Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center

St. Louis, MO, United States

Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center

St. Louis, MO, United States
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Ikonomovic M.D.,University of Pittsburgh | Ikonomovic M.D.,Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center | Klunk W.E.,University of Pittsburgh | Abrahamson E.E.,University of Pittsburgh | And 5 more authors.
Neurology | Year: 2011

Objective: This study examined the relationship between postmortem precuneus cholinergic enzyme activity, Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) binding, and soluble amyloid-β concentration in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer disease (AD). Methods: Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity, [3H]PiB binding, and soluble amyloid-β1-42 (Aβ42) concentration were quantified in precuneus tissue samples harvested postmortem from subjects with no cognitive impairment (NCI), MCI, and mild AD and correlated with their last antemortem Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score and postmortem pathologic evaluation according to the National Institute on Aging-Reagan criteria, recommendations of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease, and Braak stage. Results: Precuneus ChAT activity was lower in AD than in NCI and was comparable between MCI and NCI. Precuneus [3H]PiB binding and soluble Aβ42 levels were elevated in MCI and significantly higher in AD than in NCI. Across all case subjects, reduced ChAT activity was associated with increased [3H]PiB binding, increased soluble Aβ42, lower MMSE score, presence of the APOE®4 allele, and more advanced AD pathology. Conclusions: Despite accumulating amyloid burden, cholinergic enzyme activity is stable in the precuneus during prodromal AD. A decline in precuneus ChAT activity occurs only in clinical AD, when PiB binding and soluble Aβ42 levels are substantially elevated compared with those in MCI. Anti-amyloid interventions in MCI case subjects with a positive PiB PET scan may aid in reducing cholinergic deficits and cognitive decline later in the disease process. Copyright © 2011 by AAN Enterprises, Inc.


Ikonomovic M.D.,University of Pittsburgh | Ikonomovic M.D.,Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center | Abrahamson E.E.,University of Pittsburgh | Price J.C.,University of Pittsburgh | And 9 more authors.
Acta Neuropathologica | Year: 2012

Amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits are detectable in the brain in vivo using positron emission tomography (PET) and [C-11]-labeled Pittsburgh Compound B ([C-11]PiB); however, the sensitivity of this technique is not well understood. In this study, we examined Aβ pathology in an individual who had clinical diagnoses of probable dementia with Lewy bodies and possible Alzheimer's disease (AD) but with no detectable [C-11]PiB PET retention ([C-11]PiB(-)) when imaged 17 months prior to death. Brain samples were processed in parallel with region-matched samples from an individual with a clinical diagnosis of probable AD and a positive [C-11]PiB PET scan ([C-11]PiB(+)) when imaged 10 months prior to death. In the [C-11]PiB(-) case, Aβ plaques were sparse, occupying less than 2% cortical area, and were weakly labeled with 6-CN-PiB, a highly fluorescent derivative of PiB. In contrast, Aβ plaques occupied up to 12% cortical area in the [C-11]PiB(+) case, and were intensely labeled with 6-CN-PIB. The [C-11]PiB(-) case had low levels of [H-3]PiB binding (<100 pmol/g) and Aβ1-42 (<500 pmol/g) concentration except in the frontal cortex where Aβ1-42 values (788 pmol/g) approached cortical values in the [C-11]PiB(+) case (800-1,700 pmol/g). In several cortical regions of the [C-11]PiB(-) case, Aβ1-40 levels were within the range of cortical Aβ1-40 values in the [C-11]PiB(+) case. Antemortem [C-11]PiB DVR values correlated well with region-matched postmortem measures of Aβ1-42 and Aβ1-40 in the [C-11]PiB(+), and with Aβ1-42 only in the [C-11]PiB(-) case. The low ratios of [H-3]PiB binding levels to Aβ concentrations and 6-CN-PiB to Aβ plaque loads in the [C-11]PiB(-) case indicate that Aβ pathology in the brain may be associated with low or undetectable levels of [C-11]PiB retention. Studies in greater numbers of [C-11]PiB PET autopsy cases are needed to define the Aβ concentration and [H-3]PiB binding levels required to produce a positive [C-11]PiB PET signal. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Zirkin B.R.,Johns Hopkins University | Tenover J.L.,Johns Hopkins University | Tenover J.L.,Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center
Journal of Andrology | Year: 2012

As men age, serum testosterone (T) levels decline, whereas serum luteinizing hormone (LH) levels increase somewhat or remain unchanged. Age-related reductions in T levels may be associated with alterations in body composition; energy level; muscle strength; physical, sexual, and cognitive functions; and mood. The predominant contributor to the decline in serum T levels is the decreased ability of the aging testes to make T. As in humans, the Brown Norway rat demonstrates age-related reductions in serum T levels in the setting of unchanged or modestly increased serum LH levels. In this rat model, the ability of aged Leydig cells, the terminally differentiated T-producing cells of the testis, to produce T in response to LH stimulation is significantly diminished. This review begins with a discussion of what is known of the molecular mechanisms by which T synthesis declines with Leydig cell aging. It concludes with a brief history of T replacement therapy, current guidelines, controversies related to T replacement therapy in older men, and proposed future clinical directions. © American Society of Andrology.


Rhodehouse B.C.,Idaho State University | Erickson M.A.,Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center | Erickson M.A.,University of Washington | Banks W.A.,Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2013

Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is associated with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Whether this association is mechanistic remains unclear. Here, we used a mouse model to test the hypothesis that HHcy increases levels of amyloid-β (Aβ) transporters in microvessels that form the blood-brain barrier, elevates Aβ content (Aβ40 and Aβ42) in the brain, and impairs cognitive performance. Mice with HHcy and age-matched, non-HHcy controls (Ctrl) were studied in two age groups: adult (6.2 ± 0.4 months of age) and old (19 ± 2.0 months of age). Levels of Aβ transporters, RAGE, LRP1, and Pgp, were not different between HHcy and Ctrl mice. Though there was an increase in overall brain Aβ levels with age, there were no differences between HHcy and Ctrl groups in cortex, hippocampus, or midbrain/diencephalon. Despite the lack of difference in Aβ, old mice with HHcy showed significant cognitive impairment on Morris water maze tests compared with Ctrl mice. We conclude that HHcy leads to cognitive impairment without many of the changes currently thought to be relevant to promoting the AD phenotype. © 2013 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Scheff S.W.,University of Kentucky | Price D.A.,University of Kentucky | Schmitt F.A.,University of Kentucky | Roberts K.N.,University of Kentucky | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2013

Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is considered to be one of the early stages in the progression from no cognitive impairment (NCI) to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Individuals with aMCI have increased levels of AD-type neuropathology in multiple regions of the neocortex and hippocampus and demonstrate a loss of synaptic connectivity. Recent neuroimaging studies have reported increased levels of 11C-PiB (Pittsburgh, compound B) in regions of the neocortex including the precuneus region of the medial parietal lobe. This cortical region has been implicated in episodic memory, which is disrupted early in the progression of AD. In this study, unbiased stereology coupled with electron microscopy was used to quantify total synaptic numbers in lamina 3 of the precuneus from short postmortem autopsy tissue harvested from subjects who died at different cognitive stages during the progression of AD. Individuals with aMCI did not reveal a statistically significant decline in total synapses compared to the NCI cohort while the AD group did show a modest but significant decline. Synaptic numbers failed to correlate with several different cognitive tasks including the Mini-Mental State Examination scores and episodic memory scores. Although levels of [3H]PiB binding were elevated in both the aMCI and AD groups, it did not strongly correlate with synaptic counts. These results support the idea that despite increased amyloid load, the precuneus region does not show early changes in synaptic decline during the progression of AD. © 2013 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Mayo J.N.,Idaho State University | Beard R.S.,Idaho State University | Price T.O.,Saint Louis University | Chen C.-H.,Idaho State University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism | Year: 2012

Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) disrupts nitric oxide (NO) signaling and increases nitrative stress in cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (CMVECs). This is mediated, in part, by protein nitrotyrosinylation (3-nitrotyrosine; 3-NT) though the mechanisms by which extracellular homocysteine (Hcy) generates intracellular 3-NT are unknown. Using a murine model of mild HHcy (cbs/mouse), we show that 3-NT is significantly elevated in cerebral microvessels with concomitant reductions in serum NO bioavailability as compared with wild-type littermate controls (cbs/). Directed pharmacology identified a receptor-dependent mechanism for 3-NT formation in CMVECs. Homocysteine increased expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and formation of 3-NT, both of which were blocked by inhibition of metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 (mGluR5) with the specific antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl) pyridine hydrochloride. Activation of mGluR5 is both sufficient and necessary to drive the nitrative stress because direct activation using the mGluR5-specific agonist (RS)-2-chloro-5-hydroxyphenylglycine also increased iNOS expression and 3-NT formation while knockdown of mGluR5 receptor expression by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) blocked their increase in response to Hcy. Nitric oxide derived from iNOS was required for Hcy-mediated formation of 3-NT because the effect was blocked by 1400W. These results provide the first evidence for a receptor-dependent process that explains how plasma Hcy levels control intracellular nitrative stress in cerebral microvascular endothelium. © 2012 ISCBFM All rights reserved.


Scheff S.W.,University of Kentucky | Price D.A.,University of Kentucky | Ansari M.A.,University of Kentucky | Roberts K.N.,University of Kentucky | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2015

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered to be an early stage in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) providing an opportunity to investigate brain pathogenesis prior to the onset of dementia. Neuroimaging studies have identified the posterior cingulate gyrus (PostC) as a cortical region affected early in the onset of AD. This association cortex is involved in a variety of different cognitive tasks and is intimately connected with the hippocampal/entorhinal cortex region, a component of the medial temporal memory circuit that displays early AD pathology. We quantified the total number of synapses in lamina 3 of the PostC using unbiased stereology coupled with electron microscopy from short postmortem autopsy tissue harvested from cases at different stage of AD progression. Individuals in the early stages of AD showed a significant decline in synaptic numbers compared to individuals with no cognitive impairment (NCI). Subjects with MCI exhibited synaptic numbers that were between the AD and NCI cohorts. Adjacent tissue was evaluated for changes in both pre and postsynaptic proteins levels. Individuals with MCI demonstrated a significant loss in presynaptic markers synapsin-1 and synaptophysin and postsynaptic markers PSD-95 and SAP-97. Levels of [3H]PiB binding was significantly increased in MCI and AD and correlated strongly with levels of synaptic proteins. All synaptic markers showed a significant association with Mini-Mental Status Examination scores. These results support the idea that the PostC synaptic function is affected during the prodromal stage of the disease and may underlie some of the early clinical sequelae associated with AD. © 2015-IOS Press and the authors.


Farr S.A.,Washington University in St. Louis | Farr S.A.,Saint Louis University | Price T.O.,Saint Louis University | Banks W.A.,Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2012

Oxidative damage is associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). The antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid has been found to improve memory in mouse models of AD. Here, we administered alpha-lipoic acid daily to SAMP8 mice starting at 11 months of age and continuing until death. We found that treatment with alpha-lipoic acid decreased survival from 34 weeks in those receiving vehicle to 20 weeks. A subset of 18 month old mice given alpha-lipoic acid for two weeks and then tested in an object-place recognition paradigm had improved memory. A second subset of 18 month old mice given alpha-lipoic acid for two weeks and tested in the Barnes maze had improved learning. After testing, the mice were sacrificed and indices of oxidative damage were measured in the brain tissue. The mice that received alpha-lipoic acid had significantly increased glutathione and decreased glutathione peroxidase and malondialdehyde indicating reversal of oxidative stress. These results indicate that alpha-lipoic acid improves memory and reverses indices of oxidative stress in extremely old SAMP8 mice, but decreases lifespan. These findings are similar to studies using other types of antioxidants. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Farr S.A.,Washington University in St. Louis | Erickson M.A.,Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center | Erickson M.A.,University of Washington | Niehoff M.L.,Washington University in St. Louis | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2014

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Currently, there are no therapies to stop or reverse the symptoms of AD. We have developed an antisense oligonucleotide (OL-1) against the amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) that can decrease AβPP expression and amyloid-β protein (Aβ) production. This antisense rapidly crosses the blood-brain barrier, reverses learning and memory impairments, reduces oxidative stress, and restores brain-to-blood efflux of Aβ in SAMP8 mice. Here, we examined the effects of this AβPP antisense in the Tg2576 mouse model of AD. We administered the OL-1 antisense into the lateral ventricle 3 times at 2week intervals. Seventy-two hours after the third injection, we tested learning and memory in T-maze foot shock avoidance. In the second study, we injected the mice with OL-1 antisense 3 times at 2-week intervals via the tail vein. Seventy-two hours later, we tested learning and memory T-maze, novel object recognition, and elevated plus maze. At the end of behavioral testing, brain tissue was collected. OL-1 antisense administered centrally improved acquisition and retention of T-maze foot shock avoidance. OL-1 antisense administered via tail vein improved learning and memory in both T-maze foot shock avoidance and novel object-place recognition. In the elevated plus maze, the mice which received OL-1 antisense spent less time in the open arms and had fewer entries into the open arms indicating reduced disinhibitation. Biochemical analyses reveal significant reduction of AβPP signal and a reduction of measures of neuroinflammation. The current findings support the therapeutic potential of OL-1 AβPP antisense. © 2014 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Cohen A.D.,University of Pittsburgh | Zigmond M.J.,University of Pittsburgh | Smith A.D.,Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center | Smith A.D.,University of Pittsburgh
Brain Research | Year: 2011

Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) protects dopamine (DA) neurons from 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) toxicity. We have now explored this protection over 8 weeks following toxin administration. Infusion of Fluoro-Gold (FG) into the striatum was followed 1 week later by GDNF (9 μg) or its vehicle. Six hours later, animals received 6-OHDA (4 μg) into the same site. 6-OHDA caused a loss of cells in the substantia nigra that expressed both FG and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and striatal terminals expressing TH, the high affinity dopamine transporter (DAT), and the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) as assessed 2-8 weeks later. Loss of FG + cells, and striatal DA was completely blocked by GDNF by 2 weeks. In contrast, GDNF only slightly attenuated the loss of TH, DAT, or VMAT2 in the striatum at 2 weeks, but had restored these markers by 4-8 weeks. Thus, GDNF prevents DA cell death and loss of striatal DA content, but several weeks are required to fully restore the dopaminergic phenotype. These results provide insight into the mechanism of GDNF protection of DA neurons, and may help avoid incorrect interpretations of temporary phenotypic changes. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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