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   Table of Contents - Current issue
Coverpage
March 2020
Volume 15 | Issue 3
Page Nos. 373-568

Online since Thursday, September 26, 2019

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REVIEWS  

Neural crest derived stem cells from dental pulp and tooth-associated stem cells for peripheral nerve regeneration Highly accessed article p. 373
Alessandra Pisciotta, Laura Bertoni, Antonio Vallarola, Giulia Bertani, Daniela Mecugni, Gianluca Carnevale
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266043  PMID:31571644
The peripheral nerve injuries, representing some of the most common types of traumatic lesions affecting the nervous system, are highly invalidating for the patients besides being a huge social burden. Although peripheral nervous system owns a higher regenerative capacity than does central nervous system, mostly depending on Schwann cells intervention in injury repair, several factors determine the extent of functional outcome after healing. Based on the injury type, different therapeutic approaches have been investigated so far. Nerve grafting and Schwann cell transplantation have represented the gold standard treatment for peripheral nerve injuries, however these approaches own limitations, such as scarce donor nerve availability and donor site morbidity. Cell based therapies might provide a suitable tool for peripheral nerve regeneration, in fact, the ability of different stem cell types to differentiate towards Schwann cells in combination with the use of different scaffolds have been widely investigated in animal models of peripheral nerve injuries in the last decade. Dental pulp is a promising cell source for regenerative medicine, because of the ease of isolation procedures, stem cell proliferation and multipotency abilities, which are due to the embryological origin from neural crest. In this article we review the literature concerning the application of tooth derived stem cell populations combined with different conduits to peripheral nerve injuries animal models, highlighting their regenerative contribution exerted through either glial differentiation and neuroprotective/neurotrophic effects on the host tissue.
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Molecular complexity of visual mapping: a challenge for regenerating therapy p. 382
Mara Medori, Gonzalo Spelzini, Gabriel Scicolone
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266044  PMID:31571645
Investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of topographically ordered connections in the central nervous system constitutes an important issue in neurobiology because these connections are the base of the central nervous system normal function. The dominant model to study the development of topographic maps is the projection from the retinal ganglion cells to the optic tectum/colliculus. The expression pattern of Eph/ephrin system in opposing gradients both in the retina and the tectum, labels the local addresses on the target and gives specific sensitivities to growth cones according to their topographic origin in the retina. The rigid precision of normal retinotopic mapping has prompted the chemoaffinity hypothesis, positing axonal targeting to be based on fixed biochemical affinities between fibers and targets. However, several lines of evidence have shown that the mapping can adjust to experimentally modified targets with flexibility, demonstrating the robustness of the guidance process. Here we discuss the complex ways the Ephs and ephrins interact allowing to understand how the retinotectal mapping is a precise but also a flexible process.
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Dopamine as a growth differentiation factor in the mammalian brain p. 390
Koji Ohira
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266052  PMID:31571646
The catecholamine, dopamine, plays an important role in the central nervous system of mammals, including executive functions, motor control, motivation, arousal, reinforcement, and reward. Dysfunctions of the dopaminergic system lead to diseases of the brains, such as Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, and schizophrenia. In addition to its fundamental role as a neurotransmitter, there is evidence for a role as a growth differentiation factor during development. Recent studies suggest that dopamine regulates the development of γ-aminobutyric acidergic interneurons of the cerebral cortex. Moreover, in adult brains, dopamine increases the production of new neurons in the hippocampus, suggesting the promoting effect of dopamine on proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells and progenitor cells in the adult brains. In this mini-review, I center my attention on dopaminergic functions in the cortical interneurons during development and further discuss cell therapy against neurodegenerative diseases.
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Dietary habits, lifestyle factors and neurodegenerative diseases Highly accessed article p. 394
Aurel Popa-Wagner, Dinu Iuliu Dumitrascu, Bogdan Capitanescu, Eugen Bogdan Petcu, Roxana Surugiu, Wen-Hui Fang, Danut-Adrian Dumbrava
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266045  PMID:31571647
Worldwide stroke is increasing in parallel with modernization, changes in lifestyle, and the growing elderly population. Our review is focused on the link between diet, as part of ‘modern lifestyle’, and health in the context of genetic predisposition of individuals to ‘unhealthy’ metabolic pathway activity. It is concluded that lifestyle including high sugar diets, alcohol and tobacco addiction or high fat diets as well as ageing, brain injury, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, negatively influence the onset, severity and duration of neurodegenerative diseases. Fortunately, there are several healthy dietary components such as polyunsaturated fatty acids and the anti-oxidants curcumin, resveratrol, blueberry polyphenols, sulphoraphane, salvionic acid as well as caloric restriction and physical activity, which may counteract ageing and associated neurodegenerative diseases via increased autophagy or increased neurogenesis in the adult brain.
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Can mouse models mimic sporadic Alzheimer’s disease? p. 401
Bettina M Foidl, Christian Humpel
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266046  PMID:31571648
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder and the most common form of dementia worldwide. As age is the main risk factor, > 97% of all AD cases are of sporadic origin, potentiated by various risk factors associated with life style and starting at an age > 60 years. Only < 3% of AD cases are of genetic origin caused by mutations in the amyloid precursor protein or Presenilins 1 or 2, and symptoms already start at an age < 30 years. In order to study progression of AD, as well as therapeutic strategies, mouse models are state-of-the-art. So far many transgenic mouse models have been developed and used, with mutations in the APP or presenilin or combinations (3×Tg, 5×Tg). However, such transgenic mouse models more likely mimic the genetic form of AD and no information can be given how sporadic forms develop. Several risk genes, such as Apolipoprotein E4 and TREM-2 enhance the risk of sporadic AD, but also many risk factors associated with life style (e.g., diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, stress) may play a role. In this review we discuss the current situation regarding AD mouse models, and the problems to develop a sporadic mouse model of AD.
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Navigating the dynamic landscape of alpha-synuclein morphology: a review of the physiologically relevant tetrameric conformation p. 407
Heather R Lucas, Ricardo D Fernández
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.265792  PMID:31571649
N-acetylated α-synuclein (αSyn) has long been established as an intrinsically disordered protein associated with a dysfunctional role in Parkinson’s disease. In recent years, a physiologically relevant, higher order conformation has been identified as a helical tetramer that is tailored by buried hydrophobic interactions and is distinctively aggregation resistant. The canonical mechanism by which the tetramer assembles remains elusive. As novel biochemical approaches, computational methods, pioneering purification platforms, and powerful imaging techniques continue to develop, puzzling information that once sparked debate as to the veracity of the tetramer has now shed light upon this new counterpart in αSyn neurobiology. Nuclear magnetic resonance and computational studies on multimeric αSyn structure have revealed that the protein folding propensity is controlled by small energy barriers that enable large scale reconfiguration. Alternatively, familial mutations ablate tetramerization and reconfigure polymorphic fibrillization. In this review, we will discuss the dynamic landscape of αSyn quaternary structure with a focus on the tetrameric conformation.
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Therapeutic potential of natural compounds from Chinese medicine in acute and subacute phases of ischemic stroke p. 416
Bei Zhang, Kathryn E Saatman, Lei Chen
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.265545  PMID:31571650
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in adults worldwide, resulting in huge social and financial burdens. Extracts from herbs, especially those used in Chinese medicine, have emerged as new pharmaceuticals for stroke treatment. Here we review the evidence from preclinical studies investigating neuroprotective properties of Chinese medicinal compounds through their application in acute and subacute phases of ischemic stroke, and highlight potential mechanisms underlying their therapeutic effects. It is noteworthy that many herbal compounds have been shown to target multiple mechanisms and in combinations may exert synergistic effects on signaling pathways, thereby attenuating multiple aspects of ischemic pathology. We conclude the paper with a general discussion of the prospects for novel natural compound-based regimens against stroke.
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Taking central nervous system regenerative therapies to the clinic: curing rodents versus nonhuman primates versus humans p. 425
Magdalini Tsintou, Kyriakos Dalamagkas, Nikos Makris
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266048  PMID:31571651
The central nervous system is known to have limited regenerative capacity. Not only does this halt the human body’s reparative processes after central nervous system lesions, but it also impedes the establishment of effective and safe therapeutic options for such patients. Despite the high prevalence of stroke and spinal cord injury in the general population, these conditions remain incurable and place a heavy burden on patients’ families and on society more broadly. Neuroregeneration and neural engineering are diverse biomedical fields that attempt reparative treatments, utilizing stem cells-based strategies, biologically active molecules, nanotechnology, exosomes and highly tunable biodegradable systems (e.g., certain hydrogels). Although there are studies demonstrating promising preclinical results, safe clinical translation has not yet been accomplished. A key gap in clinical translation is the absence of an ideal animal or ex vivo model that can perfectly simulate the human microenvironment, and also correspond to all the complex pathophysiological and neuroanatomical factors that affect functional outcomes in humans after central nervous system injury. Such an ideal model does not currently exist, but it seems that the nonhuman primate model is uniquely qualified for this role, given its close resemblance to humans. This review considers some regenerative therapies for central nervous system repair that hold promise for future clinical translation. In addition, it attempts to uncover some of the main reasons why clinical translation might fail without the implementation of nonhuman primate models in the research pipeline.
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Glutamate receptors and glutamatergic signalling in the peripheral nerves p. 438
Ting-Jiun Chen, Maria Kukley
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266047  PMID:31571652
In the peripheral nervous system, the vast majority of axons are accommodated within the fibre bundles that constitute the peripheral nerves. Axons within the nerves are in close contact with myelinating glia, the Schwann cells that are ideally placed to respond to, and possibly shape, axonal activity. The mechanisms of intercellular communication in the peripheral nerves may involve direct contact between the cells, as well as signalling via diffusible substances. Neurotransmitter glutamate has been proposed as a candidate extracellular molecule mediating the cross-talk between cells in the peripheral nerves. Two types of experimental findings support this idea: first, glutamate has been detected in the nerves and can be released upon electrical or chemical stimulation of the nerves; second, axons and Schwann cells in the peripheral nerves express glutamate receptors. Yet, the studies providing direct experimental evidence that intercellular glutamatergic signalling takes place in the peripheral nerves during physiological or pathological conditions are largely missing. Remarkably, in the central nervous system, axons and myelinating glia are involved in glutamatergic signalling. This signalling occurs via different mechanisms, the most intriguing of which is fast synaptic communication between axons and oligodendrocyte precursor cells. Glutamate receptors and/or synaptic axon-glia signalling are involved in regulation of proliferation, migration, and differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells, survival of oligodendrocytes, and re-myelination of axons after damage. Does synaptic signalling exist between axons and Schwann cells in the peripheral nerves? What is the functional role of glutamate receptors in the peripheral nerves? Is activation of glutamate receptors in the nerves beneficial or harmful during diseases? In this review, we summarise the limited information regarding glutamate release and glutamate receptors in the peripheral nerves and speculate about possible mechanisms of glutamatergic signalling in the nerves. We highlight the necessity of further research on this topic because it should help to understand the mechanisms of peripheral nervous system development and nerve regeneration during diseases.
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PERSPECTIVES Top

Administration of pre/probiotics with conventional drug treatment in Alzheimer’s disease p. 448
Jakub Hort, Martin Valis, Francesco Angelucci
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266057  PMID:31571653
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Electro-chemotactic stimuli for cell replacement therapy in neurosensory retina p. 450
Maribel Vazquez
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266056  PMID:31571654
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Compartmentalization of local cAMP signaling in neuronal growth and survival p. 453
Tomasz Boczek, Michael S Kapiloff
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266055  PMID:31571655
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Necroptosis in global cerebral ischemia: a role for endoplasmic reticulum stress p. 455
Enrique Font-Belmonte, Paloma González-Rodríguez, Arsenio Fernández-López
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266054  PMID:31571656
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RESEARCH ARTICLES: BRAIN INJURY AND NEURAL REGENERATION Top

Hypoxia-ischemia in the immature rodent brain impairs serotonergic neuronal function in certain dorsal raphé nuclei p. 457
Hanna E Reinebrant, Julie A Wixey, Kathryn M Buller
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266067  PMID:31571657
Neonatal hypoxia-ischemia (HI) results in losses of serotonergic neurons in specific dorsal raphé nuclei. However, not all serotonergic raphé neurons are lost and it is therefore important to assess the function of remaining neurons in order to understand their potential to contribute to neurological disorders in the HI-affected neonate. The main objective of this study was to determine how serotonergic neurons, remaining in the dorsal raphé nuclei after neonatal HI, respond to an external stimulus (restraint stress). On postnatal day 3 (P3), male rat pups were randomly allocated to one of the following groups: (i) control + no restraint (n = 5), (ii) control + restraint (n = 6), (iii) P3 HI + no restraint (n = 5) or (iv) P3 HI + restraint (n = 7). In the two HI groups, rat pups underwent surgery to ligate the common carotid artery and were then exposed to 6% O2 for 30 minutes. Six weeks after P3 HI, on P45, rats were subjected to restraint stress for 30 minutes. Using dual immunolabeling for Fos protein, a marker for neuronal activity, and serotonin (5-hydroxytrypamine; 5-HT), numbers of Fos-positive 5-HT neurons were determined in five dorsal raphé nuclei. We found that restraint stress alone increased numbers of Fos-positive 5-HT neurons in all five dorsal raphé nuclei compared to control animals. However, following P3 HI, the number of stress-induced Fos-positive 5-HT neurons was decreased significantly in the dorsal raphé ventrolateral, interfascicular and ventral nuclei compared with control animals exposed to restraint stress. In contrast, numbers of stress-induced Fos-positive 5-HT neurons in the dorsal raphé dorsal and caudal nuclei were not affected by P3 HI. These data indicate that not only are dorsal raphé serotonergic neurons lost after neonatal HI, but also remaining dorsal raphé serotonergic neurons have reduced differential functional viability in response to an external stimulus. Procedures were approved by the University of Queensland Animal Ethics Committee (UQCCR958/08/NHMRC) on February 27, 2009.
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Transfer of mitochondria from mesenchymal stem cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells attenuates hypoxia-ischemia-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in PC12 cells p. 464
Yan Yang, Gen Ye, Yue-Lin Zhang, Hai-Wei He, Bao-Qi Yu, Yi-Mei Hong, Wei You, Xin Li
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266058  PMID:31571658
Mitochondrial dysfunction in neurons has been implicated in hypoxia-ischemia-induced brain injury. Although mesenchymal stem cell therapy has emerged as a novel treatment for this pathology, the mechanisms are not fully understood. To address this issue, we first co-cultured 1.5 × 105 PC12 cells with mesenchymal stem cells that were derived from induced pluripotent stem cells at a ratio of 1:1, and then intervened with cobalt chloride (CoCl2) for 24 hours. Reactive oxygen species in PC12 cells was measured by Mito-sox. Mitochondrial membrane potential (?Ψm) in PC12 cells was determined by JC-1 staining. Apoptosis of PC12 cells was detected by terminal deoxynucleotidal transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling staining. Mitochondrial morphology in PC12 cells was examined by transmission electron microscopy. Transfer of mitochondria from the mesenchymal stem cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells to damaged PC12 cells was measured by flow cytometry. Mesenchymal stem cells were induced from pluripotent stem cells by lentivirus infection containing green fluorescent protein in mitochondria. Then they were co-cultured with PC12 cells in Transwell chambers and treated with CoCl2 for 24 hours to detect adenosine triphosphate level in PC12 cells. CoCl2-induced PC12 cell damage was dose-dependent. Co-culture with mesenchymal stem cells significantly reduced apoptosis and restored ?Ψm in the injured PC12 cells under CoCl2 challenge. Co-culture with mesenchymal stem cells ameliorated mitochondrial swelling, the disappearance of cristae, and chromatin margination in the injured PC12 cells. After direct co-culture, mitochondrial transfer from the mesenchymal stem cells stem cells to PC12 cells was detected via formed tunneling nanotubes between these two types of cells. The transfer efficiency was greatly enhanced in the presence of CoCl2. More importantly, inhibition of tunneling nanotubes partially abrogated the beneficial effects of mesenchymal stem cells on CoCl2-induced PC12 cell injury. Mesenchymal stem cells reduced CoCl2-induced PC12 cell injury and these effects were in part due to efficacious mitochondrial transfer.
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Ligustilide protects PC12 cells from oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis via the LKB1-AMPK-mTOR signaling pathway p. 473
Dan-Yang Zhao, Dong-Dong Yu, Li Ren, Guo-Rong Bi
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266059  PMID:31571659
Autophagy has been shown to have a protective effect against brain damage. Ligustilide (LIG) is a bioactive substance isolated from Ligusticum chuanxiong, a traditional Chinese medicine. LIG has a neuroprotective effect; however, it is unclear whether this neuroprotective effect involves autophagy. In this study, PC12 cells were treated with 1 × 10–5–1 × 10–9 M LIG for 0, 3, 12 or 24 hours, and cell proliferation was evaluated using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (MTS) assay. Treatment with 1 × 10–6 M LIG for 3 hours had the greatest effect on cell proliferation, and was therefore used for subsequent experiments. PC12 cells were pre-treated with 1 × 10–6 M LIG for 3 hours, cultured in 95% N2/5% CO2 in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium without glucose or serum for 4 hours, and then cultured normally for 16 hours, to simulate oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R). Cell proliferation was assessed with the MTS assay. Apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry. The expression levels of apoptosis-related proteins, Bcl-2 and Bax, autophagy-related proteins, Beclin 1 and microtubule-associated protein l light chain 3B (LC3-II), and liver kinase B1 (LKB1)-5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway-related proteins were assessed by western blot assay. Immunofluorescence staining was used to detect LC3-II expression. Autophagosome formation was observed by electron microscopy. LIG significantly decreased apoptosis, increased Bcl-2, Beclin 1 and LC3-II expression, decreased Bax expression, increased LC3-II immunoreactivity and the number of autophagosomes, and activated the LKB1-AMPK-mTOR signaling pathway in PC12 cells exposed to OGD/R. The addition of the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine or dorsomorphin before OGD/R attenuated the activation of the LKB1-AMPK-mTOR signaling pathway in cells treated with LIG. Taken together, our findings show that LIG promotes autophagy and protects PC12 cells from apoptosis induced by OGD/R via the LKB1-AMPK-mTOR signaling pathway.
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RESEARCH ARTICLES: SPINAL CORD INJURY AND NEURAL REGENERATION Top

Neurological recovery and antioxidant effects of resveratrol in rats with spinal cord injury: a meta-analysis p. 482
Bao-Ping Xu, Min Yao, Zhen-Jun Li, Zi-Rui Tian, Jie Ye, Yong-Jun Wang, Xue-Jun Cui
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266064  PMID:31571660
Objective: To critically assess the neurological recovery and antioxidant effects of resveratrol in rat models of spinal cord injury. Data sources: Using “spinal cord injury”, “resveratrol” and “animal experiment” as the main search terms, all studies on the treatment of spinal cord injury in rats by resveratrol were searched for in PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Web of Science, Science Direct, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang, VIP, and SinoMed databases by computer. The search was conducted from their inception date to April 2017. No language restriction was used in the literature search. Data selection: The methodological quality of each study was assessed by the initial Stroke Therapy Academic Industry Roundtable recommendations. Two reviewers independently selected studies according to the title, abstract and full text. The risk of bias in the included studies was also evaluated. Meta-analyses were performed with Review Manager 5.3 software. Outcome measures: Neurological function was assessed by the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan scale score, inclined plane score and Gale’s motor function score. Molecular-biological analysis of antioxidative effects was conducted to determine superoxide dismutase levels, malondialdehyde levels, nitric oxide synthase activity, nitric oxide levels, xanthine oxidase and glutathione levels in spinal cord tissues. Results: The methodological quality of the 12 included studies was poor. The results of meta-analysis showed that compared with the control group, resveratrol significantly increased the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan scale scores after spinal cord injury (n = 300, mean difference (MD) = 3.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) [2.10, 5.59], P < 0.0001). Compared with the control group, superoxide dismutase levels were significantly elevated (n = 138, standardized mean difference (SMD) = 5.22, 95% CI [2.98, 7.45], P < 0.00001), but malondialdehyde levels were significantly diminished (n = 84, SMD = –3.64, 95% CI [–5.84, –1.43], P = 0.001) in the spinal cord of the resveratrol treatment group. Conclusions: Resveratrol promoted neurological recovery and exerted antioxidative effects in rat models of spinal cord injury. The limited quality of the included studies reduces the application of this meta-analysis. Therefore, more high-quality studies are needed to provide more rigorous and objective evidence for the pre-clinical treatment of spinal cord injury.
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RESEARCH ARTICLES: PERIPHERAL NERVE INJURY AND NEURAL REGENERATION Top

Animal models used to study direct peripheral nerve repair: a systematic review p. 491
Francisco Javier Vela, Guadalupe Martínez-Chacón, Alberto Ballestín, José Luis Campos, Francisco Miguel Sánchez-Margallo, Elena Abellán
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266068  PMID:31571661
Objective: Peripheral nerve repair is required after traumatic injury. This common condition represents a major public health problem worldwide. Recovery after nerve repair depends on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the nerve involved, and the surgeon’s technical skills. Despite the precise microsurgical repair of nerve lesions, adequate functional recovery is not always achieved and, therefore, the regeneration process and surgical techniques are still being studied. Pre-clinical animal models are essential for this research and, for this reason, the focus of the present systematic review (according to the PRISMA statement) was to analyze the different animal models used in pre-clinical peripheral nerve repair studies. Data sources: Original articles, published in English from 2000 to 2018, were collected using the Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed databases. Data selection: Only preclinical trials on direct nerve repair were included in this review. The articles were evaluated by the first two authors, in accordance with predefined data fields. Outcome measures: The primary outcomes included functional motor abilities, daily activity and regeneration rate. Secondary outcomes included coaptation technique and animal model. Results: This review yielded 267 articles, of which, after completion of the screening, 49 studies were analyzed. There were 1425 animals in those 49 studies, being rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats and dogs the different pre-clinical models. The nerves used were classified into three groups: head and neck (11), forelimb (8) and hindlimb (30). The techniques used to perform the coaptation were: microsuture (46), glue (12), laser (8) and mechanical (2). The follow-up examinations were histology (43), electrophysiological analysis (24) and behavioral observation (22). Conclusion: The most widely used animal model in the study of peripheral nerve repair is the rat. Other animal models are also used but the cost-benefit of the rat model provides several strengths over the others. Suture techniques are currently the first option for nerve repair, but the use of glues, lasers and bioengineering materials is increasing. Hence, further research in this field is required to improve clinical practice.
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Protein microarray analysis of cytokine expression changes in distal stumps after sciatic nerve transection p. 503
Xiao-Qing Cheng, Xue-Zhen Liang, Shuai Wei, Xiao Ding, Gong-Hai Han, Ping Liu, Xun Sun, Qi Quan, He Tang, Qing Zhao, Ai-Jia Shang, Jiang Peng
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266062  PMID:31571662
A large number of chemokines, cytokines, other trophic factors and the extracellular matrix molecules form a favorable microenvironment for peripheral nerve regeneration. This microenvironment is one of the major factors for regenerative success. Therefore, it is important to investigate the key molecules and regulators affecting nerve regeneration after peripheral nerve injury. However, the identities of specific cytokines at various time points after sciatic nerve injury have not been determined. The study was performed by transecting the sciatic nerve to establish a model of peripheral nerve injury and to analyze, by protein microarray, the expression of different cytokines in the distal nerve after injury. Results showed a large number of cytokines were up-regulated at different time points post injury and several cytokines, e.g., ciliary neurotrophic factor, were downregulated. The construction of a protein-protein interaction network was used to screen how the proteins interacted with differentially expressed cytokines. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway and Gene ontology analyses indicated that the differentially expressed cytokines were significantly associated with chemokine signaling pathways, Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription, phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B, and notch signaling pathway. The cytokines involved in inflammation, immune response and cell chemotaxis were up-regulated initially and the cytokines involved in neuronal apoptotic processes, cell-cell adhesion, and cell proliferation were up-regulated at 28 days after injury. Western blot analysis showed that the expression and changes of hepatocyte growth factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor were consistent with the results of protein microarray analysis. The results provide a comprehensive understanding of changes in cytokine expression and changes in these cytokines and classical signaling pathways and biological functions during Wallerian degeneration, as well as a basis for potential treatments of peripheral nerve injury. The study was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the Chinese PLA General Hospital, China (approval number: 2016-x9-07) in September 2016.
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RESEARCH ARTICLES: OPTIC NERVE INJURY AND NEURAL REGENERATION Top

The Schlager mouse as a model of altered retinal phenotype p. 512
Lakshini Y Herat, Aaron L Magno, Márcio G Kiuchi, Kristy L Jackson, Revathy Carnagarin, Geoffrey A Head, Markus P Schlaich, Vance B Matthews
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266069  PMID:31571663
Hypertension is a risk factor for a large number of vision-threatening eye disorders. In this study, we investigated for the first time the retinal neural structure of the hypertensive BPH/2J mouse (Schlager mouse) and compared it to its control counterpart, the normotensive BPN/3J strain. The BPH/2J mouse is a selectively inbred mouse strain that develops chronic hypertension due to elevated sympathetic nervous system activity. When compared to the BPN/3J strain, the hypertensive BPH/2J mice showed a complete loss of outer layers of the neural retina at 21 weeks of age, which was indicative of a severe vision-threatening disease potentially caused by hypertension. To elucidate whether the retinal neural phenotype in the BPH/2J strain was attributed to increased BP, we investigated the neural retina of both BPN/3J and BPH/2J mice at 4 weeks of age. Our preliminary results showed for the first time that the BPH/2J strain develops severe retinal neural damage at a young age. Our findings suggest that the retinal phenotype in the BPH/2J mouse is possibly due to elevated blood pressure and may be contributed by an early onset spontaneous mutation which is yet to be identified or a congenital defect occurring in this strain. Further characterization of the BPH/2J mouse strain is likely to i) elucidate gene defects underlying retinal disease; ii) understand mechanisms leading to neural retinal disease and iii) permit testing of molecules for translational research to interfere with the progression of retinal disease. The animal experiments were performed with the approval of the Royal Perth Hospital Animal Ethics Committee (R535/17-18) on June 1, 2017.
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RESEARCH ARTICLES: NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES AND NEURAL REGENERATION Top

Early active immunization with Aβ3–10-KLH vaccine reduces tau phosphorylation in the hippocampus and protects cognition of mice p. 519
Jin-Chun Wang, Kun Zhu, Hui-Yi Zhang, Guo-Qing Wang, Hui-Ying Liu, Yun-Peng Cao
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266061  PMID:31571664
Active and passive anti-Aβ immunotherapies have successfully been used for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease animal models. However, clinical use of these immunotherapies is not effective, because the vaccination is administered too late. At 1 month of age, 100 μL of Aβ3–10-KLH peptide (vaccine, 2 μg/μL) was subcutaneously injected into the neck of an amyloid precursor protein/presenilin-1/tau transgenic (3×Tg-AD) mouse model. Aβ3–10-KLH peptide was re-injected at 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, and 6.5 months of age. Serum levels of Aβ antibody were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, while spatial learning and memory ability were evaluated by Morris water maze. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect total tau with HT7 and phosphorylated tau with AT8 (phosphorylation sites Ser202 and Thr205) and AT180 (phosphorylation site Thr231) antibodies in the hippocampus. In addition, western blot analysis was used to quantify AT8 and AT180 expression in the hippocampus. The results showed that after vaccine injection, mice produced high levels of Aβ antibody, cognitive function was significantly improved, and total tau and phosphorylated tau levels were significantly reduced. These findings suggest that early active immunization with Aβ3–10-KLH vaccine can greatly reduce tau phosphorylation, thereby mitigating the cognitive decline of 3×Tg-AD mice. This study was approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of China Medical University, China (approval No. 103-316) on April 2, 2016.
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RESEARCH ARTICLES: BRAIN INJURY AND NEURAL REGENERATION Top

Ferrostatin-1 protects HT-22 cells from oxidative toxicity p. 528
Jun Chu, Chen-Xu Liu, Rui Song, Qing-Lin Li
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266060  PMID:31571665
Ferroptosis is a type of programmed cell death dependent on iron. It is different from other forms of cell death such as apoptosis, classic necrosis and autophagy. Ferroptosis is involved in many neurodegenerative diseases. The role of ferroptosis in glutamate-induced neuronal toxicity is not fully understood. To test its toxicity, glutamate (1.25–20 mM) was applied to HT-22 cells for 12 to 48 hours. The optimal experimental conditions occurred at 12 hours after incubation with 5 mM glutamate. Cells were cultured with 3–12 μM ferrostatin-1, an inhibitor of ferroptosis, for 12 hours before exposure to glutamate. The cell viability was detected by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Autophagy was determined by monodansylcadaverine staining and apoptosis by caspase 3 activity. Damage to cell structures was observed under light and by transmission electron microscopy. The release of lactate dehydrogenase was detected by the commercial kit. Reactive oxygen species were measured by flow cytometry. Glutathione peroxidase activity, superoxide dismutase activity and malondialdehyde level were detected by the appropriate commercial kit. Prostaglandin peroxidase synthase 2 and glutathione peroxidase 4 gene expression was detected by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Glutathione peroxidase 4 and nuclear factor erythroid-derived-like 2 protein expression was detected by western blot analysis. Results showed that ferrostatin-1 can significantly counter the effects of glutamate on HT-22 cells, improving the survival rate, reducing the release of lactate dehydrogenase and reducing the damage to mitochondrial ultrastructure. However, it did not affect the caspase-3 expression and monodansylcadaverine-positive staining in glutamate-injured HT-22 cells. Ferrostatin-1 reduced the levels of reactive oxygen species and malondialdehyde and enhanced superoxide dismutase activity. It decreased gene expression of prostaglandin peroxidase synthase 2 and increased gene expression of glutathione peroxidase 4 and protein expressions of glutathione peroxidase 4 and nuclear factor (erythroid-derived)-like 2 in glutamate-injured HT-22 cells. Treatment of cultured cells with the apoptosis inhibitor Z-Val-Ala-Asp (OMe)-fluoromethyl ketone (2–8 μM), autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (100–400 μM) or necrosis inhibitor necrostatin-1 (10–40 μM) had no effect on glutamate induced cell damage. However, the iron chelator deferoxamine mesylate salt inhibited glutamate induced cell death. Thus, the results suggested that ferroptosis is caused by glutamate-induced toxicity and that ferrostatin-1 protects HT-22 cells from glutamate-induced oxidative toxicity by inhibiting the oxidative stress.
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RESEARCH ARTICLES: SPINAL CORD INJURY AND NEURAL REGENERATION Top

Effect of docosahexaenoic acid on the recovery of motor function in rats with spinal cord injury: a meta-analysis p. 537
Zi-Rui Tian, Min Yao, Long-Yun Zhou, Yong-Jia Song, Jie Ye, Yong-Jun Wang, Xue-Jun Cui
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266065  PMID:31571666
Objective: Studies have shown that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has a beneficial effect in the treatment of spinal cord injury. A meta-analysis was used to study the effect of DHA on the neurological recovery in the rat spinal cord injury model, and the relationship between the recovery of motor function after spinal cord injury and the time and method of administration and the dose of DHA. Data source: Published studies on the effect of DHA on spinal cord injury animal models from seven databases were searched from their inception to January 2019, including PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang, VIP, and SinoMed databases. The search terms included “spinal cord injury” “docosahexaenoic acid”, and “rats”. Data selection: Studies that evaluated the influence of DHA in rat models of spinal cord injury for locomotor functional recovery were included. The intervention group included any form of DHA treatment and the control group included treatment with normal saline, vehicle solution or no treatment. The Systematic Review Centre for Laboratory animal Experimentation’s risk of bias assessment tool was used for the quality assessment of the included studies. Literature inclusion, quality evaluation and data extraction were performed by two researchers. Meta-analysis was then conducted on all studies that met the inclusion criteria. Statistical analysis was performed on the data using RevMan 5.1.2. software. Outcome measures: The primary outcome measure was the score on the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan scale. Secondary outcome measures were the sloping plate test, balance beam test, stair test and grid exploration test. Results: A total of 12 related studies were included, 3 of which were of higher quality and the remaining 9 were of lower quality. The highest mean Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan scale score occurred at 42 days after DHA treatment in spinal cord injury rats. At 21 days after treatment, the mean difference in Basso, Beattie, Bresnahan scores between the DHA group and the control group was the most significant (pooled MD = 4.14; 95% CI = 3.58–4.70; P < 0.00001). In the subgroup analysis, improvement in the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan scale score was more significant in rats administered DHA intravenously (pooled MD = 2.74; 95% CI = 1.41–4.07; P < 0.0001) and subcutaneously (pooled MD = 2.99; 95% CI = 2.29–3.69; P < 0.00001) than in the groups administered DHA orally (pooled MD = 3.04; 95% CI = –1.01 to 7.09; P = 0.14). Intravenous injection of DHA at 250 nmol/kg (pooled MD = 2.94; 95% CI = 2.47–3.41; P < 0.00001] and 1000 nmol/kg [pooled MD = 3.60; 95% CI = 2.66–4.54; P < 0.00001) significantly improved the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan scale score in rats and promoted the recovery of motor function. Conclusion: DHA can promote motor functional recovery after spinal cord injury in rats. The administration of DHA by intravenous or subcutaneous injection is more effective than oral administration of DHA. Intravenous injection of DHA at doses of 250 nmol/kg or 1000 nmol/kg is beneficial. Because of the small number and the low quality of the included studies, more high-quality research is needed in future to substantiate the results.
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RESEARCH ARTICLES: BRAIN INJURY AND NEURAL REGENERATION Top

Neuroprotection of Cyperus esculentus L. orientin against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion induced brain injury p. 548
Si-Qun Jing, Sai-Sai Wang, Rui-Min Zhong, Jun-Yan Zhang, Jin-Zi Wu, Yi-Xian Tu, Yan Pu, Liang-Jun Yan
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266063  PMID:31571667
Orientin is a flavonoid monomer. In recent years, its importance as a source of pharmacological active substance is growing rapidly due to its properties such as anti-myocardial ischemia, anti-apoptosis, anti-radiation, anti-tumor, and anti-aging. However, the neuroprotective effects of Orientin on stroke injury have not been comprehensively evaluated. The aim of the present study was thus to investigate the neuroprotective capacity and the potential mechanisms of Cyperus esculentus L. orientin (CLO) from Cyperus esculentus L. leaves against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury using standard orientin as control. For in vitro studies, we treated HT22 cells with CoCl2 as an in vitro ischemic injury model. HT22 cells in the control group were treated with CoCl2. For in vivo studies, we used rat models of middle cerebral artery occlusion, and animals that received sham surgery were used as controls. We found that CLO protected CoCl2-induced HT22 cells against ischemia/reperfusion injury by lowering lipid peroxidation and reactive oxygen species formation as well as decreasing protein oxidation. However, CLO did not reduce the release of lactate dehydrogenase nor increase the activity of superoxide dismutase. Results showed that CLO could decrease neurological deficit score, attenuate brain water content, and reduce cerebral infarct volume, leading to neuroprotection during cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Our studies indicate that CLO flavonoids can be taken as a natural antioxidant and bacteriostastic substance in food and pharmaceutical industry. The molecular mechanisms of CLO could be at least partially attributed to the antioxidant properties and subsequently inhibiting activation of casepase-3. All experimental procedures and protocols were approved on May 16, 2016 by the Experimental Animal Ethics Committee of Xinjiang Medical University of China (approval No. IACUC20160516-57).
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Trophic factors are essential for the survival of grafted oligodendrocyte progenitors and for neuroprotection after perinatal excitotoxicity p. 557
Megumi Hirose-Ikeda, Brian Chu, Paul Zhao, Omar Akil, Elida Escalante, Laurent Vergnes, Carlos Cepeda, Araceli Espinosa-Jeffrey
DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.266066  PMID:31571668
The consequences of neonatal white matter injury are devastating and represent a major societal problem as currently there is no cure. Prematurity, low weight birth and maternal pre-natal infection are the most frequent causes of acquired myelin deficiency in the human neonate leading to cerebral palsy and cognitive impairment. In the developing brain, oligodendrocyte (OL) maturation occurs perinatally, and immature OLs are particularly vulnerable. Cell replacement therapy is often considered a viable option to replace progenitors that die due to glutamate excitotoxicity. We previously reported directed specification and mobilization of endogenous committed and uncommitted neural progenitors by the combination of transferrin and insulin growth factor 1 (TSC1). Here, considering cell replacement and integration as therapeutic goals, we examined if OL progenitors (OLPs) grafted into the brain parenchyma of mice that were subjected to an excitotoxic insult could rescue white matter injury. For that purpose, we used a well-established model of glutamate excitotoxic injury. Four-day-old mice received a single intraparenchymal injection of the glutamate receptor agonist N-methyl-D-aspartate alone or in conjunction with TSC1 in the presence or absence of OLPs grafted into the brain parenchyma. Energetics and expression of stress proteins and OL developmental specific markers were examined. A comparison of the proteomic profile per treatment was also ascertained. We found that OLPs did not survive in the excitotoxic environment when grafted alone. In contrast, when combined with TSC1, survival and integration of grafted OLPs was observed. Further, energy metabolism in OLPs was significantly increased by N-methyl-D-aspartate and modulated by TSC1. The proteomic profile after the various treatments showed elevated ubiquitination and stress/heat shock protein 90 in response to N-methyl-D-aspartate. These changes were reversed in the presence of TSC1 and ubiquitination was decreased. The results obtained in this pre-clinical study indicate that the use of a combinatorial intervention including both trophic support and healthy OLPs constitutes a promising approach for long-term survival and successful graft integration. We established optimal conditioning of the host brain environment to promote long-term survival and integration of grafted OLPs into an inflamed neonate host brain. Experimental procedures were performed under the United States Public Health Service Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and were approved by the Institutional Animal Care Committee at (UCLA) (ARC #1992-034-61) on July 1, 2010.
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