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Acute intoxication with large doses of ammonia leads to rapid death. The main mechanism for ammonia elimination in brain is its reaction with glutamate to form glutamine. This reaction is catalyzed by glutamine synthetase and consumes ATP. In the course of studies on the molecular mechanism of acute ammonia toxicity, we have found that glutamine synthetase(More)
Hepatic encephalopathy is a complex neuropsychiatric syndrome present in patients with chronic or acute liver disease. We review here some recent advances in the study, in animal models, of the mechanisms involved in the impairment in intellectual function in hepatic encephalopathy. These studies show that the function of the glutamate-nitric oxide-cGMP(More)
Intellectual function is impaired in patients with hyperammonemia and hepatic encephalopathy. Chronic hyperammonemia with or without liver failure impairs the glutamate-nitric oxide-cGMP pathway function in brain in vivo and reduces extracellular cGMP in brain as well as the ability of rats to learn a Y maze conditional discrimination task. We hypothesized(More)
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are self-renewing pluripotent cells that have the capacity to differentiate into a wide variety of cell types. This potentiality represents a promising source to overcome many human diseases by providing an unlimited supply of all cell types, including cells with neural characteristics. Therefore, this review summarizes(More)
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a major cause of paralysis. Currently, there are no effective therapies to reverse this disabling condition. The presence of ependymal stem/progenitor cells (epSPCs) in the adult spinal cord suggests that endogenous stem cell-associated mechanisms might be exploited to repair spinal cord lesions. epSPC cells that proliferate(More)
BACKGROUND Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) provide a unique model to study early events in human development. The hESC-derived cells can potentially be used to replace or restore different tissues including neuronal that have been damaged by disease or injury. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS The cells of two different hESC lines were converted to(More)
Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) hold great promise for the treatment of patients with many neurodegenerative diseases particularly those arising from cell loss or neural dysfunction including spinal cord injury. This study evaluates the therapeutic effects of transplanted hESC-derived oligodendrocyte progenitors (OPC) and/or motoneuron progenitors (MP) on(More)
Cognitive function is impaired in patients with liver disease by unknown mechanisms. Long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus is considered the basis of some forms of learning and memory. The aims of this work were to assess (i) whether chronic liver failure impairs hippocampal LTP; (ii) if this impairment may be due to alterations in glutamatergic(More)
It has been proposed that impairment of the glutamate-nitric oxide-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway in brain contributes to cognitive impairment in hepatic encephalopathy. The aims of this work were to assess whether the function of this pathway and of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) are altered in cerebral cortex in vivo in rats with chronic liver(More)
Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes myelopathy, damage to white matter, and myelinated fiber tracts that carry sensation and motor signals to and from the brain. The gray matter damage causes segmental losses of interneurons and motoneurons and restricts therapeutic options. Recent advances in stem cell biology, neural injury, and repair, and the progress(More)