Veterans Affair Health Care System

Iowa City, IA, United States

Veterans Affair Health Care System

Iowa City, IA, United States
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Khan M.M.,University of Iowa | Kempuraj D.,University of Iowa | Thangavel R.,University of Iowa | Thangavel R.,Veterans Affair Health Care System | And 2 more authors.
Neurochemistry International | Year: 2013

Oxidative stress and inflammation play a crucial role in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis and may represent a target for treatment. Current PD drugs provide only symptomatic relief and have limitations in terms of adverse effects and inability to prevent neurodegeneration. Flavonoids have been suggested to exert human health benefits by its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, in the present study, using 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydro pyridine (MPTP)-induced mouse model of Parkinsonism, we investigated the neuroprotective potential of bioflavonoid compound Pycnogenol® (PYC), an extract of Pinus maritime bark. MPTP injected mice developed significantly severe oxidative stress and impaired motor coordination at day 1 and day 7 postinjection. This was associated with significantly increased inflammatory responses of astrocyte and microglia as assessed by ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba 1) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunohistochemistry, and nuclear transcription factor-κB (NF-κB), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in the striata by Western blot. Additionally, there was significant upregulation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) expression in the striata of MPTP injected mice compared to saline controls. The MPTP-induced neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and behavioral impairments were markedly repudiated by treatment with PYC. These results suggest that PYC protects dopaminergic neurons from MPTP-induced toxicity in the mouse model of PD. Thus, the present finding of PYC-induced adaptation to oxidative stress and inflammation could suggest a novel avenue for clinical intervention in neurodegenerative diseases including PD. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Stolmeier D.,University of Iowa | Thangavel R.,University of Iowa | Thangavel R.,Veterans Affair Health Care System | Anantharam P.,University of Iowa | And 5 more authors.
Neurochemical Research | Year: 2013

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the presence of neuropathological lesions containing amyloid plaques (APs) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) associated with neuroinflammation and neuronal degeneration. Hippocampus is one of the earliest and severely damaged areas in AD brain. Glia maturation factor (GMF), a known proinflammatory molecule is up-regulated in AD. Here, we have investigated the expression and distribution of GMF in relation to the distribution of APs and NFTs in the hippocampus of AD brains. Our immunohistochemical results showed GMF is expressed specifically in the vicinity of high density of APs and NFTs in the hippocampus of AD patients. Moreover, reactive astrocytes and activated microglia surrounds the APs and NFTs. We further demonstrate that GMF immunoreactive glial cells were increased at the sites of Tau containing NFTs and APs of hippocampus in AD brains. In conclusion, up-regulated expression of GMF in the hippocampus, and the co-localization of GMF and thioflavin-S stained NFTs and APs suggest that GMF may play important role in the pathogenesis of AD. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Zaheer S.,University of Iowa | Thangavel R.,Veterans Affair Health Care System | Thangavel R.,University of Iowa | Wu Y.,University of Iowa | And 5 more authors.
Neurochemical Research | Year: 2013

We previously demonstrated that glia maturation factor (GMF), a brain specific protein, isolated, sequenced and cloned in our laboratory, induce expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the central nervous system. We also reported that the up-regulation of GMF in astrocytes leads to the destruction of neurons suggesting a novel pathway of GMF-mediated cytotoxicity of brain cells, and implicated its involvement in the pathogenesis of inflammatory neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, we examined the expressions of GMF in triple-transgenic Alzheimer's disease (3xTg-AD) mice. Our results show a 13-fold up-regulation of GMF and 8-12-fold up-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-1β, interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) and C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10/IP-10) mRNA as determined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR in the brain of 3xTg-AD mice as compared to non-transgenic (Non-Tg) mice. In conclusion, the increase in GMF and cytokine/chemokine expression was correlated with reactive glial fibrillary acidic protein positive astrocytes and ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba-1)-positive microglia in 3xTg-AD mice. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Zaheer S.,University of Iowa | Wu Y.,University of Iowa | Yang X.,University of Iowa | Thangavel R.,University of Iowa | And 3 more authors.
Neurochemical Research | Year: 2012

Long-lasting siRNA-based down-regulation of gene of interest can be achieved by lentiviral-based expression vectors driving the production of short hairpin RNA (shRNA). We investigated an attractive therapeutic approach to target the expression of proinflammatory GMF by using lentiviral vector encoding GMF-specific shRNA to reduce GMF levels in the spinal cord and brain of mice. To determine the effect of GMF-shRNA on GMF protein levels, we performed quantitative ELISA analysis in brain and in thoracic, cervical and lumbar regions of spinal cord from mice followed by GMF-shRNA (G-shRNA) or control shRNA (C-shRNA) treatments. Our results show a marked reduction of GMF protein levels in brain and spinal cord of mice treated with GMF-shRNA compared to control shRNA treatment. Consistent with the GMF protein analysis, the immunohistochemical examination of the spinal cord sections of EAE mice treated with GMF- shRNA showed significantly reduced GMF-immunoreactivity. Thus, the down-regulation of GMF by GMF-shRNA was efficient and wide spread in CNS as evident by the significantly reduced levels of GMF protein in the brain and spinal cord of mice. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.

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