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Poli G.,University of Milan | Corda E.,University of Milan | Martino P.A.,University of Milan | Dall'Ara P.,University of Milan | And 8 more authors.
Life Sciences | Year: 2013

Aims The misfolding and the aggregation of specific proteins are key features of neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). In TSEs, neuronal loss and inflammation are associated with the accumulation of the misfolded isoform (PrPsc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPc). Therefore we tested the hypothesis that augmenting a natural anti-inflammatory pathway mediated by epoxygenated fatty acids (EpFAs) will delay lethality. EpFAs are highly potent but enzymatically labile molecules produced by the actions of a number of cytochrome P450 enzymes. Stabilization of these bioactive lipids by inhibiting their degradation mediated by the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) results in potent anti-inflammatory effects in multiple disease models. Main methods Mice were infected with the mouse-adapted RML strain of scrapie by intracerebral or intraperitoneal routes. Animals received the sEH inhibitor, by oral route, administrated in drinking water or vehicle (PEG400). Infected mice were euthanized at a standard clinical end point. Histopathological, immunohistochemical and Western blot analyses of brain tissue confirmed the presence of pathology related to prion infection. Key findings Oral administration of the sEHI did not affect the very short survival time of the intracerebral prion infection group. However, mice infected by intraperitoneal route and treated with t-AUCB survived significantly longer than the control group mice (p < 0.001). Significance These findings support the idea that inhibition of sEH or augmentation of the natural EpFA signaling in the brain offers a potential and different route to understand prion diseases and may become a therapeutic strategy for diseases involving neuroinflammation. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Dall'Ara P.,University of Milan | Iulini B.,Italian Reference Laboratory for TSEs | Botto L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Filipe J.,University of Milan | And 9 more authors.
Life Sciences | Year: 2016

In Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs), the localization of the prion protein in the neuronal membrane lipid rafts (LR) seems to play a role in sustaining the protein misfolding. Changes in membrane properties, due to altered lipid composition, affect their organization and interaction between lipids and protein therein, and consequently also membrane resident protein functionality; dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), gangliosides and cholesterol seem to influence these processes. Aims In this work, the influence of administration of different feed, able to change the composition of lipid membrane, on the clinical progression of prion disease was studied. Main methods The activity of three diets (hyperlipidic with 6% fats; hypolipidic with 0.1% fats; and purified with 4% fats) was tested in CD1 mouse model experimentally infected with RML scrapie strain. Presence and distribution of typical central nervous system (CNS) lesions and deposits of PrPsc were evaluated by histopathological analysis and immunohistochemistry. Analysis of lipids was performed in homogenate and insoluble brain fraction of the neuronal membrane rich in LR. Key findings Results show that a diet with a different lipid level has not a significant role in the development of the scrapie disease. All infected mice fed with different diets died in the same time span. Histology, immunohistochemistry, and neuropathological analyses of the infected brains did not show significant differences between animals subjected to different diets. Significance Independently of the diet, the infection induced a significant modification of the lipid composition in homogenates, and a less noticeable one in insoluble brain fraction. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Poli G.,University of Milan | Corda E.,University of Milan | Lucchini B.,University of Milan | Puricelli M.,University of Milan | And 11 more authors.
Prion | Year: 2012

In transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and Alzheimer disease (AD) both misfolding and aggregation of specific proteins represent key features. Recently, it was observed that PrP C is a mediator of a synaptic dysfunction induced by Aβ oligomers. We tested a novel γ-secretase modulator (CHF5074) in a murine model of prion disease. Groups of female mice were intracerebrally or intraperitoneally infected with the mouse-adapted Rocky Mountain Laboratory prions. Two weeks prior infection, the animals were provided with a CHF5074-medicated diet (375 ppm) or a standard diet (vehicle) until they showed neurological signs and eventually died. In intracerebrally infected mice, oral administration of CHF5074 did not prolong survival of the animals. In intraperitoneally-infected mice, CHF5074-treated animals showed a median survival time of 21 d longer than vehicle-treated mice (p < 0.001). In these animals, immunohistochemistry analyses showed that deposition of PrP Sc in the cerebellum, hippocampus and parietal cortex in CHF5074-treated mice was significantly lower than in vehicle-treated animals. Immunostaining of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in parietal cortex revealed a significantly higher reactive gliosis in CHF5074-treated mice compared with the control group of infected animals. Although the mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of CHF5074 in this murine model of human prion disease is unclear, it could be hypothesized that the drug counteracts PrP Sc toxicity through astrocyte-mediated neuroprotection. CHF5074 shows a pharmacological potential in murine models of both AD and TSEs thus suggesting a link between these degenerative pathologies. © 2012 Landes Bioscience.

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