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NeuroSci, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 6 articles

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Article
Cytokines in Pediatric Pilocytic Astrocytomas: A Clinico-Pathological Study
NeuroSci 2021, 2(1), 95-108; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/neurosci2010006 - 10 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Pilocytic astrocytomas (PCA) are WHO Grade I tumors with a favorable prognosis. Surgical resection is usually curative. Nonetheless, progressive and/or metastatic disease occurs in 20% of patients. For these patients, treatment options are limited. The role of the immune system in PCA has [...] Read more.
Pilocytic astrocytomas (PCA) are WHO Grade I tumors with a favorable prognosis. Surgical resection is usually curative. Nonetheless, progressive and/or metastatic disease occurs in 20% of patients. For these patients, treatment options are limited. The role of the immune system in PCA has not previously been reported. We hypothesize that the circulating cytokines contribute to tumorigenicity in PCA. This is an exploratory study with a focus on the identification of circulating cerebrospinal (CSF) cytokines associated with PCA. The primary objective is to demonstrate that CSF cytokines will be differentially expressed in the subset of PCAs that are difficult to treat in comparison to their surgically amendable counterparts. This is a single-institution, retrospective study of prospectively collected data. Patients with a confirmed histological diagnosis of PCA who have simultaneous intraoperative CSF sampling are included. Cerebrospinal fluid samples are subjected to multiplex cytokine profiling. Patient-derived PCA lines from selected patients in the same study cohort are cultured. Their cell culture supernatants are collected and interrogated using the sample multiplex platform as the CSF. A total of 8 patients are recruited. There were two patients with surgically difficult tumors associated with leptomeningeal involvement. Multiplex profiling of the cohort’s CSF samples showed elevated expressions of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12p70, IL-1β, IL-4, and TNF-α in these two patients in comparison to the remaining cohort. Next, primary cell lines derived from the same PCA patients demonstrated a similar trend of differential cytokine expression in their cell culture supernatant in vitro. Although our findings are preliminary at this stage, this is the first study in pediatric PCAs that show cytokine expression differences between the two groups of PCA with different clinical behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Neurosci)
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Article
Is the Letter ‘t’ in the Word ‘gourmet’? Disruption in Task-Evoked Connectivity Networks in Adults with Impaired Literacy Skills
NeuroSci 2021, 2(1), 75-94; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/neurosci2010005 - 27 Feb 2021
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Abstract
Much work has been done to characterize domain-specific brain networks associated with reading, but very little work has been done with respect to spelling. Our aim was to characterize domain-specific spelling networks (SpNs) and domain-general resting state networks (RSNs) in adults with and [...] Read more.
Much work has been done to characterize domain-specific brain networks associated with reading, but very little work has been done with respect to spelling. Our aim was to characterize domain-specific spelling networks (SpNs) and domain-general resting state networks (RSNs) in adults with and without literacy impairments. Skilled and impaired adults were recruited from the University of Alberta. Participants completed three conditions of an in-scanner spelling task called a letter probe task (LPT). We found highly connected SpNs for both groups of individuals, albeit comparatively more connections for skilled (50) vs. impaired (43) readers. Notably, the SpNs did not correlate with spelling behaviour for either group. We also found relationships between SpNs and RSNs for both groups of individuals, this time with comparatively fewer connections for skilled (36) vs. impaired (53) readers. Finally, the RSNs did predict spelling performance in a limited manner for the skilled readers. These results advance our understanding of brain networks associated with spelling and add to the growing body of literature that describes the important and intricate connections between domain-specific networks and domain-general networks (i.e., resting states) in individuals with and without developmental disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Neurosci)
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Communication
An Improved Method for Physical Separation of Cerebral Vasculature and Parenchyma Enables Detection of Blood-Brain-Barrier Dysfunction
NeuroSci 2021, 2(1), 59-74; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/neurosci2010004 - 01 Feb 2021
Viewed by 740
Abstract
The neurovascular niche is crucial for constant blood supply and blood-brain barrier (BBB) function and is altered in a number of different neurological conditions, making this an intensely active field of research. Brain vasculature is unique for its tight association of endothelial cells [...] Read more.
The neurovascular niche is crucial for constant blood supply and blood-brain barrier (BBB) function and is altered in a number of different neurological conditions, making this an intensely active field of research. Brain vasculature is unique for its tight association of endothelial cells with astrocytic endfeet processes. Separation of the vascular compartment by centrifugation-based methods confirmed enrichment of astrocytic endfeet processes, making it possible to study the entire vascular niche with such methods. Several centrifugation-based separation protocols are found in the literature; however, with some constraints which limit their applicability and the scope of the studies. Here, we describe and validate a protocol for physically separating the neurovascular niche from the parenchyma, which is optimized for smaller tissue quantities. Using endothelial, neuronal, and astrocyte markers, we show that quantitative Western blot-based target detection can be performed of both the vessel-enriched and parenchymal fractions using as little as a single mouse brain hemisphere. Validation of our protocol in rodent stroke models by detecting changes in tight junction protein expression, serum albumin signals and astrocyte activation, i.e., increased glial fibrillary acidic protein expression, between the ipsilateral and the lesion-free contralateral hemisphere demonstrates this protocol as a new way of detecting BBB breakdown and astrogliosis, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Neurosci)
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Communication
Neuroscience and Neuroimmunology Solutions for Osteoarthritis Pain: Biological Drugs, Growth Factors, Peptides and Monoclonal Antibodies Targeting Peripheral Nerves
NeuroSci 2021, 2(1), 45-58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/neurosci2010003 - 01 Feb 2021
Viewed by 910
Abstract
Neuroscience is a vast discipline that deals with the anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology and pathophysiology of central and peripheral nerves. Advances made through basic, translational, and clinical research in the field of neuroscience have great potential for long-lasting and beneficial impacts on [...] Read more.
Neuroscience is a vast discipline that deals with the anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology and pathophysiology of central and peripheral nerves. Advances made through basic, translational, and clinical research in the field of neuroscience have great potential for long-lasting and beneficial impacts on human and animal health. The emerging field of biological therapy is intersecting with the disciplines of neuroscience, orthopaedics and rheumatology, creating new horizons for interdisciplinary and applied research. Biological drugs, growth factors, therapeutic peptides and monoclonal antibodies are being developed and tested for the treatment of painful arthritic and rheumatic diseases. This concise communication focuses on the solutions provided by the fields of neuroscience and neuroimmunology for real-world clinical problems in the field of orthopaedics and rheumatology, focusing on synovial joint pain and the emerging biological treatments that specifically target pathways implicated in osteoarthritis pain in peripheral nerves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Neurosci)
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Article
The Same Magnocellular Neurons Send Axon Collaterals to the Posterior Pituitary and Retina or to the Posterior Pituitary and Autonomic Preganglionic Centers of the Eye in Rats
NeuroSci 2021, 2(1), 27-44; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/neurosci2010002 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 643
Abstract
In rats, some parvocellular paraventricular neurons project to spinal autonomic centers. Using the virus tracing technique, we have demonstrated that some magnocellular paraventricular neurons, but not supraoptic neurons, also project to autonomic preganglionic centers of the mammary gland, gingiva, or lip. A part [...] Read more.
In rats, some parvocellular paraventricular neurons project to spinal autonomic centers. Using the virus tracing technique, we have demonstrated that some magnocellular paraventricular neurons, but not supraoptic neurons, also project to autonomic preganglionic centers of the mammary gland, gingiva, or lip. A part of these neurons has shown oxytocin immunoreactivity. In the present experiment, we have examined whether the same magnocellular neuron that sends fibers to the retina or autonomic preganglionic centers of the eye also projects to the posterior pituitary. Double neurotropic viral labeling and oxytocin immunohistochemistry were used. After inoculation of the posterior pituitary and the eye with viruses, spreading in a retrograde direction and expressing different fluorescence proteins, we looked for double-labeled neurons in paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei. Double-labeled neurons were observed in non-sympathectomized and cervical-sympathectomized animals. Some double-labeled neurons contained oxytocin. After the optic nerve was cut, the labeling did not appear in the supraoptic nucleus; however, it could still be observed in the paraventricular nucleus. In the paraventricular nucleus, the double-labeled cells may be the origin of centrifugal visual fibers or autonomic premotor neurons. In the supraoptic nucleus, all double-labeled neurons are cells of origin of centrifugal visual fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Neurosci)
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Review
Differential Circuit Mechanisms of Young and Aged Visual Cortex in the Mammalian Brain
NeuroSci 2021, 2(1), 1-26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/neurosci2010001 - 04 Jan 2021
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Abstract
The main goal of this review is to summarize and discuss (1) age-dependent structural reorganization of mammalian visual cortical circuits underlying complex visual behavior functions in primary visual cortex (V1) and multiple extrastriate visual areas, and (2) current evidence supporting the notion of [...] Read more.
The main goal of this review is to summarize and discuss (1) age-dependent structural reorganization of mammalian visual cortical circuits underlying complex visual behavior functions in primary visual cortex (V1) and multiple extrastriate visual areas, and (2) current evidence supporting the notion of compensatory mechanisms in aged visual circuits as well as the use of rehabilitative therapy for the recovery of neural plasticity in normal and diseased aging visual circuit mechanisms in different species. It is well known that aging significantly modulates both the structural and physiological properties of visual cortical neurons in V1 and other visual cortical areas in various species. Compensatory aged neural mechanisms correlate with the complexity of visual functions; however, they do not always result in major circuit alterations resulting in age-dependent decline in performance of a visual task or neurodegenerative disorders. Computational load and neural processing gradually increase with age, and the complexity of compensatory mechanisms correlates with the intricacy of higher form visual perceptions that are more evident in higher-order visual areas. It is particularly interesting to note that the visual perceptual processing of certain visual behavior functions does not change with age. This review aims to comprehensively discuss the effect of normal aging on neuroanatomical alterations that underlie critical visual functions and more importantly to highlight differences between compensatory mechanisms in aged neural circuits and neural processes related to visual disorders. This type of approach will further enhance our understanding of inter-areal and cortico-cortical connectivity of visual circuits in normal aging and identify major circuit alterations that occur in different visual deficits, thus facilitating the design and evaluation of potential rehabilitation therapies as well as the assessment of the extent of their rejuvenation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Neurosci)
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