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Vaudry H.,University of Rouen | Vaudry H.,International Associated Laboratory Samuel Of Champlain | Do Rego J.-C.,University of Rouen | Le Mevel J.-C.,University of Western Brittany | And 13 more authors.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

The cyclic peptide urotensin II (UII) was originally isolated from the urophysis of teleost fish on the basis of its ability to contract intestinal smooth muscle. The UII peptide has subsequently been isolated from frog brain and, later on, the pre-proUII cDNA has been characterized in mammals, including humans. A UII paralog called urotensin II-related peptide (URP) has been identified in the rat brain. The UII and URP genes originate from the same ancestral gene as the somatostatin and cortistatin genes. In the central nervous system (CNS) of tetrapods, UII is expressed primarily in motoneurons of the brainstem and spinal cord. The biological actions of UII and URP are mediated through a G protein-coupled receptor, termed UT, that exhibits high sequence similarity with the somatostatin receptors. The UT gene is widely expressed in the CNS and in peripheral organs. Consistent with the broad distribution of UT, UII and URP exert a large array of behavioral effects and regulate endocrine, cardiovascular, renal, and immune functions. © 2010 New York Academy of Sciences. Source

Rego J.L.D.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Rego J.L.D.,University of Rouen | Rego J.L.D.,International Associated Laboratory Samuel Of Champlain | Seong J.Y.,Korea University | And 18 more authors.
Frontiers in Endocrinology

The enzymatic pathways leading to the synthesis of bioactive steroids in the brain are now almost completely elucidated in various groups of vertebrates and, during the last decade, the neuronal mechanisms involved in the regulation of neurosteroid production have received increasing attention. This report reviews the current knowledge concerning the effects of neurotransmitters, peptide hormones, and neuropeptides on the biosynthesis of neurosteroids. Anatomical studies have been carried out to visualize the neurotransmitteror neuropeptidecontaining fibers contacting steroidsynthesizing neurons as well as the neurotransmitter, peptide hormones, or neuropeptide receptors expressed in these neurons. Biochemical experiments have been conducted to investigate the effects of neurotransmitters, peptide hormones, or neuropeptides on neurosteroid biosynthesis, and to characterize the type of receptors involved. Thus, it has been found that glutamate, acting through kainate and/or AMPA receptors, rapidly inactivates P450arom, and that melatonin produced by the pineal gland and eye inhibits the biosynthesis of 7α-hydroxypregnenolone (7α-OH-Δ5P), while prolactin produced by the adenohypophysis enhances the formation of 7α-OH-Δ5P. It has also been demonstrated that the biosynthesis of neurosteroids is inhibited by GABA, acting through GABAA receptors, and neuropeptide Y, acting through Y1 receptors. In contrast, it has been shown that the octadecaneuropetide ODN, acting through centraltype benzodiazepine receptors, the triakontatetraneuropeptideTTN, acting though peripheraltype benzodiazepine receptors, and vasotocin, acting through V1alike receptors, stimulate the production of neurosteroids. Since neurosteroids are implicated in the control of various neurophysiological and behavioral processes, these data suggest that some of the neurophysiological effects exerted by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides may be mediated via the regulation of neurosteroid production. © 2012 Do Rego, Seong, Burel, Leprince, Vaudry, Luu-The, Tonon, Tsutsui, Pelletier and Vaudry. Source

Hamdi Y.,Tunis el Manar University | Kaddour H.,Tunis el Manar University | Vaudry D.,University of Rouen | Vaudry D.,International Associated Laboratory Samuel Of Champlain | And 10 more authors.
Frontiers in Endocrinology

Astroglial cells possess an array of cellular defense systems, including superoxide dismu-tase (SOD) and catalase antioxidant enzymes, to prevent damage caused by oxidative stress on the central nervous system. Astrocytes specifically synthesize and release endozepines, a family of regulatory peptides including the octadecaneuropeptide (ODN). ODN is the ligand of both central-type benzodiazepine receptors (CBR), and an adenylyl cyclase- and phospholipase C-coupled receptor. We have recently shown that ODN is a potent protective agent that prevents hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced inhibition of SOD and catalase activities and stimulation of cell apoptosis in astrocytes. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the type of receptor involved in ODN-induced inhibition of SOD and catalase in cultured rat astrocytes. We found that ODN induced a rapid stimulation of SOD and catalase gene transcription in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, 0.1 nM ODN blocked H2O2-evoked reduction of both mRNA levels and activities of SOD and catalase. Furthermore, the inhibitory actions of ODN on the deleterious effects of H2O2 on SOD and catalase were abrogated by the metabotropic ODN receptor antagonist cyclo1-8[Dleu5]OR but not by the CBR antagonist flumazenil. Finally, the protective action of ODN against H2O2-evoked inhibition of endogenous antioxidant systems in astrocytes was protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent, but protein kinase C-independent. Taken together, these data demonstrate for the first time that ODN, acting through its metabotropic receptor coupled to the PKA pathway, prevents oxidative stress-induced alteration of antioxidant enzyme expression and activities. The peptide ODN is thus a potential candidate for the development of specific agonists that would selectively mimic its protective activity. © 2012 Hamdi, Kaddour, Vaudry, Douiri, Bahdoudi, Leprince, Castel, Vaudry, Amri, Tonon and Masmoudi-Kouki. Source

Hamdi Y.,Tunis el Manar University | Kaddour H.,Tunis el Manar University | Vaudry D.,University of Rouen | Vaudry D.,International Associated Laboratory Samuel Of Champlain | And 10 more authors.

Astrocytes synthesize and release endozepines, a family of regulatory peptides, including the octadecaneuropeptide (ODN) an endogenous ligand of both central-type benzodiazepine (CBR) and metabotropic receptors. We have recently shown that ODN exerts a protective effect against hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative stress in astrocytes. The purpose of the present study was to determine the type of receptor and the transduction pathways involved in the protective effect of ODN in cultured rat astrocytes. We have first observed a protective activity of ODN at very low concentrations that was abrogated by the metabotropic ODN receptor antagonist cyclo1-8[DLeu5]OP, but not by the CBR antagonist flumazenil. We have also found that the metabotropic ODN receptor is positively coupled to adenylyl cyclase in astrocytes and that the glioprotective action of ODN upon H2O2-induced astrocyte death is PKA- and MEK-dependent, but PLC/PKC-independent. Downstream of PKA, ODN induced ERK phosphorylation, which in turn activated the expression of the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl-2 and blocked the stimulation by H2O2 of the pro-apoptotic gene Bax. The effect of ODN on the Bax/Bcl-2 balance contributed to abolish the deleterious action of H2O2 on mitochondrial membrane integrity and caspase-3 activation. Finally, the inhibitory effect of ODN on caspase-3 activity was shown to be PKA and MEK-dependent. In conclusion, the present results demonstrate that the potent glioprotective action of ODN against oxidative stress involves the metabotropic ODN receptor coupled to the PKA/ERK-kinase pathway to inhibit caspase-3 activation. © 2012 Hamdi et al. Source

Jolivel V.,University of Rouen | Jolivel V.,International Associated Laboratory Samuel Of Champlain | Arthaud S.,University of Rouen | Botia B.,University of Rouen | And 22 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

Apoptosis is a regulated process, leading to cell death, which is involved in several pathologies including neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. Caspase-3 is a key enzyme of the apoptotic pathway and is considered as a major target for the treatment of abnormal cell death. Sensitive and non-invasive methods to monitor caspase-3 activity in cells and in the brain of living animals are needed to test the efficiency of novel therapeutic strategies. In the present study, we have biochemically characterized a caspase-3 far-red fluorescent probe, QCASP3.2, that can be used to detect apoptosis in vivo. The specificity of cleavage of QCASP3.2 was demonstrated using recombinant caspases and protease inhibitors. The functionality of the probe was also established in cerebellar neurons cultured in apoptotic conditions. QCASP3.2 did not exhibit any toxicity and appeared to accurately reflect the induction and inhibition of caspase activity by H2O2 and PACAP, respectively, both in cell lysates and in cultured neurons. Finally, intravenous injection of the probe after cerebral ischemia revealed activation of caspase-3 in the infarcted hemisphere. Thus, the present study demonstrates that QCASP3.2 is a suitable probe to monitor apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo and illustrates some of the possible applications of this caspase-3 fluorescent probe. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

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