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  • PMC (PubMed Central)  (70)
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of Headache and Pain, 2015, Vol.16(Supplement 1), pp.1-1
    Description: Kynurenine pathway (KP), the quantitatively main branch of tryptophan metabolism, has long been considered a source of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, although several of its products, the so-called kynurenines, are endowed with the capacity to activate glutamate receptors, thus potentially influencing a large group of functions in the central nervous system (CNS). In fact, Kynurenic Acid and Quinolinic Acid are able to interact with ionotropic glutamate receptors and Cinnabarinic Acid has been reported as an orthosteric agonist of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu4), and Xanthurenic Acid has been recently demonstrated to be a putative agonist of metabotropic glutamate receptors 2/3 (mGlu2/3). Moreover, 3-HK and 3-HANA have mainly been studied, since they have been shown to induce neurotoxic effects by increasing oxidative stress and the production of free radicals or through excitotoxicity. Migraine has a complex pathophysiology in which both central and peripheral components of the trigeminal pain pathway play a central role. The trigemino-vascular activation during the attack has largely been described, and recently the brainstem nuclei, called “migraine generators”, have been reported to be involved in migraine. Moreover, a series of destabilizing events within the brain trigger a cortical spreading depression (CSD), responsible for the aura phenomena and for trigeminal activation. The role of glutamate is heavily supported both in the trigemino-vascular as well as in brainstem nuclei activation, and furthermore in the CSD initiation and propagation. Some of the KP metabolites able to interact both with ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors might be involved in migraine pathophysiology. Despite the large number of studies conducted on migraine etiopathology, the KP has only been recently linked to this disease. Nonetheless, some evidence suggests an intriguing role for some kynurenines, and an exploratory study on the serum kynurenine levels has been helpful to better understand possible alterations of the kynurenine pathway in patients suffering from migraine.
    Keywords: Medicine;
    ISSN: 1129-2369
    E-ISSN: 1129-2377
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Current Neuropharmacology, 2018, Vol.16(2), p.117-117
    Keywords: Article;
    ISSN: 1570-159X
    E-ISSN: 1875-6190
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  • 3
    In: PLoS ONE, 2012, Vol.7(9)
    Description: We examined the role of endogenous dopamine (DA) in regulating the number of intrinsic tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH + ) striatal neurons using mice at postnatal day (PND) 4 to 8, a period that corresponds to the developmental peak in the number of these neurons. We adopted the strategy of depleting endogenous DA by a 2-day treatment with α-methyl- p -tyrosine (αMpT, 150 mg/kg, i.p.). This treatment markedly increased the number of striatal TH + neurons, assessed by stereological counting, and the increase was highly correlated to the extent of DA loss. Interestingly, TH + neurons were found closer to the clusters of DA fibers after DA depletion, indicating that the concentration gradient of extracellular DA critically regulates the distribution of striatal TH + neurons. A single i.p. injection of the D1 receptor antagonist, SCH23390 (0.1 mg/kg), the D2/D3 receptor antagonist, raclopride (0.1 mg/kg), or the D4 receptor antagonist, L-745,870 (5 mg/kg) in mice at PND4 also increased the number of TH + neurons after 4 days. Treatment with the D1-like receptor agonist SKF38393 (10 mg/kg) or with the D2-like receptor agonist, quinpirole (1 mg/kg) did not change the number of TH + neurons. At least the effects of SCH23390 were prevented by a combined treatment with SKF38393. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that striatal TH + neurons expressed D2 and D4 receptors, but not D1 receptors. Moreover, treatment with the α4β2 receptor antagonist dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE) (3.2 mg/kg) also increased the number of TH + neurons. The evidence that DHβE mimicked the action of SCH23390 in increasing the number of TH + neurons supports the hypothesis that activation of D1 receptors controls the number of striatal TH + neurons by enhancing the release of acetylcholine. These data demonstrate for the first time that endogenous DA negatively regulates the number of striatal TH + neurons by direct and indirect mechanisms mediated by multiple DA receptor subtypes.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2013, Vol.8(1), p.e54666
    Description: Abnormal use-dependent synaptic plasticity is universally accepted as the main physiological correlate of memory deficits in neurodegenerative disorders. It is unclear whether synaptic plasticity deficits take place during neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and its mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In EAE mice, we found significant alterations of synaptic plasticity rules in the hippocampus. When compared to control mice, in fact, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) induction was favored over long-term depression (LTD) in EAE, as shown by a significant rightward shift in the frequency-synaptic response function. Notably, LTP induction was also enhanced in hippocampal slices from control mice following interleukin-1β (IL-1β) perfusion, and both EAE and IL-1β inhibited GABAergic spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSC) without affecting glutamatergic transmission and AMPA/NMDA ratio. EAE was also associated with selective loss of GABAergic interneurons and with reduced gamma-frequency oscillations in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, we provided evidence that microglial activation in the EAE hippocampus was associated with IL-1β expression, and hippocampal slices from control mice incubated with activated microglia displayed alterations of GABAergic transmission similar to those seen in EAE brains, through a mechanism dependent on enhanced IL-1β signaling. These data may yield novel insights into the basis of cognitive deficits in EAE and possibly of MS.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2016, Vol.11(3), p.e0152104
    Description: BACKGROUND:Malignant melanoma is an aggressive tumor of the skin and seems to be resistant to current therapeutic approaches. Melanocytic transformation is thought to occur by sequential accumulation of genetic and molecular alterations able to activate the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK (MAPK) and/or the PI3K/AKT (AKT) signalling pathways. Specifically, mutations of B-RAF activate MAPK pathway resulting in cell cycle progression and apoptosis prevention. According to these findings, MAPK and AKT pathways may represent promising therapeutic targets for an otherwise devastating disease. RESULT:Here we show a computational model able to simulate the main biochemical and metabolic interactions in the PI3K/AKT and MAPK pathways potentially involved in melanoma development. Overall, this computational approach may accelerate the drug discovery process and encourages the identification of novel pathway activators with consequent development of novel antioncogenic compounds to overcome tumor cell resistance to conventional therapeutic agents. The source code of the various versions of the model are available as S1 Archive.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Molecular Pain, 14 January 2011, Vol.7
    Description: Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) couple to the inhibitory G-protein Gi. The group II mGluRs include two subtypes, mGlu2 and mGlu3, and their pharmacological activation produces analgesic effects in inflammatory and neuropathic pain states. However, the specific contribution of each one of the two subtypes has not been clarified due to the lack of selective orthosteric ligands that can discriminate between mGlu2 and mGlu3 subtypes. In this study we used mGlu2 or mGlu3 knock-out mice to dissect the specific role for these two receptors in the endogenous control of inflammatory pain and their specific contribution to the analgesic activity of mixed mGlu2/3 receptor agonists. Our results showed that mGlu2−/− mice display a significantly greater pain response compared to their wild type littermates. Interestingly the increased pain sensitivity in mGlu2−/− mice occurred only in the second phase of the formalin test. No differences were observed in the first phase. In contrast, mGlu3−/− mice did not significantly differ from their wild type littermates in either phase of the formalin test. When systemically injected, a single administration of the mGlu2/3 agonist, LY379268 (3 mg/kg, ip), showed a significant reduction of both phases in wild-type mice and in mGlu3−/− but not in mGlu2−/− mice. However tolerance to the analgesic effect of LY379268 (3 mg/kg, ip) in mGlu3−/− mice developed following 5 consecutive days of injection. Taken together, these results demonstrate that: (i) mGlu2 receptors play a predominant role over mGlu3 receptors in the control of inflammatory pain in mice; (ii) the analgesic activity of mixed mGlu2/3 agonists is entirely mediated by the activation of the mGlu2 subtype and (iii) the development of tolerance to the analgesic effect of mGlu2/3 agonists develops despite the lack of mGlu3 receptors.
    Keywords: Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 1744-8069
    E-ISSN: 1744-8069
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2011, Vol.6(1), p.e16447
    Description: The identification of mechanisms that mediate stress-induced hippocampal damage may shed new light into the pathophysiology of depressive disorders and provide new targets for therapeutic intervention. We focused on the secreted glycoprotein Dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1), an inhibitor of the canonical Wnt pathway, involved in neurodegeneration. Mice exposed to mild restraint stress showed increased hippocampal levels of Dkk-1 and reduced expression of β-catenin, an intracellular protein positively regulated by the canonical Wnt signalling pathway. In adrenalectomized mice, Dkk-1 was induced by corticosterone injection, but not by exposure to stress. Corticosterone also induced Dkk-1 in mouse organotypic hippocampal cultures and primary cultures of hippocampal neurons and, at least in the latter model, the action of corticosterone was reversed by the type-2 glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone. To examine whether induction of Dkk-1 was causally related to stress-induced hippocampal damage, we used doubleridge mice, which are characterized by a defective induction of Dkk-1. As compared to control mice, doubleridge mice showed a paradoxical increase in basal hippocampal Dkk-1 levels, but no Dkk-1 induction in response to stress. In contrast, stress reduced Dkk-1 levels in doubleridge mice. In control mice, chronic stress induced a reduction in hippocampal volume associated with neuronal loss and dendritic atrophy in the CA1 region, and a reduced neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. Doubleridge mice were resistant to the detrimental effect of chronic stress and, instead, responded to stress with increases in dendritic arborisation and neurogenesis. Thus, the outcome of chronic stress was tightly related to changes in Dkk-1 expression in the hippocampus. These data indicate that induction of Dkk-1 is causally related to stress-induced hippocampal damage and provide the first evidence that Dkk-1 expression is regulated by corticosteroids in the central nervous system. Drugs that rescue the canonical Wnt pathway may attenuate hippocampal damage in major depression and other stress-related disorders.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Neurology and Therapy, 01 November 2018, Vol.7(2), pp.385-390
    Keywords: Equivalence ; Follow-on Glatiramer Acetate ; Glatiramer Acetate ; Multiple Sclerosis
    ISSN: 2193-8253
    E-ISSN: 2193-6536
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 01 November 2018, Vol.11
    Description: Mice subjected to prenatal restraint stress (PRS mice) showed biochemical and behavioral abnormalities consistent with a schizophrenia-like phenotype (Matrisciano et al., 2016). PRS mice are characterized by increased DNA-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and ten-eleven methylcytosine dioxygenase 1 (TET1) expression levels and exhibit an enrichment of 5-methylcytosine (5MC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5HMC) at neocortical GABAergic and glutamatergic gene promoters. Activation of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu2 and−3 receptors) showed a potential epigenetically-induced antipsychotic activity by reversing the molecular and behavioral changes observed in PRS mice. This effect was most likely caused by the increase in the expression of growth arrest and DNA damage 45-β (Gadd45-β) protein, a molecular player of DNA demethylation, induced by the activation of mGlu2/3 receptors. This effect was mimicked by clozapine and valproate but not by haloperidol. Treatment with the selective mGlu2/3 receptors agonist LY379268 also increased the amount of Gadd45-β bound to specific promoter regions of reelin, BDNF, and GAD67. A meta-analysis of several clinical trials showed that treatment with an orthosteric mGlu2/3 receptor agonist improved both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, but only in patients who were early-in-disease and had not been treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs (Kinon et al., 2015). Our findings show that PRS mice are valuable model for the study of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and support the hypothesis that pharmacological modulation of mGlu2/3 receptors could impact the early phase of schizophrenia and related neurodevelopmental disorders by regulating epigenetic processes that lie at the core of the disorders.
    Keywords: Mglu2/3 Receptors ; Schizophrenia ; Clozapine ; Epigenetics ; Prenatal Stress ; Medicine
    E-ISSN: 1662-5099
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Current Neuropharmacology, 2016, Vol.14(1), p.41-47
    Description: Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder are chronic psychiatric disorders, both considered as “major psychosis” they are thought to share some pathogenetic factors involving a dysfunctional 〈i〉gene x environment〈/i〉 interaction. Alterations in the glutamatergic transmission have been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of psychosis. Our group developed an epigenetic model of schizophrenia originated by Prenatal Restraint Stress (PRS) paradigm in mice. PRS mice developed some behavioral alterations observed in schizophrenic patients and classic animal models of schizophrenia, i.e. deficits in social interaction, locomotor activity and prepulse inhibition. They also showed specific changes in promoter DNA methylation activity of genes related to schizophrenia such as reelin, BDNF and GAD67, and altered expression and function of mGlu2/3 receptors in the frontal cortex. Interestingly, behavioral and molecular alterations were reversed by treatment with mGlu2/3 agonists. Based on these findings, we speculate that pharmacological modulation of these receptors could have a great impact on early phase treatment of psychosis together with the possibility to modulate specific epigenetic key protein involved in the development of psychosis. 〈/p〉 〈p〉 In this review, we will discuss in more details the specific features of the PRS mice as a suitable epigenetic model for major psychosis. We will then focus on key proteins of chromatin remodeling machinery as potential target for new pharmacological treatment through the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors. 〈/p〉
    Keywords: Dna Methylation Epigenetics Mglu Receptors Prenatal Stress Psychosis.
    ISSN: 1570-159X
    E-ISSN: 1875-6190
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