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Topical Collection "Neuroinflammatory Processes in Neurodegenerative Diseases"

Editors

Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Michetti
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Department of Neuroscience, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
Interests: neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation; multiple sclerosis; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; animal models of neural diseases; neural biomarkers; calcium-binding neuroproteins; S100B protein
Dr. Gabriele Di Sante
E-Mail
Collection Editor
Institute of General Pathology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "A. Gemelli" - I.R.C.C.S. Largo Francesco Vito 1-8 00168, Rome, Italy

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pathological conditions of the nervous system in which neurons degenerate are collectively defined as neurodegenerative diseases. Different diseases are developed, essentially depending on the location of the neuronal population(s) involved. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis are among the most pressing neurodegenerative diseases, owing to their devastating consequences. Despite the different aetiologies, a growing role is recognized in processes collectively referred to as neuroinflammation. During these processes neuron environment is affected, principally by non-neuronal neural cells, such as microglia and astrocytes, and also the blood–brain barrier, immune cells entering the nervous system, which mediate damage and repair. In this respect, emerging evidence also indicates that trillions of microorganisms that inhabit the gut (gut microbiota), may influence neuroinflammatory responses. They represent the most relevant source of proteins, pathogen-related motives, and “foreign” DNAs, continuously interacting with the immune system.

This Special Issue will provide an up-to-date overview, gathering research or review manuscripts addressing inflammatory processes that mechanistically participate to induce different neurodegenerative diseases, including molecular signaling pathways, mechanisms able to modulate immune cell trafficking, the role of microbiota, also considering the role of environment and genetics as drivers. Studies on inflammatory biomarkers as tools for diagnosing/monitoring neurodegenerative diseases are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Michetti
Dr. Gabriele Di Sante
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • neuroinflammation
  • neurodegeneration
  • astrocytes
  • microglia
  • immune cells
  • blood–brain barrier
  • microbiota
  • damage/danger-associated molecular patterns
  • pattern recognition receptors

Published Papers (9 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020

Article
Pioglitazone Ameliorates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Behavioral Impairment, Brain Inflammation, White Matter Injury and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Neonatal Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(12), 6306; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22126306 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Previous studies have demonstrated that pioglitazone, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonist, inhibits ischemia-induced brain injury. The present study was conducted to examine whether pioglitazone can reduce impairment of behavioral deficits mediated by inflammatory-induced brain white matter injury in neonatal rats. Intraperitoneal [...] Read more.
Previous studies have demonstrated that pioglitazone, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonist, inhibits ischemia-induced brain injury. The present study was conducted to examine whether pioglitazone can reduce impairment of behavioral deficits mediated by inflammatory-induced brain white matter injury in neonatal rats. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 2 mg/kg) was administered to Sprague–Dawley rat pups on postnatal day 5 (P5), and i.p. administration of pioglitazone (20 mg/kg) or vehicle was performed 5 min after LPS injection. Sensorimotor behavioral tests were performed 24 h after LPS exposure, and changes in biochemistry of the brain was examined after these tests. The results show that systemic LPS exposure resulted in impaired sensorimotor behavioral performance, reduction of oligodendrocytes and mitochondrial activity, and increases in lipid peroxidation and brain inflammation, as indicated by the increment of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) levels and number of activated microglia in the neonatal rat brain. Pioglitazone treatment significantly improved LPS-induced neurobehavioral and physiological disturbances including the loss of body weight, hypothermia, righting reflex, wire-hanging maneuver, negative geotaxis, and hind-limb suspension in neonatal rats. The neuroprotective effect of pioglitazone against the loss of oligodendrocytes and mitochondrial activity was associated with attenuation of LPS-induced increment of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) content, IL-1β levels and number of activated microglia in neonatal rats. Our results show that pioglitazone prevents neurobehavioral disturbances induced by systemic LPS exposure in neonatal rats, and its neuroprotective effects are associated with its impact on microglial activation, IL-1β induction, lipid peroxidation, oligodendrocyte production and mitochondrial activity. Full article
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Article
Interleukin-13 Propagates Prothrombin Kringle-2-Induced Neurotoxicity in Hippocampi In Vivo via Oxidative Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(7), 3486; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22073486 - 27 Mar 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
The present study investigated expression of endogenous interleukin-13 (IL-13) and its possible function in the hippocampus of prothrombin kringle-2 (pKr-2)-lesioned rats. Here we report that intrahippocampal injection of pKr-2 revealed a significant loss of NeuN-immunopositive (NeuN+) and Nissl+ cells in [...] Read more.
The present study investigated expression of endogenous interleukin-13 (IL-13) and its possible function in the hippocampus of prothrombin kringle-2 (pKr-2)-lesioned rats. Here we report that intrahippocampal injection of pKr-2 revealed a significant loss of NeuN-immunopositive (NeuN+) and Nissl+ cells in the hippocampus at 7 days after pKr-2. In parallel, pKr-2 increased IL-13 levels, which reached a peak at 3 days post pKr-2 and sustained up to 7 days post pKr-2. IL-13 immunoreactivity was seen exclusively in activated microglia/macrophages and neutrophils, but not in neurons or astrocytes. In experiments designed to explore the involvement of IL-13 in neurodegeneration, IL-13 neutralizing antibody (IL-13Nab) significantly increased survival of NeuN+ and Nissl+ cells. Accompanying neuroprotection, immunohistochemical analysis indicated that IL-13Nab inhibited pKr-2-induced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and myeloperoxidase within activated microglia/macrophages and neutrophils, possibly resulting in attenuation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and oxidative damage of DNA and protein. The current findings suggest that the endogenous IL-13 expressed in pKr-2 activated microglia/macrophages and neutrophils might be harmful to hippocampal neurons via oxidative stress. Full article
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Article
Role of Polyinosinic:Polycytidylic Acid-Induced Maternal Immune Activation and Subsequent Immune Challenge in the Behaviour and Microglial Cell Trajectory in Adult Offspring: A Study of the Neurodevelopmental Model of Schizophrenia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 1558; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22041558 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 613
Abstract
Multiple lines of evidence support the pathogenic role of maternal immune activation (MIA) in the occurrence of the schizophrenia-like disturbances in offspring. While in the brain the homeostatic role of neuron-microglia protein systems is well documented, the participation of the CX3CL1-CX3CR1 and CD200-CD200R [...] Read more.
Multiple lines of evidence support the pathogenic role of maternal immune activation (MIA) in the occurrence of the schizophrenia-like disturbances in offspring. While in the brain the homeostatic role of neuron-microglia protein systems is well documented, the participation of the CX3CL1-CX3CR1 and CD200-CD200R dyads in the adverse impact of MIA often goes under-recognized. Therefore, in the present study, we examined the effect of MIA induced by polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (Poly I:C) on the CX3CL1-CX3CR1 and CD200-CD200R axes, microglial trajectory (MhcII, Cd40, iNos, Il-1β, Tnf-α, Il-6, Arg1, Igf-1, Tgf-β and Il-4), and schizophrenia-like behaviour in adult male offspring of Sprague-Dawley rats. Additionally, according to the “two-hit” hypothesis of schizophrenia, we evaluated the influence of acute challenge with Poly I:C in adult prenatally MIA-exposed animals on the above parameters. In the present study, MIA evoked by Poly I:C injection in the late period of gestation led to the appearance of schizophrenia-like disturbances in adult offspring. Our results revealed the deficits manifested as a diminished number of aggressive interactions, presence of depressive-like episodes, and increase of exploratory activity, as well as a dichotomy in the sensorimotor gating in the prepulse inhibition (PPI) test expressed as two behavioural phenotypes (MIAPPI-low and MIAPPI-high). Furthermore, in the offspring rats subjected to a prenatal challenge (i.e., MIA) we noticed the lack of modulation of behavioural changes after the additional acute immune stimulus (Poly I:C) in adulthood. The important finding reported in this article is that MIA affects the expression and levels of the neuron-microglia proteins in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of adult offspring. We found that the changes in the CX3CL1-CX3CR1 axis could affect microglial trajectory, including decreased hippocampal mRNA level of MhcII and elevated cortical expression of Igf-1 in the MIAPPI-high animals and/or could cause the up-regulation of an inflammatory response (Il-6, Tnf-α, iNos) after the “second hit” in both examined brain regions and, at least in part, might differentiate behavioural disturbances in adult offspring. Consequently, the future effort to identify the biological background of these interactions in the Poly I:C-induced MIA model in Sprague-Dawley rats is desirable to unequivocally clarify this issue. Full article
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Article
Liraglutide Has Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Amyloid Properties in Streptozotocin-Induced and 5xFAD Mouse Models of Alzheimer’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 860; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22020860 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 795
Abstract
Recent clinical and epidemiological studies support the contention that diabetes mellitus (DM) is a strong risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The use of insulin cell toxin, streptozotocin (STZ), when injected into the lateral ventricles, develops an insulin resistant brain [...] Read more.
Recent clinical and epidemiological studies support the contention that diabetes mellitus (DM) is a strong risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The use of insulin cell toxin, streptozotocin (STZ), when injected into the lateral ventricles, develops an insulin resistant brain state (IRBS) and represents a non-transgenic, or sporadic AD model (SAD), with several AD-like neuropathological features. The present study explored the effects of an anti-diabetic drug, liraglutide (LIR), in reversing major pathological hallmarks in the prodromal disease stage of both the 5xFAD transgenic and SAD mouse models of AD. Three-month-old 5xFAD and age-matched wild type mice were given a single intracerebroventricular (i.c.v) injection of STZ or vehicle (saline) and were subsequently treated with LIR, intraperitoneally (IP), once a day for 30 days. The extent of neurodegeneration, Aβ plaque load, and key proteins associated with the insulin signaling pathways were measured using Western blot and neuroinflammation (via immunohistological assays) in the cortical and hippocampal regions of the brain were assessed following a series of behavioral tests used to measure cognitive function after LIR or vehicle treatments. Our results indicated that STZ significantly increased neuroinflammation, Aβ plaque deposition and disrupted insulin signaling pathway, while 25 nmol/kg LIR, when injected IP, significantly decreased neuroinflammatory responses in both SAD and 5xFAD mice before significant cognitive changes were observed, suggesting LIR can reduce early neuropathology markers prior to the emergence of overt memory deficits. Our results indicate that LIR has neuroprotective effects and has the potential to serve as an anti-inflammatory and anti-amyloid prophylactic therapy in the prodromal stages of AD. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2021

Article
Solid Lipid Curcumin Particles Protect Medium Spiny Neuronal Morphology, and Reduce Learning and Memory Deficits in the YAC128 Mouse Model of Huntington’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(24), 9542; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21249542 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 717
Abstract
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms, accompanied by massive neuronal degeneration in the striatum. In this study, we utilized solid lipid curcumin particles (SLCPs) and solid lipid particles (SLPs) to test their efficacy in [...] Read more.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms, accompanied by massive neuronal degeneration in the striatum. In this study, we utilized solid lipid curcumin particles (SLCPs) and solid lipid particles (SLPs) to test their efficacy in reducing deficits in YAC128 HD mice. Eleven-month-old YAC128 male and female mice were treated orally with SLCPs (100 mg/kg) or equivalent volumes of SLPs or vehicle (phosphate-buffered saline) every other day for eight weeks. Learning and memory performance was assessed using an active-avoidance task on week eight. The mice were euthanized, and their brains were processed using Golgi-Cox staining to study the morphology of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and Western blots to quantify amounts of DARPP-32, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), TrkB, synaptophysin, and PSD-95. We found that both SLCPs and SLPs improved learning and memory in HD mice, as measured by the active avoidance task. We also found that SLCP and SLP treatments preserved MSNs arborization and spinal density and modulated synaptic proteins. Our study shows that SLCPs, as well as the lipid particles, can have therapeutic effects in old YAC128 HD mice in terms of recovering from HD brain pathology and cognitive deficits. Full article
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Review
Locus Coeruleus Modulates Neuroinflammation in Parkinsonism and Dementia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(22), 8630; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21228630 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 869
Abstract
Locus Coeruleus (LC) is the main noradrenergic nucleus of the central nervous system, and its neurons widely innervate the whole brain. LC is severely degenerated both in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and in Parkinson’s disease (PD), years before the onset of clinical symptoms, through [...] Read more.
Locus Coeruleus (LC) is the main noradrenergic nucleus of the central nervous system, and its neurons widely innervate the whole brain. LC is severely degenerated both in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and in Parkinson’s disease (PD), years before the onset of clinical symptoms, through mechanisms that differ among the two disorders. Several experimental studies have shown that noradrenaline modulates neuroinflammation, mainly by acting on microglia/astrocytes function. In the present review, after a brief introduction on the anatomy and physiology of LC, we provide an overview of experimental data supporting a pathogenetic role of LC degeneration in AD and PD. Then, we describe in detail experimental data, obtained in vitro and in vivo in animal models, which support a potential role of neuroinflammation in such a link, and the specific molecules (i.e., released cytokines, glial receptors, including pattern recognition receptors and others) whose expression is altered by LC degeneration and might play a key role in AD/PD pathogenesis. New imaging and biochemical tools have recently been developed in humans to estimate in vivo the integrity of LC, the degree of neuroinflammation, and pathology AD/PD biomarkers; it is auspicable that these will allow in the near future to test the existence of a link between LC-neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration directly in patients. Full article
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Article
Ameliorative Properties of Boronic Compounds in In Vitro and In Vivo Models of Alzheimer’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186664 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 740
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid (Aβ) aggregation, hyperphosphorylated tau, neuroinflammation, and severe memory deficits. Reports that certain boronic compounds can reduce amyloid accumulation and neuroinflammation prompted us to compare trans-2-phenyl-vinyl-boronic-acid-MIDA-ester (TPVA) and trans-beta-styryl-boronic-acid (TBSA) as treatments of deficits in in vitro [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid (Aβ) aggregation, hyperphosphorylated tau, neuroinflammation, and severe memory deficits. Reports that certain boronic compounds can reduce amyloid accumulation and neuroinflammation prompted us to compare trans-2-phenyl-vinyl-boronic-acid-MIDA-ester (TPVA) and trans-beta-styryl-boronic-acid (TBSA) as treatments of deficits in in vitro and in vivo models of AD. We hypothesized that these compounds would reduce neuropathological deficits in cell-culture and animal models of AD. Using a dot-blot assay and cultured N2a cells, we observed that TBSA inhibited Aβ42 aggregation and increased cell survival more effectively than did TPVA. These TBSA-induced benefits were extended to C. elegans expressing Aβ42 and to the 5xFAD mouse model of AD. Oral administration of 0.5 mg/kg dose of TBSA or an equivalent amount of methylcellulose vehicle to groups of six- and 12-month-old 5xFAD or wild-type mice over a two-month period prevented recognition- and spatial-memory deficits in the novel-object recognition and Morris-water-maze memory tasks, respectively, and reduced the number of pyknotic and degenerated cells, Aβ plaques, and GFAP and Iba-1 immunoreactivity in the hippocampus and cortex of these mice. These findings indicate that TBSA exerts neuroprotective properties by decreasing amyloid plaque burden and neuroinflammation, thereby preventing neuronal death and preserving memory function in the 5xFAD mice. Full article
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Article
P2 × 7 Receptor Inhibits Astroglial Autophagy via Regulating FAK- and PHLPP1/2-Mediated AKT-S473 Phosphorylation Following Kainic Acid-Induced Seizures
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6476; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186476 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 795
Abstract
Recently, we have reported that blockade/deletion of P2X7 receptor (P2X7R), an ATP-gated ion channel, exacerbates heat shock protein 25 (HSP25)-mediated astroglial autophagy (clasmatodendrosis) following kainic acid (KA) injection. In P2X7R knockout (KO) mice, prolonged astroglial HSP25 induction exerts 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase/unc-51 [...] Read more.
Recently, we have reported that blockade/deletion of P2X7 receptor (P2X7R), an ATP-gated ion channel, exacerbates heat shock protein 25 (HSP25)-mediated astroglial autophagy (clasmatodendrosis) following kainic acid (KA) injection. In P2X7R knockout (KO) mice, prolonged astroglial HSP25 induction exerts 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase/unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1-mediated autophagic pathway independent of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity following KA injection. Sustained HSP25 expression also enhances AKT-serine (S) 473 phosphorylation leading to astroglial autophagy via glycogen synthase kinase-3β/bax interacting factor 1 signaling pathway. However, it is unanswered how P2X7R deletion induces AKT-S473 hyperphosphorylation during autophagic process in astrocytes. In the present study, we found that AKT-S473 phosphorylation was increased by enhancing activity of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), independent of mTOR complex (mTORC) 1 and 2 activities in isolated astrocytes of P2X7R knockout (KO) mice following KA injection. In addition, HSP25 overexpression in P2X7R KO mice acted as a chaperone of AKT, which retained AKT-S473 phosphorylation by inhibiting the pleckstrin homology domain and leucine-rich repeat protein phosphatase (PHLPP) 1- and 2-binding to AKT. Therefore, our findings suggest that P2X7R may be a fine-tuner of AKT-S473 activity during astroglial autophagy by regulating FAK phosphorylation and HSP25-mediated inhibition of PHLPP1/2-AKT binding following KA treatment. Full article
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Review
Microglial Phagocytosis—Rational but Challenging Therapeutic Target in Multiple Sclerosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 5960; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21175960 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 877
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common autoimmune and demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS), characterized, in the majority of cases, by initial relapses that later evolve into progressive neurodegeneration, severely impacting patients’ motor and cognitive functions. Despite the availability of [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common autoimmune and demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS), characterized, in the majority of cases, by initial relapses that later evolve into progressive neurodegeneration, severely impacting patients’ motor and cognitive functions. Despite the availability of immunomodulatory therapies effective to reduce relapse rate and slow disease progression, they all failed to restore CNS myelin that is necessary for MS full recovery. Microglia are the primary inflammatory cells present in MS lesions, therefore strongly contributing to demyelination and lesion extension. Thus, many microglial-based therapeutic strategies have been focused on the suppression of microglial pro-inflammatory phenotype and neurodegenerative state to reduce disease severity. On the other hand, the contribution of myelin phagocytosis advocating the neuroprotective role of microglia in MS has been less explored. Indeed, despite the presence of functional oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), within lesioned areas, MS plaques fail to remyelinate as a result of the over-accumulation of myelin-toxic debris that must be cleared away by microglia. Dysregulation of this process has been associated with the impaired neuronal recovery and deficient remyelination. In line with this, here we provide a comprehensive review of microglial myelin phagocytosis and its involvement in MS development and repair. Alongside, we discuss the potential of phagocytic-mediated therapeutic approaches and encourage their modulation as a novel and rational approach to ameliorate MS-associated pathology. Full article
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