Effects of AAV-mediated knockdown of nNOS and GPx-1 gene expression in rat hippocampus after traumatic brain injury.
ABSTRACT: Virally mediated RNA interference (RNAi) to knock down injury-induced genes could improve functional outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI); however, little is known about the consequences of gene knockdown on downstream cell signaling pathways and how RNAi influences neurodegeneration and behavior. Here, we assessed the effects of adeno-associated virus (AAV) siRNA vectors that target two genes with opposing roles in TBI pathogenesis: the allegedly detrimental neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and the potentially protective glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx-1). In rat hippocampal progenitor cells, three siRNAs that target different regions of each gene (nNOS, GPx-1) effectively knocked down gene expression. However, in vivo, in our rat model of fluid percussion brain injury, the consequences of AAV-siRNA were variable. One nNOS siRNA vector significantly reduced the number of degenerating hippocampal neurons and showed a tendency to improve working memory. GPx-1 siRNA treatment did not alter TBI-induced neurodegeneration or working memory deficits. Nevertheless, microarray analysis of laser captured, virus-infected neurons showed that knockdown of nNOS or GPx-1 was specific and had broad effects on downstream genes. Since nNOS knockdown only modestly ameliorated TBI-induced working memory deficits, despite widespread genomic changes, manipulating expression levels of single genes may not be sufficient to alter functional outcome after TBI.
Project description:To address the hypothesis that silencing deleterious or protective injury-induced genes in the rat hippocampus will reduce or increase the numbers of injured hippocampal neurons, alter cellular pathways essential for neuronal function and improve or worsen functional outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI), we evaluated the effects of silencing neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and glutathione peroxidase-1 (GPx-1) expression in the injured rat hippocampus. Overall design: Two weeks post-TBI/post-AAV treatment, hippocampal pyramidal neurons were laser captured for comparative whole genome microarray analysis.
Project description:NMDA receptor channel plays an important role in the pathophysiological process of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The present study aims to study the pathological mechanism of TBI and the impairment of learning and memory after TBI, and to investigate the mechanism of the protective effect of NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 on learning and memory disorder after TBI.Forty Sprague-Dawley rats (weighing approximately 200 g) were randomized into 5 groups (n = 8 in each group): control group, model group, low-dose group (MK-801 0.5 mg/kg), middle-dose group (MK-801 2 mg/kg), and high-dose group (MK-801 10 mg/kg). TBI model was established using a weight-drop head injury mode. After 2-month drug treatment, learning and memory ability was evaluated by using Morris water maze test. Then the animals were sacrificed, and brain tissues were taken out for morphological and immunohistochemical assays.The ability of learning and memory was significantly impaired in the TBI model animals. Besides, the neuronal caspase-3 expression, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)-positive neurons and OX-42-positive microglia were all increased in TBI animals. Meanwhile, the number of neuron synapses was decreased, and vacuoles degeneration could be observed in mitochondria. After MK-801 treatment at 3 different dosages, the ability of learning and memory was markedly improved, as compared to that of the TBI model animals. Moreover, neuronal caspase-3 expression, OX-42-positive microglia and nNOS-positive neurons were all significantly decreased. Meanwhile, the mitochondria degeneration was greatly inhibited.MK-801 could significantly inhibit the degeneration and apoptosis of neurons in damaged brain areas. It could also inhibit TBI-induced increase in nNOS-positive neurons and OX-42-positive microglia. Impairment in learning and memory in TBI animals could be repaired by treatment with MK-801.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury dysregulates microRNA expression in the brain. We hypothesized that injury-induced epigenetic changes contribute to neurodegeneration and learning and memory deficits after TBI. These changes may provide a mechanistic explanation for neuropsychiatric comorbidities in TBI patients. Our objective is to compare and contrast the effects of several neuroprotective drugs (JM6, PMI-006 and E33-estrogen) on the TBI-induced changes in microRNA expression in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is critical for learning and memory. We will also study if different neuroprotective drugs have similar effects on common microRNAs which may cooperatively regulate a common set of gene targets. 3 biological samples each of Naïve, Sham control, TBI and TBI plus JM6, TI plus PMI-006, and TBI plus E33 rat hippocampi were obtained 24 hr post-sham injury or TBI, stored in RNA later and sent to GenUs Biosystems for microRNA microarray analysis.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause progressive neurodegeneration, sustained neuroinflammation and chronic neurological dysfunction. Few experimental studies have explored the long-term neurobehavioral and functional cellular changes beyond several months. The present study examined the effects of a single moderate-level TBI on functional outcome 8 months after injury. Male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to controlled cortical impact injury and followed for changes in motor performance, learning and memory, as well as depressive-like and social behavior. We also used a novel flow cytometry approach to assess cellular functions in freshly isolated neurons and microglia from the injured tissue. There were marked and diverse, sustained neurobehavioral changes in injured mice. Compared to sham controls, chronic TBI mice showed long-term deficits in gait dynamics, nest building, spatial working memory and recognition memory. The tail suspension, forced swim, and sucrose consumption tests showed a marked depressive-like phenotype that was associated with impaired sociability. At the cellular level, there were lower numbers of Thy1+Tuj1+ neurons and higher numbers of activated CD45loCD11b+ microglia. Functionally, both neurons and microglia exhibited significantly higher levels of oxidative stress after injury. Microglia exhibited chronic deficits in phagocytosis of E. coli bacteria, and increased uptake of myelin and dying neurons. Living neurons showed decreased expression of synaptophysin and postsynaptic density (PSD)-95, along with greater numbers of microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3)-positive autophagosomes and increased mitochondrial mass that suggest dysregulation of autophagy. In summary, the late neurobehavioral changes found after murine TBI are similar to those found chronically after moderate-severe human head injury. Importantly, such changes are associated with microglial dysfunction and changes in neuronal activity.
Project description:Deficits in working memory are commonly observed after traumatic brain injury (TBI), with executive control processes preferentially impacted relative to storage and rehearsal. Previous activation functional neuroimaging investigations of working memory in patients with TBI have reported altered functional recruitment, but methodologic issues including sample heterogeneity (e.g., variability in injury mechanism, severity, neuropathology or chronicity), underspecified definitions of "working memory," and behavioral differences between TBI and control groups have hindered interpretation of these changes.Executive control processing in working memory was explicitly engaged during fMRI in a sample of carefully selected chronic-stage, moderate-to-severe TBI patients with diffuse axonal injury (DAI) but without focal lesions.Despite equivalent task performance, we observed a pattern of greater recruitment of interhemispheric and intrahemispheric regions of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and posterior cortices in our DAI sample. Enhanced activations were recorded in the left dorsolateral PFC (middle frontal gyrus), right ventrolateral PFC (inferior frontal gyrus), bilateral posterior parietal cortices, and left temporo-occipital junction. Region-of-interest analyses confirmed that these effects were robust across individual patients and could not be attributed to load factors or slowed speed of processing.Augmented functional recruitment in the context of normal behavioral performance may be a neural marker of capacity or efficiency limits that can affect functional outcome after traumatic brain injury with diffuse injury.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Blast traumatic brain injury (B-TBI) affects military and civilian personnel. Presently, there are no approved drugs for blast brain injury. METHODS:Exendin-4 (Ex-4), administered subcutaneously, was evaluated as a pretreatment (48 hours) and postinjury treatment (2 hours) on neurodegeneration, behaviors, and gene expressions in a murine open field model of blast injury. RESULTS:B-TBI induced neurodegeneration, changes in cognition, and genes expressions linked to dementia disorders. Ex-4, administered preinjury or postinjury, ameliorated B-TBI-induced neurodegeneration at 72 hours, memory deficits from days 7-14, and attenuated genes regulated by blast at day 14 postinjury. DISCUSSION:The present data suggest shared pathologic processes between concussive and B-TBI, with end points amenable to beneficial therapeutic manipulation by Ex-4. B-TBI-induced dementia-related gene pathways and cognitive deficits in mice somewhat parallel epidemiologic studies of Barnes et al. who identified a greater risk in US military veterans who experienced diverse TBIs, for dementia in later life.
Project description:Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) membrane delocalization contributes to the pathogenesis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) by promoting functional muscle ischemia and exacerbating muscle injury during exercise. We have previously shown that supra-physiological expression of nNOS-binding mini-dystrophin restores normal blood flow regulation and prevents functional ischemia in transgenic mdx mice, a DMD model. A critical next issue is whether systemic dual adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy can restore nNOS-binding mini-dystrophin expression and mitigate muscle activity-related functional ischemia and injury. Here, we performed systemic gene transfer in mdx and mdx4cv mice using a pair of dual AAV vectors that expressed a 6 kb nNOS-binding mini-dystrophin gene. Vectors were packaged in tyrosine mutant AAV-9 and co-injected (5 × 10(12) viral genome particles/vector/mouse) via the tail vein to 1-month-old dystrophin-null mice. Four months later, we observed 30-50% mini-dystrophin positive myofibers in limb muscles. Treatment ameliorated histopathology, increased muscle force and protected against eccentric contraction-induced injury. Importantly, dual AAV therapy successfully prevented chronic exercise-induced muscle force drop. Doppler hemodynamic assay further showed that therapy attenuated adrenergic vasoconstriction in contracting muscle. Our results suggest that partial transduction can still ameliorate nNOS delocalization-associated functional deficiency. Further evaluation of nNOS binding mini-dystrophin dual AAV vectors is warranted in dystrophic dogs and eventually in human patients.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major public health concern affecting 2.8 million people per year in the United States, of whom about 1 million are children under 19 years old. Animal models of TBI have been developed and used in multiple ages of animals, but direct comparisons of adult and adolescent populations are rare. The current studies were undertaken to directly compare outcomes between adult and adolescent male mice, using a closed head, single-impact model of TBI. Six-week-old adolescent and 9-week-old adult male mice were subjected to mild-moderate TBI. Histological measures for neurodegeneration, gliosis, and microglial neuroinflammation, and behavioral tests of locomotion and memory were performed. Adolescent TBI mice have increased mortality (?2 = 20.72, p < 0.001) compared to adults. There is also evidence of hippocampal neurodegeneration in adolescents that is not present in adults. Hippocampal neurodegeneration correlates with histologic activation of microglia, but not with increased astrogliosis. Adults and adolescents have similar locomotion deficits after TBI that recover by 16 days postinjury. Adolescents have memory deficits as evidenced by impaired novel object recognition between 3-4 and 4-16 days postinjury (F1,26 = 5.23, p = 0.031) while adults do not. In conclusion, adults and adolescents within a close age range (6-9 weeks) respond to TBI differently. Adolescents are more severely affected by mortality, neurodegeneration, and inflammation in the hippocampus compared to adults. Adolescents, but not adults, have worse memory performance after TBI that lasts at least 16 days postinjury.
Project description:Blast traumatic brain injury (B-TBI) affects military and civilian personnel. Presently there are no approved drugs for blast brain injury. Exendin-4, administered subcutaneously, was evaluated as a pre-treatment (48 hours) and post-injury treatment (2 hours) on neurodegeneration, behaviors and gene expressions in a murine open field model of blast injury. B-TBI induced neurodegeneration, changes in cognition and genes expressions linked to dementia disorders. Exendin-4, administered pre- or post-injury ameliorated B-TBI-induced neurodegeneration at 72 hours, memory deficits from days 7-14 and attenuated genes regulated by blast at day 14 post-injury. The present data suggest shared pathological processes between concussive and B-TBI, with endpoints amenable to beneficial therapeutic manipulation by exendin-4. B-TBI-induced dementia-related gene pathways and cognitive deficits in mice somewhat parallel epidemiological studies of Barnes and co-workers who identified a greater risk in US military veterans who experienced diverse TBIs, for dementia in later life. Overall design: Experimental conditions used to create a blast traumatic brain injury (B-TBI) and the subsequent model characterization have been described in detail previously. In short, male ICR mice (30-40 g) were anaesthetized with a combination of ketamine (100 mg/kg) and xylazine (10 mg/kg). Once fully anaesthetized, the animals were positioned ‘side-on’ to the blast overpressure on an elevated platform in a circle, 7 meters from the source of the detonation generated by the detonation of 500 g of trinitrotoluene (TNT). The maximum overpressure generated by the detonation was 2.5 PSI (17.23 kPa). The following animal treatment groups were utilized: sham operated no blast (Sham); blast traumatic brain injury (B-TBI); Ex-4 as a pre-treatment to the blast injury (Ex-4/B-TBI); Ex-4 as a post-treatment to the blast injury (B-TBI/Ex-4) and Ex-4 but no injury (Ex-4). Hippocampal brain gene expression was examined on day 3 and day 14 (Experiment GSE44625) after the blast traumatic brain injury (B-TBI) or sham procedure. Animals received 3.5 pM/kg/min (21ug/kg/day) Exendin-4 using Alzet micro-osmotic pumps either as a pre-treatment to the blast injury 48 hours before (Ex-4 pre-TBI) or as a post-treatment 2 hours after the blast injury (Ex-4 post-TBI). Animals in a previous data set on Day 14 (GSE44625) were administered Ex-4 as a pre-treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:The medial forebrain bundle (MFB) contains ascending catecholamine fibers that project to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Damage to these fibers following traumatic brain injury (TBI) may alter extracellular catecholamine levels in the PFC and impede attention and working memory ability. This study investigated white matter microstructure of the medial MFB, specifically the supero-lateral branch (slMFB), following TBI, and its association with performance on attention and working memory tasks. METHOD:Neuropsychological measures of attention and working memory were administered to 20 moderate-severe participants with TBI (posttraumatic amnesia M = 40.05 ± 37.10 days, median time since injury 10.48 months, range 3.72-87.49) and 20 healthy controls. Probabilistic tractography was used to obtain fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values for 17 participants with TBI and 20 healthy controls. RESULTS:When compared to controls, participants with TBI were found to have significantly lower FA (p < .001) and higher MD (p < .001) slMFB values, and they were slower to complete tasks including Trail Making Task-A, Hayling, selective attention task, n-back, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test. CONCLUSION:This study was the first to demonstrate microstructural white matter damage within the slMFB following TBI. However, no evidence was found for an association of alterations to this tract and performance on attentional tasks.