Angioglioneurinas y enriquecimiento ambiental, potenciando la neuroprotección

Jose-Vicente Lafuente, C. Requejo, H. Bengoetxea, N. Ortuzar, S. Bulnes


The term angioneurins has recently been proposed to name molecules with neuroprotective, neurogenic, neurotrophic and angiogenic effects. They induce a variety of cellular responses, not only in neuronal and vascular cells, but also in glial cells. These molecules play a pivotal role in the development of the Central Nervous System and in maintenance of the optimal conditions for the survival of nervous cells in adults. They take part in the protection, division and proliferation of neuronal, glial and endothelial cells. Among the most important angioneurins are: the proangiogenic factor VEGF, the neurotrophin BDNF, IGF-I and the glycoprotein EPO. A decrease in the expression of angioneurins was found in aging and in pathological conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, traumatic brain injuries and ischemia. The administration of these molecules acts as a CNS restorer, but to obtain beneficial effects, the via of administration must be taken into account. As their actions involve all the elements of the neurogliovascular unit as well as the unit as a whole, here we propose the term angioglioneurins to define molecules acting on the three molecules of the neurogliovascular unit, and on the functional unit of the CNS.

Environmental enrichment, defined as the combination of complex inanimate and social stimulation, improves brain function in health and disease, including morphological, physiological and behavioural changes at all levels of the neurogliovascular unit. These changes include the increase of neuronal activity and plasticity, of the glial population, of structure and function and of angioarchitecture and of maturation of the microvascular network. In addition, rearing in complex environments accelerates the beginning of the critical period, reduces physiological age-related cognitive impairment and protects against behavioural disfunctions such as drug addiction.

In disease, beneficial effects of environmental enrichment include functional recovery from and prevention of neurodegenerative, traumatic, ischemic and even tumoral diseases. These effects are attributed, in part, to an increase of angioglioneurin production and release.

In conclusion, exposure to an enriched environment implies an enhancement of angioglioneurin expression that could improve the evolution of most brain diseases. The combination of administration of angioglioneurins and environmental enrichment may be a promising therapeutic strategy for brain restoration if some side effects of the combination are avoided.

Palabras clave

angioglioneurinas, cerebro, alzheimer

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