All Publications

  • Cis P-tau is induced in clinical and preclinical brain injury and contributes to post-injury sequelae. Nature communications Albayram, O., Kondo, A., Mannix, R., Smith, C., Tsai, C. Y., Li, C., Herbert, M. K., Qiu, J., Monuteaux, M., Driver, J., Yan, S., Gormley, W., Puccio, A. M., Okonkwo, D. O., Lucke-Wold, B., Bailes, J., Meehan, W., Zeidel, M., Lu, K. P., Zhou, X. Z. 2017; 8 (1): 1000


    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is characterized by acute neurological dysfunction and associated with the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and Alzheimer's disease. We previously showed that cis phosphorylated tau (cis P-tau), but not the trans form, contributes to tau pathology and functional impairment in an animal model of severe TBI. Here we found that in human samples obtained post TBI due to a variety of causes, cis P-tau is induced in cortical axons and cerebrospinal fluid and positively correlates with axonal injury and clinical outcome. Using mouse models of severe or repetitive TBI, we showed that cis P-tau elimination with a specific neutralizing antibody administered immediately or at delayed time points after injury, attenuates the development of neuropathology and brain dysfunction during acute and chronic phases including CTE-like pathology and dysfunction after repetitive TBI. Thus, cis P-tau contributes to short-term and long-term sequelae after TBI, but is effectively neutralized by cis antibody treatment.Induction of the cis form of phosphorylated tau (cis P-tau) has previously been shown to occur in animal models of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and blocking this form of tau using antibody was beneficial in a rodent model of severe TBI. Here the authors show that cis P-tau induction is a feature of several different forms of TBI in humans, and that administration of cis P-tau targeting antibody to rodents reduces or delays pathological features of TBI.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-017-01068-4

    View details for PubMedID 29042562

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5645414

  • Function and regulation of tau conformations in the development and treatment of traumatic brain injury and neurodegeneration CELL AND BIOSCIENCE Albayram, O., Herbert, M. K., Kondo, A., Tsai, C., Baxley, S., Lian, X., Hansen, M., Zhou, X. Z., Lu, K. P. 2016; 6


    One of the two common hallmark lesions of Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains is neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), which are composed of hyperphosphorylated tau protein (p-tau). NFTs are also a defining feature of other neurodegenerative disorders and have recently been identified in the brains of patients suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). However, NFTs are not normally observed in traumatic brain injury (TBI) until months or years after injury. This raises the question of whether NFTs are a cause or a consequence of long-term neurodegeneration following TBI. Two conformations of phosphorylated tau, cis p-tau and trans p-tau, which are regulated by the peptidyl-prolyl isomerase Pin1, have been previously identified. By generating a polyclonal and monoclonal antibody (Ab) pair capable of distinguishing between cis and trans isoforms of p-tau (cis p-tau and trans p-tau, respectively), cis p-tau was identified as a precursor of tau pathology and an early driver of neurodegeneration in AD, TBI and CTE. Histological studies shows the appearance of robust cis p-tau in the early stages of human mild cognitive impairment (MCI), AD and CTE brains, as well as after sport- and military-related TBI. Notably, cis p-tau appears within hours after closed head injury and long before other known pathogenic p-tau conformations including oligomers, pre-fibrillary tangles and NFTs. Importantly, cis p-tau monoclonal antibody treatment not only eliminates cis p-tau induction and tau pathology, but also restores many neuropathological and functional outcome in TBI mouse models. Thus, cis p-tau is an early driver of tau pathology in TBI and CTE and detection of cis p-tau in human bodily fluids could potentially provide new diagnostic and prognostic tools. Furthermore, humanization of the cis p-tau antibody could ultimately be developed as a new treatment for AD, TBI and CTE.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s13578-016-0124-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000389280400001

    View details for PubMedID 27980715

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5139118

  • Ablation of hippocampal neurogenesis in mice impairs the response to stress during the dark cycle NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Tsai, C., Tsai, C., Arnold, S. J., Huang, G. 2015; 6


    The functional role of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus remains the subject of intense speculation. One recent hypothesis is that adult-born neurons contribute to the endocrine and behavioural outputs of the stress response. Here we show a genetic model system to ablate neurogenesis by inducibly deleting Tbr2 gene function specifically in the hippocampus and corroborate our findings in a radiation-based model of neurogenesis deprivation. We found that mice with ablation of new neurons in the dentate gyrus exhibit reduced anxiety during the dark cycle. After restraint stress, corticosterone levels in neurogenesis-deficient mice decreased more quickly than controls and were more sensitive to suppression by dexamethasone. Furthermore, glucocorticoid receptor target genes and neuronal activity markers showed reduced expression after stress in neurogenesis-deficient mice. These findings suggest that newborn neurons in the hippocampus are involved in sensing and eliciting an appropriate response to stress.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms9373

    View details for Web of Science ID 000363135500001

    View details for PubMedID 26415720

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4598562

  • Ectopic Cerebellar Cell Migration Causes Maldevelopment of Purkinje Cells and Abnormal Motor Behaviour in Cxcr4 Null Mice PLOS ONE Huang, G., Edwards, A., Tsai, C., Lee, Y., Peng, L., Era, T., Hirabayashi, Y., Tsai, C., Nishikawa, S., Iwakura, Y., Chen, S., Flint, J. 2014; 9 (2)


    SDF-1/CXCR4 signalling plays an important role in neuronal cell migration and brain development. However, the impact of CXCR4 deficiency in the postnatal mouse brain is still poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate the importance of CXCR4 on cerebellar development and motor behaviour by conditional inactivation of Cxcr4 in the central nervous system. We found CXCR4 plays a key role in cerebellar development. Its loss leads to defects in Purkinje cell dentritogenesis and axonal projection in vivo but not in cell culture. Transcriptome analysis revealed the most significantly affected pathways in the Cxcr4 deficient developing cerebellum are involved in extra cellular matrix receptor interactions and focal adhesion. Consistent with functional impairment of the cerebellum, Cxcr4 knockout mice have poor coordination and balance performance in skilled motor tests. Together, these results suggest ectopic the migration of granule cells impairs development of Purkinje cells, causes gross cerebellar anatomical disruption and leads to behavioural motor defects in Cxcr4 null mice.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0086471

    View details for Web of Science ID 000330834400010

    View details for PubMedID 24516532

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3917845

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