Publications by authors named "Nella Vidotto"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Lung volume quantified by MRI reflects extracellular-matrix deposition and altered pulmonary function in bleomycin models of fibrosis: effects of SOM230.

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2014 Jun 11;306(12):L1064-77. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Analytical Sciences and Imaging, Basel, Switzerland;

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive and lethal disease, characterized by loss of lung elasticity and alveolar surface area, secondary to alveolar epithelial cell injury, reactive inflammation, proliferation of fibroblasts, and deposition of extracellular matrix. The effects of oropharyngeal aspiration of bleomycin in Sprague-Dawley rats and C57BL/6 mice, as well as of intratracheal administration of ovalbumin to actively sensitized Brown Norway rats on total lung volume as assessed noninvasively by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were investigated here. Lung injury and volume were quantified by using nongated or respiratory-gated MRI acquisitions [ultrashort echo time (UTE) or gradient-echo techniques]. Lung function of bleomycin-challenged rats was examined additionally using a flexiVent system. Postmortem analyses included histology of collagen and hydroxyproline assays. Bleomycin induced an increase of MRI-assessed total lung volume, lung dry and wet weights, and hydroxyproline content as well as collagen amount. In bleomycin-treated rats, gated MRI showed an increased volume of the lung in the inspiratory and expiratory phases of the respiratory cycle and a temporary decrease of tidal volume. Decreased dynamic lung compliance was found in bleomycin-challenged rats. Bleomycin-induced increase of MRI-detected lung volume was consistent with tissue deposition during fibrotic processes resulting in decreased lung elasticity, whereas influences by edema or emphysema could be excluded. In ovalbumin-challenged rats, total lung volume quantified by MRI remained unchanged. The somatostatin analog, SOM230, was shown to have therapeutic effects on established bleomycin-induced fibrosis in rats. This work suggests MRI-detected total lung volume as readout for tissue-deposition in small rodent bleomycin models of pulmonary fibrosis.
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June 2014

Mutant huntingtin gene-dose impacts on aggregate deposition, DARPP32 expression and neuroinflammation in HdhQ150 mice.

PLoS One 2013 23;8(9):e75108. Epub 2013 Sep 23.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Neuroscience, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.

Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant, progressive and fatal neurological disorder caused by an expansion of CAG repeats in exon-1 of the huntingtin gene. The encoded poly-glutamine stretch renders mutant huntingtin prone to aggregation. HdhQ150 mice genocopy a pathogenic repeat (∼150 CAGs) in the endogenous mouse huntingtin gene and model predominantly pre-manifest HD. Treating early is likely important to prevent or delay HD, and HdhQ150 mice may be useful to assess therapeutic strategies targeting pre-manifest HD. This requires appropriate markers and here we demonstrate, that pre-symptomatic HdhQ150 mice show several dramatic mutant huntingtin gene-dose dependent pathological changes including: (i) an increase of neuronal intra-nuclear inclusions (NIIs) in brain, (ii) an increase of extra-nuclear aggregates in dentate gyrus, (iii) a decrease of DARPP32 protein and (iv) an increase in glial markers of neuroinflammation, which curiously did not correlate with local neuronal mutant huntingtin inclusion-burden. HdhQ150 mice developed NIIs also in all retinal neuron cell-types, demonstrating that retinal NIIs are not specific to human exon-1 R6 HD mouse models. Taken together, the striking and robust mutant huntingtin gene-dose related changes in aggregate-load, DARPP32 levels and glial activation markers should greatly facilitate future testing of therapeutic strategies in the HdhQ150 HD mouse model.
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July 2014

High LRRK2 levels fail to induce or exacerbate neuronal alpha-synucleinopathy in mouse brain.

PLoS One 2012 15;7(5):e36581. Epub 2012 May 15.

Department of Neuroscience, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.

The G2019S mutation in the multidomain protein leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is one of the most frequently identified genetic causes of Parkinson's disease (PD). Clinically, LRRK2(G2019S) carriers with PD and idiopathic PD patients have a very similar disease with brainstem and cortical Lewy pathology (α-synucleinopathy) as histopathological hallmarks. Some patients have Tau pathology. Enhanced kinase function of the LRRK2(G2019S) mutant protein is a prime suspect mechanism for carriers to develop PD but observations in LRRK2 knock-out, G2019S knock-in and kinase-dead mutant mice suggest that LRRK2 steady-state abundance of the protein also plays a determining role. One critical question concerning the molecular pathogenesis in LRRK2(G2019S) PD patients is whether α-synuclein (aSN) has a contributory role. To this end we generated mice with high expression of either wildtype or G2019S mutant LRRK2 in brainstem and cortical neurons. High levels of these LRRK2 variants left endogenous aSN and Tau levels unaltered and did not exacerbate or otherwise modify α-synucleinopathy in mice that co-expressed high levels of LRRK2 and aSN in brain neurons. On the contrary, in some lines high LRRK2 levels improved motor skills in the presence and absence of aSN-transgene-induced disease. Therefore, in many neurons high LRRK2 levels are well tolerated and not sufficient to drive or exacerbate neuronal α-synucleinopathy.
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September 2012