Charlie Norwood Medical Center

Augusta, GA, United States

Charlie Norwood Medical Center

Augusta, GA, United States
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Legay C.,University of Paris Descartes | Mei L.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2017

The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is indispensable for survival. This synapse between motoneurons and skeletal muscle fibers allows posture, movement and respiration. Therefore, its dysfunction creates pathologies than can be lethal. The molecular mechanisms of NMJ development and maintenance are the subject of intensive studies. This mini-review focuses on some of the most recent discoveries. An unexpected role for a protein, rapsyn, which has been known for 40 years to aggregate acetylcholine receptors has emerged. A new cell partner at NMJ has been unmasked and is challenging our understanding of the functioning of this synapse. Toxins are now used as new tools to study degeneration/regeneration. The possibility of creating human NMJ in vitro is within reach with major consequences for drug screening. Wnts are secreted neurogenic factors that have been involved in vitro in acetylcholine receptor clustering, but their precise role in vivo remains to be clarified. All these data are raising new and exciting perspectives in the field and are discussed in this Review. This is an article for the special issue XVth International Symposium on Cholinergic Mechanisms. (Figure presented.). © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry


El-Kenawi A.E.,Mansoura University | El-Remessy A.B.,University of Georgia | El-Remessy A.B.,Georgia Regents University | El-Remessy A.B.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center
British Journal of Pharmacology | Year: 2013

Angiogenesis, a process of new blood vessel formation, is a prerequisite for tumour growth to supply the proliferating tumour with oxygen and nutrients. The angiogenic process may contribute to tumour progression, invasion and metastasis, and is generally accepted as an indicator of tumour prognosis. Therefore, targeting tumour angiogenesis has become of high clinical relevance. The current review aimed to highlight mechanistic details of anti-angiogenic therapies and how they relate to classification and treatment rationales. Angiogenesis inhibitors are classified into either direct inhibitors that target endothelial cells in the growing vasculature or indirect inhibitors that prevent the expression or block the activity of angiogenesis inducers. The latter class extends to include targeted therapy against oncogenes, conventional chemotherapeutic agents and drugs targeting other cells of the tumour micro-environment. Angiogenesis inhibitors may be used as either monotherapy or in combination with other anticancer drugs. In this context, many preclinical and clinical studies revealed higher therapeutic effectiveness of the combined treatments compared with individual treatments. The proper understanding of synergistic treatment modalities of angiogenesis inhibitors as well as their wide range of cellular targets could provide effective tools for future therapies of many types of cancer. © 2013 The British Pharmacological Society.


Mei L.,Georgia Regents University | Mei L.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center | Nave K.-A.,Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine
Neuron | Year: 2014

Neuregulins (NRGs) comprise a large family of growth factors that stimulate ERBB receptor tyrosine kinases. NRGs and their receptors, ERBBs, have been identified as susceptibility genes for diseases such as schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder. Recent studies have revealed complex Nrg/Erbb signaling networks that regulate the assembly of neural circuitry, myelination, neurotransmission, and synaptic plasticity. Evidence indicates there is an optimal level of NRG/ERBB signaling in the brain and deviation from it impairs brain functions. NRGs/ERBBs and downstream signaling pathways may provide therapeutic targets for specific neuropsychiatric symptoms. Neuregulins (NRGs) comprise a family of growth factors that activate ERBB receptor kinases. Mei and Nave review the role of Nrg-Erbb signaling in neural development, myelination, and synaptic plasticity and the possible contribution of abnormal NRG1 signaling to brain disorders. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Hattangady N.G.,Georgia Regents University | Olala L.O.,Georgia Regents University | Bollag W.B.,Georgia Regents University | Bollag W.B.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center | Rainey W.E.,Georgia Regents University
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology | Year: 2012

Aldosterone is the major mineralocorticoid synthesized by the adrenal and plays an important role in the regulation of systemic blood pressure through the absorption of sodium and water. Aldosterone production is regulated tightly by selective expression of aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2) in the adrenal outermost zone, the zona glomerulosa. Angiotensin II (Ang II), potassium (K +) and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) are the main physiological agonists which regulate aldosterone secretion. Aldosterone production is regulated within minutes of stimulation (acutely) through increased expression and phosphorylation of the steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein and over hours to days (chronically) by increased expression of the enzymes involved in the synthesis of aldosterone, particularly CYP11B2. Imbalance in any of these processes may lead to several disorders of aldosterone excess. In this review we attempt to summarize the key molecular events involved in the acute and chronic phases of aldosterone secretion. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Bollag W.B.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center | Bollag W.B.,Georgia Regents University
Comprehensive Physiology | Year: 2014

Aldosterone is a steroid hormone synthesized in and secreted from the outer layer of the adrenal cortex, the zona glomerulosa. Aldosterone is responsible for regulating sodium homeostasis, thereby helping to control blood volume and blood pressure. Insufficient aldosterone secretion can lead to hypotension and circulatory shock, particularly in infancy. On the other hand, excessive aldosterone levels, or those too high for sodium status, can cause hypertension and exacerbate the effects of high blood pressure on multiple organs, contributing to renal disease, stroke, visual loss, and congestive heart failure. Aldosterone is also thought to directly induce end-organ damage, including in the kidneys and heart. Because of the significance of aldosterone to the physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system, it is important to understand the regulation of its biosynthesis and secretion from the adrenal cortex. Herein, the mechanisms regulating aldosterone production in zona glomerulosa cells are discussed, with a particular emphasis on signaling pathways involved in the secretory response to the main controllers of aldosterone production, the renin-angiotensin II system, serum potassium levels and adrenocorticotrophic hormone. The signaling pathways involved include phospholipase C-mediated phosphoinositide hydrolysis, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate, cytosolic calcium levels, calcium influx pathways, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases, diacylglycerol, protein kinases C and D, 12-hydroxyeicostetraenoic acid, phospholipase D, mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, tyrosine kinases, adenylate cyclase, and cAMP-dependent protein kinase. A complete understanding of the signaling events regulating aldosterone biosynthesis may allow the identification of novel targets for therapeutic interventions in hypertension, primary aldosteronism, congestive heart failure, renal disease, and other cardiovascular disorders. © 2014 American Physiological Society.


Reinstatler L.,Georgia Regents University | Youssef N.A.,Georgia Regents University | Youssef N.A.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center
Drugs in R and D | Year: 2015

Objective: To review the published literature on the efficacy of ketamine for the treatment of suicidal ideation (SI).Methods: The PubMed and Cochrane databases were searched up to January 2015 for clinical trials and case reports describing therapeutic ketamine administration to patients presenting with SI/suicidality. Searches were also conducted for relevant background material regarding the pharmacological function of ketamine.Results: Nine publications (six studies and three case reports) met the search criteria for assessing SI after administration of subanesthetic ketamine. There were no studies examining the effect on suicide attempts or death by suicide. Each study demonstrated a rapid and clinically significant reduction in SI, with results similar to previously described data on ketamine and treatment-resistant depression. A total of 137 patients with SI have been reported in the literature as receiving therapeutic ketamine. Seven studies delivered a dose of 0.5 mg/kg intravenously over 40 min, while one study administered a 0.2 mg/kg intravenous bolus and another study administered a liquid suspension. The earliest significant results were seen after 40 min, and the longest results were observed up to 10 days postinfusion.Conclusion: Consistent with clinical research on ketamine as a rapid and effective treatment for depression, ketamine has shown early preliminary evidence of a reduction in depressive symptoms, as well as reducing SI, with minimal short-term side effects. Additional studies are needed to further investigate its mechanism of action, long-term outcomes, and long-term adverse effects (including abuse) and benefits. In addition, ketamine could potentially be used as a prototype for further development of rapid-acting antisuicidal medication with a practical route of administration and the most favorable risk/benefit ratio. © 2015, The Author(s).


Jiang M.,Georgia Regents University | Liu K.,Georgia Regents University | Luo J.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center | Luo J.,University of Kentucky | Dong Z.,Georgia Regents University
American Journal of Pathology | Year: 2010

Autophagy mediates bulk degradation and recycling of cytoplasmic constituents to maintain cellular homeostasis. In response to stress, autophagy is induced and may either contribute to cell death or serve as a cell survival mechanism. Very little is known about autophagy in renal pathophysiology. This study examined autophagy and its pathological role in renal cell injury using in vitro and in vivo models of ischemia - reperfusion. We found that hypoxia (1% O 2) induced autophagy in cultured renal proximal tubular cells. Blockade of autophagy by 3-methyladenine or small-interfering RNA knockdown of Beclin-1 and ATG5 (two key autophagic genes) sensitized the tubular cells to hypoxia-induced apoptosis. In an in vitro model of ischemia - reperfusion, autophagy was not induced by anoxic (0% O 2) incubation in glucose-free buffer, but was induced during subsequent recovery/reperfusion period. In this model, suppression of autophagy also enhanced apoptosis. In vivo, autophagy was induced in kidney tissues during renal ischemia - reperfusion in mice. Autophagy was not obvious during the ischemia period, but was significantly enhanced during reperfusion. Inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine and 3-methyladenine worsened renal ischemia/reperfusion injury, as indicated by renal function, histology, and tubular apoptosis. Together, the results demonstrated autophagy induction during hypoxic and ischemic renal injury. Under these pathological conditions, autophagy may provide a protective mechanism for cell survival. Copyright © American Society for Investigative Pathology.


Itokazu Y.,Georgia Regents University | Itokazu Y.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center | Yu R.K.,Georgia Regents University | Yu R.K.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center
Molecular Neurobiology | Year: 2014

Amyloid β-peptides (Aβs) aggregate to form amyloid plaques, also known as senile plaques, which are a major pathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Aβs are reported to possess proliferation effects on neural stem cells (NSCs); however, this effect remains controversial. Thus, clarification of their physiological function is an important topic. We have systematically evaluated the effects of several putative bioactive Aβs (Aβ1–40, Aβ1–42, and Aβ25–35) on NSC proliferation. Treatment of NSCs with Aβ1–42 significantly increased the number of those cells (149 ± 10 %). This was not observed with Aβ1–40 which did not have any effects on the proliferative property of NSC. Aβ25–35, on the other hand, exhibited inhibitory effects on cellular proliferation. Since cell surface glycoconjugates, such as glycolipids, glycoproteins, and proteoglycans, are known to be important for maintaining cell fate determination, including cellular proliferation, in NSCs and they undergo dramatic changes during differentiation, we examined the effect of Aβs on a number of key glycoconjugate metabolizing enzymes. Significantly, we found for the first time that Aβ1–42 altered the expression of several key glycosyltransferases and glycosidases, including fucosyltransferase IX (FUT9), sialyltransferase III (ST-III), glucosylceramide ceramidase (GLCC), and mitochondrial sialidase (Neu4). FUT9 is a key enzyme for the synthesis of the Lewis X carbohydrate epitope, which is known to be expressed in stem cells. Aβ1–42 also stimulated the Notch1 intracellular domain (NICD) by upregulation of the expression of Musashi-1 and the paired box protein, Pax6. Thus, Aβ1–42 upregulates NSC proliferation by modulating the expression of several glycogenes involved in Notch signaling. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Wei Q.,Georgia Regents University | Dong Z.,Georgia Regents University | Dong Z.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center
American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology | Year: 2012

Renal ischemia-reperfusion leads to acute kidney injury (AKI), a major kidney disease associated with an increasing prevalence and high mortality rates. A variety of experimental models, both in vitro and in vivo, have been used to study the pathogenic mechanisms of ischemic AKI and to test renoprotective strategies. Among them, the mouse model of renal clamping is popular, mainly due to the availability of transgenic models and the relatively small animal size for drug testing. However, the mouse model is generally less stable, resulting in notable variations in results. Here, we describe a detailed protocol of the mouse model of bilateral renal ischemia-reperfusion. We share the lessons and experiences gained from our laboratory in the past decade. We further discuss the technical issues that account for the variability of this model and offer relevant solutions, which may help other investigators to establish a wellcontrolled, reliable animal model of ischemic AKI. © 2012 the American Physiological Society.


Abdelsaid M.A.,University of Georgia | Abdelsaid M.A.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center | El-Remessy A.B.,University of Georgia | El-Remessy A.B.,Charlie Norwood Medical Center
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2012

Although promising, the ability to regulate angiogenesis through delivery of VEGF remains an unrealized goal. We have shown previously that physiological levels of peroxynitrite (1 μM) are required for a VEGF-mediated angiogenic response, yet the redox-regulated mechanisms that govern the VEGF signal remain unexplored. We assessed the impact of VEGF andperoxynitrite on modifying redox-state, the level of reduced-glutathione (GSH) and S-glutathionylation on regulation ofthe low molecular weight protein tyrosine phosphatase (LMW-PTP) and focal adhesion kinase (FAK), which are key mediators of VEGF-mediated cell migration. Stimulation of human microvascular endothelial (HME) cells with VEGF (20 ng/ml) or peroxynitrite (1 μM) caused an immediate and reversible negative-shift in the cellular redox-state and thiol oxidation of LMW-PTP, which culminated in cell migration. VEGF causes reversible S-glutathionylation of LMW-PTP, which inhibits its phosphorylation and activity, and causes the transient activation of FAK. Modulating the redox-state using decomposing peroxynitrite (FeTPPS, 2.5 μM) or the GSH-precursor [N-acetylcysteine (NAC), 1 mM] caused a positive-shift of the redoxstateand prevented VEGF-mediated S-glutathionylation and oxidative inhibition of LMW-PTP. NAC and FeTPPS prevented the activation of FAK, its association with LMW-PTP and cell migration. Inhibiting LMW-PTP expression markedly enhanced FAK activation and cell migration. Although mild oxidative stress achieved by combining VEGF with 0.1-0.2 mM peroxynitrite augmented cell migration, an acute shift to oxidative stress achieved by combining VEGF with 0.5 mM peroxynitrite induced and sustained FAK activation, and LMW-PTP Sglutathionylation, resulting in LMW-PTP inactivation and inhibited cell migration. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that a balanced redox-state is required for VEGF to facilitate reversible S-glutathionylation of LMW-PTP, FAK activation and endothelial cell migration. Shifting the redox-state to reductive stress oroxidative stress inhibited the VEGF-mediated angiogenic response. © 2012.

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