Alain R Simard

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Here we report in vivo evidence of a neuroprotective role of proliferating microglial cells in cerebral ischemia. Using transgenic mice expressing a mutant thymidine kinase form of herpes simplex virus driven by myeloid-specific CD11b promoter and ganciclovir treatment as a tool, we selectively ablated proliferating (Mac-2 positive) microglia after(More)
Different patterns of motor nerve activity drive distinctive programs of gene transcription in skeletal muscles, thereby establishing a high degree of metabolic and physiological specialization among myofiber subtypes. Recently, we proposed that the influence of motor nerve activity on skeletal muscle fiber type is transduced to the relevant genes by(More)
This study tested the hypothesis that calcineurin signaling is modulated in skeletal muscle cells by fluctuations in nerve-mediated activity. We show that dephosphorylation of NFATc1, MEF2A, and MEF2D transcription factors by calcineurin in all muscle types is dependent on nerve activity and positively correlated with muscle usage under normal weightbearing(More)
Innate immunity is a rapid series of reactions to pathogens, cell injuries and toxic proteins. A key component of this natural response is the production of inflammatory mediators by resident microglia and infiltrating macrophages. There is accumulating evidence that inflammation contributes to acute injuries and more chronic CNS diseases, though other(More)
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) containing alpha7 subunits are thought to assemble as homomers. alpha7-nAChR function has been implicated in learning and memory, and alterations of alpha7-nAChR have been found in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here we report findings consistent with a novel, naturally occurring nAChR subtype in rodent,(More)
Vorinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, has been used clinically as an anticancer drug and also has immunosuppressive properties. However, the underlying mechanisms of effects of vorinostat on central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory diseases remain incomplete. Here, this study investigates the effects of vorinostat on human CD14(+) monocyte-derived(More)
Nicotine is a potent inhibitor of the immune response and is protective against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Initial studies suggested that the cholinergic system modulates inflammation via the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype. We recently have shown that effector T cells and myeloid cells constitutively express mRNAs(More)
AIMS Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play a key role in regulating immunological functions. Their impact on the chronic inflammatory disease multiple sclerosis (MS), however, remains unknown. We investigated the expression of lncRNAs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with MS and attempt to explain their possible role in the process of(More)
In women, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) is the most commonly used progestin component of hormone therapy (HT). In vitro, MPA negatively impacts markers of neuronal health and exacerbates experimentally-induced neurotoxicity. There is in vitro evidence that these factors are driven by GABAergic and neurotrophic systems. Whether these effects translate to(More)
The role of innate immunity and microglia in the brain is currently a matter of great debate and controversy. While several studies have provided evidence that they contribute to neurodegeneration in various animal models of brain diseases and traumas, others have shown that their inhibition may in contrast be associated with more damages or less repair. We(More)