Publications by authors named "Daniela Diaz-Lucena"

12 Publications

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TREM2 expression in the brain and biological fluids in prion diseases.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Network Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain.

Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) is an innate immune cell surface receptor that regulates microglial function and is involved in the pathophysiology of several neurodegenerative diseases. Its soluble form (sTREM2) results from shedding of the TREM2 ectodomain. The role of TREM2 in prion diseases, a group of rapidly progressive dementias remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we analysed the expression of TREM2 and its main sheddase ADAM10 in the brain of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) patients and evaluated the role of CSF and plasma sTREM2 as a potential diagnostic marker of prion disease. Our data indicate that, compared to controls, TREM2 is increased in sCJD patient brains at the mRNA and protein levels in a regional and subtype dependent fashion, and expressed in a subpopulation of microglia. In contrast, ADAM10 is increased at the protein, but not the mRNA level, with a restricted neuronal expression. Elevated CSF sTREM2 is found in sCJD, genetic CJD with mutations E200K and V210I in the prion protein gene (PRNP), and iatrogenic CJD, as compared to healthy controls (HC) (AUC = 0.78-0.90) and neurological controls (AUC = 0.73-0.85), while CSF sTREM2 is unchanged in fatal familial insomnia. sTREM2 in the CSF of cases with Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis was not significantly altered in our series. CSF sTREM2 concentrations in sCJD are PRNP codon 129 and subtype-related, correlate with CSF 14-3-3 positivity, total-tau and YKL-40, and increase with disease progression. In plasma, sTREM2 is increased in sCJD compared with HC (AUC = 0.80), displaying positive correlations with plasma total-tau, neurofilament light, and YKL-40. We conclude that comparative study of TREM2 in brain and biological fluids of prion diseases reveals TREM2 to be altered in human prion diseases with a potential value in target engagement, patient stratification, and disease monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02296-1DOI Listing
April 2021

Huntington's disease brain-derived small RNAs recapitulate associated neuropathology in mice.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 04 6;141(4):565-584. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Departament de Biomedicina, Facultat de Medicina i Ciències de la Salut, Institut de Neurociències, Universitat de Barcelona, Casanova 143, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Progressive motor alterations and selective death of striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) are key pathological hallmarks of Huntington's disease (HD), a neurodegenerative condition caused by a CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion in the coding region of the huntingtin (HTT) gene. Most research has focused on the pathogenic effects of the resultant protein product(s); however, growing evidence indicates that expanded CAG repeats within mutant HTT mRNA and derived small CAG repeat RNAs (sCAG) participate in HD pathophysiology. The individual contribution of protein versus RNA toxicity to HD pathophysiology remains largely uncharacterized and the role of other classes of small RNAs (sRNA) that are strongly perturbed in HD is uncertain. Here, we demonstrate that sRNA produced in the putamen of HD patients (HD-sRNA-PT) are sufficient to induce HD pathology in vivo. Mice injected with HD-sRNA-PT show motor abnormalities, decreased levels of striatal HD-related proteins, disruption of the indirect pathway, and strong transcriptional abnormalities, paralleling human HD pathology. Importantly, we show that the specific blockage of sCAG mitigates HD-sRNA-PT neurotoxicity only to a limited extent. This observation prompted us to identify other sRNA species enriched in HD putamen with neurotoxic potential. We detected high levels of tRNA fragments (tRFs) in HD putamen, and we validated the neurotoxic potential of an Alanine derived tRF in vitro. These results highlight that HD-sRNA-PT are neurotoxic, and suggest that multiple sRNA species contribute to striatal dysfunction and general transcriptomic changes, favoring therapeutic strategies based on the blockage of sRNA-mediated toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02272-9DOI Listing
April 2021

A new tetra-plex fluorimetric assay for the quantification of cerebrospinal fluid β-amyloid42, total-tau, phospho-tau and α-synuclein in the differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative dementia.

J Neurol 2020 Sep 5;267(9):2567-2581. Epub 2020 May 5.

Center for Networked Biomedical Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative dementia is currently supported by biomarkers including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tests. Among them, CSF total-tau (t-tau), phosphorylated tau (p-tau) and β-amyloid42 (Aβ42) are considered core biomarkers of neurodegeneration. In the present work, we hypothesize that simultaneous assessment of these biomarkers together with CSF α-synuclein (α-syn) will significantly improve the differential diagnostic of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. To that aim, we characterized the analytical and clinical performance of a new tetra-plex immunoassay that simultaneously quantifies CSF Aβ42, t-tau, p-tau and α-syn in the differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative dementia.

Methods: Biomarkers' concentrations were measured in neurological controls (n = 38), Alzheimer's disease (n = 35), Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (n = 37), vascular dementia (n = 28), dementia with Lewy bodies/Parkinson's disease dementia (n = 27) and frontotemporal dementia (n = 34) using the new tetra-plex assay and established single-plex assays. Biomarker's performance was evaluated and diagnostic accuracy in the discrimination of diagnostic groups was determined using partial least squares discriminant analysis.

Results: The tetra-plex assay presented accuracies similar to individual single-plex assays with acceptable analytical performance. Significant correlations were observed between tetra-plex and single-plex assays. Using partial least squares discriminant analysis, Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease were well differentiated, reaching high accuracies in the discrimination from the rest of diagnostic groups.

Conclusions: The new tetra-plex assay coupled with multivariate analytical approaches becomes a valuable asset for the differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative dementia and related applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-09870-9DOI Listing
September 2020

Cerebrospinal fluid lipocalin 2 as a novel biomarker for the differential diagnosis of vascular dementia.

Nat Commun 2020 01 30;11(1):619. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

The clinical diagnosis of vascular dementia (VaD) is based on imaging criteria, and specific biochemical markers are not available. Here, we investigated the potential of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) lipocalin 2 (LCN2), a secreted glycoprotein that has been suggested as mediating neuronal damage in vascular brain injuries. The study included four independent cohorts with a total n = 472 samples. LCN2 was significantly elevated in VaD compared to controls, Alzheimer's disease (AD), other neurodegenerative dementias, and cognitively unimpaired patients with cerebrovascular disease. LCN2 discriminated VaD from AD without coexisting VaD with high accuracy. The main findings were consistent over all cohorts. Neuropathology disclosed a high percentage of macrophages linked to subacute infarcts, reactive astrocytes, and damaged blood vessels in multi-infarct dementia when compared to AD. We conclude that CSF LCN2 is a promising candidate biochemical marker in the differential diagnosis of VaD and neurodegenerative dementias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14373-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6992814PMC
January 2020

CSF neurogranin as a neuronal damage marker in CJD: a comparative study with AD.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2019 08 16;90(8):846-853. Epub 2019 May 16.

Network Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), Institute Carlos III, Ministry of Health, L'Hospilatet del Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain

Objective: To investigate whether cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurogranin concentrations are altered in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), comparatively with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and associated with neuronal degeneration in brain tissue.

Methods: CSF neurogranin, total tau, neurofilament light (NFL) and 14-3-3 protein were measured in neurological controls (NCs, n=64), AD (n=46) and CJD (n=81). The accuracy of neurogranin discriminating the three diagnostic groups was evaluated. Correlations between neurogranin and neurodegeneration biomarkers, demographic, genetic and clinical data were assessed. Additionally, neurogranin expression in postmortem brain tissue was studied.

Results: Compared with NC, CSF neurogranin concentrations were increased in CJD (4.75 times of NC; p<0.001, area under curve (AUC), 0.96 (95% CI 0.93 to 0.99) and AD (1.94 times of NC; p<0.01, AUC 0.73, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.82), and were able to differentiate CJD from AD (p<0.001, AUC 0.85, 95% CI 0.78 to 0.92). CSF tau was increased in CJD (41 times of NC) and in AD (3.1 times of NC), both at p<0.001. In CJD, neurogranin positively correlated with tau (r=0.55, p<0.001) and was higher in 14-3-3-positivity (p<0.05), but showed no association with NFL (r=0.08, p=0.46). CJD-MM1/MV1 cases displayed higher neurogranin levels than VV2 cases. Neurogranin was increased at early CJD disease stages and was a good prognostic marker of survival time in CJD. In brain tissue, neurogranin was detected in the cytoplasm, membrane and postsynaptic density fractions of neurons, with reduced levels in AD, and more significantly in CJD, where they correlated with synaptic and axonal markers.

Conclusions: Neurogranin is a new biomarker of prion pathogenesis with diagnostic and prognostic abilities, which reflects the degree of neuronal damage in brain tissue in a CJD subtype manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2018-320155DOI Listing
August 2019

Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease with glial PrP nuclear and perinuclear immunoreactivity.

Neuropathology 2018 Oct 19;38(5):561-567. Epub 2018 Aug 19.

Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge (IDIBELL), Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain.

Proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrP ) nuclear and perinuclear immunoreactivity in oligodendrocytes of the frontal cortex is found in one case of otherwise typical sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) type VV2a. The PrP nature of the inclusions is validated with several anti-PrP antibodies directed to amino acids 130-160 (12F10), 109-112 (3F4), 97-102 (8G8) and the octarepeat region (amino acids 59-89: SAF32). Cellular identification and subcellular localization were evaluated with double- and triple-labeling immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy using antibodies against PrP, glial markers, and histone H3. Based on review of the literature and our own experience, this is a very odd situation that deserves further validation in other cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/neup.12505DOI Listing
October 2018

Glutamate Transporter GLT1 Expression in Alzheimer Disease and Dementia With Lewy Bodies.

Front Aging Neurosci 2018 26;10:122. Epub 2018 Apr 26.

Department of Pathology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Barcelona, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Glutamate transporter solute carrier family 1, member 2 (GLT1/EAAT2), a major modulator of glutamate homeostasis in astrocytes, is assessed in post-mortem human brain samples of frontal cortex area 8 in advanced stages of Alzheimer disease (AD) and terminal stages of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) in order to gain understanding of astrogliopathy in diseases manifested by dementia. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) mRNA expression is significantly increased in AD but not in DLB, whereas , vesicular glutamate transporter 1 () and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member 1 () are not modified in AD and DLB when compared with controls. GLT1 protein levels are not altered in AD and DLB but GFAP and ALDH1L1 are significantly increased in AD, and GFAP in DLB. As a result, a non-significant decrease in the ratio between GLT1 and GFAP, and between GLT1 and ALDH1L1, is found in both AD and DLB. Double-labeling immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy revealed no visible reduction of GLT1 immunoreactivity in relation to β-amyloid plaques in AD. These data suggest a subtle imbalance between GLT1, and GFAP and ALDH1L1 expression, with limited consequences in glutamate transport.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2018.00122DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5932187PMC
April 2018

Aging-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG): not only tau phosphorylation in astrocytes.

Brain Pathol 2018 11 25;28(6):965-985. Epub 2018 Feb 25.

Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, CIBERNED (Network Centre of Biomedical Research of Neurodegenerative Diseases), Institute of Health Carlos III, Barcelona, Spain.

Aging-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG) is defined by the presence of two types of tau-bearing astrocytes: thorn-shaped astrocytes (TSAs) and granular/fuzzy astrocytes in the brain of old-aged individuals. The present study is focused on TSAs in rare forms of ARTAG with no neuronal tau pathology or restricted to entorhinal and transentorhinal cortices, to avoid bias from associated tauopathies. TSAs show 4Rtau phosphorylation at several specific sites and abnormal tau conformation, but they lack ubiquitin and they are not immunostained with tau-C3 antibodies which recognize truncated tau at Asp421. Astrocytes in ARTAG have atrophic processes, reduced glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and increased superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) immunoreactivity. Gel electrophoresis and western blotting of sarkosyl-insoluble fractions reveal a pattern of phospho-tau in ARTAG characterized by two bands of 68 and 64 kDa, and several middle bands between 35 and 50 kDa which differ from what is seen in AD. Phosphoproteomics of dissected vulnerable regions identifies an increase of phosphorylation marks in a large number of proteins in ARTAG compared with controls. GFAP, aquaporin 4, several serine-threonine kinases, microtubule associated proteins and other neuronal proteins are among the differentially phosphorylated proteins in ARTAG thus suggesting a hyper-phosphorylation background that affects several molecules, including many kinases and proteins from several cell compartments and various cell types. Finally, present results show for the first time that tau seeding is produced in neurons of the hippocampal complex, astrocytes, oligodendroglia and along fibers of the corpus callosum, fimbria and fornix following inoculation into the hippocampus of wild type mice of sarkosyl-insoluble fractions enriched in hyper-phosphorylated tau from selected ARTAG cases. These findings show astrocytes as crucial players of tau seeding in tauopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bpa.12593DOI Listing
November 2018

Cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light levels in neurodegenerative dementia: Evaluation of diagnostic accuracy in the differential diagnosis of prion diseases.

Alzheimers Dement 2018 06 3;14(6):751-763. Epub 2018 Feb 3.

Network Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, (CIBERNED), Institute Carlos III, Ministry of Health, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Introduction: Neurofilament light (NFL) levels in the cerebrospinal fluid are increased in several neurodegenerative dementias. However, their diagnostic accuracy in the differential diagnostic context is unknown.

Methods: Cerebrospinal fluid NFL levels were quantified in nonprimarily neurodegenerative neurological and psychiatric diseases (n = 122), mild cognitive impairment (n = 48), Alzheimer's disease (n = 108), dementia with Lewy bodies/Parkinson's disease dementia (n = 53), vascular dementia (n = 46), frontotemporal dementia (n = 41), sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD, n = 132), and genetic prion diseases (n = 182).

Results: The highest NFL levels were detected in sCJD, followed by vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies/Parkinson's disease dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and mild cognitive impairment. In sCJD, NFL levels correlated with cerebrospinal fluid tau and disease duration. NFL levels were able to differentiate sCJD from nonprimarily neurodegenerative neurological and psychiatric diseases (area under the curve = 0.99, 95% confidence interval: 0.99-1) and from the other diagnostic groups showing cognitive impairment/dementia of a non-CJD etiology (area under the curve = 0.90, 95% confidence interval: 0.87-0.92). Compared to nonprimarily neurodegenerative neurological and psychiatric diseases, NFL was also elevated in genetic prion diseases associated with the E200K, V210I, P102L, and D178N prion protein gene mutations.

Discussion: Increased NFL levels are a common feature in neurodegenerative dementias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2017.12.008DOI Listing
June 2018

Regional and subtype-dependent miRNA signatures in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are accompanied by alterations in miRNA silencing machinery and biogenesis.

PLoS Pathog 2018 01 22;14(1):e1006802. Epub 2018 Jan 22.

Department of Neurology, University Medical School, Göttingen, Germany.

Increasing evidence indicates that microRNAs (miRNAs) are contributing factors to neurodegeneration. Alterations in miRNA signatures have been reported in several neurodegenerative dementias, but data in prion diseases are restricted to ex vivo and animal models. The present study identified significant miRNA expression pattern alterations in the frontal cortex and cerebellum of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) patients. These changes display a highly regional and disease subtype-dependent regulation that correlates with brain pathology. We demonstrate that selected miRNAs are enriched in sCJD isolated Argonaute(Ago)-binding complexes in disease, indicating their incorporation into RNA-induced silencing complexes, and further suggesting their contribution to disease-associated gene expression changes. Alterations in the miRNA-mRNA regulatory machinery and perturbed levels of miRNA biogenesis key components in sCJD brain samples reported here further implicate miRNAs in sCJD gene expression (de)regulation. We also show that a subset of sCJD-altered miRNAs are commonly changed in Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and fatal familial insomnia, suggesting potential common mechanisms underlying these neurodegenerative processes. Additionally, we report no correlation between brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) miRNA-profiles in sCJD, indicating that CSF-miRNA profiles do not faithfully mirror miRNA alterations detected in brain tissue of human prion diseases. Finally, utilizing a sCJD MM1 mouse model, we analyzed the miRNA deregulation patterns observed in sCJD in a temporal manner. While fourteen sCJD-related miRNAs were validated at clinical stages, only two of those were changed at early symptomatic phase, suggesting that the miRNAs altered in sCJD may contribute to later pathogenic processes. Altogether, the present work identifies alterations in the miRNA network, biogenesis and miRNA-mRNA silencing machinery in sCJD, whereby contributions to disease mechanisms deserve further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006802DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5794191PMC
January 2018

YKL-40 in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid of neurodegenerative dementias.

Mol Neurodegener 2017 Nov 10;12(1):83. Epub 2017 Nov 10.

Department of Neurology, University Medical School, Göttingen, Germany.

Background: YKL-40 (also known as Chitinase 3-like 1) is a glycoprotein produced by inflammatory, cancer and stem cells. Its physiological role is not completely understood but YKL-40 is elevated in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in several neurological and neurodegenerative diseases associated with inflammatory processes. Yet the precise characterization of YKL-40 in dementia cases is missing.

Methods: In the present study, we comparatively analysed YKL-40 levels in the brain and CSF samples from neurodegenerative dementias of different aetiologies characterized by the presence of cortical pathology and disease-specific neuroinflammatory signatures.

Results: YKL-40 was normally expressed in fibrillar astrocytes in the white matter. Additionally YKL-40 was highly and widely expressed in reactive protoplasmic cortical and perivascular astrocytes, and fibrillar astrocytes in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). Elevated YKL-40 levels were also detected in Alzheimer's disease (AD) but not in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In AD, YKL-40-positive astrocytes were commonly found in clusters, often around β-amyloid plaques, and surrounding vessels with β-amyloid angiopathy; they were also distributed randomly in the cerebral cortex and white matter. YKL-40 overexpression appeared as a pre-clinical event as demonstrated in experimental models of prion diseases and AD pathology. CSF YKL-40 levels were measured in a cohort of 288 individuals, including neurological controls (NC) and patients diagnosed with different types of dementia. Compared to NC, increased YKL-40 levels were detected in sCJD (p < 0.001, AUC = 0.92) and AD (p < 0.001, AUC = 0.77) but not in vascular dementia (VaD) (p > 0.05, AUC = 0.71) or in DLB/Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) (p > 0.05, AUC = 0.70). Further, two independent patient cohorts were used to validate the increased CSF YKL-40 levels in sCJD. Additionally, increased YKL-40 levels were found in genetic prion diseases associated with the PRNP-D178N (Fatal Familial Insomnia) and PRNP-E200K mutations.

Conclusions: Our results unequivocally demonstrate that in neurodegenerative dementias, YKL-40 is a disease-specific marker of neuroinflammation showing its highest levels in prion diseases. Therefore, YKL-40 quantification might have a potential for application in the evaluation of therapeutic intervention in dementias with a neuroinflammatory component.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13024-017-0226-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5681777PMC
November 2017

Mechanisms Involved in the Remyelinating Effect of Sildenafil.

J Neuroimmune Pharmacol 2018 03 3;13(1):6-23. Epub 2017 Aug 3.

Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, 08193, Barcelona, Spain.

Remyelination occurs in demyelinated lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS) and pharmacological treatments that enhance this process will critically impact the long term functional outcome in the disease. Sildenafil, a cyclic GMP (cGMP)-specific phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor (PDE5-I), is an oral vasodilator drug extensively used in humans for treatment of erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. PDE5 is expressed in central nervous system (CNS) neuronal and glial populations and in endothelial cells and numerous studies in rodent models of neurological disease have evidenced the neuroprotective potential of PDE5-Is. Using myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) as a MS model, we previously showed that daily administration of sildenafil starting at peak disease rapidly ameliorates clinical symptoms while administration at symptoms onset prevents disease progression. These beneficial effects of the drug involved down-regulation of adaptive and innate immune responses, protection of axons and oligodendrocytes (OLs) and promotion of remyelination. In this work we have investigated mechanisms involved in the remyelinating effect of sildenafil. Using demyelinated organotypic cerebellar slice cultures we demonstrate that sildenafil stimulates remyelination by direct effects on CNS cells in a nitric oxide (NO)-cGMP-protein kinase G (PKG)-dependent manner. We also show that sildenafil treatment enhances OL maturation and induces expression of the promyelinating factor ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) in spinal cord of EAE mice and in cerebellar slice cultures. Furthermore, we demonstrate that sildenafil promotes a M2 phenotype in bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDM) and increases myelin phagocytosis in these cells and in M2 microglia/macrophages in the spinal cord of EAE mice. Taken together these data indicate that promotion of OL maturation directly or through induction of growth factor expression, regulation of microglia/macrophage inflammatory phenotype and clearance of myelin debris may be relevant mechanisms involved in sildenafil enhancement of remyelination in demyelinated tissue and further support the contention that this well tolerated drug could be useful for ameliorating MS pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11481-017-9756-3DOI Listing
March 2018