Publications by authors named "C Monoranu"

110 Publications

Iron as the concert master in the pathogenic orchestra playing in sporadic Parkinson's disease.

J Neural Transm (Vienna) 2021 Oct 12;128(10):1577-1598. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Department of Medical Physiology, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi, 00100, Kenya.

About 60 years ago, the discovery of a deficiency of dopamine in the nigro-striatal system led to a variety of symptomatic therapeutic strategies to supplement dopamine and to substantially improve the quality of life of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Since these seminal developments, neuropathological, neurochemical, molecular biological and genetic discoveries contributed to elucidate the pathology of PD. Oxidative stress, the consequences of reactive oxidative species, reduced antioxidative capacity including loss of glutathione, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, proteasomal dysfunction, apoptosis, lysosomal dysfunction, autophagy, suggested to be causal for ɑ-synuclein fibril formation and aggregation and contributing to neuroinflammation and neural cell death underlying this devastating disorder. However, there are no final conclusions about the triggered pathological mechanism(s) and the follow-up of pathological dysfunctions. Nevertheless, it is a fact, that iron, a major component of oxidative reactions, as well as neuromelanin, the major intraneuronal chelator of iron, undergo an age-dependent increase. And ageing is a major risk factor for PD. Iron is significantly increased in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) of PD. Reasons for this finding include disturbances in iron-related import and export mechanisms across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), localized opening of the BBB at the nigro-striatal tract including brain vessel pathology. Whether this pathology is of primary or secondary importance is not known. We assume that there is a better fit to the top-down hypotheses and pathogens entering the brain via the olfactory system, then to the bottom-up (gut-brain) hypothesis of PD pathology. Triggers for the bottom-up, the dual-hit and the top-down pathologies include chemicals, viruses and bacteria. If so, hepcidin, a regulator of iron absorption and its distribution into tissues, is suggested to play a major role in the pathogenesis of iron dyshomeostasis and risk for initiating and progressing ɑ-synuclein pathology. The role of glial components to the pathology of PD is still unknown. However, the dramatic loss of glutathione (GSH), which is mainly synthesized in glia, suggests dysfunction of this process, or GSH uptake into neurons. Loss of GSH and increase in SNpc iron concentration have been suggested to be early, may be even pre-symptomatic processes in the pathology of PD, despite the fact that they are progression factors. The role of glial ferritin isoforms has not been studied so far in detail in human post-mortem brain tissue and a close insight into their role in PD is called upon. In conclusion, "iron" is a major player in the pathology of PD. Selective chelation of excess iron at the site of the substantia nigra, where a dysfunction of the BBB is suggested, with peripherally acting iron chelators is suggested to contribute to the portfolio and therapeutic armamentarium of anti-Parkinson medications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00702-021-02414-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8507512PMC
October 2021

Natural and cryptic peptides dominate the immunopeptidome of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Oct;9(10)

University Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany

Background: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) are highly aggressive CNS tumors of infancy and early childhood. Hallmark is the surprisingly simple genome with inactivating mutations or deletions in the SMARCB1 gene as the oncogenic driver. Nevertheless, AT/RTs are infiltrated by immune cells and even clonally expanded T cells. However, it is unclear which epitopes T cells might recognize on AT/RT cells.

Methods: Here, we report a comprehensive mass spectrometry (MS)-based analysis of naturally presented human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and class II ligands on 23 AT/RTs. MS data were validated by matching with a human proteome dataset and exclusion of peptides that are part of the human benignome. Cryptic peptide ligands were identified using Peptide-PRISM.

Results: Comparative HLA ligandome analysis of the HLA ligandome revealed 55 class I and 139 class II tumor-exclusive peptides. No peptide originated from the SMARCB1 region. In addition, 61 HLA class I tumor-exclusive peptide sequences derived from non-canonically translated proteins. Combination of peptides from natural and cryptic class I and class II origin gave optimal representation of tumor cell compartments. Substantial overlap existed with the cryptic immunopeptidome of glioblastomas, but no concordance was found with extracranial tumors. More than 80% of AT/RT exclusive peptides were able to successfully prime CD8 T cells, whereas naturally occurring memory responses in AT/RT patients could only be detected for class II epitopes. Interestingly, >50% of AT/RT exclusive class II ligands were also recognized by T cells from glioblastoma patients but not from healthy donors.

Conclusions: These findings highlight that AT/RTs, potentially paradigmatic for other pediatric tumors with a low mutational load, present a variety of highly immunogenic HLA class I and class II peptides from canonical as well as non-canonical protein sources. Inclusion of such cryptic peptides into therapeutic vaccines would enable an optimized mapping of the tumor cell surface, thereby reducing the likelihood of immune evasion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-003404DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8488729PMC
October 2021

Quantitative evidence of suppressed TMEM119 microglial immunohistochemistry in fatal morphine intoxications.

Int J Legal Med 2021 Nov 22;135(6):2315-2322. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Institute of Legal Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Butenfeld 34, 22529, Hamburg, Germany.

The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the diagnostic potential of TMEM119 as a useful microglia-specific marker in combination with immunostainings for phagocytic function and infiltrating capacity of monocytes in cases of lethal monosubstance intoxications by morphine (MOR), methamphetamine (METH), and of ethanol-associated death (ETH) respectively. Human brain tissue samples were obtained from forensic autopsies of cases with single substance abuse (MOR, n = 8; ETH, n = 10; METH, n = 9) and then compared to a cohort of cardiovascular fatalities as controls (n = 9). Brain tissue samples of cortex, white matter, and hippocampus were collected and stained immunohistochemically with antibodies against TMEM119, CD68KiM1P, and CCR2. We could document the lowest density of TMEM119-positive cells in MOR deaths with highly significant differences to the control densities in all three regions investigated. In ETH and METH deaths, the expression of TMEM119 was comparable to cell densities in controls. The results indicate that the immunoreaction in brain tissue is different in these groups depending on the drug type used for abuse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-021-02699-5DOI Listing
November 2021

No Metagenomic Evidence of Causative Viral Pathogens in Postencephalitic Parkinsonism Following Encephalitis Lethargica.

Microorganisms 2021 Aug 12;9(8). Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, 20359 Hamburg, Germany.

Postencephalitic parkinsonism (PEP) is a disease of unknown etiology and pathophysiology following encephalitis lethargica (EL), an acute-onset polioencephalitis of cryptic cause in the 1920s. PEP is a tauopathy with multisystem neuronal loss and gliosis, clinically characterized by bradykinesia, rigidity, rest tremor, and oculogyric crises. Though a viral cause of EL is likely, past polymerase chain reaction-based investigations in the etiology of both PEP and EL were negative. PEP might be caused directly by an unknown viral pathogen or the consequence of a post-infectious immunopathology. The development of metagenomic next-generation sequencing in conjunction with bioinformatic techniques has generated a broad-range tool for the detection of unknown pathogens in the recent past. Retrospective identification and characterization of pathogens responsible for past infectious diseases can be successfully performed with formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples. In this study, we analyzed 24 FFPE brain samples from six patients with PEP by unbiased metagenomic next-generation sequencing. Our results show that no evidence for the presence of a specific or putative (novel) viral pathogen was found, suggesting a likely post-infectious immune-mediated etiology of PEP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9081716DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8398509PMC
August 2021

Myelin basic protein and neurofilament H in postmortem cerebrospinal fluid as surrogate markers of fatal traumatic brain injury.

Int J Legal Med 2021 Jul 24;135(4):1525-1535. Epub 2021 Apr 24.

Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Wuerzburg, Versbacher Str. 3, 97078, Wuerzburg, Germany.

The aim of this study was to investigate if the biomarkers myelin basic protein (MBP) and neurofilament-H (NF-H) yielded informative value in forensic diagnostics when examining cadaveric cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biochemically via an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and comparing the corresponding brain tissue in fatal traumatic brain injury (TBI) autopsy cases by immunocytochemistry versus immunohistochemistry. In 21 trauma and 19 control cases, CSF was collected semi-sterile after suboccipital puncture and brain specimens after preparation. The CSF MBP (p = 0.006) and NF-H (p = 0.0002) levels after TBI were significantly higher than those in cardiovascular controls. Immunohistochemical staining against MBP and against NF-H was performed on cortical and subcortical samples from also biochemically investigated cases (5 TBI cases/5 controls). Compared to the controls, the TBI cases showed a visually reduced staining reaction against MBP or repeatedly ruptured neurofilaments against NF-H. Immunocytochemical tests showed MBP-positive phagocytizing macrophages in CSF with a survival time of > 24 h. In addition, numerous TMEM119-positive microglia could be detected with different degrees of staining intensity in the CSF of trauma cases. As a result, we were able to document that elevated levels of MBP and NF-H in the CSF should be considered as useful neuroinjury biomarkers of traumatic brain injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-021-02606-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205912PMC
July 2021
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