Our staff editors continue to share exciting, engaging, and thought-provoking reading material in the recommended articles series.
This week, we would like to share several latest articles on Rat Model and Neurodegenerative Diseases.
Title: Possible mechanisms involved in the protective effects of chrysin against lead-induced cognitive decline: An in vivo study in a rat model
Authors: Shahab Ghaderi, Alireza Komaki, Iraj Salehi, Zahra Basir, Masome Rashno
Type: Research Article
Lead (Pb) is a highly poisonous environmental pollutant that can induce cognitive decline. Chrysin, a natural flavonoid compound, has anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties in different neurodegenerative disorders. The present study was designed to examine the putative effects of chrysin against Pb-induced cognitive impairment and the possible involved mechanisms. Adult male Wistar rats were exposed to Pb acetate (500 ppm in standard drinking water) either alone or in combination with daily oral administration of chrysin (30 mg/kg) for eight consecutive weeks. During the eight-week period of the study, the cognitive capacity of the rats was evaluated by employing both novel object recognition and passive avoidance tests. On day 56, hippocampal synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation; LTP) was recorded in perforant path-dentate gyrus (PP-DG) synapses to assess field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) slope and population spike (PS) amplitude. Subsequently, pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and histological changes were evaluated in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of the rats. Moreover, Pb levels in blood and brain tissues were assessed. The results showed that Pb exposure causes cognitive decline, inhibition of hippocampal LTP induction, imbalance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, enhancement of Pb levels in blood and brain tissues, and neuronal loss. However, chrysin treatment improved cognitive dysfunction, ameliorated hippocampal LTP impairment, modulated inflammatory status, reduced Pb concentration, and prevented neuronal loss in the Pb-exposed rats. The results suggest that chrysin alleviates Pb-induced cognitive deficit, possibly through mitigation of hippocampal synaptic dysfunction, modulation of inflammatory status, reduction of Pb concentration, and prevention of neuronal loss.
Access this article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2022.114010
Title: Pharmacological activation of mediodorsal thalamic GABA-A receptors modulates morphine/cetirizine-induced changes in the prefrontal cortical GFAP expression in a rat model of neuropathic pain
Authors: Niyusha Asgharpour-Masouleh, Ameneh Rezayof, Sakineh Alijanpour, Ladan Delphi
Type: Research Article
The present study investigated the involvement of mediodorsal thalamic (MD) GABA-A receptors in cetirizine/morphine-induced anti-allodynia using a rat model of neuropathic pain. To assess the importance of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) for chronic pain processing, its expression level changes of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were measured following drug treatments. Each animal was subjected to chronic constriction of the sciatic nerve surgery simultaneously with the MD cannulation under stereotaxic surgery. The results showed that the administration of morphine (3–5 mg/kg) or cetirizine (1–3 mg/kg) produced significant analgesia in neuropathic rats. Systemic administration of cetirizine (2.5 and 3 mg/kg) potentiated the analgesic response to a low and intolerance dose of morphine (3 mg/kg). Intra-MD microinjection of muscimol, a selective GABA-A receptor agonist (0.005–0.01 μg/rat), increased the cetirizine/morphine-induced anti-allodynia, while muscimol by itself did not affect neuropathic pain. The neuropathic pain was associated with the increased PFC expression level of GFAP, suggesting the impact of chronic pain on PFC glial management. Interestingly, the anti-allodynia was associated with a decrease in the PFC expression level of GFAP under the drugs' co-administration. Thus, cetirizine has a significant potentiating effect on morphine response in neuropathic pain via interacting with the MD GABA-A receptors. It seems that neuropathic pain affects the prefrontal cortex GFAP signaling pathway. In clinical studies, these findings can be considered to create a combination therapy with low doses of GABA-A receptor agonist plus cetirizine and morphine to manage neuropathic pain.
Access this article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2022.114213
Title: Dexmedetomidine (Dex) exerts protective effects on rat neuronal cells injured by cerebral ischemia/reperfusion via regulating the Sphk1/S1P signaling pathway
Authors: Dawei Cong M.M, Yunlong Yu B.S.Med, Yan Meng B.S.Med, Xia Qi B.S.Med
Type: Research Article
To investigate the influence of dexmedetomidine (Dex) on cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-injured rat neuronal cells by regulating the Sphk1/S1P pathway.
The rats were divided into the following groups, with 18 rats in each group categorized on the basis of random number tables: sham (Sham), I/R (I/R), Dex, Sphk1 inhibitor (PF-543), and Dex together with the Sphk1 agonist phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (Dex+PMA). The neurological functions of the rats were assessed by the Longa scoring system at 24 h post reperfusion. The area of brain infarction was inspected using 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining, and the water content of brain tissue was determined by the dry-wet weight method. The morphology of neurons in the CA1 region of the rat hippocampus was inspected using Nissl staining, while the apoptosis of neurons in this region was detected by terminal-deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated nick end labeling staining. The Sphk1 and S1P protein levels were determined by immunofluorescence and western blotting, respectively.
Compared to the I/R group, rats in the Dex, PF-543, and Dex+PMA groups had a significantly lower neurological function score, as well as lower brain water content and a decreased infarction area. Moreover, the apoptotic index of the neurons and the Sphk1 and S1P levels in the hippocampal CA1 region were significantly lower in these groups (p<0.05). PMA, an agonist of Sphk1, was able to reverse the protective effects of Dex on I/R-induced neuronal cell injury.
Dex could protect cerebral I/R-induced neuronal cell injury by suppressing the Sphk1/S1P signaling pathway.
Access this article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2022.106896
Title: The D-serine biosynthetic enzyme serine racemase is expressed by reactive astrocytes in the amygdala of human and a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease
Authors: Oluwarotimi O. Folorunso, Theresa L. Harvey, Stephanie E. Brown, Gabriele Chelini, Sabina Berretta, Darrick T. Balu
Type: Review Article
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized behaviorally by cognitive deterioration and emotional disruption, and neuropathologically by amyloid-β (A β) plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and complement C3 (C3)-expressing neurotoxic, reactive astrocytes. We previously demonstrated that C3 + reactive astrocytes in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex of AD patients express serine racemase (SR), which produces the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) co-agonist D-serine. We show here that C3 + reactive astrocytes express SR in the amygdala of AD patients and in an amyloid mouse model of familial AD (5xFAD). 5xFAD mice also have deficits in cue fear memory recall that is dependent on intact amygdala function. Our results suggest that D-serine produced by reactive astrocytes in the amygdala could contribute to glutamate excitotoxicity and neurodegeneration observed with AD progression.
Access this article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2022.136958
Title: Discovery of novel imidazole chemotypes as isoform-selective JNK3 inhibitors for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease
Authors: Joonhong Jun, Songyi Yang, Junghun Lee, Hyungwoo Moon, Jinwoong Kim, Hoyong Jung, Daseul Im, Youri Oh, Miyoung Jang, Hyunwook Cho, Jihyun Baek, Hyejin Kim, Dahyun Kang, Hyunah Bae, Chanwool Tak, Kyungrim Hwang, Hoseok Kwon, HyunTae Kim, Jung-Mi Hah
Type: Research Article
Despite innumerable efforts to develop effective therapeutics, it is difficult to achieve breakthrough treatments for Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the main reason is probably the absence of a clear target. Here, we reveal c-Jun N-terminal kinase 3 (JNK3), a protein kinase explicitly expressed in the brain and involved in neuronal apoptosis, with a view toward providing effective treatment for AD. For many years, we have worked on JNK3 inhibitors and have discovered 2-aryl-1-pyrimidinyl-1H-imidazole-5-yl acetonitrile-based JNK3 inhibitors with superb potency (IC50 < 1.0 nM) and excellent selectivity over other protein kinases including isoforms JNK1 (> 300 fold) and JNK2 (∼10 fold). Based on in vitro biological activity and DMPK properties, the lead compounds were selected for further in vivo studies. We confirmed that repeat administration of JNK3 inhibitors improved cognitive memory in APP/PS1 and the 3xTg mouse model. Overall, our results show that JNK3 could be a potential target protein for AD.
Access this article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2022.114894