Clinical Focus

  • Neurology
  • Neurologic Critical Care

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Internship:Univ of California San Francisco (1997) CA
  • Fellowship:UCSF Medical Center (2002) CA
  • Residency:UCSF Medical Center (2000) CA
  • Board Certification, United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties, Neurocritical Care (2008)
  • Board Certification: Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2001)
  • Medical Education:University of Michigan School of Medicine (1996) MI
  • MD PhD, University of Michigan, Human Genetics (1996)
  • Internship, UCSF, Medicine (1997)
  • Residency, UCSF, Neurology (2000)
  • Fellowship, UCSF, Neurological Critical Care (2002)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

The goal of the Buckwalter Lab is to improve how people recover after a stroke. We use basic research to understand the cells, proteins, and genes that lead to successful recovery of function, and also how complications develop that impact quality of life after stroke. Ongoing projects are focused on understanding how inflammatory responses are regulated after a stroke and how to make recovery faster and better after stroke. With our collaborator Dr. Longo we have discovered a new drug that improves the speed and degree of recovery when mice are given the drug beginning three days after stroke. Developing it in animals to a point where it can be tried in people is a top priority. In terms of inflammation, we study how cells in the brain called astrocytes influence swelling and tissue cleanup after a stroke, and how similar cells in the lung influence stroke-induced immune insufficiency, which is a primary cause of pneumonias in stroke patients.

Clinical Trials

  • Clot Lysis: Evaluating Accelerated Resolution of Intraventricular Hemorrhage Phase III Recruiting

    The overall objective of this Phase III clinical trial is to obtain information from a population of 500 ICH subjects with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), representative of current clinical practice and national demographics of ICH regarding the benefit (or lack thereof) of IVH clot removal on subject function as measured by modified Rankin Scale (mRS). This application requests funding for five years to initiate a Phase III randomized clinical trial (RCT) testing the benefit of clot removal for intraventricular hemorrhage. The investigators propose to compare extraventricular drainage (EVD) use plus recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA; Alteplase; Genentech, Inc., San Francisco, CA) with EVD+ placebo in the management and treatment of subjects with small intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and large intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH defined as ICH < 30 cc and obstruction of the 3rd or 4th ventricles by intraventricular blood clot).

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  • Diagnostic Utility of MRI in Intracerebral Hemorrhage Recruiting

    The overall aim of this project is to prospectively determine whether MRI can improve the conventional neuroradiological evaluation (CT with or without cerebral angiography) of patients with a spontaneous ICH or IVH. The study design will also allow us to identify the added benefit of specific MR sequences and repeat MRI in the chronic stage, thereby allowing us to prospectively determine their value in a consecutive series of patients. This information should have a major impact on the management of these patients by providing data on the diagnostic yield of routine MRI in patients presenting with a wide variety of causes for ICH or IVH. These data will help guide the diagnostic evaluation and the management of brain hemorrhage patients in the future.

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  • Imaging Collaterals in Acute Stroke (iCAS) Recruiting

    Stroke is caused by a sudden blockage of a blood vessel that delivers blood to the brain. Unblocking the blood vessel with a blood clot removal device restores blood flow and if done quickly may prevent the disability that can be caused by a stroke. However, not all stroke patients benefit from having their blood vessel unblocked. The aim of this study is to determine if special brain imaging, called MRI, can be used to identify which stroke patients are most likely to benefit from attempts to unblock their blood vessel with a special blood clot removal device. In particular, we will assess in this trial whether a noncontrast MR imaging sequence, arterial spin labeling (ASL), can demonstrate the presence of collateral blood flow (compared with a gold standard of the angiogram) and whether it is useful to predict who will benefit from treatment.

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  • Computed Tomography Perfusion (CTP) to Predict Response to Recanalization in Ischemic Stroke Project (CRISP) Not Recruiting

    The overall goal of the CTP to predict Response to recanalization in Ischemic Stroke Project (CRISP) is to develop a practical tool to identify acute stroke patients who are likely to benefit from endovascular therapy. The project has two main parts. During the first part, the investigators propose to develop a fully automated system (RAPID) for processing of CT Perfusion (CTP) images that will generate brain maps of the ischemic core and penumbra. There will be no patient enrollment in part one of this project. During the second part, the investigators aim to demonstrate that physicians in the emergency setting, with the aid of a fully automated CTP analysis program (RAPID), can accurately predict response to recanalization in stroke patients undergoing revascularization. To achieve this aim the investigators will conduct a prospective cohort study of 240 consecutive stroke patients who will undergo a CTP scan prior to endovascular therapy. The study will be conducted at four sites (Stanford University, St Luke's Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Emory University/Grady Hospital). Patients will have an early follow-up MRI scan within 12+/-6 hours to assess reperfusion and a late follow-up MRI scan at day 5 to determine the final infarct.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Stephanie M Kemp, BS, 650-723-4481.

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  • Efficacy and Safety Study of Desmoteplase to Treat Acute Ischemic Stroke (DIAS-4) Not Recruiting

    The purpose of the study is to determine whether desmoteplase is effective and safe in the treatment of patients with acute ischaemic stroke when given within 3 to 9 hours from onset of stroke symptoms.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Maarten Lansberg, (650) 723 - 4448.

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  • Efficacy and Safety Trial of Transcranial Laser Therapy Within 24 Hours From Stroke Onset (NEST-3) Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this pivotal study is to demonstrate safety and efficacy of transcranial laser therapy (TLT) with the NeuroThera® Laser System in the treatment of subjects diagnosed with acute ischemic stroke. The initiation of the TLT procedure must be feasible for each subject between 4.5 and 24 hours of stroke onset.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Stephanie Kemp, (650) 723 - 4481.

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2017-18 Courses

Stanford Advisees

Graduate and Fellowship Programs

All Publications

  • Depression one year after hemorrhagic stroke is associated with late worsening of outcomes. NeuroRehabilitation Stern-Nezer, S., Eyngorn, I., Mlynash, M., Snider, R. W., Venkatsubramanian, C., Wijman, C. A., Buckwalter, M. S. 2017


    Poststroke depression is the most common psychiatric sequelae of stroke, and it's independently associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Few studies have examined depression after intracranial hemorrhage (ICH).To investigate the relationship between depression, ICH and outcomes.A substudy of the prospective Diagnostic Accuracy of MRI in Spontaneous Intracerebral Hemorrhage (DASH) study, we included 89 subjects assessed for depression 1 year after hemorrhage. A Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score >10 defined depression. Univariate, multivariable, and trend analyses evaluated relationships between depression, clinical, radiographic, and inflammatory factors and modified Rankin score (mRS) at 90 days and one year.Prevalence of depression at one year was 15%. Depression was not associated with hematoma volumes, presence of IVH or admission NIHSS, nor with demographic factors. Despite this, depressed patients had worse 1-year outcomes (p = 0.004) and were less likely to improve between 3 and 12 months, and more likely to worsen (p = 0.042).This is the first study to investigate depression one year after ICH. Post-ICH depression was common and associated with late worsening of disability unrelated to initial hemorrhage severity. Further research is needed to understand whether depression is caused by worsened disability, or whether the converse is true.

    View details for DOI 10.3233/NRE-171470

    View details for PubMedID 28505996

  • Neurotoxic reactive astrocytes are induced by activated microglia. Nature Liddelow, S. A., Guttenplan, K. A., Clarke, L. E., Bennett, F. C., Bohlen, C. J., Schirmer, L., Bennett, M. L., Münch, A. E., Chung, W., Peterson, T. C., Wilton, D. K., Frouin, A., Napier, B. A., Panicker, N., Kumar, M., Buckwalter, M. S., Rowitch, D. H., Dawson, V. L., Dawson, T. M., Stevens, B., Barres, B. A. 2017; 541 (7638): 481-487


    Reactive astrocytes are strongly induced by central nervous system (CNS) injury and disease, but their role is poorly understood. Here we show that a subtype of reactive astrocytes, which we termed A1, is induced by classically activated neuroinflammatory microglia. We show that activated microglia induce A1 astrocytes by secreting Il-1α, TNF and C1q, and that these cytokines together are necessary and sufficient to induce A1 astrocytes. A1 astrocytes lose the ability to promote neuronal survival, outgrowth, synaptogenesis and phagocytosis, and induce the death of neurons and oligodendrocytes. Death of axotomized CNS neurons in vivo is prevented when the formation of A1 astrocytes is blocked. Finally, we show that A1 astrocytes are abundant in various human neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. Taken together these findings help to explain why CNS neurons die after axotomy, strongly suggest that A1 astrocytes contribute to the death of neurons and oligodendrocytes in neurodegenerative disorders, and provide opportunities for the development of new treatments for these diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature21029

    View details for PubMedID 28099414

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5404890

  • Astrocytes: Integrative Regulators of Neuroinflammation in Stroke and Other Neurological Diseases. Neurotherapeutics Cekanaviciute, E., Buckwalter, M. S. 2016; 13 (4): 685-701


    Astrocytes regulate neuroinflammatory responses after stroke and in other neurological diseases. Although not all astrocytic responses reduce inflammation, their predominant function is to protect the brain by driving the system back to homeostasis after injury. They receive multidimensional signals within the central nervous system and between the brain and the systemic circulation. Processing this information allows astrocytes to regulate synapse formation and maintenance, cerebral blood flow, and blood-brain barrier integrity. Similarly, in response to stroke and other central nervous system disorders, astrocytes detect and integrate signals of neuronal damage and inflammation to regulate the neuroinflammatory response. Two direct regulatory mechanisms in the astrocyte arsenal are the ability to form both physical and molecular barriers that seal the injury site and localize the neuroinflammatory response. Astrocytes also indirectly regulate the inflammatory response by affecting neuronal health during the acute injury and axonal regrowth. This ability to regulate the location and degree of neuroinflammation after injury, combined with the long time course of neuroinflammation, makes astrocytic signaling pathways promising targets for therapies.

    View details for PubMedID 27677607

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5081110

  • Does B lymphocyte-mediated autoimmunity contribute to post-stroke dementia? Brain, behavior, and immunity Doyle, K. P., Buckwalter, M. S. 2016


    Post-stroke cognitive decline and dementia pose a significant public health problem, with 30% of stroke survivors suffering from dementia. The reason for this high prevalence is not well understood. Pathogenic B cell responses to the damaged CNS are one possible contributing factor. B-lymphocytes and antibodies are present in and around the stroke core of some human subjects who die with stroke and dementia, and mice that develop delayed cognitive dysfunction after stroke have clusters of B-lymphocytes in the stroke lesion, and antibody infiltration in the stroked hemisphere. The ablation of B-lymphocytes prevents post-stroke cognitive impairment in mice. Multiple drugs that target B cells are FDA approved, and so if pathogenic B cell responses are occurring in a subset of stroke patients, this is potentially treatable. However, it has also been demonstrated that regulatory B cells can be beneficial in mouse models of stroke. Consequently, it is important to understand the relative contribution of B-lymphocytes to recovery versus pathogenicity, and if this balance is heterogeneous in different individuals. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to summarize the current state of knowledge with regard to the role of B-lymphocytes in the etiology of post-stroke dementia.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbi.2016.08.009

    View details for PubMedID 27531189

  • Antibodies to myelin basic protein are associated with cognitive decline after stroke. Journal of neuroimmunology Becker, K. J., Tanzi, P., Zierath, D., Buckwalter, M. S. 2016; 295-296: 9-11


    B lymphocytes cause post-stroke cognitive decline in mice. We therefore evaluated the association between autoantibodies and post-stroke cognitive decline in a prospectively collected human cohort. The mini-mental state exam (MMSE) was administered 30, 90, 180, and 365days after stroke. Antibody titers to myelin basic protein (MBP), proteolipid protein, and several non-specific proteins were determined. Among 58 subjects with initial MMSE≥20 and at least 2 MMSE examinations in the year after stroke, cognitive decline (MMSE decrease ≥2) occurred in 10 (17%) subjects. In multivariate analysis, MBP antibody titers were the only independent predictor of cognitive decline (OR=9.02 [1.18, 68.90]; P=0.03).

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2016.04.001

    View details for PubMedID 27235342

  • Antibodies to myelin basic protein are associated with cognitive decline after stroke JOURNAL OF NEUROIMMUNOLOGY Becker, K. J., Tanzi, P., Zierath, D., Buckwalter, M. S. 2016; 295: 9-11


    B lymphocytes cause post-stroke cognitive decline in mice. We therefore evaluated the association between autoantibodies and post-stroke cognitive decline in a prospectively collected human cohort. The mini-mental state exam (MMSE) was administered 30, 90, 180, and 365days after stroke. Antibody titers to myelin basic protein (MBP), proteolipid protein, and several non-specific proteins were determined. Among 58 subjects with initial MMSE≥20 and at least 2 MMSE examinations in the year after stroke, cognitive decline (MMSE decrease ≥2) occurred in 10 (17%) subjects. In multivariate analysis, MBP antibody titers were the only independent predictor of cognitive decline (OR=9.02 [1.18, 68.90]; P=0.03).

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2016.04.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000377822000002

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4884610

  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein-Expressing Glia in the Mouse Lung ASN NEURO Suarez-Mier, G. B., Buckwalter, M. S. 2015; 7 (5)


    Autonomic nerves regulate important functions in visceral organs, including the lung. The postganglionic portion of these nerves is ensheathed by glial cells known as non-myelinating Schwann cells. In the brain, glia play important functional roles in neurotransmission, neuroinflammation, and maintenance of the blood brain barrier. Similarly, enteric glia are now known to have analogous roles in gastrointestinal neurotransmission, inflammatory response, and barrier formation. In contrast to this, very little is known about the function of glia in other visceral organs. Like the gut, the lung forms a barrier between airborne pathogens and the bloodstream, and autonomic lung innervation is known to affect pulmonary inflammation and lung function. Lung glia are described as non-myelinating Schwann cells but their function is not known, and indeed no transgenic tools have been validated to study them in vivo. The primary goal of this research was, therefore, to investigate the relationship between non-myelinating Schwann cells and pulmonary nerves in the airways and vasculature and to validate existing transgenic mouse tools that would be useful for studying their function. We focused on the glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter, which is a cognate marker of astrocytes that is expressed by enteric glia and non-myelinating Schwann cells. We describe the morphology of non-myelinating Schwann cells in the lung and verify that they express glial fibrillary acidic protein and S100, a classic glial marker. Furthermore, we characterize the relationship of non-myelinating Schwann cells to pulmonary nerves. Finally, we report tools for studying their function, including a commercially available transgenic mouse line.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1759091415601636

    View details for Web of Science ID 000364740200001

    View details for PubMedID 26442852

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4601129

  • Metronidazole-Induced Encephalopathy: Not Always a Reversible Situation NEUROCRITICAL CARE Hobbs, K., Stern-Nezer, S., Buckwalter, M. S., Fischbein, N., Caulfield, A. F. 2015; 22 (3): 429-436


    Metronidazole is a nitroimidazole antimicrobial drug prescribed to treat infections caused by anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. Uncommonly, it causes central nervous system (CNS) toxicity manifesting as metronidazole-induced encephalopathy (MIE).Case report.A 65-year-old woman with hepatitis B cirrhosis (Child-Pugh class C, MELD 21) developed progressive encephalopathy to GCS 4 during a 3-week course of metronidazole for cholecystitis. Initial MRI was consistent with CNS metronidazole toxicity, with symmetrical T2 hyperintensity and generally restricted diffusion in bilateral dentate nuclei, corpus callosum, midbrain, superior cerebellar peduncles, internal capsules, and cerebral white matter. Laboratory values did not demonstrate significant electrolyte shifts, and continuous EEG was without seizure. High-dose thiamine was empirically administered. Lumbar puncture was not performed due to coagulopathy and thrombocytopenia. Despite discontinuation of metronidazole and keeping ammonia levels near normal, the patient did not improve. MRI was repeated 1 week after discontinuation of metronidazole. Although there was decreased DWI hyperintensity in the dentate nuclei, diffuse T2 hyperintensity persisted and even progressed in the brainstem, basal ganglia, and subcortical white matter. Petechial hemorrhages developed in bilateral corticospinal tracts and subcortical white matter. T1 hypointensity appeared in the corpus callosum. She was transitioned to comfort measures only and died 12 days later.MIE is an uncommon adverse effect of treatment with metronidazole that characteristically affects the dentate nuclei but may also involve the brainstem, corpus callosum, subcortical white matter, and basal ganglia. While the clinical symptoms and neuroimaging changes are usually reversible, persistent encephalopathy with poor outcome may occur.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12028-014-0102-9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354196300014

    View details for PubMedID 25561434

  • Albumin induces excitatory synaptogenesis through astrocytic TGF-beta/ALK5 signaling in a model of acquired epilepsy following blood-brain barrier dysfunction NEUROBIOLOGY OF DISEASE Weissberg, I., Wood, L., Kamintsky, L., Vazquez, O., Milikovsky, D. Z., Alexander, A., Oppenheim, H., Ardizzone, C., Becker, A., Frigerio, F., Vezzani, A., Buckwalter, M. S., Huguenard, J. R., Friedman, A., Kaufer, D. 2015; 78: 115-125


    Post injury epilepsy (PIE) is a common complication following brain insults, including ischemic and traumatic brain injuries. At present there are no means to identify the patients at-risk to develop PIE or to prevent its development. Seizures can occur months or years after the insult, do not respond to anti-seizure medications in over third of the patients, and are often associated with significant neuropsychiatric morbidities. We have previously established the critical role of blood-brain barrier dysfunction in PIE, demonstrating that exposure of brain tissue to extravasated serum albumin induces activation of inflammatory transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling in astrocytes and eventually seizures. However, the link between the acute astrocytic inflammatory responses and reorganization of neural networks that underlie recurrent spontaneous seizures, remains unknown. Here we demonstrate in-vitro and in-vivo that activation of the astrocytic ALK5/TGF-β-pathway induces excitatory, but not inhibitory, synaptogenesis that precedes the appearance of seizures. Moreover, we show that treatment with SJN2511, a specific ALK5/TGF-β inhibitor, prevents synaptogenesis and epilepsy. Our findings point to astrocyte-mediated synaptogenesis as a key epileptogenic process, and highlight manipulation of the TGF-β-pathway as a potential strategy for the prevention of PIE.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.nbd.2015.02.029

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354419800012

    View details for PubMedID 25836421

  • B-Lymphocyte-Mediated Delayed Cognitive Impairment following Stroke. journal of neuroscience Doyle, K. P., Quach, L. N., Solé, M., Axtell, R. C., Nguyen, T. V., Soler-Llavina, G. J., Jurado, S., Han, J., Steinman, L., Longo, F. M., Schneider, J. A., Malenka, R. C., Buckwalter, M. S. 2015; 35 (5): 2133-2145


    Each year, 10 million people worldwide survive the neurologic injury associated with a stroke. Importantly, stroke survivors have more than twice the risk of subsequently developing dementia compared with people who have never had a stroke. The link between stroke and the later development of dementia is not understood. There are reports of oligoclonal bands in the CSF of stroke patients, suggesting that in some people a B-lymphocyte response to stroke may occur in the CNS. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that a B-lymphocyte response to stroke could contribute to the onset of dementia. We discovered that, in mouse models, activated B-lymphocytes infiltrate infarcted tissue in the weeks after stroke. B-lymphocytes undergo isotype switching, and IgM, IgG, and IgA antibodies are found in the neuropil adjacent to the lesion. Concurrently, mice develop delayed deficits in LTP and cognition. Genetic deficiency, and the pharmacologic ablation of B-lymphocytes using an anti-CD20 antibody, prevents the appearance of delayed cognitive deficits. Furthermore, immunostaining of human postmortem tissue revealed that a B-lymphocyte response to stroke also occurs in the brain of some people with stroke and dementia. These data suggest that some stroke patients may develop a B-lymphocyte response to stroke that contributes to dementia, and is potentially treatable with FDA-approved drugs that target B cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4098-14.2015

    View details for PubMedID 25653369

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4315838

  • Ferumoxytol administration does not alter infarct volume or the inflammatory response to stroke in mice. Neuroscience letters Doyle, K. P., Quach, L. N., Arceuil, H. E., Buckwalter, M. S. 2015; 584: 236-240


    Ferumoxytol is an ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) nanoparticle that is FDA-approved as an intravenous iron replacement therapy for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease. Ferumoxytol has also been used as a contrast agent for cerebral blood volume mapping by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which suggests it could be used for imaging hemodynamic abnormalities after stroke. However, circulating macrophages can internalize USPIOs, and recent data indicate that the accumulation of iron in macrophages can lead them to adopt the M1 pro-inflammatory phenotype. Therefore, the uptake of intravenously administered iron particles by circulating macrophages that home to the stroke core could potentially alter the inflammatory response to stroke. To test this possibility in vivo we administered a dose of ferumoxytol previously used to obtain cerebral blood volume maps in healthy humans by steady-state susceptibility contrast (SSC) MRI to BALB/cJ mice 48h after stroke and examined cytokine levels, microglial/macrophage activation, and lesion volume in the brain 5 days later. Treatment with ferumoxytol did not lead to any differences in these parameters. These data indicate that the use of ferumoxytol as a contrast agent for brain imaging after stroke does not alter the inflammatory response to stroke in mice, and is therefore unlikely to do so in human subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.10.041

    View details for PubMedID 25449870

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4268374

  • Astrocytic transforming growth factor-beta signaling reduces subacute neuroinflammation after stroke in mice. Glia Cekanaviciute, E., Fathali, N., Doyle, K. P., Williams, A. M., Han, J., Buckwalter, M. S. 2014; 62 (8): 1227-1240


    Astrocytes limit inflammation after CNS injury, at least partially by physically containing it within an astrocytic scar at the injury border. We report here that astrocytic transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) signaling is a second, distinct mechanism that astrocytes utilize to limit neuroinflammation. TGFβs are anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective cytokines that are upregulated subacutely after stroke, during a clinically accessible time window. We have previously demonstrated that TGFβs signal to astrocytes, neurons and microglia in the stroke border days after stroke. To investigate whether TGFβ affects astrocyte immunoregulatory functions, we engineered "Ast-Tbr2DN" mice where TGFβ signaling is inhibited specifically in astrocytes. Despite having a similar infarct size to wildtype controls, Ast-Tbr2DN mice exhibited significantly more neuroinflammation during the subacute period after distal middle cerebral occlusion (dMCAO) stroke. The peri-infarct cortex of Ast-Tbr2DN mice contained over 60% more activated CD11b(+) monocytic cells and twice as much immunostaining for the activated microglia and macrophage marker CD68 than controls. Astrocytic scarring was not altered in Ast-Tbr2DN mice. However, Ast-Tbr2DN mice were unable to upregulate TGF-β1 and its activator thrombospondin-1 2 days after dMCAO. As a result, the normal upregulation of peri-infarct TGFβ signaling was blunted in Ast-Tbr2DN mice. In this setting of lower TGFβ signaling and excessive neuroinflammation, we observed worse motor outcomes and late infarct expansion after photothrombotic motor cortex stroke. Taken together, these data demonstrate that TGFβ signaling is a molecular mechanism by which astrocytes limit neuroinflammation, activate TGFβ in the peri-infarct cortex and preserve brain function during the subacute period after stroke.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/glia.22675

    View details for PubMedID 24733756

  • Astrocytic TGF-ß signaling limits inflammation and reduces neuronal damage during central nervous system Toxoplasma infection. Journal of immunology Cekanaviciute, E., Dietrich, H. K., Axtell, R. C., Williams, A. M., Egusquiza, R., Wai, K. M., Koshy, A. A., Buckwalter, M. S. 2014; 193 (1): 139-149


    The balance between controlling infection and limiting inflammation is particularly precarious in the brain because of its unique vulnerability to the toxic effects of inflammation. Astrocytes have been implicated as key regulators of neuroinflammation in CNS infections, including infection with Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite that naturally establishes a chronic CNS infection in mice and humans. In CNS toxoplasmosis, astrocytes are critical to controlling parasite growth. They secrete proinflammatory cytokines and physically encircle parasites. However, the molecular mechanisms used by astrocytes to limit neuroinflammation during toxoplasmic encephalitis have not yet been identified. TGF-β signaling in astrocytes is of particular interest because TGF-β is universally upregulated during CNS infection and serves master regulatory and primarily anti-inflammatory functions. We report in this study that TGF-β signaling is activated in astrocytes during toxoplasmic encephalitis and that inhibition of astrocytic TGF-β signaling increases immune cell infiltration, uncouples proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine production from CNS parasite burden, and increases neuronal injury. Remarkably, we show that the effects of inhibiting astrocytic TGF-β signaling are independent of parasite burden and the ability of GFAP(+) astrocytes to physically encircle parasites.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1303284

    View details for PubMedID 24860191

  • A mouse model of permanent focal ischemia: distal middle cerebral artery occlusion. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) Doyle, K. P., Buckwalter, M. S. 2014; 1135: 103-110


    Here we provide a standardized protocol for performing distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (DMCAO) in mice. DMCAO is a method of inducing permanent focal ischemia that is commonly used as a rodent stroke model. To perform DMCAO a temporal craniotomy is performed, and the middle cerebral artery (MCA) is permanently ligated at a point downstream of the lenticulostriate branches. The size of the lesion produced by this surgery is strain dependent. In C57BL/6J mice, DMCAO produces an infarct predominantly restricted to the barrel region of the somatosensory cortex, but in BALB/cJ mice, DMCAO generates a much larger lesion that incorporates more of the somatosensory cortex and part of the M1 region of the motor cortex. The larger lesion produced by DMCAO in BALB/cJ mice produces a clearer sensorimotor deficit, which is useful for investigating recovery from stroke. We also describe how to modify DMCAO in C57BL/6J mice with the application of hypoxia to generate a lesion and sensorimotor deficit that are similar in size to those produced by DMCAO alone in BALB/cJ mice. This is extremely useful for stroke experiments that require a robust sensorimotor deficit in transgenic mice created on a C57BL/6J background.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-0320-7_9

    View details for PubMedID 24510858

  • Chronic Over-Expression of TGF beta 1 Alters Hippocampal Structure and Causes Learning Deficits HIPPOCAMPUS Martinez-Canabal, A., Wheeler, A. L., Sarkis, D., Lerch, J. P., Lu, W., Buckwalter, M. S., Wyss-Coray, T., Josselyn, S. A., Frankland, P. W. 2013; 23 (12): 1198-1211


    The cytokine Transforming Growth Factor β1 (TGFβ1) is chronically upregulated in several neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis, and following stroke. While previous studies have shown that TGFβ1 may be neuroprotective, chronic exposure to elevated levels of this cytokine may contribute to disease pathology on its own. In order to study the effects of chronic exposure to TGFβ1 in isolation we used transgenic mice that over-express a constitutively active porcine TGFβ1 in astrocytes. We found that TGFβ1 over-expression altered brain structure, with the most pronounced volumetric increases localized to the hippocampus. Within the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, increases in granule cell number and astrocyte size were responsible for volumetric expansion, with the increased granule cell number primarily related to a marked reduction in death of new granule cells generated in adulthood. Finally, these cumulative changes in DG micro- and macrostructure were associated with the age-dependent emergence of spatial learning deficits in TGFβ1 over-expressing mice. Together, our data indicate that chronic upregulation of TGFβ1 negatively impacts hippocampal structure and, even in the absence of disease, impairs hippocampus-dependent learning. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/hipo.22159

    View details for Web of Science ID 000327157200007

    View details for PubMedID 23804429

  • Suppression of Inflammation with Conditional Deletion of the Prostaglandin E-2 EP2 Receptor in Macrophages and Brain Microglia JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Johansson, J. U., Pradhan, S., Lokteva, L. A., Woodling, N. S., Ko, N., Brown, H. D., Wang, Q., Loh, C., Cekanaviciute, E., Buckwalter, M., Manning-Bog, A. B., Andreasson, K. I. 2013; 33 (40): 16016-16032


    Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a potent lipid signaling molecule, modulates inflammatory responses through activation of downstream G-protein coupled EP(1-4) receptors. Here, we investigated the cell-specific in vivo function of PGE2 signaling through its E-prostanoid 2 (EP2) receptor in murine innate immune responses systemically and in the CNS. In vivo, systemic administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) resulted in a broad induction of cytokines and chemokines in plasma that was significantly attenuated in EP2-deficient mice. Ex vivo stimulation of peritoneal macrophages with LPS elicited proinflammatory responses that were dependent on EP2 signaling and that overlapped with in vivo plasma findings, suggesting that myeloid-lineage EP2 signaling is a major effector of innate immune responses. Conditional deletion of the EP2 receptor in myeloid lineage cells in Cd11bCre;EP2(lox/lox) mice attenuated plasma inflammatory responses and transmission of systemic inflammation to the brain was inhibited, with decreased hippocampal inflammatory gene expression and cerebral cortical levels of IL-6. Conditional deletion of EP2 significantly blunted microglial and astrocytic inflammatory responses to the neurotoxin MPTP and reduced striatal dopamine turnover. Suppression of microglial EP2 signaling also increased numbers of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra independent of MPTP treatment, suggesting that microglial EP2 may influence development or survival of DA neurons. Unbiased microarray analysis of microglia isolated from adult Cd11bCre;EP2(lox/lox) and control mice demonstrated a broad downregulation of inflammatory pathways with ablation of microglial EP2 receptor. Together, these data identify a cell-specific proinflammatory role for macrophage/microglial EP2 signaling in innate immune responses systemically and in brain.

    View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2203-13.2013

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325283600033

    View details for PubMedID 24089506

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3787507

  • Serum Neuron-Specific Enolase Levels from the Same Patients Differ Between Laboratories: Assessment of a Prospective Post-cardiac Arrest Cohort. Neurocritical care Mlynash, M., Buckwalter, M. S., Okada, A., Caulfield, A. F., Venkatasubramanian, C., Eyngorn, I., Verbeek, M. M., Wijman, C. A. 2013; 19 (2): 161-166


    In comatose post-cardiac arrest patients, a serum neuron-specific enolase (NSE) level of >33 μg/L within 72 h was identified as a reliable marker for poor outcome in a large Dutch study (PROPAC), and this level was subsequently adopted in an American Academy of Neurology practice parameter. Later studies reported that NSE >33 μg/L is not a reliable predictor of poor prognosis. To test whether different clinical laboratories contribute to this variability, we compared NSE levels from the laboratory used in the PROPAC study (DLM-Nijmegen) with those of our hospital's laboratory (ARUP) using paired blood samples.We prospectively enrolled cardiac arrest patients who remained comatose after resuscitation. During the first 3 days, paired blood samples for serum NSE were drawn at a median of 10 min apart. After standard preparation for each lab, one sample was sent to ARUP laboratories and the other to DLM-Nijmegen.Fifty-four paired serum samples from 33 patients were included. Although the serum NSE measurements correlated well between laboratories (R = 0.91), the results from ARUP were approximately 30 % lower than those from DLM-Nijmegen. Therapeutic hypothermia did not affect this relationship. Two patients had favorable outcomes after hypothermia despite NSE levels measured by DLM-Nijmegen as >33 μg/L.Absolute serum NSE levels of comatose cardiac arrest patients differ between laboratories. Any specific absolute cut-off levels proposed to prognosticate poor outcome should not be used without detailed data on how neurologic outcomes correspond to a particular laboratory's method, and even then only in conjunction with other prognostic variables.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12028-013-9867-5

    View details for PubMedID 23839710

  • A small molecule p75(NTR) ligand prevents cognitive deficits and neurite degeneration in an Alzheimer's mouse model. Neurobiology of aging Knowles, J. K., Simmons, D. A., Nguyen, T. V., Vander Griend, L., Xie, Y., Zhang, H., Yang, T., Pollak, J., Chang, T., Arancio, O., Buckwalter, M. S., Wyss-Coray, T., Massa, S. M., Longo, F. M. 2013; 34 (8): 2052-2063


    The p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) is associated with multiple mechanisms linked to Alzheimer's disease (AD); hence, modulating its function might confer therapeutic effects. In previous in vitro work, we developed small molecule p75(NTR) ligands that inhibited amyloid-β-induced degenerative signaling and prevented neurite degeneration. In the present study, a prototype p75(NTR) ligand, LM11A-31, was administered orally to the Thy-1 hAPP(Lond/Swe) (APP(L/S)) AD mouse model. LM11A-31 reached brain concentrations known to inhibit degenerative signaling without toxicity or induction of hyperalgesia. It prevented deficits in novel object recognition after 2.5 months and, in a separate cohort, deficits in Y-maze performance after 3 months of treatment. Stereology studies found that the number and size of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons, which are normal in APP(L/S) mice, were unaffected. Neuritic dystrophy, however, was readily apparent in the basal forebrain, hippocampus and cortex, and was significantly reduced by LM11A-31, with no effect on amyloid levels. These studies reveal that p75(NTR) is an important and tractable in vivo drug target for AD, with LM11A-31 representing a novel class of therapeutic candidates.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.02.015

    View details for PubMedID 23545424

  • Blood-brain barrier dysfunction-induced inflammatory signaling in brain pathology and epileptogenesis EPILEPSIA Kim, S. Y., Buckwalter, M., Soreq, H., Vezzani, A., Kaufer, D. 2012; 53: 37-44


    The protection of the brain from blood-borne toxins, proteins, and cells is critical to the brain's normal function. Accordingly, a compromise in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) function accompanies many neurologic disorders, and is tightly associated with brain inflammatory processes initiated by both infiltrating leukocytes from the blood, and activation of glial cells. Those inflammatory processes contribute to determining the severity and prognosis of numerous neurologic disorders, and can both cause, and result from BBB dysfunction. In this review we examine the role of BBB and inflammatory responses, in particular activation of transforming grown factor β (TGFβ) signaling, in epilepsy, stroke, and Parkinson's disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03701.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000310797400006

    View details for PubMedID 23134494

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3703535

  • Stratification substantially reduces behavioral variability in the hypoxic-ischemic stroke model. Brain and behavior Pollak, J., Doyle, K. P., Mamer, L., Shamloo, M., Buckwalter, M. S. 2012; 2 (5): 698-706


    Stroke is the most common cause of long-term disability, and there are no known drug therapies to improve recovery after stroke. To understand how successful recovery occurs, dissect candidate molecular pathways, and test new therapies, there is a need for multiple distinct mouse stroke models, in which the parameters of recovery after stroke are well defined. Hypoxic-ischemic stroke is a well-established stroke model, but behavioral recovery in this model is not well described. We therefore examined a panel of behavioral tests to see whether they could be used to quantify functional recovery after hypoxic-ischemic stroke. We found that in C57BL/6J mice this stroke model produces high mortality (approximately one-third) and variable stroke sizes, but is fast and easy to perform on a large number of mice. Horizontal ladder test performance on day 1 after stroke was highly and reproducibly correlated with stroke size (P < 0.0001, R(2) = 0.7652), and allowed for functional stratification of mice into a group with >18% foot faults and 2.1-fold larger strokes. This group exhibited significant functional deficits for as long as 3 weeks on the horizontal ladder test and through the last day of testing on automated gait analysis (33 days), rotarod (30 days), and elevated body swing test (EBST) (36 days). No deficits were observed in an automated activity chamber. We conclude that stratification by horizontal ladder test performance on day 1 identifies a subset of mice in which functional recovery from hypoxic-ischemic stroke can be studied.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/brb3.77

    View details for PubMedID 23139913

  • Stratification substantially reduces behavioral variability in the hypoxic-ischemic stroke model BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR Pollak, J., Doyle, K. P., Mamer, L., Shamloo, M., Buckwalter, M. S. 2012; 2 (5): 698-706


    Stroke is the most common cause of long-term disability, and there are no known drug therapies to improve recovery after stroke. To understand how successful recovery occurs, dissect candidate molecular pathways, and test new therapies, there is a need for multiple distinct mouse stroke models, in which the parameters of recovery after stroke are well defined. Hypoxic-ischemic stroke is a well-established stroke model, but behavioral recovery in this model is not well described. We therefore examined a panel of behavioral tests to see whether they could be used to quantify functional recovery after hypoxic-ischemic stroke. We found that in C57BL/6J mice this stroke model produces high mortality (approximately one-third) and variable stroke sizes, but is fast and easy to perform on a large number of mice. Horizontal ladder test performance on day 1 after stroke was highly and reproducibly correlated with stroke size (P < 0.0001, R(2) = 0.7652), and allowed for functional stratification of mice into a group with >18% foot faults and 2.1-fold larger strokes. This group exhibited significant functional deficits for as long as 3 weeks on the horizontal ladder test and through the last day of testing on automated gait analysis (33 days), rotarod (30 days), and elevated body swing test (EBST) (36 days). No deficits were observed in an automated activity chamber. We conclude that stratification by horizontal ladder test performance on day 1 identifies a subset of mice in which functional recovery from hypoxic-ischemic stroke can be studied.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/brb3.77

    View details for Web of Science ID 000209174200016

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3489820

  • Delayed Administration of a Small Molecule Tropomyosin-Related Kinase B Ligand Promotes Recovery After Hypoxic-Ischemic Stroke STROKE Han, J., Pollak, J., Yang, T., Siddiqui, M. R., Doyle, K. P., Taravosh-Lahn, K., Cekanaviciute, E., Han, A., Goodman, J. Z., Jones, B., Jing, D., Massa, S. M., Longo, F. M., Buckwalter, M. S. 2012; 43 (7): 1918-1924


    Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, yet no drugs are available that are proven to improve recovery. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor stimulates neurogenesis and plasticity, processes that are implicated in stroke recovery. It binds to both the tropomyosin-related kinase B and p75 neurotrophin receptors. However, brain-derived neurotrophic factor is not a feasible therapeutic agent, and no small molecule exists that can reproduce its binding to both receptors. We tested the hypothesis that a small molecule (LM22A-4) that selectively targets tropomyosin-related kinase B would promote neurogenesis and functional recovery after stroke.Four-month-old mice were trained on motor tasks before stroke. After stroke, functional test results were used to randomize mice into 2 equally, and severely, impaired groups. Beginning 3 days after stroke, mice received LM22A-4 or saline vehicle daily for 10 weeks.LM22A-4 treatment significantly improved limb swing speed and accelerated the return to normal gait accuracy after stroke. LM22A-4 treatment also doubled both the number of new mature neurons and immature neurons adjacent to the stroke. Drug-induced differences were not observed in angiogenesis, dendritic arborization, axonal sprouting, glial scar formation, or neuroinflammation.A small molecule agonist of tropomyosin-related kinase B improves functional recovery from stroke and increases neurogenesis when administered beginning 3 days after stroke. These findings provide proof-of-concept that targeting of tropomyosin-related kinase B alone is capable of promoting one or more mechanisms relevant to stroke recovery. LM22A-4 or its derivatives might therefore serve as "pro-recovery" therapeutic agents for stroke.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.641878

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305882000041

    View details for PubMedID 22535263

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3383889

  • The double-edged sword of inflammation after stroke: What sharpens each edge? ANNALS OF NEUROLOGY Doyle, K. P., Buckwalter, M. S. 2012; 71 (6): 729-731

    View details for DOI 10.1002/ana.23579

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305506300004

    View details for PubMedID 22718541

  • Distal hypoxic stroke: A new mouse model of stroke with high throughput, low variability and a quantifiable functional deficit JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE METHODS Doyle, K. P., Fathali, N., Siddiqui, M. R., Buckwalter, M. S. 2012; 207 (1): 31-40


    C57BL/6J are the most commonly used strain of mouse for stroke experiments but vascular anatomy of the Circle of Willis within this strain is extremely variable and the cortex has extensive collateralization. This causes large variability in stroke models that target the middle cerebral artery proximally and confers resistance to ischemia in those that target it distally. We tested the hypothesis that by combining distal middle cerebral artery occlusion with 1h of hypoxia, we could generate a large lesion that causes a behavioral deficit with low variability. We found that this new distal hypoxic (DH) model of stroke generates a lesion with a volume of 25% of the ipsilateral hemisphere, extends to the motor cortex and causes a behavioral deficit. It also has a very clear border, exceptionally low variability, and can be performed by a single surgeon on up to 30 animals a day. Moreover, survivability is 100% in young adult animals, the model can be performed on old animals, and therapeutic intervention can reduce infarct volume. Therefore DH stroke is an excellent complement to existing stroke models and could be used for preclinical studies in C57BL/6J mice.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2012.03.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304511400004

    View details for PubMedID 22465679

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3348433

  • A comparison of cooling techniques to treat cardiac arrest patients with hypothermia. Stroke research and treatment Finley Caulfield, A., Rachabattula, S., Eyngorn, I., Hamilton, S. A., Kalimuthu, R., Hsia, A. W., Lansberg, M. G., Venkatasubramanian, C., BAUMANN, J. J., Buckwalter, M. S., Kumar, M. A., Castle, J. S., Wijman, C. A. 2011; 2011: 690506-?


    Introduction. We sought to compare the performance of endovascular cooling to conventional surface cooling after cardiac arrest. Methods. Patients in coma following cardiopulmonary resuscitation were cooled with an endovascular cooling catheter or with ice bags and cold-water-circulating cooling blankets to a target temperature of 32.0-34.0°C for 24 hours. Performance of cooling techniques was compared by (1) number of hourly recordings in target temperature range, (2) time elapsed from the written order to initiate cooling and target temperature, and (3) adverse events during the first week. Results. Median time in target temperature range was 19 hours (interquartile range (IQR), 16-20) in the endovascular group versus. 10 hours (IQR, 7-15) in the surface group (P = .001). Median time to target temperature was 4 (IQR, 2.8-6.2) and 4.5 (IQR, 3-6.5) hours, respectively (P = .67). Adverse events were similar. Conclusion. Endovascular cooling maintains target temperatures better than conventional surface cooling.

    View details for DOI 10.4061/2011/690506

    View details for PubMedID 21822470

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3148603

  • TGF beta signaling in the brain increases with aging and signals to astrocytes and innate immune cells in the weeks after stroke JOURNAL OF NEUROINFLAMMATION Doyle, K. P., Cekanaviciute, E., Mamer, L. E., Buckwalter, M. S. 2010; 7


    TGFβ is both neuroprotective and a key immune system modulator and is likely to be an important target for future stroke therapy. The precise function of increased TGF-β1 after stroke is unknown and its pleiotropic nature means that it may convey a neuroprotective signal, orchestrate glial scarring or function as an important immune system regulator. We therefore investigated the time course and cell-specificity of TGFβ signaling after stroke, and whether its signaling pattern is altered by gender and aging.We performed distal middle cerebral artery occlusion strokes on 5 and 18 month old TGFβ reporter mice to get a readout of TGFβ responses after stroke in real time. To determine which cell type is the source of increased TGFβ production after stroke, brain sections were stained with an anti-TGFβ antibody, colocalized with markers for reactive astrocytes, neurons, and activated microglia. To determine which cells are responding to TGFβ after stroke, brain sections were double-labelled with anti-pSmad2, a marker of TGFβ signaling, and markers of neurons, oligodendrocytes, endothelial cells, astrocytes and microglia.TGFβ signaling increased 2 fold after stroke, beginning on day 1 and peaking on day 7. This pattern of increase was preserved in old animals and absolute TGFβ signaling in the brain increased with age. Activated microglia and macrophages were the predominant source of increased TGFβ after stroke and astrocytes and activated microglia and macrophages demonstrated dramatic upregulation of TGFβ signaling after stroke. TGFβ signaling in neurons and oligodendrocytes did not undergo marked changes.We found that TGFβ signaling increases with age and that astrocytes and activated microglia and macrophages are the main cell types that undergo increased TGFβ signaling in response to post-stroke increases in TGFβ. Therefore increased TGFβ after stroke likely regulates glial scar formation and the immune response to stroke.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1742-2094-7-62

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283290300001

    View details for PubMedID 20937129

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2958905

  • Outcome prediction in mechanically ventilated neurologic patients by junior neurointensivists NEUROLOGY Caulfield, A. F., GABLER, L., Lansberg, M. G., Eyngorn, I., Mlynash, M., Buckwalter, M. S., Venkatasubramanian, C., Wijman, C. A. 2010; 74 (14): 1096-1101


    Physician prediction of outcome in critically ill neurologic patients impacts treatment decisions and goals of care. In this observational study, we prospectively compared predictions by neurointensivists to patient outcomes at 6 months.Consecutive neurologic patients requiring mechanical ventilation for 72 hours or more were enrolled. The attending neurointensivist was asked to predict 6-month 1) functional outcome (modified Rankin scale [mRS]), 2) quality of life (QOL), and 3) whether supportive care should be withdrawn. Six-month functional outcome was determined by telephone interviews and dichotomized to good (mRS 0-3) and poor outcome (mRS 4-6).Of 187 eligible patients, 144 were enrolled. Neurointensivists correctly predicted 6-month functional outcome in 80% (95% confidence interval [CI], 72%-86%) of patients. Accuracy for a predicted good outcome was 63% (95% CI, 50%-74%) and for poor outcome 94% (95% CI, 85%-98%). Excluding patients who had life support withdrawn, accuracy for good outcome was 73% (95% CI, 60%-84%) and for poor outcome 87% (95% CI, 74%-94%). Accuracy for exact agreement between neurointensivists' mRS predictions and actual 6-month mRS was only 43% (95% CI, 35%-52%). Predicted accuracy for QOL was 58% (95% CI, 39%-74%) for good/excellent and 67% (95% CI, 46%-83%) for poor/fair. Of 27 patients for whom withdrawal of care was recommended, 1 patient survived in a vegetative state.Prediction of long-term functional outcomes in critically ill neurologic patients is challenging. Our neurointensivists were more accurate in predicting poor outcome than good outcome in patients requiring mechanical ventilation >or=72 hours.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276354400005

    View details for PubMedID 20368630

  • Glia-dependent TGF-beta signaling, acting independently of the TH17 pathway, is critical for initiation of murine autoimmune encephalomyelitis JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Luo, J., Ho, P. P., Buckwalter, M. S., Hsu, T., Lee, L. Y., Zhang, H., Kim, D., Kim, S., Gambhir, S. S., Steinman, L., Wyss-Coray, T. 2007; 117 (11): 3306-3315


    Autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a mouse model for multiple sclerosis, is characterized by the activation of immune cells, demyelination of axons in the CNS, and paralysis. We found that TGF-beta1 synthesis in glial cells and TGF-beta-induced signaling in the CNS were activated several days before the onset of paralysis in mice with autoimmune encephalomyelitis. While early production of TGF-beta1 was observed in glial cells TGF-beta signaling was activated in neurons and later in infiltrating T cells in inflammatory lesions. Systemic treatment with a pharmacological inhibitor of TGF-beta signaling ameliorated the paralytic disease and reduced the accumulation of pathogenic T cells and expression of IL-6 in the CNS. Priming of peripheral T cells was not altered, nor was the generation of TH17 cells, indicating that this effect was directed within the brain, yet affected the immune system. These results suggest that early production of TGF-beta1 in the CNS creates a permissive and dangerous environment for the initiation of autoimmune inflammation, providing a rare example of the brain modulating the immune system. Importantly, inhibition of TGF-beta signaling may have benefits in the treatment of the acute phase of autoimmune CNS inflammation.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI31763

    View details for Web of Science ID 000250676000023

    View details for PubMedID 17965773

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2040317

  • Increased T cell recruitment to the CNS after amyloid beta(1-42) immunization in Alzheimer's mice overproducing transforming growth factor-beta 1 JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Buckwalter, M. S., Coleman, B. S., Buttini, M., Barbour, R., Schenk, D., Games, D., Seubert, P., Wyss-Coray, T. 2006; 26 (44): 11437-11441


    Immunotherapy targeting the amyloid beta (Abeta) peptide is a novel therapy under investigation for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A clinical trial using Abeta(1-42) (AN1792) as the immunogen was halted as a result of development of meningoencephalitis in a small number of patients. The cytokine TGF-beta1 is a key modulator of immune responses that is increased in the brain in AD. We show here that local overexpression of TGF-beta1 in the brain increases both meningeal and parenchymal T lymphocyte number. Furthermore, TGF-beta1 overexpression in a mouse model for AD [amyloid precursor protein (APP) mice] leads to development of additional T cell infiltrates when mice were immunized at a young but not old age with AN1792. Notably, only mice overproducing both Abeta (APP mice) and TGF-beta1 experienced a rise in T lymphocyte number after immunization. One-third of infiltrating T cells were CD4 positive. We did not observe significant differences in B lymphocyte numbers in any of the genotypes or treatment groups. These results demonstrate that TGF-beta1 overproduction in the brain can promote T cell infiltration, in particular after Abeta(1-42) immunization. Likewise, levels of TGF-beta1 or other immune factors in brains of AD patients may influence the response to Abeta(1-42) immunization.

    View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2436-06.2006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000241727500024

    View details for PubMedID 17079673

  • Chronically increased transforming growth factor-beta 1 strongly inhibits hippocampal neurogenesis in aged mice AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY Buckwalter, M. S., Yamane, M., Coleman, B. S., Ormerod, B. K., Chin, J. T., Palmer, T., Wyss-Coray, T. 2006; 169 (1): 154-164


    There is increasing evidence that hippocampal learning correlates strongly with neurogenesis in the adult brain. Increases in neurogenesis after brain injury also correlate with improved outcomes. With aging the capacity to generate new neurons decreases dramatically, both under normal conditions and after injury. How this decrease occurs is not fully understood, but we hypothesized that transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1, a cell cycle regulator that rapidly increases after injury and with age, might play a role. We found that chronic overproduction of TGF-beta1 from astrocytes almost completely blocked the generation of new neurons in aged transgenic mice. Even young adult TGF-beta1 mice had 60% fewer immature, doublecortin-positive, hippocampal neurons than wild-type littermate controls. Bromodeoxyuridine labeling of dividing cells in 2-month-old TGF-beta1 mice confirmed this decrease in neuro-genesis and revealed a similar decrease in astrogenesis. Treatment of early neural progenitor cells with TGF-beta1 inhibited their proliferation. This strongly suggests that TGF-beta1 directly affects these cells before their differentiation into neurons and astrocytes. Together, these data show that TGF-beta1 is a potent inhibitor of hippocampal neural progenitor cell proliferation in adult mice and suggest that it plays a key role in limiting injury and age-related neurogenesis.

    View details for DOI 10.2353/ajpath.2006.051272

    View details for Web of Science ID 000238664700014

    View details for PubMedID 16816369

  • Modelling neuroinflammatory phenotypes in vivo JOURNAL OF NEUROINFLAMMATION Buckwalter, M. S., Wyss-Coray, T. 2004; 1
  • Modelling neuroinflammatory phenotypes in vivo. Journal of neuroinflammation Buckwalter, M. S., Wyss-Coray, T. 2004; 1 (1): 10


    Inflammation of the central nervous system is an important but poorly understood part of neurological disease. After acute brain injury or infection there is a complex inflammatory response that involves activation of microglia and astrocytes and increased production of cytokines, chemokines, acute phase proteins, and complement factors. Antibodies and T lymphocytes may be involved in the response as well. In neurodegenerative disease, where injury is more subtle but consistent, the inflammatory response is continuous. The purpose of this prolonged response is unclear, but it is likely that some of its components are beneficial and others are harmful. Animal models of neurological disease can be used to dissect the specific role of individual mediators of the inflammatory response and assess their potential benefit. To illustrate this approach, we discuss how mutant mice expressing different levels of the cytokine transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-beta1), a major modulator of inflammation, produce important neuroinflammatory phenotypes. We then demonstrate how crosses of TGF-beta1 mutant mice with mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) produced important new information on the role of inflammation in AD and on the expression of different neuropathological phenotypes that characterize this disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1742-2094-1-10

    View details for PubMedID 15285805

  • Molecular and functional dissection of TGF-beta 1-induced cerebrovascular abnormalities in transgenic mice 3rd World Congress on Vascular Factors in Alzheimers Disease Buckwalter, M., Pepper, J. P., Gaertner, R. F., Von Euw, D., Lacombe, P., Wyss-Coray, T. NEW YORK ACAD SCIENCES. 2002: 87–95


    Cerebrovascular abnormalities, such as reduced blood flow, microvascular fibrosis, and cerebrovascular amyloid angiopathy, are prominent in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, their etiology is poorly understood and it is unclear whether cerebrovascular changes contribute to functional impairments in the absence of neurodegeneration. In humans with AD, transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) mRNA levels in the midfrontal gyrus correlate positively with the relative degree of cerebrovascular amyloid deposition in that brain region, suggesting a possible role for TGF-beta1 in human cerebrovascular abnormalities. Transgenic mice overexpressing TGF-beta1 in astrocytes develop AD-like cerebrovascular abnormalities, including perivascular astrocytosis, microvascular basement membrane thickening, and accumulation of thioflavin S-positive amyloid in the absence of parenchymal degeneration. Mice overexpressing TGF-beta1 alone or in addition to human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP) show selective accumulation of human beta-amyloid (Abeta) in blood vessels and develop cerebral hemorrhages in old age. In 9-month-old TGF-beta1 transgenic mice, cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the limbic system was significantly less than in nontransgenic littermate controls. Aged TGF-beta1 mice also showed overall reduced cerebral glucose uptake (CGU) as a measure of brain activity. Thus, chronic overproduction of TGF-beta1 in the brain results in structural and functional impairments reminiscent of those in AD cases with amyloid angiopathy.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000179767000009

    View details for PubMedID 12480736

  • Construction of a 3-Mb contig and partial transcript map of the central region of mouse chromosome 11 GENOMICS WATKINSCHOW, D. E., Douglas, K. R., Buckwalter, M. S., Probst, F. J., Camper, S. A. 1997; 45 (1): 147-157


    We report the establishment of a high-resolution genetic map, a physical map, and a partial transcript map of the Ames dwarf critical region on mouse chromosome 11. A contig of 24 YACs and 13 P1 clones has been assembled and spans approximately 3 Mb from Flt4 to Tcf7. A library of approximately 1000 putative transcript clones from the region was prepared using exon amplification and pituitary cDNA selection. Ten novel transcripts were partially characterized, including a member of the olfactory receptor family, an alpha-tubulin-related sequence, and a novel member of the cdc2/CDC28-like kinase family, Clk4. The location of Prop1, the gene responsible for Ames dwarfism, has been localized within the contig. This contig spans a region of mouse chromosome 11 that exhibits linkage conservation with human chromosome 5q23-q35. The strength of the genetic map and genomic resources for this region suggest that comparative DNA sequencing of this region could reveal the genes responsible for other mouse mutants and human genetic diseases.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997YA72100018

    View details for PubMedID 9339371

  • Genetic mapping of 21 genes on mouse chromosome 11 reveals disruptions in linkage conservation with human chromosome 5 GENOMICS WATKINSCHOW, D. E., Buckwalter, M. S., Newhouse, M. M., Lossie, A. C., Brinkmeier, M. L., Camper, S. A. 1997; 40 (1): 114-122


    We report a high-resolution genetic map of 21 genes on the central region of mouse Chr 11. These genes were mapped by segregation analysis of more than 1650 meioses from three interspecific backcrosses. The order of these genes in mouse was compared to the previously established gene order in human. Eighteen of the 21 genes map to human Chr 5, and 2 of the genes define a proximal border for the region of homology between mouse Chr 11 and human Chr 17. Our results indicate a minimum of four rearrangements within the 10-cM region of synteny homology between mouse Chr 11 and human Chr 5. In addition, the linkage conservation is disrupted by groups of genes that map to mouse Chrs 13 and 18. These data demonstrate that large regions of conserved linkage can contain numerous chromosomal microrearrangements that have occurred since the divergence of mouse and human ancestors. Comparison of the mouse and human maps with data for other species provides an emerging picture of mammalian chromosome evolution.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WJ33600015

    View details for PubMedID 9070927



    The neurologic mutant mouse, oscillator, is characterized by a fine motor tremor and muscle spasms that begin at 2 weeks of age and progressively worsen, resulting in death by 3 weeks of age. We report the localization of the oscillator mutation to the central region of mouse Chr 11, and demonstrate its allelism with spasmodic, a recessive viable neurological mutation which displays excessive startle. Oscillator is caused by a microdeletion in the gene coding for the alpha 1 subunit of the adult glycine receptor (Glra1). Glra1 assembles into a pentameric complex with the beta subunit of the glycine receptor (3 alpha (1)2 beta 5) to form a glycine-gated chloride channel. This receptor is the major adult glycine receptor, and the site of action of the poison strychnine. The oscillator deletion causes a frameshift resulting in loss of the highly conserved third cytoplasmic loop and fourth transmembrane domain of the protein. Membranes isolated from oscillator homozygote spinal cords display a 90% reduction in glycine-displaceable strychnine binding. This lack of ligand binding function confirms that oscillator is a complete loss of function allele. The oscillator mutation provides evidence that although at least four different alpha subunits exist for the glycine receptor, none of the other subunits can compensate for the loss of alpha 1 function. Mutations which impair GLRA1 function in humans have been shown to cause dominant familial startle disease. The identification of the oscillator mutation suggests that severe loss of function alleles in humans would result in prenatal or neonatal lethality.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994PT23100017

    View details for PubMedID 7874121

  • A MISSENSE MUTATION IN THE GENE ENCODING THE ALPHA(1) SUBUNIT OF THE INHIBITORY GLYCINE RECEPTOR IN THE SPASMODIC MOUSE NATURE GENETICS Ryan, S. G., Buckwalter, M. S., LYNCH, J. W., Handford, C. A., Segura, L., Shiang, R., Wasmuth, J. J., Camper, S. A., Schofield, P., OCONNELL, P. 1994; 7 (2): 131-135


    Hereditary hyperekplexia, an autosomal dominant neurologic disorder characterized by an exaggerated startle reflex and neonatal hypertonia, can be caused by mutations in the gene encoding the alpha 1 subunit of the inhibitory glycine receptor (GLRA1). Spasmodic (spd), a recessive neurologic mouse mutant, resembles hyperekplexia phenotypically, and the two disease loci map to homologous chromosomal regions. Here we describe a Glra1 missense mutation in spd that results in reduced agonist sensitivity in glycine receptors expressed in vitro. We conclude that spd is a murine homologue of hyperekplexia and that mutations in GLRA1/Glra1 can produce syndromes with different inheritance patterns.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994NQ03700010

    View details for PubMedID 7920629



    Spasmodic (spd) is a recessive mouse mutation characterized by a prolonged righting reflex, fine motor tremor, leg clasping, and stiffness. Using an intersubspecific backcross that segregates spd, we placed spd on Chr 11 with the following gene order: Adra-1-3.8 +/- 2.1 cM-Pad-1-6.3 +/- 2.7-(spd, Anx-6, Csfgm, Glr-1, Il-3, Il-4, Il-5, Sparc)-9.1 +/- 2.4-D11 Mit5-2.2 +/- 1.5-Asgr-1. This localization eliminated the alpha 1-adrenergic receptor (Adra-1) and the alpha 1 and gamma 2 subunits of the GABAA receptor as candidate genes. Two other promising candidate genes, annexin VI (Anx-6) and a glutamate receptor (Glr-1), were mapped to within 2.1 cM of the spd locus. Although no recombination was observed between spd and Anx-6 or Glr-1, no evidence was obtained for a lesion in either gene. The presence of normal Anx-6 and Glr-1 mRNA transcripts was confirmed by Northern blot analysis, in situ hybridization, and DNA sequence analysis. The localization of Anx-6 and Glr-1 extends the known synteny homology between human chromosome 5q21-q31 and mouse Chr 11 and reveals the probable chromosomal location of the human counterpart to spd. Synteny homology and phenotypic similarities suggest that spasmodic mice may be a genetic model for the inherited human startle disease, hyperekplexia (STHE).

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993LP81500002

    View details for PubMedID 8406478

  • LYSYL OXIDASE (LOX) MAPS BETWEEN GRL-1 AND ADRB-2 ON MOUSE CHROMOSOME-18 MAMMALIAN GENOME Lossie, A. C., Buckwalter, M. S., Camper, S. A. 1993; 4 (3): 177-178

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993KP76000007

    View details for PubMedID 8094989


    View details for Web of Science ID A1992KX50600012

    View details for PubMedID 1358285


    View details for Web of Science ID A1992JT43900011

    View details for PubMedID 1498430



    Ames dwarf (df) is an autosomal recessive mutation characterized by severe dwarfism and infertility. This mutation provides a mouse model for panhypopituitarism. The dwarf phenotype results from failure in the differentiation of the cells which produce growth hormone, prolactin, and thyroid stimulating hormone. Using the backcross (DF/B-df/df X CASA/Rk) X DF/B-df/df, we confirmed the assignment of df to mouse chromosome 11 and demonstrated recombination between df and the growth hormone gene. This backcross is an invaluable resource for screening candidate genes for the df mutation. The df locus maps to less than 1 cM distal to Pad-1 (0.85 +/- 0.85 cM). Two new genes localized on mouse chromosome 11, Rpo2-1, and Edp-1, map to a region of conserved synteny with human chromosome 17. The localization of the alpha 1 adrenergic receptor, Adra-1, extends a known region of synteny conservation between mouse chromosome 11 and human chromosome 5, and suggests that a human counterpart to df would map to human chromosome 5.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991FQ64000001

    View details for PubMedID 1889803

  • Mouse chromosome 11. Mammalian genome BUCHBERG, A. M., Moskow, J. J., Buckwalter, M. S., Camper, S. A. 1991; 1: S158-91

    View details for PubMedID 1799798



    Plasmids with bacteriophage Mu sequences receive additional Mu insertions 20-700 times less frequently than plasmids without Mu sequences. The Mu sites required for this transposition immunity were mapped near each end, either of which was sufficient. The left site was between 127 and 203 base pairs from the left end, and the right site was between 22 and 93 base pairs from the right end. These sequences include the innermost but not the outermost of the three binding sites for the Mu A transposition protein at each end of Mu. Transposition immunity was cis-acting and independent of its location on a target plasmid. An additional copy of an immunity site reduced transposition a factor of 10 further. Transposition immunity was seen both during full phage lytic growth, with all the bacteriophage Mu genes, and during normal cellular growth, with a mini-Mu element containing only the Mu c and ner regulatory and A and B transposition genes.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1988Q138700053

    View details for PubMedID 2842794