Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover

Hannover, Germany

Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover

Hannover, Germany
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Knippenberg S.,Hannover Medical School | Knippenberg S.,Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover | Thau N.,Hannover Medical School | Thau N.,Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover | And 4 more authors.
Behavioural Brain Research | Year: 2010

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating adult-onset motor neuron disorder with marginal therapeutic options. The disease is characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons in spinal cord and motor cortex. Transgenic mice carrying the G93A mutation of the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene develop a neurodegenerative disease closely mimicking human ALS. Several methods are currently used to record disease onset and progression of the animals in preclinical studies. For the interpretation of these preclinical trials, it is important to assess neurological function as sensitively as possible. In the present study, five different parameters (rotarod performance, weight, footprint analysis for both step length and runtime and the general condition of the mice scored from 1 to 5) were compared with respect to their significance to detect symptom onset and to monitor disease progression in transgenic G93A ALS mice. The rotarod and footprint analyses were performed weekly while the weight was recorded up to three times a week at later time points. General condition was assessed daily. First deficits were detected by rotarod testing and step length analyses. General condition score and weight showed first changes two weeks later. For preclinical testing of novel drug treatments rotarod and footprint analysis for step length therefore seem to be the most effective methods to detect symptom onset and potential treatment induced improvements. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Schiff M.,Hannover Medical School | Schiff M.,Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover | Schiff M.,Karolinska Institutet | Rockle I.,Hannover Medical School | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2011

The modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) with polysialic acid (polySia) is tightly linked to neural development. Genetic ablation of the polySia-synthesizing enzymes ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV generates polySia-negative but NCAM-positive (II-/-IV-/-) mice characterized by severe defects of major brain axon tracts, including internal capsule hypoplasia. Here, we demonstrate that misguidance of thalamocortical fibers and deficiencies of corticothalamic connections contribute to internal capsule defects in II-/-IV-/-mice. Thalamocortical fibers cross the primordium of the reticular thalamic nucleus (Rt) at embryonic day 14.5, before they fail to turn into the ventral telencephalon, thus deviating from their normal trajectory without passing through the internal capsule. At postnatal day 1, a reduction and massive disorganization of fibers traversing the Rt was observed, whereas terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling and cleaved caspase-3 staining indicated abundant apoptotic cell death of Rt neurons at postnatal day 5. Furthermore, during postnatal development, the number of Rt neurons was drastically reduced in 4-week-old II -/-IV-/- mice, but not in the NCAM-deficient N -/- or II-/-IV-/-N-/- triple knock-out animals displaying no internal capsule defects. Thus, degeneration of the Rt in II-/-IV-/- mice may be a consequence of malformation of thalamocortical and corticothalamic fibers providing major excitatory input into the Rt. Indeed, apoptotic death of Rt neurons could be induced by lesioning corticothalamic fibers on whole-brain slice cultures. We therefore propose that anterograde transneuronal degeneration of the Rt in polysialylation-deficient, NCAM-positive mice is caused by defective afferent innervation attributable to thalamocortical pathfinding defects. Copyright © 2011 the authors.


Scheiblich H.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Bicker G.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Bicker G.,Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover
Developmental Neurobiology | Year: 2016

Traumatic injury or the pathogenesis of some neurological disorders is accompanied by inflammatory cellular mechanisms, mainly resulting from the activation of central nervous system (CNS) resident microglia. Under inflammatory conditions, microglia up-regulate the inducible isoform of NOS (iNOS), leading to the production of high concentrations of the radical molecule nitric oxide (NO). At the onset of inflammation, high levels of microglial-derived NO may serve as a cellular defense mechanism helping to clear the damaged tissue and combat infection of the CNS by invading pathogens. However, the excessive overproduction of NO by activated microglia has been suggested to govern the inflammation-mediated neuronal loss causing eventually complete neurodegeneration. Here, we investigated how NO influences phagocytosis of neuronal debris by BV-2 microglia, and how neurite outgrowth of human NT2 model neurons is affected by microglial-derived NO. The presence of NO greatly increased microglial phagocytic capacity in a model of acute inflammation comprising lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated microglia and apoptotic neurons. Chemical manipulations suggested that NO up-regulates phagocytosis independently of the sGC/cGMP pathway. Using a transwell system, we showed that reactive microglia inhibit neurite outgrowth of human neurons via the generation of large amounts of NO over effective distances in the millimeter range. Application of a NOS blocker prevented the LPS-induced NO production, totally reversed the inhibitory effect of microglia on neurite outgrowth, but reduced the engulfment of neuronal debris. Our results indicate that a rather simple notion of treating excessive inflammation in the CNS by NO synthesis blocking agents has to consider functionally antagonistic microglial cell responses during pharmaceutic therapy. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 566–584, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Roloff F.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Ziege S.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Baumgartner W.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Baumgartner W.,Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover | And 5 more authors.
BMC Neuroscience | Year: 2013

Background: Transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) and Schwann cells (SC) is a promising therapeutic strategy to promote axonal growth and remyelination after spinal cord injury. Previous studies mainly focused on the rat model though results from primate and porcine models differed from those in the rat model. Interestingly, canine OECs show primate-like in vitro characteristics, such as absence of early senescence and abundance of stable p75NTR expression indicating that this species represents a valuable translational species for further studies. So far, few investigations have tested different glial cell types within the same study under identical conditions. This makes it very difficult to evaluate contradictory or confirmatory findings reported in various studies. Moreover, potential contamination of OEC preparations with Schwann cells was difficult to exclude. Thus, it remains rather controversial whether the different glial types display distinct cellular properties.Results: Here, we established cultures of Schwann cell-free OECs from olfactory bulb (OB-OECs) and mucosa (OM-OECs) and compared them in assays to Schwann cells. These glial cultures were obtained from a canine large animal model and used for monitoring migration, phagocytosis and the effects on in vitro neurite growth. OB-OECs and Schwann cells migrated faster than OM-OECs in a scratch wound assay. Glial cell migration was not modulated by cGMP and cAMP signaling, but activating protein kinase C enhanced motility. All three glial cell types displayed phagocytic activity in a microbead assay. In co-cultures with of human model (NT2) neurons neurite growth was maximal on OB-OECs.Conclusions: These data provide evidence that OB- and OM-OECs display distinct migratory behavior and interaction with neurites. OB-OECs migrate faster and enhance neurite growth of human model neurons better than Schwann cells, suggesting distinct and inherent properties of these closely-related cell types. Future studies will have to address whether, and how, these cellular properties correlate with the in vivo behavior after transplantation. © 2013 Roloff et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Rockle I.,Hannover Medical School | Hildebrandt H.,Hannover Medical School | Hildebrandt H.,Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover
Developmental Neurobiology | Year: 2016

The neurogenic niche of the anterior subventricular zone (SVZ) persistently generates neuroblasts, which migrate along the rostral migratory stream (RMS) into the olfactory bulb (OB), where they differentiate into granule and periglomerular cells. Loss of the neural cell adhesion molecule NCAM or its post-translational modification polysialic acid (polySia) impairs migration causing accumulations of cells in the proximal RMS and decreased OB volume. Polysialylation of NCAM is implemented by two polysialyltransferases, ST8SIA2 and ST8SIA4, with overlapping functions. Here, we used mice with Ncam1 and polysialyltransferase deletions to analyze how partial or complete loss of polySia synthesis or a combined loss of polySia and NCAM affects the RMS and the interneuron composition in the OB. Numerous calretinin (CR)-positive cells were detected dispersed around the RMS in Ncam1 knockout, St8sia2, St8sia4 double-knockout, and St8sia2, St8sia4, Ncam1 triple-knockout mice, as well as in St8sia2-/- but not in St8sia4-/- mice. These changes were not reflected by reductions of CR-positive cells in the granule or glomerular layer of the OB. Instead, calbindin-positive periglomerular interneurons were strongly reduced in all polySia-NCAM negative mice and slightly attenuated in St8sia2-/- as well as in the St8sia4-/- mice, which were devoid of ectopic CR-positive cells along the RMS. Consistent with the early developmental generation of calbindin- as compared with CR-positive OB interneurons, this phenotype was fully developed at postnatal day 5. Together, these results demonstrate that the early development of calbindin-positive periglomerular interneurons depends on the presentation of polySia on NCAM and requires the activity of both polysialyltransferases. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Loscher W.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Loscher W.,Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover | Langer O.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | Langer O.,Medical University of Vienna
Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2010

The issue of pharmacoresistance in epilepsy has received considerable attention in recent years, and a number of plausible hypotheses have been proposed. Of these, the so-called transporter hypothesis is the most extensively researched and documented. This hypothesis assumes that refractory epilepsy is associated with a localised over-expression of drug transporter proteins such as P-glycoprotein (Pgp) in the region of the epileptic focus, which actively extrudes antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) from their intended site of action. However, although this hypothesis has biological plausibility, there is no clinical evidence to support the assertion that AEDs are sufficiently strong substrates for transportermediated extrusion from the brain. The use of modern brain imaging techniques to determine Pgp function in patients with refractory epilepsy has started only recently, and may ultimately determine whether increased expression and function of Pgp or other efflux transporters are involved in AED resistance. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.


Hansmann F.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Hansmann F.,Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover | Herder V.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Herder V.,Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover | And 9 more authors.
Acta Neuropathologica | Year: 2012

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of extracellular proteases involved in the pathogenesis of demyelinating diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether MMPs induce direct myelin degradation, leukocyte infiltration, disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and/or extracellular matrix remodeling in the pathogenesis of Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis (TME), a virus-induced model of MS. During the demyelinating phase of TME, the highest transcriptional upregulation was detected for Mmp12, followed by Mmp3. Mmp12 -/- mice showed reduced demyelination, macrophage infiltration, and motor deficits compared with wild-type- and Mmp3 knock-out mice. However, BBB remained unaltered, and the amount of extracellular matrix deposition was similar in knock-out mice and wild-type mice. Furthermore, stereotaxic injection of activated MMP-3, -9, and -12 into the caudal cerebellar peduncle of adult mice induced a focally extensive primary demyelination prior to infiltration of inflammatory cells, as well as a reduction in the number of oligodendrocytes and a leakage of BBB. All these results demonstrate that MMP-12 plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of TME, most likely due to its primary myelin- or oligodendrocyte-toxic potential and its role in macrophage extravasation, whereas there was no sign of BBB damage or alterations to extracellular matrix remodeling/deposition. Thus, interrupting the MMP-12 cascade may be a relevant therapeutic approach for preventing chronic progressive demyelination. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Scheiblich H.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Bicker G.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Bicker G.,Center for Systems Neuroscience Hanover
Developmental neurobiology | Year: 2015

Clearance of infected and apoptotic neuronal corpses during inflammatory conditions is a fundamental process to create a favorable environment for neuronal recovery. Microglia are the resident immune cells and the predominant phagocytic cells of the CNS, showing a multitude of cellular responses upon activation. Here, we investigated in functional assays how the CO generating enzyme heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) influences BV-2 microglial migration, clearance of debris, and neurite outgrowth of human NT2 neurons. Stimulation of HO-1 activity attenuated microglial migration in a scratch wound assay, and phagocytosis in a cell culture model of acute inflammation comprising lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated microglia and apoptosis-induced neurons. Application of a CO donor prevented the production of NO during LPS stimulation, and reduced microglial migration and engulfment of neuronal debris. LPS-activated microglia inhibited neurite elongation of human neurons without requiring direct cell-cell surface contact. The inhibition of neurite outgrowth was totally reversed by application of exogenous CO or increased internal CO production through supply of the substrate hemin to HO. Our results point towards a vital cytoprotective role of HO-1/CO signaling after microglial activation. In addition, they support a therapeutic potential of CO releasing chemical agents in the treatment of excessive inflammatory conditions in the CNS. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Begandt D.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Bader A.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Dreyer L.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Eisert N.,Leibniz University of Hanover | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling | Year: 2013

The rat aortic smooth muscle cell line A-10 was used to investigate the effect of dipyridamole on the gap junction coupling of smooth muscle cells. The scrape loading/dye transfer (SL/DT) technique revealed that dipyridamole concentrations between 5 μM and 100 μM significantly increased gap junction coupling. The adenosine receptor antagonist MRS 1754, as well as the PKA inhibitors Rp-cAMPS and H-89 were able to inhibit the dipyridamole-related increase in coupling, while forskolin and Br-cAMP also induced an enhancement of the gap junction coupling. Regarding the time-dependent behaviour of dipyridamole, a short-term effect characterised by an oscillatory reaction was observed for application times of less than 5 h, while applications times of at least 6 h resulted in a long-term effect, characterised by a constant increase of gap junction coupling to its maximum levels. This increase was not altered by prolonged presence of dipyridamole. In parallel, a short application of dipyridamole for at least 15 min was found to be sufficient to evoke the long-term effect measured 6 h after drug washout. We propose that in both the short-term and long-term effect, cAMP-related pathways are activated. The short-term phase could be related to an oscillatory cAMP effect, which might directly affect connexin trafficking, assembly and/or gap junction gating. The long-term effect is most likely related to the new expression and synthesis of connexins. With previous data from a bovine aortic endothelial cell line, the present results show that gap junction coupling of vascular cells is a target for dipyridamole. © 2013 The International CCN Society.


Muhlenhoff M.,Hannover Medical School | Rollenhagen M.,Hannover Medical School | Rollenhagen M.,University of Dundee | Werneburg S.,Hannover Medical School | And 5 more authors.
Neurochemical Research | Year: 2013

The glycan polysialic acid is well-known as a unique posttranslational modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule NCAM. Despite remarkable acceptor specificity, however, a few other proteins can be targets of polysialylation. Here, we recapitulate the biosynthesis of polysialic acid by the two polysialyltransferases ST8SIA2 and ST8SIA4 and highlight the increasing evidence that variation in the human ST8SIA2 gene is linked to schizophrenia and possibly other neuropsychiatric disorders. Moreover, we summarize the knowledge on the role of NCAM polysialylation in brain development gained by the analysis of NCAM- and polysialyltransferase-deficient mouse models. The last part of this review is focused on recent advances in identifying SynCAM 1 and neuropilin-2 as novel acceptors of polysialic acid in NG2 cells of the perinatal brain and in dendritic cells of the immune system, respectively. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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