Publications by authors named "Shawn Narain Whitehead"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

White matter inflammation and cognitive function in a co-morbid metabolic syndrome and prodromal Alzheimer's disease rat model.

J Neuroinflammation 2020 Jan 21;17(1):29. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, London, ON, N6A 5C1, Canada.

Background: Metabolic syndrome, the development of which is associated with high-caloric Western diet (HCD) intake, represent a risk factor for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia including Alzheimer's disease (AD) later in life. This study aimed to investigate the effect of diet-induced metabolic disturbances on white matter neuroinflammation and cognitive function in a transgenic (TG) Fischer 344 rat carrying a human β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene with Swedish and Indiana mutations (APP21 TG), a model of pre-AD and MCI.

Methods: TG and wildtype (WT) rats received either a HCD with 40% kJ from fat supplemented with 20% corn syrup drink or a standard diet for 12 weeks. Body weight, caloric intake, and blood pressure were measured repeatedly. End-point changes in glucose and lipid metabolism were also assessed. Open field task was used for assessment of activity; Morris water maze was used to assess spatial learning and memory. Cerebral white matter microglia and astrocytes, hippocampal neurons, and neuronal synapses were examined using immunohistochemistry.

Results: Rats maintained on the HCD developed significant obesity, visceral adiposity, dyslipidemia, and hyperinsulinemia, but did not become hypertensive. Impaired glucose tolerance was observed only in WT rats on the HCD. Total microglia number, activated OX-6+ microglia, as well as GFAP+ astrocytes located predominantly in the white matter were greater in the APP21 TG rat model in comparison to WT rats. HCD-driven metabolic perturbations further exacerbated white matter microgliosis and microglia cell activation in the APP21 TG rats and led to detectable changes in spatial reference memory in the comorbid prodromal AD and metabolic syndrome group compared to WT control rats. Neuronal density in the CA1 subregion of the hippocampus was not different between the experimental groups. Synaptic density in the CA1 and CA3 hippocampal subregions was lower in the TG rats compared to WT rats; however, there was no additional effect of the co-morbidity on this measure.

Conclusions: These results suggest that white matter neuroinflammation might be one of the possible processes of early interaction of metabolic syndrome with MCI and pre-AD and could be one of the early brain pathologies contributing to cognitive deficits observed in mild cognitive impairment and dementia, including AD cases.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12974-020-1698-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6975033PMC
January 2020

APP21 transgenic rats develop age-dependent cognitive impairment and microglia accumulation within white matter tracts.

J Neuroinflammation 2018 Aug 28;15(1):241. Epub 2018 Aug 28.

Vulnerable Brain Laboratory, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond St, London, Ontario, N6A 5C1, Canada.

Background: Most of the animal models commonly used for preclinical research into Alzheimer's disease (AD) largely fail to address the pathophysiology, including the impact of known risk factors, of the widely diagnosed sporadic form of the disease. Here, we use a transgenic rat (APP21) that does not develop AD-like pathology spontaneously with age, but does develop pathology following vascular stress. To further the potential of this novel rat model as a much-needed pre-clinical animal model of sporadic AD, we characterize APP21 transgenic rats behaviorally and histologically up to 19 months of age.

Methods: The open field test was used as a measure of activity; and the Morris water maze was used to assess learning, memory, and strategy shift. Neuronal loss and microglia activation were also assessed throughout the brain.

Results: APP21 transgenic rats showed deficits in working memory from an early age, yet memory recall performance after 24 and 72 h was equal to that of wildtype rats and did not deteriorate with age. A deficit in strategy shift was observed at 19 months of age in APP21 transgenic rats compared to Fischer wildtype rats. Histologically, APP21 transgenic rats demonstrated accelerated white matter inflammation compared to wildtype rats, but interestingly no differences in neuron loss were observed.

Conclusions: The combined presence of white matter pathology and executive function deficits mirrored what is often found in patients with mild cognitive impairment or early dementia, and suggests that this rat model will be useful for translationally meaningful studies into the development and prevention of sporadic AD. The presence of widespread white matter inflammation as the only observed pathological correlate for cognitive deficits raises new questions as to the role of neuroinflammation in cognitive decline.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12974-018-1273-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6114740PMC
August 2018

Age-dependent and regional heterogeneity in the long-chain base of A-series gangliosides observed in the rat brain using MALDI Imaging.

Sci Rep 2017 11 23;7(1):16135. Epub 2017 Nov 23.

Vulnerable Brain Laboratory, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5C1, Canada.

Alterations in the long chain base of the sphingosine moiety of gangliosides have been shown to play a role in neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration. Indeed, the accumulation of d20:1 sphingosine has been referred to as a metabolic marker of aging in the brain, however, this remains to be shown in simple gangliosides GM2 and GM3. In this study, Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization Imaging Mass Spectrometry (MALDI IMS) was used to examine the neuroanatomical distribution of A-series gangliosides with either 18 or 20 carbon sphingosine chains (d18:1 or d20:1) in Fisher 344 rats across the lifespan. The ratio of d20:1/d18:1 species was determined across 11 regions of interest in the brain. Interestingly, a decrease in the d20:1/d18:1 ratio for GM2 and GM3 was observed during early development with the exception of the peri-ventricular corpus callosum, where an age-dependent increase was observed for ganglioside GM3. An age-dependent increase in d20:1 species was confirmed for complex gangliosides GM1 and GD1 with the most significant increase during early development and a high degree of anatomical heterogeneity during aging. The unique neuroanatomically-specific responses of d20:1 ganglioside abundance may lead to a better understanding of regional vulnerability to damage in the aging brain.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-16389-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5701003PMC
November 2017

Increased Expression of GM1 Detected by Electrospray Mass Spectrometry in Rat Primary Embryonic Cortical Neurons Exposed to Glutamate Toxicity.

Anal Chem 2016 08 18;88(15):7844-52. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario , London, Ontario N6A 5A5, Canada.

Neurons within different brain regions have varying levels of vulnerability to external stress and respond differently to injury. A potential reason to explain this may lie within a key lipid class of the cell's plasma membrane called gangliosides. These glycosphingolipid species have been shown to play various roles in the maintenance of neuronal viability. The purpose of this study is to use electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and immunohistochemistry to evaluate the temporal expression profiles of gangliosides during the course of neurodegeneration in rat primary cortical neurons exposed to glutamate toxicity. Primary embryonic (E18) rat cortical neurons were cultured to DIV (days in vitro) 14. Glutamate toxicity was induced for 1, 3, 6, and 24 h to injure and kill neurons. Immunofluorescence was used to stain for GM1 and GM3 species, and ESI-MS was used to quantify the ganglioside species expressed within these injured neurons. ESI-MS data revealed that GM1, GM2, and GM3 were up-regulated in neurons exposed to glutamate. Interestingly, using immunofluorescence, we demonstrated that the GM1 increase following glutamate exposure occurred in viable neurons, possibly indicating a potential intrinsic neuroprotective response. To test this potential neuroprotective property, neurons were pretreated with GM1 for 24 h prior to glutamate exposure. Pretreatment with GM1 conferred significant neuroprotection against glutamate-induced cell death. Overall, work from this study validates the use of ESI-MS for cell-derived gangliosides and supports the further development of lipid based strategies to protect against neuron cell death.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.6b01940DOI Listing
August 2016

Age-Dependent Effect of β-Amyloid Toxicity on Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons and Inflammation in the Rat Brain.

Brain Pathol 2015 Sep 29;25(5):531-42. Epub 2014 Oct 29.

Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Western University, London, ON, Canada.

Beta-amyloid (Aβ) accumulation, neuroinflammation, basal forebrain cholinergic loss and hippocampal degeneration are well-described pathologies associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the role that age plays in the susceptibility of the brain to these AD pathologies and the relationships between them is still not well understood. This study investigated the age-related response to intracerebroventricular injection of Aβ(25-35) in 3-, 6- and 9-month-old rats. Aβ toxicity resulted in an age-related increase in cholinergic loss and microglial activation in the basal forebrain along with neuronal loss in the hippocampal CA3 subfield. Performance in the Morris water maze revealed impairments in long-term reference memory in 6-month-old Aβ administered animals, which was not seen in 3-month-old animals. These results support a role of Aβ administration in inducing age-dependent cholinergic loss and neuroinflammation, and additionally provide evidence for a more age-appropriate model of adult-onset Aβ toxicity demonstrating pathological changes that reflect the early stages of AD pathogenesis including neuroinflammation, cholinergic loss and beginning stages of memory impairment.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bpa.12199DOI Listing
September 2015