Julich Aachen Research Alliance Translational Brain Medicine JARA BRAIN

Aachen, Germany

Julich Aachen Research Alliance Translational Brain Medicine JARA BRAIN

Aachen, Germany
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Deumens R.,RWTH Aachen | Deumens R.,Catholic University of Louvain | Deumens R.,Julich Aachen Research Alliance Translational Brain Medicine JARA Brain | Van Gorp S.F.J.,Maastricht University | And 16 more authors.
Behavioural Brain Research | Year: 2013

Olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) are a promising graftable cell population for improving functional outcomes after experimental spinal cord injury. However only few studies have focused on experimental models with large cavitations, which require bridging substrates to transfer and maintain the donor cells within the lesion site. Here, a state-of-the-art collagen-based multi-channeled three dimensional scaffold was used to deliver olfactory ensheathing cells to 2 mm long unilateral low-thoracic hemisection cavities. For a period of 10 weeks, allodynia of the hindpaws was monitored using the von Frey hair filament test, while an extensive analysis of motor ability was performed with use of the CatWalk gait analysis system and the BBB locomotor scale. No substantial improvement or deterioration of motor functions was induced and there was no effect on lesion-induced allodynia. On the basis of these data, we conclude that relatively large spinal cord lesions with cavitation may present additional hurdles to the therapeutic effect of OEC. Future studies are needed to address the nature that such lesion cavities place on cell grafts. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Hodde D.,RWTH Aachen | Hodde D.,Julich Aachen Research Alliance Translational Brain Medicine JARA Brain | Gerardo-Nava J.,RWTH Aachen | Gerardo-Nava J.,Julich Aachen Research Alliance Translational Brain Medicine JARA Brain | And 16 more authors.
European Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2016

The generation of complex three-dimensional bioengineered scaffolds that are capable of mimicking the molecular and topographical cues of the extracellular matrix found in native tissues is a field of expanding research. The systematic development of such scaffolds requires the characterisation of cell behaviour in response to the individual components of the scaffold. In the present investigation, we studied cell-substrate interactions between purified populations of Schwann cells and three-dimensional fibrin hydrogel scaffolds, in the presence or absence of multiple layers of highly orientated electrospun polycaprolactone nanofibres. Embedded Schwann cells remained viable within the fibrin hydrogel for up to 7 days (the longest time studied); however, cell behaviour in the hydrogel was somewhat different to that observed on the two-dimensional fibrin substrate: Schwann cells failed to proliferate in the fibrin hydrogel, whereas cell numbers increased steadily on the two-dimensional fibrin substrate. Schwann cells within the fibrin hydrogel developed complex process branching patterns, but, when presented with orientated nanofibres, showed a strong tendency to redistribute themselves onto the nanofibres, where they extended long processes that followed the longitudinal orientation of the nanofibres. The process length along nanofibre-containing fibrin hydrogel reached near-maximal levels (for the present experimental conditions) as early as 1 day after culturing. The ability of this three-dimensional, extracellular matrix-mimicking scaffold to support Schwann cell survival and provide topographical cues for rapid process extension suggest that it may be an appropriate device design for the bridging of experimental lesions of the peripheral nervous system. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Voss B.,RWTH Aachen | Voss B.,Julich Aachen Research Alliance Translational Brain Medicine JARA BRAIN | Thienel R.,University of Newcastle | Reske M.,Jülich Research Center | And 3 more authors.
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience | Year: 2010

The cholinergic system is essential in mediating cognitive processes. Although there has been extensive research regarding cholinergic receptor subsystems, the specific contribution of the muscarinic and nicotinic receptor system to cognitive processes still has not been sufficiently explored. In the present study, we examined the selective contribution of muscarinic and nicotinic antagonism to cognitive performance in healthy human subjects. A single-blind, double-dummy, time-elapsed, repeated measures cross-over design was used on 15 healthy males. Subjects completed a neuropsychological test battery assessing a wide range of cognitive domains after 0.4 mg scopolamine (intravenous), 0.2 mg/kg mecamylamine (max. 15 mg; oral) or placebo. Subjects were tested under three conditions: placebo/placebo (PP), scopolamine/placebo (SP) and mecamylamine/placebo (MP). Results show that scopolamine significantly impaired the free recall and recognition performance in the verbal learning test. No other cognitive domain was affected, neither by scopolamine nor by mecamylamine. In line with the existing literature, antagonism of muscarinic receptors resulted in specific cognitive impairments, predominantly memory performance. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Pauly K.,RWTH Aachen | Pauly K.,Julich Aachen Research Alliance Translational Brain Medicine JARA BRAIN | Seiferth N.Y.,RWTH Aachen | Kellermann T.,RWTH Aachen | And 16 more authors.
Schizophrenia Research | Year: 2010

Subtle emotional and cognitive dysfunctions may already be apparent in individuals at risk for psychosis. However, there is a paucity of research on the neural correlates of the interaction of both domains. It remains unclear whether those correlates are already dysfunctional before a transition to psychosis.We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the interaction of working memory and emotion in 12 persons clinically at high risk for psychosis (CHR) and 12 healthy subjects individually matched for age, gender and parental education. Participants performed an n-back task while negative or neutral emotion was induced by olfactory stimulation.Although healthy and psychosis-prone subjects did not differ in their working memory performance or the evaluation of the induced emotion, decreased activations were found in CHR subjects in the superior parietal lobe and the precuneus during working memory and in the insula during emotion induction. Looking at the interaction, CHR subjects, showed decreased activation in the right superior temporal gyrus, which correlated negatively with psychopathological scores. Decreased activation was also found in the thalamus. However, an increase of activation emerged in several cerebellar regions.Dysfunctions in areas associated with controlling whether incoming information is linked to emotional content and in the integration of multimodal information might lead to compensatory activations of cerebellar regions known to be involved in olfactory and working memory processes. Our study underlines that cerebral dysfunctions related to cognitive and emotional processes, as well as their interaction, can emerge in persons with CHR, even in absence of behavioral differences. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.


Altinova H.,Evangelic Hospital Bethel | Altinova H.,RWTH Aachen | Altinova H.,Julich Aachen Research Alliance Translational Brain Medicine JARA Brain | Mollers S.,Charite University Hospital | And 16 more authors.
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine | Year: 2016

The implantation of bioengineered scaffolds into lesion-induced gaps of the spinal cord is a promising strategy for promoting functional tissue repair because it can be combined with other intervention strategies. Our previous investigations showed that functional improvement following the implantation of a longitudinally microstructured collagen scaffold into unilateral mid-cervical spinal cord resection injuries of adult Lewis rats was associated with only poor axon regeneration within the scaffold. In an attempt to improve graft-host integration as well as functional recovery, scaffolds were seeded with highly enriched populations of syngeneic, olfactory bulb-derived ensheathing cells (OECs) prior to implantation into the same lesion model. Regenerating neurofilament-positive axons closely followed the trajectory of the donor OECs, as well as that of the migrating host cells within the scaffold. However, there was only a trend for increased numbers of regenerating axons above that supported by non-seeded scaffolds or in the untreated lesions. Nonetheless, significant functional recovery in skilled forelimb motor function was observed following the implantation of both seeded and non-seeded scaffolds which could not be correlated to the extent of axon regeneration within the scaffold. Mechanisms other than simple bridging of axon regeneration across the lesion must be responsible for the improved motor function. © 2016, The Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Kriebel A.,RWTH Aachen | Kriebel A.,Maastricht University | Rumman M.,RWTH Aachen | Scheld M.,RWTH Aachen | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials | Year: 2014

Peripheral nerve injuries can be surgically repaired by suturing the transected nerve stumps or, in case of larger lesions, by the transplantation of an autologous nerve graft. To avoid donor site morbidity, the development of artificial implants is desired. Clinically, hollow conduits have been used for this purpose but are inferior to the autograft because they lack internal guidance cues for Schwann cells and regenerating axons. In this article, we describe the design of a three-dimensional (3D) scaffold consisting of parallel fibers embedded in a collagen matrix. For this purpose, an electrospinning device was developed to produce and manipulate a 3D array of aligned poly(É-caprolactone) (PCL) microfibers. This fiber array was then incorporated into biodegradable PCL tubes to serve as artificial nerve bridges. Using primary cultures of embryonic chicken dorsal root ganglia, we show that PCL microfibers in the 3D matrix of our composite scaffold guide the direction of Schwann cell migration and axonal growth. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Bozkurt A.,RWTH Aachen | Bozkurt A.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Boecker A.,RWTH Aachen | Tank J.,RWTH Aachen | And 12 more authors.
Biomaterials | Year: 2016

An increasing number of biomaterial nerve guides has been developed that await direct comparative testing with the 'gold-standard' autologous nerve graft in functional repair of peripheral nerve defects. In the present study, 20 mm rat sciatic nerve defects were bridged with either a collagen-based micro-structured nerve guide (Perimaix) or an autologous nerve graft. Axons regenerated well into the Perimaix scaffold and, the majority of these axons grew across the 20 mm defect into the distal nerve segment. In fact, both the total axon number and the number of retrogradely traced somatosensory and motor neurons extending their axons across the implant was similar between Perimaix and autologous nerve graft groups. Implantation of Schwann cell-seeded Perimaix scaffolds provided only a beneficial effect on myelination within the scaffold. Functional recovery supported by the implanted, non-seeded Perimaix scaffold was as good as that observed after the autologous nerve graft, despite the presence of thinner myelin sheaths in the Perimaix implanted nerves. These findings support the potential of the Perimaix collagen scaffold as a future off-the-shelf device for clinical applications in selected cases of traumatic peripheral nerve injury. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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