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See detailAmphetamine reward in food restricted mice lacking the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor-1
Geuzaine, A; Tyhon, A; Grisar, Thierry ULg et al

in Behavioural Brain Research (2014), 262

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See detailUnusual Amino Acids and Monofluoroacetate from Dichapetalum michelsonii (Umutambasha), a Toxic Plant from Rwanda
Esters, Virginie ULg; Karangwa, Charles; Tits, Monique ULg et al

in Planta Medica (2013), 79

In the course of our investigations on Umutambasha in order to identify its convulsant principles, small quantities of monofluoroacetate were observed in stem bark, leaves, and fruits of this plant newly ... [more ▼]

In the course of our investigations on Umutambasha in order to identify its convulsant principles, small quantities of monofluoroacetate were observed in stem bark, leaves, and fruits of this plant newly identified as Dichapetalum michelsonii Hauman. Conclusive evidence for a monofluoroacetate presence came from its isolation from the freeze-dried extract of stem bark. Three free unusual amino acids, named N-methyl-α-alanine, N-methyl-β-alanine, and 2,7-diaminooctan-1,8-dioic acid, described for the first time in a plant, and known trigonelline were also isolated from the stem bark of D. michelsonii. Structure elucidations were mainly achieved by spectroscopic methods (1H-NMR, 2D-NMR, MS) and by comparison with authentic references. These unusual amino acids were detected by a fast, reliable TLC analysis in all our batches of Umutambasha, suggesting that they could be used for identification purposes in case of human or livestock intoxications. Finally, EEG recordings and behavioural observations performed in mice suggested that the convulsive patterns produced by Umutambasha are the consequence of monofluoroacetate presence in D. michelsonii. [less ▲]

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See detailMyoclonin1/EFHC1 in cell division, neuroblast migration, synapse/dendrite formation in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
Grisar, Thierry ULg; Lakaye, Bernard ULg; de Nijs, Laurence ULg et al

in Noebels, JL; Avoli, M; Rogawski, MA (Eds.) et al Jasper's Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies, 4th edition (2012)

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See detailThiamine Status in Humans and Content of Phosphorylated Thiamine Derivatives in Biopsies and Cultured Cells
Gangolf, Marjorie ULg; Czerniecki, Jan; Radermecker, Marc ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2010), 5(10), 13616

Background Thiamine (vitamin B1) is an essential molecule for all life forms because thiamine diphosphate (ThDP) is an indispensable cofactor for oxidative energy metabolism. The less abundant thiamine ... [more ▼]

Background Thiamine (vitamin B1) is an essential molecule for all life forms because thiamine diphosphate (ThDP) is an indispensable cofactor for oxidative energy metabolism. The less abundant thiamine monophosphate (ThMP), thiamine triphosphate (ThTP) and adenosine thiamine triphosphate (AThTP), present in many organisms, may have still unidentified physiological functions. Diseases linked to thiamine deficiency (polyneuritis, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome) remain frequent among alcohol abusers and other risk populations. This is the first comprehensive study on the distribution of thiamine derivatives in human biopsies, body fluids and cell lines. Methodology and Principal Findings Thiamine derivatives were determined by HPLC. In human tissues, the total thiamine content is lower than in other animal species. ThDP is the major thiamine compound and tissue levels decrease at high age. In semen, ThDP content correlates with the concentration of spermatozoa but not with their motility. The proportion of ThTP is higher in humans than in rodents, probably because of a lower 25-kDa ThTPase activity. The expression and activity of this enzyme seems to correlate with the degree of cell differentiation. ThTP was present in nearly all brain and muscle samples and in ~60% of other tissue samples, in particular fetal tissue and cultured cells. A low ([ThTP]+[ThMP])/([Thiamine]+[ThMP]) ratio was found in cardiovascular tissues of patients with cardiac insufficiency. AThTP was detected only sporadically in adult tissues but was found more consistently in fetal tissues and cell lines. Conclusions and Significance The high sensitivity of humans to thiamine deficiency is probably linked to low circulating thiamine concentrations and low ThDP tissue contents. ThTP levels are relatively high in many human tissues, as a result of low expression of the 25-kDa ThTPase. Another novel finding is the presence of ThTP and AThTP in poorly differentiated fast-growing cells, suggesting a hitherto unsuspected link between these compounds and cell division or differentiation. [less ▲]

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See detailMajor impairments of glutamatergic transmission and long term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of mice lacking the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor-1
Pachoud, Bastien; Adamantidis, Antoine ULg; Ravassard, Pascal et al

in Journal of Neurophysiology (2010), 104

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See detailDistribution of EFHC1 or myoclonin 1 in mouse neural structures
Leon, Christine ULg; de Nijs, Laurence ULg; Chanas, Grazyna et al

in Epilepsy Research (2010), 88

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See detailEffects of the H(3) receptor inverse agonist thioperamide on cocaine-induced locomotion in mice: role of the histaminergic system and potential pharmacokinetic interactions.
Brabant, Christian ULg; Alleva, Livia ULg; Grisar, Thierry ULg et al

in Psychopharmacology (2009), 202(4), 673-87

RATIONALE: Previous studies have shown that intraperitoneal injections of thioperamide, an imidazole-based H(3) receptor inverse agonist that enhances histamine release in the brain, potentiate cocaine ... [more ▼]

RATIONALE: Previous studies have shown that intraperitoneal injections of thioperamide, an imidazole-based H(3) receptor inverse agonist that enhances histamine release in the brain, potentiate cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion. The present study examined the involvement of the histaminergic system in these effects of thioperamide in mice. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated whether immepip, a selective H(3) agonist, could reverse the potentiating effects of thioperamide. Moreover, the non-imidazole H(3) inverse agonist A-331440 was tested on the locomotor effects of cocaine. Using high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection, cocaine plasma concentrations were measured to study potential drug-drug interactions between thioperamide and cocaine. Finally, thioperamide was tested on the locomotor effects of cocaine in histamine-deficient knockout mice in order to determine the contribution of histamine to the modulating effects of thioperamide. RESULTS: Thioperamide potentiated cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion in normal mice, and to a higher extent, in histamine-deficient knockout mice. A-331440 only slightly affected the locomotor effects of cocaine. Immepip did not alter cocaine-induced hyperactivity but significantly reduced the potentiating actions of thioperamide on cocaine's effects. Finally, plasma cocaine concentrations were more elevated in mice treated with thioperamide than in mice that received cocaine alone. CONCLUSIONS: The present results indicate that histamine released by thioperamide through the blockade of H(3) autoreceptors is not involved in the ability of this compound to potentiate cocaine induced-hyperactivity. Our data suggest that thioperamide, at least at 10 mg/kg, increases cocaine-induced locomotion through the combination of pharmacokinetic effects and the blockade of H(3) receptors located on non-histaminergic neurons. [less ▲]

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See detailCytoskeletal genes and idiopathic epilepsies
Lakaye, Bernard ULg; de Nijs, Laurence ULg; Leon, Christine et al

in Schwartzkroin, A. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Basic Epilepsy Research (2009)

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See detailMelanin-concentrating hormone and immune function
Lakaye, Bernard ULg; Coumans, Bernard ULg; Harray, Sophie ULg et al

in Peptides (2009), 30

To date,melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) has been generally considered as peptide acting almost exclusively in the central nervous system. In the present paper, we revise the experimental evidence ... [more ▼]

To date,melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) has been generally considered as peptide acting almost exclusively in the central nervous system. In the present paper, we revise the experimental evidence, demonstrating that MCH and its receptors are expressed by cells of the immune system and directly influence the response of these cells in some circumstances. This therefore supports the idea that, as with other peptides, MCH could be considered as a modulator of the immune system. Moreover, we suggest that this could have important implications in several immune-mediated disorders and affirm that there is a clear need for further investigation [less ▲]

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See detailEFHC1 interacts with microtubules to regulate cell division and cortical development
de Nijs, Laurence ULg; Leon, Christine ULg; Nguyen, Laurent ULg et al

in Nature Neuroscience (2009), 12(10), 1266-74

Mutations in the EFHC1 gene are linked to juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), one of the most frequent forms of idiopathic generalized epilepsies. JME is associated with subtle alterations of cortical and ... [more ▼]

Mutations in the EFHC1 gene are linked to juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), one of the most frequent forms of idiopathic generalized epilepsies. JME is associated with subtle alterations of cortical and subcortical architecture, but the underlying pathological mechanism remains unknown. We found that EFHC1 is a microtubule-associated protein involved in the regulation of cell division. In vitro, EFHC1 loss of function disrupted mitotic spindle organization, impaired M phase progression, induced microtubule bundling and increased apoptosis. EFHC1 impairment in the rat developing neocortex by ex vivo and in utero electroporation caused a marked disruption of radial migration. We found that this effect was a result of cortical progenitors failing to exit the cell cycle and defects in the radial glia scaffold organization and in the locomotion of postmitotic neurons. Therefore, we propose that EFHC1 is a regulator of cell division and neuronal migration during cortical development and that disruption of its functions leads to JME [less ▲]

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See detailDeletion of Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Receptor-1 gene accentuates D-amphetamine-induced psychomotor activation but neither the subsequent development of sensitization nor the expression of conditioned activity in mice
Tyhon, Amélie ULg; Lakaye, Bernard ULg; Grisar, Thierry ULg et al

in Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior (2008), 88

The present study aimed to test the hypothesis that mice lacking the MCHR1 receptor (Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Receptor-1) present an elevated vulnerability towards the neurobehavioural effects of D ... [more ▼]

The present study aimed to test the hypothesis that mice lacking the MCHR1 receptor (Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Receptor-1) present an elevated vulnerability towards the neurobehavioural effects of D-amphetamine, presumably due to previously established up-regulations of dopamine D1 receptors in these mice. We examined the psychomotor effects of five once-daily injections of 1.5 and 3 mg/kg D-amphetamine (i.p.) or ten once-daily injections of 2.25 mg/kg D-amphetamine in knockout (KO) mice lacking the MCHR1 receptor. The first injection of Damphetamine induced a greater psychomotor response amongst the KO mice at 2.25 and 3.0 mg/kg. On all subsequent D-amphetamine injections, KO mice still showed greater levels of psychomotor activity than the WT mice, but with no between-genotype difference in the rate of development of sensitization (similar slopes of the curves). Furthermore, 24 h after the last injection of 2.25 mg/kg D-amphetamine both genotypes exhibited a significant post-sensitization conditioned activity. Thus, MCHR1 receptors are likely not deeply involved in the mechanisms of induction of sensitization and related conditioned activity induced by D-amphetamine, albeit our results confirm a contribution of these receptors to the mechanisms of the acute effects of that drug, possibly via an inhibitory action on the dopaminergic mesolimbic system. Our results do not support the hypothesis of a functional contribution of MCHR1 receptors to the addictive effects of D-amphetamine [less ▲]

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See detailSleep architecture of the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1-knockout mice
Adamantidis, Antoine ULg; Salvert, D.; Goutagny, R. et al

in European Journal of Neuroscience (2008), 27(7), 1793-800

Growing amounts of data indicate involvement of the posterior hypothalamus in the regulation of sleep, especially paradoxical sleep (PS). Accordingly, we previously showed that the melanin-concentrating ... [more ▼]

Growing amounts of data indicate involvement of the posterior hypothalamus in the regulation of sleep, especially paradoxical sleep (PS). Accordingly, we previously showed that the melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-producing neurons of the rat hypothalamus are selectively activated during a PS rebound. In addition, intracerebroventricular infusion of MCH increases total sleep duration, suggesting a new role for MCH in sleep regulation. To determine whether activation of the MCH system promotes sleep, we studied spontaneous sleep and its homeostatic regulation in mice with deletion of the MCH-receptor 1 gene (MCH-R1– ⁄ – vs. MCH-R1+ ⁄ +) and their behavioural response to modafinil, a powerful antinarcoleptic drug. Here, we show that the lack of functional MCH-R1 results in a hypersomniac-like phenotype, both in basal conditions and after total sleep deprivation, compared to wild-type mice. Further, we found that modafinil was less potent at inducing wakefulness in MCH-R1– ⁄ – than in MCH-R1+ ⁄ + mice. We report for the first time that animals with genetically inactivated MCH signaling exhibit altered vigilance state architecture and sleep homeostasis. This study also suggests that the MCH system may modulate central pathways involved in the wake-promoting effect of modafinil [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of ppMCH derived peptides on PBMC proliferation and cytokine expression
Coumans, Bernard ULg; Grisar, Thierry ULg; Nahon, J. L. et al

in Regulatory Peptides (2007), 143(1-3), 104-108

The mRNA encoding prepro-Melanin concentrating hormone (ppMCH) is mainly expressed in the central nervous system but has also been detected at lower amount in many peripheral tissues including spleen and ... [more ▼]

The mRNA encoding prepro-Melanin concentrating hormone (ppMCH) is mainly expressed in the central nervous system but has also been detected at lower amount in many peripheral tissues including spleen and thymus. At the peptide level however, several forms of the precursor can be detected in these tissues and are sometimes expressed at similar levels compared to brain. In the present work, we have studied the in vitro action of a wide range of concentration (1 nM to 1 microM) of the different peptides encoded by ppMCH i.e. neuropeptide glycine-glutamic acid (NGE), neuropeptide glutamic acid-isoleucine (NEI), Melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) and the dipeptide NEI-MCH on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) proliferation and cytokine production following anti-CD3 stimulation. Among them only MCH decreased PBMC proliferation with a maximal effect of 35% at 100 nM. Moreover as demonstrated by using ELISA, MCH significantly decreases IL-2 production by 25% but not IL-4, INF-gamma or TNF-alpha expression. Interestingly, exogenous IL-2 decreases significantly MCH-mediated inhibition, suggesting that it is an important downstream mediator of MCH action. Finally, we showed that after 7 to 9 days of incubation, MCH also inhibits proliferation of non-stimulated PBMC. Altogether, these data demonstrate that fully mature MCH modulates proliferation of anti-CD3 stimulated PBMC partially through regulation of IL-2 production. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the neurotoxicity induced by the extract of Magnistipula butayei (Chrysobalanaceae) in rat: Effects of a new natural convulsive agent
Karangwa, Charles; Esters, Virginie ULg; Tits, Monique ULg et al

in Toxicon (2007), 49(8), 1109-1119

This study was designed to document convulsant and neurotoxic properties of extracts of a tropical tree, Magnistipula butayei subsp. Montana, and to investigate the involvement of the glutamatergic system ... [more ▼]

This study was designed to document convulsant and neurotoxic properties of extracts of a tropical tree, Magnistipula butayei subsp. Montana, and to investigate the involvement of the glutamatergic system in these effects. Continuous behavioral observations and electroencephalographic (EEG) records were obtained after per os administration of an aqueous extract of Magnistipula (MBMAE) in rats. MBMAE (800 mg/kg) induced behavioral changes resembling motor limbic seizures: staring and head tremor, automatisms, forelimb clonic movements and violent tonic-clonic seizures leading to death in all animals. Concomitantly, important seizure activity that gradually evolved to epileptiform activity was recorded on the EEG. Moreover, c-Fos immunohistochemistry has revealed an increased c-Fos expression in the dentate gyrus and in piriform, peri- and entorhinal cortices 2 and 4h after treatment. This expression pattern suggested that the mechanism of action for the MBMAE is similar to that observed in glutamate-induced models of epilepsy. The MBMAE increased cell death also in hippocampal cell cultures. Furthermore, the build-up of convulsive activity and epileptic discharges induced by MBMAE in rat were abolished by MK-801, an NMDA receptor antagonist. Our study suggests that MBMAE contains a potent toxin, with a powerful neurotoxic activity in rat, and corresponding to a new natural component(s) that act as an NMDA-mediated convulsant molecule. [less ▲]

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See detailMice lacking the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor-1 exhibit an atypical psychomotor susceptibility to cocaine and no conditioned cocaine response
Tyhon, Alain ULg; Adamantidis, Antoine ULg; Foidart, Agnès ULg et al

in Behavioural Brain Research (2006), 173(1), 94-103

The present study aimed at characterizing the acute and intermittent psychomotor responsiveness to cocaine in mice lacking the MCHR1 receptor, which is thought to modulate the mesocorticolimbic sytem ... [more ▼]

The present study aimed at characterizing the acute and intermittent psychomotor responsiveness to cocaine in mice lacking the MCHR1 receptor, which is thought to modulate the mesocorticolimbic sytem functioning [Smith DG, Tzavara ET, Shaw J, Luecke S, Wade M, Davis R, et al. Mesolimbic dopamine super-sensitivity in melanin-concentrating hormone-1 receptor deficient mice. J Neurosci 2005;25:914-22]. On a first free-drug session, MCHR1-deficient mice exhibited significantly higher levels of locomotor activity elicited by the novelty of the test chambers than their wild-type counterparts. On the following day session, a first injection of 6 or 12mg/kg cocaine induced comparable dose-related psychomotor activations in both genotypes, without significant difference in the relative increase in locomotion. Over the following eight once-daily test sessions, the slight psychomotor increase induced by 6mg/kg was equivalent in both genotypes and constant over the sessions. At 12mg/kg, cocaine induced a clear-cut incremental responsiveness to cocaine in both genotypes on the three first sessions; on the following sessions, only the wild-types displayed an incremental responsiveness until the last session, a sensitized effect that was confirmed for the wild-types but not for the knockouts on a subsequent sensitization test (cocaine challenge). Finally, the knockouts did not exhibit any sign of cocaine-conditioning (saline challenge), contrarily to the wild-types. It is speculated that MCHR1 may contribute to the neurobiological mechanisms of conditioned cocaine-induced psychomotor effects, possibly to those underpinning sensitization, and to a lesser extent to those sub-serving acute pharmacological cocaine action. [less ▲]

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See detailEFHC1, a protein mutated in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, associates with the mitotic spindle through its N-terminus
de Nijs, Laurence ULg; Lakaye, Bernard ULg; Coumans, Bernard ULg et al

in Experimental Cell Research (2006), 312(15), 2872-2879

A novel gene, EFHC1, mutated in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) encodes a protein with three DM10 domains of unknown function and one putative EF-hand motif. To study the properties of EFHC1, we ... [more ▼]

A novel gene, EFHC1, mutated in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) encodes a protein with three DM10 domains of unknown function and one putative EF-hand motif. To study the properties of EFHC1, we expressed EGFP-tagged protein in various cell lines. In interphase cells, the fusion protein was present in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus with specific accumulation at the centrosome. During mitosis EGFP-EFHC1 colocalized with the mitotic spindle, especially at spindle poles and with the midbody during cytokinesis. Using a specific antibody, we demonstrated the same distribution of the endogenous protein. Deletion analyses revealed that the N-terminal region of EFHC1 is crucial for the association with the mitotic spindle and the midbody. Our results suggest that EFHC1 could play an important role during cell division. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailThe epileptic syndromes with continuous spikes and waves during slow sleep: definition and management guidelines.
Van Bogaert, P.; Aeby, A.; De Borchgrave, V. et al

in Acta Neurologica Belgica (2006), 106(2), 52-60

The authors propose to define the epileptic syndromes with continuous spikes and waves during slow sleep (CSWS) as a cognitive or behavioral impairment acquired during childhood, associated with a strong ... [more ▼]

The authors propose to define the epileptic syndromes with continuous spikes and waves during slow sleep (CSWS) as a cognitive or behavioral impairment acquired during childhood, associated with a strong activation of the interictal epileptiform discharges during NREM sleep--whatever focal or generalized--and not related to another factor than the presence of CSWS. The type of syndrome will be defined according to the neurological and neuropsychological deficit. These syndromes have to be classified among the localization-related epileptic syndromes. Some cases are idiopathic and others are symptomatic. Guidelines for work-up and treatment are proposed. [less ▲]

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See detailSome genetic and biochemical aspects of myoclonus
Grisar, Thierry ULg; de Nijs, Laurence ULg; Chanas, G. et al

in Neurophysiologie Clinique = Clinical Neurophysiology (2006), 36(5-6, Sep-Dec), 271-279

Can a gene defect be responsible for the occurrence in an individual, at a particular age, of such a muscle twitch followed by relaxation called: "myoclonus" and defined as sudden, brief, shock-like ... [more ▼]

Can a gene defect be responsible for the occurrence in an individual, at a particular age, of such a muscle twitch followed by relaxation called: "myoclonus" and defined as sudden, brief, shock-like movements? Genetic defects could indeed determine a subsequent cascade of molecular events (caused by abnormal encoded proteins) that would produce new aberrant cellular relationships in a particular area of the CNS leading to re-builded "myoclonogenic" neuronal networks. This can be illustrated reviewing some inherited neurological entities that are characterized by a predominant myoclonic picture and among which a clear gene defect has been identified. In the second part of this chapter, we will also propose a new point of view on how some structural genes could, under certain conditions, when altered, produced idiopathic generalized epilepsy with myoclonic jerks, taking juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) and the myoclonin (EFHC-1) gene as examples. (c) 2007 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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