Ketamine, a noncompetitive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is frequently used in pediatric general anesthesia. Accumulating evidence from animal experiments has demonstrated that ketamine causes neuronal cell death during the brain growth spurt. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms associated with ketamine-induced neuronal toxicity and search for approaches or agents to prevent ketamine's adverse effects on the developing brain, a primary nerve cell culture system was utilized. Neurons harvested from the forebrain of newborn rats were maintained under normal control conditions or exposed to either ketamine (10µM) or ketamine plus l-carnitine (an antioxidant; 1-100µM) for 24 h, followed by a 24-h withdrawal period. Ketamine exposure resulted in elevated NMDA receptor (NR1) expression, increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as indicated by higher levels of 8-oxoguanine production, and enhanced neuronal damage. Coadministration of l-carnitine significantly diminished ROS generation and provided near complete protection of neurons from ketamine-induced cell death. NMDA receptors regulate channels that are highly permeable to calcium, and calcium imaging data demonstrated that neurons exposed to ketamine had a significantly elevated amplitude of calcium influx and higher intracellular free calcium concentrations ([Ca 2+ ]i) evoked by NMDA (50µM), compared with control neurons. These findings suggest that prolonged ketamine exposure produces an increase in NMDA receptor expression (compensatory upregulation), which allows for a higher/toxic influx of calcium into neurons once ketamine is removed from the system, leading to elevated ROS generation and neuronal cell death. l-Carnitine appears to be a promising agent in preventing or reversing ketamine's toxic effects on neurons at an early developmental stage.
Stretchable strain sensors based on aligned microfibrous arrays of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate)-poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PEDOT:PSS-PVP) with curled architectures have been fabricated by a novel reciprocating-type electrospinning setup with a spinneret in straightforward simple harmonic motion. The incorporation of PEDOT:PSS into PVP is confirmed by Raman spectra, which improves the room-temperature conductivity of the composite fibers (1.6 × 10(-5) S cm(-1)). Owing to the curled architectures of the as-spun fibrous polymer arrays, the sensors can be stretched reversibly with a linear elastic response to strain up to 4%, which is three times higher than that from electrospun nonwoven mats. In addition, the stretchable strain sensor with a high repeatability and durability has a gauge factor of about 360. These results may be helpful for the fabrication of stretchable devices which have potential applications in some fields such as soft robotics, elastic semiconductors, and elastic solar cells.
Microglia and astrocytes express numerous members of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family that are pivotal for recognizing conserved microbial motifs expressed by a wide array of pathogens. Despite the critical role for TLRs in pathogen recognition, when dysregulated these pathways can also exacerbate CNS tissue destruction. Therefore, a critical balance must be achieved to elicit sufficient immunity to combat CNS infectious insults and downregulate these responses to avoid pathological tissue damage. We performed a comprehensive survey on the efficacy of various PPAR-γ agonists to modulate proinflammatory mediator release from primary microglia and astrocytes in response to numerous TLR ligands relevant to CNS infectious diseases. The results demonstrated differential abilities of select PPAR-γ agonists to modulate glial activation. For example, 15d-PGJ2 and pioglitazone were both effective at reducing IL-12 p40 release by TLR ligand-activated glia, whereas CXCL2 expression was either augmented or inhibited by 15d-PGJ2, effects that were dependent on the TLR ligand examined. Pioglitazone and troglitazone demonstrated opposing actions on microglial CCL2 production that were TLR ligand-dependent. Collectively, this information may be exploited to modulate the host immune response during CNS infections to maximize host immunity while minimizing inappropriate bystander tissue damage that is often characteristic of such diseases.
Minocycline exerts beneficial immune modulatory effects in several noninfectious neurodegenerative disease models; however, its potential to influence the host immune response during central nervous system bacterial infections, such as brain abscess, has not yet been investigated. Using a minocycline-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus to dissect the antibiotic's bacteriostatic versus immune modulatory effects in a mouse experimental brain abscess model, we found that minocycline significantly reduced mortality rates within the first 24 hours following bacterial exposure. This protection was associated with a transient decrease in the expression of several proinflammatory mediators, including interleukin-1␤ and CCL2 (MCP-1). Minocycline was also capable of protecting the brain parenchyma from necrotic damage as evident by significantly smaller abscesses in minocycline-treated mice. In addition, minocycline exerted anti-inflammatory effects when administered as late as 3 days following S. aureus infection, which correlated with a significant decrease in brain abscess size. Finally, minocycline was capable of partially attenuating S. aureus-dependent microglial and astrocyte activation. Therefore , minocycline may afford additional therapeutic benefits extending beyond its antimicrobial activity for the treatment of central nervous system infectious diseases typified by a pathogenic inflammatory component through its ability to balance beneficial versus detrimental inflammation.
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