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Galofre M.,Institute Dinvestigacions Biomediques Of Barcelona Iibb | Galofre M.,CIBER ISCIII | Babot Z.,Institute Dinvestigacions Biomediques Of Barcelona Iibb | Babot Z.,CIBER ISCIII | And 7 more authors.
Neurotoxicology and Teratology | Year: 2010

Toxicity risk assessment for chemical-induced human health hazards relies mainly on data obtained from animal experimentation, human studies and epidemiology. In vitro testing for acute toxicity based on cytotoxicity assays predicts 70-80% of rodent and human toxicity. The nervous system is particularly vulnerable to chemical exposure which may result in different toxicity features. Acute human toxicity related to adverse neuronal function is usually a result of over-excitation or depression of the nervous system. The major molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in such reactions include GABAergic, glutamatergic and cholinergic neurotransmission, regulation of cell and mitochondrial membrane potential, and those critical for maintaining central nervous system functionality, such as controlling cell energy. In this work, a set of chemicals that are used in pharmacy, industry, biocide treatments or are often abused by drug users are tested for their effects on GABAA receptor activity, GABA and glutamate transport, cell membrane potential and cell viability in primary neuronal cultures. GABAA receptor function was inhibited by compounds for which seizures have been observed after severe human poisoning. Commonly abused drugs inhibit GABA uptake but not glutamate uptake. Most neurotoxins altered membrane potential. The GABAA receptor, GABA uptake and cell membrane potential assays were those that identified the highest number of chemicals as toxic at low concentrations. These results show that in vitro cell assays may identify compounds that produce acute neurotoxicity in humans, provided that in vitro models expressing neuronal targets relevant for acute neural dysfunctions are used. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Garcia-Matas S.,Institute Dinvestigacions Biomediques Of Barcelona Iibb | De Vera N.,Institute Dinvestigacions Biomediques Of Barcelona Iibb | Aznar A.O.,Hospital Universitari Vall dHebron | Marimon J.M.,University of Barcelona | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2010

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating age-related neurodegenerative disease. Age is the main risk factor for sporadic AD, which is the most prevalent type. Amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) neurotoxicity is the proposed first step in a cascade of deleterious events leading to AD pathology and dementia. Glial cells play an important role in these changes. Astrocytes provide vital support to neurons and modulate functional synapses. Therefore, the toxic effects of Aβ on astrocytes might promote neurodegenerative changes that lead to AD. Aging reduces astrocyte antioxidant defenses and induces oxidative stress. We studied the effects of Aβ {42} on cultures of human astrocytes in the presence or absence of the following pro-oxidant agents: buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a glutathione synthesis inhibitor, and FeSO{4}, which liberates redox active iron. Pro-oxidant conditions potentiated Aβ toxicity, as shown by the generation of free radicals, inflammatory changes, and apoptosis. Similar treatments were assessed in rats in vivo. A combination of Aβ {40} and Aβ {42} or Aβ {42} alone was infused intracerebroventricularly for 4 weeks. Other animal groups were also infused with BSO and FeSO{4}. A long-term analysis that ended 4 months later showed greater cognitive impairment in the Morris water maze task, which was induced by Aβ plus pro-oxidant agent treatments. Pro-oxidant agents also potentiated brain tissue pathology. This was demonstrated in histological studies that showed highly increased astrocyte reactivity in AD-vulnerable areas, Aβ deposits, and oxidative damage of AD-sensitive hippocampal neurons. To increase our understanding of AD, experimental models should be used that mimic age-related brain changes, in which age-related oxidative stress potentiates the effects of Aβ. © 2010 - IOS Press and the authors.


Slevin M.,Manchester Metropolitan University | Slevin M.,Hospital Of La Santa Creu I Sant Pau | Matou-Nasri S.,Manchester Metropolitan University | Turu M.,Hospital Of La Santa Creu I Sant Pau | And 10 more authors.
Brain Pathology | Year: 2010

Native C-reactive protein (nCRP) is a pentameric oligo-protein and an acute phase reactant whose serum expression is increased in patients with inflammatory disease. We have identified by immunohistochemistry, significant expression of a tissue-binding insoluble modified version or monomeric form of CRP (mCRP) associated with angiogenic microvessels in peri-infarcted regions of patients studied with acute ischaemic stroke. mCRP, but not nCRP was expressed in the cytoplasm and nucleus of damaged neurons. mCRP co-localized with CD105, a marker of angiogenesis in regions of revascularisation. In vitro investigations demonstrated that mCRP was preferentially expressed in human brain microvessel endothelial cells following oxygen-glucose deprivation and mCRP (but not column purified nCRP) associated with the endothelial cell surface, and was angiogenic to vascular endothelial cells, stimulating migration and tube formation in matrigel more strongly than fibroblast growth factor-2. The mechanism of signal transduction was not through the CD16 receptor. Western blotting showed that mCRP stimulated phosphorylation of the key down-stream mitogenic signalling protein ERK12. Pharmacological inhibition of ERK12 phosphorylation blocked the angiogenic effects of mCRP. We propose that mCRP may contribute to the neovascularization process and because of its abundant presence, be important in modulating angiogenesis in both acute stroke and later during neuro-recovery. © 2009 International Society of Neuropathology.


Guillamat-Prats R.,IIBB | Guillamat-Prats R.,Institute dInvestigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer IDIBAPS | Gay-Jordi G.,IIBB | Gay-Jordi G.,Institute dInvestigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer IDIBAPS | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation | Year: 2014

Background Alveolar Type II cell transplantation has been proposed as a cell therapy for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Its long-term benefits include repair of lung fibrosis, but its success partly depends on the restoration of lung homeostasis. Our aim was to evaluate surfactant protein restoration after alveolar Type II cell transplantation in an experimental model of bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in rats. Methods Lung fibrosis was induced by intratracheal instillation of bleomycin. Alveolar Type II cells were obtained from healthy animals and transplanted 14 days after bleomycin was administered. Furthermore, one group transplanted with alveolar macrophages and another group treated with surfactant were established to evaluate the specificity of the alveolar Type II cell transplantation. The animals were euthanized at 21 days after bleomycin instillation. Lung fibrosis was confirmed by a histologic study and an evaluation of the hydroxyproline content. Changes in surfactant proteins were evaluated by mRNA expression, Western blot and immunofluorescence studies. Results The group with alveolar Type II cell transplantation was the only one to show a reduction in the degree of lung fibrosis and a complete recovery to normal levels of surfactant proteins. Conclusion One of the mechanisms involved in the beneficial effect of alveolar Type II cell transplantation is restoration of lung surfactant protein levels, which is required for proper respiratory function. © 2014 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.


Ejarque-Ortiz A.,IIBB | Gresa-Arribas N.,IIBB | Straccia M.,IIBB | Mancera P.,IIBB | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience Research | Year: 2010

The transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein δ (C/EBPδ) regulates transcription of genes that play important roles in glial activation. Previous studies have shown the astroglial expression of C/EBPδ but the microglial expression of C/EBPδ remains virtually unexplored, with the exception of two microarray studies. In this report, using murine primary cultures and BV2 cells we clearly demonstrate that C/EBPδ is expressed by microglia and it is upregulated in microglial activation. Lipopolysaccharide upregulates C/EBPδ both in microglia and in astrocytes. This effect is time-dependent, with a maximum effect at 3 hr at mRNA level and at 4-8 hr at protein level, and concentration-dependent, with a maximum effect at 100 ng/mL. The lipopolysaccharide-induced C/EBPδ upregulation in BV2 microglia is mimicked by agonists of the toll-like receptors 2, 3 and 9 and can be prevented by an inhibitor of extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation. C/EBPδ from activated BV2 microglia binds to the cyclooxygenase-2 promoter and forms complexes with C/EBPβ isoforms. These results point to C/EBPδ as a putative key regulator of proinflammatory gene expression in microglial activation. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Martinez-Boubeta C.,ICMAB CSIC | Martinez-Boubeta C.,University of Barcelona | Balcells L.,ICMAB CSIC | Cristofol R.,IIBB | And 12 more authors.
Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine | Year: 2010

A one-step process for the production of nanoparticles presenting advanced magnetic properties can be achieved using vapor condensation. In this article, we report on the fabrication of Fe particles covered by a uniform MgO epitaxial shell. MgO has a lower surface energy than Fe, which results in a core-shell crystal formation. The particles satisfy a few of technical requirements for the practical use in real clinics, such as a high biocompatibility in living cells in-vitro, an injection through blood vessels without any clothing problems in murine model, a high absorption rate for magnetic hyperthermia at small particle concentration, and the potential to be used as contrast agent in the field of diagnostic magnetic imaging. They are also able to be used in drug delivery and magnetic-activated cell sorting. From the Clinical Editor: In this paper, the authors report on the synthesis of Fe particles covered by a uniform MgO epitaxial shell resulting in a core-shell crystal formation. The particles are proven to be useful as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging and have the potential to be useful as heating mediators for cancer therapy through hyperthermia. They also might be used in drug delivery and magnetic-activated cell sorting. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Bortolozzi A.,IIBB | Bortolozzi A.,Institute dInvestigacions Biomediques August Pi I Sunyer IDIBAPS | Bortolozzi A.,Research Center Biomedica En Red Of Salud Mental Cibersam | Castae A.,IIBB | And 16 more authors.
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Depression is a major health problem worldwide. Most prescribed anti-depressants, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) show limited efficacy and delayed onset of action, partly due to the activation of somatodendritic 5-HT1A-autoreceptors by the excess extracellular serotonin (5-HT) produced by SSRI in the raphe nuclei. Likewise, 5-HT 1A receptor (5-HT1AR) gene polymorphisms leading to high 5-HT1A-autoreceptor expression increase depression susceptibility and decrease treatment response. In this study, we report on a new treatment strategy based on the administration of small-interfering RNA (siRNA) to acutely suppress 5-HT1A-autoreceptor-mediated negative feedback mechanisms. We developed a conjugated siRNA (C-1A-siRNA) by covalently binding siRNA targeting 5-HT1A receptor mRNA with the SSRI sertraline in order to concentrate it in serotonin axons, rich in serotonin transporter (SERT) sites. The intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion of C-1A-siRNA to mice resulted in its selective accumulation in serotonin neurons. This evoked marked anti-depressant-like effects in the forced swim and tail suspension tests, but did not affect anxiety-like behaviors in the elevated plus-maze. In parallel, C-1A-siRNA administration markedly decreased 5-HT1A-autoreceptor expression and suppressed 8-OH-DPAT-induced hypothermia (a pre-synaptic 5-HT1AR effect in mice) without affecting post-synaptic 5-HT 1AR expression in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Moreover, i.c.v. C-1A-siRNA infusion augmented the increase in extracellular serotonin evoked by fluoxetine in prefrontal cortex to the level seen in 5-HT1AR knockout mice. Interestingly, intranasal C-1A-siRNA administration produced the same effects, thus opening the way to the therapeutic use of C-1A-siRNA. Hence, C-1A-siRNA represents a new approach to treat mood disorders as monotherapy or in combination with SSRI. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Bortolozzi A.,IIBB | Masana M.,IIBB | Diaz-Mataix L.,IIBB | Cortes R.,IIBB | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2010

Abstract Atypical antipsychotic drugs (APDs) increase dopamine (DA) release in prefrontal cortex (PFC), an effect probably mediated by the direct or indirect activation of the 5-HT1A receptor (5-HT1AR). Given the very low in-vitro affinity of most APDs for 5-HT1ARs and the large co-expression of 5-HT1ARs and 5-HT2A receptors (5-HT2ARs) in the PFC, this effect might result from the imbalance of 5-HT1AR and 5-HT2AR activation after blockade of these receptors by APDs, for which they show high affinity. Here we tested this hypothesis by examining the dependence of the APD-induced DA release in medial PFC (mPFC) on each receptor by using in-vivo microdialysis in wild-type (WT) and 5-HT1AR and 5-HT2AR knockout (KO) mice. Local APDs (clozapine, olanzapine, risperidone) administered by reverse dialysis induced a dose-dependent increase in mPFC DA output equally in WT and 5-HT2AR KO mice whereas the DA increase was absent in 5-HT1AR KO mice. To examine the relative contribution of both receptors to the clozapine-induced DA release in rat mPFC, we silenced G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in vivo with N-ethoxycarbonyl-2-ethoxy-1,2-dihydroquinoline (EEDQ) while 5-HT 1ARs or 5-HT2A/2CRs in the mPFC were selectively protected with the respective antagonists WAY-100635 or ritanserin. The inactivation of GPCRs while preserving ∼70% of 5-HT2A/2CRs prevented the clozapine-induced DA rise in mPFC. In contrast, clozapine increased DA in mPFC of EEDQ-treated rats whose 5-HT1ARs were protected (∼50% of control rats). These results indicate that (1) 5-HT1ARs are necessary for the APDs-induced elevation in cortical DA transmission, and (2) this effect does not require 5-HT2AR blockade by APDs. © 2010 CINP.


Estruch R.,CIBER ISCIII | Mengod G.,IIBB | Cortes R.,IIBB
Addiction Biology | Year: 2011

Specific binding of [ 3H]MK801 to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the frontal cortex and hippocampus (CA1 and gyrus dentatus) was measured by receptor autoradiography in 16 Caucasian chronic alcohol consumers free of clinical manifestations of alcoholism, and compared with 16 Caucasian control subjects. Binding densities were not significantly different between heavy and moderate drinkers, neither between alcohol consumers that were abstinent or non-abstinent before death, nor between ethanol drinkers and controls. Continued alcohol consumption, in the absence of hepatic, neurologic or psychiatric disorders related to alcoholism, does not alter the binding properties of NMDA receptors in the brain areas studied. © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction.


Garcia-Mesa Y.,IIBB | Lopez-Ramos J.C.,Pablo De Olavide University | Gimenez-Llort L.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Revilla S.,IIBB | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2011

Physical exercise is considered to exert a positive neurophysiological effect that helps to maintain normal brain activity in the elderly. Expectations that it could help to fight Alzheimer's disease (AD) were recently raised. This study analyzed the effects of different patterns of physical exercise on the 3xTg-AD mouse. Male and female 3xTg-AD mice at an early pathological stage (4-month-old) have had free access to a running wheel for 1 month, whereas mice at a moderate pathological stage(7-month-old) have had access either during 1 or 6 months. The non-transgenic mouse strain was used as a control. Parallel animal groups were housed in conventional conditions. Cognitive loss and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD)-like behaviors were present in the 3xTg-AD mice along with alteration in synaptic function and ong-term potentiation impairment in vivo. Brain tissue showed AD-pathology and oxidative-related changes. Disturbances were more severe at the older age tested. Oxidative stress was higher in males but other changes were similar or higher in females. Exercise treatment ameliorated cognitive deterioration and BPSD-like behaviors such as anxiety and the startle response. Synaptic changes were partially protected by exercise. Oxidative stress was reduced. The best neuroprotection was generally obtained after 6 months of exercise in 7-month-old 3xTg-AD mice. Improved sensorimotor function and brain tissue antioxidant defence were induced in both 3xTg-AD and NonTg mice. Therefore, the benefits of aerobic physical exercise on synapse, redox homeostasis, and general brain function demonstrated in the 3xTg-AD mouse further support the value of this healthy life-style against neurodegeneration. © 2011 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

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