Schildknecht, Stefan


Suchergebnisse Publikationen

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Novel Proline Transporter Inhibitor (LQFM215) Presents Antipsychotic Effect in Ketamine Model of Schizophrenia

2023-09-09, Carvalho, Gustavo Almeida, Chiareli, Raphaela Almeida, Pedrazzi, João Francisco Cordeiro, Silva-Amaral, Danyelle, da Rocha, André Luís Batista, Oliveira-Lima, Onésia Cristina, Lião, Luciano Morais, Schildknecht, Stefan, Leist, Marcel, Pinto, Mauro Cunha Xavier

The glutamatergic hypothesis of schizophrenia suggests a correlation between NMDA receptor hypofunction and negative psychotic symptoms. It has been observed that the expression of the proline transporter (PROT) in the central nervous system (CNS) is associated with glutamatergic neurotransmission, as l-proline has the capacity to activate and modulate AMPA and NMDA receptors. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether inhibition of proline transporters could enhance glutamatergic neurotransmission and potentially exhibit antipsychotic effects in an experimental schizophrenia model. Using molecular dynamics analysis in silico, we validated an innovative PROT inhibitor, LQFM215. We quantified the cytotoxicity of LQFM215 in the Lund human mesencephalic cell line (LUHMES). Subsequently, we employed the ketamine-induced psychosis model to evaluate the antipsychotic potential of the inhibitor, employing behavioral tests including open-field, three-chamber interaction, and prepulse inhibition (PPI). Our results demonstrate that LQFM215, at pharmacologically active concentrations, exhibited negligible neurotoxicity when astrocytes were co-cultured with neurons. In the ketamine-induced psychosis model, LQFM215 effectively reduced hyperlocomotion and enhanced social interaction in a three-chamber social approach task across all administered doses. Moreover, the compound successfully prevented the ketamine-induced disruption of sensorimotor gating in the PPI test at all tested doses. Overall, these findings suggest that PROT inhibition could serve as a potential therapeutic target for managing symptoms of schizophrenia model.

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Contrasting effects of selective MAGL and FAAH inhibition on dopamine depletion and GDNF expression in a chronic MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease

2017-11, Pasquarelli, Noemi, Porazik, Christoph, Bayer, Hanna, Buck, Eva, Schildknecht, Stefan, Weydt, Patrick, Witting, Anke, Ferger, Boris

The modulation of the brain endocannabinoid system has been identified as an option to treat neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease (PD). Especially the elevation of endocannabinoid levels by inhibition of hydrolytic degradation represents a valuable approach. To evaluate whether monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) or fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibition could be beneficial for PD, we examined in parallel the therapeutic potential of the highly selective MAGL inhibitor KML29 elevating 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG) levels and the highly selective FAAH inhibitor PF-3845 elevating anandamide (AEA) levels in a chronic methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine/probenecid (MPTP/probenecid) mouse model of PD. Chronic administration of KML29 (10 mg/kg) but not PF-3845 (10 mg/kg) attenuated striatal MPTP/probenecid-induced dopamine depletion. Furthermore, KML29 induced an increase in Gdnf but not Bdnf expression, whereas PF-3845 decreased the MPTP/probenecid-induced Cnr2 expression without any effects on neurotrophin expression. Investigation of treatment-naïve striatal mRNA levels revealed a high presence of Gdnf and Mgll in contrast to Bdnf and Faah. Treatment of primary mouse microglia with 2-AG increased Gdnf but not Bdnf expression, suggesting that microglia might mediate the observed KML29-induced increase in Gdnf. In summary, pharmacological MAGL but not FAAH inhibition in the chronic MPTP/probenecid model attenuated the MPTP/probenecid-induced effects on striatal dopamine levels which were accompanied by an increase in 2-AG levels.

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Sensing hypoxia by mitochondria : a unifying hypothesis involving S-nitrosation

2014-01-10, Ullrich, Volker, Schildknecht, Stefan

Sudden hypoxia requires a rapid response in tissues with high energy demand. Mitochondria are rapid sensors for a lack of oxygen, but no consistent mechanism for the sensing process and the subsequent counter-regulation has been described.

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Autocatalytic Nitration of Prostaglandin Endoperoxide Synthase-2 by Nitrite Inhibits Prostanoid Formation in Rat Alveolar Macrophages.

2012-11-15, Schildknecht, Stefan, Karreman, Christiaan, Daiber, Andreas, Zhao, Cheng, Hamacher, Jürg, Perlman, David, Jung, Birgit, van der Loo, Bernd, O'Connor, Peter, Leist, Marcel, Ullrich, Volker, Bachschmid, Markus Michael

Prostaglandin endoperoxide H(2) synthase (PGHS) is a well-known target for peroxynitrite-mediated nitration. In several experimental macrophage models, however, the relatively late onset of nitration failed to coincide with the early peak of endogenous peroxynitrite formation. In the present work, we aimed to identify an alternative, peroxynitrite-independent mechanism, responsible for the observed nitration and inactivation of PGHS-2 in an inflammatory cell model. Results: In primary rat alveolar macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), PGHS-2 activity was suppressed after 12 h, although the prostaglandin endoperoxide H(2) synthase (PGHS-2) protein was still present. This coincided with a nitration of the enzyme. Coincubation with a nitric oxide synthase-2 (NOS-2) inhibitor preserved PGHS-2 nitration and at the same time restored thromboxane A(2) (TxA(2)) synthesis in the cells. Formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was maximal at 4 h and then returned to baseline levels. Nitrite (NO(2)(-)) production occurred later than ROS generation. This rendered generation of peroxynitrite and the nitration of PGHS-2 unlikely. We found that the nitrating agent was formed from NO(2)(-), independent from superoxide ((•)O(2)(-)). Purified PGHS-2 treated with NO(2)(-) was selectively nitrated on the active site Tyr(371), as identified by mass spectrometry (MS). Exposure to peroxynitrite resulted in the nitration not only of Tyr(371), but also of other tyrosines (Tyr). Innovation and Conclusion: The data presented here point to an autocatalytic nitration of PGHS-2 by NO(2)(-), catalyzed by the enzyme's endogenous peroxidase activity and indicate a potential involvement of this mechanism in the termination of prostanoid formation under inflammatory conditions.

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Upregulation of glutathione in hepatocytes by the antibiotic Nitrofurantoin

2019, Schildknecht, Stefan, Wijaja, L., Hengstler, Jan G., Kamp, Hennicke, Sperber, Saskia, van de Water, Bob, Leist, Marcel

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Stem Cell transcriptome responses and corresponding biomarkers that indicate the transition from adaptive responses to cytotoxicity

2017-04-17, Waldmann, Tanja, Grinberg, Marianna, König, André, Rempel, Eugen, Schildknecht, Stefan, Henry, Margit, Holzer, Anna-Katharina, Dreser, Nadine, Shinde, Vaibhav, Sachinidis, Agapios, Rahnenführer, Jörg, Hengstler, Jan G, Leist, Marcel

Analysis of transcriptome changes has become an established method to characterize the reaction of cells to toxicants. Such experiments are mostly performed at compound concentrations close to the cytotoxicity threshold. At present, little information is available on concentration-dependent features of transcriptome changes, in particular, at the transition from noncytotoxic concentrations to conditions that are associated with cell death. Thus, it is unclear in how far cell death confounds the results of transcriptome studies. To explore this gap of knowledge, we treated pluripotent stem cells differentiating to human neuroepithelial cells (UKN1 assay) for short periods (48 h) with increasing concentrations of valproic acid (VPA) and methyl mercury (MeHg), two compounds with vastly different modes of action. We developed various visualization tools to describe cellular responses, and the overall response was classified as "tolerance" (minor transcriptome changes), "functional adaptation" (moderate/strong transcriptome responses, but no cytotoxicity), and "degeneration". The latter two conditions were compared, using various statistical approaches. We identified (i) genes regulated at cytotoxic, but not at noncytotoxic, concentrations and (ii) KEGG pathways, gene ontology term groups, and superordinate biological processes that were only regulated at cytotoxic concentrations. The consensus markers and processes found after 48 h treatment were then overlaid with those found after prolonged (6 days) treatment. The study highlights the importance of careful concentration selection and of controlling viability for transcriptome studies. Moreover, it allowed identification of 39 candidate "biomarkers of cytotoxicity". These could serve to provide alerts that data sets of interest may have been affected by cell death in the model system studied.

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Alpha-Synuclein Binds to the Inner Membrane of Mitochondria in an α-Helical Conformation

2014, Robotta, Marta, Gerding, Hanne R., Vogel, Antonia, Hauser, Karin, Schildknecht, Stefan, Karreman, Christiaan, Leist, Marcel, Subramaniam, Vinod, Drescher, Malte

The human alpha-Synuclein (αS) protein is of significant interest because of its association with Parkinson's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. The intrinsically disordered protein (140 amino acids) is characterized by the absence of a well-defined structure in solution. It displays remarkable conformational flexibility upon macromolecular interactions, and can associate with mitochondrial membranes. Site-directed spin-labeling in combination with electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy enabled us to study the local binding properties of αS on artificial membranes (mimicking the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes), and to evaluate the importance of cardiolipin in this interaction. With pulsed, twofrequency, double-electron electron paramagnetic resonance (DEER) approaches, we examined, to the best of our knowledge for the first time, the conformation of αS bound to isolated mitochondria.

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Increasing the Resistance of Living Cells against Oxidative Stress by Nonnatural Surfactants as Membrane Guards

2018-07-18, Kunkel, Marius, Schildknecht, Stefan, Boldt, Klaus, Zeyffert, Lukas, Schleheck, David, Leist, Marcel, Polarz, Sebastian

The importation of construction principles or even constituents from biology into materials science is a prevailing concept. Vice versa, the cellular level modification of living systems with nonnatural components is much more difficult to achieve. It has been done for analytical purposes, for example, imaging, to learn something about intracellular processes. Cases describing the improvement of a biological function by the integration of a nonnatural (nano)constituent are extremely rare. Because biological membranes contain some kind of a surfactant, for example, phospholipids, our idea is to modify cells with a newly synthesized surfactant. However, this surfactant is intended to possess an additional functionality, which is the reduction of oxidative stress. We report the synthesis of a surfactant with Janus-type head group architecture, a fullerene C60 modified by five alkyl chains on one side and an average of 20 oxygen species on the other hemisphere. It is demonstrated that the amphiphilic properties of the fullerenol surfactant are similar to that of lipids. Not only quenching of reactive oxygen species (superoxide, hydroxyl radicals, peroxynitrite, and hydrogen peroxide) was successful, but also the fullerenol surfactant exceeds benchmark antioxidant agents such as quercetin. The surfactant was then brought into contact with different cell types, and the viability even of delicate cells such as human liver cells (HepG2) and human dopaminergic neurons (LUHMES) has proven to be extraordinarily high. We could show further that the cells take up the fullerenol surfactant, and as a consequence, they are protected much better against oxidative stress.

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Switching from astrocytic neuroprotection to neurodegeneration by cytokine stimulation

2016, Chovancova, Petra, Efremova, Ludmilla, Gutbier, Simon, Schildknecht, Stefan, Leist, Marcel

Background: Astrocytes are the largest cell population in the human brain, and they react to injury and cytokines with activation. Only few experimental studies have examined the interaction of activated astrocytes with human neurons and the pharmacology thereof.
Experimental approach: Immortalized murine astrocytes (IMA) were combined with human LUHMES neurons, and stimulated with an inflammatory (TNF, IL-1) cytokine mix (CM). Neuronal survival was studied both in co-cultures and in monocultures after transfer of conditioned medium from activated IMA. Interventions with >20 pharmaceutical compounds were used to profile the model system.
Key results: Control IMA supported neurons, and protected them from neurotoxicants. Inflammatory activation reduced this protection, and prolonged exposure of co-cultures to CM triggered neurotoxicity. This neither involved direct effects of cytokines on neurons, nor secretion of nitric oxide from astrocytes, but it was prevented by the corticosteroid dexamethasone. The neurotoxicity-mediating effect of IMA was faithfully reproduced by human astrocytes. Moreover, glia-dependent toxicity was also observed, when IMA cultures were stimulated with CM, and the culture medium was transferred to neurons. Such neurotoxicity was prevented when astrocytes were treated by p38 kinase inhibitors or dexamethasone, whereas such compounds had no effect, when added to neurons. Conversely, treatment of neurons with five different drugs, including resveratrol and CEP1347, prevented toxicity of astrocyte supernatants.
Conclusion: The sequential IMA-LUHMES neuroinflammation model is suitable for separate profiling of both glial-directed and directly neuroprotective strategies. Moreover, direct evaluation in co-cultures of the same cells allows for testing of therapeutic effectiveness in more complex settings, in which astrocytes affect pharmacological properties of neurons.

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Vascular aging : Chronic oxidative stress and impairment of redox signaling—consequences for vascular homeostasis and disease

2013-02, Bachschmid, Markus, Schildknecht, Stefan, Matsui, Reiko, Zee, Rebecca, Häussler, Dagmar, Cohen, Richard, Pimental, David, van der Loo, Bernd

Characteristic morphological and molecular alterations such as vessel wall thickening and reduction of nitric oxide occur in the aging vasculature leading to the gradual loss of vascular homeostasis. Consequently, the risk of developing acute and chronic cardiovascular diseases increases with age. Current research of the underlying molecular mechanisms of endothelial function demonstrates a duality of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in contributing to vascular homeostasis or leading to detrimental effects when formed in excess. Furthermore, changes in function and redox status of vascular smooth muscle cells contribute to age-related vascular remodeling. The age-dependent increase in free radical formation causes deterioration of the nitric oxide signaling cascade, alters and activates prostaglandin metabolism, and promotes novel oxidative posttranslational protein modifications that interfere with vascular and cell signaling pathways. As a result, vascular dysfunction manifests. Compensatory mechanisms are initially activated to cope with age-induced oxidative stress, but become futile, which results in irreversible oxidative modifications of biological macromolecules. These findings support the ‘free radical theory of aging’ but also show that reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are essential signaling molecules, regulating vascular homeostasis.