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Tag: Gulf War illness

Evaluation of delayed LNFPIII treatment initiation protocol on improving long-term behavioral and neuroinflammatory pathology in a mouse model of Gulf War Illness

Chemical overexposures and war-related stress during the 1990-1991 Gulf War (GW) are implicated in the persisting pathological symptoms that many GW veterans continue to endure. These symptoms culminate into a disease known as Gulf War Illness (GWI) and affect about a third of the GW veteran population. Currently, comprehensive effective GWI treatment options are unavailable. Here, an established GWI mouse model was utilized to explore the (1) long-term behavioral and neuroinflammatory effects of deployment-related GWI chemicals exposure and (2) ability of the immunotherapeutic lacto-N-fucopentaose III (LNFPIII) to improve deficits when given months after the end of exposure. Male C57BL6/J mice (8-9 weeks old) were administered pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and DEET for 14 days along with corticosterone (CORT; latter 7 days) to emulate wartime stress. On day 15, a single injection of the nerve agent surrogate diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) was given. LNFPIII treatment began 7 months post GWI chemicals exposure and continued until study completion. A battery of behavioral tests for assessment of cognition/memory, mood, and motor function in rodents was performed beginning 8 months after exposure termination and was then followed by immunohistochemcal evaluation of neuroinflammation and neurogenesis. Within tests of motor function, prior GWI chemical exposure led to hyperactivity, impaired sensorimotor function, and altered gait. LNFPIII attenuated these motor-related deficits and improved overall grip strength. GWI mice also exhibited more anxiety-like behavior that was reduced by LNFPIII; this was test-specific. Short-term, but not long-term memory, was impaired by prior GWI exposure; LNFPIII improved this measure. In the brains of GWI mice, but not in mice treated with LNFPIII, glial activation was increased. Overall, it appears that months after exposure to GWI chemicals, behavioral deficits and neuroinflammation are present. Many of these deficits were attenuated by LNFPIII when treatment began long after GWI chemical exposure termination, highlighting its therapeutic potential for veterans with GWI.

Jessica M Carpenter, Kyle A Brown, Lukas Veltmaat, Helaina D Ludwig, Kendall B Clay, Thomas Norberg, Donald A Harn, John J Wagner, Nikolay M Filipov. Brain Behav Immun Health. 2022 Nov 8;26:100553. doi: 10.1016/j.bbih.2022.100553. eCollection 2022 Dec.

Delayed treatment with the immunotherapeutic LNFPIII ameliorates multiple neurological deficits in a pesticide-nerve agent prophylactic mouse model of Gulf War Illness

Residual effects of the 1990-1991 Gulf War (GW) still plague veterans 30 years later as Gulf War Illness (GWI). Thought to stem mostly from deployment-related chemical overexposures, GWI is a disease with multiple neurological symptoms with likely immunological underpinnings. Currently, GWI remains untreatable, and the long-term neurological disease manifestation is not characterized fully. The present study sought to expand and evaluate the long-term implications of prior GW chemicals exposure on neurological function 6-8 months post GWI-like symptomatology induction. Additionally, the beneficial effects of delayed treatment with the glycan immunotherapeutic lacto-N-fucopentaose III (LNFPIII) were evaluated. Male C57BL/6J mice underwent a 10-day combinational exposure (i.p.) to GW chemicals, the nerve agent prophylactic pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and the insecticide permethrin (PM; 0.7 and 200 mg/kg, respectively). Beginning 4 months after PB/PM exposure, a subset of the mice were treated twice a week until study completion with LNFPIII. Evaluation of cognition/memory, motor function, and mood was performed beginning 1 month after LNFPIII treatment initiation. Prior exposure to PB/PM produced multiple locomotor, neuromuscular, and sensorimotor deficits across several motor tests. Subtle anxiety-like behavior was also present in PB/PM mice in mood tests. Further, PB/PM-exposed mice learned at a slower rate, mostly during early phases of the learning and memory tests employed. LNFPIII treatment restored or improved many of these behaviors, particularly in motor and cognition/memory domains. Electrophysiology data collected from hippocampal slices 8 months post PB/PM exposure revealed modest aberrations in basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the dorsal or ventral hippocampus that were improved by LNFPIII treatment. Immunohistochemical analysis of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a dopaminergic marker, did not detect major PB/PM effects along the nigrostriatal pathway, but LNFPIII increased striatal TH. Additionally, neuroinflammatory cells were increased in PB/PM mice, an effect reduced by LNFPIII. Collectively, long-term neurobehavioral and neurobiological dysfunction associated with prior PB/PM exposure was characterized; delayed LNFPIII treatment provided multiple behavioral and biological protective effects in the context of GWI, highlighting its potential as a GWI therapeutic.

Jessica M Carpenter, Kyle A Brown, Alexa N Diaz, Rachel L Dockman, Robert A Benbow, Donald A Harn, Thomas Norberg, John J Wagner, Nikolay M Filipov. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2021 Jul 10;107012. doi: 10.1016/

Lacto-N-fucopentaose-III ameliorates acute and persisting hippocampal synaptic plasticity and transmission deficits in a Gulf War Illness mouse model

Aims: The present study investigated if treatment with the immunotherapeutic, lacto-N-fucopentaose-III (LNFPIII), resulted in amelioration of acute and persisting deficits in synaptic plasticity and transmission as well as trophic factor expression along the hippocampal dorsoventral axis in a mouse model of Gulf War Illness (GWI).

Main methods: Mice received either coadministered or delayed LNFPIII treatment throughout or following, respectively, exposure to a 15-day GWI induction paradigm. Subsets of animals were subsequently sacrificed 48 h, seven months, or 11 months post GWI-related (GWIR) exposure for hippocampal qPCR or in vitro electrophysiology experiments.

Key findings: Progressively worsened impairments in hippocampal synaptic plasticity, as well as a biphasic effect on hippocampal synaptic transmission, were detected in GWIR-exposed animals. Dorsoventral-specific impairments in hippocampal synaptic responses became more pronounced over time, particularly in the dorsal hippocampus. Notably, delayed LNFPIII treatment ameliorated GWI-related aberrations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and transmission seven and 11 months post-exposure, an effect that was consistent with enhanced hippocampal trophic factor expression and absence of increased interleukin 6 (IL-6) in animals treated with LNFPIII.

Significance: Approximately a third of Gulf War Veterans have GWI; however, GWI therapeutics are presently limited to targeted and symptomatic treatments. As increasing evidence underscores the substantial role of persisting neuroimmune dysfunction in GWI, efficacious neuroactive immunotherapeutics hold substantial promise in yielding GWI remission. The findings in the present report indicate that LNFPIII may be an efficacious candidate for ameliorating persisting neurological abnormalities presented in GWI.

Kyle A Brown, Jessica M Carpenter, Collin J Preston, Helaina D Ludwig, Kendall B Clay, Donald A Harn, Thomas Norberg, John J Wagner, Nikolay M Filipov. Life Sci. 2021 Jun 5;119707. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119707

Lacto-N-fucopentaose-III (LNFPIII) ameliorates acute aberrations in hippocampal synaptic transmission in a Gulf War Illness animal model

Approximately one-third of Persian Gulf War veterans are afflicted by Gulf War Illness (GWI), a chronic multisymptom condition that fundamentally presents with cognitive deficits (i.e., learning and memory impairments) and neuroimmune dysfunction (i.e., inflammation). Factors associated with GWI include overexposures to neurotoxic pesticides and nerve agent prophylactics such as permethrin (PM) and pyridostigmine bromide (PB), respectively. GWI-related neurological impairments associated with PB-PM overexposures have been recapitulated in animal models; however, there is a paucity of studies assessing PB-PM-related aberrations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and transmission that may underlie behavioral impairments. Importantly, FDA-approved neuroactive treatments are currently unavailable for GWI. In the present study, we assessed the efficacy of an immunomodulatory therapeutic, lacto-N-fucopentaose-III (LNFPIII), on ameliorating acute effects of in vivo PB-PM exposure on synaptic plasticity and transmission as well as trophic factor/cytokine expression along the hippocampal dorsoventral axis. PB-PM exposure resulted in hippocampal synaptic transmission deficits 48 h post-exposure, a response that was ameliorated by LNFPIII coadministration, particularly in the dorsal hippocampus (dH). LNFPIII coadministration also enhanced synaptic transmission in the dH and the ventral hippocampus (vH). Notably, LNFPIII coadministration elevated long-term potentiation in the dH. Further, PB-PM exposure and LNFPIII coadministration uniquely altered key inflammatory cytokine and trophic factor production in the dH and the vH. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that PB-PM exposure impaired hippocampal synaptic responses 48 h post-exposure, impairments that differentially manifested along the dorsoventral axis. Importantly, LNFPIII ameliorated GWI-related electrophysiological deficits, a beneficial effect indicating the potential efficacy of LNFPIII for treating GWI.

Kyle A Brown, Collin J Preston, Jessica M Carpenter, Helaina D Ludwig, Thomas Norberg, Donald A Harn, Nikolay M Filipov, John J Wagner. Brain Res. 2021 May 4;147513. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2021.147513.

Assessing the Beneficial Effects of the Immunomodulatory Glycan LNFPIII on Gut Microbiota and Health in a Mouse Model of Gulf War Illness

The microbiota’s influence on host (patho) physiology has gained interest in the context of Gulf War Illness (GWI), a chronic disorder featuring dysregulation of the gut-brain-immune axis. This study examined short- and long-term effects of GWI-related chemicals on gut health and fecal microbiota and the potential benefits of Lacto-N-fucopentaose-III (LNFPIII) treatment in a GWI model. Male C57BL/6J mice were administered pyridostigmine bromide (PB; 0.7 mg/kg) and permethrin (PM; 200 mg/kg) for 10 days with concurrent LNFPIII treatment (35 μg/mouse) in a short-term study (12 days total) and delayed LNFPIII treatment (2×/week) beginning 4 months after 10 days of PB/PM exposure in a long-term study (9 months total). Fecal 16S rRNA sequencing was performed on all samples post-LNFPIII treatment to assess microbiota effects of GWI chemicals and acute/delayed LNFPIII administration. Although PB/PM did not affect species composition on a global scale, it affected specific taxa in both short- and long-term settings. PB/PM elicited more prominent long-term effects, notably, on the abundances of bacteria belonging to Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae families and the genus Allobaculum. LNFPIII improved a marker of gut health (i.e., decreased lipocalin-2) independent of GWI and, importantly, increased butyrate producers (e.g., ButyricoccusRuminococcous) in PB/PM-treated mice, indicating a positive selection pressure for these bacteria. Multiple operational taxonomic units correlated with aberrant behavior and lipocalin-2 in PB/PM samples; LNFPIII was modulatory. Overall, significant and lasting GWI effects occurred on specific microbiota and LNFPIII treatment was beneficial.

Ryan S Mote, Jessica M Carpenter, Rachel L Dockman, Andrew J Steinberger, Garret Suen, Thomas Norberg, Donald A Harn, John J Wagner, Nikolay M Filipov. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Sep 27;17(19):E7081. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17197081.