Inproceedings: An article in a conference proceedings.
Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Glioprotective impact of cell-permeable peptides in preclinical models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Title of the conference
10th European meeting on Glial Cells in Health and Disease
Prague, Czech Republic, September 13-17, 2011
Publication type : Meeting Abstract
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons. It is mostly sporadic, but about 2% of cases are associated with mutations in the gene encoding the enzyme superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). A major constraint to the comprehension of the pathogenesis of ALS has been long represented by the conviction that this disorder selectively affects motor neurons in a cell-autonomous manner. However, the failure to identify the events underlying the neurodegenerative process and the increased knowledge of the complex cellular interactions necessary for the correct functioning of the CNS has recently focused the attention on the contribution to neurodegeneration of glial cells, including astrocytes. Astrocytes can hurt motor neurons directly by secreting neurotoxic factors, but they can also play a deleterious role indirectly by losing functions that are supportive for neurons. Recently, we reported that a subpopulation of astrocytes degenerates in the spinal cord of hSOD1G93A transgenic mouse model of ALS. Mechanistic studies in cultured astrocytes revealed that such effect is mediated by the excitatory amino acid glutamate.On the bsis of these observations, we next used the established cell culture model as a tool to screen the glioprotective effect of innovative drugs, namely cell-permeable therapeutics. These consist of peptidic effector moieties coupled to the selective intracellular peptide transporter TAT protein. We initially validated the usefulness of these molecules demonstrating that a control fluorescent peptide enters astrocytes in culture and is retained within the cells up to 24-48 h, according to the timing of our cytotoxicity experiments. We then tested the impact of specific intracellular peptides with antiapoptotic properties on glutamate-treated hSOD1G93A- expressing astrocytes and we identified one molecule that protects the cells from death. Chronic treatment of ALS mice with this peptide had a positive impact on the outcome of the disease.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Astrocytes, Glutamate,
Web of science
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