a clinical perspective, it is essential to recognize which factors determine the ECS parameters and how these factors change in brain diseases. Previous studies demonstrated that dead-space (DS) microdomains increased λ during ischemia and hypotonic stress, as these pocket-like structures transiently trapped diffusing molecules. We hypothesize that astrocytes play a key role in the formation of DS microdomains because their thin processes have concave shapes that may elongate as astrocytes swell in these pathologies. Here we selectively swelled astrocytes in the somatosensory neocortex of rat brain slices with a gliotoxin DL-α-Aminoadipic Acid (DL-AA), and we quantified the ECS parameters using Integrative Optical Imaging (IOI) and Real-Time Iontophoretic (RTI) diffusion methods. We found that α decreased and λ increased during DL-AA application. During recovery, α was restored whereas λ remained elevated. Increase in λ during astrocytic swelling and recovery is consistent with the formation of DS microdomains. Our data attribute to the astrocytes an important role in determining the ECS parameters, and indicate that extracellular diffusion can be improved not only by reducing the swelling but also by disrupting the DS microdomains. PMID:24687699

  13. Neurogenic effect of VEGF is related to increase of astrocytes transdifferentiation into new mature neurons in rat brains after stroke.

    PubMed

    Shen, Shu-Wen; Duan, Chun-Ling; Chen, Xian-Hua; Wang, Yong-Quan; Sun, Xiao; Zhang, Qiu-Wan; Cui, Hui-Ru; Sun, Feng-Yan

    2016-09-01

    To study the cellular mechanism of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-enhanced neurogenesis in ischemic brain injury, we used middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model to induce transient focal ischemic brain injury. The results showed that ischemic injury significantly increased glial fibrillary acidic protein immunopositive (GFAP(+)) and nestin(+) cells in ipsilateral striatum 3 days following MCAO. Most GFAP(+) cells colocalized with nestin (GFAP(+)-nestin(+)), Pax6 (GFAP(+)-Pax6(+)), or Olig2 (GFAP(+)-Olig2(+)). VEGF further increased GFAP(+)-nestin(+) and GFAP(+)-Pax6(+) cells, and decreased GFAP(+)-Olig2(+) cells. We used striatal injection of GFAP targeted enhanced green fluorescence protein (pGfa2-EGFP) vectors combined with multiple immunofluorescent staining to trace the neural fates of EGFP-expressing (GFP(+)) reactive astrocytes. The results showed that MCAO-induced striatal reactive astrocytes differentiated into neural stem cells (GFP(+)-nestin(+) cells) at 3 days after MCAO, immature (GFP(+)-Tuj-1(+) cells) at 1 week and mature neurons (GFP(+)-MAP-2(+) or GFP(+)-NeuN(+) cells) at 2 weeks. VEGF increased GFP(+)-NeuN(+) and BrdU(+)-MAP-2(+) newborn neurons after MCAO. Fluorocitrate, an astrocytic inhibitor, significantly decreased GFAP and nestin expression in ischemic brains, and also reduced VEGF-enhanced neurogenic effects. This study is the first time to report that VEGF-mediated increase of newly generated neurons is dependent on the presence of reactive astrocytes. The results also illustrate cellular mechanism of VEGF-enhanced neural repair and functional plasticity in the brains after ischemic injury. We concluded that neurogenic effect of VEGF is related to increase of striatal astrocytes transdifferentiation into new mature neurons, which should be very important for the reconstruction of neurovascular units/networks in non-neurogenic regions of the mammalian brain. PMID:26603138

  14. 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. PMID:27161368

  15. Angiotensin II induces secretion of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 and a tissue metalloprotease inhibitor-related protein from rat brain astrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Olson, J.A. Jr.; Shiverick, K.T.; Ogilvie, S.; Buhi, W.C.; Raizada, M.K. )

    1991-03-01

    The present study investigates angiotensin (Ang) II effects on secretory protein synthesis in brain astrocytes cultured from neonatal and 21-day-old rats. Ang II-induced changes in the de novo synthesis of (35S)methionine-labeled secretory proteins were visualized using two-dimensional NaDodSO4/PAGE. Astrocytes from 21-day-old rat brain possess specific high-affinity receptors for Ang II. These cells express two Ang II-induced secretory proteins with Mr 55,000 (AISP-55K) and Mr 30,000 (AISP-30K), which were time- and dose-dependent (EC50, 1 nM). (Sar1, Ile8)Ang II (where Sar is sarcosine) inhibited Ang II-induced secretion of AISP-55K but not AISP-30K. N-terminal amino acid sequencing indicates that AISP-55K is identical to rat plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, whereas AISP-30K exhibits 72-81% identity to three closely related proteins: human tissue inhibitor of metalloproteases, a rat phorbol ester-induced protein, and the murine growth-responsive protein 16C8. Immunofluorescent staining with rat plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 antibody was induced in the majority of cells in culture after Ang II treatment of astrocytes from 21-day-old rat brains. Absence of this response to Ang II in astrocytes from neonatal rat brain provides evidence that this action of Ang II on astrocytes is developmentally regulated.

  16. Green-Fluorescent Protein+ Astrocytes Attach to Beta-Amyloid Plaques in an Alzheimer Mouse Model and Are Sensitive for Clasmatodendrosis

    PubMed Central

    Daschil, Nina; Humpel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is pathologically characterized by beta-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and Tau pathology. It is well-established that Aβ plaques are surrounded by reactive astrocytes, highly expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). In order to study the cellular interaction of reactive astrocytes with Aβ plaques, we crossbred mice overexpressing amyloid precursor protein (APP) with the Swedish-Dutch-Iowa mutations (APP-SweDI) with mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the GFAP-promotor. Three-dimensional confocal microscopy revealed a tight association and intense sprouting of astrocytic finely branched processes towards Aβ plaques in 12 month old mice. In order to study phagocytosis, 110 μm thick brain slices from 12 month old crossbred mice were cultured overnight, however, we found that the GFP fluorescence faded, distal processes degenerated and a complete loss of astrocytic morphology was seen (clasmatodendrosis). In summary, our data show that GFP+ reactive astrocytes make intense contact with Aβ plaques but these cells are highly vulnerable for degeneration. PMID:27092076

  17. Type I interferons and microbial metabolites of tryptophan modulate astrocyte activity and central nervous system inflammation via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-06-01

    Astrocytes have 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-Is) in astrocytes during experimental CNS autoimmunity and also in CNS lesions from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). 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 the suppressor of cytokine signaling 2 (SOCS2). The anti-inflammatory effects of nasally administered interferon (IFN)-β are partly mediated by AHR. Dietary tryptophan is metabolized by the gut microbiota into AHR agonists that have an effect 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, indole-3-propionic acid and indole-3-aldehyde, or the bacterial enzyme tryptophanase. In individuals with MS, the circulating levels of AHR agonists were decreased. These findings suggest that IFN-Is produced in the CNS function in combination with metabolites derived from dietary tryptophan by the gut flora to activate AHR signaling in astrocytes and suppress CNS inflammation. PMID:27158906

  18. Green-Fluorescent Protein(+) Astrocytes Attach to Beta-Amyloid Plaques in an Alzheimer Mouse Model and Are Sensitive for Clasmatodendrosis.

    PubMed

    Daschil, Nina; Humpel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is pathologically characterized by beta-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and Tau pathology. It is well-established that Aβ plaques are surrounded by reactive astrocytes, highly expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). In order to study the cellular interaction of reactive astrocytes with Aβ plaques, we crossbred mice overexpressing amyloid precursor protein (APP) with the Swedish-Dutch-Iowa mutations (APP-SweDI) with mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the GFAP-promotor. Three-dimensional confocal microscopy revealed a tight association and intense sprouting of astrocytic finely branched processes towards Aβ plaques in 12 month old mice. In order to study phagocytosis, 110 μm thick brain slices from 12 month old crossbred mice were cultured overnight, however, we found that the GFP fluorescence faded, distal processes degenerated and a complete loss of astrocytic morphology was seen (clasmatodendrosis). In summary, our data show that GFP(+) reactive astrocytes make intense contact with Aβ plaques but these cells are highly vulnerable for degeneration. PMID:27092076

  19. Corticosterone differentially regulates the bilateral response of astrocyte mRNAs in the hippocampus to entorhinal cortex lesions in male rats.

    PubMed

    Laping, N J; Nichols, N R; Day, J R; Finch, C E

    1991-07-01

    This study examined the effect of adrenalectomy (ADX) and corticosterone (CORT) replacement on the levels of two astrocyte mRNAs during responses to unilateral entorhinal cortex lesions (ECL) to identify molecular mechanisms involved in glucocorticoid modulation of astrocyte activation following deafferentation. Both glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and sulfated glycoprotein-2 (SGP-2) mRNA were increased in the ipsilateral hippocampus 4 days following unilateral ECL. In unlesioned ADX rats CORT replacement decreased both messages in the hippocampus. CORT replacement suppressed the ECL-induced increase of GFAP mRNA in the contralateral, but not ipsilateral hippocampus of ADX rats. In contrast, CORT decreased SGP-2 mRNA both ipsi- and contralaterally. It is clear that several regulatory mechanisms are responsible for maintaining a physiological balance of astrocyte activity in the adult brain, and that changes in circuit integrity and the endocrine milieu can alter this balance. PMID:1717807

  20. 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. PMID:24523672

  1. The Role of Astrocytes in Multiple Sclerosis Progression

    PubMed Central

    Correale, Jorge; Farez, Mauricio F.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disorder causing central nervous system (CNS) demyelination and axonal injury. Although its etiology remains elusive, several lines of evidence support the concept that autoimmunity plays a major role in disease pathogenesis. The course of MS is highly variable; nevertheless, the majority of patients initially present a relapsing–remitting clinical course. After 10–15 years of disease, this pattern becomes progressive in up to 50% of untreated patients, during which time clinical symptoms slowly cause constant deterioration over a period of many years. In about 15% of MS patients, however, disease progression is relentless from disease onset. Published evidence supports the concept that progressive MS reflects a poorly understood mechanism of insidious axonal degeneration and neuronal loss. Recently, the type of microglial cell and of astrocyte activation and proliferation observed has suggested contribution of resident CNS cells may play a critical role in disease progression. Astrocytes could contribute to this process through several mechanisms: (a) as part of the innate immune system, (b) as a source of cytotoxic factors, (c) inhibiting remyelination and axonal regeneration by forming a glial scar, and (d) contributing to axonal mitochondrial dysfunction. Furthermore, regulatory mechanisms mediated by astrocytes can be affected by aging. Notably, astrocytes might also limit the detrimental effects of pro-inflammatory factors, while providing support and protection for oligodendrocytes and neurons. Because of the dichotomy observed in astrocytic effects, the design of therapeutic strategies targeting astrocytes becomes a challenging endeavor. Better knowledge of molecular and functional properties of astrocytes, therefore, should promote understanding of their specific role in MS pathophysiology, and consequently lead to development of novel and more successful therapeutic approaches. PMID:26347709

  2. Effects of acrylamide on primary neonatal rat astrocyte functions.

    PubMed

    Aschner, Michael; Wu, Qi; Friedman, Marvin A

    2005-08-01

    The present study assessed biochemical endpoints indicative of acrylamide toxicity in astrocyte cultures derived from neonatal rat pups. Given earlier reports on the possible ability of acrylamide to induce astrocytomas in the Fischer 344 rat, we performed studies in neonatal rat astrocyte cultures from the Fischer 344 to assess the ability of acrylamide to induce astrocytic proliferation. Measurements on astrocytic proliferation included [3H]-leucine incorporation, [3H]-thymidine incorporation, and changes in proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Although acrylamide (0.1 and 1 mM for 7, 11, 15, or 20 days) did not significantly (P > 0.05) affect [3H]-leucine or [3H]-thymidine incorporation, it significantly (P < 0.05) increased PCNA protein expression in astrocytes exposed to acrylamide for 15 and 20 days. Additional studies revealed that this effect on PCNA protein expression was not associated with activation of dopamine-2 (D2) receptors, given that quinpirole (10 microM added to cultures for the last hour of 7, 11, 15, or 20 days in culture), a selective D2 receptor agonist, did not produce results analogous to those seen with acrylamide treatment. Cotreatment of astrocytes with acrylamide (7, 11, 15, or 20 days) and the D2 receptor antagonist, sulpiride (1 microM for the last 6 h of exposure), also failed to reverse acrylamide's effect on PCNA protein induction. Taken together, these studies suggest that acrylamide promotes astrocytic cell proliferation in the CNS even though DNA synthesis did not appear stimulated. PMID:16179551

  3. Comparative analysis of optogenetic actuators in cultured astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Figueiredo, Melina; Lane, Samantha; Stout, Randy F.; Liu, Beihui; Parpura, Vladimir; Teschemacher, Anja G.; Kasparov, Sergey

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes modulate synaptic transmission via release of gliotransmitters such as ATP, glutamate, d-serine and l-lactate. One of the main problems when studying the role of astrocytes in vitro and in vivo is the lack of suitable tools for their selective activation. Optogenetic actuators can be used to manipulate astrocytic activity by expression of variants of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) or other optogenetic actuators with the aim to initiate intracellular events such as intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) and/or cAMP increases. We have developed an array of adenoviral vectors (AVV) with ChR2-like actuators, including an enhanced ChR2 mutant (H134R), and a mutant with improved Ca2+ permeability (Ca2+ translocating channelrhodopsin, CatCh). We show here that [Ca2+]i elevations evoked by ChR2(H134R) and CatCh in astrocytes are largely due to release of Ca2+ from the intracellular stores. The autocrine action of ATP which is released under these conditions and acts on the P2Y receptors also contributes to the [Ca2+]i elevations. We also studied effects evoked using light-sensitive G-protein coupled receptors (opto-adrenoceptors). Activation of optoα1AR (Gq-coupled) and optoβ2AR (Gs-coupled) resulted in astrocytic [Ca2+]i increases which were suppressed by blocking the corresponding intracellular signalling cascade (phospholipase C and adenylate cyclase, respectively). Interestingly, the bulk of [Ca2+]i responses evoked using either optoAR was blocked by an ATP degrading enzyme, apyrase, or a P2Y1 receptor blocker, MRS 2179, indicating that they are to a large extent triggered by the autocrine action of ATP. We conclude that, whilst optimal tools for control of astrocytes are yet to be generated, the currently available optogenetic actuators successfully initiate biologically relevant signalling events in astrocytes. PMID:25109549

  4. Voluntary Exercise Induces Astrocytic Structural Plasticity in the Globus Pallidus

    PubMed Central

    Tatsumi, Kouko; Okuda, Hiroaki; Morita-Takemura, Shoko; Tanaka, Tatsuhide; Isonishi, Ayami; Shinjo, Takeaki; Terada, Yuki; Wanaka, Akio

    2016-01-01

    Changes in astrocyte morphology are primarily attributed to the fine processes where intimate connections with neurons form the tripartite synapse and participate in neurotransmission. Recent evidence has shown that neurotransmission induces dynamic synaptic remodeling, suggesting that astrocytic fine processes may adapt their morphologies to the activity in their environment. To illustrate such a neuron-glia relationship in morphological detail, we employed a double transgenic Olig2CreER/WT; ROSA26-GAP43-EGFP mice, in which Olig2-lineage cells can be visualized and traced with membrane-targeted GFP. Although Olig2-lineage cells in the adult brain usually become mature oligodendrocytes or oligodendrocyte precursor cells with NG2-proteoglycan expression, we found a population of Olig2-lineage astrocytes with bushy morphology in several brain regions. The globus pallidus (GP) preferentially contains Olig2-lineage astrocytes. Since the GP exerts pivotal motor functions in the indirect pathway of the basal ganglionic circuit, we subjected the double transgenic mice to voluntary wheel running to activate the GP and examined morphological changes of Olig2-lineage astrocytes at both the light and electron microscopic levels. The double transgenic mice were divided into three groups: control group mice were kept in a cage with a locked running wheel for 3 weeks, Runner group were allowed free access to a running wheel for 3 weeks, and the Runner-Rest group took a sedentary 3-week rest after a 3-week running period. GFP immunofluorescence analysis and immunoelectron microscopy revealed that astrocytic fine processes elaborated complex arborization in the Runner mice, and reverted to simple morphology comparable to that of the Control group in the Runner-Rest group. Our results indicated that the fine processes of the Olig2-lineage astrocytes underwent plastic changes that correlated with overall running activities, suggesting that they actively participate in motor

  5. Astrocyte sodium signaling and the regulation of neurotransmission.

    PubMed

    Kirischuk, Sergei; Héja, László; Kardos, Julianna; Billups, Brian

    2016-10-01

    The transmembrane Na(+) concentration gradient is an important source of energy required not only to enable the generation of action potentials in excitable cells, but also for various transmembrane transporters both in excitable and non-excitable cells, like astrocytes. One of the vital functions of astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) is to regulate neurotransmitter concentrations in the extracellular space. Most neurotransmitters in the CNS are removed from the extracellular space by Na(+) -dependent neurotransmitter transporters (NeuTs) expressed both in neurons and astrocytes. Neuronal NeuTs control mainly phasic synaptic transmission, i.e., synaptically induced transient postsynaptic potentials, while astrocytic NeuTs contribute to the termination of phasic neurotransmission and modulate the tonic tone, i.e., the long-lasting activation of extrasynaptic receptors by neurotransmitter that has diffused out of the synaptic cleft. Consequently, local intracellular Na(+) ([Na(+) ]i ) transients occurring in astrocytes, for example via the activation of ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors, can affect the driving force for neurotransmitter uptake, in turn modulating the spatio-temporal profiles of neurotransmitter levels in the extracellular space. As some NeuTs are close to thermodynamic equilibrium under resting conditions, an increase in astrocytic [Na(+) ]i can stimulate the direct release of neurotransmitter via NeuT reversal. In this review we discuss the role of astrocytic [Na(+) ]i changes in the regulation of uptake/release of neurotransmitters. It is emphasized that an activation of one neurotransmitter system, including either its ionotropic receptor or Na(+) -coupled co-transporter, can strongly influence, or even reverse, other Na(+) -dependent NeuTs, with potentially significant consequences for neuronal communication. GLIA 2016;64:1655-1666. PMID:26566753

  6. Voluntary Exercise Induces Astrocytic Structural Plasticity in the Globus Pallidus.

    PubMed

    Tatsumi, Kouko; Okuda, Hiroaki; Morita-Takemura, Shoko; Tanaka, Tatsuhide; Isonishi, Ayami; Shinjo, Takeaki; Terada, Yuki; Wanaka, Akio

    2016-01-01

    Changes in astrocyte morphology are primarily attributed to the fine processes where intimate connections with neurons form the tripartite synapse and participate in neurotransmission. Recent evidence has shown that neurotransmission induces dynamic synaptic remodeling, suggesting that astrocytic fine processes may adapt their morphologies to the activity in their environment. To illustrate such a neuron-glia relationship in morphological detail, we employed a double transgenic Olig2(CreER/WT); ROSA26-GAP43-EGFP mice, in which Olig2-lineage cells can be visualized and traced with membrane-targeted GFP. Although Olig2-lineage cells in the adult brain usually become mature oligodendrocytes or oligodendrocyte precursor cells with NG2-proteoglycan expression, we found a population of Olig2-lineage astrocytes with bushy morphology in several brain regions. The globus pallidus (GP) preferentially contains Olig2-lineage astrocytes. Since the GP exerts pivotal motor functions in the indirect pathway of the basal ganglionic circuit, we subjected the double transgenic mice to voluntary wheel running to activate the GP and examined morphological changes of Olig2-lineage astrocytes at both the light and electron microscopic levels. The double transgenic mice were divided into three groups: control group mice were kept in a cage with a locked running wheel for 3 weeks, Runner group were allowed free access to a running wheel for 3 weeks, and the Runner-Rest group took a sedentary 3-week rest after a 3-week running period. GFP immunofluorescence analysis and immunoelectron microscopy revealed that astrocytic fine processes elaborated complex arborization in the Runner mice, and reverted to simple morphology comparable to that of the Control group in the Runner-Rest group. Our results indicated that the fine processes of the Olig2-lineage astrocytes underwent plastic changes that correlated with overall running activities, suggesting that they actively participate in motor

  7. Electrodiffusive Model for Astrocytic and Neuronal Ion Concentration Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Halnes, Geir; Østby, Ivar; Pettersen, Klas H.; Omholt, Stig W.; Einevoll, Gaute T.

    2013-01-01

    The cable equation is a proper framework for modeling electrical neural signalling that takes place at a timescale at which the ionic concentrations vary little. However, in neural tissue there are also key dynamic processes that occur at longer timescales. For example, endured periods of intense neural signaling may cause the local extracellular K+-concentration to increase by several millimolars. The clearance of this excess K+ depends partly on diffusion in the extracellular space, partly on local uptake by astrocytes, and partly on intracellular transport (spatial buffering) within astrocytes. These processes, that take place at the time scale of seconds, demand a mathematical description able to account for the spatiotemporal variations in ion concentrations as well as the subsequent effects of these variations on the membrane potential. Here, we present a general electrodiffusive formalism for modeling of ion concentration dynamics in a one-dimensional geometry, including both the intra- and extracellular domains. Based on the Nernst-Planck equations, this formalism ensures that the membrane potential and ion concentrations are in consistency, it ensures global particle/charge conservation and it accounts for diffusion and concentration dependent variations in resistivity. We apply the formalism to a model of astrocytes exchanging ions with the extracellular space. The simulations show that K+-removal from high-concentration regions is driven by a local depolarization of the astrocyte membrane, which concertedly (i) increases the local astrocytic uptake of K+, (ii) suppresses extracellular transport of K+, (iii) increases axial transport of K+ within astrocytes, and (iv) facilitates astrocytic relase of K+ in regions where the extracellular concentration is low. Together, these mechanisms seem to provide a robust regulatory scheme for shielding the extracellular space from excess K+. PMID:24367247

  8. Expression of Gls and Gls2 glutaminase isoforms in astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Cardona, Carolina; Sánchez-Mejías, Elisabeth; Dávila, José C; Martín-Rufián, Mercedes; Campos-Sandoval, José A; Vitorica, Javier; Alonso, Francisco J; Matés, José M; Segura, Juan A; Norenberg, Michael D; Rama Rao, Kakulavarapu V; Jayakumar, Arumugan R; Gutiérrez, Antonia; Márquez, Javier

    2015-03-01

    The expression of glutaminase in glial cells has been a controversial issue and matter of debate for many years. Actually, glutaminase is essentially considered as a neuronal marker in brain. Astrocytes are endowed with efficient and high capacity transport systems to recapture synaptic glutamate which seems to be consistent with the absence of glutaminase in these glial cells. In this work, a comprehensive study was devised to elucidate expression of glutaminase in neuroglia and, more concretely, in astrocytes. Immunocytochemistry in rat and human brain tissues employing isoform-specific antibodies revealed expression of both Gls and Gls2 glutaminase isozymes in glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal populations as well as in astrocytes. Nevertheless, there was a different subcellular distribution: Gls isoform was always present in mitochondria while Gls2 appeared in two different locations, mitochondria and nucleus. Confocal microscopy and double immunofluorescence labeling in cultured astrocytes confirmed the same pattern previously seen in brain tissue samples. Astrocytic glutaminase expression was also assessed at the mRNA level, real-time quantitative RT-PCR detected transcripts of four glutaminase isozymes but with marked differences on their absolute copy number: the predominance of Gls isoforms over Gls2 transcripts was remarkable (ratio of 144:1). Finally, we proved that astrocytic glutaminase proteins possess enzymatic activity by in situ activity staining: concrete populations of astrocytes were labeled in the cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus of rat brain demonstrating functional catalytic activity. These results are relevant for the stoichiometry of the Glu/Gln cycle at the tripartite synapse and suggest novel functions for these classical metabolic enzymes. PMID:25297978

  9. Isolation of intact astrocytes from the optic nerve head of adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Hee Joo; Sun, Daniel; Jakobs, Tatjana C.

    2015-01-01

    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 hours. We also discuss downstream applications like multiplex single-cell PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR). PMID:26093274

  10. 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. PMID:25721661

  11. Astrocyte activation in vivo during graded photic stimulation.

    PubMed

    Dienel, Gerald A; Schmidt, Kathleen C; Cruz, Nancy F

    2007-11-01

    Astrocytes have important roles in control of extracellular environment, de novo synthesis of neurotransmitters, and regulation of neurotransmission and blood flow. All of these functions require energy, suggesting that astrocytic metabolism should rise and fall with changes in neuronal activity and that brain imaging can be used to visualize and quantify astrocytic activation in vivo. A unilateral photic stimulation paradigm was used to test the hypothesis that graded sensory stimuli cause progressive increases in the uptake coefficient of [2-(14)C]acetate, a substrate preferentially oxidized by astrocytes. The acetate uptake coefficient fell in deafferented visual structures and it rose in intact tissue during photic stimulation of conscious rats; the increase was highest in structures with monosynaptic input from the eye and was much smaller in magnitude than the change in glucose utilization (CMR(glc)) by all cells. The acetate uptake coefficient was not proportional to stimulus rate and did not correlate with CMR(glc) in resting or activated structures. Simulation studies support the conclusions that acetate uptake coefficients represent mainly metabolism and respond to changes in metabolism rate, with a lower response at high rates. A model portraying regulation of acetate oxidation illustrates complex relationships among functional activation, cation levels, and astrocytic metabolism. PMID:17725580

  12. Astrocyte and Neuronal Plasticity in the Somatosensory System

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26345481

  13. Dysregulation of astrocyte extracellular signaling in Costello syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Krencik, Robert; Hokanson, Kenton C.; Narayan, Aditi R.; Dvornik, Jill; Rooney, Gemma E.; Rauen, Katherine A.; Weiss, Lauren A.; Rowitch, David H.; Ullian, Erik M.

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes produce an assortment of signals that promote neuronal maturation according to a precise developmental timeline. Is this orchestrated timing and signaling altered in human neurodevelopmental disorders? To address this question, the astroglial lineage was investigated in two model systems of a developmental disorder with intellectual disability caused by mutant Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (HRAS) termed Costello syndrome: mutant HRAS human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and transgenic mice. Human iPSCs derived from patients with Costello syndrome differentiated to astroglia more rapidly in vitro than those derived from wild-type cell lines with normal HRAS, exhibited hyperplasia, and also generated an abundance of extracellular matrix remodeling factors and proteoglycans. Acute treatment with a farnesyl transferase inhibitor and knockdown of the transcription factor SNAI2 reduced expression of several proteoglycans in Costello syndrome iPSC-derived astrocytes. Similarly, mice in which mutant HRAS was expressed selectively in astrocytes exhibited experience-independent increased accumulation of perineuronal net proteoglycans in cortex, as well as increased parvalbumin expression in interneurons, when compared to wild-type mice. Our data indicate that astrocytes expressing mutant HRAS dysregulate cortical maturation during development as shown by abnormal extracellular matrix remodeling and implicate excessive astrocyte-to-neuron signaling as a possible drug target for treating mental impairment and enhancing neuroplasticity. PMID:25947161

  14. Astrocyte reactivity and reactive astrogliosis: costs and benefits.

    PubMed

    Pekny, Milos; Pekna, Marcela

    2014-10-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cells in the central nervous system (CNS) that provide nutrients, recycle neurotransmitters, as well as fulfill a wide range of other homeostasis maintaining functions. During the past two decades, astrocytes emerged also as increasingly important regulators of neuronal functions including the generation of new nerve cells and structural as well as functional synapse remodeling. Reactive gliosis or reactive astrogliosis is a term coined for the morphological and functional changes seen in astroglial cells/astrocytes responding to CNS injury and other neurological diseases. Whereas this defensive reaction of astrocytes is conceivably aimed at handling the acute stress, limiting tissue damage, and restoring homeostasis, it may also inhibit adaptive neural plasticity mechanisms underlying recovery of function. Understanding the multifaceted roles of astrocytes in the healthy and diseased CNS will undoubtedly contribute to the development of treatment strategies that will, in a context-dependent manner and at appropriate time points, modulate reactive astrogliosis to promote brain repair and reduce the neurological impairment. PMID:25287860

  15. Adrenergic activation attenuates astrocyte swelling induced by hypotonicity and neurotrauma.

    PubMed

    Vardjan, Nina; Horvat, Anemari; Anderson, Jamie E; Yu, Dou; Croom, Deborah; Zeng, Xiang; Lužnik, Zala; Kreft, Marko; Teng, Yang D; Kirov, Sergei A; Zorec, Robert

    2016-06-01

    Edema in the central nervous system can rapidly result in life-threatening complications. Vasogenic edema is clinically manageable, but there is no established medical treatment for cytotoxic edema, which affects astrocytes and is a primary trigger of acute post-traumatic neuronal death. To test the hypothesis that adrenergic receptor agonists, including the stress stimulus epinephrine protects neural parenchyma from damage, we characterized its effects on hypotonicity-induced cellular edema in cortical astrocytes by in vivo and in vitro imaging. After epinephrine administration, hypotonicity-induced swelling of astrocytes was markedly reduced and cytosolic 3'-5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) was increased, as shown by a fluorescence resonance energy transfer nanosensor. Although, the kinetics of epinephrine-induced cAMP signaling was slowed in primary cortical astrocytes exposed to hypotonicity, the swelling reduction by epinephrine was associated with an attenuated hypotonicity-induced cytosolic Ca(2+) excitability, which may be the key to prevent astrocyte swelling. Furthermore, in a rat model of spinal cord injury, epinephrine applied locally markedly reduced neural edema around the contusion epicenter. These findings reveal new targets for the treatment of cellular edema in the central nervous system. GLIA 2016;64:1034-1049. PMID:27018061

  16. Integrated Brain Circuits: Astrocytic Networks Modulate Neuronal Activity and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Halassa, Michael M.; Haydon, Philip G.

    2011-01-01

    The past decade has seen an explosion of research on roles of neuron-astrocyte interactions in the control of brain function. We highlight recent studies performed on the tripartite synapse, the structure consisting of pre- and postsynaptic elements of the synapse and an associated astrocytic process. Astrocytes respond to neuronal activity and neuro-transmitters, through the activation of metabotropic receptors, and can release the gliotransmitters ATP, D-serine, and glutamate, which act on neurons. Astrocyte-derived ATP modulates synaptic transmission, either directly or through its metabolic product adenosine. D-serine modulates NMDA receptor function, whereas glia-derived glutamate can play important roles in relapse following withdrawal from drugs of abuse. Cell type–specific molecular genetics has allowed a new level of examination of the function of astrocytes in brain function and has revealed an important role of these glial cells that is mediated by adenosine accumulation in the control of sleep and in cognitive impairments that follow sleep deprivation. PMID:20148679

  17. Galunisertib inhibits glioma vasculogenic mimicry formation induced by astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chao; Chen, Wenliang; Zhang, Xin; Huang, Bin; Chen, Aanjing; He, Ying; Wang, Jian; Li, Xingang

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26976322

  18. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26976322

  19. 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

  20. Study of curcumin immunomodulatory effects on reactive astrocyte cell function.

    PubMed

    Seyedzadeh, Mir Hadi; Safari, Zohreh; Zare, Ahad; Gholizadeh Navashenaq, Jamshid; Razavi, Seyed Alireza; Kardar, Gholam Ali; Khorramizadeh, Mohammad Reza

    2014-09-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is considered an inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS) which most often presents as relapsing-remitting episodes. Recent evidence suggests that activated astrocytes play a dual functional role in CNS inflammatory disorders such as MS. In this study, we tried to induce anti-inflammatory functions of astrocytes by curcumin. The effects of curcumin were examined on human a astrocyte cell line (U373-MG) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in vitro. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 activity was assessed by gelatin zymography. Cytokine levels were evaluated by quantitative ELISA method and mRNA expression was measured by real-time PCR. We found that curcumin decreased the release of IL-6 and reduced MMP-9 enzyme activity. It down-regulated MCP-1 mRNA expression too. However, curcumin did not have significant effects on the expression of neurotrophin (NT)-3 and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 mRNAs. Results suggest that curcumin might beneficially affect astrocyte population in CNS neuroinflammatory environment lean to anti-inflammatory response and help to components in respects of CNS repair. Our findings offer curcumin as a new therapeutic agent with the potential of regulating astrocyte-mediated inflammatory diseases in the CNS. PMID:24998635

  1. 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

  2. Interferon-gamma promotes infection of astrocytes by Trypanosoma cruzi.

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. B4GALT6 regulates astrocyte activation during CNS inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Mayo, Lior; Trauger, Sunia A.; Blain, Manon; Nadeau, Meghan; Patel, Bonny; Alvarez, Jorge I.; Mascanfroni, Ivan D.; Yeste, Ada; Kivisäkk, Pia; Kallas, Keith; Ellezam, Benjamin; Bakshi, Rohit; Prat, Alexandre; Antel, Jack P.; Weiner, Howard L.; Quintana, Francisco J.

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes play complex roles in the response to trauma, infection or inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS). Thus, it is important to characterize the mechanisms regulating astrocyte function, as well as potential targets for the therapeutic modulation of astrocyte activity. Here we report that lactosylceramide (LacCer) levels are up-regulated in the CNS during chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an experimental model of multiple sclerosis (MS). We found that LacCer synthesized by β-1,4-galactosyltransferase 6 (B4GALT6) in astrocytes acts in an autocrine manner to trigger transcriptional programs that promote the recruitment and activation of CNS-infiltrating monocytes and microglia, and neurodegeneration. We also detected increased B4GALT6 expression and LacCer levels in CNS MS lesions. Finally, the inhibition of LacCer synthesis suppressed local CNS innate immunity and neurodegeneration in EAE, and interfered with the activation of human astrocytes in vitro. Thus, B4GALT6 is a potential therapeutic target for MS and other neuroinflammatory disorders. PMID:25216636

  6. 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

  7. Cell-specific abnormalities of glutamate transporters in schizophrenia: sick astrocytes and compensating relay neurons?

    PubMed

    McCullumsmith, R E; O'Donovan, S M; Drummond, J B; Benesh, F S; Simmons, M; Roberts, R; Lauriat, T; Haroutunian, V; Meador-Woodruff, J H

    2016-06-01

    Excitatory amino-acid transporters (EAATs) bind and transport glutamate, limiting spillover from synapses due to their dense perisynaptic expression primarily on astroglia. Converging evidence suggests that abnormalities in the astroglial glutamate transporter localization and function may underlie a disease mechanism with pathological glutamate spillover as well as alterations in the kinetics of perisynaptic glutamate buffering and uptake contributing to dysfunction of thalamo-cortical circuits in schizophrenia. We explored this hypothesis by performing cell- and region-level studies of EAAT1 and EAAT2 expression in the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus in an elderly cohort of subjects with schizophrenia. We found decreased protein expression for the typically astroglial-localized glutamate transporters in the mediodorsal and ventral tier nuclei. We next used laser-capture microdissection and quantitative polymerase chain reaction to assess cell-level expression of the transporters and their splice variants. In the mediodorsal nucleus, we found lower expression of transporter transcripts in a population of cells enriched for astrocytes, and higher expression of transporter transcripts in a population of cells enriched for relay neurons. We confirmed expression of transporter protein in neurons in schizophrenia using dual-label immunofluorescence. Finally, the pattern of transporter mRNA and protein expression in rodents treated for 9 months with antipsychotic medication suggests that our findings are not due to the effects of antipsychotic treatment. We found a compensatory increase in transporter expression in neurons that might be secondary to a loss of transporter expression in astrocytes. These changes suggest a profound abnormality in astrocyte functions that support, nourish and maintain neuronal fidelity and synaptic activity. PMID:26416546

  8. Methylmercury-induced reactive oxygen species formation in neonatal cerebral astrocytic cultures is attenuated by antioxidants.

    PubMed

    Shanker, Gouri; Aschner, Michael

    2003-01-31

    Excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been suggested as a causal factor in various neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease [Brain Res. 830 (1999) 10-15; Biochem. J. 310 (1995) 83-90; Free Radic. Biol. Med. 27 (1999) 612-616]. The present work examined the role of ROS in the neurotoxicity of methylmercury (MeHg). ROS formation in primary astrocytic cultures of neonatal rat cerebral cortex was monitored by 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H(2)DCF-DA) fluorescence. MeHg, at 10 and 20 microM caused a significant increase in ROS formation (10 microM, P<0.01; 20 microM, P<0.001). Additional studies established the effectiveness of antioxidants/free radical scavengers in attenuating the MeHg-stimulated ROS formation in the following rank-order: (1) Trolox (6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic acid), a non-thiol containing antioxidant, (2) n-propyl gallate (PG), a free radical scavenger, (3) superoxide dismutase (SOD), an antioxidant enzyme that dismutates superoxide anion radical, (4) alpha-phenyl-tert-butyl nitrone (PBN), a lipophilic hydroxyl radical spin trapping agent. A significant inhibition of MeHg-induced ROS generation was also noted in astrocytes preincubated (3 h) with arachidonyl trifluoromethyl ketone (AACOCF(3,) 20 microM, P<0.05), a specific inhibitor of cytosolic phospholipase A(2) (cPLA(2)). Conversely, pretreatment (24 h) with 100 microM buthionine-L-sulfoxamine [BSO, a glutathione (GSH) synthesis inhibitor], significantly increased (P<0.05) ROS formation in MeHg treated astrocytes compared to controls. Combined, these studies invoke ROS as potent mediators of MeHg cytotoxicity and support the hypothesis that excessive ROS generation, at least in part, plays an important role in MeHg-induced neurotoxicity. PMID:12573536

  9. Acute astrocyte activation in brain detected by MRI: new insights into T(1) hypointensity.

    PubMed

    Sibson, Nicola R; Lowe, John P; Blamire, Andrew M; Martin, Matthew J; Obrenovitch, Tiho P; Anthony, Daniel C

    2008-03-01

    Increases in the T(1) of brain tissue, which give rise to dark or hypointense areas on T(1)-weighted images using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are common to a number of neuropathologies including multiple sclerosis (MS) and ischaemia. However, the biologic significance of T(1) increases remains unclear. Using a multiparametric MRI approach and well-defined experimental models, we have experimentally induced increases in tissue T(1) to determine the underlying cellular basis of such changes. We have shown that a rapid acute increase in T(1) relaxation in the brain occurs in experimental models of both low-flow ischaemia induced by intrastriatal injection of endothelin-1 (ET-1), and excitotoxicity induced by intrastriatal injection of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). However, there appears to be no consistent correlation between increases in T(1) relaxation and changes in other MRI parameters (apparent diffusion coefficient, T(2) relaxation, or magnetisation transfer ratio of tissue water). Immunohistochemically, one common morphologic feature shared by the ET-1 and NMDA models is acute astrocyte activation, which was detectable within 2 h of intracerebral ET-1 injection. Pretreatment with an inhibitor of astrocyte activation, arundic acid, significantly reduced the spatial extent of the T(1) signal change induced by intrastriatal ET-1 injection. These findings suggest that an increase in T(1) relaxation may identify the acute development of reactive astrocytes within a central nervous system lesion. Early changes in T(1) may, therefore, provide insight into acute and reversible injury processes in neurologic patients, such as those observed before contrast enhancement in MS. PMID:17851455

  10. Insulin Attenuates Beta-Amyloid-Associated Insulin/Akt/EAAT Signaling Perturbations in Human Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiaojuan; Yang, Liling; Du, Heng; Sun, Qinjian; Wang, Xiang; Cong, Lin; Liu, Xiaohui; Yin, Ling; Li, Shan; Du, Yifeng

    2016-08-01

    The excitatory amino acid transporters 1 and 2 (EAAT1 and EAAT2), mostly located on astrocytes, are the main mediators for glutamate clearance in humans. Malfunctions of these transporters may lead to excessive glutamate accumulation and subsequent excitotoxicity to neurons, which has been implicated in many kinds of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Yet, the specific mechanism of the glutamate system dysregulation remains vague. To explore whether the insulin/protein kinase B (Akt)/EAAT signaling in human astrocytes could be disturbed by beta-amyloid protein (Aβ) and be protected by insulin, we incubated HA-1800 cells with varying concentrations of Aβ1-42 oligomers and insulin. Then the alterations of several key substrates in this signal transduction pathway were determined. Our results showed that expressions of insulin receptor, phospho-insulin receptor, phospho-protein kinase B, phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin, and EAAT1 and EAAT2 were decreased by the Aβ1-42 oligomers in a dose-dependent manner (p < 0.05) and this trend could be recovered by insulin treatment (p < 0.05). However, the expressions of total Akt and mTOR were invariant (p > 0.05), and the mRNA levels of EAAT1 and EAAT2 were also unchanged (p > 0.05). Taken together, this study indicates that Aβ1-42 oligomers could cause disturbances in insulin/Akt/EAAT signaling in astrocytes, which might be responsible for AD onset and progression. Additionally, insulin can exert protective functions to the brain by modulating protein modifications or expressions. PMID:26358886

  11. Robust glycogen shunt activity in astrocytes: Effects of glutamatergic and adrenergic agents.

    PubMed

    Walls, A B; Heimbürger, C M; Bouman, S D; Schousboe, A; Waagepetersen, H S

    2009-01-12

    The significance and functional roles of glycogen shunt activity in the brain are largely unknown. It represents the fraction of metabolized glucose that passes through glycogen molecules prior to entering the glycolytic pathway. The present study was aimed at elucidating this pathway in cultured astrocytes from mouse exposed to agents such as a high [K+], D-aspartate and norepinephrine (NE) known to affect energy metabolism in response to neurotransmission. Glycogen shunt activity was assessed employing [1,6-13C]glucose, and the glycogen phosphorylase inhibitor 1,4-dideoxy-1,4-imino-D-arabinitol (DAB) to block glycogen degradation. The label intensity in lactate, reflecting glycolytic activity, was determined by mass spectrometry. In the presence of NE a substantial glycogen shunt activity was observed, accounting for almost 40% of overall glucose metabolism. Moreover, when no metabolic stimulant was applied, a compensatory increase in glycolytic activity was seen when the shunt was inhibited by DAB. Actually the labeling in lactate exceeded that obtained when glycolysis and glycogen shunt both were operational, i.e. supercompensation. A similar phenomenon was seen when astrocytes were exposed to D-aspartate. In addition to glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle activity was monitored, analyzing labeling by mass spectrometry in glutamate which equilibrates with alpha-ketoglutarate. Both an elevated [K+] and D-aspartate induced an increased TCA cycle activity, which was altered when glycogen degradation was inhibited. Thus, the present study provides evidence that manipulation of glycogen metabolism affects both glycolysis and TCA cycle metabolism. Altogether, the results reveal a highly complex interaction between glycogenolysis and glycolysis, with the glycogen shunt playing a significant role in astrocytic energy metabolism. PMID:19000744

  12. Phosphorylation of Mitogen- and Stress-Activated Protein Kinase-1 in Astrocytic Inflammation: A Possible Role in Inhibiting Production of Inflammatory Cytokines

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Jinlong; Ni, Lanchun; Huang, Qingfeng; Xia, Liang; Nie, Dekang; Lu, Xiaojian; Chen, Jian; Shi, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Purpose It is generally accepted that inflammation has a role in the progression of many central nervous system (CNS) diseases, although the mechanisms through which this occurs remain unclear. Among mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) targets, mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase (MSK1) has been thought to be involved in the pathology of inflammatory gene expression. In this study, the roles of MSK1 activation in neuroinflammation were investigated. Methods The bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced brain injury model was performed on Sprague-Dawley rats. The dynamic expression changes and the cellular location of p-MSK1 in the brain cortex were detected by Western blot and immunofluorescence staining. The synthesis of inflammatory cytokines in astrocytes was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results Phosphorylated MSK1 (p-MSK1 Thr-581) was induced significantly after intracerebral injection of LPS into the lateral ventricles of the rat brain. Specific upregulation of p-MSK1 in astrocytes was also observed in inflamed cerebral cortex. At 1 day after LPS stimulation, iNOS, TNFα expression, and the astrocyte marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were increased significantly. Also, in vitro studies indicated that the upregulation of p-MSK1 (Thr-581) may be involved in the subsequent astrocyte inflammatory process, following LPS challenge. Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), it was confirmed that treatment with LPS in primary astrocytes stimulated the synthesis of inflammatory cytokines, through MAPKs signaling pathways. In cultured primary astrocytes, both knock-down of total MSK1 by small interfering RNAs (siRNA) or specific mutation of Thr-581 resulted in higher production of certain cytokines, such as TNFα and IL-6. Conclusions Collectively, these results suggest that MSK1 phosphorylation is associated with the regulation of LPS-induced brain injury and possibly acts as a negative regulator of

  13. Astrocytes Grown in Alvetex(®) Three Dimensional Scaffolds Retain a Non-reactive Phenotype.

    PubMed

    Ugbode, Christopher I; Hirst, Warren D; Rattray, Marcus

    2016-08-01

    Protocols which permit the extraction of primary astrocytes from either embryonic or postnatal mice are well established however astrocytes in culture are different to those in the mature CNS. Three dimensional (3D) cultures, using a variety of scaffolds may enable better phenotypic properties to be developed in culture. We present data from embryonic (E15) and postnatal (P4) murine primary cortical astrocytes grown on coated coverslips or a 3D polystyrene scaffold, Alvetex. Growth of both embryonic and postnatal primary astrocytes in the 3D scaffold changed astrocyte morphology to a mature, protoplasmic phenotype. Embryonic-derived astrocytes in 3D expressed markers of mature astrocytes, namely the glutamate transporter GLT-1 with low levels of the chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans, NG2 and SMC3. Embryonic astrocytes derived in 3D show lower levels of markers of reactive astrocytes, namely GFAP and mRNA levels of LCN2, PTX3, Serpina3n and Cx43. Postnatal-derived astrocytes show few protein changes between 2D and 3D conditions. Our data shows that Alvetex is a suitable scaffold for growth of astrocytes, and with appropriate choice of cells allows the maintenance of astrocytes with the properties of mature cells and a non-reactive phenotype. PMID:27099962

  14. In vivo astrocytic Ca2+ signaling in health and brain disorders

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Shinghua

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes are the predominant glial cell type in the CNS. Although astrocytes are electrically nonexcitable, their excitability is manifested by their Ca2+ signaling, which serves as a mediator of neuron–glia bidirectional interactions via tripartite synapses. Studies from in vivo two-photon imaging indicate that in healthy animals, the properties of spontaneous astrocytic Ca2+ signaling are affected by animal species, age, wakefulness and the location of astrocytes in the brain. Intercellular Ca2+ waves in astrocytes can be evoked by a variety of stimulations. In animal models of some brain disorders, astrocytes can exhibit enhanced Ca2+ excitability featured as regenerative intercellular Ca2+ waves. This review first briefly summarizes the astrocytic Ca2+ signaling pathway and the procedure of in vivo two-photon Ca2+ imaging of astrocytes. It subsequently summarizes in vivo astrocytic Ca2+ signaling in health and brain disorders from experimental studies of animal models, and discusses the possible mechanisms and therapeutic implications underlying the enhanced Ca2+ excitability in astrocytes in brain disorders. Finally, this review summarizes molecular genetic approaches used to selectively manipulate astrocyte function in vivo and their applications to study the role of astrocytes in synaptic plasticity and brain disorders. PMID:24376372

  15. Selective astrocytic endothelin-1 overexpression contributes to dementia associated with ischemic stroke by exaggerating astrocyte-derived amyloid secretion.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-10-01

    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

  16. Melatonin modulates intercellular communication among cultured chick astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Peters, Jennifer L; Cassone, Vincent M; Zoran, Mark J

    2005-01-01

    Melatonin, a pineal neurohormone, mediates circadian and seasonal processes in birds and mammals. Diencephalic astrocytes are sites of action, at least in birds, since they express melatonin receptors and melatonin affects their metabolism. We tested whether astrocytic calcium waves are also modulated by melatonin. Calcium waves, which we found to be regulated in cultured chick glial cells by an IP(3)-dependent mechanism, were potentiated by physiological concentrations of melatonin. Melatonin also increased resting calcium levels and reduced gap junctional coupling among astrocytes, at concentrations that facilitated calcium waves. These modulatory effects were diminished by melatonin receptor blockade and pertussis toxin (PTX). Thus, melatonin induced a functional shift in the mode of intercellular communication, between junctional coupling and calcium waves, among glial cells. We suggest a mechanism where neuroglial physiology, involving GTP-binding protein signaling pathways, links rhythmic circadian outputs to pervasive neurobehavioral states. PMID:15621008

  17. 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. PMID:27556379

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Antidepressants Impact Connexin 43 Channel Functions in Astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Jeanson, Tiffany; Pondaven, Audrey; Ezan, Pascal; Mouthon, Franck; Charvériat, Mathieu; Giaume, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Glial cells, and in particular astrocytes, are crucial to maintain neuronal microenvironment by regulating energy metabolism, neurotransmitter uptake, gliotransmission, and synaptic development. Moreover, a typical feature of astrocytes is their high expression level of connexins, a family of membrane proteins that form gap junction channels allowing intercellular exchanges and hemichannels that provide release and uptake pathways for neuroactive molecules. Interestingly, several studies have revealed unexpected changes in astrocytes from depressive patients and rodent models of depressive-like behavior. Moreover, changes in the expression level of the astroglial connexin 43 (Cx43) have been reported in a depressive context. On the other hand, antidepressive drugs have also been shown to impact the expression of this connexin in astrocytes. However, so far there is little information concerning the functional consequence of these changes, i.e., the status of gap junctional communication and hemichannel activity in astrocytes exposed to antidepressants. In the present work we focused our attention on the action of seven antidepressants from four different therapeutic classes and tested their effects on Cx43 expression and on the two connexin-based channels functions studied in cultured astrocytes. We here report that when used at non-toxic and clinically relevant concentrations they have no effects on Cx43 expression but differential effects on Cx43 gap junction channels. Moreover, all tested antidepressants inhibit Cx43 hemichannel with different efficiency depending on their therapeutic classe. By studying the impact of antidepressants on the functional status of astroglial connexin channels, contributing to dynamic neuroglial interactions, our observations should help to better understand the mechanism by which these drugs provide their effect in the brain. PMID:26778961

  1. Contributions of Glycogen to Astrocytic Energetics during Brain Activation

    PubMed Central

    Dienel, Gerald A.; Cruz, Nancy F.

    2014-01-01

    Glycogen is the major store of glucose in brain and is mainly in astrocytes. Brain glycogen levels in unstimulated, carefully-handled rats are 10-12 mol/g, and assuming that astrocytes account for half the brain mass, astrocytic glycogen content is twice as high. Glycogen turnover is slow under basal conditions, but it is mobilized during activation. There is no net increase in incorporation of label from glucose during activation, whereas label release from pre-labeled glycogen exceeds net glycogen consumption, which increases during stronger stimuli. Because glycogen level is restored by non-oxidative metabolism, astrocytes can influence the global ratio of oxygen to glucose utilization. Compensatory increases in utilization of blood glucose during inhibition of glycogen phosphorylase are large and approximate glycogenolysis rates during sensory stimulation. In contrast, glycogenolysis rates during hypoglycemia are low due to continued glucose delivery and oxidation of endogenous substrates; rates that preserve neuronal function in the absence of glucose are also low, probably due to metabolite oxidation. Modeling studies predict that glycogenolysis maintains a high level of glucose-6-phosphate in astrocytes to maintain feedback inhibition of hexokinase, thereby diverting glucose for use by neurons. The fate of glycogen carbon in vivo is not known, but lactate efflux from brain best accounts for the major metabolic characteristics during activation of living brain. Substantial shuttling coupled with oxidation of glycogen-derived lactate is inconsistent with available evidence. Glycogen has important roles in astrocytic energetics, including glucose sparing, control of extracellular K+ level, oxidative stress management, and memory consolidation; it is a multi-functional compound. PMID:24515302

  2. 1,3-Dinitrobenzene neurotoxicity - Passage effect in immortalized astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Maurer, Laura L; Latham, Jackelyn D; Landis, Rory W; Song, Dong Hoon; Epstein, Tamir; Philbert, Martin A

    2016-03-01

    Age-related disturbances in astrocytic mitochondrial function are linked to loss of neuroprotection and decrements in neurological function. The immortalized rat neocortical astrocyte-derived cell line, DI-TNC1, provides a convenient model for the examination of cellular aging processes that are difficult to study in primary cell isolates from aged brain. Successive passages in culture may serve as a surrogate of aging in which time-dependent adaptation to culture conditions may result in altered responses to xenobiotic challenge. To investigate the hypothesis that astrocytic mitochondrial homeostatic function is decreased with time in culture, low passage DI-TNC1 astrocytes (LP; #2-8) and high passage DI-TNC1 astrocytes (HP; #17-28) were exposed to the mitochondrial neurotoxicant 1,3-dinitrobenzene (DNB). Cells were exposed in either monoculture or in co-culture with primary cortical neurons. Astrocyte mitochondrial membrane potential, morphology, ATP production and proliferation were monitored in monoculture, and the ability of DI-TNC1 cells to buffer K(+)-induced neuronal depolarization was examined in co-cultures. In HP DI-TNC1 cells, DNB exposure decreased proliferation, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and significantly decreased mitochondrial form factor. Low passage DI-TNC1 cells effectively attenuated K(+)-induced neuronal depolarization in the presence of DNB whereas HP counterparts were unable to buffer K(+) in DNB challenge. Following DNB challenge, LP DI-TNC1 cells exhibited greater viability in co-culture than HP. The data provide compelling evidence that there is an abrupt phenotypic change in DI-TNC1 cells between passage #9-16 that significantly diminishes the ability of DI-TNC1 cells to compensate for neurotoxic challenge and provide neuroprotective spatial buffering. Whether or not these functional changes have an in vivo analog in aging brain remains to be determined. PMID:26769196

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:24172702

  5. L-type voltage-operated calcium channels contribute to astrocyte activation In vitro.

    PubMed

    Cheli, Veronica T; Santiago González, Diara A; Smith, Jessica; Spreuer, Vilma; Murphy, Geoffrey G; Paez, Pablo M

    2016-08-01

    We have found a significant upregulation of L-type voltage-operated Ca(++) channels (VOCCs) in reactive astrocytes. To test if VOCCs are centrally involved in triggering astrocyte reactivity, we used in vitro models of astrocyte activation in combination with pharmacological inhibitors, siRNAs and the Cre/lox system to reduce the activity of L-type VOCCs in primary cortical astrocytes. The endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as well as high extracellular K(+) , glutamate, and ATP promote astrogliosis in vitro. L-type VOCC inhibitors drastically reduce the number of reactive cells, astrocyte hypertrophy, and cell proliferation after these treatments. Astrocytes transfected with siRNAs for the Cav1.2 subunit that conducts L-type Ca(++) currents as well as Cav1.2 knockout astrocytes showed reduce Ca(++) influx by ∼80% after plasma membrane depolarization. Importantly, Cav1.2 knock-down/out prevents astrocyte activation and proliferation induced by LPS. Similar results were found using the scratch wound assay. After injuring the astrocyte monolayer, cells extend processes toward the cell-free scratch region and subsequently migrate and populate the scratch. We found a significant increase in the activity of L-type VOCCs in reactive astrocytes located in the growing line in comparison to quiescent astrocytes situated away from the scratch. Moreover, the migration of astrocytes from the scratching line as well as the number of proliferating astrocytes was reduced in Cav1.2 knock-down/out cultures. In summary, our results suggest that Cav1.2 L-type VOCCs play a fundamental role in the induction and/or proliferation of reactive astrocytes, and indicate that the inhibition of these Ca(++) channels may be an effective way to prevent astrocyte activation. GLIA 2016. GLIA 2016;64:1396-1415. PMID:27247164

  6. Taurine release by astrocytes modulates osmosensitive glycine receptor tone and excitability in the adult supraoptic nucleus.

    PubMed

    Choe, Katrina Y; Olson, James E; Bourque, Charles W

    2012-09-01

    Cells can release the free amino acid taurine through volume-regulated anion channels (VRACs), and it has been hypothesized that taurine released from glial cells is capable of inhibiting action potential (AP) firing by activating neuronal glycine receptors (GlyRs) (Hussy et al., 1997). Although an inhibitory GlyR tone is widely observed in the brain, it remains unknown whether this specifically reflects gliotransmission because most neurons also express VRACs and other endogenous molecules can activate GlyRs. We found that VRACs are absent in neurons of the rat supraoptic nucleus (SON), suggesting that glial cells are the exclusive source of taurine in this nucleus. Application of strychnine to rat hypothalamic explants caused a depolarization of SON neurons associated with a decrease of chloride conductance and could excite these cells in the absence of fast synaptic transmission. This inhibitory GlyR tone was eliminated by pharmacological blockade of VRACs, by cellular taurine depletion, by metabolic inactivation of glia with fluorocitrate, and after retraction of astrocytic processes that intercalate neuronal somata and dendrites. Finally, GlyR tone varied inversely with extracellular fluid tonicity to mediate the osmotic control of AP firing by SON neurons. These findings establish taurine as a physiological gliotransmitter and show that gliotransmission is a spatially constrained process that can be modulated by the morphological rearrangement of astrocytes. PMID:22956842

  7. Neurotrophic effects of L-DOPA in postnatal midbrain dopamine neuron/cortical astrocyte cocultures.

    PubMed

    Mena, M A; Davila, V; Sulzer, D

    1997-10-01

    L-DOPA is toxic to catecholamine neurons in culture, but the toxicity is reduced by exposure to astrocytes. We tested the effect of L-DOPA on dopamine neurons using postnatal ventral midbrain neuron/cortical astrocyte cocultures in serum-free, glia-conditioned medium. L-DOPA (50 microM) protected against dopamine neuronal cell death and increased the number and branching of dopamine processes. In contrast to embryonically derived glia-free cultures, where L-DOPA is toxic, postnatal midbrain cultures did not show toxicity at 200 microM L-DOPA. The stereoisomer D-DOPA (50-400 microM) was not neurotrophic. The aromatic amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor carbidopa (25 microM) did not block the neurotrophic effect. These data suggest that the neurotrophic effect of L-DOPA is stereospecific but independent of the production of dopamine. However, L-DOPA increased the level of glutathione. Inhibition of glutathione peroxidase by L-buthionine sulfoximine (3 microM for 24 h) blocked the neurotrophic action of L-DOPA. N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (250 microM for 48 h), which promotes glutathione synthesis, had a neurotrophic effect similar to that of L-DOPA. These data suggest that the neurotrophic effect of L-DOPA may be mediated, at least in part, by elevation of glutathione content. PMID:9326268

  8. The role of organic osmolytes in the response of cultured astrocytes to hyperosmolarity.

    PubMed

    Hijab, Samina; Havalad, Suresh; Snyder, Ann K

    2011-09-01

    Idiogenic osmoles are volume-regulatory organic solutes that accumulate within a cell in response to hyperosmolar conditions such as those found in diabetic ketoacidosis or hypernatremic dehydration in infants. Intracellular metabolites known to play this role include certain amino acids and taurine, polyols, and trimethylamines. In this study, in vitro astrocyte cultures prepared from the cerebral cortices of 1-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to graded conditions of hypernatremia (325-375 mOsm/kg), a range that can be observed in vivo, for 24, 48, and 72 hours. Cell survival and generation of idiogenic osmoles were determined. Next, we assessed the ability of selected exogenous osmoles to protect the cultured cells from the effects of hypernatremia. Significant cell loss occurred after 48 to 72 hours of exposure and was proportional to the degree of hyperosmolarity. Addition of myoinositol (1 mM) to the cultures reduced cell loss resulting from hypernatremia by approximately 50%. In agreement with previous studies, intracellular levels of myoinositol and taurine correlated with the degree of in vitro hypernatremic exposure and play a significant role in increasing survival of astrocytes subjected to hypertonic insult. PMID:20093923

  9. Immunohistochemical evaluation of hippocampal CA1 region astrocytes in 10-day-old rats after monosodium glutamate treatment.

    PubMed

    Krawczyk, A; Jaworska-Adamu, J; Rycerz, K

    2015-01-01

    High concentration of glutamate (Glu) is excitotoxic for nervous system structures. This may lead to glial reactivity ie. increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and S100β protein, and also to hypertrophy and proliferation of cells which are determined by the presence of Ki-67 antigen. The aim of the study was to analyse the immunoreactivity of the GFAP, S100β and Ki-67 proteins in astrocytes of hippocampal CA1 region in young rats after administration of monosodium glutamate (MSG) at two doses: 2 g/kg b.w. (I group) and 4 g/kg b.w. (II group). In rats from I and II group morphologically altered astrocytes with the GFAP expression were observed in the SLM of the hippocampal CA1 region. The cells had eccentrically located nuclei and on the opposite site of the nuclei there were single or double, long and weakly branched processes. Moreover, in the SLM the increase of the number of GFAP and S100β immunopositive astrocytes and nuclei with Ki-67 expression, in contrary to control individuals, was observed. These results suggest the increased expression of the proteins in early reactions or hyperplasia which, together with cell hypertrophy, indicate late reactivity of astroglia in response to glutamate noxious effect. PMID:26812818

  10. Enhanced expression of the calcium-sensing receptor in reactive astrocytes following ischemic injury in vivo and in vitro.

    PubMed

    Pak, Ha-Jin; Riew, Tae-Ryong; Shin, Yoo-Jin; Choi, Jeong-Heon; Jin, Xuyan; Lee, Mun-Yong

    2016-07-15

    We recently demonstrated that the G protein-coupled calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) is associated with the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke and may be involved in vascular remodeling and astrogliosis. To further substantiate the involvement of CaSR in the astroglial reaction common to ischemic insults, we investigated the temporal and cell type-specific expression patterns of CaSR in the hippocampus after transient forebrain ischemia. CaSR was constitutively expressed in neurons of the pyramidal and granule cell layers, whereas increased CaSR immunoreactivity was observed in reactive astrocytes, but not in activated microglia or macrophages, in the CA1 region of the post-ischemic hippocampus. Astroglial induction of CaSR expression was evident on days 3-7 after reperfusion and appeared to increase progressively through day 28, at which time CaSR expression was prominent in astrocytes with a highly reactive hypertrophic phenotype and elevated levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein. This expression pattern was supported by results of immunoblot analyses. Furthermore, CaSR expression was upregulated in rat primary cortical astrocytes exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation, which undergo reactive gliosis-like changes. Thus, our results demonstrate that selective and long-lasting astroglial induction of CaSR expression is a common characteristic of ischemic injury and suggest its involvement in the ischemia-induced astroglial reaction. PMID:27288786

  11. Palmitate induces transcriptional regulation of BACE1 and presenilin by STAT3 in neurons mediated by astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Li; Martin, Rebecca; Kohler, Garrett; Chan, Christina

    2013-01-01

    Deregulation of calcium has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previously, we showed that saturated free-fatty acid, palmitate, causes AD-like changes in primary cortical neurons mediated by astrocytes. However, the molecular mechanisms by which conditioned media from astrocytes cultured in palmitate induces AD-like changes in neurons are unknown. This study demonstrates that this condition media from astrocytes elevates calcium level in the neurons, which subsequently increases calpain activity, a calcium-dependent protease, leading to enhance p25/Cdk5 activity and phosphorylation and activation of the STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription) transcription factor. Inhibiting calpain or Cdk5 significantly reduces the upregulation in nuclear level of pSTAT3, which we found to transcriptionally regulate both BACE1 and presenilin-1, the latter is a catalytic subunit of γ-secretase. Decreasing pSTAT3 levels reduced the mRNA levels of both BACE1 and presenilin-1 to near control levels. These data demonstrate a signal pathway leading to the activation of STAT3, and the generation of the amyloid peptide. Thus, our results suggest that STAT3 is an important potential therapeutic target of AD pathogenesis. PMID:23968646

  12. An immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study on age-related astrocytic gliosis in the central nervous system of dogs.

    PubMed

    Shimada, A; Kuwamura, M; Awakura, T; Umemura, T; Itakura, C

    1992-02-01

    The pattern of astrocytic gliosis (AG) was examined in 2-month-old to 18-year-old dogs using glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Coronal sections from various levels of the central nervous system (CNS) were stained with hematoxylin & eosin, Luxol Fast Blue, Nissl, and Bodian in addition to GFAP. A consistent pattern of age-related AG was observed in the dogs. The white matter, cortico-medullary junction, and subcortical nuclei in the cerebrum, central nuclei in the cerebellum, various nuclei in the brain stem, and grey matter of the spinal cord showed even and intense GFAP staining. AG was also prominent in the cerebral and cerebellar cortices and thalamus. Moderate AG was observed in the hippocampus and white matter of the cerebellum and spinal cord. Electron microscopy demonstrated increased number of profiles of degenerative neural components in the vicinity of hypertrophic astrocytes in the cerebral cortex of the aged dogs. Moderate to severe AG was consistently shown in the CNS of the aged dogs. In contrast, young normal dogs showed minimum amounts of GFAP-positive astrocytes in the CNS. These findings suggest that the observed AG in the CNS of the dogs is a morphological expression of aging. PMID:1558887

  13. 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.

  14. Neurons diversify astrocytes in the adult brain through sonic hedgehog signaling.

    PubMed

    Farmer, W Todd; Abrahamsson, Therése; Chierzi, Sabrina; Lui, Christopher; Zaelzer, Cristian; Jones, Emma V; Bally, Blandine Ponroy; Chen, Gary G; Théroux, Jean-Francois; Peng, Jimmy; Bourque, Charles W; Charron, Frédéric; Ernst, Carl; Sjöström, P Jesper; Murai, Keith K

    2016-02-19

    Astrocytes are specialized and heterogeneous cells that contribute to central nervous system function and homeostasis. However, the mechanisms that create and maintain differences among astrocytes and allow them to fulfill particular physiological roles remain poorly defined. We reveal that neurons actively determine the features of astrocytes in the healthy adult brain and define a role for neuron-derived sonic hedgehog (Shh) in regulating the molecular and functional profile of astrocytes. Thus, the molecular and physiological program of astrocytes is not hardwired during development but, rather, depends on cues from neurons that drive and sustain their specialized properties. PMID:26912893

  15. Astrocyte and microglial activation in the lateral geniculate nucleus and visual cortex of glaucomatous and optic nerve transected primates

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Dawn; Jim, Janey; To, Eleanor; Rasmussen, Carol; Kaufman, Paul L.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose To examine early cellular changes, including astrocyte reactivity and microglial activation, in the central nervous system (CNS) after unilateral optic nerve transection (ONT) or ocular hypertension (OHT) in monkeys. Methods Unilateral ONT or OHT was achieved in monkeys for periods ranging from two weeks to two months in duration. After intracardial perfusion, sections of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and visual cortex (V1) were examined by immunohistochemistry for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and CD11b, a subunit of the complement 3 receptor and marker of macrophage and microglia cells (MAC-1). Alternate serial sections were evaluated by cytochrome oxidase (CO) histochemistry to assess metabolic activity. Results Both ONT and OHT caused a reduction in metabolic activity in the treated eye layers of the LGN and V1. GFAP and MAC-1 immunoreactivities were elevated in spatial register with the treated eye layers of the LGN and V1 in ONT animals. In the OHT animals, GFAP, but not MAC-1, immunoreactivity was elevated in spatial register with the treated eye layers of LGN and V1. Thus, during the first weeks after OHT or ONT, loss of metabolic activity was accompanied by astrocyte and microglial activation in the ONT group and astrocyte activation in the OHT animals. Conclusions These results suggest that unilateral OHT or ONT triggers separate signaling pathways that promote differential activation of CNS glial populations. Astrocyte reactivity was present in all brains studied and demonstrates the loss of metabolic activity is accompanied by increased GFAP immunoreactivity. Microglial activation was only observed in ONT brains. The lack of microglial activation as late as two months following OHT may represent a time window for early treatment to prevent long-term neuronal loss in the CNS after OHT. PMID:19898640

  16. Astrocyte activation in the anterior cingulate cortex and altered glutamatergic gene expression during paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain in mice

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Spinal astrocyte activation contributes to the pathogenesis of paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain (PINP) in animal models. We examined glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP; an astrocyte marker) immunoreactivity and gene expression of GFAP, glutamate transporters and receptor subunits by real time PCR in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) at 7 days post first administration of paclitaxel, a time point when mice had developed thermal hyperalgesia. The ACC, an area in the brain involved in pain perception and modulation, was chosen because changes in this area might contribute to the pathophysiology of PINP. GFAP transcripts levels were elevated by more than fivefold and GFAP immunoreactivity increased in the ACC of paclitaxel-treated mice. The 6 glutamate transporters (GLAST, GLT-1 EAAC1, EAAT4, VGLUT-1 and VGLUT-2) quantified were not significantly altered by paclitaxel treatment. Of the 12 ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits transcripts analysed 6 (GLuA1, GLuA3, GLuK2, GLuK3, GLuK5 and GLuN1) were significantly up-regulated, whereas GLuA2, GLuK1, GLuK4, GLuN2A and GLuN2B were not significantly altered and GLuA4 was lowly expressed. Amongst the 8 metabotropic receptor subunits analysed only mGLuR8 was significantly elevated. In conclusion, during PINP there is astrocyte activation, with no change in glutamate transporter expression and differential up-regulation of glutamate receptor subunits in the ACC. Thus, targeting astrocyte activation and the glutamatergic system might be another therapeutic avenue for management of PINP. PMID:26528412

  17. Astrocyte-Secreted Factors Modulate the Developmental Distribution of Inhibitory Synapses in Nucleus Laminaris of the Avian Auditory Brainstem

    PubMed Central

    Korn, Matthew J.; Koppel, Scott J.; Li, Lan H.; Mehta, Divya; Mehta, Sonia B.; Seidl, Armin H.; Cramer, Karina S.

    2014-01-01

    Nucleus laminaris (NL) neurons in the avian auditory brainstem are coincidence detectors necessary for the computation of interaural time differences used in sound localization. In addition to their excitatory inputs from nucleus magnocellularis, NL neurons receive inhibitory inputs from the superior olivary nucleus (SON) that greatly improve coincidence detection in mature animals. The mechanisms that establish mature distributions of inhibitory inputs to NL are not known. We used the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) as a marker for inhibitory presynaptic terminals to study the development of inhibitory inputs to NL between embryonic day 9 (E9) and E17. VGAT immunofluorescent puncta were first seen sparsely in NL at E9. The density of VGAT puncta increased with development, first within the ventral NL neuropil region and subsequently throughout both the ventral and dorsal dendritic neuropil, with significantly fewer terminals in the cell body region. A large increase in density occurred between E13–15 and E16–17, at a developmental stage when astrocytes that express glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) become mature. We cultured E13 brainstem slices together with astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) obtained from E16 brainstems and found that ACM, but not control medium, increased the density of VGAT puncta. This increase was similar to that observed during normal development. Astrocyte-secreted factors interact with the terminal ends of SON axons to increase the number of GABAergic terminals. These data suggest that factors secreted from GFAP-positive astrocytes promote maturation of inhibitory pathways in the auditory brainstem. PMID:22020566

  18. Role of astrocytic leptin receptor subtypes on leptin permeation across hCMEC/D3 human brain endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Hsuchou, Hung; Kastin, Abba J; Tu, Hong; Joan Abbott, N; Couraud, Pierre-Olivier; Pan, Weihong

    2010-12-01

    Astrocytic leptin receptors (ObR) can be up-regulated in conditions such as adult-onset obesity. To determine whether the levels and subtypes of astrocytic ObR modulate leptin transport, we co-cultured hCMEC/D3 human brain endothelial cells and C6 astrocytoma cells in the Transwell system, and tested leptin permeation from apical to basolateral chambers. In comparison with hCMEC alone, co-culture of C6 cells reduced the permeability of paracellular markers and leptin. Unexpectedly, ObRb over-expression in C6 cells increased leptin permeation whereas ObRa over-expression showed no effect when compared with the control group of pcDNA-transfected C6 cells. By contrast, the paracellular permeability to the sodium fluorescein control was unchanged by over-expression of ObR subtypes. Leptin remained intact after crossing the monolayer as shown by HPLC and acid precipitation, and this was not affected by C6 cell co-culture or the over-expression of different ObR subtypes. Thus, increased expression of ObRb (and to a lesser extent ObRe) in C6 cells specifically increased the permeation of leptin across the hCMEC monolayer. Consistent with the evidence that the most apparent regulatory changes of ObR during obesity and inflammation occur in astrocytes, the results indicate that astrocytes actively regulate leptin transport across the blood-brain barrier, a mechanism independent of reduction of paracellular permeability. PMID:20977476

  19. Shifts in excitatory/inhibitory balance by juvenile stress: A role for neuron-astrocyte interaction in the dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Anne; Ivens, Sebastian; Papageorgiou, Ismini E; Çalışkan, Gürsel; Saiepour, Nasrin; Brück, Wolfgang; Richter-Levin, Gal; Heinemann, Uwe; Stork, Oliver

    2016-06-01

    Childhood trauma is a well-described risk factor for the development of stress-related psychopathology such as posttraumatic stress disorder or depression later in life. Childhood adversity can be modeled in rodents by juvenile stress (JS) protocols, resulting in impaired coping with stressful challenges in adulthood. In the current study, we investigated the long-lasting impact of JS on the expression of molecular factors for glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) uptake and turnover in sublayers of the dentate gyrus (DG) using laser microdissection and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. We observed reduced mRNA expression levels after JS for factors mediating astrocytic glutamate and GABA uptake and degradation. These alterations were prominently observed in the dorsal but not ventral DG granule cell layer, indicating a lasting change in astrocytic GABA and glutamate metabolism that may affect dorsal DG network activity. Indeed, we observed increased inhibition and a lack of facilitation in response to paired-pulse stimulation at short interstimulus intervals in the dorsal DG after JS, while no alterations were evident in basal synaptic transmission or forms of long-term plasticity. The shift in paired-pulse response was mimicked by pharmacologically blocking the astrocytic GABA transporter GAT-3 in naïve animals. Accordingly, reduced expression levels of GAT-3 were confirmed at the protein level in the dorsal granule cell layer of rats stressed in juvenility. Together, these data demonstrate a lasting shift in the excitatory/inhibitory balance of dorsal DG network activity by JS that appears to be mediated by decreased GABA uptake into astrocytes. GLIA 2016;64:911-922. PMID:26875694

  20. Expression and cellular function of vSNARE proteins in brain astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Ropert, N; Jalil, A; Li, D

    2016-05-26

    Gray matter protoplasmic astrocytes, a major type of glial cell in the mammalian brain, extend thin processes ensheathing neuronal synaptic terminals. Albeit electrically silent, astrocytes respond to neuronal activity with Ca(2+) signals that trigger the release of gliotransmitters, such as glutamate, d-serine, and ATP, which modulate synaptic transmission. It has been suggested that the astrocytic processes, together with neuronal pre- and post-synaptic elements, constitute a tripartite synapse, and that astrocytes actively regulate information processing. Astrocytic vesicles expressing VAMP2 and VAMP3 vesicular SNARE (vSNARE) proteins have been suggested to be a key feature of the tripartite synapse and mediate gliotransmitter release through Ca(2+)-regulated exocytosis. However, the concept of exocytotic release of gliotransmitters by astrocytes has been challenged. Here we review studies investigating the expression profile of VAMP2 and VAMP3 vSNARE proteins in rodent astrocytes, and the functional implication of VAMP2/VAMP3 vesicles in astrocyte signaling. We also discuss our recent data suggesting that astrocytic VAMP3 vesicles regulate the trafficking of glutamate transporters at the plasma membrane and glutamate uptake. A better understanding of the functional consequences of the astrocytic vSNARE vesicles on glutamate signaling, neuronal excitability and plasticity, will require the development of new strategies to selectively interrogate the astrocytic vesicles trafficking in vivo. PMID:26518463

  1. Paracrine effect of carbon monoxide - astrocytes promote neuroprotection through purinergic signaling in mice.

    PubMed

    Queiroga, Cláudia S F; Alves, Raquel M A; Conde, Sílvia V; Alves, Paula M; Vieira, Helena L A

    2016-08-15

    The neuroprotective role of carbon monoxide (CO) has been studied in a cell-autonomous mode. Herein, a new concept is disclosed - CO affects astrocyte-neuron communication in a paracrine manner to promote neuroprotection. Neuronal survival was assessed when co-cultured with astrocytes that had been pre-treated or not with CO. The CO-pre-treated astrocytes reduced neuronal cell death, and the cellular mechanisms were investigated, focusing on purinergic signaling. CO modulates astrocytic metabolism and extracellular ATP content in the co-culture medium. Moreover, several antagonists of P1 adenosine and P2 ATP receptors partially reverted CO-induced neuroprotection through astrocytes. Likewise, knocking down expression of the neuronal P1 adenosine receptor A2A-R (encoded by Adora2a) reverted the neuroprotective effects of CO-exposed astrocytes. The neuroprotection of CO-treated astrocytes also decreased following prevention of ATP or adenosine release from astrocytic cells and inhibition of extracellular ATP metabolism into adenosine. Finally, the neuronal downstream event involves TrkB (also known as NTRK2) receptors and BDNF. Pharmacological and genetic inhibition of TrkB receptors reverts neuroprotection triggered by CO-treated astrocytes. Furthermore, the neuronal ratio of BDNF to pro-BDNF increased in the presence of CO-treated astrocytes and decreased whenever A2A-R expression was silenced. In summary, CO prevents neuronal cell death in a paracrine manner by targeting astrocytic metabolism through purinergic signaling. PMID:27383770

  2. 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. PMID:27381227

  3. Direct Conversion of Fibroblasts into Functional Astrocytes by Defined Transcription Factors

    PubMed Central

    Caiazzo, Massimiliano; Giannelli, Serena; Valente, Pierluigi; Lignani, Gabriele; Carissimo, Annamaria; Sessa, Alessandro; Colasante, Gaia; Bartolomeo, Rosa; Massimino, Luca; Ferroni, Stefano; Settembre, Carmine; Benfenati, Fabio; Broccoli, Vania

    2014-01-01

    Summary Direct cell reprogramming enables direct conversion of fibroblasts into functional neurons and oligodendrocytes using a minimal set of cell-lineage-specific transcription factors. This approach is rapid and simple, generating the cell types of interest in one step. However, it remains unknown whether this technology can be applied to convert fibroblasts into astrocytes, the third neural lineage. Astrocytes play crucial roles in neuronal homeostasis, and their dysfunctions contribute to the origin and progression of multiple human diseases. Herein, we carried out a screening using several transcription factors involved in defining the astroglial cell fate and identified NFIA, NFIB, and SOX9 to be sufficient to convert with high efficiency embryonic and postnatal mouse fibroblasts into astrocytes (iAstrocytes). We proved both by gene-expression profiling and functional tests that iAstrocytes are comparable to native brain astrocytes. This protocol can be then employed to generate functional iAstrocytes for a wide range of experimental applications. PMID:25556566

  4. Overexpression of Eg5 correlates with high grade astrocytic neoplasm.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liqiong; Liu, Xichun; Mare, Marcus; Dumont, Aaron S; Zhang, Haitao; Yan, Dong; Xiong, Zhenggang

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the relationship between Eg5 and histopathological grade of astrocytoma, Eg5 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical examination on 88 specimens including 25 cases of glioblastoma (WHO grade IV), 22 cases of anaplastic astrocytoma (WHO grade III), 20 cases of diffuse astrocytoma (WHO grade II), and 21 cases of pilocytic astrocytoma (WHO grade I). The histopathological characteristics and Eg5 expression level of each tumor were assessed and statistically analyzed. Astrocytic tumors exhibited significant correlation of expression of Eg5 with higher WHO histopathological grades (p < 0.001). Eg5 is expressed in 51-98% (mean 76.88%) of neoplastic cells in glioblastoma, 34-57% (mean 43.59%) of neoplastic cells in anaplastic astrocytoma, 6-36% (mean 18.60%) of neoplastic cells in diffuse astrocytoma, and 2-28% (mean 13.48%) of neoplastic cells in pilocytic astrocytoma. In conclusion, overexpression of Eg5 associates with high-grade astrocytic neoplasm, and it may represent an independent diagnostic and prognostic factor in grading astrocytic tumors and predicting prognosis of astrocytic tumor patients. PMID:26456023

  5. Astrocytes contribute to gamma oscillations and recognition memory

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hosuk Sean; Pinto-Duarte, António; Wang, Xin; Dziewczapolski, Gustavo; Galimi, Francesco; Huitron-Resendiz, Salvador; Piña-Crespo, Juan C.; Roberts, Amanda J.; Verma, Inder M.; Sejnowski, Terrence J.; Heinemann, Stephen F.

    2014-01-01

    Glial cells are an integral part of functional communication in the brain. Here we show that astrocytes contribute to the fast dynamics of neural circuits that underlie normal cognitive behaviors. In particular, we found that the selective expression of tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) in astrocytes significantly reduced the duration of carbachol-induced gamma oscillations in hippocampal slices. These data prompted us to develop a novel transgenic mouse model, specifically with inducible tetanus toxin expression in astrocytes. In this in vivo model, we found evidence of a marked decrease in electroencephalographic (EEG) power in the gamma frequency range in awake-behaving mice, whereas neuronal synaptic activity remained intact. The reduction in cortical gamma oscillations was accompanied by impaired behavioral performance in the novel object recognition test, whereas other forms of memory, including working memory and fear conditioning, remained unchanged. These results support a key role for gamma oscillations in recognition memory. Both EEG alterations and behavioral deficits in novel object recognition were reversed by suppression of tetanus toxin expression. These data reveal an unexpected role for astrocytes as essential contributors to information processing and cognitive behavior. PMID:25071179

  6. Microglia is activated by astrocytes in trimethyltin intoxication

    SciTech Connect

    Roehl, Claudia . E-mail: claudia.roehl@gmx.net; Sievers, Jobst

    2005-04-01

    Microglia participates in most acute and chronic neuropathologies and its activation appears to involve interactions with neurons and other glial cells. Trimethyltin (TMT)-induced brain damage is a well-characterized model of neurodegeneration, in which microglial activation occurs before neuronal degeneration. The aim of this in vitro study was to investigate the role of astroglia in TMT-induced microgliosis by using nitric oxide (NO), inducible NO synthase (iNOS), and morphological changes as parameters for microglial activation. Our investigation discusses (a) whether microglial cells can be activated directly by TMT; (b) if astroglial cells are capable of triggering or modulating microglial activation; (c) how the morphology and survival of microglia and astrocytes are affected by TMT treatment; and (d) whether microglial-astroglial interactions depend on direct cell contact or on soluble factors. Our results show that microglia are more vulnerable to TMT than astrocytes are and cannot be activated directly by TMT with regard to the examined parameters. In bilayer coculture with viable astroglial cells, microglia produce NO in significant amounts at subcytotoxic concentrations of TMT (20 {mu}mol/l). At these TMT concentrations, microglial cells in coculture convert into small round cells without cell processes, whereas flat, fibroblast-like astrocytes convert into thin process bearing stellate cells with a dense and compact cell body. We conclude that astrocytes trigger microglial activation after treatment with TMT, although the mechanisms of this interaction remain unknown.

  7. Astrocytes contribute to gamma oscillations and recognition memory.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hosuk Sean; Ghetti, Andrea; Pinto-Duarte, António; Wang, Xin; Dziewczapolski, Gustavo; Galimi, Francesco; Huitron-Resendiz, Salvador; Piña-Crespo, Juan C; Roberts, Amanda J; Verma, Inder M; Sejnowski, Terrence J; Heinemann, Stephen F

    2014-08-12

    Glial cells are an integral part of functional communication in the brain. Here we show that astrocytes contribute to the fast dynamics of neural circuits that underlie normal cognitive behaviors. In particular, we found that the selective expression of tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) in astrocytes significantly reduced the duration of carbachol-induced gamma oscillations in hippocampal slices. These data prompted us to develop a novel transgenic mouse model, specifically with inducible tetanus toxin expression in astrocytes. In this in vivo model, we found evidence of a marked decrease in electroencephalographic (EEG) power in the gamma frequency range in awake-behaving mice, whereas neuronal synaptic activity remained intact. The reduction in cortical gamma oscillations was accompanied by impaired behavioral performance in the novel object recognition test, whereas other forms of memory, including working memory and fear conditioning, remained unchanged. These results support a key role for gamma oscillations in recognition memory. Both EEG alterations and behavioral deficits in novel object recognition were reversed by suppression of tetanus toxin expression. These data reveal an unexpected role for astrocytes as essential contributors to information processing and cognitive behavior. PMID:25071179

  8. Neuropharmacological effects of Phoneutria nigriventer venom on astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Rapôso, Catarina; Björklund, Ulrika; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Biber, Björn; Alice da Cruz-Höfling, Maria; Hansson, Elisabeth

    2016-06-01

    Bites from genus Phoneutria (Ctenidae, Araneomorpha) are the second most frequent source of spider accidents in Southeast Brazil. Severe envenoming from Phoneutria nigriventer produces vision disturbance, tremor and convulsion, suggesting that the CNS is involved; however, the mechanisms by which P. nigriventer venom (PNV) affects the CNS remain poorly understood. The present study aimed to investigate whether PNV directly impairs astrocytes. Cultured astrocytes were exposed to PNV, and intracellular Ca(2+) release and signaling were measured (Fura-2/AM), Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) involvement were investigated, actin filaments were stained (Alexa™ 488-conjugated phalloidin probe), the G-actin/F-actin ratio was determined, and the expression level of connexin 43 (Cx43) was assessed. Incubation in Ca(2+)-free buffer did not change the Ca(2+) responses. However, pre-incubation in thapsigargin/caffeine completely abolished these responses, suggesting that PNV-evoked Ca(2+) transients were from intracellular Ca(2+) stores. Pretreatment with a Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase antagonist (ouabain) or a TLR4 antagonist (LPS-RS) decreased or increased the Ca(2+)-evoked transients, respectively. Astrocytes showed altered actin filament structure after PNV exposure. PNV treatment increased the expression levels of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and Cx43 but decreased those of TLR4. The present results suggest that PNV directly affects astrocytes. Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase may thus represent a more specific drug target for controlling the neurotoxicity of PNV. PMID:27094845

  9. Acetazolamide Mitigates Astrocyte Cellular Edema Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Sturdivant, Nasya M; Smith, Sean G; Ali, Syed F; Wolchok, Jeffrey C; Balachandran, Kartik

    2016-01-01

    Non-penetrating or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is commonly experienced in accidents, the battlefield and in full-contact sports. Astrocyte cellular edema is one of the major factors that leads to high morbidity post-mTBI. Various studies have reported an upregulation of aquaporin-4 (AQP4), a water channel protein, following brain injury. AZA is an antiepileptic drug that has been shown to inhibit AQP4 expression and in this study we investigate the drug as a therapeutic to mitigate the extent of mTBI induced cellular edema. We hypothesized that mTBI-mediated astrocyte dysfunction, initiated by increased intracellular volume, could be reduced when treated with AZA. We tested our hypothesis in a three-dimensional in vitro astrocyte model of mTBI. Samples were subject to no stretch (control) or one high-speed stretch (mTBI) injury. AQP4 expression was significantly increased 24 hours after mTBI. mTBI resulted in a significant increase in the cell swelling within 30 min of mTBI, which was significantly reduced in the presence of AZA. Cell death and expression of S100B was significantly reduced when AZA was added shortly before mTBI stretch. Overall, our data point to occurrence of astrocyte swelling immediately following mTBI, and AZA as a promising treatment to mitigate downstream cellular mortality. PMID:27623738

  10. Neurorestorative Role of Stem Cells in Alzheimer's Disease: Astrocyte Involvement.

    PubMed

    Choi, Sung S; Lee, Sang-Rae; Lee, Hong J

    2016-01-01

    Neurogenesis is maintained in both neonatal and adult brain, although it is dramatically reduced in aged neurogenic brain region such as the subgranular layer and subventricular zone of the dentate gyrus (DG). Astrocytes play important roles for survival and maintenance of neurons as well as maintenance of neurogenic niche in quiescent state. Aβ can induce astrocyte activation which give rise to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cytotoxic cytokines and chemokines, and subsequently induce neuronal death. Unfortunately, the current therapeutic medicines have been limited to reduce the symptoms and delay the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but not to cure it. Stem cells enhance neurogenesis and Aβ clearing as well as improved cognitive impairment. Neurotrophins and growth factors which are produced from both stem cells and astrocytes also have neuroprotective effects via neurogenesis. Secreted factors from both astrocytes and neural stem cells also are influenced in neurogenesis and neuron survival in neurodegenerative diseases. Transplanted stem cells overexpressing neurogenic factors may be an effective and therapeutic tool to enhance neurogenesis for AD. PMID:27018261

  11. A new concept affecting restoration of inflammation-reactive astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Block, L; Björklund, U; Westerlund, A; Jörneberg, P; Biber, B; Hansson, E

    2013-10-10

    Long-lasting pain may partly be a consequence of ongoing neuroinflammation, in which astrocytes play a significant role. Following noxious stimuli, increased inflammatory receptor activity, influences in Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity and actin filament organization occur within the central nervous system. In astrocytes, the Ca(2+) signaling system, Na(+) transporters, cytoskeleton, and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines change during inflammation. The aim of this study was to restore these cell parameters in inflammation-reactive astrocytes. We found that the combination of (1) endomorphin-1, an opioid agonist that stimulates the Gi/o protein of the μ-opioid receptor; (2) naloxone, an opioid antagonist that inhibits the Gs protein of the μ-opioid receptor at ultralow concentrations; and (3) levetiracetam, an anti-epileptic agent that counteracts the release of IL-1β, managed to activate the Gi/o protein and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity, inhibit the Gs protein, and decrease the release of IL-1β. The cell functions of astrocytes in an inflammatory state were virtually restored to their normal non-inflammatory state and it could be of clinical significance and may be useful for the treatment of long-term pain. PMID:23892009

  12. Identification and characterization of complement C3 receptors on human astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Gasque, P; Chan, P; Mauger, C; Schouft, M T; Singhrao, S; Dierich, M P; Morgan, B P; Fontaine, M

    1996-03-15

    Astrocytes express C components and have been implicated as a major source of intrathecal C. To ascertain the effects of C activation on these cells, we have evaluated the expression of CR1, CR2, and CR3 (CD35, CD21, and CD11b/CD18) in primary fetal astrocytes and astrocyte cell lines. None of the astrocyte cells tested expressed CR3, whereas primary astrocytes and one of four astrocyte cell lines expressed CR1 (220 kDa), as assessed at the protein and mRNA level. Primary fetal astrocytes and all four astrocyte cell lines expressed CR2 (155 kDa). Expression of CR2 by astrocytes was confirmed at mRNA level by reverse-transcriptase PCR, using different combinations of seven specific CR2 oligonucleotides, and by partial sequencing of the astrocyte CR2 cDNA. Astrocyte CR2 cDNA presented 100% homology with the lymphocyte CR2 cDNA between the position 181 bp to 600 bp and position 1017 bp to 1347 bp. An alternative splicing pattern of exon 11, reported previously in B cells, was observed in astrocyte CR2 cDNA. Astrocyte CR2 was functional, in that it specifically bound C3d and the EBV surface protein gp340, and the binding was blocked specifically with polyclonal anti-CR2. Scatchard analysis of membrane expression of CR2 on astrocytes revealed 2000 functional sites per cell with a Kd (3 x 10(-7) M) identical with that of CR2 on B cell (Raji). PMID:8690915

  13. U18666A Treatment Results in Cholesterol Accumulation, Reduced Na(+), K(+)-ATPase Activity, and Increased Oxidative Stress in Rat Cortical Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Copetti-Santos, Daniela; Moraes, Vitoria; Weiler, Dácio Franco; de Mello, Alexandre Silva; Machado, Fernanda de Souza; Marinho, Jéssica Pereira; Siebert, Cassiana; Kolling, Janaina; Funchal, Cláudia; Wyse, Angela T S; Coelho, Janice Carneiro

    2015-10-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of U18666A, an inhibitor of cholesterol synthesis and its intracellular transport, on oxidative stress parameters in cortical astrocytes cultured from Wistar rats (0-3 days old). The cultures were incubated with U18666A (0.25 µg/mL) for 48 h, conditions that are considered ideal to mimic Niemann-Pick type C disease. A variety of indicators of oxidative stress were measured. U18666A treatment increased cholesterol 2-fold in treated compared to control astrocytes. Oxidative stress was significantly elevated in treated cells as demonstrated by a 1.7-fold increase in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, a 60% decrease is sulfhydral groups, and a 3.7-fold increase in carbonyl groups, indicative of increased lipid and protein oxidation following U18666A treatment. Consistent with these changes, both catalase and superoxide dismutase activities were significantly reduced nearly 50% in treated compared to control astrocytes. Collectively, these change resulted in a 50% reduction in Na(+), K(+)-ATPase specific activity following U18666A treatment, suggesting a significant alteration in its plasma membrane environment. Overall, these changes indicate that U18666A treatment results in increased cholesterol levels and an increased level of oxidative stress in cortical astrocytes, consistent with what is observed in Niemann-Pick type C disease. PMID:26344921

  14. IL-17A induces MIP-1α expression in primary astrocytes via Src/MAPK/PI3K/NF-kB pathways: implications for multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Yi, Hongwei; Bai, Ying; Zhu, Xinjian; Lin, Lin; Zhao, Lei; Wu, Xiaodong; Buch, Shilpa; Wang, Longxin; Chao, Jie; Yao, Honghong

    2014-12-01

    Neuroinflammation plays critical roles in multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition to the part played by the lymphocytes, the underlying mechanisms could, in part, be also attributed to activation mediated by astrocytes. Macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α) has been implicated in a number of pathological conditions, specifically attributable to its potent chemottractant effects. Its modulation by IL-17, however, has received very little attention. In the present study, we demonstrated IL-17-mediated induction of MIP-1α in rat primary astroctyes through its binding to the cognate IL-17RA. Furthermore, this effect was mediated via the activation of Src, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), PI3K/Akt and NF-kB pathways, culminating ultimately into increased expression of MIP-1α. Exposure of primary mouse astrocytes to IL-17 resulted in increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein and, this effect was abrogated in cells cultured in presence of the MIP-1α neutralizing antibody, thus underscoring its role in the activation of astrocytes. In vivo relevance of these findings was further corroborated in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mice that demonstrated significantly increased activation of astrocytes with concomitant increased expression of MIP-1α in the corpus callosum compared with control group. Understanding the regulation of MIP-1α expression may provide insights into the development of potential therapeutic targets for neuroinflammation associated with multiple sclerosis. PMID:24989845

  15. Effects of Ranolazine on Astrocytes and Neurons in Primary Culture.

    PubMed

    Aldasoro, Martin; Guerra-Ojeda, Sol; Aguirre-Rueda, Diana; Mauricio, M Dolores; Vila, Jose M; Marchio, Patricia; Iradi, Antonio; Aldasoro, Constanza; Jorda, Adrian; Obrador, Elena; Valles, Soraya L

    2016-01-01

    Ranolazine (Rn) is an antianginal agent used for the treatment of chronic angina pectoris when angina is not adequately controlled by other drugs. Rn also acts in the central nervous system and it has been proposed for the treatment of pain and epileptic disorders. Under the hypothesis that ranolazine could act as a neuroprotective drug, we studied its effects on astrocytes and neurons in primary culture. We incubated rat astrocytes and neurons in primary cultures for 24 hours with Rn (10-7, 10-6 and 10-5 M). Cell viability and proliferation were measured using trypan blue exclusion assay, MTT conversion assay and LDH release assay. Apoptosis was determined by Caspase 3 activity assay. The effects of Rn on pro-inflammatory mediators IL-β and TNF-α was determined by ELISA technique, and protein expression levels of Smac/Diablo, PPAR-γ, Mn-SOD and Cu/Zn-SOD by western blot technique. In cultured astrocytes, Rn significantly increased cell viability and proliferation at any concentration tested, and decreased LDH leakage, Smac/Diablo expression and Caspase 3 activity indicating less cell death. Rn also increased anti-inflammatory PPAR-γ protein expression and reduced pro-inflammatory proteins IL-1 β and TNFα levels. Furthermore, antioxidant proteins Cu/Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD significantly increased after Rn addition in cultured astrocytes. Conversely, Rn did not exert any effect on cultured neurons. In conclusion, Rn could act as a neuroprotective drug in the central nervous system by promoting astrocyte viability, preventing necrosis and apoptosis, inhibiting inflammatory phenomena and inducing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. PMID:26950436

  16. Decreased functions of astrocytes on carbon nanofiber materials.

    PubMed

    McKenzie, Janice L; Waid, Michael C; Shi, Riyi; Webster, Thomas J

    2004-01-01

    Carbon nanofibers possess excellent conductivity properties, which may be beneficial in the design of more effective neural prostheses; however, limited evidence on their cytocompatibility properties currently exists. The objective of the present in vitro study was to determine cytocompatibility properties of formulations containing carbon nanofibers pertinent to neural implant applications. Substrates were prepared from four different types of carbon fibers, two with nanoscale diameters (nanophase, or less than or equal to 100 nm) and two with conventional diameters (or greater than 100 nm). Within these two categories, both a high and a low surface energy fiber were investigated and tested. Carbon fibers were compacted in a manual hydraulic press via a uniaxial loading cycle. Astrocytes (glial scar tissue-forming cells) were seeded onto the substrates for adhesion, proliferation, and long-term function studies (such as total intracellular protein and alkaline phosphatase activity). Results provided the first evidence that astrocytes preferentially adhered and proliferated on carbon fibers that had the largest diameter and the lowest surface energy. Based on these results, composite substrates were also formed using different weight percentages (0-25 wt%) of the nanophase, high surface energy fibers in a polycarbonate urethane matrix. Results provided the first evidence of decreased adhesion of astrocytes with increasing weight percents of the high surface energy carbon nanofibers in the polymer composite; this further demonstrates that formulations containing carbon fibers in the nanometer regime may limit astrocyte functions leading to decreased glial scar tissue formation. Positive interactions with neurons, and, at the same time, limited astrocyte functions leading to decreased gliotic scar tissue formation are essential for increased neuronal implant efficacy. PMID:14643605

  17. Astrocytes in the optic nerve head express putative mechanosensitive channels

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Hee Joo; Sun, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To establish whether optic nerve head astrocytes express candidate molecules to sense tissue stretch. Methods We used conventional PCR, quantitative PCR, and single-cell reverse transcription PCR (RT–PCR) to assess the expression of various members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family and of the recently characterized mechanosensitive channels Piezo1 and 2 in optic nerve head tissue and in single, isolated astrocytes. Results Most TRP subfamilies (TRPC, TRPM, TRPV, TRPA, and TRPP) and Piezo1 and 2 were expressed in the optic nerve head of the mouse. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that TRPC1, TRPM7, TRPV2, TRPP2, and Piezo1 are the dominant isoforms in each subfamily. Single-cell RT–PCR revealed that many TRP isoforms, TRPC1–2, TRPC6, TRPV2, TRPV4, TRPM2, TRPM4, TRPM6–7, TRPP1–2, and Piezo1–2, are expressed in astrocytes of the optic nerve head, and that most astrocytes express TRPC1 and TRPP1–2. Comparisons of the TRPP and Piezo expression levels between different tissue regions showed that Piezo2 expression was higher in the optic nerve head and the optic nerve proper than in the brain and the corpus callosum. TRPP2 also showed higher expression in the optic nerve head. Conclusions Astrocytes in the optic nerve head express multiple putative mechanosensitive channels, in particular the recently identified channels Piezo1 and 2. The expression of putative mechanosensitive channels in these cells may contribute to their responsiveness to traumatic or glaucomatous injury. PMID:26236150

  18. Astrocyte signaling in the presence of spatial inhomogeneities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamatakis, Michail; Mantzaris, Nikos V.

    2007-09-01

    Astrocytes, a special type of glial cells, were considered to have just a supporting role in information processing in the brain. However, several recent studies have shown that they can be chemically stimulated by various neurotransmitters, such as ATP, and can generate Ca2+ and ATP waves, which can propagate over many cell lengths before being blocked. Although pathological conditions, such as spreading depression and epilepsy, have been linked to abnormal wave propagation in astrocytic cellular networks, a quantitative understanding of the underlying characteristics is still lacking. Astrocytic cellular networks are inhomogeneous, in the sense that the domain they occupy contains passive regions or gaps, which are unable to support wave propagation. Thus, this work focuses on understanding the complex interplay between single-cell signal transduction, domain inhomogeneity, and the characteristics of wave propagation and blocking in astrocytic cellular networks. The single-cell signal transduction model that was employed accounts for ATP-mediated IP3 production, the subsequent Ca2+ release from the ER, and ATP release into the extracellular space. The model is excitable and thus an infinite range of wave propagation is observed if the domain of propagation is homogeneous. This is not always the case for inhomogeneous domains. To model wave propagation in inhomogeneous astrocytic networks, a reaction-diffusion framework was developed and one-gap as well as multiple-gap cases were simulated using an efficient finite-element algorithm. The minimum gap length that blocks the wave was computed as a function of excitability levels and geometric characteristics of the inhomogeneous network, such as the length of the active regions (cells). Complex transient patterns, such as wave reflection, wave trapping, and generation of echo waves, were also predicted by the model, and their relationship to the geometric characteristics of the network was evaluated. Therefore, the

  19. Effects of Ranolazine on Astrocytes and Neurons in Primary Culture

    PubMed Central

    Aldasoro, Martin; Guerra-Ojeda, Sol; Aguirre-Rueda, Diana; Mauricio, Mª Dolores; Vila, Jose Mª; Marchio, Patricia; Iradi, Antonio; Aldasoro, Constanza; Jorda, Adrian; Obrador, Elena; Valles, Soraya L.

    2016-01-01

    Ranolazine (Rn) is an antianginal agent used for the treatment of chronic angina pectoris when angina is not adequately controlled by other drugs. Rn also acts in the central nervous system and it has been proposed for the treatment of pain and epileptic disorders. Under the hypothesis that ranolazine could act as a neuroprotective drug, we studied its effects on astrocytes and neurons in primary culture. We incubated rat astrocytes and neurons in primary cultures for 24 hours with Rn (10−7, 10−6 and 10−5 M). Cell viability and proliferation were measured using trypan blue exclusion assay, MTT conversion assay and LDH release assay. Apoptosis was determined by Caspase 3 activity assay. The effects of Rn on pro-inflammatory mediators IL-β and TNF-α was determined by ELISA technique, and protein expression levels of Smac/Diablo, PPAR-γ, Mn-SOD and Cu/Zn-SOD by western blot technique. In cultured astrocytes, Rn significantly increased cell viability and proliferation at any concentration tested, and decreased LDH leakage, Smac/Diablo expression and Caspase 3 activity indicating less cell death. Rn also increased anti-inflammatory PPAR-γ protein expression and reduced pro-inflammatory proteins IL-1 β and TNFα levels. Furthermore, antioxidant proteins Cu/Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD significantly increased after Rn addition in cultured astrocytes. Conversely, Rn did not exert any effect on cultured neurons. In conclusion, Rn could act as a neuroprotective drug in the central nervous system by promoting astrocyte viability, preventing necrosis and apoptosis, inhibiting inflammatory phenomena and inducing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. PMID:26950436

  20. T Cells' Immunological Synapses Induce Polarization of Brain Astrocytes In Vivo and In Vitro: A Novel Astrocyte Response Mechanism to Cellular Injury

    PubMed Central

    Barcia, Carlos; Sanderson, Nicholas S. R.; Barrett, Robert J.; Wawrowsky, Kolja; Kroeger, Kurt M.; Puntel, Mariana; Liu, Chunyan; Castro, Maria G.; Lowenstein, Pedro R.

    2008-01-01

    Background Astrocytes usually respond to trauma, stroke, or neurodegeneration by undergoing cellular hypertrophy, yet, their response to a specific immune attack by T cells is poorly understood. Effector T cells establish specific contacts with target cells, known as immunological synapses, during clearance of virally infected cells from the brain. Immunological synapses mediate intercellular communication between T cells and target cells, both in vitro and in vivo. How target virally infected astrocytes respond to the formation of immunological synapses established by effector T cells is unknown. Findings Herein we demonstrate that, as a consequence of T cell attack, infected astrocytes undergo dramatic morphological changes. From normally multipolar cells, they become unipolar, extending a major protrusion towards the immunological synapse formed by the effector T cells, and withdrawing most of their finer processes. Thus, target astrocytes become polarized towards the contacting T cells. The MTOC, the organizer of cell polarity, is localized to the base of the protrusion, and Golgi stacks are distributed throughout the protrusion, reaching distally towards the immunological synapse. Thus, rather than causing astrocyte hypertrophy, antiviral T cells cause a major structural reorganization of target virally infected astrocytes. Conclusions Astrocyte polarization, as opposed to hypertrophy, in response to T cell attack may be due to T cells providing a very focused attack, and thus, astrocytes responding in a polarized manner. A similar polarization of Golgi stacks towards contacting T cells was also detected using an in vitro allogeneic model. Thus, different T cells are able to induce polarization of target astrocytes. Polarization of target astrocytes in response to immunological synapses may play an important role in regulating the outcome of the response of astrocytes to attacking effector T cells, whether during antiviral (e.g. infected during HIV, HTLV-1

  1. Astrocyte-secreted thrombospondin-1 modulates synapse and spine defects in the fragile X mouse model.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Connie; Lau, Sally K M; Doering, Laurie C

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes are key participants in various aspects of brain development and function, many of which are executed via secreted proteins. Defects in astrocyte signaling are implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by abnormal neural circuitry such as Fragile X syndrome (FXS). In animal models of FXS, the loss in expression of the Fragile X mental retardation 1 protein (FMRP) from astrocytes is associated with delayed dendrite maturation and improper synapse formation; however, the effect of astrocyte-derived factors on the development of neurons is not known. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is an important astrocyte-secreted protein that is involved in the regulation of spine development and synaptogenesis. In this study, we found that cultured astrocytes isolated from an Fmr1 knockout (Fmr1 KO) mouse model of FXS displayed a significant decrease in TSP-1 protein expression compared to the wildtype (WT) astrocytes. Correspondingly, Fmr1 KO hippocampal neurons exhibited morphological deficits in dendritic spines and alterations in excitatory synapse formation following long-term culture. All spine and synaptic abnormalities were prevented in the presence of either astrocyte-conditioned media or a feeder layer derived from FMRP-expressing astrocytes, or following the application of exogenous TSP-1. Importantly, this work demonstrates the integral role of astrocyte-secreted signals in the establishment of neuronal communication and identifies soluble TSP-1 as a potential therapeutic target for Fragile X syndrome. PMID:27485117

  2. Overexpression of Swedish mutant APP in aged astrocytes attenuates excitatory synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Katsurabayashi, Shutaro; Kawano, Hiroyuki; Ii, Miyuki; Nakano, Sachiko; Tatsumi, Chihiro; Kubota, Kaori; Takasaki, Kotaro; Mishima, Kenichi; Fujiwara, Michihiro; Iwasaki, Katsunori

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid precursor protein (APP), a type I transmembrane protein, has different aspects, namely, performs essential physiological functions and produces β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). Overexpression of neuronal APP is responsible for synaptic dysfunction. In the central nervous system, astrocytes - a major glial cell type - have an important role in the regulation of synaptic transmission. Although APP is expressed in astrocytes, it remains unclear whether astrocytic overexpression of mutant APP affects synaptic transmission. In this study, the effect of astrocytic overexpression of a mutant APP on the excitatory synaptic transmission was investigated using coculture system of the transgenic (Tg) cortical astrocytes that express the human APP695 polypeptide with the double mutation K670N + M671L found in a large Swedish family with early onset Alzheimer's disease, and wild-type hippocampal neuron. Significant secretion of Aβ 1-40 and 1-42 was observed in cultured cortical astrocytes from the Tg2576 transgenic mouse that genetically overexpresses Swedish mutant APP. Under the condition, Tg astrocytes did not affect excitatory synaptic transmission of cocultured wild-type neurons. However, aged Tg astrocytes cultured for 9 weeks elicited a significant decrease in excitatory synaptic transmission in cocultured neurons. Moreover, a reduction in the number of readily releasable synaptic vesicles accompanied a decrease in the number of excitatory synapses in neurons cocultured with aged Tg astrocytes. These observations indicate that astrocytic expression of the mutant APP is involved in the downregulation of synaptic transmission with age. PMID:26733247

  3. L-DOPA Uptake in Astrocytic Endfeet Enwrapping Blood Vessels in Rat Brain

    PubMed Central

    Inyushin, M. Y.; Huertas, A.; Kucheryavykh, Y. V.; Kucheryavykh, L. Y.; Tsydzik, V.; Sanabria, P.; Eaton, M. J.; Skatchkov, S. N.; Rojas, L. V.; Wessinger, W. D.

    2012-01-01

    Astrocyte endfeet surround brain blood vessels and can play a role in the delivery of therapeutic drugs for Parkinson's disease. However, there is no previous evidence of the presence of LAT transporter for L-DOPA in brain astrocytes except in culture. Using systemic L-DOPA administration and a combination of patch clamp, histochemistry and confocal microscopy we found that L-DOPA is accumulated mainly in astrocyte cell bodies, astrocytic endfeet surrounding blood vessels, and pericytes. In brain slices: (1) astrocytes were exposed to ASP+, a fluorescent monoamine analog of MPP+; (2) ASP+ taken up by astrocytes was colocalized with L-DOPA fluorescence in (3) glial somata and in the endfeet attached to blood vessels; (4) these astrocytes have an electrogenic transporter current elicited by ASP+, but intriguingly not by L-DOPA, suggesting a different pathway for monoamines and L-DOPA via astrocytic membrane. (5) The pattern of monoamine oxidase (MAO type B) allocation in pericytes and astrocytic endfeet was similar to that of L-DOPA accumulation. We conclude that astrocytes control L-DOPA uptake and metabolism and, therefore, may play a key role in regulating brain dopamine level during dopamine-associated diseases. These data also suggest that different transporter mechanisms may exist for monoamines and L-DOPA. PMID:22888467

  4. Multiple cellular and molecular mechanisms are involved in human Aβ clearance by transplanted adult astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Pihlaja, Rea; Koistinaho, Jari; Kauppinen, Riitta; Sandholm, Jouko; Tanila, Heikki; Koistinaho, Milla

    2011-11-01

    Astrocytes and microglia are able to degrade potentially neurotoxic β-amyloid (Aβ) deposits typical for Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. Contrary to microglia, astrocytes degrade human Aβ from tissue sections in vitro without any additional stimulation, but it has remained unclear whether transplanted astrocytes are able to clear deposited human Aβ in vivo. We transplanted adult mouse astrocytes into the hippocampi of transgenic mice mimicking AD and observed their fate, effects on microglial responses, and Aβ clearance. After 2-months follow-up time, we discovered a significant reduction in Aβ burden compared with AD mice infused with PBS only. The remaining Aβ deposits were fragmented and most of the Aβ immunoreactivity was seen within the transplanted astrocytes. Concomitant to Aβ reduction, both CD68 and CD45 immunoreactivities were significantly upregulated but phagocytic microglia were often surrounding and engulfing Aβ burdened, TUNEL-positive astrocytes rather than co-localizing with Aβ alone. Astrocytes are known to degrade Aβ also by secreting proteases involved in Aβ catabolism. To study the contribution of neprilysin (NEP), angiotensin-converting enzyme-1 (ACE-1), and endothelin-converting enzyme-2 (ECE-2) in human Aβ clearance, we utilized an ex vivo assay to demonstrate that adult astrocytes respond to human Aβ by upregulating NEP expression. Further, incubation of adult astrocytes with known inhibitors of NEP, ACE-1, or ECE-2 significantly inhibited the removal of human Aβ from the tissue suggesting an important role for these proteases in Aβ clearance by adult astrocytes ex vivo. PMID:21826742

  5. Calcium Imaging of Living Astrocytes in the Mouse Spinal Cord following Sensory Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Cirillo, Giovanni; De Luca, Daniele; Papa, Michele

    2012-01-01

    Astrocytic Ca2+ dynamics have been extensively studied in ex vivo models; however, the recent development of two-photon microscopy and astrocyte-specific labeling has allowed the study of Ca2+ signaling in living central nervous system. Ca2+ waves in astrocytes have been described in cultured cells and slice preparations, but evidence for astrocytic activation during sensory activity is lacking. There are currently few methods to image living spinal cord: breathing and heart-beating artifacts have impeded the widespread application of this technique. We here imaged the living spinal cord by two-photon microscopy in C57BL6/J mice. Through pressurized injection, we specifically loaded spinal astrocytes using the red fluorescent dye sulforhodamine 101 (SR101) and imaged astrocytic Ca2+ levels with Oregon-Green BAPTA-1 (OGB). Then, we studied astrocytic Ca2+ levels at rest and after right electrical hind paw stimulation. Sensory stimulation significantly increased astrocytic Ca2+ levels within the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord compared to rest. In conclusion, in vivo morphofunctional imaging of living astrocytes in spinal cord revealed that astrocytes actively participate to sensory stimulation. PMID:23091738

  6. Modifications in astrocyte morphology and calcium signaling induced by a brain capillary endothelial cell line.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Elizabeth J

    2002-04-15

    Astrocytes extend specialized endfoot processes to perisynaptic and perivascular regions, and thus are positioned to mediate the bidirectional flow of metabolic, ionic, and other transmissive substances between neurons and the blood stream. While mutual structural and functional interactions between neurons and astrocytes have been documented, less is known about the interactions between astrocytes and cerebrovascular cells. For example, although the ability of astrocytes to induce structural and functional changes in endothelial cells is established, the reciprocity of brain endothelial cells to induce changes in astrocytes is undetermined. This issue is addressed in the present study. Changes in primary cultures of neonatal mouse cortical astrocytes were investigated following their coculture with mouse brain capillary endothelial (bEnd3) cells. The presence of bEnd3 cells altered the morphology of astrocytes by transforming them from confluent monolayers into networks of elongated multicellular columns. These columns did not occur when either bEnd3 cells or astrocytes were cocultured with other cell types, suggesting that astrocytes undergo specific morphological consequences when placed in close proximity to brain endothelial cells. In addition to these structural changes, the pharmacological profile of astrocytes was modified by coculture with bEnd3 cells. Astrocytes in the cocultures showed an increased Ca2+ responsiveness to bradykinin and glutamate, but no change in responsiveness to ATP, as compared to controls. Coculturing the astrocytes with a neuronal cell line resulted in increased responsiveness of the glial responses to glutamate but not to bradykinin. These studies indicate that brain endothelial cells induce changes in astrocyte morphology and pharmacology. PMID:11948807

  7. Traumatically injured astrocytes release a proteomic signature modulated by STAT3-dependent cell survival.

    PubMed

    Levine, Jaclynn; Kwon, Eunice; Paez, Pablo; Yan, Weihong; Czerwieniec, Gregg; Loo, Joseph A; Sofroniew, Michael V; Wanner, Ina-Beate

    2016-05-01

    Molecular markers associated with CNS injury are of diagnostic interest. Mechanical trauma generates cellular deformation associated with membrane permeability with unknown molecular consequences. We used an in vitro model of stretch-injury and proteomic analyses to determine protein changes in murine astrocytes and their surrounding fluids. Abrupt pressure-pulse stretching resulted in the rapid release of 59 astrocytic proteins with profiles reflecting cell injury and cell death, i.e., mechanoporation and cell lysis. This acute trauma-release proteome was overrepresented with metabolic proteins compared with the uninjured cellular proteome, bearing relevance for post-traumatic metabolic depression. Astrocyte-specific deletion of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3-CKO) resulted in reduced stretch-injury tolerance, elevated necrosis and increased protein release. Consistent with more lysed cells, more protein complexes, nuclear and transport proteins were released from STAT3-CKO versus nontransgenic astrocytes. STAT3-CKO astrocytes had reduced basal expression of GFAP, lactate dehydrogenase B (LDHB), aldolase C (ALDOC), and astrocytic phosphoprotein 15 (PEA15), and elevated levels of tropomyosin (TPM4) and α actinin 4 (ACTN4). Stretching caused STAT3-dependent cellular depletion of PEA15 and GFAP, and its filament disassembly in subpopulations of injured astrocytes. PEA15 and ALDOC signals were low in injured astrocytes acutely after mouse spinal cord crush injury and were robustly expressed in reactive astrocytes 1 day postinjury. In contrast, α crystallin (CRYAB) was present in acutely injured astrocytes, and absent from uninjured and reactive astrocytes, demonstrating novel marker differences among postinjury astrocytes. These findings reveal a proteomic signature of traumatically-injured astrocytes reflecting STAT3-dependent cellular survival with potential diagnostic value. GLIA 2016;64:668-694. PMID:26683444

  8. Astrocytes Surviving Severe Stress Can Still Protect Neighboring Neurons from Proteotoxic Injury.

    PubMed

    Gleixner, Amanda M; Posimo, Jessica M; Pant, Deepti B; Henderson, Matthew P; Leak, Rehana K

    2016-09-01

    Astrocytes are one of the major cell types to combat cellular stress and protect neighboring neurons from injury. In order to fulfill this important role, astrocytes must sense and respond to toxic stimuli, perhaps including stimuli that are severely stressful and kill some of the astrocytes. The present study demonstrates that primary astrocytes that managed to survive severe proteotoxic stress were protected against subsequent challenges. These findings suggest that the phenomenon of preconditioning or tolerance can be extended from mild to severe stress for this cell type. Astrocytic stress adaptation lasted at least 96 h, the longest interval tested. Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) was raised in stressed astrocytes, but inhibition of neither Hsp70 nor Hsp32 activity abolished their resistance against a second proteotoxic challenge. Only inhibition of glutathione synthesis abolished astrocytic stress adaptation, consistent with our previous report. Primary neurons were plated upon previously stressed astrocytes, and the cocultures were then exposed to another proteotoxic challenge. Severely stressed astrocytes were still able to protect neighboring neurons against this injury, and the protection was unexpectedly independent of glutathione synthesis. Stressed astrocytes were even able to protect neurons after simultaneous application of proteasome and Hsp70 inhibitors, which otherwise elicited synergistic, severe loss of neurons when applied together. Astrocyte-induced neuroprotection against proteotoxicity was not elicited with astrocyte-conditioned media, suggesting that physical cell-to-cell contacts may be essential. These findings suggest that astrocytes may adapt to severe stress so that they can continue to protect neighboring cell types from profound injury. PMID:26374549

  9. Biopathology of astrocytes in human traumatic and complicated brain injuries. Review and hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Castejón, Orlando José

    2015-01-01

    The biopathology of astrocyte cells in severe human brain traumatic injuries complicated with subdural and epidural haematoma and hygroma is reviewed. Clear and dense oedematous and hypertrophic reactive astrocytes are distinguished in severe primary traumatic vasogenic and secondary cytotoxic brain oedema. Swollen perineuronal astrocytes appear compressing and indenting clear and dark degenerated pyramidal and non-pyramidal nerve cells, degenerated myelinated axons and synaptic contacts. Hypertrophic astrocytes display dense cytoplasm and contain numerous rosettes of alpha, beta- and gamma-type glycogen granules, swollen mitochondria, dilated smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum, oedematous Golgi apparatus, microtubules, gliofilaments, intermediate filaments, lysosomes and liposomes. The perisynaptic astrocyte ensheathment of synaptic contacts, containing beta type-glycogen granules, can be traced in the neuropil, surrounding swollen, bead-shaped dendritic profiles, and degenerated myelinated axons. This perisynaptic glial layer is absent in severe oedematous regions. The glycogen-rich and glycogendepleted perivascular astrocyte end-feet appear attached or dissociated from the capillary basement membrane. Phagocytic astrocytes can be seen engulfing degenerated synaptic contacts, necrotic membranes, degenerated myelinated axons, and myelin ovoids. Lipofuscin-rich astrocytes are also observed. The interastrocytary gap junctions appear either widened, fused or fragmented. The key role of aquaporin in astrocyte swelling and brain oedema is emphasized. The findings are compared with those reported in experimental traumatic animal models, a large variety of pathogenetically related neuropathological conditions, and in vivo and in vitro experimental conditions. The contribution of pathological astrocytes to neurobehavioral disorders, such as loss of consciousness, neurological deficits and seizures is emphasized. Some hypotheses are postulated related to the

  10. Astrocytic gap junctional networks suppress cellular damage in an in vitro model of ischemia

    SciTech Connect

    Shinotsuka, Takanori; Yasui, Masato; Nuriya, Mutsuo

    2014-02-07

    Highlights: • Astrocytes exhibit characteristic changes in [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} under OGD. • Astrocytic [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase is synchronized with a neuronal anoxic depolarization. • Gap junctional couplings protect neurons as well as astrocytes during OGD. - Abstract: Astrocytes play pivotal roles in both the physiology and the pathophysiology of the brain. They communicate with each other via extracellular messengers as well as through gap junctions, which may exacerbate or protect against pathological processes in the brain. However, their roles during the acute phase of ischemia and the underlying cellular mechanisms remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we imaged changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}) in astrocytes in mouse cortical slices under oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD) condition using two-photon microscopy. Under OGD, astrocytes showed [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} oscillations followed by larger and sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increases. While the pharmacological blockades of astrocytic receptors for glutamate and ATP had no effect, the inhibitions of gap junctional intercellular coupling between astrocytes significantly advanced the onset of the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase after OGD exposure. Interestingly, the simultaneous recording of the neuronal membrane potential revealed that the onset of the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase in astrocytes was synchronized with the appearance of neuronal anoxic depolarization. Furthermore, the blockade of gap junctional coupling resulted in a concurrent faster appearance of neuronal depolarizations, which remain synchronized with the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase in astrocytes. These results indicate that astrocytes delay the appearance of the pathological responses of astrocytes and neurons through their gap junction-mediated intercellular network under OGD. Thus, astrocytic gap junctional networks provide protection against tissue damage

  11. Assessment of C-phycocyanin effect on astrocytes-mediated neuroprotection against oxidative brain injury using 2D and 3D astrocyte tissue model.

    PubMed

    Min, Seul Ki; Park, Jun Sang; Luo, Lidan; Kwon, Yeo Seon; Lee, Hoo Cheol; Shim, Hyun Jung; Kim, Il-Doo; Lee, Ja-Kyeong; Shin, Hwa Sung

    2015-01-01

    Drugs are currently being developed to attenuate oxidative stress as a treatment for brain injuries. C-phycocyanin (C-Pc) is an antioxidant protein of green microalgae known to exert neuroprotective effects against oxidative brain injury. Astrocytes, which compose many portions of the brain, exert various functions to overcome oxidative stress; however, little is known about how C-Pc mediates the antioxidative effects of astrocytes. In this study, we revealed that C-Pc intranasal administration to the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rats ensures neuroprotection of ischemic brain by reducing infarct size and improving behavioral deficits. C-Pc also enhanced viability and proliferation but attenuated apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) of oxidized astrocytes, without cytotoxicity to normal astrocytes and neurons. To elucidate how C-Pc leads astrocytes to enhance neuroprotection and repair of ischemia brain, we firstly developed 3D oxidized astrocyte model. C-Pc had astrocytes upregulate antioxidant enzymes such as SOD and catalase and neurotrophic factors BDNF and NGF, while alleviating inflammatory factors IL-6 and IL-1β and glial scar. Additionally, C-Pc improved viability of 3D oxidized neurons. In summary, C-Pc was concluded to activate oxidized astrocytes to protect and repair the ischemic brain with the combinatorial effects of improved antioxidative, neurotrophic, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. PMID:26399322

  12. Assessment of C-phycocyanin effect on astrocytes-mediated neuroprotection against oxidative brain injury using 2D and 3D astrocyte tissue model

    PubMed Central

    Min, Seul Ki; Park, Jun Sang; Luo, Lidan; Kwon, Yeo Seon; Lee, Hoo Cheol; Jung Shim, Hyun; Kim, Il-Doo; Lee, Ja-Kyeong; Shin, Hwa Sung

    2015-01-01

    Drugs are currently being developed to attenuate oxidative stress as a treatment for brain injuries. C-phycocyanin (C-Pc) is an antioxidant protein of green microalgae known to exert neuroprotective effects against oxidative brain injury. Astrocytes, which compose many portions of the brain, exert various functions to overcome oxidative stress; however, little is known about how C-Pc mediates the antioxidative effects of astrocytes. In this study, we revealed that C-Pc intranasal administration to the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rats ensures neuroprotection of ischemic brain by reducing infarct size and improving behavioral deficits. C-Pc also enhanced viability and proliferation but attenuated apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) of oxidized astrocytes, without cytotoxicity to normal astrocytes and neurons. To elucidate how C-Pc leads astrocytes to enhance neuroprotection and repair of ischemia brain, we firstly developed 3D oxidized astrocyte model. C-Pc had astrocytes upregulate antioxidant enzymes such as SOD and catalase and neurotrophic factors BDNF and NGF, while alleviating inflammatory factors IL-6 and IL-1β and glial scar. Additionally, C-Pc improved viability of 3D oxidized neurons. In summary, C-Pc was concluded to activate oxidized astrocytes to protect and repair the ischemic brain with the combinatorial effects of improved antioxidative, neurotrophic, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. PMID:26399322

  13. GONADAL STEROIDS REGULATED THE EXPRESSION OF GLIAL FIBRILLARY ACIDIC PROTEIN IN THE ADULT MALE RAT HIPPOCAMPUS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study demonstrates that gonadal steroids (estradiol, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone) can inhibit the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein and it MRNA in the adult male rat brain. esticular hormones may influence the activity of astrocytes in the intact and lesion...

  14. The protective effect of astrocyte-derived 14,15-EET on H2O2-induced cell injury in Astrocyte-dopaminergic neuronal cell line co-culture

    PubMed Central

    Terashvili, Maia; Sarkar, Pallabi; Van Nostrand, Meg; Falck, John R.; Harder, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes perform several functions that are essential for normal neuronal activity. They play a critical role in neuronal survival during ischemia and other degenerative injuries and also modulate neuronal recovery by influencing neurite outgrowth. In this study, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of astrocyte-derived 14,15-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (14,15-EET), metabolite of arachidonic acid by Cytochrome P450 epoxygenases (CYP), against oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). We found that dopaminergic neuronal cells (N27 cell line) stimulated with two different doses of H2O2 (0.1 and 1 mM) for 1h showed decreased cell viability compared to the control group, while astrocytes co-cultured with dopaminergic neuronal cell lines prevented cell during after stimulation with the same doses of H2O2 for 1h. Dopaminergic neuronal cells (N27 cell line) pretreated with different doses of 14, 15-EET (0.1–30 μM, 30 min) before H2O2 stimulation also showed increased cell viability. Furthermore, pre-treatment of the co-cultured cells with 12-(3-adamantan-1-yl-ureido)-dodecanoic acid (AUDA), an inhibitor of the EET metabolizing enzyme, soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), before H2O2 stimulation (1 mM, for 1h) increased cell viability. It also increased the endogenous level of 14,15-EET in the media compared to control group. However, pretreatment with the CYP epoxygenase inhibitor miconazole (1–20 μM, 1h) before H2O2 (1 mM, 1h) stimulation showed decreased cell viability. Our data suggest that 14,15-EET which is released from astrocytes, enhances cell viability against oxidant induced injury. Further understanding of the mechanism of 14,15-EET-mediated protection in dopaminergic neurons is imperative, as it could lead to novel therapeutic approaches for treating CNS neuropathologies, such as Parkinson’s disease. PMID:22863680

  15. The use of astrocytes in culture as model systems for evaluating neurotoxic-induced-injury.

    PubMed

    Aschner, M; Kimelberg, H K

    1991-01-01

    The prevailing thought that astrocytes function predominantly as passive metabolic or even physical support for neurons has faded over the last 20 years. Today these stellar shaped cells are credited with an expanded role, playing key functions in CNS development, homeostasis, and pathology. In probing their expanded roles, primary astrocyte culture systems have proven to be an indispensable tool. Astrocytes have been implicated in both a defensive and facilitatory capacity for many toxic injuries. Evidence for a protective role of astrocytes in modulating CNS toxicity is afforded by observations that the toxicity of glutamate to cortical neurons is diminished upon astrocytic enrichment of the cell culture (Rosenberg and Aizenman, 1989). In cultures of rat cerebral cortex in which astrocyte proliferation is stringently suppressed, glutamate neurotoxicity occurs at low glutamate concentrations similar to those which are normally found in the extracellular space in the hippocampus. In the presence of excess astrocytes, concentrations of glutamate one-hundred fold higher are required to produce equivalent neurotoxicity (Rosenberg and Aizenman, 1989). Astrocytes can facilitate the action of neurotoxins via a modulating process which takes place within the astrocyte or by a direct cytotoxic effect. Whereas primary astrocyte cultures remain unaffected by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP; Marini et al., 1989), they function prominently in the selective destruction of dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal pathway in humans, other primates and rodents (Davis et al. 1979; Langston et al., 1983; Burns et al., 1983; Langston et al., 1984; Heikkila et al., 1984; Jarvis and Wagner, 1985). Thus, while MPTP by itself is not toxic to cerebellar cells in co-culture with cerebellar astrocytes, MPTP is toxic to the granule cells (Marini et al, 1989). This is thought to be due to an astrocyte-mediated conversion of MPTP to its highly polar and toxic metabolite, 1

  16. [REACTIVE CHANGES IN THE ASTROCYTES OF FOREBRAIN NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS AFTER RESTRICTION OF BLOOD FLOW IN THE BASIN OF BOTH COMMON CAROTID ARTERIES IN RATS].

    PubMed

    Naumov, N G

    2016-01-01

    Reactive changes of astrocytes were studied in forebrain nucleus accumbens in rats (n = 12) after global cerebral ischemia induced by bilateral occlusion of both common carotid arteries, which is a frequently used model to assess the effectiveness of pharmacological agents that have anti-ischemic and neuroprotective properties. Under these conditions, the nucleus accumbens was in the area of partial ischemia. Morphometric study of nucleus accumbens was performed in three groups of rats (4 animals in each group) after ligation of both common carotid arteries, after a sham operation and in healthy animals. Astrocytes were demonstrated in serial sections using the reaction to glial fibrillary acidic protein counterstained with hematoxylin. 7 days after the surgery, in each animal the number of astrocytes was counted in the sections in 7 successiive squares of 0.01 mm2 each, the distance between their bodies and the capillary wall was measured within the circle of 20 μm radius, the cell body area and the length of their main processes were determined. It is found that astrocytes in the nucleus accumbens in the model of bilateral occlusion of the common carotid arteries for 7 days experienced a partial state of ischemia. Their reactive changes were manifested by the signs of the cytotoxic edema, damaging intermediate filament proteins in their bodies, processes and in the perivascular glial membranes. The concentration of the astrocyte cell bodies near blood capillaries is the adaptation mechanism and is a condition for the survival of cells under the restriction of blood flow in the brain. PMID:27487658

  17. ENaC γ-expressing astrocytes in the circumventricular organs, white matter, and ventral medullary surface: sites for Na+ regulation by glial cells

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Rebecca L.; Loewy, Arthur D.

    2014-01-01

    Using a double immunofluorescence procedure, we report the discovery of a novel group of fibrous astrocytes that co-express epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) γ-subunit protein along with glial acidic fibrillary protein (GFAP). These cells are concentrated along the borders of the sensory circumventricular organs (CVOs), embedded in the white matter (e.g., optic nerve/chiasm, anterior commissure, corpus callosum, pyramidal tract) and are components of the pia mater. In the CVOs, a compact collection of ENaC γ-immunoreactive glial fibers form the lamina terminalis immediately rostral to the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT). Astrocyte processes can be traced into the median preoptic nucleus – a region implicated in regulation of sodium homeostasis. In the subfornical organ (SFO), ENaC γ-GFAP astrocytes lie in its lateral border, but not in the ventromedial core. In the AP, a dense ENaC γ-GFAP glial fibers form the interface between the AP and nucleus tractus solitarius; this area is termed the subpostremal region. Antibodies against the ENaC α- or β-subunit proteins do not immunostain these regions. In contrast, the antibodies against the ENaC γ-subunit protein react weakly with neuronal cell bodies in the CVOs. Besides affecting glial-neural functions in the CVOs, the astrocytes found in the white matter may affect saltatory nerve conduction, serving as a sodium buffer. The ENaC γ-expressing astrocytes of the ventral medulla send processes into the raphe pallidus which intermingle with the serotoninergic (5-HT) neurons found in this region as well as with the other nearby 5-HT neurons distributed along ventral medullary surface. PMID:24145067

  18. ENaC γ-expressing astrocytes in the circumventricular organs, white matter, and ventral medullary surface: sites for Na+ regulation by glial cells.

    PubMed

    Miller, Rebecca L; Loewy, Arthur D

    2013-11-01

    Using a double immunofluorescence procedure, we report the discovery of a novel group of fibrous astrocytes that co-express epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) γ-subunit protein along with glial acidic fibrillary protein (GFAP). These cells are concentrated along the borders of the sensory circumventricular organs (CVOs), embedded in the white matter (e.g., optic nerve/chiasm, anterior commissure, corpus callosum, pyramidal tract) and are components of the pia mater. In the CVOs, a compact collection of ENaC γ-immunoreactive glial fibers form the lamina terminalis immediately rostral to the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT). Astrocyte processes can be traced into the median preoptic nucleus - a region implicated in regulation of sodium homeostasis. In the subfornical organ (SFO), ENaC γ-GFAP astrocytes lie in its lateral border, but not in the ventromedial core. In the area postrema (AP), a dense ENaC γ-GFAP glial fibers form the interface between the AP and nucleus tractus solitarius; this area is termed the subpostremal region. Antibodies against the ENaC α- or β-subunit proteins do not immunostain these regions. In contrast, the antibodies against the ENaC γ-subunit protein react weakly with neuronal cell bodies in the CVOs. Besides affecting glial-neural functions in the CVOs, the astrocytes found in the white matter may affect saltatory nerve conduction, serving as a sodium buffer. The ENaC γ-expressing astrocytes of the ventral medulla send processes into the raphe pallidus which intermingle with the serotoninergic (5-HT) neurons found in this region as well as with the other nearby 5-HT neurons distributed along ventral medullary surface. PMID:24145067

  19. A three-dimensional model of the human blood-brain barrier to analyse the transport of nanoparticles and astrocyte/endothelial interactions

    PubMed Central

    Sreekanthreddy, Peddagangannagari; Gromnicova, Radka; Davies, Heather; Phillips, James; Romero, Ignacio A.; Male, David

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a three-dimensional (3D) model of the human blood-brain barrier in vitro, which mimics the cellular architecture of the CNS and could be used to analyse the delivery of nanoparticles to cells of the CNS. The model includes human astrocytes set in a collagen gel, which is overlaid by a monolayer of human brain endothelium (hCMEC/D3 cell line). The model was characterised by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. A collagenase digestion method could recover the two cell types separately at 92-96% purity.  Astrocytes grown in the gel matrix do not divide and they have reduced expression of aquaporin-4 and the endothelin receptor, type B compared to two-dimensional cultures, but maintain their expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein. The effects of conditioned media from these astrocytes on the barrier phenotype of the endothelium was compared with media from astrocytes grown conventionally on a two-dimensional (2D) substratum. Both induce the expression of tight junction proteins zonula occludens-1 and claudin-5 in hCMEC/D3 cells, but there was no difference between the induced expression levels by the two media. The model has been used to assess the transport of glucose-coated 4nm gold nanoparticles and for leukocyte migration. TEM was used to trace and quantitate the movement of the nanoparticles across the endothelium and into the astrocytes. This blood-brain barrier model is very suitable for assessing delivery of nanoparticles and larger biomolecules to cells of the CNS, following transport across the endothelium. PMID:26870320

  20. Induction of a Proinflammatory Response in Cortical Astrocytes by the Major Metabolites Accumulating in HMG-CoA Lyase Deficiency: the Role of ERK Signaling Pathway in Cytokine Release.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Carolina Gonçalves; Rodrigues, Marília Danyelle Nunes; Seminotti, Bianca; Colín-González, Ana Laura; Santamaria, Abel; Quincozes-Santos, André; Wajner, Moacir

    2016-08-01

    3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaric aciduria (HMGA) is an inherited metabolic disorder caused by 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA lyase deficiency. It is biochemically characterized by predominant tissue accumulation and high urinary excretion of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutarate (HMG) and 3-methylglutarate (MGA). Affected patients commonly present acute symptoms during metabolic decompensation, including vomiting, seizures, and lethargy/coma accompanied by metabolic acidosis and hypoketotic hypoglycemia. Although neurological manifestations are common, the pathogenesis of brain injury in this disease is poorly known. Astrocytes are important for neuronal protection and are susceptible to damage by neurotoxins. In the present study, we investigated the effects of HMG and MGA on important parameters of redox homeostasis and cytokine production in cortical cultured astrocytes. The role of the metabolites on astrocyte mitochondrial function (thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide (MTT) reduction) and viability (propidium iodide incorporation) was also studied. Both organic acids decreased astrocytic mitochondrial function and the concentrations of reduced glutathione without altering cell viability. In contrast, they increased reactive species formation (2'-7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCFHDA) oxidation), as well as IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF α release through the ERK signaling pathway. Taken together, the data indicate that the principal compounds accumulating in HMGA induce a proinflammatory response in cultured astrocytes that may possibly be involved in the neuropathology of this disease. PMID:26099308