The Promises and Challenges of Erythropoietin for Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.
ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder in the world, and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular amyloid-beta protein deposits represent the major pathological hallmarks of the disease. Currently available treatments provide some symptomatic relief but fail to modify primary pathological processes that underlie the disease. Erythropoietin (EPO), a hematopoietic growth factor, acts primarily to stimulate erythroid cell production, and is clinically used to treat anemia. EPO has evolved as a therapeutic agent for neurodegeneration and has improved neurological outcomes and AD pathology in rodents. However, penetration of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and negative hematopoietic effects are the two major challenges for the therapeutic development of EPO for chronic neurodegenerative diseases like AD. The transferrin receptors at the BBB, which are responsible for transporting transferrin-bound iron from the blood into the brain parenchyma, can be used to shuttle therapeutic molecules across the BBB. In this review, we discuss the role of EPO as a potential neurotherapeutic for AD, challenges associated with EPO development for AD, and targeting the BBB transferrin receptor for EPO brain delivery.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that is the leading cause of age-related dementia. Currently, therapeutic agent delivery to the CNS is a valued approach for AD therapy. Unfortunately, the CNS penetration is greatly hampered by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Focused-ultrasound (FUS) has been demonstrated to temporally open the BBB, thus promoting therapeutic agent delivery to the CNS. Recently, the BBB opening procedure was further reported to clear the deposited A? plaque due to microglia activation. In this study, we aimed to evaluate whether the use of FUS-induced BBB opening to enhance GSK-3 inhibitor delivery, which would bring additive effect of A? plaque clearance by FUS with the reduction of A? plaque synthesis by GSK-3 inhibitor in an AD mice model. FUS-induced BBB opening on APPswe/PSEN1-dE9 transgenic mice was performed unilaterally, with the contralateral hemisphere serving as a reference. GSK-3 level was confirmed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and autoradiography (ARG) was also conducted to quantitatively confirm the A? plaque reduction. Results from IHC showed GSK-3 inhibitor effectively reduced GSK-3 activity up to 61.3% with the addition of FUS-BBB opening and confirming the proposed therapeutic route. ARG also showed significant A?-plaque reduction up to 31.5%. This study reveals the therapeutic potentials of ultrasound to AD treatment, and may provide a useful strategy for neurodegenerative disease treatment.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) keeps neurotoxic plasma-derived components, cells, and pathogens out of the brain. An early BBB breakdown and/or dysfunction have been shown in Alzheimer's disease (AD) before dementia, neurodegeneration and/or brain atrophy occur. However, the role of BBB breakdown in neurodegenerative disorders is still not fully understood. Here, we examine BBB breakdown in animal models frequently used to study the pathophysiology of AD, including transgenic mice expressing human amyloid-? precursor protein, presenilin 1, and tau mutations, and apolipoprotein E, the strongest genetic risk factor for AD. We discuss the role of BBB breakdown and dysfunction in neurodegenerative process, pitfalls in BBB measurements, and how targeting the BBB can influence the course of neurological disorder. Finally, we comment on future approaches and models to better define, at the cellular and molecular level, the underlying mechanisms between BBB breakdown and neurodegeneration as a basis for developing new therapies for BBB repair to control neurodegeneration.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is composed of brain capillary endothelial cells and has an important role in maintaining homeostasis of the brain separating the blood from the parenchyma of the central nervous system (CNS). It is widely known that disruption of the BBB occurs in various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Annexin A1 (ANXA1), an anti-inflammatory messenger, is expressed in brain endothelial cells and regulates the BBB integrity. However, its role and mechanism for protecting BBB in AD have not been identified. We found that ?-Amyloid 1-42 (A?42)-induced BBB disruption was rescued by human recombinant ANXA1 (hrANXA1) in the murine brain endothelial cell line bEnd.3. Also, ANXA1 was decreased in the bEnd.3 cells, the capillaries of 5XFAD mice, and the human serum of patients with AD. To find out the mechanism by which ANXA1 recovers the BBB integrity in AD, the RhoA-ROCK signaling pathway was examined in both A?42-treated bEnd.3 cells and the capillaries of 5XFAD mice as RhoA was activated in both cases. RhoA inhibitors alleviated A?42-induced BBB disruption and constitutively overexpressed RhoA-GTP (active form of RhoA) attenuated the protective effect of ANXA1. When pericytes were cocultured with bEnd.3 cells, A?42-induced RhoA activation of bEnd.3 cells was inhibited by the secretion of ANXA1 from pericytes. Taken together, our results suggest that ANXA1 restores A?42-induced BBB disruption through inhibition of RhoA-ROCK signaling pathway and we propose ANXA1 as a therapeutic reagent, protecting against the breakdown of the BBB in AD.
Project description:Introduction:Iron accumulates in the brain during aging, which catalyzes radical formation, causing neuronal impairment, and is thus considered a pathogenic factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD). To scavenge excess iron-catalyzed radicals and thereby protect the brain and decrease the incidence of AD, we synthesized a soluble pro-iron 5-YHEDA peptide. However, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) blocks large drug molecules from entering the brain and thus strongly reduces their therapeutic effects. However, alternative receptor- or transporter-mediated approaches are possible. Methods:A low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR)-binding segment of Apolipoprotein B-100 was linked to the 5-YHEDA peptide (bs-5-YHEDA) and intracardially injected into senescent (SN) mice that displayed symptoms of cognitive impairment similar to those of people with AD. Results:We successfully delivered 5-YHEDA across the BBB into the brains of the SN mice via vascular epithelium LDLR-mediated endocytosis. The data showed that excess brain iron and radical-induced neuronal necrosis were reduced after the bs-5-YHEDA treatment, together with cognitive amelioration in the SN mouse, and that the senescence-associated ferritin and transferrin increase, anemia and inflammation reversed without kidney or liver injury. Discussion:bs-5-YHEDA may be a mild and safe iron remover that can cross the BBB and enter the brain to relieve excessive iron- and radical-induced cognitive disorders.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, characterized by the formation of extracellular senile plaques and neuronal loss caused by amyloid ? (A?) aggregates in the brains of AD patients. Conventional strategies failed to treat AD in clinical trials, partly due to the poor solubility, low bioavailability and ineffectiveness of the tested drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Moreover, AD is a complex, multifactorial neurodegenerative disease; one-target strategies may be insufficient to prevent the processes of AD. Here, we designed novel kind of poly(lactide-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles by loading with A? generation inhibitor S1 (PQVGHL peptide) and curcumin to target the detrimental factors in AD development and by conjugating with brain targeting peptide CRT (cyclic CRTIGPSVC peptide), an iron-mimic peptide that targets transferrin receptor (TfR), to improve BBB penetration. The average particle size of drug-loaded PLGA nanoparticles and CRT-conjugated PLGA nanoparticles were 128.6 nm and 139.8 nm, respectively. The results of Y-maze and new object recognition test demonstrated that our PLGA nanoparticles significantly improved the spatial memory and recognition in transgenic AD mice. Moreover, PLGA nanoparticles remarkably decreased the level of A?, reactive oxygen species (ROS), TNF-? and IL-6, and enhanced the activities of super oxide dismutase (SOD) and synapse numbers in the AD mouse brains. Compared with other PLGA nanoparticles, CRT peptide modified-PLGA nanoparticles co-delivering S1 and curcumin exhibited most beneficial effect on the treatment of AD mice, suggesting that conjugated CRT peptide, and encapsulated S1 and curcumin exerted their corresponding functions for the treatment.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD), an incurable, progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is the most common form of dementia. Therapeutic options have been elusive due to the inability to deliver proteins across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). In order to improve the therapeutic potential for AD, we utilized a promising new approach for delivery of proteins across the BBB. We generated a lentivirus vector expressing the amyloid ?-degrading enzyme, neprilysin, fused to the ApoB transport domain and delivered this by intra-peritoneal injection to amyloid protein precursor (APP) transgenic model of AD. Treated mice had reduced levels of A?, reduced plaques and increased synaptic density in the CNS. Furthermore, mice treated with the neprilysin targeting the CNS had a reversal of memory deficits. Thus, the addition of the ApoB transport domain to the secreted neprilysin generated a non-invasive therapeutic approach that may be a potential treatment in patients with AD.
Project description:An enormous amount of efforts have been poured to find an effective therapeutic agent for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Among those, neurotrophic peptides that regenerate neuronal structures and increase neuron survival show a promise in slowing neurodegeneration. However, the short plasma half-life and poor blood-brain-barrier (BBB)-permeability of neurotrophic peptides limit their in vivo efficacy. Thus, an alternative neurotrophic agent that has longer plasma half-life and better BBB-permeability has been sought for. Based on the recent findings of neuroprotective polysaccharides, we searched for a BBB-permeable neuroprotective polysaccharide among natural polysaccharides that are approved for human use. Then, we discovered midi-GAGR, a BBB-permeable, long plasma half-life, strong neuroprotective and neurotrophic polysaccharide. Midi-GAGR is a 4.7kD cleavage product of low acyl gellan gum that is approved by FDA for human use. Midi-GAGR protected rodent cortical neurons not only from the pathological concentrations of co-/post-treated free reactive radicals and A?42 peptide but also from activated microglial cells. Moreover, midi-GAGR showed a good neurotrophic effect; it enhanced neurite outgrowth and increased phosphorylated cAMP-responsive element binding protein (pCREB) in the nuclei of primary cortical neurons. Furthermore, intra-nasally administered midi-GAGR penetrated the BBB and exerted its neurotrophic effect inside the brain for 24 h after one-time administration. Midi-GAGR appears to activate fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) and its downstream neurotrophic signaling pathway for neuroprotection and CREB activation. Additionally, 14-day intranasal administration of midi-GAGR not only increased neuronal activity markers but also decreased hyperphosphorylated tau, a precursor of neurofibrillary tangle, in the brains of the AD mouse model, 3xTg-AD. Taken together, midi-GAGR with good BBB-permeability, long plasma half-life, and strong neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects has a great therapeutic potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, especially AD.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) prevents neurotoxic plasma components, blood cells, and pathogens from entering the brain. At the same time, the BBB regulates transport of molecules into and out of the central nervous system (CNS), which maintains tightly controlled chemical composition of the neuronal milieu that is required for proper neuronal functioning. In this review, we first examine molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the establishment of the BBB. Then, we focus on BBB transport physiology, endothelial and pericyte transporters, and perivascular and paravascular transport. Next, we discuss rare human monogenic neurological disorders with the primary genetic defect in BBB-associated cells demonstrating the link between BBB breakdown and neurodegeneration. Then, we review the effects of genes underlying inheritance and/or increased susceptibility for Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on BBB in relation to other pathologies and neurological deficits. We next examine how BBB dysfunction relates to neurological deficits and other pathologies in the majority of sporadic AD, PD, and ALS cases, multiple sclerosis, other neurodegenerative disorders, and acute CNS disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and epilepsy. Lastly, we discuss BBB-based therapeutic opportunities. We conclude with lessons learned and future directions, with emphasis on technological advances to investigate the BBB functions in the living human brain, and at the molecular and cellular level, and address key unanswered questions.
Project description:Erythropoietin (EPO) has been well known as a hematopoietic cytokine over the past decades. However, recent reports have demonstrated that EPO plays a neuroprotective role in the central nervous system, and EPO has been considered as a therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases such as ischemic stroke. Despite the neuroprotective effect of EPO, clinical trials have shown its unexpected side effects, including undesirable proliferative effects such as erythropoiesis and tumor growth. Therefore, the development of EPO analogs that would confer neuroprotection without adverse effects has been attempted. In this study, we examined the potential of a novel EPO-based short peptide, MK-X, as a novel drug for stroke treatment in comparison with EPO. We found that MK-X administration with reperfusion dramatically reduced brain injury in an in vivo mouse model of ischemic stroke induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion, whereas EPO had little effect. Similar to EPO, MK-X efficiently ameliorated mitochondrial dysfunction followed by neuronal death caused by glutamate-induced oxidative stress in cultured neurons. Consistent with this effect, MK-X significantly decreased caspase-3 cleavage and nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor induced by glutamate. MK-X completely mimicked the effect of EPO on multiple activation of JAK2 and its downstream PI3K/AKT and ERK1/2 signaling pathways, and this signaling process was involved in the neuroprotective effect of MK-X. Furthermore, MK-X and EPO induced similar changes in the gene expression patterns under glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Interestingly, the most significant difference between MK-X and EPO was that MK-X better penetrated into the brain across the brain-blood barrier than did EPO. In conclusion, we suggest that MK-X might be used as a novel drug for protection from brain injury caused by ischemic stroke, which penetrates into the brain faster in comparison with EPO, even though MK-X and EPO have similar protective effects against excitotoxicity.
Project description:Stroke is associated with neuroinflammation, neuronal loss and blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown. Thus far, recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rtPA), the only approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke, increases the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage and is poorly efficient in disaggregating platelet-rich thrombi. Therefore, the development of safer and more efficient therapies is highly awaited. Encouraging neuroprotective effects were reported in mouse models of ischemic stroke following administration of erythropoietin (EPO). However, previous preclinical studies did not investigate the effects of EPO in focal ischemic stroke induced by a platelet-rich thrombus and did not consider the implication of age. Here, we performed middle cerebral artery occlusion by inducing platelet-rich thrombus formation in chimeric 5- (i.e. young) and 20- (i.e. aged) months old C57BL/6 mice, in which hematopoietic stem cells carried the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tag. Recombinant human EPO (rhEPO) was administered 24 hours post-occlusion and blood-circulating monocyte populations were studied by flow cytometry 3 hours post-rhEPO administration. Twenty-four hours following rhEPO treatment, neuronal loss and BBB integrity were assessed by quantification of Fluoro-Jade B (FJB)-positive cells and extravasated serum immunoglobulins G (IgG), respectively. Neuroinflammation was determined by quantifying infiltration of GFP-positive bone marrow-derived cells (BMDC) and recruitment of microglial cells into brain parenchyma, along with monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) brain protein levels. Here, rhEPO anti-inflammatory properties rescued ischemic injury by reducing neuronal loss and BBB breakdown in young animals, but not in aged littermates. Such age-dependent effects of rhEPO must therefore be taken into consideration in future studies aiming to develop new therapies for ischemic stroke.