Abstract: Neonatal hypoxia ischemia (HI; reduced oxygen and/or blood flow to the brain) can cause various degrees of tissue damage, as well as subsequent cognitive/behavioral deficits such as motor, learning/memory, and auditory impairments. These outcomes frequently result from cardiovascular and/or respiratory events observed in premature infants. Data suggests that there is a sex difference in HI outcome, with males being more adversely affected relative to comparably injured females. Brain/body temperature may play a role in modulating the severity of an HI insult, with hypothermia during an insult yielding more favorable anatomical and behavioral outcomes. The current study utilized a postnatal day (P) 7 rodent model of HI injury to assess the effect of temperature modulation during injury in each sex. We hypothesized that female P7 rats would benefit more from lowered body temperatures as compared to male P7 rats. We assessed all subjects on rota-rod, auditory discrimination, and spatial/non-spatial maze tasks. Our results revealed a significant benefit of temperature reduction in HI females as measured by most of the employed behavioral tasks. However, HI males benefitted from temperature reduction as measured on auditory and non-spatial tasks. Our data suggest that temperature reduction protects both sexes from the deleterious effects of HI injury, but task and sex specific patterns of relative efficacy are seen.
Abstract: Stress can increase emotional vigilance at the cost of a decrease in attention towards non-emotional stimuli. However, the time-dependent effects of acute stress on emotion processing are uncertain. We tested the effects of acute stress on subsequent emotion processing up to 40 min following an acute stressor. Our measure of emotion processing was the late positive potential (LPP) component of the visual event-related potential (ERP), and our measure of non-emotional attention was the sustained attention to response task (SART). We also measured cortisol levels before and after the socially evaluated cold pressor test (SECPT) induction. We found that the effects of stress on the LPP ERP emotion measure were time sensitive. Specifically, the LPP ERP was only altered in the late time-point (30–40 min post-stress) when cortisol was at its highest level. Here, the LPP no longer discriminated between the emotional and non-emotional picture categories, most likely because neutral pictures were perceived as emotional. Moreover, compared to the non-stress condition, the stress-condition showed impaired performance on the SART. Our results support the idea that a limit in attention resources after an emotional stressor is associated with the brain incorrectly processing non-emotional stimuli as emotional and interferes with sustained attention.
Abstract: CD157, also referred to as bone marrow stromal cell antigen-1 (BST-1), is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored molecule that promotes pre-B-cell growth. Previous studies have reported associations between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the CD157/BST1 gene with Parkinson’s disease. In an attempt to determine whether SNPs or haplotypes in the CD157/BST1 are associated with other brain disorders, we performed a case-control study including 147 autism spectrum disorder (ASD) patients at Kanazawa University Hospital in Japan and 150 unselected Japanese volunteers by the sequence-specific primer-polymerase chain reaction method combined with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Of 93 SNPs examined, two SNPs showed significantly higher allele frequencies in cases with ASDs than in unaffected controls (rs4301112, OR = 6.4, 95% CI = 1.9 to 22, p = 0.0007; and rs28532698, OR = 6.2, 95% CI = 1.8 to 21, p = 0.0012; Fisher’s exact test; p < 0.002 was considered significant after multiple testing correction). In addition, CT genotype in rs10001565 was more frequently observed in the ASD group than in the control group (OR = 15, 95% CI = 2.0 to 117, p = 0.0007; Fisher’s exact test). The present data indicate that genetic variation of the CD157/BST1 gene might confer susceptibility to ASDs.
Abstract: Hypoxia induced endoplasmic reticulum stress causes accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum and activates the unfolded protein response, resulting in apoptosis through CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) activation. In an in vitro and in vivo model of ischemic stroke, we investigated whether hypothermia regulates the unfolded protein response of CHOP and Endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductin-α (Ero1-α), because Ero1-α is suggested to be a downstream CHOP target. The gene expression of CHOP and Ero1-α was measured using Quantitative-PCR (Q-PCR) in rat hippocampi following global cerebral ischemia, and in hypoxic pheochromocytoma cells during normothermic (37 °C) and hypothermic (31 °C) conditions. As a result of ischemia, a significant increase in expression of CHOP and Ero1-α was observed after three, six and twelve hours of reperfusion following global ischemia. A stable increase in CHOP expression was observed throughout the time course (p < 0.01, p < 0.0001), whereas Ero1-α expression peaked at three to six hours (p < 0.0001). Induced hypothermia in hypoxia stressed PC12 cells resulted in a decreased expression of CHOP after three, six and twelve hours (p < 0.0001). On the contrary, the gene expression of Ero1-α increased as a result of hypothermia and peaked at twelve hours (p < 0.0001). Hypothermia attenuated the expression of CHOP, supporting that hypothermia suppress endoplasmic reticulum stress induced apoptosis in stroke. As hypothermia further induced up-regulation of Ero1-α, and since CHOP and Ero1-α showed differential regulation as a consequence of both disease (hypoxia) and treatment (hypothermia), we conclude that they are regulated independently.
Abstract: In recent years, growth factor therapy has emerged as a potential treatment for ischemic brain injury. The efficacy of therapies that either directly introduce or stimulate local production of growth factors and their receptors in damaged brain tissue has been tested in a multitude of models for different Central Nervous System (CNS) diseases. These growth factors include erythropoietin (EPO), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), among others. Despite the promise shown in animal models, the particular growth factors that should be used to maximize both brain protection and repair, and the therapeutic critical period, are not well defined. We will review current pre-clinical and clinical evidence for growth factor therapies in treating different causes of brain injury, as well as issues to be addressed prior to application in humans.
Abstract: Overgeneral autobiographical memory (AM) manifests in individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) tested during depressed (dMDD) or remitted phases (rMDD), and healthy individuals at high-risk (HR) for developing MDD. The current study aimed to elucidate differences in hemodynamic correlates of AM recall between rMDDs, HRs, and controls (HCs) to identify neural changes following previous depressive episodes without the confound of current depressed mood. HCs, HRs, and unmedicated rMDDs (n = 20/group) underwent fMRI while recalling AMs in response to emotionally valenced cue words. HRs and rMDDs recalled fewer specific and more categorical AMs relative to HCs. During specific AM recall, HRs had increased activity relative to rMDDs and HCs in left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and lateral orbitofrontal cortex. During positive specific AM recall, HRs and HCs had increased activity relative to rMDDs in bilateral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) and left precuneus. During negative specific AM recall HRs and HCs had increased activity in left VLPFC and right DMPFC, while rMDDs had increased activity relative to HRs and HCs in right DLPFC and precuneus. Differential recruitment of medial prefrontal regions implicated in emotional control suggests experiencing a depressive episode may consequently reduce one’s ability to regulate emotional responses during AM recall.