Παρασκευή, 21 Ιουνίου 2019

Molecular Neuroscience

Correction to: PACAP/PAC1 Regulation of Inflammation via Catecholaminergic Neurons in a Model of Multiple Sclerosis

The original version of this article unfortunately contained mistakes. The captured article title and corresponding author were incorrect.

Distribution and Functional Implication of Secretin in Multiple Brain Regions


Secretin is a polypeptide hormone initially identified for its gastrointestinal functions. However, emerging evidences show wide distribution of secretin and secretin receptor across various brain regions from cerebral cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus to cerebellum. In this mini review, we will firstly describe the region-specific expression pattern of secretin and secretin receptor in the brain, followed by a summary of central physiological and neurological functions mediated by secretin. Using genetic manipulation and pharmaceutical approaches, one can elucidate the role of secretin in mediating various neurological functions from simple behaviors, such as water and food intake, to more complex functions including emotion, motor, and learning or memory. At last, current weakness and future perspectives of secretin in the central nervous system will be discussed, aiming to provide the potency of using secretin or its analog for treating various neurological disorders.

Effects of PACAP on Dry Eye Symptoms, and Possible Use for Therapeutic Application


Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a 27- or 38-amino acid neuropeptide, which belongs to the vasoactive intestinal polypeptide/glucagon/secretin family of peptides. PACAP and its three receptor subtypes are expressed in neural tissues and in the eye, including the retina, cornea, and lacrimal gland. PACAP is known to exert pleiotropic effects on the central nervous system and in eye tissues where it plays important roles in protecting against dry eye. This review provides an overview of current knowledge regarding dry eye symptoms in aged animals and humans and the protective effects, mechanisms of action. In addition, we also refer to the development of a new preventive/therapeutic method by PACAP of dry eye patients.

Adipose Tissue Expression of PACAP, VIP, and Their Receptors in Response to Cold Stress


Obesity arises from disrupted energy balance and is caused by chronically higher energy intake compared to expenditure via basal metabolic rate, exercise, and thermogenesis. The brown adipose tissue (BAT), the primary thermogenic organ, has received considerable attention as a potential therapeutic target due to its ability to burn lipids in the production of heat. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) has been identified as a key regulator of the physiological stress response both centrally and peripherally. While PACAP has been shown to increase thermogenesis by acting at the hypothalamus to increase sympathetic output to BAT, a peripheral role for PACAP-activated thermogenesis has not been studied. We identified PACAP receptor (PAC1, VPAC1/2) expression for the first time in murine BAT and confirmed their expression in white adipose tissues. PAC1 receptor expression was significantly altered in all three adipose tissues studied in response to 3.5-week cold acclimation, with expression patterns differing by depot type. In primary cell culture, VPAC1 was increased in differentiated compared to non-differentiated brown adipocytes, and the same trend was observed for the PACAP-specific receptor PAC1 in gonadal white fat primary cultures. The primary PAC1R mRNA splice variant in interscapular BAT was determined as isoform 2 by RNA-Seq. These results show that PACAP receptors are present in adipose tissues and may have important functional roles in adipocyte differentiation, lipid metabolism, or adipose sensitization to sympathetic signaling in response to thermogenic stimuli.

PACAP Attenuates Optic Nerve Crush-Induced Retinal Ganglion Cell Apoptosis Via Activation of the CREB-Bcl-2 Pathway


Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) apoptosis is considered an important pathological hallmark of glaucoma. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a pleiotropic peptide with potent neuroprotective properties. In our previous study, we found that the expression of PACAP and its high-affinity receptor PACAP receptor type 1 (PAC1R) increased markedly after optic nerve crush (ONC), and occurred mainly in the ganglion cell layer of the retina. This suggests that the upregulation of PACAP may play a vital role in inhibiting RGC death after ONC. Therefore, in the present study, we investigate the specific effects and underlying mechanism of PACAP in RGC death after ONC. Vehicle (physiological saline) or PACAP (1 nM to 200 nM) solution was injected into the vitreous body. Seven days later, the retinas were harvested, and the surviving RGCs were retrogradely labeled with Fluoro-Gold (FG; Fluorochrome) at different concentrations of PACAP. Immunofluorescence double staining and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay were used to observe the effects of PACAP on RGC apoptosis. Our results showed that PACAP treatment inhibited caspase-3-mediated RGC apoptosis, promoted the phosphorylation of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB), up-regulated the expression of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), and ultimately improved RGC survival. These results suggest that PACAP may prevent RGC apoptosis after ONC via activation of CREB-mediated Bcl-2 transcription. The study thus contributes to a basic understanding of the mechanism by which PACAP decreased RGC apoptosis and provides a theoretical basis for future clinical application of PACAP in the treatment of glaucoma.

PACAP38-Mediated Bladder Afferent Nerve Activity Hyperexcitability and Ca 2+ Activity in Urothelial Cells from Mice


Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP; Adcyap1) and its cognate PAC1 receptor (Adcyap1r1) have tissue-specific distributions in the lower urinary tract (LUT). The afferent limb of the micturition reflex is often compromised following bladder injury, disease, and inflammatory conditions. We have previously demonstrated that PACAP signaling contributes to increased voiding frequency and decreased bladder capacity with cystitis. Thus, the present studies investigated the sensory components (e.g., urothelial cells, bladder afferent nerves) of the urinary bladder that may underlie the pathophysiology of aberrant PACAP activation. We utilized bladder-pelvic nerve preparations and urothelial sheet preparations to characterize PACAP-induced bladder afferent nerve discharge with distention and PACAP-induced Ca2+ activity, respectively. We determined that PACAP38 (100 nM) significantly (p ≤ 0.01) increased bladder afferent nerve activity with distention that was blocked with a PAC1/VPAC2 receptor antagonist PACAP6-38 (300 nM). PACAP38 (100 nM) also increased Ca2+activity in urothelial cells over that observed in control preparations. Taken together, these results establish a role for PACAP signaling in bladder sensory components (e.g., urothelial cells, bladder afferent nerves) that may ultimately facilitate increased voiding frequency.

Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Decreases β-Amyloid Accumulation and Prevents Brain Atrophy in the 5xFAD Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by extracellular deposits of fibrillary β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques in the brain that initiate an inflammatory process resulting in neurodegeneration. The neuronal loss associated with AD results in gross atrophy of affected regions causing a progressive loss of cognitive ability and memory function, ultimately leading to dementia. Growing evidence suggests that vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) could be beneficial for various neurodegenerative diseases, including AD. The study investigated the effects of VIP on 5xFAD, a transgenic mouse model of AD. Toward this aim, we used 20 5xFAD mice in two groups (n = 10 each), VIP-treated (25 ng/kg i.p. injection, three times per week) and saline-treated (the drug's vehicle) following the same administration regimen. Treatment started at 1 month of age and ended 2 months later. After 2 months of treatment, the mice were euthanized, their brains dissected out, and immunohistochemically stained for Aβ40 and Aβ42 on serial sections. Then, plaque analysis and stereological morphometric analysis were performed in different brain regions. Chronic VIP administration in 5xFAD mice significantly decreased the levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42 plaques in the subiculum compared to the saline treated 5xFAD mice. VIP treatment also significantly decreased Aβ40 and Aβ42 plaques in cortical areas and significantly increased the hippocampus/cerebrum and corpus callosum/cerebrum ratio but not the cerebral cortex/cerebrum ratio. In summary, we found that chronic administration of VIP significantly decreased Aβ plaques and preserved against atrophy for related brain regions in 5xFAD AD mice.

Altered Notch Signaling in Developing Molar Teeth of Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide (PACAP)-Deficient Mice


Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a neuropeptide with neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects. This suggests its influence on the development of teeth, which are, similarly to the nervous system, ectoderm and neural crest derivatives. Our earlier studies have shown morphological differences between wild-type (WT) and PACAP-deficient mice, with upregulated sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling in the lack of PACAP. Notch signaling is a key element of proper tooth development by regulating apoptosis and cell proliferation. In this study, our main goal was to evaluate the possible effects of PACAP on Notch signaling pathway. Immunohistochemical staining was performed of Notch receptors (Notch1, 2, 3, 4), their ligands [delta-like protein (DLL)1, 3, 4, Jagged1, 2], and intracellular target molecules [CSL (CBF1 humans/Su (H) Drosophila/LAG1 Caenorhabditis elegans transcription factor); TACE (TNF-α converting enzyme), NUMB] in molar teeth of 5-day-old WT, and homozygous and heterozygous PACAP-deficient mice. We measured immunopositivity in the enamel-producing ameloblasts and dentin-producing odontoblasts. Notch2 receptor and DLL1 expression were elevated in ameloblasts of PACAP-deficient mice compared to those in WT ones. The expression of CSL showed similar results both in the ameloblasts and odontoblasts. Jagged1 ligand expression was elevated in the odontoblasts of homozygous PACAP-deficient mice compared to WT mice. Other Notch pathway elements did not show significant differences between the genotype groups. The lack of PACAP leads to upregulation of Notch pathway elements in the odontoblast and ameloblast cells. The underlying molecular mechanisms are yet to be elucidated; however, we propose SHH-dependent and independent processes. We hypothesize that this compensatory upregulation of Notch signaling by the lack of PACAP could represent a salvage pathway in PACAP-deficient animals.

Role of a VGF/BDNF/TrkB Autoregulatory Feedback Loop in Rapid-Acting Antidepressant Efficacy


Members of the neurotrophin family and in particular brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulate the response to rapid- and slow-acting chemical antidepressants and voluntary exercise. Recent work suggests that rapid-acting antidepressants that modulate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) signaling (e.g., ketamine and GLYX-13) require expression of VGF (non-acronymic), the BDNF-inducible secreted neuronal protein and peptide precursor, for efficacy. In addition, the VGF-derived C-terminal peptide TLQP-62 (named by its 4 N-terminal amino acids and length) has antidepressant efficacy following icv or intra-hippocampal administration, in the forced swim test (FST). Similar to ketamine, the rapid antidepressant actions of TLQP-62 require BDNF expression, mTOR activation (rapamycin-sensitive), and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor activation (NBQX-sensitive) and are associated with GluR1 insertion. We review recent findings that identify a rapidly induced autoregulatory feedback loop, which likely plays a critical role in sustained efficacy of rapid-acting antidepressants, depression-like behavior, and cognition, and requires VGF, its C-terminal peptide TLQP-62, BDNF/TrkB signaling, the mTOR pathway, and AMPA receptor activation and insertion.

Retinoprotective Effects of TAT-Bound Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide and Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase Activating Polypeptide


Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) belong to the same peptide family and exert a variety of biological functions. Both PACAP and VIP have protective effects in several tissues. While PACAP is known to be a stronger retinoprotective peptide, VIP has very potent anti-inflammatory effects. The need for a non-invasive therapeutic approach has emerged and PACAP has been shown to be retinoprotective when administered in the form of eye drops as well. The cell penetrating peptide TAT is composed of 11 amino acids and tagging of TAT at the C-terminus of neuropeptides PACAP/VIP can enhance the traversing ability of the peptides through the biological barriers. We hypothesized that TAT-bound PACAP and VIP could be more effective in exerting retinoprotective effects when given in eye drops, by increasing the traversing efficacy and enhancing the activation of the PAC1 receptor. Rats were subjected to bilateral carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO), and retinas were processed for histological analysis 14 days later. The efficiency of the TAT-bound peptides to reach the retina was assessed as well as their cAMP increasing ability. Our present study provides evidence, for the first time, that topically administered PACAP and VIP derivatives (PACAP-TAT and VIP-TAT) attenuate ischemic retinal degeneration via the PAC1 receptor presumably due to a multifactorial protective mechanism.

Alexandros Sfakianakis
Anapafseos 5 . Agios Nikolaos

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