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Sample records for motor neuron axon

  1. Optogenetically enhanced axon regeneration: motor versus sensory neuron-specific stimulation.

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    Ward, Patricia J; Clanton, Scott L; English, Arthur W

    2018-02-01

    Brief neuronal activation in injured peripheral nerves is both necessary and sufficient to enhance motor axon regeneration, and this effect is specific to the activated motoneurons. It is less clear whether sensory neurons respond in a similar manner to neuronal activation following peripheral axotomy. Further, it is unknown to what extent enhancement of axon regeneration with increased neuronal activity relies on a reflexive interaction within the spinal circuitry. We used mouse genetics and optical tools to evaluate the precision and selectivity of system-specific neuronal activation to enhance axon regeneration in a mixed nerve. We evaluated sensory and motor axon regeneration in two different mouse models expressing the light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin (ChR2). We selectively activated either sensory or motor axons using light stimulation combined with transection and repair of the sciatic nerve. Regardless of genotype, the number of ChR2-positive neurons whose axons had regenerated successfully was greater following system-specific optical treatment, with no effect on the number of ChR2-negative neurons (whether motor or sensory neurons). We conclude that acute system-specific neuronal activation is sufficient to enhance both motor and sensory axon regeneration. This regeneration-enhancing effect is likely cell autonomous. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Axonal regeneration and neuronal function are preserved in motor neurons lacking ß-actin in vivo.

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    Thomas R Cheever

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The proper localization of ß-actin mRNA and protein is essential for growth cone guidance and axon elongation in cultured neurons. In addition, decreased levels of ß-actin mRNA and protein have been identified in the growth cones of motor neurons cultured from a mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA, suggesting that ß-actin loss-of-function at growth cones or pre-synaptic nerve terminals could contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease. However, the role of ß-actin in motor neurons in vivo and its potential relevance to disease has yet to be examined. We therefore generated motor neuron specific ß-actin knock-out mice (Actb-MNsKO to investigate the function of ß-actin in motor neurons in vivo. Surprisingly, ß-actin was not required for motor neuron viability or neuromuscular junction maintenance. Skeletal muscle from Actb-MNsKO mice showed no histological indication of denervation and did not significantly differ from controls in several measurements of physiologic function. Finally, motor axon regeneration was unimpaired in Actb-MNsKO mice, suggesting that ß-actin is not required for motor neuron function or regeneration in vivo.

  3. Optically-Induced Neuronal Activity Is Sufficient to Promote Functional Motor Axon Regeneration In Vivo.

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    Patricia J Ward

    Full Text Available Peripheral nerve injuries are common, and functional recovery is very poor. Beyond surgical repair of the nerve, there are currently no treatment options for these patients. In experimental models of nerve injury, interventions (such as exercise and electrical stimulation that increase neuronal activity of the injured neurons effectively enhance axon regeneration. Here, we utilized optogenetics to determine whether increased activity alone is sufficient to promote motor axon regeneration. In thy-1-ChR2/YFP transgenic mice in which a subset of motoneurons express the light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin (ChR2, we activated axons in the sciatic nerve using blue light immediately prior to transection and surgical repair of the sciatic nerve. At four weeks post-injury, direct muscle EMG responses evoked with both optical and electrical stimuli as well as the ratio of these optical/electrical evoked EMG responses were significantly greater in mice that received optical treatment. Thus, significantly more ChR2+ axons successfully re-innervated the gastrocnemius muscle in mice that received optical treatment. Sections of the gastrocnemius muscles were reacted with antibodies to Synaptic Vesicle Protein 2 (SV2 to quantify the number of re-occupied motor endplates. The number of SV2+ endplates was greater in mice that received optical treatment. The number of retrogradely-labeled motoneurons following intramuscular injection of cholera toxin subunit B (conjugated to Alexa Fluor 555 was greater in mice that received optical treatment. Thus, the acute (1 hour, one-time optical treatment resulted in robust, long-lasting effects compared to untreated animals as well as untreated axons (ChR2-. We conclude that neuronal activation is sufficient to promote motor axon regeneration, and this regenerative effect is specific to the activated neurons.

  4. Botulinum neurotoxins A and E undergo retrograde axonal transport in primary motor neurons.

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    Laura Restani

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The striking differences between the clinical symptoms of tetanus and botulism have been ascribed to the different fate of the parental neurotoxins once internalised in motor neurons. Tetanus toxin (TeNT is known to undergo transcytosis into inhibitory interneurons and block the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters in the spinal cord, causing a spastic paralysis. In contrast, botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs block acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction, therefore inducing a flaccid paralysis. Whilst overt experimental evidence supports the sorting of TeNT to the axonal retrograde transport pathway, recent findings challenge the established view that BoNT trafficking is restricted to the neuromuscular junction by highlighting central effects caused by these neurotoxins. These results suggest a more complex scenario whereby BoNTs also engage long-range trafficking mechanisms. However, the intracellular pathways underlying this process remain unclear. We sought to fill this gap by using primary motor neurons either in mass culture or differentiated in microfluidic devices to directly monitor the endocytosis and axonal transport of full length BoNT/A and BoNT/E and their recombinant binding fragments. We show that BoNT/A and BoNT/E are internalised by spinal cord motor neurons and undergo fast axonal retrograde transport. BoNT/A and BoNT/E are internalised in non-acidic axonal carriers that partially overlap with those containing TeNT, following a process that is largely independent of stimulated synaptic vesicle endo-exocytosis. Following intramuscular injection in vivo, BoNT/A and TeNT displayed central effects with a similar time course. Central actions paralleled the peripheral spastic paralysis for TeNT, but lagged behind the onset of flaccid paralysis for BoNT/A. These results suggest that the fast axonal retrograde transport compartment is composed of multifunctional trafficking organelles orchestrating the simultaneous transfer

  5. Motor Axonal Regeneration After Partial and Complete Spinal Cord Transection

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    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.

    2012-01-01

    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

  6. Spinal muscular atrophy pathogenic mutations impair the axonogenic properties of axonal-survival of motor neuron.

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    Locatelli, Denise; d'Errico, Paolo; Capra, Silvia; Finardi, Adele; Colciaghi, Francesca; Setola, Veronica; Terao, Mineko; Garattini, Enrico; Battaglia, Giorgio

    2012-05-01

    The axonal survival of motor neuron (a-SMN) protein is a truncated isoform of SMN1, the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) disease gene. a-SMN is selectively localized in axons and endowed with remarkable axonogenic properties. At present, the role of a-SMN in SMA is unknown. As a first step to verify a link between a-SMN and SMA, we investigated by means of over-expression experiments in neuroblastoma-spinal cord hybrid cell line (NSC34) whether SMA pathogenic mutations located in the N-terminal part of the protein affected a-SMN function. We demonstrated here that either SMN1 missense mutations or small intragenic re-arrangements located in the Tudor domain consistently altered the a-SMN capability of inducing axonal elongation in vitro. Mutated human a-SMN proteins determined in almost all NSC34 motor neurons the growth of short axons with prominent morphologic abnormalities. Our data indicate that the Tudor domain is critical in dictating a-SMN function possibly because it is an association domain for proteins involved in axon growth. They also indicate that Tudor domain mutations are functionally relevant not only for FL-SMN but also for a-SMN, raising the possibility that also a-SMN loss of function may contribute to the pathogenic steps leading to SMA. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2012 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  7. Npn-1 contributes to axon-axon interactions that differentially control sensory and motor innervation of the limb.

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    Rosa-Eva Huettl

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The initiation, execution, and completion of complex locomotor behaviors are depending on precisely integrated neural circuitries consisting of motor pathways that activate muscles in the extremities and sensory afferents that deliver feedback to motoneurons. These projections form in tight temporal and spatial vicinities during development, yet the molecular mechanisms and cues coordinating these processes are not well understood. Using cell-type specific ablation of the axon guidance receptor Neuropilin-1 (Npn-1 in spinal motoneurons or in sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG, we have explored the contribution of this signaling pathway to correct innervation of the limb. We show that Npn-1 controls the fasciculation of both projections and mediates inter-axonal communication. Removal of Npn-1 from sensory neurons results in defasciculation of sensory axons and, surprisingly, also of motor axons. In addition, the tight coupling between these two heterotypic axonal populations is lifted with sensory fibers now leading the spinal nerve projection. These findings are corroborated by partial genetic elimination of sensory neurons, which causes defasciculation of motor projections to the limb. Deletion of Npn-1 from motoneurons leads to severe defasciculation of motor axons in the distal limb and dorsal-ventral pathfinding errors, while outgrowth and fasciculation of sensory trajectories into the limb remain unaffected. Genetic elimination of motoneurons, however, revealed that sensory axons need only minimal scaffolding by motor axons to establish their projections in the distal limb. Thus, motor and sensory axons are mutually dependent on each other for the generation of their trajectories and interact in part through Npn-1-mediated fasciculation before and within the plexus region of the limbs.

  8. ATF3 expression improves motor function in the ALS mouse model by promoting motor neuron survival and retaining muscle innervation.

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    Seijffers, Rhona; Zhang, Jiangwen; Matthews, Jonathan C; Chen, Adam; Tamrazian, Eric; Babaniyi, Olusegun; Selig, Martin; Hynynen, Meri; Woolf, Clifford J; Brown, Robert H

    2014-01-28

    ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive loss of motor neurons and atrophy of distal axon terminals in muscle, resulting in loss of motor function. Motor end plates denervated by axonal retraction of dying motor neurons are partially reinnervated by remaining viable motor neurons; however, this axonal sprouting is insufficient to compensate for motor neuron loss. Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) promotes neuronal survival and axonal growth. Here, we reveal that forced expression of ATF3 in motor neurons of transgenic SOD1(G93A) ALS mice delays neuromuscular junction denervation by inducing axonal sprouting and enhancing motor neuron viability. Maintenance of neuromuscular junction innervation during the course of the disease in ATF3/SOD1(G93A) mice is associated with a substantial delay in muscle atrophy and improved motor performance. Although disease onset and mortality are delayed, disease duration is not affected. This study shows that adaptive axonal growth-promoting mechanisms can substantially improve motor function in ALS and importantly, that augmenting viability of the motor neuron soma and maintaining functional neuromuscular junction connections are both essential elements in therapy for motor neuron disease in the SOD1(G93A) mice. Accordingly, effective protection of optimal motor neuron function requires restitution of multiple dysregulated cellular pathways.

  9. Adult rat motor neurons do not re-establish electrical coupling during axonal regeneration and muscle reinnervation.

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    Morgana Favero

    Full Text Available Gap junctions (GJs between neurons are present in both the newborn and the adult nervous system, and although important roles have been suggested or demonstrated in a number of instances, in many other cases a full understanding of their physiological role is still missing. GJs are expressed in the rodent lumbar cord at birth and mediate both dye and electrical coupling between motor neurons. This expression has been proposed to mediate: (i fast synchronization of motoneuronal spike activity, in turn linked to the process of refinement of neuromuscular connections, and (ii slow synchronization of locomotor-like oscillatory activity. Soon after birth this coupling disappears. Since in the adult rat regeneration of motor fibers after peripheral nerve injury leads to a recapitulation of synaptic refinement at the target muscles, we tested whether GJs between motor neurons are transiently re-expressed. We found that in conditions of maximal responsiveness of lumbar motor neurons (such as no depression by anesthetics, decerebrate release of activity of subsets of motor neurons, use of temporal and spatial summation by antidromic and orthodromic stimulations, testing of large ensembles of motor neurons no firing is observed in ventral root axons in response to antidromic spike invasion of nearby counterparts. We conclude that junctional coupling between motor neurons is not required for the refinement of neuromuscular innervation in the adult.

  10. Deficiency of the Survival of Motor Neuron Protein Impairs mRNA Localization and Local Translation in the Growth Cone of Motor Neurons.

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    Fallini, Claudia; Donlin-Asp, Paul G; Rouanet, Jeremy P; Bassell, Gary J; Rossoll, Wilfried

    2016-03-30

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neurodegenerative disease primarily affecting spinal motor neurons. It is caused by reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein, which plays an essential role in the biogenesis of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins in all tissues. The etiology of the specific defects in the motor circuitry in SMA is still unclear, but SMN has also been implicated in mediating the axonal localization of mRNA-protein complexes, which may contribute to the axonal degeneration observed in SMA. Here, we report that SMN deficiency severely disrupts local protein synthesis within neuronal growth cones. We also identify the cytoskeleton-associated growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43) mRNA as a new target of SMN and show that motor neurons from SMA mouse models have reduced levels ofGAP43mRNA and protein in axons and growth cones. Importantly, overexpression of two mRNA-binding proteins, HuD and IMP1, restoresGAP43mRNA and protein levels in growth cones and rescues axon outgrowth defects in SMA neurons. These findings demonstrate that SMN plays an important role in the localization and local translation of mRNAs with important axonal functions and suggest that disruption of this function may contribute to the axonal defects observed in SMA. The motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein, which plays a key role in assembling RNA/protein complexes that are essential for mRNA splicing. It remains unclear whether defects in this well characterized housekeeping function cause the specific degeneration of spinal motor neurons observed in SMA. Here, we describe an additional role of SMN in regulating the axonal localization and local translation of the mRNA encoding growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43). This study supports a model whereby SMN deficiency impedes transport and local translation of mRNAs important for neurite outgrowth and stabilization

  11. The ENU-3 protein family members function in the Wnt pathway parallel to UNC-6/Netrin to promote motor neuron axon outgrowth in C. elegans.

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    Florica, Roxana Oriana; Hipolito, Victoria; Bautista, Stephen; Anvari, Homa; Rapp, Chloe; El-Rass, Suzan; Asgharian, Alimohammad; Antonescu, Costin N; Killeen, Marie T

    2017-10-01

    The axons of the DA and DB classes of motor neurons fail to reach the dorsal cord in the absence of the guidance cue UNC-6/Netrin or its receptor UNC-5 in C. elegans. However, the axonal processes usually exit their cell bodies in the ventral cord in the absence of both molecules. Strains lacking functional versions of UNC-6 or UNC-5 have a low level of DA and DB motor neuron axon outgrowth defects. We found that mutations in the genes for all six of the ENU-3 proteins function to enhance the outgrowth defects of the DA and DB axons in strains lacking either UNC-6 or UNC-5. A mutation in the gene for the MIG-14/Wntless protein also enhances defects in a strain lacking either UNC-5 or UNC-6, suggesting that the ENU-3 and Wnt pathways function parallel to the Netrin pathway in directing motor neuron axon outgrowth. Our evidence suggests that the ENU-3 proteins are novel members of the Wnt pathway in nematodes. Five of the six members of the ENU-3 family are predicted to be single-pass trans-membrane proteins. The expression pattern of ENU-3.1 was consistent with plasma membrane localization. One family member, ENU-3.6, lacks the predicted signal peptide and the membrane-spanning domain. In HeLa cells ENU-3.6 had a cytoplasmic localization and caused actin dependent processes to appear. We conclude that the ENU-3 family proteins function in a pathway parallel to the UNC-6/Netrin pathway for motor neuron axon outgrowth, most likely in the Wnt pathway. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Retrograde Neuroanatomical Tracing of Phrenic Motor Neurons in Mice.

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    Vandeweerd, Jean-Michel; Hontoir, Fanny; De Knoop, Alexis; De Swert, Kathleen; Nicaise, Charles

    2018-02-22

    Phrenic motor neurons are cervical motor neurons originating from C3 to C6 levels in most mammalian species. Axonal projections converge into phrenic nerves innervating the respiratory diaphragm. In spinal cord slices, phrenic motor neurons cannot be identified from other motor neurons on morphological or biochemical criteria. We provide the description of procedures for visualizing phrenic motor neuron cell bodies in mice, following intrapleural injections of cholera toxin subunit beta (CTB) conjugated to a fluorophore. This fluorescent neuroanatomical tracer has the ability to be caught up at the diaphragm neuromuscular junction, be carried retrogradely along the phrenic axons and reach the phrenic cell bodies. Two methodological approaches of intrapleural CTB delivery are compared: transdiaphragmatic versus transthoracic injections. Both approaches are successful and result in similar number of CTB-labeled phrenic motor neurons. In conclusion, these techniques can be applied to visualize or quantify the phrenic motor neurons in various experimental studies such as those focused on the diaphragm-phrenic circuitry.

  13. HDAC6 Inhibitors Rescued the Defective Axonal Mitochondrial Movement in Motor Neurons Derived from the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells of Peripheral Neuropathy Patients with HSPB1 Mutation

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    Ji-Yon Kim

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease 2F (CMT2F and distal hereditary motor neuropathy 2B (dHMN2B are caused by autosomal dominantly inherited mutations of the heat shock 27 kDa protein 1 (HSPB1 gene and there are no specific therapies available yet. Here, we assessed the potential therapeutic effect of HDAC6 inhibitors on peripheral neuropathy with HSPB1 mutation using in vitro model of motor neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs of CMT2F and dHMN2B patients. The absolute velocity of mitochondrial movements and the percentage of moving mitochondria in axons were lower both in CMT2F-motor neurons and in dHMN2B-motor neurons than those in controls, and the severity of the defective mitochondrial movement was different between the two disease models. CMT2F-motor neurons and dHMN2B-motor neurons also showed reduced α-tubulin acetylation compared with controls. The newly developed HDAC6 inhibitors, CHEMICAL X4 and CHEMICAL X9, increased acetylation of α-tubulin and reversed axonal movement defects of mitochondria in CMT2F-motor neurons and dHMN2B-motor neurons. Our results suggest that the neurons derived from patient-specific iPSCs can be used in drug screening including HDAC6 inhibitors targeting peripheral neuropathy.

  14. Decreased spinal synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit localized inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation

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    Streeter, K.A.; Baker-Herman, T.L.

    2014-01-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30 min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons from medullary respiratory neurons that innervate one phrenic motor pool; during procaine injections, contralateral phrenic neural activity was maintained. Once axon conduction resumed, a prolonged increase in phrenic burst amplitude was observed in the ipsilateral phrenic nerve, demonstrating inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and atypical PKC (aPKC) activity in spinal segments containing the phrenic motor nucleus impaired ipsilateral iPMF, suggesting a key role for spinal TNFα and aPKC in iPMF following unilateral axon conduction block. A small phrenic burst amplitude facilitation was also observed contralateral to axon conduction block, indicating crossed spinal phrenic motor facilitation (csPMF). csPMF was independent of spinal TNFα and aPKC. Ipsilateral iPMF and csPMF following unilateral withdrawal of phrenic synaptic inputs were associated with proportional increases in phrenic responses to chemoreceptor stimulation (hypercapnia), suggesting iPMF and csPMF increase phrenic dynamic range. These data suggest that local, spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons. We hypothesize that iPMF and csPMF may represent compensatory mechanisms that assure adequate motor output is maintained in a physiological system in which prolonged inactivity ends life. PMID:24681155

  15. Neuron-to-neuron transmission of α-synuclein fibrils through axonal transport

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    Freundt, Eric C.; Maynard, Nate; Clancy, Eileen K.; Roy, Shyamali; Bousset, Luc; Sourigues, Yannick; Covert, Markus; Melki, Ronald; Kirkegaard, Karla; Brahic, Michel

    2012-01-01

    Objective The lesions of Parkinson's disease spread through the brain in a characteristic pattern that corresponds to axonal projections. Previous observations suggest that misfolded α-synuclein could behave as a prion, moving from neuron to neuron and causing endogenous α-synuclein to misfold. Here, we characterized and quantified the axonal transport of α-synuclein fibrils and showed that fibrils could be transferred from axons to second-order neurons following anterograde transport. Methods We grew primary cortical mouse neurons in microfluidic devices to separate soma from axonal projections in fluidically isolated microenvironments. We used live-cell imaging and immunofluorescence to characterize the transport of fluorescent α-synuclein fibrils and their transfer to second-order neurons. Results Fibrillar α-synuclein was internalized by primary neurons and transported in axons with kinetics consistent with slow component-b of axonal transport (fast axonal transport with saltatory movement). Fibrillar α-synuclein was readily observed in the cell bodies of second-order neurons following anterograde axonal transport. Axon-to-soma transfer appeared not to require synaptic contacts. Interpretation These results support the hypothesis that the progression of Parkinson's disease can be caused by neuron-to-neuron spread of α-synuclein aggregates and that the anatomical pattern of progression of lesions between axonally connected areas results from the axonal transport of such aggregates. That the transfer did not appear to be transsynaptic gives hope that α-synuclein fibrils could be intercepted by drugs during the extra-cellular phase of their journey. PMID:23109146

  16. Risk factors for motor neuron diseases : genes, environment and lifestyle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sutedja, N.A.

    2010-01-01

    The main focus of this thesis is to identify susceptibility factors in diseases affecting the motor neuron: both motor neuron disease (MND), in which primarily the cell body is affected, and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN), in which primarily the axon is affected, are covered. Due to its

  17. Firing pattern of fasciculations in ALS: evidence for axonal and neuronal origin.

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    Kleine, B.U.; Stegeman, D.F.; Schelhaas, H.J.; Zwarts, M.J.

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the origin of fasciculations is disputed. We hypothesized that the discharge pattern of fasciculation potentials (FPs) would be different for FPs arising in the motor axon or in the spinal motor neuron. METHOD: FPs were recorded by high-density

  18. Visualization of Sensory Neurons and Their Projections in an Upper Motor Neuron Reporter Line.

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    Genç, Barış; Lagrimas, Amiko Krisa Bunag; Kuru, Pınar; Hess, Robert; Tu, Michael William; Menichella, Daniela Maria; Miller, Richard J; Paller, Amy S; Özdinler, P Hande

    2015-01-01

    Visualization of peripheral nervous system axons and cell bodies is important to understand their development, target recognition, and integration into complex circuitries. Numerous studies have used protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 [a.k.a. ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1)] expression as a marker to label sensory neurons and their axons. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) expression, under the control of UCHL1 promoter, is stable and long lasting in the UCHL1-eGFP reporter line. In addition to the genetic labeling of corticospinal motor neurons in the motor cortex and degeneration-resistant spinal motor neurons in the spinal cord, here we report that neurons of the peripheral nervous system are also fluorescently labeled in the UCHL1-eGFP reporter line. eGFP expression is turned on at embryonic ages and lasts through adulthood, allowing detailed studies of cell bodies, axons and target innervation patterns of all sensory neurons in vivo. In addition, visualization of both the sensory and the motor neurons in the same animal offers many advantages. In this report, we used UCHL1-eGFP reporter line in two different disease paradigms: diabetes and motor neuron disease. eGFP expression in sensory axons helped determine changes in epidermal nerve fiber density in a high-fat diet induced diabetes model. Our findings corroborate previous studies, and suggest that more than five months is required for significant skin denervation. Crossing UCHL1-eGFP with hSOD1G93A mice generated hSOD1G93A-UeGFP reporter line of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and revealed sensory nervous system defects, especially towards disease end-stage. Our studies not only emphasize the complexity of the disease in ALS, but also reveal that UCHL1-eGFP reporter line would be a valuable tool to visualize and study various aspects of sensory nervous system development and degeneration in the context of numerous diseases.

  19. Decreased spinal synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit localized inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streeter, K A; Baker-Herman, T L

    2014-06-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons from medullary respiratory neurons that innervate one phrenic motor pool; during procaine injections, contralateral phrenic neural activity was maintained. Once axon conduction resumed, a prolonged increase in phrenic burst amplitude was observed in the ipsilateral phrenic nerve, demonstrating inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and atypical PKC (aPKC) activity in spinal segments containing the phrenic motor nucleus impaired ipsilateral iPMF, suggesting a key role for spinal TNFα and aPKC in iPMF following unilateral axon conduction block. A small phrenic burst amplitude facilitation was also observed contralateral to axon conduction block, indicating crossed spinal phrenic motor facilitation (csPMF). csPMF was independent of spinal TNFα and aPKC. Ipsilateral iPMF and csPMF following unilateral withdrawal of phrenic synaptic inputs were associated with proportional increases in phrenic responses to chemoreceptor stimulation (hypercapnia), suggesting iPMF and csPMF increase phrenic dynamic range. These data suggest that local, spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons. We hypothesize that iPMF and csPMF may represent compensatory mechanisms that assure adequate motor output is maintained in a physiological system in which prolonged inactivity ends life. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Spinal Accessory Motor Neurons in the Mouse: A Special Type of Branchial Motor Neuron?

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    Watson, Charles; Tvrdik, Petr

    2018-04-16

    The spinal accessory nerve arises from motor neurons in the upper cervical spinal cord. The axons of these motor neurons exit dorsal to the ligamentum denticulatum and form the spinal accessory nerve. The nerve ascends in the spinal subarachnoid space to enter the posterior cranial fossa through the foramen magnum. The spinal accessory nerve then turns caudally to exit through the jugular foramen alongside the vagus and glossopharyngeal nerves, and then travels to supply the sternomastoid and trapezius muscles in the neck. The unusual course of the spinal accessory nerve has long prompted speculation that it is not a typical spinal motor nerve and that it might represent a caudal remnant of the branchial motor system. Our cell lineage tracing data, combined with images from public databases, show that the spinal accessory motor neurons in the mouse transiently express Phox2b, a transcription factor that is required for development of brain stem branchial motor nuclei. While this is strong prima facie evidence that the spinal accessory motor neurons should be classified as branchial motor, the evolutionary history of these motor neurons in anamniote vertebrates suggests that they may be considered to be an atypical branchial group that possesses both branchial and somatic characteristics. Anat Rec, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Dysfunction in endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria crosstalk underlies SIGMAR1 loss of function mediated motor neuron degeneration.

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    Bernard-Marissal, Nathalie; Médard, Jean-Jacques; Azzedine, Hamid; Chrast, Roman

    2015-04-01

    Mutations in Sigma 1 receptor (SIGMAR1) have been previously identified in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and disruption of Sigmar1 in mouse leads to locomotor deficits. However, cellular mechanisms underlying motor phenotypes in human and mouse with disturbed SIGMAR1 function have not been described so far. Here we used a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches to investigate the role of SIGMAR1 in motor neuron biology. Characterization of Sigmar1(-/-) mice revealed that affected animals display locomotor deficits associated with muscle weakness, axonal degeneration and motor neuron loss. Using primary motor neuron cultures, we observed that pharmacological or genetic inactivation of SIGMAR1 led to motor neuron axonal degeneration followed by cell death. Disruption of SIGMAR1 function in motor neurons disturbed endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria contacts, affected intracellular calcium signalling and was accompanied by activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress and defects in mitochondrial dynamics and transport. These defects were not observed in cultured sensory neurons, highlighting the exacerbated sensitivity of motor neurons to SIGMAR1 function. Interestingly, the inhibition of mitochondrial fission was sufficient to induce mitochondria axonal transport defects as well as axonal degeneration similar to the changes observed after SIGMAR1 inactivation or loss. Intracellular calcium scavenging and endoplasmic reticulum stress inhibition were able to restore mitochondrial function and consequently prevent motor neuron degeneration. These results uncover the cellular mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration mediated by loss of SIGMAR1 function and provide therapeutically relevant insight into motor neuronal diseases. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Goldberg-Shprintzen megacolon syndrome with associated sensory motor axonal neuropathy.

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    Dafsari, Hormos Salimi; Byrne, Susan; Lin, Jean-Pierre; Pitt, Matthew; Jongbloed, Jan Dh; Flinter, Frances; Jungbluth, Heinz

    2015-06-01

    Goldberg-Shprintzen megacolon syndrome (GOSHS) (OMIM 609460) is characterized by a combination of learning difficulties, characteristic dysmorphic features and Hirschsprung's disease. Variable clinical features include iris coloboma, congenital heart defects and central nervous system abnormalities, in particular polymicrogyria. GOSHS has been attributed to recessive mutations in KIAA1279, encoding kinesin family member (KIF)-binding protein (KBP) with a crucial role in neuronal microtubule dynamics. Here we report on a 7-year-old girl with GOSHS as a result of a homozygous deletion of exons 5 and 6 of the KIAA1279 gene. She had been referred with the suspicion of an underlying neuromuscular disorder before the genetic diagnosis was established, prompted by the findings of motor developmental delay, hypotonia, ptosis and absent reflexes. Neurophysiological studies revealed unequivocal evidence of a peripheral axonal sensory motor neuropathy. We hypothesize that an axonal sensory motor neuropathy may be part of the phenotypical spectrum of KIAA1279-related GOSHS, probably reflecting the effects of reduced KBP protein expression on peripheral neuronal function. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. A novel ALS-associated variant in UBQLN4 regulates motor axon morphogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.25453.001 PMID:28463112

  4. Downregulation of genes with a function in axon outgrowth and synapse formation in motor neurones of the VEGFδ/δ mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lambrechts Diether

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF is an endothelial cell mitogen that stimulates vasculogenesis. It has also been shown to act as a neurotrophic factor in vitro and in vivo. Deletion of the hypoxia response element of the promoter region of the gene encoding VEGF in mice causes a reduction in neural VEGF expression, and results in adult-onset motor neurone degeneration that resembles amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Investigating the molecular pathways to neurodegeneration in the VEGFδ/δ mouse model of ALS may improve understanding of the mechanisms of motor neurone death in the human disease. Results Microarray analysis was used to determine the transcriptional profile of laser captured spinal motor neurones of transgenic and wild-type littermates at 3 time points of disease. 324 genes were significantly differentially expressed in motor neurones of presymptomatic VEGFδ/δ mice, 382 at disease onset, and 689 at late stage disease. Massive transcriptional downregulation occurred with disease progression, associated with downregulation of genes involved in RNA processing at late stage disease. VEGFδ/δ mice showed reduction in expression, from symptom onset, of the cholesterol synthesis pathway, and genes involved in nervous system development, including axonogenesis, synapse formation, growth factor signalling pathways, cell adhesion and microtubule-based processes. These changes may reflect a reduced capacity of VEGFδ/δ mice for maintenance and remodelling of neuronal processes in the face of demands of neural plasticity. The findings are supported by the demonstration that in primary motor neurone cultures from VEGFδ/δ mice, axon outgrowth is significantly reduced compared to wild-type littermates. Conclusions Downregulation of these genes involved in axon outgrowth and synapse formation in adult mice suggests a hitherto unrecognized role of VEGF in the maintenance of neuronal circuitry. Dysregulation of

  5. Investigating the Slow Axonal Transport of Neurofilaments: A Precursor for Optimal Neuronal Signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher M.

    Neurofilaments are the intermediate filaments of neurons and are the most abundant structure of the neuronal cytoskeleton. Once synthesized within the cell body they are then transported throughout the axon along microtubule tracks, driven by the molecular motors kinesin and dynein. This movement is characterized by long pauses with no movement interrupted by infrequent bouts of rapid movement, resulting in an aggregate dense cytoskeletal structure, which serves to regulate an axon's shape and size. Curiously, the modulated kinetics of these polymers produces a very regular, yet non-uniform, morphology in myelinated axons which are composed of discretely spaced myelin-ensheathed segments that are separated by short constricted regions called "nodes of Ranvier". This unique design optimizes the conduction velocity of myelinated axons at minimal fiber size. Hence, neurofilaments regulate the axon caliber to optimize neuron function. The goal of this dissertation is to investigate the motile mechanism of neurofilament transport as well as the resulting electrophysiological effects that follow. We start by examining highly time-resolved kymograph images generated from recorded neurofilament movement via epifluorescence microscopy. Using kymograph analysis, edge detection algorithms, and pixel smoothing tactics, neurofilament trajectories are extracted and used to obtain statistical distributions for the characteristics of how these filaments move within cells. The results suggest that the observed intermittent and bidirectional motions of these filaments might be explained by a model in which dynein and kinesin motors attach to a single neurofilament cargo and interact through mechanical forces only (i.e. a "tug-of-war" model). We test this hypothesis by developing two discrete-state stochastic models for the kinetic cycles of kinesin and dynein, which are then incorporated into a separate stochastic model that represents the posed tug-of-war scenario. We then

  6. Spatacsin and spastizin act in the same pathway required for proper spinal motor neuron axon outgrowth in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Elodie; Yanicostas, Constantin; Rastetter, Agnès; Alavi Naini, Seyedeh Maryam; Maouedj, Alissia; Kabashi, Edor; Rivaud-Péchoux, Sophie; Brice, Alexis; Stevanin, Giovanni; Soussi-Yanicostas, Nadia

    2012-12-01

    Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are rare neurological conditions caused by degeneration of the long axons of the cerebrospinal tracts, leading to locomotor impairment and additional neurological symptoms. There are more than 40 different causative genes, 24 of which have been identified, including SPG11 and SPG15 mutated in complex clinical forms. Since the vast majority of the causative mutations lead to loss of function of the corresponding proteins, we made use of morpholino-oligonucleotide (MO)-mediated gene knock-down to generate zebrafish models of both SPG11 and SPG15 and determine how invalidation of the causative genes (zspg11 and zspg15) during development might contribute to the disease. Micro-injection of MOs targeting each gene caused locomotor impairment and abnormal branching of spinal cord motor neurons at the neuromuscular junction. More severe phenotypes with abnormal tail developments were also seen. Moreover, partial depletion of both proteins at sub-phenotypic levels resulted in the same phenotypes, suggesting for the first time, in vivo, a genetic interaction between these genes. In conclusion, the zebrafish orthologues of the SPG11 and SPG15 genes are important for proper development of the axons of spinal motor neurons and likely act in a common pathway to promote their proper path finding towards the neuromuscular junction. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Decreased spinal synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit localized inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Streeter, K.A.; Baker-Herman, T.L.

    2014-01-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30 min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons...

  8. Transplantation of Xenopus laevis tissues to determine the ability of motor neurons to acquire a novel target.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen L Elliott

    Full Text Available The evolutionary origin of novelties is a central problem in biology. At a cellular level this requires, for example, molecularly resolving how brainstem motor neurons change their innervation target from muscle fibers (branchial motor neurons to neural crest-derived ganglia (visceral motor neurons or ear-derived hair cells (inner ear and lateral line efferent neurons. Transplantation of various tissues into the path of motor neuron axons could determine the ability of any motor neuron to innervate a novel target. Several tissues that receive direct, indirect, or no motor innervation were transplanted into the path of different motor neuron populations in Xenopus laevis embryos. Ears, somites, hearts, and lungs were transplanted to the orbit, replacing the eye. Jaw and eye muscle were transplanted to the trunk, replacing a somite. Applications of lipophilic dyes and immunohistochemistry to reveal motor neuron axon terminals were used. The ear, but not somite-derived muscle, heart, or liver, received motor neuron axons via the oculomotor or trochlear nerves. Somite-derived muscle tissue was innervated, likely by the hypoglossal nerve, when replacing the ear. In contrast to our previous report on ear innervation by spinal motor neurons, none of the tissues (eye or jaw muscle was innervated when transplanted to the trunk. Taken together, these results suggest that there is some plasticity inherent to motor innervation, but not every motor neuron can become an efferent to any target that normally receives motor input. The only tissue among our samples that can be innervated by all motor neurons tested is the ear. We suggest some possible, testable molecular suggestions for this apparent uniqueness.

  9. Isl1 is required for multiple aspects of motor neuron development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Xingqun; Song, Mi-Ryoung; Xu, ZengGuang; Lanuza, Guillermo M; Liu, Yali; Zhuang, Tao; Chen, Yihan; Pfaff, Samuel L; Evans, Sylvia M; Sun, Yunfu

    2011-07-01

    The LIM homeodomain transcription factor Islet1 (Isl1) is expressed in multiple organs and plays essential roles during embryogenesis. Isl1 is required for the survival and specification of spinal cord motor neurons. Due to early embryonic lethality and loss of motor neurons, the role of Isl1 in other aspects of motor neuron development remains unclear. In this study, we generated Isl1 mutant mouse lines expressing graded doses of Isl1. Our study has revealed essential roles of Isl1 in multiple aspects of motor neuron development, including motor neuron cell body localization, motor column formation and axon growth. In addition, Isl1 is required for survival of cranial ganglia neurons. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Drosophila Atlastin in motor neurons is required for locomotion and presynaptic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Gregorio, Cristian; Delgado, Ricardo; Ibacache, Andrés; Sierralta, Jimena; Couve, Andrés

    2017-10-15

    Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are characterized by spasticity and weakness of the lower limbs, resulting from length-dependent axonopathy of the corticospinal tracts. In humans, the HSP-related atlastin genes ATL1 - ATL3 catalyze homotypic membrane fusion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) tubules. How defects in neuronal Atlastin contribute to axonal degeneration has not been explained satisfactorily. Using Drosophila , we demonstrate that downregulation or overexpression of Atlastin in motor neurons results in decreased crawling speed and contraction frequency in larvae, while adult flies show progressive decline in climbing ability. Broad expression in the nervous system is required to rescue the atlastin -null Drosophila mutant ( atl 2 ) phenotype. Importantly, both spontaneous release and the reserve pool of synaptic vesicles are affected. Additionally, axonal secretory organelles are abnormally distributed, whereas presynaptic proteins diminish at terminals and accumulate in distal axons, possibly in lysosomes. Our findings suggest that trafficking defects produced by Atlastin dysfunction in motor neurons result in redistribution of presynaptic components and aberrant mobilization of synaptic vesicles, stressing the importance of ER-shaping proteins and the susceptibility of motor neurons to their mutations or depletion. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  11. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L.F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. PMID:25088365

  12. A computational model of motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L F

    2014-08-20

    To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Comparison of independent screens on differentially vulnerable motor neurons reveals alpha-synuclein as a common modifier in motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Rachel A; Kaifer, Kevin A; Osman, Erkan Y; Carella, Francesco; Tiberi, Ariana; Ross, Jolill; Pennetta, Giuseppa; Lorson, Christian L; Murray, Lyndsay M

    2017-03-01

    The term "motor neuron disease" encompasses a spectrum of disorders in which motor neurons are the primary pathological target. However, in both patients and animal models of these diseases, not all motor neurons are equally vulnerable, in that while some motor neurons are lost very early in disease, others remain comparatively intact, even at late stages. This creates a valuable system to investigate the factors that regulate motor neuron vulnerability. In this study, we aim to use this experimental paradigm to identify potential transcriptional modifiers. We have compared the transcriptome of motor neurons from healthy wild-type mice, which are differentially vulnerable in the childhood motor neuron disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), and have identified 910 transcriptional changes. We have compared this data set with published microarray data sets on other differentially vulnerable motor neurons. These neurons were differentially vulnerable in the adult onset motor neuron disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), but the screen was performed on the equivalent population of neurons from neurologically normal human, rat and mouse. This cross species comparison has generated a refined list of differentially expressed genes, including CELF5, Col5a2, PGEMN1, SNCA, Stmn1 and HOXa5, alongside a further enrichment for synaptic and axonal transcripts. As an in vivo validation, we demonstrate that the manipulation of a significant number of these transcripts can modify the neurodegenerative phenotype observed in a Drosophila line carrying an ALS causing mutation. Finally, we demonstrate that vector-mediated expression of alpha-synuclein (SNCA), a transcript decreased in selectively vulnerable motor neurons in all four screens, can extend life span, increase weight and decrease neuromuscular junction pathology in a mouse model of SMA. In summary, we have combined multiple data sets to identify transcripts, which are strong candidates for being phenotypic modifiers

  14. Mammalian motor neurons corelease glutamate and acetylcholine at central synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nishimaru, Hiroshi; Restrepo, Carlos Ernesto; Ryge, Jesper

    2005-01-01

    Motor neurons (MNs) are the principal neurons in the mammalian spinal cord whose activities cause muscles to contract. In addition to their peripheral axons, MNs have central collaterals that contact inhibitory Renshaw cells and other MNs. Since its original discovery > 60 years ago, it has been...

  15. Differential effects of myostatin deficiency on motor and sensory axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Maria R; Villalón, Eric; Northcutt, Adam J; Calcutt, Nigel A; Garcia, Michael L

    2017-12-01

    Deletion of myostatin in mice (MSTN -/- ) alters structural properties of peripheral axons. However, properties like axon diameter and myelin thickness were analyzed in mixed nerves, so it is unclear whether loss of myostatin affects motor, sensory, or both types of axons. Using the MSTN -/- mouse model, we analyzed the effects of increasing the number of muscle fibers on axon diameter, myelin thickness, and internode length in motor and sensory axons. Axon diameter and myelin thickness were increased in motor axons of MSTN -/- mice without affecting internode length or axon number. The number of sensory axons was increased without affecting their structural properties. These results suggest that motor and sensory axons establish structural properties by independent mechanisms. Moreover, in motor axons, instructive cues from the neuromuscular junction may play a role in co-regulating axon diameter and myelin thickness, whereas internode length is established independently. Muscle Nerve 56: E100-E107, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Role of motoneuron-derived neurotrophin 3 in survival and axonal projection of sensory neurons during neural circuit formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, Noriyoshi; Watanabe, Keisuke; Ono, Katsuhiko; Tomita, Koichi; Tamamaki, Nobuaki; Ikenaka, Kazuhiro; Takebayashi, Hirohide

    2012-03-01

    Sensory neurons possess the central and peripheral branches and they form unique spinal neural circuits with motoneurons during development. Peripheral branches of sensory axons fasciculate with the motor axons that extend toward the peripheral muscles from the central nervous system (CNS), whereas the central branches of proprioceptive sensory neurons directly innervate motoneurons. Although anatomically well documented, the molecular mechanism underlying sensory-motor interaction during neural circuit formation is not fully understood. To investigate the role of motoneuron on sensory neuron development, we analyzed sensory neuron phenotypes in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of Olig2 knockout (KO) mouse embryos, which lack motoneurons. We found an increased number of apoptotic cells in the DRG of Olig2 KO embryos at embryonic day (E) 10.5. Furthermore, abnormal axonal projections of sensory neurons were observed in both the peripheral branches at E10.5 and central branches at E15.5. To understand the motoneuron-derived factor that regulates sensory neuron development, we focused on neurotrophin 3 (Ntf3; NT-3), because Ntf3 and its receptors (Trk) are strongly expressed in motoneurons and sensory neurons, respectively. The significance of motoneuron-derived Ntf3 was analyzed using Ntf3 conditional knockout (cKO) embryos, in which we observed increased apoptosis and abnormal projection of the central branch innervating motoneuron, the phenotypes being apparently comparable with that of Olig2 KO embryos. Taken together, we show that the motoneuron is a functional source of Ntf3 and motoneuron-derived Ntf3 is an essential pre-target neurotrophin for survival and axonal projection of sensory neurons.

  17. eGFP expression under the Uchl1 promoter labels corticospinal motor neurons and a subpopulation of degeneration resistant spinal motor neurons in ALS mouse models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasvoina, Marina V.

    Current understanding of basic cellular and molecular mechanisms for motor neuron vulnerability during motor neuron disease initiation and progression is incomplete. The complex cytoarchitecture and cellular heterogeneity of the cortex and spinal cord greatly impedes our ability to visualize, isolate, and study specific neuron populations in both healthy and diseased states. We generated a novel reporter line, the Uchl1-eGFP mouse, in which cortical and spinal components of motor neuron circuitry are genetically labeled with eGFP under the Uchl1 promoter. A series of cellular and anatomical analyses combined with retrograde labeling, molecular marker expression, and electrophysiology were employed to determine identity of eGFP expressing cells in the motor cortex and the spinal cord of novel Uchl1-eGFP reporter mice. We conclude that eGFP is expressed in corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) in the motor cortex and a subset of S-type alpha and gamma spinal motor neurons (SMN) in the spinal cord. hSOD1G93A and Alsin-/- mice, mouse models for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), were bred to Uchl1-eGFP reporter mouse line to investigate the pathophysiology and underlying mechanisms of CSMN degeneration in vivo. Evidence suggests early and progressive degeneration of CSMN and SMN in the hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. We show an early increase of autophagosome formation in the apical dendrites of vulnerable CSMN in hSOD1G93A-UeGFP mice, which is localized to the apical dendrites. In addition, labeling S-type alpha and gamma SMN in the hSOD1G93A-UeGFP mice provide a unique opportunity to study basis of their resistance to degeneration. Mice lacking alsin show moderate clinical phenotype and mild CSMN axon degeneration in the spinal cord, which suggests vulnerability of CSMN. Therefore, we investigated the CSMN cellular and axon defects in aged Alsin-/- mice bred to Uchl1-eGFP reporter mouse line. We show that while CSMN are preserved and lack signs of degeneration, CSMN axons

  18. Neurons other than motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffoli, Riccardo; Biagioni, Francesca; Busceti, Carla L; Gaglione, Anderson; Ryskalin, Larisa; Gambardella, Stefano; Frati, Alessandro; Fornai, Francesco

    2017-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is typically defined by a loss of motor neurons in the central nervous system. Accordingly, morphological analysis for decades considered motor neurons (in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord) as the neuronal population selectively involved in ALS. Similarly, this was considered the pathological marker to score disease severity ex vivo both in patients and experimental models. However, the concept of non-autonomous motor neuron death was used recently to indicate the need for additional cell types to produce motor neuron death in ALS. This means that motor neuron loss occurs only when they are connected with other cell types. This concept originally emphasized the need for resident glia as well as non-resident inflammatory cells. Nowadays, the additional role of neurons other than motor neurons emerged in the scenario to induce non-autonomous motor neuron death. In fact, in ALS neurons diverse from motor neurons are involved. These cells play multiple roles in ALS: (i) they participate in the chain of events to produce motor neuron loss; (ii) they may even degenerate more than and before motor neurons. In the present manuscript evidence about multi-neuronal involvement in ALS patients and experimental models is discussed. Specific sub-classes of neurons in the whole spinal cord are reported either to degenerate or to trigger neuronal degeneration, thus portraying ALS as a whole spinal cord disorder rather than a disease affecting motor neurons solely. This is associated with a novel concept in motor neuron disease which recruits abnormal mechanisms of cell to cell communication.

  19. Subtypes of GABAergic neurons project axons in the neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeyoshi Higo

    2009-11-01

    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.

  20. Catenin-dependent cadherin function drives divisional segregation of spinal motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bello, Sanusi M; Millo, Hadas; Rajebhosale, Manisha; Price, Stephen R

    2012-01-11

    Motor neurons that control limb movements are organized as a neuronal nucleus in the developing ventral horn of the spinal cord called the lateral motor column. Neuronal migration segregates motor neurons into distinct lateral and medial divisions within the lateral motor column that project axons to dorsal or ventral limb targets, respectively. This migratory phase is followed by an aggregation phase whereby motor neurons within a division that project to the same muscle cluster together. These later phases of motor neuron organization depend on limb-regulated differential cadherin expression within motor neurons. Initially, all motor neurons display the same cadherin expression profile, which coincides with the migratory phase of motor neuron segregation. Here, we show that this early, pan-motor neuron cadherin function drives the divisional segregation of spinal motor neurons in the chicken embryo by controlling motor neuron migration. We manipulated pan-motor neuron cadherin function through dissociation of cadherin binding to their intracellular partners. We found that of the major intracellular transducers of cadherin signaling, γ-catenin and α-catenin predominate in the lateral motor column. In vivo manipulations that uncouple cadherin-catenin binding disrupt divisional segregation via deficits in motor neuron migration. Additionally, reduction of the expression of cadherin-7, a cadherin predominantly expressed in motor neurons only during their migration, also perturbs divisional segregation. Our results show that γ-catenin-dependent cadherin function is required for spinal motor neuron migration and divisional segregation and suggest a prolonged role for cadherin expression in all phases of motor neuron organization.

  1. Zebrafish embryos exposed to alcohol undergo abnormal development of motor neurons and muscle fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvain, Nicole J; Brewster, Daniel L; Ali, Declan W

    2010-01-01

    Children exposed to alcohol in utero have significantly delayed gross and fine motor skills, as well as deficiencies in reflex development. The reasons that underlie the motor deficits caused by ethanol (EtOH) exposure remain to be fully elucidated. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of embryonic alcohol exposure (1.5%, 2% and 2.5% EtOH) on motor neuron and muscle fiber morphology in 3 days post fertilization (dpf) larval zebrafish. EtOH treated fish exhibited morphological deformities and fewer bouts of swimming in response to touch, compared with untreated fish. Immunolabelling with anti-acetylated tubulin indicated that fish exposed to 2.5% EtOH had significantly higher rates of motor neuron axon defects. Immunolabelling of primary and secondary motor neurons, using znp-1 and zn-8, revealed that fish exposed to 2% and 2.5% EtOH exhibited significantly higher rates of primary and secondary motor neuron axon defects compared to controls. Examination of red and white muscle fibers revealed that fish exposed to EtOH had significantly smaller fibers compared with controls. These findings indicate that motor neuron and muscle fiber morphology is affected by early alcohol exposure in zebrafish embryos, and that this may be related to deficits in locomotion. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Developmental time windows for axon growth influence neuronal network topology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Sol; Kaiser, Marcus

    2015-04-01

    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.

  3. IGF-1 delivery to CNS attenuates motor neuron cell death but does not improve motor function in type III SMA mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Li-Kai; Chen, Yi-Chun; Cheng, Wei-Cheng; Ting, Chen-Hung; Dodge, James C; Hwu, Wuh-Liang; Cheng, Seng H; Passini, Marco A

    2012-01-01

    The efficacy of administering a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector encoding human IGF-1 (AAV2/1-hIGF-1) into the deep cerebellar nucleus (DCN) of a type III SMA mouse model was evaluated. High levels of IGF-1 transcripts and protein were detected in the spinal cord at 2 months post-injection demonstrating that axonal connections between the cerebellum and spinal cord were able to act as conduits for the viral vector and protein to the spinal cord. Mice treated with AAV2/1-hIGF-1 and analyzed 8 months later showed changes in endogenous Bax and Bcl-xl levels in spinal cord motor neurons that were consistent with IGF-1-mediated anti-apoptotic effects on motor neurons. However, although AAV2/1-hIGF-1 treatment reduced the extent of motor neuron cell death, the majority of rescued motor neurons were non-functional, as they lacked axons that innervated the muscles. Furthermore, treated SMA mice exhibited abnormal muscle fibers, aberrant neuromuscular junction structure, and impaired performance on motor function tests. These data indicate that although CNS-directed expression of IGF-1 could reduce motor neuron cell death, this did not translate to improvements in motor function in an adult mouse model of type III SMA. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome protein SIL1 regulates motor neuron subtype-selective ER stress in ALS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Filézac de L'Etang, Audrey; Maharjan, Niran; Cordeiro Braña, Marisa; Ruegsegger, Céline; Rehmann, Ruth; Goswami, Anand; Roos, Andreas; Troost, Dirk; Schneider, Bernard L.; Weis, Joachim; Saxena, Smita

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron subtype-selective endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and associated axonal pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remain unclear. Here we show that the molecular environment of the ER between motor neuron subtypes is distinct, with characteristic

  5. Recapitulation of spinal motor neuron-specific disease phenotypes in a human cell model of spinal muscular atrophy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-Bo Wang; Xiaoqing Zhang; Xue-Jun Li

    2013-01-01

    Establishing human cell models of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to mimic motor neuron-specific phenotypes holds the key to understanding the pathogenesis of this devastating disease.Here,we developed a closely representative cell model of SMA by knocking down the disease-determining gene,survival motor neuron (SMN),in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).Our study with this cell model demonstrated that knocking down of SMN does not interfere with neural induction or the initial specification of spinal motor neurons.Notably,the axonal outgrowth of spinal motor neurons was significantly impaired and these disease-mimicking neurons subsequently degenerated.Furthermore,these disease phenotypes were caused by SMN-full length (SMN-FL) but not SMN-A7 (lacking exon 7)knockdown,and were specific to spinal motor neurons.Restoring the expression of SMN-FL completely ameliorated all of the disease phenotypes,including specific axonal defects and motor neuron loss.Finally,knockdown of SMNFL led to excessive mitochondrial oxidative stress in human motor neuron progenitors.The involvement of oxidative stress in the degeneration of spinal motor neurons in the SMA cell model was further confirmed by the administration of N-acetylcysteine,a potent antioxidant,which prevented disease-related apoptosis and subsequent motor neuron death.Thus,we report here the successful establishment of an hESC-based SMA model,which exhibits disease gene isoform specificity,cell type specificity,and phenotype reversibility.Our model provides a unique paradigm for studying how motor neurons specifically degenerate and highlights the potential importance of antioxidants for the treatment of SMA.

  6. Axon guidance in the developing ocular motor system and Duane retraction syndrome depends on Semaphorin signaling via alpha2-chimaerin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrario, Juan E.; Baskaran, Pranetha; Clark, Christopher; Hendry, Aenea; Lerner, Oleg; Hintze, Mark; Allen, James; Chilton, John K.; Guthrie, Sarah

    2012-01-01

    Eye movements depend on correct patterns of connectivity between cranial motor axons and the extraocular muscles. Despite the clinical importance of the ocular motor system, little is known of the molecular mechanisms underlying its development. We have recently shown that mutations in the Chimaerin-1 gene encoding the signaling protein α2-chimaerin (α2-chn) perturb axon guidance in the ocular motor system and lead to the human eye movement disorder, Duane retraction syndrome (DRS). The axon guidance cues that lie upstream of α2-chn are unknown; here we identify candidates to be the Semaphorins (Sema) 3A and 3C, acting via the PlexinA receptors. Sema3A/C are expressed in and around the developing extraocular muscles and cause growth cone collapse of oculomotor neurons in vitro. Furthermore, RNAi knockdown of α2-chn or PlexinAs in oculomotor neurons abrogates Sema3A/C-dependent growth cone collapse. In vivo knockdown of endogenous PlexinAs or α2-chn function results in stereotypical oculomotor axon guidance defects, which are reminiscent of DRS, whereas expression of α2-chn gain-of-function constructs can rescue PlexinA loss of function. These data suggest that α2-chn mediates Sema3–PlexinA repellent signaling. We further show that α2-chn is required for oculomotor neurons to respond to CXCL12 and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which are growth promoting and chemoattractant during oculomotor axon guidance. α2-chn is therefore a potential integrator of different types of guidance information to orchestrate ocular motor pathfinding. DRS phenotypes can result from incorrect regulation of this signaling pathway. PMID:22912401

  7. Axon-Sorting Multifunctional Nerve Guides: Accelerating Restoration of Nerve Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-01

    factor (singly & in selected combinations) in the organotypic model system for preferential sensory or motor axon extension. Use confocal microscopy to...track axon extension of labeled sensory or motor neurons from spinal cord slices (motor) or dorsal root ganglia ( DRG ) (sensory). 20 Thy1-YFP mice...RESEARCH ACCOMPLISHMENTS: • Established a system of color-coded mixed nerve tracking using GFP and RFP expressing motor and sensory neurons (Figure 1

  8. Dendrosomatic Sonic Hedgehog Signaling in Hippocampal Neurons Regulates Axon Elongation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petralia, Ronald S.; Ott, Carolyn; Wang, Ya-Xian; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer; Mattson, Mark P.

    2015-01-01

    The presence of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) and its signaling components in the neurons of the hippocampus raises a question about what role the Shh signaling pathway may play in these neurons. We show here that activation of the Shh signaling pathway stimulates axon elongation in rat hippocampal neurons. This Shh-induced effect depends on the pathway transducer Smoothened (Smo) and the transcription factor Gli1. The axon itself does not respond directly to Shh; instead, the Shh signal transduction originates from the somatodendritic region of the neurons and occurs in neurons with and without detectable primary cilia. Upon Shh stimulation, Smo localization to dendrites increases significantly. Shh pathway activation results in increased levels of profilin1 (Pfn1), an actin-binding protein. Mutations in Pfn1's actin-binding sites or reduction of Pfn1 eliminate the Shh-induced axon elongation. These findings indicate that Shh can regulate axon growth, which may be critical for development of hippocampal neurons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Although numerous signaling mechanisms have been identified that act directly on axons to regulate their outgrowth, it is not known whether signals transduced in dendrites may also affect axon outgrowth. We describe here a transcellular signaling pathway in embryonic hippocampal neurons in which activation of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) receptors in dendrites stimulates axon growth. The pathway involves the dendritic-membrane-associated Shh signal transducer Smoothened (Smo) and the transcription factor Gli, which induces the expression of the gene encoding the actin-binding protein profilin 1. Our findings suggest scenarios in which stimulation of Shh in dendrites results in accelerated outgrowth of the axon, which therefore reaches its presumptive postsynaptic target cell more quickly. By this mechanism, Shh may play critical roles in the development of hippocampal neuronal circuits. PMID:26658865

  9. Regulation of motor proteins, axonal transport deficits and adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Scott T; Morfini, Gerardo A

    2017-09-01

    Neurons affected in a wide variety of unrelated adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases (AONDs) typically exhibit a "dying back" pattern of degeneration, which is characterized by early deficits in synaptic function and neuritic pathology long before neuronal cell death. Consistent with this observation, multiple unrelated AONDs including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and several motor neuron diseases feature early alterations in kinase-based signaling pathways associated with deficits in axonal transport (AT), a complex cellular process involving multiple intracellular trafficking events powered by microtubule-based motor proteins. These pathogenic events have important therapeutic implications, suggesting that a focus on preservation of neuronal connections may be more effective to treat AONDs than addressing neuronal cell death. While the molecular mechanisms underlying AT abnormalities in AONDs are still being analyzed, evidence has accumulated linking those to a well-established pathological hallmark of multiple AONDs: altered patterns of neuronal protein phosphorylation. Here, we present a short overview on the biochemical heterogeneity of major motor proteins for AT, their regulation by protein kinases, and evidence revealing cell type-specific AT specializations. When considered together, these findings may help explain how independent pathogenic pathways can affect AT differentially in the context of each AOND. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. ENA/VASP downregulation triggers cell death by impairing axonal maintenance in hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, D Lorena; Rezával, Carolina; Cáceres, Alfredo; Schinder, Alejandro F; Ceriani, M Fernanda

    2010-06-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases encompass a broad variety of motor and cognitive disorders that are accompanied by death of specific neuronal populations or brain regions. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these complex disorders remain largely unknown. In a previous work we searched for novel Drosophila genes relevant for neurodegeneration and singled out enabled (ena), which encodes a protein involved in cytoskeleton remodeling. To extend our understanding on the mechanisms of ENA-triggered degeneration we now investigated the effect of silencing ena ortholog genes in mouse hippocampal neurons. We found that ENA/VASP downregulation led to neurite retraction and concomitant neuronal cell death through an apoptotic pathway. Remarkably, this retraction initially affected the axonal structure, showing no effect on dendrites. Reduction in ENA/VASP levels blocked the neuritogenic effect of a specific RhoA kinase (ROCK) inhibitor, thus suggesting that these proteins could participate in the Rho-signaling pathway. Altogether these observations demonstrate that ENA/VASP proteins are implicated in the establishment and maintenance of the axonal structure and that a change on their expression levels triggers neuronal degeneration. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Motor axon excitability during Wallerian degeneration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Alvarez, Susana; Krarup, Christian

    2008-01-01

    Axonal loss and degeneration are major factors in determining long-term outcome in patients with peripheral nerve disorders or injury. Following loss of axonal continuity, the isolated nerve stump distal to the lesion undergoes Wallerian degeneration in several phases. In the initial 'latent' phase......, 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...

  12. Reappraisal of VAChT-Cre: Preference in slow motor neurons innervating type I or IIa muscle fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misawa, Hidemi; Inomata, Daijiro; Kikuchi, Miseri; Maruyama, Sae; Moriwaki, Yasuhiro; Okuda, Takashi; Nukina, Nobuyuki; Yamanaka, Tomoyuki

    2016-11-01

    VAChT-Cre.Fast and VAChT-Cre.Slow mice selectively express Cre recombinase in approximately one half of postnatal somatic motor neurons. The mouse lines have been used in various studies with selective genetic modifications in adult motor neurons. In the present study, we crossed VAChT-Cre lines with a reporter line, CAG-Syp/tdTomato, in which synaptophysin-tdTomato fusion proteins are efficiently sorted to axon terminals, making it possible to label both cell bodies and axon terminals of motor neurons. In the mice, Syp/tdTomato fluorescence preferentially co-localized with osteopontin, a recently discovered motor neuron marker for slow-twitch fatigue-resistant (S) and fast-twitch fatigue-resistant (FR) types. The fluorescence did not preferentially co-localize with matrix metalloproteinase-9, a marker for fast-twitch fatigable (FF) motor neurons. In the neuromuscular junctions, Syp/tdTomato fluorescence was detected mainly in motor nerve terminals that innervate type I or IIa muscle fibers. These results suggest that the VAChT-Cre lines are Cre-drivers that have selectivity in S and FR motor neurons. In order to avoid confusion, we have changed the mouse line names from VAChT-Cre.Fast and VAChT-Cre.Slow to VAChT-Cre.Early and VAChT-Cre.Late, respectively. The mouse lines will be useful tools to study slow-type motor neurons, in relation to physiology and pathology. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Nociceptive afferents to the premotor neurons that send axons simultaneously to the facial and hypoglossal motoneurons by means of axon collaterals.

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    Yulin Dong

    Full Text Available It is well known that the brainstem premotor neurons of the facial nucleus and hypoglossal nucleus coordinate orofacial nociceptive reflex (ONR responses. However, whether the brainstem PNs receive the nociceptive projection directly from the caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus is still kept unclear. Our present study focuses on the distribution of premotor neurons in the ONR pathways of rats and the collateral projection of the premotor neurons which are involved in the brainstem local pathways of the orofacial nociceptive reflexes of rat. Retrograde tracer Fluoro-gold (FG or FG/tetramethylrhodamine-dextran amine (TMR-DA were injected into the VII or/and XII, and anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA was injected into the caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus (Vc. The tracing studies indicated that FG-labeled neurons receiving BDA-labeled fibers from the Vc were mainly distributed bilaterally in the parvicellular reticular formation (PCRt, dorsal and ventral medullary reticular formation (MdD, MdV, supratrigeminal nucleus (Vsup and parabrachial nucleus (PBN with an ipsilateral dominance. Some FG/TMR-DA double-labeled premotor neurons, which were observed bilaterally in the PCRt, MdD, dorsal part of the MdV, peri-motor nucleus regions, contacted with BDA-labeled axonal terminals and expressed c-fos protein-like immunoreactivity which induced by subcutaneous injection of formalin into the lip. After retrograde tracer wheat germ agglutinated horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP was injected into VII or XII and BDA into Vc, electron microscopic study revealed that some BDA-labeled axonal terminals made mainly asymmetric synapses on the dendritic and somatic profiles of WGA-HRP-labeled premotor neurons. These data indicate that some premotor neurons could integrate the orofacial nociceptive input from the Vc and transfer these signals simultaneously to different brainstem motonuclei by axonal collaterals.

  14. Characterization of Some Morphological Parameters of Orbicularis Oculi Motor Neurons in the Monkey

    OpenAIRE

    McNeal, DW; Ge, J; Herrick, JL; Stilwell-Morecraft, KS; Morecraft, RJ

    2007-01-01

    The primate facial nucleus is a prominent brainstem structure that is composed of cell bodies giving rise to axons forming the facial nerve. It is musculotopically organized, but we know little about the morphological features of its motor neurons. Using the Lucifer yellow intracellular filling method, we examined 17 morphological parameters of motor neurons innervating the monkey orbicularis oculi (OO) muscle, which plays an important role in eye lid closure and voluntary and emotional facia...

  15. 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.

  16. Non-viral gene therapy that targets motor neurons in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary-Louise eRogers

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available A major challenge in neurological gene therapy is safe delivery of transgenes to sufficient cell numbers from the circulation or periphery. This is particularly difficult for diseases involving spinal cord motor neurons such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. We have examined the feasibility of non-viral gene delivery to spinal motor neurons from intraperitoneal injections of plasmids carried by ‘immunogene’ nanoparticles targeted for axonal retrograde transport using antibodies. PEGylated polyethylenimine (PEI-PEG12 as DNA carrier was conjugated to an antibody (MLR2 to the neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR. We used a plasmid (pVIVO2 designed for in vivo gene delivery that produces minimal immune responses, has improved nuclear entry into post mitotic cells and also expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP. MLR2-PEI-PEG12 carried pVIVO2 and was specific for mouse motor neurons in mixed cultures containing astrocytes. While only 8% of motor neurons expressed GFP 72 h post transfection in vitro, when the immunogene was given intraperitonealy to neonatal C57BL/6J mice GFP specific motor neuron expression was observed in 25.4% of lumbar, 18.3% of thoracic and 17.0 % of cervical motor neurons, 72 h post transfection. PEI-PEG12 carrying pVIVO2 by itself did not transfect motor neurons in vivo, demonstrating the need for specificity via the p75NTR antibody MLR2. This is the first time that specific transfection of spinal motor neurons has been achieved from peripheral delivery of plasmid DNA as part of a non-viral gene delivery agent. These results stress the specificity and feasibility of immunogene delivery targeted for p75NTR expressing motor neurons, but suggests that further improvements are required to increase the transfection efficiency of motor neurons in vivo.

  17. Misfolded SOD1 associated with motor neuron mitochondria alters mitochondrial shape and distribution prior to clinical onset.

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    Christine Vande Velde

    Full Text Available Mutations in superoxide dismutase (SOD1 are causative for inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A proportion of SOD1 mutant protein is misfolded onto the cytoplasmic face of mitochondria in one or more spinal cord cell types. By construction of mice in which mitochondrially targeted enhanced green fluorescent protein is selectively expressed in motor neurons, we demonstrate that axonal mitochondria of motor neurons are primary in vivo targets for misfolded SOD1. Mutant SOD1 alters axonal mitochondrial morphology and distribution, with dismutase active SOD1 causing mitochondrial clustering at the proximal side of Schmidt-Lanterman incisures within motor axons and dismutase inactive SOD1 producing aberrantly elongated axonal mitochondria beginning pre-symptomatically and increasing in severity as disease progresses. Somal mitochondria are altered by mutant SOD1, with loss of the characteristic cylindrical, networked morphology and its replacement by a less elongated, more spherical shape. These data indicate that mutant SOD1 binding to mitochondria disrupts normal mitochondrial distribution and size homeostasis as early pathogenic features of SOD1 mutant-mediated ALS.

  18. Ephrin-B3 is the midline barrier that prevents corticospinal tract axons from recrossing, allowing for unilateral motor control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullander, K; Croll, S D; Zimmer, M; Pan, L; McClain, J; Hughes, V; Zabski, S; DeChiara, T M; Klein, R; Yancopoulos, G D; Gale, N W

    2001-04-01

    Growing axons follow highly stereotypical pathways, guided by a variety of attractive and repulsive cues, before establishing specific connections with distant targets. A particularly well-known example that illustrates the complexity of axonal migration pathways involves the axonal projections of motor neurons located in the motor cortex. These projections take a complex route during which they first cross the midline, then form the corticospinal tract, and ultimately connect with motor neurons in the contralateral side of the spinal cord. These obligatory contralateral connections account for why one side of the brain controls movement on the opposing side of the body. The netrins and slits provide well-known midline signals that regulate axonal crossings at the midline. Herein we report that a member of the ephrin family, ephrin-B3, also plays a key role at the midline to regulate axonal crossing. In particular, we show that ephrin-B3 acts as the midline barrier that prevents corticospinal tract projections from recrossing when they enter the spinal gray matter. We report that in ephrin-B3(-/-) mice, corticospinal tract projections freely recross in the spinal gray matter, such that the motor cortex on one side of the brain now provides bilateral input to the spinal cord. This neuroanatomical abnormality in ephrin-B3(-/-) mice correlates with loss of unilateral motor control, yielding mice that simultaneously move their right and left limbs and thus have a peculiar hopping gait quite unlike the alternate step gait displayed by normal mice. The corticospinal and walking defects in ephrin-B3(-/-) mice resemble those recently reported for mice lacking the EphA4 receptor, which binds ephrin-B3 as well as other ephrins, suggesting that the binding of EphA4-bearing axonal processes to ephrin-B3 at the midline provides the repulsive signal that prevents corticospinal tract projections from recrossing the midline in the developing spinal cord.

  19. Synaptic Circuit Organization of Motor Corticothalamic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamawaki, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    Corticothalamic (CT) neurons in layer 6 constitute a large but enigmatic class of cortical projection neurons. How they are integrated into intracortical and thalamo-cortico-thalamic circuits is incompletely understood, especially outside of sensory cortex. Here, we investigated CT circuits in mouse forelimb motor cortex (M1) using multiple circuit-analysis methods. Stimulating and recording from CT, intratelencephalic (IT), and pyramidal tract (PT) projection neurons, we found strong CT↔ CT and CT↔ IT connections; however, CT→IT connections were limited to IT neurons in layer 6, not 5B. There was strikingly little CT↔ PT excitatory connectivity. Disynaptic inhibition systematically accompanied excitation in these pathways, scaling with the amplitude of excitation according to both presynaptic (class-specific) and postsynaptic (cell-by-cell) factors. In particular, CT neurons evoked proportionally more inhibition relative to excitation (I/E ratio) than IT neurons. Furthermore, the amplitude of inhibition was tuned to match the amount of excitation at the level of individual neurons; in the extreme, neurons receiving no excitation received no inhibition either. Extending these studies to dissect the connectivity between cortex and thalamus, we found that M1-CT neurons and thalamocortical neurons in the ventrolateral (VL) nucleus were remarkably unconnected in either direction. Instead, VL axons in the cortex excited both IT and PT neurons, and CT axons in the thalamus excited other thalamic neurons, including those in the posterior nucleus, which additionally received PT excitation. These findings, which contrast in several ways with previous observations in sensory areas, illuminate the basic circuit organization of CT neurons within M1 and between M1 and thalamus. PMID:25653383

  20. Protein Prenylation Constitutes an Endogenous Brake on Axonal Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai Li

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Suboptimal axonal regeneration contributes to the consequences of nervous system trauma and neurodegenerative disease, but the intrinsic mechanisms that regulate axon growth remain unclear. We screened 50,400 small molecules for their ability to promote axon outgrowth on inhibitory substrata. The most potent hits were the statins, which stimulated growth of all mouse- and human-patient-derived neurons tested, both in vitro and in vivo, as did combined inhibition of the protein prenylation enzymes farnesyltransferase (PFT and geranylgeranyl transferase I (PGGT-1. Compensatory sprouting of motor axons may delay clinical onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Accordingly, elevated levels of PGGT1B, which would be predicted to reduce sprouting, were found in motor neurons of early- versus late-onset ALS patients postmortem. The mevalonate-prenylation pathway therefore constitutes an endogenous brake on axonal growth, and its inhibition provides a potential therapeutic approach to accelerate neuronal regeneration in humans.

  1. Differential motor neuron impairment and axonal regeneration in sporadic and familiar amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with SOD-1 mutations: lessons from neurophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocci, Tommaso; Pecori, Chiara; Giorli, Elisa; Briscese, Lucia; Tognazzi, Silvia; Caleo, Matteo; Sartucci, Ferdinando

    2011-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disorder of the motor system. About 10% of cases are familial and 20% of these families have point mutations in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD-1) gene. SOD-1 catalyses the superoxide radical (O(-2)) into hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen. The clinical neurophysiology in ALS plays a fundamental role in differential diagnosis between the familial and sporadic forms and in the assessment of its severity and progression. Sixty ALS patients (34 males; 26 females) were enrolled in the study and examined basally (T0) and every 4 months (T1, T2, and T3). Fifteen of these patients are SOD-1 symptomatic mutation carriers (nine males, six females). We used Macro-EMG and Motor Unit Number Estimation (MUNE) in order to evaluate the neuronal loss and the re-innervation process at the onset of disease and during follow-up period. SOD-1 mutation carriers have a higher number of motor units at the moment of diagnosis when compared with the sporadic form, despite a more dramatic drop in later stages. Moreover, in familiar SOD-1 ALS there is not a specific time interval in which the axonal regeneration can balance the neuronal damage. Taken together, these results strengthen the idea of a different pathogenetic mechanism at the base of sALS and fALS.

  2. Differential Motor Neuron Impairment and Axonal Regeneration in Sporadic and Familiar Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with SOD-1 Mutations: Lessons from Neurophysiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tommaso Bocci

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is a degenerative disorder of the motor system. About 10% of cases are familial and 20% of these families have point mutations in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD-1 gene. SOD-1 catalyses the superoxide radical (O−2 into hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen. The clinical neurophysiology in ALS plays a fundamental role in differential diagnosis between the familial and sporadic forms and in the assessment of its severity and progression. Sixty ALS patients (34 males; 26 females were enrolled in the study and examined basally (T0 and every 4 months (T1, T2, and T3. Fifteen of these patients are SOD-1 symptomatic mutation carriers (nine males, six females. We used Macro-EMG and Motor Unit Number Estimation (MUNE in order to evaluate the neuronal loss and the re-innervation process at the onset of disease and during follow-up period. Results and Discussion: SOD-1 mutation carriers have a higher number of motor units at the moment of diagnosis when compared with the sporadic form, despite a more dramatic drop in later stages. Moreover, in familiar SOD-1 ALS there is not a specific time interval in which the axonal regeneration can balance the neuronal damage. Taken together, these results strengthen the idea of a different pathogenetic mechanism at the base of sALS and fALS.

  3. A Communication Theoretical Modeling of Axonal Propagation in Hippocampal Pyramidal Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramezani, Hamideh; Akan, Ozgur B

    2017-06-01

    Understanding the fundamentals of communication among neurons, known as neuro-spike communication, leads to reach bio-inspired nanoscale communication paradigms. In this paper, we focus on a part of neuro-spike communication, known as axonal transmission, and propose a realistic model for it. The shape of the spike during axonal transmission varies according to previously applied stimulations to the neuron, and these variations affect the amount of information communicated between neurons. Hence, to reach an accurate model for neuro-spike communication, the memory of axon and its effect on the axonal transmission should be considered, which are not studied in the existing literature. In this paper, we extract the important factors on the memory of axon and define memory states based on these factors. We also describe the transition among these states and the properties of axonal transmission in each of them. Finally, we demonstrate that the proposed model can follow changes in the axonal functionality properly by simulating the proposed model and reporting the root mean square error between simulation results and experimental data.

  4. Mutant TDP-43 within motor neurons drives disease onset but not progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ditsworth, Dara; Maldonado, Marcus; McAlonis-Downes, Melissa; Sun, Shuying; Seelman, Amanda; Drenner, Kevin; Arnold, Eveline; Ling, Shuo-Chien; Pizzo, Donald; Ravits, John; Cleveland, Don W; Da Cruz, Sandrine

    2017-06-01

    Mutations in TDP-43 cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal paralytic disease characterized by degeneration and premature death of motor neurons. The contribution of mutant TDP-43-mediated damage within motor neurons was evaluated using mice expressing a conditional allele of an ALS-causing TDP-43 mutant (Q331K) whose broad expression throughout the central nervous system mimics endogenous TDP-43. TDP-43 Q331K mice develop age- and mutant-dependent motor deficits from degeneration and death of motor neurons. Cre-recombinase-mediated excision of the TDP-43 Q331K gene from motor neurons is shown to delay onset of motor symptoms and appearance of TDP-43-mediated aberrant nuclear morphology, and abrogate subsequent death of motor neurons. However, reduction of mutant TDP-43 selectively in motor neurons did not prevent age-dependent degeneration of axons and neuromuscular junction loss, nor did it attenuate astrogliosis or microgliosis. Thus, disease mechanism is non-cell autonomous with mutant TDP-43 expressed in motor neurons determining disease onset but progression defined by mutant acting within other cell types.

  5. Structural and Molecular Properties of Insect Type II Motor Axon Terminals

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    Bettina Stocker

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A comparison between the axon terminals of octopaminergic efferent dorsal or ventral unpaired median neurons in either desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria or fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster across skeletal muscles reveals many similarities. In both species the octopaminergic axon forms beaded fibers where the boutons or varicosities form type II terminals in contrast to the neuromuscular junction (NMJ or type I terminals. These type II terminals are immunopositive for both tyramine and octopamine and, in contrast to the type I terminals, which possess clear synaptic vesicles, only contain dense core vesicles. These dense core vesicles contain octopamine as shown by immunogold methods. With respect to the cytomatrix and active zone peptides the type II terminals exhibit active zone-like accumulations of the scaffold protein Bruchpilot (BRP only sparsely in contrast to the many accumulations of BRP identifying active zones of NMJ type I terminals. In the fruit fly larva marked dynamic changes of octopaminergic fibers have been reported after short starvation which not only affects the formation of new branches (“synaptopods” but also affects the type I terminals or NMJs via octopamine-signaling (Koon et al., 2011. Our starvation experiments of Drosophila-larvae revealed a time-dependency of the formation of additional branches. Whereas after 2 h of starvation we find a decrease in “synaptopods”, the increase is significant after 6 h of starvation. In addition, we provide evidence that the release of octopamine from dendritic and/or axonal type II terminals uses a similar synaptic machinery to glutamate release from type I terminals of excitatory motor neurons. Indeed, blocking this canonical synaptic release machinery via RNAi induced downregulation of BRP in neurons with type II terminals leads to flight performance deficits similar to those observed for octopamine mutants or flies lacking this class of neurons (Brembs et al., 2007.

  6. 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

    2010-06-01

    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.

  7. Morphology and intrinsic excitability of regenerating sensory and motor neurons grown on a line micropattern.

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    Ouafa Benzina

    Full Text Available Axonal regeneration is one of the greatest challenges in severe injuries of peripheral nerve. To provide the bridge needed for regeneration, biological or synthetic tubular nerve constructs with aligned architecture have been developed. A key point for improving axonal regeneration is assessing the effects of substrate geometry on neuronal behavior. In the present study, we used an extracellular matrix-micropatterned substrate comprising 3 µm wide lines aimed to physically mimic the in vivo longitudinal axonal growth of mice peripheral sensory and motor neurons. Adult sensory neurons or embryonic motoneurons were seeded and processed for morphological and electrical activity analyses after two days in vitro. We show that micropattern-guided sensory neurons grow one or two axons without secondary branching. Motoneurons polarity was kept on micropattern with a long axon and small dendrites. The micro-patterned substrate maintains the growth promoting effects of conditioning injury and demonstrates, for the first time, that neurite initiation and extension could be differentially regulated by conditioning injury among DRG sensory neuron subpopulations. The micro-patterned substrate impacts the excitability of sensory neurons and promotes the apparition of firing action potentials characteristic for a subclass of mechanosensitive neurons. The line pattern is quite relevant for assessing the regenerative and developmental growth of sensory and motoneurons and offers a unique model for the analysis of the impact of geometry on the expression and the activity of mechanosensitive channels in DRG sensory neurons.

  8. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan

    2015-04-01

    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".

  9. Frontal lobe atrophy in motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiernan, J A; Hudson, A J

    1994-08-01

    Neuronal degeneration in the precentral gyrus alone cannot account for the occurrence of spastic paresis in motor neuron diseases. To look for more extensive cortical atrophy we measured MRIs of the upper parts of the frontal and parietal lobes in 11 sporadic cases of classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), eight patients with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) and an age- and sex-matched group of 49 neurologically normal people. None of the patients had overt dementia or other mental diseases. In PLS there is progressive spastic paresis but in contrast to ALS there is no lower motor neuron degeneration. The surface area of the precentral gyri and the amount of underlying white matter in PLS were consistently approximately 75% of the normal size. By contrast, there was some shrinkage of the precentral gyri in some of the ALS patients but the mean measurements for the group did not differ significantly from the controls. Anterior to the precentral sulci, the cortical surface area in PLS was approximately 85% of that of the controls, with correspondingly reduced white matter. In ALS the cortical surface areas of the anterior frontal lobes did not differ from those of the controls, but the amount of underlying white matter was reduced almost as much in ALS as it was in PLS. The measured changes in the frontal lobes suggest that in PLS there is simultaneous atrophy of the primary, premotor and supplementary motor areas of the cortex, with consequent degeneration of corticospinal and corticoreticular axons descending through the underlying white matter. These changes could account for the progressive upper motor neuron syndrome. In ALS, with no significant frontal cortical atrophy, the shrinkage of the white matter may be due to degeneration of axons projecting to the frontal cortex from elsewhere. Deprivation of afferents could explain the diminution of motor functions of the frontal lobes in ALS and also the changes in word fluency, judgement and attention that

  10. Finger extension weakness and downbeat nystagmus motor neuron disease syndrome: A novel motor neuron disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delva, Aline; Thakore, Nimish; Pioro, Erik P; Poesen, Koen; Saunders-Pullman, Rachel; Meijer, Inge A; Rucker, Janet C; Kissel, John T; Van Damme, Philip

    2017-12-01

    Disturbances of eye movements are infrequently encountered in motor neuron diseases (MNDs) or motor neuropathies, and there is no known syndrome that combines progressive muscle weakness with downbeat nystagmus. To describe the core clinical features of a syndrome of MND associated with downbeat nystagmus, clinical features were collected from 6 patients. All patients had slowly progressive muscle weakness and wasting in combination with downbeat nystagmus, which was clinically most obvious in downward and lateral gaze. Onset was in the second to fourth decade with finger extension weakness, progressing to other distal and sometimes more proximal muscles. Visual complaints were not always present. Electrodiagnostic testing showed signs of regional motor axonal loss in all patients. The etiology of this syndrome remains elusive. Because finger extension weakness and downbeat nystagmus are the discriminating clinical features of this MND, we propose the name FEWDON-MND syndrome. Muscle Nerve 56: 1164-1168, 2017. © 2017 The Authors Muscle & Nerve Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. 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

  12. Generation of a Motor Nerve Organoid with Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiro Kawada

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available During development, axons spontaneously assemble into a fascicle to form nerves and tracts in the nervous system as they extend within a spatially constrained path. However, understanding of the axonal fascicle has been hampered by lack of an in vitro model system. Here, we report generation of a nerve organoid composed of a robust fascicle of axons extended from a spheroid of human stem cell-derived motor neurons within our custom-designed microdevice. The device is equipped with a narrow channel providing a microenvironment that facilitates the growing axons to spontaneously assemble into a unidirectional fascicle. The fascicle was specifically made with axons. We found that it was electrically active and elastic and could serve as a model to evaluate degeneration of axons in vitro. This nerve organoid model should facilitate future studies on the development of the axonal fascicle and drug screening for diseases affecting axon fascicles.

  13. Motor-circuit communication matrix from spinal cord to brainstem neurons revealed by developmental origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivetta, Chiara; Esposito, Maria Soledad; Sigrist, Markus; Arber, Silvia

    2014-01-30

    Accurate motor-task execution relies on continuous comparison of planned and performed actions. Motor-output pathways establish internal circuit collaterals for this purpose. Here we focus on motor collateral organization between spinal cord and upstream neurons in the brainstem. We used a newly developed mouse genetic tool intersectionally with viruses to uncover the connectivity rules of these ascending pathways by capturing the transient expression of neuronal subpopulation determinants. We reveal a widespread and diverse network of spinal dual-axon neurons, with coincident input to forelimb motor neurons and the lateral reticular nucleus (LRN) in the brainstem. Spinal information to the LRN is not segregated by motor pool or neurotransmitter identity. Instead, it is organized according to the developmental domain origin of the progenitor cells. Thus, excerpts of most spinal information destined for action are relayed to supraspinal centers through exquisitely organized ascending connectivity modules, enabling precise communication between command and execution centers of movement. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulledge, Allan T; Bravo, Jaime J

    2016-01-01

    In most vertebrate neurons, action potentials are initiated in the axon initial segment (AIS), a specialized region of the axon containing a high density of voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels. It has recently been proposed that neurons use plasticity of AIS length and/or location to regulate their intrinsic excitability. Here we quantify the impact of neuron morphology on AIS plasticity using computational models of simplified and realistic somatodendritic morphologies. In small neurons (e.g., dentate granule neurons), excitability was highest when the AIS was of intermediate length and located adjacent to the soma. Conversely, neurons having larger dendritic trees (e.g., pyramidal neurons) were most excitable when the AIS was longer and/or located away from the soma. For any given somatodendritic morphology, increasing dendritic membrane capacitance and/or conductance favored a longer and more distally located AIS. Overall, changes to AIS length, with corresponding changes in total sodium conductance, were far more effective in regulating neuron excitability than were changes in AIS location, while dendritic capacitance had a larger impact on AIS performance than did dendritic conductance. The somatodendritic influence on AIS performance reflects modest soma-to-AIS voltage attenuation combined with neuron size-dependent changes in AIS input resistance, effective membrane time constant, and isolation from somatodendritic capacitance. We conclude that the impact of AIS plasticity on neuron excitability will depend largely on somatodendritic morphology, and that, in some neurons, a shorter or more distally located AIS may promote, rather than limit, action potential generation.

  15. Axonal propagation of simple and complex spikes in cerebellar Purkinje neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaliq, Zayd M; Raman, Indira M

    2005-01-12

    In cerebellar Purkinje neurons, the reliability of propagation of high-frequency simple spikes and spikelets of complex spikes is likely to regulate inhibition of Purkinje target neurons. To test the extent to which a one-to-one correspondence exists between somatic and axonal spikes, we made dual somatic and axonal recordings from Purkinje neurons in mouse cerebellar slices. Somatic action potentials were recorded with a whole-cell pipette, and the corresponding axonal signals were recorded extracellularly with a loose-patch pipette. Propagation of spontaneous and evoked simple spikes was highly reliable. At somatic firing rates of approximately 200 spikes/sec, 375 Hz during somatic hyperpolarizations that silenced spontaneous firing to approximately 150 Hz during spontaneous activity. The probability of propagation of individual spikelets could be described quantitatively as a saturating function of spikelet amplitude, rate of rise, or preceding interspike interval. The results suggest that ion channels of Purkinje axons are adapted to produce extremely short refractory periods and that brief bursts of forward-propagating action potentials generated by complex spikes may contribute transiently to inhibition of postsynaptic neurons.

  16. Cargo distributions differentiate pathological axonal transport impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Cassie S; Lee, Robert H

    2012-05-07

    Axonal transport is an essential process in neurons, analogous to shipping goods, by which energetic and cellular building supplies are carried downstream (anterogradely) and wastes are carried upstream (retrogradely) by molecular motors, which act as cargo porters. Impairments in axonal transport have been linked to devastating and often lethal neurodegenerative diseases, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Huntington's, and Alzheimer's. Axonal transport impairment types include a decrease in available motors for cargo transport (motor depletion), the presence of defective or non-functional motors (motor dilution), and the presence of increased or larger cargos (protein aggregation). An impediment to potential treatment identification has been the inability to determine what type(s) of axonal transport impairment candidates that could be present in a given disease. In this study, we utilize a computational model and common axonal transport experimental metrics to reveal the axonal transport impairment general characteristics or "signatures" that result from three general defect types of motor depletion, motor dilution, and protein aggregation. Our results not only provide a means to discern these general impairments types, they also reveal key dynamic and emergent features of axonal transport, which potentially underlie multiple impairment types. The identified characteristics, as well as the analytical method, can be used to help elucidate the axonal transport impairments observed in experimental and clinical data. For example, using the model-predicted defect signatures, we identify the defect candidates, which are most likely to be responsible for the axonal transport impairments in the G93A SOD1 mouse model of ALS. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Spinal muscular atrophy: Selective motor neuron loss and global defect in the assembly of ribonucleoproteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, Christine E; Kolb, Stephen J

    2018-08-15

    Spinal muscular atrophy is caused by deletions or mutations in the SMN1 gene that result in reduced expression of the SMN protein. The SMN protein is an essential molecular chaperone that is required for the biogenesis of multiple ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes including spliceosomal small nuclear RNPs (snRNPs). Reductions in SMN expression result in a reduced abundance of snRNPs and to downstream RNA splicing alterations. SMN is also present in axons and dendrites and appears to have important roles in the formation of neuronal mRNA-protein complexes during development or neuronal repair. Thus, SMA is an exemplar, selective motor neuron disorder that is caused by defects in fundamental RNA processing events. A detailed molecular understanding of how motor neurons fail, and why other neurons do not, in SMA will yield important principals about motor neuron maintenance and neuronal specificity in neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons translate synaptic input from widely distributed premotor networks into patterns of action potentials that orchestrate motor unit force and motor behavior. Intercalated between the CNS and muscles, motor neurons add to and adjust the final motor command. The identity and functional...... in in vitro preparations is far from complete. Nevertheless, a foundation has been provided for pursuing functional significance of intrinsic response properties in motoneurons in vivo during motor behavior at levels from molecules to systems....

  19. MicroRNA miR-9 modifies motor neuron columns by a tuning regulation of FoxP1 levels in developing spinal cords

    OpenAIRE

    Otaegi, Gaizka; Pollock, Andrew; Hong, Janet; Sun, Tao

    2011-01-01

    The precise organization of motor neuron subtypes in a columnar pattern in developing spinal cords is controlled by cross-interactions of multiple transcription factors and segmental expressions of Hox genes and their accessory proteins. Accurate expression levels and domains of these regulators are essential for organizing spinal motor neuron columns and axonal projections to target muscles. Here, we show that microRNA miR-9 is transiently expressed in a motor neuron subtype and displays ove...

  20. Iron insufficiency compromises motor neurons and their mitochondrial function in Irp2-null mice

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Suh Young; Crooks, Daniel R.; Wilson-Ollivierre, Hayden; Ghosh, Manik C.; Sougrat, Rachid; Lee, Jaekwon; Cooperman, Sharon; Mitchell, James B.; Beaumont, Carole; Rouault, Tracey A.

    2011-01-01

    Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2), which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice.

  1. Iron insufficiency compromises motor neurons and their mitochondrial function in Irp2-null mice

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Suh Young

    2011-10-07

    Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2), which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice.

  2. Wnt3 and Gata4 regulate axon regeneration in adult mouse DRG neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Run-Shan; Liu, Pei-Pei; Xi, Feng; Wang, Wei-Hua; Tang, Gang-Bin; Wang, Rui-Ying; Saijilafu; Liu, Chang-Mei

    2018-05-05

    Neurons in the adult central nervous system (CNS) have a poor intrinsic axon growth potential after injury, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Wingless-related mouse mammary tumor virus integration site (WNT) family members regulate neural stem cell proliferation, axon tract and forebrain development in the nervous system. Here we report that Wnt3 is an important modulator of axon regeneration. Downregulation or overexpression of Wnt3 in adult dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons enhances or inhibits their axon regeneration ability respectively in vitro and in vivo. Especially, we show that Wnt3 modulates axon regeneration by repressing mRNA translation of the important transcription factor Gata4 via binding to the three prime untranslated region (3'UTR). Downregulation of Gata4 could restore the phenotype exhibited by Wnt3 downregulation in DRG neurons. Taken together, these data indicate that Wnt3 is a key intrinsic regulator of axon growth ability of the nervous system. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Trafficking of cholesterol from cell bodies to distal axons in Niemann Pick C1-deficient neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karten, Barbara; Vance, Dennis E; Campenot, Robert B; Vance, Jean E

    2003-02-07

    Niemann Pick type C (NPC) disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. In cells lacking functional NPC1 protein, endocytosed cholesterol accumulates in late endosomes/lysosomes. We utilized primary neuronal cultures in which cell bodies and distal axons reside in separate compartments to investigate the requirement of NPC1 protein for transport of cholesterol from cell bodies to distal axons. We have recently observed that in NPC1-deficient neurons compared with wild-type neurons, cholesterol accumulates in cell bodies but is reduced in distal axons (Karten, B., Vance, D. E., Campenot, R. B., and Vance, J. E. (2002) J. Neurochem. 83, 1154-1163). We now show that NPC1 protein is expressed in both cell bodies and distal axons. In NPC1-deficient neurons, cholesterol delivered to cell bodies from low density lipoproteins (LDLs), high density lipoproteins, or cyclodextrin complexes was transported into axons in normal amounts, whereas transport of endogenously synthesized cholesterol was impaired. Inhibition of cholesterol synthesis with pravastatin in wild-type and NPC1-deficient neurons reduced axonal growth. However, LDLs restored a normal rate of growth to wild-type but not NPC1-deficient neurons treated with pravastatin. Thus, although LDL cholesterol is transported into axons of NPC1-deficient neurons, this source of cholesterol does not sustain normal axonal growth. Over the lifespan of NPC1-deficient neurons, these defects in cholesterol transport might be responsible for the observed altered distribution of cholesterol between cell bodies and axons and, consequently, might contribute to the neurological dysfunction in NPC disease.

  4. En masse in vitro functional profiling of the axonal mechanosensitivity of sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usoskin, Dmitry; Zilberter, Misha; Linnarsson, Sten; Hjerling-Leffler, Jens; Uhlén, Per; Harkany, Tibor; Ernfors, Patrik

    2010-09-14

    Perception of the environment relies on somatosensory neurons. Mechanosensory, proprioceptor and many nociceptor subtypes of these neurons have specific mechanosensitivity profiles to adequately differentiate stimulus patterns. Nevertheless, the cellular basis of differential mechanosensation remains largely elusive. Successful transduction of sensory information relies on the recruitment of sensory neurons and mechanosensation occurring at their peripheral axonal endings in vivo. Conspicuously, existing in vitro models aimed to decipher molecular mechanisms of mechanosensation test single sensory neuron somata at any one time. Here, we introduce a compartmental in vitro chamber design to deliver precisely controlled mechanical stimulation of sensory axons with synchronous real-time imaging of Ca(2+) transients in neuronal somata that reliably reflect action potential firing patterns. We report of three previously not characterized types of mechanosensitive neuron subpopulations with distinct intrinsic axonal properties tuned specifically to static indentation or vibration stimuli, showing that different classes of sensory neurons are tuned to specific types of mechanical stimuli. Primary receptor currents of vibration neurons display rapidly adapting conductance reliably detected for every single stimulus during vibration and are consistently converted into action potentials. This result allows for the characterization of two critical steps of mechanosensation in vivo: primary signal detection and signal conversion into specific action potential firing patterns in axons.

  5. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity123

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    In most vertebrate neurons, action potentials are initiated in the axon initial segment (AIS), a specialized region of the axon containing a high density of voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels. It has recently been proposed that neurons use plasticity of AIS length and/or location to regulate their intrinsic excitability. Here we quantify the impact of neuron morphology on AIS plasticity using computational models of simplified and realistic somatodendritic morphologies. In small neurons (e.g., dentate granule neurons), excitability was highest when the AIS was of intermediate length and located adjacent to the soma. Conversely, neurons having larger dendritic trees (e.g., pyramidal neurons) were most excitable when the AIS was longer and/or located away from the soma. For any given somatodendritic morphology, increasing dendritic membrane capacitance and/or conductance favored a longer and more distally located AIS. Overall, changes to AIS length, with corresponding changes in total sodium conductance, were far more effective in regulating neuron excitability than were changes in AIS location, while dendritic capacitance had a larger impact on AIS performance than did dendritic conductance. The somatodendritic influence on AIS performance reflects modest soma-to-AIS voltage attenuation combined with neuron size-dependent changes in AIS input resistance, effective membrane time constant, and isolation from somatodendritic capacitance. We conclude that the impact of AIS plasticity on neuron excitability will depend largely on somatodendritic morphology, and that, in some neurons, a shorter or more distally located AIS may promote, rather than limit, action potential generation. PMID:27022619

  6. Why do motor neurons degenerate? Actualization in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riancho, J; Gonzalo, I; Ruiz-Soto, M; Berciano, J

    2016-02-04

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons. Although a small proportion of ALS cases are familial in origin and linked to mutations in specific genes, most cases are sporadic and have a multifactorial aetiology. Some recent studies have increased our knowledge of ALS pathogenesis and raised the question of whether this disorder is a proteinopathy, a ribonucleopathy, an axonopathy, or a disease related to the neuronal microenvironment. This article presents a review of ALS pathogenesis. To this end, we have reviewed published articles describing either ALS patients or ALS animal models and we discuss how the main cellular pathways (gene processing, protein metabolism, oxidative stress, axonal transport, relationship with neuronal microenvironment) may be involved in motor neurons degeneration. ALS pathogenesis has not been fully elucidated. Recent studies suggest that although initial triggers may differ among patients, the final motor neurons degeneration mechanisms are similar in most patients once the disease is fully established. Copyright © 2016 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  7. Microtubule-targeting drugs rescue axonal swellings in cortical neurons from spastin knockout mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coralie Fassier

    2013-01-01

    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.

  8. Trophic factors as modulators of motor neuron physiology and survival: implications for ALS therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis B Tovar-y-Romo

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron physiology and development depend on a continuous and tightly regulated trophic support from a variety of cellular sources. Trophic factors guide the generation and positioning of motor neurons during every stage of the developmental process. As well, they are involved in axon guidance and synapse formation. Even in the adult spinal cord an uninterrupted trophic input is required to maintain neuronal functioning and protection from noxious stimuli. Among the trophic factors that have been demonstrated to participate in motor neuron physiology are vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF, ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1. Upon binding to membrane receptors expressed in motor neurons or neighboring glia, these trophic factors activate intracellular signaling pathways that promote cell survival and have protective action on motor neurons, in both in vivo and in vitro models of neuronal degeneration. For these reasons these factors have been considered a promising therapeutic method for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, although their efficacy in human clinical trials have not yet shown the expected protection. In this review we summarize experimental data on the role of these trophic factors in motor neuron function and survival, as well as their mechanisms of action. We also briefly discuss the potential therapeutic use of the trophic factors and why these therapies may have not been yet successful in the clinical use.

  9. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamphlett, Roger; Kum Jew, Stephen

    2013-12-12

    The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons.

  10. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Results Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Conclusions Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons. PMID:24330485

  11. Induction of neuronal axon outgrowth by Shati/Nat8l by energy metabolism in mice cultured neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumi, Kazuyuki; Uno, Kyosuke; Matsumura, Shohei; Miyamoto, Yoshiaki; Furukawa-Hibi, Yoko; Muramatsu, Shin-Ichi; Nabeshima, Toshitaka; Nitta, Atsumi

    2015-09-09

    A novel N-acetyltransferase, Shati/Nat8l, was identified in the nucleus accumbens of mice repeatedly treated with methamphetamine (METH). Shati/Nat8l has been reported to inhibit the pharmacological action induced by METH. Shati/Nat8l produces N-acetylaspartate from aspartate and acetyl-CoA. Previously, we reported that overexpression of Shati/Nat8l in nucleus accumbens attenuates the response to METH by N-acetylaspartylglutamate (which is derived from N-acetylaspartate)-mGluR3 signaling in the mice brain. In the present study, to clarify the type of cells that produce Shati/Nat8l, we carried out in-situ hybridization for the detection of Shati/Nat8l mRNA along with immunohistochemical studies using serial sections of mice brain. Shati/Nat8l mRNA was detected in neuronal cells, but not in astrocytes or microglia cells. Next, we investigated the function of Shati/Nat8l in the neuronal cells in mice brain; then, we used an adeno-associated virus vector containing Shati/Nat8l for transfection and overexpression of Shati/Nat8l protein into the primary cultured neurons to investigate the contribution toward the neuronal activity of Shati/Nat8l. Overexpression of Shati/Nat8l in the mice primary cultured neurons induced axonal growth, but not dendrite elongation at day 1.5 (DIV). This finding indicated that Shati/Nat8l contributes toward neuronal development. LY341495, a selective group II mGluRs antagonist, did not abolish this axonal growth, and N-acetylaspartylglutamate itself did not abolish axon outgrowth in the same cultured system. The cultured neurons overexpressing Shati/Nat8l contained high ATP, suggesting that axon outgrowth is dependent on energy metabolism. This study shows that Shati/Nat8l in the neuron may induce axon outgrowth by ATP synthesis and not through mGluR3 signaling.

  12. Iron insufficiency compromises motor neurons and their mitochondrial function in Irp2-null mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suh Young Jeong

    Full Text Available Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2, which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice.

  13. Spinal cord: motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezania, Kourosh; Roos, Raymond P

    2013-02-01

    Spinal cord motor neuron diseases affect lower motor neurons in the ventral horn. This article focuses on the most common spinal cord motor neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which also affects upper motor neurons. Also discussed are other motor neuron diseases that only affect the lower motor neurons. Despite the identification of several genes associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the pathogenesis of this complex disease remains elusive. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. HSPB1 mutations causing hereditary neuropathy in humans disrupt non-cell autonomous protection of motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilman, Patrick L; Song, SungWon; Miranda, Carlos J; Meyer, Kathrin; Srivastava, Amit K; Knapp, Amy; Wier, Christopher G; Kaspar, Brian K; Kolb, Stephen J

    2017-11-01

    Heat shock protein beta-1 (HSPB1), is a ubiquitously expressed, multifunctional protein chaperone. Mutations in HSPB1 result in the development of a late-onset, distal hereditary motor neuropathy type II (dHMN) and axonal Charcot-Marie Tooth disease with sensory involvement (CMT2F). The functional consequences of HSPB1 mutations associated with hereditary neuropathy are unknown. HSPB1 also displays neuroprotective properties in many neuronal disease models, including the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). HSPB1 is upregulated in SOD1-ALS animal models during disease progression, predominately in glial cells. Glial cells are known to contribute to motor neuron loss in ALS through a non-cell autonomous mechanism. In this study, we examined the non-cell autonomous role of wild type and mutant HSPB1 in an astrocyte-motor neuron co-culture model system of ALS. Astrocyte-specific overexpression of wild type HSPB1 was sufficient to attenuate SOD1(G93A) astrocyte-mediated toxicity in motor neurons, whereas, overexpression of mutHSPB1 failed to ameliorate motor neuron toxicity. Expression of a phosphomimetic HSPB1 mutant in SOD1(G93A) astrocytes also reduced toxicity to motor neurons, suggesting that phosphorylation may contribute to HSPB1 mediated-neuroprotection. These data provide evidence that astrocytic HSPB1 expression may play a central role in motor neuron health and maintenance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Use of a Y-tube conduit after facial nerve injury reduces collateral axonal branching at the lesion site but neither reduces polyinnervation of motor endplates nor improves functional recovery.

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    Hizay, Arzu; Ozsoy, Umut; Demirel, Bahadir Murat; Ozsoy, Ozlem; Angelova, Srebrina K; Ankerne, Janina; Sarikcioglu, Sureyya Bilmen; Dunlop, Sarah A; Angelov, Doychin N; Sarikcioglu, Levent

    2012-06-01

    Despite increased understanding of peripheral nerve regeneration, functional recovery after surgical repair remains disappointing. A major contributing factor is the extensive collateral branching at the lesion site, which leads to inaccurate axonal navigation and aberrant reinnervation of targets. To determine whether the Y tube reconstruction improved axonal regrowth and whether this was associated with improved function. We used a Y-tube conduit with the aim of improving navigation of regenerating axons after facial nerve transection in rats. Retrograde labeling from the zygomatic and buccal branches showed a halving in the number of double-labeled facial motor neurons (15% vs 8%; P facial-facial anastomosis coaptation. However, in both surgical groups, the proportion of polyinnervated motor endplates was similar (≈ 30%; P > .05), and video-based motion analysis of whisking revealed similarly poor function. Although Y-tube reconstruction decreases axonal branching at the lesion site and improves axonal navigation compared with facial-facial anastomosis coaptation, it fails to promote monoinnervation of motor endplates and confers no functional benefit.

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

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    Belén Mollá

    2017-08-01

    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.

  17. Meninges-derived cues control axon guidance.

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    Suter, Tracey A C S; DeLoughery, Zachary J; Jaworski, Alexander

    2017-10-01

    The axons of developing neurons travel long distances along stereotyped pathways under the direction of extracellular cues sensed by the axonal growth cone. Guidance cues are either secreted proteins that diffuse freely or bind the extracellular matrix, or membrane-anchored proteins. Different populations of axons express distinct sets of receptors for guidance cues, which results in differential responses to specific ligands. The full repertoire of axon guidance cues and receptors and the identity of the tissues producing these cues remain to be elucidated. The meninges are connective tissue layers enveloping the vertebrate brain and spinal cord that serve to protect the central nervous system (CNS). The meninges also instruct nervous system development by regulating the generation and migration of neural progenitors, but it has not been determined whether they help guide axons to their targets. Here, we investigate a possible role for the meninges in neuronal wiring. Using mouse neural tissue explants, we show that developing spinal cord meninges produce secreted attractive and repulsive cues that can guide multiple types of axons in vitro. We find that motor and sensory neurons, which project axons across the CNS-peripheral nervous system (PNS) boundary, are attracted by meninges. Conversely, axons of both ipsi- and contralaterally projecting dorsal spinal cord interneurons are repelled by meninges. The responses of these axonal populations to the meninges are consistent with their trajectories relative to meninges in vivo, suggesting that meningeal guidance factors contribute to nervous system wiring and control which axons are able to traverse the CNS-PNS boundary. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons determines synaptic integrity in spinal muscular atrophy.

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    Martinez, Tara L; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A; Crowder, Melissa E; Van Meerbeke, James P; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J; Lutz, Cathleen M; Rich, Mark M; Sumner, Charlotte J

    2012-06-20

    The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power.

  19. Mitosis in neurons: Roughex and APC/C maintain cell cycle exit to prevent cytokinetic and axonal defects in Drosophila photoreceptor neurons.

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    Robert Ruggiero

    Full Text Available The mechanisms of cell cycle exit by neurons remain poorly understood. Through genetic and developmental analysis of Drosophila eye development, we found that the cyclin-dependent kinase-inhibitor Roughex maintains G1 cell cycle exit during differentiation of the R8 class of photoreceptor neurons. The roughex mutant neurons re-enter the mitotic cell cycle and progress without executing cytokinesis, unlike non-neuronal cells in the roughex mutant that perform complete cell divisions. After mitosis, the binucleated R8 neurons usually transport one daughter nucleus away from the cell body into the developing axon towards the brain in a kinesin-dependent manner resembling anterograde axonal trafficking. Similar cell cycle and photoreceptor neuron defects occurred in mutants for components of the Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome. These findings indicate a neuron-specific defect in cytokinesis and demonstrate a critical role for mitotic cyclin downregulation both to maintain cell cycle exit during neuronal differentiation and to prevent axonal defects following failed cytokinesis.

  20. Drosophila motor neuron retraction during metamorphosis is mediated by inputs from TGF-β/BMP signaling and orphan nuclear receptors.

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    Ana Boulanger

    Full Text Available Larval motor neurons remodel during Drosophila neuro-muscular junction dismantling at metamorphosis. In this study, we describe the motor neuron retraction as opposed to degeneration based on the early disappearance of β-Spectrin and the continuing presence of Tubulin. By blocking cell dynamics with a dominant-negative form of Dynamin, we show that phagocytes have a key role in this process. Importantly, we show the presence of peripheral glial cells close to the neuro-muscular junction that retracts before the motor neuron. We show also that in muscle, expression of EcR-B1 encoding the steroid hormone receptor required for postsynaptic dismantling, is under the control of the ftz-f1/Hr39 orphan nuclear receptor pathway but not the TGF-β signaling pathway. In the motor neuron, activation of EcR-B1 expression by the two parallel pathways (TGF-β signaling and nuclear receptor triggers axon retraction. We propose that a signal from a TGF-β family ligand is produced by the dismantling muscle (postsynapse compartment and received by the motor neuron (presynaptic compartment resulting in motor neuron retraction. The requirement of the two pathways in the motor neuron provides a molecular explanation for the instructive role of the postsynapse degradation on motor neuron retraction. This mechanism insures the temporality of the two processes and prevents motor neuron pruning before postsynaptic degradation.

  1. Drosophila motor neuron retraction during metamorphosis is mediated by inputs from TGF-β/BMP signaling and orphan nuclear receptors.

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    Boulanger, Ana; Farge, Morgane; Ramanoudjame, Christophe; Wharton, Kristi; Dura, Jean-Maurice

    2012-01-01

    Larval motor neurons remodel during Drosophila neuro-muscular junction dismantling at metamorphosis. In this study, we describe the motor neuron retraction as opposed to degeneration based on the early disappearance of β-Spectrin and the continuing presence of Tubulin. By blocking cell dynamics with a dominant-negative form of Dynamin, we show that phagocytes have a key role in this process. Importantly, we show the presence of peripheral glial cells close to the neuro-muscular junction that retracts before the motor neuron. We show also that in muscle, expression of EcR-B1 encoding the steroid hormone receptor required for postsynaptic dismantling, is under the control of the ftz-f1/Hr39 orphan nuclear receptor pathway but not the TGF-β signaling pathway. In the motor neuron, activation of EcR-B1 expression by the two parallel pathways (TGF-β signaling and nuclear receptor) triggers axon retraction. We propose that a signal from a TGF-β family ligand is produced by the dismantling muscle (postsynapse compartment) and received by the motor neuron (presynaptic compartment) resulting in motor neuron retraction. The requirement of the two pathways in the motor neuron provides a molecular explanation for the instructive role of the postsynapse degradation on motor neuron retraction. This mechanism insures the temporality of the two processes and prevents motor neuron pruning before postsynaptic degradation.

  2. Neurotrophin Signaling via Long-Distance Axonal Transport

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    Chowdary, Praveen D.; Che, Dung L.; Cui, Bianxiao

    2012-05-01

    Neurotrophins are a family of target-derived growth factors that support survival, development, and maintenance of innervating neurons. Owing to the unique architecture of neurons, neurotrophins that act locally on the axonal terminals must convey their signals across the entire axon for subsequent regulation of gene transcription in the cell nucleus. This long-distance retrograde signaling, a motor-driven process that can take hours or days, has been a subject of intense interest. In the last decade, live-cell imaging with high sensitivity has significantly increased our capability to track the transport of neurotrophins, their receptors, and subsequent signals in real time. This review summarizes recent research progress in understanding neurotrophin-receptor interactions at the axonal terminal and their transport dynamics along the axon. We emphasize high-resolution studies at the single-molecule level and also discuss recent technical advances in the field.

  3. Local connections of layer 5 GABAergic interneurons to corticospinal neurons

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    Yasuyo H Tanaka

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In the local circuit of the cerebral cortex, GABAergic inhibitory interneurons are considered to work in collaboration with excitatory neurons. Although many interneuron subgroups have been described in the cortex, local inhibitory connections of each interneuron subgroup are only partially understood with respect to the functional neuron groups that receive these inhibitory connections. In the present study, we morphologically examined local inhibitory inputs to corticospinal neurons (CSNs in motor areas using transgenic rats in which GABAergic neurons expressed fluorescent protein Venus. By analysis of biocytin-filled axons obtained with whole-cell recording/staining in cortical slices, we classified fast-spiking (FS neurons in layer (L 5 into two types, FS1 and FS2, by their high and low densities of axonal arborization, respectively. We then investigated the connections of FS1, FS2, somatostatin-immunopositive (SOM and other (non-FS/non-SOM interneurons to CSNs that were retrogradely labeled in a Golgi-like manner in motor areas. When close appositions between the axon boutons of the intracellularly labeled interneurons and the somata/dendrites of the retrogradely labeled CSNs were examined electron-microscopically, 74% of these appositions made symmetric synaptic contacts. The axon boutons of single FS1 neurons were 2–4-fold more frequent in appositions to the somata/dendrites of CSNs than those of FS2, SOM and non-FS/non-SOM neurons. Axosomatic appositions were most frequently formed with axon boutons of FS1 and FS2 neurons (approximately 30% and least frequently formed with those of SOM neurons (7%. In contrast, SOM neurons most extensively sent axon boutons to the apical dendrites of CSNs. These results might suggest that motor outputs are controlled differentially by the subgroups of L5 GABAergic interneurons in cortical motor areas. 

  4. Neuronal activity in the hub of extrasynaptic Schwann cell-axon interactions

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    Chrysanthi eSamara

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The integrity and function of neurons depend on their continuous interactions with glial cells. In the peripheral nervous system glial functions are exerted by Schwann cells (SCs. SCs sense synaptic and extrasynaptic manifestations of action potential propagation and adapt their physiology to support neuronal activity. We review here existing literature data on extrasynaptic bidirectional axon-SC communication, focusing particularly on neuronal activity implications. To shed light on underlying mechanisms, we conduct a thorough analysis of microarray data from SC-rich mouse sciatic nerve at different developmental stages and in neuropathic models. We identify molecules that are potentially involved in SC detection of neuronal activity signals inducing subsequent glial responses. We further suggest that alterations in the activity-dependent axon-SC crosstalk impact on peripheral neuropathies. Together with previously reported data, these observations open new perspectives for deciphering glial mechanisms of neuronal function support.

  5. Diapause formation and downregulation of insulin-like signaling via DAF-16/FOXO delays axonal degeneration and neuronal loss.

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    Andrea Calixto

    Full Text Available Axonal degeneration is a key event in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative conditions. We show here that mec-4d triggered axonal degeneration of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons and mammalian axons share mechanistical similarities, as both are rescued by inhibition of calcium increase, mitochondrial dysfunction, and NMNAT overexpression. We then explore whether reactive oxygen species (ROS participate in axonal degeneration and neuronal demise. C. elegans dauers have enhanced anti-ROS systems, and dauer mec-4d worms are completely protected from axonal degeneration and neuronal loss. Mechanistically, downregulation of the Insulin/IGF-1-like signaling (IIS pathway protects neurons from degenerating in a DAF-16/FOXO-dependent manner and is related to superoxide dismutase and catalase-increased expression. Caloric restriction and systemic antioxidant treatment, which decrease oxidative damage, protect C. elegans axons from mec-4d-mediated degeneration and delay Wallerian degeneration in mice. In summary, we show that the IIS pathway is essential in maintaining neuronal homeostasis under pro-degenerative stimuli and identify ROS as a key intermediate of neuronal degeneration in vivo. Since axonal degeneration represents an early pathological event in neurodegeneration, our work identifies potential targets for therapeutic intervention in several conditions characterized by axonal loss and functional impairment.

  6. Degeneration of Phrenic Motor Neurons Induces Long-Term Diaphragm Deficits following Mid-Cervical Spinal Contusion in Mice

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    Nicaise, Charles; Putatunda, Rajarshi; Hala, Tamara J.; Regan, Kathleen A.; Frank, David M.; Brion, Jean-Pierre; Leroy, Karelle; Pochet, Roland; Wright, Megan C.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract A primary cause of morbidity and mortality following cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) is respiratory compromise, regardless of the level of trauma. In particular, SCI at mid-cervical regions targets degeneration of both descending bulbospinal respiratory axons and cell bodies of phrenic motor neurons, resulting in deficits in the function of the diaphragm, the primary muscle of inspiration. Contusion-type trauma to the cervical spinal cord is one of the most common forms of human SCI; however, few studies have evaluated mid-cervical contusion in animal models or characterized consequent histopathological and functional effects of degeneration of phrenic motor neuron–diaphragm circuitry. We have generated a mouse model of cervical contusion SCI that unilaterally targets both C4 and C5 levels, the location of the phrenic motor neuron pool, and have examined histological and functional outcomes for up to 6 weeks post-injury. We report that phrenic motor neuron loss in cervical spinal cord, phrenic nerve axonal degeneration, and denervation at diaphragm neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) resulted in compromised ipsilateral diaphragm function, as demonstrated by persistent reduction in diaphragm compound muscle action potential amplitudes following phrenic nerve stimulation and abnormalities in spontaneous diaphragm electromyography (EMG) recordings. This injury paradigm is reproducible, does not require ventilatory assistance, and provides proof-of-principle that generation of unilateral cervical contusion is a feasible strategy for modeling diaphragmatic/respiratory deficits in mice. This study and its accompanying analyses pave the way for using transgenic mouse technology to explore the function of specific genes in the pathophysiology of phrenic motor neuron degeneration and respiratory dysfunction following cervical SCI. PMID:23176637

  7. Interactions between entorhinal axons and target hippocampal neurons: a role for glutamate in the development of hippocampal circuitry.

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    Mattson, M P; Lee, R E; Adams, M E; Guthrie, P B; Kater, S B

    1988-11-01

    A coculture system consisting of input axons from entorhinal cortex explants and target hippocampal pyramidal neurons was used to demonstrate that glutamate, released spontaneously from afferent axons, can influence both dendritic geometry of target neurons and formation of presumptive synaptic sites. Dendritic outgrowth was reduced in hippocampal neurons growing on entorhinal axons when compared with neurons growing off the axons. Presumptive presynaptic sites were observed in association with hippocampal neuron dendrites and somas. HPLC analysis showed that glutamate was released from the explants in an activity- and Ca2(+)-dependent manner. The general glutamate receptor antagonist D-glutamylglycine significantly increased dendritic outgrowth in pyramidal neurons associated with entorhinal axons and reduced presumptive presynaptic sites. Tetrodotoxin and reduction of extracellular Ca2+ also promoted dendritic outgrowth and reduced the formation of presumptive synaptic sites. The results suggest that the neurotransmitter glutamate may play important roles in the development of hippocampal circuitry.

  8. MicroRNA-338 Attenuates Cortical Neuronal Outgrowth by Modulating the Expression of Axon Guidance Genes.

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    Kos, Aron; Klein-Gunnewiek, Teun; Meinhardt, Julia; Loohuis, Nikkie F M Olde; van Bokhoven, Hans; Kaplan, Barry B; Martens, Gerard J; Kolk, Sharon M; Aschrafi, Armaz

    2017-07-01

    MicroRNAs (miRs) are small non-coding RNAs that confer robustness to gene networks through post-transcriptional gene regulation. Previously, we identified miR-338 as a modulator of axonal outgrowth in sympathetic neurons. In the current study, we examined the role of miR-338 in the development of cortical neurons and uncovered its downstream mRNA targets. Long-term inhibition of miR-338 during neuronal differentiation resulted in reduced dendritic complexity and altered dendritic spine morphology. Furthermore, monitoring axon outgrowth in cortical cells revealed that miR-338 overexpression decreased, whereas inhibition of miR-338 increased axonal length. To identify gene targets mediating the observed phenotype, we inhibited miR-338 in cortical neurons and performed whole-transcriptome analysis. Pathway analysis revealed that miR-338 modulates a subset of transcripts involved in the axonal guidance machinery by means of direct and indirect gene targeting. Collectively, our results implicate miR-338 as a novel regulator of cortical neuronal maturation by fine-tuning the expression of gene networks governing cortical outgrowth.

  9. The Molecular Motor KIF1A Transports the TrkA Neurotrophin Receptor and Is Essential for Sensory Neuron Survival and Function.

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    Tanaka, Yosuke; Niwa, Shinsuke; Dong, Ming; Farkhondeh, Atena; Wang, Li; Zhou, Ruyun; Hirokawa, Nobutaka

    2016-06-15

    KIF1A is a major axonal transport motor protein, but its functional significance remains elusive. Here we show that KIF1A-haploinsufficient mice developed sensory neuropathy. We found progressive loss of TrkA(+) sensory neurons in Kif1a(+/-) dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). Moreover, axonal transport of TrkA was significantly disrupted in Kif1a(+/-) neurons. Live imaging and immunoprecipitation assays revealed that KIF1A bound to TrkA-containing vesicles through the adaptor GTP-Rab3, suggesting that TrkA is a cargo of the KIF1A motor. Physiological measurements revealed a weaker capsaicin response in Kif1a(+/-) DRG neurons. Moreover, these neurons were hyposensitive to nerve growth factor, which could explain the reduced neuronal survival and the functional deficiency of the pain receptor TRPV1. Because phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling significantly rescued these phenotypes and also increased Kif1a mRNA, we propose that KIF1A is essential for the survival and function of sensory neurons because of the TrkA transport and its synergistic support of the NGF/TrkA/PI3K signaling pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Neuron-glia signaling and the protection of axon function by Schwann cells.

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    Quintes, Susanne; Goebbels, Sandra; Saher, Gesine; Schwab, Markus H; Nave, Klaus-Armin

    2010-03-01

    The interaction between neurons and glial cells is a feature of all higher nervous systems. In the vertebrate peripheral nervous system, Schwann cells ensheath and myelinate axons thereby allowing rapid saltatory conduction and ensuring axonal integrity. Recently, some of the key molecules in neuron-Schwann cell signaling have been identified. Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) type III presented on the axonal surface determines the myelination fate of axons and controls myelin sheath thickness. Recent observations suggest that NRG1 regulates myelination via the control of Schwann cell cholesterol biosynthesis. This concept is supported by the finding that high cholesterol levels in Schwann cells are a rate-limiting factor for myelin protein production and transport of the major myelin protein P0 from the endoplasmic reticulum into the growing myelin sheath. NRG1 type III activates ErbB receptors on the Schwann cell, which leads to an increase in intracellular PIP3 levels via the PI3-kinase pathway. Surprisingly, enforced elevation of PIP3 levels by inactivation of the phosphatase PTEN in developing and mature Schwann cells does not entirely mimic NRG1 type III stimulated myelin growth, but predominantly causes focal hypermyelination starting at Schmidt-Lanterman incisures and nodes of Ranvier. This indicates that the glial transduction of pro-myelinating signals has to be under tight and life-long control to preserve integrity of the myelinated axon. Understanding the cross talk between neurons and Schwann cells will help to further define the role of glia in preserving axonal integrity and to develop therapeutic strategies for peripheral neuropathies such as CMT1A.

  11. Synapse Formation in Monosynaptic Sensory–Motor Connections Is Regulated by Presynaptic Rho GTPase Cdc42

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    Imai, Fumiyasu; Ladle, David R.; Leslie, Jennifer R.; Duan, Xin; Rizvi, Tilat A.; Ciraolo, Georgianne M.; Zheng, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Spinal reflex circuit development requires the precise regulation of axon trajectories, synaptic specificity, and synapse formation. Of these three crucial steps, the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation between group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons and motor neurons is the least understood. Here, we show that the Rho GTPase Cdc42 controls synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor connections in presynaptic, but not postsynaptic, neurons. In mice lacking Cdc42 in presynaptic sensory neurons, proprioceptive sensory axons appropriately reach the ventral spinal cord, but significantly fewer synapses are formed with motor neurons compared with wild-type mice. Concordantly, electrophysiological analyses show diminished EPSP amplitudes in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits in these mutants. Temporally targeted deletion of Cdc42 in sensory neurons after sensory–motor circuit establishment reveals that Cdc42 does not affect synaptic transmission. Furthermore, addition of the synaptic organizers, neuroligins, induces presynaptic differentiation of wild-type, but not Cdc42-deficient, proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro. Together, our findings demonstrate that Cdc42 in presynaptic neurons is required for synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons form direct synapses with motor neurons, but the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation in these monosynaptic sensory–motor connections are unknown. We show that deleting Cdc42 in sensory neurons does not affect proprioceptive sensory axon targeting because axons reach the ventral spinal cord appropriately, but these neurons form significantly fewer presynaptic terminals on motor neurons. Electrophysiological analysis further shows that EPSPs are decreased in these mice. Finally, we demonstrate that Cdc42 is involved in neuroligin-dependent presynaptic differentiation of proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro

  12. Pαx6 expression in postmitotic neurons mediates the growth of axons in response to SFRP1.

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    Alvaro Sebastián-Serrano

    Full Text Available During development, the mechanisms that specify neuronal subclasses are coupled to those that determine their axonal response to guidance cues. Pax6 is a homedomain transcription factor required for the specification of a variety of neural precursors. After cell cycle exit, Pax6 expression is often shut down in the precursor progeny and most postmitotic neurons no longer express detectable levels of the protein. There are however exceptions and high Pax6 protein levels are found, for example, in postmitotic retinal ganglion cells (RGCs, dopaminergic neurons of the olfactory bulb and the limbic system in the telencephalon. The function of Pax6 in these differentiating neurons remains mostly elusive. Here, we demonstrate that Pax6 mediates the response of growing axons to SFRP1, a secreted molecule expressed in several Pax6-positive forebrain territories. Forced expression of Pax6 in cultured postmitotic cortical neurons, which do not normally express Pax6, was sufficient to increment axonal length. Growth was blocked by the addition of anti-SFRP1 antibodies, whereas exogenously added SFRP1 increased axonal growth of Pax6-transfected neurons but not that of control or untransfected cortical neurons. In the reverse scenario, shRNA-mediated knock-down of Pax6 in mouse retinal explants specifically abolished RGCs axonal growth induced by SFRP1, but had no effect on RGCs differentiation and it did not modify the effect of Shh or Netrin on axon growth. Taken together these results demonstrate that expression of Pax6 is necessary and sufficient to render postmitotic neurons competent to respond to SFRP1. These results reveal a novel and unexpected function of Pax6 in postmitotic neurons and situate Pax6 and SFRP1 as pair regulators of axonal connectivity.

  13. Modality-Specific Axonal Regeneration: Towards selective regenerative neural interfaces

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    Parisa eLotfi

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 submodality 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 3 fold in the NT-3 channels. These results were confirmed using a 3-D Y-shaped in vitro assay showing that the arm containing NGF was able to entice a 5-fold 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 towards 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.

  14. Mechanistic logic underlying the axonal transport of cytosolic proteins

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    Scott, David A.; Das, Utpal; Tang, Yong; Roy, Subhojit

    2011-01-01

    Proteins vital to presynaptic function are synthesized in the neuronal perikarya and delivered into synapses via two modes of axonal transport. While membrane-anchoring proteins are conveyed in fast axonal transport via motor-driven vesicles, cytosolic proteins travel in slow axonal transport; via mechanisms that are poorly understood. We found that in cultured axons, populations of cytosolic proteins tagged to photoactivable-GFP (PA-GFP) move with a slow motor-dependent anterograde bias; distinct from vesicular-trafficking or diffusion of untagged PA-GFP. The overall bias is likely generated by an intricate particle-kinetics involving transient assembly and short-range vectorial spurts. In-vivo biochemical studies reveal that cytosolic proteins are organized into higher-order structures within axon-enriched fractions that are largely segregated from vesicles. Data-driven biophysical modeling best predicts a scenario where soluble molecules dynamically assemble into mobile supra-molecular structures. We propose a model where cytosolic proteins are transported by dynamically assembling into multi-protein complexes that are directly/indirectly conveyed by motors. PMID:21555071

  15. Cortical Divergent Projections in Mice Originate from Two Sequentially Generated, Distinct Populations of Excitatory Cortical Neurons with Different Initial Axonal Outgrowth Characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatanaka, Yumiko; Namikawa, Tomohiro; Yamauchi, Kenta; Kawaguchi, Yasuo

    2016-05-01

    Excitatory cortical neurons project to various subcortical and intracortical regions, and exhibit diversity in their axonal connections. Although this diversity may develop from primary axons, how many types of axons initially occur remains unknown. Using a sparse-labeling in utero electroporation method, we investigated the axonal outgrowth of these neurons in mice and correlated the data with axonal projections in adults. Examination of lateral cortex neurons labeled during the main period of cortical neurogenesis (E11.5-E15.5) indicated that axonal outgrowth commonly occurs in the intermediate zone. Conversely, the axonal direction varied; neurons labeled before E12.5 and the earliest cortical plate neurons labeled at E12.5 projected laterally, whereas neurons labeled thereafter projected medially. The expression of Ctip2 and Satb2 and the layer destinations of these neurons support the view that lateral and medial projection neurons are groups of prospective subcortical and callosal projection neurons, respectively. Consistently, birthdating experiments demonstrated that presumptive lateral projection neurons were generated earlier than medial projection neurons, even within the same layer. These results suggest that the divergent axonal connections of excitatory cortical neurons begin from two types of primary axons, which originate from two sequentially generated distinct subpopulations: early-born lateral (subcortical) and later-born medial (callosal) projection neuron groups. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Retinoic acid signaling in axonal regeneration

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    Radhika ePuttagunta

    2012-01-01

    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.

  17. Utilizing Combined Methodologies to Define the Role of Plasma Membrane Delivery During Axon Branching and Neuronal Morphogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkle, Cortney C; Hanlin, Christopher C; Gupton, Stephanie L

    2016-03-16

    During neural development, growing axons extend to multiple synaptic partners by elaborating axonal branches. Axon branching is promoted by extracellular guidance cues like netrin-1 and results in dramatic increases to the surface area of the axonal plasma membrane. Netrin-1-dependent axon branching likely involves temporal and spatial control of plasma membrane expansion, the components of which are supplied through exocytic vesicle fusion. These fusion events are preceded by formation of SNARE complexes, comprising a v-SNARE, such as VAMP2 (vesicle-associated membrane protein 2), and plasma membrane t-SNAREs, syntaxin-1 and SNAP25 (synaptosomal-associated protein 25). Detailed herein isa multi-pronged approach used to examine the role of SNARE mediated exocytosis in axon branching. The strength of the combined approach is data acquisition at a range of spatial and temporal resolutions, spanning from the dynamics of single vesicle fusion events in individual neurons to SNARE complex formation and axon branching in populations of cultured neurons. This protocol takes advantage of established biochemical approaches to assay levels of endogenous SNARE complexes and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy of cortical neurons expressing VAMP2 tagged with a pH-sensitive GFP (VAMP2-pHlourin) to identify netrin-1 dependent changes in exocytic activity in individual neurons. To elucidate the timing of netrin-1-dependent branching, time-lapse differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy of single neurons over the order of hours is utilized. Fixed cell immunofluorescence paired with botulinum neurotoxins that cleave SNARE machinery and block exocytosis demonstrates that netrin-1 dependent axon branching requires SNARE-mediated exocytic activity.

  18. Targeted disruption of the Mast syndrome gene SPG21 in mice impairs hind limb function and alters axon branching in cultured cortical neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderblom, Cynthia; Stadler, Julia; Jupille, Henri; Blackstone, Craig; Shupliakov, Oleg

    2017-01-01

    Mast syndrome (SPG21) is a childhood-onset, autosomal recessive, complicated form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) characterized by dementia, thin corpus callosum, white matter abnormalities, and cerebellar and extrapyramidal signs in addition to spastic paraparesis. A nucleotide insertion resulting in premature truncation of the SPG21 gene product maspardin underlies this disorder, likely leading to loss of protein function. In this study, we generated SPG21−/− knockout mice by homologous recombination as a possible animal model for SPG21. Though SPG21−/− mice appeared normal at birth, within several months they developed gradually progressive hind limb dysfunction. Cerebral cortical neurons cultured from SPG21−/− mice exhibited significantly more axonal branching than neurons from wild-type animals, while comprehensive neuropathological analysis of SPG21−/− mice did not reveal definitive abnormalities. Since alterations in axon branching have been seen in neurons derived from animal models of other forms of HSP as well as motor neuron diseases, this may represent a common cellular pathogenic theme. PMID:20661613

  19. Effect of streptozotocin-induced diabetes on motor representations in the motor cortex and corticospinal tract in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muramatsu, Ken; Ikutomo, Masako; Tamaki, Toru; Shimo, Satoshi; Niwa, Masatoshi

    2018-02-01

    Motor disorders in patients with diabetes are associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which can lead to symptoms such as lower extremity weakness. However, it is unclear whether central motor system disorders can disrupt motor function in patients with diabetes. In a streptozotocin-induced rat model of type 1 diabetes, we used intracortical microstimulation to evaluate motor representations in the motor cortex, recorded antidromic motor cortex responses to spinal cord stimulation to evaluate the function of corticospinal tract (CST) axons, and used retrograde labeling to evaluate morphological alterations of CST neurons. The diabetic rats exhibited size reductions in the hindlimb area at 4 weeks and in trunk and forelimb areas after 13 weeks, with the hindlimb and trunk area reductions being the most severe. Other areas were unaffected. Additionally, we observed reduced antidromic responses in CST neurons with axons projecting to lumbar spinal segments (CST-L) but not in those with axons projecting to cervical segments (CST-C). This was consistent with the observation that retrograde-labeled CST-L neurons were decreased in number following tracer injection into the spinal cord in diabetic animals but that CST-C neurons were preserved. These results show that diabetes disrupts the CST system components controlling hindlimb and trunk movement. This disruption may contribute to lower extremity weakness in patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. SAD kinases sculpt axonal arbors of sensory neurons through long and short-term responses to neurotrophin signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Brendan N.; Pan, Y. Albert; Sanes, Joshua R.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Extrinsic cues activate intrinsic signaling mechanisms to pattern neuronal shape and connectivity. We showed previously that three cytoplasmic Ser/Thr kinases, LKB1, SAD-A and SAD-B, control early axon-dendrite polarization in forebrain neurons. Here we assess their role in other neuronal types. We found that all three kinases are dispensable for axon formation outside of the cortex, but that SAD kinases are required for formation of central axonal arbors by subsets of sensory neurons. The requirement for SAD kinases is most prominent in NT-3 dependent neurons. SAD kinases transduce NT-3 signals in two ways through distinct pathways. First, sustained NT-3/TrkC signaling increases SAD protein levels. Second, short duration NT-3/TrkC signals transiently activate SADs by inducing dephosphorylation of C-terminal domains, thereby allowing activating phosphorylation of the kinase domain. We propose that SAD kinases integrate long- and short duration signals from extrinsic cues to sculpt axon arbors within the CNS. PMID:23790753

  1. Nociceptive DRG neurons express muscle lim protein upon axonal injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Evgeny; Andreadaki, Anastasia; Gobrecht, Philipp; Bosse, Frank; Fischer, Dietmar

    2017-04-04

    Muscle lim protein (MLP) has long been regarded as a cytosolic and nuclear muscular protein. Here, we show that MLP is also expressed in a subpopulation of adult rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons in response to axonal injury, while the protein was not detectable in naïve cells. Detailed immunohistochemical analysis of L4/L5 DRG revealed ~3% of MLP-positive neurons 2 days after complete sciatic nerve crush and maximum ~10% after 4-14 days. Similarly, in mixed cultures from cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral DRG ~6% of neurons were MLP-positive after 2 days and maximal 17% after 3 days. In both, histological sections and cell cultures, the protein was detected in the cytosol and axons of small diameter cells, while the nucleus remained devoid. Moreover, the vast majority could not be assigned to any of the well characterized canonical DRG subpopulations at 7 days after nerve injury. However, further analysis in cell culture revealed that the largest population of MLP expressing cells originated from non-peptidergic IB4-positive nociceptive neurons, which lose their ability to bind the lectin upon axotomy. Thus, MLP is mostly expressed in a subset of axotomized nociceptive neurons and can be used as a novel marker for this population of cells.

  2. How to make spinal motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis-Dusenbery, Brandi N; Williams, Luis A; Klim, Joseph R; Eggan, Kevin

    2014-02-01

    All muscle movements, including breathing, walking, and fine motor skills rely on the function of the spinal motor neuron to transmit signals from the brain to individual muscle groups. Loss of spinal motor neuron function underlies several neurological disorders for which treatment has been hampered by the inability to obtain sufficient quantities of primary motor neurons to perform mechanistic studies or drug screens. Progress towards overcoming this challenge has been achieved through the synthesis of developmental biology paradigms and advances in stem cell and reprogramming technology, which allow the production of motor neurons in vitro. In this Primer, we discuss how the logic of spinal motor neuron development has been applied to allow generation of motor neurons either from pluripotent stem cells by directed differentiation and transcriptional programming, or from somatic cells by direct lineage conversion. Finally, we discuss methods to evaluate the molecular and functional properties of motor neurons generated through each of these techniques.

  3. Pathogenesis of motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xuefei Wang

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To summarize and analyze the factors and theories related to the attack of motor neuron disease, and comprehensively investigate the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease.DATA SOURCES: A search of Pubmed database was undertaken to identify articles about motor neuron disease published in English from January 1994 to June 2006 by using the keywords of "neurodegenerative diseases". Other literatures were collected by retrieving specific journals and articles.STUDY SELECTION: The data were checked primarily, articles related to the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease were involved, and those obviously irrelated to the articles were excluded.DATA EXTRACTION: Totally 54 articles were collected, 30 of them were involved, and the other 24 were excluded.DATA SYNTHESIS: The pathogenesis of motor neuron disease has multiple factors, and the present related theories included free radical oxidation, excitotoxicity, genetic and immune factors, lack of neurotrophic factor,injury of neurofilament, etc. The studies mainly come from transgenic animal models, cell culture in vitro and patients with familial motor neuron disease, but there are still many restrictions and disadvantages.CONCLUSION: It is necessary to try to find whether there is internal association among different mechanisms,comprehensively investigate the pathogenesis of motor neuron diseases, in order to provide reliable evidence for the clinical treatment.

  4. Polarized axonal surface expression of neuronal KCNQ potassium channels is regulated by calmodulin interaction with KCNQ2 subunit.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P Cavaretta

    Full Text Available KCNQ potassium channels composed of KCNQ2 and KCNQ3 subunits give rise to the M-current, a slow-activating and non-inactivating voltage-dependent potassium current that limits repetitive firing of action potentials. KCNQ channels are enriched at the surface of axons and axonal initial segments, the sites for action potential generation and modulation. Their enrichment at the axonal surface is impaired by mutations in KCNQ2 carboxy-terminal tail that cause benign familial neonatal convulsion and myokymia, suggesting that their correct surface distribution and density at the axon is crucial for control of neuronal excitability. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for regulating enrichment of KCNQ channels at the neuronal axon remain elusive. Here, we show that enrichment of KCNQ channels at the axonal surface of dissociated rat hippocampal cultured neurons is regulated by ubiquitous calcium sensor calmodulin. Using immunocytochemistry and the cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4 membrane protein as a trafficking reporter, we demonstrate that fusion of KCNQ2 carboxy-terminal tail is sufficient to target CD4 protein to the axonal surface whereas inhibition of calmodulin binding to KCNQ2 abolishes axonal surface expression of CD4 fusion proteins by retaining them in the endoplasmic reticulum. Disruption of calmodulin binding to KCNQ2 also impairs enrichment of heteromeric KCNQ2/KCNQ3 channels at the axonal surface by blocking their trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum to the axon. Consistently, hippocampal neuronal excitability is dampened by transient expression of wild-type KCNQ2 but not mutant KCNQ2 deficient in calmodulin binding. Furthermore, coexpression of mutant calmodulin, which can interact with KCNQ2/KCNQ3 channels but not calcium, reduces but does not abolish their enrichment at the axonal surface, suggesting that apo calmodulin but not calcium-bound calmodulin is necessary for their preferential targeting to the axonal

  5. A cAMP/PKA/Kinesin-1 Axis Promotes the Axonal Transport of Mitochondria in Aging Drosophila Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vagnoni, Alessio; Bullock, Simon L

    2018-04-23

    Mitochondria play fundamental roles within cells, including energy provision, calcium homeostasis, and the regulation of apoptosis. The transport of mitochondria by microtubule-based motors is critical for neuronal structure and function. This process allows local requirements for mitochondrial functions to be met and also facilitates recycling of these organelles [1, 2]. An age-related reduction in mitochondrial transport has been observed in neurons of mammalian and non-mammalian organisms [3-6], and has been proposed to contribute to the broader decline in neuronal function that occurs during aging [3, 5-7]. However, the factors that influence mitochondrial transport in aging neurons are poorly understood. Here we provide evidence using the tractable Drosophila wing nerve system that the cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) pathway promotes the axonal transport of mitochondria in adult neurons. The level of the catalytic subunit of PKA decreases during aging, and acute activation of the cAMP/PKA pathway in aged flies strongly stimulates mitochondrial motility. Thus, the age-related impairment of transport is reversible. The expression of many genes is increased by PKA activation in aged flies. However, our results indicate that elevated mitochondrial transport is due in part to upregulation of the heavy chain of the kinesin-1 motor, the level of which declines during aging. Our study identifies evolutionarily conserved factors that can strongly influence mitochondrial motility in aging neurons. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. HuD and the Survival Motor Neuron Protein Interact in Motoneurons and Are Essential for Motoneuron Development, Function, and mRNA Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao le, Thi; Duy, Phan Q; An, Min; Talbot, Jared; Iyer, Chitra C; Wolman, Marc; Beattie, Christine E

    2017-11-29

    Motoneurons establish a critical link between the CNS and muscles. If motoneurons do not develop correctly, they cannot form the required connections, resulting in movement defects or paralysis. Compromised development can also lead to degeneration because the motoneuron is not set up to function properly. Little is known, however, regarding the mechanisms that control vertebrate motoneuron development, particularly the later stages of axon branch and dendrite formation. The motoneuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by low levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein leading to defects in vertebrate motoneuron development and synapse formation. Here we show using zebrafish as a model system that SMN interacts with the RNA binding protein (RBP) HuD in motoneurons in vivo during formation of axonal branches and dendrites. To determine the function of HuD in motoneurons, we generated zebrafish HuD mutants and found that they exhibited decreased motor axon branches, dramatically fewer dendrites, and movement defects. These same phenotypes are present in animals expressing low levels of SMN, indicating that both proteins function in motoneuron development. HuD binds and transports mRNAs and one of its target mRNAs, Gap43 , is involved in axonal outgrowth. We found that Gap43 was decreased in both HuD and SMN mutants. Importantly, transgenic expression of HuD in motoneurons of SMN mutants rescued the motoneuron defects, the movement defects, and Gap43 mRNA levels. These data support that the interaction between SMN and HuD is critical for motoneuron development and point to a role for RBPs in SMA. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In zebrafish models of the motoneuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), motor axons fail to form the normal extent of axonal branches and dendrites leading to decreased motor function. SMA is caused by low levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. We show in motoneurons in vivo that SMN interacts with the RNA binding

  7. Quantitative measurements and modeling of cargo–motor interactions during fast transport in the living axon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seamster, Pamela E; Loewenberg, Michael; Pascal, Jennifer; Chauviere, Arnaud; Gonzales, Aaron; Cristini, Vittorio; Bearer, Elaine L

    2012-01-01

    The kinesins have long been known to drive microtubule-based transport of sub-cellular components, yet the mechanisms of their attachment to cargo remain a mystery. Several different cargo-receptors have been proposed based on their in vitro binding affinities to kinesin-1. Only two of these—phosphatidyl inositol, a negatively charged lipid, and the carboxyl terminus of the amyloid precursor protein (APP-C), a trans-membrane protein—have been reported to mediate motility in living systems. A major question is how these many different cargo, receptors and motors interact to produce the complex choreography of vesicular transport within living cells. Here we describe an experimental assay that identifies cargo–motor receptors by their ability to recruit active motors and drive transport of exogenous cargo towards the synapse in living axons. Cargo is engineered by derivatizing the surface of polystyrene fluorescent nanospheres (100 nm diameter) with charged residues or with synthetic peptides derived from candidate motor receptor proteins, all designed to display a terminal COOH group. After injection into the squid giant axon, particle movements are imaged by laser-scanning confocal time-lapse microscopy. In this report we compare the motility of negatively charged beads with APP-C beads in the presence of glycine-conjugated non-motile beads using new strategies to measure bead movements. The ensuing quantitative analysis of time-lapse digital sequences reveals detailed information about bead movements: instantaneous and maximum velocities, run lengths, pause frequencies and pause durations. These measurements provide parameters for a mathematical model that predicts the spatiotemporal evolution of distribution of the two different types of bead cargo in the axon. The results reveal that negatively charged beads differ from APP-C beads in velocity and dispersion, and predict that at long time points APP-C will achieve greater progress towards the presynaptic

  8. Slow Muscle Precursors Lay Down a Collagen XV Matrix Fingerprint to Guide Motor Axon Navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillon, Emilie; Bretaud, Sandrine; Ruggiero, Florence

    2016-03-02

    The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides local positional information to guide motoneuron axons toward their muscle target. Collagen XV is a basement membrane component mainly expressed in skeletal muscle. We have identified two zebrafish paralogs of the human COL15A1 gene, col15a1a and col15a1b, which display distinct expression patterns. Here we show that col15a1b is expressed and deposited in the motor path ECM by slow muscle precursors also called adaxial cells. We further demonstrate that collagen XV-B deposition is both temporally and spatially regulated before motor axon extension from the spinal cord in such a way that it remains in this region after the adaxial cells have migrated toward the periphery of the myotome. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments in zebrafish embryos demonstrate that col15a1b expression and subsequent collagen XV-B deposition and organization in the motor path ECM depend on a previously undescribed two-step mechanism involving Hedgehog/Gli and unplugged/MuSK signaling pathways. In silico analysis predicts a putative Gli binding site in the col15a1b proximal promoter. Using col15a1b promoter-reporter constructs, we demonstrate that col15a1b participates in the slow muscle genetic program as a direct target of Hedgehog/Gli signaling. Loss and gain of col15a1b function provoke pathfinding errors in primary and secondary motoneuron axons both at and beyond the choice point where axon pathway selection takes place. These defects result in muscle atrophy and compromised swimming behavior, a phenotype partially rescued by injection of a smyhc1:col15a1b construct. These reveal an unexpected and novel role for collagen XV in motor axon pathfinding and neuromuscular development. In addition to the archetypal axon guidance cues, the extracellular matrix provides local information that guides motor axons from the spinal cord to their muscle targets. Many of the proteins involved are unknown. Using the zebrafish model, we identified an

  9. A role for complexes of survival of motor neurons (SMN) protein with gemins and profilin in neurite-like cytoplasmic extensions of cultured nerve cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharma, Aarti; Lambrechts, Anja; Le thi Hao; Le, Thanh T.; Sewry, Caroline A.; Ampe, Christophe; Burghes, Arthur H.M.; Morris, Glenn E.

    2005-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by reduced levels of SMN (survival of motor neurons protein) and consequent loss of motor neurons. SMN is involved in snRNP transport and nuclear RNA splicing, but axonal transport of SMN has also been shown to occur in motor neurons. SMN also binds to the small actin-binding protein, profilin. We now show that SMN and profilin II co-localise in the cytoplasm of differentiating rat PC12 cells and in neurite-like extensions, especially at their growth cones. Many components of known SMN complexes were also found in these extensions, including gemin2 (SIP-1), gemin6, gemin7 and unrip (unr-interacting protein). Coilin p80 and Sm core protein immunoreactivity, however, were seen only in the nucleus. SMN is known to associate with β-actin mRNA and specific hnRNPs in axons and in neurite extensions of cultured nerve cells, and SMN also stimulates neurite outgrowth in cultures. Our results are therefore consistent with SMN complexes, rather than SMN alone, being involved in the transport of actin mRNPs along the axon as in the transport of snRNPs into the nucleus by similar SMN complexes. Antisense knockdown of profilin I and II isoforms inhibited neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells and caused accumulation of SMN and its associated proteins in cytoplasmic aggregates. BIAcore studies demonstrated a high affinity interaction of SMN with profilin IIa, the isoform present in developing neurons. Pathogenic missense mutations in SMN, or deletion of exons 5 and 7, prevented this interaction. The interaction is functional in that SMN can modulate actin polymerisation in vitro by reducing the inhibitory effect of profilin IIa. This suggests that reduced SMN in SMA might cause axonal pathfinding defects by disturbing the normal regulation of microfilament growth by profilins

  10. Diversity of Internal Sensory Neuron Axon Projection Patterns Is Controlled by the POU-Domain Protein Pdm3 in Drosophila Larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Cheng Sam; Kaplow, Margarita; Lee, Jennifer K; Grueber, Wesley B

    2018-02-21

    Internal sensory neurons innervate body organs and provide information about internal state to the CNS to maintain physiological homeostasis. Despite their conservation across species, the anatomy, circuitry, and development of internal sensory systems are still relatively poorly understood. A largely unstudied population of larval Drosophila sensory neurons, termed tracheal dendrite (td) neurons, innervate internal respiratory organs and may serve as a model for understanding the sensing of internal states. Here, we characterize the peripheral anatomy, central axon projection, and diversity of td sensory neurons. We provide evidence for prominent expression of specific gustatory receptor genes in distinct populations of td neurons, suggesting novel chemosensory functions. We identify two anatomically distinct classes of td neurons. The axons of one class project to the subesophageal zone (SEZ) in the brain, whereas the other terminates in the ventral nerve cord (VNC). We identify expression and a developmental role of the POU-homeodomain transcription factor Pdm3 in regulating the axon extension and terminal targeting of SEZ-projecting td neurons. Remarkably, ectopic Pdm3 expression is alone sufficient to switch VNC-targeting axons to SEZ targets, and to induce the formation of putative synapses in these ectopic target zones. Our data thus define distinct classes of td neurons, and identify a molecular factor that contributes to diversification of axon targeting. These results introduce a tractable model to elucidate molecular and circuit mechanisms underlying sensory processing of internal body status and physiological homeostasis. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT How interoceptive sensory circuits develop, including how sensory neurons diversify and target distinct central regions, is still poorly understood, despite the importance of these sensory systems for maintaining physiological homeostasis. Here, we characterize classes of Drosophila internal sensory neurons (td

  11. SAD kinases sculpt axonal arbors of sensory neurons through long- and short-term responses to neurotrophin signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Brendan N; Pan, Y Albert; Sanes, Joshua R

    2013-07-10

    Extrinsic cues activate intrinsic signaling mechanisms to pattern neuronal shape and connectivity. We showed previously that three cytoplasmic Ser/Thr kinases, LKB1, SAD-A, and SAD-B, control early axon-dendrite polarization in forebrain neurons. Here, we assess their role in other neuronal types. We found that all three kinases are dispensable for axon formation outside of the cortex but that SAD kinases are required for formation of central axonal arbors by subsets of sensory neurons. The requirement for SAD kinases is most prominent in NT-3 dependent neurons. SAD kinases transduce NT-3 signals in two ways through distinct pathways. First, sustained NT-3/TrkC signaling increases SAD protein levels. Second, short-duration NT-3/TrkC signals transiently activate SADs by inducing dephosphorylation of C-terminal domains, thereby allowing activating phosphorylation of the kinase domain. We propose that SAD kinases integrate long- and short-duration signals from extrinsic cues to sculpt axon arbors within the CNS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Connectivity of Pacemaker Neurons in the Neonatal Rat Superficial Dorsal Horn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Neil C.; Arbabi, Shahriar; Baccei, Mark L.

    2014-01-01

    Pacemaker neurons with an intrinsic ability to generate rhythmic burst-firing have been characterized in lamina I of the neonatal spinal cord, where they are innervated by high-threshold sensory afferents. However, little is known about the output of these pacemakers, as the neuronal populations which are targeted by pacemaker axons have yet to be identified. The present study combines patch clamp recordings in the intact neonatal rat spinal cord with tract-tracing to demonstrate that lamina I pacemaker neurons contact multiple spinal motor pathways during early life. Retrograde labeling of premotor interneurons with the trans-synaptic virus PRV-152 revealed the presence of burst-firing in PRV-infected lamina I neurons, thereby confirming that pacemakers are synaptically coupled to motor networks in the spinal ventral horn. Notably, two classes of pacemakers could be distinguished in lamina I based on cell size and the pattern of their axonal projections. While small pacemaker neurons possessed ramified axons which contacted ipsilateral motor circuits, large pacemaker neurons had unbranched axons which crossed the midline and ascended rostrally in the contralateral white matter. Recordings from identified spino-parabrachial and spino-PAG neurons indicated the presence of pacemaker activity within neonatal lamina I projection neurons. Overall, these results show that lamina I pacemakers are positioned to regulate both the level of activity in developing motor circuits as well as the ascending flow of nociceptive information to the brain, thus highlighting a potential role for pacemaker activity in the maturation of pain and sensorimotor networks in the CNS. PMID:25380417

  13. Rehabilitative skilled forelimb training enhances axonal remodeling in the corticospinal pathway but not the brainstem-spinal pathways after photothrombotic stroke in the primary motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okabe, Naohiko; Himi, Naoyuki; Maruyama-Nakamura, Emi; Hayashi, Norito; Narita, Kazuhiko; Miyamoto, Osamu

    2017-01-01

    Task-specific rehabilitative training is commonly used for chronic stroke patients. Axonal remodeling is believed to be one mechanism underlying rehabilitation-induced functional recovery, and significant roles of the corticospinal pathway have previously been demonstrated. Brainstem-spinal pathways, as well as the corticospinal tract, have been suggested to contribute to skilled motor function and functional recovery after brain injury. However, whether axonal remodeling in the brainstem-spinal pathways is a critical component for rehabilitation-induced functional recovery is not known. In this study, rats were subjected to photothrombotic stroke in the caudal forelimb area of the primary motor cortex and received rehabilitative training with a skilled forelimb reaching task for 4 weeks. After completion of the rehabilitative training, the retrograde tracer Fast blue was injected into the contralesional lower cervical spinal cord. Fast blue-positive cells were counted in 32 brain areas located in the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata. Rehabilitative training improved motor performance in the skilled forelimb reaching task but not in the cylinder test, ladder walk test, or staircase test, indicating that rehabilitative skilled forelimb training induced task-specific recovery. In the histological analysis, rehabilitative training significantly increased the number of Fast blue-positive neurons in the ipsilesional rostral forelimb area and secondary sensory cortex. However, rehabilitative training did not alter the number of Fast blue-positive neurons in any areas of the brainstem. These results indicate that rehabilitative skilled forelimb training enhances axonal remodeling selectively in the corticospinal pathway, which suggests a critical role of cortical plasticity, rather than brainstem plasticity, in task-specific recovery after subtotal motor cortex destruction.

  14. Knockdown of Pnpla6 protein results in motor neuron defects in zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Song

    2013-03-01

    Mutations in patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 6 (PNPLA6, also known as neuropathy target esterase (NTE or SPG39, cause hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP. Although studies on animal models, including mice and Drosophila, have extended our understanding of PNPLA6, its roles in neural development and in HSP are not clearly understood. Here, we describe the generation of a vertebrate model of PNPLA6 insufficiency using morpholino oligonucleotide knockdown in zebrafish (Danio rerio. Pnpla6 knockdown resulted in developmental abnormalities and motor neuron defects, including axon truncation and branching. The phenotypes in pnpla6 knockdown morphants were rescued by the introduction of wild-type, but not mutant, human PNPLA6 mRNA. Our results also revealed the involvement of BMP signaling in pnpla6 knockdown phenotypes. Taken together, these results demonstrate an important role of PNPLA6 in motor neuron development and implicate overexpression of BMP signaling as a possible mechanism underlying the developmental defects in pnpla6 morphants.

  15. DISCO Interacting Protein 2 regulates axonal bifurcation and guidance of Drosophila mushroom body neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitta, Yohei; Yamazaki, Daisuke; Sugie, Atsushi; Hiroi, Makoto; Tabata, Tetsuya

    2017-01-15

    Axonal branching is one of the key processes within the enormous complexity of the nervous system to enable a single neuron to send information to multiple targets. However, the molecular mechanisms that control branch formation are poorly understood. In particular, previous studies have rarely addressed the mechanisms underlying axonal bifurcation, in which axons form new branches via splitting of the growth cone. We demonstrate that DISCO Interacting Protein 2 (DIP2) is required for precise axonal bifurcation in Drosophila mushroom body (MB) neurons by suppressing ectopic bifurcation and regulating the guidance of sister axons. We also found that DIP2 localize to the plasma membrane. Domain function analysis revealed that the AMP-synthetase domains of DIP2 are essential for its function, which may involve exerting a catalytic activity that modifies fatty acids. Genetic analysis and subsequent biochemical analysis suggested that DIP2 is involved in the fatty acid metabolization of acyl-CoA. Taken together, our results reveal a function of DIP2 in the developing nervous system and provide a potential functional relationship between fatty acid metabolism and axon morphogenesis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. In Vitro Analysis of the Role of Schwann Cells on Axonal Degeneration and Regeneration Using Sensory Neurons from Dorsal Root Ganglia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Leal, Rodrigo; Diaz, Paula; Court, Felipe A

    2018-01-01

    Sensory neurons from dorsal root ganglion efficiently regenerate after peripheral nerve injuries. These neurons are widely used as a model system to study degenerative mechanisms of the soma and axons, as well as regenerative axonal growth in the peripheral nervous system. This chapter describes techniques associated to the study of axonal degeneration and regeneration using explant cultures of dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons in vitro in the presence or absence of Schwann cells. Schwann cells are extremely important due to their involvement in tissue clearance during axonal degeneration as well as their known pro-regenerative effect during regeneration in the peripheral nervous system. We describe methods to induce and study axonal degeneration triggered by axotomy (mechanical separation of the axon from its soma) and treatment with vinblastine (which blocks axonal transport), which constitute clinically relevant mechanical and toxic models of axonal degeneration. In addition, we describe three different methods to evaluate axonal regeneration using quantitative methods. These protocols constitute a valuable tool to analyze in vitro mechanisms associated to axonal degeneration and regeneration of sensory neurons and the role of Schwann cells in these processes.

  17. Direct transfer of viral and cellular proteins from varicella-zoster virus-infected non-neuronal cells to human axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigoryan, Sergei; Yee, Michael B; Glick, Yair; Gerber, Doron; Kepten, Eldad; Garini, Yuval; Yang, In Hong; Kinchington, Paul R; Goldstein, Ronald S

    2015-01-01

    Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV), the alphaherpesvirus that causes varicella upon primary infection and Herpes zoster (shingles) following reactivation in latently infected neurons, is known to be fusogenic. It forms polynuclear syncytia in culture, in varicella skin lesions and in infected fetal human ganglia xenografted to mice. After axonal infection using VZV expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) in compartmentalized microfluidic cultures there is diffuse filling of axons with GFP as well as punctate fluorescence corresponding to capsids. Use of viruses with fluorescent fusions to VZV proteins reveals that both proteins encoded by VZV genes and those of the infecting cell are transferred in bulk from infecting non-neuronal cells to axons. Similar transfer of protein to axons was observed following cell associated HSV1 infection. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments provide evidence that this transfer is by diffusion of proteins from the infecting cells into axons. Time-lapse movies and immunocytochemical experiments in co-cultures demonstrate that non-neuronal cells fuse with neuronal somata and proteins from both cell types are present in the syncytia formed. The fusogenic nature of VZV therefore may enable not only conventional entry of virions and capsids into axonal endings in the skin by classical entry mechanisms, but also by cytoplasmic fusion that permits viral protein transfer to neurons in bulk.

  18. Excitability properties of motor axons in adults with cerebral palsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cliff S. Klein

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Cerebral Palsy (CP is a permanent disorder caused by a lesion to the developing brain that significantly impairs motor function. The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying motor impairment are not well understood. Specifically, few have addressed whether motoneuron or peripheral axon properties are altered in CP, even though disruption of descending inputs to the spinal cord may cause them to change. In the present study, we have compared nerve excitability properties in seven adults with CP and fourteen healthy controls using threshold tracking techniques by stimulating the median nerve at the wrist and recording the compound muscle action potential (CMAP over the abductor pollicis brevis. The excitability properties in the CP subjects were found to be abnormal. Early and late depolarizing and hyperpolarizing threshold electrotonus was significantly larger (i.e., fanning out, and resting current-threshold (I/V slope was smaller, in CP compared to control. In addition resting threshold and rheobase tended to be larger in CP. According to a modeling analysis of the data, an increase in leakage current under or through the myelin sheath, i.e., the Barrett-Barrett conductance (GBB, combined with a slight hyperpolarization of the resting membrane potential, best explained the group differences in excitability properties. There was a trend for those with greater impairment in gross motor function to have more abnormal axon properties. The findings indicate plasticity of motor axon properties far removed from the site of the lesion. We suspect that this plasticity is caused by disruption of descending inputs to the motoneurons at an early age around the time of their injury.

  19. Motor cortex and spinal cord neuromodulation promote corticospinal tract axonal outgrowth and motor recovery after cervical contusion spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zareen, N; Shinozaki, M; Ryan, D; Alexander, H; Amer, A; Truong, D Q; Khadka, N; Sarkar, A; Naeem, S; Bikson, M; Martin, J H

    2017-11-01

    Cervical injuries are the most common form of SCI. In this study, we used a neuromodulatory approach to promote skilled movement recovery and repair of the corticospinal tract (CST) after a moderately severe C4 midline contusion in adult rats. We used bilateral epidural intermittent theta burst (iTBS) electrical stimulation of motor cortex to promote CST axonal sprouting and cathodal trans-spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS) to enhance spinal cord activation to motor cortex stimulation after injury. We used Finite Element Method (FEM) modeling to direct tsDCS to the cervical enlargement. Combined iTBS-tsDCS was delivered for 30min daily for 10days. We compared the effect of stimulation on performance in the horizontal ladder and the Irvine Beattie and Bresnahan forepaw manipulation tasks and CST axonal sprouting in injury-only and injury+stimulation animals. The contusion eliminated the dorsal CST in all animals. tsDCS significantly enhanced motor cortex evoked responses after C4 injury. Using this combined spinal-M1 neuromodulatory approach, we found significant recovery of skilled locomotion and forepaw manipulation skills compared with injury-only controls. The spared CST axons caudal to the lesion in both animal groups derived mostly from lateral CST axons that populated the contralateral intermediate zone. Stimulation enhanced injury-dependent CST axonal outgrowth below and above the level of the injury. This dual neuromodulatory approach produced partial recovery of skilled motor behaviors that normally require integration of posture, upper limb sensory information, and intent for performance. We propose that the motor systems use these new CST projections to control movements better after injury. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Axonal GABAA receptors.

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

    2008-09-01

    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.

  1. Chlorpyrifos exerts opposing effects on axonal and dendritic growth in primary neuronal cultures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, Angela S.; Bucelli, Robert; Jett, David A.; Bruun, Donald; Yang, Dongren; Lein, Pamela J.

    2005-01-01

    Evidence that children are widely exposed to organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) and that OPs cause developmental neurotoxicity in animal models raises significant concerns about the risks these compounds pose to the developing human nervous system. Critical to assessing this risk is identifying specific neurodevelopmental events targeted by OPs. Observations that OPs alter brain morphometry in developing rodents and inhibit neurite outgrowth in neural cell lines suggest that OPs perturb neuronal morphogenesis. However, an important question yet to be answered is whether the dysmorphogenic effect of OPs reflects perturbation of axonal or dendritic growth. We addressed this question by quantifying axonal and dendritic growth in primary cultures of embryonic rat sympathetic neurons derived from superior cervical ganglia (SCG) following in vitro exposure to chlorpyrifos (CPF) or its metabolites CPF-oxon (CPFO) and trichloropyridinol (TCP). Axon outgrowth was significantly inhibited by CPF or CPFO, but not TCP, at concentrations ≥0.001 μM or 0.001 nM, respectively. In contrast, all three compounds enhanced BMP-induced dendritic growth. Acetylcholinesterase was inhibited only by the highest concentrations of CPF (≥1 μM) and CPFO (≥1 nM); TCP had no effect on this parameter. In summary, these compounds perturb neuronal morphogenesis via opposing effects on axonal and dendritic growth, and both effects are independent of acetylcholinesterase inhibition. These findings have important implications for current risk assessment practices of using acetylcholinesterase inhibition as a biomarker of OP neurotoxicity and suggest that OPs may disrupt normal patterns of neuronal connectivity in the developing nervous system

  2. Axon Initial Segment Cytoskeleton: Architecture, Development, and Role in Neuron Polarity

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    Svitkina, Tatyana M.

    2016-01-01

    The axon initial segment (AIS) is a specialized structure in neurons that resides in between axonal and somatodendritic domains. The localization of the AIS in neurons is ideal for its two major functions: it serves as the site of action potential firing and helps to maintain neuron polarity. It has become increasingly clear that the AIS cytoskeleton is fundamental to AIS functions. In this review, we discuss current understanding of the AIS cytoskeleton with particular interest in its unique architecture and role in maintenance of neuron polarity. The AIS cytoskeleton is divided into two parts, submembrane and cytoplasmic, based on localization, function, and molecular composition. Recent studies using electron and subdiffraction fluorescence microscopy indicate that submembrane cytoskeletal components (ankyrin G, βIV-spectrin, and actin filaments) form a sophisticated network in the AIS that is conceptually similar to the polygonal/triangular network of erythrocytes, with some important differences. Components of the AIS cytoplasmic cytoskeleton (microtubules, actin filaments, and neurofilaments) reside deeper within the AIS shaft and display structural features distinct from other neuronal domains. We discuss how the AIS submembrane and cytoplasmic cytoskeletons contribute to different aspects of AIS polarity function and highlight recent advances in understanding their AIS cytoskeletal assembly and stability. PMID:27493806

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

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

    2012-01-01

    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. Caenorhabditis elegans VEM-1, a novel membrane protein, regulates the guidance of ventral nerve cord-associated axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runko, Erik; Kaprielian, Zaven

    2004-10-13

    In the developing CNS, pathfinding growth cones use intermediate target- and pioneer axon-associated guidance cues to navigate along stereotypical trajectories. We previously showed that the novel membrane-associated protein Vema is localized to the floor plate and the optic chiasm, intermediate targets located at the ventral midline of the spinal cord and diencephalon in the developing rodent CNS, respectively. Here, we report that the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of vema, vem-1, is expressed by the AVG pioneer midline neuron and by several neurons that extend longitudinally projecting axons into the ventral nerve cord (VNC). In vem-1 mutants and vem-1 (RNAi) animals, a subset of posteriorly projecting interneuron axons either fail to extend ventrally to the VNC and, instead, assume aberrant lateral positions or are inappropriately located in the left tract of the VNC. In addition, ventral motor neuron axons exhibit pathfinding errors within the VNC and along the dorsoventral body axis. The conserved UNC-40/DCC and SAX-3-/Robo receptors mediate signaling events that regulate axon guidance in a wide variety of systems. Double-mutant analyses reveal that vem-1 genetically interacts with unc-40 and is likely to function in parallel with sax-3 to regulate the guidance of a subset of VNC-associated interneuron and motor neuron axons. Consistent with these genetic data, we also show that VEM-1 is capable of physically interacting with UNC-40 but not SAX-3.

  5. Modeling of axonal endoplasmic reticulum network by spastic paraplegia proteins.

    Science.gov (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

    2017-07-25

    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.

  6. dHb9 expressing larval motor neurons persist through metamorphosis to innervate adult-specific muscle targets and function in Drosophila eclosion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Soumya; Toral, Marcus; Siefert, Matthew; Conway, David; Dorr, Meredith; Fernandes, Joyce

    2016-12-01

    The Drosophila larval nervous system is radically restructured during metamorphosis to produce adult specific neural circuits and behaviors. Genesis of new neurons, death of larval neurons and remodeling of those neurons that persistent collectively act to shape the adult nervous system. Here, we examine the fate of a subset of larval motor neurons during this restructuring process. We used a dHb9 reporter, in combination with the FLP/FRT system to individually identify abdominal motor neurons in the larval to adult transition using a combination of relative cell body location, axonal position, and muscle targets. We found that segment specific cell death of some dHb9 expressing motor neurons occurs throughout the metamorphosis period and continues into the post-eclosion period. Many dHb9 > GFP expressing neurons however persist in the two anterior hemisegments, A1 and A2, which have segment specific muscles required for eclosion while a smaller proportion also persist in A2-A5. Consistent with a functional requirement for these neurons, ablating them during the pupal period produces defects in adult eclosion. In adults, subsequent to the execution of eclosion behaviors, the NMJs of some of these neurons were found to be dismantled and their muscle targets degenerate. Our studies demonstrate a critical continuity of some larval motor neurons into adults and reveal that multiple aspects of motor neuron remodeling and plasticity that are essential for adult motor behaviors. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1387-1416, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Beta-band intermuscular coherence: a novel biomarker of upper motor neuron dysfunction in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Karen M.; Zaaimi, Boubker; Williams, Timothy L.; Baker, Stuart N.

    2012-01-01

    In motor neuron disease, the focus of therapy is to prevent or slow neuronal degeneration with neuroprotective pharmacological agents; early diagnosis and treatment are thus essential. Incorporation of needle electromyographic evidence of lower motor neuron degeneration into diagnostic criteria has undoubtedly advanced diagnosis, but even earlier diagnosis might be possible by including tests of subclinical upper motor neuron disease. We hypothesized that beta-band (15–30 Hz) intermuscular coherence could be used as an electrophysiological marker of upper motor neuron integrity in such patients. We measured intermuscular coherence in eight patients who conformed to established diagnostic criteria for primary lateral sclerosis and six patients with progressive muscular atrophy, together with 16 age-matched controls. In the primary lateral sclerosis variant of motor neuron disease, there is selective destruction of motor cortical layer V pyramidal neurons and degeneration of the corticospinal tract, without involvement of anterior horn cells. In progressive muscular atrophy, there is selective degeneration of anterior horn cells but a normal corticospinal tract. All patients with primary lateral sclerosis had abnormal motor-evoked potentials as assessed using transcranial magnetic stimulation, whereas these were similar to controls in progressive muscular atrophy. Upper and lower limb intermuscular coherence was measured during a precision grip and an ankle dorsiflexion task, respectively. Significant beta-band coherence was observed in all control subjects and all patients with progressive muscular atrophy tested, but not in the patients with primary lateral sclerosis. We conclude that intermuscular coherence in the 15–30 Hz range is dependent on an intact corticospinal tract but persists in the face of selective anterior horn cell destruction. Based on the distributions of coherence values measured from patients with primary lateral sclerosis and control

  8. 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

  9. High dendritic expression of Ih in the proximity of the axon origin controls the integrative properties of nigral dopamine neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Dominique; Seutin, Vincent

    2015-11-15

    The hyperpolarization-activated cation current Ih is expressed in dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra, but the subcellular distribution of the current and its role in synaptic integration remain unknown. We used cell-attached patch recordings to determine the localization profile of Ih along the somatodendritic axis of nigral dopamine neurons in slices from young rats. Ih density is higher in axon-bearing dendrites, in a membrane area close to the axon origin, than in the soma and axon-lacking dendrites. Dual current-clamp recordings revealed a similar contribution of Ih to the waveform of single excitatory postsynaptic potentials throughout the somatodendritic domain. The Ih blocker ZD 7288 increased the temporal summation in all dendrites with a comparable effect in axon- and non-axon dendrites. The strategic position of Ih in the proximity of the axon may influence importantly transitions between pacemaker and bursting activities and consequently the downstream release of dopamine. Dendrites of most neurons express voltage-gated ion channels in their membrane. In combination with passive properties, active currents confer to dendrites a high computational potential. The hyperpolarization-activated cation current Ih present in the dendrites of some pyramidal neurons affects their membrane and integration properties, synaptic plasticity and higher functions such as memory. A gradient of increasing h-channel density towards distal dendrites has been found to be responsible for the location independence of excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) waveform and temporal summation in cortical and hippocampal pyramidal cells. However, reports on other cell types revealed that smoother gradients or even linear distributions of Ih can achieve homogeneous temporal summation. Although the existence of a robust, slowly activating Ih current has been repeatedly demonstrated in nigral dopamine neurons, its subcellular distribution and precise role in synaptic integration

  10. Phrenic motor neuron adenosine 2A receptors elicit phrenic motor facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seven, Yasin B; Perim, Raphael R; Hobson, Orinda R; Simon, Alec K; Tadjalli, Arash; Mitchell, Gordon S

    2018-04-15

    Although adenosine 2A (A 2A ) receptor activation triggers specific cell signalling cascades, the ensuing physiological outcomes depend on the specific cell type expressing these receptors. Cervical spinal adenosine 2A (A 2A ) receptor activation elicits a prolonged facilitation in phrenic nerve activity, which was nearly abolished following intrapleural A 2A receptor siRNA injections. A 2A receptor siRNA injections selectively knocked down A 2A receptors in cholera toxin B-subunit-identified phrenic motor neurons, sparing cervical non-phrenic motor neurons. Collectively, our results support the hypothesis that phrenic motor neurons express the A 2A receptors relevant to A 2A receptor-induced phrenic motor facilitation. Upregulation of A 2A receptor expression in the phrenic motor neurons per se may potentially be a useful approach to increase phrenic motor neuron excitability in conditions such as spinal cord injury. Cervical spinal adenosine 2A (A 2A ) receptor activation elicits a prolonged increase in phrenic nerve activity, an effect known as phrenic motor facilitation (pMF). The specific cervical spinal cells expressing the relevant A 2A receptors for pMF are unknown. This is an important question since the physiological outcome of A 2A receptor activation is highly cell type specific. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that the relevant A 2A receptors for pMF are expressed in phrenic motor neurons per se versus non-phrenic neurons of the cervical spinal cord. A 2A receptor immunostaining significantly colocalized with NeuN-positive neurons (89 ± 2%). Intrapleural siRNA injections were used to selectively knock down A 2A receptors in cholera toxin B-subunit-labelled phrenic motor neurons. A 2A receptor knock-down was verified by a ∼45% decrease in A 2A receptor immunoreactivity within phrenic motor neurons versus non-targeting siRNAs (siNT; P phrenic motor neurons. In rats that were anaesthetized, subjected to neuromuscular blockade and ventilated, p

  11. A developmental timing switch promotes axon outgrowth independent of known guidance receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Olsson-Carter

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available To form functional neuronal connections, axon outgrowth and guidance must be tightly regulated across space as well as time. While a number of genes and pathways have been shown to control spatial features of axon development, very little is known about the in vivo mechanisms that direct the timing of axon initiation and elongation. The Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite specific motor neurons (HSNs extend a single axon ventrally and then anteriorly during the L4 larval stage. Here we show the lin-4 microRNA promotes HSN axon initiation after cell cycle withdrawal. Axons fail to form in lin-4 mutants, while they grow prematurely in lin-4-overexpressing animals. lin-4 is required to down-regulate two inhibitors of HSN differentiation--the transcriptional regulator LIN-14 and the "stemness" factor LIN-28--and it likely does so through a cell-autonomous mechanism. This developmental switch depends neither on the UNC-40/DCC and SAX-3/Robo receptors nor on the direction of axon growth, demonstrating that it acts independently of ventral guidance signals to control the timing of HSN axon elongation.

  12. Cerebellum tunes the excitability of the motor system: evidence from peripheral motor axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nodera, Hiroyuki; Manto, Mario

    2014-12-01

    Cerebellum is highly connected with the contralateral cerebral cortex. So far, the motor deficits observed in acute focal cerebellar lesions in human have been mainly explained on the basis of a disruption of the cerebello-thalamo-cortical projections. Cerebellar circuits have also numerous anatomical and functional interactions with brainstem nuclei and projects also directly to the spinal cord. Cerebellar lesions alter the excitability of peripheral motor axons as demonstrated by peripheral motor threshold-tracking techniques in cerebellar stroke. The biophysical changes are correlated with the functional scores. Nerve excitability measurements represent an attractive tool to extract the rules underlying the tuning of excitability of the motor pathways by the cerebellum and to discover the contributions of each cerebellar nucleus in this key function, contributing to early plasticity and sensorimotor learning.

  13. Secondary damage in the spinal cord after motor cortex injury in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weishaupt, Nina; Silasi, Gergely; Colbourne, Frederick; Fouad, Karim

    2010-08-01

    When neurons within the motor cortex are fatally injured, their axons, many of which project into the spinal cord, undergo wallerian degeneration. Pathological processes occurring downstream of the cortical damage have not been extensively studied. We created a focal forelimb motor cortex injury in rats and found that axons from cell bodies located in the hindlimb motor cortex (spared by the cortical injury) become secondarily damaged in the spinal cord. To assess axonal degeneration in the spinal cord, we quantified silver staining in the corticospinal tract (CST) at 1 week and 4 weeks after the injury. We found a significant increase in silver deposition at the thoracic spinal cord level at 4 weeks compared to 1 week post-injury. At both time points, no degenerating neurons could be found in the hindlimb motor cortex. In a separate experiment, we showed that direct injury of neurons within the hindlimb motor cortex caused marked silver deposition in the thoracic CST at 1 week post-injury, and declined thereafter. Therefore, delayed axonal degeneration in the thoracic spinal cord after a focal forelimb motor cortex injury is indicative of secondary damage at the spinal cord level. Furthermore, immunolabeling of spinal cord sections showed that a local inflammatory response dominated by partially activated Iba-1-positive microglia is mounted in the CST, a viable mechanism to cause the observed secondary degeneration of fibers. In conclusion, we demonstrate that following motor cortex injury, wallerian degeneration of axons in the spinal cord leads to secondary damage, which is likely mediated by inflammatory processes.

  14. Inner tegument proteins of Herpes Simplex Virus are sufficient for intracellular capsid motility in neurons but not for axonal targeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Oliver; Ivanova, Lyudmila; Bialy, Dagmara; Pohlmann, Anja; Binz, Anne; Hegemann, Maike; Viejo-Borbolla, Abel; Rosenhahn, Bodo; Bauerfeind, Rudolf; Sodeik, Beate

    2017-01-01

    Upon reactivation from latency and during lytic infections in neurons, alphaherpesviruses assemble cytosolic capsids, capsids associated with enveloping membranes, and transport vesicles harboring fully enveloped capsids. It is debated whether capsid envelopment of herpes simplex virus (HSV) is completed in the soma prior to axonal targeting or later, and whether the mechanisms are the same in neurons derived from embryos or from adult hosts. We used HSV mutants impaired in capsid envelopment to test whether the inner tegument proteins pUL36 or pUL37 necessary for microtubule-mediated capsid transport were sufficient for axonal capsid targeting in neurons derived from the dorsal root ganglia of adult mice. Such neurons were infected with HSV1-ΔUL20 whose capsids recruited pUL36 and pUL37, with HSV1-ΔUL37 whose capsids associate only with pUL36, or with HSV1-ΔUL36 that assembles capsids lacking both proteins. While capsids of HSV1-ΔUL20 were actively transported along microtubules in epithelial cells and in the somata of neurons, those of HSV1-ΔUL36 and -ΔUL37 could only diffuse in the cytoplasm. Employing a novel image analysis algorithm to quantify capsid targeting to axons, we show that only a few capsids of HSV1-ΔUL20 entered axons, while vesicles transporting gD utilized axonal transport efficiently and independently of pUL36, pUL37, or pUL20. Our data indicate that capsid motility in the somata of neurons mediated by pUL36 and pUL37 does not suffice for targeting capsids to axons, and suggest that capsid envelopment needs to be completed in the soma prior to targeting of herpes simplex virus to the axons, and to spreading from neurons to neighboring cells. PMID:29284065

  15. Recovery of function, peripheral sensitization and sensory neurone activation by novel pathways following axonal injury in Aplysia californica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dulin, M F; Steffensen, I; Morris, C E; Walters, E T

    1995-10-01

    Recovery of behavioural and sensory function was examined following unilateral pedal nerve crush in Aplysia californica. Nerve crush that transected all axons connecting the tail to the central nervous system (CNS) eliminated the ipsilateral tail-evoked siphon reflex, whose sensory input travels in the crushed tail nerve (p9). The first reliable signs of recovery of this reflex were observed within 1 week, and most animals displayed tail-evoked siphon responses within 2 weeks. Wide-dynamic-range mechanosensory neurons with somata in the ventrocaudal (VC) cluster of the ipsilateral pleural ganglion exhibited a few receptive fields (RFs) on the tail 3 weeks after unilateral pedal nerve crush, indicating that the RFs had either regenerated or been reconnected to the central somata. These RFs were smaller and sensitized compared with corresponding RFs on the contralateral, uncrushed side. Centrally conducted axon responses of VC sensory neurones to electrical stimulation distal to the nerve crush site did not reappear until at least 10 days after the crush. Because the crush site was much closer to the CNS than to the tail, the failure of axon responses to be restored earlier than the behavioural responses indicates that early stages of reflex recovery are not due to regeneration of VC sensory neurone axons into the tail. Following nerve crush, VC sensory neurones often could be activated by stimulating central connectives or peripheral nerves that do not normally contain the sensory neurone's axons. These results suggest that recovery of behavioral function after nerve injury involves complex mechanisms, including regenerative growth of axotomized VC sensory neurones, sensitization of regenerating RFs and sprouting of VC sensory neurone fibres within the CNS. Furthermore, the rapidity of behavioural recovery indicates that its initial phases are mediated by additional mechanisms, perhaps centripetal regeneration of unidentified sensory neurones having peripheral

  16. Possible Effects of Synaptic Imbalances on Oligodendrocyte-Axonic Interactions in Schizophrenia: a Hypothetical Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Joseph Mitterauer

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available AbstractA model of glial-neuronal interactions is proposed that could be explanatory for the demyelination identified in brains with schizophrenia. According to this model, receptors on astrocytes in glial-neuronal synaptic units are not functional, loosing their modulatory influence on synaptic neurotransmission. Hence, an unconstrained neurotransmission flux occurs that hyperactivates the axon and floods the cognate receptors of neurotransmitters on oligodendrocytes. The excess of neurotransmitters may have a toxic effect on oligodendrocytes and myelin, causing demyelination. In parallel, an increasing impairment of axons may disconnect neuronal networks. It is formally shown how oligodendrocytes normally categorize axonic information processing via their processes. Demyelination decomposes the oligodendrocyte-axonic system making it incapable to generate categories of information. This incoherence may be responsible for symptoms of disorganization in schizophrenia, such as thought disorder, inappropriate affect and incommunicable motor behavior. In parallel, the loss of oligodendrocytes affects gap junctions in the panglial syncytium, presumably responsible for memory impairment in schizophrenia.

  17. A single dose of a neuron-binding human monoclonal antibody improves brainstem NAA concentrations, a biomarker for density of spinal cord axons, in a model of progressive multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wootla, Bharath; Denic, Aleksandar; Watzlawik, Jens O; Warrington, Arthur E; Rodriguez, Moses

    2015-04-29

    Intracerebral infection of susceptible mouse strains with Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) results in chronic demyelinating disease with progressive axonal loss and neurologic dysfunction similar to progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). We previously showed that as the disease progresses, a marked decrease in brainstem N-acetyl aspartate (NAA; metabolite associated with neuronal integrity) concentrations, reflecting axon health, is measured. We also demonstrated stimulation of neurite outgrowth by a neuron-binding natural human antibody, IgM12. Treatment with either the serum-derived or recombinant human immunoglobulin M 12 (HIgM12) preserved functional motor activity in the TMEV model. In this study, we examined IgM-mediated changes in brainstem NAA concentrations and central nervous system (CNS) pathology. (1)H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) showed that treatment with HIgM12 significantly increased brainstem NAA concentrations compared to controls in TMEV-infected mice. Pathologic analysis demonstrated a significant preservation of axons in the spinal cord of animals treated with HIgM12. This study links drug efficacy of slowing deficits with axon preservation and NAA concentrations in the brainstem in a model of progressive MS. HIgM12-mediated changes of NAA concentrations in the brainstem are a surrogate marker of axon injury/preservation throughout the spinal cord. This study provides proof-of-concept that a neuron-reactive human IgM can be therapeutic and provides a biomarker for clinical trials.

  18. Difference in trafficking of brain-derived neurotrophic factor between axons and dendrites of cortical neurons, revealed by live-cell imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohara Keigo

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, which is sorted into a regulated secretory pathway of neurons, is supposed to act retrogradely through dendrites on presynaptic neurons or anterogradely through axons on postsynaptic neurons. Depending on which is the case, the pattern and direction of trafficking of BDNF in dendrites and axons are expected to be different. To address this issue, we analyzed movements of green fluorescent protein (GFP-tagged BDNF in axons and dendrites of living cortical neurons by time-lapse imaging. In part of the experiments, the expression of BDNF tagged with cyan fluorescent protein (CFP was compared with that of nerve growth factor (NGF tagged with yellow fluorescent protein (YFP, to see whether fluorescent protein-tagged BDNF is expressed in a manner specific to this neurotrophin. Results We found that BDNF tagged with GFP or CFP was expressed in a punctated manner in dendrites and axons in about two-thirds of neurons into which plasmid cDNAs had been injected, while NGF tagged with GFP or YFP was diffusely expressed even in dendrites in about 70% of the plasmid-injected neurons. In neurons in which BDNF-GFP was expressed as vesicular puncta in axons, 59 and 23% of the puncta were moving rapidly in the anterograde and retrograde directions, respectively. On the other hand, 64% of BDNF-GFP puncta in dendrites did not move at all or fluttered back and forth within a short distance. The rest of the puncta in dendrites were moving relatively smoothly in either direction, but their mean velocity of transport, 0.47 ± 0.23 (SD μm/s, was slower than that of the moving puncta in axons (0.73 ± 0.26 μm/s. Conclusion The present results show that the pattern and velocity of the trafficking of fluorescence protein-tagged BDNF are different between axons and dendrites, and suggest that the anterograde transport in axons may be the dominant stream of BDNF to release sites.

  19. Aging-associated changes in motor axon voltage-gated Na+ channel function in mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Rosberg, Mette Romer; Alvarez Herrero, Susana

    2016-01-01

    the functional impairment. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of regular aging on motor axon function with particular emphasis on Nav1.8. We compared tibial nerve conduction and excitability measures by threshold tracking in 12 months (mature) and 20 months (aged) wild-type (WT) mice...... expression was found by immunohistochemistry. The depolarizing excitability features were absent in Nav1.8 null mice, and they were counteracted in WT mice by a Nav1.8 blocker. Our data suggest that alteration in voltage-gated Na+ channel isoform expression contributes to changes in motor axon function...

  20. Use of self-complementary adeno-associated virus serotype 2 as a tracer for labeling axons: implications for axon regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingpeng Liu

    Full Text Available Various types of tracers are available for use in axon regeneration, but they require an extra operational tracer injection, time-consuming immunohistochemical analysis and cause non-specific labeling. Considerable efforts over the past years have explored other methodologies, especially the use of viral vectors, to investigate axon regeneration after injury. Recent studies have demonstrated that self-complementary Adeno-Associated Virus (scAAV induced a high transduction efficiency and faster expression of transgenes. Here, we describe for the first time the use of scAAV2-GFP to label long-projection axons in the corticospinal tract (CST, rubrospinal tract (RST and the central axons of dorsal root ganglion (DRG in the normal and lesioned animal models. We found that scAAV2-GFP could efficiently transduce neurons in the sensorimotor cortex, red nucleus and DRG. Strong GFP expression could be transported anterogradely along the axon to label the numerous axon fibers from CST, RST and central axons of DRG separately. Comparison of the scAAV2 vector with single-stranded (ss AAV2 vector in co-labeled sections showed that the scAAV2 vector induced a faster and stronger transgene expression than the ssAAV2 vector in DRG neurons and their axons. In both spinal cord lesion and dorsal root crush injury models, scAAV-GFP could efficiently label the lesioned and regenerated axons around the lesion cavity and the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ respectively. Further, scAAV2-GFP vector could be combined with traditional tracer to specifically label sensory and motor axons after spinal cord lesion. Thus, we show that using scAAV2-GFP as a tracer is a more effective and efficient way to study axon regeneration following injury.

  1. Reconstruction of phrenic neuron identity in embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Carolina Barcellos; Kanning, Kevin C; Kreis, Patricia; Stevenson, Danielle; Crossley, Martin; Nowak, Magdalena; Iacovino, Michelina; Kyba, Michael; Chambers, David; Blanc, Eric; Lieberam, Ivo

    2014-02-01

    Air breathing is an essential motor function for vertebrates living on land. The rhythm that drives breathing is generated within the central nervous system and relayed via specialised subsets of spinal motor neurons to muscles that regulate lung volume. In mammals, a key respiratory muscle is the diaphragm, which is innervated by motor neurons in the phrenic nucleus. Remarkably, relatively little is known about how this crucial subtype of motor neuron is generated during embryogenesis. Here, we used direct differentiation of motor neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells as a tool to identify genes that direct phrenic neuron identity. We find that three determinants, Pou3f1, Hoxa5 and Notch, act in combination to promote a phrenic neuron molecular identity. We show that Notch signalling induces Pou3f1 in developing motor neurons in vitro and in vivo. This suggests that the phrenic neuron lineage is established through a local source of Notch ligand at mid-cervical levels. Furthermore, we find that the cadherins Pcdh10, which is regulated by Pou3f1 and Hoxa5, and Cdh10, which is controlled by Pou3f1, are both mediators of like-like clustering of motor neuron cell bodies. This specific Pcdh10/Cdh10 activity might provide the means by which phrenic neurons are assembled into a distinct nucleus. Our study provides a framework for understanding how phrenic neuron identity is conferred and will help to generate this rare and inaccessible yet vital neuronal subtype directly from pluripotent stem cells, thus facilitating subsequent functional investigations.

  2. Dynein is the motor for retrograde axonal transport of organelles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schnapp, B.J.; Reese, T.S.

    1989-01-01

    Vesicular organelles in axons of nerve cells are transported along microtubules either toward their plus ends (fast anterograde transport) or toward their minus ends (retrograde transport). Two microtubule-based motors were previously identified by examining plastic beads induced to move along microtubules by cytosol fractions from the squid giant axon: (i) an anterograde motor, kinesin, and (ii) a retrograde motor, which is characterized here. The retrograde motor, a cytosolic protein previously termed HMW1, was purified from optic lobes and extruded axoplasm by nucleotide-dependent microtubule affinity and release; microtubule gliding was used as the assay of motor activity. The following properties of the retrograde motor suggest that it is cytoplasmic dynein: (i) sedimentation at 20-22 S with a heavy chain of Mr greater than 200,000 that coelectrophoreses with the alpha and beta subunits of axonemal dynein, (ii) cleavage by UV irradiation in the presence of ATP and vanadate, and (iii) a molecular structure resembling two-headed dynein from axonemes. Furthermore, bead movement toward the minus end of microtubules was blocked when axoplasmic supernatants were treated with UV/vanadate. Treatment of axoplasmic supernatant with UV/vanadate also blocks the retrograde movement of purified organelles in vitro without changing the number of anterograde moving organelles, indicating that dynein interacts specifically with a subgroup of organelles programmed to move toward the cell body. However, purified optic lobe dynein, like purified kinesin, does not by itself promote the movement of purified organelles along microtubules, suggesting that additional axoplasmic factors are necessary for retrograde as well as anterograde transport

  3. Specific effects of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase-interacting protein 1 in neuronal axons

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    Shu Tang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK-interacting protein 3 plays an important role in brain-derived neurotrophic factor/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB anterograde axonal transport. It remains unclear whether JNK-interacting protein 1 mediates similar effects, or whether JNK-interacting protein 1 affects the regulation of TrkB anterograde axonal transport. In this study, we isolated rat embryonic hippocampus and cultured hippocampal neurons in vitro. Coimmunoprecipitation results demonstrated that JNK-interacting protein 1 formed TrkB complexes in vitro and in vivo. Immunocytochemistry results showed that when JNK-interacting protein 1 was highly expressed, the distribution of TrkB gradually increased in axon terminals. However, the distribution of TrkB reduced in axon terminals after knocking out JNK-interacting protein 1. In addition, there were differences in distribution of TrkB after JNK-interacting protein 1 was knocked out compared with not. However, knockout of JNK-interacting protein 1 did not affect the distribution of TrkB in dendrites. These findings confirm that JNK-interacting protein 1 can interact with TrkB in neuronal cells, and can regulate the transport of TrkB in axons, but not in dendrites.

  4. Axonal and dendritic localization of mRNAs for glycogen-metabolizing enzymes in cultured rodent neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeiffer-Guglielmi, Brigitte; Dombert, Benjamin; Jablonka, Sibylle; Hausherr, Vanessa; van Thriel, Christoph; Schöbel, Nicole; Jansen, Ralf-Peter

    2014-06-04

    Localization of mRNAs encoding cytoskeletal or signaling proteins to neuronal processes is known to contribute to axon growth, synaptic differentiation and plasticity. In addition, a still increasing spectrum of mRNAs has been demonstrated to be localized under different conditions and developing stages thus reflecting a highly regulated mechanism and a role of mRNA localization in a broad range of cellular processes. Applying fluorescence in-situ-hybridization with specific riboprobes on cultured neurons and nervous tissue sections, we investigated whether the mRNAs for two metabolic enzymes, namely glycogen synthase (GS) and glycogen phosphorylase (GP), the key enzymes of glycogen metabolism, may also be targeted to neuronal processes. If it were so, this might contribute to clarify the so far enigmatic role of neuronal glycogen. We found that the mRNAs for both enzymes are localized to axonal and dendritic processes in cultured lumbar spinal motoneurons, but not in cultured trigeminal neurons. In cultured cortical neurons which do not store glycogen but nevertheless express glycogen synthase, the GS mRNA is also subject to axonal and dendritic localization. In spinal motoneurons and trigeminal neurons in situ, however, the mRNAs could only be demonstrated in the neuronal somata but not in the nerves. We could demonstrate that the mRNAs for major enzymes of neural energy metabolism can be localized to neuronal processes. The heterogeneous pattern of mRNA localization in different culture types and developmental stages stresses that mRNA localization is a versatile mechanism for the fine-tuning of cellular events. Our findings suggest that mRNA localization for enzymes of glycogen metabolism could allow adaptation to spatial and temporal energy demands in neuronal events like growth, repair and synaptic transmission.

  5. Molecular Analysis of Sensory Axon Branching Unraveled a cGMP-Dependent Signaling Cascade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumoulin, Alexandre; Ter-Avetisyan, Gohar; Schmidt, Hannes; Rathjen, Fritz G

    2018-04-24

    Axonal branching is a key process in the establishment of circuit connectivity within the nervous system. Molecular-genetic studies have shown that a specific form of axonal branching—the bifurcation of sensory neurons at the transition zone between the peripheral and the central nervous system—is regulated by a cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent signaling cascade which is composed of C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), the receptor guanylyl cyclase Npr2, and cGMP-dependent protein kinase Iα (cGKIα). In the absence of any one of these components, neurons in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and cranial sensory ganglia no longer bifurcate, and instead turn in either an ascending or a descending direction. In contrast, collateral axonal branch formation which represents a second type of axonal branch formation is not affected by inactivation of CNP, Npr2, or cGKI. Whereas axon bifurcation was lost in mouse mutants deficient for components of CNP-induced cGMP formation; the absence of the cGMP-degrading enzyme phosphodiesterase 2A had no effect on axon bifurcation. Adult mice that lack sensory axon bifurcation due to the conditional inactivation of Npr2-mediated cGMP signaling in DRG neurons demonstrated an altered shape of sensory axon terminal fields in the spinal cord, indicating that elaborate compensatory mechanisms reorganize neuronal circuits in the absence of bifurcation. On a functional level, these mice showed impaired heat sensation and nociception induced by chemical irritants, whereas responses to cold sensation, mechanical stimulation, and motor coordination are normal. These data point to a critical role of axon bifurcation for the processing of acute pain perception.

  6. Molecular Analysis of Sensory Axon Branching Unraveled a cGMP-Dependent Signaling Cascade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Dumoulin

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Axonal branching is a key process in the establishment of circuit connectivity within the nervous system. Molecular-genetic studies have shown that a specific form of axonal branching—the bifurcation of sensory neurons at the transition zone between the peripheral and the central nervous system—is regulated by a cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP-dependent signaling cascade which is composed of C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP, the receptor guanylyl cyclase Npr2, and cGMP-dependent protein kinase Iα (cGKIα. In the absence of any one of these components, neurons in dorsal root ganglia (DRG and cranial sensory ganglia no longer bifurcate, and instead turn in either an ascending or a descending direction. In contrast, collateral axonal branch formation which represents a second type of axonal branch formation is not affected by inactivation of CNP, Npr2, or cGKI. Whereas axon bifurcation was lost in mouse mutants deficient for components of CNP-induced cGMP formation; the absence of the cGMP-degrading enzyme phosphodiesterase 2A had no effect on axon bifurcation. Adult mice that lack sensory axon bifurcation due to the conditional inactivation of Npr2-mediated cGMP signaling in DRG neurons demonstrated an altered shape of sensory axon terminal fields in the spinal cord, indicating that elaborate compensatory mechanisms reorganize neuronal circuits in the absence of bifurcation. On a functional level, these mice showed impaired heat sensation and nociception induced by chemical irritants, whereas responses to cold sensation, mechanical stimulation, and motor coordination are normal. These data point to a critical role of axon bifurcation for the processing of acute pain perception.

  7. Sigma-1 receptor agonist increases axon outgrowth of hippocampal neurons via voltage-gated calcium ions channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    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 Ca 2+ 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.

  8. Distinct kinetics of inhibitory currents in thalamocortical neurons that arise from dendritic or axonal origin.

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    Sunggu Yang

    Full Text Available Thalamocortical neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN transfer visual information from retina to primary visual cortex. This information is modulated by inhibitory input arising from local interneurons and thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN neurons, leading to alterations of receptive field properties of thalamocortical neurons. Local GABAergic interneurons provide two distinct synaptic outputs: axonal (F1 terminals and dendritic (F2 terminals onto dLGN thalamocortical neurons. By contrast, TRN neurons provide only axonal output (F1 terminals onto dLGN thalamocortical neurons. It is unclear if GABAA receptor-mediated currents originating from F1 and F2 terminals have different characteristics. In the present study, we examined multiple characteristics (rise time, slope, halfwidth and decay τ of GABAA receptor-mediated miniature inhibitory postsynaptic synaptic currents (mIPSCs originating from F1 and F2 terminals. The mIPSCs arising from F2 terminals showed slower kinetics relative to those from F1 terminals. Such differential kinetics of GABAAR-mediated responses could be an important role in temporal coding of visual signals.

  9. In search of a periodic table of the neurons: Axonal-dendritic circuitry as the organizing principle: Patterns of axons and dendrites within distinct anatomical parcels provide the blueprint for circuit-based neuronal classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascoli, Giorgio A; Wheeler, Diek W

    2016-10-01

    No one knows yet how to organize, in a simple yet predictive form, the knowledge concerning the anatomical, biophysical, and molecular properties of neurons that are accumulating in thousands of publications every year. The situation is not dissimilar to the state of Chemistry prior to Mendeleev's tabulation of the elements. We propose that the patterns of presence or absence of axons and dendrites within known anatomical parcels may serve as the key principle to define neuron types. Just as the positions of the elements in the periodic table indicate their potential to combine into molecules, axonal and dendritic distributions provide the blueprint for network connectivity. Furthermore, among the features commonly employed to describe neurons, morphology is considerably robust to experimental conditions. At the same time, this core classification scheme is suitable for aggregating biochemical, physiological, and synaptic information. © 2016 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Synchronization of motor neurons during locomotion in the neonatal rat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tresch, Matthew C.; Kiehn, Ole

    2002-01-01

    We describe here the robust synchronization of motor neurons at a millisecond time scale during locomotor activity in the neonatal rat. Action potential activity of motor neuron pairs was recorded extracellularly using tetrodes during locomotor activity in the in vitro neonatal rat spinal cord....... Approximately 40% of motor neuron pairs recorded in the same spinal segment showed significant synchronization, with the duration of the central peak in cross-correlograms between motor neurons typically ranging between ∼ 30 and 100 msec. The percentage of synchronized motor neuron pairs was considerably higher...... between motor neurons persisted. On the other hand, both local and distant coupling between motor neurons were preserved after antagonism of gap junction coupling between motor neurons. These results demonstrate that motor neuron activity is strongly synchronized at a millisecond time scale during...

  11. Morphological analysis of Drosophila larval peripheral sensory neuron dendrites and axons using genetic mosaics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karim, M Rezaul; Moore, Adrian W

    2011-11-07

    Nervous system development requires the correct specification of neuron position and identity, followed by accurate neuron class-specific dendritic development and axonal wiring. Recently the dendritic arborization (DA) sensory neurons of the Drosophila larval peripheral nervous system (PNS) have become powerful genetic models in which to elucidate both general and class-specific mechanisms of neuron differentiation. There are four main DA neuron classes (I-IV)(1). They are named in order of increasing dendrite arbor complexity, and have class-specific differences in the genetic control of their differentiation(2-10). The DA sensory system is a practical model to investigate the molecular mechanisms behind the control of dendritic morphology(11-13) because: 1) it can take advantage of the powerful genetic tools available in the fruit fly, 2) the DA neuron dendrite arbor spreads out in only 2 dimensions beneath an optically clear larval cuticle making it easy to visualize with high resolution in vivo, 3) the class-specific diversity in dendritic morphology facilitates a comparative analysis to find key elements controlling the formation of simple vs. highly branched dendritic trees, and 4) dendritic arbor stereotypical shapes of different DA neurons facilitate morphometric statistical analyses. DA neuron activity modifies the output of a larval locomotion central pattern generator(14-16). The different DA neuron classes have distinct sensory modalities, and their activation elicits different behavioral responses(14,16-20). Furthermore different classes send axonal projections stereotypically into the Drosophila larval central nervous system in the ventral nerve cord (VNC)(21). These projections terminate with topographic representations of both DA neuron sensory modality and the position in the body wall of the dendritic field(7,22,23). Hence examination of DA axonal projections can be used to elucidate mechanisms underlying topographic mapping(7,22,23), as well as

  12. Selective axonal growth of embryonic hippocampal neurons according to topographic features of various sizes and shapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine E Schmidt

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available David Y Fozdar1*, Jae Y Lee2*, Christine E Schmidt2–6, Shaochen Chen1,3–5,7,1Departments of Mechanical Engineering, 2Chemical Engineering, 3Biomedical Engineering; 4Center for Nano Molecular Science and Technology; 5Texas Materials Institute; 6Institute of Neuroscience; 7Microelectronics Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA *Contributed equally to this workPurpose: Understanding how surface features influence the establishment and outgrowth of the axon of developing neurons at the single cell level may aid in designing implantable scaffolds for the regeneration of damaged nerves. Past studies have shown that micropatterned ridge-groove structures not only instigate axon polarization, alignment, and extension, but are also preferred over smooth surfaces and even neurotrophic ligands.Methods: Here, we performed axonal-outgrowth competition assays using a proprietary four-quadrant topography grid to determine the capacity of various micropatterned topographies to act as stimuli sequestering axon extension. Each topography in the grid consisted of an array of microscale (approximately 2 µm or submicroscale (approximately 300 nm holes or lines with variable dimensions. Individual rat embryonic hippocampal cells were positioned either between two juxtaposing topographies or at the borders of individual topographies juxtaposing unpatterned smooth surface, cultured for 24 hours, and analyzed with respect to axonal selection using conventional imaging techniques.Results: Topography was found to influence axon formation and extension relative to smooth surface, and the distance of neurons relative to topography was found to impact whether the topography could serve as an effective cue. Neurons were also found to prefer submicroscale over microscale features and holes over lines for a given feature size.Conclusion: The results suggest that implementing physical cues of various shapes and sizes on nerve guidance conduits

  13. Quantitative Study of NPY-Expressing GABAergic Neurons and Axons in Rat Spinal Dorsal Horn*

    OpenAIRE

    Polg?r, Erika; Sardella, Thomas CP; Watanabe, Masahiko; Todd, Andrew J

    2010-01-01

    Between 25?40% of neurons in laminae I?III are GABAergic, and some of these express neuropeptide Y (NPY). We previously reported that NPY-immunoreactive axons form numerous synapses on lamina III projection neurons that possess the neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1r). The aims of this study were to determine the proportion of neurons and GABAergic boutons in this region that contain NPY, and to look for evidence that they selectively innervate different neuronal populations. We found that 4?6% of ne...

  14. In vivo neuronal synthesis and axonal transport of Kunitz protease inhibitor (KPI)-containing forms of the amyloid precursor protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moya, K L; Confaloni, A M; Allinquant, B

    1994-11-01

    We have shown previously that the amyloid precursor protein (APP) is synthesized in retinal ganglion cells and is rapidly transported down the axons, and that different molecular weight forms of the precursor have different developmental time courses. Some APP isoforms contain a Kunitz protease inhibitor (KPI) domain, and APP that lacks the KPI domain is considered the predominant isoform in neurons. We now show that, among the various rapidly transported APPs, a 140-kDa isoform contains the KPI domain. This APP isoform is highly expressed in rapidly growing retinal axons, and it is also prominent in adult axon endings. This 140-kDa KPI-containing APP is highly sulfated compared with other axonally transported isoforms. These results show that APP with the KPI domain is a prominent isoform synthesized in neurons in vivo, and they suggest that the regulation of protease activity may be an important factor during the establishment of neuronal connections.

  15. The genetics of axonal transport and axonal transport disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason E Duncan

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Neurons are specialized cells with a complex architecture that includes elaborate dendritic branches and a long, narrow axon that extends from the cell body to the synaptic terminal. The organized transport of essential biological materials throughout the neuron is required to support its growth, function, and viability. In this review, we focus on insights that have emerged from the genetic analysis of long-distance axonal transport between the cell body and the synaptic terminal. We also discuss recent genetic evidence that supports the hypothesis that disruptions in axonal transport may cause or dramatically contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.

  16. Absence of alsin function leads to corticospinal motor neuron vulnerability via novel disease mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gautam, Mukesh; Jara, Javier H; Sekerkova, Gabriella; Yasvoina, Marina V; Martina, Marco; Özdinler, P Hande

    2016-03-15

    Mutations in the ALS2 gene result in early-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paraplegia and juvenile primary lateral sclerosis, suggesting prominent upper motor neuron involvement. However, the importance of alsin function for corticospinal motor neuron (CSMN) health and stability remains unknown. To date, four separate alsin knockout (Alsin(KO)) mouse models have been generated, and despite hopes of mimicking human pathology, none displayed profound motor function defects. This, however, does not rule out the possibility of neuronal defects within CSMN, which is not easy to detect in these mice. Detailed cellular analysis of CSMN has been hampered due to their limited numbers and the complex and heterogeneous structure of the cerebral cortex. In an effort to visualize CSMN in vivo and to investigate precise aspects of neuronal abnormalities in the absence of alsin function, we generated Alsin(KO)-UeGFP mice, by crossing Alsin(KO) and UCHL1-eGFP mice, a CSMN reporter line. We find that CSMN display vacuolated apical dendrites with increased autophagy, shrinkage of soma size and axonal pathology even in the pons region. Immunocytochemistry coupled with electron microscopy reveal that alsin is important for maintaining cellular cytoarchitecture and integrity of cellular organelles. In its absence, CSMN displays selective defects both in mitochondria and Golgi apparatus. UCHL1-eGFP mice help understand the underlying cellular factors that lead to CSMN vulnerability in diseases, and our findings reveal unique importance of alsin function for CSMN health and stability. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  17. Overexpression of survival motor neuron improves neuromuscular function and motor neuron survival in mutant SOD1 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Bradley J; Alfazema, Neza; Sheean, Rebecca K; Sleigh, James N; Davies, Kay E; Horne, Malcolm K; Talbot, Kevin

    2014-04-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy results from diminished levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein in spinal motor neurons. Low levels of SMN also occur in models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and genetic reduction of SMN levels exacerbates the phenotype of transgenic SOD1(G93A) mice. Here, we demonstrate that SMN protein is significantly reduced in the spinal cords of patients with sporadic ALS. To test the potential of SMN as a modifier of ALS, we overexpressed SMN in 2 different strains of SOD1(G93A) mice. Neuronal overexpression of SMN significantly preserved locomotor function, rescued motor neurons, and attenuated astrogliosis in spinal cords of SOD1(G93A) mice. Despite this, survival was not prolonged, most likely resulting from SMN mislocalization and depletion of gems in motor neurons of symptomatic mice. Our results reveal that SMN upregulation slows locomotor deficit onset and motor neuron loss in this mouse model of ALS. However, disruption of SMN nuclear complexes by high levels of mutant SOD1, even in the presence of SMN overexpression, might limit its survival promoting effects in this specific mouse model. Studies in emerging mouse models of ALS are therefore warranted to further explore the potential of SMN as a modifier of ALS. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 reduces extension of the axonal leading process by destabilizing microtubules in cerebellar granule neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inami, Yoshihiro; Omura, Mitsuru; Kubota, Kenta; Konishi, Yoshiyuki

    2018-07-01

    Recent studies have uncovered various molecules that play key roles in neuronal morphogenesis. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying the neuron-type-dependent regulation of morphogenesis remain unknown. We have previously reported that inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) markedly reduced axonal length of cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) in a neuron-type-dependent manner. In the present study, we investigated the mechanisms by which the growth of CGN axons was severely suppressed upon GSK3 inhibition. Using time-lapse imaging of cultured CGNs at early morphogenesis, we found that extension of the leading process was severely inhibited by the pharmacological inhibition of GSK3. The rate of somal migration was also reduced with a GSK3 inhibitor in dissociated culture as well as in microexplant culture. In addition, CGNs ectopically expressed with a catalytically inactive mutant of GSK3 exhibited a migration defect in vivo. In axonal leading processes of CGNs, detyrosination and acetylation of α-tubulin, which are known to correlate with microtubule stability, were decreased by GSK3 inhibition. A photoconversion analysis found that inhibition of GSK3 increases the turnover of microtubules. Furthermore, in the presence of paclitaxel, a microtubule-stabilizing reagent, inhibition of GSK3 recovered the axonal leading process extension that was reduced by paclitaxel. Our results suggest that GSK3 supports the extension of axonal processes by stabilizing microtubules, contrary to its function in other neuron-types, lending mechanical insight into neuron-type-dependent morphological regulation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Piezoelectric ceramic (PZT) modulates axonal guidance growth of rat cortical neurons via RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42 pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Jianqiang; Liu, Meili

    2014-03-01

    Electrical stimulation is critical for axonal connection, which can stimulate axonal migration and deformation to promote axonal growth in the nervous system. Netrin-1, an axonal guidance cue, can also promote axonal guidance growth, but the molecular mechanism of axonal guidance growth under indirect electric stimulation is still unknown. We investigated the molecular mechanism of axonal guidance growth under piezoelectric ceramic lead zirconate titanate (PZT) stimulation in the primary cultured cortical neurons. PZT induced marked axonal elongation. Moreover, PZT activated the excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) by increasing the frequency and amplitude of EPSCs of the cortical neurons in patch clamp assay. PZT downregulated the expression of Netrin-1 and its receptor Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC). Rho GTPase signaling is involved in interactions of Netrin-1 and DCC. PZT activated RhoA. Dramatic decrease of Cdc42 and Rac1 was also observed after PZT treatment. RhoA inhibitor Clostridium botulinum C3 exoenzyme (C3-Exo) prevented the PZT-induced downregulation of Netrin-1 and DCC. We suggest that PZT can promote axonal guidance growth by downregulation of Netrin-1 and DCC to mediate axonal repulsive responses via the Rho GTPase signaling pathway. Obviously, piezoelectric materials may provide a new approach for axonal recovery and be beneficial for clinical therapy in the future.

  20. Hereditary motor neuropathies and motor neuron diseases: which is which.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanemann, Clemens O; Ludolph, Albert C

    2002-12-01

    When Charcot first defined amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) he used the clinical and neuropathological pattern of vulnerability as a guideline. Similarly other motor neuron diseases such as the spinal muscular atrophies (SMA) and the motor neuropathies (MN) were grouped following clinical criteria. However, ever since the etiology of these diseases has started to be disclosed by genetics, we have learnt that the limits of the syndromes are not as well defined as our forefathers thought. A mutation leading to ALS can also be associated with the clinical picture of spinal muscular atrophy; even more unexpected is the overlap of the so-called motor neuropathies with the clinical syndrome of slowly progressive ALS or that primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) can be caused by the same gene as that responsible for some cases of ALS. In this review we summarise recent work showing that there is a considerable overlap between CMT, MN, SMA, ALS and PLS. Insights into these phenotypes should lead to study of the variants of motor neuron disease and possibly to a reclassification. This comprehensive review should help to improve understanding of the pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration and finally may aid the research for urgently needed new treatment strategies, perhaps with validity for the entire group of motor neuron diseases.

  1. Progranulin is expressed within motor neurons and promotes neuronal cell survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kay Denis G

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Progranulin is a secreted high molecular weight growth factor bearing seven and one half copies of the cysteine-rich granulin-epithelin motif. While inappropriate over-expression of the progranulin gene has been associated with many cancers, haploinsufficiency leads to atrophy of the frontotemporal lobes and development of a form of dementia (frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin positive inclusions, FTLD-U associated with the formation of ubiquitinated inclusions. Recent reports indicate that progranulin has neurotrophic effects, which, if confirmed would make progranulin the only neuroprotective growth factor that has been associated genetically with a neurological disease in humans. Preliminary studies indicated high progranulin gene expression in spinal cord motor neurons. However, it is uncertain what the role of Progranulin is in normal or diseased motor neuron function. We have investigated progranulin gene expression and subcellular localization in cultured mouse embryonic motor neurons and examined the effect of progranulin over-expression and knockdown in the NSC-34 immortalized motor neuron cell line upon proliferation and survival. Results In situ hybridisation and immunohistochemical techniques revealed that the progranulin gene is highly expressed by motor neurons within the mouse spinal cord and in primary cultures of dissociated mouse embryonic spinal cord-dorsal root ganglia. Confocal microscopy coupled to immunocytochemistry together with the use of a progranulin-green fluorescent protein fusion construct revealed progranulin to be located within compartments of the secretory pathway including the Golgi apparatus. Stable transfection of the human progranulin gene into the NSC-34 motor neuron cell line stimulates the appearance of dendritic structures and provides sufficient trophic stimulus to survive serum deprivation for long periods (up to two months. This is mediated at least in part through

  2. Abbreviated exposure to hypoxia is sufficient to induce CNS dysmyelination, modulate spinal motor neuron composition, and impair motor development in neonatal mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens O Watzlawik

    Full Text Available Neonatal white matter injury (nWMI is an increasingly common cause of cerebral palsy that results predominantly from hypoxic injury to progenitor cells including those of the oligodendrocyte lineage. Existing mouse models of nWMI utilize prolonged periods of hypoxia during the neonatal period, require complex cross-fostering and exhibit poor growth and high mortality rates. Abnormal CNS myelin composition serves as the major explanation for persistent neuro-motor deficits. Here we developed a simplified model of nWMI with low mortality rates and improved growth without cross-fostering. Neonatal mice are exposed to low oxygen from postnatal day (P 3 to P7, which roughly corresponds to the period of human brain development between gestational weeks 32 and 36. CNS hypomyelination is detectable for 2-3 weeks post injury and strongly correlates with levels of body and brain weight loss. Immediately following hypoxia treatment, cell death was evident in multiple brain regions, most notably in superficial and deep cortical layers as well as the subventricular zone progenitor compartment. PDGFαR, Nkx2.2, and Olig2 positive oligodendrocyte progenitor cell were significantly reduced until postnatal day 27. In addition to CNS dysmyelination we identified a novel pathological marker for adult hypoxic animals that strongly correlates with life-long neuro-motor deficits. Mice reared under hypoxia reveal an abnormal spinal neuron composition with increased small and medium diameter axons and decreased large diameter axons in thoracic lateral and anterior funiculi. Differences were particularly pronounced in white matter motor tracts left and right of the anterior median fissure. Our findings suggest that 4 days of exposure to hypoxia are sufficient to induce experimental nWMI in CD1 mice, thus providing a model to test new therapeutics. Pathological hallmarks of this model include early cell death, decreased OPCs and hypomyelination in early postnatal life

  3. Developmental axon stretch stimulates neuron growth while maintaining normal electrical activity, intracellular calcium flux, and somatic morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loverde, Joseph R; Pfister, Bryan J

    2015-01-01

    Elongation of nerve fibers intuitively occurs throughout mammalian development, and is synchronized with expansion of the growing body. While most tissue systems enlarge through mitosis and differentiation, elongation of nerve fibers is remarkably unique. The emerging paradigm suggests that axons undergo stretch as contiguous tissues enlarge between the proximal and distal segments of spanning nerve fibers. While stretch is distinct from growth, tension is a known stimulus which regulates the growth of axons. Here, we hypothesized that the axon stretch-growth process may be a natural form of injury, whereby regenerative processes fortify elongating axons in order to prevent disconnection. Harnessing the live imaging capability of our axon stretch-growth bioreactors, we assessed neurons both during and following stretch for biomarkers associated with injury. Utilizing whole-cell patch clamp recording, we found no evidence of changes in spontaneous action potential activity or degradation of elicited action potentials during real-time axon stretch at strains of up to 18% applied over 5 min. Unlike traumatic axonal injury, functional calcium imaging of the soma revealed no shifts in free intracellular calcium during axon stretch. Finally, the cross-sectional areas of nuclei and cytoplasms were normal, with no evidence of chromatolysis following week-long stretch-growth limited to the lower of 25% strain or 3 mm total daily stretch. The neuronal growth cascade coupled to stretch was concluded to be independent of the changes in membrane potential, action potential generation, or calcium flux associated with traumatic injury. While axon stretch-growth is likely to share overlap with regenerative processes, we conclude that developmental stretch is a distinct stimulus from traumatic axon injury.

  4. Developmental Axon Stretch Stimulates Neuron Growth While Maintaining Normal Electrical Activity, Intracellular Calcium Flux, and Somatic Morphology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph R Loverde

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Elongation of nerve fibers intuitively occurs throughout mammalian development, and is synchronized with expansion of the growing body. While most tissue systems enlarge through mitosis and differentiation, elongation of nerve fibers is remarkably unique. The emerging paradigm suggests that axons undergo stretch as contiguous tissues enlarge between the proximal and distal segments of spanning nerve fibers. While stretch is distinct from growth, tension is a known stimulus which regulates the growth of axons. Here, we hypothesized that the axon stretch-growth process may be a natural form of injury, whereby regenerative processes fortify elongating axons in order to prevent disconnection. Harnessing the live imaging capability of our axon stretch-growth bioreactors, we assessed neurons both during and following stretch for biomarkers associated with injury. Utilizing whole-cell patch clamp recording, we found no evidence of changes in spontaneous action potential activity or degradation of elicited action potentials during real-time axon stretch at strains of up to 18 % applied over 5 minutes. Unlike traumatic axonal injury, functional calcium imaging of the soma revealed no shifts in free intracellular calcium during axon stretch. Finally, the cross-sectional areas of nuclei and cytoplasms were normal, with no evidence of chromatolysis following week-long stretch-growth limited to the lower of 25 % strain or 3 mm total daily stretch. The neuronal growth cascade coupled to stretch was concluded to be independent of the changes in membrane potential, action potential generation, or calcium flux associated with traumatic injury. While axon stretch-growth is likely to share overlap with regenerative processes, we conclude that developmental stretch is a distinct stimulus from traumatic axon injury.

  5. Morphological Characterization of the Action Potential Initiation Segment in GnRH Neuron Dendrites and Axons of Male Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herde, Michel K; Herbison, Allan E

    2015-11-01

    GnRH neurons are the final output neurons of the hypothalamic network controlling fertility in mammals. In the present study, we used ankyrin G immunohistochemistry and neurobiotin filling of live GnRH neurons in brain slices from GnRH-green fluorescent protein transgenic male mice to examine in detail the location of action potential initiation in GnRH neurons with somata residing at different locations in the basal forebrain. We found that the vast majority of GnRH neurons are bipolar in morphology, elaborating a thick (primary) and thinner (secondary) dendrite from opposite poles of the soma. In addition, an axon-like process arising predominantly from a proximal dendrite was observed in a subpopulation of GnRH neurons. Ankyrin G immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of a single action potential initiation zone ∼27 μm in length primarily in the secondary dendrite of GnRH neurons and located 30 to 140 μm distant from the cell soma, depending on the type of process and location of the cell body. In addition to dendrites, the GnRH neurons with cell bodies located close to hypothalamic circumventricular organs often elaborated ankyrin G-positive axon-like structures. Almost all GnRH neurons (>90%) had their action potential initiation site in a process that initially, or ultimately after a hairpin loop, was coursing in the direction of the median eminence. These studies indicate that action potentials are initiated in different dendritic and axonal compartments of the GnRH neuron in a manner that is dependent partly on the neuroanatomical location of the cell body.

  6. Dendrobium nobile Lindl alkaloid, a novel autophagy inducer, protects against axonal degeneration induced by Aβ25-35 in hippocampus neurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (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

    2017-04-01

    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 Aβ 25-35 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 Aβ 25-35 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 Aβ 25-35 -induced axonal degeneration via activation of autophagy process and could be a novel therapeutic target. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Selective disruption of acetylcholine synthesis in subsets of motor neurons: a new model of late-onset motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecomte, Marie-José; Bertolus, Chloé; Santamaria, Julie; Bauchet, Anne-Laure; Herbin, Marc; Saurini, Françoise; Misawa, Hidemi; Maisonobe, Thierry; Pradat, Pierre-François; Nosten-Bertrand, Marika; Mallet, Jacques; Berrard, Sylvie

    2014-05-01

    Motor neuron diseases are characterized by the selective chronic dysfunction of a subset of motor neurons and the subsequent impairment of neuromuscular function. To reproduce in the mouse these hallmarks of diseases affecting motor neurons, we generated a mouse line in which ~40% of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brainstem become unable to sustain neuromuscular transmission. These mice were obtained by conditional knockout of the gene encoding choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the biosynthetic enzyme for acetylcholine. The mutant mice are viable and spontaneously display abnormal phenotypes that worsen with age including hunched back, reduced lifespan, weight loss, as well as striking deficits in muscle strength and motor function. This slowly progressive neuromuscular dysfunction is accompanied by muscle fiber histopathological features characteristic of neurogenic diseases. Unexpectedly, most changes appeared with a 6-month delay relative to the onset of reduction in ChAT levels, suggesting that compensatory mechanisms preserve muscular function for several months and then are overwhelmed. Deterioration of mouse phenotype after ChAT gene disruption is a specific aging process reminiscent of human pathological situations, particularly among survivors of paralytic poliomyelitis. These mutant mice may represent an invaluable tool to determine the sequence of events that follow the loss of function of a motor neuron subset as the disease progresses, and to evaluate therapeutic strategies. They also offer the opportunity to explore fundamental issues of motor neuron biology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly N. Capers

    2011-01-01

    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.

  9. [An autopsied case of dominantly affecting upper motor neuron with atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes--with special reference to primary lateral sclerosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konagaya, M; Sakai, M; Iida, M; Hashizume, Y

    1995-04-01

    In this paper, the autopsy findings of a 78-year-old man mimicking primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) are reported. His clinical symptoms were slowly progressive spasticity, pseudobulbar palsy and character change. He died of sepsis 32 months after protracting the disease. The autopsy revealed severe atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes. The histological findings were severe neuronal loss with gliosis in the precentral gyrus and left temporal lobe tip, loss of Betz cell, prominent demyelination throughout of the corticospinal tract, axonal swelling in the cerebral peduncule, severe degeneration of the amygdala, mild degeneration of the Ammon horn, normal substantia nigra, a few neuronal cells with central chromatolysis in the facial nerve nucleus and very mild neuronal cell loss in the spinal anterior horn. The anterior horn cell only occasionally demonstrated Bunina body by H & E and cystatin-C stainings, as well as, skein-like inclusion by ubiquitin staining. Thus, this is a case of uncommon amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) dominantly affecting the upper motor neuron including the motor cortex and temporal limbic system. In analysis of nine cases of putative primary lateral sclerosis in the literature, six cases showed loss of Betz cell in the precentral gyrus, and four cases very mild involvement of the lower motor neuron such as central chromatolysis and eosinophilic inclusion body. Degeneration of the limbic system was observed in two cases. We indicated a possible subgroup with concomitant involvement in the motor cortex and temporal lobe in motor neuron disease dominantly affecting the upper motor neuron.

  10. In search of a periodic table of the neurons: Axonal-dendritic circuitry as the organizing principle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascoli, Giorgio A.; Wheeler, Diek W.

    2016-01-01

    Summary No one knows yet how to organize, in a simple yet predictive form, the knowledge concerning the anatomical, biophysical, and molecular properties of neurons that are accumulating in thousands of publications every year. The situation is not dissimilar to the state of Chemistry prior to Mendeleev’s tabulation of the elements. We propose that the patterns of presence or absence of axons and dendrites within known anatomical parcels may serve as the key principle to define neuron types. Just as the positions of the elements in the Periodic Table indicate their potential to combine into molecules, axonal and dendritic distributions provide the blueprint for network connectivity. Furthermore, among the features commonly employed to describe neurons, morphology is considerably robust to experimental conditions. At the same time, this core classification scheme is suitable for aggregating biochemical, physiological, and synaptic information. PMID:27516119

  11. Upper motor neuron and extra-motor neuron involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A clinical and brain imaging review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Graaff, M. M.; de Jong, J. M. B. V.; Baas, F.; de Visser, M.

    2009-01-01

    There is an ongoing discussion whether ALS is primarily a disease of upper motor neurons or lower motor neurons. We undertook a review to assess how new insights have contributed to solve this controversy. For this purpose we selected relevant publications from 1995 onwards focussing on (1) primary

  12. Sensory neurons do not induce motor neuron loss in a human stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Andrew J; Ebert, Allison D

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder leading to paralysis and early death due to reduced SMN protein. It is unclear why there is such a profound motor neuron loss, but recent evidence from fly and mouse studies indicate that cells comprising the whole sensory-motor circuit may contribute to motor neuron dysfunction and loss. Here, we used induced pluripotent stem cells derived from SMA patients to test whether sensory neurons directly contribute to motor neuron loss. We generated sensory neurons from SMA induced pluripotent stem cells and found no difference in neuron generation or survival, although there was a reduced calcium response to depolarizing stimuli. Using co-culture of SMA induced pluripotent stem cell derived sensory neurons with control induced pluripotent stem cell derived motor neurons, we found no significant reduction in motor neuron number or glutamate transporter boutons on motor neuron cell bodies or neurites. We conclude that SMA sensory neurons do not overtly contribute to motor neuron loss in this human stem cell system.

  13. Cytoskeleton Molecular Motors: Structures and Their Functions in Neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Qingpin; Hu, Xiaohui; Wei, Zhiyi; Tam, Kin Yip

    2016-01-01

    Cells make use of molecular motors to transport small molecules, macromolecules and cellular organelles to target region to execute biological functions, which is utmost important for polarized cells, such as neurons. In particular, cytoskeleton motors play fundamental roles in neuron polarization, extension, shape and neurotransmission. Cytoskeleton motors comprise of myosin, kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein. F-actin filaments act as myosin track, while kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein move on microtubules. Cytoskeleton motors work together to build a highly polarized and regulated system in neuronal cells via different molecular mechanisms and functional regulations. This review discusses the structures and working mechanisms of the cytoskeleton motors in neurons.

  14. Localization of the kinesin adaptor proteins trafficking kinesin proteins 1 and 2 in primary cultures of hippocampal pyramidal and cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loss, Omar; Stephenson, F Anne

    2015-07-01

    Neuronal function requires regulated anterograde and retrograde trafficking of mitochondria along microtubules by using the molecular motors kinesin and dynein. Previous work has established that trafficking kinesin proteins (TRAKs),TRAK1 and TRAK2, are kinesin adaptor proteins that link mitochondria to kinesin motor proteins via an acceptor protein in the mitochondrial outer membrane, etc. the Rho GTPase Miro. Recent studies have shown that TRAK1 preferentially controls mitochondrial transport in axons of hippocampal neurons by virtue of its binding to both kinesin and dynein motor proteins, whereas TRAK2 controls mitochondrial transport in dendrites resulting from its binding to dynein. This study further investigates the subcellular localization of TRAK1 and TRAK2 in primary cultures of hippocampal and cortical neurons by using both commercial antibodies and anti-TRAK1 and anti-TRAK2 antibodies raised in our own laboratory (in-house). Whereas TRAK1 was prevalently localized in axons of hippocampal and cortical neurons, TRAK2 was more prevalent in dendrites of hippocampal neurons. In cortical neurons, TRAK2 was equally distributed between axons and dendrites. Some qualitative differences were observed between commercial and in-house-generated antibody immunostaining. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. The axonal cytoskeleton : from organization to function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kevenaar, Josta T; Hoogenraad, Casper C

    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

  16. Neuromodulation of vertebrate motor neuron membrane properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hultborn, Hans; Kiehn, Ole

    1992-01-01

    The short-term function of motor neurons is to integrate synaptic inputs converging onto the somato-dendritic membrane and to transform the net synaptic drive into spike trains. A set of voltage-gated ion channels determines the electro-responsiveness and thereby the motor neuron's input-output f...

  17. The actin-binding protein capulet genetically interacts with the microtubule motor kinesin to maintain neuronal dendrite homeostasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul M B Medina

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Neurons require precise cytoskeletal regulation within neurites, containing microtubule tracks for cargo transport in axons and dendrites or within synapses containing organized actin. Due to the unique architecture and specialized function of neurons, neurons are particularly susceptible to perturbation of the cytoskeleton. Numerous actin-binding proteins help maintain proper cytoskeletal regulation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: From a Drosophila forward genetic screen, we identified a mutation in capulet--encoding a conserved actin-binding protein--that causes abnormal aggregates of actin within dendrites. Through interaction studies, we demonstrate that simultaneous genetic inactivation of capulet and kinesin heavy chain, a microtubule motor protein, produces elongate cofilin-actin rods within dendrites but not axons. These rods resemble actin-rich structures induced in both mammalian neurodegenerative and Drosophila Alzheimer's models, but have not previously been identified by loss of function mutations in vivo. We further demonstrate that mitochondria, which are transported by Kinesin, have impaired distribution along dendrites in a capulet mutant. While Capulet and Cofilin may biochemically cooperate in certain circumstances, in neuronal dendrites they genetically antagonize each other. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The present study is the first molecularly defined loss of function demonstration of actin-cofilin rods in vivo. This study suggests that simultaneous, seemingly minor perturbations in neuronal dendrites can synergize producing severe abnormalities affecting actin, microtubules and mitochondria/energy availability in dendrites. Additionally, as >90% of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's cases are sporadic this study suggests mechanisms by which multiple mutations together may contribute to neurodegeneration instead of reliance on single mutations to produce disease.

  18. Current status of gene therapy for motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xingkai An; Rong Peng; Shanshan Zhao

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Although the etiology and pathogenesis of motor neuron disease is still unknown, there are many hypotheses on motor neuron mitochondrion, cytoskeleton structure and functional injuries. Thus, gene therapy of motor neuron disease has become a hot topic to apply in viral vector, gene delivery and basic gene techniques.DATA SOURCES: The related articles published between January 2000 and October 2006 were searched in Medline database and ISl database by computer using the keywords "motor neuron disease, gene therapy", and the language is limited to English. Meanwhile, the related references of review were also searched by handiwork. STUDY SELECTION: Original articles and referred articles in review were chosen after first hearing, then the full text which had new ideas were found, and when refer to the similar study in the recent years were considered first.DATA EXTRACTION: Among the 92 related articles, 40 ones were accepted, and 52 were excluded because of repetitive study or reviews.DATA SYNTHESIS: The viral vectors of gene therapy for motor neuron disease include adenoviral, adeno-associated viral vectors, herpes simplex virus type 1 vectors and lentiviral vectors. The delivery of them can be achieved by direct injection into the brain, or by remote delivery after injection vectors into muscle or peripheral nerves, or by ex vivo gene transfer. The viral vectors of gene therapy for motor neuron disease have been successfully developed, but the gene delivery of them is hampered by some difficulties. The RNA interference and neuroprotection are the main technologies for gene-based therapy in motor neuron disease. CONCLUSION : The RNA interference for motor neuron disease has succeeded in animal models, and the neuroprotection also does. But, there are still a lot of questions for gene therapy in the clinical treatment of motor neuron disease.

  19. Dynamics of mitochondrial transport in axons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Francis Niescier

    2016-05-01

    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.

  20. GDE2 regulates subtype-specific motor neuron generation through inhibition of Notch signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabharwal, Priyanka; Lee, Changhee; Park, Sungjin; Rao, Meenakshi; Sockanathan, Shanthini

    2011-09-22

    The specification of spinal interneuron and motor neuron identities initiates within progenitor cells, while motor neuron subtype diversification is regulated by hierarchical transcriptional programs implemented postmitotically. Here we find that mice lacking GDE2, a six-transmembrane protein that triggers motor neuron generation, exhibit selective losses of distinct motor neuron subtypes, specifically in defined subsets of limb-innervating motor pools that correlate with the loss of force-generating alpha motor neurons. Mechanistically, GDE2 is expressed by postmitotic motor neurons but utilizes extracellular glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase activity to induce motor neuron generation by inhibiting Notch signaling in neighboring motor neuron progenitors. Thus, neuronal GDE2 controls motor neuron subtype diversity through a non-cell-autonomous feedback mechanism that directly regulates progenitor cell differentiation, implying that subtype specification initiates within motor neuron progenitor populations prior to their differentiation into postmitotic motor neurons. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. ALS and other motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiryaki, Ezgi; Horak, Holli A

    2014-10-01

    This review describes the most common motor neuron disease, ALS. It discusses the diagnosis and evaluation of ALS and the current understanding of its pathophysiology, including new genetic underpinnings of the disease. This article also covers other motor neuron diseases, reviews how to distinguish them from ALS, and discusses their pathophysiology. In this article, the spectrum of cognitive involvement in ALS, new concepts about protein synthesis pathology in the etiology of ALS, and new genetic associations will be covered. This concept has changed over the past 3 to 4 years with the discovery of new genes and genetic processes that may trigger the disease. As of 2014, two-thirds of familial ALS and 10% of sporadic ALS can be explained by genetics. TAR DNA binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43), for instance, has been shown to cause frontotemporal dementia as well as some cases of familial ALS, and is associated with frontotemporal dysfunction in ALS. The anterior horn cells control all voluntary movement: motor activity, respiratory, speech, and swallowing functions are dependent upon signals from the anterior horn cells. Diseases that damage the anterior horn cells, therefore, have a profound impact. Symptoms of anterior horn cell loss (weakness, falling, choking) lead patients to seek medical attention. Neurologists are the most likely practitioners to recognize and diagnose damage or loss of anterior horn cells. ALS, the prototypical motor neuron disease, demonstrates the impact of this class of disorders. ALS and other motor neuron diseases can represent diagnostic challenges. Neurologists are often called upon to serve as a "medical home" for these patients: coordinating care, arranging for durable medical equipment, and leading discussions about end-of-life care with patients and caregivers. It is important for neurologists to be able to identify motor neuron diseases and to evaluate and treat patients affected by them.

  2. Sensory-motor axonal polyneuropathy involving cranial nerves: An uncommon manifestation of disulfiram toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Telma; Martins Campos, António; Morais, Hugo

    2017-01-01

    Disulfiram (tetraethylthiuram disulfide) has been used for the treatment of alcohol dependence. An axonal sensory-motor polyneuropathy with involvement of cranial pairs due to disulfiram is exceedingly rare. The authors report a unique case of an extremely severe axonal polyneuropathy involving cranial nerves that developed within weeks after a regular dosage of 500mg/day disulfiram. To the authors best knowledge, such a severe and rapidly-progressive course has never been described with disulfiram dosages of only 500mg/day. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Developing neurons use a putative pioneer's peripheral arbor to establish their terminal fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, W B; Macagno, E R

    1995-05-01

    Pioneer neurons are known to guide later developing neurons during the initial phases of axonal outgrowth. To determine whether they are also important in the formation of terminal fields by the follower cells, we studied the role of a putative leech pioneer neuron, the pressure-sensitive (PD) neuron, in the establishment of other neurons' peripheral arbors. The PD neuron has a major axon that exits from its segmental ganglion to grow along the dorsal-posterior (DP) nerve to the dorsal body wall, where it arborizes extensively mainly in its own segment. It also has two minor axons that project to the two adjacent segments but branch to a lesser degree. We found that the peripheral projections of several later developing neurons, including the AP motor neuron and the TD sensory neuron, followed, with great precision, the major axon and peripheral arbor of the consegmental PD neuron, up to its fourth-order branches. When a PD neuron was ablated before it had grown to the body wall, the AP and TD axons grew normally toward and reached the target area, but then formed terminal arbors that were greatly reduced in size and abnormal in morphology. Further, if the ablation of a PD neuron was accompanied by the induction, in the same segment, of greater outgrowth of the minor axon of a PD neuron from the adjacent segment, the arbors of the same AP neurons grew along these novel PD neuron branches. These results demonstrate that the peripheral arbor of a PD neuron is a both necessary and sufficient template for the formation of normal terminal fields by certain later growing follower neurons.

  4. Na(v)1.8 channelopathy in mutant mice deficient for myelin protein zero is detrimental to motor axons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Alvarez Herrero, Susana; Pinchenko, Volodymyr

    2011-01-01

    Myelin protein zero mutations were found to produce Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease phenotypes with various degrees of myelin impairment and axonal loss, ranging from the mild 'demyelinating' adult form to severe and early onset forms. Protein zero deficient homozygous mice ( ) show a severe and prog......Myelin protein zero mutations were found to produce Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease phenotypes with various degrees of myelin impairment and axonal loss, ranging from the mild 'demyelinating' adult form to severe and early onset forms. Protein zero deficient homozygous mice ( ) show a severe...... and progressive dysmyelinating neuropathy from birth with compromised myelin compaction, hypomyelination and distal axonal degeneration. A previous study using immunofluorescence showed that motor nerves deficient of myelin protein zero upregulate the Na(V)1.8 voltage gated sodium channel isoform, which...... is normally present only in restricted populations of sensory axons. The aim of this study was to investigate the function of motor axons in protein zero-deficient mice with particular emphasis on ectopic Na(V)1.8 voltage gated sodium channel. We combined 'threshold tracking' excitability studies...

  5. Reward-modulated motor information in identified striatum neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isomura, Yoshikazu; Takekawa, Takashi; Harukuni, Rie; Handa, Takashi; Aizawa, Hidenori; Takada, Masahiko; Fukai, Tomoki

    2013-06-19

    It is widely accepted that dorsal striatum neurons participate in either the direct pathway (expressing dopamine D1 receptors) or the indirect pathway (expressing D2 receptors), controlling voluntary movements in an antagonistically balancing manner. The D1- and D2-expressing neurons are activated and inactivated, respectively, by dopamine released from substantia nigra neurons encoding reward expectation. However, little is known about the functional representation of motor information and its reward modulation in individual striatal neurons constituting the two pathways. In this study, we juxtacellularly recorded the spike activity of single neurons in the dorsolateral striatum of rats performing voluntary forelimb movement in a reward-predictable condition. Some of these neurons were identified morphologically by a combination of juxtacellular visualization and in situ hybridization for D1 mRNA. We found that the striatal neurons exhibited distinct functional activations before and during the forelimb movement, regardless of the expression of D1 mRNA. They were often positively, but rarely negatively, modulated by expecting a reward for the correct motor response. The positive reward modulation was independent of behavioral differences in motor performance. In contrast, regular-spiking and fast-spiking neurons in any layers of the motor cortex displayed only minor and unbiased reward modulation of their functional activation in relation to the execution of forelimb movement. Our results suggest that the direct and indirect pathway neurons cooperatively rather than antagonistically contribute to spatiotemporal control of voluntary movements, and that motor information is subcortically integrated with reward information through dopaminergic and other signals in the skeletomotor loop of the basal ganglia.

  6. The age factor in axonal repair after spinal cord injury: A focus on neuron-intrinsic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geoffroy, Cédric G; Meves, Jessica M; Zheng, Binhai

    2017-06-23

    Age is an important consideration for recovery and repair after spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injury is increasingly affecting the middle-aged and aging populations. Despite rapid progress in research to promote axonal regeneration and repair, our understanding of how age can modulate this repair is rather limited. In this review, we discuss the literature supporting the notion of an age-dependent decline in axonal growth after central nervous system (CNS) injury. While both neuron-intrinsic and extrinsic factors are involved in the control of axon growth after injury, here we focus on possible intrinsic mechanisms for this age-dependent decline. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

    2011-12-01

    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

  8. Wnt Signalling Promotes Actin Dynamics during Axon Remodelling through the Actin-Binding Protein Eps8.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleanna Stamatakou

    Full Text Available Upon arrival at their synaptic targets, axons slow down their growth and extensively remodel before the assembly of presynaptic boutons. Wnt proteins are target-derived secreted factors that promote axonal remodelling and synaptic assembly. In the developing spinal cord, Wnts secreted by motor neurons promote axonal remodelling of NT-3 responsive dorsal root ganglia neurons. Axon remodelling induced by Wnts is characterised by growth cone pausing and enlargement, processes that depend on the re-organisation of microtubules. However, the contribution of the actin cytoskeleton has remained unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that Wnt3a regulates the actin cytoskeleton by rapidly inducing F-actin accumulation in growth cones from rodent DRG neurons through the scaffold protein Dishevelled-1 (Dvl1 and the serine-threonine kinase Gsk3β. Importantly, these changes in actin cytoskeleton occurs before enlargement of the growth cones is evident. Time-lapse imaging shows that Wnt3a increases lamellar protrusion and filopodia velocity. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of actin assembly demonstrates that Wnt3a increases actin dynamics. Through a yeast-two hybrid screen, we identified the actin-binding protein Eps8 as a direct interactor of Dvl1, a scaffold protein crucial for the Wnt signalling pathway. Gain of function of Eps8 mimics Wnt-mediated axon remodelling, whereas Eps8 silencing blocks the axon remodelling activity of Wnt3a. Importantly, blockade of the Dvl1-Eps8 interaction completely abolishes Wnt3a-mediated axonal remodelling. These findings demonstrate a novel role for Wnt-Dvl1 signalling through Eps8 in the regulation of axonal remodeling.

  9. What is happening to motor neuron disease in Nigeria? | Imam ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Systematic studies of motor neuron disease were last reported from Ibadan, Nigeria, more than two decades ago. Since then, information about motor neuron disease has become limited making it necessary to review the current status of the disease. Methods: The clinical records of all cases of motor neuron ...

  10. Localization of Motor Neurons and Central Pattern Generators for Motor Patterns Underlying Feeding Behavior in Drosophila Larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Hückesfeld

    Full Text Available Motor systems can be functionally organized into effector organs (muscles and glands, the motor neurons, central pattern generators (CPG and higher control centers of the brain. Using genetic and electrophysiological methods, we have begun to deconstruct the motor system driving Drosophila larval feeding behavior into its component parts. In this paper, we identify distinct clusters of motor neurons that execute head tilting, mouth hook movements, and pharyngeal pumping during larval feeding. This basic anatomical scaffold enabled the use of calcium-imaging to monitor the neural activity of motor neurons within the central nervous system (CNS that drive food intake. Simultaneous nerve- and muscle-recordings demonstrate that the motor neurons innervate the cibarial dilator musculature (CDM ipsi- and contra-laterally. By classical lesion experiments we localize a set of CPGs generating the neuronal pattern underlying feeding movements to the subesophageal zone (SEZ. Lesioning of higher brain centers decelerated all feeding-related motor patterns, whereas lesioning of ventral nerve cord (VNC only affected the motor rhythm underlying pharyngeal pumping. These findings provide a basis for progressing upstream of the motor neurons to identify higher regulatory components of the feeding motor system.

  11. Neuronal matrix metalloproteinase-9 is a determinant of selective neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Artem; Spiller, Krista J; Towne, Christopher; Kanning, Kevin C; Choe, Ginn T; Geber, Adam; Akay, Turgay; Aebischer, Patrick; Henderson, Christopher E

    2014-01-22

    Selective neuronal loss is the hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases. In patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), most motor neurons die but those innervating extraocular, pelvic sphincter, and slow limb muscles exhibit selective resistance. We identified 18 genes that show >10-fold differential expression between resistant and vulnerable motor neurons. One of these, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), is expressed only by fast motor neurons, which are selectively vulnerable. In ALS model mice expressing mutant superoxide dismutase (SOD1), reduction of MMP-9 function using gene ablation, viral gene therapy, or pharmacological inhibition significantly delayed muscle denervation. In the presence of mutant SOD1, MMP-9 expressed by fast motor neurons themselves enhances activation of ER stress and is sufficient to trigger axonal die-back. These findings define MMP-9 as a candidate therapeutic target for ALS. The molecular basis of neuronal diversity thus provides significant insights into mechanisms of selective vulnerability to neurodegeneration. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Genetic deficiency of GABA differentially regulates respiratory and non-respiratory motor neuron development.

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    Matthew J Fogarty

    Full Text Available Central nervous system GABAergic and glycinergic synaptic activity switches from postsynaptic excitation to inhibition during the stage when motor neuron numbers are being reduced, and when synaptic connections are being established onto and by motor neurons. In mice this occurs between embryonic (E day 13 and birth (postnatal day 0. Our previous work on mice lacking glycinergic transmission suggested that altered motor neuron activity levels correspondingly regulated motor neuron survival and muscle innervation for all respiratory and non respiratory motor neuron pools, during this period of development [1]. To determine if GABAergic transmission plays a similar role, we quantified motor neuron number and the extent of muscle innervation in four distinct regions of the brain stem and spinal cord; hypoglossal, phrenic, brachial and lumbar motor pools, in mice lacking the enzyme GAD67. These mice display a 90% drop in CNS GABA levels ( [2]; this study. For respiratory-based motor neurons (hypoglossal and phrenic motor pools, we have observed significant drops in motor neuron number (17% decline for hypoglossal and 23% decline for phrenic and muscle innervations (55% decrease. By contrast for non-respiratory motor neurons of the brachial lateral motor column, we have observed an increase in motor neuron number (43% increase and muscle innervations (99% increase; however for more caudally located motor neurons within the lumbar lateral motor column, we observed no change in either neuron number or muscle innervation. These results show in mice lacking physiological levels of GABA, there are distinct regional changes in motor neuron number and muscle innervation, which appear to be linked to their physiological function and to their rostral-caudal position within the developing spinal cord. Our results also suggest that for more caudal (lumbar regions of the spinal cord, the effect of GABA is less influential on motor neuron development compared to

  13. Motor neuron disease associated with carcinoma | Gritzman | South ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Paraneoplastic complications are obscure and difficult to understand. The association of motor neuron disease and carcinoma may sometimes be more than coincidental, and 2 cases are described. One patient had motor neuron disease, limbic encephalitis (a recognized paraneoplastic disorder) and carcinoma of the ...

  14. P7C3 Neuroprotective Chemicals Block Axonal Degeneration and Preserve Function after Traumatic Brain Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terry C. Yin

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The P7C3 class of neuroprotective aminopropyl carbazoles has been shown to block neuronal cell death in models of neurodegeneration. We now show that P7C3 molecules additionally preserve axonal integrity after injury, before neuronal cell death occurs, in a rodent model of blast-mediated traumatic brain injury (TBI. This protective quality may be linked to the ability of P7C3 molecules to activate nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, the rate-limiting enzyme in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide salvage. Initiation of daily treatment with our recently reported lead agent, P7C3-S243, 1 day after blast-mediated TBI blocks axonal degeneration and preserves normal synaptic activity, learning and memory, and motor coordination in mice. We additionally report persistent neurologic deficits and acquisition of an anxiety-like phenotype in untreated animals 8 months after blast exposure. Optimized variants of P7C3 thus offer hope for identifying neuroprotective agents for conditions involving axonal damage, neuronal cell death, or both, such as occurs in TBI.

  15. [The mirror neuron system in motor and sensory rehabilitation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oouchida, Yutaka; Izumi, Shinichi

    2014-06-01

    The discovery of the mirror neuron system has dramatically changed the study of motor control in neuroscience. The mirror neuron system provides a conceptual framework covering the aspects of motor as well as sensory functions in motor control. Previous studies of motor control can be classified as studies of motor or sensory functions, and these two classes of studies appear to have advanced independently. In rehabilitation requiring motor learning, such as relearning movement after limb paresis, however, sensory information of feedback for motor output as well as motor command are essential. During rehabilitation from chronic pain, motor exercise is one of the most effective treatments for pain caused by dysfunction in the sensory system. In rehabilitation where total intervention unifying the motor and sensory aspects of motor control is important, learning through imitation, which is associated with the mirror neuron system can be effective and suitable. In this paper, we introduce the clinical applications of imitated movement in rehabilitation from motor impairment after brain damage and phantom limb pain after limb amputation.

  16. Transcriptomics of aged Drosophila motor neurons reveals a matrix metalloproteinase that impairs motor function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azpurua, Jorge; Mahoney, Rebekah E; Eaton, Benjamin A

    2018-04-01

    The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is responsible for transforming nervous system signals into motor behavior and locomotion. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, an age-dependent decline in motor function occurs, analogous to the decline experienced in mice, humans, and other mammals. The molecular and cellular underpinnings of this decline are still poorly understood. By specifically profiling the transcriptome of Drosophila motor neurons across age using custom microarrays, we found that the expression of the matrix metalloproteinase 1 (dMMP1) gene reproducibly increased in motor neurons in an age-dependent manner. Modulation of physiological aging also altered the rate of dMMP1 expression, validating dMMP1 expression as a bona fide aging biomarker for motor neurons. Temporally controlled overexpression of dMMP1 specifically in motor neurons was sufficient to induce deficits in climbing behavior and cause a decrease in neurotransmitter release at neuromuscular synapses. These deficits were reversible if the dMMP1 expression was shut off again immediately after the onset of motor dysfunction. Additionally, repression of dMMP1 enzymatic activity via overexpression of a tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases delayed the onset of age-dependent motor dysfunction. MMPs are required for proper tissue architecture during development. Our results support the idea that matrix metalloproteinase 1 is acting as a downstream effector of antagonistic pleiotropy in motor neurons and is necessary for proper development, but deleterious when reactivated at an advanced age. © 2018 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Functional recovery of regenerating motor axons is delayed in mice heterozygously deficient for the myelin protein P(0) gene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosberg, Mette Romer; Alvarez, Susana; Krarup, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Mice with a heterozygous knock-out of the myelin protein P0 gene (P0+/-) develop a neuropathy similar to human Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. They are indistinguishable from wild-types (WT) at birth and develop a slowly progressing demyelinating neuropathy. The aim of this study was to investigate...... whether the regeneration capacity of early symptomatic P0+/- is impaired as compared to age matched WT. Right sciatic nerves were lesioned at the thigh in 7-8 months old mice. Tibial motor axons at ankle were investigated by conventional motor conduction studies and axon excitability studies using...... threshold tracking. To evaluate regeneration we monitored the recovery of motor function after crush, and then compared the fiber distribution by histology. The overall motor performance was investigated using Rotor-Rod. P0+/- had reduced compound motor action potential amplitudes and thinner myelinated...

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

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    Pietro eBalbi

    2015-02-01

    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, NeuroMorpho.org, 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.

  19. Loss of Autophagy in Proopiomelanocortin Neurons Perturbs Axon Growth and Causes Metabolic Dysregulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coupé, Bérengère; Ishii, Yuko; Dietrich, Marcelo O; Komatsu, Masaaki; Horvath, Tamas L.; Bouret, Sebastien G.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The hypothalamic melanocortin system, which includes neurons that produce proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptides, is a major negative regulator of energy balance. POMC neurons begin to acquire their unique properties during neonatal life. The formation of functional neural systems requires massive cytoplasmic remodeling that may involve autophagy, an important intracellular mechanism for the degradation of damaged proteins and organelles. Here we investigated the functional and structural effects of the deletion of an essential autophagy gene, Atg7, in POMC neurons. Lack of Atg7 in POMC neurons caused higher post-weaning body weight, increased adiposity, and glucose intolerance. These metabolic impairments were associated with an age-dependant accumulation of ubiquitin/p62-positive aggregates in the hypothalamus and a disruption in the maturation of POMC-containing axonal projections. Together, these data provide direct genetic evidence that Atg7 in POMC neurons is required for normal metabolic regulation and neural development, and they implicate hypothalamic autophagy deficiency in the pathogenesis of obesity. PMID:22285542

  20. Signal propagation along the axon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rama, Sylvain; Zbili, Mickaël; Debanne, Dominique

    2018-03-08

    Axons link distant brain regions and are usually considered as simple transmission cables in which reliable propagation occurs once an action potential has been generated. Safe propagation of action potentials relies on specific ion channel expression at strategic points of the axon such as nodes of Ranvier or axonal branch points. However, while action potentials are generally considered as the quantum of neuronal information, their signaling is not entirely digital. In fact, both their shape and their conduction speed have been shown to be modulated by activity, leading to regulations of synaptic latency and synaptic strength. We report here newly identified mechanisms of (1) safe spike propagation along the axon, (2) compartmentalization of action potential shape in the axon, (3) analog modulation of spike-evoked synaptic transmission and (4) alteration in conduction time after persistent regulation of axon morphology in central neurons. We discuss the contribution of these regulations in information processing. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Lack of TNF-alpha receptor type 2 protects motor neurons in a cellular model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and in mutant SOD1 mice but does not affect disease progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tortarolo, Massimo; Vallarola, Antonio; Lidonnici, Dario; Battaglia, Elisa; Gensano, Francesco; Spaltro, Gabriella; Fiordaliso, Fabio; Corbelli, Alessandro; Garetto, Stefano; Martini, Elisa; Pasetto, Laura; Kallikourdis, Marinos; Bonetto, Valentina; Bendotti, Caterina

    2015-10-01

    Changes in the homeostasis of tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) have been demonstrated in patients and experimental models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, the contribution of TNFα to the development of ALS is still debated. TNFα is expressed by glia and neurons and acts through the membrane receptors TNFR1 and TNFR2, which may have opposite effects in neurodegeneration. We investigated the role of TNFα and its receptors in the selective motor neuron death in ALS in vitro and in vivo. TNFR2 expressed by astrocytes and neurons, but not TNFR1, was implicated in motor neuron loss in primary SOD1-G93A co-cultures. Deleting TNFR2 from SOD1-G93A mice, there was partial but significant protection of spinal motor neurons, sciatic nerves, and tibialis muscles. However, no improvement of motor impairment or survival was observed. Since the sciatic nerves of SOD1-G93A/TNFR2-/- mice showed high phospho-TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) accumulation and low levels of acetyl-tubulin, two indices of axonal dysfunction, the lack of symptom improvement in these mice might be due to impaired function of rescued motor neurons. These results indicate the interaction between TNFR2 and membrane-bound TNFα as an innovative pathway involved in motor neuron death. Nevertheless, its inhibition is not sufficient to stop disease progression in ALS mice, underlining the complexity of this pathology. We show evidence of the involvement of neuronal and astroglial TNFR2 in the motor neuron degeneration in ALS. Both concur to cause motor neuron death in primary astrocyte/spinal neuron co-cultures. TNFR2 deletion partially protects motor neurons and sciatic nerves in SOD1-G93A mice but does not improve their symptoms and survival. However, TNFR2 could be a new target for multi-intervention therapies. © 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  2. Action Potential Dynamics in Fine Axons Probed with an Axonally Targeted Optical Voltage Sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yihe; Bayguinov, Peter O; Jackson, Meyer B

    2017-01-01

    The complex and malleable conduction properties of axons determine how action potentials propagate through extensive axonal arbors to reach synaptic terminals. The excitability of axonal membranes plays a major role in neural circuit function, but because most axons are too thin for conventional electrical recording, their properties remain largely unexplored. To overcome this obstacle, we used a genetically encoded hybrid voltage sensor (hVOS) harboring an axonal targeting motif. Expressing this probe in transgenic mice enabled us to monitor voltage changes optically in two populations of axons in hippocampal slices, the large axons of dentate granule cells (mossy fibers) in the stratum lucidum of the CA3 region and the much finer axons of hilar mossy cells in the inner molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. Action potentials propagated with distinct velocities in each type of axon. Repetitive firing broadened action potentials in both populations, but at an intermediate frequency the degree of broadening differed. Repetitive firing also attenuated action potential amplitudes in both mossy cell and granule cell axons. These results indicate that the features of use-dependent action potential broadening, and possible failure, observed previously in large nerve terminals also appear in much finer unmyelinated axons. Subtle differences in the frequency dependences could influence the propagation of activity through different pathways to excite different populations of neurons. The axonally targeted hVOS probe used here opens up the diverse repertoire of neuronal processes to detailed biophysical study.

  3. Mirror neurons and motor intentionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Sinigaglia, Corrado

    2007-01-01

    Our social life rests to a large extent on our ability to understand the intentions of others. What are the bases of this ability? A very influential view is that we understand the intentions of others because we are able to represent them as having mental states. Without this meta-representational (mind-reading) ability their behavior would be meaningless to us. Over the past few years this view has been challenged by neurophysiological findings and, in particular, by the discovery of mirror neurons. The functional properties of these neurons indicate that intentional understanding is based primarily on a mechanism that directly matches the sensory representation of the observed actions with one's own motor representation of those same actions. These findings reveal how deeply motor and intentional components of action are intertwined, suggesting that both can be fully comprehended only starting from a motor approach to intentionality.

  4. Protective effect of parvalbumin on excitotoxic motor neuron death

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van den Bosch, L.; Schwaller, B.; Vleminckx, V.

    2002-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, AMPA receptor, calcium-binding proteins, calcium buffering, excitotoxity, kainic acid, motor neuron, parvalbumin......Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, AMPA receptor, calcium-binding proteins, calcium buffering, excitotoxity, kainic acid, motor neuron, parvalbumin...

  5. Muscles in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy show profound defects in neuromuscular development even in the absence of failure in neuromuscular transmission or loss of motor neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Young il; Mikesh, Michelle; Smith, Ian; Rimer, Mendell; Thompson, Wesley

    2011-01-01

    A mouse model of the devastating human disease "spinal muscular atrophy" (SMA) was used to investigate the severe muscle weakness and spasticity that precedes the death of these animals near the end of the 2nd postnatal week. Counts of motor units to the soleus muscle as well as of axons in the soleus muscle nerve showed no loss of motor neurons. Similarly, neither immunostaining of neuromuscular junctions nor the measurement of the tension generated by nerve stimulation gave evidence of any ...

  6. Phrenic long-term facilitation requires PKCθ activity within phrenic motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devinney, Michael J; Fields, Daryl P; Huxtable, Adrianne G; Peterson, Timothy J; Dale, Erica A; Mitchell, Gordon S

    2015-05-27

    Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) induces a form of spinal motor plasticity known as phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF); pLTF is a prolonged increase in phrenic motor output after AIH has ended. In anesthetized rats, we demonstrate that pLTF requires activity of the novel PKC isoform, PKCθ, and that the relevant PKCθ is within phrenic motor neurons. Whereas spinal PKCθ inhibitors block pLTF, inhibitors targeting other PKC isoforms do not. PKCθ is highly expressed in phrenic motor neurons, and PKCθ knockdown with intrapleural siRNAs abolishes pLTF. Intrapleural siRNAs targeting PKCζ, an atypical PKC isoform expressed in phrenic motor neurons that underlies a distinct form of phrenic motor plasticity, does not affect pLTF. Thus, PKCθ plays a critical role in spinal AIH-induced respiratory motor plasticity, and the relevant PKCθ is localized within phrenic motor neurons. Intrapleural siRNA delivery has considerable potential as a therapeutic tool to selectively manipulate plasticity in vital respiratory motor neurons. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358107-11$15.00/0.

  7. Intrinsic Membrane Hyperexcitability of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patient-Derived Motor Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J. Wainger

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of the motor nervous system. We show using multielectrode array and patch-clamp recordings that hyperexcitability detected by clinical neurophysiological studies of ALS patients is recapitulated in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons from ALS patients harboring superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1, C9orf72, and fused-in-sarcoma mutations. Motor neurons produced from a genetically corrected but otherwise isogenic SOD1+/+ stem cell line do not display the hyperexcitability phenotype. SOD1A4V/+ ALS patient-derived motor neurons have reduced delayed-rectifier potassium current amplitudes relative to control-derived motor neurons, a deficit that may underlie their hyperexcitability. The Kv7 channel activator retigabine both blocks the hyperexcitability and improves motor neuron survival in vitro when tested in SOD1 mutant ALS cases. Therefore, electrophysiological characterization of human stem cell-derived neurons can reveal disease-related mechanisms and identify therapeutic candidates.

  8. The spectrum of lower motor neuron syndromes : classification, natural course and treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg-Vos, R.M. van den

    2002-01-01

    This thesis focusses on patients with lower motor neuron syndromes. This relatively rare group of syndromes is clinically not well described and the pathogenesis is largely unknown. Two subgroups can be distinguished: patients in whom motor neurons (lower motor neuron disease (LMND)) or motor

  9. Effects of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells on the axonal outgrowth through activation of PI3K/AKT signaling in primary cortical neurons followed oxygen-glucose deprivation injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Transplantation with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs improves the survival of neurons and axonal outgrowth after stroke remains undetermined. Here, we investigated whether PI3K/AKT signaling pathway is involved in these therapeutic effects of BMSCs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: (1 BMSCs and cortical neurons were derived from Sprague-Dawley rats. The injured neurons were induced by Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation (OGD, and then were respectively co-cultured for 48 hours with BMSCs at different densities (5×10(3, 5×10(5/ml in transwell co-culture system. The average length of axon and expression of GAP-43 were examined to assess the effect of BMSCs on axonal outgrowth after the damage of neurons induced by OGD. (2 The injured neurons were cultured with a conditioned medium (CM of BMSCs cultured for 24 hours in neurobasal medium. During the process, we further identified whether PI3K/AKT signaling pathway is involved through the adjunction of LY294002 (a specific phosphatidylinositide-3-kinase (PI3K inhibitor. Two hours later, the expression of pAKT (phosphorylated AKT and AKT were analyzed by Western blotting. The length of axons, the expression of GAP-43 and the survival of neurons were measured at 48 hours. RESULTS: Both BMSCs and CM from BMSCs inreased the axonal length and GAP-43 expression in OGD-injured cortical neurons. There was no difference between the effects of BMSCs of 5×10(5/ml and of 5×10(3/ml on axonal outgrowth. Expression of pAKT enhanced significantly at 2 hours and the neuron survival increased at 48 hours after the injured neurons cultured with the CM, respectively. These effects of CM were prevented by inhibitor LY294002. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: BMSCs promote axonal outgrowth and the survival of neurons against the damage from OGD in vitro by the paracrine effects through PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.

  10. Motor neuron, nerve, and neuromuscular junction disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finsterer, Josef; Papić, Lea; Auer-Grumbach, Michaela

    2011-10-01

    The aim is to review the most relevant findings published during the last year concerning clinical, genetic, pathogenic, and therapeutic advances in motor neuron disease, neuropathies, and neuromuscular junction disorders. Studies on animal and cell models have improved the understanding of how mutated survival motor neuron protein in spinal muscular atrophy governs the pathogenetic processes. New phenotypes of SOD1 mutations have been described. Moreover, animal models enhanced the insight into the pathogenetic background of sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Novel treatment options for motor neuron disease have been described in humans and animal models. Considerable progress has been achieved also in elucidating the genetic background of many forms of inherited neuropathies and high clinical and genetic heterogeneity has been demonstrated. Mutations in MuSK and GFTP1 have been shown to cause new types of congenital myasthenic syndromes. A third type of autoantibodies (Lrp4) has been detected to cause myasthenia gravis. Advances in the clinical and genetic characterization of motor neuron diseases, neuropathies, and neuromuscular transmission defects have important implications on the fundamental understanding, diagnosis, and management of these disorders. Identification of crucial steps of the pathogenetic process may provide the basis for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

  11. Slowing of axonal regeneration is correlated with increased axonal viscosity during aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidemann Steven R

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background As we age, the speed of axonal regeneration declines. At the biophysical level, why this occurs is not well understood. Results To investigate we first measured the rate of axonal elongation of sensory neurons cultured from neonatal and adult rats. We found that neonatal axons grew 40% faster than adult axons (11.5 µm/hour vs. 8.2 µm/hour. To determine how the mechanical properties of axons change during maturation, we used force calibrated towing needles to measure the viscosity (stiffness and strength of substrate adhesion of neonatal and adult sensory axons. We found no significant difference in the strength of adhesions, but did find that adult axons were 3 times intrinsically stiffer than neonatal axons. Conclusions Taken together, our results suggest decreasing axonal stiffness may be part of an effective strategy to accelerate the regeneration of axons in the adult peripheral nervous system.

  12. Axonal Conduction Delays, Brain State, and Corticogeniculate Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoelzel, Carl R; Bereshpolova, Yulia; Alonso, Jose-Manuel; Swadlow, Harvey A

    2017-06-28

    Thalamocortical conduction times are short, but layer 6 corticothalamic axons display an enormous range of conduction times, some exceeding 40-50 ms. Here, we investigate (1) how axonal conduction times of corticogeniculate (CG) neurons are related to the visual information conveyed to the thalamus, and (2) how alert versus nonalert awake brain states affect visual processing across the spectrum of CG conduction times. In awake female Dutch-Belted rabbits, we found 58% of CG neurons to be visually responsive, and 42% to be unresponsive. All responsive CG neurons had simple, orientation-selective receptive fields, and generated sustained responses to stationary stimuli. CG axonal conduction times were strongly related to modulated firing rates (F1 values) generated by drifting grating stimuli, and their associated interspike interval distributions, suggesting a continuum of visual responsiveness spanning the spectrum of axonal conduction times. CG conduction times were also significantly related to visual response latency, contrast sensitivity (C-50 values), directional selectivity, and optimal stimulus velocity. Increasing alertness did not cause visually unresponsive CG neurons to become responsive and did not change the response linearity (F1/F0 ratios) of visually responsive CG neurons. However, for visually responsive CG neurons, increased alertness nearly doubled the modulated response amplitude to optimal visual stimulation (F1 values), significantly shortened response latency, and dramatically increased response reliability. These effects of alertness were uniform across the broad spectrum of CG axonal conduction times. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Corticothalamic neurons of layer 6 send a dense feedback projection to thalamic nuclei that provide input to sensory neocortex. While sensory information reaches the cortex after brief thalamocortical axonal delays, corticothalamic axons can exhibit conduction delays of <2 ms to 40-50 ms. Here, in the corticogeniculate

  13. Respiratory function after selective respiratory motor neuron death from intrapleural CTB–saporin injections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L.; Vinit, Stéphane; Bauernschmidt, Lorene; Mitchell, Gordon S.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes progressive motor neuron degeneration, paralysis and death by ventilatory failure. In rodent ALS models: 1) breathing capacity is preserved until late in disease progression despite major respiratory motor neuron death, suggesting unknown forms of compensatory respiratory plasticity; and 2) spinal microglia become activated in association with motor neuron cell death. Here, we report a novel experimental model to study the impact of respiratory motor neuron death on compensatory responses without many complications attendant to spontaneous motor neuron disease. In specific, we used intrapleural injections of cholera toxin B fragment conjugated to saporin (CTB–SAP) to selectively kill motor neurons with access to the pleural space. Motor neuron survival, CD11b labeling (microglia), ventilatory capacity and phrenic motor output were assessed in rats 3–28 days after intrapleural injections of: 1) CTB–SAP (25 and 50 μg), or 2) unconjugated CTB and SAP (i.e. control; (CTB + SAP). CTB–SAP elicited dose-dependent phrenic and intercostal motor neuron death; 7 days post-25 μg CTB–SAP, motor neuron survival approximated that in end-stage ALS rats (phrenic: 36 ± 7%; intercostal: 56 ± 10% of controls; n = 9; p phrenic motor nucleus, indicating microglial activation; 2) decreased breathing during maximal chemoreceptor stimulation; and 3) diminished phrenic motor output in anesthetized rats (7 days post-25 μg, CTB–SAP: 0.3 ± 0.07 V; CTB + SAP: 1.5 ± 0.3; n = 9; p < 0.05). Intrapleural CTB–SAP represents a novel, inducible model of respiratory motor neuron death and provides an opportunity to study compensation for respiratory motor neuron loss. PMID:25476493

  14. Early development of the circumferential axonal pathway in mouse and chick spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holley, J A

    1982-03-10

    The early development of the circumferential axonal pathway in the brachial and lumbar spinal cord of mouse and chick embryos was studied by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The cellular processes which comprise this pathway grow in the transverse plane and along the lateral margin of the marginal zone (i.e., circumferentially oriented), as typified by the early embryonic commissural axons. The first formative event observed was in the ventrolateral margin of the primitive spinal cord ventricular zone. Cellular processes were found near the external limiting membrane that appeared to grow a variable distance either dorsally or ventrally. Later in development, presumptive motor column neurons migrated into the ventrolateral region, distal to these early circumferentially oriented processes. Concurrently, other circumferentially oriented perikarya and processes appeared along the dorsolateral margin. Due to their aligned sites of origin and parallel growth, the circumferential processes formed a more or less continuous line or pathway, which in about 10% of the scanned specimens could be followed along the entire lateral margin of the embryonic spinal cord. Several specimens later in development had two sets of aligned circumferential processes in the ventral region. Large numbers of circumferential axons were then found to follow the preformed pathway by fasciculation, after the primitive motor column had become established. Since the earliest circumferential processes appeared to differentiate into axons and were found nearly 24 hours prior to growth of most circumferential axons, their role in guidance as pioneering axons was suggested.

  15. Respiratory function after selective respiratory motor neuron death from intrapleural CTB-saporin injections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L; Vinit, Stéphane; Bauernschmidt, Lorene; Mitchell, Gordon S

    2015-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes progressive motor neuron degeneration, paralysis and death by ventilatory failure. In rodent ALS models: 1) breathing capacity is preserved until late in disease progression despite major respiratory motor neuron death, suggesting unknown forms of compensatory respiratory plasticity; and 2) spinal microglia become activated in association with motor neuron cell death. Here, we report a novel experimental model to study the impact of respiratory motor neuron death on compensatory responses without many complications attendant to spontaneous motor neuron disease. In specific, we used intrapleural injections of cholera toxin B fragment conjugated to saporin (CTB-SAP) to selectively kill motor neurons with access to the pleural space. Motor neuron survival, CD11b labeling (microglia), ventilatory capacity and phrenic motor output were assessed in rats 3-28days after intrapleural injections of: 1) CTB-SAP (25 and 50μg), or 2) unconjugated CTB and SAP (i.e. control; (CTB+SAP). CTB-SAP elicited dose-dependent phrenic and intercostal motor neuron death; 7days post-25μg CTB-SAP, motor neuron survival approximated that in end-stage ALS rats (phrenic: 36±7%; intercostal: 56±10% of controls; n=9; pneuron death and provides an opportunity to study compensation for respiratory motor neuron loss. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Axonal excitability properties in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2006-07-01

    To investigate axolemmal ion channel function in patients diagnosed with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A recently described threshold tracking protocol was implemented to measure multiple indices of axonal excitability in 26 ALS patients by stimulating the median motor nerve at the wrist. The excitability indices studied included: stimulus-response curve (SR); strength-duration time constant (tauSD); current/threshold relationship; threshold electrotonus to a 100 ms polarizing current; and recovery curves to a supramaximal stimulus. Compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitudes were significantly reduced in ALS patients (ALS, 2.84+/-1.17 mV; controls, 8.27+/-1.09 mV, P<0.0005) and the SR curves for both 0.2 and 1 ms pulse widths were shifted in a hyperpolarized direction. Threshold electrotonus revealed a greater threshold change to both depolarizing and hyperpolarizing conditioning stimuli, similar to the 'fanned out' appearance that occurs with membrane hyperpolarization. The tauSD was significantly increased in ALS patients (ALS, 0.50+/-0.03 ms; controls, 0.42+/-0.02 ms, P<0.05). The recovery cycle of excitability following a conditioning supramaximal stimulus revealed increased superexcitability in ALS patients (ALS, 29.63+/-1.25%; controls, 25.11+/-1.01%, P<0.01). Threshold tracking studies revealed changes indicative of widespread dysfunction in axonal ion channel conduction, including increased persistent Na+ channel conduction, and abnormalities of fast paranodal K+ and internodal slow K+ channel function, in ALS patients. An increase in persistent Na+ conductances coupled with reduction in K+ currents would predispose axons of ALS patients to generation of fasciculations and cramps. Axonal excitability studies may provide insight into mechanisms responsible for motor neuron loss in ALS.

  17. Electron microscopic localization of 3H-leucine in the neurons of the hypoglossal nerve during axonal reaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gylybov, G.P.; Chuchkov, Ch.Kh.; Davidov, M.S.

    1978-01-01

    The uptake of tritium-labelled leucine in the neuronal organelles with the aim of a follow-up of the dynamics in the protein synthesis in the motoneurons affected during axonal reaction was investigated. The experiments were carried out with rats, of which one of the hypoglossal nerve was crushed and the other was left intact. The labelled amino-acid was injected in the lateral cerebral ventricle 30 to 40 min before the sacrificing of each animal. The examination of the histological preparations shows that the neurons of the hypoglossal nerve cumulate to a larger extent the labelled precursor in comparison with the neuroglia. The perinuclear region, the nucleus, the nucleolus and the axonal hillock show preponderance in the accumulation. The activity greatly decreases at the more remote parts of the axon. The electron=microscopic data confirm these results and supplement them by exactly determining the localization of the labels in the individual organelles. The highest activity was found in the mitochondria, in the Golgi apparatus and in the lysosomes. This can be viewed as the result of intensified transfer of proteins from the ribosomes toward these organelles. There is, however, another possibility - the directly elevated biosynthesis. The elevated activity of the protein synthesis in the cell organelles, assume the authors, is related not only to preserving their structural proteins but also to intensifying axonal transport. (A.B.)

  18. Cell-type specific expression of constitutively-active Rheb promotes regeneration of bulbospinal respiratory axons following cervical SCI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, Mark W; Ghosh, Biswarup; Strojny, Laura R; Block, Cole G; Blazejewski, Sara M; Wright, Megan C; Smith, George M; Lepore, Angelo C

    2018-05-01

    Damage to respiratory neural circuitry and consequent loss of diaphragm function is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in individuals suffering from traumatic cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Repair of CNS axons after SCI remains a therapeutic challenge, despite current efforts. SCI disrupts inspiratory signals originating in the rostral ventral respiratory group (rVRG) of the medulla from their phrenic motor neuron (PhMN) targets, resulting in loss of diaphragm function. Using a rat model of cervical hemisection SCI, we aimed to restore rVRG-PhMN-diaphragm circuitry by stimulating regeneration of injured rVRG axons via targeted induction of Rheb (ras homolog enriched in brain), a signaling molecule that regulates neuronal-intrinsic axon growth potential. Following C2 hemisection, we performed intra-rVRG injection of an adeno-associated virus serotype-2 (AAV2) vector that drives expression of a constitutively-active form of Rheb (cRheb). rVRG neuron-specific cRheb expression robustly increased mTOR pathway activity within the transduced rVRG neuron population ipsilateral to the hemisection, as assessed by levels of phosphorylated ribosomal S6 kinase. By co-injecting our novel AAV2-mCherry/WGA anterograde/trans-synaptic axonal tracer into rVRG, we found that cRheb expression promoted regeneration of injured rVRG axons into the lesion site, while we observed no rVRG axon regrowth with AAV2-GFP control. AAV2-cRheb also significantly reduced rVRG axonal dieback within the intact spinal cord rostral to the lesion. However, cRheb expression did not promote any recovery of ipsilateral hemi-diaphragm function, as assessed by inspiratory electromyography (EMG) burst amplitudes. This lack of functional recovery was likely because regrowing rVRG fibers did not extend back into the caudal spinal cord to synaptically reinnervate PhMNs that we retrogradely-labeled with cholera toxin B from the ipsilateral hemi-diaphragm. Our findings demonstrate that enhancing neuronal

  19. Diabetes alters KIF1A and KIF5B motor proteins in the hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filipa I Baptista

    Full Text Available Diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disorder in humans. Diabetic encephalopathy is characterized by cognitive and memory impairments, which have been associated with changes in the hippocampus, but the mechanisms underlying those impairments triggered by diabetes, are far from being elucidated. The disruption of axonal transport is associated with several neurodegenerative diseases and might also play a role in diabetes-associated disorders affecting nervous system. We investigated the effect of diabetes (2 and 8 weeks duration on KIF1A, KIF5B and dynein motor proteins, which are important for axonal transport, in the hippocampus. The mRNA expression of motor proteins was assessed by qRT-PCR, and also their protein levels by immunohistochemistry in hippocampal slices and immunoblotting in total extracts of hippocampus from streptozotocin-induced diabetic and age-matched control animals. Diabetes increased the expression and immunoreactivity of KIF1A and KIF5B in the hippocampus, but no alterations in dynein were detected. Since hyperglycemia is considered a major player in diabetic complications, the effect of a prolonged exposure to high glucose on motor proteins, mitochondria and synaptic proteins in hippocampal neurons was also studied, giving particular attention to changes in axons. Hippocampal cell cultures were exposed to high glucose (50 mM or mannitol (osmotic control; 25 mM plus 25 mM glucose for 7 days. In hippocampal cultures incubated with high glucose no changes were detected in the fluorescence intensity or number of accumulations related with mitochondria in the axons of hippocampal neurons. Nevertheless, high glucose increased the number of fluorescent accumulations of KIF1A and synaptotagmin-1 and decreased KIF5B, SNAP-25 and synaptophysin immunoreactivity specifically in axons of hippocampal neurons. These changes suggest that anterograde axonal transport mediated by these kinesins may be impaired in hippocampal

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Krarup, Christian

    2004-01-01

    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...

  1. Electrophysiology of Axonal Constrictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher; Jung, Peter; Brown, Anthony

    2013-03-01

    Axons of myelinated neurons are constricted at the nodes of Ranvier, where they are directly exposed to the extracellular space and where the vast majority of the ion channels are located. These constrictions are generated by local regulation of the kinetics of neurofilaments the most important cytoskeletal elements of the axon. In this paper we discuss how this shape affects the electrophysiological function of the neuron. Specifically, although the nodes are short (about 1 μm) in comparison to the distance between nodes (hundreds of μm) they have a substantial influence on the conduction velocity of neurons. We show through computational modeling that nodal constrictions (all other features such as numbers of ion channels left constant) reduce the required fiber diameter for a given target conduction velocity by up to 50% in comparison to an unconstricted axon. We further show that the predicted optimal fiber morphologies closely match reported fiber morphologies. Supported by The National Science Foundation (IOS 1146789)

  2. SnoN facilitates axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning and motor memory consolidation in healthy old adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berghuis, K. M. M.; Veldman, M. P.; Solnik, S.; Koch, G.; Zijdewind, I.; Hortobagyi, T.

    It is controversial whether or not old adults are capable of learning new motor skills and consolidate the performance gains into motor memory in the offline period. The underlying neuronal mechanisms are equally unclear. We determined the magnitude of motor learning and motor memory consolidation

  4. Expression of diverse neuropeptide cotransmitters by identified motor neurons in Aplysia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Church, P.J.; Lloyd, P.E.

    1991-01-01

    Neuropeptide synthesis was determined for individual identified ventral-cluster neurons in the buccal ganglia of Aplysia. Each of these cells was shown to be a motor neuron that innervates buccal muscles that generate biting and swallowing movements during feeding. Individual neurons were identified by a battery of physiological criteria and stained with intracellular injection of a vital dye, and the ganglia were incubated in 35S-methionine. Peptide synthesis was determined by measuring labeled peptides in extracts from individually dissected neuronal cell bodies analyzed by HPLC. Previously characterized peptides found to be synthesized included buccalin, FMRFamide, myomodulin, and the 2 small cardioactive peptides (SCPs). Each of these neuropeptides has been shown to modulate buccal muscle responses to motor neuron stimulation. Two other peptides were found to be synthesized in individual motor neurons. One peptide, which was consistently observed in neurons that also synthesized myomodulin, is likely to be the recently sequenced myomodulin B. The other peptide was observed in a subset of the neurons that synthesize FMRFamide. While identified motor neurons consistently synthesized the same peptide(s), neurons that innervate the same muscle often express different peptides. Neurons that synthesized the SCPs also contained SCP-like activity, as determined by snail heart bioassay. Our results indicate that every identified motor neuron synthesizes a subset of these methionine-containing peptides, and that several neurons consistently synthesize peptides that are likely to be processed from multiple precursors

  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

    2017-01-01

    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 OBOR OECD: Neuroscience s (including psychophysiology Impact factor: 4.431, year: 2016

  6. Hierarchical axon targeting of Drosophila olfactory receptor neurons specified by the proneural transcription factors Atonal and Amos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okumura, Misako; Kato, Tomoko; Miura, Masayuki; Chihara, Takahiro

    2016-01-01

    Sensory information is spatially represented in the brain to form a neural map. It has been suggested that axon-axon interactions are important for neural map formation; however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We used the Drosophila antennal lobe, the first olfactory center in the brain, as a model for studying neural map formation. Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) expressing the same odorant receptor target their axons to a single glomerulus out of approximately 50 glomeruli in the antennal lobe. Previous studies have showed that the axons of Atonal ORNs, specified by Atonal, a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor, pioneer antennal lobe formation; however, the details remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that genetic ablation of Atonal ORNs affects antennal lobe structure and axon targeting of Amos ORNs, another type of ORN specified by the bHLH transcription factor Amos. During development, Atonal ORNs reach the antennal lobe and form the axon commissure before Amos ORNs. We also found that N-cadherin knockdown specifically in Atonal ORNs disrupts the glomerular boundary in the whole antennal lobe. Our results suggest that Atonal ORNs function as pioneer axons. Thus, correct axon targeting of Atonal ORNs is essential for formation of the whole antennal lobe. © 2015 The Molecular Biology Society of Japan and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  7. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning and motor memory consolidation in healthy old adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berghuis, K M M; Veldman, M P; Solnik, S; Koch, G; Zijdewind, I; Hortobágyi, T

    2015-06-01

    It is controversial whether or not old adults are capable of learning new motor skills and consolidate the performance gains into motor memory in the offline period. The underlying neuronal mechanisms are equally unclear. We determined the magnitude of motor learning and motor memory consolidation in healthy old adults and examined if specific metrics of neuronal excitability measured by magnetic brain stimulation mediate the practice and retention effects. Eleven healthy old adults practiced a wrist extension-flexion visuomotor skill for 20 min (MP, 71.3 years), while a second group only watched the templates without movements (attentional control, AC, n = 11, 70.5 years). There was 40 % motor learning in MP but none in AC (interaction, p learn a new motor skill and consolidate the learned skill into motor memory, processes that are most likely mediated by disinhibitory mechanisms. These results are relevant for the increasing number of old adults who need to learn and relearn movements during motor rehabilitation.

  8. Spinal glutamatergic neurons defined by EphA4 signaling are essential components of normal locomotor circuits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borgius, Lotta; Nishimaru, Hiroshi; Caldeira, Vanessa

    2014-01-01

    EphA4 signaling is essential for the spatiotemporal organization of neuronal circuit formation. In mice, deletion of this signaling pathway causes aberrant midline crossing of axons from both brain and spinal neurons and the complete knock-outs (KOs) exhibit a pronounced change in motor behavior...

  9. iPSC-derived Insights into Motor Neuron Disease and Inflammatory Neuropathies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Härschnitz, O.

    2017-01-01

    The proper function of the motor circuit is essential for normal interaction as a human being with external cues. While the motor circuit consists of a variety of cell types, one of its core components is the motor neuron itself. Dysfunction of motor neurons is a hallmark of many neuromuscular

  10. Therapeutic opportunities and challenges of induced pluripotent stem cells-derived motor neurons for treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Manoj Kumar Jaiswal

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are progressive neurodegenera-tive diseases that affect nerve cells in the brain affecting upper and lower motor neurons (UMNs/LMNs), brain stem and spinal cord.The clinical phenotype is characterized by loss of motor neurons (MNs), mus-cular weakness and atrophy eventually leading to paralysis and death due to respiratory failure within 3–5 years after disease onset. No effective treatment or cure is currently available that halts or reverses ALS and MND except FDA approved drug riluzole that only modestly slows the progression of ALS in some patients. Recent advances in human derived induced pluripotent stem cells have made it possible for the first time to obtain substantial amounts of human cells to recapitulate in vitro"disease in dish"and test some of the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms involved in ALS and MNDs. In this review, I discussed the opportunities and challenges of induced pluropotent stem cells-derived motor neurons for treatment of ALS and MND patients with special emphasis on their implications in finding a cure for ALS and MNDs.

  11. Therapeutic opportunities and challenges of induced pluripotent stem cells-derived motor neurons for treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaiswal, Manoj Kumar

    2017-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are progressive neurodegenerative diseases that affect nerve cells in the brain affecting upper and lower motor neurons (UMNs/LMNs), brain stem and spinal cord. The clinical phenotype is characterized by loss of motor neurons (MNs), muscular weakness and atrophy eventually leading to paralysis and death due to respiratory failure within 3-5 years after disease onset. No effective treatment or cure is currently available that halts or reverses ALS and MND except FDA approved drug riluzole that only modestly slows the progression of ALS in some patients. Recent advances in human derived induced pluripotent stem cells have made it possible for the first time to obtain substantial amounts of human cells to recapitulate in vitro " disease in dish " and test some of the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms involved in ALS and MNDs. In this review, I discussed the opportunities and challenges of induced pluropotent stem cells-derived motor neurons for treatment of ALS and MND patients with special emphasis on their implications in finding a cure for ALS and MNDs.

  12. The challenges of dysphagia in treating motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vesey, Siobhan

    2017-07-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND) is a relatively rare degenerative disorder. Its impacts are manifested in progressive loss of motor function and often accompanied by wider non-motor changes. Swallowing and speech abilities are frequently severely impaired. Effective management of dysphagia (swallowing difficulty) symptoms and nutritional care requires a holistic multidisciplinary approach. Care must be patient focused, facilitate patient decision making, and support planning towards end of life care. This article discusses the challenges of providing effective nutritional care to people living with motor neurone disease who have dysphagia.

  13. Integration and long distance axonal regeneration in the central nervous system from transplanted primitive neural stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jiagang; Sun, Woong; Cho, Hyo Min; Ouyang, Hong; Li, Wenlin; Lin, Ying; Do, Jiun; Zhang, Liangfang; Ding, Sheng; Liu, Yizhi; Lu, Paul; Zhang, Kang

    2013-01-04

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in devastating motor and sensory deficits secondary to disrupted neuronal circuits and poor regenerative potential. Efforts to promote regeneration through cell extrinsic and intrinsic manipulations have met with limited success. Stem cells represent an as yet unrealized therapy in SCI. Recently, we identified novel culture methods to induce and maintain primitive neural stem cells (pNSCs) from human embryonic stem cells. We tested whether transplanted human pNSCs can integrate into the CNS of the developing chick neural tube and injured adult rat spinal cord. Following injection of pNSCs into the developing chick CNS, pNSCs integrated into the dorsal aspects of the neural tube, forming cell clusters that spontaneously differentiated into neurons. Furthermore, following transplantation of pNSCs into the lesioned rat spinal cord, grafted pNSCs survived, differentiated into neurons, and extended long distance axons through the scar tissue at the graft-host interface and into the host spinal cord to form terminal-like structures near host spinal neurons. Together, these findings suggest that pNSCs derived from human embryonic stem cells differentiate into neuronal cell types with the potential to extend axons that associate with circuits of the CNS and, more importantly, provide new insights into CNS integration and axonal regeneration, offering hope for repair in SCI.

  14. Motor neuron disease in blacks | Cosnett | South African Medical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A series of 86 black, Indian and white patients with motor neuron disease were analysed retrospectively. Although the material does not allow statistically valid conclusions, there are sufficient cases among blacks to allow two prima facie observations in this population group: (i) motor neuron disease has an earlier age of ...

  15. Ablation of the Ferroptosis Inhibitor Glutathione Peroxidase 4 in Neurons Results in Rapid Motor Neuron Degeneration and Paralysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liuji; Hambright, William Sealy; Na, Ren; Ran, Qitao

    2015-11-20

    Glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), an antioxidant defense enzyme active in repairing oxidative damage to lipids, is a key inhibitor of ferroptosis, a non-apoptotic form of cell death involving lipid reactive oxygen species. Here we show that GPX4 is essential for motor neuron health and survival in vivo. Conditional ablation of Gpx4 in neurons of adult mice resulted in rapid onset and progression of paralysis and death. Pathological inspection revealed that the paralyzed mice had a dramatic degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord but had no overt neuron degeneration in the cerebral cortex. Consistent with the role of GPX4 as a ferroptosis inhibitor, spinal motor neuron degeneration induced by Gpx4 ablation exhibited features of ferroptosis, including no caspase-3 activation, no TUNEL staining, activation of ERKs, and elevated spinal inflammation. Supplementation with vitamin E, another inhibitor of ferroptosis, delayed the onset of paralysis and death induced by Gpx4 ablation. Also, lipid peroxidation and mitochondrial dysfunction appeared to be involved in ferroptosis of motor neurons induced by Gpx4 ablation. Taken together, the dramatic motor neuron degeneration and paralysis induced by Gpx4 ablation suggest that ferroptosis inhibition by GPX4 is essential for motor neuron health and survival in vivo. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. Contributions of intrinsic motor neuron properties to the production of rhythmic motor output in the mammalian spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiehn, O; Kjaerulff, O; Tresch, M C

    2000-01-01

    Motor neurons are endowed with intrinsic and conditional membrane properties that may shape the final motor output. In the first half of this paper we present data on the contribution of I(h), a hyperpolarization-activated inward cation current, to phase-transition in motor neurons during rhythmic...... firing. Motor neurons were recorded intracellularly during locomotion induced with a mixture of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and serotonin, after pharmacological blockade of I(h). I(h) was then replaced by using dynamic clamp, a computer program that allows artificial conductances to be inserted into real...... neurons. I(h) was simulated with biophysical parameters determined in voltage clamp experiments. The data showed that electronic replacement of the native I(h) caused a depolarization of the average membrane potential, a phase-advance of the locomotor drive potential, and increased motor neuron spiking...

  17. Distinctive features of Phox2b-expressing neurons in the rat reticular formation dorsal to the trigeminal motor nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagoya, Kouta; Nakamura, Shiro; Ikeda, Keiko; Onimaru, Hiroshi; Yoshida, Atsushi; Nakayama, Kiyomi; Mochizuki, Ayako; Kiyomoto, Masaaki; Sato, Fumihiko; Kawakami, Kiyoshi; Takahashi, Koji; Inoue, Tomio

    2017-09-01

    Phox2b encodes a paired-like homeodomain-containing transcription factor essential for development of the autonomic nervous system. Phox2b-expressing (Phox2b + ) neurons are present in the reticular formation dorsal to the trigeminal motor nucleus (RdV) as well as the nucleus of the solitary tract and parafacial respiratory group. However, the nature of Phox2b + RdV neurons is still unclear. We investigated the physiological and morphological properties of Phox2b + RdV neurons using postnatal day 2-7 transgenic rats expressing yellow fluorescent protein under the control of Phox2b. Almost all of Phox2b + RdV neurons were glutamatergic, whereas Phox2b-negative (Phox2b - ) RdV neurons consisted of a few glutamatergic, many GABAergic, and many glycinergic neurons. The majority (48/56) of Phox2b + neurons showed low-frequency firing (LF), while most of Phox2b - neurons (35/42) exhibited high-frequency firing (HF) in response to intracellularly injected currents. All, but one, Phox2b + neurons (55/56) did not fire spontaneously, whereas three-fourths of the Phox2b - neurons (31/42) were spontaneously active. K + channel and persistent Na + current blockers affected the firing of LF and HF neurons. The majority of Phox2b + (35/46) and half of the Phox2b - neurons (19/40) did not respond to stimulations of the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus, the trigeminal tract, and the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus. Biocytin labeling revealed that about half of the Phox2b + (5/12) and Phox2b - RdV neurons (5/10) send their axons to the trigeminal motor nucleus. These results suggest that Phox2b + RdV neurons have distinct neurotransmitter phenotypes and firing properties from Phox2b - RdV neurons and might play important roles in feeding-related functions including suckling and possibly mastication. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Correlated conductance parameters in leech heart motor neurons contribute to motor pattern formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Damon G; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2013-01-01

    Neurons can have widely differing intrinsic membrane properties, in particular the density of specific conductances, but how these contribute to characteristic neuronal activity or pattern formation is not well understood. To explore the relationship between conductances, and in particular how they influence the activity of motor neurons in the well characterized leech heartbeat system, we developed a new multi-compartmental Hodgkin-Huxley style leech heart motor neuron model. To do so, we evolved a population of model instances, which differed in the density of specific conductances, capable of achieving specific output activity targets given an associated input pattern. We then examined the sensitivity of measures of output activity to conductances and how the model instances responded to hyperpolarizing current injections. We found that the strengths of many conductances, including those with differing dynamics, had strong partial correlations and that these relationships appeared to be linked by their influence on heart motor neuron activity. Conductances that had positive correlations opposed one another and had the opposite effects on activity metrics when perturbed whereas conductances that had negative correlations could compensate for one another and had similar effects on activity metrics.

  19. Loss of spatacsin function alters lysosomal lipid clearance leading to upper and lower motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branchu, Julien; Boutry, Maxime; Sourd, Laura; Depp, Marine; Leone, Céline; Corriger, Alexandrine; Vallucci, Maeva; Esteves, Typhaine; Matusiak, Raphaël; Dumont, Magali; Muriel, Marie-Paule; Santorelli, Filippo M; Brice, Alexis; El Hachimi, Khalid Hamid; Stevanin, Giovanni; Darios, Frédéric

    2017-06-01

    Mutations in SPG11 account for the most common form of autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), characterized by a gait disorder associated with various brain alterations. Mutations in the same gene are also responsible for rare forms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease and progressive juvenile-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To elucidate the physiopathological mechanisms underlying these human pathologies, we disrupted the Spg11 gene in mice by inserting stop codons in exon 32, mimicking the most frequent mutations found in patients. The Spg11 knockout mouse developed early-onset motor impairment and cognitive deficits. These behavioral deficits were associated with progressive brain atrophy with the loss of neurons in the primary motor cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus, as well as with accumulation of dystrophic axons in the corticospinal tract. Spinal motor neurons also degenerated and this was accompanied by fragmentation of neuromuscular junctions and muscle atrophy. This new Spg11 knockout mouse therefore recapitulates the full range of symptoms associated with SPG11 mutations observed in HSP, ALS and CMT patients. Examination of the cellular alterations observed in this model suggests that the loss of spatacsin leads to the accumulation of lipids in lysosomes by perturbing their clearance from these organelles. Altogether, our results link lysosomal dysfunction and lipid metabolism to neurodegeneration and pinpoint a critical role of spatacsin in lipid turnover. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Enhancing mitochondrial calcium buffering capacity reduces aggregation of misfolded SOD1 and motor neuron cell death without extending survival in mouse models of inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parone, Philippe A; Da Cruz, Sandrine; Han, Joo Seok; McAlonis-Downes, Melissa; Vetto, Anne P; Lee, Sandra K; Tseng, Eva; Cleveland, Don W

    2013-03-13

    Mitochondria have been proposed as targets for toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive, fatal adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons. A decrease in the capacity of spinal cord mitochondria to buffer calcium (Ca(2+)) has been observed in mice expressing ALS-linked mutants of SOD1 that develop motor neuron disease with many of the key pathological hallmarks seen in ALS patients. In mice expressing three different ALS-causing SOD1 mutants, we now test the contribution of the loss of mitochondrial Ca(2+)-buffering capacity to disease mechanism(s) by eliminating ubiquitous expression of cyclophilin D, a critical regulator of Ca(2+)-mediated opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore that determines mitochondrial Ca(2+) content. A chronic increase in mitochondrial buffering of Ca(2+) in the absence of cyclophilin D was maintained throughout disease course and was associated with improved mitochondrial ATP synthesis, reduced mitochondrial swelling, and retention of normal morphology. This was accompanied by an attenuation of glial activation, reduction in levels of misfolded SOD1 aggregates in the spinal cord, and a significant suppression of motor neuron death throughout disease. Despite this, muscle denervation, motor axon degeneration, and disease progression and survival were unaffected, thereby eliminating mutant SOD1-mediated loss of mitochondrial Ca(2+) buffering capacity, altered mitochondrial morphology, motor neuron death, and misfolded SOD1 aggregates, as primary contributors to disease mechanism for fatal paralysis in these models of familial ALS.

  1. Is action potential threshold lowest in the axon?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

    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

  2. Single-cell axotomy of cultured hippocampal neurons integrated in neuronal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomis-Rüth, Susana; Stiess, Michael; Wierenga, Corette J; Meyn, Liane; Bradke, Frank

    2014-05-01

    An understanding of the molecular mechanisms of axon regeneration after injury is key for the development of potential therapies. Single-cell axotomy of dissociated neurons enables the study of the intrinsic regenerative capacities of injured axons. This protocol describes how to perform single-cell axotomy on dissociated hippocampal neurons containing synapses. Furthermore, to axotomize hippocampal neurons integrated in neuronal circuits, we describe how to set up coculture with a few fluorescently labeled neurons. This approach allows axotomy of single cells in a complex neuronal network and the observation of morphological and molecular changes during axon regeneration. Thus, single-cell axotomy of mature neurons is a valuable tool for gaining insights into cell intrinsic axon regeneration and the plasticity of neuronal polarity of mature neurons. Dissociation of the hippocampus and plating of hippocampal neurons takes ∼2 h. Neurons are then left to grow for 2 weeks, during which time they integrate into neuronal circuits. Subsequent axotomy takes 10 min per neuron and further imaging takes 10 min per neuron.

  3. Optofluidic control of axonal guidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Ling; Ordonez, Simon; Black, Bryan; Mohanty, Samarendra K.

    2013-03-01

    Significant efforts are being made for control on axonal guidance due to its importance in nerve regeneration and in the formation of functional neuronal circuitry in-vitro. These include several physical (topographic modification, optical force, and electric field), chemical (surface functionalization cues) and hybrid (electro-chemical, photochemical etc) methods. Here, we report comparison of the effect of linear flow versus microfluidic flow produced by an opticallydriven micromotor in guiding retinal ganglion axons. A circularly polarized laser tweezers was used to hold, position and spin birefringent calcite particle near growth cone, which in turn resulted in microfluidic flow. The flow rate and resulting shear-force on axons could be controlled by a varying the power of the laser tweezers beam. The calcite particles were placed separately in one chamber and single particle was transported through microfluidic channel to another chamber containing the retina explant. In presence of flow, the turning of axons was found to strongly correlate with the direction of flow. Turning angle as high as 90° was achieved. Optofluidic-manipulation can be applied to other types of mammalian neurons and also can be extended to stimulate mechano-sensing neurons.

  4. Multiple neuropeptides in cholinergic motor neurons of Aplysia: evidence for modulation intrinsic to the motor circuit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cropper, E.C.; Lloyd, P.E.; Reed, W.; Tenenbaum, R.; Kupfermann, I.; Weiss, K.R.

    1987-01-01

    Changes in Aplysia biting responses during food arousal are partially mediated by the serotonergic metacerebral cells (MCCs). The MCCs potentiate contractions of a muscle utilized in biting, the accessory radula closer (ARCM), when contractions are elicited by stimulation of either of the two cholinergic motor neurons B15 or B16 that innervate the muscle. The authors have now shown that ARCM contractions may also be potentiated by peptide cotransmitters in the ARCM motor neurons. They found that motor neuron B15 contains small cardioactive peptides A and B (SCP/sub A/ and SCP/sub B/) i.e., whole B15 neurons were bioactive on the SCP-sensitive Helix heart, as were reverse-phase HPLC fractions of B15 neurons that eluted like synthetic SCP/sub A/ and SCP/sub B/. Furthermore, [ 35 S]methionine-labeled B15 peptides precisely coeluted with synthetic SCP/sub A/ and SCP/sub B/. SCP/sub B/-like immunoreactivity was associated with dense-core vesicles in the soma of B15 and in neuritic varicosities and terminals in the ARCM. B16 motor neurons did not contain SCP/sub A/ or SCP/sub B/ but contained an unidentified bioactive peptide. RP-HPLC of [ 35 S]methionine-labeled B16s resulted in one major peak of radioactivity that did not coelute with either SCP and which, when subject to Edman degradation, yielded [ 35 S]methionine in positions where there is no methionine in the SCPs. Exogenously applied B16 peptide potentiated ARCM contractions elicited by stimulation of B15 or B16 neurons. Thus, in this system there appear to be two types of modulation; one type arises from the MCCs and is extrinsic to the motor system, whereas the second type arises from the motor neurons themselves and hence is intrinsic

  5. MicroRNA-128 governs neuronal excitability and motor behavior in mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Chan Lek; Plotkin, Joshua L.; Venø, Morten Trillingsgaard

    2013-01-01

    The control of motor behavior in animals and humans requires constant adaptation of neuronal networks to signals of various types and strengths. We found that microRNA-128 (miR-128), which is expressed in adult neurons, regulates motor behavior by modulating neuronal signaling networks and excita...

  6. Pathophysiological role of prostaglandin E2-induced up-regulation of the EP2 receptor in motor neuron-like NSC-34 cells and lumbar motor neurons in ALS model mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosuge, Yasuhiro; Miyagishi, Hiroko; Yoneoka, Yuki; Yoneda, Keiko; Nango, Hiroshi; Ishige, Kumiko; Ito, Yoshihisa

    2017-07-04

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective degeneration of motor neurons. The primary triggers for motor neuronal death are still unknown, but inflammation is considered to be an important factor contributing to the pathophysiology of ALS both clinically and in ALS models. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and its corresponding four E-prostanoid receptors play a pivotal role in the degeneration of motor neurons in human and transgenic models of ALS. It has also been shown that PGE2-EP2 signaling in glial cells (astrocytes or microglia) promotes motor neuronal death in G93A mice. The present study was designed to investigate the levels of expression of EP receptors in the spinal motor neurons of ALS model mice and to examine whether PGE2 alters the expression of EP receptors in differentiated NSC-34 cells, a motor neuron-like cell line. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that EP2 and EP3 immunoreactivity was localized in NeuN-positive large cells showing the typical morphology of motor neurons in mice. Semi-quantitative analysis showed that the immunoreactivity of EP2 in motor neurons was significantly increased in the early symptomatic stage in ALS model mice. In contrast, the level of EP3 expression remained constant, irrespective of age. In differentiated NSC-34 cells, bath application of PGE2 resulted in a concentration-dependent decrease of MTT reduction. Although PGE2 had no effect on cell survival at concentrations of less than 10 μM, pretreatment with 10 μM PGE2 significantly up-regulated EP2 and concomitantly potentiated cell death induced by 30 μM PGE2. These results suggest that PGE2 is an important effector for induction of the EP2 subtype in differentiated NSC-34 cells, and that not only EP2 up-regulation in glial cells but also EP2 up-regulation in motor neurons plays a pivotal role in the vulnerability of motor neurons in ALS model mice. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  7. Electrical stimulation of transplanted motoneurons improves motor unit formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Grumbles, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Motoneurons die following spinal cord trauma and with neurological disease. Intact axons reinnervate nearby muscle fibers to compensate for the death of motoneurons, but when an entire motoneuron pool dies, there is complete denervation. To reduce denervation atrophy, we have reinnervated muscles in Fisher rats from local transplants of embryonic motoneurons in peripheral nerve. Since growth of axons from embryonic neurons is activity dependent, our aim was to test whether brief electrical stimulation of the neurons immediately after transplantation altered motor unit numbers and muscle properties 10 wk later. All surgical procedures and recordings were done in anesthetized animals. The muscle consequences of motoneuron death were mimicked by unilateral sciatic nerve section. One week later, 200,000 embryonic day 14 and 15 ventral spinal cord cells, purified for motoneurons, were injected into the tibial nerve 10–15 mm from the gastrocnemii muscles as the only neuron source for muscle reinnervation. The cells were stimulated immediately after transplantation for up to 1 h using protocols designed to examine differential effects due to pulse number, stimulation frequency, pattern, and duration. Electrical stimulation that included short rests and lasted for 1 h resulted in higher motor unit counts. Muscles with higher motor unit counts had more reinnervated fibers and were stronger. Denervated muscles had to be stimulated directly to evoke contractions. These results show that brief electrical stimulation of embryonic neurons, in vivo, has long-term effects on motor unit formation and muscle force. This muscle reinnervation provides the opportunity to use patterned electrical stimulation to produce functional movements. PMID:24848463

  8. End-to-side neurorrhaphy repairs peripheral nerve injury: sensory nerve induces motor nerve regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qing; Zhang, She-Hong; Wang, Tao; Peng, Feng; Han, Dong; Gu, Yu-Dong

    2017-10-01

    End-to-side neurorrhaphy is an option in the treatment of the long segment defects of a nerve. It involves suturing the distal stump of the disconnected nerve (recipient nerve) to the side of the intimate adjacent nerve (donor nerve). However, the motor-sensory specificity after end-to-side neurorrhaphy remains unclear. This study sought to evaluate whether cutaneous sensory nerve regeneration induces motor nerves after end-to-side neurorrhaphy. Thirty rats were randomized into three groups: (1) end-to-side neurorrhaphy using the ulnar nerve (mixed sensory and motor) as the donor nerve and the cutaneous antebrachii medialis nerve as the recipient nerve; (2) the sham group: ulnar nerve and cutaneous antebrachii medialis nerve were just exposed; and (3) the transected nerve group: cutaneous antebrachii medialis nerve was transected and the stumps were turned over and tied. At 5 months, acetylcholinesterase staining results showed that 34% ± 16% of the myelinated axons were stained in the end-to-side group, and none of the myelinated axons were stained in either the sham or transected nerve groups. Retrograde fluorescent tracing of spinal motor neurons and dorsal root ganglion showed the proportion of motor neurons from the cutaneous antebrachii medialis nerve of the end-to-side group was 21% ± 5%. In contrast, no motor neurons from the cutaneous antebrachii medialis nerve of the sham group and transected nerve group were found in the spinal cord segment. These results confirmed that motor neuron regeneration occurred after cutaneous nerve end-to-side neurorrhaphy.

  9. Embryonic origins of a motor system: motor dendrites form a myotopic map in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Landgraf

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available The organisational principles of locomotor networks are less well understood than those of many sensory systems, where in-growing axon terminals form a central map of peripheral characteristics. Using the neuromuscular system of the Drosophila embryo as a model and retrograde tracing and genetic methods, we have uncovered principles underlying the organisation of the motor system. We find that dendritic arbors of motor neurons, rather than their cell bodies, are partitioned into domains to form a myotopic map, which represents centrally the distribution of body wall muscles peripherally. While muscles are segmental, the myotopic map is parasegmental in organisation. It forms by an active process of dendritic growth independent of the presence of target muscles, proper differentiation of glial cells, or (in its initial partitioning competitive interactions between adjacent dendritic domains. The arrangement of motor neuron dendrites into a myotopic map represents a first layer of organisation in the motor system. This is likely to be mirrored, at least in part, by endings of higher-order neurons from central pattern-generating circuits, which converge onto the motor neuron dendrites. These findings will greatly simplify the task of understanding how a locomotor system is assembled. Our results suggest that the cues that organise the myotopic map may be laid down early in development as the embryo subdivides into parasegmental units.

  10. Upper motor neuron predominant degeneration with frontal and temporal lobe atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konagaya, M; Sakai, M; Matsuoka, Y; Konagaya, Y; Hashizume, Y

    1998-11-01

    The autopsy findings of a 78-year-old man mimicking primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) are reported. He showed slowly progressive spasticity, pseudobulbar palsy and character change, and died 32 months after the onset of symptoms. Autopsy revealed severe atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes, remarkable neuronal loss and gliosis in the precentral gyrus, left temporal lobe pole and amygdala, mild degeneration of the Ammon's horn, degeneration of the corticospinal tract, and very mild involvement of the lower motor neurons. The anterior horn cells only occasionally demonstrated Bunina body by cystatin-C staining, and skein-like inclusions by ubiquitin staining. This is a peculiar case with concomitant involvement in the motor cortex and temporal lobe in motor neuron disease predominantly affecting the upper motor neuron.

  11. Long-Standing Motor and Sensory Recovery following Acute Fibrin Sealant Based Neonatal Sciatic Nerve Repair

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Perussi Biscola

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Brachial plexus lesion results in loss of motor and sensory function, being more harmful in the neonate. Therefore, this study evaluated neuroprotection and regeneration after neonatal peripheral nerve coaptation with fibrin sealant. Thus, P2 neonatal Lewis rats were divided into three groups: AX: sciatic nerve axotomy (SNA without treatment; AX+FS: SNA followed by end-to-end coaptation with fibrin sealant derived from snake venom; AX+CFS: SNA followed by end-to-end coaptation with commercial fibrin sealant. Results were analyzed 4, 8, and 12 weeks after lesion. Astrogliosis, microglial reaction, and synapse preservation were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Neuronal survival, axonal regeneration, and ultrastructural changes at ventral spinal cord were also investigated. Sensory-motor recovery was behaviorally studied. Coaptation preserved synaptic covering on lesioned motoneurons and led to neuronal survival. Reactive gliosis and microglial reaction decreased in the same groups (AX+FS, AX+CFS at 4 weeks. Regarding axonal regeneration, coaptation allowed recovery of greater number of myelinated fibers, with improved morphometric parameters. Preservation of inhibitory synaptic terminals was accompanied by significant improvement in the motor as well as in the nociceptive recovery. Overall, the present data suggest that acute repair of neonatal peripheral nerves with fibrin sealant results in neuroprotection and regeneration of motor and sensory axons.

  12. The lactate receptor HCAR1 promotes neuronal development and protects axons and myelin during hypoglycemia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kennedy, L. H.; Andersson, K. A.; Haugen, O. P.

    2017-01-01

    Lactate plays a significant role as an energy supply for neurons and has a neuroprotective effect in hypoglycemia and ischemia (1±5). Further, oligodendrocytes can use lactate for myelination when glucose levels are low. New studies suggest that lactate is not only a metabolic fuel but also...... in the development and survival of neurons and oligodendrocytes in normal conditions and hypoglycemia. We show that young HCAR1 KO mice have a reduced number of neural progenitor cells in the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex, and the average size of cortical axons is smaller in KO compared with WT mice...

  13. Loss of autophagy in pro-opiomelanocortin neurons perturbs axon growth and causes metabolic dysregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coupé, Bérengère; Ishii, Yuko; Dietrich, Marcelo O; Komatsu, Masaaki; Horvath, Tamas L; Bouret, Sebastien G

    2012-02-08

    The hypothalamic melanocortin system, which includes neurons that produce pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptides, is a major negative regulator of energy balance. POMC neurons begin to acquire their unique properties during neonatal life. The formation of functional neural systems requires massive cytoplasmic remodeling that may involve autophagy, an important intracellular mechanism for the degradation of damaged proteins and organelles. Here we investigated the functional and structural effects of the deletion of an essential autophagy gene, Atg7, in POMC neurons. Lack of Atg7 in POMC neurons caused higher postweaning body weight, increased adiposity, and glucose intolerance. These metabolic impairments were associated with an age-dependent accumulation of ubiquitin/p62-positive aggregates in the hypothalamus and a disruption in the maturation of POMC-containing axonal projections. Together, these data provide direct genetic evidence that Atg7 in POMC neurons is required for normal metabolic regulation and neural development, and they implicate hypothalamic autophagy deficiency in the pathogenesis of obesity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Structure and Function of an Actin-Based Filter in the Proximal Axon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varuzhan Balasanyan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: The essential organization of microtubules within neurons has been described; however, less is known about how neuronal actin is arranged and the functional implications of its arrangement. Here, we describe, in live cells, an actin-based structure in the proximal axon that selectively prevents some proteins from entering the axon while allowing the passage of others. Concentrated patches of actin in proximal axons are present shortly after axonal specification in rat and zebrafish neurons imaged live, and they mark positions where anterogradely traveling vesicles carrying dendritic proteins halt and reverse. Patches colocalize with the ARP2/3 complex, and when ARP2/3-mediated nucleation is blocked, a dendritic protein mislocalizes to the axon. Patches are highly dynamic, with few persisting longer than 30 min. In neurons in culture and in vivo, actin appears to form a contiguous, semipermeable barrier, despite its apparently sparse distribution, preventing axonal localization of constitutively active myosin Va but not myosin VI. : Balasanyan et al. find dynamic patches of actin in proximal axons of live neurons, mature and newly differentiated, in culture and in vivo. Patches contribute to a filter that sequesters some proteins within the somatodendritic domain while allowing others to pass into the axon, leading to polarized localization of proteins.

  15. Generation of Spinal Motor Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, David P; Kiskinis, Evangelos

    2017-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are characterized by their unique ability to self-renew indefinitely, as well as to differentiate into any cell type of the human body. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) share these salient characteristics with ESCs and can easily be generated from any given individual by reprogramming somatic cell types such as fibroblasts or blood cells. The spinal motor neuron (MN) is a specialized neuronal subtype that synapses with muscle to control movement. Here, we present a method to generate functional, postmitotic, spinal motor neurons through the directed differentiation of ESCs and iPSCs by the use of small molecules. These cells can be utilized to study the development and function of human motor neurons in healthy and disease states.

  16. From synapse to nucleus and back again--communication over distance within neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fainzilber, Mike; Budnik, Vivian; Segal, Rosalind A; Kreutz, Michael R

    2011-11-09

    How do neurons integrate intracellular communication from synapse to nucleus and back? Here we briefly summarize aspects of this topic covered by a symposium at Neuroscience 2011. A rich repertoire of signaling mechanisms link both dendritic terminals and axon tips with neuronal soma and nucleus, using motor-dependent transport machineries to traverse the long intracellular distances along neuronal processes. Activation mechanisms at terminals include localized translation of dendritic or axonal RNA, proteolytic cleavage of receptors or second messengers, and differential phosphorylation of signaling moieties. Signaling complexes may be transported in endosomes, or as non-endosomal complexes associated with importins and dynein. Anterograde transport of RNA granules from the soma to neuronal processes, coupled with retrograde transport of proteins translated locally at terminals or within processes, may fuel ongoing bidirectional communication between soma and synapse to modulate synaptic plasticity as well as neuronal growth and survival decisions.

  17. miR126-5p down-regulation facilitates axon degeneration and NMJ disruption via a non-cell-autonomous mechanism in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maimon, Roy; Ionescu, Ariel; Bonnie, Avichai; Sweetat, Sahar; Wald-Altman, Shane; Inbar, Shani; Gradus, Tal; Trotti, Davide; Weil, Miguel; Behar, Oded; Perlson, Eran

    2018-05-17

    Axon degeneration and disruption of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) are key events in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) pathology. Although the disease's etiology is not fully understood, it is thought to involve a non-cell-autonomous mechanism and alterations in RNA metabolism. Here, we identified reduced levels of miR-126-5p in pre-symptomatic ALS male mice models, and an increase in its targets: axon destabilizing type-3 Semaphorins and their co-receptor Neuropilins. Utilizing compartmentalized in vitro co-cultures, we demonstrated that myocytes expressing diverse ALS-causing mutations promote axon degeneration and NMJ dysfunction, which were inhibited by applying Neuropilin1 (NRP1) blocking antibody. Finally, overexpressing miR126-5p is sufficient to transiently rescue axon degeneration and NMJ disruption both in vitro and in vivo Thus, we demonstrate a novel mechanism underlying ALS pathology, in which alterations in miR126-5p facilitate a non-cell-autonomous mechanism of motor neuron degeneration in ALS. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In spite of some progress, currently no effective treatment is available for ALS. We suggest a novel regulatory role for miR126-5p in ALS and demonstrate for the first time a mechanism by which alterations in miR126-5p contribute to axon degeneration and NMJ disruption observed in ALS. We show that miR126-5p is altered in ALS models and that it can modulate Sema3 and NRP protein expression. Furthermore, NRP1 elevations in motor neurons and muscle secretion of Sema3A contribute to axon degeneration and NMJ disruption in ALS. Finally, overexpressing miR126-5p is sufficient to transiently rescue NMJ disruption and axon degeneration both in vitro and in vivo. Copyright © 2018 Maimon et al.

  18. Drebrin controls neuronal migration through the formation and alignment of the leading process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dun, Xin-peng; Bandeira de Lima, Tiago; Allen, James; Geraldo, Sara; Gordon-Weeks, Phillip; Chilton, John K

    2012-03-01

    Formation of a functional nervous system requires neurons to migrate to the correct place within the developing brain. Tangentially migrating neurons are guided by a leading process which extends towards the target and is followed by the cell body. How environmental cues are coupled to specific cytoskeletal changes to produce and guide leading process growth is unknown. One such cytoskeletal modulator is drebrin, an actin-binding protein known to induce protrusions in many cell types and be important for regulating neuronal morphology. Using the migration of oculomotor neurons as a model, we have shown that drebrin is necessary for the generation and guidance of the leading process. In the absence of drebrin, leading processes are not formed and cells fail to migrate although axon growth and pathfinding appear grossly unaffected. Conversely, when levels of drebrin are elevated the leading processes turn away from their target and as a result the motor neuron cell bodies move along abnormal paths within the brain. The aberrant trajectories were highly reproducible suggesting that drebrin is required to interpret specific guidance cues. The axons and growth cones of these neurons display morphological changes, particularly increased branching and filopodial number but despite this they extend along normal developmental pathways. Collectively these results show that drebrin is initially necessary for the formation of a leading process and subsequently for this to respond to navigational signals and grow in the correct direction. Furthermore, we have shown that the actions of drebrin can be segregated within individual motor neurons to direct their migration independently of axon guidance. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Can injured adult CNS axons regenerate by recapitulating development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Brett J; Bradke, Frank

    2017-10-01

    In the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS), neurons typically fail to regenerate their axons after injury. During development, by contrast, neurons extend axons effectively. A variety of intracellular mechanisms mediate this difference, including changes in gene expression, the ability to form a growth cone, differences in mitochondrial function/axonal transport and the efficacy of synaptic transmission. In turn, these intracellular processes are linked to extracellular differences between the developing and adult CNS. During development, the extracellular environment directs axon growth and circuit formation. In adulthood, by contrast, extracellular factors, such as myelin and the extracellular matrix, restrict axon growth. Here, we discuss whether the reactivation of developmental processes can elicit axon regeneration in the injured CNS. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. Axon initial segment Kv1 channels control axonal action potential waveform and synaptic efficacy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

    Action potentials are binary signals that transmit information via their rate and temporal pattern. In this context, the axon is thought of as a transmission line, devoid of a role in neuronal computation. Here, we show a highly localized role of axonal Kv1 potassium channels in shaping the action

  1. In search for a gold-standard procedure to count motor neurons in the spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrucci, Michela; Lazzeri, Gloria; Flaibani, Marina; Biagioni, Francesca; Cantini, Federica; Madonna, Michele; Bucci, Domenico; Limanaqi, Fiona; Soldani, Paola; Fornai, Francesco

    2018-03-14

    Counting motor neurons within the spinal cord and brainstem represents a seminal step to comprehend the anatomy and physiology of the final common pathway sourcing from the CNS. Motor neuron loss allows to assess the severity of motor neuron disorders while providing a tool to assess disease modifying effects. Counting motor neurons at first implies gold standard identification methods. In fact, motor neurons may occur within mixed nuclei housing a considerable amount of neurons other than motor neurons. In the present review, we analyse various approaches to count motor neurons emphasizing both the benefits and bias of each protocol. A special emphasis is placed on discussing automated stereology. When automated stereology does not take into account site-specificity and does not distinguish between heterogeneous neuronal populations, it may confound data making such a procedure a sort of "guide for the perplex". Thus, if on the one hand automated stereology improves our ability to quantify neuronal populations, it may also hide false positives/negatives in neuronal counts. For instance, classic staining for antigens such as SMI-32, SMN and ChAT, which are routinely considered to be specific for motor neurons, may also occur in other neuronal types of the spinal cord. Even site specificity within Lamina IX may be misleading due to neuronal populations having a size and shape typical of motor neurons. This is the case of spinal border cells, which often surpass the border of Lamina VII and intermingle with motor neurons of Lamina IX. The present article discusses the need to join automated stereology with a dedicated knowledge of each specific neuroanatomical setting.

  2. IGF-1: elixir for motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papanikolaou, Theodora; Ellerby, Lisa M

    2009-08-13

    Modulation of testosterone levels is a therapeutic approach for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), a polyglutamine disorder that affects the motor neurons. The article by Palazzolo et al. in this issue of Neuron provides compelling evidence that the expression of insulin growth hormone is a potential therapeutic for SBMA.

  3. Effects of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation on expression of growth-associated genes by corticospinal neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lieberman AR

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inflammation around cell bodies of primary sensory neurons and retinal ganglion cells enhances expression of neuronal growth-associated genes and stimulates axonal regeneration. We have asked if inflammation would have similar effects on corticospinal neurons, which normally show little response to spinal cord injury. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS was applied onto the pial surface of the motor cortex of adult rats with or without concomitant injury of the corticospinal tract at C4. Inflammation around corticospinal tract cell bodies in the motor cortex was assessed by immunohistochemistry for OX42 (a microglia and macrophage marker. Expression of growth-associated genes c-jun, ATF3, SCG10 and GAP-43 was investigated by immunohistochemistry or in situ hybridisation. Results Application of LPS induced a gradient of inflammation through the full depth of the motor cortex and promoted c-Jun and SCG10 expression for up to 2 weeks, and GAP-43 upregulation for 3 days by many corticospinal neurons, but had very limited effects on neuronal ATF3 expression. However, many glial cells in the subcortical white matter upregulated ATF3. LPS did not promote sprouting of anterogradely labelled corticospinal axons, which did not grow into or beyond a cervical lesion site. Conclusion Inflammation produced by topical application of LPS promoted increased expression of some growth-associated genes in the cell bodies of corticospinal neurons, but was insufficient to promote regeneration of the corticospinal tract.

  4. Spastin-Interacting Protein NA14/SSNA1 Functions in Cytokinesis and Axon Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jaerak; Blackstone, Craig

    2014-01-01

    Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a genetically diverse group of inherited neurological disorders (SPG1-72) with the cardinal feature of prominent lower-extremity spasticity due to a length-dependent axonopathy of corticospinal motor neurons. The most frequent form of autosomal dominant HSP results from mutations of the SPG4 gene product spastin. This is an ATPase associated with diverse cellular activities (AAA) protein that binds to and severs microtubules. While spastin participates in crucial cellular processes such as cytokinesis, endosomal tubulation, and axon development, its role in HSP pathogenesis remains unclear. Spastin interacts in cells with the NA14 protein, a major target for auto-antibodies in Sjögren's syndrome (nuclear autoantigen 1; SSNA1). Our analysis of endogenous spastin and NA14 proteins in HeLa cells and rat cortical neurons in primary culture revealed a clear distribution of both proteins to centrosomes, with NA14 localizing specifically to centrioles. Stable NA14 knockdown in cell lines dramatically affected cell division, in particular cytokinesis. Furthermore, overexpression of NA14 in neurons significantly increased axon outgrowth and branching, while also enhancing neuronal differentiation. We postulate that NA14 may act as an adaptor protein regulating spastin localization to centrosomes, temporally and spatially regulating the microtubule-severing activity of spastin that is particularly critical during the cell cycle and neuronal development. PMID:25390646

  5. Spastin-interacting protein NA14/SSNA1 functions in cytokinesis and axon development.

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    Uma Goyal

    Full Text Available Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs are a genetically diverse group of inherited neurological disorders (SPG1-72 with the cardinal feature of prominent lower-extremity spasticity due to a length-dependent axonopathy of corticospinal motor neurons. The most frequent form of autosomal dominant HSP results from mutations of the SPG4 gene product spastin. This is an ATPase associated with diverse cellular activities (AAA protein that binds to and severs microtubules. While spastin participates in crucial cellular processes such as cytokinesis, endosomal tubulation, and axon development, its role in HSP pathogenesis remains unclear. Spastin interacts in cells with the NA14 protein, a major target for auto-antibodies in Sjögren's syndrome (nuclear autoantigen 1; SSNA1. Our analysis of endogenous spastin and NA14 proteins in HeLa cells and rat cortical neurons in primary culture revealed a clear distribution of both proteins to centrosomes, with NA14 localizing specifically to centrioles. Stable NA14 knockdown in cell lines dramatically affected cell division, in particular cytokinesis. Furthermore, overexpression of NA14 in neurons significantly increased axon outgrowth and branching, while also enhancing neuronal differentiation. We postulate that NA14 may act as an adaptor protein regulating spastin localization to centrosomes, temporally and spatially regulating the microtubule-severing activity of spastin that is particularly critical during the cell cycle and neuronal development.

  6. Plasminogen deficiency causes reduced corticospinal axonal plasticity and functional recovery after stroke in mice.

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    Zhongwu Liu

    Full Text Available Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA has been implicated in neurite outgrowth and neurological recovery post stroke. tPA converts the zymogen plasminogen (Plg into plasmin. In this study, using plasminogen knockout (Plg-/- mice and their Plg-native littermates (Plg+/+, we investigated the role of Plg in axonal remodeling and neurological recovery after stroke. Plg+/+ and Plg-/- mice (n = 10/group were subjected to permanent intraluminal monofilament middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo. A foot-fault test and a single pellet reaching test were performed prior to and on day 3 after stroke, and weekly thereafter to monitor functional deficit and recovery. Biotinylated dextran amine (BDA was injected into the left motor cortex to anterogradely label the corticospinal tract (CST. Animals were euthanized 4 weeks after stroke. Neurite outgrowth was also measured in primary cultured cortical neurons harvested from Plg+/+ and Plg-/- embryos. In Plg+/+ mice, the motor functional deficiency after stroke progressively recovered with time. In contrast, recovery in Plg-/- mice was significantly impaired compared to Plg+/+ mice (p0.82, p<0.01. Plg-/- neurons exhibited significantly reduced neurite outgrowth. Our data suggest that plasminogen-dependent proteolysis has a beneficial effect during neurological recovery after stroke, at least in part, by promoting axonal remodeling in the denervated spinal cord.

  7. A novel and efficient gene transfer strategy reduces glial reactivity and improves neuronal survival and axonal growth in vitro.

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    Mathieu Desclaux

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The lack of axonal regeneration in the central nervous system is attributed among other factors to the formation of a glial scar. This cellular structure is mainly composed of reactive astrocytes that overexpress two intermediate filament proteins, the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP and vimentin. Indeed, in vitro, astrocytes lacking GFAP or both GFAP and vimentin were shown to be the substrate for increased neuronal plasticity. Moreover, double knockout mice lacking both GFAP and vimentin presented lower levels of glial reactivity in vivo, significant axonal regrowth and improved functional recovery in comparison with wild-type mice after spinal cord hemisection. From these results, our objective was to develop a novel therapeutic strategy for axonal regeneration, based on the targeted suppression of astroglial reactivity and scarring by lentiviral-mediated RNA-interference (RNAi. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In this study, we constructed two lentiviral vectors, Lv-shGFAP and Lv-shVIM, which allow efficient and stable RNAi-mediated silencing of endogenous GFAP or vimentin in vitro. In cultured cortical and spinal reactive astrocytes, the use of these vectors resulted in a specific, stable and highly significant decrease in the corresponding protein levels. In a second model -- scratched primary cultured astrocytes -- Lv-shGFAP, alone or associated with Lv-shVIM, decreased astrocytic reactivity and glial scarring. Finally, in a heterotopic coculture model, cortical neurons displayed higher survival rates and increased neurite growth when cultured with astrocytes in which GFAP and vimentin had been invalidated by lentiviral-mediated RNAi. CONCLUSIONS: Lentiviral-mediated knockdown of GFAP and vimentin in astrocytes show that GFAP is a key target for modulating reactive gliosis and monitoring neuron/glia interactions. Thus, manipulation of reactive astrocytes with the Lv-shGFAP vector constitutes a promising therapeutic strategy for

  8. A novel and efficient gene transfer strategy reduces glial reactivity and improves neuronal survival and axonal growth in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desclaux, Mathieu; Teigell, Marisa; Amar, Lahouari; Vogel, Roland; Gimenez Y Ribotta, Minerva; Privat, Alain; Mallet, Jacques

    2009-07-14

    The lack of axonal regeneration in the central nervous system is attributed among other factors to the formation of a glial scar. This cellular structure is mainly composed of reactive astrocytes that overexpress two intermediate filament proteins, the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin. Indeed, in vitro, astrocytes lacking GFAP or both GFAP and vimentin were shown to be the substrate for increased neuronal plasticity. Moreover, double knockout mice lacking both GFAP and vimentin presented lower levels of glial reactivity in vivo, significant axonal regrowth and improved functional recovery in comparison with wild-type mice after spinal cord hemisection. From these results, our objective was to develop a novel therapeutic strategy for axonal regeneration, based on the targeted suppression of astroglial reactivity and scarring by lentiviral-mediated RNA-interference (RNAi). In this study, we constructed two lentiviral vectors, Lv-shGFAP and Lv-shVIM, which allow efficient and stable RNAi-mediated silencing of endogenous GFAP or vimentin in vitro. In cultured cortical and spinal reactive astrocytes, the use of these vectors resulted in a specific, stable and highly significant decrease in the corresponding protein levels. In a second model -- scratched primary cultured astrocytes -- Lv-shGFAP, alone or associated with Lv-shVIM, decreased astrocytic reactivity and glial scarring. Finally, in a heterotopic coculture model, cortical neurons displayed higher survival rates and increased neurite growth when cultured with astrocytes in which GFAP and vimentin had been invalidated by lentiviral-mediated RNAi. Lentiviral-mediated knockdown of GFAP and vimentin in astrocytes show that GFAP is a key target for modulating reactive gliosis and monitoring neuron/glia interactions. Thus, manipulation of reactive astrocytes with the Lv-shGFAP vector constitutes a promising therapeutic strategy for increasing glial permissiveness and permitting axonal regeneration

  9. The Microtubule Regulatory Protein Stathmin Is Required to Maintain the Integrity of Axonal Microtubules in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Jason E.; Lytle, Nikki K.; Zuniga, Alfredo; Goldstein, Lawrence S. B.

    2013-01-01

    Axonal transport, a form of long-distance, bi-directional intracellular transport that occurs between the cell body and synaptic terminal, is critical in maintaining the function and viability of neurons. We have identified a requirement for the stathmin (stai) gene in the maintenance of axonal microtubules and regulation of axonal transport in Drosophila . The stai gene encodes a cytosolic phosphoprotein that regulates microtubule dynamics by partitioning tubulin dimers between pools of soluble tubulin and polymerized microtubules, and by directly binding to microtubules and promoting depolymerization. Analysis of stai function in Drosophila , which has a single stai gene, circumvents potential complications with studies performed in vertebrate systems in which mutant phenotypes may be compensated by genetic redundancy of other members of the stai gene family. This has allowed us to identify an essential function for stai in the maintenance of the integrity of axonal microtubules. In addition to the severe disruption in the abundance and architecture of microtubules in the axons of stai mutant Drosophila , we also observe additional neurological phenotypes associated with loss of stai function including a posterior paralysis and tail-flip phenotype in third instar larvae, aberrant accumulation of transported membranous organelles in stai deficient axons, a progressive bang-sensitive response to mechanical stimulation reminiscent of the class of Drosophila mutants used to model human epileptic seizures, and a reduced adult lifespan. Reductions in the levels of Kinesin-1, the primary anterograde motor in axonal transport, enhance these phenotypes. Collectively, our results indicate that stai has an important role in neuronal function, likely through the maintenance of microtubule integrity in the axons of nerves of the peripheral nervous system necessary to support and sustain long-distance axonal transport. PMID:23840848

  10. Time course of ongoing activity during neuritis and following axonal transport disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satkeviciute, Ieva; Goodwin, George; Bove, Geoffrey M; Dilley, Andrew

    2018-05-01

    Local nerve inflammation (neuritis) leads to ongoing activity and axonal mechanical sensitivity (AMS) along intact nociceptor axons and disrupts axonal transport. This phenomenon forms the most feasible cause of radiating pain, such as sciatica. We have previously shown that axonal transport disruption without inflammation or degeneration also leads to AMS but does not cause ongoing activity at the time point when AMS occurs, despite causing cutaneous hypersensitivity. However, there have been no systematic studies of ongoing activity during neuritis or noninflammatory axonal transport disruption. In this study, we present the time course of ongoing activity from primary sensory neurons following neuritis and vinblastine-induced axonal transport disruption. Whereas 24% of C/slow Aδ-fiber neurons had ongoing activity during neuritis, few (disruption of axonal transport without inflammation does not lead to ongoing activity in sensory neurons, including nociceptors, but does cause a rapid and transient development of AMS. Because it is proposed that AMS underlies mechanically induced radiating pain, and a transient disruption of axonal transport (as previously reported) leads to transient AMS, it follows that processes that disrupt axonal transport, such as neuritis, must persist to maintain AMS and the associated symptoms. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Many patients with radiating pain lack signs of nerve injury on clinical examination but may have neuritis, which disrupts axonal transport. We have shown that axonal transport disruption does not induce ongoing activity in primary sensory neurons but does cause transient axonal mechanical sensitivity. The present data complete a profile of key axonal sensitivities following axonal transport disruption. Collectively, this profile supports that an active peripheral process is necessary for maintained axonal sensitivities.

  11. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor/neurotrophin 3 regulate axon initial segment location and affect neuronal excitability in cultured hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yu; Su, Zi-Jun; Chen, Yi-Kun; Chai, Zhen

    2017-07-01

    Plasticity of the axon initial segment (AIS) has aroused great interest in recent years because it regulates action potential initiation and neuronal excitability. AIS plasticity manifests as modulation of ion channels or variation in AIS structure. However, the mechanisms underlying structural plasticity of the AIS are not well understood. Here, we combined immunofluorescence, patch-clamp recordings, and pharmacological methods in cultured hippocampal neurons to investigate the factors participating in AIS structural plasticity during development. With lowered neuronal density, the distance between the AIS and the soma increased, while neuronal excitability decreased, as shown by the increased action potential threshold and current threshold for firing an action potential. This variation in the location of the AIS was associated with cellular secretory substances, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin 3 (NT3). Indeed, blocking BDNF and NT3 with TrkB-Fc eliminated the effect of conditioned medium collected from high-density cultures on AIS relocation. Elevating the extracellular concentration of BDNF or NT3 promoted movement of the AIS proximally to the soma and increased neuronal excitability. Furthermore, knockdown of neurotrophin receptors TrkB and TrkC caused distal movement of the AIS. Our results demonstrate that BDNF and NT3 regulate AIS location and neuronal excitability. These regulatory functions of neurotrophic factors provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying AIS biology. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  12. Transcriptional regulation of gene expression clusters in motor neurons following spinal cord injury

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    Westerdahl Ann-Charlotte

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spinal cord injury leads to neurological dysfunctions affecting the motor, sensory as well as the autonomic systems. Increased excitability of motor neurons has been implicated in injury-induced spasticity, where the reappearance of self-sustained plateau potentials in the absence of modulatory inputs from the brain correlates with the development of spasticity. Results Here we examine the dynamic transcriptional response of motor neurons to spinal cord injury as it evolves over time to unravel common gene expression patterns and their underlying regulatory mechanisms. For this we use a rat-tail-model with complete spinal cord transection causing injury-induced spasticity, where gene expression profiles are obtained from labeled motor neurons extracted with laser microdissection 0, 2, 7, 21 and 60 days post injury. Consensus clustering identifies 12 gene clusters with distinct time expression profiles. Analysis of these gene clusters identifies early immunological/inflammatory and late developmental responses as well as a regulation of genes relating to neuron excitability that support the development of motor neuron hyper-excitability and the reappearance of plateau potentials in the late phase of the injury response. Transcription factor motif analysis identifies differentially expressed transcription factors involved in the regulation of each gene cluster, shaping the expression of the identified biological processes and their associated genes underlying the changes in motor neuron excitability. Conclusions This analysis provides important clues to the underlying mechanisms of transcriptional regulation responsible for the increased excitability observed in motor neurons in the late chronic phase of spinal cord injury suggesting alternative targets for treatment of spinal cord injury. Several transcription factors were identified as potential regulators of gene clusters containing elements related to motor neuron hyper

  13. Transcriptional regulation of gene expression clusters in motor neurons following spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryge, Jesper; Winther, Ole; Wienecke, Jacob; Sandelin, Albin; Westerdahl, Ann-Charlotte; Hultborn, Hans; Kiehn, Ole

    2010-06-09

    Spinal cord injury leads to neurological dysfunctions affecting the motor, sensory as well as the autonomic systems. Increased excitability of motor neurons has been implicated in injury-induced spasticity, where the reappearance of self-sustained plateau potentials in the absence of modulatory inputs from the brain correlates with the development of spasticity. Here we examine the dynamic transcriptional response of motor neurons to spinal cord injury as it evolves over time to unravel common gene expression patterns and their underlying regulatory mechanisms. For this we use a rat-tail-model with complete spinal cord transection causing injury-induced spasticity, where gene expression profiles are obtained from labeled motor neurons extracted with laser microdissection 0, 2, 7, 21 and 60 days post injury. Consensus clustering identifies 12 gene clusters with distinct time expression profiles. Analysis of these gene clusters identifies early immunological/inflammatory and late developmental responses as well as a regulation of genes relating to neuron excitability that support the development of motor neuron hyper-excitability and the reappearance of plateau potentials in the late phase of the injury response. Transcription factor motif analysis identifies differentially expressed transcription factors involved in the regulation of each gene cluster, shaping the expression of the identified biological processes and their associated genes underlying the changes in motor neuron excitability. This analysis provides important clues to the underlying mechanisms of transcriptional regulation responsible for the increased excitability observed in motor neurons in the late chronic phase of spinal cord injury suggesting alternative targets for treatment of spinal cord injury. Several transcription factors were identified as potential regulators of gene clusters containing elements related to motor neuron hyper-excitability, the manipulation of which potentially could be

  14. Diversity of layer 5 projection neurons in the mouse motor cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oswald, Manfred J.; Tantirigama, Malinda L. S.; Sonntag, Ivo; Hughes, Stephanie M.; Empson, Ruth M.

    2013-01-01

    In the primary motor cortex (M1), layer 5 projection neurons signal directly to distant motor structures to drive movement. Despite their pivotal position and acknowledged diversity these neurons are traditionally separated into broad commissural and corticofugal types, and until now no attempt has been made at resolving the basis for their diversity. We therefore probed the electrophysiological and morphological properties of retrogradely labeled M1 corticospinal (CSp), corticothalamic (CTh), and commissural projecting corticostriatal (CStr) and corticocortical (CC) neurons. An unsupervised cluster analysis established at least four phenotypes with additional differences between lumbar and cervical projecting CSp neurons. Distinguishing parameters included the action potential (AP) waveform, firing behavior, the hyperpolarisation-activated sag potential, sublayer position, and soma and dendrite size. CTh neurons differed from CSp neurons in showing spike frequency acceleration and a greater sag potential. CStr neurons had the lowest AP amplitude and maximum rise rate of all neurons. Temperature influenced spike train behavior in corticofugal neurons. At 26°C CTh neurons fired bursts of APs more often than CSp neurons, but at 36°C both groups fired regular APs. Our findings provide reliable phenotypic fingerprints to identify distinct M1 projection neuron classes as a tool to understand their unique contributions to motor function. PMID:24137110

  15. Diversity of Layer 5 Projection Neurons in the Mouse Motor Cortex

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    Manfred J Oswald

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In the primary motor cortex (M1, layer 5 projection neurons signal directly to distant motor structures to drive movement. Despite their pivotal position and acknowledged diversity these neurons are traditionally separated into broad commissural and corticofugal types, and until now no attempt has been made at resolving the basis for their diversity. We therefore probed the electrophysiological and morphological properties of retrogradely labelled M1 corticospinal (CSp, corticothalamic (CTh, and commissural projecting corticostriatal (CStr and corticocortical (CC neurons. An unsupervised cluster analysis established at least four phenotypes with additional differences between lumbar and cervical projecting CSp neurons. Distinguishing parameters included the action potential (AP waveform, firing behaviour, the hyperpolarisation-activated sag potential, sublayer position, and soma and dendrite size. CTh neurons differed from CSp neurons in showing spike frequency acceleration and a greater sag potential. CStr neurons had the lowest AP amplitude and maximum rise rate of all neurons. Temperature influenced spike train behaviour in corticofugal neurons. At 26 ºC CTh neurons fired bursts of APs more often than CSp neurons, but at 36 ºC both groups fired regular APs. Our findings provide reliable phenotypic fingerprints to identify distinct M1 projection neuron classes as a tool to understand their unique contributions to motor function.

  16. Infection and Transport of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Neurons: Role of the Cytoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a neuroinvasive human pathogen that has the ability to infect and replicate within epithelial cells and neurons and establish a life-long latent infection in sensory neurons. HSV-1 depends on the host cellular cytoskeleton for entry, replication, and exit. Therefore, HSV-1 has adapted mechanisms to promote its survival by exploiting the microtubule and actin cytoskeletons to direct its active transport, infection, and spread between neurons and epithelial cells during primary and recurrent infections. This review will focus on the currently known mechanisms utilized by HSV-1 to harness the neuronal cytoskeleton, molecular motors, and the secretory and exocytic pathways for efficient virus entry, axonal transport, replication, assembly, and exit from the distinct functional compartments (cell body and axon) of the highly polarized sensory neurons. PMID:29473915

  17. Assessment of the upper motor neuron in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh, William; Simon, Neil G; Grosskreutz, Julian; Turner, Martin R; Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2016-07-01

    Clinical signs of upper motor neuron (UMN) involvement are an important component in supporting the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but are often not easily appreciated in a limb that is concurrently affected by muscle wasting and lower motor neuron degeneration, particularly in the early symptomatic stages of ALS. Whilst recent criteria have been proposed to facilitate improved detection of lower motor neuron impairment through electrophysiological features that have improved diagnostic sensitivity, assessment of upper motor neuron involvement remains essentially clinical. As a result, there is often a significant diagnostic delay that in turn may impact institution of disease-modifying therapy and access to other optimal patient management. Biomarkers of pathological UMN involvement are also required to ensure patients with suspected ALS have timely access to appropriate therapeutic trials. The present review provides an analysis of current and recently developed assessment techniques, including novel imaging and electrophysiological approaches used to study corticomotoneuronal pathology in ALS. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. At the centre of neuronal, synaptic and axonal pathology in murine prion disease: degeneration of neuroanatomically linked thalamic and brainstem nuclei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Renata; Hennessy, Edel; Murray, Caoimhe; Griffin, Éadaoin W.

    2015-01-01

    Aims The processes by which neurons degenerate in chronic neurodegenerative diseases remain unclear. Synaptic loss and axonal pathology frequently precede neuronal loss and protein aggregation demonstrably spreads along neuroanatomical pathways in many neurodegenerative diseases. The spread of neuronal pathology is less studied. Methods We previously demonstrated severe neurodegeneration in the posterior thalamus of multiple prion disease strains. Here we used the ME7 model of prion disease to examine the nature of this degeneration in the posterior thalamus and the major brainstem projections into this region. Results We objectively quantified neurological decline between 16 and 18 weeks post‐inoculation and observed thalamic subregion‐selective neuronal, synaptic and axonal pathology while demonstrating relatively uniform protease‐resistant prion protein (PrP) aggregation and microgliosis across the posterior thalamus. Novel amyloid precursor protein (APP) pathology was particularly prominent in the thalamic posterior (PO) and ventroposterior lateral (VPL) nuclei. The brainstem nuclei forming the major projections to these thalamic nuclei were examined. Massive neuronal loss in the PO was not matched by significant neuronal loss in the interpolaris (Sp5I), while massive synaptic loss in the ventral posteromedial nucleus (VPM) did correspond with significant neuronal loss in the principal trigeminal nucleus. Likewise, significant VPL synaptic loss was matched by significant neuronal loss in the gracile and cuneate nuclei. Conclusion These findings demonstrate significant spread of neuronal pathology from the thalamus to the brainstem in prion disease. The divergent neuropathological features in adjacent neuronal populations demonstrates that there are discrete pathways to neurodegeneration in different neuronal populations. PMID:25727649

  19. In Vivo Neuromechanics: Decoding Causal Motor Neuron Behavior with Resulting Musculoskeletal Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartori, Massimo; Yavuz, Utku Ş; Farina, Dario

    2017-10-18

    Human motor function emerges from the interaction between the neuromuscular and the musculoskeletal systems. Despite the knowledge of the mechanisms underlying neural and mechanical functions, there is no relevant understanding of the neuro-mechanical interplay in the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. This currently represents the major challenge to the understanding of human movement. We address this challenge by proposing a paradigm for investigating spinal motor neuron contribution to skeletal joint mechanical function in the intact human in vivo. We employ multi-muscle spatial sampling and deconvolution of high-density fiber electrical activity to decode accurate α-motor neuron discharges across five lumbosacral segments in the human spinal cord. We use complete α-motor neuron discharge series to drive forward subject-specific models of the musculoskeletal system in open-loop with no corrective feedback. We perform validation tests where mechanical moments are estimated with no knowledge of reference data over unseen conditions. This enables accurate blinded estimation of ankle function purely from motor neuron information. Remarkably, this enables observing causal associations between spinal motor neuron activity and joint moment control. We provide a new class of neural data-driven musculoskeletal modeling formulations for bridging between movement neural and mechanical levels in vivo with implications for understanding motor physiology, pathology, and recovery.

  20. Magnetic resonance imaging applied to motor neuron disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markarian, Maria F.; Villarroal, Gonzalo M.; Giavitto, Enrique; Nagel, Jorge

    2005-01-01

    Objective: Differentiate Motor Neuron Disease by MRI. Material and Methods: 10 patients were studied, 7 patients had a diagnosis of definite ALS by the El Escorial criteria, 2 patients had lower motor neuron signs (LMN) and hyperreflexia and one patient had LMN signs without pain. MRI was performed: slices brain: Sagittal T1-weighted, sagittal and axial FSE T2, axial and coronal FLAIR, diffusion, singlevoxel spectroscopy in protuberances. Functional MRI with motor test; slices in cervical spine: Sagittal T1-weighted, sagittal and axial FSE T2, sagittal FSIR. Results: The 7 patients with definite ALS by El Escorial criteria and 2 patients with LMN signs and hyperreflexia: hyperintensity signal in FSE T2 and FLAIR extending from the motor cortex down to the corona radiate, posterior limb of internal capsules, cerebral peduncles and protuberance base; FSE T2: hypointensity sign in motor cortex; elevation in diffusivity and hyperintensity signal in ADC in posterior limb of internal capsule; reduction of NAA, high levels of Glutamine-Glutamate and of Colina. One of these 9 patients showed disc hernia in C4-5, and other patient in C3-C4, C4-C5 without cord lesion. The patient with LMN signs without pain showed normal brain and disc hernia C5-C6, hypertrophy yellow ligament, anterior-posterior diminution of medullar canal, hyperintensity signal in spine cord in the same level in sagittal FSIR. fMRI: increase signal in contralateral, ipsilateral motor area, and areas involved in initiation and planning movement. Conclusion: MRI allow differentiation between ALS and myelopathy cervical spondylitis and others motor neuron disease. (author) [es

  1. Self-amplifying autocrine actions of BDNF in axon development

    OpenAIRE

    Cheng, Pei-Lin; Song, Ai-Hong; Wong, Yu-Hui; Wang, Sheng; Zhang, Xiang; Poo, Mu-Ming

    2011-01-01

    A critical step in neuronal development is the formation of axon/dendrite polarity, a process involving symmetry breaking in the newborn neuron. Local self-amplifying processes could enhance and stabilize the initial asymmetry in the distribution of axon/dendrite determinants, but the identity of these processes remains elusive. We here report that BDNF, a secreted neurotrophin essential for the survival and differentiation of many neuronal populations, serves as a self-amplifying autocrine f...

  2. Spliceosome integrity is defective in the motor neuron diseases ALS and SMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuiji, Hitomi; Iguchi, Yohei; Furuya, Asako; Kataoka, Ayane; Hatsuta, Hiroyuki; Atsuta, Naoki; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Hashizume, Yoshio; Akatsu, Hiroyasu; Murayama, Shigeo; Sobue, Gen; Yamanaka, Koji

    2013-01-01

    Two motor neuron diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), are caused by distinct genes involved in RNA metabolism, TDP-43 and FUS/TLS, and SMN, respectively. However, whether there is a shared defective mechanism in RNA metabolism common to these two diseases remains unclear. Here, we show that TDP-43 and FUS/TLS localize in nuclear Gems through an association with SMN, and that all three proteins function in spliceosome maintenance. We also show that in ALS, Gems are lost, U snRNA levels are up-regulated and spliceosomal U snRNPs abnormally and extensively accumulate in motor neuron nuclei, but not in the temporal lobe of FTLD with TDP-43 pathology. This aberrant accumulation of U snRNAs in ALS motor neurons is in direct contrast to SMA motor neurons, which show reduced amounts of U snRNAs, while both have defects in the spliceosome. These findings indicate that a profound loss of spliceosome integrity is a critical mechanism common to neurodegeneration in ALS and SMA, and may explain cell-type specific vulnerability of motor neurons. PMID:23255347

  3. Converging Mechanisms of p53 Activation Drive Motor Neuron Degeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

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    Christian M. Simon

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The hallmark of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, an inherited disease caused by ubiquitous deficiency in the SMN protein, is the selective degeneration of subsets of spinal motor neurons. Here, we show that cell-autonomous activation of p53 occurs in vulnerable but not resistant motor neurons of SMA mice at pre-symptomatic stages. Moreover, pharmacological or genetic inhibition of p53 prevents motor neuron death, demonstrating that induction of p53 signaling drives neurodegeneration. At late disease stages, however, nuclear accumulation of p53 extends to resistant motor neurons and spinal interneurons but is not associated with cell death. Importantly, we identify phosphorylation of serine 18 as a specific post-translational modification of p53 that exclusively marks vulnerable SMA motor neurons and provide evidence that amino-terminal phosphorylation of p53 is required for the neurodegenerative process. Our findings indicate that distinct events induced by SMN deficiency converge on p53 to trigger selective death of vulnerable SMA motor neurons.

  4. Phrenic long-term facilitation following intrapleural CTB-SAP-induced respiratory motor neuron death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L; Craig, Taylor A; Tanner, Miles A

    2017-08-16

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disease leading to progressive motor neuron degeneration and death by ventilatory failure. In a rat model of ALS (SOD1 G93A ), phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF) following acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) is enhanced greater than expected at disease end-stage but the mechanism is unknown. We suggest that one trigger for this enhancement is motor neuron death itself. Intrapleural injections of cholera toxin B fragment conjugated to saporin (CTB-SAP) selectively kill respiratory motor neurons and mimic motor neuron death observed in SOD1 G93A rats. This CTB-SAP model allows us to study the impact of respiratory motor neuron death on breathing without many complications attendant to ALS. Here, we tested the hypothesis that phrenic motor neuron death is sufficient to enhance pLTF. pLTF was assessed in anesthetized, paralyzed and ventilated Sprague Dawley rats 7 and 28days following bilateral intrapleural injections of: 1) CTB-SAP (25μg), or 2) un-conjugated CTB and SAP (control). CTB-SAP enhanced pLTF at 7 (CTB-SAP: 162±18%, n=8 vs. 63±3%; n=8; pSAP: 64±10%, n=10 vs. 60±13; n=8; p>0.05). Thus, pLTF at 7 (not 28) days post-CTB-SAP closely resembles pLTF in end-stage ALS rats, suggesting that processes unique to the early period of motor neuron death enhance pLTF. This project increases our understanding of respiratory plasticity and its implications for breathing in motor neuron disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Non-Motor Symptoms in Patients Suffering from Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günther, René; Richter, Nicole; Sauerbier, Anna; Chaudhuri, Kallol Ray; Martinez-Martin, Pablo; Storch, Alexander; Hermann, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The recently postulated "disease spreading hypothesis" has gained much attention, especially for Parkinson's disease (PD). The various non-motor symptoms (NMS) in neurodegenerative diseases would be much better explained by this hypothesis than by the degeneration of disease-specific cell populations. Motor neuron disease (MND) is primarily known as a group of diseases with a selective loss of motor function. However, recent evidence suggests disease spreading into non-motor brain regions also in MND. The aim of this study was to comprehensively detect NMS in patients suffering from MND. We used a self-rating questionnaire including 30 different items of gastrointestinal, autonomic, neuropsychiatric, and sleep complaints [NMS questionnaire (NMSQuest)], which is an established tool in PD patients. 90 MND patients were included and compared to 96 controls. In total, MND patients reported significantly higher NMS scores (median: 7 points) in comparison to controls (median: 4 points). Dribbling, impaired taste/smelling, impaired swallowing, weight loss, loss of interest, sad/blues, falling, and insomnia were significantly more prevalent in MND patients compared to controls. Interestingly, excessive sweating was more reported in the MND group. Correlation analysis revealed an increase of total NMS score with disease progression. NMS in MND patients seemed to increase with disease progression, which would fit with the recently postulated "disease spreading hypothesis." The total NMS score in the MND group significantly exceeded the score for the control group, but only 8 of the 30 single complaints of the NMSQuest were significantly more often reported by MND patients. Dribbling, impaired swallowing, weight loss, and falling could primarily be connected to motor neuron degeneration and declared as motor symptoms in MND.

  6. Valproic Acid Promotes Survival of Facial Motor Neurons in Adult Rats After Facial Nerve Transection: a Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lili; Fan, Zhaomin; Han, Yuechen; Xu, Lei; Liu, Wenwen; Bai, Xiaohui; Zhou, Meijuan; Li, Jianfeng; Wang, Haibo

    2018-04-01

    Valproic acid (VPA), a medication primarily used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder, has been applied to the repair of central and peripheral nervous system injury. The present study investigated the effect of VPA on functional recovery, survival of facial motor neurons (FMNs), and expression of proteins in rats after facial nerve trunk transection by functional measurement, Nissl staining, TUNEL, immunofluorescence, and Western blot. Following facial nerve injury, all rats in group VPA showed a better functional recovery, which was significant at the given time, compared with group NS. The Nissl staining results demonstrated that the number of FMNs survival in group VPA was higher than that in group normal saline (NS). TUNEL staining showed that axonal injury of facial nerve could lead to neuronal apoptosis of FMNs. But treatment of VPA significantly reduced cell apoptosis by decreasing the expression of Bax protein and increased neuronal survival by upregulating the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and growth associated protein-43 (GAP-43) expression in injured FMNs compared with group NS. Overall, our findings suggest that VPA may advance functional recovery, reduce lesion-induced apoptosis, and promote neuron survival after facial nerve transection in rats. This study provides an experimental evidence for better understanding the mechanism of injury and repair of peripheral facial paralysis.

  7. Completely assembled virus particles detected by transmission electron microscopy in proximal and mid-axons of neurons infected with herpes simplex virus type 1, herpes simplex virus type 2 and pseudorabies virus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang Jialing; Lazear, Helen M.; Friedman, Harvey M.

    2011-01-01

    The morphology of alphaherpesviruses during anterograde axonal transport from the neuron cell body towards the axon terminus is controversial. Reports suggest that transport of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) nucleocapsids and envelope proteins occurs in separate compartments and that complete virions form at varicosities or axon termini (subassembly transport model), while transport of a related alphaherpesvirus, pseudorabies virus (PRV) occurs as enveloped capsids in vesicles (assembled transport model). Transmission electron microscopy of proximal and mid-axons of primary superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons was used to compare anterograde axonal transport of HSV-1, HSV-2 and PRV. SCG cell bodies were infected with HSV-1 NS and 17, HSV-2 2.12 and PRV Becker. Fully assembled virus particles were detected intracellularly within vesicles in proximal and mid-axons adjacent to microtubules after infection with each virus, indicating that assembled virions are transported anterograde within axons for all three alphaherpesviruses.

  8. Phenotype of V2-derived interneurons and their relationship to the axon guidance molecule EphA4 in the developing mouse spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundfald, Line; Restrepo, C. Ernesto; Butt, Simon J B

    2007-01-01

    , we demonstrated that a large proportion of V2 interneurons expressed the axon guidance molecule EphA4, a molecule previously shown to be important for correct organization of locomotor networks. We also showed that V2 interneurons and motor neurons alone did not account for all EphA4-expressing...

  9. BIG1 is required for the survival of deep layer neurons, neuronal polarity, and the formation of axonal tracts between the thalamus and neocortex in developing brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia-Jie Teoh

    Full Text Available BIG1, an activator protein of the small GTPase, Arf, and encoded by the Arfgef1 gene, is one of candidate genes for epileptic encephalopathy. To know the involvement of BIG1 in epileptic encephalopathy, we analyzed BIG1-deficient mice and found that BIG1 regulates neurite outgrowth and brain development in vitro and in vivo. The loss of BIG1 decreased the size of the neocortex and hippocampus. In BIG1-deficient mice, the neuronal progenitor cells (NPCs and the interneurons were unaffected. However, Tbr1+ and Ctip2+ deep layer (DL neurons showed spatial-temporal dependent apoptosis. This apoptosis gradually progressed from the piriform cortex (PIR, peaked in the neocortex, and then progressed into the hippocampus from embryonic day 13.5 (E13.5 to E17.5. The upper layer (UL and DL order in the neocortex was maintained in BIG1-deficient mice, but the excitatory neurons tended to accumulate before their destination layers. Further pulse-chase migration assay showed that the migration defect was non-cell autonomous and secondary to the progression of apoptosis into the BIG1-deficient neocortex after E15.5. In BIG1-deficient mice, we observed an ectopic projection of corticothalamic axons from the primary somatosensory cortex (S1 into the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN. The thalamocortical axons were unable to cross the diencephalon-telencephalon boundary (DTB. In vitro, BIG1-deficient neurons showed a delay in neuronal polarization. BIG1-deficient neurons were also hypersensitive to low dose glutamate (5 μM, and died via apoptosis. This study showed the role of BIG1 in the survival of DL neurons in developing embryonic brain and in the generation of neuronal polarity.

  10. Dcc regulates asymmetric outgrowth of forebrain neurons in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingxia Gao

    Full Text Available The guidance receptor DCC (deleted in colorectal cancer ortholog UNC-40 regulates neuronal asymmetry development in Caenorhabditis elegans, but it is not known whether DCC plays a role in the specification of neuronal polarity in vertebrates. To examine the roles of DCC in neuronal asymmetry regulation in vertebrates, we studied zebrafish anterior dorsal telencephalon (ADt neuronal axons. We generated transgenic zebrafish animals expressing the photo-convertible fluorescent protein Kaede in ADt neurons and then photo-converted Kaede to label specifically the ADt neuron axons. We found that ADt axons normally project ventrally. Knock down of Dcc function by injecting antisense morpholino oligonucleotides caused the ADt neurons to project axons dorsally. To examine the axon projection pattern of individual ADt neurons, we labeled single ADt neurons using a forebrain-specific promoter to drive fluorescent protein expression. We found that individual ADt neurons projected axons dorsally or formed multiple processes after morpholino knock down of Dcc function. We further found that knock down of the Dcc ligand, Netrin1, also caused ADt neurons to project axons dorsally. Knockdown of Neogenin1, a guidance receptor closely related to Dcc, enhanced the formation of aberrant dorsal axons in embryos injected with Dcc morpholino. These experiments provide the first evidence that Dcc regulates polarized axon initiation and asymmetric outgrowth of forebrain neurons in vertebrates.

  11. Chondroitin-4-sulfation negatively regulates axonal guidance and growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hang; Katagiri, Yasuhiro; McCann, Thomas E.; Unsworth, Edward; Goldsmith, Paul; Yu, Zu-Xi; Tan, Fei; Santiago, Lizzie; Mills, Edward M.; Wang, Yu; Symes, Aviva J.; Geller, Herbert M.

    2008-01-01

    Summary Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) side chains endow extracellular matrix proteoglycans with diversity and complexity based upon the length, composition, and charge distribution of the polysaccharide chain. Using cultured primary neurons, we show that specific sulfation in the GAG chains of chondroitin sulfate (CS) mediates neuronal guidance cues and axonal growth inhibition. Chondroitin-4-sulfate (CS-A), but not chondroitin-6-sulfate (CS-C), exhibits a strong negative guidance cue to mouse cerebellar granule neurons. Enzymatic and gene-based manipulations of 4-sulfation in the GAG side chains alter their ability to direct growing axons. Furthermore, 4-sulfated CS GAG chains are rapidly and significantly increased in regions that do not support axonal regeneration proximal to spinal cord lesions in mice. Thus, our findings provide the evidence showing that specific sulfation along the carbohydrate backbone carries instructions to regulate neuronal function. PMID:18768934

  12. Decreased function of survival motor neuron protein impairs endocytic pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitriadi, Maria; Derdowski, Aaron; Kalloo, Geetika; Maginnis, Melissa S; O'Hern, Patrick; Bliska, Bryn; Sorkaç, Altar; Nguyen, Ken C Q; Cook, Steven J; Poulogiannis, George; Atwood, Walter J; Hall, David H; Hart, Anne C

    2016-07-26

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by depletion of the ubiquitously expressed survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, with 1 in 40 Caucasians being heterozygous for a disease allele. SMN is critical for the assembly of numerous ribonucleoprotein complexes, yet it is still unclear how reduced SMN levels affect motor neuron function. Here, we examined the impact of SMN depletion in Caenorhabditis elegans and found that decreased function of the SMN ortholog SMN-1 perturbed endocytic pathways at motor neuron synapses and in other tissues. Diminished SMN-1 levels caused defects in C. elegans neuromuscular function, and smn-1 genetic interactions were consistent with an endocytic defect. Changes were observed in synaptic endocytic proteins when SMN-1 levels decreased. At the ultrastructural level, defects were observed in endosomal compartments, including significantly fewer docked synaptic vesicles. Finally, endocytosis-dependent infection by JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) was reduced in human cells with decreased SMN levels. Collectively, these results demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that SMN depletion causes defects in endosomal trafficking that impair synaptic function, even in the absence of motor neuron cell death.

  13. Neuron activity in rat hippocampus and motor cortex during discrimination reversal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disterhoft, J F; Segal, M

    1978-01-01

    Chronic unit activity and gross movement were recorded from rats during two discrimination reversals in a classical appetitive conditioning situation. The anticipatory movement decreased in response to the former CS+ tone and increased to the previous CS- tone after each reversal. Hippocampus and motor cortex were differently related to these two kinds of behavioral change. Response rates of hippocampal neurons were more closely related to the increased movement response to the former CS- which now signaled food. Motor cortex neuron responses were more closely correlated with the decrease in movement responses to the former CS+ which became neutral after the reversal. It appeared that hippocampal neurons could have been involved in one cognitive aspect of the situation, motor cortex neurons in another. The data were related to current functional concepts of these brain regions.

  14. The human motor neuron pools receive a dominant slow‐varying common synaptic input

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negro, Francesco; Yavuz, Utku Şükrü

    2016-01-01

    Key points Motor neurons in a pool receive both common and independent synaptic inputs, although the proportion and role of their common synaptic input is debated.Classic correlation techniques between motor unit spike trains do not measure the absolute proportion of common input and have limitations as a result of the non‐linearity of motor neurons.We propose a method that for the first time allows an accurate quantification of the absolute proportion of low frequency common synaptic input (60%) of common input, irrespective of their different functional and control properties.These results increase our knowledge about the role of common and independent input to motor neurons in force control. Abstract Motor neurons receive both common and independent synaptic inputs. This observation is classically based on the presence of a significant correlation between pairs of motor unit spike trains. The functional significance of different relative proportions of common input across muscles, individuals and conditions is still debated. One of the limitations in our understanding of correlated input to motor neurons is that it has not been possible so far to quantify the absolute proportion of common input with respect to the total synaptic input received by the motor neurons. Indeed, correlation measures of pairs of output spike trains only allow for relative comparisons. In the present study, we report for the first time an approach for measuring the proportion of common input in the low frequency bandwidth (60%) proportion of common low frequency oscillations with respect to their total synaptic input. These results suggest that the central nervous system provides a large amount of common input to motor neuron pools, in a similar way to that for muscles with different functional and control properties. PMID:27151459

  15. Translocation and neurotoxicity of CdTe quantum dots in RMEs motor neurons in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Yunli; Wang, Xiong; Wu, Qiuli; Li, Yiping; Wang, Dayong

    2015-01-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • We investigated in vivo neurotoxicity of CdTe QDs on RMEs motor neurons in C. elegans. • CdTe QDs in the range of μg/L caused neurotoxicity on RMEs motor neurons. • Bioavailability of CdTe QDs may be the primary inducer for CdTe QDs neurotoxicity. • Both oxidative stress and cell identity regulate the CdTe QDs neurotoxicity. • CdTe QDs were translocated and deposited into RMEs motor neurons. - Abstract: We employed Caenorhabditis elegans assay system to investigate in vivo neurotoxicity of CdTe quantum dots (QDs) on RMEs motor neurons, which are involved in controlling foraging behavior, and the underlying mechanism of such neurotoxicity. After prolonged exposure to 0.1–1 μg/L of CdTe QDs, abnormal foraging behavior and deficits in development of RMEs motor neurons were observed. The observed neurotoxicity from CdTe QDs on RMEs motor neurons might be not due to released Cd 2+ . Overexpression of genes encoding Mn-SODs or unc-30 gene controlling cell identity of RMEs neurons prevented neurotoxic effects of CdTe QDs on RMEs motor neurons, suggesting the crucial roles of oxidative stress and cell identity in regulating CdTe QDs neurotoxicity. In nematodes, CdTe QDs could be translocated through intestinal barrier and be deposited in RMEs motor neurons. In contrast, CdTe@ZnS QDs could not be translocated into RMEs motor neurons and therefore, could only moderately accumulated in intestinal cells, suggesting that ZnS coating might reduce neurotoxicity of CdTe QDs on RMEs motor neurons. Therefore, the combinational effects of oxidative stress, cell identity, and bioavailability may contribute greatly to the mechanism of CdTe QDs neurotoxicity on RMEs motor neurons. Our results provide insights into understanding the potential risks of CdTe QDs on the development and function of nervous systems in animals

  16. Quantifying mechanical force in axonal growth and guidance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Ibrahim Mahmoud Athamneh

    2015-09-01

    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.

  17. EMG analysis in 78 cases with motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhang Qiubin

    2000-01-01

    This paper analysed the FMGs of 78 cases with the motor neuron disease(MND). The EMG of all patients showed following characteristics that the average duration of wave prolonged, the average voltage increased and it was found that fibrillation and fasciculatton potentials appeared spontaneously. The fibrillation potential of ENG waa related to course of disease. In the patients whose course of disease was short, the fibri llation potential increased obviously, while in the cases of chronic MND, It usually decreased. The motor nerve conduction velocity of most pa tients (41%) reduced, however, the sensory nerve conduction velocity was normal but two. We reviewed some references about EMG of the motor neuron disease and discussed their characteristics and mechanism

  18. Differential motor neuron involvement in progressive muscular atrophy: a comparative study with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riku, Yuichi; Atsuta, Naoki; Yoshida, Mari; Tatsumi, Shinsui; Iwasaki, Yasushi; Mimuro, Maya; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Ito, Mizuki; Senda, Jo; Nakamura, Ryoichi; Koike, Haruki; Sobue, Gen

    2014-05-14

    Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) is a clinical diagnosis characterised by progressive lower motor neuron (LMN) symptoms/signs with sporadic adult onset. It is unclear whether PMA is simply a clinical phenotype of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in which upper motor neuron (UMN) signs are undetectable. To elucidate the clinicopathological features of patients with clinically diagnosed PMA, we studied consecutive autopsied cases. Retrospective, observational. Autopsied patients. We compared clinicopathological profiles of clinically diagnosed PMA and ALS using 107 consecutive autopsied patients. For clinical analysis, 14 and 103 patients were included in clinical PMA and ALS groups, respectively. For neuropathological evaluation, 13 patients with clinical PMA and 29 patients with clinical ALS were included. Clinical features, UMN and LMN degeneration, axonal density in the corticospinal tract (CST) and immunohistochemical profiles. Clinically, no significant difference between the prognosis of clinical PMA and ALS groups was shown. Neuropathologically, 84.6% of patients with clinical PMA displayed UMN and LMN degeneration. In the remaining 15.4% of patients with clinical PMA, neuropathological parameters that we defined as UMN degeneration were all negative or in the normal range. In contrast, all patients with clinical ALS displayed a combination of UMN and LMN system degeneration. CST axon densities were diverse in the clinical PMA group, ranging from low values to the normal range, but consistently lower in the clinical ALS group. Immunohistochemically, 85% of patients with clinical PMA displayed 43-kDa TAR DNA-binding protein (TDP-43) pathology, while 15% displayed fused-in-sarcoma (FUS)-positive basophilic inclusion bodies. All of the patients with clinical ALS displayed TDP-43 pathology. PMA has three neuropathological background patterns. A combination of UMN and LMN degeneration with TDP-43 pathology, consistent with ALS, is the major pathological

  19. Characterization of axon formation in the embryonic stem cell-derived motoneuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Hung-Chuan; Wu, Ya-Ting; Shen, Shih-Cheng; Wang, Chi-Chung; Tsai, Ming-Shiun; Cheng, Fu-Chou; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Chen, Ching-Wen; Liu, Ching-San; Su, Hong-Lin

    2011-01-01

    The developing neural cell must form a highly organized architecture to properly receive and transmit nerve signals. Neural formation from embryonic stem (ES) cells provides a novel system for studying axonogenesis, which are orchestrated by polarity-regulating molecules. Here the ES-derived motoneurons, identified by HB9 promoter-driven green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression, showed characteristics of motoneuron-specific gene expression. In the majority of motoneurons, one of the bilateral neurites developed into an axon that featured with axonal markers, including Tau1, vesicle acetylcholine transporter, and synaptophysin. Interestingly, one third of the motoneurons developed bi-axonal processes but no multiple axonal GFP cell was found. The neuronal polarity-regulating proteins, including the phosphorylated AKT and ERK, were compartmentalized into both of the bilateral axonal tips. Importantly, this aberrant axon morphology was still present after the engraftment of GFP(+) neurons into the spinal cord, suggesting that even a mature neural environment fails to provide a proper niche to guide normal axon formation. These findings underscore the necessity for evaluating the morphogenesis and functionality of neurons before the clinical trials using ES or somatic stem cells.

  20. Target-Derived Neurotrophins Coordinate Transcription and Transport of Bclw to Prevent Axonal Degeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosker, Katharina E.; Pazyra-Murphy, Maria F.; Fenstermacher, Sara J.

    2013-01-01

    Establishment of neuronal circuitry depends on both formation and refinement of neural connections. During this process, target-derived neurotrophins regulate both transcription and translation to enable selective axon survival or elimination. However, it is not known whether retrograde signaling pathways that control transcription are coordinated with neurotrophin-regulated actions that transpire in the axon. Here we report that target-derived neurotrophins coordinate transcription of the antiapoptotic gene bclw with transport of bclw mRNA to the axon, and thereby prevent axonal degeneration in rat and mouse sensory neurons. We show that neurotrophin stimulation of nerve terminals elicits new bclw transcripts that are immediately transported to the axons and translated into protein. Bclw interacts with Bax and suppresses the caspase6 apoptotic cascade that fosters axonal degeneration. The scope of bclw regulation at the levels of transcription, transport, and translation provides a mechanism whereby sustained neurotrophin stimulation can be integrated over time, so that axonal survival is restricted to neurons connected within a stable circuit. PMID:23516285

  1. Accelerated axon outgrowth, guidance, and target reinnervation across nerve transection gaps following a brief electrical stimulation paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Bhagat; Xu, Qing-Gui; Franz, Colin K; Zhang, Rumi; Dalton, Colin; Gordon, Tessa; Verge, Valerie M K; Midha, Rajiv; Zochodne, Douglas W

    2012-03-01

    Regeneration of peripheral nerves is remarkably restrained across transection injuries, limiting recovery of function. Strategies to reverse this common and unfortunate outcome are limited. Remarkably, however, new evidence suggests that a brief extracellular electrical stimulation (ES), delivered at the time of injury, improves the regrowth of motor and sensory axons. In this work, the authors explored and tested this ES paradigm, which was applied proximal to transected sciatic nerves in mice, and identified several novel and compelling impacts of the approach. Using thy-1 yellow fluorescent protein mice with fluorescent axons that allow serial in vivo tracking of regeneration, the morphological, electrophysiological, and behavioral indices of nerve regrowth were measured. The authors show that ES is associated with a 30%-50% improvement in several indices of regeneration: regrowth of axons and their partnered Schwann cells across transection sites, maturation of regenerated fibers in gaps spanning transection zones, and entry of axons into their muscle and cutaneous target zones. In parallel studies, the authors analyzed adult sensory neurons and their response to extracellular ES while plated on a novel microelectrode array construct designed to deliver the identical ES paradigm used in vivo. The ES accelerated neurite outgrowth, supporting the concept of a neuron-autonomous mechanism of action. Taken together, these results support a robust role for brief ES following peripheral nerve injuries in promoting regeneration. Electrical stimulation has a wider repertoire of impact than previously recognized, and its impact in vitro supports the hypothesis that a neuron-specific reprogrammed injury response is recruited by the ES protocol.

  2. Formation of compact myelin is required for maturation of the axonal cytoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, S. T.; Witt, A. S.; Kirkpatrick, L. L.; de Waegh, S. M.; Readhead, C.; Tu, P. H.; Lee, V. M.

    1999-01-01

    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. Continuous growth of the motor system in the axolotl

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holder, N.; Clarke, J.D.; Stephens, N.; Wilson, S.W.; Orsi, C.; Bloomer, T.; Tonge, D.A.

    1991-01-01

    During growth of the axolotl, motor neurons, and muscle fibres are added to the motor system. By double labelling neurons with tritiated thymidine and retrogradely transported HRP, we show that some motor neurons are born at postembryonic stages. Further analysis of motor neurons with the aid of HRP reveals this population of newly born cells relatively frequently in small (5-7 cm long) axolotls, but only rarely in large (7-13 cm long) axolotls. Evidence is presented that suggests that these immature cells are in the process of migrating from close to the ependyma out to the ventral horn. HRP transport also reveals growth cones of advancing axons within spinal nerves in animals up to 6 cm in length. Cell counts by light and electron microscopic methods show that muscle fibres are generated throughout larval life in the iliotibialis, a typical limb muscle. This analysis provides data consistent with the notion that new muscle fibres are added from a localised growth zone situated at the superficial edge of the muscle. These results are discussed in terms of the correlation between continuous growth of the motor system and the ability of the axolotl to functionally repair lesions to the peripheral nervous system

  4. Direct conversion of human pluripotent stem cells into cranial motor neurons using a piggyBac vector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riccardo De Santis

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs are widely used for in vitro disease modeling. One of the challenges in the field is represented by the ability of converting human PSCs into specific disease-relevant cell types. The nervous system is composed of a wide variety of neuronal types with selective vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases. This is particularly relevant for motor neuron diseases, in which different motor neurons populations show a different susceptibility to degeneration. Here we developed a fast and efficient method to convert human induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into cranial motor neurons of the branchiomotor and visceral motor subtype. These populations represent the motor neuron subgroup that is primarily affected by a severe form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with bulbar onset and worst prognosis. This goal was achieved by stable integration of an inducible vector, based on the piggyBac transposon, allowing controlled activation of Ngn2, Isl1 and Phox2a (NIP. The NIP module effectively produced electrophysiologically active cranial motor neurons. Our method can be easily extended to PSCs carrying disease-associated mutations, thus providing a useful tool to shed light on the cellular and molecular bases of selective motor neuron vulnerability in pathological conditions. Keywords: Spinal motor neuron, Cranial motor neuron, Induced pluripotent stem cells, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Phox2a, piggyBac

  5. Reduced sensory synaptic excitation impairs motor neuron function via Kv2.1 in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Emily V; Simon, Christian M; Pagiazitis, John G; Chalif, Joshua I; Vukojicic, Aleksandra; Drobac, Estelle; Wang, Xiaojian; Mentis, George Z

    2017-07-01

    Behavioral deficits in neurodegenerative diseases are often attributed to the selective dysfunction of vulnerable neurons via cell-autonomous mechanisms. Although vulnerable neurons are embedded in neuronal circuits, the contributions of their synaptic partners to disease process are largely unknown. Here we show that, in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a reduction in proprioceptive synaptic drive leads to motor neuron dysfunction and motor behavior impairments. In SMA mice or after the blockade of proprioceptive synaptic transmission, we observed a decrease in the motor neuron firing that could be explained by the reduction in the expression of the potassium channel Kv2.1 at the surface of motor neurons. Chronically increasing neuronal activity pharmacologically in vivo led to a normalization of Kv2.1 expression and an improvement in motor function. Our results demonstrate a key role of excitatory synaptic drive in shaping the function of motor neurons during development and the contribution of its disruption to a neurodegenerative disease.

  6. Quasi-steady State Reduction of Molecular Motor-Based Models of Directed Intermittent Search

    KAUST Repository

    Newby, Jay M.; Bressloff, Paul C.

    2010-01-01

    at the other end of the track. Such a scenario is exemplified by the motor-driven transport of vesicular cargo to synaptic targets located on the axon or dendrites of a neuron. The reduced model is described by a scalar Fokker-Planck (FP) equation, which has

  7. Is Spinal Muscular Atrophy a disease of the motor neurons only: pathogenesis and therapeutic implications?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone, Chiara; Ramirez, Agnese; Bucchia, Monica; Rinchetti, Paola; Rideout, Hardy; Papadimitriou, Dimitra; Re, Diane B.; Corti, Stefania

    2016-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neurological disease that causes infant mortality; no effective therapies are currently available. SMA is due to homozygous mutations and/or deletions in the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene and subsequent reduction of the SMN protein, leading to the death of motor neurons. However, there is increasing evidence that in addition to motor neurons, other cell types are contributing to SMA pathology. In this review, we will discuss the involvement of non-motor neuronal cells, located both inside and outside the central nervous system, in disease onset and progression. These contribution of non-motor neuronal cells to disease pathogenesis has important therapeutic implications: in fact, even if SMN restoration in motor neurons is needed, it has been shown that optimal phenotypic amelioration in animal models of SMA requires a more widespread SMN correction. It will be crucial to take this evidence into account before clinical translation of the novel therapeutic approaches that are currently under development. PMID:26681261

  8. Muscle Mitochondrial Uncoupling Dismantles Neuromuscular Junction and Triggers Distal Degeneration of Motor Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupuis, Luc; Gonzalez de Aguilar, Jose-Luis; Echaniz-Laguna, Andoni; Eschbach, Judith; Rene, Frédérique; Oudart, Hugues; Halter, Benoit; Huze, Caroline; Schaeffer, Laurent; Bouillaud, Frédéric; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe

    2009-01-01

    Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most frequent adult onset motor neuron disease, is associated with hypermetabolism linked to defects in muscle mitochondrial energy metabolism such as ATP depletion and increased oxygen consumption. It remains unknown whether muscle abnormalities in energy metabolism are causally involved in the destruction of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and subsequent motor neuron degeneration during ALS. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied transgenic mice with muscular overexpression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), a potent mitochondrial uncoupler, as a model of muscle restricted hypermetabolism. These animals displayed age-dependent deterioration of the NMJ that correlated with progressive signs of denervation and a mild late-onset motor neuron pathology. NMJ regeneration and functional recovery were profoundly delayed following injury of the sciatic nerve and muscle mitochondrial uncoupling exacerbated the pathology of an ALS animal model. Conclusions/Significance These findings provide the proof of principle that a muscle restricted mitochondrial defect is sufficient to generate motor neuron degeneration and suggest that therapeutic strategies targeted at muscle metabolism might prove useful for motor neuron diseases. PMID:19404401

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    gang li

    2016-10-01

    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.

  10. Depolarization and electrical stimulation enhance in vitro and in vivo sensory axon growth after spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goganau, Ioana; Sandner, Beatrice; Weidner, Norbert; Fouad, Karim; Blesch, Armin

    2018-02-01

    Activity dependent plasticity is a key mechanism for the central nervous system (CNS) to adapt to its environment. Whether neuronal activity also influences axonal regeneration in the injured CNS, and whether electrical stimulation (ES) can activate regenerative programs in the injured CNS remains incompletely understood. Using KCl-induced depolarization, in vivo ES followed by ex-vivo neurite growth assays and ES after spinal cord lesions and cell grafting, we aimed to identify parameters important for ES-enhanced neurite growth and axonal regeneration. Using cultures of sensory neurons, neurite growth was analyzed after KCl-induced depolarization for 1-72h. Increased neurite growth was detected after short-term stimulation and after longer stimulation if a sufficient delay between stimulation and growth measurements was provided. After in vivo ES (20Hz, 2× motor threshold, 0.2ms, 1h) of the intact sciatic nerve in adult Fischer344 rats, sensory neurons showed a 2-fold increase in in vitro neurite length one week later compared to sham animals, an effect not observed one day after ES. Longer ES (7h) and repeated ES (7days, 1h each) also increased growth by 56-67% one week later, but provided no additional benefit. In vivo growth of dorsal column sensory axons into a graft of bone marrow stromal cells 4weeks after a cervical spinal cord lesion was also enhanced with a single post-injury 1h ES of the intact sciatic nerve and was also observed after repeated ES without inducing pain-like behavior. While ES did not result in sensory functional recovery, our data indicate that ES has time-dependent influences on the regenerative capacity of sensory neurons and might further enhance axonal regeneration in combinatorial approaches after SCI. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. From the "little brain" gastrointestinal infection to the "big brain" neuroinflammation: a proposed fast axonal transport pathway involved in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deretzi, Georgia; Kountouras, Jannis; Grigoriadis, Nikolaos; Zavos, Christos; Chatzigeorgiou, Stavros; Koutlas, Evangelos; Tsiptsios, Iakovos

    2009-11-01

    The human central nervous system (CNS) is targeted by different pathogens which, apart from pathogens' intranasal inoculation or trafficking into the brain through infected blood cells, may use a distinct pathway to bypass the blood-brain barrier by using the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) retrograde axonal transport through sensory or motor fibres. The recent findings regarding the enteric nervous system (often called the "little brain") similarities with CNS and GIT axonal transport of infections resulting in CNS neuroinflammation are mainly reviewed in this article. We herein propose that the GIT is the vulnerable area through which pathogens (such as Helicobacter pylori) may influence the brain and induce multiple sclerosis pathologies, mainly via the fast axonal transport by the afferent neurones connecting the GIT to brain.

  12. Spatial distribution of intermingling pools of projection neurons with distinct targets: A 3D analysis of the commissural ganglia in Cancer borealis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follmann, Rosangela; Goldsmith, Christopher John; Stein, Wolfgang

    2017-06-01

    Projection neurons play a key role in carrying long-distance information between spatially distant areas of the nervous system and in controlling motor circuits. Little is known about how projection neurons with distinct anatomical targets are organized, and few studies have addressed their spatial organization at the level of individual cells. In the paired commissural ganglia (CoGs) of the stomatogastric nervous system of the crab Cancer borealis, projection neurons convey sensory, motor, and modulatory information to several distinct anatomical regions. While the functions of descending projection neurons (dPNs) which control downstream motor circuits in the stomatogastric ganglion are well characterized, their anatomical distribution as well as that of neurons projecting to the labrum, brain, and thoracic ganglion have received less attention. Using cell membrane staining, we investigated the spatial distribution of CoG projection neurons in relation to all CoG neurons. Retrograde tracing revealed that somata associated with different axonal projection pathways were not completely spatially segregated, but had distinct preferences within the ganglion. Identified dPNs had diameters larger than 70% of CoG somata and were restricted to the most medial and anterior 25% of the ganglion. They were contained within a cluster of motor neurons projecting through the same nerve to innervate the labrum, indicating that soma position was independent of function and target area. Rather, our findings suggest that CoG neurons projecting to a variety of locations follow a generalized rule: for all nerve pathway origins, the soma cluster centroids in closest proximity are those whose axons project down that pathway. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Ascending Midbrain Dopaminergic Axons Require Descending GAD65 Axon Fascicles for Normal Pathfinding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Marcela Garcia-Peña

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The Nigrostriatal pathway (NSP is formed by dopaminergic axons that project from the ventral midbrain to the dorsolateral striatum as part of the medial forebrain bundle. Previous studies have implicated chemotropic proteins in the formation of the NSP during development but little is known of the role of substrate-anchored signals in this process. We observed in mouse and rat embryos that midbrain dopaminergic axons ascend in close apposition to descending GAD65-positive axon bundles throughout their trajectory to the striatum. To test whether such interaction is important for dopaminergic axon pathfinding, we analyzed transgenic mouse embryos in which the GAD65 axon bundle was reduced by the conditional expression of the diphtheria toxin. In these embryos we observed dopaminergic misprojection into the hypothalamic region and abnormal projection in the striatum. In addition, analysis of Robo1/2 and Slit1/2 knockout embryos revealed that the previously described dopaminergic misprojection in these embryos is accompanied by severe alterations in the GAD65 axon scaffold. Additional studies with cultured dopaminergic neurons and whole embryos suggest that NCAM and Robo proteins are involved in the interaction of GAD65 and dopaminergic axons. These results indicate that the fasciculation between descending GAD65 axon bundles and ascending dopaminergic axons is required for the stereotypical NSP formation during brain development and that known guidance cues may determine this projection indirectly by instructing the pathfinding of the axons that are part of the GAD65 axon scaffold.

  14. Translocation and neurotoxicity of CdTe quantum dots in RMEs motor neurons in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Yunli; Wang, Xiong; Wu, Qiuli; Li, Yiping; Wang, Dayong, E-mail: dayongw@seu.edu.cn

    2015-02-11

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • We investigated in vivo neurotoxicity of CdTe QDs on RMEs motor neurons in C. elegans. • CdTe QDs in the range of μg/L caused neurotoxicity on RMEs motor neurons. • Bioavailability of CdTe QDs may be the primary inducer for CdTe QDs neurotoxicity. • Both oxidative stress and cell identity regulate the CdTe QDs neurotoxicity. • CdTe QDs were translocated and deposited into RMEs motor neurons. - Abstract: We employed Caenorhabditis elegans assay system to investigate in vivo neurotoxicity of CdTe quantum dots (QDs) on RMEs motor neurons, which are involved in controlling foraging behavior, and the underlying mechanism of such neurotoxicity. After prolonged exposure to 0.1–1 μg/L of CdTe QDs, abnormal foraging behavior and deficits in development of RMEs motor neurons were observed. The observed neurotoxicity from CdTe QDs on RMEs motor neurons might be not due to released Cd{sup 2+}. Overexpression of genes encoding Mn-SODs or unc-30 gene controlling cell identity of RMEs neurons prevented neurotoxic effects of CdTe QDs on RMEs motor neurons, suggesting the crucial roles of oxidative stress and cell identity in regulating CdTe QDs neurotoxicity. In nematodes, CdTe QDs could be translocated through intestinal barrier and be deposited in RMEs motor neurons. In contrast, CdTe@ZnS QDs could not be translocated into RMEs motor neurons and therefore, could only moderately accumulated in intestinal cells, suggesting that ZnS coating might reduce neurotoxicity of CdTe QDs on RMEs motor neurons. Therefore, the combinational effects of oxidative stress, cell identity, and bioavailability may contribute greatly to the mechanism of CdTe QDs neurotoxicity on RMEs motor neurons. Our results provide insights into understanding the potential risks of CdTe QDs on the development and function of nervous systems in animals.

  15. A growing field: The regulation of axonal regeneration by Wnt signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Armando L; Udeh, Adanna; Kalahasty, Karthik; Hackam, Abigail S

    2018-01-01

    The canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway is a highly conserved signaling cascade that plays critical roles during embryogenesis. Wnt ligands regulate axonal extension, growth cone guidance and synaptogenesis throughout the developing central nervous system (CNS). Recently, studies in mammalian and fish model systems have demonstrated that Wnt/β-catenin signaling also promotes axonal regeneration in the adult optic nerve and spinal cord after injury, raising the possibility that Wnt could be developed as a therapeutic strategy. In this review, we summarize experimental evidence that reveals novel roles for Wnt signaling in the injured CNS, and discuss possible mechanisms by which Wnt ligands could overcome molecular barriers inhibiting axonal growth to promote regeneration. A central challenge in the neuroscience field is developing therapeutic strategies that induce robust axonal regeneration. Although adult axons have the capacity to respond to axonal guidance molecules after injury, there are several major obstacles for axonal growth, including extensive neuronal death, glial scars at the injury site, and lack of axonal guidance signals. Research in rodents demonstrated that activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in retinal neurons and radial glia induced neuronal survival and axonal growth, but that activation within reactive glia at the injury site promoted proliferation and glial scar formation. Studies in zebrafish spinal cord injury models confirm an axonal regenerative role for Wnt/β-catenin signaling and identified the cell types responsible. Additionally, in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that Wnt induces axonal and neurite growth through transcription-dependent effects of its central mediator β-catenin, potentially by inducing regeneration-promoting genes. Canonical Wnt signaling may also function through transcription-independent interactions of β-catenin with cytoskeletal elements, which could stabilize growing axons and control growth cone

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Patterns of Weakness, Classification of Motor Neuron Disease, and Clinical Diagnosis of Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Statland, Jeffrey M; Barohn, Richard J; McVey, April L; Katz, Jonathan S; Dimachkie, Mazen M

    2015-11-01

    When approaching a patient with suspected motor neuron disease (MND), the pattern of weakness on examination helps distinguish MND from other diseases of peripheral nerves, the neuromuscular junction, or muscle. MND is a clinical diagnosis supported by findings on electrodiagnostic testing. MNDs exist on a spectrum, from a pure lower motor neuron to mixed upper and lower motor neuron to a pure upper motor neuron variant. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive mixed upper and lower motor neuron disorder, most commonly sporadic, which is invariably fatal. This article describes a pattern approach to identifying MND and clinical features of sporadic ALS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Cortical Interneuron Subtypes Vary in Their Axonal Action Potential Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casale, Amanda E; Foust, Amanda J; Bal, Thierry; McCormick, David A

    2015-11-25

    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 Ca(2+)-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. 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 contain three main

  19. Diversification of C. elegans Motor Neuron Identity via Selective Effector Gene Repression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerk, Sze Yen; Kratsios, Paschalis; Hart, Michael; Mourao, Romulo; Hobert, Oliver

    2017-01-04

    A common organizational feature of nervous systems is the existence of groups of neurons that share common traits but can be divided into individual subtypes based on anatomical or molecular features. We elucidate the mechanistic basis of neuronal diversification processes in the context of C.elegans ventral cord motor neurons that share common traits that are directly activated by the terminal selector UNC-3. Diversification of motor neurons into different classes, each characterized by unique patterns of effector gene expression, is controlled by distinct combinations of phylogenetically conserved, class-specific transcriptional repressors. These repressors are continuously required in postmitotic neurons to prevent UNC-3, which is active in all neuron classes, from activating class-specific effector genes in specific motor neuron subsets via discrete cis-regulatory elements. The strategy of antagonizing the activity of broadly acting terminal selectors of neuron identity in a subtype-specific fashion may constitute a general principle of neuron subtype diversification. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Sleep-Active Neurons: Conserved Motors of Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bringmann, Henrik

    2018-01-01

    Sleep is crucial for survival and well-being. This behavioral and physiological state has been studied in all major genetically accessible model animals, including rodents, fish, flies, and worms. Genetic and optogenetic studies have identified several neurons that control sleep, making it now possible to compare circuit mechanisms across species. The “motor” of sleep across animal species is formed by neurons that depolarize at the onset of sleep to actively induce this state by directly inhibiting wakefulness. These sleep-inducing neurons are themselves controlled by inhibitory or activating upstream pathways, which act as the “drivers” of the sleep motor: arousal inhibits “sleep-active” neurons whereas various sleep-promoting “tiredness” pathways converge onto sleep-active neurons to depolarize them. This review provides the first overview of sleep-active neurons across the major model animals. The occurrence of sleep-active neurons and their regulation by upstream pathways in both vertebrate and invertebrate species suggests that these neurons are general and ancient components that evolved early in the history of nervous systems. PMID:29618588

  1. Motor neurone disease presenting with raised serum Troponin T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamo, Jonathan P

    2015-05-01

    Myocardial damage indicated by a rise in cardiac Troponin may not necessarily be due to a cardiac event. Many diseases such as sepsis, pulmonary embolism, heart and renal failure can also be associated with an elevated cardiac Troponin level. This brief report discusses the rare event of a patient with motor neurone disease, where the possible diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction arose due to an elevated cardiac Troponin. A 69-year-old gentleman presented with a history of a central chest ache of mild intensity, lasting a total of 2 h prior to complete resolution. Multiple cardiac Troponin assays were elevated, and echocardiography did not show any acute changes of myocardial damage. His electrocardiogram was also normal. This patient's raised cardiac Troponin was therefore explained on the basis of his active motor neurone disease. This rare case outlines the importance of considering motor neurone disease as a cause of elevated cardiac Troponin in the absence of clinical evidence of an acute coronary event. © The Author(s) 2015 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

  2. Comparison of the fastest regenerating motor and sensory myelinated axons in the same peripheral nerve

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Sørensen, Jesper; Krarup, Christian

    2006-01-01

    Functional outcome after peripheral nerve regeneration is often poor, particularly involving nerve injuries far from their targets. Comparison of sensory and motor axon regeneration before target reinnervation is not possible in the clinical setting, and previous experimental studies addressing...... the question of differences in growth rates of different nerve fibre populations led to conflicting results. We developed an animal model to compare growth and maturation of the fastest growing sensory and motor fibres within the same mixed nerve after Wallerian degeneration. Regeneration of cat tibial nerve...... after crush (n = 13) and section (n = 7) was monitored for up to 140 days, using implanted cuff electrodes placed around the sciatic and tibial nerves and wire electrodes at plantar muscles. To distinguish between sensory and motor fibres, recordings were carried out from L6-S2 spinal roots using cuff...

  3. 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

    2017-05-01

    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

  4. associated neuron disease carCInoma Motor with

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1983-02-19

    Feb 19, 1983 ... Department of Anatomical Pathology, School of Pathology,. South Mrican Institute ... drooling from the mouth, a spastic tongue, a positive jaw jerk, pout and glabellar tap .... The possibility that the coexistence of motor neuron ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin eWhite

    2014-01-01

    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.

  6. Embryonic stem cells and prospects for their use in regenerative medicine approaches to motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christou, Y A; Moore, H D; Shaw, P J; Monk, P N

    2007-10-01

    Human embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells with the potential to differentiate into any cell type in the presence of appropriate stimulatory factors and environmental cues. Their broad developmental potential has led to valuable insights into the principles of developmental and cell biology and to the proposed use of human embryonic stem cells or their differentiated progeny in regenerative medicine. This review focuses on the prospects for the use of embryonic stem cells in cell-based therapy for motor neurone disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that specifically affects upper and lower motor neurones and leads ultimately to death from respiratory failure. Stem cell-derived motor neurones could conceivably be used to replace the degenerated cells, to provide authentic substrates for drug development and screening and for furthering our understanding of disease mechanisms. However, to reliably and accurately culture motor neurones, the complex pathways by which differentiation occurs in vivo must be understood and reiterated in vitro by embryonic stem cells. Here we discuss the need for new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of motor neurone disease, the developmental processes that result in motor neurone formation in vivo, a number of experimental approaches to motor neurone production in vitro and recent progress in the application of stem cells to the treatment and understanding of motor neurone disease.

  7. Activity of Tachykinin1-Expressing Pet1 Raphe Neurons Modulates the Respiratory Chemoreflex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennessy, Morgan L; Corcoran, Andrea E; Brust, Rachael D; Chang, YoonJeung; Nattie, Eugene E; Dymecki, Susan M

    2017-02-15

    Homeostatic control of breathing, heart rate, and body temperature relies on circuits within the brainstem modulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT). Mounting evidence points to specialized neuronal subtypes within the serotonergic neuronal system, borne out in functional studies, for the modulation of distinct facets of homeostasis. Such functional differences, read out at the organismal level, are likely subserved by differences among 5-HT neuron subtypes at the cellular and molecular levels, including differences in the capacity to coexpress other neurotransmitters such as glutamate, GABA, thyrotropin releasing hormone, and substance P encoded by the Tachykinin-1 ( Tac1 ) gene. Here, we characterize in mice a 5-HT neuron subtype identified by expression of Tac1 and the serotonergic transcription factor gene Pet1 , referred to as the Tac1-Pet1 neuron subtype. Transgenic cell labeling showed Tac1-Pet1 soma resident largely in the caudal medulla. Chemogenetic [clozapine -N- oxide (CNO)-hM4Di] perturbation of Tac1-Pet1 neuron activity blunted the ventilatory response of the respiratory CO 2 chemoreflex, which normally augments ventilation in response to hypercapnic acidosis to restore normal pH and PCO 2 Tac1-Pet1 axonal boutons were found localized to brainstem areas implicated in respiratory modulation, with highest density in motor regions. These findings demonstrate that the activity of a Pet1 neuron subtype with the potential to release both 5-HT and substance P is necessary for normal respiratory dynamics, perhaps via motor outputs that engage muscles of respiration and maintain airway patency. These Tac1-Pet1 neurons may act downstream of Egr2-Pet1 serotonergic neurons, which were previously established in respiratory chemoreception, but do not innervate respiratory motor nuclei. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Serotonin (5-HT) neurons modulate physiological processes and behaviors as diverse as body temperature, respiration, aggression, and mood. Using

  8. Improvement of neuromuscular synaptic phenotypes without enhanced survival and motor function in severe spinal muscular atrophy mice selectively rescued in motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximena Paez-Colasante

    Full Text Available In the inherited childhood neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, lower motor neuron death and severe muscle weakness result from the reduction of the ubiquitously expressed protein survival of motor neuron (SMN. Although SMA mice recapitulate many features of the human disease, it has remained unclear if their short lifespan and motor weakness are primarily due to cell-autonomous defects in motor neurons. Using Hb9(Cre as a driver, we selectively raised SMN expression in motor neurons in conditional SMAΔ7 mice. Unlike a previous study that used choline acetyltransferase (ChAT(Cre+ as a driver on the same mice, and another report that used Hb9(Cre as a driver on a different line of conditional SMA mice, we found no improvement in survival, weight, motor behavior and presynaptic neurofilament accumulation. However, like in ChAT(Cre+ mice, we detected rescue of endplate size and mitigation of neuromuscular junction (NMJ denervation status. The rescue of endplate size occurred in the absence of an increase in myofiber size, suggesting endplate size is determined by the motor neuron in these animals. Real time-PCR showed that the expression of spinal cord SMN transcript was sharply reduced in Hb9(Cre+ SMA mice relative to ChAT(Cre+ SMA mice. This suggests that our lack of overall phenotypic improvement is most likely due to an unexpectedly poor recombination efficiency driven by Hb9(Cre . Nonetheless, the low levels of SMN were sufficient to rescue two NMJ structural parameters indicating that these motor neuron cell autonomous phenotypes are very sensitive to changes in motoneuronal SMN levels. Our results directly suggest that even those therapeutic interventions with very modest effects in raising SMN in motor neurons may provide mitigation of neuromuscular phenotypes in SMA patients.

  9. The Actin-Binding Protein α-Adducin Is Required for Maintaining Axon Diameter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sérgio Carvalho Leite

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The actin-binding protein adducin was recently identified as a component of the neuronal subcortical cytoskeleton. Here, we analyzed mice lacking adducin to uncover the function of this protein in actin rings. α-adducin knockout mice presented progressive axon enlargement in the spinal cord and optic and sciatic nerves, followed by axon degeneration and loss. Using stimulated emission depletion super-resolution microscopy, we show that a periodic subcortical actin cytoskeleton is assembled in every neuron type inspected including retinal ganglion cells and dorsal root ganglia neurons. In neurons devoid of adducin, the actin ring diameter increased, although the inter-ring periodicity was maintained. In vitro, the actin ring diameter adjusted as axons grew, suggesting the lattice is dynamic. Our data support a model in which adducin activity is not essential for actin ring assembly and periodicity but is necessary to control the diameter of both actin rings and axons and actin filament growth within rings.

  10. The Actin-Binding Protein α-Adducin Is Required for Maintaining Axon Diameter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite, Sérgio Carvalho; Sampaio, Paula; Sousa, Vera Filipe; Nogueira-Rodrigues, Joana; Pinto-Costa, Rita; Peters, Luanne Laurel; Brites, Pedro; Sousa, Mónica Mendes

    2016-04-19

    The actin-binding protein adducin was recently identified as a component of the neuronal subcortical cytoskeleton. Here, we analyzed mice lacking adducin to uncover the function of this protein in actin rings. α-adducin knockout mice presented progressive axon enlargement in the spinal cord and optic and sciatic nerves, followed by axon degeneration and loss. Using stimulated emission depletion super-resolution microscopy, we show that a periodic subcortical actin cytoskeleton is assembled in every neuron type inspected including retinal ganglion cells and dorsal root ganglia neurons. In neurons devoid of adducin, the actin ring diameter increased, although the inter-ring periodicity was maintained. In vitro, the actin ring diameter adjusted as axons grew, suggesting the lattice is dynamic. Our data support a model in which adducin activity is not essential for actin ring assembly and periodicity but is necessary to control the diameter of both actin rings and axons and actin filament growth within rings. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 运动神经元病%Motor Neuron Disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蒋雨平

    2014-01-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND) represents a group of sporadic or genetic neurodegenerative diseases which principally affect the motor neurons and result in progressive paralysis and death. The epidemiology, genetics, clinical manifestation, diagnostic criteria of MND were reviewed.%运动神经元病是一组散发或遗传的神经变性病。主要累及运动神经元,病程进展而死亡。文中就其临床表现和诊断标准、流行病学和遗传学进行综述。

  12. More than a bystander: the contributions of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects in motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Justin G; Ferrier, Andrew; Kothary, Rashmi

    2013-12-18

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) are devastating diseases characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons. Although the molecular causes underlying these diseases differ, recent findings have highlighted the contribution of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects in motor neuron diseases. The use of cell culture and animal models has led to the important finding that muscle defects occur prior to and independently of motor neuron degeneration in motor neuron diseases. In SMA for instance, the muscle specific requirements of the SMA disease-causing gene have been demonstrated by a series of genetic rescue experiments in SMA models. Conditional ALS mouse models expressing a muscle specific mutant SOD1 gene develop atrophy and muscle degeneration in the absence of motor neuron pathology. Treating SBMA mice by over-expressing IGF-1 in a skeletal muscle-specific manner attenuates disease severity and improves motor neuron pathology. In the present review, we provide an in depth description of muscle intrinsic defects, and discuss how they impact muscle function in these diseases. Furthermore, we discuss muscle-specific therapeutic strategies used to treat animal models of SMA, ALS, and SBMA. The study of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects is crucial for the understanding of the pathophysiology of these diseases and will open new therapeutic options for the treatment of motor neuron diseases.

  13. Live Imaging of Calcium Dynamics during Axon Degeneration Reveals Two Functionally Distinct Phases of Calcium Influx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagishi, Yuya; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Calcium is a key regulator of axon degeneration caused by trauma and disease, but its specific spatial and temporal dynamics in injured axons remain unclear. To clarify the function of calcium in axon degeneration, we observed calcium dynamics in single injured neurons in live zebrafish larvae and tested the temporal requirement for calcium in zebrafish neurons and cultured mouse DRG neurons. Using laser axotomy to induce Wallerian degeneration (WD) in zebrafish peripheral sensory axons, we monitored calcium dynamics from injury to fragmentation, revealing two stereotyped phases of axonal calcium influx. First, axotomy triggered a transient local calcium wave originating at the injury site. This initial calcium wave only disrupted mitochondria near the injury site and was not altered by expression of the protective WD slow (WldS) protein. Inducing multiple waves with additional axotomies did not change the kinetics of degeneration. In contrast, a second phase of calcium influx occurring minutes before fragmentation spread as a wave throughout the axon, entered mitochondria, and was abolished by WldS expression. In live zebrafish, chelating calcium after the first wave, but before the second wave, delayed the progress of fragmentation. In cultured DRG neurons, chelating calcium early in the process of WD did not alter degeneration, but chelating calcium late in WD delayed fragmentation. We propose that a terminal calcium wave is a key instructive component of the axon degeneration program. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Axon degeneration resulting from trauma or neurodegenerative disease can cause devastating deficits in neural function. Understanding the molecular and cellular events that execute axon degeneration is essential for developing treatments to address these conditions. Calcium is known to contribute to axon degeneration, but its temporal requirements in this process have been unclear. Live calcium imaging in severed zebrafish neurons and temporally controlled

  14. BORC/kinesin-1 ensemble drives polarized transport of lysosomes into the axon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farías, Ginny G; Guardia, Carlos M; De Pace, Raffaella; Britt, Dylan J; Bonifacino, Juan S

    2017-04-04

    The ability of lysosomes to move within the cytoplasm is important for many cellular functions. This ability is particularly critical in neurons, which comprise vast, highly differentiated domains such as the axon and dendrites. The mechanisms that control lysosome movement in these domains, however, remain poorly understood. Here we show that an ensemble of BORC, Arl8, SKIP, and kinesin-1, previously shown to mediate centrifugal transport of lysosomes in nonneuronal cells, specifically drives lysosome transport into the axon, and not the dendrites, in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. This transport is essential for maintenance of axonal growth-cone dynamics and autophagosome turnover. Our findings illustrate how a general mechanism for lysosome dispersal in nonneuronal cells is adapted to drive polarized transport in neurons, and emphasize the importance of this mechanism for critical axonal processes.

  15. A Dutch family with autosomal recessively inherited lower motor neuron predominant motor neuron disease due to optineurin mutations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beeldman, Emma; van der Kooi, Anneke J.; de Visser, Marianne; van Maarle, Merel C.; van Ruissen, Fred; Baas, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Approximately 10% of motor neuron disease (MND) patients report a familial predisposition for MND. Autosomal recessively inherited MND is less common and is most often caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene. In 2010, autosomal recessively inherited mutations in the optineurin

  16. Neurons of self-defence: neuronal innervation of the exocrine defence glands in stick insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolz, Konrad; von Bredow, Christoph-Rüdiger; von Bredow, Yvette M; Lakes-Harlan, Reinhard; Trenczek, Tina E; Strauß, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Stick insects (Phasmatodea) use repellent chemical substances (allomones) for defence which are released from so-called defence glands in the prothorax. These glands differ in size between species, and are under neuronal control from the CNS. The detailed neural innervation and possible differences between species are not studied so far. Using axonal tracing, the neuronal innervation is investigated comparing four species. The aim is to document the complexity of defence gland innervation in peripheral nerves and central motoneurons in stick insects. In the species studied here, the defence gland is innervated by the intersegmental nerve complex (ISN) which is formed by three nerves from the prothoracic (T1) and suboesophageal ganglion (SOG), as well as a distinct suboesophageal nerve (Nervus anterior of the suboesophageal ganglion). In Carausius morosus and Sipyloidea sipylus, axonal tracing confirmed an innervation of the defence glands by this N. anterior SOG as well as N. anterior T1 and N. posterior SOG from the intersegmental nerve complex. In Peruphasma schultei, which has rather large defence glands, only the innervation by the N. anterior SOG was documented by axonal tracing. In the central nervous system of all species, 3-4 neuron types are identified by axonal tracing which send axons in the N. anterior SOG likely innervating the defence gland as well as adjacent muscles. These neurons are mainly suboesophageal neurons with one intersegmental neuron located in the prothoracic ganglion. The neuron types are conserved in the species studied, but the combination of neuron types is not identical. In addition, the central nervous system in S. sipylus contains one suboesophageal and one prothoracic neuron type with axons in the intersegmental nerve complex contacting the defence gland. Axonal tracing shows a very complex innervation pattern of the defence glands of Phasmatodea which contains different neurons in different nerves from two adjacent body segments

  17. BDNF heightens the sensitivity of motor neurons to excitotoxic insults through activation of TrkB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Peter; Kalb, Robert G.; Walton, K. D. (Principal Investigator)

    2003-01-01

    The survival promoting and neuroprotective actions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are well known but under certain circumstances this growth factor can also exacerbate excitotoxic insults to neurons. Prior exploration of the receptor through which BDNF exerts this action on motor neurons deflects attention away from p75. Here we investigated the possibility that BDNF acts through the receptor tyrosine kinase, TrkB, to confer on motor neurons sensitivity to excitotoxic challenge. We blocked BDNF activation of TrkB using a dominant negative TrkB mutant or a TrkB function blocking antibody, and found that this protected motor neurons against excitotoxic insult in cultures of mixed spinal cord neurons. Addition of a function blocking antibody to BDNF to mixed spinal cord neuron cultures is also neuroprotective indicating that endogenously produced BDNF participates in vulnerability to excitotoxicity. We next examined the intracellular signaling cascades that are engaged upon TrkB activation. Previously we found that inhibition of the phosphatidylinositide-3'-kinase (PI3'K) pathway blocks BDNF-induced excitotoxic sensitivity. Here we show that expression of a constitutively active catalytic subunit of PI3'K, p110, confers excitotoxic sensitivity (ES) upon motor neurons not incubated with BDNF. Parallel studies with purified motor neurons confirm that these events are likely to be occuring specifically within motor neurons. The abrogation of BDNF's capacity to accentuate excitotoxic insults may make it a more attractive neuroprotective agent.

  18. Dysregulation of RNA Mediated Gene Expression in Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Inês do Carmo G; Rehorst, Wiebke A; Kye, Min Jeong

    2016-01-01

    Recent findings indicate an important role for RNA-mediated gene expression in motor neuron diseases, including ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and SMA (spinal muscular atrophy). ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is an adult-onset progressive neurodegenerative disorder, whereby SMA or "children's Lou Gehrig's disease" is considered a pediatric neurodevelopmental disorder. Despite the difference in genetic causes, both ALS and SMA share common phenotypes; dysfunction/loss of motor neurons that eventually leads to muscle weakness and atrophy. With advanced techniques in molecular genetics and cell biology, current data suggest that these two distinct motor neuron diseases share more than phenotypes; ALS and SMA have similar cellular pathological mechanisms including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and dysregulation in RNA-mediated gene expression. Here, we will discuss the current findings on these two diseases with specific focus on RNA-mediated gene regulation including miRNA expression, pre-mRNA processing and RNA binding proteins.

  19. Glia to axon RNA transfer.

    Science.gov (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

    2014-03-01

    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.

  20. Reduced axonal transport in Parkinson's disease cybrid neurites is restored by light therapy

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    De Taboada Luis

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been hypothesized that reduced axonal transport contributes to the degeneration of neuronal processes in Parkinson's disease (PD. Mitochondria supply the adenosine triphosphate (ATP needed to support axonal transport and contribute to many other cellular functions essential for the survival of neuronal cells. Furthermore, mitochondria in PD tissues are metabolically and functionally compromised. To address this hypothesis, we measured the velocity of mitochondrial movement in human transmitochondrial cybrid "cytoplasmic hybrid" neuronal cells bearing mitochondrial DNA from patients with sporadic PD and disease-free age-matched volunteer controls (CNT. The absorption of low level, near-infrared laser light by components of the mitochondrial electron transport chain (mtETC enhances mitochondrial metabolism, stimulates oxidative phosphorylation and improves redox capacity. PD and CNT cybrid neuronal cells were exposed to near-infrared laser light to determine if the velocity of mitochondrial movement can be restored by low level light therapy (LLLT. Axonal transport of labeled mitochondria was documented by time lapse microscopy in dopaminergic PD and CNT cybrid neuronal cells before and after illumination with an 810 nm diode laser (50 mW/cm2 for 40 seconds. Oxygen utilization and assembly of mtETC complexes were also determined. Results The velocity of mitochondrial movement in PD cybrid neuronal cells (0.175 +/- 0.005 SEM was significantly reduced (p Conclusion The results from this study support our proposal that axonal transport is reduced in sporadic PD and that a single, brief treatment with near-infrared light can restore axonal transport to control levels. These results are the first demonstration that LLLT can increase axonal transport in model human dopaminergic neuronal cells and they suggest that LLLT could be developed as a novel treatment to improve neuronal function in patients with PD.

  1. Neurogenetics of slow axonal transport: from cells to animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadananda, Aparna; Ray, Krishanu

    2012-09-01

    Slow axonal transport is a multivariate phenomenon implicated in several neurodegenerative disorders. Recent reports have unraveled the molecular basis of the transport of certain slow component proteins, such as the neurofilament subunits, tubulin, and certain soluble enzymes such as Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIa (CaM kinase IIa), etc., in tissue cultured neurons. In addition, genetic analyses also implicate microtubule-dependent motors and other housekeeping proteins in this process. However, the biological relevance of this phenomenon is not so well understood. Here, the authors have discussed the possibility of adopting neurogenetic analyses in multiple model organisms to correlate molecular level measurements of the slow transport phenomenon to animal behavior, thus facilitating the investigation of its biological efficacy.

  2. An intersectional gene regulatory strategy defines subclass diversity of C. elegans motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kratsios, Paschalis; Kerk, Sze Yen; Catela, Catarina; Liang, Joseph; Vidal, Berta; Bayer, Emily A; Feng, Weidong; De La Cruz, Estanisla Daniel; Croci, Laura; Consalez, G Giacomo; Mizumoto, Kota; Hobert, Oliver

    2017-07-05

    A core principle of nervous system organization is the diversification of neuron classes into subclasses that share large sets of features but differ in select traits. We describe here a molecular mechanism necessary for motor neurons to acquire subclass-specific traits in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans . Cholinergic motor neuron classes of the ventral nerve cord can be subdivided into subclasses along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis based on synaptic connectivity patterns and molecular features. The conserved COE-type terminal selector UNC-3 not only controls the expression of traits shared by all members of a neuron class, but is also required for subclass-specific traits expressed along the A-P axis. UNC-3, which is not regionally restricted, requires region-specific cofactors in the form of Hox proteins to co-activate subclass-specific effector genes in post-mitotic motor neurons. This intersectional gene regulatory principle for neuronal subclass diversification may be conserved from nematodes to mice.

  3. Targeting the Full Length of the Motor End Plate Regions in the Mouse Forelimb Increases the Uptake of Fluoro-Gold into Corresponding Spinal Cord Motor Neurons

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    Andrew Paul Tosolini

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Lower motor neuron dysfunction is one of the most debilitating motor conditions. In this regard, transgenic mouse models of various lower motor neuron dysfunctions provide insight into the mechanisms underlying these pathologies and can also aid the development of new therapies. Viral-mediated gene therapy can take advantage of the muscle-motor neuron topographical relationship to shuttle therapeutic genes into specific populations of motor neurons in these mouse models. In this context, motor end plates (MEPs are highly specialised regions on the skeletal musculature that offer direct access to the pre-synaptic nerve terminals, henceforth to the spinal cord motor neurons. The aim of this study was two-folded. First it was to characterise the exact position of the MEP regions for several muscles of the mouse forelimb using acetylcholinesterase histochemistry. This MEP-muscle map was then used to guide a series of intramuscular injections of Fluoro-Gold (FG in order to characterise the distribution of the innervating motor neurons. This analysis revealed that the MEPs are typically organised in an orthogonal fashion across the muscle fibres and extending throughout the full width of each muscle. Furthermore, targeting the full length of the MEP regions gave rise to a seemingly greater number of labelled motor neurons that are organised into columns spanning through more spinal cord segments than previously reported. The present analysis suggests that targeting the full width of the muscles’ MEP regions with FG increases the somatic availability of the tracer. This process ensures a greater uptake of the tracer by the pre-synaptic nerve terminals, hence maximising the labelling in spinal cord motor neurons. This investigation should have positive implications for future studies involving the somatic delivery of therapeutic genes into motor neurons for the treatment of various motor dysfunctions.

  4. Dendrites of cerebellar granule cells correctly recognize their target axons for synaptogenesis in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Shoko; Takeichi, Masatoshi

    2009-08-04

    Neural circuits are generated by precisely ordered synaptic connections among neurons, and this process is thought to rely on the ability of neurons to recognize specific partners. However, it is also known that neurons promiscuously form synapses with nonspecific partners, in particular when cultured in vitro, causing controversies about neural recognition mechanisms. Here we reexamined whether neurons can or cannot select particular partners in vitro. In the cerebellum, granule cell (GC) dendrites form synaptic connections specifically with mossy fibers, but not with climbing fibers. We cocultured GC neurons with pontine or inferior olivary axons, the major sources for mossy and climbing fibers, respectively, as well as with hippocampal axons as a control. The GC neurons formed synapses with pontine axons predominantly at the distal ends of their dendrites, reproducing the characteristic morphology of their synapses observed in vivo, whereas they failed to do so when combined with other axons. In the latter case, synaptic proteins could accumulate between axons and dendrites, but these synapses were randomly distributed throughout the contact sites, and also their synaptic vesicle recycling was anomalous. These observations suggest that GC dendrites can select their authentic partners for synaptogenesis even in vitro, forming the synapses with a GC-specific nature only with them.

  5. miR-155 Deletion in Mice Overcomes Neuron-Intrinsic and Neuron-Extrinsic Barriers to Spinal Cord Repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudet, Andrew D; Mandrekar-Colucci, Shweta; Hall, Jodie C E; Sweet, David R; Schmitt, Philipp J; Xu, Xinyang; Guan, Zhen; Mo, Xiaokui; Guerau-de-Arellano, Mireia; Popovich, Phillip G

    2016-08-10

    Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) fails due to neuron-intrinsic mechanisms and extracellular barriers including inflammation. microRNA (miR)-155-5p is a small, noncoding RNA that negatively regulates mRNA translation. In macrophages, miR-155-5p is induced by inflammatory stimuli and elicits a response that could be toxic after SCI. miR-155 may also independently alter expression of genes that regulate axon growth in neurons. Here, we hypothesized that miR-155 deletion would simultaneously improve axon growth and reduce neuroinflammation after SCI by acting on both neurons and macrophages. New data show that miR-155 deletion attenuates inflammatory signaling in macrophages, reduces macrophage-mediated neuron toxicity, and increases macrophage-elicited axon growth by ∼40% relative to control conditions. In addition, miR-155 deletion increases spontaneous axon growth from neurons; adult miR-155 KO dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons extend 44% longer neurites than WT neurons. In vivo, miR-155 deletion augments conditioning lesion-induced intraneuronal expression of SPRR1A, a regeneration-associated gene; ∼50% more injured KO DRG neurons expressed SPRR1A versus WT neurons. After dorsal column SCI, miR-155 KO mouse spinal cord has reduced neuroinflammation and increased peripheral conditioning-lesion-enhanced axon regeneration beyond the epicenter. Finally, in a model of spinal contusion injury, miR-155 deletion improves locomotor function at postinjury times corresponding with the arrival and maximal appearance of activated intraspinal macrophages. In miR-155 KO mice, improved locomotor function is associated with smaller contusion lesions and decreased accumulation of inflammatory macrophages. Collectively, these data indicate that miR-155 is a novel therapeutic target capable of simultaneously overcoming neuron-intrinsic and neuron-extrinsic barriers to repair after SCI. Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) fails due to neuron

  6. miR-155 Deletion in Mice Overcomes Neuron-Intrinsic and Neuron-Extrinsic Barriers to Spinal Cord Repair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandrekar-Colucci, Shweta; Hall, Jodie C.E.; Sweet, David R.; Schmitt, Philipp J.; Xu, Xinyang; Guan, Zhen; Mo, Xiaokui; Guerau-de-Arellano, Mireia

    2016-01-01

    Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) fails due to neuron-intrinsic mechanisms and extracellular barriers including inflammation. microRNA (miR)-155–5p is a small, noncoding RNA that negatively regulates mRNA translation. In macrophages, miR-155-5p is induced by inflammatory stimuli and elicits a response that could be toxic after SCI. miR-155 may also independently alter expression of genes that regulate axon growth in neurons. Here, we hypothesized that miR-155 deletion would simultaneously improve axon growth and reduce neuroinflammation after SCI by acting on both neurons and macrophages. New data show that miR-155 deletion attenuates inflammatory signaling in macrophages, reduces macrophage-mediated neuron toxicity, and increases macrophage-elicited axon growth by ∼40% relative to control conditions. In addition, miR-155 deletion increases spontaneous axon growth from neurons; adult miR-155 KO dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons extend 44% longer neurites than WT neurons. In vivo, miR-155 deletion augments conditioning lesion-induced intraneuronal expression of SPRR1A, a regeneration-associated gene; ∼50% more injured KO DRG neurons expressed SPRR1A versus WT neurons. After dorsal column SCI, miR-155 KO mouse spinal cord has reduced neuroinflammation and increased peripheral conditioning-lesion-enhanced axon regeneration beyond the epicenter. Finally, in a model of spinal contusion injury, miR-155 deletion improves locomotor function at postinjury times corresponding with the arrival and maximal appearance of activated intraspinal macrophages. In miR-155 KO mice, improved locomotor function is associated with smaller contusion lesions and decreased accumulation of inflammatory macrophages. Collectively, these data indicate that miR-155 is a novel therapeutic target capable of simultaneously overcoming neuron-intrinsic and neuron-extrinsic barriers to repair after SCI. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) fails

  7. TRANSGENIC GDNF POSITIVELY INFLUENCES PROLIFERATION, DIFFERENTIATION, MATURATION AND SURVIVAL OF MOTOR NEURONS PRODUCED FROM MOUSE EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS.

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    Daniel Édgar Cortés

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Embryonic stem cells (ESC are pluripotent and thus can differentiate into every cell type present in the body. Directed differentiation into motor neurons has been described for pluripotent cells. Although neurotrophic factors promote neuronal survival, their role in neuronal commitment is elusive. Here, we developed double-transgenic lines of mouse ESC that constitutively produce Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF and also contain a GFP reporter, driven by HB9, which is expressed only by postmitotic motor neurons. After lentiviral transduction, ESC lines integrated and expressed the human GDNF gene without altering pluripotency markers before differentiation. Further, GDNF-ESC showed significantly higher spontaneous release of this neurotrophin to the medium, when compared to controls. To study motor neuron induction, control and GDNF cell lines were grown as embryoid bodies and stimulated with retinoic acid and Sonic Hedgehog. In GDNF-overexpressing cells, a significant increase of proliferative Olig2+ precursors, which are specified as spinal motor neurons, was found. Accordingly, GDNF increases the yield of cells with the pan motor neuronal markers HB9, monitored by GFP expression, and Isl1. At terminal differentiation, almost all differentiated neurons express phenotypic markers of motor neurons in GDNF cultures, with lower proportions in control cells. To test if the effects of GDNF were present at early differentiation stages, exogenous recombinant human GDNF was added to control ESC, also resulting in enhanced motor neuron differentiation. This effect was abolished by the co-addition of neutralizing anti-GDNF antibodies, strongly suggesting that differentiating ESC are responsive to GDNF. Using the HB9::GFP reporter, motor neurons were selected for electrophysiological recordings. Motor neurons differentiated from GDNF-ESC, compared to control motor neurons, showed greater electrophysiological maturation, characterized by

  8. Death Receptor 6 Promotes Wallerian Degeneration in Peripheral Axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamage, Kanchana K; Cheng, Irene; Park, Rachel E; Karim, Mardeen S; Edamura, Kazusa; Hughes, Christopher; Spano, Anthony J; Erisir, Alev; Deppmann, Christopher D

    2017-03-20

    Axon degeneration during development is required to sculpt a functional nervous system and is also a hallmark of pathological insult, such as injury [1, 2]. Despite similar morphological characteristics, very little overlap in molecular mechanisms has been reported between pathological and developmental degeneration [3-5]. In the peripheral nervous system (PNS), developmental axon pruning relies on receptor-mediated extrinsic degeneration mechanisms to determine which axons are maintained or degenerated [5-7]. Receptors have not been implicated in Wallerian axon degeneration; instead, axon autonomous, intrinsic mechanisms are thought to be the primary driver for this type of axon disintegration [8-10]. Here we survey the role of neuronally expressed, paralogous tumor necrosis factor receptor super family (TNFRSF) members in Wallerian degeneration. We find that an orphan receptor, death receptor 6 (DR6), is required to drive axon degeneration after axotomy in sympathetic and sensory neurons cultured in microfluidic devices. We sought to validate these in vitro findings in vivo using a transected sciatic nerve model. Consistent with the in vitro findings, DR6 -/- animals displayed preserved axons up to 4 weeks after injury. In contrast to phenotypes observed in Wld s and Sarm1 -/- mice, preserved axons in DR6 -/- animals display profound myelin remodeling. This indicates that deterioration of axons and myelin after axotomy are mechanistically distinct processes. Finally, we find that JNK signaling after injury requires DR6, suggesting a link between this novel extrinsic pathway and the axon autonomous, intrinsic pathways that have become established for Wallerian degeneration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The nano-architecture of the axonal cytoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leterrier, Christophe; Dubey, Pankaj; Roy, Subhojit

    2017-12-01

    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.

  10. α-Tubulin Tyrosination and CLIP-170 Phosphorylation Regulate the Initiation of Dynein-Driven Transport in Neurons

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    Jeffrey J. Nirschl

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Motor-cargo recruitment to microtubules is often the rate-limiting step of intracellular transport, and defects in this recruitment can cause neurodegenerative disease. Here, we use in vitro reconstitution assays with single-molecule resolution, live-cell transport assays in primary neurons, computational image analysis, and computer simulations to investigate the factors regulating retrograde transport initiation in the distal axon. We find that phosphorylation of the cytoskeletal-organelle linker protein CLIP-170 and post-translational modifications of the microtubule track combine to precisely control the initiation of retrograde transport. Computer simulations of organelle dynamics in the distal axon indicate that while CLIP-170 primarily regulates the time to microtubule encounter, the tyrosination state of the microtubule lattice regulates the likelihood of binding. These mechanisms interact to control transport initiation in the axon in a manner sensitive to the specialized cytoskeletal architecture of the neuron.

  11. BORC/kinesin-1 ensemble drives polarized transport of lysosomes into the axon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farías, Ginny G.; Guardia, Carlos M.; De Pace, Raffaella; Britt, Dylan J.; Bonifacino, Juan S.

    2017-01-01

    The ability of lysosomes to move within the cytoplasm is important for many cellular functions. This ability is particularly critical in neurons, which comprise vast, highly differentiated domains such as the axon and dendrites. The mechanisms that control lysosome movement in these domains, however, remain poorly understood. Here we show that an ensemble of BORC, Arl8, SKIP, and kinesin-1, previously shown to mediate centrifugal transport of lysosomes in nonneuronal cells, specifically drives lysosome transport into the axon, and not the dendrites, in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. This transport is essential for maintenance of axonal growth-cone dynamics and autophagosome turnover. Our findings illustrate how a general mechanism for lysosome dispersal in nonneuronal cells is adapted to drive polarized transport in neurons, and emphasize the importance of this mechanism for critical axonal processes. PMID:28320970

  12. Bridging the gap: axonal fusion drives rapid functional recovery of the nervous system

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    Jean-Sébastien Teoh

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Injuries to the central or peripheral nervous system frequently cause long-term disabilities because damaged neurons are unable to efficiently self-repair. This inherent deficiency necessitates the need for new treatment options aimed at restoring lost function to patients. Compared to humans, a number of species possess far greater regenerative capabilities, and can therefore provide important insights into how our own nervous systems can be repaired. In particular, several invertebrate species have been shown to rapidly initiate regeneration post-injury, allowing separated axon segments to re-join. This process, known as axonal fusion, represents a highly efficient repair mechanism as a regrowing axon needs to only bridge the site of damage and fuse with its separated counterpart in order to re-establish its original structure. Our recent findings in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have expanded the promise of axonal fusion by demonstrating that it can restore complete function to damaged neurons. Moreover, we revealed the importance of injury-induced changes in the composition of the axonal membrane for mediating axonal fusion, and discovered that the level of axonal fusion can be enhanced by promoting a neuron's intrinsic growth potential. A complete understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling axonal fusion may permit similar approaches to be applied in a clinical setting.

  13. Local-circuit phenotypes of layer 5 neurons in motor-frontal cortex of YFP-H mice

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    Jianing Yu

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Layer 5 pyramidal neurons comprise an important but heterogeneous group of cortical projection neurons. In motor-frontal cortex, these neurons are centrally involved in the cortical control of movement. Recent studies indicate that local excitatory networks in mouse motor-frontal cortex are dominated by descending pathways from layer 2/3 to 5. However, those pathways were identified in experiments involving unlabeled neurons in wild type mice. Here, to explore the possibility of class-specific connectivity in this descending pathway, we mapped the local sources of excitatory synaptic input to a genetically labeled population of cortical neurons: YFP-positive layer 5 neurons of YFP-H mice. We found, first, that in motor cortex, YFP-positive neurons were distributed in a double blade, consistent with the idea of layer 5B having greater thickness in frontal neocortex. Second, whereas unlabeled neurons in upper layer 5 received their strongest inputs from layer 2, YFP-positive neurons in the upper blade received prominent layer 3 inputs. Third, YFP-positive neurons exhibited distinct electrophysiological properties, including low spike frequency adaptation, as reported previously. Our results with this genetically labeled neuronal population indicate the presence of distinct local-circuit phenotypes among layer 5 pyramidal neurons in mouse motor-frontal cortex, and present a paradigm for investigating local circuit organization in other genetically labeled populations of cortical neurons.

  14. Parallel simulation of axon growth in the nervous system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Wensch; B.P. Sommeijer (Ben)

    2002-01-01

    textabstractIn this paper we discuss a model from neurobiology, which describes theoutgrowth of axons from neurons in the nervous system. The model combines ordinary differential equations, defining the movement of the axons, with parabolic partial differential equations. The parabolic equations

  15. Loss of spastin function results in disease-specific axonal defects in human pluripotent stem cell-based models of hereditary spastic paraplegia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denton, Kyle R.; Lei, Ling; Grenier, Jeremy; Rodionov, Vladimir; Blackstone, Craig; Li, Xue-Jun

    2013-01-01

    Human neuronal models of hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSP) that recapitulate disease-specific axonal pathology hold the key to understanding why certain axons degenerate in patients and to developing therapies. SPG4, the most common form of HSP, is caused by autosomal dominant mutations in the SPAST gene, which encodes the microtubule-severing ATPase spastin. Here, we have generated a human neuronal model of SPG4 by establishing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from an SPG4 patient and differentiating these cells into telencephalic glutamatergic neurons. The SPG4 neurons displayed a significant increase in axonal swellings, which stained strongly for mitochondria and tau, indicating the accumulation of axonal transport cargoes. In addition, mitochondrial transport was decreased in SPG4 neurons, revealing that these patient iPSC-derived neurons recapitulate disease-specific axonal phenotypes. Interestingly, spastin protein levels were significantly decreased in SPG4 neurons, supporting a haploinsufficiency mechanism. Furthermore, cortical neurons derived from spastin-knockdown human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) exhibited similar axonal swellings, confirming that the axonal defects can be caused by loss of spastin function. These spastin-knockdown hESCs serve as an additional model for studying HSP. Finally, levels of stabilized acetylated-tubulin were significantly increased in SPG4 neurons. Vinblastine, a microtubule-destabilizing drug, rescued this axonal swelling phenotype in neurons derived from both SPG4 iPSCs and spastin-knockdown hESCs. Thus, this study demonstrates the successful establishment of human pluripotent stem cell-based neuronal models of SPG4, which will be valuable for dissecting the pathogenic cellular mechanisms and screening compounds to rescue the axonal degeneration in HSP. PMID:24123785

  16. Axonal transport and secretion of fibrillar forms of α-synuclein, Aβ42 peptide and HTTExon 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brahic, Michel; Bousset, Luc; Bieri, Gregor; Melki, Ronald; Gitler, Aaron D

    2016-04-01

    Accruing evidence suggests that prion-like behavior of fibrillar forms of α-synuclein, β-amyloid peptide and mutant huntingtin are responsible for the spread of the lesions that characterize Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease and Huntington disease, respectively. It is unknown whether these distinct protein assemblies are transported within and between neurons by similar or distinct mechanisms. It is also unclear if neuronal death or injury is required for neuron-to-neuron transfer. To address these questions, we used mouse primary cortical neurons grown in microfluidic devices to measure the amounts of α-synuclein, Aβ42 and HTTExon1 fibrils transported by axons in both directions (anterograde and retrograde), as well as to examine the mechanism of their release from axons after anterograde transport. We observed that the three fibrils were transported in both anterograde and retrograde directions but with strikingly different efficiencies. The amount of Aβ42 fibrils transported was ten times higher than that of the other two fibrils. HTTExon1 was efficiently transported in the retrograde direction but only marginally in the anterograde direction. Finally, using neurons from two distinct mutant mouse strains whose axons are highly resistant to neurodegeneration (Wld(S) and Sarm1(-/-)), we found that the three different fibrils were secreted by axons after anterograde transport, in the absence of axonal lysis, indicating that trans-neuronal spread can occur in intact healthy neurons. In summary, fibrils of α-synuclein, Aβ42 and HTTExon1 are all transported in axons but in directions and amounts that are specific of each fibril. After anterograde transport, the three fibrils were secreted in the medium in the absence of axon lysis. Continuous secretion could play an important role in the spread of pathology between neurons but may be amenable to pharmacological intervention.

  17. Delineating neurotrophin-3 dependent signaling pathways underlying sympathetic axon growth along intermediate targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeler, Austin B; Suo, Dong; Park, Juyeon; Deppmann, Christopher D

    2017-07-01

    Postganglionic sympathetic neurons detect vascular derived neurotrophin 3 (NT3) via the axonally expressed receptor tyrosine kinase, TrkA, to promote chemo-attraction along intermediate targets. Once axons arrive to their final target, a structurally related neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor (NGF), also acts through TrkA to promote final target innervation. Does TrkA signal differently at these different locales? We previously found that Coronin-1 is upregulated in sympathetic neurons upon exposure to NGF, thereby endowing the NGF-TrkA complex with new signaling capabilities (i.e. calcium signaling), which dampens axon growth and branching. Based on the notion that axons do not express functional levels of Coronin-1 prior to final target innervation, we developed an in vitro model for axon growth and branching along intermediate targets using Coro1a -/- neurons grown in NT3. We found that, similar to NGF-TrkA, NT3-TrkA is capable of inducing MAPK and PI3K in the presence or absence of Coronin-1. However, unlike NGF, NT3 does not induce calcium release from intracellular stores. Using a combination of pharmacology, knockout neurons and in vitro functional assays, we suggest that the NT3-TrkA complex uses Ras/MAPK and/or PI3K-AKT signaling to induce axon growth and inhibit axon branching along intermediate targets. However, in the presence of Coronin-1, these signaling pathways lose their ability to impact NT3 dependent axon growth or branching. This is consistent with a role for Coronin-1 as a molecular switch for axon behavior and suggests that Coronin-1 suppresses NT3 dependent axon behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Shin Nagayama

    2010-09-01

    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.

  19. Epigenetic regulation of axon and dendrite growth

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    Ephraim F Trakhtenberg

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Neuroregenerative therapies for central nervous system (CNS injury, neurodegenerative disease, or stroke require axons of damaged neurons to grow and reinnervate their targets. However, mature mammalian CNS neurons do not regenerate their axons, limiting recovery in these diseases (Yiu and He, 2006. CNS’ regenerative failure may be attributable to the development of an inhibitory CNS environment by glial-associated inhibitory molecules (Yiu and He, 2006, and by various cell-autonomous factors (Sun and He, 2010. Intrinsic axon growth ability also declines developmentally (Li et al., 1995; Goldberg et al., 2002; Bouslama-Oueghlani et al., 2003; Blackmore and Letourneau, 2006 and is dependent on transcription (Moore et al., 2009. Although neurons’ intrinsic capacity for axon growth may depend in part on the panoply of expressed transcription factors (Moore and Goldberg, 2011, epigenetic factors such as the accessibility of DNA and organization of chromatin are required for downstream genes to be transcribed. Thus a potential approach to overcoming regenerative failure focuses on the epigenetic mechanisms regulating regenerative gene expression in the CNS. Here we review molecular mechanisms regulating the epigenetic state of DNA through chromatin modifications, their implications for regulating axon and dendrite growth, and important new directions for this field of study.

  20. Astrocytes expressing ALS‐linked mutant FUS induce motor neuron death through release of tumor necrosis factor‐alpha

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kia, Azadeh; McAvoy, Kevin; Krishnamurthy, Karthik; Trotti, Davide

    2018-01-01

    Mutations in fused in sarcoma (FUS) are linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting both upper and lower motor neurons. While it is established that astrocytes contribute to the death of motor neurons in ALS, the specific contribution of mutant FUS (mutFUS) through astrocytes has not yet been studied. Here, we used primary astrocytes expressing a N‐terminally GFP tagged R521G mutant or wild‐type FUS (WTFUS) and show that mutFUS‐expressing astrocytes undergo astrogliosis, damage co‐cultured motor neurons via activation of an inflammatory response and produce conditioned medium (ACM) that is toxic to motor neurons in isolation. Time lapse imaging shows that motor neuron cultures exposed to mutFUS ACM, but not WTFUS ACM, undergo significant cell loss, which is preceded by progressive degeneration of neurites. We found that Tumor Necrosis Factor‐Alpha (TNFα) is secreted into ACM of mutFUS‐expressing astrocytes. Accordingly, mutFUS astrocyte‐mediated motor neuron toxicity is blocked by targeting soluble TNFα with neutralizing antibodies. We also found that mutant astrocytes trigger changes to motor neuron AMPA receptors (AMPAR) that render them susceptible to excitotoxicity and AMPAR‐mediated cell death. Our data provide the first evidence of astrocytic involvement in FUS‐ALS, identify TNFα as a mediator of this toxicity, and provide several potential therapeutic targets to protect motor neurons in FUS‐linked ALS. PMID:29380416

  1. Loss of Axon Bifurcation in Mesencephalic Trigeminal Neurons Impairs the Maximal Biting Force in Npr2-Deficient Mice

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    Gohar Ter-Avetisyan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Bifurcation of axons from dorsal root ganglion (DRG and cranial sensory ganglion (CSG neurons is mediated by a cGMP-dependent signaling pathway composed of the ligand C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP, the receptor guanylyl cyclase Npr2 and the cGMP-dependent protein kinase I (cGKI. Here, we demonstrate that mesencephalic trigeminal neurons (MTN which are the only somatosensory neurons whose cell bodies are located within the CNS co-express Npr2 and cGKI. Afferents of MTNs form Y-shaped branches in rhombomere 2 where the ligand CNP is expressed. Analyzing mouse mutants deficient for CNP or Npr2 we found that in the absence of CNP-induced cGMP signaling MTN afferents no longer bifurcate and instead extend either into the trigeminal root or caudally in the hindbrain. Since MTNs provide sensory information from jaw closing muscles and periodontal ligaments we measured the bite force of conditional mouse mutants of Npr2 (Npr2flox/flox;Engr1Cre that lack bifurcation of MTN whereas the bifurcation of trigeminal afferents is normal. Our study revealed that the maximal biting force of both sexes is reduced in Npr2flox/flox;Engr1Cre mice as compared to their Npr2flox/flox littermate controls. In conclusion sensory feedback mechanisms from jaw closing muscles or periodontal ligaments might be impaired in the absence of MTN axon bifurcation.

  2. Effects of cerebrolysin on motor-neuron-like NSC-34 cells

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    Keilhoff, Gerburg, E-mail: Gerburg.keilhoff@med.ovgu.de [Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Leipziger Str. 44, D-39120 Magdeburg (Germany); Lucas, Benjamin; Pinkernelle, Josephine; Steiner, Michael [Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Leipziger Str. 44, D-39120 Magdeburg (Germany); Fansa, Hisham [Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Hand Surgery, Klinikum Bielefeld, Teutoburger Str. 50, D-33604 Bielefeld (Germany)

    2014-10-01

    Although the peripheral nervous system is capable of regeneration, this capability is limited. As a potential means of augmenting nerve regeneration, the effects of cerebrolysin (CL) – a proteolytic peptide fraction – were tested in vitro on the motor-neuron-like NSC-34 cell line and organotypic spinal cord cultures. Therefore, NSC-34 cells were subjected to mechanical stress by changing media and metabolic stress by oxygen glucose deprivation. Afterwards, cell survival/proliferation using MTT and BrdU-labeling (FACS) and neurite sprouting using ImageJ analysis were evaluated. Calpain-1, Src and α-spectrin protein expression were analyzed by Western blot. In organotypic cultures, the effect of CL on motor neuron survival and neurite sprouting was tested by immunohistochemistry. CL had a temporary anti-proliferative but initially neuroprotective effect on OGD-stressed NSC-34 cells. High-dosed or repeatedly applied CL was deleterious for cell survival. CL amplified neurite reconstruction to limited extent, affected calpain-1 protein expression and influenced calpain-mediated spectrin cleavage as a function of Src expression. In organotypic spinal cord slice cultures, CL was not able to support motor neuron survival/neurite sprouting. Moreover, it hampered astroglia and microglia activities. The data suggest that CL may have only isolated positive effects on injured spinal motor neurons. High-dosed or accumulated CL seemed to have adverse effects in treatment of spinal cord injury. Further experiments are required to optimize the conditions for a safe clinical administration of CL in spinal cord injuries. - Highlights: • Cerebrolysin (CL) is anti-proliferative but initially neuroprotective in OGD-stressed NSC-34 cells. • CL amplified neurite reconstruction of NSC-34 cells. • CL affected calpain-1 expression and calpain-mediated spectrin cleavage as function of Src expression. • In organotypic spinal cord cultures, CL hampered motor neuron survival and

  3. Effects of cerebrolysin on motor-neuron-like NSC-34 cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keilhoff, Gerburg; Lucas, Benjamin; Pinkernelle, Josephine; Steiner, Michael; Fansa, Hisham

    2014-01-01

    Although the peripheral nervous system is capable of regeneration, this capability is limited. As a potential means of augmenting nerve regeneration, the effects of cerebrolysin (CL) – a proteolytic peptide fraction – were tested in vitro on the motor-neuron-like NSC-34 cell line and organotypic spinal cord cultures. Therefore, NSC-34 cells were subjected to mechanical stress by changing media and metabolic stress by oxygen glucose deprivation. Afterwards, cell survival/proliferation using MTT and BrdU-labeling (FACS) and neurite sprouting using ImageJ analysis were evaluated. Calpain-1, Src and α-spectrin protein expression were analyzed by Western blot. In organotypic cultures, the effect of CL on motor neuron survival and neurite sprouting was tested by immunohistochemistry. CL had a temporary anti-proliferative but initially neuroprotective effect on OGD-stressed NSC-34 cells. High-dosed or repeatedly applied CL was deleterious for cell survival. CL amplified neurite reconstruction to limited extent, affected calpain-1 protein expression and influenced calpain-mediated spectrin cleavage as a function of Src expression. In organotypic spinal cord slice cultures, CL was not able to support motor neuron survival/neurite sprouting. Moreover, it hampered astroglia and microglia activities. The data suggest that CL may have only isolated positive effects on injured spinal motor neurons. High-dosed or accumulated CL seemed to have adverse effects in treatment of spinal cord injury. Further experiments are required to optimize the conditions for a safe clinical administration of CL in spinal cord injuries. - Highlights: • Cerebrolysin (CL) is anti-proliferative but initially neuroprotective in OGD-stressed NSC-34 cells. • CL amplified neurite reconstruction of NSC-34 cells. • CL affected calpain-1 expression and calpain-mediated spectrin cleavage as function of Src expression. • In organotypic spinal cord cultures, CL hampered motor neuron survival and

  4. In vivo imaging reveals mitophagy independence in the maintenance of axonal mitochondria during normal aging.

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    Cao, Xu; Wang, Haiqiong; Wang, Zhao; Wang, Qingyao; Zhang, Shuang; Deng, Yuanping; Fang, Yanshan

    2017-10-01

    Mitophagy is thought to be a critical mitochondrial quality control mechanism in neurons and has been extensively studied in neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. However, little is known about how mitochondria are maintained in the lengthy neuronal axons in the context of physiological aging. Here, we utilized the unique Drosophila wing nerve model and in vivo imaging to rigorously profile changes in axonal mitochondria during aging. We revealed that mitochondria became fragmented and accumulated in aged axons. However, lack of Pink1 or Parkin did not lead to the accumulation of axonal mitochondria or axonal degeneration. Further, unlike in in vitro cultured neurons, we found that mitophagy rarely occurred in intact axons in vivo, even in aged animals. Furthermore, blocking overall mitophagy by knockdown of the core autophagy genes Atg12 or Atg17 had little effect on the turnover of axonal mitochondria or axonal integrity, suggesting that mitophagy is not required for axonal maintenance; this is regardless of whether the mitophagy is PINK1-Parkin dependent or independent. In contrast, downregulation of mitochondrial fission-fusion genes caused age-dependent axonal degeneration. Moreover, Opa1 expression in the fly head was significantly decreased with age, which may underlie the accumulation of fragmented mitochondria in aged axons. Finally, we showed that adult-onset, neuronal downregulation of the fission-fusion, but not mitophagy genes, dramatically accelerated features of aging. We propose that axonal mitochondria are maintained independently of mitophagy and that mitophagy-independent mechanisms such as fission-fusion may be central to the maintenance of axonal mitochondria and neural integrity during normal aging. © 2017 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Neuron-specific knockdown of the Drosophila fat induces reduction of life span, deficient locomotive ability, shortening of motoneuron terminal branches and defects in axonal targeting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Aya; Tanaka, Ryo; Morishita, Kazushige; Yoshida, Hideki; Higuchi, Yujiro; Takashima, Hiroshi; Yamaguchi, Masamitsu

    2017-07-01

    Mutations in FAT4 gene, one of the human FAT family genes, have been identified in Van Maldergem syndrome (VMS) and Hennekam lymphangiectasia-lymphedema syndrome (HS). The FAT4 gene encodes a large protein with extracellular cadherin repeats, EGF-like domains and Laminin G-like domains. FAT4 plays a role in tumor suppression and planar cell polarity. Drosophila contains a human FAT4 homologue, fat. Drosophila fat has been mainly studied with Drosophila eye and wing systems. Here, we specially knocked down Drosophila fat in nerve system. Neuron-specific knockdown of fat shortened the life span and induced the defect in locomotive abilities of adult flies. In consistent with these phenotypes, defects in synapse structure at neuromuscular junction were observed in neuron-specific fat-knockdown flies. In addition, aberrations in axonal targeting of photoreceptor neuron in third-instar larvae were also observed, suggesting that fat involves in axonal targeting. Taken together, the results indicate that Drosophila fat plays an essential role in formation and/or maintenance of neuron. Both VMS and HS show mental retardation and neuronal defects. We therefore consider that these two rare human diseases could possibly be caused by the defect in FAT4 function in neuronal cells. © 2017 Molecular Biology Society of Japan and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  6. Nuclear Organization in the Spinal Cord Depends on Motor Neuron Lamination Orchestrated by Catenin and Afadin Function

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    Carola Dewitz

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons in the spinal cord are found grouped in nuclear structures termed pools, whose position is precisely orchestrated during development. Despite the emerging role of pool organization in the assembly of spinal circuits, little is known about the morphogenetic programs underlying the patterning of motor neuron subtypes. We applied three-dimensional analysis of motor neuron position to reveal the roles and contributions of cell adhesive function by inactivating N-cadherin, catenin, and afadin signaling. Our findings reveal that nuclear organization of motor neurons is dependent on inside-out positioning, orchestrated by N-cadherin, catenin, and afadin activities, controlling cell body layering on the medio-lateral axis. In addition to this lamination-like program, motor neurons undergo a secondary, independent phase of organization. This process results in segregation of motor neurons along the dorso-ventral axis of the spinal cord, does not require N-cadherin or afadin activity, and can proceed even when medio-lateral positioning is perturbed.

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

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    Giorgi Kharebava

    2015-12-01

    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.

  8. Neurons in primary motor cortex engaged during action observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dushanova, Juliana; Donoghue, John

    2010-01-01

    Neurons in higher cortical areas appear to become active during action observation, either by mirroring observed actions (termed mirror neurons) or by eliciting mental rehearsal of observed motor acts. We report the existence of neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1), an area that is generally considered to initiate and guide movement performance, responding to viewed actions. Multielectrode recordings in monkeys performing or observing a well-learned step-tracking task showed that approximately half of the M1 neurons that were active when monkeys performed the task were also active when they observed the action being performed by a human. These 'view' neurons were spatially intermingled with 'do' neurons, which are active only during movement performance. Simultaneously recorded 'view' neurons comprised two groups: approximately 38% retained the same preferred direction (PD) and timing during performance and viewing, and the remainder (62%) changed their PDs and time lag during viewing as compared with performance. Nevertheless, population activity during viewing was sufficient to predict the direction and trajectory of viewed movements as action unfolded, although less accurately than during performance. 'View' neurons became less active and contained poorer representations of action when only subcomponents of the task were being viewed. M1 'view' neurons thus appear to reflect aspects of a learned movement when observed in others, and form part of a broadly engaged set of cortical areas routinely responding to learned behaviors. These findings suggest that viewing a learned action elicits replay of aspects of M1 activity needed to perform the observed action, and could additionally reflect processing related to understanding, learning or mentally rehearsing action.

  9. Morphological Analysis of the Axonal Projections of EGFP-Labeled Esr1-Expressing Neurons in Transgenic Female Medaka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zempo, Buntaro; Karigo, Tomomi; Kanda, Shinji; Akazome, Yasuhisa; Oka, Yoshitaka

    2018-02-01

    Some hypothalamic neurons expressing estrogen receptor α (Esr1) are thought to transmit a gonadal estrogen feedback signal to gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1) neurons, which is the final common pathway for feedback regulation of reproductive functions. Moreover, estrogen-sensitive neurons are suggested to control sexual behaviors in coordination with reproduction. In mammals, hypothalamic estrogen-sensitive neurons release the peptide kisspeptin and regulate GnRH1 neurons. However, a growing body of evidence in nonmammalian species casts doubt on the regulation of GnRH1 neurons by kisspeptin neurons. As a step toward understanding how estrogen regulates neuronal circuits for reproduction and sex behavior in vertebrates in general, we generated a transgenic (Tg) medaka that expresses enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) specifically in esr1-expressing neurons (esr1 neurons) and analyzed their axonal projections. We found that esr1 neurons in the preoptic area (POA) project to the gnrh1 neurons. We also demonstrated by transcriptome and histological analyses that these esr1 neurons are glutamatergic or γ-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) but not kisspeptinergic. We therefore suggest that glutamatergic and GABAergic esr1 neurons in the POA regulate gnrh1 neurons. This hypothesis is consistent with previous studies in mice that found that glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission is critical for estrogen-dependent changes in GnRH1 neuron firing. Thus, we propose that this neuronal circuit may provide an evolutionarily conserved mechanism for regulation of reproduction. In addition, we showed that telencephalic esr1 neurons project to medulla, which may control sexual behavior. Moreover, we found that some POA-esr1 neurons coexpress progesterone receptors. These neurons may form the neuronal circuits that regulate reproduction and sex behavior in response to the serum estrogen/progesterone. Copyright © 2018 Endocrine Society.

  10. A single-neuron tracing study of arkypallidal and prototypic neurons in healthy rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiyama, Fumino; Nakano, Takashi; Matsuda, Wakoto; Furuta, Takahiro; Udagawa, Jun; Kaneko, Takeshi

    2016-12-01

    The external globus pallidus (GP) is known as a relay nucleus of the indirect pathway of the basal ganglia. Recent studies in dopamine-depleted and healthy rats indicate that the GP comprises two main types of pallidofugal neurons: the so-called "prototypic" and "arkypallidal" neurons. However, the reconstruction of complete arkypallidal neurons in healthy rats has not been reported. Here we visualized the entire axonal arborization of four single arkypallidal neurons and six single prototypic neurons in rat brain using labeling with a viral vector expressing membrane-targeted green fluorescent protein and examined the distribution of axon boutons in the target nuclei. Results revealed that not only the arkypallidal neurons but nearly all of the prototypic neurons projected to the striatum with numerous axon varicosities. Thus, the striatum is a major target nucleus for pallidal neurons. Arkypallidal and prototypic GP neurons located in the calbindin-positive and calbindin-negative regions mainly projected to the corresponding positive and negative regions in the striatum. Because the GP and striatum calbindin staining patterns reflect the topographic organization of the striatopallidal projection, the striatal neurons in the sensorimotor and associative regions constitute the reciprocal connection with the GP neurons in the corresponding regions.

  11. Spinal Muscular Atrophy: More than a Disease of Motor Neurons?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, L A; Burns, J K; Chardon, J Warman; Kothary, R; Parks, R J

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common genetically inherited neurodegenerative disease resulting in infant mortality. SMA is caused by genetic deletion or mutation in the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, which results in reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein. SMN protein deficiency preferentially affects α- motor neurons, leading to their degeneration and subsequent atrophy of limb and trunk muscles, progressing to death in severe forms of the disease. More recent studies have shown that SMN protein depletion is detrimental to the functioning of other tissues including skeletal muscle, heart, autonomic and enteric nervous systems, metabolic/endocrine (e.g. pancreas), lymphatic, bone and reproductive system. In this review, we summarize studies discussing SMN protein's function in various cell and tissue types and their involvement in the context of SMA disease etiology. Taken together, these studies indicate that SMA is a multi-organ disease, which suggests that truly effective disease intervention may require body-wide correction of SMN protein levels. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  12. Selective neuronal PTEN deletion: can we take the brakes off of growth without losing control?

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    Erin A Gutilla

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The limited ability for injured adult axons to regenerate is a major cause for limited functional recovery after injury to the nervous system, motivating numerous efforts to uncover mechanisms capable of enhancing regeneration potential. One promising strategy involves deletion or knockdown of the phosphatase and tensin (PTEN gene. Conditional genetic deletion of PTEN before, immediately following, or several months after spinal cord injury enables neurons of the corticospinal tract (CST to regenerate their axons across the lesion, which is accompanied by enhanced recovery of skilled voluntary motor functions mediated by the CST. Although conditional genetic deletion or knockdown ofPTEN in neurons enables axon regeneration, PTEN is a well-known tumor suppressor and mutations of the PTEN gene disrupt brain development leading to neurological abnormalities including macrocephaly, seizures, and early mortality. The long-term consequences of manipulating PTEN in the adult nervous system, as would be done for therapeutic intervention after injury, are only now being explored. Here, we summarize evidence indicating that long-term deletion of PTEN in mature neurons does not cause evident pathology; indeed, cortical neurons that have lived without PTEN for over 1 year appear robust and healthy. Studies to date provide only a first look at potential negative consequences of PTEN deletion or knockdown, but the absence of any detectable neuropathology supports guarded optimism that interventions to enable axon regeneration after injury are achievable.

  13. Area-specific temporal control of corticospinal motor neuron differentiation by COUP-TFI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomassy, Giulio Srubek; De Leonibus, Elvira; Jabaudon, Denis; Lodato, Simona; Alfano, Christian; Mele, Andrea; Macklis, Jeffrey D.; Studer, Michèle

    2010-01-01

    Transcription factors with gradients of expression in neocortical progenitors give rise to distinct motor and sensory cortical areas by controlling the area-specific differentiation of distinct neuronal subtypes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this area-restricted control are still unclear. Here, we show that COUP-TFI controls the timing of birth and specification of corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) in somatosensory cortex via repression of a CSMN differentiation program. Loss of COUP-TFI function causes an area-specific premature generation of neurons with cardinal features of CSMN, which project to subcerebral structures, including the spinal cord. Concurrently, genuine CSMN differentiate imprecisely and do not project beyond the pons, together resulting in impaired skilled motor function in adult mice with cortical COUP-TFI loss-of-function. Our findings indicate that COUP-TFI exerts critical areal and temporal control over the precise differentiation of CSMN during corticogenesis, thereby enabling the area-specific functional features of motor and sensory areas to arise. PMID:20133588

  14. A dam for retrograde axonal degeneration in multiple sclerosis?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Balk, L.J.; Twisk, J.W.R.; Steenwijk, M.D.; Daams, M.; Tewarie, P.; Killestein, J.; Uitdehaag, B.M.J.; Polman, C.H.; Petzold, A.F.S.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Trans-synaptic axonal degeneration is a mechanism by which neurodegeneration can spread from a sick to a healthy neuron in the central nervous system. This study investigated to what extent trans-synaptic axonal degeneration takes place within the visual pathway in multiple sclerosis

  15. Comparison of the ballistic contractile responses generated during microstimulation of single human motor axons with brief irregular and regular stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitch, Michael; Macefield, Vaughan G

    2017-08-01

    Ballistic contractions are induced by brief, high-frequency (60-100 Hz) trains of action potentials in motor axons. During ramp voluntary contractions, human motoneurons exhibit significant discharge variability of ∼20% and have been shown to be advantageous to the neuromuscular system. We hypothesized that ballistic contractions incorporating discharge variability would generate greater isometric forces than regular trains with zero variability. High-impedance tungsten microelectrodes were inserted into human fibular nerve, and single motor axons were stimulated with both irregular and constant-frequency stimuli at mean frequencies ranging from 57.8 to 68.9 Hz. Irregular trains generated significantly greater isometric peak forces than regular trains over identical mean frequencies. The high forces generated by ballistic contractions are not based solely on high frequencies, but rather a combination of high firing rates and discharge irregularity. It appears that irregular ballistic trains take advantage of the "catchlike property" of muscle, allowing augmentation of force. Muscle Nerve 56: 292-297, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. The L1-type cell adhesion molecule Neuroglian is necessary for maintenance of sensory axon advance in the Drosophila embryo

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    Martin Veronica

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cell adhesion molecules have long been implicated in the regulation of axon growth, but the precise cellular roles played by individual cell adhesion molecules and the molecular basis for their action are still not well understood. We have used the sensory system of the Drosophila embryo to shed light on the mechanism by which the L1-type cell adhesion molecule Neuroglian regulates axon growth. Results We have found a highly penetrant sensory axon stalling phenotype in neuroglian mutant embryos. Axons stalled at a variety of positions along their normal trajectory, but most commonly in the periphery some distance along the peripheral nerve. All lateral and dorsal cluster sensory neurons examined, except for the dorsal cluster neuron dbd, showed stalling. Sensory axons were never seen to project along inappropriate pathways in neuroglian mutants and stalled axons showed normal patterns of fasciculation within nerves. The growth cones of stalled axons possessed a simple morphology, similar to their appearance in wild-type embryos when advancing along nerves. Driving expression of the wild-type form of Neuroglian in sensory neurons alone rescued the neuroglian mutant phenotype of both pioneering and follower neurons. A partial rescue was achieved by expressing the Neuroglian extracellular domain. Over/mis-expression of Neuroglian in all neurons, oenocytes or trachea had no apparent effect on sensory axon growth. Conclusion We conclude that Neuroglian is necessary to maintain axon advance along axonal substrates, but is not required for initiation of axon outgrowth, axon fasciculation or recognition of correct growth substrates. Expression of Neuroglian in sensory neurons alone is sufficient to promote axon advance and the intracellular region of the molecule is largely dispensable for this function. It is unlikely, therefore, that Nrg acts as a molecular 'clutch' to couple adhesion of F-actin within the growth cone to the

  17. Acute nutritional axonal neuropathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamel, Johanna; Logigian, Eric L

    2018-01-01

    This study describes clinical, laboratory, and electrodiagnostic features of a severe acute axonal polyneuropathy common to patients with acute nutritional deficiency in the setting of alcoholism, bariatric surgery (BS), or anorexia. Retrospective analysis of clinical, electrodiagnostic, and laboratory data of patients with acute axonal neuropathy. Thirteen patients were identified with a severe, painful, sensory or sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy that developed over 2-12 weeks with sensory ataxia, areflexia, variable muscle weakness, poor nutritional status, and weight loss, often with prolonged vomiting and normal cerebrospinal fluid protein. Vitamin B6 was low in half and thiamine was low in all patients when obtained before supplementation. Patients improved with weight gain and vitamin supplementation, with motor greater than sensory recovery. We suggest that acute or subacute axonal neuropathy in patients with weight loss or vomiting associated with alcohol abuse, BS, or dietary deficiency is one syndrome, caused by micronutrient deficiencies. Muscle Nerve 57: 33-39, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Intratelencephalic corticostriatal neurons equally excite striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons and their discharge activity is selectively reduced in experimental parkinsonism

    OpenAIRE

    Ballion, B. (B.); Mallet, N. (Nicolas); Bezard, E. (E.); Lanciego, J.L. (José Luis); Gonon, F. (Francois)

    2008-01-01

    Striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons form distinct populations of striatal projection neurons. Their discharge activity is imbalanced after dopaminergic degeneration in Parkinson's disease. Striatal projection neurons receive massive cortical excitatory inputs from bilateral intratelencephalic (IT) neurons projecting to both the ipsilateral and contralateral striatum and from collateral axons of ipsilateral neurons that send their main axon through the pyramidal tract (PT). Previous anat...

  19. Intracortical Microstimulation (ICMS) Activates Motor Cortex Layer 5 Pyramidal Neurons Mainly Transsynaptically.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussin, Ahmed T; Boychuk, Jeffery A; Brown, Andrew R; Pittman, Quentin J; Teskey, G Campbell

    2015-01-01

    Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) is a technique used for a number of purposes including the derivation of cortical movement representations (motor maps). Its application can activate the output layer 5 of motor cortex and can result in the elicitation of body movements depending upon the stimulus parameters used. The extent to which pyramidal tract projection neurons of the motor cortex are activated transsynaptically or directly by ICMS remains an open question. Given this uncertainty in the mode of activation, we used a preparation that combined patch clamp whole-cell recordings from single layer 5 pyramidal neurons and extracellular ICMS in slices of motor cortex as well as a standard in vivo mapping technique to ask how ICMS activated motor cortex pyramidal neurons. We measured changes in synaptic spike threshold and spiking rate to ICMS in vitro and movement threshold in vivo in the presence or absence of specific pharmacological blockers of glutamatergic (AMPA, NMDA and Kainate) receptors and GABAA receptors. With major excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission blocked (with DNQX, APV and bicuculline methiodide), we observed a significant increase in the ICMS current intensity required to elicit a movement in vivo as well as to the first spike and an 85% reduction in spiking responses in vitro. Subsets of neurons were still responsive after the synaptic block, especially at higher current intensities, suggesting a modest direct activation. Taken together our data indicate a mainly synaptic mode of activation to ICMS in layer 5 of rat motor cortex. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Differentiation of neural crest stem cells from nasal mucosa into motor neuron-like cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagher, Zohreh; Kamrava, Seyed Kamran; Alizadeh, Rafieh; Farhadi, Mohammad; Absalan, Moloud; Falah, Masoumeh; Faghihi, Faezeh; Zare-Sadeghi, Arash; Komeili, Ali

    2018-05-25

    Cell transplantation is a potential therapeutic approach for repairing neuropathological and neurodegenerative disorders of central nervous system by replacing the degenerated cells with new ones. Among a variety of stem cell candidates to provide these new cells, olfactory ectomesenchymal stem cells (OE-MSCs) have attracted a great attention due to their neural crest origin, easy harvest, high proliferation, and autologous transplantation. Since there is no report on differentiation potential of these cells into motor neuron-like cells, we evaluated this potential using Real-time PCR, flowcytometry and immunocytochemistry after the treatment with differentiation cocktail containing retinoic acid and Sonic Hedgehog. Immunocytochemistry staining of the isolated OE-MSCs demonstrated their capability to express nestin and vimentin, as the two markers of primitive neuroectoderm. The motor neuron differentiation of OE-MSCs resulted in changing their morphology into bipolar cells with high expression of motor neuron markers of ChAT, Hb-9 and Islet-1 at the level of mRNA and protein. Consequently, we believe that the OE-MSCs have great potential to differentiate into motor neuron-like cells and can be an ideal stem cell source for the treatment of motor neuron-related disorders of central nervous system. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Tissue Plasminogen Activator Induction in Purkinje Neurons After Cerebellar Motor Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeds, Nicholas W.; Williams, Brian L.; Bickford, Paula C.

    1995-12-01

    The cerebellar cortex is implicated in the learning of complex motor skills. This learning may require synaptic remodeling of Purkinje cell inputs. An extracellular serine protease, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), is involved in remodeling various nonneural tissues and is associated with developing and regenerating neurons. In situ hybridization showed that expression of tPA messenger RNA was increased in the Purkinje neurons of rats within an hour of their being trained for a complex motor task. Antibody to tPA also showed the induction of tPA protein associated with cerebellar Purkinje cells. Thus, the induction of tPA during motor learning may play a role in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity.

  2. Nuclear Organization in the Spinal Cord Depends on Motor Neuron Lamination Orchestrated by Catenin and Afadin Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewitz, Carola; Pimpinella, Sofia; Hackel, Patrick; Akalin, Altuna; Jessell, Thomas M; Zampieri, Niccolò

    2018-02-13

    Motor neurons in the spinal cord are found grouped in nuclear structures termed pools, whose position is precisely orchestrated during development. Despite the emerging role of pool organization in the assembly of spinal circuits, little is known about the morphogenetic programs underlying the patterning of motor neuron subtypes. We applied three-dimensional analysis of motor neuron position to reveal the roles and contributions of cell adhesive function by inactivating N-cadherin, catenin, and afadin signaling. Our findings reveal that nuclear organization of motor neurons is dependent on inside-out positioning, orchestrated by N-cadherin, catenin, and afadin activities, controlling cell body layering on the medio-lateral axis. In addition to this lamination-like program, motor neurons undergo a secondary, independent phase of organization. This process results in segregation of motor neurons along the dorso-ventral axis of the spinal cord, does not require N-cadherin or afadin activity, and can proceed even when medio-lateral positioning is perturbed. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Generation of thalamic neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiraishi, Atsushi; Muguruma, Keiko; Sasai, Yoshiki

    2017-04-01

    The thalamus is a diencephalic structure that plays crucial roles in relaying and modulating sensory and motor information to the neocortex. The thalamus develops in the dorsal part of the neural tube at the level of the caudal forebrain. However, the molecular mechanisms that are essential for thalamic differentiation are still unknown. Here, we have succeeded in generating thalamic neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) by modifying the default method that induces the most-anterior neural type in self-organizing culture. A low concentration of the caudalizing factor insulin and a MAPK/ERK kinase inhibitor enhanced the expression of the caudal forebrain markers Otx2 and Pax6. BMP7 promoted an increase in thalamic precursors such as Tcf7l2 + /Gbx2 + and Tcf7l2 + /Olig3 + cells. mESC thalamic precursors began to express the glutamate transporter vGlut2 and the axon-specific marker VGF, similar to mature projection neurons. The mESC thalamic neurons extended their axons to cortical layers in both organotypic culture and subcortical transplantation. Thus, we have identified the minimum elements sufficient for in vitro generation of thalamic neurons. These findings expand our knowledge of thalamic development. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Differentiation of neuronal stem cells into motor neurons using electrospun poly-L-lactic acid/gelatin scaffold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binan, Loïc; Tendey, Charlène; De Crescenzo, Gregory; El Ayoubi, Rouwayda; Ajji, Abdellah; Jolicoeur, Mario

    2014-01-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) provide promising therapeutic potential for cell replacement therapy in spinal cord injury (SCI). However, high increases of cell viability and poor control of cell differentiation remain major obstacles. In this study, we have developed a non-woven material made of co-electrospun fibers of poly L-lactic acid and gelatin with a degradation rate and mechanical properties similar to peripheral nerve tissue and investigated their effect on cell survival and differentiation into motor neuronal lineages through the controlled release of retinoic acid (RA) and purmorphamine. Engineered Neural Stem-Like Cells (NSLCs) seeded on these fibers, with and without the instructive cues, differentiated into β-III-tubulin, HB-9, Islet-1, and choactase-positive motor neurons by immunostaining, in response to the release of the biomolecules. In addition, the bioactive material not only enhanced the differentiation into motor neuronal lineages but also promoted neurite outgrowth. This study elucidated that a combination of electrospun fiber scaffolds, neural stem cells, and controlled delivery of instructive cues could lead to the development of a better strategy for peripheral nerve injury repair. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-oxon inhibit axonal growth by interfering with the morphogenic activity of acetylcholinesterase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Dongren; Howard, Angela; Bruun, Donald; Ajua-Alemanj, Mispa; Pickart, Cecile; Lein, Pamela J.

    2008-01-01

    A primary role of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is regulation of cholinergic neurotransmission by hydrolysis of synaptic acetylcholine. In the developing nervous system, however, AChE also functions as a morphogenic factor to promote axonal growth. This raises the question of whether organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) that are known to selectively bind to and inactivate the enzymatic function of AChE also interfere with its morphogenic function to perturb axonogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we exposed primary cultures of sensory neurons derived from embryonic rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) to chlorpyrifos (CPF) or its oxon metabolite (CPFO). Both OPs significantly decreased axonal length at concentrations that had no effect on cell viability, protein synthesis or the enzymatic activity of AChE. Comparative analyses of the effects of CPF and CPFO on axonal growth in DRG neurons cultured from AChE nullizygous (AChE -/- ) versus wild type (AChE +/+ ) mice indicated that while these OPs inhibited axonal growth in AChE +/+ DRG neurons, they had no effect on axonal growth in AChE -/- DRG neurons. However, transfection of AChE -/- DRG neurons with cDNA encoding full-length AChE restored the wild type response to the axon inhibitory effects of OPs. These data indicate that inhibition of axonal growth by OPs requires AChE, but the mechanism involves inhibition of the morphogenic rather than enzymatic activity of AChE. These findings suggest a novel mechanism for explaining not only the functional deficits observed in children and animals following developmental exposure to OPs, but also the increased vulnerability of the developing nervous system to OPs

  6. Genetics of Pediatric-Onset Motor Neuron and Neuromuscular Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-24

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy; Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease; Muscular Dystrophy; Spinal Muscular Atrophy With Respiratory Distress 1; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Motor Neuron Disease; Neuromuscular Disease; Peroneal Muscular Atrophy; Fragile X Syndrome

  7. Impaired Mitochondrial Dynamics Underlie Axonal Defects in Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denton, Kyle; Mou, Yongchao; Xu, Chong-Chong; Shah, Dhruvi; Chang, Jaerak; Blackstone, Craig; Li, Xue-Jun

    2018-05-02

    Mechanisms by which long corticospinal axons degenerate in hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) are largely unknown. Here, we have generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from patients with two autosomal recessive forms of HSP, SPG15 and SPG48, which are caused by mutations in the ZFYVE26 and AP5Z1 genes encoding proteins in the same complex, the spastizin and AP5Z1 proteins, respectively. In patient iPSC-derived telencephalic glutamatergic and midbrain dopaminergic neurons, neurite number, length and branching are significantly reduced, recapitulating disease-specific phenotypes. We analyzed mitochondrial morphology and noted a significant reduction in both mitochondrial length and their densities within axons of these HSP neurons. Mitochondrial membrane potential was also decreased, confirming functional mitochondrial defects. Notably, mdivi-1, an inhibitor of the mitochondrial fission GTPase DRP1, rescues mitochondrial morphology defects and suppresses the impairment in neurite outgrowth and late-onset apoptosis in HSP neurons. Furthermore, knockdown of these HSP genes causes similar axonal defects, also mitigated by treatment with mdivi-1. Finally, neurite outgrowth defects in SPG15 and SPG48 cortical neurons can be rescued by knocking down DRP1 directly. Thus, abnormal mitochondrial morphology caused by an imbalance of mitochondrial fission and fusion underlies specific axonal defects and serves as a potential therapeutic target for SPG15 and SPG48.

  8. Targeting Neurotrophins to Specific Populations of Neurons: NGF, BDNF, and NT-3 and Their Relevance for Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefe, Kathleen M.; Sheikh, Imran S.; Smith, George M.

    2017-01-01

    Neurotrophins are a family of proteins that regulate neuronal survival, synaptic function, and neurotransmitter release, and elicit the plasticity and growth of axons within the adult central and peripheral nervous system. Since the 1950s, these factors have been extensively studied in traumatic injury models. Here we review several members of the classical family of neurotrophins, the receptors they bind to, and their contribution to axonal regeneration and sprouting of sensory and motor pathways after spinal cord injury (SCI). We focus on nerve growth factor (NGF), brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and their effects on populations of neurons within diverse spinal tracts. Understanding the cellular targets of neurotrophins and the responsiveness of specific neuronal populations will allow for the most efficient treatment strategies in the injured spinal cord. PMID:28273811

  9. Targeting Neurotrophins to Specific Populations of Neurons: NGF, BDNF, and NT-3 and Their Relevance for Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefe, Kathleen M; Sheikh, Imran S; Smith, George M

    2017-03-03

    Neurotrophins are a family of proteins that regulate neuronal survival, synaptic function, and neurotransmitter release, and elicit the plasticity and growth of axons within the adult central and peripheral nervous system. Since the 1950s, these factors have been extensively studied in traumatic injury models. Here we review several members of the classical family of neurotrophins, the receptors they bind to, and their contribution to axonal regeneration and sprouting of sensory and motor pathways after spinal cord injury (SCI). We focus on nerve growth factor (NGF), brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and their effects on populations of neurons within diverse spinal tracts. Understanding the cellular targets of neurotrophins and the responsiveness of specific neuronal populations will allow for the most efficient treatment strategies in the injured spinal cord.

  10. Axonal collateral-collateral transport of tract tracers in brain neurons: false anterograde labelling and useful tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, S; Aston-Jones, G

    1998-02-01

    It is well established that some neuroanatomical tracers may be taken up by local axonal terminals and transported to distant axonal collaterals (e.g., transganglionic transport in dorsal root ganglion cells). However, such collateral-collateral transport of tracers has not been systematically examined in the central nervous system. We addressed this issue with four neuronal tracers--biocytin, biotinylated dextran amine, cholera toxin B subunit, and Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin--in the cerebellar cortex. Labelling of distant axonal collaterals in the cerebellar cortex (indication of collateral-collateral transport) was seen after focal iontophoretic microinjections of each of the four tracers. However, collateral-collateral transport properties differed among these tracers. Injection of biocytin or Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin in the cerebellar cortex yielded distant collateral labelling only in parallel fibres. In contrast, injection of biotinylated dextran amine or cholera toxin B subunit produced distant collateral labelling of climbing fibres and mossy fibres, as well as parallel fibres. The present study is the first systematic examination of collateral-collateral transport following injection of anterograde tracers in brain. Such collateral-collateral transport may produce false-positive conclusions regarding neural connections when using these tracers for anterograde transport. However, this property may also be used as a tool to determine areas that are innervated by common distant afferents. In addition, these results may indicate a novel mode of chemical communication in the nervous system.

  11. Severe pulmonary hypertension associated with the acute motor sensory axonal neuropathy subtype of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooney, Kris A; Thomas, Neal J

    2010-01-01

    To evaluate pulmonary hypertension associated with acute motor sensory axonal neuropathy subtype of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Guillain-Barré syndrome consists of a group of autoimmune disorders that generally manifest as symmetric, progressive, ascending paralysis. There are five subtypes of Guillain-Barré syndrome, and autonomic involvement has been described in all subtypes, including cardiovascular, vasomotor, or pseudomotor dysfunction of both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. Case report. Tertiary care pediatric intensive care unit. Three-yr-old female patient. None. Serial measurements of pulmonary artery pressure. We report the case of a young girl with acute motor sensory axonal neuropathy who presented with severe cardiovascular collapse secondary to severe pulmonary hypertension. In this patient, multiple factors may have played a role in the development of pulmonary hypertension including autonomic dysfunction, hypoventilation, and immobility as a risk for thrombosis and pulmonary emboli. It is possible that many other individuals suffering from severe forms of Guillain-Barré syndrome, especially those with significant autonomic dysfunction, may actually have undiagnosed and therefore untreated pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, it is recommended that clinicians caring for critically ill children with Guillain-Barré syndrome have a high index of suspicion for pulmonary hypertension and consider echocardiography if there are clinical signs of this potentially fatal process.

  12. Primary Lateral Sclerosis and Early Upper Motor Neuron Disease: Characteristics of a Cross-Sectional Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Christina N; Murphy, Alyssa; Loci, Lorena; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; Kisanuki, Yasushi; Simmons, Zachary; Maragakis, Nicholas J; McVey, April L; Al-Lahham, Tawfiq; Heiman-Patterson, Terry D; Andrews, Jinsy; McDonnell, Erin; Cudkowicz, Merit; Atassi, Nazem

    2016-03-01

    The goals of this study were to characterize clinical and electrophysiologic findings of subjects with upper motor neuron disease and to explore feasibility of clinical trials in this population. Twenty northeast amyotrophic lateral sclerosis consortium (northeast amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) sites performed chart reviews to identify active clinical pure upper motor neuron disease patients. Patients with hereditary spastic paraplegia or meeting revised El Escorial electrodiagnostic criteria for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were excluded. Patients were classified into 2 groups according to the presence or absence of minor electromyography (EMG) abnormalities. Two hundred thirty-three subjects with upper motor neuron disease were identified; 217 had available EMG data. Normal EMGs were seen in 140 subjects, and 77 had minor denervation. Mean disease duration was 84 (±80) months for the entire cohort with no difference seen between the 2 groups. No difference was seen in clinical symptoms, disability, or outcome measures between the 2 groups after correcting for multiple comparisons. Minor EMG abnormalities were not associated with phenotypic differences in a clinical upper motor neuron disease population. These findings suggest that subtle EMG abnormalities can not necessarily be used as a prognostic tool in patients with clinical upper motor neuron disease. This study also demonstrates the availability of a large number of patients with upper motor neuron diseases within the northeast amyotrophic lateral sclerosis network and suggests feasibility for conducting clinical trials in this population.

  13. Genetic overlap between apparently sporadic motor neuron diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Blitterswijk, Marka; Vlam, Lotte; van Es, Michael A.; van der Pol, W.-Ludo; Hennekam, Eric A. M.; Dooijes, Dennis; Schelhaas, Helenius J.; van der Kooi, Anneke J.; de Visser, Marianne; Veldink, Jan H.; van den Berg, Leonard H.

    2012-01-01

    Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are devastating motor neuron diseases (MNDs), which result in muscle weakness and/or spasticity. We compared mutation frequencies in genes known to be associated with MNDs between patients with apparently sporadic PMA and

  14. p27Kip1 Modulates Axonal Transport by Regulating α-Tubulin Acetyltransferase 1 Stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Morelli

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Summary: The protein p27Kip1 plays roles that extend beyond cell-cycle regulation during cerebral cortex development, such as the regulation of neuronal migration and neurite branching via signaling pathways that converge on the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. Microtubule-dependent transport is essential for the maturation of neurons and the establishment of neuronal connectivity though synapse formation and maintenance. Here, we show that p27Kip1 controls the transport of vesicles and organelles along the axon of mice cortical projection neurons in vitro. Moreover, suppression of the p27Kip1 ortholog, dacapo, in Drosophila melanogaster disrupts axonal transport in vivo, leading to the reduction of locomotor activity in third instar larvae and adult flies. At the molecular level, p27Kip1 stabilizes the α-tubulin acetyltransferase 1, thereby promoting the acetylation of microtubules, a post-translational modification required for proper axonal transport. : Morelli et al. report that p27Kip1/Dacapo modulates the acetylation of microtubules in axons via stabilization of ATAT1, the main α-tubulin acetyltransferase. Its conditional loss leads to the reduction of bidirectional axonal transport of vesicles and mitochondria in vitro in mice and in vivo in Drosophila. Keywords: p27Kip1, dacapo, acetylation, axonal transport, ATAT1, alpha-tubulin, HDAC6, Drosophila, mouse, cerebral cortex

  15. Action observation and mirror neuron network: a tool for motor stroke rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sale, P; Franceschini, M

    2012-06-01

    Mirror neurons are a specific class of neurons that are activated and discharge both during observation of the same or similar motor act performed by another individual and during the execution of a motor act. Different studies based on non invasive neuroelectrophysiological assessment or functional brain imaging techniques have demonstrated the presence of the mirror neuron and their mechanism in humans. Various authors have demonstrated that in the human these networks are activated when individuals learn motor actions via execution (as in traditional motor learning), imitation, observation (as in observational learning) and motor imagery. Activation of these brain areas (inferior parietal lobe and the ventral premotor cortex, as well as the caudal part of the inferior frontal gyrus [IFG]) following observation or motor imagery may thereby facilitate subsequent movement execution by directly matching the observed or imagined action to the internal simulation of that action. It is therefore believed that this multi-sensory action-observation system enables individuals to (re) learn impaired motor functions through the activation of these internal action-related representations. In humans, the mirror mechanism is also located in various brain segment: in Broca's area, which is involved in language processing and speech production and not only in centres that mediate voluntary movement, but also in cortical areas that mediate visceromotor emotion-related behaviours. On basis of this finding, during the last 10 years various studies were carry out regarding the clinical use of action observation for motor rehabilitation of sub-acute and chronic stroke patients.

  16. The Effects of Motor Neurone Disease on Language: Further Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Thomas H.; Hodges, John R.

    2004-01-01

    It might sound surprising that Motor Neurone Disease (MND), regarded still by many as the very example of a neurodegenerative disease affecting selectively the motor system and sparing the sensory functions as well as cognition, can have a significant influence on language. In this article we hope to demonstrate that language dysfunction is not…

  17. Prolonged high frequency electrical stimulation is lethal to motor axons of mice heterozygously deficient for the myelin protein P0 gene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alvarez, Susana; Moldovan, Mihai; Krarup, Christian

    2013-01-01

    demyelinating neuropathy reminiscent of CMT Type 1b. Accumulating evidence suggests that impulse conduction can become lethal to acutely demyelinated central and peripheral axons. Here we investigated the vulnerability of motor axons to long-lasting, high-frequency repetitive stimulation (RS) in P₀+/- mice...... as compared to WT littermates at 7, 12, and 20 months of age. RS was carried out in interrupted trains of 200 Hz trains for 3h. Tibial nerves were stimulated at the ankle while the evoked compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) and the ascending compound nerve action potentials (CNAPs) were recorded from...... aging and the dysmyelinating disease process may contribute to the susceptibility to activity-induced axonal degeneration. It is possible that in aging mice and in P₀+/- there is inadequate energy-dependent Na(+)/K(+) pumping, as indicated by the reduced post-stimulation hyperpolarization, which may...

  18. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Lu Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  19. 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

    2007-01-01

    Following proximal axotomy, several types of neurons sprout de novo axons from distal dendrites. These processes may represent a means of forming new circuits following spinal cord injury. However, it is not know whether mammalian spinal interneurons, axotomized as a result of a spinal cord injury......, 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...... at 4-5 weeks post injury. The somata of axotomized CINs were identified by the presence of immunoreactivity for the axonal growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43). Nearly half of the CINs had de novo axons that emerged from distal dendrites. These axons lacked immunoreactivity for the dendritic protein...

  20. Structure and function of the contactin-associated protein family in myelinated axons and their relationship with nerve diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan Zou; De-en Xu; Wei-feng Zhang; Hai-ying Liu; Xia Li; Xing Zhang; Xiao-fang Ma; Yang Sun; Shi-yi Jiang; Quan-hong Ma

    2017-01-01

    The contactin-associated protein (Caspr) family participates in nerve excitation and conduction, and neurotransmitter release in myelinated axons. We analyzed the structures and functions of the Caspr family–CNTNAP1 (Caspr1), CNTNAP2 (Caspr2), CNTNAP3 (Caspr3), CNTNAP4 (Caspr4) and CNTNAP5 (Caspr5), Caspr1–5 is not only involved in the formation of myelinated axons, but also participates in maintaining the stability of adjacent connections. Caspr1 participates in the formation, differentiation, and proliferation of neurons and astrocytes, and in motor control and cognitive function. We also analyzed the relationship between the Caspr family and neurodegenerative diseases, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune encephalitis. However, the effects of Caspr on disease course and prognosis remain poorly understood. The effects of Caspr on disease diagnosis and treatment need further investigation.

  1. Neurotransmitter-Triggered Transfer of Exosomes Mediates Oligodendrocyte–Neuron Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Wen Ping; Amphornrat, Jesa; Thilemann, Sebastian; Saab, Aiman S.; Kirchhoff, Frank; Möbius, Wiebke; Goebbels, Sandra; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Schneider, Anja; Simons, Mikael; Klugmann, Matthias; Trotter, Jacqueline; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria

    2013-01-01

    Reciprocal interactions between neurons and oligodendrocytes are not only crucial for myelination, but also for long-term survival of axons. Degeneration of axons occurs in several human myelin diseases, however the molecular mechanisms of axon-glia communication maintaining axon integrity are poorly understood. Here, we describe the signal-mediated transfer of exosomes from oligodendrocytes to neurons. These endosome-derived vesicles are secreted by oligodendrocytes and carry specific protein and RNA cargo. We show that activity-dependent release of the neurotransmitter glutamate triggers oligodendroglial exosome secretion mediated by Ca2+ entry through oligodendroglial NMDA and AMPA receptors. In turn, neurons internalize the released exosomes by endocytosis. Injection of oligodendroglia-derived exosomes into the mouse brain results in functional retrieval of exosome cargo in neurons. Supply of cultured neurons with oligodendroglial exosomes improves neuronal viability under conditions of cell stress. These findings indicate that oligodendroglial exosomes participate in a novel mode of bidirectional neuron-glia communication contributing to neuronal integrity. PMID:23874151

  2. Neurotransmitter-triggered transfer of exosomes mediates oligodendrocyte-neuron communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frühbeis, Carsten; Fröhlich, Dominik; Kuo, Wen Ping; Amphornrat, Jesa; Thilemann, Sebastian; Saab, Aiman S; Kirchhoff, Frank; Möbius, Wiebke; Goebbels, Sandra; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Schneider, Anja; Simons, Mikael; Klugmann, Matthias; Trotter, Jacqueline; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria

    2013-07-01

    Reciprocal interactions between neurons and oligodendrocytes are not only crucial for myelination, but also for long-term survival of axons. Degeneration of axons occurs in several human myelin diseases, however the molecular mechanisms of axon-glia communication maintaining axon integrity are poorly understood. Here, we describe the signal-mediated transfer of exosomes from oligodendrocytes to neurons. These endosome-derived vesicles are secreted by oligodendrocytes and carry specific protein and RNA cargo. We show that activity-dependent release of the neurotransmitter glutamate triggers oligodendroglial exosome secretion mediated by Ca²⁺ entry through oligodendroglial NMDA and AMPA receptors. In turn, neurons internalize the released exosomes by endocytosis. Injection of oligodendroglia-derived exosomes into the mouse brain results in functional retrieval of exosome cargo in neurons. Supply of cultured neurons with oligodendroglial exosomes improves neuronal viability under conditions of cell stress. These findings indicate that oligodendroglial exosomes participate in a novel mode of bidirectional neuron-glia communication contributing to neuronal integrity.

  3. Alteration of protein folding and degradation in motor neuron diseases : Implications and protective functions of small heat shock proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carra, Serena; Crippa, Valeria; Rusmini, Paola; Boncoraglio, Alessandra; Minoia, Melania; Giorgetti, Elisa; Kampinga, Harm H.; Poletti, Angelo

    Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are neurodegenerative disorders that specifically affect the survival and function of upper and/or l