Publications by authors named "Sahithi Attaluri"

12 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

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

Chronobiology of limbic seizures: Potential mechanisms and prospects of chronotherapy for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2019 03 7;98:122-134. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

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

Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (mTLE) characterized by progressive development of complex partial seizures originating from the hippocampus is the most prevalent and refractory type of epilepsy. One of the remarkable features of mTLE is the rhythmic pattern of occurrence of spontaneous seizures, implying a dependence on the endogenous clock system for seizure threshold. Conversely, circadian rhythms are affected by epilepsy too. Comprehending how the circadian system and seizures interact with each other is essential for understanding the pathophysiology of epilepsy as well as for developing innovative therapies that are efficacious for better seizure control. In this review, we confer how the temporal dysregulation of the circadian clock in the hippocampus combined with multiple uncoupled oscillators could lead to periodic seizure occurrences and comorbidities. Unraveling these associations with additional research would help in developing chronotherapy for mTLE, based on the chronobiology of spontaneous seizures. Notably, differential dosing of antiepileptic drugs over the circadian period and/or strategies that resynchronize biological rhythms may substantially improve the management of seizures in mTLE patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.01.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023906PMC
March 2019

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

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
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