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Chandramohan Wakade, Sangeetha Sukumari-Ramesh, Melissa D. Laird, Krishnan M. Dhandapani and John R. Vender

Object

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) induces significant neurological damage, including deficits in learning and memory, which contribute to a poor clinical prognosis. Treatment options to limit cognitive decline and promote neurological recovery are lacking, in part due to a poor understanding of the secondary or delayed processes that contribute to brain injury. In the present study, the authors characterized the temporal and spatial changes in the expression of postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95), a key scaffolding protein implicated in excitatory synaptic signaling, after controlled cortical impacts in mice. Neurological injury, as assessed by the open-field activity test and the novel object recognition test, was compared with changes in PSD-95 expression.

Methods

Adult male CD-1 mice were subjected to controlled cortical impacts to simulate moderate TBI in humans. The spatial and temporal expression of PSD-95 was analyzed in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus at various time points following injury and sham operations. Neurological assessments were performed to compare changes in PSD-95 with cognitive deficits.

Results

A significant decrease in PSD-95 expression was observed in the ipsilateral hippocampus beginning on Day 7 postinjury. The loss of PSD-95 corresponded with a concomitant reduction in immunoreactivity for NeuN (neuronal nuclei), a neuron-specific marker. Aside from the contused cortex, a significant loss of PSD-95 immunoreactivity was not observed in the cerebral cortex. The delayed loss of hippocampal PSD-95 directly correlated with the onset of behavioral deficits, suggesting a possible causative role for PSD-95 in behavioral abnormalities following head trauma.

Conclusions

A delayed loss of hippocampal synapses was observed following head trauma in mice. These data may suggest a cellular mechanism to explain the delayed learning and memory deficits in humans after TBI and provide a potential framework for further testing to implicate PSD-95 as a clinically relevant therapeutic target.

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Melanie D. King, Melissa D. Laird, Sangeetha Sukumari Ramesh, Patrick Youssef, Basheer Shakir, John R. Vender, Cargill H. Alleyne Jr. and Krishnan M. Dhandapani

Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a devastating neurological injury associated with significant patient morbidity and death. Since the first demonstration of cerebral vasospasm nearly 60 years ago, the preponderance of research has focused on strategies to limit arterial narrowing and delayed cerebral ischemia following SAH. However, recent clinical and preclinical data indicate a functional dissociation between cerebral vasospasm and neurological outcome, signaling the need for a paradigm shift in the study of brain injury following SAH. Early brain injury may contribute to poor outcome and early death following SAH. However, elucidation of the complex cellular mechanisms underlying early brain injury remains a major challenge. The advent of modern neuroproteomics has rapidly advanced scientific discovery by allowing proteome-wide screening in an objective, nonbiased manner, providing novel mechanisms of brain physiology and injury. In the context of neurosurgery, proteomic analysis of patient-derived CSF will permit the identification of biomarkers and/or novel drug targets that may not be intuitively linked with any particular disease. In the present report, the authors discuss the utility of neuroproteomics with a focus on the roles for this technology in understanding SAH. The authors also provide data from our laboratory that identifies high-mobility group box protein-1 as a potential biomarker of neurological outcome following SAH in humans.

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Sangeetha Sukumari-Ramesh, Nagendra Singh, Michael A. Jensen, Krishnan M. Dhandapani and John R. Vender

Object

Pituitary adenomas, which are common intracranial tumors, are associated with significant patient morbidity due to hormone secretion or mass effect or as a complication of therapy. Epigenetic regulation has emerged as an important component of malignant tumor pathogenesis, although the contribution in the progression of benign pituitary tumors remains largely unexplored. The present study evaluates the effect of anacardic acid (6-pentadecyl salicylic acid), a natural histone acetyltransferase inhibitor, on pituitary adenoma cells.

Methods

The concentration- and time-dependent effects of anacardic acid on the viability of GH3 and MMQ pituitary adenoma cells were determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazoyl-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Cell cycle phase distribution, protein expression, and percentage of apoptotic cells were assessed by flow cytometry and Western blotting. Colony forming assays were used to study the radiosensitizing effect of anacardic acid.

Results

The present study identifies a novel antiproliferative and cytotoxic effect of anacardic acid on pituitary adenoma cells. These effects were associated with an increase in poly([adenosine diphosphate]-ribose) polymerase cleavage, sub-G1 arrest, and annexin V staining, consistent with apoptotic cell death; however, the pancaspase inhibitor carbobenzoxy-valyl-alanyl-aspartyl-(O-methyl)-fluoromethylketone failed to reverse anacardic acid–induced cell death, suggesting a possible nonclassical apoptotic mechanism. Anacardic acid also reduced the expression of survivin and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein, antiapoptotic proteins associated with cellular survival and radioresistance, and radiosensitized pituitary adenoma cells.

Conclusions

These findings warrant further exploration of anacardic acid as a single agent or as an adjunct to radiation therapy for the treatment of pituitary tumors.

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Melanie D. King, D. Jay McCracken, F. Marlene Wade, Steffen E. Meiler, Cargill H. Alleyne Jr. and Krishnan M. Dhandapani

Object

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Acute hematoma enlargement is an important predictor of neurological injury and poor clinical prognosis; but neurosurgical clot evacuation may not be feasible in all patients and treatment options remain largely supportive. Thus, novel therapeutic approaches to promote hematoma resolution are needed. In the present study, the authors investigated whether the curry spice curcumin limited neurovascular injury following ICH in mice.

Methods

Intracerebral hemorrhage was induced in adult male CD-1 mice by intracerebral administration of collagenase or autologous blood. Clinically relevant doses of curcumin (75–300 mg/kg) were administered up to 6 hours after ICH, and hematoma volume, inflammatory gene expression, blood-brain barrier permeability, and brain edema were assessed over the first 72 hours. Neurological assessments were performed to correlate neurovascular protection with functional outcomes.

Results

Curcumin increased hematoma resolution at 72 hours post-ICH. This effect was associated with a significant reduction in the expression of the proinflammatory mediators, tumor necrosis factor–α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-1β. Curcumin also reduced disruption of the blood-brain barrier and attenuated the formation of vasogenic edema following ICH. Consistent with the reduction in neuroinflammation and neurovascular injury, curcumin significantly improved neurological outcome scores after ICH.

Conclusions

Curcumin promoted hematoma resolution and limited neurological injury following ICH. These data may indicate clinical utility for curcumin as an adjunct therapy to reduce brain injury and improve patient outcome.