Therapeutic Potential of Repeated Intravenous Transplantation of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells in Subchronic MPTP-Induced Parkinson's Disease Mouse Model.
ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, which is clinically and pathologically characterized by motor dysfunction and the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, respectively. PD treatment with stem cells has long been studied by researchers; however, no adequate treatment strategy has been established. The results of studies so far have suggested that stem cell transplantation can be an effective treatment for PD. However, PD is a progressively deteriorating neurodegenerative disease that requires long-term treatment, and this has been insufficiently studied. Thus, we aimed to investigate the therapeutic potential of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASC) for repeated vein transplantation over long-term in an animal model of PD. In 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD model mice, hASCs were administered on the tail vein six times at two-week intervals. After the last injection of hASCs, motor function significantly improved. The number of dopaminergic neurons present in the nigrostriatal pathway was recovered using hASC transplantation. Moreover, the administration of hASC restored altered dopamine transporter expression and increased neurotrophic factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), in the striatum. Overall, this study suggests that repeated intravenous transplantation of hASC may exert therapeutic effects on PD by restoring BDNF and GDNF expressions, protecting dopaminergic neurons, and maintaining the nigrostriatal pathway.
Project description:Support of ageing neurons by endogenous neurotrophic factors such as glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may determine whether the neurons resist or succumb to neurodegeneration. GDNF has been tested in clinical trials for the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD), a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. BDNF modulates nigrostriatal functions and rescues DA neurons in PD animal models. The physiological roles of GDNF and BDNF signaling in the adult nigrostriatal DA system are unknown. We generated mice with regionally selective ablations of the genes encoding the receptors for GDNF (Ret) and BDNF (TrkB). We find that Ret, but not TrkB, ablation causes progressive and adult-onset loss of DA neurons specifically in the substantia nigra pars compacta, degeneration of DA nerve terminals in striatum, and pronounced glial activation. These findings establish Ret as a critical regulator of long-term maintenance of the nigrostriatal DA system and suggest conditional Ret mutants as useful tools for gaining insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of PD.
Project description:The overall goal of our research is to establish a preformed molecular guidance pathway to direct the growth of dopaminergic axons from embryonic ventral mesencephalon (VM), tissue placed within the substantia nigra (SN), into the striatum to reconstruct the nigrostriatal pathway in a hemi-Parkinson's disease rat model. Guidance pathways were prepared by injecting lentivirus encoding either GFP or a combination of glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) with either GDNF family receptor α1 (GFRα1) or netrin1. In another cohort of animals, adeno-associated virus (AAV) encoding brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was injected within the striatum after guidance pathway formation. GDNF combined with either GFRα1 or netrin significantly increased growth of dopaminergic axons out of transplants and along the pathway, resulting in a significant reduction in the number of amphetamine-induced rotations. Retrograde tract tracing showed that the dopaminergic axons innervating the striatum were from A9 neurons within the transplant. Increased dopaminergic innervation of the striatum and improved behavioral recovery were observed with the addition of BDNF. Preformed guidance pathways using a combination of GDNF and netrin1 can be used to reconstruct the nigrostriatal pathway and improve motor recovery.
Project description:Pitx3 is a critical homeodomain transcription factor for the proper development and survival of mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons in mammals. Several variants of this gene have been associated with human Parkinson's disease (PD), and lack of Pitx3 in mice causes the preferential loss of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) mdDA neurons that are most affected in PD. It is currently unclear how Pitx3 activity promotes the survival of SNc mdDA neurons and which factors act upstream and downstream of Pitx3 in this context. Here we show that a transient expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the murine ventral midbrain (VM) induces transcription of Pitx3 via NF-?B-mediated signaling, and that Pitx3 is in turn required for activating the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in a rostrolateral (SNc) mdDA neuron subpopulation during embryogenesis. The loss of BDNF expression correlates with the increased apoptotic cell death of this mdDA neuronal subpopulation in Pitx3(-/-) mice, whereas treatment of VM cell cultures with BDNF augments the survival of the Pitx3(-/-) mdDA neurons. Most importantly, only BDNF but not GDNF protects mdDA neurons against 6-hydroxydopamine-induced cell death in the absence of Pitx3. As the feedforward regulation of GDNF, Pitx3, and BDNF expression also persists in the adult rodent brain, our data suggest that the disruption of the regulatory interaction between these three factors contributes to the loss of mdDA neurons in Pitx3(-/-) mutant mice and perhaps also in human PD.
Project description:The concept of repairing the brain with growth factors has been pursued for many years in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including primarily Parkinson's disease (PD) using glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). This neurotrophic factor was discovered in 1993 and shown to have selective effects on promoting survival and regeneration of certain populations of neurons including the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway. These observations led to a series of clinical trials in PD patients including using infusions or gene delivery of GDNF or the related growth factor, neurturin (NRTN). Initial studies, some of which were open label, suggested that this approach could be of value in PD when the agent was injected into the putamen rather than the cerebral ventricles. In subsequent double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, the most recent reporting in 2019, treatment with GDNF did not achieve its primary end point. As a result, there has been uncertainty as to whether GDNF (and by extrapolation, related GDNF family neurotrophic factors) has merit in the future treatment of PD. To critically appraise the existing work and its future, a special workshop was held to discuss and debate this issue. This paper is a summary of that meeting with recommendations on whether there is a future for this therapeutic approach and also what any future PD trial involving GDNF and other GDNF family neurotrophic factors should consider in its design.
Project description:Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) promotes the survival of dopaminergic neurons in vitro and in vivo. For this reason, GDNF is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, how endogenous GDNF influences dopamine system function and animal behavior is not fully understood. We recently generated GDNF hypermorphic mice that express increased levels of endogenous GDNF from the native locus, resulting in augmented function of the nigrostriatal dopamine system. Specifically, Gdnf?wt/hyper mice have a mild increase in striatal and midbrain dopamine levels, increased dopamine transporter activity, and 15% increased numbers of midbrain dopamine neurons and striatal dopaminergic varicosities. Since changes in the dopamine system are implicated in several neuropsychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression, and ectopic GDNF delivery associates with side-effects in PD models and clinical trials, we further investigated Gdnf?wt/hyper mice using 20 behavioral tests. Despite increased dopamine levels, dopamine release and dopamine transporter activity, there were no differences in psychiatric disease related phenotypes. However, compared to controls, male Gdnf?wt/hyper mice performed better in tests measuring motor function. Therefore, a modest elevation of endogenous GDNF levels improves motor function but does not induce adverse behavioral outcomes.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by the selective and progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the midbrain substantia nigra. Currently, available treatment is unable to alter PD progression. Previously, we demonstrated that valproic acid (VPA), a mood stabilizer, anticonvulsant and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, increases the expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in astrocytes to protect DA neurons in midbrain neuron-glia cultures. The present study investigated whether these effects are due to HDAC inhibition and histone acetylation. Here, we show that two additional HDAC inhibitors, sodium butyrate (SB) and trichostatin A (TSA), mimic the survival-promoting and protective effects of VPA on DA neurons in neuron-glia cultures. Similar to VPA, both SB and TSA increased GDNF and BDNF transcripts in astrocytes in a time-dependent manner. Furthermore, marked increases in GDNF promoter activity and promoter-associated histone H3 acetylation were noted in astrocytes treated with all three compounds, where the time-course for acetylation was similar to that for gene transcription. Taken together, our results indicate that HDAC inhibitors up-regulate GDNF and BDNF expression in astrocytes and protect DA neurons, at least in part, through HDAC inhibition. This study indicates that astrocytes may be a critical neuroprotective mechanism of HDAC inhibitors, revealing a novel target for the treatment of psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.
Project description:Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) helps protect dopaminergic neurons in the nigrostriatal tract. Although the cause of nigrostriatal degeneration is unknown, one theory is that excess glutamate from the subthalamic nucleus results in excitotoxic events in the substantia nigra (SN). Because dopaminergic degeneration is accompanied by a reduction in GDNF, we examined glutamate neurotransmission in the SN using a Gdnf heterozygous mouse model (Gdnf(+/-)) at 8 and 12 months of age. At 8 months, Gdnf(+/-) mice have greater glutamate release and higher basal glutamate levels, which precede the SN dopaminergic degeneration observed at 12 months of age. However, at 12 months, Gdnf(+/-) mice have lower basal levels of glutamate and less glutamate release than wild-type mice. Also at 8 months, Gdnf(+/-) mice have lower levels of glutamate transporter-1 and greater glial fibrillary acidic protein levels in the SN compared with wild-type mice, differences that increase with age. These data suggest that reduced levels of GDNF induce excess glutamate release and dysregulation of glutamate transporter-1, causing excitotoxicity in the SN that precedes dopaminergic degeneration.
Project description:Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promotes neuroprotection and neuroregeneration. In animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD), BDNF enhances the survival of dopaminergic neurons, improves dopaminergic neurotransmission and motor performance. Pharmacological therapies of PD are symptom-targeting, and their effectiveness decreases with the progression of the disease; therefore, new therapeutical approaches are needed. Since, in both PD patients and animal PD models, decreased level of BDNF was found in the nigrostriatal pathway, it has been hypothesized that BDNF may serve as a therapeutic agent. Direct delivery of exogenous BDNF into the patient's brain did not relieve the symptoms of disease, nor did attempts to enhance BDNF expression with gene therapy. Physical training was neuroprotective in animal models of PD. This effect is mediated, at least partly, by BDNF. Animal studies revealed that physical activity increases BDNF and tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) expression, leading to inhibition of neurodegeneration through induction of transcription factors and expression of genes related to neuronal proliferation, survival, and inflammatory response. This review focuses on the evidence that increasing BDNF level due to gene modulation or physical exercise has a neuroprotective effect and could be considered as adjunctive therapy in PD.
Project description:Current therapies for Parkinson's disease (PD) only offer limited symptomatic alleviation but fail to hamper the progress of the disease. Thus, it is imperative to establish new approaches aiming at protecting or reversing neurodegeneration in PD. Recent work elucidates whether smilagenin (abbreviated SMI), a steroidal sapogenin from traditional Chinese medicinal herbs, can take neuroprotective effect on dopaminergic neurons in a chronic model of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) conjuncted with probenecid mice. We reported for the first time that SMI significantly improved the locomotor ability of chronic MPTP/probenecid-lesioned mice. SMI increased the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive and Nissl positive neuron number in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), augmented striatal DA and its metabolites concentration and elevated striatal dopamine transporter density (DAT). In addition, dopamine receptor D2R not D1R was down-regulated by MPTP/probenecid and slightly raised by SMI prevention. What's more, we discovered that SMI markedly elevated striatal glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels in SMI prevented mice. And we found that SMI increased GDNF and BDNF mRNA level by promoting CREB phosphorylation in 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridimium (MPP+) treated SH-SY5Y cells. The results illustrated that SMI could prevent the impairment of dopaminergic neurons in chronic MPTP/probenecid-induced mouse model.
Project description:Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is the most potent neuroprotective agent tested in cellular and animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, CNS delivery of GDNF is restricted by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Using total body irradiation as transplant preconditioning, we previously reported that hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation (HSCT)-based macrophage-mediated gene therapy could deliver GDNF to the brain to prevent degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons in an acute murine neurotoxicity model. Here, we validate this therapeutic approach in a chronic progressive PD model - the MitoPark mouse, with head shielding to avoid inducing neuroinflammation and compromising BBB integrity. Bone marrow HSCs were transduced ex vivo with a lentiviral vector expressing macrophage promoter-driven GDNF and transplanted into MitoPark mice exhibiting well developed PD-like impairments. Transgene-expressing macrophages infiltrated the midbrains of MitoPark mice, but not normal littermates, and delivered GDNF locally. Macrophage GDNF delivery markedly improved both motor and non-motor symptoms, and dramatically mitigated the loss of both DA neurons in the substantia nigra and tyrosine hydroxylase-positive axonal terminals in the striatum. Our data support further development of this HSCT-based macrophage-mediated GDNF delivery approach in order to address the unmet need for a disease-modifying therapy for PD.