OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS

Troina, Italy

OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS

Troina, Italy
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Marchetti B.,University of Catania | Marchetti B.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | L'Episcopo F.,University of Catania | L'Episcopo F.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2013

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic (DAergic) neuronal cell bodies in the substantia nigra pars compacta and gliosis. The cause and mechanisms underlying the demise of nigrostriatal DAergic neurons are ill-defined, but interactions between genes and environmental factors are recognized to play a critical role in modulating the vulnerability to PD. Current evidence points to reactive glia as a pivotal factor in PD pathophysiology, playing both protective and destructive roles. Here, the contribution of reactive astrocytes and their ability to modulate DAergic neurodegeneration, neuroprotection and neurorepair in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) rodent model of PD will be discussed in the light of novel emerging evidence implicating wingless-type mouse mammary tumor virus integration site (Wnt)/β-catenin signaling as a strong candidate in MPTP-induced nigrostriatal DAergic plasticity. In this work, we highlight an intrinsic Wnt1/frizzled-1/β-catenin tone that critically contributes to the survival and protection of adult midbrain DAergic neurons, with potential implications for drug design or drug action in PD. The dynamic interplay between astrocyte-derived factors and neurogenic signals in MPTP-induced nigrostriatal DAergic neurotoxicity and repair will be summarized, together with recent findings showing a critical role of glia-neural stem/progenitor cell (NPC) interactions aimed at overcoming neurodegeneration and inducing neurorestoration. Understanding the intrinsic plasticity of nigrostriatal DAergic neurons and deciphering the signals facilitating the crosstalk between astrocytes, microglia, DAergic neurons and NPCs may have major implications for the role of stem cell technology in PD, and for identifying potential therapeutic targets to induce endogenous neurorepair. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


L'Episcopo F.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Tirolo C.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Caniglia S.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Testa N.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Neuroinflammation | Year: 2010

Current evidence suggests a role of neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model of basal ganglia injury. Reportedly, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) mitigate DAergic neurotoxicity in rodent models of PD. Consistent with these findings, epidemiological analysis indicated that certain NSAIDs may prevent or delay the progression of PD. However, a serious impediment of chronic NSAID therapy, particularly in the elderly, is gastric, renal and cardiac toxicity. Nitric oxide (NO)-donating NSAIDs, have a safer profile while maintaining anti-inflammatory activity of parent compounds. We have investigated the oral activity of the NO-donating derivative of flurbiprofen, [2-fluoro-α-methyl (1,1'-biphenyl)-4-acetic-4-(nitrooxy)butyl ester], HCT1026 (30 mg kg -1daily in rodent chow) in mice exposed to the parkinsonian neurotoxin MPTP.Methods: Ageing mice were fed with a control, flurbiprofen, or HCT1026 diet starting ten days before MPTP administration and continuing for all the experimental period. Striatal high affinity synaptosomial dopamine up-take, motor coordination assessed with the rotarod, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)- and dopamine transporter (DAT) fiber staining, stereological cell counts, immunoblotting and gene expression analyses were used to assess MPTP-induced nigrostriatal DAergic toxicity and glial activation 1-40 days post-MPTP.Results: HCT1026 was well tolerated and did not cause any measurable toxic effect, whereas flurbiprofen fed mice showed severe gastrointestinal side-effects. HCT1026 efficiently counteracted motor impairment and reversed MPTP-induced decreased synaptosomal [ 3H]dopamine uptake, TH- and DAT-stained fibers in striatum and TH +neuron loss in subtantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), as opposed to age-matched mice fed with a control diet. These effects were associated to a significant decrease in reactive macrophage antigen-1 (Mac-1)-positive microglial cells within the striatum and ventral midbrain, decreased expression of iNOS, Mac-1 and NADPH oxidase (PHOX), and downregulation of 3-Nitrotyrosine, a peroxynitrite finger print, in SNpc DAergic neurons.Conclusions: Oral treatment with HCT1026 has a safe profile and a significant efficacy in counteracting MPTP-induced dopaminergic (DAergic) neurotoxicity, motor impairment and microglia activation in ageing mice. HCT1026 provides a novel promising approach towards the development of effective pharmacological neuroprotective strategies against PD. © 2010 L'Episcopo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


L'Episcopo F.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Tirolo C.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Testa N.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Caniglia S.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | And 3 more authors.
CNS and Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets | Year: 2010

Parkinsons'disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the presence of tremor, muscle rigidity, slowness of voluntary movements and postural instability. One of the pathological hallmarks of PD is loss of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons in the subtantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). The cause and mechanisms underlying the demise of nigrostriatal DAergic neurons are not fully understood, but interactions between genes and environmental factors are recognized to play a critical role in modulating the vulnerability to PD. Current evidence points to reactive glia as a pivotal factor in PD, but whether astroglia activation may protect or exacerbate DAergic neuron loss is the subject of much debate. Astrocytes and microglia are the key players in neuroinflammatory responses, secreting an array of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, anti-oxidants and neurotrophic factors. These mediators act as double-edged swords, exerting both detrimental and neuroprotective effects. Here, the contribution of astrocytes and microglia in mediating the effects of both genetic and environmental factors, including hormones, endotoxins and neurotoxins, and their ability to influence DAergic neurodegeneration, neuroprotection and neurorepair will be discussed. Approaches capable to regulate glial-associated oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage, by decreasing inflammatory burden, restoring mitochondrial function and DAergic neuron metabolism, might hold great promise for therapeutic interventions. Therapies that support astrocyte function, replacing astrocytes either modified or unmodified in culture, may represent novel approaches targeting astrocytes to promote DAergic neurorescue. Dissecting the molecular determinants of glia-neuron crosstalk will give us the possibility to test novel strategies to promote restoration of injured nigrostriatal DAergic neurons. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.


L'Episcopo F.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Tirolo C.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Testa N.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Caniglia S.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | And 3 more authors.
Current Aging Science | Year: 2013

Parkinsons'disease (PD), a common neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons in the subtantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and gliosis. The cause and mechanisms underlying the demise of nigrostriatal DAergic neurons are not completely clarified, but interactions between genes and environmental factors are recognized to play a critical role in modulating the vulnerability to PD. Current evidence points to reactive glia as a pivotal factor in PD, but whether astroglia activation may protect or exacerbate DAergic neuron loss is presently the subject of much debate. Astrocytes and microglia are the key players in neuroinflammatory responses, by secreting an array of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, anti-oxidant and neurotrophic factors. Here, the contribution of astrocytes and their ability to influence DAergic neurodegeneration, neuroprotection and neurorepair will be discussed. In particular, the dynamic interplay between astrocyte-derived factors and neurogenic signals in MPTP-induced plasticity of nigrostriatal DAergic neurons will be summarized together with recent findings showing that reactive astrocytes may contribute to promote DAergic neurogenesis from midbrain adult neural stem/precursor cells (NPCs). Within a host of astrocyte-derived factors, we unveiled Wingless-type MMTV integration site (Wnt)/β-catenin signalling was unveiled, as a strong candidate in MPTP-induced DAergic neuroplasticty/neurorepair. Understanding the intrinsic plasticity of nigrostriatal DAergic neurons and decifering the signals facilitating the crosstalk between astrocytes and midbrain neuroprogenitors may have implications for the role of stem cells technology in PD and for identifying potential therapeutic targets to promote endogenous neurorepair. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.


L'Episcopo F.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Tirolo C.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Caniglia S.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | Testa N.,OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Cell Biology | Year: 2014

During the past three decades, the Wingless-type MMTV integration site (Wnt) signaling cascade has emerged as an essential system regulating multiple processes in developing and adult brain. Accumulating evidence points to a dysregulation of Wnt signaling in major neurodegenerative pathologies including Parkinson's disease (PD), a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive loss of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons and deregulated activation of astrocytes and microglia. This review highlights the emerging link between Wnt signaling and key inflammatory pathways during mDA neuron damage/repair in PD progression. In particular, we summarize recent evidence documenting that aging and neurotoxicant exposure strongly antagonize Wnt/β-catenin signaling in mDA neurons and subventricular zone (SVZ) neuroprogenitors via astrocyte-microglial interactions. Dysregulation of the crosstalk between Wnt/β-catenin signaling and anti-oxidant/anti- inflammatory pathways delineate novel mechanisms driving the decline of SVZ plasticity with age and the limited nigrostriatal dopaminergic self-repair in PD. These findings hold a promise in developing therapies that target Wnt/β-catenin signaling to enhance endogenous restoration and neuronal outcome in age-dependent diseases, such as PD. © 2014 The Author.


PubMed | OASI Institute for Research and Care on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS
Type: | Journal: Journal of neuroinflammation | Year: 2010

Current evidence suggests a role of neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of Parkinsons disease (PD) and in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model of basal ganglia injury. Reportedly, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) mitigate DAergic neurotoxicity in rodent models of PD. Consistent with these findings, epidemiological analysis indicated that certain NSAIDs may prevent or delay the progression of PD. However, a serious impediment of chronic NSAID therapy, particularly in the elderly, is gastric, renal and cardiac toxicity. Nitric oxide (NO)-donating NSAIDs, have a safer profile while maintaining anti-inflammatory activity of parent compounds. We have investigated the oral activity of the NO-donating derivative of flurbiprofen, [2-fluoro--methyl (1,1-biphenyl)-4-acetic-4-(nitrooxy)butyl ester], HCT1026 (30 mg kg(-1) daily in rodent chow) in mice exposed to the parkinsonian neurotoxin MPTP.Ageing mice were fed with a control, flurbiprofen, or HCT1026 diet starting ten days before MPTP administration and continuing for all the experimental period. Striatal high affinity synaptosomal dopamine up-take, motor coordination assessed with the rotarod, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)- and dopamine transporter (DAT) fiber staining, stereological cell counts, immunoblotting and gene expression analyses were used to assess MPTP-induced nigrostriatal DAergic toxicity and glial activation 1-40 days post-MPTP.HCT1026 was well tolerated and did not cause any measurable toxic effect, whereas flurbiprofen fed mice showed severe gastrointestinal side-effects. HCT1026 efficiently counteracted motor impairment and reversed MPTP-induced decreased synaptosomal [3H]dopamine uptake, TH- and DAT-stained fibers in striatum and TH+ neuron loss in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), as opposed to age-matched mice fed with a control diet. These effects were associated to a significant decrease in reactive macrophage antigen-1 (Mac-1)-positive microglial cells within the striatum and ventral midbrain, decreased expression of iNOS, Mac-1 and NADPH oxidase (PHOX), and downregulation of 3-Nitrotyrosine, a peroxynitrite finger print, in SNpc DAergic neurons.Oral treatment with HCT1026 has a safe profile and a significant efficacy in counteracting MPTP-induced dopaminergic (DAergic) neurotoxicity, motor impairment and microglia activation in ageing mice. HCT1026 provides a novel promising approach towards the development of effective pharmacological neuroprotective strategies against PD.

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