Absence of axonal sprouting following unilateral lesion in 125-day-old rat supraoptic nucleus may be due to age-dependent decrease in protein levels of ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor alpha.
ABSTRACT: Within the supraoptic nucleus (SON) of a 35-day-old rat, we previously demonstrated a collateral sprouting response that reinnervates the partially denervated neural lobe (NL) after unilateral lesion of the hypothalamo-neurohypophysial tract. Others have shown a decreased propensity for axonal sprouting in an aged brain; therefore, to see if the SON exhibits a decreased propensity for axonal sprouting as the animal ages, we performed a unilateral lesion in the 125-day-old rat SON. Ultrastructural analysis of axon profiles in the NL of the 125-day-old rat demonstrated an absence of axonal sprouting following injury. We previously demonstrated that ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) promotes process outgrowth from injured magnocellular neuron axons in vitro. Thus, we hypothesized that the lack of axonal sprouting in the 125-day-old rat SON may be due to a reduction in CNTF or the CNTF receptor components. To this point, we found that as the rat ages there is significantly less CNTF receptor alpha (CNTFR?) protein in the uninjured, 125-day-old rat compared to the uninjured, 35-day-old rat. We also observed that protein levels of CNTF and the CNTF receptor components were increased in the SON and NL following injury in the 35-day-old rat, but there was no difference in the protein levels in the 125-day-old rat. Altogether, the results presented herein demonstrate that the plasticity within the SON is highly dependent on the age of the rat, and that a decrease in CNTFR? protein levels in the 125-day-old rat may contribute to the loss of axonal sprouting following axotomy.
Project description:Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is expressed by glial cells at multiple levels of the magnocellular neurosecretory system (MNS). CNTF is present in astrocytes in the hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus (SON) as well as in perivascular cells in the neurohypophysis, and a several fold increase in CNTF immunoreactivity occurs in the SON following either axotomy of magnocellular neurons or during axonal sprouting by intact magnocellular neurons. CNTF also promotes survival and stimulates process outgrowth from magnocellular neurons in vitro. While these findings suggest that CNTF may act as a growth factor in support of neuronal plasticity in the MNS, little is known regarding possible expression of receptors for CNTF in the MNS. We have therefore used immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization to examine the expression of CNTF receptor alpha (CNTFRalpha) in the rat MNS. Robust immunoreactivity for CNTFRalpha was observed associated with oxytocinergic and vasopressinergic neurons distributed throughout the SON. Astrocytes located within the ventral glial lamina (VGL) of the SON were also immunoreactive for CNTFRalpha. Robust hybridization of an anti-sense [(35)S]-cRNA probe to CNTFRalpha mRNA was observed throughout the SON, while binding of a control sense probe was much lower. Grains were found clustered predominantly over neuronal somata, indicative of expression by magnocellular neurons within the SON. We next examined changes in expression of CNTFRalpha mRNA by magnocellular neurons 7 days following unilateral transection of the hypothalamo-neurohypophysial tract. The level of CNTFRalpha mRNA was increased 32% (compared to age-matched intact controls; p<0.05) in magnocellular neurons in the SON contralateral to the lesion, which are undergoing extensive collateral axonal sprouting, but was unchanged in axotomized magnocellular neurons in the SON ipsilateral to the lesion. These findings suggest that CNTF produced by MNS glia and acting via CNTFRalpha may exert neurotrophic effects on magnocellular neurons.
Project description:We demonstrated that capsaicin (CAP), an agonist of transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1), inhibits microglia activation and microglia-derived oxidative stress in the substantia nigra (SN) of MPP?-lesioned rat. However, the detailed mechanisms how microglia-derived oxidative stress is regulated by CAP remain to be determined. Here we report that ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) endogenously produced by CAP-activated astrocytes through TRPV1, but not microglia, inhibits microglial activation and microglia-derived oxidative stress, as assessed by OX-6 and OX-42 immunostaining and hydroethidine staining, respectively, resulting in neuroprotection. The significant increase in levels of CNTF receptor alpha (CNTFR?) expression was evident on microglia in the MPP?-lesioned rat SN and the observed beneficial effects of CNTF was abolished by treatment with CNTF receptor neutralizing antibody. It is therefore likely that CNTF can exert its effect via CNTFR? on microglia, which rescues dopamine neurons in the SN of MPP?-lesioned rats and ameliorates amphetamine-induced rotations. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed also a significantly increased expression of CNTFR? on microglia in the SN from human Parkinson's disease patients compared with age-matched controls, indicating that these findings may have relevance to the disease. These data suggest that CNTF originated from TRPV1 activated astrocytes may be beneficial to treat neurodegenerative disease associated with neuro-inflammation such as Parkinson's disease.
Project description:Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is a neurotrophic factor with therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, therapeutic application of CNTF reduced body weight in mice and humans. CNTF binds to high or low affinity receptor complexes consisting of CNTFR·gp130·LIFR or IL-6R·gp130·LIFR, respectively. Clinical studies of the CNTF derivative Axokine revealed intolerance at higher concentrations, which may rely on the low-affinity binding of CNTF to the IL-6R. Here, we aimed to generate a CNTFR-selective CNTF variant (CV). CV-1 contained the single amino acid exchange R28E. Arg(28) is in close proximity to the CNTFR binding site. Using molecular modeling, we hypothesized that Arg(28) might contribute to IL-6R/CNTFR plasticity of CNTF. CV-2 to CV-5 were generated by transferring parts of the CNTFR-binding site from cardiotrophin-like cytokine to CNTF. Cardiotrophin-like cytokine selectively signals via the CNTFR·gp130·LIFR complex, albeit with a much lower affinity compared with CNTF. As shown by immunoprecipitation, all CNTF variants retained the ability to bind to CNTFR. CV-1, CV-2, and CV-5, however, lost the ability to bind to IL-6R. Although all variants induced cytokine-dependent cellular proliferation and STAT3 phosphorylation via CNTFR·gp130·LIFR, only CV-3 induced STAT3 phosphorylation via IL-6R·gp130·LIFR. Quantification of CNTF-dependent proliferation of CNTFR·gp130·LIFR expressing cells indicated that only CV-1 was as biologically active as CNTF. Thus, the CNTFR-selective CV-1 will allow discriminating between CNTFR- and IL-6R-mediated effects in vivo.
Project description:Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is involved in the survival of a number of different neural cell types, including motor neurons. CNTF functional responses are mediated through a tripartite membrane receptor composed of two signalling receptor chains, gp130 and the leukaemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR), associated with a non-signalling CNTF binding receptor alpha component (CNTFR). CNTFR-deficient mice show profound neuronal deficits at birth, leading to a lethal phenotype. In contrast, inactivation of the CNTF gene leads only to a slight muscle weakness, mainly during adulthood, suggesting that CNTFR binds to a second ligand that is important for development. Modelling studies of the interleukin-6 family member cardiotrophin-like cytokine (CLC) revealed structural similarities with CNTF, including the conservation of a site I domain involved in binding to CNTFR. Co-expression of CLC and CNTFR in mammalian cells generates a secreted composite cytokine, displaying activities on cells expressing the gp130-LIFR complex on their surface. Correspondingly, CLC-CNTFR activates gp130, LIFR and STAT3 signalling components, and enhances motor neuron survival. Together, these observations demonstrate that CNTFR induces the secretion of CLC, as well as mediating the functional responses of CLC.
Project description:Currently there is no neuroprotective or neurorestorative therapy for Parkinson's disease. Here we report that transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) on astrocytes mediates endogenous production of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), which prevents the active degeneration of dopamine neurons and leads to behavioural recovery through CNTF receptor alpha (CNTFR?) on nigral dopamine neurons in both the MPP(+)-lesioned or adeno-associated virus ?-synuclein rat models of Parkinson's disease. Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis of human post-mortem substantia nigra from Parkinson's disease suggests that this endogenous neuroprotective system (TRPV1 and CNTF on astrocytes, and CNTFR? on dopamine neurons) might have relevance to human Parkinson's disease. Our results suggest that activation of astrocytic TRPV1 activates endogenous neuroprotective machinery in vivo and that it is a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
Project description:Ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor ? subunit (CNTFR?) and CNTF play important roles in neuron survival, glial differentiation and brain tumor growth. However, the molecular mechanisms of CNTFR? regulation and its clinical significance in glioma remain largely unknown. Here, we found CNTFR? was overexpressed in lower grade gliomas (LGG) compared with glioblastoma (GBM) and normal brain specimens in TCGA datasets and in an independent cohort. Bioinformatics analysis revealed a CpG shore of the CNTFR? gene regulated its mRNA expression in TCGA datasets. This observation was further validated with clinical specimens and functionally verified using demethylating agents. Additionally, we observed that independent of IDH mutation status, methylation of CNTFR? was significantly correlated with down-regulated CNTFR? gene expression and longer LGG patient survival. Interestingly, combination of CNTFR? methylation and IDH mutation significantly (p?<?0.05) improved the prognostic prediction in LGG patients. Furthermore, the role of CNTFR? in glioma proliferation and apoptosis through the PI3K/AKT pathways was demonstrated by supplementation with exogenous CNTF in vitro and siRNA knockdown in vivo. Our study demonstrated that hypomethylation leading to CNTFR? up-regulation, together with autocrine expression of CNTF, was involved in glioma growth regulation. Importantly, DNA methylation of CNTFR? might serve as a potential epigenetic theranostic target for LGG patients.
Project description:Systemic ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) administration protects motor neurons from denervating diseases and lesions but produces non-neuromuscular side effects. Therefore, CNTF related therapeutics will need to specifically target motor neuron protective receptor mechanisms. Expression of the essential ligand binding subunit of the CNTF receptor, CNTF receptor ? (CNTFR?), is induced in skeletal muscle by denervating lesion and in human denervating diseases. We show here, with muscle-specific in vivo genetic disruption, that muscle CNTFR? makes an essential/non-redundant contribution to maintaining choline acetyltransferase levels in denervated motor neurons following nerve crush, suggesting the muscle CNTFR? induction is an endogenous denervation-induced neuroprotective response that could be enhanced to treat nerve lesion and denervating diseases. Notably, unlike motor neuron gene expression, skeletal muscle gene expression can be specifically targeted with human gene therapy vectors already approved for market.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:We recently reported that AAV1-Rheb(S16H) transduction could protect hippocampal neurons through the induction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the rat hippocampus in vivo. It is still unclear how neuronal BDNF produced by AAV1-Rheb(S16H) transduction induces neuroprotective effects in the hippocampus and whether its up-regulation contributes to the enhance of a neuroprotective system in the adult brain. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:To determine the presence of a neuroprotective system in the hippocampus of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), we examined the levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein, BDNF and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and their receptors, tropomyocin receptor kinase B (TrkB) and CNTF receptor ?(CNTFR?), in the hippocampus of AD patients. We also determined whether AAV1-Rheb(S16H) transduction stimulates astroglial activation and whether reactive astrocytes contribute to neuroprotection in models of hippocampal neurotoxicity in vivo and in vitro. KEY RESULTS:AD patients may have a potential neuroprotective system, demonstrated by increased levels of full-length TrkB and CNTFR? in the hippocampus. Further AAV1-Rheb(S16H) transduction induced sustained increases in the levels of full-length TrkB and CNTFR? in reactive astrocytes and hippocampal neurons. Moreover, neuronal BDNF produced by Rheb(S16H) transduction of hippocampal neurons induced reactive astrocytes, resulting in CNTF production through the activation of astrocytic TrkB and the up-regulation of neuronal BDNF and astrocytic CNTF which had synergistic effects on the survival of hippocampal neurons in vivo. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:The results demonstrated that Rheb(S16H) transduction of hippocampal neurons could strengthen the neuroprotective system and this intensified system may have a therapeutic value against neurodegeneration in the adult brain.
Project description:Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) often leads to neurotrophic ulcerations in the cornea and skin; however, the underlying cellular mechanisms of this complication are poorly understood. Here, we used post-wound corneal sensory degeneration and regeneration as a model and tested the hypothesis that diabetes adversely affects DC populations and infiltration, resulting in disrupted DC-nerve communication and DPN. In streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic mice, there was a substantial reduction in sensory nerve density and the number of intraepithelial DCs in unwounded (UW) corneas. In wounded corneas, diabetes markedly delayed sensory nerve regeneration and reduced the number of infiltrating DCs, which were a major source of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) in the cornea. While CNTF neutralization retarded reinnervation in normal corneas, exogenous CNTF accelerated nerve regeneration in the wounded corneas of diabetic mice and healthy animals, in which DCs had been locally depleted. Moreover, blockade of the CNTF-specific receptor CNTFR? induced sensory nerve degeneration and retarded regeneration in normal corneas. Soluble CNTFR? also partially restored the branching of diabetes-suppressed sensory nerve endings and regeneration in the diabetic corneas. Collectively, our data show that DCs mediate sensory nerve innervation and regeneration through CNTF and that diabetes reduces DC populations in UW and wounded corneas, resulting in decreased CNTF and impaired sensory nerve innervation and regeneration.