Publications by authors named "Rui D S Prediger"

53 Publications

Propolis: A useful agent on psychiatric and neurological disorders? A focus on CAPE and pinocembrin components.

Med Res Rev 2021 03 11;41(2):1195-1215. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Laboratory of Pharmacology of Inflammation and Behavior, Faculty of Pharmacy, Institute of Health Science, Federal University of Pará, Belém, Pará, Brazil.

Propolis consists of a honeybee product, with a complex mix of substances that have been widely used in traditional medicine. Among several compounds present in propolis, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), and pinocembrin emerge as two principal bioactive compounds, with benefits in a variety of body systems. In addition to its well-explored pharmacological properties, neuropharmacological activities have been poorly discussed. In an unprecedented way, the present review addresses the current finding on the promising therapeutic purposes of propolis, focusing on CAPE and pinocembrin, highlighting its use on neurological disturbance, as cerebral ischemia, neuroinflammation, convulsion, and cognitive impairment, as well as psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and depression. In addition, we provide a critical analysis, discussion, and systematization of the molecular mechanisms which underlie these central nervous system effects. We hypothesize that the pleiotropic action of CAPE and pinocembrin, per se or associated with other substances present in propolis may result in the therapeutic activities reported. Inhibition of the pro-inflammatory cascade, antioxidant activity, and positive neurotrophic modulatory effects consist of the main molecular targets attributed to CAPE and pinocembrin in health benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/med.21757DOI Listing
March 2021

Ursolic acid affords antidepressant-like effects in mice through the activation of PKA, PKC, CAMK-II and MEK1/2.

Pharmacol Rep 2017 Dec 24;69(6):1240-1246. Epub 2017 May 24.

Department of Biochemistry, Center of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil. Electronic address:

Background: Ursolic acid has been shown to display antidepressant-like effects in mice through the modulation of monoaminergic systems. In this study, we sought to investigate the involvement of signaling pathways on the antidepressant-like effects of ursolic acid.

Methods: Mice were treated orally with ursolic acid (0.1mg/kg) and, 45min later they received the followings inhibitors by intracerebroventricular route: H-89 (PKA inhibitor, 1μg/mouse), KN-62 (CAMK-II inhibitor, 1μg/mouse), chelerythrine (PKC inhibitor, 1μg/mouse), U0126 (MEK1/2 inhibitor, 5μg/mouse), PD98059 (MEK1/2 inhibitor, 5μg/mouse), wortmannin (PI3K irreversible inhibitor, 0.1μg/mouse) or LY294002 (PI3K inhibitor, 10 nmol/mouse). Immobility time of mice was registered in the tail suspension test (TST).

Results: The anti-immobility effect of ursolic acid in the TST was abolished by the treatment of mice with H-89, KN-62, chelerythrine, U0126 or PD98059, but not with wortmannin or LY294002.

Conclusions: These results suggest that activation of PKA, PKC, CAMK-II, MEK1/2 may underlie the antidepressant-like effects of ursolic acid.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pharep.2017.05.009DOI Listing
December 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

Mechanisms involved in abdominal nociception induced by either TRPV1 or TRPA1 stimulation of rat peritoneum.

Eur J Pharmacol 2013 Aug 1;714(1-3):332-44. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Graduate Program in Biological Sciences, Toxicological Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Center of Natural and Exact Sciences, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, RS 97105-900, Brazil.

Abdominal pain is a frequent symptom of peritoneal cavity irritation, but little is known about the role of the receptors for irritant substances, transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), in this painful condition. Thus, we investigated the abdominal nociception caused by peritoneal stimulation with TRPV1 (capsaicin) and TRPA1 (allyl isothiocyanate, AITC) agonists and their mechanisms in rats. The intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of either capsaicin or AITC (0.03-10 mg/kg) induced short-term (up to 20 min) and dose-dependent abdominal nociception, and also produced c-fos expression in spinal afferents of the dorsal horn. TRPV1 antagonism prevented (94 ± 4% inhibition) nociception induced by capsaicin but not by AITC. In contrast, the TRPA1 antagonism almost abolished AITC-induced nociception (95 ± 2% inhibition) without altering the capsaicin response. Moreover, nociception induced by either capsaicin or AITC was reduced by the desensitisation of TRPV1-positive sensory fibres with resiniferatoxin (73 ± 18 and 76 ± 15% inhibitions, respectively) and by the NK1 receptor antagonist aprepitant (56 ± 5 and 53 ± 8% inhibitions, respectively). Likewise, the i.p. injections of capsaicin or AITC increased the content of substance P in the peritoneal fluid. Nevertheless, neither the mast cell membrane stabiliser cromoglycate, nor the H1 antagonist promethazine, nor depletion of peritoneal macrophages affected abdominal nociception induced either by capsaicin or AITC. Accordingly, neither capsaicin nor AITC increased the histamine content in the peritoneal fluid or provoked peritoneal mast cell degranulation in vitro. Collectively, our findings suggest that TRPV1 and TRPA1 stimulation in the peritoneum produces abdominal nociception that is mediated by sensory fibres activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.07.029DOI Listing
August 2013

Six weeks of voluntary exercise don't protect C57BL/6 mice against neurotoxicity of MPTP and MPP(+).

Neurotox Res 2014 Feb 20;25(2):147-52. Epub 2013 Jul 20.

Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Ciências Biológicas (CCB), Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, SC, 88040-900, Brazil,

Exercise improves the central nervous system (CNS) functions and is widely recommended for neurological patients with, e.g., Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease (PD). However, exercise-induced neuroprotection is an open discussion. Here, the intranasal administration of the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP, 65 mg/kg) caused death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and depletion of dopamine in the striatum of C57BL/6 mice. 1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium, the active metabolite of MPTP, also inhibited complex-I activity of mitochondria isolated from the CNS of mice. However, 6 weeks of exercise on voluntary running wheels did not protect against nigrostriatal neurodegeneration or mitochondrial inhibition, suggesting that benefits of exercise for PD may not be associated with neuroprotection. The literature presents other candidates, such as neurotrophins or increased antioxidant defenses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12640-013-9412-5DOI Listing
February 2014

Manganese-exposed developing rats display motor deficits and striatal oxidative stress that are reversed by Trolox.

Arch Toxicol 2013 Jul 6;87(7):1231-44. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC 88040-900, Brazil.

While manganese (Mn) is essential for proper central nervous system (CNS) development, excessive Mn exposure may lead to neurotoxicity. Mn preferentially accumulates in the basal ganglia, and in adults it may cause Parkinson's disease-like disorder. Compared to adults, younger individuals accumulate greater Mn levels in the CNS and are more vulnerable to its toxicity. Moreover, the mechanisms mediating developmental Mn-induced neurotoxicity are not completely understood. The present study investigated the developmental neurotoxicity elicited by Mn exposure (5, 10 and 20 mg/kg; i.p.) from postnatal day 8 to PN27 in rats. Neurochemical analyses were carried out on PN29, with a particular focus on striatal alterations in intracellular signaling pathways (MAPKs, Akt and DARPP-32), oxidative stress generation and cell death. Motor alterations were evaluated later in life at 3, 4 or 5 weeks of age. Mn exposure (20 mg/kg) increased p38(MAPK) and Akt phosphorylation, but decreased DARPP-32-Thr-34 phosphorylation. Mn (10 and 20 mg/kg) increased caspase activity and F2-isoprostane production (a biological marker of lipid peroxidation). Paralleling the changes in striatal biochemical parameters, Mn (20 mg/kg) also caused motor impairment, evidenced by increased falling latency in the rotarod test, decreased distance traveled and motor speed in the open-field test. Notably, the antioxidant Trolox™ reversed the Mn (20 mg/kg)-dependent augmentation in p38(MAPK) phosphorylation and reduced the Mn (20 mg/kg)-induced caspase activity and F2-isoprostane production. Trolox™ also reversed the Mn-induced motor coordination deficits. These findings are the first to show that long-term exposure to Mn during a critical period of neurodevelopment causes motor coordination dysfunction with parallel increment in oxidative stress markers, p38(MAPK) phosphorylation and caspase activity in the striatum. Moreover, we establish Trolox™ as a potential neuroprotective agent given its efficacy in reversing the Mn-induced neurodevelopmental effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00204-013-1017-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6543098PMC
July 2013

Limited predictive power of hospitalization variables for long-term cognitive prognosis in adult patients with severe traumatic brain injury.

J Neuropsychol 2014 Mar 20;8(1):125-39. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Centro de Neurociências Aplicadas (CeNAp), Hospital Universitário (HU), Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Objectives: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a main cause of mortality and morbidity. Association studies between hospitalization variables and cognitive impairment after TBI are frequently retrospective, including non-consecutive patients showing variable degrees of TBI severity, and poor management of missing (drop out) cases.

Methods: We assessed prospectively the demographic and hospitalization variables of 234 consecutive patients with severe TBI (admission Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] ≤8) and determined their independent association with cognitive performance in a representative sample (n = 46) of surviving patients (n = 172) evaluated 3 (±1.8) years after hospitalization.

Results: In all, 85% of patients were male and the mean age was 34 (SD ±13) years. The education level was 9 (±4.7) years. As expected, education and age showed a moderately to strong linear relationship with the cognitive performance in 14 of 15 neuropsychological tests (R coefficient = 0.6-0.8). The cognitive test scores were not independently associated with gender, admission GCS, associated trauma, and Marshal CT classification. Admission-elevated blood glucose levels and the presence of sub-arachnoid haemorrhage were independently associated with lower scores on Rey Auditory Verbal Learning retention and Logical Memory-I tests, respectively.

Conclusions: After correction for education and age distribution, the variables that are commonly associated with mortality or Glasgow Outcome Scale including admission pupils' examination, Marshal CT Classification, GCS, and serum glucose showed a limited predictive power for long-term cognitive prognosis. Identification of clinical, radiological, and laboratory variables as well as new biomarkers independently associated with cognitive outcome remains an important challenge for further work involving severe TBI patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnp.12000DOI Listing
March 2014

Neuroprotective effects of agmatine in mice infused with a single intranasal administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP).

Behav Brain Res 2012 Dec 17;235(2):263-72. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, UFSC, 88049-900 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.

We have recently demonstrated that rodents treated intranasally with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) suffered impairments in olfactory, cognitive, emotional and motor functions associated with time-dependent disruption of dopaminergic neurotransmission in different brain structures conceivably analogous to those observed during different stages of Parkinson's disease (PD). Agmatine, an endogenous arginine metabolite, has been proposed as a novel neuromodulator that plays protective roles in several models of neuronal cellular damage. In the present study we demonstrated that repeated treatment with agmatine (30 mg/kg, i.p.) during 5 consecutive days increased the survival rate (from 40% to 80%) of 15-month-old C57BL/6 female mice infused with a single intranasal (i.n.) administration of MPTP (1 mg/nostril), improving the general neurological status of the surviving animals. Moreover, pretreatment with agmatine was found to attenuate short-term social memory and locomotor activity impairments observed at different periods after i.n. MPTP administration. These behavioral benefits of exogenous agmatine administration were accompanied by a protection against the MPTP-induced decrease of hippocampal glutamate uptake and loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta of aging mice, without altering brain monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) activity. These results provide new insights in experimental models of PD, indicating that agmatine represents a potential therapeutic tool for the management of cognitive and motor symptoms of PD, together with its neuroprotective effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2012.08.017DOI Listing
December 2012

In vivo manganese exposure modulates Erk, Akt and Darpp-32 in the striatum of developing rats, and impairs their motor function.

PLoS One 2012 13;7(3):e33057. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.

Manganese (Mn) is an essential metal for development and metabolism. However, exposures to high Mn levels may be toxic, especially to the central nervous system (CNS). Neurotoxicity is commonly due to occupational or environmental exposures leading to Mn accumulation in the basal ganglia and a Parkinsonian-like disorder. Younger individuals are more susceptible to Mn toxicity. Moreover, early exposure may represent a risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative diseases later in life. The present study was undertaken to investigate the developmental neurotoxicity in an in vivo model of immature rats exposed to Mn (5, 10 and 20 mg/kg; i.p.) from postnatal day 8 (PN8) to PN12. Neurochemical analysis was carried out on PN14. We focused on striatal alterations in intracellular signaling pathways, oxidative stress and cell death. Moreover, motor alterations as a result of early Mn exposure (PN8-12) were evaluated later in life at 3-, 4- and 5-weeks-of-age. Mn altered in a dose-dependent manner the activity of key cell signaling elements. Specifically, Mn increased the phosphorylation of DARPP-32-Thr-34, ERK1/2 and AKT. Additionally, Mn increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and caspase activity, and altered mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes I and II activities. Mn (10 and 20 mg/kg) also impaired motor coordination in the 3(rd), 4(th) and 5(th) week of life. Trolox™, an antioxidant, reversed several of the Mn altered parameters, including the increased ROS production and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. However, Trolox™ failed to reverse the Mn (20 mg/kg)-induced increase in AKT phosphorylation and motor deficits. Additionally, Mn (20 mg/kg) decreased the distance, speed and grooming frequency in an open field test; Trolox™ blocked only the decrease of grooming frequency. Taken together, these results establish that short-term exposure to Mn during a specific developmental window (PN8-12) induces metabolic and neurochemical alterations in the striatum that may modulate later-life behavioral changes. Furthermore, some of the molecular and behavioral events, which are perturbed by early Mn exposure are not directly related to the production of oxidative stress.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0033057PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3302787PMC
August 2012

Lithium and valproate prevent olfactory discrimination and short-term memory impairments in the intranasal 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) rat model of Parkinson's disease.

Behav Brain Res 2012 Apr 17;229(1):208-15. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Campus Trindade, Florianópolis, SC, 88049-900, Brazil.

We have recently demonstrated that rodents treated intranasally with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) display time-dependent impairments in olfactory, emotional, cognitive and motor functions associated with disruption of dopaminergic neurotransmission in different brain structures conceivably analogous to those observed during different stages of Parkinson's disease (PD). On the other hand, lithium (Li) and valproate (VPA) are two primary drugs used to treat bipolar mood disorder that have recently emerged as promising neuroprotective agents. The present data indicates that the pretreatment with Li (47.5 mg/kg) or VPA (200 mg/kg) by intraperitoneal route during 7 consecutive days was able to prevent olfactory discrimination and short-term memory impairments evaluated in the social recognition and step-down inhibitory avoidance tasks in rats infused with a single intranasal (i.n.) administration of MPTP (0.1 mg/nostril). Despite the absence of clear depressive-like responses following the current MPTP dose, Li and VPA treatment presented an antidepressant profile reducing the immobility time in the forced swimming test. Importantly, at this time no significant alterations on the locomotor activity of the animals were observed in the open field test. Moreover, Li and VPA prevented dopamine depletion in the olfactory bulb and striatum of MPTP-infused rats. These results provide new insights in experimental models of PD, indicating that Li and VPA may represent new therapeutic tools for the management of olfactory and cognitive symptoms associated to early preclinical phases of PD, together with their neuroprotective potential demonstrated in previous research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2012.01.016DOI Listing
April 2012

Intranasal administration of neurotoxicants in animals: support for the olfactory vector hypothesis of Parkinson's disease.

Neurotox Res 2012 Jan 15;21(1):90-116. Epub 2011 Oct 15.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, UFSC, Campus Trindade, Florianópolis, SC, 88049-900, Brazil.

The causes of Parkinson's disease (PD) are unknown, but there is evidence that exposure to environmental agents, including a number of viruses, toxins, agricultural chemicals, dietary nutrients, and metals, is associated with its development in some cases. The presence of smell loss and the pathological involvement of the olfactory pathways in the early stages of PD are in accord with the tenants of the olfactory vector hypothesis. This hypothesis postulates that some forms of PD may be caused or catalyzed by environmental agents that enter the brain via the olfactory mucosa. In this article, we provide an overview of evidence implicating xenobiotics agents in the etiology of PD and review animal, mostly rodent, studies in which toxicants have been introduced into the nose in an attempt to induce behavioral or neurochemical changes similar to those seen in PD. The available data suggest that this route of exposure results in highly variable outcomes, depending upon the involved xenobiotic, exposure history, and the age and species of the animals tested. Some compounds, such as rotenone, paraquat, and 6-hydroxydopamine, have limited capacity to reach and damage the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system via the intranasal route. Others, such as 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), readily enter the brain via this route in some species and influence the function of the nigrostriatal pathway. Intranasal infusion of MPTP in some rodents elicits a developmental sequence of behavioral and neurochemical changes that closely mimics that seen in PD. For this reason, such an MPTP rodent model appears to be an ecologically valid means for assessing novel palliative treatments for both the motor and non-motor symptoms of PD. More research is needed, however, on this and other ecologically valid models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12640-011-9281-8DOI Listing
January 2012

Short bouts of mild-intensity physical exercise improve spatial learning and memory in aging rats: involvement of hippocampal plasticity via AKT, CREB and BDNF signaling.

Mech Ageing Dev 2011 Nov-Dec;132(11-12):560-7. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 88049-900 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.

In the present study, we investigated whether mild-intensity physical exercise represents a successful strategy to enhance spatial learning and memory and hippocampal plasticity in aging rats, as previously described for long-term exposure to running wheel or treadmill exercise. Aging Wistar rats were submitted to short bouts (4-6 min) of exercise treadmill during five consecutive weeks. This mild-intensity exercise program increased muscle oxygen consumption by soleus and heart in aging rats and reversed age-related long-term spatial learning and memory impairments evaluated in the water maze and step-down inhibitory avoidance tasks. Remarkably, the observed cognitive-enhancing properties of short bouts of exercise were accompanied by the activation of serine/threonine protein kinase (AKT) and cAMP response element binding (CREB) pro-survival signaling that culminates in the marked increase on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression and BDNF protein levels on the hippocampus of aging rats. Altogether, these results indicate that short bouts of exercise represent a viable behavioral strategy to improve cognition and synaptic plasticity in aging rats which should be taken into account in further studies addressing the effects of physical exercise in aging subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2011.09.005DOI Listing
April 2012

Anxiety in Parkinson's disease: a critical review of experimental and clinical studies.

Neuropharmacology 2012 Jan 31;62(1):115-24. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), 88049-900 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting about 1% of the population older than 60 years. Classically, PD is considered as a movement disorder, and its diagnosis is based on the presence of a set of cardinal motor signs that are the consequence of a pronounced death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. There is now considerable evidence showing that the neurodegenerative processes leading to sporadic PD begin many years before the appearance of the characteristic motor symptoms, and that additional neuronal fields and neurotransmitter systems are also involved in PD, including olfactory structures, amygdala, caudal raphe nuclei, locus coeruleus, and hippocampus. Accordingly, adrenergic and serotonergic neurons are also lost, which seems to contribute to the anxiety in PD. Non-motor features of PD usually do not respond to dopaminergic medication and probably form the major current challenge in the clinical management of PD. Additionally, most studies performed with animal models of PD have investigated their ability to induce motor alterations associated with advanced phases of PD, and some studies begin to assess non-motor behavioral features of the disease. The present review attempts to examine results obtained from clinical and experimental studies to provide a comprehensive picture of the neurobiology and current and potential treatments for anxiety in PD. The data reviewed here indicate that, despite their high prevalence and impact on the quality of life, anxiety disorders are often under-diagnosed and under-treated in PD patients. Moreover, there are currently few clinical and pre-clinical studies underway to investigate new pharmacological agents for relieving these symptoms, and we hope that this article may inspire clinicians and researchers devote to the studies on anxiety in PD to change this scenario. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Anxiety and Depression'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.08.039DOI Listing
January 2012

The intranasal administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP): a new rodent model to test palliative and neuroprotective agents for Parkinson's disease.

Curr Pharm Des 2011 ;17(5):489-507

Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Campus Trindade, 88049-900, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting approximately 1% of the population older than 60 years. Classically, PD is considered to be a motor system disease and its diagnosis is based on the presence of a set of cardinal motor signs that are consequence of a pronounced death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). Nowadays there is considerable evidence showing that non-dopaminergic degeneration also occurs in other brain areas which seems to be responsible for the deficits in olfactory, emotional and memory functions that precede the classical motor symptoms in PD. Dopamine-replacement therapy has dominated the treatment of PD and although the currently approved antiparkinsonian agents offer effective relief of the motor deficits, they have not been found to alleviate the non-motor features as well as the underlying dopaminergic neuron degeneration and thus drug efficacy is gradually lost. Another major limitation of chronic dopaminergic therapy is the numerous adverse effects such as dyskinesias, psychosis and behavioral disturbance. The development of new therapies in PD depends on the existence of representative animal models to facilitate the evaluation of new pharmacological agents before they are applied in clinical trials. We have recently proposed a new experimental model of PD consisting of a single intranasal (i.n.) administration of the proneurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP, 1 mg/nostril) in rodents. Our findings demonstrated that rats and mice treated intranasally with MPTP suffer impairments in olfactory, cognitive, emotional and motor functions conceivably analogous to those observed during different stages of PD. Such infusion causes time-dependent loss of tyrosine hydroxylase in the olfactory bulb and SNc, resulting in significant dopamine depletion in different brain areas. We have also identified some pathogenic mechanisms possibly involved in the neurodegeneration induced by i.n. administration of MPTP including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, activation of apoptotic cell death mechanisms and glutamatergic excitotoxicity. Therefore, the present review attempts to provide a comprehensive picture of the i.n. MPTP model and to highlight recent findings from our group showing its potential as a valuable rodent model for testing novel drugs that may provide alternative or adjunctive treatment for both motor and non-motor symptoms relief with a reduced side-effect profile as well as the discovery of compounds to modify the course of PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/138161211795164095DOI Listing
August 2011

Mice with genetic deletion of the heparin-binding growth factor midkine exhibit early preclinical features of Parkinson's disease.

J Neural Transm (Vienna) 2011 Aug 8;118(8):1215-25. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, UFSC, Campus Trindade, Florianópolis, SC, 88049-900, Brazil.

There is considerable evidence showing that the neurodegenerative processes that lead to sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) begin many years before the appearance of the characteristic motor symptoms and that impairments in olfactory, cognitive and motor functions are associated with time-dependent disruption of dopaminergic neurotransmission in different brain areas. Midkine is a 13-kDa retinoic acid-induced heparin-binding growth factor involved in many biological processes in the central nervous system such as cell migration, neurogenesis and tissue repair. The abnormal midkine expression may be associated with neurochemical dysfunction in the dopaminergic system and cognitive impairments in rodents. Here, we employed adult midkine knockout mice (Mdk(-/-)) to further investigate the relevance of midkine in dopaminergic neurotransmission and in olfactory, cognitive and motor functions. Mdk(/-) mice displayed pronounced impairments in their olfactory discrimination ability and short-term social recognition memory with no gross motor alterations. Moreover, the genetic deletion of midkine decreased the expression of the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase in the substantia nigra reducing partially the levels of dopamine and its metabolites in the olfactory bulb and striatum of mice. These findings indicate that the genetic deletion of midkine causes a partial loss of dopaminergic neurons and depletion of dopamine, resulting in olfactory and memory deficits with no major motor impairments. Therefore, Mdk(-/-) mice may represent a promising animal model for the study of the early stages of PD and for testing new therapeutic strategies to restore sensorial and cognitive processes in PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00702-010-0568-3DOI Listing
August 2011

A new naphthoquinone isolated from the bulbs of Cipura paludosa and pharmacological activity of two main constituents.

Planta Med 2011 Jul 31;77(10):1035-43. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

Núcleo de Investigações Químico-Farmacêuticas (NIQFAR) and Programa de Mestrado em Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade do Vale do Itajaí (UNIVALI), Itajaí, SC, Brazil.

Cipura paludosa (Iridaceae) is a plant that is distributed in the north region of Brazil. Its bulbs are used in folk medicine to treat inflammation and pain. Four naphthalene derivatives have been isolated from the bulbs of this plant. Three of them have been identified as the known naphthalene derivatives, eleutherine, iso-eleutherine, and hongkonin. The structure of the fourth and new component was determined as 11-hydroxyeleutherine by extensive NMR study. In addition, the IN VIVO effect of the two major compounds, eleutherine and iso-eleutherine, was evaluated in carrageenan-induced hypernociception and inflammation in mice. Eleutherine and iso-eleutherine (1.04-34.92 µmol/kg), dosed intraperitoneally (i.p.) or orally (p.o.), decreased the carrageenan-induced paw oedema (i.p. - inhibitions of 36 ± 7 % and 58 ± 14 %, respectively; p.o. - inhibitions of 36 ± 7 % and 58 ± 14 %, respectively). Iso-eleutherine, but not eleutherine, significantly reduced (inhibitions of 39 ± 4 %) the plasma extravasation induced by intradermal (i.d.) injection of carrageenan. Likewise, eleutherine and iso-eleutherine (1.04-34.92 µmol/kg, i.p. or p.o.) were also effective in preventing the carrageenan-induced hypernociceptive response (i.p. - inhibition of 59 ± 4 % and 63 ± 1 %, respectively; p.o. - inhibitions of 36 ± 7 % and 58 ± 14 %, respectively). It was also suggested that the anti-inflammatory and anti-hypernociceptive effects of eleutherine or iso-eleutherine partly depend on the interference with the synthesis or activity of mast cell products, kinins, cytokine, chemokines, prostanoids, or sympathetic amines. Our findings show that two major compounds of C. paludosa contain pharmacologically active constituents that possess antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity, justifying, at least in part, its popular therapeutic use for treating conditions associated with pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0030-1250745DOI Listing
July 2011

Glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide receptor expression in the hippocampus and neocortex of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy patients and rats undergoing pilocarpine induced status epilepticus.

Peptides 2011 Apr 23;32(4):781-9. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

Programa de Pós-graduação em Neurociências, Departamento Ciências Fisiológicas, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.

The glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide receptor (GIPR) has been implicated with neuroplasticity and may be related to epilepsy. GIPR expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in the hippocampus (HIP) and neocortex (Cx) of rats undergoing pilocarpine induced status epilepticus (Pilo-SE), and in three young male patients with left mesial temporal lobe epilepsy related to hippocampal sclerosis (MTLE-HS) treated surgically. A combined GIPR immunohistochemistry and Fluoro-Jade staining was carried out to investigate the association between the GIPR expression and neuronal degeneration induced by Pilo-SE. GIPR was expressed in the cytoplasm of neurons from the HIP CA subfields, dentate gyrus (DG) and Cx of animals and human samples. The GIPR expression after the Pilo-SE induction increases significantly in the HIP after 1h and 5 days, but not after 12h or 50 days. In the Cx, the GIPR expression increases after 1h, 12h and 5 days, but not 50 days after the Pilo-SE. The expression of GIPR 12h after Pilo-SE was inversely proportional to the Fluoro-Jade staining intensity. In the human tissue, GIPR expression patterns were similar to those observed in chronic Pilo-SE animals. No Fluoro-Jade stained cells were observed in the human sample. GIPR is expressed in human HIP and Cx. There was a time and region dependent increase of GIPR expression in the HIP and Cx after Pilo-SE that was inversely associated to neuronal degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.peptides.2010.12.010DOI Listing
April 2011

Proanthocyanidin-rich fraction from Croton celtidifolius Baill confers neuroprotection in the intranasal 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine rat model of Parkinson's disease.

J Neural Transm (Vienna) 2010 Dec 8;117(12):1337-51. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC 88049-900, Brazil.

We have recently demonstrated that rodents treated intranasally with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) suffered impairments in olfactory, cognitive and motor functions associated with time-dependent disruption of dopaminergic neurotransmission in different brain structures conceivably analogous to those observed during different stages of Parkinson's disease (PD). On the other hand, the proanthocyanidin-rich fraction (PRF) obtained from the bark of Croton celtidifolius Baill (Euphorbiaceae), a tree frequently found in the Atlantic forest in south Brazil, has been described to have several neurobiological activities including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may be of interest in the treatment of PD. The present data indicated that the pretreatment with PRF (10 mg/kg, i.p.) during five consecutive days was able to prevent mitochondrial complex-I inhibition in the striatum and olfactory bulb, as well as a decrease of the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase expression in the olfactory bulb and substantia nigra of rats infused with a single intranasal administration of MPTP (1 mg/nostril). Moreover, pretreatment with PRF was found to attenuate the short-term social memory deficits, depressive-like behavior and reduction of locomotor activity observed at different periods after intranasal MPTP administration in rats. Altogether, the present findings provide strong evidence that PRF from C. celtidifolius may represent a promising therapeutic tool in PD, thus being able to prevent both motor and non-motor early symptoms of PD, together with its neuroprotective potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00702-010-0464-xDOI Listing
December 2010

Atorvastatin prevents hippocampal cell death, neuroinflammation and oxidative stress following amyloid-β(1-40) administration in mice: evidence for dissociation between cognitive deficits and neuronal damage.

Exp Neurol 2010 Dec 15;226(2):274-84. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Trindade, 88040-900 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.

The accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides in the brain of human and rodents has been associated with the activation of glial cells, neuroinflammatory and oxidative responses, and cognitive deficits. These oxidative changes leave glutamate transporters more vulnerable and may result in reduction of their functions, resulting in excitotoxic damage. Herein, we evaluated the effects of atorvastatin, a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, in molecular and behavioral alterations induced by a single intracerebroventricular injection of aggregated Aβ(1-40) (400 pmol) in mice. An increased glial fibrillar acidic protein (GFAP) expression and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) levels, as well as increased lipid peroxidation and impairment in the glutathione antioxidant system and cell degeneration was found in the hippocampus of Aβ(1-40)-treated mice. Aβ(1-40) also induced a marked decrease in glutamatergic transporters (GLAST and GLT-1) expression and in l-[³H] glutamate uptake in mice hippocampus, in addition to spatial learning and memory deficits. Atorvastatin (10 mg/kg/day v.o.) was administered after Aβ(1-40) injection and through seven consecutive days. Atorvastatin treatment was neuroprotective against cell degeneration induced by Aβ(1-40), reducing inflammatory and oxidative responses and increasing the expression of glutamatergic transporters. On the other hand, atorvastatin did not reverse the cognitive impairments and failed to alter the hippocampal glutamate uptake in Aβ(1-40)-treated mice. These results reinforce and extend the notion of the potential neuroprotective action of atorvastatin against the neuronal toxicity induced by Aβ(1-40). In addition, the present findings suggest that the spatial learning and memory deficits induced by Aβ peptides in rodents may not be entirely related to neuronal damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2010.08.030DOI Listing
December 2010

Central nervous system activity of the proanthocyanidin-rich fraction obtained from Croton celtidifolius in rats.

J Pharm Pharmacol 2010 Aug;62(8):1061-8

Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.

Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible neurobehavioural effects in rats of the proanthocyanidin-rich fraction (PRF) isolated from the bark of Croton celtidifolius (Euphorbiaceae).

Methods: Adult Wistar rats were treated with the PRF (0.3-30 mg/kg) and evaluated in different behavioural paradigms classically used for the screening of drugs with psychoactive effects.

Key Findings: Acute intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of PRF decreased spontaneous locomotor activity (open field arena and activity cage), enhanced the duration of ethyl ether-induced hypnosis, increased the latency to the first convulsion induced by pentylenetetrazole (60 mg/kg, i.p.) and attenuated apomorphine-induced (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) stereotyped behaviour. In lower doses, PRF (0.3 or 3 mg/kg, i.p.) increased the frequency of open arm entries in the elevated plus-maze test.

Conclusions: The present findings suggest that the systemic administration of PRF induces a wide spectrum of behavioural alterations in rats, consistent with the putative existence of hypnosedative, anticonvulsant and anxiolytic compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2042-7158.2010.01124.xDOI Listing
August 2010

Effects of traumatic brain injury of different severities on emotional, cognitive, and oxidative stress-related parameters in mice.

J Neurotrauma 2010 Oct;27(10):1883-93

Centro de Neurociências Aplicadas, Hospital Universitário, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.

Cognitive deficits and psychiatric disorders are significant sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Animal models have been widely employed in TBI research, but few studies have addressed the effects of experimental TBI of different severities on emotional and cognitive parameters. In this study, mice were subjected to weight-drop TBI to induce mild, intermediate, or severe TBI. After neurological assessment, the mice recovered for 10 days, and were then subjected to a battery of behavioral tests, which included open-field, elevated plus-maze, forced swimming, tail suspension, and step-down inhibitory avoidance tests. Oxidative stress-related parameters (nonprotein thiols [NPSH], glutathione peroxidase [GPx], glutathione reductase [GR], and thiobarbituric acid reactive species [TBARS]) were quantified in the cortex and hippocampus at 2 and 24 h and 14 days after TBI, and histopathological analysis was performed 15 days after TBI. Mice subjected to mild TBI showed increased anxiety and depressive-like behaviors, while intermediate and severe TBI induced robust memory deficits. The severe TBI group also displayed increased locomotor activity. Intermediate and severe TBI caused extensive macroscopic and microscopic brain damage, while mild TBI typically had no histological abnormalities. Moreover, a significant increase in TBARS in the ipsilateral cortex and GPx in the ipsilateral hippocampus was observed at 24 h and 14 days, respectively, following intermediate TBI. The current experimental TBI model induced emotional and cognitive changes comparable to sequelae seen in human TBI, and it might therefore represent a useful approach to the study of mechanisms of and new treatments for TBI and related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2010.1318DOI Listing
October 2010

Chronic caffeine treatment during prepubertal period confers long-term cognitive benefits in adult spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Behav Brain Res 2010 Dec 25;215(1):39-44. Epub 2010 Jun 25.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Campus Universitário Trindade, 88049-900 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.

The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is frequently used as an experimental model for the study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since it displays behavioural and neurochemical features of ADHD. Increasing evidence suggests that caffeine might represent an important therapeutic tool for the treatment of ADHD and we recently demonstrated that the acute administration of caffeine improves several learning and memory impairments in adult SHR rats. Here we further evaluated the potential of caffeine in ADHD therapy. Female Wistar (WIS) and SHR rats were treated with caffeine (3mg/kg, i.p.) or methylphenidate (MPD, 2mg/kg, i.p.) for 14 consecutive days during the prepubertal period (post-natal days 25-38) and they were tested later in adulthood in the object-recognition task. WIS rats discriminated all the objects used, whereas SHR were not able to discriminate pairs of objects with subtle structural differences. Chronic treatment with caffeine or MPD improved the object-recognition deficits in SHR rats. Surprisingly, these treatments impaired the short-term object-recognition ability in adult WIS rats. The present drug effects are independent of changes in locomotor activity, arterial blood pressure and body weight in both rat strains. These findings suggest that chronic caffeine treatment during prepubertal period confers long-term cognitive benefits in discriminative learning impairments of SHR, suggesting caffeine as an alternative therapeutic strategy for the early management of ADHD symptoms. Nevertheless, our results also emphasize the importance of a correct diagnosis and the caution in the use of stimulant drugs such as caffeine and MPD during neurodevelopment since they can disrupt discriminative learning in non-ADHD phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2010.06.022DOI Listing
December 2010

Cipura paludosa attenuates long-term behavioral deficits in rats exposed to methylmercury during early development.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2010 Sep 5;73(6):1150-8. Epub 2010 May 5.

Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde, Curso de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro (Asa Norte), 70910-900 DF, Brazil.

In the present study, we evaluated the effects of the ethanolic extract (EE) of Cipura paludosa on locomotor, and anxiety- and depression-like behaviors of adult rats exposed to MeHg during early development. Additionally, the antioxidant enzymes catalase (CAT) and selenium-glutathione peroxidase (Se-GPx) were measured in cortical, hippocampal, and cerebellar tissues. Pregnant Wistar rats were treated by gavage with a single dose of MeHg (8 mg/kg) on gestational day 15, the developmental stage critical for cortical neuron proliferation. Moreover, prenatal MeHg exposure inhibited CAT and Se-GPx in the cortex and cerebellum. Chronic treatment with the EE of C. paludosa attenuated these emotional and antioxidant deficits induced by prenatal MeHg toxic exposure. This study provides novel evidence that developmental exposure to MeHg can affect not only cognitive functions but also locomotor, and anxiety- and depression-like behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2010.04.008DOI Listing
September 2010

Altered emotionality leads to increased pain tolerance in amyloid beta (Abeta1-40) peptide-treated mice.

Behav Brain Res 2010 Sep 2;212(1):96-102. Epub 2010 Apr 2.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, UFSC, Florianópolis, SC 88049-900, Brazil.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the decline in cognitive functions, but it is also related to emotional disturbances. Since pain experience results from a complex integration of sensory, cognitive and affective processes, it is not surprising that AD patients display a distinct pattern of pain responsivity. We evaluated whether mice treated with amyloid beta (Abeta) peptide-thought to be critical in the pathogenesis of AD-exhibit altered pain responses and its relation to altered emotionality. Mice received a single i.c.v. injection of vehicle (PBS) or Abeta fragment (1-40) (400pmol/mice) and after 30 days, they were evaluated in tests of pain (hotplate, footshock-sensitivity), learning/memory (water-maze), emotionality (elevated plus-maze, forced swim) and locomotion (open-field). Abeta(1-40)-treated mice presented similar latencies to the control group in the hotplate test and similar nociceptive flinch threshold in the footshock-sensitivity test. However, they presented an increased jump threshold in footshock-sensitivity, suggesting increased pain tolerance. Altered emotionality was observed in the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and forced-swim tests (FST), suggesting anxiogenic-like and depressive-like states, respectively. A multifactorial principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that jump threshold of the footshock-sensitivity test falls within 'Emotionality' and 'Pain', showing moderate correlation with each one of the components of behavior. Acute treatment with the antidepressant desipramine (10mg/kg, i.p.) reduced the jump threshold (i.e. pain tolerance) and time of immobility in FST (i.e. depressive-like state). Flinch threshold (i.e. pain sensitivity), locomotion and anxiety were not altered with desipramine treatment. These results suggest that Abeta(1-40) peptide increases pain tolerance, but not pain sensitivity in mice, which seems to be linked to alterations in cognitive/emotional components of pain processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2010.03.052DOI Listing
September 2010

Effects of caffeine in Parkinson's disease: from neuroprotection to the management of motor and non-motor symptoms.

Authors:
Rui D S Prediger

J Alzheimers Dis 2010 ;20 Suppl 1:S205-20

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Hospital Universitário, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, UFSC, Florianópolis-SC, Brazil.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting approximately 1% of the population older than 60 years. Classically, PD is considered to be a motor system disease and its diagnosis is based on the presence of a set of cardinal motor signs (rigidity, bradykinesia, rest tremor) that are consequence of a pronounced death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Nowadays there is considerable evidence showing that non-dopaminergic degeneration also occurs in other brain areas which seems to be responsible for the deficits in olfactory, emotional and memory functions that precede the classical motor symptoms in PD. The present review attempts to examine results reported in epidemiological, clinical and animal studies to provide a comprehensive picture of the antiparkinsonian potential of caffeine. Convergent epidemiological and pre-clinical data suggest that caffeine may confer neuroprotection against the underlying dopaminergic neuron degeneration, and influence the onset and progression of PD. The available data also suggest that caffeine can improve the motor deficits of PD and that adenosine A2A receptor antagonists such as istradefylline reduces OFF time and dyskinesia associated with standard 'dopamine replacement' treatments. Finally, recent experimental findings have indicated the potential of caffeine in the management of non-motor symptoms of PD, which do not improve with the current dopaminergic drugs. Altogether, the studies reviewed provide strong evidence that caffeine may represent a promising therapeutic tool in PD, thus being the first compound to restore both motor and non-motor early symptoms of PD together with its neuroprotective potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-2010-091459DOI Listing
September 2010

The role of TNF-alpha signaling pathway on COX-2 upregulation and cognitive decline induced by beta-amyloid peptide.

Behav Brain Res 2010 May 1;209(1):165-73. Epub 2010 Feb 1.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Alzheimer's disease (AD), a chronic degenerative and inflammatory brain disorder characterized by neuronal dysfunction and loss, is linked to accumulation of beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptide. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are proteins that have key roles in immune cell activation, inflammation and cognitive function in the brain. Here, we evaluated the link between TNF-alpha and COX-2 on the acute responses elicited by Abeta. Behavioral and molecular analyses were performed in mice after an intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of Abeta(1-40). Genetic and/or pharmacological approaches were used to inhibit TNF-alpha and COX-2. I.c.v. Abeta(1-40) injection in mice activates TNF-alpha signaling pathway resulting in COX-2 upregulation, synaptic loss and cognitive decline. Pharmacological studies revealed that COX-2 is involved in the cognitive impairment mediated by TNF-alpha. However, COX-2 inhibition failed in reducing the synaptophysin loss induced by Abeta(1-40). The COX-2 upregulation induced by Abeta(1-40) was attributed to activation of different protein kinases and transcriptional factors that are greatly regulated by TNF-alpha. Together, these results indicate that Abeta(1-40) induces the activation of several TNF-alpha-dependent intracellular signaling pathways that play a key role in the control of COX-2 upregulation and activation, synaptic loss and cognitive decline in mice. Therefore, selective TNF-alpha inhibitors may be potentially interesting tools for AD drug development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2010.01.040DOI Listing
May 2010

Involvement of phosphoinositide 3-kinase gamma in the neuro-inflammatory response and cognitive impairments induced by beta-amyloid 1-40 peptide in mice.

Brain Behav Immun 2010 Mar 16;24(3):493-501. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly, and the neuro-pathological hallmarks of AD include neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), and deposition of beta-amyloid (Abeta) in extracellular plaques. In addition, chronic inflammation due to recruitment of activated glial cells to amyloid plaques are an invariant component in AD, and several studies have reported that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may provide a measure of protection against AD. In this report we have investigated whether phosphoinositide 3-kinase gamma (PI3Kgamma), which is important in inflammatory cell migration, plays a critical role in the neuro-inflammation, synaptic dysfunction, and cognitive deficits induced by intracerebroventricular injection of Abeta(1-40) in mice. We found that the selective inhibitor of PI3Kgamma, AS605240, was able to attenuate the Abeta(1-40)-induced accumulation of activated astrocytes and microglia in the hippocampus, and decrease immuno-staining for p-Akt and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Interestingly, Abeta(1-40) activated macrophages treated with AS605240 or another PI3Kgamma inhibitor, AS252424, displayed impaired chemotaxis in vitro, but their expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) was unaffected. Finally, AS605240 prevented Abeta(1-40)-induced cognitive deficits and synaptic dysfunction, but failed to modify scopolamine-induced amnesia. Our data suggests that inhibition of PI3Kgamma may represent a novel therapeutic target for treating AD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2009.12.003DOI Listing
March 2010

Risk is in the air: an intranasal MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) rat model of Parkinson's disease.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2009 Jul;1170:629-36

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, UFSC, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.

The presence of smell loss and the early pathological involvement of the olfactory pathways in the early stages of some neurodegenerative disorders are in accord with the tenants of the olfactory vector hypothesis. This hypothesis postulates that some such diseases may be caused or catalyzed by agents that enter the brain via the olfactory mucosa. In this study, rats infused intranasally (i.n.) with a low concentration of the proneurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) subsequently suffered olfactory, cognitive, and motor function impairments conceivably analogous to those observed during different stages of the development of Parkinson's disease (PD). Such infusion decreased the expression of the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase in the olfactory bulb and substantia nigra by means of apoptotic mechanisms, reducing dopamine levels in different brain structures, such as the olfactory bulb, striatum, and prefrontal cortex. These findings reinforce the suggestion that the olfactory system may be a particularly sensitive route for the penetration of xenobiotic agents into the central nervous system and that the i.n. MPTP rat model may provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of PD pathogenesis, potentially leading to the development of new therapeutic strategies for this devastating disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.03885.xDOI Listing
July 2009

Single intranasal administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine in C57BL/6 mice models early preclinical phase of Parkinson's disease.

Neurotox Res 2010 Feb 21;17(2):114-29. Epub 2009 Jul 21.

Departamento de Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, UFSC, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.

Many studies have shown that deficits in olfactory and cognitive functions precede the classical motor symptoms seen in Parkinson's disease (PD) and that olfactory testing may contribute to the early diagnosis of this disorder. Although the primary cause of PD is still unknown, epidemiological studies have revealed that its incidence is increased in consequence of exposure to certain environmental toxins. In this study, most of the impairments presented by C57BL/6 mice infused with a single intranasal (i.n.) administration of the proneurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) (1 mg/nostril) were similar to those observed during the early phase of PD, when a moderate loss of nigral dopamine neurons results in olfactory and memory deficits with no major motor impairments. Such infusion decreased the levels of the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase in the olfactory bulb, striatum, and substantia nigra by means of apoptotic mechanisms, reducing dopamine concentration in different brain structures such as olfactory bulb, striatum, and prefrontal cortex, but not in the hippocampus. These findings reinforce the notion that the olfactory system represents a particularly sensitive route for the transport of neurotoxins into the central nervous system that may be related to the etiology of PD. These results also provide new insights in experimental models of PD, indicating that the i.n. administration of MPTP represents a valuable mouse model for the study of the early stages of PD and for testing new therapeutic strategies to restore sensorial and cognitive processes in PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12640-009-9087-0DOI Listing
February 2010