Highlights
  • Review Article | October 31, 2019

    Synucleinopathies are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the progressive accumulation of α-synuclein (α-syn) in neurons and glia and include Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In this review, we consolidate our key findings and recent studies concerning the role of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), a pattern recognition innate immune receptor, in the pathogenesis of synucleinopathies. First, we address the pathological interaction of α-syn with microglial TLR2 and its neurotoxic inflammatory effects. Then, we show that neuronal TLR2 activation not only induces abnormal α-syn accumulation by impairing autophagy, but also modulates α-syn transmission. Finally, we demonstrate that administration of a TLR2 functional inhibitor improves the neuropathology and behavioral deficits of a synucleinopathy mouse model. Altogether, we present TLR2 modulation as a promising immunotherapy for synucleinopathies.

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    Synucleinopathies are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the progressive accumulation of α-synuclein (α-syn) in neurons and glia and include Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In this review, we consolidate our key findings and recent studies concerning the role of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), a pattern recognition innate immune receptor, in the pathogenesis of synucleinopathies. First, we address the pathological interaction of α-syn with microglial TLR2 and its neurotoxic inflammatory effects. Then, we show that neuronal TLR2 activation not only induces abnormal α-syn accumulation by impairing autophagy, but also modulates α-syn transmission. Finally, we demonstrate that administration of a TLR2 functional inhibitor improves the neuropathology and behavioral deficits of a synucleinopathy mouse model. Altogether, we present TLR2 modulation as a promising immunotherapy for synucleinopathies.
    Somin Kwon, Michiyo Iba, Eliezer Masliah and Changyoun Kim
  • Review Article | October 31, 2019

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the aging population after Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Defects in the lysosomal systems and mitochondria have been suspected to cause the pathogenesis of PD. Nevertheless, the pathogenesis of PD remains obscure. Abnormal cholesterol metabolism is linked to numerous disorders, including atherosclerosis. The brain contains the highest level of cholesterol in the body and abnormal cholesterol metabolism links also many neurodegenerative disorders such as AD, PD, Huntington’s disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The blood brain barrier effectively prevents uptake of lipoprotein-bound cholesterol from blood circulation. Accordingly, cholesterol level in the brain is independent from that in peripheral tissues. Because cholesterol metabolism in both peripheral tissue and the brain are quite different, cholesterol metabolism associated with neurodegeneration should be examined separately from that in peripheral tissues. Here, we review and compare cholesterol metabolism in the brain and peripheral tissues. Furthermore, the relationship between alterations in cholesterol metabolism and PD pathogenesis is reviewed.

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    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the aging population after Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Defects in the lysosomal systems and mitochondria have been suspected to cause the pathogenesis of PD. Nevertheless, the pathogenesis of PD remains obscure. Abnormal cholesterol metabolism is linked to numerous disorders, including atherosclerosis. The brain contains the highest level of cholesterol in the body and abnormal cholesterol metabolism links also many neurodegenerative disorders such as AD, PD, Huntington’s disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The blood brain barrier effectively prevents uptake of lipoprotein-bound cholesterol from blood circulation. Accordingly, cholesterol level in the brain is independent from that in peripheral tissues. Because cholesterol metabolism in both peripheral tissue and the brain are quite different, cholesterol metabolism associated with neurodegeneration should be examined separately from that in peripheral tissues. Here, we review and compare cholesterol metabolism in the brain and peripheral tissues. Furthermore, the relationship between alterations in cholesterol metabolism and PD pathogenesis is reviewed.
    Uram Jin, Soo Jin Park and Sang Myun Park
  • Original Article | October 31, 2019

    The thalamus is a brain structure known to modulate sensory information before relaying to the cortex. The unique ability of a thalamocortical (TC) neuron to switch between the high frequency burst firing and single spike tonic firing has been implicated to have a key role in sensory modulation including pain. Of the two firing modes, burst firing, especially maintaining certain burst firing properties, was suggested to be critical in controlling nociceptive behaviors. Therefore, understanding the factors that influence burst firing properties would offer important insight into understanding sensory modulation. Using computational modeling, we investigated how the balance of excitatory and inhibitory inputs into a TC neuron influence TC bursting properties. We found that intensity of inhibitory inputs and the timing of excitatory input delivery control the dynamics of bursting properties. Then, to reflect a more realistic model, excitatory inputs delivered at different dendritic locations—proximal, intermediate, or distal—of a TC neuron were also investigated. Interestingly, excitatory input delivered into a distal dendrite, despite the furthest distance, had the strongest influence in shaping burst firing properties, suggesting that not all inputs equally contribute to modulating TC bursting properties. Overall, the results provide computational insights in understanding the detailed mechanism of the factors influencing temporal pattern of thalamic bursts.

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    The thalamus is a brain structure known to modulate sensory information before relaying to the cortex. The unique ability of a thalamocortical (TC) neuron to switch between the high frequency burst firing and single spike tonic firing has been implicated to have a key role in sensory modulation including pain. Of the two firing modes, burst firing, especially maintaining certain burst firing properties, was suggested to be critical in controlling nociceptive behaviors. Therefore, understanding the factors that influence burst firing properties would offer important insight into understanding sensory modulation. Using computational modeling, we investigated how the balance of excitatory and inhibitory inputs into a TC neuron influence TC bursting properties. We found that intensity of inhibitory inputs and the timing of excitatory input delivery control the dynamics of bursting properties. Then, to reflect a more realistic model, excitatory inputs delivered at different dendritic locations—proximal, intermediate, or distal—of a TC neuron were also investigated. Interestingly, excitatory input delivered into a distal dendrite, despite the furthest distance, had the strongest influence in shaping burst firing properties, suggesting that not all inputs equally contribute to modulating TC bursting properties. Overall, the results provide computational insights in understanding the detailed mechanism of the factors influencing temporal pattern of thalamic bursts.
    Sanggeon Park, Jeong-Woo Sohn, Jeiwon Cho and Yeowool Huh
  • Original Article | October 31, 2019

    Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5 (LGR5) has been reported to play critical roles in the proliferation of various cancer cells. However, the roles of LGR5 in brain tumors and the specific intracellular signaling proteins directly associated with it remain unknown. Expression of LGR5 was first measured in normal brain tissue, meningioma, and pituitary adenoma of humans. To identify the downstream signaling pathways of LGR5, siRNA-mediated knockdown of LGR5 was performed in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells followed by proteomics analysis with 2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE). In addition, the expression of LGR5-associated proteins was evaluated in LGR5-inhibited neuroblastoma cells and in human normal brain, meningioma, and pituitary adenoma tissue. Proteomics analysis showed 12 protein spots were significantly different in expression level (more than two-fold change) and subsequently identified by peptide mass fingerprinting. A protein association network was constructed from the 12 identified proteins altered by LGR5 knockdown. Direct and indirect interactions were identified among the 12 proteins. HSP 90-beta was one of the proteins whose expression was altered by LGR5 knockdown. Likewise, we observed decreased expression of proteins in the hnRNP subfamily following LGR5 knockdown. In addition, we have for the first time identified significantly higher hnRNP family expression in meningioma and pituitary adenoma compared to normal brain tissue. Taken together, LGR5 and its downstream signaling play critical roles in neuroblastoma and brain tumors such as meningioma and pituitary adenoma.

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    Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5 (LGR5) has been reported to play critical roles in the proliferation of various cancer cells. However, the roles of LGR5 in brain tumors and the specific intracellular signaling proteins directly associated with it remain unknown. Expression of LGR5 was first measured in normal brain tissue, meningioma, and pituitary adenoma of humans. To identify the downstream signaling pathways of LGR5, siRNA-mediated knockdown of LGR5 was performed in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells followed by proteomics analysis with 2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE). In addition, the expression of LGR5-associated proteins was evaluated in LGR5-inhibited neuroblastoma cells and in human normal brain, meningioma, and pituitary adenoma tissue. Proteomics analysis showed 12 protein spots were significantly different in expression level (more than two-fold change) and subsequently identified by peptide mass fingerprinting. A protein association network was constructed from the 12 identified proteins altered by LGR5 knockdown. Direct and indirect interactions were identified among the 12 proteins. HSP 90-beta was one of the proteins whose expression was altered by LGR5 knockdown. Likewise, we observed decreased expression of proteins in the hnRNP subfamily following LGR5 knockdown. In addition, we have for the first time identified significantly higher hnRNP family expression in meningioma and pituitary adenoma compared to normal brain tissue. Taken together, LGR5 and its downstream signaling play critical roles in neuroblastoma and brain tumors such as meningioma and pituitary adenoma.
    Mina Hwang, Myung-Hoon Han, Hyun-Hee Park et al.
Vol.28 No.5 | October 31, 2019
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2017 Impact Factor 3.810. 2018 Impact Factor 2.360 en Experimental Neurobiology in SCIe As of August 2017 Covered from 2015

Highly Cited Papers

  • Original Article | February 28, 2017

    Microglia play a key role in the immune response and inflammatory reaction that occurs in response to ischemic stroke. Activated microglia promote neuronal damage or protection in injured brain tissue. Extracellular signals polarize the microglia towards the M1/M2 phenotype. The M1/M2 phenotype microglia released pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines which induce the activation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs). In this study, we investigated how the cytokines released by microglia affect the activation of NSPCs. First, we treated BV2 cells with a lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 20 ng/ml) for M1 phenotype microglia and interleukin-4 (IL-4; 20 ng/ml) for M2 phenotype microglia in BV2 cells. Mice were subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) for 1 h. In ex vivo, brain sections containing the subventricular zone (SVZ) were cultured in conditioned media of M1 and M2 phenotype-conditioned media for 3 d. We measured the expression of cytokines in the conditioned media by RT-PCR and ELISA. The M2 phenotype microglia-conditioned media led to the proliferation and neural differentiation of NSPCs in the ipsilateral SVZ after ischemic stroke. The RT-PCR and ELISA results showed that the expression of TGF-α mRNA was significantly higher in the M2 phenotype microglia-conditioned media. These data support that M2 phenotype microglia-derived TGF-α is one of the key factors to enhance proliferation and neural differntiation of NSPCs after ischemic stroke.

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    Microglia play a key role in the immune response and inflammatory reaction that occurs in response to ischemic stroke. Activated microglia promote neuronal damage or protection in injured brain tissue. Extracellular signals polarize the microglia towards the M1/M2 phenotype. The M1/M2 phenotype microglia released pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines which induce the activation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs). In this study, we investigated how the cytokines released by microglia affect the activation of NSPCs. First, we treated BV2 cells with a lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 20 ng/ml) for M1 phenotype microglia and interleukin-4 (IL-4; 20 ng/ml) for M2 phenotype microglia in BV2 cells. Mice were subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) for 1 h. In ex vivo, brain sections containing the subventricular zone (SVZ) were cultured in conditioned media of M1 and M2 phenotype-conditioned media for 3 d. We measured the expression of cytokines in the conditioned media by RT-PCR and ELISA. The M2 phenotype microglia-conditioned media led to the proliferation and neural differentiation of NSPCs in the ipsilateral SVZ after ischemic stroke. The RT-PCR and ELISA results showed that the expression of TGF-α mRNA was significantly higher in the M2 phenotype microglia-conditioned media. These data support that M2 phenotype microglia-derived TGF-α is one of the key factors to enhance proliferation and neural differntiation of NSPCs after ischemic stroke.
    Ja Yong Choi, Jong Youl Kim, Jae Young Kim et al.
  • Original Article | August 31, 2017

    Glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) stimulates glucose-dependent insulin secretion. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, which block inactivation of GLP-1, are currently in clinical use for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Recently, GLP-1 has also been reported to have neuroprotective effects in cases of cerebral ischemia. We therefore investigated the neuroprotective effects of GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonist, exendin-4 (ex-4), after cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) was induced in rats by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of ex-4 or ex9-39. Oxygen-glucose deprivation was also induced in primary neurons, bEnd.3 cells, and BV-2. Ischemia-reperfusion injury reduced expression of GLP-1R. Additionally, higher oxidative stress in SOD2 KO mice decreased expression of GLP-1R. Downregulation of GLP-1R by ischemic injury was 70% restored by GLP-1R agonist, ex-4, which resulted in significant reduction of infarct volume. Levels of intracellular cyclic AMP, a second messenger of GLP-1R, were also increased by 2.7-fold as a result of high GLP-1R expression. Moreover, our results showed that ex-4 attenuated pro-inflammatory cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and prostaglandin E2 after MCAO. C-Jun NH2 terminal kinase (JNK) signaling, which stimulates activation of COX-2, was 36% inhibited by i.c.v. injection of ex-4 at 24 h. Islet-brain 1 (IB1), a scaffold regulator of JNK, was 1.7-fold increased by ex-4. GLP-1R activation by ex-4 resulted in reduction of COX-2 through increasing IB1 expression, resulting in anti-inflammatory neuroprotection during stroke. Our study suggests that the anti-inflammatory action of GLP-1 could be used as a new strategy for the treatment of neuroinflammation after stroke accompanied by hyperglycemia.

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    Glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) stimulates glucose-dependent insulin secretion. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, which block inactivation of GLP-1, are currently in clinical use for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Recently, GLP-1 has also been reported to have neuroprotective effects in cases of cerebral ischemia. We therefore investigated the neuroprotective effects of GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonist, exendin-4 (ex-4), after cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) was induced in rats by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of ex-4 or ex9-39. Oxygen-glucose deprivation was also induced in primary neurons, bEnd.3 cells, and BV-2. Ischemia-reperfusion injury reduced expression of GLP-1R. Additionally, higher oxidative stress in SOD2 KO mice decreased expression of GLP-1R. Downregulation of GLP-1R by ischemic injury was 70% restored by GLP-1R agonist, ex-4, which resulted in significant reduction of infarct volume. Levels of intracellular cyclic AMP, a second messenger of GLP-1R, were also increased by 2.7-fold as a result of high GLP-1R expression. Moreover, our results showed that ex-4 attenuated pro-inflammatory cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and prostaglandin E2 after MCAO. C-Jun NH2 terminal kinase (JNK) signaling, which stimulates activation of COX-2, was 36% inhibited by i.c.v. injection of ex-4 at 24 h. Islet-brain 1 (IB1), a scaffold regulator of JNK, was 1.7-fold increased by ex-4. GLP-1R activation by ex-4 resulted in reduction of COX-2 through increasing IB1 expression, resulting in anti-inflammatory neuroprotection during stroke. Our study suggests that the anti-inflammatory action of GLP-1 could be used as a new strategy for the treatment of neuroinflammation after stroke accompanied by hyperglycemia.
    Soojin Kim, Jaewon Jeong, Hye-Seon Jung et al.
  • Review Article | February 28, 2017

    Addictive drug use or prescribed medicine abuse can cause psychosis. Some representative symptoms frequently elicited by patients with psychosis are hallucination, anhedonia, and disrupted executive functions. These psychoses are categorized into three classifications of symptoms: positive, negative, and cognitive. The symptoms of DIP are not different from the symptoms of schizophrenia, and it is difficult to distinguish between them. Due to this ambiguity of distinction between the DIP and schizophrenia, the DIP animal model has been frequently used as the schizophrenia animal model. However, although the symptoms may be the same, its causes are clearly different in that DIP is acquired and schizophrenia is heritable. Therefore, in this review, we cover several DIP models such as of amphetamine, PCP/ketamine, scopolamine, and LSD, and then we also address three schizophrenia models through a genetic approach with a new perspective that distinguishes DIP from schizophrenia.

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    Addictive drug use or prescribed medicine abuse can cause psychosis. Some representative symptoms frequently elicited by patients with psychosis are hallucination, anhedonia, and disrupted executive functions. These psychoses are categorized into three classifications of symptoms: positive, negative, and cognitive. The symptoms of DIP are not different from the symptoms of schizophrenia, and it is difficult to distinguish between them. Due to this ambiguity of distinction between the DIP and schizophrenia, the DIP animal model has been frequently used as the schizophrenia animal model. However, although the symptoms may be the same, its causes are clearly different in that DIP is acquired and schizophrenia is heritable. Therefore, in this review, we cover several DIP models such as of amphetamine, PCP/ketamine, scopolamine, and LSD, and then we also address three schizophrenia models through a genetic approach with a new perspective that distinguishes DIP from schizophrenia.
    Suji Ham, Tae Kyoo Kim, Sooyoung Chung and Heh-In Im

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Volume 28, Number 5, October 2019

Review Articles

547 Targeting Microglial and Neuronal Toll-like Receptor 2 in Synucleinopathies

Somin Kwon, Michiyo Iba, Eliezer Masliah and Changyoun Kim

Innate immune receptor Toll-like receptor 2 has been implicated in synucleinopathies such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Our recent work demonstrates the pathogenic interaction between α-syn and TLR2 on microglia and neurons to modulate neuroinflammation, α-synuclein deposition, and neurodegeneration. Modulation of TLR2 thus holds significant promise as a novel immunotherapeutic strategy against synucleinopathies.

554 Cholesterol Metabolism in the Brain and Its Association with Parkinson’s Disease

Uram Jin, Soo Jin Park and Sang Myun Park

The brain contains the highest level of cholesterol in the body and abnormal cholesterol metabolism links also many neurodegenerative disorders. Because cholesterol metabolism in both peripheral tissue and the brain are quite different, cholesterol metabolism associated with neurodegeneration should be examined separately from that in peripheral tissues. Here, we review cholesterol metabolism in the brain and peripheral tissues and summarize the relationship between alterations in cholesterol metabolism and PD pathogenesis is reviewed.

Original Articles

568 A Computational Modeling Reveals that Strength of Inhibitory Input, E/I Balance, and Distance of Excitatory Input Modulate Thalamocortical Bursting Properties

Sanggeon Park, Jeong-Woo Sohn, Jeiwon Cho and Yeowool Huh

Conditions affecting bursting properties were analyzed with computational modeling, since maintaining specific thalamic bursting properties is suggested to be critical for gating sensory information. Characteristics of inhibitory input, the balance of excitatory and inhibitory inputs, and excitatory inputs delivered at different dendritic locations affected thalamic bursting properties, which determines modulation power.

578 Modulation of Dopaminergic Neuronal Excitability by Zinc through the Regulation of Calcium-related Channels

Jihyun Noh and Jun-mo Chung

Zinc-induced augmentation of firing activity was mediated through the inhibition of small-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels with contributions from voltage-gated L-type calcium channels (VGCCs) and ryanodine receptors, as well as by the activation of VGCCs via melastatin-like transient receptor potential channels.

593 3-Carene, a Phytoncide from Pine Tree has a Sleep-enhancing Effect by Targeting the GABAA-benzodiazepine Receptors

Junsung Woo, Hyejin Yang, Minseok Yoon, Changdev G. Gadhe, Ae Nim Pae, Suengmok Cho and C. Justin Lee

3-carene, a phytoncide and a bicyclic monoterpene of the pine tree oils, shows sleep-enhancing effects by acting as a positive modulator for GABAA-BZD receptor.

602 Combination of In Vivo [123I]FP-CIT SPECT and Microdialysis Reveals an Antipsychotic Drug Haloperidol-induced Synaptic Dopamine Availability in the Rat Midbrain and Striatum

So Hyeon Park, Yoo Sung Song, Byung Seok Moon, Byung Chul Lee, Hyun Soo Park and Sang Eun Kim

This study demonstrates that [123I]FP-CIT SPECT may be a useful preclinical technique for detecting increases in synaptic DA availability induced by haloperidol treatment in both the midbrain and the striatum, with results comparable to those obtained by in vivo microdialysis.

612 Transduced Tat-aldose Reductase Protects Hippocampal Neuronal Cells against Oxidative Stress-induced Damage

Su Bin Cho, Won Sik Eum, Min Jea Shin, Hyun Jung Kwon, Jung Hwan Park, Yeon Joo Choi, Jinseu Park, Kyu Hyung Han, Ju Hyeon Kang, Duk-Soo Kim, Sung-Woo Cho, Dae Won Kim and Soo Young Choi

Although aldose reductase (AR) have been considered as therapeutic agents for ischemia, the limitation is to deliver of this protein into target cells. Thus, protein transduction domain fused cell permeable Tat-AR fusion protein may overcome this challenge and help to realize the potential of AR for application as a therapeutic protein. In this study, we found that Tat-AR protein transduced into hippocampal CA1 region, passing through the BBB, and markedly inhibited hippocampal neuronal cell death induced by ischemic injury. Therefore, we suggest that Tat-AR protein could be used as potential therapeutic agent for ischemic injury.

628 LGR5 and Downstream Intracellular Signaling Proteins Play Critical Roles in the Cell Proliferation of Neuroblastoma, Meningioma and Pituitary Adenoma

Mina Hwang, Myung-Hoon Han, Hyun-Hee Park, Hojin Choi, Kyu-Yong Lee, Young Joo Lee, Jae Min Kim, Jin Hwan Cheong, Je Il Ryu, Kyueng-Whan Min, Young-Ha Oh, Yong Ko and Seong-Ho Koh

Our results may suggest a possible connection between LGR5 and its downstream signaling and neuroblastoma and brain tumors such as meningioma and pituitary adenoma. We hypothesized that activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling by LGR5 activation may activate the hnRNP family and this process may result in hyperactivation of alternative pre-mRNA processing in human meningioma and pituitary adenoma.