Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications

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    Lesions of the Basal Forebrain Cholinergic System in Mice Disrupt Idiothetic Navigation
    Hamlin, AS ; Windels, F ; Boskovic, Z ; Sah, P ; Coulson, EJ ; Ginsberg, SD (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-01-08)
    Loss of integrity of the basal forebrain cholinergic neurons is a consistent feature of Alzheimer's disease, and measurement of basal forebrain degeneration by magnetic resonance imaging is emerging as a sensitive diagnostic marker for prodromal disease. It is also known that Alzheimer's disease patients perform poorly on both real space and computerized cued (allothetic) or uncued (idiothetic) recall navigation tasks. Although the hippocampus is required for allothetic navigation, lesions of this region only mildly affect idiothetic navigation. Here we tested the hypothesis that the cholinergic medial septo-hippocampal circuit is important for idiothetic navigation. Basal forebrain cholinergic neurons were selectively lesioned in mice using the toxin saporin conjugated to a basal forebrain cholinergic neuronal marker, the p75 neurotrophin receptor. Control animals were able to learn and remember spatial information when tested on a modified version of the passive place avoidance test where all extramaze cues were removed, and animals had to rely on idiothetic signals. However, the exploratory behaviour of mice with cholinergic basal forebrain lesions was highly disorganized during this test. By contrast, the lesioned animals performed no differently from controls in tasks involving contextual fear conditioning and spatial working memory (Y maze), and displayed no deficits in potentially confounding behaviours such as motor performance, anxiety, or disturbed sleep/wake cycles. These data suggest that the basal forebrain cholinergic system plays a specific role in idiothetic navigation, a modality that is impaired early in Alzheimer's disease.
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    Consumption of a low glycaemic index diet in late life extends lifespan of Balb/c mice with differential effects on DNA damage.
    Nankervis, SA ; Mitchell, JM ; Charchar, FJ ; McGlynn, MA ; Lewandowski, PA (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2013-03-01)
    BACKGROUND: Caloric restriction is known to extend the lifespan of all organisms in which it has been tested. Consequently, current research is investigating the role of various foods to improve health and lifespan. The role of various diets has received less attention however, and in some cases may have more capacity to improve health and longevity than specific foods alone. We examined the benefits to longevity of a low glycaemic index (GI) diet in aged Balb/c mice and examined markers of oxidative stress and subsequent effects on telomere dynamics. RESULTS: In an aged population of mice, a low GI diet extended average lifespan by 12%, improved glucose tolerance and had impressive effects on amelioration of oxidative damage to DNA in white blood cells. Telomere length in quadriceps muscle showed no improvement in the dieted group, nor was telomerase reactivated. CONCLUSION: The beneficial effects of a low GI diet are evident from the current study and although the impact to telomere dynamics late in life is minimal, we expect that earlier intervention with a low GI diet would provide significant improvement in health and longevity with associated effects to telomere homeostasis.
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    Rho/ROCK pathway is essential to the expansion, differentiation, and morphological rearrangements of human neural stem/progenitor cells induced by lysophosphatidic acid
    Frisca, F ; Crombie, DE ; Dottori, M ; Goldshmit, Y ; Pebay, A (ELSEVIER, 2013-05-01)
    We previously reported that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) inhibits the neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). We extended these studies by analyzing LPA's effects on the expansion of neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/PC) derived from hESCs and human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), and we assessed whether data obtained on the neural differentiation of hESCs were relevant to iPSCs. We showed that hESCs and iPSCs exhibited comparable mRNA expression profiles of LPA receptors and producing enzymes upon neural differentiation. We demonstrated that LPA inhibited the expansion of NS/PCs of both origins, mainly by increased apoptosis in a Rho/Rho-associated kinase (ROCK)-dependent mechanism. Furthermore, LPA inhibited the neuronal differentiation of iPSCs. Lastly, LPA induced neurite retraction of NS/PC-derived early neurons through Rho/ROCK, which was accompanied by myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation. Our data demonstrate the consistency of LPA effects across various sources of human NS/PCs, rendering hESCs and iPSCs valuable models for studying lysophospholipid signaling in human neural cells. Our data also highlight the importance of the Rho/ROCK pathway in human NS/PCs. As LPA levels are increased in the central nervous system (CNS) following injury, LPA-mediated effects on NS/PCs and early neurons could contribute to the poor neurogenesis observed in the CNS following injury.
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    Longer Leukocyte Telomeres Are Associated with Ultra-Endurance Exercise Independent of Cardiovascular Risk Factors
    Denham, J ; Nelson, CP ; O'Brien, BJ ; Nankervis, SA ; Denniff, M ; Harvey, JT ; Marques, FZ ; Codd, V ; Zukowska-Szczechowska, E ; Samani, NJ ; Tomaszewski, M ; Charchar, FJ ; Saretzki, G (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-07-31)
    Telomere length is recognized as a marker of biological age, and shorter mean leukocyte telomere length is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is unclear whether repeated exposure to ultra-endurance aerobic exercise is beneficial or detrimental in the long-term and whether it attenuates biological aging. We quantified 67 ultra-marathon runners' and 56 apparently healthy males' leukocyte telomere length (T/S ratio) using real-time quantitative PCR. The ultra-marathon runners had 11% longer telomeres (T/S ratio) than controls (ultra-marathon runners: T/S ratio = 3.5±0.68, controls: T/S ratio = 3.1±0.41; β = 0.40, SE = 0.10, P = 1.4×10(-4)) in age-adjusted analysis. The difference remained statistically significant after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors (P = 2.2×10(-4)). The magnitude of this association translates into 16.2±0.26 years difference in biological age and approximately 324-648bp difference in leukocyte telomere length between ultra-marathon runners and healthy controls. Neither traditional cardiovascular risk factors nor markers of inflammation/adhesion molecules explained the difference in leukocyte telomere length between ultra-marathon runners and controls. Taken together these data suggest that regular engagement in ultra-endurance aerobic exercise attenuates cellular aging.
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    Insulin-mediated suppression of lipolysis in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle of obese type 2 diabetic men and men with normal glucose tolerance
    Jocken, JWE ; Goossens, GH ; Boon, H ; Mason, RR ; Essers, Y ; Havekes, B ; Watt, MJ ; van Loon, LJ ; Blaak, EE (SPRINGER, 2013-10-01)
    AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Impaired regulation of lipolysis and accumulation of lipid intermediates may contribute to obesity-related insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. We investigated insulin-mediated suppression of lipolysis in abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT) and skeletal muscle (SM) of obese men with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) and obese type 2 diabetic men. METHODS: Eleven NGT men and nine long-term diagnosed type 2 diabetic men (7 ± 1 years), matched for age (58 ± 2 vs 62 ± 2 years), BMI (31.4 ± 0.6 vs 30.5 ± 0.6 kg/m(2)) and [Formula: see text] (28.9 ± 1.5 vs 29.5 ± 2.4 ml kg(-1) min(-1)) participated in this study. Interstitial glycerol concentrations in AT and SM were assessed using microdialysis during a 1 h basal period and a 6 h stepwise hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp (8, 20 and 40 mU m(-2) min(-1)). AT and SM biopsies were collected to investigate underlying mechanisms. RESULTS: Hyperinsulinaemia suppressed interstitial SM glycerol concentrations less in men with type 2 diabetes (-7 ± 6%, -13 ± 9% and -27 ± 9%) compared with men with NGT (-21 ± 7%, -38 ± 8% and -53 ± 8%) (p = 0.014). This was accompanied by increased circulating fatty acid and glycerol concentrations, a lower glucose infusion rate (21.8 ± 3.1 vs 30.5 ± 2.0 μmol kg body weight(-1) min(-1); p < 0.05), higher hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) serine 660 phosphorylation, increased saturated diacylglycerol (DAG) lipid species in the muscle membrane and increased protein kinase C (PKC) activation in type 2 diabetic men vs men with NGT. No significant differences in insulin-mediated reduction in AT interstitial glycerol were observed between groups. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest that a blunted insulin-mediated suppression of SM lipolysis may promote the accumulation of membrane saturated DAG, aggravating insulin resistance, at least partly mediated by PKC. This may represent an important mechanism involved in the progression of insulin resistance towards type 2 diabetes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01680133.
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    Non-invasive, non-radiological quantification of anteroposterior knee joint ligamentous laxity A STUDY IN CADAVERS
    Russell, DF ; Deakin, AH ; Fogg, QA ; Picard, F (BRITISH EDITORIAL SOC BONE JOINT SURGERY, 2013-11-01)
    OBJECTIVES: We performed in vitro validation of a non-invasive skin-mounted system that could allow quantification of anteroposterior (AP) laxity in the outpatient setting. METHODS: A total of 12 cadaveric lower limbs were tested with a commercial image-free navigation system using trackers secured by bone screws. We then tested a non-invasive fabric-strap system. The lower limb was secured at 10° intervals from 0° to 60° of knee flexion and 100 N of force was applied perpendicular to the tibia. Acceptable coefficient of repeatability (CR) and limits of agreement (LOA) of 3 mm were set based on diagnostic criteria for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) insufficiency. RESULTS: Reliability and precision within the individual invasive and non-invasive systems was acceptable throughout the range of flexion tested (intra-class correlation coefficient 0.88, CR 1.6 mm). Agreement between the two systems was acceptable measuring AP laxity between full extension and 40° knee flexion (LOA 2.9 mm). Beyond 40° of flexion, agreement between the systems was unacceptable (LOA > 3 mm). CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that from full knee extension to 40° flexion, non-invasive navigation-based quantification of AP tibial translation is as accurate as the standard validated commercial system, particularly in the clinically and functionally important range of 20° to 30° knee flexion. This could be useful in diagnosis and post-operative evaluation of ACL pathology. Cite this article: Bone Joint Res 2013;2:233-7.
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    Fine-Mapping the Genetic Association of the Major Histocompatibility Complex in Multiple Sclerosis: HLA and Non-HLA Effects
    Patsopoulos, NA ; Barcellos, LF ; Hintzen, RQ ; Schaefer, C ; Van Duijn, CM ; Noble, JA ; Raj, T ; Gourraud, P-A ; Stranger, BE ; Oksenberg, J ; Olsson, T ; Taylor, BV ; Sawcer, S ; Hafler, DA ; Carrington, M ; De Jager, PL ; De Bakker, PIW ; Gibson, G (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-11-01)
    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region is strongly associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility. HLA-DRB1*15:01 has the strongest effect, and several other alleles have been reported at different levels of validation. Using SNP data from genome-wide studies, we imputed and tested classical alleles and amino acid polymorphisms in 8 classical human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes in 5,091 cases and 9,595 controls. We identified 11 statistically independent effects overall: 6 HLA-DRB1 and one DPB1 alleles in class II, one HLA-A and two B alleles in class I, and one signal in a region spanning from MICB to LST1. This genomic segment does not contain any HLA class I or II genes and provides robust evidence for the involvement of a non-HLA risk allele within the MHC. Interestingly, this region contains the TNF gene, the cognate ligand of the well-validated TNFRSF1A MS susceptibility gene. The classical HLA effects can be explained to some extent by polymorphic amino acid positions in the peptide-binding grooves. This study dissects the independent effects in the MHC, a critical region for MS susceptibility that harbors multiple risk alleles.
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    Developing stem cell-based therapies for neural repair
    Parish, CL ; Thompson, LH (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2013-11-05)
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