Publications by authors named "Ute Schaefer"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Rat Model of Widespread Cerebral Cortical Demyelination Induced by an Intracerebral Injection of Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines.

J Vis Exp 2021 Sep 21(175). Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Department of Neurology, Medical University Graz;

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system (CNS) and progressively leads to physical disability and death, caused by white matter lesions in the spinal cord and cerebellum, as well as by demyelination in grey matter. Whilst conventional models of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis are suitable for the investigation of the cell-mediated inflammation in the spinal and cerebellar white matter, they fail to address grey matter pathologies. Here, we present the experimental protocol for a novel rat model of cortical demyelination allowing the investigation of the pathological and molecular mechanisms leading to cortical lesions. The demyelination is induced by an immunization with low-dose myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) in an incomplete Freund's adjuvant followed by a catheter-mediated intracerebral delivery of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The catheter, moreover, enables multiple rounds of demyelination without causing injection-induced trauma, as well as the intracerebral delivery of potential therapeutic drugs undergoing a preclinical investigation. The method is also ethically favorable as animal pain and distress or disability are controlled and relatively minimal. The expected timeframe for the implementation of the entire protocol is around 8 - 10 weeks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/57879DOI Listing
September 2021

MicroRNA-451a overexpression induces accelerated neuronal differentiation of Ntera2/D1 cells and ablation affects neurogenesis in microRNA-451a-/- mice.

PLoS One 2018 21;13(11):e0207575. Epub 2018 Nov 21.

Research Unit for Experimental Neurotraumatology, Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University, Graz, Austria.

MiR-451a is best known for its role in erythropoiesis and for its tumour suppressor features. Here we show a role for miR-451a in neuronal differentiation through analysis of endogenous and ectopically expressed or silenced miR-451a in Ntera2/D1 cells during neuronal differentiation. Furthermore, we compared neuronal differentiation in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus of miR-451a-/- and wild type mice. MiR-451a overexpression in lentiviral transduced Ntera2/D1 cells was associated with a significant shifting of mRNA expression of the developmental markers Nestin, βIII Tubulin, NF200, DCX and MAP2 to earlier developmental time points, compared to control vector transduced cells. In line with this, accelerated neuronal network formation in AB.G.miR-451a transduced cells, as well as an increase in neurite outgrowth both in number and length was observed. MiR-451a targets genes MIF, AKT1, CAB39, YWHAZ, RAB14, TSC1, OSR1, POU3F2, TNS4, PSMB8, CXCL16, CDKN2D and IL6R were, moreover, either constantly downregulated or exhibited shifted expression profiles in AB.G.miR-451a transduced cells. Lentiviral knockdown of endogenous miR-451a expression in Ntera2/D1 cells resulted in decelerated differentiation. Endogenous miR-451a expression was upregulated during development in the hippocampus of wildtype mice. In situ hybridization revealed intensively stained single cells in the subgranular zone and the hilus of the dentate gyrus of wild type mice, while genetic ablation of miR-451a was observed to promote an imbalance between proliferation and neuronal differentiation in neurogenic brain regions, suggested by Ki67 and DCX staining. Taken together, these results provide strong support for a role of miR-451a in neuronal maturation processes in vitro and in vivo.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0207575PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6248975PMC
April 2019

Thiamine preserves mitochondrial function in a rat model of traumatic brain injury, preventing inactivation of the 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex.

Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg 2018 09 16;1859(9):925-931. Epub 2018 May 16.

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology, Vienna, Austria. Electronic address:

Background And Purpose: Based on the fact that traumatic brain injury is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction we aimed at localization of mitochondrial defect and attempted to correct it by thiamine.

Experimental Approach: Interventional controlled experimental animal study was used. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to lateral fluid percussion traumatic brain injury. Thiamine was administered 1 h prior to trauma; cortex was extracted for analysis 4 h and 3 d after trauma.

Key Results: Increased expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNF-R1) by 4 h was accompanied by a decrease in mitochondrial respiration with glutamate but neither with pyruvate nor succinate. Assays of TCA cycle flux-limiting 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (OGDHC) and functionally linked enzymes (glutamate dehydrogenase, glutamine synthetase, pyruvate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme) indicated that only OGDHC activity was decreased. Application of the OGDHC coenzyme precursor thiamine rescued the activity of OGDHC and restored mitochondrial respiration. These effects were not mediated by changes in the expression of the OGDHC sub-units (E1k and E3), suggesting post-translational mechanism of thiamine effects. By the third day after TBI, thiamine treatment also decreased expression of TNF-R1. Specific markers of unfolded protein response did not change in response to thiamine.

Conclusion And Implications: Our data point to OGDHC as a major site of damage in mitochondria upon traumatic brain injury, which is associated with neuroinflammation and can be corrected by thiamine. Further studies are required to evaluate the pathological impact of these findings in clinical settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbabio.2018.05.005DOI Listing
September 2018

Effects of Corroded and Non-Corroded Biodegradable Mg and Mg Alloys on Viability, Morphology and Differentiation of MC3T3-E1 Cells Elicited by Direct Cell/Material Interaction.

PLoS One 2016 26;11(7):e0159879. Epub 2016 Jul 26.

Research Unit Experimental Neurotraumatology, Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University Graz, 8036 Graz, Austria.

This study investigated the effect of biodegradable Mg and Mg alloys on selected properties of MC3T3-E1 cells elicited by direct cell/material interaction. The chemical composition and morphology of the surface of Mg and Mg based alloys (Mg2Ag and Mg10Gd) were analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and EDX, following corrosion in cell culture medium for 1, 2, 3 and 8 days. The most pronounced difference in surface morphology, namely crystal formation, was observed when Pure Mg and Mg2Ag were immersed in cell medium for 8 days, and was associated with an increase in atomic % of oxygen and a decrease of surface calcium and phosphorous. Crystal formation on the surface of Mg10Gd was, in contrast, negligible at all time points. Time-dependent changes in oxygen, calcium and phosphorous surface content were furthermore not observed for Mg10Gd. MC3T3-E1 cell viability was reduced by culture on the surfaces of corroded Mg, Mg2Ag and Mg10Gd in a corrosion time-independent manner. Cells did not survive when cultured on 3 day pre-corroded Pure Mg and Mg2Ag, indicating crystal formation to be particular detrimental in this regard. Cell viability was not affected when cells were cultured on non-corroded Mg and Mg alloys for up to 12 days. These results suggest that corrosion associated changes in surface morphology and chemical composition significantly hamper cell viability and, thus, that non-corroded surfaces are more conducive to cell survival. An analysis of the differentiation potential of MC3T3-E1 cells cultured on non-corroded samples based on measurement of Collagen I and Runx2 expression, revealed a down-regulation of these markers within the first 6 days following cell seeding on all samples, despite persistent survival and proliferation. Cells cultured on Mg10Gd, however, exhibited a pronounced upregulation of collagen I and Runx2 between days 8 and 12, indicating an enhancement of osteointegration by this alloy that could be valuable for in vivo orthopedic applications.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0159879PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4961286PMC
July 2017

Multimodal MR imaging of acute and subacute experimental traumatic brain injury: Time course and correlation with cerebral energy metabolites.

Acta Radiol Short Rep 2015 Jan 6;4(1):2047981614555142. Epub 2015 Jan 6.

In-vivo-NMR Laboratory, Max-Planck-Institute for Neurological Research, Cologne, Germany ; Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands.

Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of death and permanent disability world-wide. The predominant cause of death after TBI is brain edema which can be quantified by non-invasive diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI).

Purpose: To provide a better understanding of the early onset, time course, spatial development, and type of brain edema after TBI and to correlate MRI data and the cerebral energy state reflected by the metabolite adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Material And Methods: The spontaneous development of lateral fluid percussion-induced TBI was investigated in the acute (6 h), subacute (48 h), and chronic (7 days) phase in rats by MRI of quantitative T2 and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) mapping as well as perfusion was combined with ATP-specific bioluminescence imaging and histology.

Results: An induced TBI led to moderate to mild brain damages, reflected by transient, pronounced development of vasogenic edema and perfusion reduction. Heterogeneous ADC patterns indicated a parallel, but mixed expression of vasogenic and cytotoxic edema. Cortical ATP levels were reduced in the acute and subacute phase by 13% and 27%, respectively, but were completely normalized at 7 days after injury.

Conclusion: The partial ATP reduction was interpreted to be partially caused by a loss of neurons in parallel with transient dilution of the regional ATP concentration by pronounced vasogenic edema. The normalization of energy metabolism after 7 days was likely due to infiltrating glia and not to recovery. The MRI combined with metabolite measurement further improves the understanding and evaluation of brain damages after TBI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047981614555142DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4299368PMC
January 2015

Repetitive long-term hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) administered after experimental traumatic brain injury in rats induces significant remyelination and a recovery of sensorimotor function.

PLoS One 2014 21;9(5):e97750. Epub 2014 May 21.

Research Unit for Experimental Neurotraumatology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Cells in the central nervous system rely almost exclusively on aerobic metabolism. Oxygen deprivation, such as injury-associated ischemia, results in detrimental apoptotic and necrotic cell loss. There is evidence that repetitive hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) improves outcomes in traumatic brain-injured patients. However, there are no experimental studies investigating the mechanism of repetitive long-term HBOT treatment-associated protective effects. We have therefore analysed the effect of long-term repetitive HBOT treatment on brain trauma-associated cerebral modulations using the lateral fluid percussion model for rats. Trauma-associated neurological impairment regressed significantly in the group of HBO-treated animals within three weeks post trauma. Evaluation of somatosensory-evoked potentials indicated a possible remyelination of neurons in the injured hemisphere following HBOT. This presumption was confirmed by a pronounced increase in myelin basic protein isoforms, PLP expression as well as an increase in myelin following three weeks of repetitive HBO treatment. Our results indicate that protective long-term HBOT effects following brain injury is mediated by a pronounced remyelination in the ipsilateral injured cortex as substantiated by the associated recovery of sensorimotor function.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0097750PLOS
January 2015

Pharyngeal selective brain cooling is associated with reduced CNS cortical lesion after experimental traumatic brain injury in rats.

J Neurotrauma 2010 Dec;27(12):2245-54

Institute for Research in Operative Medicine (IFOM), University of Witten-Herdecke, Cologne, Germany.

Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is still being explored as a therapeutic option after traumatic brain injury (TBI) but clinical data has not supported its efficacy. Experimental approaches were promising, but clinical data did not support its efficacy in the treatment of TBI. A novel approach of pharyngeal selective brain cooling (pSBC), recently introduced by our group, has been accompanied by superior neurofunctional, sensorimotor, and cognitive outcomes. This work is now extended by data on histomorphological and physical outcomes after pSBC in a model of experimental TBI. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to lateral fluid-percussion (LFP) brain injury, and randomized to the following experimental groups: (1) TBI with pSBC, (2) TBI without pSBC, and (3) sham animals. On day post-injury (DPI) 14, the animals were sacrificed and their brains were harvested for immunohistochemistry using the following antibodies: (1) glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), (2) neurofilament (NF), and (3) synaptophysin (SY). In pSBC animals brain temperature was selectively lowered to 33 ± 0.5°C within 15 min post-injury, and maintained for 180 min after induction, while keeping rectal temperatures at physiological levels. Animals that had undergone pSBC showed a significantly faster recovery of body weight starting on DPI 3, and had gained substantially more weight than TBI-only animals on DPI 14 (p < 0.001), indicating superior physical recovery. Areas of cortical damage were significantly smaller in pSBC animals compared to TBI-only animals (p < 0.01). pSBC was associated with preservation of cortical tissue ipsilateral to the lesion, and superior physical recovery after experimental TBI. These results complement earlier reports in which pSBC was associated with superior neurofunctional and cognitive outcomes using the same experimental model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2010.1505DOI Listing
December 2010

Pharyngeal selective brain cooling improves neurofunctional and neurocognitive outcome after fluid percussion brain injury in rats.

J Neurotrauma 2009 Feb;26(2):235-42

Institute for Research in Operative Medicine (IFOM), University of Witten-Herdecke, Cologne, Germany.

Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) after cardiac arrest reduces mortality and improves neurological outcome. Experimental TH after traumatic brain injury (TBI) indicated similar effects, but benefits were not reproducible in large clinical trials. Therefore, a novel approach of pharyngeal selective brain cooling (pSBC) was tested in respect to neurological outcome in a model of experimental TBI. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to lateral fluid percussion (LFP) brain injury and received pSBC for 3h post-injury. All animals were examined for neuromotor and sensorimotor dysfunction and coordination: before and after injury, and during recovery on day post-injury (DPI) 7 and 14 using (i) the standardized Composite Neuroscore (NS) test and (ii) the Rotarod test. Recovery of cognitive function was assessed on days 10-14 using (iii) the Barnes Circular Maze (BCM). In pSBC-animals, brain temperature was selectively lowered to 33 +/- 0.5 degrees C at 15 min post-injury, keeping rectal temperature at a physiologic level. All animals subjected to TBI via LFP showed an identical pattern of severe neurofunctional impairment at 24 h after injury. In the time course of the experiment, pSBC-animals showed superior neurofunctional recovery on DPI 7 (p = 0.03) and 14 (p = 0.002). Similarly, distance, time, and maximum speed on the Rota-Rod were significantly increased in pSBC-animals on DPI 7 (p < 0.01) and 14 (p < 0.01), as well as latency, distance, and mean number of errors in the BCM on DPI 14 (p < 0.01). The novel approach of pSBC was associated with improved neuromotor, sensormotor, and neurocognitive outcome after experimental TBI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2008.0741DOI Listing
February 2009

"The good into the pot, the bad into the crop!"--a new technology to free stem cells from feeder cells.

PLoS One 2008 21;3(11):e3788. Epub 2008 Nov 21.

Institute for Research in Operative Medicine (IFOM), Faculty of Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Witten, Germany.

A variety of embryonic and adult stem cell lines require an initial co-culturing with feeder cells for non-differentiated growth, self renewal and maintenance of pluripotency. However for many downstream ES cell applications the feeder cells have to be considered contaminations that might interfere not just with the analysis of experimental data but also with clinical application and tissue engineering approaches. Here we introduce a novel technique that allows for the selection of pure feeder-freed stem cells, following stem cell proliferation on feeder cell layers. Complete and reproducible separation of feeder and embryonic stem cells was accomplished by adaptation of an automated cell selection system that resulted in the aspiration of distinct cell colonies or fraction of colonies according to predefined physical parameters. Analyzing neuronal differentiation we demonstrated feeder-freed stem cells to exhibit differentiation potentials comparable to embryonic stem cells differentiated under standard conditions. However, embryoid body growth as well as differentiation of stem cells into cardiomyocytes was significantly enhanced in feeder-freed cells, indicating a feeder cell dependent modulation of lineage differentiation during early embryoid body development. These findings underline the necessity to separate stem and feeder cells before the initiation of in vitro differentiation. The complete separation of stem and feeder cells by this new technology results in pure stem cell populations for translational approaches. Furthermore, a more detailed analysis of the effect of feeder cells on stem cell differentiation is now possible, that might facilitate the identification and development of new optimized human or genetically modified feeder cell lines.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0003788PLOS
June 2009

Stem cell-based cellular replacement strategies following traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol 2008 ;17(2):119-31

Institute for Research in Operative Medicine (IFOM), University of Witten/Herdecke, Cologne-Merheim Medical Center (CMMC), Cologne, Germany.

Given the limited capacity of the central nervous system for self-repair, the use of stem cells holds an enormous potential in cell replacement therapy following traumatic brain injury and has thus received a great deal of scientific and public interest in recent years. During the past decade, several stem/progenitor cell types and lines from various sources such as embryonic rodent and human stem cells, immortalized progenitor cells, bone marrow derived cells or even post-mitotic neurons derived from human teratocarcinoma cells have been assessed for their potential to improve neurofunctional and behavioural outcome after transplantation into the experimentally injured brain. A number of studies indicate that cells engrafted into the injured brain can survive and, at least in part, may reverse behavioural dysfunction and histomorphological damage. Although these results emphasized their potential therapeutic role in traumatic brain injury, the detailed mechansim on how stem cells generate their mode of action, e.g. via integration into surviving neuronal circuits, local trophic support, or modification of the local mircoenvironment to enhance endogenous regeneration and potection remain yet to be identified. A review on current pre-clinical knowledge with respect to cellular replacement into the experimentally injured brain is presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13645700801970087DOI Listing
June 2008

Neural differentiation of embryonic stem cells is induced by signalling from non-neural niche cells.

Cell Physiol Biochem 2006 ;18(4-5):275-86

Institute of Developmental Genetics, GSF - National Research Centre for Environment and Health, Munich/Neuherberg, Germany.

Background/aims: Embryonic stem cell (ESC) transplantation offers new therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative diseases and injury. However, the mechanisms underlying integration and differentiation of engrafted ESCs are poorly understood. This study elucidates the influence of exogenous signals on ESC differentiation using in vitro modelling of non-stem/stem cell interactions.

Methods: Murine ESCs were co-cultured with endothelial cells and astrocytes or conditioned medium obtained from endothelial or astrocyte cultures. After 7 days of co-culture isolated RNA was analysed using RT-PCR for the expression of pluripotency marker oct-4, neural progenitor marker nestin, and neurofilament (NFL), an early marker of neuronal lineage commitment. The presence of the glial cell surface marker A2B5 was determined in ESCs by flow cytometry.

Results: Neuronal differentiation was inhibited in ESCs when grown in close vicinity to cerebral endothelial or glial cells. Under these conditions, ESC differentiation was predominantly directed towards a glial fate. However, treatment of ESCs with endothelial cell- or astrocyte-conditioned medium promoted neuronal as well as glial differentiation.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that ESC fate is determined by endothelial and glial cells that comprise the environmental niche of these stem cells in vivo. The direction of differentiation processes appears to be dependent on humoral factors secreted by adjacent cell lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000097674DOI Listing
February 2007

The capacity of alpha2-macroglobulin to inhibit an exogenous protease is significantly increased in critically ill and septic patients.

Shock 2004 Jul;22(1):16-22

Department of Surgery, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

The image of alpha2-macroglobulin is based on a paradigm evolved in the 1970s. During this decade alpha2-macroglobulin was shown to irreversibly entrap and thereby inhibit a maximum of two proteases. Additional binding of nonproteolytic proteins, i.e., inflammatory mediators and growth factors, is dependent on the conformational status of alpha2-macroglobulin. It was our aim to clarify whether the interaction of nonproteolytic proteins with alpha2-macroglobulin during inflammatory conditions might also modulate the capacity of alpha2-macroglobulin to inhibit proteases. To explore this possibility, bromelain, an exogenous protease, was titrated against plasma of critically ill or septic patients, whose pathophysiological conditions are defined by a massive release of inflammatory mediators. The stoichiometry of bromelain inhibition by alpha2-macroglobulin was quantified by caseolytic activity assays. The maximal alpha2-macroglobulin/bromelain inhibition ratios were significantly increased (1:6 and 1:8 in the two patient groups, P < 0.01) as compared with control groups (1:2 with purified alpha2-macroglobulin and 1:4 in healthy volunteers). The increase of alpha2-macroglobulin inhibition capacity in patients was paralleled by the appearance of a large signal on Western blots, suggesting the formation of additional complexes. Our results demonstrate alpha2-macroglobulin to have more flexibility than had been thought, and it may thereby contribute to a shift in a 30-year-old paradigm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.shk.0000130586.63862.27DOI Listing
July 2004
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