All Publications

  • Protein Composition Changes in Manufactured Penaeus aztecus Shrimp Powder Chinthrajah, S., Johansson, J., Woch, M., Conn, T., Chen, E., Long, A., Lyu, S., Kumar, D., Sindher, S., Nadeau, K. MOSBY-ELSEVIER. 2020: AB226
  • Peripheral complement interactions with amyloid ? peptide in Alzheimer's disease: Polymorphisms, structure, and function of complement receptor 1. Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association Johansson, J. U., Brubaker, W. D., Javitz, H., Bergen, A. W., Nishita, D., Trigunaite, A., Crane, A., Ceballos, J., Mastroeni, D., Tenner, A. J., Sabbagh, M., Rogers, J. 2018; 14 (11): 1438?49


    Genome-wide association studies consistently show that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the complement receptor 1 (CR1) gene modestly but significantly alter Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. Follow-up research has assumed that CR1 is expressed in the human brain despite a paucity of evidence for its function there. Alternatively, erythrocytes contain >80% of the body's CR1, where, in primates, it is known to bind circulating pathogens.Multidisciplinary methods were employed.Conventional Western blots and quantitative polymerase chain reaction failed to detect CR1 in the human brain. Brain immunohistochemistry revealed only vascular CR1. By contrast, erythrocyte CR1 immunoreactivity was readily observed and was significantly deficient in AD, as was CR1-mediated erythrocyte capture of circulating amyloid ? peptide. CR1 SNPs associated with decreased erythrocyte CR1 increased AD risk, whereas a CR1 SNP associated with increased erythrocyte CR1 decreased AD risk.SNP effects on erythrocyte CR1 likely underlie the association of CR1 polymorphisms with AD risk.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jalz.2018.04.003

    View details for PubMedID 29792870

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6231989

  • Peripheral complement interactions with amyloid ? peptide in Alzheimer's disease: 2. Relationship to amyloid ? immunotherapy. Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association Crane, A., Brubaker, W. D., Johansson, J. U., Trigunaite, A., Ceballos, J., Bradt, B., Glavis-Bloom, C., Wallace, T. L., Tenner, A. J., Rogers, J. 2018; 14 (2): 243?52


    Our previous studies have shown that amyloid ? peptide (A?) is subject to complement-mediated clearance from the peripheral circulation, and that this mechanism is deficient in Alzheimer's disease. The mechanism should be enhanced by A? antibodies that form immune complexes (ICs) with A?, and therefore may be relevant to current A? immunotherapy approaches.Multidisciplinary methods were employed to demonstrate enhanced complement-mediated capture of A? antibody immune complexes compared with A? alone in both erythrocytes and THP1-derived macrophages.A? antibodies dramatically increased complement activation and opsonization of A?, followed by commensurately enhanced A? capture by human erythrocytes and macrophages. These in vitro findings were consistent with enhanced peripheral clearance of intravenously administered A? antibody immune complexes in nonhuman primates.Together with our previous results, showing significant Alzheimer's disease deficits in peripheral A? clearance, the present findings strongly suggest that peripheral mechanisms should not be ignored as contributors to the effects of A? immunotherapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jalz.2017.04.015

    View details for PubMedID 28755839

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5881571

  • Peripheral complement interactions with amyloid ? peptide: Erythrocyte clearance mechanisms. Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association Brubaker, W. D., Crane, A., Johansson, J. U., Yen, K., Garfinkel, K., Mastroeni, D., Asok, P., Bradt, B., Sabbagh, M., Wallace, T. L., Glavis-Bloom, C., Tenner, A. J., Rogers, J. 2017; 13 (12): 1397?1409


    Although amyloid ? peptide (A?) is cleared from the brain to cerebrospinal fluid and the peripheral circulation, mechanisms for its removal from blood remain unresolved. Primates have uniquely evolved a highly effective peripheral clearance mechanism for pathogens, immune adherence, in which erythrocyte complement receptor 1 (CR1) plays a major role.Multidisciplinary methods were used to demonstrate immune adherence capture of A? by erythrocytes and its deficiency in Alzheimer's disease (AD).A? was shown to be subject to immune adherence at every step in the pathway. A? dose-dependently activated serum complement. Complement-opsonized A? was captured by erythrocytes via CR1. Erythrocytes, A?, and hepatic Kupffer cells were colocalized in the human liver. Significant deficits in erythrocyte A? levels were found in AD and mild cognitive impairment patients.CR1 polymorphisms elevate AD risk, and >80% of human CR1 is vested in erythrocytes to subserve immune adherence. The present results suggest that this pathway is pathophysiologically relevant in AD.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jalz.2017.03.010

    View details for PubMedID 28475854

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5880643

  • Anti-Inflammatory and Neuroprotective Effects of PGE2 EP4 Signaling in Models of Parkinson's Disease. Journal of neuroimmune pharmacology Pradhan, S. S., Salinas, K., Garduno, A. C., Johansson, J. U., Wang, Q., Manning-Bog, A., Andreasson, K. I. 2016: -?


    Inflammation is a ubiquitous factor accompanying normal aging and neurodegeneration, and recent studies indicate a major contribution of inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and its downstream prostaglandin signaling pathways in modulating neuroinflammatory responses and neuronal function. We have previously shown that the prostaglandin PGE2 receptor EP4 suppresses innate immune responses in models of systemic inflammation. Here we investigated the role of the EP4 receptor in models of Parkinson's disease (PD). Systemic co-administration of the EP4 agonist ONO-AE1-329 with the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) prevented loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) without significant changes in glial activation, suggesting a potent neuroprotective effect of EP4 signaling in this acute model of DA neuronal loss. Cell-specific conditional ablation of EP4 in Cd11bCre;EP4(lox/lox) mice exacerbated MPTP-associated glial activation and T-cell infiltration in SNpc, consistent with anti-inflammatory functions of microglial EP4 signaling. In vitro, in primary microglia stimulated with oligomeric ?-synuclein, EP4 receptor activation suppressed generation of pro-inflammatory and oxidative stress factors. Taken together, these findings suggest a dual neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory mechanism of action by the EP4 receptor in models of PD.

    View details for PubMedID 27734267

  • Microarray analysis of the in vivo response of microglia to Aß peptides in mice with conditional deletion of the prostaglandin EP2 receptor. Genomics data Johansson, J. U., Woodling, N. S., Brown, H. D., Wang, Q., Andreasson, K. I. 2015; 5: 268-271


    Amyloid-? (A?) peptides accumulate in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), where they generate a persistent inflammatory response from microglia, the innate immune cells of the brain. The immune modulatory cyclooxygenase/prostaglandin E2 (COX/PGE2) pathway has been implicated in preclinical AD development, both in human epidemiology studies(1) and in transgenic rodent models of AD(2, 3). PGE2 signals through four G-protein-coupled receptors, including the EP2 receptor that has been investigated for its role in mediating the inflammatory and phagocytic responses to A?(4). To identify transcriptional differences in microglia lacking the EP2 receptor, we examined mice with EP2 conditionally deleted in Cd11b-expressing immune cells. We injected A? peptides or saline vehicle into the brains of adult mice, isolated primary microglia, and analyzed RNA expression by microarray. The resulting datasets were analyzed in two studies(5, 6), one describing the basal status of microglia with or without EP2 deletion, and the second study analyzing the microglial response to A?. Here we describe in detail the experimental design and data analyses. The raw data from these studies are deposited in GEO, accession GSE57181 (

    View details for PubMedID 26251825

  • Signaling in Models of Alzheimer's Disease. Current immunology reviews Johansson, J. U., Woodling, N. S., Shi, J., Andreasson, K. I. 2015; 11 (2): 125-131


    The inflammatory response is a fundamental driving force in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the setting of accumulating immunogenic Aß peptide assemblies, microglia, the innate immune cells of the brain, generate a non-resolving immune response and fail to adequately clear accumulating Aß peptides, accelerating neuronal and synaptic injury. Pathological, biomarker, and imaging studies point to a prominent role of the innate immune response in AD development, and the molecular components of this response are beginning to be unraveled. The inflammatory cyclooxygenase-PGE2 pathway is implicated in pre-clinical development of AD, both in epidemiology of normal aging populations and in transgenic mouse models of Familial AD. The cyclooxygenase-PGE2 pathway modulates the inflammatory response to accumulating Aß peptides through actions of specific E-prostanoid G-protein coupled receptors.

    View details for DOI 10.2174/1573395511666150707181414

    View details for PubMedID 28413375

  • Suppression of Alzheimer-Associated Inflammation by Microglial Prostaglandin-E-2 EP4 Receptor Signaling JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Woodling, N. S., Wang, Q., Priyam, P. G., Larkin, P., Shi, J., Johansson, J. U., Zagol-Ikapitte, I., Boutaud, O., Andreasson, K. I. 2014; 34 (17): 5882-5894


    A persistent and nonresolving inflammatory response to accumulating A? peptide species is a cardinal feature in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In response to accumulating A? peptide species, microglia, the innate immune cells of the brain, generate a toxic inflammatory response that accelerates synaptic and neuronal injury. Many proinflammatory signaling pathways are linked to progression of neurodegeneration. However, endogenous anti-inflammatory pathways capable of suppressing A?-induced inflammation represent a relatively unexplored area. Here we report that signaling through the prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2) EP4 receptor potently suppresses microglial inflammatory responses to A?42 peptides. In cultured microglial cells, EP4 stimulation attenuated levels of A?42-induced inflammatory factors and potentiated phagocytosis of A?42. Microarray analysis demonstrated that EP4 stimulation broadly opposed A?42-driven gene expression changes in microglia, with enrichment for targets of IRF1, IRF7, and NF-?B transcription factors. In vivo, conditional deletion of microglial EP4 in APPSwe-PS1?E9 (APP-PS1) mice conversely increased inflammatory gene expression, oxidative protein modification, and A? deposition in brain at early stages of pathology, but not at later stages, suggesting an early anti-inflammatory function of microglial EP4 signaling in the APP-PS1 model. Finally, EP4 receptor levels decreased significantly in human cortex with progression from normal to AD states, suggesting that early loss of this beneficial signaling system in preclinical AD development may contribute to subsequent progression of pathology.

    View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0410-14.2014

    View details for Web of Science ID 000334929100016

    View details for PubMedID 24760848

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3996215

  • 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 PubMedID 24089506

  • Inflammatory prostaglandin E2 signaling in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease ANNALS OF NEUROLOGY Shi, J., Wang, Q., Johansson, J. U., Liang, X., Woodling, N. S., Priyam, P., Loui, T. M., Merchant, M., Breyer, R. M., Montine, T. J., Andreasson, K. 2012; 72 (5): 788-798


    There is significant evidence for a central role of inflammation in the development of Alzheimer disease (AD). Epidemiological studies indicate that chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk of developing AD in healthy aging populations. As NSAIDs inhibit the enzymatic activity of the inflammatory cyclooxygenases COX-1 and COX-2, these findings suggest that downstream prostaglandin signaling pathways function in the preclinical development of AD. Here, we investigate the function of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2) ) signaling through its EP3 receptor in the neuroinflammatory response to A? peptide.The function of PGE(2) signaling through its EP3 receptor was examined in vivo in a model of subacute neuroinflammation induced by administration of A?(42) peptides. Our findings were then confirmed in young adult APPSwe-PS1?E9 transgenic mice.Deletion of the PGE(2) EP3 receptor in a model of A?(42) peptide-induced neuroinflammation reduced proinflammatory gene expression, cytokine production, and oxidative stress. In the APPSwe-PS1?E9 model of familial AD, deletion of the EP3 receptor blocked induction of proinflammatory gene and protein expression and lipid peroxidation. In addition, levels of A? peptides were significantly decreased, as were ?-secretase and ? C-terminal fragment levels, suggesting that generation of A? peptides may be increased as a result of proinflammatory EP3 signaling. Finally, deletion of EP3 receptor significantly reversed the decline in presynaptic proteins seen in APPSwe-PS1?E9 mice.Our findings identify the PGE(2) EP3 receptor as a novel proinflammatory, proamyloidogenic, and synaptotoxic signaling pathway, and suggest a role for COX-PGE(2) -EP3 signaling in the development of AD.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/ana.23677

    View details for Web of Science ID 000312940300017

    View details for PubMedID 22915243

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3509238

  • Munc18-1 and Munc18-2 Proteins Modulate beta-Cell Ca2+ Sensitivity and Kinetics of Insulin Exocytosis Differently JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Mandic, S. A., Skelin, M., Johansson, J. U., Rupnik, M. S., Berggren, P., Bark, C. 2011; 286 (32): 28026-28040


    Fast neurotransmission and slower hormone release share the same core fusion machinery consisting of SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) proteins. In evoked neurotransmission, interactions between SNAREs and the Munc18-1 protein, a member of the Sec1/Munc18 (SM) protein family, are essential for exocytosis, whereas other SM proteins are dispensable. To address if the exclusivity of Munc18-1 demonstrated in neuroexocytosis also applied to fast insulin secretion, we characterized the presence and function of Munc18-1 and its closest homologue Munc18-2 in ?-cell stimulus-secretion coupling. We show that pancreatic ?-cells express both Munc18-1 and Munc18-2. The two Munc18 homologues exhibit different subcellular localization, and only Munc18-1 redistributes in response to glucose stimulation. However, both Munc18-1 and Munc18-2 augment glucose-stimulated hormone release. Ramp-like photorelease of caged Ca(2+) and high resolution whole-cell patch clamp recordings show that Munc18-1 and Munc18-2 overexpression shift the Ca(2+) sensitivity of the fastest phase of insulin exocytosis differently. In addition, we reveal that Ca(2+) sensitivity of exocytosis in ?-cells depends on the phosphorylation status of the Munc18 proteins. Even though Munc18-1 emerges as the key SM-protein determining the Ca(2+) threshold for triggering secretory activity in a stimulated ?-cell, Munc18-2 has the ability to increase Ca(2+) sensitivity and thus mediates the release of fusion-competent granules requiring a lower cytoplasmic-free Ca(2+) concentration, [Ca(2+)](i)(.) Hence, Munc18-1 and Munc18-2 display distinct subcellular compartmentalization and can coordinate the insulin exocytotic process differently as a consequence of the actual [Ca(2+)](i).

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.235366

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293557800021

    View details for PubMedID 21690086

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3151048

  • The Prostaglandin E-2 E-Prostanoid 4 Receptor Exerts Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Brain Innate Immunity JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Shi, J., Johansson, J., Woodling, N. S., Wang, Q., Montine, T. J., Andreasson, K. 2010; 184 (12): 7207-7218


    Peripheral inflammation leads to immune responses in brain characterized by microglial activation, elaboration of proinflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species, and secondary neuronal injury. The inducible cyclooxygenase (COX), COX-2, mediates a significant component of this response in brain via downstream proinflammatory PG signaling. In this study, we investigated the function of the PGE2 E-prostanoid (EP) 4 receptor in the CNS innate immune response to the bacterial endotoxin LPS. We report that PGE2 EP4 signaling mediates an anti-inflammatory effect in brain by blocking LPS-induced proinflammatory gene expression in mice. This was associated in cultured murine microglial cells with decreased Akt and I-kappaB kinase phosphorylation and decreased nuclear translocation of p65 and p50 NF-kappaB subunits. In vivo, conditional deletion of EP4 in macrophages and microglia increased lipid peroxidation and proinflammatory gene expression in brain and in isolated adult microglia following peripheral LPS administration. Conversely, EP4 selective agonist decreased LPS-induced proinflammatory gene expression in hippocampus and in isolated adult microglia. In plasma, EP4 agonist significantly reduced levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, indicating that peripheral EP4 activation protects the brain from systemic inflammation. The innate immune response is an important component of disease progression in a number of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In addition, recent studies demonstrated adverse vascular effects with chronic administration of COX-2 inhibitors, indicating that specific PG signaling pathways may be protective in vascular function. This study supports an analogous and beneficial effect of PGE2 EP4 receptor signaling in suppressing brain inflammation.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.0903487

    View details for Web of Science ID 000278516700071

    View details for PubMedID 20483760

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3103215

  • An ancient duplication of exon 5 in the Snap25 gene is required for complex neuronal development/function. PLoS Genetics Ericsson J, Janson J, Beraki S, Stanic D, Mandic SA, Wikstrom MA, Hokfelt T, Ogren SO, Rozell B, Berggren PO, Bark C, Johansson JU 2008; 4 (11): e1000278
  • Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 activators p35 and p39 facilitate formation of functional synapses MOLECULAR BRAIN RESEARCH Johansson, J. U., Lilja, L., Chen, X. L., HIGASHIDA, H., Meister, B., Noda, M., Zhong, Z. G., Yokoyama, S., Berggren, P. O., Bark, C. 2005; 138 (2): 215-227


    Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) has emerged as a key coordinator of cell signaling in neurite outgrowth. Cdk5 needs to associate with one of the regulatory proteins p35 or p39 to be an active enzyme. To investigate if Cdk5 plays a role in the establishment of functional synapses, we have characterized the expression of Cdk5, p35, and p39 in the neuroblastoma-glioma cell line NG108-15, and recorded postsynaptic activity in myotubes in response to presynaptic overexpression of Cdk5, p35, and p39. Endogenous Cdk5 and p35 protein levels increased with cellular differentiation and preferentially distributed to soluble pools, whereas the level of p39 protein remained low and primarily was present in membrane and cytoskeletal fractions. Transient transfection of a dominant-negative mutant of Cdk5 in NG108-15 cells and subsequent culturing on differentiating muscle cells resulted in a significant reduction in synaptic activity, as measured by postsynaptic miniature endplate potentials (mEPPs). Overexpression of either Cdk5/p35 or Cdk5/p39 resulted in a substantial increase in synaptic structures that displayed postsynaptic activities, as well as mEPP frequency. These findings demonstrate that Cdk5, p35, and p39 are endogenously expressed in NG108-15 cells, exhibit distinct subcellular localizations, and that both Cdk5/p35 and Cdk5/p39 are central in formation of functional synapses.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molbrainres.2005.04.014

    View details for Web of Science ID 000231475800013

    View details for PubMedID 15908038

  • Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 associated with p39 promotes Munc18-1 phosphorylation and Ca2+-dependent exocytosis JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Lilja, L., Johansson, J. U., Gromada, J., Mandic, S. A., Fried, G., Berggren, P. O., Bark, C. 2004; 279 (28): 29534-29541


    Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is a proline-directed serine/threonine protein kinase that requires association with a regulatory protein, p35 or p39, to form an active enzyme. Munc18-1 plays an essential role in membrane fusion, and its function is regulated by phosphorylation. We report here that both p35 and p39 were expressed in insulin-secreting beta-cells, where they exhibited individual subcellular distributions and associated with membranous organelles of different densities. Overexpression of Cdk5, p35, or p39 showed that Cdk5 and p39 augmented Ca(2+)-induced insulin exocytosis. Suppression of p39 and Cdk5, but not of p35, by antisense oligonucleotides selectively inhibited insulin exocytosis. Transient transfection of primary beta-cells with Munc18-1 templates mutated in potential Cdk5 or PKC phosphorylation sites, in combination with Cdk5 and the different Cdk5 activators, suggested that Cdk5/p39-promoted Ca(2+)-dependent insulin secretion from primary beta-cells by phosphorylating Munc18-1 at a biochemical step immediately prior to vesicle fusion.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M312711200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000222445300087

    View details for PubMedID 15123626

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