Poojashri Mishra (2nd year PhD Scholar) presented the progress of her ongoing PhD work on Glia and ALS.
Pradeep Kumar Mishra (CSIR Senior Research Fellow, PhD Scholar) presented his seminar on "Epigenetics in health, disease and inheritance".
Merlin (1st year MPhil Scholar) presented the paper by C. Salis et al. in Neurochemistry International, 2012 entitled "Iron and holotransferrin induce cAMP-dependent differentiation of Schwann cells"
The differentiation of myelin-forming Schwann cells (SC) is completed with the appearance of myelin proteins MBP and P(0) and a concomitant downregulation of markers GFAP and p75NTR, which are expressed by immature and adult non-myelin-forming SC. We have previously demonstrated that holotransferrin (hTf) can prevent SC dedifferentiation in culture (Salis et al., 2002), while apotransferrin (aTf) cannot. As a consequence, we used pure cultured SC and submitted them to serum deprivation in order to promote dedifferentiation and evaluate the prodifferentiating ability of ferric ammonium citrate (FAC) through the expression of MBP, P(0), p75NTR and c-myc. The levels of cAMP, CREB and p-CREB were also measured.
Results show that Fe(3+), either in its free form or as hTf, can prevent the dedifferentiation promoted by serum withdrawal. Both FAC and hTf were proven to promote differentiation, probably through the increase in cAMP levels and CREB phosphorylation, as well as levels of reactive oxygen species. This effect was inhibited by deferroxamine (Dfx, an iron chelator), H9 (a cAMP-PKA antagonist) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC, a powerful antioxidant).
Aphang (1st year PhD scholar) presented the paper by A.B. Muñoz-Manchado et al. from Neurobiology of Aging, 2013 titled "Neuroprotective and reparative effects of carotid body grafts in a chronic MPTP model of Parkinson’s disease"
Intrastriatal transplantation of dopaminergic carotid body (CB) cells ameliorates parkinsonism in animal models and, with less efficacy, in Parkinson's disease patients. CB-based cell therapy was initially proposed because of its high dopamine content. However, later studies suggested that its beneficial effect might be due to a trophic action exerted on nigrostriatal neurons. Compatible with this concept are the high levels of neurotrophic factors encountered in CB cells.
To test experimentally this idea, unilateral striatal transplants were performed with a sham graft in the contralateral striatum, as a robust internal control. Thereafter, the dopaminergic neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6, -tetrahydropyridine was injected during 3 months. CB grafts protected from degeneration ipsilateral nigral dopaminergic neurons projecting to the transplant in a dose-dependent manner regarding size and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor expression. Grafts performed at different times after the onset of the neurotoxic treatment demonstrated with histological and behavioral methods protection and repair of the nigrostriatal pathway by CB transplants.
This study provides a mechanistic explanation for the action of CB transplants on parkinsonian models. It should also help to improve cell therapy approaches toParkinson's disease.