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Sample records for motor neuron axons

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

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    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Motor Neurons

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    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....

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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    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

  12. 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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  15. Motor axon excitability during Wallerian degeneration

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    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...

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

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    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity.

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  1. 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.

  2. Spinal cord: motor neuron diseases.

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    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

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    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 pa...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. Motor Neuron Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ...

  4. 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.

    2014-01-01

    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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

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

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    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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. 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

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  3. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  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. Pathophysiologic insights into motor axonal function in Kennedy disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2007-11-06

    Kennedy disease (KD), or spinobulbomuscular atrophy, is a slowly progressive inherited neurodegenerative disorder, marked by prominent fasciculations that typically precede the development of other symptoms. Although the genetic basis of KD relates to triplet (CAG) repeat expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) gene on the X chromosome, the mechanisms underlying the clinical presentation in KD have yet to be established. Consequently, the present study applied axonal excitability techniques to investigate the pathophysiologic mechanisms associated with KD. Peripheral nerve excitability studies were undertaken in 7 patients with KD with compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) recorded from the right abductor pollicis brevis. Strength-duration time constant (KD 0.54 +/- 0.03 msec; controls, 0.41 +/- 0.02 msec, p TEd [90 to 100 msec], 50.75 +/- 1.98%; controls TEd [90 to 100 msec], 45.67 +/- 0.67%, p < 0.01) and hyperpolarizing (KD TEh [90 to 100 msec], 128.5 +/- 6.9%; controls TEh [90 to 100 msec], 120.5 +/- 2.4%) conditioning pulses. Measurements of refractoriness, superexcitability, and late subexcitability changed appropriately for axonal hyperpolarization, perhaps reflecting the effects of increased ectopic activity. In total, the increase in the strength-duration time constant may be the primary event, occurring early in course of the disease, contributing to the development of axonal hyperexcitability in Kennedy disease, and thereby to the generation of fasciculations, a characteristic hallmark of the disease.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Suicide in patients with motor neuron disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Søren; Stenager, E N; Stenager, Egon

    1994-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess, through an epidemiological study, whether suicide risk is increased in patients with motor neuron disease (MND). The study involved 116 patients with MND. In the study period 92 patients died, 47 males and 45 females. No patients committed suicide....... The number of expected suicides was 0.27 for males and 0.12 for females, a total of 0.38. The difference between observed and expected suicides was not statistically significant for males and females....

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. GABAergic Synapses at the Axon Initial Segment of Basolateral Amygdala Projection Neurons Modulate Fear Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Rinki; Knapp, Stephanie; Chakraborty, Darpan; Horovitz, Omer; Albrecht, Anne; Kriebel, Martin; Kaphzan, Hanoch; Ehrlich, Ingrid; Volkmer, Hansjürgen; Richter-Levin, Gal

    2017-01-01

    Inhibitory synaptic transmission in the amygdala has a pivotal role in fear learning and its extinction. However, the local circuits formed by GABAergic inhibitory interneurons within the amygdala and their detailed function in shaping these behaviors are not well understood. Here we used lentiviral-mediated knockdown of the cell adhesion molecule neurofascin in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to specifically remove inhibitory synapses at the axon initial segment (AIS) of BLA projection neurons. Quantitative analysis of GABAergic synapse markers and measurement of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in BLA projection neurons after neurofascin knockdown ex vivo confirmed the loss of GABAergic input. We then studied the impact of this manipulation on anxiety-like behavior and auditory cued fear conditioning and its extinction as BLA related behavioral paradigms, as well as on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the ventral subiculum-BLA pathway in vivo. BLA knockdown of neurofascin impaired ventral subiculum-BLA-LTP. While this manipulation did not affect anxiety-like behavior and fear memory acquisition and consolidation, it specifically impaired extinction. Our findings indicate that modification of inhibitory synapses at the AIS of BLA projection neurons is sufficient to selectively impair extinction behavior. A better understanding of the role of distinct GABAergic synapses may provide novel and more specific targets for therapeutic interventions in extinction-based therapies.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Strength Testing in Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shefner, Jeremy M

    2017-01-01

    Loss of muscle strength is a cardinal feature of all motor neuron diseases. Functional loss over time, including respiratory dysfunction, inability to ambulate, loss of ability to perform activities of daily living, and others are due, in large part, to decline in strength. Thus, the accurate measurement of limb muscle strength is essential in therapeutic trials to best understand the impact of therapy on vital function. While qualitative strength measurements show declines over time, the lack of reproducibility and linearity of measurement make qualitative techniques inadequate. A variety of quantitative measures have been developed; all have both positive attributes and limitations. However, with careful training and reliability testing, quantitative measures have proven to be reliable and sensitive indicators of both disease progression and the impact of experimental therapy. Quantitative strength measurements have demonstrated potentially important therapeutic effects in both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinobulbar muscular atrophy, and have been shown feasible in children with spinal muscular atrophy. The spectrum of both qualitative and quantitative strength measurements are reviewed and their utility examined in this review.

  4. 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

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Racial differences in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gundogdu, Betul; Al-Lahham, Tawfiq; Kadlubar, Fred; Spencer, Horace; Rudnicki, Stacy A

    2014-03-01

    Our objective was to compare and contrast clinical features of black and white patients seen in the UAMS ALS/Motor Neuron Disease (MND) clinic from January 2001 to December 2010. Death certificate information was reviewed to determine race of Arkansans who died of ALS/MND between 1999 and 2006. We used a retrospective chart review of patients with ALS/MND seen at least once in our clinic and reviewed state death certificate data. Results showed that from 1999 to 2006, 466 Arkansas deaths were attributed (immediate or contributory) to ALS/MND; 17 (3.6%) were black, four (0.9%) other, and 445 (95.5%) white. During this period, the proportion of black Arkansans was 17%. From 2001 to 2010, we saw 330 patients with ALS/MND: 30 (9.1%) black, six (1.8%) other, 294 (89.1%) white. Average onset age for whites was 58.1 + 12.4 years, for blacks 52.8 + 13.0 (p = 0.038). Gender, onset site, time from symptom onset to first clinic visit and initial vital capacity were similar between the groups. Initial ALSFRS-R was 37.5 + 7.2 for whites and 30.8 + 8.5 (p = 0.004) for blacks. A first or second degree relative with ALS/MND was reported by 8.1% of whites and by none of the black patients (p = 0.15). Riluzole, PEG and non-invasive ventilation use was similar between the groups. Median tracheostomy-free survival was 36 months for white and 40 months for black patients (p = 0.475). In conclusion, although blacks appear relatively spared from ALS/MND, they present at an earlier age and are functionally worse at their first visit. Investigating the genetic make-up of blacks with the disease may help identify genes that modify risk of developing ALS/MND.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Desclaux, Mathieu; Teigell, Marisa; Amar, Lahouari; Vogel, Roland; Giménez y Ribotta, Minerva; Privát, Alain M.; Mallet, Jacques

    2009-01-01

    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 G...

  14. Acute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy-associated syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weeraporn Srisung

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available A 36-year-old man presented with a six week history of progressive ascending weakness. Physical examination showed generalized motor weakness, more severe in the lower extremities (LE, muscle wasting, absent LE reflexes, dysesthesia, and no cranial nerve involvement. Neurologic workup was consistent with acute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN, a variant of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Concomitantly on admission, serum chemistry panel showed a sodium (Na 115 mmol/L with normal kidney function. Urine showed Na <20 mmol/L, and specific gravity 1.045. Urine osmolality was not available initially. He received IV fluid for volume expansion. The Na did not significantly improve after he became euvolemic. Fluid restriction was then tried with mild improvement. Endocrine work-up ruled out hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency. Repeat labs showed serum Na 124 mmol/L, urine Na 191 mmol/L and urine Osm 531 mOsm, and the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH was diagnosed. Our case report suggests that SIADH should be high on the differential diagnosis for hyponatremia in patients with AMSAN, especially in the setting of euvolemia.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  1. 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

  2. Racial differences in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    GUNDOGDU, BETUL; AL-LAHHAM, TAWFIQ; SPENCER, HORACE; RUDNICKI, STACY A.

    2014-01-01

    Our objective was to compare and contrast clinical features of black and white patients seen in the UAMS ALS/Motor Neuron Disease (MND) clinic from January 2001 to December 2010. Death certificate information was reviewed to determine race of Arkansans who died of ALS/MND between 1999 and 2006. We used a retrospective chart review of patients with ALS/MND seen at least once in our clinic and reviewed state death certificate data. Results showed that from 1999 to 2006, 466 Arkansas deaths were attributed (immediate or contributory) to ALS/MND; 17 (3.6%) were black, four (0.9%) other, and 445 (95.5%) white. During this period, the proportion of black Arkansans was 17%. From 2001 to 2010, we saw 330 patients with ALS/MND: 30 (9.1%) black, six (1.8%) other, 294 (89.1%) white. Average onset age for whites was 58.1 ± 12.4 years, for blacks 52.8 ± 13.0 (p = 0.038). Gender, onset site, time from symptom onset to first clinic visit and initial vital capacity were similar between the groups. Initial ALSFRS-R was 37.5 ± 7.2 for whites and 30.8 ± 8.5 (p = 0.004) for blacks. A first or second degree relative with ALS/MND was reported by 8.1% of whites and by none of the black patients (p = 0.15). Riluzole, PEG and non-invasive ventilation use was similar between the groups. Median tracheostomy-free survival was 36 months for white and 40 months for black patients (p = 0.475). In conclusion, although blacks appear relatively spared from ALS/MND, they present at an earlier age and are functionally worse at their first visit. Investigating the genetic make-up of blacks with the disease may help identify genes that modify risk of developing ALS/MND. PMID:24067242

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

  15. The Neuronal Network Orchestration behind Motor Behaviors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Peter Christian

    to motoneurons during rhythmic motor behaviors, and specifically the hypothesis that motoneurons receive concurrent excitatory and inhibitory (E/I) inputs. Berg et al. (2007) presented the concurrent hypothesis, which goes against the classical feed forward reciprocal model for spinal motor networks that has...... gained widespread acceptance. We developed an adult turtle preparation where the spinal motor network was intact, which also allowed us to perform intracellular recordings from motoneurons during rhythmic motor activity. We estimated the synaptic excitatory and inhibitory conductances by two individual...... (Buzsáki and Mizuseki, 2014). Roxin et al. (2011) detailed the firing rate distribution in networks in the balanced regime, and found it to be similar to a lognormal distribution and describing the data from the population studies very well. Our experimental observations and analysis are in agreement...

  16. 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。

  17. 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.

  18. Expression, transport, and axonal sorting of neuronal CCL21 in large dense-core vesicles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Eiko K.; Vinet, Jonathan; Stanulovic, Vesna S.; Meijer, Michel; Wesseling, Evelyn; Sjollema, Klaas; Boddeke, Hendrikus W. G. M.; Biber, Knut

    2008-01-01

    Neurons are highly polarized cells, and neuron-neuron communication is based on directed transport and release of neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and neurotrophins. Directed communication may also be attributed to neuron-microglia signaling, since neuronal damage can induce a microglia reaction at

  19. Expression, transport, and axonal sorting of neuronal CCL21 in large dense-core vesicles.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jong, E.K. de; Vinet, J.; Stanulovic, V.S.; Meijer, M.; Wesseling, E.; Sjollema, K.; Boddeke, H.W.; Biber, K.

    2008-01-01

    Neurons are highly polarized cells, and neuron-neuron communication is based on directed transport and release of neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and neurotrophins. Directed communication may also be attributed to neuron-microglia signaling, since neuronal damage can induce a microglia reaction at

  20. Meninges-derived cues control axon guidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Loss of Axon Bifurcation in Mesencephalic Trigeminal Neurons Impairs the Maximal Biting Force in Npr2-Deficient Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Communications Technology and Motor Neuron Disease: An Australian Survey of People With Motor Neuron Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackenzie, Lynette; Bhuta, Prarthna; Rusten, Kim; Devine, Janet; Love, Anna; Waterson, Penny

    2016-01-25

    People with Motor Neuron Disease (MND), of which amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form in adults, typically experience difficulties with communication and disabilities associated with movement. Assistive technology is essential to facilitate everyday activities, promote social support and enhance quality of life. This study aimed to explore the types of mainstream and commonly available communication technology used by people with MND including software and hardware, to identify the levels of confidence and skill that people with MND reported in using technology, to determine perceived barriers to the use of technology for communication, and to investigate the willingness of people with MND to adopt alternative modes of communication. An on-line survey was distributed to members of the New South Wales Motor Neuron Disease Association (MND NSW). Descriptive techniques were used to summarize frequencies of responses and cross tabulate data. Free-text responses to survey items and verbal comments from participants who chose to undertake the survey by telephone were analyzed using thematic analysis. Responses from 79 MND NSW members indicated that 15-21% had difficulty with speaking, writing and/or using a keyboard. Commonly used devices were desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Most participants (84%) were connected to the Internet and used it for email (91%), to find out more about MND (59%), to follow the news (50%) or for on-line shopping (46%). A third of respondents used Skype or its equivalent, but few used this to interact with health professionals. People with MND need greater awareness of technology options to access the most appropriate solutions. The timing for people with MND to make decisions about technology is critical. Health professionals need skills and knowledge about the application of technology to be able to work with people with MND to select the best communication technology options as early as possible

  3. 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

  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. Gamma motor neurons survive and exacerbate alpha motor neuron degeneration in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalancette-Hebert, Melanie; Sharma, Aarti; Lyashchenko, Alexander K; Shneider, Neil A

    2016-12-20

    The molecular and cellular basis of selective motor neuron (MN) vulnerability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not known. In genetically distinct mouse models of familial ALS expressing mutant superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1), TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), and fused in sarcoma (FUS), we demonstrate selective degeneration of alpha MNs (α-MNs) and complete sparing of gamma MNs (γ-MNs), which selectively innervate muscle spindles. Resistant γ-MNs are distinct from vulnerable α-MNs in that they lack synaptic contacts from primary afferent (I A ) fibers. Elimination of these synapses protects α-MNs in the SOD1 mutant, implicating this excitatory input in MN degeneration. Moreover, reduced I A activation by targeted reduction of γ-MNs in SOD1 G93A mutants delays symptom onset and prolongs lifespan, demonstrating a pathogenic role of surviving γ-MNs in ALS. This study establishes the resistance of γ-MNs as a general feature of ALS mouse models and demonstrates that synaptic excitation of MNs within a complex circuit is an important determinant of relative vulnerability in ALS.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Dysarthria of Motor Neuron Disease: Clinician Judgments of Severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seikel, J. Anthony; And Others

    1990-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between the temporal-acoustic parameters of the speech of 15 adults with motor neuron disease. Differences in predictions of the progression of the disease and clinician judgments of dysarthria severity were found to relate to the linguistic systems of both speaker and judge. (Author/JDD)

  9. Motor neuron disease: the impact of decreased speech intelligibility ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: The onset of motor neuron disease (MND), a neurodegenerative disease, results in physical and communication disabilities that impinge on an individual's ability to remain functionally independent. Multiple aspects of the marital relationship are affected by the continuously changing roles and responsibilities.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Do motor neurons contain functional prejunctional cholinoceptors?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bierkamper, C.G.; Aizenman, E.; Millington, W.R.

    1986-01-01

    This paper focuses on negative feedback by nicotinic cholinoceptors (nAChR) on motor nerve terminals. The authors attempt to prove the existence of the receptor, determine its pharmacologic characteristics, and demonstrate that it can alter ACh release. Acetylcholine release from the vascular perfused rat phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm prepareation is assessed by three methods; measurement of force of contraction; direct assay of released ACh by radioenzymatic assay; and intracellular recording from the endplate region of the myofiber

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  3. Neuronal Population Activity in Spinal Motor Circuits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rune W.

    2017-01-01

    The core elements of stereotypical movements such as locomotion, scratching and breathing are generated by networks in the lower brainstem and the spinal cord. Ensemble activities in spinal motor networks had until recently been merely a black box, but with the emergence of ultra-thin Silicon multi......-electrode technology it was possible to reveal the spiking activity of larger parts of the network. A series of experiments revealed unexpected features of spinal networks, such as multiple spiking regimes and lognormal firing rate distributions. The lognormality renders the widespread idea of a typical firing rate...

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Brain-wide neuronal dynamics during motor adaptation in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Misha B; Li, Jennifer M; Orger, Michael B; Robson, Drew N; Schier, Alexander F; Engert, Florian; Portugues, Ruben

    2012-05-09

    A fundamental question in neuroscience is how entire neural circuits generate behaviour and adapt it to changes in sensory feedback. Here we use two-photon calcium imaging to record the activity of large populations of neurons at the cellular level, throughout the brain of larval zebrafish expressing a genetically encoded calcium sensor, while the paralysed animals interact fictively with a virtual environment and rapidly adapt their motor output to changes in visual feedback. We decompose the network dynamics involved in adaptive locomotion into four types of neuronal response properties, and provide anatomical maps of the corresponding sites. A subset of these signals occurred during behavioural adjustments and are candidates for the functional elements that drive motor learning. Lesions to the inferior olive indicate a specific functional role for olivocerebellar circuitry in adaptive locomotion. This study enables the analysis of brain-wide dynamics at single-cell resolution during behaviour.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. GPNMB ameliorates mutant TDP-43-induced motor neuron cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagahara, Yuki; Shimazawa, Masamitsu; Ohuchi, Kazuki; Ito, Junko; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Tsuruma, Kazuhiro; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Hara, Hideaki

    2017-08-01

    Glycoprotein nonmetastatic melanoma protein B (GPNMB) aggregates are observed in the spinal cord of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, but the detailed localization is still unclear. Mutations of transactive response DNA binding protein 43kDa (TDP-43) are associated with neurodegenerative diseases including ALS. In this study, we evaluated the localization of GPNMB aggregates in the spinal cord of ALS patients and the effect of GPNMB against mutant TDP-43 induced motor neuron cell death. GPNMB aggregates were not localized in the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive astrocyte and ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule-1 (Iba1)-positive microglia. GPNMB aggregates were localized in the microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2)-positive neuron and neurofilament H non-phosphorylated (SMI-32)-positive neuron, and these were co-localized with TDP-43 aggregates in the spinal cord of ALS patients. Mock or TDP-43 (WT, M337V, and A315T) plasmids were transfected into mouse motor neuron cells (NSC34). The expression level of GPNMB was increased by transfection of mutant TDP-43 plasmids. Recombinant GPNMB ameliorated motor neuron cell death induced by transfection of mutant TDP-43 plasmids and serum-free stress. Furthermore, the expression of phosphorylated ERK1/2 and phosphorylated Akt were decreased by this stress, and these expressions were increased by recombinant GPNMB. These results indicate that GPNMB has protective effects against mutant TDP-43 stress via activating the ERK1/2 and Akt pathways, and GPNMB may be a therapeutic target for TDP-43 proteinopathy in familial and sporadic ALS. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Hereditary spastic paraplegia: More than an upper motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parodi, L; Fenu, S; Stevanin, G; Durr, A

    2017-05-01

    Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a group of rare inherited neurological diseases characterized by extreme heterogeneity in both their clinical manifestations and genetic backgrounds. Based on symptoms, HSPs can be divided into pure forms, presenting with pyramidal signs leading to lower-limb spasticity, and complex forms, when additional neurological or extraneurological symptoms are detected. The clinical diversity of HSPs partially reflects their underlying genetic backgrounds. To date, 76 loci and 58 corresponding genes [spastic paraplegia genes (SPGs)] have been linked to HSPs. The genetic diagnosis is further complicated by the fact that causative mutations of HSP can be inherited through all possible modes of transmission (autosomal-dominant and -recessive, X-linked, maternal), with some genes showing multiple inheritance patterns. The pathogenic mutations of SPGs primarily lead to progressive degeneration of the upper motor neurons (UMNs) comprising corticospinal tracts. However, it is possible to observe lower-limb muscle atrophy and fasciculations on clinical examination that are clear signs of lower motor neuron (LMN) involvement. The purpose of this review is to classify HSPs based on their degree of motor neuron involvement, distinguishing forms in which only UMNs are affected from those involving both UMN and LMN degeneration, and to describe their differential diagnosis from diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Clinical pathological and genetic analysis of 2 cases of mitochondrial myopathy presented as acute motor axonal neuropathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hou-min YIN

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Background The main clinical manifestations of mitochondrial myopathy are chronic limb weakness and muscular soreness. Subclinical peripheral nerve injury is also reported, but acute axonal neuropathy.like syndrome concurrent with lactic acidosis is rare. In this paper the clinical features of 2 patients presenting as acute lactic acidosis and sudden muscle weakness were analyzed. Pathological changes and genetic mutations were detected.  Methods Electromyography (EMG and muscle biopsy were performed. Modified Gomori trichrome (MGT and succinodehydrogenase (SDH staining were used to identify pathological changes. Changes of ultra microstructure of muscular tissue were observed under electron microscope. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA full length sequencing was performed using 24 pairs of partially overlapping primers.  Results EMG showed a coexistence of neurogenic and myogenic changes. Dramatic decrease of motor nerve amplitude and moderately reduced sensory nerve amplitude were observed but nerve conduction velocity was normal in both patients. Impressive ragged red fibers were seen on MGT staining. Electron microscope showed dramatic mitochondrial abnormalities in Case 1 and paracrystaline inclusions in Case 2. mtDNA sequencing showed 3243A > G mutation in Case 1 and 8344A > G mutation in Case 2. Conclusions Mitochondrial myopathy can present as metabolic crisis like acute lactic acidosis, dyspnea and acute motor axonal neuropathy.like syndrome. It is a life.threatening phenotype that needs more attention. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-6731.2014.06.007

  20. Dihydrotestosterone ameliorates degeneration in muscle, axons and motoneurons and improves motor function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis model mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Eun Yoo

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a lethal disease characterized by a progressive loss of motoneurons. The clinical symptoms include skeletal muscle weakness and atrophy, which impairs motor performance and eventually leads to respiratory failure. We tested whether dihydrotestosterone (DHT, which has both anabolic effects on muscle and neuroprotective effects on axons and motoneurons, can ameliorate clinical symptoms in ALS. A silastic tube containing DHT crystals was implanted subcutaneously in SOD1-G93A mice at early symptomatic age when decreases in body weight and grip-strength were observed as compared to wild-type mice. DHT-treated SOD1-G93A mice demonstrated ameliorated muscle atrophy and increased body weight, which was associated with stronger grip-strength. DHT treatment increased the expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 in muscle, which can exert myotrophic as well as neurotrophic effects through retrograde transport. DHT treatment attenuated neuromuscular junction denervation, and axonal and motoneuron loss. DHT-treated SOD1-G93A mice demonstrated improvement in motor behavior as assessed by rota-rod and gait analyses, and an increased lifespan. Application of DHT is a relatively simple and non-invasive procedure, which may be translated into therapy to improve the quality of life for ALS patients.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Multimodal structural MRI in the diagnosis of motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraro, Pilar M; Agosta, Federica; Riva, Nilo; Copetti, Massimiliano; Spinelli, Edoardo Gioele; Falzone, Yuri; Sorarù, Gianni; Comi, Giancarlo; Chiò, Adriano; Filippi, Massimo

    2017-01-01

    This prospective study developed an MRI-based method for identification of individual motor neuron disease (MND) patients and test its accuracy at the individual patient level in an independent sample compared with mimic disorders. 123 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), 44 patients with predominantly upper motor neuron disease (PUMN), 20 patients with ALS-mimic disorders, and 78 healthy controls were studied. The diagnostic accuracy of precentral cortical thickness and diffusion tensor (DT) MRI metrics of corticospinal and motor callosal tracts were assessed in a training cohort and externally proved in a validation cohort using a random forest analysis. In the training set, precentral cortical thickness showed 0.86 and 0.89 accuracy in differentiating ALS and PUMN patients from controls, while DT MRI distinguished the two groups from controls with 0.78 and 0.92 accuracy. In ALS vs controls, the combination of cortical thickness and DT MRI metrics (combined model) improved the classification pattern (0.91 accuracy). In the validation cohort, the best accuracy was reached by DT MRI (0.87 and 0.95 accuracy in ALS and PUMN vs mimic disorders). The combined model distinguished ALS and PUMN patients from mimic syndromes with 0.87 and 0.94 accuracy. A multimodal MRI approach that incorporates motor cortical and white matter alterations yields statistically significant improvement in accuracy over using each modality separately in the individual MND patient classification. DT MRI represents the most powerful tool to distinguish MND from mimic disorders.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Light and electron microscopy of contacts between primary afferent fibres and neurones with axons ascending the dorsal columns of the feline spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, D J; Koerber, H R; Bannatyne, B A

    1985-10-01

    In addition to primary afferent fibres, the dorsal columns of the cat spinal cord contain ascending second-order axons which project to the dorsal column nuclei. The aim of the present study was to obtain morphological evidence that certain primary afferent axons form monosynaptic contacts with cells of origin of this postsynaptic dorsal column pathway. In ten adult cats, neurones with axons ascending the dorsal columns were retrogradely labelled with horseradish peroxidase using a pellet implantation method in the thoracic dorsal columns. In the lumbosacral regions of the same animals, primary afferent fibres were labelled intra-axonally with ionophoretic application of horseradish peroxidase. Tissue containing labelled axons was prepared for light and combined light and electron microscopy. Ultrastructural examination demonstrated that slowly adapting (Type I), hair follicle, Pacinian corpuscle and group Ia muscle spindle afferents formed monosynaptic contacts with labelled cells and light microscopical analysis suggested that they also received monosynaptic input from rapidly adapting (Krause) afferents. This evidence suggests that sensory information from large-diameter cutaneous and muscle spindle afferent fibres is conveyed disynaptically via the postsynaptic dorsal column pathway to the dorsal column nuclei. Some of the input to this pathway is probably modified in the spinal cord as the majority of primary afferent boutons forming monosynaptic contacts were postsynaptic to other axon terminals. The postsynaptic dorsal column system appears to constitute a major somatosensory pathway in the cat.

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

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    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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Dync1h1 Mutation Causes Proprioceptive Sensory Neuron Loss and Impaired Retrograde Axonal Transport of Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jing; Wang, Yi; Xu, Huan; Fu, Yuan; Qian, Ting; Bo, Deng; Lu, Yan-Xin; Xiong, Yi; Wan, Jun; Zhang, Xiang; Dong, Qiang; Chen, Xiang-Jun

    2016-07-01

    Sprawling (Swl) is a radiation-induced mutation which has been identified to have a nine base pair deletion in dynein heavy chain 1 (DYNC1H1: encoded by a single gene Dync1h1). This study is to investigate the phenotype and the underlying mechanism of the Dync1h1 mutant. To display the phenotype of Swl mutant mice, we examined the embryos of homozygous (Swl/Swl) and heterozygous (Swl/+) mice and their postnatal dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of surviving Swl/+ mice. The Swl/+ mice could survive for a normal life span, while Swl/Swl could only survive till embryonic (E) 8.5 days. Excessive apoptosis of Swl/+ DRG neurons was revealed during E11.5-E15.5 days, and the peak rate was at E13.5 days. In vitro study of mutated DRG neurons showed impaired retrograde transport of dynein-driven nerve growth factor (NGF). Mitochondria, another dynein-driven cargo, demonstrated much slower retrograde transport velocity in Swl/+ neurons than in wild-type (WT) neurons. Nevertheless, the Swl, Loa, and Cra mutations did not affect homodimerization of DYNC1H1. The Swl/Swl mutation of Dync1h1 gene led to embryonic mal-development and lethality, whereas the Swl/+ DRG neurons demonstrated deficient retrograde transport in dynein-driven cargos and excessive apoptosis during mid- to late-developmental stages. The underlying mechanism of the mutation may not be due to impaired homodimerization of DYNC1H1. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Motor impairment and neuronal damage following hypothermia in tropical amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daló, Nelson L; Bracho, Gustavo A; Piña-Crespo, Juan C

    2007-02-01

    Although the induction of mild to moderate cerebral hypothermia in mammals can have neuroprotective activity, some deleterious effects have been described when inducing deep hypothermia during cooling of the brain. In the spinal cord, rapid deep cooling can induce seizure activity accompanied by release of the excitatory neurotransmitters, glutamate and aspartate. We used cold-sensitive tropical amphibians as a model to determine (a) the critical temperature inside the central nervous system necessary to induce seizures during rapid cooling; (b) the survival rate during slow deep cooling of the whole animal; and (c) whether deep cooling can cause neuronal cell damage. Seizures induced by deep rapid (or=30 min) deep cooling of the whole animal (12 h at 2-3 degrees C), around 70% of animals died. Spinal reflexes were enhanced when temperatures within the spinal cord reached between 9.0 degrees C and 11.6 degrees C. A fivefold increase in blood glucose level was observed during slow deep cooling. Recovery after slow deep cooling was accompanied by motor impairment and the main histological findings were condensation of the cytoplasm and nuclear pyknosis. Severe neuronal cell damage was characterized by swelling, vacuolated cytoplasm with distended neuronal bodies. These results indicate that deep cooling can easily induce neuronal cell damage in the central nervous system of cold-sensitive animals. They also warn us to the potential sequels associated with the use of deep brain cooling as a neuroprotective strategy.

  16. Neurotrophin Signaling via Long-Distance Axonal Transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Establishing the UK DNA Bank for motor neuron disease (MND).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Lucy; Cupid, B C; Dickie, B G M; Al-Chalabi, A; Morrison, K E; Shaw, C E; Shaw, P J

    2015-07-14

    In 2003 the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association, together with The Wellcome Trust, funded the creation of a national DNA Bank specific for MND. It was anticipated that the DNA Bank would constitute an important resource to researchers worldwide and significantly increase activity in MND genetic research. The DNA Bank houses over 3000 high quality DNA samples, all of which were donated by people living with MND, family members and non-related controls, accompanied by clinical phenotype data about the patients. Today the primary focus of the UK MND DNA Bank still remains to identify causative and disease modifying factors for this devastating disease.

  18. 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.

  19. Transcranial magnetic stimulation in lower motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attarian, S; Azulay, J-Ph; Lardillier, D; Verschueren, A; Pouget, J

    2005-01-01

    To study the diagnostic value of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in a group of patients with lower motor neuron disease (LMND). Among LMND, several chronic immune mediate motor neuropathies may simulate amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Forty patients with LMND were included TMS was performed at the first visit. The patients were seen prospectively every 3 months for a period of 1-4 years. Three different groups were distinguished at the end of follow-up: (1) ALS group with 7 patients, (2) Pure motor neuropathy with 14 patients and (3) Other LMND including 12 patients with hereditary spinal amyotrophy, 3 patients with Kennedy's disease and 4 patients with post-poliomyelitis. On the basis of the results of TMS variables, 6 out of 7 ALS patients had abnormality of silent period (SP) associated or not with abnormality of excitatory threshold or amplitude ratio. Patients with pure motor neuropathy had normal SP and amplitude ratio. Four out of 14 patients had increased central motor conduction time (CMCT), one had increased CMCT and excitatory threshold, and one patient had a slightly increased excitatory threshold. Considering the abnormality of TMS variables in the groups, SP, excitatory threshold, and amplitude ratio were chosen in a post-hoc attempt to select variables yielding high sensitivity and specificity. The overall sensitivity of TMS for diagnosis of ALS among LMND was 85.7%, its specificity was 93.9%. When only the abnormality of SP was taken into account, the sensitivity was unchanged. But the specificity was improved to 100%. TMS helped to distinguish suspected ALS from pure motor neuropathy.

  20. Nonmotor symptoms in patients suffering from motor neuron diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rene Günther

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The recently postulated disease spreading hypothesis has gained much attention, especially for Parkinson’s disease (PD. The various nonmotor 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. Recent evidence, however, suggests disease spreading into nonmotor brain regions also in MND. The aim of this study was to comprehensively detect NMS in patients suffering from MND.Methods: We used a self-rating questionnaire including 30 different items of gastrointestinal, autonomic, neuropsychiatric and sleep complaints (NMSQuest which is an established tool in PD patients. 90 MND patients were included and compared to 96 controls.Results: 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.Conclusions: 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.

  1. Multimodal structural MRI in the diagnosis of motor neuron diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar M. Ferraro

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This prospective study developed an MRI-based method for identification of individual motor neuron disease (MND patients and test its accuracy at the individual patient level in an independent sample compared with mimic disorders. 123 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, 44 patients with predominantly upper motor neuron disease (PUMN, 20 patients with ALS-mimic disorders, and 78 healthy controls were studied. The diagnostic accuracy of precentral cortical thickness and diffusion tensor (DT MRI metrics of corticospinal and motor callosal tracts were assessed in a training cohort and externally proved in a validation cohort using a random forest analysis. In the training set, precentral cortical thickness showed 0.86 and 0.89 accuracy in differentiating ALS and PUMN patients from controls, while DT MRI distinguished the two groups from controls with 0.78 and 0.92 accuracy. In ALS vs controls, the combination of cortical thickness and DT MRI metrics (combined model improved the classification pattern (0.91 accuracy. In the validation cohort, the best accuracy was reached by DT MRI (0.87 and 0.95 accuracy in ALS and PUMN vs mimic disorders. The combined model distinguished ALS and PUMN patients from mimic syndromes with 0.87 and 0.94 accuracy. A multimodal MRI approach that incorporates motor cortical and white matter alterations yields statistically significant improvement in accuracy over using each modality separately in the individual MND patient classification. DT MRI represents the most powerful tool to distinguish MND from mimic disorders.

  2. 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.

  3. Axon Guidance of Sympathetic Neurons to Cardiomyocytes by Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miwa, Keiko; Lee, Jong-Kook; Takagishi, Yoshiko; Opthof, Tobias; Fu, Xianming; Hirabayashi, Masumi; Watabe, Kazuhiko; Jimbo, Yasuhiko; Kodama, Itsuo; Komuro, Issei

    2013-01-01

    Molecular signaling of cardiac autonomic innervation is an unresolved issue. Here, we show that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) promotes cardiac sympathetic innervation in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, ventricular myocytes (VMs) and sympathetic neurons (SNs) isolated from neonatal

  4. The Transcription Factor Orthodenticle Homeobox 2 Influences Axonal Projections and Vulnerability of Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Chee Yeun; Licznerski, Pawel; Alavian, Kambiz N.; Simeone, Antonio; Lin, Zhicheng; Martin, Eden; Vance, Jeffery; Isacson, Ole

    2010-01-01

    Two adjacent groups of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, A9 (substantia nigra pars compacta) and A10 (ventral tegmental area), have distinct projections and exhibit differential vulnerability in Parkinson's disease. Little is known about transcription factors that influence midbrain dopaminergic subgroup phenotypes or their potential role in disease.…

  5. 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".

  6. 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

  7. Fishing for causes and cures of motor neuron disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, Shunmoogum A; Armstrong, Gary A B; Lissouba, Alexandra; Kabashi, Edor; Parker, J Alex; Drapeau, Pierre

    2014-07-01

    Motor neuron disorders (MNDs) are a clinically heterogeneous group of neurological diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons, and share some common pathological pathways. Despite remarkable advances in our understanding of these diseases, no curative treatment for MNDs exists. To better understand the pathogenesis of MNDs and to help develop new treatments, the establishment of animal models that can be studied efficiently and thoroughly is paramount. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is increasingly becoming a valuable model for studying human diseases and in screening for potential therapeutics. In this Review, we highlight recent progress in using zebrafish to study the pathology of the most common MNDs: spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). These studies indicate the power of zebrafish as a model to study the consequences of disease-related genes, because zebrafish homologues of human genes have conserved functions with respect to the aetiology of MNDs. Zebrafish also complement other animal models for the study of pathological mechanisms of MNDs and are particularly advantageous for the screening of compounds with therapeutic potential. We present an overview of their potential usefulness in MND drug discovery, which is just beginning and holds much promise for future therapeutic development. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Fishing for causes and cures of motor neuron disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shunmoogum A. Patten

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron disorders (MNDs are a clinically heterogeneous group of neurological diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons, and share some common pathological pathways. Despite remarkable advances in our understanding of these diseases, no curative treatment for MNDs exists. To better understand the pathogenesis of MNDs and to help develop new treatments, the establishment of animal models that can be studied efficiently and thoroughly is paramount. The zebrafish (Danio rerio is increasingly becoming a valuable model for studying human diseases and in screening for potential therapeutics. In this Review, we highlight recent progress in using zebrafish to study the pathology of the most common MNDs: spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP. These studies indicate the power of zebrafish as a model to study the consequences of disease-related genes, because zebrafish homologues of human genes have conserved functions with respect to the aetiology of MNDs. Zebrafish also complement other animal models for the study of pathological mechanisms of MNDs and are particularly advantageous for the screening of compounds with therapeutic potential. We present an overview of their potential usefulness in MND drug discovery, which is just beginning and holds much promise for future therapeutic development.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The protection of acetylcholinesterase inhibitor on β-amyloid-induced injury of neurite outgrowth via regulating axon guidance related genes expression in neuronal cells

    OpenAIRE

    Shen, Jiao-Ning; Wang, Deng-Shun; Wang, Rui

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in AD correlate with progressive synaptic dysfunction and loss. The Rho family of small GTPases, including Rho, Rac, and Cdc42, has a central role in cellular motility and cytokinesis. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor has been found to protect cells against a broad range of reagents-induced injuries. Present studies examined if the effect of HupA on neurite outgrowth in Aβ-treated neuronal cells executed via regulating Rho-GTPase mediated axon guidance relative gene expressio...

  14. Inhibitor of apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53 (iASPP is required for neuronal survival after axonal injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariel M Wilson

    Full Text Available The transcription factor p53 mediates the apoptosis of post-mitotic neurons exposed to a wide range of stress stimuli. The apoptotic activity of p53 is tightly regulated by the apoptosis-stimulating proteins of p53 (ASPP family members: ASPP1, ASPP2 and iASPP. We previously showed that the pro-apoptotic members ASPP1 and ASPP2 contribute to p53-dependent death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs. However, the role of the p53 inhibitor iASPP in the central nervous system (CNS remains to be elucidated. To address this, we asked whether iASPP contributes to the survival of RGCs in an in vivo model of acute optic nerve damage. We demonstrate that iASPP is expressed by injured RGCs and that iASPP phosphorylation at serine residues, which increase iASPP affinity towards p53, is significantly reduced following axotomy. We show that short interference RNA (siRNA-induced iASPP knockdown exacerbates RGC death, whereas adeno-associated virus (AAV-mediated iASPP expression promotes RGC survival. Importantly, our data also demonstrate that increasing iASPP expression in RGCs downregulates p53 activity and blocks the expression of pro-apoptotic targets PUMA and Fas/CD95. This study demonstrates a novel role for iASPP in the survival of RGCs, and provides further evidence of the importance of the ASPP family in the regulation of neuronal loss after axonal injury.

  15. Axonal GABAA receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Persistent abnormalities of membrane excitability in regenerated mature motor axons in cat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Krarup, Christian

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to assess by threshold tracking internodal and nodal membrane excitability during the maturation process after tibial nerve crush in cat. Various excitability indices (EI) were computed non-invasively by comparing the threshold of a submaximal compound motor potential...

  19. Learning-induced Dependence of Neuronal Activity in Primary Motor Cortex on Motor Task Condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, X; Shimansky, Y; He, Jiping

    2005-01-01

    A brain-computer interface (BCI) system such as a cortically controlled robotic arm must have a capacity of adjusting its function to a specific environmental condition. We studied this capacity in non-human primates based on chronic multi-electrode recording from the primary motor cortex of a monkey during the animal's performance of a center-out 3D reaching task and adaptation to external force perturbations. The main condition-related feature of motor cortical activity observed before the onset of force perturbation was a phasic raise of activity immediately before the perturbation onset. This feature was observed during a series of perturbation trials, but were absent under no perturbations. After adaptation has been completed, it usually was taking the subject only one trial to recognize a change in the condition to switch the neuronal activity accordingly. These condition-dependent features of neuronal activity can be used by a BCI for recognizing a change in the environmental condition and making corresponding adjustments, which requires that the BCI-based control system possess such advanced properties of the neural motor control system as capacity to learn and adapt.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Axonal transport of TDP-43 mRNA granules in neurons is impaired by ALS-causing mutations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Monica A.; Williams, Luis A.; Winborn, Christina S.; Han, Steve S. W.; Kiskinis, Evangelos; Winborn, Brett; Freibaum, Brian D.; Kanagaraj, Anderson; Clare, Alison J.; Badders, Nisha M.; Bilican, Bilada; Chaum, Edward; Chandran, Siddharthan; Shaw, Christopher E.; Eggan, Kevin C.; Maniatis, Tom; Taylor, J. Paul

    2014-01-01

    Summary The RNA binding protein TDP-43 regulates RNA metabolism at multiple levels, including transcription, RNA splicing, and mRNA stability. TDP-43 is a major component of the cytoplasmic inclusions characteristic of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and some types of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. The importance of TDP-43 in disease is underscored by the fact that dominant missense mutations are sufficient to cause disease, although the role of TDP-43 in pathogenesis is unknown. Here we show that TDP-43 forms cytoplasmic mRNP granules that undergo bidirectional, microtubule-dependent transport in neurons in vitro and in vivo and facilitate delivery of target mRNA to distal neuronal compartments. TDP-43 mutations impair this mRNA transport function in vivo and in vitro, including in stem cell-derived motor neurons from ALS patients bearing any one of three different TDP-43 ALS-causing mutations. Thus, TDP43 mutations that cause ALS lead to partial loss of a novel cytoplasmic function of TDP-43. PMID:24507191

  2. Intracerebroventricular Delivery in Mice for Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nizzardo, M; Rizzuti, M

    2017-01-01

    The use of antisense oligonucleotides to target specific mRNA sequences represents a promising therapeutic strategy for neurological disorders. Recent advances in antisense technology enclose the development of phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (MO), which is one of the best candidates for molecular therapies due to MO's excellent pharmacological profile.Nevertheless, the route of administration of antisense compounds represents a critical issue in the neurological field. Particularly, as regards motor neuron diseases, intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection is undoubtedly the most efficient procedure to directly deliver therapeutic molecules in the central nervous system (CNS). Indeed, we recently demonstrated the outstanding efficacy of the MO antisense approach by its direct administration to CNS of the transgenic mouse models of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).Here, we describe methods to perform the ICV delivery of MO in neonatal SMA mice and in adult ALS mice.

  3. Uptake of TiO2 Nanoparticles into C. elegans Neurons Negatively Affects Axonal Growth and Worm Locomotion Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Chun-Chih; Wu, Gong-Her; Hua, Tzu-En; Wagner, Oliver I; Yen, Ta-Jen

    2018-03-14

    We employ model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to effectively study the toxicology of anatase and rutile phase titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ) nanoparticles (NPs). The experimental results show that nematode C. elegans can take up fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled TiO 2 NPs and that both anatase and rutile TiO 2 NPs can be detected in the cytoplasm of cultured primary neurons imaged by transmission electron microscopy. After TiO 2 NP exposure, these neurons also grow shorter axons, which may be related to the detected impeded worm locomotion behavior. Furthermore, anatase TiO 2 NPs did not affect the worm's body length; however, we determined that a concentration of 500 μg/mL of anatase TiO 2 NPs reduced the worm population by 50% within 72 h. Notably, rutile TiO 2 NPs negatively affect both the body size and worm population. Worms unable to enter the L4 larval stage explain a severe reduction in the worm population at TiO 2 NPs LC 50 /3d. To obtain a better understanding of the cellular mechanisms involved in TiO 2 NP intoxication, DNA microarray assays were employed to determine changes in gene expression in the presence or absence of TiO 2 NP exposure. Our data reveal that three genes (with significant changes in expression levels) were related to metal binding or metal detoxification (mtl-2, C45B2.2, and nhr-247), six genes were involved in fertility and reproduction (mtl-2, F26F2.3, ZK970.7, clec-70, K08C9.7, and C38C3.7), four genes were involved in worm growth and body morphogenesis (mtl-2, F26F2.3, C38C3.7, and nhr-247), and five genes were involved in neuronal function (C41G6.13, C45B2.2, srr-6, K08C9.7, and C38C3.7).

  4. 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.

  5. Studies on motor neuron disease with cranial magnetic resonance imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitsui, Yoshiyuki; Takahashi, Mitsuo; Nakamura, Yusaku; Kitaguchi, Masataka; Yagi, Yuji (Kinki Univ., Osaka (Japan). School of Medicine)

    1992-05-01

    The present study was performed to examine the pyramidal tracts of the brain in both 51 normal subjects (21 male and 30 female subjects; mean age of 43.5[+-]16.1 years) and 12 patients with motor neuron disease (6 male and 6 female patients; mean age of 57.4[+-]7.9 years), using the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The 12 patients with motor neuron disease (MND) comprised 7 suffering from spinal progressive muscular atrophy (SPMA) and 5 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The MRI used in this study was of both short spin echo and long spin echo sequence. Of the 52 normal subjects, 24 of them (47%) had the T2 prolonged small areas (high signal intensity areas) at the posterior limb of internal capsule. These findings were not found in the normal subjects over fifty years old. No similar finding was detected in the pyramidal tracts except the posterior limb of internal capsule. On the other hand, 8 patients with MND (67%) proved to have the high signal intensity areas in the pyramidal tracts. Moreover, these high intensity areas were extended from the crus cerebri to corona radiata in 7 patients (58%). In all patients with ALS, these areas were extended in whole areas of the pyramidal tracts, and the similar findings were also found in two patients with SPMA. These findings were demonstrated to be more extensive than those in the normal subjects. The results thus obtained warrant us to conclude that cranial MRI is useful to detect the degeneration of the pyramidal tracts of MND patients. (author).

  6. Studies on motor neuron disease with cranial magnetic resonance imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitsui, Yoshiyuki; Takahashi, Mitsuo; Nakamura, Yusaku; Kitaguchi, Masataka; Yagi, Yuji

    1992-01-01

    The present study was performed to examine the pyramidal tracts of the brain in both 51 normal subjects (21 male and 30 female subjects; mean age of 43.5±16.1 years) and 12 patients with motor neuron disease (6 male and 6 female patients; mean age of 57.4±7.9 years), using the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The 12 patients with motor neuron disease (MND) comprised 7 suffering from spinal progressive muscular atrophy (SPMA) and 5 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The MRI used in this study was of both short spin echo and long spin echo sequence. Of the 52 normal subjects, 24 of them (47%) had the T2 prolonged small areas (high signal intensity areas) at the posterior limb of internal capsule. These findings were not found in the normal subjects over fifty years old. No similar finding was detected in the pyramidal tracts except the posterior limb of internal capsule. On the other hand, 8 patients with MND (67%) proved to have the high signal intensity areas in the pyramidal tracts. Moreover, these high intensity areas were extended from the crus cerebri to corona radiata in 7 patients (58%). In all patients with ALS, these areas were extended in whole areas of the pyramidal tracts, and the similar findings were also found in two patients with SPMA. These findings were demonstrated to be more extensive than those in the normal subjects. The results thus obtained warrant us to conclude that cranial MRI is useful to detect the degeneration of the pyramidal tracts of MND patients. (author)

  7. 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.

  8. The Gemin associates of survival motor neuron are required for motor function in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Rebecca; Cauchi, Ruben J

    2013-01-01

    Membership of the survival motor neuron (SMN) complex extends to nine factors, including the SMN protein, the product of the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) disease gene, Gemins 2-8 and Unrip. The best-characterised function of this macromolecular machine is the assembly of the Sm-class of uridine-rich small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) particles and each SMN complex member has a key role during this process. So far, however, only little is known about the function of the individual Gemin components in vivo. Here, we make use of the Drosophila model organism to uncover loss-of-function phenotypes of Gemin2, Gemin3 and Gemin5, which together with SMN form the minimalistic fly SMN complex. We show that ectopic overexpression of the dead helicase Gem3(ΔN) mutant or knockdown of Gemin3 result in similar motor phenotypes, when restricted to muscle, and in combination cause lethality, hence suggesting that Gem3(ΔN) overexpression mimics a loss-of-function. Based on the localisation pattern of Gem3(ΔN), we predict that the nucleus is the primary site of the antimorphic or dominant-negative mechanism of Gem3(ΔN)-mediated interference. Interestingly, phenotypes induced by human SMN overexpression in Drosophila exhibit similarities to those induced by overexpression of Gem3(ΔN). Through enhanced knockdown we also uncover a requirement of Gemin2, Gemin3 and Gemin5 for viability and motor behaviour, including locomotion as well as flight, in muscle. Notably, in the case of Gemin3 and Gemin5, such function also depends on adequate levels of the respective protein in neurons. Overall, these findings lead us to speculate that absence of any one member is sufficient to arrest the SMN-Gemins complex function in a nucleocentric pathway, which is critical for motor function in vivo.

  9. 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 lower motor neurons. Since motor neurons are responsible for the control of voluntary muscular movement, MNDs are characterized by muscle spasticity, weakness and atrophy.

  10. Autosomal dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia with axonal sensory motor polyneuropathy maps to chromosome 21q 22.3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peddareddygari, Leema Reddy; Hanna, Philip A; Igo, Robert P; Luo, Yuqun A; Won, Sungho; Hirano, Michio; Grewal, Raji P

    2016-01-01

    Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) are a genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of disorders. At present, 19 autosomal dominant loci for HSP have been mapped. We ascertained an American family of European descent segregating an autosomal dominant HSP associated with peripheral neuropathy. A genome wide scan was performed with 410 microsatellite repeat marker (Weber lab screening set 16) and following linkage and haplotype analysis, fine mapping was performed. Established genes or loci for HSP were excluded by direct sequencing or haplotype analysis. All established loci for HSP were excluded. Fine mapping suggested a locus on chromosome 21q22.3 flanked by markers D21S1411 and D21S1446 with a maximum logarithm of odds score of 2.05 and was supported by haplotype analysis. A number of candidate genes in this region were analyzed and no disease-producing mutations were detected. We present the clinical and genetic analysis of an American family with autosomal dominant HSP with axonal sensory motor polyneuropathy mapping to a novel locus on chromosome 21q22.3 designated SPG56.

  11. 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

  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. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Birth of projection neurons in adult avian brain may be related to perceptual or motor learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvarez-Buylla, A.; Kirn, J.R.; Nottebohm, F.

    1990-01-01

    Projection neurons that form part of the motor pathway for song control continue to be produced and to replace older projection neurons in adult canaries and zebra finches. This is shown by combining [3H]thymidine, a cell birth marker, and fluorogold, a retrogradely transported tracer of neuronal connectivity. Species and seasonal comparisons suggest that this process is related to the acquisition of perceptual or motor memories. The ability of an adult brain to produce and replace projection neurons should influence our thinking on brain repair

  19. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – a motor neuron disease. Case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Rubinowicz-Zasada

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Charcot’s disease and motor neuron disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis, and ultimately, respiratory failure. The aetiology and the pathogenesis of the syndrome remain unknown. Most people live 2–5 years after their first signs of the disease. There is no cure or effective treatment. We present a case of a female patient affected by progressing Charcot’s disease. On the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale – Revised (ALSFRS-R, the patient obtained 21 points. Atrophy and muscle spasm were very extended. Electromyography revealed features of coexisting denervation and reinnervation in the examined muscles. A growing number of Charcot’s disease cases require multidirectional actions to meet patient’s physical, emotional, and nutritional needs. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is an incurable disease. However, it is possible to relieve its symptoms by applying systematic physical rehabilitation.

  20. Histological and functional benefit following transplantation of motor neuron progenitors to the injured rat spinal cord.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharyn L Rossi

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron loss is characteristic of cervical spinal cord injury (SCI and contributes to functional deficit.In order to investigate the amenability of the injured adult spinal cord to motor neuron differentiation, we transplanted spinal cord injured animals with a high purity population of human motor neuron progenitors (hMNP derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs. In vitro, hMNPs displayed characteristic motor neuron-specific markers, a typical electrophysiological profile, functionally innervated human or rodent muscle, and secreted physiologically active growth factors that caused neurite branching and neuronal survival. hMNP transplantation into cervical SCI sites in adult rats resulted in suppression of intracellular signaling pathways associated with SCI pathogenesis, which correlated with greater endogenous neuronal survival and neurite branching. These neurotrophic effects were accompanied by significantly enhanced performance on all parameters of the balance beam task, as compared to controls. Interestingly, hMNP transplantation resulted in survival, differentiation, and site-specific integration of hMNPs distal to the SCI site within ventral horns, but hMNPs near the SCI site reverted to a neuronal progenitor state, suggesting an environmental deficiency for neuronal maturation associated with SCI.These findings underscore the barriers imposed on neuronal differentiation of transplanted cells by the gliogenic nature of the injured spinal cord, and the physiological relevance of transplant-derived neurotrophic support to functional recovery.

  1. Evaluation of the extent and distribution of diffuse axonal injury from real world motor vehicle crashes - biomed 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillie, Elizabeth M; Urban, Jillian E; Lynch, Sarah K; Whitlow, Christopher T; Stitzel, Joel D

    2013-01-01

    Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a common traumatic brain injury (TBI) often seen as a result of motor vehicle crashes (MVC). Twelve (12) cases of DAI were selected from the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) to determine the extent and distribution of injury with respect to the head contact location. Head computed tomography (CT) scans were collected for each subject and segmented using semi-automated methods to establish the volumes of DAI. The impacted area on the subject's head was approximated from evidence of a soft tissue scalp contusion on the CT scan. This was used in conjunction with subject images and identified internal vehicle contact locations to ascertain a label map of the contact location. A point cloud was developed from the contact location label map and the centroid of the point cloud was calculated as the subject's head impact location. The injury and contact location were evaluated in spherical coordinates and grouped into 0.2 by 0.2 radial increments of azimuth and elevation. The radial increments containing DAI were projected onto a meshed sphere to evaluate the radial distance from the impact location to primary location of DAI and approximate anatomical location. Of the 170 injuries observed, 123 were identified in the frontal lobe and 36 in the parietal lobe. The distribution of the DAI in relation to the change in azimuth from the contact loca y correlated with contact to the head superficial to this lobe. Results from this study provide further insight into the biomechanics of traumatic brain injury and can be used in future work as an aid to validate finite element models of the head.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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)

  6. 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

  7. Retinoic acid signaling in axonal regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Mechanistic logic underlying the axonal transport of cytosolic proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. TDP-43 pathology in familial frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease without Progranulin mutations.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seelaar, H.; Schelhaas, H.J.; Azmani, A.; Kusters, B.; Rosso, S.; Majoor-Krakauer, D.F.; Rijik, M.C. de; Rizzu, P.; Brummelhuis, M. Ten; Doorn, P.A. van; Kamphorst, W.; Willemsen, R.; Swieten, J. van

    2007-01-01

    Frontotemporal dementia is accompanied by motor neuron disease (FTD + MND) in approximately 10% of cases. There is accumulating evidence for a clinicopathological overlap between FTD and MND based on observations of familial aggregation and neuropathological findings of ubiquitin-positive neuronal

  16. TDP-43 pathology in familial frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease without Progranulin mutations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H. Seelaar (Harro); H. Jurgen Schelhaas; A. Azmani (Asma); B. Küsters (Benno); S.M. Rosso (Sonia); D.F. Majoor-Krakauer (Danielle); M.C. de Rijik (Maarten); P. Rizzu (Patrizia); M. ten Brummelhuis (Ming); P.A. van Doorn (Pieter); W. Kamphorst (Wouter); R. Willemsen (Rob); J.C. van Swieten (John)

    2007-01-01

    textabstractFrontotemporal dementia is accompanied by motor neuron disease (FTD + MND) in ∼10% of cases. There is accumulating evidence for a clinicopathological overlap between FTD and MND based on observations of familial aggregation and neuropathological findings of ubiquitin-positive neuronal

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ryge, J.; Winther, Ole; Wienecke, J.

    2010-01-01

    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 ...

  20. Inflammation and neuronal death in the motor cortex of the wobbler mouse, an ALS animal model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahlke, Carolin; Saberi, Darius; Ott, Bastian

    2015-01-01

    microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy techniques, we analyze the proliferation behavior of microglial cells and astrocytes. We also investigate possible motor neuron death in the mouse motor cortex at different stages of the wobbler disease, which so far has not received much attention. Results...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Rhythmic activity of feline dorsal and ventral spinocerebellar tract neurons during fictive motor actions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fedirchuk, Brent; Stecina, Katinka; Kristensen, Kasper Kyhl

    2013-01-01

    (without phasic afferent feedback). In this study, we compared the activity of DSCT and VSCT neurons during fictive rhythmic motor behaviors. We used decerebrate cat preparations in which fictive motor tasks can be evoked while the animal is paralyzed and there is no rhythmic sensory input from hindlimb......Neurons of the dorsal spinocerebellar tracts (DSCT) have been described to be rhythmically active during walking on a treadmill in decerebrate cats, but this activity ceased following deafferentation of the hindlimb. This observation supported the hypothesis that DSCT neurons primarily relay...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. ALS-associated mutant FUS induces selective motor neuron degeneration through toxic gain of function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Aarti; Lyashchenko, Alexander K; Lu, Lei; Nasrabady, Sara Ebrahimi; Elmaleh, Margot; Mendelsohn, Monica; Nemes, Adriana; Tapia, Juan Carlos; Mentis, George Z; Shneider, Neil A

    2016-02-04

    Mutations in FUS cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), including some of the most aggressive, juvenile-onset forms of the disease. FUS loss-of-function and toxic gain-of-function mechanisms have been proposed to explain how mutant FUS leads to motor neuron degeneration, but neither has been firmly established in the pathogenesis of ALS. Here we characterize a series of transgenic FUS mouse lines that manifest progressive, mutant-dependent motor neuron degeneration preceded by early, structural and functional abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction. A novel, conditional FUS knockout mutant reveals that postnatal elimination of FUS has no effect on motor neuron survival or function. Moreover, endogenous FUS does not contribute to the onset of the ALS phenotype induced by mutant FUS. These findings demonstrate that FUS-dependent motor degeneration is not due to loss of FUS function, but to the gain of toxic properties conferred by ALS mutations.

  10. 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.

  11. Nuclear organization in the spinal cord depends on motor neuron lamination orchestrated by catenin and afadin function

    OpenAIRE

    Dewitz, C.; Pimpinella, S.; Hackel, P.; Akalin, A.; Jessell, T.M.; Zampieri, N.

    2018-01-01

    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, a...

  12. The utility of cerebral blood flow imaging in patients with the unique syndrome of progressive dementia with motor neuron disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohnishi, T.; Hoshi, H.; Jinnouchi, S.; Nagamachi, S.; Watanabe, K.; Mituyama, Y.

    1990-01-01

    Two patients presenting with progressive dementia coupled with motor neuron disease underwent brain SPECT using N-isopropyl-p iodine-123-iodoamphetamine [( 123 I]IMP). The characteristic clinical features of progressive dementia and motor neuron disease were noted. IMP SPECT also revealed reduced uptake in the bilateral frontal and temporal regions, with no reduction of uptake in the parietal, parietal-occipital regions. We conclude that IMP SPECT has potential for the evaluation of progressive dementia with motor neuron disease

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Highly efficient retrograde gene transfer into motor neurons by a lentiviral vector pseudotyped with fusion glycoprotein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyabi Hirano

    Full Text Available The development of gene therapy techniques to introduce transgenes that promote neuronal survival and protection provides effective therapeutic approaches for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. Intramuscular injection of adenoviral and adeno-associated viral vectors, as well as lentiviral vectors pseudotyped with rabies virus glycoprotein (RV-G, permits gene delivery into motor neurons in animal models for motor neuron diseases. Recently, we developed a vector with highly efficient retrograde gene transfer (HiRet by pseudotyping a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1-based vector with fusion glycoprotein B type (FuG-B or a variant of FuG-B (FuG-B2, in which the cytoplasmic domain of RV-G was replaced by the corresponding part of vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV-G. We have also developed another vector showing neuron-specific retrograde gene transfer (NeuRet with fusion glycoprotein C type, in which the short C-terminal segment of the extracellular domain and transmembrane/cytoplasmic domains of RV-G was substituted with the corresponding regions of VSV-G. These two vectors afford the high efficiency of retrograde gene transfer into different neuronal populations in the brain. Here we investigated the efficiency of the HiRet (with FuG-B2 and NeuRet vectors for retrograde gene transfer into motor neurons in the spinal cord and hindbrain in mice after intramuscular injection and compared it with the efficiency of the RV-G pseudotype of the HIV-1-based vector. The main highlight of our results is that the HiRet vector shows the most efficient retrograde gene transfer into both spinal cord and hindbrain motor neurons, offering its promising use as a gene therapeutic approach for the treatment of motor neuron diseases.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. The Networks of Genes Encoding Palmitoylated Proteins in Axonal and Synaptic Compartments Are Affected in PPT1 Overexpressing Neuronal-Like Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Pezzini

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available CLN1 disease (OMIM #256730 is an early childhood ceroid-lipofuscinosis associated with mutated CLN1, whose product Palmitoyl-Protein Thioesterase 1 (PPT1 is a lysosomal enzyme involved in the removal of palmitate residues from S-acylated proteins. In neurons, PPT1 expression is also linked to synaptic compartments. The aim of this study was to unravel molecular signatures connected to CLN1. We utilized SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells overexpressing wild type CLN1 (SH-p.wtCLN1 and five selected CLN1 patients’ mutations. The cellular distribution of wtPPT1 was consistent with regular processing of endogenous protein, partially detected inside Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein 2 (LAMP2 positive vesicles, while the mutants displayed more diffuse cytoplasmic pattern. Transcriptomic profiling revealed 802 differentially expressed genes (DEGs in SH-p.wtCLN1 (as compared to empty-vector transfected cells, whereas the number of DEGs detected in the two mutants (p.L222P and p.M57Nfs*45 was significantly lower. Bioinformatic scrutiny linked DEGs with neurite formation and neuronal transmission. Specifically, neuritogenesis and proliferation of neuronal processes were predicted to be hampered in the wtCLN1 overexpressing cell line, and these findings were corroborated by morphological investigations. Palmitoylation survey identified 113 palmitoylated protein-encoding genes in SH-p.wtCLN1, including 25 ones simultaneously assigned to axonal growth and synaptic compartments. A remarkable decrease in the expression of palmitoylated proteins, functionally related to axonal elongation (GAP43, CRMP1 and NEFM and of the synaptic marker SNAP25, specifically in SH-p.wtCLN1 cells was confirmed by immunoblotting. Subsequent, bioinformatic network survey of DEGs assigned to the synaptic annotations linked 81 DEGs, including 23 ones encoding for palmitoylated proteins. Results obtained in this experimental setting outlined two affected functional modules (connected to

  6. De novo mutations in the motor domain of KIF1A cause cognitive impairment, spastic paraparesis, axonal neuropathy, and cerebellar atrophy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lee, Jae Ran; Srour, Myriam; Kim, Doyoun; Hamdan, Fadi F.; Lim, So Hee; Brunel-Guitton, Catherine; Décarie, Jean Claude; Rossignol, Elsa; Mitchell, Grant A.; Schreiber, Allison; Moran, Rocio; Van Haren, Keith; Richardson, Randal; Nicolai, Joost; Oberndorff, Karin M E J; Wagner, Justin D.; Boycott, Kym M.; Rahikkala, Elisa; Junna, Nella; Tyynismaa, Henna; Cuppen, Inge; Verbeek, Nienke E.; Stumpel, Connie T R M; Willemsen, Michel A.; de Munnik, Sonja A.; Rouleau, Guy A.; Kim, Eunjoon; Kamsteeg, Erik Jan; Kleefstra, Tjitske; Michaud, Jacques L.

    2015-01-01

    KIF1A is a neuron-specific motor protein that plays important roles in cargo transport along neurites. Recessive mutations in KIF1A were previously described in families with spastic paraparesis or sensory and autonomic neuropathy type-2. Here, we report 11 heterozygous de novo missense mutations

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Reciprocal inhibition between motor neurons of the tibialis anterior and triceps surae in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yavuz, Utku Ş; Negro, Francesco; Diedrichs, Robin; Farina, Dario

    2018-05-01

    Motor neurons innervating antagonist muscles receive reciprocal inhibitory afferent inputs to facilitate the joint movement in the two directions. The present study investigates the mutual transmission of reciprocal inhibitory afferent inputs between the tibialis anterior (TA) and triceps surae (soleus and medial gastrocnemius) motor units. We assessed this mutual mechanism in large populations of motor units for building a statistical distribution of the inhibition amplitudes during standardized input to the motor neuron pools to minimize the effect of modulatory pathways. Single motor unit activities were identified using high-density surface electromyography (HDsEMG) recorded from the TA, soleus (Sol), and medial gastrocnemius (GM) muscles during isometric dorsi- and plantarflexion. Reciprocal inhibition on the antagonist muscle was elicited by electrical stimulation of the tibial (TN) or common peroneal nerves (CPN). The probability density distributions of reflex strength for each muscle were estimated to examine the strength of mutual transmission of reciprocal inhibitory input. The results showed that the strength of reciprocal inhibition in the TA motor units was fourfold greater than for the GM and the Sol motor units. This suggests an asymmetric transmission of reciprocal inhibition between ankle extensor and flexor muscles. This asymmetry cannot be explained by differences in motor unit type composition between the investigated muscles since we sampled low-threshold motor units in all cases. Therefore, the differences observed for the strength of inhibition are presumably due to a differential reciprocal spindle afferent input and the relative contribution of nonreciprocal inhibitory pathways. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We investigated the mutual transmission of reciprocal inhibition in large samples of motor units using a standardized input (electrical stimulation) to the motor neurons. The results demonstrated that the disynaptic reciprocal inhibition exerted

  10. Target tissue influences on cholinergic development of parasympathetic motor neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tuttle, J.B.; Pilar, G.

    1986-01-01

    The normal function of neurons in the nervous system depends upon the orderly formation and maintenance of appropriate connections with other neurons and with non-neural target tissues. Having formed an appropriate synapse, the authors attempt to find how the interaction influences the subsequent program of neuronal differentiation and survival. The studies were made on neurons from the avian ciliary ganglion and their terminals in the iris. Concomitantly in time with the shift from an embryonic, fatiguable junction to the mature, more secure transmission, there is a large change in the capacity for ACh synthesis measured using radiolableled substrate. Only at this point in development does one detect and increase in the amount of tritium-ACh synthesized from tritium-choline in response to a pre-conditioning depolarization. The studies of development in vivo have provided a description of the steps taking place during maturation of a neuromuscular junction

  11. A central pattern generator producing alternative outputs: phase relations of leech heart motor neurons with respect to premotor synaptic input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Brian J; Weaver, Adam L; Wenning, Angela; García, Paul S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2007-11-01

    The central pattern generator (CPG) for heartbeat in leeches consists of seven identified pairs of segmental heart interneurons and one unidentified pair. Four of the identified pairs and the unidentified pair of interneurons make inhibitory synaptic connections with segmental heart motor neurons. The CPG produces a side-to-side asymmetric pattern of intersegmental coordination among ipsilateral premotor interneurons corresponding to a similarly asymmetric fictive motor pattern in heart motor neurons, and asymmetric constriction pattern of the two tubular hearts: synchronous and peristaltic. Using extracellular techniques, we recorded, in 61 isolated nerve cords, the activity of motor neurons in conjunction with the phase reference premotor heart interneuron, HN(4), and another premotor interneuron that allowed us to assess the coordination mode. These data were then coupled with a previous description of the temporal pattern of premotor interneuron activity in the two coordination modes to synthesize a global phase diagram for the known elements of the CPG and the entire motor neuron ensemble. These average data reveal the stereotypical side-to-side asymmetric patterns of intersegmental coordination among the motor neurons and show how this pattern meshes with the activity pattern of premotor interneurons. Analysis of animal-to-animal variability in this coordination indicates that the intersegmental phase progression of motor neuron activity in the midbody in the peristaltic coordination mode is the most stereotypical feature of the fictive motor pattern. Bilateral recordings from motor neurons corroborate the main features of the asymmetric motor pattern.

  12. Associative Memory Extinction Is Accompanied by Decayed Plasticity at Motor Cortical Neurons and Persistent Plasticity at Sensory Cortical Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Rui; Ge, Rongjing; Zhao, Shidi; Liu, Yulong; Zhao, Xin; Huang, Li; Guan, Sodong; Lu, Wei; Cui, Shan; Wang, Shirlene; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2017-01-01

    Associative memory is essential for cognition, in which associative memory cells and their plasticity presumably play important roles. The mechanism underlying associative memory extinction vs. maintenance remains unclear, which we have studied in a mouse model of cross-modal associative learning. Paired whisker and olfaction stimulations lead to a full establishment of odorant-induced whisker motion in training day 10, which almost disappears if paired stimulations are not given in a week, and then recovers after paired stimulation for an additional day. In mice that show associative memory, extinction and recovery, we have analyzed the dynamical plasticity of glutamatergic neurons in layers II-III of the barrel cortex and layers IV-V of the motor cortex. Compared with control mice, the rate of evoked spikes as well as the amplitude and frequency of excitatory postsynaptic currents increase, whereas the amplitude and frequency of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSC) decrease at training day 10 in associative memory mice. Without paired training for a week, these plastic changes are persistent in the barrel cortex and decayed in the motor cortex. If paired training is given for an additional day to revoke associative memory, neuronal plasticity recovers in the motor cortex. Our study indicates persistent neuronal plasticity in the barrel cortex for cross-modal memory maintenance as well as the dynamical change of neuronal plasticity in the motor cortex for memory retrieval and extinction. In other words, the sensory cortices are essential for long-term memory while the behavior-related cortices with the inability of memory retrieval are correlated to memory extinction.

  13. Associative Memory Extinction Is Accompanied by Decayed Plasticity at Motor Cortical Neurons and Persistent Plasticity at Sensory Cortical Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Guo

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Associative memory is essential for cognition, in which associative memory cells and their plasticity presumably play important roles. The mechanism underlying associative memory extinction vs. maintenance remains unclear, which we have studied in a mouse model of cross-modal associative learning. Paired whisker and olfaction stimulations lead to a full establishment of odorant-induced whisker motion in training day 10, which almost disappears if paired stimulations are not given in a week, and then recovers after paired stimulation for an additional day. In mice that show associative memory, extinction and recovery, we have analyzed the dynamical plasticity of glutamatergic neurons in layers II–III of the barrel cortex and layers IV–V of the motor cortex. Compared with control mice, the rate of evoked spikes as well as the amplitude and frequency of excitatory postsynaptic currents increase, whereas the amplitude and frequency of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSC decrease at training day 10 in associative memory mice. Without paired training for a week, these plastic changes are persistent in the barrel cortex and decayed in the motor cortex. If paired training is given for an additional day to revoke associative memory, neuronal plasticity recovers in the motor cortex. Our study indicates persistent neuronal plasticity in the barrel cortex for cross-modal memory maintenance as well as the dynamical change of neuronal plasticity in the motor cortex for memory retrieval and extinction. In other words, the sensory cortices are essential for long-term memory while the behavior-related cortices with the inability of memory retrieval are correlated to memory extinction.

  14. Therapeutic vaccine for acute and chronic motor neuron diseases: implications for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelov, D N; Waibel, S; Guntinas-Lichius, O; Lenzen, M; Neiss, W F; Tomov, T L; Yoles, E; Kipnis, J; Schori, H; Reuter, A; Ludolph, A; Schwartz, M

    2003-04-15

    Therapeutic vaccination with Copaxone (glatiramer acetate, Cop-1) protects motor neurons against acute and chronic degenerative conditions. In acute degeneration after facial nerve axotomy, the number of surviving motor neurons was almost two times higher in Cop-1-vaccinated mice than in nonvaccinated mice, or in mice injected with PBS emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvant (P amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Cop-1 vaccination prolonged life span compared to untreated matched controls, from 211 +/- 7 days (n = 15) to 263 +/- 8 days (n = 14; P sclerosis. The protocol for non-autoimmune neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, remains to be established by future studies.

  15. 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.

  16. Corticospinal tract damage in patients with severe diffuse axonal injury in a chronic stage on diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging and motor evoked potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yasokawa, Yu-to; Nakayama, Noriyuki; Iwama, Toru; Okumura, Ayumi; Shinoda, Jun; Miwa, Kazuhiro

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the disturbed motor function of the corticospinal tract (CST) of diffuse axonal injury (DAI) using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance (DTMR) imaging and motor evoked potential (MEP) examination, and to analyze these comparatively. Forty-three patients (86 sides of the CST) with severe DAI in a chronic stage underwent DTMR imaging and MEP examination using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Fractional anisotrophy (FA) values of 6 regions of interests (ROIs) in the CST were measured on FA map obtained from DTMR imaging. The lowest FA value among the FA values of the 6 ROIs in each of the CSTs was defined as the minimum FA value. And the lowest magnetic stimulation strength that could derive MEP was defined as the minimum threshold of MEP. The mean minimum FA value of the CSTs in which MEP could not be obtained even by the maximum strength of magnetic stimulation (the MEP (-) group) was significantly lower than that of the CSTs in which MEP could be obtained (the MEP (+) group). In the MEP (+) group, the minimum FA value decreased with the increase of the minimum threshold of MEP with a significant correlation. These results demonstrate that physiological motor dysfunction disclosed on MEP is significantly correlated with morphological damage of the CST observed on DTMR imaging in patients with DAI in a chronic stage. DTMR imaging is strongly suggested to be helpful to evaluate disturbed motor function and to infer its severity in DAI. (author)

  17. 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.

  18. Local-circuit phenotypes of layer 5 neurons in motor-frontal cortex of YFP-H mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. 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.

  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. Dynamics of human subthalamic neuron phase-locking to motor and sensory cortical oscillations during movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipski, Witold J; Wozny, Thomas A; Alhourani, Ahmad; Kondylis, Efstathios D; Turner, Robert S; Crammond, Donald J; Richardson, Robert Mark

    2017-09-01

    Coupled oscillatory activity recorded between sensorimotor regions of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical loop is thought to reflect information transfer relevant to movement. A neuronal firing-rate model of basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuitry, however, has dominated thinking about basal ganglia function for the past three decades, without knowledge of the relationship between basal ganglia single neuron firing and cortical population activity during movement itself. We recorded activity from 34 subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons, simultaneously with cortical local field potentials and motor output, in 11 subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) undergoing awake deep brain stimulator lead placement. STN firing demonstrated phase synchronization to both low- and high-beta-frequency cortical oscillations, and to the amplitude envelope of gamma oscillations, in motor cortex. We found that during movement, the magnitude of this synchronization was dynamically modulated in a phase-frequency-specific manner. Importantly, we found that phase synchronization was not correlated with changes in neuronal firing rate. Furthermore, we found that these relationships were not exclusive to motor cortex, because STN firing also demonstrated phase synchronization to both premotor and sensory cortex. The data indicate that models of basal ganglia function ultimately will need to account for the activity of populations of STN neurons that are bound in distinct functional networks with both motor and sensory cortices and code for movement parameters independent of changes in firing rate. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Current models of basal ganglia-thalamocortical networks do not adequately explain simple motor functions, let alone dysfunction in movement disorders. Our findings provide data that inform models of human basal ganglia function by demonstrating how movement is encoded by networks of subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons via dynamic phase synchronization with cortex. The data also

  2. Modeling motor neuron disease: the matter of time

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arbab, Manda; Baars, S.E.; geijsen, n

    2014-01-01

    Stem cell technologies have created new opportunities to generate unlimited numbers of human neurons in the lab and study neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Although some disease hallmarks have been reported in patient-derived

  3. Modeling motor neuron disease : the matter of time

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arbab, Mandana; Baars, Susanne; Geijsen, Niels

    2014-01-01

    Stem cell technologies have created new opportunities to generate unlimited numbers of human neurons in the lab and study neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Although some disease hallmarks have been reported in patient-derived

  4. Maximization of learning speed in the motor cortex due to neuronal redundancy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Takiyama

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Many redundancies play functional roles in motor control and motor learning. For example, kinematic and muscle redundancies contribute to stabilizing posture and impedance control, respectively. Another redundancy is the number of neurons themselves; there are overwhelmingly more neurons than muscles, and many combinations of neural activation can generate identical muscle activity. The functional roles of this neuronal redundancy remains unknown. Analysis of a redundant neural network model makes it possible to investigate these functional roles while varying the number of model neurons and holding constant the number of output units. Our analysis reveals that learning speed reaches its maximum value if and only if the model includes sufficient neuronal redundancy. This analytical result does not depend on whether the distribution of the preferred direction is uniform or a skewed bimodal, both of which have been reported in neurophysiological studies. Neuronal redundancy maximizes learning speed, even if the neural network model includes recurrent connections, a nonlinear activation function, or nonlinear muscle units. Furthermore, our results do not rely on the shape of the generalization function. The results of this study suggest that one of the functional roles of neuronal redundancy is to maximize learning speed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Neurons in Primary Motor Cortex Encode Hand Orientation in a Reach-to-Grasp Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Chaolin; Ma, Xuan; Fan, Jing; He, Jiping

    2017-08-01

    It is disputed whether those neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1) that encode hand orientation constitute an independent channel for orientation control in reach-to-grasp behaviors. Here, we trained two monkeys to reach forward and grasp objects positioned in the frontal plane at different orientation angles, and simultaneously recorded the activity of M1 neurons. Among the 2235 neurons recorded in M1, we found that 18.7% had a high correlation exclusively with hand orientation, 15.9% with movement direction, and 29.5% with both movement direction and hand orientation. The distributions of neurons encoding hand orientation and those encoding movement direction were not uniform but coexisted in the same region. The trajectory of hand rotation was reproduced by the firing patterns of the orientation-related neurons independent of the hand reaching direction. These results suggest that hand orientation is an independent component for the control of reaching and grasping activity.

  7. Advance care planning in motor neuron disease: A qualitative study of caregiver perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Leigh; Butow, Phyllis N; White, Kate; Kiernan, Matthew C; D'Abrew, Natalie; Herz, Helen

    2016-05-01

    Motor neuron disease is a fatal disease, characterised by progressive loss of motor function, often associated with cognitive deterioration and, in some, the development of frontotemporal dementia. Life-sustaining technologies are available (e.g. non-invasive ventilation and enteral nutrition) but may compromise quality of life for some patients. Timely commencement of 'Advance Care Planning' enables patients to participate in future care choices; however, this approach has rarely been explored in motor neuron disease. We aimed to investigate caregiver perspectives on the acceptability and impact of advance care planning, documented in a letter format, for patients with motor neuron disease and caregivers. This is a qualitative cross-sectional study. Data were analysed by a narrative synthesis approach. Structured interviews were held with 18 former caregivers of deceased patients with motor neuron disease. A total of 10 patients had created a disease-specific advanced directive, 'Letter of Future Care', and 8 had not. A total of four global themes emerged: Readiness for death, Empowerment, Connections and Clarifying decisions and choices. Many felt the letter of future care was or would be beneficial, engendering autonomy and respect for patients, easing difficult decision-making and enhancing communication within families. However, individuals' 'readiness' to accept encroaching death would influence uptake. Appropriate timing to commence advance care planning may depend on case-based clinical and personal characteristics. Advance care planning can assist patients to achieve a sense of control and 'peace of mind' and facilitates important family discussion. However, the timing and style of its introduction needs to be approached sensitively. Tools and strategies for increasing the efficacy of advance care planning for motor neuron disease should be evaluated and implemented. © The Author(s) 2016.

  8. Prostaglandin E2 facilitates neurite outgrowth in a motor neuron-like cell line, NSC-34

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroshi Nango

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 exerts various biological effects by binding to E-prostanoid receptors (EP1-4. Although recent studies have shown that PGE2 induces cell differentiation in some neuronal cells such as mouse DRG neurons and sensory neuron-like ND7/23 cells, it is unclear whether PGE2 plays a role in differentiation of motor neurons. In the present study, we investigated the mechanism of PGE2-induced differentiation of motor neurons using NSC-34, a mouse motor neuron-like cell line. Exposure of undifferentiated NSC-34 cells to PGE2 and butaprost, an EP2-selective agonist, resulted in a reduction of MTT reduction activity without increase the number of propidium iodide-positive cells and in an increase in the number of neurite-bearing cells. Sulprostone, an EP1/3 agonist, also significantly lowered MTT reduction activity by 20%; however, no increase in the number of neurite-bearing cells was observed within the concentration range tested. PGE2-induced neurite outgrowth was attenuated significantly in the presence of PF-0441848, an EP2-selective antagonist. Treatment of these cells with dibutyryl-cAMP increased the number of neurite-bearing cells with no effect on cell proliferation. These results suggest that PGE2 promotes neurite outgrowth and suppresses cell proliferation by activating the EP2 subtype, and that the cAMP-signaling pathway is involved in PGE2-induced differentiation of NSC-34 cells. Keywords: Prostaglandin E2, E-prostanoid receptors, Motor neuron, Neurite outgrowth, cAMP

  9. TRANSGENIC GDNF POSITIVELY INFLUENCES PROLIFERATION, DIFFERENTIATION, MATURATION AND SURVIVAL OF MOTOR NEURONS PRODUCED FROM MOUSE EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  10. [CHANGES IN THE NUMBER OF NEURONS IN THE MOTOR CORTEX OF RATS AND THEIR LOCOMOTOR ACTIVITY IN THE AGE ASPECT].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piavchenko, G A; Shmarkova, L I; Nozdrin, V I

    2015-01-01

    Using Laboras hardware-software complex, which is a system of automatic registration of behavioral reactions, the locomotor activity 1-, 8- and 16-month-old male rats (12 animals in each group) was recorded followed by counting the number of neuron cell bodies of in the layer V of the motor cortex in Nissl stained slides. It was found that the number of neurons in the motor cortex varied in different age groups. Maximal number of neurons was observed in 8-month-old animals. Motor activity was found to correlate with the number of neurons.

  11. Symptomatic treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Louisa; Khan, Fary; Young, Carolyn A; Galea, Mary

    2017-01-10

    Motor neuron disease (MND), which is also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), causes a wide range of symptoms but the evidence base for the effectiveness of the symptomatic treatment therapies is limited. To summarise the evidence from Cochrane Systematic Reviews of all symptomatic treatments for MND. We searched the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) on 15 November 2016 for systematic reviews of symptomatic treatments for MND. We assessed the methodological quality of the included reviews using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) tool and the GRADE approach. We followed standard Cochrane study (review) selection and data extraction procedures. We reported findings narratively and in tables. We included nine Cochrane Systematic Reviews of interventions to treat symptoms in people with MND. Three were empty reviews with no included randomised controlled trials (RCTs); however, all three reported on non-RCT evidence and the remaining six included mostly one or two studies. We deemed all of the included reviews of high methodological quality. Drug therapy for painThere is no RCT evidence in a Cochrane Systematic Review exploring the efficacy of drug therapy for pain in MND. Treatment for crampsThere is evidence (13 RCTs, N = 4012) that for the treatment of cramps in MND, compared to placebo:- memantine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are probably ineffective (moderate-quality evidence);- vitamin E may have little or no effect (low-quality evidence); and- the effects of L-threonine, gabapentin, xaliproden, riluzole, and baclofen are uncertain as the evidence is either very low quality or the trial specified the outcome but did not report numerical data.The review reported adverse effects of riluzole, but it is not clear whether other interventions had adverse effects. Treatment for spasticityIt is uncertain whether an endurance-based exercise programme improved spasticity or quality of life, measured at three months after the

  12. Mechanical ventilation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radunovic, Aleksandar; Annane, Djillali; Rafiq, Muhammad K; Brassington, Ruth; Mustfa, Naveed

    2017-10-06

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease. Neuromuscular respiratory failure is the most common cause of death, which usually occurs within two to five years of the disease onset. Supporting respiratory function with mechanical ventilation may improve survival and quality of life. This is the second update of a review first published in 2009. To assess the effects of mechanical ventilation (tracheostomy-assisted ventilation and non-invasive ventilation (NIV)) on survival, functional measures of disease progression, and quality of life in ALS, and to evaluate adverse events related to the intervention. We searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL Plus, and AMED on 30 January 2017. We also searched two clinical trials registries for ongoing studies. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs involving non-invasive or tracheostomy-assisted ventilation in participants with a clinical diagnosis of ALS, independent of the reported outcomes. We included comparisons with no intervention or the best standard care. For the original review, four review authors independently selected studies for assessment. Two review authors reviewed searches for this update. All review authors independently extracted data from the full text of selected studies and assessed the risk of bias in studies that met the inclusion criteria. We attempted to obtain missing data where possible. We planned to collect adverse event data from the included studies. For the original Cochrane Review, the review authors identified two RCTs involving 54 participants with ALS receiving NIV. There were no new RCTs or quasi-RCTs at the first update. One new RCT was identified in the second update but was excluded for the reasons outlined below.Incomplete data were available for one published study comparing early and late initiation of

  13. Cathepsin B-dependent motor neuron death after nerve injury in the adult mouse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sun, Li; Wu, Zhou; Baba, Masashi [Department of Aging Science and Pharmacology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Kyushu University, Maidashi 3-1-1, Fukuoka 812-8582 (Japan); Peters, Christoph [Institute fuer Molekulare Medizin und Zellforshung, Albert-Ludwings-Universitaet Freiburg, D-79104 Freiburg (Germany); Uchiyama, Yasuo [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo (Japan); Nakanishi, Hiroshi, E-mail: nakan@dent.kyushu-u.ac.jp [Department of Aging Science and Pharmacology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Kyushu University, Maidashi 3-1-1, Fukuoka 812-8582 (Japan)

    2010-08-27

    Research highlights: {yields} Cathepsin B (CB), a lysosomal cysteine protease, is expressed in neuron and glia. {yields} CB increased in hypogrossal nucleus neurons after nerve injury in adult mice. {yields} CB-deficiency significantly increased the mean survival ratio of injured neurons. {yields} Thus, CB plays a critical role in axotomy-induced neuronal death in adult mice. -- Abstract: There are significant differences in the rate of neuronal death after peripheral nerve injury between species. The rate of neuronal death of motor neurons after nerve injury in the adult rats is very low, whereas that in adult mice is relatively high. However, the understanding of the mechanism underlying axotomy-induced motor neuron death in adult mice is limited. Cathepsin B (CB), a typical cysteine lysosomal protease, has been implicated in three major morphologically distinct pathways of cell death; apoptosis, necrosis and autophagic cell death. The possible involvement of CB in the neuronal death of hypogrossal nucleus (HGN) neurons after nerve injury in adult mice was thus examined. Quantitative analyses showed the mean survival ratio of HGN neurons in CB-deficient (CB-/-) adult mice after nerve injury was significantly greater than that in the wild-type mice. At the same time, proliferation of microglia in the injured side of the HGN of CB-/- adult mice was markedly reduced compared with that in the wild-type mice. On the injured side of the HGN in the wild-type adult mice, both pro- and mature forms of CB markedly increased in accordance with the increase in the membrane-bound form of LC3 (LC3-II), a marker protein of autophagy. Furthermore, the increase in CB preceded an increase in the expression of Noxa, a major executor for axotomy-induced motor neuron death in the adult mouse. Conversely, expression of neither Noxa or LC3-II was observed in the HGN of adult CB-/- mice after nerve injury. These observations strongly suggest that CB plays a critical role in axotomy

  14. Cathepsin B-dependent motor neuron death after nerve injury in the adult mouse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun, Li; Wu, Zhou; Baba, Masashi; Peters, Christoph; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Nakanishi, Hiroshi

    2010-01-01

    Research highlights: → Cathepsin B (CB), a lysosomal cysteine protease, is expressed in neuron and glia. → CB increased in hypogrossal nucleus neurons after nerve injury in adult mice. → CB-deficiency significantly increased the mean survival ratio of injured neurons. → Thus, CB plays a critical role in axotomy-induced neuronal death in adult mice. -- Abstract: There are significant differences in the rate of neuronal death after peripheral nerve injury between species. The rate of neuronal death of motor neurons after nerve injury in the adult rats is very low, whereas that in adult mice is relatively high. However, the understanding of the mechanism underlying axotomy-induced motor neuron death in adult mice is limited. Cathepsin B (CB), a typical cysteine lysosomal protease, has been implicated in three major morphologically distinct pathways of cell death; apoptosis, necrosis and autophagic cell death. The possible involvement of CB in the neuronal death of hypogrossal nucleus (HGN) neurons after nerve injury in adult mice was thus examined. Quantitative analyses showed the mean survival ratio of HGN neurons in CB-deficient (CB-/-) adult mice after nerve injury was significantly greater than that in the wild-type mice. At the same time, proliferation of microglia in the injured side of the HGN of CB-/- adult mice was markedly reduced compared with that in the wild-type mice. On the injured side of the HGN in the wild-type adult mice, both pro- and mature forms of CB markedly increased in accordance with the increase in the membrane-bound form of LC3 (LC3-II), a marker protein of autophagy. Furthermore, the increase in CB preceded an increase in the expression of Noxa, a major executor for axotomy-induced motor neuron death in the adult mouse. Conversely, expression of neither Noxa or LC3-II was observed in the HGN of adult CB-/- mice after nerve injury. These observations strongly suggest that CB plays a critical role in axotomy-induced mortor neuron

  15. Neuronal firing in the globus pallidus internus and the ventrolateral thalamus related to parkinsonian motor symptoms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Hai; ZHUANG Ping; ZHANG Yu-qing; LI Jian-yu; LI Yong-jie

    2009-01-01

    Background It has been proposed that parkinsonian motor signs result from hyperactivity in the output nucleus of the basal ganglia, which suppress the motor thalamus and cortical areas. This study aimed to explore the neuronal activity in the globus pallidus internus (GPi) and the ventrolateral thalamic nuclear group (ventral oral posterior/ventral intermediate, Vop/Vim) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD).Methods Twenty patients with PD who underwent neurosurgery were studied. Microelectrode recording was performed in the GPi (n=10) and the Vop/Vim (n=10) intraoperatively. Electromyography (EMG) contralateral to the surgery was simultaneously performed. Single unit analysis was carried out. The interspike intervals (ISI) and coefficient of variation (CV) of ISI were calculated. Histograms of ISI were constructed. A unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (UPDRS) was used to assess the clinical outcome of surgery.Results Three hundred and sixty-three neurons were obtained from 20 trajectories. Of 175 GPi neurons, there were 15.4% with tremor frequency, 69.2% with tonic firing, and 15.4% with irregular discharge. Of 188 thalamic neurons, there were 46.8% with tremor frequency, 22.9% with tonic firing, and 30.3% with irregular discharge. The numbers of three patterns of neuron in GPi and Vop/Vim were significantly different (P <0.001). ISI analysis revealed that mean firing rate of the three patterns of GPi neurons was (80.9±63.9) Hz (n=78), which was higher than similar neurons with 62.9 Hz in a normal primate. For the Vop/Vim group, ISI revealed that mean firing rate of the three patterns of neurons (n=95) was (23.2±17.1) Hz which was lower than similar neurons with 30 Hz in the motor thalamus of normal primates. UPDRS indicated that the clinical outcome of pallidotomy was (64.3±9.5)%, (83.4±19.1)% and (63.4±36.3)%, and clinical outcome of thalamotomy was (92.2±12.9)%, (68.0±25.2)% and (44.3±27.2)% for tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia, respectively

  16. Progressive Apraxia of Speech as a Sign of Motor Neuron Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, Joseph R.; Peach, Richard K.; Strand, Edythe A.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: To document and describe in detail the occurrence of apraxia of speech (AOS) in a group of individuals with a diagnosis of motor neuron disease (MND). Method: Seven individuals with MND and AOS were identified from among 80 patients with a variety of neurodegenerative diseases and AOS (J. R. Duffy, 2006). The history, presenting…

  17. Motor Neurone Disease: Disability Profile and Service Needs in an Australian Cohort

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Louisa; Talman, Paul; Khan, Fary

    2011-01-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND) places considerable burden upon patients and caregivers. This is the first study, which describes the disability profile and healthcare needs for persons with MND (pwMND) in an Australian sample from the perspective of the patients and caregivers to identify current gaps in the knowledge and service provision. A…

  18. The Effects of Two Different Stretching Programs on Balance Control and Motor Neuron Excitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaya, Fatih; Biçer, Bilal; Yüktasir, Bekir; Willems, Mark E. T.; Yildiz, Nebil

    2018-01-01

    We examined the effects of training (4d/wk for 6 wks) with static stretching (SS) or contract-relax proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) on static balance time and motor neuron excitability. Static balance time, H[subscript max]/M[subscript max] ratios and H-reflex recovery curves (HRRC) were measured in 28 healthy subjects (SS: n = 10,…

  19. Guidelines in motor neurone disease (MND)/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - from diagnosis to patient care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, J D

    2000-12-01

    This paper reviews the scope of current guidelines in motor neurone disease (MND)/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and examines issues which have arisen in the preparation of these documents. The review concludes with an evaluation of the impact of the guidelines which have been produced to date and looks towards potential future developments in this area.

  20. Mechanical cough augmentation techniques in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease

    OpenAIRE

    Rafiq, M.K.; Bradburn, M.; Mustfa, N.; Mcdermott, C.J.; Annane, D.

    2016-01-01

    © 2016 The Cochrane Collaboration.This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows: To assess the effects of mechanical insufflator/exsufflator (MI-E) and the breath-stacking technique for reducing morbidity and mortality and enhancing quality of life in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/motor neuron disease (MND).

  1. The UNC-4 homeobox protein represses mab-9 expression in DA motor neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jafari, Gholamali; Appleford, Peter J; Seago, Julian

    2011-01-01

    , an RNAi screen designed to identify upstream transcriptional regulators of mab-9 showed that silencing of unc-4 (encoding a paired-class homeodomain protein) increases mab-9::gfp expression in the nervous system, specifically in posterior DA motor neurons. Over-expression of unc-4 from a heat...

  2. Variants of the elongator protein 3 (ELP3) gene are associated with motor neuron degeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simpson, Claire L.; Lemmens, Robin; Miskiewicz, Katarzyna; Broom, Wendy J.; Hansen, Valerie K.; van Vught, Paul W. J.; Landers, John E.; Sapp, Peter; Van Den Bosch, Ludo; Knight, Joanne; Neale, Benjamin M.; Turner, Martin R.; Veldink, Jan H.; Ophoff, Roel A.; Tripathi, Vineeta B.; Beleza, Ana; Shah, Meera N.; Proitsi, Petroula; Van Hoecke, Annelies; Carmeliet, Peter; Horvitz, H. Robert; Leigh, P. Nigel; Shaw, Christopher E.; van den Berg, Leonard H.; Sham, Pak C.; Powell, John F.; Verstreken, Patrik; Brown, Robert H.; Robberecht, Wim; Al-Chalabi, Ammar

    2009-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a spontaneous, relentlessly progressive motor neuron disease, usually resulting in death from respiratory failure within 3 years. Variation in the genes SOD1 and TARDBP accounts for a small percentage of cases, and other genes have shown association in both

  3. Plastic Changes in the Spinal Cord in Motor Neuron Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Fornai

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper, we analyze the cell number within lamina X at the end stage of disease in a G93A mouse model of ALS; the effects induced by lithium; the stem-cell like phenotype of lamina X cells during ALS; the differentiation of these cells towards either a glial or neuronal phenotype. In summary we found that G93A mouse model of ALS produces an increase in lamina X cells which is further augmented by lithium administration. In the absence of lithium these nestin positive stem-like cells preferentially differentiate into glia (GFAP positive, while in the presence of lithium these cells differentiate towards a neuron-like phenotype (βIII-tubulin, NeuN, and calbindin-D28K positive. These effects of lithium are observed concomitantly with attenuation in disease progression and are reminiscent of neurogenetic effects induced by lithium in the subependymal ventricular zone of the hippocampus.

  4. Bee Venom Protects against Rotenone-Induced Cell Death in NSC34 Motor Neuron Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    So Young Jung

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Rotenone, an inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, is known to elevate mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and induce apoptosis via activation of the caspase-3 pathway. Bee venom (BV extracted from honey bees has been widely used in oriental medicine and contains melittin, apamin, adolapin, mast cell-degranulating peptide, and phospholipase A2. In this study, we tested the effects of BV on neuronal cell death by examining rotenone-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. NSC34 motor neuron cells were pretreated with 2.5 μg/mL BV and stimulated with 10 μM rotenone to induce cell toxicity. We assessed cell death by Western blotting using specific antibodies, such as phospho-ERK1/2, phospho-JNK, and cleaved capase-3 and performed an MTT assay for evaluation of cell death and mitochondria staining. Pretreatment with 2.5 μg/mL BV had a neuroprotective effect against 10 μM rotenone-induced cell death in NSC34 motor neuron cells. Pre-treatment with BV significantly enhanced cell viability and ameliorated mitochondrial impairment in rotenone-treated cellular model. Moreover, BV treatment inhibited the activation of JNK signaling and cleaved caspase-3 related to cell death and increased ERK phosphorylation involved in cell survival in rotenone-treated NSC34 motor neuron cells. Taken together, we suggest that BV treatment can be useful for protection of neurons against oxidative stress or neurotoxin-induced cell death.

  5. Quantification of the proportion of motor neurons recruited by transcranial electrical stimulation during intraoperative motor evoked potential monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsui, Shunji; Yamada, Hiroshi; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Minamide, Akihito; Nakagawa, Yukihiro; Iwasaki, Hiroshi; Yoshida, Munehito

    2013-12-01

    Transcranial motor evoked potentials (TcMEPs) are widely used to monitor motor function during spinal surgery. However, they are much smaller and more variable in amplitude than responses evoked by maximal peripheral nerve stimulation, suggesting that a limited number of spinal motor neurons to the target muscle are excited by transcranial stimulation. The aim of this study was to quantify the proportion of motor neurons recruited during TcMEP monitoring under general anesthesia. In twenty patients who underwent thoracic and/or lumbar spinal surgery with TcMEP monitoring, the triple stimulation technique (TST) was applied to the unilateral upper arm intraoperatively. Total intravenous anesthesia was employed. Trains of four stimuli were delivered with maximal intensity and an inter-pulse interval of 1.5 ms. TST responses were recorded from the abductor digiti minimi muscle, and the negative peak amplitude and area were measured and compared between the TST test (two collisions between transcranial and proximal and distal peripheral stimulation) and control response (two collisions between two proximal and one distal peripheral stimulation). The highest degree of superimposition of the TST test and control responses was chosen from several trials per patient. The average ratios (test:control) were 17.1 % (range 1.8-38 %) for the amplitudes and 21.6 % (range 2.9-40 %) for the areas. The activity of approximately 80 % of the motor units to the target muscle cannot be detected by TcMEP monitoring. Therefore, changes in evoked potentials must be interpreted cautiously when assessing segmental motor function with TcMEP monitoring.

  6. 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.

  7. Impairments in Motor Neurons, Interneurons and Astrocytes Contribute to Hyperexcitability in ALS: Underlying Mechanisms and Paths to Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do-Ha, Dzung; Buskila, Yossi; Ooi, Lezanne

    2018-02-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterised by the loss of motor neurons leading to progressive paralysis and death. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and nerve excitability tests, several clinical studies have identified that cortical and peripheral hyperexcitability are among the earliest pathologies observed in ALS patients. The changes in the electrophysiological properties of motor neurons have been identified in both sporadic and familial ALS patients, despite the diverse etiology of the disease. The mechanisms behind the change in neuronal signalling are not well understood, though current findings implicate intrinsic changes in motor neurons and dysfunction of cells critical in regulating motor neuronal excitability, such as astrocytes and interneurons. Alterations in ion channel expression and/or function in motor neurons has been associated with changes in cortical and peripheral nerve excitability. In addition to these intrinsic changes in motor neurons, inhibitory signalling through GABAergic interneurons is also impaired in ALS, likely contributing to increased neuronal excitability. Astrocytes have also recently been implicated in increasing neuronal excitability in ALS by failing to adequately regulate glutamate levels and extracellular K + concentration at the synaptic cleft. As hyperexcitability is a common and early feature of ALS, it offers a therapeutic and diagnostic target. Thus, understanding the underlying pathways and mechanisms leading to hyperexcitability in ALS offers crucial insight for future development of ALS treatments.

  8. Physiological basis and image processing in functional magnetic resonance imaging: Neuronal and motor activity in brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma Rakesh

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI is recently developing as imaging modality used for mapping hemodynamics of neuronal and motor event related tissue blood oxygen level dependence (BOLD in terms of brain activation. Image processing is performed by segmentation and registration methods. Segmentation algorithms provide brain surface-based analysis, automated anatomical labeling of cortical fields in magnetic resonance data sets based on oxygen metabolic state. Registration algorithms provide geometric features using two or more imaging modalities to assure clinically useful neuronal and motor information of brain activation. This review article summarizes the physiological basis of fMRI signal, its origin, contrast enhancement, physical factors, anatomical labeling by segmentation, registration approaches with examples of visual and motor activity in brain. Latest developments are reviewed for clinical applications of fMRI along with other different neurophysiological and imaging modalities.

  9. 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.

  10. A zebrafish model of lethal congenital contracture syndrome 1 reveals Gle1 function in spinal neural precursor survival and motor axon arborization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jao, Li-En; Appel, Bruce; Wente, Susan R

    2012-04-01

    In humans, GLE1 is mutated in lethal congenital contracture syndrome 1 (LCCS1) leading to prenatal death of all affected fetuses. Although the molecular roles of Gle1 in nuclear mRNA export and translation have been documented, no animal models for this disease have been reported. To elucidate the function of Gle1 in vertebrate development, we used the zebrafish (Danio rerio) model system. gle1 mRNA is maternally deposited and widely expressed. Altering Gle1 using an insertional mutant or antisense morpholinos results in multiple defects, including immobility, small eyes, diminished pharyngeal arches, curved body axis, edema, underdeveloped intestine and cell death in the central nervous system. These phenotypes parallel those observed in LCCS1 human fetuses. Gle1 depletion also results in reduction of motoneurons and aberrant arborization of motor axons. Unexpectedly, the motoneuron deficiency results from apoptosis of neural precursors, not of differentiated motoneurons. Mosaic analyses further indicate that Gle1 activity is required extrinsically in the environment for normal motor axon arborization. Importantly, the zebrafish phenotypes caused by Gle1 deficiency are only rescued by expressing wild-type human GLE1 and not by the disease-linked Fin(Major) mutant form of GLE1. Together, our studies provide the first functional characterization of Gle1 in vertebrate development and reveal its essential role in actively dividing cells. We propose that defective GLE1 function in human LCCS1 results in both neurogenic and non-neurogenic defects linked to the apoptosis of proliferative organ precursors.

  11. Effects of metal exposure on motor neuron development, neuromasts and the escape response of zebrafish embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnack, Laura; Kampe, Sebastian; Muth-Köhne, Elke; Erdinger, Lothar; Henny, Nicole; Hollert, Henner; Schäfers, Christoph; Fenske, Martina

    2015-01-01

    Low level metal contaminations are a prevalent issue with often unknown consequences for health and the environment. Effect-based, multifactorial test systems with zebrafish embryos to assess in particular developmental toxicity are beneficial but rarely used in this context. We therefore exposed wild-type embryos to the metals copper (CuSO4), cadmium (CdCl2) and cobalt (CoSO4) for 72 h to determine lethal as well as sublethal morphological effects. Motor neuron damage was investigated by immunofluorescence staining of primary motor neurons (PMNs) and secondary motor neurons (SMNs). In vivo stainings using the vital dye DASPEI were used to quantify neuromast development and damage. The consequences of metal toxicity were also assessed functionally, by testing fish behavior following tactile stimulation. The median effective concentration (EC50) values for morphological effects 72 h post fertilization (hpf) were 14.6 mg/L for cadmium and 0.018 mg/L for copper, whereas embryos exposed up to 45.8 mg/L cobalt showed no morphological effects. All three metals caused a concentration-dependent reduction in the numbers of normal PMNs and SMNs, and in the fluorescence intensity of neuromasts. The results for motor neuron damage and behavior were coincident for all three metals. Even the lowest metal concentrations (cadmium 2mg/L, copper 0.01 mg/L and cobalt 0.8 mg/L) resulted in neuromast damage. The results demonstrate that the neuromast cells were more sensitive to metal exposure than morphological traits or the response to tactile stimulation and motor neuron damage. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Effects of cerebrolysin on motor-neuron-like NSC-34 cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  13. 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

  14. [The study of chronic partial denervation and quality of life in patients with motor neuron disease treated with semax].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serdiuk, A V; Levitskiĭ, G N; Miasoedov, N F; Skvortsova, V I

    2007-01-01

    The study of chronic partial denervation (CPD) and quality of life was carried out in 27 patients with definite, probable and possible diagnosis of motor neuron disease (MND) treated with semax (1% solution). The needle electromyography (EMG) was performed thrice with short-term 2 month interval (60 days before enrollment and on day 1 and day 48 of the study) in three muscles on bulbar, cervical and lumbosacral levels on the less affected side. According to Revised El-Escorial Criteria (1998) the needle EMG for diagnostic purposes was also performed in two muscles on the cervical and lumbosacral levels on the more affected side along with stimulation electroneuronmyography of motor and sensory fibers of the peripheral nerves of neck, upper and lower extremities. The open-label clinical trial of Semax (1% solution) was conducted in sequential groups of patients. The drug was administered intranasally in two 10-day-long courses with 2-weeks break in daily dose of 12 mg. Sixty days before enrollment, and on days 1, 10, 24, 34 and 48, patients were assessed by the Norris ALS, the ALS Functioning Rating Scale and the ALSAQ-40 quality of life in the ALS scale. It was shown that CPD on the early as well as on the late stages was characterized by forward-backward, but not unidirectional course, that did not allow to recommend the follow-up needle EMG with short-term interval for evaluation of drug efficacy monitoring. Early CPD stages were characterized by forward-backwards fluctuations reflecting the compensatory reinnervation process (a phenomenon of exchange of muscle fibers, more rational in view of reinnervation, between adjacent motor units) whereas on the late CPD stages these forward-backwards CPD fluctuations reflected the processes of progressive deterioration of muscle fibers and secondary demyelination of large motor axons. Semax (1% solution) does not influence either the course of CPD or the dynamics of clinical estimates, in particular the terms of ensuing

  15. 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.

  16. Network feedback regulates motor output across a range of modulatory neuron activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Robert M; Blitz, Dawn M

    2016-06-01

    Modulatory projection neurons alter network neuron synaptic and intrinsic properties to elicit multiple different outputs. Sensory and other inputs elicit a range of modulatory neuron activity that is further shaped by network feedback, yet little is known regarding how the impact of network feedback on modulatory neurons regulates network output across a physiological range of modulatory neuron activity. Identified network neurons, a fully described connectome, and a well-characterized, identified modulatory projection neuron enabled us to address this issue in the crab (Cancer borealis) stomatogastric nervous system. The modulatory neuron modulatory commissural neuron 1 (MCN1) activates and modulates two networks that generate rhythms via different cellular mechanisms and at distinct frequencies. MCN1 is activated at rates of 5-35 Hz in vivo and in vitro. Additionally, network feedback elicits MCN1 activity time-locked to motor activity. We asked how network activation, rhythm speed, and neuron activity levels are regulated by the presence or absence of network feedback across a physiological range of MCN1 activity rates. There were both similarities and differences in responses of the two networks to MCN1 activity. Many parameters in both networks were sensitive to network feedback effects on MCN1 activity. However, for most parameters, MCN1 activity rate did not determine the extent to which network output was altered by the addition of network feedback. These data demonstrate that the influence of network feedback on modulatory neuron activity is an important determinant of network output and feedback can be effective in shaping network output regardless of the extent of network modulation. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  17. Motor Training Promotes Both Synaptic and Intrinsic Plasticity of Layer II/III Pyramidal Neurons in the Primary Motor Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kida, Hiroyuki; Tsuda, Yasumasa; Ito, Nana; Yamamoto, Yui; Owada, Yuji; Kamiya, Yoshinori; Mitsushima, Dai

    2016-08-01

    Motor skill training induces structural plasticity at dendritic spines in the primary motor cortex (M1). To further analyze both synaptic and intrinsic plasticity in the layer II/III area of M1, we subjected rats to a rotor rod test and then prepared acute brain slices. Motor skill consistently improved within 2 days of training. Voltage clamp analysis showed significantly higher α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid/N-methyl-d-aspartate (AMPA/NMDA) ratios and miniature EPSC amplitudes in 1-day trained rats compared with untrained rats, suggesting increased postsynaptic AMPA receptors in the early phase of motor learning. Compared with untrained controls, 2-days trained rats showed significantly higher miniature EPSC amplitude and frequency. Paired-pulse analysis further demonstrated lower rates in 2-days trained rats, suggesting increased presynaptic glutamate release during the late phase of learning. One-day trained rats showed decreased miniature IPSC frequency and increased paired-pulse analysis of evoked IPSC, suggesting a transient decrease in presynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release. Moreover, current clamp analysis revealed lower resting membrane potential, higher spike threshold, and deeper afterhyperpolarization in 1-day trained rats-while 2-days trained rats showed higher membrane potential, suggesting dynamic changes in intrinsic properties. Our present results indicate dynamic changes in glutamatergic, GABAergic, and intrinsic plasticity in M1 layer II/III neurons after the motor training. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  18. Crosstalk between p38, Hsp25 and Akt in spinal motor neurons after sciatic nerve injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murashov, A. K.; Ul Haq, I.; Hill, C.; Park, E.; Smith, M.; Wang, X.; Wang, X.; Goldberg, D. J.; Wolgemuth, D. J.

    2001-01-01

    The p38 stress-activated protein kinase pathway is involved in regulation of phosphorylation of Hsp25, which in turn regulates actin filament dynamic in non-neuronal cells. We report that p38, Hsp25 and Akt signaling pathways were specifically activated in spinal motor neurons after sciatic nerve axotomy. The activation of the p38 kinase was required for induction of Hsp25 expression. Furthermore, Hsp25 formed a complex with Akt, a member of PI-3 kinase pathway that prevents neuronal cell death. Together, our observations implicate Hsp25 as a central player in a complex system of signaling that may both promote regeneration of nerve fibers and prevent neuronal cell death in the injured spinal cord.

  19. Cortical Motor Organization, Mirror Neurons, and Embodied Language: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Fogassi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The recent conceptual achievement that the cortical motor system plays a crucial role not only in motor control but also in higher cognitive functions has given a new perspective also on the involvement of motor cortex in language perception and production. In particular, there is evidence that the matching mechanism based on mirror neurons can be involved in both pho-nological recognition and retrieval of meaning, especially for action word categories, thus suggesting a contribution of an action–perception mechanism to the automatic comprehension of semantics. Furthermore, a compari-son of the anatomo-functional properties of the frontal motor cortex among different primates and their communicative modalities indicates that the combination of the voluntary control of the gestural communication systems and of the vocal apparatus has been the critical factor in the transition from a gestural-based communication into a predominantly speech-based system. Finally, considering that the monkey and human premotor-parietal motor system, plus the prefrontal cortex, are involved in the sequential motor organization of actions and in the hierarchical combination of motor elements, we propose that elements of such motor organization have been exploited in other domains, including some aspects of the syntactic structure of language.

  20. 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.

  1. Temperature manipulation of neuronal dynamics in a forebrain motor control nucleus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matías A Goldin

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Different neuronal types within brain motor areas contribute to the generation of complex motor behaviors. A widely studied songbird forebrain nucleus (HVC has been recognized as fundamental in shaping the precise timing characteristics of birdsong. This is based, among other evidence, on the stretching and the "breaking" of song structure when HVC is cooled. However, little is known about the temperature effects that take place in its neurons. To address this, we investigated the dynamics of HVC both experimentally and computationally. We developed a technique where simultaneous electrophysiological recordings were performed during temperature manipulation of HVC. We recorded spontaneous activity and found three effects: widening of the spike shape, decrease of the firing rate and change in the interspike interval distribution. All these effects could be explained with a detailed conductance based model of all the neurons present in HVC. Temperature dependence of the ionic channel time constants explained the first effect, while the second was based in the changes of the maximal conductance using single synaptic excitatory inputs. The last phenomenon, only emerged after introducing a more realistic synaptic input to the inhibitory interneurons. Two timescales were present in the interspike distributions. The behavior of one timescale was reproduced with different input balances received form the excitatory neurons, whereas the other, which disappears with cooling, could not be found assuming poissonian synaptic inputs. Furthermore, the computational model shows that the bursting of the excitatory neurons arises naturally at normal brain temperature and that they have an intrinsic delay at low temperatures. The same effect occurs at single synapses, which may explain song stretching. These findings shed light on the temperature dependence of neuronal dynamics and present a comprehensive framework to study neuronal connectivity. This study, which

  2. 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.

  3. Local-learning-based neuron selection for grasping gesture prediction in motor brain machine interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Kai; Wang, Yiwen; Wang, Yueming; Wang, Fang; Hao, Yaoyao; Zhang, Shaomin; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Chen, Weidong; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2013-04-01

    Objective. The high-dimensional neural recordings bring computational challenges to movement decoding in motor brain machine interfaces (mBMI), especially for portable applications. However, not all recorded neural activities relate to the execution of a certain movement task. This paper proposes to use a local-learning-based method to perform neuron selection for the gesture prediction in a reaching and grasping task. Approach. Nonlinear neural activities are decomposed into a set of linear ones in a weighted feature space. A margin is defined to measure the distance between inter-class and intra-class neural patterns. The weights, reflecting the importance of neurons, are obtained by minimizing a margin-based exponential error function. To find the most dominant neurons in the task, 1-norm regularization is introduced to the objective function for sparse weights, where near-zero weights indicate irrelevant neurons. Main results. The signals of only 10 neurons out of 70 selected by the proposed method could achieve over 95% of the full recording's decoding accuracy of gesture predictions, no matter which different decoding methods are used (support vector machine and K-nearest neighbor). The temporal activities of the selected neurons show visually distinguishable patterns associated with various hand states. Compared with other algorithms, the proposed method can better eliminate the irrelevant neurons with near-zero weights and provides the important neuron subset with the best decoding performance in statistics. The weights of important neurons converge usually within 10-20 iterations. In addition, we study the temporal and spatial variation of neuron importance along a period of one and a half months in the same task. A high decoding performance can be maintained by updating the neuron subset. Significance. The proposed algorithm effectively ascertains the neuronal importance without assuming any coding model and provides a high performance with different

  4. 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.

  5. Single-photon emission computed tomographic findings and motor neuron signs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terao, Shin-ichi; Sobue, Gen; Higashi, Naoki; Takahashi, Masahiko; Suga, Hidemichi; Mitsuma, Terunori [Aichi Medical Univ., Nagakute (Japan)

    1995-03-01

    {sup 123}I-amphetamine-single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 16 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to investigate the correlation between regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and upper motor neuron signs. Significant decreased blood flow less than 2 SDs below the mean of controls was observed in the frontal lobe in 4 patients (25%) and in the frontoparietal lobe including the cortical motor area in 4 patients, respectively. The severity of extermity muscular weakness was significantly correlate with decrease in blood flow through the frontal lobe (p<0.05) and through the frontoparietal lobe (p<0.001). A significant correlation was also noted to exist between the severity of bulbar paralysis and decrease in blood flow through the frontoparietal lobe. No correlation, however, was observed between rCBF and severity of spasticity, presence or absence of Babinski`s sign and the duration of illness. Although muscular weakness in the limbs and bulbar paralysis are not pure upper motor neuron signs, the observed reduction in blood flow through the frontal or frontoparietal lobes appears to reflect extensive progression of functional or organic lesions of cortical neurons including the motor area. (author).

  6. Single-photon emission computed tomographic findings and motor neuron signs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terao, Shin-ichi; Sobue, Gen; Higashi, Naoki; Takahashi, Masahiko; Suga, Hidemichi; Mitsuma, Terunori

    1995-01-01

    123 I-amphetamine-single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 16 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to investigate the correlation between regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and upper motor neuron signs. Significant decreased blood flow less than 2 SDs below the mean of controls was observed in the frontal lobe in 4 patients (25%) and in the frontoparietal lobe including the cortical motor area in 4 patients, respectively. The severity of extermity muscular weakness was significantly correlate with decrease in blood flow through the frontal lobe (p<0.05) and through the frontoparietal lobe (p<0.001). A significant correlation was also noted to exist between the severity of bulbar paralysis and decrease in blood flow through the frontoparietal lobe. No correlation, however, was observed between rCBF and severity of spasticity, presence or absence of Babinski's sign and the duration of illness. Although muscular weakness in the limbs and bulbar paralysis are not pure upper motor neuron signs, the observed reduction in blood flow through the frontal or frontoparietal lobes appears to reflect extensive progression of functional or organic lesions of cortical neurons including the motor area. (author)

  7. 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

  8. Diversity in the Neural Circuitry of Cold Sensing Revealed by Genetic Axonal Labeling of Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 8 Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Takashima, Yoshio; Daniels, Richard L.; Knowlton, Wendy; Teng, James; Liman, Emily R.; McKemy, David D.

    2007-01-01

    Sensory nerves detect an extensive array of somatosensory stimuli, including environmental temperatures. Despite activating only a small cohort of sensory neurons, cold temperatures generate a variety of distinct sensations that range from pleasantly cool to painfully aching, prickling, and burning. Psychophysical and functional data show that cold responses are mediated by both C- and Aδ-fibers with separate peripheral receptive zones, each of which likely provides one or more of these disti...

  9. Axonal recordings from medial superior olive neurons obtained from the lateral lemniscus of the chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bremen, Peter; Joris, Philip X

    2013-10-30

    Interaural time differences (ITDs) are a major cue for localizing low-frequency (binaural beats and dichotic noise bursts to characterize the best delay versus characteristic frequency distribution, and compared the data to recordings we obtained in the inferior colliculus (IC). In contrast to most reports in other rodents, many best delays were close to zero ITD, both in MSO and IC, with a majority of the neurons recorded in the LL firing maximally within the presumed ethological ITD range.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Imaging Flow Cytometry Analysis to Identify Differences of Survival Motor Neuron Protein Expression in Patients With Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arakawa, Reiko; Arakawa, Masayuki; Kaneko, Kaori; Otsuki, Noriko; Aoki, Ryoko; Saito, Kayoko

    2016-08-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the deficient expression of survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons. A major goal of disease-modifying therapy is to increase survival motor neuron expression. Changes in survival motor neuron protein expression can be monitored via peripheral blood cells in patients; therefore we tested the sensitivity and utility of imaging flow cytometry for this purpose. After the immortalization of peripheral blood lymphocytes from a human healthy control subject and two patients with spinal muscular atrophy type 1 with two and three copies of SMN2 gene, respectively, we used imaging flow cytometry analysis to identify significant differences in survival motor neuron expression. A bright detail intensity analysis was used to investigate differences in the cellular localization of survival motor neuron protein. Survival motor neuron expression was significantly decreased in cells derived from patients with spinal muscular atrophy relative to those derived from a healthy control subject. Moreover, survival motor neuron expression correlated with the clinical severity of spinal muscular atrophy according to SMN2 copy number. The cellular accumulation of survival motor neuron protein was also significantly decreased in cells derived from patients with spinal muscular atrophy relative to those derived from a healthy control subject. The benefits of imaging flow cytometry for peripheral blood analysis include its capacities for analyzing heterogeneous cell populations; visualizing cell morphology; and evaluating the accumulation, localization, and expression of a target protein. Imaging flow cytometry analysis should be implemented in future studies to optimize its application as a tool for spinal muscular atrophy clinical trials. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Neurokinin-1 Receptor Immunoreactive Neuronal Elements in the Superficial Dorsal Horn of the Chicken Spinal Cord: With Special Reference to Their Relationship with the Tachykinin-containing Central Axon Terminals in Synaptic Glomeruli

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakamoto, Hiroshi; Kawate, Toyoko; Li, Yongnan; Atsumi, Saoko

    2009-01-01

    Synaptic glomeruli that involve tachykinin-containing primary afferent central terminals are numerous in lamina II of the chicken spinal cord. Therefore, a certain amount of noxious information is likely to be modulated in these structures in chickens. In this study, we used immunohistochemistry with confocal and electron microscopy to investigate whether neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R)-expressing neuronal elements are in contact with the central primary afferent terminals in synaptic glomeruli of the chicken spinal cord. We also investigated which neuronal elements (axon terminals, dendrites, cell bodies) and which neurons in the spinal cord possess NK-1R, and are possibly influenced by tachykinin in the glomeruli. By confocal microscopy, NK-1R immunoreactivities were seen in a variety of neuronal cell bodies, their dendrites and smaller fibers of unknown origin. Some of the NK-1R immunoreactive profiles also expressed GABA immunoreactivities. A close association was observed between the NK-1R-immunoreactive neurons and tachykinin-immunoreactive axonal varicosities. By electron microscopy, NK-1R immunoreactivity was seen in cell bodies, conventional dendrites and vesicle-containing dendrites in laminae I and II. Among these elements, dendrites and vesicle-containing dendrites made contact with tachykinin-containing central terminals in the synaptic glomeruli. These results indicate that tachykinin-containing central terminals in the chicken spinal cord can modulate second-order neuronal elements in the synaptic glomeruli

  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. Interplay of upper and lower motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Carvalho, Mamede; Poliakov, Artiom; Tavares, Cristiano; Swash, Michael

    2017-11-01

    We studied motor unit recruitment to test a new method to identify motor unit firing rate (FR) variability. We studied 68 ALS patients, with and without upper neuron signs (UMN) in lower limbs, 24 patients with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), 13 patients with spinal cord lesion and 39 normal subjects. All recordings were made from tibialis anterior muscles of normal strength. Subjects performed a very slight contraction in order to activate 2 motor units in each recording. 5-7 motor unit pairs were recorded in each subject. Mean consecutive differences (MCD) were calculated for each pair of potentials. The mean MCD for each muscle was estimated as the mean from the total number of pairs recorded. Ap valuemotor unit in a pair of units was markedly reduced in PLS, and in subjects with spinal cord lesions. These results support a lower threshold and reduced FR fluctuation in spinal motor neurons of spastic patients. This method can be developed for detection of UMN lesions. Copyright © 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Modeling the phenotype of spinal muscular atrophy by the direct conversion of human fibroblasts to motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qi-Jie; Li, Jin-Jing; Lin, Xiang; Lu, Ying-Qian; Guo, Xin-Xin; Dong, En-Lin; Zhao, Miao; He, Jin; Wang, Ning; Chen, Wan-Jin

    2017-02-14

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a lethal autosomal recessive neurological disease characterized by selective degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord. In recent years, the development of cellular reprogramming technology has provided an alternative and effective method for obtaining patient-specific neurons in vitro. In the present study, we applied this technology to the field of SMA to acquire patient-specific induced motor neurons that were directly converted from fibroblasts via the forced expression of 8 defined transcription factors. The infected fibroblasts began to grow in a dipolar manner, and the nuclei gradually enlarged. Typical Tuj1-positive neurons were generated at day 23. After day 35, induced neurons with multiple neurites were observed, and these neurons also expressed the hallmarks of Tuj1, HB9, ISL1 and CHAT. The conversion efficiencies were approximately 5.8% and 5.5% in the SMA and control groups, respectively. Additionally, the SMA-induced neurons exhibited a significantly reduced neurite outgrowth rate compared with the control neurons. After day 60, the SMA-induced neurons also exhibited a liability of neuronal degeneration and remarkable fracturing of the neurites was observed. By directly reprogramming fibroblasts, we established a feeder-free conversion system to acquire SMA patient-specific induced motor neurons that partially modeled the phenotype of SMA in vitro.

  17. A central pattern generator producing alternative outputs: pattern, strength, and dynamics of premotor synaptic input to leech heart motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Brian J; Weaver, Adam L; Wenning, Angela; García, Paul S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2007-11-01

    The central pattern generator (CPG) for heartbeat in medicinal leeches consists of seven identified pairs of segmental heart interneurons and one unidentified pair. Four of the identified pairs and the unidentified pair of interneurons make inhibitory synaptic connections with segmental heart motor neurons. The CPG produces a side-to-side asymmetric pattern of intersegmental coordination among ipsilateral premotor interneurons corresponding to a similarly asymmetric fictive motor pattern in heart motor neurons, and asymmetric constriction pattern of the two tubular hearts, synchronous and peristaltic. Using extracellular recordings from premotor interneurons and voltage-clamp recordings of ipsilateral segmental motor neurons in 69 isolated nerve cords, we assessed the strength and dynamics of premotor inhibitory synaptic output onto the entire ensemble of heart motor neurons and the associated conduction delays in both coordination modes. We conclude that premotor interneurons establish a stereotypical pattern of intersegmental synaptic connectivity, strengths, and dynamics that is invariant across coordination modes, despite wide variations among preparations. These data coupled with a previous description of the temporal pattern of premotor interneuron activity and relative phasing of motor neuron activity in the two coordination modes enable a direct assessment of how premotor interneurons through their temporal pattern of activity and their spatial pattern of synaptic connectivity, strengths, and dynamics coordinate segmental motor neurons into a functional pattern of activity.

  18. Message banking: Perceptions of persons with motor neuron disease, significant others and clinicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosthuizen, Imke; Dada, Shakila; Bornman, Juan; Koul, Rajinder

    2017-07-31

    Message banking is an intervention strategy that has the potential to facilitate effective communication for people with motor neuron disease when their condition deteriorates to the extent that they cannot communicate using natural speech. The aim of the current study was to determine and compare the perceptions on message banking of three stakeholder groups, namely, persons with motor neuron disease, their significant others and speech-language pathologists. A comparative group survey design was used. Participants listened to a short presentation about message banking, after which they individually completed a questionnaire. Although most participants reported that they had never heard of message banking, all were interested in it. The survey results revealed statistically significant differences between the various groups of stakeholders regarding the relevance of message banking and types of messages to bank. The study concluded that there is limited awareness about message banking amongst all participant groups.