Nuestros investigadores

María Javier Ramírez Gil

Departamento
Farmacología y Toxicología
Facultad de Farmacia y Nutrición. Universidad de Navarra
Líneas de investigación
Enfermedad de Alzheimer, factores de riesgo, modelos experimentales, nuevos tratamientos

Publicaciones científicas más recientes (desde 2010)

Autores: Vela, S.; Sáinz, Neira; Moreno-Aliaga MJ; et al.
Revista: MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY
ISSN 0893-7648  Vol. 56  Nº 3  2019  págs. 1618 - 1627
A potential role of marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (-3 PUFAs) has been suggested in memory, learning, and cognitive processes. Therefore, -3 PUFAs might be a promising treatment option, albeit controversial, for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Among the different mechanisms that have been proposed as responsible for the beneficial effects of -3 PUFAs, inhibition of JNK stands as a particularly interesting candidate. In the present work, it has been studied whether the administration of two different PUFAs (docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)) and a DHA-derived specialized pro-resolving lipid mediator (MaR1) is able to reverse cognitive deficits in the senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mouse model of sporadic AD. The novel object recognition test (NORT) test showed that recognition memory was significantly impaired in SAMP8 mice, as shown by a significantly decreased discrimination index that was reversed by MaR1 and DHA. In the retention phase of the Morris water maze (MWM) task, SAMP8 mice showed memory deficit that only DHA treatment was able to reverse. pJNK levels were significantly increased in the hippocampus of SAMP8 mice compared to SAMR1 mice, and only DHA treatment was able to significantly reverse these increased pJNK levels. Similar results were found when measuring c-Jun, the main JNK substrate. Consequently to the increases in tau phosphorylation after increased pJNK, it was checked that tau phosphorylation (PHF-1) was increased in SAMP mice, and this effect was reversed after DHA treatment. Altogether, DHA could represent a new approach for the treatment of AD through JNK inhibition.
Autores: Solas, Maite; Cuadrado-Tejedor M.; et al.
Revista: ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA
ISSN 1748-1708  Vol. 227  Nº Supl. 718  2019  págs. 83 - 84
Autores: Solas, Maite; Pejenaute, Álvaro; et al.
Revista: FREE RADICAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE
ISSN 0891-5849  Vol. 139  Nº S1  2019  págs. S17 - S17
Autores: Ramírez, M.J.; Milagro FI; et al.
Revista: NUTRIENTS
ISSN 2072-6643  Vol. 10  Nº 10  2018 
Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is a molecule generated from choline, betaine, and carnitine via gut microbial metabolism. The plasma level of TMAO is determined by several factors including diet, gut microbial flora, drug administration and liver flavin monooxygenase activity. In humans, recent clinical studies evidence a positive correlation between elevated plasma levels of TMAO and an increased risk for major adverse cardiovascular events. A direct correlation between increased TMAO levels and neurological disorders has been also hypothesized. Several therapeutic strategies are being explored to reduce TMAO levels, including use of oral broad spectrum antibiotics, promoting the growth of bacteria that use TMAO as substrate and the development of target-specific molecules. Despite the accumulating evidence, it is questioned whether TMAO is the mediator of a bystander in the disease process. Thus, it is important to undertake studies to establish the role of TMAO in human health and disease. In this article, we reviewed dietary sources and metabolic pathways of TMAO, as well as screened the studies suggesting possible involvement of TMAO in the etiology of cardiovascular and neurological disorders, underlying the importance of TMAO mediating inflammatory processes. Finally, the potential utility of TMAO as therapeutic target is also analyzed.
Autores: Gil, Francisco Javier; et al.
Revista: MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY
ISSN 0893-7648  Vol. 55  Nº 12  2018  págs. 8799 - 8814
Neurodegenerative diseases represent a heterogeneous group of disorders whose common characteristic is the progressive degeneration of neuronal structure and function. Although much knowledge has been accumulated on the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases over the years, more efforts are needed to understand the processes that underlie these diseases and hence to propose new treatments. Adrenomedullin (AM) is a multifunctional peptide involved in vasodilation, hormone secretion, antimicrobial defense, cellular growth, and angiogenesis. In neurons, AM and related peptides are associated with some structural and functional cytoskeletal proteins that interfere with microtubule dynamics. Furthermore, AM may intervene in neuronal dysfunction through other mechanisms such as immune and inflammatory response, apoptosis, or calcium dyshomeostasis. Alterations in AM expression have been described in neurodegenerative processes such as Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia. This review addresses the current state of knowledge on AM and its possible implication in neurodegenerative diseases.
Autores: Moreno, L. C. G. E. A. I.; Solas, Maite; Martínez-Oharriz, M.C.; et al.
Revista: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICS
ISSN 0378-5173  Vol. 543  Nº 1 - 2  2018  págs. 245 - 256
Nimodipine may be of interest to treat behavioral alterations and memory deficits. However, its oral administration is hampered by a low bioavailability. The aim of this work was to develop pegylated nanoparticles as oral carriers of nimodipine and test their capability to both reverse the anxiety and protect against cognitive impairment of in stressed mice. Pegylated nanoparticles (NMD-NP/PEG), with a size of 190 nm and a payload of 68 mu g/mg, significantly improve the oral bioavailability of nimodipine; about 7-times higher than for the control drug solution (62% vs 9%). The effect of oral nimodipine on the anxiety and cognitive capabilities in a model of stressed mice was also evaluated. NMD-NP/PEG displayed a poor effect on the anxiety-like behavior of animals. Nevertheless, only the treatment with NMD-NP/PEG exerted a protective effect against the memory impairments induced by chronic corticosterone administration, improving the cognitive capabilities of animals when compared with controls. These pegylated nanocarriers may represent a useful strategy to develop new oral treatments for preventing from cognitive impairments.
Autores: Solas, Maite; et al.
Revista: MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY
ISSN 0893-7648  Vol. 55  Nº 12  2018  págs. 9328 - 9333
Tau is a microtubule-associated protein highly expressed in neurons with a chief role in microtubule dynamics and axonal maintenance. Adrenomedullin gene (ADM) codifies for various peptides that exert broad range of actions in the body. Previous works in our groups have shown that increased ADM products are positively correlated to microtubule disruption and tau pathology in Alzheimer's disease brains. In the present study, we explore the involvement of ADM in the neuropathology of frontotemporal lobar degeneration that presents with primary tauopathy (FTLD-tau). Proteins from frontal cortices of FTLD-tau patients and age- and sex-matched non-demented controls were analyzed with antibodies against different microtubule components, including adrenomedullin, and synaptic markers. Tau pathology in frontal cortex from FTLD patients was confirmed. Levels of total III-tubulin as well as acetylated and detyrosinated tubulins, two markers of stabilized and aged microtubules, were significantly reduced and directly correlated with PSD95 and proBDNF in FTLD-tau patients when compared to non-demented controls. In contrast, no change in actin cytoskeleton was found. Interestingly, changes in microtubule elements, indicators of disturbed axonal preservation, were accompanied by decreased levels of free adrenomedullin, although no association was found. Altogether, reduced levels of adrenomedullin might not be directly linked to the microtubule pathology of FTLD-tau, but based on previous works, it is suggested that downregulation of ADM might be an adaptive attempt of neurons to mitigate microtubule disruption.
Autores: Larrayoz, I. M.; Martisová, Eva; et al.
Revista: MOLECULAR NEUROBIOLOGY
ISSN 0893-7648  Vol. 55  Nº 6  2018  págs. 5177 - 5183
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the loss of synaptic contacts caused in part by cytoskeleton disruption. Adrenomedullin (AM) is involved in physiological functions such as vasodilation, hormone secretion, antimicrobial activity, cellular growth, and angiogenesis. In neurons, AM and related peptides are associated with some structural and functional cytoskeletal proteins, causing microtubule destabilization. Here, we describe the relationships between AM and other signs of AD in clinical specimens. Frontal cortex from AD patients and controls were studied for AM, acetylated tubulin, NCAM, Ox-42, and neurotransmitters. AM was increased in AD compared with controls, while levels of acetylated tubulin, NCAM, and neurotransmitters were decreased. Interestingly, increases in AM statistically correlated with the decrease in these markers. Furthermore, Ox42 overexpression in AD correlated with levels of AM. It is proposed that AD patients may have neural cytoskeleton failure associated with increase of AM levels, resulting in axon transport collapse and synaptic loss. These observations suggest that reducing AM expression may constitute a new avenue to prevent/treat AD.
Autores: Solas, Maite; Milagro FI; Ramírez, M.J.; et al.
Revista: CURRENT OPINION IN PHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 1471-4892  Vol. 37  2017  págs. 87 - 92
Obesity prevalence is increasing steadily throughout the world's population in most countries and in parallel the prevalence of metabolic disorders including cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes is also rising, but less is reported about excessive adiposity relationship with poorer cognitive performance, cognitive decline and dementia. Some human clinical studies have evidenced that obesity is related to the risk of the development of mild cognitive impairment, in the form of short-term memory and executive function deficits, as well as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The precise mechanisms that underlie the connections between obesity and the risk of cognitive impairment are still largely unknown but potential avenues of further research include insulin resistance, the gut brain axis, and systemic mediators and central inflammation processes. A common feature of metabolic diseases is a chronic and low-grade activation of the inflammatory system. This inflammation may eventually spread from peripheral tissue to the brain, and recent reports suggest that neuroinflammation is an important causal mechanism in cognitive decline. This inflammatory status could be triggered by changes in the gut microbiota composition. Consumption of diets high in fat and sugar influences the microbiota composition, which may lead to an imbalanced microbial population in the gut. Thus, it has recently been hypothesized that the gut microbiota could be part of a mechanistic link between the consumption of high fat and other unbalanced diets and impaired cognition, termed 'gut-brain axis'. The present review will aim at providing an integrative analysis of the effects of obesity and unbalanced diets on cognitive performance and discusses some of the potential mechanisms involved, namely inflammation and changes in gut-brain axis. Moreover, the review aims to analyze anti-inflammatory drugs that have been tested for the treatment of cognition and obesity, recently approved anti-obesity drugs that could also have an impact on central nervous system, and bioactive food compounds that modulate gut microbiota and could have an impact through the gut-brain axis. In this era of precision nutrition medicine, it is imperative to identify the various metabolic-neurocognitive phenotypes in order to understand the processes that drive these diseases so that targeted therapeutic strategies to prevent and successfully manage these complex, multifactorial diseases could be designed and developed.
Autores: Moreno, L. C.; Puerta, Elena; Suárez-Santiago, J. E.; et al.
Revista: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICS
ISSN 0378-5173  Vol. 517  Nº 1 - 2  2017  págs. 50 - 57
Quercetin has been identified as a promising compound with a neuroprotective potential against age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nevertheless, the clinical application of quercetin is hampered by its low oral bioavailability. The aim of this work was to evaluate the capability of nanoencapsulated quercetin in zein nanoparticles (NPQ), that significantly improves the oral absorption and bioavailability of the flavonoid, as potential oral treatment for AD. For this purpose, SAMP8 mice were orally treated for two months with either NPQ (25mg/kg every 48h) or a solution of quercetin (Q; 25mg/kg daily). NPQ displayed a size of 260nm and a payload of about 70¿g/mg. For Q, no significant effects were observed in animals. On the contrary, the oral administration of NPQ improved the cognition and memory impairments characteristics of SAMP8 mice. These observations appeared to be related with a decreased expression of the hippocampal astrocyte marker GFAP. Furthermore, significant levels of quercetin were quantified in the brain of mice treated with nanoparticles. These findings highlight the potential of zein nanoparticles to promote the oral absorption of quercetin as well as the therapeutic potential of this flavonoid in AD pathogenesis.
Autores: Ferrero, H.; Solas, Maite; Francis, P. T.; et al.
Revista: CNS DRUGS
ISSN 1172-7047  Vol. 31  Nº 1  2017  págs. 19 - 32
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in elderly people. Because of the lack of effective treatments for this illness, research focused on identifying compounds that restore cognition and functional impairments in patients with AD is a very active field. Since its discovery in 1993, the serotonin 5-HT6 receptor has received increasing attention, and a growing number of studies supported 5-HT6 receptor antagonism as a target for improving cognitive dysfunction in AD. This article reviews the rationale behind investigations into the targeting of 5-HT6 receptors as a symptomatic treatment for cognitive and/or behavioral symptoms of AD. In addition to describing the available clinical evidence, this article also describes the purported biochemical and neurochemical mechanisms of action by which 5-HT6 receptor antagonists could influence cognition, and the preclinical data supporting this therapeutic approach to AD. A large number of publications describing the development of ligands for this receptor have come to light and preclinical data indicate the procognitive efficacy of 5-HT6 receptor antagonists. Subsequently, the number of patents protecting 5-HT6 chemical entities has continuously grown. Some of these compounds have successfully undergone phase I clinical studies and have been further evaluated in clinical phase II trials with variable success. Phase II studies have also revealed the potential of combining 5-HT6 receptor antagonism and cholinesterase inhibition. Two of these antagonists, idalopirdine and RVT-101, have been further developed into ongoing phase III clinical trials. Overall, 5-HT6 receptor antagonists can reasonably be regarded as potential drug candidates for the treatment of AD.
Autores: Moreno, L. C.; Puerta, Elena; Suárez-Santiago, J. E.; et al.
Revista: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICS
ISSN 0378-5173  Vol. 517  Nº 1 - 2  2017  págs. 50 - 57
Quercetin has been identified as a promising compound with a neuroprotective potential against age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nevertheless, the clinical application of quercetin is hampered by its low oral bioavailability. The aim of this work was to evaluate the capability of nanoencapsulated quercetin in zein nanoparticles (NPQ), that significantly improves the oral absorption and bioavailability of the flavonoid, as potential oral treatment for AD. For this purpose, SAMP8 mice were orally treated for two months with either NPQ (25mg/kg every 48h) or a solution of quercetin (Q; 25mg/kg daily). NPQ displayed a size of 260nm and a payload of about 70¿g/mg. For Q, no significant effects were observed in animals. On the contrary, the oral administration of NPQ improved the cognition and memory impairments characteristics of SAMP8 mice. These observations appeared to be related with a decreased expression of the hippocampal astrocyte marker GFAP. Furthermore, significant levels of quercetin were quantified in the brain of mice treated with nanoparticles. These findings highlight the potential of zein nanoparticles to promote the oral absorption of quercetin as well as the therapeutic potential of this flavonoid in AD pathogenesis.
Autores: Guereñu, Gorka; Martisova, E.; Ferrero, H.; et al.
Revista: BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA
ISSN 0006-3002  Vol. 1863  Nº 4  2017  págs. 991 - 1001
Autores: Bengoetxea, Xabier; Martisova, E.; et al.
Revista: JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 0269-8811  Vol. 31  Nº 3  2017  págs. 356 - 364
The present work studies whether chronic prenatal stress (PS) influences the long-term sex-dependent neuropsychological status of offspring and the effects of an early dietary intervention in the dam. In addition, dams were fed with either a high-fat sugar diet (HFSD) or methyl donor supplemented diet (MDSD). PS procedure did not affect body weight of the offspring. MDSD induced decreases in body weight both in male and female offspring (1 month) that were still present in aged rats. HFSD induced an increase in body weight both in male and female offspring that did not persist in aged rats. In the Porsolt forced swimming test, only young males showed increases in immobility time that were reversed by MDSD. In old female rats (20 months), PS-induced cognitive impairment in both the novel object recognition test (NORT) and in the Morris water maze that was reversed by MDSD, whereas in old males, cognitive impairments and reversion by MDSD was evident only in the Morris water maze. HFSD induced cognitive impairment in both control and PS old rats, but there was no additive effect of PS and HFSD. It is proposed here that the diversity of symptoms following PS could arise from programming effects in early brain development and that these effects could be modified by dietary intake of the dam.
Autores: Lopez, V.; Nielsen, B. ; Solas, Maite; et al.
Revista: FRONTIERS IN PHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 1663-9812  Vol. 8  2017  págs. 280
Lavender essential oil is traditionally used and approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as herbal medicine to relieve stress and anxiety. Some animal and clinical studies reveal positive results in models of anxiety and depression although very little research has been done on molecular mechanisms. Our work consisted of evaluating the effects of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil on central nervous system well-established targets, such as MAO-A, SERT, GABA(A)and NMDA receptors as well as in vitro models of neurotoxicity. The results showed that lavender essential oil and its main components exert affinity for the glutamate NMDA-receptor in a dose-dependent manner with an IC50 value of 0.04 mu l/mL for lavender oil. In addition, lavender and linalool were also able to bind the serotonin transporter (SERT) whereas they did not show affinity for GABA(A)-benzodiazepine receptor. In three different models of neurotoxicity, lavender did not enhance the neurotoxic insult and improved viability of SH-SY5Y cells treated with hydrogen peroxide. According to our data, the anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects attributed to lavender may be due to an antagonism on the NMDA-receptor and inhibition of SERT. This study suggests that lavender essential oil may exert pharmacological properties via modulating the NMDA receptor, the SERT as well as neurotoxicity induced by hydrogen peroxide.
Autores: Celorrio, Marta; Rojo-Bustamante E; Fernandez-Suarez D; et al.
Revista: NEUROPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 0028-3908  Vol. 125  2017  págs. 319 - 332
The GPR55 receptor is expressed abundantly in the brain, especially in the striatum, suggesting it might fulfill a role in motor function. Indeed, motor behavior is impaired in mice lacking GPR55, which also display dampened inflammatory responses. Abnormal-cannabidiol (Abn-CBD), a synthetic cannabidiol (CBD) isomer, is a GPR55 agonist that may serve as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. In this study, we explored whether modulating GPR55 could also represent a therapeutic approach for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). The distribution of GPR55 mRNA was first analyzed by in situ hybridization, localizing GPR55 transcripts to neurons in brain nuclei related to movement control, striatum, globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus, substantia nigra and cortex. Striatal expression of GPR55 was downregulated in parkinsonian conditions. When Abn-CBD and CBD (5 mg/kg) were chronically administered to mice treated over 5 weeks with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6tetrahydropyridine and probenecid (MPTPp), Abn-CBD but not CBD prevented MPTPp induced motor impairment. Although Abn-CBD protected dopaminergic cell bodies, it failed to prevent degeneration of the terminals or preserve dopamine levels in the striatum. Both compounds induced morphological changes in microglia that were compatible with an anti-inflammatory phenotype that did not correlate with a neuroprotective activity. The symptomatic relief of Abn-CBD was further studied in the haloperidol-induced
Autores: Ferrero, H.; Solas, Maite; Francis, P. T.; et al.
Revista: CNS DRUGS
ISSN 1172-7047  Vol. 31  Nº 1  2017  págs. 19 - 32
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in elderly people. Because of the lack of effective treatments for this illness, research focused on identifying compounds that restore cognition and functional impairments in patients with AD is a very active field. Since its discovery in 1993, the serotonin 5-HT6 receptor has received increasing attention, and a growing number of studies supported 5-HT6 receptor antagonism as a target for improving cognitive dysfunction in AD. This article reviews the rationale behind investigations into the targeting of 5-HT6 receptors as a symptomatic treatment for cognitive and/or behavioral symptoms of AD. In addition to describing the available clinical evidence, this article also describes the purported biochemical and neurochemical mechanisms of action by which 5-HT6 receptor antagonists could influence cognition, and the preclinical data supporting this therapeutic approach to AD. A large number of publications describing the development of ligands for this receptor have come to light and preclinical data indicate the procognitive efficacy of 5-HT6 receptor antagonists. Subsequently, the number of patents protecting 5-HT6 chemical entities has continuously grown. Some of these compounds have successfully undergone phase I clinical studies and have been further evaluated in clinical phase II trials with variable success. Phase II studies have also revealed the potential of combining 5-HT6 receptor antagonism and cholinesterase inhibition. Two of these antagonists, idalopirdine and RVT-101, have been furt(h)er developed into ongoing phase III clinical trials. Overall, 5-HT6 receptor antagonists can reasonably be regarded as potential drug candidates for the treatment of AD.
Autores: Azcona, María Cristina; et al.
Revista: NUTRICION HOSPITALARIA
ISSN 0212-1611  Vol. 35  Nº 2  2017  págs. 279 - 285
Background: serotonin signaling participates in body weight regulation and glucose metabolism. However, little information is available on circulating serotonin levels in obese subjects after a weight loss program. We aimed to assess the effect of a lifestyle intervention on serotonin levels in obese children and possible associations with anthropometric and blood glucose measurements. Methods: forty-four obese children were enrolled in a ten-week lifestyle intervention consisting of a moderate caloric restriction diet, nutritional education and familial involvement. They were distributed according to the weight loss response. Subjects who lost > 0.5 BMI-SDS were considered as high responders (HR; n = 22) and those who lost 0.5 BMI-SDS, as low responders (LR; n = 22). Anthropometric, biochemical parameters and plasma serotonin levels were measured as pre and post-intervention values. Results: obese children (HR and LR groups) were able to reduce anthropometric indices and to improve glucose profile after the intervention. Interestingly, plasma serotonin levels were significantly (p < 0.05) reduced in all subjects (-35.14 nmol/I HR group and -30.63 nmol/I LR group). Moreover, multiple-adjusted regression models showed a significant association between pre-intervention (R-2 = 0.224, B = 0.047; p = 0.004) and post-intervention (R-2 = 0.140; B = 0.055; p = 0.042) plasma serotonin and glucose levels. In addition, in HR subjects changes in plasma serotonin were associated with changes in glucose levels (R-2 = 0.292; b = 0.04; p = 0.045). Interestingly, pre and post-intervention plasma serotonin levels were inversely associated (p < 0.05) with anthropometric measures. Conclusions: serotonin levels were reduced after a lifestyle intervention independently of the program response. Moreover, plasma serotonin levels were associated with glucose and anthropometric measures in obese children.
Autores: Yarza, R.; Solas, Maite; et al.
Revista: FRONTIERS IN PHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 1663-9812  Vol. 6  2016  págs. 321
c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are a family of protein kinases that play a central role in stress signaling pathways implicated in gene expression, neuronal plasticity, regeneration, cell death, and regulation of cellular senescence. It has been shown that there is a JNK pathway activation after exposure to different stressing factors, including cytokines, growth factors, oxidative stress, unfolded protein response signals or 4 peptides. Altogether, JNKs have become a focus of screening strategies searching for new therapeutic approaches to diabetes, cancer or liver diseases. In addition, activation of JNK has been identified as a key element responsible for the regulation of apoptosis signals and therefore, it is critical for pathological cell death associated with neurodegenerative diseases and, among them, with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In addition, in vitro and in vivo studies have reported alterations of JNK pathways potentially associated with pathogenesis and neuronal death in AD. JNK's, particularly JNK3, not only enhance 4 production, moreover it plays a key role in the maturation and development of neurofibrillary tangles. This review aims to explain the rationale behind testing therapies based on inhibition of JNK signaling for AD in terms of current knowledge about the pathophysiology of the disease. Keeping in mind that JNK3 is specifically expressed in the brain and activated by stress-stimuli, it is possible to hypothesize that inhibition of JNK3 might be considered as a potential target for treating neurodegenerative mechanisms associated with AD.
Autores: Celorrio, Marta; Rojo-Bustamante, E.; Echeverry-Alzate, V.; et al.
Revista: BRAIN BEHAVIOR AND IMMUNITY
ISSN 0889-1591  Vol. 57  2016  págs. 94 - 105
Elements of the endocannabinoid system are strongly expressed in the basal ganglia where they suffer profound rearrangements after dopamine depletion. Modulation of the levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol by inhibiting monoacylglycerol lipase alters glial phenotypes and provides neuroprotection in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease. In this study, we assessed whether inhibiting fatty acid amide hydrolase could also provide beneficial effects on the time course of this disease. The fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor, URB597, was administered chronically to mice treated with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and probenecid (MPTPp) over 5 weeks. URB597 (1 mg/kg) prevented MPTPp induced motor impairment but it did not preserve the dopamine levels in the nigrostriatal pathway or regulate glial cell activation. The symptomatic relief of URB597 was confirmed in haloperidol-induced catalepsy assays, where its anti-cataleptic effects were both blocked by antagonists of the two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), and abolished in animals deficient in these receptors. Other fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitors, JNJ1661010 and TCF2, also had anti-cataleptic properties. Together, these results demonstrate an effect of fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibition on the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease in two distinct experimental models that is mediated by cannabinoid receptors.
Autores: Solas, Maite; Milagro FI; Martínez, Diego; et al.
Revista: TRENDS IN PHARMACOLOGICAL SCIENCES
ISSN 0165-6147  Vol. 37  Nº 7  2016  págs. 575-593
Five pharmaceutical strategies are currently approved by the US FDA for the treatment of obesity: orlistat, lorcaserin, liraglutide, phentermine/topiramate, and bupropion/naltrexone. The most effective treatment seems to be the combined administration of phentermine/topiramate followed by lorcaserin and bupropion/naltrexone. In relation to the management of excessive weight, other aspects also need to be considered, including comorbidities accompanying obesity, drug interactions, and the risk of negative collateral effects, as well as individualized treatments based on the genetic make-up. This review aims to provide an overview of the approved anti-obesity drugs and newer molecules that could affect different targets in the central nervous system or peripheral tissues, the molecular mechanisms, emerging dietary treatments and phytogenic compounds, and pharmacogenetic/nutrigenetic approaches for personalized obesity management.
Autores: Ibero, Idoya; Ramírez, M.J.; et al.
Revista: JOURNAL OF NUTRITION
ISSN 0022-3166  Vol. 146  Nº 4  2016  págs. 897S - 904S
BACKGROUND: Obesity has been associated with various health disorders, including psychological alterations. Cocoa consumption and weight management may produce a beneficial effect on these problems. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of cocoa extract supplementation as part of an energy-restricted diet on psychological status and peripheral dopaminergic activity in overweight or obese middle-aged subjects. METHODS: In a 4-wk, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled parallel nutritional intervention, 22 men and 25 women [mean ± SD age: 57 ± 5 y; body mass index (kg/m2): 30.6 ± 2.3] were studied. After a 1-wk run-in period, volunteers consumed 15% energy-restricted diets; one-half of the volunteers were randomly assigned to receive ready-to-eat meals supplemented with 1.4 g cocoa extract/d (645 mg total polyphenols/d), whereas the rest of the volunteers received the same meals without cocoa supplementation. Plasma monoamines [dopamine, dopac, and homovanillic acid (HVA)], monoamine oxidase (MAO), and psychological status (anxiety and depressive symptoms) were analyzed in fasting participants at baseline and endpoint. Data were analyzed over time, and regression and correlation analyses were conducted to determine the relation between variables. RESULTS: Depressive symptoms decreased in both groups after the intervention (control: -9.4%, P < 0.001; cocoa: -6.3%, P = 0.008), but anxiety symptoms did not. The increase in plasma HVA was 11.5% greater in the cocoa group than in the control group (P = 0.016), but plasma dopamine, dopac, and MAO changes did not differ between groups. A negative relation between changes in depressive symptoms and changes in plasma HVA was observed in the cocoa group (ß = -0.39, P = 0.029). Moreover, the change in plasma dopamine was positively associated with the change in methyl-catechin-O-glucoronide in the cocoa-supplemented group (r = 0.69, P = 0.019). CONCLUSION: The intake of cocoa extract by participants consuming a 15% energy-restricted diet contributed to an increase in plasma HVA concentrations. This change was associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms, suggesting a potential effect of cocoa extract intake on this relation. The present results are secondary analyses of a clinical trial that was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01596309.
Autores: Solas, Maite; Ramírez, M.J.;
Revista: JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE
ISSN 1387-2877  Vol. 50  Nº 4  2016  págs. 963 - 967
In the present work, the involvement of JNK in insulin signaling alterations and its role in glutamatergic deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been studied. In postmortem cortical tissues, pJNK levels were increased, while insulin signaling and the expression of VGLUT1 were decreased. A significant correlation was found between reduced expression of insulin receptor and VGLUT1. The administration of a JNK inhibitor reversed the decrease in VGLUT1 expression found in a mice model of insulin resistance. It is suggested that activation of JNK in AD inhibits insulin signaling which could lead to a decreased expression of VGLUT1, therefore contributing to the glutamatergic deficit in AD.
Autores: Solas, Maite; Moreno-Aliaga MJ; et al.
Revista: BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA
ISSN 0006-3002  Vol. 1862  Nº 4  2016  págs. 511 - 517
The concept of central insulin resistance and dysfunctional insulin signalling in sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) is now widely accepted and diabetes is recognized as one of the main risk factors for developing AD. Moreover, some lines of evidence indicated that VGlut1 is impaired in frontal regions of AD patients and this impairment is correlated with the progression of cognitive decline in AD. The present work hypothesizes that ketosis associated to insulin resistance could interfere with the normal activity of VGlut1 and its role in the release of glutamate in the hippocampus, which might ultimately lead to cognitive deficits. High fat diet (HFD) rats showed memory impairments and both peripheral (as shown by increased fasting plasma insulin levels and HOMA index) and hippocampal (as shown by decreased activation of insulin receptor, IRS-1 and pAkt) insulin pathway alterations, accompanied by increased ketone bodies production. All these effects were counteracted by ¿-lipoic acid (LA) administration. VGlut1 levels were significantly decreased in the hippocampus of HFD rats, and this decrease was reversed by LA. Altogether, the present results suggest that HFD induced alterations in central insulin signalling could switch metabolism to produce ketone bodies, which in turn, in the hippocampus, might lead to a decreased expression of VGlut1, and therefore to a decreased release of glutamate and hence, to the glutamatergic deficit described in AD. The ability of LA treatment to prevent the alterations in insulin signalling in this model of HFD might represent a possible new therapeutic target for the treatment of AD.
Autores: Tordera, R.M.; Gil, Francisco Javier; et al.
Revista: HIPPOCAMPUS
ISSN 1050-9631  Vol. 26  Nº 10  2016  págs. 1303 - 1312
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized phenotypically by memory impairment, histologically by accumulation of pTau and beta-amyloid peptide and morphologically by a loss of nerve terminals in cortical and hippocampal regions. As glutamate is the principle excitatory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system (CNS), the glutamatergic system may play an important role in AD. To date, not many studies have addressed the deleterious effects of A beta on glutamatergic terminals; therefore the aim of this study was to investigate how A beta affects glutamatergic terminals and to assess the extent to which alterations in the glutamatergic neurotransmission could impact susceptibility to the illness. The present study shows that A beta caused a loss of glutamatergic terminals, measured by VGLUT1 protein levels, in Tg2576 primary cell cultures, Tg2576 mice and AD patient brains, and also when A beta was added exogenously to hippocampal cell cultures. Interestingly, no correlation was found between cognition and decreased VGLUT1 levels. Moreover, when A beta(1-42) was intracerebroventricularlly administered into VGLUT1+/-mice, altered synaptic plasticity and increased neuroinflammation was observed in the hippocampus of those animals. In conclusion, the present study not only revealed susceptibility of glutamatergic nerve terminals to A beta induced toxicity but also underlined the importance of VGLUT1 in the progression of AD, as the decrease of this protein levels ...
Autores: Martisová, Eva; Campión, Francisco Javier; et al.
Revista: BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH
ISSN 0166-4328  Vol. 299  2016  págs. 51 - 58
Adverse early life events are associated with altered stress responsiveness and metabolic disturbances in the adult life. Dietary methyl donor supplementation could be able to reverse the negative effects of maternal separation by affecting DNA methylation in the brain. In this study, maternal separation during lactation reduced body weight gain in the female adult offspring without affecting food intake, and altered total and HDL-cholesterol levels. Also, maternal separation induced a cognitive deficit as measured by NORT and an increase in the immobility time in the Porsolt forced swimming test, consistent with increased depression-like behaviour. An 18-week dietary supplementation with methyl donors (choline, betaine, folate and vitamin B12) from postnatal day 60 also reduced body weight without affecting food intake. Some of the deleterious effects induced by maternal separation, such as the abnormal levels of total and HDL-cholesterol, but especially the depression-like behaviour as measured by the Porsolt test, were reversed by methyl donor supplementation. Also, the administration of methyl donors increased total DNA methylation (measured by immunohistochemistry) and affected the expression of insulin receptor in the hippocampus of the adult offspring. However, no changes were observed in the DNA methylation status of insulin receptor and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) promoter regions in the hypothalamus. In summary, methyl donor supplementation reversed some of the deleterious effects of an early life-induced model of depression in rats and altered the DNA methylation profile in the brain.
Autores: Bengoetxea, Xabier; de Cerain, A.L.; Azqueta, A; et al.
Revista: JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE
ISSN 1387-2877  Vol. 54  Nº 3  2016  págs. 1085 - 1094
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the presence of aggregates of the amyloid-ß peptide (Aß) that are believed to be neurotoxic. One of the purposed damaging mechanisms of Aß is oxidative insult, which eventually could damage the cellular genome. Stress and associated increases in glucocorticoids (GCs) have been described as a risk factor for the development of AD, although the purported genotoxic effects of GCs have not been fully characterized. Therefore, it is possible to speculate about purported synergistic effects of GCs on the Aß-driven genotoxic damage. This in vitro study addresses the single and combined cyto/genotoxic effects of Aß and GCs in SH-SY5Y cells. Cytotoxicity was determined by the MTT assay, and the genotoxic effects were studied using the comet assay. A comet assay derivation allows for measuring the presence of the FPG-sensitive sites (mainly 8-oxoguanines) in the DNA, apart from the DNA strand breaks. Treatment with Aß (10 ¿M, 72¿h) induced cytotoxicity (35% decrease in cell viability) and DNA strand breaks, but had no significant effect on oxidative DNA damage (FPG sites). Corticosterone showed no effect on cell viability, genotoxicity, or reparation processes. Corticosterone was unable to neither reverse nor potentiate Aß driven effects. The present results suggest the existence of alternative mechanisms for the Aß driven damage, not involving oxidative damage of DNA. In addition, could be suggested that the interaction between Aß and GCs in AD does not seem to involve DNA damage.
Autores: Solas, Maite; Puerta, Elena; Ramírez, M.J.;
Revista: CURRENT PHARMACEUTICAL DESIGN
ISSN 1381-6128  Vol. 21  Nº 34  2015  págs. 4960 - 4971
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. Research focused on identifying compounds that restore cognition and memory in AD patients is a very active investigational pursuit, but unfortunately, it has been only successful in terms of developing symptomatic treatments. Aß deposition and neurofibrillary tangles along with neuron and synapse loss are associated with neurotransmitter dysfunction and have been recognized as hallmarks of AD. Furthermore, clinical and preclinical studies point to this neurotransmitter dysfunction as a main factor underlying both cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms of the illness. Cholinergic deficit in AD prompted the use of cholinesterase inhibitors as the symptomatic treatment of cognitive decline in AD, however this therapeutic approach provides only modest benefit in the majority of patients. Hence, nowadays research is focused on investigating compounds that could restore cognition and memory in AD patients. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and GABAergic neurons provide extensive innervation to cholinergic and glutamatergic neurons. It has been shown that dysfunction of the GABAergic system may contribute to cognitive impairment in humans. Significant reductions in GABA levels have been described in severe cases of AD, which could be underlying the behavioral and psychological symptoms of AD. This review examines the involvement of the GABAergic system in both cognitive and non-cognitive behavioural symptoms in AD, providing some pointers for rational drug development.
Autores: Ugarte, A.; Gil, Francisco Javier; Cedazo-Minguez, Á.; et al.
Revista: NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY
ISSN 0305-1846  Vol. 41  Nº 4  2015  págs. 471 - 482
AIMS: Levels of the cyclic nucleotides guanosine 3', 5'-monophosphate (cGMP) or adenosine 3', 5'-monophosphate (cAMP) that play important roles in memory processes are not characterized in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aim of this study was to analyse the levels of these nucleotides in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from patients diagnosed with clinical and prodromal stages of AD and study the expression level of the enzymes that hydrolyzed them [phosphodiesterases (PDEs)] in the brain of AD patients vs. METHODS: For cGMP and cAMP CSF analysis, the cohort (n¿=¿79) included cognitively normal participants (subjective cognitive impairment), individuals with stable mild cognitive impairment or AD converters (sMCI and cMCI), and mild AD patients. A high throughput liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method was used. Interactions between CSF cGMP or cAMP with mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score, CSF Aß(1-42) and CSF p-tau were analysed. For PDE4, 5, 9 and 10 expression analysis, brains of AD patients vs. controls (n¿=¿7 and n¿=¿8) were used. RESULTS: cGMP, and not cAMP levels, were significantly lower in the CSF of patients diagnosed with mild AD when compared with nondemented controls. CSF levels of cGMP showed a significant association with MMSE-diagnosed clinical dementia and with CSF biomarker Aß42 in AD patients. Significant increase in PDE5 expression was detected in temporal cortex of AD patients compared with that of age-matched healthy control subjects. No changes in the expression of others PDEs were detected. CONCLUSIONS: These results support the potential involvement of cGMP in the pathological and clinical development of AD. The cGMP reduction in early stages of AD might participate in the aggravation of amyloid pathology and cognitive decline.
Autores: Bengoetxea, Xabier; Ramírez, M.J.;
Revista: FRONTIERS IN BIOSCIENCE (SCHOLAR EDITION)
ISSN 1945-0516  Vol. 7  2015  págs. 10 - 29
Animal models are essential resources in basic research and drug discovery in the field of Alzheimer's disease (AD). As the main clinical feature in AD is cognitive failure, the ultimate readout for any interventions or the ultimate goal in research should be measures of learning and memory. Although there is a wealth of genetic and biochemical studies on proposed AD pathogenic pathways, the aetiology of the illness remains unsolved. Therefore, assessment by cognitive assays should target relevant memory systems without assumptions about pathogenesis. The description of several tests that are available for assessing cognitive functioning in animal models can be found in literature. Among the behavioural test, the novel object recognition (NOR) task is a method to measure a specific form of recognition memory. It is based on the spontaneous behaviour of rodents and offers the advantage of not needing external motivation, reward or punishment. Therefore, the NOR test has been increasingly used as an experimental tool in assessing drug effects on memory and investigating the neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory. This review describes the basic procedure, modifications, practical considerations, and the requirements and caveats of this behavioural paradigm to be considered as appropriate for the study of AD. Altogether, NOR test could be considered as a very useful instrument that allows researchers to explore the cognitive status of rodents, and hence, for studying AD related pathological mechanisms or treatments.
Autores: Martisová, Eva; Aisa, Bárbara; Tordera, R.M.; et al.
Revista: BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH
ISSN 0166-4328  Vol. 292  2015  págs. 79 - 82
It is believed that glucocorticoids control the proliferation of neural progenitor cells, and this process is highly involved in mood disorders and cognitive processes. Using the maternal separation model of chronic neonatal stress, it has been found that stress induced depressive-like behavior, cognitive deficits and a decrease in proliferation in the subventricular zone (SVZ). Venlafaxine reversed all deleterious effects of chronic stress by modulating HPA activity. These outcomes suggest modulation of stress-mediated glucocorticoid secretion as a target for the treatment of mood disorders and neurodegenerative processes.
Autores: Maioli, S.; Lodeiro, M.; Merino-Serrais, P.; et al.
Revista: AGING CELL
ISSN 1474-9718  Vol. 14  Nº 1  2015  págs. 122 - 129
Several studies support the relation between leptin and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We show that leptin levels in CSF are unchanged as subjects progress to AD. However, in AD hippocampus, leptin signalling was decreased and leptin localization was shifted, being more abundant in reactive astrocytes and less in neurons. Similar translocation of leptin was found in brains from Tg2576 and apoE4 mice. Moreover, an enhancement of leptin receptors was found in hippocampus of young Tg2576 mice and in primary astrocytes and neurons treated with A(1-42). In contrast, old Tg2576 mice showed decreased leptin receptors levels. Similar findings to those seen in Tg2576 mice were found in apoE4, but not in apoE3 mice. These results suggest that leptin levels are intact, but leptin signalling is impaired in AD. Thus, A accumulation and apoE4 genotype result in a transient enhancement of leptin signalling that might lead to a leptin resistance state over time.
Autores: Harro, J.; Kanarik, M.; Kaart, T.; et al.
Revista: BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH
ISSN 0166-4328  Vol. 267  2014  págs. 83 - 94
The large variety of available animal models has revealed much on the neurobiology of depression, but each model appears as specific to a significant extent, and distinction between stress response, pathogenesis of depression and underlying vulnerability is difficult to make. Evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that depression occurs in biologically predisposed subjects under impact of adverse life events. We applied the diathesis-stress concept to reveal brain regions and functional networks that mediate vulnerability to depression and response to chronic stress by collapsing data on cerebral long term neuronal activity as measured by cytochrome c oxidase histochemistry in distinct animal models. Rats were rendered vulnerable to depression either by partial serotonergic lesion or by maternal deprivation, or selected for a vulnerable phenotype (low positive affect, low novelty-related activity or high hedonic response). Environmental adversity was brought about by applying chronic variable stress or chronic social defeat. Several brain regions, most significantly median raphe, habenula, retrosplenial cortex and reticular thalamus, were universally implicated in long-term metabolic stress response, vulnerability to depression, or both. Vulnerability was associated with higher oxidative metabolism levels as compared to resilience to chronic stress. Chronic stress, in contrast, had three distinct patterns of effect on oxidative metabolism in vulnerable vs. resilient animals. In general, associations between regional activities in several brain circuits were strongest in vulnerable animals, and chronic stress disrupted this interrelatedness. These findings highlight networks that underlie resilience to stress, and the distinct response to stress that occurs in vulnerable subjects.
Autores: Ramírez, M.J.; Lai, M.K.P.; Tordera, R.M.; et al.
Revista: DRUGS
ISSN 0012-6667  Vol. 74  Nº 7  2014  págs. 729 - 736
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in elderly people. Research focused on identifying compounds that restore cognition and memory in AD patients is a very active investigational pursuit. Cholinesterase inhibitors for the symptomatic treatment of cognitive decline in AD have been in use for more than a decade but provide only modest benefits in most patients. Preclinical research is constantly providing new information on AD. The involvement of the serotonergic system in higher cognitive processes such as memory and learning has been widely described and extensive serotonergic denervation has been reported in AD. This review aims to explain the rationale behind testing serotonergic therapies for AD in terms of current knowledge about the pathophysiology of the disease. Based on preclinical studies, certain serotonin (5-HT) receptor ligands have been suggested to have the ability to modify or improve memory/cognition, specifically 5-HT receptors acting at 5-HT1A, 5-HT4 and 5-HT6 receptors. This article summarizes the pharmacology, efficacy, safety and tolerability data for the various serotonergic agents currently in clinical development for AD.
Autores: Ramírez, M.J.; Zulet, María de los Ángeles; et al.
Revista: PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINOLOGY
ISSN 0306-4530  Vol. 47  2014  págs. 98 - 106
Reduced circulating monoamines may have a role in the development of the metabolic syndrome (MetS), which is becoming a major health problem worldwide. Moreover, an association between anxiety disorder and MetS has been reported; however, it is not clear whether weight loss can diminish anxiety. This investigation is aimed to examine the effects of a weight loss intervention on peripheral monoamines levels and anxiety symptoms in subjects with metabolic syndrome (MetS). The study population encompassed subjects with MetS (age: 50±10 y.o. and BMI: 35.8±4.3kg/m(2)) selected from the RESMENA study after they had completed the 6-month weight loss intervention (-30% energy). Anthropometric measurements, dietary records, anxiety symptoms, and blood monoamines levels were analysed before and after the intervention. Dopamine (DA) (+18.2%; 95% confidence interval (CI): -51.2 to -0.5) and serotonin (5-HT) (+16.1%; 95% CI: -26.3 to -2.2) blood levels were significantly increased after the intervention. Higher DA blood concentrations at the end of the study were inversely related with the carbohydrate intake during the study (B=-3.3; 95% CI: -8.4 to -0.4) and basal DA levels predicted a greater decrease in body weight and anthropometric parameters. Subjects with higher 5-HT concentrations after the weight loss intervention also showed a lower energy intake during the intervention (B=-0.04; 95% CI: -0.07 to -0.01). Additionally, anxiety symptoms decreased after the weight loss treatment (-28.3%; 95% CI: 6.2-20.4), which was parallel to a greater decrease in body weight and anthropometric markers, being related to lower 5-HT basal levels. Dietary restriction in patients with MetS may help in reducing anxiety symptoms, and also in increasing 5-HT and DA blood levels. These results provide further insights regarding emotional and neurological factors behind weight loss.
Autores: Tan, M. G.; Lee, C.; Lee, J. H.; et al.
Revista: NEUROCHEMISTRY INTERNATIONAL
ISSN 0197-0186  Vol. 64  2014  págs. 29 - 36
Synaptic dysfunction, together with neuritic plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and cholinergic neuron loss is an established finding in the Alzheimer's disease (AD) neocortex. The synaptopathology of AD is known to involve both pre- and postsynaptic components. However, the status of rabphilin 3A (RPH3A), which interacts with the SNARE complex and regulates synaptic vesicle exocytosis and Ca(2+)-triggered neurotransmitter release, is at present unclear. In this study, we measured RPH3A and its ligand Rab3A as well as several SNARE proteins in postmortem neocortex of patients with AD, and found specific reductions of RPH3A immunoreactivity compared with aged controls. RPH3A loss correlated with dementia severity, cholinergic deafferentation, and increased ß-amyloid (Aß) concentrations. Furthermore, RPH3A expression is selectively downregulated in cultured neurons treated with Aß25-35 peptides. Our data suggest that presynaptic SNARE dysfunction forms part of the synaptopathology of AD.
Autores: Martisová, Eva; Pérez-Mediavilla, Luis Alberto; et al.
Revista: JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE
ISSN 1387-2877  Vol. 42  Nº 1  2014  págs. 97 - 101
Alzheimer's disease (AD) might be conceptualized as a metabolic disease with progressive impairment of the brain's capacity to utilize glucose. One of the last glucose transporters discovered is GLUT12. The aim of the present work was to investigate the expression of GLUT12 in frontal cortex from AD patients. Human samples from young control donors barely expressed GLUT12. The level of expression of GLUT12 was significantly higher in AD compare to aged controls. Expression of GLUT12 and Ox-42, a microglia marker, correlate in controls but not in AD. The implications of these findings in AD are discussed further.
Autores: Marco, E.M.; Valero, M.; de la Serna, O.; et al.
Revista: NEUROPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 0028-3908  Vol. 68  2013  págs. 223-231
Data from both human and animal studies suggest that exposure to stressful life events at neonatal stages may increase the risk of psychopathology at adulthood. In particular, early maternal deprivation, 24 h at postnatal day (pnd) 9, has been associated with persistent neurobehavioural changes similar to those present in developmental psychopathologies such as depression and schizophrenic-related disorders. Most neuropsychiatric disorders first appear during adolescence, however, the effects of MD on adolescent animals' brain and behaviour have been scarcely explored. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the emotional and cognitive consequences of MD in adolescent male and female rats, as well as possible underlying neurobiological mechanisms within frontal cortex and hippocampus. Animals were exposed to a battery of behavioural tasks, from pnd 35 to 42, to evaluate cognitive [spontaneous alternation task (SAT) and novel object test (NOT)] and anxiety-related responses [elevated plus maze (EPM)] during adolescence. Changes in neuronal and glial cells, alterations in synaptic plasticity as well as modifications in cannabinoid receptor expression were investigated in a parallel group of control and adolescent (pnd 40) male and female animals. Notably, MD induced a significant impairment in recognition memory exclusively among females. A generalized decrease in NeuN expression was found in MD animals, together with an increase in hippocampal glial fibrillar acidic protein (GFAP) expression exclusively among MD adolescent males. In addition, MD induced in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of male and female adolescent rats a significant reduction in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and postsynaptic density (PSD95) levels, together with a decrease in synaptophysin in frontal cortex and neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) in hippocampus. MD induced, in animals of both sexes, a significant reduction in CB1R expression, but an increase in CB2R that was statistically significant only for the frontal cortex. Taken together, these results indicate that adolescent females are more vulnerable than males to the cognitive deficits derived from MD despite the changes in neural cells, cannabinoid receptors, as well as the reduction in neural plasticity seem to be similar in both sexes. Further investigation is needed to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the sexual dimorphisms associated to the MD effects, and thus, for a better understanding of the specific sex-dependent vulnerabilities to early life stress. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Neurodevelopmental Disorders'.
Autores: Ramírez, M.J.;
Revista: ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH & THERAPY
ISSN 1758-9193  Vol. 5  Nº 2  2013  págs. 15
During the past 20 years, the 5-HT6 receptor has received increasing attention and become a promising target for improving cognition. Several studies with structurally different compounds have shown that not only antagonists but also 5-HT6 receptor agonists improve learning and memory in animal models. A large number of publications describing the development of ligands for this receptor have come to light, and it is now quite evident that 5-HT6 receptors have great pharmaceutical potential in terms of related patents. However, 5-HT6 receptor functionality is much more complex than initially defined. According to the existing data, different cellular pathways may be activated, depending on the drug being used. This article reviews preclinical and clinical evidence of the effects that 5-HT6 receptor compounds have on cognition. In addition, the biochemical and neurochemical mechanisms of action through which 5-HT6 receptor compounds can influence cognition will be described. Overall, several 5-HT6-targeted compounds can reasonably be regarded as powerful drug candidates for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Autores: Dobarro, M.; Guereñu, Gorka; Ramírez, M.J.;
Revista: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 1461-1457  Vol. 16  Nº 10  2013  págs. 2245 - 2257
The efficacy of antihypertensive agents in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is controversial. It has been tested here whether some antihypertensive drugs might influence AD through mechanisms independent of blood pressure-lowering activity. The effects of treatment with the antihypertensive propranolol on cognition and AD-related markers have been studied in the Tg2576 mouse model of AD. Propranolol, at a lower dose than that used as antihypertensive (5 mg/kg, 6 wk), attenuated cognitive impairments shown by Tg2576 mice aged 9 months in the novel object recognition and fear conditioning tests. Propranolol was also able to counteract the increases in hippocampal levels of Aß 42 present in Tg2576 mice. This effect was accompanied by an increased expression of insulin degrading enzyme. Changes in markers of synaptic pathology, as shown by decreases in phosphorylation of Akt and in the expression of BDNF in Tg2676 mice, were also counteracted by propranolol treatment. Tau hyperphosphorylation shown by Tg2576 mice was also decreased in the hippocampus of propranolol-treated mice, an effect probably related to an increase of GSK3ß phosphorylation (inactive form) and a decreased JNK1 expression. Overall, these data further strengthen the potential of propranolol as a therapeutic agent for AD.
Autores: Solas, Maite; Guereñu, Gorka; Gil, Francisco Javier; et al.
Revista: JOURNAL OF NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY
ISSN 0953-8194  Vol. 25  Nº 4  2013  págs. 350 - 356
It is becoming evident that chronic exposure to glucocorticoids might not only result in insulin resistance or cognitive deficits, but also is considered as a risk factor for pathologies such as depression or Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, in vivo experiments using a non-invasive method of chronic administration of corticosterone in drinking water demonstrated that chronic corticosterone administration led to cognitive impairment in the novel object recognition test and insulin resistance, as shown by significant increases in plasma insulin levels and the homeostatic model assessment index, and decreased insulin receptor phosphorylation. Corticosterone treatment induced an increased expression of stress-activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in the hippocampus, accompanied by decreases in glycogen synthase kinase 3, increases in pTau levels and increased neuronal cell death (caspase-3 activity). All these effects were reversed by the administration of a JNK1 inhibitor or by the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone. It is suggested that the mineralocorticoid receptors and JNK-mediated pathways are involved in the interaction of glucocorticoid-insulin resistance and the development of relevant cellular processes for Alzheimers disease
Autores: Solas, Maite; Aisa, Bárbara; Tordera, R.M.; et al.
Revista: BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA
ISSN 0006-3002  Vol. 1832  Nº 12  2013  págs. 2332 - 2339
It is becoming evident that chronic exposure to stress not only might result in insulin resistance or cognitive deficits, but may also be considered a risk factor for pathologies such as depression or Alzheimer's disease (AD). There is great interest in determining the molecular mechanisms underlying interactions between stress, aging, memory and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have used the chronic mild stress (CMS) model to study the effects of chronic stress on the aging process and the development of central insulin resistance and AD pathology. CMS aged mice showed cognitive impairments in the novel object recognition test. In addition, CMS aged mice displayed both peripheral insulin resistance, as shown by HOMA index, and decreased hippocampal levels of pIRS and downstream intracellular signaling (pAKT, pGSK and pERK1/2). Interestingly, there was a significant increase in both C99:C83 ratio and BACE1 levels in the hippocampus of CMS aged mice. Increased expression of the AD marker pTau was also found in stressed aged mice. Increased expression of the stress-activated protein kinase JNK was found in CMS aged mice, accompanied by significant decreases in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression and increases in mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) expression. It is suggested that the interaction of stress with aging should be considered when studying determinants of the onset and progression of AD.
Autores: Dobarro, M.; Aguirre, Norberto; et al.
Revista: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 1461-1457  Vol. 16  Nº 6  2013  págs. 1351-1360
Chronic exposure to glucocorticoids might result not only in insulin resistance or cognitive deficits, but it is also considered as a risk factor for pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease. Propranolol is a ß-adrenergic antagonist commonly used in the treatment of hypertension or acute anxiety. The effects of propranolol (5 mg/kg) have been tested in a model of chronic corticosterone administration (100 ¿g/ml, 4 wk) in drinking water. Corticosterone administration led to cognitive impairment in the novel object recognition test that was reversed by propranolol. Increased levels of Aß in the hippocampus of corticosterone-treated mice were counteracted by propranolol treatment, purportedly through an increased IDE expression. Chronic corticosterone treatment induced responses characteristic of insulin resistance, as increased peripheral insulin levels, decreased activation of the insulin receptor (pIR) and decreased associated intracellular pathways (pAkt). These effects might be related to a decreased c-Jun N terminal kinase 1 expression. Again, propranolol was able to counteract all corticosterone-induced effects. One of the main kinases involved in tau phosphorylation, glycogen synthase kinase 3ß (GSK3ß), which is inactivated by phosphorylation by pAkt, was found to be decreased after corticosterone and increased after propranolol treatment. Concomitant changes in pTau expression were found. Overall, these data further strengthen the potential of propranolol as a therapeutic agent for pathologies associated with the interaction glucocorticoids-insulin resistance and the development of relevant cellular processes for Alzheimer's disease
Autores: Solas, Maite; Francis, Paul T; et al.
Revista: NEUROBIOLOGY OF AGING
ISSN 0197-4580  Vol. 34  Nº 3  2013  págs. 805-808
The cannabinoid system seems to play an important role in various neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD). The relationship of cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) to cognitive function and neuropathological markers in AD remains unclear. In the present study, postmortem cortical brain tissues (Brodmann area 10) from a cohort of neuropathologically confirmed AD patients and age-matched controls were used to measure CB1R and CB2R by immunoblotting. Correlational analyses were performed for the neurochemical and cognitive data. CB1R expression was significantly decreased in AD. Levels of CB1R correlated with hypophagia, but not with any AD molecular marker or cognitive status (Mini Mental State Examination score). The level of CB2R was significantly higher (40%) in AD. Increases in the expression of the glial marker glial fibrillar acidic protein were also found. CB2R expression did not correlate with cognitive status. Interestingly, expression levels of CB2R correlated with two relevant AD molecular markers, A beta(42) levels and senile plaque score. These results may constitute the basis of CB2R-based therapies and/or diagnostic approaches. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Autores: Dobarro, M.; Aguirre, Norberto; et al.
Revista: NEUROPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 0028-3908  Vol. 64  Nº 1  2013  págs. 137-144
Ageing is associated with a deterioration of cognitive performance and with increased risk of neurodegenerative disorders. Hypertension is the most-prevalent modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide, and clinical data suggest that hypertension is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the present study we tested whether propranolol, a ß-receptor antagonist commonly used as antihypertensive drug, could ameliorate the cognitive impairments and increases in AD-related markers shown by the senescence-accelerated mouse prone-8 (SAMP8). Propranolol administration (5 mg/kg for 3 weeks) to 6-month-old SAMP8 mice attenuated cognitive memory impairments shown by these mice in the novel object recognition test. In the hippocampus of SAMP8 mice it has been found increases in Aß(42) levels, the principal constituent of amyloid plaques observed in AD, accompanied by both an increased expression of the cleaving enzyme BACE1 and a decreased expression of the degrading enzyme IDE. All these effects were reversed by propranolol treatment. Tau hyperphosphorylation (PHF-1 epitope) shown by SAMP8 mice at this age was also decreased in the hippocampus of propranolol-treated mice, an effect probably related to a decrease in JNK1 expression. Interestingly, propranolol also phosphorylated Akt in SAMP8 mice, which was associated with an increase of glycogen synthase kinase-3ß phosphorylation, contributing therefore to the reductions in Tau hyperphosphorylation. Synaptic pathology in SAMP8 mice, as shown by decreases in synaptophysin and BDNF, was also counteracted by propranolol treatment. Overall, propranolol might be beneficial in age-related brain dysfunction and could be an emerging candidate for the treatment of other neurodegenerative diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'.
Autores:  et al.
Revista: NEUROPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 0028-3908  Vol. 70  2013  págs. 190-199
Unraveling the mechanisms of 5-HT neuron control might provide new insights into depression pathophysiology. In addition to the inhibitory 5-HT1A autoreceptors, cortico-raphe glutamatergic descending pathways are suggested to modulate 5-HT activity in the DRN. Here we studied how decreased VGLUT1 levels in the brain stem affect glutamate regulation of 5-HT function. VGLUT1+/- mice (C57BL/6) and wild type (WT) littermates were used. VGLUT1 expression in the DRN, 5-HT turnover and immuno histochemical analysis of neuronal activity in different areas was studied. Moreover, the functionality of the inhibitory 5-HT1A autoreceptor was assessed using electrophysiological, biochemical and pharmacological approaches. VGLUT1 immunoreactivity was markedly lower in the DRN of the VGLUT1+/- mice and specifically, in the surroundings of GABA and 5-HT cell bodies. These mice showed decreased induced neuronal activity in 5-HT cells bodies and in different forebrain areas, as well as decreased hippocampal cell proliferation and 5-HT turnover. Further, 5-HT1A autoreceptor desensitization was evidenced by electrophysiological studies, GTP-¿-S coupling to 5-HT1A autoreceptor and a lower hypothermic response to 5-HT1A activation. This study shows first time that VGLUT1 dependent glutamate innervation of the DRN could modulate 5-HT function.
Autores: Martisová, Eva; Aisa, Bárbara; Guereñu, Gorka; et al.
Revista: CURRENT ALZHEIMER RESEARCH
ISSN 1567-2050  Vol. 10  Nº 4  2013  págs. 420 - 432
Stress has been described as a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer¿s disease (AD). In the present work we aim to study the validity of an experimental model of neonatal chronic stress in order to recapitulate the main hallmarks of AD. Male Wistar rats that were separated daily from the dam during the first 3 weeks of life (maternal separation, MS) showed in adulthood cognitive deficits novel object recognition test. In the hippocampus of MS rats, increases in both Aß40 and Aß42 levels, the principal constituent of amyloid plaques observed in AD, were accompanied by increased expression of the cleaving enzyme BACE1. Hyperphosphorylation of Tau associated to increased activation of the tau kinase JNK1 was also found. Decreased cell number in the hippocampus was observed in stressed rats, as a consequence of both decreased cell proliferation and increased apoptotic death. Decreases in BDNF and in the synaptic markers synaptophysin and PSD-95 were also found in MS rats. All these effects could be related to an HPA axis hyperactivity, as reflected in significant increases in corticosterone levels and decreases in glucocorticoid receptor expression. Further, SHSY5Y neuroblastoma cells treated with corticosterone showed increased BACE1, pTau and pJNK1 expression. In addition, venlafaxine, an antidepressant able to modulate HPA axis activity, reversed all the above cited deleterious effects of chronic stress, both in vivo and in vitro. It is proposed that the MS model can be considered as an appropriate experimental model for the study of sporadic AD.
Autores: Guereñu, Gorka; Dobarro, M.; Ramírez, M.J.; et al.
Revista: BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-MOLECULAR BASIS OF DISEASE
ISSN 0925-4439  Vol. 1832  Nº 6  2013  págs. 837 - 847
Education and cognitive occupations are commonly associated to reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) or dementia. Animal studies have demonstrated that cognitive stimulation (CS) achieved by social/physical activities and/or enriched environments compensates for memory decline. We have elaborated a novel paradigm of CS that is devoid of physical/social activity and enriched environments. 4 month-old Tg2576 mice were cognitively trained for 8 weeks and, after a break of 8 months, long-lasting effects of CS on cognitive abilities and AD-like pathology were measured. Morris Water Maze (MWM) and Novel Object Recognition (NOR) tests showed that deficits in spatial and recognition memories were compensated by CS. These outcomes were accompanied by increased levels of hippocampal post-synaptic markers (PSD95 and NR1) and proteins involved in synaptic formation (Arc, beta-catenin). CS softened amyloid pathology in terms of reduced levels of A beta(1-42) and the dodecameric assembly, referred as A beta*56. CS appeared to affect the APP processing since differences in levels of ADAM17, BACE1 and C99/C83 ratio were found. Tau hyper-phosphorylation and high activities of tau kinases were also reduced by CS. In contrast, CS did not induce any of these molecular changes in wild-type mice. The present findings suggest beneficial and long-lasting effects of CS early in life on cognitive decline and AD-like pathology.
Autores: Briones, A; Gagno, S; Martisová, Eva; et al.
Revista: BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 0007-1188  Vol. 165  Nº 4  2012  págs. 897-907
Autores: Gil, Francisco Javier; Gerenu, G.; Aisa, Bárbara; et al.
Revista: NEUROBIOLOGY OF DISEASE
ISSN 0969-9961  Vol. 48  Nº 3  2012  págs. 439-446
The main pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) consist of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Hippocampal cell loss, atrophy and cholinergic dysfunction are also features of AD. The present work is aimed at studying the interactions between cholinergic denervation, APP processing and hippocampal integrity. The cholinergic immunotoxin mu p-75-saporin was injected into the 3rd ventricle of 6- to 8-month-old Tg2576 mice to induce a cholinergic denervation. Four weeks after cholinergic immunolesion, a significant 14-fold increase of soluble A beta(1-42) was observed. Cholinergically lesioned Tg2576 mice showed hippocampal atrophy together with degenerating FluoroJade-B-stained neurons and reduction of synaptophysin expression in CA1-3 pyramidal layers. We also found that cholinergic denervation led to reduced levels of ADAM17 in hippocampus of Tg2576 mice. Inhibition of ADAM17 with TAPI-2 (5 mu M) decreased viability of hippocampal primary neurons from Tg2576 brains and decreased phosphorylation of downstream effectors of trophic signalling (ERK and Akt). The cholinergic agonist carbachol (100 mu M) rescued these effects, suggesting that cholinergic deficits might render hippocampus more vulnerable to neurotoxicity upon certain toxic environments. The present work proposes a novel model of AD that worsens the patent amyloid pathology of Tg2576 mice together with hippocampal synaptic pathology and neurodegeneration. Drugs aimed at favoring cholinergic transmission should still be considered as potential treatments of AD. (c) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Autores: Martisová, Eva; Solas, Maite; Guereñu, Gorka; et al.
Revista: CURRENT ALZHEIMER RESEARCH
ISSN 1567-2050  Vol. 9  Nº 7  2012  págs. 822 - 829
The objective of the present work was to study a purported involvement of stress in amyloid pathology through the modulation of BACE expression. Early-life stressed rats (maternal separation, MS) showed significant increases in corticosterone levels, BACE expression and Aß levels. The CpG7 site of the BACE promoter was significantly hypomethylated in MS, and corticosterone levels negatively correlated to the methylation status of CpG7. The activation of the stress-activated protein kinase JNK was also increased in MS rats. In SHSY-5Y neuroblastoma cells, corticosterone induced a rapid increase in BACE expression that was abolished by specific inhibiton of JNK activation or by spironolactone, a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist, but not by mifepristone, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. Corticosterone was also able to increase pJNK expression and this effect was fully reverted by spironolactone. Mice chronically treated with corticosterone showed increased BACE and pJNK expression. These increases were reverted by treatment with spironolactone or with a JNK inhibitor. It is suggested that increased corticosterone levels associated to stress lead to increase BACE transcription both through epigenetic mechanisms and activation of JNK.
Autores: Martisová, Eva; Milagro FI; et al.
Revista: DISEASE MODELS AND MECHANISMS
ISSN 1754-8403  Vol. 5  Nº 5  2012  págs. 691 - 697
An early-life adverse environment has been implicated in the susceptibility to different diseases in adulthood, such as mental disorders, diabetes and obesity. We analyzed the effects of a high-fat sucrose (HFS) diet for 35 days in adult female rats that had experienced 180 minutes daily of maternal separation (MS) during lactancy. Changes in the obesity phenotype, biochemical profile, levels of glucocorticoid metabolism biomarkers, and the expression of different obesity- and glucocorticoid-metabolism-related genes were analyzed in periovaric adipose tissue. HFS intake increased body weight, adiposity and serum leptin levels, whereas MS decreased fat pad masses but only in rats fed an HFS diet. MS reduced insulin resistance markers but only in chow-fed rats. Corticosterone and estradiol serum levels did not change in this experimental model. A multiple gene expression analysis revealed that the expression of adiponutrin (Adpn) was increased owing to MS, and an interaction between HFS diet intake and MS was observed in the mRNA levels of leptin (Lep) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (Ppargc1a). These results revealed that early-life stress affects the response to an HFS diet later in life, and that this response can lead to phenotype and transcriptomic changes.
Autores: Martisová, Eva; Solas, Maite; Horrillo, I; et al.
Revista: NEUROPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 0028-3908  Vol. 62  Nº 5-6  2012  págs. 1944 - 1953
The objective of the present work was to study the effects of an early-life stress (maternal separation, MS) in the excitatory/inhibitory ratio as a potential factor contributing to the ageing process, and the purported normalizing effects of chronic treatment with the antidepressant venlafaxine. MS induced depressive-like behaviour in the Porsolt forced swimming test that was reversed by venlafaxine, and that persisted until senescence. Aged MS rats showed a downregulation of vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and 2 (VGIut1 and VGIut2) and GABA transporter (VGAT) and increased expression of excitatory amino acid transporter 2 (EAAT2) in the hippocampus. Aged rats showed decreased expression of glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65), while the excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (EAAT1) was affected only by stress. Glutamate receptor subunits NR1 and NR2A and GIuR4 were upregulated in stressed rats, and this effect was reversed by venlafaxine. NR2B, GluR1 and GluR2/3 were not affected by either stress or age. MS, both in young and aged rats, induced an increase in the circulating levels of corticosterone. Corticosterone induced an increase glutamate and a decrease in GABA release in hippocampal slices, which was reversed by venlafaxine. Chronic treatment with corticosterone recapitulated the main biochemical findings observed in MS. The different effects that chronic stress exerts in young and adult animals on expression of proteins responsible for glutamate/GABA cycling may explain the involvement of glucocorticoids in ageing-related diseases. Modulation of glutamate/GABA release may be a relevant component of the therapeutic action of antidepressants, such as venlafaxine.
Autores: Gil, Francisco Javier; Solas, Maite; Mateos, L; et al.
Revista: HIPPOCAMPUS
ISSN 1050-9631  Vol. 21  Nº 9  2011  págs. 999-1009
Autores: Codony, X; Vela, JM; Ramírez, M.J.;
Revista: CURRENT OPINION IN PHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 1471-4892  Vol. 11  Nº 1  2011  págs. 94-100
Autores: Tordera, R.M.; et al.
Revista: EUROPEAN NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 0924-977X  Vol. 21  Nº 1  2011  págs. 23-32
Autores: Llorente, R; Miguel-Blanco, C; Aisa, Bárbara; et al.
Revista: JOURNAL OF NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY
ISSN 0953-8194  Vol. 23  Nº 4  2011  págs. 329-344
Autores: Aisa, Bárbara; Ramírez, M.J.; et al.
Revista: J Med Chem
ISSN 0022-2623  Vol. 54  Nº 8  2011  págs. 3086 - 3090
Autores: Totterdell, S; et al.
Revista: PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 0033-3158  Vol. 210  Nº 3  2010  págs. 393 - 406
Autores: Pastor, PM; et al.
Revista: JOURNAL OF NEUROCHEMISTRY
ISSN 0022-3042  Vol. 114  Nº 5  2010  págs. 1302 - 1314
Autores: Aisa, Bárbara; Gil, Francisco Javier; Solas, Maite; et al.
Revista: JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE
ISSN 1387-2877  Vol. 20   Nº 2  2010  págs. 659 - 668
Autores: Gil, Francisco Javier; Aisa, Bárbara; et al.
Revista: JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE
ISSN 1387-2877  Vol. 22  Nº 3  2010  págs. 829 - 838
The present work investigated the involvement of cortisol and its receptors, glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cortisol was measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from controls, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), progressive MCI evolving to AD, and AD. CSF cortisol levels do not seem to have a prognostic value, as increases in cortisol levels were found only in AD patients. GR expression was decreased while MR expression was increased in the frontal cortex of AD. When considering degeneration (ratio to synaptophysin and the post-synaptic marker PSD95), GR expression was similar between controls and AD, suggesting that GR loss was due to synaptic degeneration in AD. Increases in cortisol levels and MR expression were associated to an apolipoprotein E4 genotype. Cognitive status was negatively associated to CSF cortisol. In apolipoprotein E4 carriers, MR but not GR expression, negatively correlated to Mini-Mental Status Examination score and positively correlated to frontal cortex amyloid-ß levels. It is concluded that there is a dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in AD that seems to be consequence rather than cause of AD.
Autores: Gil, Francisco Javier; Solas, Maite; et al.
Revista: Journal of Alzheimer s Disease
ISSN 1387-2877  Vol. 22  Nº 2  2010  págs. 405 - 413
Previous studies have failed to reach consensus on insulin levels in cerebrospinal fluid of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and on its relation to pathological features. We performed a new analysis in patients at different stages of AD, and investigated the relationship of insulin levels with biochemical disease markers and with cognitive score. We included 99 patients from our Memory Clinic (Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden), including: 27 patients with mild AD, 13 that progressed from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to AD in two years time, 26 with MCI stable after two years, and 33 with subjective cognitive impairment. Insulin was significantly decreased in the cerebrospinal fluid of both women and men with mild AD. Insulin deficits were seen in women belonging to both MCI groups, suggesting that this occurs earlier than in men. Insulin was positively associated with amyloid-ß 1-42 (Aß1-42) levels and cognitive score. Furthermore, total-tau/(Aß1-42*insulin) ratio showed strikingly better sensitivity and specificity than the total-tau/Aß1-42 ratio for early AD diagnosis in women.
Autores: Solas, Maite; Aisa, Bárbara; Mugueta, Carmen; et al.
Revista: NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 0893-133X  Vol. 35  Nº 8  2010  págs. 1664 - 1673
There is much interest in understanding the mechanisms responsible for interactions among stress, aging, memory and Alzheimer's disease. Glucocorticoid secretion associated with early life stress may contribute to the variability of the aging process and to the development of neuro- and psychopathologies. Maternal separation (MS), a model of early life stress in which rats experience 3 h of daily separation from the dam during the first 3 weeks of life, was used to study the interactions between stress and aging. Young (3 months) MS rats showed an altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity, depressive-like behavior in the Porsolt swimming test and cognitive impairments in the Morris water maze and new object recognition test that persisted in aged (18 months) rats. Levels of insulin receptor, phosphorylated insulin receptor and markers of downstream signaling pathways (pAkt, pGSK3 beta, pTau, and pERK1 levels) were significantly decreased in aged rats. There was a significant decrease in pERK2 and in the plasticity marker ARC in MS aged rats compared with single MS or aged rats. It is interesting to note that there was a significant increase in the C99 : C83 ratio, A beta levels, and BACE1 levels the hippocampus of MS aged rats, suggesting that in aged rats subjected to early life stress, there was an increase in the amyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP). These results are integrated in a tentative mechanism through which aging interplay with stress to influence cognition as the basis of Alzheimer disease (AD). The present results may provide the proof-of-concept for the use of glucocorticoid-/insulin-related drugs in the treatment of AD.
Autores: Marcos, Beatriz; Cabero, M.; Solas, Maite; et al.
Revista: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
ISSN 1461-1457  Vol. 13  Nº 6  2010  págs. 775 - 784
A growing body of evidence supports the use of serotonin 5-HT6 receptor antagonists as a promising mechanism for treating cognitive dysfunction. We evaluated 5-HT6 receptor expression and associated biochemical mechanisms in the hippocampus of rats that had been trained in the Morris water maze (MWM), a spatial learning task. Training in the MWM induces a down-regulation of 5-HT6 receptor protein and mRNA receptor expression. The learning procedure or the administration of the selective 5-HT6 receptor antagonist SB-271046 induced an increase in pCREB1 levels while CREB2 levels were significantly reduced. However, although SB-271046 was able to improve retention in the MWM, no further changes in pCREB1 or CREB2 levels were found to be associated with the presence of the 5-HT6 receptor antagonist during the learning procedure. The MWM procedure significantly increased pERK1/2 levels and interestingly, further increases were seen when treating with SB-271046 during the MWM. These results suggest that, in the hippocampus, biochemical pathways associated with pERK1/2 expression, and not with the CREB family of transcription factors, seem to be related to the cognitive-enhancing properties of 5-HT6 receptor antagonists.
Autores: Codony, X; Burgueño, J; Ramírez, M.J.; et al.
Revista: INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF NEUROBIOLOGY
ISSN 0074-7742  Vol. 94  2010  págs. 89 - 110
Autores: Francis, PT; Ramírez, M.J.; Lai, MK;
Revista: Neuropharmacology
ISSN 0028-3908  Vol. 59  Nº 4-5  2010  págs. 221 - 229
Neuron and synapse loss together with neurotransmitter dysfunction have, along with Abeta deposition and neurofibrillary tangles, been recognized as hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Furthermore, clinical and preclinical studies point to neuronal loss and associated neurochemical alterations of several transmitter systems as a main factor underlying both cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms. Treatment for the cognitive decline in AD, based on early findings of a cholinergic deficit, has been in the clinic for more than a decade but provides only modest benefit in most patients. Therefore there is still considerable scope for new treatments that demonstrate greater efficacy against cognitive dysfunction in spite of the fact that the mainstays of current treatments, the cholinesterase inhibitors Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl (Razadyne) will become generic over the next few years. However, the most important area for drug development is for the treatment of behavioural disturbance in AD since many existing treatments have limited efficacy and have potentially life-threatening side effects. This review examines the neurochemical underpinning of both cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia and provides some basis for rational drug development.
Autores: Solas, Maite; Bengoetxea, Xabier; Ferrero, H.; et al.
Libro:  Spatial, long-and short-term memory: functions, differences and effects of injury
2015  págs. 1 - 30
Memory is one of the earliest cognitive functions to show decline during aging and some neurodegenerative diseases and this decline has a social and economic impact on individuals, families, the health care system, and society as a whole. Therefore, scientists have been experimenting to find methods to prevent the memory loss associated with neurodegeneration. The main strategy involved in these experiments is the use of animal models to assess hippocampal-based spatial memory. This kind of memory encodes, stores, recognizes and recalls spatial information about the environment and the agent¿s orientation within it and it is essential for independence, safety and a good quality of life. In order to understand the pathophysiology of brain aging and to gain insight into the potential mechanisms underlying spatial memory dysfunctions many rodent behavioral tasks have been specifically designed, including Morris water maze (MWM), radial arm water maze (RAWM), Barnes maze or T-maze. Among them, the most widely employed spatial working memory test is MWM. Theoretically, preclinical rodent cognitive testing would assess identical cognitive domains to those examined through neuropsychological testing in human. However, researchers need to be aware of the advantages as well as of the potential weaknesses of the available behavioral models in terms of their ability to model cognitive changes observed in human.
Autores: Puerta, Elena; Tordera, R.M.; Ramírez, M.J.; et al.
Libro:  Cognitive dysfunctions: biological basis, management of symptoms and long-term neurological implications
2014  págs. 63 - 86
Autores: Solas, Maite; Ramírez, M.J.;
Libro:  Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA): Biosynthesis, medicinal uses and health effects
2014  págs. 133 - 158
Autores: Solas, Maite; Ramírez, M.J.;
Libro:  Metabolic Syndrome and Neurological Disorders
2013  págs. 115 - 135
Autores: Codony, X.; Burgueño, J.; Ramírez, M.J.; et al.
Libro:  Pharmacology of 5-HT6 receptors
Vol. 94  2010  págs. 89 - 110