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ISSN 2096-0689
CN 11-9363/R (Online)
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Current Issue

, Volume 2 Issue 4 Previous Issue   
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The role of neuroinflammation in glaucoma
Kojic Ljubomir, Max S Cynader
Journal of Translational Neuroscience. 2017, 2 (4): 1-11.
Abstract   PDF (12781KB)
Glaucoma is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive damage and loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). It is considered one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the older population. There are estimates that glaucoma will affect 80 million individuals worldwide by the end of this decade, and yet we are still not able to identify the signals and the mechanisms that trigger this neurodegenerative disease. Various hypotheses have been generated to address the causes of the progressive RGC death that characterizes the disease. Age and increased intraocular pressure (IOP) have been established as the main risk factors for the development of glaucoma. Recent studies have identified additional factors that play a role in the pathogenesis of this complex multifactorial disease, including inflammation, oxidative stress, vascular dysregulation, disrupted axonal transport of neurotrophic factors, and the release of neurotoxic agents such as glutamate, nitric oxide and free radicals. The currently approved therapies for glaucoma that seek to reduce IOP, including medications, laser treatment, and surgery, are unable to reliably stop RGC loss and functional impairment. Considering the significant personal, medical and socio-economic impacts of glaucoma as a leading cause of blindness, there is a pressing need for new innovative treatment strategies. Here we focus on the role of neuroinflammation in glaucoma and the opportunities that new findings in this area have for the development of future therapeutics.
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Function and mechanism of traditional Chinese medicine in the prevention and treatment of Parkinson’s disease
Ting Zhang, Ke Wang, Limin Liu, Wei Wang, Li Zhang, Jun Jia, Xiaoli Gong, Xiaomin Wang
Journal of Translational Neuroscience. 2017, 2 (4): 12-23.
Abstract   PDF (14569KB)
Parkinson’s disease (PD) was first discovered 200 years ago. The current gold standard of clinical treatment is still mainly levodopa replacement therapy. Traditional Chinese medicine is the foundation of traditional medicine in China. Chinese herbs and acupuncture both exhibit remarkable efficacy in the treatment of PD. Clinical studies on the treatment of PD using Chinese herbs have confirmed that the combined use of Chinese herbs and the levodopa formulation can significantly increase the treatment effect and reduce toxic side effects. Basic studies further confirmed that various Chinese herbs and their monomeric substances can protect dopaminergic neurons in PD models. The major mechanisms include anti-inflammation, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptosis, neuroprotection, mitochondrial function protection, and regulation of gut microbiota. The function of acupuncture in the treatment of PD has also gradually received extensive attention in China and other countries. Acupuncture not only has peculiar advantages in the improvement of symptoms of PD patients, but also can attenuate adverse drug reactions, delay disease progression, and increase the quality of life of patients. Basic studies further confirmed that acupuncture can improve many motor symptoms in animal models of PD and has cumulative effects and follow-up effects. The major mechanisms include dopaminergic neuron protection functions, anti-inflammation and anti-oxidant effects, and the regulation of related neurotransmitters and neural circuits. The clinical application of acupuncture and Chinese herbs still requires strict randomized, double-blind, controlled design, multi-centre and large-sample sizeevidence-based clinical studies and follow-up observations of long-term efficacy to support the effect. In addition, the multi-target and multi-pathway therapeutic mechanisms need further studies.
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Synaptotagmins: links to human disease
Wanru Li, Claire Xi Zhang
Journal of Translational Neuroscience. 2017, 2 (4): 24-30.
Abstract   PDF (8362KB)
Synaptotagmins(Syts) are a large family of integral membrane proteins that regulate synaptic function and membrane trafficking. Emerging evidences show involvement of Syts in human diseases. Here, we review the recent studies of several Syts (Syt1, 2, 7, 11, and 14) in the pathophysiological mechanisms of neurodegeneration disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder etc. A better understanding of the diverse physiological and pathological functions of different Syt isoforms is needed for potential therapeutic interventions in the future.
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Astroglial anatomy in the times of connectomics
Corrado Calì
Journal of Translational Neuroscience. 2017, 2 (4): 31-40.
Abstract   PDF (17516KB)
In contrast to neurons, the role of astrocytes has been matter of debate since their discovery, and mostly because of misconceptions about their role. As a consequence, technologies to study brain physiology have been designed around neurons, to answer one specific question, leaving glia experts with the only possibility to “hack” these techniques to describe astrocytes. As questions to answer about astrocytic functioning are based on factual observations, conclusions are often vague and cryptic, no matter how technically sound the work is. For instance, compelling evidence on calcium elevations has been provided, their dynamics have been studied in detail, but their role is still open for interpretation. Another astrocytic feature that carries a lot of mysteries is their complex morphology. The use of three-dimensional electron microscopy (3DEM) would most certainly be the best approach to unveil hidden features of such complex cells, nevertheless so far 3DEM hasn’t been fully exploited in that sense, nor techniques has been adapted for astrocytic observations in particular. One of the most ambitious neuroscience projects, the connectome, is pushing to their limits electron microscopy, image segmentation and 3D reconstruction and analysis, making it a very good candidate to adapt pipelines and methodologies to the study of astrocytic morphology. Here, we briefly review our current knowledge and technical state of art on 3D glia morphology, and speculate about its future directions.
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Mapping the synaptic organization by viral cocktails
Jinjin Wu
Journal of Translational Neuroscience. 2017, 2 (4): 41-46.
Abstract   PDF (6911KB)
In the past decade, the rapid development of viral tracing techniques, more precisely the neurotropic viral based mono-transsynaptic tracing strategy, provides a powerful tool to map synaptic connectivity in the central and peripheral nervous systems. This mini review provides a brief description of the principles of this tracing method, describe different strategies to trace the neural circuit from defined neuronal populations, and present an update of newly developed viral variants optimizing the method.
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