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Neuroglia, Volume 1, Issue 2 (December 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Role for Astroglia-Derived BDNF and MSK1 in Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity
Neuroglia 2018, 1(2), 381-394; https://doi.org/10.3390/neuroglia1020026
Received: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
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Abstract
Homeostatic scaling of synaptic strength in response to environmental stimuli may underlie the beneficial effects of an active lifestyle on brain function. Our previous results highlighted a key role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase 1 (MSK1) in
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Homeostatic scaling of synaptic strength in response to environmental stimuli may underlie the beneficial effects of an active lifestyle on brain function. Our previous results highlighted a key role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase 1 (MSK1) in experience-related homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Astroglia have recently been shown to serve as an important source of BDNF. To elucidate a role for astroglia-derived BDNF, we explored homeostatic synaptic plasticity in transgenic mice with an impairment in the BDNF/MSK1 pathway (MSK1 kinase dead knock-in (KD) mice) and impairment of glial exocytosis (dnSNARE mice). We observed that prolonged tonic activation of astrocytes caused BDNF-dependent upregulation of excitatory synaptic currents accompanied by enlargement of synaptic boutons. We found that exposure to environmental enrichment (EE) and caloric restriction (CR) strongly upregulated excitatory but downregulated inhibitory synaptic currents in old wild-type mice, thus counterbalancing the impact of ageing on synaptic transmission. In parallel, EE and CR enhanced astrocytic Ca2+-signalling. Importantly, we observed a significant deficit in the effects of EE and CR on synaptic transmission in the MSK1 KD and dnSNARE mice. Combined, our results strongly support the importance of astrocytic exocytosis of BDNF for the beneficial effects of EE and CR on synaptic transmission and plasticity in the ageing brain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Putative Receptors Underpinning l-Lactate Signalling in Locus Coeruleus
Neuroglia 2018, 1(2), 365-380; https://doi.org/10.3390/neuroglia1020025
Received: 14 October 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 16 November 2018
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Abstract
The importance of astrocytic l-lactate (LL) for normal functioning of neural circuits such as those regulating learning/memory, sleep/wake state, autonomic homeostasis, or emotional behaviour is being increasingly recognised. l-Lactate can act on neurones as a metabolic or redox substrate, but transmembrane
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The importance of astrocytic l-lactate (LL) for normal functioning of neural circuits such as those regulating learning/memory, sleep/wake state, autonomic homeostasis, or emotional behaviour is being increasingly recognised. l-Lactate can act on neurones as a metabolic or redox substrate, but transmembrane receptor targets are also emerging. A comparative review of the hydroxy-carboxylic acid receptor (HCA1, formerly known as GPR81), Olfactory Receptor Family 51 Subfamily E Member 2 (OR51E2), and orphan receptor GPR4 highlights differences in their LL sensitivity, pharmacology, intracellular coupling, and localisation in the brain. In addition, a putative Gs-coupled receptor on noradrenergic neurones, LLRx, which we previously postulated, remains to be identified. Next-generation sequencing revealed several orphan receptors expressed in locus coeruleus neurones. Screening of a selection of these suggests additional LL-sensitive receptors: GPR180 which inhibits and GPR137 which activates intracellular cyclic AMP signalling in response to LL in a heterologous expression system. To further characterise binding of LL at LLRx, we carried out a structure–activity relationship study which demonstrates that carboxyl and 2-hydroxyl moieties of LL are essential for triggering d-lactate-sensitive noradrenaline release in locus coeruleus, and that the size of the LL binding pocket is limited towards the methyl group position. The evidence accumulating to date suggests that LL acts via multiple receptor targets to modulate distinct brain functions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ultrastructural Remodeling of the Neurovascular Unit in the Female Diabetic db/db Model—Part III: Oligodendrocyte and Myelin
Neuroglia 2018, 1(2), 351-364; https://doi.org/10.3390/neuroglia1020024
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
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Abstract
Obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus are associated with diabetic cognopathy. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that neurovascular unit(s) (NVU), oligodendrocytes, and myelin within cerebral cortical grey matter and deeper transitional zone regions between the cortical grey matter and
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Obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus are associated with diabetic cognopathy. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that neurovascular unit(s) (NVU), oligodendrocytes, and myelin within cerebral cortical grey matter and deeper transitional zone regions between the cortical grey matter and white matter may be abnormal. The monogenic (Leprdb) female diabetic db/db [BKS.CgDock7m +/+ Leprdb/J] (DBC) mouse model was utilized for this ultrastructural study. Upon sacrifice (20 weeks of age), left-brain hemispheres of the DBC and age-matched non-diabetic wild type control C57BL/KsJ (CKC) mice were immediately immersion-fixed. We found prominent remodeling of oligodendrocytes with increased nuclear chromatin condensation and volume and increased numbers of active myelination sites of the cytoplasm in transition zones. Marked dysmyelination with outer myelin lamellae sheath splitting, separation, and ballooning with aberrant mitochondria in grey matter and similar myelin remodeling changes with marked disarray with additional axonal collapse in transitional zones in DBC as compared to CKC models. Full article
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Open AccessReview Understanding the Relevance of Aging-Related Tau Astrogliopathy (ARTAG)
Neuroglia 2018, 1(2), 339-350; https://doi.org/10.3390/neuroglia1020023
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 22 October 2018 / Published: 29 October 2018
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Abstract
Aging-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG) is an umbrella term that encompasses a spectrum of morphological abnormalities seen in astrocytes of the aging brain using immunostaining for pathological forms of the microtubule-associated protein tau. Morphologies of ARTAG include thorn-shaped astrocytes (TSA), and additionally granular/fuzzy astrocytes
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Aging-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG) is an umbrella term that encompasses a spectrum of morphological abnormalities seen in astrocytes of the aging brain using immunostaining for pathological forms of the microtubule-associated protein tau. Morphologies of ARTAG include thorn-shaped astrocytes (TSA), and additionally granular/fuzzy astrocytes (GFA) characterized by fine granular tau immunoreactivity extending into the astrocytic processes. Thorn-shaped astrocytes can be present in the same brain in subpial, subependymal, perivascular, and white and gray matter locations together with GFAs, which are seen in the gray matter. Primary tauopathies show ARTAG-related morphologies as well, moreover, GFA has been proposed to present a conceptual link between brain ageing and primary tauopathies. Sequential distribution patterns have been recognized for subpial, white and gray matter ARTAG. This either suggests the involvement of astrocytes in the propagation of tau pathology or reflects the consequence of a long-term pathogenic process such as barrier dysfunction, local mechanical impact, or early response to neuronal degeneration. The concept of ARTAG facilitated communication among neuropathologists and researchers, informed biomarker researchers with focus on tau-related indicators and motivated further exploration of the significance of astrocytic lesions in various neurodegenerative conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Chemically-Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes on the Morphology and Vitality of D54MG Human Glioblastoma Cells
Neuroglia 2018, 1(2), 327-338; https://doi.org/10.3390/neuroglia1020022
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 2 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
The unique properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have made them interesting candidates for applications in biomedicine. There are diverse chemical groups that can be attached to SWCNTs in order for these tiny tubes to gain various functionalities, for example, water solubility. Due
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The unique properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have made them interesting candidates for applications in biomedicine. There are diverse chemical groups that can be attached to SWCNTs in order for these tiny tubes to gain various functionalities, for example, water solubility. Due to the availability of these “functionalization” approaches, SWCNTs are seen as agents for a potential anti-cancer therapy. In this context, we tested different chemically-functionalized forms of SWCNTs to determine which modifications make them better combatants against glioblastoma (astrocytoma grade IV), the deadliest brain cancer. We investigated the effects that two types of water soluble SWCNTs, functionalized with polyethylene glycol (SWCNT-PEG) or tetrahydrofurfuryl-terminated polyethylene glycol (SWCNT-PEG-THFF), have on the morphology and vitality, that is, cell adhesion, proliferation and death rate, of the D54MG human glioblastoma cells in culture. We found that SWCNT-PEG-THFF solute, when added to culture media, makes D54MG cells less round (measured as a significant decrease, by ~23%, in the form factor). This morphological change was induced by the PEG-THFF functional group, but not the SWCNT backbone itself. We also found that SWCNT-PEG-THFF solute reduces the proliferation rate of D54MG cells while increasing the rate of cell death. The functional groups PEG and PEG-THFF, on the other hand, reduce the cell death rate of D54MG human glioma cells. These data indicate that the process of functionalization of SWCNTs for potential use as glioma therapeutics may affect their biological effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ultrastructural Remodeling of the Neurovascular Unit in the Female Diabetic db/db Model–Part II: Microglia and Mitochondria
Neuroglia 2018, 1(2), 311-326; https://doi.org/10.3390/neuroglia1020021
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 27 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 7 October 2018
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Abstract
Obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus are associated with diabetic cognopathy. This study tested the hypothesis that neurovascular unit(s) (NVU) within cerebral cortical gray matter regions may depict abnormal cellular remodeling. The monogenic (Leprdb) female diabetic db/db [BKS.Cg
[...] Read more.
Obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus are associated with diabetic cognopathy. This study tested the hypothesis that neurovascular unit(s) (NVU) within cerebral cortical gray matter regions may depict abnormal cellular remodeling. The monogenic (Leprdb) female diabetic db/db [BKS.CgDock7m +/+Leprdb/J] (DBC) mouse model was utilized for this ultrastructural study. Upon sacrifice (20 weeks), left-brain hemispheres of the DBC and age-matched nondiabetic control C57BL/KsJ (CKC) mice were immediately immersion-fixed. We observed an attenuation/loss of endothelial blood–brain barrier tight/adherens junctions and pericytes, thickened basement membranes, adherent red and white blood cells, neurovascular unit microbleeds and pathologic remodeling of protoplasmic astrocytes. In this second of a three-part series, we focus on the observational ultrastructural remodeling of microglia and mitochondria in relation to the NVU in leptin receptor deficient DBC models. This study identified novel ultrastructural core signature remodeling changes, which consisted of invasive activated microglia, microglial aberrant mitochondria with nuclear chromatin condensation and adhesion of white blood cells to an activated endothelium of the NVU. In conclusion, the results implicate activated microglia in NVU uncoupling and the resulting ischemic neuronal and synaptic damage, which may be related to impaired cognition and diabetic cognopathy. Full article
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Open AccessReview In Search of a Breakthrough Therapy for Glioblastoma Multiforme
Neuroglia 2018, 1(2), 292-310; https://doi.org/10.3390/neuroglia1020020
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 20 September 2018 / Published: 26 September 2018
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Abstract
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an extremely malignant type of brain cancer which originates from astrocytes or their precursors. Glioblastoma multiforme cells share some features with astrocytes but are characterized by highly unstable genomes with multiple driver mutations and aberrations. Effective therapies for GBM
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Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an extremely malignant type of brain cancer which originates from astrocytes or their precursors. Glioblastoma multiforme cells share some features with astrocytes but are characterized by highly unstable genomes with multiple driver mutations and aberrations. Effective therapies for GBM are lacking and hardly any progress has been made in the last 15 years in terms of improving the outcomes for patients. The lack of new especially targeted anti-GBM medications has prompted scientists in academia around the world to test whether any of the currently approved drugs might be used to fight this devastating disease. This approach is known as repurposing. Dozens of drugs have been reported to have anti-GBM properties in vitro but there is no solid evidence for the clinical efficacy of any of them. Perhaps the most interesting group of those repurposed are tricyclic antidepressants but the mechanism of their action on GBM cells remains obscure. In this brief review we consider various approaches to repurpose drugs for therapy of GBM and highlight their limitations. We also pay special attention to the mitochondria, which appear to be intimately involved in the process of apoptosis and could be a focus of future developments in search of a better treatment for patients suffering from GBM. Full article
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