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Author: M Diana Neely (25)


Oct
2017

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the result of complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Two chemically distinct environmental stressors relevant to PD are the metal manganese and the pesticide rotenone. Both are thought to exert neurotoxicity at least in part via oxidative stress resulting from impaired mitochondrial activity.

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Apr
2017

Due to their ability to limitlessly proliferate and specialize into almost any cell type, human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer an unprecedented opportunity to generate human brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs), which compose the blood-brain barrier (BBB), for research purposes. Unfortunately, the time, expense, and expertise required to differentiate iPSCs to purified BMECs precludes their widespread use. Here, we report the use of a defined medium that accelerates the differentiation of iPSCs to BMECs while achieving comparable performance to BMECs produced by established methods.

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Jun
2017

Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene (HTT), resulting in profound striatal neurodegeneration through an unknown mechanism. Perturbations in the urea cycle have been reported in HD models and in HD patient blood and brain. In neurons, arginase is a central urea cycle enzyme, and the metal manganese (Mn) is an essential cofactor.

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Dec
2016

Understanding blood-brain barrier responses to inflammatory stimulation (such as lipopolysaccharide mimicking a systemic infection or a cytokine cocktail that could be the result of local or systemic inflammation) is essential to understanding the effect of inflammatory stimulation on the brain. It is through the filter of the blood-brain barrier that the brain responds to outside influences, and the blood-brain barrier is a critical point of failure in neuroinflammation. It is important to note that this interaction is not a static response, but one that evolves over time.

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Dec
1969

Alterations in DNA damage response and repair have been observed in Huntington's disease (HD). We generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from primary dermal fibroblasts of 5 patients with HD and 5 control subjects. A significant fraction of the HD iPSC lines had genomic abnormalities as assessed by karyotype analysis, while none of our control lines had detectable genomic abnormalities.

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Sep
2015

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a critical structure that serves as the gatekeeper between the central nervous system and the rest of the body. It is the responsibility of the BBB to facilitate the entry of required nutrients into the brain and to exclude potentially harmful compounds; however, this complex structure has remained difficult to model faithfully in vitro. Accurate in vitro models are necessary for understanding how the BBB forms and functions, as well as for evaluating drug and toxin penetration across the barrier.

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Oct
2015

Cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC-CMs) hold great promise for modeling human heart diseases. However, iPSC-CMs studied to date resemble immature embryonic myocytes and therefore do not adequately recapitulate native adult cardiomyocyte phenotypes. Since extracellular matrix plays an essential role in heart development and maturation in vivo, we sought to develop a synthetic culture matrix that could enhance functional maturation of iPSC-CMs in vitro.

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Apr
2015

The essential micronutrient manganese is enriched in brain, especially in the basal ganglia. We sought to identify neuronal signaling pathways responsive to neurologically relevant manganese levels, as previous data suggested that alterations in striatal manganese handling occur in Huntington's disease (HD) models. We found that p53 phosphorylation at serine 15 is the most responsive cell signaling event to manganese exposure (of 18 tested) in human neuroprogenitors and a mouse striatal cell line.

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Oct
2014

Manganese (Mn) is both an essential biological cofactor and neurotoxicant. Disruption of Mn biology in the basal ganglia has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, such as parkinsonism and Huntington's disease. Handling of other essential metals (e.

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Jan
2015

Poorly-defined interactions between environmental and genetic risk factors underlie Parkinson's disease (PD) etiology. Here we tested the hypothesis that human stem cell derived forebrain neuroprogenitors from patients with known familial risk for early onset PD will exhibit enhanced sensitivity to PD environmental risk factors compared to healthy control subjects without a family history of PD. Two male siblings (SM and PM) with biallelic loss-of-function mutations in PARK2 were identified.

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Dec
1969

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are becoming mainstream tools to study mechanisms of development and disease. They have a broad range of applications in understanding disease processes, in vitro testing of novel therapies, and potential utility in regenerative medicine. Although the techniques for generating iPSCs are becoming more straightforward, scientists can expend considerable resources and time to establish this technology.

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Dec
2012

Manganese (Mn) is an environmental risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD). Recessive inheritance of PARK2 mutations is strongly associated with early onset PD (EOPD). It is widely assumed that the influence of PD environmental risk factors may be enhanced by the presence of PD genetic risk factors in the genetic background of individuals.

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Jun
2012

Recent successes in deriving human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) allow for the possibility of studying human neurons derived from patients with neurological diseases. Concomitant inhibition of the BMP and TGF-β1 branches of the TGF-β signaling pathways by the endogenous antagonist, Noggin, and the small molecule SB431542, respectively, induces efficient neuralization of hiPSCs, a method known as dual-SMAD inhibition. The use of small molecule inhibitors instead of their endogenous counterparts has several advantages including lower cost, consistent activity, and the maintenance of xeno-free culture conditions.

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Oct
2010

Striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) receive glutamatergic afferents from the cerebral cortex and dopaminergic inputs from the substantia nigra (SN). Striatal dopamine loss decreases the number of MSN dendritic spines. This loss of spines has been suggested to reflect the removal of tonic dopamine inhibitory control over corticostriatal glutamatergic drive, with increased glutamate release culminating in MSN spine loss.

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Nov
2009

Neuronal staining techniques have played a crucial role in the analysis of neuronal function. Several different staining techniques have been developed to allow morphological analyses of neurons. DiOlistic labeling, in which beads are coated with a lipophilic dye and then ballistically ejected onto brain tissue, has recently been introduced as a useful and simple means to label neurons and glia in their entirety.

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Jul
2009

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is marked by prominent motor symptoms that reflect striatal dopamine insufficiency. However, non-motor symptoms, including depression, are common in PD. It has been suggested that these changes reflect pathological involvement of non-dopaminergic systems.

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Jun
2009

The transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) is expressed throughout the central nervous system, where four MEF2 isoforms play important roles in neuronal survival and differentiation and in synapse formation and maintenance. It is therefore somewhat surprising that there is a lack of detailed information on the localization of MEF2 isoforms in the mammalian brain. We have analyzed the regional, cellular, and subcellular expression of MEF2A and MEF2D in the rodent brain.

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Sep
2007

Proteasomal dysfunction has been suggested to contribute to the degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease. A recent study reported that systemic treatment of rats with the proteasome inhibitor Z-lle-Glu(OtBu)-Ala-Leu-al (PSI) causes a slowly progressive degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons, the presence of inclusion bodies in dopamine neurons, and motor impairment. We examined in vitro and in vivo the effects of PSI on nigrostriatal dopamine neurons.

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Sep
2005

Neuronal microtubules are morphologically abnormal in diseased regions of brain from patients with late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). Here we tested the hypothesis that tubulin derived from gray matter of patients with multiple forms of dementia was functionally impaired. Following taxol/GTP stimulation of tubulin polymerization of gray matter extracts we observed reduced capacity of tubulin to polymerize in LOAD, but not individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), compared to controls.

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Mar
2005

We have previously demonstrated that neuronal microtubules are exquisitely sensitive to the lipid peroxidation product 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE). The mechanism, however, by which HNE disrupts the microtubules, is not known. Sulfhydryl groups of protein-cysteines constitute main targets of HNE.

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Apr
2004

Ischemic injury to brain is associated with both disruption of the blood-brain barrier and increased oxidative stress. Given the neurotoxicity associated with exposure to oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) in vitro, we tested the hypothesis that oxLDL may be present in parenchymal cells of cerebrum after infarction and that oxLDL may influence the pathophysiology of cerebral infarction. Our results showed that the subacute phase of cerebral infarction in patients was characterized by the appearance of oxLDL epitopes in astrocytes, but not neurons or microglia, in the perinecrotic zone.

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Oct
2003

Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) is essential for the assembly of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins. Within the endoplasmic reticulum, it transfers lipid from the membrane to the forming lipoprotein. Recent evidence suggests that it may also function within the Golgi apparatus.

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Nov
2002

A large amount of data has implicated reactive carbonyls as neurotoxic mediators of oxidative damage in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases. The oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, reducing sugars, and amino acids leads to the formation of carbonyls and carbonyl adduction products such as 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE), advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and protein-bound carbonyls. Levels of these products are elevated in AD.

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Sep
2002

Lipid peroxidation is one of the major outcomes of free radical-mediated injury that directly damages membranes and generates a number of secondary products, both from fission and endocyclization of oxygenated fatty acids that possess neurotoxic activity. Numerous studies have demonstrated increased lipid peroxidation in brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) compared with age-matched controls. These data include quantification of fission and endocyclized products such as 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, acrolein, isoprostanes, and neuroprostanes.

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Jan
2002

4-Hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) has been recognized as reactive product of lipid peroxidation and has been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis in several common diseases as well as injuries caused by environmental toxicants. Although formed intracellularly in vivo, for practical reasons this molecule is applied extracellularly in order to analyze its biological effects. The focus of this study was to develop an approach that would enable intracellular HNE production in the absence of the many other products and processes that occur in cells experiencing generalized oxidative stress.

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