Publications by authors named "Maheedhar Kodali"

25 Publications

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Moderate, intermittent voluntary exercise in a model of Gulf War Illness improves cognitive and mood function with alleviation of activated microglia and astrocytes, and enhanced neurogenesis in the hippocampus.

Brain Behav Immun 2021 Jul 8. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University College of Medicine, College Station, TX, United States; Research Service, Olin E. Teague Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, TX, United States. Electronic address:

Persistent cognitive and mood impairments in Gulf War Illness (GWI) are associated with chronic neuroinflammation, typified by hypertrophied astrocytes, activated microglia, and increased proinflammatory mediators in the brain. Using a rat model, we investigated whether a simple lifestyle change such as moderate voluntary physical exercise would improve cognitive and mood function in GWI. Because veterans with GWI exhibit fatigue and post-exertional malaise, we employed an intermittent voluntary running exercise (RE) regimen, which prevented exercise-induced stress. The GWI rats were provided access to running wheels three days per week for 13 weeks, commencing ten weeks after the exposure to GWI-related chemicals and stress (GWI-RE group). Groups of age-matched sedentary GWI rats (GWI-SED group) and naïve rats were maintained parallelly. Interrogation of rats with behavioral tests after the 13-week RE regimen revealed improved hippocampus-dependent object location memory and pattern separation function and reduced anxiety-like behavior in the GWI-RE group compared to the GWI-SED group. Moreover, 13 weeks of RE in GWI rats significantly reversed activated microglia with short and less ramified processes into non-inflammatory/antiinflammatory microglia with highly ramified processes and reduced the hypertrophy of astrocytes. Moreover, the production of new neurons in the hippocampus was enhanced when examined eight weeks after the commencement of RE. Notably, increased neurogenesis continued even after the cessation of RE. Collectively, the results suggest that even a moderate, intermittent physical exercise has the promise to improve brain function in veterans with GWI in association with suppression of neuroinflammation and enhancement of hippocampal neurogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2021.07.005DOI Listing
July 2021

Melatonin improves brain function in a model of chronic Gulf War Illness with modulation of oxidative stress, NLRP3 inflammasomes, and BDNF-ERK-CREB pathway in the hippocampus.

Redox Biol 2021 07 22;43:101973. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University College of Medicine, College Station, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Persistent cognitive and mood dysfunction is the primary CNS symptom in veterans afflicted with Gulf War Illness (GWI). This study investigated the efficacy of melatonin (MEL) for improving cognitive and mood function with antioxidant, antiinflammatory, and pro-cognitive effects in a rat model of chronic GWI. Six months after exposure to GWI-related chemicals and stress, rats were treated with vehicle or MEL (5, 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg/kg) for eight weeks. Behavioral tests revealed cognitive and mood dysfunction in GWI rats receiving vehicle, which were associated with elevated oxidative stress, reduced NRF2, catalase and mitochondrial complex proteins, astrocyte hypertrophy, activated microglia with NLRP3 inflammasomes, elevated proinflammatory cytokines, waned neurogenesis, and synapse loss in the hippocampus. MEL at 10 mg/kg alleviated simple and associative recognition memory dysfunction and anhedonia, along with reduced oxidative stress, enhanced glutathione and complex III, and reduced NLRP3 inflammasomes, IL-18, TNF-α, and IFN-γ. MEL at 20 mg/kg also normalized NRF2 and catalase and increased microglial ramification. MEL at 40 mg/kg, in addition, reduced astrocyte hypertrophy, activated microglia, NF-kB-NLRP3-caspase-1 signaling, IL-1β, MCP-1, and MIP-1α. Moreover, MEL at 80 mg/kg activated the BDNF-ERK-CREB signaling pathway, enhanced neurogenesis and diminished synapse loss in the hippocampus, and improved a more complex hippocampus-dependent cognitive function. Thus, MEL therapy is efficacious for improving cognitive and mood function in a rat model of chronic GWI, and MEL's effect was dose-dependent. The study provides the first evidence of MEL's promise for alleviating neuroinflammation and cognitive and mood impairments in veterans with chronic GWI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2021.101973DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8105671PMC
July 2021

Metformin treatment in late middle age improves cognitive function with alleviation of microglial activation and enhancement of autophagy in the hippocampus.

Aging Cell 2021 02 14;20(2):e13277. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University College of Medicine, College Station, TX, USA.

Metformin, a drug widely used for treating diabetes, can prolong the lifespan in several species. Metformin also has the promise to slow down age-related cognitive impairment. However, metformin's therapeutic use as an anti-aging drug is yet to be accepted because of conflicting animal and human studies results. We examined the effects of metformin treatment in late middle age on cognitive function in old age. Eighteen-month-old male C57BL6/J mice received metformin or no treatment for 10 weeks. A series of behavioral tests revealed improved cognitive function in animals that received metformin. Such findings were evident from a better ability for pattern separation, object location, and recognition memory function. Quantification of microglia revealed that metformin treatment reduced the incidence of pathological microglial clusters with alternative activation of microglia into an M2 phenotype, displaying highly ramified processes in the hippocampus. Metformin treatment also seemed to reduce astrocyte hypertrophy. Additional analysis demonstrated that metformin treatment in late middle age increased adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase activation, reduced proinflammatory cytokine levels, and the mammalian target of rapamycin signaling, and enhanced autophagy in the hippocampus. However, metformin treatment did not alter neurogenesis or synapses in the hippocampus, implying that improved cognitive function with metformin did not involve enhanced neurogenesis or neosynaptogenesis. The results provide new evidence that metformin treatment commencing in late middle age has promise for improving cognitive function in old age. Modulation of microglia, proinflammatory cytokines, and autophagy appear to be the mechanisms by which metformin facilitated functional benefits in the aged brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.13277DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884047PMC
February 2021

Extracellular vesicles from human iPSC-derived neural stem cells: miRNA and protein signatures, and anti-inflammatory and neurogenic properties.

J Extracell Vesicles 2020 Aug 26;9(1):1809064. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University College of Medicine, College Station, Texas, USA.

Grafting of neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) has shown promise for brain repair after injury or disease, but safety issues have hindered their clinical application. Employing nano-sized extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from hiPSC-NSCs appears to be a safer alternative because they likely have similar neuroreparative properties as NSCs and are amenable for non-invasive administration as an autologous or allogeneic off-the-shelf product. However, reliable methods for isolation, characterization and testing the biological properties of EVs are critically needed for translation. We investigated signatures of miRNAs and proteins and the biological activity of EVs, isolated from hiPSC-NSCs through a combination of anion-exchange chromatography (AEC) and size-exclusion chromatography (SEC). AEC and SEC facilitated the isolation of EVs with intact ultrastructure and expressing CD9, CD63, CD81, ALIX and TSG 101. Small RNA sequencing, proteomic analysis, pathway analysis and validation of select miRNAs and proteins revealed that EVs were enriched with miRNAs and proteins involved in neuroprotective, anti-apoptotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, blood-brain barrier repairing, neurogenic and Aβ reducing activities. Besides, EVs comprised miRNAs and/or proteins capable of promoting synaptogenesis, synaptic plasticity and better cognitive function. Investigations using an macrophage assay and a mouse model of status epilepticus confirmed the anti-inflammatory activity of EVs. Furthermore, the intranasal administration of EVs resulted in the incorporation of EVs by neurons, microglia and astrocytes in virtually all adult rat and mouse brain regions, and enhancement of hippocampal neurogenesis. Thus, biologically active EVs containing miRNAs and proteins relevant to brain repair could be isolated from hiPSC-NSC cultures, making them a suitable biologic for treating neurodegenerative disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20013078.2020.1809064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7480597PMC
August 2020

Intranasally Administered Human MSC-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Pervasively Incorporate into Neurons and Microglia in both Intact and Status Epilepticus Injured Forebrain.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Dec 26;21(1). Epub 2019 Dec 26.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University College of Medicine, 1114 TAMU, College Station, TX 77842, USA.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have great promise as biologics to treat neurological and neurodegenerative conditions due to their robust antiinflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Besides, intranasal (IN) administration of EVs has caught much attention because the procedure is noninvasive, amenable for repetitive dispensation, and leads to a quick penetration of EVs into multiple regions of the forebrain. Nonetheless, it is unknown whether brain injury-induced signals are essential for the entry of IN-administered EVs into different brain regions. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the distribution of IN-administered hMSC-derived EVs into neurons and microglia in the intact and status epilepticus (SE) injured rat forebrain. Ten billion EVs labeled with PKH26 were dispensed unilaterally into the left nostril of naïve rats, and rats that experienced two hours of kainate-induced SE. Six hours later, PKH26 + EVs were quantified from multiple forebrain regions using serial brain sections processed for different neural cell markers and confocal microscopy. Remarkably, EVs were seen bilaterally in virtually all regions of intact and SE-injured forebrain. The percentage of neurons incorporating EVs were comparable for most forebrain regions. However, in animals that underwent SE, a higher percentage of neurons incorporated EVs in the hippocampal CA1 subfield and the entorhinal cortex, the regions that typically display neurodegeneration after SE. In contrast, the incorporation of EVs by microglia was highly comparable in every region of the forebrain measured. Thus, unilateral IN administration of EVs is efficient for delivering EVs bilaterally into neurons and microglia in multiple regions in the intact or injured forebrain. Furthermore, incorporation of EVs by neurons is higher in areas of brain injury, implying that injury-related signals likely play a role in targeting of EVs into neurons, which may be beneficial for EV therapy in various neurodegenerative conditions including traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6981466PMC
December 2019

Extracellular Vesicles in the Forebrain Display Reduced miR-346 and miR-331-3p in a Rat Model of Chronic Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.

Mol Neurobiol 2020 Mar 7;57(3):1674-1687. Epub 2019 Dec 7.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, 1114 TAMU, 206 Olsen Boulevard, College Station, TX, 77843, USA.

An initial precipitating injury in the brain, such as after status epilepticus (SE), evolves into chronic temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). We investigated changes in the miRNA composition of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the forebrain after the establishment of SE-induced chronic TLE. We induced SE in young Fischer 344 rats through graded intraperitoneal injections of kainic acid, which resulted in consistent spontaneous recurrent seizures at ~ 3 months post-SE. We isolated EVs from the entire forebrain of chronically epileptic rats and age-matched naïve control animals through an ultracentrifugation method and performed miRNA-sequencing studies to discern changes in the miRNA composition of forebrain-derived EVs in chronic epilepsy. EVs from both naïve and epileptic forebrains displayed spherical or cup-shaped morphology, a comparable size range, and CD63 expression but lacked the expression of a deep cellular marker GM130. However, miRNA-sequencing studies suggested downregulation of 3 miRNAs (miR-187-5p, miR-346, and miR-331-3p) and upregulation of 4 miRNAs (miR-490-5p, miR-376b-3p, miR-493-5p, and miR-124-5p) in EVs from epileptic forebrains with fold changes ranging from 1.5 to 2.4 (p < 0.0006; FDR < 0.05). By using geNorm and Normfinder software, we identified miR-487 and miR-221 as the best combination of reference genes for measurement of altered miRNAs found in the epileptic forebrain through qRT-PCR studies. The validation revealed that only miR-346 and miR-331-3p were significantly downregulated in EVs from the epileptic forebrain. The enrichment pathway analysis of these miRNAs showed an overrepresentation of signaling pathways that are linked to molecular mechanisms underlying chronic epilepsy, including GABA-ergic (miR-346 targets) and mTOR (miR-331-3p targets) systems. Thus, the packaging of two miRNAs into EVs in neural cells is considerably altered in chronic epilepsy. Functional studies on these two miRNAs may uncover their role in the pathophysiology and treatment of TLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-019-01797-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8011947PMC
March 2020

Monosodium luminol reinstates redox homeostasis, improves cognition, mood and neurogenesis, and alleviates neuro- and systemic inflammation in a model of Gulf War Illness.

Redox Biol 2020 01 18;28:101389. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University College of Medicine, College Station, TX, USA.

Enduring brain dysfunction is amid the highly manifested symptoms in veterans with Gulf War Illness (GWI). Animal studies have established that lasting brain dysfunction in GWI is concomitant with augmented oxidative stress, inflammation, and declined neurogenesis in the brain, and systemic inflammation. We hypothesize that drugs capable of restoring redox homeostasis in GWI will improve cognitive and mood function with modulation of neuroinflammation and neurogenesis. We examined the efficacy of monosodium luminol-GVT (MSL), a drug that promotes redox homeostasis, for improving cognitive and mood function in GWI rats. Young rats were exposed to GWI-related chemicals and moderate restraint stress for four weeks. Four months later, GWI rats received different doses of MSL or vehicle for eight weeks. Behavioral analyses in the last three weeks of treatment revealed that GWI rats receiving higher doses of MSL displayed better cognitive and mood function associated with reinstatement of redox homeostasis. Such restoration was evident from the normalized expression of multiple genes encoding proteins involved in combating oxidative stress in the brain and the return of several oxidative stress markers to control levels in the brain and the circulating blood. Sustained redox homeostasis by MSL also resulted in antiinflammatory and pro-neurogenic effects, which were apparent from reduced densities of hypertrophied astrocytes and activated microglia, and increased neurogenesis with augmented neural stem cell proliferation. Moreover, MSL treatment normalized the concentration of multiple proinflammatory markers in the circulating blood. Thus, MSL treatment reinstated redox homeostasis in an animal model of GWI, which resulted in alleviation of both brain and systemic inflammation, improved neurogenesis, and better cognitive and mood function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2019.101389DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6888767PMC
January 2020

A Model of Chronic Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Presenting Constantly Rhythmic and Robust Spontaneous Seizures, Co-morbidities and Hippocampal Neuropathology.

Aging Dis 2019 Oct 1;10(5):915-936. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, TX, USA.

Many animal prototypes illustrating the various attributes of human temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) are available. These models have been invaluable for comprehending multiple epileptogenic processes, modifications in electrophysiological properties, neuronal hyperexcitability, neurodegeneration, neural plasticity, and chronic neuroinflammation in TLE. Some models have also uncovered the efficacy of new antiepileptic drugs or biologics for alleviating epileptogenesis, cognitive impairments, or spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRS). Nonetheless, the suitability of these models for testing candidate therapeutics in conditions such as chronic TLE is debatable because of a lower frequency of SRS and an inconsistent pattern of SRS activity over days, weeks or months. An ideal prototype of chronic TLE for investigating novel therapeutics would need to display a large number of SRS with a dependable frequency and severity and related co-morbidities. This study presents a new kainic acid (KA) model of chronic TLE generated through induction of status epilepticus (SE) in 6-8 weeks old male F344 rats. A rigorous characterization in the chronic epilepsy period validated that the animal prototype mimicked the most salient features of robust chronic TLE. Animals displayed a constant frequency and intensity of SRS across weeks and months in the 5th and 6th month after SE, as well as cognitive and mood impairments. Moreover, SRS frequency displayed a rhythmic pattern with 24-hour periodicity and a consistently higher number of SRS in the daylight period. Besides, the model showed many neuropathological features of chronic TLE, which include a partial loss of inhibitory interneurons, reduced neurogenesis with persistent aberrant migration of newly born neurons, chronic neuroinflammation typified by hypertrophied astrocytes and rod-shaped microglia, and a significant aberrant mossy fiber sprouting in the hippocampus. This consistent chronic seizure model is ideal for investigating the efficacy of various antiepileptic drugs and biologics as well as understanding multiple pathophysiological mechanisms underlying chronic epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14336/AD.2019.0720DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6764729PMC
October 2019

Neuroinflammation in Gulf War Illness is linked with HMGB1 and complement activation, which can be discerned from brain-derived extracellular vesicles in the blood.

Brain Behav Immun 2019 10 27;81:430-443. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Cognitive dysfunction and neuroinflammation are conspicuously observed in Gulf War Illness (GWI). We investigated whether brain inflammation in GWI is associated with activation of high mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) and complement-related proteins in neurons and astrocytes, and brain inflammation can be tracked through neuron-derived extracellular vesicles (NDEVs) and astrocyte-derived EVs (ADEVs) found in the circulating blood. We exposed animals to GWI-related chemicals pyridostigmine bromide, DEET and permethrin, and moderate stress for 28 days. We performed behavioral tests 10 months post-exposure and quantified activated microglia and reactive astrocytes in the cerebral cortex. Then, we measured the concentration of HMGB1, proinflammatory cytokines, and complement activation-related proteins in the cerebral cortex, and NDEVs and ADEVs in the circulating blood. Cognitive impairments persisted in GWI rats at 10 months post-exposure, which were associated with increased density of activated microglia and reactive astrocytes in the cerebral cortex. Moreover, the level of HMGB1 was elevated in the cerebral cortex with altered expression in the cytoplasm of neuronal soma and dendrites as well as the extracellular space. Also, higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines (TNFa, IL-1b, and IL-6), and complement activation-related proteins (C3 and TccC5b-9) were seen in the cerebral cortex. Remarkably, increased levels of HMGB1 and proinflammatory cytokines observed in the cerebral cortex of GWI rats could also be found in NDEVs isolated from the blood. Similarly, elevated levels of complement proteins seen in the cerebral cortex could be found in ADEVs. The results provide new evidence that persistent cognitive dysfunction and chronic neuroinflammation in a model of GWI are linked with elevated HMGB1 concentration and complement activation. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that multiple biomarkers of neuroinflammation could be tracked reliably via analyses of NDEVs and ADEVs in the circulating blood. Execution of such a liquid biopsy approach is especially useful in clinical trials for monitoring the remission, persistence or progression of brain inflammation in GWI patients with drug treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2019.06.040DOI Listing
October 2019

Novel Insights on Systemic and Brain Aging, Stroke, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and Alzheimer's Disease.

Aging Dis 2019 Apr 1;10(2):470-482. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, Texas, USA.

The mechanisms that underlie the pathophysiology of aging, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease (AD) and stroke are not fully understood and have been the focus of intense and constant investigation worldwide. Studies that provide insights on aging and age-related disease mechanisms are critical for advancing novel therapies that promote successful aging and prevent or cure multiple age-related diseases. The April 2019 issue of the journal, "Aging & Disease" published a series of articles that confer fresh insights on numerous age-related conditions and diseases. The age-related topics include the detrimental effect of overweight on energy metabolism and muscle integrity, senoinflammation as the cause of neuroinflammation, the link between systemic C-reactive protein and brain white matter loss, the role of miR-34a in promoting healthy heart and brain, the potential of sirtuin 3 for reducing cardiac and pulmonary fibrosis, and the promise of statin therapy for ameliorating asymptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis. Additional aging-related articles highlighted the involvement of miR-181b-5p and high mobility group box-1 in hypertension, Yes-associated protein in cataract formation, multiple miRs and long noncoding RNAs in coronary artery disease development, the role of higher meat consumption on sleep problems, and the link between glycated hemoglobin and depression. The topics related to ALS suggested that individuals with higher education and living in a rural environment have a higher risk for developing ALS, and collagen XIX alpha 1 is a prognostic biomarker of ALS. The topics discussed on AD implied that extracellular amyloid β42 is likely the cause of intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangle accumulation in familial AD and traditional oriental concoctions may be useful for slowing down the progression of AD. The article on stroke suggested that inhibition of the complement system is likely helpful in promoting brain repair after ischemic stroke. The significance of the above findings for understanding the pathogenesis in aging, ALS, AD, and stroke, slowing down the progression of aging, ALS and AD, and promoting brain repair after stroke are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14336/AD.2019.0330DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6457051PMC
April 2019

Emerging Anti-Aging Strategies - Scientific Basis and Efficacy.

Aging Dis 2018 Dec 4;9(6):1165-1184. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

1Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, Texas 77843, USA.

The prevalence of age-related diseases is in an upward trend due to increased life expectancy in humans. Age-related conditions are among the leading causes of morbidity and death worldwide currently. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find apt interventions that slow down aging and reduce or postpone the incidence of debilitating age-related diseases. This review discusses the efficacy of emerging anti-aging approaches for maintaining better health in old age. There are many anti-aging strategies in development, which include procedures such as augmentation of autophagy, elimination of senescent cells, transfusion of plasma from young blood, intermittent fasting, enhancement of adult neurogenesis, physical exercise, antioxidant intake, and stem cell therapy. Multiple pre-clinical studies suggest that administration of autophagy enhancers, senolytic drugs, plasma from young blood, drugs that enhance neurogenesis and BDNF are promising approaches to sustain normal health during aging and also to postpone age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Stem cell therapy has also shown promise for improving regeneration and function of the aged or Alzheimer's disease brain. Several of these approaches are awaiting critical appraisal in clinical trials to determine their long-term efficacy and possible adverse effects. On the other hand, procedures such as intermittent fasting, physical exercise, intake of antioxidants such as resveratrol and curcumin have shown considerable promise for improving function in aging, some of which are ready for large-scale clinical trials, as they are non-invasive, and seem to have minimal side effects. In summary, several approaches are at the forefront of becoming mainstream therapies for combating aging and postponing age-related diseases in the coming years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14336/AD.2018.1026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6284760PMC
December 2018

Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived MGE cell grafting after status epilepticus attenuates chronic epilepsy and comorbidities via synaptic integration.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 01 17;116(1):287-296. Epub 2018 Dec 17.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Temple, TX 76502;

Medial ganglionic eminence (MGE)-like interneuron precursors derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are ideal for developing patient-specific cell therapy in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). However, their efficacy for alleviating spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRS) or cognitive, memory, and mood impairments has never been tested in models of TLE. Through comprehensive video- electroencephalographic recordings and a battery of behavioral tests in a rat model, we demonstrate that grafting of hiPSC-derived MGE-like interneuron precursors into the hippocampus after status epilepticus (SE) greatly restrained SRS and alleviated cognitive, memory, and mood dysfunction in the chronic phase of TLE. Graft-derived cells survived well, extensively migrated into different subfields of the hippocampus, and differentiated into distinct subclasses of inhibitory interneurons expressing various calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptides. Moreover, grafting of hiPSC-MGE cells after SE mediated several neuroprotective and antiepileptogenic effects in the host hippocampus, as evidenced by reductions in host interneuron loss, abnormal neurogenesis, and aberrant mossy fiber sprouting in the dentate gyrus (DG). Furthermore, axons from graft-derived interneurons made synapses on the dendrites of host excitatory neurons in the DG and the CA1 subfield of the hippocampus, implying an excellent graft-host synaptic integration. Remarkably, seizure-suppressing effects of grafts were significantly reduced when the activity of graft-derived interneurons was silenced by a designer drug while using donor hiPSC-MGE cells expressing designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs). These results implied the direct involvement of graft-derived interneurons in seizure control likely through enhanced inhibitory synaptic transmission. Collectively, the results support a patient-specific MGE cell grafting approach for treating TLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1814185115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6320542PMC
January 2019

Wwox deletion leads to reduced GABA-ergic inhibitory interneuron numbers and activation of microglia and astrocytes in mouse hippocampus.

Neurobiol Dis 2019 01 2;121:163-176. Epub 2018 Oct 2.

Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis, Science Park, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, TX, United States. Electronic address:

The association of WW domain-containing oxidoreductase WWOX gene loss of function with central nervous system (CNS) related pathologies is well documented. These include spinocerebellar ataxia, epilepsy and mental retardation (SCAR12, OMIM: 614322) and early infantile epileptic encephalopathy (EIEE28, OMIM: 616211) syndromes. However, there is complete lack of understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms at play. In this study, using a Wwox knockout (Wwox KO) mouse model (2 weeks old, both sexes) and stereological studies we observe that Wwox deletion leads to a significant reduction in the number of hippocampal GABA-ergic (γ-aminobutyric acid) interneurons. Wwox KO mice displayed significantly reduced numbers of calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) expressing interneurons in different subfields of the hippocampus in comparison to Wwox wild-type (WT) mice. We also detected decreased levels of Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase protein isoforms GAD65/67 expression in Wwox null hippocampi suggesting lower levels of GABA synthesis. In addition, Wwox deficiency was associated with signs of neuroinflammation such as evidence of activated microglia, astrogliosis, and overexpression of inflammatory cytokines Tnf-a and Il6. We also performed comparative transcriptome-wide expression analyses of neural stem cells grown as neurospheres from hippocampi of Wwox KO and WT mice thus identifying 283 genes significantly dysregulated in their expression. Functional annotation of transcriptome profiling differences identified 'neurological disease' and 'CNS development related functions' to be significantly enriched. Several epilepsy-related genes were found differentially expressed in Wwox KO neurospheres. This study provides the first genotype-phenotype observations as well as potential mechanistic clues associated with Wwox loss of function in the brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2018.09.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7104842PMC
January 2019

Gulf war illness-related chemicals increase CD11b/c monocyte infiltration into the liver and aggravate hepatic cholestasis in a rodent model.

Sci Rep 2018 09 3;8(1):13147. Epub 2018 Sep 3.

Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M College of Medicine, Temple, 76504, USA.

Gulf War Illness (GWI) is a chronic multisymptom disorder affecting veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf war. GWI was linked with exposure to chemicals including the nerve gas prophylactic drug pyridostigmine-bromide (PB) and pesticides (DEET, permethrin). Veterans with GWI exhibit prolonged, low-level systemic inflammation, though whether this impacts the liver is unknown. While no evidence exists that GWI-related chemicals are hepatotoxic, the prolonged inflammation may alter the liver's response to insults such as cholestatic injury. We assessed the effects of GWI-related chemicals on macrophage infiltration and its subsequent influence on hepatic cholestasis. Sprague Dawley rats were treated daily with PB, DEET and permethrin followed by 15 minutes of restraint stress for 28 days. Ten weeks afterward, GWI rats or naïve age-matched controls underwent bile duct ligation (BDL) or sham surgeries. Exposure to GWI-related chemicals alone increased IL-6, and CD11bF4/80 macrophages in the liver, with no effect on biliary mass or hepatic fibrosis. However, pre-exposure to GWI-related chemicals enhanced biliary hyperplasia and fibrogenesis caused by BDL, compared to naïve rats undergoing the same surgery. These data suggest that GWI patients could be predisposed to developing worse liver pathology due to sustained low-level inflammation of the liver when compared to patients without GWI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31599-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6120951PMC
September 2018

Rhythms of Core Clock Genes and Spontaneous Locomotor Activity in Post- Model of Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.

Front Neurol 2018 2;9:632. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceio, Brazil.

The interaction of Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (mTLE) with the circadian system control is apparent from an oscillatory pattern of limbic seizures, daytime's effect on seizure onset and the efficacy of antiepileptic drugs. Moreover, seizures can interfere with the biological rhythm output, including circadian oscillation of body temperature, locomotor activity, EEG pattern as well as the transcriptome. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this cross-talk remain unclear. In this study, we systematically evaluated the temporal expression of seven core circadian transcripts (, and ) and the spontaneous locomotor activity (SLA) in post- (SE) model of mTLE. Twenty-four hour oscillating SLA remained intact in post-SE groups although the circadian phase and the amount and intensity of activity were changed in early post-SE and epileptic phases. The acrophase of the SLA rhythm was delayed during epileptogenesis, a fragmented 24 h rhythmicity and extended active phase length appeared in the epileptic phase. The temporal expression of circadian transcripts , and was also substantially altered. The oscillatory expression of was maintained in rats imperiled to SE, but with lower amplitude (A = 0.2) and an advanced acrophase in the epileptic phase. The diurnal rhythm of and was absent in the early post-SE but was recovered in the epileptic phase. and rhythmic expression were disrupted in post-SE groups while presented an arrhythmic profile in the epileptic phase, only. The expression of did not display rhythmic pattern in any condition. These oscillating patterns of core clock genes may contribute to hippocampal 24 h cycling and, consequently to seizure periodicity. Furthermore, by using a pool of samples collected at 6 different Zeitgeber Times (ZT), we found that all clock transcripts were significantly dysregulated after SE induction, except and . Collectively, altered SLA rhythm in early post-SE and epileptic phases implies a possible role for seizure as a nonphotic cue, which is likely linked to activation of hippocampal-accumbens pathway. On the other hand, altered temporal expression of the clock genes after SE suggests their involvement in the MTLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00632DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082935PMC
August 2018

Resveratrol for Easing Status Epilepticus Induced Brain Injury, Inflammation, Epileptogenesis, and Cognitive and Memory Dysfunction-Are We There Yet?

Front Neurol 2017 13;8:603. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

Olin E. Teague Veterans' Medical Center, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, Texas, United States.

Status epilepticus (SE) is a medical emergency exemplified by self-sustaining, unceasing seizures or swiftly recurring seizure events with no recovery between seizures. The early phase after SE event is associated with neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, and abnormal neurogenesis in the hippocampus though the extent of these changes depends on the severity and duration of seizures. In many instances, over a period, the initial precipitating injury caused by SE leads to temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), typified by spontaneous recurrent seizures, cognitive, memory and mood impairments associated with chronic inflammation, reduced neurogenesis, abnormal synaptic reorganization, and multiple molecular changes in the hippocampus. While antiepileptic drugs are efficacious for terminating or greatly reducing seizures in most cases of SE, they have proved ineffective for easing SE-induced epileptogenesis and TLE. Despite considerable advances in elucidating SE-induced multiple cellular, electrophysiological, and molecular changes in the brain, efficient strategies that prevent SE-induced TLE development are yet to be discovered. This review critically confers the efficacy and promise of resveratrol, a phytoalexin found in the skin of red grapes, for easing SE-induced neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, aberrant neurogenesis, and for restraining the evolution of SE-induced brain injury into a chronic epileptic state typified by spontaneous recurrent seizures, and learning, memory, and mood impairments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2017.00603DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5694141PMC
November 2017

Chronic Oxidative Stress, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Nrf2 Activation and Inflammation in the Hippocampus Accompany Heightened Systemic Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in an Animal Model of Gulf War Illness.

Front Mol Neurosci 2017 14;10:182. Epub 2017 Jun 14.

Research Service, Olin E. Teague Veterans' Medical Center, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, TempleTX, United States.

Memory and mood dysfunction are the key symptoms of Gulf war illness (GWI), a lingering multi-symptom ailment afflicting >200,000 veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War-1. Research probing the source of the disease has demonstrated that concomitant exposures to anti-nerve gas agent pyridostigmine bromide (PB), pesticides, and war-related stress are among the chief causes of GWI. Indeed, exposures to GWI-related chemicals (GWIR-Cs) and mild stress in animal models cause memory and mood impairments alongside reduced neurogenesis and chronic low-level inflammation in the hippocampus. In the current study, we examined whether exposure to GWIR-Cs and stress causes chronic changes in the expression of genes related to increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and inflammation in the hippocampus. We also investigated whether GWI is linked with chronically increased activation of Nrf2 (a master regulator of antioxidant response) in the hippocampus, and inflammation and enhanced oxidative stress at the systemic level. Adult male rats were exposed daily to low-doses of PB and pesticides (DEET and permethrin), in combination with 5 min of restraint stress for 4 weeks. Analysis of the hippocampus performed 6 months after the exposure revealed increased expression of many genes related to oxidative stress response and/or antioxidant activity (, and ), reactive oxygen species metabolism (, and ) and oxygen transport ( and ). Furthermore, multiple genes relevant to mitochondrial respiration (, and ) and neuroinflammation (, and ) were up-regulated, alongside 73-88% reduction in the expression of anti-inflammatory genes and , and nuclear translocation and increased expression of Nrf2 protein. These hippocampal changes were associated with elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (Tnfa, IL1b, IL1a, Tgfb, and Fgf2) and lipid peroxidation byproduct malondialdehyde in the serum, suggesting the presence of an incessant systemic inflammation and elevated oxidative stress. These results imply that chronic oxidative stress, inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction in the hippocampus, and heightened systemic inflammation and oxidative stress likely underlie the persistent memory and mood dysfunction observed in GWI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2017.00182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5469946PMC
June 2017

Neural Stem Cell or Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived GABA-ergic Progenitor Cell Grafting in an Animal Model of Chronic Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.

Curr Protoc Stem Cell Biol 2016 08 17;38:2D.7.1-2D.7.47. Epub 2016 Aug 17.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, Temple, Texas.

Grafting of neural stem cells (NSCs) or GABA-ergic progenitor cells (GPCs) into the hippocampus could offer an alternative therapy to hippocampal resection in patients with drug-resistant chronic epilepsy, which afflicts >30% of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) cases. Multipotent, self-renewing NSCs could be expanded from multiple regions of the developing and adult brain, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). On the other hand, GPCs could be generated from the medial and lateral ganglionic eminences of the embryonic brain and from hESCs and hiPSCs. To provide comprehensive methodologies involved in testing the efficacy of transplantation of NSCs and GPCs in a rat model of chronic TLE, NSCs derived from the rat medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) and MGE-like GPCs derived from hiPSCs are taken as examples in this unit. The topics comprise description of the required materials, reagents and equipment, methods for obtaining rat MGE-NSCs and hiPSC-derived MGE-like GPCs in culture, generation of chronically epileptic rats, intrahippocampal grafting procedure, post-grafting evaluation of the effects of grafts on spontaneous recurrent seizures and cognitive and mood impairments, analyses of the yield and the fate of graft-derived cells, and the effects of grafts on the host hippocampus. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpsc.9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313261PMC
August 2016

Voluntary Running Exercise-Mediated Enhanced Neurogenesis Does Not Obliterate Retrograde Spatial Memory.

J Neurosci 2016 08;36(31):8112-22

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine at Scott and White, Temple, Texas 76502, Research Service, Olin E. Teague Veterans' Medical Center, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, Texas 76502, and Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, Texas 77843

Unlabelled: Running exercise (RE) improves cognition, formation of anterograde memories, and mood, alongside enhancing hippocampal neurogenesis. A previous investigation in a mouse model showed that RE-induced increased neurogenesis erases retrograde memory (Akers et al., 2014). However, it is unknown whether RE-induced forgetting is common to all species. We ascertained whether voluntary RE-induced enhanced neurogenesis interferes with the recall of spatial memory in rats. Young rats assigned to either sedentary (SED) or running exercise (RE) groups were first subjected to eight learning sessions in a water maze. A probe test (PT) conducted 24 h after the final training session confirmed that animals in either group had a similar ability for the recall of short-term memory. Following this, rats in the RE group were housed in larger cages fitted with running wheels, whereas rats in the SED group remained in standard cages. Animals in the RE group ran an average of 78 km in 4 weeks. A second PT performed 4 weeks after the first PT revealed comparable ability for memory recall between animals in the RE and SED groups, which was evidenced through multiple measures of memory retrieval function. The RE group displayed a 1.5- to 2.1-fold higher hippocampal neurogenesis than SED rats. Additionally, both moderate and brisk RE did not interfere with the recall of memory, although increasing amounts of RE proportionally enhanced neurogenesis. In conclusion, RE does not impair memory recall ability in a rat model despite substantially increasing neurogenesis.

Significance Statement: Running exercise (RE) improves new memory formation along with an increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus. In view of a recent study showing that RE-mediated increased hippocampal neurogenesis promotes forgetfulness in a mouse model, we ascertained whether a similar adverse phenomenon exists in a rat model. Memory recall ability examined 4 weeks after learning confirmed that animals that had run a mean of 78 km and displayed a 1.5- to 2.1-fold increase in hippocampal neurogenesis demonstrated similar proficiency for memory recall as animals that had remained sedentary. Furthermore, both moderate and brisk RE did not interfere with memory recall, although increasing amounts of RE proportionally enhanced neurogenesis, implying that RE has no adverse effects on memory recall.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0766-16.2016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6601951PMC
August 2016

Resveratrol Treatment after Status Epilepticus Restrains Neurodegeneration and Abnormal Neurogenesis with Suppression of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation.

Sci Rep 2015 Dec 7;5:17807. Epub 2015 Dec 7.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A &M Health Science Center College of Medicine at Scott &White, Temple, Texas, USA.

Antiepileptic drug therapy, though beneficial for restraining seizures, cannot thwart status epilepticus (SE) induced neurodegeneration or down-stream detrimental changes. We investigated the efficacy of resveratrol (RESV) for preventing SE-induced neurodegeneration, abnormal neurogenesis, oxidative stress and inflammation in the hippocampus. We induced SE in young rats and treated with either vehicle or RESV, commencing an hour after SE induction and continuing every hour for three-hours on SE day and twice daily thereafter for 3 days. Seizures were terminated in both groups two-hours after SE with a diazepam injection. In contrast to the vehicle-treated group, the hippocampus of animals receiving RESV during and after SE presented no loss of glutamatergic neurons in hippocampal cell layers, diminished loss of inhibitory interneurons expressing parvalbumin, somatostatin and neuropeptide Y in the dentate gyrus, reduced aberrant neurogenesis with preservation of reelin + interneurons, lowered concentration of oxidative stress byproduct malondialdehyde and pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha, normalized expression of oxidative stress responsive genes and diminished numbers of activated microglia. Thus, 4 days of RESV treatment after SE is efficacious for thwarting glutamatergic neuron degeneration, alleviating interneuron loss and abnormal neurogenesis, and suppressing oxidative stress and inflammation. These results have implications for restraining SE-induced chronic temporal lobe epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep17807DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4671086PMC
December 2015

Resveratrol prevents age-related memory and mood dysfunction with increased hippocampal neurogenesis and microvasculature, and reduced glial activation.

Sci Rep 2015 Jan 28;5:8075. Epub 2015 Jan 28.

1] Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine at Scott &White, Temple, Texas, USA [2] Research Service, Olin E. Teague Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, Texas, USA [3] Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, Texas, USA [4] Department of Surgery (Neurosurgery) and Research Service, Duke University and Veterans' Affairs Medical Centers, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Greatly waned neurogenesis, diminished microvasculature, astrocyte hypertrophy and activated microglia are among the most conspicuous structural changes in the aged hippocampus. Because these alterations can contribute to age-related memory and mood impairments, strategies efficacious for mitigating these changes may preserve cognitive and mood function in old age. Resveratrol, a phytoalexin found in the skin of red grapes having angiogenic and antiinflammatory properties, appears ideal for easing these age-related changes. Hence, we examined the efficacy of resveratrol for counteracting age-related memory and mood impairments and the associated detrimental changes in the hippocampus. Two groups of male F344 rats in late middle-age having similar learning and memory abilities were chosen and treated with resveratrol or vehicle for four weeks. Analyses at ~25 months of age uncovered improved learning, memory and mood function in resveratrol-treated animals but impairments in vehicle-treated animals. Resveratrol-treated animals also displayed increased net neurogenesis and microvasculature, and diminished astrocyte hypertrophy and microglial activation in the hippocampus. These results provide novel evidence that resveratrol treatment in late middle age is efficacious for improving memory and mood function in old age. Modulation of the hippocampus plasticity and suppression of chronic low-level inflammation appear to underlie the functional benefits mediated by resveratrol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep08075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4894403PMC
January 2015

Corrigendum: Blood brain barrier dysfunction and delayed neurological deficits in mild traumatic brain injury induced by blast shock waves.

Front Cell Neurosci 2014 26;8:404. Epub 2014 Nov 26.

Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine at Scott & White Temple, TX, USA ; Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine College Station, TX, USA ; Research Service, Olin E. Teague Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System Temple, TX, USA.

[This corrects the article on p. 232 in vol. 8, PMID: 25165433.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2014.00404DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4244690PMC
March 2015

Blood brain barrier dysfunction and delayed neurological deficits in mild traumatic brain injury induced by blast shock waves.

Front Cell Neurosci 2014 13;8:232. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine at Scott & White, Institute for Regenerative Medicine Temple, TX, USA ; Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine College Station, TX, USA ; Research Service, Olin E. Teague Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System Temple, TX, USA.

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) resulting from exposure to blast shock waves (BSWs) is one of the most predominant causes of illnesses among veterans who served in the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Such mTBI can also happen to civilians if exposed to shock waves of bomb attacks by terrorists. While cognitive problems, memory dysfunction, depression, anxiety and diffuse white matter injury have been observed at both early and/or delayed time-points, an initial brain pathology resulting from exposure to BSWs appears to be the dysfunction or disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Studies in animal models suggest that exposure to relatively milder BSWs (123 kPa) initially induces free radical generating enzymes in and around brain capillaries, which enhances oxidative stress resulting in loss of tight junction (TJ) proteins, edema formation, and leakiness of BBB with disruption or loss of its components pericytes and astrocyte end-feet. On the other hand, exposure to more intense BSWs (145-323 kPa) causes acute disruption of the BBB with vascular lesions in the brain. Both of these scenarios lead to apoptosis of endothelial and neural cells and neuroinflammation in and around capillaries, which may progress into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and/or a variety of neurological impairments, depending on brain regions that are afflicted with such lesions. This review discusses studies that examined alterations in the brain milieu causing dysfunction or disruption of the BBB and neuroinflammation following exposure to different intensities of BSWs. Furthermore, potential of early intervention strategies capable of easing oxidative stress, repairing the BBB or blocking inflammation for minimizing delayed neurological deficits resulting from exposure to BSWs is conferred.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2014.00232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4131244PMC
August 2014

Object location and object recognition memory impairments, motivation deficits and depression in a model of Gulf War illness.

Front Behav Neurosci 2014 13;8:78. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Research Service, Olin E. Teague Veterans' Medical Center, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System Temple, TX, USA ; Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine at Scott and White Temple, TX, USA ; Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine College Station, TX, USA.

Memory and mood deficits are the enduring brain-related symptoms in Gulf War illness (GWI). Both animal model and epidemiological investigations have indicated that these impairments in a majority of GW veterans are linked to exposures to chemicals such as pyridostigmine bromide (PB, an antinerve gas drug), permethrin (PM, an insecticide) and DEET (a mosquito repellant) encountered during the Persian Gulf War-1. Our previous study in a rat model has shown that combined exposures to low doses of GWI-related (GWIR) chemicals PB, PM, and DEET with or without 5-min of restraint stress (a mild stress paradigm) causes hippocampus-dependent spatial memory dysfunction in a water maze test (WMT) and increased depressive-like behavior in a forced swim test (FST). In this study, using a larger cohort of rats exposed to GWIR-chemicals and stress, we investigated whether the memory deficiency identified earlier in a WMT is reproducible with an alternative and stress free hippocampus-dependent memory test such as the object location test (OLT). We also ascertained the possible co-existence of hippocampus-independent memory dysfunction using a novel object recognition test (NORT), and alterations in mood function with additional tests for motivation and depression. Our results provide new evidence that exposure to low doses of GWIR-chemicals and mild stress for 4 weeks causes deficits in hippocampus-dependent object location memory and perirhinal cortex-dependent novel object recognition memory. An open field test performed prior to other behavioral analyses revealed that memory impairments were not associated with increased anxiety or deficits in general motor ability. However, behavioral tests for mood function such as a voluntary physical exercise paradigm and a novelty suppressed feeding test (NSFT) demonstrated decreased motivation levels and depression. Thus, exposure to GWIR-chemicals and stress causes both hippocampus-dependent and hippocampus-independent memory impairments as well as mood dysfunction in a rat model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00078DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3952084PMC
March 2014

Predictive and prognostic significance of glutathione levels and DNA damage in cervix cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2010 Oct 3;78(2):343-9. Epub 2010 Feb 3.

Department of Radiotherapy, Shirdi Saibaba Cancer Hospital, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India.

Purpose: To assess the predictive significance of serum glutathione (GSH) and tumor tissue DNA damage in the treatment of cervical cancer patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy.

Methods And Materials: This study included subjects undergoing hysterectomy (for normal cervix tissue) and cervical cancer patients who underwent conventional concurrent chemoradiotherapy (cisplatin once per week for 5 weeks with concurrent external radiotherapy of 2 Gy per fraction for 5 weeks, followed by two applications of intracavitary brachytherapy once per week after 2 weeks' rest). Blood was collected after two fractions, whereas both blood and tissues were collected after five fractions of radiotherapy in separate groups of subjects. Serum for total GSH content and tissues were processed for single-cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay for DNA damage analysis. Clinical tumor radioresponse was assessed 2 months after the completion of treatment as complete responders (CR) (100% shrinkage), partial responders (PR) (>50%), and nonresponders (NR) (<50%).

Results: Serum GSH content depleted significantly after a total dose of 4 Gy and 10 Gy of radiotherapy with a single dose of cisplatin, which was significantly lesser in NR than of CR patients. Similarly, Olive Tail Moment, the index of DNA damage, indicated significantly higher values in the fifth fraction of radiotherapy (5-RT) than in pretreatment. The DNA damage after 5-RT in the NR subgroup was significantly lower than that of CR.

Conclusions: Serum GSH analysis and tumor tissue SCGE assay found to be useful parameters for predicting chemoradioresponse prior to and also at an early stage of treatment of cervical cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.08.014DOI Listing
October 2010
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