Sample records for chlorpyrifos-oxon inhibit axonal

  1. Inhibition of recombinant human carboxylesterase 1 and 2 and monoacylglycerol lipase by chlorpyrifos oxon, paraoxon and methyl paraoxon

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    Crow, J. Allen; Bittles, Victoria; Herring, Katye L.; Borazjani, Abdolsamad [Center for Environmental Health Sciences, Department of Basic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762 (United States); Potter, Philip M. [Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, St. Jude Children' s Research Hospital, 332 N. Lauderdale, Memphis, TN 38105 (United States); Ross, Matthew K., E-mail: [Center for Environmental Health Sciences, Department of Basic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762 (United States)


    Oxons are the bioactivated metabolites of organophosphorus insecticides formed via cytochrome P450 monooxygenase-catalyzed desulfuration of the parent compound. Oxons react covalently with the active site serine residue of serine hydrolases, thereby inactivating the enzyme. A number of serine hydrolases other than acetylcholinesterase, the canonical target of oxons, have been reported to react with and be inhibited by oxons. These off-target serine hydrolases include carboxylesterase 1 (CES1), CES2, and monoacylglycerol lipase. Carboxylesterases (CES, EC metabolize a number of xenobiotic and endobiotic compounds containing ester, amide, and thioester bonds and are important in the metabolism of many pharmaceuticals. Monoglyceride lipase (MGL, EC hydrolyzes monoglycerides including the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). The physiological consequences and toxicity related to the inhibition of off-target serine hydrolases by oxons due to chronic, low level environmental exposures are poorly understood. Here, we determined the potency of inhibition (IC{sub 50} values; 15 min preincubation, enzyme and inhibitor) of recombinant CES1, CES2, and MGL by chlorpyrifos oxon, paraoxon and methyl paraoxon. The order of potency for these three oxons with CES1, CES2, and MGL was chlorpyrifos oxon > paraoxon > methyl paraoxon, although the difference in potency for chlorpyrifos oxon with CES1 and CES2 did not reach statistical significance. We also determined the bimolecular rate constants (k{sub inact}/K{sub I}) for the covalent reaction of chlorpyrifos oxon, paraoxon and methyl paraoxon with CES1 and CES2. Consistent with the results for the IC{sub 50} values, the order of reactivity for each of the three oxons with CES1 and CES2 was chlorpyrifos oxon > paraoxon > methyl paraoxon. The bimolecular rate constant for the reaction of chlorpyrifos oxon with MGL was also determined and was less than the values determined for chlorpyrifos oxon with CES1

  2. Chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos oxon impair the transport of membrane bound organelles in rat cortical axons. (United States)

    Gao, Jie; Naughton, Sean X; Beck, Wayne D; Hernandez, Caterina M; Wu, Guangyu; Wei, Zhe; Yang, Xiangkun; Bartlett, Michael G; Terry, Alvin V


    Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is an extensively used organophosphorus pesticide that has recently come under increasing scrutiny due to environmental health concerns particularly its association with neurodevelopmental defects. While the insecticidal actions and acute toxicity of CPF are attributed to its oxon metabolite (CPO) which potently inhibits the cholinergic enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), there is significant evidence that CPF, CPO, and other organophosphates may affect a variety of neuronal targets and processes that are not directly related to AChE. Previously, in adult rat sciatic nerves ex vivo and postnatal neurons from rats in vitro we observed that CPF and CPO impaired the movements of vesicles and mitochondria in axons. Here, in embryonic neurons from rats in culture, we evaluated 24h exposures to CPF and CPO across picomolar to micromolar concentrations for effects on fast axonal transport of membrane bound organelles (MBOs) that contained the amyloid precursor protein (APP) tagged with the fluorescent marker, Dendra2 (APPDendra2). The most notable observations of this study were concentration-dependent decreases in the velocity and percentage of MBOs moving in the anterograde direction, an increase in the number of stationary MBOs, and an increased frequency of pauses associated with both CPF and CPO. These effects occurred at concentrations that did not significantly inhibit AChE activity, they were not blocked by cholinergic receptor antagonists, and they were not associated with compromised cell viability. These effects of CPF and CPO may be significant given the importance of axonal transport to neuronal development as well the function of fully developed neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Comparison of Chlorpyrifos-Oxon and Paraoxon Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition Dynamics: Potential role of a peripheral binding site

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    Kousba, Ahmed A.; Sultatos, L G.; Poet, Torka S.; Timchalk, Chuck


    The primary mechanism of action for organophosphorus (OP) insecticides involves the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) by oxygenated metabolites (oxons). This inhibition has been attributed to the phosphorylation of the serine hydroxyl group located in the active site of the AChE molecule. The rate of phosphorylation is described by the bimolecular inhibitory rate constant (ki), which has been utilized for quantification of OP inhibitory capacity. It has been previously proposed that a peripheral binding site exists on the AChE molecule, which when occupied, reduces the capacity of additional oxon molecules to phosphorylate the active site. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the interaction of chlorpyrifos oxon (CPO) and paraoxon (PO) with rat brain AChE using a modified Ellman assay in conjunction with a pharmacodynamic model to further assess the dynamics of AChE inhibition and the potential role of a peripheral binding site. The ki for AChE inhibition determined at oxon concentrations of 5 x 10{sup -4} 100 nM were 0.212 and 0.0216 nM-1h-1 for CPO and PO, respectively. The spontaneous reactivation rates of the inhibited AChE for CPO and PO were 0.087 and 0.078 h-1, respectively. In contrast, the ki estimated at a low oxon concentration (1 pM) were {approx} 1,000 and 10,000 -fold higher than those determined at high CPO and PO concentrations, respectively. At these low concentrations, the ki estimates were approximately similar for both CPO and PO (180 and 250 nM-1h-1, respectively). This implies that at low exposure concentrations, both oxons exhibited similar inhibitory potency in contrast to the marked difference exhibited at higher concentrations, which is consistent with the presence of a peripheral binding site on the AChE enzyme. These results support the potential importance of a secondary binding site associated with AChE kinetics, particularly at low environmentally relevant concentrations.

  4. Effects of sub-lethal neurite outgrowth inhibitory concentrations of chlorpyrifos oxon on cytoskeletal proteins and acetylcholinesterase in differentiating N2a cells

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    Flaskos, J., E-mail: [Laboratory of Biochemistry and Toxicology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki (Greece); Nikolaidis, E. [Laboratory of Biochemistry and Toxicology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki (Greece); Harris, W. [School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Lane, Nottingham NG11 8NS (United Kingdom); Sachana, M. [Laboratory of Biochemistry and Toxicology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki (Greece); Hargreaves, A.J., E-mail: [School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Lane, Nottingham NG11 8NS (United Kingdom)


    Previous work in our laboratory has shown that sub-lethal concentrations (1-10 {mu}M) of chlorpyrifos (CPF), diazinon (DZ) and diazinon oxon (DZO) inhibit the outgrowth of axon-like neurites in differentiating mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells concomitant with altered levels and/or phosphorylation state of axonal cytoskeleton and growth-associated proteins. The aim of the present work was to determine whether chlorpyrifos oxon (CPO) was capable of inhibiting N2a cell differentiation in a similar manner. Using experimental conditions similar to our previous work, sub-lethal concentrations (1-10 {mu}M) of CPO were found to inhibit N2a cell differentiation. However, unlike previous studies with DZ and DZO, there was a high level of sustained inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in CPO treated cells. Impairment of neurite outgrowth was also associated with reduced levels of growth associated protein-43 and neurofilament heavy chain (NFH), and the distribution of NFH in cells stained by indirect immunofluorescence was disrupted. However, in contrast to previous findings for DZO, the absolute level of phosphorylated NFH was unaffected by CPO exposure. Taken together, the findings suggest that sub-lethal concentrations of CPO inhibit axon outgrowth in differentiating N2a cells and that this effect involves reduced levels of two proteins that play key roles in axon outgrowth and maintenance. Although the inhibition of neurite outgrowth is unlikely to involve AChE inhibition directly, further work will help to determine whether the persistent inhibition of AChE by CPO can account for the different effects induced by CPO and DZO on the levels of total and phosphorylated NFH. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Sub-lethal levels of chlorpyrifos oxon inhibit neurite outgrowth in N2a cells Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Acetylcholinesterase exhibits sustained inhibition throughout exposure Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The levels of neurofilament heavy chain and GAP-43

  5. Extreme variability in the formation of chlorpyrifos oxon (CPO) in patients poisoned by chlorpyrifos (CPF). (United States)

    Eyer, Florian; Roberts, Darren M; Buckley, Nicholas A; Eddleston, Michael; Thiermann, Horst; Worek, Franz; Eyer, Peter


    Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is a pesticide that causes tens of thousands of deaths per year worldwide. Chlorpyrifos oxon (CPO) is the active metabolite of CPF that inhibits acetylcholinesterase. However, this presumed metabolite has escaped detection in human samples by conventional methods (HPLC, GC-MS, LC-MS) until now. A recently developed enzyme-based assay allowed the determination of CPO in the nanomolar range and was successfully employed to detect this metabolite. CPO and CPF were analysed in consecutive plasma samples of 74 patients with intentional CPF poisoning. A wide concentration range of CPO and CPF was observed and the ratio of CPO/CPF varied considerably between individuals and over time. The ratio increased during the course of poisoning from a mean of 0.005 in the first few hours after ingestion up to an apparent steady-state mean of 0.03 between 30 and 72h. There was a hundred-fold variation in the ratio between samples and the interquartile range (between individuals) indicated over half the samples had a 5-fold or greater variation from the mean. The ratio was independent of the CPF concentration and the pralidoxime regimen. CPO was present in sufficient quantities to explain any observed acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity. The effectiveness of pralidoxime in reactivating the inhibited acetylcholinesterase is strongly dependent on the CPO concentration. Differences in clinical outcomes and the response to antidotes in patients with acute poisoning may occur due to inter-individual variability in metabolism.

  6. Tissue distribution, isozyme abundance and sensitivity to chlorpyrifos-oxon of carboxylesterases in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris

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    Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C. [Laboratory of Ecotoxicology, Faculty of Environmental Science, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avda. Carlos III, 45071 Toledo (Spain)], E-mail:; Wheelock, Craig E. [Division of Physiological Chemistry II, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, SE 171 77, Stockholm (Sweden)


    A laboratory-based study was conducted to determine the basal carboxylesterase (CbE) activity in different tissues of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris, and its sensitivity to the organophosphate (OP) pesticide chlorpyrifos-oxon (CPx). Carboxylesterase activity was found in the pharynx, crop, gizzard, anterior intestine, wall muscle and reproductive tissues of L. terrestris, and multiple tissue-specific isozymes were observed by native gel electrophoresis. Esterase activity and sensitivity to CPx inhibition varied on a tissue- and substrate-specific basis, suggesting isoforms-specific selectivity to OP-mediated inhibition. Three practical issues are recommended for the use of earthworm CbE activity as a biomarker of pesticide exposure: (i) CbE should be measured using several routine substrates, (ii) it should be determined in selected tissues instead of whole organism homogenate, and (iii) earthworm CbE activity should be used in conjuncture with other common biomarkers (e.g., ChE) within a multibiomarker approach to assess field exposure of OPs, and potentially other agrochemicals. - The measurement of carboxylesterase inhibition in earthworm is a sensitive and complementary biomarker of pesticide exposure.

  7. Toxicity of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos oxon in a transgenic mouse model of the human paraoxonase (PON1) Q192R polymorphism

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    Cole, Toby B.; Walter, Betsy J.; Shih, Diana M.; Tward, Aaron D.; Lusis, Aldons J.; Timchalk, Chuck; Richter, Rebecca J.; Costa, Lucio G.; Furlong, Clement E.


    The Q192R polymorphism of paraoxonase (PON1) has been shown to affect hydrolysis of organophosphorus compounds. The Q192 and R192 alloforms exhibit equivalent catalytic efficiencies of hydrolysis for diazoxon, the oxon form of the pesticide (DZ). However, the R192 alloform has a higher catalytic efficiency of hydrolysis than does the Q192 alloform for chlorpyrifos oxon (CPO), the oxon form of the pesticide chlorpyrifos (CPS). The current study examined the relevance of these observations for in-vivo exposures to chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos oxon. Methods Using a transgenic mouse model we examined the relevance of the Q192R polymorphism for exposure to CPS and CPO in vivo. Transgenic mice were generated that expressed either human PON1Q192 or PON1R192 at equivalent levels, in the absence of endogenous mouse PON1. Dose-response and time course experiments were performed on adult mice exposed dermally to CPS or CPO. Morbidity and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in the brain and diaphragm were determined in the first 24 h following exposure. Results Mice expressing PON1Q192 were significantly more sensitive to CPO, and to a lesser extent CPS, than were mice expressing PON1R192. The time course of inhibition following exposure to 1.2 mg/kg CPO revealed maximum inhibition of brain AChE at 6?12 h, with PON1R192, PON1Q192, and PON1? /? mice exhibiting 40, 70 and 85% inhibition, respectively, relative to control mice. The effect of PON1 removal on the dose?response curve for CPS exposure was remarkably consistent with a PBPK/PD model of CPS exposure. Conclusion These results indicate that individuals expressing only the PON1Q192 allele would be more sensitive to the adverse effects of CPO or CPS exposure, especially if they are expressing a low level of plasma PON1Q192.

  8. Characterization of the In Vitro Kinetic Interaction of Chlorpyrifos-Oxon with Rat Salivary Cholinesterase: A Potential Biomonitoring Matrix

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    Kousba, Ahmed A.(BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)); Poet, Torka S.(BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)); Timchalk, Charles (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)


    Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is a commonly used organophosphate insecticide (OP). The primary mechanism of action for CPF involves the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) by the active metabolite, CPF-oxon, with subsequent accumulation of acetylcholine (ACh) resulting in a wide range of neutotoxicity. CPF-oxon, can likewise inhibit other non-target cholinesterases (ChE) such as butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), which represents a detoxification mechanism and a potential biomarker of exposure/response. Biological monitoring for OPs has focused on measuring parent chemical or metabolite in blood and urine or blood ChE inhibition. Salivary biomonitoring has recently been explored as a practical method for examination of chemical exposure; however, there are a limited number of studies exploring its use for OPs. To evaluate the use of salivary ChE as a biological monitor for OP exposure, the current study characterized salivary ChE activity in Sprague-Dawley rats through its comparison with brain and plasma ChE using BW284C51 and iso-OMPA as selective inhibitors of AChE and BuChE, respectively. The study also estimated the kinetic constants describing BuChE interaction with CPF-oxon. A modified Ellman assay in conjunction with pharmacodynamic (PD) modeling was used to characterize the in vitro titration of diluted rat salivary ChE enzyme with CPF-oxon. The results indicated that, more than 95% of rat salivary ChE activity was associated with BuChE activity, total BuChE active site concentration was 0.0012 0.00013 nmol/ml saliva, reactivation rate constant (Kr) was 0.068 0.008 h-1 and inhibitory (Ki) rate constant of 8.825 and 9.80 nM-1h-1 determined experimentally and using model optimization respectively. These study results would be helpful for further evaluating the potential utility of salivary ChE as a practical tool for biological monitor of OP exposures.

  9. CSPGs inhibit axon branching by impairing mitochondria-dependent regulation of actin dynamics and axonal translation. (United States)

    Sainath, Rajiv; Ketschek, Andrea; Grandi, Leah; Gallo, Gianluca


    Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) inhibit the formation of axon collateral branches. The regulation of the axonal cytoskeleton and mitochondria are important components of the mechanism of branching. Actin-dependent axonal plasticity, reflected in the dynamics of axonal actin patches and filopodia, is greatest along segments of the axon populated by mitochondria. It is reported that CSPGs partially depolarize the membrane potential of axonal mitochondria, which impairs the dynamics of the axonal actin cytoskeleton and decreases the formation and duration of axonal filopodia, the first steps in the mechanism of branching. The effects of CSPGs on actin cytoskeletal dynamics are specific to axon segments populated by mitochondria. In contrast, CSPGs do not affect the microtubule content of axons, or the localization of microtubules into axonal filopodia, a required step in the mechanism of branch formation. It is also reported that CSPGs decrease the mitochondria-dependent axonal translation of cortactin, an actin associated protein involved in branching. Finally, the inhibitory effects of CSPGs on axon branching, actin cytoskeletal dynamics and the axonal translation of cortactin are reversed by culturing neurons with acetyl-l-carnitine, which promotes mitochondrial respiration. Collectively these data indicate that CSPGs impair mitochondrial function in axons, an effect which contributes to the inhibition of axon branching. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 419-437, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Fcγ receptor-mediated inflammation inhibits axon regeneration.

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    Gang Zhang

    Full Text Available Anti-glycan/ganglioside antibodies are the most common immune effectors found in patients with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which is a peripheral autoimmune neuropathy. We previously reported that disease-relevant anti-glycan autoantibodies inhibited axon regeneration, which echo the clinical association of these antibodies and poor recovery in Guillain-Barré Syndrome. However, the specific molecular and cellular elements involved in this antibody-mediated inhibition of axon regeneration are not previously defined. This study examined the role of Fcγ receptors and macrophages in the antibody-mediated inhibition of axon regeneration. A well characterized antibody passive transfer sciatic nerve crush and transplant models were used to study the anti-ganglioside antibody-mediated inhibition of axon regeneration in wild type and various mutant and transgenic mice with altered expression of specific Fcγ receptors and macrophage/microglia populations. Outcome measures included behavior, electrophysiology, morphometry, immunocytochemistry, quantitative real-time PCR, and western blotting. We demonstrate that the presence of autoantibodies, directed against neuronal/axonal cell surface gangliosides, in the injured mammalian peripheral nerves switch the proregenerative inflammatory environment to growth inhibitory milieu by engaging specific activating Fcγ receptors on recruited monocyte-derived macrophages to cause severe inhibition of axon regeneration. Our data demonstrate that the antibody orchestrated Fcγ receptor-mediated switch in inflammation is one mechanism underlying inhibition of axon regeneration. These findings have clinical implications for nerve repair and recovery in antibody-mediated immune neuropathies. Our results add to the complexity of axon regeneration in injured peripheral and central nervous systems as adverse effects of B cells and autoantibodies on neural injury and repair are increasingly recognized.

  11. Calpain Inhibition Reduces Axolemmal Leakage in Traumatic Axonal Injury

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    János Sándor


    Full Text Available Calcium-induced, calpain-mediated proteolysis (CMSP has recently been implicated to the pathogenesis of diffuse (traumatic axonal injury (TAI. Some studies suggested that subaxolemmal CMSP may contribute to axolemmal permeability (AP alterations observed in TAI. Seeking direct evidence for this premise we investigated whether subaxolemmal CMSP may contribute to axolemmal permeability alterations (APA and pre-injury calpain-inhibition could reduce AP in a rat model of TAI. Horseradish peroxidase (HRP, a tracer that accumulates in axons with APA was administered one hour prior to injury into the lateral ventricle; 30 min preinjury a single tail vein bolus injection of 30 mg/kg MDL-28170 (a calpain inhibitor or its vehicle was applied in Wistar rats exposed to impact acceleration brain injury. Histological detection of traumatically injured axonal segments accumulating HRP and statistical analysis revealed that pre-injury administration of the calpain inhibitor MDL-28170 significantly reduced the average length of HRP-labeled axonal segments. The axono-protective effect of pre-injury calpain inhibition recently demonstrated with classical immunohistochemical markers of TAI was further corroborated in this experiment; significant reduction of the length of labeled axons in the drug-treated rats implicate CMSP in the progression of altered AP in TAI.

  12. Forced notch signaling inhibits commissural axon outgrowth in the developing chick central nerve system.

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    Ming Shi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A collection of in vitro evidence has demonstrated that Notch signaling plays a key role in the growth of neurites in differentiated neurons. However, the effects of Notch signaling on axon outgrowth in an in vivo condition remain largely unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, the neural tubes of HH10-11 chick embryos were in ovo electroporated with various Notch transgenes of activating or inhibiting Notch signaling, and then their effects on commissural axon outgrowth across the floor plate midline in the chick developing central nerve system were investigated. Our results showed that forced expression of Notch intracellular domain, constitutively active form of RBPJ, or full-length Hes1 in the rostral hindbrain, diencephalon and spinal cord at stage HH10-11 significantly inhibited commissural axon outgrowth. On the other hand, inhibition of Notch signaling by ectopically expressing a dominant-negative form of RBPJ promoted commissural axonal growth along the circumferential axis. Further results revealed that these Notch signaling-mediated axon outgrowth defects may be not due to the alteration of axon guidance since commissural axon marker TAG1 was present in the axons in floor plate midline, and also not result from the changes in cell fate determination of commissural neurons since the expression of postmitotic neuron marker Tuj1 and specific commissural markers TAG1 and Pax7 was unchanged. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We first used an in vivo system to provide evidence that forced Notch signaling negatively regulates commissural axon outgrowth.

  13. Pharmacologically inhibiting kinesin-5 activity with monastrol promotes axonal regeneration following spinal cord injury. (United States)

    Xu, Chen; Klaw, Michelle C; Lemay, Michel A; Baas, Peter W; Tom, Veronica J


    While it is well established that the axons of adult neurons have a lower capacity for regrowth, some regeneration of certain CNS populations after spinal cord injury (SCI) is possible if their axons are provided with a permissive substrate, such as an injured peripheral nerve. While some axons readily regenerate into a peripheral nerve graft (PNG), these axons almost always stall at the distal interface and fail to reinnervate spinal cord tissue. Treatment of the glial scar at the distal graft interface with chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) can improve regeneration, but most regenerated axons need further stimulation to extend beyond the interface. Previous studies demonstrate that pharmacologically inhibiting kinesin-5, a motor protein best known for its essential role in mitosis but also expressed in neurons, with the pharmacological agent monastrol increases axon growth on inhibitory substrates in vitro. We sought to determine if monastrol treatment after an SCI improves functional axon regeneration. Animals received complete thoracic level 7 (T7) transections and PNGs and were treated intrathecally with ChABC and either monastrol or DMSO vehicle. We found that combining ChABC with monastrol significantly enhanced axon regeneration. However, there were no further improvements in function or enhanced c-Fos induction upon stimulation of spinal cord rostral to the transection. This indicates that monastrol improves ChABC-mediated axon regeneration but that further treatments are needed to enhance the integration of these regrown axons. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. NGF regulates the expression of axonal LINGO-1 to inhibit oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination. (United States)

    Lee, Xinhua; Yang, Zhongshu; Shao, Zhaohui; Rosenberg, Sheila S; Levesque, Melissa; Pepinsky, R Blake; Qiu, Mengsheng; Miller, Robert H; Chan, Jonah R; Mi, Sha


    Neurons and glia share a mutual dependence in establishing a functional relationship, and none is more evident than the process by which axons control myelination. Here, we identify LRR and Ig domain-containing, Nogo receptor-interacting protein (LINGO-1) as a potent axonal inhibitor of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination that is regulated by nerve growth factor and its cognate receptor TrkA in a dose-dependent manner. Whereas LINGO-1 expressed by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells was previously identified as an inhibitor of differentiation, we demonstrate that axonal expression of LINGO-1 inhibits differentiation with equal potency. Disruption of LINGO-1 on either cell type is sufficient to overcome the inhibitory action and promote differentiation and myelination, independent of axon diameter. Furthermore, these results were recapitulated in transgenic mice overexpressing the full length LINGO-1 under the neuronal promoter synapsin. Myelination was greatly inhibited in the presence of enforced axonal LINGO-1. The implications of these results relate specifically to the development of potential therapeutics targeting extrinsic growth factors that may regulate the axonal expression of modulators of oligodendrocyte development.

  15. Reversible inhibition of rapid axonal transport in vivo by lidocaine hydrochloride. (United States)

    Fink, B R; Kish, S J


    Rats were given standardized injections of 3H-L-proline into the trigeminal ganglion and 14C-lidocaine hydrochloride at the infraorbital foramen. The 3H-L-proline was always injected 2.5 h before removal of the nerve. Lidocaine, 1, 2, and 4%, produced a concentration-related inhibition of entry of 3H-labeled rapid axonal transport into the distal portions of the nerve. Addition of epinephrine, 1:200,000, doubled the intensity of the effect. The time delay of recovery was also concentration-related, and with 4% lidocaine recovery still seemed incomplete after 4.5. h. It is concluded that inhibition of rapid axonal transport is probably a usual byproduct of nerve block with local anesthetics such as lidocaine. The inhibition seems attributable in part to a disturbance of the energy metabolism of the nerve.

  16. Acute ethanol exposure inhibits silencing of cerebellar Golgi cell firing induced by granule cell axon input

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    Paolo eBotta


    Full Text Available Golgi cells (GoCs are specialized interneurons that provide inhibitory input to granule cells in the cerebellar cortex. GoCs are pacemaker neurons that spontaneously fire action potentials, triggering spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in granule cells and also contributing to the generation tonic GABAA receptor-mediated currents in granule cells. In turn, granule cell axons provide feedback glutamatergic input to GoCs. It has been shown that high frequency stimulation of granule cell axons induces a transient pause in GoC firing in a type 2-metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR2-dependent manner. Here, we investigated the effect ethanol on the pause of GoC firing induced by high frequency stimulation of granule cell axons. GoC electrophysiological recordings were performed in parasagittal cerebellar vermis slices from postnatal day 23 to 26 rats. Loose-patch cell-attached recordings revealed that ethanol (40 mM reversibly decreases the pause duration. An antagonist of mGluR2 reduced the pause duration but did not affect the effect of ethanol. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings showed that currents evoked by an mGluR2 agonist were not significantly affected by ethanol. Perforated-patch experiments in which hyperpolarizing and depolarizing currents were injected into GoCs demonstrated that there is an inverse relationship between spontaneous firing and pause duration. Slight inhibition of the Na+/K+ pump mimicked the effect of ethanol on pause duration. In conclusion, ethanol reduces the granule cell axon-mediated feedback mechanism by reducing the input responsiveness of GoCs. This would result in a transient increase of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition of granule cells, limiting information flow at the input stage of the cerebellar cortex.

  17. Serotonin spillover onto the axon initial segment of motoneurons induces central fatigue by inhibiting action potential initiation

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    Cotel, Florence; Exley, Richard; Cragg, Stephanie


    --as during motor exercise--activated 5-HT1A receptors that decreased motoneuronal excitability. Electrophysiological tests combined with pharmacology showed that focal activation of 5-HT1A receptors at the axon initial segment (AIS), but not on other motoneuronal compartments, inhibited the action potential...

  18. Mdivi-1 inhibits astrocyte activation and astroglial scar formation and enhances axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury in rats

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    gang li


    Full Text Available After spinal cord injury (SCI, astrocytes become hypertrophic and proliferative, forming a dense network of astroglial processes at the site of the lesion. This constitutes a physical and biochemical barrier to axonal regeneration. Mitochondrial fission regulates cell cycle progression; inhibiting the cell cycle of astrocytes can reduce expression levels of axon growth-inhibitory molecules as well as astroglial scar formation after SCI. We therefore investigated how an inhibitor of mitochondrial fission, Mdivi-1, would affect astrocyte proliferation, astroglial scar formation, and axonal regeneration following SCI in rats. Western blot and immunofluorescent double-labeling showed that Mdivi-1 markedly reduced the expression of the astrocyte marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, and a cell proliferation marker, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, in astrocytes 3 days after SCI. Moreover, Mdivi-1 decreased the expression of GFAP and neurocan, a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan. Notably, immunofluorescent labeling and Nissl staining showed that Mdivi-1 elevated the production of growth-associated protein-43 and increased neuronal survival at 4 weeks after SCI. Finally, hematoxylin-eosin staining and behavioral evaluation of motor function indicated that Mdivi-1 also reduced cavity formation and improved motor function 4 weeks after SCI. Our results confirm that Mdivi-1 promotes motor function after SCI, and indicate that inhibiting mitochondrial fission using Mdivi-1 can inhibit astrocyte activation and astroglial scar formation and contribute to axonal regeneration after SCI in rats.

  19. Lithium Enhances Axonal Regeneration in Peripheral Nerve by Inhibiting Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β Activation

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    Huanxing Su


    Full Text Available Brachial plexus injury often involves traumatic root avulsion resulting in permanent paralysis of the innervated muscles. The lack of sufficient regeneration from spinal motoneurons to the peripheral nerve (PN is considered to be one of the major causes of the unsatisfactory outcome of various surgical interventions for repair of the devastating injury. The present study was undertaken to investigate potential inhibitory signals which influence axonal regeneration after root avulsion injury. The results of the study showed that root avulsion triggered GSK-3β activation in the injured motoneurons and remaining axons in the ventral funiculus. Systemic application of a clinical dose of lithium suppressed activated GSK-3β in the lesioned spinal cord to the normal level and induced extensive axonal regeneration into replanted ventral roots. Our study suggests that GSK-3β activity is involved in negative regulation for axonal elongation and regeneration and lithium, the specific GSK-3β inhibitor, enhances motoneuron regeneration from CNS to PNS.

  20. Myelin Lipids Inhibit Axon Regeneration Following Spinal Cord Injury: a Novel Perspective for Therapy. (United States)

    Mar, Fernando M; da Silva, Tiago F; Morgado, Marlene M; Rodrigues, Lorena G; Rodrigues, Daniel; Pereira, Marta I L; Marques, Ana; Sousa, Vera F; Coentro, João; Sá-Miranda, Clara; Sousa, Mónica M; Brites, Pedro


    Lack of axon regeneration following spinal cord injury has been mainly ascribed to the inhibitory environment of the injury site, i.e., to chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) and myelin-associated inhibitors (MAIs). Here, we used shiverer (shi) mice to assess axon regeneration following spinal cord injury in the presence of MAIs and CSPG but in the absence of compact myelin. Although in vitro shi neurons displayed a similar intrinsic neurite outgrowth to wild-type neurons, in vivo, shi fibers had increased regenerative capacity, suggesting that the wild-type spinal cord contains additional inhibitors besides MAIs and CSPG. Our data show that besides myelin protein, myelin lipids are highly inhibitory for neurite outgrowth and suggest that this inhibitory effect is released in the shi spinal cord given its decreased lipid content. Specifically, we identified cholesterol and sphingomyelin as novel myelin-associated inhibitors that operate through a Rho-dependent mechanism and have inhibitory activity in multiple neuron types. We further demonstrated the inhibitory action of myelin lipids in vivo, by showing that delivery of 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin, a drug that reduces the levels of lipids specifically in the injury site, leads to increased axon regeneration of wild-type (WT) dorsal column axons following spinal cord injury. In summary, our work shows that myelin lipids are important modulators of axon regeneration that should be considered together with protein MAIs as critical targets in strategies aiming at improving axonal growth following injury.

  1. Optimal myelin elongation relies on YAP activation by axonal growth and inhibition by Crb3/Hippo pathway (United States)

    Fernando, Ruani N.; Cotter, Laurent; Perrin-Tricaud, Claire; Berthelot, Jade; Bartolami, Sylvain; Pereira, Jorge A.; Gonzalez, Sergio; Suter, Ueli; Tricaud, Nicolas


    Fast nerve conduction relies on successive myelin segments that electrically isolate axons. Segment geometry—diameter and length—is critical for the optimization of nerve conduction and the molecular mechanisms allowing this optimized geometry are partially known. We show here that peripheral myelin elongation is dynamically regulated by stimulation of YAP (Yes-associated protein) transcription cofactor activity during axonal elongation and limited by inhibition of YAP activity via the Hippo pathway. YAP promotes myelin and non-myelin genes transcription while the polarity protein Crb3, localized at the tips of the myelin sheath, activates the Hippo pathway to temper YAP activity, therefore allowing for optimal myelin growth. Dystrophic Dy2j/2j mice mimicking human peripheral neuropathy with reduced internodal lengths have decreased nuclear YAP which, when corrected, leads to longer internodes. These data show a novel mechanism controlling myelin growth and nerve conduction, and provide a molecular ground for disease with short myelin segments. PMID:27435623

  2. hnRNP-Q1 represses nascent axon growth in cortical neurons by inhibiting Gap-43 mRNA translation. (United States)

    Williams, Kathryn R; McAninch, Damian S; Stefanovic, Snezana; Xing, Lei; Allen, Megan; Li, Wenqi; Feng, Yue; Mihailescu, Mihaela Rita; Bassell, Gary J


    Posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression by mRNA-binding proteins is critical for neuronal development and function. hnRNP-Q1 is an mRNA-binding protein that regulates mRNA processing events, including translational repression. hnRNP-Q1 is highly expressed in brain tissue, suggesting a function in regulating genes critical for neuronal development. In this study, we have identified Growth-associated protein 43 (Gap-43) mRNA as a novel target of hnRNP-Q1 and have demonstrated that hnRNP-Q1 represses Gap-43 mRNA translation and consequently GAP-43 function. GAP-43 is a neuronal protein that regulates actin dynamics in growth cones and facilitates axonal growth. Previous studies have identified factors that regulate Gap-43 mRNA stability and localization, but it remains unclear whether Gap-43 mRNA translation is also regulated. Our results reveal that hnRNP-Q1 knockdown increased nascent axon length, total neurite length, and neurite number in mouse embryonic cortical neurons and enhanced Neuro2a cell process extension; these phenotypes were rescued by GAP-43 knockdown. Additionally, we have identified a G-quadruplex structure in the 5' untranslated region of Gap-43 mRNA that directly interacts with hnRNP-Q1 as a means to inhibit Gap-43 mRNA translation. Therefore hnRNP-Q1-mediated repression of Gap-43 mRNA translation provides an additional mechanism for regulating GAP-43 expression and function and may be critical for neuronal development. © 2016 Williams et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (

  3. Axon guidance factor SLIT2 inhibits neural invasion and metastasis in pancreatic cancer. (United States)

    Göhrig, Andreas; Detjen, Katharina M; Hilfenhaus, Georg; Körner, Jan L; Welzel, Martina; Arsenic, Ruza; Schmuck, Rosa; Bahra, Marcus; Wu, Jane Y; Wiedenmann, Bertram; Fischer, Christian


    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) metastasizes by neural, vascular, and local invasion routes, which limit patient survival. In nerves and vessels, SLIT2 and its ROBO receptors constitute repellent guidance cues that also direct epithelial branching. Thus, the SLIT2-ROBO system may represent a key pinch point to regulate PDAC spread. In this study, we examined the hypothesis that escaping from repellent SLIT2-ROBO signaling is essential to enable PDAC cells to appropriate their local stromal infrastructure for dissemination. Through immunohistochemical analysis, we detected SLIT2 receptors ROBO1 and ROBO4 on epithelia, nerves, and vessels in healthy pancreas and PDAC specimens, respectively. SLIT2 mRNA expression was reduced in PDAC compared with nontransformed pancreatic tissues and cell lines, suggesting a reduction in SLIT2-ROBO pathway activity in PDAC. In support of this interpretation, restoring the SLIT2 expression in SLIT2-deficient PDAC cells inhibited their bidirectional chemoattraction with neural cells, and more specifically, impaired unidirectional PDAC cell navigation along outgrowing neurites in models of neural invasion. Restoring autocrine/paracrine SLIT2 signaling was also sufficient to inhibit the directed motility of PDAC cells, but not their random movement. Conversely, RNA interference-mediated silencing of ROBO1 stimulated the motility of SLIT2-competent PDAC cells. Furthermore, culture supernatants from SLIT2-competent PDAC cells impaired migration of endothelial cells (human umbilical vein endothelial cells), whereas an N-terminal SLIT2 cleavage fragment stimulated such migration. In vivo investigations of pancreatic tumors with restored SLIT2 expression demonstrated reduced invasion, metastasis, and vascularization, with opposing effects produced by ROBO1 silencing in tumor cells or sequestration of endogenous SLIT2. Analysis of clinical specimens of PDAC showed that those with low SLIT2 mRNA expression exhibited a higher incidence

  4. AMIGO3 is an NgR1/p75 co-receptor signalling axon growth inhibition in the acute phase of adult central nervous system injury.

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    Zubair Ahmed

    Full Text Available Axon regeneration in the injured adult CNS is reportedly inhibited by myelin-derived inhibitory molecules, after binding to a receptor complex comprised of the Nogo-66 receptor (NgR1 and two transmembrane co-receptors p75/TROY and LINGO-1. However, the post-injury expression pattern for LINGO-1 is inconsistent with its proposed function. We demonstrated that AMIGO3 levels were significantly higher acutely than those of LINGO-1 in dorsal column lesions and reduced in models of dorsal root ganglion neuron (DRGN axon regeneration. Similarly, AMIGO3 levels were raised in the retina immediately after optic nerve crush, whilst levels were suppressed in regenerating optic nerves, induced by intravitreal peripheral nerve implantation. AMIGO3 interacted functionally with NgR1-p75/TROY in non-neuronal cells and in brain lysates, mediating RhoA activation in response to CNS myelin. Knockdown of AMIGO3 in myelin-inhibited adult primary DRG and retinal cultures promoted disinhibited neurite growth when cells were stimulated with appropriate neurotrophic factors. These findings demonstrate that AMIGO3 substitutes for LINGO-1 in the NgR1-p75/TROY inhibitory signalling complex and suggests that the NgR1-p75/TROY-AMIGO3 receptor complex mediates myelin-induced inhibition of axon growth acutely in the CNS. Thus, antagonizing AMIGO3 rather than LINGO-1 immediately after CNS injury is likely to be a more effective therapeutic strategy for promoting CNS axon regeneration when combined with neurotrophic factor administration.

  5. Inhibition of sodium currents by local anesthetics in chloramine-T- treated squid axons. The role of channel activation (United States)


    In order to test the requirement of Na channel inactivation for the action of local anesthetics, we investigated the inhibitory effects of quaternary and tertiary amine anesthetics on normally inactivating and noninactivating Na currents in squid axons under voltage clamp. Either the enzymatic mixture pronase, or chloramine-T (CT), a noncleaving, oxidizing reagent, was used to abolish Na channel inactivation. We found that both the local anesthetics QX-314 and etidocaine, when perfused internally at 1 mM, elicited a "tonic" (resting) block of Na currents, a "time-dependent" block that increased during single depolarizations, and a "use-dependent" (phasic) block that accumulated as a result of repetitive depolarizations. All three effects occurred in both control and CT-treated axons. As in previous reports, little time-dependent or phasic block by QX-314 appeared in pronase-treated axons, although tonic block remained. Time-dependent block was greatest and fastest at large depolarizations (Em greater than +60 mV) for both the control and CT-treated axons. The recovery kinetics from phasic block were the same in control and CT-modified axons. The voltage dependence of the steady state phasic block in CT-treated axons differed from that in the controls; an 8-10% reduction of the maximum phasic block and a steepening and shift of the voltage dependence in the hyperpolarizing direction resulted from CT treatment. The results show that these anesthetics can bind rapidly to open Na channels in a voltage-dependent manner, with no requirement for fast inactivation. We propose that the rapid phasic blocking reactions in nerve are consequences primarily of channel activation, mediated by binding of anesthetics to open channels, and that the voltage dependence of phasic block arises directly from that of channel activation. PMID:2438374

  6. In vitro, lidocaine-induced axonal injury is prevented by peripheral inhibition of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, but not by inhibiting caspase activity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lirk, Philipp; Haller, Ingrid; Colvin, Hans Peter; Frauscher, Silke; Kirchmair, Lukas; Gerner, Peter; Klimaschewski, Lars


    All local anesthetics (LAs) are, to some extent, neurotoxic. Toxicity studies have been performed in dissociated neuron cultures, immersing both axon and soma in LA. This approach, however, does not accurately reflect the in vivo situation for peripheral nerve blockade, where LA is applied to the

  7. Low Piconewton Towing of CNS Axons against Diffusing and Surface-Bound Repellents Requires the Inhibition of Motor Protein-Associated Pathways (United States)

    Kilinc, Devrim; Blasiak, Agata; O'Mahony, James J.; Lee, Gil U.


    Growth cones, dynamic structures at axon tips, integrate chemical and physical stimuli and translate them into coordinated axon behaviour, e.g., elongation or turning. External force application to growth cones directs and enhances axon elongation in vitro; however, direct mechanical stimulation is rarely combined with chemotactic stimulation. We describe a microfluidic device that exposes isolated cortical axons to gradients of diffusing and substrate-bound molecules, and permits the simultaneous application of piconewton (pN) forces to multiple individual growth cones via magnetic tweezers. Axons treated with Y-27632, a RhoA kinase inhibitor, were successfully towed against Semaphorin 3A gradients, which repel untreated axons, with less than 12 pN acting on a small number of neural cell adhesion molecules. Treatment with Y-27632 or monastrol, a kinesin-5 inhibitor, promoted axon towing on substrates coated with chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, potent axon repellents. Thus, modulating key molecular pathways that regulate contractile stress generation in axons counteracts the effects of repellent molecules and promotes tension-induced growth. The demonstration of parallel towing of axons towards inhibitory environments with minute forces suggests that mechanochemical stimulation may be a promising therapeutic approach for the repair of the damaged central nervous system, where regenerating axons face repellent factors over-expressed in the glial scar.

  8. XIAP Regulates Caspase Activity in Degenerating Axons

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    Nicolas Unsain


    Full Text Available Our knowledge of the destructive events that regulate axonal degeneration is rudimentary. Here, we examine the role of caspases and their endogenous inhibitor, the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP, in axonal degeneration of dorsal root ganglion (DRG axons. We show that caspase-3, caspase-6, and caspase-9 are present in axons and are cleaved upon nerve growth factor (NGF withdrawal. We observed that caspase-3 activity is high in NGF-withdrawn axons and that CASP3−/− axons are protected from degeneration. XIAP−/− DRG sensory neurons degenerate more rapidly and contain more active caspase-3 than their wild-type counterparts, indicating that axonal caspases are normally regulated by XIAP. Importantly, axonal XIAP levels drop sharply after NGF withdrawal; if XIAP levels are maintained by overexpression, axonal caspase-3 activation and axonal degeneration are suppressed. Finally, we show that XIAP−/− embryos have stunted dermal innervation. We propose that XIAP-mediated caspase inhibition plays an important role in regulating morphogenic events that shape the nervous system during development.

  9. Characterization of cholinesterases present in brain and muscle tissues of juvenile blue shark (Prionace glauca

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís Miguel Fonseca Alves


    Regarding the in vitro exposure to chlorpyrifos-oxon, we have observed a dose-response pattern showing higher ChE inhibitions with increasing pesticide concentrations and with more than 90% inhibition in the highest concentrations, which reveals the potential of this biomarker for biomonitoring studies and contaminant effect assessment in the blue shark.

  10. Developmental downregulation of LIS1 expression limits axonal extension and allows axon pruning

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    Kanako Kumamoto


    Full Text Available The robust axonal growth and regenerative capacities of young neurons decrease substantially with age. This developmental downregulation of axonal growth may facilitate axonal pruning and neural circuit formation but limits functional recovery following nerve damage. While external factors influencing axonal growth have been extensively investigated, relatively little is known about the intrinsic molecular changes underlying the age-dependent reduction in regeneration capacity. We report that developmental downregulation of LIS1 is responsible for the decreased axonal extension capacity of mature dorsal root ganglion (DRG neurons. In contrast, exogenous LIS1 expression or endogenous LIS1 augmentation by calpain inhibition restored axonal extension capacity in mature DRG neurons and facilitated regeneration of the damaged sciatic nerve. The insulator protein CTCF suppressed LIS1 expression in mature DRG neurons, and this reduction resulted in excessive accumulation of phosphoactivated GSK-3β at the axon tip, causing failure of the axonal extension. Conversely, sustained LIS1 expression inhibited developmental axon pruning in the mammillary body. Thus, LIS1 regulation may coordinate the balance between axonal growth and pruning during maturation of neuronal circuits.

  11. Early events in axon/dendrite polarization. (United States)

    Cheng, Pei-lin; Poo, Mu-ming


    Differentiation of axons and dendrites is a critical step in neuronal development. Here we review the evidence that axon/dendrite formation during neuronal polarization depends on the intrinsic cytoplasmic asymmetry inherited by the postmitotic neuron, the exposure of the neuron to extracellular chemical factors, and the action of anisotropic mechanical forces imposed by the environment. To better delineate the functions of early signals among a myriad of cellular components that were shown to influence axon/dendrite formation, we discuss their functions by distinguishing their roles as determinants, mediators, or modulators and consider selective degradation of these components as a potential mechanism for axon/dendrite polarization. Finally, we examine whether these early events of axon/dendrite formation involve local autocatalytic activation and long-range inhibition, as postulated by Alan Turing for the morphogenesis of patterned biological structure.

  12. Creatine pretreatment protects cortical axons from energy depletion in vitro (United States)

    Shen, Hua; Goldberg, Mark P.


    Creatine is a natural nitrogenous guanidino compound involved in bioenergy metabolism. Although creatine has been shown to protect neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) from experimental hypoxia/ischemia, it remains unclear if creatine may also protect CNS axons, and if the potential axonal protection depends on glial cells. To evaluate the direct impact of creatine on CNS axons, cortical axons were cultured in a separate compartment from their somas and proximal neurites using a modified two-compartment culture device. Axons in the axon compartment were subjected to acute energy depletion, an in vitro model of white matter ischemia, by exposure to 6 mM sodium azide for 30 min in the absence of glucose and pyruvate. Energy depletion reduced axonal ATP by 65%, depolarized axonal resting potential, and damaged 75% of axons. Application of creatine (10 mM) to both compartments of the culture at 24 h prior to energy depletion significantly reduced axonal damage by 50%. In line with the role of creatine in the bioenergy metabolism, this application also alleviated the axonal ATP loss and depolarization. Inhibition of axonal depolarization by blocking sodium influx with tetrodotoxin also effectively reduced the axonal damage caused by energy depletion. Further study revealed that the creatine effect was independent of glial cells, as axonal protection was sustained even when creatine was applied only to the axon compartment (free from somas and glial cells) for as little as 2 h. In contrast, application of creatine after energy depletion did not protect axons. The data provide the first evidence that creatine pretreatment may directly protect CNS axons from energy deficiency. PMID:22521466

  13. Electrokinetic confinement of axonal growth for dynamically configurable neural networks (United States)

    Honegger, Thibault; Scott, Mark A.; Yanik, Mehmet F.; Voldman, Joel


    Axons in the developing nervous system are directed via guidance cues, whose expression varies both spatially and temporally, to create functional neural circuits. Existing methods to create patterns of neural connectivity in vitro use only static geometries, and are unable to dynamically alter the guidance cues imparted on the cells. We introduce the use of AC electrokinetics to dynamically control axonal growth in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. We find that the application of modest voltages at frequencies on the order of 105 Hz can cause developing axons to be stopped adjacent to the electrodes while axons away from the electric fields exhibit uninhibited growth. By switching electrodes on or off, we can reversibly inhibit or permit axon passage across the electrodes. Our models suggest that dielectrophoresis is the causative AC electrokinetic effect. We make use of our dynamic control over axon elongation to create an axon-diode via an axon-lock system that consists of a pair of electrode `gates' that either permit or prevent axons from passing through. Finally, we developed a neural circuit consisting of three populations of neurons, separated by three axon-locks to demonstrate the assembly of a functional, engineered neural network. Action potential recordings demonstrate that the AC electrokinetic effect does not harm axons, and Ca2+ imaging demonstrated the unidirectional nature of the synaptic connections. AC electrokinetic confinement of axonal growth has potential for creating configurable, directional neural networks. PMID:23314575

  14. Tuberous sclerosis complex proteins control axon formation. (United States)

    Choi, Yong-Jin; Di Nardo, Alessia; Kramvis, Ioannis; Meikle, Lynsey; Kwiatkowski, David J; Sahin, Mustafa; He, Xi


    Axon formation is fundamental for brain development and function. TSC1 and TSC2 are two genes, mutations in which cause tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a disease characterized by tumor predisposition and neurological abnormalities including epilepsy, mental retardation, and autism. Here we show that Tsc1 and Tsc2 have critical functions in mammalian axon formation and growth. Overexpression of Tsc1/Tsc2 suppresses axon formation, whereas a lack of Tsc1 or Tsc2 function induces ectopic axons in vitro and in the mouse brain. Tsc2 is phosphorylated and inhibited in the axon but not dendrites. Inactivation of Tsc1/Tsc2 promotes axonal growth, at least in part, via up-regulation of neuronal polarity SAD kinase, which is also elevated in cortical tubers of a TSC patient. Our results reveal key roles of TSC1/TSC2 in neuronal polarity, suggest a common pathway regulating polarization/growth in neurons and cell size in other tissues, and have implications for the understanding of the pathogenesis of TSC and associated neurological disorders and for axonal regeneration.

  15. Repulsive axon guidance cues ephrin-A2 and slit3 stop protrusion of the growth cone leading margin concurrently with inhibition of ADF/cofilin and ERM proteins. (United States)

    Marsick, Bonnie M; Roche, Florence K; Letourneau, Paul C


    Axonal growth cones turn away from repulsive guidance cues. This may start with reduced protrusive motility in the region the growth cone leading margin that is closer to the source of repulsive cue. Using explants of E7 chick temporal retina, we examine the effects of two repulsive guidance cues, ephrin-A2 and slit3, on retinal ganglion cell growth cone protrusive activity, total F-actin, free F-actin barbed ends, and the activities (phosphorylation states) of actin regulatory proteins, ADF/cofilin and ezrin, radixin, moesin (ERM) proteins. Ephrin-A2 rapidly stops protrusive activity simultaneously with reducing F-actin, free barbed ends and the activities of ADF/cofilin and ERM proteins. Slit3 also stops protrusion and reduces the activities of ADF/cofilin and ERM proteins. We interpret these results as indicating that repulsive guidance cues inhibit actin polymerization and actin-membrane linkage to stop protrusive activity. Retrograde F-actin flow withdraws actin to the C-domain, where F-actin bundles interact with myosin II to generate contractile forces that can collapse and retract the growth cone. Our results suggest that common mechanisms are used by repulsive guidance cue to disable growth cone motility and remodel growing axon terminals. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Axonal GABAA receptors. (United States)

    Trigo, Federico F; Marty, Alain; Stell, Brandon M


    Type A GABA receptors (GABA(A)Rs) are well established as the main inhibitory receptors in the mature mammalian forebrain. In recent years, evidence has accumulated showing that GABA(A)Rs are prevalent not only in the somatodendritic compartment of CNS neurons, but also in their axonal compartment. Evidence for axonal GABA(A)Rs includes new immunohistochemical and immunogold data: direct recording from single axonal terminals; and effects of local applications of GABA(A)R modulators on action potential generation, on axonal calcium signalling, and on neurotransmitter release. Strikingly, whereas presynaptic GABA(A)Rs have long been considered inhibitory, the new studies in the mammalian brain mostly indicate an excitatory action. Depending on the neuron that is under study, axonal GABA(A)Rs can be activated by ambient GABA, by GABA spillover, or by an autocrine action, to increase either action potential firing and/or transmitter release. In certain neurons, the excitatory effects of axonal GABA(A)Rs persist into adulthood. Altogether, axonal GABA(A)Rs appear as potent neuronal modulators of the mammalian CNS.

  17. SnoN facilitates axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury.

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    Jiun L Do

    Full Text Available Adult CNS neurons exhibit a reduced capacity for growth compared to developing neurons, due in part to downregulation of growth-associated genes as development is completed. We tested the hypothesis that SnoN, an embryonically regulated transcription factor that specifies growth of the axonal compartment, can enhance growth in injured adult neurons. In vitro, SnoN overexpression in dissociated adult DRG neuronal cultures significantly enhanced neurite outgrowth. Moreover, TGF-β1, a negative regulator of SnoN, inhibited neurite outgrowth, and SnoN over-expression overcame this inhibition. We then examined whether SnoN influenced axonal regeneration in vivo: indeed, expression of a mutant form of SnoN resistant to degradation significantly enhanced axonal regeneration following cervical spinal cord injury, despite peri-lesional upregulation of TGF-β1. Thus, a developmental mechanism that specifies extension of the axonal compartment also promotes axonal regeneration after adult CNS injury.

  18. Axons take a dive (United States)

    Tong, Cheuk Ka; Cebrián-Silla, Arantxa; Paredes, Mercedes F; Huang, Eric J; García-Verdugo, Jose Manuel; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo


    In the walls of the lateral ventricles of the adult mammalian brain, neural stem cells (NSCs) and ependymal (E1) cells share the apical surface of the ventricular–subventricular zone (V–SVZ). In a recent article, we show that supraependymal serotonergic (5HT) axons originating from the raphe nuclei in mice form an extensive plexus on the walls of the lateral ventricles where they contact E1 cells and NSCs. Here we further characterize the contacts between 5HT supraependymal axons and E1 cells in mice, and show that suprependymal axons tightly associated to E1 cells are also present in the walls of the human lateral ventricles. These observations raise interesting questions about the function of supraependymal axons in the regulation of E1 cells. PMID:26413556

  19. Disruption of Axonal Transport in Motor Neuron Diseases

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    Gen Sobue


    Full Text Available Motor neurons typically have very long axons, and fine-tuning axonal transport is crucial for their survival. The obstruction of axonal transport is gaining attention as a cause of neuronal dysfunction in a variety of neurodegenerative motor neuron diseases. Depletions in dynein and dynactin-1, motor molecules regulating axonal trafficking, disrupt axonal transport in flies, and mutations in their genes cause motor neuron degeneration in humans and rodents. Axonal transport defects are among the early molecular events leading to neurodegeneration in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Gene expression profiles indicate that dynactin-1 mRNA is downregulated in degenerating spinal motor neurons of autopsied patients with sporadic ALS. Dynactin-1 mRNA is also reduced in the affected neurons of a mouse model of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a motor neuron disease caused by triplet CAG repeat expansion in the gene encoding the androgen receptor. Pathogenic androgen receptor proteins also inhibit kinesin-1 microtubule-binding activity and disrupt anterograde axonal transport by activating c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Disruption of axonal transport also underlies the pathogenesis of spinal muscular atrophy and hereditary spastic paraplegias. These observations suggest that the impairment of axonal transport is a key event in the pathological processes of motor neuron degeneration and an important target of therapy development for motor neuron diseases.

  20. Intra-axonal synthesis of eukaryotic translation initiation factors regulates local protein synthesis and axon growth in rat sympathetic neurons. (United States)

    Kar, Amar N; MacGibeny, Margaret A; Gervasi, Noreen M; Gioio, Anthony E; Kaplan, Barry B


    Axonal protein synthesis is a complex process involving selective mRNA localization and translational regulation. In this study, using in situ hybridization and metabolic labeling, we show that the mRNAs encoding eukaryotic translation initiation factors eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 are present in the axons of rat sympathetic neurons and are locally translated. We also report that a noncoding microRNA, miR16, modulates the axonal expression of eIF2B2 and eIF4G2. Transfection of axons with precursor miR16 and anti-miR16 showed that local miR16 levels modulated axonal eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 mRNA and protein levels, as well as axon outgrowth. siRNA-mediated knock-down of axonal eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 mRNA also resulted in a significant decrease in axonal eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 protein. Moreover, results of metabolic labeling studies showed that downregulation of axonal eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 expression also inhibited local protein synthesis and axon growth. Together, these data provide evidence that miR16 mediates axonal growth, at least in part, by regulating the local protein synthesis of eukaryotic translation initiation factors eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 in the axon.

  1. Engulfing action of glial cells is required for programmed axon pruning during Drosophila metamorphosis. (United States)

    Awasaki, Takeshi; Ito, Kei


    Axon pruning is involved in establishment and maintenance of functional neural circuits. During metamorphosis of Drosophila, selective pruning of larval axons is developmentally regulated by ecdysone and caused by local axon degeneration. Previous studies have revealed intrinsic molecular and cellular mechanisms that trigger this pruning process, but how pruning is accomplished remains essentially unknown. Detailed analysis of morphological changes in the axon branches of Drosophila mushroom body (MB) neurons revealed that during early pupal stages, clusters of neighboring varicosities, each of which belongs to different axons, disappear simultaneously shortly before the onset of local axon degeneration. At this stage, bundles of axon branches are infiltrated by the processes of surrounding glia. These processes engulf clusters of varicosities and accumulate intracellular degradative compartments. Selective inhibition of cellular functions, including endocytosis, in glial cells via the temperature-sensitive allele of shibire both suppresses glial infiltration and varicosity elimination and induces a severe delay in axon pruning. Selective inhibition of ecdysone receptors in the MB neurons severely suppressed not only axon pruning but also the infiltration and engulfing action of the surrounding glia. These findings strongly suggest that glial cells are extrinsically activated by ecdysone-stimulated MB neurons. These glial cells infiltrate the mass of axon branches to eliminate varicosities and break down axon branches actively rather than just scavenging already-degraded debris. We therefore propose that neuron-glia interaction is essential for the precisely coordinated axon-pruning process during Drosophila metamorphosis.

  2. Glia to axon RNA transfer. (United States)

    Sotelo, José Roberto; Canclini, Lucía; Kun, Alejandra; Sotelo-Silveira, José Roberto; Calliari, Aldo; Cal, Karina; Bresque, Mariana; Dipaolo, Andrés; Farias, Joaquina; Mercer, John A


    The existence of RNA in axons has been a matter of dispute for decades. Evidence for RNA and ribosomes has now accumulated to a point at which it is difficult to question, much of the disputes turned to the origin of these axonal RNAs. In this review, we focus on studies addressing the origin of axonal RNAs and ribosomes. The neuronal soma as the source of most axonal RNAs has been demonstrated and is indisputable. However, the surrounding glial cells may be a supplemental source of axonal RNAs, a matter scarcely investigated in the literature. Here, we review the few papers that have demonstrated that glial-to-axon RNA transfer is not only feasible, but likely. We describe this process in both invertebrate axons and vertebrate axons. Schwann cell to axon ribosomes transfer was conclusively demonstrated (Court et al. [2008]: J. Neurosci 28:11024-11029; Court et al. [2011]: Glia 59:1529-1539). However, mRNA transfer still remains to be demonstrated in a conclusive way. The intercellular transport of mRNA has interesting implications, particularly with respect to the integration of glial and axonal function. This evolving field is likely to impact our understanding of the cell biology of the axon in both normal and pathological conditions. Most importantly, if the synthesis of proteins in the axon can be controlled by interacting glia, the possibilities for clinical interventions in injury and neurodegeneration are greatly increased. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Axonal Excitability in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis : Axonal Excitability in ALS. (United States)

    Park, Susanna B; Kiernan, Matthew C; Vucic, Steve


    Axonal excitability testing provides in vivo assessment of axonal ion channel function and membrane potential. Excitability techniques have provided insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development of neurodegeneration and clinical features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related neuromuscular disorders. Specifically, abnormalities of Na+ and K+ conductances contribute to development of membrane hyperexcitability in ALS, thereby leading to symptom generation of muscle cramps and fasciculations, in addition to promoting a neurodegenerative cascade via Ca2+-mediated processes. Modulation of axonal ion channel function in ALS has resulted in significant symptomatic improvement that has been accompanied by stabilization of axonal excitability parameters. Separately, axonal ion channel dysfunction evolves with disease progression and correlates with survival, thereby serving as a potential therapeutic biomarker in ALS. The present review provides an overview of axonal excitability techniques and the physiological mechanisms underlying membrane excitability, with a focus on the role of axonal ion channel dysfunction in motor neuron disease and related neuromuscular diseases.

  4. Inflammation and axon regeneration. (United States)

    Benowitz, Larry I; Popovich, Phillip G


    The inflammatory response that accompanies neural injury involves multiple cell types and effector molecules with both positive and negative effects. Inflammation is essential for normal regeneration in the peripheral nervous system, and here we review evidence that augmenting inflammation can enhance regeneration in areas of the central nervous system in which it normally does not occur. Within the spinal cord, inflammation enables transplanted sensory neurons to regenerate lengthy axons and enhances the ability of a trophic factor to promote corticospinal tract sprouting. Induction of inflammation in the eye supports survival of retinal ganglion cells and enables them to regenerate injured axons through the optic nerve. These effects are linked to an atypical trophic factor, oncomodulin, along with other, better known molecules. Induction of inflammation within dorsal root ganglia, when combined with other treatments, enables peripheral sensory neurons to regenerate axons into the spinal cord. However, inflammation also has negative effects that impede recovery. In light of the importance of inflammation for neural repair, it is important to identify the specific cell types and molecules responsible for the positive and negative effects of inflammation and to develop treatments that tip the balance to favor repair.

  5. A Human Life-Stage Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Model for Chlorpyrifos: Development and Validation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Jordan N.; Hinderliter, Paul M.; Timchalk, Charles; Bartels, M. J.; Poet, Torka S.


    Sensitivity to chemicals in animals and humans are known to vary with age. Age-related changes in sensitivity to chlorpyrifos have been reported in animal models. A life-stage physiologically based pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PBPK/PD) model was developed to computationally predict disposition of CPF and its metabolites, chlorpyrifos-oxon (the ultimate toxicant) and 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy), as well as B-esterase inhibition by chlorpyrifos-oxon in humans. In this model, age-dependent body weight was calculated from a generalized Gompertz function, and compartments (liver, brain, fat, blood, diaphragm, rapid, and slow) were scaled based on body weight from polynomial functions on a fractional body weight basis. Blood flows among compartments were calculated as a constant flow per compartment volume. The life-stage PBPK/PD model was calibrated and tested against controlled adult human exposure studies. Model simulations suggest age-dependent pharmacokinetics and response may exist. At oral doses ≥ 0.55 mg/kg of chlorpyrifos (significantly higher than environmental exposure levels), 6 mo old children are predicted to have higher levels of chlorpyrifos-oxon in blood and higher levels of red blood cell cholinesterase inhibition compared to adults from equivalent oral doses of chlorpyrifos. At lower doses that are more relevant to environmental exposures, the model predicts that adults will have slightly higher levels of chlorpyrifos-oxon in blood and greater cholinesterase inhibition. This model provides a computational framework for age-comparative simulations that can be utilized to predict CPF disposition and biological response over various postnatal life-stages.

  6. White matter involvement after TBI: Clues to axon and myelin repair capacity. (United States)

    Armstrong, Regina C; Mierzwa, Amanda J; Marion, Christina M; Sullivan, Genevieve M


    Impact-acceleration forces to the head cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) with damage in white matter tracts comprised of long axons traversing the brain. White matter injury after TBI involves both traumatic axonal injury (TAI) and myelin pathology that evolves throughout the post-injury time course. The axon response to initial mechanical forces and secondary insults follows the process of Wallerian degeneration, which initiates as a potentially reversible phase of intra-axonal damage and proceeds to an irreversible phase of axon fragmentation. Distal to sites of axon disconnection, myelin sheaths remain for prolonged periods, which may activate neuroinflammation and inhibit axon regeneration. In addition to TAI, TBI can cause demyelination of intact axons. These evolving features of axon and myelin pathology also represent opportunities for repair. In experimental TBI, demyelinated axons exhibit remyelination, which can serve to both protect axons and facilitate recovery of function. Myelin remodeling may also contribute to neuroplasticity. Efficient clearance of myelin debris is a potential target to attenuate the progression of chronic pathology. During the early phase of Wallerian degeneration, interventions that prevent the transition from reversible damage to axon disconnection warrant the highest priority, based on the poor regenerative capacity of axons in the CNS. Clinical evaluation of TBI will need to address the challenge of accurately detecting the extent and stage of axon damage. Distinguishing the complex white matter changes associated with axons and myelin is necessary for interpreting advanced neuroimaging approaches and for identifying a broader range of therapeutic opportunities to improve outcome after TBI. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. 6-Sulphated chondroitins have a positive influence on axonal regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Lin

    Full Text Available Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs upregulated in the glial scar inhibit axon regeneration via their sulphated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs. Chondroitin 6-sulphotransferase-1 (C6ST-1 is upregulated after injury leading to an increase in 6-sulphated GAG. In this study, we ask if this increase in 6-sulphated GAG is responsible for the increased inhibition within the glial scar, or whether it represents a partial reversion to the permissive embryonic state dominated by 6-sulphated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs. Using C6ST-1 knockout mice (KO, we studied post-injury changes in chondroitin sulphotransferase (CSST expression and the effect of chondroitin 6-sulphates on both central and peripheral axon regeneration. After CNS injury, wild-type animals (WT showed an increase in mRNA for C6ST-1, C6ST-2 and C4ST-1, but KO did not upregulate any CSSTs. After PNS injury, while WT upregulated C6ST-1, KO showed an upregulation of C6ST-2. We examined regeneration of nigrostriatal axons, which demonstrate mild spontaneous axon regeneration in the WT. KO showed many fewer regenerating axons and more axonal retraction than WT. However, in the PNS, repair of the median and ulnar nerves led to similar and normal levels of axon regeneration in both WT and KO. Functional tests on plasticity after the repair also showed no evidence of enhanced plasticity in the KO. Our results suggest that the upregulation of 6-sulphated GAG after injury makes the extracellular matrix more permissive for axon regeneration, and that the balance of different CSs in the microenvironment around the lesion site is an important factor in determining the outcome of nervous system injury.

  8. Axon guidance: Comm hither, Robo. (United States)

    Couch, Jessica; Condron, Barry


    In the developing CNS, commissural axons are initially attracted to the midline, but after crossing they acquire sensitivity to midline repellent cues which prevent re-crossing. Recent studies have shed new light on the mechanism by which commissural axons change their sensitivity to guidance cues after crossing the midline.

  9. Mechanisms of axon regeneration: The significance of proteoglycans. (United States)

    Sakamoto, Kazuma; Kadomatsu, Kenji


    Therapeutics specific to neural injury have long been anticipated but remain unavailable. Axons in the central nervous system do not readily regenerate after injury, leading to dysfunction of the nervous system. This failure of regeneration is due to both the low intrinsic capacity of axons for regeneration and the various inhibitors emerging upon injury. After many years of concerted efforts, however, these hurdles to axon regeneration have been partially overcome. This review summarizes the mechanisms regulating axon regeneration. We highlight proteoglycans, particularly because it has become increasingly clear that these proteins serve as critical regulators for axon regeneration. Studies on proteoglycans have revealed that glycans not only assist in the modulation of protein functions but also act as main players-e.g., as functional ligands mediating intracellular signaling through specific receptors on the cell surface. By regulating clustering of the receptors, glycans in the proteoglycan moiety, i.e., glycosaminoglycans, promote or inhibit axon regeneration. In addition, proteoglycans are involved in various types of neural plasticity, ranging from synaptic plasticity to experience-dependent plasticity. Although studies on proteins have progressively facilitated our understanding of the nervous system, glycans constitute a new frontier for further research and development in this field. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Neuro-glycoscience, edited by Kenji Kadomatsu and Hiroshi Kitagawa. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. N-docosahexaenoylethanolamine regulates Hedgehog signaling and promotes growth of cortical axons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgi Kharebava


    Full Text Available Axonogenesis, a process for the establishment of neuron connectivity, is central to brain function. The role of metabolites derived from docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3 that is specifically enriched in the brain, has not been addressed in axon development. In this study, we tested if synaptamide (N-docosahexaenoylethanolamine, an endogenous metabolite of DHA, affects axon growth in cultured cortical neurons. We found that synaptamide increased the average axon length, inhibited GLI family zinc finger 1 (GLI1 transcription and sonic hedgehog (Shh target gene expression while inducing cAMP elevation. Similar effects were produced by cyclopamine, a regulator of the Shh pathway. Conversely, Shh antagonized elevation of cAMP and blocked synaptamide-mediated increase in axon length. Activation of Shh pathway by a smoothened (SMO agonist (SAG or overexpression of SMO did not inhibit axon growth mediated by synaptamide or cyclopamine. Instead, adenylate cyclase inhibitor SQ22536 abolished synaptamide-mediated axon growth indicating requirement of cAMP elevation for this process. Our findings establish that synaptamide promotes axon growth while Shh antagonizes synaptamide-mediated cAMP elevation and axon growth by a SMO-independent, non-canonical pathway.

  11. Semaphorin3A regulates axon growth independently of growth cone repulsion via modulation of TrkA signaling. (United States)

    Ben-Zvi, A; Ben-Gigi, L; Yagil, Z; Lerman, O; Behar, O


    Regulation of axon growth is a critical event in neuronal development. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a strong inducer of axon growth and survival in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Paradoxically, high concentrations of NGF are present in the target region where axon growth must slow down for axons to accurately identify their correct targets. Semaphorin3A (Sema3A), a powerful axonal repellent molecule for DRG neurons, is also situated in their target regions. NGF is a modulator of Sema3A-induced repulsion and death. We show that Sema3A is a regulator of NGF-induced neurite outgrowth via the TrkA receptor, independent of its growth cone repulsion activity. First, neurite outgrowth of DRG neurons is more sensitive to Sema3A than repulsion. Second, at concentrations sufficient to significantly inhibit Sema3A-induced repulsion, NGF has no effect on Sema3A-induced axon growth inhibition. Third, Sema3A-induced outgrowth inhibition, but not repulsion activity, is dependent on NGF stimulation. Fourth, Sema3A attenuates TrkA-mediated growth signaling, but not survival signaling, and over-expression of constitutively active TrkA blocks Sema3A-induced axon growth inhibition, suggesting that Sema3A activity is mediated via regulation of NGF/TrkA-induced growth. Finally, quantitative analysis of axon growth in vivo supports the possibility that Sema3A affects axon growth, in addition to its well-documented role in axon guidance. We suggest a model whereby NGF at high concentrations in the target region is important for survival, attraction and inhibition of Sema3A-induced repulsion, while Sema3A inhibits its growth-promoting activity. The combined and cross-modulatory effects of these two signaling molecules ensure the accuracy of the final stages in axon targeting.

  12. T-type Ca2+ channels are required for enhanced sympathetic axon growth by TNFα reverse signalling. (United States)

    Kisiswa, Lilian; Erice, Clara; Ferron, Laurent; Wyatt, Sean; Osório, Catarina; Dolphin, Annette C; Davies, Alun M


    Tumour necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1)-activated TNFα reverse signalling, in which membrane-integrated TNFα functions as a receptor for TNFR1, enhances axon growth from developing sympathetic neurons and plays a crucial role in establishing sympathetic innervation. Here, we have investigated the link between TNFα reverse signalling and axon growth in cultured sympathetic neurons. TNFR1-activated TNFα reverse signalling promotes Ca(2+) influx, and highly selective T-type Ca(2+) channel inhibitors, but not pharmacological inhibitors of L-type, N-type and P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels, prevented enhanced axon growth. T-type Ca(2+) channel-specific inhibitors eliminated Ca(2+) spikes promoted by TNFα reverse signalling in axons and prevented enhanced axon growth when applied locally to axons, but not when applied to cell somata. Blocking action potential generation did not affect the effect of TNFα reverse signalling on axon growth, suggesting that propagated action potentials are not required for enhanced axon growth. TNFα reverse signalling enhanced protein kinase C (PKC) activation, and pharmacological inhibition of PKC prevented the axon growth response. These results suggest that TNFα reverse signalling promotes opening of T-type Ca(2+) channels along sympathetic axons, which is required for enhanced axon growth. © 2017 The Authors.

  13. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans negatively regulate the positioning of mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum to distal axons. (United States)

    Sainath, Rajiv; Armijo-Weingart, Lorena; Ketscheck, Andrea; Xu, Zhuxuan; Li, Shuxin; Gallo, Gianluca


    Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are components of the extracellular matrix that inhibit the extension and regeneration of axons. However, the underlying mechanism of action remains poorly understood. Mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are functionally inter-linked organelles important to axon development and maintenance. We report that CSPGs impair the targeting of mitochondria and ER to the growth cones of chicken embryonic sensory axons. The effect of CSPGs on the targeting of mitochondria is blocked by inhibition of the LAR receptor for CSPGs. The regulation of the targeting of mitochondria and ER to the growth cone by CSPGs is due to attenuation of PI3K signaling, which is known to be downstream of LAR receptor activation. Dynactin is a required component of the dynein motor complex that drives the normally occurring retrograde evacuation of mitochondria from growth cones. CSPGs elevate the levels of p150 Glu dynactin found in distal axons, and inhibition of the interaction of dynactin with dynein increased axon lengths on CSPGs. CSPGs decreased the membrane potential of mitochondria, and pharmacological inhibition of mitochondria respiration at the growth cone independent of manipulation of mitochondria positioning impaired axon extension. Combined inhibition of dynactin and potentiation of mitochondria respiration further increased axon lengths on CSPGs relative to inhibition of dynactin alone. These data reveal that the regulation of the localization of mitochondria and ER to growth cones is a previously unappreciated aspect of the effects of CSPGs on embryonic axons. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 1351-1370, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Oligodendrocytes: Myelination and Axonal Support (United States)

    Simons, Mikael; Nave, Klaus-Armin


    Myelinated nerve fibers have evolved to enable fast and efficient transduction of electrical signals in the nervous system. To act as an electric insulator, the myelin sheath is formed as a multilamellar membrane structure by the spiral wrapping and subsequent compaction of the oligodendroglial plasma membrane around central nervous system (CNS) axons. Current evidence indicates that the myelin sheath is more than an inert insulating membrane structure. Oligodendrocytes are metabolically active and functionally connected to the subjacent axon via cytoplasmic-rich myelinic channels for movement of macromolecules to and from the internodal periaxonal space under the myelin sheath. This review summarizes our current understanding of how myelin is generated and also the role of oligodendrocytes in supporting the long-term integrity of myelinated axons. PMID:26101081

  15. Intra-axonal Synthesis of SNAP25 Is Required for the Formation of Presynaptic Terminals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreia F.R. Batista


    Full Text Available Localized protein synthesis is a mechanism for developing axons to react acutely and in a spatially restricted manner to extracellular signals. As such, it is important for many aspects of axonal development, but its role in the formation of presynapses remains poorly understood. We found that the induced assembly of presynaptic terminals required local protein synthesis. Newly synthesized proteins were detectable at nascent presynapses within 15 min of inducing synapse formation in isolated axons. The transcript for the t-SNARE protein SNAP25, which is required for the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane, was recruited to presynaptic sites and locally translated. Inhibition of intra-axonal SNAP25 synthesis affected the clustering of SNAP25 and other presynaptic proteins and interfered with the release of synaptic vesicles from presynaptic sites. This study reveals a critical role for the axonal synthesis of SNAP25 in the assembly of presynaptic terminals.

  16. Cortical Interneuron Subtypes Vary in Their Axonal Action Potential Properties (United States)

    Casale, Amanda E.; Foust, Amanda J.; Bal, Thierry


    The role of interneurons in cortical microcircuits is strongly influenced by their passive and active electrical properties. Although different types of interneurons exhibit unique electrophysiological properties recorded at the soma, it is not yet clear whether these differences are also manifested in other neuronal compartments. To address this question, we have used voltage-sensitive dye to image the propagation of action potentials into the fine collaterals of axons and dendrites in two of the largest cortical interneuron subtypes in the mouse: fast-spiking interneurons, which are typically basket or chandelier neurons; and somatostatin containing interneurons, which are typically regular spiking Martinotti cells. We found that fast-spiking and somatostatin-expressing interneurons differed in their electrophysiological characteristics along their entire dendrosomatoaxonal extent. The action potentials generated in the somata and axons, including axon collaterals, of somatostatin-expressing interneurons are significantly broader than those generated in the same compartments of fast-spiking inhibitory interneurons. In addition, action potentials back-propagated into the dendrites of somatostatin-expressing interneurons much more readily than fast-spiking interneurons. Pharmacological investigations suggested that axonal action potential repolarization in both cell types depends critically upon Kv1 channels, whereas the axonal and somatic action potentials of somatostatin-expressing interneurons also depend on BK Ca2+-activated K+ channels. These results indicate that the two broad classes of interneurons studied here have expressly different subcellular physiological properties, allowing them to perform unique computational roles in cortical circuit operations. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neurons in the cerebral cortex are of two major types: excitatory and inhibitory. The proper balance of excitation and inhibition in the brain is critical for its operation. Neurons

  17. Pannexin 1 Modulates Axonal Growth in Mouse Peripheral Nerves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven M. Horton


    Full Text Available The pannexin family of channels consists of three members—pannexin-1 (Panx1, pannexin-2 (Panx2, and pannexin-3 (Panx3 that enable the exchange of metabolites and signaling molecules between intracellular and extracellular compartments. Pannexin-mediated release of intracellular ATP into the extracellular space has been tied to a number of cellular activities, primarily through the activity of type P2 purinergic receptors. Previous work indicates that the opening of Panx1 channels and activation of purinergic receptors by extracellular ATP may cause inflammation and apoptosis. In the CNS (central nervous system and PNS (peripheral nervous system, coupled pannexin, and P2 functions have been linked to peripheral sensitization (pain pathways. Purinergic pathways are also essential for other critical processes in the PNS, including myelination and neurite outgrowth. However, whether such pathways are pannexin-dependent remains to be determined. In this study, we use a Panx1 knockout mouse model and pharmacological inhibitors of the Panx1 and the ATP-mediated signaling pathway to fill gaps in our understanding of Panx1 localization in peripheral nerves, roles for Panx1 in axonal outgrowth and myelination, and neurite extension. Our data show that Panx1 is localized to axonal, myelin, and vascular compartments of the peripheral nerves. Knockout of Panx1 gene significantly increased axonal caliber in vivo and axonal growth rate in cultured dorsal root ganglia (DRG neurons. Furthermore, genetic knockout of Panx1 or inhibition of components of purinergic signaling, by treatment with probenecid and apyrase, resulted in denser axonal outgrowth from cultured DRG explants compared to untreated wild-types. Our findings suggest that Panx1 regulates axonal growth in the peripheral nervous system.

  18. Selective control of small versus large diameter axons using infrared laser light (Conference Presentation) (United States)

    Lothet, Emilie H.; Shaw, Kendrick M.; Horn, Charles C.; Lu, Hui; Wang, Yves T.; Jansen, E. Duco; Chiel, Hillel J.; Jenkins, Michael W.


    Sensory information is conveyed to the central nervous system via small diameter unmyelinated fibers. In general, smaller diameter axons have slower conduction velocities. Selective control of such fibers could create new clinical treatments for chronic pain, nausea in response to chemo-therapeutic agents, or hypertension. Electrical stimulation can control axonal activity, but induced axonal current is proportional to cross-sectional area, so that large diameter fibers are affected first. Physiologically, however, synaptic inputs generally affect small diameter fibers before large diameter fibers (the size principle). A more physiological modality that first affected small diameter fibers could have fewer side effects (e.g., not recruiting motor axons). A novel mathematical analysis of the cable equation demonstrates that the minimum length along the axon for inducing block scales with the square root of axon diameter. This implies that the minimum length along an axon for inhibition will scale as the square root of axon diameter, so that lower radiant exposures of infrared light will selectively affect small diameter, slower conducting fibers before those of large diameter. This prediction was tested in identified neurons from the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. Radiant exposure to block a neuron with a slower conduction velocity (B43) was consistently lower than that needed to block a faster conduction velocity neuron (B3). Furthermore, in the vagus nerve of the musk shrew, lower radiant exposure blocked slow conducting fibers before blocking faster conducting fibers. Infrared light can selectively control smaller diameter fibers, suggesting many novel clinical treatments.

  19. The axonal cytoskeleton : from organization to function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kevenaar, Josta T|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/338771042; Hoogenraad, Casper C|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/227263502

    The axon is the single long fiber that extends from the neuron and transmits electrical signals away from the cell body. The neuronal cytoskeleton, composed of microtubules (MTs), actin filaments and neurofilaments, is not only required for axon formation and axonal transport but also provides the

  20. Essential role of the apoptotic cell engulfment genes draper and ced-6 in programmed axon pruning during Drosophila metamorphosis. (United States)

    Awasaki, Takeshi; Tatsumi, Ryoko; Takahashi, Kuniaki; Arai, Kunizo; Nakanishi, Yoshinobu; Ueda, Ryu; Ito, Kei


    Axon pruning is a common phenomenon in neural circuit development. Previous studies demonstrate that the engulfing action of glial cells is essential in this process. The underlying molecular mechanisms, however, remain unknown. We show that draper (drpr) and ced-6, which are essential for the clearance of apoptotic cells in C. elegans, function in the glial engulfment of larval axons during Drosophila metamorphosis. The drpr mutation and glia-specific knockdown of drpr and ced-6 by RNA interference suppress glial engulfment, resulting in the inhibition of axon pruning. drpr and ced-6 interact genetically in the glial action. Disruption of the microtubule cytoskeleton in the axons to be pruned occurs via ecdysone signaling, independent of glial engulfment. These findings suggest that glial cells engulf degenerating axons through drpr and ced-6. We propose that apoptotic cells and degenerating axons of living neurons are removed by a similar molecular mechanism.

  1. Axonal dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in somatosensory cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally A Marik


    Full Text Available Cortical topography can be remapped as a consequence of sensory deprivation, suggesting that cortical circuits are continually modified by experience. To see the effect of altered sensory experience on specific components of cortical circuits, we imaged neurons, labeled with a genetically modified adeno-associated virus, in the intact mouse somatosensory cortex before and after whisker plucking. Following whisker plucking we observed massive and rapid reorganization of the axons of both excitatory and inhibitory neurons, accompanied by a transient increase in bouton density. For horizontally projecting axons of excitatory neurons there was a net increase in axonal projections from the non-deprived whisker barrel columns into the deprived barrel columns. The axon collaterals of inhibitory neurons located in the deprived whisker barrel columns retracted in the vicinity of their somata and sprouted long-range projections beyond their normal reach towards the non-deprived whisker barrel columns. These results suggest that alterations in the balance of excitation and inhibition in deprived and non-deprived barrel columns underlie the topographic remapping associated with sensory deprivation.

  2. Human intraretinal myelination: Axon diameters and axon/myelin thickness ratios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas FitzGibbon


    Full Text Available Purpose: Human intraretinal myelination of ganglion cell axons occurs in about 1% of the population. We examined myelin thickness and axon diameter in human retinal specimens containing myelinated retinal ganglion cell axons. Materials and Methods: Two eyes containing myelinated patches were prepared for electron microscopy. Two areas were examined in one retina and five in the second retina. Measurements were compared to normal retinal and optic nerve samples and the rabbit retina, which normally contains myelinated axons. Measurements were made using a graphics tablet. Results: Mean axon diameter of myelinated axons at all locations were significantly larger than unmyelinated axons (P ≤ 0.01. Myelinated axons within the patches were significantly larger than axons within the optic nerve (P < 0.01. The relationship between axon diameter/fiber diameter (the G-ratio seen in the retinal sites differed from that in the nerve. G-ratios were higher and myelin thickness was positively correlated to axon diameter (P < 0.01 in the retina but negatively correlated to axon diameter in the nerve (P < 0.001. Conclusion: Intraretinally myelinated axons are larger than non-myelinated axons from the same population and suggests that glial cells can induce diameter changes in retinal axons that are not normally myelinated. This effect is more dramatic on intraretinal axons compared with the normal transition zone as axons enter the optic nerve and these changes are abnormal. Whether intraretinal myelin alters axonal conduction velocity or blocks axonal conduction remains to be clarified and these issues may have different clinical outcomes.

  3. Floor plate-derived neuropilin-2 functions as a secreted semaphorin sink to facilitate commissural axon midline crossing. (United States)

    Hernandez-Enriquez, Berenice; Wu, Zhuhao; Martinez, Edward; Olsen, Olav; Kaprielian, Zaven; Maness, Patricia F; Yoshida, Yutaka; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Tran, Tracy S


    Commissural axon guidance depends on a myriad of cues expressed by intermediate targets. Secreted semaphorins signal through neuropilin-2/plexin-A1 receptor complexes on post-crossing commissural axons to mediate floor plate repulsion in the mouse spinal cord. Here, we show that neuropilin-2/plexin-A1 are also coexpressed on commissural axons prior to midline crossing and can mediate precrossing semaphorin-induced repulsion in vitro. How premature semaphorin-induced repulsion of precrossing axons is suppressed in vivo is not known. We discovered that a novel source of floor plate-derived, but not axon-derived, neuropilin-2 is required for precrossing axon pathfinding. Floor plate-specific deletion of neuropilin-2 significantly reduces the presence of precrossing axons in the ventral spinal cord, which can be rescued by inhibiting plexin-A1 signaling in vivo. Our results show that floor plate-derived neuropilin-2 is developmentally regulated, functioning as a molecular sink to sequester semaphorins, preventing premature repulsion of precrossing axons prior to subsequent down-regulation, and allowing for semaphorin-mediated repulsion of post-crossing axons. © 2015 Hernandez-Enriquez et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  4. Stereotactic injection of shrna GSK-3β-AAV promotes axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury. (United States)

    Zuo, Yu-Chao; Xiong, Nan-Xiang; Zhao, Hong-Yang


    Evidence suggested that glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) is involved in Nogo-66 inhibiting axonal regeneration in vitro, but its effect in vivo was poorly understood. We showed that stereotactic injection of shRNA GSK-3β-adeno associated virus (GSK-3β-AAV) diminished syringomyelia and promoted axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI), using stereotactic injection of shRNA GSK-3β-AAV (tested with Western blotting and RT-PCR) into the sensorimotor cortex of rats with SCI and by the detection of biotin dextran amine (BDA)-labeled axonal regeneration. We also determined the right position to inject into the sensorimotor cortex. Our findings consolidate the hypothesis that downregulation of GSK-3β promotes axonal regeneration after SCI.

  5. EFA6 regulates selective polarised transport and axon regeneration from the axon initial segment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Eva, R.; Koseki, H.; Kanamarlapudi, V.; Fawcett, James


    Roč. 130, č. 21 (2017), s. 3663-3675 ISSN 0021-9533 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : axon regeneration * axon transport * neuronal polarisation Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 4.431, year: 2016

  6. Laminin activates CaMK-II to stabilize nascent embryonic axons. (United States)

    Easley, Charles A; Faison, Milton O; Kirsch, Therese L; Lee, Jocelyn A; Seward, Matthew E; Tombes, Robert M


    In neurons, the interaction of laminin with its receptor, beta1 integrin, is accompanied by an increase in cytosolic Ca2+. Neuronal behavior is influenced by CaMK-II, the type II Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, which is enriched in axons of mouse embryonic neurons. In this study, we sought to determine whether CaMK-II is activated by laminin, and if so, how CaMK-II influences axonal growth and stability. Axons grew up to 200 microm within 1 day of plating P19 embryoid bodies on laminin-1 (EHS laminin). Activated CaMK-II was found enriched along the axon and in the growth cone as detected using a phospho-Thr(287) specific CaMK-II antibody. beta1 integrin was found in a similar pattern along the axon and in the growth cone. Direct inhibition of CaMK-II in 1-day-old neurons immediately froze growth cone dynamics, disorganized F-actin and ultimately led to axon retraction. Collapsed axonal remnants exhibited diminished phospho-CaMK-II levels. Treatment of 1-day neurons with a beta1 integrin-blocking antibody (CD29) also reduced axon length and phospho-CaMK-II levels and, like CaMK-II inhibitors, decreased CaMK-II activation. Among several CaMK-II variants detected in these cultures, the 52-kDa delta variant preferentially associated with actin and beta 3 tubulin as determined by reciprocal immunoprecipitation. Our findings indicate that persistent activation of delta CaMK-II by laminin stabilizes nascent embryonic axons through its influence on the actin cytoskeleton.

  7. AxonSeg: Open Source Software for Axon and Myelin Segmentation and Morphometric Analysis. (United States)

    Zaimi, Aldo; Duval, Tanguy; Gasecka, Alicja; Côté, Daniel; Stikov, Nikola; Cohen-Adad, Julien


    Segmenting axon and myelin from microscopic images is relevant for studying the peripheral and central nervous system and for validating new MRI techniques that aim at quantifying tissue microstructure. While several software packages have been proposed, their interface is sometimes limited and/or they are designed to work with a specific modality (e.g., scanning electron microscopy (SEM) only). Here we introduce AxonSeg, which allows to perform automatic axon and myelin segmentation on histology images, and to extract relevant morphometric information, such as axon diameter distribution, axon density and the myelin g-ratio. AxonSeg includes a simple and intuitive MATLAB-based graphical user interface (GUI) and can easily be adapted to a variety of imaging modalities. The main steps of AxonSeg consist of: (i) image pre-processing; (ii) pre-segmentation of axons over a cropped image and discriminant analysis (DA) to select the best parameters based on axon shape and intensity information; (iii) automatic axon and myelin segmentation over the full image; and (iv) atlas-based statistics to extract morphometric information. Segmentation results from standard optical microscopy (OM), SEM and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy are presented, along with validation against manual segmentations. Being fully-automatic after a quick manual intervention on a cropped image, we believe AxonSeg will be useful to researchers interested in large throughput histology. AxonSeg is open source and freely available at:

  8. Axon reflexes in human cold exposed fingers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Daanen, H.A.M.; Ducharme, M.B.


    Exposure of fingers to severe cold induces cold induced vasodilation (CIVD). The mechanism of CIVD is still debated. The original theory states that an axon reflex causes CIVD. To test this hypothesis, axon reflexes were evoked by electrical stimulation of the middle fingers of hands immersed in

  9. Motor axon excitability during Wallerian degeneration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Alvarez, Susana; Krarup, Christian


    , action potential propagation and structural integrity of the distal segment are maintained. The aim of this study was to investigate in vivo the changes in membrane function of motor axons during the 'latent' phase of Wallerian degeneration. Multiple indices of axonal excitability of the tibial nerve...

  10. Dynamics of mitochondrial transport in axons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Francis Niescier


    Full Text Available The polarized structure and long neurites of neurons pose a unique challenge for proper mitochondrial distribution. It is widely accepted that mitochondria move from the cell body to axon ends and vice versa; however, we have found that mitochondria originating from the axon ends moving in the retrograde direction never reach to the cell body, and only a limited number of mitochondria moving in the anterograde direction from the cell body arrive at the axon ends of mouse hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, we have derived a mathematical formula using the Fokker-Planck equation to characterize features of mitochondrial transport, and the equation could determine altered mitochondrial transport in axons overexpressing parkin. Our analysis will provide new insights into the dynamics of mitochondrial transport in axons of normal and unhealthy neurons.

  11. Neurofilament subunit (NFL) head domain phosphorylation regulates axonal transport of neurofilaments.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Yates, Darran M


    Neurofilaments are the intermediate filaments of neurons and are synthesised in neuronal cell bodies and then transported through axons. Neurofilament light chain (NFL) is a principal component of neurofilaments, and phosphorylation of NFL head domain is believed to regulate the assembly of neurofilaments. However, the role that NFL phosphorylation has on transport of neurofilaments is poorly understood. To address this issue, we monitored axonal transport of phosphorylation mutants of NFL. We mutated four known phosphorylation sites in NFL head domain to either preclude phosphorylation, or mimic permanent phosphorylation. Mutation to preclude phosphorylation had no effect on transport but mutation of three sites to mimic permanent phosphorylation inhibited transport. Mutation of all four sites together to mimic permanent phosphorylation proved especially potent at inhibiting transport and also disrupted neurofilament assembly. Our results suggest that NFL head domain phosphorylation is a regulator of neurofilament axonal transport.

  12. The Genetics of Axon Guidance and Axon Regeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans (United States)

    Chisholm, Andrew D.; Hutter, Harald; Jin, Yishi; Wadsworth, William G.


    The correct wiring of neuronal circuits depends on outgrowth and guidance of neuronal processes during development. In the past two decades, great progress has been made in understanding the molecular basis of axon outgrowth and guidance. Genetic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans has played a key role in elucidating conserved pathways regulating axon guidance, including Netrin signaling, the slit Slit/Robo pathway, Wnt signaling, and others. Axon guidance factors were first identified by screens for mutations affecting animal behavior, and by direct visual screens for axon guidance defects. Genetic analysis of these pathways has revealed the complex and combinatorial nature of guidance cues, and has delineated how cues guide growth cones via receptor activity and cytoskeletal rearrangement. Several axon guidance pathways also affect directed migrations of non-neuronal cells in C. elegans, with implications for normal and pathological cell migrations in situations such as tumor metastasis. The small number of neurons and highly stereotyped axonal architecture of the C. elegans nervous system allow analysis of axon guidance at the level of single identified axons, and permit in vivo tests of prevailing models of axon guidance. C. elegans axons also have a robust capacity to undergo regenerative regrowth after precise laser injury (axotomy). Although such axon regrowth shares some similarities with developmental axon outgrowth, screens for regrowth mutants have revealed regeneration-specific pathways and factors that were not identified in developmental screens. Several areas remain poorly understood, including how major axon tracts are formed in the embryo, and the function of axon regeneration in the natural environment. PMID:28114100

  13. Negative guidance factor-induced macropinocytosis in the growth cone plays a critical role in repulsive axon turning. (United States)

    Kolpak, Adrianne L; Jiang, Jun; Guo, Daorong; Standley, Clive; Bellve, Karl; Fogarty, Kevin; Bao, Zheng-Zheng


    Macropinocytosis is a type of poorly characterized fluid-phase endocytosis that results in formation of relatively large vesicles. We report that Sonic hedgehog (Shh) protein induces macropinocytosis in the axons through activation of a noncanonical signaling pathway, including Rho GTPase and nonmuscle myosin II. Macropinocytosis induced by Shh is independent of clathrin-mediated endocytosis but dependent on dynamin, myosin II, and Rho GTPase activities. Inhibitors of macropinocytosis also abolished the negative effects of Shh on axonal growth, including growth cone collapse and chemorepulsive axon turning but not turning per se. Conversely, activation of myosin II or treatment of phorbol ester induces macropinocytosis in the axons and elicits growth cone collapse and repulsive axon turning. Furthermore, macropinocytosis is also induced by ephrin-A2, and inhibition of dynamin abolished repulsive axon turning induced by ephrin-A2. Macropinocytosis can be induced ex vivo by high Shh, correlating with axon retraction. These results demonstrate that macropinocytosis-mediated membrane trafficking is an important cellular mechanism involved in axon chemorepulsion induced by negative guidance factors.

  14. Effects of chlorpyrifos on soil carboxylesterase activity at an aggregate-size scale. (United States)

    Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C; Sandoval, Marco


    The impact of pesticides on extracellular enzyme activity has been mostly studied on the bulk soil scale, and our understanding of the impact on an aggregate-size scale remains limited. Because microbial processes, and their extracellular enzyme production, are dependent on the size of soil aggregates, we hypothesized that the effect of pesticides on enzyme activities is aggregate-size specific. We performed three experiments using an Andisol to test the interaction between carboxylesterase (CbE) activity and the organophosphorus (OP) chlorpyrifos. First, we compared esterase activity among aggregates of different size spiked with chlorpyrifos (10mgkg-1 wet soil). Next, we examined the inhibition of CbE activity by chlorpyrifos and its metabolite chlorpyrifos-oxon in vitro to explore the aggregate size-dependent affinity of the pesticides for the active site of the enzyme. Lastly, we assessed the capability of CbEs to alleviate chlorpyrifos toxicity upon soil microorganisms. Our principal findings were: 1) CbE activity was significantly inhibited (30-67% of controls) in the microaggregates (1.0mm) compared with the corresponding controls (i.e., pesticide-free aggregates), 2) chlorpyrifos-oxon was a more potent CbE inhibitor than chlorpyrifos; however, no significant differences in the CbE inhibition were found between micro- and macroaggregates, and 3) dose-response relationships between CbE activity and chlorpyrifos concentrations revealed the capability of the enzyme to bind chlorpyrifos-oxon, which was dependent on the time of exposure. This chemical interaction resulted in a safeguarding mechanism against chlorpyrifos-oxon toxicity on soil microbial activity, as evidenced by the unchanged activity of dehydrogenase and related extracellular enzymes in the pesticide-treated aggregates. Taken together, these results suggest that environmental risk assessments of OP-polluted soils should consider the fractionation of soil in aggregates of different size to measure

  15. Hydrogels as scaffolds and delivery systems to enhance axonal regeneration after injuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar A. Carballo-Molina


    Full Text Available Damage caused to neural tissue by disease or injury frequently produces a discontinuity in the nervous system. Such damage generates diverse alterations that are commonly permanent, due to the limited regeneration capacity of the adult nervous system, particularly the Central Nervous System (CNS. The cellular reaction to noxious stimulus leads to several events such as the formation of glial and fibrous scars, which inhibit axonal regeneration in both the CNS and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS. Although in the PNS there is some degree of nerve regeneration, it is common that the growing axons reinnervate incorrect areas, causing mismatches. Providing a permissive substrate for axonal regeneration in combination with delivery systems for the release of molecules, which enhances axonal growth, could increase regeneration and the recovery of functions in the CNS or the PNS. Currently, there are no effective vehicles to supply growth factors or cells to the damaged/diseased nervous system. Hydrogels are polymers that are biodegradable, biocompatible and have the capacity to deliver a large range of molecules in situ. The inclusion of cultured neural cells into hydrogels forming three-dimensional structures allows the formation of synapses and neuronal survival. There is also evidence showing that hydrogels constitute an amenable substrate for axonal growth of endogenous or grafted cells, overcoming the presence of axonal regeneration inhibitory molecules, in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Recent experiments suggest that hydrogels can carry and deliver several proteins relevant for improving neuronal survival and axonal growth. Although the use of hydrogels is appealing, its effectiveness is still a matter of discussion, and more results are needed to achieve consistent recovery using different parameters. This review also discusses areas of opportunity where hydrogels can be applied, in order to promote axonal regeneration of

  16. Astrocyte scar formation aids CNS axon regeneration (United States)

    Anderson, Mark A.; Burda, Joshua E.; Ren, Yilong; Ao, Yan; O’Shea, Timothy M.; Kawaguchi, Riki; Coppola, Giovanni; Khakh, Baljit S.; Deming, Timothy J.; Sofroniew, Michael V.


    Summary Transected axons fail to regrow in the mature central nervous system (CNS). Astrocyte scars are widely regarded as causal in this failure. Here, using three genetically targeted loss-of-function manipulations in adult mice, we show that preventing astrocyte scar formation, attenuating scar-forming astrocytes, or deleting chronic astrocyte scars all failed to result in spontaneous regrowth of transected corticospinal, sensory or serotonergic axons through severe spinal cord injury (SCI) lesions. In striking contrast, sustained local delivery via hydrogel depots of required axon-specific growth factors not present in SCI lesions, plus growth-activating priming injuries, stimulated robust, laminin-dependent sensory axon regrowth past scar-forming astrocytes and inhibitory molecules in SCI lesions. Preventing astrocyte scar formation significantly reduced this stimulated axon regrowth. RNA sequencing revealed that astrocytes and non-astrocyte cells in SCI lesions express multiple axon-growth supporting molecules. Our findings show that contrary to prevailing dogma, astrocyte scar formation aids rather than prevents CNS axon regeneration. PMID:27027288

  17. Axon targeting meets protein trafficking: Comm takes Robo to the cleaners. (United States)

    Rosenzweig, Mark; Garrity, Paul


    Axon guidance at the Drosophila midline relies on dynamic regulation of the guidance receptor Robo by its negative regulator Comm. Recent findings demonstrate that Comm collaborates with the ubiquitin-protein ligase DNedd4 to inhibit Robo signaling by promoting the sorting of Robo into the endocytic pathway.

  18. Polarity sorting of axonal microtubules: a computational study. (United States)

    Craig, Erin M; Yeung, Howard T; Rao, Anand N; Baas, Peter W


    We present a computational model to test a "polarity sorting" mechanism for microtubule (MT) organization in developing axons. We simulate the motor-based axonal transport of short MTs to test the hypothesis that immobilized cytoplasmic dynein motors transport short MTs with their plus ends leading, so "mal-oriented" MTs with minus-end-out are transported toward the cell body while "correctly" oriented MTs are transported in the anterograde direction away from the soma. We find that dynein-based transport of short MTs can explain the predominately plus-end-out polarity pattern of axonal MTs but that transient attachments of plus-end-directed motor proteins and nonmotile cross-linker proteins are needed to explain the frequent pauses and occasional reversals observed in live-cell imaging of MT transport. Static cross-linkers increase the likelihood of a stalled "tug-of-war" between retrograde and anterograde forces on the MT, providing an explanation for the frequent pauses of short MTs and the immobility of longer MTs. We predict that inhibition of the proposed static cross-linker will produce disordered transport of short MTs and increased mobility of longer MTs. We also predict that acute inhibition of cytoplasmic dynein will disrupt the polarity sorting of MTs by increasing the likelihood of "incorrect" sorting of MTs by plus-end-directed motors. © 2017 Craig et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (

  19. Axon guidance proteins in neurological disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Battum, Eljo Y.; Brignani, Sara; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/197768814


    Many neurological disorders are characterised by structural changes in neuronal connections, ranging from presymptomatic synaptic changes to the loss or rewiring of entire axon bundles. The molecular mechanisms that underlie this perturbed connectivity are poorly understood, but recent studies

  20. Axon tension regulates fasciculation/defasciculation through the control of axon shaft zippering (United States)

    Šmít, Daniel; Fouquet, Coralie; Pincet, Frédéric; Zapotocky, Martin; Trembleau, Alain


    While axon fasciculation plays a key role in the development of neural networks, very little is known about its dynamics and the underlying biophysical mechanisms. In a model system composed of neurons grown ex vivo from explants of embryonic mouse olfactory epithelia, we observed that axons dynamically interact with each other through their shafts, leading to zippering and unzippering behavior that regulates their fasciculation. Taking advantage of this new preparation suitable for studying such interactions, we carried out a detailed biophysical analysis of zippering, occurring either spontaneously or induced by micromanipulations and pharmacological treatments. We show that zippering arises from the competition of axon-axon adhesion and mechanical tension in the axons, and provide the first quantification of the force of axon-axon adhesion. Furthermore, we introduce a biophysical model of the zippering dynamics, and we quantitatively relate the individual zipper properties to global characteristics of the developing axon network. Our study uncovers a new role of mechanical tension in neural development: the regulation of axon fasciculation. DOI: PMID:28422009

  1. Axon tension regulates fasciculation/defasciculation through the control of axon shaft zippering. (United States)

    Šmít, Daniel; Fouquet, Coralie; Pincet, Frédéric; Zapotocky, Martin; Trembleau, Alain


    While axon fasciculation plays a key role in the development of neural networks, very little is known about its dynamics and the underlying biophysical mechanisms. In a model system composed of neurons grown ex vivo from explants of embryonic mouse olfactory epithelia, we observed that axons dynamically interact with each other through their shafts, leading to zippering and unzippering behavior that regulates their fasciculation. Taking advantage of this new preparation suitable for studying such interactions, we carried out a detailed biophysical analysis of zippering, occurring either spontaneously or induced by micromanipulations and pharmacological treatments. We show that zippering arises from the competition of axon-axon adhesion and mechanical tension in the axons, and provide the first quantification of the force of axon-axon adhesion. Furthermore, we introduce a biophysical model of the zippering dynamics, and we quantitatively relate the individual zipper properties to global characteristics of the developing axon network. Our study uncovers a new role of mechanical tension in neural development: the regulation of axon fasciculation.

  2. Modeling of axonal endoplasmic reticulum network by spastic paraplegia proteins. (United States)

    Yalçın, Belgin; Zhao, Lu; Stofanko, Martin; O'Sullivan, Niamh C; Kang, Zi Han; Roost, Annika; Thomas, Matthew R; Zaessinger, Sophie; Blard, Olivier; Patto, Alex L; Sohail, Anood; Baena, Valentina; Terasaki, Mark; O'Kane, Cahir J


    Axons contain a smooth tubular endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network that is thought to be continuous with ER throughout the neuron; the mechanisms that form this axonal network are unknown. Mutations affecting reticulon or REEP proteins, with intramembrane hairpin domains that model ER membranes, cause an axon degenerative disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). We show that Drosophila axons have a dynamic axonal ER network, which these proteins help to model. Loss of HSP hairpin proteins causes ER sheet expansion, partial loss of ER from distal motor axons, and occasional discontinuities in axonal ER. Ultrastructural analysis reveals an extensive ER network in axons, which shows larger and fewer tubules in larvae that lack reticulon and REEP proteins, consistent with loss of membrane curvature. Therefore HSP hairpin-containing proteins are required for shaping and continuity of axonal ER, thus suggesting roles for ER modeling in axon maintenance and function.

  3. Axon position within the corpus callosum determines contralateral cortical projection


    Zhou, Jing; Wen, Yunqing; She, Liang; Sui, Ya-nan; Liu, Lu; Richards, Linda J.; Poo, Mu-ming


    Two hemispheres of the neocortex are connected via a large axon bundle, the corpus callosum (CC). Axons from one side of the cortex project primarily to the equivalent cortical area on the contralateral side. How this homotopic axon projection is achieved during development remains unclear. Quantitative analysis of the cortical axons' positions within CC and their projection pattern after crossing the midline showed that axon position within CC is critical for homotopic projection. Further ge...

  4. Active Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin plays an ancillary rather than essential role in Zebrafish CNS axon regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heike eDiekmann


    Full Text Available The developmental decrease of the intrinsic regenerative ability of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS is associated with reduced activity of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR in mature neurons such as retinal ganglion cells (RGCs. While mTOR activity is further decreased upon axonal injury, maintenance of its pre-injury level, for instance by genetic deletion of the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN, markedly promotes axon regeneration in mammals. The current study now addressed the question whether active mTOR might generally play a central role in axon regeneration by analyzing its requirement in regeneration-competent zebrafish. Remarkably, regulation of mTOR activity after optic nerve injury in zebrafish is fundamentally different compared to mammals. Hardly any activity was detected in naïve RGCs, whereas it was markedly increased upon axotomy in vivo as well as in dissociated cell cultures. After a short burst, mTOR activity was quickly attenuated, which is contrary to the requirements for axon regeneration in mammals. Surprisingly, mTOR activity was not essential for axonal growth per se, but correlated with cytokine- and PTEN inhibitor-induced neurite extension in vitro. Moreover, inhibition of mTOR using rapamycin significantly reduced axonal regeneration in vivo and delayed functional recovery after optic nerve injury. Therefore, axotomy-induced mTOR activity is involved in CNS axon regeneration in zebrafish similar to mammals, although it plays an ancillary rather than essential role in this regeneration-competent species.

  5. EphA4 blockers promote axonal regeneration and functional recovery following spinal cord injury in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yona Goldshmit

    Full Text Available Upregulation and activation of developmental axon guidance molecules, such as semaphorins and members of the Eph receptor tyrosine kinase family and their ligands, the ephrins, play a role in the inhibition of axonal regeneration following injury to the central nervous system. Previously we have demonstrated in a knockout model that axonal regeneration following spinal cord injury is promoted in the absence of the axon guidance protein EphA4. Antagonism of EphA4 was therefore proposed as a potential therapy to promote recovery from spinal cord injury. To further assess this potential, two soluble recombinant blockers of EphA4, unclustered ephrin-A5-Fc and EphA4-Fc, were examined for their ability to promote axonal regeneration and to improve functional outcome following spinal cord hemisection in wildtype mice. A 2-week administration of either of these blockers following spinal cord injury was sufficient to promote substantial axonal regeneration and functional recovery by 5 weeks following injury. Both inhibitors produced a moderate reduction in astrocytic gliosis, indicating that much of the effect of the blockers may be due to promotion of axon growth. These studies provide definitive evidence that soluble inhibitors of EphA4 function offer considerable therapeutic potential for the treatment of spinal cord injury and may have broader potential for the treatment of other central nervous system injuries.

  6. Expression of an Activated Integrin Promotes Long-Distance Sensory Axon Regeneration in the Spinal Cord. (United States)

    Cheah, Menghon; Andrews, Melissa R; Chew, Daniel J; Moloney, Elizabeth B; Verhaagen, Joost; Fässler, Reinhard; Fawcett, James W


    After CNS injury, axon regeneration is blocked by an inhibitory environment consisting of the highly upregulated tenascin-C and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). Tenascin-C promotes growth of axons if they express a tenascin-binding integrin, particularly α9β1. Additionally, integrins can be inactivated by CSPGs, and this inhibition can be overcome by the presence of a β1-binding integrin activator, kindlin-1. We examined the synergistic effect of α9 integrin and kindlin-1 on sensory axon regeneration in adult rat spinal cord after dorsal root crush and adeno-associated virus transgene expression in dorsal root ganglia. After 12 weeks, axons from C6-C7 dorsal root ganglia regenerated through the tenascin-C-rich dorsal root entry zone into the dorsal column up to C1 level and above (>25 mm axon length) through a normal pathway. Animals also showed anatomical and electrophysiological evidence of reconnection to the dorsal horn and behavioral recovery in mechanical pressure, thermal pain, and ladder-walking tasks. Expression of α9 integrin or kindlin-1 alone promoted much less regeneration and recovery. The study demonstrates that long-distance sensory axon regeneration over a normal pathway and with sensory and sensory-motor recovery can be achieved. This was achieved by expressing an integrin that recognizes tenascin-C, one of the components of glial scar tissue, and an integrin activator. This enabled extensive long-distance (>25 mm) regeneration of both myelinated and unmyelinated sensory axons with topographically correct connections in the spinal cord. The extent of growth and recovery we have seen would probably be clinically significant. Restoration of sensation to hands, perineum, and genitalia would be a significant improvement for a spinal cord-injured patient. Copyright © 2016 CHEAH et al.

  7. ON Cone Bipolar Cell Axonal Synapses in the OFF Inner Plexiform Layer of the Rabbit Retina (United States)

    Lauritzen, J. Scott; Anderson, James R.; Jones, Bryan W.; Watt, Carl B.; Mohammed, Shoeb; Hoang, John V.; Marc, Robert E.


    Analysis of the rabbit retinal connectome RC1 reveals that the division between the ON and OFF inner plexiform layer (IPL) is not structurally absolute. ON cone bipolar cells make non-canonical axonal synapses onto specific targets and receive amacrine cell synapses in the nominal OFF layer, creating novel motifs, including inhibitory crossover networks. Automated transmission electron microscope (ATEM) imaging, molecular tagging, tracing, and rendering of ≈ 400 bipolar cells reveals axonal ribbons in 36% of ON cone bipolar cells, throughout the OFF IPL. The targets include GABA-positive amacrine cells (γACs), glycine-positive amacrine cells (GACs) and ganglion cells. Most ON cone bipolar cell axonal contacts target GACs driven by OFF cone bipolar cells, forming new architectures for generating ON-OFF amacrine cells. Many of these ON-OFF GACs target ON cone bipolar cell axons, ON γACs and/or ON-OFF ganglion cells, representing widespread mechanisms for OFF to ON crossover inhibition. Other targets include OFF γACs presynaptic to OFF bipolar cells, forming γAC-mediated crossover motifs. ON cone bipolar cell axonal ribbons drive bistratified ON-OFF ganglion cells in the OFF layer and provide ON drive to polarity-appropriate targets such as bistratified diving ganglion cells (bsdGCs). The targeting precision of ON cone bipolar cell axonal synapses shows that this drive incidence is necessarily a joint distribution of cone bipolar cell axonal frequency and target cell trajectories through a given volume of the OFF layer. Such joint distribution sampling is likely common when targets are sparser than sources and when sources are coupled, as are ON cone bipolar cells. PMID:23042441

  8. A novel ALS-associated variant in UBQLN4 regulates motor axon morphogenesis (United States)

    Edens, Brittany M; Yan, Jianhua; Miller, Nimrod; Deng, Han-Xiang; Siddique, Teepu; Ma, Yongchao C


    The etiological underpinnings of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are complex and incompletely understood, although contributions to pathogenesis by regulators of proteolytic pathways have become increasingly apparent. Here, we present a novel variant in UBQLN4 that is associated with ALS and show that its expression compromises motor axon morphogenesis in mouse motor neurons and in zebrafish. We further demonstrate that the ALS-associated UBQLN4 variant impairs proteasomal function, and identify the Wnt signaling pathway effector beta-catenin as a UBQLN4 substrate. Inhibition of beta-catenin function rescues the UBQLN4 variant-induced motor axon phenotypes. These findings provide a strong link between the regulation of axonal morphogenesis and a new ALS-associated gene variant mediated by protein degradation pathways. DOI: PMID:28463112

  9. In vivo imaging of cell behaviors and F-actin reveals LIM-HD transcription factor regulation of peripheral versus central sensory axon development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andersen Erica F


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Development of specific neuronal morphology requires precise control over cell motility processes, including axon formation, outgrowth and branching. Dynamic remodeling of the filamentous actin (F-actin cytoskeleton is critical for these processes; however, little is known about the mechanisms controlling motile axon behaviors and F-actin dynamics in vivo. Neuronal structure is specified in part by intrinsic transcription factor activity, yet the molecular and cellular steps between transcription and axon behavior are not well understood. Zebrafish Rohon-Beard (RB sensory neurons have a unique morphology, with central axons that extend in the spinal cord and a peripheral axon that innervates the skin. LIM homeodomain (LIM-HD transcription factor activity is required for formation of peripheral RB axons. To understand how neuronal morphogenesis is controlled in vivo and how LIM-HD transcription factor activity differentially regulates peripheral versus central axons, we used live imaging of axon behavior and F-actin distribution in vivo. Results We used an F-actin biosensor containing the actin-binding domain of utrophin to characterize actin rearrangements during specific developmental processes in vivo, including axon initiation, consolidation and branching. We found that peripheral axons initiate from a specific cellular compartment and that F-actin accumulation and protrusive activity precede peripheral axon initiation. Moreover, disruption of LIM-HD transcriptional activity has different effects on the motility of peripheral versus central axons; it inhibits peripheral axon initiation, growth and branching, while increasing the growth rate of central axons. Our imaging revealed that LIM-HD transcription factor activity is not required for F-actin based protrusive activity or F-actin accumulation during peripheral axon initiation, but can affect positioning of F-actin accumulation and axon formation. Conclusion Our ability

  10. Axonal GABAA receptors depolarize presynaptic terminals and facilitate transmitter release in cerebellar Purkinje cells. (United States)

    Zorrilla de San Martin, Javier; Trigo, Federico F; Kawaguchi, Shin-Ya


    In neurons of the adult brain, somatodendritic GABAA Rs mediate fast synaptic inhibition and play a crucial role in synaptic integration. GABAA Rs are not only present in the somatodendritic compartment, but also in the axonal compartment where they modulate action potential (AP) propagation and transmitter release. Although presynaptic GABAA Rs have been reported in various brain regions, their mechanisms of action and physiological roles remain obscure, particularly at GABAergic boutons. Here, using a combination of direct whole-bouton or perforated patch-clamp recordings and local GABA photolysis in single axonal varicosities of cerebellar Purkinje cells, we investigate the subcellular localization and functional role of axonal GABAA Rs both in primary cultures and acute slices. Our results indicate that presynaptic terminals of PCs carry GABAA Rs that behave as auto-receptors; their activation leads to a depolarization of the terminal membrane after an AP due to the relatively high cytoplasmic Cl(-) concentration in the axon, but do not modulate the AP itself. Paired recordings from different terminals of the same axon show that the GABAA R-mediated local depolarizations propagate substantially to neighboring varicosities. Finally, the depolarization mediated by presynaptic GABAA R activation augmented Ca(2+) influx and transmitter release, resulting in a marked effect on short-term plasticity. Altogether, our results reveal a mechanism by which presynaptic GABAA Rs influence neuronal computation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Effect of nano-hydroxyapatite on the axonal guidance growth of rat cortical neurons (United States)

    Liu, Meili; Zhou, Gang; Song, Wei; Li, Ping; Liu, Haifeng; Niu, Xufeng; Fan, Yubo


    Nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes (CNT) can improve axonal connecting in a target direction during regeneration, however, it is limited by the neurotoxicity of CNT. Here we investigate the possible protective effect of nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA) against nerve injury, as well as CNT in cultured rat cortical neurons. In this study the nanomaterials were characterized by X-Ray diffractometry (XRD) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis. Our results showed that axonal migration and extension were increased significantly after n-HA treatment by immunocytochemistry assay. The patch clamp assay results showed that n-HA acts protectively after nerve injury, which inhibited the average amplitude and frequency of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). n-HA is not neurotoxic for the electrophysiology activity of cells. To find the effect of n-HA on axonal guidance growth in the cultured cortical neurons, Netrin 1, one of the axonal guidance cues, was determined by RT-PCR and western blot assay. Compared to the control group, n-HA down-regulated the mRNA level of netrin 1, and moreover, the expression of netrin 1 decreased significantly in the cells. n-HA caused the axonal guidance growth to be mediated by netrin 1 during nerve regeneration. Therefore, the data from the present study provided a new approach for the therapy or prevention of nerve injury.

  12. A novel algorithm to generate kymographs from dynamic axons for the quantitative analysis of axonal transport. (United States)

    Chetta, Joshua; Shah, Sameer B


    The biological and clinical relevance of axonal transport has driven the development of a variety of new approaches to its study, including the generation of fluorescence or brightfield movies of moving cargoes within axons. Kymograph analysis is a simple and effective tool used to analyze axonal transport in neurons. Typically, kymographs are built by having a user trace the path of the axon in one frame of a time-lapse movie and extracting intensity profiles from subsequent frames along that path. This method cannot accommodate movies in which translation of the axon, or changes in axonal orientation or geometry, occur. Both are frequently observed in long-term movies of neurons, both in vitro and in vivo. To solve this problem and automate the creation of kymographs from these movies, we developed a two step algorithm. The first step implemented a simple image registration algorithm that aligned axons based on identification of a reference point on the axon in each image. The second step used a Hough transformation (HT) to automatically detect the axonal contour in each frame. Intensity profiles along this contour were then used to construct a kymograph. This algorithm was able to build an accurate kymograph of mitochondrial and actin transport in dynamic cultured sensory neurons, which were not amenable to previously used analytical methods. Although developed as a tool for analyzing transport, this algorithm is easily modified to analyze movies for the directionality and speed of axonal outgrowth, another metric of interest to neuroscientists. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Hyperactivated Stat3 boosts axon regeneration in the CNS. (United States)

    Mehta, Saloni T; Luo, Xueting; Park, Kevin K; Bixby, John L; Lemmon, Vance P


    Axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) is intrinsically and extrinsically inhibited by multiple factors. One major factor contributing to intrinsic regeneration failure is the inability of mature neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) to activate regeneration-associated transcription factors (TFs) post-injury. A prior study identified TFs overexpressed in neurons of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) compared to the CNS; some of these could be involved in the ability of PNS neurons to regenerate. Of these, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), as well its downstream regeneration-associated targets, showed a significant upregulation in PNS neurons relative to CNS neurons, and a constitutively active variant of Stat3 (Stat3CA) promoted neurite growth when expressed in cerebellar neurons (Lerch et al., 2012; Smith et al., 2011). To further enhance STAT3's neurite outgrowth enhancing activity, Stat3CA was fused with a viral activation domain (VP16). VP16 hyperactivates TFs by recruiting transcriptional co-factors to the DNA binding domain (Hirai et al., 2010). Overexpression of this VP16-Stat3CA chimera in primary cortical neurons led to a significant increase of neurite outgrowth as well as Stat3 transcriptional activity in vitro. Furthermore, in vivo transduction of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) with AAV constructs expressing VP16-Stat3CA resulted in regeneration of optic nerve axons after injury, to a greater degree than for those expressing Stat3CA alone. These findings confirm and extend the concept that overexpression of hyperactivated transcription factors identified as functioning in PNS regeneration can promote axon regeneration in the CNS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Increased mitochondrial content in remyelinated axons: implications for multiple sclerosis (United States)

    Zambonin, Jessica L.; Zhao, Chao; Ohno, Nobuhiko; Campbell, Graham R.; Engeham, Sarah; Ziabreva, Iryna; Schwarz, Nadine; Lee, Sok Ee; Frischer, Josa M.; Turnbull, Doug M.; Trapp, Bruce D.; Lassmann, Hans; Franklin, Robin J. M.


    Mitochondrial content within axons increases following demyelination in the central nervous system, presumably as a response to the changes in energy needs of axons imposed by redistribution of sodium channels. Myelin sheaths can be restored in demyelinated axons and remyelination in some multiple sclerosis lesions is extensive, while in others it is incomplete or absent. The effects of remyelination on axonal mitochondrial content in multiple sclerosis, particularly whether remyelination completely reverses the mitochondrial changes that follow demyelination, are currently unknown. In this study, we analysed axonal mitochondria within demyelinated, remyelinated and myelinated axons in post-mortem tissue from patients with multiple sclerosis and controls, as well as in experimental models of demyelination and remyelination, in vivo and in vitro. Immunofluorescent labelling of mitochondria (porin, a voltage-dependent anion channel expressed on all mitochondria) and axons (neurofilament), and ultrastructural imaging showed that in both multiple sclerosis and experimental demyelination, mitochondrial content within remyelinated axons was significantly less than in acutely and chronically demyelinated axons but more numerous than in myelinated axons. The greater mitochondrial content within remyelinated, compared with myelinated, axons was due to an increase in density of porin elements whereas increase in size accounted for the change observed in demyelinated axons. The increase in mitochondrial content in remyelinated axons was associated with an increase in mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV activity. In vitro studies showed a significant increase in the number of stationary mitochondria in remyelinated compared with myelinated and demyelinated axons. The number of mobile mitochondria in remyelinated axons did not significantly differ from myelinated axons, although significantly greater than in demyelinated axons. Our neuropathological data and findings in

  15. How Schwann Cells Sort Axons: New Concepts. (United States)

    Feltri, M Laura; Poitelon, Yannick; Previtali, Stefano Carlo


    Peripheral nerves contain large myelinated and small unmyelinated (Remak) fibers that perform different functions. The choice to myelinate or not is dictated to Schwann cells by the axon itself, based on the amount of neuregulin I-type III exposed on its membrane. Peripheral axons are more important in determining the final myelination fate than central axons, and the implications for this difference in Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes are discussed. Interestingly, this choice is reversible during pathology, accounting for the remarkable plasticity of Schwann cells, and contributing to the regenerative potential of the peripheral nervous system. Radial sorting is the process by which Schwann cells choose larger axons to myelinate during development. This crucial morphogenetic step is a prerequisite for myelination and for differentiation of Remak fibers, and is arrested in human diseases due to mutations in genes coding for extracellular matrix and linkage molecules. In this review we will summarize progresses made in the last years by a flurry of reverse genetic experiments in mice and fish. This work revealed novel molecules that control radial sorting, and contributed unexpected ideas to our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control radial sorting of axons. © The Author(s) 2015.

  16. Microfluidic device for unidirectional axon growth (United States)

    Malishev, E.; Pimashkin, A.; Gladkov, A.; Pigareva, Y.; Bukatin, A.; Kazantsev, V.; Mukhina, I.; Dubina, M.


    In order to better understand the communication and connectivity development of neuron networks, we designed microfluidic devices with several chambers for growing dissociated neuronal cultures from mice fetal hippocampus (E18). The chambers were connected with microchannels providing unidirectional axonal growth between “Source” and “Target” neural sub-networks. Experiments were performed in a hippocampal cultures plated in a poly-dimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic chip, aligned with a 60 microelectrode array (MEA). Axonal growth through microchannels was observed with brightfield, phase-contrast and fluorescence microscopy, and after 7 days in vitro electrical activity was recorded. Visual inspection and spike propagation analysis showed the predominant axonal growth in microchannels in a direction from “Source” to “Target”.

  17. Why are sensory axons more vulnerable for ischemia than motor axons?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeannette Hofmeijer

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: In common peripheral neuropathies, sensory symptoms usually prevail over motor symptoms. This predominance of sensory symptoms may result from higher sensitivity of sensory axons to ischemia. METHODS: We measured median nerve compound sensory action potentials (CSAPs, compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs, and excitability indices in five healthy subjects during forearm ischemia lasting up to disappearance of both CSAPs and CMAPs. RESULTS: ISCHEMIA INDUCED: (1 earlier disappearance of CSAPs than CMAPs (mean ± standard deviation 30±5 vs. 46±6 minutes, (2 initial changes compatible with axonal depolarization on excitability testing (decrease in threshold, increase in strength duration time constant (SDTC and refractory period, and decrease in absolute superexcitability which were all more prominent in sensory than in motor axons, and (3 a subsequent decrease of SDTC reflecting a decrease in persistent Na(+ conductance during continuing depolarisation. INTERPRETATION: Our study shows that peripheral sensory axons are more vulnerable for ischemia than motor axons, with faster inexcitability during ischemia. Excitability studies during ischemia showed that this was associated with faster depolarization and faster persistent Na(+ channel inactivation in sensory than in motor axons. These findings might be attributed to differences in ion channel composition between sensory and motor axons and may contribute to the predominance of sensory over motor symptoms in common peripheral neuropathies.

  18. Subsurface cisterna-lined axonal invaginations and double-walled vesicles at the axonal-myelin sheath interface. (United States)

    Li, Yan-Chao; Li, Yong-Nan; Cheng, Chang-Xie; Sakamoto, Hiroshi; Kawate, Toyoko; Shimada, Osamu; Atsumi, Saoko


    The axonal-myelin sheath interface of vertebrate myelinated axons possesses special structural complexities, and there may be an intercellular macromolecular traffic transversing the periaxonal cleft that spans the internodal axon. By conventional electron microscopy and serial sectioning, we observed a category of double-walled vesicles at the axonal-myelin sheath interface, which often contained ribosome-like particles or endoplasmic reticulum. Some of them were demonstrated to continue with the subjacent axon with a thin stalk. In addition, we described a special category of axonal invaginations, probably mediated by subsurface cisternae. The functional implications of these specialized structures were discussed.

  19. Rapid intermittent movement of axonal neurofilaments observed by fluorescence photobleaching

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wang, L; Brown, A


    Observations on naturally occurring gaps in the axonal neurofilament array of cultured neurons have demonstrated that neurofilament polymers move along axons in a rapid, intermittent, and highly asynchronous manner...

  20. Retinopetal Axons in Mammals: Emphasis on Histamine and Serotonin


    Gastinger, Matthew J.; Tian, Ning; Horvath, Tamas; Marshak, David W.


    Since 1892, anatomical studies have demonstrated that the retinas of mammals, including humans, receive input from the brain via axons emerging from the optic nerve. There are only a small number of these retinopetal axons, but their branches in the inner retina are very extensive. More recently, the neurons in the brain stem that give rise to these axons have been localized, and their neurotransmitters have been identified. One set of retinopetal axons arises from perikarya in the posterior ...

  1. The axonal guidance receptor neogenin promotes acute inflammation.

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    Klemens König

    Full Text Available Neuronal guidance proteins (NGP were originally described in the context of axonal growth and migration. Yet recent work has demonstrated that NGPs also serve as guidance cues for immune competent cells. A crucial target receptor for NGPs during embryonic development is the neogenin receptor, however its role during acute inflammation is unknown. We report here that neogenin is abundantly expressed outside the nervous system and that animals with endogenous repression of neogenin (Neo1(-/- demonstrate attenuated changes of acute inflammation. Studies using functional inhibition of neogenin resulted in a significant attenuation of inflammatory peritonitis. In studies employing bone marrow chimeric animals we found the hematopoietic presence of Neo1(-/- to be responsible for the attenuated inflammatory response. Taken together our studies suggest that the guidance receptor neogenin holds crucial importance for the propagation of an acute inflammatory response and further define mechanisms shared between the nervous and the immune system.


    Biochemical and physiological studies in the giant axons of the Chilean squid Dosidicus Gigas were carried out in order to correlate metabolic...ouabain, and the excess of substrate. Evidence accumulated by these studies indicate that the velocity of the enzyme reaction is dependent on the

  3. Axonal protection by brimonidine with modulation of p62 expression in TNF-induced optic nerve degeneration. (United States)

    Kitaoka, Yasushi; Kojima, Kaori; Munemasa, Yasunari; Sase, Kana; Takagi, Hitoshi


    The p62, also called sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1), plays a crucial role in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced optic nerve degeneration. Brimonidine has been shown to have protective effects on retinal ganglion cell bodies, although its role in their axons remains to be examined. We determined whether brimonidine modulates axonal loss induced by TNF and affects the expression of p62 in the optic nerve. Experiments were performed on adult male Wistar rats that received an intravitreal injection of 10 ng TNF alone or simultaneous injection of TNF and 2, 20, or 200 pmol of brimonidine tartrate. The expression of p62 in the optic nerve was examined by immunoblot analysis. The effects of brimonidine on axons were evaluated by counting axon numbers 2 weeks after intravitreal injection. Intravitreal injection of brimonidine exerted substantial axonal protection against TNF-induced optic nerve degeneration. Immunoblot analysis showed that p62 was upregulated in the optic nerve after intravitreal injection of TNF, and that this increase was completely inhibited by brimonidine. Treatment with brimonidine alone also significantly decreased p62 protein levels in the optic nerve compared with the basal level. These results suggest that the modulation of p62 levels in the optic nerve by brimonidine may be involved partly in its axonal protection.

  4. Slit and Netrin-1 guide cranial motor axon pathfinding via Rho-kinase, myosin light chain kinase and myosin II

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Drescher Uwe


    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the developing hindbrain, cranial motor axon guidance depends on diffusible repellent factors produced by the floor plate. Our previous studies have suggested that candidate molecules for mediating this effect are Slits, Netrin-1 and Semaphorin3A (Sema3A. It is unknown to what extent these factors contribute to floor plate-derived chemorepulsion of motor axons, and the downstream signalling pathways are largely unclear. Results In this study, we have used a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches to identify the components of floor plate chemorepulsion and their downstream signalling pathways. Using in vitro motor axon deflection assays, we demonstrate that Slits and Netrin-1, but not Sema3A, contribute to floor plate repulsion. We also find that the axon pathways of dorsally projecting branchiomotor neurons are disrupted in Netrin-1 mutant mice and in chick embryos expressing dominant-negative Unc5a receptors, indicating an in vivo role for Netrin-1. We further demonstrate that Slit and Netrin-1 signalling are mediated by Rho-kinase (ROCK and myosin light chain kinase (MLCK, which regulate myosin II activity, controlling actin retrograde flow in the growth cone. We show that MLCK, ROCK and myosin II are required for Slit and Netrin-1-mediated growth cone collapse of cranial motor axons. Inhibition of these molecules in explant cultures, or genetic manipulation of RhoA or myosin II function in vivo causes characteristic cranial motor axon pathfinding errors, including the inability to exit the midline, and loss of turning towards exit points. Conclusions Our findings suggest that both Slits and Netrin-1 contribute to floor plate-derived chemorepulsion of cranial motor axons. They further indicate that RhoA/ROCK, MLCK and myosin II are components of Slit and Netrin-1 signalling pathways, and suggest that these pathways are of key importance in cranial motor axon navigation.

  5. Local translation and retrograde axonal transport of CREB regulates IL-6-induced nociceptive plasticity. (United States)

    Melemedjian, Ohannes K; Tillu, Dipti V; Moy, Jamie K; Asiedu, Marina N; Mandell, Edward K; Ghosh, Sourav; Dussor, Gregory; Price, Theodore J


    Transcriptional regulation of genes by cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) is essential for the maintenance of long-term memory. Moreover, retrograde axonal trafficking of CREB in response to nerve growth factor (NGF) is critical for the survival of developing primary sensory neurons. We have previously demonstrated that hindpaw injection of interleukin-6 (IL-6) induces mechanical hypersensitivity and hyperalgesic priming that is prevented by the local injection of protein synthesis inhibitors. However, proteins that are locally synthesized that might lead to this effect have not been identified. We hypothesized that retrograde axonal trafficking of nascently synthesized CREB might link local, activity-dependent translation to nociceptive plasticity. To test this hypothesis, we determined if IL-6 enhances the expression of CREB and if it subsequently undergoes retrograde axonal transport. IL-6 treatment of sensory neurons in vitro caused an increase in CREB protein and in vivo treatment evoked an increase in CREB in the sciatic nerve consistent with retrograde transport. Importantly, co-injection of IL-6 with the methionine analogue azido-homoalanine (AHA), to assess nascently synthesized proteins, revealed an increase in CREB containing AHA in the sciatic nerve 2 hrs post injection, indicating retrograde transport of nascently synthesized CREB. Behaviorally, blockade of retrograde transport by disruption of microtubules or inhibition of dynein or intrathecal injection of cAMP response element (CRE) consensus sequence DNA oligonucleotides, which act as decoys for CREB DNA binding, prevented the development of IL-6-induced mechanical hypersensitivity and hyperalgesic priming. Consistent with previous studies in inflammatory models, intraplantar IL-6 enhanced the expression of BDNF in dorsal root ganglion (DRG). This effect was blocked by inhibition of retrograde axonal transport and by intrathecal CRE oligonucleotides. Collectively, these findings

  6. Sources of axonal calcium loading during in vitro ischemia of rat dorsal roots. (United States)

    Petrescu, Nicolae; Micu, Ileana; Malek, Sameh; Ouardouz, Mohamed; Stys, Peter K


    A detailed understanding of injury mechanisms in peripheral nerve fibers will help guide successful design of therapies for peripheral neuropathies. This study was therefore undertaken to examine the ionic mechanisms of Ca2+ overload in peripheral myelinated fibers subjected to chemical inhibition of energy metabolism. Myelinated axons from rat dorsal roots were co-loaded with Ca2+-sensitive (Oregon Green BAPTA-1) and Ca2+-insensitive (Alexa Fluor 594) dextran-conjugated fluorophores and imaged using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Axoplasmic regions were clearly outlined by the Ca2+-insensitive dye, from which axonal Ca2+-dependent fluorescence changes ( were measured. Block of Na+-K+ ATPase (ouabain), opening of Na+ channels (veratridine), and inhibiting energy metabolism (iodoacetate + NaN3) caused a rapid rise in to 96% above control after 30 min. Chemical ischemia (iodoacetate + NaN3) caused a more gradual increase in (54%), which was almost completely dependent on bath Ca2+, indicating that most of the Ca2+ accumulation occurred via influx across the axolemma. Na+ channel block (tetrodotoxin) reduced ischemic rise (14%); however, inhibition of L-type Ca2+ channels (nimodipine) had no effect (60%). In contrast, Na+-Ca2+ exchange inhibition (KB-R7943) significantly reduced ischemic rise (18%). Together our results indicate that the bulk of Ca2+ overload in injured peripheral myelinated axons occurs via reverse Na+-Ca2+ exchange, driven by axonal Na+ accumulation through voltage-gated tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na+ channels. This mechanism may represent a viable therapeutic target for peripheral neuropathies.

  7. Mitochondria Localize to Injured Axons to Support Regeneration. (United States)

    Han, Sung Min; Baig, Huma S; Hammarlund, Marc


    Axon regeneration is essential to restore the nervous system after axon injury. However, the neuronal cell biology that underlies axon regeneration is incompletely understood. Here we use in vivo, single-neuron analysis to investigate the relationship between nerve injury, mitochondrial localization, and axon regeneration. Mitochondria translocate into injured axons so that average mitochondria density increases after injury. Moreover, single-neuron analysis reveals that axons that fail to increase mitochondria have poor regeneration. Experimental alterations to axonal mitochondrial distribution or mitochondrial respiratory chain function result in corresponding changes to regeneration outcomes. Axonal mitochondria are specifically required for growth-cone migration, identifying a key energy challenge for injured neurons. Finally, mitochondrial localization to the axon after injury is regulated in part by dual-leucine zipper kinase 1 (DLK-1), a conserved regulator of axon regeneration. These data identify regulation of axonal mitochondria as a new cell-biological mechanism that helps determine the regenerative response of injured neurons. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The sorting behaviour of olfactory and vomeronasal axons during regeneration. (United States)

    Chehrehasa, Fatemeh; St John, James; Key, Brian


    In order to begin to understand how primary olfactory and vomeronasal organ (VNO) axons target specific regions of the olfactory bulb, we examined the sorting behaviour of these axons following neonatal unilateral olfactory bulbectomy. Bulbectomy induced widespread ipsilateral death of the primary olfactory and VNO neurons. After 4 weeks, many new sensory axons had re-grown into the cranial cavity and established a prominent plexus with evidence of dense tufts that were similar in gross appearance to glomeruli. Axons expressing the cell adhesion molecule OCAM, which normally innervate the ventrolateral and rostral halves of the main and accessory olfactory bulbs, respectively, sorted out and segregated from those axons not expressing this molecule within the plexus. In addition, VNO axons formed large discrete bundles that segregated from main olfactory axons within the plexus. Thus, VNO and primary olfactory axons as well as discrete subpopulations of both are able to sort out and remain segregated in the absence of the olfactory bulb. Sorting and convergence of axons therefore occur independently of the olfactory bulb and are probably attributable either to inherent properties of the axons themselves or to interactions between the axons and accompanying glial ensheathing cells.

  9. Nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3, protects against excitotoxicity-induced axonal degeneration. (United States)

    Vaur, Pauline; Brugg, Bernard; Mericskay, Mathias; Li, Zhenlin; Schmidt, Mark S; Vivien, Denis; Orset, Cyrille; Jacotot, Etienne; Brenner, Charles; Duplus, Eric


    NAD + depletion is a common phenomenon in neurodegenerative pathologies. Excitotoxicity occurs in multiple neurologic disorders and NAD + was shown to prevent neuronal degeneration in this process through mechanisms that remained to be determined. The activity of nicotinamide riboside (NR) in neuroprotective models and the recent description of extracellular conversion of NAD + to NR prompted us to probe the effects of NAD + and NR in protection against excitotoxicity. Here, we show that intracortical administration of NR but not NAD + reduces brain damage induced by NMDA injection. Using cortical neurons, we found that provision of extracellular NR delays NMDA-induced axonal degeneration (AxD) much more strongly than extracellular NAD + Moreover, the stronger effect of NR compared to NAD + depends of axonal stress since in AxD induced by pharmacological inhibition of nicotinamide salvage, both NAD + and NR prevent neuronal death and AxD in a manner that depends on internalization of NR. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that NR is a better neuroprotective agent than NAD + in excitotoxicity-induced AxD and that axonal protection involves defending intracellular NAD + homeostasis.-Vaur, P., Brugg, B., Mericskay, M., Li, Z., Schmidt, M. S., Vivien, D., Orset, C., Jacotot, E., Brenner, C., Duplus, E. Nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B 3 , protects against excitotoxicity-induced axonal degeneration. © FASEB.

  10. Mechanisms of TSC-mediated control of synapse assembly and axon guidance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Knox


    Full Text Available Tuberous sclerosis complex is a dominant genetic disorder produced by mutations in either of two tumor suppressor genes, TSC1 and TSC2; it is characterized by hamartomatous tumors, and is associated with severe neurological and behavioral disturbances. Mutations in TSC1 or TSC2 deregulate a conserved growth control pathway that includes Ras homolog enriched in brain (Rheb and Target of Rapamycin (TOR. To understand the function of this pathway in neural development, we have examined the contributions of multiple components of this pathway in both neuromuscular junction assembly and photoreceptor axon guidance in Drosophila. Expression of Rheb in the motoneuron, but not the muscle of the larval neuromuscular junction produced synaptic overgrowth and enhanced synaptic function, while reductions in Rheb function compromised synapse development. Synapse growth produced by Rheb is insensitive to rapamycin, an inhibitor of Tor complex 1, and requires wishful thinking, a bone morphogenetic protein receptor critical for functional synapse expansion. In the visual system, loss of Tsc1 in the developing retina disrupted axon guidance independently of cellular growth. Inhibiting Tor complex 1 with rapamycin or eliminating the Tor complex 1 effector, S6 kinase (S6k, did not rescue axon guidance abnormalities of Tsc1 mosaics, while reductions in Tor function suppressed those phenotypes. These findings show that Tsc-mediated control of axon guidance and synapse assembly occurs via growth-independent signaling mechanisms, and suggest that Tor complex 2, a regulator of actin organization, is critical in these aspects of neuronal development.

  11. LINGO-1 antagonist promotes functional recovery and axonal sprouting after spinal cord injury. (United States)

    Ji, Benxiu; Li, Mingwei; Wu, Wu-Tian; Yick, Leung-Wah; Lee, Xinhua; Shao, Zhaohui; Wang, Joy; So, Kwok-Fai; McCoy, John M; Pepinsky, R Blake; Mi, Sha; Relton, Jane K


    LINGO-1 is a CNS-specific protein and a functional component of the NgR1/p75/LINGO-1 and NgR1/TAJ(TROY)/LINGO-1 signaling complexes that mediate inhibition of axonal outgrowth. These receptor complexes mediate the axonal growth inhibitory effects of Nogo, myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) and oligodendrocyte-myelin glycoprotein (OMgp) via RhoA activation. Soluble LINGO-1 (LINGO-1-Fc), which acts as an antagonist of these pathways by blocking LINGO-1 binding to NgR1, was administered to rats after dorsal or lateral hemisection of the spinal cord. LINGO-1-Fc treatment significantly improved functional recovery, promoted axonal sprouting and decreased RhoA activation and increased oligodendrocyte and neuronal survival after either rubrospinal or corticospinal tract transection. These experiments demonstrate an important role for LINGO-1 in modulating axonal outgrowth in vivo and that treatment with LINGO-1-Fc can significantly enhance recovery after spinal cord injury.

  12. Eph/ephrin reverse signalling induces axonal retraction through RhoA/ROCK pathway. (United States)

    Takeuchi, Shingo; Katoh, Hironori; Negishi, Manabu


    Eph/ephrin signalling plays essential roles in various tissue developments, such as axon guidance, angiogenesis and tissue separation. Interaction between Ephs and ephrins upon cell-cell contact results in forward (towards Eph-expressing cells) and reverse (towards ephrin-expressing cells) signalling. Although the molecular mechanisms downstream of Eph/ephrin forward signalling have been extensively studied, the functions and intracellular molecular mechanisms of Eph/ephrin reverse signalling are not fully understood. Rho GTPases are key regulators of the actin cytoskeleton to regulate cell morphology. In this study, we revealed that stimulation with the extracellular domain of EphB2 to activate Eph/ephrin reverse signalling induced axonal retraction in hippocampal neurons. The reduction of axonal length and branching by Eph/ephrin reverse signalling was blocked by inhibition of RhoA or Rho-associated coiled-coil-containing protein kinase (ROCK). These results suggest that Eph/ephrin reverse signalling negatively regulates axonal outgrowth and branching through RhoA/ROCK pathway in hippocampal neurons. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Japanese Biochemical Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Axon Membrane Skeleton Structure is Optimized for Coordinated Sodium Propagation

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Yihao; Li, He; Tzingounis, Anastasios V; Lykotrafitis, George


    Axons transmit action potentials with high fidelity and minimal jitter. This unique capability is likely the result of the spatiotemporal arrangement of sodium channels along the axon. Super-resolution microscopy recently revealed that the axon membrane skeleton is structured as a series of actin rings connected by spectrin filaments that are held under entropic tension. Sodium channels also exhibit a periodic distribution pattern, as they bind to ankyrin G, which associates with spectrin. Here, we elucidate the relationship between the axon membrane skeleton structure and the function of the axon. By combining cytoskeletal dynamics and continuum diffusion modeling, we show that spectrin filaments under tension minimize the thermal fluctuations of sodium channels and prevent overlap of neighboring channel trajectories. Importantly, this axon skeletal arrangement allows for a highly reproducible band-like activation of sodium channels leading to coordinated sodium propagation along the axon.

  14. The Alzheimer's β-secretase enzyme BACE1 is required for accurate axon guidance of olfactory sensory neurons and normal glomerulus formation in the olfactory bulb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajapaksha Tharinda W


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The β-secretase, β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1, is a prime therapeutic target for lowering cerebral β-amyloid (Aβ levels in Alzheimer's disease (AD. Clinical development of BACE1 inhibitors is being intensely pursued. However, little is known about the physiological functions of BACE1, and the possibility exists that BACE1 inhibition may cause mechanism-based side effects. Indeed, BACE1-/- mice exhibit a complex neurological phenotype. Interestingly, BACE1 co-localizes with presynaptic neuronal markers, indicating a role in axons and/or terminals. Moreover, recent studies suggest axon guidance molecules are potential BACE1 substrates. Here, we used a genetic approach to investigate the function of BACE1 in axon guidance of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs, a well-studied model of axon targeting in vivo. Results We bred BACE1-/- mice with gene-targeted mice in which GFP is expressed from the loci of two odorant-receptors (ORs, MOR23 and M72, and olfactory marker protein (OMP to produce offspring that were heterozygous for MOR23-GFP, M72-GFP, or OMP-GFP and were either BACE1+/+ or BACE1-/-. BACE1-/- mice had olfactory bulbs (OBs that were smaller and weighed less than OBs of BACE1+/+ mice. In wild-type mice, BACE1 was present in OSN axon terminals in OB glomeruli. In whole-mount preparations and tissue sections, many OB glomeruli from OMP-GFP; BACE1-/- mice were malformed compared to wild-type glomeruli. MOR23-GFP; BACE1-/- mice had an irregular MOR23 glomerulus that was innervated by randomly oriented, poorly fasciculated OSN axons compared to BACE1+/+ mice. Most importantly, M72-GFP; BACE1-/- mice exhibited M72 OSN axons that were mis-targeted to ectopic glomeruli, indicating impaired axon guidance in BACE1-/- mice. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that BACE1 is required for the accurate targeting of OSN axons and the proper formation of glomeruli in the OB, suggesting a role for BACE1 in

  15. Axon-soma communication in neuronal injury. (United States)

    Rishal, Ida; Fainzilber, Mike


    The extensive lengths of neuronal processes necessitate efficient mechanisms for communication with the cell body. Neuronal regeneration after nerve injury requires new transcription; thus, long-distance retrograde signalling from axonal lesion sites to the soma and nucleus is required. In recent years, considerable progress has been made in elucidating the mechanistic basis of this system. This has included the discovery of a priming role for early calcium waves; confirmation of central roles for mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling effectors, the importin family of nucleocytoplasmic transport factors and molecular motors such as dynein; and demonstration of the importance of local translation as a key regulatory mechanism. These recent findings provide a coherent mechanistic framework for axon-soma communication in the injured nerve and shed light on the integration of cytoplasmic and nuclear transport in all eukaryotic cells.

  16. Ultrasound differentiation of axonal and demyelinating neuropathies. (United States)

    Grimm, Alexander; Heiling, Bianka; Schumacher, Ulrike; Witte, Otto W; Axer, Hubertus


    Ultrasound can be used to visualize peripheral nerve abnormality. Our objective in this study was to prove whether nerve ultrasound can differentiate between axonal and demyelinating polyneuropathies (PNPs). Systematic ultrasound measurements of peripheral nerves were performed in 53 patients (25 with demyelinating, 20 with axonal, 8 with mixed neuropathy) and 8 healthy controls. Nerve conduction studies of corresponding nerves were undertaken. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences between the groups with regard to motor conduction velocity, compound muscle action potential amplitude, and cross-sectional area (CSA) of different nerves at different locations. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed CSA measurements to be well suited for detection of demyelinating neuropathies, and boundary values of peripheral nerve CSA could be defined. Systematic ultrasound CSA measurement in different nerves helped detect demyelination, which is an additional cue in the etiological diagnosis of PNP, along with nerve conduction studies and nerve biopsy. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Multifunctional Silk Nerve Guides for Axon Outgrowth (United States)

    Tupaj, Marie C.

    Peripheral nerve regeneration is a critical issue as 2.8% of trauma patients present with this type of injury, estimating a total of 200,000 nerve repair procedures yearly in the United States. While the peripheral nervous system exhibits slow regeneration, at a rate of 0.5 mm -- 9 mm/day following trauma, this regenerative ability is only possible under certain conditions. Clinical repairs have changed slightly in the last 30 years and standard methods of treatment include suturing damaged nerve ends, allografting, and autografting, with the autograft the gold standard of these approaches. Unfortunately, the use of autografts requires a second surgery and there is a shortage of nerves available for grafting. Allografts are a second option however allografts have lower success rates and are accompanied by the need of immunosuppressant drugs. Recently there has been a focus on developing nerve guides as an "off the shelf" approach. Although some natural and synthetic guidance channels have been approved by the FDA, these nerve guides are unfunctionalized and repair only short gaps, less than 3 cm in length. The goal of this project was to identify strategies for functionalizing peripheral nerve conduits for the outgrowth of neuron axons in vitro . To accomplish this, two strategies (bioelectrical and biophysical) were indentified for increasing axon outgrowth and promoting axon guidance. Bioelectrical strategies exploited electrical stimulation for increasing neurite outgrowth. Biophysical strategies tested a range of surface topographies for axon guidance. Novel methods were developed for integrating electrical and biophysical strategies into silk films in 2D. Finally, a functionalized nerve conduit system was developed that integrated all strategies for the purpose of attaching, elongating, and guiding nervous tissue in vitro. Future directions of this work include silk conduit translation into a rat sciatic nerve model in vivo for the purpose of repairing long

  18. Retinoic acid signaling in axonal regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radhika ePuttagunta


    Full Text Available Following an acute central nervous system injury, axonal regeneration and functional recovery are extremely limited. This is due to an extrinsic inhibitory growth environment and the lack of intrinsic growth competence. Retinoic acid (RA signaling, essential in developmental dorsoventral patterning and specification of spinal motor neurons, has been shown through its receptor, the transcription factor RA receptor β2 (RARß2, to induce axonal regeneration following spinal cord injury (SCI. Recently, it has been shown that in dorsal root ganglia neurons, cAMP levels were greatly increased by lentiviral RARβ2 expression and contributed to neurite outgrowth. Moreover, RARβ agonists, in cerebellar granule neurons and in the brain in vivo, induced phosphoinositide 3-kinase dependent phosphorylation of AKT that was involved in RARβ-dependent neurite outgrowth. More recently, RA-RARß pathways were shown to directly transcriptionally repress a member of the inhibitory Nogo receptor complex, Lingo-1, under an axonal growth inhibitory environment in vitro as well as following spinal injury in vivo. This perspective focuses on these newly discovered molecular mechanisms and future directions in the field.

  19. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons (United States)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan


    Synaptic democracy concerns the general problem of how regions of an axon or dendrite far from the cell body (soma) of a neuron can play an effective role in neuronal function. For example, stimulated synapses far from the soma are unlikely to influence the firing of a neuron unless some sort of active dendritic processing occurs. Analogously, the motor-driven transport of newly synthesized proteins from the soma to presynaptic targets along the axon tends to favor the delivery of resources to proximal synapses. Both of these phenomena reflect fundamental limitations of transport processes based on a localized source. In this Letter, we show that a more democratic distribution of proteins along an axon can be achieved by making the transport process less efficient. This involves two components: bidirectional or "stop-and-go" motor transport (which can be modeled in terms of advection-diffusion), and reversible interactions between motor-cargo complexes and synaptic targets. Both of these features have recently been observed experimentally. Our model suggests that, just as in human societies, there needs to be a balance between "efficiency" and "equality".

  20. Axonal branching patterns of nucleus accumbens neurons in the rat. (United States)

    Tripathi, Anushree; Prensa, Lucía; Cebrián, Carolina; Mengual, Elisa


    The patterns of axonal collateralization of nucleus accumbens (Acb) projection neurons were investigated in the rat by means of single-axon tracing techniques using the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine. Seventy-three axons were fully traced, originating from either the core (AcbC) or shell (AcbSh) compartment, as assessed by differential calbindin D28k-immunoreactivity. Axons from AcbC and AcbSh showed a substantial segregation in their targets; target areas were either exclusively or preferentially innervated from AcbC or AcbSh. Axon collaterals in the subthalamic nucleus were found at higher than expected frequencies; moreover, these originated exclusively in the dorsal AcbC. Intercompartmental collaterals were observed from ventral AcbC axons into AcbSh, and likewise, interconnections at pallidal and mesencephalic levels were also observed, although mostly from AcbC axons toward AcbSh targets, possibly supporting crosstalk between the two subcircuits at several levels. Cell somata giving rise to short-range accumbal axons, projecting to the ventral pallidum (VP), were spatially intermingled with others, giving rise to long-range axons that innervated VP and more caudal targets. This anatomical organization parallels that of the dorsal striatum and provides the basis for possible dual direct and indirect actions from a single axon on either individual or small sets of neurons. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. Axonal and Transynaptic Spread of Prions (United States)

    Shearin, Harold


    ABSTRACT Natural transmission of prion diseases depends upon the spread of prions from the nervous system to excretory or secretory tissues, but the mechanism of prion transport in axons and into peripheral tissue is unresolved. Here, we examined the temporal and spatial movement of prions from the brain stem along cranial nerves into skeletal muscle as a model of axonal transport and transynaptic spread. The disease-specific isoform of the prion protein, PrPSc, was observed in nerve fibers of the tongue approximately 2 weeks prior to PrPSc deposition in skeletal muscle. Initially, PrPSc deposits had a small punctate pattern on the edge of muscle cells that colocalized with synaptophysin, a marker for the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), in >50% of the cells. At later time points PrPSc was widely distributed in muscle cells, but PrPSc deposition at the NMJ, suggesting additional prion replication and dissemination within muscle cells. In contrast to the NMJ, PrPSc was not associated with synaptophysin in nerve fibers but was found to colocalize with LAMP-1 and cathepsin D during early stages of axonal spread. We propose that PrPSc-bound endosomes can lead to membrane recycling in which PrPSc is directed to the synapse, where it either moves across the NMJ into the postsynaptic muscle cell or induces PrPSc formation on muscle cells across the NMJ. IMPORTANCE Prion diseases are transmissible and fatal neurodegenerative diseases in which prion dissemination to excretory or secretory tissues is necessary for natural disease transmission. Despite the importance of this pathway, the cellular mechanism of prion transport in axons and into peripheral tissue is unresolved. This study demonstrates anterograde spread of prions within nerve fibers prior to infection of peripheral synapses (i.e., neuromuscular junction) and infection of peripheral tissues (i.e., muscle cells). Within nerve fibers prions were associated with the endosomal-lysosomal pathway prior to entry into

  2. Axon regeneration in C. elegans: Worming our way to mechanisms of axon regeneration. (United States)

    Byrne, Alexandra B; Hammarlund, Marc


    How axons repair themselves after injury is a fundamental question in neurobiology. With its conserved genome, relatively simple nervous system, and transparent body, C. elegans has recently emerged as a productive model to uncover the cellular mechanisms that regulate and execute axon regeneration. In this review, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the C. elegans model of regeneration. We explore the technical advances that enable the use of C. elegans for in vivo regeneration studies, review findings in C. elegans that have contributed to our understanding of the regeneration response across species, discuss the potential of C. elegans research to provide insight into mechanisms that function in the injured mammalian nervous system, and present potential future directions of axon regeneration research using C. elegans. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Regeneration of Drosophila sensory neuron axons and dendrites is regulated by the Akt pathway involving Pten and microRNA bantam (United States)

    Song, Yuanquan; Ori-McKenney, Kassandra M.; Zheng, Yi; Han, Chun; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung


    Both cell-intrinsic and extrinsic pathways govern axon regeneration, but only a limited number of factors have been identified and it is not clear to what extent axon regeneration is evolutionarily conserved. Whether dendrites also regenerate is unknown. Here we report that, like the axons of mammalian sensory neurons, the axons of certain Drosophila dendritic arborization (da) neurons are capable of substantial regeneration in the periphery but not in the CNS, and activating the Akt pathway enhances axon regeneration in the CNS. Moreover, those da neurons capable of axon regeneration also display dendrite regeneration, which is cell type-specific, developmentally regulated, and associated with microtubule polarity reversal. Dendrite regeneration is restrained via inhibition of the Akt pathway in da neurons by the epithelial cell-derived microRNA bantam but is facilitated by cell-autonomous activation of the Akt pathway. Our study begins to reveal mechanisms for dendrite regeneration, which depends on both extrinsic and intrinsic factors, including the PTEN–Akt pathway that is also important for axon regeneration. We thus established an important new model system—the fly da neuron regeneration model that resembles the mammalian injury model—with which to study and gain novel insights into the regeneration machinery. PMID:22759636

  4. Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels in olfactory sensory neurons regulate axon extension and glomerular formation. (United States)

    Mobley, Arie S; Miller, Alexandra M; Araneda, Ricardo C; Maurer, Lydia R; Müller, Frank; Greer, Charles A


    Mechanisms influencing the development of olfactory bulb glomeruli are poorly understood. While odor receptors (ORs) play an important role in olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axon targeting/coalescence (Mombaerts et al., 1996; Wang et al., 1998; Feinstein and Mombaerts, 2004), recent work showed that G protein activation alone is sufficient to induce OSN axon coalescence (Imai et al., 2006; Chesler et al., 2007), suggesting an activity-dependent mechanism in glomerular development. Consistent with these data, OSN axon projections and convergence are perturbed in mice deficient for adenylyl cyclase III, which is downstream from the OR and catalyzes the conversion of ATP to cAMP. However, in cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel knock-out mice OSN axons are only transiently perturbed (Lin et al., 2000), suggesting that the CNG channel may not be the sole target of cAMP. This prompted us to investigate an alternative channel, the hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel (HCN), as a potential developmental target of cAMP in OSNs. Here, we demonstrate that HCN channels are developmentally precocious in OSNs and therefore are plausible candidates for affecting OSN axon development. Inhibition of HCN channels in dissociated OSNs significantly reduced neurite outgrowth. Moreover, in HCN1 knock-out mice the formation of glomeruli was delayed in parallel with perturbations of axon organization in the olfactory nerve. These data support the hypothesis that the outgrowth and coalescence of OSN axons is, at least in part, subject to activity-dependent mechanisms mediated via HCN channels.

  5. Looking downstream: the role of cyclic AMP-regulated genes in axonal regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafa M Siddiq


    Full Text Available Elevation of intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP levels has proven to be one of the most effective means of overcoming inhibition of axonal regeneration by myelin-associated inhibitors such as myelin-associated glycoprotein, Nogo, and oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein. Pharmacological manipulation of cAMP through the administration of dibutyryl cAMP or rolipram leads to enhanced axonal growth both in vivo and in vitro, and importantly, upregulation of cAMP within dorsal root ganglion neurons is responsible for the conditioning lesion effect, which indicates that cAMP plays a significant role in the endogenous mechanisms that promote axonal regeneration. The effects of cAMP are transcription-dependent and are mediated through the activation of protein kinase A and the transcription factor CREB. This leads to the induction of a variety of genes, several of which have been shown to overcome myelin-mediated inhibition in their own right. In this review, we will highlight the pro-regenerative effects of arginase I, interleukin-6, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, and metallothionein-I/II, and discuss their potential for therapeutic use in spinal cord injury.

  6. Evidence for the involvement of Tiam1 in axon formation. (United States)

    Kunda, P; Paglini, G; Quiroga, S; Kosik, K; Caceres, A


    In cultured neurons, axon formation is preceded by the appearance in one of the multiple neurites of a large growth cone containing a labile actin network and abundant dynamic microtubules. The invasion-inducing T-lymphoma and metastasis 1 (Tiam1) protein that functions as a guanosine nucleotide exchange factor for Rac1 localizes to this neurite and its growth cone, where it associates with microtubules. Neurons overexpressing Tiam1 extend several axon-like neurites, whereas suppression of Tiam1 prevents axon formation, with most of the cells failing to undergo changes in growth cone size and in cytoskeletal organization typical of prospective axons. Cytochalasin D reverts this effect leading to multiple axon formation and penetration of microtubules within neuritic tips devoid of actin filaments. Taken together, these results suggest that by regulating growth cone actin organization and allowing microtubule invasion within selected growth cones, Tiam1 promotes axon formation and hence participates in neuronal polarization.

  7. Parametric Probability Distribution Functions for Axon Diameters of Corpus Callosum


    Sepehrband, Farshid; Alexander, Daniel C; Clark, Kristi A.; Kurniawan, Nyoman D; Yang, Zhengyi; Reutens, David C.


    Axon diameter is an important neuroanatomical characteristic of the nervous system that alters in the course of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Axon diameters vary, even within a fiber bundle, and are not normally distributed. An accurate distribution function is therefore beneficial, either to describe axon diameters that are obtained from a direct measurement technique (e.g., microscopy), or to infer them indirectly (e.g., using diffusion-weighted MRI). The gamma distribu...

  8. Numerical study of axonal outgrowth in grooved nerve conduits (United States)

    Yin, Jun; Coutris, Nicole; Huang, Yong


    Nerve conduits with grooved inner texture, working as a topographical guidance cue, have been experimentally proved to play a significant role in axonal alignment. How grooved conduits guide axonal outgrowth is of particular interest for studying nerve regeneration. A viscoelastic model of axonal outgrowth in a conduit with a defined grooved geometry characterized by its width in the circumferential direction and its height in the radial direction is developed in this work. In this model, the axon is considered as an elastic beam and the axonal deformation and motion, including stretching, bending and torsion, are described using a Cosserat rod theory. The friction between axon and substrate is also considered in this model as well as the tip outgrowth. It is found that the directional outgrowth of the axon can be significantly improved by the grooved texture: when the groove width decreases or the groove height increases, the axonal elongation in the longitudinal direction of the conduit can be increased, which is in good agreement with experimental observations. This work is the first numerical model to study the effect of the substrate geometry on axonal outgrowth.

  9. Corticostriatal combinatorics: the implications of corticostriatal axonal arborizations. (United States)

    Zheng, T; Wilson, C J


    The complete striatal axonal arborizations of 16 juxtacellularly stained cortical pyramidal cells were analyzed. Corticostriatal neurons were located in the medial agranular or anterior cingulate cortex of rats. All axons were of the extended type and formed synaptic contacts in both the striosomal and matrix compartments as determined by counterstaining for the mu-opiate receptor. Six axonal arborizations were from collaterals of brain stem-projecting cells and the other 10 from bilaterally projecting cells with no brain stem projections. The distribution of synaptic boutons along the axons were convolved with the average dendritic tree volume of spiny projection neurons to obtain an axonal innervation volume and innervation density map for each axon. Innervation volumes varied widely, with single axons occupying between 0.4 and 14.2% of the striatum (average = 4%). The total number of boutons formed by individual axons ranged from 25 to 2,900 (average = 879). Within the innervation volume, the density of innervation was extremely sparse but inhomogeneous. The pattern of innervation resembled matrisomes, as defined by bulk labeling and functional mapping experiments, superimposed on a low background innervation. Using this sample as representative of all corticostriatal axons, the total number of corticostriatal neurons was estimated to be 17 million, about 10 times the number of striatal projection neurons.

  10. Localization of Axonal Motor Molecules Machinery in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fulvio Florenzano


    Full Text Available Axonal transport and neuronal survival depend critically on active transport and axon integrity both for supplying materials and communication to different domains of the cell body. All these actions are executed through cytoskeleton, transport and regulatory elements that appear to be disrupted in neurodegenerative diseases. Motor-driven transport both supplies and clears distal cellular portions with proteins and organelles. This transport is especially relevant in projection and motor neurons, which have long axons to reach the farthest nerve endings. Thus, any disturbance of axonal transport may have severe consequences for neuronal function and survival. A growing body of literature indicates the presence of alterations to the motor molecules machinery, not only in expression levels and phosphorylation, but also in their subcellular distribution within populations of neurons, which are selectively affected in the course of neurodegenerative diseases. The implications of this altered subcellular localization and how this affects axon survival and neuronal death still remain poorly understood, although several hypotheses have been suggested. Furthermore, cytoskeleton and transport element localization can be selectively disrupted in some disorders suggesting that specific loss of the axonal functionality could be a primary hallmark of the disorder. This can lead to axon degeneration and neuronal death either directly, through the functional absence of essential axonal proteins, or indirectly, through failures in communication among different cellular domains. This review compares the localization of cytoskeleton and transport elements in some neurodegenerative disorders to ask what aspects may be essential for axon survival and neuronal death.

  11. Differences in excitability properties of FDI and ADM motor axons. (United States)

    Bae, Jong Seok; Sawai, Setsu; Misawa, Sonoko; Kanai, Kazuaki; Isose, Sagiri; Kuwabara, Satoshi


    The first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles are innervated by the same ulnar nerve, but studies have shown that the former is much more severely affected in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this study, threshold tracking was used to investigate whether membrane properties differ between FDI and ADM motor axons. In 12 normal subjects, compound muscle action potentials were recorded from FDI and ADM after ulnar nerve stimulation at the wrist. The strength-duration time constant was significantly longer in the FDI axons than in the ADM axons, and latent addition studies showed greater threshold changes at the conditioning-test stimulus of 0.2 ms in FDI than in ADM axons. These findings suggest that nodal persistent sodium conductances are more prominent in FDI axons than in ADM axons, and therefore excitability is physiologically higher in FDI axons. Even in the same nerve at the same sites, membrane properties of FDI and ADM motor axons differ significantly, and thus their axonal/neuronal responses to disease may also differ.

  12. Motor axonal regeneration after partial and complete spinal cord transection

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lu, Paul; Blesch, Armin; Graham, Lori; Wang, Yaozhi; Samara, Ramsey; Banos, Karla; Haringer, Verena; Havton, Leif; Weishaupt, Nina; Bennett, David; Fouad, Karim; Tuszynski, Mark H


    We subjected rats to either partial midcervical or complete upper thoracic spinal cord transections and examined whether combinatorial treatments support motor axonal regeneration into and beyond the lesion...

  13. Dopaminergic axon guidance: which makes what?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laetitia ePrestoz


    Full Text Available Mesotelencephalic pathways in the adult central nervous system have been studied in great detail because of their implication in major physiological functions as well as in psychiatric, neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. However, the ontogeny of these pathways and the molecular mechanisms that guide dopaminergic axons during embryogenesis have been only recently studied. This line of research is of crucial interest for the repair of lesioned circuits in adulthood following neurodegenerative diseases or common traumatic injuries. For instance, in the adult, the anatomic and functional repair of the nigrostriatal pathway following dopaminergic embryonic neuron transplantation suggests that specific guidance cues exist which govern embryonic fibers outgrowth, and suggests that axons from transplanted embryonic cells are able to respond to theses cues, which then guide them to their final targets. In this review, we first synthesize the work that has been performed in the last few years on developing mesotelencephalic pathways, and summarize the current knowledge on the identity of cellular and molecular signals thought to be involved in establishing mesotelencephalic dopaminergic neuronal connectivity during embryogenesis in the central nervous system of rodents. Then, we review the modulation of expression of these molecular signals in the lesioned adult brain and discuss their potential role in remodeling the mesotelencephalic dopaminergic circuitry, with a particular focus on Parkinson’s disease. Identifying guidance molecules involved in the connection of grafted cells may be useful for cellular therapy in Parkinsonian patients, as these molecules may help direct axons from grafted cells along the long distance they have to travel from the substantia nigra to the striatum.

  14. AxonPacking: An Open-Source Software to Simulate Arrangements of Axons in White Matter. (United States)

    Mingasson, Tom; Duval, Tanguy; Stikov, Nikola; Cohen-Adad, Julien


    HIGHLIGHTS AxonPacking: Open-source software for simulating white matter microstructure.Validation on a theoretical disk packing problem.Reproducible and stable for various densities and diameter distributions.Can be used to study interplay between myelin/fiber density and restricted fraction. Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can provide parameters that describe white matter microstructure, such as the fiber volume fraction (FVF), the myelin volume fraction (MVF) or the axon volume fraction (AVF) via the fraction of restricted water (fr). While already being used for clinical application, the complex interplay between these parameters requires thorough validation via simulations. These simulations required a realistic, controlled and adaptable model of the white matter axons with the surrounding myelin sheath. While there already exist useful algorithms to perform this task, none of them combine optimisation of axon packing, presence of myelin sheath and availability as free and open source software. Here, we introduce a novel disk packing algorithm that addresses these issues. The performance of the algorithm is tested in term of reproducibility over 50 runs, resulting density, and stability over iterations. This tool was then used to derive multiple values of FVF and to study the impact of this parameter on fr and MVF in light of the known microstructure based on histology sample. The standard deviation of the axon density over runs was lower than 10(-3) and the expected hexagonal packing for monodisperse disks was obtained with a density close to the optimal density (obtained: 0.892, theoretical: 0.907). Using an FVF ranging within [0.58, 0.82] and a mean inter-axon gap ranging within [0.1, 1.1] μm, MVF ranged within [0.32, 0.44] and fr ranged within [0.39, 0.71], which is consistent with the histology. The proposed algorithm is implemented in the open-source software AxonPacking ( and can be useful for

  15. Severe, early axonal degeneration following experimental anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. (United States)

    Lee, Gun Ho; Stanford, Madison P; Shariati, Mohammad A; Ma, Jeffrey H; Liao, Yaping Joyce


    Anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION) is the most common acute optic neuropathy in adults older than 50 and leads to axonal degeneration, thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer and loss of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). We used experimental AION model to study early axonal changes following ischemia. We induced optic nerve head ischemia in adult mice using photochemical thrombosis and analyzed retinal changes within 1 week. We used confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (cSLO) and fluorescence microscopy of retinal whole mount preparations to analyze axonal degeneration in Thy1-YFP-H mice and those injected with annexin-V-A488 intravitreally. Three days after AION, morphometric analyses in Thy1-YFP-H mice revealed evidence of early axonal changes, including swollen or branched axonal stumps. There was also a beads-on-a-string appearance of YFP expression. The axonal enlargements occurred at an interval of 17 ± 1 μm or 6 ± 0 enlargements/100 μm. At day 7 after AION, the degenerating intraretinal RGC axons exhibited intense annexin-V-A488 staining (P = 0.002). The annexin-V staining pattern was fragmented, with intersegment interval of 20.1 ± 1.4 μm or 5.8 ± 0.4 annexin-V-A488(+) fragments/100 μm, which were similar to that of degenerating Thy1-YFP(+) axons. Following a photochemical thrombosis model of AION, RGC axons displayed severe degenerative changes within 1 week, suggesting that after ischemia, RGC axons may degenerate in a temporally and spatially distinct fashion from that of the soma. Our findings also further established annexin-V as a useful marker of retinal degeneration because it strongly labeled dying RGC axons. Copyright 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.

  16. Is action potential threshold lowest in the axon?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kole, Maarten H. P.; Stuart, Greg J.


    Action potential threshold is thought to be lowest in the axon, but when measured using conventional techniques, we found that action potential voltage threshold of rat cortical pyramidal neurons was higher in the axon than at other neuronal locations. In contrast, both current threshold and voltage

  17. Neuronal Logistics : Axonal Transport in Development and Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. van den Berg (Robert)


    markdownabstractBrain cells are uniquely shaped among the many cell types of the body. While most cells are more or less rounded or square-shaped, neurons grow one or more long axons that can reach lengths of a meter or more. To keep these axons alive and functional, neurons are dependent on an

  18. Mini-Review: Impaired Axonal Transport and Glaucoma. (United States)

    Fahy, Eamonn T; Chrysostomou, Vicki; Crowston, Jonathan G


    Glaucoma is increasingly recognized as a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by the accelerated loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons. Impaired axonal transport has been implicated as a pathogenic mechanism in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including glaucoma. The long RGC axon, with its high metabolic demand and crucial role in conveying neurotrophic signals, relies heavily on intact axonal transport. In this mini review, we consider the evidence for transport disruption along RGCs in association with glaucoma and other intraocular pressure models. We give a brief overview of the axonal transport process and the methods by which it is assessed. Spatial and temporal patterns of axonal transport disruption are considered as well as the reversibility of these changes. Biomechanical, metabolic and cytoskeletal insults may underlie the development of axonal transport deficits, and there are multiple perspectives on the impact that transport disruption has on the RGC. Eliciting the role of impaired axonal transport in glaucoma pathogenesis may uncover novel therapeutic targets for protecting the optic nerve and preventing vision loss in glaucoma.

  19. Axon diameter mapping in crossing fibers with diffusion MRI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Hui; Dyrby, Tim B; Alexander, Daniel C


    This paper proposes a technique for a previously unaddressed problem, namely, mapping axon diameter in crossing fiber regions, using diffusion MRI. Direct measurement of tissue microstructure of this kind using diffusion MRI offers a new class of biomarkers that give more specific information about...... model to enable axon diameter mapping in voxels with crossing fibers. We show in simulation that the technique can provide robust axon diameter estimates in a two-fiber crossing with the crossing angle as small as 45 degrees. Using ex vivo imaging data, we further demonstrate the feasibility...... tissue than measures derived from diffusion tensor imaging. Most existing techniques for axon diameter mapping assume a single axon orientation in the tissue model, which limits their application to only the most coherently oriented brain white matter, such as the corpus callosum, where the single...

  20. Internodal function in normal and regenerated mammalian axons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, M; Krarup, C


    AIM: Following Wallerian degeneration, peripheral myelinated axons have the ability to regenerate and, given a proper pathway, establish functional connections with targets. In spite of this capacity, the clinical outcome of nerve regeneration remains unsatisfactory. Early studies have found...... that regenerated internodes remain persistently short though this abnormality did not seem to influence recovery in conduction. It remains unclear to which extent abnormalities in axonal function itself may contribute to the poor outcome of nerve regeneration. METHODS: We review experimental evidence indicating...... that internodes play an active role in axonal function. RESULTS: By investigating internodal contribution to axonal excitability we have found evidence that axonal function may be permanently compromised in regenerated nerves. Furthermore, we illustrate that internodal function is also abnormal in regenerated...

  1. Motor Axonal Regeneration After Partial and Complete Spinal Cord Transection (United States)

    Lu, Paul; Blesch, Armin; Graham, Lori; Wang, Yaozhi; Samara, Ramsey; Banos, Karla; Haringer, Verena; Havton, Leif; Weishaupt, Nina; Bennett, David; Fouad, Karim; Tuszynski, Mark H.


    We subjected rats to either partial mid-cervical or complete upper thoracic spinal cord transections and examined whether combinatorial treatments support motor axonal regeneration into and beyond the lesion. Subjects received cAMP injections into brainstem reticular motor neurons to stimulate their endogenous growth state, bone marrow stromal cell grafts in lesion sites to provide permissive matrices for axonal growth, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gradients beyond the lesion to stimulate distal growth of motor axons. Findings were compared to several control groups. Combinatorial treatment generated motor axon regeneration beyond both C5 hemisection and complete transection sites. Yet despite formation of synapses with neurons below the lesion, motor outcomes worsened after partial cervical lesions and spasticity worsened after complete transection. These findings highlight the complexity of spinal cord repair, and the need for additional control and shaping of axonal regeneration. PMID:22699902

  2. Akt Regulates Axon Wrapping and Myelin Sheath Thickness in the PNS. (United States)

    Domènech-Estévez, Enric; Baloui, Hasna; Meng, Xiaosong; Zhang, Yanqing; Deinhardt, Katrin; Dupree, Jeff L; Einheber, Steven; Chrast, Roman; Salzer, James L


    The signaling pathways that regulate myelination in the PNS remain poorly understood. Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase 1A, activated in Schwann cells by neuregulin and the extracellular matrix, has an essential role in the early events of myelination. Akt/PKB, a key effector of phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase 1A, was previously implicated in CNS, but not PNS myelination. Here we demonstrate that Akt plays a crucial role in axon ensheathment and in the regulation of myelin sheath thickness in the PNS. Pharmacological inhibition of Akt in DRG neuron-Schwann cell cocultures dramatically decreased MBP and P0 levels and myelin sheath formation without affecting expression of Krox20/Egr2, a key transcriptional regulator of myelination. Conversely, expression of an activated form of Akt in purified Schwann cells increased expression of myelin proteins, but not Krox20/Egr2, and the levels of activated Rac1. Transgenic mice expressing a membrane-targeted, activated form of Akt under control of the 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase promoter, exhibited thicker PNS and CNS myelin sheaths, and PNS myelin abnormalities, such as tomacula and myelin infoldings/outfoldings, centered around the paranodes and Schmidt Lanterman incisures. These effects were corrected by rapamycin treatmentin vivo Importantly, Akt activity in the transgenic mice did not induce myelination of nonmyelinating Schwann cells in the sympathetic trunk or Remak fibers of the dorsal roots, although, in those structures, they wrapped membranes redundantly around axons. Together, our data indicate that Akt is crucial for PNS myelination driving axonal wrapping by unmyelinated and myelinated Schwann cells and enhancing myelin protein synthesis in myelinating Schwann cells. Although the role of the key serine/threonine kinase Akt in promoting CNS myelination has been demonstrated, its role in the PNS has not been established and remains uncertain. This work reveals that Akt

  3. Exosomes Mediate Mobilization of Autocrine Wnt10b to Promote Axonal Regeneration in the Injured CNS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nardos G. Tassew


    Full Text Available Developing strategies that promote axonal regeneration within the injured CNS is a major therapeutic challenge, as axonal outgrowth is potently inhibited by myelin and the glial scar. Although regeneration can be achieved using the genetic deletion of PTEN, a negative regulator of the mTOR pathway, this requires inactivation prior to nerve injury, thus precluding therapeutic application. Here, we show that, remarkably, fibroblast-derived exosomes (FD exosomes enable neurite growth on CNS inhibitory proteins. Moreover, we demonstrate that, upon treatment with FD exosomes, Wnt10b is recruited toward lipid rafts and activates mTOR via GSK3β and TSC2. Application of FD exosomes shortly after optic nerve injury promoted robust axonal regeneration, which was strongly reduced in Wnt10b-deleted animals. This work uncovers an intercellular signaling pathway whereby FD exosomes mobilize an autocrine Wnt10b-mTOR pathway, thereby awakening the intrinsic capacity of neurons for regeneration, an important step toward healing the injured CNS.

  4. Proteoglycans and axon guidance: a new relationship between old partners. (United States)

    Masu, Masayuki


    Neural circuits are formed with great precision during development. Accumulated evidence over the past three decades has demonstrated that growing axons are navigated toward their targets by the combined actions of attractants and repellents together with their receptors. It has long been known that proteoglycans, glycosylated proteins possessing covalently attached glycosaminoglycans, play a critical role in axon guidance; however, the molecular mechanisms by which proteoglycans regulate axon behaviors remain largely unknown. Glycosaminoglycans such as heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are large linear polysaccharides composed of repeating disaccharide units that are highly modified by specific sulfation and epimerization. Recent biochemical and molecular biological studies have identified the enzymes that are involved in the biosynthesis of glycosaminoglycans. Interestingly, many mutants lacking glycosaminoglycan-synthesizing enzymes or proteoglycans in several model organisms show defects in specific nerve tract formation. In parallel, detailed biochemical studies have identified the molecular interactions between axon guidance molecules and glycosaminoglycans that have specific modification in their sugar chains. This review summarizes the structure and function of axon guidance molecules and glycosaminoglycans, and then tries to combine the knowledge from these studies to understand the role of proteoglycans from a new vantage point. Deciphering the sugar code is important for understanding the complicated nature of proteoglycans in axon guidance. Neural circuits are formed by the combined actions of axon guidance molecules. Proteoglycans play critical roles in regulating axon guidance through the interaction between signaling molecules and glycosaminoglycan chains attached to the core protein. This paper summarizes the structure and functions of axon guidance molecules and glycosaminoglycans and reviews the molecular mechanisms by which proteoglycans

  5. Sigma-1 receptor agonist increases axon outgrowth of hippocampal neurons via voltage-gated calcium ions channels. (United States)

    Li, Dong; Zhang, Shu-Zhuo; Yao, Yu-Hong; Xiang, Yun; Ma, Xiao-Yun; Wei, Xiao-Li; Yan, Hai-Tao; Liu, Xiao-Yan


    Sigma-1 receptors (Sig-1Rs) are unique endoplasmic reticulum proteins that have been implicated in both neurodegenerative and ischemic diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Accumulating evidence has suggested that Sig-1R plays a role in neuroprotection and axon outgrowth. The underlying mechanisms of Sig-1R-mediated neuroprotection have been well elucidated. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of Sig-1R on axon outgrowth are not fully understood. To clarify this issue, we utilized immunofluorescence to compare the axon lengths of cultured naïve hippocampal neurons before and after the application of the Sig-1R agonist, SA4503. Then, electrophysiology and immunofluorescence were used to examine voltage-gated calcium ion channel (VGCCs) currents in the cell membranes and growth cones. We found that Sig-1R activation dramatically enhanced the axonal length of the naïve hippocampal neurons. Application of the Sig-1R antagonist NE100 and gene knockdown techniques both demonstrated the effects of Sig-1R. The growth-promoting effect of SA4503 was accompanied by the inhibition of voltage-gated Ca2+ influx and was recapitulated by incubating the neurons with the L-type, N-type, and P/Q-type VGCC blockers, nimodipine, MVIIA and ω-agatoxin IVA, respectively. This effect was unrelated to glial cells. The application of SA4503 transformed the growth cone morphologies from complicated to simple, which favored axon outgrowth. Sig-1R activation can enhance axon outgrowth and may have a substantial influence on neurogenesis and neurodegenerative diseases. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Axonal regeneration and development of de novo axons from distal dendrites of adult feline commissural interneurons after a proximal axotomy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenrich, Keith K; Skelton, Nicole; MacDermid, Victoria E


    , develop de novo axons. Our goal was to determine whether spinal commissural interneurons (CINs), axotomized by 3-4-mm midsagittal transection at C3, form de novo axons from distal dendrites. All experiments were performed on adult cats. CINs in C3 were stained with extracellular injections of Neurobiotin...

  7. Dendrobium nobile Lindl alkaloid, a novel autophagy inducer, protects against axonal degeneration induced by Aβ25-35 in hippocampus neurons in vitro. (United States)

    Li, Li-Sheng; Lu, Yan-Liu; Nie, Jing; Xu, Yun-Yan; Zhang, Wei; Yang, Wen-Jin; Gong, Qi-Hai; Lu, Yuan-Fu; Lu, Yang; Shi, Jing-Shan


    Axonal degeneration is a pathological symbol in the early stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which can be triggered by amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide deposition. Growing evidence indicates that deficit of autophagy eventually leads to the axonal degeneration. Our previous studies have shown that Dendrobium nobile Lindl alkaloid (DNLA) had protective effect on neuron impairment in vivo and in vitro; however, the underlying mechanisms is still unclear. We exposed cultured hippocampus neurons to Aβ25-35 to investigate the effect of DNLA in vitro. Axonal degeneration was evaluated by immunofluorescence staining and MTT assay. Neurons overexpressing GFP-LC3B were used to measure the formation of autophagosome. Autophagosome-lysosome fusion, the lysosomal pH, and cathepsin activity were assessed to reflect autophagy process. Proteins of interest were analyzed by Western blot. DNLA pretreatment significantly inhibited axonal degeneration induced by Aβ25-35 peptide in vitro. Further studies revealed DNLA treatment increased autophagic flux through promoting formation and degradation of autophagosome in hippocampus neurons. Moreover, enhancement of autophagic flux was responsible for the protective effects of DNLA on axonal degeneration. DNLA prevents Aβ25-35 -induced axonal degeneration via activation of autophagy process and could be a novel therapeutic target. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Heat Shock Cognate 70 Inhibitor, VER-155008, Reduces Memory Deficits and Axonal Degeneration in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximeng Yang


    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder resulting in structural brain changes and memory impairment. We hypothesized that reconstructing neural networks is essential for memory recovery in AD. Heat shock cognate 70 (HSC70, a member of the heat shock protein family of molecular chaperones, is upregulated in AD patient brains, and recent studies have demonstrated that HSC70 facilitates axonal degeneration and pathological progression in AD. However, the direct effects of HSC70 inhibition on axonal development and memory function have never been investigated. In this study, we examined the effects of a small-molecule HSC70 inhibitor, VER-155008, on axonal morphology and memory function in a mouse model of AD (5XFAD mice. We found that VER-155008 significantly promoted axonal regrowth in amyloid β-treated neurons in vitro and improved object recognition, location, and episodic-like memory in 5XFAD mice. Furthermore, VER-155008 penetrated into the brain after intraperitoneal administration, suggesting that VER-155008 acts in the brain in situ. Immunohistochemistry revealed that VER-155008 reduced bulb-like axonal swelling in the amyloid plaques in the perirhinal cortex and CA1 in 5XFAD mice, indicating that VER-155008 also reverses axonal degeneration in vivo. Moreover, the two main pathological features of AD, amyloid plaques and paired helical filament tau accumulation, were reduced by VER-155008 administration in 5XFAD mice. This is the first report to show that the inhibition of HSC70 function may be critical for axonal regeneration and AD-like symptom reversal. Our study provides evidence that HSC70 can be used as a new therapeutic target for AD treatment.

  9. Basic principles and molecular mechanisms of olfactory axon pathfinding. (United States)

    Yoshihara, Y; Mori, K


    The present review describes several lines of recent evidence providing new insights into the basic principles and mechanisms of axon projection from the olfactory epithelium to the olfactory bulb. Olfactory sensory neurons are classified into approximately 1000 subtypes according to the expression of specific odorant receptors. Olfactory sensory neurons expressing a given odorant receptor are distributed within one zone out of the four circumscribed zones of the olfactory epithelium and send their axons to the corresponding zone of the olfactory bulb: the principle of zone-to-zone projection. We discuss possible functions of a novel cell adhesion molecule, viz., OCAM, in the formation and maintenance of zone-to-zone projection of both olfactory and vomeronasal axons. Furthermore, olfactory sensory neurons expressing a given odorant receptor converge their axons onto only two topographically fixed glomeruli among the 1500-3000 glomeruli in the olfactory bulb: the principle of glomerular convergence. These axonal connection patterns give rise to the response specificity of the second-order neurons, viz., the mitral/tufted cells, to a particular range of odor molecules. In the process of glomerular convergence, combinatorial functions of axon-associated cell adhesion molecules and odorant receptor proteins may be required for the establishment of the precise targeting of olfactory axons to the appropriate glomeruli.

  10. Chondroitin 6-sulphate synthesis is up-regulated in injured CNS, induced by injury-related cytokines and enhanced in axon-growth inhibitory glia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Properzi, F.; Carulli, D.; Asher, R.A.; Muir, E.; Camargo, L.M.; Kuppevelt, A.H.M.S.M. van; Dam, G.B. ten; Furukawa, Y.; Mikami, T.; Sugahara, K.; Toida, T.; Geller, H.M.; Fawcett, J.W.


    Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are up-regulated in the CNS after injury and inhibit axon regeneration mainly through their glycosaminoglycan (CS-GAG) chains. We have analysed the mRNA levels of the CS-GAG synthesizing enzymes and measured the CS-GAG disaccharide composition by

  11. Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptor 1 Modulates CNTF-Induced Axonal Growth and Neuroprotection in the Mouse Visual System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandrine Joly


    Full Text Available The lack of axonal regeneration and neuronal cell death causes permanent neurological deficits in the injured CNS. Using the classical CNS injury model of optic nerve crush in mice, ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF was found to stimulate retinal ganglion cell (RGC survival and axonal growth, but in an incomplete fashion. The elucidation of molecular mechanisms impairing CNTF-induced axonal regeneration is paramount to promote visual recovery. In the present study, we sought to evaluate the contribution of sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1 to the neuroprotective and regenerative effects of CNTF. The transduction of retinal cells with adeno-associated viruses (AAV allowed to activate CNTF/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3 signaling and to modulate S1PR1 expression in RGCs. Our results showed that CNTF/Stat3 prevented injury-induced S1PR1 downregulation. Silencing S1PR1 in RGCs significantly enhanced CNTF-induced axonal growth in the injured optic nerve. In contrast, RGC survival was markedly decreased when S1PR1 was repressed with viral vectors. The level of phosphorylated Stat3 (P-Stat3, an intracellular mediator of CNTF, did not fluctuate after S1PR1 inhibition and CNTF stimulation. Collectively, these results suggest that S1PR1 acts as a major regulator of retinal neuron survival and restricts the RGC growth response induced by CNTF.

  12. Axonal Membranes and Their Domains: Assembly and Function of the Axon Initial Segment and Node of Ranvier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew D. Nelson


    Full Text Available Neurons are highly specialized cells of the nervous system that receive, process and transmit electrical signals critical for normal brain function. Here, we review the intricate organization of axonal membrane domains that facilitate rapid action potential conduction underlying communication between complex neuronal circuits. Two critical excitable domains of vertebrate axons are the axon initial segment (AIS and the nodes of Ranvier, which are characterized by the high concentrations of voltage-gated ion channels, cell adhesion molecules and specialized cytoskeletal networks. The AIS is located at the proximal region of the axon and serves as the site of action potential initiation, while nodes of Ranvier, gaps between adjacent myelin sheaths, allow rapid propagation of the action potential through saltatory conduction. The AIS and nodes of Ranvier are assembled by ankyrins, spectrins and their associated binding partners through the clustering of membrane proteins and connection to the underlying cytoskeleton network. Although the AIS and nodes of Ranvier share similar protein composition, their mechanisms of assembly are strikingly different. Here we will cover the mechanisms of formation and maintenance of these axonal excitable membrane domains, specifically highlighting the similarities and differences between them. We will also discuss recent advances in super resolution fluorescence imaging which have elucidated the arrangement of the submembranous axonal cytoskeleton revealing a surprising structural organization necessary to maintain axonal organization and function. Finally, human mutations in axonal domain components have been associated with a growing number of neurological disorders including severe cognitive dysfunction, epilepsy, autism, neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders. Overall, this review highlights the assembly, maintenance and function of axonal excitable domains, particularly the AIS and nodes of

  13. Extracellular cathepsin L stimulates axonal growth in neurons. (United States)

    Tohda, Chihiro; Tohda, Michihisa


    Cathepsin L, a lysosomal endopeptidase expressed in most eukaryotic cells, is a member of the papain-like family of cysteine proteases. Although commonly recognized as a lysosomal protease, cathepsin L is also secreted and involved in the degradation of extracellular matrix proteins. Previous studies demonstrated that the secretion of cathepsin L was stimulated by basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and bFGF-enhanced axonal terminal sprouting of motor neurons. Based on these results, although it has never been directly investigated, we hypothesized that extracellular cathepsin L may induce axonal growth. To confirm the hypothesis, the axonal growth activity of recombinant cathepsin L was evaluated in cultured cortical and spinal cord neurons. Treatment with recombinant cathepsin L significantly enhanced axonal growth, but not dendritic growth. This result indicated that extracellular cathepsin L may act as a new neuronal network modulator.

  14. Fiber Optic Detection of Action Potentials in Axons

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smela, Elisabeth


    In prior exploratory research, we had designed a fiber optic sensor utilizing a long period Bragg grating for the purpose of detecting action potentials in axons optically, through a change in index...

  15. Canine spinal cord neuron and axon myelin sheath morphometry. (United States)

    de Francischini Carvalho, A C; Pacheco, M R; Baraldi Artoni, S M; Mateus, O


    This inedited morphometric study has been developed from healthy canine spinal cord neuron cytoplasm and nucleus, and white matter axonal myelin sheath, from cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions. For the morphometric study, the parameters were area, perimeter, maximum and minimum diameters and roundness for neurons and myelin thickness for axon. For each parameter, 300 neurons were analysed. The results revealed that lumbar neurons had the highest mean values for the analysed parameters, indicating the presence of large neurons in this region, with large axons as a result of myelin thickness, which is proportional to axon calibre. We conclude that these morphometric results can contribute for the establishment of normal patterns, for canine spinal cord cervical, thoracic and lumbar segments.

  16. Quantifying mechanical force in axonal growth and guidance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Athamneh, Ahmad I M; Suter, Daniel M


    .... In particular, research has shown that force is involved in growth cone-mediated axonal growth and guidance as well as stretch-induced elongation when an organism increases in size after forming...

  17. Sensory axon regeneration: rebuilding functional connections in the spinal cord. (United States)

    Smith, George M; Falone, Anthony E; Frank, Eric


    Functional regeneration within the adult spinal cord remains a formidable task. A major barrier to regeneration of sensory axons into the spinal cord is the dorsal root entry zone. This region displays many of the inhibitory features characteristic of other central nervous system injuries. Several experimental treatments, including inactivation of inhibitory molecules (such as Nogo and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans) or administration of neurotrophic factors (such as nerve growth factor, neurotrophin3, glial-derived neurotrophic factor and artemin), have been found to promote anatomical and functional regeneration across this barrier. However, there have been relatively few experiments to determine whether regenerating axons project back to their appropriate target areas within the spinal cord. This review focuses on recent advances in sensory axon regeneration, including studies assessing the ability of sensory axons to reconnect with their original synaptic targets. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Syndecan Promotes Axon Regeneration by Stabilizing Growth Cone Migration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyson J. Edwards


    Full Text Available Growth cones facilitate the repair of nervous system damage by providing the driving force for axon regeneration. Using single-neuron laser axotomy and in vivo time-lapse imaging, we show that syndecan, a heparan sulfate (HS proteoglycan, is required for growth cone function during axon regeneration in C. elegans. In the absence of syndecan, regenerating growth cones form but are unstable and collapse, decreasing the effective growth rate and impeding regrowth to target cells. We provide evidence that syndecan has two distinct functions during axon regeneration: (1 a canonical function in axon guidance that requires expression outside the nervous system and depends on HS chains and (2 an intrinsic function in growth cone stabilization that is mediated by the syndecan core protein, independently of HS. Thus, syndecan is a regulator of a critical choke point in nervous system repair.

  19. Recovery of axonal myelination sheath and axonal caliber in the mouse corpus callosum following damage induced by N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate. (United States)

    Utrera, Juana; Romero, Rafael; Verdaguer, Ester; Junyent, Fèlix; Auladell, Carme


    Disulfiram is an aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor used for the treatment of alcohol dependence and of cocaine addiction. It has been demonstrated that subchronic administration of disulfiram or N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate (DEDTC), the main derivative of disulfiram, to rats can produce central-peripheral distal axonopathy. However, few data regarding the axonal effects of these compounds in the central nervous system exist. Our previous studies have revealed DEDTC-induced axonal damage in the mouse brain during the course of postnatal development, together with alterations in axonal pathfinding and in the myelination process, with partial recovery during the post-treatment period. In order to gather new data about how this axonal damage and recovery occurs in the central nervous system, we performed an ultrastructural analysis of the axons located in the corpus callosum from mice treated with DEDTC during postnatal development. The axonal caliber throughout the axonal area, the maximum axonal diameter, the maximum fiber diameter, and the axonal circularity, at different postnatal stages [from postnatal day (P)9 to P30], were analyzed. In addition, parameters related to the myelinization process (number of myelinated axons, sheath thickness, and the ratio of myelinated axons to total axons) were evaluated. A reduction in the average value of axonal caliber during treatment and a delay in the axonal myelination process were detected. Whereas early recovery of individual axons occurred after treatment (P22), complete recovery of myelinated axons occurred at late postnatal stages (P42). Therefore, chronic treatment with dithiocarbamates requires periods of rest to encourage the recovery of myelinated axons. © 2011 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2011 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Modality-specific axonal regeneration: toward selective regenerative neural interfaces. (United States)

    Lotfi, Parisa; Garde, Kshitija; Chouhan, Amit K; Bengali, Ebrahim; Romero-Ortega, Mario I


    Regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces have been proposed as viable alternatives for the natural control of robotic prosthetic devices. However, sensory and motor axons at the neural interface are of mixed sub-modality types, which difficult the specific recording from motor axons and the eliciting of precise sensory modalities through selective stimulation. Here we evaluated the possibility of using type specific neurotrophins to preferentially entice the regeneration of defined axonal populations from transected peripheral nerves into separate compartments. Segregation of mixed sensory fibers from dorsal root ganglion neurons was evaluated in vitro by compartmentalized diffusion delivery of nerve growth factor (NGF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), to preferentially entice the growth of TrkA+ nociceptive and TrkC+ proprioceptive subsets of sensory neurons, respectively. The average axon length in the NGF channel increased 2.5-fold compared to that in saline or NT-3, whereas the number of branches increased threefold in the NT-3 channels. These results were confirmed using a 3D "Y"-shaped in vitro assay showing that the arm containing NGF was able to entice a fivefold increase in axonal length of unbranched fibers. To address if such segregation can be enticed in vivo, a "Y"-shaped tubing was used to allow regeneration of the transected adult rat sciatic nerve into separate compartments filled with either NFG or NT-3. A significant increase in the number of CGRP+ pain fibers were attracted toward the sural nerve, while N-52+ large-diameter axons were observed in the tibial and NT-3 compartments. This study demonstrates the guided enrichment of sensory axons in specific regenerative chambers, and supports the notion that neurotrophic factors can be used to segregate sensory and perhaps motor axons in separate peripheral interfaces.

  1. Functional characterization and axonal transport of quantum dot labeled BDNF


    Xie, Wenjun; Zhang, Kai; Cui, Bianxiao


    Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a key role in the growth, development and maintenance of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Exogenous BDNF activates its membrane receptors at the axon terminal, and subsequently sends regulation signals to the cell body. To understand how BDNF signal propagates in neurons, it is important to follow the trafficking of BDNF after it is internalized at the axon terminal. Here we labeled BDNF with bright, photostable quantum dot (QD-BDNF) a...

  2. Axonal dystrophy in the brain of mice with Sanfilippo syndrome. (United States)

    Beard, Helen; Hassiotis, Sofia; Gai, Wei-Ping; Parkinson-Lawrence, Emma; Hopwood, John J; Hemsley, Kim M


    Axonal dystrophy has been described as an early pathological feature of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Axonal inclusions have also been reported to occur in several neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorders including Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (MPS IIIA; Sanfilippo syndrome). This disorder results from a mutation in the gene encoding the lysosomal sulphatase sulphamidase, and as a consequence heparan sulphate accumulates, accompanied by secondarily-stored gangliosides. The precise basis of symptom generation in MPS IIIA has not been elucidated, however axonal dystrophy may conceivably lead to impaired vesicular trafficking, neuronal dysfunction and/or death. We have utilised a faithful murine model of MPS IIIA to determine the spatio-temporal profile of neuronal inclusion formation and determine the effect of restoring normal lysosomal function. Dopaminergic (tyrosine hydroxylase-positive), cholinergic (choline acetyltransferase-positive) and GABAergic (glutamic acid decarboxylase65/67-positive) neurons were found to exhibit axonal dystrophy in MPS IIIA mouse brain. Axonal lesions present by ~seven weeks of age were Rab5-positive but lysosomal integral membrane protein-2 negative, suggesting early endosomal involvement. By 9-12-weeks of age, immunoreactivity for the autophagosome-related proteins LC3 and p62 and the proteasomal subunit 19S was noted in the spheroidal structures, together with wildtype α-synuclein, phosphorylated Thr-181 Tau and amyloid precursor protein, indicative of impaired axonal trafficking. Sulphamidase replacement reduced but did not abrogate the axonal lesions. Therefore, if axonal dystrophy impairs neuronal activity and ultimately, neuronal function, its incomplete resolution warrants further investigation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Glypican Is a Modulator of Netrin-Mediated Axon Guidance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cassandra R Blanchette


    Full Text Available Netrin is a key axon guidance cue that orients axon growth during neural circuit formation. However, the mechanisms regulating netrin and its receptors in the extracellular milieu are largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that in Caenorhabditis elegans, LON-2/glypican, a heparan sulfate proteoglycan, modulates UNC-6/netrin signaling and may do this through interactions with the UNC-40/DCC receptor. We show that developing axons misorient in the absence of LON-2/glypican when the SLT-1/slit guidance pathway is compromised and that LON-2/glypican functions in both the attractive and repulsive UNC-6/netrin pathways. We find that the core LON-2/glypican protein, lacking its heparan sulfate chains, and secreted forms of LON-2/glypican are functional in axon guidance. We also find that LON-2/glypican functions from the epidermal substrate cells to guide axons, and we provide evidence that LON-2/glypican associates with UNC-40/DCC receptor-expressing cells. We propose that LON-2/glypican acts as a modulator of UNC-40/DCC-mediated guidance to fine-tune axonal responses to UNC-6/netrin signals during migration.

  4. Glypican Is a Modulator of Netrin-Mediated Axon Guidance. (United States)

    Blanchette, Cassandra R; Perrat, Paola N; Thackeray, Andrea; Bénard, Claire Y


    Netrin is a key axon guidance cue that orients axon growth during neural circuit formation. However, the mechanisms regulating netrin and its receptors in the extracellular milieu are largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that in Caenorhabditis elegans, LON-2/glypican, a heparan sulfate proteoglycan, modulates UNC-6/netrin signaling and may do this through interactions with the UNC-40/DCC receptor. We show that developing axons misorient in the absence of LON-2/glypican when the SLT-1/slit guidance pathway is compromised and that LON-2/glypican functions in both the attractive and repulsive UNC-6/netrin pathways. We find that the core LON-2/glypican protein, lacking its heparan sulfate chains, and secreted forms of LON-2/glypican are functional in axon guidance. We also find that LON-2/glypican functions from the epidermal substrate cells to guide axons, and we provide evidence that LON-2/glypican associates with UNC-40/DCC receptor-expressing cells. We propose that LON-2/glypican acts as a modulator of UNC-40/DCC-mediated guidance to fine-tune axonal responses to UNC-6/netrin signals during migration.

  5. Cutaneous silent period recordings in demyelinating and axonal polyneuropathies. (United States)

    Lopergolo, Diego; Isak, Baris; Gabriele, Maria; Onesti, Emanuela; Ceccanti, Marco; Capua, Gelsomina; Fionda, Laura; Biasiotta, Antonella; Di Stefano, Giulia; La Cesa, Silvia; Frasca, Vittorio; Inghilleri, Maurizio


    To investigate the cutaneous silent period (CSP), a spinal inhibitory reflex mainly mediated by A-delta fibres, in demyelinating and axonal polyneuropathy (PNP) and evaluate whether CSP parameters differ between patients with and without neuropathic pain. Eighty-four patients with demyelinating PNP, 178 patients with axonal PNP and 265 controls underwent clinical examination, DN4 questionnaire, standard nerve conduction study, motor-root stimulation and CSP recordings from abductor digiti minimi. We calculated the afferent conduction time of CSP (a-CSP time) with the formula: CSP latency-root motor evoked potential latency. In the demyelinating PNP group the a-CSP time was significantly longer; in the axonal PNP group, CSP duration was shorter than the demyelinating group (p=0.010) and controls (p=0.001). CSP parameters were not different between patients with and without neuropathic pain. The abnormality of a-CSP time in the demyelinating PNP group suggests the crucial role of A-delta fibres in the mechanism of CSP; the shorter CSP duration in the axonal PNP group supports the strong influence of the number of axons on this parameter. Our study suggests that neuropathic pain could be related to pathophysiological mechanisms differing from mere A-delta fibre loss. CSP evaluation is effective in detecting A-delta fibre dysfunction in axonal as well as demyelinating PNP. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Axon-glia interaction and membrane traffic in myelin formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin eWhite


    Full Text Available In vertebrate nervous systems myelination of neuronal axons has evolved to increase conduction velocity of electrical impulses with minimal space and energy requirements. Myelin is formed by specialised glial cells which ensheath axons with a lipid-rich insulating membrane. Myelination is a multi-step process initiated by axon-glia recognition triggering glial polarisation followed by targeted myelin membrane expansion and compaction. Thereby, a myelin sheath of complex subdomain structure is established. Continuous communication between neurons and glial cells is essential for myelin maintenance and axonal integrity. A diverse group of diseases, from multiple sclerosis to schizophrenia, have been linked to malfunction of myelinating cells reflecting the physiological importance of the axon-glial unit. This review describes the mechanisms of axonal signal integration by oligodendrocytes emphasising the central role of the Src-family kinase Fyn during CNS myelination. Furthermore, we discuss myelin membrane trafficking with particular focus on endocytic recycling and the control of PLP (proteolipid protein transport by SNARE proteins. Finally, PLP mistrafficking is considered in the context of myelin diseases.

  7. Developmental time windows for axon growth influence neuronal network topology. (United States)

    Lim, Sol; Kaiser, Marcus


    Early brain connectivity development consists of multiple stages: birth of neurons, their migration and the subsequent growth of axons and dendrites. Each stage occurs within a certain period of time depending on types of neurons and cortical layers. Forming synapses between neurons either by growing axons starting at similar times for all neurons (much-overlapped time windows) or at different time points (less-overlapped) may affect the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks. Here, we explore the extreme cases of axon formation during early development, either starting at the same time for all neurons (parallel, i.e., maximally overlapped time windows) or occurring for each neuron separately one neuron after another (serial, i.e., no overlaps in time windows). For both cases, the number of potential and established synapses remained comparable. Topological and spatial properties, however, differed: Neurons that started axon growth early on in serial growth achieved higher out-degrees, higher local efficiency and longer axon lengths while neurons demonstrated more homogeneous connectivity patterns for parallel growth. Second, connection probability decreased more rapidly with distance between neurons for parallel growth than for serial growth. Third, bidirectional connections were more numerous for parallel growth. Finally, we tested our predictions with C. elegans data. Together, this indicates that time windows for axon growth influence the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks opening up the possibility to a posteriori estimate developmental mechanisms based on network properties of a developed network.

  8. Parametric Probability Distribution Functions for Axon Diameters of Corpus Callosum. (United States)

    Sepehrband, Farshid; Alexander, Daniel C; Clark, Kristi A; Kurniawan, Nyoman D; Yang, Zhengyi; Reutens, David C


    Axon diameter is an important neuroanatomical characteristic of the nervous system that alters in the course of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Axon diameters vary, even within a fiber bundle, and are not normally distributed. An accurate distribution function is therefore beneficial, either to describe axon diameters that are obtained from a direct measurement technique (e.g., microscopy), or to infer them indirectly (e.g., using diffusion-weighted MRI). The gamma distribution is a common choice for this purpose (particularly for the inferential approach) because it resembles the distribution profile of measured axon diameters which has been consistently shown to be non-negative and right-skewed. In this study we compared a wide range of parametric probability distribution functions against empirical data obtained from electron microscopy images. We observed that the gamma distribution fails to accurately describe the main characteristics of the axon diameter distribution, such as location and scale of the mode and the profile of distribution tails. We also found that the generalized extreme value distribution consistently fitted the measured distribution better than other distribution functions. This suggests that there may be distinct subpopulations of axons in the corpus callosum, each with their own distribution profiles. In addition, we observed that several other distributions outperformed the gamma distribution, yet had the same number of unknown parameters; these were the inverse Gaussian, log normal, log logistic and Birnbaum-Saunders distributions.

  9. Parametric Probability Distribution Functions for Axon Diameters of Corpus Callosum (United States)

    Sepehrband, Farshid; Alexander, Daniel C.; Clark, Kristi A.; Kurniawan, Nyoman D.; Yang, Zhengyi; Reutens, David C.


    Axon diameter is an important neuroanatomical characteristic of the nervous system that alters in the course of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Axon diameters vary, even within a fiber bundle, and are not normally distributed. An accurate distribution function is therefore beneficial, either to describe axon diameters that are obtained from a direct measurement technique (e.g., microscopy), or to infer them indirectly (e.g., using diffusion-weighted MRI). The gamma distribution is a common choice for this purpose (particularly for the inferential approach) because it resembles the distribution profile of measured axon diameters which has been consistently shown to be non-negative and right-skewed. In this study we compared a wide range of parametric probability distribution functions against empirical data obtained from electron microscopy images. We observed that the gamma distribution fails to accurately describe the main characteristics of the axon diameter distribution, such as location and scale of the mode and the profile of distribution tails. We also found that the generalized extreme value distribution consistently fitted the measured distribution better than other distribution functions. This suggests that there may be distinct subpopulations of axons in the corpus callosum, each with their own distribution profiles. In addition, we observed that several other distributions outperformed the gamma distribution, yet had the same number of unknown parameters; these were the inverse Gaussian, log normal, log logistic and Birnbaum-Saunders distributions. PMID:27303273

  10. TGF-beta signaling specifies axons during brain development. (United States)

    Yi, Jason J; Barnes, Anthony P; Hand, Randal; Polleux, Franck; Ehlers, Michael D


    In the mammalian brain, the specification of a single axon and multiple dendrites occurs early in the differentiation of most neuron types. Numerous intracellular signaling events for axon specification have been described in detail. However, the identity of the extracellular factor(s) that initiate neuronal polarity in vivo is unknown. Here, we report that transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) initiates signaling pathways both in vivo and in vitro to fate naive neurites into axons. Neocortical neurons lacking the type II TGF-beta receptor (TbetaR2) fail to initiate axons during development. Exogenous TGF-beta is sufficient to direct the rapid growth and differentiation of an axon, and genetic enhancement of receptor activity promotes the formation of multiple axons. Finally, we show that the bulk of these TGF-beta-dependent events are mediated by site-specific phosphorylation of Par6. These results define an extrinsic cue for neuronal polarity in vivo that patterns neural circuits in the developing brain. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The back and forth of axonal injury and repair after stroke. (United States)

    Hinman, Jason D


    The axon plays a central role in both the injury and repair phases after stroke. This review highlights emerging principles in the study of axonal injury in stroke and the role of the axon in neural repair after stroke. Ischemic stroke produces a rapid and significant loss of axons in the acute phase. This early loss of axons results from a primary ischemic injury that triggers a wave of calcium signaling, activating proteolytic mechanisms and downstream signaling cascades. A second progressive phase of axonal injury occurs during the subacute period and damages axons that survive the initial ischemic insult but go on to experience a delayed axonal degeneration driven in part by changes in axoglial contact and axonal energy metabolism. Recovery from stroke is dependent on axonal sprouting and reconnection that occurs during a third degenerative/regenerative phase. Despite this central role played by the axon, comparatively little is understood about the molecular pathways that contribute to early and subacute axonal degeneration after stroke. Recent advances in axonal neurobiology and signaling suggest new targets that hold promise as potential molecular therapeutics including axonal calcium signaling, axoglial energy metabolism and cell adhesion as well as retrograde axonal mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. These novel pathways must be modeled appropriately as the type and severity of axonal injury vary by stroke subtype. Stroke-induced injury to axons occurs in three distinct phases each with a unique molecular underpinning. A wealth of new data about the molecular organization and molecular signaling within axons is available but not yet robustly applied to the study of axonal injury after stroke. Identifying the spatiotemporal patterning of molecular pathways within the axon that contribute to injury and repair may offer new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of stroke.

  12. Noninvasive Detection and Differentiation of Axonal Injury/Loss, Demyelination, and Inflammation (United States)


    anti-total neurofilament (SMI-312, total axons), phosphorylated neurofilament (SMI-31, intact axon), myelin basic protein (MBP, myelin sheath ), and 4...Figure 2 Representative IHC images of anti-total (SMI-312, total axons), phosphorylated neurofilaments (SMI-31, intact axon), myelin basic protein (MBP...However, the coexistence of confounding multiple pathologies prevents these image markers from accurately assessing axon and myelin pathologies. We

  13. Neural ECM molecules in axonal and synaptic homeostatic plasticity. (United States)

    Frischknecht, Renato; Chang, Kae-Jiun; Rasband, Matthew N; Seidenbecher, Constanze I


    Neural circuits can express different forms of plasticity. So far, Hebbian synaptic plasticity was considered the most important plastic phenomenon, but over the last decade, homeostatic mechanisms gained more interest because they can explain how a neuronal network maintains stable baseline function despite multiple plastic challenges, like developmental plasticity, learning, or lesion. Such destabilizing influences can be counterbalanced by the mechanisms of homeostatic plasticity, which restore the stability of neuronal circuits. Synaptic scaling is a mechanism in which neurons can detect changes in their own firing rates through a set of molecular sensors that then regulate receptor trafficking to scale the accumulation of glutamate receptors at synaptic sites. Additional homeostatic mechanisms allow local changes in synaptic activation to generate local synaptic adaptations and network-wide changes in activity, which lead to adjustments in the balance between excitation and inhibition. The molecular pathways underlying these forms of homeostatic plasticity are currently under intense investigation, and it becomes clear that the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the brain, which surrounds individual neurons and integrates them into the tissue, is an important element in these processes. As a highly dynamic structure, which can be remodeled and degraded in an activity-dependent manner and in concerted action of neurons and glial cells, it can on one hand promote structural and functional plasticity and on the other hand stabilize neural microcircuits. This chapter highlights the composition of brain ECM with particular emphasis on perisynaptic and axonal matrix formations and its involvement in plastic and adaptive processes of the central nervous system.

  14. AxonQuant: A Microfluidic Chamber Culture-Coupled Algorithm That Allows High-Throughput Quantification of Axonal Damage

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Li, Yang; Yang, Mengxue; Huang, Zhuo; Chen, Xiaoping; Maloney, Michael T; Zhu, Li; Liu, Jianghong; Yang, Yanmin; Du, Sidan; Jiang, Xingyu; Wu, Jane Y


    Published methods for imaging and quantitatively analyzing morphological changes in neuronal axons have serious limitations because of their small sample sizes, and their time-consuming and nonobjective nature...

  15. Autophagy induction halts axonal degeneration in a mouse model of X-adrenoleukodystrophy. (United States)

    Launay, Nathalie; Aguado, Carmen; Fourcade, Stéphane; Ruiz, Montserrat; Grau, Laia; Riera, Jordi; Guilera, Cristina; Giròs, Marisa; Ferrer, Isidre; Knecht, Erwin; Pujol, Aurora


    X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is a rare neurometabolic disease characterized by the accumulation of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) due to a loss of function of the peroxisomal transporter ABCD1. Here, using in vivo and in vitro models, we demonstrate that autophagic flux was impaired due to elevated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, which contributed to X-ALD pathogenesis. We also show that excess VLCFAs downregulated autophagy in human fibroblasts. Furthermore, mTOR inhibition by a rapamycin derivative (temsirolimus) restored autophagic flux and inhibited the axonal degenerative process as well as the associated locomotor impairment in the Abcd1 (-) /Abcd2 (-/-) mouse model. This process was mediated through the restoration of proteasome function and redox as well as metabolic homeostasis. These findings provide the first evidence that links impaired autophagy to X-ALD, which may yield a therapy based on autophagy activators for adrenomyeloneuropathy patients.

  16. Transient axonal glycoprotein-1 (TAG-1 and laminin-α1 regulate dynamic growth cone behaviors and initial axon direction in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yost H Joseph


    Full Text Available Abstract Background How axon guidance signals regulate growth cone behavior and guidance decisions in the complex in vivo environment of the central nervous system is not well understood. We have taken advantage of the unique features of the zebrafish embryo to visualize dynamic growth cone behaviors and analyze guidance mechanisms of axons emerging from a central brain nucleus in vivo. Results We investigated axons of the nucleus of the medial longitudinal fascicle (nucMLF, which are the first axons to extend in the zebrafish midbrain. Using in vivo time-lapse imaging, we show that both positive axon-axon interactions and guidance by surrounding tissue control initial nucMLF axon guidance. We further show that two guidance molecules, transient axonal glycoprotein-1 (TAG-1 and laminin-α1, are essential for the initial directional extension of nucMLF axons and their subsequent convergence into a tight fascicle. Fixed tissue analysis shows that TAG-1 knockdown causes errors in nucMLF axon pathfinding similar to those seen in a laminin-α1 mutant. However, in vivo time-lapse imaging reveals that while some defects in dynamic growth cone behavior are similar, there are also defects unique to the loss of each gene. Loss of either TAG-1 or laminin-α1 causes nucMLF axons to extend into surrounding tissue in incorrect directions and reduces axonal growth rate, resulting in stunted nucMLF axons that fail to extend beyond the hindbrain. However, defects in axon-axon interactions were found only after TAG-1 knockdown, while defects in initial nucMLF axon polarity and excessive branching of nucMLF axons occurred only in laminin-α1 mutants. Conclusion These results demonstrate how two guidance cues, TAG-1 and laminin-α1, influence the behavior of growth cones during axon pathfinding in vivo. Our data suggest that TAG-1 functions to allow growth cones to sense environmental cues and mediates positive axon-axon interactions. Laminin-α1 does not regulate

  17. Dyslipidaemia in chronic acquired distal axonal polyneuropathy. (United States)

    Rajabally, Yusuf A; Shah, Rahul S


    The link between hypertriglyceridaemia (HTG) and/or hypercholesterolaemia (HCL) and neuropathy is uncertain. We retrospectively reviewed records of 100 consecutive patients investigated for acquired chronic axonal distal polyneuropathy of unknown cause. Findings were compared with those of 102 consecutive controls. Patients with idiopathic neuropathy were subsequently compared with age- and gender-matched controls. There were more neuropathy patients than controls with HCL, defined as cholesterol levels >5 mmol/L (63 vs. 45.1%; p = 0.011). Neuropathy patients also had higher cholesterol levels than controls (p = 0.04). Cholesterol-lowering drug usage was similar in both groups. HTG (defined as >2 mmol/L) and triglyceride levels were comparable in both groups. HTG ranged from 2.1-4.2 mmol/L in neuropathy patients. A cause for neuropathy was identified in 59 patients. Thirty-one had impaired glucose metabolism. Forty-one had idiopathic neuropathy. No link was demonstrated between idiopathic neuropathy or painful idiopathic neuropathy, and HTG/HCL. Mean triglyceride and cholesterol levels in patients with idiopathic neuropathy were comparable to those of controls. HTG was significantly more common (p = 0.027), and triglyceride levels significantly higher (p = 0.005) in patients with neuropathy due to diabetes/impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)/alcoholism, than in patients with neuropathy of any other cause. These results suggest HCL >5 mmol/L may represent a cofactor contributing to presence of neuropathy irrespective of the underlying cause. They on the other hand do not support mild/moderate HTG as an independent cause of neuropathy. HTG is common in patients with neuropathy associated with diabetes/IGT/chronic alcoholism, where it may play a role in peripheral nerve damage. As previously reported, IGT was in our cohort frequent, present in one case in three, in the absence of another identifiable aetiology.

  18. Zebrafish Models for Human Acute Organophosphorus Poisoning. (United States)

    Faria, Melissa; Garcia-Reyero, Natàlia; Padrós, Francesc; Babin, Patrick J; Sebastián, David; Cachot, Jérôme; Prats, Eva; Arick Ii, Mark; Rial, Eduardo; Knoll-Gellida, Anja; Mathieu, Guilaine; Le Bihanic, Florane; Escalon, B Lynn; Zorzano, Antonio; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Raldúa, Demetrio


    Terrorist use of organophosphorus-based nerve agents and toxic industrial chemicals against civilian populations constitutes a real threat, as demonstrated by the terrorist attacks in Japan in the 1990 s or, even more recently, in the Syrian civil war. Thus, development of more effective countermeasures against acute organophosphorus poisoning is urgently needed. Here, we have generated and validated zebrafish models for mild, moderate and severe acute organophosphorus poisoning by exposing zebrafish larvae to different concentrations of the prototypic organophosphorus compound chlorpyrifos-oxon. Our results show that zebrafish models mimic most of the pathophysiological mechanisms behind this toxidrome in humans, including acetylcholinesterase inhibition, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation, and calcium dysregulation as well as inflammatory and immune responses. The suitability of the zebrafish larvae to in vivo high-throughput screenings of small molecule libraries makes these models a valuable tool for identifying new drugs for multifunctional drug therapy against acute organophosphorus poisoning.

  19. Early factors associated with axonal loss after optic neuritis. (United States)

    Henderson, Andrew P D; Altmann, Daniel R; Trip, S Anand; Miszkiel, Katherine A; Schlottmann, Patricio G; Jones, Steve J; Garway-Heath, David F; Plant, Gordon T; Miller, David H


    Acute optic neuritis due to an inflammatory demyelinating lesion of the optic nerve is often seen in association with multiple sclerosis. Although functional recovery usually follows the acute episode of visual loss, persistent visual deficits are common and are probably due to axonal loss. The mechanisms of axonal loss and early features that predict it are not well defined. We investigated clinical, electrophysiological, and imaging measures at presentation and after 3 months as potential markers of axonal loss following optic neuritis. We followed 21 patients after their first attack of acute unilateral optic neuritis for up to 18 months. Axonal loss was inferred from optical coherence tomography measures of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness at least 6 months following the episode. Visual function, visual evoked potential, and optic nerve magnetic resonance imaging measures obtained during the acute episode and 3 months later were investigated for their association with later axonal loss. After multivariate analysis, prolonged visual evoked potential latency and impaired color vision, at baseline and after 3 months, were significantly and independently associated with RNFL thinning. Low-contrast acuity measures exhibited significant univariate associations with RNFL thinning. The association of RNFL loss with a prolonged visual evoked potential (VEP) latency suggests that acute and persistent demyelination is associated with increased vulnerability of axons. VEP latency and visual function tests that capture optic nerve function, such as color and contrast, may help identify subjects with a higher risk for axonal loss who are thus more suitable for experimental neuroprotection trials. Copyright © 2011 American Neurological Association.

  20. Axonal synapses utilize multiple synaptic ribbons in the mammalian retina.

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    Hong-Lim Kim

    Full Text Available In the mammalian retina, bipolar cells and ganglion cells which stratify in sublamina a of the inner plexiform layer (IPL show OFF responses to light stimuli while those that stratify in sublamina b show ON responses. This functional relationship between anatomy and physiology is a key principle of retinal organization. However, there are at least three types of retinal neurons, including intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs and dopaminergic amacrine cells, which violate this principle. These cell types have light-driven ON responses, but their dendrites mainly stratify in sublamina a of the IPL, the OFF sublayer. Recent anatomical studies suggested that certain ON cone bipolar cells make axonal or ectopic synapses as they descend through sublamina a, thus providing ON input to cells which stratify in the OFF sublayer. Using immunoelectron microscopy with 3-dimensional reconstruction, we have identified axonal synapses of ON cone bipolar cells in the rabbit retina. Ten calbindin ON cone bipolar axons made en passant ribbon synapses onto amacrine or ganglion dendrites in sublamina a of the IPL. Compared to the ribbon synapses made by bipolar terminals, these axonal ribbon synapses were characterized by a broad postsynaptic element that appeared as a monad and by the presence of multiple short synaptic ribbons. These findings confirm that certain ON cone bipolar cells can provide ON input to amacrine and ganglion cells whose dendrites stratify in the OFF sublayer via axonal synapses. The monadic synapse with multiple ribbons may be a diagnostic feature of the ON cone bipolar axonal synapse in sublamina a. The presence of multiple ribbons and a broad postsynaptic density suggest these structures may be very efficient synapses. We also identified axonal inputs to ipRGCs with the architecture described above.

  1. Reciprocal regulation of axonal Filopodia and outgrowth during neuromuscular junction development.

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    Pan P Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The assembly of the vertebrate neuromuscular junction (NMJ is initiated when nerve and muscle first contact each other by filopodial processes which are thought to enable close interactions between the synaptic partners and facilitate synaptogenesis. We recently reported that embryonic Xenopus spinal neurons preferentially extended filopodia towards cocultured muscle cells and that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF produced by muscle activated neuronal FGF receptor 1 (FGFR1 to induce filopodia and favor synaptogenesis. Intriguingly, in an earlier study we found that neurotrophins (NTs, a different set of target-derived factors that act through Trk receptor tyrosine kinases, promoted neuronal growth but hindered presynaptic differentiation and NMJ formation. Thus, here we investigated how bFGF- and NT-signals in neurons jointly elicit presynaptic changes during the earliest stages of NMJ development. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Whereas forced expression of wild-type TrkB in neurons reduced filopodial extension and triggered axonal outgrowth, expression of a mutant TrkB lacking the intracellular kinase domain enhanced filopodial growth and slowed axonal advance. Neurons overexpressing wild-type FGFR1 also displayed more filopodia than control neurons, in accord with our previous findings, and, notably, this elevation in filopodial density was suppressed when neurons were chronically treated from the beginning of the culture period with BDNF, the NT that specifically activates TrkB. Conversely, inhibition by BDNF of NMJ formation in nerve-muscle cocultures was partly reversed by the overexpression of bFGF in muscle. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the balance between neuronal FGFR1- and TrkB-dependent filopodial assembly and axonal outgrowth regulates the establishment of incipient NMJs.

  2. Axonal domain disorganization in Caspr1 and Caspr2 mutant myelinated axons affects neuromuscular junction integrity, leading to muscle atrophy. (United States)

    Saifetiarova, Julia; Liu, Xi; Taylor, Anna M; Li, Jie; Bhat, Manzoor A


    Bidirectional interactions between neurons and myelinating glial cells result in formation of axonal domains along myelinated fibers. Loss of axonal domains leads to detrimental consequences on nerve structure and function, resulting in reduced conductive properties and the diminished ability to reliably transmit signals to the targets they innervate. Thus, impairment of peripheral myelinated axons that project to the surface of muscle fibers and form neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapses leads to muscle dysfunction. The goal of our studies was to determine how altered electrophysiological properties due to axonal domain disorganization lead to muscle pathology, which is relevant to a variety of peripheral neuropathies, demyelinating diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders. Using conventional Contactin-Associated Protein 1 (Caspr1) and Caspr2 single or double mutants with disrupted paranodal, juxtaparanodal, or both regions, respectively, in peripheral myelinated axons, we correlated defects in NMJ integrity and muscle pathology. Our data show that loss of axonal domains in Caspr1 and Caspr2 single and double mutants primarily alters distal myelinated fibers together with presynaptic terminals, eventually leading to NMJ denervation and reduction in postsynaptic endplate areas. Moreover, reduction in conductive properties of peripheral myelinated fibers together with NMJ disintegration leads to muscle atrophy in Caspr1 mutants or muscle fiber degeneration accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction in Caspr1/Caspr2 double mutants. Together, our data indicate that proper organization of axonal domains in myelinated fibers is critical for optimal propagation of electrical signals, NMJ integrity, and muscle health, and provide insights into a wide range of pathologies that result in reduced nerve conduction leading to muscle atrophy. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Subtypes of GABAergic neurons project axons in the neocortex

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    Shigeyoshi Higo


    Full Text Available γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic neurons in the neocortex have been regarded as interneurons and speculated to modulate the activity of neurons locally. Recently, however, several experiments revealed that neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS-positive GABAergic neurons project cortico-cortically with long axons. In this study, we illustrate Golgi-like images of the nNOS-positive GABAergic neurons using a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d reaction and follow the emanating axon branches in cat brain sections. These axon branches projected cortico-cortically with other non-labeled arcuate fibers, contra-laterally via the corpus callosum and anterior commissure. The labeled fibers were not limited to the neocortex but found also in the fimbria of the hippocampus. In order to have additional information on these GABAergic neuron projections, we investigated green fluorescent protein (GFP-labeled GABAergic neurons in GAD67-Cre knock-in / GFP Cre-reporter mice. GFP-labeled axons emanate densely, especially in the fimbria, a small number in the anterior commissure, and very sparsely in the corpus callosum. These two different approaches confirm that not only nNOS-positive GABAergic neurons but also other subtypes of GABAergic neurons project long axons in the cerebral cortex and are in a position to be involved in information processing.

  4. Spontaneous axonal regeneration in rodent spinal cord after ischemic injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    von Euler, Mia; Janson, A M; Larsen, Jytte Overgaard


    Here we present evidence for spontaneous and long-lasting regeneration of CNS axons after spinal cord lesions in adult rats. The length of 200 kD neurofilament (NF)-immunolabeled axons was estimated after photochemically induced ischemic spinal cord lesions using a stereological tool. The total l...... lesions in rodents and that the fibers remain several months after injury. The findings of tyrosine hydroxylase- and serotonin-immunoreactivity in the axons suggest that descending central fibers contribute to this endogenous repair of ischemic spinal cord injury.......Here we present evidence for spontaneous and long-lasting regeneration of CNS axons after spinal cord lesions in adult rats. The length of 200 kD neurofilament (NF)-immunolabeled axons was estimated after photochemically induced ischemic spinal cord lesions using a stereological tool. The total...... cells, while other fibers were unmyelinated. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that some of the regenerated fibers were tyrosine hydroxylase- or serotonin-immunoreactive, indicating a central origin. These findings suggest that there is a considerable amount of spontaneous regeneration after spinal cord...

  5. Molecular mechanisms of axon guidance in the developing corticospinal tract. (United States)

    Canty, A J; Murphy, M


    The great repertoire of movements in higher order mammals comes courtesy of the corticospinal tract (CST) which is able to initiate precise movement of the entire musculature of the axial and limb muscle groups. It forms the longest axonal trajectory in the mammalian central nervous system and its axons must navigate the entire length of the central nervous system--from its origins in the deeper layers of the cerebral cortex down through the cerebral peduncles and brainstem and along the entire length of the spinal cord. This period of navigation is incredibly complex, and relies upon the coordinated regulation of a collection of molecular guidance cues - coming from all of the known major families of guidance cues - the ephrins, slits, Netrins and Semaphorins - that work together to steer the growing axonal tips through the brain and spinal cord. As such a long tract, the CST forms an excellent experimental model to investigate the nature of molecular cues that sequentially guide axons through the central nervous system. Using the rodent as a model system, this review discusses each step of axonal guidance through the major brain regions--starting from the decision to grow ventrally out of the cortical plate to the eventual activity-dependent refinement of circuitry in the spinal grey matter. In recent years, the identification of these guidance cues and their proposed mode of action is beginning to give us a picture at a molecular level of how the CST is guided so accurately over such a long distance.

  6. Functional complexity of the axonal growth cone: a proteomic analysis.

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    Adriana Estrada-Bernal

    Full Text Available The growth cone, the tip of the emerging neurite, plays a crucial role in establishing the wiring of the developing nervous system. We performed an extensive proteomic analysis of axonal growth cones isolated from the brains of fetal Sprague-Dawley rats. Approximately 2000 proteins were identified at ≥ 99% confidence level. Using informatics, including functional annotation cluster and KEGG pathway analysis, we found great diversity of proteins involved in axonal pathfinding, cytoskeletal remodeling, vesicular traffic and carbohydrate metabolism, as expected. We also found a large and complex array of proteins involved in translation, protein folding, posttranslational processing, and proteasome/ubiquitination-dependent degradation. Immunofluorescence studies performed on hippocampal neurons in culture confirmed the presence in the axonal growth cone of proteins representative of these processes. These analyses also provide evidence for rough endoplasmic reticulum and reveal a reticular structure equipped with Golgi-like functions in the axonal growth cone. Furthermore, Western blot revealed the growth cone enrichment, relative to fetal brain homogenate, of some of the proteins involved in protein synthesis, folding and catabolism. Our study provides a resource for further research and amplifies the relatively recently developed concept that the axonal growth cone is equipped with proteins capable of performing a highly diverse range of functions.

  7. Structural basis for CRMP2-induced axonal microtubule formation. (United States)

    Niwa, Shinsuke; Nakamura, Fumio; Tomabechi, Yuri; Aoki, Mari; Shigematsu, Hideki; Matsumoto, Takashi; Yamagata, Atsushi; Fukai, Shuya; Hirokawa, Nobutaka; Goshima, Yoshio; Shirouzu, Mikako; Nitta, Ryo


    Microtubule associated protein Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) regulates neuronal polarity in developing neurons through interactions with tubulins or microtubules. However, how CRMP2 promotes axonal formation by affecting microtubule behavior remains unknown. This study aimed to obtain the structural basis for CRMP2-tubulin/microtubule interaction in the course of axonogenesis. The X-ray structural studies indicated that the main interface to the soluble tubulin-dimer is the last helix H19 of CRMP2 that is distinct from the known C-terminal tail-mediated interaction with assembled microtubules. In vitro structural and functional studies also suggested that the H19-mediated interaction promoted the rapid formation of GTP-state microtubules directly, which is an important feature of the axon. Consistently, the H19 mutants disturbed axon elongation in chick neurons, and failed to authorize the structural features for axonal microtubules in Caenorhabditis elegans. Thus, CRMP2 induces effective axonal microtubule formation through H19-mediated interactions with a soluble tubulin-dimer allowing axonogenesis to proceed.

  8. Fast and reliable identification of axons, axon initial segments and dendrites with local field potential recording

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    Anders Victor ePetersen


    Full Text Available The axon initial segment (AIS is an essential neuronal compartment. It is usually where action potentials are initiated. Recent studies demonstrated that the AIS is a plastic structure that can be regulated by neuronal activity and by the activation of metabotropic receptors. Studying the AIS in live tissue can be difficult because its identification is not always reliable. Here we provide a new technique allowing a fast and reliable identification of the AIS in live brain slice preparations. By simultaneous recoding of extracellular local field potentials and whole-cell patch-clamp recording of neurons, we can detect sinks caused by inward currents flowing across the membrane. We determine the location of the AIS by comparing the timing of these events with the action potential. We demonstrate that this method allows the unequivocal identification of the AIS of different types of neurons from the brain.

  9. Fast and reliable identification of axons, axon initial segments and dendrites with local field potential recording. (United States)

    Petersen, Anders V; Johansen, Emil Ø; Perrier, Jean-François


    The axon initial segment (AIS) is an essential neuronal compartment. It is usually where action potentials are initiated. Recent studies demonstrated that the AIS is a plastic structure that can be regulated by neuronal activity and by the activation of metabotropic receptors. Studying the AIS in live tissue can be difficult because its identification is not always reliable. Here we provide a new technique allowing a fast and reliable identification of the AIS in live brain slice preparations. By simultaneous recording of extracellular local field potentials and whole-cell patch-clamp recording of neurons, we can detect sinks caused by inward currents flowing across the membrane. We determine the location of the AIS by comparing the timing of these events with the action potential. We demonstrate that this method allows the unequivocal identification of the AIS of different types of neurons from the brain.

  10. Fast and reliable identification of axons, axon initial segments and dendrites with local field potential recording

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders V.; Johansen, Emil O.; Perrier, Jean-Francois


    in live tissue can be difficult because its identification is not always reliable. Here we provide a new technique allowing a fast and reliable identification of the AIS in live brain slice preparations. By simultaneous recording of extracellular local field potentials and whole-cell patch-clamp recording......The axon initial segment (AIS) is an essential neuronal compartment. It is usually where action potentials are initiated. Recent studies demonstrated that the AIS is a plastic structure that can be regulated by neuronal activity and by the activation of metabotropic receptors. Studying the AIS...... of neurons, we can detect sinks caused by inward currents flowing across the membrane. We determine the location of the AIS by comparing the timing of these events with the action potential. We demonstrate that this method allows the unequivocal identification of the AIS of different types of neurons from...

  11. Using quantum filters to process images of diffuse axonal injury (United States)

    Pineda Osorio, Mateo


    Some images corresponding to a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) are processed using several quantum filters such as Hermite Weibull and Morse. Diffuse axonal injury is a particular, common and severe case of traumatic brain injury (TBI). DAI involves global damage on microscopic scale of brain tissue and causes serious neurologic abnormalities. New imaging techniques provide excellent images showing cellular damages related to DAI. Said images can be processed with quantum filters, which accomplish high resolutions of dendritic and axonal structures both in normal and pathological state. Using the Laplacian operators from the new quantum filters, excellent edge detectors for neurofiber resolution are obtained. Image quantum processing of DAI images is made using computer algebra, specifically Maple. Quantum filter plugins construction is proposed as a future research line, which can incorporated to the ImageJ software package, making its use simpler for medical personnel.

  12. The nano-architecture of the axonal cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Leterrier, Christophe; Dubey, Pankaj; Roy, Subhojit


    The corporeal beauty of the neuronal cytoskeleton has captured the imagination of generations of scientists. One of the easiest cellular structures to visualize by light microscopy, its existence has been known for well over 100 years, yet we have only recently begun to fully appreciate its intricacy and diversity. Recent studies combining new probes with super-resolution microscopy and live imaging have revealed surprising details about the axonal cytoskeleton and, in particular, have discovered previously unknown actin-based structures. Along with traditional electron microscopy, these newer techniques offer a nanoscale view of the axonal cytoskeleton, which is important for our understanding of neuronal form and function, and lay the foundation for future studies. In this Review, we summarize existing concepts in the field and highlight contemporary discoveries that have fundamentally altered our perception of the axonal cytoskeleton.

  13. The axon-protective WLD(S) protein partially rescues mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis after axonal injury. (United States)

    Godzik, Katharina; Coleman, Michael P


    The axon-protective Wallerian degeneration slow (WLD(S)) protein can ameliorate the decline in axonal ATP levels after neurite transection. Here, we tested the hypothesis that this effect is associated with maintenance of mitochondrial respiration and/or glycolysis. We used isolated neurites of superior cervical ganglion (SCG) cultures in the Seahorse XF-24 Metabolic Flux Analyser to determine mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis under different conditions. We observed that both mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis declined significantly during the latent phase of Wallerian degeneration. WLD(S) partially reduced the decline both in glycolysis and in mitochondrial respiration. In addition, we found that depleting NAD levels in uncut cultures led to changes in mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis similar to those rescued by WLD(S) after cut, suggesting that the maintenance of NAD levels in Wld(S) neurites after axonal injury at least partially underlies the maintenance of ATP levels. However, by using another axon-protective mutation (Sarm1(-/-)), we could demonstrate that rescue of basal ECAR (and hence probably glycolysis) rather than basal OCR (mitochondrial respiration) may be part of the protective phenotype to delay Wallerian degeneration. These findings open new routes to study glycolysis and the connection between NAD and ATP levels in axon degeneration, which may help to eventually develop therapeutic strategies to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

  14. Selected SNARE proteins are essential for the polarized membrane insertion of igf-1 receptor and the regulation of initial axonal outgrowth in neurons. (United States)

    Grassi, Diego; Plonka, Florentyna Bustos; Oksdath, Mariana; Guil, Alvaro Nieto; Sosa, Lucas J; Quiroga, Santiago


    The establishment of polarity necessitates initial axonal outgrowth and, therefore, the addition of new membrane to the axon's plasmalemma. Axolemmal expansion occurs by exocytosis of plasmalemmal precursor vesicles (PPVs) primarily at the neuronal growth cone. Little is known about the SNAREs family proteins involved in the regulation of PPV fusion with the neuronal plasmalemma at early stages of differentiation. We show here that five SNARE proteins (VAMP2, VAMP4, VAMP7, Syntaxin6 and SNAP23) were expressed by hippocampal pyramidal neurons before polarization. Expression silencing of three of these proteins (VAMP4, Syntaxin6 and SNAP23) repressed axonal outgrowth and the establishment of neuronal polarity, by inhibiting IGF-1 receptor exocytotic polarized insertion, necessary for neuronal polarization. In addition, stimulation with IGF-1 triggered the association of VAMP4, Syntaxin6 and SNAP23 to vesicular structures carrying the IGF-1 receptor and overexpression of a negative dominant form of Syntaxin6 significantly inhibited exocytosis of IGF-1 receptor containing vesicles at the neuronal growth cone. Taken together, our results indicated that VAMP4, Syntaxin6 and SNAP23 functions are essential for regulation of PPV exocytosis and the polarized insertion of IGF-1 receptor and, therefore, required for initial axonal elongation and the establishment of neuronal polarity.

  15. Uncovering sensory axonal dysfunction in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic neuropathy.

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    Jia-Ying Sung

    Full Text Available This study investigated sensory and motor nerve excitability properties to elucidate the development of diabetic neuropathy. A total of 109 type 2 diabetes patients were recruited, and 106 were analyzed. According to neuropathy severity, patients were categorized into G0, G1, and G2+3 groups using the total neuropathy score-reduced (TNSr. Patients in the G0 group were asymptomatic and had a TNSr score of 0. Sensory and motor nerve excitability data from diabetic patients were compared with data from 33 healthy controls. Clinical assessment, nerve conduction studies, and sensory and motor nerve excitability testing data were analyzed to determine axonal dysfunction in diabetic neuropathy. In the G0 group, sensory excitability testing revealed increased stimulus for the 50% sensory nerve action potential (P<0.05, shortened strength-duration time constant (P<0.01, increased superexcitability (P<0.01, decreased subexcitability (P<0.05, decreased accommodation to depolarizing current (P<0.01, and a trend of decreased accommodation to hyperpolarizing current in threshold electrotonus. All the changes progressed into G1 (TNSr 1-8 and G2+3 (TNSr 9-24 groups. In contrast, motor excitability only had significantly increased stimulus for the 50% compound motor nerve action potential (P<0.01 in the G0 group. This study revealed that the development of axonal dysfunction in sensory axons occurred prior to and in a different fashion from motor axons. Additionally, sensory nerve excitability tests can detect axonal dysfunction even in asymptomatic patients. These insights further our understanding of diabetic neuropathy and enable the early detection of sensory axonal abnormalities, which may provide a basis for neuroprotective therapeutic approaches.

  16. Biological aspects of axonal damage in glaucoma: A brief review. (United States)

    Tamm, Ernst R; Ethier, C Ross


    Intraocular pressure (IOP) is a critical risk factor in glaucoma, and the available evidence derived from experimental studies in primates and rodents strongly indicates that the site of IOP-induced axonal damage in glaucoma is at the optic nerve head (ONH). However, the mechanisms that cause IOP-induced damage at the ONH are far from understood. A possible sequence of events could originate with IOP-induced stress in the ONH connective tissue elements (peripapillary sclera, scleral canal and lamina cribrosa) that leads to an increase in biomechanical strain. In consequence, molecular signaling cascades might be activated that result in extracellular matrix turnover of the peripapillary sclera, changing its biomechanical properties. Peripapillary sclera strain might induce reactive changes in ONH astrocytes and cause astrogliosis. The biological changes that are associated with ONH astrocyte reactivity could lead to withdrawal of trophic or metabolic support for optic nerve axons and cause their degeneration. Alternatively, the expression of neurotoxic molecules might be induced. Unfortunately, direct experimental in vivo evidence for these or other scenarios is currently lacking. The pathogenic processes that cause axonal degeneration at the ONH in glaucoma need to be identified before any regenerative therapy is likely to succeed. Several topics and emerging techniques should be pursued to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms that are behind axonal degeneration. Among them are: Advanced imaging techniques, the development of in vivo markers to identify axonal injury, the generation of molecular approaches for in vivo detection of mechanosensitivity and for molecular manipulation of the ONH, a more complete characterization of retinal ganglion cells, the use of organ cultures, 3D-bioprinting, and the engineering of microdevices that can measure pressure. Questions that need to be answered relate to the specific roles of astrogliosis, neuroinflammation

  17. Salvianolic acid B protects the myelin sheath around injured spinal cord axons

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    Zhe Zhu


    Full Text Available Salvianolic acid B, an active pharmaceutical compound present in Salvia miltiorrhiza, exerts a neuroprotective effect in animal models of brain and spinal cord injury. Salvianolic acid B can promote recovery of neurological function; however, its protective effect on the myelin sheath after spinal cord injury remains poorly understood. Thus, in this study, in vitro tests showed that salvianolic acid B contributed to oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation, and the most effective dose was 20 μg/mL. For in vivo investigation, rats with spinal cord injury were intraperitoneally injected with 20 mg/kg salvianolic acid B for 8 weeks. The amount of myelin sheath and the number of regenerating axons increased, neurological function recovered, and caspase-3 expression was decreased in the spinal cord of salvianolic acid B-treated animals compared with untreated control rats. These results indicate that salvianolic acid B can protect axons and the myelin sheath, and can promote the recovery of neurological function. Its mechanism of action is likely to be associated with inhibiting apoptosis and promoting the differentiation and maturation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells.

  18. Salvianolic acid B protects the myelin sheath around injured spinal cord axons. (United States)

    Zhu, Zhe; Ding, Lu; Qiu, Wen-Feng; Wu, Hong-Fu; Li, Rui


    Salvianolic acid B, an active pharmaceutical compound present in Salvia miltiorrhiza, exerts a neuroprotective effect in animal models of brain and spinal cord injury. Salvianolic acid B can promote recovery of neurological function; however, its protective effect on the myelin sheath after spinal cord injury remains poorly understood. Thus, in this study, in vitro tests showed that salvianolic acid B contributed to oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation, and the most effective dose was 20 μg/mL. For in vivo investigation, rats with spinal cord injury were intraperitoneally injected with 20 mg/kg salvianolic acid B for 8 weeks. The amount of myelin sheath and the number of regenerating axons increased, neurological function recovered, and caspase-3 expression was decreased in the spinal cord of salvianolic acid B-treated animals compared with untreated control rats. These results indicate that salvianolic acid B can protect axons and the myelin sheath, and can promote the recovery of neurological function. Its mechanism of action is likely to be associated with inhibiting apoptosis and promoting the differentiation and maturation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells.

  19. Motoneuron axon pathfinding errors in zebrafish: Differential effects related to concentration and timing of nicotine exposure

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    Menelaou, Evdokia; Paul, Latoya T. [Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Perera, Surangi N. [Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53205 (United States); Svoboda, Kurt R., E-mail: [Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53205 (United States)


    Nicotine exposure during embryonic stages of development can affect many neurodevelopmental processes. In the developing zebrafish, exposure to nicotine was reported to cause axonal pathfinding errors in the later born secondary motoneurons (SMNs). These alterations in SMN axon morphology coincided with muscle degeneration at high nicotine concentrations (15–30 μM). Previous work showed that the paralytic mutant zebrafish known as sofa potato exhibited nicotine-induced effects onto SMN axons at these high concentrations but in the absence of any muscle deficits, indicating that pathfinding errors could occur independent of muscle effects. In this study, we used varying concentrations of nicotine at different developmental windows of exposure to specifically isolate its effects onto subpopulations of motoneuron axons. We found that nicotine exposure can affect SMN axon morphology in a dose-dependent manner. At low concentrations of nicotine, SMN axons exhibited pathfinding errors, in the absence of any nicotine-induced muscle abnormalities. Moreover, the nicotine exposure paradigms used affected the 3 subpopulations of SMN axons differently, but the dorsal projecting SMN axons were primarily affected. We then identified morphologically distinct pathfinding errors that best described the nicotine-induced effects on dorsal projecting SMN axons. To test whether SMN pathfinding was potentially influenced by alterations in the early born primary motoneuron (PMN), we performed dual labeling studies, where both PMN and SMN axons were simultaneously labeled with antibodies. We show that only a subset of the SMN axon pathfinding errors coincided with abnormal PMN axonal targeting in nicotine-exposed zebrafish. We conclude that nicotine exposure can exert differential effects depending on the levels of nicotine and developmental exposure window. - Highlights: • Embryonic nicotine exposure can specifically affect secondary motoneuron axons in a dose-dependent manner.

  20. Phosphatidylserine save-me signals drive functional recovery of severed axons in Caenorhabditis elegans. (United States)

    Abay, Zehra C; Wong, Michelle Yu-Ying; Teoh, Jean-Sébastien; Vijayaraghavan, Tarika; Hilliard, Massimo A; Neumann, Brent


    Functional regeneration after axonal injury requires transected axons to regrow and reestablish connection with their original target tissue. The spontaneous regenerative mechanism known as axonal fusion provides a highly efficient means of achieving targeted reconnection, as a regrowing axon is able to recognize and fuse with its own detached axon segment, thereby rapidly reestablishing the original axonal tract. Here, we use behavioral assays and fluorescent reporters to show that axonal fusion enables full recovery of function after axotomy of Caenorhabditis elegans mechanosensory neurons. Furthermore, we reveal that the phospholipid phosphatidylserine, which becomes exposed on the damaged axon to function as a "save-me" signal, defines the level of axonal fusion. We also show that successful axonal fusion correlates with the regrowth potential and branching of the proximal fragment and with the retraction length and degeneration of the separated segment. Finally, we identify discrete axonal domains that vary in their propensity to regrow through fusion and show that the level of axonal fusion can be genetically modulated. Taken together, our results reveal that axonal fusion restores full function to injured neurons, is dependent on exposure of phospholipid signals, and is achieved through the balance between regenerative potential and level of degeneration. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  1. Theoretical principles underlying optical stimulation of myelinated axons expressing channelrhodopsin-2. (United States)

    Arlow, R L; Foutz, T J; McIntyre, C C


    Numerous clinical conditions can be treated by neuromodulation of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Typical electrical PNS therapies activate large diameter axons at lower electrical stimulus thresholds than small diameter axons. However, recent animal experiments with peripheral optogenetic neural stimulation (PONS) of myelinated axons expressing channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) have shown that this technique activates small diameter axons at lower irradiances than large diameter axons. We hypothesized that the small-to-large diameter recruitment order primarily arises from the internodal spacing relationship of myelinated axons. Small diameter axons have shorter distances between their nodes of Ranvier, which increases the number of nodes of Ranvier directly illuminated relative to larger diameter axons. We constructed "light-axon" PONS models that included multi-compartment, double cable, myelinated axon models embedded with ChR2 membrane dynamics, coupled with a model of blue light dynamics in the tissue medium from a range of different light sources. The light-axon models enabled direct calculation of threshold irradiance for different diameter axons. Our simulations demonstrate that illumination of multiple nodal sections reduces the threshold irradiance and enhances the small-to-large diameter recruitment order. In addition to addressing biophysical questions, our light-axon model system could also be useful in guiding the engineering design of optical stimulation technology that could maximize the efficiency and selectivity of PONS. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. IFNgamma enhances microglial reactions to hippocampal axonal degeneration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, M B; Hegelund, I V; Lomholt, N D


    to produce TNFalpha in response to transection of perforant path axons in SJL/J mice. TNFalpha mRNA was produced in a transient manner, peaking at 2 d and falling again by 5 d after lesioning. This was unlike other markers of glial reactivity, such as Mac-1 upregulation, which were sustained over longer time...... periods. Message for the immune cytokine interferon-gamma (IFNgamma) was undetectable, and glial reactivity to axonal lesions occurred as normal in IFNgamma-deficient mice. Microglial responses to lesion-induced neuronal injury were markedly enhanced in myelin basic protein promoter-driven transgenic mice...

  3. Evidence that biocytin is taken up by axons. (United States)

    Chevalier, G; Deniau, J M; Menetrey, A


    Unexpected anterograde labeling is systematically observed in the pontine nuclei following iontophoretic injection of biocytin in the substantia nigra pars reticulata. Control experiments using WGA-HRP have led to deny the existence of a nigro-pontine pathway. The possibility that biocytin is taken up by fibers of passage has been tested. Deposits of biocytin in the corpus callosum result in a massive axonal labeling of this fibrous system. This study, in contrast to previous reports, stresses that biocytin is easily taken up and transported by axons. Hence, this tracer has to be used with careful controls when injected in structures crossed by fibrous tracts.

  4. Axon Branch-Specific Semaphorin-1a Signaling in Drosophila Mushroom Body Development

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zwarts, Liesbeth; Goossens, Tim; Clements, Jason; Kang, Yuan Y; Callaerts, Patrick


    Correct wiring of the mushroom body (MB) neuropil in the Drosophila brain involves appropriate positioning of different axonal lobes, as well as the sister branches that develop from individual axons...

  5. Axon diameter and intra-axonal volume fraction of the corticospinal tract in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus measured by q-space imaging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kouhei Kamiya

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: Previous studies suggest that compression and stretching of the corticospinal tract (CST potentially cause treatable gait disturbance in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH. Measurement of axon diameter with diffusion MRI has recently been used to investigate microstructural alterations in neurological diseases. In this study, we investigated alterations in the axon diameter and intra-axonal fraction of the CST in iNPH by q-space imaging (QSI analysis. METHODS: Nineteen patients with iNPH and 10 age-matched controls were recruited. QSI data were obtained with a 3-T system by using a single-shot echo planar imaging sequence with the diffusion gradient applied parallel to the antero-posterior axis. By using a two-component low-q fit model, the root mean square displacements of intra-axonal space ( =  axon diameter and intra-axonal volume fraction of the CST were calculated at the levels of the internal capsule and body of the lateral ventricle, respectively. RESULTS: Wilcoxon's rank-sum test revealed a significant increase in CST intra-axonal volume fraction at the paraventricular level in patients (p<0.001, whereas no significant difference was observed in the axon diameter. At the level of the internal capsule, neither axon diameter nor intra-axonal volume fraction differed significantly between the two groups. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that in patients with iNPH, the CST does not undergo irreversible axonal damage but is rather compressed and/or stretched owing to pressure from the enlarged ventricle. These analyses of axon diameter and intra-axonal fraction yield insights into microstructural alterations of the CST in iNPH.

  6. Viral vector-mediated downregulation of RhoA increases survival and axonal regeneration of retinal ganglion cells. (United States)

    Koch, Jan Christoph; Tönges, Lars; Michel, Uwe; Bähr, Mathias; Lingor, Paul


    The Rho/ROCK pathway is a promising therapeutic target in neurodegenerative and neurotraumatic diseases. Pharmacological inhibition of various pathway members has been shown to promote neuronal regeneration and survival. However, because pharmacological inhibitors are inherently limited in their specificity, shRNA-mediated approaches can add more information on the function of each single kinase involved. Thus, we generated adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) to specifically downregulate Ras homologous member A (RhoA) via shRNA. We found that specific knockdown of RhoA promoted neurite outgrowth of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) grown on the inhibitory substrate chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) as well as neurite regeneration of primary midbrain neurons (PMN) after scratch lesion. In the rat optic nerve crush (ONC) model in vivo, downregulation of RhoA significantly enhanced axonal regeneration compared to control. Moreover, survival of RGC transduced with AAV expressing RhoA-shRNA was substantially increased at 2 weeks after optic nerve axotomy. Compared to previous data using pharmacological inhibitors to target RhoA, its upstream regulator Nogo or its main downstream target ROCK, the specific effects of RhoA downregulation shown here were most pronounced in regard to promoting RGC survival but neurite outgrowth and axonal regeneration were also increased significantly. Taken together, we show here that specific knockdown of RhoA substantially increases neuronal survival after optic nerve axotomy and modestly increases neurite outgrowth in vitro and axonal regeneration after optic nerve crush.

  7. Sustained delivery of activated Rho GTPases and BDNF promotes axon growth in CSPG-rich regions following spinal cord injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anjana Jain


    Full Text Available Spinal cord injury (SCI often results in permanent functional loss. This physical trauma leads to secondary events, such as the deposition of inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG within astroglial scar tissue at the lesion.We examined whether local delivery of constitutively active (CA Rho GTPases, Cdc42 and Rac1 to the lesion site alleviated CSPG-mediated inhibition of regenerating axons. A dorsal over-hemisection lesion was created in the rat spinal cord and the resulting cavity was conformally filled with an in situ gelling hydrogel combined with lipid microtubes that slowly released constitutively active (CA Cdc42, Rac1, or Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF. Treatment with BDNF, CA-Cdc42, or CA-Rac1 reduced the number of GFAP-positive astrocytes, as well as CSPG deposition, at the interface of the implanted hydrogel and host tissue. Neurofilament 160kDa positively stained axons traversed the glial scar extensively, entering the hydrogel-filled cavity in the treatments with BDNF and CA-Rho GTPases. The treated animals had a higher percentage of axons from the corticospinal tract that traversed the CSPG-rich regions located proximal to the lesion site.Local delivery of CA-Cdc42, CA-Rac1, and BDNF may have a significant therapeutic role in overcoming CSPG-mediated regenerative failure after SCI.

  8. Immediate Enhancement of Nerve Function Using a Novel Axonal Fusion Device After Neurotmesis


    Riley, David Colton; Boyer, Richard B.; Deister, Curt A.; Pollins, Alonda C.; Cardwell, Nancy L.; Kelm, Nathaniel D.; Does, Mark D.; Dortch, Richard D.; Bamba, Ravinder; Shack, Robert Bruce; Thayer, Wesley P.


    Background The management of peripheral nerve injuries remains a large challenge for plastic surgeons. With the inability to fuse axonal endings, results after microsurgical nerve repair have been inconsistent. Our current nerve repair strategies rely upon the slow and lengthy process of axonal regeneration (~1 mm/d). Polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been investigated as a potential axonal fusion agent; however, the percentage of axonal fusion has been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was...

  9. Role of myelin-associated inhibitors in axonal repair after spinal cord injury


    Lee, Jae K.; Zheng, Binhai


    Myelin-associated inhibitors of axon growth, including Nogo, MAG and OMgp, have been the subject of intense research. A myriad of experimental approaches have been applied to investigate the potential of targeting these molecules to promote axonal repair after spinal cord injury. However, there are still conflicting results on their role in axon regeneration and therefore a lack of a cohesive mechanism on how these molecules can be targeted to promote axon repair. One major reason may be the ...

  10. Riluzole protects against glutamate-induced slowing of neurofilament axonal transport.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Stevenson, Alison


    Riluzole is the only drug approved for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) but its precise mode of action is not properly understood. Damage to axonal transport of neurofilaments is believed to be part of the pathogenic mechanism in ALS and this has been linked to defective glutamate handling and increased phosphorylation of neurofilament side-arm domains. Here, we show that riluzole protects against glutamate-induced slowing of neurofilament transport. Protection is associated with decreased neurofilament side-arm phosphorylation and inhibition of the activities of two neurofilament kinases, ERK and p38 that are activated in ALS. Thus, the anti-glutamatergic properties of riluzole include protection against glutamate-induced changes to neurofilament phosphorylation and transport.

  11. Syndecan regulates cell migration and axon guidance in C. elegans. (United States)

    Rhiner, Christa; Gysi, Stephan; Fröhli, Erika; Hengartner, Michael O; Hajnal, Alex


    During nervous system development, axons that grow out simultaneously in the same extracellular environment are often sorted to different target destinations. As there is only a restricted set of guidance cues known, regulatory mechanisms are likely to play a crucial role in controlling cell migration and axonal pathfinding. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) carry long chains of differentially modified sugar residues that have been proposed to encode specific information for nervous system development. Here, we show that the cell surface proteoglycan syndecan SDN-1 functions autonomously in neurons to control the neural migration and guidance choices of outgrowing axons. Epistasis analysis suggests that heparan sulfate (HS) attached to SDN-1 can regulate guidance signaling by the Slit/Robo pathway. Furthermore, SDN-1 acts in parallel with other HSPG core proteins whose HS side chains are modified by the C5-epimerase HSE-5, and/or the 2O-sulfotransferase HST-2, depending on the cellular context. Taken together, our experiments show that distinct HS modification patterns on SDN-1 are involved in regulating axon guidance and cell migration in C. elegans.

  12. Computed tomography in diagnosis of diffuse axonal injury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iwadate, Yasuo; Ono, Juniti; Okimura, Yoshitaka; Suda, Sumio; Isobe, Katsumi (Kimitsu Central Hospital, Chiba (Japan)); Yamaura, Akira


    Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) has been described in instances of prolonged traumatic coma on the basis of the neuropathological findings, but the same findings are also found in patients with cerebral concussion. Experimental studies confirm that the quality of survivors following trauma is directly proportional to the amount of primarily injured-axon. When the injured axon lies in a widespread area of the brain, outcome for the patient is always poor. In a series of 260 severely head-injured patients, based on their poor outcome, 69 (27%) were diagnosed as DAI. Because of their relatively good outcome, eighty-two patients (32%) were classified into non-DAI group. The predominant CT finding of DAI patients was intraparenchymal deep-seated hemorrhagic lesion. This was observed in 28 patients (41%). Normal CT was also observed in 11 patients (16%). On the other hand, 8 of the non-DAI group (10%) manifested deep-seated lesions. Diffuse cerebral swelling (DCS) appeared in both groups in the same incidence. Subarachnoid hematoma in the perimesencephalic cistern (SAH (PMC)) and intraventricular hematoma (IVH) were observed in 64% of the DAI group, and in 23% of the non-DAI group. The available evidence indicates that various types of hematoma seen in the deep-seated structures of the brain do not have an absolute diagnostic value, but the frequency of hematoma is thought to increase in proportion to the amount of injured-axon. (author).

  13. Traction Force and Tension Fluctuations During Axon Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamison ePolackwich


    Full Text Available Actively generated mechanical forces play a central role in axon growthand guidance, but the mechanisms that underly force generation andregulation in growing axons remain poorly understood. We reportmeasurements of the dynamics of traction stresses from growth cones ofactively advancing axons from postnatal rat DRG neurons. By tracking themovement of the growth cone and analyzing the traction stress field froma reference frame that moves with it, we are able to show that there isa clear and consistent average stress field that underlies the complexspatial stresses present at any one time. The average stress field hasstrong maxima on the sides of the growth cone, directed inward towardthe growth cone neck. This pattern represents a contractile stresscontained within the growth cone, and a net force that is balanced bythe axon tension. Using high time-resolution measurements of the growthcone traction stresses, we show that the stress field is composed offluctuating local stress peaks, with a large number peaks that live fora short time, a population of peaks whose lifetime distribution followsan exponential decay, and a small number of very long-lived peaks. Weshow that the high time-resolution data also reveal that the tensionappears to vary randomly over short time scales, roughly consistent withthe lifetime of the stress peaks, suggesting that the tensionfluctuations originate from stochastic adhesion dynamics.

  14. Functioning of patients with chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy (CIAP)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erdmann, P.G.; Teunissen, L.L.; Genderen, F.R. van; Notermans, N.C.; Lindeman, E.; Helders, P.J.M.; Meeteren, N.L.U. van


    Although patients with Chronic Idiopathic Axonal Polyneuropathy (CIAP) report a slow deterioration of sensory and motor functions, the impact of this deterioration on daily functioning has not yet been investigated in detail. The first aim of this crosssectional study involving 56 patients with CIAP

  15. Functioning of patients with chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy (CIAP)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erdmann, Peter G.; Teunissen, Laurien L.; van Genderen, Frank R.; Notermans, Nicolette C.; Lindeman, Eline; Helders, Paul J. M.; van Meeteren, Nico L. U.

    Although patients with Chronic Idiopathic Axonal Polyneuropathy (CIAP) report a slow deterioration of sensory and motor functions, the impact of this deterioration on daily functioning has not yet been investigated in detail. The first aim of this cross-sectional study involving 56 patients with

  16. Investigation on the mechanism of peripheral axonal injury in glaucoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun- Hong Zhao


    Full Text Available AIM: To compare the angles of longitudinal section of sclera around optic nerve heads and the never fiber layer changes in healthy adults and patients with glaucoma, and to investigate the mechanism of peripheral retinal axonal injury, with the combined knowledge of biomechanics. METHODS: The optical nerves and their peripheral tissue specimen in the 12 eyes from health adult donators and 12 eyes from glaucoma patient donators were dyed by Glees' method to compare the angles of longitudinal section of sclera around optic nerve heads(through optic nerve center, and to observe the anatomical features of the peripheral retinal axons. RESULTS: The mean angle of longitudinal section of sclera around optic nerve in healthy adults was 73.3°, while that in patients with absolute glaucoma was 75.6°. The difference showed no significance(t=1.44, P>0.05. There was a sharp bend in the course of peripheral optical fiber in healthy adults. However, the optic nerve fiber disappeared completely in patients with glaucoma end stage. CONCLUSION: The angle between the medial edge and leading edge of sclera(around optic nerve headsis an acute angle. The optical fiber in glaucoma end stage disappeared completely. The phenomenon may be related to high intraocular pressure, the sclera shape, the shear modulus of sclera and axons, and “axonal bending-injury” mechanism.

  17. Axonal Degeneration in Tauopathies: Disease Relevance and Underlying Mechanisms

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    Andrew Kneynsberg


    Full Text Available Tauopathies are a diverse group of diseases featuring progressive dying-back neurodegeneration of specific neuronal populations in association with accumulation of abnormal forms of the microtubule-associated protein tau. It is well-established that the clinical symptoms characteristic of tauopathies correlate with deficits in synaptic function and neuritic connectivity early in the course of disease, but mechanisms underlying these critical pathogenic events are not fully understood. Biochemical in vitro evidence fueled the widespread notion that microtubule stabilization represents tau's primary biological role and that the marked atrophy of neurites observed in tauopathies results from loss of microtubule stability. However, this notion contrasts with the mild phenotype associated with tau deletion. Instead, an analysis of cellular hallmarks common to different tauopathies, including aberrant patterns of protein phosphorylation and early degeneration of axons, suggests that alterations in kinase-based signaling pathways and deficits in axonal transport (AT associated with such alterations contribute to the loss of neuronal connectivity triggered by pathogenic forms of tau. Here, we review a body of literature providing evidence that axonal pathology represents an early and common pathogenic event among human tauopathies. Observations of axonal degeneration in animal models of specific tauopathies are discussed and similarities to human disease highlighted. Finally, we discuss potential mechanistic pathways other than microtubule destabilization by which disease-related forms of tau may promote axonopathy.

  18. History-dependent catastrophes regulate axonal microtubule behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T. Stepanova (Tatiana); I. Smal (Ihor); J.A.J. van Haren (Jeffrey); U. Akinci (Umut); Z. Liu (Zhe); M. Miedema (Marja); R. Limpens (Ronald); M. van Ham (Marco); M. van der Reijden (Michael); R.A. Poot (Raymond); F.G. Grosveld (Frank); M. Mommaas (Mieke); E. Meijering (Erik); N.J. Galjart (Niels)


    textabstractIn Chinese hamster ovary cells, microtubules originate at the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) and grow persistently toward the cell edge, where they undergo catastrophe [1]. In axons, microtubule dynamics must be regulated differently because microtubules grow parallel to the plasma

  19. Axon guidance: repulsion and attraction in roundabout ways. (United States)

    Pappu, Kartik S; Zipursky, S Lawrence


    The secreted signal Slit and its three receptors, Robo1-3, regulate axon guidance in the Drosophila nervous system. Differences in expression and structure of Robo paralogs contribute to diversifying growth cone responses to a common ligand. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Unravelling the incidence and etiology of chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, N.A.


    Chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy (CIAP) is a sensory or sensorimotor polyneuropathy that has a slowly progressive course without severe disability. CIAP is diagnosed in a significant proportion of patients with polyneuropathy, but precise figures on the incidence of polyneuropathy and CIAP

  1. Quantifying mechanical force in axonal growth and guidance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Ibrahim Mahmoud Athamneh


    Full Text Available Mechanical force plays a fundamental role in neuronal development, physiology, and regeneration. In particular, research has shown that force is involved in growth cone-mediated axonal growth and guidance as well as stretch-induced elongation when an organism increases in size after forming initial synaptic connections. However, much of the details about the exact role of force in these fundamental processes remain unknown. In this review, we highlight (1 standing questions concerning the role of mechanical force in axonal growth and guidance and (2 different experimental techniques used to quantify forces in axons and growth cones. We believe that satisfying answers to these questions will require quantitative information about the relationship between elongation, forces, cytoskeletal dynamics, axonal transport, signaling, substrate adhesion, and stiffness contributing to directional growth advance. Furthermore, we address why a wide range of force values have been reported in the literature, and what these values mean in the context of neuronal mechanics. We hope that this review will provide a guide for those interested in studying the role of force in development and regeneration of neuronal networks.

  2. Differential axonal projection of mitral and tufted cells in the mouse main olfactory system. (United States)

    Nagayama, Shin; Enerva, Allicia; Fletcher, Max L; Masurkar, Arjun V; Igarashi, Kei M; Mori, Kensaku; Chen, Wei R


    In the past decade, much has been elucidated regarding the functional organization of the axonal connection of olfactory sensory neurons to olfactory bulb (OB) glomeruli. However, the manner in which projection neurons of the OB process odorant input and send this information to higher brain centers remains unclear. Here, we report long-range, large-scale tracing of the axonal projection patterns of OB neurons using two-photon microscopy. Tracer injection into a single glomerulus demonstrated widely distributed mitral/tufted cell axonal projections on the lateroventral surface of the mouse brain, including the anterior/posterior piriform cortex (PC) and olfactory tubercle (OT). We noted two distinct groups of labeled axons: PC-orienting axons and OT-orienting axons. Each group occupied distinct parts of the lateral olfactory tract. PC-orienting axons projected axon collaterals to a wide area of the PC but only a few collaterals to the OT. OT-orienting axons densely projected axon collaterals primarily to the anterolateral OT (alOT). Different colored dye injections into the superficial and deep portions of the OB external plexiform layer revealed that the PC-orienting axon populations originated in presumed mitral cells and the OT-orienting axons in presumed tufted cells. These data suggest that although mitral and tufted cells receive similar odor signals from a shared glomerulus, they process the odor information in different ways and send their output to different higher brain centers via the PC and alOT.

  3. DCC functions as an accelerator of thalamocortical axonal growth downstream of spontaneous thalamic activity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Castillo‐Paterna, Mar; Moreno‐Juan, Verónica; Filipchuk, Anton; Rodríguez‐Malmierca, Luis; Susín, Rafael; López‐Bendito, Guillermina


    ... receptor Robo1 , which appears to function as a brake for thalamocortical axon (TCA) growth . Therefore, modifications to Robo1 transcription that are triggered by spontaneous activity mediate the developmental decrease in axon growth as TCAs approach the cortex. However, tight regulation of axon growth rate probably relies on different factors cont...

  4. Differential Axonal Projection of Mitral and Tufted Cells in the Mouse Main Olfactory System

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    Shin Nagayama


    Full Text Available In the past decade, much has been elucidated regarding the functional organization of the axonal connection of olfactory sensory neurons to olfactory bulb (OB glomeruli. However, the manner in which projection neurons of the OB process odorant input and send this information to higher brain centers remains unclear. Here, we report long-range, large-scale tracing of the axonal projection patterns of OB neurons using two-photon microscopy. Tracer injection into a single glomerulus demonstrated widely distributed mitral/tufted cell axonal projections on the lateroventral surface of the mouse brain, including the anterior/posterior piriform cortex (PC and olfactory tubercle (OT. We noted two distinct groups of labeled axons: PC-orienting axons and OT-orienting axons. Each group occupied distinct parts of the lateral olfactory tract. PC-orienting axons projected axon collaterals to a wide area of the PC but only a few collaterals to the OT. OT-orienting axons densely projected axon collaterals primarily to the anterolateral OT (alOT. Different colored dye injections into the superficial and deep portions of the OB external plexiform layer revealed that the PC-orienting axon populations originated in presumed mitral cells and the OT-orienting axons in presumed tufted cells. These data suggest that although mitral and tufted cells receive similar odor signals from a shared glomerulus, they process the odor information in different ways and send their output to different higher brain centers via the PC and alOT.

  5. Transmembrane potential generated by a magnetically induced transverse electric field in a cylindrical axonal model. (United States)

    Ye, Hui; Cotic, Marija; Fehlings, Michael G; Carlen, Peter L


    During the electrical stimulation of a uniform, long, and straight nerve axon, the electric field oriented parallel to the axon has been widely accepted as the major field component that activates the axon. Recent experimental evidence has shown that the electric field oriented transverse to the axon is also sufficient to activate the axon, by inducing a transmembrane potential within the axon. The transverse field can be generated by a time-varying magnetic field via electromagnetic induction. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors that influence the transmembrane potential induced by a transverse field during magnetic stimulation. Using an unmyelinated axon model, we have provided an analytic expression for the transmembrane potential under spatially uniform, time-varying magnetic stimulation. Polarization of the axon was dependent on the properties of the magnetic field (i.e., orientation to the axon, magnitude, and frequency). Polarization of the axon was also dependent on its own geometrical (i.e., radius of the axon and thickness of the membrane) and electrical properties (i.e., conductivities and dielectric permittivities). Therefore, this article provides evidence that aside from optimal coil design, tissue properties may also play an important role in determining the efficacy of axonal activation under magnetic stimulation. The mathematical basis of this conclusion was discussed. The analytic solution can potentially be used to modify the activation function in current cable equations describing magnetic stimulation.

  6. Axonal regeneration in the central nervous system of aplysia californica determined by anterograde transport of biocytin. (United States)

    Johnson, S L; Schroeder, M L; Sánchez, J A; Kirk, M D


    Rhythmic biting, a component of consummatory feeding behavior in the sea hare Aplysia californica, is eliminated following bilateral cerebral-buccal connective (CBC) crushes and recovers within 14 days postlesion. To assess axonal regeneration after CBC lesions, we used biocytin backfills of CBCs followed by fluorescence labeling with streptavidin-lissamine rhodamine. Anterograde transport of biocytin showed up to 1 mm of outgrowth by regenerating axons at 3 days postlesion. At 7 days postlesion, the regenerated axons approached or had entered the ipsilateral buccal neuropil and exhibited numerous varicosities; the average rate of axonal growth was 326 microm/day for the longest, most rapidly growing axons labeled in the CBC. The number of varicosities on labeled axons, suggestive of intercellular interactions, was increased dramatically at all times postlesion. At 14 and 20 days postlesion, regenerated axons branched extensively in the ipsilateral buccal neuropil, entered the contralateral buccal neuropil, and entered peripheral nerves on both sides of the midline. At these later times postlesion, some labeled axons encircled unlabeled buccal cell bodies and exhibited branches containing numerous varicosities, indicative of axosomatic contacts. Some regenerating axons were observed in the sheath of the CBC, but the vast majority of labeled axons remained confined to the connective core, as in control preparations. The bilateral projections within the buccal ganglia of labeled cerebral-to-buccal axons and the large number of varicosities present on these processes are indicative of regenerating axons and synapses that likely contribute to the functional recovery of rhythmic biting.

  7. Insulin and IGF-II, but not IGF-I, stimulate the in vitro regeneration of adult frog sciatic sensory axons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edbladh, M; Svenningsen, Åsa Fex; Ekström, P A


    We used the in vitro regenerating frog sciatic nerve to look for effects of insulin and insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I, IGF-II) on regeneration of sensory axons and on injury induced support cell proliferation in the outgrowth region. In nerves cultured for 11 days, a physiological...... increased the outgrowth distance of the furthest regenerating sensory axons by 10%. The preparation was particularly sensitive to insulin during the first 5 days of culturing. Furthermore, both insulin and IGF-II were found to inhibit proliferation of support cells in the outgrowth region in a manner...... suggesting effects via their individual receptors. The inhibition, about 30%, was observable after 4 but not 11 days in culture. It is not clear if this reflects a stimulated differentiation of some cells. By contrast, IGF-I lacked effects on both regeneration and proliferation. In conclusion, the results...

  8. Protons modulate perivascular axo-axonal neurotransmission in the rat mesenteric artery. (United States)

    Takatori, Shingo; Hirai, Kazuhiro; Ozaki, Shuichiro; Tangsucharit, Panot; Fukushima-Miyashita, Satoko; Goda, Mitsuhiro; Hashikawa-Hobara, Narumi; Ono, Nobufumi; Kawasaki, Hiromu


    Previous studies have demonstrated that nicotine releases protons from adrenergic nerves via stimulation of nicotinic ACh receptors and activates transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) receptors located on calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-containing (CGRPergic) vasodilator nerves, resulting in vasodilatation. The present study investigated whether perivascular nerves release protons, which modulate axon-axonal neurotransmission. Perfusion pressure and pH levels of perfusate in rat-perfused mesenteric vascular beds without endothelium were measured with a pressure transducer and a pH meter respectively. Periarterial nerve stimulation (PNS) initially induced vasoconstriction, which was followed by long-lasting vasodilatation and decreased pH levels in the perfusate. Cold-storage denervation of the preparation abolished the decreased pH and vascular responses to PNS. The adrenergic neuron blocker guanethidine inhibited PNS-induced vasoconstriction and effects on pH, but not PNS-induced vasodilatation. Capsaicin (CGRP depletor), capsazepine and ruthenium red (TRPV1 inhibitors) attenuated the PNS-induced decrease in pH and vasodilatation. In denuded preparations, ACh caused long-lasting vasodilatation and lowered pH; these effects were inhibited by capsaicin pretreatment and atropine, but not by guanethidine or mecamylamine. Capsaicin injection induced vasodilatation and a reduction in pH, which were abolished by ruthenium red. The use of a fluorescent pH indicator demonstrated that application of nicotine, ACh and capsaicin outside small mesenteric arteries reduced perivascular pH levels and these effects were abolished in a Ca(2+) -free medium. These results suggest that protons are released from perivascular adrenergic and CGRPergic nerves upon PNS and these protons modulate transmission in CGRPergic nerves. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  9. No Pasaran! Role of the axon initial segment in the regulation of protein transport and the maintenance of axonal identity. (United States)

    Leterrier, Christophe; Dargent, Bénédicte


    The transmission of information in the brain depends on the highly polarized architecture of neurons. A number of cellular transport processes support this organization, including active targeting of proteins and passive corralling between compartments. The axon initial segment (AIS), which separates the somatodendritic and axonal compartments, has a key role in neuronal physiology, as both the initiation site of action potentials and the gatekeeper of the axonal arborization. Over the years, the AIS main components and their interactions have been progressively unraveled, as well as their role in the AIS assembly and maintenance. Two mechanisms have been shown to contribute to the regulation of protein transport at the AIS: a surface diffusion barrier and an intracellular traffic filter. However, a molecular understanding of these processes is still lacking. In the view of recent results on the AIS cytoskeleton structure, we will discuss how a better knowledge of the AIS architecture can help understanding its role in the regulation of protein transport and the maintenance of axonal identity. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Activation of mTor Signaling by Gene Transduction to Induce Axon Regeneration in the Central Nervous System Following Neural Injury (United States)


    amyotrophic lateral sclerosis .17 In these disorders, axon-targeting motifs could be used not only to monitor the anatomy and early pathogenesis in the...GTPase activity of the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). This inhibition allows accumulation of activated GTP-bound Rheb, which is a principal...Following unilateral 6OHDA lesion, the administration of amphetamine, which induces dopamine release, results in more release on the intact side

  11. FMRP-Mediated Axonal Delivery of miR-181d Regulates Axon Elongation by Locally Targeting Map1b and Calm1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Wang


    Full Text Available Subcellular targeting and local translation of mRNAs are critical for axon development. However, the precise local control of mRNA translation requires investigation. We report that the Fmr1-encoded protein, FMRP-mediated axonal delivery of miR-181d negatively regulates axon elongation by locally targeting the transcripts of MAP1B (Map1b and calmodulin (Calm1 in primary sensory neurons. miR-181d affected the local synthesis of MAP1B and calmodulin in axons. FMRP was associated with miR-181d, Map1b, and Calm1. Both FMRP deficiency in Fmr1I304N mice and Fmr1 knockdown impeded the axonal delivery of miR-181d, Map1b, and Calm1 and reduced the protein levels of MAP1B and calmodulin in axons. Furthermore, nerve growth factor (NGF induced Map1b and Calm1 release from FMRP and miR-181d-repressing granules, thereby promoting axon elongation. Both miR-181d overexpression and FMRP knockdown impaired NGF-induced axon elongation. Our study reveals a mechanism for the local regulation of translation by miR-181d and FMRP during axon development.

  12. Role of crystallins in ocular neuroprotection and axonal regeneration. (United States)

    Thanos, Solon; Böhm, Michael R R; Meyer zu Hörste, Melissa; Prokosch-Willing, Verena; Hennig, Maren; Bauer, Dirk; Heiligenhaus, Arndt


    Neuroprotection is an emerging challenge in ophthalmology due to the particularly exposed location of retinal neurons and to the steadily increasing rate of intraocular surgical and pharmacological treatments applied to various eye diseases. Within few decades neuroprotection has developed from strongly contested approaches to being recognized and introduced as a potentially clinical application. One of the groups of putative substances for neuroprotection comprises αA- and αB-crystallins, which are types of heat-shock proteins and are considered to be molecular chaperones. The β/γ-crystallins form their own superfamily and are characterized as proteins with a distinct structure containing four Greek key motifs. Besides being abundant in the ocular lens, crystallins are also expressed in both the developing and mature retina. Crystallins are dramatically up-regulated in numerous retinal pathologies, including mechanical injury, ischemic insults, age-related macular degeneration, uveoretinitis, and diabetic retinopathy. Crystallins of the α family are thought to play a crucial role in retinal neuron survival and inflammation. Crystallins of the β/γ superfamily are also small proteins with a possible emerging role in retinal tissue remodeling and repair. One of the typical retinal diseases associated with crystallins is the experimental glaucomatous neuropathy that is characterized by their expression. Another typical retinal disease is the atrophy that occurs after mechanical injury to the optic nerve, which is associated with the need to regrow retinal axons. We have shown in regenerative models in vivo and in vitro that βB2-crystallin actively supports the regenerative growth of cut retinal axons, thereby offering targets for neuroprotective and regenerative treatments. In this review we discuss the discovery that βB2-crystallin is clearly up-regulated in the regenerating retina in vitro. βB2-Crystallin is produced and secreted during axon elongation

  13. Transplantation of canine olfactory ensheathing cells producing chondroitinase ABC promotes chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan digestion and axonal sprouting following spinal cord injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren Carwardine

    Full Text Available Olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC transplantation is a promising strategy for treating spinal cord injury (SCI, as has been demonstrated in experimental SCI models and naturally occurring SCI in dogs. However, the presence of chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans within the extracellular matrix of the glial scar can inhibit efficient axonal repair and limit the therapeutic potential of OECs. Here we have used lentiviral vectors to genetically modify canine OECs to continuously deliver mammalian chondroitinase ABC at the lesion site in order to degrade the inhibitory chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans in a rodent model of spinal cord injury. We demonstrate that these chondroitinase producing canine OECs survived at 4 weeks following transplantation into the spinal cord lesion and effectively digested chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans at the site of injury. There was evidence of sprouting within the corticospinal tract rostral to the lesion and an increase in the number of corticospinal axons caudal to the lesion, suggestive of axonal regeneration. Our results indicate that delivery of the chondroitinase enzyme can be achieved with the genetically modified OECs to increase axon growth following SCI. The combination of these two promising approaches is a potential strategy for promoting neural regeneration following SCI in veterinary practice and human patients.

  14. Fast sodium channel gating supports localized and efficient axonal action potential initiation. (United States)

    Schmidt-Hieber, Christoph; Bischofberger, Josef


    Action potentials (APs) are initiated in the proximal axon of most neurons. In myelinated axons, a 50-times higher sodium channel density in the initial segment compared to the soma may account for this phenomenon. However, little is known about sodium channel density and gating in proximal unmyelinated axons. To study the mechanisms underlying AP initiation in unmyelinated hippocampal mossy fibers of adult mice, we recorded sodium currents in axonal and somatic membrane patches. We demonstrate that sodium channel density in the proximal axon is approximately 5 times higher than in the soma. Furthermore, sodium channel activation and inactivation are approximately 2 times faster. Modeling revealed that the fast activation localized the initiation site to the proximal axon even upon strong synaptic stimulation, while fast inactivation contributed to energy-efficient membrane charging during APs. Thus, sodium channel gating and density in unmyelinated mossy fiber axons appear to be specialized for robust AP initiation and propagation with minimal current flow.

  15. Squid Giant Axon Contains Neurofilament Protein mRNA but does not Synthesize Neurofilament Proteins. (United States)

    Gainer, Harold; House, Shirley; Kim, Dong Sun; Chin, Hemin; Pant, Harish C


    When isolated squid giant axons are incubated in radioactive amino acids, abundant newly synthesized proteins are found in the axoplasm. These proteins are translated in the adaxonal Schwann cells and subsequently transferred into the giant axon. The question as to whether any de novo protein synthesis occurs in the giant axon itself is difficult to resolve because the small contribution of the proteins possibly synthesized intra-axonally is not easily distinguished from the large amounts of the proteins being supplied from the Schwann cells. In this paper, we reexamine this issue by studying the synthesis of endogenous neurofilament (NF) proteins in the axon. Our laboratory previously showed that NF mRNA and protein are present in the squid giant axon, but not in the surrounding adaxonal glia. Therefore, if the isolated squid axon could be shown to contain newly synthesized NF protein de novo, it could not arise from the adaxonal glia. The results of experiments in this paper show that abundant 3H-labeled NF protein is synthesized in the squid giant fiber lobe containing the giant axon's neuronal cell bodies, but despite the presence of NF mRNA in the giant axon no labeled NF protein is detected in the giant axon. This lends support to the glia-axon protein transfer hypothesis which posits that the squid giant axon obtains newly synthesized protein by Schwann cell transfer and not through intra-axonal protein synthesis, and further suggests that the NF mRNA in the axon is in a translationally repressed state.

  16. Repeated cycles of electrical stimulation decrease vasoconstriction and axon-reflex vasodilation to noradrenaline in the human forearm (United States)

    Drummond, Peter D


    What is already known about this subject Repeated cycles of electrical stimulation inhibit cutaneous vasoconstriction to noradrenaline, but the mechanism is unknown. Investigating this is important because peripheral electrical stimulation is useful for pain modulation and appears to assist cutaneous wound healing. What this study adds Intermittent, brief electrical stimulation of the forearm over a 10-day period inhibited vasoconstriction and axon-reflex vasodilation to noradrenaline, but did not affect vasoconstriction to vasopressin or axon-reflex vasodilation to histamine. Thus, electrical stimulation may evoke a specific reduction in responsiveness to noradrenaline. Aim To investigate whether desensitization to the vasomotor effects of noradrenaline is a specific effect of electrical stimulation. Methods Three sites on the forearm of 10 healthy volunteers were stimulated with 0.2 mA direct current for 2 min twice daily for 10 days. Noradrenaline and histamine were then displaced from ring-shaped iontophoresis chambers into two of the pretreated sites and two untreated sites on the contralateral forearm. Axon-reflex vasodilation was measured from the centre of the ring described by the iontophoresis chamber with a laser Doppler flowmeter. One or two days later, noradrenaline and vasopressin were introduced into pretreated and untreated sites by iontophoresis, and vasoconstriction at sites of administration was measured in the heated forearm. Results The pretreatment blocked vasoconstriction to noradrenaline [median increase in flow 1%, interquartile range (IR) −41 to 52%; median decrease at the untreated site 53%, IR. −70 to −10%; P noradrenaline was diminished at the pretreated site (median increase in flow 33%, IR 2–321%; untreated site 247%, IR 31–1087%; P noradrenaline. Repeated cycles of electrical stimulation may downregulate neural and vascular responses to noradrenaline by repetitively activating cutaneous sympathetic nerve fibres. PMID

  17. Uncovering sensory axonal dysfunction in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic neuropathy (United States)

    Sung, Jia-Ying; Tani, Jowy; Chang, Tsui-San; Lin, Cindy Shin-Yi


    This study investigated sensory and motor nerve excitability properties to elucidate the development of diabetic neuropathy. A total of 109 type 2 diabetes patients were recruited, and 106 were analyzed. According to neuropathy severity, patients were categorized into G0, G1, and G2+3 groups using the total neuropathy score-reduced (TNSr). Patients in the G0 group were asymptomatic and had a TNSr score of 0. Sensory and motor nerve excitability data from diabetic patients were compared with data from 33 healthy controls. Clinical assessment, nerve conduction studies, and sensory and motor nerve excitability testing data were analyzed to determine axonal dysfunction in diabetic neuropathy. In the G0 group, sensory excitability testing revealed increased stimulus for the 50% sensory nerve action potential (Pdiabetic neuropathy and enable the early detection of sensory axonal abnormalities, which may provide a basis for neuroprotective therapeutic approaches. PMID:28182728

  18. Antiretroviral Therapy-Associated Acute Motor and Sensory Axonal Neuropathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly N. Capers


    Full Text Available Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS has been reported in HIV-infected patients in association with the immune reconstitution syndrome whose symptoms can be mimicked by highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART-mediated mitochondrial toxicity. We report a case of a 17-year-old, HIV-infected patient on HAART with a normal CD4 count and undetectable viral load, presenting with acute lower extremity weakness associated with lactatemia. Electromyography/nerve conduction studies revealed absent sensory potentials and decreased compound muscle action potentials, consistent with a diagnosis of acute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy. Lactatemia resolved following cessation of HAART; however, neurological deficits minimally improved over several months in spite of immune modulatory therapy. This case highlights the potential association between HAART, mitochondrial toxicity and acute axonal neuropathies in HIV-infected patients, distinct from the immune reconstitution syndrome.

  19. Myelination and regional domain differentiation of the axon. (United States)

    Thaxton, Courtney; Bhat, Manzoor A


    During evolution, as organisms increased in complexity and function, the need for the ensheathment and insulation of axons by glia became vital for faster conductance of action potentials in nerves. Myelination, as the process is termed, facilitates the formation of discrete domains within the axolemma that are enriched in ion channels, and macromolecular complexes consisting of cell adhesion molecules and cytoskeletal regulators. While it is known that glia play a substantial role in the coordination and organization of these domains, the mechanisms involved and signals transduced between the axon and glia, as well as the proteins regulating axo-glial junction formation remain elusive. Emerging evidence has shed light on the processes regulating myelination and domain differentiation, and key molecules have been identified that are required for their assembly and maintenance. This review highlights these recent findings, and relates their significance to domain disorganization as seen in several demyelinating disorders and other neuropathies.

  20. Magnetic Resonance Characterization of Axonal Response to Spinal Cord Injury (United States)


    NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Assessment of axon health in spinal cord injury (SCI) is vital for proper diagnosis and treatment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI...Deficiencies of myelin lay at the core of nu- merous neurodegenerative disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia (1). These deficiencies may...numerous neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia (1). At present, there are few alternatives to destructive histologic

  1. Axonal branching and growth cone structure depend on target cells. (United States)

    Berman, S A; Moss, D; Bursztajn, S


    Growth cones provide crucial guidance to neurons in response to appropriate targets and other environmental cues. We have cocultured ciliary neurons with myotubes and utilized antibodies to GAP-43 (a neuron-specific, growth-associated phosphoprotein) and MAP-2 (a cytoskeletal marker for dendrites) together with immunofluorescence microscopy to characterize the changes in patterns and polarity that ciliary nerve growth cones undergo when they contact a "proper" target. Our results show that ciliary neurons plated alone or cocultured with fibroblasts have one or two axons, but, when cocultured with myotubes, most cells have 4 or 5 axons showing GAP-43 immunoreactivity. The mean number of axons per cell soma was 1.9 +/- 0.9 micron2 (SEM) when ciliary neurons were plated alone and 3.4 +/- 0.1 when ciliary neurons were cocultured with myotubes. Differences in growth cone size were readily apparent in these two types of cultures. In coculture with myotubes the neuronal growth cone lamelopodia occupied 20-30 microns2 with an average area of 25.0 +/- 2.3 microns2 (SEM) whereas those neurons plated alone or in the presence of fibroblasts occupied an average area of 56.3 microns2 +/- 4.1 microns2 (SEM). The number of growth cone filopodia depended on culture condition. In nerve-muscle cocultures, the average number of filopodia per growth cone was 3.6 +/- 0.2 (SEM), whereas in ciliary cultures plated in the absence of myotubes the number of filopodia was 6.8 +/- 0.4 (SEM). These results indicate that muscle cells or the factors they release can regulate the growth and topography of axons and their growth cones.

  2. Polyethylene glycol restores axonal conduction after corpus callosum transection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravinder Bamba


    Full Text Available Polyethylene glycol (PEG has been shown to restore axonal continuity after peripheral nerve transection in animal models. We hypothesized that PEG can also restore axonal continuity in the central nervous system. In this current experiment, coronal sectioning of the brains of Sprague-Dawley rats was performed after animal sacrifice. 3Brain high-resolution microelectrode arrays (MEA were used to measure mean firing rate (MFR and peak amplitude across the corpus callosum of the ex-vivo brain slices. The corpus callosum was subsequently transected and repeated measurements were performed. The cut ends of the corpus callosum were still apposite at this time. A PEG solution was applied to the injury site and repeated measurements were performed. MEA measurements showed that PEG was capable of restoring electrophysiology signaling after transection of central nerves. Before injury, the average MFRs at the ipsilateral, midline, and contralateral corpus callosum were 0.76, 0.66, and 0.65 spikes/second, respectively, and the average peak amplitudes were 69.79, 58.68, and 49.60 μV, respectively. After injury, the average MFRs were 0.71, 0.14, and 0.25 spikes/second, respectively and peak amplitudes were 52.11, 8.98, and 16.09 μV, respectively. After application of PEG, there were spikes in MFR and peak amplitude at the injury site and contralaterally. The average MFRs were 0.75, 0.55, and 0.47 spikes/second at the ipsilateral, midline, and contralateral corpus callosum, respectively and peak amplitudes were 59.44, 45.33, 40.02 μV, respectively. There were statistically differences in the average MFRs and peak amplitudes between the midline and non-midline corpus callosum groups (P < 0.01, P < 0.05. These findings suggest that PEG restores axonal conduction between severed central nerves, potentially representing axonal fusion.

  3. Intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms of corticospinal axon regeneration


    Hollis, Edmund Roy


    Growth factors are indispensable in the formation and maintenance of neuronal circuits during development. We investigated the ability of manipulating key developmental signaling cascades to recapitulate a growth state in lesioned corticospinal motor neurons (CSMNs). We hypothesized that stimulation of axotomized CSMNs with insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), which robustly promotes neonatal CSMN axon outgrowth, would induce regenerative growth in the adult. We found IGF-I to promote the su...

  4. White matter microstructure from nonparametric axon diameter distribution mapping. (United States)

    Benjamini, Dan; Komlosh, Michal E; Holtzclaw, Lynne A; Nevo, Uri; Basser, Peter J


    We report the development of a double diffusion encoding (DDE) MRI method to estimate and map the axon diameter distribution (ADD) within an imaging volume. A variety of biological processes, ranging from development to disease and trauma, may lead to changes in the ADD in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Unlike previously proposed methods, this ADD experimental design and estimation framework employs a more general, nonparametric approach, without a priori assumptions about the underlying form of the ADD, making it suitable to analyze abnormal tissue. In the current study, this framework was used on an ex vivo ferret spinal cord, while emphasizing the way in which the ADD can be weighted by either the number or the volume of the axons. The different weightings, which result in different spatial contrasts, were considered throughout this work. DDE data were analyzed to derive spatially resolved maps of average axon diameter, ADD variance, and extra-axonal volume fraction, along with a novel sub-micron restricted structures map. The morphological information contained in these maps was then used to segment white matter into distinct domains by using a proposed k-means clustering algorithm with spatial contiguity and left-right symmetry constraints, resulting in identifiable white matter tracks. The method was validated by comparing histological measures to the estimated ADDs using a quantitative similarity metric, resulting in good agreement. With further acquisition acceleration and experimental parameters adjustments, this ADD estimation framework could be first used preclinically, and eventually clinically, enabling a wide range of neuroimaging applications for improved understanding of neurodegenerative pathologies and assessing microstructural changes resulting from trauma. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Fast regulation of axonal growth cone motility by electrical activity. (United States)

    Ibarretxe, Gaskon; Perrais, David; Jaskolski, Frédéric; Vimeney, Alice; Mulle, Christophe


    Axonal growth cones are responsible for the correct guidance of developing axons and the establishment of functional neural networks. They are highly motile because of fast and continuous rearrangements of their actin-rich cytoskeleton. Here we have used live imaging of axonal growth cones of hippocampal neurons in culture and quantified their motility with a temporal resolution of 2 s. Using novel methods of analysis of growth cone dynamics, we show that transient activation of kainate receptors by bath-applied kainate induced a fast and reversible growth cone stalling. This effect depends on electrical activity and can be mimicked by the transient discharge of action potentials elicited in the neuron by intracellular current injections at the somatic level through a patch pipette. Growth cone stalling induced by electrical stimulation is mediated by calcium entry from the extracellular medium as well as by calcium release from intracellular stores that define spatially restricted microdomains directly affecting cytoskeletal dynamics. We propose that growth cone motility is dynamically controlled by transient bursts of spontaneous electrical activity, which constitutes a prominent feature of developing neural networks in vivo.

  6. Inner membrane fusion mediates spatial distribution of axonal mitochondria (United States)

    Yu, Yiyi; Lee, Hao-Chih; Chen, Kuan-Chieh; Suhan, Joseph; Qiu, Minhua; Ba, Qinle; Yang, Ge


    In eukaryotic cells, mitochondria form a dynamic interconnected network to respond to changing needs at different subcellular locations. A fundamental yet unanswered question regarding this network is whether, and if so how, local fusion and fission of individual mitochondria affect their global distribution. To address this question, we developed high-resolution computational image analysis techniques to examine the relations between mitochondrial fusion/fission and spatial distribution within the axon of Drosophila larval neurons. We found that stationary and moving mitochondria underwent fusion and fission regularly but followed different spatial distribution patterns and exhibited different morphology. Disruption of inner membrane fusion by knockdown of dOpa1, Drosophila Optic Atrophy 1, not only increased the spatial density of stationary and moving mitochondria but also changed their spatial distributions and morphology differentially. Knockdown of dOpa1 also impaired axonal transport of mitochondria. But the changed spatial distributions of mitochondria resulted primarily from disruption of inner membrane fusion because knockdown of Milton, a mitochondrial kinesin-1 adapter, caused similar transport velocity impairment but different spatial distributions. Together, our data reveals that stationary mitochondria within the axon interconnect with moving mitochondria through fusion and fission and that local inner membrane fusion between individual mitochondria mediates their global distribution. PMID:26742817

  7. Variability and Reliabiltiy in Axon Growth Cone Navigation Decision Making (United States)

    Garnelo, Marta; Ricoult, Sébastien G.; Juncker, David; Kennedy, Timothy E.; Faisal, Aldo A.


    The nervous system's wiring is a result of axon growth cones navigating through specific molecular environments during development. In order to reach their target, growth cones need to make decisions under uncertainty as they are faced with stochastic sensory information and probabilistic movements. The overall system therefore exhibits features of whole organisms (perception, decision making, action) in the subset of a single cell. We aim to characterise growth cone navigation in defined nano-dot guidance cue environments, by using the tools of computational neuroscience to conduct ``molecular psychophysics.'' We start with a generative model of growth cone behaviour and we 1. characterise sensory and internal sources of noise contributing to behavioural variables, by combining knowledge of the underlying stochastic dynamics in cue sensing and the growth of the cytoskeleton. This enables us to 2. produce bottom-up lower limit estimates of behavioural response reliability and visualise it as probability distributions over axon growth trajectories. Given this information we can match our in silico model's ``psychometric'' decision curves with empirical data. Finally we use a Monte-Carlo approach to predict response distributions of axon trajectories from our model.

  8. Internalization and Axonal Transport of the HIV Glycoprotein gp120 (United States)

    Berth, Sarah; Caicedo, Hector Hugo; Sarma, Tulika; Morfini, Gerardo


    The HIV glycoprotein gp120, a neurotoxic HIV glycoprotein that is overproduced and shed by HIV-infected macrophages, is associated with neurological complications of HIV such as distal sensory polyneuropathy, but interactions of gp120 in the peripheral nervous system remain to be characterized. Here, we demonstrate internalization of extracellular gp120 in a manner partially independent of binding to its coreceptor CXCR4 by F11 neuroblastoma cells and cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons. Immunocytochemical and pharmacological experiments indicate that gp120 does not undergo trafficking through the endolysosomal pathway. Instead, gp120 is mainly internalized through lipid rafts in a cholesterol-dependent manner, with a minor fraction being internalized by fluid phase pinocytosis. Experiments using compartmentalized microfluidic chambers further indicate that, after internalization, endocytosed gp120 selectively undergoes retrograde but not anterograde axonal transport from axons to neuronal cell bodies. Collectively, these studies illuminate mechanisms of gp120 internalization and axonal transport in peripheral nervous system neurons, providing a novel framework for mechanisms for gp120 neurotoxicity. PMID:25636314

  9. Axonal Control of the Adult Neural Stem Cell Niche (United States)

    Tong, Cheuk Ka; Chen, Jiadong; Cebrián-Silla, Arantxa; Mirzadeh, Zaman; Obernier, Kirsten; Guinto, Cristina D.; Tecott, Laurence H.; García-Verdugo, Jose Manuel; Kriegstein, Arnold; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo


    SUMMARY The ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) is an extensive germinal niche containing neural stem cells (NSC) in the walls of the lateral ventricles of the adult brain. How the adult brain’s neural activity influences the behavior of adult NSCs remains largely unknown. We show that serotonergic (5HT) axons originating from a small group of neurons in the raphe form an extensive plexus on most of the ventricular walls. Electron microscopy revealed intimate contacts between 5HT axons and NSCs (B1) or ependymal cells (E1) and these cells were labeled by a transsynaptic viral tracer injected into the raphe. B1 cells express the 5HT receptors 2C and 5A. Electrophysiology showed that activation of these receptors in B1 cells induced small inward currents. Intraventricular infusion of 5HT2C agonist or antagonist increased or decreased V-SVZ proliferation, respectively. These results indicate that supraependymal 5HT axons directly interact with NSCs to regulate neurogenesis via 5HT2C. PMID:24561083

  10. Prediction of Functional Outcome in Axonal Guillain-Barre Syndrome. (United States)

    Sung, Eun Jung; Kim, Dae Yul; Chang, Min Cheol; Ko, Eun Jae


    To identify the factors that could predict the functional outcome in patients with the axonal type of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). Two hundred and two GBS patients admitted to our university hospital between 2003 and 2014 were reviewed retrospectively. We defined a good outcome as being "able to walk independently at 1 month after onset" and a poor outcome as being "unable to walk independently at 1 month after onset". We evaluated the factors that differed between the good and poor outcome groups. Twenty-four patients were classified into the acute motor axonal neuropathy type. There was a statistically significant difference between the good and poor outcome groups in terms of the GBS disability score at admission, and GBS disability score and Medical Research Council sum score at 1 month after admission. In an electrophysiologic analysis, the good outcome group showed greater amplitude of median, ulnar, deep peroneal, and posterior tibial nerve compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) and greater amplitude of median, ulnar, and superficial peroneal sensory nerve action potentials (SNAP) than the poor outcome group. A lower GBS disability score at admission, high amplitude of median, ulnar, deep peroneal, and posterior tibial CMAPs, and high amplitude of median, ulnar, and superficial peroneal SNAPs were associated with being able to walk at 1 month in patients with axonal GBS.

  11. Sensory axon-derived neuregulin-1 is required for axoglial signaling and normal sensory function but not for long-term axon maintenance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fricker, F.R.; Zhu, N.; Tsantoulas, C.


    " pockets. The total number of axons in the sural nerve was unchanged, but a greater proportion was unmyelinated. In addition, we observed large-diameter axons that were in a 1:1 relationship with Schwann cells, surrounded by a basal lamina but not myelinated. There was no evidence of DRG or Schwann cell...

  12. Regulation of action potential waveforms by axonal GABAA receptors in cortical pyramidal neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Xia

    Full Text Available GABAA receptors distributed in somatodendritic compartments play critical roles in regulating neuronal activities, including spike timing and firing pattern; however, the properties and functions of GABAA receptors at the axon are still poorly understood. By recording from the cut end (bleb of the main axon trunk of layer -5 pyramidal neurons in prefrontal cortical slices, we found that currents evoked by GABA iontophoresis could be blocked by picrotoxin, indicating the expression of GABAA receptors in axons. Stationary noise analysis revealed that single-channel properties of axonal GABAA receptors were similar to those of somatic receptors. Perforated patch recording with gramicidin revealed that the reversal potential of the GABA response was more negative than the resting membrane potential at the axon trunk, suggesting that GABA may hyperpolarize the axonal membrane potential. Further experiments demonstrated that the activation of axonal GABAA receptors regulated the amplitude and duration of action potentials (APs and decreased the AP-induced Ca2+ transients at the axon. Together, our results indicate that the waveform of axonal APs and the downstream Ca2+ signals are modulated by axonal GABAA receptors.

  13. Loss of Saltation and Presynaptic Action Potential Failure in Demyelinated Axons. (United States)

    Hamada, Mustafa S; Popovic, Marko A; Kole, Maarten H P


    In cortical pyramidal neurons the presynaptic terminals controlling transmitter release are located along unmyelinated axon collaterals, far from the original action potential (AP) initiation site, the axon initial segment (AIS). Once initiated, APs will need to reliably propagate over long distances and regions of geometrical inhomogeneity like branch points (BPs) to rapidly depolarize the presynaptic terminals and confer temporally precise synaptic transmission. While axon pathologies such as demyelinating diseases are well established to impede the fidelity of AP propagation along internodes, to which extent myelin loss affects propagation along BPs and axon collaterals is not well understood. Here, using the cuprizone demyelination model, we performed optical voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging from control and demyelinated layer 5 pyramidal neuron axons. In the main axon, we find that myelin loss switches the modality of AP propagation from rapid saltation towards a slow continuous wave. The duration of single AP waveforms at BPs or nodes was, however, only slightly briefer. In contrast, by using two-photon microscopy-guided loose-seal patch recordings from axon collaterals we revealed a presynaptic AP broadening in combination with a reduced velocity and frequency-dependent failure. Finally, internodal myelin loss was also associated with de novo sprouting of axon collaterals starting from the primary (demyelinated) axon. Thus, the loss of oligodendrocytes and myelin sheaths bears functional consequences beyond the main axon, impeding the temporal fidelity of presynaptic APs and affecting the functional and structural organization of synaptic connectivity within the neocortex.

  14. Intra-axonal protein synthesis - a new target for neural repair?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffery L Twiss


    Full Text Available Although initially argued to be a feature of immature neurons with incomplete polarization, there is clear evidence that neurons in the peripheral nervous system retain the capacity for intra-axonal protein synthesis well into adulthood. This localized protein synthesis has been shown to contribute to injury signaling and axon regeneration in peripheral nerves. Recent works point to potential for protein synthesis in axons of the vertebrate central nervous system. mRNAs and protein synthesis machinery have now been documented in lamprey, mouse, and rat spinal cord axons. Intra-axonal protein synthesis appears to be activated in adult vertebrate spinal cord axons when they are regeneration-competent. Rat spinal cord axons regenerating into a peripheral nerve graft contain mRNAs and markers of activated translational machinery. Indeed, levels of some growth-associated mRNAs in these spinal cord axons are comparable to the regenerating sciatic nerve. Markers of active translation tend to decrease when these axons stop growing, but can be reactivated by a second axotomy. These emerging observations raise the possibility that mRNA transport into and translation within axons could be targeted to facilitate regeneration in both the peripheral and central nervous systems.

  15. Myelinated Axons in the Auricular Branch of the Human Vagus Nerve. (United States)

    Safi, Sami; Ellrich, Jens; Neuhuber, Winfried


    Transcutaneous stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (ABVN) resulted in deactivation of temporal lobe structures, similar to invasive cervical vagus nerve (CVN) stimulation. Presumably, both methods stimulated myelinated afferent beta axons mediating anti-convulsive effects. How numbers of A beta axons in the human ABVN compare to those of the CVN is unknown. The ABVN, CVN, recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) and thoracic vagus nerve (TVN) were dissected from embalmed bodies. Numbers and calibers of myelinated axons were analyzed in semithin sections. Myelinated axons in the left and right ABVN averaged to 385 and 363, respectively. Numbers of A beta axons measuring ≥7 µm averaged to 64 and 78 on the left and right, respectively. Numbers of A beta axons in CVN were estimated by subtracting myelinated presumed motor axons in RLN from the total count of CVN. This resulted in 280 and 504 A beta axons on the left and right, respectively, concurring well with the thick myelinated axon count of the ipsilateral TVN (255 and 466, respectively). Thus, the ratio of A beta axons in the ABVN and CVN was ∼1:5 and 1:6 on the left and right side, respectively. These results indicate that transcutaneous ABVN stimulation might be a promising alternative to invasive CVN stimulation. Anat Rec, 299:1184-1191, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Sodium Channel β2 Subunits Prevent Action Potential Propagation Failures at Axonal Branch Points. (United States)

    Cho, In Ha; Panzera, Lauren C; Chin, Morven; Hoppa, Michael B


    Neurotransmitter release depends on voltage-gated Na + channels (Na v s) to propagate an action potential (AP) successfully from the axon hillock to a synaptic terminal. Unmyelinated sections of axon are very diverse structures encompassing branch points and numerous presynaptic terminals with undefined molecular partners of Na + channels. Using optical recordings of Ca 2+ and membrane voltage, we demonstrate here that Na + channel β2 subunits (Na v β2s) are required to prevent AP propagation failures across the axonal arborization of cultured rat hippocampal neurons (mixed male and female). When Na v β2 expression was reduced, we identified two specific phenotypes: (1) membrane excitability and AP-evoked Ca 2+ entry were impaired at synapses and (2) AP propagation was severely compromised with >40% of axonal branches no longer responding to AP-stimulation. We went on to show that a great deal of electrical signaling heterogeneity exists in AP waveforms across the axonal arborization independent of axon morphology. Therefore, Na v β2 is a critical regulator of axonal excitability and synaptic function in unmyelinated axons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Voltage-gated Ca 2+ channels are fulcrums of neurotransmission that convert electrical inputs into chemical outputs in the form of vesicle fusion at synaptic terminals. However, the role of the electrical signal, the presynaptic action potential (AP), in modulating synaptic transmission is less clear. What is the fidelity of a propagating AP waveform in the axon and what molecules shape it throughout the axonal arborization? Our work identifies several new features of AP propagation in unmyelinated axons: (1) branches of a single axonal arborization have variable AP waveforms independent of morphology, (2) Na + channel β2 subunits modulate AP-evoked Ca 2+ -influx, and (3) β2 subunits maintain successful AP propagation across the axonal arbor. These findings are relevant to understanding the flow of excitation in the

  17. Role of myelin-associated inhibitors in axonal repair after spinal cord injury. (United States)

    Lee, Jae K; Zheng, Binhai


    Myelin-associated inhibitors of axon growth, including Nogo, MAG and OMgp, have been the subject of intense research. A myriad of experimental approaches have been applied to investigate the potential of targeting these molecules to promote axonal repair after spinal cord injury. However, there are still conflicting results on their role in axon regeneration and therefore a lack of a cohesive mechanism on how these molecules can be targeted to promote axon repair. One major reason may be the lack of a clear definition of axon regeneration in the first place. Nevertheless, recent data from genetic studies in mice indicate that the roles of these molecules in CNS axon repair may be more intricate than previously envisioned. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Systemic Administration of Epothilone B Promotes Axon Regeneration and Functional Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury (United States)

    Ruschel, Jörg; Hellal, Farida; Flynn, Kevin C.; Dupraz, Sebastian; Elliot, David A.; Tedeschi, Andrea; Bates, Margaret; Sliwinski, Christopher; Brook, Gary; Dobrint, Kristina; Peitz, Michael; Brüstle, Oliver; Norenberg, Michael D.; Blesch, Armin; Weidner, Norbert; Bunge, Mary Bartlett; Bixby, John L.; Bradke, Frank


    After central nervous system (CNS) injury, inhibitory factors in the lesion scar and a poor axon growth potential prevent axon regeneration. Microtubule stabilization reduces scarring and promotes axon growth. However, the cellular mechanisms of this dual effect remain unclear. Here, delayed systemic administration of a blood-brain barrier permeable microtubule stabilizing drug, epothilone B, decreased scarring after rodent spinal cord injury (SCI) by abrogating polarization and directed migration of scar-forming fibroblasts. Conversely, epothilone B reactivated neuronal polarization by inducing concerted microtubule polymerization into the axon tip, which propelled axon growth through an inhibitory environment. Together, these drug elicited effects promoted axon regeneration and improved motor function after SCI. With recent clinical approval, epothilones hold promise for clinical use after CNS injury. PMID:25765066

  19. Using templated agarose scaffolds to promote axon regeneration through sites of spinal cord injury. (United States)

    Koffler, Jacob; Samara, Ramsey F; Rosenzweig, Ephron S


    The past 30 years of research in spinal cord injury (SCI) have revealed that, under certain conditions, some types of axons are able to regenerate. To aid these axons in bridging the lesion site, many experimenters place cellular grafts at the lesion. However, to increase the potential for functional recovery, it is likely advantageous to maximize the number of axons that reach the intact spinal cord on the other side of the lesion. Implanting linear-channeled scaffolds at the lesion site provides growing axons with linear growth paths, which minimizes the distance they must travel to reach healthy tissue. Moreover, the linear channels help the regenerating axons maintain the correct mediolateral and dorsoventral position in the spinal cord, which may also improve functional recovery by keeping the axons nearer to their correct targets. Here, we provide a protocol to perform a full spinal cord transection in rats that accommodates an implanted scaffold.

  20. 3-D tracing of biocytin-labelled pallido-thalamic axons in the monkey. (United States)

    Arecchi-Bouchhioua, P; Yelnik, J; François, C; Percheron, G; Tandé, D


    This study presents three-dimensional tracings of axons and axonal endings of associative pallido-thalamic axons in the monkey (Macaca mulatta, M. irus). Injections of the anterograde tracer biocytin were made in the dorsal, associative region of the medial pallidum. Numerous axonal endings were observed throughout the pallidal territory of the thalamus. Four individual axons were reconstructed from serial sections and traced in three dimensions. The initial branch of each axon subdivided successively, each new branch ending in a different part of the pallidal territory. Each of the latter branches ended in a characteristic, extremely dense terminal arborization, that we called a bunch. Associative medial pallidal information may therefore be distributed throughout the pallidal territory by means of numerous branches and bunches.

  1. A Combinatorial Approach to Induce Sensory Axon Regeneration into the Dorsal Root Avulsed Spinal Cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoeber, Jan; Konig, Niclas; Trolle, Carl


    Spinal root injuries result in newly formed glial scar formation, which prevents regeneration of sensory axons causing permanent sensory loss. Previous studies showed that delivery of trophic factors or implantation of human neural progenitor cells supports sensory axon regeneration and partly...... restores sensory functions. In this study, we elucidate mechanisms underlying stem cell-mediated ingrowth of sensory axons after dorsal root avulsion (DRA). We show that human spinal cord neural stem/progenitor cells (hscNSPC), and also, mesoporous silica particles loaded with growth factor mimetics (Meso......MIM), supported sensory axon regeneration. However, when hscNSPC and MesoMIM were combined, sensory axon regeneration failed. Morphological and tracing analysis showed that sensory axons grow through the newly established glial scar along “bridges” formed by migrating stem cells. Coimplantation of Meso...

  2. Acutely damaged axons are remyelinated in multiple sclerosis and experimental models of demyelination. (United States)

    Schultz, Verena; van der Meer, Franziska; Wrzos, Claudia; Scheidt, Uta; Bahn, Erik; Stadelmann, Christine; Brück, Wolfgang; Junker, Andreas


    Remyelination is in the center of new therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis to resolve and improve disease symptoms and protect axons from further damage. Although remyelination is considered beneficial in the long term, it is not known, whether this is also the case early in lesion formation. Additionally, the precise timing of acute axonal damage and remyelination has not been assessed so far. To shed light onto the interrelation between axons and the myelin sheath during de- and remyelination, we employed cuprizone- and focal lysolecithin-induced demyelination and performed time course experiments assessing the evolution of early and late stage remyelination and axonal damage. We observed damaged axons with signs of remyelination after cuprizone diet cessation and lysolecithin injection. Similar observations were made in early multiple sclerosis lesions. To assess the correlation of remyelination and axonal damage in multiple sclerosis lesions, we took advantage of a cohort of patients with early and late stage remyelinated lesions and assessed the number of APP- and SMI32- positive damaged axons and the density of SMI31-positive and silver impregnated preserved axons. Early de- and remyelinating lesions did not differ with respect to axonal density and axonal damage, but we observed a lower axonal density in late stage demyelinated multiple sclerosis lesions than in remyelinated multiple sclerosis lesions. Our findings suggest that remyelination may not only be protective over a long period of time, but may play an important role in the immediate axonal recuperation after a demyelinating insult. © 2017 The Authors GLIA Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Regulation of Axonal Midline Guidance by Prolyl 4-Hydroxylation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torpe, Nanna; Pocock, Roger David John


    Neuronal wiring during development requires that the growth cones of axons and dendrites are correctly guided to their appropriate targets. As in other animals, axon growth cones in Caenorhabditis elegans integrate information in their extracellular environment via interactions among transiently ...... data suggest that DPY-18 regulates ephrin expression to direct axon guidance, a role for P4Hs that may be conserved in higher organisms....

  4. Oligodendroglial MCT1 and Metabolic Support of Axons in Multiple Sclerosis (United States)


    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0524 TITLE:Oligodendroglial MCT1 and Metabolic Support of Axons in Multiple Sclerosis PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Jeffrey D...29 Sep 2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Oligodendroglial MCT1 and Metabolic Support of Axons in Multiple Sclerosis 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0524...MCT1 in injured oligodendroglia of multiple sclerosis patients contributes to axon neurodegeneration and that increasing MCT1 will be protective in the

  5. Ultrastructural study of extraocular muscle tendon axonal profiles in infantile and intermittent exotropia. (United States)

    Kim, Seung-Hyun; Yi, Sung-Tae; Cho, Yoonae A; Uhm, Chang-Sub


    To investigate the ultrastructures of tendon axonal profiles in infantile and intermittent exotropia. Tendon axonal profiles are composed of myotendinous nerve endings that are presumed to serve as sensorial receptors in ocular proprioception. The study subjects included 10 patients with exotropia who had undergone surgery in one eye (recession and resection). They were divided into two equal groups. Five patients with infantile exotropia that had developed at under 12 months of age were allocated to group A. Another five, with intermittent exotropia that had developed at over 12 months of age, were allocated to group B. In all patients, medial recti were resected by 3-4 mm in order to obtain tissue samples, which were then examined under an electron microscope. In group A, we noted many axonal degenerative findings, such as the retraction of axons from myelin sheaths with considerable shrinkage, axonal disintegration, and Schwann cell proliferation. On the other hand, we identified three unique findings in group B: intact axons with incomplete Schwann cell wrapping; intact Schwann cells not associated with axons, and disorganized Schwann cells with shrunken axons. Different patterns of tendon axonal profiles were seen in association with the two types of exotropia. These differences may be related to the pathogenesis of these exotropia types.

  6. N-Propionylmannosamine stimulates axonal elongation in a murine model of sciatic nerve injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Witzel


    Full Text Available Increasing evidence indicates that sialic acid plays an important role during nerve regeneration. Sialic acids can be modified in vitro as well as in vivo using metabolic oligosaccharide engineering of the N-acyl side chain. N-Propionylmannosamine (ManNProp increases neurite outgrowth and accelerates the reestablishment of functional synapses in vitro. We investigated the influence of systemic ManNProp application using a specific in vivo mouse model. Using mice expressing axonal fluorescent proteins, we quantified the extension of regenerating axons, the number of regenerating axons, the number of arborising axons and the number of branches per axon 5 days after injury. Sciatic nerves from non-expressing mice were grafted into those expressing yellow fluorescent protein. We began a twice-daily intraperitoneal application of either peracetylated ManNProp (200 mg/kg or saline solution 5 days before injury, and continued it until nerve harvest (5 days after transection. ManNProp significantly increased the mean distance of axonal regeneration (2.49 mm vs. 1.53 mm; P < 0.005 and the number of arborizing axons (21% vs. 16% P = 0.008 5 days after sciatic nerve grafting. ManNProp did not affect the number of regenerating axons or the number of branches per arborizing axon. The biochemical glycoengineering of the N-acyl side chain of sialic acid might be a promising approach for improving peripheral nerve regeneration.

  7. Human platelet-rich plasma promotes axon growth in brain-spinal cord coculture. (United States)

    Takeuchi, Michiko; Kamei, Naosuke; Shinomiya, Rikuo; Sunagawa, Toru; Suzuki, Osami; Kamoda, Hiroto; Ohtori, Seiji; Ochi, Mitsuo


    Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains several growth factors, including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), that are associated with repair processes after central nervous system injury. Although PRP have been applied to some regenerative therapies, the regeneration effects of PRP on spinal cord injury have not been reported. This study applied a rat organ coculture system to examine the ability of PRP to enhance axonal growth in spinal cord tissues and to identify the growth factors in PRP that contribute to the regulation of axon growth. PRP from human peripheral blood was added to organ cocultures. Furthermore, neutralizing antibodies against PDGF-AB, TGF-β1, IGF-1, or VEGF were added to the cocultures with PRP. Axon growth from the brain cortex into the spinal cord was assessed quantitatively using anterograde axon tracing with DiI. Addition of PRP to the cocultures promoted axon growth, and the axon growth was significantly suppressed by the addition of neutralizing antibodies against IGF-1 and VEGF, but not PDGF-AB. In contrast, axon growth was promoted significantly by the addition of neutralizing antibodies against TGF-β1. These findings indicate that PRP promotes axon growth in spinal cord tissues through mechanisms associated with IGF-1 and VEGF, and that TGF-β1 in PRP exerts negative effects on axon growth.

  8. Permissive Schwann cell graft/spinal cord interfaces for axon regeneration. (United States)

    Williams, Ryan R; Henao, Martha; Pearse, Damien D; Bunge, Mary Bartlett


    The transplantation of autologous Schwann cells (SCs) to repair the injured spinal cord is currently being evaluated in a clinical trial. In support, this study determined properties of spinal cord/SC bridge interfaces that enabled regenerated brainstem axons to cross them, possibly leading to improvement in rat hindlimb movement. Fluid bridges of SCs and Matrigel were placed in complete spinal cord transections. Compared to pregelled bridges of SCs and Matrigel, they improved regeneration of brainstem axons across the rostral interface. The regenerating brainstem axons formed synaptophysin(+) bouton-like terminals and contacted MAP2A(+) dendrites at the caudal interface. Brainstem axon regeneration was directly associated with glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP(+)) astrocyte processes that elongated into the SC bridge. Electron microscopy revealed that axons, SCs, and astrocytes were enclosed together within tunnels bounded by a continuous basal lamina. Neuroglycan (NG2) expression was associated with these tunnels. One week after injury, the GFAP(+) processes coexpressed nestin and brain lipid-binding protein, and the tips of GFAP(+)/NG2(+) processes extended into the bridges together with the regenerating brainstem axons. Both brainstem axon regeneration and number of GFAP(+) processes in the bridges correlated with improvement in hindlimb locomotion. Following SCI, astrocytes may enter a reactive state that prohibits axon regeneration. Elongation of astrocyte processes into SC bridges, however, and formation of NG2(+) tunnels enable brainstem axon regeneration and improvement in function. It is important for spinal cord repair to define conditions that favor elongation of astrocytes into lesions/transplants.

  9. Alterations in the Local Axonal Environment Influence Target Reinnervation and Neuronal Survival after Postnatal Axotomy

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dainer, Hugh M


    Following peripheral nerve injury in adult animals, Schwann cells (SC) proliferate and provide guidance in the local axonal environment by generating the infrastructure along which regenerating nerves grow...

  10. Biomarker evidence of axonal injury in neuroasymptomatic HIV-1 patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Jessen Krut

    Full Text Available Prevalence of neurocognitive impairment in HIV-1 infected patients is reported to be high. Whether this is a result of active HIV-related neurodegeneration is unclear. We examined axonal injury in HIV-1 patients by measuring the light subunit of neurofilament protein (NFL in CSF with a novel, sensitive method.With a cross-sectional design, CSF concentrations of neurofilament protein light (NFL (marker of neuronal injury, neopterin (intrathecal immunoactivation and CSF/Plasma albumin ratio (blood-brain barrier integrity were analyzed on CSF from 252 HIV-infected patients, subdivided into untreated neuroasymptomatics (n = 200, HIV-associated dementia (HAD (n = 14 and on combinations antiretroviral treatment (cART (n = 85, and healthy controls (n = 204. 46 HIV-infected patients were included in both treated and untreated groups, but sampled at different timepoints. Furthermore, 78 neuroasymptomatic patients were analyzed before and after treatment initiation.While HAD patients had the highest NFL concentrations, elevated CSF NFL was also found in 33% of untreated neuroasymptomatic patients, mainly in those with blood CD4+ cell counts below 250 cells/μL. CSF NFL concentrations in the untreated neuroasymptomatics and treated groups were equivalent to controls 18.5 and 3.9 years older, respectively. Neopterin correlated with NFL levels in untreated groups while the albumin ratio correlated with NFL in both untreated and treated groups.Increased CSF NFL indicates ongoing axonal injury in many neuroasymptomatic patients. Treatment decreases NFL, but treated patients retain higher levels than controls, indicating either continued virus-related injury or an aging-like effect of HIV infection. NFL correlates with neopterin and albumin ratio, suggesting an association between axonal injury, neuroinflammation and blood-brain barrier permeability. NFL appears to be a sensitive biomarker of subclinical and clinical brain injury in HIV and warrants further

  11. Axonal excitability and conduction alterations caused by levobupivacaine in rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuncer Seçkin


    Full Text Available In this study, effects of the long-acting amide-type local anesthetic levobupivacaine on axonal conduction and excitability parameters of the rat sciatic nerve were thoroughly examined both in vitro and in vivo. In order to deduce its effects on isolated nerve conduction, compound nerve action potential (CNAP recordings were performed using the suction method over sciatic nerves of Wistar rats before and after administration of 0.05 % (1.7 mmol L−1 levobupivacaine. Levobupivacaine caused complete CNAP area and amplitude depression by blocking conduction in a time-dependent manner.

  12. Relationship of acute axonal damage, Wallerian degeneration, and clinical disability in multiple sclerosis. (United States)

    Singh, Shailender; Dallenga, Tobias; Winkler, Anne; Roemer, Shanu; Maruschak, Brigitte; Siebert, Heike; Brück, Wolfgang; Stadelmann, Christine


    Axonal damage and loss substantially contribute to the incremental accumulation of clinical disability in progressive multiple sclerosis. Here, we assessed the amount of Wallerian degeneration in brain tissue of multiple sclerosis patients in relation to demyelinating lesion activity and asked whether a transient blockade of Wallerian degeneration decreases axonal loss and clinical disability in a mouse model of inflammatory demyelination. Wallerian degeneration and acute axonal damage were determined immunohistochemically in the periplaque white matter of multiple sclerosis patients with early actively demyelinating lesions, chronic active lesions, and inactive lesions. Furthermore, we studied the effects of Wallerian degeneration blockage on clinical severity, inflammatory pathology, acute axonal damage, and long-term axonal loss in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis using Wallerian degeneration slow (Wld S ) mutant mice. The highest numbers of axons undergoing Wallerian degeneration were found in the perilesional white matter of multiple sclerosis patients early in the disease course and with actively demyelinating lesions. Furthermore, Wallerian degeneration was more abundant in patients harboring chronic active as compared to chronic inactive lesions. No co-localization of neuropeptide Y-Y1 receptor, a bona fide immunohistochemical marker of Wallerian degeneration, with amyloid precursor protein, frequently used as an indicator of acute axonal transport disturbance, was observed in human and mouse tissue, indicating distinct axon-degenerative processes. Experimentally, a delay of Wallerian degeneration, as observed in Wld S mice, did not result in a reduction of clinical disability or acute axonal damage in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, further supporting that acute axonal damage as reflected by axonal transport disturbances does not share common molecular mechanisms with Wallerian degeneration. Furthermore, delaying Wallerian degeneration

  13. Plexin A3 and turnout regulate motor axonal branch morphogenesis in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajiv Sainath

    Full Text Available During embryogenesis motor axons navigate to their target muscles, where individual motor axons develop complex branch morphologies. The mechanisms that control axonal branching morphogenesis have been studied intensively, yet it still remains unclear when branches begin to form or how branch locations are determined. Live cell imaging of individual zebrafish motor axons reveals that the first axonal branches are generated at the ventral extent of the myotome via bifurcation of the growth cone. Subsequent branches are generated by collateral branching restricted to their synaptic target field along the distal portion of the axon. This precisely timed and spatially restricted branching process is disrupted in turnout mutants we identified in a forward genetic screen. Molecular genetic mapping positioned the turnout mutation within a 300 kb region encompassing eight annotated genes, however sequence analysis of all eight open reading frames failed to unambiguously identify the turnout mutation. Chimeric analysis and single cell labeling reveal that turnout function is required cell non-autonomously for intraspinal motor axon guidance and peripheral branch formation. turnout mutant motor axons form the first branch on time via growth cone bifurcation, but unlike wild-type they form collateral branches precociously, when the growth cone is still navigating towards the ventral myotome. These precocious collateral branches emerge along the proximal region of the axon shaft typically devoid of branches, and they develop into stable, permanent branches. Furthermore, we find that null mutants of the guidance receptor plexin A3 display identical motor axon branching defects, and time lapse analysis reveals that precocious branch formation in turnout and plexin A3 mutants is due to increased stability of otherwise short-lived axonal protrusions. Thus, plexin A3 dependent intrinsic and turnout dependent extrinsic mechanisms suppress collateral branch

  14. Role of Na(v)1.9 in activity-dependent axon growth in motoneurons. (United States)

    Subramanian, Narayan; Wetzel, Andrea; Dombert, Benjamin; Yadav, Preeti; Havlicek, Steven; Jablonka, Sibylle; Nassar, Mohammed A; Blum, Robert; Sendtner, Michael


    Spontaneous neural activity promotes axon growth in many types of developing neurons, including motoneurons. In motoneurons from a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), defects in axonal growth and presynaptic function correlate with a reduced frequency of spontaneous Ca(2+) transients in axons which are mediated by N-type Ca(2+) channels. To characterize the mechanisms that initiate spontaneous Ca(2+) transients, we investigated the role of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). We found that low concentrations of the VGSC inhibitors tetrodotoxin (TTX) and saxitoxin (STX) reduce the rate of axon growth in cultured embryonic mouse motoneurons without affecting their survival. STX was 5- to 10-fold more potent than TTX and Ca(2+) imaging confirmed that low concentrations of STX strongly reduce the frequency of spontaneous Ca(2+) transients in somatic and axonal regions. These findings suggest that the Na(V)1.9, a VGSC that opens at low thresholds, could act upstream of spontaneous Ca(2+) transients. qPCR from cultured and laser-microdissected spinal cord motoneurons revealed abundant expression of Na(V)1.9. Na(V)1.9 protein is preferentially localized in axons and growth cones. Suppression of Na(V)1.9 expression reduced axon elongation. Motoneurons from Na(V)1.9(-/-) mice showed the reduced axon growth in combination with reduced spontaneous Ca(2+) transients in the soma and axon terminals. Thus, Na(V)1.9 function appears to be essential for activity-dependent axon growth, acting upstream of spontaneous Ca(2+) elevation through voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs). Na(V)1.9 activation could therefore serve as a target for modulating axonal regeneration in motoneuron diseases such as SMA in which presynaptic activity of VGCCs is reduced.

  15. Depending on its nano-spacing, ALCAM promotes cell attachment and axon growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karsten Thelen

    Full Text Available ALCAM is a member of the cell adhesion molecule (CAM family which plays an important role during nervous system formation. We here show that the two neuron populations of developing dorsal root ganglia (DRG display ALCAM transiently on centrally and peripherally projecting axons during the two phases of axon outgrowth. To analyze the impact of ALCAM on cell adhesion and axon growth, DRG single cells were cultured on ALCAM-coated coverslips or on nanopatterns where ALCAM is presented in physiological amino-carboxyl terminal orientation at highly defined distances (29, 54, 70, 86, and 137 nm and where the interspaces are passivated to prevent unspecific protein deposition. Some axonal features (branching, lateral deviation showed density dependence whereas others (number of axons per neuron, various axon growth parameters turned out to be an all-or-nothing reaction. Time-lapse analyses revealed that ALCAM density has an impact on axon velocity and advance efficiency. The behavior of the sensory axon tip, the growth cone, partially depended on ALCAM density in a dose-response fashion (shape, dynamics, detachment while other features did not (size, complexity. Whereas axon growth was equally promoted whether ALCAM was presented at high (29 nm or low densities (86 nm, the attachment of non-neuronal cells depended on high ALCAM densities. The attachment of non-neuronal cells to the rather unspecific standard proteins presented by conventional implants designed to enhance axonal regeneration is a severe problem. Our findings point to ALCAM, presented as 86 nm pattern, for a promising candidate for the improvement of such implants since this pattern drives axon growth to its full extent while at the same time non-neuronal cell attachment is clearly reduced.

  16. A Combinatorial Approach to Induce Sensory Axon Regeneration into the Dorsal Root Avulsed Spinal Cord. (United States)

    Hoeber, Jan; König, Niclas; Trolle, Carl; Lekholm, Emilia; Zhou, Chunfang; Pankratova, Stanislava; Åkesson, Elisabet; Fredriksson, Robert; Aldskogius, Håkan; Kozlova, Elena N


    Spinal root injuries result in newly formed glial scar formation, which prevents regeneration of sensory axons causing permanent sensory loss. Previous studies showed that delivery of trophic factors or implantation of human neural progenitor cells supports sensory axon regeneration and partly restores sensory functions. In this study, we elucidate mechanisms underlying stem cell-mediated ingrowth of sensory axons after dorsal root avulsion (DRA). We show that human spinal cord neural stem/progenitor cells (hscNSPC), and also, mesoporous silica particles loaded with growth factor mimetics (MesoMIM), supported sensory axon regeneration. However, when hscNSPC and MesoMIM were combined, sensory axon regeneration failed. Morphological and tracing analysis showed that sensory axons grow through the newly established glial scar along "bridges" formed by migrating stem cells. Coimplantation of MesoMIM prevented stem cell migration, "bridges" were not formed, and sensory axons failed to enter the spinal cord. MesoMIM applied alone supported sensory axons ingrowth, but without affecting glial scar formation. In vitro, the presence of MesoMIM significantly impaired migration of hscNSPC without affecting their level of differentiation. Our data show that (1) the ability of stem cells to migrate into the spinal cord and organize cellular "bridges" in the newly formed interface is crucial for successful sensory axon regeneration, (2) trophic factor mimetics delivered by mesoporous silica may be a convenient alternative way to induce sensory axon regeneration, and (3) a combinatorial approach of individually beneficial components is not necessarily additive, but can be counterproductive for axonal growth.

  17. RabGDI controls axonal midline crossing by regulating Robo1 surface expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Melanie


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Axons navigate to their future synaptic targets with the help of choice points, intermediate targets that express axon guidance cues. Once they reach a choice point, axons need to switch their response from attraction to repulsion in order to move on with the next stage of their journey. The mechanisms underlying the change in axonal responsiveness are poorly understood. Commissural axons become sensitive to the repulsive activity of Slits when they cross the ventral midline of the CNS. Responsiveness to Slits depends on surface expression of Robo receptors. In Drosophila, Commissureless (Comm plays a crucial regulatory role in midline crossing by keeping Robo levels low on precommissural axons. Interestingly, to date no vertebrate homolog of comm has been identified. Robo3/Rig1 has been shown to control Slit sensitivity before the midline, but without affecting Robo1 surface expression. Results We had identified RabGDI, a gene linked to human mental retardation and an essential component of the vesicle fusion machinery, in a screen for differentially expressed floor-plate genes. Downregulation of RabGDI by in ovo RNAi caused commissural axons to stall in the floor plate, phenocopying the effect observed after downregulation of Robo1. Conversely, premature expression of RabGDI prevented commissural axons from entering the floor plate. Furthermore, RabGDI triggered Robo1 surface expression in cultured commissural neurons. Taken together, our results identify RabGDI as a component of the switching mechanism that is required for commissural axons to change their response from attraction to repulsion at the intermediate target. Conclusion RabGDI takes over the functional role of fly Comm by regulating the surface expression of Robo1 on commissural axons in vertebrates. This in turn allows commissural axons to switch from attraction to repulsion at the midline of the spinal cord.

  18. Cyclic AMP promotes axon regeneration, lesion repair and neuronal survival in lampreys after spinal cord injury. (United States)

    Lau, Billy Y B; Fogerson, Stephanie M; Walsh, Rylie B; Morgan, Jennifer R


    Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury in mammals is inadequate to restore function, illustrating the need to design better strategies for improving outcomes. Increasing the levels of the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) after spinal cord injury enhances axon regeneration across a wide variety of species, making it an excellent candidate molecule that has therapeutic potential. However, several important aspects of the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which cAMP enhances axon regeneration are still unclear, such as how cAMP affects axon growth patterns, the molecular components within growing axon tips, the lesion scar, and neuronal survival. To address these points, we took advantage of the large, identified reticulospinal (RS) neurons in lamprey, a vertebrate that exhibits robust axon regeneration after a complete spinal cord transection. Application of a cAMP analog, db-cAMP, at the time of spinal cord transection increased the number of axons that regenerated across the lesion site. Db-cAMP also promoted axons to regenerate in straighter paths, prevented abnormal axonal growth patterns, increased the levels of synaptotagmin within axon tips, and increased the number of axotomized neurons that survived after spinal cord injury, thereby increasing the pool of neurons available for regeneration. There was also a transient increase in the number of microglia/macrophages and improved repair of the lesion site. Taken together, these data reveal several new features of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cAMP-mediated enhancement of axon regeneration, further emphasizing the positive roles for this conserved pathway. © 2013.

  19. Acute mitochondrial myopathy with respiratory insufficiency and motor axonal polyneuropathy. (United States)

    Zhou, Ying; Yi, Jianhua; Liu, Li; Wang, Xiaoping; Dong, Liang; Du, Ailian


    Mitochondrial myopathies (MMs) are mainly presented with chronic muscle weakness and accompanied with other syndromes. MM with acute respiratory insufficiency is rare. To reveal the clinical, pathological and molecular characteristics of a life-threatening MM. Muscle biopsy and enzyme staining were performed in skeletal muscles. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing was analyzed and heteroplasmy were quantified by pyrosequencing. All three patients had tachycardia, acute lactic acidosis, dyspnea and sudden severe muscle weakness. Two patients had calf edema and abdominal pain, and one had a heart attack. Electromyography in two patients showed dramatically decreased axonal amplitudes of motor nerves. Muscle biopsies showed ragged red fibers and dramatic mitochondrial abnormality. A mtDNA m.3243A>G mutation was identified in Patient 1 (mutation load: 29% in blood and 73% in muscle) and Patient 3 (79% in blood and 89% in muscle). A mtDNA m.8344A>G mutation was found in Patient 2 (mutation load 80.4% in blood). MM characterized by lactic acidosis, respiratory failure and acute motor axonal neuropathy is life threatening.

  20. Pancreatic cancer genomes reveal aberrations in axon guidance pathway genes. (United States)

    Biankin, Andrew V; Waddell, Nicola; Kassahn, Karin S; Gingras, Marie-Claude; Muthuswamy, Lakshmi B; Johns, Amber L; Miller, David K; Wilson, Peter J; Patch, Ann-Marie; Wu, Jianmin; Chang, David K; Cowley, Mark J; Gardiner, Brooke B; Song, Sarah; Harliwong, Ivon; Idrisoglu, Senel; Nourse, Craig; Nourbakhsh, Ehsan; Manning, Suzanne; Wani, Shivangi; Gongora, Milena; Pajic, Marina; Scarlett, Christopher J; Gill, Anthony J; Pinho, Andreia V; Rooman, Ilse; Anderson, Matthew; Holmes, Oliver; Leonard, Conrad; Taylor, Darrin; Wood, Scott; Xu, Qinying; Nones, Katia; Fink, J Lynn; Christ, Angelika; Bruxner, Tim; Cloonan, Nicole; Kolle, Gabriel; Newell, Felicity; Pinese, Mark; Mead, R Scott; Humphris, Jeremy L; Kaplan, Warren; Jones, Marc D; Colvin, Emily K; Nagrial, Adnan M; Humphrey, Emily S; Chou, Angela; Chin, Venessa T; Chantrill, Lorraine A; Mawson, Amanda; Samra, Jaswinder S; Kench, James G; Lovell, Jessica A; Daly, Roger J; Merrett, Neil D; Toon, Christopher; Epari, Krishna; Nguyen, Nam Q; Barbour, Andrew; Zeps, Nikolajs; Kakkar, Nipun; Zhao, Fengmei; Wu, Yuan Qing; Wang, Min; Muzny, Donna M; Fisher, William E; Brunicardi, F Charles; Hodges, Sally E; Reid, Jeffrey G; Drummond, Jennifer; Chang, Kyle; Han, Yi; Lewis, Lora R; Dinh, Huyen; Buhay, Christian J; Beck, Timothy; Timms, Lee; Sam, Michelle; Begley, Kimberly; Brown, Andrew; Pai, Deepa; Panchal, Ami; Buchner, Nicholas; De Borja, Richard; Denroche, Robert E; Yung, Christina K; Serra, Stefano; Onetto, Nicole; Mukhopadhyay, Debabrata; Tsao, Ming-Sound; Shaw, Patricia A; Petersen, Gloria M; Gallinger, Steven; Hruban, Ralph H; Maitra, Anirban; Iacobuzio-Donahue, Christine A; Schulick, Richard D; Wolfgang, Christopher L; Morgan, Richard A; Lawlor, Rita T; Capelli, Paola; Corbo, Vincenzo; Scardoni, Maria; Tortora, Giampaolo; Tempero, Margaret A; Mann, Karen M; Jenkins, Nancy A; Perez-Mancera, Pedro A; Adams, David J; Largaespada, David A; Wessels, Lodewyk F A; Rust, Alistair G; Stein, Lincoln D; Tuveson, David A; Copeland, Neal G; Musgrove, Elizabeth A; Scarpa, Aldo; Eshleman, James R; Hudson, Thomas J; Sutherland, Robert L; Wheeler, David A; Pearson, John V; McPherson, John D; Gibbs, Richard A; Grimmond, Sean M


    Pancreatic cancer is a highly lethal malignancy with few effective therapies. We performed exome sequencing and copy number analysis to define genomic aberrations in a prospectively accrued clinical cohort (n = 142) of early (stage I and II) sporadic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Detailed analysis of 99 informative tumours identified substantial heterogeneity with 2,016 non-silent mutations and 1,628 copy-number variations. We define 16 significantly mutated genes, reaffirming known mutations (KRAS, TP53, CDKN2A, SMAD4, MLL3, TGFBR2, ARID1A and SF3B1), and uncover novel mutated genes including additional genes involved in chromatin modification (EPC1 and ARID2), DNA damage repair (ATM) and other mechanisms (ZIM2, MAP2K4, NALCN, SLC16A4 and MAGEA6). Integrative analysis with in vitro functional data and animal models provided supportive evidence for potential roles for these genetic aberrations in carcinogenesis. Pathway-based analysis of recurrently mutated genes recapitulated clustering in core signalling pathways in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, and identified new mutated genes in each pathway. We also identified frequent and diverse somatic aberrations in genes described traditionally as embryonic regulators of axon guidance, particularly SLIT/ROBO signalling, which was also evident in murine Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated somatic mutagenesis models of pancreatic cancer, providing further supportive evidence for the potential involvement of axon guidance genes in pancreatic carcinogenesis.

  1. Imaging findings in diffuse axonal injury after closed head trauma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parizel, P.M.; Oezsarlak, Oe.; Goethem, J.W. van; Hauwe, L. van den; Schepper, A.M. de [Department of Radiology, Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen (University of Antwerp), Edegem (Belgium); Dillen, C.; Cosyns, P. [Department of Psychiatry, Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen (University of Antwerp), Edegem (Belgium); Verlooy, J. [Department of Neurosurgery, Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen (University of Antwerp), Edegem (Belgium)


    Even in patients with closed head trauma, brain parenchyma can be severely injured due to disruption of axonal fibers by shearing forces during acceleration, deceleration, and rotation of the head. In this article we review the spectrum of imaging findings in patients with diffuse axonal injuries (DAI) after closed head trauma. Knowledge of the location and imaging characteristics of DAI is important to radiologists for detection and diagnosis. Common locations of DAI include: cerebral hemispheric gray-white matter interface and subcortical white matter, body and splenium of corpus callosum, basal ganglia, dorsolateral aspect of brainstem, and cerebellum. In the acute phase, CT may show punctate hemorrhages. The true extent of brain involvement is better appreciated with MR imaging, because both hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic lesions (gliotic scars) can be detected. The MR appearance of DAI lesions depends on several factors, including age of injury, presence of hemorrhage or blood-breakdown products (e. g., hemosiderin), and type of sequence used. Technical aspects in MR imaging of these patients are discussed. Non-hemorrhagic lesions can be detected with fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR), proton-density-, or T2-weighted images, whereas gradient echo sequences with long TE increase the visibility of old hemorrhagic lesions. (orig.) With 12 figs., 12 refs.

  2. Aberrant Axonal Arborization of PDF Neurons Induced by Aβ42-Mediated JNK Activation Underlies Sleep Disturbance in an Alzheimer's Model. (United States)

    Song, Qian; Feng, Ge; Huang, Zehua; Chen, Xiaoman; Chen, Zhaohuan; Ping, Yong


    Impaired sleep patterns are common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cellular mechanisms underlying sleep disturbance in AD remain largely unknown. Here, using a Drosophila Aβ42 AD model, we show that Aβ42 markedly decreases sleep in a large population, which is accompanied with postdevelopmental axonal arborization of wake-promoting pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) neurons. The arborization is mediated in part via JNK activation and can be reversed by decreasing JNK signaling activity. Axonal arborization and impaired sleep are correlated in Aβ42 and JNK kinase hemipterous mutant flies. Image reconstruction revealed that these aberrant fibers preferentially project to pars intercerebralis (PI), a fly brain region analogous to the mammalian hypothalamus. Moreover, PDF signaling in PI neurons was found to modulate sleep/wake activities, suggesting that excessive release of PDF by these aberrant fibers may lead to the impaired sleep in Aβ42 flies. Finally, inhibition of JNK activation in Aβ42 flies restores nighttime sleep loss, decreases Aβ42 accumulation, and attenuates neurodegeneration. These data provide a new mechanism by which sleep disturbance could be induced by Aβ42 burden, a key initiator of a complex pathogenic cascade in AD.

  3. Viral vector-mediated downregulation of RhoA increases survival and axonal regeneration of retinal ganglion cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Christoph Koch


    Full Text Available The Rho/ROCK pathway is a promising therapeutic target in neurodegenerative and neurotraumatic diseases. Pharmacological inhibition of various pathway members has been shown to promote neuronal regeneration and survival. However, because pharmacological inhibitors are inherently limited in their specificity, shRNA-mediated approaches can add more information on the function of each single kinase involved. Thus, we generated adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV to specifically downregulate RhoA via shRNA. We found that specific knockdown of RhoA promoted neurite outgrowth of retinal ganglion cells (RGC grown on the inhibitory substrate CSPG as well as neurite regeneration of primary midbrain neurons after scratch lesion. In the rat optic nerve crush model in vivo, downregulation of RhoA significantly enhanced axonal regeneration compared to control. Moreover, survival of RGCs transduced with AAV expressing RhoA-shRNA was substantially increased at two weeks after optic nerve axotomy.Compared to previous data using pharmacological inhibitors to target RhoA, its upstream regulator Nogo or its main downstream target ROCK2, the specific effects of RhoA downregulation shown here were more pronounced in regard to promoting RGC survival while the stimulatory effects on neurite outgrowth were rather moderate. Taken together, we show here that specific knockdown of RhoA substantially increases neuronal survival after optic nerve axotomy and modestly increases neurite outgrowth in vitro and axonal regeneration after optic nerve crush.

  4. Atf3 mutant mice show reduced axon regeneration and impaired regeneration-associated gene induction after peripheral nerve injury (United States)

    Gey, Manuel; Wanner, Renate; Schilling, Corinna; Pedro, Maria T.; Sinske, Daniela


    Axon injury in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) induces a regeneration-associated gene (RAG) response. Atf3 (activating transcription factor 3) is such a RAG and ATF3's transcriptional activity might induce ‘effector’ RAGs (e.g. small proline rich protein 1a (Sprr1a), Galanin (Gal), growth-associated protein 43 (Gap43)) facilitating peripheral axon regeneration. We provide a first analysis of Atf3 mouse mutants in peripheral nerve regeneration. In Atf3 mutant mice, facial nerve regeneration and neurite outgrowth of adult ATF3-deficient primary dorsal root ganglia neurons was decreased. Using genome-wide transcriptomics, we identified a neuropeptide-encoding RAG cluster (vasoactive intestinal peptide (Vip), Ngf, Grp, Gal, Pacap) regulated by ATF3. Exogenous administration of neuropeptides enhanced neurite growth of Atf3 mutant mice suggesting that these molecules might be effector RAGs of ATF3's pro-regenerative function. In addition to the induction of growth-promoting molecules, we present data that ATF3 suppresses growth-inhibiting molecules such as chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2. In summary, we show a pro-regenerative ATF3 function during PNS nerve regeneration involving transcriptional activation of a neuropeptide-encoding RAG cluster. ATF3 is a general injury-inducible factor, therefore ATF3-mediated mechanisms identified herein might apply to other cell and injury types. PMID:27581653

  5. Nerve growth factor stimulates axon outgrowth through negative regulation of growth cone actomyosin restraint of microtubule advance (United States)

    Turney, Stephen G.; Ahmed, Mostafa; Chandrasekar, Indra; Wysolmerski, Robert B.; Goeckeler, Zoe M.; Rioux, Robert M.; Whitesides, George M.; Bridgman, Paul C.


    Nerve growth factor (NGF) promotes growth, differentiation, and survival of sensory neurons in the mammalian nervous system. Little is known about how NGF elicits faster axon outgrowth or how growth cones integrate and transform signal input to motor output. Using cultured mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons, we found that myosin II (MII) is required for NGF to stimulate faster axon outgrowth. From experiments inducing loss or gain of function of MII, specific MII isoforms, and vinculin-dependent adhesion-cytoskeletal coupling, we determined that NGF causes decreased vinculin-dependent actomyosin restraint of microtubule advance. Inhibition of MII blocked NGF stimulation, indicating the central role of restraint in directed outgrowth. The restraint consists of myosin IIB- and IIA-dependent processes: retrograde actin network flow and transverse actin bundling, respectively. The processes differentially contribute on laminin-1 and fibronectin due to selective actin tethering to adhesions. On laminin-1, NGF induced greater vinculin-dependent adhesion–cytoskeletal coupling, which slowed retrograde actin network flow (i.e., it regulated the molecular clutch). On fibronectin, NGF caused inactivation of myosin IIA, which negatively regulated actin bundling. On both substrates, the result was the same: NGF-induced weakening of MII-dependent restraint led to dynamic microtubules entering the actin-rich periphery more frequently, giving rise to faster elongation. PMID:26631553

  6. LINGO-1 antagonist promotes spinal cord remyelination and axonal integrity in MOG-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. (United States)

    Mi, Sha; Hu, Bing; Hahm, Kyungmin; Luo, Yi; Kam Hui, Edward Sai; Yuan, Qiuju; Wong, Wai Man; Wang, Li; Su, Huanxing; Chu, Tak-Ho; Guo, Jiasong; Zhang, Wenming; So, Kwok-Fai; Pepinsky, Blake; Shao, Zhaohui; Graff, Christilyn; Garber, Ellen; Jung, Vincent; Wu, Ed Xuekui; Wu, Wutian


    Demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, are characterized by the loss of the myelin sheath around neurons, owing to inflammation and gliosis in the central nervous system (CNS). Current treatments therefore target anti-inflammatory mechanisms to impede or slow disease progression. The identification of a means to enhance axon myelination would present new therapeutic approaches to inhibit and possibly reverse disease progression. Previously, LRR and Ig domain-containing, Nogo receptor-interacting protein (LINGO-1) has been identified as an in vitro and in vivo negative regulator of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination. Here we show that loss of LINGO-1 function by Lingo1 gene knockout or by treatment with an antibody antagonist of LINGO-1 function leads to functional recovery from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. This is reflected biologically by improved axonal integrity, as confirmed by magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging, and by newly formed myelin sheaths, as determined by electron microscopy. Antagonism of LINGO-1 or its pathway is therefore a promising approach for the treatment of demyelinating diseases of the CNS.

  7. Axonal neuropathy-associated TRPV4 regulates neurotrophic factor-derived axonal growth. (United States)

    Jang, Yongwoo; Jung, Jooyoung; Kim, Hyungsup; Oh, Jungeun; Jeon, Ji Hyun; Jung, Saewoon; Kim, Kyung-Tai; Cho, Hawon; Yang, Dong-Jin; Kim, Sung Min; Kim, In-Beom; Song, Mi-Ryoung; Oh, Uhtaek


    Spinal muscular atrophy and hereditary motor and sensory neuropathies are characterized by muscle weakness and atrophy caused by the degenerations of peripheral motor and sensory nerves. Recent advances in genetics have resulted in the identification of missense mutations in TRPV4 in patients with these hereditary neuropathies. Neurodegeneration caused by Ca(2+) overload due to the gain-of-function mutation of TRPV4 was suggested as the molecular mechanism for the neuropathies. Despite the importance of TRPV4 mutations in causing neuropathies, the precise role of TRPV4 in the sensory/motor neurons is unknown. Here, we report that TRPV4 mediates neurotrophic factor-derived neuritogenesis in developing peripheral neurons. TRPV4 was found to be highly expressed in sensory and spinal motor neurons in early development as well as in the adult, and the overexpression or chemical activation of TRPV4 was found to promote neuritogenesis in sensory neurons as well as PC12 cells, whereas its knockdown and pharmacologic inhibition had the opposite effect. More importantly, nerve growth factor or cAMP treatment up-regulated the expression of phospholipase A(2) and TRPV4. Neurotrophic factor-derived neuritogenesis appears to be regulated by the phospholipase A(2)-mediated TRPV4 pathway. These findings show that TRPV4 mediates neurotrophic factor-induced neuritogenesis in developing peripheral nerves. Because neurotrophic factors are essential for the maintenance of peripheral nerves, these findings suggest that aberrant TRPV4 activity may lead to some types of pathology of sensory and motor nerves.

  8. Axonal damage and loss of connectivity in nigrostriatal and mesolimbic dopamine pathways in early Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Paola Caminiti


    These results suggest that neurodegeneration in the dopamine pathways is initially more prominent in the afferent axons and more severe in the nigrostriatal system. Considering PD as a disconnection syndrome starting from the axons, it would justify neuroprotective interventions even if patients have already manifested clinical symptoms.

  9. Modeling of the axon membrane skeleton structure and implications for its mechanical properties.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yihao Zhang


    Full Text Available Super-resolution microscopy recently revealed that, unlike the soma and dendrites, the axon membrane skeleton is structured as a series of actin rings connected by spectrin filaments that are held under tension. Currently, the structure-function relationship of the axonal structure is unclear. Here, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM to show that the stiffness of the axon plasma membrane is significantly higher than the stiffnesses of dendrites and somata. To examine whether the structure of the axon plasma membrane determines its overall stiffness, we introduced a coarse-grain molecular dynamics model of the axon membrane skeleton that reproduces the structure identified by super-resolution microscopy. Our proposed computational model accurately simulates the median value of the Young's modulus of the axon plasma membrane determined by atomic force microscopy. It also predicts that because the spectrin filaments are under entropic tension, the thermal random motion of the voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav, which are bound to ankyrin particles, a critical axonal protein, is reduced compared to the thermal motion when spectrin filaments are held at equilibrium. Lastly, our model predicts that because spectrin filaments are under tension, any axonal injuries that lacerate spectrin filaments will likely lead to a permanent disruption of the membrane skeleton due to the inability of spectrin filaments to spontaneously form their initial under-tension configuration.

  10. Axon-somatic back-propagation in detailed models of spinal alpha motoneurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietro eBalbi


    Full Text Available Antidromic action potentials following distal stimulation of motor axons occasionally fail to invade the soma of alpha motoneurons in spinal cord, due to their passing through regions of high non-uniformity.Morphologically detailed conductance-based models of cat spinal alpha motoneurons have been developed, with the aim to reproduce and clarify some aspects of the electrophysiological behavior of the antidromic axon-somatic spike propagation. Fourteen 3D morphologically detailed somata and dendrites of cat spinal alpha motoneurons have been imported from an open-access web-based database of neuronal morphologies,, and instantiated in neurocomputational models. An axon hillock, an axonal initial segment and a myelinated axon are added to each model.By sweeping the diameter of the axonal initial segment (AIS and the axon hillock, as well as the maximal conductances of sodium channels at the AIS and at the soma, the developed models are able to show the relationships between different geometric and electrophysiological configurations and the voltage attenuation of the antidromically travelling wave.In particular, a greater than usually admitted sodium conductance at AIS is necessary and sufficient to overcome the dramatic voltage attenuation occurring during antidromic spike propagation both at the myelinated axon-AIS and at the AIS-soma transitions.

  11. Axon-somatic back-propagation in detailed models of spinal alpha motoneurons. (United States)

    Balbi, Pietro; Martinoia, Sergio; Massobrio, Paolo


    Antidromic action potentials following distal stimulation of motor axons occasionally fail to invade the soma of alpha motoneurons in spinal cord, due to their passing through regions of high non-uniformity. Morphologically detailed conductance-based models of cat spinal alpha motoneurons have been developed, with the aim to reproduce and clarify some aspects of the electrophysiological behavior of the antidromic axon-somatic spike propagation. Fourteen 3D morphologically detailed somata and dendrites of cat spinal alpha motoneurons have been imported from an open-access web-based database of neuronal morphologies,, and instantiated in neurocomputational models. An axon hillock, an axonal initial segment and a myelinated axon are added to each model. By sweeping the diameter of the axonal initial segment (AIS) and the axon hillock, as well as the maximal conductances of sodium channels at the AIS and at the soma, the developed models are able to show the relationships between different geometric and electrophysiological configurations and the voltage attenuation of the antidromically traveling wave. In particular, a greater than usually admitted sodium conductance at AIS is necessary and sufficient to overcome the dramatic voltage attenuation occurring during antidromic spike propagation both at the myelinated axon-AIS and at the AIS-soma transitions.

  12. The progeroid gene BubR1 regulates axon myelination and motor function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Choi, C.I.; Yoo, K.H.; Hussaini, S.M.; Jeon, B.T.; Welby, J.; Gan, H.; Scarisbrick, I.A.; Zhang, Z.; Baker, D.J.; Deursen, J.M.A. van; Rodriguez, M.; Jang, M.H.


    Myelination, the process by which oligodendrocytes form the myelin sheath around axons, is key to axonal signal transduction and related motor function in the central nervous system (CNS). Aging is characterized by degenerative changes in the myelin sheath, although the molecular underpinnings of

  13. Expression of an Activated Integrin Promotes Long-Distance Sensory Axon Regeneration in the Spinal Cord.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cheah, Menghon; Andrews, Melissa R; Chew, Daniel J; Moloney, E.; Verhaagen, J.; Fässler, Reinhard; Fawcett, James W


    UNLABELLED: After CNS injury, axon regeneration is blocked by an inhibitory environment consisting of the highly upregulated tenascin-C and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). Tenascin-C promotes growth of axons if they express a tenascin-binding integrin, particularly α9β1. Additionally,

  14. Misdirection and guidance of regenerating axons after experimental nerve injury and repair

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Ruiter, Godard C W; Spinner, Robert J; Verhaagen, J.; Malessy, Martijn J A

    Misdirection of regenerating axons is one of the factors that can explain the limited results often found after nerve injury and repair. In the repair of mixed nerves innervating different distal targets (skin and muscle), misdirection may, for example, lead to motor axons projecting toward skin,

  15. Schwann Cell and Axon: An Interlaced Unit-From Action Potential to Phenotype Expression. (United States)

    Court, Felipe A; Alvarez, Jaime


    Here we propose a model of a peripheral axon with a great deal of autonomy from its cell body-the autonomous axon-but with a substantial dependence on its ensheathing Schwann cell (SC), the axon-SC unit. We review evidence in several fields and show that (i) axons can extend sprouts and grow without the concurrence of the cell body, but regulated by SCs; (ii) axons synthesize their proteins assisted by SCs that supply them with ribosomes and, probably, with mRNAs by way of exosomes; (iii) the molecular organization of the axoplasm, i.e., its phenotype, is regulated by the SC, as illustrated by the axonal microtubular content, which is down-regulated by the SC; and (iv) the axon has a program for self-destruction that is boosted by the SC. The main novelty of this model axon-SC unit is that it breaks with the notion that all proteins of the nerve cell are specified by its own nucleus. The notion of a collaborative specification of the axoplasm by more than one nucleus, which we present here, opens a new dimension in the understanding of the nervous system in health and disease and is also a frame of reference to understand other tissues or cell associations.

  16. A high mitochondrial transport rate characterizes CNS neurons with high axonal regeneration capacity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romain Cartoni

    Full Text Available Improving axonal transport in the injured and diseased central nervous system has been proposed as a promising strategy to improve neuronal repair. However, the contribution of each cargo to the repair mechanism is unknown. DRG neurons globally increase axonal transport during regeneration. Because the transport of specific cargos after axonal insult has not been examined systematically in a model of enhanced regenerative capacity, it is unknown whether the transport of all cargos would be modulated equally in injured central nervous system neurons. Here, using a microfluidic culture system we compared neurons co-deleted for PTEN and SOCS3, an established model of high axonal regeneration capacity, to control neurons. We measured the axonal transport of three cargos (mitochondria, synaptic vesicles and late endosomes in regenerating axons and found that the transport of mitochondria, but not the other cargos, was increased in PTEN/SOCS3 co-deleted axons relative to controls. The results reported here suggest a pivotal role for this organelle during axonal regeneration.

  17. Blast overpressure induced axonal injury changes in rat brainstem and spinal cord

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinivasu Kallakuri


    Full Text Available Introduction: Blast induced neurotrauma has been the signature wound in returning soldiers from the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of importance is understanding the pathomechansim(s of blast overpressure (OP induced axonal injury. Although several recent animal models of blast injury indicate the neuronal and axonal injury in various brain regions, animal studies related to axonal injury in the white matter (WM tracts of cervical spinal cord are limited. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the extent of axonal injury in WM tracts of cervical spinal cord in male Sprague Dawley rats subjected to a single insult of blast OP. Materials and Methods: Sagittal brainstem sections and horizontal cervical spinal cord sections from blast and sham animals were stained by neurofilament light (NF-L chain and beta amyloid precursor protein immunocytochemistry and observed for axonal injury changes. Results: Observations from this preliminary study demonstrate axonal injury changes in the form of prominent swellings, retraction bulbs, and putative signs of membrane disruptions in the brainstem and cervical spinal cord WM tracts of rats subjected to blast OP. Conclusions: Prominent axonal injury changes following the blast OP exposure in brainstem and cervical spinal WM tracts underscores the need for careful evaluation of blast induced injury changes and associated symptoms. NF-L immunocytochemistry can be considered as an additional tool to assess the blast OP induced axonal injury.

  18. NF-Protocadherin Regulates Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Behaviour in the Developing Visual System.

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    Louis C Leung

    Full Text Available Cell adhesion molecules play a central role in mediating axonal tract development within the nascent nervous system. NF-protocadherin (NFPC, a member of the non-clustered protocadherin family, has been shown to regulate retinal ganglion cell (RGC axon and dendrite initiation, as well as influencing axonal navigation within the mid-optic tract. However, whether NFPC mediates RGC axonal behaviour at other positions within the optic pathway remains unclear. Here we report that NFPC plays an important role in RGC axonogenesis, but not in intraretinal guidance. Moreover, axons with reduced NFPC levels exhibit insensitivity to Netrin-1, an attractive guidance cue expressed at the optic nerve head. Netrin-1 induces rapid turnover of NFPC localized to RGC growth cones, suggesting that the regulation of NFPC protein levels may underlie Netrin-1-mediated entry of RGC axons into the optic nerve head. At the tectum, we further reveal a function for NFPC in controlling RGC axonal entry into the final target area. Collectively, our results expand our understanding of the role of NFPC in RGC guidance and illustrate that this adhesion molecule contributes to axon behaviour at multiple points in the optic pathway.

  19. The Kinesin Adaptor Calsyntenin-1 Organizes Microtubule Polarity and Regulates Dynamics during Sensory Axon Arbor Development

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    Mary C. Halloran


    Full Text Available Axon growth and branching, and development of neuronal polarity are critically dependent on proper organization and dynamics of the microtubule (MT cytoskeleton. MTs must organize with correct polarity for delivery of diverse cargos to appropriate subcellular locations, yet the molecular mechanisms regulating MT polarity remain poorly understood. Moreover, how an actively branching axon reorganizes MTs to direct their plus ends distally at branch points is unknown. We used high-speed, in vivo imaging of polymerizing MT plus ends to characterize MT dynamics in developing sensory axon arbors in zebrafish embryos. We find that axonal MTs are highly dynamic throughout development, and that the peripheral and central axons of sensory neurons show differences in MT behaviors. Furthermore, we show that Calsyntenin-1 (Clstn-1, a kinesin adaptor required for sensory axon branching, also regulates MT polarity in developing axon arbors. In wild type neurons the vast majority of MTs are directed in the correct plus-end-distal orientation from early stages of development. Loss of Clstn-1 causes an increase in MTs polymerizing in the retrograde direction. These misoriented MTs most often are found near growth cones and branch points, suggesting Clstn-1 is particularly important for organizing MT polarity at these locations. Together, our results suggest that Clstn-1, in addition to regulating kinesin-mediated cargo transport, also organizes the underlying MT highway during axon arbor development.

  20. Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic-nucleotide-gated channels potentially modulate axonal excitability at different thresholds. (United States)

    Weerasinghe, Dinushi; Menon, Parvathi; Vucic, Steve


    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic-nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels mediate differences in sensory and motor axonal excitability at different thresholds in animal models. Importantly, HCN channels are responsible for voltage-gated inward rectifying (Ih) currents activated during hyperpolarization. The Ih currents exert a crucial role in determining the resting membrane potential and have been implicated in a variety of neurological disorders, including neuropathic pain. In humans, differences in biophysical properties of motor and sensory axons at different thresholds remain to be elucidated and could provide crucial pathophysiological insights in peripheral neurological diseases. Consequently, the aim of this study was to characterize sensory and motor axonal function at different threshold. Median nerve motor and sensory axonal excitability studies were undertaken in 15 healthy subjects (45 studies in total). Tracking targets were set to 20, 40, and 60% of maximum for sensory and motor axons. Hyperpolarizing threshold electrotonus (TEh) at 90-100 ms was significantly increased in lower threshold sensory axons times (F = 11.195, P sensory axons. In conclusion, variation in the kinetics of HCN isoforms could account for the findings in motor and sensory axons. Importantly, assessing the function of HCN channels in sensory and motor axons of different thresholds may provide insights into the pathophysiological processes underlying peripheral neurological diseases in humans, particularly focusing on the role of HCN channels with the potential of identifying novel treatment targets.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic-nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, which underlie inward rectifying currents (Ih), appear to mediate differences in sensory and motor axonal properties. Inward rectifying currents are increased in lower threshold motor and sensory axons, although different HCN channel isoforms appear to underlie these changes. While faster activating HCN

  1. Transfer of Vesicles From Schwann Cells to Axons: a Novel Mechanism of Communication in the Peripheral Nervous System (United States)

    Lopez-Verrilli, M. Alejandra; Court, Felipe A.


    Schwann cells (SCs) are the glial component of the peripheral nervous system, with essential roles during development and maintenance of axons, as well as during regenerative processes after nerve injury. SCs increase conduction velocities by myelinating axons, regulate synaptic activity at presynaptic nerve terminals and are a source of trophic factors to neurons. Thus, development and maintenance of peripheral nerves are crucially dependent on local signaling between SCs and axons. In addition to the classic mechanisms of intercellular signaling, the possibility of communication through secreted vesicles has been poorly explored to date. Interesting recent findings suggest the occurrence of lateral transfer mediated by vesicles from glial cells to axons that could have important roles in axonal growth and axonal regeneration. Here, we review the role of vesicular transfer from SCs to axons and propose the advantages of this means in supporting neuronal and axonal maintenance and regeneration after nerve damage. PMID:22707941

  2. Transfer of vesicles from Schwann cell to axon: a novel mechanism of communication in the peripheral nervous system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Alejandra eLopez-Verrilli


    Full Text Available Schwann cells (SCs are the glial component of the peripheral nervous system, with essential roles during development and maintenance of axons, as well as during regenerative processes after nerve injury. SCs increase conduction velocities by myelinating axons, regulate synaptic activity at presynaptic nerve terminals and are a source of trophic factors to neurons. Thus, development and maintenance of peripheral nerves are crucially dependent on local signalling between SCs and axons. In addition to the classic mechanisms of intercellular signalling, the possibility of communication through secreted vesicles has been poorly explored to date. Interesting recent findings suggest the occurrence of lateral transfer mediated by vesicles from glial cells to axons that could have important roles in axonal growth and axonal regeneration. Here, we review the role of vesicular transfer from SCs to axons and propose the benefits of this means in supporting neuronal and axonal maintenance and regeneration after nerve damage.

  3. BmRobo2/3 is required for axon guidance in the silkworm Bombyx mori. (United States)

    Li, Xiao-Tong; Yu, Qi; Zhou, Qi-Sheng; Zhao, Xiao; Liu, Zhao-Yang; Cui, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Qing-Xin


    Axon guidance is critical for proper wiring of the nervous system. During the neural development, the axon guidance molecules play a key role and direct axons to choose the correct way to reach the target. Robo, as the receptor of axon guidance molecule Slit, is evolutionarily conserved from planarians to humans. However, the function of Robo in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, remained unknown. In this study, we cloned robo2/3 from B. mori (Bmrobo2/3), a homologue of robo2/3 in Tribolium castaneum. Moreover, BmRobo2/3 was localized in the neuropil, and RNAi-mediated knockdown of Bmrobo2/3 resulted in the longitudinal connectives forming closer to the midline. These data demonstrate that BmRobo2/3 is required for axon guidance in the silkworm. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Nuclear-Encoded Mitochondrial mRNAs: A Powerful Force in Axonal Growth and Development. (United States)

    Gale, Jenna R; Aschrafi, Armaz; Gioio, Anthony E; Kaplan, Barry B


    Axons, their growth cones, and synaptic nerve terminals are neuronal subcompartments that have high energetic needs. As such, they are enriched in mitochondria, which supply the ATP necessary to meet these demands. To date, a heterogeneous population of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs has been identified in distal axons and growth cones. Accumulating evidence suggests that the local translation of these mRNAs is required for mitochondrial maintenance and axonal viability. Here, we review evidence that suggests a critical role for axonal translation of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs in axonal growth and development. Additionally, we explore the role that site-specific translation at the mitochondria itself may play in this process. Finally, we briefly review the clinical implications of dysregulation of local translation of mitochondrial-related mRNAs in neurodevelopmental disorders.

  5. Regulation of axon guidance by compartmentalized nonsense-mediated mRNA decay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Colak, Dilek; Ji, Sheng-Jian; Porse, Bo T


    Growth cones enable axons to navigate toward their targets by responding to extracellular signaling molecules. Growth-cone responses are mediated in part by the local translation of axonal messenger RNAs (mRNAs). However, the mechanisms that regulate local translation are poorly understood. Here we...... (NMD) pathway. We find that NMD regulates Robo3.2 synthesis by inducing the degradation of Robo3.2 transcripts in axons that encounter the floor plate. Commissural neurons deficient in NMD proteins exhibit aberrant axonal trajectories after crossing the midline, consistent with misregulation of Robo3.......2 expression. These data show that local translation is regulated by mRNA stability and that NMD acts locally to influence axonal pathfinding....

  6. Ndel1-derived peptides modulate bidirectional transport of injected beads in the squid giant axon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Segal


    Bidirectional transport is a key issue in cellular biology. It requires coordination between microtubule-associated molecular motors that work in opposing directions. The major retrograde and anterograde motors involved in bidirectional transport are cytoplasmic dynein and conventional kinesin, respectively. It is clear that failures in molecular motor activity bear severe consequences, especially in the nervous system. Neuronal migration may be impaired during brain development, and impaired molecular motor activity in the adult is one of the hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases leading to neuronal cell death. The mechanisms that regulate or coordinate kinesin and dynein activity to generate bidirectional transport of the same cargo are of utmost importance. We examined how Ndel1, a cytoplasmic dynein binding protein, may regulate non-vesicular bidirectional transport. Soluble Ndel1 protein, Ndel1-derived peptides or control proteins were mixed with fluorescent beads, injected into the squid giant axon, and the bead movements were recorded using time-lapse microscopy. Automated tracking allowed for extraction and unbiased analysis of a large data set. Beads moved in both directions with a clear bias to the anterograde direction. Velocities were distributed over a broad range and were typically slower than those associated with fast vesicle transport. Ironically, the main effect of Ndel1 and its derived peptides was an enhancement of anterograde motion. We propose that they may function primarily by inhibition of dynein-dependent resistance, which suggests that both dynein and kinesin motors may remain engaged with microtubules during bidirectional transport.

  7. Effect of sea anemone toxins on the sodium inactivation process in crayfish axons (United States)


    The effect of sea anemone toxins from Parasicyonis actinostoloides and Anemonia sulcata on the Na conductance in crayfish giant axons was studied under voltage-clamp conditions. The toxin slowed the Na inactivation process without changing the kinetics of Na activation or K activation in an early stage of the toxin effect. An analysis of the Na current profile during the toxin treatment suggested an all-or-none modification of individual Na channels. Toxin-modified Na channels were partially inactivated with a slower time course than that of the normal inactivation. This slow inactivation in steady state decreased in its extent as the membrane was depolarized to above -45 mV, so that practically no inactivation occurred at the membrane potentials as high as +50 mV. In addition to inhibition of the normal Na inactivation, prolonged toxin treatment induced an anomalous closing in a certain population of Na channels, indicated by very slow components of the Na tail current. The observed kinetic natures of toxin-modified Na channels were interpreted based on a simple scheme which comprised interconversions between functional states of Na channels. The voltage dependence of Parasicyonis toxin action, in which depolarization caused a suppression in development of the toxin effect, was also investigated. PMID:6132957

  8. Nebula/DSCR1 upregulation delays neurodegeneration and protects against APP-induced axonal transport defects by restoring calcineurin and GSK-3β signaling.

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    Jillian L Shaw

    Full Text Available Post-mortem brains from Down syndrome (DS and Alzheimer's disease (AD patients show an upregulation of the Down syndrome critical region 1 protein (DSCR1, but its contribution to AD is not known. To gain insights into the role of DSCR1 in AD, we explored the functional interaction between DSCR1 and the amyloid precursor protein (APP, which is known to cause AD when duplicated or upregulated in DS. We find that the Drosophila homolog of DSCR1, Nebula, delays neurodegeneration and ameliorates axonal transport defects caused by APP overexpression. Live-imaging reveals that Nebula facilitates the transport of synaptic proteins and mitochondria affected by APP upregulation. Furthermore, we show that Nebula upregulation protects against axonal transport defects by restoring calcineurin and GSK-3β signaling altered by APP overexpression, thereby preserving cargo-motor interactions. As impaired transport of essential organelles caused by APP perturbation is thought to be an underlying cause of synaptic failure and neurodegeneration in AD, our findings imply that correcting calcineurin and GSK-3β signaling can prevent APP-induced pathologies. Our data further suggest that upregulation of Nebula/DSCR1 is neuroprotective in the presence of APP upregulation and provides evidence for calcineurin inhibition as a novel target for therapeutic intervention in preventing axonal transport impairments associated with AD.

  9. Nebula/DSCR1 upregulation delays neurodegeneration and protects against APP-induced axonal transport defects by restoring calcineurin and GSK-3β signaling. (United States)

    Shaw, Jillian L; Chang, Karen T


    Post-mortem brains from Down syndrome (DS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients show an upregulation of the Down syndrome critical region 1 protein (DSCR1), but its contribution to AD is not known. To gain insights into the role of DSCR1 in AD, we explored the functional interaction between DSCR1 and the amyloid precursor protein (APP), which is known to cause AD when duplicated or upregulated in DS. We find that the Drosophila homolog of DSCR1, Nebula, delays neurodegeneration and ameliorates axonal transport defects caused by APP overexpression. Live-imaging reveals that Nebula facilitates the transport of synaptic proteins and mitochondria affected by APP upregulation. Furthermore, we show that Nebula upregulation protects against axonal transport defects by restoring calcineurin and GSK-3β signaling altered by APP overexpression, thereby preserving cargo-motor interactions. As impaired transport of essential organelles caused by APP perturbation is thought to be an underlying cause of synaptic failure and neurodegeneration in AD, our findings imply that correcting calcineurin and GSK-3β signaling can prevent APP-induced pathologies. Our data further suggest that upregulation of Nebula/DSCR1 is neuroprotective in the presence of APP upregulation and provides evidence for calcineurin inhibition as a novel target for therapeutic intervention in preventing axonal transport impairments associated with AD.

  10. Modeling Axonal Defects in Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia with Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (United States)

    Denton, Kyle R.; Xu, Chongchong; Shah, Harsh; Li, Xue-Jun


    BACKGROUND Cortical motor neurons, also known as upper motor neurons, are large projection neurons whose axons convey signals to lower motor neurons to control the muscle movements. Degeneration of cortical motor neuron axons is implicated in several debilitating disorders, including hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Since the discovery of the first HSP gene, SPAST that encodes spastin, over 70 distinct genetic loci associated with HSP have been identified. How the mutations of these functionally diverse genes result in axonal degeneration and why certain axons are affected in HSP remains largely unknown. The development of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology has provided researchers an excellent resource to generate patient-specific human neurons to model human neuropathologic processes including axonal defects. METHODS In this article, we will frst review the pathology and pathways affected in the common forms of HSP subtypes by searching the PubMed database. We will then summurize the findings and insights gained from studies using iPSC-based models, and discuss the challenges and future directions. RESULTS HSPs, a heterogeneous group of genetic neurodegenerative disorders, are characterized by lower extremity weakness and spasticity that result from retrograde axonal degeneration of cortical motor neurons. Recently, iPSCs have been generated from several common forms of HSP including SPG4, SPG3A, and SPG11 patients. Neurons derived from HSP iPSCs exhibit disease-relevant axonal defects, such as impaired neurite outgrowth, increased axonal swellings, and reduced axonal transport. CONCLUSION These patient-derived neurons offer unique tools to study the pathogenic mechanisms and explore the treatments for rescuing axonal defects in HSP, as well as other diseases involving axonopathy. PMID:27956894

  11. Dorsal column sensory axons degenerate due to impaired microvascular perfusion after spinal cord injury in rats (United States)

    Muradov, Johongir M.; Ewan, Eric E.; Hagg, Theo


    The mechanisms contributing to axon loss after spinal cord injury (SCI) are largely unknown but may involve microvascular loss as we have previously suggested. Here, we used a mild contusive injury (120 kdyn IH impactor) at T9 in rats focusing on ascending primary sensory dorsal column axons, anterogradely traced from the sciatic nerves. The injury caused a rapid and progressive loss of dorsal column microvasculature and oligodendrocytes at the injury site and penumbra and a ~70% loss of the sensory axons, by 24 hours. To model the microvascular loss, focal ischemia of the T9 dorsal columns was achieved via phototoxic activation of intravenously injected rose bengal. This caused an ~53% loss of sensory axons and an ~80% loss of dorsal column oligodendrocytes by 24 hours. Axon loss correlated with the extent and axial length of microvessel and oligodendrocyte loss along the dorsal column. To determine if oligodendrocyte loss contributes to axon loss, the glial toxin ethidium bromide (EB; 0.3 µg/µl) was microinjected into the T9 dorsal columns, and resulted in an ~88% loss of dorsal column oligodendrocytes and an ~56% loss of sensory axons after 72 hours. EB also caused an ~72% loss of microvessels. Lower concentrations of EB resulted in less axon, oligodendrocyte and microvessel loss, which were highly correlated (R2 = 0.81). These data suggest that focal spinal cord ischemia causes both oligodendrocyte and axon degeneration, which are perhaps linked. Importantly, they highlight the need of limiting the penumbral spread of ischemia and oligodendrocyte loss after SCI in order to protect axons. PMID:23978615

  12. Axonal regeneration through the fibrous scar in lesioned goldfish spinal cord. (United States)

    Takeda, A; Atobe, Y; Kadota, T; Goris, R C; Funakoshi, K


    Spontaneous nerve regeneration beyond the scar frequently occurs in fish after spinal cord lesions, in contrast to mammals. Here we examined the spatiotemporal relationship between the fibrous scar and axonal regeneration in the goldfish. Within 1 week after hemisection of the spinal cord, the open wound was closed by a fibrous scar that was demarcated from the surrounding nervous tissue by the glia limitans, which was immunoreactive for laminin. Within 1 week after hemisection, regenerating axons entered the fibrous scar, and were surrounded by laminin-coated tubular structures continuous with the glia limitans. Regenerating axons that initially entered the fibrous scar were usually accompanied by glial processes. Within 2-3 weeks after hemisection, the tubular structures became enlarged, and the regenerating axons increased in number, fasciculating in the tubules. Glial processes immunoreactive for glial fibrillary acid protein and 5-hydroxytryptamine neurons then entered the tubular structures to associate with the regenerating axons. The tubular structures developed further, creating tunnels that penetrated the fibrous scar, through which the regenerating axons passed. At 6-12 weeks after hemisection, the fibrous scar was smaller and the enlarged tunnels contained many glial processes and several axons. The findings of present study demonstrated that, following spinal lesions in goldfish, regenerating axons enter and pass the scar tissue. The regenerating axons first enter the fibrous scar with glial elements and then grow through laminin-coated tubular structures within the fibrous scar. Invasion by glial processes and neuronal elements into the tubular structures reduces the fibrous scar area and allows for more regenerating axons to pass beyond the fibrous scar. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Myelin sheath decompaction, axon swelling, and functional loss during chronic secondary degeneration in rat optic nerve. (United States)

    Payne, Sophie C; Bartlett, Carole A; Harvey, Alan R; Dunlop, Sarah A; Fitzgerald, Melinda


    To examine chronic changes occurring at 6 months following partial optic nerve (ON) transection, assessing optic axons, myelin, and visual function. Dorsal ON axons were transected, leaving ventral optic axons vulnerable to secondary degeneration. At 3 and 6 months following partial transection, toluidine-blue stained sections were used to assess dimensions of the ON injury site. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of ventral ON were used to quantify numbers, diameter, area, and myelin thickness of optic axons. Immunohistochemistry and fluoromyelin staining were used to assess semiquantitatively myelin protein, lipids in ventral ON, and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in midventral retina. Visuomotor function was assessed using optokinetic nystagmus. Following partial ON transection, optic axons and function remained disrupted at 6 months. Although ventral ON swelling observed at 3 months (P ≤ 0.05) receded to normal by 6 months, ultrastructurally, myelinated axons remained swollen (P ≥ 0.05), and myelin thickness increased (P ≤ 0.05) due to loosening of lamellae and an increase in the number of intraperiodic lines. Axons with decompacted myelin persisted and were distinguished as having large axonal calibers and thicker myelin sheaths. Nevertheless, progressive loss of myelin lipid staining with fluoromyelin was seen at 6 months. Despite no further loss of ventral optic axons between 3 and 6 months (P ≥ 0.05), visuomotor function progressively declined at 6 months following partial transection (P ≤ 0.05). Continued decompaction of myelin, altered myelin structure, and swelling of myelinated axons are persistent features of the chronic phases of secondary degeneration and likely contribute to progressive loss of visual function.

  14. Modelling the Effects of Electrical Coupling between Unmyelinated Axons of Brainstem Neurons Controlling Rhythmic Activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Hull


    Full Text Available Gap junctions between fine unmyelinated axons can electrically couple groups of brain neurons to synchronise firing and contribute to rhythmic activity. To explore the distribution and significance of electrical coupling, we modelled a well analysed, small population of brainstem neurons which drive swimming in young frog tadpoles. A passive network of 30 multicompartmental neurons with unmyelinated axons was used to infer that: axon-axon gap junctions close to the soma gave the best match to experimentally measured coupling coefficients; axon diameter had a strong influence on coupling; most neurons were coupled indirectly via the axons of other neurons. When active channels were added, gap junctions could make action potential propagation along the thin axons unreliable. Increased sodium and decreased potassium channel densities in the initial axon segment improved action potential propagation. Modelling suggested that the single spike firing to step current injection observed in whole-cell recordings is not a cellular property but a dynamic consequence of shunting resulting from electrical coupling. Without electrical coupling, firing of the population during depolarising current was unsynchronised; with coupling, the population showed synchronous recruitment and rhythmic firing. When activated instead by increasing levels of modelled sensory pathway input, the population without electrical coupling was recruited incrementally to unpatterned activity. However, when coupled, the population was recruited all-or-none at threshold into a rhythmic swimming pattern: the tadpole "decided" to swim. Modelling emphasises uncertainties about fine unmyelinated axon physiology but, when informed by biological data, makes general predictions about gap junctions: locations close to the soma; relatively small numbers; many indirect connections between neurons; cause of action potential propagation failure in fine axons; misleading alteration of intrinsic

  15. Functional distinction between NGF-mediated plasticity and regeneration of nociceptive axons within the spinal cord. (United States)

    Lin, C-L; Heron, P; Hamann, S R; Smith, G M


    Successful regeneration after injury requires either the direct reformation of the circuit or the formation of a bridge circuit to provide partial functional return through a more indirect route. Presently, little is known about the specificity of how regenerating axons reconnect or reconstruct functional circuits. We have established an in vivo Dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) model, which in the presence of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), shows very robust regeneration of peptidergic nociceptive axons, but not other sensory axons. Expression of NGF in normal, non-injured animals leads to robust sprouting of only the peptidergic nociceptive axons. Interestingly, NGF-induced sprouting of these axons leads to severe chronic pain, whereas, regeneration leads to protective-like pain without chronic pain. Using this model we set out to compare differences in behavioral outcomes and circuit features between these two groups. In this study, we examined pre-synaptic and post-synaptic markers to evaluate the relationship between synaptic connections and behavioral responses. NGF-induced sprouting of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) axons resulted in a significant redistribution of synapses and cFos expression into the deeper dorsal horn. Regeneration of only the CGRP axons showed a general reduction in synapses and cFos expression within laminae I and II; however, inflammation of the hindpaw induced peripheral sensitization. These data show that although NGF-induced sprouting of peptidergic axons induces robust chronic pain and cFos expression throughout the entire dorsal horn, regeneration of the same axons resulted in normal protective pain with a synaptic and cFos distribution similar, albeit significantly less than that shown by the sprouting of CGRP axons. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Dendritic branch intersections are structurally regulated targets for efficient axonal wiring and synaptic clustering.

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    Monika Pinchas

    Full Text Available Synaptic clustering on dendritic branches enhances plasticity, input integration and neuronal firing. However, the mechanisms guiding axons to cluster synapses at appropriate sites along dendritic branches are poorly understood. We searched for such a mechanism by investigating the structural overlap between dendritic branches and axons in a simplified model of neuronal networks--the hippocampal cell culture. Using newly developed software, we converted images of meshes of overlapping axonal and dendrites into topological maps of intersections, enabling quantitative study of overlapping neuritic geometry at the resolution of single dendritic branch-to-branch and axon-to-branch crossings. Among dendro-dendritic crossing configurations, it was revealed that the orientations through which dendritic branches cross is a regulated attribute. While crossing angle distribution among branches thinner than 1 µm appeared to be random, dendritic branches 1 µm or wider showed a preference for crossing each other at angle ranges of either 50°-70° or 80°-90°. It was then found that the dendro-dendritic crossings themselves, as well as their selective angles, both affected the path of axonal growth. Axons displayed 4 fold stronger tendency to traverse within 2 µm of dendro-dendritic intersections than at farther distances, probably to minimize wiring length. Moreover, almost 70% of the 50°-70° dendro-denritic crossings were traversed by axons from the obtuse angle's zone, whereas only 15% traversed through the acute angle's zone. By contrast, axons showed no orientation restriction when traversing 80°-90° crossings. When such traverse behavior was repeated by many axons, they converged in the vicinity of dendro-dendritic intersections, thereby clustering their synaptic connections. Thus, the vicinity of dendritic branch-to-branch crossings appears to be a regulated structure used by axons as a target for efficient wiring and as a preferred site for

  17. Sonic Hedgehog Guides Axons via Zipcode Binding Protein 1-Mediated Local Translation. (United States)

    Lepelletier, Léa; Langlois, Sébastien D; Kent, Christopher B; Welshhans, Kristy; Morin, Steves; Bassell, Gary J; Yam, Patricia T; Charron, Frédéric


    Sonic hedgehog (Shh) attracts spinal cord commissural axons toward the floorplate. How Shh elicits changes in the growth cone cytoskeleton that drive growth cone turning is unknown. We find that the turning of rat commissural axons up a Shh gradient requires protein synthesis. In particular, Shh stimulation increases β-actin protein at the growth cone even when the cell bodies have been removed. Therefore, Shh induces the local translation of β-actin at the growth cone. We hypothesized that this requires zipcode binding protein 1 (ZBP1), an mRNA-binding protein that transports β-actin mRNA and releases it for local translation upon phosphorylation. We found that Shh stimulation increases phospho-ZBP1 levels in the growth cone. Disruption of ZBP1 phosphorylation in vitro abolished the turning of commissural axons toward a Shh gradient. Disruption of ZBP1 function in vivo in mouse and chick resulted in commissural axon guidance errors. Therefore, ZBP1 is required for Shh to guide commissural axons. This identifies ZBP1 as a new mediator of noncanonical Shh signaling in axon guidance.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sonic hedgehog (Shh) guides axons via a noncanonical signaling pathway that is distinct from the canonical Hedgehog signaling pathway that specifies cell fate and morphogenesis. Axon guidance is driven by changes in the growth cone in response to gradients of guidance molecules. Little is known about the molecular mechanism of how Shh orchestrates changes in the growth cone cytoskeleton that are required for growth cone turning. Here, we show that the guidance of axons by Shh requires protein synthesis. Zipcode binding protein 1 (ZBP1) is an mRNA-binding protein that regulates the local translation of proteins, including actin, in the growth cone. We demonstrate that ZBP1 is required for Shh-mediated axon guidance, identifying a new member of the noncanonical Shh signaling pathway. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/371685-11$15.00/0.

  18. Localized IRES-dependent translation of ER chaperone protein mRNA in sensory axons.

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    Almudena Pacheco

    Full Text Available Transport of neuronal mRNAs into distal nerve terminals and growth cones allows axonal processes to generate proteins autonomous from the cell body. While the mechanisms for targeting mRNAs for transport into axons has received much attention, how specificity is provided to the localized translational apparatus remains largely unknown. In other cellular systems, protein synthesis can be regulated by both cap-dependent and cap-independent mechanisms. The possibility that these mechanisms are used by axons has not been tested. Here, we have used expression constructs encoding axonally targeted bicistronic reporter mRNAs to determine if sensory axons can translate mRNAs through cap-independent mechanisms. Our data show that the well-defined IRES element of encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV can drive internal translational initiation of a bicistronic reporter mRNA in distal DRG axons. To test the potential for cap-independent translation of cellular mRNAs, we asked if calreticulin or grp78/BiP mRNA 5'UTRs might have IRES activity in axons. Only grp78/BiP mRNA 5'UTR showed clear IRES activity in axons when placed between the open reading frames of diffusion limited fluorescent reporters. Indeed, calreticulin's 5'UTR provided an excellent control for potential read through by ribosomes, since there was no evidence of internal initiation when this UTR was placed between reporter ORFs in a bicistronic mRNA. This study shows that axons have the capacity to translate through internal ribosome entry sites, but a simple binary choice between cap-dependent and cap-independent translation cannot explain the specificity for translation of individual mRNAs in distal axons.

  19. Sodium Channel Nav1.8 Underlies TTX-Resistant Axonal Action Potential Conduction in Somatosensory C-Fibers of Distal Cutaneous Nerves. (United States)

    Klein, Amanda H; Vyshnevska, Alina; Hartke, Timothy V; De Col, Roberto; Mankowski, Joseph L; Turnquist, Brian; Bosmans, Frank; Reeh, Peter W; Schmelz, Martin; Carr, Richard W; Ringkamp, Matthias


    Voltage-gated sodium (Na V ) channels are responsible for the initiation and conduction of action potentials within primary afferents. The nine Na V channel isoforms recognized in mammals are often functionally divided into tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive (TTX-s) channels (Na V 1.1-Na V 1.4, Na V 1.6-Na V 1.7) that are blocked by nanomolar concentrations and TTX-resistant (TTX-r) channels (Na V 1.8 and Na V 1.9) inhibited by millimolar concentrations, with Na V 1.5 having an intermediate toxin sensitivity. For small-diameter primary afferent neurons, it is unclear to what extent different Na V channel isoforms are distributed along the peripheral and central branches of their bifurcated axons. To determine the relative contribution of TTX-s and TTX-r channels to action potential conduction in different axonal compartments, we investigated the effects of TTX on C-fiber-mediated compound action potentials (C-CAPs) of proximal and distal peripheral nerve segments and dorsal roots from mice and pigtail monkeys ( Macaca nemestrina ). In the dorsal roots and proximal peripheral nerves of mice and nonhuman primates, TTX reduced the C-CAP amplitude to 16% of the baseline. In contrast, >30% of the C-CAP was resistant to TTX in distal peripheral branches of monkeys and WT and Na V 1.9 -/- mice. In nerves from Na V 1.8 -/- mice, TTX-r C-CAPs could not be detected. These data indicate that Na V 1.8 is the primary isoform underlying TTX-r conduction in distal axons of somatosensory C-fibers. Furthermore, there is a differential spatial distribution of Na V 1.8 within C-fiber axons, being functionally more prominent in the most distal axons and terminal regions. The enrichment of Na V 1.8 in distal axons may provide a useful target in the treatment of pain of peripheral origin. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT It is unclear whether individual sodium channel isoforms exert differential roles in action potential conduction along the axonal membrane of nociceptive, unmyelinated peripheral nerve

  20. Acute disturbance of calcium homeostasis in PC12 cells as a novel mechanism of action for (sub)micromolar concentrations of organophosphate insecticides. (United States)

    Meijer, Marieke; Hamers, Timo; Westerink, Remco H S


    Organophosphates (OPs) and carbamates are widely used insecticides that exert their neurotoxicity via inhibition of acetylcholine esterase (AChE) and subsequent overexcitation. OPs can induce additional neurotoxic effects at concentrations below those for inhibition of AChE, indicating other mechanisms of action are also involved. Since tight regulation of the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) is essential for proper neuronal development and function, effects of one carbamate (carbaryl) and two OPs (chlorpyrifos, parathion-ethyl) as well as their -oxon metabolites on [Ca(2+)]i were investigated. Effects of acute (20min) exposure to (mixtures of) insecticides on basal and depolarization-evoked [Ca(2+)]i were measured in fura-2-loaded PC12 cells using single-cell fluorescence microscopy. Acute exposure to chlorpyrifos and its metabolite chlorpyrifos-oxon (10μM) induced a modest increase in basal [Ca(2+)]i. More importantly, the tested OPs concentration-dependently inhibited depolarization-evoked [Ca(2+)]i. Chlorpyrifos already induced a ∼30% inhibition at 0.1μM and a 100% inhibition at 10μM (IC50=0.43μM), whereas parathion-ethyl inhibited the depolarization-evoked [Ca(2+)]i increase with ∼70% at 10μM. Interestingly, -oxon metabolites were more potent inhibitors of AChE, but were less potent inhibitors of depolarization-evoked [Ca(2+)]i compared to their parent compound (chlorpyrifos-oxon) or were even without effect (paraoxon-ethyl and -methyl). Similarly, acute exposure to carbaryl had no effect on [Ca(2+)]i. Exposure to mixtures of chlorpyrifos with its oxon-analog or with parathion-ethyl did not increase the degree of inhibition, indicating additivity does not apply. These data demonstrate that concentration-dependent inhibition of depolarization-evoked [Ca(2+)]i is a novel mechanism of action of (sub)micromolar concentrations of OPs that could partly underlie OP-induced neurotoxicity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Reversible Axonal Dystrophy by Calcium Modulation in Frataxin-Deficient Sensory Neurons of YG8R Mice

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    Belén Mollá


    Full Text Available Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA is a peripheral neuropathy involving a loss of proprioceptive sensory neurons. Studies of biopsies from patients suggest that axonal dysfunction precedes the death of proprioceptive neurons in a dying-back process. We observed that the deficiency of frataxin in sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia (DRG of the YG8R mouse model causes the formation of axonal spheroids which retain dysfunctional mitochondria, shows alterations in the cytoskeleton and it produces impairment of axonal transport and autophagic flux. The homogenous distribution of axonal spheroids along the neurites supports the existence of continues focal damages. This lead us to propose for FRDA a model of distal axonopathy based on axonal focal damages. In addition, we observed the involvement of oxidative stress and dyshomeostasis of calcium in axonal spheroid formation generating axonal injury as a primary cause of pathophysiology. Axonal spheroids may be a consequence of calcium imbalance, thus we propose the quenching or removal extracellular Ca2+ to prevent spheroids formation. In our neuronal model, treatments with BAPTA and o-phenanthroline reverted the axonal dystrophy and the mitochondrial dysmorphic parameters. These results support the hypothesis that axonal pathology is reversible in FRDA by pharmacological manipulation of intracellular Ca2+ with Ca2+ chelators or metalloprotease inhibitors, preventing Ca2+-mediated axonal injury. Thus, the modulation of Ca2+ levels may be a relevant therapeutic target to develop early axonal protection and prevent dying-back neurodegeneration.

  2. Improved automatic centerline tracing for dendritic and axonal structures. (United States)

    Jiménez, David; Labate, Demetrio; Kakadiaris, Ioannis A; Papadakis, Manos


    Centerline tracing in dendritic structures acquired from confocal images of neurons is an essential tool for the construction of geometrical representations of a neuronal network from its coarse scale up to its fine scale structures. In this paper, we propose an algorithm for centerline extraction that is both highly accurate and computationally efficient. The main novelties of the proposed method are (1) the use of a small set of Multiscale Isotropic Laplacian filters, acting as self-steerable filters, for a quick and efficient binary segmentation of dendritic arbors and axons; (2) an automated centerline seed points detection method based on the application of a simple 3D finite-length filter. The performance of this algorithm, which is validated on data from the DIADEM set appears to be very competitive when compared with other state-of-the-art algorithms.

  3. Structure of Cytoskeletal Supramolecular Assemblies in the Nerve Cell Axon (United States)

    Ojeda-López, Miguel A.; Case, Ryan; Miller, Herb P.; Wilson, Leslie; Safinya, Cyrus R.


    The cytoskeleton of eucaryotic cells is an intricate network of supramolecular assemblies of protein filaments, e.g., actin, intermediate filaments (IFs), tubulin, and a multi-associated family of cross-linking proteins. Most of its multiple functions rely on its structural stability, which depends on a variety of specific interactions of the subunit proteins and its local physico-chemical environment. In neurodegenerative diseases the cytoskeletal supramolecular structure is almost universally altered. Preliminary results on the supramolecular structure of cytoskeletal filaments in isolated axons from bovine white matter will be presented as obtained using synchrotron small angle x-ray diffraction. These results will be compared to our ongoing cell-free studies on the structures formed by neurofilaments in vitro. Supported by NIH GM59288, NSF-DMR-9972246, and University of California Biotechnology Grant 99-14 & UC.

  4. Mechanisms of hyperpolarization in regenerated mature motor axons in cat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Krarup, Christian


    We found persistent abnormalities in the recovery of membrane excitability in long-term regenerated motor nerve fibres in the cat as indicated in the companion paper. These abnormalities could partly be explained by membrane hyperpolarization. To further investigate this possibility, we compared...... the changes in excitability in control nerves and long-term regenerated cat nerves (3-5 years after tibial nerve crush) during manoeuvres known to alter axonal membrane Na(+)-K(+) pump function: polarization, cooling to 20 degrees C, reperfusion after 10 min ischaemia, and up to 60 s of repetitive stimulation...... at 200 Hz. The abnormalities in excitability of regenerated nerves were reduced by depolarization and cooling and increased by hyperpolarization and during postischaemia. Moreover, the time course of recovery of excitability from repetitive stimulation and ischaemia was prolonged in regenerated nerves...

  5. Video Object Tracking in Neural Axons with Fluorescence Microscopy Images

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    Liang Yuan


    tracking. In this paper, we describe two automated tracking methods for analyzing neurofilament movement based on two different techniques: constrained particle filtering and tracking-by-detection. First, we introduce the constrained particle filtering approach. In this approach, the orientation and position of a particle are constrained by the axon’s shape such that fewer particles are necessary for tracking neurofilament movement than object tracking techniques based on generic particle filtering. Secondly, a tracking-by-detection approach to neurofilament tracking is presented. For this approach, the axon is decomposed into blocks, and the blocks encompassing the moving neurofilaments are detected by graph labeling using Markov random field. Finally, we compare two tracking methods by performing tracking experiments on real time-lapse image sequences of neurofilament movement, and the experimental results show that both methods demonstrate good performance in comparison with the existing approaches, and the tracking accuracy of the tracing-by-detection approach is slightly better between the two.

  6. Neural signal registration and analysis of axons grown in microchannels (United States)

    Pigareva, Y.; Malishev, E.; Gladkov, A.; Kolpakov, V.; Bukatin, A.; Mukhina, I.; Kazantsev, V.; Pimashkin, A.


    Registration of neuronal bioelectrical signals remains one of the main physical tools to study fundamental mechanisms of signal processing in the brain. Neurons generate spiking patterns which propagate through complex map of neural network connectivity. Extracellular recording of isolated axons grown in microchannels provides amplification of the signal for detailed study of spike propagation. In this study we used neuronal hippocampal cultures grown in microfluidic devices combined with microelectrode arrays to investigate a changes of electrical activity during neural network development. We found that after 5 days in vitro after culture plating the spiking activity appears first in microchannels and on the next 2-3 days appears on the electrodes of overall neural network. We conclude that such approach provides a convenient method to study neural signal processing and functional structure development on a single cell and network level of the neuronal culture.

  7. Relapsing Acute Axonal Neuropathy in Hereditary Fructose Intolerance. (United States)

    Maitre, Anna; Maw, Anna; Ramaswami, Uma; Morley, Sarah L


    A severe neurological abnormality has not been previously described in individuals with hereditary fructose intolerance, which typically presents early in childhood with severe metabolic acidosis and hypoglycemia. We describe a boy who by age five years had required multiple admissions to the pediatric intensive care unit for an aggressive and atypical, relapsing and remitting neuropathy with features of acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN). It was later discovered that he also had undiagnosed hereditary fructose intolerance, and the severity and frequency of his neurological episodes diminished following an exclusion diet. His asymptomatic younger brother was diagnosed with hereditary fructose intolerance on screening. He is on a fructose-free diet and has not developed neurological symptoms. Ongoing low-level exposure to fructose prior to diagnosis may have contributed to our patient's neurological dysfunction. Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent neurological complications of hereditary fructose intolerance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Potassium channel family in giant motor axons of Aglantha digitale. (United States)

    Meech, R W; Mackie, G O


    1. The simplicity of the jellyfish nervous system makes it an ideal preparation to assess the contributions of different ion channels to behavior. In the giant motor axons of the jellyfish Aglantha digitale, low-threshold spikes elicit slow swimming, whereas escape swimming depends on a higher-threshold, overshooting sodium-dependent action potential. At least three kinetically distinct transient potassium channels (fast, intermediate, and slow) are concerned with spike management in this preparation. 2. In situ recording with patch-clamp micropipettes from clusters of potassium channels provides a means of studying their properties in isolation. The three classes of ion channel were identified in ensemble current averages by their kinetics, their response to a conditioning prepulse and their voltage dependence. All three were highly selective for potassium, and the reversal potential of their unitary currents depended on the level of potassium used to fill the patch pipette. 3. A single potassium permeability coefficient (PK) calculated from the Goldman, Hodgkin, Katz "constant field" equation was used to fit unitary current data from all three channels in concentrations of external potassium < or = 500 mM. 4. Data from ensemble tail currents in seawater indicated that the sodium permeability coefficient (PNa) of channels with either intermediate or slow kinetics was < or = 0.015 PK; preliminary data from channels with fast kinetics suggested that they too had a PNa/PK selectivity of approximately 0.01. 5. We propose that spike management in the giant motor axons of Aglantha depends on three members of a family of potassium-selective ion channels that seem likely to be structurally related.

  9. Multichannel activity propagation across an engineered axon network (United States)

    Chen, H. Isaac; Wolf, John A.; Smith, Douglas H.


    Objective. Although substantial progress has been made in mapping the connections of the brain, less is known about how this organization translates into brain function. In particular, the massive interconnectivity of the brain has made it difficult to specifically examine data transmission between two nodes of the connectome, a central component of the ‘neural code.’ Here, we investigated the propagation of multiple streams of asynchronous neuronal activity across an isolated in vitro ‘connectome unit.’ Approach. We used the novel technique of axon stretch growth to create a model of a long-range cortico-cortical network, a modular system consisting of paired nodes of cortical neurons connected by axon tracts. Using optical stimulation and multi-electrode array recording techniques, we explored how input patterns are represented by cortical networks, how these representations shift as they are transmitted between cortical nodes and perturbed by external conditions, and how well the downstream node distinguishes different patterns. Main results. Stimulus representations included direct, synaptic, and multiplexed responses that grew in complexity as the distance between the stimulation source and recorded neuron increased. These representations collapsed into patterns with lower information content at higher stimulation frequencies. With internodal activity propagation, a hierarchy of network pathways, including latent circuits, was revealed using glutamatergic blockade. As stimulus channels were added, divergent, non-linear effects were observed in local versus distant network layers. Pairwise difference analysis of neuronal responses suggested that neuronal ensembles generally outperformed individual cells in discriminating input patterns. Significance. Our data illuminate the complexity of spiking activity propagation in cortical networks in vitro, which is characterized by the transformation of an input into myriad outputs over several network layers

  10. Diffuse axonal injury at ultra-high field MRI.

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    Christoph Moenninghoff

    Full Text Available Diffuse axonal injury (DAI is a specific type of traumatic brain injury caused by shearing forces leading to widespread tearing of axons and small vessels. Traumatic microbleeds (TMBs are regarded as a radiological marker for DAI. This study aims to compare DAI-associated TMBs at 3 Tesla (T and 7 T susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI to evaluate possible diagnostic benefits of ultra-high field (UHF MRI.10 study participants (4 male, 6 female, age range 20-74 years with known DAI were included. All MR exams were performed with a 3 T MR system (Magnetom Skyra and a 7 T MR research system (Magnetom 7 T, Siemens AG, Healthcare Sector, Erlangen, Germany each in combination with a 32-channel-receive coil. The average time interval between trauma and imaging was 22 months. Location and count of TMBs were independently evaluated by two neuroradiologists on 3 T and 7 T SWI images with similar and additionally increased spatial resolution at 7 T. Inter- and intraobserver reliability was assessed using the interclass correlation coefficient (ICC. Count and diameter of TMB were evaluated with Wilcoxon signed rank test.Susceptibility weighted imaging revealed a total of 485 TMBs (range 1-190, median 25 at 3 T, 584 TMBs (plus 20%, range 1-262, median 30.5 at 7 T with similar spatial resolution, and 684 TMBs (plus 41%, range 1-288, median 39.5 at 7 T with 10-times higher spatial resolution. Hemorrhagic DAI appeared significantly larger at 7 T compared to 3 T (p = 0.005. Inter- and intraobserver correlation regarding the counted TMB was high and almost equal 3 T and 7 T.7 T SWI improves the depiction of small hemorrhagic DAI compared to 3 T and may be supplementary to lower field strengths for diagnostic in inconclusive or medicolegal cases.

  11. Roles of Chondroitin Sulfate and Dermatan Sulfate in the Formation of a Lesion Scar and Axonal Regeneration after Traumatic Injury of the Mouse Brain (United States)

    Li, Hong-Peng; Komuta, Yukari; Kimura-Kuroda, Junko; van Kuppevelt, Toin H.


    Abstract Dermatan sulfate (DS) is synthesized from chondroitin sulfate (CS) by epimerization of glucuronic acid of CS to yield iduronic acid. In the present study, the role of CS and DS was examined in mice that received transection of nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway followed by injection of glycosaminoglycan degrading enzymes into the lesion site. Two weeks after injury, fibrotic and glial scars were formed around the lesion, and transected axons did not regenerate beyond the fibrotic scar. Injection of chondroitinase ABC (ChABC), which degrades both CS and DS, completely suppressed the fibrotic scar formation, reduced the glial scar, and promoted the regeneration of dopaminergic axons. Injection of the DS-degrading enzyme chondroitinase B (ChB) also yielded similar results. By contrast, injection of chondroitinase AC (ChAC), a CS-degrading enzyme, did not suppress the fibrotic and glial scar formation, but reduced CS immunoreactivity and promoted the axonal regeneration. Addition of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) to a co-culture of meningeal fibroblasts and cerebral astrocytes induces a fibrotic scar-like cell cluster. The effect of TGF-β1 on cluster formation was suppressed by treatment with ChABC or ChB, but not by ChAC. TGF-β1-induced cell cluster repelled neurites of neonatal cerebellar neurons, but addition of ChABC or ChAC suppressed the inhibitory property of clusters on neurite outgrowth. The present study is the first to demonstrate that DS and CS play different functions after brain injury: DS is involved in the lesion scar formation, and CS inhibits axonal regeneration. PMID:23438307

  12. Microtubule-targeting drugs rescue axonal swellings in cortical neurons from spastin knockout mice

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    Coralie Fassier


    Mutations in SPG4, encoding the microtubule-severing protein spastin, are responsible for the most frequent form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP, a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases characterized by degeneration of the corticospinal tracts. We previously reported that mice harboring a deletion in Spg4, generating a premature stop codon, develop progressive axonal degeneration characterized by focal axonal swellings associated with impaired axonal transport. To further characterize the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this mutant phenotype, we have assessed microtubule dynamics and axonal transport in primary cultures of cortical neurons from spastin-mutant mice. We show an early and marked impairment of microtubule dynamics all along the axons of spastin-deficient cortical neurons, which is likely to be responsible for the occurrence of axonal swellings and cargo stalling. Our analysis also reveals that a modulation of microtubule dynamics by microtubule-targeting drugs rescues the mutant phenotype of cortical neurons. Together, these results contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of SPG4-linked HSP and ascertain the influence of microtubule-targeted drugs on the early axonal phenotype in a mouse model of the disease.

  13. Mechanisms of Primary Axonal Damage in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis (United States)

    Das Sarma, Jayasri; Kenyon, Lawrence C.; Hingley, Susan T.; Shindler, Kenneth S.


    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Recent studies have demonstrated that significant axonal injury also occurs in MS patients and correlates with neurological dysfunction, but it is not known whether this neuronal damage is a primary disease process, or occurs only secondary to demyelination. In the current studies, neurotropic strains of mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) that induce meningitis, encephalitis, and demyelination in the CNS, an animal model of MS, were used to evaluate mechanisms of axonal injury. The pathogenic properties of genetically engineered isogenic spike protein recombinant demyelinating and non-demyelinating strains of MHV were compared. Studies demonstrate that a demyelinating strain of MHV causes concomitant axonal loss and macrophage-mediated demyelination. The mechanism of axonal loss and demyelination in MHV infection is dependent on successful transport of virus from gray matter to white matter using the MHV host attachment spike glycoprotein. Our data show that axonal loss and demyelination can be independent direct viral cytopathic events, and suggest similar direct axonal damage may occur in MS. These results have important implications for the design of neuroprotective strategies for CNS demyelinating disease, and our model identifies the spike protein as a therapeutic target to prevent axonal transport of neurotropic viruses. PMID:19692601

  14. Stimulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide biosynthetic pathways delays axonal degeneration after axotomy. (United States)

    Sasaki, Yo; Araki, Toshiyuki; Milbrandt, Jeffrey


    Axonal degeneration occurs in many neurodegenerative diseases and after traumatic injury and is a self-destructive program independent from programmed cell death. Previous studies demonstrated that overexpression of nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 1 (Nmnat1) or exogenous application of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) can protect axons of cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons from degeneration caused by mechanical or neurotoxic injury. In mammalian cells, NAD can be synthesized from multiple precursors, including tryptophan, nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, and nicotinamide riboside (NmR), via multiple enzymatic steps. To determine whether other components of these NAD biosynthetic pathways are capable of delaying axonal degeneration, we overexpressed each of the enzymes involved in each pathway and/or exogenously administered their respective substrates in DRG cultures and assessed their capacity to protect axons after axotomy. Among the enzymes tested, Nmnat1 had the strongest protective effects, whereas nicotinamide phosphoribosyl transferase and nicotinic acid phosphoribosyl transferase showed moderate protective activity in the presence of their substrates. Strong axonal protection was also provided by Nmnat3, which is predominantly located in mitochondria, and an Nmnat1 mutant localized to the cytoplasm, indicating that the subcellular location of NAD production is not crucial for protective activity. In addition, we showed that exogenous application of the NAD precursors that are the substrates of these enzymes, including nicotinic acid mononucleotide, nicotinamide mononucleotide, and NmR, can also delay axonal degeneration. These results indicate that stimulation of NAD biosynthetic pathways via a variety of interventions may be useful in preventing or delaying axonal degeneration.

  15. Nuclear receptor unfulfilled regulates axonal guidance and cell identity of Drosophila mushroom body neurons.

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    Suewei Lin

    Full Text Available Nuclear receptors (NRs comprise a family of ligand-regulated transcription factors that control diverse critical biological processes including various aspects of brain development. Eighteen NR genes exist in the Drosophila genome. To explore their roles in brain development, we knocked down individual NRs through the development of the mushroom bodies (MBs by targeted RNAi. Besides recapitulating the known MB phenotypes for three NRs, we found that unfulfilled (unf, an ortholog of human photoreceptor specific nuclear receptor (PNR, regulates axonal morphogenesis and neuronal subtype identity. The adult MBs develop through remodeling of gamma neurons plus de-novo elaboration of both alpha'/beta' and alpha/beta neurons. Notably, unf is largely dispensable for the initial elaboration of gamma neurons, but plays an essential role in their re-extension of axons after pruning during early metamorphosis. The subsequently derived MB neuron types also require unf for extension of axons beyond the terminus of the pruned bundle. Tracing single axons revealed misrouting rather than simple truncation. Further, silencing unf in single-cell clones elicited misguidance of axons in otherwise unperturbed MBs. Such axon guidance defects may occur as MB neurons partially lose their subtype identity, as evidenced by suppression of various MB subtype markers in unf knockdown MBs. In sum, unf governs axonal morphogenesis of multiple MB neuron types, possibly through regulating neuronal subtype identity.

  16. Glia initiate brain assembly through noncanonical Chimaerin-Furin axon guidance in C. elegans. (United States)

    Rapti, Georgia; Li, Chang; Shan, Alan; Lu, Yun; Shaham, Shai


    Brain assembly is hypothesized to begin when pioneer axons extend over non-neuronal cells, forming tracts guiding follower axons. Yet pioneer-neuron identities, their guidance substrates, and their interactions are not well understood. Here, using time-lapse embryonic imaging, genetics, protein-interaction, and functional studies, we uncover the early events of C. elegans brain assembly. We demonstrate that C. elegans glia are key for assembly initiation, guiding pioneer and follower axons using distinct signals. Pioneer sublateral neurons, with unique growth properties, anatomy, and innervation, cooperate with glia to mediate follower-axon guidance. We further identify a Chimaerin (CHIN-1)- Furin (KPC-1) double-mutant that severely disrupts assembly. CHIN-1 and KPC-1 function noncanonically, in glia and pioneer neurons, for guidance-cue trafficking. We exploit this bottleneck to define roles for glial Netrin and Semaphorin in pioneer- and follower-axon guidance, respectively, and for glial and pioneer-neuron Flamingo (CELSR) in follower-axon navigation. Taken together, our studies reveal previously undescribed glial roles in pioneer-axon guidance, suggesting conserved principles of brain assembly.

  17. The Influence of Glutamate on Axonal Compound Action Potential In Vitro. (United States)

    Abouelela, Ahmed; Wieraszko, Andrzej


    Background  Our previous experiments demonstrated modulation of the amplitude of the axonal compound action potential (CAP) by electrical stimulation. To verify assumption that glutamate released from axons could be involved in this phenomenon, the modification of the axonal CAP induced by glutamate was investigated. Objectives  The major objective of this research is to verify the hypothesis that axonal activity would trigger the release of glutamate, which in turn would interact with specific axonal receptors modifying the amplitude of the action potential. Methods  Segments of the sciatic nerve were exposed to exogenous glutamate in vitro, and CAP was recorded before and after glutamate application. In some experiments, the release of radioactive glutamate analog from the sciatic nerve exposed to exogenous glutamate was also evaluated. Results  The glutamate-induced increase in CAP was blocked by different glutamate receptor antagonists. The effect of glutamate was not observed in Ca-free medium, and was blocked by antagonists of calcium channels. Exogenous glutamate, applied to the segments of sciatic nerve, induced the release of radioactive glutamate analog, demonstrating glutamate-induced glutamate release. Immunohistochemical examination revealed that axolemma contains components necessary for glutamatergic neurotransmission. Conclusion  The proteins of the axonal membrane can under the influence of electrical stimulation or exogenous glutamate change membrane permeability and ionic conductance, leading to a change in the amplitude of CAP. We suggest that increased axonal activity leads to the release of glutamate that results in changes in the amplitude of CAPs.

  18. The gene ten-1 contributes to axon regeneration accuracy following femtosecond laser axotomy in C. elegans (United States)

    Stevens, Dylan T.; Mathew, Manoj; Goksör, Mattias; Pilon, Marc


    The precise cutting of axons in C. elegans using short laser pulses permits the investigation of parameters that may influence axonal regeneration. This study began by building and optimizing a femtosecond laser axotomy setup that we first used to monitor the effect of cutting axons near or far from the cell body of the PLM mechanosensory neurons in C. elegans. To assess regeneration, we developed a scoring system where the angle between the regenerating trajectory and its direct line to the target is measured; we called this measurement the "angle of regeneration". The results indicate that axons cut near the cell body regenerate better than those cut far from the cell body but nearer their target. The role of teneurins, which are transmembrane proteins with a large extracellular domain that are thought to regulate the remodelling of the extracellular matrix, has not yet been explored as a potential contributor to axon regeneration. We cut PLM axons in wild-type or ten-1 mutant worms, and measured the angle of regeneration 48 hours later, and the frequency of reconnection to the target. Our results show that functional ten-1 contributes to successful axon regeneration.

  19. Immediate Enhancement of Nerve Function Using a Novel Axonal Fusion Device After Neurotmesis. (United States)

    Riley, David Colton; Boyer, Richard B; Deister, Curt A; Pollins, Alonda C; Cardwell, Nancy L; Kelm, Nathaniel D; Does, Mark D; Dortch, Richard D; Bamba, Ravinder; Shack, Robert Bruce; Thayer, Wesley P


    The management of peripheral nerve injuries remains a large challenge for plastic surgeons. With the inability to fuse axonal endings, results after microsurgical nerve repair have been inconsistent. Our current nerve repair strategies rely upon the slow and lengthy process of axonal regeneration (~1 mm/d). Polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been investigated as a potential axonal fusion agent; however, the percentage of axonal fusion has been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to identify a PEG delivery device to standardize outcomes after attempted axonal fusion with PEG. We used a rat sciatic nerve injury model in which we completely transected and repaired the left sciatic nerve to evaluate the efficacy of PEG fusion over a span of 12 weeks. In addition, we evaluated the effectiveness of a delivery device's ability to optimize results after PEG fusion. We found that PEG rapidly (within minutes) restores axonal continuity as assessed by electrophysiology, fluorescent retrograde tracer, and diffusion tensor imaging. Immunohistochemical analysis shows that motor axon counts are significantly increased at 1 week, 4 weeks, and 12 weeks postoperatively in PEG-treated animals. Furthermore, PEG restored behavioral functions up to 50% compared with animals that received the criterion standard epineurial repair (control animals). The ability of PEG to rapidly restore nerve function after neurotmesis could have vast implications on the clinical management of traumatic injuries to peripheral nerves.

  20. Mathematically Modeling the Involvement of Axons in Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (United States)

    Pan, Billy X.; Ross-Cisneros, Fred N.; Carelli, Valerio; Rue, Kelly S.; Salomao, Solange R.; Moraes-Filho, Milton N.; Moraes, Milton N.; Berezovsky, Adriana; Belfort, Rubens; Sadun, Alfredo A.


    Purpose. Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), a mitochondrial disease, has clinical manifestations that reflect the initial preferential involvement of the papillomacular bundle (PMB). The present study seeks to predict the order of axonal loss in LHON optic nerves using the Nerve Fiber Layer Stress Index (NFL-SI), which is a novel mathematical model. Methods. Optic nerves were obtained postmortem from four molecularly characterized LHON patients with varying degrees of neurodegenerative changes and three age-matched controls. Tissues were cut in cross-section and stained with p-phenylenediamine to visualize myelin. Light microscopic images were captured in 32 regions of each optic nerve. Control and LHON tissues were evaluated by measuring axonal dimensions to generate an axonal diameter distribution map. LHON tissues were further evaluated by determining regions of total axonal depletion. Results. A size gradient was evident in the control optic nerves, with average axonal diameter increasing progressively from the temporal to nasal borders. LHON optic nerves showed an orderly loss of axons, starting inferotemporally, progressing centrally, and sparing the superonasal region until the end. Values generated from the NFL-SI equation fit a linear regression curve (R2 = 0.97; P LHON, supporting clinical findings seen early in the course of disease onset. The present study also showed that the subsequent progression of axonal loss within the optic nerve can be predicted precisely with the NFL-SI equation. The results presented provided further insight into the pathophysiology of LHON. PMID:23060142

  1. Modeling the mechanics of axonal fiber tracts using the embedded finite element method. (United States)

    Garimella, Harsha T; Kraft, Reuben H


    A subject-specific human head finite element model with embedded axonal fiber tractography obtained from diffusion tensor imaging was developed. The axonal fiber tractography finite element model was coupled with the volumetric elements in the head model using the embedded element method. This technique enables the calculation of axonal strains and real-time tracking of the mechanical response of the axonal fiber tracts. The coupled model was then verified using pressure and relative displacement-based (between skull and brain) experimental studies and was employed to analyze a head impact, demonstrating the applicability of this method in studying axonal injury. Following this, a comparison study of different injury criteria was performed. This model was used to determine the influence of impact direction on the extent of the axonal injury. The results suggested that the lateral impact loading is more dangerous compared to loading in the sagittal plane, a finding in agreement with previous studies. Through this analysis, we demonstrated the viability of the embedded element method as an alternative numerical approach for studying axonal injury in patient-specific human head models. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  2. Mitophagy of damaged mitochondria occurs locally in distal neuronal axons and requires PINK1 and Parkin (United States)

    Ashrafi, Ghazaleh; Schlehe, Julia S.; LaVoie, Matthew J.


    To minimize oxidative damage to the cell, malfunctioning mitochondria need to be removed by mitophagy. In neuronal axons, mitochondrial damage may occur in distal regions, far from the soma where most lysosomal degradation is thought to occur. In this paper, we report that PINK1 and Parkin, two Parkinson’s disease–associated proteins, mediate local mitophagy of dysfunctional mitochondria in neuronal axons. To reduce cytotoxicity and mimic physiological levels of mitochondrial damage, we selectively damaged a subset of mitochondria in hippocampal axons. Parkin was rapidly recruited to damaged mitochondria in axons followed by formation of LC3-positive autophagosomes and LAMP1-positive lysosomes. In PINK1−/− axons, damaged mitochondria did not accumulate Parkin and failed to be engulfed in autophagosomes. Similarly, initiation of mitophagy was blocked in Parkin−/− axons. Our findings demonstrate that the PINK1–Parkin-mediated pathway is required for local mitophagy in distal axons in response to focal damage. Local mitophagy likely provides rapid neuroprotection against oxidative stress without a requirement for retrograde transport to the soma. PMID:25154397

  3. Identification of possible downstream genes required for the extension of peripheral axons in primary sensory neurons. (United States)

    Aoki, Makoto; Segawa, Hiroshi; Naito, Mayumi; Okamoto, Hitoshi


    The LIM-homeodomain transcription factor Islet2a establishes neuronal identity in the developing nervous system. Our previous study showed that Islet2a function is crucial for extending peripheral axons of sensory neurons in zebrafish embryo. Overexpressing a dominant-negative form of Islet2a significantly reduced peripheral axon extension in zebrafish sensory neurons, implicating Islet2a in the gene regulation required for neurite formation or proper axon growth in developing sensory neurons. Based on this, we conducted systematic screening to isolate genes regulated by Islet2a and affecting the development of axon growth in embryonic zebrafish sensory neurons. The 26 genes selected included some encoding factors involved in neuronal differentiation, axon growth, cellular signaling, and structural integrity of neurons, as well as genes whose functions are not fully determined. We chose four representative candidates as possible Islet2a downstream functional targets (simplet, tppp, tusc5 and tmem59l) and analyzed their respective mRNA expressions in dominant-negative Islet2a-expressing embryos. They are not reported the involvement of axonal extension or their functions in neural cells. Finally, knockdown of these genes suggested their direct actual involvement in the extension of peripheral axons in sensory neurons. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Gene expression of axon growth promoting factors in the deer antler.

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    Wolfgang Pita-Thomas

    Full Text Available The annual regeneration cycle of deer (Cervidae, Artiodactyla antlers represents a unique model of epimorphic regeneration and rapid growth in adult mammals. Regenerating antlers are innervated by trigeminal sensory axons growing through the velvet, the modified form of skin that envelopes the antler, at elongation velocities that reach one centimetre per day in the common deer (Cervus elaphus. Several axon growth promoters like NT-3, NGF or IGF-1 have been described in the antler. To increase the knowledge on the axon growth environment, we have combined different gene-expression techniques to identify and characterize the expression of promoting molecules not previously described in the antler velvet. Cross-species microarray analyses of deer samples on human arrays allowed us to build up a list of 90 extracellular or membrane molecules involved in axon growth that were potentially being expressed in the antler. Fifteen of these genes were analysed using PCR and sequencing techniques to confirm their expression in the velvet and to compare it with the expression in other antler and skin samples. Expression of 8 axon growth promoters was confirmed in the velvet, 5 of them not previously described in the antler. In conclusion, our work shows that antler velvet provides growing axons with a variety of promoters of axon growth, sharing many of them with deer's normal and pedicle skin.

  5. Impaired JIP3-dependent axonal lysosome transport promotes amyloid plaque pathology. (United States)

    Gowrishankar, Swetha; Wu, Yumei; Ferguson, Shawn M


    Lysosomes robustly accumulate within axonal swellings at Alzheimer's disease (AD) amyloid plaques. However, the underlying mechanisms and disease relevance of such lysosome accumulations are not well understood. Motivated by these problems, we identified JNK-interacting protein 3 (JIP3) as an important regulator of axonal lysosome transport and maturation. JIP3 knockout mouse neuron primary cultures accumulate lysosomes within focal axonal swellings that resemble the dystrophic axons at amyloid plaques. These swellings contain high levels of amyloid precursor protein processing enzymes (BACE1 and presenilin 2) and are accompanied by elevated Aβ peptide levels. The in vivo importance of the JIP3-dependent regulation of axonal lysosomes was revealed by the worsening of the amyloid plaque pathology arising from JIP3 haploinsufficiency in a mouse model of AD. These results establish the critical role of JIP3-dependent axonal lysosome transport in regulating amyloidogenic amyloid precursor protein processing and support a model wherein Aβ production is amplified by plaque-induced axonal lysosome transport defects. © 2017 Gowrishankar et al.

  6. Isolation of somatic Na+ currents by selective inactivation of axonal channels with a voltage prepulse. (United States)

    Milescu, Lorin S; Bean, Bruce P; Smith, Jeffrey C


    We present a simple and effective method for isolating the somatic Na(+) current recorded under voltage clamp from neurons in brain slices. The principle is to convert the axon from an active compartment capable of generating uncontrolled axonal spikes into a passive structure by selectively inactivating axonal Na(+) channels. Typically, whole-cell currents from intact neurons under somatic voltage clamp contain a mixture of Na(+) current and axial current caused by escaped axonal spikes. We found that a brief prepulse to voltages near spike threshold evokes the axonal spike, which inactivates axonal but not somatic channels. A subsequent voltage step then evokes only somatic Na(+) current from electrotonically proximal sodium channels under good voltage-clamp control. Simulations using a neuron compartmental model support the idea that the prepulse effectively inactivates currents from the axon and isolates well controlled somatic currents. Na(+) currents recorded from cortical pyramidal neurons in slices, using the prepulse, were found to have voltage dependence nearly identical to that of currents recorded from acutely dissociated pyramidal neurons. In addition, studies in dissociated neurons show that the prepulse has no visible effect on the voltage dependence and kinetics of Na(+) currents elicited by the subsequent voltage step, only decreasing the amplitude of the currents by 10-20%. The technique was effective in several neuronal types in brain slices from male and female neonatal rats and mice, including raphé neurons, cortical pyramidal neurons, inferior olivary neurons, and hypoglossal motoneurons.

  7. TRIM46 Controls Neuronal Polarity and Axon Specification by Driving the Formation of Parallel Microtubule Arrays. (United States)

    van Beuningen, Sam F B; Will, Lena; Harterink, Martin; Chazeau, Anaël; van Battum, Eljo Y; Frias, Cátia P; Franker, Mariella A M; Katrukha, Eugene A; Stucchi, Riccardo; Vocking, Karin; Antunes, Ana T; Slenders, Lotte; Doulkeridou, Sofia; Sillevis Smitt, Peter; Altelaar, A F Maarten; Post, Jan A; Akhmanova, Anna; Pasterkamp, R Jeroen; Kapitein, Lukas C; de Graaff, Esther; Hoogenraad, Casper C


    Axon formation, the initial step in establishing neuronal polarity, critically depends on local microtubule reorganization and is characterized by the formation of parallel microtubule bundles. How uniform microtubule polarity is achieved during axonal development remains an outstanding question. Here, we show that the tripartite motif containing (TRIM) protein TRIM46 plays an instructive role in the initial polarization of neuronal cells. TRIM46 is specifically localized to the newly specified axon and, at later stages, partly overlaps with the axon initial segment (AIS). TRIM46 specifically forms closely spaced parallel microtubule bundles oriented with their plus-end out. Without TRIM46, all neurites have a dendrite-like mixed microtubule organization resulting in Tau missorting and altered cargo trafficking. By forming uniform microtubule bundles in the axon, TRIM46 is required for neuronal polarity and axon specification in vitro and in vivo. Thus, TRIM46 defines a unique axonal cytoskeletal compartment for regulating microtubule organization during neuronal development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC) reveals novel mechanisms underlying cAMP-dependent axonal morphogenesis. (United States)

    Zhou, Zhiwen; Tanaka, Kenji F; Matsunaga, Shigeru; Iseki, Mineo; Watanabe, Masakatsu; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji; Koyama, Ryuta


    Spatiotemporal regulation of axonal branching and elongation is essential in the development of refined neural circuits. cAMP is a key regulator of axonal growth; however, whether and how intracellular cAMP regulates axonal branching and elongation remain unclear, mainly because tools to spatiotemporally manipulate intracellular cAMP levels have been lacking. To overcome this issue, we utilized photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC), which produces cAMP in response to blue-light exposure. In primary cultures of dentate granule cells transfected with PAC, short-term elevation of intracellular cAMP levels induced axonal branching but not elongation, whereas long-term cAMP elevation induced both axonal branching and elongation. The temporal dynamics of intracellular cAMP levels regulated axonal branching and elongation through the activation of protein kinase A (PKA) and exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac), respectively. Thus, using PAC, our study for the first time reveals that temporal cAMP dynamics could regulate axonal branching and elongation via different signaling pathways.

  9. Dendrites differ from axons in patterns of microtubule stability and polymerization during development

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    Butts Matthew


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dendrites differ from axons in patterns of growth and development, as well as in morphology. Given that microtubules are key structural elements in cells, we assessed patterns of microtubule stability and polymerization during hippocampal neuron development in vitro to determine if these aspects of microtubule organization could distinguish axons from dendrites. Results Quantitative ratiometric immunocytochemistry identified significant differences in microtubule stability between axons and dendrites. Most notably, regardless of developmental stage, there were high levels of dynamic microtubules throughout the dendritic arbor, whereas dynamic microtubules were predominantly concentrated in the distal end of axons. Analysis of microtubule polymerization using green fluorescent protein-tagged EB1 showed both developmental and regional differences in microtubule polymerization between axons and dendrites. Early in development (for example, 1 to 2 days in vitro, polymerization events were distributed equally in both the anterograde and retrograde directions throughout the length of both axons and dendrites. As development progressed, however, polymerization became biased, with a greater number of polymerization events in distal than in proximal and middle regions. While polymerization occurred almost exclusively in the anterograde direction for axons, both anterograde and retrograde polymerization was observed in dendrites. This is in agreement with predicted differences in microtubule polarity within these compartments, although fewer retrograde events were observed in dendrites than expected. Conclusion Both immunocytochemical and live imaging analyses showed that newly formed microtubules predominated at the distal end of axons and dendrites, suggesting a common mechanism that incorporates increased microtubule polymerization at growing process tips. Dendrites had more immature, dynamic microtubules throughout the entire arbor

  10. BTX modification of Na channels in squid axons. I. State dependence of BTX action (United States)


    The state dependence of Na channel modification by batrachotoxin (BTX) was investigated in voltage-clamped and internally perfused squid giant axons before (control axons) and after the pharmacological removal of the fast inactivation by pronase, chloramine-T, or NBA (pretreated axons). In control axons, in the presence of 2-5 microM BTX, a repetitive depolarization to open the channels was required to achieve a complete BTX modification, characterized by the suppression of the fast inactivation and a simultaneous 50-mV shift of the activation voltage dependence in the hyperpolarizing direction, whereas a single long-lasting (10 min) depolarization to +50 mV could promote the modification of only a small fraction of the channels, the noninactivating ones. In pretreated axons, such a single sustained depolarization as well as the repetitive depolarization could induce a complete modification, as evidenced by a similar shift of the activation voltage dependence. Therefore, the fast inactivated channels were not modified by BTX. We compared the rate of BTX modification of the open and slow inactivated channels in control and pretreated axons using different protocols: (a) During a repetitive depolarization with either 4- or 100-ms conditioning pulses to +80 mV, all the channels were modified in the open state in control axons as well as in pretreated axons, with a similar time constant of approximately 1.2 s. (b) In pronase-treated axons, when all the channels were in the slow inactivated state before BTX application, BTX could modify all the channels, but at a very slow rate, with a time constant of approximately 9.5 min. We conclude that at the macroscopic level BTX modification can occur through two different pathways: (a) via the open state, and (b) via the slow inactivated state of the channels that lack the fast inactivation, spontaneously or pharmacologically, but at a rate approximately 500-fold slower than through the main open channel pathway. PMID:1645393

  11. In vivo axonal transport deficits in a mouse model of fronto-temporal dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tabassum Majid


    Discussion: In our study, we identified the presence of age-dependent axonal transport deficits beginning at 3 months of age in rTg4510 mice. We correlated these deficits at 3 months to the presence of hyperphosphorylated tau in the brain and the presence within the olfactory epithelium. We observed tau pathology not only in the soma of these neurons but also within the axons and processes of these neurons. Our characterization of axonal transport in this tauopathy model provides a functional time point that can be used for future therapeutic interventions.

  12. Recurrent miller fisher syndrome with abnormal terminal axon dysfunction: a case report. (United States)

    Tomcík, Jan; Dufek, Michal; Hromada, Jan; Rektor, Ivan; Bares, Martin


    Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS) is a localized variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), characterized by ophthalmoplegia, areflexia, and ataxia. Recent neurophysiological studies have suggested that abnormal terminal axon dysfunction occurs in some cases of Miller Fisher syndrome and Guillain-Barrd syndrome. We present a rare case report of recurrent MFS with abnormal terminal axon dysfunction. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report of recurrent MFS with terminal axon dysfunction that persisted up to nine months after the initial presentation of the second attack with positive antiganglioside antibodies and full clinical recovery.

  13. Axonal degeneration stimulates the formation of NG2+ cells and oligodendrocytes in the mouse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Helle Hvilsted; Ladeby, Rune; Drøjdahl, Nina


    Proliferation of the adult NG2-expressing oligodendrocyte precursor cells has traditionally been viewed as a remyelination response ensuing from destruction of myelin and oligodendrocytes, and not to the axonal pathology that is also a characteristic of demyelinating disease. To better understand...... the response of the NG2+ cells to the different components of demyelinating pathology, we investigated the response of adult NG2+ cells to axonal degeneration in the absence of primary myelin or oligodendrocyte pathology. Axonal degeneration was induced in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of adult mice...

  14. Stimulation-induced Ca(2+) influx at nodes of Ranvier in mouse peripheral motor axons. (United States)

    Zhang, Zhongsheng; David, Gavriel


    In peripheral myelinated axons of mammalian spinal motor neurons, Ca(2+) influx was thought to occur only in pathological conditions such as ischaemia. Using Ca(2+) imaging in mouse large motor axons, we find that physiological stimulation with trains of action potentials transiently elevates axoplasmic [C(2+)] around nodes of Ranvier. These stimulation-induced [Ca(2+)] elevations require Ca(2+) influx, and are partially reduced by blocking T-type Ca(2+) channels (e.g. mibefradil) and by blocking the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX), suggesting an important contribution of Ca(2+) influx via reverse-mode NCX activity. Acute disruption of paranodal myelin dramatically increases stimulation-induced [Ca(2+)] elevations around nodes by allowing activation of sub-myelin L-type (nimodipine-sensitive) Ca(2+) channels. The Ca(2+) that enters myelinated motor axons during normal activity is likely to contribute to several signalling pathways; the larger Ca(2+) influx that occurs following demyelination may contribute to the axonal degeneration that occurs in peripheral demyelinating diseases. Activity-dependent Ca(2+) signalling is well established for somata and terminals of mammalian spinal motor neurons, but not for their axons. Imaging of an intra-axonally injected fluorescent [Ca(2+)] indicator revealed that during repetitive action potential stimulation, [Ca(2+)] elevations localized to nodal regions occurred in mouse motor axons from ventral roots, phrenic nerve and intramuscular branches. These [Ca(2+)] elevations (∼ 0.1 μm with stimulation at 50 Hz, 10 s) were blocked by removal of Ca(2+) from the extracellular solution. Effects of pharmacological blockers indicated contributions from both T-type Ca(2+) channels and reverse mode Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchange (NCX). Acute disruption of paranodal myelin (by stretch or lysophosphatidylcholine) increased the stimulation-induced [Ca(2+)] elevations, which now included a prominent contribution from L-type Ca(2+) channels. These

  15. β-Site amyloid precursor protein (APP)-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1)-deficient mice exhibit a close homolog of L1 (CHL1) loss-of-function phenotype involving axon guidance defects. (United States)

    Hitt, Brian; Riordan, Sean M; Kukreja, Lokesh; Eimer, William A; Rajapaksha, Tharinda W; Vassar, Robert


    BACE1 is the β-secretase enzyme that initiates production of the β-amyloid peptide involved in Alzheimer disease. However, little is known about the functions of BACE1. BACE1-deficient mice exhibit mild but complex neurological phenotypes suggesting therapeutic BACE1 inhibition may not be completely free of mechanism-based side effects. Recently, we have reported that BACE1 null mice have axon guidance defects in olfactory sensory neuron projections to glomeruli in the olfactory bulb. Here, we show that BACE1 deficiency also causes an axon guidance defect in the hippocampus, a shortened and disorganized infrapyramidal bundle of the mossy fiber projection from the dentate gyrus to CA3. Although we observed that a classical axon guidance molecule, EphA4, was cleaved by BACE1 when co-expressed with BACE1 in HEK293 cells, we could find no evidence of BACE1 processing of EphA4 in the brain. Remarkably, we discovered that the axon guidance defects of BACE1(-/-) mice were strikingly similar to those of mice deficient in a recently identified BACE1 substrate, the neural cell adhesion molecule close homolog of L1 (CHL1) that is involved in neurite outgrowth. CHL1 undergoes BACE1-dependent processing in BACE1(+/+), but not BACE1(-/-), hippocampus, and olfactory bulb, indicating that CHL1 is a BACE1 substrate in vivo. Finally, BACE1 and CHL1 co-localize in the terminals of hippocampal mossy fibers, olfactory sensory neuron axons, and growth cones of primary hippocampal neurons. We conclude that BACE1(-/-) axon guidance defects are likely the result of abrogated BACE1 processing of CHL1 and that BACE1 deficiency produces a CHL1 loss-of-function phenotype. Our results imply the possibility that axon mis-targeting may occur in adult neurogenic and/or regenerating neurons as a result of chronic BACE1 inhibition and add a note of caution to BACE1 inhibitor development.

  16. An Atypical SCF-like Ubiquitin Ligase Complex Promotes Wallerian Degeneration through Regulation of Axonal Nmnat2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuya Yamagishi


    Full Text Available Axon degeneration is a tightly regulated, self-destructive program that is a critical feature of many neurodegenerative diseases, but the molecular mechanisms regulating this program remain poorly understood. Here, we identify S-phase kinase-associated protein 1A (Skp1a, a core component of a Skp/Cullin/F-box (SCF-type E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, as a critical regulator of axon degeneration after injury in mammalian neurons. Depletion of Skp1a prolongs survival of injured axons in vitro and in the optic nerve in vivo. We demonstrate that Skp1a regulates the protein level of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ synthesizing enzyme nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 2 (Nmnat2 in axons. Loss of axonal Nmnat2 contributes to a local ATP deficit that triggers axon degeneration. Knockdown of Skp1a elevates basal levels of axonal Nmnat2, thereby delaying axon degeneration through prolonged maintenance of axonal ATP. Consistent with Skp1a functioning through regulation of Nmnat2, Skp1a knockdown fails to protect axons from Nmnat2 knockdown. These results illuminate the molecular mechanism underlying Skp1a-dependent axonal destruction.

  17. Guidance of Drosophila Mushroom Body Axons Depends upon DRL-Wnt Receptor Cleavage in the Brain Dorsomedial Lineage Precursors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie Reynaud


    Full Text Available In vivo axon pathfinding mechanisms in the neuron-dense brain remain relatively poorly characterized. We study the Drosophila mushroom body (MB axons, whose α and β branches connect to different brain areas. We show that the Ryk family WNT5 receptor, DRL (derailed, which is expressed in the dorsomedial lineages, brain structure precursors adjacent to the MBs, is required for MB α branch axon guidance. DRL acts to capture and present WNT5 to MB axons rather than transduce a WNT5 signal. DRL’s ectodomain must be cleaved and shed to guide α axons. DRL-2, another Ryk, is expressed within MB axons and functions as a repulsive WNT5 signaling receptor. Finally, our biochemical data support the existence of a ternary complex composed of the cleaved DRL ectodomain, WNT5, and DRL-2. Thus, the interaction of MB-extrinsic and -intrinsic Ryks via their common ligand acts to guide MB α axons.

  18. Novel RNA- and FMRP-binding protein TRF2-S regulates axonal mRNA transport and presynaptic plasticity. (United States)

    Zhang, Peisu; Abdelmohsen, Kotb; Liu, Yong; Tominaga-Yamanaka, Kumiko; Yoon, Je-Hyun; Ioannis, Grammatikakis; Martindale, Jennifer L; Zhang, Yongqing; Becker, Kevin G; Yang, In Hong; Gorospe, Myriam; Mattson, Mark P


    Despite considerable evidence that RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) regulate mRNA transport and local translation in dendrites, roles for axonal RBPs are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that a non-telomeric isoform of telomere repeat-binding factor 2 (TRF2-S) is a novel RBP that regulates axonal plasticity. TRF2-S interacts directly with target mRNAs to facilitate their axonal delivery. The process is antagonized by fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Distinct from the current RNA-binding model of FMRP, we show that FMRP occupies the GAR domain of TRF2-S protein to block the assembly of TRF2-S-mRNA complexes. Overexpressing TRF2-S and silencing FMRP promotes mRNA entry to axons and enhances axonal outgrowth and neurotransmitter release from presynaptic terminals. Our findings suggest a pivotal role for TRF2-S in an axonal mRNA localization pathway that enhances axon outgrowth and neurotransmitter release.

  19. Detection, Quantification, and Microlocalisation of Targets of Pesticides Using Microchannel Plate Autoradiographic Imagers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mabruka H. Tarhoni


    Full Text Available Organophosphorus (OP compounds are a diverse chemical group that includes nerve agents and pesticides. They share a common chemical signature that facilitates their binding and adduction of acetylcholinesterase (AChE within nerve synapses to induce cholinergic toxicity. However, this group diversity results in non-uniform binding and inactivation of other secondary protein targets, some of which may be adducted and protein activity influenced, even when only a relatively minor portion of tissue AChE is inhibited. The determination of individual OP protein binding targets has been hampered by the sensitivity of methods of detection and quantification of protein-pesticide adducts. We have overcome this limitation by the employment of a microchannel plate (MCP autoradiographic detector to monitor a radiolabelled OP tracer compound. We preincubated rat thymus tissue in vitro with the OP pesticides, azamethiphos-oxon, chlorfenvinphos-oxon, chlorpyrifos-oxon, diazinon-oxon, and malaoxon, and then subsequently radiolabelled the free OP binding sites remaining with 3H-diisopropylfluorophosphate (3H-DFP. Proteins adducted by OP pesticides were detected as a reduction in 3H-DFP radiolabelling after protein separation by one dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and quantitative digital autoradiography using the MCP imager. Thymus tissue proteins of molecular weights ~28 kDa, 59 kDa, 66 kDa, and 82 kDa displayed responsiveness to adduction by this panel of pesticides. The 59 kDa protein target (previously putatively identified as carboxylesterase I was only significantly adducted by chlorfenvinphos-oxon (p < 0.001, chlorpyrifos-oxon (p < 0.0001, and diazinon-oxon (p < 0.01, the 66 kDa protein target (previously identified as serum albumin similarly only adducted by the same three pesticides (p < 0.0001, (p < 0.001, and (p < 0.01, and the 82 kDa protein target (previously identified as acyl peptide hydrolase only adducted by chlorpyrifos-oxon (p

  20. Islet Coordinately Regulates Motor Axon Guidance and Dendrite Targeting through the Frazzled/DCC Receptor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celine Santiago


    Full Text Available Motor neuron axon targeting in the periphery is correlated with the positions of motor neuron inputs in the CNS, but how these processes are coordinated to form a myotopic map remains poorly understood. We show that the LIM homeodomain factor Islet (Isl controls targeting of both axons and dendrites in Drosophila motor neurons through regulation of the Frazzled (Fra/DCC receptor. Isl is required for fra expression in ventrally projecting motor neurons, and isl and fra mutants have similar axon guidance defects. Single-cell labeling indicates that isl and fra are also required for dendrite targeting in a subset of motor neurons. Finally, overexpression of Fra rescues axon and dendrite targeting defects in isl mutants. These results indicate that Fra acts downstream of Isl in both the periphery and the CNS, demonstrating how a single regulatory relationship is used in multiple cellular compartments to coordinate neural circuit wiring.

  1. Axonal plasticity elicits long-term changes in oligodendroglia and myelinated fibers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drøjdahl, Nina; Nielsen, Helle Hvilsted; Gardi, Jonathan E


    Axons are linked to induction of myelination during development and to the maintenance of myelin and myelinated tracts in the adult CNS. Currently, it is unknown whether and how axonal plasticity in adult CNS impacts the myelinating cells and their precursors. In this article, we report that newly...... formed axonal sprouts are able to induce a protracted myelination response in adult CNS. We show that newly formed axonal sprouts, induced by lesion of the entorhino-hippocampal perforant pathway, have the ability to induce a myelination response in stratum radiatum and lucidum CA3. The lesion resulted...... in significant recruitment of newly formed myelinating cells, documented by incorporation of the proliferation marker bromodeoxyuridine into chondroitin sulphate NG2 expressing cells in stratum radiatum and lucidum CA3 early after lesion, and the occurrence of a 28% increase in the number of oligodendrocytes...

  2. Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Axonal Regeneration After Spinal Cord Injury. (United States)

    van Niekerk, Erna A; Tuszynski, Mark H; Lu, Paul; Dulin, Jennifer N


    Following axotomy, a complex temporal and spatial coordination of molecular events enables regeneration of the peripheral nerve. In contrast, multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute to the general failure of axonal regeneration in the central nervous system. In this review, we examine the current understanding of differences in protein expression and post-translational modifications, activation of signaling networks, and environmental cues that may underlie the divergent regenerative capacity of central and peripheral axons. We also highlight key experimental strategies to enhance axonal regeneration via modulation of intraneuronal signaling networks and the extracellular milieu. Finally, we explore potential applications of proteomics to fill gaps in the current understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying regeneration, and to provide insight into the development of more effective approaches to promote axonal regeneration following injury to the nervous system. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  3. Microtubule stabilization reduces scarring and causes axon regeneration after spinal cord injury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    F. Hellal (Farida); A. Hurtado (Andres); J. Ruschel (Jörg); K.C. Flynn (Kevin); C.J. Laskowski (Claudia); M. Umlauf (Martina); L.C. Kapitein (Lukas); D. Strikis (Dinara); V. Lemmon (Vance); J. Bixby (John); C.C. Hoogenraad (Casper); F. Bradke (Frank)


    textabstractHypertrophic scarring and poor intrinsic axon growth capacity constitute major obstacles for spinal cord repair. These processes are tightly regulated by microtubule dynamics. Here, moderate microtubule stabilization decreased scar formation after spinal cord injury in rodents through

  4. Extrinsic and Intrinsic Regulation of Axon Regeneration by MicroRNAs after Spinal Cord Injury. (United States)

    Li, Ping; Teng, Zhao-Qian; Liu, Chang-Mei


    Spinal cord injury is a devastating disease which disrupts the connections between the brain and spinal cord, often resulting in the loss of sensory and motor function below the lesion site. Most injured neurons fail to regenerate in the central nervous system after injury. Multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute to the general failure of axonal regeneration after injury. MicroRNAs can modulate multiple genes' expression and are tightly controlled during nerve development or the injury process. Evidence has demonstrated that microRNAs and their signaling pathways play important roles in mediating axon regeneration and glial scar formation after spinal cord injury. This article reviews the role and mechanism of differentially expressed microRNAs in regulating axon regeneration and glial scar formation after spinal cord injury, as well as their therapeutic potential for promoting axonal regeneration and repair of the injured spinal cord.

  5. Permissive Schwann Cell Graft/Spinal Cord Interfaces for Axon Regeneration

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Williams, Ryan R; Henao, Martha; Pearse, Damien D; Bunge, Mary Bartlett


    .... Fluid bridges of SCs and Matrigel were placed in complete spinal cord transections. Compared to pregelled bridges of SCs and Matrigel, they improved regeneration of brainstem axons across the rostral interface...

  6. Recovery patterns and long term prognosis for axonal Guillain–Barré syndrome


    Hiraga, A; Mori, M; Ogawara, K.; Kojima, S.; Kanesaka, T; Misawa, S.; Hattori, T.; Kuwabara, S


    Background: Little is known about the long term prognosis for patients the severe acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) form of Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), unlike those with acute inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy (AIDP).

  7. Vertebrate Fidgetin Restrains Axonal Growth by Severing Labile Domains of Microtubules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lanfranco Leo


    Full Text Available Individual microtubules (MTs in the axon consist of a stable domain that is highly acetylated and a labile domain that is not. Traditional MT-severing proteins preferentially cut the MT in the stable domain. In Drosophila, fidgetin behaves in this fashion, with targeted knockdown resulting in neurons with a higher fraction of acetylated (stable MT mass in their axons. Conversely, in a fidgetin knockout mouse, the fraction of MT mass that is acetylated is lower than in the control animal. When fidgetin is depleted from cultured rodent neurons, there is a 62% increase in axonal MT mass, all of which is labile. Concomitantly, there are more minor processes and a longer axon. Together with experimental data showing that vertebrate fidgetin targets unacetylated tubulin, these results indicate that vertebrate fidgetin (unlike its fly ortholog regulates neuronal development by tamping back the expansion of the labile domains of MTs.

  8. Axonal regeneration in adult CNS neurons – signaling molecules and pathways

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Teng, Felicia Yu Hsuan; Tang, Bor Luen


    Failure of severed adult CNS axons to regenerate could be attributed to both a reduced intrinsic capacity to grow and an heightened susceptibility to inhibitory factors of the CNS extracellular environment...

  9. Acute motor axonal neuropathy and transverse myelitis overlap: the importance of history taking. (United States)

    Degan, Diana; Tiseo, Cindy; Ornello, Raffaele; Notturno, Francesca


    In young adults, acute motor axonal neuropathy and transverse myelitis rarely occur as associated conditions. Clinical reasoning, symptoms, laboratory and ancillary investigations (electroneurographic and radiological findings), should properly address the physician to the correct diagnosis.

  10. Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Axonal Regeneration After Spinal Cord Injury* (United States)

    van Niekerk, Erna A.; Tuszynski, Mark H.; Lu, Paul; Dulin, Jennifer N.


    Following axotomy, a complex temporal and spatial coordination of molecular events enables regeneration of the peripheral nerve. In contrast, multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute to the general failure of axonal regeneration in the central nervous system. In this review, we examine the current understanding of differences in protein expression and post-translational modifications, activation of signaling networks, and environmental cues that may underlie the divergent regenerative capacity of central and peripheral axons. We also highlight key experimental strategies to enhance axonal regeneration via modulation of intraneuronal signaling networks and the extracellular milieu. Finally, we explore potential applications of proteomics to fill gaps in the current understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying regeneration, and to provide insight into the development of more effective approaches to promote axonal regeneration following injury to the nervous system. PMID:26695766

  11. Orientationally invariant indices of axon diameter and density from diffusion MRI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alexander, Daniel C; Hubbard, Penny L; Hall, Matt G


    greater diffusivity and lower gradient strength limit sensitivity to only the largest axons. Maps of axon diameter and density indices from the monkey and human data in the corpus callosum and corticospinal tract reflect known trends from histology. The results show orientationally invariant sensitivity......This paper proposes and tests a technique for imaging orientationally invariant indices of axon diameter and density in white matter using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. Such indices potentially provide more specific markers of white matter microstructure than standard indices from diffusion...... to natural axon diameter distributions for the first time with both specialist and clinical hardware. This demonstration motivates further refinement, validation, and evaluation of the precise nature of the indices and the influence of potential confounds....

  12. Genetics Home Reference: adult-onset leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids and pigmented glia (United States)

    ... with Axonal Spheroids and Pigmented Glia MedlinePlus Encyclopedia: Dementia General Information from MedlinePlus (5 links) Diagnostic Tests Drug Therapy Genetic Counseling Palliative Care Surgery and Rehabilitation Related Information How are genetic ...

  13. SNTF immunostaining reveals previously undetected axonal pathology in traumatic brain injury. (United States)

    Johnson, Victoria E; Stewart, William; Weber, Maura T; Cullen, D Kacy; Siman, Robert; Smith, Douglas H


    Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a common feature of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and may also be a predominant pathology in mild TBI or "concussion". The rapid deformation of white matter at the instant of trauma can lead to mechanical failure and calcium-dependent proteolysis of the axonal cytoskeleton in association with axonal transport interruption. Recently, a proteolytic fragment of alpha-II spectrin, "SNTF", was detected in serum acutely following mild TBI in patients and was prognostic for poor clinical outcome. However, direct evidence that this fragment is a marker of DAI has yet to be demonstrated in either humans following TBI or in models of mild TBI. Here, we used immunohistochemistry (IHC) to examine for SNTF in brain tissue following both severe and mild TBI. Human severe TBI cases (survival brains from an established model of mild TBI at 6, 48 and 72 h post-injury versus shams. IHC specific for SNTF was compared to that of amyloid precursor protein (APP), the current standard for DAI diagnosis, and other known markers of axonal pathology including non-phosphorylated neurofilament-H (SMI-32), neurofilament-68 (NF-68) and compacted neurofilament-medium (RMO-14) using double and triple immunofluorescent labeling. Supporting its use as a biomarker of DAI, SNTF immunoreactive axons were observed at all time points following both human severe TBI and in the model of mild TBI. Interestingly, SNTF revealed a subpopulation of degenerating axons, undetected by the gold-standard marker of transport interruption, APP. While there was greater axonal co-localization between SNTF and APP after severe TBI in humans, a subset of SNTF positive axons displayed no APP accumulation. Notably, some co-localization was observed between SNTF and the less abundant neurofilament subtype markers. Other SNTF positive axons, however, did not co-localize with any other markers. Similarly, RMO-14 and NF-68 positive axonal pathology existed independent of SNTF and APP

  14. Fisiopatología del síndrome de Guillain Barré axonal Physiopathology of axonal acute Guillain Barré syndrome


    Juan Guillermo Montoya Ch.; Diana P. Martínez T.; Jaime Carrizosa Moog; Beatriz Aguirre L.


    Se describe la fisiopatología del síndrome de Guillain Barré axonal. Se consideran especialmente cinco aspectos: 1) Agentes etiológicos, específicamente el Campylobacter jejuni. 2) Susceptibilidad genética humana. 3) Mimetismo molecular entre lipopolisacáridos y lipoproteínas. 4) Mecanismo de acción de los anticuerpos antigangliósidos y 5) Hallazgos patológicos. The physiopathology of axonal acute Guillain Barré syndrome is described. Five aspects are considered, namely: 1) Etiologic agents e...

  15. Changing the intrinsic growth capacity of motor and sensory neurons to promote axonal growth after injury the role of FGF2 in axonal regeneration /


    Allodi, Ilary


    Les lesions dels nervis perifèrics provoquen paràlisis, anestèsia i pèrdua del control autonòmic de la zona afectada. Després de lesió, la part distal dels axons queda desconectat del soma i degenera, provocant la denervació dels òrgans diana. La degeneració walleriana crea un microambient favorable per al creixement axonal, alhora que la neurona canvia a un fenotip proregeneratiu. Malauradament, la manca d'especificitat de la regeneració, en termes de creixement motor i sensorial i reinnerva...

  16. Detection of functional homotopy in traumatic axonal injury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Jian; Gao, Lei; Xie, Kai; Zhan, Jie; Luo, Xiaoping; Wang, Huifang; Zhang, Huifang; Zhao, Jing; Zhou, Fuqing; Zeng, Xianjun; He, Laichang; He, Yulin; Gong, Honghan [Nanchang University, Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Nanchang City, Jiangxi (China)


    This study aimed to explore the interhemispheric intrinsic connectivity in traumatic axonal injury (TAI) patients. Twenty-one patients with TAI (14 males, seven females; mean age, 38.71 ± 15.25 years) and 22 well-matched healthy controls (16 males, six females; mean age, 38.50 ± 13.82 years) were recruited, and from them we obtained resting-state fMRI data. Interhemispheric coordination was examined using voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) and seed-based functional connectivity analysis was performed. We observed significantly decreased VMHC in a number of regions in TAI patients, including the prefrontal, temporal, occipital, parietal, and posterior cingulate cortices, thalami and cerebellar posterior lobes. Subsequent seed-based functional connectivity analysis revealed widely disrupted functional connectivity between the regions of local homotopic connectivity deficits and other areas of the brain, particularly the areas subserving the default, salience, integrative, and executive systems. The lower VMHC of the inferior frontal gyrus and basal ganglia, thalamus, and caudate were significant correlated with the Beck Depression Inventory score, Clinical Dementia Rating score, and Mini-Mental State Examination score, respectively. TAI is associated with regionally decreased interhemispheric interactions and extensively disrupted seed-based functional connectivity, generating further evidence of diffuse disconnection being associated with clinical symptoms in TAI patients. (orig.)

  17. Bridging Physics and Biology Using Resistance and Axons (United States)

    Dyer, Joshua M.


    When teaching physics, it is often difficult to get biology-oriented students to see the relevance of physics.1 A complaint often heard is that biology students are required to take physics for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) as part of a "weeding out" process, but that they don't feel like they need physics for biology. Despite this impression held by students, there have been calls for better physics education for future physicians and life scientists.2,3 Research is being performed to improve physics classes and labs by linking topics in biology and physics.4,5 Described here is a laboratory experiment covering the topics of resistance of materials and circuits/Kirchhoff's laws in a biology context with their direct application to neurons, axons, and electrical impulse transmission within animals. This experiment will also demonstrate the mechanism believed to cause multiple sclerosis. The apparatus was designed with low-cost and readily available materials in mind.

  18. Metabolic efficiency with fast spiking in the squid axon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelmalik eMoujahid


    Full Text Available Fundamentally, action potentials in the squid axon are consequence of the entrance of sodium ions during the depolarization of the rising phase of the spike mediated by the outflow of potassium ions during the hyperpolarization of the falling phase. Perfect metabolic efficiency with a minimum charge needed for the change in voltage during the action potential would confine sodium entry to the rising phase and potassium efflux to the falling phase. However, because sodium channels remain open to a significant extent during the falling phase, a certain overlap of inward and outward currents is observed. In this work we investigate the impact of ion overlap on the number of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP molecules and energy cost required per action potential as a function of the temperature in a Hodgkin-Huxley model. Based on a recent approach to computing the energy cost of neuronal AP generation not based on ion counting, we show that increased firing frequencies induced by higher temperatures imply more efficient use of sodium entry, and then a decrease in the metabolic energy cost required to restore the concentration gradients after an action potential. Also, we determine values of sodium conductance at which the hydrolysis efficiency presents a clear minimum.

  19. HIV Glycoprotein Gp120 Impairs Fast Axonal Transport by Activating Tak1 Signaling Pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah H. Berth


    Full Text Available Sensory neuropathies are the most common neurological complication of HIV. Of these, distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSP is directly caused by HIV infection and characterized by length-dependent axonal degeneration of dorsal root ganglion (DRG neurons. Mechanisms for axonal degeneration in DSP remain unclear, but recent experiments revealed that the HIV glycoprotein gp120 is internalized and localized within axons of DRG neurons. Based on these findings, we investigated whether intra-axonal gp120 might impair fast axonal transport (FAT, a cellular process critical for appropriate maintenance of the axonal compartment. Significantly, we found that gp120 severely impaired both anterograde and retrograde FAT. Providing a mechanistic basis for these effects, pharmacological experiments revealed an involvement of various phosphotransferases in this toxic effect, including members of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways (Tak-1, p38, and c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK, inhibitor of kappa-B-kinase 2 (IKK2, and PP1. Biochemical experiments and axonal outgrowth assays in cell lines and primary cultures extended these findings. Impairments in neurite outgrowth in DRG neurons by gp120 were rescued using a Tak-1 inhibitor, implicating a Tak-1 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in gp120 neurotoxicity. Taken together, these observations indicate that kinase-based impairments in FAT represent a novel mechanism underlying gp120 neurotoxicity consistent with the dying-back degeneration seen in DSP. Targeting gp120-based impairments in FAT with specific kinase inhibitors might provide a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent axonal degeneration in DSP.

  20. HIV Glycoprotein Gp120 Impairs Fast Axonal Transport by Activating Tak1 Signaling Pathways. (United States)

    Berth, Sarah H; Mesnard-Hoaglin, Nichole; Wang, Bin; Kim, Hajwa; Song, Yuyu; Sapar, Maria; Morfini, Gerardo; Brady, Scott T


    Sensory neuropathies are the most common neurological complication of HIV. Of these, distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSP) is directly caused by HIV infection and characterized by length-dependent axonal degeneration of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Mechanisms for axonal degeneration in DSP remain unclear, but recent experiments revealed that the HIV glycoprotein gp120 is internalized and localized within axons of DRG neurons. Based on these findings, we investigated whether intra-axonal gp120 might impair fast axonal transport (FAT), a cellular process critical for appropriate maintenance of the axonal compartment. Significantly, we found that gp120 severely impaired both anterograde and retrograde FAT. Providing a mechanistic basis for these effects, pharmacological experiments revealed an involvement of various phosphotransferases in this toxic effect, including members of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways (Tak-1, p38, and c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK)), inhibitor of kappa-B-kinase 2 (IKK2), and PP1. Biochemical experiments and axonal outgrowth assays in cell lines and primary cultures extended these findings. Impairments in neurite outgrowth in DRG neurons by gp120 were rescued using a Tak-1 inhibitor, implicating a Tak-1 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in gp120 neurotoxicity. Taken together, these observations indicate that kinase-based impairments in FAT represent a novel mechanism underlying gp120 neurotoxicity consistent with the dying-back degeneration seen in DSP. Targeting gp120-based impairments in FAT with specific kinase inhibitors might provide a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent axonal degeneration in DSP. © The Author(s) 2016.

  1. Motor axons are guided to exit points in the spinal cord by Slit and Netrin signals. (United States)

    Kim, Minkyung; Fontelonga, Tatiana M; Lee, Clare H; Barnum, Sarah J; Mastick, Grant S


    In the spinal cord, motor axons project out the neural tube at specific exit points, then bundle together to project toward target muscles. The molecular signals that guide motor axons to and out of their exit points remain undefined. Since motor axons and their exit points are located near the floor plate, guidance signals produced by the floor plate and adjacent ventral tissues could influence motor axons as they project toward and out of exit points. The secreted Slit proteins are major floor plate repellents, and motor neurons express two Slit receptors, Robo1 and Robo2. Using mutant mouse embryos at early stages of motor axon exit, we found that motor exit points shifted ventrally in Robo1/2 or Slit1/2 double mutants. Along with the ventral shift, mutant axons had abnormal trajectories both within the neural tube toward the exit point, and after exit into the periphery. In contrast, the absence of the major ventral attractant, Netrin-1, or its receptor, DCC caused motor exit points to shift dorsally. Netrin-1 attraction on spinal motor axons was demonstrated by in vitro explant assays, showing that Netrin-1 increased outgrowth and attracted cultured spinal motor axons. The opposing effects of Slit/Robo and Netrin-1/DCC signals were tested genetically by combining Netrin-1 and Robo1/2 mutations. The location of exit points in the combined mutants was significantly recovered to their normal position compared to Netrin-1 or Robo1/2 mutants. Together, these results suggest that the proper position of motor exit points is determined by a "push-pull" mechanism, pulled ventrally by Netrin-1/DCC attraction and pushed dorsally by Slit/Robo repulsion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Axon Regeneration Can Facilitate or Suppress Hindlimb Function after Olfactory Ensheathing Glia Transplantation


    Takeoka, Aya; Jindrich, Devin L.; Muñoz-Quiles, Cintia; Zhong, Hui; van den Brand, Rubia; Pham, Daniel L.; Ziegler, Matthias D.; Ramón-Cueto, Almudena; Roy, Roland R.; Edgerton, V. Reggie; Phelps, Patricia E.


    Reports based primarily on anatomical evidence suggest that olfactory ensheathing glia (OEG) transplantation promotes axon regeneration across a complete spinal cord transection in adult rats. Based on functional, electrophysiological, and anatomical assessments, we found that OEG promoted axon regeneration across a complete spinal cord transection and that this regeneration altered motor responses over time. At 7 months after transection, 70% of OEG-treated rats showed motor-evoked potential...

  3. Spastin, atlastin, and ER relocalization are involved in axon but not dendrite regeneration


    Rao, Kavitha; Stone, Michelle C.; Weiner, Alexis T.; Gheres, Kyle W.; Zhou, Chaoming; Deitcher, David L.; Levitan, Edwin S.; Rolls, Melissa M


    Mutations in >50 genes, including spastin and atlastin, lead to hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). We previously demonstrated that reduction of spastin leads to a deficit in axon regeneration in a Drosophila model. Axon regeneration was similarly impaired in neurons when HSP proteins atlastin, seipin, and spichthyin were reduced. Impaired regeneration was dependent on genetic background and was observed when partial reduction of HSP proteins was combined with expression of dominant-negative...

  4. Exosomes Derived from Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Promote Axonal Growth of Cortical Neurons. (United States)

    Zhang, Yi; Chopp, Michael; Liu, Xian Shuang; Katakowski, Mark; Wang, Xinli; Tian, Xinchu; Wu, David; Zhang, Zheng Gang


    Treatment of brain injury with exosomes derived from mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) enhances neurite growth. However, the direct effect of exosomes on axonal growth and molecular mechanisms underlying exosome-enhanced neurite growth are not known. Using primary cortical neurons cultured in a microfluidic device, we found that MSC-exosomes promoted axonal growth, whereas attenuation of argonaut 2 protein, one of the primary microRNA (miRNA) machinery proteins, in MSC-exosomes abolished their effect on axonal growth. Both neuronal cell bodies and axons internalized MSC-exosomes, which was blocked by botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) that cleave proteins of the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex. Moreover, tailored MSC-exosomes carrying elevated miR-17-92 cluster further enhanced axonal growth compared to native MSC-exosomes. Quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analysis showed that the tailored MSC-exosomes increased levels of individual members of this cluster and activated the PTEN/mTOR signaling pathway in recipient neurons, respectively. Together, our data demonstrate that native MSC-exosomes promote axonal growth while the tailored MSC-exosomes can further boost this effect and that tailored exosomes can deliver their selective cargo miRNAs into and activate their target signals in recipient neurons. Neuronal internalization of MSC-exosomes is mediated by the SNARE complex. This study reveals molecular mechanisms that contribute to MSC-exosome-promoted axonal growth, which provides a potential therapeutic strategy to enhance axonal growth.

  5. Semaphorin 3A is required for guidance of olfactory axons in mice. (United States)

    Schwarting, G A; Kostek, C; Ahmad, N; Dibble, C; Pays, L; Püschel, A W


    Semaphorin 3A (Sema3A) is a membrane-associated secreted protein that has chemorepulsive properties for neuropilin-1 (npn-1)- expressing axons. Although mice lacking the Sema3A protein display skeletal abnormalities and heart defects, most axonal projections in the CNS develop normally. We show here that Sema3A is expressed in the lamina propria surrounding the olfactory epithelium (OE) and by ensheathing cells in the nerve layer of the ventral olfactory bulb (OB) throughout development. Subsets of sensory neurons expressing npn-1 are distributed throughout the OE and extend fibers to the developing OB. In wild-type mice, npn-1-positive (npn-1(+)) axons extend to lateral targets in the rostral OB and medial targets in the caudal OB, avoiding regions expressing Sema3A. In Sema3A homozygous mutant mice, many npn-1(+) axons are misrouted into and through the ventral nerve layer, beginning as early as embryonic day 13 and continuing at least until birth. At postnatal day 0, npn-1(+) glomeruli are atypically located in the ventral OB of Sema3A(-/-) mice, indicating that aberrant axon trajectories are not corrected during development and that connections are made in inappropriate target regions. In addition, subsets of OCAM(+) axons that normally project to the ventrolateral OB and some lactosamine-containing glycan(+) axons that normally target the ventral OB are also misrouted in Sema3A mutants. These observations indicate that Sema3A expression by ensheathing cells plays an important role in guiding olfactory axons into specific compartments of the OB.

  6. PTEN deletion from adult-generated dentate granule cells disrupts granule cell mossy fiber axon structure. (United States)

    LaSarge, Candi L; Santos, Victor R; Danzer, Steve C


    Dysregulation of the mTOR-signaling pathway is implicated in the development of temporal lobe epilepsy. In mice, deletion of PTEN from hippocampal dentate granule cells leads to mTOR hyperactivation and promotes the rapid onset of spontaneous seizures. The mechanism by which these abnormal cells initiate epileptogenesis, however, is unclear. PTEN-knockout granule cells develop abnormally, exhibiting morphological features indicative of increased excitatory input. If these cells are directly responsible for seizure genesis, it follows that they should also possess increased output. To test this prediction, dentate granule cell axon morphology was quantified in control and PTEN-knockout mice. Unexpectedly, PTEN deletion increased giant mossy fiber bouton spacing along the axon length, suggesting reduced innervation of CA3. Increased width of the mossy fiber axon pathway in stratum lucidum, however, which likely reflects an unusual increase in mossy fiber axon collateralization in this region, offsets the reduction in boutons per axon length. These morphological changes predict a net increase in granule cell innervation of CA3. Increased diameter of axons from PTEN-knockout cells would further enhance granule cell communication with CA3. Altogether, these findings suggest that amplified information flow through the hippocampal circuit contributes to seizure occurrence in the PTEN-knockout mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Deletions within its subcellular targeting domain enhance the axon protective capacity of Nmnat2 in vivo. (United States)

    Milde, Stefan; Fox, A Nicole; Freeman, Marc R; Coleman, Michael P


    The NAD-synthesising enzyme Nmnat2 is a critical survival factor for axons in vitro and in vivo. We recently reported that loss of axonal transport vesicle association through mutations in its isoform-specific targeting and interaction domain (ISTID) reduces Nmnat2 ubiquitination, prolongs its half-life and boosts its axon protective capacity in primary culture neurons. Here, we report evidence for a role of ISTID sequences in tuning Nmnat2 localisation, stability and protective capacity in vivo. Deletion of central ISTID sequences abolishes vesicle association and increases protein stability of fluorescently tagged, transgenic Nmnat2 in mouse peripheral axons in vivo. Overexpression of fluorescently tagged Nmnat2 significantly delays Wallerian degeneration in these mice. Furthermore, while mammalian Nmnat2 is unable to protect transected Drosophila olfactory receptor neuron axons in vivo, mutant Nmnat2s lacking ISTID regions substantially delay Wallerian degeneration. Together, our results establish Nmnat2 localisation and turnover as a valuable target for modulating axon degeneration in vivo.

  8. Fractional cable equation for general geometry: A model of axons with swellings and anomalous diffusion (United States)

    López-Sánchez, Erick J.; Romero, Juan M.; Yépez-Martínez, Huitzilin


    Different experimental studies have reported anomalous diffusion in brain tissues and notably this anomalous diffusion is expressed through fractional derivatives. Axons are important to understand neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. Indeed, abnormal accumulation of proteins and organelles in axons is a hallmark of these diseases. The diffusion in the axons can become anomalous as a result of this abnormality. In this case the voltage propagation in axons is affected. Another hallmark of different neurodegenerative diseases is given by discrete swellings along the axon. In order to model the voltage propagation in axons with anomalous diffusion and swellings, in this paper we propose a fractional cable equation for a general geometry. This generalized equation depends on fractional parameters and geometric quantities such as the curvature and torsion of the cable. For a cable with a constant radius we show that the voltage decreases when the fractional effect increases. In cables with swellings we find that when the fractional effect or the swelling radius increases, the voltage decreases. Similar behavior is obtained when the number of swellings and the fractional effect increase. Moreover, we find that when the radius swelling (or the number of swellings) and the fractional effect increase at the same time, the voltage dramatically decreases.

  9. Targeting axon growth from neuronal transplants along preformed guidance pathways in the adult CNS. (United States)

    Ziemba, Kristine S; Chaudhry, Nagarathnamma; Rabchevsky, Alexander G; Jin, Ying; Smith, George M


    To re-establish neuronal circuits lost after CNS injury, transplanted neurons must be able to extend axons toward their appropriate targets. Such growth is highly restricted within the adult CNS attributable to the expression of inhibitory molecules and general lack of guidance cues to direct axon growth. This environment typically induces random patterns of growth and aberrant innervation, if growth occurs at all. To target the growth of axons from neuronal transplants, we are using viral vectors to create guidance pathways before neuronal transplantation. In this study, we transplanted postnatal rat dorsal root ganglia neurons into the corpus callosum of adult rats. Replication-incompetent adenoviruses encoding growth or guidance factors were injected along the desired pathway 1 week before cell transplantation, allowing time for sufficient protein expression by host glial cells. With expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor, sensory axons were able to grow along the corpus callosum, across the midline, and toward an NGF-expressing target in either the contralateral striatum or cortex: a distance of 7-8 mm including a 90 degree turn from white matter into gray matter. Furthermore, expression of semaphorin 3A slightly dorsal and lateral to the turning point increased the number of axons turning into the striatal target. These results show that judicious expression of neuron-specific chemoattractant and chemorepellant molecules using viral vectors can support and target axon growth from neuronal transplants in the adult CNS.

  10. Methodological advances in imaging intravital axonal transport [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James N. Sleigh


    Full Text Available Axonal transport is the active process whereby neurons transport cargoes such as organelles and proteins anterogradely from the cell body to the axon terminal and retrogradely in the opposite direction. Bi-directional transport in axons is absolutely essential for the functioning and survival of neurons and appears to be negatively impacted by both aging and diseases of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The movement of individual cargoes along axons has been studied in vitro in live neurons and tissue explants for a number of years; however, it is currently unclear as to whether these systems faithfully and consistently replicate the in vivo situation. A number of intravital techniques originally developed for studying diverse biological events have recently been adapted to monitor axonal transport in real-time in a range of live organisms and are providing novel insight into this dynamic process. Here, we highlight these methodological advances in intravital imaging of axonal transport, outlining key strengths and limitations while discussing findings, possible improvements, and outstanding questions.

  11. BDNF promotes target innervation of Xenopus mandibular trigeminal axons in vivo. (United States)

    Huang, Jeffrey K; Dorey, Karel; Ishibashi, Shoko; Amaya, Enrique


    Trigeminal nerves consist of ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular branches that project to distinct regions of the facial epidermis. In Xenopus embryos, the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve extends toward and innervates the cement gland in the anterior facial epithelium. The cement gland has previously been proposed to provide a short-range chemoattractive signal to promote target innervation by mandibular trigeminal axons. Brain derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF is known to stimulate axon outgrowth and branching. The goal of this study is to determine whether BDNF functions as the proposed target recognition signal in the Xenopus cement gland. We found that the cement gland is enriched in BDNF mRNA transcripts compared to the other neurotrophins NT3 and NT4 during mandibular trigeminal nerve innervation. BDNF knockdown in Xenopus embryos or specifically in cement glands resulted in the failure of mandibular trigeminal axons to arborise or grow into the cement gland. BDNF expressed ectodermal grafts, when positioned in place of the cement gland, promoted local trigeminal axon arborisation in vivo. BDNF is necessary locally to promote end stage target innervation of trigeminal axons in vivo, suggesting that BDNF functions as a short-range signal that stimulates mandibular trigeminal axon arborisation and growth into the cement gland.

  12. Slit/Robo-mediated chemorepulsion of vagal sensory axons in the fetal gut. (United States)

    Goldberg, David; Borojevic, Rajka; Anderson, Monique; Chen, Jason J; Gershon, Michael D; Ratcliffe, Elyanne M


    The vagus nerve descends from the brain to the gut during fetal life to reach specific targets in the bowel wall. Vagal sensory axons have been shown to respond to the axon guidance molecule netrin and to its receptor, deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC). As there are regions of the gut wall into which vagal axons do and do not extend, it is likely that a combination of attractive and repellent cues are involved in how vagal axons reach specific targets. We tested the hypothesis that Slit/Robo chemorepulsion can contribute to the restriction of vagal sensory axons to specific targets in the gut wall. Transcripts encoding Robo1 and Robo2 were expressed in the nodose ganglia throughout development and mRNA encoding the Robo ligands Slit1, Slit2, and Slit3 were all found in the fetal and adult bowel. Slit2 protein was located in the outer gut mesenchyme in regions that partially overlap with the secretion of netrin-1. Neurites extending from explanted nodose ganglia were repelled by Slit2. These observations suggest that vagal sensory axons are responsive to Slit proteins and are thus repelled by Slits secreted in the gut wall and prevented from reaching inappropriate targets. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Covariation of axon initial segment location and dendritic tree normalizes the somatic action potential. (United States)

    Hamada, Mustafa S; Goethals, Sarah; de Vries, Sharon I; Brette, Romain; Kole, Maarten H P


    In mammalian neurons, the axon initial segment (AIS) electrically connects the somatodendritic compartment with the axon and converts the incoming synaptic voltage changes into a temporally precise action potential (AP) output code. Although axons often emanate directly from the soma, they may also originate more distally from a dendrite, the implications of which are not well-understood. Here, we show that one-third of the thick-tufted layer 5 pyramidal neurons have an axon originating from a dendrite and are characterized by a reduced dendritic complexity and thinner main apical dendrite. Unexpectedly, the rising phase of somatic APs is electrically indistinguishable between neurons with a somatic or a dendritic axon origin. Cable analysis of the neurons indicated that the axonal axial current is inversely proportional to the AIS distance, denoting the path length between the soma and the start of the AIS, and to produce invariant somatic APs, it must scale with the local somatodendritic capacitance. In agreement, AIS distance inversely correlates with the apical dendrite diameter, and model simulations confirmed that the covariation suffices to normalize the somatic AP waveform. Therefore, in pyramidal neurons, the AIS location is finely tuned with the somatodendritic capacitive load, serving as a homeostatic regulation of the somatic AP in the face of diverse neuronal morphologies.

  14. Axonal selection and myelin sheath generation in the central nervous system. (United States)

    Simons, Mikael; Lyons, David A


    The formation of myelin in the central nervous system is a multi-step process that involves coordinated cell-cell interactions and dramatic changes in plasma membrane architecture. First, oligodendrocytes send our numerous highly ramified processes to sample the axonal environment and decide which axon(s) to select for myelination. After this decision is made and individual axon to oligodendrocyte contact has been established, the exploratory process of the oligodendrocyte is converted into a flat sheath that spreads and winds along and around its associated axon to generate a multilayered membrane stack. By compaction of the opposing extracellular layers of membrane and extrusion of almost all cytoplasm from the intracellular domain of the sheath, the characteristic membrane-rich multi-lamellar structure of myelin is formed. Here we highlight recent advances in identifying biophysical and signalling based mechanisms that are involved in axonal selection and myelin sheath generation by oligodendrocytes. A thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying these events is a prerequisite for the design of novel myelin repair strategies in demyelinating and dysmyelinating diseases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. AAV-KLF7 Promotes Descending Propriospinal Neuron Axonal Plasticity after Spinal Cord Injury (United States)

    Li, Wen-Yuan; Sun, Ping; Cheng, Yong-Xia


    DPSN axons mediate and maintain a variety of normal spinal functions. Unsurprisingly, DPSN tracts have been shown to mediate functional recovery following SCI. KLF7 could contribute to CST axon plasticity after spinal cord injury. In the present study, we assessed whether KLF7 could effectively promote DPSN axon regeneration and synapse formation following SCI. An AAV-KLF7 construct was used to overexpress KLF7. In vitro, KLF7 and target proteins were successfully elevated and axonal outgrowth was enhanced. In vivo, young adult C57BL/6 mice received a T10 contusion followed by an AAV-KLF7 injection at the T7–9 levels above the lesion. Five weeks later, overexpression of KLF7 was expressed in DPSN. KLF7 and KLF7 target genes (NGF, TrkA, GAP43, and P0) were detectably increased in the injured spinal cord. Myelin sparring at the lesion site, DPSN axonal regeneration and synapse formation, muscle weight, motor endplate morphology, and functional parameters were all additionally improved by KLF7 treatment. Our findings suggest that KLF7 promotes DPSN axonal plasticity and the formation of synapses with motor neurons at the caudal spinal cord, leading to improved functional recovery and further supporting the potential of AAV-KLF7 as a therapeutic agent for spinal cord injury. PMID:28884027

  16. AAV-KLF7 Promotes Descending Propriospinal Neuron Axonal Plasticity after Spinal Cord Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen-Yuan Li


    Full Text Available DPSN axons mediate and maintain a variety of normal spinal functions. Unsurprisingly, DPSN tracts have been shown to mediate functional recovery following SCI. KLF7 could contribute to CST axon plasticity after spinal cord injury. In the present study, we assessed whether KLF7 could effectively promote DPSN axon regeneration and synapse formation following SCI. An AAV-KLF7 construct was used to overexpress KLF7. In vitro, KLF7 and target proteins were successfully elevated and axonal outgrowth was enhanced. In vivo, young adult C57BL/6 mice received a T10 contusion followed by an AAV-KLF7 injection at the T7–9 levels above the lesion. Five weeks later, overexpression of KLF7 was expressed in DPSN. KLF7 and KLF7 target genes (NGF, TrkA, GAP43, and P0 were detectably increased in the injured spinal cord. Myelin sparring at the lesion site, DPSN axonal regeneration and synapse formation, muscle weight, motor endplate morphology, and functional parameters were all additionally improved by KLF7 treatment. Our findings suggest that KLF7 promotes DPSN axonal plasticity and the formation of synapses with motor neurons at the caudal spinal cord, leading to improved functional recovery and further supporting the potential of AAV-KLF7 as a therapeutic agent for spinal cord injury.

  17. AAV-KLF7 Promotes Descending Propriospinal Neuron Axonal Plasticity after Spinal Cord Injury. (United States)

    Li, Wen-Yuan; Wang, Ying; Zhai, Feng-Guo; Sun, Ping; Cheng, Yong-Xia; Deng, Ling-Xiao; Wang, Zhen-Yu


    DPSN axons mediate and maintain a variety of normal spinal functions. Unsurprisingly, DPSN tracts have been shown to mediate functional recovery following SCI. KLF7 could contribute to CST axon plasticity after spinal cord injury. In the present study, we assessed whether KLF7 could effectively promote DPSN axon regeneration and synapse formation following SCI. An AAV-KLF7 construct was used to overexpress KLF7. In vitro, KLF7 and target proteins were successfully elevated and axonal outgrowth was enhanced. In vivo, young adult C57BL/6 mice received a T10 contusion followed by an AAV-KLF7 injection at the T7-9 levels above the lesion. Five weeks later, overexpression of KLF7 was expressed in DPSN. KLF7 and KLF7 target genes (NGF, TrkA, GAP43, and P0) were detectably increased in the injured spinal cord. Myelin sparring at the lesion site, DPSN axonal regeneration and synapse formation, muscle weight, motor endplate morphology, and functional parameters were all additionally improved by KLF7 treatment. Our findings suggest that KLF7 promotes DPSN axonal plasticity and the formation of synapses with motor neurons at the caudal spinal cord, leading to improved functional recovery and further supporting the potential of AAV-KLF7 as a therapeutic agent for spinal cord injury.

  18. Protecting axonal degeneration by increasing nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide levels in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis models. (United States)

    Kaneko, Shinjiro; Wang, Jing; Kaneko, Marie; Yiu, Glenn; Hurrell, Joanna M; Chitnis, Tanuja; Khoury, Samia J; He, Zhigang


    Axonal damage is a major morphological alteration in the CNS of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). However, the underlying mechanism for the axonal damage associated with MS/EAE and its contribution to the clinical symptoms remain unclear. The expression of a fusion protein, named "Wallerian degeneration slow" (Wld(S)), can protect axons from degeneration, likely through a beta-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent mechanism. In this study, we find that, when induced with EAE, Wld(S) mice showed a modest attenuation of behavioral deficits and axon loss, suggesting that EAE-associated axon damage may occur by a mechanism similar to Wallerian degeneration. Furthermore, nicotinamide (NAm), an NAD biosynthesis precursor, profoundly prevents the degeneration of demyelinated axons and improves the behavioral deficits in EAE models. Finally, we demonstrate that delayed NAm treatment is also beneficial to EAE models, pointing to the therapeutic potential of NAm as a protective agent for EAE and perhaps MS patients.

  19. Fractional cable equation for general geometry: A model of axons with swellings and anomalous diffusion. (United States)

    López-Sánchez, Erick J; Romero, Juan M; Yépez-Martínez, Huitzilin


    Different experimental studies have reported anomalous diffusion in brain tissues and notably this anomalous diffusion is expressed through fractional derivatives. Axons are important to understand neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. Indeed, abnormal accumulation of proteins and organelles in axons is a hallmark of these diseases. The diffusion in the axons can become anomalous as a result of this abnormality. In this case the voltage propagation in axons is affected. Another hallmark of different neurodegenerative diseases is given by discrete swellings along the axon. In order to model the voltage propagation in axons with anomalous diffusion and swellings, in this paper we propose a fractional cable equation for a general geometry. This generalized equation depends on fractional parameters and geometric quantities such as the curvature and torsion of the cable. For a cable with a constant radius we show that the voltage decreases when the fractional effect increases. In cables with swellings we find that when the fractional effect or the swelling radius increases, the voltage decreases. Similar behavior is obtained when the number of swellings and the fractional effect increase. Moreover, we find that when the radius swelling (or the number of swellings) and the fractional effect increase at the same time, the voltage dramatically decreases.

  20. Zinc chelation and Klf9 knockdown cooperatively promote axon regeneration after optic nerve injury. (United States)

    Trakhtenberg, Ephraim F; Li, Yiqing; Feng, Qian; Tso, Janice; Rosenberg, Paul A; Goldberg, Jeffrey L; Benowitz, Larry I


    The inability of axons to regenerate over long-distances in the central nervous system (CNS) limits the recovery of sensory, motor, and cognitive functions after various CNS injuries and diseases. Although pre-clinical studies have identified a number of manipulations that stimulate some degree of axon growth after CNS damage, the extent of recovery remains quite limited, emphasizing the need for improved therapies. Here, we used traumatic injury to the mouse optic nerve as a model system to test the effects of combining several treatments that have recently been found to promote axon regeneration without the risks associated with manipulating known tumor suppressors or oncogenes. The treatments tested here include TPEN, a chelator of mobile (free) zinc (Zn(2+)); shRNA against the axon growth-suppressing transcription factor Klf9; and the atypical growth factor oncomodulin combined with a cAMP analog. Whereas some combinatorial treatments produced only marginally stronger effects than the individual treatments alone, co-treatment with TPEN and Klf9 knockdown had a substantially stronger effect on axon regeneration than either one alone. This combination also promoted a high level of cell survival at longer time points. Thus, Zn(2+) chelation in combination with Klf9 suppression holds therapeutic potential for promoting axon regeneration after optic nerve injury, and may also be effective for treating other CNS injuries and diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Decreased expression of axon-guidance receptors in the anterior cingulate cortex in autism

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    Suda Shiro


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Axon-guidance proteins play a crucial role in brain development. As the dysfunction of axon-guidance signaling is thought to underlie the microstructural abnormalities of the brain in people with autism, we examined the postmortem brains of people with autism to identify any changes in the expression of axon-guidance proteins. Results The mRNA and protein expression of axon-guidance proteins, including ephrin (EFNA4, eEFNB3, plexin (PLXNA4, roundabout 2 (ROBO2 and ROBO3, were examined in the anterior cingulate cortex and primary motor cortex of autistic brains (n = 8 and n = 7, respectively and control brains (n = 13 and n = 8, respectively using real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR and western blotting. Real-time RT-PCR revealed that the relative expression levels of EFNB3, PLXNA4A and ROBO2 were significantly lower in the autistic group than in the control group. The protein levels of these three genes were further analyzed by western blotting, which showed that the immunoreactive values for PLXNA4 and ROBO2, but not for EFNB3, were significantly reduced in the ACC of the autistic brains compared with control brains. Conclusions In this study, we found decreased expression of axon-guidance proteins such as PLXNA4 and ROBO2 in the brains of people with autism, and suggest that dysfunctional axon-guidance protein expression may play an important role in the pathophysiology of autism.

  2. mRNP assembly, axonal transport, and local translation in neurodegenerative diseases. (United States)

    Khalil, Bilal; Morderer, Dmytro; Price, Phillip L; Liu, Feilin; Rossoll, Wilfried


    The development, maturation, and maintenance of the mammalian nervous system rely on complex spatiotemporal patterns of gene expression. In neurons, this is achieved by the expression of differentially localized isoforms and specific sets of mRNA-binding proteins (mRBPs) that regulate RNA processing, mRNA trafficking, and local protein synthesis at remote sites within dendrites and axons. There is growing evidence that axons contain a specialized transcriptome and are endowed with the machinery that allows them to rapidly alter their local proteome via local translation and protein degradation. This enables axons to quickly respond to changes in their environment during development, and to facilitate axon regeneration and maintenance in adult organisms. Aside from providing autonomy to neuronal processes, local translation allows axons to send retrograde injury signals to the cell soma. In this review, we discuss evidence that disturbances in mRNP transport, granule assembly, axonal localization, and local translation contribute to pathology in various neurodegenerative diseases, including spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Microtechnologies for studying the role of mechanics in axon growth and guidance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devrim eKilinc


    Full Text Available The guidance of axons to their proper targets is not only a crucial event in neurodevelopment, but also a potential therapeutic target for neural repair. Axon guidance is mediated by various chemo- and haptotactic cues, as well as the mechanical interactions between the cytoskeleton and the extra-cellular matrix. Axonal growth cones, dynamic ends of growing axons, convert external stimuli to biochemical signals, which, in turn, are translated into behavior, e.g., turning or retraction, via cyto-skeleton–matrix linkages. Despite the inherent mechanical nature of the problem, the role of mechanics in axon guidance is poorly understood. Recent years has witnessed the application of a range of microtechnologies in neurobiology, from microfluidic circuits to single molecule force spectroscopy. In this mini-review, we describe microtechnologies geared towards dissecting the mechanical aspects of axon guidance, divided into three categories: controlling the growth cone microenvironment, stimulating growth cones with externally applied forces, and measuring forces exerted by the growth cones. A particular emphasis is given to those studies that combine multiple techniques, as dictated by the complexity of the problem.

  4. Conduction velocity is regulated by sodium channel inactivation in unmyelinated axons innervating the rat cranial meninges (United States)

    De Col, Roberto; Messlinger, Karl; Carr, Richard W


    Axonal conduction velocity varies according to the level of preceding impulse activity. In unmyelinated axons this typically results in a slowing of conduction velocity and a parallel increase in threshold. It is currently held that Na+–K+-ATPase-dependent axonal hyperpolarization is responsible for this slowing but this has long been equivocal. We therefore examined conduction velocity changes during repetitive activation of single unmyelinated axons innervating the rat cranial meninges. In direct contradiction to the currently accepted postulate, Na+–K+-ATPase blockade actually enhanced activity-induced conduction velocity slowing, while the degree of velocity slowing was curtailed in the presence of lidocaine (10–300 μm) and carbamazepine (30–500 μm) but not tetrodotoxin (TTX, 10–80 nm). This suggests that a change in the number of available sodium channels is the most prominent factor responsible for activity-induced changes in conduction velocity in unmyelinated axons. At moderate stimulus frequencies, axonal conduction velocity is determined by an interaction between residual sodium channel inactivation following each impulse and the retrieval of channels from inactivation by a concomitant Na+–K+-ATPase-mediated hyperpolarization. Since the process is primarily dependent upon sodium channel availability, tracking conduction velocity provides a means of accessing relative changes in the excitability of nociceptive neurons. PMID:18096592

  5. A multielectrode array microchannel platform reveals both transient and slow changes in axonal conduction velocity. (United States)

    Habibey, Rouhollah; Latifi, Shahrzad; Mousavi, Hossein; Pesce, Mattia; Arab-Tehrany, Elmira; Blau, Axel


    Due to their small dimensions, electrophysiology on thin and intricate axonal branches in support of understanding their role in normal and diseased brain function poses experimental challenges. To reduce experimental complexity, we coupled microelectrode arrays (MEAs) to bi-level microchannel devices for the long-term in vitro tracking of axonal morphology and activity with high spatiotemporal resolution. Our model allowed the long-term multisite recording from pure axonal branches in a microscopy-compatible environment. Compartmentalizing the network structure into interconnected subpopulations simplified access to the locations of interest. Electrophysiological data over 95 days in vitro (DIV) showed an age-dependent increase of axonal conduction velocity, which was positively correlated with, but independent of evolving burst activity over time. Conduction velocity remained constant at chemically increased network activity levels. In contrast, low frequency (1 Hz, 180 repetitions) electrical stimulation of axons or network subpopulations evoked amplitude-dependent direct (5-35 ms peri-stimulus) and polysynaptic (35-1,000 ms peri-stimulus) activity with temporarily (250 mV) in microchannels when compared with those reported for unconfined cultures (>800 mV). The experimental paradigm may lead to new insights into stimulation-induced axonal plasticity.

  6. Commissureless regulation of axon outgrowth across the midline is independent of Rab function.

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    Daan M van den Brink

    Full Text Available Nervous system function requires that neurons within neural circuits are connected together precisely. These connections form during the process of axon guidance whereby each neuron extends an axon that migrates, often large distances, through a complex environment to reach its synaptic target. This task can be simplified by utilising intermediate targets to divide the route into smaller sections. This requires that axons adapt their behaviour as they migrate towards and away from intermediate targets. In the central nervous system the midline acts as an intermediate target for commissural axons. In Drosophila commissural axons switch from attraction towards to extension away from the midline by regulating the levels of the Roundabout receptor on their cell surface. This is achieved by Commissureless which directs Roundabout to an intracellular compartment in the soma prior to reaching the midline. Once across the midline Roundabout is allowed to reach the surface and acts as a receptor for the repellent ligand Slit that is secreted by cells at the midline. Here we investigated candidate intracellular mechanisms that may facilitate the intracellular targeting of Commissureless and Roundabout within the soma of commissural neurons. Using modified forms of Commissureless or Rabs we show that neither ubiquitination nor Rab activity are necessary for the intracellular targeting of Commissureless. In addition we reveal that axon outgrowth of many populations of neurons within the Drosophila central nervous system is also independent of Rab activity.

  7. Delayed axonal pruning in the ant brain: a study of developmental trajectories. (United States)

    Seid, Marc A; Wehner, Rüdiger


    The coordination of neuronal maturation and behavioral development is a vital component of survival. The degradation of excessive axonal processes and neuronal networks is a ubiquitous developmental process. In Drosophila, a great portion of axonal pruning occurs during metamorphosis and transpires within hours after pupation. In contrast, we show, using EM-serial sectioning and 3D-reconstructions, that axonal pruning occurs after eclosion and over the course of 60 days in Cataglyphis albicans. Using the mushroom bodies of the brains of Cataglyphis, which have well-developed lip (olfactory integrator) and collar (visual integrator) regions, we show that axonal pruning is dependent upon the differences in the developmental trajectory of the lip and the collar brain regions and happens after eclosion. The elimination of the axonal boutons is most delayed in the collar region, where it is postponed until the ant has had extensive visual experience. We found that individual brain components within a single neuropil can develop at different rates that correlate with the behavioral ecology of these ants and suggest that glia may be mediating the axonal pruning. Our study provides evidence that adult ants may have relatively neotenous brains, and thus more flexibility, allowing them to neuronally adapt to the environment. This neoteny may, in part, explain the neural basis for age-dependent division of labor and the amazing behavioral flexibility exhibited by ants.

  8. Pioneer Axon Navigation Is Controlled by AEX-3, a Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor for RAB-3 in Caenorhabditis elegans (United States)

    Bhat, Jaffar M.; Hutter, Harald


    Precise and accurate axon tract formation is an essential aspect of brain development. This is achieved by the migration of early outgrowing axons (pioneers) allowing later outgrowing axons (followers) to extend toward their targets in the embryo. In Caenorhabditis elegans the AVG neuron pioneers the right axon tract of the ventral nerve cord, the major longitudinal axon tract. AVG is essential for the guidance of follower axons and hence organization of the ventral nerve cord. In an enhancer screen for AVG axon guidance defects in a nid-1/Nidogen mutant background, we isolated an allele of aex-3. aex-3 mutant animals show highly penetrant AVG axon navigation defects. These defects are dependent on a mutation in nid-1/Nidogen, a basement membrane component. Our data suggest that AEX-3 activates RAB-3 in the context of AVG axon navigation. aex-3 genetically acts together with known players of vesicular exocytosis: unc-64/Syntaxin, unc-31/CAPS, and ida-1/IA-2. Furthermore our genetic interaction data suggest that AEX-3 and the UNC-6/Netrin receptor UNC-5 act in the same pathway, suggesting AEX-3 might regulate the trafficking and/or insertion of UNC-5 at the growth cone to mediate the proper guidance of the AVG axon. PMID:27116976

  9. Relations between axon length and axon caliber. "Is maximum conduction velocity the factor controlling the evolution of nerve structure"? (United States)

    Friede, R L; Benda, M; Dewitz, A; Stoll, P


    A search was made for any existent relationship between the length of a nerve fiber and the caliber of its axon. This was done in the hope of defining morphological parameters useful for assessing conduction time. Four fiber populations were examined: (1) phrenic fibers in rat and rabbit during different phases of body growth; (2) phrenic fibers of mature animals of greatly different body size including mouse and cow; (3) rat intercostal nerves which vary in length by a factor exceeding 5 due to the funnel-shape of the thorax; and (4) ventral root fibers of the cow. In all of these fiber populations, there was no evidence for a direct relationship between the length of a fiber and its caliber. Rather, a tendency was noted for fiber caliber to approach certain ceilings independent of length. These data, seen in conjunction with other information on fiber structure, cast serious doubt on the widely accepted concept that maximum conduction velocity is the factor controlling nerve structure. A much more likely factor controlling the structure of myelinated nerve fibers is the capacity to modulate information by frequency coding of impulses.

  10. Mutant spastin proteins promote deficits in axonal transport through an isoform-specific mechanism involving casein kinase 2 activation. (United States)

    Leo, Lanfranco; Weissmann, Carina; Burns, Matthew; Kang, Minsu; Song, Yuyu; Qiang, Liang; Brady, Scott T; Baas, Peter W; Morfini, Gerardo


    Mutations of various genes cause hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a neurological disease involving dying-back degeneration of upper motor neurons. From these, mutations in the SPAST gene encoding the microtubule-severing protein spastin account for most HSP cases. Cumulative genetic and experimental evidence suggests that alterations in various intracellular trafficking events, including fast axonal transport (FAT), may contribute to HSP pathogenesis. However, the mechanisms linking SPAST mutations to such deficits remain largely unknown. Experiments presented here using isolated squid axoplasm reveal inhibition of FAT as a common toxic effect elicited by spastin proteins with different HSP mutations, independent of microtubule-binding or severing activity. Mutant spastin proteins produce this toxic effect only when presented as the tissue-specific M1 isoform, not when presented as the ubiquitously-expressed shorter M87 isoform. Biochemical and pharmacological experiments further indicate that the toxic effects of mutant M1 spastins on FAT involve casein kinase 2 (CK2) activation. In mammalian cells, expression of mutant M1 spastins, but not their mutant M87 counterparts, promotes abnormalities in the distribution of intracellular organelles that are correctable by pharmacological CK2 inhibition. Collectively, these results demonstrate isoform-specific toxic effects of mutant M1 spastin on FAT, and identify CK2 as a critical mediator of these effects. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

  11. Transient developmental Purkinje cell axonal torpedoes in healthy and ataxic mouse cerebellum

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    Lovisa Ljungberg


    Full Text Available Information is carried out of the cerebellar cortical microcircuit via action potentials propagated along Purkinje cell axons. In several human neurodegenerative diseases, focal axonal swellings on Purkinje cells – known as torpedoes – have been associated with Purkinje cell loss. Interestingly, torpedoes are also reported to appear transiently during development in rat cerebellum. The function of Purkinje cell axonal torpedoes in health as well as in disease is poorly understood. We investigated the properties of developmental torpedoes in the postnatal mouse cerebellum of wildtype and transgenic mice. We found that Purkinje cell axonal torpedoes transiently appeared on axons of Purkinje neurons, with the largest number of torpedoes observed at postnatal day 11 (P11. This was after peak developmental apoptosis had occurred, when Purkinje cell counts in a lobule were static, suggesting that most developmental torpedoes appear on axons of neurons that persist into adulthood. We found that developmental torpedoes were not associated with a presynaptic GABAergic marker, indicating that they are not synapses. They were seldom found at axonal collateral branch points, and lacked microglia enrichment, suggesting that they are unlikely to be involved in axonal refinement. Interestingly, we found several differences between developmental torpedoes and disease-related torpedoes: developmental torpedoes occured largely on myelinated axons, and were not associated with changes in basket cell innervation on their parent soma. Disease-related torpedoes are typically reported to contain neurofilament; while the majority of developmental torpedoes did as well, a fraction of smaller developmental torpedoes did not. These differences indicate that developmental torpedoes may not be functionally identical to disease-related torpedoes. To study this further, we used a mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6, and found elevated disease

  12. Sustained maximal voluntary contraction produces independent changes in human motor axons and the muscle they innervate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Milder

    Full Text Available The repetitive discharges required to produce a sustained muscle contraction results in activity-dependent hyperpolarization of the motor axons and a reduction in the force-generating capacity of the muscle. We investigated the relationship between these changes in the adductor pollicis muscle and the motor axons of its ulnar nerve supply, and the reproducibility of these changes. Ten subjects performed a 1-min maximal voluntary contraction. Activity-dependent changes in axonal excitability were measured using threshold tracking with electrical stimulation at the wrist; changes in the muscle were assessed as evoked and voluntary electromyography (EMG and isometric force. Separate components of axonal excitability and muscle properties were tested at 5 min intervals after the sustained contraction in 5 separate sessions. The current threshold required to produce the target muscle action potential increased immediately after the contraction by 14.8% (p<0.05, reflecting decreased axonal excitability secondary to hyperpolarization. This was not correlated with the decline in amplitude of muscle force or evoked EMG. A late reversal in threshold current after the initial recovery from hyperpolarization peaked at -5.9% at ∼35 min (p<0.05. This pattern was mirrored by other indices of axonal excitability revealing a previously unreported depolarization of motor axons in the late recovery period. Measures of axonal excitability were relatively stable at rest but less so after sustained activity. The coefficient of variation (CoV for threshold current increase was higher after activity (CoV 0.54, p<0.05 whereas changes in voluntary (CoV 0.12 and evoked twitch (CoV 0.15 force were relatively stable. These results demonstrate that activity-dependent changes in motor axon excitability are unlikely to contribute to concomitant changes in the muscle after sustained activity in healthy people. The variability in axonal excitability after sustained activity

  13. Cell-seeded alginate hydrogel scaffolds promote directed linear axonal regeneration in the injured rat spinal cord. (United States)

    Günther, Manuel Ingo; Weidner, Norbert; Müller, Rainer; Blesch, Armin


    Despite recent progress in enhancing axonal growth in the injured spinal cord, the guidance of regenerating axons across an extended lesion site remains a major challenge. To determine whether regenerating axons can be guided in rostrocaudal direction, we implanted 2mm long alginate-based anisotropic capillary hydrogels seeded with bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) expressing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) or green fluorescent protein (GFP) as control into a C5 hemisection lesion of the rat spinal cord. Four weeks post-lesion, numerous BMSCs survived inside the scaffold channels, accompanied by macrophages, Schwann cells and blood vessels. Quantification of axons growing into channels demonstrated 3-4 times more axons in hydrogels seeded with BMSCs expressing BDNF (BMSC-BDNF) compared to control cells. The number of anterogradely traced axons extending through the entire length of the scaffold was also significantly higher in scaffolds with BMSC-BDNF. Increasing the channel diameters from 41μm to 64μm did not lead to significant differences in the number of regenerating axons. Lesions filled with BMSC-BDNF without hydrogels exhibited a random axon orientation, whereas axons were oriented parallel to the hydrogel channel walls. Thus, alginate-based scaffolds with an anisotropic capillary structure are able to physically guide regenerating axons. After injury, regenerating axons have to extend across the lesion site in the injured spinal cord to reestablish lost neuronal connections. While cell grafting and growth factor delivery can promote growth of injured axons, without proper guidance, axons rarely extend across the lesion site. Here, we show that alginate biomaterials with linear channels that are filled with cells expressing the growth-promoting neurotrophin BDNF promote linear axon extension throughout the channels after transplantation to the injured rat spinal cord. Animals that received the same cells but no alginate guidance structure did not

  14. Adult motor axons preferentially reinnervate predegenerated muscle nerve. (United States)

    Abdullah, M; O'Daly, A; Vyas, A; Rohde, C; Brushart, T M


    Preferential motor reinnervation (PMR) is the tendency for motor axons regenerating after repair of mixed nerve to reinnervate muscle nerve and/or muscle rather than cutaneous nerve or skin. PMR may occur in response to the peripheral nerve pathway alone in juvenile rats (Brushart, 1993; Redett et al., 2005), yet the ability to identify and respond to specific pathway markers is reportedly lost in adults (Uschold et al., 2007). The experiments reported here evaluate the relative roles of pathway and end organ in the genesis of PMR in adult rats. Fresh and 2-week predegenerated femoral nerve grafts were transferred in correct or reversed alignment to replace the femoral nerves of previously unoperated Lewis rats. After 8 weeks of regeneration the motoneurons projecting through the grafts to recipient femoral cutaneous and muscle branches and their adjacent end organs were identified by retrograde labeling. Motoneuron counts were subjected to Poisson regression analysis to determine the relative roles of pathway and end organ identity in generating PMR. Transfer of fresh grafts did not result in PMR, whereas substantial PMR was observed when predegenerated grafts were used. Similarly, the pathway through which motoneurons reached the muscle had a significant impact on PMR when grafts were predegenerated, but not when they were fresh. Comparison of the relative roles of pathway and end organ in generating PMR revealed that neither could be shown to be more important than the other. These experiments demonstrate unequivocally that adult muscle nerve and cutaneous nerve differ in qualities that can be detected by regenerating adult motoneurons and that can modify their subsequent behavior. They also reveal that two weeks of Wallerian degeneration modify the environment in the graft from one that provides no modality-specific cues for motor neurons to one that actively promotes PMR. © 2013.

  15. PON1 status does not influence cholinesterase activity in Egyptian agricultural workers exposed to chlorpyrifos

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    Ellison, Corie A., E-mail: [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214 (United States); Crane, Alice L., E-mail: [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214 (United States); Bonner, Matthew R., E-mail: [Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214 (United States); Knaak, James B., E-mail: [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214 (United States); Browne, Richard W., E-mail: [Department of Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214 (United States); Lein, Pamela J., E-mail: [Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of California School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, CA 95618 (United States); Olson, James R., E-mail: [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214 (United States); Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214 (United States)


    Animal studies have shown that paraoxonase 1 (PON1) genotype can influence susceptibility to the organophosphorus pesticide chlorpyrifos (CPF). However, Monte Carlo analysis suggests that PON1 genotype may not affect CPF-related toxicity at low exposure conditions in humans. The current study sought to determine the influence of PON1 genotype on the activity of blood cholinesterase as well as the effect of CPF exposure on serum PON1 in workers occupationally exposed to CPF. Saliva, blood and urine were collected from agricultural workers (n = 120) from Egypt's Menoufia Governorate to determine PON1 genotype, blood cholinesterase activity, serum PON1 activity towards chlorpyrifos-oxon (CPOase) and paraoxon (POase), and urinary levels of the CPF metabolite 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy). The PON1 55 (P ≤ 0.05) but not the PON1 192 genotype had a significant effect on CPOase activity. However, both the PON1 55 (P ≤ 0.05) and PON1 192 (P ≤ 0.001) genotypes had a significant effect on POase activity. Workers had significantly inhibited AChE and BuChE after CPF application; however, neither CPOase activity nor POase activity was associated with ChE depression when adjusted for CPF exposure (as determined by urinary TCPy levels) and stratified by PON1 genotype. CPOase and POase activity were also generally unaffected by CPF exposure although there were alterations in activity within specific genotype groups. Together, these results suggest that workers retained the capacity to detoxify chlorpyrifos-oxon under the exposure conditions experienced by this study population regardless of PON1 genotype and activity and that effects of CPF exposure on PON1 activity are minimal. -- Highlights: ► CPF exposure resulted in an increase in TCPy and decreases in BuChE and AChE. ► CPOase activity decreased in subjects with the PON1 55LM and PON1 55 MM genotypes. ► Neither PON1 genotype nor CPOase activity had an effect on BuChE or AChE inhibition.

  16. Netrin-DCC signaling regulates corpus callosum formation through attraction of pioneering axons and by modulating Slit2-mediated repulsion. (United States)

    Fothergill, Thomas; Donahoo, Amber-Lee S; Douglass, Amelia; Zalucki, Oressia; Yuan, Jiajia; Shu, Tianzhi; Goodhill, Geoffrey J; Richards, Linda J


    The left and right sides of the nervous system communicate via commissural axons that cross the midline during development using evolutionarily conserved molecules. These guidance cues have been particularly well studied in the mammalian spinal cord, but it remains unclear whether these guidance mechanisms for commissural axons are similar in the developing forebrain, in particular for the corpus callosum, the largest and most important commissure for cortical function. Here, we show that Netrin1 initially attracts callosal pioneering axons derived from the cingulate cortex, but surprisingly is not attractive for the neocortical callosal axons that make up the bulk of the projection. Instead, we show that Netrin-deleted in colorectal cancer signaling acts in a fundamentally different manner, to prevent the Slit2-mediated repulsion of precrossing axons thereby allowing them to approach and cross the midline. These results provide the first evidence for how callosal axons integrate multiple guidance cues to navigate the midline.

  17. Dysfunction of spatacsin leads to axonal pathology in SPG11-linked hereditary spastic paraplegia. (United States)

    Pérez-Brangulí, Francesc; Mishra, Himanshu K; Prots, Iryna; Havlicek, Steven; Kohl, Zacharias; Saul, Domenica; Rummel, Christine; Dorca-Arevalo, Jonatan; Regensburger, Martin; Graef, Daniela; Sock, Elisabeth; Blasi, Juan; Groemer, Teja W; Schlötzer-Schrehardt, Ursula; Winkler, Jürgen; Winner, Beate


    Hereditary spastic paraplegias are a group of inherited motor neuron diseases characterized by progressive paraparesis and spasticity. Mutations in the spastic paraplegia gene SPG11, encoding spatacsin, cause an autosomal-recessive disease trait; however, the precise knowledge about the role of spatacsin in neurons is very limited. We for the first time analyzed the expression and function of spatacsin in human forebrain neurons derived from human pluripotent stem cells including lines from two SPG11 patients and two controls. SPG11 patients'-derived neurons exhibited downregulation of specific axonal-related genes, decreased neurite complexity and accumulation of membranous bodies within axonal processes. Altogether, these data point towards axonal pathologies in human neurons with SPG11 mutations. To further corroborate spatacsin function, we investigated human pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons and mouse cortical neurons. In these cells, spatacsin was located in axons and dendrites. It colocalized with cytoskeletal and synaptic vesicle (SV) markers and was present in synaptosomes. Knockdown of spatacsin in mouse cortical neurons evidenced that the loss of function of spatacsin leads to axonal instability by downregulation of acetylated tubulin. Finally, time-lapse assays performed in SPG11 patients'-derived neurons and spatacsin-silenced mouse neurons highlighted a reduction in the anterograde vesicle trafficking indicative of impaired axonal transport. By employing SPG11 patient-derived forebrain neurons and mouse cortical neurons, this study provides the first evidence that SPG11 is implicated in axonal maintenance and cargo trafficking. Understanding the cellular functions of spatacsin will allow deciphering mechanisms of motor cortex dysfunction in autosomal-recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  18. Axon growth across a lesion site along a preformed guidance pathway in the brain (United States)

    Jin, Ying; Ziemba, Kristine S.; Smith, George M.


    Our previous studies showed that axonal outgrowth from dorsal root ganglia (DRG) transplants in the adult rat brain could be directed toward a specific target location using a preformed growth-supportive pathway. This pathway induced axon growth within the corpus callosum across the midline to the opposite hemisphere. In this study, we examined whether such pathways would also support axon growth either through or around a lesion of the corpus callosum. Pathways expressing GFP, NGF, or FGF2/NGF were set up by multiple injections of adenovirus along the corpus callosum. Each pathway included the transplantation site in the left corpus callosum, 2.8 mm away from the midline, and a target site in the right corpus callosum, 2.5 mm from the midline. At the same time, a 1 mm lesion was made through the corpus callosum at the midline in an anteroposterior direction. A group of control animals received lesions and Ad-NGF injections only at the transplant and target sites, without a bridging pathway. DRG cell suspensions from postnatal day 1 or 2 rats were injected at the transplantation site three to four days later. Two weeks after transplantation, brain sections were stained using an anti-CGRP antibody. The CGRP-positive axons were counted at 0.5 mm and 1.5 mm from the lesion site in both hemispheres. Few axons grew past the lesion in animals with control pathways, but there was robust axon growth across the lesion site in the FGF2/NGF and NGF-expressing pathways. This study indicated that preformed NGF and combination guidance pathways support more axon growth past a lesion in the adult mammalian brain. PMID:18261727

  19. Protein 4.1B contributes to the organization of peripheral myelinated axons.

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    Carmen Cifuentes-Diaz

    Full Text Available Neurons are characterized by extremely long axons. This exceptional cell shape is likely to depend on multiple factors including interactions between the cytoskeleton and membrane proteins. In many cell types, members of the protein 4.1 family play an important role in tethering the cortical actin-spectrin cytoskeleton to the plasma membrane. Protein 4.1B is localized in myelinated axons, enriched in paranodal and juxtaparanodal regions, and also all along the internodes, but not at nodes of Ranvier where are localized the voltage-dependent sodium channels responsible for action potential propagation. To shed light on the role of protein 4.1B in the general organization of myelinated peripheral axons, we studied 4.1B knockout mice. These mice displayed a mildly impaired gait and motility. Whereas nodes were unaffected, the distribution of Caspr/paranodin, which anchors 4.1B to the membrane, was disorganized in paranodal regions and its levels were decreased. In juxtaparanodes, the enrichment of Caspr2, which also interacts with 4.1B, and of the associated TAG-1 and Kv1.1, was absent in mutant mice, whereas their levels were unaltered. Ultrastructural abnormalities were observed both at paranodes and juxtaparanodes. Axon calibers were slightly diminished in phrenic nerves and preterminal motor axons were dysmorphic in skeletal muscle. βII spectrin enrichment was decreased along the axolemma. Electrophysiological recordings at 3 post-natal weeks showed the occurrence of spontaneous and evoked repetitive activity indicating neuronal hyperexcitability, without change in conduction velocity. Thus, our results show that in myelinated axons 4.1B contributes to the stabilization of membrane proteins at paranodes, to the clustering of juxtaparanodal proteins, and to the regulation of the internodal axon caliber.

  20. Protein 4.1B contributes to the organization of peripheral myelinated axons. (United States)

    Cifuentes-Diaz, Carmen; Chareyre, Fabrice; Garcia, Marta; Devaux, Jérôme; Carnaud, Michèle; Levasseur, Grégoire; Niwa-Kawakita, Michiko; Harroch, Sheila; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Giovannini, Marco; Goutebroze, Laurence


    Neurons are characterized by extremely long axons. This exceptional cell shape is likely to depend on multiple factors including interactions between the cytoskeleton and membrane proteins. In many cell types, members of the protein 4.1 family play an important role in tethering the cortical actin-spectrin cytoskeleton to the plasma membrane. Protein 4.1B is localized in myelinated axons, enriched in paranodal and juxtaparanodal regions, and also all along the internodes, but not at nodes of Ranvier where are localized the voltage-dependent sodium channels responsible for action potential propagation. To shed light on the role of protein 4.1B in the general organization of myelinated peripheral axons, we studied 4.1B knockout mice. These mice displayed a mildly impaired gait and motility. Whereas nodes were unaffected, the distribution of Caspr/paranodin, which anchors 4.1B to the membrane, was disorganized in paranodal regions and its levels were decreased. In juxtaparanodes, the enrichment of Caspr2, which also interacts with 4.1B, and of the associated TAG-1 and Kv1.1, was absent in mutant mice, whereas their levels were unaltered. Ultrastructural abnormalities were observed both at paranodes and juxtaparanodes. Axon calibers were slightly diminished in phrenic nerves and preterminal motor axons were dysmorphic in skeletal muscle. βII spectrin enrichment was decreased along the axolemma. Electrophysiological recordings at 3 post-natal weeks showed the occurrence of spontaneous and evoked repetitive activity indicating neuronal hyperexcitability, without change in conduction velocity. Thus, our results show that in myelinated axons 4.1B contributes to the stabilization of membrane proteins at paranodes, to the clustering of juxtaparanodal proteins, and to the regulation of the internodal axon caliber.

  1. Pedal sole immunoreactive axons in terrestrial pulmonates: Limax, Arion, and Helix. (United States)

    Longley, Roger D


    A century ago histological techniques such as formic acid-gold chloride showed the nerve morphology of the pedal sole in Limax and Helix. There have been no similar descriptions since then of the central nervous system relevant to locomotory pedal waves in the foot of slugs and snails. Topical application of 5-HT affects locomotory waves, but the innervation of the pedal sole with 5-HT axons is not known. Three-dimensional morphology of pedal axons in terrestrial pulmonate embryos is shown herein with modern histological techniques using antibodies and the confocal microscope. In Limax maximus, pedal ganglia are shown with Tritonia pedal peptide (TPep) antibodies. Ladder-like cross bridges in the pedal sole are shown with antibodies to both TPep and 5-HT. In Arion ater, pedal ganglia neurons and their axons that form a plexus in the pedal sole are shown with 5-HT antibodies. In Helix aspersa, 5-HT immunoreactive pedal ganglia neurons and a developing pedal sole axon plexus are seen as in A. ater. Axons in this plexus that grow across the pedal sole can be seen growing into pre-existing nerves. No peripheral 5-HT neurons were identified in these three species. This immunoreactive plexus to 5-HT antibodies in A. ater and H. aspersa spreads over the pedal sole epithelium. Axons immunoreactive to 5-HT antibodies in A. ater and H. aspersa extend the length of the foot, primarily in the rim, so that activity in these axons cannot provide local patterned input to produce locomotory waves, but may provide modulatory input to pedal sole muscles.

  2. The C-terminal binding protein (CTBP-1) regulates dorsal SMD axonal morphology in Caenorhabditis elegans. (United States)

    Reid, A; Sherry, T J; Yücel, D; Llamosas, E; Nicholas, H R


    C-terminal binding proteins (CtBPs) are transcriptional co-repressors which cooperate with a variety of transcription factors to repress gene expression. Caenorhabditis elegans CTBP-1 expression has been observed in the nervous system and hypodermis. In C. elegans, CTBP-1 regulates several processes including Acute Functional Tolerance to ethanol and functions in the nervous system to modulate both lifespan and expression of a lipase gene called lips-7. Incorrect structure and/or function of the nervous system can lead to behavioral changes. Here, we demonstrate reduced exploration behavior in ctbp-1 mutants. Our examination of a subset of neurons involved in regulating locomotion revealed that the axonal morphology of dorsal SMD (SMDD) neurons is altered in ctbp-1 mutants at the fourth larval (L4) stage. Expressing CTBP-1 under the control of the endogenous ctbp-1 promoter rescued both the exploration behavior phenotype and defective SMDD axon structure in ctbp-1 mutants at the L4 stage. Interestingly, the pre-synaptic marker RAB-3 was found to localize to the mispositioned portion of SMDD axons in a ctbp-1 mutant. Further analysis of SMDD axonal morphology at days 1, 3 and 5 of adulthood revealed that the number of ctbp-1 mutants showing an SMDD axonal morphology defect increases in early adulthood and the observed defect appears to be qualitatively more severe. CTBP-1 is prominently expressed in the nervous system with weak expression detected in the hypodermis. Surprisingly, solely expressing CTBP-1a in the nervous system or hypodermis did not restore correct SMDD axonal structure in a ctbp-1 mutant. Our results demonstrate a role for CTBP-1 in exploration behavior and the regulation of SMDD axonal morphology in C. elegans. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Robo-3--mediated repulsive interactions guide R8 axons during Drosophila visual system development. (United States)

    Pappu, Kartik S; Morey, Marta; Nern, Aljoscha; Spitzweck, Bettina; Dickson, Barry J; Zipursky, S L


    The formation of neuronal connections requires the precise guidance of developing axons toward their targets. In the Drosophila visual system, photoreceptor neurons (R cells) project from the eye into the brain. These cells are grouped into some 750 clusters comprised of eight photoreceptors or R cells each. R cells fall into three classes: R1 to R6, R7, and R8. Posterior R8 cells are the first to project axons into the brain. How these axons select a specific pathway is not known. Here, we used a microarray-based approach to identify genes expressed in R8 neurons as they extend into the brain. We found that Roundabout-3 (Robo3), an axon-guidance receptor, is expressed specifically and transiently in R8 growth cones. In wild-type animals, posterior-most R8 axons extend along a border of glial cells demarcated by the expression of Slit, the secreted ligand of Robo3. In contrast, robo3 mutant R8 axons extend across this border and fasciculate inappropriately with other axon tracts. We demonstrate that either Robo1 or Robo2 rescues the robo3 mutant phenotype when each is knocked into the endogenous robo3 locus separately, indicating that R8 does not require a function unique to the Robo3 paralog. However, persistent expression of Robo3 in R8 disrupts the layer-specific targeting of R8 growth cones. Thus, the transient cell-specific expression of Robo3 plays a crucial role in establishing neural circuits in the Drosophila visual system by selectively regulating pathway choice for posterior-most R8 growth cones.

  4. A multi-component model of the developing retinocollicular pathway incorporating axonal and synaptic growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith B Godfrey


    Full Text Available During development, neurons extend axons to different brain areas and produce stereotypical patterns of connections. The mechanisms underlying this process have been intensively studied in the visual system, where retinal neurons form retinotopic maps in the thalamus and superior colliculus. The mechanisms active in map formation include molecular guidance cues, trophic factor release, spontaneous neural activity, spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP, synapse creation and retraction, and axon growth, branching and retraction. To investigate how these mechanisms interact, a multi-component model of the developing retinocollicular pathway was produced based on phenomenological approximations of each of these mechanisms. Core assumptions of the model were that the probabilities of axonal branching and synaptic growth are highest where the combined influences of chemoaffinity and trophic factor cues are highest, and that activity-dependent release of trophic factors acts to stabilize synapses. Based on these behaviors, model axons produced morphologically realistic growth patterns and projected to retinotopically correct locations in the colliculus. Findings of the model include that STDP, gradient detection by axonal growth cones and lateral connectivity among collicular neurons were not necessary for refinement, and that the instructive cues for axonal growth appear to be mediated first by molecular guidance and then by neural activity. Although complex, the model appears to be insensitive to variations in how the component developmental mechanisms are implemented. Activity, molecular guidance and the growth and retraction of axons and synapses are common features of neural development, and the findings of this study may have relevance beyond organization in the retinocollicular pathway.

  5. Demyelination induces transport of ribosome-containing vesicles from glia to axons: evidence from animal models and MS patient brains. (United States)

    Shakhbazau, Antos; Schenk, Geert J; Hay, Curtis; Kawasoe, Jean; Klaver, Roel; Yong, V Wee; Geurts, Jeroen J G; van Minnen, Jan


    Glial cells were previously proven capable of trafficking polyribosomes to injured axons. However, the occurrence of such transfer in the general pathological context, such as demyelination-related diseases, needs further evidence. Since this may be a yet unidentified universal contributor to axonal survival, we study putative glia-axonal ribosome transport in response to demyelination in animal models and patients in both peripheral and central nervous system. In the PNS we investigate whether demyelination in a rodent model has the potential to induce ribosome transfer. We also probe the glia-axonal ribosome supply by implantation of transgenic Schwann cells engineered to produce fluorescent ribosomes in the same demyelination model. We furthermore examine the presence of axonal ribosomes in mouse experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a well-established model for multiple sclerosis (MS), and in human MS autopsy brain material. We provide evidence for increased axonal ribosome content in a pharmacologically demyelinated sciatic nerve, and demonstrate that at least part of these ribosomes originate in the transgenic Schwann cells. In the CNS one of the hallmarks of MS is demyelination, which is associated with severe disruption of oligodendrocyte-axon interaction. Here, we provide evidence that axons from spinal cords of EAE mice, and in the MS human brain contain an elevated amount of axonal ribosomes compared to controls. Our data provide evidence that increased axonal ribosome content in pathological axons is at least partly due to glia-to-axon transfer of ribosomes, and that demyelination in the PNS and in the CNS is one of the triggers capable to initiate this process.

  6. Dynamics of degeneration and regeneration in developing zebrafish peripheral axons reveals a requirement for extrinsic cell types

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    Villegas Rosario


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the cellular mechanisms regulating axon degeneration and regeneration is crucial for developing treatments for nerve injury and neurodegenerative disease. In neurons, axon degeneration is distinct from cell body death and often precedes or is associated with the onset of disease symptoms. In the peripheral nervous system of both vertebrates and invertebrates, after degeneration of detached fragments, axons can often regenerate to restore function. Many studies of axonal degeneration and regeneration have used in vitro approaches, but the influence of extrinsic cell types on these processes can only be fully addressed in live animals. Because of its simplicity and superficial location, the larval zebrafish posterior lateral line (pLL nerve is an ideal model system for live studies of axon degeneration and regeneration. Results We used laser axotomy and time-lapse imaging of pLL axons to characterize the roles of leukocytes, Schwann cells and target sensory hair cells in axon degeneration and regeneration in vivo. Immune cells were essential for efficient removal of axonal debris after axotomy. Schwann cells were required for proper fasciculation and pathfinding of regenerating axons to their target cells. Intact target hair cells were not themselves required for regeneration, but chemical ablation of neuromasts caused axons to transiently deviate from their normal paths. Conclusions Macrophages, Schwann cells, and target sensory organs are required for distinct aspects of pLL axon degeneration or regeneration in the zebrafish larva. Our work introduces a powerful vertebrate model for analyzing axonal degeneration and regeneration in the living animal and elucidating the role of extrinsic cell types in these processes.

  7. Proper migration and axon outgrowth of zebrafish cranial motoneuron subpopulations require the cell adhesion molecule MDGA2A.


    Esther Ingold; Vom Berg-Maurer, Colette M; Burckhardt, Christoph J.; André Lehnherr; Philip Rieder; Philip J. Keller; Stelzer, Ernst H; Greber, Urs F.; Neuhauss, Stephan C F; Matthias Gesemann


    ABSTRACT The formation of functional neuronal circuits relies on accurate migration and proper axonal outgrowth of neuronal precursors. On the route to their targets migrating cells and growing axons depend on both, directional information from neurotropic cues and adhesive interactions mediated via extracellular matrix molecules or neighbouring cells. The inactivation of guidance cues or the interference with cell adhesion can cause severe defects in neuronal migration and axon guidance. In ...

  8. Three-dimensional evaluation of retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration and pathfinding in whole mouse tissue after injury. (United States)

    Luo, Xueting; Salgueiro, Yadira; Beckerman, Samuel R; Lemmon, Vance P; Tsoulfas, Pantelis; Park, Kevin K


    Injured retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons do not regenerate spontaneously, causing loss of vision in glaucoma and after trauma. Recent studies have identified several strategies that induce long distance regeneration in the optic nerve. Thus, a pressing question now is whether regenerating RGC axons can find their appropriate targets. Traditional methods of assessing RGC axon regeneration use histological sectioning. However, tissue sections provide fragmentary information about axonal trajectory and termination. To unequivocally evaluate regenerating RGC axons, here we apply tissue clearance and light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) to image whole optic nerve and brain without physical sectioning. In mice with PTEN/SOCS3 deletion, a condition known to promote robust regeneration, axon growth followed tortuous paths through the optic nerve, with many axons reversing course and extending towards the eye. Such aberrant growth was prevalent in the proximal region of the optic nerve where strong astroglial activation is present. In the optic chiasms of PTEN/SOCS3 deletion mice and PTEN deletion/Zymosan/cAMP mice, many axons project to the opposite optic nerve or to the ipsilateral optic tract. Following bilateral optic nerve crush, similar divergent trajectory is seen at the optic chiasm compared to unilateral crush. Centrally, axonal projection is limited predominantly to the hypothalamus. Together, we demonstrate the applicability of LSFM for comprehensive assessment of optic nerve regeneration, providing in-depth analysis of the axonal trajectory and pathfinding. Our study indicates significant axon misguidance in the optic nerve and brain, and underscores the need for investigation of axon guidance mechanisms during optic nerve regeneration in adults. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Axon degeneration and PGC-1α-mediated protection in a zebrafish model of α-synuclein toxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelley C. O’Donnell


    Full Text Available α-synuclein (aSyn expression is implicated in neurodegenerative processes, including Parkinson’s disease (PD and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB. In animal models of these diseases, axon pathology often precedes cell death, raising the question of whether aSyn has compartment-specific toxic effects that could require early and/or independent therapeutic intervention. The relevance of axonal pathology to degeneration can only be addressed through longitudinal, in vivo monitoring of different neuronal compartments. With current imaging methods, dopaminergic neurons do not readily lend themselves to such a task in any vertebrate system. We therefore expressed human wild-type aSyn in zebrafish peripheral sensory neurons, which project elaborate superficial axons that can be continuously imaged in vivo. Axonal outgrowth was normal in these neurons but, by 2 days post-fertilization (dpf, many aSyn-expressing axons became dystrophic, with focal varicosities or diffuse beading. Approximately 20% of aSyn-expressing cells died by 3 dpf. Time-lapse imaging revealed that focal axonal swelling, but not overt fragmentation, usually preceded cell death. Co-expressing aSyn with a mitochondrial reporter revealed deficits in mitochondrial transport and morphology even when axons appeared overtly normal. The axon-protective protein Wallerian degeneration slow (WldS delayed axon degeneration but not cell death caused by aSyn. By contrast, the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α, which has roles in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and reactive-oxygen-species detoxification, abrogated aSyn toxicity in both the axon and the cell body. The rapid onset of axonal pathology in this system, and the relatively moderate degree of cell death, provide a new model for the study of aSyn toxicity and protection. Moreover, the accessibility of peripheral sensory axons will allow effects of aSyn to be studied in different neuronal compartments and might have utility in

  10. Deep Brain Stimulation: More Complex than the Inhibition of Cells and Excitation of Fibers. (United States)

    Florence, Gerson; Sameshima, Koichi; Fonoff, Erich T; Hamani, Clement


    High-frequency deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective treatment for some movement disorders. Though mechanisms underlying DBS are still unclear, commonly accepted theories include a "functional inhibition" of neuronal cell bodies and the excitation of axonal projections near the electrodes. It is becoming clear, however, that the paradoxical dissociation "local inhibition" and "distant excitation" is far more complex than initially thought. Despite an initial increase in neuronal activity following stimulation, cells are often unable to maintain normal ionic concentrations, particularly those of sodium and potassium. Based on currently available evidence, we proposed an alternative hypothesis. Increased extracellular concentrations of potassium during DBS may change the dynamics of both cells and axons, contributing not only to the intermittent excitation and inhibition of these elements but also to interrupt abnormal pathological activity. In this article, we review mechanisms through which high extracellular potassium may mediate some of the effects of DBS. © The Author(s) 2015.

  11. It takes a village to raise a branch: Cellular mechanisms of the initiation of axon collateral branches. (United States)

    Armijo-Weingart, Lorena; Gallo, Gianluca


    The formation of axon collateral branches from the pre-existing shafts of axons is an important aspect of neurodevelopment and the response of the nervous system to injury. This article provides an overview of the role of the cytoskeleton and signaling mechanisms in the formation of axon collateral branches. Both the actin filament and microtubule components of the cytoskeleton are required for the formation of axon branches. Recent work has begun to shed light on how these two elements of the cytoskeleton are integrated by proteins that functionally or physically link the cytoskeleton. While a number of signaling pathways have been determined as having a role in the formation of axon branches, the complexity of the downstream mechanisms and links to specific signaling pathways remain to be fully determined. The regulation of intra-axonal protein synthesis and organelle function are also emerging as components of signal-induced axon branching. Although much has been learned in the last couple of decades about the mechanistic basis of axon branching we can look forward to continue elucidating this complex biological phenomenon with the aim of understanding how multiple signaling pathways, cytoskeletal regulators and organelles are coordinated locally along the axon to give rise to a branch. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Bergmann glia and the recognition molecule CHL1 organize GABAergic axons and direct innervation of Purkinje cell dendrites.

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    Fabrice Ango


    Full Text Available The geometric and subcellular organization of axon arbors distributes and regulates electrical signaling in neurons and networks, but the underlying mechanisms have remained elusive. In rodent cerebellar cortex, stellate interneurons elaborate characteristic axon arbors that selectively innervate Purkinje cell dendrites and likely regulate dendritic integration. We used GFP BAC transgenic reporter mice to examine the cellular processes and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of stellate cell axons and their innervation pattern. We show that stellate axons are organized and guided towards Purkinje cell dendrites by an intermediate scaffold of Bergmann glial (BG fibers. The L1 family immunoglobulin protein Close Homologue of L1 (CHL1 is localized to apical BG fibers and stellate cells during the development of stellate axon arbors. In the absence of CHL1, stellate axons deviate from BG fibers and show aberrant branching and orientation. Furthermore, synapse formation between aberrant stellate axons and Purkinje dendrites is reduced and cannot be maintained, leading to progressive atrophy of axon terminals. These results establish BG fibers as a guiding scaffold and CHL1 a molecular signal in the organization of stellate axon arbors and in directing their dendritic innervation.

  13. Regulated viral BDNF delivery in combination with Schwann cells promotes axonal regeneration through capillary alginate hydrogels after spinal cord injury. (United States)

    Liu, Shengwen; Sandner, Beatrice; Schackel, Thomas; Nicholson, LaShae; Chtarto, Abdelwahed; Tenenbaum, Liliane; Puttagunta, Radhika; Müller, Rainer; Weidner, Norbert; Blesch, Armin


    Grafting of cell-seeded alginate capillary hydrogels into a spinal cord lesion site provides an axonal bridge while physically directing regenerating axonal growth in a linear pattern. However, without an additional growth stimulus, bridging axons fail to extend into the distal host spinal cord. Here we examined whether a combinatory strategy would support regeneration of descending axons across a cervical (C5) lateral hemisection lesion in the rat spinal cord. Following spinal cord transections, Schwann cell (SC)-seeded alginate hydrogels were grafted to the lesion site and AAV5 expressing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) under control of a tetracycline-regulated promoter was injected caudally. In addition, we examined whether SC injection into the caudal spinal parenchyma would further enhance regeneration of descending axons to re-enter the host spinal cord. Our data show that both serotonergic and descending axons traced by biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) extend throughout the scaffolds. The number of regenerating axons is significantly increased when caudal BDNF expression is activated and transient BDNF delivery is able to sustain axons after gene expression is switched off. Descending axons are confined to the caudal graft/host interface even with continuous BDNF expression for 8weeks. Only with a caudal injection of SCs, a pathway facilitating axonal regeneration through the host/graft interface is generated allowing axons to successfully re-enter the caudal spinal cord. Recovery from spinal cord injury is poor due to the limited regeneration observed in the adult mammalian central nervous system. Biomaterials, cell transplantation and growth factors that can guide axons across a lesion site, provide a cellular substrate, stimulate axon growth and have shown some promise in increasing the growth distance of regenerating axons. In the present study, we combined an alginate biomaterial with linear channels with transplantation of Schwann cells within

  14. The role of ubiquitin‐mediated pathways in regulating synaptic development, axonal degeneration and regeneration: insights from fly and worm

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tian, Xiaolin; Wu, Chunlai


    ...‐mediated pathways play important roles in controlling the presynaptic size, synaptic elimination and stabilization, synaptic transmission, postsynaptic receptor abundance, axonal degeneration and regeneration...

  15. B-type esterases in the snail Xeropicta derbentina: an enzymological analysis to evaluate their use as biomarkers of pesticide exposure. (United States)

    Laguerre, Christel; Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C; Köhler, Heinz R; Triebskorn, Rita; Capowiez, Yvan; Rault, Magali; Mazzia, Christophe


    The study was prompted to characterize the B-type esterase activities in the terrestrial snail Xeropicta derbentina and to evaluate its sensitivity to organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides. Specific cholinesterase and carboxylesterase activities were mainly obtained with acetylthiocholine (K(m)=77.2 mM; V(max)=38.2 mU/mg protein) and 1-naphthyl acetate (K(m)=222 mM, V(max)=1095 mU/mg protein) substrates, respectively. Acetylcholinesterase activity was concentration-dependently inhibited by chlorpyrifos-oxon, dichlorvos, carbaryl and carbofuran (IC50=1.35x10(-5)-3.80x10(-8) M). The organophosphate-inhibited acetylcholinesterase activity was reactivated in the presence of pyridine-2-aldoxime methochloride. Carboxylesterase activity was inhibited by organophosphorus insecticides (IC50=1.20x10(-5)-2.98x10(-8) M) but not by carbamates. B-esterase-specific differences in the inhibition by organophosphates and carbamates are discussed with respect to the buffering capacity of the carboxylesterase to reduce pesticide toxicity. These results suggest that B-type esterases in X. derbentina are suitable biomarkers of pesticide exposure and that this snail could be used as sentinel species in field monitoring of Mediterranean climate regions.

  16. B-type esterases in the snail Xeropicta derbentina: An enzymological analysis to evaluate their use as biomarkers of pesticide exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laguerre, Christel [Universite d' Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse, UMR 406 UAPV/INRA, F-84914 Avignon (France); INRA, Laboratoire de Toxicologie Environnementale, UMR 406 UAPV/INRA, F-84914 Avignon (France); Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C. [Laboratory of Ecotoxicology, Faculty of Environmental Science, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avda. Carlos III s/n, 45071 Toledo (Spain); Koehler, Heinz R. [Animal Physiological Ecology, University of Tuebingen, Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse 20, D-72072 Tuebingen (Germany); Triebskorn, Rita [Animal Physiological Ecology, University of Tuebingen, Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse 20, D-72072 Tuebingen (Germany); Steinbeis-Transfer Center for Ecotoxicology and Ecophysiology, Blumenstrasse 13, D-72108 Rottenburg (Germany); Capowiez, Yvan [INRA, Unite PSH, F- 84914 Avignon (France); Rault, Magali [Universite d' Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse, UMR 406 UAPV/INRA, F-84914 Avignon (France); INRA, Laboratoire de Toxicologie Environnementale, UMR 406 UAPV/INRA, F-84914 Avignon (France); Mazzia, Christophe [Universite d' Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse, UMR 406 UAPV/INRA, F-84914 Avignon (France); INRA, Laboratoire de Toxicologie Environnementale, UMR 406 UAPV/INRA, F-84914 Avignon (France)], E-mail:


    The study was prompted to characterize the B-type esterase activities in the terrestrial snail Xeropicta derbentina and to evaluate its sensitivity to organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides. Specific cholinesterase and carboxylesterase activities were mainly obtained with acetylthiocholine (K{sub m} = 77.2 mM; V{sub max} = 38.2 mU/mg protein) and 1-naphthyl acetate (K{sub m} = 222 mM, V{sub max} = 1095 mU/mg protein) substrates, respectively. Acetylcholinesterase activity was concentration-dependently inhibited by chlorpyrifos-oxon, dichlorvos, carbaryl and carbofuran (IC50 = 1.35 x 10{sup -5}-3.80 x 10{sup -8} M). The organophosphate-inhibited acetylcholinesterase activity was reactivated in the presence of pyridine-2-aldoxime methochloride. Carboxylesterase activity was inhibited by organophosphorus insecticides (IC50 = 1.20 x 10{sup -5}-2.98 x 10{sup -8} M) but not by carbamates. B-esterase-specific differences in the inhibition by organophosphates and carbamates are discussed with respect to the buffering capacity of the carboxylesterase to reduce pesticide toxicity. These results suggest that B-type esterases in X. derbentina are suitable biomarkers of pesticide exposure and that this snail could be used as sentinel species in field monitoring of Mediterranean climate regions. - Characterization of the B-type esterases in the terrestrial snail Xeropicta derbentina in order to evaluate pesticide exposure.

  17. Spinal Glia Division Contributes to Conditioning Lesion-Induced Axon Regeneration Into the Injured Spinal Cord: Potential Role of Cyclic AMP-Induced Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1. (United States)

    Liu, Huaqing; Angert, Mila; Nishihara, Tasuku; Shubayev, Igor; Dolkas, Jennifer; Shubayev, Veronica I


    Regeneration of sensory neurons after spinal cord injury depends on the function of dividing neuronal-glial antigen 2 (NG2)-expressing cells. We have shown that increases in the number of dividing NG2-positive cells through short-term pharmacologic inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases contributes to recovery after spinal cord injury. A conditioning sciatic nerve crush (SNC) preceding spinal cord injury stimulates central sensory axon regeneration via the intraganglionic action of cyclic adenosine monophosphate. Here, using bromodeoxyuridine, mitomycin (mitosis inhibitor), and cholera toxin B tracer, we demonstrate that SNC-induced division of spinal glia is related to the spinal induction of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 and contributes to central sensory axon growth into the damaged spinal cord. Dividing cells were mainly NG2-positive and Iba1-positive and included myeloid NG2-positive populations. The cells dividing in response to SNC mainly matured into oligodendrocytes and microglia within the injured spinal cord. Some postmitotic cells remained NG2-reactive and were associated with regenerating fibers. Moreover, intraganglionic tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 expression was induced after administration of SNC or cyclic adenosine monophosphate analog (dbcAMP) to dorsal root ganglia in vivo and in primary adult dorsal root ganglia cultures. Collectively, these findings support a novel model whereby a cyclic adenosine monophosphate-activated regeneration program induced in sensory neurons by a conditioning peripheral nerve lesion uses tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 to protect against short-term proteolysis, enabling glial cell division and promoting axon growth into the damaged CNS.

  18. Retinal nerve fiber layer axonal loss and visual dysfunction in optic neuritis. (United States)

    Trip, S Anand; Schlottmann, Patricio G; Jones, Stephen J; Altmann, Daniel R; Garway-Heath, David F; Thompson, Alan J; Plant, Gordon T; Miller, David H


    Axonal loss is thought to be a likely cause of persistent disability after a multiple sclerosis relapse; therefore, noninvasive in vivo markers specific for axonal loss are needed. We used optic neuritis as a model of multiple sclerosis relapse to quantify axonal loss of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and secondary retinal ganglion cell loss in the macula with optical coherence tomography. We studied 25 patients who had a previous single episode of optic neuritis with a recruitment bias to those with incomplete recovery and 15 control subjects. Optical coherence tomography measurement of RNFL thickness and macular volume, quantitative visual testing, and electrophysiological examination were performed. There were highly significant reductions (p color vision, and visual-evoked potential amplitude. This study has demonstrated functionally relevant changes indicative of axonal loss and retinal ganglion cell loss in the RNFL and macula, respectively, after optic neuritis. This noninvasive RNFL imaging technique could be used in trials of experimental treatments that aim to protect optic nerves from axonal loss.

  19. Opposite rheological properties of neuronal microcompartments predict axonal vulnerability in brain injury (United States)

    Grevesse, Thomas; Dabiri, Borna E.; Parker, Kevin Kit; Gabriele, Sylvain


    Although pathological changes in axonal morphology have emerged as important features of traumatic brain injury (TBI), the mechanical vulnerability of the axonal microcompartment relative to the cell body is not well understood. We hypothesized that soma and neurite microcompartments exhibit distinct mechanical behaviors, rendering axons more sensitive to a mechanical injury. In order to test this assumption, we combined protein micropatterns with magnetic tweezer rheology to probe the viscoelastic properties of neuronal microcompartments. Creep experiments revealed two opposite rheological behaviors within cortical neurons: the cell body was soft and characterized by a solid-like response, whereas the neurite compartment was stiffer and viscous-like. By using pharmacological agents, we demonstrated that the nucleus is responsible for the solid-like behavior and the stress-stiffening response of the soma, whereas neurofilaments have a predominant contribution in the viscous behavior of the neurite. Furthermore, we found that the neurite is a mechanosensitive compartment that becomes softer and adopts a pronounced viscous state on soft matrices. Together, these findings highlight the importance of the regionalization of mechanical and rigidity-sensing properties within neuron microcompartments in the preferential damage of axons during traumatic brain injury and into potential mechanisms of axonal outgrowth after injury.

  20. A Mathematical Model of Regenerative Axon Growing along Glial Scar after Spinal Cord Injury

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    Xuning Chen


    Full Text Available A major factor in the failure of central nervous system (CNS axon regeneration is the formation of glial scar after the injury of CNS. Glial scar generates a dense barrier which the regenerative axons cannot easily pass through or by. In this paper, a mathematical model was established to explore how the regenerative axons grow along the surface of glial scar or bypass the glial scar. This mathematical model was constructed based on the spinal cord injury (SCI repair experiments by transplanting Schwann cells as bridge over the glial scar. The Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM was used in this model for three-dimensional numerical simulation. The advantage of this model is that it provides a parallel and easily implemented algorithm and has the capability of handling complicated boundaries. Using the simulated data, two significant conclusions were made in this study: (1 the levels of inhibitory factors on the surface of the glial scar are the main factors affecting axon elongation and (2 when the inhibitory factor levels on the surface of the glial scar remain constant, the longitudinal size of the glial scar has greater influence on the average rate of axon growth than the transverse size. These results will provide theoretical guidance and reference for researchers to design efficient experiments.

  1. Nitric oxide prevents axonal degeneration by inducing HIF-1-dependent expression of erythropoietin. (United States)

    Keswani, Sanjay C; Bosch-Marcé, Marta; Reed, Nicole; Fischer, Angela; Semenza, Gregg L; Höke, Ahmet


    Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule that can trigger adaptive (physiological) or maladaptive (pathological) responses to stress stimuli in a context-dependent manner. We have previously reported that NO may signal axonal injury to neighboring glial cells. In this study, we show that mice deficient in neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS-/-) are more vulnerable than WT mice to toxin-induced peripheral neuropathy. The administration of NO donors to primary dorsal root ganglion cultures prevents axonal degeneration induced by acrylamide in a dose-dependent manner. We demonstrate that NO-induced axonal protection is dependent on hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1-mediated transcription of erythropoietin (EPO) within glial (Schwann) cells present in the cultures. Transduction of Schwann cells with adenovirus AdCA5 encoding a constitutively active form of HIF-1α results in amelioration of acrylamide-induced axonal degeneration in an EPO-dependent manner. Mice that are partially deficient in HIF-1α (HIF-1α+/-) are also more susceptible than WT littermates to toxic neuropathy. Our results indicate that NO→HIF-1→EPO signaling represents an adaptive mechanism that protects against axonal degeneration.

  2. Formation of compact myelin is required for maturation of the axonal cytoskeleton (United States)

    Brady, S. T.; Witt, A. S.; Kirkpatrick, L. L.; de Waegh, S. M.; Readhead, C.; Tu, P. H.; Lee, V. M.


    Although traditional roles ascribed to myelinating glial cells are structural and supportive, the importance of compact myelin for proper functioning of the nervous system can be inferred from mutations in myelin proteins and neuropathologies associated with loss of myelin. Myelinating Schwann cells are known to affect local properties of peripheral axons (de Waegh et al., 1992), but little is known about effects of oligodendrocytes on CNS axons. The shiverer mutant mouse has a deletion in the myelin basic protein gene that eliminates compact myelin in the CNS. In shiverer mice, both local axonal features like phosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins and neuronal perikaryon functions like cytoskeletal gene expression are altered. This leads to changes in the organization and composition of the axonal cytoskeleton in shiverer unmyelinated axons relative to age-matched wild-type myelinated fibers, although connectivity and patterns of neuronal activity are comparable. Remarkably, transgenic shiverer mice with thin myelin sheaths display an intermediate phenotype indicating that CNS neurons are sensitive to myelin sheath thickness. These results indicate that formation of a normal compact myelin sheath is required for normal maturation of the neuronal cytoskeleton in large CNS neurons.

  3. RhoA as a target to promote neuronal survival and axon regeneration

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    Jianli Hu


    Full Text Available Paralysis following spinal cord injury (SCI is due to failure of axonal regeneration. It is believed that the capacities of neurons to regrow their axons are due partly to their intrinsic characteristics, which in turn are greatly influenced by several types of inhibitory molecules that are present, or even increased in the extracellular environment of the injured spinal cord. Many of these inhibitory molecules have been studied extensively in recent years. It has been suggested that the small GTPase RhoA is an intracellular convergence point for signaling by these extracellular inhibitory molecules, but due to the complexity of the central nervous system (CNS in mammals, and the limitation of pharmacological tools, the specific roles of RhoA are unclear. By exploiting the anatomical and technical advantages of the lamprey CNS, we recently demonstrated that RhoA knockdown promotes true axon regeneration through the lesion site after SCI. In addition, we found that RhoA knockdown protects the large, identified reticulospinal neurons from apoptosis after their axons were axotomized in spinal cord. Therefore, manipulation of the RhoA signaling pathway may be an important approach in the development of treatments that are both neuroprotective and axon regeneration-promoting, to enhance functional recovery after SCI.

  4. Geometric effect of cell adhesive polygonal micropatterns on neuritogenesis and axon guidance (United States)

    Jang, Min Jee; Nam, Yoonkey


    Recent advances in nano- and micro-technology have made it possible to deliver surface-bound extracellular signaling cues to cultured neurons. In this study, we investigated the formation of neurites and axonal outgrowth using various types of polygonal micropatterns (‘micropolygon arrays’) on cell culture substrates and suggested a novel design principle of in vitro axon guidance. Ten different types of micropolygons (circle, triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, stars and isosceles triangles) were printed on a culture substrate using micro-contact printing with a mixture of poly-l-lysine and laminin A chain synthetic peptide. E18 rat hippocampal neurons were cultured on the patterned substrates, and the relation between micropatterns and neurite outgrowth was analyzed. Micropolygon arrays had effects on the soma shape and neurite initiation. In the case of regular triangle patterns, neurons showed vertex preference in terms of neurite initiation: neurites were more frequently generated from the vertex region. In the case of isosceles triangles, a major neurite was formed from the sharpest vertex and axons were developed from the sharpest vertex. Thus, the direction of axon growth could be controlled by the orientation of the sharpest vertex in the isosceles triangles. This work suggests that the geometry of cell adhesive regions influences the development of a cultured neuron, and the structure of neural circuits can be designed by controlling axonal outgrowth with individual micropolygons.

  5. Altered potassium channel distribution and composition in myelinated axons suppresses hyperexcitability following injury. (United States)

    Calvo, Margarita; Richards, Natalie; Schmid, Annina B; Barroso, Alejandro; Zhu, Lan; Ivulic, Dinka; Zhu, Ning; Anwandter, Philipp; Bhat, Manzoor A; Court, Felipe A; McMahon, Stephen B; Bennett, David L H


    Neuropathic pain following peripheral nerve injury is associated with hyperexcitability in damaged myelinated sensory axons, which begins to normalise over time. We investigated the composition and distribution of shaker-type-potassium channels (Kv1 channels) within the nodal complex of myelinated axons following injury. At the neuroma that forms after damage, expression of Kv1.1 and 1.2 (normally localised to the juxtaparanode) was markedly decreased. In contrast Kv1.4 and 1.6, which were hardly detectable in the naïve state, showed increased expression within juxtaparanodes and paranodes following injury, both in rats and humans. Within the dorsal root (a site remote from injury) we noted a redistribution of Kv1-channels towards the paranode. Blockade of Kv1 channels with α-DTX after injury reinstated hyperexcitability of A-fibre axons and enhanced mechanosensitivity. Changes in the molecular composition and distribution of axonal Kv1 channels, therefore represents a protective mechanism to suppress the hyperexcitability of myelinated sensory axons that follows nerve injury.

  6. Enteritis caused by Campylobacter jejuni followed by acute motor axonal neuropathy: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babić Tatjana


    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Campylobacter species represent the main cause of bacterial diarrhea in developed countries and one of the most frequent causes of enterocolitis in developing ones. In some patients, Campylobacter jejuni infection of the gastrointestinal tract has been observed as an antecedent illness of acute motor axonal neuropathy, a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Case presentation We present a case of acute motor axonal neuropathy following infection with Campylobacter jejuni subspecies jejuni, biotype II, heat stable serotype O:19. A 46-year-old Caucasian man developed acute motor neuropathy 10 days after mild intestinal infection. The proximal and distal muscle weakness of his upper and lower extremities was associated with serum antibodies to Campylobacter jejuni and antibodies to ganglioside GM1. The electromyographic signs of neuropathic muscle action potentials with almost normal nerve conduction velocities indicated axonal neuropathy. Our patient's clinical and electrophysiological features fulfilled criteria for the diagnosis of an acute motor axonal neuropathy, a subtype of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Conclusion As this is the first case of acute motor axonal neuropathy following infection with Campylobacter jejuni subspecies jejuni reported from the Balkan area, the present findings indicate the need for systematic studies and further clinical, epidemiological and microbiological investigations on the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni and its heat stable serotypes in the etiology of Guillain-Barré syndrome and other post-infectious sequelae.

  7. Enteritis caused by Campylobacter jejuni followed by acute motor axonal neuropathy: a case report. (United States)

    Miljković-Selimović, Biljana; Lavrnić, Dragana; Morić, Olga; Ng, Lai-King; Price, Lawrence; Suturkova, Ljubica; Kocic, Branislava; Babić, Tatjana; Ristić, Ljiljana; Apostolski, Slobodan


    Campylobacter species represent the main cause of bacterial diarrhea in developed countries and one of the most frequent causes of enterocolitis in developing ones. In some patients, Campylobacter jejuni infection of the gastrointestinal tract has been observed as an antecedent illness of acute motor axonal neuropathy, a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome. We present a case of acute motor axonal neuropathy following infection with Campylobacter jejuni subspecies jejuni, biotype II, heat stable serotype O:19. A 46-year-old Caucasian man developed acute motor neuropathy 10 days after mild intestinal infection. The proximal and distal muscle weakness of his upper and lower extremities was associated with serum antibodies to Campylobacter jejuni and antibodies to ganglioside GM1. The electromyographic signs of neuropathic muscle action potentials with almost normal nerve conduction velocities indicated axonal neuropathy. Our patient's clinical and electrophysiological features fulfilled criteria for the diagnosis of an acute motor axonal neuropathy, a subtype of Guillain-Barré syndrome. As this is the first case of acute motor axonal neuropathy following infection with Campylobacter jejuni subspecies jejuni reported from the Balkan area, the present findings indicate the need for systematic studies and further clinical, epidemiological and microbiological investigations on the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni and its heat stable serotypes in the etiology of Guillain-Barré syndrome and other post-infectious sequelae.

  8. Mammalian motoneuron axon targeting requires receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases sigma and delta. (United States)

    Uetani, Noriko; Chagnon, Mélanie J; Kennedy, Timothy E; Iwakura, Yoichiro; Tremblay, Michel L


    The leukocyte common antigen-related (LAR) subfamily of receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases (RPTPs), LAR, RPTP-sigma, and RPTP-delta, regulate neuroendocrine development, axonal regeneration, and hippocampal long-term potentiation in mammals. In Drosophila, RPTPs are required for appropriate axon targeting during embryonic development. In contrast, deletion of any one of the three LAR-RPTP family members in mammals does not result in gross axon targeting defects. Both RPTP-sigma and RPTP-delta are highly expressed in the developing mammalian nervous system, suggesting they might be functionally redundant. To test this hypothesis, we generated RPTP-sigma and RPTP-delta (RPTP-sigma/delta) double-mutant mice. Although embryonic day 18.5 RPTP-sigma and RPTP-delta single-mutant embryos were viable, RPTP-sigma/delta double mutants were paralyzed, were never observed to draw a breath, and died shortly after cesarean section. RPTP-sigma/delta double mutants exhibit severe muscle dysgenesis and severe loss of motoneurons in the spinal cord. Detailed analysis of the projections of phrenic nerves in RPTP-sigma/delta double mutants indicated that these motoneuron axons emerge normally from the cervical spinal cord, but stall on reaching the diaphragm. Our results demonstrate that RPTP-sigma and RPTP-delta complement each other functionally during mammalian development, and reveal an essential contribution of RPTP-sigma and RPTP-delta to appropriate motoneuron axon targeting during mammalian axonogenesis.

  9. Imaging axonal degeneration and repair in pre-clinical animal models of multiple sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soumya S Yandamuri


    Full Text Available Multiple sclerosis (MS is a central nervous system (CNS disease characterized by chronic neuroinflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage. Infiltration of activated lymphocytes and myeloid cells are thought to be primarily responsible for white matter damage and axonopathy. Over time, this neurologic damage manifests clinically as debilitating motor and cognitive symptoms. Existing MS therapies focus on symptom relief and delay of disease progression through reduction of neuroinflammation. However, long-term strategies to remyelinate, protect, or regenerate axons have remained elusive, posing a challenge to treating progressive forms of MS. Preclinical mouse models and techniques such as immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and genomic and proteomic analysis have provided advances in our understanding of discrete time-points of pathology following disease induction. More recently, in vivo and in situ two-photon microscopy (2P has made it possible to visualize continuous real-time cellular behavior and structural changes occurring within the CNS during neuropathology. Research utilizing 2P imaging to study axonopathy in neuroinflammatory demyelinating disease has focused on five areas: (1 axonal morphologic changes (2 organelle transport and health, (3 relationship to inflammation, (4 neuronal excitotoxicity, and (5 regenerative therapies. 2P imaging may also be used to identify novel therapeutic targets via identification and clarification of dynamic cellular and molecular mechanisms of axonal regeneration and remyelination. Here, we review tools that have made 2P accessible for imaging neuropathologies and advances in our understanding of axonal degeneration and repair in preclinical models of demyelinating diseases.

  10. Activity-Dependent Callosal Axon Projections in Neonatal Mouse Cerebral Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiaki Tagawa


    Full Text Available Callosal axon projections are among the major long-range axonal projections in the mammalian brain. They are formed during the prenatal and early postnatal periods in the mouse, and their development relies on both activity-independent and -dependent mechanisms. In this paper, we review recent findings about the roles of neuronal activity in callosal axon projections. In addition to the well-documented role of sensory-driven neuronal activity, recent studies using in utero electroporation demonstrated an essential role of spontaneous neuronal activity generated in neonatal cortical circuits. Both presynaptic and postsynaptic neuronal activities are critically involved in the axon development. Studies have begun to reveal intracellular signaling pathway which works downstream of neuronal activity. We also review several distinct patterns of neuronal activity observed in the developing cerebral cortex, which might play roles in activity-dependent circuit construction. Such neuronal activity during the neonatal period can be disrupted by genetic factors, such as mutations in ion channels. It has been speculated that abnormal activity caused by such factors may affect activity-dependent circuit construction, leading to some developmental disorders. We discuss a possibility that genetic mutation in ion channels may impair callosal axon projections through an activity-dependent mechanism.

  11. Structural plasticity of GABAergic axons is regulated by network activity and GABAA receptor activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne eSchuemann


    Full Text Available Coordinated changes at excitatory and inhibitory synapses are essential for normal brain development and function. It is well established that excitatory neurons undergo structural changes, but our knowledge about inhibitory structural plasticity is rather scarce. Here we present a quantitative analysis of the dynamics of GABAergic boutons in the dendritic region of the hippocampal CA1 area using time-lapse two-photon imaging in organotypic hippocampal cultures from GAD65-GFP mice. We show that ~20% of inhibitory boutons are not stable. They are appearing, disappearing and reappearing at specific locations along the inhibitory axon and reflect immature or incomplete synapses. Furthermore, we observed that persistent boutons show large volume fluctuations over several hours, suggesting that presynaptic content of inhibitory synapses is not constant. Our data show that inhibitory boutons are highly dynamic structures and suggest that inhibitory axons are continuously probing potential locations for inhibitory synapse formation by redistributing presynaptic material along the axon.In addition, we found that neuronal activity affects the exploratory dynamics of inhibitory axons. Blocking network activity rapidly reduces the number of transient boutons, whereas enhancing activity reduces the number of persistent inhibitory boutons, possibly reflecting enhanced competition between boutons along the axon. The latter effect requires signaling through GABAA receptors. We propose that activity-dependent regulation of bouton dynamics contributes to inhibitory synaptic plasticity.

  12. Abnormal accumulation of autophagic vesicles correlates with axonal and synaptic pathology in young Alzheimer's mice hippocampus. (United States)

    Sanchez-Varo, Raquel; Trujillo-Estrada, Laura; Sanchez-Mejias, Elisabeth; Torres, Manuel; Baglietto-Vargas, David; Moreno-Gonzalez, Ines; De Castro, Vanessa; Jimenez, Sebastian; Ruano, Diego; Vizuete, Marisa; Davila, Jose Carlos; Garcia-Verdugo, Jose Manuel; Jimenez, Antonio Jesus; Vitorica, Javier; Gutierrez, Antonia


    Dystrophic neurites associated with amyloid plaques precede neuronal death and manifest early in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this work we have characterized the plaque-associated neuritic pathology in the hippocampus of young (4- to 6-month-old) PS1(M146L)/APP(751SL) mice model, as the initial degenerative process underlying functional disturbance prior to neuronal loss. Neuritic plaques accounted for almost all fibrillar deposits and an axonal origin of the dystrophies was demonstrated. The early induction of autophagy pathology was evidenced by increased protein levels of the autophagosome marker LC3 that was localized in the axonal dystrophies, and by electron microscopic identification of numerous autophagic vesicles filling and causing the axonal swellings. Early neuritic cytoskeletal defects determined by the presence of phosphorylated tau (AT8-positive) and actin-cofilin rods along with decreased levels of kinesin-1 and dynein motor proteins could be responsible for this extensive vesicle accumulation within dystrophic neurites. Although microsomal Aβ oligomers were identified, the presence of A11-immunopositive Aβ plaques also suggested a direct role of plaque-associated Aβ oligomers in defective axonal transport and disease progression. Most importantly, presynaptic terminals morphologically disrupted by abnormal autophagic vesicle buildup were identified ultrastructurally and further supported by synaptosome isolation. Finally, these early abnormalities in axonal and presynaptic structures might represent the morphological substrate of hippocampal dysfunction preceding synaptic and neuronal loss and could significantly contribute to AD pathology in the preclinical stages.

  13. Imaging Axonal Degeneration and Repair in Preclinical Animal Models of Multiple Sclerosis. (United States)

    Yandamuri, Soumya S; Lane, Thomas E


    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system (CNS) disease characterized by chronic neuroinflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage. Infiltration of activated lymphocytes and myeloid cells are thought to be primarily responsible for white matter damage and axonopathy. Over time, this neurologic damage manifests clinically as debilitating motor and cognitive symptoms. Existing MS therapies focus on symptom relief and delay of disease progression through reduction of neuroinflammation. However, long-term strategies to remyelinate, protect, or regenerate axons have remained elusive, posing a challenge to treating progressive forms of MS. Preclinical mouse models and techniques, such as immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and genomic and proteomic analysis have provided advances in our understanding of discrete time-points of pathology following disease induction. More recently, in vivo and in situ two-photon (2P) microscopy has made it possible to visualize continuous real-time cellular behavior and structural changes occurring within the CNS during neuropathology. Research utilizing 2P imaging to study axonopathy in neuroinflammatory demyelinating disease has focused on five areas: (1) axonal morphologic changes, (2) organelle transport and health, (3) relationship to inflammation, (4) neuronal excitotoxicity, and (5) regenerative therapies. 2P imaging may also be used to identify novel therapeutic targets via identification and clarification of dynamic cellular and molecular mechanisms of axonal regeneration and remyelination. Here, we review tools that have made 2P accessible for imaging neuropathologies and advances in our understanding of axonal degeneration and repair in preclinical models of demyelinating diseases.

  14. BORC Regulates the Axonal Transport of Synaptic Vesicle Precursors by Activating ARL-8. (United States)

    Niwa, Shinsuke; Tao, Li; Lu, Sharon Y; Liew, Gerald M; Feng, Wei; Nachury, Maxence V; Shen, Kang


    Axonal transport of synaptic vesicle precursors (SVPs) is essential for synapse development and function. The conserved ARF-like small GTPase ARL-8 is localized to SVPs and directly activates UNC-104/KIF1A, the axonal-transport kinesin for SVPs in C. elegans. It is not clear how ARL-8 is activated in this process. Here we show that part of the BLOC-1-related complex (BORC), previously shown to regulate lysosomal transport, is required to recruit and activate ARL-8 on SVPs. We found mutations in six BORC subunits-blos-1/BLOS1, blos-2/BLOS2, snpn-1/Snapin, sam-4/Myrlysin, blos-7/Lyspersin, and blos-9/MEF2BNB-cause defects in axonal transport of SVPs, leading to ectopic accumulation of synaptic vesicles in the proximal axon. This phenotype is suppressed by constitutively active arl-8 or unc-104 mutants. Furthermore, SAM-4/Myrlysin, a subunit of BORC, promotes the GDP-to-GTP exchange of ARL-8 in vitro and recruits ARL-8 onto SVPs in vivo. Thus, BORC regulates the axonal transport of synaptic materials and synapse formation by controlling the nucleotide state of ARL-8. Interestingly, the other two subunits of BORC essential for lysosomal transport, kxd-1/KXD1 and blos-8/Diaskedin, are not required for the SVP transport, suggesting distinct subunit requirements for lysosomal and SVP trafficking. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Effects of high-frequency alternating current on axonal conduction through the vagus nerve (United States)

    Waataja, Jonathan J.; Tweden, Katherine S.; Honda, Christopher N.


    High-frequency alternating current (HFAC) is known to disrupt axonal conduction in peripheral nerves, and HFAC has much potential as a therapeutic approach for a number of pathological conditions. Many previous studies have utilized motor output as a bioassay of effects of HFAC on conduction through medium- to large-diameter motor axons. However, little is known about the effectiveness of HFAC on smaller, more slowly conducting nerve fibres. The present study tested whether HFAC influences axonal conduction through sub-diaphragmatic levels of the rat vagus nerve, which consists almost entirely of small calibre axons. Using an isolated nerve preparation, we tested the effects of HFAC on electrically evoked compound action potentials (CAPs). We found that delivery of charge-balanced HFAC at 5000 Hz for 1 min was effective in producing reversible blockade of axonal conduction. Both Aδ and C components of the vagus CAP were attenuated, and the degree of blockade as well as time to recovery was proportional to the amount of HFAC current delivered. The Aδ waves were more sensitive than C waves to HFAC blockade, but they required more time to recover.

  16. Corrosion inhibition..

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ABSTRACT. The corrosion inhibition of carbon steel in 3% de-aerated NaCl acidic solution with amine—fatty acid corrosion inhibitor, KI384, .... reduction reaction causing no decrease in the limiting current density of that process. On the .... value when compared to the base solution. This provides a support to the physical ...

  17. Sialic Acid Is Required for Neuronal Inhibition by Soluble MAG but not for Membrane Bound MAG (United States)

    Al-Bashir, Najat; Mellado, Wilfredo; Filbin, Marie T.


    Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein (MAG), a major inhibitor of axonal growth, is a member of the immunoglobulin (Ig) super-family. Importantly, MAG (also known as Siglec-4) is a member of the Siglec family of proteins (sialic acid-binding, immunoglobulin-like lectins), MAG binds to complex gangliosides, specifically GD1a and/or GT1b. Therefore, it has been proposed as neuronal receptors for MAG inhibitory effect of axonal growth. Previously, we showed that MAG binds sialic acid through domain 1 at Arg118 and is able to inhibit axonal growth through domain 5. We developed a neurite outgrowth (NOG) assay, in which both wild type MAG and mutated MAG (MAG Arg118) are expressed on cells. In addition we also developed a soluble form NOG in which we utilized soluble MAG-Fc and mutated MAG (Arg118-Fc). Only MAG-Fc is able to inhibit NOG, but not mutated MAG (Arg118)-Fc that has been mutated at its sialic acid binding site. However, both forms of membrane bound MAG- and MAG (Arg118)- expressing cells still inhibit NOG. Here, we review various results from different groups regarding MAG’s inhibition of axonal growth. Also, we propose a model in which the sialic acid binding is not necessary for the inhibition induced by the membrane form of MAG, but it is necessary for the soluble form of MAG. This finding highlights the importance of understanding the different mechanisms by which MAG inhibits NOG in both the soluble fragmented form and the membrane-bound form in myelin debris following CNS damage. PMID:27065798

  18. Control of cannabinoid CB1 receptor function on glutamate axon terminals by endogenous adenosine acting at A1 receptors. (United States)

    Hoffman, Alexander F; Laaris, Nora; Kawamura, Masahito; Masino, Susan A; Lupica, Carl R


    Marijuana is a widely used drug that impairs memory through interaction between its psychoactive constituent, Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC), and CB(1) receptors (CB1Rs) in the hippocampus. CB1Rs are located on Schaffer collateral (Sc) axon terminals in the hippocampus, where they inhibit glutamate release onto CA1 pyramidal neurons. This action is shared by adenosine A(1) receptors (A1Rs), which are also located on Sc terminals. Furthermore, A1Rs are tonically activated by endogenous adenosine (eADO), leading to suppressed glutamate release under basal conditions. Colocalization of A1Rs and CB1Rs, and their coupling to shared components of signal transduction, suggest that these receptors may interact. We examined the roles of A1Rs and eADO in regulating CB1R inhibition of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the rodent hippocampus. We found that A1R activation by basal or experiment