Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra

Granada, Spain

Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra

Granada, Spain
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Morell M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Camprubi-Robles M.,University Miguel Hernández | Culler M.D.,Ipsen | de Lecea L.,Stanford University | Delgado M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra
Neurobiology of Disease | Year: 2014

Clinical pain, as a consequence of inflammation or injury of peripheral organs (inflammatory pain) or nerve injury (neuropathic pain), represents a serious public health issue. Treatment of pain-related suffering requires knowledge of how pain signals are initially interpreted and subsequently transmitted and perpetuated. To limit duration and intensity of pain, inhibitory signals participate in pain perception. Cortistatin is a cyclic-neuropeptide that exerts potent inhibitory actions on cortical neurons and immune cells. Here, we found that cortistatin is a natural analgesic component of the peripheral nociceptive system produced by peptidergic nociceptive neurons of the dorsal root ganglia in response to inflammatory and noxious stimuli. Moreover, cortistatin is produced by GABAergic interneurons of deep layers of dorsal horn of spinal cord. By using cortistatin-deficient mice, we demonstrated that endogenous cortistatin critically tunes pain perception in physiological and pathological states. Furthermore, peripheral and spinal injection of cortistatin potently reduced nocifensive behavior, heat hyperalgesia and tactile allodynia in experimental models of clinical pain evoked by chronic inflammation, surgery and arthritis. The analgesic effects of cortistatin were independent of its anti-inflammatory activity and directly exerted on peripheral and central nociceptive terminals via Gαi-coupled somatostatin-receptors (mainly sstr2) and blocking intracellular signaling that drives neuronal plasticity including protein kinase A-, calcium- and Akt/ERK-mediated release of nociceptive peptides. Moreover, cortistatin could modulate, through its binding to ghrelin-receptor (GHSR1), pain-induced sensitization of secondary neurons in spinal cord. Therefore, cortistatin emerges as an anti-inflammatory factor with potent analgesic effects that offers a new approach to clinical pain therapy, especially in inflammatory states. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Gomez-Suaga P.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Rivero-Rios P.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Fdez E.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Blanca Ramirez M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | And 3 more authors.
Human molecular genetics | Year: 2014

Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene cause late-onset autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD), and sequence variations at the LRRK2 locus are associated with increased risk for sporadic PD. LRRK2 contains both GTPase and kinase domains flanked by protein interaction motifs, and mutations associated with familial PD have been described for both catalytic domains. LRRK2 has been implicated in diverse cellular processes, and recent evidence pinpoints to an important role for LRRK2 in modulating a variety of intracellular membrane trafficking pathways. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, by studying the classical, well-understood, degradative trafficking pathway of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), we show that LRRK2 regulates endocytic membrane trafficking in an Rab7-dependent manner. Mutant LRRK2 expression causes a slight delay in early-to-late endosomal trafficking, and a pronounced delay in trafficking out of late endosomes, which become aberrantly elongated into tubules. This is accompanied by a delay in EGFR degradation. The LRRK2-mediated deficits in EGFR trafficking and degradation can be reverted upon coexpression of active Rab7 and of a series of proteins involved in bridging the EGFR to Rab7 on late endosomes. Effector pulldown assays indicate that pathogenic LRRK2 decreases Rab7 activity both in cells overexpressing LRRK2, as well as in fibroblasts from pathogenic mutant LRRK2 PD patients when compared with healthy controls. Together, these findings provide novel insights into a previously unknown regulation of Rab7 activity by mutant LRRK2 which impairs membrane trafficking at very late stages of the endocytic pathway. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

Duran-Prado M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Morell M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Delgado-Maroto V.,University of Granada | Castano J.P.,National University of Cordoba | And 7 more authors.
Circulation Research | Year: 2013

RATIONALE:: Proliferation and migration of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are key steps for the progression of atherosclerosis and restenosis. Cortistatin is a multifunctional neuropeptide belonging to the somatostatin family that exerts unique functions in the nervous and immune systems. Cortistatin is elevated in plasma of patients experiencing coronary heart disease and attenuates vascular calcification. OBJECTIVE:: To investigate the occurrence of vascular cortistatin and its effects on the proliferation and migration of SMCs in vitro and in vivo and to delimitate the receptors and signal transduction pathways governing its actions. METHODS AND RESULTS:: SMCs from mouse carotid and human aortic arteries and from human atherosclerotic plaques highly expressed cortistatin. Cortistatin expression positively correlated with the progression of arterial intima hyperplasia. Cortistatin inhibited platelet-derived growth factor-stimulated proliferation of human aortic SMCs via binding to somatostatin receptors (sst2 and sst5) and ghrelin receptor, induction of cAMP and p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase, and inhibition of Akt activity. Moreover, cortistatin impaired lamellipodia formation and migration of human aortic SMCs toward platelet-derived growth factor by inhibiting, in a ghrelin-receptor- dependent manner, Rac1 activation and cytosolic calcium increases. These effects on SMC proliferation and migration correlated with an inhibitory action of cortistatin on the neointimal formation in 2 models of carotid arterial ligation. Endogenous cortistatin seems to play a critical role in regulating SMC function because cortistatin-deficient mice developed higher neointimal hyperplasic lesions than wild-type mice. CONCLUSIONS:: Cortistatin emerges as a natural endogenous regulator of SMCs under pathological conditions and an attractive candidate for the pharmacological management of vascular diseases that course with neointimal lesion formation. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.

Toscano M.G.,Temple University | Delgado M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Kong W.,Temple University | Martin F.,University of Granada | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Therapy | Year: 2010

Dendritic cells (DCs) initiate immune responses as well as tolerance. We showed previously that the neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) suppresses innate immune responses, modulates adaptive responses by generating regulatory T cells (Treg) through the induction of tolerogenic DCs (tDCs), and has therapeutic effects in models of autoimmune/inflammatory disorders. Systemic VIP administration is limited by its short biological half-life and by its pleiotropic effects on the cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, we used lentiviral vectors to genetically engineer VIP-expressing bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC) and characterized the transduced LentiVIP-DC in terms of phenotype and therapeutic effects in models of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) sepsis. LentiVIP-DCs secrete VIP, and resemble tDCs through lack of co-stimulatory molecule upregulation, lack of proinflammatory cytokine secretion, increased interleukin (IL)-10 production, and poor stimulation of allogeneic T cells. A single inoculation of LentiVIP-DC in EAE or CLP mice had therapeutic effects, which correlated with reduced expression of proinflammatory cytokines and increased IL-10 production in spinal cord and peritoneal fluid, respectively. In contrast to systemic VIP administration that requires repeated, high-dose inoculations, local delivery of VIP by LentiVIP-DC may represent a promising therapeutic tool for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and inflammatory disorders. © The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy.

Gomez-Suaga P.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Churchill G.C.,University of Oxford | Patel S.,University College London | Hilfiker S.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra
Biochemical Society Transactions | Year: 2012

Mutations in LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2) represent a significant component of both sporadic and familial PD (Parkinson's disease). Pathogenic mutations cluster in the enzymatic domains of LRRK2, and kinase activity seems to correlate with cytotoxicity, suggesting the possibility of kinase-based therapeutic strategies for LRRK2-associated PD. Apart from cytotoxicity, changes in autophagy have consistently been observed upon overexpression of mutant, or knockdown of endogenous, LRRK2. However, delineating the precise mechanism(s) by which LRRK2 regulates autophagy has been difficult. Recent data suggest a mechanism involving late steps in autophagic-lysosomal clearance in a manner dependent on NAADP (nicotinic acid-adenine dinucleotide phosphate)-sensitive lysosomal Ca2+ channels. In the present paper, we review our current knowledge of the link between LRRK2 and autophagic-lysosomal clearance, including regulation of Ca2+-dependent events involving NAADP. ©The Authors Journal compilation ©2012 Biochemical Society.

Neubrand V.E.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Pedreno M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Caro M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Forte-Lago I.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | And 2 more authors.
GLIA | Year: 2014

Activated microglia play a central role in the course of neurodegenerative diseases as they secrete cytotoxic substances which lead to neuronal cell death. Understanding the mechanisms that drive activation of microglia is essential to reverse this phenotype and to protect from neurodegeneration. With some exceptions, evidence indicates that changes in cell morphology from a star shape to a round and flat shape accompany the process of activation in microglia. In this study, we investigated the effect of adipose-tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs), which exert important anti-inflammatory actions, in microglia morphology. Microglia exposed to ASCs or their secreted factors (conditioned medium) underwent a cell shape change into a ramifying morphology in basal and inflammatory conditions, similar to that observed in microglia found in healthy brain. Colony-stimulating factor-1 secreted by ASCs played a critical role in the induction of this phenotype. Importantly, ASCs reversed the activated round phenotype induced in microglia by bacterial endotoxins. The ramifying morphology of microglia induced by ASCs was associated with a decrease of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6, an increase in phagocytic activity, and the upregulation of neurotrophic factors and of Arginase-1, a marker for M2-like regulatory microglia. In addition, activation of the phosphoinositide-3-kinase/Akt pathway and the RhoGTPases Rac1 and Cdc42 played a major role in the acquisition of this phenotype. Therefore, these RhoGTPases emerge as key players in the ramification of microglia by anti-inflammatory agents like ASCs, being fundamental to maintain the tissue-surveying, central nervous system supporting state of microglia in healthy conditions. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Gomez-Suaga P.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Luzon-Toro B.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Churamani D.,University College London | Zhang L.,University of Manchester | And 5 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2012

Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase-2 (LRRK2) gene cause late-onset Parkinson's disease, but its physiological function has remained largely unknown. Here we report that LRRK2 activates a calcium-dependent protein kinase kinase-β (CaMKK-β)/adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway which is followed by a persistent increase in autophagosome formation. Simultaneously, LRKR2 overexpression increases the levels of the autophagy receptor p62 in a protein synthesis-dependent manner, and decreases the number of acidic lysosomes. The LRRK2-mediated effects result in increased sensitivity of cells to stressors associated with abnormal protein degradation. These effects can be mimicked by the lysosomal Ca 2+-mobilizing messenger nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) and can be reverted by an NAADP receptor antagonist or expression of dominant-negative receptor constructs. Collectively, our data indicate a molecular mechanism for LRRK2 deregulation of autophagy and reveal previously unidentified therapeutic targets. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Fdez E.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Martinez-Salvador M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Beard M.,Syntaxin | Woodman P.,University of Manchester | Hilfiker S.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2010

Neurosecretion involves fusion of vesicles with the plasma membrane. Such membrane fusion is mediated by the SNARE complex, which is composed of the vesicle-associated protein synaptobrevin (VAMP2), and the plasma membrane proteins syntaxin-1A and SNAP-25. Although clearly important at the point of membrane fusion, the precise structural and functional requirements for the transmembrane domains (TMDs) of SNAREs in bringing about neurosecretion remain largely unknown. Here, we used a bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) approach to study SNARE protein interactions involving TMDs in vivo. VAMP2 molecules were found to dimerise through their TMDs in intact cells. Dimerisation was abolished when replacing a glycine residue in the centre of the TMD with residues of increasing molecular volume. However, such mutations still were fully competent in bringing about membrane-fusion events, suggesting that dimerisation of the VAMP2 TMDs does not have an important functional role. By contrast, a series of deletion or insertion mutants in the C-terminal half of the TMD were largely deficient in supporting neurosecretion, whereas mutations in the N-terminal half did not display severe secretory deficits. Thus, structural length requirements, largely confined to the C-terminal half of the VAMP2 TMD, seem to be essential for SNARE-mediated membrane-fusion events in cells.

Morell M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Souza-Moreira L.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Caro M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | O'Valle F.,University of Granada | And 4 more authors.
Arthritis and Rheumatism | Year: 2013

Objective To investigate the role of the antiinflammatory neuropeptide cortistatin in chronic pain evoked by joint inflammation. Methods Thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia was evoked in mouse knee joints by intraplantar injection of tumor necrosis factor α and intraarticular infusion of Freund's complete adjuvant, and the analgesic effects of cortistatin, administered centrally, peripherally, and systemically, were assessed. In addition, the effects of cortistatin on the production of nociceptive peptides and the activation of pain signaling were assayed in dorsal root ganglion cultures and in inflammatory pain models. The role of endogenous cortistatin in pain sensitization and perpetuation of chronic inflammatory states was evaluated in cortistatin-deficient mice. Finally, the effect of noxious/inflammatory stimuli in the production of cortistatin by the peripheral nociceptive system was assayed in vitro and in vivo. Results Expression of cortistatin was observed in peptidergic nociceptors of the peripheral nociceptive system, and endogenous cortistatin was found to participate in the tuning of pain sensitization, especially in pathologic inflammatory conditions. Results showed that cortistatin acted both peripherally and centrally to reduce the tactile allodynia and heat hyperalgesia evoked by arthritis and peripheral tissue inflammation in mice, via mechanisms that were independent of its antiinflammatory action. These mechanisms involved direct action on nociceptive neurons and regulation of central sensitization. The analgesic effects of cortistatin in murine arthritic pain were linked to binding of the neuropeptide to somatostatin and ghrelin receptors, activation of the G protein subunit Gαi, impairment of ERK signaling, and decreased production of calcitonin gene-related peptide in primary nociceptors. Conclusion These findings indicate that cortistatin is an antiinflammatory factor with potent analgesic effects that may offer a new approach to pain therapy in pathologic inflammatory states, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Rheumatology.

Salinas-Castillo A.,University of Granada | Ariza-Avidad M.,University of Granada | Pritz C.,Innsbruck Medical University | Camprubi-Robles M.,University Miguel Hernández | And 7 more authors.
Chemical Communications | Year: 2013

Carbon dots were synthesized by a simple and green strategy for selective and sensitive Cu2+ ion detection using both down and upconversion fluorescence. These fluorescent nanosensors show low cytotoxicity and are applied for intracellular sensing and imaging of Cu2+ in biological systems. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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