Full Text Available Wide-spread fasciculations are a characteristic feature in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, suggesting motor axonal hyperexcitability. Previous excitability studies have shown increased nodal persistent sodium conductances and decreased potassium currents in motor axons of ALS patients, both of the changes inducing hyperexcitability. Altered axonal excitability potentially contributes to motor neuron death in ALS, but the relationship of the extent of motor neuronal death and abnormal excitability has not been fully elucidated. We performed multiple nerve excitability measurements in the median nerve at the wrist of 140 ALS patients and analyzed the relationship of compound muscle action potential (CMAP amplitude (index of motor neuronal loss and excitability indices, such as strength-duration time constant, threshold electrotonus, recovery cycle and current-threshold relationships. Compared to age-matched normal controls (n = 44, ALS patients (n = 140 had longer strength-duration time constant (SDTC: a measure of nodal persistent sodium current; p 5mV. Regression analyses showed that SDTC (R = -0.22 and depolarizing threshold electrotonus (R = -0.22 increased with CMAP decline. These findings suggest that motor nerve hyperexcitability occurs in the early stage of the disease, and precedes motor neuronal loss in ALS. Modulation of altered ion channel function could be a treatment option for ALS.
Full Text Available Regulation of microtubule dynamics underlies many fundamental cellular mechanisms including cell division, cell motility, and transport. In neurons, microtubules play key roles in cell migration, axon outgrowth, control of axon and synapse growth, and the regulated transport of vesicles and structural components of synapses. Loss of synapse and axon integrity and disruption of axon transport characterize many neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, mutations that specifically alter the assembly or stability of microtubules have been found to directly cause neurodevelopmental defects or neurodegeneration in vertebrates. We report here the characterization of a missense mutation in the C-terminal domain of C. elegans alpha-tubulin, tba-1(ju89, that disrupts motor neuron synapse and axon development. Mutant ju89 animals exhibit reduction in the number and size of neuromuscular synapses, altered locomotion, and defects in axon extension. Although null mutations of tba-1 show a nearly wild-type pattern, similar axon outgrowth defects were observed in animals lacking the beta-tubulin TBB-2. Genetic analysis reveals that tba-1(ju89 affects synapse development independent of its role in axon outgrowth. tba-1(ju89 is an altered function allele that most likely perturbs interactions between TBA-1 and specific microtubule-associated proteins that control microtubule dynamics and transport of components needed for synapse and axon growth.
Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders causing motor dysfunctions, dementia and neuropathological changes such as spongiosis, astroglyosis and neuronal loss. The chain of events leading to the clinical disease and the role of distinct brain areas are still poorly understood. The role of nervous system integrity and axonal properties in prion pathology are still elusive. There is no evidence of both the functional axonal impairments in vivo and their connection with prion disease. We studied the functional axonal impairments in motor neurons at the onset of clinical prion disease using the combination of tracing as a functional assay for axonal transport with immunohistochemistry experiments. Well-established and novel confocal and ultramicroscopy techniques were used to image and quantify labeled neurons. Despite profound differences in the incubation times, 30% to 45% of neurons in the red nucleus of different mouse lines showed axonal transport impairments at the disease onset bilaterally after intracerebral prion inoculation and unilaterally -- after inoculation into the right sciatic nerve. Up to 94% of motor cortex neurons also demonstrated transport defects upon analysis by alternative imaging methods. Our data connect axonal transport impairments with disease symptoms for different prion strains and inoculation routes and establish further insight on the development of prion pathology in vivo. The alterations in localization of the proteins involved in the retrograde axonal transport allow us to propose a mechanism of transport disruption, which involves Rab7-mediated cargo attachment to the dynein-dynactin pathway. These findings suggest novel targets for therapeutic and diagnostic approaches in the early stages of prion disease.
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.
Saporta, Mario A; Dang, Vu; Volfson, Dmitri; Zou, Bende; Xie, Xinmin Simon; Adebola, Adijat; Liem, Ronald K; Shy, Michael; Dimos, John T
Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a group of inherited peripheral neuropathies associated with mutations or copy number variations in over 70 genes encoding proteins with fundamental roles in the development and function of Schwann cells and peripheral axons. Here, we used iPSC-derived cells to identify common pathophysiological mechanisms in axonal CMT. iPSC lines from patients with two distinct forms of axonal CMT (CMT2A and CMT2E) were differentiated into spinal cord motor neurons and used to study axonal structure and function and electrophysiological properties in vitro. iPSC-derived motor neurons exhibited gene and protein expression, ultrastructural and electrophysiological features of mature primary spinal cord motor neurons. Cytoskeletal abnormalities were found in neurons from a CMT2E (NEFL) patient and corroborated by a mouse model of the same NEFL point mutation. Abnormalities in mitochondrial trafficking were found in neurons derived from this patient, but were only mildly present in neurons from a CMT2A (MFN2) patient. Novel electrophysiological abnormalities, including reduced action potential threshold and abnormal channel current properties were observed in motor neurons derived from both of these patients. Human iPSC-derived motor neurons from axonal CMT patients replicated key pathophysiological features observed in other models of MFN2 and NEFL mutations, including abnormal cytoskeletal and mitochondrial dynamics. Electrophysiological abnormalities found in axonal CMT iPSC-derived human motor neurons suggest that these cells are hyperexcitable and have altered sodium and calcium channel kinetics. These findings may provide a new therapeutic target for this group of heterogeneous inherited neuropathies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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
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...... properties of this facility in the path from synaptic sites to the motor axon is reviewed with emphasis on voltage sensitive ion channels and regulatory metabotropic transmitter pathways. The catalog of the intrinsic response properties, their underlying mechanisms, and regulation obtained from motoneurons...... 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....
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.
Sellers, Drew L; Bergen, Jamie M; Johnson, Russell N; Back, Heidi; Ravits, John M; Horner, Philip J; Pun, Suzie H
A significant unmet need in treating neurodegenerative disease is effective methods for delivery of biologic drugs, such as peptides, proteins, or nucleic acids into the central nervous system (CNS). To date, there are no operative technologies for the delivery of macromolecular drugs to the CNS via peripheral administration routes. Using an in vivo phage-display screen, we identify a peptide, targeted axonal import (TAxI), that enriched recombinant bacteriophage accumulation and delivered protein cargo into spinal cord motor neurons after intramuscular injection. In animals with transected peripheral nerve roots, TAxI delivery into motor neurons after peripheral administration was inhibited, suggesting a retrograde axonal transport mechanism for delivery into the CNS. Notably, TAxI-Cre recombinase fusion proteins induced selective recombination and tdTomato-reporter expression in motor neurons after intramuscular injections. Furthermore, TAxI peptide was shown to label motor neurons in the human tissue. The demonstration of a nonviral-mediated delivery of functional proteins into the spinal cord establishes the clinical potential of this technology for minimally invasive administration of CNS-targeted therapeutics.
Salinas, Sara; Bilsland, Lynsey G; Henaff, Daniel; Weston, Anne E; Keriel, Anne; Schiavo, Giampietro; Kremer, Eric J
Axonal transport is responsible for the movement of signals and cargo between nerve termini and cell bodies. Pathogens also exploit this pathway to enter and exit the central nervous system. In this study, we characterised the binding, endocytosis and axonal transport of an adenovirus (CAV-2) that preferentially infects neurons. Using biochemical, cell biology, genetic, ultrastructural and live-cell imaging approaches, we show that interaction with the neuronal membrane correlates with coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) surface expression, followed by endocytosis involving clathrin. In axons, long-range CAV-2 motility was bidirectional with a bias for retrograde transport in nonacidic Rab7-positive organelles. Unexpectedly, we found that CAR was associated with CAV-2 vesicles that also transported cargo as functionally distinct as tetanus toxin, neurotrophins, and their receptors. These results suggest that a single axonal transport carrier is capable of transporting functionally distinct cargoes that target different membrane compartments in the soma. We propose that CAV-2 transport is dictated by an innate trafficking of CAR, suggesting an unsuspected function for this adhesion protein during neuronal homeostasis.
Full Text Available Axonal transport is responsible for the movement of signals and cargo between nerve termini and cell bodies. Pathogens also exploit this pathway to enter and exit the central nervous system. In this study, we characterised the binding, endocytosis and axonal transport of an adenovirus (CAV-2 that preferentially infects neurons. Using biochemical, cell biology, genetic, ultrastructural and live-cell imaging approaches, we show that interaction with the neuronal membrane correlates with coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR surface expression, followed by endocytosis involving clathrin. In axons, long-range CAV-2 motility was bidirectional with a bias for retrograde transport in nonacidic Rab7-positive organelles. Unexpectedly, we found that CAR was associated with CAV-2 vesicles that also transported cargo as functionally distinct as tetanus toxin, neurotrophins, and their receptors. These results suggest that a single axonal transport carrier is capable of transporting functionally distinct cargoes that target different membrane compartments in the soma. We propose that CAV-2 transport is dictated by an innate trafficking of CAR, suggesting an unsuspected function for this adhesion protein during neuronal homeostasis.
Shibasaki, Koji; Murayama, Namie; Ono, Katsuhiko; Ishizaki, Yasuki; Tominaga, Makoto
Thermosensitive TRP (thermo TRP) channels are well recognized for their contributions to sensory transduction, responding to a wide variety of stimuli including temperature, nociceptive stimuli, touch, and osmolarity. However, the precise roles for the thermo TRP channels during development have not been determined. To explore the functional importance of thermo TRP channels during neural development, the temporal expression was determined in embryonic mice. Interestingly, TRPV2 expression was detected in spinal motor neurons in addition to the dorsal root ganglia from embryonic day 10.5 and was localized in axon shafts and growth cones, suggesting that the channel is important for axon outgrowth regulation. We revealed that endogenous TRPV2 was activated in a membrane stretch-dependent manner in developing neurons by knocking down the TRPV2 function with dominant-negative TRPV2 and TRPV2-specific shRNA and significantly promoted axon outgrowth. Thus, for the first time we revealed that TRPV2 is an important regulator for axon outgrowth through its activation by membrane stretch during development.
Aldskogius, H.; Barron, K.D.; Regal, R.
Pairs of adult rats received (/sup 3/H)leucine 0.25, 1, and 16 h before killing and zero to 164 days after unilateral cervical vagotomy and hypoglossal neurotomy. Grain counts and morphometric measurements were made on axotomized and uninjured neurons in histoautoradiographs of the medullary nuclei. Axotomized hypoglossal neurons, which largely survive the injury, both enlarged and incorporated increased amounts of tritiated leucine at each labeling interval, 3 through 28 days postoperatively. In the vagal dorsal motor nucleus (DMN), axotomized cells, which frequently die after neurotomy, enlarged slightly through 28 days postoperatively, then atrophied; DMN neurons increased amino acid uptake for a shorter period (days 7 through 14) than hypoglossal neurons. Axotomized DMN neurons did not sustain increased protein synthesis as long as their hypoglossal counterparts and seemed to fail to increase synthesis of structural proteins with long half-lives (16-h labeling interval). The frequently necrobiotic response of axotomized DMN neurons may relate to these phenomena. From these and earlier results, the authors conclude that axon reaction appears to differ fundamentally in peripheral and central neurons. This difference may have significance for research on regeneration in the central nervous system.
Kim, Ji-Yon; Woo, So-Youn; Hong, Young Bin; Choi, Heesun; Kim, Jisoo; Choi, Hyunjung; Mook-Jung, Inhee; Ha, Nina; Kyung, Jangbeen; Koo, Soo Kyung; Jung, Sung-Chul; Choi, Byung-Ok
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.
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.
Kim, Jeongtae; Sunagawa, Masanobu; Kobayashi, Shiori; Shin, Taekyun; Takayama, Chitoshi
Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a 37-amino-acid neuropeptide, synthesized by alternative splicing of calcitonin gene mRNA. CGRP is characteristically distributed in the nervous system, and its function varies depending on where it is expressed. To reveal developmental formation of the CGRP network and its function in neuronal maturation, we examined the immunohistochemical localization of CGRP in the developing mouse cervical spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion. CGRP immunolabeling (IL) was first detected in motor neurons on E13, and in ascending axons of the posterior funiculus and DRG neurons on E14. CGRP-positive sensory axon fibers entered Laminae I and II on E16, and Laminae I through IV on E18. The intensity of the CGRP-IL gradually increased in both ventral and dorsal horns during embryonic development, but markedly decreased in the ventral horn after birth. These results suggest that CGRP is expressed several days after neuronal settling and entry of sensory fibers, and that the CGRP network is formed in chronological and sequential order. Furthermore, because CGRP is markedly expressed in motor neurons when axons are vastly extending and innervating targets, CGRP may also be involved in axonal elongation and synapse formation during normal development.
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
Full Text Available Living organisms heavily rely on the function of motor circuits for their survival and for adapting to ever-changing environments. Unique among central nervous system (CNS neurons, motor neurons (MNs project their axons out of the CNS. Once in the periphery, motor axons navigate along highly stereotyped trajectories, often at considerable distances from their cell bodies, to innervate appropriate muscle targets. A key decision made by pathfinding motor axons is whether to exit the CNS through dorsal or ventral motor exit points (MEPs. In contrast to the major advances made in understanding the mechanisms that regulate the specification of MN subtypes and the innervation of limb muscles, remarkably little is known about how MN axons project out of the CNS. Nevertheless, a limited number of studies, mainly in Drosophila, have identified transcription factors, and in some cases candidate downstream effector molecules, that are required for motor axons to exit the spinal cord. Notably, specialized neural crest cell derivatives, referred to as Boundary Cap (BC cells, pre-figure and demarcate MEPs in vertebrates. Surprisingly, however, BC cells are not required for MN axon exit, but rather restrict MN cell bodies from ectopically migrating along their axons out of the CNS. Here, we describe the small set of studies that have addressed motor axon exit in Drosophila and vertebrates, and discuss our fragmentary knowledge of the mechanisms, which guide motor axons out of the CNS.
Macias, M. Y.; Lehman, C. T.; Sanger, J. R.; Riley, D. A.
Histochemical staining for carbonic anhydrase and cholinesterase (CE) activities was used to analyze sensory and motor axon regeneration, respectively, during neuroma formation in transected and tube-encapsulated peripheral nerves. Median-ulnar and sciatic nerves in the rodent model permitted testing whether a 4 cm greater distance of the motor neuron soma from axotomy site or intrinsic differences between motor and sensory neurons influenced regeneration and neuroma formation 10, 30, and 90 days later. Ventral root radiculotomy confirmed that CE-stained axons were 97% alpha motor axons. Distance significantly delayed axon regeneration. When distance was negligible, sensory axons grew out sooner than motor axons, but motor axons regenerated to a greater quantity. These results indicate regeneration differences between axon subtypes and suggest more extensive branching of motor axons within the neuroma. Thus, both distance from injury site to soma and inherent motor and sensory differences should be considered in peripheral nerve repair strategies.
Macias, M. Y.; Lehman, C. T.; Sanger, J. R.; Riley, D. A.
Histochemical staining for carbonic anhydrase and cholinesterase (CE) activities was used to analyze sensory and motor axon regeneration, respectively, during neuroma formation in transected and tube-encapsulated peripheral nerves. Median-ulnar and sciatic nerves in the rodent model permitted testing whether a 4 cm greater distance of the motor neuron soma from axotomy site or intrinsic differences between motor and sensory neurons influenced regeneration and neuroma formation 10, 30, and 90 days later. Ventral root radiculotomy confirmed that CE-stained axons were 97% alpha motor axons. Distance significantly delayed axon regeneration. When distance was negligible, sensory axons grew out sooner than motor axons, but motor axons regenerated to a greater quantity. These results indicate regeneration differences between axon subtypes and suggest more extensive branching of motor axons within the neuroma. Thus, both distance from injury site to soma and inherent motor and sensory differences should be considered in peripheral nerve repair strategies.
Avraham, Oshri; Hadas, Yoav; Vald, Lilach; Hong, Seulgi; Song, Mi-Ryoung; Klar, Avihu
The axons of the spinal intersegmental interneurons are projected longitudinally along various funiculi arrayed along the dorsal-ventral axis of the spinal cord. The roof plate and the floor plate have a profound role in patterning their initial axonal trajectory. However, other positional cues may guide the final architecture of interneuron tracks in the spinal cord. To gain more insight into the organization of specific axonal tracks in the spinal cord, we focused on the trajectory pattern of a genetically defined neuronal population, dI3 neurons, in the chick spinal cord. Exploitation of newly characterized enhancer elements allowed specific labeling of dI3 neurons and axons. dI3 axons are projected ipsilaterally along two longitudinal fascicules at the ventral lateral funiculus (VLF) and the dorsal funiculus (DF). dI3 axons change their trajectory plane from the transverse to the longitudinal axis at two novel checkpoints. The axons that elongate at the DF turn at the dorsal root entry zone, along the axons of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, and the axons that elongate at the VLF turn along the axons of motor neurons. Loss and gain of function of the Lim-HD protein Isl1 demonstrate that Isl1 is not required for dI3 cell fate. However, Isl1 is sufficient to impose ipsilateral turning along the motor axons when expressed ectopically in the commissural dI1 neurons. The axonal patterning of dI3 neurons, revealed in this study, highlights the role of established axonal cues-the DRG and motor axons-as intermediate guidepost cues for dI3 axons.
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.
Tohyama Koujiro; Campbell Gregor; Lieberman A Robert; Siddiqui Samir; Wong Bernadette ZY; Shokouhi Bahman N; Anderson Patrick N
Abstract Background Microglia/macrophages and lymphocytes (T-cells) accumulate around motor and primary sensory neurons that are regenerating axons but there is little or no microglial activation or T-cell accumulation around axotomised intrinsic CNS neurons, which do not normally regenerate axons. We aimed to establish whether there was an inflammatory response around the perikarya of CNS neurons that were induced to regenerate axons through a peripheral nerve graft. Results When neurons of ...
Bae, Jong Seok; Sawai, Setsu; Misawa, Sonoko; Kanai, Kazuaki; Isose, Sagiri; Kuwabara, Satoshi
The first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles are innervated by the same ulnar nerve, but studies have shown that the former is much more severely affected in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this study, threshold tracking was used to investigate whether membrane properties differ between FDI and ADM motor axons. In 12 normal subjects, compound muscle action potentials were recorded from FDI and ADM after ulnar nerve stimulation at the wrist. The strength-duration time constant was significantly longer in the FDI axons than in the ADM axons, and latent addition studies showed greater threshold changes at the conditioning-test stimulus of 0.2 ms in FDI than in ADM axons. These findings suggest that nodal persistent sodium conductances are more prominent in FDI axons than in ADM axons, and therefore excitability is physiologically higher in FDI axons. Even in the same nerve at the same sites, membrane properties of FDI and ADM motor axons differ significantly, and thus their axonal/neuronal responses to disease may also differ.
Meehan, Claire Francesca; MacDermid, Victoria E; Montague, Steven J
on these processes matches the arrangement of these channels that is necessary for the initiation and conduction of action potentials. At terminal bouton-like structures they possess key proteins necessary for the release of synaptic vesicles (SV2 and synaptophysin). Thus, axon-like processes emanating from the tips......Axotomy can trigger profound alterations in the neuronal polarity of adult neurons in vivo. This can manifest itself in the development of new axon-like processes emanating from the tips of distal dendrites. Previously, these processes have been defined as axonal based on their axonal morphology....... This study extends this definition to determine whether, more importantly, these processes possess the prerequisite molecular machinery to function as axons. Using a combination of intracellular labeling and immunohistochemistry, we demonstrate that the distribution of voltage-gated sodium channels...
Moldovan, Mihai; Alvarez, Susana; Krarup, Christian
, action potential propagation and structural integrity of the distal segment are maintained. The aim of this study was to investigate in vivo the changes in membrane function of motor axons during the 'latent' phase of Wallerian degeneration. Multiple indices of axonal excitability of the tibial nerve...
Motor or motor-predominant neuropathies may arise from disease processes affecting the motor axon and/or its surrounding myelin. Lower motor neuron syndrome (LMNS) arises from a disease process affecting the spinal motor neuron itself. The term LMNS is more generally used, rather than motor neuronopathy, although both entities are clinically similar. Common features are muscle weakness (distal or proximal) with atrophy and hyporeflexia, but no sensory involvement. They can be acquired or hereditary. Immune-mediated neuropathies (multifocal motor neuropathy, motor-predominant chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy) are important to identify, as effective treatments are available. Other acquired neuropathies, such as infectious, paraneoplastic and radiation-induced neuropathies are also well known. Focal LMNS is an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-mimicking syndrome especially affecting young adults. The main hereditary LMNSs in adulthood are Kennedy's disease, late-onset spinal muscular atrophy and distal hereditary motor neuropathies. Motor neuropathies and LMNS are all clinical entities that should be better known, despite being rare diseases. They can sometimes be difficult to differentially diagnose from other diseases, particularly from the more frequent ALS in its pure LMN form. Nevertheless, correct identification of these syndromes is important because their treatment and prognoses are definitely different. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
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.
Huettl, Rosa-Eva; Soellner, Heidi; Bianchi, Elisa; Novitch, Bennett G; Huber, Andrea B
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.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Microglia/macrophages and lymphocytes (T-cells accumulate around motor and primary sensory neurons that are regenerating axons but there is little or no microglial activation or T-cell accumulation around axotomised intrinsic CNS neurons, which do not normally regenerate axons. We aimed to establish whether there was an inflammatory response around the perikarya of CNS neurons that were induced to regenerate axons through a peripheral nerve graft. Results When neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN and red nucleus were induced to regenerate axons along peripheral nerve grafts, a marked microglial response was found around their cell bodies, including the partial enwrapping of some regenerating neurons. T-cells were found amongst regenerating TRN neurons but not rubrospinal neurons. Axotomy alone or insertion of freeze-killed nerve grafts did not induce a similar perineuronal inflammation. Nerve grafts in the corticospinal tracts did not induce axonal regeneration or a microglial or T-cell response in the motor cortex. Conclusions These results strengthen the evidence that perineuronal microglial accumulation (but not T-cell accumulation is involved in axonal regeneration by intrinsic CNS and other neurons.
Shokouhi, Bahman N; Wong, Bernadette Z Y; Siddiqui, Samir; Lieberman, A Robert; Campbell, Gregor; Tohyama, Koujiro; Anderson, Patrick N
Microglia/macrophages and lymphocytes (T-cells) accumulate around motor and primary sensory neurons that are regenerating axons but there is little or no microglial activation or T-cell accumulation around axotomised intrinsic CNS neurons, which do not normally regenerate axons. We aimed to establish whether there was an inflammatory response around the perikarya of CNS neurons that were induced to regenerate axons through a peripheral nerve graft. When neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) and red nucleus were induced to regenerate axons along peripheral nerve grafts, a marked microglial response was found around their cell bodies, including the partial enwrapping of some regenerating neurons. T-cells were found amongst regenerating TRN neurons but not rubrospinal neurons. Axotomy alone or insertion of freeze-killed nerve grafts did not induce a similar perineuronal inflammation. Nerve grafts in the corticospinal tracts did not induce axonal regeneration or a microglial or T-cell response in the motor cortex. These results strengthen the evidence that perineuronal microglial accumulation (but not T-cell accumulation) is involved in axonal regeneration by intrinsic CNS and other neurons.
Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L F
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.
del Castillo, Urko; Winding, Michael; Lu, Wen; Gelfand, Vladimir I
In this study, we investigated how microtubule motors organize microtubules in Drosophila neurons. We showed that, during the initial stages of axon outgrowth, microtubules display mixed polarity and minus-end-out microtubules push the tip of the axon, consistent with kinesin-1 driving outgrowth by sliding antiparallel microtubules. At later stages, the microtubule orientation in the axon switches from mixed to uniform polarity with plus-end-out. Dynein knockdown prevents this rearrangement and results in microtubules of mixed orientation in axons and accumulation of microtubule minus-ends at axon tips. Microtubule reorganization requires recruitment of dynein to the actin cortex, as actin depolymerization phenocopies dynein depletion, and direct recruitment of dynein to the membrane bypasses the actin requirement. Our results show that cortical dynein slides 'minus-end-out' microtubules from the axon, generating uniform microtubule arrays. We speculate that differences in microtubule orientation between axons and dendrites could be dictated by differential activity of cortical dynein.
Joshi, Abhijeet R; Bobylev, Ilja; Zhang, Gang; Sheikh, Kazim A; Lehmann, Helmar C
The small GTPase RhoA and its down-stream effector Rho-kinase (ROCK) are important effector molecules of the neuronal cytoskeleton. Modulation of the RhoA/ROCK pathway has been shown to promote axonal regeneration, however in vitro and animal studies are inconsistent regarding the extent of axonal outgrowth induced by pharmacological inhibition of ROCK. We hypothesized that injury to sensory and motor nerves result in diverse activation levels of RhoA, which may impact the response of those nerve fiber modalities to ROCK inhibition. We therefore examined the effects of Y-27632, a chemical ROCK inhibitor, on the axonal outgrowth of peripheral sensory and motor neurons grown in the presence of growth-inhibiting chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). In addition we examined the effects of three different doses of Y-27632 on nerve regeneration of motor and sensory nerves in animal models of peripheral nerve crush. In vitro, sensory neurons were less responsive to Y-27632 compared to motor neurons in a non-growth permissive environment. These differences were associated with altered expression and activation of RhoA in sensory and motor axons. In vivo, systemic treatment with high doses of Y-27632 significantly enhanced the regeneration of motor axons over short distances, while the regeneration of sensory fibers remained largely unchanged. Our results support the concept that in a growth non-permissive environment, the regenerative capacity of sensory and motor axons is differentially affected by the RhoA/ROCK pathway, with motor neurons being more responsive compared to sensory. Future treatments, that are aimed to modulate RhoA activity, should consider this functional diversity.
Essential facts Motor neurone disease describes a group of related diseases, affecting the neurones in the brain and spinal cord. Progressive, incurable and life-limiting, MND is rare, with about 1,100 people developing it each year in the UK and up to 5,000 people affected at any one time. One third of people will die within a year of diagnosis and more than half within two years. About 5% to 10% are alive at ten years.
Proper migration of neuronal somas and axonal growth cones to designated locations in the developing brain is essential for the assembly of functional neuronal circuits.Rapid progress in research of axon guidance and neuronal migration has been made in the last twenty years.Chinese researchers began their exploration in this field ten years ago and have made significant contributions in clarifying the signal transduction of axon guidance and neuronal migration.Several unique experimental approaches,including the migration assay of single isolated neurons in response to locally delivered guidance cues,have been developed by Chinese neuroscientists to investigate the molecular machinery underlying these guidance events.
Edwards, Stacey L; Morrison, Logan M; Yorks, Rosalina M; Hoover, Christopher M; Boominathan, Soorajnath; Miller, Kenneth G
The conserved protein UNC-16 (JIP3) inhibits the active transport of some cell soma organelles, such as lysosomes, early endosomes, and Golgi, to the synaptic region of axons. However, little is known about UNC-16's organelle transport regulatory function, which is distinct from its Kinesin-1 adaptor function. We used an unc-16 suppressor screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to discover that UNC-16 acts through CDK-5 (Cdk5) and two conserved synapse assembly proteins: SAD-1 (SAD-A Kinase), and SYD-2 (Liprin-α). Genetic analysis of all combinations of double and triple mutants in unc-16(+) and unc-16(-) backgrounds showed that the three proteins (CDK-5, SAD-1, and SYD-2) are all part of the same organelle transport regulatory system, which we named the CSS system based on its founder proteins. Further genetic analysis revealed roles for SYD-1 (another synapse assembly protein) and STRADα (a SAD-1-interacting protein) in the CSS system. In an unc-16(-) background, loss of the CSS system improved the sluggish locomotion of unc-16 mutants, inhibited axonal lysosome accumulation, and led to the dynein-dependent accumulation of lysosomes in dendrites. Time-lapse imaging of lysosomes in CSS system mutants in unc-16(+) and unc-16(-) backgrounds revealed active transport defects consistent with the steady-state distributions of lysosomes. UNC-16 also uses the CSS system to regulate the distribution of early endosomes in neurons and, to a lesser extent, Golgi. The data reveal a new and unprecedented role for synapse assembly proteins, acting as part of the newly defined CSS system, in mediating UNC-16's organelle transport regulatory function.
Yang, Dongren; Lauridsen, Holly; Buels, Kalmia; Chi, Lai-Har; La Du, Jane; Bruun, Donald A.; Olson, James R.; Tanguay, Robert L.; Lein, Pamela J.
Axonal morphology is a critical determinant of neuronal connectivity, and perturbation of the rate or extent of axonal growth during development has been linked to neurobehavioral deficits in animal models and humans. We previously demonstrated that the organophosphorus pesticide (OP) chlorpyrifos (CPF) inhibits axonal growth in cultured neurons. In this study, we used a zebrafish model to determine whether CPF, its oxon metabolite (CPFO), or the excreted metabolite trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCP...
R. van den Berg (Robert)
markdownabstractBrain cells are uniquely shaped among the many cell types of the body. While most cells are more or less rounded or square-shaped, neurons grow one or more long axons that can reach lengths of a meter or more. To keep these axons alive and functional, neurons are dependent on an intr
Full Text Available During development, fibroblast growth factors (FGF are essential for early patterning events along the anterior-posterior axis, conferring positional identity to spinal motor neurons by activation of different Hox codes. In the periphery, signaling through one of four fibroblast growth factor receptors supports the development of the skeleton, as well as induction and maintenance of extremities. In previous studies, FGF receptor 2 (FGFR2 was found to interact with axon bound molecules involved in axon fasciculation and extension, thus rendering this receptor an interesting candidate for the promotion of proper peripheral innervation. However, while the involvement of FGFR2 in limb bud induction has been extensively studied, its role during axon elongation and formation of distinct nervous projections has not been addressed so far. We show here that motor neurons in the spinal cord express FGFR2 and other family members during the establishment of motor connections to the forelimb and axial musculature. Employing a conditional genetic approach to selectively ablate FGFR2 from motor neurons we found that the patterning of motor columns and the expression patterns of other FGF receptors and Sema3A in the motor columns of mutant embryos are not altered. In the absence of FGFR2 signaling, pathfinding of motor axons is intact, and also fasciculation, distal advancement of motor nerves and gross morphology and positioning of axonal projections are not altered. Our findings therefore show that FGFR2 is not required cell-autonomously in motor neurons during the formation of initial motor projections towards limb and axial musculature.
Central projections of the femoral chordotonal organ (FCO) neurons in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus were investigated by selectively staining small numbers of axons. The FCOs in all legs consist of partly fused ventral and dorsal scoloparia in the proximal femur. The ventral scoloparium neurons can be reliably divided into two groups: the ventral group neurons (VG), which are arranged in a sequentially smaller manner distally, and dorsal group neurons (DG), which simply aggregate in the proximal region near the dorsal scoloparium. All axons of the FCO projected to the ipsilateral half of the respective thoracic ganglion. The VG axons possessed dorso-lateral branches in the motor association neuropile and antero-ventral branches dorso-lateral to the anterior ventral association centre. However, the more proximally the somata were situated, the more medially the main neurites terminated. The DG axons showed some variations: some axons of the distally located neurons possessed dorso-lateral branches and terminated on the boundary region of the mVAC, while the other axons terminated exclusively in the medical ventral association centre (mVAC), including the ventral part, which receives auditory sensory neuron projections. All axons of the dorsal scoloparium neurons projected exclusively into the dorsal part of the mVAC; however, the ventrally located neurons projected more ventrally than did the dorsally located neurons. The above characteristics were nearly identical in the pro- and metathoracic FCOs. These results suggest that the cricket FCO axons are roughly organized in a somatotopic map and are broadly differentiated in their function.
Kathren L. Fink
Full Text Available Functional deficits persist after spinal cord injury (SCI because axons in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS fail to regenerate. However, modest levels of spontaneous functional recovery are typically observed after trauma and are thought to be mediated by the plasticity of intact circuitry. The mechanisms underlying intact circuit plasticity are not delineated. Here, we characterize the in vivo transcriptome of sprouting intact neurons from Ngr1 null mice after partial SCI. We identify the lysophosphatidic acid signaling modulators LPPR1 and LPAR1 as intrinsic axon growth modulators for intact corticospinal motor neurons after adjacent injury. Furthermore, in vivo LPAR1 inhibition or LPPR1 overexpression enhances sprouting of intact corticospinal tract axons and yields greater functional recovery after unilateral brainstem lesion in wild-type mice. Thus, the transcriptional profile of injury-induced sprouting of intact neurons reveals targets for therapeutic enhancement of axon growth initiation and new synapse formation.
Gluska, Shani; Chein, Michael; Rotem, Nimrod; Ionescu, Ariel; Perlson, Eran
Neurons are highly polarized cells, with very long axons. Neurotrophic factors like the neuronal growth factor (NGF) are secreted from neuronal targets to promote neuron survival and proper function. These neurotrophic factors must undergo retrograde axonal transport towards the cell body, wherein they initiate signaling pathways important for neurons' various functions and overall health. This process of long-distance axonal signaling is conducted by the dynein motor protein, which transmits signaling endosomes of ligand-receptor complexes retrogradely along microtubule tracks. Here we describe step by step the use of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) compartmentalized microfluidic chambers for tracking axonal transport of trophic factors, with a focus on labeled NGF. We describe in detail how to fabricate the molds, assemble the PDMS platform, plate neurons and image, as well as analyze NGF transport along the axon. This method is useful for studying molecular communication mechanisms within the neuron's different compartments as well as between the neuron and its diverse microenvironments, both in health and under pathological conditions.
Meng, Lingfeng; Zhang, Albert; Jin, Yishi; Yan, Dong
Axon specification is a critical step in neuronal development, and the function of glial cells in this process is not fully understood. Here, we show that C. elegans GLR glial cells regulate axon specification of their nearby GABAergic RME neurons through GLR-RME gap junctions. Disruption of GLR-RME gap junctions causes misaccumulation of axonal markers in non-axonal neurites of RME neurons and converts microtubules in those neurites to form an axon-like assembly. We further uncover that GLR-RME gap junctions regulate RME axon specification through activation of the CDK-5 pathway in a calcium-dependent manner, involving a calpain clp-4. Therefore, our study reveals the function of glia-neuron gap junctions in neuronal axon specification and shows that calcium originated from glial cells can regulate neuronal intracellular pathways through gap junctions. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19510.001 PMID:27767956
Full Text Available After peripheral nerve injury, motor and sensory axons are able to regenerate but inaccuracy of target reinnervation leads to poor functional recovery. Extracellular matrix (ECM components and neurotrophic factors (NTFs exert their effect on different neuronal populations creating a suitable environment to promote axonal growth. Here, we assessed in vitro and in vivo the selective effects of combining different ECM components with NTFs on motor and sensory axons regeneration and target reinnervation. Organotypic cultures with collagen, laminin and nerve growth factor (NGF/neurotrophin-3 (NT3 or collagen, fibronectin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF selectively enhanced sensory neurite outgrowth of DRG neurons and motor neurite outgrowth from spinal cord slices respectively. For in vivo studies, the rat sciatic nerve was transected and repaired with a silicone tube filled with a collagen and laminin matrix with NGF/NT3 encapsulated in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA microspheres (MP (LM + MP.NGF/NT3, or a collagen and fibronectin matrix with BDNF in PLGA MPs (FN + MP.BDNF. Retrograde labeling and functional tests showed that LM + MP.NGF/NT3 increased the number of regenerated sensory neurons and improved sensory functional recovery, whereas FN + MP.BDNF preferentially increased regenerated motoneurons and enhanced motor functional recovery. Therefore, combination of ECM molecules with NTFs may be a good approach to selectively enhance motor and sensory axons regeneration and promote appropriate target reinnervation.
Lin, Shen; Nazif, Kutaiba; Smith, Alexander; Baas, Peter W; Smith, George M
Intrinsic mechanisms that guide damaged axons to regenerate following spinal cord injury remain poorly understood. Manipulation of posttranslational modifications of key proteins in mature neurons could re-invigorate growth machinery after injury. One such modification is acetylation, a reversible process controlled by two enzyme families acting in opposition, the Histone Deacetylases (HDACs) and the Histone Acetyl Transferases (HATs). While acetylated histones in the nucleus is associated with upregulation of growth promoting genes, de-acetylated tubulin in the axoplasm is associated with more labile microtubules, conducive to axon growth. In this study we investigated the effects of HAT inhibitors and HDAC inhibitors on cultured adult dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. We found that inhibition of HATs, using Anacardic Acid or CPTH2, improved axon outgrowth, while inhibition of HDACs using TSA or Tubacin, inhibited axon growth. Furthermore, Anacardic Acid increased the number of axons able to cross an inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) border. Histone acetylation, but not tubulin acetylation levels, was affected by HAT inhibitors, whereas tubulin acetylation levels were increased in the presence of HDAC inhibitor Tubacin. Although microtubule stabilizing drug taxol did not have an effect on the lengths of DRG axons, nocodazole decreased axon lengths. While the mechanistic basis will require future studies, our data show that inhibitors of HAT can augment axon growth in adult DRG neurons, with the potential of aiding axon growth over inhibitory substrates produced by the glial scar. PMID:25702820
Fricke, Rita; Zentis, Peter D; Rajappa, Lionel T; Hofmann, Boris; Banzet, Marko; Offenhäusser, Andreas; Meffert, Simone H
Substrate-bound gradients expressed in numerous spatio-temporal patterns play a crucial role during the development of complex neural circuits. A deeper understanding of the axon guidance mechanism is provided by studying the effect of a defined substrate-bound cue on a confined neural network. In this study, we constructed a discontinuous substrate-bound gradient to control neuronal cell position, the path of neurite growth, and axon directionality. A variety of gradient patterns, with slight changes in slope, width, and length were designed and fabricated by microcontact printing using laminin/poly-l-lysine (PLL) or PLL alone. The gradients were tested for neurite growth and their impact on axon guidance of embryonic rat cortical neurons. The neurite length was determined and the axon was evaluated by Tau-1 immunostaining. We found that the microgradients of laminin/PLL and PLL directed neurons' adhesion, differentially controlled the neurite growth, and guided up to 84% of the axons. The effect of the protein micropattern on axon guidance and neurite growth depended on the protein and geometric parameters used. Our approach proved to be very successful in guiding axons of single multipolar neurons with very high efficiency. It could thereby be useful to engineer defined neural networks for analyzing signal processing of functional circuits, as well as to unravel fundamental questions of the axon guidance mechanism.
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
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.
Petralia, Ronald S.; Ott, Carolyn; Wang, Ya-Xian; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer; Mattson, Mark P.
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
Full Text Available Zebrafish (Danio rerio is a widely used model organism in genetics and developmental biology research. Genetic screens have proven useful for studying embryonic development of the nervous system in vivo, but in vitro studies utilizing zebrafish have been limited. Here, we introduce a robust zebrafish primary neuron culture system for functional nerve growth and guidance assays. Distinct classes of central nervous system neurons from the spinal cord, hindbrain, forebrain, and retina from wild type zebrafish, and fluorescent motor neurons from transgenic reporter zebrafish lines, were dissociated and plated onto various biological and synthetic substrates to optimize conditions for axon outgrowth. Time-lapse microscopy revealed dynamically moving growth cones at the tips of extending axons. The mean rate of axon extension in vitro was 21.4±1.2 µm hr(-1 s.e.m. for spinal cord neurons, which corresponds to the typical ∼0.5 mm day(-1 growth rate of nerves in vivo. Fluorescence labeling and confocal microscopy demonstrated that bundled microtubules project along axons to the growth cone central domain, with filamentous actin enriched in the growth cone peripheral domain. Importantly, the growth cone surface membrane expresses receptors for chemotropic factors, as detected by immunofluorescence microscopy. Live-cell functional assays of axon extension and directional guidance demonstrated mammalian brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF-dependent stimulation of outgrowth and growth cone chemoattraction, whereas mammalian myelin-associated glycoprotein inhibited outgrowth. High-resolution live-cell Ca(2+-imaging revealed local elevation of cytoplasmic Ca(2+ concentration in the growth cone induced by BDNF application. Moreover, BDNF-induced axon outgrowth, but not basal outgrowth, was blocked by treatments to suppress cytoplasmic Ca(2+ signals. Thus, this primary neuron culture model system may be useful for studies of neuronal development
Merianda, Tanuja T.; Jin, Ying
Abstract The inhibitory environment of the spinal cord and the intrinsic properties of neurons prevent regeneration of axons following CNS injury. However, both ascending and descending axons of the injured spinal cord have been shown to regenerate into grafts of embryonic neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Previous studies have shown that grafts composed of glial-restricted progenitors (GRPs) and neural-restricted progenitors (NRPs) can provide a permissive microenvironment for axon growth. We have used cocultures of adult rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons together with NPCs, which have shown significant enhancement of axon growth by embryonic rat GRP and GRPs/NRPs, both in coculture conditions and when DRGs are exposed to conditioned medium from the NPC cultures. This growth-promoting effect of NPC-conditioned medium was also seen in injury-conditioned neurons. DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs showed altered expression of regeneration-associated genes at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. We found that levels of GAP-43 mRNA increased in DRG cell bodies and axons. However, hepcidin antimicrobial peptide (HAMP) mRNA decreased in the cell bodies of DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs, which is distinct from the increase in cell body HAMP mRNA levels seen in DRGs after injury conditioning. Endogenous GAP-43 and β-actin mRNAs as well as reporter RNAs carrying axonally localizing 3'UTRs of these transcripts showed significantly increased levels in distal axons in the DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs. These results indicate that axon growth promoted by NPCs is associated not only with enhanced transcription of growth-associated genes but also can increase localization of some mRNAs into growing axons. PMID:28197547
Merianda, Tanuja T; Jin, Ying; Kalinski, Ashley L; Sahoo, Pabitra K; Fischer, Itzhak; Twiss, Jeffery L
The inhibitory environment of the spinal cord and the intrinsic properties of neurons prevent regeneration of axons following CNS injury. However, both ascending and descending axons of the injured spinal cord have been shown to regenerate into grafts of embryonic neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Previous studies have shown that grafts composed of glial-restricted progenitors (GRPs) and neural-restricted progenitors (NRPs) can provide a permissive microenvironment for axon growth. We have used cocultures of adult rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons together with NPCs, which have shown significant enhancement of axon growth by embryonic rat GRP and GRPs/NRPs, both in coculture conditions and when DRGs are exposed to conditioned medium from the NPC cultures. This growth-promoting effect of NPC-conditioned medium was also seen in injury-conditioned neurons. DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs showed altered expression of regeneration-associated genes at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. We found that levels of GAP-43 mRNA increased in DRG cell bodies and axons. However, hepcidin antimicrobial peptide (HAMP) mRNA decreased in the cell bodies of DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs, which is distinct from the increase in cell body HAMP mRNA levels seen in DRGs after injury conditioning. Endogenous GAP-43 and β-actin mRNAs as well as reporter RNAs carrying axonally localizing 3'UTRs of these transcripts showed significantly increased levels in distal axons in the DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs. These results indicate that axon growth promoted by NPCs is associated not only with enhanced transcription of growth-associated genes but also can increase localization of some mRNAs into growing axons.
Beretta, Carlo A; Dross, Nicolas; Guglielmi, Luca; Bankhead, Peter; Soulika, Marina; Gutierrez-Triana, Jose A; Paolini, Alessio; Poggi, Lucia; Falk, Julien; Ryu, Soojin; Kapsimali, Marika; Engel, Ulrike; Carl, Matthias
Most neuronal populations form on both the left and right sides of the brain. Their efferent axons appear to grow synchronously along similar pathways on each side, although the neurons or their environment often differ between the two hemispheres [1-4]. How this coordination is controlled has received little attention. Frequently, neurons establish interhemispheric connections, which can function to integrate information between brain hemispheres (e.g., ). Such commissures form very early, suggesting their potential developmental role in coordinating ipsilateral axon navigation during embryonic development . To address the temporal-spatial control of bilateral axon growth, we applied long-term time-lapse imaging to visualize the formation of the conserved left-right asymmetric habenular neural circuit in the developing zebrafish embryo . Although habenular neurons are born at different times across brain hemispheres , we found that elongation of habenular axons occurs synchronously. The initiation of axon extension is not controlled within the habenular network itself but through an early developing proximal diencephalic network. The commissural neurons of this network influence habenular axons both ipsilaterally and contralaterally. Their unilateral absence impairs commissure formation and coordinated habenular axon elongation and causes their subsequent arrest on both sides of the brain. Thus, habenular neural circuit formation depends on a second intersecting commissural network, which facilitates the exchange of information between hemispheres required for ipsilaterally projecting habenular axons. This mechanism of network formation may well apply to other circuits, and has only remained undiscovered due to technical limitations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
van Pelt, Jaap; van Ooyen, Arjen
Neurons innervate space by extending axonal and dendritic arborizations. When axons and dendrites come in close proximity of each other, synapses between neurons can be formed. Neurons vary greatly in their morphologies and synaptic connections with other neurons. The size and shape of the arborizations determine the way neurons innervate space. A neuron may therefore be characterized by the spatial distribution of its axonal and dendritic “mass.” A population mean “mass” density field of a particular neuron type can be obtained by averaging over the individual variations in neuron geometries. Connectivity in terms of candidate synaptic contacts between neurons can be determined directly on the basis of their arborizations but also indirectly on the basis of their density fields. To decide when a candidate synapse can be formed, we previously developed a criterion defining that axonal and dendritic line pieces should cross in 3D and have an orthogonal distance less than a threshold value. In this paper, we developed new methodology for applying this criterion to density fields. We show that estimates of the number of contacts between neuron pairs calculated from their density fields are fully consistent with the number of contacts calculated from the actual arborizations. However, the estimation of the connection probability and the expected number of contacts per connection cannot be calculated directly from density fields, because density fields do not carry anymore the correlative structure in the spatial distribution of synaptic contacts. Alternatively, these two connectivity measures can be estimated from the expected number of contacts by using empirical mapping functions. The neurons used for the validation studies were generated by our neuron simulator NETMORPH. An example is given of the estimation of average connectivity and Euclidean pre- and postsynaptic distance distributions in a network of neurons represented by their population mean density
Jacob Daniel de Villiers Alant
Full Text Available Peripheral nerve transection and neuroma-in-continuity injuries are associated with permanent functional deficits, often despite successful end-organ reinnervation. Axonal misdirection with non-specific reinnervation, frustrated regeneration and axonal attrition are believed to be among the anatomical substrates that underlie the poor functional recovery associated with these devastating injuries. Yet, functional deficits associated with axonal misdirection in experimental neuroma-in-continuity injuries have not yet been studied. We hypothesized that experimental neuroma-in-continuity injuries would result in motor axon misdirection and attrition with proportional persistent functional deficits. The femoral nerve misdirection model was exploited to assess major motor pathway misdirection and axonal attrition over a spectrum of experimental nerve injuries, with neuroma-in-continuity injuries simulated by the combination of compression and traction forces in 42 male rats. Sciatic nerve injuries were employed in an additional 42 rats, to evaluate the contribution of axonal misdirection to locomotor deficits by a ladder rung task up to 12 weeks. Retrograde motor neuron labeling techniques were utilized to determine the degree of axonal misdirection and attrition. Characteristic histological neuroma-in-continuity features were demonstrated in the neuroma-in-continuity groups and poor functional recovery was seen despite successful nerve regeneration and muscle reinnervation. Good positive and negative correlations were observed respectively between axonal misdirection (p<.0001, r(2=.67, motor neuron counts (attrition (p<.0001, r(2=.69 and final functional deficits. We demonstrate prominent motor axon misdirection and attrition in neuroma-in-continuity and transection injuries of mixed motor nerves that contribute to the long-term functional deficits. Although widely accepted in theory, to our knowledge, this is the first experimental evidence to
Schäfer, Michael K; Bellouze, Sarah; Jacquier, Arnaud; Schaller, Sébastien; Richard, Laurence; Mathis, Stéphane; Vallat, Jean-Michel; Haase, Georg
Motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are now recognized as multi-system disorders also involving various non-motor neuronal cell types. The precise extent and mechanistic basis of non-motor neuron damage in human ALS and ALS animal models remain however unclear. To address this, we here studied progressive motor neuronopathy (pmn) mice carrying a missense loss-of-function mutation in tubulin binding cofactor E (TBCE). These mice manifest a particularly aggressive form of motor axon dying back and display a microtubule loss, similar to that induced by human ALS-linked TUBA4A mutations. Using whole nerve confocal imaging of pmn × thy1.2-YFP16 fluorescent reporter mice and electron microscopy, we demonstrate axonal discontinuities, bead-like spheroids and ovoids in pmn suralis nerves indicating prominent sensory neuropathy. The axonal alterations qualitatively resemble those in phrenic motor nerves but do not culminate in the loss of myelinated fibers. We further show that the pmn mutation decreases the level of TBCE, impedes microtubule polymerization in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and causes progressive loss of microtubules in large and small caliber suralis axons. Live imaging of axonal transport using GFP-tagged tetanus toxin C-fragment (GFP-TTC) demonstrates defects in microtubule-based transport in pmn DRG neurons, providing a potential explanation for the axonal alterations in sensory nerves. This study unravels sensory neuropathy as a pathological feature of mouse pmn, and discusses the potential contribution of cytoskeletal defects to sensory neuropathy in human motor neuron disease.
Ikenaka, Kensuke; Kawai, Kaori; Katsuno, Masahisa; Huang, Zhe; Jiang, Yue-Mei; Iguchi, Yohei; Kobayashi, Kyogo; Kimata, Tsubasa; Waza, Masahiro; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Mori, Ikue; Sobue, Gen
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. We previously showed that the expression of dynactin 1, an axon motor protein regulating retrograde transport, is markedly reduced in spinal motor neurons of sporadic ALS patients, although the mechanisms by which decreased dynactin 1 levels cause neurodegeneration have yet to be elucidated. The accumulation of autophagosomes in degenerated motor neurons is another key pathological feature of sporadic ALS. Since autophagosomes are cargo of dynein/dynactin complexes and play a crucial role in the turnover of several organelles and proteins, we hypothesized that the quantitative loss of dynactin 1 disrupts the transport of autophagosomes and induces the degeneration of motor neuron. In the present study, we generated a Caenorhabditis elegans model in which the expression of DNC-1, the homolog of dynactin 1, is specifically knocked down in motor neurons. This model exhibited severe motor defects together with axonal and neuronal degeneration. We also observed impaired movement and increased number of autophagosomes in the degenerated neurons. Furthermore, the combination of rapamycin, an activator of autophagy, and trichostatin which facilitates axonal transport dramatically ameliorated the motor phenotype and axonal degeneration of this model. Thus, our results suggest that decreased expression of dynactin 1 induces motor neuron degeneration and that the transport of autophagosomes is a novel and substantial therapeutic target for motor neuron degeneration.
Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. We previously showed that the expression of dynactin 1, an axon motor protein regulating retrograde transport, is markedly reduced in spinal motor neurons of sporadic ALS patients, although the mechanisms by which decreased dynactin 1 levels cause neurodegeneration have yet to be elucidated. The accumulation of autophagosomes in degenerated motor neurons is another key pathological feature of sporadic ALS. Since autophagosomes are cargo of dynein/dynactin complexes and play a crucial role in the turnover of several organelles and proteins, we hypothesized that the quantitative loss of dynactin 1 disrupts the transport of autophagosomes and induces the degeneration of motor neuron. In the present study, we generated a Caenorhabditis elegans model in which the expression of DNC-1, the homolog of dynactin 1, is specifically knocked down in motor neurons. This model exhibited severe motor defects together with axonal and neuronal degeneration. We also observed impaired movement and increased number of autophagosomes in the degenerated neurons. Furthermore, the combination of rapamycin, an activator of autophagy, and trichostatin which facilitates axonal transport dramatically ameliorated the motor phenotype and axonal degeneration of this model. Thus, our results suggest that decreased expression of dynactin 1 induces motor neuron degeneration and that the transport of autophagosomes is a novel and substantial therapeutic target for motor neuron degeneration.
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.
Nagata, Kenichi; Kiryu-Seo, Sumiko; Tamada, Hiromi; Okuyama-Uchimura, Fumi; Kiyama, Hiroshi; Saido, Takaomi C
The membrane-bound metalloprotease endothelin-converting enzyme-like 1 (ECEL1) has been newly identified as a causal gene of a specific type of distal arthrogryposis (DA). In contrast to most causal genes of DA, ECEL1 is predominantly expressed in neuronal cells, suggesting a unique neurogenic pathogenesis in a subset of DA patients with ECEL1 mutation. The present study analyzed developmental motor innervation and neuromuscular junction formation in limbs of the rodent homologue damage-induced neuronal endopeptidase (DINE)-deficient mouse. Whole-mount immunostaining was performed in DINE-deficient limbs expressing motoneuron-specific GFP to visualize motor innervation throughout the limb. Although DINE-deficient motor nerves displayed normal trajectory patterns from the spinal cord to skeletal muscles, they indicated impaired axonal arborization in skeletal muscles in the forelimbs and hindlimbs. Systematic examination of motor innervation in over 10 different hindlimb muscles provided evidence that DINE gene disruption leads to insufficient arborization of motor nerves after arriving at the skeletal muscle. Interestingly, the axonal arborization defect in foot muscles appeared more severe than in other hindlimb muscles, which was partially consistent with the proximal-distal phenotypic discordance observed in DA patients. Additionally, the number of innervated neuromuscular junction was significantly reduced in the severely affected DINE-deficient muscle. Furthermore, we generated a DINE knock-in (KI) mouse model with a pathogenic mutation, which was recently identified in DA patients. Axonal arborization defects were clearly detected in motor nerves of the DINE KI limb, which was identical to the DINE-deficient limb. Given that the encoded sequences, as well as ECEL1 and DINE expression profiles, are highly conserved between mouse and human, abnormal arborization of motor axons and subsequent failure of NMJ formation could be a primary cause of DA with ECEL1
Yin, Xinghua; Kidd, Grahame J; Pioro, Erik P; McDonough, Jennifer; Dutta, Ranjan; Feltri, M Laura; Wrabetz, Lawrence; Messing, Albee; Wyatt, Ryan M; Balice-Gordon, Rita J; Trapp, Bruce D
Axonal degeneration is the major cause of permanent neurological disability in individuals with inherited diseases of myelin. Axonal and neuronal changes that precede axonal degeneration, however, are not well characterized. We show here that dysmyelinated lower motor neurons retract and regenerate dysfunctional presynaptic terminals, leading to severe neurological disability before axonal degeneration. In addition, dysmyelination led to a decreased synaptic quantal content, an indicator of synaptic dysfunction. The amplitude and rise time of miniature endplate potentials were also increased, but these changes were primarily consistent with an increase in the passive membrane properties of the transgenic muscle fibers. Maintenance of synaptic connections should be considered as a therapeutic target for slowing progression of neurological disability in primary diseases of myelin.
Hofmeijer, Jeannette; Franssen, H.; van Schelven, L.J.; van Putten, Michel Johannes Antonius Maria
Objective:In common peripheral neuropathies, sensory symptoms usually prevail over motor symptoms. This predominance of sensory symptoms may result from higher sensitivity of sensory axons to ischemia.Methods:We measured median nerve compound sensory action potentials (CSAPs), compound muscle action
Tomlinson, Susan E; Tan, S Veronica; Burke, David; Labrum, Robyn W; Haworth, Andrea; Gibbons, Vaneesha S; Sweeney, Mary G; Griggs, Robert C; Kullmann, Dimitri M; Bostock, Hugh; Hanna, Michael G
Ion channel dysfunction causes a range of neurological disorders by altering transmembrane ion fluxes, neuronal or muscle excitability, and neurotransmitter release. Genetic neuronal channelopathies affecting peripheral axons provide a unique opportunity to examine the impact of dysfunction of a single channel subtype in detail in vivo. Episodic ataxia type 2 is caused by mutations in CACNA1A, which encodes the pore-forming subunit of the neuronal voltage-gated calcium channel Cav2.1. In peripheral motor axons, this channel is highly expressed at the presynaptic neuromuscular junction where it contributes to action potential-evoked neurotransmitter release, but it is not expressed mid-axon or thought to contribute to action potential generation. Eight patients from five families with genetically confirmed episodic ataxia type 2 underwent neurophysiological assessment to determine whether axonal excitability was normal and, if not, whether changes could be explained by Cav2.1 dysfunction. New mutations in the CACNA1A gene were identified in two families. Nerve conduction studies were normal, but increased jitter in single-fibre EMG studies indicated unstable neuromuscular transmission in two patients. Excitability properties of median motor axons were compared with those in 30 age-matched healthy control subjects. All patients had similar excitability abnormalities, including a high electrical threshold and increased responses to hyperpolarizing (P episodic ataxia type 2 thus has unexpected effects on axon excitability, which may reflect an indirect effect of abnormal calcium current fluxes during development. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved.
Xiao, W H; Zheng, H; Zheng, F Y; Nuydens, R; Meert, T F; Bennett, G J
The dose-limiting side effect of the anti-neoplastic agent, paclitaxel, is a chronic distal symmetrical peripheral neuropathy that produces sensory dysfunction (hypoesthesia and neuropathic pain) but little or no distal motor dysfunction. Similar peripheral neuropathies are seen with chemotherapeutics in the vinca alkaloid, platinum-complex, and proteasome inhibitor classes. Studies in rats suggest that the cause is a mitotoxic effect on axonal mitochondria. If so, then the absence of motor dysfunction may be due to mitotoxicity that affects sensory axons but spares motor axons. To investigate this, paclitaxel exposure levels in the dorsal root, ventral root, dorsal root ganglion, peripheral nerve, and spinal cord were measured, and the ultrastructure and the respiratory function of mitochondria in dorsal roots and ventral roots were compared. Sensory and motor axons in the roots and nerve had comparably low exposure to paclitaxel and exposure in the spinal cord was negligible. However, sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglion had a very high and remarkably persistent (up to 10 days or more after the last injection) exposure to paclitaxel. Paclitaxel evoked a significant increase in the incidence of swollen and vacuolated mitochondria in the myelinated and unmyelinated sensory axons of the dorsal root (as seen previously in the peripheral nerve) but not in the motor axons of the ventral root. Stimulated mitochondrial respiration in the dorsal root was significantly depressed in paclitaxel-treated animals examined 2-4 weeks after the last injection, whereas respiration in the ventral root was normal. We conclude that the absence of motor dysfunction in paclitaxel-evoked peripheral neuropathy may be due to the absence of a mitotoxic effect in motor neuron axons, whereas the sensory dysfunction may be due to a mitotoxic effect resulting from the primary afferent neuron's cell body being exposed to high and persistent levels of paclitaxel.
Full Text Available In contrast to mammals, zebrafish regenerate spinal motor neurons. During regeneration, developmental signals are re-deployed. Here, we show that, during development, diffuse serotonin promotes spinal motor neuron generation from pMN progenitor cells, leaving interneuron numbers unchanged. Pharmacological manipulations and receptor knockdown indicate that serotonin acts at least in part via 5-HT1A receptors. In adults, serotonin is supplied to the spinal cord mainly (90% by descending axons from the brain. After a spinal lesion, serotonergic axons degenerate caudal to the lesion but sprout rostral to it. Toxin-mediated ablation of serotonergic axons also rostral to the lesion impaired regeneration of motor neurons only there. Conversely, intraperitoneal serotonin injections doubled numbers of new motor neurons and proliferating pMN-like progenitors caudal to the lesion. Regeneration of spinal-intrinsic serotonergic interneurons was unaltered by these manipulations. Hence, serotonin selectively promotes the development and adult regeneration of motor neurons in zebrafish.
Barreiro-Iglesias, Antón; Mysiak, Karolina S; Scott, Angela L; Reimer, Michell M; Yang, Yujie; Becker, Catherina G; Becker, Thomas
In contrast to mammals, zebrafish regenerate spinal motor neurons. During regeneration, developmental signals are re-deployed. Here, we show that, during development, diffuse serotonin promotes spinal motor neuron generation from pMN progenitor cells, leaving interneuron numbers unchanged. Pharmacological manipulations and receptor knockdown indicate that serotonin acts at least in part via 5-HT1A receptors. In adults, serotonin is supplied to the spinal cord mainly (90%) by descending axons from the brain. After a spinal lesion, serotonergic axons degenerate caudal to the lesion but sprout rostral to it. Toxin-mediated ablation of serotonergic axons also rostral to the lesion impaired regeneration of motor neurons only there. Conversely, intraperitoneal serotonin injections doubled numbers of new motor neurons and proliferating pMN-like progenitors caudal to the lesion. Regeneration of spinal-intrinsic serotonergic interneurons was unaltered by these manipulations. Hence, serotonin selectively promotes the development and adult regeneration of motor neurons in zebrafish.
Siembab, Valerie C; Gomez-Perez, Laura; Rotterman, Travis M; Shneider, Neil A; Alvarez, Francisco J
Motor function in mammalian species depends on the maturation of spinal circuits formed by a large variety of interneurons that regulate motoneuron firing and motor output. Interneuron activity is in turn modulated by the organization of their synaptic inputs, but the principles governing the development of specific synaptic architectures unique to each premotor interneuron are unknown. For example, Renshaw cells receive, at least in the neonate, convergent inputs from sensory afferents (likely Ia) and motor axons, raising the question of whether they interact during Renshaw cell development. In other well-studied neurons, such as Purkinje cells, heterosynaptic competition between inputs from different sources shapes synaptic organization. To examine the possibility that sensory afferents modulate synaptic maturation on developing Renshaw cells, we used three animal models in which afferent inputs in the ventral horn are dramatically reduced (ER81(-/-) knockout), weakened (Egr3(-/-) knockout), or strengthened (mlcNT3(+/-) transgenic). We demonstrate that increasing the strength of sensory inputs on Renshaw cells prevents their deselection and reduces motor axon synaptic density, and, in contrast, absent or diminished sensory afferent inputs correlate with increased densities of motor axons synapses. No effects were observed on other glutamatergic inputs. We conclude that the early strength of Ia synapses influences their maintenance or weakening during later development and that heterosynaptic influences from sensory synapses during early development regulates the density and organization of motor inputs on mature Renshaw cells.
Sally A Marik
Full Text Available Cortical topography can be remapped as a consequence of sensory deprivation, suggesting that cortical circuits are continually modified by experience. To see the effect of altered sensory experience on specific components of cortical circuits, we imaged neurons, labeled with a genetically modified adeno-associated virus, in the intact mouse somatosensory cortex before and after whisker plucking. Following whisker plucking we observed massive and rapid reorganization of the axons of both excitatory and inhibitory neurons, accompanied by a transient increase in bouton density. For horizontally projecting axons of excitatory neurons there was a net increase in axonal projections from the non-deprived whisker barrel columns into the deprived barrel columns. The axon collaterals of inhibitory neurons located in the deprived whisker barrel columns retracted in the vicinity of their somata and sprouted long-range projections beyond their normal reach towards the non-deprived whisker barrel columns. These results suggest that alterations in the balance of excitation and inhibition in deprived and non-deprived barrel columns underlie the topographic remapping associated with sensory deprivation.
Full Text Available During herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1 egress in neurons, viral particles travel from the neuronal cell body along the axon towards the synapse. Whether HSV1 particles are transported as enveloped virions as proposed by the 'married' model or as non-enveloped capsids suggested by the 'separate' model is controversial. Specific viral proteins may form a recruitment platform for microtubule motors that catalyze such transport. However, their subviral location has remained elusive. Here we established a system to analyze herpesvirus egress by cryo electron tomography. At 16 h post infection, we observed intra-axonal transport of progeny HSV1 viral particles in dissociated hippocampal neurons by live-cell fluorescence microscopy. Cryo electron tomography of frozen-hydrated neurons revealed that most egressing capsids were transported independently of the viral envelope. Unexpectedly, we found not only DNA-containing capsids (cytosolic C-capsids, but also capsids lacking DNA (cytosolic A-/B-capsids in mid-axon regions. Subvolume averaging revealed lower amounts of tegument on cytosolic A-/B-capsids than on C-capsids. Nevertheless, all capsid types underwent active axonal transport. Therefore, even few tegument proteins on the capsid vertices seemed to suffice for transport. Secondary envelopment of capsids was observed at axon terminals. On their luminal face, the enveloping vesicles were studded with typical glycoprotein-like spikes. Furthermore, we noted an accretion of tegument density at the concave cytosolic face of the vesicle membrane in close proximity to the capsids. Three-dimensional analysis revealed that these assembly sites lacked cytoskeletal elements, but that filamentous actin surrounded them and formed an assembly compartment. Our data support the 'separate model' for HSV1 egress, i.e. progeny herpes viruses being transported along axons as subassemblies and not as complete virions within transport vesicles.
Neumann, Sylvia; Campbell, George E; Szpankowski, Lukasz; Goldstein, Lawrence S B; Encalada, Sandra E
Understanding the mechanisms by which molecular motors coordinate their activities to transport vesicular cargoes within neurons requires the quantitative analysis of motor/cargo associations at the single vesicle level. The goal of this protocol is to use quantitative fluorescence microscopy to correlate ("map") the position and directionality of movement of live cargo to the composition and relative amounts of motors associated with the same cargo. "Cargo mapping" consists of live imaging of fluorescently labeled cargoes moving in axons cultured on microfluidic devices, followed by chemical fixation during recording of live movement, and subsequent immunofluorescence (IF) staining of the exact same axonal regions with antibodies against motors. Colocalization between cargoes and their associated motors is assessed by assigning sub-pixel position coordinates to motor and cargo channels, by fitting Gaussian functions to the diffraction-limited point spread functions representing individual fluorescent point sources. Fixed cargo and motor images are subsequently superimposed to plots of cargo movement, to "map" them to their tracked trajectories. The strength of this protocol is the combination of live and IF data to record both the transport of vesicular cargoes in live cells and to determine the motors associated to these exact same vesicles. This technique overcomes previous challenges that use biochemical methods to determine the average motor composition of purified heterogeneous bulk vesicle populations, as these methods do not reveal compositions on single moving cargoes. Furthermore, this protocol can be adapted for the analysis of other transport and/or trafficking pathways in other cell types to correlate the movement of individual intracellular structures with their protein composition. Limitations of this protocol are the relatively low throughput due to low transfection efficiencies of cultured primary neurons and a limited field of view available for
Fink, Kathren L; López-Giráldez, Francesc; Kim, In-Jung; Strittmatter, Stephen M; Cafferty, William B J
Functional deficits persist after spinal cord injury (SCI) because axons in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) fail to regenerate. However, modest levels of spontaneous functional recovery are typically observed after trauma and are thought to be mediated by the plasticity of intact circuitry. The mechanisms underlying intact circuit plasticity are not delineated. Here, we characterize the in vivo transcriptome of sprouting intact neurons from Ngr1 null mice after partial SCI. We identify the lysophosphatidic acid signaling modulators LPPR1 and LPAR1 as intrinsic axon growth modulators for intact corticospinal motor neurons after adjacent injury. Furthermore, in vivo LPAR1 inhibition or LPPR1 overexpression enhances sprouting of intact corticospinal tract axons and yields greater functional recovery after unilateral brainstem lesion in wild-type mice. Thus, the transcriptional profile of injury-induced sprouting of intact neurons reveals targets for therapeutic enhancement of axon growth initiation and new synapse formation. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis–parkinsonism–dementia complex based on the consumption of cycad seed flour was used to determine whether the observed pathology of motor neuron loss begins in the distal axons or the spinal cord. Assessments of neuromuscular junction integrity and motor neurons were performed at multiple time points. Mice fed cycad pellets performed worse on the wire hang than controls. Microglial activation in cycad-fed mice was observed with motor neuron degene...
Full Text Available Much is known about the electrophysiological variation in motoneuron somata across different motor units. However comparatively less is known about electrophysiological variation in motor axons and how this could impact function or electrodiagnosis in healthy or diseased states. We performed nerve excitability testing on two groups of motor axons in Sprague-Dawley rats that are known to differ significantly in their chronic daily activity patterns and in the relative proportion of motor unit types: one group innervating the soleus (slow motor axons and the other group innervating the tibialis anterior (fast motor axons muscles. We found that slow motor axons have significantly larger accommodation compared to fast motor axons upon application of a 100 ms hyperpolarizing conditioning stimulus that is 40% of axon threshold (Z = 3.24, p = 0.001 or 20% of axon threshold (Z = 2.67, p = 0.008. Slow motor axons had larger accommodation to hyperpolarizing currents in the current-threshold measurement (-80% Z = 3.07, p = 0.002; -90% Z = 2.98, p = 0.003. In addition, we found that slow motor axons have a significantly smaller rheobase than fast motor axons (Z = -1.99, p = 0.047 accompanied by a lower threshold in stimulus-response curves. The results provide evidence that slow motor axons have greater activity of the hyperpolarization-activated inwardly rectifying cation conductance (IH than fast motor axons. It is possible that this difference between fast and slow axons is caused by an adaptation to their chronic differences in daily activity patterns, and that this adaptation might have a functional effect on the motor unit. Moreover, these findings indicate that slow and fast motor axons may react differently to pathological conditions.
Full Text Available Eric N Anderson,* Joseph A White II,* Shermali GunawardenaDepartment of Biological Sciences, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: The process of axonal transport serves to move components over very long distances on microtubule tracks in order to maintain neuronal viability. Molecular motors – kinesin and dynein – are essential for the movement of neuronal cargoes along these tracks; defects in this pathway have been implicated in the initiation or progression of some neurodegenerative diseases, suggesting that this process may be a key contributor in neuronal dysfunction. Recent work has led to the identification of some of the motor-cargo complexes, adaptor proteins, and their regulatory elements in the context of disease proteins. In this review, we focus on the assembly of the amyloid precursor protein, huntingtin, mitochondria, and the RNA-motor complexes and discuss how these may be regulated during long-distance transport in the context of neurodegenerative disease. As knowledge of these motor-cargo complexes and their involvement in axonal transport expands, insight into how defects in this pathway contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases becomes evident. Therefore, a better understanding of how this pathway normally functions has important implications for early diagnosis and treatment of diseases before the onset of disease pathology or behavior. Keywords: kinesin, dynein, amyloid precursor protein, huntingtin, microtubules
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.
Koshimizu, Yoshinori; Fujiyama, Fumino; Nakamura, Kouichi C; Furuta, Takahiro; Kaneko, Takeshi
The subthalamic nucleus (STN) of the basal ganglia plays a key role in motor control, and STN efferents are known to mainly target the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe), entopeduncular nucleus (Ep), and substantia nigra (SN) with some axon collaterals to the other regions. However, it remains to be clarified how each STN neuron projects axon fibers and collaterals to those target nuclei of the STN. Here we visualized the whole axonal arborization of single STN neurons in the rat brain by using a viral vector expressing membrane-targeted green fluorescent protein, and examined the distribution of axon boutons in those target nuclei. The vast majority (8-9) of 10 reconstructed STN neurons projected to the GPe, SN, caudate-putamen (CPu), and Ep, which received, on average ± SD, 457 ± 425, 400 ± 347, 126 ± 143, and 106 ± 100 axon boutons per STN neuron, respectively. Furthermore, the density of axon boutons in the GPe was highest among these nuclei. Although these target nuclei were divided into calbindin-rich and -poor portions, STN projection showed no exclusive preference for those portions. Since STN neurons mainly projected not only to the GPe, SN, and Ep but also to the CPu, the subthalamostriatal projection might serve as a positive feedback path for the striato-GPe-subthalamic disinhibitory pathway, or work as another route of cortical inputs to the striatum through the corticosubthalamostriatal disynaptic excitatory pathway.
Motor neurone disease (MND) is a relatively rare, progressive and incurable neurological condition affecting patients' speech, mobility and respiratory function. Care of patients with MND is complex and involves various healthcare professionals and services. There is a need to discuss symptom management and promote palliative and end of life care from the point of diagnosis to ensure appropriate holistic care is provided.
Saijilafu,; Zhou, Feng-Quan
It is well known that mature neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) cannot regenerate their axons after injuries due to diminished intrinsic ability to support axon growth and a hostile environment in the mature CNS1,2. In contrast, mature neurons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) regenerate readily after injuries3. Adult dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons are well known to regenerate robustly after peripheral nerve injuries. Each DRG neuron grows one axon from the cell soma, which ...
Motor neuron disease (MND) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive motor neuron loss, leading to weakness of the muscles of arms and legs, bulbar and respiratory muscles. Depending on the involvement of the lower and the upper motor neuron, amyotrophic lateral sclero
Saijilafu; Zhou, Feng-Quan
It is well known that mature neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) cannot regenerate their axons after injuries due to diminished intrinsic ability to support axon growth and a hostile environment in the mature CNS(1,2). In contrast, mature neurons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) regenerate readily after injuries(3). Adult dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons are well known to regenerate robustly after peripheral nerve injuries. Each DRG neuron grows one axon from the cell soma, which branches into two axonal branches: a peripheral branch innervating peripheral targets and a central branch extending into the spinal cord. Injury of the DRG peripheral axons results in substantial axon regeneration, whereas central axons in the spinal cord regenerate poorly after the injury. However, if the peripheral axonal injury occurs prior to the spinal cord injury (a process called the conditioning lesion), regeneration of central axons is greatly improved(4). Moreover, the central axons of DRG neurons share the same hostile environment as descending corticospinal axons in the spinal cord. Together, it is hypothesized that the molecular mechanisms controlling axon regeneration of adult DRG neurons can be harnessed to enhance CNS axon regeneration. As a result, adult DRG neurons are now widely used as a model system to study regenerative axon growth(5-7). Here we describe a method of adult DRG neuron culture that can be used for genetic study of axon regeneration in vitro. In this model adult DRG neurons are genetically manipulated via electroporation-mediated gene transfection(6,8). By transfecting neurons with DNA plasmid or si/shRNA, this approach enables both gain- and loss-of-function experiments to investigate the role of any gene-of-interest in axon growth from adult DRG neurons. When neurons are transfected with si/shRNA, the targeted endogenous protein is usually depleted after 3-4 days in culture, during which time robust axon growth has already occurred
Full Text Available Newborn striatal neurons induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO can form functional projections targeting into the substantia nigra, which should be very important for the recovery of motor function. Exercise training post-stroke improves motor recovery in clinic patients and increases striatal neurogenesis in experimental animals. This study aimed to investigate the effects of exercise on axon regeneration of newborn projection neurons in adult rat brains following ischemic stroke. Rats were subjected to a transient MCAO to induce focal cerebral ischemic injury, followed by 30 minutes of exercise training daily from 5 to 28 days after MCAO. Motor function was tested using the rotarod test. We used fluorogold (FG nigral injection to trace striatonigral and corticonigral projection neurons, and green fluorescent protein (GFP-targeting retroviral vectors combined with FG double labeling (GFP(+ -FG(+ to detect newborn projection neurons. The results showed that exercise improved the recovery of motor function of rats after MCAO. Meanwhile, exercise also increased the levels of BDNF and VEGF, and reduced Nogo-A in ischemic brain. On this condition, we further found that exercise significantly increased the number of GFP(+ -FG(+ neurons in the striatum and frontal and parietal cortex ipsilateral to MCAO, suggesting an increase of newborn striatonigral and corticonigral projection neurons by exercise post-stroke. In addition, we found that exercise also increased NeuN(+ and FG(+ cells in the striatum and frontal and parietal cortex, the ischemic territory, and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH immunopositive staining cells in the substantia nigra, a region remote from the ischemic territory. Our results provide the first evidence that exercise can effectively enhance the capacity for regeneration of newborn projection neurons in ischemic injured mammalian brains while improving motor function. Our results provide a very important cellular mechanism
Full Text Available Insulinoma-associated1a (insm1a is a zinc-finger transcription factor playing a series of functions in cell formation and differentiation of vertebrate central and peripheral nervous systems and neuroendocrine system. However, its roles on the development of motor neuron have still remained uncovered. Here, we provided evidences that insm1a was a vital regulator of motor neuron development, and provided a mechanistic understanding of how it contributes to this process. Firstly, we showed the localization of insm1a in spinal cord, and primary motor neurons (PMNs of zebrafish embryos by in situ hybridization, and imaging analysis of transgenic reporter line Tg(insm1a: mCherryntu805. Then we demonstrated that the deficiency of insm1a in zebrafish larvae lead to the defects of PMNs development, including the reduction of caudal primary motor neurons (CaP, and middle primary motor neurons (MiP, the excessive branching of motor axons, and the disorganized distance between adjacent CaPs. Additionally, knockout of insm1 impaired motor neuron differentiation in the spinal cord. Locomotion analysis showed that swimming activity was significantly reduced in the insm1a-null zebrafish. Furthermore, we showed that the insm1a loss of function significantly decreased the transcript levels of both olig2 and nkx6.1. Microinjection of olig2 and nkx6.1 mRNA rescued the motor neuron defects in insm1a deficient embryos. Taken together, these data indicated that insm1a regulated the motor neuron development, at least in part, through modulation of the expressions of olig2 and nkx6.1.
McKinnon, Daniel Devaud
This thesis focuses on studying the extension of motor axons through synthetic poly(ethylene glycol) PEG hydrogels that have been modified with biochemical functionalities to render them more biologically relevant. Specifically, the research strategy is to encapsulate embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons (ESMNs) in synthetic PEG hydrogels crosslinked through three different chemistries providing three mechanisms for dynamically tuning material properties. First, a covalently crosslinked, enzymatically degradable hydrogel is developed and exploited to study the biophysical dynamics of axon extension and matrix remodeling. It is demonstrated that dispersed motor neurons require a battery of adhesive peptides and growth factors to maintain viability and extend axons while those in contact with supportive neuroglial cells do not. Additionally, cell-degradable crosslinker peptides and a soft modulus mimicking that of the spinal cord are requirements for axon extension. However, because local degradation of the hydrogel results in a cellular environment significantly different than that of the bulk, enzymatically degradable peptide crosslinkers were replaced with reversible covalent hydrazone bonds to study the effect of hydrogel modulus on axon extension. This material is characterized in detail and used to measure forces involved in axon extension. Finally, a hydrogel with photocleavable linkers incorporated into the network structure is exploited to explore motor axon response to physical channels. This system is used to direct the growth of motor axons towards co-cultured myotubes, resulting in the formation of an in vitro neural circuit.
Kimberly N. Capers
Full Text Available Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS has been reported in HIV-infected patients in association with the immune reconstitution syndrome whose symptoms can be mimicked by highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART-mediated mitochondrial toxicity. We report a case of a 17-year-old, HIV-infected patient on HAART with a normal CD4 count and undetectable viral load, presenting with acute lower extremity weakness associated with lactatemia. Electromyography/nerve conduction studies revealed absent sensory potentials and decreased compound muscle action potentials, consistent with a diagnosis of acute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy. Lactatemia resolved following cessation of HAART; however, neurological deficits minimally improved over several months in spite of immune modulatory therapy. This case highlights the potential association between HAART, mitochondrial toxicity and acute axonal neuropathies in HIV-infected patients, distinct from the immune reconstitution syndrome.
Duleep, Anuradha; Shefner, Jeremy
Electrodiagnostic testing has proved useful in helping to establish the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by eliminating possible disease mimics and by demonstrating abnormalities in body areas that are clinically unaffected. Electrodiagnosis begins with an understanding of the clinical features of the disease, because clinical correlation is essential. To improve the sensitivity of the electrophysiologic evaluation, the Awaji criteria have been proposed as a modification to the revised El Escorial criteria. Although techniques to evaluate corticomotor neuron abnormalities and to quantify lower motor neuron loss have been developed, they remain primarily research techniques and have not yet influenced clinical practice.
Franco, D Lorena; Rezával, Carolina; Cáceres, Alfredo; Schinder, Alejandro F; Ceriani, M Fernanda
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.
Objective: To elongate human nerve axon in culture and search for suitable support matrices for peripheral nervous system transplantation.Methods: Human embryo cortical neuronal cells,seeded on poly ( D, L-lactide-co-glycolide ) ( PLGA )membrane scaffolds, were elongated with a self-made neuro-axon extending device. The growth and morphological changes of neuron axons were observed to measure axolemmal permeability after elongation.Neurofilament protein was stained by immunohistochemical technique.Results: Human embryo neuron axon could be elongated and cultured on the PLGA membrane and retain their normal form and function.Conclusions: Three dimensional scaffolds with elongated neuron axon have the basic characteristics of artificial nerves, indicating a fundemental theory of nerve repair with elongated neuron axon.
Kim, Minkyung; Fontelonga, Tatiana; Roesener, Andrew P; Lee, Haeram; Gurung, Suman; Mendonca, Philipe R F; Mastick, Grant S
Motor neurons differentiate from a ventral column of progenitors and settle in static clusters, the motor nuclei, next to the floor plate. Within these cell clusters, motor neurons receive afferent input and project their axons out to muscle targets. The molecular mechanisms that position motor neurons in the neural tube remain poorly understood. The floor plate produces several types of guidance cues with well-known roles in attracting and repelling axons, including the Slit family of chemorepellents via their Robo receptors, and Netrin1 via its DCC attractive receptor. In the present study we found that Islet1(+) motor neuron cell bodies invaded the floor plate of Robo1/2 double mutant mouse embryos or Slit1/2/3 triple mutants. Misplaced neurons were born in their normal progenitor column, but then migrated tangentially into the ventral midline. Robo1 and 2 receptor expression in motor neurons was confirmed by reporter gene staining and anti-Robo antibody labeling. Mis-positioned motor neurons projected their axons longitudinally within the floor plate, and failed to reach their normal exit points. To test for potential counteracting ventral attractive signals, we examined Netrin-1 and DCC mutants, and found that motor neurons shifted dorsally in the hindbrain and spinal cord, suggesting that Netrin-1/DCC signaling normally attracts motor neurons closer to the floor plate. Our results show that motor neurons are actively migrating cells, and are normally trapped in a static position by Slit/Robo repulsion and Netrin-1/DCC attraction.
Hyung, Sujin; Yoon Lee, Bo; Park, Jong-Chul; Kim, Jinseok; Hur, Eun-Mi; Francis Suh, Jun-Kyo
A culture system that can recapitulate myelination in vitro will not only help us better understand the mechanism of myelination and demyelination, but also find out possible therapeutic interventions for treating demyelinating diseases. Here, we introduce a simple and reproducible myelination culture system using mouse motor neurons (MNs) and Schwann cells (SCs). Dissociated motor neurons are plated on a feeder layer of SCs, which interact with and wrap around the axons of MNs as they differentiate in culture. In our MN-SC coculture system, MNs survived over 3 weeks and extended long axons. Both viability and axon growth of MNs in the coculture were markedly enhanced as compared to those of MN monoculture. Co-labeling of myelin basic proteins (MBPs) and neuronal microtubules revealed that SC formed myelin sheaths by wrapping around the axons of MNs. Furthermore, using the coculture system we found that treatment of an antioxidant substance coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) markedly facilitated myelination.
Katherine A Hosie
Full Text Available Glutamate excitotoxicity is a major pathogenic process implicated in many neurodegenerative conditions, including AD (Alzheimer's disease and following traumatic brain injury. Occurring predominantly from over-stimulation of ionotropic glutamate receptors located along dendrites, excitotoxic axonal degeneration may also occur in white matter tracts. Recent identification of axonal glutamate receptor subunits within axonal nanocomplexes raises the possibility of direct excitotoxic effects on axons. Individual neuronal responses to excitotoxicity are highly dependent on the complement of glutamate receptors expressed by the cell, and the localization of the functional receptors. To enable isolation of distal axons and targeted excitotoxicity, murine cortical neuron cultures were prepared in compartmented microfluidic devices, such that distal axons were isolated from neuronal cell bodies. Within the compartmented culture system, cortical neurons developed to relative maturity at 11 DIV (days in vitro as demonstrated by the formation of dendritic spines and clustering of the presynaptic protein synaptophysin. The isolated distal axons retained growth cone structures in the absence of synaptic targets, and expressed glutamate receptor subunits. Glutamate treatment (100 μM to the cell body chamber resulted in widespread degeneration within this chamber and degeneration of distal axons in the other chamber. Glutamate application to the distal axon chamber triggered a lesser degree of axonal degeneration without degenerative changes in the untreated somal chamber. These data indicate that in addition to current mechanisms of indirect axonal excitotoxicity, the distal axon may be a primary target for excitotoxicity in neurodegenerative conditions.
Luxey, Maëva; Jungas, Thomas; Laussu, Julien; Audouard, Christophe; Garces, Alain; Davy, Alice
Axon fasciculation is one of the processes controlling topographic innervation during embryonic development. While axon guidance steers extending axons in the accurate direction, axon fasciculation allows sets of co-extending axons to grow in tight bundles. The Eph:ephrin family has been involved both in axon guidance and fasciculation, yet it remains unclear how these two distinct types of responses are elicited. Herein we have characterized the role of ephrin-B1, a member of the ephrinB family in sensory and motor innervation of the limb. We show that ephrin-B1 is expressed in sensory axons and in the limb bud mesenchyme while EphB2 is expressed in motor and sensory axons. Loss of ephrin-B1 had no impact on the accurate dorso-ventral innervation of the limb by motor axons, yet EfnB1 mutants exhibited decreased fasciculation of peripheral motor and sensory nerves. Using tissue-specific excision of EfnB1 and in vitro experiments, we demonstrate that ephrin-B1 controls fasciculation of axons via a surround repulsion mechanism involving growth cone collapse of EphB2-expressing axons. Altogether, our results highlight the complex role of Eph:ephrin signaling in the development of the sensory-motor circuit innervating the limb.
Full Text Available Axonal transport plays a crucial role in neuronal morphogenesis, survival and function. Despite its importance, however, the molecular mechanisms of axonal transport remain mostly unknown because a simple and quantitative assay system for monitoring this cellular process has been lacking. In order to better characterize the mechanisms involved in axonal transport, we formulate a novel computer-assisted monitoring system of axonal transport. Potential uses of this system and implications for future studies will be discussed.
Full Text Available Injury to nerve axons induces diverse responses in neuronal cell bodies, some of which are influenced by the distance from the site of injury. This suggests that neurons have the capacity to estimate the distance of the injury site from their cell body. Recent work has shown that the molecular motor dynein transports importin-mediated retrograde signaling complexes from axonal lesion sites to cell bodies, raising the question whether dynein-based mechanisms enable axonal distance estimations in injured neurons? We used computer simulations to examine mechanisms that may provide nerve cells with dynein-dependent distance assessment capabilities. A multiple-signals model was postulated based on the time delay between the arrival of two or more signals produced at the site of injury-a rapid signal carried by action potentials or similar mechanisms and slower signals carried by dynein. The time delay between the arrivals of these two types of signals should reflect the distance traversed, and simulations of this model show that it can indeed provide a basis for distance measurements in the context of nerve injuries. The analyses indicate that the suggested mechanism can allow nerve cells to discriminate between distances differing by 10% or more of their total axon length, and suggest that dynein-based retrograde signaling in neurons can be utilized for this purpose over different scales of nerves and organisms. Moreover, such a mechanism might also function in synapse to nucleus signaling in uninjured neurons. This could potentially allow a neuron to dynamically sense the relative lengths of its processes on an ongoing basis, enabling appropriate metabolic output from cell body to processes.
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.
Heintz, Tristan G; Heller, Janosch P; Zhao, Rongrong; Caceres, Alfredo; Eva, Richard; Fawcett, James W
CNS axons have poor regenerative ability compared to PNS axons, and mature axons regenerate less well than immature embryonic axons. The loss of regenerative ability with maturity is accompanied by the setting up of a selective transport filter in axons, restricting the types of molecule that are present. We confirm that integrins (represented by subunits β1 and α5) are present in early cortical axons in vitro but are excluded from mature axons. Ribosomal protein and L1 show selective axonal transport through association with kinesin kif4A; we have therefore examined the hypothesis that integrin transport might also be in association with kif4A. Kif4A is present in all processes of immature cortical neurons cultured at E18, then downregulated by 14days in vitro, coinciding with the exclusion of integrin from axons. Kif4a co-localises with β1 integrin in vesicles in neurons and non-neuronal cells, and the two molecules co-immunoprecipitate. Knockdown of KIF4A expression with shRNA reduced the level of integrin β1 in axons of developing neurons and reduced neurite elongation on laminin, an integrin-dependent substrate. Overexpression of kif4A triggered apoptosis in neuronal and non-neuronal cells. In mature neurons expression of kif4A-GFP at a modest level did not kill the cells, and the kif4A was detectable in their axons. However this was not accompanied by an increase in integrin β1 axonal transport, suggesting that kif4A is not the only integrin transporter, and that integrin exclusion from axons is controlled by factors other than the kif4A level. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Penelope J Boyd
Full Text Available Degeneration and loss of lower motor neurons is the major pathological hallmark of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, resulting from low levels of ubiquitously-expressed survival motor neuron (SMN protein. One remarkable, yet unresolved, feature of SMA is that not all motor neurons are equally affected, with some populations displaying a robust resistance to the disease. Here, we demonstrate that selective vulnerability of distinct motor neuron pools arises from fundamental modifications to their basal molecular profiles. Comparative gene expression profiling of motor neurons innervating the extensor digitorum longus (disease-resistant, gastrocnemius (intermediate vulnerability, and tibialis anterior (vulnerable muscles in mice revealed that disease susceptibility correlates strongly with a modified bioenergetic profile. Targeting of identified bioenergetic pathways by enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis rescued motor axon defects in SMA zebrafish. Moreover, targeting of a single bioenergetic protein, phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (Pgk1, was found to modulate motor neuron vulnerability in vivo. Knockdown of pgk1 alone was sufficient to partially mimic the SMA phenotype in wild-type zebrafish. Conversely, Pgk1 overexpression, or treatment with terazosin (an FDA-approved small molecule that binds and activates Pgk1, rescued motor axon phenotypes in SMA zebrafish. We conclude that global bioenergetics pathways can be therapeutically manipulated to ameliorate SMA motor neuron phenotypes in vivo.
Foust, Amanda; Popovic, Marko; Zecevic, Dejan; McCormick, David A
Purkinje neurons are the output cells of the cerebellar cortex and generate spikes in two distinct modes, known as simple and complex spikes. Revealing the point of origin of these action potentials, and how they conduct into local axon collaterals, is important for understanding local and distal neuronal processing and communication. By using a recent improvement in voltage-sensitive dye imaging technique that provided exceptional spatial and temporal resolution, we were able to resolve the region of spike initiation as well as follow spike propagation into axon collaterals for each action potential initiated on single trials. All fast action potentials, for both simple and complex spikes, whether occurring spontaneously or in response to a somatic current pulse or synaptic input, initiated in the axon initial segment. At discharge frequencies of less than approximately 250 Hz, spikes propagated faithfully through the axon and axon collaterals, in a saltatory manner. Propagation failures were only observed for very high frequencies or for the spikelets associated with complex spikes. These results demonstrate that the axon initial segment is a critical decision point in Purkinje cell processing and that the properties of axon branch points are adjusted to maintain faithful transmission.
Bäumer, Dirk; Talbot, Kevin; Turner, Martin R
Motor neurone disease (MND), the commonest clinical presentation of which is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is regarded as the most devastating of adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders. The last decade has seen major improvements in patient care, but also rapid scientific advances, so that rational therapies based on key pathogenic mechanisms now seem plausible. ALS is strikingly heterogeneous in both its presentation, with an average one-year delay from first symptoms to diagnosis, and subsequent rate of clinical progression. Although half of patients succumb within 3-4 years of symptom onset, typically through respiratory failure, a significant minority survives into a second decade. Although an apparently sporadic disorder for most patients, without clear environmental triggers, recent genetic studies have identified disease-causing mutations in genes in several seemingly disparate functional pathways, so that motor neuron degeneration may need to be understood as a common final pathway with a number of upstream causes. This apparent aetiological and clinical heterogeneity suggests that therapeutic studies should include detailed biomarker profiling, and consider genetic as well as clinical stratification. The most common mutation, accounting for 10% of all Western hemisphere ALS, is a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9orf72. This and several other genes implicate altered RNA processing and protein degradation pathways in the core of ALS pathogenesis. A major gap remains in understanding how such fundamental processes appear to function without obvious deficit in the decades prior to symptom emergence, and the study of pre-symptomatic gene carriers is an important new initiative.
Kudina, Lydia P; Andreeva, Regina E
Excitability of motor axons is critically important for realizing their main function, i.e., transmitting motoneuron firing to muscle fibers. The present study was designed to explore excitability recovery and firing behavior in single slow axons transmitting human motoneuron firing during voluntary muscle contractions. The abductor digiti minimi, flexor carpi ulnaris, and tibialis anterior were investigated during threshold stimulation of corresponding motor nerves. Motor unit (MU) firing index in response to testing volleys evoking M-responses was used as a physiological measure of axonal excitability and its changes throughout a target interspike interval (ISI) were explored. It was shown that axons displayed an early irresponsive period (within the first ~2-5 ms of a target ISI) that was followed by a responsive period (for the next 5-17 ms of the ISI), in which MUs fired axonal doublets, and a later irresponsive period. At the beginning of the responsive period, M-responses showed small latency delays. However, since at that ISI moment, MUs displayed excitability recovery with high firing index, slight latency changes may be considered as a functionally insignificant phenomenon. The duration of axonal doublet ISIs did not depend on motoneuron firing frequencies (range 4.3-14.6 imp/s). The question of whether or not traditionally described axonal recovery excitability cycle is realistic in natural motor control is discussed. In conclusion, the present approach, exploring, for the first time, excitability recovery in single slow axons during motoneuron natural activation, can provide further insight into axonal firing behavior in normal states and diseases.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Excitability of single slow axons was estimated by motor unit firing index in response to motor nerve stimulation, and its changes throughout a target interspike interval were explored during transmitting human motoneuron natural firing. It was found that axons exhibited early irresponsive
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
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.
Xu, Chundi; Funahashi, Yasuhiro; Watanabe, Takashi; Takano, Tetsuya; Nakamuta, Shinichi; Namba, Takashi; Kaibuchi, Kozo
How extracellular cues direct axon-dendrite polarization in mouse developing neurons is not fully understood. Here, we report that the radial glial cell (RGC)-cortical neuron interaction directs axon formation at the opposite side of the neuron from the contact site. N-cadherin accumulates at the contact site between the RGC and cortical neuron. Inhibition of the N-cadherin-mediated adhesion decreases this oriented axon formation in vitro, and disrupts the axon-dendrite polarization in vivo. Furthermore, the RGC-neuron interaction induces the polarized distribution of active RhoA at the contacting neurite and active Rac1 at the opposite neurite. Inhibition of Rho-Rho-kinase signaling in a neuron impairs the oriented axon formation in vitro, and prevents axon-dendrite polarization in vivo. Collectively, these results suggest that the N-cadherin-mediated radial glia-neuron interaction determines the contacting neurite as the leading process for radial glia-guided neuronal migration and directs axon formation to the opposite side acting through the Rho family GTPases.
Moldovan, Mihai; Krarup, Christian
We found persistent abnormalities in the recovery of membrane excitability in long-term regenerated motor nerve fibres in the cat as indicated in the companion paper. These abnormalities could partly be explained by membrane hyperpolarization. To further investigate this possibility, we compared...... the changes in excitability in control nerves and long-term regenerated cat nerves (3-5 years after tibial nerve crush) during manoeuvres known to alter axonal membrane Na(+)-K(+) pump function: polarization, cooling to 20 degrees C, reperfusion after 10 min ischaemia, and up to 60 s of repetitive stimulation...... at 200 Hz. The abnormalities in excitability of regenerated nerves were reduced by depolarization and cooling and increased by hyperpolarization and during postischaemia. Moreover, the time course of recovery of excitability from repetitive stimulation and ischaemia was prolonged in regenerated nerves...
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.
Yildirim, Serhan; Adviye, Rahşan; Gül, Hakan Levent; Türk Börü, Ülkü
Objective Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN), characterized with decreased compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) and absence of demyelinating findings in electrophysiological studies, is a subtype of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). A 4 yr-old male patient presented with ascending weakness, dysarthria and dysphagia to İstanbul Dr. Lütfi Kırdar Kartal Training and Research Hospital Neurology outpatient for three days to in 2012. Dysphonia, restricted eye movements, flaccid tetraplegia and a...
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
Nodera, Hiroyuki; Manto, Mario
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.
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
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.
Wyatt, Tanya J; Rossi, Sharyn L; Siegenthaler, Monica M; Frame, Jennifer; Robles, Rockelle; Nistor, Gabriel; Keirstead, Hans S
Motor neuron loss is characteristic of many neurodegenerative disorders and results in rapid loss of muscle control, paralysis, and eventual death in severe cases. In order to investigate the neurotrophic effects of a motor neuron lineage graft, we transplanted human embryonic stem cell-derived motor neuron progenitors (hMNPs) and examined their histopathological effect in three animal models of motor neuron loss. Specifically, we transplanted hMNPs into rodent models of SMA (Δ7SMN), ALS (SOD1 G93A), and spinal cord injury (SCI). The transplanted cells survived and differentiated in all models. In addition, we have also found that hMNPs secrete physiologically active growth factors in vivo, including NGF and NT-3, which significantly enhanced the number of spared endogenous neurons in all three animal models. The ability to maintain dying motor neurons by delivering motor neuron-specific neurotrophic support represents a powerful treatment strategy for diseases characterized by motor neuron loss.
Friel, Kathleen M; Martin, John H
The initial pattern of corticospinal (CS) terminations, as axons grow into the spinal gray matter, bears little resemblance to the pattern later in development and in maturity. This is because of extensive axon pruning and local axon terminal growth during early postnatal development. Pruning is driven by activity-dependent competition between the CS systems on each side during postnatal weeks (PW) 3-7. It is not known whether CS axon terminal growth and final topography are activity dependent. We examined the activity dependence of CS axon terminal growth and topography at different postnatal times. We inactivated sensory-motor cortex by infusion of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) agonist muscimol and traced CS axons from the inactivated side. Inactivation between PW5 and PW7 produced permanent changes in projection topography, reduced local axon branching, and prevented development of dense clusters of presynaptic sites, which are normally characteristic of CS terminals. Inactivation at younger (PW3-5) and older (PW8-12) ages did not affect projection topography but impeded development of local axon branching and presynaptic site clusters. These effects were not due to increased cortical cell death during inactivation. Neural activity plays an important role in determining the morphology of CS terminals during the entire period of development, but, for the projection topography, the role of activity is exercised during a very brief period. This points to a complex, and possibly independent, regulation of termination topography and terminal morphology. Surprisingly, when a CS neuron's activity is blocked during early development, it does not recover lost connections later in development once activity resumes.
Massa, R; Scalise, A; Iani, C; Palmieri, M G; Bernardi, G
We report the case of a young man from the south of India, initially presenting the typical signs of benign monomelic amyotrophy (BMA) in the left upper limb. After several years, the involvement of other limbs and the appearance of bulbar signs suggested the possible diagnosis of the Madras pattern of motor neuron disease (MMND). Serial motor evoked potential (MEP) recordings allowed detection of the onset of a focal involvement of upper motor neurons (UMN) controlling innervation in the originally amyotrophic limb. Therefore, serial MEP recordings can be useful for the early detection of sub-clinical UMN damage in motor neuron disease presenting with pure lower motor neuron (LMN) signs.
Jessell, Thomas M; Sürmeli, Gülşen; Kelly, John S
Seventy years ago George Romanes began to document the anatomical organization of the spinal motor system, uncovering a multilayered topographic plan that links the clustering and settling position of motor neurons to the spatial arrangement and biomechanical features of limb muscles. To this day, these findings have provided a structural foundation for analysis of the neural control of movement and serve as a guide for studies to explore mechanisms that direct the wiring of spinal motor circuits. In this brief essay we outline the core of Romanes's findings and place them in the context of recent studies that begin to provide insight into molecular programs that assign motor pool position and to resolve how motor neuron position shapes circuit assembly. Romanes's findings reveal how and why neuronal positioning contributes to sensory-motor connectivity and may have relevance to circuit organization in other regions of the central nervous system. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lin, Shen; Nazif, Kutaiba; Smith, Alexander; Baas, Peter W; Smith, George M
Intrinsic mechanisms that guide damaged axons to regenerate following spinal cord injury remain poorly understood. Manipulation of posttranslational modifications of key proteins in mature neurons could reinvigorate growth machinery after injury. One such modification is acetylation, a reversible process controlled by two enzyme families, the histone deacetylases (HDACs) and the histone acetyl transferases (HATs), acting in opposition. Whereas acetylated histones in the nucleus are associated with upregulation of growth-promoting genes, deacetylated tubulin in the axoplasm is associated with more labile microtubules, conducive to axon growth. This study investigates the effects of HAT and HDAC inhibitors on cultured adult dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons and shows that inhibition of HATs by anacardic acid or CPTH2 improves axon outgrowth, whereas inhibition of HDACs by TSA or tubacin inhibits axon growth. Anacardic acid increased the number of axons able to cross an inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan border. Histone acetylation but not tubulin acetylation level was affected by HAT inhibitors, whereas tubulin acetylation levels were increased in the presence of the HDAC inhibitor tubacin. Although the microtubule-stabilizing drug taxol did not have an effect on the lengths of DRG axons, nocodazole decreased axon lengths. Determining the mechanistic basis will require future studies, but this study shows that inhibitors of HAT can augment axon growth in adult DRG neurons, with the potential of aiding axon growth over inhibitory substrates produced by the glial scar. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Full Text Available GABAA receptors distributed in somatodendritic compartments play critical roles in regulating neuronal activities, including spike timing and firing pattern; however, the properties and functions of GABAA receptors at the axon are still poorly understood. By recording from the cut end (bleb of the main axon trunk of layer -5 pyramidal neurons in prefrontal cortical slices, we found that currents evoked by GABA iontophoresis could be blocked by picrotoxin, indicating the expression of GABAA receptors in axons. Stationary noise analysis revealed that single-channel properties of axonal GABAA receptors were similar to those of somatic receptors. Perforated patch recording with gramicidin revealed that the reversal potential of the GABA response was more negative than the resting membrane potential at the axon trunk, suggesting that GABA may hyperpolarize the axonal membrane potential. Further experiments demonstrated that the activation of axonal GABAA receptors regulated the amplitude and duration of action potentials (APs and decreased the AP-induced Ca2+ transients at the axon. Together, our results indicate that the waveform of axonal APs and the downstream Ca2+ signals are modulated by axonal GABAA receptors.
Doherty, M J; Bird, T D; Leverenz, J B
Alpha-synuclein (ASN) has been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders characterized by Lewy body inclusions such as Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Lewy body-like inclusions have also been observed in spinal neurons of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and reports suggest possible ASN abnormalities in ALS patients. We assessed ASN immunoreactivity in spinal and brain tissues of subjects who had died of progressive motor neuron disorders (MND). Clinical records of subjects with MND and a comparison group were reviewed to determine the diagnosis according to El-Escariol Criteria of ALS. Cervical, thoracic and lumbar cord sections were stained with an antibody to ASN. A blinded, semiquantitative review of sections from both groups included examination for evidence of spheroids, neuronal staining, cytoplasmic inclusions, anterior horn granules, white and gray matter glial staining, corticospinal tract axonal fiber and myelin changes. MND cases, including ALS and progressive muscular atrophy, displayed significantly increased ASN staining of spheroids ( Pgray and white matter ( P< or =0.05). Significant abnormal staining of corticospinal axon tract fibers and myelin was also observed ( P< or =0.05 and 0.01). Detection of possible ASN-positive neuronal inclusions did not differ between groups. Significant ASN abnormalities were observed in MND. These findings suggest a possible role for ASN in MND; however, the precise nature of this association is unclear.
Tanabe, Norio; Kuboyama, Tomoharu; Kazuma, Kohei; Konno, Katsuhiro; Tohda, Chihiro
Although axonal extension to reconstruct spinal tracts should be effective for restoring function after spinal cord injury (SCI), chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) levels increase at spinal cord lesion sites, and inhibit axonal regrowth. In this study, we found that the water extract of roots of Sophora flavescens extended the axons of mouse cortical neurons, even on a CSPG-coated surface. Consecutive oral administrations of S. flavescens extract to SCI mice for 31 days increased the density of 5-HT-positive axons at the lesion site and improved the motor function. Further, the active constituents in the S. flavescens extract were identified. The water and alkaloid fractions of the S. flavescens extract each exhibited axonal extension activity in vitro. LC/MS analysis revealed that these fractions mainly contain matrine and/or oxymatrine, which are well-known major compounds in S. flavescens. Matrine and oxymatrine promoted axonal extension on the CSPG-coated surface. This study is the first to demonstrate that S. flavescens extract, matrine, and oxymatrine enhance axonal growth in vitro, even on a CSPG-coated surface, and that S. flavescens extract improves motor function and increases axonal density in SCI mice. PMID:26834638
Full Text Available Although axonal extension to reconstruct spinal tracts should be effective for restoring function after spinal cord injury (SCI, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG levels increase at spinal cord lesion sites and inhibit axonal regrowth. In this study, we found that the water extract of roots of Sophora flavescens extended the axons of mouse cortical neurons, even on a CSPG-coated surface. Consecutive oral administrations of S. flavescens extract to SCI mice for 31 days increased the density of 5-HT-positive axons at the lesion site and improved the motor function. Further, the active constituents in the S. flavescens extract were identified. The water and alkaloid fractions of the S. flavescens extract each exhibited axonal extension activity in vitro. LC/MS analysis revealed that these fractions mainly contain matrine and/or oxymatrine, which are well-known major compounds in S. flavescens. Matrine and oxymatrine promoted axonal extension on the CSPG-coated surface. This study is the first to demonstrate that S. flavescens extract, matrine and oxymatrine enhance axonal growth in vitro, even on a CSPG-coated surface, and that S. flavescens extract improves motor function and increases axonal density in SCI mice.
Jafari, Gholamali; Appleford, Peter J; Seago, Julian;
The T-box transcription factor mab-9 has been shown to be required for the correct fate of the male-specific blast cells B and F, normal posterior hypodermal morphogenesis, and for the correct axon migration of motor neurons that project circumferential commissures to dorsal muscles. In this stud...
Huettl, Rosa Eva; Huber, Andrea B
How are precise connectivity to peripheral targets and corresponding sensory-motor networks established during developmental innervation of the vertebrate extremities? The formation of functional sensory-motor circuits requires highly appropriate temporal and spatial regulation of axon growth which is achieved through the combination of different molecular mechanisms such as communication between heterotypic fiber systems, axon-environment, or axon-glia interactions that ensure proper fasciculation and accurate pathfinding to distal targets. Family members of the class 3 semaphorins and their cognate receptors, the neuropilins, were shown to govern various events during wiring of central and peripheral circuits, with mice lacking Sema3-Npn signaling showing deficits in timing of growth, selective fasciculation, guidance fidelity, and coupling of sensory axon growth to motor axons at developmental time points. Given the accuracy with which these processes have to interact in a stepwise manner, deficiency of the smallest cog in the wheel may impact severely on the faithful establishment and functionality of peripheral circuitries, ultimately leading to behavioral impairments or even cause the death of the animal. Reliable quantitative analyses of sensory-motor fasciculation, extension, and guidance of axons to their cognate target muscles and the skin during development, but also assessment of physiological and behavioral consequences at adult age, are therefore a necessity to extend our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of peripheral circuit formation. In this chapter we provide a detailed methodology to characterize class 3 semaphorin-mediated effects on peripheral sensory and motor axon pathfinding and connectivity during embryonic development.
Pivetta, Chiara; Esposito, Maria Soledad; Sigrist, Markus; Arber, Silvia
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.
Zhang, Hua; Verkman, A S
Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons transduce peripheral pain signals through small-diameter, non-myelinated C-fibers, which, when injured, can regenerate to restore pain sensation. Water channel aquaporin-1 (AQP1) is expressed at the plasma membrane of cell bodies and axons of DRG neurons, where it modulates the sensing of certain types of pain. Here, we found that AQP1 is also involved in DRG axonal growth and regeneration by a mechanism that may involve water transport-facilitated extension of axonal outgrowths. Spontaneous and nerve growth factor-stimulated axonal extension was reduced in cultures of AQP1-deficient DRG neurons and DRG explants compared to the wildtype. Axonal growth in AQP1-deficient DRG cultures was rescued by transfection with AQP1 or a different water-transporting AQP (AQP4), but not by a non-water-transporting AQP1 mutant. Following sciatic nerve compression injury AQP1 expression was increased in DRG neurons in wildtype mice, and DRG axonal growth was impaired in AQP1-deficient mice. Our results indicate AQP1 as a novel determinant of DRG axonal regeneration and hence a potential therapeutic target to accelerate neuronal regeneration. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lin, Shen; Sterling, Noelle A; Junker, Ian P; Helm, Courtney T; Smith, George M
The role of posttranslational modifications in axonal injury and regeneration has been widely studied but there has been little consensus over the mechanism by which each modification affects adult axonal growth. Acetylation is known to play an important role in a variety of neuronal functions and its homeostasis is controlled by two enzyme families: the Histone Deacetylases (HDACs) and Histone Acetyl Transferases (HATs). Recent studies show that HDAC5 deacetylates microtubules in the axonal cytoplasm as part of an injury-induced regeneration response, but little is known about how acetylation of microtubules plays a role. Alpha-tubulin acetyl transferase (αTAT1) is a microtubule specific acetyl transferase that binds to microtubules and directly affects microtubule stability in cells. We hypothesize that increasing tubulin acetylation may play an important role in increasing the rate of axonal growth. In this study, we infected cultured adult DRG neurons with αTAT1 and αTAT1-D157N, a catalytically inactive mutant, and HDAC5, using lentiviruses. We found that αTAT1 significantly increases tubulin acetylation in 293T cells and DRG neurons but αTAT1-D157N does not. Furthermore, in neurons infected with αTAT1, a significant increase in acetylated tubulin was detected towards the distal portion of the axon but this increase was not detected in neurons infected with αTAT1-D157N. However, we found a significant increase in axon lengths of DRG neurons after αTAT1 and αTAT1-D157N infection, but no effect on axon lengths after infection with HDAC5. Our results suggest that while αTAT1 may play a role in axon growth in vitro, the increase is not directly due to acetylation of axonal microtubules. Our results also show that HDAC5 overexpression in the axonal cytoplasm does not play a crucial role in axonal regeneration of cultured DRG neurons. We expressed these genes in DRG neurons in adult rats and performed a sciatic nerve crush. We found that axons did not
Kassubek, Jan; Ludolph, Albert C; Müller, Hans-Peter
It is agreed that conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and spine is one of the core elements in the differential diagnostic work up of patients with clinical signs of motor neuron diseases (MNDs), for example amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), to exclude MND mimics. However, the sensitivity and specificity of MRI signs in these disorders are moderate to low and do not have an evidence level higher than class IV (good clinical practice point). Currently computerized MRI analyses in ALS and other MNDs are not techniques used for individual diagnosis. However, they have improved the anatomical understanding of pathomorphological alterations in gray and white matter in various MNDs and the changes in functional networks by quantitative comparisons between patients with MND and controls at group level. For multiparametric MRI protocols, including T1-weighted three-dimensional datasets, diffusion-weighted imaging and functional MRI, the potential as a 'dry' surrogate marker is a subject of investigation in natural history studies with well defined patients. The additional value of MRI with respect to early diagnosis at an individual level and for future disease-modifying multicentre trials remains to be defined. There is still the need for more longitudinal studies in the very early stages of disease or when there is clinical uncertainty and for better standardization in the acquisition and postprocessing of computer-based MRI data. These requirements are to be addressed by establishing quality-controlled multicentre neuroimaging databases.
Chaudhuri, Debasish; Mohanty, P K; Zapotocky, Martin
We formulate and characterize a model aiming to describe the formation of fascicles of axons mediated by contact axon-axon interactions. The growing axons are represented as interacting directed random walks in two spatial dimensions. To mimic axonal turnover in the mammalian olfactory system, the random walkers are injected and removed at specified rates. In the dynamical steady state, the position-dependent distribution of fascicle sizes obeys a scaling law. We identify several distinct time scales that emerge from the dynamics, are sensitive functions of the microscopic parameters of the model, and can exceed the average axonal lifetime by orders of magnitude. We discuss our findings in terms of an analytically tractable, effective model of fascicle dynamics.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Differential gene expression specifies the highly diverse cell types that constitute the nervous system. With its sequenced genome and simple, well-defined neuroanatomy, the nematode C. elegans is a useful model system in which to correlate gene expression with neuron identity. The UNC-4 transcription factor is expressed in thirteen embryonic motor neurons where it specifies axonal morphology and synaptic function. These cells can be marked with an unc-4::GFP reporter transgene. Here we describe a powerful strategy, Micro-Array Profiling of C. elegans cells (MAPCeL, and confirm that this approach provides a comprehensive gene expression profile of unc-4::GFP motor neurons in vivo. Results Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS was used to isolate unc-4::GFP neurons from primary cultures of C. elegans embryonic cells. Microarray experiments detected 6,217 unique transcripts of which ~1,000 are enriched in unc-4::GFP neurons relative to the average nematode embryonic cell. The reliability of these data was validated by the detection of known cell-specific transcripts and by expression in UNC-4 motor neurons of GFP reporters derived from the enriched data set. In addition to genes involved in neurotransmitter packaging and release, the microarray data include transcripts for receptors to a remarkably wide variety of signaling molecules. The added presence of a robust array of G-protein pathway components is indicative of complex and highly integrated mechanisms for modulating motor neuron activity. Over half of the enriched genes (537 have human homologs, a finding that could reflect substantial overlap with the gene expression repertoire of mammalian motor neurons. Conclusion We have described a microarray-based method, MAPCeL, for profiling gene expression in specific C. elegans motor neurons and provide evidence that this approach can reveal candidate genes for key roles in the differentiation and function of these cells
Full Text Available Adult peripheral neurons, in contrast to adult central neurons, are capable of regeneration after axonal damage. Much attention has focused on the changes that accompany this regeneration in two places, the distal nerve segment (where phagocytosis of axonal debris, changes in the surface properties of Schwann cells, and induction of growth factors and cytokines occur and the neu-ronal cell body, where dramatic changes in cell morphology and gene expression occur. The changes in the axotomized cell body are often referred to as the cell body response. The focus of the current review is a family of cytokines, the gp130 cytokines, which have been clearly shown to function as injury signals for axotomized neurons, triggering changes in gene expression and in neurite outgrowth. These cytokines play an important role in the response to injury of sympathetic, sensory, and motor neurons. Recent studies suggest that manipulation of this cyto-kine system can also produce some regeneration by injured central neurons.
Seamster, Pamela E; Loewenberg, Michael; Pascal, Jennifer; Chauviere, Arnaud; Gonzales, Aaron; Cristini, Vittorio; Bearer, Elaine L
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
Seamster, Pamela E.; Loewenberg, Michael; Pascal, Jennifer; Chauviere, Arnaud; Gonzales, Aaron; Cristini, Vittorio; Bearer, Elaine L.
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
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
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.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is largely unknown but hypotheses about disease mechanisms include oxidative stress, defective axonal transport, mitochondrial dysfunction and disrupted RNA processing. Whereas familial ALS is well represented by transgenic mutant SOD1 mouse models, the mouse mutant wobbler (WR develops progressive motor neuron degeneration due to a point mutation in the Vps54 gene, and provides an animal model for sporadic ALS. VPS54 protein as a component of a protein complex is involved in vesicular Golgi trafficking; impaired vesicle trafficking might also be mechanistic in the pathogenesis of human ALS. Results In motor neurons of homozygous symptomatic WR mice, a massive number of endosomal vesicles significantly enlarged (up to 3 μm in diameter were subjected to ultrastructural analysis and immunohistochemistry for the endosome-specific small GTPase protein Rab7 and for amyloid precursor protein (APP. Enlarged vesicles were neither detected in heterozygous WR nor in transgenic SOD1(G93A mice; in WR motor neurons, numerous APP/Rab7-positive vesicles were observed which were mostly LC3-negative, suggesting they are not autophagosomes. Conclusions We conclude that endosomal APP/Rab7 staining reflects impaired vesicle trafficking in WR mouse motor neurons. Based on these findings human ALS tissues were analysed for APP in enlarged vesicles and were detected in spinal cord motor neurons in six out of fourteen sporadic ALS cases. These enlarged vesicles were not detected in any of the familial ALS cases. Thus our study provides the first evidence for wobbler-like aetiologies in human ALS and suggests that the genes encoding proteins involved in vesicle trafficking should be screened for pathogenic mutations.
Colbert, C M; Johnston, D
A long-standing hypothesis is that action potentials initiate first in the axon hillock/initial segment (AH-IS) region because of a locally high density of Na+ channels. We tested this idea in subicular pyramidal neurons by using patch-clamp recordings in hippocampal slices. Simultaneous recordings from the soma and IS confirmed that orthodromic action potentials initiated in the axon and then invaded the soma. However, blocking Na+ channels in the AH-IS with locally applied tetrodotoxin (TTX) did not raise the somatic threshold membrane potential for orthodromic spikes. TTX applied to the axon beyond the AH-IS (30-60 microm from the soma) raised the apparent somatic threshold by approximately 8 mV. We estimated the Na+ current density in the AH-IS and somatic membranes by using cell-attached patch-clamp recordings and found similar magnitudes (3-4 pA/microm2). Thus, the present results suggest that orthodromic action potentials initiate in the axon beyond the AH-IS and that the minimum threshold for spike initiation of the neuron is not determined by a high density of Na+ channels in the AH-IS region.
Axon growth is a central event in the development and post-injury plasticity of the nervous system. Growing axons encounter a wide variety of environmental instructions. Much like trafifc lights in controlling the migrating axons, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) and hepa-ran sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) often lead to“stop”and“go”growth responses in the axons, respectively. Recently, the LAR family and NgR family molecules were identified as neuronal receptors for CSPGs and HSPGs. These discoveries provided molecular tools for further study of mechanisms underlying axon growth regulation. More importantly, the identiifcation of these proteoglycan receptors offered potential therapeutic targets for promoting post-injury axon re-generation.
Blizzard, Catherine A; King, Anna E; Haas, Matilda A; O'Toole, David A; Vickers, James C; Dickson, Tracey C
While functional recovery after injury is limited, it has become evident that the mature central nervous system does retain some ability to regenerate. This study investigated the intrinsic capacity of relatively mature cortical neurons (21 days in vitro) to respond to axonal loss. Neurons, growing as clusters on poly-L-lysine, were completely sheared of axons through chemical and mechanical disruption and transferred to either an intact astrocyte monolayer or a substrate of poly-L-lysine. Injured neurons exhibited a regenerative sprouting response that was independent of neuronal cell division or neural progenitors, as demonstrated by negative bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and the neuronal precursor intermediate filament nestin, labeling. At 24 h after injury, neurons had extended appropriately polarized neurites, demonstrated by compartmentalized microtubule-associated proteins MAP2 and tau immunolabeling. Newly sprouting axons were tipped by growth cones; however, growth cones on the tips of sprouting axons (mean area, 26.32 +/- 2.20 microm) were significantly (pregenerating neurons exhibited distinct axonal dynamics, with a significant (pneuronal structural plasticity and defining the role of astrocyte reactivity in the response to trauma.
Simpson, Matthew T; Venkatesh, Ishwariya; Callif, Ben L; Thiel, Laura K; Coley, Denise M; Winsor, Kristen N; Wang, Zimei; Kramer, Audra A; Lerch, Jessica K; Blackmore, Murray G
Neurons in the embryonic and peripheral nervous system respond to injury by activating transcriptional programs supportive of axon growth, ultimately resulting in functional recovery. In contrast, neurons in the adult central nervous system (CNS) possess a limited capacity to regenerate axons after injury, fundamentally constraining repair. Activating pro-regenerative gene expression in CNS neurons is a promising therapeutic approach, but progress is hampered by incomplete knowledge of the relevant transcription factors. An emerging hypothesis is that factors implicated in cellular growth and motility outside the nervous system may also control axon growth in neurons. We therefore tested sixty-nine transcription factors, previously identified as possessing tumor suppressive or oncogenic properties in non-neuronal cells, in assays of neurite outgrowth. This screen identified YAP1 and E2F1 as enhancers of neurite outgrowth, and PITX1, RBM14, ZBTB16, and HHEX as inhibitors. Follow-up experiments are focused on the tumor suppressor HHEX, one of the strongest growth inhibitors. HHEX is widely expressed in adult CNS neurons, including corticospinal tract neurons after spinal injury, but is present only in trace amounts in immature cortical neurons and adult peripheral neurons. HHEX overexpression in early postnatal cortical neurons reduced both initial axonogenesis and the rate of axon elongation, and domain deletion analysis strongly implicated transcriptional repression as the underlying mechanism. These findings suggest a role for HHEX in restricting axon growth in the developing CNS, and substantiate the hypothesis that previously identified oncogenes and tumor suppressors can play conserved roles in axon extension. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Alvarez Herrero, Susana; Calin, A; Graffmo, K S
Motor neuron disorders may be associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, and repetitive electrical impulse conduction during energy restriction has been found to cause neuronal degeneration. The aim of this study was to investigate the vulnerability of motor axons of a presymptomatic late......-onset, fast-progression SOD1(G127X) mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to long-lasting, high-frequency repetitive activity. Tibial nerves were stimulated at ankle in 7 to 8-month-old SOD1(G127X) mice when they were clinically indistinguishable from wild-type (WT) mice. The evoked compound muscle...... action potentials and ascending compound nerve action potentials were recorded from plantar muscles and from the sciatic nerve, respectively. Repetitive stimulation (RS) was carried out in interrupted trains of 200-Hz for 3h. During the stimulation-sequence there was progressive conduction failure in WT...
Roberts, Megan J.; Leach, Michelle K.; Bedewy, Mostafa; Meshot, Eric R.; Copic, Davor; Corey, Joseph M.; Hart, A. John
Objective. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are attractive for use in peripheral nerve interfaces because of their unique combination of strength, flexibility, electrical conductivity and nanoscale surface texture. Here we investigated the growth of motor neurons on thin films of horizontally aligned CNTs (HACNTs). Approach. We cultured primary embryonic rat motor neurons on HACNTs and performed statistical analysis of the length and orientation of neurites. We next presented motor neurons with substrates of alternating stripes of HACNTs and SiO2. Main results. The neurons survived on HACNT substrates for up to eight days, which was the full duration of our experiments. Statistical analysis of the length and orientation of neurites indicated that the longest neurites on HACNTs tended to align with the CNT direction, although the average neurite length was similar between HACNTs and glass control substrates. We observed that when motor neurons were presented with alternating stripes of HACNTs and SiO2, the proportion of neurons on HACNTs increases over time, suggesting that neurons selectively migrate toward and adhere to the HACNT surface. Significance. The behavior of motor neurons on CNTs has not been previously investigated, and we show that aligned CNTs could provide a viable interface material to motor neurons. Combined with emerging techniques to build complex hierarchical structures of CNTs, our results suggest that organised CNTs could be incorporated into nerve grafts that use physical and electrical cues to guide regenerating axons.
Jaap evan Pelt
Full Text Available Neuronal information processing in cortical networks critically depends on the organization of synaptic connectivity. Synaptic connections can form when axons and dendrites come in close proximity of each other. The spatial innervation of neuronal arborizations can be described by their axonal and dendritic density fields. Recently we showed that potential locations of synapses between neurons can be estimated from their overlapping axonal and dendritic density fields. However, deriving density fields from single-slice neuronal reconstructions is hampered by incompleteness because of cut branches.Here, we describe a method for recovering the lost axonal and dendritic mass. This so-called completion method is based on an estimation of the mass inside the slice and an extrapolation to the space outside the slice, assuming axial symmetry in the mass distribution. We validated the method using a set of neurons generated with our NETMORPH simulator. The model-generated neurons were artificially sliced and subsequently recovered by the completion method. Depending on slice thickness and arbor extent, branches that have lost their outside parents (orphan branches may occur inside the slice. Not connected anymore to the contiguous structure of the sliced neuron, orphan branches result in an underestimation of neurite mass. For 300 m thick slices, however, the validation showed a full recovery of dendritic and an almost full recovery of axonal mass.The completion method was applied to three experimental data sets of reconstructed rat cortical L2/3 pyramidal neurons. The results showed that in 300 m thick slices intracortical axons lost about 50% and dendrites about 16% of their mass. The completion method can be applied to single-slice reconstructions as long as axial symmetry can be assumed in the mass distribution. This opens up the possibility of using incomplete neuronal reconstructions from open-access data bases to determine population mean
ZHAO Hong; ZHANG Jing-yu; YANGZi-chao; LIU Ming; GANG Bao-zhi; ZHAO Qing-jie
Background Wallerian degeneration is a self-destructive process of axonal degeneration that occurs after an axonal injury or during neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease.Recent studies have found that the activity of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) synthase enzyme,nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 1 (NMNAT1) can affect the rate of Wallerian degeneration in mice and drosophila.NMNAT1 protects neurons and axons from degeneration.However,the role of NMNAT1 in neurons of central nervous system is still not well understood.Methods We set up the culture of primary mouse neurons in vitro and manipulated the expression level of NMNAT1 by RNA interference and gene overexpression methods.Using electroporation transfection we can up-regulate or down-regulate NMNAT1 in cultured mouse dendrites and axons and study the neuronal morphogenesis by immunocytochemistry.In all functional assays,FK-866 (CAS 658084-64-1),a highly specific non-competitive inhibitor of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase was used as a pharmacological and positive control.Results Our results showed that knocking down NMNAT1 by RNA interference led to a marked decrease in dendrite outgrowth and branching and a significant decrease in axon growth and branching in developing cortical neurons in vitro.Conclusions These findings reveal a novel role for NMNAT1 in the morphogenesis of developing cortical neurons,which indicate that the loss of function of NMNAT1 may contribute to different neurodegenerative disorders in central nervous system.
Oshiro, Hiroaki; Hirabayashi, Yusuke; Furuta, Yasuhide; Okabe, Shigeo; Gotoh, Yukiko
Immature neurons undergo morphological and physiological changes including axonal and dendritic development to establish neuronal networks. As the transcriptional status changes at a large number of genes during neuronal maturation, global changes in chromatin modifiers may take place in this process. We now show that the amount of heterochromatin protein 1γ (HP1γ) increases during neuronal maturation in the mouse neocortex. Knockdown of HP1γ suppressed axonal and dendritic development in mouse embryonic neocortical neurons in culture, and either knockdown or knockout of HP1γ impaired the projection of callosal axons of superficial layer neurons to the contralateral hemisphere in the developing neocortex. Conversely, forced expression of HP1γ facilitated axonal and dendritic development, suggesting that the increase of HP1γ is a rate limiting step in neuronal maturation. These results together show an important role for HP1γ in promoting axonal and dendritic development in maturing neurons.
Donohoe, Dallas R; Weeks, Kathrine; Aamodt, Eric J; Dwyer, Donard S
Antipsychotic drugs are increasingly being prescribed for children and adolescents, and are used in pregnant women without a clear demonstration of safety in these populations. Global effects of these drugs on neurodevelopment (e.g., decreased brain size) have been reported in rats, but detailed knowledge about neuronal effects and mechanisms of action are lacking. Here we report on the evaluation of a comprehensive panel of antipsychotic drugs in a model organism (Caenorhabditis elegans) that is widely used to study neuronal development. Specifically, we examined the effects of the drugs on neuronal migration and axonal outgrowth in mechanosensory neurons visualized with green fluorescent protein expressed from the mec-3 promoter. Clozapine, fluphenazine, and haloperidol produced deficits in the development and migration of ALM neurons and axonal outgrowth in PLM neurons. The defects included failure of neuroblasts to migrate to the proper location, and excessive growth of axons past their normal termination point, together with abnormal morphological features of the processes. Although the antipsychotic drugs are potent antagonists of dopamine and serotonin receptors, the neurodevelopmental deficits were not rescued by co-incubation with serotonin or the dopaminergic agonist, quinpirole. Other antipsychotic drugs, risperidone, aripiprazole, quetiapine, trifluoperazine and olanzapine, also produced modest, but detectable, effects on neuronal development. This is the first report that antipsychotic drugs interfere with neuronal migration and axonal outgrowth in a developing nervous system.
Hausott, Barbara; Vallant, Natalie; Auer, Maria; Yang, Lin; Dai, Fangping; Brand-Saberi, Beate; Klimaschewski, Lars
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) play a prominent role in axonal growth during development and repair. Treatment with FGF-2 or overexpression of FGF receptors promotes peripheral axon regeneration mainly by activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). The Ras/Raf/ERK pathway is under the control of Sprouty proteins acting as negative feedback inhibitors. We investigated the expression of Sprouty isoforms in adult sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) as well as the effects of Sprouty inhibition on axon growth by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Sprouty2 revealed the highest expression level in DRG neurons. Down-regulation of Sprouty2 promoted elongative axon growth by adult sensory neurons accompanied by enhanced FGF-2-induced activation of ERK and Ras, whereas Sprouty2 overexpression inhibited axon growth. Sprouty2 was not regulated in vivo in response to a sciatic nerve lesion. Together, our results imply that Sprouty2 is highly expressed in adult peripheral neurons and its down-regulation strongly promotes elongative axon growth by activation of the Ras/Raf/ERK pathway.
Hatanaka, Yumiko; Yamauchi, Kenta
The formation of axon-dendrite polarity is crucial for neuron to make the proper information flow within the brain. Although the processes of neuronal polarity formation have been extensively studied using neurons in dissociated culture, the corresponding developmental processes in vivo are still unclear. Here, we illuminate the initial steps of morphological polarization of excitatory cortical neurons in situ, by sparsely labeling their neuroepithelial progenitors using in utero electroporation and then examining their neuronal progeny in brain sections and in slice cultures. Morphological analysis showed that an axon-like long tangential process formed in progeny cells in the intermediate zone (IZ). Time-lapse imaging analysis using slice culture revealed that progeny cells with multipolar shape, after alternately extending and retracting their short processes for several hours, suddenly elongated a long process tangentially. These cells then transformed into a bipolar shape, extending a pia-directed leading process, and migrated radially leaving the tangential process behind, which gave rise to an "L-shaped" axon. Our findings suggest that neuronal polarity in these cells is established de novo from a nonpolarized stage in vivo and indicate that excitatory cortical neurons with multipolar shape in the IZ initiate axon outgrowth before radial migration into the cortical plate.
Full Text Available The corpus callosum (CC is the main pathway responsible for interhemispheric communication. CC agenesis is associated with numerous human pathologies, suggesting that a range of developmental defects can result in abnormalities in this structure. Midline glial cells are known to play a role in CC development, but we here show that two transient populations of midline neurons also make major contributions to the formation of this commissure. We report that these two neuronal populations enter the CC midline prior to the arrival of callosal pioneer axons. Using a combination of mutant analysis and in vitro assays, we demonstrate that CC neurons are necessary for normal callosal axon navigation. They exert an attractive influence on callosal axons, in part via Semaphorin 3C and its receptor Neuropilin-1. By revealing a novel and essential role for these neuronal populations in the pathfinding of a major cerebral commissure, our study brings new perspectives to pathophysiological mechanisms altering CC formation.
Rodriguez-Gil, Diego J; Bartel, Dianna L; Jaspers, Austin W; Mobley, Arie S; Imamura, Fumiaki; Greer, Charles A
Odorant receptors (OR) are strongly implicated in coalescence of olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axons and the formation of olfactory bulb (OB) glomeruli. However, when ORs are first expressed relative to basal cell division and OSN axon extension is unknown. We developed an in vivo fate-mapping strategy that enabled us to follow OSN maturation and axon extension beginning at basal cell division. In parallel, we mapped the molecular development of OSNs beginning at basal cell division, including the onset of OR expression. Our data show that ORs are first expressed around 4 d following basal cell division, 24 h after OSN axons have reached the OB. Over the next 6+ days the OSN axons navigate the OB nerve layer and ultimately coalesce in glomeruli. These data provide a previously unidentified perspective on the role of ORs in homophilic OSN axon adhesion and lead us to propose a new model dividing axon extension into two phases. Phase I is OR-independent and accounts for up to 50% of the time during which axons approach the OB and begin navigating the olfactory nerve layer. Phase II is OR-dependent and concludes as OSN axons coalesce in glomeruli.
Verma, A; Bradley, W G
There is an imperative need for the early diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (ALS/MND) in the current era of emerging treatments. When evaluating the patient with ALS/MND, the neurologist must consider a number of other motor neuron disorders and related motor syndromes that may have clinical features resembling ALS/MND. The revised Airlie House-El Escorial diagnostic criteria have been established through the consensus of experts meeting at workshops. However, by definition, using these criteria a patient is likely to have fairly advanced disease at the time of a definitive ALS/MND diagnosis. The reasons for the difficulty in making an early ALS/MND diagnosis are several. No surrogate diagnostic marker currently exists for ALS/MND. ALS/MND at its onset is heterogeneous in clinical presentation, its clinical course is variable, and several clinical variants are recognized. In addition, certain motor syndromes, such as monomelic amyotrophy, postpolio muscular atrophy, and multifocal motor neuropathy, can clinically mimic ALS/MND. Therefore, not only may the diagnosis of ALS/MND be clinically missed in the early stages, but worse, the patient may be wrongly labeled as having ALS/MND. The diagnosis of ALS/MND requires a combination of upper motor neuron (UMN) and lower motor neuron (LMN) involvement. Motor syndromes in which the deficit is restricted to the UMN or LMN through the entire course of the disease are described as atypical MND in this review. Approximately 5% of patients with ALS/MND have overt dementia with a characteristic frontal affect. ALS/MND with parkinsonism and dementia is rare outside the western Pacific region. The clinical course of motor disorder in these overlap syndromes does not differ from that in typical ALS/MND.
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.
Stein, P S G
The turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans, uses its hindlimb during the rhythmic motor behaviors of walking, swimming, and scratching. For some tasks, one or more motor strategies or forms may be produced, e.g., forward swimming or backpaddling. This review discusses experiments that reveal characteristics of the spinal neuronal networks producing these motor behaviors. Limb-movement studies show shared properties such as rhythmic alternation between hip flexion and hip extension, as well as variable properties such as the timing of knee extension in the cycle of hip movements. Motor-pattern studies show shared properties such as rhythmic alternation between hip flexor and hip extensor motor activities, as well as variable properties such as modifiable timing of knee extensor motor activity in the cycle of hip motor activity. Motor patterns also display variations such as the hip-extensor deletion of rostral scratching. Neuronal-network studies reveal mechanisms responsible for movement and motor-pattern properties. Some interneurons in the spinal cord have shared activities, e.g., each unit is active during more than one behavior, and have distinct characteristics, e.g., each unit is most excited during a specific behavior. Interneuronal recordings during variations support the concept of modular organization of central pattern generators in the spinal cord.
Luis B Tovar-y-Romo
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.
Koch, J C; Tönges, L; Barski, E; Michel, U; Bähr, M; Lingor, P
The Rho/ROCK/LIMK pathway is central for the mediation of repulsive environmental signals in the central nervous system. Several studies using pharmacological Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitors have shown positive effects on neurite regeneration and suggest additional pro-survival effects in neurons. However, as none of these drugs is completely target specific, it remains unclear how these effects are mediated and whether ROCK is really the most relevant target of the pathway. To answer these questions, we generated adeno-associated viral vectors to specifically downregulate ROCK2 and LIM domain kinase (LIMK)-1 in rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in vitro and in vivo. We show here that specific knockdown of ROCK2 and LIMK1 equally enhanced neurite outgrowth of RGCs on inhibitory substrates and both induced substantial neuronal regeneration over distances of more than 5 mm after rat optic nerve crush (ONC) in vivo. However, only knockdown of ROCK2 but not LIMK1 increased survival of RGCs after optic nerve axotomy. Moreover, knockdown of ROCK2 attenuated axonal degeneration of the proximal axon after ONC assessed by in vivo live imaging. Mechanistically, we demonstrate here that knockdown of ROCK2 resulted in decreased intraneuronal activity of calpain and caspase 3, whereas levels of pAkt and collapsin response mediator protein 2 and autophagic flux were increased. Taken together, our data characterize ROCK2 as a specific therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases and demonstrate new downstream effects of ROCK2 including axonal degeneration, apoptosis and autophagy.
Szucs, Peter; Luz, Liliana L; Pinho, Raquel; Aguiar, Paulo; Antal, Zsófia; Tiong, Sheena Y X; Todd, Andrew J; Safronov, Boris V
Spinal lamina I is a key area for relaying and integrating information from nociceptive primary afferents with various other sources of inputs. Although lamina I projection neurons have been intensively studied, much less attention has been given to local-circuit neurons (LCNs), which form the majority of the lamina I neuronal population. In this work the infrared light-emitting diode oblique illumination technique was used to visualize and label LCNs, allowing reconstruction and analysis of their dendritic and extensive axonal trees. We show that the majority of lamina I neurons with locally branching axons fall into the multipolar (with ventrally protruding dendrites) and flattened (dendrites limited to lamina I) somatodendritic categories. Analysis of their axons revealed that the initial myelinated part gives rise to several unmyelinated small-diameter branches that have a high number of densely packed, large varicosities and an extensive rostrocaudal (two or three segments), mediolateral, and dorsoventral (reaching laminae III-IV) distribution. The extent of the axon and the occasional presence of long, solitary branches suggest that LCNs may also form short and long propriospinal connections. We also found that the distribution of axon varicosities and terminal field locations show substantial heterogeneity and that a substantial portion of LCNs is inhibitory. Our observations indicate that LCNs of lamina I form intersegmental as well as interlaminar connections and may govern large numbers of neurons, providing anatomical substrate for rostrocaudal "processing units" in the dorsal horn.
Eckhardt, S M; Hicks, E M; Herron, B; Morrison, P J; Aicardi, J
Two siblings, a male and a female, had severe axonal neuropathy and sideroblastic anemia. Despite a distinct clinical picture with areflexia, ataxia, hypotonia, optic atrophy, and progressive sensory neural hearing loss, no definite diagnosis could be reached and the older sibling died at 6 years of age of respiratory failure. It is proposed that the two affected siblings have a new form of autosomal-recessive axonal hereditary sensory motor neuropathy.
Ashrafi, Ghazaleh; Schlehe, Julia S.; LaVoie, Matthew J.
To minimize oxidative damage to the cell, malfunctioning mitochondria need to be removed by mitophagy. In neuronal axons, mitochondrial damage may occur in distal regions, far from the soma where most lysosomal degradation is thought to occur. In this paper, we report that PINK1 and Parkin, two Parkinson’s disease–associated proteins, mediate local mitophagy of dysfunctional mitochondria in neuronal axons. To reduce cytotoxicity and mimic physiological levels of mitochondrial damage, we selectively damaged a subset of mitochondria in hippocampal axons. Parkin was rapidly recruited to damaged mitochondria in axons followed by formation of LC3-positive autophagosomes and LAMP1-positive lysosomes. In PINK1−/− axons, damaged mitochondria did not accumulate Parkin and failed to be engulfed in autophagosomes. Similarly, initiation of mitophagy was blocked in Parkin−/− axons. Our findings demonstrate that the PINK1–Parkin-mediated pathway is required for local mitophagy in distal axons in response to focal damage. Local mitophagy likely provides rapid neuroprotection against oxidative stress without a requirement for retrograde transport to the soma. PMID:25154397
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.
Full Text Available Peripheral nerve injury triggers the activation of RhoA in spinal motor and peripheral sensory neurons. RhoA activates a number of effector proteins including the Rho-associated kinase, ROCK, which targets the cytoskeleton and leads to inhibition of neurite outgrowth. Blockade of the Rho/ROCK pathway by pharmacological means improves axon regeneration after experimental injury. C3bot transferase, an exoenzyme produced by Clostridium botulinum, inactivates RhoA by ADP-ribosylation. Up to now it was not investigated thoroughly whether C3bot exerts positive effects on peripheral axon regeneration as well. In the present study, recombinant membrane permeable C3bot produced a small, but significant, axon outgrowth effect on peripheral sensory neurons dissociated from adult dorsal root ganglia of the rat. Neuronal overexpression of C3, however, did not enhance axonal growth. Moreover, transfection of plasmids encoding dominant negative RhoA or RhoA specific shRNAs failed to increase axonal growth. Furthermore, we show that the C3bot mutant, C3E174Q, which lacks RhoA inhibitory activity, still stimulates axonal growth. When analyzing possible signaling mechanisms we found that ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase and Akt are activated by C3bot and ERK is induced by the C3E174Q mutant. Upregulation of kinase activities by C3bot occurs significantly faster than inactivation of RhoA indicating a RhoA-independent pathway of action by C3bot. The induction of ERK signaling by C3bot was detected in embryonic hippocampal neurons, too. Taken together, although RhoA plays a central role for inhibition of axon outgrowth by myelin-derived inhibitors, it does not interfere with axonal growth of sensory neurons on a permissive substrate in vitro. C3bot blocks neuronal RhoA activity, but its positive effects on axon elongation and branching appear to be mediated by Rho independent mechanisms involving activation of axon growth promoting ERK and Akt kinases.
Vagnoni, Alessio; Bullock, Simon L
There is growing interest in the link between axonal cargo transport and age-associated neuronal dysfunction. The study of axonal transport in neurons of adult animals requires intravital or ex vivo imaging approaches, which are laborious and expensive in vertebrate models. We describe simple, noninvasive procedures for imaging cargo motility within axons using sensory neurons of the translucent Drosophila wing. A key aspect is a method for mounting the intact fly that allows detailed imaging of transport in wing neurons. Coupled with existing genetic tools in Drosophila, this is a tractable system for studying axonal transport over the life span of an animal and thus for characterization of the relationship between cargo dynamics, neuronal aging and disease. Preparation of a sample for imaging takes ∼5 min, with transport typically filmed for 2-3 min per wing. We also document procedures for the quantification of transport parameters from the acquired images and describe how the protocol can be adapted to study other cell biological processes in aging neurons.
Cai, D; Qiu, J; Cao, Z; McAtee, M; Bregman, B S; Filbin, M T
Unlike neonatal axons, mammalian adult axons do not regenerate after injury. Likewise, myelin, a major factor in preventing regeneration in the adult, inhibits regeneration from older but not younger neurons. Identification of the molecular events responsible for this developmental loss of regenerative capacity is believed key to devising strategies to encourage regeneration in adults after injury. Here, we report that the endogenous levels of the cyclic nucleotide, cAMP, are dramatically higher in young neurons in which axonal growth is promoted both by myelin in general and by a specific myelin component, myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), than in the same types of neurons that, when older, are inhibited by myelin-MAG. Inhibiting a downstream effector of cAMP [protein kinase A (PKA)] prevents myelin-MAG promotion from young neurons, and elevating cAMP blocks myelin-MAG inhibition of neurite outgrowth in older neurons. Importantly, developmental plasticity of spinal tract axons in neonatal rat pups in vivo is dramatically reduced by inhibition of PKA. Thus, the switch from promotion to inhibition by myelin-MAG, which marks the developmental loss of regenerative capacity, is mediated by a developmentally regulated decrease in endogenous neuronal cAMP levels.
MacLennan, A J; Devlin, B K; Neitzel, K L; McLaurin, D L; Anderson, K J; Lee, N
Spinal motor neurons are one of the few classes of neurons capable of regenerating axons following axotomy. Injury-induced expression of neurotrophic factors and corresponding receptors may play an important role in this rare ability. A wide variety of indirect data suggests that ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor alpha may critically contribute to the regeneration of injured spinal motor neurons. We used immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and retrograde tracing techniques to study the regulation of ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor alpha in axotomized sciatic motor neurons. Ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor alpha immunoreactivity, detected with two independent antisera, is increased in a subpopulation of caudal sciatic motor neuron soma one, two and six weeks after sciatic nerve transection and reattachment, while no changes are detected at one day and 15 weeks post-lesion. Ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor alpha messenger RNA levels are augmented in the same classes of neurons following an identical lesion, suggesting that increased synthesis contributes, at least in part, to the additional ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor alpha protein. Separating the proximal and distal nerve stumps with a plastic barrier does not noticeably affect the injury-induced change in ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor alpha regulation, thereby indicating that this injury response is not dependent on signals distal to the lesion traveling retrogradely through the nerve or signals generated by axonal growth through the distal nerve. The prolonged increases in ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor alpha protein and messenger RNA found in regenerating sciatic motor neurons contrast with the responses of non-regenerating central neurons, which are reported to display, at most, a short-lived increase in ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor alpha messenger RNA expression following injury. The present data are the first to demonstrate, in vivo, neuronal regulation of
Riley, Danny A.; Sanger, James R.; Matloub, Hani S.; Yousif, N. John; Bain, James L. W.
Carbonic anhydrase (CA) and cholinesterase (CE) histochemical staining of rabbit spinal nerve roots and dorsal root ganglia demonstrated that among the reactive myeliated axons, with minor exceptions, sensory axons were CA positive and CE negative whereas motor axons were CA negative and CE positive. The high specificity was achieved by adjusting reaction conditions to stain subpopulations of myelinated axons selectively while leaving 50 percent or so unstained. Fixation with glutaraldehyde appeared necessary for achieving selectivity. Following sciatic nerve transection, the reciprocal staining pattern persisted in damaged axons and their regenerating processes which formed neuromas within the proximal nerve stump. Within the neuromas, CA-stained sensory processes were elaborated earlier and in greater numbers than CE-stained regenerating motor processes. The present results indicate that histochemical axon typing can be exploited to reveal heterogeneous responses of motor and sensory axons to injury.
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.
Zhi-Bo Wang; Xiaoqing Zhang; Xue-Jun Li
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.
Maoguang Yang; Xiaoyu Yang; Minfei Wu; Peng Xia; Chunxin Wang; Peng Yan; Qi Gao; Jian Liu; Haitao Wang; Xingwei Duan
In this review, we discuss the role of microtubule-associated protein 1B (MAP1B) and its phosphorylation in axonal development and regeneration in the central nervous system. MAP1B exhibits similar functions during axonal development and regeneration. MAP1B and phosphorylated MAP1B in neurons and axons maintain a dynamic balance between cytoskeletal components, and regulate the stability and interaction of microtubules and actin to promote axonal growth, neural connectivity and regeneration in the central nervous system.
Pastrana, Erika; Moreno-Flores, Maria Teresa; Avila, Jesus; Wandosell, Francisco; Minichiello, Liliana; Diaz-Nido, Javier
Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are the main glial cell type that populates mammalian olfactory nerves. These cells have a great capacity to promote the regeneration of axons when transplanted into the injured adult mammalian CNS. However, little is still known about the molecular mechanisms they employ in mediating such a task. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was identified as a candidate molecule in a genomic study that compared three functionally different OEC populations: Early passage OECs (OEC Ep), Late passage OECs (OEC Lp) and the OEC cell line TEG3 [Pastrana, E., Moreno-Flores, M.T., Gurzov, E.N., Avila, J., Wandosell, F., Diaz-Nido, J., 2006. Genes associated with adult axon regeneration promoted by olfactory ensheathing cells: a new role for matrix metalloproteinase 2. J. Neurosci. 26, 5347-5359]. We have here set out to determine the role played by BDNF in the stimulation of axon outgrowth by OECs. We compared the extracellular BDNF levels in the three OEC populations and show that it is produced in significant amounts by the OECs that can stimulate axon regeneration in adult retinal neurons (OEC Ep and TEG3) but it is absent from the extracellular medium of OEC Lp cells which lack this capacity. Blocking BDNF signalling impaired axonal regeneration of adult retinal neurons co-cultured with TEG3 cells and adding BDNF increased the proportion of adult neurons that regenerate their axons on OEC Lp monolayers. Combining BDNF with other extracellular proteins such as Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) further augmented this effect. This study shows that BDNF production by OECs plays a direct role in the promotion of axon regeneration of adult CNS neurons.
Bak, Søren; Stenager, E N; Stenager, Egon
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...
Yin, Zhuoran; Valkenburg, Femke; Hornix, Betty E; Mantingh-Otter, Ietje; Zhou, Xingdong; Mari, Muriel; Reggiori, Fulvio; Van Dam, Debby; Eggen, Bart J L; De Deyn, Peter P; Boddeke, Erik
Tauopathies include a variety of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the pathological aggregation of hyperphosphorylated tau, resulting in progressive cognitive decline and motor impairment. The underlying mechanism for motor deficits related to tauopathy is not yet fully understood. Here, we use a novel transgenic tau mouse line, Tau 58/4, with enhanced neuron-specific expression of P301S mutant tau to investigate the motor abnormalities in association with the peripheral nervous system. Using stationary beam, gait, and rotarod tests, motor deficits were found in Tau 58/4 mice already 3 months after birth, which deteriorated during aging. Hyperphosphorylated tau was detected in the cell bodies and axons of motor neurons. At the age of 9 and 12 months, significant denervation of the neuromuscular junction in the extensor digitorum longus muscle was observed in Tau 58/4 mice, compared to wild-type mice. Muscle hypotrophy was observed in Tau 58/4 mice at 9 and 12 months. Using electron microscopy, we observed ultrastructural changes in the sciatic nerve of 12-month-old Tau 58/4 mice indicative of the loss of large axonal fibers and hypomyelination (assessed by g-ratio). We conclude that the accumulated hyperphosphorylated tau in the axon terminals may induce dying-back axonal degeneration, myelin abnormalities, neuromuscular junction denervation, and muscular atrophy, which may be the mechanisms responsible for the deterioration of the motor function in Tau 58/4 mice. Tau 58/4 mice represent an interesting neuromuscular degeneration model, and the pathological mechanisms might be responsible for motor signs observed in some human tauopathies.
Van den Bosch, L.; Schwaller, B.; Vleminckx, V.
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...
Carrillo, Jennifer; Cheng, Shao-Ying; Ko, Kwang Woo; Jones, Theresa A; Nishiyama, Hiroshi
Presynaptic axonal varicosities, like postsynaptic spines, are dynamically added and eliminated even in mature neuronal circuitry. To study the role of this axonal structural plasticity in behavioral learning, we performed two-photon in vivo imaging of cerebellar parallel fibers (PFs) in adult mice. PFs make excitatory synapses on Purkinje cells (PCs) in the cerebellar cortex, and long-term potentiation and depression at PF-PC synapses are thought to play crucial roles in cerebellar-dependent learning. Time-lapse vital imaging of PFs revealed that, under a control condition (no behavioral training), ∼10% of PF varicosities appeared and disappeared over a period of 2 weeks without changing the total number of varicosities. The fraction of dynamic PF varicosities significantly diminished during training on an acrobatic motor skill learning task, largely because of reduced addition of new varicosities. Thus, this form of motor learning was associated with greater structural stability of PFs and a slight decrease in the total number of varicosities. Together with prior findings that the number of PF-PC synapses increases during similar training, our results suggest that acrobatic motor skill learning involves a reduction of some PF inputs and a strengthening of others, probably via the conversion of some preexisting PF varicosities into multisynaptic terminals.
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.
Tanya J. Wyatt
Full Text Available Motor neuron loss is characteristic of many neurodegenerative disorders and results in rapid loss of muscle control, paralysis, and eventual death in severe cases. In order to investigate the neurotrophic effects of a motor neuron lineage graft, we transplanted human embryonic stem cell-derived motor neuron progenitors (hMNPs and examined their histopathological effect in three animal models of motor neuron loss. Specifically, we transplanted hMNPs into rodent models of SMA (Δ7SMN, ALS (SOD1 G93A, and spinal cord injury (SCI. The transplanted cells survived and differentiated in all models. In addition, we have also found that hMNPs secrete physiologically active growth factors in vivo, including NGF and NT-3, which significantly enhanced the number of spared endogenous neurons in all three animal models. The ability to maintain dying motor neurons by delivering motor neuron-specific neurotrophic support represents a powerful treatment strategy for diseases characterized by motor neuron loss.
In spite of recent progress in brain sciences, the local circuit of the cerebral neocortex, including motor areas, still remains elusive. Morphological works on excitatory cortical circuitry from thalamocortical (TC) afferents to corticospinal neurons (CSNs) in motor-associated areas are reviewed here. First, TC axons of motor thalamic nuclei have been re-examined by the single-neuron labeling method. There are middle layer (ML)-targeting and layer (L) 1-preferring TC axon types in motor-associated areas, being analogous to core and matrix types, respectively, of Jones (1998) in sensory areas. However, the arborization of core-like motor TC axons spreads widely and disregards the columnar structure that is the basis of information processing in sensory areas, suggesting that motor areas adopt a different information-processing framework such as area-wide laminar organization. Second, L5 CSNs receive local excitatory inputs not only from L2/3 pyramidal neurons but also from ML spiny neurons, the latter directly processing cerebellar information of core-like TC neurons (TCNs). In contrast, basal ganglia information is targeted to apical dendrites of L2/3 and L5 pyramidal neurons through matrix TCNs. Third, L6 corticothalamic neurons (CTNs) are most densely innervated by ML spiny neurons located just above CTNs. Since CTNs receive only weak connections from L2/3 and L5 pyramidal neurons, the TC recurrent circuit composed of TCNs, ML spiny neurons and CTNs appears relatively independent of the results of processing in L2/3 and L5. It is proposed that two circuits sharing the same TC projection and ML neurons are embedded in the neocortex: one includes L2/3 and L5 neurons, processes afferent information in a feedforward way and sends the processed information to other cortical areas and subcortical regions; and the other circuit participates in a dynamical system of the TC recurrent circuit and may serve as the basis of autonomous activity of the neocortex. PMID
Vito Salvador Hernandez
Full Text Available Conventional neuroanatomical, immunohistochemical techniques and electrophysiological recording, as well as in vitro labeling methods may fail to detect long range extra-neurohypophyseal-projecting axons from vasopressin (AVP-containing magnocellular neurons (magnocells in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN. Here, we used in vivo extracellular recording, juxtacellular labeling, post hoc anatomo-immunohistochemical analysis and camera lucida reconstruction to address this question. We demonstrate that all well-labeled AVP immunopositive neurons inside the PVN possess main axons joining the tract of Greving and multi-axon-like processes, as well as axonal collaterals branching very near to the somata, which project to extra-neurohypophyseal regions. The detected regions in this study include the medial and lateral preoptical area, suprachiasmatic nucleus, lateral habenula, medial and central amygdala and the conducting systems, such as stria medullaris, the fornix and the internal capsule. Expression of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 was observed in axon-collaterals. These results, in congruency with several previous reports in the literature, provided unequivocal evidence that AVP magnocells have an uncommon feature of possessing multiple axon-like processes emanating from somata or proximal dendrites. Furthermore, the long-range non-neurohypophyseal projections are more common than an occasional phenomenon as previously thought.
Osório, Catarina; Chacón, Pedro J.; White, Matthew; Kisiswa, Lilian; Wyatt, Sean; Rodríguez-Tébar, Alfredo; Davies, Alun M.
APRIL (A Proliferation-Inducing Ligand, TNFSF13) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily that regulates lymphocyte survival and activation and has been implicated in tumorigenesis and autoimmune diseases. Here we report the expression and first known activity of APRIL in the nervous system. APRIL and one of its receptors, BCMA (B-Cell Maturation Antigen, TNFRSF17), are expressed by hippocampal pyramidal cells of fetal and postnatal mice. In culture, these neurons secreted APRIL, and function-blocking antibodies to either APRIL or BCMA reduced axonal elongation. Recombinant APRIL enhanced axonal elongation, but did not influence dendrite elongation. The effect of APRIL on axon elongation was inhibited by anti-BCMA and the expression of a signaling-defective BCMA mutant in these neurons, suggesting that the axon growth-promoting effect of APRIL is mediated by BCMA. APRIL promoted phosphorylation and activation of ERK1, ERK2 and Akt and serine phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK-3β in cultured hippocampal pyramidal cells. Inhibition of MEK1/MEK2 (activators of ERK1/ERK2), PI3-kinase (activator of Akt) or Akt inhibited the axon growth-promoting action of APRIL, as did pharmacological activation of GSK-3β and the expression of a constitutively active form of GSK-3β. These findings suggest that APRIL promotes axon elongation by a mechanism that depends both on ERK signaling and PI3-kinase/Akt/GSK-3β signaling. PMID:24444792
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
Ihara, Naoki; Nakashima, Ai; Hoshina, Naosuke; Ikegaya, Yuji; Takeuchi, Haruki
In the mouse olfactory system, the axons of olfactory sensory neurons that express the same type of odorant receptor (OR) converge to a specific set of glomeruli in the olfactory bulb (OB). It is widely accepted that expressed OR molecules instruct glomerular segregation by regulating the expression of axon-sorting molecules. Although the relationship between the expression of axon-sorting molecules and OR types has been analyzed in detail, those between the expressions of axon-sorting molecules remain to be elucidated. Here we collected the expression profiles of four axon-sorting molecules from a large number of glomeruli in the OB. These molecules demonstrated position-independent mosaic expressions, but their patterns were not identical in the OB. Comparing their expressions identified positive and negative correlations between several pairs of genes even though they showed various expressions. Furthermore, the principal component analysis revealed that the factor loadings in the principal component 1, which explain the largest amount of variation, were most likely to reflect the degree of the cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel dependence on the expression of axon-sorting molecules. Thus, neural activity generated through the CNG channel is a major component in the generation of a wide variety of expressions of axon-sorting molecules in glomerular segregation.
Pirooznia, Sheila K.; Dawson, Valina L.; Dawson, Ted M.
Motor neurons in ALS die via cell-autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms. Using adult human astrocytes and motor neurons, Re et al (2014) discover that familial and sporadic ALS derived human adult astrocytes secrete neurotoxic factors that selectively kill motor neurons through necroptosis, suggesting a new therapeutic avenue. PMID:24607221
Okwueze, Martina I; Cardwell, Nancy L; Wolfort, Sean L; Nanney, Lillian B
The prevalence of motor variations in the nerves supplying muscles of the first web space was evaluated by a visual dissection and immunohistochemical analysis from 56 cadaver hands. By microscopic visualization, 30% of the superficial radial nerves (SRNs) sent branches into muscles of the first web space. Since these unexpected penetrating branches were expected to be sensory or proprioceptive, markers of sensory and motor axons were used for confirmation. Positive identifications of motor axons (as identified by positive immunostaining for choline acetyltransferase) were made in 30% of SRNs and in 28.5% of posterior interosseous nerves. Classical teachings that the SRNs and PINs are exclusively sensory have been brought into question. Our data are in agreement with the rare clinical finding that motor function occasionally persists following devastating injury to both the ulnar and median nerves. Anatomic prevalence for this variation appears much higher than previous descriptions have indicated.
Zareen, N; Shinozaki, M; Ryan, D; Alexander, H; Amer, A; Truong, D Q; Khadka, N; Sarkar, A; Naeem, S; Bikson, M; Martin, J H
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.
Petersen, Peter Christian
In biological networks, millions of neurons organize themselves from microscopic noisy individuals to robust macroscopic entities. These entities are capable of producing higher functions like sensory processing, decision-making, and elaborate behavioral responses. Every aspect of these behaviors...... is the outcome of an advanced orchestration of the activity of populations of neurons. Through spiking activity, neurons are able to interact; yet we know little about how this interaction occurs in spinal networks. How is the activity distributed across the population? What is the composition of synaptic input...... that is received by the individual neurons and how is the synaptic input processed? This thesis focuses on aspects of these questions for spinal networks involved in the generation of stereotypical motor behaviors. The thesis consists of two studies. In the first study, I investigated the synaptic input...
Rodríguez-Martín, Teresa; Pooler, Amy M; Lau, Dawn H W; Mórotz, Gábor M; De Vos, Kurt J; Gilley, Jonathan; Coleman, Michael P; Hanger, Diane P
Expression of the frontotemporal dementia-related tau mutation, P301L, at physiological levels in adult mouse brain (KI-P301L mice) results in overt hypophosphorylation of tau and age-dependent alterations in axonal mitochondrial transport in peripheral nerves. To determine the effects of P301L tau expression in the central nervous system, we examined the kinetics of mitochondrial axonal transport and tau phosphorylation in primary cortical neurons from P301L knock-in (KI-P301L) mice. We observed a significant 50% reduction in the number of mitochondria in the axons of cortical neurons cultured from KI-P301L mice compared to wild-type neurons. Expression of murine P301L tau did not change the speed, direction of travel or likelihood of movement of mitochondria. Notably, the angle that defines the orientation of the mitochondria in the axon, and the volume of individual moving mitochondria, were significantly increased in neurons expressing P301L tau. We found that murine tau phosphorylation in KI-P301L mouse neurons was diminished and the ability of P301L tau to bind to microtubules was also reduced compared to tau in wild-type neurons. The P301L mutation did not influence the ability of murine tau to associate with membranes in cortical neurons or in adult mouse brain. We conclude that P301L tau is associated with mitochondrial changes and causes an early reduction in murine tau phosphorylation in neurons coupled with impaired microtubule binding of tau. These results support the association of mutant tau with detrimental effects on mitochondria and will be of significance for the pathogenesis of tauopathies. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Morgan, Brandie R; Coates, Joan R; Johnson, Gayle C; Shelton, G Diane; Katz, Martin L
Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a progressive, adult-onset, multisystem degenerative disease with many features in common with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As with some forms of ALS, DM is associated with mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). Clinical signs include general proprioceptive ataxia and spastic upper motor neuron paresis in pelvic limbs, which progress to flaccid tetraplegia and dysphagia. The purpose of this study was to characterize DM as a potential disease model for ALS. We previously reported that intercostal muscle atrophy develops in dogs with advanced-stage DM. To determine whether other components of the thoracic motor unit (MU) also demonstrated morphological changes consistent with dysfunction, histopathologic and morphometric analyses were conducted on thoracic spinal motor neurons (MNs) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and in motor and sensory nerve root axons from DM-affected boxers and Pembroke Welsh corgis (PWCs). No alterations in MNs or motor root axons were observed in either breed. However, advanced-stage PWCs exhibited significant losses of sensory root axons, and numerous DRG sensory neurons displayed evidence of degeneration. These results indicate that intercostal muscle atrophy in DM is not preceded by physical loss of the motor neurons innervating these muscles, nor of their axons. Axonal loss in thoracic sensory roots and sensory neuron death suggest that sensory involvement may play an important role in DM disease progression. Further analysis of the mechanisms responsible for these morphological findings would aid in the development of therapeutic intervention for DM and some forms of ALS.
Babar, Masood Uz Zaman; Hakeem, Haris; Khan, Sara
A man aged 22 years misdiagnosed as suffering from recurrent abdominal tuberculosis, in view of recurrent abdominal pain was treated for abdominal tuberculosis in the past. The patient was prescribed antituberculous therapy. 2 months after starting treatment, he developed progressive weakness of all 4 limbs. Electrodiagnostic examination revealed an acute severe motor axonal neuropathy. Further workup revealed elevated porphyrin precursors in urine.
Jiu-Hong Zhao; Yi-Di Huang; Xi-Nan Yi; Quan-Peng Zhang; Xian-Fang Zhang; Xu Dong; Gang Luo; Hai-Ying Zhang; Kun-Ju Wang; Mei-Li Lao
Objective: To study the influence of satellite glial cells (SGCs) on the outgrowth of neuronal neurite and the role of Slit1 protein and the contact with neurons in this process, in vitro. Methods: Neurons culture and SGC-neuron co-culture were used as the cell models. The length of axons and dendrites were measured via immunofluorescence to observe the influence of SGCs on the outgrowth of neuronal neurite. The Slit1 protein was added into SGC-neuron co-culture model. The length of dendrites was measured via immunofluorescence at different point times. Result: The anatomical relationship between neurons and SGCs changed as culture period expand. At 12 h after culture, SGCs all surrounded neurons; by 72 h after culture, SGCs were all off neurons. SGCs can promote the growth of neuronal axos, but inhibit the growth of its dendrites; when SGCs closely contact with neurons, the effect of Slit1 on promoting the dendritic growth is not obvious, but when SGCs were off neurons, the effect of Slit1 on promoting the dendritic growth is significant. Conclusion: SGCs can promote the growth of neuronal axos, but inhibit the growth of its dendrites; Slit- Robo signaling pathways and contact with neurons play a role in this process.
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
Conclusion: This study shows that the majority of TrkB neurons in the ARH are distinct from known neuronal populations and that BDNF plays a critical role in directing projections from these neurons to the DMH and PVH. We propose that hyperphagic obesity due to BDNF deficiency is in part attributable to impaired axonal growth of TrkB-expressing ARH neurons.
Halbedl, Sonja; Schoen, Michael; Feiler, Marisa S; Boeckers, Tobias M; Schmeisser, Michael J
Autism-related Shank1, Shank2, and Shank3 are major postsynaptic scaffold proteins of excitatory glutamatergic synapses. A few studies, however, have already indicated that within a neuron, the presence of Shank family members is not limited to the postsynaptic density. By separating axons from dendrites of developing hippocampal neurons in microfluidic chambers, we show that RNA of all three Shank family members is present within axons. Immunostaining confirms these findings as all three Shanks are indeed found within separated axons and further co-localize with well-known proteins of the presynaptic specialization in axon terminals. Therefore, Shank proteins might not only serve as postsynaptic scaffold proteins, but also play a crucial role during axonal outgrowth and presynaptic development and function. This is supported by our findings that shRNA-mediated knockdown of Shank3 results in up-regulation of the NMDA receptor subunit GluN1 in axon terminals. Taken together, our findings will have major implications for the future analysis of neuronal Shank biology in both health and disease. Shank1, Shank2, and Shank3 are major postsynaptic scaffold proteins of excitatory glutamatergic synapses strongly related to several neuropsychiatric disorders. However, a few studies have already implicated a functional role of the Shanks beyond the postsynaptic density (PSD). We here show that all three Shanks are localized in both axons and pre-synaptic specializiations of developing hippocampal neurons in culture. We further provide evidence that Shank3 is involved in the modulation of NMDA receptor levels at axon terminals. Taken together, our study will open up novel avenues for the future analysis of neuronal Shank biology in both health and disease.
Dannette S Richards
Full Text Available Motoneuron synapses on spinal cord interneurons known as Renshaw cells activate nicotinic, AMPA and NMDA receptors consistent with co-release of acetylcholine and excitatory amino acids (EAA. However, whether these synapses express vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs capable of accumulating glutamate into synaptic vesicles is controversial. An alternative possibility is that these synapses release other EAAs, like aspartate, not dependent on VGLUTs. To clarify the exact EAA concentrated at motor axon synapses we performed a quantitative postembedding colloidal gold immunoelectron analysis for aspartate and glutamate on motor axon synapses (identified by immunoreactivity to the vesicular acetylcholine transporter; VAChT contacting calbindin-immunoreactive (-IR Renshaw cell dendrites. The results show that 71% to 80% of motor axon synaptic boutons on Renshaw cells contained aspartate immunolabeling two standard deviations above average neuropil labeling. Moreover, VAChT-IR synapses on Renshaw cells contained, on average, aspartate immunolabeling at 2.5 to 2.8 times above the average neuropil level. In contrast, glutamate enrichment was lower; 21% to 44% of VAChT-IR synapses showed glutamate-IR two standard deviations above average neuropil labeling and average glutamate immunogold density was 1.7 to 2.0 times the neuropil level. The results were not influenced by antibody affinities because glutamate antibodies detected glutamate-enriched brain homogenates more efficiently than aspartate antibodies detecting aspartate-enriched brain homogenates. Furthermore, synaptic boutons with ultrastructural features of Type I excitatory synapses were always labeled by glutamate antibodies at higher density than motor axon synapses. We conclude that motor axon synapses co-express aspartate and glutamate, but aspartate is concentrated at higher levels than glutamate.
Ylera, Bhavna; Ertürk, Ali; Hellal, Farida; Nadrigny, Fabien; Hurtado, Andres; Tahirovic, Sabina; Oudega, Martin; Kirchhoff, Frank; Bradke, Frank
Several experimental manipulations result in axonal regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) when applied before or at the time of injury but not when initiated after a delay, which would be clinically more relevant. As centrally injured neurons show signs of atrophy and degeneration, it raises the question whether chronically injured neurons are able to regenerate. To address this question, we used adult rodent primary sensory neurons that regenerate their central axon when their peripheral axon is cut (called conditioning) beforehand but not afterwards. We found that primary sensory neurons express regeneration-associated genes and efficiently regrow their axon in cell culture two months after a central lesion upon conditioning. Moreover, conditioning enables central axons to regenerate through a fresh lesion independent of a previous central lesion. Using in vivo imaging we demonstrated that conditioned neurons rapidly regrow their axons through a fresh central lesion. Finally, when single sensory axons were cut with a two-photon laser, they robustly regenerate within days after attaining growth competence through conditioning. We conclude that sensory neurons can acquire the intrinsic potential to regenerate their axons months after a CNS lesion, which they implement in the absence of traumatic tissue.
Full Text Available Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP exerts neurotrophic activities including modulation of synaptic plasticity and memory, hippocampal neurogenesis, and neuroprotection, most of which are shared with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare morphological effects of PACAP and BDNF on primary cultured hippocampal neurons. At days in vitro (DIV 3, PACAP increased neurite length and number to similar levels by BDNF, but vasoactive intestinal polypeptide showed much lower effects. In addition, PACAP increased axon, but not dendrite, length, and soma size at DIV 3 similarly to BDNF. The PACAP antagonist PACAP6-38 completely blocked the PACAP-induced increase in axon, but not dendrite, length. Interestingly, the BDNF-induced increase in axon length was also inhibited by PACAP6-38, suggesting a mechanism involving PACAP signaling. K252a, a TrkB receptor inhibitor, inhibited axon outgrowth induced by PACAP and BDNF without affecting dendrite length. These results indicate that in primary cultured hippocampal neurons, PACAP shows morphological actions via its cognate receptor PAC1, stimulating neurite length and number, and soma size to a comparable extent as BDNF, and that the increase in total neurite length is ascribed to axon outgrowth.
Moldovan, Mihai; Rosberg, Mette Romer; Alvarez, Susana
Accumulating myelin abnormalities and conduction slowing occur in peripheral nerves during aging. In mice deficient of myelin protein P0, severe peripheral nervous system myelin damage is associated with ectopic expression of Nav1.8 voltage-gated Na(+) channels on motor axons aggravating...... 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....... With aging, deviations during threshold electrotonus were attenuated and the resting current-threshold slope and early refractoriness were increased. Modeling indicated that, in addition to changes in passive membrane properties, motor fibers in aged WT mice were depolarized. An increased Nav1.8 isoform...
Sánchez-Ponce, Diana; DeFelipe, Javier; Garrido, Juan José; Muñoz, Alberto
Axonal outgrowth and the formation of the axon initial segment (AIS) are early events in the acquisition of neuronal polarity. The AIS is characterized by a high concentration of voltage-dependent sodium and potassium channels. However, the specific ion channel subunits present and their precise localization in this axonal subdomain vary both during development and among the types of neurons, probably determining their firing characteristics in response to stimulation. Here, we characterize the developmental expression of different subfamilies of voltage-gated potassium channels in the AISs of cultured mouse hippocampal neurons, including subunits Kv1.2, Kv2.2 and Kv7.2. In contrast to the early appearance of voltage-gated sodium channels and the Kv7.2 subunit at the AIS, Kv1.2 and Kv2.2 subunits were tethered at the AIS only after 10 days in vitro. Interestingly, we observed different patterns of Kv1.2 and Kv2.2 subunit expression, with each confined to distinct neuronal populations. The accumulation of Kv1.2 and Kv2.2 subunits at the AIS was dependent on ankyrin G tethering, it was not affected by disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and it was resistant to detergent extraction, as described previously for other AIS proteins. This distribution of potassium channels in the AIS further emphasizes the heterogeneity of this structure in different neuronal populations, as proposed previously, and suggests corresponding differences in action potential regulation. PMID:23119056
Berthet, Amandine; Margolis, Elyssa B; Zhang, Jue; Hsieh, Ivy; Zhang, Jiasheng; Hnasko, Thomas S; Ahmad, Jawad; Edwards, Robert H; Sesaki, Hiromi; Huang, Eric J; Nakamura, Ken
Disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about the normal functions of mitochondrial dynamics in these neurons, especially in axons where degeneration begins, and this makes it difficult to understand the disease process. To study one aspect of mitochondrial dynamics-mitochondrial fission-in mouse DA neurons, we deleted the central fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Drp1 loss rapidly eliminates the DA terminals in the caudate-putamen and causes cell bodies in the midbrain to degenerate and lose α-synuclein. Without Drp1, mitochondrial mass dramatically decreases, especially in axons, where the mitochondrial movement becomes uncoordinated. However, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subset of midbrain DA neurons characterized by small hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih) is spared, despite near complete loss of their axonal mitochondria. Drp1 is thus critical for targeting mitochondria to the nerve terminal, and a disruption in mitochondrial fission can contribute to the preferential death of nigrostriatal DA neurons.
Wootz, Hanna; FitzSimons-Kantamneni, Eileen; Larhammar, Martin; Rotterman, Travis M.; Enjin, Anders; Patra, Kalicharan; Andre, Elodie; van Zundert, Brigitte; Kullander, Klas; Alvarez, Francisco J.
Motor neurons become hyperexcitable during progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This abnormal firing behavior has been explained by changes in their membrane properties, but more recently it has been suggested that changes in premotor circuits may also contribute to this abnormal activity. The specific circuits that may be altered during development of ALS have not been investigated. Here we examined the Renshaw cell recurrent circuit that exerts inhibitory feedback control on motor neuron firing. Using two markers for Renshaw cells (calbindin and Chrna2 , cholinergic nicotinic receptor subunit alpha2), two general markers for motor neurons (NeuN and VAChT, vesicular acethylcholine transporter ) and two markers for fast motor neurons (Chondrolectin and Calca, calcitonin-related polypeptide alpha), we analyzed the survival and connectivity of these cells during disease progression in the Sod1G93A mouse model. Most calbindin-immunoreactive (IR) Renshaw cells survive to end-stage but downregulate postsynaptic Chrna2 in presymptomatic animals. In motor neurons, some markers are downregulated early (NeuN, VAChT, Chondrolectin) and others at end-stage(Calca). Early downregulation of presynaptic VAChT and Chrna2 was correlated with disconnection from Renshaw cells as well as major structural abnormalities of motor axon synapses inside the spinal cord. Renshaw cell synapses on motor neurons underwent more complex changes, including transitional sprouting preferentially over remaining NeuN-IR motor neurons. We conclude that the loss of presynaptic motor axon input on Renshaw cells occurs at early stages of ALS and disconnects the recurrent inhibitory circuit, presumably resulting in a diminished control of motor neuron firing. PMID:23172249
Santos, Telma; Martins Campos, António; Morais, Hugo
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.
Clark W Bird
Full Text Available The KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KSRP promotes the decay of AU-rich element (ARE-containing mRNAs. Although KSRP is expressed in the nervous system, very little is known about its role in neurons. In this study, we examined whether KSRP regulates the stability of the ARE-containing GAP-43 mRNA. We found that KSRP destabilizes this mRNA by binding to its ARE, a process that requires the presence of its fourth KH domain (KH4. Furthermore, KSRP competed with the stabilizing factor HuD for binding to these sequences. We also examined the functional consequences of KSRP overexpression and knockdown on the differentiation of primary hippocampal neurons in culture. Overexpression of full length KSRP or KSRP without its nuclear localization signal hindered axonal outgrowth in these cultures, while overexpression of a mutant protein without the KH4 domain that has less affinity for binding to GAP-43's ARE had no effect. In contrast, depletion of KSRP led to a rise in GAP-43 mRNA levels and a dramatic increase in axonal length, both in KSRP shRNA transfected cells and neurons cultured from Ksrp(+/- and Ksrp(-/- embryos. Finally we found that overexpression of GAP-43 rescued the axonal outgrowth deficits seen with KSRP overexpression, but only when cells were transfected with GAP-43 constructs containing 3' UTR sequences targeting the transport of this mRNA to axons. Together, our results suggest that KSRP is an important regulator of mRNA stability and axonal length that works in direct opposition to HuD to regulate the levels of GAP-43 and other ARE-containing neuronal mRNAs.
Bhattacharjee, Nirveek; Li, Nianzhen; Keenan, Thomas M; Folch, Albert
Investigation of biochemical cues in isolation or in combinations in cell culture systems is crucial for unraveling the mechanisms that govern neural development and repair. The most widely used experimental paradigms that elicit axon guidance in vitro utilize as the source of the gradient a pulsatile pipette, transfected cells, or a loaded gel, producing time-varying gradients of poor reproducibility which are not well suited for studying slow-growing mammalian cells. Although microfluidic device design have allowed for generating stable, complex gradients of diffusible molecules, the flow-induced shear forces in a microchannel has made it impossible to maintain viable mammalian neuronal cultures for sufficiently long times. In this paper, we describe axonal responses of mouse cortical neurons in a "neuron-benign" gradient-generator device based on an open chamber that can establish highly stable gradients of diffusible molecules for at least 6 h with negligible shear stress, and also allows the neurons to thrive for at least 2 weeks. Except for the period when the gradient is on, the cells in the gradient are under the same conditions as the cells on the control surfaces, which ensure a consistent set of micro-environmental variables. The gradient stability and uniformity over the cell culture surface achieved by the device, together with our software platform for acquiring, post-processing and quantitatively analyzing the large number of images allowed us to extract valuable information even from small datasets. We report a directed response of primary mammalian neurons (from E14 embryonic mice cortex) to a diffusible gradient of netrin in vitro. We infer from our studies that a large majority (∼73%) of the neurons that extend axons during the gradient application grow towards the netrin source, and our data analysis also indicates that netrin acts as a growth factor for this same population of neurons.
Xiao, Qingpin; Hu, Xiaohui; Wei, Zhiyi; Tam, Kin Yip
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.
Moldovan, Mihai; Rosberg, Mette Romer; Alvarez, Susana; Klein, Dennis; Martini, Rudolf; Krarup, Christian
Accumulating myelin abnormalities and conduction slowing occur in peripheral nerves during aging. In mice deficient of myelin protein P0, severe peripheral nervous system myelin damage is associated with ectopic expression of Nav1.8 voltage-gated Na(+) channels on motor axons aggravating 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. With aging, deviations during threshold electrotonus were attenuated and the resting current-threshold slope and early refractoriness were increased. Modeling indicated that, in addition to changes in passive membrane properties, motor fibers in aged WT mice were depolarized. An increased Nav1.8 isoform 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 during aging.
Clemessy, Maud; Heurtier, Victor; Ledent, Tatiana; Robinson, Iain C.; Mollard, Patrice; Epelbaum, Jacques; Meaney, Michael J.; Garel, Sonia; Le Bouc, Yves; Kappeler, Laurent
Nutrition during the perinatal period programs body growth. Growth hormone (GH) secretion from the pituitary regulates body growth and is controlled by Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH) neurons located in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. We observed that dietary restriction during the early postnatal period (i.e. lactation) in mice influences postnatal growth by permanently altering the development of the somatotropic axis in the pituitary gland. This alteration may be due to a lack of GHRH signaling during this critical developmental period. Indeed, underfed pups showed decreased insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) plasma levels, which are associated with lower innervation of the median eminence by GHRH axons at 10 days of age relative to normally fed pups. IGF-I preferentially stimulated axon elongation of GHRH neurons in in vitro arcuate explant cultures from 7 day-old normally fed pups. This IGF-I stimulating effect was selective since other arcuate neurons visualized concomitantly by neurofilament labeling, or AgRP immunochemistry, did not significantly respond to IGF-I stimulation. Moreover, GHRH neurons in explants from age-matched underfed pups lost the capacity to respond to IGF-I stimulation. Molecular analyses indicated that nutritional restriction was associated with impaired activation of AKT. These results highlight a role for IGF-I in axon elongation that appears to be cell selective and participates in the complex cellular mechanisms that link underfeeding during the early postnatal period with programming of the growth trajectory. PMID:28076448
Zhang, Qiu-Wan; Deng, Xu-Xu; Sun, Xiao; Xu, Jin-Xiu; Sun, Feng-Yan
Newborn striatal neurons induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) can form functional projections targeting into the substantia nigra, which should be very important for the recovery of motor function...
Polgár, Erika; Sardella, Thomas C P; Watanabe, Masahiko; Todd, Andrew J
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 neurons in laminae I-III were NPY-immunoreactive and based on the proportions of neurons that are GABAergic, we estimate that NPY is expressed by 18% of inhibitory interneurons in laminae I-II and 9% of those in lamina III. GABAergic boutons were identified by the presence of the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) and NPY was found in 13-15% of VGAT-immunoreactive boutons in laminae I-II, and 5% of those in lamina III. For both the lamina III NK1r-immunoreactive projection neurons and protein kinase Cγ (PKCγ)-immunoreactive interneurons in lamina II, we found that around one-third of the VGAT boutons that contacted them were NPY-immunoreactive. However, based on differences in the sizes of these boutons and the strength of their NPY-immunoreactivity, we conclude that these originate from different populations of interneurons. Only 6% of VGAT boutons presynaptic to large lamina I projection neurons that lacked NK1rs contained NPY. These results show that NPY-containing neurons make up a considerable proportion of the inhibitory interneurons in laminae I-III, and that their axons preferentially target certain classes of dorsal horn neuron.
Challagundla, Malleswari; Koch, Jan Christoph; Ribas, Vinicius Toledo; Michel, Uwe; Kügler, Sebastian; Ostendorf, Thomas; Bradke, Frank; Müller, Hans Werner; Bähr, Mathias; Lingor, Paul
A lesion to the rat rubrospinal tract is a model for traumatic spinal cord lesions and results in atrophy of the red nucleus neurons, axonal dieback, and locomotor deficits. In this study, we used adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated over-expression of BAG1 and ROCK2-shRNA in the red nucleus to trace [by co-expression of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)] and treat the rubrospinal tract after unilateral dorsal hemisection. We investigated the effects of targeted gene therapy on neuronal survival, axonal sprouting of the rubrospinal tract, and motor recovery 12 weeks after unilateral dorsal hemisection at Th8 in rats. In addition to the evaluation of BAG1 and ROCK2 as therapeutic targets in spinal cord injury, we aimed to demonstrate the feasibility and the limits of an AAV-mediated protein over-expression versus AAV.shRNA-mediated down-regulation in this traumatic CNS lesion model. Our results demonstrate that BAG1 and ROCK2-shRNA both promote neuronal survival of red nucleus neurons and enhance axonal sprouting proximal to the lesion.
Chi, Man Sum; Ng, Shi Hon; Chan, Lok Yiu
A 60-year-old man presented with acute onset of left hemiparesis and left hypoglossal nerve palsy with ipsilateral tongue swelling. He then progressed to tetraparesis in a few days. Cerebrospinal fluid showed cell protein dissociation. A nerve conduction study showed motor axonal neuropathy with sensory sparing. A subsequent blood test revealed anti-GD1b IgG antibody positivity. He was diagnosed to have acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) and treated with a course of intravenous immunoglobulin with slow improvement. This is probably the first AMAN with asymmetrical presentation mimicking stroke reported in the literature in detail. The anti-GD1b IgG antibody is also not commonly associated with AMAN.
Turner, Martin R; Talbot, Kevin
The progression of motor neurone disease (MND) is currently irreversible, and the grave implications of diagnosis naturally fuels concern among neurologists over missing a potential mimic disorder. There is no diagnostic test for MND but in reality there are few plausible mimics in routine clinical practice. In the presence of a progressive pure motor disorder, signs such as florid fasciculations, bilateral tongue wasting, the 'split hand', head drop, emotionality, and cognitive or behavioural impairment carry high positive predictive value. MND is clinically heterogeneous, however, with some important chameleon-like presentations and considerable variation in clinical course. Lack of confidence about the scope of such variation, or an approach to diagnosis emphasising investigations over clinical common sense, has the potential to exacerbate diagnostic delay in MND and impede timely planning of the care which is essential to maximising quality of life.
Santana-Vaz, Natasha; Bwika, Jumaa; Morley, Kirstie; Mukherjee, Rahul
Motor neurone disease (MND) is a chronic, progressive and currently incurable neurodegenerative disorder. This case report discusses an instance of MND presenting initially as polycythaemia, caused via insidious respiratory failure through ventilatory insufficiency. This case aims to improve clinicians' awareness of this atypical presentation and highlights the need for a high index of suspicion of respiratory failure in any patient with polycythaemia. Finally it demonstrates an improvement in quality of life associated with the use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in a patient with MND.
Del Punta, Karina; Puche, Adam; Adams, Niels C; Rodriguez, Ivan; Mombaerts, Peter
The mammalian vomeronasal system is specialized in pheromone detection. The neural circuitry of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) provides an anatomical substrate for the coding of pheromone information. Here, we describe the axonal projection pattern of vomeronasal sensory neurons to the AOB and the dendritic connectivity pattern of second-order neurons. Genetically traced sensory neurons expressing a given gene of the V2R class of vomeronasal receptors project their axons to six to ten glomeruli distributed in globally conserved areas of the AOB, a theme similar to V1R-expressing neurons. Surprisingly, second-order neurons tend to project their dendrites to glomeruli innervated by axons of sensory neurons expressing the same V1R or the same V2R gene. Convergence of receptor type information in the olfactory bulb may represent a common design in olfactory systems.
Katsaloulis, P.; Ghosh, A.; Philippe, A. C.; Provata, A.; Deriche, R.
In this work the fractal architecture of the neuron axonal topography of the human brain is evaluated, as derived from 3-D diffusion MRI (dMRI) acquisitions. This is a 3D extension of work performed previously in 2D regions of interest (ROIs), where the fractal dimension of the neuron axonal topography was computed from dMRI data. A group study with 18 subjects is here conducted and the fractal dimensions D f of the entire 3-D volume of the brains is estimated via the box counting, the correlation dimension and the fractal mass dimension methods. The neuron axon data is obtained using tractography algorithms on diffusion tensor imaging of the brain. We find that all three calculations of D f give consistent results across subjects, namely, they demonstrate fractal characteristics in the short and medium length scales: different fractal exponents prevail at different length scales, an indication of multifractality. We surmise that this complexity stems as a collective property emerging when many local brain units, performing different functional tasks and having different local topologies, are recorded together.
Gonzalez-Perez, Francisco; Alé, Albert; Santos, Daniel; Barwig, Christina; Freier, Thomas; Navarro, Xavier; Udina, Esther
After peripheral nerve injuries, damaged axons can regenerate but functional recovery is limited by the specific reinnervation of targets. In this study we evaluated if motor and sensory neurites have a substrate preference for laminin and fibronectin in postnatal and adult stages. In postnatal dorsal root ganglia (DRG) explants, sensory neurons extended longer neurites on collagen matrices enriched with laminin (~50%) or fibronectin (~35%), whereas motoneurons extended longer neurites (~100%) in organotypic spinal cord slices embedded in fibronectin-enriched matrix. An increased percentage of parvalbumin-positive neurites (presumptive proprioceptive) vs. neurofilament-positive neurites was also found in DRG in fibronectin-enriched matrix. To test if the different preference of neurons for extracellular matrix components was maintained in vivo, these matrices were used to fill a chitosan guide to repair a 6-mm gap in the sciatic nerve of adult rats. However, the number of regenerating motor and sensory neurons after 1 month was similar between groups. Moreover, none of the retrotraced sensory neurons in DRG was positive for parvalbumin, suggesting that presumptive proprioceptive neurons had poor regenerative capabilities compared with other peripheral neurons. Using real-time PCR we evaluated the expression of α5β1 (receptor for fibronectin) and α7β1 integrin (receptor for laminin) in spinal cord and DRG 2 days after injury. Postnatal animals showed a higher increase of α5β1 integrin, whereas both integrins were similarly expressed in adult neurons. Therefore, we conclude that motor and sensory axons have a different substrate preference at early postnatal stages but this difference is lost in the adult. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Jeong, Suh Young
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.
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.
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.
Sebastián-Serrano, Alvaro; Sandonis, Africa; Cardozo, Marcos; Rodríguez-Tornos, Fernanda M.; Bovolenta, Paola; Nieto, Marta
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. PMID:22359602
Tapia, Mónica; Dominguez, Ana; Zhang, Wei; del Puerto, Ana; Ciorraga, María; Benitez, María José; Guaza, Carmen; Garrido, Juan José
Neuronal polarization underlies the ability of neurons to integrate and transmit information. This process begins early in development with axon outgrowth, followed by dendritic growth and subsequent maturation. In between these two steps, the axon initial segment (AIS), a subcellular domain crucial for generating action potentials (APs) and maintaining the morphological and functional polarization, starts to develop. However, the cellular/molecular mechanisms and receptors involved in AIS initial development and maturation are mostly unknown. In this study, we have focused on the role of the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R), a highly abundant G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) in the nervous system largely involved in different phases of neuronal development and differentiation. Although CB1R activity modulation has been related to changes in axons or dendrites, its possible role as a modulator of AIS development has not been yet explored. Here we analyzed the potential role of CB1R on neuronal morphology and AIS development using pharmacological and RNA interference approaches in cultured hippocampal neurons. CB1R inhibition, at a very early developmental stage, has no effect on axonal growth, yet CB1R activation can promote it. By contrast, subsequent dendritic growth is impaired by CB1R inhibition, which also reduces ankyrinG density at the AIS. Moreover, our data show a significant correlation between early dendritic growth and ankyrinG density. However, CB1R inhibition in later developmental stages after dendrites are formed only reduces ankyrinG accumulation at the AIS. In conclusion, our data suggest that neuronal CB1R basal activity plays a role in initial development of dendrites and indirectly in AIS proteins accumulation. Based on the lack of CB1R expression at the AIS, we hypothesize that CB1R mediated modulation of dendritic arbor size during early development indirectly determines the accumulation of ankyrinG and AIS development. Further studies
Kirszenblat, Leonie; Neumann, Brent; Coakley, Sean; Hilliard, Massimo A
Microtubules have been known for decades to be basic elements of the cytoskeleton. They form long, dynamic, rope-like structures within the cell that are essential for mitosis, maintenance of cell shape, and intracellular transport. More recently, in vitro studies have implicated microtubules as signaling molecules that, through changes in their stability, have the potential to trigger growth of axons and dendrites in developing neurons. In this study, we show that specific mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans mec-7/β-tubulin gene cause ectopic axon formation in mechanosensory neurons in vivo. In mec-7 mutants, the ALM mechanosensory neuron forms a long ectopic neurite that extends posteriorly, a phenotype that can be mimicked in wild-type worms with a microtubule-stabilizing drug (paclitaxel), and suppressed by mutations in unc-33/CRMP2 and the kinesin-related gene, vab-8. Our results also reveal that these ectopic neurites contain RAB-3, a marker for presynaptic loci, suggesting that they have axon-like properties. Interestingly, in contrast with the excessive axonal growth observed during development, mec-7 mutants are inhibited in axonal regrowth and remodeling following axonal injury. Together our results suggest that MEC-7/β-tubulin integrity is necessary for the correct number of neurites a neuron generates in vivo and for the capacity of an axon to regenerate.
Alvarez Herrero, Susana; Pinchenko, Volodymyr; Klein, Dennis
by pharmacologic block using the subtype-selective Na(V)1.8 blocker A-803467 and chronically in Na(V)1.8 knock-outs. We found that in the context of dysmyelination, abnormal potassium ion currents and membrane depolarization, the ectopic Na(V)1.8 channels further impair the motor axon excitability in protein zero...... 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...
Moya, K L; Confaloni, A M; Allinquant, B
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.
Full Text Available Oriens-lacunosum moleculare (O-LM interneurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus play a key role in feedback inhibition and in the control of network activity. However, how these cells are efficiently activated in the network remains unclear. To address this question, I performed recordings from CA1 pyramidal neuron axons, the presynaptic fibers that provide feedback innervation of these interneurons. Two forms of axonal action potential (AP modulation were identified. First, repetitive stimulation resulted in activity-dependent AP broadening. Broadening showed fast onset, with marked changes in AP shape following a single AP. Second, tonic depolarization in CA1 pyramidal neuron somata induced AP broadening in the axon, and depolarization-induced broadening summated with activity-dependent broadening. Outside-out patch recordings from CA1 pyramidal neuron axons revealed a high density of α-dendrotoxin (α-DTX-sensitive, inactivating K+ channels, suggesting that K+ channel inactivation mechanistically contributes to AP broadening. To examine the functional consequences of axonal AP modulation for synaptic transmission, I performed paired recordings between synaptically connected CA1 pyramidal neurons and O-LM interneurons. CA1 pyramidal neuron-O-LM interneuron excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs showed facilitation during both repetitive stimulation and tonic depolarization of the presynaptic neuron. Both effects were mimicked and occluded by α-DTX, suggesting that they were mediated by K+ channel inactivation. Therefore, axonal AP modulation can greatly facilitate the activation of O-LM interneurons. In conclusion, modulation of AP shape in CA1 pyramidal neuron axons substantially enhances the efficacy of principal neuron-interneuron synapses, promoting the activation of O-LM interneurons in recurrent inhibitory microcircuits.
Oriens-lacunosum moleculare (O-LM) interneurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus play a key role in feedback inhibition and in the control of network activity. However, how these cells are efficiently activated in the network remains unclear. To address this question, I performed recordings from CA1 pyramidal neuron axons, the presynaptic fibers that provide feedback innervation of these interneurons. Two forms of axonal action potential (AP) modulation were identified. First, repetitive stimulation resulted in activity-dependent AP broadening. Broadening showed fast onset, with marked changes in AP shape following a single AP. Second, tonic depolarization in CA1 pyramidal neuron somata induced AP broadening in the axon, and depolarization-induced broadening summated with activity-dependent broadening. Outside-out patch recordings from CA1 pyramidal neuron axons revealed a high density of α-dendrotoxin (α-DTX)-sensitive, inactivating K+ channels, suggesting that K+ channel inactivation mechanistically contributes to AP broadening. To examine the functional consequences of axonal AP modulation for synaptic transmission, I performed paired recordings between synaptically connected CA1 pyramidal neurons and O-LM interneurons. CA1 pyramidal neuron-O-LM interneuron excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) showed facilitation during both repetitive stimulation and tonic depolarization of the presynaptic neuron. Both effects were mimicked and occluded by α-DTX, suggesting that they were mediated by K+ channel inactivation. Therefore, axonal AP modulation can greatly facilitate the activation of O-LM interneurons. In conclusion, modulation of AP shape in CA1 pyramidal neuron axons substantially enhances the efficacy of principal neuron-interneuron synapses, promoting the activation of O-LM interneurons in recurrent inhibitory microcircuits.
Hallam, S; Singer, E; Waring, D; Jin, Y
The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor NeuroD (Neurod1) has been implicated in neuronal fate determination, differentiation and survival. Here we report the expression and functional analysis of cnd-1, a C. elegans NeuroD homolog. cnd-1 expression was first detected in neuroblasts of the AB lineage in 14 cell embryos and maintained in many neuronal descendants of the AB lineage during embryogenesis, diminishing in most terminally differentiated neurons prior to hatching. Specifically, cnd-1 reporter genes were expressed in the precursors of the embryonic ventral cord motor neurons and their progeny. A loss-of-function mutant, cnd-1(ju29), exhibited multiple defects in the ventral cord motor neurons. First, the number of motor neurons was reduced, possibly caused by the premature withdrawal of the precursors from mitotic cycles. Second, the strict correlation between the fate of a motor neuron with respect to its lineage and position in the ventral cord was disrupted, as manifested by the variable expression pattern of motor neuron fate specific markers. Third, motor neurons also exhibited defects in terminal differentiation characteristics including axonal morphology and synaptic connectivity. Finally, the expression patterns of three neuronal type-specific transcription factors, unc-3, unc-4 and unc-30, were altered. Our data suggest that cnd-1 may specify the identity of ventral cord motor neurons both by maintaining the mitotic competence of their precursors and by modulating the expression of neuronal type-specific determination factors. cnd-1 appears to have combined the functions of several vertebrate neurogenic bHLH proteins and may represent an ancestral form of this protein family.
Vicario Orri, Elena; Opazo, Carlos; Muñoz López, Francisco José, 1964-
Neurons communicate in the nervous system by carrying out information along the length of their axons to finally transmit it at the synapse. Proper function of axons and axon terminals relies on the transport of proteins, organelles, vesicles, and other elements from the site of synthesis in the cell body. Conversely, neurotrophins secreted from axonal targets and other components at nerve terminals need to travel toward the cell body for clearance. Molecular motors, namely kinesins and dynei...
Full Text Available Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs are proteins with long covalently attached sugar side chains of the heparan sulfate (HS type. Depending on the cellular context HS chains carry multiple structural modifications such as sulfate residues or epimerized sugars allowing them to bind to a wide range of molecules. HSPGs have been found to play extremely diverse roles in animal development and were shown to interact with certain axon guidance molecules. In this study we describe the role of the Caenorhabditis elegans HSPG core proteins Syndecan (SDN-1 and Glypican (LON-2 and the HS modifying enzymes in the dorsal guidance of D-type motor axons, a process controlled mainly by the conserved axon guidance molecule UNC-6/Netrin. Our genetic analysis established the specific HS code relevant for this axon guidance event. Using two sensitized genetic backgrounds, we isolated novel components influencing D-type motor axon guidance with a link to HSPGs, as well as new alleles of several previously characterized axon guidance genes. Interestingly, the dorsal axon guidance defects induced by mutations in zfp-1 or lin-35 depended on the transgene oxIs12 used to visualize the D-type motor neurons. oxIs12 is a large multi-copy transgene that enlarges the X chromosome by approximately 20%. In a search for genes with a comparable phenotype we found that a mutation in the known dosage compensation gene dpy-21 showed similar axon guidance defects as zfp-1 or lin-35 mutants. Thus, derepression of genes on X, where many genes relevant for HS dependent axon guidance are located, might also influence axon guidance of D-type motor neurons.
Gysi, Stephan; Rhiner, Christa; Flibotte, Stephane; Moerman, Donald G.; Hengartner, Michael O.
Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are proteins with long covalently attached sugar side chains of the heparan sulfate (HS) type. Depending on the cellular context HS chains carry multiple structural modifications such as sulfate residues or epimerized sugars allowing them to bind to a wide range of molecules. HSPGs have been found to play extremely diverse roles in animal development and were shown to interact with certain axon guidance molecules. In this study we describe the role of the Caenorhabditis elegans HSPG core proteins Syndecan (SDN-1) and Glypican (LON-2) and the HS modifying enzymes in the dorsal guidance of D-type motor axons, a process controlled mainly by the conserved axon guidance molecule UNC-6/Netrin. Our genetic analysis established the specific HS code relevant for this axon guidance event. Using two sensitized genetic backgrounds, we isolated novel components influencing D-type motor axon guidance with a link to HSPGs, as well as new alleles of several previously characterized axon guidance genes. Interestingly, the dorsal axon guidance defects induced by mutations in zfp-1 or lin-35 depended on the transgene oxIs12 used to visualize the D-type motor neurons. oxIs12 is a large multi-copy transgene that enlarges the X chromosome by approximately 20%. In a search for genes with a comparable phenotype we found that a mutation in the known dosage compensation gene dpy-21 showed similar axon guidance defects as zfp-1 or lin-35 mutants. Thus, derepression of genes on X, where many genes relevant for HS dependent axon guidance are located, might also influence axon guidance of D-type motor neurons. PMID:24066155
Moldovan, Mihai; Sørensen, Jesper; Krarup, Christian
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...
Kuba, Hiroshi; Yamada, Rei; Ishiguro, Go; Adachi, Ryota
Structural plasticity of the axon initial segment (AIS), the trigger zone of neurons, is a powerful means for regulating neuronal activity. Here, we show that AIS plasticity is not limited to structural changes; it also occurs as changes in ion-channel expression, which substantially augments the efficacy of regulation. In the avian cochlear nucleus, depriving afferent inputs by removing cochlea elongated the AIS, and simultaneously switched the dominant Kv channels at the AIS from Kv1.1 to Kv7.2. Due to the slow activation kinetics of Kv7.2, the redistribution of the Kv channels reduced the shunting conductance at the elongated AIS during the initiation of action potentials and effectively enhanced the excitability of the deprived neurons. The results indicate that the functional plasticity of the AIS works cooperatively with the structural plasticity and compensates for the loss of afferent inputs to maintain the homeostasis of auditory circuits after hearing loss by cochlea removal.
Sabharwal, Priyanka; Lee, Changhee; Park, Sungjin; Rao, Meenakshi; Sockanathan, Shanthini
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.
Rao, Kavitha S; Rolls, Melissa M
After axon severing, neurons recover function by reinitiating axon outgrowth. New outgrowth often originates from the remaining axon stump. However, in many mammalian neurons, new axons initiate from a dendritic site when the axon is injured close to the cell body. Drosophila sensory neurons are ideal for studying neuronal injury responses because they can be injured reproducibly in a variety of genetic backgrounds. In Drosophila, it has been shown that a complex sensory neuron, ddaC, can regenerate an axon from a stump, and a simple sensory neuron, ddaE, can regenerate an axon from a dendrite. To provide a more complete picture of axon regeneration in these cell types, we performed additional injury types. We found that ddaE neurons can initiate regeneration from an axon stump when a stump remains. We also showed that ddaC neurons regenerate from the dendrite when the axon is severed close to the cell body. We next demonstrated if a stump remains, new axons can originate from this site and a dendrite at the same time. Because cutting the axon close to the cell body results in growth of the new axon from a dendrite, and cutting further out may not, we asked whether the initial response in the cell body was similar after both types of injury. A transcriptional reporter for axon injury signaling, puc-GFP, increased with similar timing and levels after proximal and distal axotomy. However, changes in dendritic microtubule polarity differed in response to the two types of injury, and were influenced by the presence of a scar at the distal axotomy site. We conclude that both ddaE and ddaC can regenerate axons either from the stump or a dendrite, and that there is some feedback between the two sites that modulates dendritic microtubule polarity.
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.
Hill, Andrew A V; Cattaert, Daniel
According to the size principle the fine control of muscle tension depends on the orderly recruitment of motor neurons from a heterogeneous pool. We took advantage of the small number of excitatory motor neurons (about 12) that innervate the depressor muscle of the crayfish walking leg to determine if the size principle applies to this muscle. We found that in accordance with the size principle, when stimulated by proprioceptive input, neurons with small extracellular spikes were recruited before neurons with medium or large spikes. Because only a small fraction of the motor neurons responded strongly enough to sensory input to be recruited in this way, we extended our analysis to all neurons by characterizing properties that have classically been associated with recruitment order such as speed of axonal conduction and extracellular spike amplitude. Through a combination of physiological and anatomical criteria we were able to identify seven classes of excitatory depressor motor neurons. The majority of these classes responded to proprioceptive input with a resistance reflex, while a few responded with an assistance reflex, and yet others did not respond. Our results are in general agreement with the size principle. However, we found qualitative differences between neuronal classes in terms of synaptic input and neuronal structure that would in theory be unnecessary, according to a strict interpretation of the size principle. We speculate that the qualitative heterogeneity observed may be due to the fact that the depressor is a complex muscle, consisting of two muscle bundles that share a single insertion but have multiple origins.
Wu, Chia-Yen; Whye, Dosh; Mason, Robert W; Wang, Wenlan
Direct differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cells into functional motor neurons represents a promising resource to study disease mechanisms, to screen new drug compounds, and to develop new therapies for motor neuron diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Many current protocols use a combination of retinoic acid (RA) and sonic hedgehog (Shh) to differentiate mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells into motor neurons. However, the differentiation efficiency of mES cells into motor neurons has only met with moderate success. We have developed a two-step differentiation protocol that significantly improves the differentiation efficiency compared with currently established protocols. The first step is to enhance the neuralization process by adding Noggin and fibroblast growth factors (FGFs). Noggin is a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist and is implicated in neural induction according to the default model of neurogenesis and results in the formation of anterior neural patterning. FGF signaling acts synergistically with Noggin in inducing neural tissue formation by promoting a posterior neural identity. In this step, mES cells were primed with Noggin, bFGF, and FGF-8 for two days to promote differentiation towards neural lineages. The second step is to induce motor neuron specification. Noggin/FGFs exposed mES cells were incubated with RA and a Shh agonist, Smoothened agonist (SAG), for another 5 days to facilitate motor neuron generation. To monitor the differentiation of mESs into motor neurons, we used an ES cell line derived from a transgenic mouse expressing eGFP under the control of the motor neuron specific promoter Hb9. Using this robust protocol, we achieved 51 ± 0.8% of differentiation efficiency (n = 3; p motor neuron specific markers, Islet-1 and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Our two-step differentiation protocol provides an efficient way to differentiate mES cells into spinal motor neurons.
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 i
Anastasiadou, Sofia; Knöll, Bernd
Fingolimod (FTY720) is a new generation oral treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). So far, FTY720 was mainly considered to target trafficking of immune cells but not brain cells such as neurons. Herein, we analyzed FTY720's potential to directly alter neuronal function. In CNS neurons, we identified a FTY720 governed gene expression response. FTY720 upregulated immediate early genes (IEGs) encoding for neuronal activity associated transcription factors such as c-Fos, FosB, Egr1 and Egr2 and induced actin cytoskeleton associated genes (actin isoforms, tropomyosin, calponin). Stimulation of primary neurons with FTY720 enhanced neurite growth and altered growth cone morphology. In accordance, FTY720 enhanced axon regeneration in mice upon facial nerve axotomy. We identified components of a FTY720 engaged signaling cascade including S1P receptors, G12/13G-proteins, RhoA-GTPases and the transcription factors SRF/MRTF. In summary, we uncovered a broader cellular and therapeutic operation mode of FTY720, suggesting beneficial FTY720 effects also on CNS neurons during MS therapy and for treatment of other neurodegenerative diseases requiring neuroprotective and neurorestorative processes.
Mohamed, Habib A.; Mosier, Dennis R.; Zou, Ling L.; Siklos, Laszlo; Alexianu, Maria E.; Engelhardt, Jozsef I.; Beers, David R.; Le, Wei-dong; Appel, Stanley H.
Receptors for the Fc portion of immunoglobulin G (IgG; FcgammaRs) facilitate IgG uptake by effector cells as well as cellular responses initiated by IgG binding. In earlier studies, we demonstrated that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient IgG can be taken up by motor neuron terminals and transported retrogradely to the cell body and can alter the function of neuromuscular synapses, such as increasing intracellular calcium and spontaneous transmitter release from motor axon terminals after passive transfer. In the present study, we examined whether FcgammaR-mediated processes can contribute to these effects of ALS patient immunoglobulins. F(ab')(2) fragments (which lack the Fc portion) of ALS patient IgG were not taken up by motor axon terminals and were not retrogradely transported. Furthermore, in a genetically modified mouse lacking the gamma subunit of the FcR, the uptake of whole ALS IgG and its ability to enhance intracellular calcium and acetylcholine release were markedly attenuated. These data suggest that FcgammaRs appear to participate in IgG uptake into motor neurons as well as IgG-mediated increases in intracellular calcium and acetylcholine release from motor axon terminals. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Santos, Daniel; Gonzalez-Perez, Francisco; Navarro, Xavier; Del Valle, Jaume
Although peripheral axons can regenerate after nerve transection and repair, functional recovery is usually poor due to inaccurate reinnervation. Neurotrophic factors promote directional guidance to regenerating axons and their selective application may help to improve functional recovery. Hence, we have characterized in organotypic cultures of spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia the effect of GDNF, FGF-2, NGF, NT-3, and BDNF at different concentrations on motor and sensory neurite outgrowth. In vitro results show that GDNF and FGF-2 enhanced both motor and sensory neurite outgrowth, NGF and NT-3 were the most selective to enhance sensory neurite outgrowth, and high doses of BDNF selectively enhanced motor neurite outgrowth. Then, NGF, NT-3, and BDNF (as the most selective factors) were delivered in a collagen matrix within a silicone tube to repair the severed sciatic nerve of rats. Quantification of Fluorogold retrolabeled neurons showed that NGF and NT-3 did not show preferential effect on sensory regeneration whereas BDNF preferentially promoted motor axons regeneration. Therefore, the selective effects of NGF and NT-3 shown in vitro are lost when they are applied in vivo, but a high dose of BDNF is able to selectively enhance motor neuron regeneration both in vitro and in vivo.
Full Text Available Although peripheral axons can regenerate after nerve transection and repair, functional recovery is usually poor due to inaccurate reinnervation. Neurotrophic factors promote directional guidance to regenerating axons and their selective application may help to improve functional recovery. Hence, we have characterized in organotypic cultures of spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia the effect of GDNF, FGF-2, NGF, NT-3, and BDNF at different concentrations on motor and sensory neurite outgrowth. In vitro results show that GDNF and FGF-2 enhanced both motor and sensory neurite outgrowth, NGF and NT-3 were the most selective to enhance sensory neurite outgrowth, and high doses of BDNF selectively enhanced motor neurite outgrowth. Then, NGF, NT-3, and BDNF (as the most selective factors were delivered in a collagen matrix within a silicone tube to repair the severed sciatic nerve of rats. Quantification of Fluorogold retrolabeled neurons showed that NGF and NT-3 did not show preferential effect on sensory regeneration whereas BDNF preferentially promoted motor axons regeneration. Therefore, the selective effects of NGF and NT-3 shown in vitro are lost when they are applied in vivo, but a high dose of BDNF is able to selectively enhance motor neuron regeneration both in vitro and in vivo.
McKiernan, Erin C.
Motor activity, like that producing locomotion, is generated by networks of neurons. At the last output level of these networks are the motor neurons, which send signals to the muscles, causing them to contract. Current research in motor control is focused on finding out how motor neurons contribute to shaping the timing of motor behaviors. Are motor neurons just passive relayers of the signals they receive? Or, do motor neurons shape the signals before passing them on to the muscles, thereby...
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.
Full Text Available The Drosophila Ten-m (also called Tenascin-major, or odd Oz (odz gene has been associated with a pair-rule phenotype. We identified and characterized new alleles of Drosophila Ten-m to establish that this gene is not responsible for segmentation defects but rather causes defects in motor neuron axon routing. In Ten-m mutants the inter-segmental nerve (ISN often crosses segment boundaries and fasciculates with the ISN in the adjacent segment. Ten-m is expressed in the central nervous system and epidermal stripes during the stages when the growth cones of the neurons that form the ISN navigate to their targets. Over-expression of Ten-m in epidermal cells also leads to ISN misrouting. We also found that Filamin, an actin binding protein, physically interacts with the Ten-m protein. Mutations in cheerio, which encodes Filamin, cause defects in motor neuron axon routing like those of Ten-m. During embryonic development, the expression of Filamin and Ten-m partially overlap in ectodermal cells. These results suggest that Ten-m and Filamin in epidermal cells might together influence growth cone progression.
Kovalchuk, Maria O; Franssen, Hessel; van Schelven, Leonard; Sleutjes, Boudewijn T H M
In some peripheral nervous system disorders cold induces symptoms of muscle weakness without loss of sensation. To understand this selective effect on motor function, it is first necessary to delineate the effects of cooling in motor and sensory axons of healthy subjects. In 17 healthy volunteers, we performed excitability and clinical tests of median nerve motor and sensory axons at 37°C and 20°C. Clinical tests consisted of assessing thenar muscle strength, 2-point discrimination and joint position sense of the 3(rd) finger. Excitability-tests showed that cooling induced opposite changes to hyperpolarizing current in threshold electrotonus (motor: decreased threshold change, sensory: increased threshold change) and I/V-slopes (motor: steepening, sensory: less steep). Clinical tests showed worsening in motor function but no consistent changes in sensory function. Cooling induces changes in motor axons consistent with depolarization and more complicated changes in sensory axons, possibly related to differences in HCN-channel expression. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Full Text Available 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 rat ventricles and superior cervical ganglia were cultured at a close distance. Then, morphological and functional coupling between SNs and VMs was assessed in response to GDNF (10 ng/ml or nerve growth factor (50 ng/ml. As a result, fractions of neurofilament-M-positive axons and synapsin-I-positive area over the surface of VMs were markedly increased with GDNF by 9-fold and 25-fold, respectively, compared to control without neurotrophic factors. Pre- and post-synaptic stimulation of β1-adrenergic receptors (BAR with nicotine and noradrenaline, respectively, resulted in an increase of the spontaneous beating rate of VMs co-cultured with SNs in the presence of GDNF. GDNF overexpressing VMs by adenovirus vector (AdGDNF-VMs attracted more axons from SNs compared with mock-transfected VMs. In vivo, axon outgrowth toward the denervated myocardium in adult rat hearts after cryoinjury was also enhanced significantly by adenovirus-mediated GDNF overexpression. GDNF acts as a potent chemoattractant for sympathetic innervation of ventricular myocytes, and is a promising molecular target for regulation of cardiac function in diseased hearts.
Miwa, Keiko; Lee, Jong-Kook; Takagishi, Yoshiko; Opthof, Tobias; Fu, Xianming; Hirabayashi, Masumi; Watabe, Kazuhiko; Jimbo, Yasuhiko; Kodama, Itsuo; Komuro, Issei
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 rat ventricles and superior cervical ganglia were cultured at a close distance. Then, morphological and functional coupling between SNs and VMs was assessed in response to GDNF (10 ng/ml) or nerve growth factor (50 ng/ml). As a result, fractions of neurofilament-M-positive axons and synapsin-I-positive area over the surface of VMs were markedly increased with GDNF by 9-fold and 25-fold, respectively, compared to control without neurotrophic factors. Pre- and post-synaptic stimulation of β1-adrenergic receptors (BAR) with nicotine and noradrenaline, respectively, resulted in an increase of the spontaneous beating rate of VMs co-cultured with SNs in the presence of GDNF. GDNF overexpressing VMs by adenovirus vector (AdGDNF-VMs) attracted more axons from SNs compared with mock-transfected VMs. In vivo, axon outgrowth toward the denervated myocardium in adult rat hearts after cryoinjury was also enhanced significantly by adenovirus-mediated GDNF overexpression. GDNF acts as a potent chemoattractant for sympathetic innervation of ventricular myocytes, and is a promising molecular target for regulation of cardiac function in diseased hearts.
Riyadh, M Asrafuzzaman; Shinmyo, Yohei; Ohta, Kunimasa; Tanaka, Hideaki
The rhombic lip, a dorsal stripe of the neuroepithelium lining the edge of the fourth ventricle, is the site of origin of precerebellar neurons (PCN), which migrate tangentially towards the floor plate. After reaching the floor plate, they project their axons to the cerebellum. Although previous studies have shown that the guidance molecules Netrin/DCC and Slit/Robo have critical roles in PCN migration, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain poorly understood. Here, we report that draxin, a repulsive axon guidance protein, is involved in PCN development. We found that draxin is expressed in the rhombic lip and migratory stream of some PCN in the developing hindbrain of mice. In addition, draxin inhibited neurite outgrowth and nuclei migration from rhombic lip explants. These results suggest that draxin functions as a repulsive guidance cue for PCN migration. However, we observed no significant differences in PCN distribution between draxin(-/-) and wild type embryos. Thus, draxin and other axon guidance cues may have redundant roles in PCN migration.
Joseph R Loverde
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.
Oriens-lacunosum moleculare (O-LM) interneurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus play a key role in feedback inhibition and in the control of network activity. However, how these cells are efficiently activated in the network remains unclear. To address this question, I performed recordings from CA1 pyramidal neuron axons, the presynaptic fibers that provide feedback innervation of these interneurons. Two forms of axonal action potential (AP) modulation were identified. First, repetitive ...
Gao, Mingyong; Lu, Paul; Bednark, Bridget; Lynam, Dan; Conner, James M; Sakamoto, Jeff; Tuszynski, Mark H
Bioengineered scaffolds have the potential to support and guide injured axons after spinal cord injury, contributing to neural repair. In previous studies we have reported that templated agarose scaffolds can be fabricated into precise linear arrays and implanted into the partially injured spinal cord, organizing growth and enhancing the distance over which local spinal cord axons and ascending sensory axons extend into a lesion site. However, most human injuries are severe, sparing only thin rims of spinal cord tissue in the margins of a lesion site. Accordingly, in the present study we examined whether template agarose scaffolds seeded with bone marrow stromal cells secreting Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) would support regeneration into severe, complete spinal cord transection sites. Moreover, we tested responses of motor axon populations originating from the brainstem. We find that templated agarose scaffolds support motor axon regeneration into a severe spinal cord injury model and organize axons into fascicles of highly linear configuration. BDNF significantly enhances axonal growth. Collectively, these findings support the feasibility of scaffold implantation for enhancing central regeneration after even severe central nervous system injury.
Atkins, G; Pollack, G S
The omega neurons (ON1s) are a mirror-symmetrical pair of identified prothoracic auditory interneurons of crickets which have been previously described as intraganglionic. Using intracellular techniques we stained ON1s of female Teleogryllus oceanicus and found that many ON1s have axons which project anteriorly out of the prothoracic ganglion. The ascending axon arises contralateral to the soma at the most anteriolateral bend of the bow-shaped process of an otherwise "archetypical" ON1 and travels up the neck connective in a ventral position just inside the connective tissue sheath. The occurrence of the ascending axon is age-dependent. Seventy-five percent of ON1s stained in late nymphal stages and in young adults had an ascending axon while only 30% of ON1s in older adults had an ascending axon. Evidence is presented to show that ON1s having ascending axons are developmental variants of the "archetypical" ON1 and do not represent a separate neuron type. The two morphological types of ON1s are not distinguishable on the basis of their responses to sound stimuli having carrier frequencies of 3.5-60 kHz. Although we know that the ascending axon conducts action potentials, its target and terminal morphology are not yet known.
Xingkai An; Rong Peng; Shanshan Zhao
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.
Murmu Meena S
Full Text Available Abstract Background In vertebrates and invertebrates, sensory neurons adapt to variable ambient conditions, such as the duration or repetition of a stimulus, a physiological mechanism considered as a simple form of non-associative learning and neuronal plasticity. Although various signaling pathways, as cAMP, cGMP, and the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (InsP3R play a role in adaptation, their precise mechanisms of action at the cellular level remain incompletely understood. Recently, in Drosophila, we reported that odor-induced Ca2+-response in axon terminals of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs is related to odor duration. In particular, a relatively long odor stimulus (such as 5 s triggers the induction of a second component involving intracellular Ca2+-stores. Results We used a recently developed in-vivo bioluminescence imaging approach to quantify the odor-induced Ca2+-activity in the axon terminals of ORNs. Using either a genetic approach to target specific RNAs, or a pharmacological approach, we show that the second component, relying on the intracellular Ca2+-stores, is responsible for the adaptation to repetitive stimuli. In the antennal lobes (a region analogous to the vertebrate olfactory bulb ORNs make synaptic contacts with second-order neurons, the projection neurons (PNs. These synapses are modulated by GABA, through either GABAergic local interneurons (LNs and/or some GABAergic PNs. Application of GABAergic receptor antagonists, both GABAA or GABAB, abolishes the adaptation, while RNAi targeting the GABABR (a metabotropic receptor within the ORNs, blocks the Ca2+-store dependent component, and consequently disrupts the adaptation. These results indicate that GABA exerts a feedback control. Finally, at the behavioral level, using an olfactory test, genetically impairing the GABABR or its signaling pathway specifically in the ORNs disrupts olfactory adapted behavior. Conclusion Taken together, our results indicate that a
Full Text Available Abstract Background NURR1 (also named as NR4A2 is a member of the steroid/thyroid hormone receptor family, which can bind to DNA and modulate expression of target genes. Previous studies have shown that NURR1 is essential for the nigral dopaminergic neuron phenotype and function maintenance, and the defects of the gene are possibly associated with Parkinson's disease (PD. Results In this study, we used new born Nurr1 knock-out mice combined with Affymetrix genechip technology and real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR to identify Nurr1 regulated genes, which led to the discovery of several transcripts differentially expressed in the nigro-striatal pathway of Nurr1 knock-out mice. We found that an axon genesis gene called Topoisomerase IIβ (Top IIβ was down-regulated in Nurr1 knock-out mice and we identified two functional NURR1 binding sites in the proximal Top IIβ promoter. While in Top IIβ null mice, we saw a significant loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantial nigra and lack of neurites along the nigro-striatal pathway. Using specific TOP II antagonist ICRF-193 or Top IIβ siRNA in the primary cultures of ventral mesencephalic (VM neurons, we documented that suppression of TOP IIβ expression resulted in VM neurites shortening and growth cones collapsing. Furthermore, microinjection of ICRF-193 into the mouse medial forebrain bundle (MFB led to the loss of nigro-striatal projection. Conclusion Taken together, our findings suggest that Top IIβ might be a down-stream target of Nurr1, which might influence the processes of axon genesis in dopaminergic neurons via the regulation of TOP IIβ expression. The Nurr1-Top IIβ interaction may shed light on the pathologic role of Nurr1 defect in the nigro-striatal pathway deficiency associated with PD.
Rosberg, Mette Romer; Alvarez, Susana; Krarup, Christian
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...... axons with only a borderline impairment in conduction and Rotor-Rod. Plantar muscle reinnervation occurred within 21 days in all mice. Shortly after reinnervation the conduction of P0+/- regenerated axons was markedly slower than WT, however, this difference decayed with time. Nevertheless, after 1...... month, regenerated P0+/- axons had longer strength-duration time constant, larger threshold changes during hyperpolarizing electrotonus and longer relative refractory period. Their performance at Rotor-Rod remained also markedly impaired. In contrast, the number and diameter distribution of regenerating...
Joel E. Beevers
Full Text Available The H1 haplotype of the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT locus is genetically associated with neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD, and affects gene expression and splicing. However, the functional impact on neurons of such expression differences has yet to be fully elucidated. Here, we employ extended maturation phases during differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs into mature dopaminergic neuronal cultures to obtain cultures expressing all six adult tau protein isoforms. After 6 months of maturation, levels of exon 3+ and exon 10+ transcripts approach those of adult brain. Mature dopaminergic neuronal cultures display haplotype differences in expression, with H1 expressing 22% higher levels of MAPT transcripts than H2 and H2 expressing 2-fold greater exon 3+ transcripts than H1. Furthermore, knocking down adult tau protein variants alters axonal transport velocities in mature iPSC-derived dopaminergic neuronal cultures. This work links haplotype-specific MAPT expression with a biologically functional outcome relevant for PD.
Pierret, P; Quenneville, N; Vandaele, S; Abbaszadeh, R; Lanctôt, C; Crine, P; Doucet, G
Astrocytes from the ventral mesencephalon and from the striatum respectively promote the dendritic and axonal arborization of dopamine (DA) neurons in vitro. To test this response in vivo, astrocytes in primary cultures from the neonatal cerebral cortex, ventral mesencephalon, or striatum were coimplanted with fetal ventral mesencephalic tissue into the intact or DA-denervated striatum of adult rats and these cografts examined after 3-6 months by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemistry (intact recipients) or after 5-6 months by in vitro [3H]DA-uptake autoradiography (DA-denervated recipients). In contrast with single ventral mesencephalic grafts, all types of cograft displayed a rather uniform distribution of TH-immunoreactive perikarya. The average size of TH-immunoreactive cell bodies was not significantly different in cografts containing cortical or mesencephalic astrocytes and in single ventral mesencephalic grafts, but it was significantly larger in cografts containing striatal astrocytes. Nevertheless, the number of [3H]DA-labeled terminals in the DA-lesioned host striatum was clearly smaller with cografts of striatal astrocytes than with single mesencephalic grafts or with cografts containing cortical astrocytes. On the other hand, cografts of striatal astrocytes contained much higher numbers of [3H]DA-labeled terminals than the other types of graft or cograft. Thus, while cografted astrocytes in general influence the distribution of DA neurons within the graft, astrocytes from the neonatal striatum have a trophic effect on DA perikarya and a tropic effect on DA axons, keeping the latter within the graft.
Anderson, J M; Hampton, D W; Patani, R; Pryce, G; Crowther, R A; Reynolds, R; Franklin, R J M; Giovannoni, G; Compston, D A S; Baker, D; Spillantini, M G; Chandran, S
The pathological correlate of clinical disability and progression in multiple sclerosis is neuronal and axonal loss; however, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Abnormal phosphorylation of tau is a common feature of some neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. We investigated the presence of tau hyperphosphorylation and its relationship with neuronal and axonal loss in chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (CEAE) and in brain samples from patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. We report the novel finding of abnormal tau phosphorylation in CEAE. We further show that accumulation of insoluble tau is associated with both neuronal and axonal loss that correlates with progression from relapsing-remitting to chronic stages of EAE. Significantly, analysis of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis brain tissue also revealed abnormally phosphorylated tau and the formation of insoluble tau. Together, these observations provide the first evidence implicating abnormal tau in the neurodegenerative phase of tissue injury in experimental and human demyelinating disease.
B.T.H.M. Sleutjes (Boudewijn)
markdownabstract__Abstract__ Motor neuron disease (MND) is characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons that control voluntary muscles. Due to its progressive nature, the muscles gradually lose their function leading to paralysis and, ultimately, death. The most common variant of MND is a
Mason, M R; Campbell, G; Caroni, P; Anderson, P N; Lieberman, A R
It is well established that some populations of neurons of the adult rat central nervous system (CNS) will regenerate axons into a peripheral nerve implant, but others, including most thalamocortical projection neurons, will not. The ability to regenerate axons may depend on whether neurons can express growth-related genes such as GAP-43, whose expression correlates with axon growth during development and with competence to regenerate. Thalamic projection neurons which fail to regenerate into a graft also fail to upregulate GAP-43. We have tested the hypothesis that the absence of strong GAP-43 expression by the thalamic projection neurons prevents them from regenerating their axons, using transgenic mice which overexpress GAP-43. Transgene expression was mapped by in situ hybridization with a digoxigenin-labeled RNA probe and by immunohistochemistry with a monoclonal antibody against the GAP-43 protein produced by the transgene. Many CNS neurons were found to express the mRNA and protein, including neurons of the mediodorsal and ventromedial thalamic nuclei, which rarely regenerate axons into peripheral nerve grafts. Grafts were implanted into the region of these nuclei in the brains of transgenic animals. Although these neurons strongly expressed the transgene mRNA and protein and transported the protein to their axon terminals, they did not regenerate axons into the graft, suggesting that lack of GAP-43 expression is not the only factor preventing thalamocortical neurons regenerating their axons. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
Catherine A. Blizzard
Full Text Available There is a desperate need for targeted therapeutic interventions that slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. ALS is a disorder with heterogeneous onset, which then leads to common final pathways involving multiple neuronal compartments that span both the central and peripheral nervous system. It is believed that excitotoxic mechanisms might play an important role in motor neuron death in ALS. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which excitotoxicity might lead to the neuromuscular junction degeneration that characterizes ALS, or about the site at which this excitotoxic cascade is initiated. Using a novel compartmentalised model of site-specific excitotoxin exposure in lower motor neurons in vitro, we found that spinal motor neurons are vulnerable to somatodendritic, but not axonal, excitotoxin exposure. Thus, we developed a model of somatodendritic excitotoxicity in vivo using osmotic mini pumps in Thy-1-YFP mice. We demonstrated that in vivo cell body excitotoxin exposure leads to significant motor neuron death and neuromuscular junction (NMJ retraction. Using confocal real-time live imaging of the gastrocnemius muscle, we found that NMJ remodelling preceded excitotoxin-induced NMJ degeneration. These findings suggest that excitotoxicity in the spinal cord of individuals with ALS might result in a die-forward mechanism of motor neuron death from the cell body outward, leading to initial distal plasticity, followed by subsequent pathology and degeneration.
Full Text Available Injury to the human central nervous system can lead to devastating consequences due to its poor ability to self-repair. Neural transplantation aimed at replacing lost neurons and restore functional circuitry has proven to be a promising therapeutical avenue. We previously reported in adult rodent animal models with cortical lesions that grafted fetal cortical neurons could effectively re-establish specific patterns of projections and synapses. The current study was designed to provide a detailed characterization of the spatio-temporal in vivo development of fetal cortical transplanted cells within the lesioned adult motor cortex and their corresponding axonal projections. We show here that as early as two weeks after grafting, cortical neuroblasts transplanted into damaged adult motor cortex developed appropriate projections to cortical and subcortical targets. Grafted cells initially exhibited characteristics of immature neurons, which then differentiated into mature neurons with appropriate cortical phenotypes where most were glutamatergic and few were GABAergic. All cortical subtypes identified with the specific markers CTIP2, Cux1, FOXP2 and Tbr1 were generated after grafting as evidenced with BrdU co-labeling.The set of data provided here is of interest as it sets biological standards for future studies aimed at replacing fetal cells with embryonic stem cells as a source of cortical neurons.
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
Howard, Paul W; Wright, Catherine C; Howard, Tiffani; Johnson, David C
Following reactivation from latency, there are two distinct steps in the spread of herpes simplex virus (HSV) from infected neurons to epithelial cells: (i) anterograde axonal transport of virus particles from neuron bodies to axon tips and (ii) exocytosis and spread of extracellular virions across cell junctions into adjacent epithelial cells. The HSV heterodimeric glycoprotein gE/gI is important for anterograde axonal transport, and gE/gI cytoplasmic domains play important roles in sorting of virus particles into axons. However, the roles of the large (∼400-residue) gE/gI extracellular (ET) domains in both axonal transport and neuron-to-epithelial cell spread have not been characterized. Two gE mutants, gE-277 and gE-348, contain small insertions in the gE ET domain, fold normally, form gE/gI heterodimers, and are incorporated into virions. Both gE-277 and gE-348 did not function in anterograde axonal transport; there were markedly reduced numbers of viral capsids and glycoproteins compared with wild-type HSV. The defects in axonal transport were manifest in neuronal cell bodies, involving missorting of HSV capsids before entry into proximal axons. Although there were diminished numbers of mutant gE-348 capsids and glycoproteins in distal axons, there was efficient spread to adjacent epithelial cells, similar to wild-type HSV. In contrast, virus particles produced by HSV gE-277 spread poorly to epithelial cells, despite numbers of virus particles similar to those for HSV gE-348. These results genetically separate the two steps in HSV spread from neurons to epithelial cells and demonstrate that the gE/gI ET domains function in both processes. An essential phase of the life cycle of herpes simplex virus (HSV) and other alphaherpesviruses is the capacity to reactivate from latency and then spread from infected neurons to epithelial tissues. This spread involves at least two steps: (i) anterograde transport to axon tips followed by (ii) exocytosis and extracellular
Jarrar, Wassan; Dias, Jose M; Ericson, Johan; Arnold, Hans-Henning; Holz, Andreas
Cranial motor nerves in vertebrates are comprised of the three principal subtypes of branchial, visceral, and somatic motor neurons, which develop in typical patterns along the anteroposterior and dorsoventral axes of hindbrain. Here we demonstrate that the formation of branchial and visceral motor neurons critically depends on the transcription factors Nkx2.2 and Nkx2.9, which together determine the cell fate of neuronal progenitor cells. Disruption of both genes in mouse embryos results in complete loss of the vagal and spinal accessory motor nerves, and partial loss of the facial and glossopharyngeal motor nerves, while the purely somatic hypoglossal and abducens motor nerves are not diminished. Cell lineage analysis in a genetically marked mouse line reveals that alterations of cranial nerves in Nkx2.2; Nkx2.9 double-deficient mouse embryos result from changes of cell fate in neuronal progenitor cells. As a consequence progenitors of branchiovisceral motor neurons in the ventral p3 domain of hindbrain are transformed to somatic motor neurons, which use ventral exit points to send axon trajectories to their targets. Cell fate transformation is limited to the caudal hindbrain, as the trigeminal nerve is not affected in double-mutant embryos suggesting that Nkx2.2 and Nkx2.9 proteins play no role in the development of branchiovisceral motor neurons in hindbrain rostral to rhombomere 4.
Lee, D.A. [Univ. Medical Center, New Orleans, LA (United States); Gross, L.; Wittrock, D.A.; Windebank, A.J. [Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (United States)
Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is thought to play an important role in the maintenance of the mature motor system. The factor is found most abundantly in myelinating Schwann cells in the adult sciatic nerve. Lack of neuronal growth factors has been proposed as one possible etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Growth factor replacement therapies are currently being evaluated as a treatment for motor neuron disease. In this report we determined whether the expression of CNTF in sciatic nerve differed in patients with motor neuron disease compared to controls or patients with another form of axonopathy. We identified 8 patients (7 with ALS and 1 with SMA) with motor neuron disease and 6 patients with diabetic motor neuropathy who had autopsy material available. Immunoperoxidase staining showed reduced CNTF expression in nerves of patients with motor neuron disease but not in patients with diabetic motor neuropathy. Decreased CNTF appears be associated with primary motor neuron disease rather than a generalized process of axon loss. This result supports suggestions that CNTF deficiency may be an important factor in the development of motor neuron disease. 20 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.
Kallmann's syndrome is caused by the failure of olfactory axons and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH neurons to enter the embryonic forebrain, resulting in anosmia and sterility. Sox10 mutations have been associated with Kallmann's syndrome phenotypes, but their effect on olfactory system development is unknown. We recently showed that Sox10 is expressed by neural crest-derived olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs. Here, we demonstrate that in homozygous Sox10lacZ/lacZ mouse embryos, OEC differentiation is disrupted; olfactory axons accumulate in the ventromedial olfactory nerve layer and fewer olfactory receptor neurons express the maturation marker OMP (most likely owing to the failure of axonal targeting. Furthermore, GnRH neurons clump together in the periphery and a smaller proportion enters the forebrain. Our data suggest that human Sox10 mutations cause Kallmann's syndrome by disrupting the differentiation of OECs, which promote embryonic olfactory axon targeting and hence olfactory receptor neuron maturation, and GnRH neuron migration to the forebrain.
Marsden, Rachael; Botell, Rachel
Sexual relationships remain an important aspect of life for people living with motor neurone disease. This article explores the use of the Extended-PLISSIT model when discussing relationships and sexual function with patients and their partners in a motor neurone disease clinic. The model provides a structured approach to assist discussions with patients as well as promoting reflection and exchange of knowledge in the multidisciplinary team. It is a useful model when addressing issues that are sometimes difficult to discuss.
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
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.
Windhorst, U; Kokkoroyiannis, T; Laouris, Y; Meyer-Lohmann, J
Spinal recurrent inhibition via Renshaw cells and proprioceptive feedback via skeletal muscle and muscle spindle afferents have been hypothesized to constitute a compound feedback system [Windhorst (1989) Afferent Control of Posture and Locomotion; Windhorst (1993) Robots and Biological Systems--Towards a New Bionics]. To assess their detailed functions, it is necessary to know their dynamic characteristics. Previously we have extensively described the properties of signal transmission from motor axons to Renshaw cells using random motor axon stimulation and data analysis methods based thereupon. Using the same methods, we here compare these properties, in the cat, with those between motor axons and group Ia muscle spindle afferents in terms of frequency responses and nonlinear features. The frequency responses depend on the mean rate (carrier rate) of activation of motor axons and on the strength of coupling between motor units and spindles. In general, they are those of a second-order low-pass system with a cut-off at fairly low frequencies. This contrasts with the dynamics of motor axon-Renshaw cell couplings which are those of a much broader band-pass with its peak in the range of c. 2-15 Hz [Christakos (1987) Neuroscience 23, 613-623]. The second-order non-linearities in motor unit-muscle spindle signal lines are much more diverse than those in motor axon-Renshaw cell couplings. Although the average strength of response declines with mean stimulus rate in both subsystems, there is no systematic relationship between the amount of non-linearity and the average response in the former, whilst there is in the latter. The qualitative appearance of motor unit-muscle spindle non-linearities was complicated as was the average response to motor unit twitches. Thus, whilst Renshaw cells appear to dynamically reflect motor output rather faithfully, muscle spindles seem to signal local muscle fibre length changes and their dynamics. This would be consistent with the
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.
Ruggiero, Robert; Kale, Abhijit; Thomas, Barbara; Baker, Nicholas E
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.
Britt, Joshua M; Kane, Jacqueline R; Spaeth, Christopher S; Zuzek, Aleksej; Robinson, Garrett L; Gbanaglo, Melengor Y; Estler, Cody J; Boydston, Elaine A; Schallert, Timothy; Bittner, George D
The inability to rapidly (within minutes to hours) improve behavioral function after severance of peripheral nervous system axons is an ongoing clinical problem. We have previously reported that polyethylene glycol (PEG) can rapidly restore axonal integrity (PEG-fusion) between proximal and distal segments of cut- and crush-severed rat axons in vitro and in vivo. We now report that PEG-fusion not only reestablishes the integrity of crush-severed rat sciatic axons as measured by the restored conduction of compound action potentials (CAPs) and the intraaxonal diffusion of fluorescent dye across the lesion site, but also produces more rapid recovery of appropriate hindlimb motor behaviors. Improvement in recovery occurred during the first few postoperative weeks for the foot fault (FF) asymmetry test and between week 2 and week 3 for the Sciatic Functional Index (SFI) based on analysis of footprints. That is, the FF test was the more sensitive indicator of early behavioral recovery, showing significant postoperative improvement of motor behavior in PEG-treated animals at 24-48 h. In contrast, the SFI more sensitively measured longer-term postoperative behavioral recovery and deficits at 4-8 wk, perhaps reflecting the development of fine (distal) motor control. These and other data show that PEG-fusion not only rapidly restores physiological and morphological axonal continuity, but also more quickly improves behavioral recovery.
Aschrafi, Armaz; Kar, Amar N; Gale, Jenna R; Elkahloun, Abdel G; Vargas, Jose Noberto S; Sales, Naomi; Wilson, Gabriel; Tompkins, Miranda; Gioio, Anthony E; Kaplan, Barry B
Mitochondria are enriched in subcellular regions of high energy consumption, such as axons and pre-synaptic nerve endings. Accumulating evidence suggests that mitochondrial maintenance in these distal structural/functional domains of the neuron depends on the "in-situ" translation of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs. In support of this notion, we recently provided evidence for the axonal targeting of several nuclear-encoded mRNAs, such as cytochrome c oxidase, subunit 4 (COXIV) and ATP synthase, H+ transporting and mitochondrial Fo complex, subunit C1 (ATP5G1). Furthermore, we showed that axonal trafficking and local translation of these mRNAs plays a critical role in the generation of axonal ATP. Using a global gene expression analysis, this study identified a highly diverse population of nuclear-encoded mRNAs that were enriched in the axon and presynaptic nerve terminals. Among this population of mRNAs, fifty seven were found to be at least two-fold more abundant in distal axons, as compared with the parental cell bodies. Gene ontology analysis of the nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs suggested functions for these gene products in molecular and biological processes, including but not limited to oxidoreductase and electron carrier activity and proton transport. Based on these results, we postulate that local translation of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs present in the axons may play an essential role in local energy production and maintenance of mitochondrial function.
Lu, Cecilia S; Zhai, Bo; Mauss, Alex; Landgraf, Matthias; Gygi, Stephen; Van Vactor, David
Neuronal connectivity and specificity rely upon precise coordinated deployment of multiple cell-surface and secreted molecules. MicroRNAs have tremendous potential for shaping neural circuitry by fine-tuning the spatio-temporal expression of key synaptic effector molecules. The highly conserved microRNA miR-8 is required during late stages of neuromuscular synapse development in Drosophila. However, its role in initial synapse formation was previously unknown. Detailed analysis of synaptogenesis in this system now reveals that miR-8 is required at the earliest stages of muscle target contact by RP3 motor axons. We find that the localization of multiple synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) is dependent on the expression of miR-8, suggesting that miR-8 regulates the initial assembly of synaptic sites. Using stable isotope labelling in vivo and comparative mass spectrometry, we find that miR-8 is required for normal expression of multiple proteins, including the CAMs Fasciclin III (FasIII) and Neuroglian (Nrg). Genetic analysis suggests that Nrg and FasIII collaborate downstream of miR-8 to promote accurate target recognition. Unlike the function of miR-8 at mature larval neuromuscular junctions, at the embryonic stage we find that miR-8 controls key effectors on both sides of the synapse. MiR-8 controls multiple stages of synapse formation through the coordinate regulation of both pre- and postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins.
Bak, Thomas H.; Hodges, John R.
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…
Kanai, Kazuaki; Kuwabara, Satoshi; Arai, Kimihito; Sung, Jia-Ying; Ogawara, Kazue; Hattori, Takamichi
Machado-Joseph disease is one of the most common hereditary spinocerebellar degenerative disorders with a wide range of clinical manifestations. Pathology studies have shown mild to moderate loss of anterior horn cells and, in terms of spinal pathology, Machado-Joseph disease is regarded as a type of lower motoneuron disease. Muscle cramps are often associated with lower motoneuron disorders, but features of cramps in Machado-Joseph disease patients have never been studied. We investigated the incidence and nature of muscle cramps in Machado-Joseph disease patients, the excitability properties of motor axons [strength-duration time constant (tau(SD)), threshold electrotonus, refractoriness and supernormality] using threshold tracking and the effects of mexiletine hydrochloride on those cramps. Of 20 consecutive patients, 16 (80%) had frequent, severe muscle cramps in the legs, trunk or arms that disturbed their daily activities. The frequency of pathological muscle cramps was similar to that for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (68%) and higher than those for patients with spinal muscular atrophy (33%) or peripheral axonal neuropathy (24%). Threshold-tracking studies showed that tau(SD), which in part reflects Na(+) conductance at the resting membrane potential, was significantly greater in the Machado-Joseph disease patients than in normal subjects; severe muscle cramps were associated with a longer tau(SD). Threshold electrotonus, refractoriness and supernormality were not significantly different between Machado-Joseph disease patients and normal subjects. Eight Machado-Joseph disease patients with severe cramps, who received mexiletine treatment, experienced nearly complete relief with a partial normalization of tau(SD) (P = 0.08). Muscle cramps are a very frequent and disabling factor in Machado-Joseph disease. Pathological muscle cramps responded well to mexiletine treatment, and this is consistent with the hypothesis that they are caused by an
Machado, Carolina Barcellos; Kanning, Kevin C; Kreis, Patricia; Stevenson, Danielle; Crossley, Martin; Nowak, Magdalena; Iacovino, Michelina; Kyba, Michael; Chambers, David; Blanc, Eric; Lieberam, Ivo
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.
Yu-Wai-Man, C; Petheram, K; Davidson, A W; Williams, T; Griffiths, P G
A case is described of motor neurone disease presenting with an ocular motor disorder characterised by saccadic intrusions, impaired horizontal and vertical saccades, and apraxia of eyelid opening. The occurrence of eye movement abnormalities in motor neurone disease is discussed.
Full Text Available Although corticospinal tract axons cannot regenerate long distances after spinal cord injury, they are able to sprout collateral branches rostral to an injury site that can help form compensatory circuits in cases of incomplete lesions. We show here that inosine enhances the formation of compensatory circuits after a dorsal hemisection of the thoracic spinal cord in mature rats and improves coordinated limb use. Inosine is a naturally occurring metabolite of adenosine that crosses the cell membrane and, in neurons, activates Mst3b, a protein kinase that is part of a signal transduction pathway that regulates axon outgrowth. Compared to saline-treated controls, rats with dorsal hemisections that were treated with inosine showed three times as many synaptic contacts between corticospinal tract collaterals and long propriospinal interneurons that project from the cervical cord to the lumbar level. Inosine-treated rats also showed stronger serotonergic reinnervation of the lumbar cord than saline-treated controls, and performed well above controls in both open-field testing and a horizontal ladder rung-walking test. Inosine was equally effective whether delivered intracranially or intravenously, and has been shown to be safe for other indications in humans. Thus, inosine might be a useful therapeutic for improving outcome after spinal cord injury.
Braak, Heiko; Ludolph, Albert; Thal, Dietmar R; Del Tredici, Kelly
Skein-like and spherical inclusions within the somatodendritic compartment of a few types of susceptible neurons in the human nervous system are the currently acknowledged pathological hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These inclusions consist chiefly of an aggregated, phosphorylated, and ultimately ubiquitinated intranuclear protein, TDP-43. To investigate the development of these inclusions, a single neuronal type that is susceptible to the ALS-associated pathological process, i.e., the class of large multipolar somatomotor neurons in the lower brainstem and spinal cord, was studied in four cases of sporadic ALS and four age-matched controls using immunoreactions against phosphorylated TDP-43 (pTDP-43), p62, and ubiquitin. In these neurons, the protein TDP-43, after its displacement outside of the cell nucleus and abnormal phosphorylation, forms light microscopically visible dash-like aggregates which were dispersed throughout their entire somatodendritic domain and even extended into the proximal portions of the axon. Many motor neurons contained these lesions, which were not detectable with anti-TDP-43 and anti-p62. In an additional step, a small number of the neurons that contain the dash-like lesions displayed a clustering of the aggregated material, which forms thick net-like (potential precursors of the skein-like inclusions) and spherical inclusions. This material, in turn, was ubiquitinated and p62-immunopositive. Thus, dash-like pTDP-43 aggregates are regularly seen in motor neurons in ALS and may represent the initial cellular lesion in this disease. Because these aggregates were not stained with antibodies against p62 and non-phosphorylated TDP-43, it is possible that phosphorylation of TDP-43 is required for its aggregation in sporadic ALS.
Ravikumar, Sandhya; Poysophon, Poysophon; Poblete, Roy; Kim-Tenser, May
We describe a case report of fulminant Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) mimicking brain death. A previously healthy 60-year-old male was admitted to the neurointensive care unit after developing rapidly progressive weakness and respiratory failure. On presentation, the patient was found to have absent brainstem and spinal cord reflexes resembling that of brain death. Acute motor axonal neuropathy, a subtype of GBS, was diagnosed by cerebrospinal fluid and nerve conduction velocity testing. An electroencephalogram showed that the patient had normal, appropriately reactive brain function. Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasound showed appropriate blood flow to the brain. GBS rarely presents with weakness so severe as to mimic brain death. This article provides a review of similar literature. This case demonstrates the importance of performing a proper brain death examination, which includes evaluation for irreversible cerebral injury, exclusion of any confounding conditions, and performance of tests such as electroencephalography and TCDs when uncertainty exists about the reliability of the clinical exam.
Ajroud-Driss, Senda; Deng, Han-Xiang; Siddique, Teepu
Hereditary axonal motor and sensory neuropathies or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2 (CMT2) are characterized clinically by distal muscle weakness and atrophy, sensory loss, and foot deformities. Conduction velocities are usually in the normal range or mildly slowed. The majority of CMT2 are autosomal-dominant but autosomal-recessive forms have been described. The number of genes associated with CMT2 have significantly increased in the past decade, with the gene causing CMT2C/SPSMA being the last one discovered. More than 10 genes are now associated with different subtypes of CMT2, which are classified from CMT2A to CMT2N. These genes have distinct functions, but some appear to be involved in common biological pathways, therefore, providing important clues for understanding the pathogenic mechanism of these heterogeneous disorders.
[Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in spinal motor neuron excitability and autonomic nervous system activity during motor imagery of isometric thenar muscle activity at 10% and 50% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). [Methods] The F-waves and low frequency/high frequency (LF/HF) ratio were recorded at rest, during motor imagery, and post-trial. For motor imagery trials, subjects were instructed to imagine thenar muscle activity at 10% and 50% MVC while holding the...
Full Text Available Axonal regeneration is an essential condition to re-establish functional neuronal connections in the injured adult central nervous system (CNS, but efficient regrowth of severed axons has proven to be very difficult to achieve. Although significant progress has been made in identifying the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms involved, many aspects remain unresolved. Axonal development in embryonic CNS (hippocampus requires the obligate activation of the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R. Based on known similarities between axonal growth in fetal compared to mature CNS, we decided to examine the expression of the IGF-1R, using an antibody to the βgc subunit or a polyclonal anti-peptide antibody directed to the IGF-R (C20, in an in vitro model of adult CNS axonal regeneration, namely retinal ganglion cells (RGC derived from adult rat retinas. Expression of both βgc and the β subunit recognized by C20 antibody were low in freshly isolated adult RGC, but increased significantly after 4 days in vitro. As in embryonic axons, βgc was localised to distal regions and leading growth cones in RGC. IGF-1R-βgc co-localised with activated p85 involved in the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K signaling pathway, upon stimulation with IGF-1. Blocking experiments using either an antibody which neutralises IGF-1R activation, shRNA designed against the IGF-1R sequence, or the PI3K pathway inhibitor LY294002, all significantly reduced axon regeneration from adult RGC in vitro (∼40% RGC possessed axons in controls vs 2-8% in the different blocking studies. Finally, co-transfection of RGC with shRNA to silence IGF-1R together with a vector containing a constitutively active form of downstream PI3K (p110, fully restored axonal outgrowth in vitro. Hence these data demonstrate that axonal regeneration in adult CNS neurons requires re-expression and activation of IGF-1R, and targeting this system may offer new therapeutic approaches to enhancing axonal
Herde, Michel K; Herbison, Allan E
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.
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.
Ascoli, Giorgio A; Wheeler, Diek W
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.
Powis, Rachael A; Gillingwater, Thomas H
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterised primarily by loss of lower motor neurons from the ventral grey horn of the spinal cord and proximal muscle atrophy. Recent experiments utilising mouse models of SMA have demonstrated that not all motor neurons are equally susceptible to the disease, revealing that other populations of neurons can also be affected. Here, we have extended investigations of selective vulnerability of neuronal populations in the spinal cord of SMA mice to include comparative assessments of alpha motor neuron (α-MN) and gamma motor neuron (γ-MN) pools, as well as other populations of cholinergic neurons. Immunohistochemical analyses of late-symptomatic SMA mouse spinal cord revealed that numbers of α-MNs were significantly reduced at all levels of the spinal cord compared with controls, whereas numbers of γ-MNs remained stable. Likewise, the average size of α-MN cell somata was decreased in SMA mice with no change occurring in γ-MNs. Evaluation of other pools of spinal cord cholinergic neurons revealed that pre-ganglionic sympathetic neurons, central canal cluster interneurons, partition interneurons and preganglionic autonomic dorsal commissural nucleus neuron numbers all remained unaffected in SMA mice. Taken together, these findings indicate that α-MNs are uniquely vulnerable among cholinergic neuron populations in the SMA mouse spinal cord, with γ-MNs and other cholinergic neuronal populations being largely spared.
Wen, Quan; Po, Michelle; Hulme, Elizabeth; Chen, Sway; Liu, Xinyu; Kwok, Sen Wai; Gershow, Marc; Leifer, Andrew M; Butler, Victoria; Fang-Yen, Christopher; Kawano, Taizo; Schafer, William R; Whitesides, George
Summary Locomotion requires coordinated motor activity throughout an animal’s body. In both vertebrates and invertebrates, chains of coupled Central Pattern Generators (CPGs) are commonly evoked to explain local rhythmic behaviors. In C. elegans, we report that proprioception within the motor circuit is responsible for propagating and coordinating rhythmic undulatory waves from head to tail during forward movement. Proprioceptive coupling between adjacent body regions transduces rhythmic movement initiated near the head into bending waves driven along the body by a chain of reflexes. Using optogenetics and calcium imaging to manipulate and monitor motor circuit activity of moving C. elegans held in microfluidic devices, we found that the B-type cholinergic motor neurons transduce the proprioceptive signal. In C. elegans, a sensorimotor feedback loop operating within a specific type of motor neuron both drives and organizes body movement. PMID:23177960
Akude, Eli; Zherebitskaya, Elena; Roy Chowdhury, Subir K; Girling, Kimberly; Fernyhough, Paul
Modification of proteins by 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) has been proposed to cause neurotoxicity in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including distal axonopathy in diabetic sensory neuropathy. We tested the hypothesis that exposure of cultured adult rat sensory neurons to 4-HNE would result in the formation of amino acid adducts on mitochondrial proteins and that this process would be associated with impaired mitochondrial function and axonal regeneration. In addition, we compared 4-HNE-induced axon pathology with that exhibited by neurons isolated from diabetic rats. Cultured adult rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons were incubated with varying concentrations of 4-HNE. Cell survival, axonal morphology, and level of axon outgrowth were assessed. In addition, video microscopy of live cells, western blot, and immunofluorescent staining were utilized to detect protein adduct formation by 4-HNE and to localize actively respiring mitochondria. 4-HNE induced formation of protein adducts on cytoskeletal and mitochondrial proteins, and impaired axon regeneration by approximately 50% at 3 microM while having no effect on neuronal survival. 4-HNE initiated formation of aberrant axonal structures and caused the accumulation of mitochondria in these dystrophic structures. Neurons treated with 4-HNE exhibited a distal loss of active mitochondria. Finally, the distal axonopathy and the associated aberrant axonal structures generated by 4-HNE treatment mimicked axon pathology observed in DRG sensory neurons isolated from diabetic rats and replicated aspects of neurodegeneration observed in human diabetic sensory neuropathy.
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.
Liu, Yang; Grumbles, Robert M.; Thomas, Christine K.
Motoneuron death following spinal cord injury or disease results in muscle denervation, atrophy, and paralysis. We have previously transplanted embryonic ventral spinal cord cells into peripheral nerve to reinnervate denervated muscles and to reduce muscle atrophy, but reinnervation was incomplete. Here, our aim was to determine whether brief electrical stimulation of embryonic neurons in peripheral nerve changes motoneuron survival, axon regeneration, and muscle reinnervation and function because neural depolarization is crucial for embryonic neuron survival and may promote activity-dependent axon growth. At 1 week after denervation by sciatic nerve section, embryonic day 14-15 cells were purified for motoneurons, injected into the tibial nerve of adult Fischer rats, and stimulated immediately for up to 1 hour. More myelinated axons were present in tibial nerves when transplants had been stimulated at 1 Hz for 1 hour at 10 weeks following transplantation. More muscles were reinnervated if the stimulation treatment lasted for 1 hour. Reinnervation reduced muscle atrophy, with or without the stimulation treatment. These data suggest that brief stimulation of embryonic neurons promotes axon growth, which has a long-term impact on muscle reinnervation and function. Muscle reinnervation is important because it may enable the use of functional electrical stimulation to restore limb movements. PMID:23771218
Tu, Wen-Yo; Simpson, Julie E; Highley, J Robin; Heath, Paul R
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death, is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by the selective loss of particular groups of motor neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord with concomitant muscle weakness. To date, no effective treatment is available, however, there are ongoing clinical trials are in place which promise much for the future. However, there remains an ongoing problem in trying to link a single gene loss to motor neurone degeneration. Fortunately, given successful disease models that have been established and intensive studies on SMN functions in the past ten years, we are fast approaching the stage of identifying the underlying mechanisms of SMA pathogenesis Here we discuss potential disease modifying factors on motor neurone vulnerability, in the belief that these factors give insight into the pathological mechanisms of SMA and therefore possible therapeutic targets.
Hizanidis, J.; Katsaloulis, P.; Verganelakis, D. A.; Provata, A.
The multifractal spectrum Dq (Rényi dimensions) is used for the analysis and comparison between the Neuron Axons Network (NAN) of healthy and pathological human brains because it conveys information about the statistics in many scales, from the very rare to the most frequent network configurations. Comparison of the Fractional Anisotropy Magnetic Resonance Images between healthy and pathological brains is performed with and without noise reduction. Modelling the complex structure of the NAN in the human brain is undertaken using the dynamics of the Lorenz model in the chaotic regime. The Lorenz multifractal spectra capture well the human brain characteristics in the large negative q's which represent the rare network configurations. In order to achieve a closer approximation in the positive part of the spectrum (q > 0) two independent modifications are considered: a) redistribution of the dense parts of the Lorenz model's phase space into their neighbouring areas and b) inclusion of additive uniform noise in the Lorenz model. Both modifications, independently, drive the Lorenz spectrum closer to the human NAN one in the positive q region without destroying the already good correspondence of the negative spectra. The modelling process shows that the unmodified Lorenz model in its full chaotic regime has a phase space distribution with high fluctuations in its dense parts, while the fluctuations in the human brain NAN are smoother. The induced modifications (phase space redistribution or additive noise) moderate the fluctuations only in the positive part of the Lorenz spectrum leading to a faithful representation of the human brain axons network in all scales.
Parker, J A; Connolly, J B; Wellington, C; Hayden, M; Dausset, J; Neri, C
Huntington's disease (HD) is a dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion in the protein huntingtin (htt). HD pathogenesis appears to involve the production of mutated N-terminal htt, cytoplasmic and nuclear aggregation of htt, and abnormal activity of htt interactor proteins essential to neuronal survival. Before cell death, neuronal dysfunction may be an important step of HD pathogenesis. To explore polyQ-mediated neuronal toxicity, we expressed the first 57 amino acids of human htt containing normal [19 Gln residues (Glns)] and expanded (88 or 128 Glns) polyQ fused to fluorescent marker proteins in the six touch receptor neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans. Expanded polyQ produced touch insensitivity in young adults. Noticeably, only 28 +/- 6% of animals with 128 Glns were touch sensitive in the tail, as mediated by the PLM neurons. Similar perinuclear deposits and faint nuclear accumulation of fusion proteins with 19, 88, and 128 Glns were observed. In contrast, significant deposits and morphological abnormalities in PLM cell axons were observed with expanded polyQ (128 Glns) and partially correlated with touch insensitivity. PLM cell death was not detected in young or old adults. These animals indicate that significant neuronal dysfunction without cell death may be induced by expanded polyQ and may correlate with axonal insults, and not cell body aggregates. These animals also provide a suitable model to perform in vivo suppression of polyQ-mediated neuronal dysfunction.
Full Text Available Our understanding of motor neuron biology in humans is derived mainly from investigation of human postmortem tissue and more indirectly from live animal models such as rodents. Thus generation of motor neurons from human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells is an important new approach to model motor neuron function. To be useful models of human motor neuron function, cells generated in vitro should develop mature properties that are the hallmarks of motor neurons in vivo such as elaborated neuronal processes and mature electrophysiological characteristics. Here we have investigated changes in morphological and electrophysiological properties associated with maturation of neurons differentiated from human embryonic stem cells expressing GFP driven by a motor neuron specific reporter (Hb9::GFP in culture. We observed maturation in cellular morphology seen as more complex neurite outgrowth and increased soma area over time. Electrophysiological changes included decreasing input resistance and increasing action potential firing frequency over 13 days in vitro. Furthermore, these human embryonic stem cell derived motor neurons acquired two physiological characteristics that are thought to underpin motor neuron integrated function in motor circuits; spike frequency adaptation and rebound action potential firing. These findings show that human embryonic stem cell derived motor neurons develop functional characteristics typical of spinal motor neurons in vivo and suggest that they are a relevant and useful platform for studying motor neuron development and function and for modeling motor neuron diseases.
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。
Spiller, Krista J; Cheung, Claudia J; Restrepo, Clark R; Kwong, Linda K; Stieber, Anna M; Trojanowski, John Q; Lee, Virginia M-Y
Motor neurons (MNs) are the neuronal class that is principally affected in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but it is widely known that individual motor pools do not succumb to degeneration simultaneously. Because >90% of ALS patients have an accumulation of cytoplasmic TDP-43 aggregates in postmortem brain and spinal cord (SC), it has been suggested that these inclusions in a given population may trigger its death. We investigated seven MN pools in our new inducible rNLS8 transgenic (Tg) mouse model of TDP-43 proteinopathy and found striking differences in MN responses to TDP-43 pathology. Despite widespread neuronal expression of cytoplasmic human TDP-43, only MNs in the hypoglossal nucleus and the SC are lost after 8 weeks of transgene expression, whereas those in the oculomotor, trigeminal, and facial nuclei are spared. Within the SC, slow MNs survive to end stage, whereas fast fatigable MNs are lost. Correspondingly, axonal dieback occurs first from fast-twitch muscle fibers, whereas slow-twitch fibers remain innervated. Individual pools show differences in the downregulation of endogenous nuclear TDP-43, but this does not fully account for vulnerability to degenerate. After transgene suppression, resistant MNs sprout collaterals to reinnervate previously denervated neuromuscular junctions concurrently with expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), a marker of fast MNs. Therefore, although pathological TDP-43 is linked to MN degeneration, the process is not stochastic and mirrors the highly selective patterns of MN degeneration observed in ALS patients. Because TDP-43 is the major pathological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we generated mice in which mutant human TDP-43 expression causes progressive neuron loss. We show that these rNLS8 mice have a pattern of axonal dieback and cell death that mirrors that often observed in human patients. This finding demonstrates the diversity of motor neuron (MN) populations in their response
Abe, Takashi; Yamazaki, Daisuke; Murakami, Satoshi; Hiroi, Makoto; Nitta, Yohei; Maeyama, Yuko; Tabata, Tetsuya
The Rac-Cofilin pathway is essential for cytoskeletal remodeling to control axonal development. Rac signals through the canonical Rac-Pak-LIMK pathway to suppress Cofilin-dependent axonal growth and through a Pak-independent non-canonical pathway to promote outgrowth. Whether this non-canonical pathway converges to promote Cofilin-dependent F-actin reorganization in axonal growth remains elusive. We demonstrate that Sickie, a homolog of the human microtubule-associated protein neuron navigator 2, cell-autonomously regulates axonal growth of Drosophila mushroom body (MB) neurons via the non-canonical pathway. Sickie was prominently expressed in the newborn F-actin-rich axons of MB neurons. A sickie mutant exhibited axonal growth defects, and its phenotypes were rescued by exogenous expression of Sickie. We observed phenotypic similarities and genetic interactions among sickie and Rac-Cofilin signaling components. Using the MARCM technique, distinct F-actin and phospho-Cofilin patterns were detected in developing axons mutant for sickie and Rac-Cofilin signaling regulators. The upregulation of Cofilin function alleviated the axonal defect of the sickie mutant. Epistasis analyses revealed that Sickie suppresses the LIMK overexpression phenotype and is required for Pak-independent Rac1 and Slingshot phosphatase to counteract LIMK. We propose that Sickie regulates F-actin-mediated axonal growth via the non-canonical Rac-Cofilin pathway in a Slingshot-dependent manner.
Shu Tang; Qiang Wen; Xiao-jian Zhang; Quan-cheng Kan
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 neuronsin vitro. Coimmunoprecipitation results demonstrated that JNK-interacting protein 1 formed TrkB com-plexesin vitro andin 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-interact-ing 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 ifndings conifrm that JNK-inter-acting protein 1 can interact with TrkB in neuronal cells, and can regulate the transport of TrkB in axons, but not in dendrites.
Coullery, Romina P; Ferrari, María E; Rosso, Silvana B
The growth and morphological differentiation of neurons are critical events in the establishment of proper neuronal connectivity and functioning. The developing nervous system is highly susceptible to damage caused by exposure to environmental contaminants. Glyphosate-containing herbicides are the most used agrochemicals in the world, particularly on genetically modified plants. Previous studies have demonstrated that glyphosate induces neurotoxicity in mammals. Therefore, its action mechanism on the nervous system needs to be determined. In this study, we report about impaired neuronal development caused by glyphosate exposure. Particularly, we observed that the initial axonal differentiation and growth of cultured neurons is affected by glyphosate since most treated cells remained undifferentiated after 1 day in culture. Although they polarized at 2 days in vitro, they elicited shorter and unbranched axons and they also developed less complex dendritic arbors compared to controls. To go further, we attempted to identify the cellular mechanism by which glyphosate affected neuronal morphology. Biochemical approaches revealed that glyphosate led to a decrease in Wnt5a level, a key factor for the initial neurite development and maturation, as well as inducing a down-regulation of CaMKII activity. This data suggests that the morphological defects would likely be a consequence of the decrease in both Wnt5a expression and CaMKII activity induced by glyphosate. Additionally, these changes might be reflected in a subsequent neuronal dysfunction. Therefore, our findings highlight the importance of establishing rigorous control on the use of glyphosate-based herbicides in order to protect mammals' health.
Bremen, Peter; Joris, Philip X
Interaural time differences (ITDs) are a major cue for localizing low-frequency (sounds. Sensitivity to this cue first occurs in the medial superior olive (MSO), which is thought to perform a coincidence analysis on its monaural inputs. Extracellular single-neuron recordings in MSO are difficult to obtain because (1) MSO action potentials are small and (2) a large field potential locked to the stimulus waveform hampers spike isolation. Consequently, only a limited number of studies report MSO data, and even in these studies data are limited in the variety of stimuli used, in the number of neurons studied, and in spike isolation. More high-quality data are needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying neuronal ITD-sensitivity. We circumvented these difficulties by recording from the axons of MSO neurons in the lateral lemniscus (LL) of the chinchilla, a species with pronounced low-frequency sensitivity. Employing sharp glass electrodes we successfully recorded from neurons with ITD sensitivity: the location, response properties, latency, and spike shape were consistent with an MSO axonal origin. The main difficulty encountered was mechanical stability. We obtained responses to 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.
Tommy L Lewis
Full Text Available In neurons polarized trafficking of vesicle-bound membrane proteins gives rise to the distinct molecular composition and functional properties of axons and dendrites. Despite their central role in shaping neuronal form and function, surprisingly little is known about the molecular processes that mediate polarized targeting of neuronal proteins. Recently, the plus-end-directed motor Myosin Va was shown to play a critical role in targeting of transmembrane proteins to dendrites; however, the role of myosin motors in axonal targeting is unknown. Here we show that Myosin VI, a minus-end-directed motor, plays a vital role in the enrichment of proteins on the surface of axons. Engineering non-neuronal proteins to interact with Myosin VI causes them to become highly concentrated at the axonal surface in dissociated rat cortical neurons. Furthermore, disruption of either Myosin VI function or expression leads to aberrant dendritic localization of axonal proteins. Myosin VI mediates the enrichment of proteins on the axonal surface at least in part by stimulating dendrite-specific endocytosis, a mechanism that has been shown to underlie the localization of many axonal proteins. In addition, a version of Channelrhodopsin 2 that was engineered to bind to Myosin VI is concentrated at the surface of the axon of cortical neurons in mice in vivo, suggesting that it could be a useful tool for probing circuit structure and function. Together, our results indicate that myosins help shape the polarized distributions of both axonal and dendritic proteins.
Full Text Available We describe a case report of fulminant Guillain-Barré syndrome mimicking brain death. A previously healthy 60-year-old male was admitted to the neurointensive care unit after developing rapidly progressive weakness and respiratory failure. On presentation, the patient was found to have absent brainstem and spinal cord reflexes resembling that of brain death. Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN, a subtype of Guillain-Barré syndrome, was diagnosed by cerebrospinal fluid and nerve conduction velocity testing. An electroencephalogram showed that the patient had normal, appropriately reactive brain function. Transcranial Doppler ultrasound showed appropriate blood flow to the brain. Guillain-Barré syndrome rarely presents with weakness so severe as to mimic brain death. This article provides a review of similar literature. This case demonstrates the importance of performing a proper brain death examination, which includes evaluation for irreversible cerebral injury, exclusion of any confounding conditions, and performance of tests such as electroencephalography and transcranial dopplers when uncertainty exists about the reliability of the clinical exam.
Ray, Arundhati; Treloar, Helen B.
Here, we investigated an Immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily protein IgSF8 which is abundantly expressed in olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axons and their developing synapses. We demonstrate that expression of IgSF8 within synaptic neuropil is transitory, limited to the period of glomerular formation. Glomerular expression decreases after synaptic maturation and compartmental glomerular organization is achieved, although expression is maintained at high levels within the olfactory nerve layer (ON...
Xu-Qiao Chen; BinWang; Chengbiao Wu; Jin Pan; Bo Yuan; Yuan-Yuan Su; Xing-Yu Jiang; Xu Zhang; Lan Bao
Neurotrophins and their receptors adopt signaling endosomes to transmit retrograde signals.However,the mechanisms of retrograde signaling for other ligand/receptor systems are poorly understood.Here,we report that the signals of the purinergic (P)2X3 receptor,an ATP-gated ion channel are retrogradely transported in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron axons.We found that Rab5,a small GTPase,controls the early sorting of P2X3 receptors into endosomes,while Rab7 mediates the fast retrograde transport of P2X3 receptors.Intraplantar injection and axonal application into the microfluidic chamber of α,β-methylene-ATP (α,β-MeATP),a P2X selective agonist,enhanced the endocytosis and retrograde transport of P2X3 receptors.The α,β-MeATP-induced Ca2+ influx activated a pathway comprised of protein kinase C,rat sarcoma viral oncogene and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK),which associated with endocytic P2X3 receptors to form signaling endosomes.Disruption of the lipid rafts abolished the α,β-MeATP-induced ERK phosphorylation,endocytosis and retrograde transport of P2X3 receptors.Furthermore,treatment of peripheral axons with α,β-MeATP increased the activation level of ERK and cAMP response element-binding protein in the cell bodies of DRG neurons and enhanced neuronal excitability.Impairment of either microtubule-based axonal transport in vivo or dynein function in vitro blocked α,β-MeATP-induced retrograde signals.These results indicate that P2X3 receptor-activated signals are transmitted via retrogradely transported endosomes in primary sensory neurons and provide a novel signaling mechanism for ligand-gated channels.
Song, Yuanquan; Ori-McKenney, Kassandra M.; Zheng, Yi; Han, Chun; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung
Both cell-intrinsic and extrinsic pathways govern axon regeneration, but only a limited number of factors have been identified and it is not clear to what extent axon regeneration is evolutionarily conserved. Whether dendrites also regenerate is unknown. Here we report that, like the axons of mammalian sensory neurons, the axons of certain Drosophila dendritic arborization (da) neurons are capable of substantial regeneration in the periphery but not in the CNS, and activating the Akt pathway enhances axon regeneration in the CNS. Moreover, those da neurons capable of axon regeneration also display dendrite regeneration, which is cell type-specific, developmentally regulated, and associated with microtubule polarity reversal. Dendrite regeneration is restrained via inhibition of the Akt pathway in da neurons by the epithelial cell-derived microRNA bantam but is facilitated by cell-autonomous activation of the Akt pathway. Our study begins to reveal mechanisms for dendrite regeneration, which depends on both extrinsic and intrinsic factors, including the PTEN–Akt pathway that is also important for axon regeneration. We thus established an important new model system—the fly da neuron regeneration model that resembles the mammalian injury model—with which to study and gain novel insights into the regeneration machinery. PMID:22759636
This thesis explores the concept of neuronal communication through oscillatory synchronization. For most of the described research, we used the human motor system as a model system, in particular the cortico spinal system, in combination with non invasive recording techniques. Oscillatory
Feb 19, 1983 ... In the elderly male with motor neuron disease sim- ple screening tests .... Frontal lobe with perivascular chronic inflammatory cells and reactive ... kinase, aldolase and lactic dehydrogenase values, were all within normal limits. ... some weight loss, which started at the same time as the right arm weakness.
Full Text Available The second messenger cyclic AMP (cAMP plays an important role in synaptic plasticity. Although there is evidence for local control of synaptic transmission and plasticity, it is less clear whether a similar spatial confinement of cAMP signaling exists. Here, we suggest a possible biophysical basis for the site-specific regulation of synaptic plasticity by cAMP, a highly diffusible small molecule that transforms the physiology of synapses in a local and specific manner. By exploiting the octopaminergic system of Drosophila, which mediates structural synaptic plasticity via a cAMP-dependent pathway, we demonstrate the existence of local cAMP signaling compartments of micrometer dimensions within single motor neurons. In addition, we provide evidence that heterogeneous octopamine receptor localization, coupled with local differences in phosphodiesterase activity, underlies the observed differences in cAMP signaling in the axon, cell body, and boutons.
M.C. de Waard (Monique); I. van der Pluijm (Ingrid); N. Zuiderveen Borgesius (Nils); L.H. Comley (Laura); E.D. Haasdijk (Elize); Y.M. Rijksen (Yvonne); Y. Ridwan (Yanto); G. Zondag (Gerben); J.H.J. Hoeijmakers (Jan); Y. Elgersma (Ype); T.H. Gillingwater (Thomas); D. Jaarsma (Dick)
textabstractDegeneration of motor neurons contributes to senescence-associated loss of muscle function and underlies human neurodegenerative conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy. The identification of genetic factors contributing to motor neuron vulnerability
Kay Denis G
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
Lan Guo; Heng Du; Shiqiang Yan; Xiaoping Wu; Guy M. McKhann; John Xi Chen; Shirley ShiDu Yan
Normal axonal mitochondrial transport and function is essential for the maintenance of synaptic function. Abnormal mitochondrial motility and mitochondrial dysfunction within axons are critical for amyloid β (Aβ)-induced synaptic stress and the loss of synapses relevant to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the mechanisms controlling axonal mitochondrial function and transport alterations in AD remain elusive. Here, we report an unexplored role of cyclophilin D (CypD)-depe...
Moldovan, Mihai; Alvarez, Susana; Pinchenko, Volodymyr; Klein, Dennis; Nielsen, Finn Cilius; Wood, John N; Martini, Rudolf; Krarup, Christian
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 with conventional nerve conduction studies, behavioural studies using rotor-rod measurements, and histological measures to assess membrane dysfunction and its progression in protein zero deficient homozygous mutants as compared with age-matched wild-type controls. The involvement of Na(V)1.8 was investigated by pharmacologic block using the subtype-selective Na(V)1.8 blocker A-803467 and chronically in Na(V)1.8 knock-outs. We found that in the context of dysmyelination, abnormal potassium ion currents and membrane depolarization, the ectopic Na(V)1.8 channels further impair the motor axon excitability in protein zero deficient homozygous mutants to an extent that precipitates conduction failure in severely affected axons. Our data suggest that a Na(V)1.8 channelopathy contributed to the poor motor function of protein zero deficient homozygous mutants, and that the conduction failure was associated with partially reversible reduction of the electrically evoked muscle response and of the clinical function as indicated by the partial recovery of function at rotor-rod measurements. As a
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
Ivanhoe, Cindy B; Reistetter, Timothy A
Spasticity is a sensorimotor phenomenon related to the integration of the nervous system motor responses to sensory input. Although most commonly considered a velocity-dependent increase to tonic stretch, it is related to hypersensitivity of the reflex arc and changes that occur within the central nervous system, most notably, the spinal cord. Injury to the central nervous system results in loss of descending inhibition, allowing for the clinical manifestation of abnormal impulses. Muscle activity becomes overactive. This is mediated at several areas of the stretch-reflex pathway. Although spasticity is part of the upper motor neuron syndrome, it is frequently tied to the other presentations of the said syndrome. Contracture, hypertonia, weakness, and movement disorders can all coexist as a result of the upper motor neuron syndrome. Although basic science descriptions of spasticity are being elucidated, clinically, confusion exists.
Schwab, Andrew J; Ebert, Allison D
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.
Liu, Boyin; Bossing, Torsten
We removed single identified neurons from living Drosophila embryos to gain insight into the transcriptional control of developing neuronal networks. The microarray analysis of the transcriptome of two sibling neurons revealed seven differentially expressed transcripts between both neurons (threshold: log21.4). One transcript encodes the RNA splicing factor B52. Loss of B52 increases growth of axon branches. B52 function is also required for Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT ) splicing. At the end of embryogenesis, loss of B52 function impedes splicing of ChAT, reduces acetylcholine synthesis, and extends the period of uncoordinated muscle twitches during larval hatching. ChAT regulation by SRSF proteins may be a conserved feature since changes in SRSF5 expression and increased acetylcholine levels in brains of bipolar disease patients have been reported recently. PMID:27725692
Dushanova, Juliana; Donoghue, John
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 primary motor cortex (MI) responding to viewed actions, an area generally considered to initiate and guide movement performance. Multielectrode recordings in monkeys performing or observing a well-learned step tracking task showed that approximately half of MI neurons, 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, active only during movement performance. Simultaneously recorded, ‘view’ neurons comprised two groups: ∼38% retained the same preferred direction (PD) and timing during performance and viewing, while the remainder (62%) changed their PDs and time lag during viewing 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 viewing only sub-components of the task. MI ‘view’ neurons thus appear to reflect the 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 MI activity needed to perform the observed action and could additionally reflect processing related to understanding, learning or mentally rehearsing action. PMID:20074212
Prince, Janet E A; Cho, Jin Hyung; Dumontier, Emilie; Andrews, William; Cutforth, Tyler; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Parnavelas, John; Cloutier, Jean-François
The ability of sensory systems to detect and process information from the environment relies on the elaboration of precise connections between sensory neurons in the periphery and second order neurons in the CNS. In mice, the accessory olfactory system is thought to regulate a wide variety of social and sexual behaviors. The expression of the Slit receptors Robo-1 and Robo-2 in vomeronasal sensory neurons (VSNs) suggests they may direct the stereotypic targeting of their axons to the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). Here, we have examined the roles of Robo-1 and Robo-2 in the formation of connections by VSN axons within the AOB. While Robo-1 is not necessary for the segregation of VSN axons within the anterior and posterior regions of the AOB, Robo-2 is required for the targeting of some basal VSN axons to the posterior region of the AOB but is dispensable for the fasciculation of VSN axons. Furthermore, the specific ablation of Robo-2 expression in VSNs leads to mistargeting of a portion of basal VSN axons to the anterior region of the AOB, indicating that Robo-2 expression is required on projecting VSN axons. Together, these results identify Robo-2 as a receptor that controls the targeting of basal VSN axons to the posterior AOB.
Sehara, K; Wakimoto, M; Ako, R; Kawasaki, H
Axonal organizations with specific patterns underlie the functioning of local intracortical circuitry, but their precise anatomy and development still remain elusive. Here, we selectively visualized layer 2/3 neurons using in utero electroporation and examined their axonal organization in the barrel cortex contralateral to the electroporated side. We found that callosal axons run preferentially in septal regions of layer 4 and showed a whisker-related pattern in the contralateral barrel cortex in rats and mice. In addition, presynaptic marker proteins were found in this whisker-related axonal organization. Although the whisker-related patterns were observed in both the ipsilateral and contralateral barrel cortex, we found a difference in their developmental processes. While the formation of the whisker-related pattern in the ipsilateral cortex consisted of two distinct steps, that in the contralateral cortex did not have the 1st step, in which the axons were diffusely distributed without preference to septal or barrel regions. We also found that these more diffuse axons ran close to radial glial fibers. Together, our results uncovered a whisker-related axonal pattern of callosal axons and two independent developmental processes involved in the formation of the axonal trajectories of layer 2/3 neurons. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Morimura, Rii; Nozawa, Keisuke; Tanaka, Hideomi; Ohshima, Toshio
Dpysls (CRMPs) that were initially identified as mediator proteins of Semaphorin3a (Sema3a) signaling are involved in neuronal polarity and axon elongation in cultured neurons. Previous studies have shown that knockdown of neuropilin1a, one of the sema3a receptors, exhibited ectopic primary motor neurons (PMNs) outside of the spinal cord in zebrafish. However, downstream molecules of sema3a signaling involved in the positioning of motor neurons are largely unknown. Here, we addressed the role of Dpysl2 (CRMP2) and Dpysl3 (CRMP4) in the positioning of PMNs in the zebrafish spinal cord. We found that the knockdown of dpysls by antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (AMO) causes abnormal positioning of caudal primary (CaP) motor neurons outside the spinal cord. The knockdown of cdk5 and dyrk2 by AMO also caused similar phenotype in the positioning of CaP motor neurons, and this phenotype was rescued by co-injection of phosphorylation-mimic type dpysl2 mRNA. These results suggest that the phosphorylation of Dpysl2 and Dpysl3 by Cdk5 and Dyrk2 is required for correct positioning of CaP motor neurons in the zebrafish spinal cord.
Gang, Lin; Yao, Yu-Chen; Liu, Ying-Fu; Li, Yi-Peng; Yang, Kai; Lu, Lei; Cheng, Yuan-Chi; Chen, Xu-Yi; Tu, Yue
We present a novel in vitro model in which to investigate the efficacy of experimental drugs for the promotion of axon regeneration in the central nervous system. We co-cultured rat hippocampal neurons and cerebral cortical oligodendrocytes, and tested the co-culture system using a Nogo-66 receptor antagonist peptide (NEP1-40), which promotes axonal growth. Primary cultured oligodendrocytes suppressed axonal growth in the rat hippocampus, but NEP1-40 stimulated axonal growth in the co-culture system. Our results confirm the validity of the neuron-oligodendrocyte co-culture system as an assay for the evaluation of drugs for axon regeneration in the central nervous system.
Full Text Available We present a novel in vitro model in which to investigate the efficacy of experimental drugs for the promotion of axon regeneration in the central nervous system. We co-cultured rat hippocampal neurons and cerebral cortical oligodendrocytes, and tested the co-culture system using a Nogo-66 receptor antagonist peptide (NEP1-40, which promotes axonal growth. Primary cultured oligodendrocytes suppressed axonal growth in the rat hippocampus, but NEP1-40 stimulated axonal growth in the co-culture system. Our results confirm the validity of the neuron-oligodendrocyte co-culture system as an assay for the evaluation of drugs for axon regeneration in the central nervous system.
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
Ma, Huixian; Yu, Hui; Li, Ting; Zhao, Yan; Hou, Ming; Chen, Zheyu; Wang, Yue; Sun, Tao
Radial migration is essential for the precise lamination and the coordinated function of the cerebral cortex. However, the molecular mechanisms for neuronal radial migration are not clear. Here, we report that c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK)-interacting protein-3 (JIP3) is highly expressed in the brain of embryonic mice and essential for radial migration. Knocking down JIP3 by in utero electroporation specifically perturbs the radial migration of cortical neurons but has no effect on neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation. Furthermore, we illustrate that JIP3 knockdown delays but does not block the migration of cortical neurons by investigating the distribution of neurons with JIP3 knocked down in the embryo and postnatal mouse. Finally, we find that JIP3 regulates cortical neuronal migration by mediating TrkB axonal anterograde transport during brain development. These findings deepen our understanding of the regulation of neuronal development by JIP3 and provide us a novel view on the regulating mechanisms of neuronal radial migration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Veldman, M. P.; Zijdewind, I.; Solnik, S.; Maffiuletti, N. A.; Berghuis, K. M. M.; Javet, M.; Negyesi, J.; Hortobagyi, T.
Purpose Sensory input can modify voluntary motor function. We examined whether somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) added to motor practice (MP) could augment motor learning, interlimb transfer, and whether physiological changes in neuronal excitability underlie these changes. Methods Particip
Rajapaksha Tharinda W
Full Text Available Abstract Background The β-secretase, β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1, is a prime therapeutic target for lowering cerebral β-amyloid (Aβ levels in Alzheimer's disease (AD. Clinical development of BACE1 inhibitors is being intensely pursued. However, little is known about the physiological functions of BACE1, and the possibility exists that BACE1 inhibition may cause mechanism-based side effects. Indeed, BACE1-/- mice exhibit a complex neurological phenotype. Interestingly, BACE1 co-localizes with presynaptic neuronal markers, indicating a role in axons and/or terminals. Moreover, recent studies suggest axon guidance molecules are potential BACE1 substrates. Here, we used a genetic approach to investigate the function of BACE1 in axon guidance of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs, a well-studied model of axon targeting in vivo. Results We bred BACE1-/- mice with gene-targeted mice in which GFP is expressed from the loci of two odorant-receptors (ORs, MOR23 and M72, and olfactory marker protein (OMP to produce offspring that were heterozygous for MOR23-GFP, M72-GFP, or OMP-GFP and were either BACE1+/+ or BACE1-/-. BACE1-/- mice had olfactory bulbs (OBs that were smaller and weighed less than OBs of BACE1+/+ mice. In wild-type mice, BACE1 was present in OSN axon terminals in OB glomeruli. In whole-mount preparations and tissue sections, many OB glomeruli from OMP-GFP; BACE1-/- mice were malformed compared to wild-type glomeruli. MOR23-GFP; BACE1-/- mice had an irregular MOR23 glomerulus that was innervated by randomly oriented, poorly fasciculated OSN axons compared to BACE1+/+ mice. Most importantly, M72-GFP; BACE1-/- mice exhibited M72 OSN axons that were mis-targeted to ectopic glomeruli, indicating impaired axon guidance in BACE1-/- mice. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that BACE1 is required for the accurate targeting of OSN axons and the proper formation of glomeruli in the OB, suggesting a role for BACE1 in
Zhang, Wei; Yan, Zhiqiang; Li, Bingxue; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung
Defecation allows the body to eliminate waste, an essential step in food processing for animal survival. In contrast to the extensive studies of feeding, its obligate counterpart, defecation, has received much less attention until recently. In this study, we report our characterizations of the defecation behavior of Drosophila larvae and its neural basis. Drosophila larvae display defecation cycles of stereotypic frequency, involving sequential contraction of hindgut and anal sphincter. The defecation behavior requires two groups of motor neurons that innervate hindgut and anal sphincter, respectively, and can excite gut muscles directly. These two groups of motor neurons fire sequentially with the same periodicity as the defecation behavior, as revealed by in vivo Ca(2+) imaging. Moreover, we identified a single mechanosensitive sensory neuron that innervates the anal slit and senses the opening of the intestine terminus. This anus sensory neuron relies on the TRP channel NOMPC but not on INACTIVE, NANCHUNG, or PIEZO for mechanotransduction.
Avraham, Oshri; Zisman, Sophie; Hadas, Yoav; Vald, Lilach; Klar, Avihu
Employment of enhancer elements to drive expression of reporter genes in neurons is a widely used paradigm for tracking axonal projection. For tracking axonal projection of spinal interneurons in vertebrates, germ line-targeted reporter genes yield bilaterally symmetric labeling. Therefore, it is hard to distinguish between the ipsi- and contra-laterally projecting axons. Unilateral electroporation into the chick neural tube provides a useful means to restrict expression of a reporter gene to one side of the central nervous system, and to follow axonal projection on both sides. This video demonstrates first how to handle the eggs prior to injection. At HH stage 18-20, DNA is injected into the sacral level of the neural tube, then tungsten electrodes are placed parallel to the embryo and short electrical pulses are administered with a pulse generator. The egg is sealed with tape and placed back into an incubator for further development. Three days later (E6) the spinal cord is removed as an open book preparation from embryo, fixed, and processed for whole mount antibody staining. The stained spinal cord is mounted on slide and visualized using confocal microscopy.
Leitch, Michael; Macefield, Vaughan G
During voluntary contractions, human motoneurons discharge with a physiological variability of ∼20%. However, studies that have measured the contractile responses to microstimulation of single motor axons have used regular trains of stimuli with no variability. We tested the hypothesis that irregular (physiological) trains of stimuli produce greater contractile responses than regular (nonphysiological) trains of identical mean frequency but zero variability. High-impedance tungsten microelectrodes were inserted into the common peroneal nerve and guided into fascicles supplying a toe extensor muscle. Selective microstimulation was achieved for 14 single motor axons. Contractile responses were measured via an angular displacement transducer over the relevant toe. After the responses to regular trains of 10 stimuli extending from 2 to 100 Hz were recorded, irregular trains of 10 stimuli, based on the interspike intervals recorded from single motor units during voluntary contractions, were delivered. Finally, the stimulation sequences were repeated following a 2-min period of continuous stimulation at 10 Hz to induce muscle fatigue. Regular trains of stimuli generated a sigmoidal increase in displacement with frequency, whereas irregular trains, emulating the firing of volitionally driven motoneurons, displayed significantly greater responses over the same frequency range (8-24 Hz). This was maintained even in the presence of fatigue. We conclude that physiological discharge variability, which incorporates short and long interspike intervals, offers an advantage to the neuromuscular system by allowing motor units to operate on a higher level of the contraction-frequency curve and taking advantage of catch-like properties in skeletal muscle.
Grigoryan, Sergei; Yee, Michael B; Glick, Yair; Gerber, Doron; Kepten, Eldad; Garini, Yuval; Yang, In Hong; Kinchington, Paul R; Goldstein, Ronald S
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.
Full Text Available 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.
Lee, Young Il; Li, Yue; Mikesh, Michelle; Smith, Ian; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Schwab, Markus H; Thompson, Wesley J
Synaptic connections in the nervous system are rearranged during development and in adulthood as a feature of growth, plasticity, aging, and disease. Glia are implicated as active participants in these changes. Here we investigated a signal that controls the participation of peripheral glia, the terminal Schwann cells (SCs), at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in mice. Transgenic manipulation of the levels of membrane-tethered neuregulin1 (NRG1-III), a potent activator of SCs normally presented on motor axons, alters the rate of loss of motor inputs at NMJs during developmental synapse elimination. In addition, NMJs of adult transgenic mice that expressed excess axonal NRG1-III exhibited continued remodeling, in contrast to the more stable morphologies of controls. In fact, synaptic SCs of these adult mice with NRG1-III overexpression exhibited behaviors evident in wild type neonates during synapse elimination, including an affinity for the postsynaptic myofiber surface and phagocytosis of nerve terminals. Given that levels of NRG1-III expression normally peak during the period of synapse elimination, our findings identify axon-tethered NRG1 as a molecular determinant for SC-driven neuromuscular synaptic plasticity.
Eleftheria Kyriaki Pissadaki
Full Text Available Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc are uniquely sensitive to degeneration in Parkinson’s disease (PD and its models. Although a variety of molecular characteristics have been proposed to underlie this sensitivity, one possible contributory factor is their massive, unmyelinated, axonal arbor that is orders of magnitude larger than other neuronal types. In our previously published work, we examined the energetic impact imposed on SNc dopamine neurons by their extensive, unmyelinated axonal arbor and attempted to calculate the energy cost of action potential (AP propagation throughout the axonal arbors. Among our main findings were that a the energy demand associated with AP conduction is related in a supra-linear manner to the axonal size and complexity and, b that synaptic stimulation is necessary to ensure reliable propagation throughout the axonal arbors of neurons with higher levels of branching. Indeed, predictions of our biophysical model of SNc dopamine neurons suggest that tonic activity for the reliable propagation of APs throughout the axonal arbour of neurons with small-to-moderate size arbours, whereas synaptic stimulation is required for for reliable propagation in neurons with larger and more complex arbors (Pissadaki and Bolam 2013. SNc dopamine neurons may thus be classified into functionally distinct groups according to the size of their axonal arborisation. Furthermore, SNc dopamine neurons are divided into ventral tier neurons, which are more susceptible in PD and extend their dendrites in both SN pars reticulata (SNr and SNc, and dorsal tier neurons that restrict their dendrites within SNc. As SNr dendrites receive proportionally greater inhibitory input than SNc dendrites (Henny et al 2012, we examined the relationship between the dendritic compartmentalisation, synaptic input, burst generation and the extent of axonal arborisation. Because spatiotemporal interplay of synaptic stimulation has been
Murinson Beth B
Full Text Available Abstract Background Hmg-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins are widely used to prevent disease associated with vascular disease and hyperlipidemia. Although side effects are uncommon, clinical observations suggest statin exposure may exacerbate neuromuscular diseases, including peripheral neuropathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Although some have postulated class-effects, prior studies of hepatocytes and myocytes indicate that the statins may exhibit differential effects. Studies of neuronal cells have been limited. Methods We examined the effects of statins on cultured neurons and Schwann cells. Cultured spinal motor neurons were grown on transwell inserts and assessed for viability using immunochemical staining for SMI-32. Cultured cortical neurons and Schwann cells were assessed using dynamic viability markers. Results 7 days of exposure to fluvastatin depleted spinal motor neurons in a dose-dependent manner with a KD of Conclusions It is known from pharmacokinetic studies that daily treatment of young adults with fluvastatin can produce serum levels in the single micromolar range. We conclude that specific mechanisms may explain neuromuscular disease worsening with statins and further study is needed.
Li, Wenxue; Lee, Myoung-Hwa; Henderson, Lisa; Tyagi, Richa; Bachani, Muzna; Steiner, Joseph; Campanac, Emilie; Hoffman, Dax A; von Geldern, Gloria; Johnson, Kory; Maric, Dragan; Morris, H Douglas; Lentz, Margaret; Pak, Katherine; Mammen, Andrew; Ostrow, Lyle; Rothstein, Jeffrey; Nath, Avindra
The role of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in disease pathogenesis is unclear. We show that HERV-K is activated in a subpopulation of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and that its envelope (env) protein may contribute to neurodegeneration. The virus was expressed in cortical and spinal neurons of ALS patients, but not in neurons from control healthy individuals. Expression of HERV-K or its env protein in human neurons caused retraction and beading of neurites. Transgenic animals expressing the env gene developed progressive motor dysfunction accompanied by selective loss of volume of the motor cortex, decreased synaptic activity in pyramidal neurons, dendritic spine abnormalities, nucleolar dysfunction, and DNA damage. Injury to anterior horn cells in the spinal cord was manifested by muscle atrophy and pathological changes consistent with nerve fiber denervation and reinnervation. Expression of HERV-K was regulated by TAR (trans-activation responsive) DNA binding protein 43, which binds to the long terminal repeat region of the virus. Thus, HERV-K expression within neurons of patients with ALS may contribute to neurodegeneration and disease pathogenesis. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Vaysse, L; Beduer, A; Sol, J C; Vieu, C; Loubinoux, I
With the ever increasing incidence of brain injury, developing new tissue engineering strategies to promote neural tissue regeneration is an enormous challenge. The goal of this study was to design and evaluate an implantable scaffold capable of directing neurite and axonal growth for neuronal brain tissue regeneration. We have previously shown in cell culture conditions that engineered micropatterned PDMS surface with straight microchannels allow directed neurite growth without perturbing cell differentiation and neurite outgrowth. In this study, the micropatterned PDMS device pre-seeded with hNT2 neuronal cells were implanted in rat model of primary motor cortex lesion which induced a strong motor deficit. Functional recovery was assessed by the forelimb grip strength test during 3 months post implantation. Results show a more rapid and efficient motor recovery with the hNT2 neuroimplants associated with an increase of neuronal tissue reconstruction and cell survival. This improvement is also hastened when compared to a direct cell graft of ten times more cells. Histological analyses showed that the implant remained structurally intact and we did not see any evidence of inflammatory reaction. In conclusion, PDMS bioimplants with guided neuronal cells seem to be a promising approach for supporting neural tissue reconstruction after central brain injury.
Floriddia, Elisa M; Rathore, Khizr I; Tedeschi, Andrea; Quadrato, Giorgia; Wuttke, Anja; Lueckmann, Jan-Matthis; Kigerl, Kristina A; Popovich, Phillip G; Di Giovanni, Simone
Following spinal trauma, the limited physiological axonal sprouting that contributes to partial recovery of function is dependent upon the intrinsic properties of neurons as well as the inhibitory glial environment. The transcription factor p53 is involved in DNA repair, cell cycle, cell survival, and axonal outgrowth, suggesting p53 as key modifier of axonal and glial responses influencing functional recovery following spinal injury. Indeed, in a spinal cord dorsal hemisection injury model, we observed a significant impairment in locomotor recovery in p53(-/-) versus wild-type mice. p53(-/-) spinal cords showed an increased number of activated microglia/macrophages and a larger scar at the lesion site. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments suggested p53 as a direct regulator of microglia/macrophages proliferation. At the axonal level, p53(-/-) mice showed a more pronounced dieback of the corticospinal tract (CST) and a decreased sprouting capacity of both CST and spinal serotoninergic fibers. In vivo expression of p53 in the sensorimotor cortex rescued and enhanced the sprouting potential of the CST in p53(-/-) mice, while, similarly, p53 expression in p53(-/-) cultured cortical neurons rescued a defect in neurite outgrowth, suggesting a direct role for p53 in regulating the intrinsic sprouting ability of CNS neurons. In conclusion, we show that p53 plays an important regulatory role at both extrinsic and intrinsic levels affecting the recovery of motor function following spinal cord injury. Therefore, we propose p53 as a novel potential multilevel therapeutic target for spinal cord injury.
Sebastian Hückesfeld; Andreas Schoofs; Philipp Schlegel; Anton Miroschnikow; Pankratz, Michael J.
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 feedin...
d'Errico, Paolo; Boido, Marina; Piras, Antonio; Valsecchi, Valeria; De Amicis, Elena; Locatelli, Denise; Capra, Silvia; Vagni, Francesco; Vercelli, Alessandro; Battaglia, Giorgio
Loss of the survival motor neuron gene (SMN1) is responsible for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most common inherited cause of infant mortality. Even though the SMA phenotype is traditionally considered as related to spinal motor neuron loss, it remains debated whether the specific targeting of motor neurons could represent the best therapeutic option for the disease. We here investigated, using stereological quantification methods, the spinal cord and cerebral motor cortex of ∆7 SMA mice during development, to verify extent and selectivity of motor neuron loss. We found progressive post-natal loss of spinal motor neurons, already at pre-symptomatic stages, and a higher vulnerability of motor neurons innervating proximal and axial muscles. Larger motor neurons decreased in the course of disease, either for selective loss or specific developmental impairment. We also found a selective reduction of layer V pyramidal neurons associated with layer V gliosis in the cerebral motor cortex. Our data indicate that in the ∆7 SMA model SMN loss is critical for the spinal cord, particularly for specific motor neuron pools. Neuronal loss, however, is not selective for lower motor neurons. These data further suggest that SMA pathogenesis is likely more complex than previously anticipated. The better knowledge of SMA models might be instrumental in shaping better therapeutic options for affected patients.
Testa, D; Tiranti, V; Girotti, F
Sporadic olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) is a neurodegenerative disorder that presents a wide clinical spectrum. Motor neuron disease (MND) is characterized by a selective degeneration of motor neurons. A 60-year-old man developed slurred speech and unsteadiness of gait. He had also noticed difficulty in holding his head upright and shoulder weakness. The disease had a rapid progression. At the age of 63 years, magnetic resonance imaging supported a diagnosis of OPCA, and a diagnosis of MND was suggested by clinical and electrophysiological findings. He also had upward gaze palsy. A muscular biopsy showed sporadic ragged red and Cox deficient fibers. The present case could define a unique disorder, as the occasional occurrence of two degenerative disorders appears unlikely.
Ahrens, Misha B; Li, Jennifer M; Orger, Michael B; Robson, Drew N; Schier, Alexander F; Engert, Florian; Portugues, Ruben
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.
Watzlawik, Jens O; Kahoud, Robert J; O'Toole, Ryan J; White, Katherine A M; Ogden, Alyssa R; Painter, Meghan M; Wootla, Bharath; Papke, Louisa M; Denic, Aleksandar; Weimer, Jill M; Carey, William A; Rodriguez, Moses
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, followed by
Background Fragmentation of stacked cisterns of the Golgi apparatus into dispersed smaller elements is a feature associated with degeneration of neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and some other neurodegenerative disorders. However, the role of Golgi fragmentation in motor neuron degeneration is not well understood. Results Here we use a SOD1-ALS mouse model (low-copy Gurney G93A-SOD1 mouse) to show that motor neurons with Golgi fragmentation are retrogradely labeled by intramuscularly injected CTB (beta subunit of cholera toxin), indicating that Golgi fragmentation precedes neuromuscular denervation and axon retraction. We further show that Golgi fragmentation may occur in the absence of and precede two other pathological markers, i.e. somatodendritic SOD1 inclusions, and the induction of ATF3 expression. In addition, we show that Golgi fragmentation is associated with an altered dendritic organization of the Golgi apparatus, does not depend on intact apoptotic machinery, and is facilitated in transgenic mice with impaired retrograde dynein-dependent transport (BICD2-N mice). A connection to altered dynein-dependent transport also is suggested by reduced expression of endosomal markers in neurons with Golgi fragmentation, which also occurs in neurons with impaired dynein function. Conclusions Together the data indicate that Golgi fragmentation is a very early event in the pathological cascade in ALS that is associated with altered organization of intracellular trafficking. PMID:24708899
Cortical region-specific engraftment of embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells restores axonal sprouting to a subcortical target and achieves motor functional recovery in a mouse model of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury
Full Text Available Hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy (HIE at birth could cause cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and epilepsy, which last throughout the individual’s lifetime. However, few restorative treatments for ischemic tissue are currently available. Cell replacement therapy offers the potential to rescue brain damage caused by HI and to restore motor function. In the present study, we evaluated the ability of embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells (ES-NPCs to become cortical deep layer neurons, to restore the neural network, and to repair brain damage in an HIE mouse model. ES cells stably expressing the reporter gene GFP are induced to a neural precursor state by stromal cell co-culture. Forty-hours after the induction of HIE, animals were grafted with ES-NPCs targeting the deep layer of the motor cortex in the ischemic brain. Motor function was evaluated 3 weeks after transplantation. Immunohistochemistry and neuroanatomical tracing with GFP were used to analyze neuronal differentiation and axonal sprouting. ES-NPCs could differentiate to cortical neurons with pyramidal morphology and expressed the deep layer-specific marker, Ctip2. The graft showed good survival and an appropriate innervation pattern via axonal sprouting from engrafted cells in the ischemic brain. The motor functions of the transplanted HIE mice also improved significantly compared to the sham-transplanted group. These findings suggest that cortical region specific engraftment of preconditioned cortical precursor cells could support motor functional recovery in the HIE model. It is not clear whether this is a direct effect of the engrafted cells or due to neurotrophic factors produced by these cells. These results suggest that cortical region-specific NPC engraftment is a promising therapeutic approach for brain repair.
Cortical region-specific engraftment of embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells restores axonal sprouting to a subcortical target and achieves motor functional recovery in a mouse model of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury.
Shinoyama, Mizuya; Ideguchi, Makoto; Kida, Hiroyuki; Kajiwara, Koji; Kagawa, Yoshiteru; Maeda, Yoshihiko; Nomura, Sadahiro; Suzuki, Michiyasu
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) at birth could cause cerebral palsy (CP), mental retardation, and epilepsy, which last throughout the individual's lifetime. However, few restorative treatments for ischemic tissue are currently available. Cell replacement therapy offers the potential to rescue brain damage caused by HI and to restore motor function. In the present study, we evaluated the ability of embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells (ES-NPCs) to become cortical deep layer neurons, to restore the neural network, and to repair brain damage in an HIE mouse model. ES cells stably expressing the reporter gene GFP are induced to a neural precursor state by stromal cell co-culture. Forty-hours after the induction of HIE, animals were grafted with ES-NPCs targeting the deep layer of the motor cortex in the ischemic brain. Motor function was evaluated 3 weeks after transplantation. Immunohistochemistry and neuroanatomical tracing with GFP were used to analyze neuronal differentiation and axonal sprouting. ES-NPCs could differentiate to cortical neurons with pyramidal morphology and expressed the deep layer-specific marker, Ctip2. The graft showed good survival and an appropriate innervation pattern via axonal sprouting from engrafted cells in the ischemic brain. The motor functions of the transplanted HIE mice also improved significantly compared to the sham-transplanted group. These findings suggest that cortical region specific engraftment of preconditioned cortical precursor cells could support motor functional recovery in the HIE model. It is not clear whether this is a direct effect of the engrafted cells or due to neurotrophic factors produced by these cells. These results suggest that cortical region-specific NPC engraftment is a promising therapeutic approach for brain repair.
Orrell, Richard W
Motor neurone disease (MND) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative condition. It affects people of all ages, but is more common with increasing age (especially over 50 years) and men are affected twice as often as women. The causes remain unknown, although around 5% of cases have a genetic basis. Survival is usually only three to five years from diagnosis. MND affects both upper and lower motor neurones, with variable contributions. The nerve involvement in MND usually has a focal onset, is asymmetrical, but tends to spread to adjacent regions of the body. If the affected region is in the legs, a common presenting feature is tripping, falls or foot drop. If it is in the arms there may be difficulty with fine tasks such as fastening buttons, or raising an arm, and if the cranial nerves are affected there may be slurring of speech, or difficulty swallowing. Key to the diagnosis is evidence of progression, and this may lead to some delay in considering and also confirming the diagnosis. When examining the patient, evidence of more widespread neuromuscular involvement should be looked for. In a patient with foot drop, and fasciculation of the tongue, MND would be a likely diagnosis. Upper motor neurone involvement may be readily determined by examining the reflexes. Brisk reflexes, in the arms, legs or jaw, in the context of features of lower motor neurone denervation are highly suggestive of MND. Suspicion of MND should lead to referral for a neurology opinion. The most useful investigation is likely to be EMG with nerve conduction studies, and probably MRI scan of relevant areas. Blood tests are arranged to screen for any other causative condition. Riluzole is a disease modifying drug licensed to extend the life of patients with MND. There is no treatment that will reverse, or halt, progression of the disease.
Grosse, Gisela; Eulitz, Dirk; Thiele, Theodor; Pahner, Ingrid; Schröter, Sascha; Takamori, Shigeo; Grosse, Johannes; Wickman, Kevin; Tapp, Rosemarie; Veh, Rüdiger W; Ottersen, Ole Petter; Ahnert-Hilger, Gudrun
Hippocampal interneurons comprise a heterogeneous group of locally acting GABAergic neurons. In addition to their variability in cotransmitter content and receptor profile, they express a variety of potassium channels that specify their individual properties. Here we describe a new type of large GABA-containing neuron in rodent hippocampus that is characterized by an axonal sorting of the potassium channel Kir3.3. The parent cell bodies of the Kir3.3-positive axons are located in CA3, as assessed by primary cultures derived from hippocampal subareas. At postnatal day 14 these neurons appear at the border between stratum oriens and stratum pyramidale of CA3, from where their axons pass through stratum pyramidale to join the mossy fiber tract. In adult hippocampus, high levels of Kir3.3 channel protein exist in axons that run with the mossy fiber tract. Kir3.3 and the vesicular GABA transporter could be identified in subpopulations of large synaptic terminals that probably derive from Kir3.3 neurons. Axonal sorting of Kir3.3 appears to be typical of a group of large inhibitory neurons, including Purkinje cells and a novel type of interneuron in CA3. Kir3.3 neurons might modulate the activity of CA3 circuitries and consequently memory processing in the hippocampus.
de Jong, Eiko K.; Vinet, Jonathan; Stanulovic, Vesna S.; Meijer, Michel; Wesseling, Evelyn; Sjollema, Klaas; Boddeke, Hendrikus W. G. M.; Biber, Knut
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
Jong, E.K. de; Vinet, J.; Stanulovic, V.S.; Meijer, Michel; Wesseling, E.; Sjollema, K.; Boddeke, H.W.; Biber, K.
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
Nagahara, Yuki; Shimazawa, Masamitsu; Ohuchi, Kazuki; Ito, Junko; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Tsuruma, Kazuhiro; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Hara, Hideaki
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.
Guerrero, Erika N; Wang, Haibo; Mitra, Joy; Hegde, Pavana M; Stowell, Sara E; Liachko, Nicole F; Kraemer, Brian C; Garruto, Ralph M; Rao, K S; Hegde, Muralidhar L
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a common motor neuron disease affecting two per 100,000 people worldwide, encompasses at least five distinct pathological subtypes, including, ALS-SOD1, ALS-C9orf72, ALS-TDP-43, ALS-FUS and Guam-ALS. The etiology of a major subset of ALS involves toxicity of the TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43). A second RNA/DNA binding protein, fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS) has been subsequently associated with about 1% of ALS patients. While mutations in TDP-43 and FUS have been linked to ALS, the key contributing molecular mechanism(s) leading to cell death are still unclear. One unique feature of TDP-43 and FUS pathogenesis in ALS is their nuclear clearance and simultaneous cytoplasmic aggregation in affected motor neurons. Since the discoveries in the last decade implicating TDP-43 and FUS toxicity in ALS, a majority of studies have focused on their cytoplasmic aggregation and disruption of their RNA-binding functions. However, TDP-43 and FUS also bind to DNA, although the significance of their DNA binding in disease-affected neurons has been less investigated. A recent observation of accumulated genomic damage in TDP-43 and FUS-linked ALS and association of FUS with neuronal DNA damage repair pathways indicate a possible role of deregulated DNA binding function of TDP-43 and FUS in ALS. In this review, we discuss the different ALS disease subtypes, crosstalk of etiopathologies in disease progression, available animal models and their limitations, and recent advances in understanding the specific involvement of RNA/DNA binding proteins, TDP-43 and FUS, in motor neuron diseases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ando, Mai; Totani, Yoko; Walldorf, Uwe; Furukubo-Tokunaga, Katsuo
Precise neuronal connectivity in the nervous system depends on specific axonal and dendritic targeting of individual neurons. In the Drosophila brain, olfactory projection neurons convey odor information from the antennal lobe to higher order brain centers such as the mushroom body and the lateral horn. Here, we show that Homothorax (Hth), a TALE-class homeodomain transcription factor, is expressed in many of the antennal lobe neurons including projection neurons and local interneurons. In addition, HTH is expressed in the progenitors of the olfactory projection neurons, and the activity of hth is required for the generation of the lateral but not for the anterodorsal and ventral lineages. MARCM analyses show that the hth is essential for correct dendritic targeting of projection neurons in the antennal lobe. Moreover, the activity of hth is required for axonal fasciculation, correct routing and terminal branching of the projection neurons. We also show that another TALE-class homeodomain protein, Extradenticle (Exd), is required for the dendritic and axonal development of projection neurons. Mutation of exd causes projection neuron defects that are reminiscent of the phenotypes caused by the loss of the hth activity. Double immunostaining experiments show that Hth and Exd are coexpressed in olfactory projection neurons and their progenitors, and that the expressions of Hth and Exd require the activity of each other gene. These results thus demonstrate the functional importance of the TALE-class homeodomain proteins in cell-type specification and precise wiring of the Drosophila olfactory network.
Mamo, Jonathan P
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.
Renault, Renaud; Durand, Jean-Baptiste; Viovy, Jean-Louis; Villard, Catherine
We present a novel kind of directional axon guides for brain-on-a-chip applications. Contrarily to previous works, the directionality in our design is created by rerouting axons growing in the unwanted direction back to their original compartment while leaving the other growth direction unaffected. This design yields state-of-the-art levels of directionality without the disadvantages of previously reported technologies.
Matej, Radoslav; Botond, Gergö; László, Lajos; Kopitar-Jerala, Natasa; Rusina, Robert; Budka, Herbert; Kovacs, Gabor G
Sporadic motor neuron disease (MND) is characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons and intraneuronal cytoplasmic translocation and deposition of the nuclear protein TDP-43. There is a paucity of data on the subcellular mechanisms of the nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking of TDP-43, particularly about the precise role of the endosomal-lysosomal system (ELS). In the present study, using a neuron-specific morphometric approach, we examined the expression of the early endosomal marker Rab5 and lysosomal cathepsins B, D, F, and L as well as PAS-stained structures in the anterior horn cells in 11 individuals affected by sporadic MND and 5 age-matched controls. This was compared with the expression of ubiquitin, p62 and TDP-43 and its phosphorylated form. The principal finding was the increased expression of the endosomal marker Rab5 and lysosomal cathepsin D, and of PAS-positive structures in motor neurons of MND cases. Furthermore, the area-portion of Rab5 immunoreactivity correlated well with the intracellular accumulation of ubiquitin, p62 and (phosphorylated) TDP-43. However, double immunolabelling and immunogold electron microscopy excluded colocalization of phosphorylated TDP-43 with the ELS. These data contrast with observations on neuronal cytopathology in Alzheimer's or prion diseases where the disease-specific proteins are processed within endosomes, and suggest a distinct role of the ELS in MND.
Li, Li-Sheng; Lu, Yan-Liu; Nie, Jing; Xu, Yun-Yan; Zhang, Wei; Yang, Wen-Jin; Gong, Qi-Hai; Lu, Yuan-Fu; Lu, Yang; Shi, Jing-Shan
Axonal degeneration is a pathological symbol in the early stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which can be triggered by amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide deposition. Growing evidence indicates that deficit of autophagy eventually leads to the axonal degeneration. Our previous studies have shown that Dendrobium nobile Lindl alkaloid (DNLA) had protective effect on neuron impairment in vivo and in vitro; however, the underlying mechanisms is still unclear. We exposed cultured hippocampus neurons to Aβ25-35 to investigate the effect of DNLA in vitro. Axonal degeneration was evaluated by immunofluorescence staining and MTT assay. Neurons overexpressing GFP-LC3B were used to measure the formation of autophagosome. Autophagosome-lysosome fusion, the lysosomal pH, and cathepsin activity were assessed to reflect autophagy process. Proteins of interest were analyzed by Western blot. DNLA pretreatment significantly inhibited axonal degeneration induced by Aβ25-35 peptide in vitro. Further studies revealed DNLA treatment increased autophagic flux through promoting formation and degradation of autophagosome in hippocampus neurons. Moreover, enhancement of autophagic flux was responsible for the protective effects of DNLA on axonal degeneration. DNLA prevents Aβ25-35 -induced axonal degeneration via activation of autophagy process and could be a novel therapeutic target. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Mu, Liancai; Sobotka, Stanislaw; Chen, Jingming; Su, Hungxi; Sanders, Ira; Adler, Charles H; Shill, Holly A; Caviness, John N; Samanta, Johan E; Beach, Thomas G
Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease primarily characterized by cardinal motor manifestations and CNS pathology. Current drug therapies can often stabilize these cardinal motor symptoms, and attention has shifted to the other motor and nonmotor symptoms of PD that are resistant to drug therapy. Dysphagia in PD is perhaps the most important drug-resistant symptom because it leads to aspiration and pneumonia, the leading cause of death. Here, we present direct evidence for degeneration of the pharyngeal motor nerves in PD. We examined the cervical vagal nerve (cranial nerve X), pharyngeal branch of nerve X, and pharyngeal plexus innervating the pharyngeal muscles in 14 postmortem specimens, that is, from 10 patients with PD and 4 age-matched control subjects. Synucleinopathy in the pharyngeal nerves was detected using an immunohistochemical method for phosphorylated α-synuclein. Alpha-synuclein aggregates were revealed in nerve X and the pharyngeal branch of nerve X, and immunoreactive intramuscular nerve twigs and axon terminals within the neuromuscular junctions were identified in all of the PD patients but in none of the controls. These findings indicate that the motor nervous system of the pharynx is involved in the pathologic process of PD. Notably, PD patients who have had dysphagia had a higher density of α-synuclein aggregates in the pharyngeal nerves than those without dysphagia. These findings indicate that motor involvement of the pharynx in PD is one of the factors leading to oropharyngeal dysphagia commonly seen in PD patients.
Tanaka, Yosuke; Niwa, Shinsuke; Dong, Ming; Farkhondeh, Atena; Wang, Li; Zhou, Ruyun; Hirokawa, Nobutaka
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.
Chavany, Christine; Vicario-Abejón, Carlos; Miller, Georgina; Jendoubi, Moncef
Interleukin 3 (IL-3) stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of various haematopoietic progenitor cells. Recently, IL-3 and other cytokines were reported to exert a neurotrophic activity and to be associated with neurological disorders, suggesting their complex role in the central nervous system. We now show that overexpression of IL-3 in transgenic mice causes a motor neuron disease with several features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and progressive muscular atrophy. These animal...
Lee,Young Il; Mikesh, Michelle; Smith, Ian; Rimer, Mendell; Thompson, Wesley
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 ...
Chen Haiming; Tseren-Onolt Ishdorj; Gheorghe Pǎun
A special form of spiking neural P systems, called axon P systems, corresponding to the activity of Ranvier nodes of neuron axon, is considered and a class of SN-like P systems where the computation is done along the axon is introduced and their language generative power is investigated.
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.
Alcaín Tejada, F.J.; Bustos Ruiz, M.
The neuron survival in cultures of dissociated ciliary ganglia, on different harvests of glial conditioned media (GCM) was researched. A/so /were employed two substrata: collagen and polyornithine type IC. Conditioning basal medium (F 12 + 10 p. 100 fetal calf serum/ is made with cellular cultures growing in monolayer non neuronal cells of ci¬liary ganglium. The differences between GCM and heart conditioned-medium (HCM) for neuron survival and axon development in vitro, on differents substrat...
Tan, Chan Lek; Plotkin, Joshua L.; Venø, Morten Trillingsgaard
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...
Kiehn, O; Kjaerulff, O; Tresch, M C
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...
Byrne, Alexandra B; McWhirter, Rebecca D; Sekine, Yuichi; Strittmatter, Stephen M; Miller, David M; Hammarlund, Marc
The ability of a neuron to regenerate its axon after injury depends in part on its intrinsic regenerative potential. Here, we identify novel intrinsic regulators of axon regeneration: poly(ADP-ribose) glycohodrolases (PARGs) and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs). PARGs, which remove poly(ADP-ribose) from proteins, act in injured C. elegans GABA motor neurons to enhance axon regeneration. PARG expression is regulated by DLK signaling, and PARGs mediate DLK function in enhancing axon regeneration. Conversely, PARPs, which add poly(ADP-ribose) to proteins, inhibit axon regeneration of both C. elegans GABA neurons and mammalian cortical neurons. Furthermore, chemical PARP inhibitors improve axon regeneration when administered after injury. Our results indicate that regulation of poly(ADP-ribose) levels is a critical function of the DLK regeneration pathway, that poly-(ADP ribosylation) inhibits axon regeneration across species, and that chemical inhibition of PARPs can elicit axon regeneration. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12734.001
Anyfantakis, Dimitrios; Symvoulakis, Emmanouil K; Barbounakis, Emmanouil; Kastanakis, Miltiades; Athanasakis, Evangelos; Blevrakis, Evangelos; Kastanakis, Serafeim
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a multisystemic, autoimmune, inflammatory disorder predominantly affecting young females. Its onset may be abrupt or insidious, presenting with a broad range of clinical and immunological features. We report an unusual case of elderly-onset systemic lupus erythematosus in a woman initially diagnosed with discoid lupus, and subsequently admitted to hospital due to a progressive psycho-motor deficit. Electrophysiological measurements suggested a diagnosis of acute motor sensory axonal neuropathy. Unusual clinical features and negative serology led to diagnostic uncertainty. This case report offers information on the course of the disease through the entire chain of the health care delivery (from primary to tertiary). Despite the efforts of the hospital staff, it was not possible to save the life of the woman.
Takeda, Akihito; Goris, Richard C; Funakoshi, Kengo
Following spinal transection, descending spinal projections from goldfish brainstem neurons spontaneously regenerate beyond the lesion site. The nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (nFLM), which has a critical role in swimming, also sends regenerated axons over a long distance to the ipsilateral spinal cord. To examine whether regenerated axons re-innervate the appropriate targets, we injected rhodamine dextran amine (RDA) into the nFLM of spinally transected goldfish and examined anterogradely labeled axons in the spinal cord. In intact controls, there were many RDA-labeled boutons or varicosities in the spinal cord in close apposition to both neurons positive for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and those negative for CGRP. This suggests that the nFLM neurons project axons directly to the motoneurons and interneurons in the spinal cord. Four days after hemisection 1 mm caudal to the rostral end of the spinal cord, the number of RDA-labeled boutons in close apposition to the spinal neurons was significantly decreased on the side ipsilateral to the injection. Six to twelve weeks after spinal hemisection, regenerated axons ran through the repaired lesion site, and the number of RDA-labeled boutons or varicosities in close apposition to the ipsilateral spinal neurons had returned to the control level. These findings suggest that the midbrain-spinal pathway, critical for locomotion in fish, spontaneously regenerates beyond the lesion site to re-innervate the appropriately innervated targets after spinal lesion.
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
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.
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
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.
Yoo, Young-Eun; Ko, Chien-Ping
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. PMID:22606355
Full Text Available Background: Valproic acid (VPA is used to be an effective anti-epileptic drug and mood stabilizer. It has recently been demonstrated that VPA could promote neurite outgrowth, activate the extracellular signal regulated kinase pathway, and increases bcl-2 and growth cone-associated protein 43 levels in spinal cord. In the present research we demonstrate the effect of VPA on peripheral nerve regeneration and recovery of motor function following sciatic nerve transaction in rats. Methods: The rats in VPA group and control group were administered with valproic acid (300mg/kg and sodium chloride respectively after operation. Each animal was observed sciatic nerve index (SFI at 2-week intervals and studied electrophysiology at 4-week intervals for 12 weeks. Histological and morphometrical analyses were performed 12 weeks after operation. Using the digital image-analysis system, thickness of the myelin sheath was measured, and total numbers of regenerated axons were counted. Results: There was a significant difference in SFI, electrophysiological index (motor-nerve conduct velocity, and morphometrical results (regenerated axon number and thickness of myelin sheath in nerve regeneration between the VPA group and controls ( P
Song, Qian; Feng, Ge; Huang, Zehua; Chen, Xiaoman; Chen, Zhaohuan; Ping, Yong
Impaired sleep patterns are common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cellular mechanisms underlying sleep disturbance in AD remain largely unknown. Here, using a Drosophila Aβ42 AD model, we show that Aβ42 markedly decreases sleep in a large population, which is accompanied with postdevelopmental axonal arborization of wake-promoting pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) neurons. The arborization is mediated in part via JNK activation and can be reversed by decreasing JNK signaling activity. Axonal arborization and impaired sleep are correlated in Aβ42 and JNK kinase hemipterous mutant flies. Image reconstruction revealed that these aberrant fibers preferentially project to pars intercerebralis (PI), a fly brain region analogous to the mammalian hypothalamus. Moreover, PDF signaling in PI neurons was found to modulate sleep/wake activities, suggesting that excessive release of PDF by these aberrant fibers may lead to the impaired sleep in Aβ42 flies. Finally, inhibition of JNK activation in Aβ42 flies restores nighttime sleep loss, decreases Aβ42 accumulation, and attenuates neurodegeneration. These data provide a new mechanism by which sleep disturbance could be induced by Aβ42 burden, a key initiator of a complex pathogenic cascade in AD.
Friedrich Rainer W
Full Text Available Abstract Background Rag1 (Recombination activation gene-1 mediates genomic rearrangement and is essential for adaptive immunity in vertebrates. This gene is also expressed in the olfactory epithelium, but its function there is unknown. Results Using a transgenic zebrafish line and immunofluorescence, we show that Rag1 is expressed and translated in a subset of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs. Neurons expressing GFP under the Rag1 promoter project their axons to the lateral region of the olfactory bulb only, and axons with the highest levels of GFP terminate in a single glomerular structure. A subset of GFP-expressing neurons contain Gαo, a marker for microvillous neurons. None of the GFP-positive neurons express Gαolf, Gαq or the olfactory marker protein OMP. Depletion of RAG1, by morpholino-mediated knockdown or mutation, did not affect axon targeting. Calcium imaging indicates that amino acids evoke chemotopically organized glomerular activity patterns in a Rag1 mutant. Conclusion Rag1 expression is restricted to a subpopulation of zebrafish olfactory neurons projecting to the lateral olfactory bulb. RAG1 catalytic activity is not essential for axon targeting, nor is it likely to be required for regulation of odorant receptor expression or the response of OSNs to amino acids.
Karamched, Bhargav R; Bressloff, Paul C
A fundamental question in cell biology is how the sizes of cells and organelles are regulated at various stages of development. Size homeostasis is particularly challenging for neurons, whose axons can extend from hundreds of microns to meters (in humans). Recently, a molecular-motor-based mechanism for axonal length sensing has been proposed, in which axonal length is encoded by the frequency of an oscillating retrograde signal. In this article, we develop a mathematical model of this length-sensing mechanism in which advection-diffusion equations for bidirectional motor transport are coupled to a chemical signaling network. We show that chemical oscillations emerge due to delayed negative feedback via a Hopf bifurcation, resulting in a frequency that is a monotonically decreasing function of axonal length. Knockdown of either kinesin or dynein causes an increase in the oscillation frequency, suggesting that the length-sensing mechanism would produce longer axons, which is consistent with experimental findings. One major prediction of the model is that fluctuations in the transport of molecular motors lead to a reduction in the reliability of the frequency-encoding mechanism for long axons. Copyright © 2015 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Tan, Chan Lek; Plotkin, Joshua L.; Venø, Morten Trillingsgaard
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 excitability. miR-128 governs motor activity by suppressing the expression of various ion channels and signaling components of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase ERK2 network that regulate neuronal excitability. In mice, a reduction of miR-128 expression in postnatal neurons causes increased motor...... activity and fatal epilepsy. Overexpression of miR-128 attenuates neuronal responsiveness, suppresses motor activity, and alleviates motor abnormalities associated with Parkinson's-like disease and seizures in mice. These data suggest a therapeutic potential for miR-128 in the treatment of epilepsy...
Popovic, Marko; Gao, Xin; Zecevic, Dejan
phototoxic effects (4, 6, 12, 13). At present, we take advantage of the superb brightness and stability of a laser light source at near-optimal wavelength to maximize the sensitivity of the V(m)-imaging technique. The current sensitivity permits multiple site optical recordings of V(m) transients from all parts of a neuron, including axons and axon collaterals, terminal dendritic branches, and individual dendritic spines. The acquired information on signal interactions can be analyzed quantitatively as well as directly visualized in the form of a movie.
Hamada, Mustafa S; Kole, Maarten H P
Myelination and voltage-gated ion channel clustering at the nodes of Ranvier are essential for the rapid saltatory conduction of action potentials. Whether myelination influences the structural organization of the axon initial segment (AIS) and action potential initiation is poorly understood. Using
SASAKI, Naoki; IMAMURA, Yui; SEKIYA, Akio; ITOH, Megumi; FURUOKA, Hidefumi
ABSTRACT In this study, fasciculation of the limbs and tongue was observed in four horses kept by a riding club. Neurogenic muscle atrophy was also observed in biopsy of pathological tissues. In addition, in two cases that subjected to autopsy, Bunina-like bodies of inclusion in the cell bodies of neurons in the spinal cord ventral horn were confirmed, leading to a diagnosis of equine motor neuron disease (EMND). Serum vitamin E concentrations varied between 0.3 and 0.4µg/ml, which is significantly lower than the levels in normal horses. Although lack of vitamin E is speculated to be a contributory factor for development of EMND, no significant improvement was observed following administration of vitamin E.
Marsden, Rachael; Allan, Philip; Blackwell, Victoria; East, James; Lawson, Clare; Nickol, Annabel H; Millard, Emma; Talbot, Kevin; Thompson, Alexander G; Turner, Martin R
This paper provides an overview of the nutritional management and care of people living with motor neurone disease (MND) in a specialist nutrition clinic. A specialist pathway of care has been developed to enable people living with MND to undergo a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) procedure in a safe way; the pathway incorporates attendance at a dedicated nutrition clinic, a stratification tool to identify patients with a high periprocedural risk and a PEG insertion team with significant experience in the MND population. Since this pathway has been in place, gastrostomies have been successfully placed in patients with a forced vital capacity (FVC) of less than 50%; previously, this would not have been possible.
Lamy, C; Mas, J L; Varet, B; Ziegler, M; de Recondo, J
Monomelic amyotrophy developed 16 months, nine and 12 years after irradiation of the lumbosacral spinal cord for seminoma in one patient and for Hodgkin's disease in two others. In two patients, involvement was clinically limited to one leg, with a subacute course followed by plateau in the first case and with progressive worsening in the second one. In the third patient, the course was progressive with involvement of the other lower limb occurring five years later. From clinical and electrophysiological data, it seems probable that the disease process was a result of a selective injury to the lower motor neuron in the lower spinal cord.
Lamy, C.; Mas, J.L.; Ziegler, M.; Recondo, J. de (Service de Neurologie, Centre Raymond Garcin, CHS Sainte-Anne, Paris (France)); Varet, B. (Hopital Cochin, Paris (France). Service d' Hematologie)
Monomelic amyotrophy developed 16 months, nine and 12 years after irradiation of the lumbosacral spinal cord for seminoma in one patient and for Hodgkin's disease in two others. In two patients, involvement was clinically limited to one leg, with a subacute course followed by plateau in the first case and with progressive worsening in the second one. In the third patient, the course was progressive with involvement of the other lower limb occurring five years later. From clinical and electrophysiological data, it seems probable that the disease process was a result of a selective injury to the lower motor neuron in the lower spinal cord. (author).
Cho, Jin H; Kam, Joseph W K; Cloutier, Jean-François
Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) project their axons to second-order neurons in the olfactory bulb (OB) to form a precise glomerular map and these stereotypic connections are crucial for accurate odorant information processing by animals. To form these connections, olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axons respond to axon guidance molecules that direct their growth and coalescence. We have previously implicated the axon guidance receptor Robo-2 in the accurate coalescence of OSN axons within the dorsal region of the OB (Cho et al., 2011). Herein, we have examined whether Robo-2 and its ligands, the Slits, contribute to the formation of an accurate glomerular map within more ventral regions of the OB. We have ablated expression of Robo-2 in OSNs and assessed the targeting accuracy of axons expressing either the P2 or MOR28 olfactory receptors, which innervate two different regions of the ventral OB. We show that P2-positive axons, which express Robo-2, coalesce into glomeruli more ventrally and form additional glomeruli in the OB of robo-2(lox/lox);OMP-Cre mice. We also demonstrate that Robo-2-mediated targeting of P2 axons along the dorsoventral axis of the OB is controlled by Slit-1 and Slit-3 expression. Interestingly, although MOR28-positive OSNs only express low levels of Robo-2, a reduced number of MOR28-positive glomeruli is observed in the OB of robo-2(lox/lox);OMP-Cre mice. Taken together, our results demonstrate that Slits and Robo-2 are required for the formation of an accurate glomerular map in the ventral region of the OB.
Chris J Gibbons
Full Text Available Aims This paper is a qualitative investigation that aims to investigate the lived experience of fatigue in patients with motor neurone disease – a progressive and fatal neurological condition. Background Fatigue is a disabling symptom in motor neurone disease (MND that affects a large number of patients. However, the term ‘fatigue’ is in itself imprecise, as it remains a phenomenon without a widely accepted medical definition. This study sought to investigate the phenomenon of fatigue from the perspective of the MND patient. Methods Ten patients with MND participated in semi-structured recorded interviews at a regional neuroscience centre in Liverpool, U.K. Transcripts analysis was broadly informed by the principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA. Findings Fatigue was unanimously explained to be disabling and progressive phenomenon. Participants described two forms of fatigue: whole-body tiredness, or use-dependent reversible muscle weakness related to exertion of limb and bulbar muscles. Both weakness and whole-body tiredness could be experienced simultaneously, and patients used the terms ‘fatigue’ and ‘tiredness’ interchangeably. Alongside descriptions of fatigue themes of Adaptation, Motivation, Avoidance, Frustration and Stress were revealed. Fatigue could be defined as reversible motor weakness and whole-body tiredness that was predominantly brought on by muscular exertion and was partially relieved by rest.Conclusion The results of this study support a multi-dimensional model of fatigue for patients with MND. Fatigue appears to be experienced and explained in two ways, both as an inability to sustain motor function and as a pervasive tiredness. Fatigue was only partially relieved by rest and tended to worsen throughout the day. It is crucial that MND care practitioners and researchers appreciate the semantic dichotomy within fatigue.
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.
AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0189 TITLE: Muscle -Derived GDNF: A Gene Therapeutic Approach for Preserving Motor Neuron Function in ALS PRINCIPAL...NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0189 Muscle -Derived GDNF: A Gene Therapeutic Approach for Preserving Motor Neuron Function in ALS 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM...ALS) is characterized by the progressive degeneration of motor neurons leading to skeletal muscle atrophy, paralysis, and the death of patients
Pardillo-Díaz, R; Carrascal, L; Ayala, A; Nunez-Abades, P
Oxidative stress and the production of reactive oxygen radicals play a key role in neuronal cell damage. This paper describes an in vitro study that explores the neuronal responses to oxidative stress focusing on changes in neuronal excitability and functional membrane properties. This study was carried out in pyramidal cells of the motor cortex by applying whole-cell patch-clamp techniques on brain slices from young adult rats. Oxygen-derived free radical formation was induced by bath application of 10μM cumene hydroperoxide (CH) for 30min. CH produced marked changes in the electrophysiological properties of neurons (n=30). Resting membrane potential became progressively depolarized, as well as depolarization voltage, with no variations in voltage threshold. Membrane resistance showed a biphasic behavior, increasing after 5min of drug exposure and then it started to decrease, even under control values, after 15 and 30min. At the same time, changes in membrane resistance produced compensatory variations in the rheobase. The amplitude of the action potentials diminished and the duration increased progressively over time. Some of the neurons under study also lost their ability to discharge action potentials in a repetitive way. Most of the neurons, however, kept their repetitive discharge even though their maximum frequency and gain decreased. Furthermore, cancelation of the repetitive firing discharge took place at intensities that decreased with time of exposure to CH, which resulted in a narrower working range. We can conclude that oxidative stress compromises both neuronal excitability and the capability of generating action potentials, and so this type of neuronal functional failure could precede the neuronal death characteristics of many neurodegenerative diseases.
Wu, Di; Klaw, Michelle C; Connors, Theresa; Kholodilov, Nikolai; Burke, Robert E; Tom, Veronica J
After a spinal cord injury (SCI), CNS axons fail to regenerate, resulting in permanent deficits. This is due to: (1) the presence of inhibitory molecules, e.g., chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPG), in the glial scar at the lesion; and (2) the diminished growth capacity of adult neurons. We sought to determine whether expressing a constitutively active form of the GTPase Rheb (caRheb) in adult neurons after a complete SCI in rats improves intrinsic growth potential to result in axon regeneration out of a growth-supportive peripheral nerve grafted (PNG) into the SCI cavity. We also hypothesized that treating the glial scar with chondroitinase ABC (ChABC), which digests CSPG, would further allow caRheb-transduced neurons to extend axons across the distal graft interface. We found that targeting this pathway at a clinically relevant post-SCI time point improves both sprouting and regeneration of axons. CaRheb increased the number of axons, but not the number of neurons, that projected into the PNG, indicative of augmented sprouting. We also saw that caRheb enhanced sprouting far rostral to the injury. CaRheb not only increased growth rostral and into the graft, it also resulted in significantly more regrowth of axons across a ChABC-treated scar into caudal spinal cord. CaRheb(+) neurons had higher levels of growth-associated-43, suggestive of a newly identified mechanism for mTOR-mediated enhancement of regeneration. Thus, we demonstrate for the first time that simultaneously addressing intrinsic and scar-associated, extrinsic impediments to regeneration results in significant regrowth beyond an extremely challenging, complete SCI site. After spinal cord injury (SCI), CNS axons fail to regenerate, resulting in permanent deficits. This is due to the diminished growth capacity of adult neurons and the presence of inhibitory molecules in the scar at the lesion. We sought to simultaneously counter both of these obstacles to achieve more robust regeneration after
Feng, Zhouyan; Wang, Zhaoxiang; Guo, Zheshan; Zhou, Wenjie; Cai, Ziyan; Durand, Dominique M
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is effective for treating neurological disorders in clinic. However, the therapeutic mechanisms of high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of DBS have not yet been elucidated. Previous studies have suggested that HFS-induced changes in axon conduction could have important contributions to the DBS effects and desiderate further studies. To investigate the effects of prolonged HFS of afferent axons on the firing of downstream neurons, HFS trains of 100 and 200Hz were applied on the Schaffer collaterals of the hippocampal CA1 region in anaesthetized rats. Single unit activity of putative pyramidal cells and interneurons in the downstream region was analyzed during the late periods of prolonged HFS when the axonal conduction was blocked. The results show that the firing rates of both pyramidal cells and interneurons increased rather than decreased during the period of axon block. However, the firing rates were far smaller than the stimulation frequency of HFS. In addition, the firing pattern of pyramidal cells changed from typical bursts during baseline recordings into regular single spikes during HFS periods. Furthermore, the HFS produced asynchronous firing in the downstream neurons in contrast to the synchronous firing induced by single pulses. Presumably, the HFS-induced block of axonal conduction was not complete. During the period of partial block, individual axons could recover intermittently and independently, and drive the downstream neurons to fire in an asynchronous pattern. This axonal mechanism of HFS provides a novel explanation for how DBS could replace an original pattern of neuronal activity by a HFS-modulated asynchronous firing in the target region thereby generating the therapeutic effects of DBS.
Song, G; Xu, H; Wang, H; Macdonald, S M; Poon, C-S
Hypoxic respiratory and cardiovascular responses in mammals are mediated by peripheral chemoreceptor afferents which are relayed centrally via the solitary tract nucleus (NTS) in dorsomedial medulla to other cardiorespiratory-related brainstem regions such as ventrolateral medulla (VLM). Here, we test the hypothesis that peripheral chemoafferents could also be relayed directly to the Kölliker-Fuse/parabrachial complex in dorsolateral pons, an area traditionally thought to subserve pneumotaxic and cardiovascular regulation. Experiments were performed on adult Sprague-Dawley rats. Brainstem neurons with axons projecting to the dorsolateral pons were retrogradely labeled by microinjection with choleras toxin subunit B (CTB). Neurons involved in peripheral chemoreflex were identified by hypoxia-induced c-Fos expression. We found that double-labeled neurons (i.e. immunopositive to both CTB and c-Fos) were localized mostly in the commissural and medial subnuclei of NTS and to a lesser extent in the ventrolateral NTS subnucleus, VLM and ventrolateral pontine A5 region. Extracellular recordings from the commissural and medial NTS subnuclei revealed that some hypoxia-excited NTS neurons could be antidromically activated by electrical stimulations at the dorsolateral pons. These findings demonstrate that hypoxia-activated afferent inputs are relayed to the Kölliker-Fuse/parabrachial complex directly via the commissural and medial NTS and indirectly via the ventrolateral NTS subnucleus, VLM and A5 region. These pontine-projecting peripheral chemoafferent inputs may play an important role in the modulation of cardiorespiratory regulation by dorsolateral pons.
Ohnmacht, Jochen; Yang, Yujie; Maurer, Gianna W.; Barreiro-Iglesias, Antón; Tsarouchas, Themistoklis M.; Wehner, Daniel; Sieger, Dirk; Becker, Catherina G.; Becker, Thomas
ABSTRACT In adult zebrafish, relatively quiescent progenitor cells show lesion-induced generation of motor neurons. Developmental motor neuron generation from the spinal motor neuron progenitor domain (pMN) sharply declines at 48 hours post-fertilisation (hpf). After that, mostly oligodendrocytes are generated from the same domain. We demonstrate here that within 48 h of a spinal lesion or specific genetic ablation of motor neurons at 72 hpf, the pMN domain reverts to motor neuron generation at the expense of oligodendrogenesis. By contrast, generation of dorsal Pax2-positive interneurons was not altered. Larval motor neuron regeneration can be boosted by dopaminergic drugs, similar to adult regeneration. We use larval lesions to show that pharmacological suppression of the cellular response of the innate immune system inhibits motor neuron regeneration. Hence, we have established a rapid larval regeneration paradigm. Either mechanical lesions or motor neuron ablation is sufficient to reveal a high degree of developmental flexibility of pMN progenitor cells. In addition, we show an important influence of the immune system on motor neuron regeneration from these progenitor cells. PMID:26965370
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.
Hastings, G A; Coleman, T A; Haudenschild, C C; Stefansson, S; Smith, E P; Barthlow, R; Cherry, S; Sandkvist, M; Lawrence, D A
A cDNA clone for the serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin), neuroserpin, was isolated from a human whole brain cDNA library, and recombinant protein was expressed in insect cells. The purified protein is an efficient inhibitor of tissue type plasminogen activator (tPA), having an apparent second-order rate constant of 6. 2 x 10(5) M-1 s-1 for the two-chain form. However, unlike other known plasminogen activator inhibitors, neuroserpin is a more effective inactivator of tPA than of urokinase-type plasminogen activator. Neuroserpin also effectively inhibited trypsin and nerve growth factor-gamma but reacted only slowly with plasmin and thrombin. Northern blot analysis showed a 1.8 kilobase messenger RNA expressed predominantly in adult human brain and spinal cord, and immunohistochemical studies of normal mouse tissue detected strong staining primarily in neuronal cells with occasionally positive microglial cells. Staining was most prominent in the ependymal cells of the choroid plexus, Purkinje cells of the cerebellum, select neurons of the hypothalamus and hippocampus, and in the myelinated axons of the commissura. Expression of tPA within these regions is reported to be high and has previously been correlated with both motor learning and neuronal survival. Taken together, these data suggest that neuroserpin is likely to be a critical regulator of tPA activity in the central nervous system, and as such may play an important role in neuronal plasticity and/or maintenance.
Chen, Liuji; Hambright, William Sealy; Na, Ren; Ran, Qitao
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.
Carmel, Jason B; Kimura, Hiroki; Berrol, Lauren J; Martin, John H
We previously showed that electrical stimulation of motor cortex (M1) after unilateral pyramidotomy in the rat increased corticospinal tract (CST) axon length, strengthened spinal connections, and restored forelimb function. Here, we tested: (i) if M1 stimulation only increases spinal axon length or if it also promotes connections to brain stem forelimb control centers, especially magnocellular red nucleus; and (ii) if stimulation-induced increase in axon length depends on whether pyramidotomy denervated the structure. After unilateral pyramidotomy, we electrically stimulated the forelimb area of intact M1, to activate the intact CST and other corticofugal pathways, for 10 days. We anterogradely labeled stimulated M1 and measured axon length using stereology. Stimulation increased axon length in both the spinal cord and magnocellular red nucleus, even though the spinal cord is denervated by pyramidotomy and the red nucleus is not. Stimulation also promoted outgrowth in the cuneate and parvocellular red nuclei. In the spinal cord, electrical stimulation caused increased axon length ipsilateral, but not contralateral, to stimulation. Thus, stimulation promoted outgrowth preferentially to the sparsely corticospinal-innervated and impaired side. Outgrowth resulted in greater axon density in the ipsilateral dorsal horn and intermediate zone, resembling the contralateral termination pattern. Importantly, as in spinal cord, increase in axon length in brain stem also was preferentially directed towards areas less densely innervated by the stimulated system. Thus, M1 electrical stimulation promotes increases in corticofugal axon length to multiple M1 targets. We propose the axon length change was driven by competition into an adaptive pattern resembling lost connections. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Yoshino, Hiide; Ariga, Toshio; Suzuki, Akemi; Yu, Robert K; Miyatake, Tadashi
The presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG)-type antibodies to the ganglioside, N-acetylgalactosaminyl GD1a (GalNAc-GD1a), is closely associated with the pure motor type of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). In the present study, we isolated disialogangliosides from the motor neurons and motor nerves of bovine spinal cords by DEAE-Sephadex column chromatography. The disialoganglioside fraction contained GD1a, GD2, GD1b, and three gangliosides, designated X1, X2 and X3. Serum from a patient with axonal GBS with IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibody yielded positive immunostaining with X1, X2, and X3. When isolated by preparative thin-layer chromatography (TLC), X1 migrated at the same position as GalNAc-GD1a from Tay-Sachs brain, suggesting that X1 is GalNAc-GD1a containing N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuAc). TLC of isolated X2 revealed that it migrated between GD1a and GD2. On the other hand, X3 had a migratory rate on TLC between and GD1b and GT1b. Since both X2 and X3 were recognized by IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibody, the results suggest that X2 is a GalNAc-GD1a species containing a mixture containing a NeuAc-and an N-glycolylneuraminic acid (NeuGc) species, and X3 is a GalNAc-GD1a species with two NeuGc. This evidence indicating the specific localization of GalNAc-GD1a and its isomers in spinal motor neurons should be useful in elucidating the pathogenic role of IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibody in pure motor-type GBS.
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.
Krishnamurthy, Karthik; Mehta, Bhupesh; Singh, Mahendra; Tewari, Bhanu P; Joshi, Preeti G; Joshi, Nanda B
Excessive activation of AMPA receptor has been implicated in motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, it is not clear why motor neurons are preferentially sensitive to AMPA receptor mediated excessive [Ca(2+)]i rise and excitotoxicity. In the present study we examined whether palmitoylation regulates Ca(2+) permeability of AMPA receptor and excitotoxicity in cultured spinal cord neurons. We adapted chronic 2-bromopalmitate (2-BrP) treatment to achieve depalmitoylation and examined its effect on the cytotoxicity in spinal cord neurons exposed to AMPA. The change in AMPA induced signaling and cytotoxicity in motor neurons and other spinal neurons under identical conditions of exposure to AMPA was studied. 2-BrP treatment inhibited AMPA induced rise in [Ca(2+)]i and cytotoxicity in both types of neurons but the degree of inhibition was significantly higher in motor neurons as compared to other spinal neurons. The AMPA induced [Na(+)]i rise was moderately affected in both type of neurons on depalmitoylation. Depalmitoylation reduced the expression levels of AMPA receptor subunits (GluR1 and GluR2) and also PSD-95 but stargazin levels remained unaffected. Our results demonstrate that 2-BrP attenuates AMPA receptor activated Ca(2+) signaling and cytotoxicity preferentially in motor neurons and suggest that AMPA receptor modulation by depalmitoylation could play a significant role in preventing motor neuron degeneration. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Shunmoogum A. Patten
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.
Full Text Available Fingerprint devices have evolved with time for authentication and identification purposes. It is used in generic security and social applications where identification and logging is required when entering that premises. In some circumstances the lag time increases due to increase in human entrees such as at immigration points, airports, random security checkups, attendance loggers. The increase in overall time due to individual human delay factors present a major hindrance in smooth security as well as organizational operations. The delay could occur due to non-technical factor such as not placing the fingers firmly in the surface of the device. This is a major cause of concern for senior citizens and people with motor neuron diseases such as Parkinsonâs, Huntingtonâs and Alzheimerâs disease. Therefore, a design is proposed in this research which can help the scanner to acquire fast and precise fingerprint scan of senior citizens and people with motor neuron diseases. This design uses ergonomically designed cover head for the scanner whose working is based on the Poka Yoke principle which assists firm finger placement on the scanner. In this research, 250 fingerprint scans were taken for statistical analysis using a normal fingerprint scanner and our proposed model scanner. Statistical comparison between the two results shows that our proposed model performs much better in terms of time consumption and accuracy.
Buggia-Prévot, Virginie; Fernandez, Celia G; Riordan, Sean; Vetrivel, Kulandaivelu S.; Roseman, Jelita; Waters, Jack; Bindokas, Vytautas P.; Vassar, Robert; Thinakaran, Gopal
Background BACE1 is one of the two enzymes that cleave amyloid precursor protein to generate Alzheimer's disease (AD) beta amyloid peptides. It is widely believed that BACE1 initiates APP processing in endosomes, and in the brain this cleavage is known to occur during axonal transport of APP. In addition, BACE1 accumulates in dystrophic neurites surrounding brain senile plaques in individuals with AD, suggesting that abnormal accumulation of BACE1 at presynaptic terminals contributes to patho...
Rickenbacher, Gregory T.; Moulia, Thomas W.; Cao, Luxiang; Rodriguez, Steven; Albers, Mark W.
The \\(\\beta\\)-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is necessary to generate the A\\(\\beta\\) peptide, which is implicated in Alzheimer's disease pathology. Studies show that the expression of BACE1 and its protease activity are tightly regulated, but the physiological function of BACE1 remains poorly understood. Recently, numerous axon guidance proteins were identified as potential substrates of BACE1. Here, we examined the consequences of loss of BACE1 function in a well-de...
Peterson, E. J.; Tyler, D. J.
Objective. Localized activation of peripheral axons may improve selectivity of peripheral nerve interfaces. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) employs localized delivery to activate neural tissue. This study investigated INS to determine whether localized delivery limited functionality in larger mammalian nerves. Approach. The rabbit sciatic nerve was stimulated extraneurally with 1875 nm wavelength infrared light, electrical stimulation, or a combination of both. Infrared-sensitive regions (ISR) of the nerve surface and electromyogram (EMG) recruitment of the Medial Gastrocnemius, Lateral Gastrocnemius, Soleus, and Tibialis Anterior were the primary output measures. Stimulation applied included infrared-only, electrical-only, and combined infrared and electrical. Main results. 81% of nerves tested were sensitive to INS, with 1.7 ± 0.5 ISR detected per nerve. INS was selective to a single muscle within 81% of identified ISR. Activation energy threshold did not change significantly with stimulus power, but motor activation decreased significantly when radiant power was decreased. Maximum INS levels typically recruited up to 2-9% of any muscle. Combined infrared and electrical stimulation differed significantly from electrical recruitment in 7% of cases. Significance. The observed selectivity of INS indicates that it may be useful in augmenting rehabilitation, but significant challenges remain in increasing sensitivity and response magnitude to improve the functionality of INS.
Ellis, C; Leary, S; Payan, J; Shaw, C; Hu, M; O'Brien, M; Leigh, P
OBJECTIVE—To determine whether patients with the clinical phenotype of multifocal motor neuropathy but without the electrophysiological criteria for conduction block would respond to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg). METHODS—Ten patients were selected with a slowly progressive, asymmetric, lower motor neuron disorder, and were treated prospectively with IVIg at a dose of 2g/kg over 5 days. All subjects had neurophysiological testing to look for evidence of conduction block before treatment. Muscle strength was assessed by MRC grades and hand held myometry, measuring pinch and grip strength. A 20% increase in both pinch and grip myometry was considered a positive response. RESULTS—In no patient was conduction block detected. Four of the 10 patients showed a positive response to IVIg, with the best response occurring in two patients who presented with weakness but without severe muscle wasting. Three of the four responders have continued to receive IVIg for a mean period of 17 months (range 15-24 months), with continued effect. The response to IVIg was not related to the presence of anti-GM1 antiganglioside antibodies, but responders had a selective pattern of muscle weakness and normal (>90% predicted) vital capacity. CONCLUSION—The findings suggest that a course of IVIg should be considered in patients with the clinical phenotype of multifocal motor neuropathy but without neurophysiological evidence of conduction block. PMID:10369816
Geoffrey C Owens
Full Text Available The relative roles played by trafficking, fission and fusion in the dynamics of mitochondria in neurons have not been fully elucidated. In the present study, a slow widespread redistribution of mitochondria within cultured spinal cord motor neurons was observed as a result of extensive organelle fusion. Mitochondria were labeled with a photoconvertible fluorescent protein (mitoKaede that is red-shifted following brief irradiation with blue light. The behavior of these selectively labeled mitochondria was followed by live fluorescence imaging. Marking mitochondria within the cell soma revealed a complete mixing, within 18 hours, of these organelles with mitochondria coming from the surrounding neurites. Fusion of juxtaposed mitochondria was directly observed in neuritic processes at least 200 microns from the cell body. Within 24 hours, photoconverted mitoKaede was dispersed to all of the mitochondria in the portion of neurite under observation. When time lapse imaging over minutes was combined with long-term observation of marked mitochondria, moving organelles that traversed the field of view did not initially contain photoconverted protein, but after several hours organelles in motion contained both fluorescent proteins, coincident with widespread fusion of all of the mitochondria within the length of neurite under observation. These observations suggest that there is a widespread exchange of mitochondrial components throughout a neuron as a result of organelle fusion.
LIQUN ZHANG; ZHENGWEN MA; GEORGE M.SMITH; XUEJUN WEN; YELENA PRESSMAN; PATRICK M.WOOD; XIAO-MING XU
我们先前研究表明胶质细胞源性神经营养因子(GDNF)联合施万细胞移植能促进脊髓损伤后轴突再生和髓鞘形成.然而,GDNF介导这一过程的细胞靶点尚不清楚.在此,我们报道了GDNF可增加在体再生轴突的数目和直径,并促进体外背根神经节神经元的轴突向外生长,提示GDNF对神经元有直接作用.在施万细胞-背根神经节神经元共培养下,GDNF显著增加施万细胞生成的髓鞘数目;GDNF处理对孤立培养的施万细胞增殖无作用,但可促进已与神经轴突有突触联系的施万细胞增殖;GDNF可增加孤立施万细胞中分子量为140 kDa的神经细胞黏附分子(NCAM)的表达,但对黏附分子L1表达或神经营养因子NGF、NT3及BDNF分泌没有影响.总之,这些结果支持假设:GDNF提高轴突再生和施万细胞髓鞘形成主要是通过GDNF对神经元的直接作用介导的,并且提示GDNF联合施万细胞移植可能是促进脊髓损伤后轴突再生和髓鞘形成的有效策略之一.%We previously demonstrated that coadministration of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor(GDNF) with grafts of Schwann cells(SCs) enhanced axonal regeneration and remyelination following spinal cord injury(SCI).However,the cellular target through which GDNF mediates such actions was unclear.Here,we report that GDNF enhanced both the number and caliber of regenerated axons in vivo and increased neurite outgrowth of dorsal root ganglion neurons(DRGN) in vitro,suggesting that GDNF has a direct effect on neurons.In SC-DRGN coculture,GDNF significantly increased the number of myelin sheaths produced by SCs.GDNF treatment had no effect on the proliferation of isolated SCs but enhanced the proliferation of SCs already in contact with axons.GDNF increased the expression of the 140 kDa neural cell adhesion molecule(NCAM) in isolated SCs but not their expression of the adhesion molecule L1 or the secretion of the neurotrophins NGF,NT3,or BDNF
Nardelli, Paul; Vincent, Jacob A; Powers, Randall; Cope, Tim C; Rich, Mark M
The mechanisms by which sepsis triggers intensive care unit acquired weakness (ICUAW) remain unclear. We previously identified difficulty with motor unit recruitment in patients as a novel contributor to ICUAW. To study the mechanism underlying poor recruitment of motor units we used the rat cecal ligation and puncture model of sepsis. We identified striking dysfunction of alpha motor neurons during repetitive firing. Firing was more erratic, and often intermittent. Our data raised the possibility that reduced excitability of motor neurons was a significant contributor to weakness induced by sepsis. In this study we quantified the contribution of reduced motor neuron excitability and compared its magnitude to the contributions of myopathy, neuropathy and failure of neuromuscular transmission. We injected constant depolarizing current pulses (5s) into the soma of alpha motor neurons in the lumbosacral spinal cord of anesthetized rats to trigger repetitive firing. In response to constant depolarization, motor neurons in untreated control rats fired at steady and continuous firing rates and generated smooth and sustained tetanic motor unit force as expected. In contrast, following induction of sepsis, motor neurons were often unable to sustain firing throughout the 5s current injection such that force production was reduced. Even when firing, motor neurons from septic rats fired erratically and discontinuously, leading to irregular production of motor unit force. Both fast and slow type motor neurons had similar disruption of excitability. We followed rats after recovery from sepsis to determine the time course of resolution of the defect in motor neuron excitability. By one week, rats appeared to have recovered from sepsis as they had no piloerection and appeared to be in no distress. The defects in motor neuron repetitive firing were still striking at 2weeks and, although improved, were present at one month. We infer that rats suffered from weakness due to reduced
Full Text Available In contrast to the central nervous system (CNS nerve fibers do regenerate in the peripheral nervous system (PNS although in a clinically unsatisfying manner. A major problem is excessive sprouting of regenerating axons which results in aberrant reinnervation of target tissue and impaired functional recovery. In the CNS, the reticulon protein Nogo-A has been identified as a prominent oligodendrocyte expressed inhibitor of long-distance growth of regenerating axons. We show here that the related isoform Nogo-B is abundantly expressed in Schwann cells in the PNS. Other than Nogo-A in oligodendrocytes, Nogo-B does not localize to the myelin sheath but is detected in the ER and the plasma membrane of Schwann cells. Adult sensory neurons that are cultured on nogo-a/b deficient Schwann cells form significantly fewer axonal branches versus those on wildtype Schwann cells, while their maximal axonal extension is unaffected. We demonstrate that this effect of Nogo-B on neuronal morphology is restricted to undifferentiated Schwann cells and is mediated by direct physical contact between these two cell types. Moreover, we show that blocking the Nogo-B specific receptor NgBR, which we find expressed on sensory neurons and to interact with Schwann cell expressed Nogo-B, produces the same branching phenotype as observed after deletion of Nogo-B. These data provide evidence for a novel function of the nogo gene that is implemented by the Nogo-B isoform. The remarkably specific effects of Nogo-B/ NgBR on axonal branching, while leaving axonal extension unaffected, are of potential clinical relevance in the context of excessive axonal sprouting after peripheral nerve injury.
Ko, Hyo Rim; Hwang, Inwoo; Ahn, So Yoon; Chang, Yun Sil; Park, Won Soon; Ahn, Jee-Yin
P48 Ebp1 is expressed in rapidly proliferating cells such as cancer cells and accelerates cell growth and survival. However, its expression pattern and role in central nervous system development have not been studied. Here, we demonstrated the spatiotemporal expression pattern of p48 Ebp1 during embryonic development and the postnatal period. During embryonic development, p48 Ebp1 was highly expressed in the brain. Expression gradually decreased after birth but was still more abundant than p42 expression after birth. Strikingly, we found that p48 Ebp1 was expressed in a cell type specific manner in neurons but not astrocytes. Moreover, p48 Ebp1 physically interacted with beta tubulin but not alpha tubulin. This fits with its accumulation in distal microtubule growth cone regions. Furthermore, in injured hippocampal slices, p48 Ebp1 introduction promoted axon regeneration. Thus, we speculate that p48 Ebp1 might contribute to microtubule dynamics acting as an MAP and promotes CNS axon regeneration. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(3): 126-131].
Boza-Morán, María G; Martínez-Hernández, Rebeca; Bernal, Sara; Wanisch, Klaus; Also-Rallo, Eva; Le Heron, Anita; Alías, Laura; Denis, Cécile; Girard, Mathilde; Yee, Jiing-Kuan; Tizzano, Eduardo F; Yáñez-Muñoz, Rafael J
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease caused by mutations in Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1), leading to degeneration of alpha motor neurons (MNs) but also affecting other cell types. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived human MN models from severe SMA patients have shown relevant phenotypes. We have produced and fully characterized iPSCs from members of a discordant consanguineous family with chronic SMA. We differentiated the iPSC clones into ISL-1+/ChAT+ MNs and performed a comparative study during the differentiation process, observing significant differences in neurite length and number between family members. Analyses of samples from wild-type, severe SMA type I and the type IIIa/IV family showed a progressive decay in SMN protein levels during iPSC-MN differentiation, recapitulating previous observations in developmental studies. PLS3 underwent parallel reductions at both the transcriptional and translational levels. The underlying, progressive developmental decay in SMN and PLS3 levels may lead to the increased vulnerability of MNs in SMA disease. Measurements of SMN and PLS3 transcript and protein levels in iPSC-derived MNs show limited value as SMA biomarkers.
Hawthorne, Alicia L; Hu, Hongmei; Kundu, Bornali; Steinmetz, Michael P; Wylie, Christi J; Deneris, Evan S; Silver, Jerry
Serotonergic neurons possess an enhanced ability to regenerate or sprout after many types of injury. To understand the mechanisms that underlie their unusual properties, we used a combinatorial approach comparing the behavior of serotonergic and cortical axon tips over time in the same injury environment in vivo and to growth-promoting or growth-inhibitory substrates in vitro. After a thermocoagulatory lesion in the rat frontoparietal cortex, callosal axons become dystrophic and die back. Serotonergic axons, however, persist within the lesion edge. At the third week post-injury, 5-HT+ axons sprout robustly. The lesion environment contains both growth-inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) and growth-promoting laminin. Transgenic mouse serotonergic neurons specifically labeled by enhanced yellow fluorescent protein under control of the Pet-1 promoter/enhancer or cortical neurons were cultured on low amounts of laminin with or without relatively high concentrations of the CSPG aggrecan. Serotonergic neurons extended considerably longer neurites than did cortical neurons on low laminin and exhibited a remarkably more active growth cone on low laminin plus aggrecan during time-lapse imaging than did cortical neurons. Chondroitinase ABC treatment of laminin/CSPG substrates resulted in significantly longer serotonergic but not cortical neurite lengths. This increased ability of serotonergic neurons to robustly grow on high amounts of CSPG may be partially due to significantly higher amounts of growth-associated protein-43 and/or β1 integrin than cortical neurons. Blocking β1 integrin decreased serotonergic and cortical outgrowth on laminin. Determining the mechanism by which serotonergic fibers persist and sprout after lesion could lead to therapeutic strategies for both stroke and spinal cord injury.
Wang, Fushan; Zumbrun, Elizabeth E; Huang, Jialing; Si, Huaxin; Makaroun, Lena; Friedman, Harvey M
The HSV-2 lifecycle involves virus spread in a circuit from the inoculation site to dorsal root ganglia and return. We evaluated the role of gE-2 in the virus lifecycle by deleting amino acids 124-495 (gE2-del virus). In the mouse retina infection model, gE2-del virus does not spread to nuclei in the brain, indicating a defect in anterograde (pre-synaptic to post-synaptic neurons) and retrograde (post-synaptic to pre-synaptic neurons) spread. Infection of neuronal cells in vitro demonstrates that gE-2 is required for targeting viral proteins from neuron cell bodies into axons, and for efficient virus spread from epithelial cells to axons. The mouse flank model confirms that gE2-del virus is defective in spread from epithelial cells to neurons. Therefore, we defined two steps in the virus lifecycle that involve gE-2, including efficient spread from epithelial cells to axons and targeting viral components from neuron cell bodies into axons.
Holt, Lori L; Lotto, Andrew J
Speech is commonly claimed to relate to mirror neurons because of the alluring surface analogy of mirror neurons to the Motor Theory of speech perception, which posits that perception and production draw upon common motor-articulatory representations. We argue that the analogy fails and highlight examples of systems-level developmental approaches that have been more fruitful in revealing perception-production associations.
Objective The diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) includes demonstration of lower motor neuron (LMN) and upper motor neuron (UMN) involvement of bulbar and spinal muscles. Electromyography (EMG) is essential to confirm LMN affection in weak muscles, and to demonstrate changes...
Ravanelli, Andrew M; Appel, Bruce
During spinal cord development, ventral neural progenitor cells that express the transcription factors Olig1 and Olig2, called pMN progenitors, produce motor neurons and then oligodendrocytes. Whether motor neurons and oligodendrocytes arise from common or distinct progenitors in vivo is not known. Using zebrafish, we found that motor neurons and oligodendrocytes are produced sequentially by distinct progenitors that have distinct origins. When olig2(+) cells were tracked during the peak period of motor neuron formation, most differentiated as motor neurons without further cell division. Using time-lapse imaging, we found that, as motor neurons differentiated, more dorsally positioned neuroepithelial progenitors descended to the pMN domain and initiated olig2 expression. Inhibition of Hedgehog signaling during motor neuron differentiation blocked the ventral movement of progenitors, the progressive initiation of olig2 expression, and oligodendrocyte formation. We therefore propose that the motor neuron-to-oligodendrocyte switch results from Hedgehog-mediated recruitment of glial-fated progenitors to the pMN domain subsequent to neurogenesis.
Christou, Y A; Moore, H D; Shaw, P J; Monk, P N
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.
Satriotomo, I; Nichols, N L; Dale, E A; Emery, A T; Dahlberg, J M; Mitchell, G S
Repetitive acute intermittent hypoxia (rAIH) increases growth/trophic factor expression in respiratory motor neurons, thereby eliciting spinal respiratory motor plasticity and/or neuroprotection. Here we demonstrate that rAIH effects are not unique to respiratory motor neurons, but are also expressed in non-respiratory, spinal alpha motor neurons and upper motor neurons of the motor cortex. In specific, we used immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence to assess growth/trophic factor protein expression in spinal sections from rats exposed to AIH three times per week for 10weeks (3×wAIH). 3×wAIH increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), its high-affinity receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), and phosphorylated TrkB (pTrkB) immunoreactivity in putative alpha motor neurons of spinal cervical 7 (C7) and lumbar 3 (L3) segments, as well as in upper motor neurons of the primary motor cortex (M1). 3×wAIH also increased immunoreactivity of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), the high-affinity VEGFA receptor (VEGFR-2) and an important VEGF gene regulator, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). Thus, rAIH effects on growth/trophic factors are characteristic of non-respiratory as well as respiratory motor neurons. rAIH may be a useful tool in the treatment of disorders causing paralysis, such as spinal injury and motor neuron disease, as a pretreatment to enhance motor neuron survival during disease, or as preconditioning for cell-transplant therapies.
Widenfalk, Johan; Wu, Weiping; Hao, Jingxia; Person, Jonas K E; Wiesenfeldt-Hallin, Zsuzsanna; Risling, Mårten
Incomplete recovery of function and neuropathic pain are common problems after peripheral nerve injury. To develop new treatment strategies for peripheral nerve injuries we investigated whether the neurotrophic factor artemin could improve outcome after sciatic nerve injuries in rats. Artemin is a member of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family and exerts neuroprotective effects on sensory neurons as well as influencing behavioural thermal sensitivity. We additionally evaluated if fibrin sealant, which is sometimes used as a nerve glue, had any effects on neuropathic pain-related behaviour. After the sciatic nerve had been transected, 30 animals were randomised to one of three groups: treatment with a fibrin sealant that contained artemin in conjunction with sutures; fibrin sealant with no artemin (sham) in conjunction with sutures; or sutures alone (n=10 in each group). Motor function, sensory function, and autotomy were evaluated from 1 to 12 weeks after injury. Retrograde flourogold tracing 12 weeks after injury showed that the addition of artemin increased the number of regenerating motor neurons. However, it did not improve their performance, as measured by the Sciatic Function Index, compared with sham or suture alone. Animals treated with artemin had a non-significant increase in motor nerve conduction velocity compared with sham. However, artemin did not reverse nerve injury-induced pain behaviour such as cold or heat hypersensitivity. Fibrin sealant in itself did not ameliorate motor performance, or regeneration of motor neurons, or give rise to nerve injury-induced pain behaviour. The results indicate that artemin is of value as a treatment for peripheral nerve injuries, although the effects were limited. As the artemin high-affinity receptor GFRalpha-3 is present in Schwann cells and not in motor neurons, the effect on motor neuron axon regeneration may result from an indirect effect through Schwann cells in the injured nerve.
Juan Liu; Dawei Zang; Surindar Cheema
BACKGROUND: Affected signal convection of synaptophysin on motor neurons may Cause injury of motor neurons and then induce neurodegeneration and cell death in the end.OBJECTTVE: To investigate the number and density of synaptophysin on motor neurons in the anterior horn of lumbar spinal cord and sensorimotor cortex of the transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS).DESIGN: Randomized controlled animal study.SETTTNG: Brain Injury and Repair Group, HFI Institute of Melbourne University.MATERIALS: Transgenic mice expressing a mutated human superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD-1) were taken as ALS group (n =36), while those dedved from the B6SJL-TgN gene line were taken as control group (n =36),according to the difference of gender and three postnatal time points (postnatal 60, 90 and 120 days), twelve mice of either gender were allocated in each subgroup.METHODS: The experiment was carried out in Brain Injury and Repair Group, HFI Institute of Melbourne University from November 2003 to June 2004. ① Fluorogold labeling was used for the motor neurons in the lumbar and sensorimotor cortex. ② Immunofluorescence was applied for the labeling of synaptophysin; positive control sections were represented by adding the synaptophysin antibody and the staining, showing a positive result. For negative controls, the synaptophysin antibody was omitted. ③ Stereological counting system was adopted in the statistical analysis.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: ① Fluorogold labeling of motor neurons; ② number of synaptophysin on the motor neurons.RESULTS: ① Fluorogold labeling of motor neurons: The motor neurons in the lumbar and sensorimotor cortex were clearly labeled by fluorogold under the detection of fluorescent microscope. ② The number of synaptophysin on the motor neurons: The number statistically decreased at the mid stage (postnatal 90 days)and late stage (postnatal 120 days) [motor neuron somas at lumbar spinal cord: (0.75±0.06), (0.59±0.09)/μm;motor neuron
Eckharter, Christoph; Junker, Nina; Winter, Lilli; Fischer, Irmgard; Fogli, Barbara; Kistner, Steffen; Pfaller, Kristian; Zheng, Binhai; Wiche, Gerhard; Klimaschewski, Lars; Schweigreiter, Rüdiger
In contrast to the central nervous system (CNS) nerve fibers do regenerate in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) although in a clinically unsatisfying manner. A major problem is excessive sprouting of regenerating axons which results in aberrant reinnervation of target tissue and impaired functional recovery. In the CNS, the reticulon protein Nogo-A has been identified as a prominent oligodendrocyte expressed inhibitor of long-distance growth of regenerating axons. We show here that the related isoform Nogo-B is abundantly expressed in Schwann cells in the PNS. Other than Nogo-A in oligodendrocytes, Nogo-B does not localize to the myelin sheath but is detected in the ER and the plasma membrane of Schwann cells. Adult sensory neurons that are cultured on nogo-a/b deficient Schwann cells form significantly fewer axonal branches vs. those on wildtype Schwann cells, while their maximal axonal extension is unaffected. We demonstrate that this effect of Nogo-B on neuronal morphology is restricted to undifferentiated Schwann cells and is mediated by direct physical contact between these two cell types. Moreover, we show that blocking the Nogo-B specific receptor NgBR, which we find expressed on sensory neurons and to interact with Schwann cell expressed Nogo-B, produces the same branching phenotype as observed after deletion of Nogo-B. These data provide evidence for a novel function of the nogo gene that is implemented by the Nogo-B isoform. The remarkably specific effects of Nogo-B/NgBR on axonal branching, while leaving axonal extension unaffected, are of potential clinical relevance in the context of excessive axonal sprouting after peripheral nerve injury. Nogo-B is prominently expressed in Schwann cells and localizes to the ER and plasma membrane. It distributes to the external cytoplasmic compartment of Schwann cells in vivo, but is absent from the myelin sheath.Genetic deletion of Nogo-B in Schwann cells reduces axonal branching, but not long-distance growth, of
Ponomareva, Olga Y; Eliceiri, Kevin W; Halloran, Mary C
Charcot-Marie-Tooth2b (CMT2b) is an axonal form of a human neurodegenerative disease that preferentially affects sensory neurons. CMT2b is dominantly inherited and is characterized by unusually early onset, presenting in the second or third decade of life. Five missense mutations in the gene encoding Rab7 GTPase have been identified as causative in human CMT2b disease. Although several studies have modeled CMT2b disease in cultured neurons and in Drosophila, the mechanisms by which defective Rab7 leads to disease remain poorly understood. We used zebrafish to investigate the effects of CMT2b-associated Rab7 mutations in a vertebrate model. We generated transgenic animals expressing the CMT2b-associated mutant forms of Rab7 in sensory neurons, and show that these Rab7 variants cause neurodevelopmental defects, including defects in sensory axon growth, branching and pathfinding at early developmental stages. We also find reduced axon growth and branching in neurons expressing a constitutively active form of Rab7, suggesting these defects may be caused by Rab7 gain-of-function. Further, we use high-speed, high-resolution imaging of endosome transport in vivo and find that CMT2b-associated Rab7 variants cause reduced vesicle speeds, suggesting altered transport may underlie axon development defects. Our data provide new insight into how disease-associated alterations in Rab7 protein disrupt cellular function in vertebrate sensory neurons. Moreover, our findings suggest that defects in axon development may be a previously unrecognized component of CMT2b disease.
Sances, Samuel; Bruijn, Lucie I; Chandran, Siddharthan; Eggan, Kevin; Ho, Ritchie; Klim, Joseph R; Livesey, Matt R; Lowry, Emily; Macklis, Jeffrey D; Rushton, David; Sadegh, Cameron; Sareen, Dhruv; Wichterle, Hynek; Zhang, Su-Chun; Svendsen, Clive N
Directing the differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into motor neurons has allowed investigators to develop new models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, techniques vary between laboratories and the cells do not appear to mature into fully functional adult motor neurons. Here we discuss common developmental principles of both lower and upper motor neuron development that have led to specific derivation techniques. We then suggest how these motor neurons may be matured further either through direct expression or administration of specific factors or coculture approaches with other tissues. Ultimately, through a greater understanding of motor neuron biology, it will be possible to establish more reliable models of ALS. These in turn will have a greater chance of validating new drugs that may be effective for the disease.
Wood-Allum, Clare; Shaw, Pamela J
Motor neurone disease (MND) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease which leads inexorably via weakness of limb, bulbar and respiratory muscles to death from respiratory failure three to five years later. Most MND is sporadic but approximately 10% is inherited. In exciting recent breakthroughs two new MND genes have been identified. Diagnosis is clinical and sometimes difficult--treatable mimics must be excluded before the diagnosis is ascribed. Riluzole prolongs life by only three to four months and is only available for the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) form of MND. Management therefore properly focuses on symptom relief and the preservation of independence and quality of life. Malnutrition is a poor prognostic factor. In appropriate patients enteral feeding is recommended although its use has yet to be shown to improve survival. In ALS patients with respiratory failure and good or only moderately impaired bulbar function non-invasive positive pressure ventilation prolongs life and improves quality of life.
Lien, Huang-Wei; Yuan, Rey-Yue; Chou, Chih-Ming; Chen, Yi-Chung; Hung, Chin-Chun; Hu, Chin-Hwa; Hwang, Sheng-Ping L; Hwang, Pung-Pung; Shen, Chia-Ning; Chen, Chih-Lung; Cheng, Chia-Hsiung; Huang, Chang-Jen
Cyclins play a central role in cell-cycle regulation; in mammals, the D family of cyclins consists of cyclin D1, D2, and D3. In Xenopus, only homologs of cyclins D1 and D2 have been reported, while a novel cyclin, cyclin Dx (ccndx), was found to be required for the maintenance of motor neuron progenitors during embryogenesis. It remains unknown whether zebrafish possess cyclin D3 or cyclin Dx. In this study, we identified a zebrafish ccndx gene encoding a protein which can form a complex with Cdk4. Through whole-mount in situ hybridization, we observed that zccndx mRNA is expressed in the motor neurons of hindbrain and spinal cord during development. Analysis of a 4-kb promoter sequence of the zccndx gene revealed the presence of HRE sites, which can be regulated by HIF2α. Morpholino knockdown of zebrafish Hif2α and cyclin Dx resulted in the abolishment of isl1 and oligo2 expression in the precursors of motor neurons, and also disrupted axon growth. Overexpression of cyclin Dx mRNA in Hif2α morphants partially rescued zccndx expression. Taken together, our data indicate that zebrafish cyclin Dx plays a role in maintaining the precursors of motor neurons.
Woodall, C J; Graham, D I
Sequences resembling those of human enterovirus type B sequences have been associated with motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In a previous study we detected enteroviral sequences in spinal cord/brain stem from cases of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but not controls. Adjacent tissue sections to two of those strongly positive for these sequences by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction were analyzed by in situ hybridization with digoxigenin-labelled virus-specific antisense riboprobes. In one case, a female aged 83 showing 12 month rapid progressive disease, signal was specifically localized to cells identifiable as motor neurones of the anterior horn. In another case, a male aged 63 with a 60-month history of progressive muscle weakness, dysarthia, dyspnoea and increased tendon reflexes, signal was located to neurones in the gracile/cuneate nuclei of the brain stem tissue block that had been analyzed. This case showed loss of neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord by histopathologic examination which would account for clinical signs of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dysfunction of the gracile/cuneate nuclei might have been masked by the paralytic disease. These structures are adjacent to the hypoglossal nuclei, and suggest either localised dissemination from hypoglossal nuclei or a possible route of dissemination of infection through the brainstem to the hypoglossal nuclei. These findings provide further evidence for the possible involvement of enteroviruses in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Full Text Available Sequences resembling those of human enterovirus type B sequences have been associated with motor neurone disease/ amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In a previous study we detected enteroviral sequences in spinal cord/brain stem from cases of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but not controls. Adjacent tissue sections to two of those strongly positive for these sequences by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction were analyzed by in situ hybridization with digoxigenin-labelled virus-specific antisense riboprobes. In one case, a female aged 83 showing 12 month rapid progressive disease, signal was specifically localized to cells identifiable as motor neurones of the anterior horn. In another case, a male aged 63 with a 60-month history of progressive muscle weakness, dysarthia, dyspnoea and increased tendon reflexes, signal was located to neurones in the gracile/cuneate nuclei of the brain stem tissue block that had been analyzed. This case showed loss of neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord by histopathologic examination which would account for clinical signs of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dysfunction of the gracile/cuneate nuclei might have been masked by the paralytic disease. These structures are adjacent to the hypoglossal nuclei, and suggest either localised dissemination from hypoglossal nuclei or a possible route of dissemination of infection through the brainstem to the hypoglossal nuclei. These findings provide further evidence for the possible involvement of enteroviruses in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
González, H; Jiménez, I; Rudomin, P
1. In the isolated spinal cord and brainstem of the frog, stimulation of the brainstem (BS) with trains of 3-4 pulses at 60-400 Hz produced dorsal root potentials (DRPs). The lowest threshold sites eliciting DRPs were located at the level of the obex up to about 2.5 mm rostrally, 0.5-1.2 mm laterally, between 0.5 and 1.6 mm depth. This region corresponds to the bulbar reticular formation (RF). 2. Stimulation of the RF with strengths below those required to produce DRPs, very effectively inhibited the DRPs produced by stimulation of a neighboring dorsal root (DR-DRPs) as well as the DRPs produced by antidromic stimulation of the central end of motor nerves (VR-DRPs). The inhibition was detectable 20 ms after the first pulse of the conditioning train, attained maximal values between 50 and 100 ms and lasted more than 250 ms. 3. Stimulation of the bulbar RF increased the negative response (N1 response) produced in the motor pool by antidromic activation of motoneurons. The time course of the facilitation of the N1 response resembled that of the reticularly-induced inhibition of the VR-DRPs and DR-DRPs. 4. The present series of observations supports the existence of reticulo-spinal pathways that are able to inhibit the depolarization elicited in afferent fibers by stimulation of other afferent fibers or by antidromic activation of motor axons. This inhibition appears to be exerted on the PAD mediating interneurons and is envisaged as playing an important role in motor control.
Ladle, David R; Frank, Eric
The ETS family of transcription factors includes two members, ER81 and PEA3, which are expressed in groups of sensory and motor neurons supplying individual muscles. To investigate a possible role of these genes in determining sensory and/or motor neuron phenotype, we studied mice in which each of these genes was deleted. In contrast to the deletion of ER81, which blocks the formation of projections from muscle sensory neurons to motor neurons in the spinal cord, deletion of PEA3 causes no obvious effects on sensory neurons or on their synaptic connections with motor neurons. PEA3 does play a major role in the formation of some brachial motoneurons however. Motoneurons innervating the cutaneous maximus muscle, which are normally PEA3(+), fail to develop normally so that postnatally the muscle is innervated by few motoneurons and is severely atrophic. Other studies suggest that these motoneurons initially appear during development but fail to contact their normal muscle targets.
Saha, S P; Das, S K; Gangopadhyay, P K; Roy, T N; Maiti, B
A clinical study about the pattern of motor neurone disease in eastern India was carried out from July 1993 to June 1995 at Bangur Institute of Neurology, Calcutta and SSKM Hospital, Calcutta. A total of 110 cases were studied and they constituted 0.11% of all neurological cases seen in the general OPD. Of 110 cases, amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS) constituted 43.6%, progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) 10.9%, post-polio progressive muscular atrophy (PPMA) 1.8%, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) 20%, atypical form Madras pattern of MND (MMND) 0.9% and monomelic amyotrophy (MMA) 22.7% of cases. Disease is more common in males than females and average duration of symptoms before presentation varied from 1 to 12 months. Most of the patients were either agricultural labourers or manual workers in ALS variety whereas MMA variety was evenly distributed in both hard labourers and sedentary workers. Most of the patients in MMA and SMA groups presented before 30 years of age whereas ALS and PMA group presented after 30 years. Trauma was the commonest antecedent event in ALS and MMA followed by electrocution in the same two groups. Family history was found to be absent in SMA group though the disease is considered as a hereditary one. Weakness of the limbs and wasting of the muscles were common presenting symptoms and signs. Bulbar symptoms and signs were found only in the ALS group. EMG showed neurogenic pattern and mixed pattern in most of the patients in all groups. Only a few patients showed myopathic pattern. Neuroimaging study helped in exclusion of compressive lesion excepting two cases of MMA where facetal hypertrophy was present. Monomelic amyotrophy, a special variety of motor neurone disease, is not rare in this part as compared to other parts of India and Asia.
Full Text Available Functional diversification of motor neurons has occurred in order to selectively control the movements of different body parts including head, trunk and limbs. Here we report that transcription of Isl1, a major gene necessary for motor neuron identity, is controlled by two enhancers, CREST1 (E1 and CREST2 (E2 that allow selective gene expression of Isl1 in motor neurons. Introduction of GFP reporters into the chick neural tube revealed that E1 is active in hindbrain motor neurons and spinal cord motor neurons, whereas E2 is active in the lateral motor column (LMC of the spinal cord, which controls the limb muscles. Genome-wide ChIP-Seq analysis combined with reporter assays showed that Phox2 and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex bind to E1 and drive hindbrain and spinal cord-specific expression of Isl1, respectively. Interestingly, Lhx3 alone was sufficient to activate E1, and this may contribute to the initiation of Isl1 expression when progenitors have just developed into motor neurons. E2 was induced by onecut 1 (OC-1 factor that permits Isl1 expression in LMCm neurons. Interestingly, the core region of E1 has been conserved in evolution, even in the lamprey, a jawless vertebrate with primitive motor neurons. All E1 sequences from lamprey to mouse responded equally well to Phox2a and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex. Conversely, E2, the enhancer for limb-innervating motor neurons, was only found in tetrapod animals. This suggests that evolutionarily-conserved enhancers permit the diversification of motor neurons.
Cullins, Miranda J; Shaw, Kendrick M; Gill, Jeffrey P; Chiel, Hillel J
How does motor neuronal variability affect behavior? To explore this question, we quantified activity of multiple individual identified motor neurons mediating biting and swallowing in intact, behaving Aplysia californica by recording from the protractor muscle and the three nerves containing the majority of motor neurons controlling the feeding musculature. We measured multiple motor components: duration of the activity of identified motor neurons as well as their relative timing. At the same time, we measured behavioral efficacy: amplitude of grasping movement during biting and amplitude of net inward food movement during swallowing. We observed that the total duration of the behaviors varied: Within animals, biting duration shortened from the first to the second and third bites; between animals, biting and swallowing durations varied. To study other sources of variation, motor components were divided by behavior duration (i.e., normalized). Even after normalization, distributions of motor component durations could distinguish animals as unique individuals. However, the degree to which a motor component varied among individuals depended on the role of that motor component in a behavior. Motor neuronal activity that was essential for the expression of biting or swallowing was similar among animals, whereas motor neuronal activity that was not essential for that behavior varied more from individual to individual. These results suggest that motor neuronal activity that matters most for the expression of a particular behavior may vary least from individual to individual. Shaping individual variability to ensure behavioral efficacy may be a general principle for the operation of motor systems. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
Hu, Peter; Kalb, Robert G.; Walton, K. D. (Principal Investigator)
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.
Sánchez, D; Ganfornina, M D; Bastiani, M J
In this report we present a review on the grasshopper lipocalin Lazarillo with special emphasis on how its molecular properties could account for its known function: the guidance of pioneer neurons during nervous system development. The expression and function of Lazarillo in a subset of developing neurons, its heavy glycosylation and its glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkage to the plasma membrane, make Lazarillo a unique member of the lipocalin family. We have built a model of the tertiary structure of Lazarillo in which we have studied the exposed surfaces in search for clues about ligand and protein interactions with Lazarillo. Our hypotheses about how this lipocalin can exert its function are discussed.
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.
Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan
Synaptic democracy concerns the general problem of how regions of an axon or dendrite far from the cell body (soma) of a neuron can play an effective role in neuronal function. For example, stimulated synapses far from the soma are unlikely to influence the firing of a neuron unless some sort of active dendritic processing occurs. Analogously, the motor-driven transport of newly synthesized proteins from the soma to presynaptic targets along the axon tends to favor the delivery of resources to proximal synapses. Both of these phenomena reflect fundamental limitations of transport processes based on a localized source. In this Letter, we show that a more democratic distribution of proteins along an axon can be achieved by making the transport process less efficient. This involves two components: bidirectional or "stop-and-go" motor transport (which can be modeled in terms of advection-diffusion), and reversible interactions between motor-cargo complexes and synaptic targets. Both of these features have recently been observed experimentally. Our model suggests that, just as in human societies, there needs to be a balance between "efficiency" and "equality".
Moldovan, Mihai; Krarup, Christian
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...
Our brain, one of our most complex organs, allows us to move, feel, think and learn. The brain is built up from billons of brain cells, which together form a dynamic and complex network that processes all sorts of information. Each brain cell, also called neuron, receives information from thousands
Chung, Chee Yeun; Licznerski, Pawel; Alavian, Kambiz N.; Simeone, Antonio; Lin, Zhicheng; Martin, Eden; Vance, Jeffery; Isacson, Ole
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.…
Chung, Chee Yeun; Licznerski, Pawel; Alavian, Kambiz N.; Simeone, Antonio; Lin, Zhicheng; Martin, Eden; Vance, Jeffery; Isacson, Ole
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.…
Li, Meng-Jiyuan; Chang, Tien-Wei; Hung, Wei-Chen; Wu, Chieh-Yi; Luo, Yu-Cheng; Chang, Ting-Hsuan; Lin, Chingju; Yang, Chi-Sheng; Yang, Hsiu-Wen; Min, Ming-Yuan
We characterized transmission from the pedunculopotine tegmental nucleus (PPTg), which contains cholinergic and glutamatergic neurons, at synapses with noradrenergic (NAergic) A7 neurons. Injection of an anterograde neuronal tracer, biotinylated-dextran amine, into the PPTg resulted in labeling of axonal terminals making synaptic connection with NAergic A7 neurons. Consistent with this, extracellular stimulation using a train of 10 pulses at 100 Hz evoked both fast and slow excitatory synaptic currents (EPSCs) that were blocked, respectively, by DNQX, a non-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor blocker, or atropine, a cholinergic muscarinic receptor (mAChR) blocker. Interestingly, many spontaneous-like, but stimulation-dependent, EPSCs, were seen for up to one second after the end of stimulation and were blocked by DNQX and decreased by EGTA-AM, a membrane permeable form of EGTA, showing they are glutamatergic EPSCs causing by asynchronous release of vesicular quanta. Moreover, application of atropine or carbachol, an mAChR agonist, caused, respectively, an increase in the number of asynchronous EPSCs or a decrease in the frequency of miniature EPSCs, showing that mAChRs mediated presynaptic inhibition of glutamatergic transmission of the PPTg onto NAergic A7 neurons. In conclusion, our data show direct synaptic transmission of PPTg afferents onto pontine NAergic neurons that involves cooperation of cholinergic and glutamatergic transmission. This dual-transmitter transmission drives the firing rate of NAergic neurons, which may correlate with axonal and somatic/dendritic release of NA.
Justin G. Boyer
Full Text Available 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.
Full Text Available Neurotrophin signaling is crucial for neuron growth. While the “signaling endosomes” hypothesis is one of the accepted models, the molecular machinery that drives retrograde axonal transport of TrkB signaling endosomes is largely unknown. In particular, mechanisms recruiting dynein to TrkB signaling endosomes have not been elucidated. Here, using snapin deficient mice and gene rescue experiments combined with compartmentalized cultures of live cortical neurons, we reveal that Snapin, as a dynein adaptor, mediates retrograde axonal transport of TrkB signaling endosomes. Such a role is essential for dendritic growth of cortical neurons. Deleting snapin or disrupting Snapin-dynein interaction abolishes TrkB retrograde transport, impairs BDNF-induced retrograde signaling from axonal terminals to the nucleus, and decreases dendritic growth. Such defects were rescued by reintroducing the snapin gene. Our study indicates that Snapin-dynein coupling is one of the primary mechanisms driving BDNF-TrkB retrograde transport, thus providing mechanistic insights into the regulation of neuronal growth and survival.
Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Neurological complications leading to morbidity and mortality are not frequent in renal transplant recipients. Here, we report a renal transplant recipient who presented with diminished strength in his limbs probably due to multiple etiologies of axonal sensorimotor polyneuropathy, which resolved with intravenous immunoglobulin. Case presentation A 49-year-old Iranian male renal transplant recipient with previous history of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease presented with diminished strength in his limbs one month after surgery. Our patient was on cyclosporine A, mycophenolate mofetil and prednisone. Although a detected hypophosphatemia was corrected with supplemental phosphate, the loss of strength was still slowly progressive and diffuse muscular atrophy was remarkable in his trunk, upper limb and pelvic girdle. Meanwhile, his cranial nerves were intact. Post-transplant diabetes mellitus was diagnosed and insulin therapy was initiated. In addition, as a high serum cyclosporine level was detected, the dose of cyclosporine was reduced. Our patient was also put on intravenous ganciclovir due to positive serum cytomegalovirus immunoglobulin M antibody. Despite the reduction of oral cyclosporine dose along with medical therapy for the cytomegalovirus infection and diabetes mellitus, his muscular weakness and atrophy did not improve. One week after administration of intravenous immunoglobulin, a significant improvement was noted in his muscular weakness. Conclusion A remarkable response to intravenous immunoglobulin is compatible with an immunological basis for the present condition (post-transplant polyneuropathy. In cases of post-transplant polyneuropathy with a high clinical suspicion of immunological origin, administration of intravenous immunoglobulin may be recommended.
Quintana, Elsa; Hernández, Carlos; Alvarez-Barrientos, Alberto; Esplugues, Juan V; Barrachina, María D
We have investigated the mechanisms underlying acute changes in gastric motor function triggered by endotoxemia. In fundal strips from rats pre-treated with endotoxin (40 microg/kg, i.p. 30 min), mechanical activity was analyzed and the source of nitric oxide (NO) was visualized by confocal microscopy of tissue loaded with the fluorescent dye DAF-FM. NOS expression was determined by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot, and enzyme activity by the citrulline assay. Strips from endotoxin-treated rats were hypo-contractile. This was prevented by pre-incubation with the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin, the gangliar blocker hexamethonium, or non-selective and neuronal-specific NOS inhibitors (L-NOARG and TRIM, respectively). The soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) inhibitor ODQ and the inhibitor of small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels apamin prevented relaxation induced by endotoxin, nicotine, exogenous NO (DETA-NONOate), and the NO-independent sGC activator BAY 41-2272. NO synthesis was observed in neuronal soma, axons, and nerve endings of the myenteric plexus in the fundus of endotoxin-treated rats and was prevented by L-NAME, tetrodotoxin, and hexamethonium. nNOS and iNOS mRNA and protein contents were unchanged. Our findings demonstrate synthesis of NO in post-ganglionic myenteric neurons during early endotoxemia that mediates gastric hypo-contractility. The effect of NO is mediated via sGC and small conductance Ca2+-activated K+channels.
Moore, Alan; Young, Carolyn A; Hughes, Dyfrig A
Motor neurone disease (MND) is a devastating condition which greatly diminishes patients' quality of life and limits life expectancy. Health technology appraisals of future interventions in MND need robust data on costs and utilities. Existing economic evaluations have been noted to be limited and fraught with challenges. The aim of this study was to identify and critique methodological aspects of all published economic evaluations, cost studies, and utility studies in MND. We systematically reviewed all relevant published studies in English from 1946 until January 2016, searching the databases of Medline, EMBASE, Econlit, NHS Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED) and the Health Economics Evaluation Database (HEED). Key data were extracted and synthesised narratively. A total of 1830 articles were identified, of which 15 economic evaluations, 23 cost and 3 utility studies were included. Most economic studies focused on riluzole (n = 9). Six studies modelled the progressive decline in motor function using a Markov design but did not include mutually exclusive health states. Cost estimates for a number of evaluations were based on expert opinion and were hampered by high variability and location-specific characteristics. Few cost studies reported disease-stage-specific costs (n = 3) or fully captured indirect costs. Utilities in three studies of MND patients used the EuroQol EQ-5D questionnaire or standard gamble, but included potentially unrepresentative cohorts and did not consider any health impacts on caregivers. Economic evaluations in MND suffer from significant methodological issues such as a lack of data, uncertainty with the disease course and use of inappropriate modelling framework. Limitations may be addressed through the collection of detailed and representative data from large cohorts of patients.
Donaghy, Colette; Pinnock, Ralph; Abrahams, Sharon; Cardwell, Chris; Hardiman, Orla; Patterson, Victor; McGivern, R Canice; Gibson, J Mark
Historical studies of eye movements in motor neurone disease (MND) have been conflicting although current findings suggest that eye movement abnormalities relate to frontal lobe impairment. Numerous case reports, however, describe slow saccades and supranuclear gaze palsies in patients with MND often associated with bulbar-onset disease. We performed a study of saccades and smooth pursuit in a large group of patients with MND to examine for any differences between bulbar-onset and spinal-onset patients. Forty-four patients (14 bulbar-onset and 30 spinal-onset patients) and 45 controls were recruited. Reflexive saccades, antisaccades and smooth pursuit were examined using infra-red oculography and all subjects then underwent neuropsychological evaluation. Reflexive saccades were found to be slower in bulbar-onset compared to spinal-onset patients and controls (p = 0.03, p = 0.05). Antisaccade latency (p = 0.01) and antisaccade type 1 errors (p = 0.03, p = 0.04) were increased in patients compared to controls. 'Proportion of time spent in smooth pursuit' and smooth pursuit 'velocity gain' were reduced in patients compared to controls (p = 0.000, p = 0.001). Antisaccade errors and velocity gain correlated with neuropsychological measures sensitive to lesions of the frontal lobes. This is the first study to highlight the presence of slow saccades in bulbar-onset MND. These findings suggest that slow saccades may be due to increased brainstem pathology in bulbar-onset disease that involves burst cell neurons. Furthermore these observations highlight the potential for overlap between bulbar-onset MND and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) as both can have a bulbar palsy and slowed saccades.
Manfred J Oswald
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.
Arnold, Eveline S; Ling, Shuo-Chien; Huelga, Stephanie C; Lagier-Tourenne, Clotilde; Polymenidou, Magdalini; Ditsworth, Dara; Kordasiewicz, Holly B; McAlonis-Downes, Melissa; Platoshyn, Oleksandr; Parone, Philippe A; Da Cruz, Sandrine; Clutario, Kevin M; Swing, Debbie; Tessarollo, Lino; Marsala, Martin; Shaw, Christopher E; Yeo, Gene W; Cleveland, Don W
Transactivating response region DNA binding protein (TDP-43) is the major protein component of ubiquitinated inclusions found in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with ubiquitinated inclusions. Two ALS-causing mutants (TDP-43(Q331K) and TDP-43(M337V)), but not wild-type human TDP-43, are shown here to provoke age-dependent, mutant-dependent, progressive motor axon degeneration and motor neuron death when expressed in mice at levels and in a cell type-selective pattern similar to endogenous TDP-43. Mutant TDP-43-dependent degeneration of lower motor neurons occurs without: (i) loss of TDP-43 from the corresponding nuclei, (ii) accumulation of TDP-43 aggregates, and (iii) accumulation of insoluble TDP-43. Computational analysis using splicing-sensitive microarrays demonstrates alterations of endogenous TDP-43-dependent alternative splicing events conferred by both human wild-type and mutant TDP-43(Q331K), but with high levels of mutant TDP-43 preferentially enhancing exon exclusion of some target pre-mRNAs affecting genes involved in neurological transmission and function. Comparison with splicing alterations following TDP-43 depletion demonstrates that TDP-43(Q331K) enhances normal TDP-43 splicing function for some RNA targets but loss-of-function for others. Thus, adult-onset motor neuron disease does not require aggregation or loss of nuclear TDP-43, with ALS-linked mutants producing loss and gain of splicing function of selected RNA targets at an early disease stage.
Klistorner, Alexander; Sriram, Prima; Vootakuru, Nikitha; Wang, Chenyu; Barnett, Michael H; Garrick, Raymond; Parratt, John; Levin, Netta; Raz, Noa; Van der Walt, Anneke; Masters, Lynette; Graham, Stuart L; Yiannikas, Con
To investigate the potential links between thinning of retinal ganglion cell axons in eyes of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) without past optic neuritis (ON) and MS-related inflammatory damage of the posterior visual pathway. Temporal retinal nerve fiber layer (tRNFL) thickness was analyzed in eyes with no history of ON (NON) from 53 patients with relapsing-remitting MS. Fifty normal age- and sex-matched controls were examined with optical coherence tomography. Low-contrast visual acuity charts were used for functional assessment of vision. The optic tract (OT) and optic radiation (OR) were identified using probabilistic tractography, and volume of T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery lesions and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) indices were measured within both structures. Cross-sectional diameter of the OT was also calculated. tRNFL thickness was significantly reduced in NON eyes and was associated with reduced low-contrast visual acuity. Lesions within the OR were detected in the majority of patients. There was a significant correlation between thinning of the tRNFL and OR lesion volume (adjusted for non-OR lesion volume, age, sex, and disease duration). tRNFL thickness also correlated with OR DTI indices. No OT lesions were identified in any of the patients and no relationship between retinal nerve fiber layer loss and potential markers of OT lesions was found. The results demonstrate a strong tract-specific association between loss of tRNFL fibers and MS-related inflammation within OR. © 2014 American Academy of Neurology.
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.
Full Text Available David J Oliver 1Wisdom Hospice, Rochester, 2University of Kent, Canterbury, UK Abstract: Motor neurone disease is a progressive disease, and the patient and his/her family face many challenges during the disease progression, with increasing weakness and multiple losses of function. The provision of care for these patients and their families is equally challenging, anticipating and responding to the person's needs. There are increasing challenges as more is understood about the disease and its management, including the genetic basis, cognitive change, the use of interventions such as ventilatory support, and gastrostomy. There is also an increasing need to ensure that the later stages are recognized so that all can be more prepared for the end of life, including recognition of deterioration and end of life, advance care planning, symptom management and psychosocial care at the end of life, and coping with requests for assisted dying. Careful assessment and good multidisciplinary team (MDT work can enable patients and their families to have as good a quality of life as possible, and allow a peaceful death of the patient. Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, end of life care, cognitive change, noninvasive ventilation, gastrostomy, advance care planning
This article presents the findings from a study trip to Kaiser Permanente (KP), a private healthcare provider in the USA. The aim of the trip was to understand how healthcare integration is managed in KP and how this might help patients in the UK with motor neurone disease (MND). This article makes reference to the American and British healthcare systems, identifying the simple differences between health economies, and their impact on health care, with specific reference to MND. The trip was undertaken as part of the author's ongoing work on how patients with MND rate services delivered by the multidisciplinary team (MDT) in the UK. The author's community matron role involves caring for patients with long-term conditions (LTCs) including long-term neurological conditions (LTNCs). In executing this role and in service delivery to patients with LTNCs, specifically MND, the author noticed a lack of robust integration, highlighting the need to consider and address the various contributory factors. This article presents a literature review and analyses the role of the MDT including specialist neurological professionals in executing duties and in delivering healthcare services to patients diagnosed with MND. The implications for practice are also presented along with areas for practice development.
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.
Henrich-Noack, Petra; Lazik, Stefanie; Sergeeva, Elena; Wagner, Sebastian; Voigt, Nadine; Prilloff, Sylvia; Fedorov, Anton; Sabel, Bernhard A
Transcorneal alternating current stimulation (tACS) was proposed to decrease acute death of retinal ganglion cells after optic nerve transection in rats, but it is not known if cell survival is long-term and associated with functional restoration. We therefore evaluated the effects of tACS in a rat model of optic nerve crush using anatomical, electrophysiological and behavioural measures. Rats were trained in a brightness discrimination visual task and the retinal ganglion cell number was quantified with in vivo confocal neuroimaging. Thereafter, severe optic nerve crush or sham crush was performed and rats were treated under anaesthesia either with tACS or sham stimulation immediately after the lesion and on day 3, 7, 11, 15, 19 and 23. Brightness discrimination was evaluated for 6 weeks and retinal ganglion cells were counted in vivo on post-crush days 7 and 28. In additional rats we studied the influence of tACS on bioelectrical activity. On post-lesion day 28, the tACS-treated group showed a neuronal survival of 28.2% which was significantly greater than in sham operates (8.6%). All animals with optic nerve crush were significantly impaired in brightness discrimination and did not recover performance, irrespective to which group they belonged. In accordance with this, there was no significant influence of the stimulation on EEG power spectra. In conclusion, tACS induced long-term neuronal protection from delayed retrograde cell death, but in this case of severe axonal damage tACS did not influence functional restoration and EEG signals recorded over the visual cortex.
Several consistent and compelling experimental findings suggest that in primates the observation of actions or movements activates the observer's motor cortex (for a recent and very thorough review see ). One important piece of evidence was the discovery of mirror neurons, that are neurons in the macaque ventral pre-motor (area F5), motor and parietal cortices (area PFG) that respond both when the monkey executes a goal-directed motor act (e.g. breaking a peanut) or when it sees a similar action executed by others [2-5]. A similar system has been later reported also in humans ([6-8] but see also [9,10] for negative results).
Engel, Gregory L; Rand, Matthew D
Methylmercury (MeHg) is a ubiquitous environmental toxin that has a selective and potent impact on the nervous system, particularly during neural development yet, the mechanisms for its apparent neurodevelopmental specificity are unknown. The Notch receptor pathway has been implicated as a MeHg target in several studies. Notch signaling mediates cell-cell signals in a number of developmental contexts including neurogenesis and myogenesis, where it fundamentally acts to repress differentiation. Previous work in our lab has shown that MeHg causes preferential upregulation of a canonical Notch response gene, E(spl)mδ, in Drosophila embryos. In parallel, MeHg is seen to disrupt outgrowth of embryonic intersegmental motor nerves (ISN), which can be mimicked by expression of activated Notch in embryonic neurons. However, overexpression of E(spl)mδ in developing neurons fails to elicit motor neuron outgrowth defects, pointing to a non-autonomous role for E(spl)mδ in motor axon development. In this study we investigate a role for E(spl)mδ in conveying the toxicity of MeHg in the embryo. We find that endogenous expression of the E(spl)mδ gene