Neurological and Inflammatory Effects of Radio Frequency and Cryoablation in a Rat Sciatic Nerve Model of Submucosal Nerve Ablation

Kawasi Lett, Yuying Zhang, Nozomi Nishimura

American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy (2022)

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Background: Minimally-invasive ablation with radio frequency (RF) and cryoablation have been widely adopted to treat conditions with aberrant neural activity such as excessive mucus production in rhinitis, but neurological and inflammatory effects on treated tissues are poorly understood. Objective: To gain an understanding of the physiological changes caused by nerve ablation using RF and cryoablation devices. Methods: Using clinical devices for rhinitis treatment that ablate nerves with access from the nasal cavity, we applied temperature-controlled RF and cryoablation to rat sciatic nerves. To model the ablation through mucosal tissue similarly to the rhinitis procedure, RF ablation and cryoablation were applied through a layer of muscle. Results: Both ablation techniques induced acute and sustained neurodegeneration visualized with histological sections at two days and one month after treatment. After both treatments, rats showed a change in muscle tone, but small increases in sensitivity measured by a von Frey test were only observed 2 days after cryoablation and one month after the RF ablation. Both treatments caused reductions in nerve conduction velocity at one month after treatment. Inflammation in treated nerves and surrounding tissues that persisted to one month. Conclusions: The two neurolytic devices used in the clinic work similarly by axonal disintegration and which leads to disruption of electrical signals. The data suggest that these methods are effective methods of nerve ablation that could be used to treat diseases related to elevated neuron activity such as rhinitis.

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VEGF signalling causes stalls in brain capillaries and reduces cerebral blood flow in Alzheimer’s mice

Muhammad Ali, Kaja Falkenhain, Brendah N Njiru, Muhammad Murtaza-Ali, Nancy E Ruiz-Uribe, Mohammad Haft-Javaherian, Stall Catchers, Nozomi Nishimura, Chris B Schaffer, Oliver Bracko

Brain (2022)

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Increased incidence of stalled capillary blood flow caused by adhesion of leucocytes to the brain microvascular endothelium leads to a 17% reduction of cerebral blood flow (CBF) and exacerbates short-term memory loss in multiple mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. Here, we report that Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) signaling at the luminal side of the brain microvasculature plays an integral role in the capillary stalling phenomenon of the APP/PS1 mouse model. Administration of the anti-mouse VEGF-A164 antibody, an isoform that inhibits blood brain barrier (BBB) hyperpermeability, reduced the number of stalled capillaries within an hour of injection, leading to an immediate increase in average capillary blood flow but not capillary diameter. VEGF-A inhibition also reduced the overall eNOS protein concentrations, increased occludin levels, and decreased the penetration of circulating Evans Blue dye across the BBB into the brain parenchyma, suggesting increased BBB integrity. Capillaries prone to neutrophil adhesion after anti-VEGF-A treatment also had lower occludin concentrations than flowing capillaries. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that VEGF-A signaling in APP/PS1 mice contributes to aberrant eNOS/occludin- associated BBB permeability, increases the incidence of capillary stalls, and leads to reductions in CBF. Reducing leucocyte adhesion by inhibiting luminal VEGF signaling may provide a novel and well-tolerated strategy for improving brain microvascular blood flow in Alzheimer’s disease. patients.

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