Indexed on: 10 Jul '14Published on: 10 Jul '14Published in: PloS one
Increase of the density of dendritic spines and enhancement of synaptic transmission through ionotropic glutamate receptors are important events, leading to synaptic plasticity and eventually hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory formation. Here we have undertaken an innovative approach to upregulate hippocampal plasticity. RNS60 is a 0.9% saline solution containing charge-stabilized nanobubbles that are generated by subjecting normal saline to Taylor-Couette-Poiseuille (TCP) flow under elevated oxygen pressure. RNS60, but not NS (normal saline), PNS60 (saline containing a comparable level of oxygen without the TCP modification), or RNS10.3 (TCP-modified normal saline without excess oxygen), stimulated morphological plasticity and synaptic transmission via NMDA- and AMPA-sensitive calcium influx in cultured mouse hippocampal neurons. Using mRNA-based targeted gene array, real-time PCR, immunoblot, and immunofluorescence analyses, we further demonstrate that RNS60 stimulated the expression of many plasticity-associated genes in cultured hippocampal neurons. Activation of type IA, but not type IB, phosphatidylinositol-3 (PI-3) kinase by RNS60 together with abrogation of RNS60-mediated upregulation of plasticity-related proteins (NR2A and GluR1) and increase in spine density, neuronal size, and calcium influx by LY294002, a specific inhibitor of PI-3 kinase, suggest that RNS60 upregulates hippocampal plasticity via activation of PI-3 kinase. Finally, in the 5XFAD transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease (AD), RNS60 treatment upregulated expression of plasticity-related proteins PSD95 and NR2A and increased AMPA- and NMDA-dependent hippocampal calcium influx. These results describe a novel property of RNS60 in stimulating hippocampal plasticity, which may help AD and other dementias.