Publications by authors named "Inês R Pita"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Acute MDPV Binge Paradigm on Mice Emotional Behavior and Glial Signature.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2021 Mar 16;14(3). Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Institute of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics/IBILI, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal.

3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), a widely available synthetic cathinone, is a popular substitute for classical controlled drugs of abuse, such as methamphetamine (METH). Although MDPV poses public health risks, its neuropharmacological profile remains poorly explored. This study aimed to provide evidence on that direction. Accordingly, C57BL/6J mice were exposed to a binge MDPV or METH regimen (four intraperitoneal injections every 2 h, 10 mg/kg). Locomotor, exploratory, and emotional behavior, in addition to striatal neurotoxicity and glial signature, were assessed within 18-24 h, a known time-window encompassing classical amphetamine dopaminergic neurotoxicity. MDPV resulted in unchanged locomotor activity (open field test) and emotional behavior (elevated plus maze, splash test, tail suspension test). Additionally, striatal TH (METH neurotoxicity hallmark), Iba-1 (microglia), GFAP (astrocyte), RAGE, and TLR2/4/7 (immune modulators) protein densities remained unchanged after MDPV-exposure. Expectedly, and in sheer contrast with MDPV, METH resulted in decrease general locomotor activity paralleled by a significant striatal TH depletion, astrogliosis, and microglia arborization alterations (Sholl analysis). This comparative study newly highlights that binge MDPV-exposure comes without evident behavioral, neurochemical, and glial changes at a time-point where METH-induced striatal neurotoxicity is clearly evident. Nevertheless, neuropharmacological MDPV signature needs further profiling at different time-points, regimens, and brain regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph14030271DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8002122PMC
March 2021

biomass increases dendritic arborization of newly-generated neurons in mouse hippocampal dentate gyrus.

Oncotarget 2018 Aug 31;9(68):32929-32942. Epub 2018 Aug 31.

CNC-Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

Brain cognitive reserve refers to the ability of the brain to manage different challenges that arise throughout life, making it resilient to neuropathology. Hippocampal adult neurogenesis has been considered to be a relevant contributor for brain cognitive reserve and brain plasticity. (CV), a common healthful mushroom, has been receiving increasing attention by its antitumoral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and immunomodulatory properties, including in the hippocampus. Herein, we evaluated whether CV biomass oral administration for 2.5 months enhances hippocampal neurogenic reserve under normal/physiological conditions, by quantifying hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) granular cell layer (GCL) and subgranular zone (SGZ) volumes, proliferation, number and dendritic complexity features of hippocampal newly-generated neurons. We also analyzed β-catenin levels in DG newly-generated immature neurons, because it plays a major role in neurogenesis. Although no differences were observed in the volume of GCL and SGZ layers, in proliferation and in the number of newly-generated neurons of controls and CV-administered mice, we found that CV administration promotes a significant increase in dendritic length and branching and total dendritic volume of immature neurons, suggesting a positive effect of oral CV administration in the hippocampal neurogenic reserve. We also observed that β-catenin levels are increased both in the nucleus and cytoplasm of DG immature neurons, suggesting that Wnt/β-catenin signalling may play an important role in the CV positive effect on the differentiation of these cells. These data unveil a so far unexplored neurogenic potential of CV supplementation, which emerges as a possible preventive strategy for different neurological conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25978DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152478PMC
August 2018

Intravascular imaging, histopathological analysis, and catecholamine quantification following catheter-based renal denervation in a swine model: the impact of prebifurcation energy delivery.

Hypertens Res 2018 Sep 13;41(9):708-717. Epub 2018 Jul 13.

Cardiology Department, Coimbra's Hospital and University Centre - General Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of prebifurcation renal denervation in a swine model and assess its safety through optical coherence tomography (OCT). Prebifurcation renal denervation with a multi-electrode catheter was performed in one renal artery of 12 healthy pigs, with the contralateral artery and kidney being used as controls. Angiograms and OCT pullbacks were obtained peri-procedurally and 1 month post procedure. Renal tissue catecholamines were quantified, and the arterial wall and peri-adventitial tissue were analyzed histologically. Intraluminal changes (endothelial swelling, spasm, and thrombus formation) were observed acutely by OCT in most of the treated arteries and were no longer visible at follow-up. Histology revealed a statistically significant accumulation of collagen (fibrosis) and a near absence of tyrosine hydroxylase labeling in the denervated artery, suggesting a clear reduction in nervous terminals. Renal tissue catecholamine levels were similar between both sides, probably due to the low number of ablation points and the renorenal reflex. The present study demonstrates that renal denervation is associated with acute intimal disruptions, areas of fibrosis, and a reduction in nervous terminals. The lack of difference in renal tissue catecholamine levels is indicative of the need to perform the highest and safest number of ablation points in both renal arteries. These findings are important because they demonstrate the histological consequences of radiofrequency energy application and its medium-term safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41440-018-0072-yDOI Listing
September 2018

The effects of physical exercise on nonmotor symptoms and on neuroimmune RAGE network in experimental parkinsonism.

J Appl Physiol (1985) 2017 Jul 6;123(1):161-171. Epub 2017 Apr 6.

Laboratory of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal;

Parkinson's disease (PD) prodromal stages comprise neuropsychiatric perturbations that critically compromise a patient's quality of life. These nonmotor symptoms (NMS) are associated with exacerbated innate immunity, a hallmark of overt PD. Physical exercise (PE) has the potential to improve neuropsychiatric deficits and to modulate immune network including receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in distinct pathological settings. Accordingly, the present study aimed to test the hypothesis that PE ) alleviates PD NMS and ) modulates neuroimmune RAGE network in experimental PD. Adult Wistar rats subjected to long-term mild treadmill were administered intranasally with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and probed for PD NMS before the onset of motor abnormalities. Twelve days after MPTP, neuroimmune RAGE network transcriptomics (real-time quantitative PCR) was analyzed in frontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum. Untrained MPTP animals displayed habit-learning and motivational deficits without gross motor impairments (cued version of water-maze, splash, and open-field tests, respectively). A suppression of RAGE and neuroimmune-related genes was observed in frontal cortex on chemical and physical stressors (untrained MPTP: RAGE, TLR5 and -7, and p22 NADPH oxidase; saline-trained animals: RAGE, TLR1 and -5 to -11, TNF-α, IL-1β, and p22 NADPH oxidase), suggesting the recruitment of compensatory mechanisms to restrain innate inflammation. Notably, trained MPTP animals displayed normal cognitive/motivational performances. Additionally, these animals showed normal RAGE expression and neuroprotective PD-related gene upregulation in frontal cortex when compared with untrained MPTP animals. These findings corroborate PE efficacy in improving PD NMS and newly identify RAGE network as a neural substrate for exercise intervention. Additional research is warranted to unveil functional consequences of PE-induced modulation of RAGE/DJ-1 transcriptomics in PD premotor stages. This study newly shows that physical exercise (PE) corrects nonmotor symptoms of the intranasal 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model of experimental parkinsonism. Additionally, we show that suppression of neuroimmune receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) network occurs in frontal cortex on chemical (MPTP) and physical (PE) interventions. Finally, PE normalizes frontal cortical RAGE transcriptomics and upregulates the neuroprotective gene in the intranasal MPTP model of experimental parkinsonism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.01120.2016DOI Listing
July 2017

Methamphetamine Induces Anhedonic-Like Behavior and Impairs Frontal Cortical Energetics in Mice.

CNS Neurosci Ther 2017 Feb 19;23(2):119-126. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

Laboratory of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics/Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences (IBILI), Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

Introduction: We recently showed that a single high dose of methamphetamine (METH) induces a persistent frontal cortical monoamine depletion that is accompanied by helpless-like behavior in mice. However, brain metabolic alterations underlying both neurochemical and mood alterations remain unknown.

Aims: Herein, we aimed at characterizing frontal cortical metabolic alterations associated with early negative mood behavior triggered by METH. Adult C57BL/6 mice were injected with METH (30 mg/kg, i.p.), and their frontal cortical metabolic status was characterized after probing their mood and anxiety-related phenotypes 3 days postinjection.

Results: Methamphetamine induced depressive-like behavior, as indicated by the decreased grooming time in the splash test and by a transient decrease in sucrose preference. At this time, METH did not alter anxiety-like behavior or motor functions. Depolarization-induced glucose uptake was reduced in frontocortical slices from METH-treated mice compared to controls. Consistently, astrocytic glucose transporter (GluT1) density was lower in the METH group. A proton high rotation magic angle spinning (HRMAS) spectroscopic approach revealed that METH induced a significant decrease in N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and glutamate levels, suggesting that METH decreased neuronal glutamatergic function in frontal cortex.

Conclusions: We report, for the first time, that a single METH injection triggers early self-care and hedonic deficits and impairs frontal cortical energetics in mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cns.12649DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6492743PMC
February 2017

Decreased synaptic plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex underlies short-term memory deficits in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats.

Behav Brain Res 2016 Mar 18;301:43-54. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis 88049-900, SC, Brazil; Centro de Neurociências Aplicadas (CeNAp), Hospital Universitário (HU), Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil. Electronic address:

Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by motor dysfunction associated with dopaminergic degeneration in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS). However, motor symptoms in PD are often preceded by short-term memory deficits, which have been argued to involve deregulation of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We now used a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat PD model to explore if alterations of synaptic plasticity in DLS and mPFC underlie short-term memory impairments in PD prodrome. The bilateral injection of 6-OHDA (20μg/hemisphere) in the DLS caused a marked loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (>80%) and decreased monoamine levels in the striatum and PFC, accompanied by motor deficits evaluated after 21 days in the open field and accelerated rotarod. A lower dose of 6-OHDA (10μg/hemisphere) only induced a partial degeneration (about 60%) of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra with no gross motor impairments, thus mimicking an early premotor stage of PD. Notably, 6-OHDA (10μg)-lesioned rats displayed decreased monoamine levels in the PFC as well as short-term memory deficits evaluated in the novel object discrimination and in the modified Y-maze tasks; this was accompanied by a selective decrease in the amplitude of long-term potentiation in the mPFC, but not in DLS, without changes of synaptic transmission in either brain regions. These results indicate that the short-term memory dysfunction predating the motor alterations in the 6-OHDA model of PD is associated with selective changes of information processing in PFC circuits, typified by persistent changes of synaptic plasticity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2015.12.011DOI Listing
March 2016