EDITOR’S CHOICE ARTICLE –Neuroprotection by Human Dental Pulp Mesenchymal Stem Cells: From Billions to Nano

Journal Name: Current Gene Therapy

Author(s): Chaitra Venugopal, Shobha K, Kiranmai S. Rai, Venkata Bharatkumar Pinnelli,Bindu M. Kutty, nandh Dhanushkodi*.


Introduction: Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) therapy in recent years has gained significant attention. Though the functional outcomes following MSC therapy for neurodegenerative diseases are convincing, various mechanisms for the functional recovery are being debated. Nevertheless, recent studies convincingly demonstrated that recovery following MSC therapy could be reiterated with MSC secretome per se thereby shifting the dogma from cell therapy to cell “based” therapy. In addition to various functional proteins, stem cell secretome also includes extracellular membrane vesicles like exosomes. Exosomes which are of “Nano” size have attracted significant interest as they can pass through the bloodbrain barrier far easily than macro size cells or growth factors. Exosomes act as a cargo between cells to bring about significant alterations in target cells. As the importance of exosomes is getting unveil, it is imperial to carry out a comprehensive study to evaluate the neuroprotective potential of exosomes as compared to conventional co-culture or total condition medium treatments.

Objective: Thus, the present study is designed to compare the neuroprotective potential of MSC derived exosomes with MSC-condition medium or neuron–MSC-co-culture system against kainic acid induced excitotoxicity in in vitro condition. The study also aims at comparing the neuroprotective efficacy of exosomes/condition medium/co-culture of two MSC viz., neural crest derived human Dental Pulp Stem Cells (hDPSC) and human Bone-Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hBM-MSC) to identify the appropriate MSC source for treating neurodegenerative diseases.

Result: Our results demonstrated that neuroprotective efficacy of MSC-exosomes is as efficient as MSC-condition medium or neuron-MSC co-culture system and treating degenerating hippocampal neurons with all three MSC based approaches could up-regulate host’s endogenous growth factor expressions and prevent apoptosis by activating cell survival PI3K-B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) pathway.

Conclusion: Thus, the current study highlights the possibilities of treating neurodegenerative diseases with “Nano” size exosomes as opposed to transplanting billions of stem cells which inherit several disadvantages.


For more details, please visit: http://www.eurekaselect.com/165433/article

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Neuronal Expression of Junctional Adhesion Molecule-C is Essential for Retinal Thickness and Photoreceptor Survival – Current Molecular Medicine

Journal: Current Molecular Medicine

Author(s): Y. Li, F. Zhang, W. Lu*, X. Li*


Background: Photoreceptor cell death is a key pathology of retinal degeneration diseases. To date, the molecular mechanisms for this pathological process remain largely unclear. Junctional adhesion molecule-c (Jam-c) has been shown to play important roles in different biological events. However, its effect on retinal neuronal cells is unknown.

Objective: To determine the effect of Jam-c on adult mouse eyes, particularly, on retinal structure, vasculature and photoreceptor cells, in order to explore potential important target molecules for ocular diseases.

Methods: Jam-c global knockout mice, endothelial-specific and neuronal-specific Jam-c conditional knockout mice using Tie2-Cre and Nestin-Cre mice respectively were used in this study. Mouse eyes were harvested from the different groups and eye size examined. Cryosections of the eyes were made and stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) and the thicknesses of retinal layers measured. Retinal blood vessels and cone and rod photoreceptors were analyzed using isolectin B4, peanut agglutinin and rhodopsin as markers respectively. In vivo Jam-c knockdown in mouse eyes was performed by intravitreal injection of Jam-c shRNA. Jam-c expression in the retinae was quantified by real-time PCR.

Results: Global Jam-c gene deletion in mice resulted in smaller eyes and decreased the diameters of lens and iris. Jam-c-/- mice display marked thinning of the outer nuclear layer (ONL), less numbers of photoreceptor cells, and abnormal retinal vasculature. Importantly, neuronal-specific Jam-c deletion led to similar phenotype, whereas no obvious defect was observed in endothelial-specific Jam-c knockout mice. Moreover, Jam-c knockdown by shRNA also decreased ONL thickness and photoreceptor numbers.

Conclusion: We found that Jam-c is critically required for the normal size and retinal structure. Particularly, Jam-c plays important roles in maintaining the normal retinal thickness, vasculature and photoreceptor numbers. Jam-c thus may therefore have important roles in various ocular diseases.

Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/159736/article


EDITOR’S CHOICE – Calcium-engaged Mechanisms of Nongenomic Action of Neurosteroids – Current Neuropharmacology

Journal: Current Neuropharmacology

Author(s): Elzbieta Rebas, Tomasz Radzik, Tomasz Boczek, Ludmila Zylinska

Graphical Abstract:



Background: Neurosteroids form the unique group because of their dual mechanism of action. Classically, they bind to specific intracellular and/or nuclear receptors, and next modify genes transcription. Another mode of action is linked with the rapid effects induced at the plasma membrane level within seconds or milliseconds. The key molecules in neurotransmission are calcium ions, thereby we focus on the recent advances in understanding of complex signaling crosstalk between action of neurosteroids and calcium-engaged events.

Methods: Short-time effects of neurosteroids action have been reviewed for GABAA receptor complex, glycine receptor, NMDA receptor, AMPA receptor, G protein-coupled receptors and sigma-1 receptor, as well as for several membrane ion channels and plasma membrane enzymes, based on available published research.

Results: The physiological relevance of neurosteroids results from the fact that they can be synthesized and accumulated in the central nervous system, independently from peripheral sources. Fast action of neurosteroids is a prerequisite for genomic effects and these early events can significantly modify intracellular downstream signaling pathways. Since they may exert either positive or negative effects on calcium homeostasis, their role in monitoring of spatio-temporal Ca2+ dynamics, and subsequently, Ca2+-dependent physiological processes or initiation of pathological events, is evident.

Conclusion: Neurosteroids and calcium appear to be the integrated elements of signaling systems in neuronal cells under physiological and pathological conditions. A better understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms of nongenomic, calcium-engaged neurosteroids action could open new ways for therapeutic interventions aimed to restore neuronal function in many neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/151167


Podcast: Targeting Human Astrocytes’ Calcium-sensing Receptors for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Author(s): Ikuko Miyazaki, Masato Asanuma.

For article details, visit: http://www.eurekaselect.com/154088

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Highlighted Article – Therapeutic Strategy of Targeting Astrocytes for Neuroprotection in Parkinson’s Disease – Current Pharmaceutical Design

CPD-Articles_23-46-Ikuko Miyazaki

To access this article, please visit: http://www.eurekaselect.com/154088

Article by Disease – “Brain Aging and Disorders of the Central Nervous System: Kynurenines and Drug Metabolism”

Article by Disease on “Metabolic Disorders”


Introduction: The kynurenine pathway includes several neuroactive compounds, including kynurenic acid, picolinic acid, 3-hydroxykynurenine and quinolinic acid. The enzymatic cascade of the kynurenine pathway is tightly connected with the immune system, and may provide a link between the immune system and neurotransmission.

Main Areas Covered: Alterations in this cascade are associated with neurodegenerative, neurocognitive, autoimmune and psychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, migraine or schizophrenia.

Highlights: This review highlights the alterations in this metabolic pathway in the physiological aging process and in different disorders. A survey is also presented of therapeutic possibilities of influencing this metabolic route, which can be achieved through the use of synthetic kynurenic acid analogues, enzyme inhibitors or even nanotechnology.

Read more: http://www.eurekaselect.com/node/138027/article 

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