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Shenandoah Robinson and Qing Li

Introduction

Many infants born very preterm who suffer brain damage most likely experienced a combined insult from intrauterine infection and placental insufficiency. Damage is thought to be synergistic rather than additive but the mechanisms of combined injury remain elusive. A combination of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation and hypoxia-ischemia has been used in rats to model the dual insult that occurs in human infants prenatally. Erythropoietin, a pleiotrophic cytokine that is essential for central nervous system development, ameliorates brain injury after isolated hypoxic-ischemic or inflammatory insults through different intracellular signaling pathways. We hypothesized that exogenous neonatal EPO administration would lessen the damage of a combined prenatal insult in rats.

Methods

On embryonic Day 18 fetal rats experienced 60 minutes of transient uterine artery occlusion with or without intracervical LPS administration with sham controls receiving surgery but no occlusion and saline for LPS. Survival was recorded and histological biochemical and functional assays were performed. Means were compared with ANOVA with Tukey HSD post hoc analysis.

Results

After a combined insult of HI and 0.15-mg/kg LPS on E18 the survival of pups by postnatal Day 1 (P1) decreased from 77% with HI alone to 22% for LPS plus HI. When exogenous systemic EPO was administered P1–P3 survival to P9 improved markedly from 40% (2 of 5) for saline-treated insult pups to 100% (6 of 6) for EPO-treated. Initial histological analyses show EPO decreases the number of brain activated caspase 3 and activated microglia by P9. Additional analyses will be presented.

Conclusion

As at least 60% of placentas from infants born pre-term show evidence of chorioamnionitis, assessment of the impact of exogenous EPO on a model of a combination injury is essential prior to proceeding with a clinical trial. Initial results indicate neonatal exogenous EPO mitigates damage from the combined insult.

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Wen-qing Huang, Shi-ju Zheng, Qing-sheng Tian, Jian-qing Huang, Yu-xia Li, Qing-zhong Xu, Zi-jun Liu and Wen-cui Zhang

✓ The authors present a statistical survey of the general incidence, age distribution, and preferential sites of 25,122 tumors of the central nervous system (CNS), from 12 centers in China. Of these tumors, 22,457 were intracranial and the rest intraspinal.

Of the 22,457 intracranial neoplasms collected, tumors of neuroepithelial tissue comprised 43.85%, meningiomas 16.58%, tumors of nerve sheath cells 9.5%, pituitary adenoma 9.52%, congenital tumors 8.46%, secondary tumors 6.8%, vascular malformations and tumors 3.82%, and primary sarcomas 0.72%. Neuroepithelial and meningeal tumors occurred first and second in all series, but the other tumors varied in frequency. There was a higher incidence of nerve-sheath tumors in southern than in northern regions. The age distribution of Chinese patients with tumors of the CNS was lower than that of Caucasians: nearly two-thirds (64.57%) had the clinical onset of their tumor between the ages of 31 and 40 years, with the peak incidence at 35 years. Nearly 20% of tumors of the CNS occurred before 20 years of age. The male:female ratio was 1.53:1; the only tumor with a definite preponderance of females over males was the meningioma.

Intraspinal tumors derived from nerve sheaths comprised 47.13% of all tumors within the spinal canal. Meningiomas were second with an incidence of 14.06%, then followed congenital tumors (12.06%) and neoplasms of neuroepithelial tissue (10.83%). Secondary tumors, vascular malformations and neoplasms, and sarcoma were next in order of frequency with 4.6%, 4.5%, and 4.16%, respectively.

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Yu Shuang Tian, Di Zhong, Qing Qing Liu, Xiu Li Zhao, Hong Xue Sun, Jing Jin, Hai Ning Wang and Guo Zhong Li

OBJECTIVE

Ischemic stroke remains a significant cause of death and disability in industrialized nations. Janus tyrosine kinase (JAK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) of the JAK2/STAT3 pathway play important roles in the downstream signal pathway regulation of ischemic stroke–related inflammatory neuronal damage. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as major regulators in cerebral ischemic injury; therefore, the authors aimed to investigate the underlying molecular mechanism between miRNAs and ischemic stroke, which may provide potential therapeutic targets for ischemic stroke.

METHODS

The JAK2- and JAK3-related miRNA (miR-135, miR-216a, and miR-433) expression levels were detected by real-time quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot analysis in both oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)–treated primary cultured neuronal cells and mouse brain with middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)–induced ischemic stroke. The miR-135, miR-216a, and miR-433 were determined by bioinformatics analysis that may target JAK2, and miR-216a was further confirmed by 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) dual-luciferase assay. The study further detected cell apoptosis, the level of lactate dehydrogenase, and inflammatory mediators (inducible nitric oxide synthase [iNOS], matrix metalloproteinase–9 [MMP-9], tumor necrosis factor–α [TNF-α], and interleukin-1β [IL-1β]) after cells were transfected with miR-NC (miRNA negative control) or miR-216a mimics and subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R) damage with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, annexin V–FITC/PI, Western blots, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detection. Furthermore, neurological deficit detection and neurological behavior grading were performed to determine the infarction area and neurological deficits.

RESULTS

JAK2 showed its highest level while miR-216a showed its lowest level at day 1 after ischemic reperfusion. However, miR-135 and miR-433 had no obvious change during the process. The luciferase assay data further confirmed that miR-216a can directly target the 3′UTR of JAK2, and overexpression of miR-216a repressed JAK2 protein levels in OGD/R-treated neuronal cells as well as in the MCAO model ischemic region. In addition, overexpression of miR-216a mitigated cell apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo, which was consistent with the effect of knockdown of JAK2. Furthermore, the study found that miR-216a obviously inhibited the inflammatory mediators after OGD/R, including inflammatory enzymes (iNOS and MMP-9) and cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β). Upregulating miR-216a levels reduced ischemic infarction and improved neurological deficit.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that upregulation of miR-216a, which targets JAK2, could induce neuroprotection against ischemic injury in vitro and in vivo, which provides a potential therapeutic target for ischemic stroke.

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Shenandoah Robinson, Qing Li, Anne DeChant and Mark L. Cohen

Object

Perinatal brain injury leads to chronic neurological deficits in children. Damage to the premature brain produces white matter lesions (WMLs), but the impact on cortical development is less well defined. Gamma–aminobutyric acid(GABA)ergic neurons destined for the cerebral cortex migrate through the developing white matter and form the subplate during late gestation. The authors hypothesized that GABAergic neurons are vulnerable to perinatal systemic insults in premature infants, and that damage to these neurons contributes to impaired cortical development.

Methods

An immunohistochemical analysis involving markers for oligodendrocytes, GABAergic neurons, axons, and apoptosis was performed on a consecutive series of 15 human neonatal telencephalon samples obtained postmortem from infants born at 25 to 32 weeks of gestation. The tissue samples were divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of WMLs by performing routine histological analyses. The expression of GABAergic neurons was compared between the two groups by using age-matched samples. Two-tailed t-tests were used for statistical analyses.

Ten infants had WMLs and five did not. Significant losses of oligodendrocytes and axons and markedly increased apoptosis were appreciated in tissue samples from the infants with WMLs. Samples from infants with WMLs also showed significant losses of glutamic acid decarboxylase–67-positive cells and calretinin-positive cells, shorter neuropeptide Y–positive neurite lengths, and losses of cells expressing GABAAα1, GABABR1, and N-acetylaspartate diethylamide NR1 receptors when these factors were compared with those in samples from infants without WMLs (all p < 0.02).

Conclusions

In addition to oligodendrocyte loss, axonal disruption, and excess apoptosis, a significant loss of telencephalon GABAergic neuron expression was found in neonatal brains with WMLs, compared with neonates’ brains without WMLs. The loss of GABAergic subplate neurons in infants with WMLs may contribute to the pathogenesis of neurological deficits in children.

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Wang Gai Qing, Yang Qi Dong, Tang Qing Ping, Li Guang Lai, Li Dong Fang, Hu Wei Min, Lian Xia and Pei Yu Heng

Object

Brain edema formation following intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) appears to be partly related to erythrocyte lysis and hemoglobin release. An increase of brain water content was associated with an increase of brain iron, which is an erythrocyte degradation product. Expression of AQP4 is highly modified in several brain disorders, and it can play a key role in cerebral edema formation. However, the question whether AQP4 is regulated by drugs lacks reliable evidence, and the interacting roles of iron overload and AQP4 in brain edema after ICH are unknown. The goal of this study was to clarify the relationship between iron overload and AQP4 expression and to characterize the effects of the iron chelator deferoxamine (DFO) on delayed brain edema after experimental ICH.

Methods

A total of 144 Sprague-Dawley rats weighing between 250 and 300 g were used in this work. The animals were randomly divided into 4 groups. The ICH models (Group C) were generated by injecting 100 μl autologous blood stereotactically into the right caudate nucleus; surgical control rats (Group B) were generated in a similar fashion, by injecting 100 μl saline into the right caudate nucleus. Intervention models (Group D) were established by intraperitoneal injection of DFO into rats in the ICH group. Healthy rats (Group A) were used for normal control models. Brain water content, iron deposition, and AQP4 in perihematomal brain tissue were evaluated over the time course of the study (1, 3, 7, and 14 days) in each group.

Results

Iron deposition was found in the perihematomal zone as early as the 1st day after ICH, reaching a peak after 7 days and remaining at a high level thereafter for at least 14 days following ICH. Rat brain water content around the hematoma increased progressively over the time course, reached its peak at Day 3, and still was evident at Day 7 post-ICH. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that AQP4 was richly expressed over glial cell processes surrounding microvessels in the rat brain; there was upregulation of the AQP4 expression in perihematomal brain during the observation period, and it reached maximum at 3 to 7 days after ICH. The changes of brain water content were accompanied by an alteration of AQP4. The application of the iron chelator DFO significantly reduced iron overload, brain water content, and AQP4 level in the perihematomal area compared with the control group.

Conclusions

Iron overload and AQP4 may play a critical role in the formation of brain edema after ICH. In addition, AQP4 expression was affected by iron concentration. Importantly, treatment with DFO significantly reduced brain edema in rats and inhibited the AQP4 upregulation after ICH. Deferoxamine may be a potential therapeutic agent for treating ICH.

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Xin-Zhi Sun, Zhong-Qiang Chen, Qiang Qi, Zhao-Qing Guo, Chui-Guo Sun, Wei-Shi Li and Yan Zeng

Object

In this paper, the authors aimed to summarize the clinical characteristics of ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) associated with dural ossification (DO) and to identify improved methods for preoperative diagnosis.

Methods

Thirty-six patients who had undergone OLF surgery between February 2005 and September 2009 were included in this retrospective study. The patients were divided into 2 groups: one that included patients with intraoperative evidence of DO and a second group that included patients without DO. The clinical features of DO were summarized and the neurological status of the patients was evaluated pre- and postoperatively.

Results

The incidence rate of DO associated with OLF was 39% (14/36). The sensitivity and specificity of the tram track sign were found to be 93% and 59%, respectively. Dural ossification was found among 86% of the patients with tuberous type Sato classification. The postoperative neurological status of patients was generally improved relative to that observed prior to surgery, although neurological recovery did not differ between the 2 groups. Cerebrospinal fluid leakage was the main complication, occurring predominantly in the patients with DO, and all leaks resolved in all patients after comprehensive treatments.

Conclusions

The tram track sign and Sato classification were found to be useful for preoperative diagnosis of DO and for determining the surgical procedure to be performed. Dural ossification had no effect on postoperative neurological recovery.

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Qing Li, Beibei Liu, Yue Zhao, Yumei Liu, Mingjie Gao, Lingyun Jia, Liqun Jiao and Yang Hua

OBJECTIVE

The mechanism of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) restenosis remains unclear. Our research aimed to investigate the relationship between the carotid plaque grayscale median (GSM) value and restenosis after CEA.

METHODS

Between January 2010 and January 2018, 1280 consecutive patients underwent CEA at our institution; 32 patients were diagnosed with restenosis by ultrasound at 1 year after CEA. The correlations between plaque GSM, plaque echogenicity, clinical manifestations, shunting, and restenosis were analyzed.

RESULTS

In total, 829 patients were ultimately enrolled; 32 (4%) presented diagnoses of restenosis (mean age 67.3 ± 8.0 years, 81.2% men). The GSM value was lower in the restenosis group (68.1 ± 19.9 vs 59.9 ± 14.7, p = 0.02). After multiple logistic regression analysis, the GSM value was found to be an independent risk factor for restenosis (OR 0.976, 95% CI 0.957–0.995). Shunting was another significant independent risk factor for restenosis (OR 2.39, 95% CI 1.07–5.34). The GSM cutoff value for predicting restenosis was 75 (sensitivity 0.38, specificity 0.84, area under the curve 0.62). We separated the patients into 2 groups by GSM (GSM ≤ 75 and GSM > 75 subgroups). Comparison of the 2 groups indicated that symptomatic manifestation was related to restenosis in the subgroup with GSM ≤ 75, indicating predominantly echolucent plaques, but not in the subgroup with GSM > 75, indicating predominantly echogenic plaques.

CONCLUSIONS

Predominantly echolucent carotid plaques, as measured by GSM, had a higher restenosis risk at 1 year than echogenic plaques.

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Xiang-Sheng Zhang, Xin Zhang, Meng-Liang Zhou, Xiao-Ming Zhou, Ning Li, Wei Li, Zi-Xiang Cong, Qing Sun, Zong Zhuang, Chun-Xi Wang and Ji-Xin Shi

Object

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) causes devastating rates of mortality and morbidity. Accumulating studies indicate that early brain injury (EBI) greatly contributes to poor outcomes after SAH and that oxidative stress plays an important role in the development of EBI following SAH. Astaxanthin (ATX), one of the most common carotenoids, has a powerful antioxidative property. However, the potential role of ATX in protecting against EBI after SAH remains obscure. The goal of this study was to assess whether ATX can attenuate SAH-induced brain edema, blood-brain barrier permeability, neural cell death, and neurological deficits, and to elucidate whether the mechanisms of ATX against EBI are related to its powerful antioxidant property.

Methods

Two experimental SAH models were established, including a prechiasmatic cistern SAH model in rats and a one-hemorrhage SAH model in rabbits. Both intracerebroventricular injection and oral administration of ATX were evaluated in this experiment. Posttreatment assessments included neurological scores, body weight loss, brain edema, Evans blue extravasation, Western blot analysis, histopathological study, and biochemical estimation.

Results

It was observed that an ATX intracerebroventricular injection 30 minutes post-SAH could significantly attenuate EBI (including brain edema, blood-brain barrier disruption, neural cell apoptosis, and neurological dysfunction) after SAH in rats. Meanwhile, delayed treatment with ATX 3 hours post-SAH by oral administration was also neuroprotective in both rats and rabbits. In addition, the authors found that ATX treatment could prevent oxidative damage and upregulate the endogenous antioxidant levels in the rat cerebral cortex following SAH.

Conclusions

These results suggest that ATX administration could alleviate EBI after SAH, potentially through its powerful antioxidant property. The authors conclude that ATX might be a promising therapeutic agent for EBI following SAH.

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Fredrik Lundberg, Dai-Qing Li, Dan Falkenback, Tor Lea, Peter Siesjö, Sven Söderström, Bohdan J. Kudryk, Jonas O. Tegenfeldt, Sadahiro Nomura and Åsa Ljungh

Object. The pathogenesis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt infection is characterized by staphylococcal adhesion to the polymeric surface of the shunt catheter. Proteins from the CSF—fibronectin, vitronectin, and fibrinogen—are adsorbed to the surface of the catheter immediately after insertion. These proteins can interfere with the biological systems of the host and mediate staphylococcal adhesion to the surface of the catheter. In the present study, the presence of fibronectin, vitronectin, and fibrinogen on CSF shunts and temporary ventricular drainage catheters is shown. The presence of fragments of fibrinogen is also examined.

Methods. The authors used the following methods: binding radiolabeled antibodies to the catheter surface, immunoblotting of catheter eluates, and scanning force microscopy of immunogold bound to the catheter surface. The immunoblot showed that vitronectin was adsorbed in its native form and that fibronectin was degraded into small fragments. Furthermore, the study demonstrated that the level of vitronectin in CSF increased in patients with an impaired CSF—blood barrier. To study complement activation, an antibody that recognizes the neoepitope of activated complement factor C9 was used. The presence of activated complement factor C9 was shown on both temporary catheters and shunts.

Conclusions. Activation of complement close to the surface of an inserted catheter could contribute to the pathogenesis of CSF shunt infection.

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Lingyang Hua, Hongda Zhu, Jingrun Li, Hailiang Tang, Dapeng Kuang, Yin Wang, Feng Tang, Xiancheng Chen, Liangfu Zhou, Qing Xie and Ye Gong

OBJECTIVE

Malignant meningioma is rare and classified as Grade III in the WHO classification of CNS tumors. However, the presence of estrogen receptor (ER) in WHO Grade III meningiomas and its correlation with patients’ outcomes are still unclear. In this single-center cohort study, the authors analyzed clinical features, treatment, and prognosis of these malignant tumors in patients with long-term follow-up.

METHODS

A total of 87 patients who were pathologically diagnosed with WHO Grade III meningiomas between 2003 and 2008 were enrolled in this study and followed for at least 7 years. Clinical information was collected to analyze the factors determining the prognosis.

RESULTS

Twelve patients with rhabdoid, 12 with papillary, and 63 with anaplastic meningioma were included. The mean progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 56.2 ± 49.8 months and 68.7 ± 47.4 months, respectively. No significant differences were observed among the 3 histological subtypes in either PFS (p = 0.929) or OS (p = 0.688). Patients who received gross-total resection had a longer PFS (p = 0.001) and OS (p = 0.027) than those who received subtotal resection. Adjuvant radiotherapy was associated with OS (p = 0.034) but not PFS (p = 0.433). Compared with primary meningiomas, patients with recurrent disease had worse PFS (p < 0.001). For patients who had malignant transformations, the prognosis was poorer than for patients without malignant transformations for both PFS (p = 0.002) and OS (p = 0.019). ER-positive patients had a significantly worse prognosis than ER-negative patients regarding both PFS (p = 0.003) and OS (p < 0.001), whereas no association between progesterone receptor and patients’ outcomes was observed. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that ER expression was an independent prognostic factor for both PFS (p = 0.008) and OS (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

This retrospective study showed that patients with meningioma with ER-positive expression had a much worse prognosis than those with ER weak–positive or ER-negative status. The results demonstrated that ER is an independent prognostic factor for both PFS and OS of patients with WHO Grade III meningioma. The authors also found that more radical resection of the tumor, as well as postoperative radiotherapy, may prolong patients’ survival time.