WorldWideScience

Sample records for motor neuron death

  1. Axonal Dysfunction Precedes Motor Neuronal Death in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

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    Yuta Iwai

    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.

  2. Protective effect of parvalbumin on excitotoxic motor neuron death

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  3. Motor neuron death in ALS – programmed by astrocytes?

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    Pirooznia, Sheila K.; Dawson, Valina L.; Dawson, Ted M.

    2014-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

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

    2017-08-16

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

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

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

    2010-08-27

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

  7. Huperzine A provides neuroprotection against several cell death inducers using in vitro model systems of motor neuron cell death.

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    Hemendinger, Richelle A; Armstrong, Edward J; Persinski, Rafal; Todd, Julianne; Mougeot, Jean-Luc; Volvovitz, Franklin; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey

    2008-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease resulting from the progressive loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. To date, clinically effective neuroprotective agents have not been available. The current study demonstrates for the first time that huperzine A, a potential neuroprotective agent, has the ability to protect a motor neuron-like cell line and motor neurons in spinal cord organotypic cultures from toxin-induced cell death. The neuroblastoma-spinal motor neuron fusion cell line, NSC34 and rat spinal cord organotypic cultures (OTC) were exposed to cell death inducers for 24 h or 14 d, respectively, with and without pre-treatment with huperzine A. The inducers used here include: staurosporine, thapsigargin, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone (CCCP) and L-(-)-threo-3-hydroxyaspartic acid (THA). These agents were selected as they induce apoptosis/necrosis via mechanisms implicated in patients with generalized motor neuron disease. Cell death was determined in NSC34 cells by metabolic activity, caspase activity/expression and by nuclear morphology and in the OTCs, using immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. Nuclear staining of NSC34 cells revealed cell death induced by staurosporine, thapsigargin, H2O2 and CCCP. This induction was significantly reduced with 2 h pre-treatment with 10 microM huperzine A (maximum, 35% rescue; p 0.05) following exposure to staurosporine, thapsigargin and H2O2 but not with CCCP. These data were supported by the metabolic assays and caspase activity. In addition, pre-treatment with huperzine A dramatically improved motor neuron survival, based on choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) expression analysis in OTCs following exposure to THA, and compared to THA-treated control cultures. These studies are currently being extended to include other inducers and with additional compounds as potential drug therapies that could be used in combination for the treatment of

  8. Deletion of Nampt in Projection Neurons of Adult Mice Leads to Motor Dysfunction, Neurodegeneration, and Death

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    Xiaowan Wang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Intracellular nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (iNAMPT is the rate-limiting enzyme of the mammalian NAD+ biosynthesis salvage pathway. Using inducible and conditional knockout (cKO mice, we show that Nampt gene deletion in adult projection neurons leads to a progressive loss of body weight, hypothermia, motor neuron (MN degeneration, motor function deficits, paralysis, and death. Nampt deletion causes mitochondrial dysfunction, muscle fiber type conversion, and atrophy, as well as defective synaptic function at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs. When treated with nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN, Nampt cKO mice exhibit reduced motor function deficits and prolonged lifespan. iNAMPT protein levels are significantly reduced in the spinal cord of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS patients, indicating the involvement of NAMPT in ALS pathology. Our findings reveal that neuronal NAMPT plays an essential role in mitochondrial bioenergetics, motor function, and survival. Our study suggests that the NAMPT-mediated NAD+ biosynthesis pathway is a potential therapeutic target for degenerative MN diseases.

  9. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons translate synaptic input from widely distributed premotor networks into patterns of action potentials that orchestrate motor unit force and motor behavior. Intercalated between the CNS and muscles, motor neurons add to and adjust the final motor command. The identity and functional...... 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....

  10. The primary locus of motor neuron death in an ALS–PDC mouse model

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    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...

  11. Inhibition of apoptosis blocks human motor neuron cell death in a stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

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    Dhruv Sareen

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is a genetic disorder caused by a deletion of the survival motor neuron 1 gene leading to motor neuron loss, muscle atrophy, paralysis, and death. We show here that induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC lines generated from two Type I SMA subjects-one produced with lentiviral constructs and the second using a virus-free plasmid-based approach-recapitulate the disease phenotype and generate significantly fewer motor neurons at later developmental time periods in culture compared to two separate control subject iPSC lines. During motor neuron development, both SMA lines showed an increase in Fas ligand-mediated apoptosis and increased caspase-8 and-3 activation. Importantly, this could be mitigated by addition of either a Fas blocking antibody or a caspase-3 inhibitor. Together, these data further validate this human stem cell model of SMA, suggesting that specific inhibitors of apoptotic pathways may be beneficial for patients.

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

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    Dahlke, Carolin; Saberi, Darius; Ott, Bastian

    2015-01-01

    be an important contributing factor of motor neuron degeneration. This would appear to be confirmed by the fact that there was no conspicuous increase of microglial cells and astrocytes in the motor cortex of control mice at any time. Conclusions Activated microglial cells secrete a variety of pro...

  13. Underediting of GluR2 mRNA, a neuronal death inducing molecular change in sporadic ALS, does not occur in motor neurons in ALS1 or SBMA.

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    Kawahara, Yukio; Sun, Hui; Ito, Kyoko; Hideyama, Takuto; Aoki, Masashi; Sobue, Gen; Tsuji, Shoji; Kwak, Shin

    2006-01-01

    Deficient RNA editing of the AMPA receptor subunit GluR2 at the Q/R site is a primary cause of neuronal death and recently has been reported to be a tightly linked etiological cause of motor neuron death in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We quantified the RNA editing efficiency of the GluR2 Q/R site in single motor neurons of rats transgenic for mutant human Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) as well as patients with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), and found that GluR2 mRNA was completely edited in all the motor neurons examined. It seems likely that the death cascade is different among the dying motor neurons in sporadic ALS, familial ALS with mutant SOD1 and SBMA.

  14. Microglia induce motor neuron death via the classical NF-κB pathway in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Frakes, Ashley E; Ferraiuolo, Laura; Haidet-Phillips, Amanda M; Schmelzer, Leah; Braun, Lyndsey; Miranda, Carlos J; Ladner, Katherine J; Bevan, Adam K; Foust, Kevin D; Godbout, Jonathan P; Popovich, Phillip G; Guttridge, Denis C; Kaspar, Brian K

    2014-03-05

    Neuroinflammation is one of the most striking hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), a master regulator of inflammation, is upregulated in spinal cords of ALS patients and SOD1-G93A mice. In this study, we show that selective NF-κB inhibition in ALS astrocytes is not sufficient to rescue motor neuron (MN) death. However, the localization of NF-κB activity and subsequent deletion of NF-κB signaling in microglia rescued MNs from microglial-mediated death in vitro and extended survival in ALS mice by impairing proinflammatory microglial activation. Conversely, constitutive activation of NF-κB selectively in wild-type microglia induced gliosis and MN death in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, these data provide a mechanism by which microglia induce MN death in ALS and suggest a novel therapeutic target that can be modulated to slow the progression of ALS and possibly other neurodegenerative diseases by which microglial activation plays a role.

  15. Motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-23

    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.

  16. Human motor neuron progenitor transplantation leads to endogenous neuronal sparing in 3 models of motor neuron loss.

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    Wyatt, Tanya J; Rossi, Sharyn L; Siegenthaler, Monica M; Frame, Jennifer; Robles, Rockelle; Nistor, Gabriel; Keirstead, Hans S

    2011-01-01

    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.

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

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

    2012-06-20

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

  18. Motor neuron disease mortality and lifetime petrol lead exposure: Evidence from national age-specific and state-level age-standardized death rates in Australia.

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    Zahran, Sammy; Laidlaw, Mark A S; Rowe, Dominic B; Ball, Andrew S; Mielke, Howard W

    2017-02-01

    The age standardized death rate from motor neuron disease (MND) for persons 40-84 years of age in the Australian States of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland increased dramatically from 1958 to 2013. Nationally, age-specific MND death rates also increased over this time period, but the rate of the rise varied considerably by age-group. The historic use of lead (Pb) additives in Australian petrol is a candidate explanation for these trends in MND mortality (International Classification of Disease (ICD)-10 G12.2). Leveraging temporal and spatial variation in petrol lead exposure risk resulting from the slow rise and rapid phase-out of lead as a constituent in gasoline in Australia, we analyze relationships between (1) national age-specific MND death rates in Australia and age-specific lifetime petrol lead exposure, (2) annual between-age dispersions in age-specific MND death rates and age-specific lifetime petrol lead exposure; and (3) state-level age-standardized MND death rates as a function of age-weighted lifetime petrol lead exposure. Other things held equal, we find that a one percent increase in lifetime petrol lead exposure increases the MND death rate by about one-third of one percent in both national age-specific and state-level age-standardized models of MND mortality. Lending support to the supposition that lead exposure is a driver of MND mortality risk, we find that the annual between-age group standard deviation in age-specific MND death rates is strongly correlated with the between-age standard deviation in age-specific lifetime petrol lead exposure. Legacy petrol lead emissions are associated with age-specific MND death rates as well as state-level age-standardized MND death rates in Australia. Results indicate that we are approaching peak lead exposure-attributable MND mortality. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Motor neuropathies and lower motor neuron syndromes.

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    Verschueren, A

    2017-05-01

    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.

  20. Pathogenesis of motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xuefei Wang

    2006-01-01

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

  1. Human Motor Neuron Progenitor Transplantation Leads to Endogenous Neuronal Sparing in 3 Models of Motor Neuron Loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanya J. Wyatt

    2011-01-01

    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.

  2. Metalloproteins and neuronal death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, David R

    2010-03-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease that are very common and other diseases that are notorious but occur less often such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In each case a protein is closely linked to the pathology of these diseases. These proteins include alpha-synuclein, the prion protein and Aβ. Despite first being discovered because of aggregates of these amyloidogenic proteins found in the brains of patients, these proteins all exist in the healthy brain where their normal function involves binding of metals. Recognition of these proteins as metalloproteins implies that the diseases they are associated with are possibly diseases with altered metal metabolism at their heart. This review considers the evidence that cell death in these diseases involves not just the aggregated proteins but also the metals they bind.

  3. Ectopic Motor Unit Activity in Motor Neuron Disease : Clinical application of surface EMG methods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    B.T.H.M. Sleutjes (Boudewijn)

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. CDC Vital Signs: Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... government is Tracking the nation’s progress in reducing crash injuries and deaths. www.cdc.gov/psr/national-summary/ ... Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths Vital Signs: Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries Vital Signs: Child Passenger Safety CDC: Child Passenger ...

  5. Motor neurone disease: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Anna

    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.

  6. Cognition and behavior in motor neuron disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaphorst, J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Electrodiagnosis of motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duleep, Anuradha; Shefner, Jeremy

    2013-02-01

    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.

  8. Advances in motor neurone disease.

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    Bäumer, Dirk; Talbot, Kevin; Turner, Martin R

    2014-01-01

    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.

  9. Delayed focal involvement of upper motor neurons in the Madras pattern of motor neuron disease.

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    Massa, R; Scalise, A; Iani, C; Palmieri, M G; Bernardi, G

    1998-12-01

    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.

  10. History of the discovery of neuronal death in embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamburger, V

    1992-11-01

    The German anatomists, M. Ernst and A. Glücksmann, deserve credit for the discovery of widespread cell death in embryonic tissues, including the nervous tissue. In 1934, V. Hamburger described a significant hypoplasia in dorsal root ganglia (DGR) and lateral motor columns, following the extirpation of limb buds in chick embryos. In the early 1940s, Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini in Turin (Italy) repeated the experiment and suggested that the hypoplasia might result from the death of young differentiated neurons. In a joint reinvestigation, published in 1949, large numbers of degenerating neurons were described in brachial DRG, following wing bud extirpations. In the same embryos, Dr. Levi-Montalcini observed massive neuronal death in cervical and thoracic DRG which had not been affected by the operation. This was the discovery of naturally occurring neuronal death. Long after the discovery of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) it was recognized that NGF and natural neuronal death are two sides of the same coin: the latter results from an insufficient supply of the former by the target tissues.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Andrew J; Ebert, Allison D

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Motor neurons and the sense of place.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessell, Thomas M; Sürmeli, Gülşen; Kelly, John S

    2011-11-03

    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.

  13. 运动神经元病%Motor Neuron Disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蒋雨平

    2014-01-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND) represents a group of sporadic or genetic neurodegenerative diseases which principally affect the motor neurons and result in progressive paralysis and death. The epidemiology, genetics, clinical manifestation, diagnostic criteria of MND were reviewed.%运动神经元病是一组散发或遗传的神经变性病。主要累及运动神经元,病程进展而死亡。文中就其临床表现和诊断标准、流行病学和遗传学进行综述。

  14. Muscle-Derived GDNF: A Gene Therapeutic Approach for Preserving Motor Neuron Function in ALS

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    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

  15. Neuroimaging of motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassubek, Jan; Ludolph, Albert C; Müller, Hans-Peter

    2012-03-01

    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.

  16. Spinal muscular atrophy: Factors that modulate motor neurone vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Wen-Yo; Simpson, Julie E; Highley, J Robin; Heath, Paul R

    2017-02-02

    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.

  17. A computational model of motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  20. Atypical motor neuron disease and related motor syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, A; Bradley, W G

    2001-06-01

    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.

  1. Neuronal control of turtle hindlimb motor rhythms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, P S G

    2005-03-01

    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.

  2. Synaptic Circuit Organization of Motor Corticothalamic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamawaki, Naoki

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Suicide in patients with motor neuron disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1994-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess, through an epidemiological study, whether suicide risk is increased in patients with motor neuron disease (MND). The study involved 116 patients with MND. In the study period 92 patients died, 47 males and 45 females. No patients committed suicide...

  4. The Neuronal Network Orchestration behind Motor Behaviors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. TDP-43/FUS in motor neuron disease: Complexity and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Synaptophysin expression in motor neurons of transgenic mice with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Juan Liu; Dawei Zang; Surindar Cheema

    2006-01-01

    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

  9. Transient brain ischemia: NMDA receptor modulation and delayed neuronal death

    OpenAIRE

    Benquet, Pascal; Gee, Christine E.; Gerber, Urs

    2008-01-01

    Transient global ischemia induces delayed neuronal death in certain cell types and brain regions while sparing cells in other areas. A key process through which oxygen-glucose deprivation triggers cell death is the excessive accumulation of the neurotransmitter glutamate leading to over excitation of neurons. In certain neurons this increase in glutamate will potentiate the NMDA type of glutamate receptor, which can then initiate cell death. This review provides an update of the neurophysiolo...

  10. Mimics and chameleons in motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Martin R; Talbot, Kevin

    2013-06-01

    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.

  11. Motor neurone disease presenting as polycythaemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santana-Vaz, Natasha; Bwika, Jumaa; Morley, Kirstie; Mukherjee, Rahul

    2014-04-28

    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.

  12. Respiratory management of motor neurone disease: a review of current practice and new developments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafiq, Muhammad Khizar; Proctor, Alison Ruth; McDermott, Christopher J; Shaw, Pamela J

    2012-06-01

    Motor neurone disease is a neurodegenerative condition with a significant morbidity and shortened life expectancy. Hypoventilatory respiratory failure is the most common cause of death and respiratory function significantly predicts both survival and quality of life in patients with motor neurone disease. Accordingly, supporting and maintaining respiratory function is important in caring for these patients. The most significant advance in motor neurone disease care of recent years has been the domiciliary provision of non-invasive ventilation for treating respiratory failure. Neuromuscular respiratory weakness also leads to ineffective cough and retained airways secretions, predisposing to recurrent chest infections. In this review, we discuss current practice and recent developments in the respiratory management of motor neurone disease, in terms of ventilatory support and cough augmentation.

  13. Astrocytes from familial and sporadic ALS patients are toxic to motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haidet-Phillips, Amanda M; Hester, Mark E; Miranda, Carlos J; Meyer, Kathrin; Braun, Lyndsey; Frakes, Ashley; Song, SungWon; Likhite, Shibi; Murtha, Matthew J; Foust, Kevin D; Rao, Meghan; Eagle, Amy; Kammesheidt, Anja; Christensen, Ashley; Mendell, Jerry R; Burghes, Arthur H M; Kaspar, Brian K

    2011-08-10

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disease, with astrocytes implicated as contributing substantially to motor neuron death in familial (F)ALS. However, the proposed role of astrocytes in the pathology of ALS derives in part from rodent models of FALS based upon dominant mutations within the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene, which account for 90% of ALS patients, remains to be established. Using astrocytes generated from postmortem tissue from both FALS and SALS patients, we show that astrocytes derived from both patient groups are similarly toxic to motor neurons. We also demonstrate that SOD1 is a viable target for SALS, as its knockdown significantly attenuates astrocyte-mediated toxicity toward motor neurons. Our data highlight astrocytes as a non-cell autonomous component in SALS and provide an in vitro model system to investigate common disease mechanisms and evaluate potential therapies for SALS and FALS.

  14. Equine motor neuron disease: report on the first cases in South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogério Martins Amorim

    1996-03-01

    Full Text Available The present paper aims to report cases of equine motor neuron disease in different breeds and ages. The main clinical signs were progressive weight loss, muscle atrophy, generalized weakness, muscle fasciculation and trembling, frequent shifting of support hindlimbs, feet under body, excessive recumbency and death. Clinical diagnosis was confirmed by histopathological studies of the spinal cord, which revealed degeneration and loss of neurons in the ventral horn, particularly cervical and lumbar intumescence. Muscle biopsy revealed neuromuscular disorders with denervation atrophy. The progressive muscle atrophy, weakness and motor neuron degeneration are similar to those in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, as described in human beings.

  15. Oxidative stress induced by cumene hydroperoxide evokes changes in neuronal excitability of rat motor cortex neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardillo-Díaz, R; Carrascal, L; Ayala, A; Nunez-Abades, P

    2015-03-19

    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.

  16. Reorganization of Cajal bodies and nucleolar targeting of coilin in motor neurons of type I spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia, Olga; Bengoechea, Rocío; Palanca, Ana; Arteaga, Rosa; Val-Bernal, J Fernando; Tizzano, Eduardo F; Berciano, María T; Lafarga, Miguel

    2012-05-01

    Type I spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by loss or mutations of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The reduction in SMN protein levels in SMA leads to degeneration and death of motor neurons. In this study, we have analyzed the nuclear reorganization of Cajal bodies, PML bodies and nucleoli in type I SMA motor neurons with homozygous deletion of exons 7 and 8 of the SMN1 gene. Western blot analysis is is revealed a marked reduction of SMN levels compared to the control sample. Using a neuronal dissociation procedure to perform a careful immunocytochemical and quantitative analysis of nuclear bodies, we demonstrated a severe decrease in the mean number of Cajal bodies per neuron and in the proportion of motor neurons containing these structures in type I SMA. Moreover, most Cajal bodies fail to recruit SMN and spliceosomal snRNPs, but contain the proteasome activator PA28, a molecular marker associated with the cellular stress response. Neuronal stress in SMA motor neurons also increases PML body number. The existence of chromatolysis and eccentric nuclei in SMA motor neurons correlates with Cajal body disruption and nucleolar relocalization of coil in, a Cajal body marker. Our results indicate that the Cajal body is a pathophysiological target in type I SMA motor neurons. They also suggest the Cajal body-dependent dysfunction of snRNP biogenesis and, therefore, pre-mRNA splicing in these neurons seems to be an essential component for SMA pathogenesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-22

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

  18. Is spinal muscular atrophy a disease of the motor neurons only: pathogenesis and therapeutic implications?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neurological disease that causes infant mortality; no effective therapies are currently available. SMA is due to homozygous mutations and/or deletions in the survival motor neuron 1 gene and subsequent reduction of the SMN protein, leading to the death of motor neurons. However, there is increasing evidence that in addition to motor neurons, other cell types are contributing to SMA pathology. In this review, we will discuss the involvement of non-motor neuronal cells, located both inside and outside the central nervous system, in disease onset and progression. Even if SMN restoration in motor neurons is needed, it has been shown that optimal phenotypic amelioration in animal models of SMA requires a more widespread SMN correction. It has been demonstrated that non-motor neuronal cells are also involved in disease pathogenesis and could have important therapeutic implications. For these reasons it will be crucial to take this evidence into account for the clinical translation of the novel therapeutic approaches.

  19. Life and death of neurons in the aging brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, J. H.; Hof, P. R.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by extensive neuron death that leads to functional decline, but the neurobiological correlates of functional decline in normal aging are less well defined. For decades, it has been a commonly held notion that widespread neuron death in the neocortex and hippocampus is an inevitable concomitant of brain aging, but recent quantitative studies suggest that neuron death is restricted in normal aging and unlikely to account for age-related impairment of neocortical and hippocampal functions. In this article, the qualitative and quantitative differences between aging and Alzheimer's disease with respect to neuron loss are discussed, and age-related changes in functional and biochemical attributes of hippocampal circuits that might mediate functional decline in the absence of neuron death are explored. When these data are viewed comprehensively, it appears that the primary neurobiological substrates for functional impairment in aging differ in important ways from those in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

  20. Efficient differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chia-Yen; Whye, Dosh; Mason, Robert W; Wang, Wenlan

    2012-06-09

    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. A genetic manipulation of motor neuron excitability does not alter locomotor output in Drosophila larvae

    OpenAIRE

    McKiernan, Erin C.

    2014-01-01

    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...

  4. Motor neurone disease: a practical update on diagnosis and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood-Allum, Clare; Shaw, Pamela J

    2010-06-01

    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.

  5. Apoptotic death of olfactory sensory neurons in the adult rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deckner, M L; Risling, M; Frisén, J

    1997-01-01

    Olfactory sensory neurons only live for about 1 month in most mammals. It is not fully understood whether the short life span of these neurons is due to necrotic death, or if these cells die by apoptosis. One characteristic of cells undergoing apoptotic cell death is internucleosomal DNA-fragmentation. We have used TdT-mediated dUTP-digoxigenin nick end labeling (TUNEL) to detect cells undergoing DNA-fragmentation in situ. In the intact olfactory epithelium of adult rats a subpopulation of basal immature neuronal progenitor cells, as well as mature olfactory sensory neurons, showed DNA-fragmentation. The number of TUNEL-labeled neurons increased dramatically 1.5 days after transection of the fila olfactoria and declined to control levels by Day 4 after the injury. In order to relate DNA-fragmentation to ultrastructural characteristics of apoptosis we modified the TUNEL-labeling protocol to enable studies of TUNEL-labeled cells in the electron microscope. This confirmed that TUNEL-labeled neurons showed morphological characteristics of apoptosis. The data provide evidence for apoptotic death of neurons in the adult mammalian nervous system. The turnover of olfactory sensory neurons is, at least in part, regulated by apoptosis and disruption of the contact with the olfactory bulb results in massive apoptotic death of neurons in the olfactory epithelium.

  6. [Transient brain ischemia: NMDA receptor modulation and delayed neuronal death].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benquet, Pascal; Gee, Christine E; Gerber, Urs

    2008-02-01

    Transient global ischemia induces delayed neuronal death in certain cell types and brain regions while sparing cells in other areas. A key process through which oxygen-glucose deprivation triggers cell death is the excessive accumulation of the neurotransmitter glutamate leading to over excitation of neurons. In certain neurons this increase in glutamate will potentiate the NMDA type of glutamate receptor, which can then initiate cell death. This review provides an update of the neurophysiological, cellular and molecular mechanisms inducing post-ischemic plasticity of NMDA receptors, focusing on the sensitive CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus as compared to the relatively resistant neighboring CA3 neurons. Both a change in the equilibrium between protein tyrosine kinases/phosphatases and an increased density of surface NMDA receptors in response to ischemia may explain the selective vulnerability of specific cell types. Implications for the treatment of stroke and reasons for the failures of human clinical trials utilizing NMDA receptor antagonists are also discussed.

  7. Androgen receptor YAC transgenic mice recapitulate SBMA motor neuronopathy and implicate VEGF164 in the motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sopher, Bryce L; Thomas, Patrick S; LaFevre-Bernt, Michelle A; Holm, Ida E; Wilke, Scott A; Ware, Carol B; Jin, Lee-Way; Libby, Randell T; Ellerby, Lisa M; La Spada, Albert R

    2004-03-04

    X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disorder characterized by lower motor neuron degeneration. SBMA is caused by polyglutamine repeat expansions in the androgen receptor (AR). To determine the basis of AR polyglutamine neurotoxicity, we introduced human AR yeast artificial chromosomes carrying either 20 or 100 CAGs into mouse embryonic stem cells. The AR100 transgenic mice developed a late-onset, gradually progressive neuromuscular phenotype accompanied by motor neuron degeneration, indicating striking recapitulation of the human disease. We then tested the hypothesis that polyglutamine-expanded AR interferes with CREB binding protein (CBP)-mediated transcription of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and observed altered CBP-AR binding and VEGF reduction in AR100 mice. We found that mutant AR-induced death of motor neuron-like cells could be rescued by VEGF. Our results suggest that SBMA motor neuronopathy involves altered expression of VEGF, consistent with a role for VEGF as a neurotrophic/survival factor in motor neuron disease.

  8. Current status of gene therapy for motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xingkai An; Rong Peng; Shanshan Zhao

    2006-01-01

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

  9. [Involvement of proteinases produced by both neurons and microglia in neuronal lesion and death pathways].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, H; Yamamoto, K

    1998-08-01

    Much attention has been paid to proteinases derived from not only neurons but also microglia in relation to neuronal death. There is accumulating evidence that intra- and extracellular proteinases in these cells are part of the basic machinery of neuronal death pathways. Some members of the ced-3/interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme (ICE) (caspase) family of cysteine proteinases have been thought to play a major role in apoptosis of not only non-neuronal cells but also neurons. Calpain has also been demonstrated to be a mediator of the neurodegenerative response. Recent studies have shown that excitotoxic and ischemic neuronal injury could be attenuated by inhibitors of caspases and calpain. Several recent studies have suggested the involvement of endosomal/lysosomal proteinases, including cathepsins B, D and E, in neuronal death induced by excitotoxins and ischemia. Furthermore, it has been reported that the extracellular tissue-type plasminogen activator/plasmin proteolytic cascade is involved in excitotoxic injury of the hippocampal neurons. In addition to such neuronal proteinases, microglial proteinases are believed to be important for the modification of neuronal functions positively or negatively. Cathepsins E and S derived from microglia have been suggested to contribute to neuronal survival through degradation and removal of beta-amyloid, damaged neurons and cellular debris. On the other hand, 6-hydroxydopamine-induced microglial cell death was inhibited by inhibitors of aspartic proteinases and caspases, suggesting the involvement of cathepsins E and D and caspases in microglial cell death. Therefore, identification of which proteinases play a causative role in neuronal death execution and clarification of the regulators and substrates for such proteinases is very important for understanding the molecular basis of the neuronal death pathways and to develop novel neuroprotective agents.

  10. Interleukin-1ß, seizures and neuronal cell death

    OpenAIRE

    Medel-Matus, Jesús S.; Postgrado en Neuroetología, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, México. Centro de Investigaciones Cerebrales, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, México. Químico clínico maestro en Neuroetología.; Cortijo-Palacios, Libia X.; Postgrado en Neuroetología, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, México. química clínica.; Álvarez-Croda, Dulce M.; Postgrado en Neuroetología, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, México. Centro de Investigaciones Cerebrales, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, México. química farmacéutica bióloga.; Martínez-Quiroz, Joel; Facultad de Química Farmacéutica Biológica, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, México. químico farmacéutico biólogo maestro en Ciencias Químico-Biológicas.; López-Meraz, María L.; Centro de Investigaciones Cerebrales, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, México. Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, México. química farmacéutica bióloga doctora en Neurofarmacología y Terapéutica Experimental.

    2014-01-01

    Epilepsy is a neurological disorder affecting almost 1% of the world population. Experimental human and animal studies suggest that inflammation mediators, like cytokines, participate in the physiopathology of epilepsy. Interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) could influence susceptibility for seizures, as well as neuronal death caused by seizures, although some findings are contradictory. This document reviews the current knowledge establishing a connection between IL-1β, seizures and neuronal death. L...

  11. Insm1a Regulates Motor Neuron Development in Zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Gong

    2017-08-01

    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.

  12. Neuronal Death Following Soman Intoxication: Necrosis or Apoptosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-05-01

    progression of apoptotic cell death in the rat piriform cortex after soman intoxication. At various time intervals after seizure onset, animals were...We investigated the temporal progression of apoptotic cell death in the rat piriform cortex after soman intoxication. At various time intervals...and neuronal loss after acute soman exposure included the piriform cortex, hippocampus, septum, entorhinal cortex, dentate gyrus, amygdala, and

  13. A plural role for lipids in motor neuron diseases: energy, signaling and structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florent eSCHMITT

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron diseases (MNDs are characterized by selective death of motor neurons and include mainly adult-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA. Neurodegeneration is not the single pathogenic event occurring during disease progression. There are multiple lines of evidence for the existence of defects in lipid metabolism at peripheral level. For instance, hypermetabolism is well characterized in ALS, and dyslipidemia correlates with better prognosis in patients. Lipid metabolism plays also a role in other MNDs. In SMA, misuse of lipids as energetic nutrients is described in patients and in related animal models. The composition of structural lipids in the central nervous system is modified, with repercussion on membrane fluidity and on cell signaling mediated by bioactive lipids. Here, we review the main epidemiologic and mechanistic findings that link alterations of lipid metabolism and motor neuron degeneration, and we discuss the rationale of targeting these modifications for therapeutic management of MNDs.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Genetics of Pediatric-Onset Motor Neuron and Neuromuscular Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-24

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy; Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease; Muscular Dystrophy; Spinal Muscular Atrophy With Respiratory Distress 1; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Motor Neuron Disease; Neuromuscular Disease; Peroneal Muscular Atrophy; Fragile X Syndrome

  16. Discussing sexuality with patients in a motor neurone disease clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  18. Independent controls for neocortical neuron production and histogenetic cell death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verney, C.; Takahashi, T.; Bhide, P. G.; Nowakowski, R. S.; Caviness, V. S. Jr

    2000-01-01

    We estimated the proportion of cells eliminated by histogenetic cell death during the first 2 postnatal weeks in areas 1, 3 and 40 of the mouse parietal neocortex. For each layer and for the subcortical white matter in each neocortical area, the number of dying cells per mm(2) was calculated and the proportionate cell death for each day of the 2-week interval was estimated. The data show that cell death proceeds essentially uniformly across the neocortical areas and layers and that it does not follow either the spatiotemporal gradient of cell cycle progression in the pseudostratified ventricular epithelium of the cerebral wall, the source of neocortical neurons, or the 'inside-out' neocortical neuronogenetic sequence. Therefore, we infer that the control mechanisms of neocortical histogenetic cell death are independent of mechanisms controlling neuronogenesis or neuronal migration but may be associated with the ingrowth, expansion and a system-wide matching of neuronal connectivity. Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. The Effects of Motor Neurone Disease on Language: Further Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Thomas H.; Hodges, John R.

    2004-01-01

    It might sound surprising that Motor Neurone Disease (MND), regarded still by many as the very example of a neurodegenerative disease affecting selectively the motor system and sparing the sensory functions as well as cognition, can have a significant influence on language. In this article we hope to demonstrate that language dysfunction is not…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  2. A Supranuclear Disorder of Ocular Motility as a Rare Initial Presentation of Motor Neurone Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu-Wai-Man, C; Petheram, K; Davidson, A W; Williams, T; Griffiths, P G

    2011-01-01

    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.

  3. Motor imagery muscle contraction strength influences spinal motor neuron excitability and cardiac sympathetic nerve activity

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    [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...

  4. Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths PSA (:60)

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2016-07-06

    This 60 second public service announcement is based on the July 2016 CDC Vital Signs report. In the U.S., about 90 people die in motor vehicle crashes each day and thousands more are injured, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in direct medical costs each year. Learn what you can do to stay safe.  Created: 7/6/2016 by National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC).   Date Released: 7/6/2016.

  5. Identifying the primary site of pathogenesis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – vulnerability of lower motor neurons to proximal excitotoxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine A. Blizzard

    2015-03-01

    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.

  6. Selective loss of alpha motor neurons with sparing of gamma motor neurons and spinal cord cholinergic neurons in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powis, Rachael A; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2016-03-01

    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.

  7. Proprioceptive coupling within motor neurons drives C. elegans forward locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2012-01-01

    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

  8. Skeletal muscle DNA damage precedes spinal motor neuron DNA damage in a mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayzullina, Saniya; Martin, Lee J

    2014-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis by progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. The mechanisms by which lack of SMN causes SMA pathology are not known, making it very difficult to develop effective therapies. We investigated whether DNA damage is a perinatal pathological event in SMA, and whether DNA damage and cell death first occur in skeletal muscle or spinal cord of SMA mice. We used a mouse model of severe SMA to ascertain the extent of cell death and DNA damage throughout the body of prenatal and newborn mice. SMA mice at birth (postnatal day 0) exhibited internucleosomal fragmentation in genomic DNA from hindlimb skeletal muscle, but not in genomic DNA from spinal cord. SMA mice at postnatal day 5, compared with littermate controls, exhibited increased apoptotic cell death profiles in skeletal muscle, by hematoxylin and eosin, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling, and electron microscopy. SMA mice had no increased cell death, no loss of choline acetyl transferase (ChAT)-positive motor neurons, and no overt pathology in the ventral horn of the spinal cord. At embryonic days 13 and 15.5, SMA mice did not exhibit statistically significant increases in cell death profiles in spinal cord or skeletal muscle. Motor neuron numbers in the ventral horn, as identified by ChAT immunoreactivity, were comparable in SMA mice and control littermates at embryonic day 15.5 and postnatal day 5. These observations demonstrate that in SMA, disease in skeletal muscle emerges before pathology in spinal cord, including loss of motor neurons. Overall, this work identifies DNA damage and cell death in skeletal muscle as therapeutic targets for SMA.

  9. Skeletal muscle DNA damage precedes spinal motor neuron DNA damage in a mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saniya Fayzullina

    Full Text Available Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis by progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. The mechanisms by which lack of SMN causes SMA pathology are not known, making it very difficult to develop effective therapies. We investigated whether DNA damage is a perinatal pathological event in SMA, and whether DNA damage and cell death first occur in skeletal muscle or spinal cord of SMA mice. We used a mouse model of severe SMA to ascertain the extent of cell death and DNA damage throughout the body of prenatal and newborn mice. SMA mice at birth (postnatal day 0 exhibited internucleosomal fragmentation in genomic DNA from hindlimb skeletal muscle, but not in genomic DNA from spinal cord. SMA mice at postnatal day 5, compared with littermate controls, exhibited increased apoptotic cell death profiles in skeletal muscle, by hematoxylin and eosin, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling, and electron microscopy. SMA mice had no increased cell death, no loss of choline acetyl transferase (ChAT-positive motor neurons, and no overt pathology in the ventral horn of the spinal cord. At embryonic days 13 and 15.5, SMA mice did not exhibit statistically significant increases in cell death profiles in spinal cord or skeletal muscle. Motor neuron numbers in the ventral horn, as identified by ChAT immunoreactivity, were comparable in SMA mice and control littermates at embryonic day 15.5 and postnatal day 5. These observations demonstrate that in SMA, disease in skeletal muscle emerges before pathology in spinal cord, including loss of motor neurons. Overall, this work identifies DNA damage and cell death in skeletal muscle as therapeutic targets for SMA.

  10. Calpain-dependent disruption of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport in ALS motor neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Takenari; Aizawa, Hitoshi; Teramoto, Sayaka; Akamatsu, Megumi; Kwak, Shin

    2017-01-01

    Nuclear dysfunction in motor neurons has been hypothesized to be a principal cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathogenesis. Here, we investigated the mechanism by which the nuclear pore complex (NPC) is disrupted in dying motor neurons in a mechanistic ALS mouse model (adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 2 (ADAR2) conditional knockout (AR2) mice) and in ALS patients. We showed that nucleoporins (Nups) that constituted the NPC were cleaved by activated calpain via a Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptor-mediated mechanism in dying motor neurons lacking ADAR2 expression in AR2 mice. In these neurons, nucleo-cytoplasmic transport was disrupted, and the level of the transcript elongation enzyme RNA polymerase II phosphorylated at Ser2 was significantly decreased. Analogous changes were observed in motor neurons lacking ADAR2 immunoreactivity in sporadic ALS patients. Therefore, calpain-dependent NPC disruption may participate in ALS pathogenesis, and inhibiting Ca2+-mediated cell death signals may be a therapeutic strategy for ALS. PMID:28045133

  11. Low-affinity neurotrophin receptor with targeted mutation of exon 3 is capable of mediating the death of axotomized neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Simon S; Bartlett, Perry F; Lopes, Elizabeth C; Coulson, Elizabeth J; Greferath, Una; Cheema, Surindar S

    2003-04-01

    1. In vivo studies have shown that the low-affinity 75 kDa neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) is involved in axotomy-induced cell death of sensory and motor neurons. To further examine the importance of p75NTR in mediating neuronal death in vivo, we examined the effect of axotomy in the p75NTR-knockout mouse, which has a disrupted ligand-binding domain. 2. The extent of sensory and motor neuron loss in the p75NTR-knockout mouse following axotomy was not significantly different to that in wild-type mice. This suggests that disruption of the ligand-binding domain is insufficient to block the cell death process in axotomized neurons. 3. Immunohistochemical studies showed that axotomized neurons continue to express this mutant receptor with its intracellular death-signalling moiety intact. 4. Treatment with antisense oligonucleotides targeted against p75NTR resulted in significant reduction in the loss of axotomized neurons in the knockout mouse. 5. These data suggest that the intracellular domain of p75NTR is essential for death-signalling and that p75NTR can signal apoptosis, despite a disrupted ligand-binding domain.

  12. Survival Motor Neuron Protein Regulates Stem Cell Division, Proliferation, and Differentiation in Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    Stuart J Grice; Ji-Long Liu

    2011-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy is a severe neurogenic disease that is caused by mutations in the human survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. SMN protein is required for the assembly of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins and a dramatic reduction of the protein leads to cell death. It is currently unknown how the reduction of this ubiquitously essential protein can lead to tissue-specific abnormalities. In addition, it is still not known whether the disease is caused by developmental or degenerative defe...

  13. Time and dose dependent effects of oxidative stress induced by cumene hydroperoxide in neuronal excitability of rat motor cortex neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardillo-Díaz, R; Carrascal, L; Muñoz, M F; Ayala, A; Nunez-Abades, P

    2016-03-01

    by their cell capacitance) were also more susceptible to oxidative stress. Our results provide previously unavailable observations that large size and high sensitivity to oxidative stress (even at low concentrations) make pyramidal neurons of the motor cortex, in particular corticofugal neurons, more susceptible to cell death when compared with other neuronal populations. These results could also shed some light on explaining the causes behind diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

  14. FGF-2 induces neuronal death through upregulation of system xc-.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoqian; Albano, Rebecca; Lobner, Doug

    2014-02-14

    The cystine/glutamate antiporter (system xc-) transports cystine into cell in exchange for glutamate. Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) upregulates system xc- selectively on astrocytes, which leads to increased cystine uptake, the substrate for glutathione production, and increased glutamate release. While increased intracellular glutathione can limit oxidative stress, the increased glutamate release can potentially lead to excitotoxicity to neurons. To test this hypothesis, mixed neuronal and glial cortical cultures were treated with FGF-2. Treatment with FGF-2 for 48 h caused a significant neuronal death in these cultures. Cell death was not observed in neuronal-enriched cultures, or astrocyte-enriched cultures, suggesting the toxicity was the result of neuron-glia interaction. Blocking system xc- eliminated the neuronal death as did the AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulfamoyl-benzo[f]quinoxaline-2,3-dione (NBQX), but not the NMDA receptor antagonist memantine. When cultures were exposed directly to glutamate, both NBQX and memantine blocked the neuronal toxicity. The mechanism of this altered profile of glutamate receptor mediated toxicity by FGF-2 is unclear. The selective calcium permeable AMPA receptor antagonist 1-naphthyl acetyl spermine (NASPM) failed to offer protection. The most likely explanation for the results is that 48 h FGF-2 treatment induces AMPA/kainate receptor toxicity through increased system xc- function resulting in increased release of glutamate. At the same time, FGF-2 alters the sensitivity of the neurons to glutamate toxicity in a manner that promotes selective AMPA/kainate receptor mediated toxicity.

  15. Palliative care for patients with motor neurone disease: current challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver DJ

    2016-05-01

    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

  16. Improvement of neuromuscular synaptic phenotypes without enhanced survival and motor function in severe spinal muscular atrophy mice selectively rescued in motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximena Paez-Colasante

    Full Text Available In the inherited childhood neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, lower motor neuron death and severe muscle weakness result from the reduction of the ubiquitously expressed protein survival of motor neuron (SMN. Although SMA mice recapitulate many features of the human disease, it has remained unclear if their short lifespan and motor weakness are primarily due to cell-autonomous defects in motor neurons. Using Hb9(Cre as a driver, we selectively raised SMN expression in motor neurons in conditional SMAΔ7 mice. Unlike a previous study that used choline acetyltransferase (ChAT(Cre+ as a driver on the same mice, and another report that used Hb9(Cre as a driver on a different line of conditional SMA mice, we found no improvement in survival, weight, motor behavior and presynaptic neurofilament accumulation. However, like in ChAT(Cre+ mice, we detected rescue of endplate size and mitigation of neuromuscular junction (NMJ denervation status. The rescue of endplate size occurred in the absence of an increase in myofiber size, suggesting endplate size is determined by the motor neuron in these animals. Real time-PCR showed that the expression of spinal cord SMN transcript was sharply reduced in Hb9(Cre+ SMA mice relative to ChAT(Cre+ SMA mice. This suggests that our lack of overall phenotypic improvement is most likely due to an unexpectedly poor recombination efficiency driven by Hb9(Cre . Nonetheless, the low levels of SMN were sufficient to rescue two NMJ structural parameters indicating that these motor neuron cell autonomous phenotypes are very sensitive to changes in motoneuronal SMN levels. Our results directly suggest that even those therapeutic interventions with very modest effects in raising SMN in motor neurons may provide mitigation of neuromuscular phenotypes in SMA patients.

  17. Maturation of spinal motor neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomonori Takazawa

    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.

  18. Prevention of hypoglycemia-induced neuronal death by minocycline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Seok Joon; Kim, Jin Hee; Yoo, Byung Hoon; Sohn, Min; Kauppinen, Tiina M; Park, Man-Seong; Kwon, Hyung-Joo; Liu, Jialing; Suh, Sang Won

    2012-09-22

    Diabetic patients who attempt strict management of blood glucose levels frequently experience hypoglycemia. Severe and prolonged hypoglycemia causes neuronal death and cognitive impairment. There is no effective tool for prevention of these unwanted clinical sequelae. Minocycline, a second-generation tetracycline derivative, has been recognized as an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective agent in several animal models such as stroke and traumatic brain injury. In the present study, we tested whether minocycline also has protective effects on hypoglycemia-induced neuronal death and cognitive impairment. To test our hypothesis we used an animal model of insulin-induced acute hypoglycemia. Minocycline was injected intraperitoneally at 6 hours after hypoglycemia/glucose reperfusion and injected once per day for the following 1 week. Histological evaluation for neuronal death and microglial activation was performed from 1 day to 1 week after hypoglycemia. Cognitive evaluation was conducted 6 weeks after hypoglycemia. Microglial activation began to be evident in the hippocampal area at 1 day after hypoglycemia and persisted for 1 week. Minocycline injection significantly reduced hypoglycemia-induced microglial activation and myeloperoxidase (MPO) immunoreactivity. Neuronal death was significantly reduced by minocycline treatment when evaluated at 1 week after hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia-induced cognitive impairment is also significantly prevented by the same minocycline regimen when subjects were evaluated at 6 weeks after hypoglycemia. Therefore, these results suggest that delayed treatment (6 hours post-insult) with minocycline protects against microglial activation, neuronal death and cognitive impairment caused by severe hypoglycemia. The present study suggests that minocycline has therapeutic potential to prevent hypoglycemia-induced brain injury in diabetic patients.

  19. Prevention of hypoglycemia-induced neuronal death by minocycline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Won Seok

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Diabetic patients who attempt strict management of blood glucose levels frequently experience hypoglycemia. Severe and prolonged hypoglycemia causes neuronal death and cognitive impairment. There is no effective tool for prevention of these unwanted clinical sequelae. Minocycline, a second-generation tetracycline derivative, has been recognized as an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective agent in several animal models such as stroke and traumatic brain injury. In the present study, we tested whether minocycline also has protective effects on hypoglycemia-induced neuronal death and cognitive impairment. To test our hypothesis we used an animal model of insulin-induced acute hypoglycemia. Minocycline was injected intraperitoneally at 6 hours after hypoglycemia/glucose reperfusion and injected once per day for the following 1 week. Histological evaluation for neuronal death and microglial activation was performed from 1 day to 1 week after hypoglycemia. Cognitive evaluation was conducted 6 weeks after hypoglycemia. Microglial activation began to be evident in the hippocampal area at 1 day after hypoglycemia and persisted for 1 week. Minocycline injection significantly reduced hypoglycemia-induced microglial activation and myeloperoxidase (MPO immunoreactivity. Neuronal death was significantly reduced by minocycline treatment when evaluated at 1 week after hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia-induced cognitive impairment is also significantly prevented by the same minocycline regimen when subjects were evaluated at 6 weeks after hypoglycemia. Therefore, these results suggest that delayed treatment (6 hours post-insult with minocycline protects against microglial activation, neuronal death and cognitive impairment caused by severe hypoglycemia. The present study suggests that minocycline has therapeutic potential to prevent hypoglycemia-induced brain injury in diabetic patients.

  20. Delayed neuronal recovery and neuronal death in rat hippocampus following severe cerebral ischemia: possible relationship to abnormalities in neuronal processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petito, C K; Pulsinelli, W A

    1984-06-01

    Mechanisms involved in the postischemic delay in neuronal recovery or death in rat hippocampus were evaluated by light and electron microscopy at 3, 15, 30, and 120 min and 24, 36, 48, and 72 h following severe cerebral ischemia that was produced by permanent occlusion of the vertebral arteries and 30-min occlusion of the common carotid arteries. During the early postischemic period, neurons in the Ca1 and Ca3 regions both showed transient mitochondrial swelling followed by the disaggregation of polyribosomes, decrease in rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), loss of Golgi apparatus (GA) cisterns, and decrease in GA vesicles . Recovery of these organelles in Ca3 neurons was first noted between 24 and 36 h and was accompanied by a marked proliferation of smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER). Many Ca1 neurons initially recovered between 24 and 36 h, but subsequent cell death at 48-72 h was often preceded by peripheral chromatolysis, constriction and shrinkage of the proximal dendrites, and cytoplasmic dilatation that was continuous with focal expansion of RER cisterns. Because SER accumulates in resistant Ca3 neurons and proximal neuronal processes are damaged in vulnerable Ca1 neurons, we hypothesize that delayed cell recovery or death in vulnerable and resistant postischemic hippocampal neurons is related to abnormalities in neuronal processes.

  1. Glutathione monoethyl ester prevents TDP-43 pathology in motor neuronal NSC-34 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tong; Turner, Bradley J; Beart, Philip M; Sheehan-Hennessy, Lucy; Elekwachi, Chinasom; Muyderman, Hakan

    2017-08-14

    Oxidative stress is recognised as central in a range of neurological diseases including Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease characterised by fast progressing death of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Cellular pathology includes cytosolic protein aggregates in motor neurons and glia of which potentially cytotoxic hyper-phosphorylated fragments of the Transactive response DNA Binding Protein 43 kDa (TDP-43) constitute a major component. This is closely associated with an additional loss of nuclear TDP-43 expression indicating a "loss of function" mechanism, accelerating motor neuron (MN) loss. Furthermore, mutations in TDP-43 cause familial ALS and ALS-like disease in animal models. In this study, we investigated the role of glutathione (GSH) in modulating oxidative stress responses in TDP-43 pathology in motor neuron NSC-34 cells. Results demonstrate that depletion of GSH produces pathology similar to that of mutant TDP-43, including occurrence of cytosolic aggregates, TDP-43 phosphorylation and nuclear clearing of endogenous TDP-43. We also demonstrate that introduction of mutant TDP-43(A315T) and silencing of endogenous TDP-43, but not overexpression of wild-type TDP-43, result in similar pathology, including depletion of intracellular GSH, possibly resulting from a decreased expression of a regulatory subunit of ɣ-glutamylcysteine ligase (GCLM), a rate limiting enzyme in GSH synthesis. Importantly, treatment of mutant cells with GSH monoethyl ester (GSHe) that directly increases intracellular GSH and bypasses the need for GSH synthesis, protected against mutant-induced TDP-43 pathology, including reducing aggregate formation, nuclear clearance, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and cell death. Our data strongly suggest that oxidative stress is central to TDP-43 pathology and may result from a loss of function affecting GSH synthesis and that treatments directly aimed at restoring cellular GSH content may be beneficial in preventing

  2. A gene expression fingerprint of C. elegans embryonic motor neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dupuy Denis

    2005-03-01

    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

  3. Neuronal communication through coherence in the human motor system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoffelen, J.M.

    2007-01-01

    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

  4. associated neuron disease carCInoma Motor with

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1983-02-19

    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.

  5. Age-related motor neuron degeneration in DNA repair-deficient Ercc1 mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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)

    2010-01-01

    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

  6. Statins induce differentiation and cell death in neurons and astroglia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    März, Pia; Otten, Uwe; Miserez, André R

    2007-01-01

    Statins are potent inhibitors of the hydroxy-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, the rate limiting enzyme for cholesterol biosynthesis. Experimental and clinical studies with statins suggest that they have beneficial effects on neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, it was of interest to characterize the direct effects of statins on CNS neurons and glial cells. We have treated defined cultures of neurons and astrocytes of newborn rats with two lipophilic statins, atorvastatin and simvastatin, and analyzed their effects on morphology and survival. Treatment of astrocytes with statins induced a time- and dose-dependent stellation, followed by apoptosis. Similarly, statins elicited programmed cell death of cerebellar granule neurons but with a higher sensitivity. Analysis of different signaling cascades revealed that statins fail to influence classical pathways such as Akt or MAP kinases, known to be activated in CNS cells. In addition, astrocyte stellation triggered by statins resembled dibutryl-cyclic AMP (db-cAMP) induced morphological differentiation. However, in contrast to db-cAMP, statins induced upregulation of low-density lipoprotein receptors, without affecting GFAP expression, indicating separate underlying mechanisms. Analysis of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway revealed that lack of mevalonate and of its downstream metabolites, mainly geranylgeranyl-pyrophosphate (GGPP), is responsible for the statin-induced apoptosis of neurons and astrocytes. Moreover, astrocytic stellation triggered by statins was inhibited by mevalonate and GGPP. Interestingly, neuronal cell death was significantly reduced in astrocyte/neuron co-cultures treated with statins. We postulate that under these conditions signals provided by astrocytes, e.g., isoprenoids play a key role in neuronal survival.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kay Denis G

    2009-10-01

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

  8. EMG analysis in 78 cases with motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhang Qiubin

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Spasticity: the misunderstood part of the upper motor neuron syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanhoe, Cindy B; Reistetter, Timothy A

    2004-10-01

    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.

  10. Intermittent hypoxia can aggravate motor neuronal loss and cognitive dysfunction in ALS mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Min Kim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Patients with ALS may be exposed to variable degrees of chronic intermittent hypoxia. However, all previous experimental studies on the effects of hypoxia in ALS have only used a sustained hypoxia model and it is possible that chronic intermittent hypoxia exerts effects via a different molecular mechanism from that of sustained hypoxia. No study has yet shown that hypoxia (either chronic intermittent or sustained can affect the loss of motor neurons or cognitive function in an in vivo model of ALS. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of chronic intermittent hypoxia on motor and cognitive function in ALS mice. METHODS: Sixteen ALS mice and 16 wild-type mice were divided into 2 groups and subjected to either chronic intermittent hypoxia or normoxia for 2 weeks. The effects of chronic intermittent hypoxia on ALS mice were evaluated using the rotarod, Y-maze, and wire-hanging tests. In addition, numbers of motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord were counted and western blot analyses were performed for markers of oxidative stress and inflammatory pathway activation. RESULTS: Compared to ALS mice kept in normoxic conditions, ALS mice that experienced chronic intermittent hypoxia had poorer motor learning on the rotarod test, poorer spatial memory on the Y-maze test, shorter wire hanging time, and fewer motor neurons in the ventral spinal cord. Compared to ALS-normoxic and wild-type mice, ALS mice that experienced chronic intermittent hypoxia had higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic intermittent hypoxia can aggravate motor neuronal death, neuromuscular weakness, and probably cognitive dysfunction in ALS mice. The generation of oxidative stress with activation of inflammatory pathways may be associated with this mechanism. Our study will provide insight into the association of hypoxia with disease progression, and in turn, the rationale for an early non-invasive ventilation treatment in

  11. Neurons in Primary Motor Cortex Engaged During Action Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dushanova, Juliana; Donoghue, John

    2010-01-01

    Neurons in higher cortical areas appear to become active during action observation, either by mirroring observed actions (termed mirror neurons) or by eliciting mental rehearsal of observed motor acts. We report the existence of neurons in 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

  12. Acid-induced death in neurons and glia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nedergaard, M; Goldman, S A; Desai, S; Pulsinelli, W A

    1991-08-01

    Lactic acidosis has been proposed to be one factor promoting cell death following cerebral ischemia. We have previously demonstrated that cultured neurons and glial are killed by relatively brief (10 min) exposure to acidic solutions of pH less than 5 (Goldman et al., 1989). In the present series of experiments, we investigated the relationship between changes in intracellular pH (pHi) and cellular viability. pHi was measured using fluorescent pH probes and was manipulated by changing extracellular pH (pHe). Homeostatic mechanisms regulating pHi in neurons and glia were quickly overwhelmed: neither neurons nor glial cells were able to maintain baseline pHi when incubated at pHe below 6.8. Neuronal and glial death was a function of both the degree and the duration of intracellular acidification, such that the LD50 following timed exposure to HCl increased from pH, 3.5 for 10-min acid incubations to pHi 5.9 for 2-hr exposures and pHi 6.5 for 6-hr exposures. Replacement of HCl with lactic acid raised the LD50 to pHi 4.5 for 10-min acid exposures, but did not change the LD50 for longer exposures: pHi measurements concurrent with extracellular acidification suggested that the greater cytotoxicity of lactic acid relative to that of HCl was caused by the more rapid intracellular acidification associated with lactic acid. The onset of death after exposure to moderately acidic solutions was delayed in some cells, such that death of the entire cell population became evident only 48 hr after acid exposure. During this latency period, cellular viability indices and ATP levels fell in parallel.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  13. Endosomal accumulation of APP in wobbler motor neurons reflects impaired vesicle trafficking: Implications for human motor neuron disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troakes Claire

    2011-03-01

    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.

  14. Direct and crossed effects of somatosensory electrical stimulation on motor learning and neuronal plasticity in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldman, M. P.; Zijdewind, I.; Solnik, S.; Maffiuletti, N. A.; Berghuis, K. M. M.; Javet, M.; Negyesi, J.; Hortobagyi, T.

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Identification of motor neurons and a mechanosensitive sensory neuron in the defecation circuitry of Drosophila larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Yan, Zhiqiang; Li, Bingxue; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung

    2014-10-30

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  17. Selected statins produce rapid spinal motor neuron loss in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murinson Beth B

    2012-06-01

    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.

  18. Human endogenous retrovirus-K contributes to motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-09-30

    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.

  19. Stem cells decreased neuronal cell death after hypoxic stress in primary fetal rat neurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Tetsuro; Xu, Yan

    2012-01-01

    To explore stem cell-mediated neuronal protection through extracellular signaling pathways by transplanted stem cells, we sought to identify potential candidate molecules responsible for neuronal protection using an in vitro coculture system. Primary fetal rat hippocampal neurons underwent hypoxia (≤1% oxygen) for 96 h nad then were returned to a normoxic condition. The study group then received rat umbilical cord matrix-derived stem cells, while the control group received fresh media only. The experimental group showed decreased neuronal apoptosis compared to the control group [44.5 ± 1.6% vs. 71.0 ± 4.2% (mean ± SD, p = 0.0005) on day 5] and higher neuronal survival (4.9 ± 1.2 cells/100× field vs. 2.2 ± 0.3, p = 0.02 on day 5). Among 90 proteins evaluated using a protein array, stem cell coculture media showed increased protein secretion of TIMP-1 (5.61-fold), TIMP-2 (4.88), CNTF-Rα (3.42), activin A (2.20), fractalkine (2.04), CCR4 (2.02), and decreased secretion in MIP-2 (0.30-fold), AMPK α1 (0.43), TROY (0.48), and TIMP-3 (0.50). This study demonstrated that coculturing stem cells with primary neurons in vitro decreased neuronal cell death after hypoxia with significantly altered protein secretion. The results suggest that stem cells may offer neuronal protection through extracellular signaling.

  20. IPLEX administration improves motor neuron survival and ameliorates motor functions in a severe mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdocca, Michela; Malgieri, Arianna; Luchetti, Andrea; Saieva, Luciano; Dobrowolny, Gabriella; de Leonibus, Elvira; Filareto, Antonio; Quitadamo, Maria Chiara; Novelli, Giuseppe; Musarò, Antonio; Sangiuolo, Federica

    2012-09-25

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder and the first genetic cause of death in childhood. SMA is caused by low levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein that induce selective loss of α-motor neurons (MNs) in the spinal cord, resulting in progressive muscle atrophy and consequent respiratory failure. To date, no effective treatment is available to counteract the course of the disease. Among the different therapeutic strategies with potential clinical applications, the evaluation of trophic and/or protective agents able to antagonize MNs degeneration represents an attractive opportunity to develop valid therapies. Here we investigated the effects of IPLEX (recombinant human insulinlike growth factor 1 [rhIGF-1] complexed with recombinant human IGF-1 binding protein 3 [rhIGFBP-3]) on a severe mouse model of SMA. Interestingly, molecular and biochemical analyses of IGF-1 carried out in SMA mice before drug administration revealed marked reductions of IGF-1 circulating levels and hepatic mRNA expression. In this study, we found that perinatal administration of IPLEX, even if does not influence survival and body weight of mice, results in reduced degeneration of MNs, increased muscle fiber size and in amelioration of motor functions in SMA mice. Additionally, we show that phenotypic changes observed are not SMN-dependent, since no significant SMN modification was addressed in treated mice. Collectively, our data indicate IPLEX as a good therapeutic candidate to hinder the progression of the neurodegenerative process in SMA.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sebastian Hückesfeld; Andreas Schoofs; Philipp Schlegel; Anton Miroschnikow; Pankratz, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    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...

  2. Increased Ubqln2 expression causes neuron death in transgenic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Bo; Wu, Qinxue; Zhou, Hongxia; Huang, Cao; Xia, Xu-Gang

    2016-10-01

    Pathogenic mutation of ubiquilin 2 (UBQLN2) causes neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. How UBQLN2 mutations cause the diseases is not clear. While over-expression of UBQLN2 with pathogenic mutation causes neuron death in rodent models, deletion of the Ubqln2 in rats has no effect on neuronal function. Previous findings in animal models suggest that UBQLN2 mutations cause the diseases mainly through a gain rather than a loss of functions. To examine whether the toxic gain in UBQLN2 mutation is related to the enhancement of UBQLN2 functions, we created new transgenic rats over-expressing wild-type human UBQLN2. Considering that human UBQLN2 may not function properly in the rat genome, we also created transgenic rats over-expressing rat's own Ubqln2. When over-expressed in rats, both human and rat wild-type Ubqln2 caused neuronal death and spatial learning deficits, the pathologies that were indistinguishable from those observed in mutant UBQLN2 transgenic rats. Over-expressed wild-type UBQLN2 formed protein inclusions attracting the autophagy substrate sequestosome-1 and the proteasome component 26S proteasome regulatory subunit 7. These findings suggest that excess UBQLN2 is toxic rather than protective to neurons and that the enhancement of UBQLN2 functions is involved in UBQLN2 pathogenesis. Pathogenic mutation in ubiquilin 2 (UBQLN2) causes neurodegeneration in ALS and FTLD. Studies in rodent models suggest a gain of toxic function in mutant UBQLN2. We created new transgenic rats as a relevant model and examined whether enhancing wild-type UBQLN2 expression is implicated in the pathogenesis of mutant UBQLN2. We observed that over-expression of human or rat wild-type Ubqln2 caused protein aggregation and neuronal death in transgenic rats. Our findings suggest that excess UBQLN2 is toxic rather than protective to neurons and that uncontrolled enhancement of UBQLN2 function is involved in UBQLN2 pathogenesis

  3. Selective vulnerability of spinal and cortical motor neuron subpopulations in delta7 SMA mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Errico, Paolo; Boido, Marina; Piras, Antonio; Valsecchi, Valeria; De Amicis, Elena; Locatelli, Denise; Capra, Silvia; Vagni, Francesco; Vercelli, Alessandro; Battaglia, Giorgio

    2013-01-01

    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.

  4. Unusual association of sporadic olivopontocerebellar atrophy and motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Testa, D; Tiranti, V; Girotti, F

    2002-12-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-09

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

  6. GPs have key role in managing motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrell, Richard W

    2011-09-01

    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.

  7. Evidence that adiponectin receptor 1 activation exacerbates ischemic neuronal death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thundyil John

    2010-08-01

    cortical neurons express ADRs and reveal a pro-apoptotic role for ADR1 activation in neurons, which may render them vulnerable to ischemic death.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamo, Jonathan P

    2015-05-01

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

  9. Increased neuronal Rab5 immunoreactive endosomes do not colocalize with TDP-43 in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matej, Radoslav; Botond, Gergö; László, Lajos; Kopitar-Jerala, Natasa; Rusina, Robert; Budka, Herbert; Kovacs, Gabor G

    2010-09-01

    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.

  10. iPSC-Based Models to Unravel Key Pathogenetic Processes Underlying Motor Neuron Disease Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Faravelli

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron diseases (MNDs are neuromuscular disorders affecting rather exclusively upper motor neurons (UMNs and/or lower motor neurons (LMNs. The clinical phenotype is characterized by muscular weakness and atrophy leading to paralysis and almost invariably death due to respiratory failure. Adult MNDs include sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS-fALS, while the most common infantile MND is represented by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA. No effective treatment is ccurrently available for MNDs, as for the vast majority of neurodegenerative disorders, and cures are limited to supportive care and symptom relief. The lack of a deep understanding of MND pathogenesis accounts for the difficulties in finding a cure, together with the scarcity of reliable in vitro models. Recent progresses in stem cell field, in particular in the generation of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs has made possible for the first time obtaining substantial amounts of human cells to recapitulate in vitro some of the key pathogenetic processes underlying MNDs. In the present review, recently published studies involving the use of iPSCs to unravel aspects of ALS and SMA pathogenesis are discussed with an overview of their implications in the process of finding a cure for these still orphan disorders.

  11. Metabolomic analysis and signatures in motor neuron disease†,††

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozen, Steve; Cudkowicz, Merit E.; Bogdanov, Mikhail; Matson, Wayne R.; Kristal, Bruce S.; Beecher, Chris; Harrison, Scott; Vouros, Paul; Flarakos, Jimmy; Vigneau-Callahan, Karen; Matson, Theodore D.; Newhall, Kristyn M.; Beal, M. Flint; Brown, Robert H.; Kaddurah-Daouk, Rima

    2008-01-01

    Motor neuron diseases (MND) are a heterogeneous group of disorders that includes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and result in death of motor neurons. These diseases may produce characteristic perturbations of the metabolome, the collection of small-molecules (metabolites) present in a cell, tissue, or organism. To test this hypothesis, we used high performance liquid chromatography followed by electrochemical detection to profile blood plasma from 28 patients with MND and 30 healthy controls. Of 317 metabolites, 50 were elevated in MNDpatients and more than 70 were decreased (p < 0.05). Among the compounds elevated, 12 were associated with the drug Riluzole. In a subsequent study of 19 subjects with MND who were not taking Riluzole and 33 healthy control subjects, six compounds were significantly elevated in MND, while the number of compounds with decreased concentration was similar to study 1. Our data also revealed a distinctive signature of highly correlated metabolites in a set of four patients, three of whom had lower motor neuron (LMN) disease. In both datasets we were able to separate MND patients from controls using multivariate regression techniques. These results suggest that metabolomic studies can be used to ascertain metabolic signatures of disease in a non-invasive fashion. Elucidation of the structures of signature molecules in ALS and other forms of MND should provide insight into aberrant biochemical pathways and may provide diagnostic markers and targets for drug design. PMID:18820733

  12. Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease with Qi-invigorating Herbs—— A Report of 31 Cases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    覃小兰; 杨志敏; 何德平; 刘旭生; 陈红霞; 黄燕; 张文青

    2002-01-01

    @@ The motor neuron disease (MND) refers to a group of progressive diseases with unknown reasons, which attacks the cells of the anterior horn of the spinal cord, the motor nuclei of the brain stem cranial nerves and the pyramidal cells of the cerebral motor cortex. It is characterized in clinic by atrophy of the muscles, myasthenia and even death due to paralysis of the respiratory muscle. Currently, there is still no any effective cure for this illness. 50-70% of the victims will die in 3 to 5 years, and the survival time for those with brain stem injuries is no more than two years.1 Since 1996, the authors have treated 31 cases of motor neuron disease with large dosage of qi-invigorating drugs in accordance with Prof. Liu Mocai's experience, and obtained certain therapeutic effects. A report follows.

  13. Transgenic mice for interleukin 3 develop motor neuron degeneration associated with autoimmune reaction against spinal cord motor neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Chavany, Christine; Vicario-Abejón, Carlos; Miller, Georgina; Jendoubi, Moncef

    1998-01-01

    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...

  14. A Temporal Association between Accumulated Petrol (Gasoline) Lead Emissions and Motor Neuron Disease in Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidlaw, Mark A. S.; Rowe, Dominic B.; Ball, Andrew S.; Mielke, Howard W.

    2015-01-01

    Background: The age standardised death rate from motor neuron disease (MND) has increased from 1.29 to 2.74 per 100,000, an increase of 112.4% between 1959 and 2013. It is clear that genetics could not have played a causal role in the increased rate of MND deaths over such a short time span. We postulate that environmental factors are responsible for this rate increase. We focus on lead additives in Australian petrol as a possible contributing environmental factor. Methods: The associations between historical petrol lead emissions and MND death trends in Australia between 1962 and 2013 were examined using linear regressions. Results: Regression results indicate best fit correlations between a 20 year lag of petrol lead emissions and age-standardised female death rate (R2 = 0.86, p = 4.88 × 10−23), male age standardised death rate (R2 = 0.86, p = 9.4 × 10−23) and percent all cause death attributed to MND (R2 = 0.98, p = 2.6 × 10−44). Conclusion: Legacy petrol lead emissions are associated with increased MND death trends in Australia. Further examination of the 20 year lag between exposure to petrol lead and the onset of MND is warranted. PMID:26703636

  15. A Temporal Association between Accumulated Petrol (Gasoline Lead Emissions and Motor Neuron Disease in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A. S. Laidlaw

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: The age standardised death rate from motor neuron disease (MND has increased from 1.29 to 2.74 per 100,000, an increase of 112.4% between 1959 and 2013. It is clear that genetics could not have played a causal role in the increased rate of MND deaths over such a short time span. We postulate that environmental factors are responsible for this rate increase. We focus on lead additives in Australian petrol as a possible contributing environmental factor. Methods: The associations between historical petrol lead emissions and MND death trends in Australia between 1962 and 2013 were examined using linear regressions. Results: Regression results indicate best fit correlations between a 20 year lag of petrol lead emissions and age-standardised female death rate (R2 = 0.86, p = 4.88 × 10−23, male age standardised death rate (R2 = 0.86, p = 9.4 × 10−23 and percent all cause death attributed to MND (R2 = 0.98, p = 2.6 × 10−44. Conclusion: Legacy petrol lead emissions are associated with increased MND death trends in Australia. Further examination of the 20 year lag between exposure to petrol lead and the onset of MND is warranted.

  16. Neuronal death in the hippocampus is promoted by plasmin-catalyzed degradation of laminin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Z L; Strickland, S

    1997-12-26

    Excess excitatory amino acids can provoke neuronal death in the hippocampus, and the extracellular proteases tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and plasmin (ogen) have been implicated in this death. To investigate substrates for plasmin that might influence neuronal degeneration, extracellular matrix (ECM) protein expression was examined. Laminin is expressed in the hippocampus and disappears after excitotoxin injection. Laminin disappearance precedes neuronal death, is spatially coincident with regions that exhibit neuronal loss, and is blocked by either tPA-deficiency or infusion of a plasmin inhibitor, both of which also block neuronal degeneration. Preventing neuron-laminin interaction by infusion of anti-laminin antibodies into tPA-deficient mice restores excitotoxic sensitivity to their hippocampal neurons. These results indicate that disruption of neuron-ECM interaction via tPA/plasmin catalyzed degradation of laminin sensitizes hippocampal neurons to cell death.

  17. Secretory phospholipase A2-mediated neuronal cell death involves glutamate ionotropic receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Turco, Elena B; Diemer, Nils Henrik; Bazan, Nicolas G

    2002-01-01

    To define the significance of glutamate ionotropic receptors in sPLA -mediated neuronal cell death we used the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 and the AMPA receptor antagonist PNQX. In primary neuronal cell cultures both MK-801 and PNQX inhibited sPLA - and glutamate-induced neuronal death. [ H]A...

  18. Apoptosis of motor neurons in the spinal cord after ischemia reperfusion injury delayed paraplegia in rabbits

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liu Bibo; Liu Miao; Ma Wei; Wang Duoning

    2007-01-01

    Objective To clarify the pathologic change of the motor neuron on spinal cord ischemia reperfusion injury delayed paraplegia. Methods The infrarenal aorta of White New Zealand rabbits (n=24) was occluded for 26 minutes using two bulldog clamps. Rabbits were killed after 8, 24, 72, or 168 hours (n=6 per group), respectively. The clamps was placed but never clamped in sham-operated rabbits (n=24). The lumbar segment of the spinal cord (L5 to L7) was used for morphological studies, including hematoxylin and eosin staining, the expression of bcl-2 and bax proteins in spinal cord was detected with immunohistochemistry. The apoptotic neurons in spinal cord were measured with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling of DNA fragments (TUNEL) staining. Results Delayed paraplegia occurred in all rabbits of ischemia reperfusion group at 16-24 hours, but not in sham groups. Motor neurons were selectively lost at 7 days after transient ischemia. After ischemia, the positive expression of bcl-2 protein were in the sham controls but decreased significantly as compared with that of the IR group (P<0.01), especially in 72 hours reperfusion. The positive expression of bax protein were also in the sham controls, but increased in the IR group, especially in 72 hours reperfusion; In addition, TUNEL study demonstrated that no cells were positively labeled until 24 hours after ischemia, but nuclei of some motor neurons were positively labeled at peak after ischemia reperfusion at 72 hours. Conclusion Spinal cord ischemia in rabbits induces morphological and biochemical changes suggestive of apoptosis. These data raise the possibility that apoptosis contributes to neuronal cell death after spinal cord ischemia reperfusion.

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

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    Sebastian Hückesfeld

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  2. Neuronal cell death during metamorphosis of Hydractina echinata (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seipp, Stefanie; Schmich, Jürgen; Will, Britta; Schetter, Eva; Plickert, Günter; Leitz, Thomas

    2010-12-01

    In planula larvae of the invertebrate Hydractinia echinata (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa), peptides of the GLWamide and the RFamide families are expressed in distinct subpopulations of neurons, distributed in a typical spatial pattern through the larval body. However, in the adult polyp GLWamide or RFamide-expressing cells are located at body parts that do not correspond to the prior larval regions. Since we had shown previously that during metamorphosis a large number of cells are removed by programmed cell death (PCD), we aimed to analyze whether cells of the neuropeptide-expressing larval nerve net are among those sacrificed. By immunohistochemical staining and in situ hybridization, we labeled GLWamide- and RFamide-expressing cells. Double staining of neuropeptides and degraded DNA (TUNEL analysis) identified some neurosensory cells as being apoptotic. Derangement of the cytoplasm and rapid destruction of neuropeptide precursor RNA indicated complete death of these particular sensory cells in the course of metamorphosis. Additionally, a small group of RFamide-positive sensory cells in the developing mouth region of the primary polyp could be shown to emerge by proliferation. Our results support the idea that during metamorphosis, specific parts of the larval neuronal network are subject to neurodegeneration and therefore not used for construction of the adult nerve net. Most neuronal cells of the primary polyp arise by de novo differentiation of stem cells commited to neural differentiation in embryogenesis. At least some nerve cells derive from proliferation of progenitor cells. Clarification of how the nerve net of these basal eumetazoans degenerates may add information to the understanding of neurodegeneration by apoptosis as a whole in the animal kingdom.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. dnc-1/dynactin 1 knockdown disrupts transport of autophagosomes and induces motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  5. dnc-1/dynactin 1 knockdown disrupts transport of autophagosomes and induces motor neuron degeneration.

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    Kensuke Ikenaka

    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.

  6. Facilitation of distinct inhibitory synaptic inputs by chemical anoxia in neurons in the oculomotor, facial and hypoglossal motor nuclei of the rat.

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    Takagi, Satoshi; Kono, Yu; Nagase, Masashi; Mochio, Soichiro; Kato, Fusao

    2017-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord. Clinical studies have indicated that there is a distinct region-dependent difference in the vulnerability of motor neurons. For example, the motor neurons in the facial and hypoglossal nuclei are more susceptible to neuronal death than those in the oculomotor nucleus. To understand the mechanism underlying the differential susceptibility to cell death of the neurons in different motor nuclei, we compared the effects of chemical anoxia on the membrane currents and postsynaptic currents in different motor nuclei. The membrane currents were recorded from neurons in the oculomotor, facial and hypoglossal nuclei in brain slices of juvenile Wistar rats by using whole-cell recording in the presence of tetrodotoxin that prevents action potential-dependent synaptic transmission. NaCN consistently induced an inward current and a significant increase in the frequency of spontaneous synaptic inputs in neurons from these three nuclei. However, this increase in the synaptic input frequency was abolished by strychnine, a glycine receptor antagonist, but not by picrotoxin in neurons from the hypoglossal and facial nuclei, whereas that in neurons from the oculomotor nucleus was abolished by picrotoxin, but not by strychnine. Blocking ionotropic glutamate receptors did not significantly affect the NaCN-induced release facilitation in any of the three motor nuclei. These results suggest that anoxia selectively facilitates glycine release in the hypoglossal and facial nuclei and GABA release in the oculomotor nucleus. The region-dependent differences in the neurotransmitters involved in the anoxia-triggered release facilitation might provide a basis for the selective vulnerability of motor neurons in the neurodegeneration associated with ALS. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Can molecular motors drive distance measurements in injured neurons?

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    Naaman Kam

    2009-08-01

    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.

  9. Dysmyelinated lower motor neurons retract and regenerate dysfunctional synaptic terminals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2004-04-14

    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.

  10. Four cases of equine motor neuron disease in Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    SASAKI, Naoki; IMAMURA, Yui; SEKIYA, Akio; ITOH, Megumi; FURUOKA, Hidefumi

    2016-01-01

    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.

  11. Nutritional pathway for people with motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsden, Rachael; Allan, Philip; Blackwell, Victoria; East, James; Lawson, Clare; Nickol, Annabel H; Millard, Emma; Talbot, Kevin; Thompson, Alexander G; Turner, Martin R

    2016-07-01

    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.

  12. Postradiation lower motor neuron syndrome presenting as monomelic amyotrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, C; Mas, J L; Varet, B; Ziegler, M; de Recondo, J

    1991-07-01

    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.

  13. Postradiation lower motor neuron syndrome presenting as monomelic amyotrophy

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    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)

    1991-07-01

    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).

  14. Alpha-synuclein in motor neuron disease: an immunohistologic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, M J; Bird, T D; Leverenz, J B

    2004-02-01

    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.

  15. The patient experience of fatigue in motor neurone disease

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    Chris J Gibbons

    2013-10-01

    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.

  16. Nonmotor symptoms in patients suffering from motor neuron diseases

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    Rene Günther

    2016-07-01

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

  17. Spinal motor neurons are regenerated after mechanical lesion and genetic ablation in larval zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohnmacht, Jochen; Yang, Yujie; Maurer, Gianna W.; Barreiro-Iglesias, Antón; Tsarouchas, Themistoklis M.; Wehner, Daniel; Sieger, Dirk; Becker, Catherina G.; Becker, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Depalmitoylation preferentially downregulates AMPA induced Ca2+ signaling and neurotoxicity in motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, Karthik; Mehta, Bhupesh; Singh, Mahendra; Tewari, Bhanu P; Joshi, Preeti G; Joshi, Nanda B

    2013-09-05

    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.

  19. Fishing for causes and cures of motor neuron disorders

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    Shunmoogum A. Patten

    2014-07-01

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

  20. EGRONOMIC FINGERPRINT SCANNER DESIGN FOR PEOPLE WITH MOTOR NEURON DISEASES

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    Abdulkareem Al-Alwani

    2013-01-01

    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 Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s 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.

  1. Delayed death of identified reticulospinal neurons after spinal cord injury in lampreys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shifman, M I; Zhang, G; Selzer, M E

    2008-09-20

    There is controversy about whether axotomized neurons undergo death or only severe atrophy after spinal cord injury (SCI) in mammals. Lampreys recover from complete spinal transection, but only about half of the severed spinal-projecting axons regenerate through the site of injury. The fates of the unregenerated neurons remain unknown, and until now death of axotomized spinal-projecting neurons has not been described in the lamprey brain. We now report that in animals allowed to survive for 12 or more weeks after spinal cord transection, several identified reticulospinal (RS) neurons were missing in Nissl-stained or neurofilament-immunostained brain whole mounts. At earlier times, these neurons were swollen and pale in Nissl-stained preparations. Retrograde fluorescent labeling from the site of transection combined with TUNEL histochemistry suggested that neuronal death, including that of the identified RS neurons, began in animals 4 weeks posttransection, reaching a peak at 12-16 weeks. This was not seen in untransected animals. The TUNEL positivity suggests that some cells were dying by apoptosis. Of special interest, among the identified neurons, this delayed cell death was restricted to neurons that at earlier posttransection times have a low probability of regeneration. These data show that SCI induces delayed cell death in lamprey spinal-projecting neurons and suggest that the reason why some neurons are "bad regenerators" is that they are already undergoing apoptotic cell death. Thus protection from apoptosis may be necessary in order to enhance axonal regeneration after SCI. Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Selective Motor Neuron Resistance and Recovery in a New Inducible Mouse Model of TDP-43 Proteinopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiller, Krista J; Cheung, Claudia J; Restrepo, Clark R; Kwong, Linda K; Stieber, Anna M; Trojanowski, John Q; Lee, Virginia M-Y

    2016-07-20

    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

  3. Use of human intravenous immunoglobulin in lower motor neuron syndromes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, C; Leary, S; Payan, J; Shaw, C; Hu, M; O'Brien, M; Leigh, P

    1999-01-01

    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

  4. Extensive fusion of mitochondria in spinal cord motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. Reduced motor neuron excitability is an important contributor to weakness in a rat model of sepsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardelli, Paul; Vincent, Jacob A; Powers, Randall; Cope, Tim C; Rich, Mark M

    2016-08-01

    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

  7. Decreased cysteine uptake by EAAC1 gene deletion exacerbates neuronal oxidative stress and neuronal death after traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Bo Young; Kim, In Yeol; Kim, Jin Hee; Lee, Bo Eun; Lee, Song Hee; Kho, A Ra; Jung, Hee Jae; Sohn, Min; Song, Hong Ki; Suh, Sang Won

    2016-07-01

    Excitatory amino acid carrier type 1 (EAAC1), a high-affinity glutamate transporter, can expend energy to move glutamate into neurons. However, under normal physiological conditions, EAAC1 does not have a great effect on glutamate clearance but rather participates in the neuronal uptake of cysteine. This process is critical to maintaining neuronal antioxidant function by providing cysteine for glutathione synthesis. Previous study showed that mice lacking EAAC1 show increased neuronal oxidative stress following transient cerebral ischemia. In the present study, we sought to characterize the role of EAAC1 in neuronal resistance after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Young adult C57BL/6 wild-type or EAAC1 (-/-) mice were subjected to a controlled cortical impact model for TBI. Neuronal death after TBI showed more than double the number of degenerating neurons in the hippocampus in EAAC1 (-/-) mice compared with wild-type mice. Superoxide production, zinc translocation and microglia activation similarly showed a marked increase in the EAAC1 (-/-) mice. Pretreatment with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) reduced TBI-induced neuronal death, superoxide production and zinc translocation. These findings indicate that cysteine uptake by EAAC1 is important for neuronal antioxidant function and survival following TBI. This study also suggests that administration of NAC has therapeutic potential in preventing TBI-induced neuronal death.

  8. Decay in survival motor neuron and plastin 3 levels during differentiation of iPSC-derived human motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-06-26

    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.

  9. Protein aggregation in association with delayed neuronal death in rat model of brain ischemia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pengfei GE; Tianfei LUG; Shuanglin FU; Wenchen LI; Chonghao WANG; Chuibing ZHOU; Yinan LUO

    2008-01-01

    To investigate the relationship between protein aggregation and delayed neuronal death, we adopted rat models of 20 min ischemia. Brain ischemia was produced using the 2-vessel occlusion (2VO) model in rats Light microscopy, transmission electronic microscopy and Western blot analysis were performed for morphological analysis of neurons, and protein detection. The results showed delayed neuronal death took place at 72 h after ischemia-reperfusion, protein aggregates formed at 4 h after reperfusion and reached the peak at 24 h after reper-fusion, and Western blot analysis was consistent with transmission electronic microscopy. We conclude that protein aggregation is one of the important factors leading to delayed neuronal death.

  10. The alluring but misleading analogy between mirror neurons and the motor theory of speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Lori L; Lotto, Andrew J

    2014-04-01

    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.

  11. Lower motor neuron involvement examined by quantitative electromyography in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krarup, Christian

    2011-01-01

    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...

  12. Motor neurons and oligodendrocytes arise from distinct cell lineages by progenitor recruitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravanelli, Andrew M; Appel, Bruce

    2015-12-01

    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.

  13. Repetitive acute intermittent hypoxia increases growth/neurotrophic factor expression in non-respiratory motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satriotomo, I; Nichols, N L; Dale, E A; Emery, A T; Dahlberg, J M; Mitchell, G S

    2016-05-13

    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.

  14. Bioenergetic status modulates motor neuron vulnerability and pathogenesis in a zebrafish model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Penelope J Boyd

    2017-04-01

    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.

  15. Attenuation of oxidative neuronal cell death by coffee phenolic phytochemicals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Eun Sun; Jang, Young Jin [Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Research Institute for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of); Hwang, Mun Kyung; Kang, Nam Joo [Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Research Institute for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of); Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Ki Won [Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701 (Korea, Republic of)], E-mail: kiwon@konkuk.ac.kr; Lee, Hyong Joo [Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Research Institute for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921 (Korea, Republic of)], E-mail: leehyjo@snu.ac.kr

    2009-02-10

    Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) are strongly associated with oxidative stress, which is induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) including hydrogen peroxide (H{sub 2}O{sub 2}). Recent studies suggest that moderate coffee consumption may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as AD, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this effect remain to be clarified. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of chlorogenic acid (5-O-caffeoylquinic acid; CGA), a major phenolic phytochemical found in instant decaffeinated coffee (IDC), and IDC against oxidative PC12 neuronal cell death. IDC (1 and 5 {mu}g/ml) or CGA (1 and 5 {mu}M) attenuated H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced PC12 cell death. H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation were strongly inhibited by pretreatment with IDC or CGA. Pretreatment with IDC or CGA also inhibited the H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), and downregulation of Bcl-X{sub L} and caspase-3. The accumulation of intracellular ROS in H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-treated PC12 cells was dose-dependently diminished by IDC or CGA. The activation of c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) by H{sub 2}O{sub 2} in PC12 cells was also inhibited by IDC or CGA. Collectively, these results indicate that IDC and CGA protect PC12 cells from H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced apoptosis by blocking the accumulation of intracellular ROS and the activation of MAPKs.

  16. Exendin-4 ameliorates motor neuron degeneration in cellular and animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yazhou Li

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a devastating neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive loss of lower motor neurons in the spinal cord. The incretin hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1, facilitates insulin signaling, and the long acting GLP-1 receptor agonist exendin-4 (Ex-4 is currently used as an anti-diabetic drug. GLP-1 receptors are widely expressed in the brain and spinal cord, and our prior studies have shown that Ex-4 is neuroprotective in several neurodegenerative disease rodent models, including stroke, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Here we hypothesized that Ex-4 may provide neuroprotective activity in ALS, and hence characterized Ex-4 actions in both cell culture (NSC-19 neuroblastoma cells and in vivo (SOD1 G93A mutant mice models of ALS. Ex-4 proved to be neurotrophic in NSC-19 cells, elevating choline acetyltransferase (ChAT activity, as well as neuroprotective, protecting cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress and staurosporine-induced apoptosis. Additionally, in both wild-type SOD1 and mutant SOD1 (G37R stably transfected NSC-19 cell lines, Ex-4 protected against trophic factor withdrawal-induced toxicity. To assess in vivo translation, SOD1 mutant mice were administered vehicle or Ex-4 at 6-weeks of age onwards to end-stage disease via subcutaneous osmotic pump to provide steady-state infusion. ALS mice treated with Ex-4 showed improved glucose tolerance and normalization of behavior, as assessed by running wheel, compared to control ALS mice. Furthermore, Ex-4 treatment attenuated neuronal cell death in the lumbar spinal cord; immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated the rescue of neuronal markers, such as ChAT, associated with motor neurons. Together, our results suggest that GLP-1 receptor agonists warrant further evaluation to assess whether their neuroprotective potential is of therapeutic relevance in ALS.

  17. Modeling ALS with motor neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  18. Serotonin Promotes Development and Regeneration of Spinal Motor Neurons in Zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antón Barreiro-Iglesias

    2015-11-01

    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.

  19. Serotonin Promotes Development and Regeneration of Spinal Motor Neurons in Zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreiro-Iglesias, Antón; Mysiak, Karolina S; Scott, Angela L; Reimer, Michell M; Yang, Yujie; Becker, Catherina G; Becker, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    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.

  20. Evidence for neuronal localisation of enteroviral sequences in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by in situ hybridization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodall, C J; Graham, D I

    2004-01-01

    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.

  1. Evidence for neuronal localisation of enteroviral sequences in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by in situ hybridization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJ Woodall

    2009-06-01

    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.

  2. The role of the ETS gene PEA3 in the development of motor and sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladle, David R; Frank, Eric

    2002-12-01

    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.

  3. Pattern of motor neurone disease in eastern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, S P; Das, S K; Gangopadhyay, P K; Roy, T N; Maiti, B

    1997-07-01

    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.

  4. Functional Diversification of Motor Neuron-specific Isl1 Enhancers during Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Namhee Kim

    2015-10-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary-Louise eRogers

    2014-10-01

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

  6. Survival of motor neurone protein is required for normal postnatal development of the spleen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Alison K; Somers, Eilidh; Powis, Rachael A; Shorrock, Hannah K; Murphy, Kelley; Swoboda, Kathryn J; Gillingwater, Thomas H; Parson, Simon H

    2017-02-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), traditionally described as a predominantly childhood form of motor neurone disease, is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. Although motor neurones are undoubtedly the primary affected cell type, the severe infantile form of SMA (Type I SMA) is now widely recognised to represent a multisystem disorder where a variety of organs and systems in the body are also affected. Here, we report that the spleen is disproportionately small in the 'Taiwanese' murine model of severe SMA (Smn(-/-) ;SMN2(tg/0) ), correlated to low levels of cell proliferation and increased cell death. Spleen lacks its distinctive red appearance and presents with a degenerated capsule and a disorganised fibrotic architecture. Histologically distinct white pulp failed to form and this was reflected in an almost complete absence of B lymphocytes necessary for normal immune function. In addition, megakaryoctyes persisted in the red pulp. However, the vascular density remained unchanged in SMA spleen. Assessment of the spleen in SMA patients with the infantile form of the disease indicated a range of pathologies. We conclude that development of the spleen fails to occur normally in SMA mouse models and human patients. Thus, further analysis of immune function is likely to be required to fully understand the full extent of systemic disease pathology in SMA.

  7. Trends in motor neuron disease: association with latitude and air lead levels in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santurtún, Ana; Villar, Alejandro; Delgado-Alvarado, Manuel; Riancho, Javier

    2016-08-01

    Motor neuron diseases (MND) are a group of disorders characterized by motor neuron degeneration. Among them, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is by far the most common in adulthood. This paper assesses the trend and geographical pattern in MND incidence in Spain and the possible air lead levels effect on this pathology. To confirm this concept, we performed a retrospective analysis of the deaths due to MND in Spain during 2000 and 2013, determined the geographical differences, and explored the relationship between MND and the air levels of lead. Overall, between 2000 and 2013, 11,355 people died in Spain because of MND. Disease mortality significantly increased in recent years (2007-2013) when compared with the first time of the period. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient also showed a statistically significant positive trend (CC = 0.824, p = 0.0002). Among people over 65 years, mortality rates were higher in Northern provinces. Moreover, we found a significant association of MND mortality with higher air lead levels (CC = 0.457, p = 0.01). Our study confirms that MND mortality is increasing in Spain, with a significant latitude gradient, which suggests an important role of environmental exposures. This ecological study suggests that air lead levels may be implicated in ALS pathogenesis.

  8. Motor neuronal activity varies least among individuals when it matters most for behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullins, Miranda J; Shaw, Kendrick M; Gill, Jeffrey P; Chiel, Hillel J

    2015-02-01

    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.

  9. Functional alterations of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in motor neurons of a mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheroni, Cristina; Marino, Marianna; Tortarolo, Massimo; Veglianese, Pietro; De Biasi, Silvia; Fontana, Elena; Zuccarello, Laura Vitellaro; Maynard, Christa J; Dantuma, Nico P; Bendotti, Caterina

    2009-01-01

    In familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in rodent models of the disease, alterations in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) may be responsible for the accumulation of potentially harmful ubiquitinated proteins, leading to motor neuron death. In the spinal cord of transgenic mice expressing the familial ALS superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene mutation G93A (SOD1G93A), we found a decrease in constitutive proteasome subunits during disease progression, as assessed by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. In parallel, an increased immunoproteasome expression was observed, which correlated with a local inflammatory response due to glial activation. These findings support the existence of proteasome modifications in ALS vulnerable tissues. To functionally investigate the UPS in ALS motor neurons in vivo, we crossed SOD1G93A mice with transgenic mice that express a fluorescently tagged reporter substrate of the UPS. In double-transgenic Ub(G76V)-GFP /SOD1G93A mice an increase in Ub(G76V)-GFP reporter, indicative of UPS impairment, was detectable in a few spinal motor neurons and not in reactive astrocytes or microglia, at symptomatic stage but not before symptoms onset. The levels of reporter transcript were unaltered, suggesting that the accumulation of Ub(G76V)-GFP was due to deficient reporter degradation. In some motor neurons the increase of Ub(G76V)-GFP was accompanied by the accumulation of ubiquitin and phosphorylated neurofilaments, both markers of ALS pathology. These data suggest that UPS impairment occurs in motor neurons of mutant SOD1-linked ALS mice and may play a role in the disease progression.

  10. BDNF heightens the sensitivity of motor neurons to excitotoxic insults through activation of TrkB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Peter; Kalb, Robert G.; Walton, K. D. (Principal Investigator)

    2003-01-01

    The survival promoting and neuroprotective actions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are well known but under certain circumstances this growth factor can also exacerbate excitotoxic insults to neurons. Prior exploration of the receptor through which BDNF exerts this action on motor neurons deflects attention away from p75. Here we investigated the possibility that BDNF acts through the receptor tyrosine kinase, TrkB, to confer on motor neurons sensitivity to excitotoxic challenge. We blocked BDNF activation of TrkB using a dominant negative TrkB mutant or a TrkB function blocking antibody, and found that this protected motor neurons against excitotoxic insult in cultures of mixed spinal cord neurons. Addition of a function blocking antibody to BDNF to mixed spinal cord neuron cultures is also neuroprotective indicating that endogenously produced BDNF participates in vulnerability to excitotoxicity. We next examined the intracellular signaling cascades that are engaged upon TrkB activation. Previously we found that inhibition of the phosphatidylinositide-3'-kinase (PI3'K) pathway blocks BDNF-induced excitotoxic sensitivity. Here we show that expression of a constitutively active catalytic subunit of PI3'K, p110, confers excitotoxic sensitivity (ES) upon motor neurons not incubated with BDNF. Parallel studies with purified motor neurons confirm that these events are likely to be occuring specifically within motor neurons. The abrogation of BDNF's capacity to accentuate excitotoxic insults may make it a more attractive neuroprotective agent.

  11. Growth of primary motor neurons on horizontally aligned carbon nanotube thin films and striped patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Megan J.; Leach, Michelle K.; Bedewy, Mostafa; Meshot, Eric R.; Copic, Davor; Corey, Joseph M.; Hart, A. John

    2014-06-01

    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.

  12. AMPA Receptor Phosphorylation and Synaptic Colocalization on Motor Neurons Drive Maladaptive Plasticity below Complete Spinal Cord Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huie, J Russell; Stuck, Ellen D; Lee, Kuan H; Irvine, Karen-Amanda; Beattie, Michael S; Bresnahan, Jacqueline C; Grau, James W; Ferguson, Adam R

    2015-01-01

    Clinical spinal cord injury (SCI) is accompanied by comorbid peripheral injury in 47% of patients. Human and animal modeling data have shown that painful peripheral injuries undermine long-term recovery of locomotion through unknown mechanisms. Peripheral nociceptive stimuli induce maladaptive synaptic plasticity in dorsal horn sensory systems through AMPA receptor (AMPAR) phosphorylation and trafficking to synapses. Here we test whether ventral horn motor neurons in rats demonstrate similar experience-dependent maladaptive plasticity below a complete SCI in vivo. Quantitative biochemistry demonstrated that intermittent nociceptive stimulation (INS) rapidly and selectively increases AMPAR subunit GluA1 serine 831 phosphorylation and localization to synapses in the injured spinal cord, while reducing synaptic GluA2. These changes predict motor dysfunction in the absence of cell death signaling, suggesting an opportunity for therapeutic reversal. Automated confocal time-course analysis of lumbar ventral horn motor neurons confirmed a time-dependent increase in synaptic GluA1 with concurrent decrease in synaptic GluA2. Optical fractionation of neuronal plasma membranes revealed GluA2 removal from extrasynaptic sites on motor neurons early after INS followed by removal from synapses 2 h later. As GluA2-lacking AMPARs are canonical calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs), their stimulus- and time-dependent insertion provides a therapeutic target for limiting calcium-dependent dynamic maladaptive plasticity after SCI. Confirming this, a selective CP-AMPAR antagonist protected against INS-induced maladaptive spinal plasticity, restoring adaptive motor responses on a sensorimotor spinal training task. These findings highlight the critical involvement of AMPARs in experience-dependent spinal cord plasticity after injury and provide a pharmacologically targetable synaptic mechanism by which early postinjury experience shapes motor plasticity.

  13. Alteration of protein folding and degradation in motor neuron diseases : Implications and protective functions of small heat shock proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carra, Serena; Crippa, Valeria; Rusmini, Paola; Boncoraglio, Alessandra; Minoia, Melania; Giorgetti, Elisa; Kampinga, Harm H.; Poletti, Angelo

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-30

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

  15. More than a bystander: The contributions of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects in motor neuron diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin G. Boyer

    2013-12-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis B Tovar-y-Romo

    2014-02-01

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

  17. Characterization of thoracic motor and sensory neurons and spinal nerve roots in canine degenerative myelopathy, a potential disease model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Brandie R; Coates, Joan R; Johnson, Gayle C; Shelton, G Diane; Katz, Martin L

    2014-04-01

    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.

  18. Economic Studies in Motor Neurone Disease: A Systematic Methodological Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Alan; Young, Carolyn A; Hughes, Dyfrig A

    2017-04-01

    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.

  19. Slow saccades in bulbar-onset motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaghy, Colette; Pinnock, Ralph; Abrahams, Sharon; Cardwell, Chris; Hardiman, Orla; Patterson, Victor; McGivern, R Canice; Gibson, J Mark

    2010-07-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manfred J Oswald

    2013-10-01

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

  1. Motor neuron apoptosis and neuromuscular junction perturbation are prominent features in a Drosophila model of Fus-mediated ALS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Ruohan

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Backgound Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of motor function. Several ALS genes have been identified as their mutations can lead to familial ALS, including the recently reported RNA-binding protein fused in sarcoma (Fus. However, it is not clear how mutations of Fus lead to motor neuron degeneration in ALS. In this study, we present a Drosophila model to examine the toxicity of Fus, its Drosophila orthologue Cabeza (Caz, and the ALS-related Fus mutants. Results Our results show that the expression of wild-type Fus/Caz or FusR521G induced progressive toxicity in multiple tissues of the transgenic flies in a dose- and age-dependent manner. The expression of Fus, Caz, or FusR521G in motor neurons significantly impaired the locomotive ability of fly larvae and adults. The presynaptic structures in neuromuscular junctions were disrupted and motor neurons in the ventral nerve cord (VNC were disorganized and underwent apoptosis. Surprisingly, the interruption of Fus nuclear localization by either deleting its nuclear localization sequence (NLS or adding a nuclear export signal (NES blocked Fus toxicity. Moreover, we discovered that the loss of caz in Drosophila led to severe growth defects in the eyes and VNCs, caused locomotive disability and NMJ disruption, but did not induce apoptotic cell death. Conclusions These data demonstrate that the overexpression of Fus/Caz causes in vivo toxicity by disrupting neuromuscular junctions (NMJs and inducing apoptosis in motor neurons. In addition, the nuclear localization of Fus is essential for Fus to induce toxicity. Our findings also suggest that Fus overexpression and gene deletion can cause similar degenerative phenotypes but the underlying mechanisms are likely different.

  2. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, All States

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  3. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, Region 8 - Denver

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  4. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, Region 4 - Atlanta

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  5. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, Region 6 - Dallas

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  6. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, Region 3 - Philadelphia

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  7. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, HHS Region 1 - Boston

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  8. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, Region 5 - Chicago

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  9. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, Region 2 - New York

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  10. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, Region 7 - Kansas City

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  11. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, Region 9 - San Francisco

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  12. Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rate, by Age and Gender, 2012 & 2014, Region 10 - Seattle

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Rate of deaths by age/gender (per 100,000 population) for motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 2012 & 2014. 2012 Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System...

  13. Non-cell autonomous influence of the astrocyte system xc− on hypoglycaemic neuronal cell death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra J Hewett

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Despite longstanding evidence that hypoglycaemic neuronal injury is mediated by glutamate excitotoxicity, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved remain incompletely defined. Here, we demonstrate that the excitotoxic neuronal death that follows GD (glucose deprivation is initiated by glutamate extruded from astrocytes via system xc− – an amino acid transporter that imports l-cystine and exports l-glutamate. Specifically, we find that depriving mixed cortical cell cultures of glucose for up to 8 h injures neurons, but not astrocytes. Neuronal death is prevented by ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonism and is partially sensitive to tetanus toxin. Removal of amino acids during the deprivation period prevents – whereas addition of l-cystine restores – GD-induced neuronal death, implicating the cystine/glutamate antiporter, system xc−. Indeed, drugs known to inhibit system xc− ameliorate GD-induced neuronal death. Further, a dramatic reduction in neuronal death is observed in chimaeric cultures consisting of neurons derived from WT (wild-type mice plated on top of astrocytes derived from sut mice, which harbour a naturally occurring null mutation in the gene (Slc7a11 that encodes the substrate-specific light chain of system xc− (xCT. Finally, enhancement of astrocytic system xc− expression and function via IL-1β (interleukin-1β exposure potentiates hypoglycaemic neuronal death, the process of which is prevented by removal of l-cystine and/or addition of system xc− inhibitors. Thus, under the conditions of GD, our studies demonstrate that astrocytes, via system xc−, have a direct, non-cell autonomous effect on cortical neuron survival.

  14. Non-cell autonomous influence of the astrocyte system xc- on hypoglycaemic neuronal cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackman, Nicole A; Melchior, Shannon E; Hewett, James A; Hewett, Sandra J

    2012-02-08

    Despite longstanding evidence that hypoglycaemic neuronal injury is mediated by glutamate excitotoxicity, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved remain incompletely defined. Here, we demonstrate that the excitotoxic neuronal death that follows GD (glucose deprivation) is initiated by glutamate extruded from astrocytes via system xc---an amino acid transporter that imports L-cystine and exports L-glutamate. Specifically, we find that depriving mixed cortical cell cultures of glucose for up to 8 h injures neurons, but not astrocytes. Neuronal death is prevented by ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonism and is partially sensitive to tetanus toxin. Removal of amino acids during the deprivation period prevents--whereas addition of L-cystine restores--GD-induced neuronal death, implicating the cystine/glutamate antiporter, system xc-. Indeed, drugs known to inhibit system xc- ameliorate GD-induced neuronal death. Further, a dramatic reduction in neuronal death is observed in chimaeric cultures consisting of neurons derived from WT (wild-type) mice plated on top of astrocytes derived from sut mice, which harbour a naturally occurring null mutation in the gene (Slc7a11) that encodes the substrate-specific light chain of system xc- (xCT). Finally, enhancement of astrocytic system xc- expression and function via IL-1β (interleukin-1β) exposure potentiates hypoglycaemic neuronal death, the process of which is prevented by removal of l-cystine and/or addition of system xc- inhibitors. Thus, under the conditions of GD, our studies demonstrate that astrocytes, via system xc-, have a direct, non-cell autonomous effect on cortical neuron survival.

  15. Non-Cell Autonomous Influence of the Astrocyte System xc − on Hypoglycaemic Neuronal Cell Death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole A Jackman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite longstanding evidence that hypoglycaemic neuronal injury is mediated by glutamate excitotoxicity, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved remain incompletely defined. Here, we demonstrate that the excitotoxic neuronal death that follows GD (glucose deprivation is initiated by glutamate extruded from astrocytes via system xc −– – an amino acid transporter that imports L-cystine and exports L-glutamate. Specifically, we find that depriving mixed cortical cell cultures of glucose for up to 8 h injures neurons, but not astrocytes. Neuronal death is prevented by ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonism and is partially sensitive to tetanus toxin. Removal of amino acids during the deprivation period prevents – whereas addition of L-cystine restores – GD-induced neuronal death, implicating the cystine/glutamate antiporter, system xc−–. Indeed, drugs known to inhibit system xc −– ameliorate GD-induced neuronal death. Further, a dramatic reduction in neuronal death is observed in chimaeric cultures consisting of neurons derived from WT (wild-type mice plated on top of astrocytes derived from sut mice, which harbour a naturally occurring null mutation in the gene (Slc7a11 that encodes the substrate-specific light chain of system xc −– (xCT. Finally, enhancement of astrocytic system xc −– expression and function via IL-1β (interleukin-1β exposure potentiates hypoglycaemic neuronal death, the process of which is prevented by removal of L-cystine and/or addition of system xc −– inhibitors. Thus, under the conditions of GD, our studies demonstrate that astrocytes, via system xc −–, have a direct, non-cell autonomous effect on cortical neuron survival.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Rubinowicz-Zasada

    2015-03-01

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

  17. Integrated health care for patients with motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewah, Helen

    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.

  18. Edaravone, a Free Radical Scavenger, Delayed Symptomatic and Pathological Progression of Motor Neuron Disease in the Wobbler Mouse.

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    Ken Ikeda

    Full Text Available Edaravone, a free radical scavenger is used widely in Japanese patients with acute cerebral infarction. This antioxidant could have therapeutic potentials for other neurological diseases. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects the upper and the lower motor neuron, leading to death within 3-5 years after onset. A phase III clinical trial of edaravone suggested no significant effects in ALS patients. However, recent 2nd double-blind trial has demonstrated therapeutic benefits of edaravone in definite patients diagnosed by revised El Escorial diagnostic criteria of ALS. Two previous studies showed that edaravone attenuated motor symptoms or motor neuron degeneration in mutant superoxide dismutase 1-transgenic mice or rats, animal models of familial ALS. Herein we examined whether this radical scavenger can retard progression of motor dysfunction and neuropathological changes in wobbler mice, sporadic ALS-like model. After diagnosis of the disease onset at the postnatal age of 3-4 weeks, wobbler mice received edaravone (1 or 10 mg/kg, n = 10/group or vehicle (n = 10, daily for 4 weeks by intraperitoneal administration. Motor symptoms and neuropathological changes were compared among three groups. Higher dose (10 mg/kg of edaravone treatment significantly attenuated muscle weakness and contracture in the forelimbs, and suppressed denervation atrophy in the biceps muscle and degeneration in the cervical motor neurons compared to vehicle. Previous and the present studies indicated neuroprotective effects of edaravone in three rodent ALS-like models. This drug seems to be worth performing the clinical trial in ALS patients in the United States of American and Europe, in addition to Japan.

  19. Temporal and spatial relationship between the death of PrP-damaged neurones and microglial activation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bate, C.; Boshuizen, R.S.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Williams, A.

    2002-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated a role for microglia in the neuronal loss that occurs in the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. In the present studies, the processes that lead to the death of neurones treated with synthetic peptides derived from the prion protein (PrP) w

  20. Joining forces: Motor control meets mirror neurons. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by D'Ausilio, Bartoli, and Maffongelli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casile, Antonino

    2015-03-01

    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 [1]). 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).

  1. Stem cells go soft: pliant substrate surfaces enhance motor neuron differentiation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wang, Ning

    2014-01-01

    .... Recently in Nature Materials, Sun et al. (2014) report that differentiating human pluripotent stem cells on soft substrates increases the efficiency of mature motor neuron differentiation by altering cytoskeletal mechanotransduction through...

  2. MotomiRs: miRNAs in Motor Neuron Function and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary C. E. Hawley

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available MiRNAs are key regulators of the mammalian transcriptome that have been increasingly linked to degenerative diseases of the motor neurons. Although many of the miRNAs currently incriminated as participants in the pathogenesis of these diseases are also important to the normal development and function of motor neurons, at present there is no knowledge of the complete miRNA profile of motor neurons. In this review, we examine the current understanding with respect to miRNAs that are specifically required for motor neuron development, function and viability, and provide evidence that these should be considered as a functional network of miRNAs which we have collectively termed MotomiRs. We will also summarize those MotomiRs currently known to be associated with both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, and discuss their potential use as biomarkers.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    expression profiles. Analysis of these gene clusters identifies early immunological/inflammatory and late developmental responses as well as a regulation of genes relating to neuron excitability that support the development of motor neuron hyper-excitability and the reappearance of plateau potentials...... of modulatory inputs from the brain correlates with the development of spasticity. Results: Here we examine the dynamic transcriptional response of motor neurons to spinal cord injury as it evolves over time to unravel common gene expression patterns and their underlying regulatory mechanisms. For this we use......Background: Spinal cord injury leads to neurological dysfunctions affecting the motor, sensory as well as the autonomic systems. Increased excitability of motor neurons has been implicated in injury-induced spasticity, where the reappearance of self-sustained plateau potentials in the absence...

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

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    Sharyn L Rossi

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

  5. GDNF secreting human neural progenitor cells protect dying motor neurons, but not their projection to muscle, in a rat model of familial ALS.

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    Masatoshi Suzuki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by rapid loss of muscle control and eventual paralysis due to the death of large motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Growth factors such as glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF are known to protect motor neurons from damage in a range of models. However, penetrance through the blood brain barrier and delivery to the spinal cord remains a serious challenge. Although there may be a primary dysfunction in the motor neuron itself, there is also increasing evidence that excitotoxicity due to glial dysfunction plays a crucial role in disease progression. Clearly it would be of great interest if wild type glial cells could ameliorate motor neuron loss in these models, perhaps in combination with the release of growth factors such as GDNF. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Human neural progenitor cells can be expanded in culture for long periods and survive transplantation into the adult rodent central nervous system, in some cases making large numbers of GFAP positive astrocytes. They can also be genetically modified to release GDNF (hNPC(GDNF and thus act as long-term 'mini pumps' in specific regions of the rodent and primate brain. In the current study we genetically modified human neural stem cells to release GDNF and transplanted them into the spinal cord of rats over-expressing mutant SOD1 (SOD1(G93A. Following unilateral transplantation into the spinal cord of SOD1(G93A rats there was robust cellular migration into degenerating areas, efficient delivery of GDNF and remarkable preservation of motor neurons at early and end stages of the disease within chimeric regions. The progenitors retained immature markers, and those not secreting GDNF had no effect on motor neuron survival. Interestingly, this robust motor neuron survival was not accompanied by continued innervation of muscle end plates and thus resulted in no

  6. DNA fragmentation follows delayed neuronal death in CA1 neurons exposed to transient global ischemia in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petito, C K; Torres-Munoz, J; Roberts, B; Olarte, J P; Nowak, T S; Pulsinelli, W A

    1997-09-01

    Apoptosis is an active, gene-directed process of cell death in which early fragmentation of nuclear DNA precedes morphological changes in the nucleus and, later, in the cytoplasm. In ischemia, biochemical studies have detected oligonucleosomes of apoptosis whereas sequential morphological studies show changes consistent with necrosis rather than apoptosis. To resolve this apparent discrepancy, we subjected rats to 10 minutes of transient forebrain ischemia followed by 1 to 14 days of reperfusion. Parameters evaluated in the CA1 region of the hippocampus included morphology, in situ end labeling (ISEL) of fragmented DNA, and expression of p53. Neurons were indistinguishable from controls at postischemic day 1 but displayed cytoplasmic basophilia or focal condensations at day 2; some neurons were slightly swollen and a few appeared normal. In situ end labeling was absent. At days 3 and 5, approximately 40 to 60% of CA1 neurons had shrunken eosinophilic cytoplasm and pyknotic nuclei, but only half of these were ISEL. By day 14, many of the necrotic neurons had been removed by phagocytes; those remaining retained mild ISEL. Neither p53 protein nor mRNA were identified in control or postischemic brain by in situ hybridization with riboprobes or by northern blot analysis. These results show that DNA fragmentation occurs after the development of delayed neuronal death in CA1 neurons subjected to 10 minutes of global ischemia. They suggest that mechanisms other than apoptosis may mediate the irreversible changes in the CA1 neurons in this model.

  7. Nuclear trafficking of Pten after brain injury leads to neuron survival not death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goh, Choo-Peng; Putz, Ulrich; Howitt, Jason; Low, Ley-Hian; Gunnersen, Jenny; Bye, Nicole; Morganti-Kossmann, Cristina; Tan, Seong-Seng

    2014-02-01

    There is controversy whether accumulation of the tumor suppressor PTEN protein in the cell nucleus under stress conditions such as trauma and stroke causes cell death. A number of in vitro studies have reported enhanced apoptosis in neurons possessing nuclear PTEN, with the interpretation that its nuclear phosphatase activity leads to reduction of the survival protein phospho-Akt. However, there have been no in vivo studies to show that nuclear PTEN in neurons under stress is detrimental. Using a mouse model of injury, we demonstrate here that brain trauma altered the nucleo-cytoplasmic distribution of Pten, resulting in increased nuclear Pten but only in surviving neurons near the lesion. This event was driven by Ndfip1, an adaptor and activator of protein ubiquitination by Nedd4 E3 ligases. Neurons next to the lesion with nuclear PTEN were invariably negative for TUNEL, a marker for cell death. These neurons also showed increased Ndfip1 which we previously showed to be associated with neuron survival. Biochemical assays revealed that overall levels of Pten in the affected cortex were unchanged after trauma, suggesting that Pten abundance globally had not increased but rather Pten subcellular location in affected neurons had changed. Following experimental injury, the number of neurons with nuclear Pten was reduced in heterozygous mice (Ndfip1(+/-)) although lesion volumes were increased. We conclude that nuclear trafficking of Pten following injury leads to neuron survival not death.

  8. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Lu Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  9. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Meng-Lu; Zang, Tong; Zhang, Chun-Li

    2016-01-05

    Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs) exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  10. Egr3 dependent sympathetic target tissue innervation in the absence of neuron death.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Li

    Full Text Available Nerve Growth Factor (NGF is a target tissue derived neurotrophin required for normal sympathetic neuron survival and target tissue innervation. NGF signaling regulates gene expression in sympathetic neurons, which in turn mediates critical aspects of neuron survival, axon extension and terminal axon branching during sympathetic nervous system (SNS development. Egr3 is a transcription factor regulated by NGF signaling in sympathetic neurons that is essential for normal SNS development. Germline Egr3-deficient mice have physiologic dysautonomia characterized by apoptotic sympathetic neuron death and abnormal innervation to many target tissues. The extent to which sympathetic innervation abnormalities in the absence of Egr3 is caused by altered innervation or by neuron death during development is unknown. Using Bax-deficient mice to abrogate apoptotic sympathetic neuron death in vivo, we show that Egr3 has an essential role in target tissue innervation in the absence of neuron death. Sympathetic target tissue innervation is abnormal in many target tissues in the absence of neuron death, and like NGF, Egr3 also appears to effect target tissue innervation heterogeneously. In some tissues, such as heart, spleen, bowel, kidney, pineal gland and the eye, Egr3 is essential for normal innervation, whereas in other tissues such as lung, stomach, pancreas and liver, Egr3 appears to have little role in innervation. Moreover, in salivary glands and heart, two tissues where Egr3 has an essential role in sympathetic innervation, NGF and NT-3 are expressed normally in the absence of Egr3 indicating that abnormal target tissue innervation is not due to deregulation of these neurotrophins in target tissues. Taken together, these results clearly demonstrate a role for Egr3 in mediating sympathetic target tissue innervation that is independent of neuron survival or neurotrophin deregulation.

  11. Gene expression profiling for human iPS-derived motor neurons from sporadic ALS patients reveals a strong association between mitochondrial functions and neurodegeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chrystian Junqueira Alves

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that leads to widespread motor neuron death, general palsy and respiratory failure. The most prevalent sporadic ALS form is not genetically inherited. Attempts to translate therapeutic strategies have failed because the described mechanisms of disease are based on animal models carrying specific gene mutations and thus do not address sporadic ALS. In order to achieve a better approach to study the human disease, human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC-differentiated motor neurons were obtained from motor nerve fibroblasts of sporadic ALS and non-ALS subjects using the STEMCCA Cre-Excisable Constitutive Polycistronic Lentivirus system and submitted to microarray analyses using a whole human genome platform. DAVID analyses of differentially expressed genes identified molecular function and biological process-related genes through Gene Ontology. REVIGO highlighted the related functions mRNA and DNA binding, GTP binding, transcription (co-repressor activity, lipoprotein receptor binding, synapse organization, intracellular transport, mitotic cell cycle and cell death. KEGG showed pathways associated with Parkinson’s disease and oxidative phosphorylation, highlighting iron homeostasis, neurotrophic functions, endosomal trafficking and ERK signaling. The analysis of most dysregulated genes and those representative of the majority of categorized genes indicates a strong association between mitochondrial function and cellular processes possibly related to motor neuron degeneration. In conclusion, iPSC-derived motor neurons from motor nerve fibroblasts of sporadic ALS patients may recapitulate key mechanisms of neurodegeneration and may offer an opportunity for translational investigation of sporadic ALS. Large gene profiling of differentiated motor neurons from sporadic ALS patients highlights mitochondrial participation in the establishment of autonomous mechanisms associated

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J. Wainger

    2014-04-01

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

  14. Preconditioning crush increases the survival rate of motor neurons after spinal root avulsion

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lin Li; Yizhi Zuo; Jianwen He

    2014-01-01

    In a previous study, heat shock protein 27 was persistently upregulated in ventral motor neurons following nerve root avulsion or crush. Here, we examined whether the upregulation of heat shock protein 27 would increase the survival rate of motor neurons. Rats were divided into two groups:an avulsion-only group (avulsion of the L4 lumbar nerve root only) and a crush-avulsion group (the L4 lumbar nerve root was crushed 1 week prior to the avulsion). Immunofluores-cent staining revealed that the survival rate of motor neurons was significantly greater in the crush-avulsion group than in the avulsion-only group, and this difference remained for at least 5 weeks after avulsion. The higher neuronal survival rate may be explained by the upregulation of heat shock protein 27 expression in motor neurons in the crush-avulsion group. Further-more, preconditioning crush greatly attenuated the expression of nitric oxide synthase in the motor neurons. Our ifndings indicate that the neuroprotective action of preconditioning crush is mediated through the upregulation of heat shock protein 27 expression and the attenuation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase upregulation following avulsion.

  15. Fezf2 expression in layer 5 projection neurons of mature mouse motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tantirigama, Malinda L S; Oswald, Manfred J; Clare, Alison J; Wicky, Hollie E; Day, Robert C; Hughes, Stephanie M; Empson, Ruth M

    2016-03-01

    The mature cerebral cortex contains a wide diversity of neuron phenotypes. This diversity is specified during development by neuron-specific expression of key transcription factors, some of which are retained for the life of the animal. One of these key developmental transcription factors that is also retained in the adult is Fezf2, but the neuron types expressing it in the mature cortex are unknown. With a validated Fezf2-Gfp reporter mouse, whole-cell electrophysiology with morphology reconstruction, cluster analysis, in vivo retrograde labeling, and immunohistochemistry, we identify a heterogeneous population of Fezf2(+) neurons in both layer 5A and layer 5B of the mature motor cortex. Functional electrophysiology identified two distinct subtypes of Fezf2(+) neurons that resembled pyramidal tract projection neurons (PT-PNs) and intratelencephalic projection neurons (IT-PNs). Retrograde labeling confirmed the former type to include corticospinal projection neurons (CSpPNs) and corticothalamic projection neurons (CThPNs), whereas the latter type included crossed corticostriatal projection neurons (cCStrPNs) and crossed-corticocortical projection neurons (cCCPNs). The two Fezf2(+) subtypes expressed either CTIP2 or SATB2 to distinguish their physiological identity and confirmed that specific expression combinations of key transcription factors persist in the mature motor cortex. Our findings indicate a wider role for Fezf2 within gene expression networks that underpin the diversity of layer 5 cortical projection neurons.

  16. Caspase-2 is essential for c-Jun transcriptional activation and Bim induction in neuron death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jean, Ying Y.; Ribe, Elena M.; Pero, Maria Elena; Moskalenko, Marina; Iqbal, Zarah; Marks, Lianna J.; Greene, Lloyd A.; Troy, Carol M.

    2014-01-01

    SYNOPSIS Neuronal apoptotic death generally requires de novo transcription, and activation of the transcription factor c-Jun has been shown to be necessary in multiple neuronal death paradigms. Caspase-2 has been implicated in death of neuronal and non-neuronal cells, but its relationship to transcriptional activation has not been clearly elucidated. Here, using two different neuronal apoptotic paradigms, β-amyloid treatment and NGF withdrawal, we examined the hierarchical role of caspase-2 activation in the transcriptional control of neuron death. Both paradigms induce rapid activation of caspase-2 as well as activation of the transcription factor c-Jun and subsequent induction of the pro-apoptotic BH-3 only protein Bim. Caspase-2 activation is dependent on the adaptor protein RAIDD, and both caspase-2 and RAIDD are required for c-Jun activation and Bim induction. Our work, thus, shows that rapid caspase-2 activation is essential for c-Jun activation and Bim induction in neurons subjected to apoptotic stimuli. This places caspase-2 at an apical position in the apoptotic cascade and demonstrates for the first time that caspase-2 can regulate transcription. PMID:23815625

  17. Etiopathogenesis of lower motor neuron facial palsy: Our experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Venugopal

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction : Facial nerve is the seventh cranial nerve having important functions, and hence its paralysis can lead to a great deal of mechanical impairment and emotional embarrassment. Etiopathogenisis of lower motor neuron facial palsy is still a diagnostic challenge and the literature has shown varying results pertaining to the same. This study was designed to sketch out the prevalence of disease causation and the profile of peripheral facial palsy patients presenting to the ENT department at Government Medical College, Kozhikode. Materials and Methods : A prospective study involving 60 patients with facial nerve palsy, presented during the period November 2006 to October 2008, was undertaken. Detailed analysis of etiopathogenesis, age and sex distribution, severity of palsy, anatomical levels and follow up for 1 year was done. Results : Trauma, both iatrogenic and non-iatrogenic, was the most widespread etiology in our study, followed by Bell′s palsy which is described as the commonest cause in world literature. Majority of the patients belonged to the age group of 31-40 years and there was slight male preponderance Non-iatrogenic facial palsy following road traffic accident was common in young males, while females dominated in infectious palsies. Majority of cases reported with grade III palsy, followed by grade IV. High-resolution computed tomography of temporal bone is exceedingly sensitive in delineating facial canal. Conclusions : Data analysis shows similarity with the existing literature except a novel trend towards amplified incidence of trauma surpassing Bell′s palsy. The need for comprehensive history taking, meticulous clinical examination, judicious investigations and appropriate intervention is substantiated by the study.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. TDP-43 Toxicity Proceeds via Calcium Dysregulation and Necrosis in Aging Caenorhabditis elegans Motor Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggad, Dina; Vérièpe, Julie; Tauffenberger, Arnaud

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a heterogeneous disease with either sporadic or genetic origins characterized by the progressive degeneration of motor neurons. At the cellular level, ALS neurons show protein misfolding and aggregation phenotypes. Transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has recently been shown to be associated with ALS, but the early pathophysiological deficits causing impairment in motor function are unknown. Here we used Caenorhabditis elegans expressing mutant TDP-43A315T in motor neurons and explored the potential influences of calcium (Ca2+). Using chemical and genetic approaches to manipulate the release of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+stores, we observed that the reduction of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) rescued age-dependent paralysis and prevented the neurodegeneration of GABAergic motor neurons. Our data implicate elevated [Ca2+]i as a driver of TDP-43-mediated neuronal toxicity. Furthermore, we discovered that neuronal degeneration is independent of the executioner caspase CED-3, but instead requires the activity of the Ca2+-regulated calpain protease TRA-3, and the aspartyl protease ASP-4. Finally, chemically blocking protease activity protected against mutant TDP-43A315T-associated neuronal toxicity. This work both underscores the potential of the C. elegans system to identify key targets for therapeutic intervention and suggests that a focused effort to regulate ER Ca2+ release and necrosis-like degeneration consequent to neuronal injury may be of clinical importance. PMID:25186754

  20. Asphyxia: a rare cause of death for motor vehicle crash occupants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conroy, Carol; Stanley, Christina; Eastman, A Brent; Vaughan, Teresa; Vilke, Gary M; Hoyt, David B; Pacyna, Sharon; Smith, Alan

    2008-03-01

    Motor vehicle related trauma is one of the leading causes of traumatic death. Although most of these deaths are because of severe blunt force trauma, there are people without severe injury who die of asphyxia related to the motor vehicle collision. There were 37 deaths because of motor vehicle related asphyxia in San Diego County during 1995-2004. Almost half (48.6%) of these deaths were because of compression asphyxia, 29.7% were positional asphyxia deaths, and 16.2% died of a combination of compression and positional asphyxia. We were unable to classify the mechanism of asphyxia for the remaining 5.4% of asphyxia deaths. Almost all occupants dying from asphyxia were involved in rollover crashes and may have been incapacitated by obesity, drug or alcohol intoxication, or blunt force trauma. Compression asphyxia deaths occurred both from vehicle crush with intrusion into the passenger compartment and from ejection of the occupant and subsequent crushing by the vehicle. Positional asphyxia occurred in positions interfering with normal respiration, including inversion. None of the occupants had injury severe enough to result in death at the scene if they had not first died of asphyxia. This study suggests classifying the mechanism of asphyxia for these fatalities may be a challenge to forensic pathologists who seldom see these rare deaths.

  1. Human group IIA secretory phospholipase A2 induces neuronal cell death via apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yagami, Tatsurou; Ueda, Keiichi; Asakura, Kenji; Hata, Satoshi; Kuroda, Takayuki; Sakaeda, Toshiyuki; Takasu, Nobuo; Tanaka, Kazushige; Gemba, Takefumi; Hori, Yozo

    2002-01-01

    Expression of group IIA secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2-IIA) is documented in the cerebral cortex (CTX) after ischemia, suggesting that sPLA2-IIA is associated with neurodegeneration. However, how sPLA2-IIA is involved in the neurodegeneration remains obscure. To clarify the pathologic role of sPLA2-IIA, we examined its neurotoxicity in rats that had the middle cerebral artery occluded and in primary cultures of cortical neurons. After occlusion, sPLA2 activity was increased in the CTX. An sPLA2 inhibitor, indoxam, significantly ameliorated not only the elevated activity of the sPLA2 but also the neurodegeneration in the CTX. The neuroprotective effect of indoxam was observed even when it was administered after occlusion. In primary cultures, sPLA2-IIA caused marked neuronal cell death. Morphologic and ultrastructural characteristics of neuronal cell death by sPLA2-IIA were apoptotic, as evidenced by condensed chromatin and fragmented DNA. Before apoptosis, sPLA2-IIA liberated arachidonic acid (AA) and generated prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), an AA metabolite, from neurons. Indoxam significantly suppressed not only AA release, but also PGD2 generation. Indoxam prevented neurons from sPLA2-IIA-induced neuronal cell death. The neuroprotective effect of indoxam was observed even when it was administered after sPLA2-IIA treatment. Furthermore, a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor significantly prevented neurons from sPLA2-IIA-induced PGD2 generation and neuronal cell death. In conclusion, sPLA2-IIA induces neuronal cell death via apoptosis, which might be associated with AA metabolites, especially PGD2. Furthermore, sPLA2 contributes to neurodegeneration in the ischemic brain, highlighting the therapeutic potential of sPLA2-IIA inhibitors for stroke.

  2. Motor neuron cell bodies are actively positioned by Slit/Robo repulsion and Netrin/DCC attraction.

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    Kim, Minkyung; Fontelonga, Tatiana; Roesener, Andrew P; Lee, Haeram; Gurung, Suman; Mendonca, Philipe R F; Mastick, Grant S

    2015-03-01

    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.

  3. Deficiency of GDNF Receptor GFRα1 in Alzheimer's Neurons Results in Neuronal Death

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    Konishi, Yoshihiro; Yang, Li-Bang; He, Ping; Lindholm, Kristina; Lu, Bai

    2014-01-01

    We have recently developed aged cortical neuron cultures from autopsied human brains with Alzheimer's disease (AD). During the culturing process, we found that glutamatergic cortical neurons from the AD brain lacked a response to glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), including no axonal regrowth, and were starting to undergo apoptosis. Here we showed that, in cortical neurons from age- and gender-matched cognitively normal control (NC) subjects (NC neurons), GDNF enhanced the expression of GDNF family receptor subtype α1 (GFRα1), but not the other three subtypes (GFRα2, GFRα3, and GFRα4), whereas GDNF failed to induce GFRα1 expression in cortical neurons from the AD brain (AD neurons). The exogenous introduction of GFRα1, but not of its binding partner α1-neural cell adhesion molecule, or RET into AD neurons restored the effect of GDNF on neuronal survival. Moreover, between NC and AD neurons, the AMPA receptor blocker CNQX and the NMDA receptor blocker AP-5 had opposite effects on the GFRα1 expression induced by GDNF. In NC neurons, the presence of glutamate receptors was necessary for GDNF-linked GFRα1 expression, while in AD neurons the absence of glutamate receptors was required for GFRα1 expression by GDNF stimulation. These results suggest that, in AD neurons, specific impairments of GFRα1, which may be linked to glutamatergic neurotransmission, shed light on developing potential therapeutic strategies for AD by upregulation of GFRα1 expression. PMID:25253858

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

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    Karen L Elliott

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

  5. Endogenous recovery after brain damage: molecular mechanisms that balance neuronal life/death fate.

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    Tovar-y-Romo, Luis B; Penagos-Puig, Andrés; Ramírez-Jarquín, Josué O

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal survival depends on multiple factors that comprise a well-fueled energy metabolism, trophic input, clearance of toxic substances, appropriate redox environment, integrity of blood-brain barrier, suppression of programmed cell death pathways and cell cycle arrest. Disturbances of brain homeostasis lead to acute or chronic alterations that might ultimately cause neuronal death with consequent impairment of neurological function. Although we understand most of these processes well when they occur independently from one another, we still lack a clear grasp of the concerted cellular and molecular mechanisms activated upon neuronal damage that intervene in protecting damaged neurons from death. In this review, we summarize a handful of endogenously activated mechanisms that balance molecular cues so as to determine whether neurons recover from injury or die. We center our discussion on mechanisms that have been identified to participate in stroke, although we consider different scenarios of chronic neurodegeneration as well. We discuss two central processes that are involved in endogenous repair and that, when not regulated, could lead to tissue damage, namely, trophic support and neuroinflammation. We emphasize the need to construct integrated models of neuronal degeneration and survival that, in the end, converge in neuronal fate after injury. Under neurodegenerative conditions, endogenously activated mechanisms balance out molecular cues that determine whether neurons contend toxicity or die. Many processes involved in endogenous repair may as well lead to tissue damage depending on the strength of stimuli. Signaling mediated by trophic factors and neuroinflammation are examples of these processes as they regulate different mechanisms that mediate neuronal demise including necrosis, apoptosis, necroptosis, pyroptosis and autophagy. In this review, we discuss recent findings on balanced regulation and their involvement in neuronal death.

  6. Protein Kinase Pathways That Regulate Neuronal Survival and Death

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-08-01

    interneurons of the cerebellum, provide a good model for a maximal concentration of IGF-I (50 ng/ml). The phosphor- VOL. 20, 2000 REGULATION OF NEURONAL...Cell 6:233-244. 272:33271-33278. Lyons GE, Micales BK , Schwarz J, Martin JF, Olson EN (1995) Expres- Ornatsky 01, Cox DM, Tangirala P, Andreucci JJ

  7. Interleukin-3 prevents neuronal death induced by amyloid peptide

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    Otth Carola

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interleukin-3 (IL-3 is an important glycoprotein involved in regulating biological responses such as cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. Its effects are mediated via interaction with cell surface receptors. Several studies have demonstrated the expression of IL-3 in neurons and astrocytes of the hippocampus and cortices in normal mouse brain, suggesting a physiological role of IL-3 in the central nervous system. Although there is evidence indicating that IL-3 is expressed in some neuronal populations, its physiological role in these cells is poorly known. Results In this study, we demonstrated the expression of IL-3 receptor in cortical neurons, and analyzed its influence on amyloid β (Aβ-treated cells. In these cells, IL-3 can activate at least three classical signalling pathways, Jak/STAT, Ras/MAP kinase and the PI 3-kinase. Viability assays indicated that IL-3 might play a neuroprotective role in cells treated with Aβ fibrils. It is of interest to note that our results suggest that cell survival induced by IL-3 required PI 3-kinase and Jak/STAT pathway activation, but not MAP kinase. In addition, IL-3 induced an increase of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. Conclusion Altogether these data strongly suggest that IL-3 neuroprotects neuronal cells against neurodegenerative agents like Aβ.

  8. Gap Junction-Mediated Signaling from Motor Neurons Regulates Motor Generation in the Central Circuits of Larval Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, Teruyuki; Kohsaka, Hiroshi; Nose, Akinao

    2017-02-22

    In this study, we used the peristaltic crawling of Drosophila larvae as a model to study how motor patterns are regulated by central circuits. We built an experimental system that allows simultaneous application of optogenetics and calcium imaging to the isolated ventral nerve cord (VNC). We then investigated the effects of manipulating local activity of motor neurons (MNs) on fictive locomotion observed as waves of MN activity propagating along neuromeres. Optical inhibition of MNs with halorhodopsin3 in a middle segment (A4, A5, or A6), but not other segments, dramatically decreased the frequency of the motor waves. Conversely, local activation of MNs with channelrhodopsin2 in a posterior segment (A6 or A7) increased the frequency of the motor waves. Since peripheral nerves mediating sensory feedback were severed in the VNC preparation, these results indicate that MNs send signals to the central circuits to regulate motor pattern generation. Our results also indicate segmental specificity in the roles of MNs in motor control. The effects of the local MN activity manipulation were lost in shaking-B(2) (shakB(2) ) or ogre(2) , gap-junction mutations in Drosophila, or upon acute application of the gap junction blocker carbenoxolone, implicating electrical synapses in the signaling from MNs. Cell-type-specific RNAi suggested shakB and ogre function in MNs and interneurons, respectively, during the signaling. Our results not only reveal an unexpected role for MNs in motor pattern regulation, but also introduce a powerful experimental system that enables examination of the input-output relationship among the component neurons in this system.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Motor neurons are generally considered passive players in motor pattern generation, simply relaying information from upstream interneuronal circuits to the target muscles. This study shows instead that MNs play active roles in the control of motor generation by conveying information via gap junctions to the

  9. Neuronal cells but not muscle cells are resistant to oxidative stress mediated protein misfolding and cell death: role of molecular chaperones.

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    Bhattacharya, Arunabh; Wei, Rochelle; Hamilton, Ryan T; Chaudhuri, Asish R

    2014-04-18

    Our recent study in a mouse model of familial-Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (f-ALS) revealed that muscle proteins are equally sensitive to misfolding as spinal cord proteins despite the presence of low mutant CuZn-superoxide dismutase, which is considered to be the key toxic element for initiation and progression of f-ALS. More importantly, we observed differential level of heat shock proteins (Hsp's) between skeletal muscle and spinal cord tissues prior to the onset and during disease progression; spinal cord maintains significantly higher level of Hsp's compared to skeletal muscle. In this study, we report two important observations; (i) muscle cells (but not neuronal cells) are extremely vulnerable to protein misfolding and cell death during challenge with oxidative stress and (ii) muscle cells fail to mount Hsp's during challenge unlike neuronal cells. These two findings can possibly explain why muscle atrophy precedes the death of motor neurons in f-ALS mice.

  10. Thioredoxin-2 Modulates Neuronal Programmed Cell Death in the Embryonic Chick Spinal Cord in Basal and Target-Deprived Conditions.

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    Marc Pirson

    Full Text Available Thioredoxin-2 (Trx2 is a mitochondrial protein using a dithiol active site to reduce protein disulfides. In addition to the cytoprotective function of this enzyme, several studies have highlighted the implication of Trx2 in cellular signaling events. In particular, growing evidence points to such roles of redox enzymes in developmental processes taking place in the central nervous system. Here, we investigate the potential implication of Trx2 in embryonic development of chick spinal cord. To this end, we first studied the distribution of the enzyme in this tissue and report strong expression of Trx2 in chick embryo post-mitotic neurons at E4.5 and in motor neurons at E6.5. Using in ovo electroporation, we go on to highlight a cytoprotective effect of Trx2 on the programmed cell death (PCD of neurons during spinal cord development and in a novel cultured spinal cord explant model. These findings suggest an implication of Trx2 in the modulation of developmental PCD of neurons during embryonic development of the spinal cord, possibly through redox regulation mechanisms.

  11. Early immature neuronal death initiates cerebral ischemia-induced neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, D H; Lee, H E; Kwon, K J; Park, S J; Heo, H; Lee, Y; Choi, J W; Shin, C Y; Ryu, J H

    2015-01-22

    Throughout adulthood, neurons are continuously replaced by new cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, and this neurogenesis is increased by various neuronal injuries including ischemic stroke and seizure. While several mechanisms of this injury-induced neurogenesis have been elucidated, the initiation factor remains unclear. Here, we investigated which signal(s) trigger(s) ischemia-induced cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the hippocampal DG region. We found that early apoptotic cell death of the immature neurons occurred in the DG region following transient forebrain ischemia/reperfusion in mice. Moreover, early immature neuronal death in the DG initiated transient forebrain ischemia/reperfusion-induced neurogenesis through glycogen synthase kinase-3β/β-catenin signaling, which was mediated by microglia-derived insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Additionally, we observed that the blockade of immature neuronal cell death, early microglial activation, or IGF-1 signaling attenuated ischemia-induced neurogenesis. These results suggest that early immature neuronal cell death initiates ischemia-induced neurogenesis through microglial IGF-1 in mice.

  12. Protective Effect of Interleukin-1β on Motor Neurons after Sciatic Nerve Injury in Rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    翁雨雄; 巴拉特; 洪光祥; 王发斌; 陈振斌; 黄启顺

    2004-01-01

    Summary: Protective effect of interleukin-lβ (IL-1β) on motor neurons was studied after peripheral nerve injury. Twenty Wistar rats were divided into 2 groups randomly. The right sciatic nerve of each rat was resected. After silicon tubulization of sciatic nerve in rat, 15 μl 1 ng/ml IL-1β and PBS solution were injected into the silicon capsule respectively. Enzyme histochemistry was performed to show acetyle cholesterase (AchE) and nitric oxide staining (NOS) activity of spinal a motor neurons in spinal segments 2 weeks later. Neurons were counted and the diameter and cross sectional (c/s) area of neurons were analyzed by using computer image analysis system. The results showed that as compared with the normal side, both enzyme activities significantly changed in motor neurons in PBS group. The diameter and c/s area of both neurons changed significantly too (P<0.01). These results suggest that exogenous IL-1β protects a-motor neurons from degeneration and necrosis after peripheral nerve injury.

  13. Clinical implications of the involvement of tPA in neuronal cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsirka, S E

    1997-05-01

    Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), the serine protease that converts inactive plasminogen to the protease plasmin, was recently shown to mediate neurodegeneration in the mouse hippocampus. Mice deficient in tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) display a dramatic resistance to a paradigm of excitotoxic neuronal death that involves intrahippocampal injection of the excitotoxin. This model is thought to reproduce the mechanism of neuronal death observed during acute (such as ischemic stroke) and degenerative (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) diseases of the nervous system. The requirement for the proteolytic activity of tPA to mediate neuronal death is acute in the adult mouse. Serine protease inhibitors, specific for tPA or the tPA/plasmin proteolytic cascade, are effective in conferring extensive neuroprotection following the excitotoxic injection. These findings suggest possible new ways for interfering with the neuronal death observed in the hippocampus as a result of excitotoxicity. In addition, tPA is produced in the hippocampus primarily by microglial cells, which become activated in response to the neuronal injury. Blocking microglial activation has been shown in other injury paradigms to protect against neuronal death, therefore suggesting another way to retard neurodegeneration in the CNS. Furthermore, after the insult has been inflicted and in the presence of a compromised blood-brain barrier macrophages (cells deriving from the same lineage as microglia) migrate into the brain, where they are thought to contribute to the neuronal cell loss by secreting neurotoxic molecules. If these macrophages/microglia expressed, however, a tPA inhibitor, rather than the possibly neurotoxic tPA, they might be able to protect the neurons from dying.

  14. Motor Neurons Exhibit Sustained Loss of Atrophy Reversal in Immunodeficent Mice.

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    Huang, Zhi; Petitto, John M

    2013-01-01

    Our lab showed previously that whereas a substantial portion of chronically resected facial motor neurons reside in an atrophied state that can be reversed at 14 days following reinjury in wild-type (WT) mice, atrophy reversal was altered in immunodeficient mice. It was unclear, however, if the abnormal response at day 14 post-reinjury in immunodeficient mice might be due to differences in the kinetics of the reversal response or impaired regeneration. We sought to address this question, and test our working hypothesis that the normal regeneration of atrophied motor neurons is dependent on normal adaptive immunity, by comparing WT and immunodeficient recombination activating gene-2 knockout (RAG2-KO) mice that lack a mature T and B lymphocytes, at 3 and 28 days following reinjury. In WT mice, facial motor neurons that were resected for 10 weeks and subsequently reinjured for 3 days were able to regain fully an apparent 40% loss of countable neurons, and nearly 45% of that robust increase in neurons was sustained at 28 days post-reinjury in the WT mice. By contrast, at both 3 and 28 days post-reinjury RAG2-KO mice failed to show any increase in neuronal number. Size measurements showed that the surviving neurons of WT and RAG2-KO mice exhibited substantial motor neuron hypertrophy at 3 days post-reinjury, and similar levels of normal size motor neurons by 28 days post-reinjury. Among the WT mice, small numbers of T lymphocytes where found in the reinjured facial motor nucleus (FMN), and were significantly higher at 3 days, but not 28 days, in the reinjury compared to sham-reinjury groups. No differences were seen between the WT and RAG2-KO mice in overall microglial cell activity using CD11b expression following reinjury. These data suggest that many resected motor neurons did not survive the initial resection in RAG2-KO mice, whereas in WT mice they atrophied and could be restimulated by reinjury to regenerate their phenotype. Moreover, they indicate that normal T

  15. Gamma synchrony predicts neuron-neuron correlations and correlations with motor behavior in extrastriate visual area MT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Joonyeol; Lisberger, Stephen G

    2013-12-11

    Correlated variability of neuronal responses is an important factor in estimating sensory parameters from a population response. Large correlations among neurons reduce the effective size of a neural population and increase the variation of the estimates. They also allow the activity of one neuron to be informative about impending perceptual decisions or motor actions on single trials. In extrastriate visual area MT of the rhesus macaque, for example, some but not all neurons show nonzero "choice probabilities" for perceptual decisions or non-zero "MT-pursuit" correlations between the trial-by-trial variations in neural activity and smooth pursuit eye movements. To understand the functional implications of zero versus nonzero correlations between neural responses and impending perceptions or actions, we took advantage of prior observations that specific frequencies of local field potentials reflect the correlated activity of neurons. We found that the strength of the spike-field coherence of a neuron in the gamma-band frequency range is related to the size of its MT-pursuit correlations for eye direction, as well as to the size of the neuron-neuron correlations. Spike-field coherence predicts MT-pursuit correlations better for direction than for speed, perhaps because the topographic organization of direction preference in MT is more amenable to creating meaningful local field potentials. We suggest that the relationship between spiking and local-field potentials is stronger for neurons that have larger correlations with their neighbors; larger neuron-neuron correlations create stronger MT-pursuit correlations. Neurons that lack strong correlations with their neighbors also have weaker correlations with pursuit behavior, but still could drive pursuit strongly.

  16. Nitration and Glycation Turn Mature NGF into a Toxic Factor for Motor Neurons: A Role for p75(NTR) and RAGE Signaling in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Mi Jin; Vargas, Marcelo R; Harlan, Benjamin A; Killoy, Kelby M; Ball, Lauren E; Comte-Walters, Susana; Gooz, Monika; Yamamoto, Yasuhiko; Beckman, Joseph S; Barbeito, Luis; Pehar, Mariana

    2017-06-26

    Glycating stress can occur together with oxidative stress during neurodegeneration and contribute to the pathogenic mechanism. Nerve growth factor (NGF) accumulates in several neurodegenerative diseases. Besides promoting survival, NGF can paradoxically induce cell death by signaling through the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)). The ability of NGF to induce cell death is increased by nitration of its tyrosine residues under conditions associated with increased peroxynitrite formation. Here we investigated whether glycation also changes the ability of NGF to induce cell death and assessed the ability of post-translational modified NGF to signal through the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGEs). We also explored the potential role of RAGE-p75(NTR) interaction in the motor neuron death occurring in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) models. Glycation promoted NGF oligomerization and ultimately allowed the modified neurotrophin to signal through RAGE and p75(NTR) to induce motor neuron death at low physiological concentrations. A similar mechanism was observed for nitrated NGF. We provide evidence for the interaction of RAGE with p75(NTR) at the cell surface. Moreover, we observed that post-translational modified NGF was present in the spinal cord of an ALS mouse model. In addition, NGF signaling through RAGE and p75(NTR) was involved in astrocyte-mediated motor neuron toxicity, a pathogenic feature of ALS. Oxidative modifications occurring under stress conditions can enhance the ability of mature NGF to induce neuronal death at physiologically relevant concentrations, and RAGE is a new p75(NTR) coreceptor contributing to this pathway. Our results indicate that NGF-RAGE/p75(NTR) signaling may be a therapeutic target in ALS. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.

  17. Demonstrating Ipsilateral Cortical Connectivity with Lower-Limb Spinal Motor Neurons

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    Daniel, Janan

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This research was done for the Summer Internship in Neural Engineering (SINE during a three month period, June 2008 until the end of August 2008. The SINE program is affiliated with the Sensory Motor Performance Program (SMPP at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC and the Biomedical Engineering program at Northwestern University. I worked in the Neuralplasticity laboratory, which is a part of the SMPP located at the RIC. I worked under Dr. Stinear and Dr. Madhavan to test protocols developed by my advisors as candidate techniques for demonstrating ipsilateral connectivity between the lower limb motor cortex and spinal motor neurons. The goal of the research was to develop a candidate stimulation protocol to demonstrate ipsilateral connectivity in stroke patients between the lower limb motor cortex and spinal motor neurons.

  18. Inflammation without neuronal death triggers striatal neurogenesis comparable to stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Katie Z; Ge, Ruimin; Monni, Emanuela; Tatarishvili, Jemal; Ahlenius, Henrik; Arvidsson, Andreas; Ekdahl, Christine T; Lindvall, Olle; Kokaia, Zaal

    2015-11-01

    Ischemic stroke triggers neurogenesis from neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and migration of newly formed neuroblasts toward the damaged striatum where they differentiate to mature neurons. Whether it is the injury per se or the associated inflammation that gives rise to this endogenous neurogenic response is unknown. Here we showed that inflammation without corresponding neuronal loss caused by intrastriatal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection leads to striatal neurogenesis in rats comparable to that after a 30 min middle cerebral artery occlusion, as characterized by striatal DCX+ neuroblast recruitment and mature NeuN+/BrdU+ neuron formation. Using global gene expression analysis, changes in several factors that could potentially regulate striatal neurogenesis were identified in microglia sorted from SVZ and striatum of LPS-injected and stroke-subjected rats. Among the upregulated factors, one chemokine, CXCL13, was found to promote neuroblast migration from neonatal mouse SVZ explants in vitro. However, neuroblast migration to the striatum was not affected in constitutive CXCL13 receptor CXCR5(-/-) mice subjected to stroke. Infarct volume and pro-inflammatory M1 microglia/macrophage density were increased in CXCR5(-/-) mice, suggesting that microglia-derived CXCL13, acting through CXCR5, might be involved in neuroprotection following stroke. Our findings raise the possibility that the inflammation accompanying an ischemic insult is the major inducer of striatal neurogenesis after stroke.

  19. Excitotoxic death of retinal neurons in vivo occurs via a non-cell-autonomous mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebrun-Julien, Frédéric; Duplan, Laure; Pernet, Vincent; Osswald, Ingrid; Sapieha, Przemyslaw; Bourgeois, Philippe; Dickson, Kathleen; Bowie, Derek; Barker, Philip A; Di Polo, Adriana

    2009-04-29

    The central hypothesis of excitotoxicity is that excessive stimulation of neuronal NMDA-sensitive glutamate receptors is harmful to neurons and contributes to a variety of neurological disorders. Glial cells have been proposed to participate in excitotoxic neuronal loss, but their precise role is defined poorly. In this in vivo study, we show that NMDA induces profound nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation in Müller glia but not in retinal neurons. Intriguingly, NMDA-induced death of retinal neurons is effectively blocked by inhibitors of NF-kappaB activity. We demonstrate that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) protein produced in Müller glial cells via an NMDA-induced NF-kappaB-dependent pathway plays a crucial role in excitotoxic loss of retinal neurons. This cell loss occurs mainly through a TNFalpha-dependent increase in Ca(2+)-permeable AMPA receptors on susceptible neurons. Thus, our data reveal a novel non-cell-autonomous mechanism by which glial cells can profoundly exacerbate neuronal death following excitotoxic injury.

  20. Activity deprivation induces neuronal cell death: mediation by tissue-type plasminogen activator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eldi Schonfeld-Dado

    Full Text Available Spontaneous activity is an essential attribute of neuronal networks and plays a critical role in their development and maintenance. Upon blockade of activity with tetrodotoxin (TTX, neurons degenerate slowly and die in a manner resembling neurodegenerative diseases-induced neuronal cell death. The molecular cascade leading to this type of slow cell death is not entirely clear. Primary post-natal cortical neurons were exposed to TTX for up to two weeks, followed by molecular, biochemical and immunefluorescence analysis. The expression of the neuronal marker, neuron specific enolase (NSE, was down-regulated, as expected, but surprisingly, there was a concomitant and striking elevation in expression of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA. Immunofluorescence analysis indicated that tPA was highly elevated inside affected neurons. Transfection of an endogenous tPA inhibitor, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1, protected the TTX-exposed neurons from dying. These results indicate that tPA is a pivotal player in slowly progressing activity deprivation-induced neurodegeneration.

  1. Identification and outcomes of clinical phenotypes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease: Australian National Motor Neuron Disease observational cohort

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talman, Paul; Duong, Thi; Vucic, Steve; Mathers, Susan; Venkatesh, Svetha; Henderson, Robert; Rowe, Dominic; Schultz, David; Edis, Robert; Needham, Merrilee; Macdonnell, Richard; McCombe, Pamela; Birks, Carol; Kiernan, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Objective To capture the clinical patterns, timing of key milestones and survival of patients presenting with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (ALS/MND) within Australia. Methods Data were prospectively collected and were timed to normal clinical assessments. An initial registration clinical report form (CRF) and subsequent ongoing assessment CRFs were submitted with a completion CRF at the time of death. Design Prospective observational cohort study. Participants 1834 patients with a diagnosis of ALS/MND were registered and followed in ALS/MND clinics between 2005 and 2015. Results 5 major clinical phenotypes were determined and included ALS bulbar onset, ALS cervical onset and ALS lumbar onset, flail arm and leg and primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). Of the 1834 registered patients, 1677 (90%) could be allocated a clinical phenotype. ALS bulbar onset had a significantly lower length of survival when compared with all other clinical phenotypes (p<0.004). There were delays in the median time to diagnosis of up to 12 months for the ALS phenotypes, 18 months for the flail limb phenotypes and 19 months for PLS. Riluzole treatment was started in 78–85% of cases. The median delays in initiating riluzole therapy, from symptom onset, varied from 10 to 12 months in the ALS phenotypes and 15–18 months in the flail limb phenotypes. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy was implemented in 8–36% of ALS phenotypes and 2–9% of the flail phenotypes. Non-invasive ventilation was started in 16–22% of ALS phenotypes and 21–29% of flail phenotypes. Conclusions The establishment of a cohort registry for ALS/MND is able to determine clinical phenotypes, survival and monitor time to key milestones in disease progression. It is intended to expand the cohort to a more population-based registry using opt-out methodology and facilitate data linkage to other national registries. PMID:27694488

  2. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning are age dependent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berghuis, Kelly M. M.; De Rond, Veerle; Zijdewind, Inge; Koch, Giacomo; Veldman, Menno P.; Hortobagyi, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    There is controversy whether age-related neuroanatomical and neurophysiological changes in the central nervous system affect healthy old adults' abilities to acquire and retain motor skills. We examined the effects of age on motor skill acquisition and retention and potential underlying mechanisms b

  3. Glucose Levels in Culture Medium Determine Cell Death Mode in MPP(+)-treated Dopaminergic Neuronal Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, So-Young; Oh, Young J

    2015-09-01

    We previously demonstrated that 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)) causes caspase-independent, non-apoptotic death of dopaminergic (DA) neuronal cells. Here, we specifically examined whether change of glucose concentration in culture medium may play a role for determining cell death modes of DA neurons following MPP(+) treatment. By incubating MN9D cells in medium containing varying concentrations of glucose (5~35 mM), we found that cells underwent a distinct cell death as determined by morphological and biochemical criteria. At 5~10 mM glucose concentration (low glucose levels), MPP(+) induced typical of the apoptotic dell death accompanied with caspase activation and DNA fragmentation as well as cell shrinkage. In contrast, MN9D cells cultivated in medium containing more than 17.5 mM (high glucose levels) did not demonstrate any of these changes. Subsequently, we observed that MPP(+) at low glucose levels but not high glucose levels led to ROS generation and subsequent JNK activation. Therefore, MPP(+)-induced cell death only at low glucose levels was significantly ameliorated following co-treatment with ROS scavenger, caspase inhibitor or JNK inhibitor. We basically confirmed the quite similar pattern of cell death in primary cultures of DA neurons. Taken together, our results suggest that a biochemically distinct cell death mode is recruited by MPP(+) depending on extracellular glucose levels.

  4. Distinct Muscle Biopsy Findings in Genetically Defined Adult-Onset Motor Neuron Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokela, Manu; Huovinen, Sanna; Raheem, Olayinka; Lindfors, Mikaela; Palmio, Johanna; Penttilä, Sini; Udd, Bjarne

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize and compare muscle histopathological findings in 3 different genetic motor neuron disorders. We retrospectively re-assessed muscle biopsy findings in 23 patients with autosomal dominant lower motor neuron disease caused by p.G66V mutation in CHCHD10 (SMAJ), 10 X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) and 11 autosomal dominant c9orf72-mutated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (c9ALS) patients. Distinct large fiber type grouping consisting of non-atrophic type IIA muscle fibers were 100% specific for the late-onset spinal muscular atrophies (SMAJ and SBMA) and were never observed in c9ALS. Common, but less specific findings included small groups of highly atrophic rounded type IIA fibers in SMAJ/SBMA, whereas in c9ALS, small group atrophies consisting of small-caliber angular fibers involving both fiber types were more characteristic. We also show that in the 2 slowly progressive motor neuron disorders (SMAJ and SBMA) the initial neurogenic features are often confused with considerable secondary "myopathic" changes at later disease stages, such as rimmed vacuoles, myofibrillar aggregates and numerous fibers reactive for fetal myosin heavy chain (dMyHC) antibodies. Based on our findings, muscle biopsy may be valuable in the diagnostic work-up of suspected motor neuron disorders in order to avoid a false ALS diagnosis in patients without clear findings of upper motor neuron lesions.

  5. Muscle mitochondrial uncoupling dismantles neuromuscular junction and triggers distal degeneration of motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc Dupuis

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

  6. Distinct Muscle Biopsy Findings in Genetically Defined Adult-Onset Motor Neuron Disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manu Jokela

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to characterize and compare muscle histopathological findings in 3 different genetic motor neuron disorders. We retrospectively re-assessed muscle biopsy findings in 23 patients with autosomal dominant lower motor neuron disease caused by p.G66V mutation in CHCHD10 (SMAJ, 10 X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA and 11 autosomal dominant c9orf72-mutated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (c9ALS patients. Distinct large fiber type grouping consisting of non-atrophic type IIA muscle fibers were 100% specific for the late-onset spinal muscular atrophies (SMAJ and SBMA and were never observed in c9ALS. Common, but less specific findings included small groups of highly atrophic rounded type IIA fibers in SMAJ/SBMA, whereas in c9ALS, small group atrophies consisting of small-caliber angular fibers involving both fiber types were more characteristic. We also show that in the 2 slowly progressive motor neuron disorders (SMAJ and SBMA the initial neurogenic features are often confused with considerable secondary "myopathic" changes at later disease stages, such as rimmed vacuoles, myofibrillar aggregates and numerous fibers reactive for fetal myosin heavy chain (dMyHC antibodies. Based on our findings, muscle biopsy may be valuable in the diagnostic work-up of suspected motor neuron disorders in order to avoid a false ALS diagnosis in patients without clear findings of upper motor neuron lesions.

  7. Distinct Muscle Biopsy Findings in Genetically Defined Adult-Onset Motor Neuron Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokela, Manu; Huovinen, Sanna; Raheem, Olayinka; Lindfors, Mikaela; Palmio, Johanna; Penttilä, Sini; Udd, Bjarne

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize and compare muscle histopathological findings in 3 different genetic motor neuron disorders. We retrospectively re-assessed muscle biopsy findings in 23 patients with autosomal dominant lower motor neuron disease caused by p.G66V mutation in CHCHD10 (SMAJ), 10 X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) and 11 autosomal dominant c9orf72-mutated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (c9ALS) patients. Distinct large fiber type grouping consisting of non-atrophic type IIA muscle fibers were 100% specific for the late-onset spinal muscular atrophies (SMAJ and SBMA) and were never observed in c9ALS. Common, but less specific findings included small groups of highly atrophic rounded type IIA fibers in SMAJ/SBMA, whereas in c9ALS, small group atrophies consisting of small-caliber angular fibers involving both fiber types were more characteristic. We also show that in the 2 slowly progressive motor neuron disorders (SMAJ and SBMA) the initial neurogenic features are often confused with considerable secondary “myopathic” changes at later disease stages, such as rimmed vacuoles, myofibrillar aggregates and numerous fibers reactive for fetal myosin heavy chain (dMyHC) antibodies. Based on our findings, muscle biopsy may be valuable in the diagnostic work-up of suspected motor neuron disorders in order to avoid a false ALS diagnosis in patients without clear findings of upper motor neuron lesions. PMID:26999347

  8. Retrograde labeling, transduction and genetic targeting allow cellular analysis of corticospinal motor neurons: Implications in health and disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Hernan Jara

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN have a unique ability to receive, integrate, translate, and transmit the cerebral cortex’s input toward spinal cord targets and therefore, act as a spokesperson for the initiation and modulation of voluntary movements that require cortical input. CSMN degeneration has an immense impact on motor neuron circuitry and is one of the underlying causes of numerous neurodegenerative diseases, such as primary lateral sclerosis, hereditary spastic paraplegia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In addition, CSMN death results in long-term paralysis in spinal cord injury patients. Detailed cellular analyses are crucial to gain a better understanding of the pathologies underlying CSMN degeneration. However, visualizing and identifying these vulnerable neuron populations in the complex and heterogeneous environment of the cerebral cortex has proved challenging. Here, we will review recent developments and current applications of novel strategies that reveal the cellular and molecular basis of CSMN health and vulnerability. Such studies hold promise for building long-term effective treatment solutions in the near future.

  9. Muscles innervated by a single motor neuron exhibit divergent synaptic properties on multiple time scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blitz, Dawn M; Pritchard, Amy E; Latimer, John K; Wakefield, Andrew T

    2017-01-19

    Adaptive changes in the output of neural circuits underlying rhythmic behaviors are relayed to muscles via motor neuron activity. Pre- and postsynaptic properties of neuromuscular junctions can impact the transformation from motor neuron activity to muscle response. Further, synaptic plasticity occurring on the time scale of inter-spike intervals can differ between multiple muscles innervated by the same motor neuron. In rhythmic behaviors, motor neuron bursts can elicit additional synaptic plasticity. However, it is unknown if plasticity regulated by the longer time scale of inter-burst intervals also differs between synapses from the same neuron, and whether any such distinctions occur across a physiological activity range. To address these issues, we measured electrical responses in muscles innervated by a chewing circuit neuron, the lateral gastric (LG) motor neuron, in a well-characterized small motor system, the stomatogastric nervous system (STNS) of the Jonah crab, Cancer borealis In vitro and in vivo, sensory, hormonal and modulatory inputs elicit LG bursting consisting of inter-spike intervals of 50-250 ms and inter-burst intervals of 2-24 s. Muscles expressed similar facilitation measured with paired stimuli except at the shortest inter-spike interval. However distinct decay time constants resulted in differences in temporal summation. In response to bursting activity, augmentation occurred to different extents and saturated at different inter-burst intervals in the three muscles. Further, augmentation interacted with facilitation, resulting in distinct intra-burst facilitation between muscles. Thus, responses of multiple target muscles diverge across a physiological activity range due to distinct synaptic properties sensitive to multiple time scales.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Boulanger

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lambrechts Diether

    2010-03-01

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

  12. Local connections of excitatory neurons in motor-associated cortical areas of the rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Takeshi

    2013-01-01

    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

  13. Unique pharmacological property of ISRIB in inhibition of Aβ-induced neuronal cell death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toru Hosoi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A pharmacological approach to ameliorate Alzheimer's disease (AD has not yet been established. In the present study, we investigated the pharmacological characteristics of the recently identified memory-enhancing compound, ISRIB for the amelioration of AD. ISRIB potently attenuated amyloid β-induced neuronal cell death at concentrations of 12.5–25 nM, but did not inhibit amyloid β production in the HEK293T cell line expressing the amyloid precursor protein (APP. These results suggest that ISRIB possesses the unique pharmacological property of attenuating amyloid β-induced neuronal cell death without affecting amyloid β production.

  14. A Small Molecule Screen in Stem Cell-derived Motor Neurons Identifies a Kinase Inhibitor as a Candidate Therapeutic for ALS

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Yin M; Gupta, Shailesh K; Kim, Kevin J.; Powers, Berit E.; Cerqueira, Antonio; Wainger, Brian J.; Ngo, Hien D.; Rosowski, Kathryn A.; Schein, Pamela A.; Ackeifi, Courtney A.; Arvanites, Anthony C.; Davidow, Lance S.; Woolf, Clifford J.; Rubin, Lee L.

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease, characterized by motor neuron (MN) death, for which there are no truly effective treatments. Here, we describe a new small molecule survival screen carried out using MNs from both wildtype and mutant SOD1 mouse embryonic stem cells. Among the hits we found, kenpaullone had a particularly impressive ability to prolong the healthy survival of both types of MNs that can be attributed to its ...

  15. Ensemble Fractional Sensitivity: A Quantitative Approach to Neuron Selection for Decoding Motor Tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Girish Singhal

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A robust method to help identify the population of neurons used for decoding motor tasks is developed. We use sensitivity analysis to develop a new metric for quantifying the relative contribution of a neuron towards the decoded output, called “fractional sensitivity.” Previous model-based approaches for neuron ranking have been shown to largely depend on the collection of training data. We suggest the use of an ensemble of models that are trained on random subsets of trials to rank neurons. For this work, we tested a decoding algorithm on neuronal data recorded from two male rhesus monkeys while they performed a reach to grasp a bar at three orientations (45∘, 90∘, or 135∘. An ensemble approach led to a statistically significant increase of 5% in decoding accuracy and 25% increase in identification accuracy of simulated noisy neurons, when compared to a single model. Furthermore, ranking neurons based on the ensemble fractional sensitivities resulted in decoding accuracies 10%–20% greater than when randomly selecting neurons or ranking based on firing rates alone. By systematically reducing the size of the input space, we determine the optimal number of neurons needed for decoding the motor output. This selection approach has practical benefits for other BMI applications where limited number of electrodes and training datasets are available, but high decoding accuracies are desirable.

  16. Yokukansan inhibits neuronal death during ER stress by regulating the unfolded protein response.

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    Toru Hiratsuka

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recently, several studies have reported Yokukansan (Tsumura TJ-54, a traditional Japanese medicine, as a potential new drug for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress is known to play an important role in the pathogenesis of AD, particularly in neuronal death. Therefore, we examined the effect of Yokukansan on ER stress-induced neurotoxicity and on familial AD-linked presenilin-1 mutation-associated cell death. METHODS: We employed the WST-1 assay and monitored morphological changes to evaluate cell viability following Yokukansan treatment or treatment with its components. Western blotting and PCR were used to observe the expression levels of GRP78/BiP, caspase-4 and C/EBP homologous protein. RESULTS: Yokukansan inhibited neuronal death during ER stress, with Cnidii Rhizoma (Senkyu, a component of Yokukansan, being particularly effective. We also showed that Yokukansan and Senkyu affect the unfolded protein response following ER stress and that these drugs inhibit the activation of caspase-4, resulting in the inhibition of ER stress-induced neuronal death. Furthermore, we found that the protective effect of Yokukansan and Senkyu against ER stress could be attributed to the ferulic acid content of these two drugs. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that Yokukansan, Senkyu and ferulic acid are protective against ER stress-induced neuronal cell death and may provide a possible new treatment for AD.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-02-11

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

  18. Ischemia leads to apoptosis--and necrosis-like neuron death in the ischemic rat hippocampus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Georg Johannes; Stadelmann, Christine; Bastholm, Lone

    2004-01-01

    pyramidal cells of the rat hippocampus. The earliest ischemic changes were found on day 2 and 3, reflected by an upregulation of phospho-c-Jun in a proportion of morphologically intact CA1 neurons, which matched the number of neurons that succumbed to ischemia at later time points. At day 3 and later 3...... and/or caspase-3 expression represented a minor fraction (neurons, while the vast majority followed a necrosis-like pathway. Our studies suggest that CA1 pyramidal cell death following transient forebrain ischemia may be initiated through c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway...

  19. Inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate as a mediator of neuronal death in ischemic hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsubokawa, H; Oguro, K; Robinson, H P; Masuzawa, T; Rhee, T S; Takenawa, T; Kawai, N

    1994-03-01

    Selective death of CA1 pyramidal neurons after transient forebrain ischemia has attracted interest for its possible relation to the pathogenesis of memory deficits and dementia. Using whole cell patch-clamp recording from CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices of gerbils after ischemia we studied the intracellular signaling mechanisms related to the phosphoinositide cycle. Intracellular application of an antibody against phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate rescued ischemic neurons from stimulus-induced irreversible depolarization. Furthermore, application of inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate in normal cells caused an irreversible depolarization in response to synaptic input, which mimicked the deterioration of ischemic neurons. Depolarization of both ischemic and normal neurons in the presence of inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate was prevented by the addition of the Ca2+ chelator, 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetra-acetate. Application of antibody against inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate 3-kinase, which blocks formation of inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate, also protected against cell deterioration. Our results suggest that the vulnerability of hippocampal pyramidal neurons following ischemia is caused by a disturbed phosphoinositide cascade, with one metabolite, inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate, playing a key role in the induction of Ca2+ accumulation, which leads to neuronal death.

  20. Neuroprotective effect of pentosan polysulphate on ischemia-related neuronal death of the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai-Yamashita, Yasuko; Kinugawa, Hidekazu; Niwa, Masami

    2006-11-27

    Pentosan polysulphate (PPS) negatively charged sulphated glycosaminoglycan was studied in ischemia-related hippocampal neuronal death and compared with a low molecular weight of heparin, named dalteparin in rats. Transient global ischemia was produced by four vessel-occlusion, the occlusion of the bilateral common carotid arteries following the electrocautherization of the vertebral arteries. 3mg/kg of PPS or 300IU/kg of dalteparin was administered i.v. immediately after 7min-occlusion/reperfusion. Seven days after the operation, the animals were perfused with 4% paraformaldehyde, and paraffinized coronal brain sections measuring 6microm in thickness were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Neuronal damage was then estimated as a ratio of the number of degenerated neurons to that of both the surviving and degenerated neurons in three distinct area of the CA1 subfield. The ratio of neuronal death increased with the length of the occlusion-time, at 5, 7 and 10min. Both PPS and dalteparin significantly inhibited the neuronal damage induced by 7min-occlusion. These results demonstrated that both PPS and dalteparin could thus protect brain neurons against ischemia/reperfusion-induced damage thus suggesting that they may be potentially useful therapeutic agents for acute ischemic stroke.

  1. Hashimoto′s encephalopathy and motor neuron disease: A common autoimmune pathogenesis?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harzheim Michael

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Hashimoto′s encephalopathy is a rare complication of autoimmune thyroiditis not associated with thyroidal function decline. We report a 50-year-old man presenting with lower motor neuron symptoms evolving over 3 years and changes in behavior associated with attentive and cognitive impairment occurring in the last few months. Memory deficits, emotional instability, marked dysarthria, mild symmetric weakness of the lower extremities, and fasciculations were the most striking clinical features. EEG was diffusely slow, cranial MRI revealed multiple subcortical white matter lesions, CSF protein was slightly elevated, electromyographic recordings showed acute and chronic denervation, and extremely high TPO antibody titers were found in the serum. Hashimoto′s encephalopathy and lower motor neuron disease were diagnosed. As repeated high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone administration followed by oral tapering improved both central nervous system and lower motor neuron symptoms, the question was raised whether there was a common autoimmune pathogenesis of both clinically distinct diseases.

  2. Simultaneous activation of mitophagy and autophagy by staurosporine protects against dopaminergic neuronal cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Ji-Young; Kim, Ji-Soo; Kim, Seo-Eun; Son, Jin H

    2014-02-21

    Abnormal autophagy is frequently observed during dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, it is not yet firmly established whether active autophagy is beneficial or pathogenic with respect to dopaminergic cell loss. Staurosporine, a common inducer of apoptosis, is often used in mechanistic studies of dopaminergic cell death. Here we report that staurosporine activates both autophagy and mitophagy simultaneously during dopaminergic neuronal cell death, and evaluate the physiological significance of these processes during cell death. First, staurosporine treatment resulted in induction of autophagy in more than 75% of apoptotic cells. Pharmacological inhibition of autophagy by bafilomycin A1 decreased significantly cell viability. In addition, staurosporine treatment resulted in activation of the PINK1-Parkin mitophagy pathway, of which deficit underlies some familial cases of PD, in the dopaminergic neuronal cell line, SN4741. The genetic blockade of this pathway by PINK1 null mutation also dramatically increased staurosporine-induced cell death. Taken together, our data suggest that staurosporine induces both mitophagy and autophagy, and that these pathways exert a significant neuroprotective effect, rather than a contribution to autophagic cell death. This model system may therefore be useful for elucidating the mechanisms underlying crosstalk between autophagy, mitophagy, and cell death in dopaminergic neurons.

  3. Major histocompatibility complex class I molecules protect motor neurons from astrocyte-induced toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, SungWon; Miranda, Carlos J; Braun, Lyndsey; Meyer, Kathrin; Frakes, Ashley E; Ferraiuolo, Laura; Likhite, Shibi; Bevan, Adam K; Foust, Kevin D; McConnell, Michael J; Walker, Christopher M; Kaspar, Brian K

    2016-04-01

    Astrocytes isolated from individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are toxic to motor neurons (MNs) and play a non-cell autonomous role in disease pathogenesis. The mechanisms underlying the susceptibility of MNs to cell death remain unclear. Here we report that astrocytes derived from either mice bearing mutations in genes associated with ALS or human subjects with ALS reduce the expression of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI) molecules on MNs; reduced MHCI expression makes these MNs susceptible to astrocyte-induced cell death. Increasing MHCI expression on MNs increases survival and motor performance in a mouse model of ALS and protects MNs against astrocyte toxicity. Overexpression of a single MHCI molecule, HLA-F, protects human MNs from ALS astrocyte-mediated toxicity, whereas knockdown of its receptor, the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor KIR3DL2, on human astrocytes results in enhanced MN death. Thus, our data indicate that, in ALS, loss of MHCI expression on MNs renders them more vulnerable to astrocyte-mediated toxicity.

  4. Cytidine 5'-diphosphocholine (CDP-choline) adversely effects on pilocarpine seizure-induced hippocampal neuronal death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jin Hee; Lee, Dong Won; Choi, Bo Young; Sohn, Min; Lee, Song Hee; Choi, Hui Chul; Song, Hong Ki; Suh, Sang Won

    2015-01-21

    Citicoline (CDP-choline; cytidine 5'-diphosphocholine) is an important intermediate in the biosynthesis of cell membrane phospholipids. Citicoline serves as a choline donor in the biosynthetic pathways of acetylcholine and neuronal membrane phospholipids, mainly phosphatidylcholine. The ability of citicoline to reverse neuronal injury has been tested in animal models of cerebral ischemia and clinical trials have been performed in stroke patients. However, no studies have examined the effect of citicoline on seizure-induced neuronal death. To clarify the potential therapeutic effects of citicoline on seizure-induced neuronal death, we used an animal model of pilocarpine-induced epilepsy. Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) was induced by intraperitoneal injection of pilocarpine (25mg/kg) in adult male rats. Citicoline (100 or 300 mg/kg) was injected into the intraperitoneal space two hours after seizure onset and a second injection was performed 24h after the seizure. Citicoline was injected once per day for one week after pilocarpine- or kainate-induced seizure. Neuronal injury and microglial activation were evaluated at 1 week post-seizure. Surprisingly, rather than offering protection, citicoline treatment actually enhanced seizure-induced neuronal death and microglial activation in the hippocampus compared to vehicle treated controls. Citicoline administration after seizure-induction increased immunoglobulin leakage via BBB disruption in the hippocampus compared with the vehicle-only group. To clarify if this adverse effect of citicoline is generalizable across alternative seizure models, we induced seizure by kainate injection (10mg/kg, i.p.) and then injected citicoline as in pilocarpine-induced seizure. We found that citicoline did not modulate kainate seizure-induced neuronal death, BBB disruption or microglial activation. These results suggest that citicoline may not have neuroprotective effects after seizure and that clinical application of citicoline after

  5. Hypoglycemic neuronal death and cognitive impairment are prevented by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors administered after hypoglycemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suh, Sang Won; Aoyama, Koji; Chen, Yongmei; Garnier, Philippe; Matsumori, Yasuhiko; Gum, Elizabeth; Liu, Jialing; Swanson, Raymond A

    2003-11-19

    Severe hypoglycemia causes neuronal death and cognitive impairment. Evidence suggests that hypoglycemic neuronal death involves excitotoxicity and DNA damage. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) normally functions in DNA repair, but promotes cell death when extensively activated by DNA damage. Cortical neuron cultures were subjected to glucose deprivation to assess the role of PARP-1 in hypoglycemic neuronal death. PARP-1-/- neurons and wild-type, PARP-1+/+ neurons treated with the PARP inhibitor 3,4-dihydro-5-[4-(1-piperidinyl)butoxy]-1(2H)-isoquinolinone both showed increased resistance to glucose deprivation. A rat model of insulin-induced hypoglycemia was used to assess the therapeutic potential of PARP inhibitors after hypoglycemia. Rats subjected to severe hypoglycemia (30 min EEG isoelectricity) accumulated both nitrotyrosine and the PARP-1 product, poly(ADP-ribose), in vulnerable neurons. Treatment with PARP inhibitors immediately after hypoglycemia blocked production of poly(ADP-ribose) and reduced neuronal death by >80% in most brain regions examined. Increased neuronal survival was also achieved when PARP inhibitors were administered up to 2 hr after blood glucose correction. Behavioral and histological assessments performed 6 weeks after hypoglycemia confirmed a sustained salutary effect of PARP inhibition. These results suggest that PARP-1 activation is a major factor mediating hypoglycemic neuronal death and that PARP-1 inhibitors can rescue neurons that would otherwise die after severe hypoglycemia.

  6. Interferon-γ increases neuronal death in response to amyloid-β1-42

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams Alun

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive cognitive impairment, the consequence of neuronal dysfunction and ultimately the death of neurons. The amyloid hypothesis proposes that neuronal damage results from the accumulation of insoluble, hydrophobic, fibrillar peptides such as amyloid-β1-42. These peptides activate enzymes resulting in a cascade of second messengers including prostaglandins and platelet-activating factor. Apoptosis of neurons is thought to follow as a consequence of the uncontrolled release of second messengers. Biochemical, histopathological and genetic studies suggest that pro-inflammatory cytokines play a role in neurodegeneration during Alzheimer's disease. In the current study we examined the effects of interferon (IFN-γ, tumour necrosis factor (TNFα, interleukin (IL-1β and IL-6 on neurons. Methods Primary murine cortical or cerebellar neurons, or human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, were grown in vitro. Neurons were treated with cytokines prior to incubation with different neuronal insults. Cell survival, caspase-3 activity (a measure of apoptosis and prostaglandin production were measured. Immunoblots were used to determine the effects of cytokines on the levels of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 or phospholipase C γ-1. Results While none of the cytokines tested were directly neurotoxic, pre-treatment with IFN-γ sensitised neurons to the toxic effects of amyloid-β1-42 or HuPrP82-146 (a neurotoxic peptide found in prion diseases. The effects of IFN-γ were seen on cortical and cerebellar neurons, and on SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. However, pre-treatment with IFN-γ did not affect the sensitivity to neurons treated with staurosporine or hydrogen peroxide. Pre-treatment with IFN-γ increased the levels of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 in SH-SY5Y cells and increased prostaglandin E2 production in response to amyloid-β1-42. Conclusion Treatment of neuronal cells

  7. Survival motor neuron protein regulates stem cell division, proliferation, and differentiation in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart J Grice

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy is a severe neurogenic disease that is caused by mutations in the human survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1 gene. SMN protein is required for the assembly of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins and a dramatic reduction of the protein leads to cell death. It is currently unknown how the reduction of this ubiquitously essential protein can lead to tissue-specific abnormalities. In addition, it is still not known whether the disease is caused by developmental or degenerative defects. Using the Drosophila system, we show that SMN is enriched in postembryonic neuroblasts and forms a concentration gradient in the differentiating progeny. In addition to the developing Drosophila larval CNS, Drosophila larval and adult testes have a striking SMN gradient. When SMN is reduced in postembryonic neuroblasts using MARCM clonal analysis, cell proliferation and clone formation defects occur. These SMN mutant neuroblasts fail to correctly localise Miranda and have reduced levels of snRNAs. When SMN is removed, germline stem cells are lost more frequently. We also show that changes in SMN levels can disrupt the correct timing of cell differentiation. We conclude that highly regulated SMN levels are essential to drive timely cell proliferation and cell differentiation.

  8. Nationwide incidence of motor neuron disease using the French health insurance information system database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kab, Sofiane; Moisan, Frédéric; Preux, Pierre-Marie; Marin, Benoît; Elbaz, Alexis

    2017-08-01

    There are no estimates of the nationwide incidence of motor neuron disease (MND) in France. We used the French health insurance information system to identify incident MND cases (2012-2014), and compared incidence figures to those from three external sources. We identified incident MND cases (2012-2014) based on three data sources (riluzole claims, hospitalisation records, long-term chronic disease benefits), and computed MND incidence by age, gender, and geographic region. We used French mortality statistics, Limousin ALS registry data, and previous European studies based on administrative databases to perform external comparisons. We identified 6553 MND incident cases. After standardisation to the United States 2010 population, the age/gender-standardised incidence was 2.72/100,000 person-years (males, 3.37; females, 2.17; male:female ratio = 1.53, 95% CI1.46-1.61). There was no major spatial difference in MND distribution. Our data were in agreement with the French death database (standardised mortality ratio = 1.01, 95% CI = 0.96-1.06) and Limousin ALS registry (standardised incidence ratio = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.72-1.15). Incidence estimates were in the same range as those from previous studies. We report French nationwide incidence estimates of MND. Administrative databases including hospital discharge data and riluzole claims offer an interesting approach to identify large population-based samples of patients with MND for epidemiologic studies and surveillance.

  9. STAT3 modulation to enhance motor neuron differentiation in human neural stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajalaxmi Natarajan

    Full Text Available Spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis damages spinal motor neurons and forms a glial scar, which prevents neural regeneration. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3 plays a critical role in astrogliogenesis and scar formation, and thus a fine modulation of STAT3 signaling may help to control the excessive gliogenic environment and enhance neural repair. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of STAT3 inhibition on human neural stem cells (hNSCs. In vitro hNSCs primed with fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2 exhibited a lower level of phosphorylated STAT3 than cells primed by epidermal growth factor (EGF, which correlated with a higher number of motor neurons differentiated from FGF2-primed hNSCs. Treatment with STAT3 inhibitors, Stattic and Niclosamide, enhanced motor neuron differentiation only in FGF2-primed hNSCs, as shown by increased homeobox gene Hb9 mRNA levels as well as HB9+ and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2+ co-labeled cells. The increased motor neuron differentiation was accompanied by a decrease in the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP-positive astrocytes. Interestingly, Stattic and Niclosamide did not affect the level of STAT3 phosphorylation; rather, they perturbed the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated STAT3. In summary, we demonstrate that FGF2 is required for motor neuron differentiation from hNSCs and that inhibition of STAT3 further increases motor neuron differentiation at the expense of astrogliogenesis. Our study thus suggests a potential benefit of targeting the STAT3 pathway for neurotrauma or neurodegenerative diseases.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Acetyl L-carnitine protects motor neurons and Rohon-Beard sensory neurons against ketamine-induced neurotoxicity in zebrafish embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, Elvis; Trickler, William J; Guo, Xiaoqing; Ali, Syed F; Paule, Merle G; Kanungo, Jyotshna

    2013-01-01

    Ketamine, a non-competitive antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type glutamate receptors is commonly used as a pediatric anesthetic. Multiple studies have shown ketamine to be neurotoxic, particularly when administered during the brain growth spurt. Previously, we have shown that ketamine is detrimental to motor neuron development in the zebrafish embryos. Here, using both wild type (WT) and transgenic (hb9:GFP) zebrafish embryos, we demonstrate that ketamine is neurotoxic to both motor and sensory neurons. Drug absorption studies showed that in the WT embryos, ketamine accumulation was approximately 0.4% of the original dose added to the exposure medium. The transgenic embryos express green fluorescent protein (GFP) localized in the motor neurons making them ideal for evaluating motor neuron development and toxicities in vivo. The hb9:GFP zebrafish embryos (28 h post fertilization) treated with 2 mM ketamine for 20 h demonstrated significant reductions in spinal motor neuron numbers, while co-treatment with acetyl L-carnitine proved to be neuroprotective. In whole mount immunohistochemical studies using WT embryos, a similar effect was observed for the primary sensory neurons. In the ketamine-treated WT embryos, the number of primary sensory Rohon-Beard (RB) neurons was significantly reduced compared to that in controls. However, acetyl L-carnitine co-treatment prevented ketamine-induced adverse effects on the RB neurons. These results suggest that acetyl L-carnitine protects both motor and sensory neurons from ketamine-induced neurotoxicity.

  12. Necroptosis-like Neuronal Cell Death Caused by Cellular Cholesterol Accumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funakoshi, Takeshi; Aki, Toshihiko; Tajiri, Masateru; Unuma, Kana; Uemura, Koichi

    2016-11-25

    Aberrant cellular accumulation of cholesterol is associated with neuronal lysosomal storage disorders such as Niemann-Pick disease Type C (NPC). We have shown previously that l-norephedrine (l-Nor), a sympathomimetic amine, induces necrotic cell death associated with massive cytoplasmic vacuolation in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. To reveal the molecular mechanism underling necrotic neuronal cell death caused by l-Nor, we examined alterations in the gene expression profile of cells during l-Nor exposure. DNA microarray analysis revealed that the gene levels for cholesterol transport (LDL receptor and NPC2) as well as cholesterol biosynthesis (mevalonate pathway enzymes) are increased after exposure to 3 mm l-Nor for ∼6 h. Concomitant with this observation, the master transcriptional regulator of cholesterol homeostasis, SREBP-2, is activated by l-Nor. The increase in cholesterol uptake as well as biosynthesis is not accompanied by an increase in cholesterol in the plasma membrane, but rather by aberrant accumulation in cytoplasmic compartments. We also found that cell death by l-Nor can be suppressed by nec-1s, an inhibitor of a regulated form of necrosis, necroptosis. Abrogation of SREBP-2 activation by the small molecule inhibitor betulin or by overexpression of dominant-negative SREBP-2 efficiently reduces cell death by l-Nor. The mobilization of cellular cholesterol in the presence of cyclodextrin also suppresses cell death. These results were also observed in primary culture of striatum neurons. Taken together, our results indicate that the excessive uptake as well as synthesis of cholesterol should underlie neuronal cell death by l-Nor exposure, and suggest a possible link between lysosomal cholesterol storage disorders and the regulated form of necrosis in neuronal cells. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Splicing regulation of the Survival Motor Neuron genes and implications for treatment of spinal muscular atrophy

    OpenAIRE

    Bebee, Thomas W.; Gladman, Jordan T.; Chandler, Dawn S.

    2010-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease caused by low levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. The reduced SMN levels are due to loss of the survival motor neuron-1 (SMN1) gene. Humans carry a nearly identical SMN2 gene that generates a truncated protein, due to a C to T nucleotide alteration in exon 7 that leads to inefficient RNA splicing of exon 7. This exclusion of SMN exon 7 is central to the onset of the SMA disease, however, this offers a unique ther...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Suh Young

    2011-10-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suh Young Jeong

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

  16. Demonstration of Motor Imagery- and Phantom-Movement Related Neuronal Activity in Human Thalamus

    OpenAIRE

    Anderson, William S.; Weiss, Nirit; Lawson, Herman Christopher; Ohara, Shinji; Rowland, Lance; Lenz, Frederick A.

    2011-01-01

    Functional imaging studies demonstrate that motor imagery activates multiple structures in the human forebrain. We now show that phantom movements in an amputee and imagined movements in intact subjects elicit responses from neurons in several human thalamic nuclei. These include the somatic sensory nucleus receiving input from the periphery (ventral caudal – Vc), and the motor nuclei receiving input from the cerebellum (ventral intermediate -Vim) and the basal ganglia (ventral oral posterior...

  17. Regulation of ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor alpha in sciatic motor neurons following axotomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLennan, A J; Devlin, B K; Neitzel, K L; McLaurin, D L; Anderson, K J; Lee, N

    1999-01-01

    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

  18. Leptomeningeal neurons are a common finding in infants and are increased in sudden infant death syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rickert, Christian H.; Gross, Oliver; Nolte, Kay W.; Vennemann, Mechtild; Bajanowski, Thomas; Brinkmann, Bernd

    2009-01-01

    Developmental abnormalities of the brain, in particular, the brainstem potentially affecting centers for breathing, circulation and sleep regulation, are thought to be involved in the etiology of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In order to investigate whether leptomeningeal neurons could serve

  19. Leptomeningeal neurons are a common finding in infants and are increased in sudden infant death syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rickert, Christian H.; Gross, Oliver; Nolte, Kay W.; Vennemann, Mechtild; Bajanowski, Thomas; Brinkmann, Bernd

    Developmental abnormalities of the brain, in particular, the brainstem potentially affecting centers for breathing, circulation and sleep regulation, are thought to be involved in the etiology of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In order to investigate whether leptomeningeal neurons could serve

  20. DJ-1 mediates paraquat-induced dopaminergic neuronal cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Hyun Joo; Heo, Jun Young; Shim, Jung Hee; Park, Ji Hoon; Seo, Kang Sik; Ryu, Min Jeong; Han, Jeong Su; Shong, Minho; Son, Jin H; Kweon, Gi Ryang

    2011-04-25

    There are two causes of Parkinson's disease (PD): environmental insults and genetic mutations of PD-associated genes. Environmental insults and genetic mutations lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, and a combination of mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress in dopaminergic neurons is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of PD. Among the PD-associated genes, DJ-1 acts as a redox sensor for oxidative stress and has been also proposed to maintain mitochondrial complex I activity. To understand molecular functions of DJ-1 in the cell, we have generated DJ-1 null cells from the DJ-1(-/-) mouse embryos. Using these null cells, we investigated the susceptibility to an environmental toxin, paraquat, which is known to inhibit mitochondrial complex I. Interestingly, we found that DJ-1 null cells showed a resistance to paraquat-induced apoptosis, including reduced poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase and procaspase-3. Also DJ-1 null cells generated less superoxide than SN4741 cells by paraquat treatment. Consistent with the reduced paraquat sensitivity, DJ-1 null cells showed reduced complex I activity, which was partially rescued by ectopic DJ-I expression. In summary, our results suggest that DJ-1 is critical to maintain mitochondrial complex I and complex I could be a key target in interaction of paraquat toxicity and DJ-1 for giving rise to PD.

  1. Dexamethasone enhances necrosis-like neuronal death in ischemic rat hippocampus involving μ-calpain activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Georg Johannes; Hasseldam, Henrik; Rasmussen, Rune Skovgaard; Johansen, Flemming Fryd

    2014-11-01

    Transient forebrain ischemia (TFI) leads to hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell death which is aggravated by glucocorticoids (GC). It is unknown how GC affect apoptosis and necrosis in cerebral ischemia. We therefore investigated the co-localization of activated caspase-3 (casp-3) with apoptosis- and necrosis-like cell death morphologies in CA1 of rats treated with dexamethasone prior to TFI (DPTI). In addition, apoptosis- (casp-9, casp-3, casp-3-cleaved PARP and cleaved α-spectrin 145/150 and 120kDa) and necrosis-related (calpain-specific casp-9 cleavage, μ-calpain upregulation and cleaved α-spectrin 145/150kDa) cell death mechanisms were investigated by Western blot analysis. DPTI expedited CA1 neuronal death from day 4 to day 1 and increased the magnitude of CA1 neuronal death from 66.2% to 91.3% at day 7. Furthermore, DPTI decreased the overall (days 1-7) percentage of dying neurons displaying apoptosis-like morphology from 4.7% to 0.3% and, conversely, increased the percentage of neurons with necrosis-like morphology from 95.3% to 99.7%. In animals subjected to TFI without dexamethasone (ischemia-only), 7.4% of all dying CA1 neurons were casp-3-immunoreactive (IR), of which 3.1% co-localized with apoptosis-like and 4.3% with necrosis-like changes. By contrast, DPTI decreased the percentage of dying neurons with casp-3 IR to 1.4%, of which 0.3% co-localized with apoptosis-like changes and 1.1% with necrosis-like changes. Western blot analysis from DPTI animals showed a significant elevation of μ-calpain, a calpain-produced necrosis-related casp-9 fragment (25kDa) and cleavage of α-spectrin into 145/150kDa fragments at day 4, whereas in ischemia-only animals a significant increase of casp-3-cleaved PARP, cleavage of α-spectrin into 145/150 and 120kDa fragments was detected at day 7. We conclude that DPTI, in addition to augmenting and expediting CA1 neuronal death, causes a shift from apoptosis-like cell death to necrosis involving μ-calpain activation.

  2. Nerve Growth Factor Inhibits Gd3+-sensitive Calcium Influx and Reduces Chemical Anoxic Neuronal Death

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui JIANG; Shunlian TIAN; Yan ZENG; Jing SHI

    2008-01-01

    To investigate whether glutamate and voltage-gated calcium channels-independent calcium influx exists during acute anoxic neuronal damage and its possible relationship to neuronal protective function of NGF. In in vitro model of acute anoxia, hippocampal cultures from newborn rats were exposed to 3 mmol/L KCN. Changes of intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) were monitored by con-focal imaging and cell viability was assayed by PI and cFDA staining. The results showed that after treatment with primary hippocampal cultures with 3 mmol/L KCN for 15 min,[Ca2+]i was significantly increased 6.27-fold compared to pre-anoxia level and 73.3% of the cells died.When combination of 20 μmol/L MK-801 (glutamate receptor antagonist), 40 μmol/L CNQX (AMPA receptor antagonist) and 5 μmol/L nimodipine (voltage-gated calcium channel antagonist) (hereafter denoted as MCN) were administrated to hippocampal cultures, levels of [Ca2+]i and cell death rate induced by KCN were partially reduced by 35.9% and 47.5% respectively. However, Gd3+ (10μmol/L) almost completely blocked KCN-mediated [Ca2+]i elevation by 81.9% and reduced neuronal death by 88.8% in the presence of MCN. It is noteworthy that NGF, used in combination with MCN,inhibited KCN-induced [Ca2+]i increase by 77.4% and reduced cell death by 87.1%. Only PLC inhibitor U73122 (10 μmol/L) abolished NGF effects. It is concluded that Gd3+-sensitive calcium influx,which is NMDA (glutamate receptor) and voltage-gated calcium channels-independent, is responsible for acute anoxic neuronal death. NGF can inhibit Gd3+-sensitive calcium influx and reduce anoxic neuronal death through activating PLC pathway.

  3. Pathways to ischemic neuronal cell death: are sex differences relevant?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McCullough Louise D

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We have known for some time that the epidemiology of human stroke is sexually dimorphic until late in life, well beyond the years of reproductive senescence and menopause. Now, a new concept is emerging: the mechanisms and outcome of cerebral ischemic injury are influenced strongly by biological sex as well as the availability of sex steroids to the brain. The principal mammalian estrogen (17 β estradiol or E2 is neuroprotective in many types of brain injury and has been the major focus of investigation over the past several decades. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that although hormones are a major contributor to sex-specific outcomes, they do not fully account for sex-specific responses to cerebral ischemia. The purpose of this review is to highlight recent studies in cell culture and animal models that suggest that genetic sex determines experimental stroke outcome and that divergent cell death pathways are activated after an ischemic insult. These sex differences need to be identified if we are to develop efficacious neuroprotective agents for use in stroke patients.

  4. Global Motor Unit Number Index sum score for assessing the loss of lower motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimaldi, Stephan; Duprat, Lauréline; Grapperon, Aude-Marie; Verschueren, Annie; Delmont, Emilien; Attarian, Shahram

    2017-02-06

    Introduction Our objective was to propose a motor unit number index (MUNIX) global sum score in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to estimate the loss of functional motor units. Methods MUNIX was assessed for 18 ALS patients and 17 healthy controls in seven muscles: the abductor pollicis brevis (APB), abductor digiti minimi (ADM), tibialis anterior (TA), deltoid, trapezius, submental complex (SMC) and orbicularis oris. Results MUNIX was significantly lower in ALS patients than in healthy controls for the APB, ADM, TA and the trapezius muscles. The MUNIX sum score of 4 muscles (ADM + APB + Trapezius + TA) was lower in ALS patients (P = 0.01) and was correlated with clinical scores. Discussion The global MUNIX sum score proposed in this study estimates the loss of lower motor neurons in several body regions including the trapezius, and is correlated with clinical impairment in ALS patients. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  5. A Review on the Pathophysiology of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: from Neuroplasticity to Neuronal Death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Germán L. Pereno

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available This review is focused and tries to introduce the reader in the basic concepts of the epilepsy, specially of the temporal lobe epilepsy. From the knowledge provided by different animal models, it’s introduced to the physiopathology of this type of epilepsy recognizing the participation of two systems of neurotransmition: the gabaergic and glutamatergic. It is known that an excess of glutamate has as a consequence neuronal death, this is the excitotoxicity. It’s enumerated different reports that, although they sometimes proved contradictory results, the majority find neuronal death in areas of the limbic system after a status epilepticus in experimental animals.Finally, since the brain is not immutable to this death, the principal concepts of the neuroplasticidad are review, providing reports that demonstrate that plastic processes happen in epileptic brains, both in the hippocampus and in the amygdala.

  6. Supratentorial ischemic stroke: more than an upper motor neuron disorder.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijk, A. van; Pasman, J.W.; Hendricks, H.T.; Schelhaas, H.J.; Zwarts, M.J.; Geurts, A.C.H.

    2007-01-01

    The primary goal of this study was to identify secondary functional changes in the peripheral motor units of the paretic upper extremity (UE) in patients with severe ischemic stroke and to determine how these changes develop during the first weeks after stroke. An inception cohort of 27 consecutive

  7. Modeling motor neuron disease : the matter of time

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arbab, Mandana; Baars, Susanne; Geijsen, Niels

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Neuronal injury in the motor cortex after chronic stroke and lower limb motor impairment:a voxel-based lesion symptom mapping study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Alexandria M. Reynolds; Denise M. Peters; Jennifer M. C. Vendemia; Lenwood P. Smith; Raymond C. Sweet; Gordon C. Baylis; Debra Krotish; Stacy L Fritz

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have examined motor impairments using voxel-based lesion symptom mapping, but few are reported regarding the corresponding relationship between cerebral cortex injury and lower limb motor impairment analyzed using this technique. This study correlated neuro-nal injury in the cerebral cortex of 16 patients with chronic stroke based on a voxel-based lesion symptom mapping analysis. Neuronal injury in the corona radiata, caudate nucleus and putamen of patients with chronic stroke could predict walking speed. The behavioral measure scores were consistent with motor deifcits expected after damage to the cortical motor system due to stroke. These ifndings suggest that voxel-based lesion symptom mapping may provide a more accurate prognosis of motor recovery from chronic stroke according to neuronal injury in cerebral motor cortex.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Takiyama

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Édgar Cortés

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Embryonic stem cells (ESC are pluripotent and thus can differentiate into every cell type present in the body. Directed differentiation into motor neurons has been described for pluripotent cells. Although neurotrophic factors promote neuronal survival, their role in neuronal commitment is elusive. Here, we developed double-transgenic lines of mouse ESC that constitutively produce Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF and also contain a GFP reporter, driven by HB9, which is expressed only by postmitotic motor neurons. After lentiviral transduction, ESC lines integrated and expressed the human GDNF gene without altering pluripotency markers before differentiation. Further, GDNF-ESC showed significantly higher spontaneous release of this neurotrophin to the medium, when compared to controls. To study motor neuron induction, control and GDNF cell lines were grown as embryoid bodies and stimulated with retinoic acid and Sonic Hedgehog. In GDNF-overexpressing cells, a significant increase of proliferative Olig2+ precursors, which are specified as spinal motor neurons, was found. Accordingly, GDNF increases the yield of cells with the pan motor neuronal markers HB9, monitored by GFP expression, and Isl1. At terminal differentiation, almost all differentiated neurons express phenotypic markers of motor neurons in GDNF cultures, with lower proportions in control cells. To test if the effects of GDNF were present at early differentiation stages, exogenous recombinant human GDNF was added to control ESC, also resulting in enhanced motor neuron differentiation. This effect was abolished by the co-addition of neutralizing anti-GDNF antibodies, strongly suggesting that differentiating ESC are responsive to GDNF. Using the HB9::GFP reporter, motor neurons were selected for electrophysiological recordings. Motor neurons differentiated from GDNF-ESC, compared to control motor neurons, showed greater electrophysiological maturation, characterized by

  11. Cofilin Inhibition Restores Neuronal Cell Death in Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation Model of Ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madineni, Anusha; Alhadidi, Qasim; Shah, Zahoor A

    2016-03-01

    Ischemia is a condition associated with decreased blood supply to the brain, eventually leading to death of neurons. It is associated with a diverse cascade of responses involving both degenerative and regenerative mechanisms. At the cellular level, the changes are initiated prominently in the neuronal cytoskeleton. Cofilin, a cytoskeletal actin severing protein, is known to be involved in the early stages of apoptotic cell death. Evidence supports its intervention in the progression of disease states like Alzheimer's and ischemic kidney disease. In the present study, we have hypothesized the possible involvement of cofilin in ischemia. Using PC12 cells and mouse primary cultures of cortical neurons, we investigated the potential role of cofilin in ischemia in two different in vitro ischemic models: chemical induced oxidative stress and oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R). The expression profile studies demonstrated a decrease in phosphocofilin levels in all models of ischemia, implying stress-induced cofilin activation. Furthermore, calcineurin and slingshot 1L (SSH) phosphatases were found to be the signaling mediators of the cofilin activation. In primary cultures of cortical neurons, cofilin was found to be significantly activated after 1 h of OGD. To delineate the role of activated cofilin in ischemia, we knocked down cofilin by small interfering RNA (siRNA) technique and tested the impact of cofilin silencing on neuronal viability. Cofilin siRNA-treated neurons showed a significant reduction of cofilin levels in all treatment groups (control, OGD, and OGD/R). Additionally, cofilin siRNA-reduced cofilin mitochondrial translocation and caspase 3 cleavage, with a concomitant increase in neuronal viability. These results strongly support the active role of cofilin in ischemia-induced neuronal degeneration and apoptosis. We believe that targeting this protein mediator has a potential for therapeutic intervention in ischemic brain injury and stroke.

  12. The AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 regulates dendritic architecture of motor neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inglis, Fiona M.; Crockett, Richard; Korada, Sailaja; Abraham, Wickliffe C.; Hollmann, Michael; Kalb, Robert G.

    2002-01-01

    The morphology of the mature motor neuron dendritic arbor is determined by activity-dependent processes occurring during a critical period in early postnatal life. The abundance of the AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 in motor neurons is very high during this period and subsequently falls to a negligible level. To test the role of GluR1 in dendrite morphogenesis, we reintroduced GluR1 into rat motor neurons at the end of the critical period and quantitatively studied the effects on dendrite architecture. Two versions of GluR1 were studied that differed by the amino acid in the "Q/R" editing site. The amino acid occupying this site determines single-channel conductance, ionic permeability, and other essential electrophysiologic properties of the resulting receptor channels. We found large-scale remodeling of dendritic architectures in a manner depending on the amino acid occupying the Q/R editing site. Alterations in the distribution of dendritic arbor were not prevented by blocking NMDA receptors. These observations suggest that the expression of GluR1 in motor neurons modulates a component of the molecular substrate of activity-dependent dendrite morphogenesis. The control of these events relies on subunit-specific properties of AMPA receptors.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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...

  14. In vitro generation of motor neuron precursors from mouse embryonic stem cells using mesoporous nanoparticles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garcia-Bennett, Alfonso E; König, Niclas; Abrahamsson, Ninnie

    2014-01-01

    Aim: Stem cell-derived motor neurons (MNs) are utilized to develop replacement strategies for spinal cord disorders. Differentiation of embryonic stem cells into MN precursors involves factors and their repeated administration. We investigated if delivery of factors loaded into mesoporous...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Louisa; Talman, Paul; Khan, Fary

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Conversational Rate of a Non-Vocal Person with Motor Neurone Disease Using the 'TALK' System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todman, J.; Lewins, E.

    1996-01-01

    This study evaluated the use of TALK, a computer-based augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) system, in the social communications of a nonvocal woman with motor neurone disease. She was able to achieve an average conversational rate of 42 words per minute (wpm) using TALK, compared with 2 to 10 wpm with other AAC systems using…

  17. Golgi Fragmentation in ALS Motor Neurons. New Mechanisms Targeting Microtubules, Tethers, and Transport Vesicles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haase, Georg; Rabouille, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Pathological alterations of the Golgi apparatus, such as its fragmentation represent an early pre-clinical feature of many neurodegenerative diseases and have been widely studied in the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Yet, the underlying molecular mechanisms have remained c

  18. Altered Intracellular Milieu of ADAR2-Deficient Motor Neurons in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takenari Yamashita

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Transactive response DNA-binding protein (TDP-43 pathology, and failure of A-to-I conversion (RNA editing at the glutamine/arginine (Q/R site of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA receptor subunit GluA2, are etiology-linked molecular abnormalities that concomitantly occur in the motor neurons of most patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 2 (ADAR2 specifically catalyzes GluA2 Q/R site-RNA editing. Furthermore, conditional ADAR2 knockout mice (AR2 exhibit a progressive ALS phenotype with TDP-43 pathology in the motor neurons, which is the most reliable pathological marker of ALS. Therefore, the evidence indicates that ADAR2 downregulation is a causative factor in ALS, and AR2 mice exhibit causative molecular changes that occur in ALS. We discuss the contributors to ADAR2 downregulation and TDP-43 pathology in AR2 mouse motor neurons. We describe mechanisms of exaggerated Ca2+ influx amelioration via AMPA receptors, which is neuroprotective in ADAR2-deficient motor neurons with normalization of TDP-43 pathology in AR2 mice. Development of drugs to treat diseases requires appropriate animal models and a sensitive method of evaluating efficacy. Therefore, normalization of disrupted intracellular environments resulting from ADAR2 downregulation may be a therapeutic target for ALS. We discuss the development of targeted therapy for ALS using the AR2 mouse model.

  19. Androgens affect muscle, motor neuron, and survival in a mouse model of SOD1-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggarwal, Tanya; Polanco, Maria J; Scaramuzzino, Chiara; Rocchi, Anna; Milioto, Carmelo; Emionite, Laura; Ognio, Emanuela; Sambataro, Fabio; Galbiati, Mariarita; Poletti, Angelo; Pennuto, Maria

    2014-08-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons and skeletal muscle atrophy. Epidemiologic and experimental evidence suggest the involvement of androgens in ALS pathogenesis, but the mechanism through which androgens modify the ALS phenotype is unknown. Here, we show that androgen ablation by surgical castration extends survival and disease duration of a transgenic mouse model of ALS expressing mutant human SOD1 (hSOD1-G93A). Furthermore, long-term treatment of orchiectomized hSOD1-G93A mice with nandrolone decanoate (ND), an anabolic androgenic steroid, worsened disease manifestations. ND treatment induced muscle fiber hypertrophy but caused motor neuron death. ND negatively affected survival, thereby dissociating skeletal muscle pathology from life span in this ALS mouse model. Interestingly, orchiectomy decreased androgen receptor levels in the spinal cord and muscle, whereas ND treatment had the opposite effect. Notably, stimulation with ND promoted the recruitment of endogenous androgen receptor into biochemical complexes that were insoluble in sodium dodecyl sulfate, a finding consistent with protein aggregation. Overall, our results shed light on the role of androgens as modifiers of ALS pathogenesis via dysregulation of androgen receptor homeostasis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Protein Misdirection Inside and Outside Motor Neurons in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS: A Possible Clue for Therapeutic Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akemi Ido

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a devastating neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness with no effective cure. Emerging evidence supports the notion that the abnormal conformations of ALS-linked proteins play a central role in triggering the motor neuron degeneration. In particular, mutant types of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1 and TAR DNA binding protein 43kDa (TDP-43 are key molecules involved in the pathogenesis of familial and sporadic ALS, respectively. The commonalities of the two proteins include a propensity to aggregate and acquire detrimental conformations through oligomerization, fragmentation, or post-translational modification that may drive abnormal subcellular localizations. Although SOD1 is a major cytosolic protein, mutated SOD1 has been localized to mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and even the extracellular space. The nuclear exclusion of TDP-43 is a pathological hallmark for ALS, although the pathogenic priority remains elusive. Nevertheless, these abnormal behaviors based on the protein misfolding are believed to induce diverse intracellular and extracellular events that may be tightly linked to non-cell-autonomous motor neuron death. The generation of mutant- or misfolded protein-specific antibodies would help to uncover the distribution and propagation of the ALS-linked proteins, and to design a therapeutic strategy to clear such species. Herein we review the literature regarding the mislocalization of ALS-linked proteins, especially mutant SOD1 and TDP-43 species, and discuss the rationale of molecular targeting strategies including immunotherapy.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Methoxychlor and fenvalerate induce neuronal death by reducing GluR2 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umeda, Kanae; Kotake, Yaichiro; Miyara, Masatsugu; Ishida, Keishi; Sanoh, Seigo; Ohta, Shigeru

    2016-04-01

    GluR2, an α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptor subunit, plays important roles in neuronal survival. We previously showed that exposure of cultured rat cortical neurons to several chemicals decreases GluR2 protein expression, leading to neuronal toxicity. Methoxychlor, the bis-p-methoxy derivative of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, and fenvalerate, a synthetic pyrethroid chemical, have been used commercially as agricultural pesticides in several countries. In this study, we investigated the effects of long-term methoxychlor and fenvalerate exposure on neuronal glutamate receptors. Treatment of cultured rat cortical neurons with 1 or 10 µM methoxychlor and fenvalerate for 9 days selectively decreased GluR2 protein expression; the expression of other AMPA receptor subunits GluR1, GluR3, and GluR4 did not change under the same conditions. Importantly, the decreases in GluR2 protein expression were also observed on the cell surface membrane where AMPA receptors typically function. In addition, both chemicals decreased neuronal viability, which was blocked by pretreatment with 1-naphtylacetylspermine, an antagonist of GluR2-lacking AMPA receptors, and MK-801, an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. These results suggest that long-term exposure to methoxychlor and fenvalerate decreases GluR2 protein expression, leading to neuronal death via overactivation of GluR2-lacking AMPA and NMDA receptors.

  3. A histopathological study of premature and mature infants with pontosubicular neuron necrosis: neuronal cell death in perinatal brain damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takizawa, Yuji; Takashima, Sachio; Itoh, Masayuki

    2006-06-20

    Perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain damage is a major cause of neuronal and behavior deficits, in which the onset of injury can be before, at or after birth, and the effects may be delayed. Pontosubicular neuron necrosis (PSN) is one of perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and its pathological peculiarity is neuronal apoptosis. In this study, we investigated whether apoptotic cascade of PSN used a caspase-pathway or not, and whether hypoglycemia activated apoptosis or not. Sections of the pons of PSN with and without hypoglycemia were stained using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling (TUNEL) and immunohistochemistry for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), Bcl-2, Bcl-x and activated caspase 3. Additionally, we performed immunoblot analysis of Bcl-2, Bcl-x and activated caspase 3. TUNEL-positive cell was closely associated with the presence of karyorrhexis. Under combination of karyorrhectic and TUNEL-positive cells, number of apoptotic cells in premature brains was significantly more than in mature brains. Hypoxic-ischemic brain injury was considered to easily lead to apoptosis in premature infants. Moreover, as this pathophysiology, caspase-pathway activation contributed to neuronal death from caspase-immunoexpression analyses. PSN with hypoglycemia showed large number of apoptotic cells and higher expression of activated caspase 3. The result may be more severe with the background of hypoglycemia and prematurity complicated by hypoxia and/or ischemia.

  4. Decreased Motor Neuron Support by SMA Astrocytes due to Diminished MCP1 Secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jasmin E; Nguyen, TrangKimberly T; Grunseich, Christopher; Nofziger, Jonathan H; Lee, Philip R; Fields, Douglas; Fischbeck, Kenneth H; Foran, Emily

    2017-05-24

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive disorder characterized by severe, often fatal muscle weakness due to loss of motor neurons. SMA patients have deletions and other mutations of the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, resulting in decreased SMN protein. Astrocytes are the primary support cells of the CNS and are responsible for glutamate clearance, metabolic support, response to injury, and regulation of signal transmission. Astrocytes have been implicated in SMA as in in other neurodegenerative disorders. Astrocyte-specific rescue of SMN protein levels has been shown to mitigate disease manifestations in mice. However, the mechanism by which SMN deficiency in astrocytes may contribute to SMA is unclear and what aspect of astrocyte activity is lacking is unknown. Therefore, it is worthwhile to identify defects in SMN-deficient astrocytes that compromise normal function. We show here that SMA astrocyte cultures derived from mouse spinal cord of both sexes are deficient in supporting both WT and SMN-deficient motor neurons derived from male, female, and mixed-sex sources and that this deficiency may be mitigated with secreted factors. In particular, SMN-deficient astrocytes have decreased levels of monocyte chemoactive protein 1 (MCP1) secretion compared with controls and MCP1 restoration stimulates outgrowth of neurites from cultured motor neurons. Correction of MCP1 deficiency may thus be a new therapeutic approach to SMA.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by the loss of motor neurons, but astrocyte dysfunction also contributes to the disease in mouse models. Monocyte chemoactive protein 1 (MCP1) has been shown to be neuroprotective and is released by astrocytes. Here, we report that MCP1 levels are decreased in SMA mice and that replacement of deficient MCP1 increases differentiation and neurite length of WT and SMN-deficient motor-neuron-like cells in cell culture. This study reveals a novel aspect of astrocyte

  5. Antihelminthic benzimidazoles are novel HIF activators that prevent oxidative neuronal death via binding to tubulin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleyasin, Hossein; Karuppagounder, Saravanan S; Kumar, Amit; Sleiman, Sama; Basso, Manuela; Ma, Thong; Siddiq, Ambreena; Chinta, Shankar J; Brochier, Camille; Langley, Brett; Haskew-Layton, Renee; Bane, Susan L; Riggins, Gregory J; Gazaryan, Irina; Starkov, Anatoly A; Andersen, Julie K; Ratan, Rajiv R

    2015-01-10

    Pharmacological activation of the adaptive response to hypoxia is a therapeutic strategy of growing interest for neurological conditions, including stroke, Huntington's disease, and Parkinson's disease. We screened a drug library with known safety in humans using a hippocampal neuroblast line expressing a reporter of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-dependent transcription. Our screen identified more than 40 compounds with the ability to induce hypoxia response element-driven luciferase activity as well or better than deferoxamine, a canonical activator of hypoxic adaptation. Among the chemical entities identified, the antihelminthic benzimidazoles represented one pharmacophore that appeared multiple times in our screen. Secondary assays confirmed that antihelminthics stabilized the transcriptional activator HIF-1α and induced expression of a known HIF target gene, p21(cip1/waf1), in post-mitotic cortical neurons. The on-target effect of these agents in stimulating hypoxic signaling was binding to free tubulin. Moreover, antihelminthic benzimidazoles also abrogated oxidative stress-induced death in vitro, and this on-target effect also involves binding to free tubulin. These studies demonstrate that tubulin-binding drugs can activate a component of the hypoxic adaptive response, specifically the stabilization of HIF-1α and its downstream targets. Tubulin-binding drugs, including antihelminthic benzimidazoles, also abrogate oxidative neuronal death in primary neurons. Given their safety in humans and known ability to penetrate into the central nervous system, antihelminthic benzimidazoles may be considered viable candidates for treating diseases associated with oxidative neuronal death, including stroke.

  6. Ataxia Jackson (ax(J)): a genetic model for apoptotic neuronal cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohgoh, Makoto; Yamazaki, Kazuto

    2003-01-01

    Programmed cell death or apoptosis is an important process to form normal adult cytoarchitecture. But in vivo analysis of neuronal apoptosis has not been well advanced. Therefore, apoptotic cell death of a particular neuronal system or anatomical part in a mutant is an invaluable target to learn about a link between a gene and neuronal apoptosis. Ataxia (ax) is an autosomal recessive neurological mutant mouse. We recently investigated brains of homozygotes for ataxia Jackson (ax(J)), an allele of ax, using TUNEL method. A few TUNEL-positive cells were observed in the granular cell layer of the cerebellum, the dentate gyrus, and the olfactory bulb of phenotypically normal littermates (ax(J)/+ or +/+) aged at 23-38 days. In affected ax(J)/ax(J) mice, however, the number of TUNEL-positive cells was significantly increased in the cerebellum, particularly in the granular cell layer (p ax(J) mouse will be an in vivo unique model for studies on the genetic basis of apoptotic neuronal cell death, and identification of the ax gene is desired to elucidate molecular basis of the apoptosis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Fornai

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornai, Francesco; Ferrucci, Michela; Lenzi, Paola; Falleni, Alessandra; Biagioni, Francesca; Flaibani, Marina; Siciliano, Gabriele; Giannessi, Francesco; Paparelli, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    In the present paper, we analyze the cell number within lamina X at the end stage of disease in a G93A mouse model of ALS; the effects induced by lithium; the stem-cell like phenotype of lamina X cells during ALS; the differentiation of these cells towards either a glial or neuronal phenotype. In summary we found that G93A mouse model of ALS produces an increase in lamina X cells which is further augmented by lithium administration. In the absence of lithium these nestin positive stem-like cells preferentially differentiate into glia (GFAP positive), while in the presence of lithium these cells differentiate towards a neuron-like phenotype (βIII-tubulin, NeuN, and calbindin-D28K positive). These effects of lithium are observed concomitantly with attenuation in disease progression and are reminiscent of neurogenetic effects induced by lithium in the subependymal ventricular zone of the hippocampus. PMID:24829911

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Morphological characteristics of motor neurons do not determine their relative susceptibility to degeneration in a mouse model of severe spinal muscular atrophy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie R Thomson

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is a leading genetic cause of infant mortality, resulting primarily from the degeneration and loss of lower motor neurons. Studies using mouse models of SMA have revealed widespread heterogeneity in the susceptibility of individual motor neurons to neurodegeneration, but the underlying reasons remain unclear. Data from related motor neuron diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, suggest that morphological properties of motor neurons may regulate susceptibility: in ALS larger motor units innervating fast-twitch muscles degenerate first. We therefore set out to determine whether intrinsic morphological characteristics of motor neurons influenced their relative vulnerability to SMA. Motor neuron vulnerability was mapped across 10 muscle groups in SMA mice. Neither the position of the muscle in the body, nor the fibre type of the muscle innervated, influenced susceptibility. Morphological properties of vulnerable and disease-resistant motor neurons were then determined from single motor units reconstructed in Thy.1-YFP-H mice. None of the parameters we investigated in healthy young adult mice - including motor unit size, motor unit arbor length, branching patterns, motor endplate size, developmental pruning and numbers of terminal Schwann cells at neuromuscular junctions - correlated with vulnerability. We conclude that morphological characteristics of motor neurons are not a major determinant of disease-susceptibility in SMA, in stark contrast to related forms of motor neuron disease such as ALS. This suggests that subtle molecular differences between motor neurons, or extrinsic factors arising from other cell types, are more likely to determine relative susceptibility in SMA.

  11. Coculture of Primary Motor Neurons and Schwann Cells as a Model for In Vitro Myelination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyung, Sujin; Yoon Lee, Bo; Park, Jong-Chul; Kim, Jinseok; Hur, Eun-Mi; Francis Suh, Jun-Kyo

    2015-10-12

    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.

  12. Mortality from Alzheimer's, motor neuron and Parkinson's disease in relation to magnetic field exposure: findings from the study of UK electricity generation and transmission workers, 1973-2004.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorahan, T; Kheifets, L

    2007-12-01

    There are a number of reports linking magnetic field exposure to increased risks of Alzheimer's disease and motor neuron disease. The mortality experienced by a cohort of 83 997 employees of the former Central Electricity Generating Board of England and Wales was investigated for the period 1973-2004. All employees were employed for at least six months with some employment in the period 1973-82. Computerised work histories were available for 79 972 study subjects for the period 1971-93. Information on job and facility (location) were used to estimate exposures to magnetic fields. Two analytical approaches were used to evaluate risks, indirect standardisation (n = 83 997) and Poisson regression (n = 79 972). Based on serial mortality rates for England and Wales, deaths from Alzheimer's disease and motor neuron disease were unexceptional. There was an excess of deaths from Parkinson's disease of borderline significance. No statistically significant trends were shown for risks of any of these diseases to increase with lifetime cumulative exposure to magnetic fields (RR per 10 μT-y: Alzheimer's disease 1.10 (95% CI 0.90 to 1.33); motor neuron disease 1.06 (95% CI 0.86 to 1.32); Parkinson's disease 0.88 (95% CI 0.74 to 1.05)) There is no convincing evidence that UK electricity generation and transmission workers have suffered increased risks from neurodegenerative diseases as a consequence of exposure to magnetic fields.

  13. Bifunctional apoptosis inhibitor (BAR) protects neurons from diverse cell death pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, W; Kermer, P; Krajewska, M; Welsh, K; Davis, S; Krajewski, S; Reed, J C

    2003-10-01

    The bifunctional apoptosis regulator (BAR) is a multidomain protein that was originally identified as an inhibitor of Bax-induced apoptosis. Immunoblot analysis of normal human tissues demonstrated high BAR expression in the brain, compared to low or absent expression in other organs. Immunohistochemical staining of human adult tissues revealed that the BAR protein is predominantly expressed by neurons in the central nervous system. Immunofluorescence microscopy indicated that BAR localizes mainly to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of cells. Overexpression of BAR in CSM 14.1 neuronal cells resulted in significant protection from a broad range of cell death stimuli, including agents that activate apoptotic pathways involving mitochondria, TNF-family death receptors, and ER stress. Downregulation of BAR by antisense oligonucleotides sensitized neuronal cells to induction of apoptosis. Moreover, the search for novel interaction partners of BAR identified several candidate proteins that might contribute to the regulation of neuronal apoptosis (HIP1, Hippi, and Bap31). Taken together, the expression pattern and functional data suggest that the BAR protein is involved in the regulation of neuronal survival.

  14. Ionotropic receptors and ion channels in ischemic neuronal death and dysfunction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nicholas L WEILINGER; Valentyna MASLIEIEVA; Jennifer BIALECKI; Sarup S SRIDHARAN; Peter L TANG; Roger J THOMPSON

    2013-01-01

    Loss of energy supply to neurons during stroke induces a rapid loss of membrane potential that is called the anoxic depolarization.Anoxic depolarizations result in tremendous physiological stress on the neurons because of the dysregulation of ionic fluxes and the loss of ATP to drive ion pumps that maintain electrochemical gradients.In this review,we present an overview of some of the ionotropic receptors and ion channels that are thought to contribute to the anoxic depolarization of neurons and subsequently,to cell death.The ionotropic receptors for glutamate and ATP that function as ligand-gated cation channels are critical in the death and dysfunction of neurons.Interestingly,two of these receptors (P2X7 and NMDAR) have been shown to couple to the pannexin-1 (Panx1) ion channel.We also discuss the important roles of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in responses to ischemia.The central challenge that emerges from our current understanding of the anoxic depolarization is the need to elucidate the mechanistic and temporal interrelations of these ion channels to fully appreciate their impact on neurons during stroke.

  15. Cell Death, Neuronal Plasticity and Functional Loading in the Development of the Central Nervous System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefe, J. R.

    1985-01-01

    Research on the precise timing and regulation of neuron production and maturation in the vestibular and visual systems of Wistar rats and several inbred strains of mice (C57B16 and Pallid mutant) concentrated upon establishing a timing baseline for mitotic development of the neurons of the vestibular nuclei and the peripheral vestibular sensory structures (maculae, cristae). This involved studies of the timing and site of neuronal cell birth and preliminary studies of neuronal cell death in both central and peripheral elements of the mammalian vestibular system. Studies on neuronal generation and maturation in the retina were recently added to provide a mechanism for more properly defining the in utero' developmental age of the individual fetal subject and to closely monitor potential transplacental effects of environmentally stressed maternal systems. Information is given on current efforts concentrating upon the (1) perinatal period of development (E18 thru P14) and (2) the role of cell death in response to variation in the functional loading of the vestibular and proprioreceptive systems in developing mammalian organisms.

  16. Death and survival of neuronal and astrocytic cells in ischemic brain injury: a role of autophagy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Min XU; Hui-ling ZHANG

    2011-01-01

    Autophagy is a highly regulated cellular mechanism that leads to degradation of long-lived proteins and dysfunctional organelles. The process has been implicated in a variety of physiological and pathological conditions relevant to neurological diseases. Recent studies show the existence of autophagy in cerebral ischemia, but no consensus has yet been reached regarding the functions of autophagy in this condition. This article highlights the activation of autophagy during cerebral ischemia and/or reperfusion, especially in neurons and astrocytes, as well as the role of autophagy in neuronal or astrocytic cell death and survival. We propose that physiological levels of autophagy, presumably caused by mild to modest hypoxia or ischemia, appear to be protective. However, high levels of autophagy caused by severe hypoxia or ischemia and/or reperfusion may cause self-digestion and eventual neuronal and astrocytic cell death. We also discuss that oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stresses in cerebral hypoxia or ischemia and/or reperfusion are potent stimuli of autophagy in neurons and astrocytes. In addition, we review the evidence suggesting a considerable overlap between autophagy on one hand, and apoptosis, necrosis and necroptosis on the other hand, in determining the outcomes and final morphology of damaged neurons and astrocytes.

  17. Primary motor cortex neurons classified in a postural task predict muscle activation patterns in a reaching task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heming, Ethan A; Lillicrap, Timothy P; Omrani, Mohsen; Herter, Troy M; Pruszynski, J Andrew; Scott, Stephen H

    2016-04-01

    Primary motor cortex (M1) activity correlates with many motor variables, making it difficult to demonstrate how it participates in motor control. We developed a two-stage process to separate the process of classifying the motor field of M1 neurons from the process of predicting the spatiotemporal patterns of its motor field during reaching. We tested our approach with a neural network model that controlled a two-joint arm to show the statistical relationship between network connectivity and neural activity across different motor tasks. In rhesus monkeys, M1 neurons classified by this method showed preferred reaching directions similar to their associated muscle groups. Importantly, the neural population signals predicted the spatiotemporal dynamics of their associated muscle groups, although a subgroup of atypical neurons reversed their directional preference, suggesting a selective role in antagonist control. These results highlight that M1 provides important details on the spatiotemporal patterns of muscle activity during motor skills such as reaching.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keilhoff, Gerburg, E-mail: Gerburg.keilhoff@med.ovgu.de [Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Leipziger Str. 44, D-39120 Magdeburg (Germany); Lucas, Benjamin; Pinkernelle, Josephine; Steiner, Michael [Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Leipziger Str. 44, D-39120 Magdeburg (Germany); Fansa, Hisham [Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Hand Surgery, Klinikum Bielefeld, Teutoburger Str. 50, D-33604 Bielefeld (Germany)

    2014-10-01

    Although the peripheral nervous system is capable of regeneration, this capability is limited. As a potential means of augmenting nerve regeneration, the effects of cerebrolysin (CL) – a proteolytic peptide fraction – were tested in vitro on the motor-neuron-like NSC-34 cell line and organotypic spinal cord cultures. Therefore, NSC-34 cells were subjected to mechanical stress by changing media and metabolic stress by oxygen glucose deprivation. Afterwards, cell survival/proliferation using MTT and BrdU-labeling (FACS) and neurite sprouting using ImageJ analysis were evaluated. Calpain-1, Src and α-spectrin protein expression were analyzed by Western blot. In organotypic cultures, the effect of CL on motor neuron survival and neurite sprouting was tested by immunohistochemistry. CL had a temporary anti-proliferative but initially neuroprotective effect on OGD-stressed NSC-34 cells. High-dosed or repeatedly applied CL was deleterious for cell survival. CL amplified neurite reconstruction to limited extent, affected calpain-1 protein expression and influenced calpain-mediated spectrin cleavage as a function of Src expression. In organotypic spinal cord slice cultures, CL was not able to support motor neuron survival/neurite sprouting. Moreover, it hampered astroglia and microglia activities. The data suggest that CL may have only isolated positive effects on injured spinal motor neurons. High-dosed or accumulated CL seemed to have adverse effects in treatment of spinal cord injury. Further experiments are required to optimize the conditions for a safe clinical administration of CL in spinal cord injuries. - Highlights: • Cerebrolysin (CL) is anti-proliferative but initially neuroprotective in OGD-stressed NSC-34 cells. • CL amplified neurite reconstruction of NSC-34 cells. • CL affected calpain-1 expression and calpain-mediated spectrin cleavage as function of Src expression. • In organotypic spinal cord cultures, CL hampered motor neuron survival and

  19. Motor control may support mirror neuron research with new hypotheses and methods. Reply to comments on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism"

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura

    2015-03-01

    We are grateful to all commentators for their insightful commentaries and observations that enrich our proposal. One of our aims was indeed to bridge the gap between fields of research that, progressing independently, are facing similar issues regarding the neural representation of motor knowledge. In this respect, we were pleased to receive feedback from eminent researchers on both the mirror neuron as well as the motor control fields. Their expertise covers animal and human neurophysiology, as well as the computational modeling of neural and behavioral processes. Given their heterogeneous cultural perspectives and research approaches, a number of important open questions were raised. For simplicity we separated these issues into four sections. In the first section we present methodological aspects regarding how synergies can be measured in paradigms investigating the human mirror system. The second section regards the fundamental definition of what exactly synergies might be. The third concerns how synergies can generate testable predictions in mirror neuron research. Finally, the fourth section deals with the ultimate question regarding the function of the mirror neuron system.

  20. A Case of Acute Motor Axonal Neuropathy Mimicking Brain Death and Review of the Literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravikumar, Sandhya; Poysophon, Poysophon; Poblete, Roy; Kim-Tenser, May

    2016-01-01

    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.

  1. Sensorimotor experience and verb-category mapping in human sensory, motor and parietal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ying; Dickey, Michael Walsh; Fiez, Julie; Murphy, Brian; Mitchell, Tom; Collinger, Jennifer; Tyler-Kabara, Elizabeth; Boninger, Michael; Wang, Wei

    2017-07-01

    Semantic grounding is the process of relating meaning to symbols (e.g., words). It is the foundation for creating a representational symbolic system such as language. Semantic grounding for verb meaning is hypothesized to be achieved through two mechanisms: sensorimotor mapping, i.e., directly encoding the sensorimotor experiences the verb describes, and verb-category mapping, i.e., encoding the abstract category a verb belongs to. These two mechanisms were investigated by examining neuronal-level spike (i.e. neuronal action potential) activities from the motor, somatosensory and parietal areas in two human participants. Motor and a portion of somatosensory neurons were found to be involved in primarily sensorimotor mapping, while parietal and some somatosensory neurons were found to be involved in both sensorimotor and verb-category mapping. The time course of the spike activities and the selective tuning pattern of these neurons indicate that they belong to a large neural network used for semantic processing. This study is the first step towards understanding how words are processed by neurons. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Substratum preferences of motor and sensory neurons in postnatal and adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Perez, Francisco; Alé, Albert; Santos, Daniel; Barwig, Christina; Freier, Thomas; Navarro, Xavier; Udina, Esther

    2016-02-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Fogassi

    2012-11-01

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

  4. Biphasic coupling of neuronal nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation to the NMDA receptor regulates AMPA receptor trafficking and neuronal cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rameau, Gerald A; Tukey, David S; Garcin-Hosfield, Elsa D; Titcombe, Roseann F; Misra, Charu; Khatri, Latika; Getzoff, Elizabeth D; Ziff, Edward B

    2007-03-28

    Postsynaptic nitric oxide (NO) production affects synaptic plasticity and neuronal cell death. Ca2+ fluxes through the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) stimulate the production of NO by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). However, the mechanisms by which nNOS activity is regulated are poorly understood. We evaluated the effect of neuronal stimulation with glutamate on the phosphorylation of nNOS. We show that, in cortical neurons, a low glutamate concentration (30 microM) induces rapid and transient NMDAR-dependent phosphorylation of S1412 by Akt, followed by sustained phosphorylation of S847 by CaMKII (calcium-calmodulin-dependent kinase II). We demonstrate that phosphorylation of S1412 by Akt is necessary for activation of nNOS by the NMDAR. nNOS mutagenesis confirms that these phosphorylations respectively activate and inhibit nNOS and, thus, transiently activate NO production. A constitutively active (S1412D), but not a constitutively repressed (S847D) nNOS mutant elevated surface glutamate receptor 2 levels, demonstrating that these phosphorylations can control AMPA receptor trafficking via NO. Notably, an excitotoxic stimulus (150 microM glutamate) induced S1412, but not S847 phosphorylation, leading to deregulated nNOS activation. S1412D did not kill neurons; however, it enhanced the excitotoxicity of a concomitant glutamate stimulus. We propose a swinging domain model for the regulation of nNOS: S1412 phosphorylation facilitates electron flow within the reductase module of nNOS, increasing nNOS sensitivity to Ca2+-calmodulin. These findings suggest a critical role for a kinetically complex and novel series of regulatory nNOS phosphorylations induced by the NMDA receptor for the in vivo control of nNOS.

  5. The C. elegans NeuroD homolog cnd-1 functions in multiple aspects of motor neuron fate specification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallam, S; Singer, E; Waring, D; Jin, Y

    2000-10-01

    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.

  6. ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations produce aberrant RNA splicing and adult-onset motor neuron disease without aggregation or loss of nuclear TDP-43.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2013-02-19

    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.

  7. Is motor neuron disease-inclusion dementia a forme fruste of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with dementia? An autopsy case further supporting the disease concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyoshima, Yasuko; Tan, Chun-Feng; Kozakai, Tetsuro; Tanaka, Masaharu; Takahashi, Hitoshi

    2005-09-01

    We report the autopsy findings of a 62-year-old man who exhibited progressive FTD 10 years before the appearance of muscle weakness and wasting, and who died approximately 11 years after onset of the symptoms. Degeneration and atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes, which contained ubiquitin-positive neuronal inclusions and dystrophic neurites, were evident. Circumscribed degeneration affecting the hippocampal CA1-subiculum border zone was also a feature. Moreover, degeneration was present in both the upper and lower motor neuron systems, the latter being more severely affected. A few lower motor neurons were found to contain the cytoplasmic inclusions characteristic of ALS (i.e. Bunina bodies and ubiquitin-positive skeins). Also of interest was the presence of pallidonigroluysian atrophy, which appeared to be responsible for the chorea-like involuntary movements that developed in this patient approximately 2 months before death. The clinical and pathological features of our patient further support the idea that motor neuron disease-inclusion dementia (MND-ID), which has been classified as a pathological subgroup of FTD, is a forme fruste of ALS with dementia. In other words, if patients with MND-ID live long enough, they may develop ALS.

  8. Tail Nerve Electrical Stimulation and Electro-Acupuncture Can Protect Spinal Motor Neurons and Alleviate Muscle Atrophy after Spinal Cord Transection in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Ting Zhang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Spinal cord injury (SCI often results in death of spinal neurons and atrophy of muscles which they govern. Thus, following SCI, reorganizing the lumbar spinal sensorimotor pathways is crucial to alleviate muscle atrophy. Tail nerve electrical stimulation (TANES has been shown to activate the central pattern generator (CPG and improve the locomotion recovery of spinal contused rats. Electroacupuncture (EA is a traditional Chinese medical practice which has been proven to have a neural protective effect. Here, we examined the effects of TANES and EA on lumbar motor neurons and hindlimb muscle in spinal transected rats, respectively. From the third day postsurgery, rats in the TANES group were treated 5 times a week and those in the EA group were treated once every other day. Four weeks later, both TANES and EA showed a significant impact in promoting survival of lumbar motor neurons and expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT and ameliorating atrophy of hindlimb muscle after SCI. Meanwhile, the expression of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3 in the same spinal cord segment was significantly increased. These findings suggest that TANES and EA can augment the expression of NT-3 in the lumbar spinal cord that appears to protect the motor neurons as well as alleviate muscle atrophy.

  9. Tail Nerve Electrical Stimulation and Electro-Acupuncture Can Protect Spinal Motor Neurons and Alleviate Muscle Atrophy after Spinal Cord Transection in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu-Ting; Jin, Hui; Wang, Jun-Hua; Wen, Lan-Yu; Yang, Yang; Ruan, Jing-Wen; Zhang, Shu-Xin; Ling, Eng-Ang; Ding, Ying; Zeng, Yuan-Shan

    2017-01-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) often results in death of spinal neurons and atrophy of muscles which they govern. Thus, following SCI, reorganizing the lumbar spinal sensorimotor pathways is crucial to alleviate muscle atrophy. Tail nerve electrical stimulation (TANES) has been shown to activate the central pattern generator (CPG) and improve the locomotion recovery of spinal contused rats. Electroacupuncture (EA) is a traditional Chinese medical practice which has been proven to have a neural protective effect. Here, we examined the effects of TANES and EA on lumbar motor neurons and hindlimb muscle in spinal transected rats, respectively. From the third day postsurgery, rats in the TANES group were treated 5 times a week and those in the EA group were treated once every other day. Four weeks later, both TANES and EA showed a significant impact in promoting survival of lumbar motor neurons and expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and ameliorating atrophy of hindlimb muscle after SCI. Meanwhile, the expression of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the same spinal cord segment was significantly increased. These findings suggest that TANES and EA can augment the expression of NT-3 in the lumbar spinal cord that appears to protect the motor neurons as well as alleviate muscle atrophy.

  10. Tail Nerve Electrical Stimulation and Electro-Acupuncture Can Protect Spinal Motor Neurons and Alleviate Muscle Atrophy after Spinal Cord Transection in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu-Ting; Jin, Hui; Wang, Jun-Hua; Wen, Lan-Yu; Yang, Yang; Ruan, Jing-Wen; Zhang, Shu-Xin; Ling, Eng-Ang

    2017-01-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) often results in death of spinal neurons and atrophy of muscles which they govern. Thus, following SCI, reorganizing the lumbar spinal sensorimotor pathways is crucial to alleviate muscle atrophy. Tail nerve electrical stimulation (TANES) has been shown to activate the central pattern generator (CPG) and improve the locomotion recovery of spinal contused rats. Electroacupuncture (EA) is a traditional Chinese medical practice which has been proven to have a neural protective effect. Here, we examined the effects of TANES and EA on lumbar motor neurons and hindlimb muscle in spinal transected rats, respectively. From the third day postsurgery, rats in the TANES group were treated 5 times a week and those in the EA group were treated once every other day. Four weeks later, both TANES and EA showed a significant impact in promoting survival of lumbar motor neurons and expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and ameliorating atrophy of hindlimb muscle after SCI. Meanwhile, the expression of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the same spinal cord segment was significantly increased. These findings suggest that TANES and EA can augment the expression of NT-3 in the lumbar spinal cord that appears to protect the motor neurons as well as alleviate muscle atrophy. PMID:28744378

  11. Role of tissue plasminogen activator/plasmin cascade in delayed neuronal death after transient forebrain ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Hiroshi; Nagai, Nobuo; Urano, Tetsumei

    We studied the possible involvement of the tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA)/plasmin system on both delayed neuronal death in the hippocampus and the associated enhancement of locomotor activity in rats, after transient forebrain ischemia induced by a four-vessel occlusion (FVO). Seven days after FVO, locomotor activity was abnormally increased and, after 10 days, pyramidal cells were degraded in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. FVO increased the t-PA antigen level and its activity in the hippocampus, which peaked at 4 h. Both the enhanced locomotor activity and the degradation of pyramidal cells were significantly suppressed by intracerebroventricular injection of aprotinin, a plasmin inhibitor, at 4 h but not during FVO. These results suggest the importance of the t-PA/plasmin cascade during the early pathological stages of delayed neuronal death in the hippocampus following transient forebrain ischemia.

  12. Unique pharmacological property of ISRIB in inhibition of Aβ-induced neuronal cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosoi, Toru; Kakimoto, Mai; Tanaka, Keigo; Nomura, Jun; Ozawa, Koichiro

    2016-08-01

    A pharmacological approach to ameliorate Alzheimer's disease (AD) has not yet been established. In the present study, we investigated the pharmacological characteristics of the recently identified memory-enhancing compound, ISRIB for the amelioration of AD. ISRIB potently attenuated amyloid β-induced neuronal cell death at concentrations of 12.5-25 nM, but did not inhibit amyloid β production in the HEK293T cell line expressing the amyloid precursor protein (APP). These results suggest that ISRIB possesses the unique pharmacological property of attenuating amyloid β-induced neuronal cell death without affecting amyloid β production. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Apoptotic cell death of cerebellar granule neurons in genetically ataxia (ax) mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohgoh, M; Yamazaki, K; Ogura, H; Nishizawa, Y; Tanaka, I

    2000-07-21

    An autosomal recessive neurological mutant, ataxia (ax) mouse, was investigated to determine whether neuronal cell death occurs in the brain. The brains of homozygotes (ax(J)/ax(J)) and phenotypically normal littermates (ax(J)/+ or +/+) aged at 23-38 days were examined by the terminal dUTP nick-end-labeling (TUNEL) method. A few TUNEL-positive cells were observed in the granule cell layer of the cerebellum, the dentate gyrus, and the olfactory bulb of normal mice. In the affected mice, the number of TUNEL-positive cells was significantly increased in the cerebellum, particularly in the granule cell layer, compared to normal littermates. The findings suggest that ax mice will be useful as a model for studies on the genetic basis of apoptotic neuronal cell death.

  14. Assisting patients with motor neurone disease to make decisions about their care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gale, Caroline

    2015-05-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND), is a progressive terminal illness affecting the central nervous system, causing paralysis of the muscles affecting limb movement, breathing and bulbar function, with an average life expectancy of 2-4 years. Patients are presented with repeated loss and the constant need to make adjustments to their lifestyle and expectations. Within palliative care there has been a move to formalise planning by undertaking advance care planning, giving the patient the opportunity to plan whether they would consider medical interventions and how they would like their care and death to be managed. There are now a multitude of forms and documents to complete if the patient is willing to do so. Advance care planning may not be something all patients wish to embrace, and this poses the question of whether there are cases where the repeated demand to think forward to a time when further losses are experienced is serving the agenda of the health professional at the expense of the patient. Nevertheless, health professionals might be concerned that a delay in decision making could impact on the patient's future care. There is potential for conflict between the wish of the patient--to remain focused on the positive--and the health professional's perception of the benefits of completing an advance care plan or discussing interventions which, if persued, might lead to a breakdown of the therapeutic relationship. A more flexible approach, focusing on the agenda set by the patient, underpinned by a therapeutic and trusting relationship, can avoid distress for the patient, while ensuring good care and the best outcome for the patient.

  15. Accuracy of routinely-collected healthcare data for identifying motor neurone disease cases: A systematic review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horrocks, Sophie; Schnier, Christian; Ly, Amanda; Woodfield, Rebecca; Rannikmäe, Kristiina; Quinn, Terence J.; Sudlow, Cathie L. M.

    2017-01-01

    Background Motor neurone disease (MND) is a rare neurodegenerative condition, with poorly understood aetiology. Large, population-based, prospective cohorts will enable powerful studies of the determinants of MND, provided identification of disease cases is sufficiently accurate. Follow-up in many such studies relies on linkage to routinely-collected health datasets. We systematically evaluated the accuracy of such datasets in identifying MND cases. Methods We performed an electronic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and Web of Science for studies published between 01/01/1990-16/11/2015 that compared MND cases identified in routinely-collected, coded datasets to a reference standard. We recorded study characteristics and two key measures of diagnostic accuracy—positive predictive value (PPV) and sensitivity. We conducted descriptive analyses and quality assessments of included studies. Results Thirteen eligible studies provided 13 estimates of PPV and five estimates of sensitivity. Twelve studies assessed hospital and/or death certificate-derived datasets; one evaluated a primary care dataset. All studies were from high income countries (UK, Europe, USA, Hong Kong). Study methods varied widely, but quality was generally good. PPV estimates ranged from 55–92% and sensitivities from 75–93%. The single (UK-based) study of primary care data reported a PPV of 85%. Conclusions Diagnostic accuracy of routinely-collected health datasets is likely to be sufficient for identifying cases of MND in large-scale prospective epidemiological studies in high income country settings. Primary care datasets, particularly from countries with a widely-accessible national healthcare system, are potentially valuable data sources warranting further investigation. PMID:28245254

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgana Favero

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

  17. Association of copy numbers of survival motor neuron gene 2 and neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein gene with the natural history in a Chinese spinal muscular atrophy cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Yu-jin; Ge, Xiu-shan; Bai, Jin-li; Wang, Li-wen; Cao, Yan-yan; Lu, Yan-yu; Jin, Yu-wei; Wang, Hong; Song, Fang

    2015-03-01

    We evaluated survival motor neuron 2 (SMN2) and neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein (NAIP) gene copy distribution and the association of copy number with survival in 232 Chinese spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients. The SMN2 and NAIP copy numbers correlated positively with the median onset age (r = 0.72 and 0.377). The risk of death for patients with fewer copies of SMN2 or NAIP was much higher than for those with more copies (P < .01). The survival probabilities at 5 years were 5.1%, 90.7%, and 100% for 2, 3, and 4 SMN2 copies and 27.9%, 66.7%, and 87.2% for 0, 1, and 2 NAIP copies, respectively. Our results indicated that combined SMN1-SMN2-NAIP genotypes with fewer copies were associated with earlier onset age and poorer survival probability. Better survival status for Chinese type I SMA might due to a higher proportion of 3 SMN2 and a lower rate of zero NAIP.

  18. [Neuronal death in the neocortex of drug resistant temporal lobe epilepsy patients].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorigados Pedre, L; Orozco Suárez, S; Morales Chacón, L; García Maeso, I; Estupiñán Diaz, B; Bender del Busto, J E; Pavón Fuentes, N; Paula Piñero, B; Rocha Arrieta, L

    2008-11-01

    Introduction. Participation of apoptotic death mechanisms in drug resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (DRTLE) is currently under great debate. We have investigated if there is neuronal loss and the immunodetection to different markers in neocortical tissue death in eigth patients with DRTLE. The neocortexes of five patients deceased due to non-neurological causes, paired in age and gender were evaluated as control tissue. Methods. The evaluation of neuronal loss was made by means of a stereological study and with immunohistochemical techniques with the synaptophysin marker. Immunopositivity to different apoptotic markers (annexin V, caspase 3 and 8, bcl-2 and p53) and detection of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragmentation (TUNEL) were analyzed and double labeling with synaptophysin was performed in every case. The results were evaluated with confocal microscope and analyzed with the Zeiss LSM 5 Image Browser Program, 2.80.1113 (Germany). Results. A statistically significant decrease in the total number of cells (p < 0.05) and the synaptophysin cells+ (p<0.01) in the neocortex (layer IV) of the patients with DRTLE when compared with the control tissue was found. No significant differences were found in the apoptotic markers bcl-2, p53, caspase 3 and 8 for any of the neocortex layers while there was a statistically significant increase in the number of TUNEL cells+ (p<0.05) and annexin V+ (p<0.05) in the neocortical layer IV of the patients. Conclusions. This group of evidence speaks in favor of the existence of an effect on the neuronal number in the neocortex layer IV that may be associated with noncaspase dependent apoptotic death process, without being able to rule out death by necrosis. Key words: Drug resistant temporal lobe epilepsy. Apoptosis. Necrosis. Neuronal loss. Neurología 2008;23(9):555-565.

  19. Lower motor neuron degeneration and familial predisposition to colonic neoplasia in two adult siblings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, P J; Ince, P G; Slade, J; Burn, J; Cartlidge, N E

    1991-11-01

    A previously unreported association between a familial predisposition to colonic neoplasia and familial adult onset lower motor neuron (LMN) degeneration is reported. Two brothers presented at the ages of 53 and 44 years with multiple colonic adenomata and invasive colonic carcinoma respectively. Subsequently both developed a virtually identical pattern of motor neuron disease of progressive muscular atrophy type. At presentation both had LMN weakness affecting predominantly the upper limb and neck muscles. The disease progressed rapidly to involve the lower limb and bulbar musculature and both brothers died after a 15 month course. Necropsy was performed on one brother and showed pathological changes confined to the LMNs with no evidence of involvement of the pyramidal tracts or motor cortex. The combination of these diseases in two brothers may be of importance in the search for genes responsible for familial motor neuron disorders. It is suggested that a genomic search should be directed initially to the vicinity of known colon neoplasia genes, particularly 5q, 17q and 18q.

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

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

    1995-03-01

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

  1. Effect of acupuncture on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced nigrostratal dopaminergic neuronal cell death in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yeung-Kee; Lim, Hyung-Ho; Song, Yun-Kyung; Lee, Hee-Hyuk; Lim, Sabina; Han, Seung-Moo; Kim, Chang-Ju

    In this study, we investigated the effect of acupuncture at the Zusanli acupoint (ST36) on the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal cell death in the rats with Parkinson's disease. Two weeks after unilateral injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the striatum, an apomorphine-induced rotational behavior test showed significant rotational asymmetry in the rats with Parkinson's disease. Immunostaining for tyrosine hydroxylase demonstrated a dopaminergic neuronal loss in the substantia nigra and dopaminergic fiber loss in the striatum. Acupuncture at the ST36 for 14 days significantly inhibited rotational asymmetry in the rats with Parkinson's disease, and also protected against 6-OHDA-induced nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal loss. These effects of acupuncture were not observed for the non-acupoint (hip) acupuncture. The present study shows that acupuncture at the ST36 acupoint can be used as a useful strategy for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

  2. Correlation between discharge timings of pairs of motor units reveals the presence but not the proportion of common synaptic input to motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Falces, Javier; Negro, Francesco; Farina, Dario

    2017-01-18

    We investigated whether correlation measures derived from pairs of motor unit (MU) spike trains are reliable indicators of the degree of common synaptic input to motor neurons. Several 50-s isometric contractions of the biceps brachii muscle were performed at different target forces ranging from 10 to 30% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) relying on force feedback. 48 pairs of MUs were examined at various force levels. Motor unit synchrony was assessed by cross-correlation analysis using three indices: the output correlation as the peak of the cross-histogram (ρ), the number of synchronous spikes per second (CIS), and per trigger (E). Individual analysis of MU pairs revealed that ρ, CIS, and E were most often positively associated to discharge rate (87, 85, and 76% of the MU pairs, respectively) and negatively to inter-spike interval variability (69, 65, and 62% of the MU pairs, respectively). Moreover, the behaviour of synchronization indices with discharge rate (and inter-spike interval variability) varied greatly among the MU pairs. These results were consistent with theoretical predictions, which showed that the output correlation between pairs of spike trains depends on the statistics of the input current and motor neuron intrinsic properties that differ for different motor neuron pairs. In conclusion, the synchronization between MU firing trains is necessarily caused by the (functional) common input to motor neurons, but it is not possible to infer the degree of shared common input to a pair of motor neurons based on correlation measures of their output spike trains.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mindlin, Gabriel B.

    2017-01-01

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

  4. SMN expression is required in motor neurons to rescue electrophysiological deficits in the SMNΔ7 mouse model of SMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, Vicki L; Iyer, Chitra C; Arnold, W David; Gombash, Sara E; Zaworski, Phillip G; Blatnik, Anton J; Foust, Kevin D; Burghes, Arthur H M

    2015-10-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most frequent cause of hereditary infant mortality. SMA is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder that results from the loss of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene and retention of the SMN2 gene. The SMN2 gene produces an insufficient amount of full-length SMN protein that results in loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and subsequent muscle paralysis. Previously we have shown that overexpression of human SMN in neurons in the SMA mouse ameliorates the SMA phenotype while overexpression of human SMN in skeletal muscle had no effect. Using Cre recombinase, here we show that either deletion or replacement of Smn in motor neurons (ChAT-Cre) significantly alters the functional output of the motor unit as measured with compound muscle action potential and motor unit number estimation. However ChAT-Cre alone did not alter the survival of SMA mice by replacement and did not appreciably affect survival when used to deplete SMN. However replacement of Smn in both neurons and glia in addition to the motor neuron (Nestin-Cre and ChAT-Cre) resulted in the greatest improvement in survival of the mouse and in some instances complete rescue was achieved. These findings demonstrate that high expression of SMN in the motor neuron is both necessary and sufficient for proper function of the motor unit. Furthermore, in the mouse high expression of SMN in neurons and glia, in addition to motor neurons, has a major impact on survival. Published by Oxford University Press 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  5. Non-aggregating tau phosphorylation by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Nimrod; Feng, Zhihua; Edens, Brittany M; Yang, Ben; Shi, Han; Sze, Christie C; Hong, Benjamin Taige; Su, Susan C; Cantu, Jorge A; Topczewski, Jacek; Crawford, Thomas O; Ko, Chien-Ping; Sumner, Charlotte J; Ma, Long; Ma, Yong-Chao

    2015-04-15

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading inherited cause of infant mortality, remain largely unknown. Many studies have established the importance of hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. However, tau phosphorylation in SMA pathogenesis has yet to be investigated. Here we show that tau phosphorylation on serine 202 (S202) and threonine 205 (T205) is increased significantly in SMA motor neurons using two SMA mouse models and human SMA patient spinal cord samples. Interestingly, phosphorylated tau does not form aggregates in motor neurons or neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), even at late stages of SMA disease, distinguishing it from other tauopathies. Hyperphosphorylation of tau on S202 and T205 is mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in SMA disease condition, because tau phosphorylation at these sites is significantly reduced in Cdk5 knock-out mice; genetic knock-out of Cdk5 activating subunit p35 in an SMA mouse model also leads to reduced tau phosphorylation on S202 and T205 in the SMA;p35(-/-) compound mutant mice. In addition, expression of the phosphorylation-deficient tauS202A,T205A mutant alleviates motor neuron defects in a zebrafish SMA model in vivo and mouse motor neuron degeneration in culture, whereas expression of phosphorylation-mimetic tauS202E,T205E promotes motor neuron defects. More importantly, genetic knock-out of tau in SMA mice rescues synapse stripping on motor neurons, NMJ denervation, and motor neuron degeneration in vivo. Altogether, our findings suggest a novel mechanism for SMA pathogenesis in which hyperphosphorylation of non-aggregating tau by Cdk5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration.

  6. Alterations in the motor neuron-Renshaw cell circuit in the Sod1G93A mouse model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wootz, Hanna; FitzSimons-Kantamneni, Eileen; Larhammar, Martin; Rotterman, Travis M.; Enjin, Anders; Patra, Kalicharan; Andre, Elodie; van Zundert, Brigitte; Kullander, Klas; Alvarez, Francisco J.

    2012-01-01

    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

  7. Protective effects of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonism on VX-induced neuronal cell death in cultured rat cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yushan; Weiss, M Tracy; Yin, Junfei; Tenn, Catherine C; Nelson, Peggy D; Mikler, John R

    2008-01-01

    Exposure of the central nervous system to organophosphorus (OP) nerve agents induces seizures and neuronal cell death. Here we report that the OP nerve agent, VX, induces apoptotic-like cell death in cultured rat cortical neurons. The VX effects on neurons were concentration-dependent, with an IC(50) of approximately 30 microM. Blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) with 50 microM. D-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV) diminished 30 microM VX-induced total cell death, as assessed by alamarBlue assay and Hoechst staining. In contrast, neither antagonists of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid receptors (AMPARs) nor metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) had any effect on VX-induced neurotoxicity. VX-induced neuronal cell death could not be solely attributed to acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition, since neither the reversible pharmacological cholinesterase inhibitor, physostigmine, nor the muscarinic receptor antagonist, atropine, affected VX-induced cell death. Importantly, APV was found to be therapeutically effective against VX-induced cell death up to 2 h post VX exposure. These results suggest that NMDARs, but not AMPARs or mGluRs, play important roles in VX-induced cell death in cultured rat cortical neurons. Based on their therapeutic effects, NMDAR antagonists may be beneficial in the treatment of VX-induced neurotoxicities.

  8. Mutant copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) induces protein secretion pathway alterations and exosome release in astrocytes: implications for disease spreading and motor neuron pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basso, Manuela; Pozzi, Silvia; Tortarolo, Massimo; Fiordaliso, Fabio; Bisighini, Cinzia; Pasetto, Laura; Spaltro, Gabriella; Lidonnici, Dario; Gensano, Francesco; Battaglia, Elisa; Bendotti, Caterina; Bonetto, Valentina

    2013-05-31

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is the most common motor neuron disease and is still incurable. The mechanisms leading to the selective motor neuron vulnerability are still not known. The interplay between motor neurons and astrocytes is crucial in the outcome of the disease. We show that mutant copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) overexpression in primary astrocyte cultures is associated with decreased levels of proteins involved in secretory pathways. This is linked to a general reduction of total secreted proteins, except for specific enrichment in a number of proteins in the media, such as mutant SOD1 and valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97. Because there was also an increase in exosome release, we can deduce that astrocytes expressing mutant SOD1 activate unconventional secretory pathways, possibly as a protective mechanism. This may help limit the formation of intracellular aggregates and overcome mutant SOD1 toxicity. We also found that astrocyte-derived exosomes efficiently transfer mutant SOD1 to spinal neurons and induce selective motor neuron death. We conclude that the expression of mutant SOD1 has a substantial impact on astrocyte protein secretion pathways, contributing to motor neuron pathology and disease spread.

  9. Neuroprotective effect of Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis against kainic acid-neuronal death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Juárez, Angélica; Chamorro, Germán; Alva-Sánchez, Claudia; Paniagua-Castro, Norma; Pacheco-Rosado, Jorge

    2016-08-01

    Context Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis (SP) is a cyanobacterium which has attracted attention because of its nutritional value and pharmacological properties. It was previously reported that SP reduces oxidative stress in the hippocampus and protects against damaging neurobehavioural effects of systemic kainic acid (KA). It is widely known that the systemic administration of KA induces neuronal damage, specifically in the CA3 hippocampal region. Objective The present study determines if the SP sub-chronic treatment has neuroprotective properties against KA. Materials and methods Male SW mice were treated with SP during 24 d, at doses of 0, 200, and 800 mg/kg, once daily, and with KA (35 mg/kg, ip) as a single dose on day 14. After the treatment, a histological analysis was performed and the number of atrophic neuronal cells in CA3 hippocampal region was quantified. Results Pretreatment with SP does not protect against seizures induced by KA. However, mortality in the SP 200 and the SP 800 groups was of 20%, while for the KA group, it was of 60%. A single KA ip administration produced a considerable neuronal damage, whereas both doses of SP sub-chronic treatment reduced the number of atrophic neurons in CA3 hippocampal region with respect to the KA group. Discussion The SP neurobehaviour improvement after KA systemic administration correlates with the capacity of SP to reduce KA-neuronal death in CA3 hippocampal cells. This neuroprotection may be related to the antioxidant properties of SP. Conclusion SP reduces KA-neuronal death in CA3 hippocampal cells.

  10. Celastrol blocks neuronal cell death and extends life in transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiaei, Mahmoud; Kipiani, Khatuna; Petri, Susanne; Chen, Junyu; Calingasan, Noel Y; Beal, M Flint

    2005-01-01

    There is substantial evidence that both inflammation and oxidative damage contribute to the pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration in the G93A SOD1 transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Celastrol is a natural product from Southern China, which exerts potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects. It also acts potently to increase expression of heat shock proteins including HSP70. We administered it in the diet to G93A SOD1 mice starting at 30 days of age. Celastrol treatment significantly improved weight loss, motor performance and delayed the onset of ALS. Survival of celastrol-treated G93A mice increased by 9.4% and 13% for 2 mg/kg/day and 8 mg/kg/day doses, respectively. Cell counts of lumbar spinal cord neurons confirmed a protective effect, i.e. 30% increase in neuronal number in the lumbar spinal cords of celastrol-treated animals. Celastrol treatment reduced TNF-alpha, iNOS, CD40, and GFAP immunoreactivity in the lumbar spinal cord sections of celastrol-treated G93A mice compared to untreated G93A mice. TNF-alpha immunoreactivity co-localized with SMI-32 (neuronal marker) and GFAP (astrocyte marker). HSP70 immunoreactivity was increased in lumbar spinal cord neurons of celastrol-treated G93A mice. Celastrol has been widely used in treating inflammatory diseases in man, and is well tolerated; therefore, it may be a promising therapeutic candidate for the treatment of human ALS. Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. Sensory defects in Necdin deficient mice result from a loss of sensory neurons correlated within an increase of developmental programmed cell death

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    Fernandez Pierre-Alain

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The human NECDIN gene is involved in a neurodevelopmental disorder, Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS. Previously we reported a mouse Necdin knock-out model with similar defects to PWS patients. Despite the putative roles attributed to Necdin, mainly from in vitro studies, its in vivo function remains unclear. In this study, we investigate sensory-motor behaviour in Necdin deficient mice. We reveal cellular defects and analyse their cause. Results We report sensory differences in Necdin deficient mice compared to wild type animals. These differences led us to investigate sensory neuron development in Necdin deficient mouse embryos. First, we describe the expression pattern of Necdin in developing DRGs and report a reduction of one-third in specified sensory neurons in dorsal roots ganglia and show that this neuronal loss is achieved by E13.5, when DRGs sensory neurons are specified. In parallel, we observed an increase of 41% in neuronal apoptosis during the wave of naturally occurring cell death at E12.5. Since it is assumed that Necdin is a P75NTR interactor, we looked at the P75NTR-expressing cell population in Necdin knock-out embryos. Unexpectedly, Necdin loss of function has no effect on p75NTR expressing neurons suggesting no direct genetic interaction between Necdin and P75NTR in this context. Although we exclude a role of Necdin in axonal outgrowth from spinal sensory neurons in early developmental stages; such a role could occur later in neuronal differentiation. Finally we also exclude an anti-proliferative role of Necdin in developing sensory neurons. Conclusion Overall, our data show clearly that, in early development of the nervous system, Necdin is an anti-apoptotic or survival factor.

  12. [Neuronal mechanisms of motor signal transmission in thalamic Voi nucleus in spasmodic torticollis patients].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedov, A S; Raeva, S N; Pavlenko, V B

    2014-01-01

    Neural mechanisms of motor signal transmission in ventrooral (Voi) nucleus of motor thalamus during the realization-of voluntary and involuntary abnormal (dystonic) movements in patients with spasmodic torticollis were investigated by means of microelectrode technique. The high reactivity of the cellular Voi elements to various functional (mainly motor) tests was proved. Analysis of neuronal activity showed: (1) the difference of neural mechanisms of motor signal transmission in the realization of voluntary movement with and without the involvement of the pathological axial neck muscles, as well as passive and abnormal involuntary dystonic movements; (2) significance of sensory component in the mechanisms of sensorimotor interactions during realization of voluntary and involuntary dystonic head and neck movements, causing the activation of the axial neck muscles; (3) important role of the rhythmic and synchronized neuronal activity in motor signal transmission during the realization of active and passive movements. Participation of Voi nucleus in pathological mechanisms of spasmodic torticollis was shown. The data obtained can be used for identificatiori of Voi thalamic nucleus during stereotactic neurosurgical operations in patients with spasmodic torticollis for selection the optimum destruction (stimulation) target and reduction of postoperative effects.

  13. Process Extension from Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Motor Neurons through Synthetic Extracellular Matrix Mimics

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Development and maturation of embryonic cortical neurons grafted into the damaged adult motor cortex

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    Nissrine Ballout

    2016-08-01

    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.

  15. The effect of geography and citizen behavior on motor vehicle deaths in the United States.

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    Nicole Abaid

    Full Text Available Death due to motor vehicle collisions (MVCs remains a leading cause of death in the US and alcohol plays a prominent role in a large proportion of these fatalities nationwide. Rates for these incidents vary widely among states and over time. Here, we explore the extent to which driving volume, alcohol consumption, legislation, political ideology, and geographical factors influence MVC deaths across states and time. We specify structural equation models for extracting associations between the factors and outcomes for MVC deaths and compute correlation functions of states' relative geographic and political positions to elucidate the relative contribution of these factors. We find evidence that state-level variation in MVC deaths is associated with time-varying driving volume, alcohol consumption, and legislation. These relationships are modulated by state spatial proximity, whereby neighboring states are found to share similar MVC death rates over the thirty-year observation period. These results support the hypothesis that neighboring states exhibit similar risk and protective characteristics, despite differences in political ideology.

  16. The effect of geography and citizen behavior on motor vehicle deaths in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abaid, Nicole; Macinko, James; Silver, Diana; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    Death due to motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) remains a leading cause of death in the US and alcohol plays a prominent role in a large proportion of these fatalities nationwide. Rates for these incidents vary widely among states and over time. Here, we explore the extent to which driving volume, alcohol consumption, legislation, political ideology, and geographical factors influence MVC deaths across states and time. We specify structural equation models for extracting associations between the factors and outcomes for MVC deaths and compute correlation functions of states' relative geographic and political positions to elucidate the relative contribution of these factors. We find evidence that state-level variation in MVC deaths is associated with time-varying driving volume, alcohol consumption, and legislation. These relationships are modulated by state spatial proximity, whereby neighboring states are found to share similar MVC death rates over the thirty-year observation period. These results support the hypothesis that neighboring states exhibit similar risk and protective characteristics, despite differences in political ideology.

  17. Acupuncture prevents 6-hydroxydopamine-induced neuronal death in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system in the rat Parkinson's disease model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hi-Joon; Lim, Sabina; Joo, Wan-Seok; Yin, Chang-Shik; Lee, Hyang-Sook; Lee, Hye-Jung; Seo, Jung Chul; Leem, Kanghyun; Son, Yang-Sun; Kim, Youn-Jung; Kim, Chang-Ju; Kim, Yong-Sik; Chung, Joo-Ho

    2003-03-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder, and it has been suggested that treatments promoting survival and functional recovery of affected dopaminergic neurons could have a significant and long-term therapeutic value. In the present study, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of acupuncture on the nigrostriatal system in rat unilaterally lesioned with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 4 microg/microl, intrastriatal injection) using tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor, trkB, immunohistochemistries. Two weeks after the lesions were made, rats presented with asymmetry in rotational behavior (118.3 +/- 17.5 turns/h) following injection with apomorphine, a dopamine receptor agonist (0.5 mg/kg, sc). In contrast, acupunctural treatment at acupoints GB34 and LI3 was shown to significantly reduce this motor deficit (14.6 +/- 13.4 turns/h). Analysis via TH immunohistochemistry revealed a substantial loss of cell bodies in the substantia nigra (SN) (45.7% loss) and their terminals in the dorsolateral striatum ipsilateral to the 6-OHDA-induced lesion. However, acupunctural treatment resulted in the enhanced survival of dopaminergic neurons in the SN (21.4% loss) and their terminals in the dorsolateral striatum. Acupuncture also increased the expression of trkB significantly (35.6% increase) in the ipsilateral SN. In conclusion, we observed that only acupuncturing without the use of any drug has the neuroprotective effects against neuronal death in the rat PD model and these protective properties of acupuncture could be mediated by trkB.

  18. Motor neuron activation in peripheral nerves using infrared neural stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, E. J.; Tyler, D. J.

    2014-02-01

    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.

  19. Dopamine control of pyramidal neuron activity in the primary motor cortex via D2 receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clément eVitrac

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The primary motor cortex (M1 is involved in fine voluntary movements control. Previous studies have shown the existence of a dopamine (DA innervation in M1 of rats and monkeys that could directly modulate M1 neuronal activity. However, none of these studies have described the precise distribution of DA terminals within M1 functional region nor have quantified the density of this innervation. Moreover, the precise role of DA on pyramidal neuron activity still remains unclear due to conflicting results from previous studies regarding D2 effects on M1 pyramidal neurons.In this study we assessed in mice the neuroanatomical characteristics of DA innervation in M1 using unbiased stereological quantification of dopamine transporter-immunostained fibers. We demonstrated for the first time in mice that DA innervates the deep layers of M1 targeting preferentially the forelimb representation area of M1. To address the functional role of the DA innervation on M1 neuronal activity, we performed electrophysiological recordings of single neurons activity in vivo and pharmacologically modulated D2 receptors activity. Local D2 receptors activation by quinpirole enhanced pyramidal neurons spike firing rate without changes in spike firing pattern. Altogether, these results indicate that DA innervation in M1 can increase neuronal activity through D2 receptors activation and suggest a potential contribution to the modulation of fine forelimb movement. Given the demonstrated role for DA in fine motor skill learning in M1, our results suggest that altered D2 modulation of M1 activity may be involved in the pathophysiology of movement disorders associated with disturbed DA homeostasis.

  20. Identification of genes influencing dendrite morphogenesis in developing peripheral sensory and central motor neurons

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    Chwalla Barbara

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Developing neurons form dendritic trees with cell type-specific patterns of growth, branching and targeting. Dendrites of Drosophila peripheral sensory neurons have emerged as a premier genetic model, though the molecular mechanisms that underlie and regulate their morphogenesis remain incompletely understood. Still less is known about this process in central neurons and the extent to which central and peripheral dendrites share common organisational principles and molecular features. To address these issues, we have carried out two comparable gain-of-function screens for genes that influence dendrite morphologies in peripheral dendritic arborisation (da neurons and central RP2 motor neurons. Results We found 35 unique loci that influenced da neuron dendrites, including five previously shown as required for da dendrite patterning. Several phenotypes were class-specific and many resembled those of known mutants, suggesting that genes identified in this study may converge with and extend known molecular pathways for dendrite development in da neurons. The second screen used a novel technique for cell-autonomous gene misexpression in RP2 motor neurons. We found 51 unique loci affecting RP2 dendrite morphology, 84% expressed in the central nervous system. The phenotypic classes from both screens demonstrate that gene misexpression can affect specific aspects of dendritic development, such as growth, branching and targeting. We demonstrate that these processes are genetically separable. Targeting phenotypes were specific to the RP2 screen, and we propose that dendrites in the central nervous system are targeted to territories defined by Cartesian co-ordinates along the antero-posterior and the medio-lateral axes of the central neuropile. Comparisons between the screens suggest that the dendrites of peripheral da and central RP2 neurons are shaped by regulatory programs that only partially overlap. We focused on one common

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-31

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

  2. Recommendations to support informal carers of people living with motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergin, Susan; Mockford, Carole

    2016-10-02

    Informal carers are increasingly providing specialist care at home for people living with motor neurone disease. The carers may experience significant deterioration in their quality of life as a result of the physical and psychological burden they undertake. This systematic review seeks to provide evidence-based recommendations to enable healthcare professionals to support carers appropriately to maintain their wellbeing and to continue providing care at home. Inclusion criteria included articles focusing on the experience of informal carers of people with motor neurone disease, particularly when reporting on their perspective of professional services. Twenty-three studies were included and a thematic analysis was undertaken. Four key recommendations were identified: providing support, early access to palliative care, information regarding availability of services, and offering carers training for using specialist equipment. These recommendations offer healthcare professionals practical, cost-effective suggestions to improve existing services.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Song

    2013-03-01

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

  4. Relation of phospholipase A2-V and indoxam to hippocampal neuronal death

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fang Liu; Shi Wang; Yan Lin; Runhui Li; Li Ma; Yanjun Li; Qing Jin; Xiao Gong; Yuhua Chen

    2006-01-01

    .4)%, (69.34±1.1)%, (82.11 ±1.2)% and (95.28±0.9)% when indoxam was 1, 2.5, 5and 10 μmol/L, respectively. There were significant differences among different concentrations (P< 0.05).CONCLUSION: ① The of neuronal death ratio is in a concentration-dependent manner with sPLA2- V, and increases as the embryonic aging. ② Indoxam inhibits the proapoptotic effect of sPLA2-V.

  5. Effects of Alda-1, an Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-2 Agonist, on Hypoglycemic Neuronal Death.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuhiko Ikeda

    Full Text Available Hypoglycemic encephalopathy (HE is caused by a lack of glucose availability to neuronal cells, and no neuroprotective drugs have been developed as yet. Studies on the pathogenesis of HE and the development of new neuroprotective drugs have been conducted using animal models such as the hypoglycemic coma model and non-coma hypoglycemia model. However, both models have inherent problems, and establishment of animal models that mimic clinical situations is desirable. In this study, we first developed a short-term hypoglycemic coma model in which rats could be maintained in an isoelectric electroencephalogram (EEG state for 2 min and subsequent hyperglycemia without requiring anti-seizure drugs and an artificial ventilation. This condition caused the production of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE, a cytotoxic aldehyde, in neurons of the hippocampus and cerebral cortex, and a marked increase in neuronal death as evaluated by Fluoro-Jade B (FJB staining. We also investigated whether N-(1,3-benzodioxole-5-ylmethyl-2,6-dichlorobenzamide (Alda-1, a small-molecule agonist of aldehyde dehydrogenase-2, could attenuate 4-HNE levels and reduce hypoglycemic neuronal death. After confirming that EEG recordings remained isoelectric for 2 min, Alda-1 (8.5 mg/kg or vehicle (dimethyl sulfoxide; DMSO was administered intravenously with glucose to maintain a blood glucose level of 250 to 270 mg/dL. Fewer 4-HNE and FJB-positive cells were observed in the cerebral cortex of Alda-1-treated rats than in DMSO-treated rats 24 h after glucose administration (P = 0.002 and P = 0.020. Thus, activation of the ALDH2 pathway could be a molecular target for HE treatment, and Alda-1 is a potentially neuroprotective agent that exerts a beneficial effect on neurons when intravenously administered simultaneously with glucose.

  6. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the funtional MRI investigation of motor neuron disease

    OpenAIRE

    Dongchao eShen; Liying eCui; Bo eCui; Jia eFang; Dawei eLi; Junfang eMa

    2015-01-01

    Background: To assess the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in motor neuron disease (MND), a systematic review and voxelwise meta-analysis of studies comparing brain activity in patients with MND and in healthy controls (HCs) was conducted to identify common findings across studies.Methods: A search for related papers published in English and Chinese was performed in Ovid Medline, Pubmed and Embase database. Voxelwise meta-analysis was performed using signed differential map...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keilhoff, Gerburg; Lucas, Benjamin; Pinkernelle, Josephine; Steiner, Michael; Fansa, Hisham

    2014-10-01

    Although the peripheral nervous system is capable of regeneration, this capability is limited. As a potential means of augmenting nerve regeneration, the effects of cerebrolysin (CL)--a proteolytic peptide fraction--were tested in vitro on the motor-neuron-like NSC-34 cell line and organotypic spinal cord cultures. Therefore, NSC-34 cells were subjected to mechanical stress by changing media and metabolic stress by oxygen glucose deprivation. Afterwards, cell survival/proliferation using MTT and BrdU-labeling (FACS) and neurite sprouting using ImageJ analysis were evaluated. Calpain-1, Src and α-spectrin protein expression were analyzed by Western blot. In organotypic cultures, the effect of CL on motor neuron survival and neurite sprouting was tested by immunohistochemistry. CL had a temporary anti-proliferative but initially neuroprotective effect on OGD-stressed NSC-34 cells. High-dosed or repeatedly applied CL was deleterious for cell survival. CL amplified neurite reconstruction to limited extent, affected calpain-1 protein expression and influenced calpain-mediated spectrin cleavage as a function of Src expression. In organotypic spinal cord slice cultures, CL was not able to support motor neuron survival/neurite sprouting. Moreover, it hampered astroglia and microglia activities. The data suggest that CL may have only isolated positive effects on injured spinal motor neurons. High-dosed or accumulated CL seemed to have adverse effects in treatment of spinal cord injury. Further experiments are required to optimize the conditions for a safe clinical administration of CL in spinal cord injuries.

  8. Contribution of LFP dynamics to single-neuron spiking variability in motor cortex during movement execution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rule, Michael E; Vargas-Irwin, Carlos; Donoghue, John P; Truccolo, Wilson

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the sources of variability in single-neuron spiking responses is an important open problem for the theory of neural coding. This variability is thought to result primarily from spontaneous collective dynamics in neuronal networks. Here, we investigate how well collective dynamics reflected in motor cortex local field potentials (LFPs) can account for spiking variability during motor behavior. Neural activity was recorded via microelectrode arrays implanted in ventral and dorsal premotor and primary motor cortices of non-human primates performing naturalistic 3-D reaching and grasping actions. Point process models were used to quantify how well LFP features accounted for spiking variability not explained by the measured 3-D reach and grasp kinematics. LFP features included the instantaneous magnitude, phase and analytic-signal components of narrow band-pass filtered (δ,θ,α,β) LFPs, and analytic signal and amplitude envelope features in higher-frequency bands. Multiband LFP features predicted single-neuron spiking (1ms resolution) with substantial accuracy as assessed via ROC analysis. Notably, however, models including both LFP and kinematics features displayed marginal improvement over kinematics-only models. Furthermore, the small predictive information added by LFP features to kinematic models was redundant to information available in fast-timescale (<100 ms) spiking history. Overall, information in multiband LFP features, although predictive of single-neuron spiking during movement execution, was redundant to information available in movement parameters and spiking history. Our findings suggest that, during movement execution, collective dynamics reflected in motor cortex LFPs primarily relate to sensorimotor processes directly controlling movement output, adding little explanatory power to variability not accounted by movement parameters.

  9. Contribution of LFP dynamics to single neuron spiking variability in motor cortex during movement execution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Everett Rule

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the sources of variability in single-neuron spiking responses is an important open problem for the theory of neural coding. This variability is thought to result primarily from spontaneous collective dynamics in neuronal networks. Here, we investigate how well collective dynamics reflected in motor cortex local field potentials (LFPs can account for spiking variability during motor behavior. Neural activity was recorded via microelectrode arrays implanted in ventral and dorsal premotor and primary motor cortices of non-human primates performing naturalistic 3-D reaching and grasping actions. Point process models were used to quantify how well LFP features accounted for spiking variability not explained by the measured 3-D reach and grasp kinematics. LFP features included the instantaneous magnitude, phase and analytic-signal components of narrow band-pass filtered (δ, θ, α, β LFPs, and analytic signal and amplitude envelope features in higher-frequency bands. Multiband LFP features predicted single-neuron spiking (1ms resolution with substantial accuracy as assessed via ROC analysis. Notably, however, models including both LFP and kinematics features displayed marginal improvement over kinematics-only models. Furthermore, the small predictive information added by LFP features to kinematic models was redundant to information available in fast-timescale (<100ms spiking history. Overall, information in multiband LFP features, although predictive of single-neuron spiking during movement execution, was redundant to information available in movement parameters and spiking history. Our findings suggest that, during movement execution, collective dynamics reflected in motor cortex LFPs primarily relate to sensorimotor processes directly controlling movement output, adding little explanatory power to variability not accounted by movement parameters.

  10. Augmentation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-dependent neuronal cell death by acidosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jian; Li, Xiaoling; Kwansa, Herman; Kim, Yun Tai; Yi, Liye; Hong, Gina; Andrabi, Shaida A; Dawson, Valina L; Dawson, Ted M; Koehler, Raymond C; Yang, Zeng-Jin

    2017-06-01

    Tissue acidosis is a key component of cerebral ischemic injury, but its influence on cell death signaling pathways is not well defined. One such pathway is parthanatos, in which oxidative damage to DNA results in activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and generation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymers that trigger release of mitochondrial apoptosis-inducing factor. In primary neuronal cultures, we first investigated whether acidosis per sé is capable of augmenting parthanatos signaling initiated pharmacologically with the DNA alkylating agent, N-methyl- N'-nitro- N-nitrosoguanidine. Exposure of neurons to medium at pH 6.2 for 4 h after N-methyl- N'-nitro- N-nitrosoguanidine washout increased intracellular calcium and augmented the N-methyl- N'-nitro- N-nitrosoguanidine-evoked increase in poly(ADP-ribose) polymers, nuclear apoptosis-inducing factor , and cell death. The augmented nuclear apoptosis-inducing factor and cell death were blocked by the acid-sensitive ion channel-1a inhibitor, psalmotoxin. In vivo, acute hyperglycemia during transient focal cerebral ischemia augmented tissue acidosis, poly(ADP-ribose) polymers formation, and nuclear apoptosis-inducing factor , which was attenuated by a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor. Infarct volume from hyperglycemic ischemia was decreased in poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1-null mice. Collectively, these results demonstrate that acidosis can directly amplify neuronal parthanatos in the absence of ischemia through acid-sensitive ion channel-1a . The results further support parthanatos as one of the mechanisms by which ischemia-associated tissue acidosis augments cell death.

  11. Age and Parkinson's disease-related neuronal death in the substantia nigra pars compacta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eriksen, Nina; Stark, Anette Kirstine; Pakkenberg, Bente

    2009-01-01

    of this system, Parkinson's disease, is characterized by a selective, progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. This review includes studies quantifying age and Parkinson's-related changes of the substantia nigra, with emphasis on stereological studies performed......During aging, decline in memory and cognitive abilities as well as motor weakening is of great concern. The dopaminergic system mediates some aspects of manual dexterity, in addition to cognition and emotion, and may be especially vulnerable to aging. A common neurodegenerative disorder...

  12. Age and Parkinson's disease-related neuronal death in the substantia nigra pars compacta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eriksen, Nina; Stark, Anette Kirstine; Pakkenberg, Bente

    2009-01-01

    During aging, decline in memory and cognitive abilities as well as motor weakening is of great concern. The dopaminergic system mediates some aspects of manual dexterity, in addition to cognition and emotion, and may be especially vulnerable to aging. A common neurodegenerative disorder...... of this system, Parkinson's disease, is characterized by a selective, progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. This review includes studies quantifying age and Parkinson's-related changes of the substantia nigra, with emphasis on stereological studies performed...

  13. Impaired axonal transport in motor neurons correlates with clinical prion disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Ermolayev

    2009-08-01

    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.

  14. Spinal motor neuron protein supersaturation patterns are associated with inclusion body formation in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciryam, Prajwal; Lambert-Smith, Isabella A; Bean, Daniel M; Freer, Rosie; Cid, Fernando; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Saunders, Darren N; Wilson, Mark R; Oliver, Stephen G; Morimoto, Richard I; Dobson, Christopher M; Vendruscolo, Michele; Favrin, Giorgio; Yerbury, Justin J

    2017-05-16

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a heterogeneous degenerative motor neuron disease linked to numerous genetic mutations in apparently unrelated proteins. These proteins, including SOD1, TDP-43, and FUS, are highly aggregation-prone and form a variety of intracellular inclusion bodies that are characteristic of different neuropathological subtypes of the disease. Contained within these inclusions are a variety of proteins that do not share obvious characteristics other than coaggregation. However, recent evidence from other neurodegenerative disorders suggests that disease-affected biochemical pathways can be characterized by the presence of proteins that are supersaturated, with cellular concentrations significantly greater than their solubilities. Here, we show that the proteins that form inclusions of mutant SOD1, TDP-43, and FUS are not merely a subset of the native interaction partners of these three proteins, which are themselves supersaturated. To explain the presence of coaggregating proteins in inclusions in the brain and spinal cord, we observe that they have an average supersaturation even greater than the average supersaturation of the native interaction partners in motor neurons, but not when scores are generated from an average of other human tissues. These results suggest that inclusion bodies in various forms of ALS result from a set of proteins that are metastable in motor neurons, and thus prone to aggregation upon a disease-related progressive collapse of protein homeostasis in this specific setting.

  15. Small GSK-3 Inhibitor Shows Efficacy in a Motor Neuron Disease Murine Model Modulating Autophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Munck, Estefanía; Palomo, Valle; Muñoz-Sáez, Emma; Perez, Daniel I; Gómez-Miguel, Begoña; Solas, M Teresa; Gil, Carmen; Martínez, Ana; Arahuetes, Rosa M

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron degenerative disease that has no effective treatment up to date. Drug discovery tasks have been hampered due to the lack of knowledge in its molecular etiology together with the limited animal models for research. Recently, a motor neuron disease animal model has been developed using β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA), a neurotoxic amino acid related to the appearing of ALS. In the present work, the neuroprotective role of VP2.51, a small heterocyclic GSK-3 inhibitor, is analysed in this novel murine model together with the analysis of autophagy. VP2.51 daily administration for two weeks, starting the first day after L-BMAA treatment, leads to total recovery of neurological symptoms and prevents the activation of autophagic processes in rats. These results show that the L-BMAA murine model can be used to test the efficacy of new drugs. In addition, the results confirm the therapeutic potential of GSK-3 inhibitors, and specially VP2.51, for the disease-modifying future treatment of motor neuron disorders like ALS.

  16. Muscle histopathology in upper motor neuron-dominant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorarù, Gianni; D'Ascenzo, Carla; Nicolao, Piero; Volpe, Marco; Martignago, Sara; Palmieri, Arianna; Romeo, Vincenzo; Koutsikos, Konstantinos; Piccione, Francesco; Cima, Valentina; Pegoraro, Elena; Angelini, Corrado

    2008-10-01

    The distinction between primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) still remains debated. Recently, PLS patients displaying lower motor neuron (LMN) signs have been defined as 'upper motor neuron (UMN)-dominant ALS', using 'clinically pure PLS' diagnosis to those with no LMN signs. To further characterize the LMN involvement in UMN-dominant ALS we investigated the presence and the extent of neurogenic abnormalities in the skeletal muscle of patients affected with a pyramidal syndrome consistent with UMN-dominant ALS. A total of nine patients affected with UMN-dominant ALS were analysed. In all cases, muscle biopsies showed the presence of scattered or clustered atrophic angulated fibres in small groups, and a mild to moderate fibre type-grouping. Target and targetoid fibres were detected in two cases only. Three patients had a second muscle biopsy which demonstrated a roughly unchanged pattern of chronic denervation with still moderate reinnervation phenomena. This study suggests that in UMN-dominant ALS muscle denervation may be characterized by an early chronic impairment of a restricted number of LMNs. The extent rather than the presence of LMN signs may allow to categorize patients with motor neuron disease involving mainly UMN into distinct entities.

  17. Small GSK-3 Inhibitor Shows Efficacy in a Motor Neuron Disease Murine Model Modulating Autophagy

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Munck, Estefanía; Palomo, Valle; Muñoz-Sáez, Emma; Perez, Daniel I.; Gómez-Miguel, Begoña; Solas, M. Teresa; Gil, Carmen; Martínez, Ana; Arahuetes, Rosa M.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron degenerative disease that has no effective treatment up to date. Drug discovery tasks have been hampered due to the lack of knowledge in its molecular etiology together with the limited animal models for research. Recently, a motor neuron disease animal model has been developed using β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA), a neurotoxic amino acid related to the appearing of ALS. In the present work, the neuroprotective role of VP2.51, a small heterocyclic GSK-3 inhibitor, is analysed in this novel murine model together with the analysis of autophagy. VP2.51 daily administration for two weeks, starting the first day after L-BMAA treatment, leads to total recovery of neurological symptoms and prevents the activation of autophagic processes in rats. These results show that the L-BMAA murine model can be used to test the efficacy of new drugs. In addition, the results confirm the therapeutic potential of GSK-3 inhibitors, and specially VP2.51, for the disease-modifying future treatment of motor neuron disorders like ALS. PMID:27631495

  18. A high-fat jelly diet restores bioenergetic balance and extends lifespan in the presence of motor dysfunction and lumbar spinal cord motor neuron loss in TDP-43A315T mutant C57BL6/J mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coughlan, Karen S.; Halang, Luise; Woods, Ina

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Transgenic transactivation response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) mice expressing the A315T mutation under control of the murine prion promoter progressively develop motor function deficits and are considered a new model for the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); however, premature sudden death resulting from intestinal obstruction halts disease phenotype progression in 100% of C57BL6/J congenic TDP-43A315T mice. Similar to our recent results in SOD1G93A mice, TDP-43A315T mice fed a standard pellet diet showed increased 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation at postnatal day (P)80, indicating elevated energetic stress during disease progression. We therefore investigated the effects of a high-fat jelly diet on bioenergetic status and lifespan in TDP-43A315T mice. In contrast to standard pellet-fed mice, mice fed high-fat jelly showed no difference in AMPK activation up to P120 and decreased phosphorylation of acetly-CoA carboxylase (ACC) at early-stage time points. Exposure to a high-fat jelly diet prevented sudden death and extended survival, allowing development of a motor neuron disease phenotype with significantly decreased body weight from P80 onward that was characterised by deficits in Rotarod abilities and stride length measurements. Development of this phenotype was associated with a significant motor neuron loss as assessed by Nissl staining in the lumbar spinal cord. Our work suggests that a high-fat jelly diet improves the pre-clinical utility of the TDP-43A315T model by extending lifespan and allowing the motor neuron disease phenotype to progress, and indicates the potential benefit of this diet in TDP-43-associated ALS. PMID:27491077

  19. A high-fat jelly diet restores bioenergetic balance and extends lifespan in the presence of motor dysfunction and lumbar spinal cord motor neuron loss in TDP-43A315T mutant C57BL6/J mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen S. Coughlan

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Transgenic transactivation response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43 mice expressing the A315T mutation under control of the murine prion promoter progressively develop motor function deficits and are considered a new model for the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; however, premature sudden death resulting from intestinal obstruction halts disease phenotype progression in 100% of C57BL6/J congenic TDP-43A315T mice. Similar to our recent results in SOD1G93A mice, TDP-43A315T mice fed a standard pellet diet showed increased 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK activation at postnatal day (P80, indicating elevated energetic stress during disease progression. We therefore investigated the effects of a high-fat jelly diet on bioenergetic status and lifespan in TDP-43A315T mice. In contrast to standard pellet-fed mice, mice fed high-fat jelly showed no difference in AMPK activation up to P120 and decreased phosphorylation of acetly-CoA carboxylase (ACC at early-stage time points. Exposure to a high-fat jelly diet prevented sudden death and extended survival, allowing development of a motor neuron disease phenotype with significantly decreased body weight from P80 onward that was characterised by deficits in Rotarod abilities and stride length measurements. Development of this phenotype was associated with a significant motor neuron loss as assessed by Nissl staining in the lumbar spinal cord. Our work suggests that a high-fat jelly diet improves the pre-clinical utility of the TDP-43A315T model by extending lifespan and allowing the motor neuron disease phenotype to progress, and indicates the potential benefit of this diet in TDP-43-associated ALS.

  20. Recruitment in a heterogeneous population of motor neurons that innervates the depressor muscle of the crayfish walking leg muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Andrew A V; Cattaert, Daniel

    2008-02-01

    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.

  1. Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura

    2015-03-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons revived interest in motor theories of perception, fostering a number of new studies as well as controversies. In particular, the degree of motor specificity with which others' actions are simulated is highly debated. Human corticospinal excitability studies support the conjecture that a mirror mechanism encodes object-directed goals or low-level kinematic features of others' reaching and grasping actions. These interpretations lead to different experimental predictions and implications for the functional role of the simulation of others' actions. We propose that the representational granularity of the mirror mechanism cannot be any different from that of the motor system during action execution. Hence, drawing from motor control models, we propose that the building blocks of the mirror mechanism are the relatively few motor synergies explaining the variety of hand functions. The recognition of these synergies, from action observation, can be potentially very robust to visual noise and thus demonstrate a clear advantage of using motor knowledge for classifying others' action.

  2. Grasping synergies: a motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura

    2015-03-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons revived interest in motor theories of perception, fostering a number of new studies as well as controversies. In particular, the degree of motor specificity with which others' actions are simulated is highly debated. Human corticospinal excitability studies support the conjecture that a mirror mechanism encodes object-directed goals or low-level kinematic features of others' reaching and grasping actions. These interpretations lead to different experimental predictions and implications for the functional role of the simulation of others' actions. We propose that the representational granularity of the mirror mechanism cannot be any different from that of the motor system during action execution. Hence, drawing from motor control models, we propose that the building blocks of the mirror mechanism are the relatively few motor synergies explaining the variety of hand functions. The recognition of these synergies, from action observation, can be potentially very robust to visual noise and thus demonstrate a clear advantage of using motor knowledge for classifying others' action.

  3. miR-455 inhibits neuronal cell death by targeting TRAF3 in cerebral ischemic stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yao ST

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Shengtao Yao,* Bo Tang,* Gang Li, Ruiming Fan, Fang Cao Department of Cerebrovascular Disease, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zunyi Medical College, Zunyi, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Ischemic stroke is one of the leading causes of brain disease, with high morbidity, disability, and mortality. MicroRNAs (miRNAs have been identified as vital gene regulators in various types of human diseases. Accumulating evidence has suggested that aberrant expression of miRNAs play critical roles in the pathologies of ischemic stroke. Yet, the precise mechanism by which miRNAs control cerebral ischemic stroke remains unclear. In the present study, we explored whether miR-455 suppresses neuronal death by targeting TRAF3 in cerebral ischemic stroke. The expression levels of miR-455 and TRAF3 were detected by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. The role of miR-455 in cell death caused by oxygen–glucose deprivation (OGD was assessed using Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8 assay. The influence of miR-455 on infarct volume was evaluated in mouse brain after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO. Bioinformatics softwares and luciferase analysis were used to find and confirm the targets of miR-455. The results showed that the expression levels of miR-455 significantly decreased in primary neuronal cells subjected to OGD and mouse brain subjected to MCAO. In addition, forced expression of miR-455 inhibited neuronal death and weakened ischemic brain infarction in focal ischemia-stroked mice. Furthermore, TRAF3 was proved to be a direct target of miR-455, and miR-455 could negatively suppress TRAF3 expression. Biological function analysis showed that TRAF3 silencing displayed the neuroprotective effect in ischemic stroke and could enhance miR-455-induced positive impact on ischemic injury both in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, miR-455 played a vital role in protecting neuronal

  4. Chronic stress enhances microglia activation and exacerbates death of nigral dopaminergic neurons under conditions of inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Pablos, Rocío M; Herrera, Antonio J; Espinosa-Oliva, Ana M; Sarmiento, Manuel; Muñoz, Mario F; Machado, Alberto; Venero, José L

    2014-02-24

    Parkinson's disease is an irreversible neurodegenerative disease linked to progressive movement disorders and is accompanied by an inflammatory reaction that is believed to contribute to its pathogenesis. Since sensitivity to inflammation is not the same in all brain structures, the aim of this work was to test whether physiological conditions as stress could enhance susceptibility to inflammation in the substantia nigra, where death of dopaminergic neurons takes place in Parkinson's disease. To achieve our aim, we induced an inflammatory process in nonstressed and stressed rats (subject to a chronic variate stress) by a single intranigral injection of lipopolysaccharide, a potent proinflammogen. The effect of this treatment was evaluated on inflammatory markers as well as on neuronal and glial populations. Data showed a synergistic effect between inflammation and stress, thus resulting in higher microglial activation and expression of proinflammatory markers. More important, the higher inflammatory response seen in stressed animals was associated with a higher rate of death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, the most characteristic feature seen in Parkinson's disease. This effect was dependent on glucocorticoids. Our data demonstrate that stress sensitises midbrain microglia to further inflammatory stimulus. This suggests that stress may be an important risk factor in the degenerative processes and symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

  5. Neuronal cell death, nerve growth factor and neurotrophic models: 50 years on.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennet, M R; Gibson, W G; Lemon, G

    2002-01-10

    Viktor Hamburger has just died at the age of 100. It is 50 years since he and Rita Levi-Montalcini laid the foundations for the study of naturally occurring cell death and of neurotrophic factors in the nervous system. In a period of less than 10 years, from 1949 to 1958, Hamburger and Levi-Montalcini made the following seminal discoveries: that neuron cell death occurs in dorsal root ganglia, sympathetic ganglia and the cervical column of motoneurons; that the predictions arising from this observation, namely that survival is dependent on the supply of a trophic factor, could be substantiated by studying the effects of a sarcoma on the proliferation of ganglionic processes both in vivo and in vitro; and that the proliferation of these processes could be used as an assay system to isolate the factor. This work provides a short review mostly of the early history of this subject in the context of the Hamburger/Levi-Montalcini paradigm. This acts as an introduction to a consideration of models that have been proposed to account for how the different sources of growth factors provide for the survival of neurons during development. It is suggested that what has been called the 'social-control' model provides the most parsimonious quantitative description of the contribution of trophic factors to neuronal survival, a concept for which we are in debt to Viktor Hamburger and Rita Levi-Montalcini.

  6. Cyclooxygenase-2 contributes to VX-induced cell death in cultured cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenn, Catherine C; Weiss, M Tracy; Beaup, Claire; Peinnequin, Andre; Wang, Yushan; Dorandeu, Frederic

    2012-04-05

    The link between cell death and increased cyclooxygenases-2 (COX-2) activity has not been clearly established. In this study, we examined whether COX-2 activation contributed to the mechanism of neurotoxicity produced by an organophosphorous nerve agent in cultured rat cortical neurons. Exposure of neuronal cells to the nerve agent, VX resulted in an increase in COX enzyme activity in the culture media. A concentration dependent increase in the activity levels of COX-2 enzyme was observed while there was little to no effect on COX-1. In addition, COX-2 mRNA and protein levels increased several hours post-VX exposure. Pre-treatment of the cortical cells with the COX-2 selective inhibitor, NS 398 resulted in a decrease in both the enzyme activity and prostaglandin (PGE(2) and PGF(2α)) release, as well as in a reduction in cell death. These findings indicate that the increase in COX-2 activity may contribute to the mechanism of VX-induced neurotoxicity in cultured rat cortical neuron.

  7. Neuronal death induced by misfolded prion protein is due to NAD+ depletion and can be relieved in vitro and in vivo by NAD+ replenishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Minghai; Ottenberg, Gregory; Sferrazza, Gian Franco; Hubbs, Christopher; Fallahi, Mohammad; Rumbaugh, Gavin; Brantley, Alicia F; Lasmézas, Corinne I

    2015-04-01

    The mechanisms of neuronal death in protein misfolding neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and prion diseases are poorly understood. We used a highly toxic misfolded prion protein (TPrP) model to understand neurotoxicity induced by prion protein misfolding. We show that abnormal autophagy activation and neuronal demise is due to severe, neuron-specific, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) depletion. Toxic prion protein-exposed neuronal cells exhibit dramatic reductions of intracellular NAD(+) followed by decreased ATP production, and are completely rescued by treatment with NAD(+) or its precursor nicotinamide because of restoration of physiological NAD(+) levels. Toxic prion protein-induced NAD(+) depletion results from PARP1-independent excessive protein ADP-ribosylations. In vivo, toxic prion protein-induced degeneration of hippocampal neurons is prevented dose-dependently by intracerebral injection of NAD(+). Intranasal NAD(+) treatment of prion-infected sick mice significantly improves activity and delays motor impairment. Our study reveals NAD(+) starvation as a novel mechanism of autophagy activation and neurodegeneration induced by a misfolded amyloidogenic protein. We propose the development of NAD(+) replenishment strategies for neuroprotection in prion diseases and possibly other protein misfolding neurodegenerative diseases.

  8. [Quality of neuronal signal registered in the monkey motor cortex with chronically implanted multiple microwires].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondar', I V; Vasil'eva, L N; Badakva, A M; Miller, N V; Zobova, L N; Roshchin, V Iu

    2014-01-01

    Disconnection of central and peripheral parts of motor system leads to severe forms of disability. However, current research of brain-computer interfaces will solve the problem of rehabilitation of patients with motor disorders in future. Chronic recordings of single-unit activity in specialized areas of cerebral cortex could provide appropriate control signal for effectors with multiple degrees of freedom. In present article we evaluated the quality of chronic single-unit recordings in the primary motor cortex of awake behaving monkeys obtained with bundles of multiple microwires. Action potentials of proper quality were recorded from single units during three months. In some cases up to 7 single units could be extracted on a channel. Recording quality stabilized after 40 days since electrodes were implanted. Ultimately, functionality of multiple electrodes bundle makes it highly usable and reliable instrument for obtaining of control neurophysiologic signal from populations of neurons for brain-computer interfaces.

  9. Anti-Excitotoxic and Antioxidant TGF-BETA Family Neurotropic Factors: In Vitro Screening Models of Motor Neuron Degeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-07-01

    acid, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and chloride channeiblocker, caused Qil ae Sent iza tin; Q ipflSeff Syte xIS is coneated in interneurons ...or b) PDC, a than CNTF, NGF, BDNF , and IGF-I for motor neuron survival, disorder with parkinsonian features including rigidity and’bradykinesia...ucsd.edu. 638.9 638.10 GDNF AND BDNF IN CEREBROSPINAL FLUID FROM NEUROGFLAMENT SIDE-ARMS ARE PHOSPHORYLATED BY MULTIPLE PATIENTS WITH MOTOR NEURON

  10. Caprylic triglyceride as a novel therapeutic approach to effectively improve the performance and attenuate the symptoms due to the motor neuron loss in ALS disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zhao

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons causing progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and finally death. ALS patients suffer from asthenia and their progressive weakness negatively impacts quality of life, limiting their daily activities. They have impaired energy balance linked to lower activity of mitochondrial electron transport chain enzymes in ALS spinal cord, suggesting that improving mitochondrial function may present a therapeutic approach for ALS. When fed a ketogenic diet, the G93A ALS mouse shows a significant increase in serum ketones as well as a significantly slower progression of weakness and lower mortality rate. In this study, we treated SOD1-G93A mice with caprylic triglyceride, a medium chain triglyceride that is metabolized into ketone bodies and can serve as an alternate energy substrate for neuronal metabolism. Treatment with caprylic triglyceride attenuated progression of weakness and protected spinal cord motor neuron loss in SOD1-G93A transgenic animals, significantly improving their performance even though there was no significant benefit regarding the survival of the ALS transgenic animals. We found that caprylic triglyceride significantly promoted the mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate in vivo. Our results demonstrated that caprylic triglyceride alleviates ALS-type motor impairment through restoration of energy metabolism in SOD1-G93A ALS mice, especially during the overt stage of the disease. These data indicate the feasibility of using caprylic acid as an easily administered treatment with a high impact on the quality of life of ALS patients.

  11. Caprylic Triglyceride as a Novel Therapeutic Approach to Effectively Improve the Performance and Attenuate the Symptoms Due to the Motor Neuron Loss in ALS Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wei; Varghese, Merina; Vempati, Prashant; Dzhun, Anastasiya; Cheng, Alice; Wang, Jun; Lange, Dale; Bilski, Amanda; Faravelli, Irene; Pasinetti, Giulio Maria

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons causing progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and finally death. ALS patients suffer from asthenia and their progressive weakness negatively impacts quality of life, limiting their daily activities. They have impaired energy balance linked to lower activity of mitochondrial electron transport chain enzymes in ALS spinal cord, suggesting that improving mitochondrial function may present a therapeutic approach for ALS. When fed a ketogenic diet, the G93A ALS mouse shows a significant increase in serum ketones as well as a significantly slower progression of weakness and lower mortality rate. In this study, we treated SOD1-G93A mice with caprylic triglyceride, a medium chain triglyceride that is metabolized into ketone bodies and can serve as an alternate energy substrate for neuronal metabolism. Treatment with caprylic triglyceride attenuated progression of weakness and protected spinal cord motor neuron loss in SOD1-G93A transgenic animals, significantly improving their performance even though there was no significant benefit regarding the survival of the ALS transgenic animals. We found that caprylic triglyceride significantly promoted the mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate in vivo. Our results demonstrated that caprylic triglyceride alleviates ALS-type motor impairment through restoration of energy metabolism in SOD1-G93A ALS mice, especially during the overt stage of the disease. These data indicate the feasibility of using caprylic acid as an easily administered treatment with a high impact on the quality of life of ALS patients. PMID:23145119

  12. Acupuncture suppresses kainic acid-induced neuronal death and inflammatory events in mouse hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seung-Tae; Doo, Ah-Reum; Kim, Seung-Nam; Kim, Song-Yi; Kim, Yoon Young; Kim, Jang-Hyun; Lee, Hyejung; Yin, Chang Shik; Park, Hi-Joon

    2012-09-01

    The administration of kainic acid (KA) causes seizures and produces neurodegeneration in hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells. The present study investigated a possible role of acupuncture in reducing hippocampal cell death and inflammatory events, using a mouse model of kainic acid-induced epilepsy. Male C57BL/6 mice received acupuncture treatments at acupoint HT8 or in the tail area bilaterally once a day for 2 days and again immediately after an intraperitoneal injection of KA (30 mg/kg). HT8 is located on the palmar surface of the forelimbs, between the fourth and fifth metacarpal bones. Twenty-four hours after the KA injection, neuronal cell survival, the activations of microglia and astrocytes, and mRNA expression of two proinflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), were measured in the hippocampus. Acupuncture stimulation at HT8, but not in the tail area, significantly reduced the KA-induced seizure, neuron death, microglial and astrocyte activations, and IL-1β mRNA expression in the hippocampus. The acupuncture stimulation also decreased the mRNA expression of TNF-α, but it was not significant. These results indicate that acupuncture at HT8 can inhibit hippocampal cell death and suppress KA-induced inflammatory events, suggesting a possible role for acupuncture in the treatment of epilepsy.

  13. Crocin suppresses tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced cell death of neuronally differentiated PC-12 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeda, S; Ochiai, T; Paopong, L; Tanaka, H; Shoyama, Y; Shimeno, H

    2001-11-01

    Crocus sativus L. is used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat some disorders of the central nervous system. Crocin is an ethanol-extractable component of Crocus sativus L.; it is reported to prevent ethanol-induced impairment of learning and memory in mice. In this study, we demonstrate that crocin suppresses the effect of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha on neuronally differentiated PC-12 cells. PC-12 cells dead from exposure to TNF-alpha show apoptotic morphological changes and DNA fragmentation. These hallmark features of cell death did not appear in cells treated in the co-presence of 10 microM crocin. Moreover, crocin suppressed the TNF-alpha-induced expression of Bcl-Xs and LICE mRNAs and simultaneously restored the cytokine-induced reduction of Bcl-X(L) mRNA expression. The modulating effects of crocin on the expression of Bcl-2 family proteins led to a marked reduction of a TNF-alpha-induced release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria. Crocin also blocked the cytochrome c-induced activation of caspase-3. To learn how crocin exhibits these anti-apoptotic actions in PC-12 cells, we tested the effect of crocin on PC-12 cell death induced by daunorubicin. We found that crocin inhibited the effect of daunorubicin as well. Our findings suggest that crocin inhibits neuronal cell death induced by both internal and external apoptotic stimuli.

  14. Neuronal cell death in the arcuate nucleus of the medulla oblongata in stillbirth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folkerth, Rebecca D; Zanoni, Sallie; Andiman, Sarah E; Billiards, Saraid S

    2008-02-01

    The hypothesis that unexplained stillbirth arises in a similar manner as the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is based in part on shared neuropathologic features between the two entities, including hypoxic-ischemic lesions such as white matter and brainstem gliosis, as well as aplasia or hypoplasia of the arcuate nucleus on the ventral surface of the medulla. The arcuate nucleus is the putative homologue of the respiratory chemosensory region at the ventral medullary surface in animals that is involved in central chemosensitivity. To determine arcuate nucleus pathology in stillbirth, and its co-occurrence with evidence of hypoxia-ischemia, we reviewed brain specimens from the archives of our hospitals from 22 consecutive stillbirths from 22 to 41 gestational weeks. Explained causes of death (n=17) included nuchal cord, acute chorioamnionitis, placental abruption, and fetal glomerulosclerosis; 5 cases were unexplained. In 12 brains, we observed nuclear karyorrhexis and/or pyknosis with cytoplasmic hypereosinophilia in neurons in the arcuate nucleus in both explained (n=8) and unexplained (n=4) cases (54.5% of total cases). Three additional cases had arcuate aplasia (n=1) or hypoplasia (n=2) (13.6% of total cases); one of the latter cases also had neuronal necrosis in the hypoplastic arcuate. The degree of gliosis in the region of the arcuate nucleus was variable across all cases, without statistically significant differences between groups with and without arcuate nucleus necrosis. Other lesions in association with (n=14) and without (n=8) arcuate nucleus abnormalities were diffuse cerebral white matter gliosis, periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), and neuronal necrosis in the hippocampus, basal ganglia, thalamus, basis pontis, and brainstem tegmentum. In 16/20 (80.0%) cases (with or without histologic necrosis of the arcuate), immunostaining with caspase-3 demonstrated positive neurons. Our findings suggest that neuronal pathology in the arcuate nucleus may be

  15. The direct and indirect effects of corruption on motor vehicle crash deaths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Law Teik; Noland, Robert B; Evans, Andrew W

    2010-11-01

    Recent empirical research has found that there is an inverted U-shaped or Kuznets relationship between income and motor vehicle crash (MVC) deaths, such that MVC deaths increase as national income increases and decrease after reaching a critical level. Corruption has been identified as one of the underlying factors that could affect this relationship, primarily by undermining institutional development and effective enforcement schemes. The total effect of corruption can be decomposed into two components, a direct and an indirect effect. The direct effect measures the immediate impact of corruption on MVC deaths by undermining effective enforcement and regulations, while the indirect effect captures the impact of corruption on hindering increases in per capita income and the consequent impact of reduced income on MVC deaths. By influencing economic growth, corruption can lead to an increase or decrease in MVC deaths depending on the income level. Using data from 60 countries between 1982 and 2003, these effects are estimated using linear panel and fixed effects negative binomial models. The estimation results suggest that corruption has different direct effects for less developed and highly developed countries. It has a negative (decreasing) effect on MVC deaths for less developed countries and a positive (increasing) effect on MVC deaths for highly developed countries. For highly developed countries, the total effect is positive at lower per capita income levels, but decreases with per capita income and becomes negative at per capita income levels of about US$ 38,248. For less developed countries, the total effect is negative within the sample range and decreases with increased per capita income. In summary, the results of this study suggest that reduction of corruption is likely a necessary condition to effectively tackle road safety problems. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Rhythmic patterns evoked in locust leg motor neurons by the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryckebusch, S; Laurent, G

    1993-05-01

    1. When an isolated metathoracic ganglion of the locust was superfused with the muscarinic cholinergic agonist pilocarpine, rhythmic activity was induced in leg motor neurons. The frequency of this induced rhythm increased approximately linearly from 0 to 0.2 Hz with concentrations of pilocarpine from 10(-5) to 10(-4) M. Rhythmic activity evoked by pilocarpine could be completely and reversibly blocked by 3 x 10(-5) M atropine, but was unaffected by 10(-4) M d-tubocurarine. 2. For each hemiganglion, the observed rhythm was characterized by two main phases: a levator phase, during which the anterior coxal rotator, levators of the trochanter, flexors of the tibia, and common inhibitory motor neurons were active; and a depressor phase, during which depressors of the trochanter, extensors of the tibia, and depressors of the tarsus were active. Activity in depressors of the trochanter followed the activity of the levators of the trochanter with a short, constant interburst latency. Activity in the levator of the tarsus spanned both phases. 3. The levator phase was short compared with the period (0.5-2 s, or 10-20% of the period) and did not depend on the period. The interval between the end of a levator burst and the beginning of the following one thus increased with cycle period. The depressor phase was more variable, and was usually shorter than the interval between successive levator bursts. 4. Motor neurons in a same pool often received common discrete synaptic potentials (e.g., levators of trochanter or extensors of tibia), suggesting common drive during the rhythm. Coactive motor neurons on opposite sides (such as left trochanteral depressors and right trochanteral levators), however, did not share obvious common postsynaptic potentials. Depolarization of a pool of motor neurons during its phase of activity was generally accompanied by hyperpolarization of its antagonist(s) on the same side. 5. Rhythmic activity was generally evoked in both hemiganglia of the

  17. Environmental enrichment increases doublecortin-associated new neurons and decreases neuronal death without modifying anxiety-like behavior in mice chronically exposed to toluene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paez-Martinez, Nayeli; Flores-Serrano, Zoraida; Ortiz-Lopez, Leonardo; Ramirez-Rodriguez, Gerardo

    2013-11-01

    Toluene misuse is a health problem worldwide with broad effects at the level of the central nervous system; however, therapeutic alternatives for inhalant abusers are limited. Chronic use of volatile substances is associated with different neurological and cognitive alterations, being anxiety a psychiatric condition with high prevalence. At cellular level toluene reduces neurogenesis and induces neuronal death. On the other hand, environmental enrichment has demonstrated to produce positive effects at behavioral and neuronal levels. Thus, the aim of the present work was to model alterations occasioned after repeated exposure to toluene (anxiety, reduction in neurogenesis - measured as doublecortin-labeled cells - and neuronal death). Subsequently, the influence of environmental enrichment on these effects was evaluated. Adolescent mice were exposed to toluene vapors from 1 to 4 weeks. Effects on anxiety were evaluated with the burying behavior test, whereas neurogenesis and hippocampal cell death were analyzed with immunohistochemistry, using anti-doublecortin or anti-active-Caspase-3 antibodies, respectively. Results showed that chronic toluene exposure increased anxiety in the burying behavior test; additionally, toluene decreased neurogenesis and enhanced neuronal death. Environmental enrichment (EE) enhanced the anxiety like response in air-exposed mice but did not modify the toluene anxiety response. Additionally, EE enhanced neurogenesis in toluene-pretreated animals at the same level to that found in animals unexposed to toluene and decreased neuronal death. Overall, the present study showed that environmental enrichment positively impacts some effects produced by repeated exposure to toluene.

  18. Oleuropein Prevents Neuronal Death, Mitigates Mitochondrial Superoxide Production and Modulates Autophagy in a Dopaminergic Cellular Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imène Achour

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, primarily affecting dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. There is currently no cure for PD and present medications aim to alleviate clinical symptoms, thus prevention remains the ideal strategy to reduce the prevalence of this disease. The goal of this study was to investigate whether oleuropein (OLE, the major phenolic compound in olive derivatives, may prevent neuronal degeneration in a cellular dopaminergic model of PD, differentiated PC12 cells exposed to the potent parkinsonian toxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA. We also investigated OLE’s ability to mitigate mitochondrial oxidative stress and modulate the autophagic flux. Our results obtained by measuring cytotoxicity and apoptotic events demonstrate that OLE significantly decreases neuronal death. OLE could also reduce mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species resulting from blocking superoxide dismutase activity. Moreover, quantification of autophagic and acidic vesicles in the cytoplasm alongside expression of specific autophagic markers uncovered a regulatory role for OLE against autophagic flux impairment induced by bafilomycin A1. Altogether, our results define OLE as a neuroprotective, anti-oxidative and autophagy-regulating molecule, in a neuronal dopaminergic cellular model.

  19. Oleuropein Prevents Neuronal Death, Mitigates Mitochondrial Superoxide Production and Modulates Autophagy in a Dopaminergic Cellular Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achour, Imène; Arel-Dubeau, Anne-Marie; Renaud, Justine; Legrand, Manon; Attard, Everaldo; Germain, Marc; Martinoli, Maria-Grazia

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, primarily affecting dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. There is currently no cure for PD and present medications aim to alleviate clinical symptoms, thus prevention remains the ideal strategy to reduce the prevalence of this disease. The goal of this study was to investigate whether oleuropein (OLE), the major phenolic compound in olive derivatives, may prevent neuronal degeneration in a cellular dopaminergic model of PD, differentiated PC12 cells exposed to the potent parkinsonian toxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). We also investigated OLE’s ability to mitigate mitochondrial oxidative stress and modulate the autophagic flux. Our results obtained by measuring cytotoxicity and apoptotic events demonstrate that OLE significantly decreases neuronal death. OLE could also reduce mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species resulting from blocking superoxide dismutase activity. Moreover, quantification of autophagic and acidic vesicles in the cytoplasm alongside expression of specific autophagic markers uncovered a regulatory role for OLE against autophagic flux impairment induced by bafilomycin A1. Altogether, our results define OLE as a neuroprotective, anti-oxidative and autophagy-regulating molecule, in a neuronal dopaminergic cellular model. PMID:27517912

  20. Responses of CDKs and p53 in Delayed Ischemic Neuronal Death

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王伏虎

    2002-01-01

    Stroke is a debilitating disease that affects millions each year. While in many cases cerebral ischemic injury can be limited by effective resuscitation or throrrdoolytic treatment, the injured neurons wirher in a process known as delayed neuronal death ( DND ). Mounting evidence indicates that DND is not simply necrosis played out in slow motion but apoptosis istriggered. Of particular interest are two qroups of signal proteins that participate in apoptosis-cyelin dependent kinases (CDKs) and p53-among a myriad of signaling events after an ischemic insult. Recent investigations have shown that CDKs, a family of enzymes initially known for their role in cell cycle regulation, are activated in injured neurons in DND. As for p53, new reports suggest that its up-regulation may represent a failed attempt to rescne injured neurons, although its up-regulation was previously considered an indication of apoptosis. These observations thus rekindle an old quest to identify new neuroprotective targets to minimize the stroke damage. In this review, the authzor will examine the evidence that indicates the participation of CDKs and p53 in DND and then introduce pre-clinical data to explore CDK inhibition as a potential neuroprotective target. Finally, using CDK inhibition as an example, this paper will discuss the pertinent criteria for a viable neuroprotective strategy for ischemic injury.

  1. The change of neurotrophin 3 in spinal motor neurons following sciatic nerve lesion in rats%周围神经损伤对脊髓运动神经元NT-3表达的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    石向群; 范明; 陆兵勋; 杨金升; 赵友岐; 汪泳

    2001-01-01

    Objective:To study the change of neurotroph in 3(NT-3) in the spinal motor neuron and the association between it and the degree of degeneration and death in spinal motor neuron following sciatic nervele sion in the rats.Methods:The sciatic nerve lesion wa s induced with cutting and removing part of the sciatic nerve in the adult and 3 days of age rats.The rats were allowed to survive for 3,7,14,21,28 days.The ext ent of spinal motor neuron death and degeneration was examined,the level of NT- 3 in spinal motor neuron were measured with image analysis.Results :The level of NT-3 in spinal motor neuron in suckling and adultr at groap was significant reduced following sciatic nerve lesion,and it was lowest in the second week after sciatic nerve lesion.The level of NT-3 in spinal mot or neuron in the 28th day following sciatic nerve lesion did not increase to it of the control.The change of spin al motor neuron death and degeneration was similar to the change of the level of NT-3.The level of NT-3 in spinal motor neuron in suckling rat was highter than it in adult rat. Conclusion:The level of NT-3 in spinal motor neurons would take change following sciatic nerve lesion,and the de ath and degeneration of spinal motor neuron may be induced by the peripheral ner ve lesion,The level of NT-3 in spinal motor neuron was negative with the extent of spinal motor neuron death and degeneration.%目的:探讨周围神经损伤后脊髓运动神经元神经营养因子-3(NT-3)水平变化规律及与神经元病理变化的相关性。方法:切断大鼠坐骨神经复制周围神经损伤模型,免疫组织化学染色NT-3阳性脊髓运 动神经元、图像分析计算其吸光度以反映NT-3的水平。结果:成鼠或乳鼠坐骨神经损伤后运动神经元NT-3水平均很快下降,至伤后第2周降至最低 水平,随后逐渐恢复,至4周仍未恢复到对照组水平;神经元病理改变过程与此相似。但乳 鼠NT-3基

  2. The Cell Death Pathway Regulates Synapse Elimination through Cleavage of Gelsolin in Caenorhabditis elegans Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingfeng Meng

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Synapse elimination occurs in development, plasticity, and disease. Although the importance of synapse elimination has been documented in many studies, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process are unclear. Here, using the development of C. elegans RME neurons as a model, we have uncovered a function for the apoptosis pathway in synapse elimination. We find that the conserved apoptotic cell death (CED pathway and axonal mitochondria are required for the elimination of transiently formed clusters of presynaptic components in RME neurons. This function of the CED pathway involves the activation of the actin-filament-severing protein, GSNL-1. Furthermore, we show that caspase CED-3 cleaves GSNL-1 at a conserved C-terminal region and that the cleaved active form of GSNL-1 promotes its actin-severing ability. Our data suggest that activation of the CED pathway contributes to selective elimination of synapses through disassembly of the actin filament network.

  3. Treadmill exercise represses neuronal cell death in an aged transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Um, Hyun-Sub; Kang, Eun-Bum; Koo, Jung-Hoon; Kim, Hyun-Tae; Jin-Lee; Kim, Eung-Joon; Yang, Chun-Ho; An, Gil-Young; Cho, In-Ho; Cho, Joon-Yong

    2011-02-01

    The present study was undertaken to further investigate the protective effect of treadmill exercise on the hippocampal proteins associated with neuronal cell death in an aged transgenic (Tg) mice with Alzheimer's disease (AD). To address this, Tg mouse model of AD, Tg-NSE/PS2m, which expresses human mutant PS2 in the brain, was chosen. Animals were subjected to treadmill exercise for 12 weeks from 24 months of age. The exercised mice were treadmill run at speed of 12 m/min, 60 min/day, 5 days/week on a 0% gradient for 3 months. Treadmill exercised mice improved cognitive function in water maze test. Treadmill exercised mice significantly reduced the expression of Aβ-42, Cox-2, and caspase-3 in the hippocampus. In parallel, treadmill exercised Tg mice decreased the phosphorylation levels of JNK, p38MAPK and tau (Ser404, Ser202, Thr231), and increased the phosphorylation levels of ERK, PI3K, Akt and GSK-3α/β. In addition, treadmill exercised Tg mice up-regulated the expressions of NGF, BDNF and phospho-CREB, and the expressions of SOD-1, SOD-2 and HSP-70. Treadmill exercised Tg mice up-regulated the expression of Bcl-2, and down-regulated the expressions of cytochrome c and Bax in the hippocampus. The number of TUNEL-positive cells in the hippocampus in mice was significantly decreased after treadmill exercise. Finally, serum TC, insulin, glucose, and corticosterone levels were significantly decreased in the Tg mice after treadmill exercise. As a consequence of such change, Aβ-dependent neuronal cell death in the hippocampus of Tg mice was markedly suppressed following treadmill exercise. These results strongly suggest that treadmill exercise provides a therapeutic potential to inhibit both Aβ-42 and neuronal death pathways. Therefore, treadmill exercise may be beneficial in prevention or treatment of AD.

  4. Differential roles of phospholipases A2 in neuronal death and neurogenesis: implications for Alzheimer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, Evelin L; da Silva, Emanuelle R; Novaes, Barbara de A; Skaf, Heni D; Gattaz, Wagner F

    2010-12-01

    The involvement of phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) in Alzheimer disease (AD) was first investigated nearly 15 years ago. Over the years, several PLA(2) isoforms have been detected in brain tissue: calcium-dependent secreted PLA(2) or sPLA(2) (IIA, IIC, IIE, V, X, and XII), calcium-dependent cytosolic PLA(2) or cPLA(2) (IVA, IVB, and IVC), and calcium-independent PLA(2) or iPLA(2) (VIA and VIB). Additionally, numerous in vivo and in vitro studies have suggested the role of different brain PLA(2) in both physiological and pathological events. This review aimed to summarize the findings in the literature relating the different brain PLA(2) isoforms with alterations found in AD, such as neuronal cell death and impaired neurogenesis process. The review showed that sPLA(2)-IIA, sPLA(2)-V and cPLA(2)-IVA are involved in neuronal death, whereas sPLA(2)-III and sPLA(2)-X are related to the process of neurogenesis, and that the cPLA(2) and iPLA(2) groups can be involved in both neuronal death and neurogenesis. In AD, there are reports of reduced activity of the cPLA(2) and iPLA(2) groups and increased expression of sPLA(2)-IIA and cPLA(2)-IVA. The findings suggest that the inhibition of cPLA(2) and iPLA(2) isoforms (yet to be determined) might contribute to impaired neurogenesis, whereas stimulation of sPLA(2)-IIA and cPLA(2)-IVA might contribute to neurodegeneration in AD.

  5. Motor-Auditory-Visual Integration: The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Communication and Communication Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bel, Ronald M.; Pineda, Jaime A.; Sharma, Anu

    2009-01-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a trimodal system composed of neuronal populations that respond to motor, visual, and auditory stimulation, such as when an action is performed, observed, heard or read about. In humans, the MNS has been identified using neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI and mu suppression in the EEG). It reflects an…

  6. Motor-Auditory-Visual Integration: The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Communication and Communication Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bel, Ronald M.; Pineda, Jaime A.; Sharma, Anu

    2009-01-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a trimodal system composed of neuronal populations that respond to motor, visual, and auditory stimulation, such as when an action is performed, observed, heard or read about. In humans, the MNS has been identified using neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI and mu suppression in the EEG). It reflects an…

  7. Progressive Motor Neuron Pathology and the Role of Astrocytes in a Human Stem Cell Model of VCP-Related ALS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire E. Hall

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons (MNs and astrocytes (ACs are implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, but their interaction and the sequence of molecular events leading to MN death remain unresolved. Here, we optimized directed differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs into highly enriched (> 85% functional populations of spinal cord MNs and ACs. We identify significantly increased cytoplasmic TDP-43 and ER stress as primary pathogenic events in patient-specific valosin-containing protein (VCP-mutant MNs, with secondary mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Cumulatively, these cellular stresses result in synaptic pathology and cell death in VCP-mutant MNs. We additionally identify a cell-autonomous VCP-mutant AC survival phenotype, which is not attributable to the same molecular pathology occurring in VCP-mutant MNs. Finally, through iterative co-culture experiments, we uncover non-cell-autonomous effects of VCP-mutant ACs on both control and mutant MNs. This work elucidates molecular events and cellular interplay that could guide future therapeutic strategies in ALS.

  8. Developmental alterations in motor coordination and medium spiny neuron markers in mice lacking pgc-1α.

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    Elizabeth K Lucas

    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence implicates the transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α in the pathophysiology of Huntington Disease (HD. Adult PGC-1α (-/- mice exhibit striatal neurodegeneration, and reductions in the expression of PGC-1α have been observed in striatum and muscle of HD patients as well as in animal models of the disease. However, it is unknown whether decreased expression of PGC-1α alone is sufficient to lead to the motor phenotype and striatal pathology characteristic of HD. For the first time, we show that young PGC-1α (-/- mice exhibit severe rotarod deficits, decreased rearing behavior, and increased occurrence of tremor in addition to the previously described hindlimb clasping. Motor impairment and striatal vacuolation are apparent in PGC-1α (-/- mice by four weeks of age and do not improve or decline by twelve weeks of age. The behavioral and pathological phenotype of PGC-1α (-/- mice can be completely recapitulated by conditional nervous system deletion of PGC-1α, indicating that peripheral effects are not responsible for the observed abnormalities. Evaluation of the transcriptional profile of PGC-1α (-/- striatal neuron populations and comparison to striatal neuron profiles of R6/2 HD mice revealed that PGC-1α deficiency alone is not sufficient to cause the transcriptional changes observed in this HD mouse model. In contrast to R6/2 HD mice, PGC-1α (-/- mice show increases in the expression of medium spiny neuron (MSN markers with age, suggesting that the observed behavioral and structural abnormalities are not primarily due to MSN loss, the defining pathological feature of HD. These results indicate that PGC-1α is required for the proper development of motor circuitry and transcriptional homeostasis in MSNs and that developmental disruption of PGC-1α leads to long-term alterations in motor functioning.

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

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    Patricia J Ward

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

  10. Intrathecal enzyme replacement therapy improves motor function and survival in a preclinical mouse model of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

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    Lu, Jui-Yun; Nelvagal, Hemanth R; Wang, Lingling; Birnbaum, Shari G; Cooper, Jonathan D; Hofmann, Sandra L

    2015-01-01

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of related hereditary lysosomal storage disorders characterized by progressive loss of neurons in the central nervous system resulting in dementia, loss of motor skills, seizures and blindness. A characteristic intralysosomal accumulation of autofluorescent storage material occurs in the brain and other tissues. Three major forms and nearly a dozen minor forms of NCL are recognized. Infantile-onset NCL (CLN1 disease) is caused by severe deficiency in a soluble lysosomal enzyme, palmitoyl-protein thioesterase-1 (PPT1) and no therapy beyond supportive care is available. Homozygous Ppt1 knockout mice reproduce the known features of the disease, developing signs of motor dysfunction at 5 months of age and death around 8 months. Direct delivery of lysosomal enzymes to the cerebrospinal fluid is an approach that has gained traction in small and large animal models of several other neuropathic lysosomal storage diseases, and has advanced to clinical trials. In the current study, Ppt1 knockout mice were treated with purified recombinant human PPT1 enzyme delivered to the lumbar intrathecal space on each of three consecutive days at 6 weeks of age. Untreated PPT1 knockout mice and wild-type mice served as additional controls. Four enzyme concentration levels (0, 2.6, 5.3 and 10.6 mg/ml of specific activity 20 U/mg) were administered in a volume of 80 μl infused over 8 min. Each group consisted of 16-20 mice. The treatment was well tolerated. Disease-specific survival was 233, 267, 272, and 284days for each of the four treatment groups, respectively, and the effect of treatment was highly significant (p<0.0001). The timing of motor deterioration was also delayed. Neuropathology was improved as evidenced by decreased autofluorescent storage material in the spinal cord and a decrease in CD68 staining in the cortex and spinal cord. The improvements in motor function and survival are similar to results reported for

  11. Axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease patient-derived motor neurons demonstrate disease-specific phenotypes including abnormal electrophysiological properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saporta, Mario A; Dang, Vu; Volfson, Dmitri; Zou, Bende; Xie, Xinmin Simon; Adebola, Adijat; Liem, Ronald K; Shy, Michael; Dimos, John T

    2015-01-01

    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.

  12. Reactive changes in astrocytes, and delayed neuronal death, in the rat hippocampal CA1 region following cerebral ischemia/reperfusion

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guiqing Zhang; Xiang Luo; Zhiyuan Yu; Chao Ma; Shabei Xu; Wei Wang

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Blood supply to the hippocampus is not provided by the middle cerebral artery. However, previous studies have shown that delayed neuronal death in the hippocampus may occur following focal cerebral ischemia induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion. OBJECTIVE: To observe the relationship between reactive changes in hippocampal astrocytes and delayed neuronal death in the hippocampal CA1 region following middle cerebral artery occlusion. DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: The immunohistochemical, randomized, controlled animal study was performed at the Laboratory of Department of Neurology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, from July to November 2007. MATERIALS: Rabbit anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) (Neomarkers, USA), goat anti-rabbit IgG (Sigma, USA) and ApoAlert apoptosis detection kit (Biosciences Clontech, USA) were used in this study. METHODS: A total of 42 healthy adult male Wistar rats, aged 3-5 months, were randomly divided into a sham operation group (n = 6) and a cerebral ischemia/reperfusion group (n = 36). In the cerebral ischemia/reperfusion group, cerebral ischemia/reperfusion models were created by middle cerebral artery occlusion. In the sham operation group, the thread was only inserted into the initial region of the internal carotid artery, and middle cerebral artery occlusion was not induced. Rats in the cerebral ischemia/reperfusion group were assigned to a delayed neuronal death (+) subgroup and a delayed neuronal death (-) subgroup, according to the occurrence of delayed neuronal death in the ischemic side of the hippocampal CA1 region following cerebral ischemia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Delayed neuronal death in the hippocampal CA1 region was measured by Nissl staining. GFAP expression and delayed neuronal death changes were measured in the rat hippocampal CA1 region at the ischemic hemisphere by double staining for GFAP and TUNEL. RESULTS: After 3 days of ischemia

  13. A Case of Acute Motor Axonal Neuropathy Mimicking Brain Death and Review of the Literature

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    Sandhya eRavikumar

    2016-04-01

    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.

  14. Trends in Socioeconomic Inequalities in Motor Vehicle Accident Deaths in the United States, 1995-2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Sam; Charters, Thomas J; Strumpf, Erin C

    2015-10-01

    Motor vehicle accident (MVA) mortality has been declining overall, but little is known about trends by socioeconomic position. We examined trends in education-related inequalities in US MVA death rates from 1995 to 2010. We used mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics and population estimates from the Current Population Survey, and we calculated vehicle- and person-miles traveled using data from the National Household Travel Survey. We used negative binomial regression to estimate crude and age-, sex-, and race-adjusted mortality rates among adults aged 25 years or more. We found larger mortality decreases among the more highly educated and some evidence of mortality increases among the least educated. Adjusted death rates were 15.3 per 100,000 population (95% confidence interval (CI): 10.7, 19.9) higher at the bottom of the education distribution than at the top of the education distribution in 1995, increasing to 17.9 per 100,000 population (95% CI: 14.8, 21.0) by 2010. In relative terms, adjusted death rates were 2.4 (95% CI: 1.7, 3.0) times higher at the bottom of the education distribution than at the top in 1995, increasing to 4.3 times higher (95% CI: 3.4, 5.3) by 2010. Inequality increases were larger in terms of vehicle-miles traveled. Although overall MVA death rates declined during this period, socioeconomic differences in MVA mortality have persisted or worsened over time.

  15. Subacute motor neuron hyperexcitability with mercury poisoning: a case series and literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhibin; Zhang, Xingwen; Cui, Fang; Liu, Ruozhuo; Dong, Zhao; Wang, Xiaolin; Yu, Shengyuan

    2014-01-01

    Motor neuron hyperexcitability (MNH) indicates a disorder characterized by an ectopic motor nerve discharge on electromyogram (EMG). Here, we present a series of three cases of subacute MNH with mercury poisoning. The first case showed hyperhidrosis, insomnia, generalied myokymia, cramps, tremor, weight loss, and myokymic and neuromyotonic discharges, followed by encephalopathy with confusion, hallucinations, and memory decrease. The second case was similar to the former but without encephalopathic features. The third case showed widespread fasciculation, fatigue, insomnia, weight loss, and autonomic dysfunction, including constipation, micturition difficulty, and impotence, with multiple fibrillation, unstable fasciculation, widened motor neuron potential, and an incremental response at high-rate stimulation in repetitive nerve stimulation. Based on the symptoms, the three cases were diagnosed as Morvan's syndrome, Isaacs' syndrome, and Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome with ALS-like syndrome, respectively. Mercury poisoning in the three cases was confirmed by analysis of blood and urine samples. All cases recovered several months after chelation therapy and were in good condition at follow-up. Very few cases of MNH linked with mercury exposure have been reported in the literature. The mechanism of mercury-induced MNH may be associated with ion channel dysfunction.

  16. Drosophila Ten-m and filamin affect motor neuron growth cone guidance.

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    Lihua Zheng

    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.

  17. Dysregulation of the Autophagy-Endolysosomal System in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Related Motor Neuron Diseases

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    Asako Otomo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a heterogeneous group of incurable motor neuron diseases (MNDs characterized by a selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Most cases of ALS are sporadic, while approximately 5–10% cases are familial. More than 16 causative genes for ALS/MNDs have been identified and their underlying pathogenesis, including oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, neural inflammation, protein misfolding and accumulation, dysfunctional intracellular trafficking, abnormal RNA processing, and noncell-autonomous damage, has begun to emerge. It is currently believed that a complex interplay of multiple toxicity pathways is implicated in disease onset and progression. Among such mechanisms, ones that are associated with disturbances of protein homeostasis, the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy, have recently been highlighted. Although it remains to be determined whether disease-associated protein aggregates have a toxic or protective role in the pathogenesis, the formation of them results from the imbalance between generation and degradation of misfolded proteins within neuronal cells. In this paper, we focus on the autophagy-lysosomal and endocytic degradation systems and implication of their dysfunction to the pathogenesis of ALS/MNDs. The autophagy-endolysosomal pathway could be a major target for the development of therapeutic agents for ALS/MNDs.

  18. Meis/UNC-62 isoform dependent regulation of CoupTF-II/UNC-55 and GABAergic motor neuron subtype differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Richard F; Walthall, Walter W

    2016-11-15

    Gene regulatory networks orchestrate the assembly of functionally related cells within a cellular network. Subtle differences often exist among functionally related cells within such networks. How differences are created among cells with similar functions has been difficult to determine due to the complexity of both the gene and the cellular networks. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the DD and VD motor neurons compose a cross-inhibitory, GABAergic network that coordinates dorsal and ventral muscle contractions during locomotion. The Pitx2 homologue, UNC-30, acts as a terminal selector gene to create similarities and the Coup-TFII homologue, UNC-55, is necessary for creating differences between the two motor neuron classes. What is the organizing gene regulatory network responsible for initiating the expression of UNC-55 and thus creating differences between the DD and VD motor neurons? We show that the unc-55 promoter has modules that contain Meis/UNC-62 binding sites. These sites can be subdivided into regions that are capable of activating or repressing UNC-55 expression in different motor neurons. Interestingly, different isoforms of UNC-62 are responsible for the activation and the stabilization of unc-55 transcription. Furthermore, specific isoforms of UNC-62 are required for proper synaptic patterning of the VD motor neurons. Isoform specific regulation of differentiating neurons is a relatively unexplored area of research and presents a mechanism for creating differences among functionally related cells within a network. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Spontaneous activity in electromyography may differentiate certain benign lower motor neuron disease forms from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokela, Manu E; Jääskeläinen, Satu K; Sandell, Satu; Palmio, Johanna; Penttilä, Sini; Saukkonen, Annamaija; Soikkeli, Raija; Udd, Bjarne

    2015-08-15

    There is limited data on electromyography (EMG) findings in other motor neuron disorders than amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We assessed whether the distribution of active denervation detected by EMG, i.e. fibrillations and fasciculations, differs between ALS and slowly progressive motor neuron disorders. We compared the initial EMG findings of 43 clinically confirmed, consecutive ALS patients with those of 41 genetically confirmed Late-onset Spinal Motor Neuronopathy and 14 Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy patients. Spontaneous activity was more frequently detected in the first dorsal interosseus and deltoid muscles of ALS patients than in patients with the slowly progressive motor neuron diseases. The most important observation was that absent fibrillations in the first dorsal interosseus muscle identified the benign forms with sensitivities of 66%-77% and a specificity of 93%. The distribution of active denervation may help to separate ALS from mimicking disorders at an early stage.

  20. Aged garlic extract and its components protect cultured rat hippocampal neurons from amyloid β—protein—in—duced neuronal death

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ItoY; KosuY

    2002-01-01

    Aged garlic extract and its components such as S-allyl-L-cysteine (SAC) and sllixin have been shown to possess various biological effects including neurotrophic activity.We characterized the neuronal death induced by amyloid β-protein (Aβ),4-hydroxynoenal (HNE),tunicamycin(TM),and trophic factor-deprivation (TFD),and ivestigated whether these garlic compounds could prevent this in cultured PC12 cells and rat hippocampal neurons.Treatment with SAC protected these cells against Aβ- and TM-induced neuronal death.SAC also attenuated the processing of procaspase-12 induced by Aβ25-35 or TM.In contrast,allixin and its analogue,DHP,afforded no protection against Aβ-induced cell death.SAC afforded no protection against HNE- and TFD-induced cell death,which has been shown to be mediated by caspase-3 dependent pathway.These results suggest that SAC protect against the neuronal cell death that is triggered by ER dysfunction.

  1. Effects of endoplasmic reticulum stress and related apoptosis on selective death of dopaminergic neurons

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lan Wang; Shenggang Sun; Xuebing Cao; Zhentao Zhang; Li Xu

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To explore the mechanism of endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) response and related apoptosis in dopaminergic neurons death. Methods: Nerve growth factor (NGF)-treatedPC12 cells were treated with 6-OHDA, MPP+ and rotenone. MTr assay and flow cytometry were used to measure the cell viability and the rate of celluar apoptosis induced by those neurotoxins. The expression of ERS-related gene XBP1, Grp78, CHOP, caspase-12 in drug-treated group and reserpine preincubation group was determined with RT-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry. Results: After the exposure to different toxins, the viability of PC12 cells were decreased by 52%, 44%, 40% at 100μM6-OHDA, 75 μM MPP+, 20 nM rotenone for 24 h respectively. FCM assay confirmed time-dependent cell apoptosis (P < 0.01 ). The gene and protein expression of XBP1, Grp78 in drug-treated group were significantly increased and reached their peaks 8 h after the treatment(P < 0.05).The expression levels of CHOP and caspase-12 gene were increased 16-24 h after the treatment(P < 0.01 ), but the expression level of caspase-12 was inhibited by reserpine preincubayion (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The excessive ERS and relative activated cell apoptosis pathway may be associated with selective death of dopaminergic neurons.

  2. Phosphorylation of CHIP at Ser20 by Cdk5 promotes tAIF-mediated neuronal death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, C; Yun, N; Lee, J; Youdim, M B H; Ju, C; Kim, W-K; Han, P-L; Oh, Y J

    2016-02-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is a proline-directed serine/threonine kinase and its dysregulation is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. Likewise, C-terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein (CHIP) is linked to neurological disorders, serving as an E3 ubiquitin ligase for targeting damaged or toxic proteins for proteasomal degradation. Here, we demonstrate that CHIP is a novel substrate for Cdk5. Cdk5 phosphorylates CHIP at Ser20 via direct binding to a highly charged domain of CHIP. Co-immunoprecipitation and ubiquitination assays reveal that Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation disrupts the interaction between CHIP and truncated apoptosis-inducing factor (tAIF) without affecting CHIP's E3 ligase activity, resulting in the inhibition of CHIP-mediated degradation of tAIF. Lentiviral transduction assay shows that knockdown of Cdk5 or overexpression of CHIP(S20A), but not CHIP(WT), attenuates tAIF-mediated neuronal cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide. Thus, we conclude that Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of CHIP negatively regulates its neuroprotective function, thereby contributing to neuronal cell death progression following neurotoxic stimuli.

  3. Supportive care needs of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease and their caregivers: A scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Juyeon; Kim, Jung A

    2017-07-05

    To identify the supportive care needs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease patients and their caregivers, categorise and summarise them into a Supportive Care Needs Framework and identify gaps in literature. Little is known about the supportive care needs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease patients and their caregivers, and this subject has not previously been systemically reviewed. Scoping review. We conducted a scoping review from the MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and Cochrane databases for the period January 2000-July 2016, using the following inclusion criteria: (i) written in English only, (ii) published in peer-reviewed journals, (iii) at least part of the research considered the supportive care needs perspective of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease patients or their caregivers and (iv) the population sample included patients of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease or their caregivers. Thirty-seven articles were included. Our review shows that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease patients and their caregivers' supportive care needs were mentioned across all seven domains of the Supportive Care Needs Framework. Most common were practical needs (n = 24), followed by Informational needs (n = 19), Social needs (n = 18), Psychological needs (n = 16), Physical needs (n = 15), Emotional needs (n = 13) and Spiritual needs (n = 8). From the perspectives of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease patients and their caregivers, there is a significant need for more practical, social, informational, psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual support. The Supportive Care Needs Framework has potential utility in the development of patient-centred support services or healthcare policies and serves as an important base for further studies; especially, specific examples of each supportive care needs domain can guide in clinical settings when healthcare professionals

  4. Ischemic Postconditioning Protects Neuronal Death Caused by Cerebral Ischemia and Reperfusion via Attenuating Protein Aggregation

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    Jianmin Liang, Jihang Yao, Guangming Wang, Ying Wang, Boyu Wang, Pengfei Ge

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To investigate the effect of ischemic postconditioning on protein aggregation caused by transient ischemia and reperfusion and to clarify its underlying mechanism.Methods: Two-vessel-occluded transient global ischemia rat model was used. The rats in ischemic postconditioning group were subjected to three cycles of 30-s/30-s reperfusion/clamping after 15min of ischemia. Neuronal death in the CA1 region was observed by hematoxylin-eosin staining, and number of live neurons was assessed by cell counting under a light microscope. Succinyl-LLVY-AMC was used as substrate to assay proteasome activity in vitro. Protein carbonyl content was spectrophotometrically measured to analyze protein oxidization. Immunochemistry and laser scanning confocal microscopy were used to observe the distribution of ubiquitin in the CA1 neurons. Western blotting was used to analyze the quantitative alterations of protein aggregates, proteasome, hsp70 and hsp40 in cellular fractions under different ischemic conditions.Results: Histological examination showed that the percentage of live neurons in the CA1 region was elevated from 5.21%±1.21% to 55.32%±5.34% after administration of ischemic postconditioning (P=0.0087. Western blotting analysis showed that the protein aggregates in the ischemia group was 32.12±4.87, 41.86±4.71 and 34.51±5.18 times higher than that in the sham group at reperfusion 12h, 24h and 48h, respectively. However, protein aggregates were alleviated significantly by ischemic postconditioning to 2.84±0.97, 13.72±2.13 and 14.37±2.42 times at each indicated time point (P=0.000032, 0.0000051 and 0.0000082. Laser scanning confocal images showed ubiquitin labeled protein aggregates could not be discerned in the ischemic postconditioning group. Further study showed that ischemic postconditioning suppressed the production of carbonyl derivatives, elevated proteasome activity that was damaged by ischemia and reperfusion, increased the expression

  5. Protein carbonylation, protein aggregation and neuronal cell death in a murine model of multiple sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasgupta, Anushka

    Many studies have suggested that oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathophysiology of both multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Yet, the mechanism by which oxidative stress leads to tissue damage in these disorders is unclear. Recent work from our laboratory has revealed that protein carbonylation, a major oxidative modification caused by severe and/or chronic oxidative stress conditions, is elevated in MS and EAE. Furthermore, protein carbonylation has been shown to alter protein structure leading to misfolding/aggregation. These findings prompted me to hypothesize that carbonylated proteins, formed as a consequence of oxidative stress and/or decreased proteasomal activity, promote protein aggregation to mediate neuronal apoptosis in vitro and in EAE. To test this novel hypothesis, I first characterized protein carbonylation, protein aggregation and apoptosis along the spinal cord during the course of myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)35-55 peptide-induced EAE in C57BL/6 mice [Chapter 2]. The results show that carbonylated proteins accumulate throughout the course of the disease, albeit by different mechanisms: increased oxidative stress in acute EAE and decreased proteasomal activity in chronic EAE. I discovered not only that there is a temporal correlation between protein carbonylation and apoptosis but also that carbonyl levels are significantly higher in apoptotic cells. A high number of juxta-nuclear and cytoplasmic protein aggregates containing the majority of the oxidized proteins are also present during the course of EAE, which seems to be due to reduced autophagy. In chapter 3, I show that when gluthathione levels are reduced to those in EAE spinal cord, both neuron-like PC12 (nPC12) cells and primary neuronal cultures accumulate carbonylated proteins and undergo cell death (both by necrosis and apoptosis). Immunocytochemical and biochemical studies also revealed a temporal

  6. Pyruvate administration reduces recurrent/moderate hypoglycemia-induced cortical neuron death in diabetic rats.

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    Bo Young Choi

    Full Text Available Recurrent/moderate (R/M hypoglycemia is common in type 1 diabetes patients. Moderate hypoglycemia is not life-threatening, but if experienced recurrently it may present several clinical complications. Activated PARP-1 consumes cytosolic NAD, and because NAD is required for glycolysis, hypoglycemia-induced PARP-1 activation may render cells unable to use glucose even when glucose availability is restored. Pyruvate, however, can be metabolized in the absence of cytosolic NAD. We therefore hypothesized that pyruvate may be able to improve the outcome in diabetic rats subjected to insulin-induced R/M hypoglycemia by terminating hypoglycemia with glucose plus pyruvate, as compared with delivering just glucose alone. In an effort to mimic juvenile type 1 diabetes the experiments were conducted in one-month-old young rats that were rendered diabetic by streptozotocin (STZ, 50mg/kg, i.p. injection. One week after STZ injection, rats were subjected to moderate hypoglycemia by insulin injection (10 U/kg, i.p. without anesthesia for five consecutive days. Pyruvate (500 mg/kg was given by intraperitoneal injection after each R/M hypoglycemia. Three hours after last R/M hypoglycemia, zinc accumulation was evaluated. Three days after R/M hypoglycemia, neuronal death, oxidative stress, microglial activation and GSH concentrations in the cerebral cortex were analyzed. Sparse neuronal death was observed in the cortex. Zinc accumulation, oxidative injury, microglial activation and GSH loss in the cortex after R/M hypoglycemia were all reduced by pyruvate injection. These findings suggest that when delivered alongside glucose, pyruvate may significantly improve the outcome after R/M hypoglycemia by circumventing a sustained impairment in neuronal glucose utilization resulting from PARP-1 activation.

  7. The Fas/Fas ligand death receptor pathway contributes to phenylalanine-induced apoptosis in cortical neurons.

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    Xiaodong Huang

    Full Text Available Phenylketonuria (PKU, an autosomal recessive disorder of amino acid metabolism caused by mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH gene, leads to childhood mental retardation by exposing neurons to cytotoxic levels of phenylalanine (Phe. A recent study showed that the mitochondria-mediated (intrinsic apoptotic pathway is involved in Phe-induced apoptosis in cultured cortical neurons, but it is not known if the death receptor (extrinsic apoptotic pathway and endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress-associated apoptosis also contribute to neurodegeneration in PKU. To answer this question, we used specific inhibitors to block each apoptotic pathway in cortical neurons under neurotoxic levels of Phe. The caspase-8 inhibitor Z-IETD-FMK strongly attenuated apoptosis in Phe-treated neurons (0.9 mM, 18 h, suggesting involvement of the Fas receptor (FasR-mediated cell death receptor pathway in Phe toxicity. In addition, Phe significantly increased cell surface Fas expression and formation of the Fas/FasL complex. Blocking Fas/FasL signaling using an anti-Fas antibody markedly inhibited apoptosis caused by Phe. In contrast, blocking the ER stress-induced cell death pathway with salubrinal had no effect on apoptosis in Phe-treated cortical neurons. These experiments demonstrate that the Fas death receptor pathway contributes to Phe-induced apoptosis and suggest that inhibition of the death receptor pathway may be a novel target for neuroprotection in PKU patients.

  8. PKA controls calcium influx into motor neurons during a rhythmic behavior.

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    Han Wang

    Full Text Available Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP has been implicated in the execution of diverse rhythmic behaviors, but how cAMP functions in neurons to generate behavioral outputs remains unclear. During the defecation motor program in C. elegans, a peptide released from the pacemaker (the intestine rhythmically excites the GABAergic neurons that control enteric muscle contractions by activating a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR signaling pathway that is dependent on cAMP. Here, we show that the C. elegans PKA catalytic subunit, KIN-1, is the sole cAMP target in this pathway and that PKA is essential for enteric muscle contractions. Genetic analysis using cell-specific expression of dominant negative or constitutively active PKA transgenes reveals that knockdown of PKA activity in the GABAergic neurons blocks enteric muscle contractions, whereas constitutive PKA activation restores enteric muscle contractions to mutants defective in the peptidergic signaling pathway. Using real-time, in vivo calcium imaging, we find that PKA activity in the GABAergic neurons is essential for the generation of synaptic calcium transients that drive GABA release. In addition, constitutively active PKA increases the duration of calcium transients and causes ectopic calcium transients that can trigger out-of-phase enteric muscle contractions. Finally, we show that the voltage-gated calcium channels UNC-2 and EGL-19, but not CCA-1 function downstream of PKA to promote enteric muscle contractions and rhythmic calcium influx in the GABAergic neurons. Thus, our results suggest that PKA activates neurons during a rhythmic behavior by promoting presynaptic calcium influx through specific voltage-gated calcium channels.

  9. PKA controls calcium influx into motor neurons during a rhythmic behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Wang

    Full Text Available Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP has been implicated in the execution of diverse rhythmic behaviors, but how cAMP functions in neurons to generate behavioral outputs remains unclear. During the defecation motor program in C. elegans, a peptide released from the pacemaker (the intestine rhythmically excites the GABAergic neurons that control enteric muscle contractions by activating a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR signaling pathway that is dependent on cAMP. Here, we show that the C. elegans PKA catalytic subunit, KIN-1, is the sole cAMP target in this pathway and that PKA is essential for enteric muscle contractions. Genetic analysis using cell-specific expression of dominant negative or constitutively active PKA transgenes reveals that knockdown of PKA activity in the GABAergic neurons blocks enteric muscle contractions, whereas constitutive PKA activation restores enteric muscle contractions to mutants defective in the peptidergic signaling pathway. Using real-time, in vivo calcium imaging, we find that PKA activity in the GABAergic neurons is essential for the generation of synaptic calcium transients that drive GABA release. In addition, constitutively active PKA increases the duration of calcium transients and causes ectopic calcium transients that can trigger out-of-phase enteric muscle contractions. Finally, we show that the voltage-gated calcium channels UNC-2 and EGL-19, but not CCA-1 function downstream of PKA to promote enteric muscle contractions and rhythmic calcium influx in the GABAergic neurons. Thus, our results suggest that PKA activates neurons during a rhythmic behavior by promoting presynaptic calcium influx through specific voltage-gated calcium channels.

  10. Aging in Sensory and Motor Neurons Results in Learning Failure in Aplysia californica.

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    Andrew T Kempsell

    Full Text Available The physiological and molecular mechanisms of age-related memory loss are complicated by the complexity of vertebrate nervous systems. This study takes advantage of a simple neural model to investigate nervous system aging, focusing on changes in learning and memory in the form of behavioral sensitization in vivo and synaptic facilitation in vitro. The effect of aging on the tail withdrawal reflex (TWR was studied in Aplysia californica at maturity and late in the annual lifecycle. We found that short-term sensitization in TWR was absent in aged Aplysia. This implied that the neuronal machinery governing nonassociative learning was compromised during aging. Synaptic plasticity in the form of short-term facilitation between tail sensory and motor neurons decreased during aging whether the sensitizing stimulus was tail shock or the heterosynaptic modulator serotonin (5-HT. Together, these results suggest that the cellular mechanisms governing behavioral sensitization are compromised during aging, thereby nearly eliminating sensitization in aged Aplysia.

  11. Acetylcholine secretion by motor neuron-like cells from umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xueyuan Liu; Dehua Li; Dong Jiang; Yan Fang

    2013-01-01

    Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cel s were isolated by a double enzyme digestion method. The third passage of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cel s was induced with heparin and/or basic fi-broblast growth factor. Results confirmed that cel morphology did not change after induction with basic fibroblast growth factor alone. However, neuronal morphology was visible, and microtu-bule-associated protein-2 expression and acetylcholine levels increased fol owing induction with heparin alone or heparin combined with basic fibroblast growth factor. Hb9 and choline acetyl-transferase expression was high fol owing inductive with heparin combined with basic fibroblast growth factor. Results indicate that the inductive effect of basic fibroblast growth factor alone was not obvious. Heparin combined with basic fibroblast growth factor noticeably promoted the differen-tiation of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cel s into motor neuron-like cel s. Simultaneously, um-bilical cord mesenchymal stem cel s could secrete acetylcholine.

  12. Expanded polyglutamines in Caenorhabditis elegans cause axonal abnormalities and severe dysfunction of PLM mechanosensory neurons without cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, J A; Connolly, J B; Wellington, C; Hayden, M; Dausset, J; Neri, C

    2001-11-06

    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 me