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Sydney, Australia

Ryugo D.,Garvan Institute
Cell and Tissue Research | Year: 2015

Data from our laboratory show that the auditory brain is highly malleable by experience. We establish a base of knowledge that describes the normal structure and workings at the initial stages of the central auditory system. This research is expanded to include the associated pathology in the auditory brain stem created by hearing loss. Utilizing the congenitally deaf white cat, we demonstrate the way that cells, synapses, and circuits are pathologically affected by sound deprivation. We further show that the restoration of auditory nerve activity via electrical stimulation through cochlear implants serves to correct key features of brain pathology caused by hearing loss. The data suggest that rigorous training with cochlear implants and/or hearing aids offers the promise of heretofore unattained benefits. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source


Lauer A.M.,Johns Hopkins University | Fuchs P.A.,Johns Hopkins University | Ryugo D.K.,Johns Hopkins University | Ryugo D.K.,Garvan Institute | Francis H.W.,Johns Hopkins University
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2012

Efferent innervation of the cochlea undergoes extensive modification early in development, but it is unclear if efferent synapses are modified by age, hearing loss, or both. Structural alterations in the cochlea affecting information transfer from the auditory periphery to the brain may contribute to age-related hearing deficits. We investigated changes to efferent innervation in the vicinity of inner hair cells (IHCs) in young and old C57BL/6 mice using transmission electron microscopy to reveal increased efferent innervation of IHCs in older animals. Efferent contacts on IHCs contained focal presynaptic accumulations of small vesicles. Synaptic vesicle size and shape were heterogeneous. Postsynaptic cisterns were occasionally observed. Increased IHC efferent innervation was associated with a smaller number of afferent synapses per IHC, increased outer hair cell loss, and elevated auditory brainstem response thresholds. Efferent axons also formed synapses on afferent dendrites but with a reduced prevalence in older animals. Age-related reduction of afferent activity may engage signaling pathways that support the return to an immature state of efferent innervation of the cochlea. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.. Source


Clark I.A.,Australian National University | Vissel B.,Australian National University | Vissel B.,Garvan Institute
Biochemical Pharmacology | Year: 2013

The disappointments of a series of large anti-amyloid trials have brought home the point that until the driving force behind Alzheimer's disease, and the way it causes harm, are firmly established and accepted, researchers will remain ill-equipped to find a way to treat patients successfully. The origin of inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases is still an open question. We champion and expand the argument that a shift in intracellular location of α-synuclein, thereby moving a key methylation enzyme from the nucleus, provides global hypomethylation of patients' cerebral DNA that, through being sensed by TLR9, initiates production of the cytokines that drive these cerebral inflammatory states. After providing a background on the relevant inflammatory cytokines, this commentary then discusses many of the known alternatives to the primary amyloid argument of the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, and the treatment approaches they provide. A key point to appreciate is the weight of evidence that inflammatory cytokines, largely through increasing insulin resistance and thereby reducing the strength of the ubiquitously important signaling mediated by insulin, bring together most of these treatments under development for neurodegenerative disease under the one roof. Moreover, the principles involved apply to a wide range of inflammatory diseases on both sides of the blood brain barrier. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Clark I.A.,Australian National University | Alleva L.M.,Australian National University | Vissel B.,Garvan Institute
Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2010

Certain cytokines, the prototype being the highly pleiotropic TNF, have many homeostatic physiological roles, are involved in innate immunity, and cause inflammation when in excess. These cytokines have long been accepted to have central roles in the pathogenesis of systemic or local non-cerebral disease states, whether acute or chronic, and whether or not caused by infectious agents. Over the last decade they have also been appreciated to be broadly important in brain physiology. As in other organs, excessive levels in brain are harmful, and its physiological complexity leads to correspondingly complex dysfunction. This review summarizes the burgeoning literature on this topic, and how the functions of these molecules, particularly TNF, are influencing the outlook of researchers on the pathophysiology of these diseases. Basic brain physiology is thus informing knowledge of the brain dysfunction that characterizes such apparently diverse states as Alzheimer's disease, trauma (mostly, but not only, to the brain), Parkinson's disease, and severe systemic infectious states, including malaria, sepsis, viral diseases and major depression. The implication is that the anti-cytokine therapies now in use, typically directed at TNF, warrant testing in these diseases in circumstances in which the therapeutic agent enters the cerebrospinal fluid. Routinely administering such drugs to patients exhibiting the neurological changes discussed in this review would simply add another organ system to what is already a very successful strategy in the treament of inflammatory disease at other sites, such as joints, skin and gut. Clearly, the most relevant research is focussed on Alzheimer's disease, but the principles may also apply to other encephalopathies. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source


Albu J.B.,Columbia University | Heilbronn L.K.,Garvan Institute | Kelley D.E.,University of Pittsburgh | Smith S.R.,Louisiana State University | And 4 more authors.
Diabetes | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVE - To characterize the relationships among long-term improvements in peripheral insulin sensitivity (glucose disposal rate [GDR]), fasting glucose, and free fatty acids (FFAs) and concomitant changes in weight and adipose tissue mass and distribution induced by lifestyle intervention in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We measured GDR, fasting glucose, and FFAs during a euglycemic clamp and adipose tissue mass and distribution, organ fat, and adipocyte size by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, CT scan, and adipose tissue biopsy in 26 men and 32 women in the Look-AHEAD trial before and after 1 year of diet and exercise aimed at weight loss. RESULTS - Weight and fasting glucose decreased significantly (P = 0.0001) and significantly more in men than in women (-12 vs. -8% and -16 vs. -7%, respectively; P < 0.05), while FFAs during hyperinsulinemia decreased and GDR increased significantly (P < 0.00001) and similarly in both sexes (-53 vs. -41% and 63 vs. 43%; P = NS). Men achieved a more favorable fat distribution by losing more from upper compared with lower and from deeper compared with superficial adipose tissue depots (P < 0.01). Decreases in weight and adipose tissue mass predicted improvements in GDR but not in fasting glucose or fasting FFAs; however, decreases in FFAs during hyperinsulinemia significantly determined GDR improvements. Hepatic fat was the only regional fat measure whose change contributed independently to changes in metabolic variables. CONCLUSIONS - Patients with type 2 diabetes undergoing a 1-year lifestyle intervention had significant improvements in GDR, fasting glucose, FFAs and adipose tissue distribution. However, changes in overall weight (adipose tissue mass) and hepatic fat were the most important determinants of metabolic improvements. © 2010 by the American Diabetes Association. Source

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