Thomas, Mélanie H; Pelleieux, Sandra; Vitale, Nicolas; Olivier, Jean Luc
Alzheimer's disease and associated diseases constitute a major public health concern worldwide. Nutrition-based, preventive strategies could possibly be effective in delaying the occurrence of these diseases and lower their prevalence. Arachidonic acid is the second major polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and several studies support its involvement in Alzheimer's disease. The objective of this review is to examine how dietary arachidonic acid contributes to Alzheimer's disease mechanisms and therefore to its prevention. First, we explore the sources of neuronal arachidonic acid that could potentially originate from either the conversion of linoleic acid, or from dietary sources and transfer across the blood-brain-barrier. In a second part, a brief overview of the role of the two main agents of Alzheimer's disease, tau protein and Aβ peptide is given, followed by the examination of the relationship between arachidonic acid and the disease. Third, the putative mechanisms by which arachidonic acid could influence Alzheimer's disease occurrence and evolution are presented. The conclusion is devoted to what remains to be determined before integrating arachidonic acid in the design of preventive strategies against Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Gibson, Gary E.; Starkov, Anatoly; Blass, John P.; Ratan, Rajiv R.; Beal, M. Flint
approaches in age associated neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:19715758
Newberg, Andrew B; Serruya, Mijail; Wintering, Nancy; Moss, Aleezé Sattar; Reibel, Diane; Monti, Daniel A
Neurodegenerative diseases pose a significant problem for the healthcare system, doctors, and patients. With an aging population, more and more individuals are developing neurodegenerative diseases and there are few treatment options at the present time. Meditation techniques present an interesting potential adjuvant treatment for patients with neurodegenerative diseases and have the advantage of being inexpensive, and easy to teach and perform. There is increasing research evidence to support the application of meditation techniques to help improve cognition and memory in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses the current data on meditation, memory, and attention, and the potential applications of meditation techniques in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
Vann, Kiara T; Xiong, Zhi-Gang
Neurodegenerative diseases are devastating conditions that lead to progressive degeneration of neurons. Neurodegeneration may result in ataxia, dementia, and muscle atrophies, etc. Despite enormous research efforts that have been made, there is lack of effective therapeutic interventions for most of these diseases. Optogenetics is a recently developed novel technique that combines optics and genetics to modulate the activity of specific neurons. Optogenetics has been implemented in various studies including neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on the recent advance in using this technique for the studies of common neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27186317
Schaeffer, Eric; Duplantier, Allen
As the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system, glutamate is critically involved in most aspects of CNS function. Given this critical role, it is not surprising that glutamatergic dysfunction is associated with many CNS disorders. In this chapter, we review the literature that links aberrant glutamate neurotransmission with CNS pathology, with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases. The biology and pharmacology of the various glutamate receptor families are discussed, along with data which links these receptors with neurodegenerative conditions. In addition, we review progress that has been made in developing small molecule modulators of glutamate receptors and transporters, and describe how these compounds have helped us understand the complex pharmacology of glutamate in normal CNS function, as well as their potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Hwang, Hyejin; Zhang, Jianpeng; Chung, Kathryn A.; Leverenz, James B.; Zabetian, Cyrus P.; Peskind, Elaine R.; Jankovic, Joseph; Su, Zhen; Hancock, Aneeka M.; Pan, Catherine; Montine, Thomas J.; Pan, Sheng; Nutt, John; Albin, Roger; Gearing, Marla; Beyer, Richard P.; Shi, Min; Zhang, Jing
Protein glycosylation regulates protein function and cellular distribution. Additionally, aberrant protein glycosylations have been recognized to play major roles in human disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases. Glycoproteomics, a branch of proteomics that catalogs and quantifies glycoproteins, provides a powerful means to systematically profile the glycopeptides or glycoproteins of a complex mixture that are highly enriched in body fluids, and therefore, carry great potential to be diagnostic and/or prognostic markers. Application of this mass spectrometry-based technology to the study of neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease) is relatively new, and is expected to provide insight into the biochemical pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, as well as biomarker discovery. In this review, we have summarized the current understanding of glycoproteins in biology and neurodegenerative disease, and have discussed existing proteomic technologies that are utilized to characterize glycoproteins. Some of the ongoing studies, where glycoproteins isolated from cerebrospinal fluid and human brain are being characterized in Parkinson's disease at different stages versus controls, are presented, along with future applications of targeted validation of brain specific glycoproteins in body fluids. PMID:19358229
Hung, Chia-Wei; Chen, Yu-Chih; Hsieh, Wan-Ling; Chiou, Shih-Hwa; Kao, Chung-Lan
Ageing, which all creatures must encounter, is a challenge to every living organism. In the human body, it is estimated that cell division and metabolism occurs exuberantly until about 25 years of age. Beyond this age, subsidiary products of metabolism and cell damage accumulate, and the phenotypes of ageing appear, causing disease formation. Among these age-related diseases, neurodegenerative diseases have drawn a lot of attention due to their irreversibility, lack of effective treatment, and accompanied social and economical burdens. In seeking to ameliorate ageing and age-related diseases, the search for anti-ageing drugs has been of much interest. Numerous studies have shown that the plant polyphenol, resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene), extends the lifespan of several species, prevents age-related diseases, and possesses anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. The beneficial effects of resveratrol are believed to be associated with the activation of a longevity gene, SirT1. In this review, we discuss the pathogenesis of age-related neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and cerebrovascular disease. The therapeutic potential of resveratrol, diet and the roles of stem cell therapy are discussed to provide a better understanding of the ageing mystery.
Zhang, Jing; Keene, C. Dirk; Pan, Catherine; Montine, Kathleen S.; Montine, Thomas J.
The technology, experimental approaches, and bioinformatics that support proteomic research are evolving rapidly. The application of these new capabilities to the study of neurodegenerative diseases is providing insight into the biochemical pathogenesis of neurodegeneration as well as fueling major efforts in biomarker discovery. Here, we review the fundamentals of commonly used proteomic approaches and the outcomes of these investigations with autopsy and cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients with neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18800015
Moodley, K K; Chan, D
AD is the commonest neurodegenerative disorder resulting ultimately in dementia, a stage during which there is a loss of previously acquired intellectual skill and independent occupational and social function. Neurodegenerative changes within the hippocampus and an extended neuronal network involving the medial temporal and medial parietal lobe result in the archetypal memory impairment seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). As attention focuses increasingly on early diagnosis and treatment of dementia, this understanding of the hippocampal involvement in AD has helped to develop diagnostic tools for use in early disease. However, hippocampal damage is also a common feature among non-AD neurodegenerative dementias. Neuroimaging techniques, in conjunction with behavioral and pathological techniques, can be used to determine the involvement of the hippocampus in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Kwon, Min Jee; Kim, Sunhong; Han, Myeong Hoon; Lee, Sung Bae
Afflicted neurons in various neurodegenerative diseases generally display diverse and complex pathological features before catastrophic occurrence of massive neuronal loss at the late stages of the diseases. This complex nature of neuronal pathophysiology inevitably implicates systemwide changes in basic cellular activities such as transcriptional controls and signal cascades, and so on, as a cause. Recently, as one of these systemwide cellular changes associated with neurodegenerative diseases, epigenetic changes caused by protein toxicity have begun to be highlighted. Notably, recent advances in related techniques including next-generation sequencing (NGS) and mass spectrometry enable us to monitor changes in the post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histone proteins and to link these changes in histone PTMs to the specific transcriptional changes. Indeed, epigenetic alterations and consequent changes in neuronal transcriptome are now begun to be extensively studied in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this review, we will discuss details of our current understandings on epigenetic changes associated with two representative neurodegenerative diseases [AD and polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases] and further discuss possible future development of pharmaceutical treatment of the diseases through modulating these epigenetic changes. PMID:27871175
Up to date, almost all researchers consider that there is still no effective therapy for neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) and therefore, these diseases are incurable. However, since May 1998, we know that a progressive ischemia in the medial temporal lobes and subcommissural regions can cause Alzheimer’s disease; because, in contrast to this, its revascularization by means of omental tissue can cure or improve this disease. Likewise we observed that the aging process, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; all of them are of ischemic origin caused by cerebral atherosclerosis, associated with vascular anomalies and/or environmental chemicals. On the contrary, an omental transplantation on the affected zone can stop and improve these diseases. For these reasons, I believe that NDDs, are wrongly classified as neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25232510
The long-term, progressive decay of the central nervous system typifies prion diseases, a group of rare, transmissible maladies affecting humans, sheep, cattle and some other types of mammal. Little is known about the early molecular events in its pathogenesis but the diverse roles of PrP, the prion protein, in its destructive action have recently been re-emphasised.
Bourassa, Megan W.
Metal ions are known to play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and prion diseases. In these diseases, aberrant metal binding or improper regulation of redox active metal ions can induce oxidative stress by producing cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). Altered metal homeostasis is also frequently seen in the diseased state. As a result, the imaging of metals in intact biological cells and tissues has been very important for understanding the role of metals in neurodegenerative diseases. A wide range of imaging techniques have been utilized, including X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM), particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), all of which allow for the imaging of metals in biological specimens with high spatial resolution and detection sensitivity. These techniques represent unique tools for advancing the understanding of the disease mechanisms and for identifying possible targets for developing treatments. In this review, we will highlight the advances in neurodegenerative disease research facilitated by metal imaging techniques. PMID:22797194
Mazzetti, Anna Paola; Fiorile, Maria Carmela; Primavera, Alessandra; Lo Bello, Mario
There is substantial agreement that the unbalance between oxidant and antioxidant species may affect the onset and/or the course of a number of common diseases including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Many studies suggest a crucial role for oxidative stress in the first phase of aging, or in the pathogenesis of various diseases including neurological ones. Particularly, the role exerted by glutathione and glutathione-related enzymes (Glutathione Transferases) in the nervous system appears more relevant, this latter tissue being much more vulnerable to toxins and oxidative stress than other tissues such as liver, kidney or muscle. The present review addresses the question by focusing on the results obtained by specimens from patients or by in vitro studies using cells or animal models related to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. In general, there is an association between glutathione depletion and Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease. In addition, a significant decrease of glutathione transferase activity in selected areas of brain and in ventricular cerebrospinal fluid was found. For some glutathione transferase genes there is also a correlation between polymorphisms and onset/outcome of neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, there is a general agreement about the protective effect exerted by glutathione and glutathione transferases but no clear answer about the mechanisms underlying this crucial role in the insurgence of neurodegenerative diseases.
Alirezaei, Mehrdad; Kemball, Christopher C.; Whitton, J. Lindsay
Autophagy is emerging as a central regulator of cellular health and disease and, in the central nervous system (CNS), this homeostatic process appears to influence synaptic growth and plasticity. Herein, we review the evidence that dysregulation of autophagy may contribute to several neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS. Up-regulation of autophagy may prevent, delay or ameliorate at least some of these disorders, and – based on recent findings from our laboratory – we speculate that this goal may be achieved using a safe, simple, and inexpensive approach. PMID:21138487
Atkin, Graham; Paulson, Henry
Control of proper protein synthesis, function, and turnover is essential for the health of all cells. In neurons these demands take on the additional importance of supporting and regulating the highly dynamic connections between neurons that are necessary for cognitive function, learning, and memory. Regulating multiple unique synaptic protein environments within a single neuron while maintaining cell health requires the highly regulated processes of ubiquitination and degradation of ubiquitinated proteins through the proteasome. In this review, we examine the effects of dysregulated ubiquitination and protein clearance on the handling of disease-associated proteins and neuronal health in the most common neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25071440
Bahramali, Golnaz; Goliaei, Bahram; Minuchehr, Zarrin; Salari, Ali
Chameleon sequences can adopt either alpha helix sheet or a coil conformation. Defining chameleon sequences in PDB (Protein Data Bank) may yield to an insight on defining peptides and proteins responsible in neurodegeneration. In this research, we benefitted from the large PDB and performed a sequence analysis on Chameleons, where we developed an algorithm to extract peptide segments with identical sequences, but different structures. In order to find new chameleon sequences, we extracted a set of 8315 non-redundant protein sequences from the PDB with an identity less than 25%. Our data was classified to "helix to strand (HE)", "helix to coil (HC)" and "strand to coil (CE)" alterations. We also analyzed the occurrence of singlet and doublet amino acids and the solvent accessibility in the chameleon sequences; we then sorted out the proteins with the most number of chameleon sequences and named them Chameleon Flexible Proteins (CFPs) in our dataset. Our data revealed that Gly, Val, Ile, Tyr and Phe, are the major amino acids in Chameleons. We also found that there are proteins such as Insulin Degrading Enzyme IDE and GTP-binding nuclear protein Ran (RAN) with the most number of chameleons (640 and 405 respectively). These proteins have known roles in neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore it can be inferred that other CFP's can serve as key proteins in neurodegeneration, and a study on them can shed light on curing and preventing neurodegenerative diseases.
Emerit, J; Edeas, M; Bricaire, F
Oxidative stress is now recognized as accountable for redox regulation involving reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). Its role is pivotal for the modulation of critical cellular functions, notably for neurons astrocytes and microglia, such as apoptosis program activation, and ion transport, calcium mobilization, involved in excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity and apoptosis are the two main causes of neuronal death. The role of mitochondria in apoptosis is crucial. Multiple apoptotic pathways emanate from the mitochondria. The respiratory chain of mitochondria that by oxidative phosphorylation, is the fount of cellular energy, i.e. ATP synthesis, is responsible for most of ROS and notably the first produced, superoxide anion (O(2)(;-)). Mitochondrial dysfunction, i.e. cell energy impairment, apoptosis and overproduction of ROS, is a final common pathogenic mechanism in aging and in neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Nitric oxide (NO(;)), an RNS, which can be produced by three isoforms of NO-synthase in brain, plays a prominent role. The research on the genetics of inherited forms notably ALS, AD, PD, has improved our understanding of the pathobiology of the sporadic forms of neurodegenerative diseases or of aging of the brain. ROS and RNS, i.e. oxidative stress, are not the origin of neuronal death. The cascade of events that leads to neurons, death is complex. In addition to mitochondrial dysfunction (apoptosis), excitotoxicity, oxidative stress (inflammation), the mechanisms from gene to disease involve also protein misfolding leading to aggregates and proteasome dysfunction on ubiquinited material.
Most genetic causes of neurodegenerative disorders in childhood are due to neurometabolic disease. There are over 200 disorders, including aminoacidopathies, creatine disorders, mitochondrial cytopathies, peroxisomal disorders and lysosomal storage disorders. However, diagnosis can pose a challenge to the clinician when patients present with non-specific problems like epilepsy, developmental delay, autism, dystonia and ataxia. The variety of specialist tests involved can also be daunting. This review aims to give a practical approach to the investigation and diagnosis of neurometabolic disease from the neonatal period to late childhood while prioritising disorders where there are therapeutic options. In particular, patients who have a complex clinical picture of several neurological and non-neurological features should be investigated.
Aging is the most significant risk factor for a range of degenerative disease such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders. While the cause of aging and its associated diseases is multifactorial, mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the aging process and the onset and progression of age-associated disorders. Recent studies indicate that maintenance of mitochondrial function is beneficial in the prevention or delay of age-associated diseases. A central molecule seems to be the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator α (PGC-1α), which is the key regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. Besides regulating mitochondrial function, PGC-1α targets several other cellular processes and thereby influences cell fate on multiple levels. This paper discusses how mitochondrial function and PGC-1α are affected in age-associated diseases and how modulation of PGC-1α might offer a therapeutic potential for age-related pathology. PMID:21629705
Aging is the most significant risk factor for a range of degenerative disease such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders. While the cause of aging and its associated diseases is multifactorial, mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the aging process and the onset and progression of age-associated disorders. Recent studies indicate that maintenance of mitochondrial function is beneficial in the prevention or delay of age-associated diseases. A central molecule seems to be the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator α (PGC-1α), which is the key regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. Besides regulating mitochondrial function, PGC-1α targets several other cellular processes and thereby influences cell fate on multiple levels. This paper discusses how mitochondrial function and PGC-1α are affected in age-associated diseases and how modulation of PGC-1α might offer a therapeutic potential for age-related pathology.
Neuronal homeostasis depends on the proper functioning of different quality control systems. All intracellular components are subjected to continuous turnover through the coordinated synthesis, degradation and recycling of their constituent elements. Autophagy is the catabolic mechanism by which intracellular cytosolic components, including proteins, organelles, aggregates and any other intracellular materials, are delivered to lysosomes for degradation. Among the different types of selective autophagy described to date, the process of mitophagy involves the selective autophagic degradation of mitochondria. In this way, mitophagy is responsible for basal mitochondrial turnover, but can also be induced under certain physiological or pathogenic conditions to eliminate unwanted or damaged mitochondria. Dysfunctional cellular proteolytic systems have been linked extensively to neurodegenerative diseases (ND) like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), or Huntington’s disease (HD), with autophagic failure being one of the main factors contributing to neuronal cell death in these diseases. Neurons are particularly vulnerable to autophagic impairment as well as to mitochondrial dysfunction, due mostly to their particular high energy dependence and to their post-mitotic nature. The accurate and proper degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria by mitophagy is essential for maintaining control over mitochondrial quality and quantity in neurons. In this report, I will review the role of mitophagy in neuronal homeostasis and the consequences of its dysfunction in ND. PMID:28337125
Lunn, J Simon; Sakowski, Stacey A; Hur, Junguk; Feldman, Eva L
Over the past 20 years, stem cell technologies have become an increasingly attractive option to investigate and treat neurodegenerative diseases. In the current review, we discuss the process of extending basic stem cell research into translational therapies for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. We begin with a discussion of the burden of these diseases on society, emphasizing the need for increased attention toward advancing stem cell therapies. We then explain the various types of stem cells utilized in neurodegenerative disease research, and outline important issues to consider in the transition of stem cell therapy from bench to bedside. Finally, we detail the current progress regarding the applications of stem cell therapies to specific neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, Alzheimer disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and spinal muscular atrophy. With a greater understanding of the capacity of stem cell technologies, there is growing public hope that stem cell therapies will continue to progress into realistic and efficacious treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.
Silva Adaya, Daniela; Aguirre-Cruz, Lucinda; Guevara, Jorge; Ortiz-Islas, Emma
The blood-brain barrier is the interface between the blood and brain, impeding the passage of most circulating cells and molecules, protecting the latter from foreign substances, and maintaining central nervous system homeostasis. However, its restrictive nature constitutes an obstacle, preventing therapeutic drugs from entering the brain. Usually, a large systemic dose is required to achieve pharmacological therapeutic levels in the brain, leading to adverse effects in the body. As a consequence, various strategies are being developed to enhance the amount and concentration of therapeutic compounds in the brain. One such tool is nanotechnology, in which nanostructures that are 1-100 nm are designed to deliver drugs to the brain. In this review, we examine many nanotechnology-based approaches to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The review begins with a brief history of nanotechnology, followed by a discussion of its definition, the properties of most reported nanomaterials, their biocompatibility, the mechanisms of cell-material interactions, and the current status of nanotechnology in treating Alzheimer's, Parkinson's diseases, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Of all strategies to deliver drug to the brain that are used in nanotechnology, drug release systems are the most frequently reported.
Masuzzo, Ambra; Dinet, Virginie; Cavanagh, Chelsea; Mascarelli, Frederic; Krantic, Slavica
As a part of the central nervous system, the retina may reflect both physiological processes and abnormalities related to pathologies that affect the brain. Amyloidosis due to the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) was initially regarded as a specific and exclusive characteristic of neurodegenerative alterations seen in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. More recently, it was discovered that amyloidosis-related alterations, similar to those seen in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, also occur in the retina. Remarkably, these alterations were identified not only in primary retinal pathologies, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, but also in the retinas of Alzheimer’s patients. In this review, we first briefly discuss the biogenesis of Aβ, a peptide involved in amyloidosis. We then discuss some pathological aspects (synaptic dysfunction, mitochondrial failure, glial activation, and vascular abnormalities) related to the neurotoxic effects of Aβ. We finally highlight common features shared by AD, AMD, and glaucoma in the context of Aβ amyloidosis and further discuss why the retina, due to the transparency of the eye, can be considered as a “window” to the brain. PMID:27551275
Chow, Maggie L; Brambati, Simona M; Gorno-Tempini, Maria Luisa; Miller, Bruce L; Johnson, Julene K
Modern cognitive neuroscientific theories and empirical evidence suggest that brain structures involved in movement may be related to action-related semantic knowledge. To test this hypothesis, we examined the naming of environmental sounds in patients with corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), two neurodegenerative diseases associated with cognitive and motor deficits. Subjects were presented with 56 environmental sounds: 28 sounds were of objects that required manipulation when producing the sound, and 28 sounds were of objects that required no manipulation. Subjects were asked to provide the name of the object that produced the sound and also complete a sound-picture matching condition. Subjects included 33 individuals from four groups: CBD/PSP, Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal dementia, and normal controls. We hypothesized that CBD/PSP patients would exhibit impaired naming performance compared with controls, but the impairment would be most apparent when naming sounds associated with actions. We also explored neural correlates of naming environmental sounds using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of brain MRI. As expected, CBD/PSP patients scored lower on environmental sounds naming (p<0.007) compared with the controls. In particular, the CBD/PSP patients scored the lowest when naming sounds of manipulable objects (p<0.05), but did not show deficits in naming sounds of non-manipulable objects. VBM analysis across all groups showed that performance in naming sounds of manipulable objects correlated with atrophy in the left pre-motor region, extending from area six to the middle and superior frontal gyrus. These results indicate an association between impairment in the retrieval of action-related names and the motor system, and suggest that difficulty in naming manipulable sounds may be related to atrophy in the pre-motor cortex. Our results support the hypothesis that retrieval of action-related semantic knowledge involves motor
Risacher, Shannon L.; Saykin, Andrew J.
Neurodegenerative disorders leading to dementia are common diseases that affect many older and some young adults. Neuroimaging methods are important tools for assessing and monitoring pathological brain changes associated with progressive neurodegenerative conditions. In this review, the authors describe key findings from neuroimaging studies (magnetic resonance imaging and radionucleotide imaging) in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and prodromal stages, familial and atypical AD syndromes, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with and without dementia, Parkinson’s disease with and without dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, and prion protein associated diseases (i.e., Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). The authors focus on neuroimaging findings of in vivo pathology in these disorders, as well as the potential for neuroimaging to provide useful information for differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24234359
Li, Kai; Reichmann, Heinz
Currently, we still lack effective measures to modify disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases. Iron-containing proteins play an essential role in many fundamental biological processes in the central nervous system. In addition, iron is a redox-active ion and can induce oxidative stress in the cell. Although the causes and pathology hallmarks of different neurodegenerative diseases vary, iron dyshomeostasis, oxidative stress and mitochondrial injury constitute a common pathway to cell death in several neurodegenerative diseases. MRI is capable of depicting iron content in the brain, and serves as a potential biomarker for early and differential diagnosis, tracking disease progression and evaluating the effectiveness of neuroprotective therapy. Iron chelators have shown their efficacy against neurodegeneration in a series of animal models, and been applied in several clinical trials. In this review, we summarize recent developments on iron dyshomeostasis in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Friedreich ataxia, and Huntington's disease.
Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Ibáñez, Agustín; Roca, María; Torralva, Teresa; Manes, Facundo
A large proportion of human social neuroscience research has focused on the issue of decision-making. Impaired decision-making is a symptomatic feature of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, but the nature of these decision-making deficits depends on the particular disease. Thus, examining the qualitative differences in decision-making impairments associated with different neurodegenerative diseases could provide valuable information regarding the underlying neural basis of decision-making. Nevertheless, few comparative reports of decision-making across patient groups exist. In this Review, we examine the neuroanatomical substrates of decision-making in relation to the neuropathological changes that occur in Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson disease and Huntington disease. We then examine the main findings from studies of decision-making in these neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, we suggest a number of recommendations that future studies could adopt to aid our understanding of decision-making cognition.
Mitochondria are key cytoplasmic organelles, responsible for generating cellular energy, regulating intracellular calcium levels, altering the reduction-oxidation potential of cells, and regulating cell death. Increasing evidence suggests that mitochondria play a central role in aging and in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Freidriech ataxia. Further, several lines of evidence suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction is an early event in most late-onset neurodegenerative diseases. Biochemical and animal model studies of inherited neurodegenerative diseases have revealed that mutant proteins of these diseases are associated with mitochondria. Mutant proteins are reported to block the transport of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins to mitochondria, interact with mitochondrial proteins and disrupt the electron transport chain, induce free radicals, cause mitochondrial dysfunction, and, ultimately, damage neurons. This article discusses critical issues of mitochondria causing dysfunction in aging and neurodegenerative diseases, and discusses the potential of developing mitochondrial medicine, particularly mitochondrially targeted antioxidants, to treat aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18566920
Mot, Alexandra I; Wedd, Anthony G; Sinclair, Layla; Brown, David R; Collins, Steven J; Brazier, Marcus W
The clinical and pathological spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases is diverse, although common to many of these disorders is the accumulation of misfolded proteins, with oxidative stress thought to be an important contributing mechanism to neuronal damage. As a corollary, transition metal ion dyshomeostasis appears to play a key pathogenic role in a number of these maladies, including the most common of neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, studies spanning a wide variety of neurodegenerative disorders are presented with their involvement of transition metals compared and contrasted, including more detailed treatise in relation to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and prion diseases. For each of these diseases, a discussion of the evolving scientific rationale for the development of therapies aimed at ameliorating the detrimental effects of transition metal dysregulation, including results from various human trials, is then provided.
Magen, Iddo; Hornstein, Eran
Molecular genetics insight into the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer׳s disease, Parkinson׳s disease, Huntington׳s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, encourages direct interference with the activity of neurotoxic genes or the molecular activation of neuroprotective pathways. Oligonucleotide-based therapies are recently emerging as an efficient strategy for drug development and these can be employed as new treatments of neurodegenerative states. Here we review advances in this field in recent years which suggest an encouraging assessment that oligonucleotide technologies for targeting of RNAs will enable the development of new therapies and will contribute to preservation of brain integrity.
Lu, Haoyang; Liu, Xinzhou; Deng, Yulin; Qing, Hong
Epigenetic alterations represent a sort of functional modifications related to the genome that are not responsible for changes in the nucleotide sequence. DNA methylation is one of such epigenetic modifications that have been studied intensively for the past several decades. The transfer of a methyl group to the 5 position of a cytosine is the key feature of DNA methylation. A simple change as such can be caused by a variety of factors, which can be the cause of many serious diseases including several neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we have reviewed and summarized recent progress regarding DNA methylation in four major neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The studies of these four major neurodegenerative diseases conclude the strong suggestion of the important role DNA methylation plays in these diseases. However, each of these diseases has not yet been understood completely as details in some areas remain unclear, and will be investigated in future studies. We hope this review can provide new insights into the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases from the epigenetic perspective. PMID:24367332
Main, Bevan S.; Minter, Myles R.
Neuro-inflammation is a critical process by which the brain coordinates chemokine-regulated cellular recruitment, cytokine release, and cell-mediated removal of pathogenic material to protect against infection or brain injury. Dysregulation of this immune response is involved in multiple neurodegenerative disorders, however the precise contribution of neuro-inflammation to the exacerbation and progression of these diseases remains unclear. Evidence now suggests that commensal micro-organisms populating the host and their metabolites, collectively termed the microbiome, regulate innate immunity by influencing peripheral immune cell populations, and modulating microglial phenotype. Recent preclinical studies now demonstrate that perturbations in the host microbiome can induce alterations in pathological phenotypes associated with numerous neurodegenerative diseases. How perturbations in the host microbiome and subsequently altered peripheral immune status are communicated to the brain to influence neuro-inflammatory processes in these neurodegenerative disease settings is far from understood. This review provides insight into the regulation of neuro-inflammatory processes by the host microbiome in the context of neurodegenerative disease and highlights the potential importance of the blood-brain barrier and blood-cerebrospinal fluid-brain barrier, functioning as “immune barriers,” to communicate host immune status to the brain. Understanding the mechanisms by which the commensal microbiome communicates with the brain to influence neuro-inflammatory processes will be critical in the development of microbially-targeted therapeutics in the potential treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:28386215
Agosta, Federica; Galantucci, Sebastiano; Filippi, Massimo
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is playing an increasingly important role in the study of neurodegenerative diseases, delineating the structural and functional alterations determined by these conditions. Advanced MRI techniques are of special interest for their potential to characterize the signature of each neurodegenerative condition and aid both the diagnostic process and the monitoring of disease progression. This aspect will become crucial when disease-modifying (personalized) therapies will be established. MRI techniques are very diverse and go from the visual inspection of MRI scans to more complex approaches, such as manual and automatic volume measurements, diffusion tensor MRI, and functional MRI. All these techniques allow us to investigate the different features of neurodegeneration. In this review, we summarize the most recent advances concerning the use of MRI in some of the most important neurodegenerative conditions, putting an emphasis on the advanced techniques.
Chen, Chao; Xiao, Shi-Fu
Neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, are characterized by idiopathic neuron loss in different regions of the central nervous system, which contributes to the relevant dysfunctions in the patients. The application of cell replacement therapy using human embryonic stem (hES) cells, though having attracted much attention, has been hampered by the intrinsic ethical problems. It has been demonstrated that adult somatic cells can be reprogrammed into the embryonic state, called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. It is soon realized that iPS cells may be an alternative source for cell replacement therapy, because it raises no ethical problems and using patient-specific iPS cells for autologous transplantation will not lead to immunological rejection. What's more, certain types of neurons derived from patient-specific iPS cells may display disease-relevant phenotypes. Thus, patient-specific iPS cells can provide a unique opportunity to directly investigate the pathological properties of relevant neural cells in individual patient, and to study the vulnerability of neural cells to pathogenic factors in vitro, which may help reveal the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, the recent development in cellular treatment of neurodegenerative diseases using iPS cells was summarized, and the potential value of iPS cells in the modeling of neurodegenerative disease was discussed.
Ginseng, the root of the Panax ginseng, has been a popular and widely-used traditional herbal medicine in Korea, China, and Japan for thousands of years. Now it has become popular as a functional health food and is used globally as a natural medicine. Evidence is accumulating in the literature on the physiological and pharmacological effects of P. ginseng on neurodegenerative diseases. Possible ginseng- or ginsenosides-mediated neuroprotective mechanisms mainly involve maintaining homeostasis, and anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, and immune-stimulatory activities. This review considers publications dealing with the various actions of P. ginseng that are indicative of possible neurotherapeutic efficacies in neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. PMID:23717136
Qu, Jing; Yu, Shuqing; Zheng, Yuan; Zheng, Yan; Yang, Hui; Zhang, Jianliang
Aptamers are small single-stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotide fragments or small peptides, which can bind to targets by high affinity and specificity. Because aptamers are specific, non-immunogenic and non-toxic, they are ideal materials for clinical applications. Neurodegenerative disorders are ravaging the lives of patients. Even though the mechanism of these diseases is still elusive, they are mainly characterized by the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the central nervous system. So it is essential to develop potential measures to slow down or prevent the onset of these diseases. With the advancements of the technologies, aptamers have opened up new areas in this research field. Aptamers could bind with these related target proteins to interrupt their accumulation, subsequently blocking or preventing the process of neurodegenerative diseases. This review presents recent advances in the aptamer generation and its merits and limitations, with emphasis on its applications in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, Huntington's disease and multiple sclerosis.
Tellone, Ester; Galtieri, Antonio; Russo, Annamaria; Giardina, Bruno; Ficarra, Silvana
Molecules of the plant world are proving their effectiveness in countering, slowing down, and regressing many diseases. The resveratrol for its intrinsic properties related to its stilbene structure has been proven to be a universal panacea, especially for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases. This paper evaluates (in vivo and in vitro) the various molecular targets of this peculiar polyphenol and its ability to effectively counter several neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. What emerges is that, in the deep heterogeneity of the pathologies evaluated, resveratrol through a convergence on the protein targets is able to give therapeutic responses in neuronal cells deeply diversified not only in morphological structure but especially in their function performed in the anatomical district to which they belong. PMID:26180587
Yuste, Jose Enrique; Tarragon, Ernesto; Campuzano, Carmen María; Ros-Bernal, Francisco
Nitric oxide (NO) is a pleiotropic janus-faced molecule synthesized by nitric oxide synthases (NOS) which plays a critical role in a number of physiological and pathological processes in humans. The physiological roles of NO depend on its local concentrations, as well as its availability and the nature of downstream target molecules. Its double-edged sword action has been linked to neurodegenerative disorders. Excessive NO production, as the evoked by inflammatory signals, has been identified as one of the major causative reasons for the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, excessive NO synthesis under neuroinflammation leads to the formation of reactive nitrogen species and neuronal cell death. There is an intimate relation between microglial activation, NO and neuroinflammation in the human brain. The role of NO in neuroinflammation has been defined in animal models where this neurotransmitter can modulate the inflammatory process acting on key regulatory pathways, such as those associated with excitotoxicity processes induced by glutamate accumulation and microglial activation. Activated glia express inducible NOS and produce NO that triggers calcium mobilization from the endoplasmic reticulum, activating the release of vesicular glutamate from astroglial cells resulting in neuronal death. This change in microglia potentially contributes to the increased age-associated susceptibility and neurodegeneration. In the current review, information is provided about the role of NO, glial activation and age-related processes in the central nervous system (CNS) that may be helpful in the isolation of new therapeutic targets for aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26347610
Conti, Valeria; Izzo, Viviana; Corbi, Graziamaria; Russomanno, Giusy; Manzo, Valentina; De Lise, Federica; Di Donato, Alberto; Filippelli, Amelia
Oxidative stress is generally considered as the consequence of an imbalance between pro- and antioxidants species, which often results into indiscriminate and global damage at the organismal level. Elderly people are more susceptible to oxidative stress and this depends, almost in part, from a decreased performance of their endogenous antioxidant system. As many studies reported an inverse correlation between systemic levels of antioxidants and several diseases, primarily cardiovascular diseases, but also diabetes and neurological disorders, antioxidant supplementation has been foreseen as an effective preventive and therapeutic intervention for aging-associated pathologies. However, the expectations of this therapeutic approach have often been partially disappointed by clinical trials. The interplay of both endogenous and exogenous antioxidants with the systemic redox system is very complex and represents an issue that is still under debate. In this review a selection of recent clinical studies concerning antioxidants supplementation and the evaluation of their influence in aging-related diseases is analyzed. The controversial outcomes of antioxidants supplementation therapies, which might partially depend from an underestimation of the patient specific metabolic demand and genetic background, are presented. PMID:26903869
Bubko, Irena; Gruber, Beata M; Anuszewska, Elżbieta L
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) plays an important role in metabolism. It is indispensable for normal growth and development of the organism. Thiamine has a favourable impact on a number of systems, including the digestive, cardiovascular and nervous systems. It also stimulates the brain and improves the psycho-emotional state. Hence it is often called the vitamin of "reassurance of the spirit". Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin. It can be present in the free form as thiamine or as its phosphate esters: mono-, di- or triphosphate. The main source of thiamine as an exogenous vitamin is certain foodstuffs, but trace amounts can be synthesised by microorganisms of the large intestine. The recommended daily intake of thiamine is about 2.0 mg. Since vitamin B1 has no ability to accumulate in the organism, manifestations of its deficiency begin to appear very quickly. The chronic state of thiamine deficiency, to a large extent, because of its function, contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. It was proved that supporting vitamin B1 therapy not only constitutes neuroprotection but can also have a favourable impact on advanced neurodegenerative diseases. This article presents the current state of knowledge as regards the effects of thiamine exerted through this vitamin in a number of diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Wernicke's encephalopathy or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and Huntington's disease.
Amor, Sandra; Peferoen, Laura A N; Vogel, Daphne Y S; Breur, Marjolein; van der Valk, Paul; Baker, David; van Noort, Johannes M
Neurodegeneration, the progressive dysfunction and loss of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), is the major cause of cognitive and motor dysfunction. While neuronal degeneration is well-known in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, it is also observed in neurotrophic infections, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, neoplastic disorders, prion diseases, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as neuropsychiatric disorders and genetic disorders. A common link between these diseases is chronic activation of innate immune responses including those mediated by microglia, the resident CNS macrophages. Such activation can trigger neurotoxic pathways leading to progressive degeneration. Yet, microglia are also crucial for controlling inflammatory processes, and repair and regeneration. The adaptive immune response is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases contributing to tissue damage, but also plays important roles in resolving inflammation and mediating neuroprotection and repair. The growing awareness that the immune system is inextricably involved in mediating damage as well as regeneration and repair in neurodegenerative disorders, has prompted novel approaches to modulate the immune system, although it remains whether these approaches can be used in humans. Additional factors in humans include ageing and exposure to environmental factors such as systemic infections that provide additional clues that may be human specific and therefore difficult to translate from animal models. Nevertheless, a better understanding of how immune responses are involved in neuronal damage and regeneration, as reviewed here, will be essential to develop effective therapies to improve quality of life, and mitigate the personal, economic and social impact of these diseases.
Waggoner, D J; Bartnikas, T B; Gitlin, J D
Copper is an essential trace metal which plays a fundamental role in the biochemistry of the human nervous system. Menkes disease and Wilson disease are inherited disorders of copper metabolism and the dramatic neurodegenerative phenotypes of these two diseases underscore the essential nature of copper in nervous system development as well as the toxicity of this metal when neuronal copper homeostasis is perturbed. Ceruloplasmin contains 95% of the copper found in human plasma and inherited loss of this essential ferroxidase is associated with progressive neurodegeneration of the retina and basal ganglia. Gain-of-function mutations in the cytosolic copper enzyme superoxide dismutase result in the motor neuron degeneration of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and current evidence suggests a direct pathogenic role for copper in this process. Recent studies have also implicated copper in the pathogenesis of neuronal injury in Alzheimer's disease and the prion-mediated encephalopathies, suggesting that further elucidation of the mechanisms of copper trafficking and metabolism within the nervous system will be of direct relevance to our understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of neurodegenerative disease.
Damiani, Ernesto; Bosco, Gerardo
An increasing number of data demonstrate the utility of ketogenic diets in a variety of metabolic diseases as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. In regard to neurological disorders, ketogenic diet is recognized as an effective treatment for pharmacoresistant epilepsy but emerging data suggests that ketogenic diet could be also useful in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer, Parkinson's disease, and some mitochondriopathies. Although these diseases have different pathogenesis and features, there are some common mechanisms that could explain the effects of ketogenic diets. These mechanisms are to provide an efficient source of energy for the treatment of certain types of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by focal brain hypometabolism; to decrease the oxidative damage associated with various kinds of metabolic stress; to increase the mitochondrial biogenesis pathways; and to take advantage of the capacity of ketones to bypass the defect in complex I activity implicated in some neurological diseases. These mechanisms will be discussed in this review. PMID:25101284
Harikumar, Kuzhuvelil B; Aggarwal, Bharat B
Extensive research within the last decade has revealed that most chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, neurological diseases, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases exhibit dysregulation of multiple cell signaling pathways that have been linked to inflammation. Thus mono-targeted therapies developed for the last two decades for these diseases have proven to be unsafe, ineffective and expensive. Although fruits and vegetables are regarded to have therapeutic potential against chronic illnesses, neither their active component nor the mechanism of action is well understood. Resveratrol (trans-3, 5, 4'-trihydroxystilbene), a component of grapes, berries, peanuts and other traditional medicines, is one such polyphenol that has been shown to mediate its effects through modulation of many different pathways. This stilbene has been shown to bind to numerous cell-signaling molecules such as multi drug resistance protein, topoisomerase II, aromatase, DNA polymerase, estrogen receptors, tubulin and F1-ATPase. Resveratrol has also been shown to activate various transcription factor (e.g; NFkappaB, STAT3, HIF-1alpha, beta-catenin and PPAR-gamma), suppress the expression of antiapoptotic gene products (e.g; Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), XIAP and survivin), inhibit protein kinases (e.g; src, PI3K, JNK, and AKT), induce antioxidant enzymes (e,g; catalase, superoxide dismutase and hemoxygenase-1), suppress the expression of inflammatory biomarkers (e.g., TNF, COX-2, iNOS, and CRP), inhibit the expression of angiogenic and metastatic gene products (e.g., MMPs, VEGF, cathepsin D, and ICAM-1), and modulate cell cycle regulatory genes (e.g., p53, Rb, PTEN, cyclins and CDKs). Numerous animal studies have demonstrated that this polyphenol holds promise against numerous age-associated diseases including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. In view of these studies, resveratrol's prospects for use in the clinics are rapidly accelerating
Bhullar, Khushwant S.; Rupasinghe, H. P. Vasantha
Aging leads to numerous transitions in brain physiology including synaptic dysfunction and disturbances in cognition and memory. With a few clinically relevant drugs, a substantial portion of aging population at risk for age-related neurodegenerative disorders require nutritional intervention. Dietary intake of polyphenols is known to attenuate oxidative stress and reduce the risk for related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Huntington's disease (HD). Polyphenols exhibit strong potential to address the etiology of neurological disorders as they attenuate their complex physiology by modulating several therapeutic targets at once. Firstly, we review the advances in the therapeutic role of polyphenols in cell and animal models of AD, PD, MS, and HD and activation of drug targets for controlling pathological manifestations. Secondly, we present principle pathways in which polyphenol intake translates into therapeutic outcomes. In particular, signaling pathways like PPAR, Nrf2, STAT, HIF, and MAPK along with modulation of immune response by polyphenols are discussed. Although current polyphenol researches have limited impact on clinical practice, they have strong evidence and testable hypothesis to contribute clinical advances and drug discovery towards age-related neurological disorders. PMID:23840922
Schraen-Maschke, Susanna; Sergeant, Nicolas; Dhaenens, Claire-Marie; Bombois, Stephanie; Deramecourt, Vincent; Caillet-Boudin, Marie-Laure; Pasquier, Florence; Maurage, Claude-Alain; Sablonniere, Bernard; Vanmechelen, Eugeen; Buee, Luc
Summary The microtubule associated protein Tau is mainly expressed in neurons of the central nervous system and is crucial in axonal maintenance and axonal transport. The rationale for Tau as a biomarker of neurodegenerative diseases is that it is a major component of abnormal intraneuronal aggregates observed in numerous of these diseases named Tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease. The molecular diversity of Tau is very useful when analysing it in the brain or in the peripheral fluids. Immunohistochemical and biochemical characterisation of Tau aggregates in the brain allows the post-mortem classification and differential diagnosis of Tauopathies. As peripheral biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease in the cerebrospinal fluid, Tau proteins are now validated for diagnosis and predictive purposes. For the future, the detailed characterization of Tau in brain and in peripheral fluids will lead to novel promising biomarkers for differential diagnosis of dementia and monitoring of therapeutics. PMID:20477391
Långström, Bengt; Andrén, Per E; Lindhe, Orjan; Svedberg, Marie; Hall, Håkan
Neurodegeneration induces various changes in the brain, changes that may be investigated using neuroimaging techniques. The in vivo techniques are useful for the visualization of major changes, and the progressing abnormalities may also be followed longitudinally. However, to study and quantify minor abnormalities, neuroimaging of postmortem brain tissue is used. These in vitro methods are complementary to the in vivo techniques and contribute to the knowledge of pathophysiology and etiology of the neurodegenerative diseases. In vitro radioligand autoradiography has given great insight in the involvement of different neuronal receptor systems in these diseases. Data on the dopamine and cholinergic systems in neurodegeneration are discussed in this review. Also, the amyloid plaques are studied using in vitro radioligand autoradiography. Using one of the newer methods, imaging matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry, the distribution of a large number of peptides and proteins may be detected in vitro on brain cryosections. In this overview, we describe in vitro imaging techniques in the neurodegenerative diseases as a complement to in vivo positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography imaging.
Jackrel, Meredith E; Shorter, James
Abstract Protein misfolding and aggregation underpin several fatal neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). There are no treatments that directly antagonize the protein-misfolding events that cause these disorders. Agents that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native form and function could simultaneously eliminate any deleterious loss-of-function or toxic gain-of-function caused by misfolded conformers. Moreover, a disruptive technology of this nature would eliminate self-templating conformers that spread pathology and catalyze formation of toxic, soluble oligomers. Here, we highlight our efforts to engineer Hsp104, a protein disaggregase from yeast, to more effectively disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with PD, ALS, and FTD. Remarkably subtle modifications of Hsp104 primary sequence yielded large gains in protective activity against deleterious α-synuclein, TDP-43, FUS, and TAF15 misfolding. Unusually, in many cases loss of amino acid identity at select positions in Hsp104 rather than specific mutation conferred a robust therapeutic gain-of-function. Nevertheless, the misfolding and toxicity of EWSR1, an RNA-binding protein with a prion-like domain linked to ALS and FTD, could not be buffered by potentiated Hsp104 variants, indicating that further amelioration of disaggregase activity or sharpening of substrate specificity is warranted. We suggest that neuroprotection is achievable for diverse neurodegenerative conditions via surprisingly subtle structural modifications of existing chaperones. PMID:25738979
Pérez-Hernández, Jesús; Zaldívar-Machorro, Víctor Javier; Villanueva-Porras, David; Vega-Ávila, Elisa; Chavarría, Anahí
Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) primarily affect the neurons in the human brain secondary to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. ND are more common and have a disproportionate impact on countries with longer life expectancies and represent the fourth highest source of overall disease burden in the high-income countries. A large majority of the medicinal plant compounds, such as polyphenols, alkaloids, and terpenes, have therapeutic properties. Polyphenols are the most common active compounds in herbs and vegetables consumed by man. The biological bioactivity of polyphenols against neurodegeneration is mainly due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloidogenic effects. Multiple scientific studies support the use of herbal medicine in the treatment of ND; however, relevant aspects are still pending to explore such as metabolic analysis, pharmacokinetics, and brain bioavailability. PMID:26881043
Jakovcevski, Mira; Akbarian, Schahram
The exploration of brain epigenomes, which consist of various types of DNA methylation and covalent histone modifications, is providing new and unprecedented insights into the mechanisms of normal neural development, neurological disease and aging. Traditionally, chromatin defects in brain were considered static lesions of early development that occurred in the context of rare genetic syndromes but it is now clear that mutations and maladaptations of the epigenetic machinery cover a much wider continuum, including adult-onset neurodegenerative disease. Here, we describe how recent advances in neuroepigenetics have contributed to an improved mechanistic understanding of developmental and degenerative brain disorders, as well as how they could influence the development of future therapies for these conditions. PMID:22869198
Kuboyama, Tomoharu; Tohda, Chihiro; Komatsu, Katsuko
Neurodegenerative diseases commonly induce irreversible destruction of central nervous system (CNS) neuronal networks, resulting in permanent functional impairments. Effective medications against neurodegenerative diseases are currently lacking. Ashwagandha (roots of Withania somnifera Dunal) is used in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda) for general debility, consumption, nervous exhaustion, insomnia, and loss of memory. In this review, we summarize various effects and mechanisms of Ashwagandha extracts and related compounds on in vitro and in vivo models of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and spinal cord injury.
Giau, Vo Van; Bagyinszky, Eva; An, Seong Soo A; Kim, Sang Yun
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a lipid-transport protein abundantly expressed in most neurons in the central nervous system. APOE-dependent alterations of the endocytic pathway can affect different functions. APOE binds to cell-surface receptors to deliver lipids and to the hydrophobic amyloid-β peptide, regulating amyloid-β aggregations and clearances in the brain. Several APOE isoforms with major structural differences were discovered and shown to influence the brain lipid transport, glucose metabolism, neuronal signaling, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial function. This review will summarize the updated research progress on APOE functions and its role in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Type III hyperlipoproteinemia, vascular dementia, and ischemic stroke. Understanding the mutations in APOE, their structural properties, and their isoforms is important to determine its role in various diseases and to advance the development of therapeutic strategies. Targeting APOE may be a potential approach for diagnosis, risk assessment, prevention, and treatment of various neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases in humans. PMID:26213471
Albarracin, Sonia Luz; Stab, Ben; Casas, Zulma; Sutachan, Jhon Jairo; Samudio, Ismael; Gonzalez, Janneth; Gonzalo, Luis; Capani, Francisco; Morales, Ludis; Barreto, George E
Polyphenols are secondary metabolites with antioxidant properties and are abundant in the diet. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, and various drinks (tea, wine, and juices) are all sources of these molecules. Despite their abundance, investigations into the benefits of polyphenols in human health have only recently begun. Phenolic compounds have received increasing interest because of numerous epidemiological studies. These studies have suggested associations between the consumption of polyphenol-rich aliments and the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. More specifically, in the last 10 years literature on the neuroprotective effects of a polyphenol-rich diet has grown considerably. It has been demonstrated, in various cell culture and animal models, that these metabolites are able to protect neuronal cells by attenuating oxidative stress and damage. However, it remains unclear as to how these compounds reach the brain, what concentrations are necessary, and what biologically active forms are needed to exert beneficial effects. Therefore, further research is needed to identify the molecular pathways and intracellular targets responsible for polyphenol's neuroprotective effects. The aim of this paper is to present various well-known dietary polyphenols and their mechanisms of neuroprotection with an emphasis on Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Oñatibia-Astibia, Ainhoa; Franco, Rafael; Martínez-Pinilla, Eva
Methylxanthines (MTXs) are consumed by almost everybody in almost every area of the world. Caffeine, theophylline and theobromine are the most well-known members of this family of compounds; they are present, inter alia, in coffee, tea, cacao, yerba mate and cola drinks. MTXs are readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and are able to penetrate into the central nervous system, where they exert significant psychostimulant actions, which are more evident in acute intake. Coffee has been paradigmatic, as its use was forbidden in many diseases, however, this negative view has radically changed; evidence shows that MTXs display health benefits in diseases involving cell death in the nervous system. This paper reviews data that appraise the preventive and even therapeutic potential of MTXs in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Future perspectives include the use of MTXs to advance the understanding the pathophysiology of, inter alia, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), and the use of the methylxanthine chemical moiety as a basis for the development of new and more efficacious drugs.
Rose, Francis M.
My research concerns the fundamental atomistic mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and the methodologies by which they may be discerned. This thesis consists of three primary parts. The introductory material is the raison d'etre for this work and a critical overview of the specific physics, mathematics and algorithms used in this research. The methods are presented along with specific details in order to facilitate future replication and enhancement. With the groundwork of mechanisms and methods out of the way, we then explore a nouveau atomistic mechanism describing the onset of Parkinson's disease, a disease that has been closely linked to misfolded metalloproteins. Further exploration of neurodegeneration takes place in the following chapter, where a remedial approach to Alzheimer's disease via a simulated chelation of a metalloprotein is undertaken. Altogether, the methods and techniques applied here allow for simulated exploration of both the atomistic mechanisms of neurodegeneration and their potential remediation strategies. The beginning portion of the research efforts explore protein misfolding dynamics in the presence a copper ion. Misfolding of the human alpha-synuclein (aS) protein has been implicated as a central constituent in neurodegenerative disease. In Parkinson's disease (PD) in particular, aS is thought to be the causative participant when found concentrated into neuritic plaques. Here we propose a scenario involving the metal ion Cu2+ as the protein misfolding initiator of fibrillized aS, the chief component of neuritic plaques. From experimental results we know these misfolded proteins have a rich beta--sheet signature, a marker that we reproduce with our simulated model. This model identifies a process of structural modifications to a natively unfolded alpha-synuclein resulting in a partially folded intermediate with a well defined nucleation site. It serves as a precursor to the fully misfolded protein. Understanding the nucleation
Salvadori, Claudia; Lossi, Laura; Arispici, Mario; Cantile, Carlo
A congenital encephalopathy with spongiform degeneration and prominent neuronal apoptosis was observed in a 4-month-old Persian male cat with a history of depressed mental status and ataxia. On clinical examination, signs included right head tilt, ventroflexion of the head and neck, and tetraparesis. Histological examination of the central nervous system revealed multifocal, bilateral and symmetrical vacuolar degeneration of the neuropil, mainly involving the cerebellar and vestibular nuclei area, the caudal colliculi, the mesencephalic nuclei, the tegmental area and the deeper layer of the cerebral cortex. Accumulation of phosphorylated neurofilaments was detected in neuronal perikarya of the deep cortical layers, hippocampus and thalamus. Numerous pyknotic and apoptotic neurons were also observed in the cerebral cortex. These neuropathological changes differ from those observed in previous reports of spongiform degeneration of the grey matter in cats and were suggestive of a congenital neurodegenerative disease.
Seeley, William W
Brain networks have been of long-standing interest to neurodegeneration researchers, including but not limited to investigators focusing on conventional prion diseases, which are known to propagate along neural pathways. Tools for human network mapping, however, remained inadequate, limiting our understanding of human brain network architecture and preventing clinical research applications. Until recently, neuropathological studies were the only viable approach to mapping disease onset and progression in humans but required large autopsy cohorts and laborious methods for whole-brain sectioning and staining. Despite important advantages, postmortem studies cannot address in vivo, physiological, or longitudinal questions and have limited potential to explore early-stage disease except for the most common disorders. Emerging in vivo network-based neuroimaging strategies have begun to address these issues, providing data that complement the neuropathological tradition. Overall, findings to date highlight several fundamental principles of neurodegenerative disease anatomy and pathogenesis, as well as some enduring mysteries. These principles and mysteries provide a road map for future research.
Soria, Federico N.; Pampliega, Olatz; Bourdenx, Mathieu; Meissner, Wassilios G.; Bezard, Erwan; Dehay, Benjamin
Exosomes are extracellular nanovesicles (30–100 nm) generated from endosomal membranes and known to be released by all cell lineages of the Central Nervous System (CNS). They constitute important vesicles for the secretion and transport of multilevel information, including signaling, toxic, and regulatory molecules. Initially thought to have a function merely in waste disposal, the involvement of exosomes in neuronal development, maintenance, and regeneration through its paracrine and endocrine signaling functions has drawn particular attention in recent years. These vesicles, being involved in the clearance and cell-to-cell spreading of toxic molecules, have been naturally implicated in aging, and in several neurodegenerative diseases associated with pathological conversion of proteins, as well as in the transport of other disease-associated molecules, such as nucleic acids or pro-inflammatory cytokines. Our understanding of such unique form of communication may provide not only answers about (patho)physiological processes in the brain, but can also offer means to exploit these vesicles as vehicles for the delivery of biologically relevant molecules or as tools to monitor brain diseases in a non-invasive way. A promising field in expansion, the study of exosomes and related extracellular vesicles has just commenced to unveil their potential as therapeutic tools for brain disorders as well as biomarkers of disease state. PMID:28197068
Soria, Federico N; Pampliega, Olatz; Bourdenx, Mathieu; Meissner, Wassilios G; Bezard, Erwan; Dehay, Benjamin
Exosomes are extracellular nanovesicles (30-100 nm) generated from endosomal membranes and known to be released by all cell lineages of the Central Nervous System (CNS). They constitute important vesicles for the secretion and transport of multilevel information, including signaling, toxic, and regulatory molecules. Initially thought to have a function merely in waste disposal, the involvement of exosomes in neuronal development, maintenance, and regeneration through its paracrine and endocrine signaling functions has drawn particular attention in recent years. These vesicles, being involved in the clearance and cell-to-cell spreading of toxic molecules, have been naturally implicated in aging, and in several neurodegenerative diseases associated with pathological conversion of proteins, as well as in the transport of other disease-associated molecules, such as nucleic acids or pro-inflammatory cytokines. Our understanding of such unique form of communication may provide not only answers about (patho)physiological processes in the brain, but can also offer means to exploit these vesicles as vehicles for the delivery of biologically relevant molecules or as tools to monitor brain diseases in a non-invasive way. A promising field in expansion, the study of exosomes and related extracellular vesicles has just commenced to unveil their potential as therapeutic tools for brain disorders as well as biomarkers of disease state.
Prasad, Sahdeo; Sung, Bokyung; Aggarwal, Bharat B.
Most chronic diseases - such as cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, arthritis, diabetes and obesity - are becoming leading causes of disability and death all over the world. Some of the most common causes of these age-associated chronic diseases are lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. All the risk factors linked to these chronic diseases have been shown to up-regulate inflammation. Therefore, downregulation of inflammation-associated risk factors could prevent or delay these age-associated diseases. Although modern science has developed several drugs for treating chronic diseases, most of these drugs are enormously expensive and are associated with serious side effects and morbidity. In this review, we present evidence on how chronic inflammation leads to age-associated chronic disease. Furthermore, we discuss diet and lifestyle as solutions for age-associated chronic disease. PMID:22178471
Jain, Shushant; van Kesteren, Ronald E.; Heutink, Peter
The functional annotation of genomes, construction of molecular networks and novel drug target identification, are important challenges that need to be addressed as a matter of great urgency1-4. Multiple complementary 'omics' approaches have provided clues as to the genetic risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms underlying numerous neurodegenerative diseases, but most findings still require functional validation5. For example, a recent genome wide association study for Parkinson's Disease (PD), identified many new loci as risk factors for the disease, but the underlying causative variant(s) or pathogenic mechanism is not known6, 7. As each associated region can contain several genes, the functional evaluation of each of the genes on phenotypes associated with the disease, using traditional cell biology techniques would take too long. There is also a need to understand the molecular networks that link genetic mutations to the phenotypes they cause. It is expected that disease phenotypes are the result of multiple interactions that have been disrupted. Reconstruction of these networks using traditional molecular methods would be time consuming. Moreover, network predictions from independent studies of individual components, the reductionism approach, will probably underestimate the network complexity8. This underestimation could, in part, explain the low success rate of drug approval due to undesirable or toxic side effects. Gaining a network perspective of disease related pathways using HT/HC cellular screening approaches, and identifying key nodes within these pathways, could lead to the identification of targets that are more suited for therapeutic intervention. High-throughput screening (HTS) is an ideal methodology to address these issues9-12. but traditional methods were one dimensional whole-well cell assays, that used simplistic readouts for complex biological processes. They were unable to simultaneously quantify the many phenotypes observed in
Zheng, Qiuyang; Huang, Timothy; Zhang, Lishan; Zhou, Ying; Luo, Hong; Xu, Huaxi; Wang, Xin
The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is one of the major protein degradation pathways, where abnormal UPS function has been observed in cancer and neurological diseases. Many neurodegenerative diseases share a common pathological feature, namely intracellular ubiquitin-positive inclusions formed by aggregate-prone neurotoxic proteins. This suggests that dysfunction of the UPS in neurodegenerative diseases contributes to the accumulation of neurotoxic proteins and to instigate neurodegeneration. Here, we review recent findings describing various aspects of UPS dysregulation in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. PMID:28018215
Kronenberg, Golo; Colla, Michael; Endres, Matthias
Folic acid plays an important role in neuroplasticity and in the maintenance of neuronal integrity. Folate is a co-factor in one-carbon metabolism during which it promotes the regeneration of methionine from homocysteine, a highly reactive sulfur-containing amino acid. Methionine may then be converted to S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), the principal methyl donor in most biosynthetic methylation reactions. On the cellular level, folate deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia exert multiple detrimental effects. These include induction of DNA damage, uracil misincorporation into DNA and altered patterns of DNA methylation. Low folate status and elevated homocysteine increase the generation of reactive oxygen species and contribute to excitotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction which may lead to apoptosis. Strong epidemiological and experimental evidence links derangements of one-carbon metabolism to vascular, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disease, including most prominently cerebral ischemia, Alzheimer's dementia and depression. Although firm evidence from controlled clinical trials is largely lacking, B-vitamin supplementation and homocysteine reduction may have a role especially in the primary prevention of stroke and dementia as well as as an adjunct to antidepressant pharmacotherapy.
Ramsey, Chenere P.; Glass, Charles A.; Montgomery, Marshall B.; Lindl, Kathryn A.; Ritson, Gillian P.; Chia, Luis A.; Hamilton, Ronald L.; Chu, Charleen T.; Jordan-Sciutto, Kelly L.
In response to oxidative stress, the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) transcription factor translocates from the cytoplasm into the nucleus and transactivates expression of genes with antioxidant activity. Despite this cellular mechanism, oxidative damage is abundant in Alzheimer and Parkinson disease (AD and PD). To investigate mechanisms by which Nrf2 activity may be aberrant or insufficient in neurodegenerative conditions, we assessed Nrf2 localization in affected brain regions of AD, Lewy body variant of AD (LBVAD), and PD. By immunohistochemistry, Nrf2 is expressed in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of neurons in normal hippocampi with predominant expression in the nucleus. In AD and LBVAD, Nrf2 was predominantly cytoplasmic in hippocampal neurons and was not a major component of beta amyloid plaques or neurofibrillary tangles. By immunoblotting, we observed a significant decrease in nuclear Nrf2 levels in AD cases. In contrast, Nrf2 was strongly nuclear in PD nigral neurons but cytoplasmic in substantia nigra of normal, AD, and LBVAD cases. These findings suggest that Nrf2-mediated transcription is not induced in neurons in AD despite the presence of oxidative stress. In PD, nuclear localization of Nrf2 is strongly induced, but this response may be insufficient to protect neurons from degeneration. PMID:17204939
Sanchez-Mut, J V; Heyn, H; Vidal, E; Moran, S; Sayols, S; Delgado-Morales, R; Schultz, M D; Ansoleaga, B; Garcia-Esparcia, P; Pons-Espinal, M; de Lagran, M M; Dopazo, J; Rabano, A; Avila, J; Dierssen, M; Lott, I; Ferrer, I; Ecker, J R; Esteller, M
Different neurodegenerative disorders often show similar lesions, such as the presence of amyloid plaques, TAU-neurotangles and synuclein inclusions. The genetically inherited forms are rare, so we wondered whether shared epigenetic aberrations, such as those affecting DNA methylation, might also exist. The studied samples were gray matter samples from the prefrontal cortex of control and neurodegenerative disease-associated cases. We performed the DNA methylation analyses of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer-like neurodegenerative profile associated with Down's syndrome samples. The DNA methylation landscapes obtained show that neurodegenerative diseases share similar aberrant CpG methylation shifts targeting a defined gene set. Our findings suggest that neurodegenerative disorders might have similar pathogenetic mechanisms that subsequently evolve into different clinical entities. The identified aberrant DNA methylation changes can be used as biomarkers of the disorders and as potential new targets for the development of new therapies.
Sanchez-Mut, J V; Heyn, H; Vidal, E; Moran, S; Sayols, S; Delgado-Morales, R; Schultz, M D; Ansoleaga, B; Garcia-Esparcia, P; Pons-Espinal, M; de Lagran, M M; Dopazo, J; Rabano, A; Avila, J; Dierssen, M; Lott, I; Ferrer, I; Ecker, J R; Esteller, M
Different neurodegenerative disorders often show similar lesions, such as the presence of amyloid plaques, TAU-neurotangles and synuclein inclusions. The genetically inherited forms are rare, so we wondered whether shared epigenetic aberrations, such as those affecting DNA methylation, might also exist. The studied samples were gray matter samples from the prefrontal cortex of control and neurodegenerative disease-associated cases. We performed the DNA methylation analyses of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer-like neurodegenerative profile associated with Down's syndrome samples. The DNA methylation landscapes obtained show that neurodegenerative diseases share similar aberrant CpG methylation shifts targeting a defined gene set. Our findings suggest that neurodegenerative disorders might have similar pathogenetic mechanisms that subsequently evolve into different clinical entities. The identified aberrant DNA methylation changes can be used as biomarkers of the disorders and as potential new targets for the development of new therapies. PMID:26784972
Khan, F; Oloketuyi, S F
Neurodegenerative diseases are considered a serious life-threatening issue regardless of age. Resulting nerve damage progressively affects important activities, such as movement, coordination, balance, breathing, speech and the functioning of vital organs. Reports on the subject have concluded that neurodegenerative disease can be caused by mutations of susceptible genes, alcohol consumption, toxins, chemicals and other unknown environmental factors. Although several diagnostic techniques can be used to determine aetiologies, the process is difficult and often fails. Research shows that nasopharyngeal and gut microbiota play important roles in brain to spinal cord coordination. However, no conclusive epidemiologic evidence is available on the roles played by respiratory and gut microbiota in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, understanding the connection between respiratory and gut microbiota and the nervous system could provide information on causal links. The present review describes future perspectives on the role played by nasopharyngeal and gut microbiota in the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
Cytoplasmic stress granules (SGs) are critical for facilitating stress responses and for preventing the accumulation of misfolded proteins. SGs, however, have been linked to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, in part because SGs share many components with neuronal granules. Oxidative stress is one of the conditions that induce SG formation. SGs regulate redox levels, and SG formation in turn is differently regulated by various types of oxidative stress. These associations and other evidences suggest that SG formation contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. In this paper, we review the regulation of SG formation/assembly and discuss the interactions between oxidative stress and SG formation. We then discuss the links between SGs and neurodegenerative diseases and the current therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases that target SGs. PMID:28194255
Rama Rao, Kakulavarapu V.; Kielian, Tammy
Selective neuron loss in discrete brain regions is a hallmark of various neurodegenerative disorders, although the mechanisms responsible for this regional vulnerability of neurons remain largely unknown. Earlier studies attributed neuron dysfunction and eventual loss during neurodegenerative diseases as exclusively cell autonomous. Although cell-intrinsic factors are one critical aspect in dictating neuron death, recent evidence also supports the involvement of other central nervous system cell types in propagating non-cell autonomous neuronal injury during neurodegenerative diseases. One such example is astrocytes, which support neuronal and synaptic function, but can also contribute to neuroinflammatory processes through robust chemokine secretion. Indeed, aberrations in astrocyte function have been shown to negatively impact neuronal integrity in several neurological diseases. The present review focuses on neuroinflammatory paradigms influenced by neuron–astrocyte cross-talk in the context of select neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26543505
Here we provide a brief description of our program to improve diagnostic accuracy in cases with phenotypically similar presentations that are due to distinct histopathologic abnormalities. We propose a staged approach to diagnosis, beginning with a screening assessment of specific, quantitative neuropsychological measures, and followed by assessments of imaging and biofluid biomarkers. Our goal is to determine the specific histopathologic abnormalities contributing to an individual's neurodegenerative condition.
Lee, Soojin; Bang, Se Min; Lee, Joon Woo; Cho, Kyoung Sang
Drosophila is one of the oldest and most powerful genetic models and has led to novel insights into a variety of biological processes. Recently, Drosophila has emerged as a model system to study human diseases, including several important neurodegenerative diseases. Because of the genomic similarity between Drosophila and humans, Drosophila neurodegenerative disease models exhibit a variety of human-disease-like phenotypes, facilitating fast and cost-effective in vivo genetic modifier screening and drug evaluation. Using these models, many disease-associated genetic factors have been identified, leading to the identification of compelling drug candidates. Recently, the safety and efficacy of traditional medicines for human diseases have been evaluated in various animal disease models. Despite the advantages of the Drosophila model, its usage in the evaluation of traditional medicines is only nascent. Here, we introduce the Drosophila model for neurodegenerative diseases and some examples demonstrating the successful application of Drosophila models in the evaluation of traditional medicines. PMID:24790636
Cannon, Jason R.; Greenamyre, J. Timothy
Neurodegeneration describes the loss of neuronal structure and function. Numerous neurodegenerative diseases are associated with neurodegeneration. Many are rare and stem from purely genetic causes. However, the prevalence of major neurodegenerative diseases is increasing with improvements in treating major diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases, resulting in an aging population. The neurological consequences of neurodegeneration in patients can have devastating effects on mental and physical functioning. The causes of most cases of prevalent neurodegenerative diseases are unknown. The role of neurotoxicant exposures in neurodegenerative disease has long been suspected, with much effort devoted to identifying causative agents. However, causative factors for a significant number of cases have yet to be identified. In this review, the role of environmental neurotoxicant exposures on neurodegeneration in selected major neurodegenerative diseases is discussed. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were chosen because of available data on environmental influences. The special sensitivity the nervous system exhibits to toxicant exposure and unifying mechanisms of neurodegeneration are explored. PMID:21914720
Kwon, Min Jee; Kim, Jeong-Hoon; Kim, TaeSoo; Lee, Sung Bae
Extensive studies have reported the significant roles of numerous cellular features and processes in properly maintaining neuronal morphology and function throughout the lifespan of an animal. Any alterations in their homeostasis appear to be strongly associated with neuronal aging and the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases, even before the occurrence of prominent neuronal death. However, until recently, the primary focus of studies regarding many neurodegenerative diseases has been on the massive cell death occurring at the late stages of disease progression. Thus, our understanding on early neuropathy in these diseases remains relatively limited. The complicated nature of various neuropathic features manifested early in neurodegenerative diseases suggests the involvement of a system-wide transcriptional regulation and epigenetic control. Epigenetic alterations and consequent changes in the neuronal transcriptome are now begun to be extensively studied in various neurodegenerative diseases. Upon the catastrophic incident of neuronal death in disease progression, it is utterly difficult to reverse the deleterious defects by pharmacological treatments, and therefore, therapeutics targeting the system-wide transcriptional dysregulation associated with specific early neuropathy is considered a better option. Here, we review our current understanding on the system-wide transcriptional dysregulation that is likely associated with early neuropathy shown in various neurodegenerative diseases and discuss the possible future developments of pharmaceutical therapeutics.
Tiffany-Castiglioni, Evelyn; Hong, Sandra; Qian, Yongchang
Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element in the brain that can be toxic at elevated levels. Cu accumulation is a suspected etiology in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and prion-induced disorders. Astrocytes are a proposed depot in the brain for Cu and other metals, including lead (Pb). This article describes the physiological roles of Cu in the central nervous system and in selected neurodegenerative diseases, and reviews evidence that astrocytes accumulate Cu and protect neurons from Cu toxicity. Findings from murine genetic models of Menkes disease and from cell culture models concerning the molecular mechanisms by which astrocytes take up, store, and buffer Cu intracellularly are discussed, as well as potential mechanistic linkages between astrocyte functions in Cu handling and neurodegenerative diseases.
Huntington's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by impairments in motor control, and cognitive and psychiatric disturbances. In this chapter, viral vector-mediated approaches used in modeling the key neuropathological features of the disease including the production of abnormal intracellular protein aggregates, neuronal dysfunction and degeneration and motor impairments in rodents are described.
Polajnar, Mira; Žerovnik, Eva
Protein misfolding, and subsequent aggregation have been proven as the leading cause of most known dementias. Many of these, in addition to neurodegeneration, show profound changes in behaviour and thinking, thus, psychiatric symptoms. On the basis of the observation that progressive myoclonic epilepsies and neurodegenerative diseases share some common features of neurodegeneration, we proposed autophagy as a possible common impairment in these diseases. Here, we argue along similar lines for some neuropsychiatric conditions, among them depression and schizophrenia. We propose that existing and new therapies for these seemingly different diseases could be augmented with drugs used for neurodegenerative or neuropsychiatric diseases, respectively, among them some which modulate or augment autophagy. PMID:25139375
Brundin, Patrik; Melki, Ronald; Kopito, Ron
Neurodegenerative diseases are commonly associated with the accumulation of intracellular or extracellular protein aggregates. Recent studies suggest that these aggregates are capable of crossing cellular membranes and can directly contribute to the propagation of neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. We propose that, once initiated, neuropathological changes might spread in a ‘prion-like’ manner and that disease progression is associated with the intercellular transfer of pathogenic proteins. The transfer of naked infectious particles between cells could therefore be a target for new disease-modifying therapies. PMID:20308987
Salazar, Claudia; Valdivia, Gonzalo; Ardiles, Álvaro O; Ewer, John; Palacios, Adrián G
The use of transgenic models for the study of neurodegenerative diseases has made valuable contributions to the field. However, some important limitations, including protein overexpression and general systemic compensation for the missing genes, has caused researchers to seek natural models that show the main biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases during aging. Here we review some of these models-most of them rodents, focusing especially on the genetic variations in biomarkers for Alzheimer diseases, in order to explain their relationships with variants associated with the occurrence of the disease in humans.
Shi, Min; Caudle, W. Michael; Zhang, Jing
Biomarkers for neurodegenerative disorders are essential to facilitate disease diagnosis, ideally at early stages, monitor disease progression, and assess response to existing and future treatments. Application of proteomics to the human brain, cerebrospinal fluid and plasma has greatly hastened the unbiased and high-throughput searches for novel biomarkers. There are many steps critical to biomarker discovery, whether for neurodegenerative or other diseases, including sample preparation, protein/peptide separation and identification, as well as independent confirmation and validation. In this review we have summarized current proteomics technologies involved in discovery of biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, practical considerations and limitations of several major aspects, as well as the current status of candidate biomarkers revealed by proteomics for Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. PMID:18938247
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential molecules for many physiological functions and act as second messengers in a large variety of tissues. An imbalance in the production and elimination of ROS is associated with human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. In the last years the notion that neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by chronic viral infections, which may result in an increase of neurodegenerative diseases progression, emerged. It is known in literature that enhanced viral infection risk, observed during neurodegeneration, is partly due to the increase of ROS accumulation in brain cells. However, the molecular mechanisms of viral infection, occurring during the progression of neurodegeneration, remain unclear. In this review, we discuss the recent knowledge regarding the role of influenza, herpes simplex virus type-1, and retroviruses infection in ROS/RNS-mediated Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PMID:27110325
Chen, Xiang-Jun; Xu, Huan; Cooper, Helen M; Liu, Yaobo
Cytoplasmic dynein is the most important molecular motor driving the movement of a wide range of cargoes towards the minus ends of microtubules. As a molecular motor protein, dynein performs a variety of basic cellular functions including organelle transport and centrosome assembly. In the nervous system, dynein has been demonstrated to be responsible for axonal retrograde transport. Many studies have revealed direct or indirect evidence of dynein in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Among them, a number of mutant proteins involved in various neurodegenerative diseases interact with dynein. Axonal transport disruption is presented as a common feature occurring in neurodegenerative diseases. Dynein heavy chain mutant mice also show features of neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, defects of dynein-dependent processes such as autophagy or clearance of aggregation-prone proteins are found in most of these diseases. Lines of evidence have also shown that dynein is associated with neurodevelopmental diseases. In this review, we focus on dynein involvement in different neurological diseases and discuss potential underlying mechanisms.
Merlo, Daniela; Mollinari, Cristiana; Racaniello, Mauro; Garaci, Enrico; Cardinale, Alessio
Accumulation of DNA damage and impairment of DNA repair systems are involved in the pathogenesis of different neurodegenerative diseases. Whenever DNA damage is too extensive, the DNA damage response pathway provides for triggering cellular senescence and/or apoptosis. However, whether the increased level of DNA damage in neurodegenerative disorders is a cause rather than the consequence of neurodegenerative events remains to be established. Among possible DNA lesions, DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are rare events, nevertheless they are the most lethal form of DNA damage. In neurons, DSBs are particularly deleterious because of their reduced DNA repair capability as compared to proliferating cells. Here, we provide a description of DSB repair systems and describe human studies showing the presence of several types of DNA lesions in three major neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). Then, we analyze the role of DSB accumulation and deficiency of DSB repair systems in neurodegeneration by examining studies on animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.
Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and frontotemporal dementia have several important features in common. They are progressive, they affect a relatively inaccessible organ, and we have no disease-modifying therapies for them. For these brain-based diseases, current diagnosis and evaluation of disease severity rely almost entirely on clinical examination, which may only be a rough approximation of disease state. Thus, the development of biomarkers – objective, relatively easily measured and precise indicators of pathogenic processes – could improve patient care and accelerate therapeutic discovery. Yet existing, rigorously tested neurodegenerative disease biomarkers are few, and even fewer biomarkers have translated into clinical use. To find new biomarkers for these diseases, an unbiased, high-throughput screening approach may be needed. In this review, I will describe the potential utility of such an approach to biomarker discovery, using Parkinson’s disease as a case example. PMID:25442938
Rivera-Mancía, Susana; Pérez-Neri, Iván; Ríos, Camilo; Tristán-López, Luis; Rivera-Espinosa, Liliana; Montes, Sergio
Neurodegenerative diseases constitute a worldwide health problem. Metals like iron and copper are essential for life, but they are also involved in several neurodegenerative mechanisms such as protein aggregation, free radical generation and oxidative stress. The role of Fe and Cu, their pathogenic mechanisms and possible therapeutic relevance are discussed regarding four of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Metal-mediated oxidation by Fenton chemistry is a common feature for all those disorders and takes part of a self-amplifying damaging mechanism, leading to neurodegeneration. The interaction between metals and proteins in the nervous system seems to be a crucial factor for the development or absence of neurodegeneration. The present review also deals with the therapeutic strategies tested, mainly using metal chelating drugs. Metal accumulation within the nervous system observed in those diseases could be the result of compensatory mechanisms to improve metal availability for physiological processes.
Maghazachi, Azzam A.
Natural killer (NK) cells exert important immunoregulatory functions by releasing several inflammatory molecules, such as IFN-γ and members of chemokines, which include CCL3/MIP-1α and CCL4/MIP-1β. These cells also express heptahelical receptors, which are coupled to heterotrimeric G proteins that guide them into inflamed and injured tissues. NK cells have been shown to recognize and destroy transformed cells and virally-infected cells, but their roles in neurodegenerative diseases have not been examined in detail. In this review, I will summarize the effects of NK cells in two neurodegenerative diseases, namely multiple sclerosis and globoid cell leukodystrophy. It is hoped that the knowledge obtained from these diseases may facilitate building rational protocols for treating these and other neurodegenerative or autoimmune diseases using NK cells and drugs that activate them as therapeutic tools. PMID:23430541
The intra- and extracellular accumulation of misfolded and aggregated amyloid proteins is a common feature in several neurodegenerative diseases, which is thought to play a major role in disease severity and progression. The principal machineries maintaining proteostasis are the ubiquitin proteasomal and lysosomal autophagy systems, where heat shock proteins play a crucial role. Many protein aggregates are degraded by the lysosomes, depending on aggregate size, peptide sequence, and degree of misfolding, while others are selectively tagged for removal by heat shock proteins and degraded by either the proteasome or phagosomes. These systems are compromised in different neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, developing novel targets and classes of therapeutic drugs, which can reduce aggregates and maintain proteostasis in the brains of neurodegenerative models, is vital. Natural products that can modulate heat shock proteins/proteosomal pathway are considered promising for treating neurodegenerative diseases. Here we discuss the current knowledge on the role of HSPs in protein misfolding diseases and knowledge gained from animal models of Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, and Huntington's diseases. Further, we discuss the emerging treatment regimens for these diseases using natural products, like curcumin, which can augment expression or function of heat shock proteins in the cell. PMID:25386560
Maiti, Panchanan; Manna, Jayeeta; Veleri, Shobi; Frautschy, Sally
The intra- and extracellular accumulation of misfolded and aggregated amyloid proteins is a common feature in several neurodegenerative diseases, which is thought to play a major role in disease severity and progression. The principal machineries maintaining proteostasis are the ubiquitin proteasomal and lysosomal autophagy systems, where heat shock proteins play a crucial role. Many protein aggregates are degraded by the lysosomes, depending on aggregate size, peptide sequence, and degree of misfolding, while others are selectively tagged for removal by heat shock proteins and degraded by either the proteasome or phagosomes. These systems are compromised in different neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, developing novel targets and classes of therapeutic drugs, which can reduce aggregates and maintain proteostasis in the brains of neurodegenerative models, is vital. Natural products that can modulate heat shock proteins/proteosomal pathway are considered promising for treating neurodegenerative diseases. Here we discuss the current knowledge on the role of HSPs in protein misfolding diseases and knowledge gained from animal models of Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, and Huntington's diseases. Further, we discuss the emerging treatment regimens for these diseases using natural products, like curcumin, which can augment expression or function of heat shock proteins in the cell.
Sweeney, Patrick; Park, Hyunsun; Baumann, Marc; Dunlop, John; Frydman, Judith; Kopito, Ron; McCampbell, Alexander; Leblanc, Gabrielle; Venkateswaran, Anjli; Nurmi, Antti; Hodgson, Robert
A hallmark of neurodegenerative proteinopathies is the formation of misfolded protein aggregates that cause cellular toxicity and contribute to cellular proteostatic collapse. Therapeutic options are currently being explored that target different steps in the production and processing of proteins implicated in neurodegenerative disease, including synthesis, chaperone-assisted folding and trafficking, and degradation via the proteasome and autophagy pathways. Other therapies, like mTOR inhibitors and activators of the heat shock response, can rebalance the entire proteostatic network. However, there are major challenges that impact the development of novel therapies, including incomplete knowledge of druggable disease targets and their mechanism of action as well as a lack of biomarkers to monitor disease progression and therapeutic response. A notable development is the creation of collaborative ecosystems that include patients, clinicians, basic and translational researchers, foundations and regulatory agencies to promote scientific rigor and clinical data to accelerate the development of therapies that prevent, reverse or delay the progression of neurodegenerative proteinopathies.
Kim, Seung U; Lee, Hong J; Kim, Yun B
Human neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are caused by a loss of neurons and glia in the brain or spinal cord. Neurons and glial cells have successfully been generated from stem cells such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and neural stem cells (NSCs), and stem cell-based cell therapies for neurodegenerative diseases have been developed. A recent advance in generation of a new class of pluripotent stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), derived from patients' own skin fibroblasts, opens doors for a totally new field of personalized medicine. Transplantation of NSCs, neurons or glia generated from stem cells in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, including PD, HD, ALS and AD, demonstrates clinical improvement and also life extension of these animals. Additional therapeutic benefits in these animals can be provided by stem cell-mediated gene transfer of therapeutic genes such as neurotrophic factors and enzymes. Although further research is still needed, cell and gene therapy based on stem cells, particularly using neurons and glia derived from iPSCs, ESCs or NSCs, will become a routine treatment for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases and also stroke and spinal cord injury.
Marchetto, Maria C N; Winner, Beate; Gage, Fred H
Most of our current knowledge about cellular phenotypes in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases in humans was gathered from studies in postmortem brain tissues. These samples often represent the end-stage of the disease and therefore are not always a fair representation of how the disease developed. Moreover, under these circumstances, the pathology observed could be a secondary effect rather than the authentic disease cellular phenotype. Likewise, the rodent models available do not always recapitulate the pathology from human diseases. In this review, we will examine recent literature on the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to model neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. We highlight the characteristics of diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and familial dysautonomia that allowed partial modeling of the disease phenotype. We review human stem cell literature on common neurodegenerative late-onset diseases such as Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis where patients' cells have been successfully reprogrammed but a disease phenotype has not yet been described. So far, the technique is of great interest for early onset monogenetic neurodevelopmental diseases. We speculate about potential further experimental requirements and settings for reprogrammed neurons for in vitro disease modeling and drug discovery.
Marchetto, Maria C.N.; Winner, Beate; Gage, Fred H.
Most of our current knowledge about cellular phenotypes in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases in humans was gathered from studies in postmortem brain tissues. These samples often represent the end-stage of the disease and therefore are not always a fair representation of how the disease developed. Moreover, under these circumstances, the pathology observed could be a secondary effect rather than the authentic disease cellular phenotype. Likewise, the rodent models available do not always recapitulate the pathology from human diseases. In this review, we will examine recent literature on the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to model neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. We highlight the characteristics of diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and familial dysautonomia that allowed partial modeling of the disease phenotype. We review human stem cell literature on common neurodegenerative late-onset diseases such as Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis where patients' cells have been successfully reprogrammed but a disease phenotype has not yet been described. So far, the technique is of great interest for early onset monogenetic neurodevelopmental diseases. We speculate about potential further experimental requirements and settings for reprogrammed neurons for in vitro disease modeling and drug discovery. PMID:20418487
‘t Hart, Bert A.; Copray, Sjef; Philippens, Ingrid
Accumulating evidence suggests that inflammatory mediators secreted by activated resident or infiltrated innate immune cells have a significant impact on the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. This may imply that patients affected by a neurodegenerative disease may benefit from treatment with selective inhibitors of innate immune activity. Here we review the therapeutic potential of apocynin, an essentially nontoxic phenolic compound isolated from the medicinal plant Jatropha multifida. Apocynin is a selective inhibitor of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase Nox2 that can be applied orally and is remarkably effective at low dose. PMID:25140304
gyrus. Histological studies have shown that these subfields are differently affected by different diseases, e.g. Alzheimer Disease (AD) affects... Neurogenesis by Suppressing Microglia Activation Project start date: 9/16/05 REPORTABLE OUTCOMES Presentations: Yu Zhang, PhD: Tractography
Babenko, Olena; Kovalchuk, Igor; Metz, Gerlinde A
Experience and environment can critically influence the risk and progression of neurodegenerative disorders. Epigenetic mechanisms, such as miRNA expression, DNA methylation, and histone modifications, readily respond to experience and environmental factors. Here we propose that epigenetic regulation of gene expression and environmental modulation thereof may play a key role in the onset and course of common neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and multiple sclerosis. For example, epigenetic mechanisms may mediate long-term responses to adverse experience, such as stress, to affect disease susceptibility and the course of neurodegenerative events. This review introduces the epigenetic components and their possible role in mediating neuropathological processes in response to stress. We argue that epigenetic modifications will affect neurodegenerative events through altered gene function. The study of epigenetic states in neurodegenerative diseases presents an opportunity to gain new insights into risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms. Moreover, research into epigenetic regulation of disease may revolutionize health care by opening new avenues of personalized, preventive and curative medicine.
Cretin, Benjamin; Philippi, Nathalie; Dibitonto, Laure; Blanc, Frédéric
This review provides a clinically grounded description of the links between epilepsy and early common neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body disease, vascular cognitive impairment, fronto-temporal lobar degeneration). It shows that epilepsy does not only concern demented patients displaying convulsive seizures (whether focal or generalized) and obvious atrophy on brain imaging. On the contrary, unprovoked seizures and epilepsy - commonly involving the temporal lobe - are now reported at the prodromal stages of these diseases, when cognitive complaints are mild or even minimal and brain imaging inconstantly abnormal. Thus epilepsy must be considered as a part of the phenotypic spectrum at any stages of the neurodegenerative diseases. This must be kept in mind in everyday practice, and when defining these diseases with clinic-biological criteria. Such entanglement also explains the growing prevalence of elderly epileptic subjects and the need of a close collaboration between geriatricians, cognitivists and epileptologists.
Cappellano, Giuseppe; Carecchio, Miryam; Fleetwood, Thomas; Magistrelli, Luca; Cantello, Roberto; Dianzani, Umberto; Comi, Cristoforo
Immune reactions inside the central nervous system are finely regulated, thanks to the presence of several checkpoints that have the fundamental purpose to preserve this fragile tissue form harmful events. The current knowledge on the role of neuroinflammation and neuro-immune interactions in the fields of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease is reviewed. Moreover, a focus on the potential role of both active and passive immunotherapy is provided. Finally, we propose a common perspective, which implies that, under pathological conditions, inflammation may exert both detrimental and protective functions, depending on local factors and the timing of immune activation and shutting-off systems. PMID:23844334
Falchook, Adam D.; Mayberry, Rachel I.; Poizner, Howard; Burtis, David Brandon; Doty, Leilani; Heilman, Kenneth M.
While Alois Alzheimer recognized the effects of the disease he described on speech and language in his original description of the disease in 1907, the effects of Alzheimer disease on language in deaf signers has not previously been reported. We evaluated a 55 year old right handed congenitally deaf woman with a two year history of progressive memory loss and a deterioration of her ability to communicate in American Sign Language, which she learned at the age of eight. Examination revealed that she had impaired episodic memory as well as marked impairments in the production and comprehension of fingerspelling and grammatically complex sentences. She also had signs of anomia as well as an ideomotor apraxia and visual-spatial dysfunction. This report illustrates the challenges in evaluation of a patient for the presence of degenerative dementia when the person is deaf from birth, uses sign language, and has a late age of primary language acquisition. Although our patient could neither speak nor hear, in many respects her cognitive disorders mirror those of patients with Alzheimer disease who had normally learned to speak. PMID:22823942
Liu, Ying; Deng, Wenbin
With the technology of reprogramming somatic cells by introducing defined transcription factors that enables the generation of "induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)" with pluripotency comparable to that of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), it has become possible to use this technology to produce various cells and tissues that have been difficult to obtain from living bodies. This advancement is bringing forth rapid progress in iPSC-based disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine. More and more studies have demonstrated that phenotypes of adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders could be rather faithfully recapitulated in iPSC-derived neural cell cultures. Moreover, despite the adult-onset nature of the diseases, pathogenic phenotypes and cellular abnormalities often exist in early developmental stages, providing new "windows of opportunity" for understanding mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders and for discovering new medicines. The cell reprogramming technology enables a reverse engineering approach for modeling the cellular degenerative phenotypes of a wide range of human disorders. An excellent example is the study of the human neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using iPSCs. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of upper and lower motor neurons (MNs), culminating in muscle wasting and death from respiratory failure. The iPSC approach provides innovative cell culture platforms to serve as ALS patient-derived model systems. Researchers have converted iPSCs derived from ALS patients into MNs and various types of glial cells, all of which are involved in ALS, to study the disease. The iPSC technology could be used to determine the role of specific genetic factors to track down what's wrong in the neurodegenerative disease process in the "disease-in-a-dish" model. Meanwhile, parallel experiments of targeting the same specific genes in human ESCs could also be performed to control
Kweon, Jung Hyun; Kim, Sunhong; Lee, Sung Bae
One of the characteristics of the neurons that distinguishes them from other cells is their complex and polarized structure consisting of dendrites, cell body, and axon. The complexity and diversity of dendrites are particularly well recognized, and accumulating evidences suggest that the alterations in the dendrite structure are associated with many neurodegenerative diseases. Given the importance of the proper dendritic structures for neuronal functions, the dendrite pathology appears to have crucial contribution to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Nonetheless, the cellular and molecular basis of dendritic changes in the neurodegenerative diseases remains largely elusive. Previous studies in normal condition have revealed that several cellular components, such as local cytoskeletal structures and organelles located locally in dendrites, play crucial roles in dendrite growth. By reviewing what has been unveiled to date regarding dendrite growth in terms of these local cellular components, we aim to provide an insight to categorize the potential cellular basis that can be applied to the dendrite pathology manifested in many neurodegenerative diseases. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(1): 5-11].
Ramalingam, Mahesh; Kim, Sung-Jin
Insulin, a pancreatic hormone, is best known for its peripheral effects on the metabolism of glucose, fats and proteins. There is a growing body of evidence linking insulin action in the brain to neurodegenerative diseases. Insulin present in central nervous system is a regulator of central glucose metabolism nevertheless this glucoregulation is not the main function of insulin in the brain. Brain is known to be specifically vulnerable to oxidative products relative to other organs and altered brain insulin signaling may cause or promote neurodegenerative diseases which invalidates and reduces the quality of life. Insulin located within the brain is mostly of pancreatic origin or is produced in the brain itself crosses the blood-brain barrier and enters the brain via a receptor-mediated active transport system. Brain Insulin, insulin receptor and insulin receptor substrate-mediated signaling pathways play important roles in the regulation of peripheral metabolism, feeding behavior, memory and maintenance of neural functions such as neuronal growth and differentiation, neuromodulation and neuroprotection. In the present review, we would like to summarize the novel biological and pathophysiological roles of neuronal insulin in neurodegenerative diseases and describe the main signaling pathways in use for therapeutic strategies in the use of insulin to the cerebral tissues and their biological applications to neurodegenerative diseases.
Kweon, Jung Hyun; Kim, Sunhong; Lee, Sung Bae
One of the characteristics of the neurons that distinguishes them from other cells is their complex and polarized structure consisting of dendrites, cell body, and axon. The complexity and diversity of dendrites are particularly well recognized, and accumulating evidences suggest that the alterations in the dendrite structure are associated with many neurodegenerative diseases. Given the importance of the proper dendritic structures for neuronal functions, the dendrite pathology appears to have crucial contribution to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Nonetheless, the cellular and molecular basis of dendritic changes in the neurodegenerative diseases remains largely elusive. Previous studies in normal condition have revealed that several cellular components, such as local cytoskeletal structures and organelles located locally in dendrites, play crucial roles in dendrite growth. By reviewing what has been unveiled to date regarding dendrite growth in terms of these local cellular components, we aim to provide an insight to categorize the potential cellular basis that can be applied to the dendrite pathology manifested in many neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27502014
Corbett, E. L.; Sisodiya, S.; Sarkar, D.
We describe a 71 year old man with a neurodegenerative condition who developed chronic inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion and hypothermia resulting in recurrent episodes of impaired consciousness. This combination of abnormalities is attributable to hypothalamic disease and has not to our knowledge been previously reported with clearly documented antidiuretic hormone excess. Images Figure 1 PMID:8121871
ABSTRACT The nucleus is typically depicted as a sphere encircled by a smooth surface of nuclear envelope. For most cell types, this depiction is accurate. In other cell types and in some pathological conditions, however, the smooth nuclear exterior is interrupted by tubular invaginations of the nuclear envelope, often referred to as a “nucleoplasmic reticulum,” into the deep nuclear interior. We have recently reported a significant expansion of the nucleoplasmic reticulum in postmortem human Alzheimer's disease brain tissue. We found that dysfunction of the nucleoskeleton, a lamin-rich meshwork that coats the inner nuclear membrane and associated invaginations, is causal for Alzheimer's disease-related neurodegeneration in vivo. Additionally, we demonstrated that proper function of the nucleoskeleton is required for survival of adult neurons and maintaining genomic architecture. Here, we elaborate on the significance of these findings in regard to pathological states and physiological aging, and discuss cellular causes and consequences of nuclear envelope invagination. PMID:27167528
The nucleus is typically depicted as a sphere encircled by a smooth surface of nuclear envelope. For most cell types, this depiction is accurate. In other cell types and in some pathological conditions, however, the smooth nuclear exterior is interrupted by tubular invaginations of the nuclear envelope, often referred to as a "nucleoplasmic reticulum," into the deep nuclear interior. We have recently reported a significant expansion of the nucleoplasmic reticulum in postmortem human Alzheimer's disease brain tissue. We found that dysfunction of the nucleoskeleton, a lamin-rich meshwork that coats the inner nuclear membrane and associated invaginations, is causal for Alzheimer's disease-related neurodegeneration in vivo. Additionally, we demonstrated that proper function of the nucleoskeleton is required for survival of adult neurons and maintaining genomic architecture. Here, we elaborate on the significance of these findings in regard to pathological states and physiological aging, and discuss cellular causes and consequences of nuclear envelope invagination.
Landgrave-Gómez, Jorge; Mercado-Gómez, Octavio; Guevara-Guzmán, Rosalinda
The role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS) and its regulation in diseases is one of the most interesting processes of contemporary neuroscience. In the last decade, a growing body of literature suggests that long-term changes in gene transcription associated with CNS’s regulation and neurological disorders are mediated via modulation of chromatin structure. “Epigenetics”, introduced for the first time by Waddington in the early 1940s, has been traditionally referred to a variety of mechanisms that allow heritable changes in gene expression even in the absence of DNA mutation. However, new definitions acknowledge that many of these mechanisms used to perpetuate epigenetic traits in dividing cells are used by neurons to control a variety of functions dependent on gene expression. Indeed, in the recent years these mechanisms have shown their importance in the maintenance of a healthy CNS. Moreover, environmental inputs that have shown effects in CNS diseases, such as nutrition, that can modulate the concentration of a variety of metabolites such as acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-coA), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and beta hydroxybutyrate (β-HB), regulates some of these epigenetic modifications, linking in a precise way environment with gene expression. This manuscript will portray what is currently understood about the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the CNS and their participation in a variety of neurological disorders. We will discuss how the machinery that controls these modifications plays an important role in processes involved in neurological disorders such as neurogenesis and cell growth. Moreover, we will discuss how environmental inputs modulate these modifications producing metabolic and physiological alterations that could exert beneficial effects on neurological diseases. Finally, we will highlight possible future directions in the field of epigenetics
Ross, Christopher A; Akimov, Sergey S
The cell biology of human neurodegenerative diseases has been difficult to study till recently. The development of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) models has greatly enhanced our ability to model disease in human cells. Methods have recently been improved, including increasing reprogramming efficiency, introducing non-viral and non-integrating methods of cell reprogramming, and using novel gene editing techniques for generating genetically corrected lines from patient-derived iPSCs, or for generating mutations in control cell lines. In this review, we highlight accomplishments made using iPSC models to study neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Fronto-Temporal Dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Spinomuscular Atrophy and other polyglutamine diseases. We review disease-related phenotypes shown in patient-derived iPSCs differentiated to relevant neural subtypes, often with stressors or cell "aging", to enhance disease-specific phenotypes. We also discuss prospects for the future of using of iPSC models of neurodegenerative disorders, including screening and testing of therapeutic compounds, and possibly of cell transplantation in regenerative medicine. The new iPSC models have the potential to greatly enhance our understanding of pathogenesis and to facilitate the development of novel therapeutics.
Lee, Seung-Jae; Lim, Hee-Sun; Masliah, Eliezer; Lee, He-Jin
Progressive accumulation of specific protein aggregates is a defining feature of many major neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, fronto-temporal dementia, Huntington’s disease, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD). Findings from several recent studies have suggested that aggregation-prone proteins, such as tau, α-synuclein, polyglutamine-containing proteins, and amyloid-β, can spread to other cells and brain regions, a phenomenon considered unique to prion disorders, such as CJD and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Cell-to-cell propagation of protein aggregates may be the general underlying principle for progressive deterioration of neurodegenerative diseases. This may also have significant implications in cell replacement therapies, as evidenced by the propagation of α-synuclein aggregates from host to grafted cells in long-term transplants in Parkinson’s patients. Here, we review recent progress in protein aggregate propagation in experimental model systems and discuss outstanding questions and future perspectives. Understanding the mechanisms of this pathological spreading may open the way to unique opportunities for development of diagnostic techniques and novel therapies for protein misfolding-associated neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:21624403
Godoy, Maria Dantas Costa Lima; Voegels, Richard Louis; Pinna, Fábio de Rezende; Imamura, Rui; Farfel, José Marcelo
Introduction Loss of smell is involved in various neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease. However, the olfactory test is usually neglected by physicians at large. Objective The aim of this study was to review the current literature about the relationship between olfactory dysfunction and neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases. Data Synthesis Twenty-seven studies were selected for analysis, and the olfactory system, olfaction, and the association between the olfactory dysfunction and dementias were reviewed. Furthermore, is described an up to date in olfaction. Conclusion Otolaryngologist should remember the importance of olfaction evaluation in daily practice. Furthermore, neurologists and physicians in general should include olfactory tests in the screening of those at higher risk of dementia. PMID:25992176
Zhu, Lin; Ploessl, Karl; Kung, Hank F.
Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or positron emission computed tomography (PET) imaging agents for neurodegenerative disease have a significant impact on clinical diagnosis and patient care. The examples of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) imaging agents described in this paper provide a general view on how imaging agents, ie radioactive drugs, are selected, chemically prepared and applied in humans. Imaging the living human brain can provide unique information on the pathology and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as AD and PD. The imaging method will also facilitate preclinical and clinical trials of new drugs offering specific information related to drug binding sites in the brain. In the future, chemists will continue to play important roles in identifying specific targets, synthesizing target-specific probes for screening and ultimately testing them by in vitro and in vivo assays. PMID:24676152
Fan, Hueng-Chuen; Chi, Ching-Shiang; Cheng, Shin-Nan; Lee, Hsiu-Fen; Tsai, Jeng-Dau; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are among the most feared of the disorders that afflict humankind for the lack of specific diagnostic tests and effective treatments. Understanding the molecular, cellular, biochemical changes of NDs may hold therapeutic promise against debilitating central nerve system (CNS) disorders. In the present review, we summarized the clinical presentations and biology backgrounds of NDs, including Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) and explored the role of molecular mechanisms, including dys-regulation of epigenetic control mechanisms, Ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated protein kinase (ATM), and neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of NDs. Targeting these mechanisms may hold therapeutic promise against these devastating diseases.
Rare genetic diseases affect about 7% of the general population and over 7000 distinct clinical syndromes have been described with the majority being due to single gene defects. This review will provide a critical overview of genetic strategies that are being pioneered to halt or reverse disease progression in inherited neurodegenerative diseases. This field of research covers a vast area and only the most promising treatment paradigms will be discussed with a particular focus on inherited eye diseases, which have paved the way for innovative gene therapy paradigms, and mitochondrial diseases, which are currently generating a lot of debate centred on the bioethics of germline manipulation. PMID:27002113
Jellinger, Kurt A
Abstract Psychosis has been recognized as a common feature in neurodegenerative diseases and a core feature of dementia that worsens most clinical courses. It includes hallucinations, delusions including paranoia, aggressive behaviour, apathy and other psychotic phenomena that occur in a wide range of degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, synucleinopathies (Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies), Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal degenerations, motoneuron and prion diseases. Many of these psychiatric manifestations may be early expressions of cognitive impairment, but often there is a dissociation between psychotic/behavioural symptoms and the rather linear decline in cognitive function, suggesting independent pathophysiological mechanisms. Strictly neuropathological explanations are likely to be insufficient to explain them, and a large group of heterogeneous factors (environmental, neurochemical changes, genetic factors, etc.) may influence their pathogenesis. Clinico-pathological evaluation of behavioural and psychotic symptoms (PS) in the setting of neurodegenerative and dementing disorders presents a significant challenge for modern neurosciences. Recognition and understanding of these manifestations may lead to the development of more effective preventive and therapeutic options that can serve to delay long-term progression of these devastating disorders and improve the patients’ quality of life. A better understanding of the pathophysiology and distinctive pathological features underlying the development of PS in neurodegenerative diseases may provide important insights into psychotic processes in general. PMID:21418522
de Tommaso, Marina; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars; Defrin, Ruth; Kunz, Miriam; Pickering, Gisele; Valeriani, Massimiliano
Neurodegenerative diseases are going to increase as the life expectancy is getting longer. The management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias, Parkinson's disease (PD) and PD related disorders, motor neuron diseases (MND), Huntington's disease (HD), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), is mainly addressed to motor and cognitive impairment, with special care to vital functions as breathing and feeding. Many of these patients complain of painful symptoms though their origin is variable, and their presence is frequently not considered in the treatment guidelines, leaving their management to the decision of the clinicians alone. However, studies focusing on pain frequency in such disorders suggest a high prevalence of pain in selected populations from 38 to 75% in AD, 40% to 86% in PD, and 19 to 85% in MND. The methods of pain assessment vary between studies so the type of pain has been rarely reported. However, a prevalent nonneuropathic origin of pain emerged for MND and PD. In AD, no data on pain features are available. No controlled therapeutic trials and guidelines are currently available. Given the relevance of pain in neurodegenerative disorders, the comprehensive understanding of mechanisms and predisposing factors, the application and validation of specific scales, and new specific therapeutic trials are needed. PMID:27313396
Cai, Huan; Cong, Wei-na; Ji, Sunggoan; Rothman, Sarah; Maudsley, Stuart; Martin, Bronwen
Alzheimer's disease and other related neurodegenerative diseases are highly debilitating disorders that affect millions of people worldwide. Efforts towards developing effective treatments for these disorders have shown limited efficacy at best, with no true cure to this day being present. Recent work, both clinical and experimental, indicates that many neurodegenerative disorders often display a coexisting metabolic dysfunction which may exacerbate neurological symptoms. It stands to reason therefore that metabolic pathways may themselves contain promising therapeutic targets for major neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we provide an overview of some of the most recent evidence for metabolic dysregulation in Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and Parkinson's disease, and discuss several potential mechanisms that may underlie the potential relationships between metabolic dysfunction and etiology of nervous system degeneration. We also highlight some prominent signaling pathways involved in the link between peripheral metabolism and the central nervous system that are potential targets for future therapies, and we will review some of the clinical progress in this field. It is likely that in the near future, therapeutics with combinatorial neuroprotective and 'eumetabolic' activities may possess superior efficacies compared to less pluripotent remedies.
Nasrallah, Ilya M.; Wolk, David A.
Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, result in cognitive decline and dementia and are a leading cause of mortality in the growing elderly population. These progressive diseases typically have insidious onset, with overlapping clinical features early in disease course that makes diagnosis challenging. Neurodegenerative diseases are associated with characteristic, although not completely understood, changes in the brain: abnormal protein deposition, synaptic dysfunction, neuronal injury and neuronal death. Neuroimaging biomarkers – principally regional atrophy on structural MRI, patterns of hypometabolism on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET, and detection of cerebral amyloid plaque on amyloid PET – are able to evaluate the patterns of these abnormalities in the brain to assist and improve early diagnosis of these conditions as well as to help predict disease course in the future. There are unique strengths of these techniques as well as synergies in multimodality evaluation of the patient with cognitive decline or dementia. This review will discuss the key imaging biomarkers from MRI, 18F-FDG PET, and amyloid PET, the imaging features of the most common neurodegenerative dementias, the role of various neuroimaging studies in differential diagnosis and prognosis, and introduce some promising imaging techniques currently under development. PMID:25413136
, about 15 years after the original reports, it is clear that amyloids are special structures that occur in nature under several different guises, some good, some evil . The number of diseases associated with misfolding and fibrillogenesis has steadily increased. Examples of fairly common pathologies associated with fibre formation include Alzheimer's disease (currently one of the major threats for human health in our increasingly aging world), Parkinson's disease and several rare, but not less severe, pathologies. On the other hand, it is also clear that amyloid formation is a convenient mechanism for storing peptides and/or proteins in a compact and resistant way. The number of organisms/tissues in which amyloid deposits are found is thus increasing. It is also not too far-fetched to expect that the mechanical properties of amyloids could be used in biotechnology to design new materials. Because of the importance of this topic in so many scientific fields, we have dedicated this special issue of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter to the topic of protein aggregation and disease. In the following pages we have collected two reviews and five articles that explore new and interesting developments in the field. References  Olby R 1994 The Path of the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA (New York: Dover)  Dobson C M 2004 Principles of protein folding, misfolding and aggregation Semin. Cell Dev. Biol. 15 3-16  Hammer N D, Wang X, McGuffie B A, Chapman M R 2008 Amyloids: friend or foe? J. Alzheimers Dis. 13 407-19 Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases contents Protein aggregation and misfolding: good or evil?Annalisa Pastore and Pierandrea Temussi Alzheimer's disease: biological aspects, therapeutic perspectives and diagnostic toolsM Di Carlo, D Giacomazza and P L San Biagio Entrapment of Aβ1-40 peptide in unstructured aggregatesC Corsale, R Carrotta, M R Mangione, S Vilasi, A Provenzano, G Cavallaro, D Bulone and P L San Biagio Elemental micro
Feng, Zhongling; Gao, Feng
Neurodegenerative diseases result from the gradual and progressive loss of neural cells and lead to nervous system dysfunction. The rapidly advancing stem cell field is providing attractive alternative options for fighting these diseases. Results have provided proof of principle that cell replacement can work in humans with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, three clinical studies of cell transplantation were published that found no net benefit, while patients in two of the studies developed dyskinesias that persisted despite reductions in treatment. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) have major potential advantages because patient-specific neuroblasts are suitable for transplantation, avoid immune reactions, and can be produced without the use of human ES cells (hESC). Although iPSCs have not been successfully used in clinical trials for PD, patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were treated with autologous stem cells and, though they had some degree of decline one year after treatment, they were still improved compared with the preoperative period or without any drug therapy. In addition, neural stem cells (NSCs), via brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), have been shown to ameliorate complex behavioral deficits associated with widespread Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology in a transgenic mouse model of AD. So far, the FDA lists 18 clinical trials treating multiple sclerosis (MS), but most are in preliminary stages. This article serves as an overview of recent studies in stem cell and regenerative approaches to the above chronic neurodegenerative disorders. There are still many obstacles to the use of stem cells as a cure for neurodegenerative disease, especially because we still don't fully understand the true mechanisms of these diseases. However, there is hope in the potential of stem cells to help us learn and understand a great deal more about the mechanisms underlying these devastating neurodegenerative diseases.
Zhang, Yuan; Tang, Zhi-Han; Ren, Zhong; Qu, Shun-Lin; Liu, Mi-Hua; Liu, Lu-Shan
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is the third endogenous signaling gasotransmitter, following nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. It is physiologically generated by cystathionine-γ-lyase, cystathionine-β-synthase, and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase. H2S has been gaining increasing attention as an important endogenous signaling molecule because of its significant effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Substantial evidence shows that H2S is involved in aging by inhibiting free-radical reactions, activating SIRT1, and probably interacting with the age-related gene Klotho. Moreover, H2S has been shown to have therapeutic potential in age-associated diseases. This article provides an overview of the physiological functions and effects of H2S in aging and age-associated diseases, and proposes the potential health and therapeutic benefits of H2S. PMID:23297346
Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F
In the post-genomic era, epigenetic factors-literally those that are "over" or "above" genetic ones and responsible for controlling the expression and function of genes-have emerged as important mediators of development and aging; gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions; and the pathophysiology of complex disease states. Here, we provide a brief overview of the major epigenetic mechanisms (ie, DNA methylation, histone modifications and chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNA regulation). We highlight the nearly ubiquitous profiles of epigenetic dysregulation that have been found in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. We also review innovative methods and technologies that enable the characterization of individual epigenetic modifications and more widespread epigenomic states at high resolution. We conclude that, together with complementary genetic, genomic, and related approaches, interrogating epigenetic and epigenomic profiles in neurodegenerative diseases represent important and increasingly practical strategies for advancing our understanding of and the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders.
Nakamura, Tomohiro; Tu, Shichun; Akhtar, Mohd Waseem; Sunico, Carmen R.; Okamoto, Shu-ichi; Lipton, Stuart A.
S-Nitrosylation is a redox-mediated posttranslational modification that regulates protein function via covalent reaction of nitric oxide (NO)-related species with a cysteine thiol group on the target protein. Under physiological conditions, S-nitrosylation can be an important modulator of signal transduction pathways, akin to phosphorylation. However, with aging or environmental toxins that generate excessive NO, aberrant S-nitrosylation reactions can occur and affect protein misfolding, mitochondrial fragmentation, synaptic function, apoptosis or autophagy. Here, we discuss how aberrantly S-nitrosylated proteins (SNO-proteins) play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Insight into the pathophysiological role of aberrant S-nitrosylation pathways will enhance our understanding of molecular mechanisms leading to neurodegenerative diseases and point to potential therapeutic interventions. PMID:23719160
Bento, Carla F.
Autophagy is a conserved process that uses double-membrane vesicles to deliver cytoplasmic contents to lysosomes for degradation. Although autophagy may impact many facets of human biology and disease, in this review we focus on the ability of autophagy to protect against certain neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. Autophagy enhances the clearance of toxic, cytoplasmic, aggregate-prone proteins and infectious agents. The beneficial roles of autophagy can now be extended to supporting cell survival and regulating inflammation. Autophagic control of inflammation is one area where autophagy may have similar benefits for both infectious and neurodegenerative diseases beyond direct removal of the pathogenic agents. Preclinical data supporting the potential therapeutic utility of autophagy modulation in such conditions is accumulating. PMID:26101267
Lazzara, Carol A.; Kim, Yong-Hwan
Lithium, the long-standing hallmark treatment for bipolar disorder, has recently been identified as a potential neuroprotective agent in neurodegeneration. Here we focus on introducing numerous in vitro and in vivo studies that have shown lithium treatment to be efficacious in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, increasing autophagy, inhibiting apoptosis, and decreasing the accumulation of α-synulcein, with an emphasis on Parkinson's disease. A number of biological pathways have been shown to be involved in causing these neuroprotective effects. The inhibition of GSK-3β has been the mechanism most studied; however, other modes of action include the regulation of apoptotic proteins and glutamate excitotoxicity as well as down-regulation of calpain. This review provides a framework of the neuroprotective effects of lithium in neurodegenerative diseases and the putative mechanisms by which lithium provides the protection. Lithium-only treatment may not be a suitable therapeutic option for neurodegenerative diseases due to inconsistent efficacy and potential side-effects, however, the use of low dose lithium in combination with other potential or existing therapeutic compounds may be a promising approach to reduce symptoms and disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26578864
Jackrel, Meredith E.; Shorter, James
Protein misfolding is implicated in numerous neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's disease. A unifying feature of patients with these disorders is the accumulation of deposits comprised of misfolded protein. Aberrant protein folding can cause toxicity through a loss or gain of protein function, or both. An intriguing therapeutic approach to counter these disorders is the application of protein-remodeling factors to resolve these misfolded conformers and return the proteins to their native fold and function. Here, we describe the application of protein-remodeling factors to alleviate protein misfolding in neurodegenerative disease. We focus on Hsp104, Hsp110/Hsp70/Hsp40, NMNAT, and HtrA1, which can prevent and reverse protein aggregation. While many of these protein-remodeling systems are highly promising, their activity can be limited. Thus, engineering protein-remodeling factors to enhance their activity could be therapeutically valuable. Indeed, engineered Hsp104 variants suppress neurodegeneration in animal models, which opens the way to novel therapeutics and mechanistic probes to help understand neurodegenerative disease. PMID:28293166
Rao, A V; Balachandran, B
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) are a group of illness with diverse clinical importance and etiologies. NDD include motor neuron disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cerebellar disorders, Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), cortical destructive Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Schizophrenia. Numerous epidemiological and experimental studies provide many risk factors such as advanced age, genetic defects, abnormalities of antioxidant enzymes, excitotoxicity, cytoskeletal abnormalities, autoimmunity, mineral deficiencies, oxidative stress, metabolic toxicity, hypertension and other vascular disorders. Growing body of evidence implicates free radical toxicity, radical induced mutations and oxidative enzyme impairment and mitochondrial dysfunction due to congenital genetic defects in clinical manifestations of NDD. Accumulation of oxidative damage in neurons either primarily or secondarily may account for the increased incidence of NDD such as AD, ALS and stroke in aged populations. The molecular mechanisms of neuronal degeneration remain largely unknown and effective therapies are not currently available. Recent interest has focused on antioxidants such as carotenoids and in particular lycopene, a potent antioxidant in tomatoes and tomato products, flavonoids and vitamins as potentially useful agents in the management of human NDD. The pathobiology of neurodegenerative disorders with emphasis on genetic origin and its correlation with oxidative stress of neurodegenerative disorders will be reviewed and the reasons as to why brain constitutes a vulnerable site of oxidative damage will be discussed. The article will also discuss the potential free radical scavenger, mechanism of antioxidant action of lycopene and the need for the use of antioxidants in the prevention of NDD.
McGurk, Leeanne; Berson, Amit; Bonini, Nancy M.
With the increase in the ageing population, neurodegenerative disease is devastating to families and poses a huge burden on society. The brain and spinal cord are extraordinarily complex: they consist of a highly organized network of neuronal and support cells that communicate in a highly specialized manner. One approach to tackling problems of such complexity is to address the scientific questions in simpler, yet analogous, systems. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has been proven tremendously valuable as a model organism, enabling many major discoveries in neuroscientific disease research. The plethora of genetic tools available in Drosophila allows for exquisite targeted manipulation of the genome. Due to its relatively short lifespan, complex questions of brain function can be addressed more rapidly than in other model organisms, such as the mouse. Here we discuss features of the fly as a model for human neurodegenerative disease. There are many distinct fly models for a range of neurodegenerative diseases; we focus on select studies from models of polyglutamine disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that illustrate the type and range of insights that can be gleaned. In discussion of these models, we underscore strengths of the fly in providing understanding into mechanisms and pathways, as a foundation for translational and therapeutic research. PMID:26447127
Gardner, Raquel C; Yaffe, Kristine
Every year an estimated 42 million people worldwide suffer a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or concussion. More severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a well-established risk factor for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, large epidemiological studies have additionally identified MTBI as a risk factor for dementia. The role of MTBI in risk of PD or ALS is less well established. Repetitive MTBI and repetitive sub-concussive head trauma have been linked to increased risk for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a unique neurodegenerative tauopathy first described in boxers but more recently described in a variety of contact sport athletes, military veterans, and civilians exposed to repetitive MTBI. Studies of repetitive MTBI and CTE have been limited by referral bias, lack of consensus clinical criteria for CTE, challenges of quantifying MTBI exposure, and potential for confounding. The prevalence of CTE is unknown and the amount of MTBI or sub-concussive trauma exposure necessary to produce CTE is unclear. This review will summarize the current literature regarding the epidemiology of MTBI, post-TBI dementia and Parkinson's disease, and CTE while highlighting methodological challenges and critical future directions of research in this field. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:Traumatic Brain Injury.
Zhang, Ziyan; Yan, Jingqi; Chang, Yanzhong; Yan, Shirley ShiDu; Shi, Honglian
Hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a transcriptional factor responsible for cellular and tissue adaption to low oxygen tension. HIF-1, a heterodimer consisting of a constitutively expressed β subunit and an oxygen-regulated α subunit, regulates a series of genes that participate in angiogenesis, iron metabolism, glucose metabolism, and cell proliferation/survival. The activity of HIF-1 is controlled by post-translational modifications on different amino acid residues of its subunits, mainly the alpha subunit. Besides in ischemic stroke (see review ), emerging evidence has revealed that HIF-1 activity and expression of its down-stream genes, such as vascular endothelial growth factor and erythropoietin, are altered in a range of neurodegenerative diseases. At the same time, experimental and clinical evidence has demonstrated that regulating HIF-1 might ameliorate the cellular and tissue damage in the neurodegenerative diseases. These new findings suggest HIF-1 as a potential medicinal target for the neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on HIF-1α protein modifications and HIF-1’s potential neuroprotective roles in Alzheimer’s (AD), Parkinson’s (PD), Huntington’s diseases (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PMID:21861815
Hsieh, Hsi-Lung; Yang, Chuen-Mao
Reactive oxygen species (ROS), a redox signal, are produced by various enzymatic reactions and chemical processes, which are essential for many physiological functions and act as second messengers. However, accumulating evidence has implicated the pathogenesis of several human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders related to increased oxidative stress. Under pathological conditions, increasing ROS production can regulate the expression of diverse inflammatory mediators during brain injury. Elevated levels of several proinflammatory factors including cytokines, peptides, pathogenic structures, and peroxidants in the central nervous system (CNS) have been detected in patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). These proinflammatory factors act as potent stimuli in brain inflammation through upregulation of diverse inflammatory genes, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and adhesion molecules. To date, the intracellular signaling mechanisms underlying the expression of target proteins regulated by these factors are elusive. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms underlying the intracellular signaling pathways, especially ROS, involved in the expression of several inflammatory proteins induced by proinflammatory factors in brain resident cells. Understanding redox signaling transduction mechanisms involved in the expression of target proteins and genes may provide useful therapeutic strategies for brain injury, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24455696
Ahmed, Rebekah M; Devenney, Emma M; Irish, Muireann; Ittner, Arne; Naismith, Sharon; Ittner, Lars M; Rohrer, Jonathan D; Halliday, Glenda M; Eisen, Andrew; Hodges, John R; Kiernan, Matthew C
Neurodegeneration refers to a heterogeneous group of brain disorders that progressively evolve. It has been increasingly appreciated that many neurodegenerative conditions overlap at multiple levels and therefore traditional clinicopathological correlation approaches to better classify a disease have met with limited success. Neuronal network disintegration is fundamental to neurodegeneration, and concepts based around such a concept may better explain the overlap between their clinical and pathological phenotypes. In this Review, promoters of overlap in neurodegeneration incorporating behavioural, cognitive, metabolic, motor, and extrapyramidal presentations will be critically appraised. In addition, evidence that may support the existence of large-scale networks that might be contributing to phenotypic differentiation will be considered across a neurodegenerative spectrum. Disintegration of neuronal networks through different pathological processes, such as prion-like spread, may provide a better paradigm of disease and thereby facilitate the identification of novel therapies for neurodegeneration. PMID:27172939
Chang, Cheng-Chieh; Chang, Yu-Chun; Hu, Wen-Long; Hung, Yu-Chiang
Aging-associated cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have some risk factors that are closely related to oxidative stress. Salvia miltiorrhiza (SM) has been used commonly to treat CVDs for hundreds of years in the Chinese community. We aimed to explore the effects of SM on oxidative stress in aging-associated CVDs. Through literature searches using Medicine, PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, CINAHL, and Scopus databases, we found that SM not only possesses antioxidant, antiapoptotic, and anti-inflammatory effects but also exerts angiogenic and cardioprotective activities. SM may reduce the production of reactive oxygen species by inhibiting oxidases, reducing the production of superoxide, inhibiting the oxidative modification of low-density lipoproteins, and ameliorating mitochondrial oxidative stress. SM also increases the activities of catalase, manganese superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and coupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase. In addition, SM reduces the impact of ischemia/reperfusion injury, prevents cardiac fibrosis after myocardial infarction, preserves cardiac function in coronary disease, maintains the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, and promotes self-renewal and proliferation of neural stem/progenitor cells in stroke. However, future clinical well-designed and randomized control trials will be necessary to confirm the efficacy of SM in aging-associated CVDs.
Aging-associated cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have some risk factors that are closely related to oxidative stress. Salvia miltiorrhiza (SM) has been used commonly to treat CVDs for hundreds of years in the Chinese community. We aimed to explore the effects of SM on oxidative stress in aging-associated CVDs. Through literature searches using Medicine, PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, CINAHL, and Scopus databases, we found that SM not only possesses antioxidant, antiapoptotic, and anti-inflammatory effects but also exerts angiogenic and cardioprotective activities. SM may reduce the production of reactive oxygen species by inhibiting oxidases, reducing the production of superoxide, inhibiting the oxidative modification of low-density lipoproteins, and ameliorating mitochondrial oxidative stress. SM also increases the activities of catalase, manganese superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and coupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase. In addition, SM reduces the impact of ischemia/reperfusion injury, prevents cardiac fibrosis after myocardial infarction, preserves cardiac function in coronary disease, maintains the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, and promotes self-renewal and proliferation of neural stem/progenitor cells in stroke. However, future clinical well-designed and randomized control trials will be necessary to confirm the efficacy of SM in aging-associated CVDs. PMID:27807472
Dantuma, Elise; Merchant, Stephanie; Sugaya, Kiminobu
Stem cells offer an enormous pool of resources for the understanding of the human body. One proposed use of stem cells has been as an autologous therapy. The use of stem cells for neurodegenerative diseases has become of interest. Clinical applications of stem cells for Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis will increase in the coming years, and although great care will need to be taken when moving forward with prospective treatments, the application of stem cells is highly promising.
Gola, Kelly A.; Thorne, Avril; Veldhuisen, Lisa D.; Felix, Cordula M.; Hankinson, Sarah; Pham, Julie; Shany-Ur, Tal; Schauer, Guido P.; Stanley, Christine M.; Glenn, Shenly; Miller, Bruce L.; Rankin, Katherine P.
Conversational storytelling integrates diverse cognitive and socio-emotional abilities that critically differ across neurodegenerative disease groups and may have diagnostic relevance and predict anatomic changes. The present study employed mixed methods discourse and quantitative analyses to delineate patterns of storytelling across focal neurodegenerative disease groups, and to clarify the neuroanatomical contributions to common storytelling characteristics in these patients. Transcripts of spontaneous social interactions of 46 participants (15 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 7 semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), 12 Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 12 healthy older normal controls) were analysed for storytelling characteristics and frequency, and videos of the interactions were rated for patients' social attentiveness. Compared to controls, svPPAs also told more stories and autobiographical stories, and perseverated on aspects of self during storytelling. ADs told fewer autobiographical stories than NCs, and svPPAs and bvFTDs failed to attend to social cues. Storytelling characteristics were associated with a processing speed and mental flexibility, and voxel-based anatomic analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging revealed that temporal organization, evaluations, and social attention correlated with atrophy corresponding to known intrinsic connectivity networks, including the default mode, limbic, salience, and stable task control networks. Differences in spontaneous storytelling among neurodegenerative groups elucidated diverse cognitive, socio-emotional, and neural contributions to narrative production, with implications for diagnostic screening and therapeutic intervention. PMID:26485159
Gola, Kelly A; Thorne, Avril; Veldhuisen, Lisa D; Felix, Cordula M; Hankinson, Sarah; Pham, Julie; Shany-Ur, Tal; Schauer, Guido P; Stanley, Christine M; Glenn, Shenly; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P
Conversational storytelling integrates diverse cognitive and socio-emotional abilities that critically differ across neurodegenerative disease groups. Storytelling patterns may have diagnostic relevance and predict anatomic changes. The present study employed mixed methods discourse and quantitative analyses to delineate patterns of storytelling across focal neurodegenerative disease groups, and to clarify the neuroanatomical contributions to common storytelling characteristics. Transcripts of spontaneous social interactions of 46 participants (15 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 7 semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), 12 Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 12 healthy older normal controls (NC)) were analyzed for storytelling frequency and characteristics, and videos of the interactions were rated for patients' level of social attentiveness. Compared to controls, svPPAs told more stories and autobiographical stories, and perseverated on aspects of self during the interaction, whereas ADs told fewer autobiographical stories than NCs. svPPAs and bvFTDs were rated as less attentive to social cues. Aspects of storytelling were related to diverse cognitive and socio-emotional functions, and voxel-based anatomic analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging revealed that temporal organization, narrative evaluations patterns, and social attentiveness correlated with atrophy corresponding to known intrinsic connectivity networks, including the default mode, limbic, salience, and stable task control networks. Differences in spontaneous storytelling among neurodegenerative groups elucidated diverse cognitive, socio-emotional, and neural contributions to narrative production, with implications for diagnostic screening and therapeutic intervention.
Huang, Liang; Su, Xiaomin; Federoff, Howard J.
Accumulation of misfolded proteins has been implicated in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including prion diseases, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Huntington’s disease (HD). In the past decade, single-chain fragment variable (scFv) -based immunotherapies have been developed to target abnormal proteins or various forms of protein aggregates including Aβ, SNCA, Htt, and PrP proteins. The scFvs are produced by fusing the variable regions of the antibody heavy and light chains, creating a much smaller protein with unaltered specificity. Because of its small size and relative ease of production, scFvs are promising diagnostic and therapeutic reagents for protein misfolded diseases. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of scFvs in preventing amyloid protein aggregation in preclinical models. Herein, we discuss recent developments of these immunotherapeutics. We review efforts of our group and others using scFv in neurodegenerative disease models. We illustrate the advantages of scFvs, including engineering to enhance misfolded conformer specificity and subcellular targeting to optimize therapeutic action. PMID:24048248
Wang, Xianli; Dong, Chuanming; Sun, Lixin; Zhu, Liang; Sun, Chenxi; Ma, Rongjie; Ning, ke; Lu, Bing; Zhang, Jinfu; Xu, Jun
Aging is characterized by a progressive decline in the function of adult tissues which can lead to neurodegenerative disorders. However, little is known about the correlation between protein changes in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and neurodegenerative diseases with age. In the present study, neural stem cells (NSCs) were derived from the SVZ on postnatal 7 d, 1 m, and 12 m-old mice. With age, NSCs exhibited increased SA-β-gal activity and decreased proliferation and pool size in the SVZ zone, and were associated with elevated inflammatory chemokines and cytokines. Furthermore, quantitative proteomics and ingenuity pathway analysis were used to evaluate the significant age-related alterations in proteins and their functions. Some downregulated proteins such as DPYSL2, TPI1, ALDH, and UCHL1 were found to play critical roles in the neurological disease and PSMA1, PSMA3, PSMC2, PSMD11, and UCHL1 in protein homeostasis. Taken together, we have provided valuable insight into the cellular and molecular processes that underlie aging-associated declines in SVZ neurogenesis for the early detection of differences in gene expression and the potential risk of neurological disease, which is beneficial in the prevention of the diseases. PMID:27857231
Morris, J K; Vidoni, E D; Perea, R D; Rada, R; Johnson, D K; Lyons, K; Pahwa, R; Burns, J M; Honea, R A
The goal of this study was to compare insulin resistance in aging and aging-related neurodegenerative diseases, and to determine the relationship between insulin resistance and gray matter volume (GMV) in each cohort using an unbiased, voxel-based approach. Insulin resistance was estimated in apparently healthy elderly control (HC, n=21) and neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer's disease (AD), n=20; Parkinson's disease (PD), n=22) groups using Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance 2 (HOMA2) and intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT). HOMA2 and GMV were assessed within groups through General Linear Model multiple regression. We found that HOMA2 was increased in both AD and PD compared to the HC group (HC vs. AD, p=0.002, HC vs. PD, p=0.003), although only AD subjects exhibited increased fasting glucose (p=0.005). Furthermore, our voxel-based morphometry analysis revealed that HOMA2 was related to GMV in all cohorts in a region-specific manner (p<0.001, uncorrected). Significant relationships were observed in the medial prefrontal cortex (HC), medial temporal regions (AD), and parietal regions (PD). Finally, the directionality of the relationship between HOMA2 and GMV was disease-specific. Both HC and AD subjects exhibited negative relationships between HOMA2 and brain volume (increased HOMA2 associated with decreased brain volume), while a positive relationship was observed in PD. This cross-sectional study suggests that insulin resistance is increased in neurodegenerative disease, and that individuals with AD appear to have more severe metabolic dysfunction than individuals with PD or PD dementia.
Maxwell, M M
RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool for experimental manipulation of gene expression and is widely used to investigate gene function both in vitro and in vivo. RNAi refers to an evolutionarily conserved cellular mechanism for sequence-specific post-transcriptional gene silencing, in which double-stranded RNAs promote selective degradation of homologous cellular mRNAs. Because RNAi-based techniques can be employed to reduce expression of specific genes, this approach holds great promise as a therapy for diverse diseases, including devastating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Importantly, in recent years RNAi has also emerged as a key tool in target identification and validation studies designed to complement traditional (i.e., small molecule-based) drug development strategies. These studies harness the power of RNAi-mediated reverse genetics to probe disease-associated pathways in both cell-based and animal models, and thus may provide critical data needed to focus drug development efforts around disease-relevant targets. This review highlights recent progress in the preclinical development of RNAi-based therapeutics for neurodegenerative disease and discusses the particular challenges that disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) pose for this approach. It further describes current applications of RNAi techniques for target identification and validation studies and underscores the importance of this methodology to developing treatments for neurological diseases.
Dye, Richelin V.; Miller, Karen J.; Singer, Elyse J.; Levine, Andrew J.
Over the past two decades, there has been a significant amount of research investigating the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with regards to neurodegenerative disease. Here, we review basic science studies, randomized clinical trials, and epidemiological studies, and discuss the putative neuroprotective effects of HRT in the context of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. Findings to date suggest a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and improved cognitive functioning of postmenopausal women who use 17β-estradiol. With regards to Parkinson's disease, there is consistent evidence from basic science studies for a neuroprotective effect of 17β-estradiol; however, results of clinical and epidemiological studies are inconclusive at this time, and there is a paucity of research examining the association between HRT and Parkinson's-related neurocognitive impairment. Even less understood are the effects of HRT on risk for frontotemporal dementia and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. Limits to the existing research are discussed, along with proposed future directions for the investigation of HRT and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22548198
DNA methylation reactions are regulated, in the first instance, by enzymes and the intermediates that constitute the 'so called' one-carbon metabolism. This is a complex biochemical pathway, also known as the homocysteine cycle, regulated by the presence of B vitamins (folate, B6, B12) and choline, among other metabolites. One of the intermediates of this metabolism is S-adenosylmethionine, which represent the methyl donor in all the DNA methyltransferase reactions in eukaryotes. The one-carbon metabolism therefore produces the substrate necessary for the transferring of a methyl group on the cytosine residues of DNA; S-adenosylmethionine also regulates the activity of the enzymes that catalyze this reaction, namely the DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). Alterations of this metabolic cycle can therefore be responsible for aberrant DNA methylation processes possibly leading to several human diseases. As a matter of fact, increasing evidences indicate that a number of human diseases with multifactorial origin may have an epigenetic basis. This is also due to the great technical advances in the field of epigenetic research. Among the human diseases associated with epigenetic factors, aging-related and neurodegenerative diseases are probably the object of most intense research. This review will present the main evidences linking several human diseases to DNA methylation, with particular focus on neurodegenerative diseases, together with a short description of the state-of-the-art of methylation assays.
The cell has an intricate quality control system to protect its mitochondria from oxidative stress. This surveillance system is multi-tiered and comprises molecules that are present inside the mitochondria, in the cytosol, and in other organelles like the nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum. These molecules cross talk with each other and protect the mitochondria from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a fundamental part of early disease pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. These disorders also damage the cellular quality control machinery that protects the cell against oxidative stress. This exacerbates the oxidative damage and causes extensive neuronal cell death that is characteristic of neurodegeneration. PMID:24288463
Jucker, Mathias; Walker, Lary C
The misfolding and aggregation of specific proteins is a seminal occurrence in a remarkable variety of neurodegenerative disorders. In Alzheimer disease (the most prevalent cerebral proteopathy), the two principal aggregating proteins are β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau. The abnormal assemblies formed by conformational variants of these proteins range in size from small oligomers to the characteristic lesions that are visible by optical microscopy, such as senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Pathologic similarities with prion disease suggest that the formation and spread of these proteinaceous lesions might involve a common molecular mechanism-corruptive protein templating. Experimentally, cerebral β-amyloidosis can be exogenously induced by exposure to dilute brain extracts containing aggregated Aβ seeds. The amyloid-inducing agent probably is Aβ itself, in a conformation generated most effectively in the living brain. Once initiated, Aβ lesions proliferate within and among brain regions. The induction process is governed by the structural and biochemical nature of the Aβ seed, as well as the attributes of the host, reminiscent of pathogenically variant prion strains. The concept of prionlike induction and spreading of pathogenic proteins recently has been expanded to include aggregates of tau, α-synuclein, huntingtin, superoxide dismutase-1, and TDP-43, which characterize such human neurodegenerative disorders as frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Parkinson/Lewy body disease, Huntington disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Our recent finding that the most effective Aβ seeds are small and soluble intensifies the search in bodily fluids for misfolded protein seeds that are upstream in the proteopathic cascade, and thus could serve as predictive diagnostics and the targets of early, mechanism-based interventions. Establishing the clinical implications of corruptive protein templating will require further mechanistic and epidemiologic investigations
Martin, Lee J.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are the most common human adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. They are characterized by prominent age-related neurodegeneration in selectively vulnerable neural systems. Some forms of AD, PD, and ALS are inherited, and genes causing these diseases have been identified. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of the neuronal cell death are unresolved. Morphological, biochemical, genetic, as well as cell and animal model studies reveal that mitochondria could have roles in this neurodegeneration. The functions and properties of mitochondria might render subsets of selectively vulnerable neurons intrinsically susceptible to cellular aging and stress and overlying genetic variations, triggering neurodegeneration according to a cell death matrix theory. In AD, alterations in enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, oxidative damage, and mitochondrial binding of Aβ and amyloid precursor protein have been reported. In PD, mutations in putative mitochondrial proteins have been identified and mitochondrial DNA mutations have been found in neurons in the substantia nigra. In ALS, changes occur in mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes and mitochondrial cell death proteins. Transgenic mouse models of human neurodegenerative disease are beginning to reveal possible principles governing the biology of selective neuronal vulnerability that implicate mitochondria and the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This review summarizes how mitochondrial pathobiology might contribute to neuronal death in AD, PD, and ALS and could serve as a target for drug therapy. PMID:21258649
Libro, Rosaliana; Bramanti, Placido; Mazzon, Emanuela
The Wnt/β-catenin or Wnt canonical pathway controls multiple biological processes throughout development and adult life. Growing evidences have suggested that deregulation of the Wnt canonical pathway could be involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. The Wnt canonical signaling is a pathway tightly regulated, which activation results in the inhibition of the Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β (GSK-3β) function and in increased β-catenin activity, that migrates into the nucleus, activating the transcription of the Wnt target genes. Conversely, when the Wnt canonical pathway is turned off, increased levels of GSK-3β promote β-catenin degradation. Hence, GSK-3β could be considered as a key regulator of the Wnt canonical pathway. Of note, GSK-3β has also been involved in the modulation of inflammation and apoptosis, determining the delicate balance between immune tolerance/inflammation and neuronal survival/neurodegeneration. In this review, we have summarized the current acknowledgements about the role of the Wnt canonical pathway in the pathogenesis of some neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, cerebral ischemia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, with particular regard to the main in vitro and in vivo studies in this field, by reviewing 85 research articles about.
Fan, Hueng-Chuen; Chi, Ching-Shiang; Cheng, Shin-Nan; Lee, Hsiu-Fen; Tsai, Jeng-Dau; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are among the most feared of the disorders that afflict humankind for the lack of specific diagnostic tests and effective treatments. Understanding the molecular, cellular, biochemical changes of NDs may hold therapeutic promise against debilitating central nerve system (CNS) disorders. In the present review, we summarized the clinical presentations and biology backgrounds of NDs, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and explored the role of molecular mechanisms, including dys-regulation of epigenetic control mechanisms, Ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated protein kinase (ATM), and neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of NDs. Targeting these mechanisms may hold therapeutic promise against these devastating diseases. PMID:26712747
Schulkey, Claire E; Regmi, Suk D; Magnan, Rachel A; Danzo, Megan T; Luther, Herman; Hutchinson, Alayna K; Panzer, Adam A; Grady, Mary M; Wilson, David B; Jay, Patrick Y
Maternal age is a risk factor for congenital heart disease even in the absence of any chromosomal abnormality in the newborn. Whether the basis of this risk resides with the mother or oocyte is unknown. The impact of maternal age on congenital heart disease can be modelled in mouse pups that harbour a mutation of the cardiac transcription factor gene Nkx2-5 (ref. 8). Here, reciprocal ovarian transplants between young and old mothers establish a maternal basis for the age-associated risk in mice. A high-fat diet does not accelerate the effect of maternal ageing, so hyperglycaemia and obesity do not simply explain the mechanism. The age-associated risk varies with the mother's strain background, making it a quantitative genetic trait. Most remarkably, voluntary exercise, whether begun by mothers at a young age or later in life, can mitigate the risk when they are older. Thus, even when the offspring carry a causal mutation, an intervention aimed at the mother can meaningfully reduce their risk of congenital heart disease.
Di Iorio, Giuseppe; Lupi, Matteo; Sarchione, Fabiola; Matarazzo, Ilaria; Santacroce, Rita; Petruccelli, Filippo; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo
Background: Following the characterization of the chemical structure of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana, researchers have moved on with scientific valuable explorations. Objectives: The aim of this review is to highlight the role of endocannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases. Materials and Methods: The article is a critical analysis of the most recent data currently present in scientific literature on the subject; a qualitative synthesis of only the most significant articles has been performed. Results: In central nervous system, endocannabinoids show a neuromodulatory function, often of retrograde type. This way, they play an important role in synaptic plasticity and in cognitive, motor, sensory and affective processes. In addition, in some acute or chronic pathologies of central nervous system, such as neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases, endocannabinoids can perform a pro-homeostatic and neuroprotective function, through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Scientific evidence shows that an hypofunction or a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for some of the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Conclusions: The important role played by endocannabinoid system promises interesting developments, in particular to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs in both psychiatry and neurology. PMID:24971285
Morris, LGT; Veeriah, S; Chan, TA
It has been hypothesized that oncogenesis and neurodegeneration may share common mechanistic foundations. Recent evidence now reveals a number of genes in which alteration leads to either carcinogenesis or neurodegeneration, depending on cellular context. Pathways that have emerged as having critical roles in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease include those involving genes such as PARK2, ATM, PTEN, PTPRD, and mTOR. A number of mechanisms have been implicated, and commonly affected cellular processes include cell cycle regulation, DNA repair, and response to oxidative stress. For example, we have recently shown that the E3 ubiquitin ligase PARK2 is mutated or deleted in many different human malignancies and helps drive loss on chromosome 6q25.2–27, a genomic region frequently deleted in cancers. Mutation in PARK2 is also the most common cause of juvenile Parkinson’s disease. Mutations in PARK2 result in an upregulation of its substrate cyclin E, resulting in dysregulated entry into the cell cycle. In neurons, this process results in cell death, but in cycling cells, the result is a growth advantage. Thus, depending on whether the cell affected is a dividing cell or a post-mitotic neuron, responses to these alterations may differ, ultimately leading to varying disease phenotypes. Here, we review the substantial data implicating specific genes in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease. PMID:20418918
Rossi, Luisa; Lombardo, Marco F; Ciriolo, Maria R; Rotilio, Giuseppe
Copper is an essential transition metal ion for the function of key metabolic enzymes, but its uncontrolled redox reactivity is source of reactive oxygen species. Therefore a network of transporters strictly controls the trafficking of copper in living systems. Deficit, excess, or aberrant coordination of copper are conditions that may be detrimental, especially for neuronal cells, which are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress. Indeed, the genetic disturbances of copper homeostasis, Menkes' and Wilson's diseases, are associated with neurodegeneration. Furthermore, copper interacts with the proteins that are the hallmarks of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, prion diseases, and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In all cases, copper-mediated oxidative stress is linked to mitochondrial dysfunction, which is a common feature of neurodegeneration. In particular we recently demonstrated that in copper deficiency, mitochondrial function is impaired due to decreased activity of cytochrome c oxidase, leading to production of reactive oxygen species, which in turn triggers mitochondria-mediated apoptotic neurodegeneration.
Maya, S; Prakash, T; Madhu, Krishna Das; Goli, Divakar
Aluminium (Al) is the most common metal and widely distributed in our environment. Al was first isolated as an element in 1827, and its use began only after 1886. Al is widely used for industrial applications and consumer products. Apart from these it is also used in cooking utensils and in pharmacological agents, including antacids and antiperspirants from which the element usually enters into the human body. Evidence for the neurotoxicity of Al is described in various studies, but still the exact mechanism of Al toxicity is not known. However, the evidence suggests that the Al can potentiate oxidative stress and inflammatory events and finally leads to cell death. Al is considered as a well-established neurotoxin and have a link between the exposure and development of neurodegenerative diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia, Gulf war syndrome and Parkinsonism. Here, we review the detailed possible pathogenesis of Al neurotoxicity. This review summarizes Al induced events likewise oxidative stress, cell mediated toxicity, apoptosis, inflammatory events in the brain, glutamate toxicity, effects on calcium homeostasis, gene expression and Al induced Neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) formation. Apart from these we also discussed animal models that are commonly used for Al induced neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration studies. These models help to find out a better way to treat and prevent the progression in Al induced neurodegenerative diseases.
Sacksteder, Colette A.; Qian, Weijun; Knyushko, Tanya V.; Wang, Haixing H.; Chin, Mark H.; Lacan, Goran; Melega, William P.; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Smith, Desmond J.; Squier, Thomas C.; Bigelow, Diana J.
Increased nitrotyrosine modification of proteins has been documented in multiple pathologies in a variety of tissue types; emerging evidence suggests its additional role in redox regulation of normal metabolism. In order to identify proteins sensitive to nitrating conditions in vivo, a comprehensive proteomic dataset identifying 7,792 proteins from whole mouse brain, generated by LC/LC-MS/MS analyses, was used to identify nitrated proteins. This analysis resulted in identification of 31 unique nitrotyrosine sites within 29 different proteins. Over half of the nitrated proteins identified have been reported to be involved in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or other neurodegenerative disorders. Similarly, nitrotyrosine immunoblots of whole brain homogenates show that treatment of mice with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), an experimental model of Parkinson's disease, induces increased nitration of the same protein bands observed to be nitrated in brains of untreated animals. Comparing sequences and available high resolution structures around nitrated tyrosines with those of unmodified sites indicates a preference of nitration in vivo for surface accessible tyrosines in loops, characteristics consistent with peroxynitrite-induced tyrosine modification. More striking is the five-fold greater nitration of tyrosines having nearby basic sidechains, suggesting electrostatic attraction of basic groups with the negative charge of peroxynitrite. Together, these results suggest that elevated peroxynitrite generation plays a role in neurodegenerative changes in the brain and provides a predictive tool of functionally important sites of nitration.
Sollberger, Marc; Stanley, Christine M; Wilson, Stephen M; Gyurak, Anett; Beckman, Victoria; Growdon, Matthew; Jang, Jung; Weiner, Michael W; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P
Several functional and structural imaging studies have investigated the neural basis of personality in healthy adults, but human lesions studies are scarce. Personality changes are a common symptom in patients with neurodegenerative diseases like frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and semantic dementia (SD), allowing a unique window into the neural basis of personality. In this study, we used the Interpersonal Adjective Scales to investigate the structural basis of eight interpersonal traits (dominance, arrogance, coldness, introversion, submissiveness, ingenuousness, warmth, and extraversion) in 257 subjects: 214 patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as FTD, SD, progressive nonfluent aphasia, Alzheimer's disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, corticobasal degeneration, and progressive supranuclear palsy and 43 healthy elderly people. Measures of interpersonal traits were correlated with regional atrophy pattern using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis of structural MR images. Interpersonal traits mapped onto distinct brain regions depending on the degree to which they involved agency and affiliation. Interpersonal traits high in agency related to left dorsolateral prefrontal and left lateral frontopolar regions, whereas interpersonal traits high in affiliation related to right ventromedial prefrontal and right anteromedial temporal regions. Consistent with the existing literature on neural networks underlying social cognition, these results indicate that brain regions related to externally focused, executive control-related processes underlie agentic interpersonal traits such as dominance, whereas brain regions related to internally focused, emotion- and reward-related processes underlie affiliative interpersonal traits such as warmth. In addition, these findings indicate that interpersonal traits are subserved by complex neural networks rather than discrete anatomic areas.
Tarozzi, Andrea; Angeloni, Cristina; Malaguti, Marco; Morroni, Fabiana; Hrelia, Silvana; Hrelia, Patrizia
A wide variety of acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including ischemic/traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease, share common characteristics such as oxidative stress, misfolded proteins, excitotoxicity, inflammation, and neuronal loss. As no drugs are available to prevent the progression of these neurological disorders, intervention strategies using phytochemicals have been proposed as an alternative form of treatment. Among phytochemicals, isothiocyanate sulforaphane, derived from the hydrolysis of the glucosinolate glucoraphanin mainly present in Brassica vegetables, has demonstrated neuroprotective effects in several in vitro and in vivo studies. In particular, evidence suggests that sulforaphane beneficial effects could be mainly ascribed to its peculiar ability to activate the Nrf2/ARE pathway. Therefore, sulforaphane appears to be a promising compound with neuroprotective properties that may play an important role in preventing neurodegeneration.
Tarozzi, Andrea; Angeloni, Cristina; Malaguti, Marco; Morroni, Fabiana; Hrelia, Silvana; Hrelia, Patrizia
A wide variety of acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including ischemic/traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease, share common characteristics such as oxidative stress, misfolded proteins, excitotoxicity, inflammation, and neuronal loss. As no drugs are available to prevent the progression of these neurological disorders, intervention strategies using phytochemicals have been proposed as an alternative form of treatment. Among phytochemicals, isothiocyanate sulforaphane, derived from the hydrolysis of the glucosinolate glucoraphanin mainly present in Brassica vegetables, has demonstrated neuroprotective effects in several in vitro and in vivo studies. In particular, evidence suggests that sulforaphane beneficial effects could be mainly ascribed to its peculiar ability to activate the Nrf2/ARE pathway. Therefore, sulforaphane appears to be a promising compound with neuroprotective properties that may play an important role in preventing neurodegeneration. PMID:23983898
Naz, Shuguftha; Beach, James; Heckert, Blaze; Tummala, Tanuja; Pashchenko, Oleksandra; Banerjee, Tuhina; Santra, Santimukul
Despite advances in understanding the factors that cause many neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), no current therapies have yielded significant results. Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeONPs) have recently emerged as therapeutics for the treatment of NDs due to their antioxidant properties. This report summarizes the recent findings regarding CeONPs in treatment of various NDs, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, ischemic stroke and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Interest in CeONPs as a potential nanomedicine for NDs has increased due to: their ability to alter signaling pathways, small diameter allowing passage through the blood-brain barrier and scavenging of reactive oxygen species. Due to these properties, CeONPs could eventually revolutionize existing treatments for NDs.
Spencer, Peter S; Palmer, Valerie S; Kisby, Glen E
Pathological changes of the aging brain are expressed in a range of neurodegenerative disorders that will impact increasing numbers of people across the globe. Research on the causes of these disorders has focused heavily on genetics, and strategies for prevention envision drug-induced slowing or arresting disease advance before its clinical appearance. We discuss a strategic shift that seeks to identify the environmental causes or contributions to neurodegeneration, and the vision of primary disease prevention by removing or controlling exposure to culpable agents. The plausibility of this approach is illustrated by the prototypical neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia complex (ALS-PDC). This often-familial long-latency disease, once thought to be an inherited genetic disorder but now known to have a predominant or exclusive environmental origin, is in the process of disappearing from the three heavily affected populations, namely Chamorros of Guam and Rota, Japanese residents of Kii Peninsula, Honshu, and Auyu and Jaqai linguistic groups on the island of New Guinea in West Papua, Indonesia. Exposure via traditional food and/or medicine (the only common exposure in all three geographic isolates) to one or more neurotoxins in seed of cycad plants is the most plausible if yet unproven etiology. Neurotoxin dosage and/or subject age at exposure might explain the stratified epidemic of neurodegenerative disease on Guam in which high-incidence ALS peaked and declined before that of PD, only to be replaced today by a dementing disorder comparable to Alzheimer's disease. Exposure to the Guam environment is also linked to the delayed development of ALS among a subset of Chamorro and non-Chamorro Gulf War/Era veterans, a summary of which is reported here for the first time. Lessons learned from this study and from 65 years of research on ALS-PDC include the exceptional value of initial, field-based informal investigation of
Blood mononuclear cells consist of T cells and monocyte derived cells. Beside immunity, the blood mononuclear cells belong to the complex tissue control system (TCS), where they exhibit morphostatic function by stimulating proliferation of tissue stem cells followed by cellular differentiation, that is stopped after attaining the proper functional stage, which differs among various tissue types. Therefore, the term immune and morphostatic system (IMS) should be implied. The TCS-mediated morphostasis also consists of vascular pericytes controlled by autonomic innervation, which is regulating the quantity of distinct tissues in vivo. Lack of proper differentiation of tissue cells by TCS causes either tissue underdevelopment, e.g., muscular dystrophy, or degenerative functional failures, e.g., type 1 diabetes and age-associated diseases. With the gradual IMS regression after 35 years of age the gonadal infertility develops, followed by a growing incidence of age-associated diseases and cancers. Without restoring an altered TCS function in a degenerative disease, the implantation of tissue-specific stem cells alone by regenerative medicine can not be successful. Transfused young blood could temporarily restore fertility to enable parenthood. The young blood could also temporarily alleviate aging diseases, and this can be extended by substances inducing IMS regeneration, like the honey bee propolis. The local and/or systemic use of honey bee propolis stopped hair and teeth loss, regressed varicose veins, improved altered hearing, and lowered high blood pressure and sugar levels. Complete regression of stage IV ovarian cancer with liver metastases after a simple elaborated immunotherapy is also reported. PMID:28074124
Young, Alexandra L; Oxtoby, Neil P; Ourselin, Sebastien; Schott, Jonathan M; Alexander, Daniel C
We present a framework for simulating cross-sectional or longitudinal biomarker data sets from neurodegenerative disease cohorts that reflect the temporal evolution of the disease and population diversity. The simulation system provides a mechanism for evaluating the performance of data-driven models of disease progression, which bring together biomarker measurements from large cross-sectional (or short term longitudinal) cohorts to recover the average population-wide dynamics. We demonstrate the use of the simulation framework in two different ways. First, to evaluate the performance of the Event Based Model (EBM) for recovering biomarker abnormality orderings from cross-sectional datasets. Second, to evaluate the performance of a differential equation model (DEM) for recovering biomarker abnormality trajectories from short-term longitudinal datasets. Results highlight several important considerations when applying data-driven models to sporadic disease datasets as well as key areas for future work. The system reveals several important insights into the behaviour of each model. For example, the EBM is robust to noise on the underlying biomarker trajectory parameters, under-sampling of the underlying disease time course and outliers who follow alternative event sequences. However, the EBM is sensitive to accurate estimation of the distribution of normal and abnormal biomarker measurements. In contrast, we find that the DEM is sensitive to noise on the biomarker trajectory parameters, resulting in an over estimation of the time taken for biomarker trajectories to go from normal to abnormal. This over estimate is approximately twice as long as the actual transition time of the trajectory for the expected noise level in neurodegenerative disease datasets. This simulation framework is equally applicable to a range of other models and longitudinal analysis techniques.
Fleg, Jerome L; Strait, James
Important changes occur in the cardiovascular system with advancing age, even in apparently healthy individuals. Thickening and stiffening of the large arteries develop due to collagen and calcium deposition and loss of elastic fibers in the medial layer. These arterial changes cause systolic blood pressure to rise with age, while diastolic blood pressure generally declines after the sixth decade. In the left ventricle, modest concentric wall thickening occurs due to cellular hypertrophy, but cavity size does not change. Although left ventricular systolic function is preserved across the age span, early diastolic filling rate declines 30-50% between the third and ninth decades. Conversely, an age-associated increase in late diastolic filling due to atrial contraction preserves end-diastolic volume. Aerobic exercise capacity declines approximately 10% per decade in cross-sectional studies; in longitudinal studies, however, this decline is accelerated in the elderly. Reductions in peak heart rate and peripheral oxygen utilization but not stroke volume appear to mediate the age-associated decline in aerobic capacity. Deficits in both cardiac β-adrenergic receptor density and in the efficiency of postsynaptic β-adrenergic signaling contribute significantly to the reduced cardiovascular performance during exercise in older adults. Although these cardiovascular aging changes are considered "normative", they lower the threshold for the development of cardiovascular disease, which affects the majority of older adults.
Fernandes, Carlos; Oliveira, Catarina; Benfeito, Sofia; Soares, Pedro; Garrido, Jorge; Borges, Fernanda
The efficacy, cellular uptake and specific transport of dietary antioxidants to target organs, tissues and cells remains the most important setback for their application in the treatment of oxidative-stress related disorders and in particular in neurodegenerative diseases, as brain targeting remains a still unsolved challenge. Nanotechnology based delivery systems can be a solution for the above mentioned problems, specifically in the case of targeting dietary antioxidants with neuroprotective activity. Nanotechnology-based delivery systems can protect antioxidants from degradation, improve their physicochemical drug-like properties and in turn their bioavailability. The impact of nanomedicine in the improvement of the performance of dietary antioxidants, as protective agents in oxidative- stress events, specifically through the use of drug delivery systems, is highlighted in this review as well as the type of nanomaterials regularly used for drug delivery purposes. From the data one can conclude that the research combining (dietary) antioxidants and nanotechnology, namely as a therapeutic solution for neurodegenerative diseases, is still in a very early stage. So, a huge research area remains to be explored that hopefully will yield new and effective neuroprotective therapeutic agents in a foreseeable future.
Li, Chaosi; Shah, Syed Zahid Ali; Zhao, Deming; Yang, Lifeng
The retromer complex is a protein complex that plays a central role in endosomal trafficking. Retromer dysfunction has been linked to a growing number of neurological disorders. The process of intracellular trafficking and recycling is crucial for maintaining normal intracellular homeostasis, which is partly achieved through the activity of the retromer complex. The retromer complex plays a primary role in sorting endosomal cargo back to the cell surface for reuse, to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), or alternatively to specialized endomembrane compartments, in which the cargo is not subjected to lysosomal-mediated degradation. In most cases, the retromer acts as a core that interacts with associated proteins, including sorting nexin family member 27 (SNX27), members of the vacuolar protein sorting 10 (VPS10) receptor family, the major endosomal actin polymerization-promoting complex known as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein and scar homolog (WASH), and other proteins. Some of the molecules carried by the retromer complex are risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases. Defects such as haplo-insufficiency or mutations in one or several units of the retromer complex lead to various pathologies. Here, we summarize the molecular architecture of the retromer complex and the roles of this system in intracellular trafficking related the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.
Roberts, J. Scott; Uhlmann, Wendy R.
As the genetics of neurodegenerative disease become better understood, opportunities for genetic susceptibility testing for at-risk individuals will increase. Such testing raises important ethical and practice issues related to test access, informed consent, risk estimation and communication, return of results, and policies to prevent genetic discrimination. The advent of direct-to-consumer genetic susceptibility testing for various neurodegenerative disorders (including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and certain prion diseases) means that ethical and practical challenges must be faced not only in traditional research and clinical settings, but also in broader society. This review addresses several topics relevant to the development and implementation of genetic susceptibility tests across research, clinical, and consumer settings; these include appropriate indications for testing, the implications of different methods for disclosing test results, clinical versus personal utility of risk information, psychological and behavioral responses to test results, testing of minors, genetic discrimination, and ethical dilemmas posed by whole-genome sequencing. We also identify future areas of likely growth in the field, including pharmacogenomics and genetic screening for individuals considering or engaged in activities that pose elevated risk of brain injury (e.g., football players, military personnel). APOE gene testing for risk of Alzheimer’s disease is used throughout as an instructive case example, drawing upon the authors’ experience as investigators in a series of multisite randomized clinical trials that have examined the impact of disclosing APOE genotype status to interested individuals (e.g., first-degree relatives, persons with mild cognitive impairment). PMID:23583530
Smith, J. A.; Leonardi, T.; Huang, B.; Iraci, N.; Vega, B.; Pluchino, S.
Multicellular organisms rely upon diverse and complex intercellular communications networks for a myriad of physiological processes. Disruption of these processes is implicated in the onset and propagation of disease and disorder, including the mechanisms of senescence at both cellular and organismal levels. In recent years, secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been identified as a particularly novel vector by which cell-to-cell communications are enacted. EVs actively and specifically traffic bioactive proteins, nucleic acids, and metabolites between cells at local and systemic levels, modulating cellular responses in a bidirectional manner under both homeostatic and pathological conditions. EVs are being implicated not only in the generic aging process, but also as vehicles of pathology in a number of age-related diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative and disease. Thus, circulating EVs—or specific EV cargoes—are being utilised as putative biomarkers of disease. On the other hand, EVs, as targeted intercellular shuttles of multipotent bioactive payloads, have demonstrated promising therapeutic properties, which can potentially be modulated and enhanced through cellular engineering. Furthermore, there is considerable interest in employing nanomedicinal approaches to mimic the putative therapeutic properties of EVs by employing synthetic analogues for targeted drug delivery. Herein we describe what is known about the origin and nature of EVs and subsequently review their putative roles in biology and medicine (including the use of synthetic EV analogues), with a particular focus on their role in aging and age-related brain diseases. PMID:24973266
Cirillo, Davide; Agostini, Federico; Klus, Petr; Marchese, Domenica; Rodriguez, Silvia; Bolognesi, Benedetta; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano
Increasing evidence indicates that RNA plays an active role in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. We recently introduced a theoretical framework, catRAPID, to predict the binding ability of protein and RNA molecules. Here, we use catRAPID to investigate ribonucleoprotein interactions linked to inherited intellectual disability, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Creutzfeuld-Jakob, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases. We specifically focus on (1) RNA interactions with fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP; (2) protein sequestration caused by CGG repeats; (3) noncoding transcripts regulated by TAR DNA-binding protein 43 TDP-43; (4) autogenous regulation of TDP-43 and FMRP; (5) iron-mediated expression of amyloid precursor protein APP and α-synuclein; (6) interactions between prions and RNA aptamers. Our results are in striking agreement with experimental evidence and provide new insights in processes associated with neuronal function and misfunction.
Jaiswal, M.; Sandoval, H.; Zhang, K.; Bayat, V.; Bellen, H.J.
The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is an excellent organism for the study of the genetic and molecular basis of metazoan development. Drosophila provides numerous tools and reagents to unravel the molecular and cellular functions of genes that cause human disease, and the past decade has witnessed a significant expansion of the study of neurodegenerative disease mechanisms in flies. Here we review the interplay between oxidative stress and neuronal toxicity. We cover some of the studies that show how proteasome degradation of protein aggregates, autophagy, mitophagy, and lysosomal function affect the quality control mechanisms required for neuronal survival. We discuss how forward genetic screens in flies have led to the isolation of a few loci that cause neurodegeneration, paving the way for large-scale systematic screens to identify such loci in flies as well as promoting gene discovery in humans. PMID:22974305
Shen, Liang; Ji, Hong-Fang
One of the most conspicuous features of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) is the occurrence of dramatic conformation change of individual proteins. We performed a mutational spectrum analysis of disease-causing missense mutations in seven types of NDs at nucleotide and amino acid levels, and compared the results with those of non-NDs. The main findings included: (i) The higher mutation ratio of G:C→T:A transversion to G:C→A:T transition was observed in NDs than in non-NDs, interpreting the excessive guanine-specific oxidative DNA damage in NDs; (ii) glycine and proline had highest mutability in NDs than in non-NDs, which favor the protein conformation change in NDs; (iii) surprisingly low mutation frequency of arginine was observed in NDs. These findings help to understand how mutations may cause NDs.
As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities, treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple, interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators—“homeostats.” Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. “Allostatic load” refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states). Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion, and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown, allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholaminergic neurons leak vesicular contents into the cytoplasm continuously during life and that catecholamines in the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:21615193
As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities, treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple, interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators—“homeostats.” Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. “Allostatic load” refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states). Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion, and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown, allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholaminergic neurons leak vesicular contents into the cytoplasm continuously during life and that catecholamines in the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:22297542
Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.
In 2006, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), a highly conserved nuclear protein, was identified as the major disease protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in the most common variant of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), FTLD-U, which is characterized by cytoplasmic inclusions that stain positive for ubiquitin but negative for tau and α-synuclein. Since then, rapid advances have been made in our understanding of the physiological function of TDP-43 and the role of this protein in neurodegeneration. These advances link ALS and FTLD-U (now designated FTLD-TDP) to a shared mechanism of disease. In this Review, we summarize the current evidence regarding the normal function of TDP-43 and the TDP-43 pathology observed in FTLD-TDP, ALS, and other neurodegenerative diseases wherein TDP-43 pathology co-occurs with other disease-specific lesions (for example, with amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer disease). Moreover, we discuss the accumulating data that support our view that FTLD-TDP and ALS represent two ends of a spectrum of primary TDP-43 proteinopathies. Finally, we comment on the importance of recent advances in TDP-43-related research to neurological practice, including the new opportunities to develop better diagnostics and disease-modifying therapies for ALS, FTLD-TDP, and related disorders exhibiting TDP-43 pathology. PMID:20234357
Schaller, Bernhard J
Dementia represents a heterogeneous term that has evolved to describe the behavioral syndromes associated with a variety of clinical and neuropathological changes during continuing degenerative disease of the brain. As such, there lacks a clear consensus regarding the neuropsychological and other constituent characteristics associated with various cerebrovascular changes in this disease process. But increasing this knowledge has given more insights into memory deterioration in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other subtypes of dementia. The author reviews current knowledge of the physiological coupling between cerebral blood flow and metabolism in the light of state-of-the-art-imaging methods and its changes in dementia with special reference to Alzheimer’s disease. Different imaging techniques are discussed with respect to their visualizing effect of biochemical, cellular, and/or structural changes in dementia. The pathophysiology of dementia in advanced age is becoming increasingly understood by revealing the underlying basis of neuropsychological changes with current imaging techniques, genetic and pathological features, which suggests that alterations of (neuro) vascular regulatory mechanisms may lead to brain dysfunction and disease. The current view is that cerebrovascular deregulation is seen as a contributor to cerebrovascular pathologies, such as stroke, but also to neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The better understanding of these (patho) physiological mechanisms may open an approach to new interventional strategies in dementia to enhance neurovascular repair and to protect neurovascular coupling. PMID:18830391
Sacksteder, Colette A; Qian, Wei-Jun; Knyushko, Tatyana V; Wang, Haixing; Chin, Mark H; Lacan, Goran; Melega, William P; Camp, David G; Smith, Richard D; Smith, Desmond J; Squier, Thomas C; Bigelow, Diana J
Increased abundance of nitrotyrosine modifications of proteins have been documented in multiple pathologies in a variety of tissue types and play a role in the redox regulation of normal metabolism. To identify proteins sensitive to nitrating conditions in vivo, a comprehensive proteomic data set identifying 7792 proteins from a whole mouse brain, generated by LC/LC-MS/MS analyses, was used to identify nitrated proteins. This analysis resulted in the identification of 31 unique nitrotyrosine sites within 29 different proteins. More than half of the nitrated proteins that have been identified are involved in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or other neurodegenerative disorders. Similarly, nitrotyrosine immunoblots of whole brain homogenates show that treatment of mice with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), an experimental model of Parkinson's disease, induces an increased level of nitration of the same protein bands observed to be nitrated in brains of untreated animals. Comparing sequences and available high-resolution structures around nitrated tyrosines with those of unmodified sites indicates a preference of nitration in vivo for surface accessible tyrosines in loops, a characteristic consistent with peroxynitrite-induced tyrosine modification. In addition, most sequences contain cysteines or methionines proximal to nitrotyrosines, contrary to suggestions that these amino acid side chains prevent tyrosine nitration. More striking is the presence of a positively charged moiety near the sites of nitration, which is not observed for non-nitrated tyrosines. Together, these observations suggest a predictive tool of functionally important sites of nitration and that cellular nitrating conditions play a role in neurodegenerative changes in the brain.
Garcia-Huerta, Paula; Bargsted, Leslie; Rivas, Alexis; Matus, Soledad; Vidal, Rene L
Proteins along the secretory pathway are co-translationally translocated into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as unfolded polypeptide chains. Afterwards, they are usually modified with N-linked glycans, correctly folded and stabilized by disulfide bonds. ER chaperones and folding enzymes control these processes. The accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER activates a signaling response, termed the unfolded protein response (UPR). The hallmark of this response is the coordinated transcriptional up-regulation of ER chaperones and folding enzymes. In order to discuss the importance of the proper folding of certain substrates we will address the role of ER chaperones in normal physiological conditions and examine different aspects of its contribution in neurodegenerative disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:ER stress.
Orellana, Juan A; von Bernhardi, Rommy; Giaume, Christian; Sáez, Juan C
During the last two decades, it became increasingly evident that glial cells accomplish a more important role in brain function than previously thought. Glial cells express pannexins and connexins, which are member subunits of two protein families that form membrane channels termed hemichannels. These channels communicate intra- and extracellular compartments and allow the release of autocrine/paracrine signaling molecules [e.g., adenosine triphosphate (ATP), glutamate, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, and prostaglandin E2] to the extracellular milieu, as well as the uptake of small molecules (e.g., glucose). An increasing body of evidence has situated glial hemichannels as potential regulators of the beginning and maintenance of homeostatic imbalances observed in diverse brain diseases. Here, we review and discuss the current evidence about the possible role of glial hemichannels on neurodegenerative diseases. A subthreshold pathological threatening condition leads to microglial activation, which keeps active defense and restores the normal function of the central nervous system. However, if the stimulus is deleterious, microglial cells and the endothelium become overactivated, both releasing bioactive molecules (e.g., glutamate, cytokines, prostaglandins, and ATP), which increase the activity of glial hemichannels, reducing the astroglial neuroprotective functions, and further reducing neuronal viability. Because ATP and glutamate are released via glial hemichannels in neurodegenerative conditions, it is expected that they contribute to neurotoxicity. More importantly, toxic molecules released via glial hemichannels could increase the Ca2+ entry in neurons also via neuronal hemichannels, leading to neuronal death. Therefore, blockade of hemichannels expressed by glial cells and/or neurons during neuroinflammation might prevent neurodegeneration.
Sollberger, Marc; Rosen, Howard J; Shany-Ur, Tal; Ullah, Jerin; Stanley, Christine M; Laluz, Victor; Weiner, Michael W; Wilson, Stephen M; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P
Background Neuroimaging studies examining neural substrates of impaired self-awareness in patients with neurodegenerative diseases have shown divergent results depending on the modality (cognitive, emotional, behavioral) of awareness. Evidence is accumulating to suggest that self-awareness arises from a combination of modality-specific and large-scale supramodal neural networks. Methods We investigated the structural substrates of patients' tendency to overestimate or underestimate their own capacity to demonstrate empathic concern for others. Subjects' level of empathic concern was measured using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and subject-informant discrepancy scores were used to predict regional atrophy pattern, using voxel-based morphometry analysis. Of the 102 subjects, 83 were patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) or semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA); the other 19 were healthy older adults. Results bvFTD and svPPA patients typically overestimated their level of empathic concern compared to controls, and overestimating one's empathic concern predicted damage to predominantly right-hemispheric anterior infero-lateral temporal regions, whereas underestimating one's empathic concern showed no neuroanatomical basis. Conclusions These findings suggest that overestimation and underestimation of one's capacity for empathic concern cannot be interpreted as varying degrees of the same phenomenon, but may arise from different pathophysiological processes. Damage to anterior infero-lateral temporal regions has been associated with semantic self-knowledge, emotion processing, and social perspective taking; neuropsychological functions partly associated with empathic concern itself. These findings support the hypothesis that—at least in the socioemotional domain—neural substrates of self-awareness are partly modality-specific. PMID:24683513
Koikkalainen, Juha; Rhodius-Meester, Hanneke; Tolonen, Antti; Barkhof, Frederik; Tijms, Betty; Lemstra, Afina W; Tong, Tong; Guerrero, Ricardo; Schuh, Andreas; Ledig, Christian; Rueckert, Daniel; Soininen, Hilkka; Remes, Anne M; Waldemar, Gunhild; Hasselbalch, Steen; Mecocci, Patrizia; van der Flier, Wiesje; Lötjönen, Jyrki
Different neurodegenerative diseases can cause memory disorders and other cognitive impairments. The early detection and the stratification of patients according to the underlying disease are essential for an efficient approach to this healthcare challenge. This emphasizes the importance of differential diagnostics. Most studies compare patients and controls, or Alzheimer's disease with one other type of dementia. Such a bilateral comparison does not resemble clinical practice, where a clinician is faced with a number of different possible types of dementia. Here we studied which features in structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans could best distinguish four types of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies, and control subjects. We extracted an extensive set of features quantifying volumetric and morphometric characteristics from T1 images, and vascular characteristics from FLAIR images. Classification was performed using a multi-class classifier based on Disease State Index methodology. The classifier provided continuous probability indices for each disease to support clinical decision making. A dataset of 504 individuals was used for evaluation. The cross-validated classification accuracy was 70.6% and balanced accuracy was 69.1% for the five disease groups using only automatically determined MRI features. Vascular dementia patients could be detected with high sensitivity (96%) using features from FLAIR images. Controls (sensitivity 82%) and Alzheimer's disease patients (sensitivity 74%) could be accurately classified using T1-based features, whereas the most difficult group was the dementia with Lewy bodies (sensitivity 32%). These results were notable better than the classification accuracies obtained with visual MRI ratings (accuracy 44.6%, balanced accuracy 51.6%). Different quantification methods provided complementary information, and consequently, the best results were obtained by
Kolodkin, Alexey; Simeonidis, Evangelos; Balling, Rudi; Westerhoff, Hans V.
Healthy functioning is an emergent property of the network of interacting biomolecules that comprise an organism. It follows that disease (a network shift that causes malfunction) is also an emergent property, emerging from a perturbation of the network. On the one hand, the biomolecular network of every individual is unique and this is evident when similar disease-producing agents cause different individual pathologies. Consequently, a personalized model and approach for every patient may be required for therapies to become effective across mankind. On the other hand, diverse combinations of internal and external perturbation factors may cause a similar shift in network functioning. We offer this as an explanation for the multi-factorial nature of most diseases: they are “systems biology diseases,” or “network diseases.” Here we use neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson's disease (PD), as an example to show that due to the inherent complexity of these networks, it is difficult to understand multi-factorial diseases with simply our “naked brain.” When describing interactions between biomolecules through mathematical equations and integrating those equations into a mathematical model, we try to reconstruct the emergent properties of the system in silico. The reconstruction of emergence from interactions between huge numbers of macromolecules is one of the aims of systems biology. Systems biology approaches enable us to break through the limitation of the human brain to perceive the extraordinarily large number of interactions, but this also means that we delegate the understanding of reality to the computer. We no longer recognize all those essences in the system's design crucial for important physiological behavior (the so-called “design principles” of the system). In this paper we review evidence that by using more abstract approaches and by experimenting in silico, one may still be able to discover and understand the design principles that
Koikkalainen, Juha; Rhodius-Meester, Hanneke; Tolonen, Antti; Barkhof, Frederik; Tijms, Betty; Lemstra, Afina W.; Tong, Tong; Guerrero, Ricardo; Schuh, Andreas; Ledig, Christian; Rueckert, Daniel; Soininen, Hilkka; Remes, Anne M.; Waldemar, Gunhild; Hasselbalch, Steen; Mecocci, Patrizia; van der Flier, Wiesje; Lötjönen, Jyrki
Different neurodegenerative diseases can cause memory disorders and other cognitive impairments. The early detection and the stratification of patients according to the underlying disease are essential for an efficient approach to this healthcare challenge. This emphasizes the importance of differential diagnostics. Most studies compare patients and controls, or Alzheimer's disease with one other type of dementia. Such a bilateral comparison does not resemble clinical practice, where a clinician is faced with a number of different possible types of dementia. Here we studied which features in structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans could best distinguish four types of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies, and control subjects. We extracted an extensive set of features quantifying volumetric and morphometric characteristics from T1 images, and vascular characteristics from FLAIR images. Classification was performed using a multi-class classifier based on Disease State Index methodology. The classifier provided continuous probability indices for each disease to support clinical decision making. A dataset of 504 individuals was used for evaluation. The cross-validated classification accuracy was 70.6% and balanced accuracy was 69.1% for the five disease groups using only automatically determined MRI features. Vascular dementia patients could be detected with high sensitivity (96%) using features from FLAIR images. Controls (sensitivity 82%) and Alzheimer's disease patients (sensitivity 74%) could be accurately classified using T1-based features, whereas the most difficult group was the dementia with Lewy bodies (sensitivity 32%). These results were notable better than the classification accuracies obtained with visual MRI ratings (accuracy 44.6%, balanced accuracy 51.6%). Different quantification methods provided complementary information, and consequently, the best results were obtained by
Fan, Hueng-Chuen; Chi, Ching-Shiang; Lee, Yih-Jing; Tsai, Jeng-Dau; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), at least including Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases, have become the most dreaded maladies because of no precise diagnostic tools or definite treatments for these debilitating diseases. The increased prevalence and a substantial impact on the social-economic and medical care of NDs propel governments to develop policies to counteract the impact. Although the etiologies of NDs are still unknown, growing evidence suggests that genetic, cellular and circuit alternations may cause the generation of abnormal misfolded proteins, which uncontrolledly accumulate to damage eventually overwhelms the protein-disposal mechanisms of these neurons, leading to a common pathological feature of NDs. If the functions and the connectivity can be restored, alterations and accumulated damages may improve. The gene-editing tools, including Zincfinger nucleases, Transcription activator-like effector nucleases, and Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats associated nucleases have emerged as a novel tool not only for generating specific ND animal models for interrogating the mechanisms and screening potential drugs against NDs, but also for the editing sequence-specific genes to help patients with NDs to regain the functions and connectivity. This review introduces the clinical manifestations of three distinct NDs and the applications of the gene-editing technology on these debilitating diseases.
Cao, Lei; Tan, Lan; Jiang, Teng; Zhu, Xi-Chen; Yu, Jin-Tai
Although most neurodegenerative diseases have been closely related to aberrant accumulation of aggregation-prone proteins in neurons, understanding their pathogenesis remains incomplete, and there is no treatment to delay the onset or slow the progression of many neurodegenerative diseases. The availability of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in recapitulating the phenotypes of several late-onset neurodegenerative diseases marks the new era in in vitro modeling. The iPSC collection represents a unique and well-characterized resource to elucidate disease mechanisms in these diseases and provides a novel human stem cell platform for screening new candidate therapeutics. Modeling human diseases using iPSCs has created novel opportunities for both mechanistic studies as well as for the discovery of new disease therapies. In this review, we introduce iPSC-based disease modeling in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In addition, we discuss the implementation of iPSCs in drug discovery associated with some new techniques.
Akagi, Masaaki; Matsui, Nobuaki; Akae, Haruka; Hirashima, Nana; Fukuishi, Nobuyuki; Fukuyama, Yoshiyasu; Akagi, Reiko
Developed regions, including Japan, have become "aged societies," and the number of adults with senile dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease, has also increased in such regions. Neurotrophins (NTs) may play a role in the treatment of AD because endogenous neurotrophic factors (NFs) prevent neuronal death. However, peptidyl compounds have been unable to cross the blood-brain barrier in clinical studies. Thus, small molecules, which can mimic the functions of NFs, might be promising alternatives for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Natural products, such as or nutraceuticals or those used in traditional medicine, can potentially be used to develop new therapeutic agents against neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we introduced the neurotrophic activities of polyphenols honokiol and magnolol, which are the main constituents of Magnolia obovata Thunb, and methanol extracts from Zingiber purpureum (BANGLE), which may have potential therapeutic applications in various neurodegenerative disorders.
Maciotta, Simona; Meregalli, Mirella; Torrente, Yvan
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) originate from a loss of neurons in the central nervous system and are severely debilitating. The incidence of NDDs increases with age, and they are expected to become more common due to extended life expectancy. Because no cure is available, these diseases have become a major challenge in neurobiology. The increasing relevance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in biology has prompted investigation into their possible involvement in neurodegeneration in order to identify new therapeutic targets. The idea of using miRNAs as therapeutic targets is not far from realization, but important issues need to be addressed before moving into the clinics. Here, we review what is known about the involvement of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of NDDs. We also report the miRNA expression levels in peripheral tissues of patients affected by NDDs in order to evaluate their application as biomarkers of disease. Finally, discrepancies, innovations, and the effectiveness of collected data will be elucidated and discussed. PMID:24391543
The variety of names of neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) does not indicate that there is a wide variety of causes and a multiple number of cures. In fact NDDs derive from a common and repetitive, almost monotonous multicausal origin. NDDs are initiated invariably by a sudden or silent insidious decrease in immunologic resistance of the T cell-dependent or delayed type, produced by a large variety of psychological-emotional and/or environmental "stressors" (e.g., social, family-domestic, economic, alimentary, traumatic, and professional). These stressors increase the vulnerability of tissues (in this case, a section of the central or peripheral nervous system) to attack by a common virus (e.g., adenoviruses and herpesviruses). This attack creates a vicious circle leading to emergence of virus-generated tissue autoantigens and then to formation of autoantibodies. Use of corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs dramatically worsen and "eternalize" the diseases with further immunosuppression. Invariably, onset of NDDs is anticipated by a clear-cut alteration of the hormonal cyclicity, which closely controls immunity. My experience with patients in the last five years indicates a new approach to prevent and cure NDDs, based on a system totally divergent from present therapies. In fact "resetting the hormonal cyclicity clock" results in restoration of hormone-dependent antiviral immunity, arrest of disease progression, and at least partial recovery of neural functions, whatever the origin, anatomic location, and course of pathology.
Neurodegenerative diseases constitute a major public health issue due to an increasingly aged population as a consequence of generally improved medical care and demographic changes. Current drug treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most prevalent dementia, with cholinesterase inhibitors or NMDA antagonists has demonstrated very modest, symptomatic efficacy, leaving an unmet medical need for new, more effective therapies. Drug development efforts for AD in the last two decades have primarily focused on targets defined by the amyloid cascade hypothesis, so far with disappointing results. In contrast, tau-based strategies have received little attention until recently despite that the presence of extensive tau pathology is central to the disease. The discovery of mutations within the tau gene that cause fronto-temporal dementia demonstrated that tau dysfunction, in the absence of amyloid pathology, was sufficient to cause neuronal loss and clinical dementia. This review focuses on emerging therapeutic strategies aimed at treating the underlying causes of the tau pathology in tauopathies and AD, including some targets with significant potential in the field and which might be on the verge of providing new treatment paradigms within the coming years. Among those strategies, immunotherapy approaches will be mostly discussed. An update on 2010 patents regarding different aspects of tau-based therapeutic strategies is also provided.
Maltsev, A V; Bystryak, S; Galzitskaya, O V
Studies of neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs) are drawing more attention of researchers worldwide due to the high incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The pathophysiology of such disorders is, in part, characterized by the transition of a wild-type peptide from its native conformation into a very stable pathological isoform. Subsequently, these abnormal proteins form aggregates of amyloid fibrils that continuously increase in size. Changes in the metabolic processes of neurons (e.g. oxidative stress, hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein, and resulting secondary changes in the cell metabolism) ultimately lead to cell death. We hypothesize that extracellular deposition of β-amyloid peptide fibrils and neurofibrillary tangles represents the body's adaptation mechanism, aimed at preservation of autonomic functioning; while the cognitive decline is severe, the rest of the organ systems remain unaffected and continue to function. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that destruction of pathological plaques, fibrils, and tangles and the use of vaccines targeting β-amyloid result in undesirable side effects. To gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease and to develop novel therapies, continued studies of the sporadic form of disease and the mechanisms triggering conformational changes in β-amyloid peptide fragments are essential. This review is focused on studies investigating the formation of amyloid fibrils and their role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, we discuss a related disorder--amyloidosis--where formation of fibrils, tangles, and plaques leads to neuronal death which may occur as a result of a failed adaptation process. Further in-depth investigation and comprehensive analysis of alterations in the metabolism of APP, β-amyloid, and tau protein, which have a pathological effect on cell membrane, alter phosphate exchange, and impair other key metabolic functions of the cell long before the
Parron, Tesifon; Requena, Mar; Hernandez, Antonio F.; Alarcon, Raquel
Preliminary studies have shown associations between chronic pesticide exposure in occupational settings and neurological disorders. However, data on the effects of long-term non-occupational exposures are too sparse to allow any conclusions. This study examines the influence of environmental pesticide exposure on a number of neuropsychiatric conditions and discusses their underlying pathologic mechanisms. An ecological study was conducted using averaged prevalence rates of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral degeneration, polyneuropathies, affective psychosis and suicide attempts in selected Andalusian health districts categorized into areas of high and low environmental pesticide exposure based on the number of hectares devoted to intensive agriculture and pesticide sales per capita. A total of 17,429 cases were collected from computerized hospital records (minimum dataset) between 1998 and 2005. Prevalence rates and the risk of having Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and suicide were significantly higher in districts with greater pesticide use as compared to those with lower pesticide use. The multivariate analyses showed that the population living in areas with high pesticide use had an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts and that males living in these areas had increased risks for polyneuropathies, affective disorders and suicide attempts. In conclusion, this study supports and extends previous findings and provides an indication that environmental exposure to pesticides may affect the human health by increasing the incidence of certain neurological disorders at the level of the general population. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Environmental exposure to pesticides and neurodegenerative-psychiatric disorders. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts in high exposure areas. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Males from
Kovacs, Gabor G.
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are characterized by selective dysfunction and loss of neurons associated with pathologically altered proteins that deposit in the human brain but also in peripheral organs. These proteins and their biochemical modifications can be potentially targeted for therapy or used as biomarkers. Despite a plethora of modifications demonstrated for different neurodegeneration-related proteins, such as amyloid-β, prion protein, tau, α-synuclein, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), or fused in sarcoma protein (FUS), molecular classification of NDDs relies on detailed morphological evaluation of protein deposits, their distribution in the brain, and their correlation to clinical symptoms together with specific genetic alterations. A further facet of the neuropathology-based classification is the fact that many protein deposits show a hierarchical involvement of brain regions. This has been shown for Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and some forms of tauopathies and TDP-43 proteinopathies. The present paper aims to summarize current molecular classification of NDDs, focusing on the most relevant biochemical and morphological aspects. Since the combination of proteinopathies is frequent, definition of novel clusters of patients with NDDs needs to be considered in the era of precision medicine. Optimally, neuropathological categorizing of NDDs should be translated into in vivo detectable biomarkers to support better prediction of prognosis and stratification of patients for therapy trials. PMID:26848654
Sarko, Diana K.; McKinney, Cindy E.
Exosomes, small lipid bilayer vesicles, are part of the transportable cell secretome that can be taken up by nearby recipient cells or can travel through the bloodstream to cells in distant organs. Selected cellular cytoplasm containing proteins, RNAs, and other macromolecules is packaged into secreted exosomes. This cargo has the potential to affect cellular function in either healthy or pathological ways. Exosomal content has been increasingly shown to assist in promoting pathways of neurodegeneration such as β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) accumulation forming amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, and pathological aggregates of proteins containing α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease transferred to the central nervous system via exosomes. In attempting to address such debilitating neuropathologies, one promising utility of exosomes lies in the development of methodology to use exosomes as natural delivery vehicles for therapeutics. Because exosomes are capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier, they can be strategically engineered to carry drugs or other treatments, and possess a suitable half-life and stability for this purpose. Overall, analyses of the roles that exosomes play between diverse cellular sites will refine our understanding of how cells communicate. This mini-review introduces the origin and biogenesis of exosomes, their roles in neurodegenerative processes in the central nervous system, and their potential utility to deliver therapeutic drugs to cellular sites. PMID:28289371
Vendrov, Aleksandr E.; Vendrov, Kimberly C.; Smith, Alberto; Yuan, Jinling; Sumida, Arihiro; Robidoux, Jacques; Madamanchi, Nageswara R.
Abstract Aims: Increased oxidative stress and vascular inflammation are implicated in increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence with age. We and others demonstrated that NOX1/2 NADPH oxidase inhibition, by genetic deletion of p47phox, in Apoe−/− mice decreases vascular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and atherosclerosis in young age. The present study examined whether NOX1/2 NADPH oxidases are also pivotal to aging-associated CVD. Results: Both aged (16 months) Apoe−/− and Apoe−/−/p47phox−/− mice had increased atherosclerotic lesion area, aortic stiffness, and systolic dysfunction compared with young (4 months) cohorts. Cellular and mitochondrial ROS (mtROS) levels were significantly higher in aortic wall and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from aged wild-type and p47phox−/− mice. VSMCs from aged mice had increased mitochondrial protein oxidation and dysfunction and increased vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 expression, which was abrogated with (2-(2,2,6,6-Tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl-4-ylamino)-2-oxoethyl)triphenylphosphonium chloride (MitoTEMPO) treatment. NOX4 expression was increased in the vasculature and mitochondria of aged mice and its suppression with shRNA in VSMCs from aged mice decreased mtROS levels and improved function. Increased mtROS levels were associated with enhanced mitochondrial NOX4 expression in aortic VSMCs from aged subjects, and NOX4 expression levels in arterial wall correlated with age and atherosclerotic severity. Aged Apoe−/− mice treated with MitoTEMPO and 2-(2-chlorophenyl)-4-methyl-5-(pyridin-2-ylmethyl)-1H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]pyridine-3,6(2H,5H)-dione had decreased vascular ROS levels and atherosclerosis and preserved vascular and cardiac function. Innovation and Conclusion: These data suggest that NOX4, but not NOX1/2, and mitochondrial oxidative stress are mediators of CVD in aging under hyperlipidemic conditions. Regulating NOX4 activity/expression and using mitochondrial antioxidants are
Trojanowski, John Q
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was entrepreneur, statesman, supporter of the public good as well as inventor, and his most significant invention was the University of Pennsylvania (PENN). Franklin outlined his plans for a college providing practical and classical instruction to prepare youth for real-world pursuits in his 'Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania' (1749), and Franklin's spirit of learning to serve society guides PENN to the present day. This is evidenced by the series of articles in this special issue of Neurosignals, describing research conducted by seasoned and newly recruited PENN faculty, addressing consequences of the longevity revolution which defines our epoch at the dawn of this millennium. While aging affects all organ systems, the nervous system is most critical to successful aging. Thus, the articles in this special issue of Neurosignals focus on research at PENN that is designed to prevent or ameliorate aging-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. This research could enhance our chances of aging successfully in the continuing longevity revolution, and the essay here provides context and background on this research.
Melo, Ailton; Monteiro, Larissa; Lima, Rute M. F.; de Oliveira, Diêgo M.; de Cerqueira, Martins D.; El-Bachá, Ramon S.
The incidence and prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases (ND) increase with life expectancy. This paper reviews the role of oxidative stress (OS) in ND and pharmacological attempts to fight against reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced neurodegeneration. Several mechanisms involved in ROS generation in neurodegeneration have been proposed. Recent articles about molecular pathways involved in ROS generation were reviewed. The progress in the development of neuroprotective therapies has been hampered because it is difficult to define targets for treatment and determine what should be considered as neuroprotective. Therefore, the attention was focused on researches about pharmacological targets that could protect neurons against OS. Since it is necessary to look for genes as the ultimate controllers of all biological processes, this paper also tried to identify gerontogenes involved in OS and neurodegeneration. Since neurons depend on glial cells to survive, recent articles about the functioning of these cells in aging and ND were also reviewed. Finally, clinical trials testing potential neuroprotective agents were critically reviewed. Although several potential drugs have been screened in in vitro and in vivo models of ND, these results were not translated in benefit of patients, and disappointing results were obtained in the majority of clinical trials. PMID:22191013
Microglial cells are responsible for immune surveillance within the CNS. They respond to noxious stimuli by releasing inflammatory mediators and mounting an effective inflammatory response. This is followed by release of anti-inflammatory mediators and resolution of the inflammatory response. Alterations to this delicate process may lead to tissue damage, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration. Chronic pain, such as inflammatory or neuropathic pain, is accompanied by neuroimmune activation, and the role of glial cells in the initiation and maintenance of chronic pain has been the subject of increasing research over the last two decades. Neuropeptides are small amino acidic molecules with the ability to regulate neuronal activity and thereby affect various functions such as thermoregulation, reproductive behavior, food and water intake, and circadian rhythms. Neuropeptides can also affect inflammatory responses and pain sensitivity by modulating the activity of glial cells. The last decade has witnessed growing interest in the study of microglial activation and its modulation by neuropeptides in the hope of developing new therapeutics for treating neurodegenerative diseases and chronic pain. This review summarizes the current literature on the way in which several neuropeptides modulate microglial activity and response to tissue damage and how this modulation may affect pain sensitivity. PMID:28154473
Matos, Maria João; Rodríguez-Enríquez, Fernanda; Borges, Fernanda; Santana, Lourdes; Uriarte, Eugenio; Estrada, Martín; Rodríguez-Franco, María Isabel; Laguna, Reyes; Viña, Dolores
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), which cause neuronal cell death, causing neurodegeneration. Agents that are able to concurrently inhibit MAO and scavenge free radicals represent promising multifunctional neuroprotective agents that could be used to delay or slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, variously substituted 3-amidocoumarins are described that exert neuroprotection in vitro against hydrogen peroxide in rat cortical neurons, as well as antioxidant activity in a 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH⋅) radical scavenging assay. Selective and reversible inhibitors of the MAO-B isoform were identified. Interestingly, in the case of the 3-benzamidocoumarins, substitution at position 4 with a hydroxy group abolishes MAO-B activity, but the compounds remain active in the neuroprotection model. Further evaluation of 3-heteroarylamide derivatives indicates that it is the nature of the heterocycle that determines the neuroprotective effects. Evaluation in a parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA) highlighted the need to further improve the blood-brain barrier permeability of this compound class. However, the compounds described herein adhere to Lipinski's rule of five, suggesting that this novel scaffold has desirable properties for the development of potential drug candidates.
Recent investigations of scrapie, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), and chronic wasting disease (CWD) clusters in Iceland, Slovakia and Colorado, respectively, have indicated that the soil in these regions is low in copper and higher in manganese, and it has been well-known that patients of ALS or Parkinson's disease were collectively found in the New Guinea and Papua islands, where the subterranean water (drinking water) contains much Al3+ and Mn2+ ions. Above facts suggest that these neurodegenerative diseases are closely related with the function of a metal ion. We have investigated the chemical functions of the metal ions in detail and established the unique mechanism of the oxygen activation by the transition metal ions such as iron and copper, and pointed out the notable difference in the mechanism among iron, aluminum and manganese ions. Based on these results, it has become apparent that the incorporation of Al(III) or Mn(II) in the cells induces the "iron-overload syndrome", which is mainly due to the difference in an oxygen activation mechanism between the iron ion and Al(III) or the Mn(II) ion. This syndrome highly promotes formation of hydrogen peroxide, and hydrogen peroxide thus produced can be a main factor to cause serious damages to DNA and proteins (oxidative stress), yielding a copper(II)- or manganese(II)-peptide complex and its peroxide adduct, which are the serious agents to induce the structural changes from the normal prion protein (PrP(c)) to abnormal disease-causing isoforms, PrP(Sc), or the formation of PrP 27-30 (abnormal cleavage at site 90 of the prion protein). It seems reasonable to consider that the essential origin for the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) should be the incorporation and accumulation of Al(III) and Mn(II) ions in the cells, and the sudden and explosive increase of scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the last decade may be partially due to "acid rain", because the acid rain makes Al
Li, Qiong; Li, Yong
Considering the multi-etiological characters of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, the current pharmacological approaches using drugs oriented towards a single molecular target possess limited ability to modify the course of the diseases. Green tea polyphenols have been reported to possess more than two active neuroprotective-neurorescue moieties that simultaneously manipulate multiple targets involved in neurodegeneration. This review aims to shed light on the multipharmacological neuroprotective activities and the mechanisms of green tea polyphenols on neurodegenerative diseases.
Deuschl, Günther; Elble, Rodger
Essential tremor (ET) is a syndrome of tremor in posture and movement, but recent studies have revealed additional cerebellar motor disturbances, cognitive disturbances, personality changes, hearing loss, and olfactory deficits. Even dementia and shortened life expectancy were found in one cohort. Recent postmortem studies have found limited Lewy body pathology in some patients and Purkinje cell loss with torpedoes and Bergmann gliosis in others. These findings have led to the hypothesis that ET is a syndrome produced by at least two neurodegenerative diseases with more widespread clinical consequences than previously appreciated. We review the evidence for and against this hypothesis and conclude that studies purporting to support this hypothesis have failed to control for age-associated comorbidities, depression, medications, and other confounding factors. We propose the alternative hypothesis that abnormal neuronal oscillation is the fundamental abnormality in ET, and the well-documented cerebellar signs and symptoms, the controversial non-motor signs, and even the cerebellar pathology of ET could be caused by this oscillation. A major problem for many studies is the lack of a diagnostic gold standard. Lacking such a standard, we propose a subclassification of ET into three categories: hereditary ET, sporadic ET, and senile ET, which we believe will help researchers resolve many of the controversies in this field.
Anderson, Kirstie N; Bradley, Andrew J
Sleep has been described as being of the brain, by the brain, and for the brain. This fundamental neurobiological behavior is controlled by homeostatic and circadian (24-hour) processes and is vital for normal brain function. This review will outline the normal sleep–wake cycle, the changes that occur during aging, and the specific patterns of sleep disturbance that occur in association with both mental health disorders and neurodegenerative disorders. The role of primary sleep disorders such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and REM sleep behavior disorder as potential causes or risk factors for particular mental health or neurodegenerative problems will also be discussed. PMID:23761983
Tsagalioti, Eftyhia; Trifonos, Christina; Morari, Aggeliki; Vadikolias, Konstantinos; Giaginis, Constantinos
Neurodegenerative diseases constitute a major problem of public health that is associated with an increased risk of mortality and poor quality of life. Malnutrition is considered as a major problem that worsens the prognosis of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. In this aspect, the present review is aimed to critically collect and summarize all the available existing clinical data regarding the clinical impact of nutritional assessment in neurodegenerative diseases, highlighting on the crucial role of nutritional status in disease progression and management. According to the currently available clinical data, the nutritional status of patients seems to play a very important role in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. A correct nutritional evaluation of neurodegenerative disease patients and a right nutrition intervention is essential in monitoring their disease.
Orellana, Juan A; Retamal, Mauricio A; Moraga-Amaro, Rodrigo; Stehberg, Jimmy
Under physiological conditions, astroglial hemichannels and pannexons allow the release of gliotransmitters from astrocytes. These gliotransmitters are critical in modulating synaptic transmission, plasticity and memory. However, recent evidence suggests that under pathological conditions, they may be central in the development of various neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review current literature on the role of astroglial hemichannels and pannexons in memory, stress and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, and propose that they are not only crucial for normal brain function, including memory, but also a potential target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Orellana, Juan A.; Retamal, Mauricio A.; Moraga-Amaro, Rodrigo; Stehberg, Jimmy
Under physiological conditions, astroglial hemichannels and pannexons allow the release of gliotransmitters from astrocytes. These gliotransmitters are critical in modulating synaptic transmission, plasticity and memory. However, recent evidence suggests that under pathological conditions, they may be central in the development of various neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review current literature on the role of astroglial hemichannels and pannexons in memory, stress and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, and propose that they are not only crucial for normal brain function, including memory, but also a potential target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27489539
Denzer, Isabel; Münch, Gerald; Friedland, Kristina
Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are early events in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mitochondria are important key players in cellular function based on mitochondrial energy production and their major role in cell physiology. Since neurons are highly depending on mitochondrial energy production due to their high energy demand and their reduced glycolytic capacity mitochondrial dysfunction has fatal consequences for neuronal function and survival. The transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is the major regulator of cellular response to oxidative stress. Activation of Nrf2 induces the transcriptional regulation of antioxidant response element (ARE)-dependent expression of a battery of cytoprotective and antioxidant enzymes and proteins. Moreover, activation of Nrf2 protects mitochondria from dysfunction and promotes mitochondrial biogenesis. Therefore, the Nrf2/ARE pathway has become an attractive target for the prevention and treatment of oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative diseases. Small food-derived inducers of the Nrf2/ARE pathway including l-sulforaphane from broccoli and isoliquiritigenin from licorice displayed promising protection of mitochondrial function in models of oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases and represent a novel approach to prevent and treat aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases.
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are fatal, untreatable neurodegenerative diseases. While the impact of TSEs on human health is relatively minor, these diseases are having a major influence on how we view, and potentially treat, other more common neurodegenerative disorders. Until recently, TSEs encapsulated a distinct category of neurodegenerative disorder, exclusive in their defining characteristic of infectivity. It now appears that similar mechanisms of self-propagation may underlie other proteinopathies such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. This link is of scientific interest and potential therapeutic importance as this route of self-propagation offers conceptual support and guidance for vaccine development efforts. Specifically, the existence of a pathological, self-promoting isoform offers a rational vaccine target. Here, we review the evidence of prion-like mechanisms within a number of common neurodegenerative disorders and speculate on potential implications and opportunities for vaccine development. PMID:24228054
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression via degradation or translational repression of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that miRNAs play critical roles in several biologic processes, including cell cycle, differentiation, cell development, cell growth, and apoptosis and that miRNAs are highly expressed in regulatory T (Treg) cells and a wide range of miRNAs are involved in the regulation of immunity and in the prevention of autoimmunity. It has been increasingly reported that miRNAs are associated with various human diseases like autoimmune disease, skin disease, neurological disease and psychiatric disease. Recently, the identification of mi- RNAs in skin has added a new dimension in the regulatory network and attracted significant interest in this novel layer of gene regulation. Although miRNA research in the field of dermatology is still relatively new, miRNAs have been the subject of much dermatological interest in skin morphogenesis and in regulating angiogenesis. In addition, miRNAs are moving rapidly onto center stage as key regulators of neuronal development and function in addition to important contributions to neurodegenerative disorder. Moreover, there is now compelling evidence that dysregulation of miRNA networks is implicated in the development and onset of human neruodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Tourette's syndrome, Down syndrome, depression and schizophrenia. In this review, I briefly summarize the current studies about the roles of miRNAs in various autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, psychoneurological disorders and mental stress. PMID:22194706
Douglas, Michael R
Pharmacological and surgical treatments offer symptomatic benefits to patients with Parkinson's disease; however, as the condition progresses, patients experience gradual worsening in symptom control, with the development of a range of disabling complications. In addition, none of the currently available therapies have convincingly shown disease-modifying effects - either in slowing or reversing the disease. These problems have led to extensive research into the possible use of gene therapy as a treatment for Parkinson's disease. Several treatments have reached human clinical trial stages, providing important information on the risks and benefits of this novel therapeutic approach, and the tantalizing promise of improved control of this currently incurable neurodegenerative disorder.
Dong, Xiao-xia; Wang, Yan; Qin, Zheng-hong
A pivotal role for excitotoxicity in neurodegenerative diseases is gaining increasingly more acceptance, but the underlying mechanisms through which it participates in neurodegeneration still need further investigation. Excessive activation of glutamate receptors by excitatory amino acids leads to a number of deleterious consequences, including impairment of calcium buffering, generation of free radicals, activation of the mitochondrial permeability transition and secondary excitotoxicity. Recent studies implicate excitotoxicity in a variety of neuropathological conditions, suggesting that neurodegenerative diseases with distinct genetic etiologies may share excitotoxicity as a common pathogenic pathway. Thus, understanding the pathways involved in excitotoxicity is of critical importance for the future clinical treatment of many neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses the current understanding of excitotoxic mechanisms and how they are involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:19343058
Guo, Jing L; Lee, Virginia M Y
A common feature of many neurodegenerative diseases is the deposition of β-sheet-rich amyloid aggregates formed by proteins specific to these diseases. These protein aggregates are thought to cause neuronal dysfunction, directly or indirectly. Recent studies have strongly implicated cell-to-cell transmission of misfolded proteins as a common mechanism for the onset and progression of various neurodegenerative disorders. Emerging evidence also suggests the presence of conformationally diverse ‘strains’ of each type of disease protein, which may be another shared feature of amyloid aggregates, accounting for the tremendous heterogeneity within each type of neurodegenerative disease. Although there are many more questions to be answered, these studies have opened up new avenues for therapeutic interventions in neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24504409
Levenson, Robert W.; Sturm, Virginia E.; Haase, Claudia M.
Disruptions in emotional, cognitive, and social behavior are common in neurodegenerative disease and many forms of psychopathology. Because neurodegenerative diseases have much clearer patterns of brain atrophy, they may provide a window into the neural bases of these common symptoms. We discuss five common symptoms that occur in both neurodegenerative disease and psychopathology (i.e., anxiety, dysphoric mood, apathy, disinhibition, and euphoric mood) and their associated neural circuitry. We focus on two neurodegenerative diseases (i.e., Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia) that are common and well-characterized in terms of emotion, cognition, and social behavior and in patterns of associated neuropathology. Neurodegenerative diseases provide a powerful model system for studying the neural correlates of psychopathological symptoms; this is supported by evidence indicating convergence with psychiatric syndromes (e.g., symptoms of disinhibition associated with dysfunction in orbitofrontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus in both frontotemporal dementia and bipolar disorder). We conclude that neurodegenerative diseases can play an important role in future approaches to the assessment, prevention, and treatment of mental illness. PMID:24437433
Neef, Daniel W.; Jaeger, Alex M.; Thiele, Dennis J.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and prion-based neurodegeneration are associated with the accumulation of misfolded proteins, resulting in neuronal dysfunction and cell death. However, current treatments for these diseases predominantly address disease symptoms, rather than the underlying protein misfolding and cell death, and are not able to halt or reverse the degenerative process. Studies in cell culture, fruitfly, worm and mouse models of protein misfolding-based neurodegenerative diseases indicate that enhancing the protein-folding capacity of cells, via elevated expression of chaperone proteins, has therapeutic potential. Here, we review advances in strategies to harness the power of the natural cellular protein-folding machinery through pharmacological activation of heat shock transcription factor 1 — the master activator of chaperone protein gene expression — to treat neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22129991
Campos, Carlos; Rocha, Nuno Barbosa F; Lattari, Eduardo; Paes, Flávia; Nardi, António E; Machado, Sérgio
Age-related neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, are becoming a major issue to public health care. Currently, there is no effective pharmacological treatment to address cognitive impairment in these patients. Here, we aim to explore the role of exercise-induced trophic factor enhancement in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. There is a significant amount of evidence from animal and human studies that links neurodegenerative related cognitive deficits with changes on brain and peripheral trophic factor levels. Several trials with elderly individuals and patients with neurodegenerative diseases report exercise induced cognitive improvements and changes on trophic factor levels including BDNF, IGF-I, among others. Further studies with healthy aging and clinical populations are needed to understand how diverse exercise interventions produce different variations in trophic factor signaling. Genetic profiles and potential confounders regarding trophic factors should also be addressed in future trials.
Scullin, Michael K; Harrison, Tyler L; Factor, Stewart A; Bliwise, Donald L
Sleep disturbances are common in many neurodegenerative diseases and may include altered sleep duration, fragmented sleep, nocturia, excessive daytime sleepiness, and vivid dreaming experiences, with occasional parasomnias. Although representing the "gold standard," polysomnography is not always cost-effective or available for measuring sleep disturbance, particularly for screening. Although numerous sleep-related questionnaires exist, many focus on a specific sleep disturbance (e.g., restless legs, REM Behavior Disorder) and do not capture efficiently the variety of sleep issues experienced by such patients. We administered the 12-item Neurodegenerative Disease Sleep Questionnaire (NDSQ) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to 145 idiopathic Parkinson's disease patients. Principal component analysis using eigenvalues greater than 1 suggested five separate components: sleep quality (e.g., sleep fragmentation), nocturia, vivid dreams/nightmares, restless legs symptoms, and sleep-disordered breathing. These results demonstrate construct validity of our sleep questionnaire and suggest that the NDSQ may be a useful screening tool for sleep disturbances in at least some types of neurodegenerative disorders.
Collerton, Daniel; Taylor, John-Paul
Treatment of visual hallucinations in neurodegenerative disorders is not well advanced. The complexity of underlying mechanisms presents a number of potential avenues for developing treatments, but also suggests that any single one may be of limited efficacy. Reducing medication, with the careful introduction of antidementia medication if needed, is the mainstay of current management. Antipsychotic medication leads to excessive morbidity and mortality and should only be used in cases of high distress that do not otherwise respond. Education, reduction of risk factors and psychological treatments have limited evidence of efficacy, but are unlikely to cause harm. PMID:23882162
Paulsen, Jane S.; Nance, Martha; Kim, Ji-In; Carlozzi, Noelle E.; Panegyres, Peter K.; Erwin, Cheryl; Goh, Anita; McCusker, Elizabeth; Williams, Janet K.
The past decade has witnessed an explosion of evidence suggesting that many neurodegenerative diseases can be detected years, if not decades, earlier than previously thought. To date, these scientific advances have not provoked any parallel translational or clinical improvements. There is an urgency to capitalize on this momentum so earlier detection of disease can be more readily translated into improved health-related quality of life for families at risk for, or suffering with, neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we discuss health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measurement in neurodegenerative diseases and the importance of these “patient reported outcomes” for all clinical research. Next, we address HRQOL following early identification or predictive genetic testing in some neurodegenerative diseases: Huntington disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, prion diseases, hereditary ataxias, Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy and Wilson's disease. After a brief report of available direct-to-consumer genetic tests, we address the juxtaposition of earlier disease identification with assumed reluctance towards predictive genetic testing. Forty-one studies examining health related outcomes following predictive genetic testing for neurodegenerative disease suggested that (a) extreme or catastrophic outcomes are rare; (b) consequences commonly include transiently increased anxiety and/or depression; (c) most participants report no regret; (d) many persons report extensive benefits to receiving genetic information; and (e) stigmatization and discrimination for genetic diseases are poorly understood and policy and laws are needed. Caution is appropriate for earlier identification of neurodegenerative diseases but findings suggest further progress is safe, feasible and likely to advance clinical care. PMID:24036231
Wilkaniec, Anna; Czapski, Grzegorz A; Adamczyk, Agata
Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is involved in proper neurodevelopment and brain function and serves as a switch between neuronal survival and death. Overactivation of Cdk5 is associated with many neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's diseases. It is believed that in those diseases Cdk5 may be an important link between disease-initiating factors and cell death effectors. A common hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders is incorrect folding of specific proteins, thus leading to their intra- and extracellular accumulation in the nervous system. Abnormal Cdk5 signaling contributes to dysfunction of individual proteins and has a substantial role in either direct or indirect interactions of proteins common to, and critical in, different neurodegenerative diseases. While the roles of Cdk5 in α-synuclein (ASN) - tau or β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) - tau interactions are well documented, its contribution to many other pertinent interactions, such as that of ASN with Aβ, or interactions of the Aβ - ASN - tau triad with prion proteins, did not get beyond plausible hypotheses and remains to be proven. Understanding of the exact position of Cdk5 in the deleterious feed-forward loop critical for development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases may help designing successful therapeutic strategies of several fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is associated with many neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's diseases. It is believed that in those diseases Cdk5 may be an important factor involved in protein misfolding, toxicity and interaction. We suggest that Cdk5 may contribute to the vicious circle of neurotoxic events involved in the pathogenesis of different neurodegenerative diseases.
Acquatella-Tran Van Ba, Isabelle; Imberdis, Thibaut; Perrier, Véronique
Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative sporadic, inherited, or acquired disorders. In humans, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is the most studied prion disease. In animals, the most frequent prion diseases are scrapie in sheep and goat, bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, and the emerging chronic wasting disease in wild and captive deer in North America. The hallmark of prion diseases is the deposition in the brain of PrPSc, an abnormal β-sheet-rich form of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) (Prusiner 1982). According to the prion hypothesis, PrPSc can trigger the autocatalytic conversion of PrPC into PrPSc, presumably in the presence of cofactors (lipids and small RNAs) that have been recently identified. In this review, we will come back to the original works that led to the discovery of prions and to the protein-only hypothesis proposed by Dr. Prusiner. We will then describe the recent reports on mammalian synthetic prions and recombinant prions that strongly support the protein-only hypothesis. The new concept of “deformed templating” regarding a new mechanism of PrPSc formation and replication will be exposed. The review will end with a chapter on the prion-like propagation of other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and tauopathies. PMID:24222767
Paillusson, Sebastien; Stoica, Radu; Gomez-Suaga, Patricia; Lau, Dawn H W; Mueller, Sarah; Miller, Tanya; Miller, Christopher C J
Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with associated frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD) are major neurodegenerative diseases for which there are no cures. All are characterised by damage to several seemingly disparate cellular processes. The broad nature of this damage makes understanding pathogenic mechanisms and devising new treatments difficult. Can the different damaged functions be linked together in a common disease pathway and which damaged function should be targeted for therapy? Many functions damaged in neurodegenerative diseases are regulated by communications that mitochondria make with a specialised region of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER; mitochondria-associated ER membranes or 'MAM'). Moreover, several recent studies have shown that disturbances to ER-mitochondria contacts occur in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review these findings.
Allen, Mariet; Carrasquillo, Minerva M.; Funk, Cory; Heavner, Benjamin D.; Zou, Fanggeng; Younkin, Curtis S.; Burgess, Jeremy D.; Chai, High-Seng; Crook, Julia; Eddy, James A.; Li, Hongdong; Logsdon, Ben; Peters, Mette A.; Dang, Kristen K.; Wang, Xue; Serie, Daniel; Wang, Chen; Nguyen, Thuy; Lincoln, Sarah; Malphrus, Kimberly; Bisceglio, Gina; Li, Ma; Golde, Todd E.; Mangravite, Lara M.; Asmann, Yan; Price, Nathan D.; Petersen, Ronald C.; Graff-Radford, Neill R.; Dickson, Dennis W.; Younkin, Steven G.; Ertekin-Taner, Nilüfer
Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS), conducted by our group and others, have identified loci that harbor risk variants for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Human disease variants are enriched for polymorphisms that affect gene expression, including some that are known to associate with expression changes in the brain. Postulating that many variants confer risk to neurodegenerative disease via transcriptional regulatory mechanisms, we have analyzed gene expression levels in the brain tissue of subjects with AD and related diseases. Herein, we describe our collective datasets comprised of GWAS data from 2,099 subjects; microarray gene expression data from 773 brain samples, 186 of which also have RNAseq; and an independent cohort of 556 brain samples with RNAseq. We expect that these datasets, which are available to all qualified researchers, will enable investigators to explore and identify transcriptional mechanisms contributing to neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27727239
Paillusson, Sebastien; Stoica, Radu; Gomez-Suaga, Patricia; Lau, Dawn H.W.; Mueller, Sarah; Miller, Tanya; Miller, Christopher C.J.
Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with associated frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD) are major neurodegenerative diseases for which there are no cures. All are characterised by damage to several seemingly disparate cellular processes. The broad nature of this damage makes understanding pathogenic mechanisms and devising new treatments difficult. Can the different damaged functions be linked together in a common disease pathway and which damaged function should be targeted for therapy? Many functions damaged in neurodegenerative diseases are regulated by communications that mitochondria make with a specialised region of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER; mitochondria-associated ER membranes or ‘MAM’). Moreover, several recent studies have shown that disturbances to ER–mitochondria contacts occur in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review these findings. PMID:26899735
Kumar, Ajay; Narayanan, Karthikeyan; Chaudhary, Ravi Kumar; Mishra, Sachin; Kumar, Sundramurthy; Vinoth, Kumar Jayaseelan; Padmanabhan, Parasuraman; Gulyás, Balázs
Neurodegenerative diseases have been an unsolved riddle for quite a while; to date, there are no proper and effective curative treatments and only palliative and symptomatic treatments are available to treat these illnesses. The absence of therapeutic treatments for neurodegenerative ailments has huge economic hit and strain on the society. Pharmacotherapies and various surgical procedures like deep brain stimulation are being given to the patient, but they are only effective for the symptoms and not for the diseases. This paper reviews the recent studies and development of stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative disorders. Stem cell-based treatment is a promising new way to deal with neurodegenerative diseases. Stem cell transplantation can advance useful recuperation by delivering trophic elements that impel survival and recovery of host neurons in animal models and patients with neurodegenerative maladies. Several mechanisms, for example, substitution of lost cells, cell combination, release of neurotrophic factor, proliferation of endogenous stem cell, and transdifferentiation, may clarify positive remedial results. With the current advancements in the stem cell therapies, a new hope for the cure has come out since they have potential to be a cure for the same. This review compiles stem cell therapy recent conceptions in neurodegenerative and neurometabolic diseases and updates in this field. Graphical Absract ᅟ.
Esopenko, Carrie; Levine, Brian
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a highly prevalent condition with significant effects on cognition and behavior. While the acute and sub-acute effects of TBI recover over time, relatively little is known about the long-term effects of TBI in relation to neurodegenerative disease. This issue has recently garnered a great deal of attention due to publicity surrounding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional athletes, although CTE is but one of several neurodegenerative disorders associated with a history of TBI. Here, we review the literative on neurodegenerative disorders linked to remote TBI. We also review the evidence for neuroimaging changes associated with unhealthy brain aging in the context of remote TBI. We conclude that neuroimaging biomarkers have significant potential to increase understanding of the mechanisms of unhealthy brain aging and neurodegeneration following TBI, with potential for identifying those at risk for unhealthy brain aging prior to the clinical manifestation of neurodegenerative disease.
Kassubek, Jan; Müller, Hans-Peter
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the core elements within the differential diagnostic work-up of patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia syndromes, Parkinsonian syndromes, and motor neuron diseases. Currently, computerized MRI analyses are not routinely used for individual diagnosis; however, they have improved the anatomical understanding of pathomorphological alterations in various neurodegenerative diseases by quantitative comparisons between patients and controls at the group level. For multiparametric MRI protocols, including T1-weighted MRI, diffusion-weighted imaging, and intrinsic functional connectivity MRI, the potential as a surrogate marker is a subject of investigation. The additional value of MRI with respect to diagnosis at the individual level and for future disease-modifying multicentre trials remains to be defined. Here, we give an overview of recent applications of multiparametric MRI to patients with various neurodegenerative diseases. Starting from applications at the group level, continuous progress of a transfer to individual diagnostic classification is ongoing.
Thomas, J; Thomas, C J; Radcliffe, J; Itsiopoulos, C
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia and the most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly. Furthermore, AD has provided the most positive indication to support the fact that inflammation contributes to neurodegenerative disease. The exact etiology of AD is unknown, but environmental and genetic factors are thought to contribute, such as advancing age, family history, presence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, and poor diet and lifestyle. It is hypothesised that early prevention or management of inflammation could delay the onset or reduce the symptoms of AD. Normal physiological changes to the brain with ageing include depletion of long chain omega-3 fatty acids and brains of AD patients have lower docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels. DHA supplementation can reduce markers of inflammation. This review specifically focusses on the evidence in humans from epidemiological, dietary intervention, and supplementation studies, which supports the role of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline in AD in its early stages. Longer term trials with long chain omega-3 supplementation in early stage AD are warranted. We also highlight the importance of overall quality and composition of the diet to protect against AD and dementia.
Thomas, J.; Thomas, C. J.; Radcliffe, J.; Itsiopoulos, C.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia and the most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly. Furthermore, AD has provided the most positive indication to support the fact that inflammation contributes to neurodegenerative disease. The exact etiology of AD is unknown, but environmental and genetic factors are thought to contribute, such as advancing age, family history, presence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, and poor diet and lifestyle. It is hypothesised that early prevention or management of inflammation could delay the onset or reduce the symptoms of AD. Normal physiological changes to the brain with ageing include depletion of long chain omega-3 fatty acids and brains of AD patients have lower docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels. DHA supplementation can reduce markers of inflammation. This review specifically focusses on the evidence in humans from epidemiological, dietary intervention, and supplementation studies, which supports the role of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline in AD in its early stages. Longer term trials with long chain omega-3 supplementation in early stage AD are warranted. We also highlight the importance of overall quality and composition of the diet to protect against AD and dementia. PMID:26301243
It has been suggested that altered levels/function of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) play a role in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease. BDNF positively contributes to neural survival and synapse maintenance via stimulating its high affinity receptor TrkB, making upregulation of BDNF and/or activation of BDNF-related intracellular signaling an attractive approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases. In this short review, I briefly introduce small natural compounds such as flavonoids that successfully increase activation of the BDNF system and discuss their beneficial effects against neurodegeneration. PMID:25317165
Hurt, Catherine S; Julien, Camille L; Brown, Richard G
Positive perceptions of illness are typically associated with good health outcomes. However, this may not be true for all domains of illness perception in neurodegenerative diseases because of their progressive incurable nature. The appropriateness of current measures of illness belief in these conditions is not known. The validity and reliability of the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised was evaluated in 215 participants with Parkinson's disease. A confirmatory factor analysis supported the structure of the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised with the exception of the treatment control domain. It is important to consider the nature of neurodegenerative diseases and limits of symptom control when planning interventions.
Ambegaokar, Surendra S.; Roy, Bidisha; Jackson, George R.
Neurodegenerative diseases encompass a large group of neurological disorders. Clinical symptoms can include memory loss, cognitive impairment, loss of movement or loss of control of movement, and loss of sensation. Symptoms are typically adult onset (although severe cases can occur in adolescents) and are reflective of neuronal and glial cell loss in the central nervous system. Neurodegenerative diseases also are considered progressive, with increased severity of symptoms over time, also reflective of increased neuronal cell death. However, various neurodegenerative diseases differentially affect certain brain regions or neuronal or glial cell types. As an example, Alzheimer disease (AD) primarily affects the temporal lobe, whereas neuronal loss in Parkinson disease (PD) is largely (although not exclusively) confined to the nigrostriatal system. Neuronal loss is almost invariably accompanied by abnormal insoluble aggregates, either intra- or extracellular. Thus, neurodegenerative diseases are categorized by (a) the composite of clinical symptoms, (b) the brain regions or types of brain cells primarily affected, and (c) the types of protein aggregates found in the brain. Here we review the methods by which Drosophila melanogaster has been used to model aspects of polyglutamine diseases, Parkinson disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and key insights into that have been gained from these models; Alzheimer disease and the tauopathies are covered elsewhere in this special issue. PMID:20561920
tools for data processing. 14. SUBJECT TERMS 15. NUMBER OF PAGES Magnetic resonance imaging, gulf war syndrome, alzheimer’s disease , 9 brain 16. PRICE...imaging system fully dedicated to study neurodegenerative disorders of the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease , Parkinson’s disease, Posttraumatic...resolution (0.5 x 0.4 x 2mm) Turbo Spin Echo image showing subfieldshave found that certain diseases, such as of the hippocampus Alzheimer’s disease and
Weaver, Christina M.; Rocher, Anne B.; Rodriguez, Alfredo; Crimins, Johanna L.; Dickstein, Dara L.; Wearne, Susan L.; Hof, Patrick R.
In neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, neuronal dendrites and dendritic spines undergo significant pathological changes. Because of the determinant role of these highly dynamic structures in signaling by individual neurons and ultimately in the functionality of neuronal networks that mediate cognitive functions, a detailed understanding of these changes is of paramount importance. Mutant murine models, such as the Tg2576 APP mutant mouse and the rTg4510 tau mutant mouse have been developed to provide insight into pathogenesis involving the abnormal production and aggregation of amyloid and tau proteins, because of the key role that these proteins play in neurodegenerative disease. This review showcases the multidimensional approach taken by our collaborative group to increase understanding of pathological mechanisms in neurodegenerative disease using these mouse models. This approach includes analyses of empirical 3D morphological and electrophysiological data acquired from frontal cortical pyramidal neurons using confocal laser scanning microscopy and whole-cell patch-clamp recording techniques, combined with computational modeling methodologies. These collaborative studies are designed to shed insight on the repercussions of dystrophic changes in neocortical neurons, define the cellular phenotype of differential neuronal vulnerability in relevant models of neurodegenerative disease, and provide a basis upon which to develop meaningful therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing, reversing, or compensating for neurodegenerative changes in dementia. PMID:20177698
Srikanth, Priya; Young-Pearse, Tracy L.
Seven years have passed since the initial report of the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from adult humans, and in the intervening time the field of neuroscience has developed numerous disease models using this technology. Here, we review the progress in the field, and describe both the advantages and potential pitfalls of modeling neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases using this technology. PMID:24628482
Noorbakhsh, Farshid; Overall, Christopher M; Power, Christopher
Classical biological methods involving analyses of one or several genes have been the mainstay for studying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. However, it has become clear that these diseases exhibit complex molecular interactions involving both host genomes and environmental determinants. Systems biology represents an integrated and deeper investigation of interacting biomolecules within cells or organisms. This approach has only recently become feasible as high-throughput technologies including cDNA microarrays, mass spectrometric analyses of proteins and lipids together with rigorous bioinformatics have evolved. Herein, we review recent developments from studies of systems biology applied to multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and HIV-associated dementia as three prototypic neurodegenerative disorders. Existing high-content data derived from clinically and experimentally derived neural tissues point to convergent pathways among these neurodegenerative disorders, which transcend descriptive studies to reach a more integrated understanding of disease pathogenesis and, in some instances, highlighting 'druggable' network nodes.
Kulkarni, Apurva; Ganesan, Priya; O’Donnell, Lauren A.
Interferon-gamma (IFNγ), a pleiotropic cytokine, is expressed in diverse neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory conditions. Its protective mechanisms are well documented during viral infections in the brain, where IFNγ mediates non-cytolytic viral control in infected neurons. However, IFNγ also plays both protective and pathological roles in other central nervous system (CNS) diseases. Of the many neural cells that respond to IFNγ, neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs), the only pluripotent cells in the developing and adult brain, are often altered during CNS insults. Recent studies highlight the complex effects of IFNγ on NSPC activity in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the mechanisms that mediate these effects, and the eventual outcomes for the host, are still being explored. Here, we review the effects of IFNγ on NSPC activity during different pathological insults. An improved understanding of the role of IFNγ would provide insight into the impact of immune responses on the progression and resolution of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27774000
Bigford, Gregory E; Del Rossi, Gianluca
Neurodegenerative disorders and diseases (NDDs) that are either chronically acquired or triggered by a singular detrimental event are a rapidly growing cause of disability and/or death. In recent times, there have been major advancements in our understanding of various neurodegenerative disease states that have revealed common pathologic features or mechanisms. The many mechanistic parallels discovered between various neurodegenerative diseases suggest that a single therapeutic approach may be used to treat multiple disease conditions. Of late, natural compounds and supplemental substances have become an increasingly attractive option to treat NDDs because there is growing evidence that these nutritional constituents have potential adjunctive therapeutic effects (be it protective or restorative) on various neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review relevant experimental and clinical data on supplemental substances (i.e., curcuminoids, rosmarinic acid, resveratrol, acetyl-L-carnitine, and ω-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids) that have demonstrated encouraging therapeutic effects on chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and neurodegeneration resulting from acute adverse events, such as traumatic brain injury.
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have been demonstrated to be beneficial in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. Such results were mainly associated with the epigenetic modulation caused by HDACs, especially those from class I, via chromatin deacetylation. However, other mechanisms may contribute to the neuroprotective effect of HDAC inhibitors, since each HDAC may present distinct specific functions within the neurodegenerative cascades. Such an example is HDAC6 for which the role in neurodegeneration has been partially elucidated so far. The strategy to be adopted in promising therapeutics targeting HDAC6 is still controversial. Specific inhibitors exert neuroprotection by increasing the acetylation levels of α-tubulin with subsequent improvement of the axonal transport, which is usually impaired in neurodegenerative disorders. On the other hand, an induction of HDAC6 would theoretically contribute to the degradation of protein aggregates which characterize various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Hutington’s diseases. This review describes the specific role of HDAC6 compared to the other HDACs in the context of neurodegeneration, by collecting in silico, in vitro and in vivo results regarding the inhibition and/or knockdown of HDAC6 and other HDACs. Moreover, structure, function, subcellular localization, as well as the level of HDAC6 expression within brain regions are reviewed and compared to the other HDAC isoforms. In various neurodegenerative diseases, the mechanisms underlying HDAC6 interaction with other proteins seem to be a promising approach in understanding the modulation of HDAC6 activity. PMID:23356410
González, Hugo; Elgueta, Daniela; Montoya, Andro; Pacheco, Rodrigo
Neuroinflammation constitutes a fundamental process involved in the progression of several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. Microglial cells play a central role in neuroinflammation, promoting neuroprotective or neurotoxic microenvironments, thus controlling neuronal fate. Acquisition of different microglial functions is regulated by intercellular interactions with neurons, astrocytes, the blood-brain barrier, and T-cells infiltrating the central nervous system. In this study, an overview of the regulation of microglial function mediated by different intercellular communications is summarised and discussed. Afterward, we focus in T-cell-mediated regulation of neuroinflammation involved in neurodegenerative disorders.
Ding, Mei; Shen, Kang
Summary The ubiquitin proteasome system is a potent regulatory mechanism used to control protein stability in numerous cellular processes, including neural development. Many neurodegenerative diseases are featured by the accumulation of UPS-associated proteins, suggesting the UPS dysfunction may be crucial for pathogenesis. Recent experiments have highlighted the UPS as a key player during synaptic development. Here we summarize recent discoveries centered on the role of the UPS in synapse remodeling and draw attention to the potential link between the synaptic UPS dysfunction and the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18937340
Wilke, Carlo; Gillardon, Frank; Deuschle, Christian; Dubois, Evelyn; Hobert, Markus A; Müller vom Hagen, Jennifer; Krüger, Stefanie; Biskup, Saskia; Blauwendraat, Cornelis; Hruscha, Michael; Kaeser, Stephan A; Heutink, Peter; Maetzler, Walter; Synofzik, Matthis
Altered progranulin levels play a major role in neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's dementia (AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), even in the absence of GRN mutations. Increasing progranulin levels could hereby provide a novel treatment strategy. However, knowledge on progranulin regulation in neurodegenerative diseases remains limited. We here demonstrate that cerebrospinal fluid progranulin levels do not correlate with its serum levels in AD, FTD and ALS, indicating a differential regulation of its central and peripheral levels in neurodegeneration. Blood progranulin levels thus do not reliably predict central nervous progranulin levels and their response to future progranulin-increasing therapeutics.
Fernández-Ruiz, Javier; Romero, Julián; Ramos, José A
This review focuses on the role of the endocannabinoid signaling system in controlling neuronal survival, an extremely important issue to be considered when developing new therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. First, we will describe the cellular and molecular mechanisms, and the signaling pathways, underlying these neuroprotective properties, including the control of glutamate homeostasis, calcium influx, the toxicity of reactive oxygen species, glial activation and other inflammatory events; and the induction of autophagy. We will then concentrate on the preclinical studies and the few clinical trials that have been carried out targeting endocannabinoid signaling in three important chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's chorea, and Alzheimer's disease), as well as in other less well-studied disorders. We will end by offering some ideas and proposals for future research that should be carried out to optimize endocannabinoid-based treatments for these disorders. Such studies will strengthen the possibility that these therapies will be investigated in the clinical scenario and licensed for their use in specific disorders.
Ke, Zhipeng; Zhang, Xinzhuang; Cao, Zeyu; Ding, Yue; Li, Na; Cao, Liang; Wang, Tuanjie; Zhang, Chenfeng; Ding, Gang; Wang, Zhenzhong; Xu, Xiaojie; Xiao, Wei
Neurodegenerative diseases, referring to as the progressive loss of structure and function of neurons, constitute one of the major challenges of modern medicine. Traditional Chinese herbs have been used as a major preventive and therapeutic strategy against disease for thousands years. The numerous species of medicinal herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) compound formulas in nervous system disease therapy make it a large chemical resource library for drug discovery. In this work, we collected 7362 kinds of herbs and 58,147 Traditional Chinese medicinal compounds (Tcmcs). The predicted active compounds in herbs have good oral bioavailability and central nervous system (CNS) permeability. The molecular docking and network analysis were employed to analyze the effects of herbs on neurodegenerative diseases. In order to evaluate the predicted efficacy of herbs, automated text mining was utilized to exhaustively search in PubMed by some related keywords. After that, receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves was used to estimate the accuracy of predictions. Our study suggested that most herbs were distributed in family of Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae and Apocynaceae. The predictive model yielded good sensitivity and specificity with the AUC values above 0.800. At last, 504 kinds of herbs were obtained by using the optimal cutoff values in ROC curves. These 504 herbs would be the most potential herb resources for neurodegenerative diseases treatment. This study would give us an opportunity to use these herbs as a chemical resource library for drug discovery of anti-neurodegenerative disease.
Conti, Antonio; Alessio, Massimo
Together with hypothesis-driven approaches, high-throughput differential proteomic analysis performed primarily not only in human cerebrospinal fluid and serum but also on protein content of other tissues (blood cells, muscles, peripheral nerves, etc.) has been used in the last years to investigate neurodegenerative diseases. Even if the goal for these analyses was mainly the discovery of neurodegenerative disorders biomarkers, the characterization of specific posttranslational modifications (PTMs) and the differential protein expression resulted in being very informative to better define the pathological mechanisms. In this chapter are presented and discussed the positive aspects and challenges of the outcomes of some of our investigations on neurological and neurodegenerative disease, in order to highlight the important role of protein PTMs studies in proteomics-based approaches.
Trippier, Paul C.; Labby, Kristin Jansen; Hawker, Dustin D.; Mataka, Jan J.; Silverman, Richard B.
The development of new therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative pathophysiologies currently stands at a crossroads. This presents an opportunity to transition future drug discovery efforts to target disease modification, an area in which much still remains unknown. In this Perspective we examine recent progress in the areas of neurodegenerative drug discovery, focusing on some of the most common targets and mechanisms; N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors, voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species, and protein aggregation. These represent the key players identified in neurodegeneration and are part of a complex, intertwined signaling cascade. The synergistic delivery of two or more compounds directed against these targets, along with the design of small molecules with multiple modes of action should be explored in pursuit of more effective clinical treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:23458846
Brain diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, depression, schizophrenia, autism, and addiction lead to reduced quality of daily life through abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotional states, and behavior. While the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood, human and animal studies have supported a role of neuroinflammation in the etiology of these diseases. In the central nervous system, an increased inflammatory response is capable of activating microglial cells, leading to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α. In turn, the pro-inflammatory cytokines aggravate and propagate neuroinflammation, degenerating healthy neurons and impairing brain functions. Therefore, activated microglia may play a key role in neuroinflammatory processes contributing to the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders and neurodegeneration. PMID:27230456
Liu, Ying; Yu, Jin-Tai; Zong, Yu; Zhou, Jing; Tan, Lan
Recent works have demonstrated an expansion of the GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat in the first intron of chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72), encoding an unknown C9ORF72 protein, which was responsible for an unprecedented large proportion of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) cases of European ancestry. C9ORF72 is expressed in most tissues including the brain. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that C9ORF72 mutations could reduce the level of C9ORF72 variant 1, which may influence protein expression and the formation of nuclear RNA foci. The spectrum of mutations is broad and provides new insight into neurological diseases. Clinical manifestations of diseases related with C9ORF72 mutations can vary from FTD, ALS, primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), progressive muscular atrophy (PMA), Huntington disease-like syndrome (HDL syndrome), to Alzheimer's disease. In this article, we will review the brief characterizations of the C9ORF72 gene, the expansion mutations, the related disorders, and their features, followed by a discussion of the deficiency knowledge of C9ORF72 mutations. Based on the possible pathological mechanisms of C9ORF72 mutations in ALS and FTD, we can find new targets for the treatment of C9ORF72 mutation-related diseases. Future studies into the mechanisms, taking into consideration the discovery of those disorders, will significantly accelerate new discoveries in this field, including targeting identification of new therapy.
Parrón, Tesifón; Requena, Mar; Hernández, Antonio F; Alarcón, Raquel
Preliminary studies have shown associations between chronic pesticide exposure in occupational settings and neurological disorders. However, data on the effects of long-term non-occupational exposures are too sparse to allow any conclusions. This study examines the influence of environmental pesticide exposure on a number of neuropsychiatric conditions and discusses their underlying pathologic mechanisms. An ecological study was conducted using averaged prevalence rates of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral degeneration, polyneuropathies, affective psychosis and suicide attempts in selected Andalusian health districts categorized into areas of high and low environmental pesticide exposure based on the number of hectares devoted to intensive agriculture and pesticide sales per capita. A total of 17,429 cases were collected from computerized hospital records (minimum dataset) between 1998 and 2005. Prevalence rates and the risk of having Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and suicide were significantly higher in districts with greater pesticide use as compared to those with lower pesticide use. The multivariate analyses showed that the population living in areas with high pesticide use had an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts and that males living in these areas had increased risks for polyneuropathies, affective disorders and suicide attempts. In conclusion, this study supports and extends previous findings and provides an indication that environmental exposure to pesticides may affect the human health by increasing the incidence of certain neurological disorders at the level of the general population.
Rajagopal, Senthilkumar; Sangam, Supraj Raja; Singh, Shubham; Joginapally, Venkateswara Rao
Proteins are playing a vital role in maintaining the cellular integrity and function, as well as for brain cells. Protein intake and supplementation of individual amino acids can affect the brain functioning and mental health, and many of the neurotransmitters in the brain are made from amino acids. The amino acid supplementation has been found to reduce symptoms, as they are converted into neurotransmitters which in turn extenuate the mental disorders. The biosynthesis of amino acids in the brain is regulated by the concentration of amino acids in plasma. The brain diseases such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Alzheimer's (AD), Parkinson's (PD), and Huntington's diseases (HD) are the most common mental disorders that are currently widespread in numerous countries. The intricate biochemical and molecular machinery contributing to the neurological disorders is still unknown, and in this chapter, we revealed the involvement of dietary amino acids on neurological diseases.
Fischer, D Luke; Gombash, Sara E; Kemp, Christopher J; Manfredsson, Fredric P; Polinski, Nicole K; Duffy, Megan F; Sortwell, Caryl E
Gene therapy methods are increasingly used to model Parkinson's disease (PD) in animals in an effort to test experimental therapeutics within a more relevant context to disease pathophysiology and neuropathology. We have detailed several criteria that are critical or advantageous to accurately modeling PD in a murine model or in a nonhuman primate. Using these criteria, we then evaluate approaches made to model PD using viral vectors to date, including both adeno-associated viruses and lentiviruses. Lastly, we comment on the consideration of aging as a critical factor for modeling PD.
Hügel, H M; Jackson, N
Evidence for the medicinal and health benefits of polyphenols in green tea for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, various types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases is advancing. Their in vivo effectiveness and molecular mechanisms are difficult to elucidate and remain a challenging task. We review the redox responsiveness and amyloid protein perturbation biophysical properties of the major green tea polyphenol constituent (-)- epigallocatechin-3-gallate [EGCG].
Gandhi, Rozil; Kakkar, Ritu; Rajan, Sajeev; Bhangale, Rashmi; Desai, Shrinivas
Menkes kinky hair disease is a rare X-linked recessive disease nearly exclusively affecting males who present at 2-3 months of age due to abnormal functioning of copper-dependent enzymes due to deficiency of copper. Here, we describe a completely worked-up case of a 4-month-old male infant with very typical history and radiological features confirmed by biochemical and trichoanalysis. The initially seen asymmetric cortical and subcortical T2 hyperintensities in cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres converted into symmetrical diffuse cerebral and predominantly cerebellar atrophy with uniform loss of both white and grey matter on follow-up MRI. Also, subdural hemorrhages of various sizes and different stages and tortuosity of larger proximal intracranial vessels with distal narrowing were identified. Ours is a completely worked-up proven case of Menkes kinky hair disease (MKHD) with history, electroencephalography, biochemical, trichoanalysis, and MRI findings. This is a good teaching case and shows importance of clinical examination and biochemistry as complimentary to MRI. Tortuous intracranial arteries with blocked major vessels are found only in this disease, thus stressing the value of MR Angiography in these patients.
Adegbuyiro, Adewale; Sedighi, Faezeh; Pilkington, Albert W; Groover, Sharon; Legleiter, Justin
Several hereditary neurological and neuromuscular diseases are caused by an abnormal expansion of trinucleotide repeats. To date, there have been 10 of these trinucleotide repeat disorders associated with an expansion of the codon CAG encoding glutamine (Q). For these polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases, there is a critical threshold length of the CAG repeat required for disease, and further expansion beyond this threshold is correlated with age of onset and symptom severity. PolyQ expansion in the translated proteins promotes their self-assembly into a variety of oligomeric and fibrillar aggregate species that accumulate into the hallmark proteinaceous inclusion bodies associated with each disease. Here, we review aggregation mechanisms of proteins with expanded polyQ-tracts, structural consequences of expanded polyQ ranging from monomers to fibrillar aggregates, the impact of protein context and post-translational modifications on aggregation, and a potential role for lipid membranes in aggregation. As the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie these disorders are often classified as either a gain of toxic function or loss of normal protein function, some toxic mechanisms associated with mutant polyQ tracts will also be discussed.
Ponomareva, Natalya V; Andreeva, Tatiana V; Protasova, Maria S; Shagam, Lef I; Malina, Daria D; Goltsov, Andrey Yu; Fokin, Vitaly F; Illarioshkin, Sergey N; Rogaev, Evgeny I
Genome-wide association studies have identified novel risk variants for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Among these, a gene carrying one of the highest risks for AD is PICALM. The PICALM rs3851179 A allele is thought to have a protective effect, whereas the G allele appears to confer risk for AD. The influence of the PICALM genotype on brain function in nondemented subjects remains largely unknown. We examined the possible effect of the PICALM rs3851179 genotype on quantitative electroencephalography recording at rest in 137 nondemented volunteers (age range: 20-79 years) subdivided into cohorts of those younger than and those older than 50 years of age. The homozygous presence of the AD risk variant PICALM GG was associated with an increase in beta relative power, with the effect being more pronounced in the older cohort. Beta power elevation in resting-state electroencephalography has previously been linked to cortical disinhibition and hyperexcitability. The increase in beta relative power in the carriers of the AD risk PICALM GG genotype suggests changes in the cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance, which are heightened during normal aging.
Zhang, Wei; Chen, Xue-yan; Su, Su-wen; Jia, Qing-zhong; Ding, Tao; Zhu, Zhong-ning; Zhang, Tong
The purpose of this work is to investigate the efficacy of exogenous melatonin in the treatment of sleep disorders in patients with neurodegenerative disease. We searched Pubmed, the Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov, from inception to July 2015. We included randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that compared melatonin with placebo and that had the primary aim of improving sleep in people with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). We pooled data with the weighted mean difference in sleep outcomes. To assess heterogeneity in results of individual studies, we used Cochran's Q statistic and the I (2) statistic. 9 RCTs were included in this research. We found that the treatment with exogenous melatonin has positive effects on sleep quality as assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) in PD patients (MD: 4.20, 95 % CI: 0.92-7.48; P = 0.01), and by changes in PSQI component 4 in AD patients (MD: 0.67, 95 % CI: 0.04-1.30; P = 0.04), but not on objective sleep outcomes in both AD and PD patients. Treatment with melatonin effectively improved the clinical and neurophysiological aspects of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD), especially elderly individuals with underlying neurodegenerative disorders. This meta-analysis provided some evidence that melatonin improves sleep quality in patients with AD and PD, and melatonin can be considered as a possible sole or add-on therapy in neurodegenerative disorders patients with RBD.
Sharma, Kanchan; Davis, Thomas; Coulthard, Elizabeth
We all experience at least occasional lapses in attention but in some neurological conditions, loss of attention is pervasive and debilitating. Treating deficits in attention first requires an understanding of the neurobiology of attention, which we now understand to be a set of different cognitive processes. Cholinesterase inhibitors are already established as effective attentional enhancers used in the treatment of certain dementias. Other stimulant agents such as modafanil, amphetamine and methylphenidate have demonstrated limited success in healthy individuals where attention is already optimal and clinical trials in patients with neurological disease are sparse. Dietary and lifestyle changes are gaining increasing prominence, as are experimental treatments such as deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. As the therapeutic arsenal widens, clinicians will be able to match specific treatments to selective deficits in attention, giving patients a tailored management plan. Here we review common diseases that impair attention and emphasise how an understanding of attentional processing within the brain might lead to improved therapeutic strategies.
Holler, Christopher J; Webb, Robin L; Laux, Ashley L; Beckett, Tina L; Niedowicz, Dana M; Ahmed, Rachel R; Liu, Yinxing; Simmons, Christopher R; Dowling, Amy L S; Spinelli, Angela; Khurgel, Moshe; Estus, Steven; Head, Elizabeth; Hersh, Louis B; Murphy, M Paul
β-Secretase, the rate-limiting enzymatic activity in the production of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide, is a major target of Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapeutics. There are two forms of the enzyme: β-site Aβ precursor protein cleaving enzyme (BACE) 1 and BACE2. Although BACE1 increases in late-stage AD, little is known about BACE2. We conducted a detailed examination of BACE2 in patients with preclinical to late-stage AD, including amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and age-matched controls, cases of frontotemporal dementia, and Down's syndrome. BACE2 protein and enzymatic activity increased as early as preclinical AD and were found in neurons and astrocytes. Although the levels of total BACE2 mRNA were unchanged, the mRNA for BACE2 splice form C (missing exon 7) increased in parallel with BACE2 protein and activity. BACE1 and BACE2 were strongly correlated with each other at all levels, suggesting that their regulatory mechanisms may be largely shared. BACE2 was also elevated in frontotemporal dementia but not in Down's syndrome, even in patients with substantial Aβ deposition. Thus, expression of both forms of β-secretase are linked and may play a combined role in human neurologic disease. A better understanding of the normal functions of BACE1 and BACE2, and how these change in different disease states, is essential for the future development of AD therapeutics.
Iqbal, Khalid; Liu, Fei; Gong, Cheng-Xin
In 1975, tau protein was isolated as a microtubule-associated factor from the porcine brain. In the previous year, a paired helical filament (PHF) protein had been identified in neurofibrillary tangles in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer disease (AD), but it was not until 1986 that the PHF protein and tau were discovered to be one and the same. In the AD brain, tau was found to be abnormally hyperphosphorylated, and it inhibited rather than promoted in vitro microtubule assembly. Almost 80 disease-causing exonic missense and intronic silent mutations in the tau gene have been found in familial cases of frontotemporal dementia but, to date, no such mutation has been found in AD. The first phase I clinical trial of an active tau immunization vaccine in patients with AD was recently completed. Assays for tau levels in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma are now available, and tau radiotracers for PET are under development. In this article, we provide an overview of the pivotal discoveries in the tau research field over the past 40 years. We also review the current status of the field, including disease mechanisms and therapeutic approaches.
Maccioni, R B; Muñoz, J P; Barbeito, L
Alzheimer's disease, the cause of one of the most common types of dementia, is a brain disorder affecting the elderly and is characterized by the formation of two main protein aggregates: senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, which are involved in the process leading to progressive neuronal degeneration and death. Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease is a pathologic condition of cells rather than an accelerated way of aging. The senile plaques are generated by a deposition in the human brain of fibrils of the beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta), a fragment derived from the proteolytic processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Tau protein is the major component of paired helical filaments (PHFs), which form a compact filamentous network described as neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Experiments with hippocampal cells in culture have indicated a relationship between fibrillary amyloid and the cascade of molecular signals that trigger tau hyperphosphorylations. Two main protein kinases have been shown to be involved in anomalous tau phosphorylations: the cyclin-dependent kinase Cdk5 and glycogen synthase kinase GSK3beta. Cdk5 plays a critical role in brain development and is associated with neurogenesis as revealed by studies in brain cells in culture and neuroblastoma cells. Deregulation of this protein kinase as induced by extracellular amyloid loading results in tau hyperphosphorylations, thus triggering a sequence of molecular events that lead to neuronal degeneration. Inhibitors of Cdk5 and GSK3beta and antisense oligonucleotides exert protection against neuronal death. On the other hand, there is cumulative evidence from studies in cultured brain cells and on brains that oxidative stress constitutes a main factor in the modification of normal signaling pathways in neuronal cells, leading to biochemical and structural abnormalities and neurodegeneration as related to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. This review is focused on the main protein
Wan, Wenbin; Cao, Lan; Kalionis, Bill; Xia, Shijin; Tai, Xiantao
Neurodegeneration is the umbrella term for the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons. Incurable neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) show dramatic rising trends particularly in the advanced age groups. However, the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully elucidated, and to date there are no biomarkers for early detection or effective treatments for the underlying causes of these diseases. Furthermore, due to species variation and differences between animal models (e.g., mouse transgenic and knockout models) of neurodegenerative diseases, substantial debate focuses on whether animal and cell culture disease models can correctly model the condition in human patients. In 2006, Yamanaka of Kyoto University first demonstrated a novel approach for the preparation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which displayed similar pluripotency potential to embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Currently, iPSCs studies are permeating many sectors of disease research. Patient sample-derived iPSCs can be used to construct patient-specific disease models to elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms of disease development and to test new therapeutic strategies. Accordingly, the present review will focus on recent progress in iPSC research in the modeling of neurodegenerative disorders and in the development of novel therapeutic options. PMID:26240571
Davis, Thomas; Coulthard, Elizabeth
Abstract We all experience at least occasional lapses in attention but in some neurological conditions, loss of attention is pervasive and debilitating. Treating deficits in attention first requires an understanding of the neurobiology of attention, which we now understand to be a set of different cognitive processes. Cholinesterase inhibitors are already established as effective attentional enhancers used in the treatment of certain dementias. Other stimulant agents such as modafanil, amphetamine and methylphenidate have demonstrated limited success in healthy individuals where attention is already optimal and clinical trials in patients with neurological disease are sparse. Dietary and lifestyle changes are gaining increasing prominence, as are experimental treatments such as deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. As the therapeutic arsenal widens, clinicians will be able to match specific treatments to selective deficits in attention, giving patients a tailored management plan. Here we review common diseases that impair attention and emphasise how an understanding of attentional processing within the brain might lead to improved therapeutic strategies. PMID:28123829
Enzyme replacement therapy has been a very effective treatment for several lysosomal storage diseases. However, correcting central nervous system (CNS) storage has been challenging due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which hampers the entry of circulating lysosomal enzymes into the brain. In our previous studies, we discovered that luminally expressed cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate (M6P) receptor is a universal transporter for lysosomal enzymes that contain M6P moieties on the enzyme molecule. This receptor-mediated transport of lysosomal enzymes showed developmental down-regulation that resulted in a failure of delivery of lysosomal enzymes across the BBB in the adult brain. Conceptually, if one can re-induce M6P receptor-mediated transport of lysosomal enzymes in adult BBB, this could provide a novel brain targeting approach for treating abnormal storage in the CNS, regardless of the age of subjects. We found that systemic adrenergic stimuli restored functional transport of β-glucuronidase across the adult BBB. The concept of manipulating BBB transport activity by endogenous characteristics has also been demonstrated by another group who showed effective treatment in a Pompe disease model animal in vivo. It is intriguing that lysosomal enzymes utilize multiple mechanisms for their transport across the BBB. This review explores pharmacological manipulations for the delivery of lysosomal enzymes into the CNS, and the mechanisms of their transport across the BBB, based on existing evidence from studies of β-glucuronidase, sulfamidase, acid α-glucosidase, and arylsulfatase A.
Reddy, P. Hemachandra; Reddy, Tejaswini P.; Manczak, Maria; Calkins, Marcus J.; Shirendeb, Ulziibat; Mao, Peizhong
The purpose of this article is to review the recent developments of abnormal mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondrial fragmentation, and neuronal damage in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The GTPase family of proteins, including fission proteins, dynamin related protein 1 (Drp1), mitochondrial fission 1 (Fis1), and fusion proteins (Mfn1, Mfn2 and Opa1) are essential to maintain mitochondrial fission and fusion balance, and to provide necessary adenosine triphosphate to neurons. Among these, Drp1 is involved in several important aspects of mitochondria, including shape, size, distribution, remodeling, and maintenance of X in mammalian cells. In addition, recent advancements in molecular, cellular, electron microscopy, and confocal imaging studies revealed that Drp1 is associated with several cellular functions, including mitochondrial and peroxisomal fragmentation, phosphorylation, SUMOylation, ubiquitination, and cell death. In the last two decades, tremendous progress has been made in researching mitochondrial dynamics, in yeast, worms, and mammalian cells; and this research has provided evidence linking Drp1 to neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers in the neurodegenerative disease field are beginning to recognize the possible involvement of Drp1 in causing mitochondrial fragmentation and abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegenerative diseases. This article summarizes research findings relating Drp1 to mitochondrial fission and fusion, in yeast, worms, and mammals. Based on findings from the Reddy laboratory and others’, we propose that mutant proteins of neurodegenerative diseases, including AD, PD, HD, and ALS, interact with Drp1, activate mitochondrial fission machinery, fragment mitochondria excessively, and impair mitochondrial transport and mitochondrial dynamics, ultimately causing mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal damage. PMID:21145355
Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Ball, Gordon; Gebel, Stephan; Bagewadi, Shweta; de Bono, Bernard; Schneider, Reinhard; Page, Matt; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom; Younesi, Erfan; Ebeling, Christian; Tegnér, Jesper; Canard, Luc
Since the decoding of the Human Genome, techniques from bioinformatics, statistics, and machine learning have been instrumental in uncovering patterns in increasing amounts and types of different data produced by technical profiling technologies applied to clinical samples, animal models, and cellular systems. Yet, progress on unravelling biological mechanisms, causally driving diseases, has been limited, in part due to the inherent complexity of biological systems. Whereas we have witnessed progress in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the area of neurodegenerative diseases has proved to be very challenging. This is in part because the aetiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer´s disease or Parkinson´s disease is unknown, rendering it very difficult to discern early causal events. Here we describe a panel of bioinformatics and modeling approaches that have recently been developed to identify candidate mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases based on publicly available data and knowledge. We identify two complementary strategies—data mining techniques using genetic data as a starting point to be further enriched using other data-types, or alternatively to encode prior knowledge about disease mechanisms in a model based framework supporting reasoning and enrichment analysis. Our review illustrates the challenges entailed in integrating heterogeneous, multiscale and multimodal information in the area of neurology in general and neurodegeneration in particular. We conclude, that progress would be accelerated by increasing efforts on performing systematic collection of multiple data-types over time from each individual suffering from neurodegenerative disease. The work presented here has been driven by project AETIONOMY; a project funded in the course of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); which is a public-private partnership of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) and the European
Menezes, Rikitha; Pantelyat, Alexander; Izbudak, Izlem; Birnbaum, Julius
Abstract Patients with rheumatic diseases can present with movement and other neurodegenerative disorders. It may be underappreciated that movement and other neurodegenerative disorders can encompass a wide variety of disease entities. Such disorders are strikingly heterogeneous and lead to a wider spectrum of clinical injury than seen in Parkinson's disease. Therefore, we sought to stringently phenotype movement and other neurodegenerative disorders presenting in a case series of rheumatic disease patients. We integrated our findings with a review of the literature to understand mechanisms which may account for such a ubiquitous pattern of clinical injury. Seven rheumatic disease patients (5 Sjögren's syndrome patients, 2 undifferentiated connective tissue disease patients) were referred and could be misdiagnosed as having Parkinson's disease. However, all of these patients were ultimately diagnosed as having other movement or neurodegenerative disorders. Findings inconsistent with and more expansive than Parkinson's disease included cerebellar degeneration, dystonia with an alien-limb phenomenon, and nonfluent aphasias. A notable finding was that individual patients could be affected by cooccurring movement and other neurodegenerative disorders, each of which could be exceptionally rare (ie, prevalence of ∼1:1000), and therefore with the collective probability that such disorders were merely coincidental and causally unrelated being as low as ∼1-per-billion. Whereas our review of the literature revealed that ubiquitous patterns of clinical injury were frequently associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings suggestive of a widespread vasculopathy, our patients did not have such neuroimaging findings. Instead, our patients could have syndromes which phenotypically resembled paraneoplastic and other inflammatory disorders which are known to be associated with antineuronal antibodies. We similarly identified immune-mediated and inflammatory markers
Bayat, Vafa; Jaiswal, Manish; Bellen, Hugo J.
Summary The Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) has recently provided new insights into the roles of various proteins in neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), and Huntington’s Disease (HD). Several developmental signaling pathways including WNT, MAPK and BMP/TGF-β signaling play important roles in the formation and growth of the Drosophila NMJ. Studies of the fly homologues of genes that cause neurodegenerative disease at the NMJ have resulted in a better understanding of the roles of these proteins in vivo. These studies may shed light on the pathological mechanisms of these diseases, with implications for reduced BMP/TGF-β signaling in ALS, SMA and HD and increased signaling in HSP and MS. PMID:20832291
Daimon, Caitlin M.; Chirdon, Patrick; Maudsley, Stuart; Martin, Bronwen
Thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) is primarily known as the central regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. However, TRH also exerts a variety of central nervous system effects independent from its activity in the HPT axis. With advancing age, decreases in TRH synthesis, expression, and activity have been demonstrated. Associated with this emerging evidence suggests that TRH is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases of aging, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. TRH and its synthetic analogs have been recognized as trophic factors in neurons of the diencephalon and spinal cord, and as neuroprotectants against oxidative stress, glutamate toxicity, caspase-induced cell death, DNA fragmentation, and inflammation. In this review, we will provide an overview of some of the roles of TRH, outside of the HPT axis, associated with pathological aging and neurodegeneration and we shall discuss the potential of TRH and TRH analogs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24199031
Li, Yi-Ju; Scott, William K.; Hedges, Dale J.; Zhang, Fengyu; Gaskell, P. Craig; Nance, Martha A.; Watts, Ray L.; Hubble, Jean P.; Koller, William C.; Pahwa, Rajesh; Stern, Matthew B.; Hiner, Bradley C.; Jankovic, Joseph; Allen, Jr., Fred H.; Goetz, Christopher G.; Mastaglia, Frank; Stajich, Jeffrey M.; Gibson, Rachel A.; Middleton, Lefkos T.; Saunders, Ann M.; Scott, Burton L.; Small, Gary W.; Nicodemus, Kristin K.; Reed, Allison D.; Schmechel, Donald E.; Welsh-Bohmer, Kathleen A.; Conneally, P. Michael; Roses, Allen D.; Gilbert, John R.; Vance, Jeffery M.; Haines, Jonathan L.; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A.
To identify genes influencing age at onset (AAO) in two common neurodegenerative diseases, a genomic screen was performed for AAO in families with Alzheimer disease (AD; n=449) and Parkinson disease (PD; n=174). Heritabilities between 40%–60% were found in both the AD and PD data sets. For PD, significant evidence for linkage to AAO was found on chromosome 1p (LOD = 3.41). For AD, the AAO effect of APOE (LOD = 3.28) was confirmed. In addition, evidence for AAO linkage on chromosomes 6 and 10 was identified independently in both the AD and PD data sets. Subsequent unified analyses of these regions identified a single peak on chromosome 10q between D10S1239 and D10S1237, with a maximum LOD score of 2.62. These data suggest that a common gene affects AAO in these two common complex neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:11875758
Bartels, A L
Protection of the brain is strengthened by active transport and ABC transporters. P-glycoprotein (P-gp) at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) functions as an active efflux pump by extruding a substrate from the brain, which is important for maintaining loco-regional homeostasis in the brain and protection against toxic compounds. Importantly, dysfunctional BBB P-gp transport is postulated as an important factor contributing to accumulation of aggregated protein in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Furthermore, P-gp is a major factor in mediating resistance to brain entry of numerous exogenous compounds, including toxins that can be involved in PD pathogenesis. This review highlights the role of altered P-gp function in the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative disease. Also the implications of alterations in P-gp function for the treatment of these diseases are discussed.
Emon, Mohammad Asif Emran Khan; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom; Karki, Reagon; Younesi, Erfan; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin
Neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease are complex to tackle because of the complexity of the brain, both in structure and function. Such complexity is reflected by the involvement of various brain regions and multiple pathways in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases that render single drug target approaches ineffective. Particularly in the area of neurodegeneration, attention has been drawn to repurposing existing drugs with proven efficacy and safety profiles. However, there is a lack of systematic analysis of the brain chemical space to predict the feasibility of repurposing strategies. Using a mechanism-based, drug-target interaction modeling approach, we have identified promising drug candidates for repositioning. Mechanistic cause-and-effect models consolidate relevant prior knowledge on drugs, targets, and pathways from the scientific literature and integrate insights derived from experimental data. We demonstrate the power of this approach by predicting two repositioning candidates for Alzheimer’s disease and one for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:28035920
Li, Yi-Ju; Scott, William K; Hedges, Dale J; Zhang, Fengyu; Gaskell, P Craig; Nance, Martha A; Watts, Ray L; Hubble, Jean P; Koller, William C; Pahwa, Rajesh; Stern, Matthew B; Hiner, Bradley C; Jankovic, Joseph; Allen, Fred A; Goetz, Christopher G; Mastaglia, Frank; Stajich, Jeffrey M; Gibson, Rachel A; Middleton, Lefkos T; Saunders, Ann M; Scott, Burton L; Small, Gary W; Nicodemus, Kristin K; Reed, Allison D; Schmechel, Donald E; Welsh-Bohmer, Kathleen A; Conneally, P Michael; Roses, Allen D; Gilbert, John R; Vance, Jeffery M; Haines, Jonathan L; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A
To identify genes influencing age at onset (AAO) in two common neurodegenerative diseases, a genomic screen was performed for AAO in families with Alzheimer disease (AD; n=449) and Parkinson disease (PD; n=174). Heritabilities between 40%--60% were found in both the AD and PD data sets. For PD, significant evidence for linkage to AAO was found on chromosome 1p (LOD = 3.41). For AD, the AAO effect of APOE (LOD = 3.28) was confirmed. In addition, evidence for AAO linkage on chromosomes 6 and 10 was identified independently in both the AD and PD data sets. Subsequent unified analyses of these regions identified a single peak on chromosome 10q between D10S1239 and D10S1237, with a maximum LOD score of 2.62. These data suggest that a common gene affects AAO in these two common complex neurodegenerative diseases.
The use of stem cells for neuroreplacement therapy is no longer science fiction--it is science fact. We have succeeded in the development of neural and mesenchymal stem cell transplantation to produce neural cells in the brain. We have also seen improvement in cognitive function following stem cell transplantation in a memory-impaired aged animal model. These results promise a bright future for stem cell therapies in neurodegenerative diseases. Before we begin to think about clinical applications beyond the present preclinical studies, we have to consider the pathophysiological environment of individual diseases and weigh the factors that affect stem cell biology. Here, I not only review potential therapeutic applications of stem cell strategies in neurodegenerative diseases, but also discuss stem cell biology regarding factors that are altered under disease conditions.
Butterfield, D Allan; Palmieri, Erika M; Castegna, Alessandra
Mitochondria play a key role in eukaryotic cells, being mediators of energy, biosynthetic and regulatory requirements of these cells. Emerging proteomics techniques have allowed scientists to obtain the differentially expressed proteome or the proteomic redox status in mitochondria. This has unmasked the diversity of proteins with respect to subcellular location, expression and interactions. Mitochondria have become a research 'hot spot' in subcellular proteomics, leading to identification of candidate clinical targets in neurodegenerative diseases in which mitochondria are known to play pathological roles. The extensive efforts to rapidly obtain differentially expressed proteomes and unravel the redox proteomic status in mitochondria have yielded clinical insights into the neuropathological mechanisms of disease, identification of disease early stage and evaluation of disease progression. Although current technical limitations hamper full exploitation of the mitochondrial proteome in neurosciences, future advances are predicted to provide identification of specific therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disorders.
Butterfield, D. Allan; Palmieri, Erika M.; Castegna, Alessandra
Mitochondria play a key role in eukaryotic cells, being mediators of energy, biosynthetic and regulatory requirements of these cells. Emerging proteomics techniques have allowed scientists to obtain the differentially expressed proteome or the proteomic redox status in mitochondria. This has unmasked the diversity of proteins with respect to subcellular location, expression and interactions. Mitochondria have become a research ‘hot spot’ in subcellular proteomics, leading to identification of candidate clinical targets in neurodegenerative diseases in which mitochondria are known to play pathological roles. The extensive efforts to rapidly obtain differentially expressed proteomes and unravel the redox proteomic status in mitochondria have yielded clinical insights into the neuropathological mechanisms of disease, identification of disease early stage and evaluation of disease progression. Although current technical limitations hamper full exploitation of the mitochondrial proteome in neurosciences, future advances are predicted to provide identification of specific therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26837425
Gibrat, C; Cicchetti, F
Neurodegenerative disorders are a subset of disabling pathologies characterized, in part, by a progressive and specific loss of certain brain cell populations. Current therapeutic approaches for the treatment of these disorders are mainly designed towards symptom management and do not manifestly block their typified neuronal loss. However, research conducted over the past decade has reflected the increasing interest and need to find disease-modifying molecules. Among the several neuroprotective agents emerging from experimental animal work, cystamine, as well as its reduced form cysteamine, have been identified as potential candidate drugs. Given the significant benefits observed in a Huntington's disease (HD) model, cysteamine has recently leaped to clinical trial. Here, we review the beneficial properties of these compounds as reported in animal studies, their mechanistic underpinnings, and their potential implications for the future treatment of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, and more specifically for HD and Parkinson's disease (PD).
Steinmetz, Karen L; Spack, Edward G
Preclinical development encompasses the activities that link drug discovery in the laboratory to initiation of human clinical trials. Preclinical studies can be designed to identify a lead candidate from several hits; develop the best procedure for new drug scale-up; select the best formulation; determine the route, frequency, and duration of exposure; and ultimately support the intended clinical trial design. The details of each preclinical development package can vary, but all have some common features. Rodent and nonrodent mammalian models are used to delineate the pharmacokinetic profile and general safety, as well as to identify toxicity patterns. One or more species may be used to determine the drug's mean residence time in the body, which depends on inherent absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion properties. For drugs intended to treat Alzheimer's disease or other brain-targeted diseases, the ability of a drug to cross the blood brain barrier may be a key issue. Toxicology and safety studies identify potential target organs for adverse effects and define the Therapeutic Index to set the initial starting doses in clinical trials. Pivotal preclinical safety studies generally require regulatory oversight as defined by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Good Laboratory Practices and international guidelines, including the International Conference on Harmonization. Concurrent preclinical development activities include developing the Clinical Plan and preparing the new drug product, including the associated documentation to meet stringent FDA Good Manufacturing Practices regulatory guidelines. A wide range of commercial and government contract options are available for investigators seeking to advance their candidate(s). Government programs such as the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants and the National Institutes of Health Rapid Access to Interventional Development Pilot Program provide funding and
Catricalà, Eleonora; Della Rosa, Pasquale A; Plebani, Valentina; Vigliocco, Gabriella; Cappa, Stefano F
We assessed the performance of patients with a diagnosis of Alzheimer׳s disease (AD) and of the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (sv-PPA) in a series of tasks involving both abstract and concrete stimuli, which were controlled for most of the variables that have been shown to affect performance on lexical-semantic tasks. Our aims were to compare the patients׳ performance on abstract and concrete stimuli and to assess category-effects within the abstract and concrete domains. The results showed: (i) a better performance on abstract than concrete concepts in sv-PPA patients. (ii) Category-related effects in the abstract domain, with emotion concepts being preserved in AD and social relations being selectively impaired in sv-PPA. In addition, a living-non living dissociation may be (infrequently) observed in individual AD patients after controlling for an extensive set of potential confounds. Thus, differences between and within the concrete or abstract domain may be present in patients with semantic memory disorders, mirroring the different brain regions involved by the different pathologies.
Androutsopoulos, Vasilis P.; Kanavouras, Konstantinos; Tsatsakis, Aristidis M.
Organophosphate pesticides are a class of compounds that are widely used in agricultural and rural areas. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) is a phase-I enzyme that is involved in the hydrolysis of organophosphate esters. Environmental poisoning by organophosphate compounds has been the main driving force of previous research on PON1 enzymes. Recent discoveries in animal models have revealed the important role of the enzyme in lipid metabolism. However although PON1 function is well established in experimental models, the contribution of PON1 in neurodegenerative diseases remains unclear. In this minireview we summarize the involvement of PON1 genotypes in the occurrence of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A brief overview of latest epidemiological studies, regarding the two most important PON1 coding region polymorphisms PON1-L55M and PON1-Q192R is presented. Positive and negative associations of PON1 with disease occurrence are reported. Notably the MM and RR alleles contribute a risk enhancing effect for the development of some neurodegenerative diseases, which may be explained by the reduced lipoprotein free radical scavenging activity that may give rise to neuronal damage, through distinct mechanism. Conflicting findings that fail to support this postulate may represent the human population ethnic heterogeneity, different sample size and environmental parameters affecting PON1 status. We conclude that further epidemiological studies are required in order to address the exact contribution of PON1 genome in combination with organophosphate exposure in populations with neurodegenerative diseases.
Chaves, Soane K M; Feitosa, Chistiane M; da S Araújo, Lidiane
The study of natural substances has increased in recent years in the search for compounds with pharmacological properties that can be used for the development of new drugs. The alkaloids, substances extracted natural sources, show promising pharmacological activities, including pharmacological activities for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, whose treatment is based on the use of various drugs. Thus, the article aims to a technological prospecting of alkaloids that presented important properties in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, namely, antioxidant, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant properties. A literature review was conducted in the databases PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus, Scielo and Google Academics using the following key words: alkaloids, pharmacology, neurodegenerative diseases, cholinesterase inhibitors, antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, antioxidant and anxiolytic. Articles, dissertations and theses published between 2003 and 2015 were selected. Several studies showed through in vitro of in vitro and/or in vivo methods that many alkaloids extracted from plants showed anticholinesterase, antioxidant, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant properties in the treatment of symptoms and progression of certain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
Androutsopoulos, Vasilis P; Kanavouras, Konstantinos; Tsatsakis, Aristidis M
Organophosphate pesticides are a class of compounds that are widely used in agricultural and rural areas. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) is a phase-I enzyme that is involved in the hydrolysis of organophosphate esters. Environmental poisoning by organophosphate compounds has been the main driving force of previous research on PON1 enzymes. Recent discoveries in animal models have revealed the important role of the enzyme in lipid metabolism. However although PON1 function is well established in experimental models, the contribution of PON1 in neurodegenerative diseases remains unclear. In this minireview we summarize the involvement of PON1 genotypes in the occurrence of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A brief overview of latest epidemiological studies, regarding the two most important PON1 coding region polymorphisms PON1-L55M and PON1-Q192R is presented. Positive and negative associations of PON1 with disease occurrence are reported. Notably the MM and RR alleles contribute a risk enhancing effect for the development of some neurodegenerative diseases, which may be explained by the reduced lipoprotein free radical scavenging activity that may give rise to neuronal damage, through distinct mechanism. Conflicting findings that fail to support this postulate may represent the human population ethnic heterogeneity, different sample size and environmental parameters affecting PON1 status. We conclude that further epidemiological studies are required in order to address the exact contribution of PON1 genome in combination with organophosphate exposure in populations with neurodegenerative diseases.
You, Hwa Jeong; Park, Jae Hyon; Pareja-Galeano, Helios; Lucia, Alejandro; Shin, Jae Il
Neurodegenerative diseases are becoming an ever-increasing problem in aging populations. Low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have previously been associated with the pathogenesis of numerous neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been proposed as potential novel therapeutic targets for treating various diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), and interestingly, few studies have reported several miRNAs that downregulate the expression levels of BDNF. However, substantial challenges exist when attempting to translate these findings into practical anti-miRNA therapeutics, especially when the targets remain inside the CNS. Thus, in this review, we summarize the specific molecular mechanisms by which several miRNAs negatively modulate the expressions of BDNF, address the potential clinical difficulties that can be faced during the development of anti-miRNA-based therapeutics and propose strategies to overcome these challenges.
Magrone, T; Marzulli, G; Jirillo, E
Parkinson disease (PD) and Alzheimer disease (AD) are neurodegenerative processes whose frequency is dramatically increasing in the western world. Both diseases share a common pathogenic denominator characterized by an exaggerated activation of the systemic and cerebral immune system, respectively. For instance, lipopolysaccharides in PD and amyloid beta in AD trigger microglia and astrocytes to release reactive oxygen species (ROS) and proinflammatory cytokines. Infiltrating peripheral T cells once activated in the central nervous system also contribute to the neurodegenerative process. Besides innovative biotherapy, nutraceuticals or functional foods are currently investigated for their neuroprotective activities. Especially, vitamin D and polyphenols, seem to be promising therapeutic tools for inhibiting ROS formation and arresting cytokine-mediated neuroinflammation in PD and AD.
Zhuang, Jian-Jun; Ning, Xin-Bao; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Hou, Feng-Zhen; Huo, Cheng-Yu
In this paper the decrease in the Hurst exponent of human gait with aging and neurodegenerative diseases was observed by using an improved rescaled range (R/S) analysis method. It indicates that the long-range correlations of gait rhythm from young healthy people are stronger than those from the healthy elderly and the diseased. The result further implies that fractal dynamics in human gait will be altered due to weakening or impairment of neural control on locomotion resulting from aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Due to analysing short-term data sequences rather than long datasets required by most nonlinear methods, the algorithm has the characteristics of simplicity and sensitivity, most importantly, fast calculation as well as powerful anti-noise capacities. These findings have implications for modelling locomotor control and also for quantifying gait dynamics in varying physiologic and pathologic states.
Natale, G.; Pompili, E.; Biagioni, F.; Paparelli, S.; Lenzi, P.; Fornai, F.
Formation, aggregation and transmission of abnormal proteins are common features in neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. The mechanisms underlying protein alterations in neurodegenerative diseases remain controversial. Novel findings highlighted altered protein clearing systems as common biochemical pathways which generate protein misfolding, which in turn causes protein aggregation and protein spreading. In fact, proteinaceous aggregates are prone to cell-tocell propagation. This is reminiscent of what happens in prion disorders, where the prion protein misfolds thus forming aggregates which spread to neighbouring cells. For this reason, the term prionoids is currently used to emphasize how several misfolded proteins are transmitted in neurodegenerative diseases following this prion-like pattern. Histochemical techniques including the use of specific antibodies covering both light and electron microscopy offer a powerful tool to describe these phenomena and investigate specific molecular steps. These include: prion like protein alterations; glycation of prion-like altered proteins to form advanced glycation end-products (AGEs); mechanisms of extracellular secretion; interaction of AGEs with specific receptors placed on neighbouring cells (RAGEs). The present manuscript comments on these phenomena aimed to provide a consistent scenario of the available histochemical approaches to dissect each specific step. PMID:23549464
Basak, Indranil; Patil, Ketan S; Alves, Guido; Larsen, Jan Petter; Møller, Simon Geir
The last decade has experienced the emergence of microRNAs as a key molecular tool for the diagnosis and prognosis of human diseases. Although the focus has mostly been on cancer, neurodegenerative diseases present an exciting, yet less explored, platform for microRNA research. Several studies have highlighted the significance of microRNAs in neurogenesis and neurodegeneration, and pre-clinical studies have shown the potential of microRNAs as biomarkers. Despite this, no bona fide microRNAs have been identified as true diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers for neurodegenerative disease. This is mainly due to the lack of precisely defined patient cohorts and the variability within and between individual cohorts. However, the discovery that microRNAs exist as stable molecules at detectable levels in body fluids has opened up new avenues for microRNAs as potential biomarker candidates. Furthermore, technological developments in microRNA biology have contributed to the possible design of microRNA-mediated disease intervention strategies. The combination of these advancements, with the availability of well-defined longitudinal patient cohort, promises to not only assist in developing invaluable diagnostic tools for clinicians, but also to increase our overall understanding of the underlying heterogeneity of neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we present a comprehensive overview of the existing knowledge of microRNAs in neurodegeneration and provide a perspective of the applicability of microRNAs as a basis for future therapeutic intervention strategies.
Although the adult human brain has a small number of neural stem cells, they are insufficient to repair the damaged brain to achieve significant functional recovery for neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. Stem cell therapy, by either enhancing endogenous neurogenesis, or transplanting stem cells, has been regarded as a promising solution. However, the harsh environment of the diseased brain posts a severe threat to the survival and correct differentiation of those new stem cells. Hormesis (or preconditioning, stress adaptation) is an adaptation mechanism by which cells or organisms are potentiated to survive an otherwise lethal condition, such as the harsh oxidative stress in the stroke brain. Stem cells treated by low levels of chemical, physical, or pharmacological stimuli have been shown to survive better in the neurodegenerative brain. Thus combining hormesis and stem cell therapy might improve the outcome for treatment of these diseases. In addition, since the cell death patterns and their underlying molecular mechanism may vary in different neurodegenerative diseases, even in different progression stages of the same disease, it is essential to design a suitable and optimum hormetic strategy that is tailored to the individual patient. PMID:23930104
Barrera, Giuseppina; Gentile, Fabrizio; Pizzimenti, Stefania; Canuto, Rosa Angela; Daga, Martina; Arcaro, Alessia; Cetrangolo, Giovanni Paolo; Lepore, Alessio; Ferretti, Carlo; Dianzani, Chiara; Muzio, Giuliana
In several human diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), produced mainly by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, is increased. In cancer cells, the increase of ROS production has been associated with mtDNA mutations that, in turn, seem to be functional in the alterations of the bioenergetics and the biosynthetic state of cancer cells. Moreover, ROS overproduction can enhance the peroxidation of fatty acids in mitochondrial membranes. In particular, the peroxidation of mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin leads to the formation of reactive aldehydes, such as 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) and malondialdehyde (MDA), which are able to react with proteins and DNA. Covalent modifications of mitochondrial proteins by the products of lipid peroxidation (LPO) in the course of oxidative cell stress are involved in the mitochondrial dysfunctions observed in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Such modifications appear to affect negatively mitochondrial integrity and function, in particular energy metabolism, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, antioxidant defenses and stress responses. In neurodegenerative diseases, indirect confirmation for the pathogenetic relevance of LPO-dependent modifications of mitochondrial proteins comes from the disease phenotypes associated with their genetic alterations. PMID:26907355
Kalume, Franck; Pitstick, Rose; Oehler, Abby; Carlson, George; DeArmond, Stephen J.
Drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases is particularly challenging because of the discrepancies in drug effects between in vitro and in vivo studies. These discrepancies occur in part because current cell culture systems used for drug screening have many limitations. First, few cell culture systems accurately model human aging or neurodegenerative diseases. Second, drug efficacy may differ between dividing and stationary cells, the latter resembling nondividing neurons in the CNS. Brain aggregates (BrnAggs) derived from embryonic day 15 gestation mouse embryos may represent neuropathogenic processes in prion disease and reflect in vivo drug efficacy. Here, we report a new method for the production of BrnAggs suitable for drug screening and suggest that BrnAggs can model additional neurological diseases such as tauopathies. We also report a functional assay with BrnAggs by measuring electrophysiological activities. Our data suggest that BrnAggs could serve as an effective in vitro cell culture system for drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26851378
Takeuchi, Hideyuki; Suzumura, Akio
Microglia are macrophage-like resident immune cells that contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis in the central nervous system (CNS). Abnormal activation of microglia can cause damage in the CNS, and accumulation of activated microglia is a characteristic pathological observation in neurologic conditions such as trauma, stroke, inflammation, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases. Activated microglia secrete high levels of glutamate, which damages CNS cells and has been implicated as a major cause of neurodegeneration in these conditions. Glutamate-receptor blockers and microglia inhibitors (e.g., minocycline) have been examined as therapeutic candidates for several neurodegenerative diseases; however, these compounds exerted little therapeutic benefit because they either perturbed physiological glutamate signals or suppressed the actions of protective microglia. The ideal therapeutic approach would hamper the deleterious roles of activated microglia without diminishing their protective effects. We recently found that abnormally activated microglia secrete glutamate via gap-junction hemichannels on the cell surface. Moreover, administration of gap-junction inhibitors significantly suppressed excessive microglial glutamate release and improved disease symptoms in animal models of neurologic conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Recent evidence also suggests that neuronal and glial communication via gap junctions amplifies neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Elucidation of the precise pathologic roles of gap junctions and hemichannels may lead to a novel therapeutic strategies that can slow and halt the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25228858
Nagpure, B V; Bian, Jin-Song
For more than 300 years, the toxicity of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been known to mankind. However, this point of view is changing as an increased interest was observed in H2S biology in the last two decades. The scientific community has succeeded to unravel many important physiological and pathological effects of H2S on mammalian body systems. Thus, H2S is now referred to as a third endogenous gaseous mediator along with nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. Acting as a neuromodulator, H2S facilitates long-term potentiation and regulates intracellular calcium levels, which are important processes in learning and memory. Aberrant endogenous production and metabolism of H2S are implicated in pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Various H2S donors have shown beneficial therapeutic effects in neurodegenerative disease models by targeting hallmark pathological events (e.g., amyloid-β production in AD and neuroinflammation in PD). The results obtained from many in vivo studies clearly show that H2S not only prevents neuronal and synaptic deterioration but also improves deficits in memory, cognition, and learning. The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic effects of H2S underlie its neuroprotective properties. In this chapter, we will overview the current understanding of H2S in context of neurodegenerative diseases, with special emphasis on its corrective effects on impaired learning, memory, and cognition.
Kudrna, Jeremy J; Ugen, Kenneth E
There has been a recent expansion of vaccination and immunotherapeutic strategies from controlling infectious diseases to the targeting of non-infectious conditions including neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to conventional vaccine and immunotherapeutic modalities, gene-based methods that express antigens for presentation to the immune system by either live viral vectors or non-viral naked DNA plasmids have been developed and evaluated. This mini-review/commentary summarizes the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the research findings to date, of both of these gene-based vaccination approaches in terms of how they can be targeted against appropriate antigens within the Alzheimer and Parkinson disease pathogenesis processes as well as potentially against targets in other neurodegenerative diseases. Most recently, the novel utilization of these viral vector and naked DNA gene-based technologies includes the delivery of immunoglobulin genes from established biologically active monoclonal antibodies. This modified passive immunotherapeutic strategy has recently been applied to deliver passive antibody immunotherapy against the pathologically relevant amyloid β protein in Alzheimer disease. The advantages and disadvantages of this technological application of gene-based immune interventions, as well as research findings to date are also summarized. In sum, it is suggested that further evaluation of gene based vaccines and immunotherapies against neurodegenerative diseases are warranted to determine their potential clinical utility.
Ribbens, Jameson J.; Moser, Ann B.; Hubbard, Walter C.; Bongarzone, Ernesto R.; Maegawa, Gustavo H.B.
Disease-cell models that recapitulate specific molecular phenotypes are essential for the investigation of molecular pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases including lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) with predominant neurological manifestations. Herein we report the development and characterization of a cell model for a rapid neurodegenerative LSDs, globoid-cell leukodystrophy (GLD), mostly known as Krabbe disease. GLD is caused by the deficiency of β-galactocerebrosidase (GALC), a lysosomal enzyme that hydrolysis two glycosphingolipids, psychosine and galactosylceramide. Unfortunately, the available culture fibroblasts from GLD patients consist in a limited research tool as these cells fail to accumulate psychosine, the central pathogenic glycosphingolipid in this LSD that results in severe demyelination. Firstly, we obtained brain samples from the Twitcher (Twi) mice (GALCtwi/twi), the natural mouse model with GALC deficiency. We immortalized the primary neuroglial cultured cells with SV40 large T antigen, generating the 145M-Twi and the 145C-Wt cell lines from the Twi and control mice, respectively. Both cell lines expressed specific oligodendrocyte markers including A2B5 and GalC. The 145M-Twi cells showed biochemical and cellular disturbances related to GLD neuropathogenesis including remarkable caspase-3 activation, release of cytochrome C into the cytosol and expansion of the lysosomal compartment. Under treatment with glycosphingolipids, 145M-Twi cells showed increased LC3B levels, a marker of autophagy. Using LC-MS/MS method we developed, the 145M-Twi cells showed significantly higher levels of psychosine. The 145M-Twi and 145C-Wt lines allowed the development of a robust throughput LC-MS/MS assay to measure cellular psychosine levels. In this throughput assay, L-cycloserine showed to significantly reduce the 145M-Twi cellular levels of psychosine. The established 145M-Twi cells is a powerful research tool to investigate neurologically relevant
Adhihetty, Peter J.
Substantial evidence indicates bioenergetic dysfunction and mitochondrial impairment contribute either directly and/or indirectly to the pathogenesis of numerous neurodegenerative disorders. Treatment paradigms aimed at ameliorating this cellular energy deficit and/or improving mitochondrial function in these neurodegenerative disorders may prove to be useful as a therapeutic intervention. Creatine is a molecule that is produced both endogenously, and acquired exogenously through diet, and is an extremely important molecule that participates in buffering intracellular energy stores. Once creatine is transported into cells, creatine kinase catalyzes the reversible transphosphorylation of creatine via ATP to enhance the phosphocreatine energy pool. Creatine kinase enzymes are located at strategic intracellular sites to couple areas of high energy expenditure to the efficient regeneration of ATP. Thus, the creatinekinase/phosphocreatine system plays an integral role in energy buffering and overall cellular bioenergetics. Originally, exogenous creatine supplementation was widely used only as an ergogenic aid to increase the phosphocreatine pool within muscle to bolster athletic performance. However, the potential therapeutic value of creatine supplementation has recently been investigated with respect to various neurodegenerative disorders that have been associated with bioenergetic deficits as playing a role in disease etiology and/or progression which include; Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Huntington’s disease. This review discusses the contribution of mitochondria and bioenergetics to the progression of these neurodegenerative diseases and investigates the potential neuroprotective value of creatine supplementation in each of these neurological diseases. In summary, current literature suggests that exogenous creatine supplementation is most efficacious as a treatment paradigm in Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease but
Wang, Zhen-Zhen; Zhang, Yi; Zhang, Han-Ting; Li, Yun-Feng
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are the only known enzymes to degrade intracellular cyclic AMP and/or cyclic GMP. The PDE superfamily consists of 11 families (PDE1- PDE11), each of which has 1 to 4 subtypes. Some of the subtypes may have multiple splice variants (e.g. PDE4D1-PDE4D11), leading to a total of more than 100 known proteins to date. Growing attention has been paid to the potential of PDEs as therapeutic targets for mood disorders and/or diseases affecting cognitive activity by controlling the rate of hydrolysis of the two aforementioned second messengers in recent years. The loss of cognitive functions is one of the major complaints most patients with CNS diseases face; it has an even more prominent negative impact on the quality of daily life. Cognitive dysfunction is usually a prognosis in patients suffering from neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, including depression, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. This review will focus on the contributions of PDEs to the interface between cognitive deficits and neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. It is expected to make for the understanding and discovery that selective PDE inhibitors have the therapeutic potential for cognitive dysfunctions associated with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.
Phan, Chia-Wei; David, Pamela; Sabaratnam, Vikineswary
There is an exponential increase in dementia in old age at a global level because of increasing life expectancy. The prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) will continue to rise steadily, and is expected to reach 42 million cases worldwide in 2020. Despite the advancement of medication, the management of these diseases remains largely ineffective. Therefore, it is vital to explore novel nature-based nutraceuticals to mitigate AD and other age-related neurodegenerative disorders. Mushrooms and their extracts appear to hold many health benefits, including immune-modulating effects. A number of edible mushrooms have been shown to contain rare and exotic compounds that exhibit positive effects on brain cells both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we summarize the scientific information on edible and culinary mushrooms with regard to their antidementia/AD active compounds and/or pharmacological test results. The bioactive components in these mushrooms and the underlying mechanism of their activities are discussed. In short, these mushrooms may be regarded as functional foods for the mitigation of neurodegenerative diseases.
Gola, Kelly A; Shany-Ur, Tal; Pressman, Peter; Sulman, Isa; Galeana, Eduardo; Paulsen, Hillary; Nguyen, Lauren; Wu, Teresa; Adhimoolam, Babu; Poorzand, Pardis; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P
Intentional facial expression of emotion is critical to healthy social interactions. Patients with neurodegenerative disease, particularly those with right temporal or prefrontal atrophy, show dramatic socioemotional impairment. This was an exploratory study examining the neural and behavioral correlates of intentional facial expression of emotion in neurodegenerative disease patients and healthy controls. One hundred and thirty three participants (45 Alzheimer's disease, 16 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, 8 non-fluent primary progressive aphasia, 10 progressive supranuclear palsy, 11 right-temporal frontotemporal dementia, 9 semantic variant primary progressive aphasia patients and 34 healthy controls) were video recorded while imitating static images of emotional faces and producing emotional expressions based on verbal command; the accuracy of their expression was rated by blinded raters. Participants also underwent face-to-face socioemotional testing and informants described participants' typical socioemotional behavior. Patients' performance on emotion expression tasks was correlated with gray matter volume using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) across the entire sample. We found that intentional emotional imitation scores were related to fundamental socioemotional deficits; patients with known socioemotional deficits performed worse than controls on intentional emotion imitation; and intentional emotional expression predicted caregiver ratings of empathy and interpersonal warmth. Whole brain VBMs revealed a rightward cortical atrophy pattern homologous to the left lateralized speech production network was associated with intentional emotional imitation deficits. Results point to a possible neural mechanisms underlying complex socioemotional communication deficits in neurodegenerative disease patients.
Chang, Raymond Chuen-Chung; So, Kwok-Fai
Lycium barbarum (Gouqizi, Fructus Lycii, Wolfberry) is well known for nourishing the liver, and in turn, improving the eyesight. However, many people have forgotten its anti-aging properties. Valuable components of L. barbarum are not limited to its colored components containing zeaxanthin and carotene, but include the polysaccharides and small molecules such as betaine, cerebroside, beta-sitosterol, p-coumaric, and various vitamins. Despite the fact that L. barbarum has been used for centuries, its beneficial effects to our bodies have not been comprehensively studied with modern technology to unravel its therapeutic effects at the biochemical level. Recently, our laboratory has demonstrated its neuroprotective effects to counter neuronal loss in neurodegenerative diseases. Polysaccharides extracted from L. barbarum can protect neurons against beta-amyloid peptide toxicity in neuronal cell cultures, and retinal ganglion cells in an experimental model of glaucoma. We have even isolated the active component of polysaccharide which can attenuate stress kinases and pro-apoptotic signaling pathways. We have accumulated scientific evidence for its anti-aging effects that should be highlighted for modern preventive medicine. This review is to provide background information and a new direction of study for the anti-aging properties of L. barbarum. We hope that new findings for L. barbarum will pave a new avenue for the use of Chinese medicine in modern evidence-based medicine.
Lam, Philip Y.; Ko, Kam Ming
Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, with the latter preceding the appearance of clinical symptoms. The energy failure resulting from mitochondrial dysfunction further impedes brain function, which demands large amounts of energy. Schisandrin B (Sch B), an active ingredient isolated from Fructus Schisandrae, has been shown to afford generalized tissue protection against oxidative damage in various organs, including the brain, of experimental animals. Recent experimental findings have further demonstrated that Sch B can protect neuronal cells against oxidative challenge, presumably by functioning as a hormetic agent to sustain cellular redox homeostasis and mitoenergetic capacity in neuronal cells. The combined actions of Sch B offer a promising prospect for preventing or possibly delaying the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as enhancing brain health. PMID:22666518
In recent years, stem cell-related therapies have been widely applied for treating neurodegenerative disease. Despite their potential, stem cell tracking and imaging techniques for the evaluation of in vivo proof-of-concept (PoC) therapies have not been sufficiently represented in the research area. This review summarizes the recent approaches that have been used for tracking and imaging engrafted stem cells in vivo. Furthermore, we introduce tissue clearing technology that can be applied to develop three-dimensional in vivo experiments. Monitoring stem cell survival and migration and graft-host relationships is a useful strategy to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of regenerative medicine approaches in neurodegenerative disease. PMID:28326106
Nakamura, Tomohiro; Lipton, Stuart A.
At physiological levels, nitric oxide (NO) contributes to the maintenance of normal neuronal activity and survival, thus serving as an important regulatory mechanism in the central nervous system. In contrast, accumulating evidence suggests that exposure to environmental toxins or the normal aging process can trigger excessive production of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (such as NO), contributing to the etiology of several neurodegenerative diseases. Here we highlight protein S-nitrosylation, resulting from covalent attachment of an NO group to a cysteine thiol of the target protein, as a ubiquitous effector of NO signaling in both health and disease. We review our current understanding of this redox-dependent posttranslational modification under neurodegenerative conditions, and evaluate how targeting dysregulated protein S-nitrosylation can lead to novel therapeutics. PMID:26707925
Hofree, Matan; Silhavy, Jennifer L.; Heiberg, Andrew D.; Abdellateef, Mostafa; Rosti, Basak; Scott, Eric; Mansour, Lobna; Masri, Amira; Kayserili, Hulya; Al-Aama, Jumana Y.; Abdel-Salam, Ghada M. H.; Karminejad, Ariana; Kara, Majdi; Kara, Bulent; Bozorgmehri, Bita; Ben-Omran, Tawfeg; Mojahedi, Faezeh; El Din Mahmoud, Iman Gamal; Bouslam, Naima; Bouhouche, Ahmed; Benomar, Ali; Hanein, Sylvain; Raymond, Laure; Forlani, Sylvie; Mascaro, Massimo; Selim, Laila; Shehata, Nabil; Al-Allawi, Nasir; Bindu, P.S.; Azam, Matloob; Gunel, Murat; Caglayan, Ahmet; Bilguvar, Kaya; Tolun, Aslihan; Issa, Mahmoud Y.; Schroth, Jana; Spencer, Emily G.; Rosti, Rasim O.; Akizu, Naiara; Vaux, Keith K.; Johansen, Anide; Koh, Alice A.; Megahed, Hisham; Durr, Alexandra; Brice, Alexis; Stevanin, Giovanni; Gabriel, Stacy B.; Ideker, Trey; Gleeson, Joseph G.
Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are neurodegenerative motor neuron diseases characterized by progressive age-dependent loss of corticospinal motor tract function. Although the genetic basis is partly understood, only a fraction of cases can receive a genetic diagnosis, and a global view of HSP is lacking. By using whole-exome sequencing in combination with network analysis, we identified 18 previously unknown putative HSP genes and validated nearly all of these genes functionally or genetically. The pathways highlighted by these mutations link HSP to cellular transport, nucleotide metabolism, and synapse and axon development. Network analysis revealed a host of further candidate genes, of which three were mutated in our cohort. Our analysis links HSP to other neurodegenerative disorders and can facilitate gene discovery and mechanistic understanding of disease. PMID:24482476
Brettschneider, Johannes; Del Tredici, Kelly; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.
The progression of many neurodegenerative diseases is thought to be driven by the template-directed misfolding, seeded aggregation and cell–cell transmission of characteristic disease-related proteins, leading to the sequential dissemination of pathological protein aggregates. Recent evidence strongly suggests that the anatomical connections made by neurons — in addition to the intrinsic characteristics of neurons, such as morphology and gene expression profile — determine whether they are vulnerable to degeneration in these disorders. Notably, this common pathogenic principle opens up opportunities for pursuing novel targets for therapeutic interventions for these neurodegenerative disorders. We review recent evidence that supports the notion of neuron–neuron protein propagation, with a focus on neuropathological and positron emission tomography imaging studies in humans. PMID:25588378
Rocha, Daniela N; Carvalho, Eva D; Pêgo, Ana Paula
Despite the recent progress in the understanding of neurodegenerative disorders, a lack of solid fundamental knowledge on the etiology of many of the major neurodegenerative diseases has made it difficult to obtain effective therapies to treat these conditions. Scientists have been looking to carry out more-human-relevant studies, with strong statistical power, to overcome the limitations of preclinical animal models that have contributed to the failure of numerous therapeutics in clinical trials. Here, we identify currently existing platforms to mimic central nervous system tissues, healthy and diseased, mainly focusing on cell-based platforms and discussing their strengths and limitations in the context of the high-throughput screening of new therapeutic targets and drugs.
Yau, Suk-yu; Christie, Brian R.; So, Kwok-fai
Cumulative evidence has indicated that there is an important role for adult hippocampal neurogenesis in cognitive function. With the increasing prevalence of cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative diseases among the ageing population, physical exercise, a potent enhancer of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, has emerged as a potential preventative strategy/treatment to reduce cognitive decline. Here we review the functional role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in learning and memory, and how this form of structural plasticity is altered in neurodegenerative diseases known to involve cognitive impairment. We further discuss how physical exercise may contribute to cognitive improvement in the ageing brain by preserving adult neurogenesis, and review the recent approaches for measuring changes in neurogenesis in the live human brain. PMID:24818140
Rodríguez-Morató, Jose; Xicota, Laura; Fitó, Montse; Farré, Magí; Dierssen, Mara; de la Torre, Rafael
Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MD) has been associated with a reduced incidence of neurodegenerative diseases and better cognitive performance. Virgin olive oil, the main source of lipids in the MD, is rich in minor phenolic components, particularly hydroxytyrosol (HT). HT potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions have attracted researchers' attention and may contribute to neuroprotective effects credited to MD. In this review HT bioavailability and pharmacokinetics are presented prior to discussing health beneficial effects. In vitro and in vivo neuroprotective effects together with its multiple mechanisms of action are reviewed. Other microconstituents of olive oil are also considered due to their potential neuroprotective effects (oleocanthal, triterpenic acids). Finally, we discuss the potential role of HT as a therapeutic tool in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.
Barbosa, Mariana; Valentão, Patrícia; Andrade, Paula B.
Marine environment has proven to be a rich source of structurally diverse and complex compounds exhibiting numerous interesting biological effects. Macroalgae are currently being explored as novel and sustainable sources of bioactive compounds for both pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications. Given the increasing prevalence of different forms of dementia, researchers have been focusing their attention on the discovery and development of new compounds from macroalgae for potential application in neuroprotection. Neuroprotection involves multiple and complex mechanisms, which are deeply related. Therefore, compounds exerting neuroprotective effects through different pathways could present viable approaches in the management of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In fact, several studies had already provided promising insights into the neuroprotective effects of a series of compounds isolated from different macroalgae species. This review will focus on compounds from macroalgae that exhibit neuroprotective effects and their potential application to treat and/or prevent neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25257784
Choubey, Divaker; Panchanathan, Ravichandran
DNA-damage induces a DNA-damage response (DDR) in mammalian cells. The response, depending upon the cell-type and the extent of DNA-damage, ultimately results in cell death or cellular senescence. DDR-induced signaling in cells activates the ATM-p53 and ATM-IKKα/β-interferon (IFN)-β signaling pathways, thus leading to an induction of the p53 and IFN-inducible IFI16 gene. Further, upon DNA-damage, DNA accumulates in the cytoplasm, thereby inducing the IFI16 protein and STING-dependent IFN-β production and activation of the IFI16 inflammasome, resulting in the production of proinflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-1β and IL-18). Increased expression of IFI16 protein in a variety of cell-types promotes cellular senescence. However, reduced expression of IFI16 in cells promotes cell proliferation. Because expression of the IFI16 gene is induced by activation of DNA-damage response in cells and increased levels of IFI16 protein in cells potentiate the p53-mediated transcriptional activation of genes and p53 and pRb-mediated cell cycle arrest, we discuss how an improved understanding of the role of IFI16 protein in cellular senescence and associated inflammatory secretory phenotype is likely to identify the molecular mechanisms that contribute to the development of aging-associated human inflammatory diseases and a failure to cancer therapy.
Bourdenx, Mathieu; Koulakiotis, Nikolaos Stavros; Sanoudou, Despina; Bezard, Erwan; Dehay, Benjamin; Tsarbopoulos, Anthony
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases that generate important health-related direct and indirect socio-economic costs. They are characterized by severe neuronal losses in several disease-specific brain regions associated with deposits of aggregated proteins. In Alzheimer's disease, β-amyloid peptide-containing plaques and intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles composed of hyperphosphorylated microtubule-associated protein tau are the two main neuropathological lesions, while Parkinson's disease is defined by the presence of Lewy Bodies that are intraneuronal proteinaceous cytoplasmic inclusions. α-Synuclein has been identified as a major protein component of Lewy Bodies and heavily implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. In the past few years, evidence has emerged to explain how these aggregate-prone proteins can undergo spontaneous self-aggregation, propagate from cell to cell, and mediate neurotoxicity. Current research now indicates that oligomeric forms are probably the toxic species. This article discusses recent progress in the understanding of the pathogenesis of these diseases, with a focus on the underlying mechanisms of protein aggregation, and emphasizes the pathophysiological molecular mechanisms leading to cellular toxicity. Finally, we present the putative direct link between β-amyloid peptide and tau in causing toxicity in Alzheimer's disease as well as α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease, along with some of the most promising therapeutic strategies currently in development for those incurable neurodegenerative disorders.
Shin, Samuel S.; Pelled, Galit
Interhemispheric interaction has a major role in various neurobehavioral functions. Its disruption is a major contributor to the pathological changes in the setting of brain injury such as traumatic brain injury, peripheral nerve injury, and stroke, as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Because interhemispheric interaction has a crucial role in functional consequence in these neuropathological states, a review of noninvasive and state-of-the-art molecular based neuromodulation methods that focus on or have the potential to elucidate interhemispheric interaction have been performed. This yielded approximately 170 relevant articles on human subjects or animal models. There has been a recent surge of reports on noninvasive methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation. Since these are noninvasive techniques with little to no side effects, their widespread use in clinical studies can be easily justified. The overview of novel neuromodulation methods and how they can be applied to study the role of interhemispheric communication in neural injury and neurodegenerative disease is provided. Additionally, the potential of each method in therapeutic use as well as investigating the pathophysiology of interhemispheric interaction in neurodegenerative diseases and brain injury is discussed. New technologies such as transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation could have a great impact in understanding interhemispheric pathophysiology associated with acquired injury and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as designing improved rehabilitation therapies. Also, advances in molecular based neuromodulation techniques such as optogenetics and other chemical, thermal, and magnetic based methods provide new capabilities to stimulate or inhibit a specific brain location and a specific neuronal population. PMID:28337129
Rogers, Danny; Schor, Nina F
Although Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases predominately affect elderly adults, the proteins that play a role in the pathogenesis of these diseases are expressed throughout life. In fact, many of the proteins hypothesized to be important in the progression of neurodegeneration play direct or indirect roles in the development of the central nervous system. The systems affected by these proteins include neural stem cell fate decisions, neuronal differentiation, cellular migration, protection from oxidative stress, and programmed cell death. Insights into the developmental roles of these proteins may ultimately impact the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and lead to the discovery of novel treatments.
Toscano-Tejeida, D; Ibarra, A; Phillips-Farfán, B V; Fuentes-Farías, A L; Meléndez-Herrera, E
The progressive loss of neurons and inflammation characterizes neurodegenerative diseases. Although the etiology, progression and outcome of different neurodegenerative diseases are varied, they share chronic inflammation maintained largely by central nervous system (CNS)-derived antigens recognized by T cells. Inflammation can be beneficial by recruiting immune cells to kill pathogens or to clear cell debris resulting from the primary insult. However, chronic inflammation exacerbates and perpetuates tissue damage. An increasing number of therapies that attempt to modulate neuroinflammation have been developed. However, so far none has succeeded in decreasing the secondary damage associated with chronic inflammation. A potential strategy to modulate the immune system is related to the induction of tolerance to CNS antigens. In this line, it is our hypothesis that this could be accomplished by using anterior chamber associated immune deviation (ACAID) as a strategy. Thus, we review current knowledge regarding some neurodegenerative diseases and the associated immune response that causes inflammation. In addition, we discuss further our hypothesis of the possible usefulness of ACAID as a therapeutic strategy to ameliorate damage to the CNS.
Waters, Flavie; Collerton, Daniel; ffytche, Dominic H.; Jardri, Renaud; Pins, Delphine; Dudley, Robert; Blom, Jan Dirk; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Eperjesi, Frank; Ford, Stephen; Larøi, Frank
Much of the research on visual hallucinations (VHs) has been conducted in the context of eye disease and neurodegenerative conditions, but little is known about these phenomena in psychiatric and nonclinical populations. The purpose of this article is to bring together current knowledge regarding VHs in the psychosis phenotype and contrast this data with the literature drawn from neurodegenerative disorders and eye disease. The evidence challenges the traditional views that VHs are atypical or uncommon in psychosis. The weighted mean for VHs is 27% in schizophrenia, 15% in affective psychosis, and 7.3% in the general community. VHs are linked to a more severe psychopathological profile and less favorable outcome in psychosis and neurodegenerative conditions. VHs typically co-occur with auditory hallucinations, suggesting a common etiological cause. VHs in psychosis are also remarkably complex, negative in content, and are interpreted to have personal relevance. The cognitive mechanisms of VHs in psychosis have rarely been investigated, but existing studies point to source-monitoring deficits and distortions in top-down mechanisms, although evidence for visual processing deficits, which feature strongly in the organic literature, is lacking. Brain imaging studies point to the activation of visual cortex during hallucinations on a background of structural and connectivity changes within wider brain networks. The relationship between VHs in psychosis, eye disease, and neurodegeneration remains unclear, although the pattern of similarities and differences described in this review suggests that comparative studies may have potentially important clinical and theoretical implications. PMID:24936084
Richards, Robert I.; Robertson, Sarah A.; O'Keefe, Louise V.; Fornarino, Dani; Scott, Andrew; Lardelli, Michael; Baune, Bernhard T.
Neurodegenerative diseases comprise an array of progressive neurological disorders all characterized by the selective death of neurons in the central nervous system. Although, rare (familial) and common (sporadic) forms can occur for the same disease, it is unclear whether this reflects several distinct pathogenic pathways or the convergence of different causes into a common form of nerve cell death. Remarkably, neurodegenerative diseases are increasingly found to be accompanied by activation of the innate immune surveillance system normally associated with pathogen recognition and response. Innate surveillance is the cell's quality control system for the purpose of detecting such danger signals and responding in an appropriate manner. Innate surveillance is an “intelligent system,” in that the manner of response is relevant to the magnitude and duration of the threat. If possible, the threat is dealt with within the cell in which it is detected, by degrading the danger signal(s) and restoring homeostasis. If this is not successful then an inflammatory response is instigated that is aimed at restricting the spread of the threat by elevating degradative pathways, sensitizing neighboring cells, and recruiting specialized cell types to the site. If the danger signal persists, then the ultimate response can include not only the programmed cell death of the original cell, but the contents of this dead cell can also bring about the death of adjacent sensitized cells. These responses are clearly aimed at destroying the ability of the detected pathogen to propagate and spread. Innate surveillance comprises intracellular, extracellular, non-cell autonomous and systemic processes. Recent studies have revealed how multiple steps in these processes involve proteins that, through their mutation, have been linked to many familial forms of neurodegenerative disease. This suggests that individuals harboring these mutations may have an amplified response to innate
Khanam Irin, Afroza; Tom Kodamullil, Alpha; Gündel, Michaela; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin
Neurodegenerative as well as autoimmune diseases have unclear aetiologies, but an increasing number of evidences report for a combination of genetic and epigenetic alterations that predispose for the development of disease. This review examines the major milestones in epigenetics research in the context of diseases and various computational approaches developed in the last decades to unravel new epigenetic modifications. However, there are limited studies that systematically link genetic and epigenetic alterations of DNA to the aetiology of diseases. In this work, we demonstrate how disease-related epigenetic knowledge can be systematically captured and integrated with heterogeneous information into a functional context using Biological Expression Language (BEL). This novel methodology, based on BEL, enables us to integrate epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation or acetylation of histones into a specific disease network. As an example, we depict the integration of epigenetic and genetic factors in a functional context specific to Parkinson's disease (PD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). PMID:26636108
Ajami, Marjan; Pazoki-Toroudi, Hamidreza; Amani, Hamed; Nabavi, Seyed Fazel; Braidy, Nady; Vacca, Rosa Anna; Atanasov, Atanas Georgiev; Mocan, Andrei; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad
Searching for effective therapeutic agents to prevent neurodegeneration is a challenging task due to the growing list of neurodegenerative disorders associated with a multitude of inter-related pathways. The induction and inhibition of several different signaling pathways has been shown to slow down and/or attenuate neurodegeneration and decline in cognition and locomotor function. Among these signaling pathways, a new class of enzymes known as sirtuins or silent information regulators of gene transcription has been shown to play important regulatory roles in the ageing process. SIRT1, a nuclear sirtuin, has received particular interest due to its role as a deacetylase for several metabolic and signaling proteins involved in stress response, apoptosis, mitochondrial function, self-renewal, and neuroprotection. A new strategy to treat neurodegenerative diseases is targeted therapy. In this paper, we reviewed up-to-date findings regarding the targeting of SIRT1 by polyphenolic compounds, as a new approach in the search for novel, safe and effective treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. .
Hasan, Gulam M; Sheikh, Ishfaq A; Karim, Sajjad; Haque, Absarul; Kamal, Mohammad A; Chaudhary, Adeel G; Azhar, Essam; Mirza, Zeenat
In the present developed world, all of us are flooded with electromagnetic radiations (EMR) emanating from generation and transmission of electricity, domestic appliances and industrial equipments, to telecommunications and broadcasting. We have been exposed to EMR for last many decades; however their recent steady increase from artificial sources has been reported as millions of antennas and satellites irradiate the global population round the clock, year round. Needless to say, these are so integral to modern life that interaction with them on a daily basis is seemingly inevitable; hence, the EMR exposure load has increased to a point where their health effects are becoming a major concern. Delicate and sensitive electrical system of human body is affected by consistent penetration of electromagnetic frequencies causing DNA breakages and chromosomal aberrations. Technological innovations came with Pandora's Box of hazardous consequences including neurodegenerative disorders, hearing disabilities, diabetes, congenital abnormalities, infertility, cardiovascular diseases and cancer to name few, all on a sharp rise. Electromagnetic non-ionizing radiations pose considerable health threat with prolonged exposure. Mobile phones are usually held near to the brain and manifest progressive structural or functional alterations in neurons leading to neurodegenerative diseases and neuronal death. This has provoked awareness among both the general public and scientific community and international bodies acknowledge that further systematic research is needed. The aim of the present review was to have an insight in whether and how cumulative electro-magnetic field exposure is a risk factor for neurodegenerative disorders.
Zverev, M.; Fanjul-Vélez, F.; Salas-García, I.; Ortega-Quijano, N.; Arce-Diego, J. L.
The number of people in risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease increases as the life expectancy grows due to medical advances. Multiple techniques have been developed to improve patient's condition, from pharmacological to invasive electrodes approaches, but no definite cure has yet been discovered. In this work Optical Neural Stimulation (ONS) has been studied. ONS stimulates noninvasively the outer regions of the brain, mainly the neocortex. The relationship between the stimulation parameters and the therapeutic response is not totally clear. In order to find optimal ONS parameters to treat a particular neurodegenerative disease, mathematical modeling is necessary. Neural networks models have been employed to study the neural spiking activity change induced by ONS. Healthy and pathological neocortical networks have been considered to study the required stimulation to restore the normal activity. The network consisted of a group of interconnected neurons, which were assigned 2D spatial coordinates. The optical stimulation spatial profile was assumed to be Gaussian. The stimulation effects were modeled as synaptic current increases in the affected neurons, proportional to the stimulation fluence. Pathological networks were defined as the healthy ones with some neurons being inactivated, which presented no synaptic conductance. Neurons' electrical activity was also studied in the frequency domain, focusing specially on the changes of the spectral bands corresponding to brain waves. The complete model could be used to determine the optimal ONS parameters in order to achieve the specific neural spiking patterns or the required local neural activity increase to treat particular neurodegenerative pathologies.
Dunnett, Stephen B; Rosser, Anne E
We review the first generations of clinical trials of novel cell therapies applied to a range of neurodegenerative diseases in the context of mechanisms of functional efficacy. This in turn helps to determine the best strategies to be adopted and the potential chances for success in developing new cell therapies to clinical application in different conditions. We then consider the scientific, technical, ethical, regulatory and logistic issues to be resolved in translating effective laboratory cell-based protocols to patients in clinical trials. We draw optimistic conclusions about the likelihood of success in developing radical new approaches to a range of devastating, and currently untreatable, neurodegenerative conditions, but caution that the problems are complex and the solutions are likely to be slow and costly to achieve in order to overcome significant ethical and regulatory as well as scientific challenges.
Miki, Yasuo; Mori, Fumiaki; Kon, Tomoya; Tanji, Kunikazu; Toyoshima, Yasuko; Yoshida, Mari; Sasaki, Hidenao; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Wakabayashi, Koichi
The sigma-1 receptor (SIGMAR1) is now known to be one of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperones, which participate in the degradation of misfolded proteins in cells via the ER-related degradation machinery linked to the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Mutations of the SIGMAR1 gene are implicated in the pathogenesis of familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration and motor neuron disease. Involvement of ER dysfunction in the formation of inclusion bodies in various neurodegenerative diseases has also become evident. We performed immunohistochemical staining to clarify the localization of SIGMAR1 in the brains of patients with neurodegenerative disorders, including trans-activation response DNA protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathy, tauopathy, α-synucleinopathy, polyglutamine disease and intranuclear inclusion body disease (INIBD). Double-immunocytofluorescence and Western blot analyses of cultured cells were also performed to investigate the role of SIGMAR1 using a specific exportin 1 inhibitor, leptomycin B and an ER stress inducer, thapsigargin. SIGMAR1 was consistently shown to be co-localized with neuronal nuclear inclusions in TDP-43 proteinopathy, five polyglutamine diseases and INIBD, as well as in intranuclear Marinesco bodies in aged normal controls. Cytoplasmic inclusions in neurons and glial cells were unreactive for SIGMAR1. In cultured cells, immunocytofluorescent study showed that leptomycin B and thapsigargin were shown to sequester SIGMAR1 within the nucleus, acting together with p62. This finding was also supported by immunoblot analysis. These results indicate that SIGMAR1 might shuttle between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Neurodegenerative diseases characterized by neuronal nuclear inclusions might utilize the ER-related degradation machinery as a common pathway for the degradation of aberrant proteins.
Shany-Ur, Tal; Poorzand, Pardis; Grossman, Scott N; Growdon, Matthew E; Jang, Jung Y; Ketelle, Robin S; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P
Comprehension of insincere communication is an important aspect of social cognition requiring visual perspective taking, emotion reading, and understanding others' thoughts, opinions, and intentions. Someone who is lying intends to hide their insincerity from the listener, while a sarcastic speaker wants the listener to recognize they are speaking insincerely. We investigated whether face-to-face testing of comprehending insincere communication would effectively discriminate among neurodegenerative disease patients with different patterns of real-life social deficits. We examined ability to comprehend lies and sarcasm from a third-person perspective, using contextual cues, in 102 patients with one of four neurodegenerative diseases (behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia [bvFTD], Alzheimer's disease [AD], progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP], and vascular cognitive impairment) and 77 healthy older adults (normal controls--NCs). Participants answered questions about videos depicting social interactions involving deceptive, sarcastic, or sincere speech using The Awareness of Social Inference Test. All subjects equally understood sincere remarks, but bvFTD patients displayed impaired comprehension of lies and sarcasm compared with NCs. In other groups, impairment was not disease-specific but was proportionate to general cognitive impairment. Analysis of the task components revealed that only bvFTD patients were impaired on perspective taking and emotion reading elements and that both bvFTD and PSP patients had impaired ability to represent others' opinions and intentions (i.e., theory of mind). Test performance correlated with informants' ratings of subjects' empathy, perspective taking and neuropsychiatric symptoms in everyday life. Comprehending insincere communication is complex and requires multiple cognitive and emotional processes vulnerable across neurodegenerative diseases. However, bvFTD patients show uniquely focal and severe impairments at every level
Wen, Ming Ming
miRNAs play important roles in modulating gene expression in varying cellular processes and disease pathogenesis, including neurodegenerative diseases. Several miRNAs are expressed in the brain, control brain development and are identified as important biomarkers in the pathogenesis of motor—and neuro-cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s (AD), Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These remarkable miRNAs could be used as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targeting potential for many stressful and untreatable progressive neurodegenerative diseases. To modulate these miRNA activities, there are currently two strategies involved; first one is to therapeutically restore the suppressed miRNA level by miRNA mimics (agonist), and the other one is to inhibit miRNA function by using anti-miR (antagonist) to repress overactive miRNA function. However, RNAi-based therapeutics often faces in vivo instability because naked nucleic acids are subject to enzyme degradation before reaching the target sites. Therefore, an effective, safe and stable bio-responsive delivery system is necessary to protect the nucleic acids from serum degradation and assist their entrance to the cells. Since neuronal cells are non-regenerating, to design engineered miRNAs to be delivered to the central nervous system (CNS) for long term gene expression and knockdown is representing an enormous challenge for scientists. This article provides an insight summary on some of the innovative strategies employed to deliver miRNA into target cells. These viral and non-viral carrier systems hold promise in RNA therapy delivery for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27920668
Wooten, Marie W; Hu, Xiao; Babu, J Ramesh; Seibenhener, M Lamar; Geetha, Thangiah; Paine, Michael G; Wooten, Michael C
Aggregated misfolded proteins are hallmarks of most neurodegenerative diseases. In a chronic disease state, including pathologic situations of oxidative stress, these proteins are sequestered into inclusions. Accumulation of aggregated proteins can be prevented by chaperones, or by targeting their degradation to the UPS. If the accumulation of these proteins exceeds their degradation, they may impair the function of the proteasome. Alternatively, the function of the proteasome may be preserved by directing aggregated proteins to the autophagy-lysosome pathway for degradation. Sequestosome 1/p62 has recently been shown to interact with polyubiquitinated proteins through its UBA domain and may direct proteins to either the UPS or autophagosome. P62 is present in neuronal inclusions of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Herein, we review p62's role in signaling, aggregation, and inclusion formation, and specifically as a possible contributor to Alzheimer's disease. The use of p62 as a potential target for the development of therapeutics and as a disease biomarker is also discussed.
Heman-Ackah, Sabrina Mahalia; Bassett, Andrew Roger; Wood, Matthew John Andrew
The ability to reprogram adult somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and the subsequent development of protocols for their differentiation into disease-relevant cell types have enabled in-depth molecular analyses of multiple disease states as hitherto impossible. Neurons differentiated from patient-specific iPSCs provide a means to recapitulate molecular phenotypes of neurodegenerative diseases in vitro. However, it remains challenging to conduct precise manipulations of gene expression in iPSC-derived neurons towards modeling complex human neurological diseases. The application of CRISPR/Cas9 to mammalian systems is revolutionizing the utilization of genome editing technologies in the study of molecular contributors to the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. Here, we demonstrate that CRISPRa and CRISPRi can be used to exert precise modulations of endogenous gene expression in fate-committed iPSC-derived neurons. This highlights CRISPRa/i as a major technical advancement in accessible tools for evaluating the specific contributions of critical neurodegenerative disease-related genes to neuropathogenesis. PMID:27341390
Stolp, H B; Dziegielewska, K M
The causes of most neurological disorders are not fully understood. Inflammation and blood-brain barrier dysfunction appear to play major roles in the pathology of these diseases. Inflammatory insults that occur during brain development may have widespread effects later in life for a spectrum of neurological disorders. In this review, a new hypothesis suggesting a mechanistic link between inflammation and blood-brain barrier function (integrity), which is universally important in both neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, is proposed. The role of inflammation and the blood-brain barrier will be discussed in cerebral palsy, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis, conditions where both inflammation and blood-brain barrier dysfunction occur either during initiation and/or progression of the disease. We suggest that breakdown of normal blood-brain barrier function resulting in a short-lasting influx of blood-born molecules, in particular plasma proteins, may cause local damage, such as reduction of brain white matter observed in some newborn babies, but may also be the mechanism behind some neurodegenerative diseases related to underlying brain damage and long-term changes in barrier properties.
Akbar, Mohammed; Essa, Musthafa Mohamed; Daradkeh, Ghazi; Abdelmegeed, Mohamed A; Choi, Youngshim; Mahmood, Lubna; Song, Byoung-Joon
Mitochondria are important for providing cellular energy ATP through the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. They are also critical in regulating many cellular functions including the fatty acid oxidation, the metabolism of glutamate and urea, the anti-oxidant defense, and the apoptosis pathway. Mitochondria are an important source of reactive oxygen species leaked from the electron transport chain while they are susceptible to oxidative damage, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and tissue injury. In fact, impaired mitochondrial function is commonly observed in many types of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, alcoholic dementia, brain ischemia-reperfusion related injury, and others, although many of these neurological disorders have unique etiological factors. Mitochondrial dysfunction under many pathological conditions is likely to be promoted by increased nitroxidative stress, which can stimulate post-translational modifications (PTMs) of mitochondrial proteins and/or oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA and lipids. Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated that various antioxidants, including naturally occurring flavonoids and polyphenols as well as synthetic compounds, can block the formation of reactive oxygen and/or nitrogen species, and thus ultimately prevent the PTMs of many proteins with improved disease conditions. Therefore, the present review is aimed to describe the recent research developments in the molecular mechanisms for mitochondrial dysfunction and tissue injury in neurodegenerative diseases and discuss translational research opportunities.
Bergamini, E; Cavallini, G; Donati, A; Gori, Z
Macroautophagy is a degradation/recycling system ubiquitous in eukariotic cells, which generates nutrients during fasting under the control of amino acids and hormones, and contributes to the turnover and rejuvenation of cellular components (long-lived proteins, cytomembranes and organelles). Tight coupling between these two functions may be the weak point in cell housekeeping. Ageing denotes a post-maturational deterioration of tissues and organs with the passage of time, due to the progressive accumulation of the misfunctioning cell components because of oxidative damage and an age-dependent decline of turnover rate and housekeeping. Caloric restriction (CR) and lower insulin levels may slow down many age-dependent processes and extend lifespan. Recent evidence is reviewed showing that autophagy is involved in ageing and in the anti-ageing action of anti-ageing calorie restriction: function of autophagy declines during adulthood and is almost negligible at older age; CR prevents the age-dependent decline of autophagic proteolysis and improves the sensitivity of liver cells to stimulation of lysosomal degradation; protection of autophagic proteolysis from the age-related decline co-varies with the duration and level of anti-ageing food restriction like the effects of CR extending lifespan; the pharmacological stimulation of macroautophagy has anti-ageing effects. Besides the involvement in ageing, macroautophagy may have an essential role in the pathogenesis of many age-associated diseases. Higher protein turnover may not fully account for the anti-ageing effects of macroautophagy, and effects of macroautophagy on housekeeping of the cell organelles, antioxidant machinery of cell membranes and transmembrane cell signaling should also be considered.
Dovrolis, Nikolas; Kolios, George; Spyrou, George; Maroulakou, Ioanna
When faced with time- and money-consuming problems, new practices in pharmaceutical R&D arose when trying to alleviate them. Drug repositioning has great promise and when combined with today's computational power and intelligence it becomes more precise and potent. This work showcases current approaches of creating a computational pipeline for drug repositioning, along with an extensive example of how researchers can influence therapeutic approaches and further understanding, through either single or multiple disease studies. This paradigm is based on three neurodegenerative diseases with pathophysiological similarities. It is our goal to provide the readers with all the information needed to enrich their research and note expectations along the way.
Courtney, Stephen; Scheel, Andreas
Modulation of tryptophan metabolism and in particular the kynurenine pathway is of considerable interest in the discovery of potential new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. A number of small molecule inhibitors of the kynurenine metabolic pathway enzymes have been identified over recent years; a summary of these and their utility has been reviewed in this chapter. In particular, inhibitors of kynurenine monooxygenase represent an opportunity to develop a therapy for Huntington's disease; progress in the optimization of small molecule inhibitors of this enzyme is also described.
Orlosky, Jason; Itoh, Yuta; Ranchet, Maud; Kiyokawa, Kiyoshi; Morgan, John; Devos, Hannes
For neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson's disease, early and accurate diagnosis is still a difficult task. Evaluations can be time consuming, patients must often travel to metropolitan areas or different cities to see experts, and misdiagnosis can result in improper treatment. To date, only a handful of assistive or remote methods exist to help physicians evaluate patients with suspected neurological disease in a convenient and consistent way. In this paper, we present a low-cost VR interface designed to support evaluation and diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease and test its use in a clinical setting. Using a commercially available VR display with an infrared camera integrated into the lens, we have constructed a 3D virtual environment designed to emulate common tasks used to evaluate patients, such as fixating on a point, conducting smooth pursuit of an object, or executing saccades. These virtual tasks are designed to elicit eye movements commonly associated with neurodegenerative disease, such as abnormal saccades, square wave jerks, and ocular tremor. Next, we conducted experiments with 9 patients with a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and 7 healthy controls to test the system's potential to emulate tasks for clinical diagnosis. We then applied eye tracking algorithms and image enhancement to the eye recordings taken during the experiment and conducted a short follow-up study with two physicians for evaluation. Results showed that our VR interface was able to elicit five common types of movements usable for evaluation, physicians were able to confirm three out of four abnormalities, and visualizations were rated as potentially useful for diagnosis.
Burger, Pamela A; Steinborn, Ralf; Walzer, Christian; Petit, Thierry; Mueller, Mathias; Schwarzenberger, Franz
The complete mitochondrial genome of Acinonyx jubatus was sequenced and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) regions were screened for polymorphisms as candidates for the cause of a neurodegenerative demyelinating disease affecting captive cheetahs. The mtDNA reference sequences were established on the basis of the complete sequences of two diseased and two nondiseased animals as well as partial sequences of 26 further individuals. The A. jubatus mitochondrial genome is 17,047-bp long and shows a high sequence similarity (91%) to the domestic cat. Based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the control region (CR) and pedigree information, the 18 myelopathic and 12 non-myelopathic cheetahs included in this study were classified into haplotypes I, II and III. In view of the phenotypic comparability of the neurodegenerative disease observed in cheetahs and human mtDNA-associated diseases, specific coding regions including the tRNAs leucine UUR, lysine, serine UCN, and partial complex I and V sequences were screened. We identified a heteroplasmic and a homoplasmic SNP at codon 507 in the subunit 5 (MTND5) of complex I. The heteroplasmic haplotype I-specific valine to methionine substitution represents a nonconservative amino acid change and was found in 11 myelopathic and eight non-myelopathic cheetahs with levels ranging from 29% to 79%. The homoplasmic conservative amino acid substitution valine to alanine was identified in two myelopathic animals of haplotype II. In addition, a synonymous SNP in the codon 76 of the MTND4L gene was found in the single haplotype III animal. The amino acid exchanges in the MTND5 gene were not associated with the occurrence of neurodegenerative disease in captive cheetahs.
Background Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries are experiencing rapid transitions with increased life expectancy. As a result the burden of age-related conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases might be increasing. We conducted a systematic review of published studies on common neurodegenerative diseases, and HIV-related neurocognitive impairment in SSA, in order to identify research gaps and inform prevention and control solutions. Methods We searched MEDLINE via PubMed, ‘Banque de Données de Santé Publique’ and the database of the ‘Institut d’Epidemiologie Neurologique et de Neurologie Tropicale’ from inception to February 2013 for published original studies from SSA on neurodegenerative diseases and HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. Screening and data extraction were conducted by two investigators. Bibliographies and citations of eligible studies were investigated. Results In all 144 publications reporting on dementia (n = 49 publications, mainly Alzheimer disease), Parkinsonism (PD, n = 20), HIV-related neurocognitive impairment (n = 47), Huntington disease (HD, n = 19), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, n = 15), cerebellar degeneration (n = 4) and Lewy body dementia (n = 1). Of these studies, largely based on prevalent cases from retrospective data on urban populations, half originated from Nigeria and South Africa. The prevalence of dementia (Alzheimer disease) varied between <1% and 10.1% (0.7% and 5.6%) in population-based studies and from <1% to 47.8% in hospital-based studies. Incidence of dementia (Alzheimer disease) ranged from 8.7 to 21.8/1000/year (9.5 to 11.1), and major risk factors were advanced age and female sex. HIV-related neurocognitive impairment’s prevalence (all from hospital-based studies) ranged from <1% to 80%. Population-based prevalence of PD and ALS varied from 10 to 235/100,000, and from 5 to 15/100,000 respectively while that for Huntington disease was 3.5/100,000. Equivalent
Martins, Ian James
Chronic neurodegenerative diseases are now associated with obesity and diabetes and linked to the developing and developed world. Interests in healthy diets have escalated that may prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The global metabolic syndrome involves lipoprotein abnormalities and insulin resistance and is the major disorder for induction of neurological disease. The effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on dyslipidemia and NAFLD indicate that the clearance and metabolism of fungal mycotoxins are linked to hypercholesterolemia and amyloid beta oligomers. LPS and mycotoxins are associated with membrane lipid disturbances with effects on cholesterol interacting proteins, lipoprotein metabolism, and membrane apo E/amyloid beta interactions relevant to hypercholesterolemia with close connections to neurological diseases. The influence of diet on mycotoxin metabolism has accelerated with the close association between mycotoxin contamination from agricultural products such as apple juice, grains, alcohol, and coffee. Cholesterol efflux in lipoproteins and membrane cholesterol are determined by LPS with involvement of mycotoxin on amyloid beta metabolism. Nutritional interventions such as diets low in fat/carbohydrate/cholesterol have become of interest with relevance to low absorption of lipophilic LPS and mycotoxin into lipoproteins with rapid metabolism of mycotoxin to the liver with the prevention of neurodegeneration. PMID:26690419
Martins, Ian James
Chronic neurodegenerative diseases are now associated with obesity and diabetes and linked to the developing and developed world. Interests in healthy diets have escalated that may prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. The global metabolic syndrome involves lipoprotein abnormalities and insulin resistance and is the major disorder for induction of neurological disease. The effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on dyslipidemia and NAFLD indicate that the clearance and metabolism of fungal mycotoxins are linked to hypercholesterolemia and amyloid beta oligomers. LPS and mycotoxins are associated with membrane lipid disturbances with effects on cholesterol interacting proteins, lipoprotein metabolism, and membrane apo E/amyloid beta interactions relevant to hypercholesterolemia with close connections to neurological diseases. The influence of diet on mycotoxin metabolism has accelerated with the close association between mycotoxin contamination from agricultural products such as apple juice, grains, alcohol, and coffee. Cholesterol efflux in lipoproteins and membrane cholesterol are determined by LPS with involvement of mycotoxin on amyloid beta metabolism. Nutritional interventions such as diets low in fat/carbohydrate/cholesterol have become of interest with relevance to low absorption of lipophilic LPS and mycotoxin into lipoproteins with rapid metabolism of mycotoxin to the liver with the prevention of neurodegeneration.
Otin, Sofia; Fuertes, Maria I.; Vilades, Elisa; Gracia, Hector; Ara, Jose R.; Alarcia, Raquel; Polo, Vicente; Larrosa, Jose M.; Pablo, Luis E.
Neurodegenerative diseases present a current challenge for accurate diagnosis and for providing precise prognostic information. Developing imaging biomarkers for multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson disease (PD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) will improve the clinical management of these patients and may be useful for monitoring treatment effectiveness. Recent research using optical coherence tomography (OCT) has demonstrated that parameters provided by this technology may be used as potential biomarkers for MS, PD, and AD. Retinal thinning has been observed in these patients and new segmentation software for the analysis of the different retinal layers may provide accurate information on disease progression and prognosis. In this review we analyze the application of retinal evaluation using OCT technology to provide better understanding of the possible role of the retinal layers thickness as biomarker for the detection of these neurodegenerative pathologies. Current OCT analysis of the retinal nerve fiber layer and, specially, the ganglion cell layer thickness may be considered as a good biomarker for disease diagnosis, severity, and progression. PMID:27840739
Reijs, Babette L. R.; Teunissen, Charlotte E.; Goncharenko, Nikolai; Betsou, Fay; Blennow, Kaj; Baldeiras, Inês; Brosseron, Frederic; Cavedo, Enrica; Fladby, Tormod; Froelich, Lutz; Gabryelewicz, Tomasz; Gurvit, Hakan; Kapaki, Elisabeth; Koson, Peter; Kulic, Luka; Lehmann, Sylvain; Lewczuk, Piotr; Lleó, Alberto; Maetzler, Walter; de Mendonça, Alexandre; Miller, Anne-Marie; Molinuevo, José L.; Mollenhauer, Brit; Parnetti, Lucilla; Rot, Uros; Schneider, Anja; Simonsen, Anja Hviid; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Tsolaki, Magda; Verbeek, Marcel M.; Verhey, Frans R. J.; Zboch, Marzena; Winblad, Bengt; Scheltens, Philip; Zetterberg, Henrik; Visser, Pieter Jelle
Biobanks are important resources for biomarker discovery and assay development. Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (BIOMARKAPD) is a European multicenter study, funded by the EU Joint Programme-Neurodegenerative Disease Research, which aims to improve the clinical use of body fluid markers for the diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The objective was to standardize the assessment of existing assays and to validate novel fluid biomarkers for AD and PD. To support the validation of novel biomarkers and assays, a central and a virtual biobank for body fluids and associated data from subjects with neurodegenerative diseases have been established. In the central biobank, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood samples were collected according to the BIOMARKAPD standardized pre-analytical procedures and stored at Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg. The virtual biobank provides an overview of available CSF, plasma, serum, and DNA samples at each site. Currently, at the central biobank of BIOMARKAPD samples are available from over 400 subjects with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), AD, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), vascular dementia, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, PD, PD with dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. The virtual biobank contains information on over 8,600 subjects with varying diagnoses from 21 local biobanks. A website has been launched to enable sample requests from the central biobank and virtual biobank. PMID:26528237
Kosloski, Lisa M.; Ha, Duy M.; Stone, David K.; Hutter, Jessica A. L.; Pichler, Michael R.; Reynolds, Ashley D.; Gendelman, Howard E.; Mosley, R. Lee
Neurodegenerative diseases, notably Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, are amongst the most devastating disorders afflicting the elderly. Currently, no curative treatments or treatments that interdict disease progression exist. Over the past decade, immunization strategies have been proposed to combat disease progression. Such strategies induce humoral immune responses against misfolded protein aggregates to facilitate their clearance. Robust adaptive immunity against misfolded proteins, however, accelerates disease progression, precipitated by induced effector T cell responses that lead to encephalitis and neuronal death. Since then, mechanisms that attenuate such adaptive neurotoxic immune responses have been sought. We propose that shifting the balance between effector and regulatory T cell activity can attenuate neurotoxic inflammatory events. This review summarizes advances in immune regulation to achieve a homeostatic glial response for therapeutic gain. Promising new ways to optimize immunization schemes and measure their clinical efficacy are also discussed. PMID:20524958
Zeliger, Harold I
Many studies have associated environmental exposure to chemicals with neurological impairments (NIs) including neuropathies, cognitive, motor and sensory impairments; neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); neurodegenerative diseases (NDGs) including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The environmental chemicals shown to induce all these diseases include persistent organic pollutants (POPs), the plastic exudates bisphenol A and phthalates, low molecular weight hydrocarbons (LMWHCs) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). It is reported here that though these chemicals differ widely in their chemical properties, reactivities and known points of attack in humans, a common link does exist between them. All are lipophilic species found in serum and they promote the sequential absorption of otherwise non-absorbed toxic hydrophilic species causing these diseases.
Many studies have associated environmental exposure to chemicals with neurological impairments (NIs) including neuropathies, cognitive, motor and sensory impairments; neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); neurodegenerative diseases (NDGs) including Alzheimer′s disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The environmental chemicals shown to induce all these diseases include persistent organic pollutants (POPs), the plastic exudates bisphenol A and phthalates, low molecular weight hydrocarbons (LMWHCs) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). It is reported here that though these chemicals differ widely in their chemical properties, reactivities and known points of attack in humans, a common link does exist between them. All are lipophilic species found in serum and they promote the sequential absorption of otherwise non-absorbed toxic hydrophilic species causing these diseases. PMID:24678247
Chin-Chan, Miguel; Navarro-Yepes, Juliana; Quintanilla-Vega, Betzabet
Neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer (AD) and Parkinson (PD) have attracted attention in last decades due to their high incidence worldwide. The etiology of these diseases is still unclear; however the role of the environment as a putative risk factor has gained importance. More worryingly is the evidence that pre- and post-natal exposures to environmental factors predispose to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases in later life. Neurotoxic metals such as lead, mercury, aluminum, cadmium and arsenic, as well as some pesticides and metal-based nanoparticles have been involved in AD due to their ability to increase beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptide and the phosphorylation of Tau protein (P-Tau), causing senile/amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) characteristic of AD. The exposure to lead, manganese, solvents and some pesticides has been related to hallmarks of PD such as mitochondrial dysfunction, alterations in metal homeostasis and aggregation of proteins such as α-synuclein (α-syn), which is a key constituent of Lewy bodies (LB), a crucial factor in PD pathogenesis. Common mechanisms of environmental pollutants to increase Aβ, P-Tau, α-syn and neuronal death have been reported, including the oxidative stress mainly involved in the increase of Aβ and α-syn, and the reduced activity/protein levels of Aβ degrading enzyme (IDE)s such as neprilysin or insulin IDE. In addition, epigenetic mechanisms by maternal nutrient supplementation and exposure to heavy metals and pesticides have been proposed to lead phenotypic diversity and susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses data from epidemiological and experimental studies about the role of environmental factors in the development of idiopathic AD and PD, and their mechanisms of action. PMID:25914621
Mendelsohn, Andrew R; Larrick, James W
Decline of cognition and increasing risk of neurodegenerative diseases are major problems associated with aging in humans. Of particular importance is how the brain removes potentially toxic biomolecules that accumulate with normal neuronal function. Recently, a biomolecule clearance system using convective flow between the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) to remove toxic metabolites in the brain was described. Xie and colleagues now report that in mice the clearance activity of this so-called "glymphatic system" is strongly stimulated by sleep and is associated with an increase in interstitial volume, possibly by shrinkage of astroglial cells. Moreover, anesthesia and attenuation of adrenergic signaling can activate the glymphatic system to clear potentially toxic proteins known to contribute to the pathology of Alzheimer disease (AD) such as beta-amyloid (Abeta). Clearance during sleep is as much as two-fold faster than during waking hours. These results support a new hypothesis to answer the age-old question of why sleep is necessary. Glymphatic dysfunction may pay a hitherto unsuspected role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases as well as maintenance of cognition. Furthermore, clinical studies suggest that quality and duration of sleep may be predictive of the onset of AD, and that quality sleep may significantly reduce the risk of AD for apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ɛ4 carriers, who have significantly greater chances of developing AD. Further characterization of the glymphatic system in humans may lead to new therapies and methods of prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. A public health initiative to ensure adequate sleep among middle-aged and older people may prove useful in preventing AD, especially in apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ɛ4 carriers.
Shah, Pratik; Cho, Seok Keun; Thulstrup, Peter Waaben; Bjerrum, Morten Jannik; Lee, Phil Hyu; Kang, Ju-Hee; Bhang, Yong-Joo; Yang, Seong Wook
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are essential small RNA molecules (20–24 nt) that negatively regulate the expression of target genes at the post-transcriptional level. Due to their roles in a variety of biological processes, the aberrant expression profiles of miRNAs have been identified as biomarkers for many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases. In order to precisely, rapidly and economically monitor the expression of miRNAs, many cutting-edge nanotechnologies have been developed. One of the nanotechnologies, based on DNA encapsulated silver nanoclusters (DNA/AgNCs), has increasingly been adopted to create nanoscale bio-sensing systems due to its attractive optical properties, such as brightness, tuneable emission wavelengths and photostability. Using the DNA/AgNCs sensor methods, the presence of miRNAs can be detected simply by monitoring the fluorescence alteration of DNA/AgNCs sensors. We introduce these DNA/ AgNCs sensor methods and discuss their possible applications for detecting miRNA biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:28122423
Sin, Olga; Nollen, Ellen A A
Protein homeostasis is fundamental for cell function and survival, because proteins are involved in all aspects of cellular function, ranging from cell metabolism and cell division to the cell's response to environmental challenges. Protein homeostasis is tightly regulated by the synthesis, folding, trafficking and clearance of proteins, all of which act in an orchestrated manner to ensure proteome stability. The protein quality control system is enhanced by stress response pathways, which take action whenever the proteome is challenged by environmental or physiological stress. Aging, however, damages the proteome, and such proteome damage is thought to be associated with aging-related diseases. In this review, we discuss the different cellular processes that define the protein quality control system and focus on their role in protein conformational diseases. We highlight the power of using small organisms to model neurodegenerative diseases and how these models can be exploited to discover genetic modulators of protein aggregation and toxicity. We also link findings from small model organisms to the situation in higher organisms and describe how some of the genetic modifiers discovered in organisms such as worms are functionally conserved throughout evolution. Finally, we demonstrate that the non-coding genome also plays a role in maintaining protein homeostasis. In all, this review highlights the importance of protein and RNA homeostasis in neurodegenerative diseases.
Padovani, Dominique; Hessani, Assia; Castillo, Francine T.; Liot, Géraldine; Andriamihaja, Mireille; Lan, Annaïg; Pilati, Camilla; Blachier, François; Sen, Suvajit; Galardon, Erwan; Artaud, Isabelle
Accumulating evidence suggests that abnormal levels of homocysteine are associated with vascular dysfunctions, cancer cell proliferation and various neurodegenerative diseases. With respect to the latter, a perturbation of transition metal homeostasis and an inhibition of catalase bioactivity have been reported. Herein, we report on some of the molecular bases for the cellular toxicity of homocysteine and demonstrate that it induces the formation of sulfcatalase, an irreversible inactive state of the enzyme, without the intervention of hydrogen sulfide. Initially, homocysteine reacts with native catalase and/or redox-active transition metal ions to generate thiyl radicals that mediate compound II formation, a temporarily inactive state of the enzyme. Then, the ferryl centre of compound II intervenes into the unprecedented S-oxygenation of homocysteine to engender the corresponding sulfenic acid species that further participates into the prosthetic heme modification through the formation of an unusual Fe(II) sulfonium. In addition, our ex cellulo studies performed on cancer cells, models of neurodegenerative diseases and ulcerative colitis suggest the likelihood of this scenario in a subset of cancer cells, as well as in a cellular model of Parkinson's disease. Our findings expand the repertoire of heme modifications promoted by biological compounds and point out another deleterious trait of disturbed homocysteine levels that could participate in the aetiology of these diseases. PMID:27848965
Shah, Pratik; Cho, Seok Keun; Thulstrup, Peter Waaben; Bjerrum, Morten Jannik; Lee, Phil Hyu; Kang, Ju-Hee; Bhang, Yong-Joo; Yang, Seong Wook
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are essential small RNA molecules (20-24 nt) that negatively regulate the expression of target genes at the post-transcriptional level. Due to their roles in a variety of biological processes, the aberrant expression profiles of miRNAs have been identified as biomarkers for many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases. In order to precisely, rapidly and economically monitor the expression of miRNAs, many cutting-edge nanotechnologies have been developed. One of the nanotechnologies, based on DNA encapsulated silver nanoclusters (DNA/AgNCs), has increasingly been adopted to create nanoscale bio-sensing systems due to its attractive optical properties, such as brightness, tuneable emission wavelengths and photostability. Using the DNA/AgNCs sensor methods, the presence of miRNAs can be detected simply by monitoring the fluorescence alteration of DNA/AgNCs sensors. We introduce these DNA/ AgNCs sensor methods and discuss their possible applications for detecting miRNA biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases.
Gladkevich, A; Bosker, F; Korf, J; Yenkoyan, K; Vahradyan, H; Aghajanov, M
The development of effective and safe drugs for a growing Alzheimer disease population is an increasing need at present. Both experimental and clinical evidence support a beneficial effect of proline-rich polypeptides in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease. Experimental data have shown that proline-rich polypeptides isolated from bovine neurohypophisis possess neuroprotective and neuromodulatory properties in mice with aluminum neurotoxicosis or neuronal damage caused by venoms and toxins. Proline-rich polypeptides from ovine colostrums, so called Colostrinin, have been shown to produce cognitive improvement in an experimental model and in patients with Alzheimer disease. However, the precise mechanism underlying the neuroprotective action of proline-rich polypeptides is not very well established. Moreover, studies pointing at a neuroprotective effect of proline-rich polypeptides from bovine neurohypophisis in humans have not been reported thus far. The authors conclude that more detailed information on the mode of action of proline-rich polypeptides is needed as well as confirmation of their efficacy in broad clinical trials before this approach can really show its potential in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.
Jové, Mariona; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Naudí, Alba; Ferrer, Isidre; Pamplona, Reinald
Neurons in the mature human central nervous system (CNS) perform a wide range of motor, sensory, regulatory, behavioral, and cognitive functions. Such diverse functional output requires a great diversity of CNS neuronal and non-neuronal populations. Metabolomics encompasses the study of the complete set of metabolites/low-molecular-weight intermediates (metabolome), which are context-dependent and vary according to the physiology, developmental state, or pathologic state of the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. Therefore, the use of metabolomics can help to unravel the diversity-and to disclose the specificity-of metabolic traits and their alterations in the brain and in fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid and plasma, thus helping to uncover potential biomarkers of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review the current applications of metabolomics in studies of CNS aging and certain age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurometabolomics will increase knowledge of the physiologic and pathologic functions of neural cells and will place the concept of selective neuronal vulnerability in a metabolic context.
The abnormal deposition of proteins in and around neurons is a common pathological feature of many neurodegenerative diseases. Among these pathological proteins, the microtubule-associated protein tau forms intraneuronal filaments in a spectrum of neurological disorders. The discovery that dominant mutations in the MAPT gene encoding tau are associated with familial frontotemporal dementia strongly supports abnormal tau protein as directly involved in disease pathogenesis. This and other evidence suggest that tau is a worthwhile target for the prevention or treatment of tau-associated neurodegenerative diseases, collectively called tauopathies. However, it is critical to understand the normal biological roles of tau, the specific molecular events that induce tau to become neurotoxic, the biochemical nature of pathogenic tau, the means by which pathogenic tau exerts neurotoxicity, and how tau pathology propagates. Based on known differences between normal and abnormal tau, a number of approaches have been taken toward the discovery of potential therapeutics. Key questions still remain open, such as the nature of the connection between the amyloid-β protein of Alzheimer's disease and tau pathology. Answers to these questions should help better understand the nature of tauopathies and may also reveal new therapeutic targets and strategies. PMID:24278740
van Noort, Johannes M; Bugiani, Marianna; Amor, Sandra
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are families of molecular chaperones that play important homeostatic functions in the central nervous system (CNS) by preventing protein misfolding, promoting degradation of improperly folded proteins, and protecting against apoptosis and inflammatory damage especially during hyperthermia, hypoxia, or oxidative stress. Under stress conditions, HSPs are upregulated to protect cells from damage that accumulates during ageing as well as pathological conditions. An important, yet frequently overlooked function of some HSPs is their ability to function as extracellular messengers (also termed chaperokines) that modulate immune responses within the CNS. Given the strong association between protein aggregation, innate immune cell activation and neurodegeneration, the expression and roles of HSPs in the CNS is attracting attention in many neurodegenerative disorders including inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, protein folding diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and genetic white matter diseases. This is especially so since several studies show that HSPs act therapeutically by modulating innate immune activation and may thus serve as neuroprotective agents. Here we review the evidence linking HSPs with neurodegenerative disorders in humans and the experimental animal models of these disorders. We discuss the mechanisms by which HSP protect cells, and how the knowledge of their endogenous functions can be exploited to treat disorders of the CNS.
Rueda, Andrea; González, Fabio A; Romero, Eduardo
Neurodegenerative diseases comprise a wide variety of mental symptoms whose evolution is not directly related to the visual analysis made by radiologists, who can hardly quantify systematic differences. Moreover, automatic brain morphometric analyses, that do perform this quantification, contribute very little to the comprehension of the disease, i.e., many of these methods classify but they do not produce useful anatomo-functional correlations. This paper presents a new fully automatic image analysis method that reveals discriminative brain patterns associated to the presence of neurodegenerative diseases, mining systematic differences and therefore grading objectively any neurological disorder. This is accomplished by a fusion strategy that mixes together bottom-up and top-down information flows. Bottom-up information comes from a multiscale analysis of different image features, while the top-down stage includes learning and fusion strategies formulated as a max-margin multiple-kernel optimization problem. The capacity of finding discriminative anatomic patterns was evaluated using the Alzheimer's disease (AD) as the use case. The classification performance was assessed under different configurations of the proposed approach in two public brain magnetic resonance datasets (OASIS-MIRIAD) with patients diagnosed with AD, showing an improvement varying from 6.2% to 13% in the equal error rate measure, with respect to what has been reported by the feature-based morphometry strategy. In terms of the anatomical analysis, discriminant regions found by the proposed approach highly correlates to what has been reported in clinical studies of AD.
Page, Thomas E; Farina, Nicolas; Brown, Anna; Daley, Stephanie; Bowling, Ann; Basset, Thurstine; Livingston, Gill; Knapp, Martin; Murray, Joanna; Banerjee, Sube
Objective Neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia, have a profound impact on those with the conditions and their family carers. Consequently, the accurate measurement of family carers' quality of life (QOL) is important. Generic measures may miss key elements of the impact of these conditions, so using disease-specific instruments has been advocated. This systematic review aimed to identify and examine the psychometric properties of disease-specific outcome measures of QOL of family carers of people with neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease and other dementias; Huntington's disease; Parkinson's disease; multiple sclerosis; and motor neuron disease). Design Systematic review. Methods Instruments were identified using 5 electronic databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Scopus and the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)) and lateral search techniques. Only studies which reported the development and/or validation of a disease-specific measure for adult family carers, and which were written in English, were eligible for inclusion. The methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated using the COnsensus based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) checklist. The psychometric properties of each instrument were examined. Results 676 articles were identified. Following screening and lateral searches, a total of 8 articles were included; these reported 7 disease-specific carer QOL measures. Limited evidence was available for the psychometric properties of the 7 instruments. Psychometric analyses were mainly focused on internal consistency, reliability and construct validity. None of the measures assessed either criterion validity or responsiveness to change. Conclusions There are very few measures of carer QOL that are specific to particular neurodegenerative diseases. The findings of this review emphasise the importance of developing and validating psychometrically robust disease
Alexander, Adanna G.; Marfil, Vanessa; Li, Chris
Advances in research and technology has increased our quality of life, allowed us to combat diseases, and achieve increased longevity. Unfortunately, increased longevity is accompanied by a rise in the incidences of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is the sixth leading cause of death, and one of the leading causes of dementia amongst the aged population in the USA. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by the prevalence of extracellular Aβ plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, derived from the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the hyperphosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein tau, respectively. Despite years of extensive research, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathology of AD remain unclear. Model organisms, such as the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, present a complementary approach to addressing these questions. C. elegans has many advantages as a model system to study AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Like their mammalian counterparts, they have complex biochemical pathways, most of which are conserved. Genes in which mutations are correlated with AD have counterparts in C. elegans, including an APP-related gene, apl-1, a tau homolog, ptl-1, and presenilin homologs, such as sel-12 and hop-1. Since the neuronal connectivity in C. elegans has already been established, C. elegans is also advantageous in modeling learning and memory impairments seen during AD. This article addresses the insights C. elegans provide in studying AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, we explore the advantages and drawbacks associated with using this model. PMID:25250042
Madeira, Maria H.
Caffeine is the major component of coffee and the most consumed psychostimulant in the world and at nontoxic doses acts as a nonselective adenosine receptor antagonist. Epidemiological evidence suggests that caffeine consumption reduces the risk of several neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. However, despite the beneficial effects of caffeine consumption in human health and behaviour, the mechanisms by which it impacts the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases still remain to be clarified. A promising hypothesis is that caffeine controls microglia-mediated neuroinflammatory response associated with the majority of neurodegenerative conditions. Accordingly, it has been already described that the modulation of adenosine receptors, namely, the A2A receptor, affords neuroprotection through the control of microglia reactivity and neuroinflammation. In this review, we will summarize the main effects of caffeine in the modulation of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:28250576
Jhala, Shivraj S; Hazell, Alan S
Emerging evidence suggests that thiamine deficiency (TD), the cause of Wernicke's encephalopathy, produces alterations in brain function and structural damage that closely model a number of maladies in which neurodegeneration is a characteristic feature, including Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, along with alcoholic brain disease, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Impaired oxidative metabolism in TD due to decreased activity of thiamine-dependent enzymes leads to a multifactorial cascade of events in the brain that include focal decreases in energy status, oxidative stress, lactic acidosis, blood-brain barrier disruption, astrocyte dysfunction, glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity, amyloid deposition, decreased glucose utilization, immediate-early gene induction, and inflammation. This review describes our current understanding of the basis of these abnormal processes in TD, their interrelationships, and why this disorder can be useful for our understanding of how decreased cerebral energy metabolism can give rise to cell death in different neurodegenerative disease states.
Cuenca, Nicolás; Fernández-Sánchez, Laura; Campello, Laura; Maneu, Victoria; De la Villa, Pedro; Lax, Pedro; Pinilla, Isabel
Retinal neurodegenerative diseases like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa each have a different etiology and pathogenesis. However, at the cellular and molecular level, the response to retinal injury is similar in all of them, and results in morphological and functional impairment of retinal cells. This retinal degeneration may be triggered by gene defects, increased intraocular pressure, high levels of blood glucose, other types of stress or aging, but they all frequently induce a set of cell signals that lead to well-established and similar morphological and functional changes, including controlled cell death and retinal remodeling. Interestingly, an inflammatory response, oxidative stress and activation of apoptotic pathways are common features in all these diseases. Furthermore, it is important to note the relevant role of glial cells, including astrocytes, Müller cells and microglia, because their response to injury is decisive for maintaining the health of the retina or its degeneration. Several therapeutic approaches have been developed to preserve retinal function or restore eyesight in pathological conditions. In this context, neuroprotective compounds, gene therapy, cell transplantation or artificial devices should be applied at the appropriate stage of retinal degeneration to obtain successful results. This review provides an overview of the common and distinctive features of retinal neurodegenerative diseases, including the molecular, anatomical and functional changes caused by the cellular response to damage, in order to establish appropriate treatments for these pathologies.
Simon, Matthew J.; Iliff, Jeffrey J.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulation and turnover provides a sink for the elimination of solutes from the brain interstitium, serving an important homeostatic role for the function of the central nervous system. Disruption of normal CSF circulation and turnover is believed to contribute to the development of many diseases, including neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, ischemic and traumatic brain injury, and neuroinflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Recent insights into CSF biology suggesting that CSF and interstitial fluid exchange along a brain-wide network of perivascular spaces termed the ‘glymphatic’ system suggest that CSF circulation may interact intimately with glial and vascular function to regulate basic aspects of brain function. Dysfunction within this glial vascular network, which is a feature of the aging and injured brain, is a potentially critical link between brain injury, neuroinflammation and the development of chronic neurodegeneration. Ongoing research within this field may provide a powerful new framework for understanding the common links between neurodegenerative, neurovascular and neuroinflammatory disease, in addition to providing potentially novel therapeutic targets for these conditions. PMID:26499397
Cascianelli, Silvia; Scialpi, Michele; Amici, Serena; Forini, Nevio; Minestrini, Matteo; Fravolini, Mario Luca; Sinzinger, Helmut; Schillaci, Orazio; Palumbo, Barbara
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very active Computer Science research field aiming to develop systems that mimic human intelligence and is helpful in many human activities, including Medicine. In this review we presented some examples of the exploiting of AI techniques, in particular automatic classifiers such as Artificial Neural Network (ANN), Support Vector Machine (SVM), Classification Tree (ClT) and ensemble methods like Random Forest (RF), able to analyze findings obtained by positron emission tomography (PET) or single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) scans of patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases, in particular Alzheimer's Disease. We also focused our attention on techniques applied in order to preprocess data and reduce their dimensionality via feature selection or projection in a more representative domain (Principal Component Analysis - PCA - or Partial Least Squares - PLS - are examples of such methods); this is a crucial step while dealing with medical data, since it is necessary to compress patient information and retain only the most useful in order to discriminate subjects into normal and pathological classes. Main literature papers on the application of these techniques to classify patients with neurodegenerative disease extracting data from molecular imaging modalities are reported, showing that the increasing development of computer aided diagnosis systems is very promising to contribute to the diagnostic process.
Stampfer, Meir J
Metal welding produces gaseous fumes that contain manganese, resulting in potential occupational exposure to welders. It has been hypothesized that occupational exposure among welders could increase risk of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The present study examines welding occupation and mortality from neurodegenerative diseases among men in the United States using the National Cause of Death databases 1985 to 1999. Information was abstracted from death certificates for states that collected data on occupation. Of 4,252,490 men who died during the study period, 107,773 had welding-related occupations. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to calculate mortality odds ratios (MOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for odds of dying from Parkinson's disease or other neurodegenerative diseases among men who were welders as compared with men of other occupations, adjusting for attained age, race, region of residence, and year of death. During the study period, 49,174 deaths were attributed to Parkinson's disease, 54,892 to Alzheimer's disease, and 19,018 to presenile dementia. There was no evidence of an increased odds of Parkinson's disease mortality among welders as compared with men with other occupations (MOR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.78-0.88). Furthermore, welding occupation was unrelated to the odds of mortality from Alzheimer's disease (MOR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.89-1.00) or presenile dementia (MOR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.87-1.06). Earlier research suggested that welding exposures could predispose individuals to earlier onset Parkinson's disease. However, there was no evidence in this data of an increased mortality odds ratio associated with welding occupations among men younger than 65 (MOR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.74-1.44); while there was a suggestion of a lower odds Parkinson's disease death among men age 65 years and older (MOR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.77-0.88). Data from this large study do not support an association between welding occupations and death
Gazi, Michal; Shyamala, Baragur V.; Bhat, Krishna Moorthi
The tumor-suppressor morphogen, Patched (Ptc), has extensive homology to the Niemann-Pick-C 1 (NPC1) protein. The NPC disease is a paediatric, progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder thought to be due to an abnormal accumulation of cholesterol in neurons. Here, we report that patched mutant adults develop a progressive neurodegenerative disease and their brain contains membranous and lamellar inclusions. There is also a significant reduction in the number of synaptic terminals in the brain of the mutant adults. Interestingly, feeding cholesterol to wild type flies generates inclusions in the brain, but does not cause the disease. However, feeding cholesterol to mutant flies increases synaptic connections and suppresses the disease. Our results suggest that sequestration of cholesterol in the mutant brain in the form of membranous material and inclusions affects available pool of cholesterol for cellular functions. This, in turn, negatively affects the synaptic number and contributes to the disease-state. Consistent with this, in ptc mutants there is a reduction in the pool of cholesterol esters, and cholesterol-mediated suppression of the disease accompanies an increase in cholesterol esters. We further show that Ptc does not function directly in this process since gain-of-function for Hedgehog also induces the same disease with a reduction in the level of cholesterol esters. We believe that loss of function for ptc causes neurodegeneration via two distinct ways: de-repression of genes that interfere with lipid trafficking, and de-repression of genes outside of the lipid trafficking; the functions of both classes of genes ultimately converge on synaptic connections. PMID:19635474
Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong; Morine, Melissa J.
Despite significant advances in the study of the molecular mechanisms altered in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), the etiology is still enigmatic and the distinctions between diseases are not always entirely clear. We present an efficient computational method based on protein-protein interaction network (PPI) to model the functional network of NDs. The aim of this work is fourfold: (i) reconstruction of a PPI network relating to the NDs, (ii) construction of an association network between diseases based on proximity in the disease PPI network, (iii) quantification of disease associations, and (iv) inference of potential molecular mechanism involved in the diseases. The functional links of diseases not only showed overlap with the traditional classification in clinical settings, but also offered new insight into connections between diseases with limited clinical overlap. To gain an expanded view of the molecular mechanisms involved in NDs, both direct and indirect connector proteins were investigated. The method uncovered molecular relationships that are in common apparently distinct diseases and provided important insight into the molecular networks implicated in disease pathogenesis. In particular, the current analysis highlighted the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway as a potential candidate pathway to be targeted by therapy in neurodegeneration. PMID:24551850
Forrester, Joseph D; Kugeler, Kiersten J; Perea, Anna E; Pastula, Daniel M; Mead, Paul S
Associations between Lyme disease and certain neurodegenerative diseases have been proposed, but supportive evidence for an association is lacking. Similar geographic distributions would be expected if 2 conditions were etiologically linked. Thus, we compared the distribution of Lyme disease cases in the United States with the distributions of deaths due to Alzheimer disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson disease; no geographic correlations were identified. Lyme disease incidence per US state was not correlated with rates of death due to ALS, MS, or Parkinson disease; however, an inverse correlation was detected between Lyme disease and Alzheimer disease. The absence of a positive correlation between the geographic distribution of Lyme disease and the distribution of deaths due to Alzheimer disease, ALS, MS, and Parkinson disease provides further evidence that Lyme disease is not associated with the development of these neurodegenerative conditions.
Yang, Weili; Tu, Zhuchi; Sun, Qiang; Li, Xiao-Jiang
CRISPR/Cas9 is now used widely to genetically modify the genomes of various species. The ability of CRISPR/Cas9 to delete DNA sequences and correct DNA mutations opens up a new avenue to treat genetic diseases that are caused by DNA mutations. In this review, we describe the advantages of using CRISPR/Cas9 to engineer genomic DNAs in animal embryos, as well as in specific regions or cell types in the brain. We also discuss how to apply CRISPR/Cas9 to establish animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease (HD), and to treat these disorders that are caused by genetic mutations. PMID:27199655
Katselou, M G; Matralis, A N; Kourounakis, A P
In multi-target drug design (MTD) medicinal chemistry aims to integrate multiple pharmacophores into a single drug molecule in order to make it active on several molecular biological mechanisms simultaneously. Given the fact that most diseases are multifactorial in nature, MTD is being pursued with increasing intensity, which has resulted in improved outcomes in disease models and several compounds have entered clinical trials. In a wide range of examples we illustrate how various functionalities have been combined within single structures and how this has affected their (pre)clinical outcome. This review describes the successful application of MTD for disorders such as neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, diabetes, metabolic and inflammatory diseases, especially focusing on the field of atherosclerosis where multi-target strategies are a promising alternative to the classical "one target-one drug" design approach.
Srikanth, Priya; Young-Pearse, Tracy L
Seven years have passed since the initial report of the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from adult human somatic cells, and in the intervening time the field of neuroscience has developed numerous disease models using this technology. Here, we review progress in the field and describe both the advantages and potential pitfalls of modeling neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases using this technology. We include tables with information on neural differentiation protocols and studies that developed human iPSC lines to model neurological diseases. We also discuss how one can: investigate effects of genetic mutations with iPSCs, examine cell fate-specific phenotypes, best determine the specificity of a phenotype, and bring in vivo relevance to this in vitro technique.
The adult brain of humans and other mammals continuously generates new neurons throughout life. However, this neurogenic capacity is limited to two brain areas, the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampus and the subventricular zone (SVZ of the lateral ventricle. Although the DG generates new neurons, its neurogenic capacity declines with age and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD and Huntington's disease (HD. This review focuses on the role of newly-born neurons in cognitive processes, and discusses some of the strategies proposed in humans and animals to enhance neurogenesis and counteract age-related cognitive deficits, such as physical exercise and intake of natural products like omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin and flavanols.
Kabir, M Enamul; Safar, Jiri G
There is a growing body of evidence indicating that number of human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, fronto-temporal dementias, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, propagate in the brain via prion-like intercellular induction of protein misfolding. Prions cause lethal neurodegenerative diseases in humans, the most prevalent being sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD); they self-replicate and spread by converting the cellular form of prion protein (PrP(C)) to a misfolded pathogenic conformer (PrP(Sc)). The extensive phenotypic heterogeneity of human prion diseases is determined by polymorphisms in the prion protein gene, and by prion strain-specific conformation of PrP(Sc). Remarkably, even though informative nucleic acid is absent, prions may undergo rapid adaptation and evolution in cloned cells and upon crossing the species barrier. In the course of our investigation of this process, we isolated distinct populations of PrP(Sc) particles that frequently co-exist in sCJD. The human prion particles replicate independently and undergo competitive selection of those with lower initial conformational stability. Exposed to mutant substrate, the winning PrP(Sc) conformers are subject to further evolution by natural selection of the subpopulation with the highest replication rate due to the lowest stability. Thus, the evolution and adaptation of human prions is enabled by a dynamic collection of distinct populations of particles, whose evolution is governed by the selection of progressively less stable, faster replicating PrP(Sc) conformers. This fundamental biological mechanism may explain the drug resistance that some prions gained after exposure to compounds targeting PrP(Sc). Whether the phenotypic heterogeneity of other neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding is determined by the spectrum of misfolded conformers (strains) remains to be established. However, the prospect that these conformers may evolve and
Bagewadi, Shweta; Adhikari, Subash; Dhrangadhariya, Anjani; Irin, Afroza Khanam; Ebeling, Christian; Namasivayam, Aishwarya Alex; Page, Matthew; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Senger, Philipp
Neurodegenerative diseases are chronic debilitating conditions, characterized by progressive loss of neurons that represent a significant health care burden as the global elderly population continues to grow. Over the past decade, high-throughput technologies such as the Affymetrix GeneChip microarrays have provided new perspectives into the pathomechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. Public transcriptomic data repositories, namely Gene Expression Omnibus and curated ArrayExpress, enable researchers to conduct integrative meta-analysis; increasing the power to detect differentially regulated genes in disease and explore patterns of gene dysregulation across biologically related studies. The reliability of retrospective, large-scale integrative analyses depends on an appropriate combination of related datasets, in turn requiring detailed meta-annotations capturing the experimental setup. In most cases, we observe huge variation in compliance to defined standards for submitted metadata in public databases. Much of the information to complete, or refine meta-annotations are distributed in the associated publications. For example, tissue preparation or comorbidity information is frequently described in an article's supplementary tables. Several value-added databases have employed additional manual efforts to overcome this limitation. However, none of these databases explicate annotations that distinguish human and animal models in neurodegeneration context. Therefore, adopting a more specific disease focus, in combination with dedicated disease ontologies, will better empower the selection of comparable studies with refined annotations to address the research question at hand. In this article, we describe the detailed development of NeuroTransDB, a manually curated database containing metadata annotations for neurodegenerative studies. The database contains more than 20 dimensions of metadata annotations within 31 mouse, 5 rat and 45 human studies, defined in
Shany-Ur, Tal; Lin, Nancy; Rosen, Howard J; Sollberger, Marc; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P
Accurate self-awareness is essential for adapting one's tasks and goals to one's actual abilities. Patients with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those with right frontal involvement, often present with poor self-awareness of their functional limitations that may exacerbate their already jeopardized decision-making and behaviour. We studied the structural neuroanatomical basis for impaired self-awareness among patients with neurodegenerative disease and healthy older adults. One hundred and twenty-four participants (78 patients with neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, right-temporal frontotemporal dementia, semantic variant and non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia, and 46 healthy controls) described themselves on the Patient Competency Rating Scale, rating observable functioning across four domains (daily living activities, cognitive, emotional control, interpersonal). All participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Informants also described subjects' functioning on the same scale. Self-awareness was measured by comparing self and informant ratings. Group differences in discrepancy scores were analysed using general linear models, controlling for age, sex and disease severity. Compared with controls, patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia overestimated their functioning in all domains, patients with Alzheimer's disease overestimated cognitive and emotional functioning, patients with right-temporal frontotemporal dementia overestimated interpersonal functioning, and patients with non-fluent aphasia overestimated emotional and interpersonal functioning. Patients with semantic variant aphasia did not overestimate functioning on any domain. To examine the neuroanatomic correlates of impaired self-awareness, discrepancy scores were correlated with brain volume using voxel-based morphometry. To identify the unique neural correlates of overlooking
Santillo, Alexander Frizell; Lundblad, Karl; Nilsson, Markus; Landqvist Waldö, Maria; van Westen, Danielle; Lätt, Jimmy; Blennow Nordström, Erik; Vestberg, Susanna; Lindberg, Olof; Nilsson, Christer
Disinhibition is an important symptom in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the clinico-anatomical underpinnings remain controversial. We explored the anatomical correlates of disinhibition in neurodegenerative disease using the perspective of grey and white matter imaging. Disinhibition was assessed with a neuropsychological test and a caregiver information-based clinical rating scale in 21 patients with prefrontal syndromes due to behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (n = 12) or progressive supranuclear palsy (n = 9), and healthy controls (n = 25). Cortical thickness was assessed using the Freesurfer software on 3T MRI data. The integrity of selected white matter tracts was determined by the fractional anisotropy (FA) from Diffusion Tensor Imaging. Disinhibition correlated with the cortical thickness of the right parahippocampal gyrus, right orbitofrontal cortex and right insula and the FA of the right uncinate fasciculus and right anterior cingulum. Notably, no relationship was seen with the thickness of ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Our results support an associative model of inhibitory control, distributed in a medial temporal lobe-insular-orbitofrontal network, connected by the intercommunicating white matter tracts. This reconciles some of the divergences among previous studies, but also questions the current conceptualisation of the “prefrontal” syndrome and the central role attributed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in inhibitory control. PMID:27723823
Marciniak, Rafał; Sheardova, Katerina; Čermáková, Pavla; Hudeček, Daniel; Šumec, Rastislav; Hort, Jakub
Effect of different meditation practices on various aspects of mental and physical health is receiving growing attention. The present paper reviews evidence on the effects of several mediation practices on cognitive functions in the context of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. The effect of meditation in this area is still poorly explored. Seven studies were detected through the databases search, which explores the effect of meditation on attention, memory, executive functions, and other miscellaneous measures of cognition in a sample of older people and people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. Overall, reviewed studies suggested a positive effect of meditation techniques, particularly in the area of attention, as well as memory, verbal fluency, and cognitive flexibility. These findings are discussed in the context of MRI studies suggesting structural correlates of the effects. Meditation can be a potentially suitable non-pharmacological intervention aimed at the prevention of cognitive decline in the elderly. However, the conclusions of these studies are limited by their methodological flaws and differences of various types of meditation techniques. Further research in this direction could help to verify the validity of the findings and clarify the problematic aspects. PMID:24478663
Wright, Gareth S. A.; Antonyuk, Svetlana V.; Hasnain, S. Samar
A proportion of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases result from impaired mutant superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) maturation. The copper chaperone for SOD1 (hCCS) forms a transient complex with SOD1 and catalyses the final stages of its maturation. We find that a neurodegenerative disease-associated hCCS mutation abrogates the interaction with SOD1 by inhibiting hCCS zinc binding. Analogously, SOD1 zinc loss has a detrimental effect on the formation, structure and disassociation of the hCCS-SOD1 heterodimer. This suggests that hCCS functionality is impaired by ALS mutations that reduce SOD1 zinc affinity. Furthermore, stabilization of wild-type SOD1 by chemical modification including cisplatination, inhibits complex formation. We hypothesize that drug molecules designed to stabilize ALS SOD1 mutants that also target the wild-type form will lead to characteristics common in SOD1 knock-outs. Our work demonstrates the applicability of chromatographic SAXS when studying biomolecules predisposed to aggregation or dissociation; attributes frequently reported for complexes involved in neurodegenerative disease. PMID:27282955
Jedynak, Bruno M.; Lang, Andrew; Liu, Bo; Katz, Elyse; Zhang, Yanwei; Wyman, Bradley T.; Raunig, David; Jedynak, C. Pierre; Caffo, Brian; Prince, Jerry L.
While neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by steady degeneration over relatively long timelines, it is widely believed that the early stages are the most promising for therapeutic intervention, before irreversible neuronal loss occurs. Developing a therapeutic response requires a precise measure of disease progression. However, since the early stages are for the most part asymptomatic, obtaining accurate measures of disease progression is difficult. Longitudinal databases of hundreds of subjects observed during several years with tens of validated biomarkers are becoming available, allowing the use of computational methods. We propose a widely applicable statistical methodology for creating a disease progression score (DPS), using multiple biomarkers, for subjects with a neurodegenerative disease. The proposed methodology was evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) using the publicly available AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database, yielding an Alzheimer’s DPS or ADPS score for each subject and each time-point in the database. In addition, a common description of biomarker changes was produced allowing for an ordering of the biomarkers. The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test delayed recall was found to be the earliest biomarker to become abnormal. The group of biomarkers comprising the volume of the hippocampus and the protein concentration amyloid beta and Tau were next in the timeline, and these were followed by three cognitive biomarkers. The proposed methodology thus has potential to stage individuals according to their state of disease progression relative to a population and to deduce common behaviors of biomarkers in the disease itself. PMID:22885136
Bellingham, Shayne A.; Guo, Belinda B.; Coleman, Bradley M.; Hill, Andrew F.
Exosomes are small membranous vesicles secreted by a number of cell types including neurons and can be isolated from conditioned cell media or bodily fluids such as urine and plasma. Exosome biogenesis involves the inward budding of endosomes to form multivesicular bodies (MVB). When fused with the plasma membrane, the MVB releases the vesicles into the extracellular environment as exosomes. Proposed functions of these vesicles include roles in cell–cell signaling, removal of unwanted proteins, and the transfer of pathogens between cells. One such pathogen which exploits this pathway is the prion, the infectious particle responsible for the transmissible neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) of humans or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) of cattle. Similarly, exosomes are also involved in the processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Exosomes have been shown to contain full-length APP and several distinct proteolytically cleaved products of APP, including Aβ. In addition, these fragments can be modulated using inhibitors of the proteases involved in APP cleavage. These observations provide further evidence for a novel pathway in which PrP and APP fragments are released from cells. Other proteins such as superoxide dismutase I and alpha-synuclein (involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, respectively) are also found associated with exosomes. This review will focus on the role of exosomes in neurodegenerative disorders and discuss the potential of these vesicles for the spread of neurotoxicity, therapeutics, and diagnostics for these diseases. PMID:22563321
Janas, Anna M; Sapoń, Karolina; Janas, Teresa; Stowell, Michael H B; Janas, Tadeusz
The function of human nervous system is critically dependent on proper interneuronal communication. Exosomes and other extracellular vesicles are emerging as a novel form of information exchange within the nervous system. Intraluminal vesicles within multivesicular bodies (MVBs) can be transported in neural cells anterogradely or retrogradely in order to be released into the extracellular space as exosomes. RNA loading into exosomes can be either via an interaction between RNA and the raft-like region of the MVB limiting membrane, or via an interaction between an RNA-binding protein-RNA complex with this raft-like region. Outflow of exosomes from neural cells and inflow of exosomes into neural cells presumably take place on a continuous basis. Exosomes can play both neuro-protective and neuro-toxic roles. In this review, we characterize the role of exosomes and microvesicles in normal nervous system function, and summarize evidence for defective signaling of these vesicles in disease pathogenesis of some neurodegenerative diseases.
Ramirez, Joel; Berezuk, Courtney; McNeely, Alicia A; Gao, Fuqiang; McLaurin, JoAnne; Black, Sandra E
Although the brain lacks conventional lymphatic vessels found in peripheral tissue, evidence suggests that the space surrounding the vasculature serves a similar role in the clearance of fluid and metabolic waste from the brain. With aging, neurodegeneration, and cerebrovascular disease, these microscopic perivascular spaces can become enlarged, allowing for visualization and quantification on structural MRI. The purpose of this review is to: (i) describe some of the recent pre-clinical findings from basic science that shed light on the potential neurophysiological mechanisms driving glymphatic and perivascular waste clearance, (ii) review some of the pathobiological etiologies that may lead to MRI-visible enlarged perivascular spaces (ePVS), (iii) describe the possible clinical implications of ePVS, (iv) evaluate existing qualitative and quantitative techniques used for measuring ePVS burden, and (v) propose future avenues of research that may improve our understanding of this potential clinical neuroimaging biomarker for fluid and metabolic waste clearance dysfunction in neurodegenerative and neurovascular diseases.
Carlozzi, Noelle E.; Stout, Julie C.; Mills, James A.; Duff, Kevin; Beglinger, Leigh J.; Aylward, Elizabeth H.; Whitlock, Kathryn B.; Solomon, Andrea C.; Queller, Sarah; Langbehn, Douglas R.; Johnson, Shannon A.; Paulsen, Jane S.
Estimates of premorbid intellect are often used in neuropsychological assessment to make inferences about cognitive decline. To optimize the method of controlling for premorbid intellect in assessments of prodromal neurodegenerative disease, we examined performance on the American National Adult Reading Test (ANART; administered during Years 1 and 3) and the two-subtest version of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI; administered in Years 2 and 4) in an ongoing prospective longitudinal study of 371 participants with prodromal Huntington disease and 51 participants with normal CAG repeats. Although both measures performed similarly, the ANART demonstrated slightly lower variability in performance over a two-year period and had slightly higher test-retest reliability than the WASI. PMID:21660882
There is now a wealth of experimental evidence to suggest that transplantation to the brain may ameliorate a variety of neurologic and endocrine disorders. Many unanswered questions remain. Chief among these questions are the duration of any salutary effects and the potential long-term risks to the host CNS. Answers to these questions will only come with carefully controlled long-term clinical studies. Given the high incidence and devastating nature of many of these diseases, such studies will have enormous scientific and social impact. Regardless of the outcome, there is the potential for a greater understanding of the pathologic mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases and, thus, the possibility that definitive therapies will be found as a result.
Masuda, Tomoyuki; Itoh, Junko; Koide, Takuya; Tomidokoro, Yasushi; Takei, Yosuke; Ishii, Kazuhiro; Tamaoka, Akira
A chronic inflammatory condition may underlie neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). For example, both PD and AD patients show an increase in transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) levels in their cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). TGF-β1 is a cytokine that inhibits inflammation. In the present study, using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we tested the hypothesis that the level of TGF-β1 in the CSF of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinocerebellar degeneration (SCD), or multiple system atrophy-cerebellar subtype (MSA-C) would be elevated compared with that of normal controls. We found that TGF-β1 levels in the CSF were not significantly different between these patients and normal controls. Our data suggest that the level of TGF-β1 in the CSF is an unreliable biomarker of ALS, SCD, and MSA-C.
Hornedo-Ortega, Ruth; Cerezo, Ana B.; Troncoso, Ana M.; Garcia-Parrilla, M. Carmen; Mas, Albert
Yeast metabolism produces compounds derived from tryptophan, which are found in fermented beverages, such as wine and beer. In particular, melatonin and serotonin, may be relevant due to their bioactivity in humans. Indeed, the former is a neurohormone related to circadian rhythms, which also has a putative protective effect against degenerative diseases. Moreover, serotonin is a neurotransmitter itself, in addition to being a precursor of melatonin synthesis. This paper summarizes data reported on fermented beverages, to evaluate dietary intake. Additionally, the article reviews observed effects of yeast amino acid metabolites on the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) and angiogenesis, focusing on evidence of the molecular mechanism involved and identification of molecular targets. PMID:26834716
Naz, Mufassra; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin
The work we present here is based on the recent extension of the syntax of the Biological Expression Language (BEL), which now allows for the representation of genetic variation information in cause-and-effect models. In our article, we describe, how genetic variation information can be used to identify candidate disease mechanisms in diseases with complex aetiology such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. In those diseases, we have to assume that many genetic variants contribute moderately to the overall dysregulation that in the case of neurodegenerative diseases has such a long incubation time until the first clinical symptoms are detectable. Owing to the multilevel nature of dysregulation events, systems biomedicine modelling approaches need to combine mechanistic information from various levels, including gene expression, microRNA (miRNA) expression, protein-protein interaction, genetic variation and pathway. OpenBEL, the open source version of BEL, has recently been extended to match this requirement, and we demonstrate in our article, how candidate mechanisms for early dysregulation events in Alzheimer's disease can be identified based on an integrative mining approach that identifies 'chains of causation' that include single nucleotide polymorphism information in BEL models.
Du, Yifeng; Wooten, Michael C; Wooten, Marie W.
Recently we reported that declined SQSTM1/p62 expression in Alzheimer disease brain was age-correlated with oxidative damage to the p62 promoter. The objective of this study was to examine whether oxidative damage to the p62 promoter is common to DNA recovered from brain of individuals with neurodegenerative disease. Increased 8-OHdG staining was observed in brain sections from Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson disease (PD), Huntington disease (HD), Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and Pick’s disease compared to control subjects. In parallel, the p62 promoter exhibited elevated oxidative damage in samples from various diseases compared to normal brain, and damage was negatively correlated with p62 expression in FTD samples. Oxidative damage to the p62 promoter induced by H2O2 treatment decreased its transcriptional activity. In keeping with this observation, the transcriptional activity of a Sp-1 element deletion mutant displayed reduced stimulus-induced activity. These findings reveal that oxidative damage to the p62 promoter decreased its transcriptional activity and might therefore account for decreased expression of p62. Altogether these results suggest that pharmacological means to increase p62 expression may be beneficial in delaying the onset of neurodegeneration. PMID:19481605
Nutu, Magdalena; Bourgeois, Philippe; Zetterberg, Henrik; Portelius, Erik; Andreasson, Ulf; Parent, Stéphane; Lipari, Francesco; Hall, Sara; Constantinescu, Radu; Hansson, Oskar; Blennow, Kaj
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) reflect brain biochemistry. Using combined immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, we have shown that amyloid beta 1-15 (Aβ1-15) is produced by concerted β- and α-secretase cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and that the relative levels of Aβ1-16 in AD compared to controls are increased. Furthermore, drug-induced γ-secretase inhibition enhances the relative levels of Aβ1-15 and Aβ1-16. Here, we investigate a novel immunoassay for Aβ1-15/16 in a broad range of neurodegenerative conditions. The CSF level of Aβ1-15/16 was measured by the bead-based amplified luminescent proximity homogeneous assay (Alpha technology). Concentrations of Aβ1-15/16 were analyzed in subjects with Parkinson disease (PD; n = 90), PD with dementia (PDD) (n = 32), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) (n = 68), AD (n = 48), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) (n = 45), multiple system atrophy (MSA) (n = 46), and corticobasal degeneration (CBD) (n = 12). The detecting antibody is specific to the C-terminal epitope of Aβ15. We found that a carboxypeptidase (CPB) present in fetal bovine serum (FBS), a component of the buffers used, degrades Aβ1-16 to Aβ1-15, which is then detected by the Aβ1-15/16 assay. Significantly, lower levels of Aβ1-15/16 were detected in PD, PDD, PSP, and MSA compared to other neurodegenerative diseases and controls. Using the specific Aβ1-15/16 assay, a reliable quantification of Aβ1-15 or Aβ1-15/16 in CSF samples is obtained. We found reduced levels of Aβ1-15 in parkinsonian disease groups. The molecular mechanism behind this reduction is at present unknown.
Bacioglu, Mehtap; Maia, Luis F; Preische, Oliver; Schelle, Juliane; Apel, Anja; Kaeser, Stephan A; Schweighauser, Manuel; Eninger, Timo; Lambert, Marius; Pilotto, Andrea; Shimshek, Derya R; Neumann, Ulf; Kahle, Philipp J; Staufenbiel, Matthias; Neumann, Manuela; Maetzler, Walter; Kuhle, Jens; Jucker, Mathias
A majority of current disease-modifying therapeutic approaches for age-related neurodegenerative diseases target their characteristic proteopathic lesions (α-synuclein, Tau, Aβ). To monitor such treatments, fluid biomarkers reflecting the underlying disease process are crucial. We found robust increases of neurofilament light chain (NfL) in CSF and blood in murine models of α-synucleinopathies, tauopathy, and β-amyloidosis. Blood and CSF NfL levels were strongly correlated, and NfL increases coincided with the onset and progression of the corresponding proteopathic lesions in brain. Experimental induction of α-synuclein lesions increased CSF and blood NfL levels, while blocking Aβ lesions attenuated the NfL increase. Consistently, we also found NfL increases in CSF and blood of human α-synucleinopathies, tauopathies, and Alzheimer's disease. Our results suggest that CSF and particularly blood NfL can serve as a reliable and easily accessible biomarker to monitor disease progression and treatment response in mouse models and potentially in human proteopathic neurodegenerative diseases.
Singh, Shripriya; Srivastava, Akriti; Srivastava, Pranay; Dhuriya, Yogesh K.; Pandey, Ankita; Kumar, Dipak; Rajpurohit, Chetan S.
Neurodegeneration and neurodegenerative disorders have been a global health issue affecting the aging population worldwide. Recent advances in stem cell biology have changed the current face of neurodegenerative disease modeling, diagnosis, and transplantation therapeutics. Stem cells also serve the purpose of a simple in-vitro tool for screening therapeutic drugs and chemicals. We present the application of stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the field of neurodegeneration and address the issues of diagnosis, modeling, and therapeutic transplantation strategies for the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders. We have discussed the progress made in the last decade and have largely focused on the various applications of stem cells in the neurodegenerative research arena. PMID:27878120
González, Hugo; Contreras, Francisco; Pacheco, Rodrigo
Neuroinflammation constitutes a fundamental process involved in the physiopathology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Microglial cells play a central role in the outcome of neuroinflammation and consequent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Current evidence indicates that CD4+ T-cells infiltrate the central nervous system (CNS) in PD, where they play a critical role determining the functional phenotype of microglia, thus regulating the progression of the neurodegenerative process. Here, we first analysed the pathogenic role of inflammatory phenotypes and the beneficial role of anti-inflammatory phenotypes of encephalitogenic CD4+ T-cells involved in the physiopathology of PD. Next, we discussed how alterations of neurotransmitter levels observed in the basal ganglia throughout the time course of PD progression could be strongly affecting the behaviour of encephalitogenic CD4+ T-cells and thereby the outcome of the neuroinflammatory process and the consequent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Afterward, we integrated the evidence indicating the involvement of an antigen-specific immune response mediated by T-cells and B-cells against CNS-derived self-constituents in PD. Consistent with the involvement of a relevant autoimmune component in PD, we also reviewed the polymorphisms of both, class I and class II major histocompatibility complexes, associated to the risk of PD. Overall, this study gives an overview of how an autoimmune component involved in PD plays a fundamental role in the progression of the neurodegenerative process.
Khurana, Vikram; Peng, Jian; Chung, Chee Yeun; Auluck, Pavan K; Fanning, Saranna; Tardiff, Daniel F; Bartels, Theresa; Koeva, Martina; Eichhorn, Stephen W; Benyamini, Hadar; Lou, Yali; Nutter-Upham, Andy; Baru, Valeriya; Freyzon, Yelena; Tuncbag, Nurcan; Costanzo, Michael; San Luis, Bryan-Joseph; Schöndorf, David C; Barrasa, M Inmaculada; Ehsani, Sepehr; Sanjana, Neville; Zhong, Quan; Gasser, Thomas; Bartel, David P; Vidal, Marc; Deleidi, Michela; Boone, Charles; Fraenkel, Ernest; Berger, Bonnie; Lindquist, Susan
Numerous genes and molecular pathways are implicated in neurodegenerative proteinopathies, but their inter-relationships are poorly understood. We systematically mapped molecular pathways underlying the toxicity of alpha-synuclein (α-syn), a protein central to Parkinson's disease. Genome-wide screens in yeast identified 332 genes that impact α-syn toxicity. To "humanize" this molecular network, we developed a computational method, TransposeNet. This integrates a Steiner prize-collecting approach with homology assignment through sequence, structure, and interaction topology. TransposeNet linked α-syn to multiple parkinsonism genes and druggable targets through perturbed protein trafficking and ER quality control as well as mRNA metabolism and translation. A calcium signaling hub linked these processes to perturbed mitochondrial quality control and function, metal ion transport, transcriptional regulation, and signal transduction. Parkinsonism gene interaction profiles spatially opposed in the network (ATP13A2/PARK9 and VPS35/PARK17) were highly distinct, and network relationships for specific genes (LRRK2/PARK8, ATXN2, and EIF4G1/PARK18) were confirmed in patient induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons. This cross-species platform connected diverse neurodegenerative genes to proteinopathy through specific mechanisms and may facilitate patient stratification for targeted therapy.
Desmarais, Philippe; Massoud, Fadi; Filion, Josée; Nguyen, Quoc Dinh; Bajsarowicz, Paulina
We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials to assess the high-level evidence regarding the role of quetiapine in the treatment of psychosis in patients with neurodegenerative parkinsonian disorders. Studies were included in the qualitative review if they (1) enrolled participants with diagnosis of Parkinson disease, Lewy body dementia, or any other neurodegenerative parkinsonian disorders; (2) assessed the efficacy of quetiapine; and (3) evaluated psychotic and motor outcomes using validated tools. Of the 341 manuscripts identified, 7 studies fulfilled our inclusion criteria. The studies' risk of bias was considered low. A total of 241 participants enrolled in these trials. Heterogeneity was high due to inclusion criteria, user definitions, assessment tools, and study design. Although not causing any motor deterioration, quetiapine failed to significantly reduce psychotic symptoms compared to placebo when objectively assessed on the Brief Psychotic Rating Scale, the most frequently reported scale in these studies. High loss to follow-up and dropout rates as well as significant improvement in psychotic symptoms in the placebo groups may have affected measurements of possible positive medication effects.
Giordano, Carmen; Albani, Diego; Gloria, Antonio; Tunesi, Marta; Rodilossi, Serena; Russo, Teresa; Forloni, Gianluigi; Ambrosio, Luigi; Cigada, Alberto
Neurodegenerative disorders are expected to strike social and health care systems of developed countries heavily in the coming decades. Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases (AD/PD) are the most prevalent neurodegenerative pathologies, and currently their available therapy is only symptomatic. However, innovative potential drugs are actively under development, though their efficacy is sometimes limited by poor brain bioavailability and/or sustained peripheral degradation. To partly overcome these constraints, the development of drug delivery devices made by biocompatible and easily administrable materials might be a great adjuvant. In particular, materials science can provide a powerful tool to design hydrogels and nanoparticles as basic components of more complex nanocomposites that might ameliorate drug or cell delivery in AD/PD. This kind of approach is particularly promising for intranasal delivery, which might increase brain targeting of neuroprotective molecules or proteins. Here we review these issues, with a focus on nanoparticles as nanocomponents able to carry and tune drug release in the central nervous system, without ignoring warnings concerning their potential toxicity.
Copper (Cu) has been the subject of intensive research over several decades as numerous evidence robustly support the involvement of excess Cu induced neurotoxicity in hepatocerebral (Wilson's disease) and neurodegenerative disorders (especially Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease); notwithstanding, the ideal Cu neurotoxicity biomarker/s for early prognosis remains elusive. Non-ceruloplasmin bound Cu is a biological marker of Wilson's disease and recent studies have shown that its levels are also increased in Alzheimer's disease. Copper chaperone for superoxide dismutase seems to be the other most promising biomarker of Cu toxicity (subject to its validation). Serum/plasma Cu, urine Cu and ceruloplasmin concentrations, most widely used laboratory indicators to diagnose Wilson's disease, are not specific for Cu excess milieu as these are also influenced by age, sex, inflammation and hormonal status. High inter-individual variability, nonexistence of standardized assays and non-specificity limit the use of other cuproenzymes as biomarkers of Cu neurotoxicity. The majority of Cu neurotoxicity biomarker research has focused in plasma/serum where other factors including inflammation, oxidative stress, dietary and environmental factors influence the Cu condition being studied. Proteomics study of cerebrospinal fluid, due to its high specificity and sensitivity represents an alternative approach to study early peripheral Cu neurotoxicity biomarker/s in experimental animals. In addition, network biology, transcriptomics in conjunction with novel in vivo Cu imaging techniques allow us to explore other potential candidates and propose new targets to be studied for chronic Cu neurotoxicity biomarker/s, and for possible therapeutic interventions.
Kim, Hee-Jin; Im, Hyung Kyun; Kim, Juhan; Han, Jee-young; de Leon, Mony; Deshpande, Anup; Moon, Won-Jin
Background Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) may present as an early manifestation of an evolving neurodegenerative disorder with alpha-synucleinopathy. Objective We investigated that dementia with RBD might show distinctive cortical atrophic patterns. Methods A total of 31 patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD), 23 with clinically probable Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and 36 healthy controls participated in this study. Patients with AD and IPD were divided into two groups according to results of polysomnography and rated with a validated Korean version of the RBD screening questionnaire (RBDSQ-K), which covers the clinical features of RBD. Voxel-based morphometry was adapted for detection of regional brain atrophy among groups of subjects. Results Scores on RBDSQ-K were higher in the IPD group (3.54 ± 2.8) than in any other group (AD, 2.94 ± 2.4; healthy controls, 2.31 ± 1.9). Atrophic changes according to RBDSQ-K scores were characteristically in the posterior part of the brain and brain stem, including the hypothalamus and posterior temporal region including the hippocampus and bilateral occipital lobe. AD patients with RBD showed more specialized atrophic patterns distributed in the posterior and inferior parts of the brain including the bilateral temporal and occipital cortices compared to groups without RBD. The IPD group with RBD showed right temporal cortical atrophic changes. Conclusion The group of patients with neurodegenerative diseases and RBD showed distinctive brain atrophy patterns, especially in the posterior and inferior cortices. These results suggest that patients diagnosed with clinically probable AD or IPD might have mixed pathologies including α-synucleinopathy. PMID:27060938
Tingaud-Sequeira, Angèle; Raldúa, Demetrio; Lavie, Julie; Mathieu, Guilaine; Bordier, Magali; Knoll-Gellida, Anja; Rambeau, Pierre; Coupry, Isabelle; André, Michèle; Malm, Eva; Möller, Claes; Andreasson, Sten; Rendtorff, Nanna D; Tranebjærg, Lisbeth; Koenig, Michel; Lacombe, Didier; Goizet, Cyril; Babin, Patrick J
ABHD12 mutations have been linked to neurodegenerative PHARC (polyneuropathy, hearing loss, ataxia, retinitis pigmentosa, and early-onset cataract), a rare, progressive, autosomal, recessive disease. Although ABHD12 is suspected to play a role in the lysophosphatidylserine and/or endocannabinoid pathways, its precise functional role(s) leading to PHARC disease had not previously been characterized. Cell and zebrafish models were designed to demonstrate the causal link between an identified new missense mutation p.T253R, characterized in ABHD12 from a young patient, the previously characterized p.T202I and p.R352* mutations, and the associated PHARC. Measuring ABHD12 monoacylglycerol lipase activity in transfected HEK293 cells demonstrated inhibition with mutated isoforms. Both the expression pattern of zebrafish abhd12 and the phenotype of specific antisense morpholino oligonucleotide gene knockdown morphants were consistent with human PHARC hallmarks. High abhd12 transcript levels were found in the optic tectum and tract, colocalized with myelin basic protein, and in the spinal cord. Morphants have myelination defects and concomitant functional deficits, characterized by progressive ataxia and motor skill impairment. A disruption of retina architecture and retinotectal projections was observed, together with an inhibition of lens clarification and a low number of mechanosensory hair cells in the inner ear and lateral line system. The severe phenotypes in abhd12 knockdown morphants were rescued by introducing wild-type human ABHD12 mRNA, but not by mutation-harboring mRNAs. Zebrafish may provide a suitable vertebrate model for ABHD12 insufficiency and the study of functional impairment and potential therapeutic rescue of this rare, neurodegenerative disease.
March, Zachary M; King, Oliver D; Shorter, James
Key challenges faced by all cells include how to spatiotemporally organize complex biochemistry and how to respond to environmental fluctuations. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae harnesses alternative protein folding mediated by yeast prion domains (PrDs) for rapid evolution of new traits in response to environmental stress. Increasingly, it is appreciated that low complexity domains similar in amino acid composition to yeast PrDs (prion-like domains; PrLDs) found in metazoa have a prominent role in subcellular cytoplasmic organization, especially in relation to RNA homeostasis. In this review, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the role of prions in enabling rapid adaptation to environmental stress in yeast. We also present the complete list of human proteins with PrLDs and discuss the prevalence of the PrLD in nucleic-acid binding proteins that are often connected to neurodegenerative disease, including: ataxin 1, ataxin 2, FUS, TDP-43, TAF15, EWSR1, hnRNPA1, and hnRNPA2. Recent paradigm-shifting advances establish that PrLDs undergo phase transitions to liquid states, which contribute to the structure and biophysics of diverse membraneless organelles. This structural functionality of PrLDs, however, simultaneously increases their propensity for deleterious protein-misfolding events that drive neurodegenerative disease. We suggest that even these PrLD-misfolding events are not irreversible and can be mitigated by natural or engineered protein disaggregases, which could have important therapeutic applications. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:RNA Metabolism in Disease.
Nguyen, Linda; Lucke-Wold, Brandon P; Mookerjee, Shona; Kaushal, Nidhi; Matsumoto, Rae R
Sigma-1 receptors are molecular chaperones that may act as pathological mediators and targets for novel therapeutic applications in neurodegenerative diseases. Accumulating evidence indicates that sigma-1 ligands can either directly or indirectly modulate multiple neurodegenerative processes, including excitotoxicity, calcium dysregulation, mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum dysfunction, inflammation, and astrogliosis. In addition, sigma-1 ligands may act as disease-modifying agents in the treatment for central nervous system (CNS) diseases by promoting the activity of neurotrophic factors and neural plasticity. Here, we summarize their neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects in different animal models of acute brain injury and chronic neurodegenerative diseases, and highlight their potential role in mitigating disease. Notably, current data suggest that sigma-1 receptor dysfunction worsens disease progression, whereas enhancement amplifies pre-existing functional mechanisms of neuroprotection and/or restoration to slow disease progression. Collectively, the data support a model of the sigma-1 receptor as an amplifier of intracellular signaling, and suggest future clinical applications of sigma-1 ligands as part of multi-therapy approaches to treat neurodegenerative diseases.
Féger, J; Hirsch, E C
The recent medical literature highlights the lack of new drugs able to prevent or treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease or Parkinson disease. Yet, the prevalence of these diseases is growing, related to increasing life expectancy, and is leading to a rise in their economic and social cost. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies are reducing or halting their investment in neuropharmacological research. Why have advances in basic neuroscience and our understanding of these diseases not allowed innovative discoveries in drug research? This review will try to explain this failure and suggest possible solutions: develop basic and clinical research but with the emphasis on translational and truly collaborative research; improve preclinical studies by developing more appropriate animal models, using new biomarkers and methodologies such as imaging suitable for clinical trials, providing worthwhile information on the ability of the drug to reach its intended target and induce significant pharmacological changes; build a new system of research management, based on stronger interdisciplinary relations between preclinical and clinical research and including the introduction of international precompetitive research between academic teams, start-up companies and pharmaceutical laboratories; hold early discussions with the regulatory authorities during preclinical studies and at the beginning of clinical trials in order to validate the methodological approaches; involve patients' associations in this new organization of research. These changes should help to ensure the discovery of effective treatments for these pathologies.
Rydbirk, Rasmus; Folke, Jonas; Winge, Kristian; Aznar, Susana; Pakkenberg, Bente; Brudek, Tomasz
Evaluation of gene expression levels by reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) has for many years been the favourite approach for discovering disease-associated alterations. Normalization of results to stably expressed reference genes (RGs) is pivotal to obtain reliable results. This is especially important in relation to neurodegenerative diseases where disease-related structural changes may affect the most commonly used RGs. We analysed 15 candidate RGs in 98 brain samples from two brain regions from Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Multiple System Atrophy, and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy patients. Using RefFinder, a web-based tool for evaluating RG stability, we identified the most stable RGs to be UBE2D2, CYC1, and RPL13 which we recommend for future RT-qPCR studies on human brain tissue from these patients. None of the investigated genes were affected by experimental variables such as RIN, PMI, or age. Findings were further validated by expression analyses of a target gene GSK3B, known to be affected by AD and PD. We obtained high variations in GSK3B levels when contrasting the results using different sets of common RG underlining the importance of a priori validation of RGs for RT-qPCR studies. PMID:27853238
López González, Irene; Garcia-Esparcia, Paula; Llorens, Franc; Ferrer, Isidre
Polymorphisms in certain inflammatory-related genes have been identified as putative differential risk factors of neurodegenerative diseases with abnormal protein aggregates, such as sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) and sporadic Parkinson's disease (sPD). Gene expression studies of cytokines and mediators of the immune response have been made in post-mortem human brain samples in AD, sPD, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) subtypes MM1 and VV2, Pick's disease (PiD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration linked to mutation P301L in MAPT Frontotemporal lobar degeneration-tau (FTLD-tau). The studies have disclosed variable gene regulation which is: (1) disease-dependent in the frontal cortex area 8 in AD, sPD, sCJD MM1 and VV2, PiD, PSP and FTLD-tau; (2) region-dependent as seen when comparing the entorhinal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and frontal cortex area 8 (FC) in AD; the substantia nigra, putamen, FC, and angular gyrus in PD, as well as the FC and cerebellum in sCJD; (3) genotype-dependent as seen considering sCJD MM1 and VV2; and (4) stage-dependent as seen in AD at different stages of disease progression. These observations show that regulation of inflammation is much more complicated and diverse than currently understood, and that new therapeutic approaches must be designed in order to selectively act on specific targets in particular diseases and at different time points of disease progression.
López González, Irene; Garcia-Esparcia, Paula; Llorens, Franc; Ferrer, Isidre
Polymorphisms in certain inflammatory-related genes have been identified as putative differential risk factors of neurodegenerative diseases with abnormal protein aggregates, such as sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and sporadic Parkinson’s disease (sPD). Gene expression studies of cytokines and mediators of the immune response have been made in post-mortem human brain samples in AD, sPD, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) subtypes MM1 and VV2, Pick’s disease (PiD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration linked to mutation P301L in MAPT Frontotemporal lobar degeneration-tau (FTLD-tau). The studies have disclosed variable gene regulation which is: (1) disease-dependent in the frontal cortex area 8 in AD, sPD, sCJD MM1 and VV2, PiD, PSP and FTLD-tau; (2) region-dependent as seen when comparing the entorhinal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and frontal cortex area 8 (FC) in AD; the substantia nigra, putamen, FC, and angular gyrus in PD, as well as the FC and cerebellum in sCJD; (3) genotype-dependent as seen considering sCJD MM1 and VV2; and (4) stage-dependent as seen in AD at different stages of disease progression. These observations show that regulation of inflammation is much more complicated and diverse than currently understood, and that new therapeutic approaches must be designed in order to selectively act on specific targets in particular diseases and at different time points of disease progression. PMID:26861289
Gong, Yuesong; Lippa, Carol F.
The most common causes of neurodegenerative dementia include Alzheimer’s disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We believe that, in all 3, aggregates of pathogenic proteins are pathological substrates which are associated with a loss of synaptic function/plasticity. The synaptic plasticity relies on the normal integration of glutamate receptors at the postsynaptic density (PSD). The PSD organizes synaptic proteins to mediate the functional and structural plasticity of the excitatory synapse and to maintain synaptic homeostasis. Here, we will discuss the relevant disruption of the protein network at the PSD in these dementias and the accumulation of the pathological changes at the PSD years before clinical symptoms. We suggest that the functional and structural plasticity changes of the PSD may contribute to the loss of molecular homeostasis within the synapse (and contribute to early symptoms) in these dementias. PMID:20858652
Im, Eunju; Chung, Kwang Chul
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) often involve the formation of abnormal and toxic protein aggregates, which are thought to be the primary factor in ND occurrence and progression. Aged neurons exhibit marked increases in aggregated protein levels, which can lead to increased cell death in specific brain regions. As no specific drugs/therapies for treating the symptoms or/and progression of NDs are available, obtaining a complete understanding of the mechanism underlying the formation of protein aggregates is needed for designing a novel and efficient removal strategy. Intracellular proteolysis generally involves either the lysosomal or ubiquitin-proteasome system. In this review, we focus on the structure and assembly of the proteasome, proteasome-mediated protein degradation, and the multiple dynamic regulatory mechanisms governing proteasome activity. We also discuss the plausibility of the correlation between changes in proteasome activity and the occurrence of NDs. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(9): 459-473] PMID:27312603
Alguacil, Luis F; Herradón, Gonzalo
Pleiotrophin (PTN) and Midkine (MK) are neurotrophines with documented protective actions in experimental models of neurodegenerative diseases and beneficial effects on toxicity and addictive behaviours related to drug abuse. Concerning the latter, both PTN and MK prevent the neurotoxic effects of amphetamine on nigrostriatal pathways and endogenous PTN also limits amphetamine reward. Moreover, endogenous PTN overexpression in the prefontral cortex abolishes alcohol- induced conditioned place preference. This review summarizes the existing patents for using PTN and MK in the treatment and diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disorders with a focus on neurotoxicity, neurodegeneration and substance use disorders. We have also reviewed the mechanism of action of PTN and MK and summarized existing patents on downstream modulators in their signaling pathways for the same indications.
Im, Eunju; Chung, Kwang Chul
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) often involve the formation of abnormal and toxic protein aggregates, which are thought to be the primary factor in ND occurrence and progression. Aged neurons exhibit marked increases in aggregated protein levels, which can lead to increased cell death in specific brain regions. As no specific drugs/therapies for treating the symptoms or/and progression of NDs are available, obtaining a complete understanding of the mechanism underlying the formation of protein aggregates is needed for designing a novel and efficient removal strategy. Intracellular proteolysis generally involves either the lysosomal or ubiquitin-proteasome system. In this review, we focus on the structure and assembly of the proteasome, proteasome-mediated protein degradation, and the multiple dynamic regulatory mechanisms governing proteasome activity. We also discuss the plausibility of the correlation between changes in proteasome activity and the occurrence of NDs. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(9): 459-473].
Costantini, Giulio; Budrikis, Zoe; Taloni, Alessandro; Buell, Alexander K.; Zapperi, Stefano; La Porta, Caterina A. M.
Autocatalytic fibril nucleation has recently been proposed to be a determining factor for the spread of neurodegenerative diseases, but the same process could also be exploited to amplify minute quantities of protein aggregates in a diagnostic context. Recent advances in microfluidic technology allow the analysis of protein aggregation in micron-scale samples, potentially enabling such diagnostic approaches, but the theoretical foundations for the analysis and interpretation of such data are, so far, lacking. Here, we study computationally the onset of protein aggregation in small volumes and show that the process is ruled by intrinsic fluctuations whose volume-dependent distribution we also estimate theoretically. Based on these results, we develop a strategy to quantify in silico the statistical errors associated with the detection of aggregate-containing samples. Our work explores a different perspective on the forecasting of protein aggregation in asymptomatic subjects.
Morgera, Salvatore Domenic
Research focus is on the micron-scale subsystem of the human nervous system known as the axon, or nerve fibre. In studying what has been traditionally treated as an electrochemical subsystem, we find that the axon is both an electrochemical and electromagnetic link in an intricately designed network. This work offers a game changing look at phenomena which enable interaction among millions of fibres tightly packed in bundles and tracts in the human peripheral and central nervous systems, respectively. We maintain that these fibres do not act independently as generally believed, but form intricate spatial and temporal near-field networks. An understanding of these networks will lead to improved diagnostics and therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.
de la Torre, Jack C
The cause of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is unknown. This gap in knowledge has created a stumbling block in the search for a genuinely effective treatment or cure for this dementia. This article summarises the arguments for a causal role for either amyloid deposition or cerebrovascular pathology as the primary trigger in the development of non-genetic AD. A bare-bones survey of the published research reveals no compelling evidence that amyloid deposition is neurotoxic in human beings or that it results in neurodegenerative changes involving synaptic, metabolic, or neuronal loss in human or transgenic-mouse brains. By contrast, the data supporting AD as a primary vascular disorder are more convincing. Findings suggesting a vascular cause of AD come from epidemiological, neuroimaging, pathological, pharmacotherapeutic, and clinical studies. The consensus of these studies indicates that chronic brain hypoperfusion is linked to AD risk factors, AD preclinical detection and pharmacotherapeutic action of AD symptoms.
Yulug, Burak; Hanoglu, Lutfu; Kilic, Ertugrul
Neuropharmacological relation of religious belief supports the role of dopaminergic activation as the leading neurochemical feature. However, vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT-2) has been shown to be responsible for removing of neurotransmitters such as dopamine that may secondarily lead to a neuroprotective activity by different neurodegeneration models. Moreover, there are interesting data showing that VMAT-2 may play an important role during religious belief and experience. In the light of these findings, we aimed to review the preclinical and clinical neuroprotective data of Vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT-2) in different neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases. In respect of rapidly increasing evidences about the neurobiological and neuroimaging correlates of religious belief, we hypothesized that there is a link between belief and neuroprotection.
Bassil, Fares; Fernagut, Pierre-Olivier; Bezard, Erwan; Meissner, Wassilios G
Insulin and Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) play a major role in body homeostasis and glucose regulation. They also have paracrine/autocrine functions in the brain. The Insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway contributes to the control of neuronal excitability, nerve cell metabolism and cell survival. Glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1), known as an insulinotropic hormone has similar functions and growth like properties as insulin/IGF-1. Growing evidence suggests that dysfunction of these pathways contribute to the progressive loss of neurons in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), the two most frequent neurodegenerative disorders. These findings have led to numerous studies in preclinical models of neurodegenerative disorders targeting insulin/IGF-1 and GLP-1 signaling with currently available anti-diabetics. These studies have shown that administration of insulin, IGF-1 and GLP-1 agonists reverses signaling abnormalities and has positive effects on surrogate markers of neurodegeneration and behavioral outcomes. Several proof-of-concept studies are underway that attempt to translate the encouraging preclinical results to patients suffering from AD and PD. In the first part of this review, we discuss physiological functions of insulin/IGF-1 and GLP-1 signaling pathways including downstream targets and receptors distribution within the brain. In the second part, we undertake a comprehensive overview of preclinical studies targeting insulin/IGF-1 or GLP-1 signaling for treating AD and PD. We then detail the design of clinical trials that have used anti-diabetics for treating AD and PD patients. We close with future considerations that treat relevant issues for successful translation of these encouraging preclinical results into treatments for patients with AD and PD.
Bigford, Gregory E.; Del Rossi, Gianluca
Neurodegenerative disorders and diseases (NDDs) that are either chronically acquired or triggered by a singular detrimental event are a rapidly growing cause of disability and/or death. In recent times, there have been major advancements in our understanding of various neurodegenerative disease states that have revealed common pathologic features or mechanisms. The many mechanistic parallels discovered between various neurodegenerative diseases suggest that a single therapeutic approach may be used to treat multiple disease conditions. Of late, natural compounds and supplemental substances have become an increasingly attractive option to treat NDDs because there is growing evidence that these nutritional constituents have potential adjunctive therapeutic effects (be it protective or restorative) on various neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review relevant experimental and clinical data on supplemental substances (i.e., curcuminoids, rosmarinic acid, resveratrol, acetyl-l-carnitine, and ω-3 (n–3) polyunsaturated fatty acids) that have demonstrated encouraging therapeutic effects on chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegeneration resulting from acute adverse events, such as traumatic brain injury. PMID:25022989
Bradley, Walter G; Mash, Deborah C
Excitement about neurogenetics in the last two decades has diverted attention from environmental causes of sporadic ALS. Fifty years ago endemic foci of ALS with a frequency one hundred times that in the rest of the world attracted attention since they offered the possibility of finding the cause for non-endemic ALS throughout the world. Research on Guam suggested that ALS, Parkinson's disease and dementia (the ALS/PDC complex) was due to a neurotoxic non-protein amino acid, beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), in the seeds of the cycad Cycas micronesica. Recent discoveries that found that BMAA is produced by symbiotic cyanobacteria within specialized roots of the cycads; that the concentration of protein-bound BMAA is up to a hundred-fold greater than free BMAA in the seeds and flour; that various animals forage on the seeds (flying foxes, pigs, deer), leading to biomagnification up the food chain in Guam; and that protein-bound BMAA occurs in the brains of Guamanians dying of ALS/PDC (average concentration 627 microg/g, 5 mM) but not in control brains have rekindled interest in BMAA as a possible trigger for Guamanian ALS/PDC. Perhaps most intriguing is the finding that BMAA is present in brain tissues of North American patients who had died of Alzheimer's disease (average concentration 95 microg/g, 0.8mM); this suggests a possible etiological role for BMAA in non-Guamanian neurodegenerative diseases. Cyanobacteria are ubiquitous throughout the world, so it is possible that all humans are exposed to low amounts of cyanobacterial BMAA, that protein-bound BMAA in human brains is a reservoir for chronic neurotoxicity, and that cyanobacterial BMAA is a major cause of progressive neurodegenerative diseases including ALS worldwide. Though Montine et al., using different HPLC method and assay techniques from those used by Cox and colleagues, were unable to reproduce the findings of Murch et al., Mash and colleagues using the original techniques of Murch et al. have
Bagewadi, Shweta; Adhikari, Subash; Dhrangadhariya, Anjani; Irin, Afroza Khanam; Ebeling, Christian; Namasivayam, Aishwarya Alex; Page, Matthew; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin
Neurodegenerative diseases are chronic debilitating conditions, characterized by progressive loss of neurons that represent a significant health care burden as the global elderly population continues to grow. Over the past decade, high-throughput technologies such as the Affymetrix GeneChip microarrays have provided new perspectives into the pathomechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. Public transcriptomic data repositories, namely Gene Expression Omnibus and curated ArrayExpress, enable researchers to conduct integrative meta-analysis; increasing the power to detect differentially regulated genes in disease and explore patterns of gene dysregulation across biologically related studies. The reliability of retrospective, large-scale integrative analyses depends on an appropriate combination of related datasets, in turn requiring detailed meta-annotations capturing the experimental setup. In most cases, we observe huge variation in compliance to defined standards for submitted metadata in public databases. Much of the information to complete, or refine meta-annotations are distributed in the associated publications. For example, tissue preparation or comorbidity information is frequently described in an article’s supplementary tables. Several value-added databases have employed additional manual efforts to overcome this limitation. However, none of these databases explicate annotations that distinguish human and animal models in neurodegeneration context. Therefore, adopting a more specific disease focus, in combination with dedicated disease ontologies, will better empower the selection of comparable studies with refined annotations to address the research question at hand. In this article, we describe the detailed development of NeuroTransDB, a manually curated database containing metadata annotations for neurodegenerative studies. The database contains more than 20 dimensions of metadata annotations within 31 mouse, 5 rat and 45 human studies, defined in
Ahmad, Khurshid; Khan, Saif; Adil, Mohd; Saeed, Mohd; Srivastava, Ashwini Kumar
Neurodegenerative disorders are often associated with excessive neuronal apoptosis. It is well known that apoptosis is regulated by some intracellular proteases, such as, Caspases (cysteine-dependent, aspartate-specific proteases). In fact, Caspase-8 which is an initiator caspase, has been identified as a key mediator of neuronal apoptosis. In addition, Caspase-8 is found to be coupled with the regulation of various neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer׳s disease (AD), Parkinson׳s disease (PD), Huntington׳s Diseases (HD) and Dentatorubral Pallidoluysian Atrophy (DRPLA). Caspase-8 inhibition may provide an effective means of treatment for multiple neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, the present study describes the molecular interaction of some selected natural compounds with known anti neurodegenerative properties with Caspase-8. Docking between Caspase-8 and each of these compounds (separately) was performed using 'Autodock4.2'. Out of all the selected compounds, rosmarinic acid and curcumin proved to be the most potent inhibitors of Caspase-8 with binding energy (ΔG) of -7.10 Kcal/mol and -7.08 Kcal/mol, respectively. However, further in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to validate the anti-neurodegenerative potential of these compounds.
Ahmad, Khurshid; Khan, Saif; Adil, Mohd; Saeed, Mohd; Srivastava, Ashwini Kumar
Neurodegenerative disorders are often associated with excessive neuronal apoptosis. It is well known that apoptosis is regulated by some intracellular proteases, such as, Caspases (cysteine-dependent, aspartate-specific proteases). In fact, Caspase-8 which is an initiator caspase, has been identified as a key mediator of neuronal apoptosis. In addition, Caspase-8 is found to be coupled with the regulation of various neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer׳s disease (AD), Parkinson׳s disease (PD), Huntington׳s Diseases (HD) and Dentatorubral Pallidoluysian Atrophy (DRPLA). Caspase-8 inhibition may provide an effective means of treatment for multiple neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, the present study describes the molecular interaction of some selected natural compounds with known anti neurodegenerative properties with Caspase-8. Docking between Caspase-8 and each of these compounds (separately) was performed using ‘Autodock4.2’. Out of all the selected compounds, rosmarinic acid and curcumin proved to be the most potent inhibitors of Caspase-8 with binding energy (ΔG) of -7.10 Kcal/mol and -7.08 Kcal/mol, respectively. However, further in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to validate the anti-neurodegenerative potential of these compounds. PMID:24966519
Walker, Douglas G; Lue, Lih-Fen
Inflammatory responses in the brain, which can be demonstrated by changes in properties of microglia, the brain-resident macrophages, are a common feature of human neurodegenerative diseases. Different monocyte/macrophage phenotypes have been defined by changes in expression of cytokines, receptors and other markers as a response to different classes of stimuli. Monocytes, macrophages and microglia can have a range of phenotypes with associated properties depending on their microenvironment. Macrophage/microglia polarization states have been defined as classical activation (M1), alternative activation (M2a), type II alternative activation (M2b) or acquired deactivation (M2c). Available markers for identifying microglial phenotypes in human brains are still limited; those available provide incomplete information on the functions or polarization states of microglia observed in tissues from diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. The most widely used marker to describe activated microglia in human brains, particularly diseased brains, has been HLA-DR, the major histocompatibility complex II protein. HLA-DR-positive microglia can have a wide range of activation morphologies that are affected not only by disease pathology, but also by their differentiation states and brain regions. Two other widely used markers to identify microglia in human brains are ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule-1 and CD68. Although their expression changes in diseased brains, these markers do not show specificity for different phenotypes. Over the years there have been studies with additional markers that attempt to further define microglial properties, particularly in Alzheimer's disease brains. Most studies have employed immunohistochemical techniques to identify microglia in tissue sections, but recent advances in this field have allowed gene expression profiling of microglia upon immediate isolation from brains. We will review which markers
Narayanan, Manikandan; Huynh, Jimmy L; Wang, Kai; Yang, Xia; Yoo, Seungyeul; McElwee, Joshua; Zhang, Bin; Zhang, Chunsheng; Lamb, John R; Xie, Tao; Suver, Christine; Molony, Cliona; Melquist, Stacey; Johnson, Andrew D; Fan, Guoping; Stone, David J; Schadt, Eric E; Casaccia, Patrizia; Emilsson, Valur; Zhu, Jun
Using expression profiles from postmortem prefrontal cortex samples of 624 dementia patients and non-demented controls, we investigated global disruptions in the co-regulation of genes in two neurodegenerative diseases, late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Huntington's disease (HD). We identified networks of differentially co-expressed (DC) gene pairs that either gained or lost correlation in disease cases relative to the control group, with the former dominant for both AD and HD and both patterns replicating in independent human cohorts of AD and aging. When aligning networks of DC patterns and physical interactions, we identified a 242-gene subnetwork enriched for independent AD/HD signatures. This subnetwork revealed a surprising dichotomy of gained/lost correlations among two inter-connected processes, chromatin organization and neural differentiation, and included DNA methyltransferases, DNMT1 and DNMT3A, of which we predicted the former but not latter as a key regulator. To validate the inter-connection of these two processes and our key regulator prediction, we generated two brain-specific knockout (KO) mice and show that Dnmt1 KO signature significantly overlaps with the subnetwork (P = 3.1 × 10−12), while Dnmt3a KO signature does not (P = 0.017). PMID:25080494
Ruszkiewicz, Joanna; Albrecht, Jan
Oxidative and nitrosative stress (ONS) contributes to the pathogenesis of most brain maladies, and the magnitude of ONS is related to the ability of cellular antioxidants to neutralize the accumulating reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS). While the major ROS/RNS scavengers and regenerators of bio-oxidized molecules, superoxide dysmutases (SODs), glutathione (GSH), thioredoxin (Trx) and peroxiredoxin (Prx), are distributed in all cellular compartments. This review specifically focuses on the role of the systems operating in mitochondria. There is a growing consensus that the mitochondrial SOD isoform - SOD2 and GSH are critical for the cellular antioxidant defense. Variable changes of the expression or activities of one or more of the mitochondrial antioxidant systems have been documented in the brains derived from human patients and/or in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease), cerebral ischemia, toxic brain cell damage associated with overexposure to mercury or excitotoxins, or hepatic encephalopathy. In many cases, ambiguity of the responses of the different antioxidant systems in one and the same disease needs to be more conclusively evaluated before the balance of the changes is viewed as beneficial or detrimental. Modulation of the mitochondrial antioxidant systems may in the future become a target of antioxidant therapy.
Chong, Zhao Zhong; Shang, Yan Chen; Wang, Shaohui; Maiese, Kenneth
Neurodegenerative disorders affect a significant portion of the world's population leading to either disability or death for almost 30 million individuals worldwide. One novel therapeutic target that may offer promise for multiple disease entities that involve Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, trauma, stroke, and tumors of the nervous system is the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). mTOR signaling is dependent upon the mTORC1 and mTORC2 complexes that are composed of mTOR and several regulatory proteins including the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC1, hamartin/ TSC2, tuberin). Through a number of integrated cell signaling pathways that involve those of mTORC1 and mTORC2 as well as more novel signaling tied to cytokines, Wnt, and forkhead, mTOR can foster stem cellular proliferation, tissue repair and longevity, and synaptic growth by modulating mechanisms that foster both apoptosis and autophagy. Yet, mTOR through its proliferative capacity may sometimes be detrimental to central nervous system recovery and even promote tumorigenesis. Further knowledge of mTOR and the critical pathways governed by this serine/threonine protein kinase can bring new light for neurodegeneration and other related diseases that currently require new and robust treatments. PMID:22980037
Bharadwaj, P R; Bates, K A; Porter, T; Teimouri, E; Perry, G; Steele, J W; Gandy, S; Groth, D; Martins, R N; Verdile, Giuseppe
Latrepirdine (DimebonTM) was originally marketed as a non-selective antihistamine in Russia. It was repurposed as an effective treatment for patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Huntington's disease (HD) following preliminary reports showing its neuroprotective functions and ability to enhance cognition in AD and HD models. However, latrepirdine failed to show efficacy in phase III trials in AD and HD patients following encouraging phase II trials. The failure of latrepirdine in the clinical trials has highlighted the importance of understanding the precise mechanism underlying its cognitive benefits in neurodegenerative diseases before clinical evaluation. Latrepirdine has shown to affect a number of cellular functions including multireceptor activity, mitochondrial function, calcium influx and intracellular catabolic pathways; however, it is unclear how these properties contribute to its clinical benefits. Here, we review the studies investigating latrepirdine in cellular and animal models to provide a complete evaluation of its mechanisms of action in the central nervous system. In addition, we review recent studies that demonstrate neuroprotective functions for latrepirdine-related class of molecules including the β-carbolines and aminopropyl carbazoles in AD, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis models. Assessment of their neuroprotective effects and underlying biological functions presents obvious value for developing structural analogues of latrepirdine for dementia treatment. PMID:24301650
Srinageshwar, Bhairavi; Maiti, Panchanan; Dunbar, Gary L.; Rossignol, Julien
The main objectives of this review are to survey the current literature on the role of epigenetics in determining the fate of stem cells and to assess how this information can be used to enhance the treatment strategies for some neurodegenerative disorders, like Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation and histone modifications, which have a direct impact on the way that genes are expressed in stem cells and how they drive these cells into a mature lineage. Understanding how the stem cells are behaving and giving rise to mature cells can be used to inform researchers on effective ways to design stem cell-based treatments. In this review article, the way in which the basic understanding of how manipulating this process can be utilized to treat certain neurological diseases will be presented. Different genetic factors and their epigenetic changes during reprogramming of stem cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have significant potential for enhancing the efficacy of cell replacement therapies. PMID:26848657
Shany-Ur, Tal; Lin, Nancy; Rosen, Howard J.; Sollberger, Marc; Miller, Bruce L.
Accurate self-awareness is essential for adapting one’s tasks and goals to one’s actual abilities. Patients with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those with right frontal involvement, often present with poor self-awareness of their functional limitations that may exacerbate their already jeopardized decision-making and behaviour. We studied the structural neuroanatomical basis for impaired self-awareness among patients with neurodegenerative disease and healthy older adults. One hundred and twenty-four participants (78 patients with neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, right-temporal frontotemporal dementia, semantic variant and non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia, and 46 healthy controls) described themselves on the Patient Competency Rating Scale, rating observable functioning across four domains (daily living activities, cognitive, emotional control, interpersonal). All participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Informants also described subjects’ functioning on the same scale. Self-awareness was measured by comparing self and informant ratings. Group differences in discrepancy scores were analysed using general linear models, controlling for age, sex and disease severity. Compared with controls, patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia overestimated their functioning in all domains, patients with Alzheimer’s disease overestimated cognitive and emotional functioning, patients with right-temporal frontotemporal dementia overestimated interpersonal functioning, and patients with non-fluent aphasia overestimated emotional and interpersonal functioning. Patients with semantic variant aphasia did not overestimate functioning on any domain. To examine the neuroanatomic correlates of impaired self-awareness, discrepancy scores were correlated with brain volume using voxel-based morphometry. To identify the unique neural correlates of
Tu, Zhuchi; Yang, Weili; Yan, Sen; Guo, Xiangyu; Li, Xiao-Jiang
Animal models are extremely valuable to help us understand the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders and to find treatments for them. Since large animals are more like humans than rodents, they make good models to identify the important pathological events that may be seen in humans but not in small animals; large animals are also very important for validating effective treatments or confirming therapeutic targets. Due to the lack of embryonic stem cell lines from large animals, it has been difficult to use traditional gene targeting technology to establish large animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, CRISPR/Cas9 was used successfully to genetically modify genomes in various species. Here we discuss the use of CRISPR/Cas9 technology to establish large animal models that can more faithfully mimic human neurodegenerative diseases.
Gu, Zezong; Nakamura, Tomohiro; Lipton, Stuart A
Overstimulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors accounts, at least in part, for excitotoxic neuronal damage, potentially contributing to a wide range of acute and chronic neurologic diseases. Neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), manifest deposits of misfolded or aggregated proteins, and result from synaptic injury and neuronal death. Recent studies have suggested that nitrosative stress due to generation of excessive nitric oxide (NO) can mediate excitotoxicity in part by triggering protein misfolding and aggregation, and mitochondrial fragmentation in the absence of genetic predisposition. S-Nitrosylation, or covalent reaction of NO with specific protein thiol groups, represents a convergent signal pathway contributing to NO-induced protein misfolding and aggregation, compromised dynamics of mitochondrial fission-fusion process, thus leading to neurotoxicity. Here, we review the effect of S-nitrosylation on protein function under excitotoxic conditions, and present evidence suggesting that NO contributes to protein misfolding and aggregation via S-nitrosylating protein-disulfide isomerase or the E3 ubiquitin ligase parkin, and mitochondrial fragmentation through beta-amyloid-related S-nitrosylation of dynamin-related protein-1. Moreover, we also discuss that inhibition of excessive NMDA receptor activity by memantine, an uncompetitive/fast off-rate (UFO) drug can ameliorate excessive production of NO, protein misfolding and aggregation, mitochondrial fragmentation, and neurodegeneration.
Pisa, Diana; Alonso, Ruth; Rábano, Alberto; Carrasco, Luis
The origin and potential function of corpora amylacea (CA) remains largely unknown. Low numbers of CA are detected in the aging brain of normal individuals but they are abundant in the central nervous system of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, we show that CA from patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) contain fungal proteins as detected by immunohistochemistry analyses. Accordingly, CA were labeled with different anti-fungal antibodies at the external surface, whereas the central portion composed of calcium salts contain less proteins. Detection of fungal proteins was achieved using a number of antibodies raised against different fungal species, which indicated cross-reactivity between the fungal proteins present in CA and the antibodies employed. Importantly, these antibodies do not immunoreact with cellular proteins. Additionally, CNS samples from patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease (PD) also contained CA that were immunoreactive with a range of antifungal antibodies. However, CA were less abundant in ALS or PD patients as compared to CNS samples from AD. By contrast, CA from brain tissue of control subjects were almost devoid of fungal immunoreactivity. These observations are consistent with the concept that CA associate with fungal infections and may contribute to the elucidation of the origin of CA. PMID:27013948
Pisa, Diana; Alonso, Ruth; Rábano, Alberto; Carrasco, Luis
The origin and potential function of corpora amylacea (CA) remains largely unknown. Low numbers of CA are detected in the aging brain of normal individuals but they are abundant in the central nervous system of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, we show that CA from patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) contain fungal proteins as detected by immunohistochemistry analyses. Accordingly, CA were labeled with different anti-fungal antibodies at the external surface, whereas the central portion composed of calcium salts contain less proteins. Detection of fungal proteins was achieved using a number of antibodies raised against different fungal species, which indicated cross-reactivity between the fungal proteins present in CA and the antibodies employed. Importantly, these antibodies do not immunoreact with cellular proteins. Additionally, CNS samples from patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease (PD) also contained CA that were immunoreactive with a range of antifungal antibodies. However, CA were less abundant in ALS or PD patients as compared to CNS samples from AD. By contrast, CA from brain tissue of control subjects were almost devoid of fungal immunoreactivity. These observations are consistent with the concept that CA associate with fungal infections and may contribute to the elucidation of the origin of CA.
Paraizo Leite, Renata Elaine; Tenenholz Grinberg, Lea
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, are among the most debilitating neurological disorders, and as life expectancy rises quickly around the world, the scientific and clinical challenges of dealing with them will also increase dramatically, putting increased pressure on the biomedical community to come up with innovative solutions for the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of these conditions. Despite several decades of intensive research, there is still little that can be done to prevent, cure, or even slow down the progression of NDs in most patients. There is an urgent need to develop new lines of basic and applied research that can be quickly translated into clinical application. One way to do this is to apply the tools of proteomics to well-characterized samples of human brain tissue, but a closer partnership must still be forged between proteomic scientists, brain banks, and clinicians to explore the maximum potential of this approach. Here, we analyze the challenges and potential benefits of using human brain tissue for proteomics research toward NDs.
Migliore, Lucia; Coppedè, Fabio
In the present review we summarize recent advances in the understanding of the interaction between genetics and environmental factors involved in complex multi-factorial neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The discovery of several genes responsible for the familial forms has led to a better comprehension of the molecular pathways involved in the selective neuronal degeneration which is specific for each of these disorders. However, the vast majority of the cases occurs as sporadic forms, likely resulting from complex gene-gene and gene-environment interplay. Several environmental factors, including, pesticides, metals, head injuries, lifestyles and dietary habits have been associated with increased disease risk or even with protection. Hundreds of genetic variants have been investigated as possible risk factors for the sporadic forms, but results are often conflicting, not repeated or inconclusive. New approaches to environmental health research are revealing us that at the basis there could be chemically induced changes in gene regulation and emphasise the importance of understanding the susceptibility of the human epigenome to dietary and other environmental effects.
Leite, Renata Elaine Paraizo; Grinberg, Lea Tenenholz
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, are among the most debilitating neurological disorders, and as life expectancy rises quickly around the world, the scientific and clinical challenges of dealing with them will also increase dramatically, putting increased pressure on the biomedical community to come up with innovative solutions for the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. Despite several decades of intensive research, there is still little that can be done to prevent, cure or even slow down the progression of NDs in most patients. There is an urgent need to develop new lines of basic and applied research, that can be quickly translated into clinical application. One way to do this is to apply the tools of proteomics to well-characterized samples of human brain tissue, but a closer partnership must still be forged between proteomic scientists, brain banks and clinicians to explore the maximum potential of this approach. Here we analyze the challenges and potential benefits of using human brain tissue for proteomics research toward NDs. PMID:26059592
Miller, Diane B; O'Callaghan, James P
Access to the CNS and delivery of therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier remains a challenge for most treatments of major neurological diseases such as AD or PD. Focused ultrasound represents a potential approach for overcoming these barriers to treating AD and PD and perhaps other neurological diseases. Ultrasound (US) is best known for its imaging capabilities of organs in the periphery, but various arrangements of the transducers producing the acoustic signal allow the energy to be precisely focused (F) within the skull. Using FUS in combination with MRI and contrast agents further enhances accuracy by providing clear information on location. Varying the acoustic power allows FUS to be used in applications ranging from imaging, stimulation of brain circuits, to ablation of tissue. In several transgenic mouse models of AD, the use of FUS with microbubbles reduces plaque load and improves cognition and suggests the need to investigate this technology for plaque removal in AD. In PD, FUS is being explored as a way to non-invasively ablate the brain areas responsible for the tremor and dyskinesia associated with the disease, but has yet to be utilized for non-invasive delivery of putative therapeutics. The FUS approach also greatly increases the range of possible CNS therapeutics as it overcomes the issues of BBB penetration. In this review we discuss how the characteristics and various applications of FUS may advance the therapeutics available for treating or preventing neurodegenerative disorders with an emphasis on treating AD and PD.
Bisbing, Teagan A.; Olm, Christopher A.; McMillan, Corey T.; Rascovsky, Katya; Baehr, Laura; Ternes, Kylie; Irwin, David J.; Clark, Robin; Grossman, Murray
We often estimate an unknown value based on available relevant information, a process known as cognitive estimation. In this study, we assess the cognitive and neuroanatomic basis for quantitative estimation by examining deficits in patients with focal neurodegenerative disease in frontal and parietal cortex. Executive function and number knowledge are key components in cognitive estimation. Prefrontal cortex has been implicated in multilevel reasoning and planning processes, and parietal cortex has been associated with number knowledge required for such estimations. We administered the Biber cognitive estimation test (BCET) to assess cognitive estimation in 22 patients with prefrontal disease due to behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), to 17 patients with parietal disease due to corticobasal syndrome (CBS) or posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and 11 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Both bvFTD and CBS/PCA patients had significantly more difficulty with cognitive estimation than controls. MCI were not impaired on BCET relative to controls. Regression analyses related BCET performance to gray matter atrophy in right lateral prefrontal and orbital frontal cortices in bvFTD, and to atrophy in right inferior parietal cortex, right insula, and fusiform cortices in CBS/PCA. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that a frontal-parietal network plays a crucial role in cognitive estimation. PMID:26089786
Barnham, Kevin J; Bush, Ashley I
Multiple abnormalities occur in the homeostasis of essential endogenous brain biometals in age-related neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. As a result, metals both accumulate in microscopic proteinopathies, and can be deficient in cells or cellular compartments. Therefore, bulk measurement of metal content in brain tissue samples reveal only the "tip of the iceberg", with most of the important changes occurring on a microscopic and biochemical level. Each of the major proteins implicated in these disorders interacts with biological transition metals. Tau and the amyloid protein precursor have important roles in normal neuronal iron homeostasis. Changes in metal distribution, cellular deficiencies, or sequestration in proteinopathies all present abnormalities that can be corrected in animal models by small molecules. These biochemical targets are more complex than the simple excess of metals that are targeted by chelators. In this review we illustrate some of the richness in the science that has developed in the study of metals in neurodegeneration, and explore its novel pharmacology.
Crabb, David P.; Smith, Nicholas D.; Zhu, Haogang
Purpose: We test the hypothesis that age-related neurodegenerative eye disease can be detected by examining patterns of eye movement recorded whilst a person naturally watches a movie. Methods: Thirty-two elderly people with healthy vision (median age: 70, interquartile range [IQR] 64–75 years) and 44 patients with a clinical diagnosis of glaucoma (median age: 69, IQR 63–77 years) had standard vision examinations including automated perimetry. Disease severity was measured using a standard clinical measure (visual field mean deviation; MD). All study participants viewed three unmodified TV and film clips on a computer set up incorporating the Eyelink 1000 eyetracker (SR Research, Ontario, Canada). Eye movement scanpaths were plotted using novel methods that first filtered the data and then generated saccade density maps. Maps were then subjected to a feature extraction analysis using kernel principal component analysis (KPCA). Features from the KPCA were then classified using a standard machine based classifier trained and tested by a 10-fold cross validation which was repeated 100 times to estimate the confidence interval (CI) of classification sensitivity and specificity. Results: Patients had a range of disease severity from early to advanced (median [IQR] right eye and left eye MD was −7 [−13 to −5] dB and −9 [−15 to −4] dB, respectively). Average sensitivity for correctly identifying a glaucoma patient at a fixed specificity of 90% was 79% (95% CI: 58–86%). The area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve was 0.84 (95% CI: 0.82–0.87). Conclusions: Huge data from scanpaths of eye movements recorded whilst people freely watch TV type films can be processed into maps that contain a signature of vision loss. In this proof of principle study we have demonstrated that a group of patients with age-related neurodegenerative eye disease can be reasonably well separated from a group of healthy peers by considering these eye movement
Kim, Yong Hwan; Beak, Seung Han; Charidimou, Andreas; Song, Min
Late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) are mostly "sporadic" age-related neurodegenerative disorders, but with a clear genetic component. However, their genetic architecture is complex and heterogeneous, largely remaining a conundrum, with only a handful of well-established genetic risk factors consistently associated with these diseases. It is possible that numerous, yet undiscovered, AD and PD related genes might exist. We focused on the 'gene' as a mediator to find new potential genes that might have a relationship with both disorders using bio-literature mining techniques. Based on Entrez Gene, we extracted the genes and directional gene-gene relation in the entire MEDLINE records and then constructed a directional gene-gene network. We identified common genes associated with two different but related diseases by performing shortest path analysis on the network. With our approach, we were able to identify and map already known genes that have a direct relationship with PD and AD. In addition, we identified 7 genes previously unknown to be a bridge between these two disorders. We confirmed 4 genes, ROS1, FMN1, ATP8A2, and SNORD12C, by biomedical literature and further checked 3 genes, ERVK-10, PRS, and C7orf49, that might have a high possibility to be related with both diseases. Additional experiments were performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method. Comparing to the co-occurrence approach, our approach detected 25% more candidate genes and verified 10% more genes that have the relationship between both diseases than the co-occurrence approach did.
Nalls, Mike A.; Bras, Jose; Hernandez, Dena G.; Keller, Margaux F.; Majounie, Elisa; Renton, Alan E.; Saad, Mohamad; Jansen, Iris; Guerreiro, Rita; Lubbe, Steven; Plagnol, Vincent; Gibbs, J. Raphael; Schulte, Claudia; Pankratz, Nathan; Sutherland, Margaret; Bertram, Lars; Lill, Christina M.; DeStefano, Anita L.; Faroud, Tatiana; Eriksson, Nicholas; Tung, Joyce Y.; Edsall, Connor; Nichols, Noah; Brooks, Janet; Arepalli, Sampath; Pliner, Hannah; Letson, Chris; Heutink, Peter; Martinez, Maria; Gasser, Thomas; Traynor, Bryan J.; Wood, Nick; Hardy, John; Singleton, Andrew B.
Our objective was to design a genotyping platform that would allow rapid genetic characterization of samples in the context of genetic mutations and risk factors associated with common neurodegenerative diseases. The platform needed to be relatively affordable, rapid to deploy, and use a common and accessible technology. Central to this project, we wanted to make the content of the platform open to any investigator without restriction. In designing this array we prioritized a number of types of genetic variability for inclusion, such as known risk alleles, disease-causing mutations, putative risk alleles, and other functionally important variants. The array was primarily designed to allow rapid screening of samples for disease-causing mutations and large population studies of risk factors. Notably, an explicit aim was to make this array widely available to facilitate data sharing across and within diseases. The resulting array, NeuroX, is a remarkably cost and time effective solution for high-quality genotyping. NeuroX comprises a backbone of standard Illumina exome content of approximately 240,000 variants, and over 24,000 custom content variants focusing on neurologic diseases. Data are generated at approximately $50–$60 per sample using a 12-sample format chip and regular Infinium infrastructure; thus, genotyping is rapid and accessible to many investigators. Here, we describe the design of NeuroX, discuss the utility of NeuroX in the analyses of rare and common risk variants, and present quality control metrics and a brief primer for the analysis of NeuroX derived data. PMID:25444595
Nalls, Mike A; Bras, Jose; Hernandez, Dena G; Keller, Margaux F; Majounie, Elisa; Renton, Alan E; Saad, Mohamad; Jansen, Iris; Guerreiro, Rita; Lubbe, Steven; Plagnol, Vincent; Gibbs, J Raphael; Schulte, Claudia; Pankratz, Nathan; Sutherland, Margaret; Bertram, Lars; Lill, Christina M; DeStefano, Anita L; Faroud, Tatiana; Eriksson, Nicholas; Tung, Joyce Y; Edsall, Connor; Nichols, Noah; Brooks, Janet; Arepalli, Sampath; Pliner, Hannah; Letson, Chris; Heutink, Peter; Martinez, Maria; Gasser, Thomas; Traynor, Bryan J; Wood, Nick; Hardy, John; Singleton, Andrew B
Our objective was to design a genotyping platform that would allow rapid genetic characterization of samples in the context of genetic mutations and risk factors associated with common neurodegenerative diseases. The platform needed to be relatively affordable, rapid to deploy, and use a common and accessible technology. Central to this project, we wanted to make the content of the platform open to any investigator without restriction. In designing this array we prioritized a number of types of genetic variability for inclusion, such as known risk alleles, disease-causing mutations, putative risk alleles, and other functionally important variants. The array was primarily designed to allow rapid screening of samples for disease-causing mutations and large population studies of risk factors. Notably, an explicit aim was to make this array widely available to facilitate data sharing across and within diseases. The resulting array, NeuroX, is a remarkably cost and time effective solution for high-quality genotyping. NeuroX comprises a backbone of standard Illumina exome content of approximately 240,000 variants, and over 24,000 custom content variants focusing on neurologic diseases. Data are generated at approximately $50-$60 per sample using a 12-sample format chip and regular Infinium infrastructure; thus, genotyping is rapid and accessible to many investigators. Here, we describe the design of NeuroX, discuss the utility of NeuroX in the analyses of rare and common risk variants, and present quality control metrics and a brief primer for the analysis of NeuroX derived data.
Marziali, Elsa; Donahue, Peter
Purpose: The aim of this pilot feasibility study was to evaluate the effects of an innovative, Internet-based psychosocial intervention for family caregivers of older adults with neurodegenerative disease. Design and Methods: After receiving signed informed consent from each participant, we randomly assigned 66 caregivers to an Internet-based…
Sharma, Rahul; Lahiri, Ramanuj; Scollard, David M; Pena, Maria; Williams, Diana L; Adams, Linda B; Figarola, John; Truman, Richard W
Leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease) is an infectious peripheral neurological disorder caused by Mycobacterium leprae that even today leaves millions of individuals worldwide with life-long disabilities. The specific mechanisms by which this bacterium induces nerve injury remain largely unknown, mainly owing to ethical and practical limitations in obtaining affected human nerve samples. In addition to humans, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are the only other natural host of M. leprae, and they develop a systemically disseminated disease with extensive neurological involvement. M. leprae is an obligate intracellular parasite that cannot be cultivated in vitro. Because of the heavy burdens of bacilli they harbor, nine-banded armadillos have become the organism of choice for propagating large quantities of M. leprae, and they are now advancing as models of leprosy pathogenesis and nerve damage. Although armadillos are exotic laboratory animals, the recently completed whole genome sequence for this animal is enabling researchers to undertake more sophisticated molecular studies and to develop armadillo-specific reagents. These advances will facilitate the use of armadillos in piloting new therapies and diagnostic regimens, and will provide new insights into the oldest known infectious neurodegenerative disorder.
Sharma, Rahul; Lahiri, Ramanuj; Scollard, David M.; Pena, Maria; Williams, Diana L.; Adams, Linda B.; Figarola, John; Truman, Richard W.
Leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) is an infectious peripheral neurological disorder caused by Mycobacterium leprae that even today leaves millions of individuals worldwide with life-long disabilities. The specific mechanisms by which this bacterium induces nerve injury remain largely unknown, mainly owing to ethical and practical limitations in obtaining affected human nerve samples. In addition to humans, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are the only other natural host of M. leprae, and they develop a systemically disseminated disease with extensive neurological involvement. M. leprae is an obligate intracellular parasite that cannot be cultivated in vitro. Because of the heavy burdens of bacilli they harbor, nine-banded armadillos have become the organism of choice for propagating large quantities of M. leprae, and they are now advancing as models of leprosy pathogenesis and nerve damage. Although armadillos are exotic laboratory animals, the recently completed whole genome sequence for this animal is enabling researchers to undertake more sophisticated molecular studies and to develop armadillo-specific reagents. These advances will facilitate the use of armadillos in piloting new therapies and diagnostic regimens, and will provide new insights into the oldest known infectious neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:23223615
Schmidt, K.-G; Bergert, H; Funk, R.H.W
Recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms in the cascade of events resulting in retinal cell death in ocular pathologies like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration led to the common descriptive term of neurodegenerative diseases of the retina. The final common pathophysiologic pathway of these diseases includes a particular form of metabolic stress, resulting in an insufficient supply of nutrients to the respective target structures (optic nerve head, retina). During metabolic stress, glutamate is released initiating the death of neurones containing ionotropic glutamate (N-methyl-D-aspartat, NMDA) receptors present on ganglion cells and a specific type of amacrine cells. Experimental studies demonstrate that several drugs reduce or prevent the death of retinal neurones deficient of nutrients. These agents generally block NMDA receptors to prevent the action of glutamate or halt the subsequent pathophysiologic cycle resulting in cell death. The major causes for cell death following activation of NMDA receptors are the influx of calcium and sodium into cells, the generation of free radicals linked to the formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) and/or advanced lipoxidation endproducts (ALEs) as well as defects in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Substances preventing these cytotoxic events are considered to be potentially neuroprotective. PMID:19305795
Herrera-Arozamena, Clara; Martí-Marí, Olaia; Estrada, Martín; de la Fuente Revenga, Mario; Rodríguez-Franco, María Isabel
The central nervous system of adult mammals has long been considered as a complex static structure unable to undergo any regenerative process to refurbish its dead nodes. This dogma was challenged by Altman in the 1960s and neuron self-renewal has been demonstrated ever since in many species, including humans. Aging, neurodegenerative, and some mental diseases are associated with an exponential decrease in brain neurogenesis. Therefore, the controlled pharmacological stimulation of the endogenous neural stem cells (NSCs) niches might counteract the neuronal loss in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other pathologies, opening an exciting new therapeutic avenue. In the last years, druggable molecular targets and signalling pathways involved in neurogenic processes have been identified, and as a consequence, different drug types have been developed and tested in neuronal plasticity. This review focuses on recent advances in neurogenic agents acting at serotonin and/or melatonin systems, Wnt/β-catenin pathway, sigma receptors, nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) and nuclear erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2).
Karlawish, Jason; Berkman, Benjamin E.
Objective: Prevention trials for neurodegenerative diseases use genetic or other risk marker tests to select participants but there is concern that this could involve coercive disclosure of unwanted information. This has led some trials to use blinded enrollment (participants are tested but not told of their risk marker status). We examined the ethics of blinded vs transparent enrollment using well-established criteria for assessing the ethics of clinical research. Methods: Normative analysis applying 4 key ethical criteria—favorable risk-benefit ratio, informed consent, fair subject selection, and scientific validity—to blinded vs transparent enrollment, using current evidence and state of Alzheimer disease (AD) and other prevention trials. Results: Current evidence on the psychosocial impact of risk marker disclosure and considerations of scientific benefit do not support an obligation to use blinded enrollment in prevention trials. Nor does transparent enrollment coerce or involve undue influence of potential participants. Transparent enrollment does not unfairly exploit vulnerable participants or limit generalizability of scientific findings of prevention trials. However, if the preferences of a community of potential participants would affect the rigor or feasibility of a prevention trial using transparent enrollment, then investigators are required by considerations of scientific validity to use blinded enrollment. Conclusions: Considerations of risks and benefits, informed consent, and fair subject selection do not require the use of blinded enrollment for AD prevention trials. Blinded enrollment in AD prevention trials may sometimes be necessary because of the need for scientific validity, not because it prevents coercion or undue influence. PMID:25762713
González, Roberto; Barrientos, Antonio; del Cerro, Jaime; Coca, Benito
In this study, a device based on patient motion capture is developed for the reliable and non-invasive diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. The primary objective of this study is the classification of differential diagnosis between Parkinson's disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET). The DIMETER system has been used in the diagnoses of a significant number of patients at two medical centers in Spain. Research studies on classification have primarily focused on the use of well-known and reliable diagnosis criteria developed by qualified personnel. Here, we first present a literature review of the methods used to detect and evaluate tremor; then, we describe the DIMETER device in terms of the software and hardware used and the battery of tests developed to obtain the best diagnoses. All of the tests are classified and described in terms of the characteristics of the data obtained. A list of parameters obtained from the tests is provided, and the results obtained using multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural networks are presented and analyzed. PMID:24608001
Meredith, M Elizabeth; Salameh, Therese S; Banks, William A
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a major impediment to the therapeutic delivery of peptides and proteins to the brain. Intranasal delivery often provides a non-invasive means to bypass the BBB. Advantages of using intranasal delivery include minimizing exposure to peripheral organs and tissues, thus reducing systemic side effects. It also allows substances that typically have rapid degradation in the blood time to exert their effect. Intranasal delivery provides the ability to target proteins and peptides to specific regions of the brain when administered with substrates like cyclodextrins. In this review, we examined the use of intranasal delivery of various proteins and peptides that have implications in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, focusing especially on albumin, exendin/GLP-1, GALP, insulin, leptin, and PACAP. We have described their rationale for use, distribution in the brain after intranasal injection, how intranasal administration differed from other modes of delivery, and their use in clinical trials, if applicable. Intranasal delivery of drugs, peptides, and other proteins could be very useful in the future for the prevention or treatment of brain related diseases.
Cummings, Jeffrey; Friedman, Joseph H; Garibaldi, George; Jones, Martin; Macfadden, Wayne; Marsh, Laura; Robert, Philippe H
Apathy is a common feature of neurodegenerative disorders but is difficult to study in a clinical trial setting due to practical and conceptual barriers. Principal challenges include a paucity of data regarding apathy in these disorders, an absence of established diagnostic criteria, the presence of confounding factors (eg, coexisting depression), use of concomitant medications, and an absence of a gold-standard apathy assessment scale. Based on a literature search and ongoing collaboration among the authors, we present recommendations for the design of future clinical trials of apathy, suggesting Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease as models with relevance across a wider array of neuropsychiatric disorders. Recommendations address clarification of the targeted study population (apathy diagnosis and severity at baseline), confounding factors (mood/cognition, behavior, and treatment), outcome measures, study duration, use of comparators and considerations around environment, and the role of the caregiver and patient assent. This review contributes to the search for an optimal approach to study treatment of apathy in neuropsychiatric disorders.
Venkatesan, Ramu; Ji, Eunhee; Kim, Sun Yeou
Alzheimer's disease (AD), characterized by progressive dementia and deterioration of cognitive function, is an unsolved social and medical problem. Age, nutrition, and toxins are the most common causes of AD. However, currently no credible treatment is available for AD. Traditional herbs and phytochemicals may delay its onset and slow its progression and also allow recovery by targeting multiple pathological causes by antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloidogenic properties. They also regulate mitochondrial stress, apoptotic factors, free radical scavenging system, and neurotrophic factors. Neurotrophins such as BDNF, NGF, NT3, and NT4/5 play a vital role in neuronal and nonneuronal responses to AD. Neurotrophins depletion accelerates the progression of AD and therefore, replacing such neurotrophins may be a potential treatment for neurodegenerative disease. Here, we review the phytochemicals that mediate the signaling pathways involved in neuroprotection specifically neurotrophin-mediated activation of Trk receptors and members of p75(NTR) superfamily. We focus on representative phenolic derivatives, iridoid glycosides, terpenoids, alkaloids, and steroidal saponins as regulators of neurotrophin-mediated neuroprotection. Although these phytochemicals have attracted attention owing to their in vitro neurotrophin potentiating activity, their in vivo and clinical efficacy trials has yet to be established. Therefore, further research is necessary to prove the neuroprotective effects in preclinical models and in humans.
Venkatesan, Ramu; Ji, Eunhee; Kim, Sun Yeou
Alzheimer's disease (AD), characterized by progressive dementia and deterioration of cognitive function, is an unsolved social and medical problem. Age, nutrition, and toxins are the most common causes of AD. However, currently no credible treatment is available for AD. Traditional herbs and phytochemicals may delay its onset and slow its progression and also allow recovery by targeting multiple pathological causes by antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloidogenic properties. They also regulate mitochondrial stress, apoptotic factors, free radical scavenging system, and neurotrophic factors. Neurotrophins such as BDNF, NGF, NT3, and NT4/5 play a vital role in neuronal and nonneuronal responses to AD. Neurotrophins depletion accelerates the progression of AD and therefore, replacing such neurotrophins may be a potential treatment for neurodegenerative disease. Here, we review the phytochemicals that mediate the signaling pathways involved in neuroprotection specifically neurotrophin-mediated activation of Trk receptors and members of p75NTR superfamily. We focus on representative phenolic derivatives, iridoid glycosides, terpenoids, alkaloids, and steroidal saponins as regulators of neurotrophin-mediated neuroprotection. Although these phytochemicals have attracted attention owing to their in vitro neurotrophin potentiating activity, their in vivo and clinical efficacy trials has yet to be established. Therefore, further research is necessary to prove the neuroprotective effects in preclinical models and in humans. PMID:26075266
González, Roberto; Barrientos, Antonio; del Cerro, Jaime; Coca, Benito
In this study, a device based on patient motion capture is developed for the reliable and non-invasive diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. The primary objective of this study is the classification of differential diagnosis between Parkinson's disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET). The DIMETER system has been used in the diagnoses of a significant number of patients at two medical centers in Spain. Research studies on classification have primarily focused on the use of well-known and reliable diagnosis criteria developed by qualified personnel. Here, we first present a literature review of the methods used to detect and evaluate tremor; then, we describe the DIMETER device in terms of the software and hardware used and the battery of tests developed to obtain the best diagnoses. All of the tests are classified and described in terms of the characteristics of the data obtained. A list of parameters obtained from the tests is provided, and the results obtained using multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural networks are presented and analyzed.
Poppinga, W J; Muñoz-Llancao, P; González-Billault, C; Schmidt, M
The universal second messenger cAMP is generated upon stimulation of Gs protein-coupled receptors, such as the β2-adreneoceptor, and leads to the activation of PKA, the major cAMP effector protein. PKA oscillates between an on and off state and thereby regulates a plethora of distinct biological responses. The broad activation pattern of PKA and its contribution to several distinct cellular functions lead to the introduction of the concept of compartmentalization of cAMP. A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) are of central importance due to their unique ability to directly and/or indirectly interact with proteins that either determine the cellular content of cAMP, such as β2-adrenoceptors, ACs and PDEs, or are regulated by cAMP such as the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP. We report on lessons learned from neurons indicating that maintenance of cAMP compartmentalization by AKAP5 is linked to neurotransmission, learning and memory. Disturbance of cAMP compartments seem to be linked to neurodegenerative disease including Alzheimer's disease. We translate this knowledge to compartmentalized cAMP signalling in the lung. Next to AKAP5, we focus here on AKAP12 and Ezrin (AKAP78). These topics will be highlighted in the context of the development of novel pharmacological interventions to tackle AKAP-dependent compartmentalization. PMID:25132049
Haston, Kelly M.; Finkbeiner, Steven
Neurodegenerative diseases are a leading cause of death. No disease-modifying therapies are available, and preclinical animal model data have routinely failed to translate into success for therapeutics. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) biology holds great promise for human in vitro disease modeling because these cells can give rise to any cell in the human brain and display phenotypes specific to neurodegenerative diseases previously identified in postmortem and clinical samples. Here, we explore the potential and caveats of iPSC technology as a platform for drug development and screening, and the future potential to use large cohorts of disease-bearing iPSCs to perform clinical trials in a dish. PMID:26514199
Hayward, Rachel M; Nicolin, Gary; Kennedy, Charles; Joy, Harriet; Davies, Justin H
Diabetes insipidus (DI) is rare in childhood and has a wide-ranging aetiology including the involvement of uncontrolled proliferation of dendritic cells in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, characteristic of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). DI may manifest as a sequela of multisystem LCH disease involving skin, bone, liver, spleen and lymph nodes. In very rare cases patients diagnosed with LCH exhibit neurodegenerative changes, such as severe ataxia, tremor, dysarthria and intellectual impairment. We report a 2 1/2-year-old boy who presented initially with apparent idiopathic DI, developed anterior pituitary hormone deficiency and progressive neurological deterioration secondary to neurodegenerative LCH.
Contestabile, Antonio; Ciani, Elisabetta; Contestabile, Andrea
The so-called "cholinergic hypothesis" assumes that degenerative dysfunction of the cholinergic system originating in the basal forebrain and innervating several cortical regions and the hippocampus, is related to memory impairment and neurodegeneration found in several forms of dementia and in brain aging. Biochemical methods measuring the activity of the key enzyme for acetylcholine synthesis, choline acetyltransferase, have been used for many years as a reliable marker of the integrity or the damage of the cholinergic pathways. Stereologic counting of the basal forebrain cholinergic cell bodies, has been additionally used to assess neurodegenerative changes of the forebrain cholinergic system. While initially believed to mark relatively early stages of disease, cholinergic dysfunction is at present considered to occur in advanced dementia of Alzheimer's type, while its involvement in mild and prodromal stages of the disease has been questioned. The issue is relevant to better understand the neuropathological basis of the diseases, but it is also of primary importance for therapy. During the last few years, indeed, cholinergic replacement therapies, mainly based on the use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors to increase synaptic availability of acetylcholine, have been exploited on the assumption that they could ameliorate the progression of the dementia from its initial stages. In the present paper, we review data from human studies, as well as from animal models of Alzheimer's and Down's diseases, focusing on different ways to evaluate cholinergic dysfunction, also in relation to the time point at which these dysfunctions can be demonstrated, and on some discrepancy arising from the use of different methodological approaches. The reviewed literature, as well as some recent data from our laboratories on a mouse model of Down's syndrome, stress the importance of performing biochemical evaluation of choline acetyltransferase activity to assess cholinergic
Ayyadevara, Srinivas; Balasubramaniam, Meenakshisundaram; Gao, Yuan; Yu, Li-Rong; Alla, Ramani; Shmookler Reis, Robert
Age-dependent neurodegenerative diseases progressively form aggregates containing both shared components (e.g., TDP-43, phosphorylated tau) and proteins specific to each disease. We investigated whether diverse neuropathies might have additional aggregation-prone proteins in common, discoverable by proteomics. Caenorhabditis elegans expressing unc-54p/Q40::YFP, a model of polyglutamine array diseases such as Huntington's, accrues aggregates in muscle 2–6 days posthatch. These foci, isolated on antibody-coupled magnetic beads, were characterized by high-resolution mass spectrometry. Three Q40::YFP-associated proteins were inferred to promote aggregation and cytotoxicity, traits reduced or delayed by their RNA interference knockdown. These RNAi treatments also retarded aggregation/cytotoxicity in Alzheimer's disease models, nematodes with muscle or pan-neuronal Aβ1–42 expression and behavioral phenotypes. The most abundant aggregated proteins are glutamine/asparagine-rich, favoring hydrophobic interactions with other random-coil domains. A particularly potent modulator of aggregation, CRAM-1/HYPK, contributed < 1% of protein aggregate peptides, yet its knockdown reduced Q40::YFP aggregates 72–86% (P < 10−6). In worms expressing Aβ1–42, knockdown of cram-1 reduced β-amyloid 60% (P < 0.002) and slowed age-dependent paralysis > 30% (P < 10−6). In wild-type worms, cram-1 knockdown reduced aggregation and extended lifespan, but impaired early reproduction. Protection against seeded aggregates requires proteasome function, implying that normal CRAM-1 levels promote aggregation by interfering with proteasomal degradation of misfolded proteins. Molecular dynamic modeling predicts spontaneous and stable interactions of CRAM-1 (or human orthologs) with ubiquitin, and we verified that CRAM-1 reduces degradation of a tagged-ubiquitin reporter. We propose that CRAM-1 exemplifies a class of primitive chaperones that are initially protective and highly
Drug Development for Neurodegenerative Diseases--Second Annual marcus evans Conference. Advances in drug development for NDD and expediting discovery through novel compounds and sound clinical trials.
The Second Annual marcus evens Drug Development for Neurodegenerative Diseases Conference, held in Boston, included topics covering new therapeutic developments in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. This conference report highlights selected presentations on biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases; novel approaches to therapy for neurodegenerative disorders, including targeting PKCepsilon in Alzheimer's disease, small-molecule therapeutics for neurogenesis, neureglins to promote neurorecovery, and updates on several investigational drugs; and progress in neurodegenerative disease research, including measuring microtubule dynamics in Parkinson's disease and drug delivery to the brain. Investigational drugs discussed include NNI-251 (NeuroNascent Inc), neuregulins including glial growth factor 2 (Acorda Therapeutics Inc), AL-108 (Allon Therapeutics Inc) and EVP-0962 (EnVivo Pharmaceuticals Inc).
Erdő, Franciska; Denes, László; de Lange, Elizabeth
The age-associated decline of the neurological and cognitive functions becomes more and more serious challenge for the developed countries with the increasing number of aged populations. The morphological and biochemical changes in the aging brain are the subjects of many extended research projects worldwide for a long time. However, the crucial role of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) impairment and disruption in the pathological processes in age-associated neurodegenerative disorders received special attention just for a few years. This article gives an overview on the major elements of the blood-brain barrier and its supporting mechanisms and also on their alterations during development, physiological aging process and age-associated neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, pharmacoresistant epilepsy). Besides the morphological alterations of the cellular elements (endothelial cells, astrocytes, pericytes, microglia, neuronal elements) of the BBB and neurovascular unit, the changes of the barrier at molecular level (tight junction proteins, adheres junction proteins, membrane transporters, basal lamina, extracellular matrix) are also summarized. The recognition of new players and initiators of the process of neurodegeneration at the level of the BBB may offer new avenues for novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of numerous chronic neurodegenerative disorders currently without effective medication.
Chiurchiù, Valerio; Orlacchio, Antonio; Maccarrone, Mauro
The central nervous system is particularly sensitive to oxidative stress due to many reasons, including its high oxygen consumption even under basal conditions, high production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species from specific neurochemical reactions, and the increased deposition of metal ions in the brain with aging. For this reason, along with inflammation, oxidative stress seems to be one of the main inducers of neurodegeneration, causing excitotoxicity, neuronal loss, and axonal damage, ultimately being now considered a key element in the onset and progression of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and hereditary spastic paraplegia. Thus, the present paper reviews the role of oxidative stress and of its mechanistic insights underlying the pathogenesis of these neurodegenerative diseases, with particular focus on current studies on its modulation as a potential and promising therapeutic strategy.
The central nervous system is particularly sensitive to oxidative stress due to many reasons, including its high oxygen consumption even under basal conditions, high production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species from specific neurochemical reactions, and the increased deposition of metal ions in the brain with aging. For this reason, along with inflammation, oxidative stress seems to be one of the main inducers of neurodegeneration, causing excitotoxicity, neuronal loss, and axonal damage, ultimately being now considered a key element in the onset and progression of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and hereditary spastic paraplegia. Thus, the present paper reviews the role of oxidative stress and of its mechanistic insights underlying the pathogenesis of these neurodegenerative diseases, with particular focus on current studies on its modulation as a potential and promising therapeutic strategy. PMID:26881039
Ullah, Faheem; Liang, Andy; Rangel, Alejandra; Gyengesi, Erika; Niedermayer, Garry; Münch, Gerald
Neuroinflammation is a pathophysiological process present in a number of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury including chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other age-related CNS disorders. Although there is still much debate about the initial trigger for some of these neurodegenerative disorders, during the progression of disease, broad range anti-inflammatory drugs including cytokine suppressive anti-inflammatory drugs (CSAIDs) might be promising therapeutic options to limit neuroinflammation and improve the clinical outcome. One of the most promising CSAIDs is curcumin, which modulates the activity of several transcription factors (e.g., STAT, NF-κB, AP-1) and their pro-inflammatory molecular signaling pathways. However, normal curcumin preparations demonstrate low bioavailability in vivo. To increase bioavailability, preparations of high bioavailability curcumin have been introduced to achieve therapeutically relevant concentrations in target tissues. This literature review aims to summarize the pharmacokinetic and toxicity profile of different curcumin formulations.
Lee, De-Hyung; Gold, Ralf; Linker, Ralf A.
Oxidative stress plays a crucial role in many neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s as well as Huntington’s disease. Inflammation and oxidative stress are also thought to promote tissue damage in multiple sclerosis (MS). Recent data point at an important role of anti-oxidative pathways for tissue protection in chronic-progressive MS, particularly involving the transcription factor nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Thus, novel therapeutics enhancing cellular resistance to free radicals could prove useful for MS treatment. Here, fumaric acid esters (FAE) are a new, orally available treatment option which had already been tested in phase II/III MS trials demonstrating beneficial effects on relapse rates and magnetic resonance imaging markers. In vitro, application of dimethylfumarate (DMF) leads to stabilization of Nrf2, activation of Nrf2-dependent transcriptional activity and abundant synthesis of detoxifying proteins. Furthermore, application of FAE involves direct modification of the inhibitor of Nrf2, Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1. On cellular levels, the application of FAE enhances neuronal survival and protects astrocytes against oxidative stress. Increased levels of Nrf2 are detected in the central nervous system of DMF treated mice suffering from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS. In EAE, DMF ameliorates the disease course and improves preservation of myelin, axons and neurons. Finally, Nrf2 is also up-regulated in the spinal cord of autopsy specimens from untreated patients with MS, probably as part of a naturally occurring anti-oxidative response. In summary, oxidative stress and anti-oxidative pathways are important players in MS pathophysiology and constitute a promising target for future MS therapies like FAE. PMID:23109883
Turjeman, Keren; Bavli, Yaelle; Kizelsztein, Pablo; Schilt, Yaelle; Allon, Nahum; Katzir, Tamar Blumenfeld; Sasson, Efrat; Raviv, Uri; Ovadia, Haim; Barenholz, Yechezkel
The present study shows the advantages of liposome-based nano-drugs as a novel strategy of delivering active pharmaceutical ingredients for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases that involve neuroinflammation. We used the most common animal model for multiple sclerosis (MS), mice experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The main challenges to overcome are the drugs’ unfavorable pharmacokinetics and biodistribution, which result in inadequate therapeutic efficacy and in drug toxicity (due to high and repeated dosage). We designed two different liposomal nano-drugs, i.e., nano sterically stabilized liposomes (NSSL), remote loaded with: (a) a “water-soluble” amphipathic weak acid glucocorticosteroid prodrug, methylprednisolone hemisuccinate (MPS) or (b) the amphipathic weak base nitroxide, Tempamine (TMN). For the NSSL-MPS we also compared the effect of passive targeting alone and of active targeting based on short peptide fragments of ApoE or of β-amyloid. Our results clearly show that for NSSL-MPS, active targeting is not superior to passive targeting. For the NSSL-MPS and the NSSL-TMN it was demonstrated that these nano-drugs ameliorate the clinical signs and the pathology of EAE. We have further investigated the MPS nano-drug’s therapeutic efficacy and its mechanism of action in both the acute and the adoptive transfer EAE models, as well as optimizing the perfomance of the TMN nano-drug. The highly efficacious anti-inflammatory therapeutic feature of these two nano-drugs meets the criteria of disease-modifying drugs and supports further development and evaluation of these nano-drugs as potential therapeutic agents for diseases with an inflammatory component. PMID:26147975
Uttara, Bayani; Singh, Ajay V.; Zamboni, Paolo; Mahajan, R.T
Free radicals are common outcome of normal aerobic cellular metabolism. In-built antioxidant system of body plays its decisive role in prevention of any loss due to free radicals. However, imbalanced defense mechanism of antioxidants, overproduction or incorporation of free radicals from environment to living system leads to serious penalty leading to neuro-degeneration. Neural cells suffer functional or sensory loss in neurodegenerative diseases. Apart from several other environmental or genetic factors, oxidative stress (OS) leading to free radical attack on neural cells contributes calamitous role to neuro-degeneration. Though, oxygen is imperative for life, imbalanced metabolism and excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation end into a range of disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, aging and many other neural disorders. Toxicity of free radicals contributes to proteins and DNA injury, inflammation, tissue damage and subsequent cellular apoptosis. Antioxidants are now being looked upon as persuasive therapeutic against solemn neuronal loss, as they have capability to combat by neutralizing free radicals. Diet is major source of antioxidants, as well as medicinal herbs are catching attention to be commercial source of antioxidants at present. Recognition of upstream and downstream antioxidant therapy to oxidative stress has been proved an effective tool in alteration of any neuronal damage as well as free radical scavenging. Antioxidants have a wide scope to sequester metal ions involved in neuronal plaque formation to prevent oxidative stress. In addition, antioxidant therapy is vital in scavenging free radicals and ROS preventing neuronal degeneration in post-oxidative stress scenario. PMID:19721819
El-Khodor, Bassem; Dhana, Klodian; Nano, Jana; Pulido, Tammy; Kraja, Bledar; Zaciragic, Asija; Bramer, Wichor M.; Troup, John; Chowdhury, Rajiv; Ikram, M. Arfam; Dehghan, Abbas; Muka, Taulant; Franco, Oscar H.
Importance Epigenetic modifications of the genome, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, have been reported to play a role in neurodegenerative diseases (ND) such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Objective To systematically review studies investigating epigenetic marks in AD or PD. Methods Eleven bibliographic databases (Embase.com, Medline (Ovid), Web-of-Science, Scopus, PubMed, Cinahl (EBSCOhost), Cochrane Central, ProQuest, Lilacs, Scielo and Google Scholar) were searched until July 11th 2016 to identify relevant articles. We included all randomized controlled trials, cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies in humans that examined associations between epigenetic marks and ND. Two independent reviewers, with a third reviewer available for disagreements, performed the abstract and full text selection. Data was extracted using a pre-designed data collection form. Results Of 6,927 searched references, 73 unique case-control studies met our inclusion criteria. Overall, 11,453 individuals were included in this systematic review (2,640 AD and 2,368 PD outcomes). There was no consistent association between global DNA methylation pattern and any ND. Studies reported epigenetic regulation of 31 genes (including cell communication, apoptosis, and neurogenesis genes in blood and brain tissue) in relation to AD and PD. Methylation at the BDNF, SORBS3 and APP genes in AD were the most consistently reported associations. Methylation of α-synuclein gene (SNCA) was also found to be associated with PD. Seven studies reported histone protein alterations in AD and PD. Conclusion Many studies have investigated epigenetics and ND. Further research should include larger cohort or longitudinal studies, in order to identify clinically significant epigenetic changes. Identifying relevant epigenetic changes could lead to interventional strategies in ND. PMID:27973581
Wang, Yan; Xiong, Lilin; Tang, Meng
Particulate matter (PM) combined with meteorological factors cause the haze, which brings inconvenience to people's daily life and deeply endanger people's health. Accumulating literature, to date, reported that PM are closely related to cardiopulmonary disease. Outpatient visits and admissions as a result of asthma and heart attacks gradually increase with an elevated concentration of PM. Owing to its special physicochemical property, the brain could be a potential target beyond the cardiopulmonary system. Possible routes of PM to the brain via a direct route or stimulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines have been reported in several documents concerning toxicity of engineered nanoparticles in rodents. Recent studies have demonstrated that PM have implications in oxidative stress, inflammation, dysfunction of cellular organelles, as well as the disturbance of protein homeostasis, promoting neuron loss and exaggerating the burden of central nervous system (CNS). Moreover, the smallest particles (nano-sized particles), which were involved in inflammation, reactive oxygen species (ROS), microglial activation and neuron loss, may accelerate the process of the neurodevelopmental disorder and neurodegenerative disease. Potential or other undiscovered mechanisms are not mutually exclusive but complementary aspects of each other. Epidemiology studies have shown that exposure to PM could bring about neurotoxicity and play a significant role in the etiology of CNS disease, which has been gradually corroborated by in vivo and in vitro studies. This review highlights research advances on the health effects of PM with an emphasis on neurotoxicity. With the hope of enhancing awareness in the public and calling for prevention and protective measures, it is a critical topic that requires proceeding exploration. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Muñoz-Lobato, Fernando; Rodríguez-Palero, María Jesús; Naranjo-Galindo, Francisco José; Shephard, Freya; Gaffney, Christopher J.; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.; Hamamichi, Shusei; Caldwell, Kim A.; Caldwell, Guy A.; Link, Chris D.
Abstract Aims: Cells have developed quality control systems for protection against proteotoxicity. Misfolded and aggregation-prone proteins, which are behind the initiation and progression of many neurodegenerative diseases (ND), are known to challenge the proteostasis network of the cells. We aimed to explore the role of DNJ-27/ERdj5, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident thioredoxin protein required as a disulfide reductase for the degradation of misfolded proteins, in well-established Caenorhabditis elegans models of Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington diseases. Results: We demonstrate that DNJ-27 is an ER luminal protein and that its expression is induced upon ER stress via IRE-1/XBP-1. When dnj-27 expression is downregulated by RNA interference we find an increase in the aggregation and associated pathological phenotypes (paralysis and motility impairment) caused by human β-amyloid peptide (Aβ), α-synuclein (α-syn) and polyglutamine (polyQ) proteins. In turn, DNJ-27 overexpression ameliorates these deleterious phenotypes. Surprisingly, despite being an ER-resident protein, we show that dnj-27 downregulation alters cytoplasmic protein homeostasis and causes mitochondrial fragmentation. We further demonstrate that DNJ-27 overexpression substantially protects against the mitochondrial fragmentation caused by human Aβ and α-syn peptides in these worm models. Innovation: We identify C. elegans dnj-27 as a novel protective gene for the toxicity associated with the expression of human Aβ, α-syn and polyQ proteins, implying a protective role of ERdj5 in Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington diseases. Conclusion: Our data support a scenario where the levels of DNJ-27/ERdj5 in the ER impact cytoplasmic protein homeostasis and the integrity of the mitochondrial network which might underlie its protective effects in models of proteotoxicity associated to human ND. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 217–235. PMID:23641861
Mielcarek, Michal; Zielonka, Daniel; Carnemolla, Alisia; Marcinkowski, Jerzy T.; Guidez, Fabien
For the past decade protein acetylation has been shown to be a crucial post-transcriptional modification involved in the regulation of protein functions. Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) mediate acetylation of histones which results in the nucleosomal relaxation associated with gene expression. The reverse reaction, histone deacetylation, is mediated by histone deacetylases (HDACs) leading to chromatin condensation followed by transcriptional repression. HDACs are divided into distinct classes: I, IIa, IIb, III, and IV, on the basis of size and sequence homology, as well as formation of distinct repressor complexes. Implications of HDACs in many diseases, such as cancer, heart failure, and neurodegeneration, have identified these molecules as unique and attractive therapeutic targets. The emergence of HDAC4 among the members of class IIa family as a major player in synaptic plasticity raises important questions about its functions in the brain. The characterization of HDAC4 specific substrates and molecular partners in the brain will not only provide a better understanding of HDAC4 biological functions but also might help to develop new therapeutic strategies to target numerous malignancies. In this review we highlight and summarize recent achievements in understanding the biological role of HDAC4 in neurodegenerative processes. PMID:25759639
Eberini, Ivano; Daniele, Simona; Parravicini, Chiara; Sensi, Cristina; Trincavelli, Maria L.; Martini, Claudia; Abbracchio, Maria P.
GPR17, a previously orphan receptor responding to both uracil nucleotides and cysteinyl-leukotrienes, has been proposed as a novel promising target for human neurodegenerative diseases. Here, in order to specifically identify novel potent ligands of GPR17, we first modeled in silico the receptor by using a multiple template approach, in which extracellular loops of the receptor, quite complex to treat, were modeled making reference to the most similar parts of all the class-A GPCRs crystallized so far. A high-throughput virtual screening exploration of GPR17 binding site with more than 130,000 lead-like compounds was then applied, followed by the wet functional and pharmacological validation of the top-scoring chemical structures. This approach revealed successful for the proposed aim, and allowed us to identify five agonists or partial agonists with very diverse chemical structure. None of these compounds could have been expected `a priori' to act on a GPCR, and all of them behaved as much more potent ligands than GPR17 endogenous activators.
Saraiva, Cláudia; Praça, Catarina; Ferreira, Raquel; Santos, Tiago; Ferreira, Lino; Bernardino, Liliana
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a vital boundary between neural tissue and circulating blood. The BBB's unique and protective features control brain homeostasis as well as ion and molecule movement. Failure in maintaining any of these components results in the breakdown of this specialized multicellular structure and consequently promotes neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. In several high incidence pathologies such as stroke, Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) the BBB is impaired. However, even a damaged and more permeable BBB can pose serious challenges to drug delivery into the brain. The use of nanoparticle (NP) formulations able to encapsulate molecules with therapeutic value, while targeting specific transport processes in the brain vasculature, may enhance drug transport through the BBB in neurodegenerative/ischemic disorders and target relevant regions in the brain for regenerative processes. In this review, we will discuss BBB composition and characteristics and how these features are altered in pathology, namely in stroke, AD and PD. Additionally, factors influencing an efficient intravenous delivery of polymeric and inorganic NPs into the brain as well as NP-related delivery systems with the most promising functional outcomes will also be discussed.
Background Nucleotide duplications in exon 4 of the ferritin light polypeptide (FTL) gene cause the autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease neuroferritinopathy or hereditary ferritinopathy (HF). Pathologic examination of patients with HF has shown abnormal ferritin and iron accumulation in neurons and glia in the central nervous system (CNS) as well as in cells of other organ systems, including skin fibroblasts. To gain some understanding on the molecular basis of HF, we characterized iron metabolism in primary cultures of human skin fibroblasts from an individual with the FTL c.497_498dupTC mutation. Results Compared to normal controls, HF fibroblasts showed abnormal iron metabolism consisting of increased levels of ferritin polypeptides, divalent metal transporter 1, basal iron content and reactive oxygen species, and decreased levels of transferrin receptor-1 and IRE-IRP binding activity. Conclusions Our data indicates that HF fibroblasts replicate the abnormal iron metabolism observed in the CNS of patients with HF. We propose that HF fibroblasts are a unique cellular model in which to study the role of abnormal iron metabolism in the pathogenesis of HF without artifacts derived from over-expression or lack of endogenous translational regulatory elements. PMID:21067605
Cho, Seongeun; W