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Cover Illustration
2017, Vol.8  No.3

Figure 1. Deposition of tau oligomers in cerebrovasculature of human Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) brains. Representative images of oligomeric tau (T22, red), and total tau (tau 5, green) cerebrovascular immunoreactivity in cortical sections of AD (G-L) and age-matched control () brains. For all studies, n=3 brains/group; 10-15 sections from each sample were analyzed for tau oligomers. All AD samples were tested and were positive for tau oligomers. Merged images are shown with DAPI (blue). In all panels, arrows indicate tau inclusions. Mean percent colocalization ± SEM of T22 with Tau 5 is reported in the figure. Scale bar 50 µm.

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2015 impact factor: 3.697
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  • Table of Content
      Jun. 2017, Volume 8 Issue 3 Previous Issue   
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    Short Communications
    Intercellular Adhesion Molecular-5 as Marker in HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorder
    Lin Yuan,Feili Wei,Xin Zhang,Xianghua Guo,Xiaofan Lu,Bin Su,Tong Zhang,Hao Wu,Dexi Chen
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 250-256.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.0918
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1212KB) ( 354 )

    Despite the use of antiretroviral drugs HIV associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are still common in HIV-seropositive patients. Identification of HIV patients with cognitive impairment in early-stage might benefit a great deal from disease progression monitoring and treatment adjustment. Intercellular adhesion molecule-5 (ICAM5), characteristically expressed on neuron, may suppress immune functions by inhibition of T cell activation in central nervous system. Previous studies have shown that ICAM5 could be detected in patients with brain injury. To investigate the relationship between cognitive impairment and ICAM5 in HIV patients, we compared soluble ICAM5 levels in paired CSF and plasma specimens from HIV-infected individuals with or without neurocognitive impairment. sICAM5 concentrations were measured by ICAM5 ELISA kit. A total of 41 Patients were classified into HIV infected with normal cognition (HIV-NC) and impaired cognition groups (HIV-CI) based on Memorial Sloan-Kettering Scale. CSF and plasma levels of sICAM5 in HIV-CI patients were significantly higher than HIV-NC group (p<0.0001, p=0.0054 respectively). sICAM5 concentrations in plasma strongly correlated with sICAM5 in CSF (r=0.7250, p<0.0001) and S100B in CSF (r=0.3812, p<0.0139). Among 6 follow-up patients we found that sICAM5 levels in CSF and plasma might change consistently with HAND progression. In summary, we have shown that the expressions of sICAM5 in CSF and plasma may correlate with neurocognitive impairment in HIV infected patients. The elevation of sICAM5 in plasma were correspond with that in CSF as a consequence of blood-brain barrier permeability changes. ICAM5 can serve as a potential and readily accessible biomarker to predict HIV associated neurocognitive disorder.

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    Original Article
    Cerebral Microvascular Accumulation of Tau Oligomers in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Tauopathies
    Diana L Castillo-Carranza,Ashley N Nilson,Candice E Van Skike,Jordan B Jahrling,Kishan Patel,Prajesh Garach,Julia E Gerson,Urmi Sengupta,Jose Abisambra,Peter Nelson,Juan Troncoso,Zoltan Ungvari,Veronica Galvan,Rakez Kayed
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 257-266.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0112
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (957KB) ( 180 )

    The importance of vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID) associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative diseases is increasingly recognized, however, the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. There is growing evidence that in addition to Aβ deposition, accumulation of hyperphosphorylated oligomeric tau contributes significantly to AD etiology. Tau oligomers are toxic and it has been suggested that they propagate in a “prion-like” fashion, inducing endogenous tau misfolding in cells. Their role in VCID, however, is not yet understood. The present study was designed to determine the severity of vascular deposition of oligomeric tau in the brain in patients with AD and related tauopathies, including dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Further, we examined a potential link between vascular deposition of fibrillar Aβ and that of tau oligomers in the Tg2576 mouse model. We found that tau oligomers accumulate in cerebral microvasculature of human patients with AD and PSP, in association with vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Cerebrovascular deposition of tau oligomers was also found in DLB patients. We also show that tau oligomers accumulate in cerebral microvasculature of Tg2576 mice, partially in association with cerebrovascular Aβ deposits. Thus, our findings add to the growing evidence for multifaceted microvascular involvement in the pathogenesis of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Accumulation of tau oligomers may represent a potential novel mechanism by which functional and structural integrity of the cerebral microvessels is compromised.

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    Role of Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines and Vitamin D in Probable Alzheimer's Disease with Depression
    Anindita Banerjee,Vineet Kumar Khemka,Debashree Roy,Aparajita Dhar,Tapan Kumar Sinha Roy,Atanu Biswas,Barun Mukhopadhyay,Sasanka Chakrabarti
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 267-276.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.1017
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1386KB) ( 136 )

    Symptoms of depression are present in a significant proportion of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. While epidemiological studies have shown a strong association between depression and AD, it has not been established whether depression is a risk factor or merely a co-morbidity of AD. It is also uncertain if depression affects the pathogenesis of AD. In this paper, we address these questions by measuring the serum levels of two common metabolic risk factors of AD and depression, inflammatory cytokines (IL 6 and TNF alpha) and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, in a case-control study. We measured the serum levels of IL 6, TNF α and 25-hydroxyvitamin D in age-matched healthy controls (n= 60) and in AD patients without depression (n=26) or AD patients with depression (n=34), and statistically analyzed the changes in these parameters among different groups under this study. Our results show that in AD there is a significant increase in IL 6 and TNF α and a marked decrease in 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the peripheral circulation compared to age-matched healthy controls. Furthermore, AD patients with depression have even significantly higher levels of IL 6 or TNF α and a lower level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in circulation than in AD patients without depression. We also found a strong statistical correlation between the disease severity and the serum levels of IL 6, TNF α and 25-hydroxyvitamin D in AD patients with depression. These results suggest that altered circulating levels of common metabolic risk factors lead to the co-existence of depression with AD in many patients, and when they co-exist, the depression presumably affects the severity of AD presentations through more aggravated changes in these risk factors.

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    A Fine-Tune Role of Mir-125a-5p on Foxn1 During Age-Associated Changes in the Thymus
    Minwen Xu,Olga Sizova,Liefeng Wang,Dong-Ming Su
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 277-286.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.1109
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1718KB) ( 159 )

    Decline of transcription factor FoxN1, which predominantly regulates thymic epithelial cell (TEC) differentiation and homeostasis lifelong, is demonstrated to be casually related to age-related thymic involution. Whereas, a global role of microRNAs (miRNAs) has also been demonstrated to control and maintain TEC-constituting thymic microenvironment and to be changed in expression profile in the aged thymus. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to build knowledge regarding whether and which miRNAs regulate FoxN1 gene in the aged thymus. We primarily compared changes in miRNA expression profile between young and aged murine TECs with Mus musculus miRBase-V20 arrays (containing 1892 unique probes), and clearly identified and validated that at least one miRNA, miR-125a-5p, was increased in aged thymus. Applying miR-125a-5p mimics was able to inhibit FoxN1 3′UTR luciferase activity in a 293T cell line and to suppress FoxN1 expression in murine TEC Z210 cells. Since a single miRNA can play a fine-tuning role to regulate expression of multiple genes and a single gene can be regulated by multiple miRNAs, our result adds a single miRNA, miR-125a-5p, into the panel of FoxN1-regulating miRNAs associated with thymic aging.

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    The Soluble VEGF Receptor sFlt-1 Contributes to Impaired Neovascularization in Aged Mice
    Guangxian Zhao,Xian W. Cheng,Limei Piao,Lina Hu,Yanna Lei,Guang Yang,Aiko Inoue,Shinyu Ogasawara,Hongxian Wu,Chang-Ning Hao,Kenji Okumura,Masafumi Kuzuya
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 287-300.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.0920
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1854KB) ( 57 )

    The mechanism by which angiogenesis declines with aging is not fully understood. Soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR1) form (sFlt1) contributes to endothelial dysfunction in pathological conditions. However, the roles of sFlt1 in ischemia-induced neovascularizationof aged animals have not been investigated. To study aging-related sFlt1 change and its impact on ischemia-induced neovascularization, a hindlimb ischemia model was applied to young and aged mice. Blood flow imaging assay revealed that the blood flow recovery remained impaired throughout the follow-up period. At day 14, immunostaining showed lesser capillary formation in the aged mice. An ELISA showed that the aged mice had increased plasma sFlt-1 levels at indicated time points after surgery. On operative day 4, the aged ischemic muscles had decreased levels of p-VEGFR2 and p-Akt and increased levels of sFlt-1, Wnt5a, and SC35 genes or/and protein as well as increased numbers of inflammatory cells (macrophages and leucocytes) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity. Immnunofluorescence showed that Flt-1 was co-localized with CD11b+ macrophages of aged ischemic muscles. Hypoxia stimulated sFlt1 expression in CD11b+ cells of aged bone-marrow (BM), and this effect was diminished by siWnt5a. The cultured medium of aged mice BM-derived CD11b+ cells suppressed human endothelial cell (EC) and endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) angiogenic actions induced by VEGF, and these decreases were improved by treatment with siWnt5a-conditioned medium. Thus, aging appears to decline neovascularization in response to ischemic stress via the VEGFR2/Akt signaling inactivation in ECs and ECPs that is mediated by Wnt5a/SC35 axis activated macrophages-derived sFlt1 production in advanced age.

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    Mash1-dependent Notch Signaling Pathway Regulates GABAergic Neuron-Like Differentiation from Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells
    Qianfa Long,Qiang Luo,Kai Wang,Adrian Bates,Ashok K. Shetty
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 301-313.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.1018
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1743KB) ( 73 )

    GABAergic neuronal cell grafting has promise for treating a multitude of neurological disorders including epilepsy, age-related memory dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. However, identification of an unlimited source of GABAergic cells is critical for advancing such therapies. Our previous study implied that reprogramming of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) through overexpression of the Achaete-scute homolog 1 (Ascl1, also called Mash1) could generate GABAergic neuron-like cells. Here, we investigated mechanisms underlying the conversion of BMSCs into GABAergic cells. We inhibited γ-secretase (an enzyme that activates Notch signaling) with N-[N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl)-L-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester (DAPT) or manipulated the expression of Notch signaling components such as the recombination signal binding protein for immunoglobulin kappa J region (RBPJ), hairy and enhancer of split-1 (Hes1) or Mash1. We demonstrate that inhibition of γ-secretase through DAPT down-regulates RBPJ and Hes1, up-regulates Mash1 and results in an enhanced differentiation of BMSCs into GABAergic cells. On the other hand, RBPJ knockdown in BMSCs has no effect on Mash1 gene expression whereas Hes1 knockdown increases the expression of Mash1. Transduction of Mash1 in BMSCs also increases the expression of Hes1 but not RBPJ. Moreover, increased GABAergic differentiation in BMSCs occurs with concurrent Mash1 overexpression and Hes1-silencing. Thus, the Mash1-dependent Notch signaling pathway regulates GABAergic neuron-like differentiation of BMSCs. These results also suggest that genetic engineering of BMSCs is a useful avenue for obtaining GABAergic neuron-like donor cells for the treatment of neurological disorders.

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    Associations among Metabolism, Circadian Rhythm and Age-Associated Diseases
    Yiwei Cao,Rui-Hong Wang
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 314-333.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.1101
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1447KB) ( 127 )

    Accumulating epidemiological studies have implicated a strong link between age associated metabolic diseases and cancer, though direct and irrefutable evidence is missing. In this review, we discuss the connection between Warburg effects and tumorigenesis, as well as adaptive responses to environment such as circadian rhythms on molecular pathways involved in metabolism. We also review the central role of the sirtuin family of proteins in physiological modulation of cellular processes and age-associated metabolic diseases. We also provide a macroscopic view of how the circadian rhythm affects metabolism and may be involved in cell metabolism reprogramming and cancer pathogenesis. The aberrations in metabolism and the circadian system may lead to age-associated diseases directly or through intermediates. These intermediates may be either mutated or reprogrammed, thus becoming responsible for chromatin modification and oncogene transcription. Integration of circadian rhythm and metabolic reprogramming in the holistic understanding of metabolic diseases and cancer may provide additional insights into human diseases.

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    On the Relationship between Energy Metabolism, Proteostasis, Aging and Parkinson’s Disease: Possible Causative Role of Methylglyoxal and Alleviative Potential of Carnosine
    Alan R. Hipkiss
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 334-345.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.1030
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (816KB) ( 88 )

    Recent research shows that energy metabolism can strongly influence proteostasis and thereby affect onset of aging and related disease such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Changes in glycolytic and proteolytic activities (influenced by diet and development) are suggested to synergistically create a self-reinforcing deleterious cycle via enhanced formation of triose phosphates (dihydroxyacetone-phosphate and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate) and their decomposition product methylglyoxal (MG). It is proposed that triose phosphates and/or MG contribute to the development of PD and its attendant pathophysiological symptoms. MG can induce many of the macromolecular modifications (e.g. protein glycation) which characterise the aged-phenotype. MG can also react with dopamine to generate a salsolinol-like product, 1-acetyl-6,7-dihydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinaline (ADTIQ), which accumulates in the Parkinson’s disease (PD) brain and whose effects on mitochondria, analogous to MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine), closely resemble changes associated with PD. MG can directly damage the intracellular proteolytic apparatus and modify proteins into non-degradable (cross-linked) forms. It is suggested that increased endogenous MG formation may result from either, or both, enhanced glycolytic activity and decreased proteolytic activity and contribute to the macromolecular changes associated with PD. Carnosine, a naturally-occurring dipeptide, may ameliorate MG-induced effects due, in part, to its carbonyl-scavenging activity. The possibility that ingestion of highly glycated proteins could also contribute to age-related brain dysfunction is briefly discussed.

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    Vitamin D and Chronic Diseases
    Hanmin Wang,Weiwen Chen,Dongqing Li,Xiaoe Yin,Xiaode Zhang,Nancy Olsen,Song Guo Zheng
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 346-353.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.1021
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (752KB) ( 147 )

    Vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients to sustain the human health. As a member of the steroid hormone family, it has a classic role in regulating metabolism of calcium and a non-classic role in affecting cell proliferation and differentiation. Epidemiological studies have shown that 25OHD deficiency is closely associated with common chronic diseases such as bone metabolic disorders, tumors, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. 25OHD deficiency is also a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders and autoimmune diseases. 25OHD deficiency is highly prevalent in the world. It is therefore necessary to know the adverse health effects of 25OHD deficiency, and to design interventions and early treatments for those who are likely to have low levels of 25OHD.

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    Geroprotectors: A Unified Concept and Screening Approaches
    Alexey Moskalev,Elizaveta Chernyagina,Anna Kudryavtseva,Mikhail Shaposhnikov
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 354-363.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.1022
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (691KB) ( 133 )

    Although the geroprotectors discovery is a new biomedicine trend and more than 200 compounds can slow aging and increase the lifespan of the model organism, there are still no geroprotectors on the market. The reasons may be partly related to the lack of a unified concept of geroprotector, accepted by the scientific community. Such concept as a system of criteria for geroprotector identification and classification can form a basis for an analytical model of anti-aging drugs, help to consolidate the efforts of various research initiatives in this area and compare their results. Here, we review the existing classification and characteristics of geroprotectors based on their effect on the survival of a group of individuals or pharmaceutics classes, according to the proposed mechanism of their geroprotective action or theories of aging. After discussing advantages and disadvantages of these approaches, we offer a new concept based on the maintenance of homeostatic capacity because aging can be considered as exponential shrinkage of homeostatic capacity leading to the onset of age-related diseases and death. Besides, we review the most promising current screening approaches to finding new geroprotectors. Establishing the classification of existing geroprotectors based on physiology and current understanding of the nature of aging is essential for putting the existing knowledge into a single system. This system could be useful to formulate standards for finding and creating new geroprotectors. Standardization, in turn, would allow easier comparison and combination of experimental data obtained by different research groups.

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    Motor Imagery-Based Rehabilitation: Potential Neural Correlates and Clinical Application for Functional Recovery of Motor Deficits after Stroke
    Yanna Tong,John T. Pendy,William A. Li,Huishan Du,Tong Zhang,Xiaokun Geng,Yuchuan Ding
    A&D. 2017, 8 (3): 364-371.   DOI: 10.14336/AD.2016.1012
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (949KB) ( 179 )

    Motor imagery (MI), defined as the mental implementation of an action in the absence of movement or muscle activation, is a rehabilitation technique that offers a means to replace or restore lost motor function in stroke patients when used in conjunction with conventional physiotherapy procedures. This article briefly reviews the concepts and neural correlates of MI in order to promote improved understanding, as well as to enhance the clinical utility of MI-based rehabilitation regimens. We specifically highlight the role of the cerebellum and basal ganglia, premotor, supplementary motor, and prefrontal areas, primary motor cortex, and parietal cortex. Additionally, we examine the recent literature related to MI and its potential as a therapeutic technique in both upper and lower limb stroke rehabilitation.

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