WorldWideScience

Sample records for motor neuron degeneration

  1. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. A computational model of motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-20

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

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

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

    2016-12-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-20

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

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

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

    2016-02-04

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

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

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

    1998-11-01

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

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

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian M. Simon

    2017-12-01

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

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

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

    2016-02-04

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

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

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

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    Yasvoina, Marina V.

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

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

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

    2017-06-01

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

  13. Infectious agents and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: another piece of the puzzle of motor neuron degeneration.

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    Castanedo-Vazquez, David; Bosque-Varela, Pilar; Sainz-Pelayo, Arancha; Riancho, Javier

    2018-05-29

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons (MN). This fatal disease is characterized by progressive muscle wasting and lacks an effective treatment. ALS pathogenesis has not been elucidated yet. In a small proportion of ALS patients, the disease has a familial origin, related to mutations in specific genes, which directly result in MN degeneration. By contrast, the vast majority of cases are though to be sporadic, in which genes and environment interact leading to disease in genetically predisposed individuals. Lately, the role of the environment has gained relevance in this field and an extensive list of environmental conditions have been postulated to be involved in ALS. Among them, infectious agents, particularly viruses, have been suggested to play an important role in the pathogenesis of the disease. These agents could act by interacting with some crucial pathways in MN degeneration, such as gene processing, oxidative stress or neuroinflammation. In this article, we will review the main studies about the involvement of microorganisms in ALS, subsequently discussing their potential pathogenic effect and integrating them as another piece in the puzzle of ALS pathogenesis.

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

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

    2017-11-01

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

  15. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Amygdala TDP-43 Pathology in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and Motor Neuron Disease.

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    Takeda, Takahiro; Seilhean, Danielle; Le Ber, Isabelle; Millecamps, Stéphanie; Sazdovitch, Véronique; Kitagawa, Kazuo; Uchihara, Toshiki; Duyckaerts, Charles

    2017-09-01

    TDP-43-positive inclusions are present in the amygdala in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and motor neuron disease (MND) including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Behavioral abnormalities, one of the chief symptoms of FTLD, could be, at least partly, related to amygdala pathology. We examined TDP-43 inclusions in the amygdala of patients with sporadic FTLD/MND (sFTLD/MND), FTLD/MND with mutation of the C9ORF72 (FTLD/MND-C9) and FTLD with mutation of the progranulin (FTLD-GRN). TDP-43 inclusions were common in each one of these subtypes, which can otherwise be distinguished on topographical and genetic grounds. Conventional and immunological stainings were performed and we quantified the numerical density of inclusions on a regional basis. TDP-43 inclusions in amygdala could be seen in 10 out of 26 sFTLD/MND cases, 5 out of 9 FTLD/MND-C9 cases, and all 4 FTLD-GRN cases. Their numerical density was lower in FTLD/MND-C9 than in sFTLD/MND and FTLD-GRN. TDP-43 inclusions were more numerous in the ventral region of the basolateral nucleus group in all subtypes. This contrast was apparent in sporadic and C9-mutated FTLD/MND, while it was less evident in FTLD-GRN. Such differences in subregional involvement of amygdala may be related to the region-specific neuronal connections that are differentially affected in FTLD/MND and FTLD-GRN. © 2017 American Association of Neuropathologists, Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

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

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

    2017-11-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Early and progressive impairment of spinal blood flow-glucose metabolism coupling in motor neuron degeneration of ALS model mice.

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    Miyazaki, Kazunori; Masamoto, Kazuto; Morimoto, Nobutoshi; Kurata, Tomoko; Mimoto, Takahumi; Obata, Takayuki; Kanno, Iwao; Abe, Koji

    2012-03-01

    The exact mechanism of selective motor neuron death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains still unclear. In the present study, we performed in vivo capillary imaging, directly measured spinal blood flow (SBF) and glucose metabolism, and analyzed whether if a possible flow-metabolism coupling is disturbed in motor neuron degeneration of ALS model mice. In vivo capillary imaging showed progressive decrease of capillary diameter, capillary density, and red blood cell speed during the disease course. Spinal blood flow was progressively decreased in the anterior gray matter (GM) from presymptomatic stage to 0.80-fold of wild-type (WT) mice, 0.61 at early-symptomatic, and 0.49 at end stage of the disease. Local spinal glucose utilization (LSGU) was transiently increased to 1.19-fold in anterior GM at presymptomatic stage, which in turn progressively decreased to 0.84 and 0.60 at early-symptomatic and end stage of the disease. The LSGU/SBF ratio representing flow-metabolism uncoupling (FMU) preceded the sequential pathological changes in the spinal cord of ALS mice and was preferentially found in the affected region of ALS. The present study suggests that this early and progressive FMU could profoundly involve in the whole disease process as a vascular factor of ALS pathology, and could also be a potential target for therapeutic intervention of ALS.

  2. Microglial upregulation of progranulin as a marker of motor neuron degeneration.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Philips, T.; Muynck, L. De; Thu, H.N.; Weynants, B.; Vanacker, P.; Dhondt, J.; Sleegers, K.; Schelhaas, H.J.; Verbeek, M.M.; Vandenberghe, R.; Sciot, R.; Broeckhoven, C. van; Lambrechts, D.; Leuven, F. Van; Bosch, L.; Robberecht, W.; Damme, P. van

    2010-01-01

    Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are overlapping neurodegenerative disorders. Mutations in the growth factor progranulin (PGRN) gene cause FTLD, sometimes in conjunction with ALS; such mutations are also observed in some ALS patients. Most PGRN

  3. The Overexpression of TDP-43 Protein in the Neuron and Oligodendrocyte Cells Causes the Progressive Motor Neuron Degeneration in the SOD1 G93A Transgenic Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

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    Lu, Yi; Tang, Chunyan; Zhu, Lei; Li, Jiao; Liang, Huiting; Zhang, Jie; Xu, Renshi

    2016-01-01

    The recent investigation suggested that the TDP-43 protein was closely related to the motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the pathogenesis contributed to motor neuron degeneration largely remained unknown. Therefore, we detected the alteration of TDP-43 expression and distribution in the adult spinal cord of the SOD1 G93A transgenic mouse model for searching the possible pathogenesis of ALS. We examined the TDP-43 expression and distribution in the different anatomic regions, segments and neural cells in the adult spinal cord at the different stages of the SOD1 wild-type and G93A transgenic model by the fluorescent immunohistochemical technology. We revealed that the amount of TDP-43 positive cell was cervical>lumbar>thoracic segment, that in the ventral horn was more than that in the dorsal horn, a few of TDP-43 protein sparsely expressed and distributed in the other regions, the TDP-43 protein weren't detected in the white matter and the central canal. The TDP-43 protein was mostly expressed and distributed in the nuclear of neuron cells and the cytoplasm of oligodendrocyte cells of the gray matter surrounding the central canal of spinal cord by the granular shape in the SOD1 wild-type and G93A transgenic mice. The amount of TDP-43 positive cell significantly increased at the onset and progression stages of ALS following with the increase of neuron death in spinal cord, particularly in the ventral horn of cervical segment at the progression stage. Our results suggested that the overexpression of TDP-43 protein in the neuron and oligodendrocyte cell causes the progressive motor neuron degeneration in the ALS-like mouse model.

  4. Electroacupuncture Promotes Recovery of Motor Function and Reduces Dopaminergic Neuron Degeneration in Rodent Models of Parkinson's Disease.

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    Lin, Jaung-Geng; Chen, Chao-Jung; Yang, Han-Bin; Chen, Yi-Hung; Hung, Shih-Ya

    2017-08-24

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease. The pathological hallmark of PD is a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) pars compacta in the brain, ultimately resulting in severe striatal dopamine deficiency and the development of primary motor symptoms (e.g., resting tremor, bradykinesia) in PD. Acupuncture has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat PD for the control of tremor and pain. Accumulating evidence has shown that using electroacupuncture (EA) as a complementary therapy ameliorates motor symptoms of PD. However, the most appropriate timing for EA intervention and its effect on dopamine neuronal protection remain unclear. Thus, this study used the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-lesioned mouse model (systemic-lesioned by intraperitoneal injection) and the 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP⁺)-lesioned rat model (unilateral-lesioned by intra-SN infusion) of PD, to explore the therapeutic effects and mechanisms of EA at the GB34 (Yanglingquan) and LR3 (Taichong) acupoints. We found that EA increased the latency to fall from the accelerating rotarod and improved striatal dopamine levels in the MPTP studies. In the MPP⁺ studies, EA inhibited apomorphine induced rotational behavior and locomotor activity, and demonstrated neuroprotective effects via the activation of survival pathways of Akt and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the SN region. In conclusion, we observed that EA treatment reduces motor symptoms of PD and dopaminergic neurodegeneration in rodent models, whether EA is given as a pretreatment or after the initiation of disease symptoms. The results indicate that EA treatment may be an effective therapy for patients with PD.

  5. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin pathology: an autopsy case presenting with semantic dementia and upper motor neuron signs with a clinical course of 19 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokota, Osamu; Tsuchiya, Kuniaki; Itoh, Yoshinori; Ishizu, Hideki; Akiyama, Haruhiko; Ikeda, Manabu; Kuzuhara, Shigeki; Otomo, Eiichi

    2006-12-01

    We report a case of a right-handed 74-year-old man who showed semantic dementia with a disease duration of 19 years. He initially presented with excessive use of pronouns and semantic paraphasia at the age of 55 years. Impairment of object recognition developed 5 years after the onset. Face recognition impairment and stereotypic behaviors developed 11 years after onset, and pyramidal signs 2 years before death. Pathological examination disclosed circumscribed severe atrophy in not only the bilateral temporal tips but also in the left precentral gyrus and pars opercularis in a motor speech field. Pyramidal tract involvement and loss of Betz cells were also evident. On the other hand, neurons in the anterior horns and hypoglossal nuclei were spared in number, although astrocytes were mildly proliferated. Ubiquitin-positive lesions were observed in the hippocampus, and frontal and temporal cortices. Neither Bunina bodies nor Pick bodies were present. These features clinically fit the international diagnostic criteria of semantic dementia and, histopathologically, frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND). This case suggests that (1) the distribution of cortical lesions associated with language disturbance is not uniform in FTLD-MND. It may be that only some cases of FTLD with ubiquitin pathology develop semantic dementia despite the high incidence of language disturbance, and (2) the precentral gyrus can be severely affected in FTLD-MND. After reviewing previous cases of FTLD-MND with a clinical course of more than 10 years, we also noticed that (3) FTLD-MND cases with a long disease duration often show upper motor neuron-predominant involvement.

  6. Pedigree with frontotemporal lobar degenerationmotor neuron disease and Tar DNA binding protein-43 positive neuropathology: genetic linkage to chromosome 9

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loy Clement T

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD represents a clinically, pathologically and genetically heterogenous neurodegenerative disorder, often complicated by neurological signs such as motor neuron-related limb weakness, spasticity and paralysis, parkinsonism and gait disturbances. Linkage to chromosome 9p had been reported for pedigrees with the neurodegenerative disorder, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD and motor neuron disease (MND. The objective in this study is to identify the genetic locus in a multi-generational Australian family with FTLD-MND. Methods Clinical review and standard neuropathological analysis of brain sections from affected pedigree members. Genome-wide scan using microsatellite markers and single nucleotide polymorphism fine mapping. Examination of candidate genes by direct DNA sequencing. Results Neuropathological examination revealed cytoplasmic deposition of the TDP-43 protein in three affected individuals. Moreover, we identify a family member with clinical Alzheimer's disease, and FTLD-Ubiquitin neuropathology. Genetic linkage and haplotype analyses, defined a critical region between markers D9S169 and D9S1845 on chromosome 9p21. Screening of all candidate genes within this region did not reveal any novel genetic alterations that co-segregate with disease haplotype, suggesting that one individual carrying a meiotic recombination may represent a phenocopy. Re-analysis of linkage data using the new affection status revealed a maximal two-point LOD score of 3.24 and a multipoint LOD score of 3.41 at marker D9S1817. This provides the highest reported LOD scores from a single FTLD-MND pedigree. Conclusion Our reported increase in the minimal disease region should inform other researchers that the chromosome 9 locus may be more telomeric than predicted by published recombination boundaries. Moreover, the existence of a family member with clinical Alzheimer's disease, and who shares the disease

  7. Spinal cord: motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezania, Kourosh; Roos, Raymond P

    2013-02-01

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

  8. Motor axon excitability during Wallerian degeneration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Alvarez, Susana; Krarup, Christian

    2008-01-01

    Axonal loss and degeneration are major factors in determining long-term outcome in patients with peripheral nerve disorders or injury. Following loss of axonal continuity, the isolated nerve stump distal to the lesion undergoes Wallerian degeneration in several phases. In the initial 'latent' phase......, action potential propagation and structural integrity of the distal segment are maintained. The aim of this study was to investigate in vivo the changes in membrane function of motor axons during the 'latent' phase of Wallerian degeneration. Multiple indices of axonal excitability of the tibial nerve...

  9. Dipeptide repeat protein inclusions are rare in the spinal cord and almost absent from motor neurons in C9ORF72 mutant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and are unlikely to cause their degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Deza, Jorge; Lee, Youn-Bok; Troakes, Claire; Nolan, Matthew; Al-Sarraj, Safa; Gallo, Jean-Marc; Shaw, Christopher E

    2015-06-25

    Cytoplasmic TDP-43 inclusions are the pathological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and tau-negative frontotemporal lobar dementia (FTLD). The G4C2 repeat mutation in C9ORF72 is the most common cause of ALS and FTLD in which, in addition to TDP-43 inclusions, five different di-peptide repeat (DPR) proteins have been identified. Di-peptide repeat proteins are translated in a non-canonical fashion from sense and antisense transcripts of the G4C2 repeat (GP, GA, GR, PA, PR). DPR inclusions are abundant in the cerebellum, as well as in the frontal and temporal lobes of ALS and FTLD patients and some are neurotoxic in a range of cellular and animal models, implying that DPR aggregation directly contributes to disease pathogenesis. Here we sought to quantify inclusions for each DPR and TDP-43 in ALS cases with and without the C9ORF72 mutation. We characterised the abundance of DPRs and their cellular location and compared this to cytoplasmic TDP-43 inclusions in order to explore the role of each inclusion in lower motor neuron degeneration. Spinal cord sections from ten cases positive for the C9ORF72 repeat expansion (ALS-C9+ve) and five cases that were not were probed by double immunofluorescence staining for individual DPRs and TDP-43. Inclusions immunoreactive for each of the DPRs were present in the spinal cord but they were rare or very rare in abundance (in descending order of frequency: GA, GP, GR, PA and PR). TDP-43 cytoplasmic inclusions were 45- to 750-fold more frequent than any DPR, and fewer than 4 % of DPR inclusions colocalized with TDP-43 inclusions. In motor neurons, a single cytoplasmic DPR inclusion was detected (0.1 %) in contrast to the 34 % of motor neurons that contained cytoplasmic TDP-43 inclusions. Furthermore, the number of TDP-43 inclusions in ALS cases with and without the C9ORF72 mutation was nearly identical. For all other neurodegenerative diseases, the neurotoxic protein aggregates are detected in the affected

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanemann, Clemens O; Ludolph, Albert C

    2002-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Frontal lobe atrophy in motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiernan, J A; Hudson, A J

    1994-08-01

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

  14. Motor Neuron Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. Whole-genome sequencing reveals important role for TBK1 and OPTN mutations in frontotemporal lobar degeneration without motor neuron disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pottier, C.; Bieniek, K.F.; Finch, N.; Vorst, M. van de; Baker, M.; Perkersen, R.; Brown, P.; Ravenscroft, T.; Blitterswijk, M. van; Nicholson, A.M.; DeTure, M.; Knopman, D.S.; Josephs, K.A.; Parisi, J.E.; Petersen, R.C.; Boylan, K.B.; Boeve, B.F.; Graff-Radford, N.R.; Veltman, J.A.; Gilissen, C.; Murray, M.E.; Dickson, D.W.; Rademakers, R.

    2015-01-01

    Frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TAR DNA-binding protein 43 inclusions (FTLD-TDP) is the most common pathology associated with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Repeat expansions in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) and mutations in progranulin (GRN) are the major known genetic causes

  16. Mirror neurons and motor intentionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Sinigaglia, Corrado

    2007-01-01

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

  17. How to make spinal motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  18. Neuronal degeneration in autonomic nervous system of Dystonia musculorum mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Kang-Jen

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dystonia musculorum (dt is an autosomal recessive hereditary neuropathy with a characteristic uncoordinated movement and is caused by a defect in the bullous pemphigoid antigen 1 (BPAG1 gene. The neural isoform of BPAG1 is expressed in various neurons, including those in the central and peripheral nerve systems of mice. However, most previous studies on neuronal degeneration in BPAG1-deficient mice focused on peripheral sensory neurons and only limited investigation of the autonomic system has been conducted. Methods In this study, patterns of nerve innervation in cutaneous and iridial tissues were examined using general neuronal marker protein gene product 9.5 via immunohistochemistry. To perform quantitative analysis of the autonomic neuronal number, neurons within the lumbar sympathetic and parasympathetic ciliary ganglia were calculated. In addition, autonomic neurons were cultured from embryonic dt/dt mutants to elucidate degenerative patterns in vitro. Distribution patterns of neuronal intermediate filaments in cultured autonomic neurons were thoroughly studied under immunocytochemistry and conventional electron microscopy. Results Our immunohistochemistry results indicate that peripheral sensory nerves and autonomic innervation of sweat glands and irises dominated degeneration in dt/dt mice. Quantitative results confirmed that the number of neurons was significantly decreased in the lumbar sympathetic ganglia as well as in the parasympathetic ciliary ganglia of dt/dt mice compared with those of wild-type mice. We also observed that the neuronal intermediate filaments were aggregated abnormally in cultured autonomic neurons from dt/dt embryos. Conclusions These results suggest that a deficiency in the cytoskeletal linker BPAG1 is responsible for dominant sensory nerve degeneration and severe autonomic degeneration in dt/dt mice. Additionally, abnormally aggregated neuronal intermediate filaments may participate in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  1. Propofol causes neuronal degeneration in neonatal mice and long ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Propofol causes neuronal degeneration in neonatal mice and long-term ... of 2.5 and 5.0 mg/kg (treatment group) or normal saline (control) on postnatal day 7. ... PO2, glucose and lactate), among which decreased blood glucose might be ...

  2. Neuromodulation of vertebrate motor neuron membrane properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hultborn, Hans; Kiehn, Ole

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Justin G; Ferrier, Andrew; Kothary, Rashmi

    2013-12-18

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) are devastating diseases characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons. Although the molecular causes underlying these diseases differ, recent findings have highlighted the contribution of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects in motor neuron diseases. The use of cell culture and animal models has led to the important finding that muscle defects occur prior to and independently of motor neuron degeneration in motor neuron diseases. In SMA for instance, the muscle specific requirements of the SMA disease-causing gene have been demonstrated by a series of genetic rescue experiments in SMA models. Conditional ALS mouse models expressing a muscle specific mutant SOD1 gene develop atrophy and muscle degeneration in the absence of motor neuron pathology. Treating SBMA mice by over-expressing IGF-1 in a skeletal muscle-specific manner attenuates disease severity and improves motor neuron pathology. In the present review, we provide an in depth description of muscle intrinsic defects, and discuss how they impact muscle function in these diseases. Furthermore, we discuss muscle-specific therapeutic strategies used to treat animal models of SMA, ALS, and SBMA. The study of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects is crucial for the understanding of the pathophysiology of these diseases and will open new therapeutic options for the treatment of motor neuron diseases.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papanikolaou, Theodora; Ellerby, Lisa M

    2009-08-13

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamphlett, Roger; Kum Jew, Stephen

    2013-12-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

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

  12. DNA damage preceding dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-synuclein transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Degui; Yu, Tianyu; Liu, Yongqiang; Yan, Jun; Guo, Yingli; Jing, Yuhong; Yang, Xuguang; Song, Yanfeng; Tian, Yingxia

    2016-12-02

    Defective DNA repair has been linked with age-associated neurodegenerative disorders. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by genetic and environmental factors. Whether damages to nuclear DNA contribute to neurodegeneration of PD still remain obscure. in this study we aim to explore whether nuclear DNA damage induce dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-Synuclein over expressed mouse model. We investigated the effects of X-ray irradiation on A53T-α-Syn MEFs and A53T-α-Syn transgene mice. Our results indicate that A53T-α-Syn MEFs show a prolonged DNA damage repair process and senescense phenotype. DNA damage preceded onset of motor phenotype in A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice and decrease the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Neurons of A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice are more fragile to DNA damages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. DNA damage preceding dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-synuclein transgenic mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Degui; Yu, Tianyu; Liu, Yongqiang; Yan, Jun; Guo, Yingli; Jing, Yuhong; Yang, Xuguang; Song, Yanfeng; Tian, Yingxia

    2016-01-01

    Defective DNA repair has been linked with age-associated neurodegenerative disorders. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by genetic and environmental factors. Whether damages to nuclear DNA contribute to neurodegeneration of PD still remain obscure. in this study we aim to explore whether nuclear DNA damage induce dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-Synuclein over expressed mouse model. We investigated the effects of X-ray irradiation on A53T-α-Syn MEFs and A53T-α-Syn transgene mice. Our results indicate that A53T-α-Syn MEFs show a prolonged DNA damage repair process and senescense phenotype. DNA damage preceded onset of motor phenotype in A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice and decrease the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Neurons of A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice are more fragile to DNA damages. - Highlights: • This study explore contribution of DNA damage to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease mice. • A53T-α-Syn MEF cells show a prolonged DNA damage repair process and senescense phenotype. • DNA damage preceded onset of motor phenotype in A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice. • DNA damage decrease the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. • Neurons of A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice are more fragile to DNA damages.

  14. 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.

  15. Progressive neuronal degeneration of childhood with liver disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kendall, B.E.; Boyd, S.G.; Egger, J.; Harding, B.N.

    1987-01-01

    The clinical, electrophysiological and neuroradiological features of thirteen patients suffering from progressive neuronal degeneration of childhood with liver failure are presented. The disease commonly presents very early in life with progressive mental retardation, followed by intractable epilepsy, and should be suspected clinically especially if there is a family history of similar disorder in a sibling. On computed tomography there are low density regions, particularly in the occipital and posterior temporal lobes, involving both cortex and white matter, combined with or followed by progressive atrophy. Typical EEG findings may be confirmatory. (orig.)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tresch, Matthew C.; Kiehn, Ole

    2002-01-01

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

  17. Spinal Muscular Atrophy: More than a Disease of Motor Neurons?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, L A; Burns, J K; Chardon, J Warman; Kothary, R; Parks, R J

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common genetically inherited neurodegenerative disease resulting in infant mortality. SMA is caused by genetic deletion or mutation in the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, which results in reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein. SMN protein deficiency preferentially affects α- motor neurons, leading to their degeneration and subsequent atrophy of limb and trunk muscles, progressing to death in severe forms of the disease. More recent studies have shown that SMN protein depletion is detrimental to the functioning of other tissues including skeletal muscle, heart, autonomic and enteric nervous systems, metabolic/endocrine (e.g. pancreas), lymphatic, bone and reproductive system. In this review, we summarize studies discussing SMN protein's function in various cell and tissue types and their involvement in the context of SMA disease etiology. Taken together, these studies indicate that SMA is a multi-organ disease, which suggests that truly effective disease intervention may require body-wide correction of SMN protein levels. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Charles; Tvrdik, Petr

    2018-04-16

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. ALS and other motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiryaki, Ezgi; Horak, Holli A

    2014-10-01

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

  3. Nonmotor symptoms in patients suffering from motor neuron diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rene Günther

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Ubiquitin–Synaptobrevin Fusion Protein Causes Degeneration of Presynaptic Motor Terminals in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yun; Li, Hongqiao; Sugiura, Yoshie; Han, Weiping; Gallardo, Gilbert; Khvotchev, Mikhail; Zhang, Yinan; Kavalali, Ege T.; Südhof, Thomas C.

    2015-01-01

    Protein aggregates containing ubiquitin (Ub) are commonly observed in neurodegenerative disorders, implicating the involvement of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) in their pathogenesis. Here, we aimed to generate a mouse model for monitoring UPS function using a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based substrate that carries a “noncleavable” N-terminal ubiquitin moiety (UbG76V). We engineered transgenic mice expressing a fusion protein, consisting of the following: (1) UbG76V, GFP, and a synaptic vesicle protein synaptobrevin-2 (UbG76V-GFP-Syb2); (2) GFP-Syb2; or (3) UbG76V-GFP-Syntaxin1, all under the control of a neuron-specific Thy-1 promoter. As expected, UbG76V-GFP-Syb2, GFP-Syb2, and UbG76V-GFP-Sytaxin1 were highly expressed in neurons, such as motoneurons and motor nerve terminals of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Surprisingly, UbG76V-GFP-Syb2 mice developed progressive adult-onset degeneration of motor nerve terminals, whereas GFP-Syb2 and UbG76V-GFP-Syntaxin1 mice were normal. The degeneration of nerve terminals in UbG76V-GFP-Syb2 mice was preceded by a progressive impairment of synaptic transmission at the NMJs. Biochemical analyses demonstrated that UbG76V-GFP-Syb2 interacted with SNAP-25 and Syntaxin1, the SNARE partners of synaptobrevin. Ultrastructural analyses revealed a marked reduction in synaptic vesicle density, accompanying an accumulation of tubulovesicular structures at presynaptic nerve terminals. These morphological defects were largely restricted to motor nerve terminals, as the ultrastructure of motoneuron somata appeared to be normal at the stages when synaptic nerve terminals degenerated. Furthermore, synaptic vesicle endocytosis and membrane trafficking were impaired in UbG76V-GFP-Syb2 mice. These findings indicate that UbG76V-GFP-Syb2 may compete with endogenous synaptobrevin, acting as a gain-of-function mutation that impedes SNARE function, resulting in the depletion of synaptic vesicles and degeneration of the nerve

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  8. 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...

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-30

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

  13. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riccardo De Santis

    2018-05-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-04-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  1. Fishing for causes and cures of motor neuron disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shunmoogum A. Patten

    2014-07-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sutedja, N.A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-14

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

  6. A novel mouse model with impaired dynein/dynactin function develops amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-like features in motor neurons and improves lifespan in SOD1-ALS mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Teuling (Eva); V. van Dis (Vera); P. Wulf (Phebe); E.D. Haasdijk (Elize); A.S. Akhmanova (Anna); C.C. Hoogenraad (Casper); D. Jaarsma (Dick)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative condition characterized by progressive motor neuron degeneration and muscle paralysis. Genetic evidence from man and mouse has indicated that mutations in the dynein/dynactin motor complex are correlated with motor neuron

  7. Suicide in patients with motor neuron disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  8. Astrocytes expressing ALS‐linked mutant FUS induce motor neuron death through release of tumor necrosis factor‐alpha

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kia, Azadeh; McAvoy, Kevin; Krishnamurthy, Karthik; Trotti, Davide

    2018-01-01

    Mutations in fused in sarcoma (FUS) are linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting both upper and lower motor neurons. While it is established that astrocytes contribute to the death of motor neurons in ALS, the specific contribution of mutant FUS (mutFUS) through astrocytes has not yet been studied. Here, we used primary astrocytes expressing a N‐terminally GFP tagged R521G mutant or wild‐type FUS (WTFUS) and show that mutFUS‐expressing astrocytes undergo astrogliosis, damage co‐cultured motor neurons via activation of an inflammatory response and produce conditioned medium (ACM) that is toxic to motor neurons in isolation. Time lapse imaging shows that motor neuron cultures exposed to mutFUS ACM, but not WTFUS ACM, undergo significant cell loss, which is preceded by progressive degeneration of neurites. We found that Tumor Necrosis Factor‐Alpha (TNFα) is secreted into ACM of mutFUS‐expressing astrocytes. Accordingly, mutFUS astrocyte‐mediated motor neuron toxicity is blocked by targeting soluble TNFα with neutralizing antibodies. We also found that mutant astrocytes trigger changes to motor neuron AMPA receptors (AMPAR) that render them susceptible to excitotoxicity and AMPAR‐mediated cell death. Our data provide the first evidence of astrocytic involvement in FUS‐ALS, identify TNFα as a mediator of this toxicity, and provide several potential therapeutic targets to protect motor neurons in FUS‐linked ALS. PMID:29380416

  9. Glial loss of the metallo β-lactamase domain containing protein, SWIP-10, induces age- and glutamate-signaling dependent, dopamine neuron degeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea L Gibson

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Across phylogeny, glutamate (Glu signaling plays a critical role in regulating neural excitability, thus supporting many complex behaviors. Perturbed synaptic and extrasynaptic Glu homeostasis in the human brain has been implicated in multiple neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease, where theories suggest that excitotoxic insults may accelerate a naturally occurring process of dopamine (DA neuron degeneration. In C. elegans, mutation of the glial expressed gene, swip-10, results in Glu-dependent DA neuron hyperexcitation that leads to elevated DA release, triggering DA signaling-dependent motor paralysis. Here, we demonstrate that swip-10 mutations induce premature and progressive DA neuron degeneration, with light and electron microscopy studies demonstrating the presence of dystrophic dendritic processes, as well as shrunken and/or missing cell soma. As with paralysis, DA neuron degeneration in swip-10 mutants is rescued by glial-specific, but not DA neuron-specific expression of wildtype swip-10, consistent with a cell non-autonomous mechanism. Genetic studies implicate the vesicular Glu transporter VGLU-3 and the cystine/Glu exchanger homolog AAT-1 as potential sources of Glu signaling supporting DA neuron degeneration. Degeneration can be significantly suppressed by mutations in the Ca2+ permeable Glu receptors, nmr-2 and glr-1, in genes that support intracellular Ca2+ signaling and Ca2+-dependent proteolysis, as well as genes involved in apoptotic cell death. Our studies suggest that Glu stimulation of nematode DA neurons in early larval stages, without the protective actions of SWIP-10, contributes to insults that ultimately drive DA neuron degeneration. The swip-10 model may provide an efficient platform for the identification of molecular mechanisms that enhance risk for Parkinson's disease and/or the identification of agents that can limit neurodegenerative disease progression.

  10. Differentiation of neural crest stem cells from nasal mucosa into motor neuron-like cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagher, Zohreh; Kamrava, Seyed Kamran; Alizadeh, Rafieh; Farhadi, Mohammad; Absalan, Moloud; Falah, Masoumeh; Faghihi, Faezeh; Zare-Sadeghi, Arash; Komeili, Ali

    2018-05-25

    Cell transplantation is a potential therapeutic approach for repairing neuropathological and neurodegenerative disorders of central nervous system by replacing the degenerated cells with new ones. Among a variety of stem cell candidates to provide these new cells, olfactory ectomesenchymal stem cells (OE-MSCs) have attracted a great attention due to their neural crest origin, easy harvest, high proliferation, and autologous transplantation. Since there is no report on differentiation potential of these cells into motor neuron-like cells, we evaluated this potential using Real-time PCR, flowcytometry and immunocytochemistry after the treatment with differentiation cocktail containing retinoic acid and Sonic Hedgehog. Immunocytochemistry staining of the isolated OE-MSCs demonstrated their capability to express nestin and vimentin, as the two markers of primitive neuroectoderm. The motor neuron differentiation of OE-MSCs resulted in changing their morphology into bipolar cells with high expression of motor neuron markers of ChAT, Hb-9 and Islet-1 at the level of mRNA and protein. Consequently, we believe that the OE-MSCs have great potential to differentiate into motor neuron-like cells and can be an ideal stem cell source for the treatment of motor neuron-related disorders of central nervous system. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-22

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

  16. Glial degeneration with oxidative damage drives neuronal demise in MPSII disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalfa, Cristina; Verpelli, Chiara; D'Avanzo, Francesca; Tomanin, Rosella; Vicidomini, Cinzia; Cajola, Laura; Manara, Renzo; Sala, Carlo; Scarpa, Maurizio; Vescovi, Angelo Luigi; De Filippis, Lidia

    2016-08-11

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPSII) is a lysosomal storage disorder due to the deficit of the iduronate 2-sulfatase (IDS) enzyme, causing progressive neurodegeneration in patients. Neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from the IDS-ko mouse can recapitulate MPSII pathogenesis in vitro. In differentiating IDS-ko NSCs and in the aging IDS-ko mouse brain, glial degeneration precedes neuronal degeneration. Here we show that pure IDS-ko NSC-derived astrocytes are selectively able to drive neuronal degeneration when cocultured with healthy neurons. This phenotype suggests concurrent oxidative damage with metabolic dysfunction. Similar patterns were observed in murine IDS-ko animals and in human MPSII brains. Most importantly, the mutant phenotype of IDS-ko astrocytes was reversed by low oxygen conditions and treatment with vitamin E, which also reversed the toxic effect on cocultured neurons. Moreover, at very early stages of disease we detected in vivo the development of a neuroinflammatory background that precedes astroglial degeneration, thus suggesting a novel model of MPSII pathogenesis, with neuroinflammation preceding glial degeneration, which is finally followed by neuronal death. This hypothesis is also consistent with the progression of white matter abnormalities in MPSII patients. Our study represents a novel breakthrough in the elucidation of MPSII brain pathogenesis and suggests the antioxidant molecules as potential therapeutic tools to delay MPSII onset and progression.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  19. Transsynaptic neuronal degeneration of optic nerves associated with bilateral occipital lesions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sachdev Mahipal

    1990-01-01

    Full Text Available A case is reported of a 9-year old male who presented with abnormal behaviour and progressive diminution of vision. Pupils were middilated in both eyes but the pupillary reflexes were preserved. Fundus examination revealed a bilateral optic atrophy and radiological investigations showed a bilateral occipital calcification. We hereby document a case of retrograde transsynaptic neuronal degeneration of the visual system secondary to bilateral occipital lesions. Transsynapptic neuronal degeneration of optic nerves consequent to occipital lobe lesions is a rare phenomenon. Experimentally occipital lobe ablation in non-human primates has been shown to result in optic atrophy. Herein, we document a case of retrograde transsynaptic neuronal degeneration of the visual system secondary to bilateral occipital lesions.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  1. Motor pathway degeneration in young ataxia telangiectasia patients: A diffusion tractography study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishani Sahama

    2015-01-01

    Conclusions: Whole tract analysis of the corticomotor, corticospinal and somatosensory pathways in ataxia telangiectasia showed significant white matter degeneration along the entire length of motor circuits, highlighting that ataxia–telangiectasia gene mutation impacts the cerebellum and multiple other motor circuits in young patients.

  2. Loss of translation elongation factor (eEF1A2) expression in vivo differentiates between Wallerian degeneration and dying-back neuronal pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Lyndsay M; Thomson, Derek; Conklin, Annalijn; Wishart, Thomas M; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2008-12-01

    Wallerian degeneration and dying-back pathology are two well-known cellular pathways capable of regulating the breakdown and loss of axonal and synaptic compartments of neurons in vivo. However, the underlying mechanisms and molecular triggers of these pathways remain elusive. Here, we show that loss of translation elongation factor eEF1A2 expression in lower motor neurons and skeletal muscle fibres in homozygous Wasted mice triggered a dying-back neuropathy. Synaptic loss at the neuromuscular junction occurred in advance of axonal pathology and by a mechanism morphologically distinct from Wallerian degeneration. Dying-back pathology in Wasted mice was accompanied by reduced expression levels of the zinc finger protein ZPR1, as found in other dying-back neuropathies such as spinal muscular atrophy. Surprisingly, experimental nerve lesion revealed that Wallerian degeneration was significantly delayed in homozygous Wasted mice; morphological assessment revealed that approximately 80% of neuromuscular junctions in deep lumbrical muscles at 24 h and approximately 50% at 48 h had retained motor nerve terminals following tibial nerve lesion. This was in contrast to wild-type and heterozygous Wasted mice where < 5% of neuromuscular junctions had retained motor nerve terminals at 24 h post-lesion. These data show that eEF1A2 expression is required to prevent the initiation of dying-back pathology at the neuromuscular junction in vivo. In contrast, loss of eEF1A2 expression significantly inhibited the initiation and progression of Wallerian degeneration in vivo. We conclude that loss of eEF1A2 expression distinguishes mechanisms underlying dying-back pathology from those responsible for Wallerian degeneration in vivo and suggest that eEF1A2-dependent cascades may provide novel molecular targets to manipulate neurodegenerative pathways in lower motor neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-04-01

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

  4. Decreased Expression of DREAM Promotes the Degeneration of Retinal Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chintala, Shravan; Cheng, Mei; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

    The intrinsic mechanisms that promote the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) following the activation of N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs) are unclear. In this study, we have investigated the role of downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM) in NMDA-mediated degeneration of the retina. NMDA, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and MK801 were injected into the vitreous humor of C57BL/6 mice. At 12, 24, and 48 hours after injection, expression of DREAM in the retina was determined by immunohistochemistry, western blot analysis, and electrophoretic mobility-shift assay (EMSA). Apoptotic death of cells in the retina was determined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferace dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assays. Degeneration of RGCs in cross sections and in whole mount retinas was determined by using antibodies against Tuj1 and Brn3a respectively. Degeneration of amacrine cells and bipolar cells was determined by using antibodies against calretinin and protein kinase C (PKC)-alpha respectively. DREAM was expressed constitutively in RGCs, amacrine cells, bipolar cells, as well as in the inner plexiform layer (IPL). NMDA promoted a progressive decrease in DREAM levels in all three cell types over time, and at 48 h after NMDA-treatment very low DREAM levels were evident in the IPL only. DREAM expression in retinal nuclear proteins was decreased progressively after NMDA-treatment, and correlated with its decreased binding to the c-fos-DRE oligonucleotides. A decrease in DREAM expression correlated significantly with apoptotic death of RGCs, amacrine cells and bipolar cells. Treatment of eyes with NMDA antagonist MK801, restored DREAM expression to almost normal levels in the retina, and significantly decreased NMDA-mediated apoptotic death of RGCs, amacrine cells, and bipolar cells. Results presented in this study show for the first time that down-regulation of DREAM promotes the degeneration of RGCs, amacrine cells, and

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oouchida, Yutaka; Izumi, Shinichi

    2014-06-01

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

  7. Selective neuronal degeneration in the retrosplenial cortex impairs the recall of contextual fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigwald, Eric L; Genoud, Manuel E; Giachero, Marcelo; de Olmos, Soledad; Molina, Víctor A; Lorenzo, Alfredo

    2016-05-01

    The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) is one of the largest cortical areas in rodents, and is subdivided in two main regions, A29 and A30, according to their cytoarchitectural organization and connectivities. However, very little is known about the functional activity of each RSC subdivision during the execution of complex cognitive tasks. Here, we used a well-established fear learning protocol that induced long-lasting contextual fear memory and showed that during evocation of the fear memory, the expression of early growth response gene 1 was up-regulated in A30, and in other brain areas implicated in fear and spatial memory, however, was down-regulated in A29, including layers IV and V. To search for the participation of A29 on fear memory, we triggered selective degeneration of neurons within cortical layers IV and V of A29 by using a non-invasive protocol that takes advantage of the vulnerability that these neurons have MK801-toxicity and the modulation of this neurodegeneration by testosterone. Application of 5 mg/kg MK801 in intact males induced negligible neuronal degeneration of A29 neurons and had no impact on fear memory retrieval. However, in orchiectomized rats, 5 mg/kg MK801 induced overt degeneration of layers IV-V neurons of A29, significantly impairing fear memory recall. Degeneration of A29 neurons did not affect exploratory or anxiety-related behavior nor altered unconditioned freezing. Importantly, protecting A29 neurons from MK801-toxicity by testosterone preserved fear memory recall in orchiectomized rats. Thus, neurons within cortical layers IV-V of A29 are critically required for efficient retrieval of contextual fear memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vesey, Siobhan

    2017-07-01

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

  9. Strength Testing in Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shefner, Jeremy M

    2017-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. associated neuron disease carCInoma Motor with

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1983-02-19

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

  12. Neuronal degeneration induced by status epilepticus in the nucleus accumens of immature rats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Druga, Rastislav; Mareš, Pavel; Kubová, Hana

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 48, s6 (2007), s. 19-20 ISSN 0013-9580. [Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society. 31.112007-3.12.2007, Philadelphia] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA304/07/1137 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : cpo1 * neuronal degeneration * status epilepticus * immature rat Subject RIV: FH - Neurology

  13. Spread of neuronal degeneration in a dopaminergic, Lrrk-G2019S model of Parkinson disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindle, Samantha J.; Elliott, Christopher J.H.

    2013-01-01

    Flies expressing the most common Parkinson disease (PD)-related mutation, LRRK2-G2019S, in their dopaminergic neurons show loss of visual function and degeneration of the retina, including mitochondrial abnormalities, apoptosis and autophagy. Since the photoreceptors that degenerate are not dopaminergic, this demonstrates nonautonomous degeneration, and a spread of pathology. This provides a model consistent with Braak’s hypothesis on progressive PD. The loss of visual function is specific for the G2019S mutation, implying the cause is its increased kinase activity, and is enhanced by increased neuronal activity. These data suggest novel explanations for the variability in animal models of PD. The specificity of visual loss to G2019S, coupled with the differences in neural firing rate, provide an explanation for the variability between people with PD in visual tests. PMID:23529190

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Calixto

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-04

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

  17. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas R Cheever

    2011-03-01

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

  20. Racial differences in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  1. Accumulation of Misfolded SOD1 in Dorsal Root Ganglion Degenerating Proprioceptive Sensory Neurons of Transgenic Mice with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sábado

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is an adult-onset progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting upper and lower motoneurons (MNs. Although the motor phenotype is a hallmark for ALS, there is increasing evidence that systems other than the efferent MN system can be involved. Mutations of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1 gene cause a proportion of familial forms of this disease. Misfolding and aggregation of mutant SOD1 exert neurotoxicity in a noncell autonomous manner, as evidenced in studies using transgenic mouse models. Here, we used the SOD1G93A mouse model for ALS to detect, by means of conformational-specific anti-SOD1 antibodies, whether misfolded SOD1-mediated neurotoxicity extended to neuronal types other than MNs. We report that large dorsal root ganglion (DRG proprioceptive neurons accumulate misfolded SOD1 and suffer a degenerative process involving the inflammatory recruitment of macrophagic cells. Degenerating sensory axons were also detected in association with activated microglial cells in the spinal cord dorsal horn of diseased animals. As large proprioceptive DRG neurons project monosynaptically to ventral horn MNs, we hypothesise that a prion-like mechanism may be responsible for the transsynaptic propagation of SOD1 misfolding from ventral horn MNs to DRG sensory neurons.

  2. 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…

  3. Pseudobulbar dysarthria in the initial stage of motor neuron disease with dementia: a clinicopathological report of two autopsied cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishihara, Kenji; Araki, Shigeo; Ihori, Nami; Suzuki, Yoshio; Shiota, Jun-ichi; Arai, Nobutaka; Nakano, Imaharu; Kawamura, Mitsuru

    2013-01-01

    We retrospectively analyzed the clinical features of two cases of neurodegenerative disease, whose initial symptoms were motor speech disorder and dementia, brought to autopsy. We compared the distributions of pathological findings with the clinical features. The main symptom of speech disorder was dysarthria, involving low pitch, slow rate, hypernasality and hoarseness. Other than these findings, effortful speech, sound prolongation and initial difficulty were observed. Moreover, repetition of multisyllables was severely impaired compared to monosyllables. Repetition and comprehension of words and sentences were not impaired. Neither atrophy nor fasciculation of the tongue was observed. Both cases showed rapid progression to mutism within a few years. Neuropathologically, frontal lobe degeneration including the precentral gyrus was observed. The bilateral pyramidal tracts also showed severe degeneration. However, the nucleus of the hypoglossal nerve showed only mild degeneration. These findings suggest upper motor neuron dominant motor neuron disease with dementia. We believe the results indicate a subgroup of motor neuron disease with dementia whose initial symptoms involve pseudobulbar palsy and dementia, and which shows rapid progression to mutism. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, David P; Kiskinis, Evangelos

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-15

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

  10. Caloric Restriction Protects against Lactacystin-Induced Degeneration of Dopamine Neurons Independent of the Ghrelin Receptor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Coppens

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by a loss of dopamine (DA neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc. Caloric restriction (CR has been shown to exert ghrelin-dependent neuroprotective effects in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrathydropyridine (MPTP-based animal model for PD. We here investigated whether CR is neuroprotective in the lactacystin (LAC mouse model for PD, in which proteasome disruption leads to the destruction of the DA neurons of the SNc, and whether this effect is mediated via the ghrelin receptor. Adult male ghrelin receptor wildtype (WT and knockout (KO mice were maintained on an ad libitum (AL diet or on a 30% CR regimen. After 3 weeks, LAC was injected unilaterally into the SNc, and the degree of DA neuron degeneration was evaluated 1 week later. In AL mice, LAC injection significanty reduced the number of DA neurons and striatal DA concentrations. CR protected against DA neuron degeneration following LAC injection. However, no differences were observed between ghrelin receptor WT and KO mice. These results indicate that CR can protect the nigral DA neurons from toxicity related to proteasome disruption; however, the ghrelin receptor is not involved in this effect.

  11. Corneal and Retinal Neuronal Degeneration in Early Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Sangeetha; Dehghani, Cirous; Pritchard, Nicola; Edwards, Katie; Russell, Anthony W; Malik, Rayaz A; Efron, Nathan

    2017-12-01

    To examine the neuronal structural integrity of cornea and retina as markers for neuronal degeneration in nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). Participants were recruited from the broader Brisbane community, Queensland, Australia. Two hundred forty-one participants (187 with diabetes and 54 nondiabetic controls) were examined. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) was graded according to the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) scale. Corneal nerve fiber length (CNFL), corneal nerve branch density (CNBD), corneal nerve fiber tortuosity (CNFT), full retinal thickness, retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), ganglion cell complex (GCC), focal (FLV) and global loss volumes (GLV), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), nephropathy, neuropathy, and cardiovascular measures were examined. The central zone (P = 0.174), parafoveal thickness (P = 0.090), perifovea (P = 0.592), RNFL (P = 0.866), GCC (P = 0.798), and GCC GLV (P = 0.338) did not differ significantly between the groups. In comparison to the control group, those with very mild NPDR and those with mild NPDR had significantly higher focal loss in GCC volume (P = 0.036). CNFL was significantly lower in those with mild NPDR (P = 0.004) in comparison to the control group and those with no DR. The CNBD (P = 0.094) and CNFT (P = 0.458) did not differ between the groups. Both corneal and retinal neuronal degeneration may occur in early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Further studies are required to examine these potential markers for neuronal degeneration in the absence of clinical signs of DR.

  12. Racial differences in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  14. Subcortical frontal lesions on MRI in patients with motor neurone disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andreadou, E.; Sgouropoulos, P.; Varelas, P.; Papageorgiou, C. [Eginition Hospital, Athens (Greece); Gouliamos, A. [Department of Radiology, CT/MRI Unit, Areteion Hospital, University of Athens (Greece)

    1998-05-01

    MRI was performed in 32 patients with motor neurone disease (26 men and 6 women, aged 40-77 years) and in a control group of 21 subjects. Of the patients studied, 19 had definite and 11 probable amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and two had progressive bulbar palsy. In 10 patients there were asymmetrical bilateral foci of increased signal intensity on proton-density and T{sub 2}-weighted images, confined to the white matter. Two patients had only cortical frontal atrophy and slightly increased ventricular size, whereas 20 had normal MRI. The focal lesions were not confined to corticospinal tracts, but were also observed in subcortical frontal areas. While the lesions along the corticospinal tracts correspond to pyramidal tract degeneration, the subcortical foci correlate with degeneration of the frontal bundles and indicate generalised involvement of the central nervous system. (orig.) With 3 figs., 2 tabs., 25 refs.

  15. Subcortical frontal lesions on MRI in patients with motor neurone disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreadou, E.; Sgouropoulos, P.; Varelas, P.; Papageorgiou, C.; Gouliamos, A.

    1998-01-01

    MRI was performed in 32 patients with motor neurone disease (26 men and 6 women, aged 40-77 years) and in a control group of 21 subjects. Of the patients studied, 19 had definite and 11 probable amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and two had progressive bulbar palsy. In 10 patients there were asymmetrical bilateral foci of increased signal intensity on proton-density and T 2 -weighted images, confined to the white matter. Two patients had only cortical frontal atrophy and slightly increased ventricular size, whereas 20 had normal MRI. The focal lesions were not confined to corticospinal tracts, but were also observed in subcortical frontal areas. While the lesions along the corticospinal tracts correspond to pyramidal tract degeneration, the subcortical foci correlate with degeneration of the frontal bundles and indicate generalised involvement of the central nervous system. (orig.)

  16. The Influence of Psycholinguistic Variables on Articulatory Errors in Naming in Progressive Motor Speech Degeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Code, Chris; Tree, Jeremy; Ball, Martin

    2011-01-01

    We describe an analysis of speech errors on a confrontation naming task in a man with progressive speech degeneration of 10-year duration from Pick's disease. C.S. had a progressive non-fluent aphasia together with a motor speech impairment and early assessment indicated some naming impairments. There was also an absence of significant…

  17. Neuronal vacuolation and spinocerebellar degeneration associated with altered neurotransmission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aggeliki Giannakopoulou

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Inherited neurodegenerative disorders are debilitating diseases that occur across different species, such as the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris, and many are caused by mutations in the same genes as corresponding human conditions. In the present study, we report an inherited neurodegenerative condition, termed ‘neuronal vacuolation and spinocerebellar degeneration’ (NVSD which affects neonatal or young dogs, mainly Rottweilers, which recently has been linked with the homozygosity for the RAB3GAP1:c.743delC allele. Mutations in human RAB3GAP1 cause Warburg micro syndrome (WARBM, a severe developmental disorder characterized predominantly by abnormalities of the nervous system including axonal peripheral neuropathy. RAB3GAP1 encodes the catalytic subunit of a GTPase activator protein and guanine exchange factor for Rab3 and Rab18 proteins, respectively. Rab proteins are involved in membrane trafficking in the endoplasmic reticulum, autophagy, axonal transport and synaptic transmission. The present study attempts to carry out a detailed histopathological examination of NVSD disease, extending from peripheral nerves to lower brain structures focusing on the neurotransmitter alterations noted in the cerebellum, the major structure affected. NVSD dogs presented with progressive cerebellar ataxia and some clinical manifestations that recapitulate the WARBM phenotype. Neuropathological examination revealed dystrophic axons, neurodegeneration and intracellular vacuolization in specific nuclei. In the cerebellum, severe vacuolation of cerebellar nuclei neurons, atrophy of Purkinje cells, and diminishing of GABAergic and glutamatergic fibres constitute the most striking lesions. The balance of evidence suggests that the neuropathological lesions are a reaction to the altered neurotransmission. The canine phenotype could serve as a model to delineate the disease-causing pathological mechanisms in RAB3GAP1 mutation.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg-Vos, R.M. van den

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Dysregulation of RNA Mediated Gene Expression in Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Inês do Carmo G; Rehorst, Wiebke A; Kye, Min Jeong

    2016-01-01

    Recent findings indicate an important role for RNA-mediated gene expression in motor neuron diseases, including ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and SMA (spinal muscular atrophy). ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is an adult-onset progressive neurodegenerative disorder, whereby SMA or "children's Lou Gehrig's disease" is considered a pediatric neurodevelopmental disorder. Despite the difference in genetic causes, both ALS and SMA share common phenotypes; dysfunction/loss of motor neurons that eventually leads to muscle weakness and atrophy. With advanced techniques in molecular genetics and cell biology, current data suggest that these two distinct motor neuron diseases share more than phenotypes; ALS and SMA have similar cellular pathological mechanisms including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and dysregulation in RNA-mediated gene expression. Here, we will discuss the current findings on these two diseases with specific focus on RNA-mediated gene regulation including miRNA expression, pre-mRNA processing and RNA binding proteins.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-28

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

  1. The Neuronal Network Orchestration behind Motor Behaviors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Peter Christian

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-11

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

  3. 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。

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-25

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

  5. Tissue-specific models of spinal muscular atrophy confirm a critical role of SMN in motor neurons from embryonic to adult stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laird, Angela S; Mackovski, Nikolce; Rinkwitz, Silke; Becker, Thomas S; Giacomotto, Jean

    2016-05-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disease linked to survival motor neuron (SMN) protein deficiency. While SMN protein is expressed ubiquitously, its deficiency triggers tissue-specific hallmarks, including motor neuron death and muscle atrophy, leading to impaired motor functions and premature death. Here, using stable miR-mediated knockdown technology in zebrafish, we developed the first vertebrate system allowing transgenic spatio-temporal control of the smn1 gene. Using this new model it is now possible to investigate normal and pathogenic SMN function(s) in specific cell types, independently or in synergy with other cell populations. We took advantage of this new system to first test the effect of motor neuron or muscle-specific smn1 silencing. Anti-smn1 miRNA expression in motor neurons, but not in muscles, reproduced SMA hallmarks, including abnormal motor neuron development, poor motor function and premature death. Interestingly, smn1 knockdown in motor neurons also induced severe late-onset phenotypes including scoliosis-like body deformities, weight loss, muscle atrophy and, seen for the first time in zebrafish, reduction in the number of motor neurons, indicating motor neuron degeneration. Taken together, we have developed a new transgenic system allowing spatio-temporal control of smn1 expression in zebrafish, and using this model, we have demonstrated that smn1 silencing in motor neurons alone is sufficient to reproduce SMA hallmarks in zebrafish. It is noteworthy that this research is going beyond SMA as this versatile gene-silencing transgenic system can be used to knockdown any genes of interest, filling the gap in the zebrafish genetic toolbox and opening new avenues to study gene functions in this organism. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seikel, J. Anthony; And Others

    1990-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  9. Genetic overlap between apparently sporadic motor neuron diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Blitterswijk, Marka; Vlam, Lotte; van Es, Michael A.; van der Pol, W.-Ludo; Hennekam, Eric A. M.; Dooijes, Dennis; Schelhaas, Helenius J.; van der Kooi, Anneke J.; de Visser, Marianne; Veldink, Jan H.; van den Berg, Leonard H.

    2012-01-01

    Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are devastating motor neuron diseases (MNDs), which result in muscle weakness and/or spasticity. We compared mutation frequencies in genes known to be associated with MNDs between patients with apparently sporadic PMA and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Do motor neurons contain functional prejunctional cholinoceptors?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  15. Neurons in primary motor cortex engaged during action observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dushanova, Juliana; Donoghue, John

    2010-01-01

    Neurons in higher cortical areas appear to become active during action observation, either by mirroring observed actions (termed mirror neurons) or by eliciting mental rehearsal of observed motor acts. We report the existence of neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1), an area that is generally considered to initiate and guide movement performance, responding to viewed actions. Multielectrode recordings in monkeys performing or observing a well-learned step-tracking task showed that approximately half of the M1 neurons that were active when monkeys performed the task were also active when they observed the action being performed by a human. These 'view' neurons were spatially intermingled with 'do' neurons, which are active only during movement performance. Simultaneously recorded 'view' neurons comprised two groups: approximately 38% retained the same preferred direction (PD) and timing during performance and viewing, and the remainder (62%) changed their PDs and time lag during viewing as compared with performance. Nevertheless, population activity during viewing was sufficient to predict the direction and trajectory of viewed movements as action unfolded, although less accurately than during performance. 'View' neurons became less active and contained poorer representations of action when only subcomponents of the task were being viewed. M1 'view' neurons thus appear to reflect aspects of a learned movement when observed in others, and form part of a broadly engaged set of cortical areas routinely responding to learned behaviors. These findings suggest that viewing a learned action elicits replay of aspects of M1 activity needed to perform the observed action, and could additionally reflect processing related to understanding, learning or mentally rehearsing action.

  16. Sleep-Active Neurons: Conserved Motors of Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bringmann, Henrik

    2018-01-01

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

  17. A Dutch family with autosomal recessively inherited lower motor neuron predominant motor neuron disease due to optineurin mutations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beeldman, Emma; van der Kooi, Anneke J.; de Visser, Marianne; van Maarle, Merel C.; van Ruissen, Fred; Baas, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Approximately 10% of motor neuron disease (MND) patients report a familial predisposition for MND. Autosomal recessively inherited MND is less common and is most often caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene. In 2010, autosomal recessively inherited mutations in the optineurin

  18. Curcumin inhibits neuronal and vascular degeneration in retina after ischemia and reperfusion injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leilei Wang

    Full Text Available Neuron loss, glial activation and vascular degeneration are common sequelae of ischemia-reperfusion (I/R injury in ocular diseases. The present study was conducted to explore the ability of curcumin to inhibit retinal I/R injury, and to investigate underlying mechanisms of the drug effects.Different dosages of curcumin were administered. I/R injury was induced by elevating the intraocular pressure for 60 min followed by reperfusion. Cell bodies, brn3a stained cells and TUNEL positive apoptotic cells in the ganglion cell layer (GCL were quantitated, and the number of degenerate capillaries was assessed. The activation of glial cells was measured by the expression level of GFAP. Signaling pathways including IKK-IκBα, JAK-STAT1/3, ERK/MAPK and the expression levels of β-tubulin III and MCP-1 were measured by western blot analysis. Pre-treatment using 0.01%-0.25% curcumin in diets significantly inhibited I/R-induced cell loss in GCL. 0.05% curcumin pre-treatment inhibited I/R-induced degeneration of retinal capillaries, TUNEL-positive apoptotic cell death in the GCL, brn3a stained cell loss, the I/R-induced up-regulation of MCP-1, IKKα, p-IκBα and p-STAT3 (Tyr, and down-regulation of β-tubulin III. This dose showed no effect on injury-induced GFAP overexpression. Moreover, 0.05% curcumin administered 2 days after the injury also showed a vaso-protective effect.Curcumin protects retinal neurons and microvessels against I/R injury. The beneficial effects of curcumin on neurovascular degeneration may occur through its inhibitory effects on injury-induced activation of NF-κB and STAT3, and on over-expression of MCP-1. Curcumin may therefore serve as a promising candidate for retinal ischemic diseases.

  19. Magnetic resonance imaging applied to motor neuron disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Fogarty

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

  1. Neuronal Population Activity in Spinal Motor Circuits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rune W.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Härschnitz, O.

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Multiregional Age-Associated Reduction of Brain Neuronal Reserve Without Association With Neurofibrillary Degeneration or β-Amyloidosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegiel, Jerzy; Flory, Michael; Kuchna, Izabela; Nowicki, Krzysztof; Yong Ma, Shuang; Wegiel, Jarek; Badmaev, Eulalia; Silverman, Wayne P; de Leon, Mony; Reisberg, Barry; Wisniewski, Thomas

    2017-06-01

    Increase in human life expectancy has resulted in the rapid growth of the elderly population with minimal or no intellectual deterioration. The aim of this stereological study of 10 structures and 5 subdivisions with and without neurofibrillary degeneration in the brains of 28 individuals 25-102-years-old was to establish the pattern of age-associated neurodegeneration and neuronal loss in the brains of nondemented adults and elderly. The study revealed the absence of significant neuronal loss in 7 regions and topographically selective reduction of neuronal reserve over 77 years in 8 brain structures including the entorhinal cortex (EC) (-33.3%), the second layer of the EC (-54%), cornu Ammonis sector 1 (CA1) (-28.5%), amygdala, (-45.8%), thalamus (-40.5%), caudate nucleus (-35%), Purkinje cells (-48.3%), and neurons in the dentate nucleus (40.1%). A similar rate of neuronal loss in adults and elderly, without signs of accelerating neuronal loss in agers or super-agers, appears to indicate age-associated brain remodeling with significant reduction of neuronal reserve in 8 brain regions. Multivariate analysis demonstrates the absence of a significant association between neuronal loss and the severity of neurofibrillary degeneration and β-amyloidosis, and a similar rate of age-associated neuronal loss in structures with and without neurofibrillary degeneration. © 2017 American Association of Neuropathologists, Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Ken; Iwasaki, Yasuo

    2015-01-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamo, Jonathan P

    2015-05-01

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

  12. Decoding the non-stationary neuron spike trains by dual Monte Carlo point process estimation in motor Brain Machine Interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Yuxi; Li, Hongbao; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Fan, Gong; Wang, Yiwen; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2014-01-01

    Decoding algorithm in motor Brain Machine Interfaces translates the neural signals to movement parameters. They usually assume the connection between the neural firings and movements to be stationary, which is not true according to the recent studies that observe the time-varying neuron tuning property. This property results from the neural plasticity and motor learning etc., which leads to the degeneration of the decoding performance when the model is fixed. To track the non-stationary neuron tuning during decoding, we propose a dual model approach based on Monte Carlo point process filtering method that enables the estimation also on the dynamic tuning parameters. When applied on both simulated neural signal and in vivo BMI data, the proposed adaptive method performs better than the one with static tuning parameters, which raises a promising way to design a long-term-performing model for Brain Machine Interfaces decoder.

  13. Inhibition of the Rho/ROCK pathway prevents neuronal degeneration in vitro and in vivo following methylmercury exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujimura, Masatake; Usuki, Fusako; Kawamura, Miwako; Izumo, Shuji

    2011-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is an environmental neurotoxicant which induces neuropathological changes in both the central nervous and peripheral sensory nervous systems. Our recent study demonstrated that down-regulation of Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1), which is known to promote neuritic extension, preceded MeHg-induced damage in cultured cortical neurons, suggesting that MeHg-mediated axonal degeneration is due to the disturbance of neuritic extension. Therefore we hypothesized that MeHg-induced axonal degeneration might be caused by neuritic extension/retraction incoordination. This idea brought our attention to the Ras homolog gene (Rho)/Rho-associated coiled coil-forming protein kinase (ROCK) pathway because it has been known to be associated with the development of axon and apoptotic neuronal cell death. Here we show that inhibition of the Rho/ROCK pathway prevents MeHg-intoxication both in vitro and in vivo. A Rho inhibitor, C3 toxin, and 2 ROCK inhibitors, Fasudil and Y-27632, significantly protected against MeHg-induced axonal degeneration and apoptotic neuronal cell death in cultured cortical neuronal cells exposed to 100 nM MeHg for 3 days. Furthermore, Fasudil partially prevented the loss of large pale neurons in dorsal root ganglia, axonal degeneration in dorsal spinal root nerves, and vacuolar degeneration in the dorsal columns of the spinal cord in MeHg-intoxicated model rats (20 ppm MeHg in drinking water for 28 days). Hind limb crossing sign, a characteristic MeHg-intoxicated sign, was significantly suppressed in this model. The results suggest that inhibition of the Rho/ROCK pathway rescues MeHg-mediated neuritic extension/retraction incoordination and is effective for the prevention of MeHg-induced axonal degeneration and apoptotic neuronal cell death.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiro Kawada

    2017-11-01

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

  15. A tale of motor neurons and CD4+ T cells: moving forward by looking back

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Abhirami Kannan Iyer; Kathryn J. Jones

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal progressive disorder characterized by the selective degeneration of motor neurons (MN). The impact of peripheral immune status on disease progression and MN survival is becoming increasingly recognized in the ALS research field. In this review, we briefly discuss findings from mouse models of peripheral nerve injury and immunodeficiency to understand how the immune system regulates MN survival. We extend these observations to similar studies in the widely used superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mouse model of ALS. Last, we present future hypotheses to identify potential causative factors that lead to immune dysregulation in ALS. The lessons from preceding work in this area offer new exciting directions to bridge the gap in our current understanding of immune mediated neuroprotection in ALS.

  16. Description and physical localization of the bovine survival of motor neuron gene (SMN).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietrowski, D; Goldammer, T; Meinert, S; Schwerin, M; Förster, M

    1998-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disease in humans and other mammals, characterized by degeneration of anterior horn cells of the spinal cord. In humans, the survival of motor neuron gene (SMN) has been recognized as the SMA-determining gene and has been mapped to 5q13. In cattle, SMA is a recurrent, inherited disease that plays an important economic role in breeding programs of Brown Swiss stock. Now we have identified the full- length cDNA sequence of the bovine SMN gene. Molecular analysis and characterization of the sequence documents 85% identity to its human counterpart and three evolutionarily conserved domains in different species. Physical mapping data reveals that bovine SMN is localized to chromosome region 20q12-->q13, supporting the conserved synteny of this chromosomal region between humans and cattle.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Damon G; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streeter, K A; Baker-Herman, T L

    2014-06-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Wallerian degeneration slow mouse neurons are protected against cell death caused by mechanisms involving mitochondrial electron transport dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokunaga, Shinji; Araki, Toshiyuki

    2012-03-01

    Ischemia elicits a variety of stress responses in neuronal cells, which result in cell death. wld(S) Mice bear a mutation that significantly delays Wallerian degeneration. This mutation also protects all neuronal cells against other types of stresses resulting in cell death, including ischemia. To clarify the types of stresses that neuronal cell bodies derived from wld(S) mice are protected from, we exposed primary cultured neurons derived from wld(S) mice to various components of hypoxic stress. We found that wld(S) mouse neurons are protected against cellular injury induced by reoxygenation following hypoxic stress. Furthermore, we found that wld(S) mouse neurons are protected against functional impairment of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. These data suggest that Wld(S) protein expression may provide protection against neuronal cell death caused by mechanisms involving mitochondrial electron transport dysfunction. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. All-optical recording and stimulation of retinal neurons in vivo in retinal degeneration mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strazzeri, Jennifer M.; Williams, David R.; Merigan, William H.

    2018-01-01

    Here we demonstrate the application of a method that could accelerate the development of novel therapies by allowing direct and repeatable visualization of cellular function in the living eye, to study loss of vision in animal models of retinal disease, as well as evaluate the time course of retinal function following therapeutic intervention. We use high-resolution adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy to image fluorescence from the calcium sensor GCaMP6s. In mice with photoreceptor degeneration (rd10), we measured restored visual responses in ganglion cell layer neurons expressing the red-shifted channelrhodopsin ChrimsonR over a six-week period following significant loss of visual responses. Combining a fluorescent calcium sensor, a channelrhodopsin, and adaptive optics enables all-optical stimulation and recording of retinal neurons in the living eye. Because the retina is an accessible portal to the central nervous system, our method also provides a novel non-invasive method of dissecting neuronal processing in the brain. PMID:29596518

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-14

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

  7. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Hückesfeld

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

  9. Wnt1 from cochlear schwann cells enhances neuronal differentiation of transplanted neural stem cells in a rat spiral ganglion neuron degeneration model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ya; Zhang, Peng-Zhi; Sun, Dong; Mi, Wen-Juan; Zhang, Xin-Yi; Cui, Yong; Jiang, Xing-Wang; Mao, Xiao-Bo; Qiu, Jian-Hua

    2014-04-01

    Although neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is widely expected to become a therapy for nervous system degenerative diseases and injuries, the low neuronal differentiation rate of NSCs transplanted into the inner ear is a major obstacle for the successful treatment of spiral ganglion neuron (SGN) degeneration. In this study, we validated whether the local microenvironment influences the neuronal differentiation of transplanted NSCs in the inner ear. Using a rat SGN degeneration model, we demonstrated that transplanted NSCs were more likely to differentiate into microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2)-positive neurons in SGN-degenerated cochleae than in control cochleae. Using real-time quantitative PCR and an immunofluorescence assay, we also proved that the expression of Wnt1 (a ligand of Wnt signaling) increases significantly in Schwann cells in the SGN-degenerated cochlea. We further verified that NSC cultures express receptors and signaling components for Wnts. Based on these expression patterns, we hypothesized that Schwann cell-derived Wnt1 and Wnt signaling might be involved in the regulation of the neuronal differentiation of transplanted NSCs. We verified our hypothesis in vitro using a coculture system. We transduced a lentiviral vector expressing Wnt1 into cochlear Schwann cell cultures and cocultured them with NSC cultures. The coculture with Wnt1-expressing Schwann cells resulted in a significant increase in the percentage of NSCs that differentiated into MAP2-positive neurons, whereas this differentiation-enhancing effect was prevented by Dkk1 (an inhibitor of the Wnt signaling pathway). These results suggested that Wnt1 derived from cochlear Schwann cells enhanced the neuronal differentiation of transplanted NSCs through Wnt signaling pathway activation. Alterations of the microenvironment deserve detailed investigation because they may help us to conceive effective strategies to overcome the barrier of the low differentiation rate of transplanted

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

  12. THE MITOCHONDRIAL DERANGEMENTS IN NEURONAL DEGENER ATION AND NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xue, Qi-ming; Gao, Feng; Chen, Qin-tang

    2000-01-01

    @@There are diverse concepts on the pathogenesis of neuronal degeneration and the neurodegenerative diseases. Among them there are different factors which might influence the initiation of neuronal degeneration as well as the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer′s disease, Parkinson′s disease, motor neuron disease, and so on.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-14

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

  14. Transcranial magnetic stimulation in lower motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar M. Ferraro

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Neurofilament markers for ALS correlate with extent of upper and lower motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poesen, Koen; De Schaepdryver, Maxim; Stubendorff, Beatrice; Gille, Benjamin; Muckova, Petra; Wendler, Sindy; Prell, Tino; Ringer, Thomas M; Rhode, Heidrun; Stevens, Olivier; Claeys, Kristl G; Couwelier, Goedele; D'Hondt, Ann; Lamaire, Nikita; Tilkin, Petra; Van Reijen, Dimphna; Gourmaud, Sarah; Fedtke, Nadin; Heiling, Bianka; Rumpel, Matthias; Rödiger, Annekathrin; Gunkel, Anne; Witte, Otto W; Paquet, Claire; Vandenberghe, Rik; Grosskreutz, Julian; Van Damme, Philip

    2017-06-13

    To determine the diagnostic performance and prognostic value of phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain (pNfH) and neurofilament light chain (NfL) in CSF as possible biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the diagnostic phase. We measured CSF pNfH and NfL concentrations in 220 patients with ALS, 316 neurologic disease controls (DC), and 50 genuine disease mimics (DM) to determine and assess the accuracy of the diagnostic cutoff value for pNfH and NfL and to correlate with other clinical parameters. pNfH was most specific for motor neuron disease (specificity 88.2% [confidence interval (CI) 83.0%-92.3%]). pNfH had the best performance to differentially diagnose patients with ALS from DM with a sensitivity of 90.7% (CI 84.9%-94.8%), a specificity of 88.0% (CI 75.7%-95.5%) and a likelihood ratio of 7.6 (CI 3.6-16.0) at a cutoff of 768 pg/mL. CSF pNfH and NfL levels were significantly lower in slow disease progressors, however, with a poor prognostic performance with respect to the disease progression rate. CSF pNfH and NfL levels increased significantly as function of the number of regions with both upper and lower motor involvement. In particular, CSF pNfH concentrations show an added value as diagnostic biomarkers for ALS, whereas the prognostic value of pNfH and NfL warrants further investigation. Both pNfH and NfL correlated with the extent of motor neuron degeneration. This study provides Class II evidence that elevated concentrations of CSF pNfH and NfL can accurately identify patients with ALS. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22443542

  18. 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.

  19. Intermittent Fasting Applied in Combination with Rotenone Treatment Exacerbates Dopamine Neurons Degeneration in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Tatulli

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Intermittent fasting (IF was suggested to be a powerful nutritional strategy to prevent the onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases associated with compromised brain bioenergetics. Whether the application of IF in combination with a mitochondrial insult could buffer the neurodegenerative process has never been explored yet. Herein, we defined the effects of IF in C57BL/6J mice treated once per 24 h with rotenone (Rot for 28 days. Rot is a neurotoxin that inhibits the mitochondrial complex I and causes dopamine neurons degeneration, thus reproducing the neurodegenerative process observed in Parkinson’s disease (PD. IF (24 h alternate-day fasting was applied alone or in concomitance with Rot treatment (Rot/IF. IF and Rot/IF groups showed the same degree of weight loss when compared to control and Rot groups. An accelerating rotarod test revealed that only Rot/IF mice have a decreased ability to sustain the test at the higher speeds. Rot/IF group showed a more marked decrease of dopaminergic neurons and increase in alpha-synuclein (α-syn accumulation with respect to Rot group in the substantia nigra (SN. Through lipidomics and metabolomics analyses, we found that in the SN of Rot/IF mice a significant elevation of excitatory amino acids, inflammatory lysophospholipids and sphingolipids occurred. Collectively, our data suggest that, when applied in combination with neurotoxin exposure, IF does not exert neuroprotective effects but rather exacerbate neuronal death by increasing the levels of excitatory amino acids and inflammatory lipids in association with altered brain membrane composition.

  20. Intermittent Fasting Applied in Combination with Rotenone Treatment Exacerbates Dopamine Neurons Degeneration in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatulli, Giuseppe; Mitro, Nico; Cannata, Stefano M; Audano, Matteo; Caruso, Donatella; D'Arcangelo, Giovanna; Lettieri-Barbato, Daniele; Aquilano, Katia

    2018-01-01

    Intermittent fasting (IF) was suggested to be a powerful nutritional strategy to prevent the onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases associated with compromised brain bioenergetics. Whether the application of IF in combination with a mitochondrial insult could buffer the neurodegenerative process has never been explored yet. Herein, we defined the effects of IF in C57BL/6J mice treated once per 24 h with rotenone (Rot) for 28 days. Rot is a neurotoxin that inhibits the mitochondrial complex I and causes dopamine neurons degeneration, thus reproducing the neurodegenerative process observed in Parkinson's disease (PD). IF (24 h alternate-day fasting) was applied alone or in concomitance with Rot treatment (Rot/IF). IF and Rot/IF groups showed the same degree of weight loss when compared to control and Rot groups. An accelerating rotarod test revealed that only Rot/IF mice have a decreased ability to sustain the test at the higher speeds. Rot/IF group showed a more marked decrease of dopaminergic neurons and increase in alpha-synuclein (α-syn) accumulation with respect to Rot group in the substantia nigra (SN). Through lipidomics and metabolomics analyses, we found that in the SN of Rot/IF mice a significant elevation of excitatory amino acids, inflammatory lysophospholipids and sphingolipids occurred. Collectively, our data suggest that, when applied in combination with neurotoxin exposure, IF does not exert neuroprotective effects but rather exacerbate neuronal death by increasing the levels of excitatory amino acids and inflammatory lipids in association with altered brain membrane composition.

  1. Neuroprotective and Ameliorating Impacts of Omega-3 Against Aspartame-induced Neuronal and Astrocytic Degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Eyad M T; Sonpol, Hany M A

    2017-07-01

    Aspartame (ASP) is one of the commonest artificial sweetener used all over the world and considered as an extremely risky compound and raises a lot of controversy. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate cellular damage of the anterior horn cells in the spinal cord of albino male rats and the possibility of hindering these changes by using omega-3 (OM3).Thirty seven adult male albino rats were divided into three groups: Control, ASP-treated and ASP + OM3-treated groups. Spinal cord sections were prepared and stained with Hx&E, caspase-3 and GFAP immunostaining. All data were morphometrically and statistically analyzed. In ASP-treated group, the cell body of some degenerated neurons was swollen and its cytoplasm was vacuolated. Their nuclei were eccentric and pyknotic. Moreover, other neurons were of a heterogeneous pattern in the form of cell body shrinkage, loss of Nissl substance, intensely stained eosinophilic cytoplasm and a small darkly stained nucleus that may eventually fragment. However, the cells were apparently normal in ASP+ OM3-treated group. Strong +ve caspase-3 stained neurons were detected in ASP-treated group. Furthermore, the immunoreaction was faint on treating the rats with both ASP and OM3. Few number of +ve GFAP- stained astrocytes were observed in ASP-treated rats. On the other hand, the immunoreactivity for GFAP was found to be intense in the ASP + OM3-treated group. Additionally, there was a significant decrease in the surface area percentage of the +ve GFAP-stained astrocytes of the ASP-treated group compared to the control and the ASP + OM3-treated groups. Anat Rec, 300:1290-1298, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Tobacco-induced neuronal degeneration via cotinine in rats subjected to experimental spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalgic, Ali; Okay, Onder; Helvacioglu, Fatma; Daglioglu, Ergun; Akdag, Rifat; Take, Gulnur; Belen, Deniz

    2013-05-01

    Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals including well-characterized toxicants and carcinogens, among which is cotinine. Cotinine is the principal metabolite of nicotine that has adverse affects on the microcirculation via vasoconstriction, hypoxia and the wound-healing cascade. Its impact on spinal cord injury (SCI) has not been investigated yet. The aim of the present study is to investigate the cotinine effect on SCI. 48 male Wistar rats were divided into six groups as follows: sham-control, sham-trauma, vehicle-control, vehicle-trauma, cotinine-control, and cotinine-trauma. Initially, a defined concentration of cotinine blood level was maintained by daily intraperitoneal injection of cotinine for 14 days in the cotinine groups. The concentration was similar to the cotinine dose in the blood level of heavy smokers. Only ethyl alcohol was injected in the vehicle groups during the same period. Then, SCI was performed by a Tator clip. The cotinine groups were compared with rats subjected to vehicle and sham groups by immunohistochemical biomarkers such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and 2,3-cyclic nucleotide 3-phosphodiesterase (CNP) expressions. Electron microscopic examination was also performed. GFAP-positive cells were noted to be localized around degenerated astrocytes. Marked vacuolization with perivascular and perineural edema was seen in the cotinin consumption groups. These findings showed the inhibition of regeneration after SCI. Similarly, vacuolization within myelin layers was noted in the cotinine groups, which was detected through reduced CNP expression. Cotinine, a main metabolite of nicotine, has harmful effects on SCI via GFAP and CNP expression. The findings of the present study support the hypothesis that tobacco causes neuronal degeneration via cotinine. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  5. Cell surface estrogen receptor alpha is upregulated during subchronic metabolic stress and inhibits neuronal cell degeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiana Barbati

    powerful cell-survival signal. These results shed new light on the pathogenetic mechanisms leading to neuronal cell degeneration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, X; Shimansky, Y; He, Jiping

    2005-01-01

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

  7. C9orf72 ablation in mice does not cause motor neuron degeneration or motor deficits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koppers, Max; Blokhuis, Anna M.; Westeneng, Henk Jan; Terpstra, Margo L.; Zundel, Caroline A C; Baptista Vieira de Sá, Renata; Schellevis, Raymond D.; Waite, Adrian J.; Blake, Derek J.; Veldink, Jan H.; Van Den Berg, Leonard H.; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen

    2015-01-01

    Objective: How hexanucleotide (GGGGCC) repeat expansions in C9ORF72 cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains poorly understood. Both gain- and loss-of-function mechanisms have been proposed. Evidence supporting these mechanisms in vivo is, however, incomplete. Here we determined the effect

  8. Intracerebroventricular Delivery in Mice for Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nizzardo, M; Rizzuti, M

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, Christine E; Kolb, Stephen J

    2018-08-15

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Rebecca; Cauchi, Ruben J

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Heavy Chronic Ethanol Exposure From Adolescence to Adulthood Induces Cerebellar Neuronal Loss and Motor Function Damage in Female Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando B. R. da Silva

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Over the last years, heavy ethanol consumption by teenagers/younger adults has increased considerably among females. However, few studies have addressed the long-term impact on brain structures’ morphology and function of chronic exposure to high ethanol doses from adolescence to adulthood in females. In line with this idea, in the current study we investigated whether heavy chronic ethanol exposure during adolescence to adulthood may induce motor impairments and morphological and cellular alterations in the cerebellum of female rats. Adolescent female Wistar rats (35 days old were treated with distilled water or ethanol (6.5 g/kg/day, 22.5% w/v during 55 days by gavage. At 90 days of age, motor function of animals was assessed using open field (OF, pole, beam walking and rotarod tests. Following completion of behavioral tests, morphological and immunohistochemical analyses of the cerebellum were performed. Chronic ethanol exposure impaired significantly motor performance of female rats, inducing spontaneous locomotor activity deficits, bradykinesia, incoordination and motor learning disruption. Moreover, histological analysis revealed that ethanol exposure induced atrophy and neuronal loss in the cerebellum. These findings indicate that heavy ethanol exposure during adolescence is associated with long-lasting cerebellar degeneration and motor impairments in female rats.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are neurodegenerative disorders that specifically affect the survival and function of upper and/or lower motor neurons. Since motor neurons are responsible for the control of voluntary muscular movement, MNDs are characterized by muscle spasticity, weakness and atrophy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Westerdahl Ann-Charlotte

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-09

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

  3. Nitrated alpha-synuclein immunity accelerates degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric J Benner

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The neuropathology of Parkinson's disease (PD includes loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, nitrated alpha-synuclein (N-alpha-Syn enriched intraneuronal inclusions or Lewy bodies and neuroinflammation. While the contribution of innate microglial inflammatory activities to disease are known, evidence for how adaptive immune mechanisms may affect the course of PD remains obscure. We reasoned that PD-associated oxidative protein modifications create novel antigenic epitopes capable of peripheral adaptive T cell responses that could affect nigrostriatal degeneration.Nitrotyrosine (NT-modified alpha-Syn was detected readily in cervical lymph nodes (CLN from 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP intoxicated mice. Antigen-presenting cells within the CLN showed increased surface expression of major histocompatibility complex class II, initiating the molecular machinery necessary for efficient antigen presentation. MPTP-treated mice produced antibodies to native and nitrated alpha-Syn. Mice immunized with the NT-modified C-terminal tail fragment of alpha-Syn, but not native protein, generated robust T cell proliferative and pro-inflammatory secretory responses specific only for the modified antigen. T cells generated against the nitrated epitope do not respond to the unmodified protein. Mice deficient in T and B lymphocytes were resistant to MPTP-induced neurodegeneration. Transfer of T cells from mice immunized with N-alpha-Syn led to a robust neuroinflammatory response with accelerated dopaminergic cell loss.These data show that NT modifications within alpha-Syn, can bypass or break immunological tolerance and activate peripheral leukocytes in draining lymphoid tissue. A novel mechanism for disease is made in that NT modifications in alpha-Syn induce adaptive immune responses that exacerbate PD pathobiology. These results have implications for both the pathogenesis and treatment of this disabling neurodegenerative disease.

  4. Cerebellar Degeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... FARA) National Ataxia Foundation (NAF) National Multiple Sclerosis Society See all related organizations Publications Degeneración cerebelosa Order NINDS Publications Definition Cerebellar degeneration is a process in which neurons ( ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Chrystian J.; Dariolli, Rafael; Jorge, Frederico M.; Monteiro, Matheus R.; Maximino, Jessica R.; Martins, Roberto S.; Strauss, Bryan E.; Krieger, José E.; Callegaro, Dagoberto; Chadi, Gerson

    2015-01-01

    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 with sporadic ALS

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-27

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  8. Accumulation of oligomer-prone α-synuclein exacerbates synaptic and neuronal degeneration in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockenstein, Edward; Nuber, Silke; Overk, Cassia R; Ubhi, Kiren; Mante, Michael; Patrick, Christina; Adame, Anthony; Trejo-Morales, Margarita; Gerez, Juan; Picotti, Paola; Jensen, Poul H; Campioni, Silvia; Riek, Roland; Winkler, Jürgen; Gage, Fred H; Winner, Beate; Masliah, Eliezer

    2014-05-01

    In Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, α-synuclein aggregates to form oligomers and fibrils; however, the precise nature of the toxic α-synuclein species remains unclear. A number of synthetic α-synuclein mutations were recently created (E57K and E35K) that produce species of α-synuclein that preferentially form oligomers and increase α-synuclein-mediated toxicity. We have shown that acute lentiviral expression of α-synuclein E57K leads to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons; however, the effects of chronic expression of oligomer-prone α-synuclein in synapses throughout the brain have not been investigated. Such a study could provide insight into the possible mechanism(s) through which accumulation of α-synuclein oligomers in the synapse leads to neurodegeneration. For this purpose, we compared the patterns of neurodegeneration and synaptic damage between a newly generated mThy-1 α-synuclein E57K transgenic mouse model that is prone to forming oligomers and the mThy-1 α-synuclein wild-type mouse model (Line 61), which accumulates various forms of α-synuclein. Three lines of α-synuclein E57K (Lines 9, 16 and 54) were generated and compared with the wild-type. The α-synuclein E57K Lines 9 and 16 were higher expressings of α-synuclein, similar to α-synuclein wild-type Line 61, and Line 54 was a low expressing of α-synuclein compared to Line 61. By immunoblot analysis, the higher-expressing α-synuclein E57K transgenic mice showed abundant oligomeric, but not fibrillar, α-synuclein whereas lower-expressing mice accumulated monomeric α-synuclein. Monomers, oligomers, and fibrils were present in α-synuclein wild-type Line 61. Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses demonstrated that α-synuclein accumulated in the synapses but not in the neuronal cells bodies, which was different from the α-synuclein wild-type Line 61, which accumulates α-synuclein in the soma. Compared to non-transgenic and lower-expressing mice, the

  9. 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.

  10. Revisiting the spectrum of lower motor neuron diseases with snake eyes appearance on magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebouteux, M-V; Franques, J; Guillevin, R; Delmont, E; Lenglet, T; Bede, P; Desnuelle, C; Pouget, J; Pascal-Mousselard, H; Pradat, P-F

    2014-09-01

    The 'snake eyes' sign refers to bilateral hyperintensities of the anterior horns on axial spinal cord imaging. Based on sporadic reports, it has been associated with a range of lower motor neuron (LMN) syndromes, such as spondylotic amyotrophy and Hirayama disease, as well as spinal cord infarction. The objective of our study was to comprehensively characterize the full diagnostic spectrum of LMN syndromes with this radiological clue and discuss potential aetiological factors. A large patient cohort with snake eyes sign and upper limb LMN degeneration was recruited from three French neuromuscular units. Patients underwent detailed electrophysiological, radiological, clinical and anamnestic profiling. Twenty-nine patients were ascertained and followed up for 9.5 ± 8.6 years. The majority of the patients were male (86.2%) with a mean age of 37.3 ± 14.4 years. Symptoms were bilateral in most cases (86.2%). Patients with predominantly proximal and distal deficits were equally represented (44.8% and 55.2%, respectively). A history of preceding trauma or intense physical activity was confirmed in 58.6% of the cases; 27.6% of the patients were given an initial clinical diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and 51.7% were originally suspected to have multifocal motor neuropathy. None of the patients developed ALS on longitudinal follow-up. The snake eyes sign on magnetic resonance imaging is associated with a wide spectrum of neurological conditions and is more common in young men with a history of strenuous activity or antecedent trauma. The recognition of this syndrome is crucial as many of these patients are initially misdiagnosed with ALS. © 2014 The Author(s) European Journal of Neurology © 2014 EAN.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharyn L Rossi

    2010-07-01

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

  12. Early functional impairment of sensory-motor connectivity in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mentis, George Z.; Blivis, Dvir; Liu, Wenfang; Drobac, Estelle; Crowder, Melissa E.; Kong, Lingling; Alvarez, Francisco J.; Sumner, Charlotte J.; O'Donovan, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY To define alterations of neuronal connectivity that occur during motor neuron degeneration, we characterized the function and structure of spinal circuitry in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) model mice. SMA motor neurons show reduced proprioceptive reflexes that correlate with decreased number and function of synapses on motor neuron somata and proximal dendrites. These abnormalities occur at an early stage of disease in motor neurons innervating proximal hindlimb muscles and medial motor neurons innervating axial muscles, but only at end-stage disease in motor neurons innervating distal hindlimb muscles. Motor neuron loss follows afferent synapse loss with the same temporal and topographical pattern. Trichostatin A, which improves motor behavior and survival of SMA mice, partially restores spinal reflexes illustrating the reversibility of these synaptic defects. De-afferentation of motor neurons is an early event in SMA and may be a primary cause of motor dysfunction that is amenable to therapeutic intervention. PMID:21315257

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negro, Francesco; Yavuz, Utku Şükrü

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Primary Lateral Sclerosis and Early Upper Motor Neuron Disease: Characteristics of a Cross-Sectional Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Christina N; Murphy, Alyssa; Loci, Lorena; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; Kisanuki, Yasushi; Simmons, Zachary; Maragakis, Nicholas J; McVey, April L; Al-Lahham, Tawfiq; Heiman-Patterson, Terry D; Andrews, Jinsy; McDonnell, Erin; Cudkowicz, Merit; Atassi, Nazem

    2016-03-01

    The goals of this study were to characterize clinical and electrophysiologic findings of subjects with upper motor neuron disease and to explore feasibility of clinical trials in this population. Twenty northeast amyotrophic lateral sclerosis consortium (northeast amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) sites performed chart reviews to identify active clinical pure upper motor neuron disease patients. Patients with hereditary spastic paraplegia or meeting revised El Escorial electrodiagnostic criteria for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were excluded. Patients were classified into 2 groups according to the presence or absence of minor electromyography (EMG) abnormalities. Two hundred thirty-three subjects with upper motor neuron disease were identified; 217 had available EMG data. Normal EMGs were seen in 140 subjects, and 77 had minor denervation. Mean disease duration was 84 (±80) months for the entire cohort with no difference seen between the 2 groups. No difference was seen in clinical symptoms, disability, or outcome measures between the 2 groups after correcting for multiple comparisons. Minor EMG abnormalities were not associated with phenotypic differences in a clinical upper motor neuron disease population. These findings suggest that subtle EMG abnormalities can not necessarily be used as a prognostic tool in patients with clinical upper motor neuron disease. This study also demonstrates the availability of a large number of patients with upper motor neuron diseases within the northeast amyotrophic lateral sclerosis network and suggests feasibility for conducting clinical trials in this population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Role of Nitric Oxide in MPTP-Induced Dopaminergic Neuron Degeneration

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Przedborski, Serge

    2002-01-01

    ...) induced dopaminergic (DA) neuron death in this mouse model of Parkinson's Disease (PD). Our previous work demonstrated that the superoxide radical is involved in the MPTP neurotoxic process in SNpc DA neurons...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  20. Co-induction of p75(NTR) and the associated death executor NADE in degenerating hippocampal neurons after kainate-induced seizures in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Jung-Sun; Lee, Soon-Keum; Sato, Taka-Aki; Koh, Jae-Young

    2003-08-21

    Zinc induces in cultured cortical neurons both p75(NTR) and p75(NTR)-associated death executor (NADE), which together contribute to caspase-dependent neuronal apoptosis. Since zinc neurotoxicity may contribute to neuronal death following seizures, we examined whether p75(NTR) and NADE are co-induced also in rat hippocampal neurons degenerating after seizures. Staining of brain sections with a zinc-specific fluorescent dye (N-(6-methoxy-8-quinolyl)-p-carboxybenzoylsulphonamide) and acid fuchsin revealed zinc accumulation in degenerating neuronal cell bodies in CA1 and CA3 of hippocampus 24 h after kainate injection. Both anti-p75(NTR) and anti-NADE immunoreactivities appeared in zinc-accumulating/degenerating neurons in both areas. Intraventricular injection of CaEDTA, without altering the severity or time course of kainate-induced seizures, markedly attenuated the induction of p75(NTR)/NADE in hippocampus, which correlated with the decrease of caspase-3 activation and zinc accumulation/cell death. The present study has demonstrated that p75(NTR) and NADE are co-induced in neurons degenerating after kainate-induced seizures in rats, likely in a zinc-dependent manner.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Axonal degeneration is a pathological symbol in the early stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which can be triggered by amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide deposition. Growing evidence indicates that deficit of autophagy eventually leads to the axonal degeneration. Our previous studies have shown that Dendrobium nobile Lindl alkaloid (DNLA) had protective effect on neuron impairment in vivo and in vitro; however, the underlying mechanisms is still unclear. We exposed cultured hippocampus neurons to Aβ 25-35 to investigate the effect of DNLA in vitro. Axonal degeneration was evaluated by immunofluorescence staining and MTT assay. Neurons overexpressing GFP-LC3B were used to measure the formation of autophagosome. Autophagosome-lysosome fusion, the lysosomal pH, and cathepsin activity were assessed to reflect autophagy process. Proteins of interest were analyzed by Western blot. DNLA pretreatment significantly inhibited axonal degeneration induced by Aβ 25-35 peptide in vitro. Further studies revealed DNLA treatment increased autophagic flux through promoting formation and degradation of autophagosome in hippocampus neurons. Moreover, enhancement of autophagic flux was responsible for the protective effects of DNLA on axonal degeneration. DNLA prevents Aβ 25-35 -induced axonal degeneration via activation of autophagy process and could be a novel therapeutic target. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Background: Spinal cord injury leads to neurological dysfunctions affecting the motor, sensory as well as the autonomic systems. Increased excitability of motor neurons has been implicated in injury-induced spasticity, where the reappearance of self-sustained plateau potentials in the absence of ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahlke, Carolin; Saberi, Darius; Ott, Bastian

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-04

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen L Elliott

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

  10. Activation of muscarinic receptors protects against retinal neurons damage and optic nerve degeneration in vitro and in vivo models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Pan-Pan; Yuan, Hai-Hong; Zhu, Xu; Cui, Yong-Yao; Li, Hui; Feng, Xue-Mei; Qiu, Yu; Chen, Hong-Zhuan; Zhou, Wei

    2014-03-01

    Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor agonist pilocarpine reduces intraocular pressure (IOP) of glaucoma mainly by stimulating ciliary muscle contraction and then increasing aqueous outflow. It is of our great interest to know whether pilocarpine has the additional properties of retinal neuroprotection independent of IOP lowering in vitro and in vivo models. In rat primary retinal cultures, cell viability was measured using an MTT assay and the trypan blue exclusion method, respectively. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were identified by immunofluorescence and quantified by flow cytometry. For the in vivo study, the retinal damage after retinal ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats was evaluated by histopathological study using hematoxylin and eosin staining, transmission electron microscopy, and immunohistochemical study on cleaved caspase-3, caspase-3, and ChAT. Pretreatment of pilocarpine attenuated glutamate-induced neurotoxicity of primary retinal neurons in a dose-dependent manner. Protection of pilocarpine in both retinal neurons and RGCs was largely abolished by the nonselective muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine and the M1-selective muscarinic receptor antagonist pirenzepine. After ischemia/reperfusion injury in retina, the inner retinal degeneration occurred including ganglion cell layer thinning and neuron lost, and the optic nerve underwent vacuolar changes. These degenerative changes were significantly lessened by topical application of 2% pilocarpine. In addition, the protective effect of pilocarpine on the ischemic rat retina was favorably reflected by downregulating the expression of activated apoptosis marker cleaved caspase-3 and caspase-3 and upregulating the expression of cholinergic cell marker ChAT. Taken together, this highlights pilocarpine through the activation of muscarinic receptors appear to afford significant protection against retinal neurons damage and optic nerve degeneration at clinically relevant concentrations. These data also

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Manoj Kumar Jaiswal

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaiswal, Manoj Kumar

    2017-05-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Loss of Mitochondrial Ndufs4 in Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons Mediates Progressive Motor Impairment in a Mouse Model of Leigh Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byron Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Inability of mitochondria to generate energy leads to severe and often fatal myoencephalopathies. Among these, Leigh syndrome (LS is one of the most common childhood mitochondrial diseases; it is characterized by hypotonia, failure to thrive, respiratory insufficiency and progressive mental and motor dysfunction, leading to early death. Basal ganglia nuclei, including the striatum, are affected in LS patients. However, neither the identity of the affected cell types in the striatum nor their contribution to the disease has been established. Here, we used a mouse model of LS lacking Ndufs4, a mitochondrial complex I subunit, to confirm that loss of complex I, but not complex II, alters respiration in the striatum. To assess the role of striatal dysfunction in the pathology, we selectively inactivated Ndufs4 in the striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs, which account for over 95% of striatal neurons. Our results show that lack of Ndufs4 in MSNs causes a non-fatal progressive motor impairment without affecting the cognitive function of mice. Furthermore, no inflammatory responses or neuronal loss were observed up to 6 months of age. Hence, complex I deficiency in MSNs contributes to the motor deficits observed in LS, but not to the neural degeneration, suggesting that other neuronal populations drive the plethora of clinical signs in LS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disterhoft, J F; Segal, M

    1978-01-01

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

  16. Progressive retinal degeneration and glial activation in the CLN6 (nclf mouse model of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis: a beneficial effect of DHA and curcumin supplementation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myriam Mirza

    Full Text Available Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL is a group of neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorders characterized by vision loss, mental and motor deficits, and spontaneous seizures. Neuropathological analyses of autopsy material from NCL patients and animal models revealed brain atrophy closely associated with glial activity. Earlier reports also noticed loss of retinal cells and reactive gliosis in some forms of NCL. To study this phenomenon in detail, we analyzed the ocular phenotype of CLN6 (nclf mice, an established mouse model for variant-late infantile NCL. Retinal morphometry, immunohistochemistry, optokinetic tracking, electroretinography, and mRNA expression were used to characterize retinal morphology and function as well as the responses of Müller cells and microglia. Our histological data showed a severe and progressive degeneration in the CLN6 (nclf retina co-inciding with reactive Müller glia. Furthermore, a prominent phenotypic transformation of ramified microglia to phagocytic, bloated, and mislocalized microglial cells was identified in CLN6 (nclf retinas. These events overlapped with a rapid loss of visual perception and retinal function. Based on the strong microglia reactivity we hypothesized that dietary supplementation with immuno-regulatory compounds, curcumin and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, could ameliorate microgliosis and reduce retinal degeneration. Our analyses showed that treatment of three-week-old CLN6 (nclf mice with either 5% DHA or 0.6% curcumin for 30 weeks resulted in a reduced number of amoeboid reactive microglia and partially improved retinal function. DHA-treatment also improved the morphology of CLN6 (nclf retinas with a preserved thickness of the photoreceptor layer in most regions of the retina. Our results suggest that microglial reactivity closely accompanies disease progression in the CLN6 (nclf retina and both processes can be attenuated with dietary supplemented immuno-modulating compounds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2018-01-01

    Motor neurons in the spinal cord are found grouped in nuclear structures termed pools, whose position is precisely orchestrated during development. Despite the emerging role of pool organization in the assembly of spinal circuits, little is known about the morphogenetic programs underlying the patterning of motor neuron subtypes. We applied three-dimensional analysis of motor neuron position to reveal the roles and contributions of cell adhesive function by inactivating N-cadherin, catenin, a...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  20. Action observation and mirror neuron network: a tool for motor stroke rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sale, P; Franceschini, M

    2012-06-01

    Mirror neurons are a specific class of neurons that are activated and discharge both during observation of the same or similar motor act performed by another individual and during the execution of a motor act. Different studies based on non invasive neuroelectrophysiological assessment or functional brain imaging techniques have demonstrated the presence of the mirror neuron and their mechanism in humans. Various authors have demonstrated that in the human these networks are activated when individuals learn motor actions via execution (as in traditional motor learning), imitation, observation (as in observational learning) and motor imagery. Activation of these brain areas (inferior parietal lobe and the ventral premotor cortex, as well as the caudal part of the inferior frontal gyrus [IFG]) following observation or motor imagery may thereby facilitate subsequent movement execution by directly matching the observed or imagined action to the internal simulation of that action. It is therefore believed that this multi-sensory action-observation system enables individuals to (re) learn impaired motor functions through the activation of these internal action-related representations. In humans, the mirror mechanism is also located in various brain segment: in Broca's area, which is involved in language processing and speech production and not only in centres that mediate voluntary movement, but also in cortical areas that mediate visceromotor emotion-related behaviours. On basis of this finding, during the last 10 years various studies were carry out regarding the clinical use of action observation for motor rehabilitation of sub-acute and chronic stroke patients.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyabi Hirano

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

  3. Targeting the Full Length of the Motor End Plate Regions in the Mouse Forelimb Increases the Uptake of Fluoro-Gold into Corresponding Spinal Cord Motor Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Paul Tosolini

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Lower motor neuron dysfunction is one of the most debilitating motor conditions. In this regard, transgenic mouse models of various lower motor neuron dysfunctions provide insight into the mechanisms underlying these pathologies and can also aid the development of new therapies. Viral-mediated gene therapy can take advantage of the muscle-motor neuron topographical relationship to shuttle therapeutic genes into specific populations of motor neurons in these mouse models. In this context, motor end plates (MEPs are highly specialised regions on the skeletal musculature that offer direct access to the pre-synaptic nerve terminals, henceforth to the spinal cord motor neurons. The aim of this study was two-folded. First it was to characterise the exact position of the MEP regions for several muscles of the mouse forelimb using acetylcholinesterase histochemistry. This MEP-muscle map was then used to guide a series of intramuscular injections of Fluoro-Gold (FG in order to characterise the distribution of the innervating motor neurons. This analysis revealed that the MEPs are typically organised in an orthogonal fashion across the muscle fibres and extending throughout the full width of each muscle. Furthermore, targeting the full length of the MEP regions gave rise to a seemingly greater number of labelled motor neurons that are organised into columns spanning through more spinal cord segments than previously reported. The present analysis suggests that targeting the full width of the muscles’ MEP regions with FG increases the somatic availability of the tracer. This process ensures a greater uptake of the tracer by the pre-synaptic nerve terminals, hence maximising the labelling in spinal cord motor neurons. This investigation should have positive implications for future studies involving the somatic delivery of therapeutic genes into motor neurons for the treatment of various motor dysfunctions.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tuttle, J.B.; Pilar, G.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Guo

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-30

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

  12. Differentiation of neuronal stem cells into motor neurons using electrospun poly-L-lactic acid/gelatin scaffold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binan, Loïc; Tendey, Charlène; De Crescenzo, Gregory; El Ayoubi, Rouwayda; Ajji, Abdellah; Jolicoeur, Mario

    2014-01-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) provide promising therapeutic potential for cell replacement therapy in spinal cord injury (SCI). However, high increases of cell viability and poor control of cell differentiation remain major obstacles. In this study, we have developed a non-woven material made of co-electrospun fibers of poly L-lactic acid and gelatin with a degradation rate and mechanical properties similar to peripheral nerve tissue and investigated their effect on cell survival and differentiation into motor neuronal lineages through the controlled release of retinoic acid (RA) and purmorphamine. Engineered Neural Stem-Like Cells (NSLCs) seeded on these fibers, with and without the instructive cues, differentiated into β-III-tubulin, HB-9, Islet-1, and choactase-positive motor neurons by immunostaining, in response to the release of the biomolecules. In addition, the bioactive material not only enhanced the differentiation into motor neuronal lineages but also promoted neurite outgrowth. This study elucidated that a combination of electrospun fiber scaffolds, neural stem cells, and controlled delivery of instructive cues could lead to the development of a better strategy for peripheral nerve injury repair. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. An intersectional gene regulatory strategy defines subclass diversity of C. elegans motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kratsios, Paschalis; Kerk, Sze Yen; Catela, Catarina; Liang, Joseph; Vidal, Berta; Bayer, Emily A; Feng, Weidong; De La Cruz, Estanisla Daniel; Croci, Laura; Consalez, G Giacomo; Mizumoto, Kota; Hobert, Oliver

    2017-07-05

    A core principle of nervous system organization is the diversification of neuron classes into subclasses that share large sets of features but differ in select traits. We describe here a molecular mechanism necessary for motor neurons to acquire subclass-specific traits in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans . Cholinergic motor neuron classes of the ventral nerve cord can be subdivided into subclasses along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis based on synaptic connectivity patterns and molecular features. The conserved COE-type terminal selector UNC-3 not only controls the expression of traits shared by all members of a neuron class, but is also required for subclass-specific traits expressed along the A-P axis. UNC-3, which is not regionally restricted, requires region-specific cofactors in the form of Hox proteins to co-activate subclass-specific effector genes in post-mitotic motor neurons. This intersectional gene regulatory principle for neuronal subclass diversification may be conserved from nematodes to mice.

  14. An autopsy-verified case of FTLD-TDP type A with upper motor neuron-predominant motor neuron disease mimicking MM2-thalamic-type sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Yuichi; Iwasaki, Yasushi; Takekoshi, Akira; Yoshikura, Nobuaki; Asano, Takahiko; Mimuro, Maya; Kimura, Akio; Satoh, Katsuya; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Yoshida, Mari; Inuzuka, Takashi

    2016-11-01

    Here we report an autopsy-verified case of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD)-transactivation responsive region (TAR) DNA binding protein (TDP) type A with upper motor neuron-predominant motor neuron disease mimicking MM2-thalamic-type sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). A 69-year-old woman presented with an 11-month history of progressive dementia, irritability, insomnia, and gait disturbance without a family history of dementia or prion disease. Neurological examination revealed severe dementia, frontal signs, and exaggerated bilateral tendon reflexes. Periodic sharp-wave complexes were not observed on the electroencephalogram. Brain diffusion MRI did not reveal abnormal changes. An easy Z score (eZIS) analysis for 99m Tc-ECD-single photon emission computed tomography ( 99m Tc-ECD-SPECT) revealed a bilateral decrease in thalamic regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF). PRNP gene analysis demonstrated methionine homozygosity at codon 129 without mutation. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis showed normal levels of both 14-3-3 and total tau proteins. Conversely, prion protein was slowly amplified in the CSF by a real-time quaking-induced conversion assay. Her symptoms deteriorated to a state of akinetic mutism, and she died of sudden cardiac arrest, one year after symptom onset.  Despite the SPECT results supporting a clinical diagnosis of MM2-thalamic-type sCJD, a postmortem assessment revealed that this was a case of FTLD-TDP type A, and excluded prion disease. Thus, this case indicates that whereas a bilateral decreasing thalamic rCBF detected by 99m Tc-ECD-SPECT can be useful for diagnosing MM2-thalamic-type sCJD, it is not sufficiently specific. Postmortem diagnosis remains the gold standard for the diagnosis of this condition.

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

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    Jianing Yu

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Layer 5 pyramidal neurons comprise an important but heterogeneous group of cortical projection neurons. In motor-frontal cortex, these neurons are centrally involved in the cortical control of movement. Recent studies indicate that local excitatory networks in mouse motor-frontal cortex are dominated by descending pathways from layer 2/3 to 5. However, those pathways were identified in experiments involving unlabeled neurons in wild type mice. Here, to explore the possibility of class-specific connectivity in this descending pathway, we mapped the local sources of excitatory synaptic input to a genetically labeled population of cortical neurons: YFP-positive layer 5 neurons of YFP-H mice. We found, first, that in motor cortex, YFP-positive neurons were distributed in a double blade, consistent with the idea of layer 5B having greater thickness in frontal neocortex. Second, whereas unlabeled neurons in upper layer 5 received their strongest inputs from layer 2, YFP-positive neurons in the upper blade received prominent layer 3 inputs. Third, YFP-positive neurons exhibited distinct electrophysiological properties, including low spike frequency adaptation, as reported previously. Our results with this genetically labeled neuronal population indicate the presence of distinct local-circuit phenotypes among layer 5 pyramidal neurons in mouse motor-frontal cortex, and present a paradigm for investigating local circuit organization in other genetically labeled populations of cortical neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  18. Modeling motor neuron disease: the matter of time

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

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    Hiroshi Nango

    2017-10-01

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

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

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    Daniel Édgar Cortés

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-06

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

  8. Lesion of the locus coeruleus aggravates dopaminergic neuron degeneration by modulating microglial function in mouse models of Parkinson׳s disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Ning; Wu, Yanhong; Zhou, Yan; Ju, Lili; Liu, Yujun; Ju, Rongkai; Duan, Deyi; Xu, Qunyuan

    2015-11-02

    The degeneration of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) commonly occurs in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), which is characterized by a selective injury of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). The pathological impact of the LC on the SN in the disease is unknown. In the present study, we used a noradrenergic toxin, N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP4), to deplete noradrenaline (NA) derived from the LC to explore its influence on degeneration or injury of dopaminergic neurons in the SN in mouse model produced by intraperitoneal injection of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Our results demonstrated that lesion of the LC could change microglial function in the brain, which led to enhanced or prolonged expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, diminished neurotrophic factors, and weakened ability of anti-oxidation in the SN. The in vitro experiments further confirmed that NA could reduce the inflammatory reaction of microglia. The selective injury of dopaminergic neurons by inflammation, however, was due to the inflammation in different brain regions rather than the depletion of NA. Our results indicate that the lesion in the LC is an important factor in promoting dopaminergic neuron degeneration by impacting the function of microglia in the midbrain. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Moderately delayed post-insult treatment with normobaric hyperoxia reduces excitotoxin-induced neuronal degeneration but increases ischemia-induced brain damage

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    Haelewyn Benoit

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The use and benefits of normobaric oxygen (NBO in patients suffering acute ischemic stroke is still controversial. Results Here we show for the first time to the best of our knowledge that NBO reduces both NMDA-induced calcium influxes in vitro and NMDA-induced neuronal degeneration in vivo, but increases oxygen and glucose deprivation-induced cell injury in vitro and ischemia-induced brain damage produced by middle cerebral artery occlusion in vivo. Conclusions Taken together, these results indicate that NBO reduces excitotoxin-induced calcium influx and subsequent neuronal degeneration but favors ischemia-induced brain damage and neuronal death. These findings highlight the complexity of the mechanisms involved by the use of NBO in patients suffering acute ischemic stroke.

  12. Progranulin modulates zebrafish motoneuron development in vivo and rescues truncation defects associated with knockdown of Survival motor neuron 1

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    Bateman Andrew

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Progranulin (PGRN encoded by the GRN gene, is a secreted glycoprotein growth factor that has been implicated in many physiological and pathophysiological processes. PGRN haploinsufficiency caused by autosomal dominant mutations within the GRN gene leads to progressive neuronal atrophy in the form of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD. This form of the disease is associated with neuronal inclusions that bear the ubiquitinated TAR DNA Binding Protein-43 (TDP-43 molecular signature (FTLD-U. The neurotrophic properties of PGRN in vitro have recently been reported but the role of PGRN in neurons is not well understood. Here we document the neuronal expression and functions of PGRN in spinal cord motoneuron (MN maturation and branching in vivo using zebrafish, a well established model of vertebrate embryonic development. Results Whole-mount in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical analyses of zebrafish embryos revealed that zfPGRN-A is expressed within the peripheral and central nervous systems including the caudal primary (CaP MNs within the spinal cord. Knockdown of zfPGRN-A mRNA translation mediated by antisense morpholino oligonucleotides disrupted normal CaP MN development resulting in both truncated MNs and inappropriate early branching. Ectopic over-expression of zfPGRN-A mRNA resulted in increased MN branching and rescued the truncation defects brought about by knockdown of zfPGRN-A expression. The ability of PGRN to interact with established MN developmental pathways was tested. PGRN over-expression was found to reverse the truncation defect resulting from knockdown of Survival of motor neuron 1 (smn1. This is involved in small ribonucleoprotein biogenesis RNA processing, mutations of which cause Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA in humans. It did not reverse the MN defects caused by interfering with the neuronal guidance pathway by knockdown of expression of NRP-1, a semaphorin co-receptor. Conclusions Expression of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, J D

    2000-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    So Young Jung

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Knock-out of a mitochondrial sirtuin protects neurons from degeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangaletti, Rachele; D'Amico, Massimo; Grant, Jeff; Della-Morte, David; Bianchi, Laura

    2017-08-01

    Sirtuins are NAD⁺-dependent deacetylases, lipoamidases, and ADP-ribosyltransferases that link cellular metabolism to multiple intracellular pathways that influence processes as diverse as cell survival, longevity, and cancer growth. Sirtuins influence the extent of neuronal death in stroke. However, different sirtuins appear to have opposite roles in neuronal protection. In Caenorhabditis elegans, we found that knock-out of mitochondrial sirtuin sir-2.3, homologous to mammalian SIRT4, is protective in both chemical ischemia and hyperactive channel induced necrosis. Furthermore, the protective effect of sir-2.3 knock-out is enhanced by block of glycolysis and eliminated by a null mutation in daf-16/FOXO transcription factor, supporting the involvement of the insulin/IGF pathway. However, data in Caenorhabditis elegans cell culture suggest that the effects of sir-2.3 knock-out act downstream of the DAF-2/IGF-1 receptor. Analysis of ROS in sir-2.3 knock-out reveals that ROS become elevated in this mutant under ischemic conditions in dietary deprivation (DD), but to a lesser extent than in wild type, suggesting more robust activation of a ROS scavenging system in this mutant in the absence of food. This work suggests a deleterious role of SIRT4 during ischemic processes in mammals that must be further investigated and reveals a novel pathway that can be targeted for the design of therapies aimed at protecting neurons from death in ischemic conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma Rakesh

    2004-05-01

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

  7. Tissue Plasminogen Activator Induction in Purkinje Neurons After Cerebellar Motor Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeds, Nicholas W.; Williams, Brian L.; Bickford, Paula C.

    1995-12-01

    The cerebellar cortex is implicated in the learning of complex motor skills. This learning may require synaptic remodeling of Purkinje cell inputs. An extracellular serine protease, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), is involved in remodeling various nonneural tissues and is associated with developing and regenerating neurons. In situ hybridization showed that expression of tPA messenger RNA was increased in the Purkinje neurons of rats within an hour of their being trained for a complex motor task. Antibody to tPA also showed the induction of tPA protein associated with cerebellar Purkinje cells. Thus, the induction of tPA during motor learning may play a role in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keilhoff, Gerburg; Lucas, Benjamin; Pinkernelle, Josephine; Steiner, Michael; Fansa, Hisham

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ouafa Benzina

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

  12. Degeneration and regeneration of motor and sensory nerves: a stereological study of crush lesions in rat facial and mental nerves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barghash, Ziad; Larsen, Jytte Overgaard; Al-Bishri, Awad

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the degeneration and regeneration of a sensory nerve and a motor nerve at the histological level after a crush injury. Twenty-five female Wistar rats had their mental nerve and the buccal branch of their facial nerve compressed unilaterally against a glass rod...... for 30 s. Specimens of the compressed nerves and the corresponding control nerves were dissected at 3, 7, and 19 days after surgery. Nerve cross-sections were stained with osmium tetroxide and toluidine blue and analysed using two-dimensional stereology. We found differences between the two nerves both...... in the normal anatomy and in the regenerative pattern. The mental nerve had a larger cross-sectional area including all tissue components. The mental nerve had a larger volume fraction of myelinated axons and a correspondingly smaller volume fraction of endoneurium. No differences were observed...

  13. Intracortical Microstimulation (ICMS) Activates Motor Cortex Layer 5 Pyramidal Neurons Mainly Transsynaptically.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussin, Ahmed T; Boychuk, Jeffery A; Brown, Andrew R; Pittman, Quentin J; Teskey, G Campbell

    2015-01-01

    Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) is a technique used for a number of purposes including the derivation of cortical movement representations (motor maps). Its application can activate the output layer 5 of motor cortex and can result in the elicitation of body movements depending upon the stimulus parameters used. The extent to which pyramidal tract projection neurons of the motor cortex are activated transsynaptically or directly by ICMS remains an open question. Given this uncertainty in the mode of activation, we used a preparation that combined patch clamp whole-cell recordings from single layer 5 pyramidal neurons and extracellular ICMS in slices of motor cortex as well as a standard in vivo mapping technique to ask how ICMS activated motor cortex pyramidal neurons. We measured changes in synaptic spike threshold and spiking rate to ICMS in vitro and movement threshold in vivo in the presence or absence of specific pharmacological blockers of glutamatergic (AMPA, NMDA and Kainate) receptors and GABAA receptors. With major excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission blocked (with DNQX, APV and bicuculline methiodide), we observed a significant increase in the ICMS current intensity required to elicit a movement in vivo as well as to the first spike and an 85% reduction in spiking responses in vitro. Subsets of neurons were still responsive after the synaptic block, especially at higher current intensities, suggesting a modest direct activation. Taken together our data indicate a mainly synaptic mode of activation to ICMS in layer 5 of rat motor cortex. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Robert M; Blitz, Dawn M

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

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    Matías A Goldin

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  4. Area-specific temporal control of corticospinal motor neuron differentiation by COUP-TFI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomassy, Giulio Srubek; De Leonibus, Elvira; Jabaudon, Denis; Lodato, Simona; Alfano, Christian; Mele, Andrea; Macklis, Jeffrey D.; Studer, Michèle

    2010-01-01

    Transcription factors with gradients of expression in neocortical progenitors give rise to distinct motor and sensory cortical areas by controlling the area-specific differentiation of distinct neuronal subtypes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this area-restricted control are still unclear. Here, we show that COUP-TFI controls the timing of birth and specification of corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) in somatosensory cortex via repression of a CSMN differentiation program. Loss of COUP-TFI function causes an area-specific premature generation of neurons with cardinal features of CSMN, which project to subcerebral structures, including the spinal cord. Concurrently, genuine CSMN differentiate imprecisely and do not project beyond the pons, together resulting in impaired skilled motor function in adult mice with cortical COUP-TFI loss-of-function. Our findings indicate that COUP-TFI exerts critical areal and temporal control over the precise differentiation of CSMN during corticogenesis, thereby enabling the area-specific functional features of motor and sensory areas to arise. PMID:20133588

  5. Mitochondrial fragmentation in neuronal degeneration: Toward an understanding of HD striatal susceptibility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cherubini, Marta; Ginés, Silvia

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant progressive neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects medium spiny neurons within the striatum. HD is caused by inheritance of an expanded CAG repeat in the HTT gene, resulting in a mutant huntingtin (mHtt) protein containing extra glutamine residues. Despite the advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in HD the preferential vulnerability of the striatum remains an intriguing question. This review discusses current knowledge that links altered mitochondrial dynamics with striatal susceptibility in HD. We also highlight how the modulation of mitochondrial function may constitute an attractive therapeutic approach to reduce mHtt-induced toxicity and therefore prevent the selective striatal neurodegeneration. - Highlights: • Mitochondrial dynamics is unbalanced towards fission in HD. • Excessive mitochondrial fragmentation plays a critical role in the selective vulnerability of the striatum in HD. • Therapeutic approaches aimed to inhibit mitochondrial fission could contribute to prevent striatal neurodegeneration in HD.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Rescuing cholinergic neurons from apoptotic degeneration by targeting of serotonin modulator- and apolipoprotein E-conjugated liposomes to the hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuo YC

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Yung-Chih Kuo, Yin-Jung Lee Department of Chemical Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan, Republic of China Abstract: β-Amyloid (Aβ-targeting liposomes (LIP with surface serotonin modulator (SM and apolipoprotein E (ApoE were utilized to facilitate the delivery of nerve growth factor (NGF across the blood–brain barrier (BBB for neuroprotection in the hippocampus. The therapeutic efficacy of SM- and ApoE-grafted LIP carrying NGF (NGF-SM-ApoE-LIP was assessed by an in vitro Alzheimer’s disease (AD model of degenerated SK-N-MC cells and an in vivo AD model of Aβ-insulted Wistar rats. The experimental evidences revealed that the modified SM and ApoE on the surface of LIP increased the permeation of NGF across the BBB without serious damage to structural integrity of tight junction. When compared with free NGF, NGF-SM-ApoE-LIP upregulated the expression of phosphorylated neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor type 1 on cholinergic neurons and significantly improved their survival. In addition, NGF-SM-ApoE-LIP could reduce the secretion of acetylcholinesterase and malondialdehyde and rescue hippocampal neurons from apoptosis in rat brains. The synergistic effect of SM and ApoE is promising in the induction of NGF to inhibit the neurotoxicity of Aβ and NGF-SM-ApoE-LIP can be a potent antiapoptotic pharmacotherapy for clinical care of patients with AD. Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, blood–brain barrier, serotonin modulator, apolipoprotein E, nerve growth factor, liposome

  9. Degeneration and regeneration of motor and sensory nerves: a stereological study of crush lesions in rat facial and mental nerves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barghash, Z; Larsen, J O; Al-Bishri, A; Kahnberg, K-E

    2013-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the degeneration and regeneration of a sensory nerve and a motor nerve at the histological level after a crush injury. Twenty-five female Wistar rats had their mental nerve and the buccal branch of their facial nerve compressed unilaterally against a glass rod for 30s. Specimens of the compressed nerves and the corresponding control nerves were dissected at 3, 7, and 19 days after surgery. Nerve cross-sections were stained with osmium tetroxide and toluidine blue and analysed using two-dimensional stereology. We found differences between the two nerves both in the normal anatomy and in the regenerative pattern. The mental nerve had a larger cross-sectional area including all tissue components. The mental nerve had a larger volume fraction of myelinated axons and a correspondingly smaller volume fraction of endoneurium. No differences were observed in the degenerative pattern; however, at day 19 the buccal branch had regenerated to the normal number of axons, whereas the mental nerve had only regained 50% of the normal number of axons. We conclude that the regenerative process is faster and/or more complete in the facial nerve (motor function) than it is in the mental nerve (somatosensory function). Copyright © 2013 International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 6-hydroxydopamine-induced degeneration of nigral dopamine neurons: differential effect on nigral and striatal D-1 dopamine receptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Porceddu, M.L.; Giorgi, O.; De Montis, G.; Mele, S.; Cocco, L.; Ongini, E.; Biggio, G.

    1987-01-01

    Dopamine-sensitive adenylate cyclase and 3 H-SCH 23390 binding parameters were measured in the rat substantia nigra and striatum 15 days after the injection of 6-hydroxydopamine into the medial forebrain bundle. The activity of nigral dopamine-sensitive adenylate cyclase and the binding of 3 H-SCH 23390 to rat nigral D-1 dopamine receptors were markedly decreased after the lesion. On the contrary, 6-hydroxydopamine-induced degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopamine pathway enhanced both adenylate cyclase activity and the density of 3 H-SCH 23390 binding sites in striatal membrane preparations. The changes in 3 H-SCH 23390 binding found in both nigral and striatal membrane preparations were associated with changes in the total number of binding sites with no modifications in their apparent affinity. The results indicate that: a) within the substantia nigra a fraction (30%) of D-1 dopamine receptors coupled to the adenylate cyclase is located on cell bodies and and/or dendrites of dopaminergic neurons; b) striatal D-1 dopamine receptors are tonically innervated by nigrostriatal afferent fibers. 24 references, 1 figure, 1 table

  12. Reduced isotope uptake restricted to the motor area in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abe, K.; Yorifuji, S.; Nishikawa, Y.

    1993-01-01

    To study degeneration in the central nervous system in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we studied four patients using single photon emission tomography (SPECT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI demonstrated high intensity along the pyramidal tract on T2-weighted images in two. SPECT demonstrated reduced isotope uptake restricted to the motor area. While the cause of degeneration of the cortical neurons in the motor area is unknown, SPECT is useful for detecting the degeneration in patients with ALS. (orig.)

  13. Neonatal hyperglycemia inhibits angiogenesis and induces inflammation and neuronal degeneration in the retina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Kermorvant-Duchemin

    Full Text Available Recent evidence suggests that transient hyperglycemia in extremely low birth weight infants is strongly associated with the occurrence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP. We propose a new model of Neonatal Hyperglycemia-induced Retinopathy (NHIR that mimics many aspects of retinopathy of prematurity. Hyperglycemia was induced in newborn rat pups by injection of streptozocine (STZ at post natal day one (P1. At various time points, animals were assessed for vascular abnormalities, neuronal cell death and accumulation and activation of microglial cells. We here report that streptozotocin induced a rapid and sustained increase of glycemia from P2/3 to P6 without affecting rat pups gain weight or necessitating insulin treatment. Retinal vascular area was significantly reduced in P6 hyperglycemic animals compared to control animals. Hyperglycemia was associated with (i CCL2 chemokine induction at P6, (ii a significant recruitment of inflammatory macrophages and an increase in total number of Iba+ macrophages/microglia cells in the inner nuclear layer (INL, and (iii excessive apoptosis in the INL. NHIR thereby reproduces several aspects of ischemic retinopathies, including ROP and diabetic retinopathies, and might be a useful model to decipher hyperglycemia-induced cellular and molecular mechanisms in the small rodent.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  15. FTLD-TDP with motor neuron disease, visuospatial impairment and a progressive supranuclear palsy-like syndrome: broadening the clinical phenotype of TDP-43 proteinopathies. A report of three cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holmerová Iva

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin and TDP-43 positive neuronal inclusions represents a novel entity (FTLD-TDP that may be associated with motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND; involvement of extrapyramidal and other systems has also been reported. Case presentation We present three cases with similar clinical symptoms, including Parkinsonism, supranuclear gaze palsy, visuospatial impairment and a behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia, associated with either clinically possible or definite MND. Neuropathological examination revealed hallmarks of FTLD-TDP with major involvement of subcortical and, in particular, mesencephalic structures. These cases differed in onset and progression of clinical manifestations as well as distribution of histopathological changes in the brain and spinal cord. Two cases were sporadic, whereas the third case had a pathological variation in the progranulin gene 102 delC. Conclusions Association of a "progressive supranuclear palsy-like" syndrome with marked visuospatial impairment, motor neuron disease and early behavioral disturbances may represent a clinically distinct phenotype of FTLD-TDP. Our observations further support the concept that TDP-43 proteinopathies represent a spectrum of disorders, where preferential localization of pathogenetic inclusions and neuronal cell loss defines clinical phenotypes ranging from frontotemporal dementia with or without motor neuron disease, to corticobasal syndrome and to a progressive supranuclear palsy-like syndrome.

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

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    Yang Song

    2013-03-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    other disease monitoring strategies ( Beam walking , Electrical impedance myography (EIM) and MRI) were not performed. We considered that the multiple...core: Beam walking and data analysis performed by Svendsen lab staff • Reagents and supplies were not all purchased • Reduced experimental load...function has been shown in acute models of motor neuron injury and in transgenic mouse models of ALS using various delivery strategies by a number

  19. 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 (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. PMID:26157365

  20. Sialorrhoea: How to Manage a Frequent Complication of Motor Neuron Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Andrea Pellegrini; Christian Lunetta; Carlo Ferrarese; Lucio Tremolizzo

    2015-01-01

    Sialorrhoea, the unintentional loss of saliva through the mouth, is the frequent complication of neurological disorders affecting strength or coordination of oropharyngeal muscles, such as motor neuron disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND/ALS) or Parkinson’s disease. Sialorrhoea might affect up to 42% of ALS patients, with almost half of them having poorly managed symptoms. Sialorrhoea can impair patients’ social life, while dermatological complications, such as skin rashes, may arise d...

  1. Computational Analysis of Pharyngeal Swallowing Mechanics in Patients with Motor Neuron Disease: A Pilot Investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garand, K L; Schwertner, Ryan; Chen, Amy; Pearson, William G

    2018-04-01

    Swallowing impairment (dysphagia) is a common sequela in patients with motor neuron disease (MND). The purpose of this retrospective, observational pilot investigation was to characterize how pharyngeal swallowing mechanics are impacted in patients with MND using a comparison with healthy, non-dysphagic control group. Computational analysis of swallowing mechanics (CASM) was used to determine covariate biomechanics of pharyngeal swallowing from videofluoroscopic assessment in 15 patients with MND and 15 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Canonical variant analysis with post hoc discriminate function analysis (DFA) was performed on coordinate data mapping functional muscle groups underlying pharyngeal swallowing. Differences in swallowing mechanics associated with group (MND; control), motor neuron predominance (upper; lower), onset (bulbar; spinal), and swallow task (thin, pudding) were evaluated and visualized. Pharyngeal swallowing mechanics differed significantly in patients with MND compared with healthy controls (D = 2.01, p mechanics by motor neuron predominance (D = 5.03, p mechanics of patients with MND differ from and are more heterogeneous than healthy controls. These findings suggest patients with MND may compensate reductions in pharyngeal shortening and tongue base retraction by extending the head and neck and increasing hyolaryngeal excursion. This work and further CASM investigations will lead to further insights into development and evaluation of targeted clinical treatments designed to prolong safe and efficient swallowing function in patients with MND.

  2. Small GSK-3 Inhibitor Shows Efficacy in a Motor Neuron Disease Murine Model Modulating Autophagy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estefanía de Munck

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. Can inhibitory and facilitatory kinesiotaping techniques affect motor neuron excitability? A randomized cross-over trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoosefinejad, Amin Kordi; Motealleh, Alireza; Abbasalipur, Shekoofeh; Shahroei, Mahan; Sobhani, Sobhan

    2017-04-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of facilitatory and inhibitory kinesiotaping on motor neuron excitability. Randomized cross-over trial. Twenty healthy people received inhibitory and facilitatory kinesiotaping on two testing days. The H- and M-waves of the lateral gasterocnemius were recorded before and immediately after applying the two modes of taping. The Hmax/Mmax ratio (a measure of motor neuron excitability) was determined and analyzed. The mean Hmax/Mmax ratios were -0.013 (95% CI: -0.033 to 0.007) for inhibitory taping and 0.007 (95% CI: -0.013 to 0.027) for facilitatory taping. The mean difference between groups was -0.020 (95% CI: -0.048 to 0.008). The statistical model revealed no significant differences between the two interventions (P = 0.160). Furthermore, there were no within-group differences in Hmax/Mmax ratio for either group. Our findings did not disclose signs of immediate change in motor neuron excitability in the lateral gasterocnemius. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

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    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.

  5. Nerve growth factor reduces apoptotic cell death in rat facial motor neurons after facial nerve injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Lian; Yuan, Jing; Ren, Zhong; Jiang, Xuejun

    2015-01-01

    To assess the effects of nerve growth factor (NGF) on motor neurons after induction of a facial nerve lesion, and to compare the effects of different routes of NGF injection on motor neuron survival. This study was carried out in the Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, China Medical University, Liaoning, China from October 2012 to March 2013. Male Wistar rats (n = 65) were randomly assigned into 4 groups: A) healthy controls; B) facial nerve lesion model + normal saline injection; C) facial nerve lesion model + NGF injection through the stylomastoid foramen; D) facial nerve lesion model + intraperitoneal injection of NGF. Apoptotic cell death was detected using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end-labeling assay. Expression of caspase-3 and p53 up-regulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) was determined by immunohistochemistry. Injection of NGF significantly reduced cell apoptosis, and also greatly decreased caspase-3 and PUMA expression in injured motor neurons. Group C exhibited better efficacy for preventing cellular apoptosis and decreasing caspase-3 and PUMA expression compared with group D (pfacial nerve injury in rats. The NGF injected through the stylomastoid foramen demonstrated better protective efficacy than when injected intraperitoneally.

  6. Parallel changes in cortical neuron biochemistry and motor function in protein-energy malnourished adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaverdashvili, Mariam; Hackett, Mark J; Caine, Sally; Paterson, Phyllis G

    2017-04-01

    While protein-energy malnutrition in the adult has been reported to induce motor abnormalities and exaggerate motor deficits caused by stroke, it is not known if alterations in mature cortical neurons contribute to the functional deficits. Therefore, we explored if PEM in adult rats provoked changes in the biochemical profile of neurons in the forelimb and hindlimb regions of the motor cortex. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging using a synchrotron generated light source revealed for the first time altered lipid composition in neurons and subcellular domains (cytosol and nuclei) in a cortical layer and region-specific manner. This change measured by the area under the curve of the δ(CH 2 ) band may indicate modifications in membrane fluidity. These PEM-induced biochemical changes were associated with the development of abnormalities in forelimb use and posture. The findings of this study provide a mechanism by which PEM, if not treated, could exacerbate the course of various neurological disorders and diminish treatment efficacy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Effect of Different Mental Imagery Speeds on the Motor Performance: Investigation of the Role of Mirror Neurons

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    Sajad Parsaei

    2017-09-01

    Conclusion: The results of this study showed that mirror neurons within the premotor cortex are an important neural mechanism in the brain activity pattern, which causes the effectiveness of imagery in the improvement of motor skills.  

  9. Rivastigmine lowers Aβ and increases sAPPα levels, which parallel elevated synaptic markers and metabolic activity in degenerating primary rat neurons.

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    Jason A Bailey

    Full Text Available Overproduction of amyloid-β (Aβ protein in the brain has been hypothesized as the primary toxic insult that, via numerous mechanisms, produces cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD. Cholinesterase inhibition is a primary strategy for treatment of AD, and specific compounds of this class have previously been demonstrated to influence Aβ precursor protein (APP processing and Aβ production. However, little information is available on the effects of rivastigmine, a dual acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitor, on APP processing. As this drug is currently used to treat AD, characterization of its various activities is important to optimize its clinical utility. We have previously shown that rivastigmine can preserve or enhance neuronal and synaptic terminal markers in degenerating primary embryonic cerebrocortical cultures. Given previous reports on the effects of APP and Aβ on synapses, regulation of APP processing represents a plausible mechanism for the synaptic effects of rivastigmine. To test this hypothesis, we treated degenerating primary cultures with rivastigmine and measured secreted APP (sAPP and Aβ. Rivastigmine treatment increased metabolic activity in these cultured cells, and elevated APP secretion. Analysis of the two major forms of APP secreted by these cultures, attributed to neurons or glia based on molecular weight showed that rivastigmine treatment significantly increased neuronal relative to glial secreted APP. Furthermore, rivastigmine treatment increased α-secretase cleaved sAPPα and decreased Aβ secretion, suggesting a therapeutic mechanism wherein rivastigmine alters the relative activities of the secretase pathways. Assessment of sAPP levels in rodent CSF following once daily rivastigmine administration for 21 days confirmed that elevated levels of APP in cell culture translated in vivo. Taken together, rivastigmine treatment enhances neuronal sAPP and shifts APP processing toward the

  10. Rapid Integration of Artificial Sensory Feedback during Operant Conditioning of Motor Cortex Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prsa, Mario; Galiñanes, Gregorio L; Huber, Daniel

    2017-02-22

    Neuronal motor commands, whether generating real or neuroprosthetic movements, are shaped by ongoing sensory feedback from the displacement being produced. Here we asked if cortical stimulation could provide artificial feedback during operant conditioning of cortical neurons. Simultaneous two-photon imaging and real-time optogenetic stimulation were used to train mice to activate a single neuron in motor cortex (M1), while continuous feedback of its activity level was provided by proportionally stimulating somatosensory cortex. This artificial signal was necessary to rapidly learn to increase the conditioned activity, detect correct performance, and maintain the learned behavior. Population imaging in M1 revealed that learning-related activity changes are observed in the conditioned cell only, which highlights the functional potential of individual neurons in the neocortex. Our findings demonstrate the capacity of animals to use an artificially induced cortical channel in a behaviorally relevant way and reveal the remarkable speed and specificity at which this can occur. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Gestational Age-Dependent Increase of Survival Motor Neuron Protein in Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Iwatani, Sota; Harahap, Nur Imma Fatimah; Nurputra, Dian Kesumapramudya; Tairaku, Shinya; Shono, Akemi; Kurokawa, Daisuke; Yamana, Keiji; Thwin, Khin Kyae Mon; Yoshida, Makiko; Mizobuchi, Masami; Koda, Tsubasa; Fujioka, Kazumichi; Taniguchi-Ikeda, Mariko; Yamada, Hideto; Morioka, Ichiro

    2017-01-01

    Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common genetic neurological disease leading to infant death. It is caused by loss of survival motor neuron (SMN) 1 gene and subsequent reduction of SMN protein in motor neurons. Because SMN is ubiquitously expressed and functionally linked to general RNA metabolism pathway, fibroblasts (FBs) are most widely used for the assessment of SMN expression in SMA patients but usually isolated from skin biopsy samples after the onset of overt sympt...

  12. Phrenic motor neuron TrkB expression is necessary for acute intermittent hypoxia-induced phrenic long-term facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Erica A; Fields, Daryl P; Devinney, Michael J; Mitchell, Gordon S

    2017-01-01

    Phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF) is a form of hypoxia-induced spinal respiratory motor plasticity that requires new synthesis of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and activation of its high-affinity receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB). Since the cellular location of relevant TrkB receptors is not known, we utilized intrapleural siRNA injections to selectively knock down TrkB receptor protein within phrenic motor neurons. TrkB receptors within phrenic motor neurons are necessary for BDNF-dependent acute intermittent hypoxia-induced pLTF, demonstrating that phrenic motor neurons are a critical site of respiratory motor plasticity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Altered neuronal activities in the motor cortex with impaired motor performance in adult rats observed after infusion of cerebrospinal fluid from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankaranarayani, R; Nalini, A; Rao Laxmi, T; Raju, T R

    2010-01-05

    Although definite evidences are available to state that, neuronal activity is a prime determinant of animal behavior, the specific relationship between local field potentials of the motor cortex after intervention with CSF from human patients and animal behavior have remained opaque. The present study has investigated whether cerebrospinal fluid from sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS) patients could disrupt neuronal activity of the motor cortex, which could be associated with disturbances in the motor performance of adult rats. CSF from ALS patients (ALS-CSF) was infused into the lateral ventricle of Wistar rats. After 24h, the impact of ALS-CSF on the local field potentials (LFPs) of the motor cortex and on the motor behavior of animals were examined. The results indicate that ALS-CSF produced a bivariate distribution on the relative power values of the LFPs of the motor cortex 24h following infusion. However, the behavioral results did not show bimodality, instead showed consistent decrease in motor performance: on rotarod and grip strength meter. The neuronal activity of the motor cortex negatively correlated with the duration of ALS symptoms at the time of lumbar puncture. Although the effect of ALS-CSF was more pronounced at 24h following infusion, the changes observed in LFPs and motor performance appeared to revert to baseline values at later time points of testing. In the current study, we have shown that, ALS-CSF has the potential to perturb neuronal activity of the rat motor cortex which was associated with poor performance on motor function tests.

  14. Nuclear Organization in the Spinal Cord Depends on Motor Neuron Lamination Orchestrated by Catenin and Afadin Function

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    Carola Dewitz

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons in the spinal cord are found grouped in nuclear structures termed pools, whose position is precisely orchestrated during development. Despite the emerging role of pool organization in the assembly of spinal circuits, little is known about the morphogenetic programs underlying the patterning of motor neuron subtypes. We applied three-dimensional analysis of motor neuron position to reveal the roles and contributions of cell adhesive function by inactivating N-cadherin, catenin, and afadin signaling. Our findings reveal that nuclear organization of motor neurons is dependent on inside-out positioning, orchestrated by N-cadherin, catenin, and afadin activities, controlling cell body layering on the medio-lateral axis. In addition to this lamination-like program, motor neurons undergo a secondary, independent phase of organization. This process results in segregation of motor neurons along the dorso-ventral axis of the spinal cord, does not require N-cadherin or afadin activity, and can proceed even when medio-lateral positioning is perturbed.

  15. Nuclear Organization in the Spinal Cord Depends on Motor Neuron Lamination Orchestrated by Catenin and Afadin Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewitz, Carola; Pimpinella, Sofia; Hackel, Patrick; Akalin, Altuna; Jessell, Thomas M; Zampieri, Niccolò

    2018-02-13

    Motor neurons in the spinal cord are found grouped in nuclear structures termed pools, whose position is precisely orchestrated during development. Despite the emerging role of pool organization in the assembly of spinal circuits, little is known about the morphogenetic programs underlying the patterning of motor neuron subtypes. We applied three-dimensional analysis of motor neuron position to reveal the roles and contributions of cell adhesive function by inactivating N-cadherin, catenin, and afadin signaling. Our findings reveal that nuclear organization of motor neurons is dependent on inside-out positioning, orchestrated by N-cadherin, catenin, and afadin activities, controlling cell body layering on the medio-lateral axis. In addition to this lamination-like program, motor neurons undergo a secondary, independent phase of organization. This process results in segregation of motor neurons along the dorso-ventral axis of the spinal cord, does not require N-cadherin or afadin activity, and can proceed even when medio-lateral positioning is perturbed. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Anatomic and Molecular Development of Corticostriatal Projection Neurons in Mice

    OpenAIRE

    Sohur, U. Shivraj; Padmanabhan, Hari K.; Kotchetkov, Ivan S.; Menezes, Joao R.L.; Macklis, Jeffrey D.

    2012-01-01

    Corticostriatal projection neurons (CStrPN) project from the neocortex to ipsilateral and contralateral striata to control and coordinate motor programs and movement. They are clinically important as the predominant cortical population that degenerates in Huntington's disease and corticobasal ganglionic degeneration, and their injury contributes to multiple forms of cerebral palsy. Together with their well-studied functions in motor control, these clinical connections make them a functionally...

  17. (--Epigallocatechin gallate attenuates NADPH-d/nNOS expression in motor neurons of rats following peripheral nerve injury

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    Tseng Chi-Yu

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Oxidative stress and large amounts of nitric oxide (NO have been implicated in the pathophysiology of neuronal injury and neurodegenerative disease. Recent studies have shown that (--epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, one of the green tea polyphenols, has potent antioxidant effects against free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation in ischemia-induced neuronal damage. The purpose of this study was to examine whether EGCG would attenuate neuronal expression of NADPH-d/nNOS in the motor neurons of the lower brainstem following peripheral nerve crush. Thus, young adult rats were treated with EGCG (10, 25, or 50 mg/kg, i.p. 30 min prior to crushing their hypoglossal and vagus nerves for 30 seconds (left side, at the cervical level. The treatment (pre-crush doses of EGCG was continued from day 1 to day 6, and the animals were sacrificed on days 3, 7, 14 and 28. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase (NADPH-d histochemistry and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS immunohistochemistry were used to assess neuronal NADPH-d/nNOS expression in the hypoglossal nucleus and dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus. Results In rats treated with high dosages of EGCG (25 or 50 mg/kg, NADPH-d/nNOS reactivity and cell death of the motor neurons were significantly decreased. Conclusions The present evidence indicated that EGCG can reduce NADPH-d/nNOS reactivity and thus may enhance motor neuron survival time following peripheral nerve injury.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-15

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

  1. Objective markers for upper motor neuron involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iwata, Nobue K.

    2007-01-01

    A reliable objective marker of upper motor neuron (UMN) involvement is critical for early diagnosis and monitoring disease course in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Lower motor neuron (LMN) involvement can be identified by electromyography, whereas UMN dysfunction has been currently distinguished solely by neurological examination. In the search for diagnostic tests to evaluate UMN involvement in ALS, numerous reports on new markers using neurophysiological and imaging techniques are accumulating. Transcranial magnetic stimulation evaluates the neurophysiological integrity of UMN. Although the diagnostic reliability and sensitivity of various parameters of central motor conduction measurement differ, central motor conduction time measurement using brainstem stimulation is potentially useful for determining UMN dysfunction by distinguishing lesions above the pyramidal decussation. MR-based techniques also have the potential to be used as diagnostic markers and are continuously improving as a modality to pursue early diagnosis and monitoring of the disease progression. Conventional MRI reveals hyperintensity along the corticospinal tract, hypointensity in the motor cortex, and atrophy of the precentral gyrus. There is a lack of agreement regarding sensitivity and specificity in detecting UMN abnormalities. Recent advances in magnetizing transfer imaging (MTI) provide more sensitive and accurate detection of corticospinal tract abnormality than conventional MRI. Reduction in N-acetyl-aspartate by proton magnetic spectroscopy in the motor cortex or the brainstem of the patients with ALS is reported with different techniques. Its diagnostic value in clinical assessment is uncertain and remains to be established. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) reveals the structural integrity of neuronal fibers, and has great diagnostic promise for ALS. It shows reduced diffusion anisotropy in the corticospinal tract with good correlation with physiological index

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  4. Mycolactone-mediated neurite degeneration and functional effects in cultured human and rat DRG neurons: Mechanisms underlying hypoalgesia in Buruli ulcer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anand, U; Sinisi, M; Fox, M; MacQuillan, A; Quick, T; Korchev, Y; Bountra, C; McCarthy, T; Anand, P

    2016-01-01

    Mycolactone is a polyketide toxin secreted by the mycobacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans, responsible for the extensive hypoalgesic skin lesions characteristic of patients with Buruli ulcer. A recent pre-clinical study proposed that mycolactone may produce analgesia via activation of the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R). In contrast, AT2R antagonist EMA401 has shown analgesic efficacy in animal models and clinical trials for neuropathic pain. We therefore investigated the morphological and functional effects of mycolactone in cultured human and rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons and the role of AT2R using EMA401. Primary sensory neurons were prepared from avulsed cervical human DRG and rat DRG; 24 h after plating, neurons were incubated for 24 to 96 h with synthetic mycolactone A/B, followed by immunostaining with antibodies to PGP9.5, Gap43, β tubulin, or Mitotracker dye staining. Acute functional effects were examined by measuring capsaicin responses with calcium imaging in DRG neuronal cultures treated with mycolactone. Morphological effects: Mycolactone-treated cultures showed dramatically reduced numbers of surviving neurons and non-neuronal cells, reduced Gap43 and β tubulin expression, degenerating neurites and reduced cell body diameter, compared with controls. Dose-related reduction of neurite length was observed in mycolactone-treated cultures. Mitochondria were distributed throughout the length of neurites and soma of control neurons, but clustered in the neurites and soma of mycolactone-treated neurons. Functional effects: Mycolactone-treated human and rat DRG neurons showed dose-related inhibition of capsaicin responses, which were reversed by calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine and phosphodiesterase inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-Methylxanthine, indicating involvement of cAMP/ATP reduction. The morphological and functional effects of mycolactone were not altered by Angiotensin II or AT2R antagonist EMA401. Mycolactone induces toxic effects in DRG

  5. Structural and functional brain signatures of C9orf72 in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agosta, Federica; Ferraro, Pilar M; Riva, Nilo; Spinelli, Edoardo Gioele; Domi, Teuta; Carrera, Paola; Copetti, Massimiliano; Falzone, Yuri; Ferrari, Maurizio; Lunetta, Christian; Comi, Giancarlo; Falini, Andrea; Quattrini, Angelo; Filippi, Massimo

    2017-09-01

    This study investigated structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in hexanucleotide repeat expansion in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) motor neuron disease (MND) relative to disease severity-matched sporadic MND cases. We enrolled 19 C9orf72 and 67 disease severity-matched sporadic MND patients, and 22 controls. Sporadic cases were grouped in patients with: no cognitive/behavioral deficits (sporadic-motor); same patterns of cognitive/behavioral impairment as C9orf72 cases (sporadic-cognitive); shorter disease duration versus other sporadic groups (sporadic-early). C9orf72 patients showed cerebellar and thalamic atrophy versus all sporadic cases. All MND patients showed motor, frontal, and temporoparietal cortical thinning and motor and extramotor white matter damage versus controls, independent of genotype and presence of cognitive impairment. Compared with sporadic-early, C9orf72 patients revealed an occipital cortical thinning. C9orf72 patients had enhanced visual network functional connectivity versus sporadic-motor and sporadic-early cases. Structural cerebellar and thalamic damage and posterior cortical alterations are the brain magnetic resonance imaging signatures of C9orf72 MND. Frontotemporal cortical and widespread white matter involvement are likely to be an effect of the disease evolution rather than a C9orf72 marker. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Interleukin-6 Deficiency Does Not Affect Motor Neuron Disease Caused by Superoxide Dismutase 1 Mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yongmei; Ripley, Barry; Serada, Satoshi; Naka, Tetsuji; Fujimoto, Minoru

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset, progressive, motor neuron degenerative disease. Recent evidence indicates that inflammation is associated with many neurodegenerative diseases including ALS. Previously, abnormal levels of inflammatory cytokines including IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α were described in ALS patients and/or in mouse ALS models. In addition, one study showed that blocking IL-1β could slow down progression of ALS-like symptoms in mice. In this study, we examined a role for IL-6 in ALS, using an animal model for familial ALS. Mice with mutant SOD1 (G93A) transgene, a model for familial ALS, were used in this study. The expression of the major inflammatory cytokines, IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α, in spinal cords of these SOD1 transgenic (TG) mice were assessed by real time PCR. Mice were then crossed with IL-6(-/-) mice to generate SOD1TG/IL-6(-/-) mice. SOD1 TG/IL-6(-/-) mice (n = 17) were compared with SOD1 TG/IL-6(+/-) mice (n = 18), SOD1 TG/IL-6(+/+) mice (n = 11), WT mice (n = 15), IL-6(+/-) mice (n = 5) and IL-6(-/-) mice (n = 8), with respect to neurological disease severity score, body weight and the survival. We also histologically compared the motor neuron loss in lumber spinal cords and the atrophy of hamstring muscles between these mouse groups. Levels of IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α in spinal cords of SOD1 TG mice was increased compared to WT mice. However, SOD1 TG/IL-6(-/-) mice exhibited weight loss, deterioration in motor function and shortened lifespan (167.55 ± 11.52 days), similarly to SOD1 TG /IL-6(+/+) mice (164.31±12.16 days). Motor neuron numbers and IL-1β and TNF-α levels in spinal cords were not significantly different in SOD1 TG /IL-6(-/-) mice and SOD1 TG /IL-6 (+/+) mice. These results provide compelling preclinical evidence indicating that IL-6 does not directly contribute to motor neuron disease caused by SOD1 mutations.

  7. Interleukin-6 Deficiency Does Not Affect Motor Neuron Disease Caused by Superoxide Dismutase 1 Mutation.

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    Yongmei Han

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is an adult-onset, progressive, motor neuron degenerative disease. Recent evidence indicates that inflammation is associated with many neurodegenerative diseases including ALS. Previously, abnormal levels of inflammatory cytokines including IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α were described in ALS patients and/or in mouse ALS models. In addition, one study showed that blocking IL-1β could slow down progression of ALS-like symptoms in mice. In this study, we examined a role for IL-6 in ALS, using an animal model for familial ALS.Mice with mutant SOD1 (G93A transgene, a model for familial ALS, were used in this study. The expression of the major inflammatory cytokines, IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α, in spinal cords of these SOD1 transgenic (TG mice were assessed by real time PCR. Mice were then crossed with IL-6(-/- mice to generate SOD1TG/IL-6(-/- mice. SOD1 TG/IL-6(-/- mice (n = 17 were compared with SOD1 TG/IL-6(+/- mice (n = 18, SOD1 TG/IL-6(+/+ mice (n = 11, WT mice (n = 15, IL-6(+/- mice (n = 5 and IL-6(-/- mice (n = 8, with respect to neurological disease severity score, body weight and the survival. We also histologically compared the motor neuron loss in lumber spinal cords and the atrophy of hamstring muscles between these mouse groups.Levels of IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α in spinal cords of SOD1 TG mice was increased compared to WT mice. However, SOD1 TG/IL-6(-/- mice exhibited weight loss, deterioration in motor function and shortened lifespan (167.55 ± 11.52 days, similarly to SOD1 TG /IL-6(+/+ mice (164.31±12.16 days. Motor neuron numbers and IL-1β and TNF-α levels in spinal cords were not significantly different in SOD1 TG /IL-6(-/- mice and SOD1 TG /IL-6 (+/+ mice.These results provide compelling preclinical evidence indicating that IL-6 does not directly contribute to motor neuron disease caused by SOD1 mutations.

  8. White matter pathology in ALS and lower motor neuron ALS variants: a diffusion tensor imaging study using tract-based spatial statistics.

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    Prudlo, Johannes; Bißbort, Charlotte; Glass, Aenne; Grossmann, Annette; Hauenstein, Karlheinz; Benecke, Reiner; Teipel, Stefan J

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this work was to investigate white-matter microstructural changes within and outside the corticospinal tract in classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in lower motor neuron (LMN) ALS variants by means of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We investigated 22 ALS patients and 21 age-matched controls utilizing a whole-brain approach with a 1.5-T scanner for DTI. The patient group was comprised of 15 classical ALS- and seven LMN ALS-variant patients (progressive muscular atrophy, flail arm and flail leg syndrome). Disease severity was measured by the revised version of the functional rating scale. White matter fractional anisotropy (FA) was assessed using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and a region of interest (ROI) approach. We found significant FA reductions in motor and extra-motor cerebral fiber tracts in classical ALS and in the LMN ALS-variant patients compared to controls. The voxel-based TBSS results were confirmed by the ROI findings. The white matter damage correlated with the disease severity in the patient group and was found in a similar distribution, but to a lesser extent, among the LMN ALS-variant subgroup. ALS and LMN ALS variants are multisystem degenerations. DTI shows the potential to determine an earlier diagnosis, particularly in LMN ALS variants. The statistically identical findings of white matter lesions in classical ALS and LMN variants as ascertained by DTI further underline that these variants should be regarded as part of the ALS spectrum.

  9. Phrenic motor neuron TrkB expression is necessary for acute intermittent hypoxia-induced phrenic long-term facilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Dale, Erica A.; Fields, Daryl P.; Devinney, Michael J.; Mitchell, Gordon S.

    2016-01-01

    Phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF) is a form of hypoxia-induced spinal respiratory motor plasticity that requires new synthesis of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and activation of its high-affinity receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB). Since the cellular location of relevant TrkB receptors is not known, we utilized intrapleural siRNA injections to selectively knock down TrkB receptor protein within phrenic motor neurons. TrkB receptors within phrenic motor neurons are n...

  10. 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.

  11. 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. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. 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

    2017-12-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-29

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

  14. Deletion of Munc18-1 in 5-HT neurons results in rapid degeneration of the 5-HT system and early postnatal lethality.

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    Jacobus J Dudok

    Full Text Available The serotonin (5-HT system densely innervates many brain areas and is important for proper brain development. To specifically ablate the 5-HT system we generated mutant mice carrying a floxed Munc18-1 gene and Cre recombinase driven by the 5-HT-specific serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT promoter. The majority of mutant mice died within a few days after birth. Immunohistochemical analysis of brains of these mice showed that initially 5-HT neurons are formed and the cortex is innervated with 5-HT projections. From embryonic day 16 onwards, however, 5-HT neurons started to degenerate and at postnatal day 2 hardly any 5-HT projections were present in the cortex. The 5-HT system of mice heterozygous for the floxed Munc18-1 allele was indistinguishable from control mice. These data show that deletion of Munc18-1 in 5-HT neurons results in rapid degeneration of the 5-HT system and suggests that the 5-HT system is important for postnatal survival.

  15. The role of rosemary extract in degeneration of hippocampal neurons induced by kainic acid in the rat: A behavioral and histochemical approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naderali, Elahe; Nikbakht, Farnaz; Ofogh, Sattar Norouzi; Rasoolijazi, Homa

    2018-01-01

    Systemic Kainic Acid (KA) administration has been used to induce experimental temporal lobe epilepsy in rats. The aim of this study was to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of rosemary extract (RE, 40% Carnosic acid) against KA-induced neurotoxicity in hippocampus and impaired learning and memory. Animals received a single dose of KA (9.5 mg/kg) intraperitoneally (i.p.) (KA group) and were observed for 2 h and were scored from 0 (for normal, no convulsion) to 5 (for continuous generalized limbic seizures). RE (100 mg/kg, orally) was administered daily for 23 days, starting a week before KA injection (KA+RE group). Neuronal degeneration in hippocampus was demonstrated by using Fluoro-Jade B immunofluorescence. The number of pyramidal cells in hippocampus was evaluated by Nissl staining. Also, the Morris Water Maze and Shuttle box have been used to assess spatial memory and passive avoidance learning, respectively. Our results revealed that, after treatment with RE, neuronal loss in CA1 decreased significantly in the animals in KA+RE group. The Morris water navigation task results revealed that spatial memory impairment decreased in the animals in KA+RE group. Furthermore, results in Shuttle box test showed that passive avoidance learning impairment significantly, upgraded in the animals in KA+RE group. These results suggest that RE may improve the spatial and working memory deficits and also neuronal degeneration induced by toxicity of KA in the rat hippocampus, due to its antioxidant activities.

  16. 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.

  17. PKA Controls Calcium Influx into Motor Neurons during a Rhythmic Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Han; Sieburth, Derek

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24086161

  18. A latent low-dimensional common input drives a pool of motor neurons: a probabilistic latent state-space model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeney, Daniel F; Meyer, François G; Noone, Nicholas; Enoka, Roger M

    2017-10-01

    Motor neurons appear to be activated with a common input signal that modulates the discharge activity of all neurons in the motor nucleus. It has proven difficult for neurophysiologists to quantify the variability in a common input signal, but characterization of such a signal may improve our understanding of how the activation signal varies across motor tasks. Contemporary methods of quantifying the common input to motor neurons rely on compiling discrete action potentials into continuous time series, assuming the motor pool acts as a linear filter, and requiring signals to be of sufficient duration for frequency analysis. We introduce a space-state model in which the discharge activity of motor neurons is modeled as inhomogeneous Poisson processes and propose a method to quantify an abstract latent trajectory that represents the common input received by motor neurons. The approach also approximates the variation in synaptic noise in the common input signal. The model is validated with four data sets: a simulation of 120 motor units, a pair of integrate-and-fire neurons with a Renshaw cell providing inhibitory feedback, the discharge activity of 10 integrate-and-fire neurons, and the discharge times of concurrently active motor units during an isometric voluntary contraction. The simulations revealed that a latent state-space model is able to quantify the trajectory and variability of the common input signal across all four conditions. When compared with the cumulative spike train method of characterizing common input, the state-space approach was more sensitive to the details of the common input current and was less influenced by the duration of the signal. The state-space approach appears to be capable of detecting rather modest changes in common input signals across conditions. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We propose a state-space model that explicitly delineates a common input signal sent to motor neurons and the physiological noise inherent in synaptic signal

  19. Olig2 and Hes regulatory dynamics during motor neuron differentiation revealed by single cell transcriptomics.

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    Andreas Sagner

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available During tissue development, multipotent progenitors differentiate into specific cell types in characteristic spatial and temporal patterns. We addressed the mechanism linking progenitor identity and differentiation rate in the neural tube, where motor neuron (MN progenitors differentiate more rapidly than other progenitors. Using single cell transcriptomics, we defined the transcriptional changes associated with the transition of neural progenitors into MNs. Reconstruction of gene expression dynamics from these data indicate a pivotal role for the MN determinant Olig2 just prior to MN differentiation. Olig2 represses expression of the Notch signaling pathway effectors Hes1 and Hes5. Olig2 repression of Hes5 appears to be direct, via a conserved regulatory element within the Hes5 locus that restricts expression from MN progenitors. These findings reveal a tight coupling between the regulatory networks that control patterning and neuronal differentiation and demonstrate how Olig2 acts as the developmental pacemaker coordinating the spatial and temporal pattern of MN generation.

  20. 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.

  1. Prolonged Minocycline Treatment Impairs Motor Neuronal Survival and Glial Function in Organotypic Rat Spinal Cord Cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinkernelle, Josephine; Fansa, Hisham; Ebmeyer, Uwe; Keilhoff, Gerburg

    2013-01-01

    Background Minocycline, a second-generation tetracycline antibiotic, exhibits anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in various experimental models of neurological diseases, such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injury. However, conflicting results have prompted a debate regarding the beneficial effects of minocycline. Methods In this study, we analyzed minocycline treatment in organotypic spinal cord cultures of neonatal rats as a model of motor neuron survival and regeneration after injury. Minocycline was administered in 2 different concentrations (10 and 100 µM) at various time points in culture and fixed after 1 week. Results Prolonged minocycline administration decreased the survival of motor neurons in the organotypic cultures. This effect was strongly enhanced with higher concentrations of minocycline. High concentrations of minocycline reduced the number of DAPI-positive cell nuclei in organotypic cultures and simultaneously inhibited microglial activation. Astrocytes, which covered the surface of the control organotypic cultures, revealed a peripheral distribution after early minocycline treatment. Thus, we further analyzed the effects of 100 µM minocycline on the viability and migration ability of dispersed primary glial cell cultures. We found that minocycline reduced cell viability, delayed wound closure in a scratch migration assay and increased connexin 43 protein levels in these cultures. Conclusions The administration of high doses of minocycline was deleterious for motor neuron survival. In addition, it inhibited microglial activation and impaired glial viability and migration. These data suggest that especially high doses of minocycline might have undesired affects in treatment of spinal cord injury. Further experiments are required to determine the conditions for the safe clinical administration of minocycline in spinal cord injured patients. PMID:23967343

  2. Differential activation of an identified motor neuron and neuromodulation provide Aplysia's retractor muscle an additional function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McManus, Jeffrey M; Lu, Hui; Cullins, Miranda J; Chiel, Hillel J

    2014-08-15

    To survive, animals must use the same peripheral structures to perform a variety of tasks. How does a nervous system employ one muscle to perform multiple functions? We addressed this question through work on the I3 jaw muscle of the marine mollusk Aplysia californica's feeding system. This muscle mediates retraction of Aplysia's food grasper in multiple feeding responses and is innervated by a pool of identified neurons that activate different muscle regions. One I3 motor neuron, B38, is active in the protraction phase, rather than the retraction phase, suggesting the muscle has an additional function. We used intracellular, extracellular, and muscle force recordings in several in vitro preparations as well as recordings of nerve and muscle activity from intact, behaving animals to characterize B38's activation of the muscle and its activity in different behavior types. We show that B38 specifically activates the anterior region of I3 and is specifically recruited during one behavior, swallowing. The function of this protraction-phase jaw muscle contraction is to hold food; thus the I3 muscle has an additional function beyond mediating retraction. We additionally show that B38's typical activity during in vivo swallowing is insufficient to generate force in an unmodulated muscle and that intrinsic and extrinsic modulation shift the force-frequency relationship to allow contraction. Using methods that traverse levels from individual neuron to muscle to intact animal, we show how regional muscle activation, differential motor neuron recruitment, and neuromodulation are key components in Aplysia's generation of multifunctionality. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  3. Altered neuronal activity in the primary motor cortex and globus pallidus after dopamine depletion in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Min; Li, Min; Geng, Xiwen; Song, Zhimin; Albers, H Elliott; Yang, Maoquan; Zhang, Xiao; Xie, Jinlu; Qu, Qingyang; He, Tingting

    2015-01-15

    The involvement of dopamine (DA) neuron loss in the etiology of Parkinson's disease has been well documented. The neural mechanisms underlying the effects of DA loss and the resultant motor dysfunction remain unknown. To gain insights into how loss of DA disrupts the electrical processes in the cortico-subcortical network, the present study explores the effects of DA neuron depletion on electrical activity in the primary motor cortex (M1), on the external and the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPe and GPi respectively), and on their temporal relationships. Comparison of local field potentials (LFPs) in these brain regions from unilateral hemispheric DA neuron depleted rats and neurologically intact rats revealed that the spectrum power of LFPs in 12-70Hz (for M1, and GPe) and in 25-40Hz (for GPi) was significantly greater in the DA depleted rats than that in the control group. These changes were associated with a shortening of latency in LFP activities between M1 and GPe, from several hundred milliseconds in the intact animals to close to zero in the DA depleted animals. LFP oscillations in M1 were significantly more synchronized with those in GPe in the DA depleted rats compared with those in the control rats. By contrast, the synchronization of oscillation in LFP activities between M1 and GPi did not differ between the DA depleted and intact rats. Not surprisingly, rats that had DA neuron depletion spent more time along the ladder compared with the control rats. These data suggest that enhanced oscillatory activity and increased synchronization of LFPs may contribute to movement impairment in the rat model of Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Motor neurone disease: can we do better? A study of 42 patients.

    OpenAIRE

    Newrick, P G; Langton-Hewer, R

    1984-01-01

    A feeling that patients with motor neurone disease were not always well managed prompted a study of the symptoms, functional levels, and use of aids in a group of 42 patients. Pain, falls, constipation, and swelling of the legs emerged as the major symptomatic problems. At the time of assessment two thirds of the patients appeared to be in need of aids which had not been provided. Disturbance of sleep secondary to positional nocturnal discomfort caused much distress to both the patient and sp...

  5. Expression of Sex Steroid Hormone Receptors in Vagal Motor Neurons Innervating the Trachea and Esophagus in Mouse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukudai, Shigeyuki; Ichi Matsuda, Ken; Bando, Hideki; Takanami, Keiko; Nishio, Takeshi; Sugiyama, Yoichiro; Hisa, Yasuo; Kawata, Mitsuhiro

    2016-01-01

    The medullary vagal motor nuclei, the nucleus ambiguus (NA) and dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV), innervate the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. We conducted immunohistochemical analysis of expression of the androgen receptor (AR) and estrogen receptor α (ERα), in relation to innervation of the trachea and esophagus via vagal motor nuclei in mice. AR and ERα were expressed in the rostral NA and in part of the DMV. Tracing experiments using cholera toxin B subunit demonstrated that neurons of vagal motor nuclei that innervate the trachea and esophagus express AR and ERα. There was no difference in expression of sex steroid hormone receptors between trachea- and esophagus-innervating neurons. These results suggest that sex steroid hormones may act on vagal motor nuclei via their receptors, thereby regulating functions of the trachea and esophagus

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Reinforcement learning of targeted movement in a spiking neuronal model of motor cortex.

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    George L Chadderdon

    Full Text Available Sensorimotor control has traditionally been considered from a control theory perspective, without relation to neurobiology. In contrast, here we utilized a spiking-neuron model of motor cortex and trained it to perform a simple movement task, which consisted of rotating a single-joint "forearm" to a target. Learning was based on a reinforcement mechanism analogous to that of the dopamine system. This provided a global reward or punishment signal in response to decreasing or increasing distance from hand to target, respectively. Output was partially driven by Poisson motor babbling, creating stochastic movements that could then be shaped by learning. The virtual forearm consisted of a single segment rotated around an elbow joint, controlled by flexor and extensor muscles. The model consisted of 144 excitatory and 64 inhibitory event-based neurons, each with AMPA, NMDA, and GABA synapses. Proprioceptive cell input to this model encoded the 2 muscle lengths. Plasticity was only enabled in feedforward connections between input and output excitatory units, using spike-timing-dependent eligibility traces for synaptic credit or blame assignment. Learning resulted from a global 3-valued signal: reward (+1, no learning (0, or punishment (-1, corresponding to phasic increases, lack of change, or phasic decreases of dopaminergic cell firing, respectively. Successful learning only occurred when both reward and punishment were enabled. In this case, 5 target angles were learned successfully within 180 s of simulation time, with a median error of 8 degrees. Motor babbling allowed exploratory learning, but decreased the stability of the learned behavior, since the hand continued moving after reaching the target. Our model demonstrated that a global reinforcement signal, coupled with eligibility traces for synaptic plasticity, can train a spiking sensorimotor network to perform goal-directed motor behavior.

  8. Reinforcement learning of targeted movement in a spiking neuronal model of motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadderdon, George L; Neymotin, Samuel A; Kerr, Cliff C; Lytton, William W

    2012-01-01

    Sensorimotor control has traditionally been considered from a control theory perspective, without relation to neurobiology. In contrast, here we utilized a spiking-neuron model of motor cortex and trained it to perform a simple movement task, which consisted of rotating a single-joint "forearm" to a target. Learning was based on a reinforcement mechanism analogous to that of the dopamine system. This provided a global reward or punishment signal in response to decreasing or increasing distance from hand to target, respectively. Output was partially driven by Poisson motor babbling, creating stochastic movements that could then be shaped by learning. The virtual forearm consisted of a single segment rotated around an elbow joint, controlled by flexor and extensor muscles. The model consisted of 144 excitatory and 64 inhibitory event-based neurons, each with AMPA, NMDA, and GABA synapses. Proprioceptive cell input to this model encoded the 2 muscle lengths. Plasticity was only enabled in feedforward connections between input and output excitatory units, using spike-timing-dependent eligibility traces for synaptic credit or blame assignment. Learning resulted from a global 3-valued signal: reward (+1), no learning (0), or punishment (-1), corresponding to phasic increases, lack of change, or phasic decreases of dopaminergic cell firing, respectively. Successful learning only occurred when both reward and punishment were enabled. In this case, 5 target angles were learned successfully within 180 s of simulation time, with a median error of 8 degrees. Motor babbling allowed exploratory learning, but decreased the stability of the learned behavior, since the hand continued moving after reaching the target. Our model demonstrated that a global reinforcement signal, coupled with eligibility traces for synaptic plasticity, can train a spiking sensorimotor network to perform goal-directed motor behavior.

  9. Evaluation of motor neuron differentiation potential of human umbilical cord blood- derived mesenchymal stem cells, in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousefi, Behnam; Sanooghi, Davood; Faghihi, Faezeh; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi; Latifi, Nourahmad

    2017-04-01

    Many people suffer from spinal cord injuries annually. These deficits usually threaten the quality of life of patients. As a postpartum medically waste product, human Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) is a rich source of stem cells with self- renewal properties and neural differentiation capacity which made it useful in regenerative medicine. Since there is no report on potential of human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells into motor neurons, we set out to evaluate the differentiation properties of these cells into motor neuron-like cells through administration of Retinoic Acid(RA), Sonic Hedgehog(Shh) and BDNF using a three- step in vitro procedure. The results were evaluated using Real-time PCR, Flowcytometry and Immunocytochemistry for two weeks. Our data showed that the cells changed into bipolar morphology and could express markers related to motor neuron; including Hb-9, Pax-6, Islet-1, NF-H, ChAT at the level of mRNA and protein. We could also quantitatively evaluate the expression of Islet-1, ChAT and NF-H at 7 and 14days post- induction using flowcytometry. It is concluded that human UCB-MSCs is potent to express motor neuron- related markers in the presence of RA, Shh and BDNF through a three- step protocol; thus it could be a suitable cell candidate for regeneration of motor neurons in spinal cord injuries. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Toxic gain of function from mutant FUS protein is crucial to trigger cell autonomous motor neuron loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scekic-Zahirovic, Jelena; Sendscheid, Oliver; El Oussini, Hajer; Jambeau, Mélanie; Sun, Ying; Mersmann, Sina; Wagner, Marina; Dieterlé, Stéphane; Sinniger, Jérome; Dirrig-Grosch, Sylvie; Drenner, Kevin; Birling, Marie-Christine; Qiu, Jinsong; Zhou, Yu; Li, Hairi; Fu, Xiang-Dong; Rouaux, Caroline; Shelkovnikova, Tatyana; Witting, Anke; Ludolph, Albert C; Kiefer, Friedemann; Storkebaum, Erik; Lagier-Tourenne, Clotilde; Dupuis, Luc

    2016-05-17

    FUS is an RNA-binding protein involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Cytoplasmic FUS-containing aggregates are often associated with concomitant loss of nuclear FUS Whether loss of nuclear FUS function, gain of a cytoplasmic function, or a combination of both lead to neurodegeneration remains elusive. To address this question, we generated knockin mice expressing mislocalized cytoplasmic FUS and complete FUS knockout mice. Both mouse models display similar perinatal lethality with respiratory insufficiency, reduced body weight and length, and largely similar alterations in gene expression and mRNA splicing patterns, indicating that mislocalized FUS results in loss of its normal function. However, FUS knockin mice, but not FUS knockout mice, display reduced motor neuron numbers at birth, associated with enhanced motor neuron apoptosis, which can be rescued by cell-specific CRE-mediated expression of wild-type FUS within motor neurons. Together, our findings indicate that cytoplasmic FUS mislocalization not only leads to nuclear loss of function, but also triggers motor neuron death through a toxic gain of function within motor neurons. © 2016 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.

  11. Evaluation of Motor Neuron-Like Cell Differentiation of hEnSCs on Biodegradable PLGA Nanofiber Scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrahimi-Barough, Somayeh; Norouzi Javidan, Abbas; Saberi, Hoshangh; Joghataei, Mohammad Tghi; Rahbarghazi, Reza; Mirzaei, Esmaeil; Faghihi, Faezeh; Shirian, Sadegh; Ai, Armin; Ai, Jafar

    2015-12-01

    Human endometrium is a high-dynamic tissue that contains human endometrial stem cells (hEnSCs) which can be differentiated into a number of cell lineages. The differentiation of hEnSCs into many cell lineages such as osteoblast, adipocyte, and neural cells has been investigated previously. However, the differentiation of these stem cells into motor neuron-like cells has not been investigated yet. Different biochemical and topographical cues can affect the differentiation of stem cells into a specific cell. The aim of this study was to investigate the capability of hEnSCs to be differentiated into motor neuron-like cells under biochemical and topographical cues. The biocompatible and biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) electrospun nanofibrous scaffold was used as a topographical cue. Human EnSCs were cultured on the PLGA scaffold and tissue culture polystyrene (TCP), then differentiation of hEnSCs into motor neuron-like cells under induction media including retinoic acid (RA) and sonic hedgehog (Shh) were evaluated for 15 days. The proliferation rate of cells was assayed by using MTT assay. The morphology of cells was studied by scanning electron microscopy imaging, and the expression of motor neuron-specific markers by real-time PCR and immunocytochemistry. Results showed that survival and differentiation of hEnSCs into motor neuron-like cells on the PLGA scaffold were better than those on the TCP group. Taken together, the results suggest that differentiated hEnSCs on PLGA can provide a suitable, three-dimensional situation for neuronal survival and outgrowth for regeneration of the central nervous system, and these cells may be a potential candidate in cellular therapy for motor neuron diseases.

  12. Three-dimensional analysis of somatic mitochondrial dynamics in fission-deficient injured motor neurons using FIB/SEM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamada, Hiromi; Kiryu-Seo, Sumiko; Hosokawa, Hiroki; Ohta, Keisuke; Ishihara, Naotada; Nomura, Masatoshi; Mihara, Katsuyoshi; Nakamura, Kei-Ichiro; Kiyama, Hiroshi

    2017-08-01

    Mitochondria undergo morphological changes through fusion and fission for their quality control, which are vital for neuronal function. In this study, we examined three-dimensional morphologies of mitochondria in motor neurons under normal, nerve injured, and nerve injured plus fission-impaired conditions using the focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), because the FIB/SEM technology is a powerful tool to demonstrate both 3D images of whole organelle and the intra-organellar structure simultaneously. Crossing of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) gene-floxed mice with neuronal injury-specific Cre driver mice, Atf3:BAC Tg mice, allowed for Drp1 ablation specifically in injured neurons. FIB/SEM analysis demonstrated that somatic mitochondrial morphologies in motor neurons were not altered before or after nerve injury. However, the fission impairment resulted in prominent somatic mitochondrial enlargement, which initially induced complex morphologies with round regions and long tubular processes, subsequently causing a decrease in the number of processes and further enlargement of the round regions, which eventually resulted in big spheroidal mitochondria without processes. The abnormal mitochondria exhibited several degradative morphologies: local or total cristae collapse, vacuolization, and mitophagy. These suggest that mitochondrial fission is crucial for maintaining mitochondrial integrity in injured motor neurons, and multiple forms of mitochondria degradation may accelerate neuronal degradation. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Expressions of multiple neuronal dynamics during sensorimotor learning in the motor cortex of behaving monkeys.

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    Yael Mandelblat-Cerf

    Full Text Available Previous studies support the notion that sensorimotor learning involves multiple processes. We investigated the neuronal basis of these processes by recording single-unit activity in motor cortex of non-human primates (Macaca fascicularis, during adaptation to force-field perturbations. Perturbed trials (reaching to one direction were practiced along with unperturbed trials (to other directions. The number of perturbed trials relative to the unperturbed ones was either low or high, in two separate practice schedules. Unsurprisingly, practice under high-rate resulted in faster learning with more pronounced generalization, as compared to the low-rate practice. However, generalization and retention of behavioral and neuronal effects following practice in high-rate were less stable; namely, the faster learning was forgotten faster. We examined two subgroups of cells and showed that, during learning, the changes in firing-rate in one subgroup depended on the number of practiced trials, but not on time. In contrast, changes in the second subgroup depended on time and practice; the changes in firing-rate, following the same number of perturbed trials, were larger under high-rate than low-rate learning. After learning, the neuronal changes gradually decayed. In the first subgroup, the decay pace did not depend on the practice rate, whereas in the second subgroup, the decay pace was greater following high-rate practice. This group shows neuronal representation that mirrors the behavioral performance, evolving faster but also decaying faster at learning under high-rate, as compared to low-rate. The results suggest that the stability of a new learned skill and its neuronal representation are affected by the acquisition schedule.

  14. Investigation of New Morpholino Oligomers to Increase Survival Motor Neuron Protein Levels in Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Agnese; Crisafulli, Sebastiano G; Rizzuti, Mafalda; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo P; Corti, Stefania; Nizzardo, Monica

    2018-01-06

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive childhood motor neuron disease and the main genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA is caused by deletions or mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 ( SMN1 ) gene, which results in SMN protein deficiency. Only one approved drug has recently become available and allows for the correction of aberrant splicing of the paralogous SMN2 gene by antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), leading to production of full-length SMN protein. We have already demonstrated that a sequence of an ASO variant, Morpholino (MO), is particularly suitable because of its safety and efficacy profile and is both able to increase SMN levels and rescue the murine SMA phenotype. Here, we optimized this strategy by testing the efficacy of four new MO sequences targeting SMN2 . Two out of the four new MO sequences showed better efficacy in terms of SMN protein production both in SMA induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and SMAΔ7 mice. Further, the effect was enhanced when different MO sequences were administered in combination. Our data provide an important insight for MO-based treatment for SMA. Optimization of the target sequence and validation of a treatment based on a combination of different MO sequences could support further pre-clinical studies and the progression toward future clinical trials.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  16. Myopathic involvement and mitochondrial pathology in Kennedy disease and in other motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsucci, D; Rocchi, A; Caldarazzo Ienco, E; Alì, G; LoGerfo, A; Petrozzi, L; Scarpelli, M; Filosto, M; Carlesi, C; Siciliano, G; Bonuccelli, U; Mancuso, M

    2014-01-01

    Kennedy disease (spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, or SBMA) is a motor neuron disease caused by a CAG expansion in the androgen-receptor (AR) gene. Increasing evidence shows that SBMA may have a primary myopathic component and that mitochondrial dysfunction may have some role in the pathogenesis of this disease. In this article, we review the role of mitochondrial dysfunction and of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) in SBMA, and we present the illustrative case of a patient who presented with increased CK levels and exercise intolerance. Molecular analysis led to definitive diagnosis of SBMA, whereas muscle biopsy showed a mixed myopathic and neurogenic process with "mitochondrial features" and multiple mtDNA deletions, supporting some role of mitochondria in the pathogenesis of the myopathic component of Kennedy disease. Furthermore, we briefly review the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in two other motor neuron diseases (namely spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Most likely, in most cases mtDNA does not play a primary role and it is involved subsequently. MtDNA deletions may contribute to the neurodegenerative process, but the exact mechanisms are still unclear. It will be important to develop a better understanding of the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in motoneuron diseases, since it may lead to the development of more effective strategies for the treatment of this devastating disorder.

  17. Targeted assessment of lower motor neuron burden is associated with survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devine, Matthew S; Ballard, Emma; O'Rourke, Peter; Kiernan, Matthew C; Mccombe, Pamela A; Henderson, Robert D

    2016-01-01

    Estimating survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is challenging due to heterogeneity in clinical features of disease and a lack of suitable markers that predict survival. Our aim was to determine whether scoring of upper or lower motor neuron weakness is associated with survival. With this objective, 161 ALS subjects were recruited from two tertiary referral centres. Scoring of upper (UMN) and lower motor neuron (LMN) signs was performed, in addition to a brief questionnaire. Subjects were then followed until the censorship date. Univariate analysis was performed to identify variables associated with survival to either non-invasive ventilation (NIV) or death, which were then further characterized using Cox regression. Results showed that factors associated with reduced survival included older age, bulbar and respiratory involvement and shorter diagnostic delay (all p NIV or death (p ≤0.001) whereas UMN scores were poorly associated with survival. In conclusion, our results suggest that, early in disease assessment and in the context of other factors (age, bulbar, respiratory status), the burden of LMN weakness provides an accurate estimate of outcome. Such a scoring system could predict prognosis, and thereby aid in selection of patients for clinical trials.

  18. The transfection of BDNF to dopamine neurons potentiates the effect of dopamine D3 receptor agonist recovering the striatal innervation, dendritic spines and motor behavior in an aged rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis F Razgado-Hernandez

    Full Text Available The progressive degeneration of the dopamine neurons of the pars compacta of substantia nigra and the consequent loss of the dopamine innervation of the striatum leads to the impairment of motor behavior in Parkinson's disease. Accordingly, an efficient therapy of the disease should protect and regenerate the dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra and the dopamine innervation of the striatum. Nigral neurons express Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF and dopamine D3 receptors, both of which protect the dopamine neurons. The chronic activation of dopamine D3 receptors by their agonists, in addition, restores, in part, the dopamine innervation of the striatum. Here we explored whether the over-expression of BDNF by dopamine neurons potentiates the effect of the activation of D3 receptors restoring nigrostriatal innervation. Twelve-month old Wistar rats were unilaterally injected with 6-hydroxydopamine into the striatum. Five months later, rats were treated with the D3 agonist 7-hydroxy-N,N-di-n-propy1-2-aminotetralin (7-OH-DPAT administered i.p. during 4½ months via osmotic pumps and the BDNF gene transfection into nigral cells using the neurotensin-polyplex nanovector (a non-viral transfection that selectively transfect the dopamine neurons via the high-affinity neurotensin receptor expressed by these neurons. Two months after the withdrawal of 7-OH-DPAT when rats were aged (24 months old, immunohistochemistry assays were made. The over-expression of BDNF in rats receiving the D3 agonist normalized gait and motor coordination; in addition, it eliminated the muscle rigidity produced by the loss of dopamine. The recovery of motor behavior was associated with the recovery of the nigral neurons, the dopamine innervation of the striatum and of the number of dendritic spines of the striatal neurons. Thus, the over-expression of BDNF in dopamine neurons associated with the chronic activation of the D3 receptors appears to be a promising strategy

  19. Motor neurons and glia exhibit specific individualized responses to TDP-43 expression in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, Patricia S; Daniel, Scott G; McCallum, Abigail P; Boehringer, Ashley V; Sukhina, Alona S; Zwick, Rebecca A; Zarnescu, Daniela C

    2013-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease characterized by complex neuronal and glial phenotypes. Recently, RNA-based mechanisms have been linked to ALS via RNA-binding proteins such as TDP-43, which has been studied in vivo using models ranging from yeast to rodents. We have developed a Drosophila model of ALS based on TDP-43 that recapitulates several aspects of pathology, including motor neuron loss, locomotor dysfunction and reduced survival. Here we report the phenotypic consequences of expressing wild-type and four different ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations in neurons and glia. We show that TDP-43-driven neurodegeneration phenotypes are dose- and age-dependent. In motor neurons, TDP-43 appears restricted to nuclei, which are significantly misshapen due to mutant but not wild-type protein expression. In glia and in the developing neuroepithelium, TDP-43 associates with cytoplasmic puncta. TDP-43-containing RNA granules are motile in cultured motor neurons, although wild-type and mutant variants exhibit different kinetic properties. At the neuromuscular junction, the expression of TDP-43 in motor neurons versus glia leads to seemingly opposite synaptic phenotypes that, surprisingly, translate into comparable locomotor defects. Finally, we explore sleep as a behavioral readout of TDP-43 expression and find evidence of sleep fragmentation consistent with hyperexcitability, a suggested mechanism in ALS. These findings support the notion that although motor neurons and glia are both involved in ALS pathology, at the cellular level they can exhibit different responses to TDP-43. In addition, our data suggest that individual TDP-43 alleles utilize distinct molecular mechanisms, which will be important for developing therapeutic strategies.

  20. Motor neurons and glia exhibit specific individualized responses to TDP-43 expression in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia S. Estes

    2013-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal disease characterized by complex neuronal and glial phenotypes. Recently, RNA-based mechanisms have been linked to ALS via RNA-binding proteins such as TDP-43, which has been studied in vivo using models ranging from yeast to rodents. We have developed a Drosophila model of ALS based on TDP-43 that recapitulates several aspects of pathology, including motor neuron loss, locomotor dysfunction and reduced survival. Here we report the phenotypic consequences of expressing wild-type and four different ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations in neurons and glia. We show that TDP-43-driven neurodegeneration phenotypes are dose- and age-dependent. In motor neurons, TDP-43 appears restricted to nuclei, which are significantly misshapen due to mutant but not wild-type protein expression. In glia and in the developing neuroepithelium, TDP-43 associates with cytoplasmic puncta. TDP-43-containing RNA granules are motile in cultured motor neurons, although wild-type and mutant variants exhibit different kinetic properties. At the neuromuscular junction, the expression of TDP-43 in motor neurons versus glia leads to seemingly opposite synaptic phenotypes that, surprisingly, translate into comparable locomotor defects. Finally, we explore sleep as a behavioral readout of TDP-43 expression and find evidence of sleep fragmentation consistent with hyperexcitability, a suggested mechanism in ALS. These findings support the notion that although motor neurons and glia are both involved in ALS pathology, at the cellular level they can exhibit different responses to TDP-43. In addition, our data suggest that individual TDP-43 alleles utilize distinct molecular mechanisms, which will be important for developing therapeutic strategies.

  1. Neurochemical, morphologic, and laminar characterization of cortical projection neurons in the cingulate motor areas of the macaque monkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimchinsky, E. A.; Hof, P. R.; Young, W. G.; Morrison, J. H.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    The primate cingulate gyrus contains multiple cortical areas that can be distinguished by several neurochemical features, including the distribution of neurofilament protein-enriched pyramidal neurons. In addition, connectivity and functional properties indicate that there are multiple motor areas in the cortex lining the cingulate sulcus. These motor areas were targeted for analysis of potential interactions among regional specialization, connectivity, and cellular characteristics such as neurochemical profile and morphology. Specifically, intracortical injections of retrogradely transported dyes and intracellular injection were combined with immunocytochemistry to investigate neurons projecting from the cingulate motor areas to the putative forelimb region of the primary motor cortex, area M1. Two separate groups of neurons projecting to area M1 emanated from the cingulate sulcus, one anterior and one posterior, both of which furnished commissural and ipsilateral connections with area M1. The primary difference between the two populations was laminar origin, with the anterior projection originating largely in deep layers, and the posterior projection taking origin equally in superficial and deep layers. With regard to cellular morphology, the anterior projection exhibited more morphologic diversity than the posterior projection. Commissural projections from both anterior and posterior fields originated largely in layer VI. Neurofilament protein distribution was a reliable tool for localizing the two projections and for discriminating between them. Comparable proportions of the two sets of projection neurons contained neurofilament protein, although the density and distribution of the total population of neurofilament protein-enriched neurons was very different in the two subareas of origin. Within a projection, the participating neurons exhibited a high degree of morphologic heterogeneity, and no correlation was observed between somatodendritic morphology and

  2. Electronic bypass of spinal lesions: activation of lower motor neurons directly driven by cortical neural signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yan; Alam, Monzurul; Guo, Shanshan; Ting, K H; He, Jufang

    2014-07-03

    Lower motor neurons in the spinal cord lose supraspinal inputs after complete spinal cord injury, leading to a loss of volitional control below the injury site. Extensive locomotor training with spinal cord stimulation can restore locomotion function after spinal cord injury in humans and animals. However, this locomotion is non-voluntary, meaning that subjects cannot control stimulation via their natural "intent". A recent study demonstrated an advanced system that triggers a stimulator using forelimb stepping electromyographic patterns to restore quadrupedal walking in rats with spinal cord transection. However, this indirect source of "intent" may mean that other non-stepping forelimb activities may false-trigger the spinal stimulator and thus produce unwanted hindlimb movements. We hypothesized that there are distinguishable neural activities in the primary motor cortex during treadmill walking, even after low-thoracic spinal transection in adult guinea pigs. We developed an electronic spinal bridge, called "Motolink", which detects these neural patterns and triggers a "spinal" stimulator for hindlimb movement. This hardware can be head-mounted or carried in a backpack. Neural data were processed in real-time and transmitted to a computer for analysis by an embedded processor. Off-line neural spike analysis was conducted to calculate and preset the spike threshold for "Motolink" hardware. We identified correlated activities of primary motor cortex neurons during treadmill walking of guinea pigs with spinal cord transection. These neural activities were used to predict the kinematic states of the animals. The appropriate selection of spike threshold value enabled the "Motolink" system to detect the neural "intent" of walking, which triggered electrical stimulation of the spinal cord and induced stepping-like hindlimb movements. We present a direct cortical "intent"-driven electronic spinal bridge to restore hindlimb locomotion after complete spinal cord injury.

  3. The advantage of flexible neuronal tunings in neural network models for motor learning

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    Ellisha N Marongelli

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Human motor adaptation to novel environments is often modeled by a basis function network that transforms desired movement properties into estimated forces. This network employs a layer of nodes that have fixed broad tunings that generalize across the input domain. Learning is achieved by updating the weights of these nodes in response to training experience. This conventional model is unable to account for rapid flexibility observed in human spatial generalization during motor adaptation. However, added plasticity in the breadths of the basis function tunings can achieve this flexibility, and several neurophysiological experiments have revealed flexibility in tunings of sensorimotor neurons. We found a model, Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR, which uniquely possesses the structure of a basis function network in which both the weights and tuning widths of the nodes are updated incrementally during adaptation. We presented this LWPR model with training functions of different spatial complexities and monitored incremental updates to receptive field sizes. An inverse pattern of dependence of receptive field adaptation on experienced error became evident, underlying both a relationship between generalization and complexity, and a unique behavior in which generalization always narrows after a sudden switch in environmental complexity. These results implicate a model with a flexible structure, like LWPR, as a viable alternative model for human motor adaptation that can account for previously observed plasticity in spatial generalization. This theory can be tested by using the behaviors observed in our experiments as novel hypotheses in human studies.

  4. The advantage of flexible neuronal tunings in neural network models for motor learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marongelli, Ellisha N.; Thoroughman, Kurt A.

    2013-01-01

    Human motor adaptation to novel environments is often modeled by a basis function network that transforms desired movement properties into estimated forces. This network employs a layer of nodes that have fixed broad tunings that generalize across the input domain. Learning is achieved by updating the weights of these nodes in response to training experience. This conventional model is unable to account for rapid flexibility observed in human spatial generalization during motor adaptation. However, added plasticity in the widths of the basis function tunings can achieve this flexibility, and several neurophysiological experiments have revealed flexibility in tunings of sensorimotor neurons. We found a model, Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR), which uniquely possesses the structure of a basis function network in which both the weights and tuning widths of the nodes are updated incrementally during adaptation. We presented this LWPR model with training functions of different spatial complexities and monitored incremental updates to receptive field widths. An inverse pattern of dependence of receptive field adaptation on experienced error became evident, underlying both a relationship between generalization and complexity, and a unique behavior in which generalization always narrows after a sudden switch in environmental complexity. These results implicate a model that is flexible in both basis function widths and weights, like LWPR, as a viable alternative model for human motor adaptation that can account for previously observed plasticity in spatial generalization. This theory can be tested by using the behaviors observed in our experiments as novel hypotheses in human studies. PMID:23888141

  5. 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.

  6. Neuron-Glia Crosstalk and Neuropathic Pain: Involvement in the Modulation of Motor Activity in the Orofacial Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Mohammad Zakir; Unno, Shumpei; Ando, Hiroshi; Masuda, Yuji; Kitagawa, Junichi

    2017-09-26

    Neuropathic orofacial pain (NOP) is a debilitating condition. Although the pathophysiology remains unclear, accumulating evidence suggests the involvement of multiple mechanisms in the development of neuropathic pain. Recently, glial cells have been shown to play a key pathogenetic role. Nerve injury leads to an immune response near the site of injury. Satellite glial cells are activated in the peripheral ganglia. Various neural and immune mediators, released at the central terminals of primary afferents, lead to the sensitization of postsynaptic neurons and the activation of glia. The activated glia, in turn, release pro-inflammatory factors, further sensitizing the neurons, and resulting in central sensitization. Recently, we observed the involvement of glia in the alteration of orofacial motor activity in NOP. Microglia and astroglia were activated in the trigeminal sensory and motor nuclei, in parallel with altered motor functions and a decreased pain threshold. A microglial blocker attenuated the reduction in pain threshold, reduced the number of activated microglia, and restored motor activity. We also found an involvement of the astroglial glutamate-glutamine shuttle in the trigeminal motor nucleus in the alteration of the jaw reflex. Neuron-glia crosstalk thus plays an important role in the development of pain and altered motor activity in NOP.

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

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    Laura Restani

    2012-12-01

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

  8. TDP-43 in Familial and Sporadic Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration with Ubiquitin Inclusions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cairns, Nigel J.; Neumann, Manuela; Bigio, Eileen H.; Holm, Ida E.; Troost, Dirk; Hatanpaa, Kimmo J.; Foong, Chan; White, Charles L.; Schneider, Julie A.; Kretzschmar, Hans A.; Carter, Deborah; Taylor-Reinwald, Lisa; Paulsmeyer, Katherine; Strider, Jeffrey; Gitcho, Michael; Goate, Alison M.; Morris, John C.; Mishrall, Manjari; Kwong, Linda K.; Stieber, Anna; Xu, Yan; Forman, Mark S.; Trojanowski, John Q.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Mackenzie, Ian R. A.

    2007-01-01

    TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is a major pathological protein of sporadic and familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive, tau-negative inclusions (FTLD-U) with or without motor neuron disease (MND). Thus, TDP-43 defines a novel class of neurodegenerative diseases called

  9. Aberrant association of misfolded SOD1 with Na(+)/K(+)ATPase-α3 impairs its activity and contributes to motor neuron vulnerability in ALS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruegsegger, Céline; Maharjan, Niran; Goswami, Anand; Filézac de L'Etang, Audrey; Weis, Joachim; Troost, Dirk; Heller, Manfred; Gut, Heinz; Saxena, Smita

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult onset progressive motor neuron disease with no cure. Transgenic mice overexpressing familial ALS associated human mutant SOD1 are a commonly used model for examining disease mechanisms. Presently, it is well accepted that alterations in motor neuron

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji-Yon Kim

    2016-01-01

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

  11. MicroRNA Profiling Reveals Marker of Motor Neuron Disease in ALS Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoye, Mariah L; Koval, Erica D; Wegener, Amy J; Hyman, Theodore S; Yang, Chengran; O'Brien, David R; Miller, Rebecca L; Cole, Tracy; Schoch, Kathleen M; Shen, Tao; Kunikata, Tomonori; Richard, Jean-Philippe; Gutmann, David H; Maragakis, Nicholas J; Kordasiewicz, Holly B; Dougherty, Joseph D; Miller, Timothy M

    2017-05-31

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder marked by the loss of motor neurons (MNs) in the brain and spinal cord, leading to fatally debilitating weakness. Because this disease predominantly affects MNs, we aimed to characterize the distinct expression profile of that cell type to elucidate underlying disease mechanisms and to identify novel targets that inform on MN health during ALS disease time course. microRNAs (miRNAs) are short, noncoding RNAs that can shape the expression profile of a cell and thus often exhibit cell-type-enriched expression. To determine MN-enriched miRNA expression, we used Cre recombinase-dependent miRNA tagging and affinity purification in mice. By defining the in vivo miRNA expression of MNs, all neurons, astrocytes, and microglia, we then focused on MN-enriched miRNAs via a comparative analysis and found that they may functionally distinguish MNs postnatally from other spinal neurons. Characterizing the levels of the MN-enriched miRNAs in CSF harvested from ALS models of MN disease demonstrated that one miRNA (miR-218) tracked with MN loss and was responsive to an ALS therapy in rodent models. Therefore, we have used cellular expression profiling tools to define the distinct miRNA expression of MNs, which is likely to enrich future studies of MN disease. This approach enabled the development of a novel, drug-responsive marker of MN disease in ALS rodents. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease in which motor neurons (MNs) in the brain and spinal cord are selectively lost. To develop tools to aid in our understanding of the distinct expression profiles of MNs and, ultimately, to monitor MN disease progression, we identified small regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) that were highly enriched or exclusive in MNs. The signal for one of these MN-enriched miRNAs is detectable in spinal tap biofluid from an ALS rat model, where its levels change as disease

  12. The water extract of Liuwei dihuang possesses multi-protective properties on neurons and muscle tissue against deficiency of survival motor neuron protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Yu-Ting; Jong, Yuh-Jyh; Liang, Wei-Fang; Chang, Fang-Rong; Lo, Yi-Ching

    2017-10-15

    Deficiency of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, which is encoded by the SMN1 and SMN2 genes, induces widespread splicing defects mainly in spinal motor neurons, and leads to spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Currently, there is no effective treatment for SMA. Liuwei dihuang (LWDH), a traditional Chinese herbal formula, possesses multiple therapeutic benefits against various diseases via modulation of the nervous, immune and endocrine systems. Previously, we demonstrated water extract of LWDH (LWDH-WE) protects dopaminergic neurons and improves motor activity in models of Parkinson's disease. This study aimed to investigate the potential protection of LWDH-WE on SMN deficiency-induced neurodegeneration and muscle weakness. The effects of LWDH-WE on SMN deficiency-induced neurotoxicity and muscle atrophy were examined by using SMN-deficient NSC34 motor neuron-like cells and SMA-like mice, respectively. Inducible SMN-knockdown NSC34 motor neuron-like cells were used to mimic SMN-deficient condition. Doxycycline (1 µg/ml) was used to induce SMN deficiency in stable NSC34 cell line carrying SMN-specific shRNA. SMAΔ7 mice were used as a severe type of SMA mouse model. Cell viability was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays. Apoptotic cells and neurite length were observed by inverted microscope. Protein expressions were examined by western blots. Muscle strength of animals was evaluated by hind-limb suspension test. LWDH-WE significantly increased SMN protein level, mitochondrial membrane potential and cell viability of SMN-deficient NSC34 cells. LWDH-WE attenuated SMN deficiency-induced down-regulation of B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and up-regulation of cytosolic cytochrome c and cleaved caspase-3. Moreover, LWDH-WE prevented SMN deficiency-induced inhibition of neurite outgrowth and activation of Ras homolog gene family, member A (RhoA)/ Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK2)/ phospho

  13. Neuron-specific caveolin-1 overexpression improves motor function and preserves memory in mice subjected to brain trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egawa, Junji; Schilling, Jan M; Cui, Weihua; Posadas, Edmund; Sawada, Atsushi; Alas, Basheer; Zemljic-Harpf, Alice E; Fannon-Pavlich, McKenzie J; Mandyam, Chitra D; Roth, David M; Patel, Hemal H; Patel, Piyush M; Head, Brian P

    2017-08-01

    Studies in vitro and in vivo demonstrate that membrane/lipid rafts and caveolin (Cav) organize progrowth receptors, and, when overexpressed specifically in neurons, Cav-1 augments neuronal signaling and growth and improves cognitive function in adult and aged mice; however, whether neuronal Cav-1 overexpression can preserve motor and cognitive function in the brain trauma setting is unknown. Here, we generated a neuron-targeted Cav-1-overexpressing transgenic (Tg) mouse [synapsin-driven Cav-1 (SynCav1 Tg)] and subjected it to a controlled cortical impact model of brain trauma and measured biochemical, anatomic, and behavioral changes. SynCav1 Tg mice exhibited increased hippocampal expression of Cav-1 and membrane/lipid raft localization of postsynaptic density protein 95, NMDA receptor, and tropomyosin receptor kinase B. When subjected to a controlled cortical impact, SynCav1 Tg mice demonstrated preserved hippocampus-dependent fear learning and memory, improved motor function recovery, and decreased brain lesion volume compared with wild-type controls. Neuron-targeted overexpression of Cav-1 in the adult brain prevents hippocampus-dependent learning and memory deficits, restores motor function after brain trauma, and decreases brain lesion size induced by trauma. Our findings demonstrate that neuron-targeted Cav-1 can be used as a novel therapeutic strategy to restore brain function and prevent trauma-associated maladaptive plasticity.-Egawa, J., Schilling, J. M., Cui, W., Posadas, E., Sawada, A., Alas, B., Zemljic-Harpf, A. E., Fannon-Pavlich, M. J., Mandyam, C. D., Roth, D. M., Patel, H. H., Patel, P. M., Head, B. P. Neuron-specific caveolin-1 overexpression improves motor function and preserves memory in mice subjected to brain trauma. © FASEB.

  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

    nanoparticles could be effective for stem cell differentiation in vitro. Materials & methods: We used a mouse embryonic stem cell line expressing green fluorescent protein under the promoter for the MN-specific gene Hb9 to visualize the level of MN differentiation. The differentiation of stem cells......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...... was evaluated by expression of MN-specific transcription factors monitored by quantitative real-time PCR reactions and immunocytochemistry. Results: Mesoporous nanoparticles have strong affiliation to the embryoid bodies, penetrate inside the embryoid bodies and come in contact with differentiating cells...

  15. A microfluidic device to study neuronal and motor responses to acute chemical stimuli in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candelier, Raphaël; Murmu, Meena Sriti; Romano, Sebastián Alejo; Jouary, Adrien; Debrégeas, Georges; Sumbre, Germán

    2015-07-21

    Zebrafish larva is a unique model for whole-brain functional imaging and to study sensory-motor integration in the vertebrate brain. To take full advantage of this system, one needs to design sensory environments that can mimic the complex spatiotemporal stimulus patterns experienced by the animal in natural conditions. We report on a novel open-ended microfluidic device that delivers pulses of chemical stimuli to agarose-restrained larvae with near-millisecond switching rate and unprecedented spatial and concentration accuracy and reproducibility. In combination with two-photon calcium imaging and recordings of tail movements, we found that stimuli of opposite hedonic values induced different circuit activity patterns. Moreover, by precisely controlling the duration of the stimulus (50-500 ms), we found that the probability of generating a gustatory-induced behavior is encoded by the number of neurons activated. This device may open new ways to dissect the neural-circuit principles underlying chemosensory perception.

  16. AETIOLOGY OF ACQUIRED LOWER MOTOR NEURON TYPE OF FACIAL NERVE PARALYSIS– A DESCRIPTIVE STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arya Devi Karangat

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND This study was conducted to evaluate the various aetiologies of acquired lower motor neuron type of facial nerve paralysis, assessment of severity of lesion and outcome through follow up. 47 patients between 15-75 years were studied. MATERIALS AND METHODS All patients with acquired LMN facial paralysis who presented to our department were included in the study. They were evaluated with history, clinical examination and investigations. They were treated and followed up for a period of 6 months. RESULTS The most common aetiology identified for facial palsy was trauma which was non-iatrogenic. The anatomic level which predominated in our patients was infrastapedial. Maximum number of patients presented with grade 4 facial palsy. CONCLUSION Non- iatrogenic trauma was the most common cause among the patients studied and follow up of these patients had a good recovery of 60%.

  17. Different patterns of motor activity induce differential plastic changes in pyramidal neurons in the motor cortex of rats: A Golgi study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-Hernández, Nallely; González-Tapia, Diana C; Martínez-Torres, Nestor I; González-Tapia, David; González-Burgos, Ignacio

    2017-09-14

    Rehabilitation is a process which favors recovery after brain damage involving motor systems, and neural plasticity is the only real resource the brain has for inducing neurobiological events in order to bring about re-adaptation. Rats were placed on a treadmill and made to walk, in different groups, at different velocities and with varying degrees of inclination. Plastic changes in the spines of the apical and basal dendrites of fifth-layer pyramidal neurons in the motor cortices of the rats were detected after study with the Golgi method. Numbers of dendritic spines increased in the three experimental groups, and thin, mushroom, stubby, wide, and branched spines increased or decreased in proportion depending on the motor demands made of each group. Along with the numerical increase of spines, the present findings provide evidence that dendritic spines' geometrical plasticity is involved in the differential performance of motor activity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  19. Mutant ApoA-1 Amyloidosis in a Family of Five Siblings With Motor Neuron Disease and Dementia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vrethema, Magnus; Mucchiano, Gerd Ingrid

    2011-01-01

    We present a family of fi ve siblings in which three brothers died of motor neuron disease (MND) and in two of them concomitant with dementia. A fourth brother died of myocardial infarction and was found to have extensive aortic intimal apolipoprotein A-1 (ApoA-1) derived amyloid deposits and apo...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, J D

    2000-12-01

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

  1. Neurotrophic effects of progranulin in vivo in reversing motor neuron defects caused by over or under expression of TDP-43 or FUS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babykumari P Chitramuthu

    Full Text Available Progranulin (PGRN is a glycoprotein with multiple roles in normal and disease states. Mutations within the GRN gene cause frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD. The affected neurons display distinctive TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43 inclusions. How partial loss of PGRN causes TDP-43 neuropathology is poorly understood. TDP-43 inclusions are also found in affected neurons of patients with other neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and Alzheimer's disease. In ALS, TDP-43 inclusions are typically also immunoreactive for fused in sarcoma (FUS. Mutations within TDP-43 or FUS are themselves neuropathogenic in ALS and some cases of FTLD. We used the outgrowth of caudal primary motor neurons (MNs in zebrafish embryos to investigate the interaction of PGRN with TDP-43 and FUS in vivo. As reported previously, depletion of zebrafish PGRN-A (zfPGRN-A is associated with truncated primary MNs and impaired motor function. Here we found that depletion of zfPGRN-A results in primary MNs outgrowth stalling at the horizontal myoseptum, a line of demarcation separating the myotome into dorsal and ventral compartments that is where the final destination of primary motor is assigned. Successful axonal outgrowth beyond the horizontal myoseptum depends in part upon formation of acetylcholine receptor clusters and this was found to be disorganized upon depletion of zfPGRN-A. PGRN reversed the effects of zfPGRN-A knockdown, but a related gene, zfPGRN-1, was without effect. Both knockdown of TDP-43 or FUS, as well as expression of humanTDP-43 and FUS mutants results in MN abnormalities that are reversed by co-expression of hPGRN mRNA. Neither TDP-43 nor FUS reversed MN phenotypes caused by the depletion of PGRN. Thus TDP-43 and FUS lie upstream of PGRN in a gene complementation pathway. The ability of PGRN to override TDP-43 and FUS neurotoxicity due to partial loss of function or mutation in the corresponding genes may have

  2. Functional neuromuscular junctions formed by embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joy A Umbach

    Full Text Available A key objective of stem cell biology is to create physiologically relevant cells suitable for modeling disease pathologies in vitro. Much progress towards this goal has been made in the area of motor neuron (MN disease through the development of methods to direct spinal MN formation from both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Previous studies have characterized these neurons with respect to their molecular and intrinsic functional properties. However, the synaptic activity of stem cell-derived MNs remains less well defined. In this study, we report the development of low-density co-culture conditions that encourage the formation of active neuromuscular synapses between stem cell-derived MNs and muscle cells in vitro. Fluorescence microscopy reveals the expression of numerous synaptic proteins at these contacts, while dual patch clamp recording detects both spontaneous and multi-quantal evoked synaptic responses similar to those observed in vivo. Together, these findings demonstrate that stem cell-derived MNs innervate muscle cells in a functionally relevant manner. This dual recording approach further offers a sensitive and quantitative assay platform to probe disorders of synaptic dysfunction associated with MN disease.

  3. Portuguese family with the co-occurrence of frontotemporal lobar degeneration and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis phenotypes due to progranulin gene mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Maria R; Macário, Maria C; Ramos, Lina; Baldeiras, Inês; Ribeiro, Maria H; Santana, Isabel

    2016-05-01

    We and others have reported heterozygous progranulin mutations as an important cause of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). It has been identified a complete progranulin deficiency because of a homozygous mutation in a sibling pair with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL). Here, we describe the first case of NCL caused by a homozygous progranulin mutation segregating in a family with neuropathological confirmed FTLD. In this FTLD-NCL family, we detail the clinical phenotype, neuropsychological evaluation and imaging data of our proband harboring a homozygous mutation, c.900_901dupGT, with serum progranulin level (progranulin levels in suspected recessive adult-onset NCL cases. Overall, a more holistic neurologic intervention is needed to guarantee a proper genetic counseling in cases like the present family where two distinct phenotypes are generated according to the individuals' mutation state. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Sirtuin1 Over-Expression Does Not Impact Retinal Vascular and Neuronal Degeneration in a Mouse Model of Oxygen-Induced Retinopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michan, Shaday; Juan, Aimee M.; Hurst, Christian G.; Cui, Zhenghao; Evans, Lucy P.; Hatton, Colman J.; Pei, Dorothy T.; Ju, Meihua; Sinclair, David A.; Smith, Lois E. H.; Chen, Jing

    2014-01-01

    Proliferative retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness, including retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in children and diabetic retinopathy in adults. Retinopathy is characterized by an initial phase of vessel loss, leading to tissue ischemia and hypoxia, followed by sight threatening pathologic neovascularization in the second phase. Previously we found that Sirtuin1 (Sirt1), a metabolically dependent protein deacetylase, regulates vascular regeneration in a mouse model of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy (OIR), as neuronal depletion of Sirt1 in retina worsens retinopathy. In this study we assessed whether over-expression of Sirtuin1 in retinal neurons and vessels achieved by crossing Sirt1 over-expressing flox mice with Nestin-Cre mice or Tie2-Cre mice, respectively, may protect against retinopathy. We found that over-expression of Sirt1 in Nestin expressing retinal neurons does not impact vaso-obliteration or pathologic neovascularization in OIR, nor does it influence neuronal degeneration in OIR. Similarly, increased expression of Sirt1 in Tie2 expressing vascular endothelial cells and monocytes/macrophages does not protect retinal vessels in OIR. In addition to the genetic approaches, dietary supplement with Sirt1 activators, resveratrol or SRT1720, were fed to wild type mice with OIR. Neither treatment showed significant vaso-protective effects in retinopathy. Together these results indicate that although endogenous Sirt1 is important as a stress-induced protector in retinopathy, over-expression of Sirt1 or treatment with small molecule activators at the examined doses do not provide additional protection against retinopathy in mice. Further studies are needed to examine in depth whether increasing levels of Sirt1 may serve as a potential therapeutic approach to treat or prevent retinopathy. PMID:24416337

  5. Sirtuin1 over-expression does not impact retinal vascular and neuronal degeneration in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michan, Shaday; Juan, Aimee M; Hurst, Christian G; Cui, Zhenghao; Evans, Lucy P; Hatton, Colman J; Pei, Dorothy T; Ju, Meihua; Sinclair, David A; Smith, Lois E H; Chen, Jing

    2014-01-01

    Proliferative retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness, including retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in children and diabetic retinopathy in adults. Retinopathy is characterized by an initial phase of vessel loss, leading to tissue ischemia and hypoxia, followed by sight threatening pathologic neovascularization in the second phase. Previously we found that Sirtuin1 (Sirt1), a metabolically dependent protein deacetylase, regulates vascular regeneration in a mouse model of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy (OIR), as neuronal depletion of Sirt1 in retina worsens retinopathy. In this study we assessed whether over-expression of Sirtuin1 in retinal neurons and vessels achieved by crossing Sirt1 over-expressing flox mice with Nestin-Cre mice or Tie2-Cre mice, respectively, may protect against retinopathy. We found that over-expression of Sirt1 in Nestin expressing retinal neurons does not impact vaso-obliteration or pathologic neovascularization in OIR, nor does it influence neuronal degeneration in OIR. Similarly, increased expression of Sirt1 in Tie2 expressing vascular endothelial cells and monocytes/macrophages does not protect retinal vessels in OIR. In addition to the genetic approaches, dietary supplement with Sirt1 activators, resveratrol or SRT1720, were fed to wild type mice with OIR. Neither treatment showed significant vaso-protective effects in retinopathy. Together these results indicate that although endogenous Sirt1 is important as a stress-induced protector in retinopathy, over-expression of Sirt1 or treatment with small molecule activators at the examined doses do not provide additional protection against retinopathy in mice. Further studies are needed to examine in depth whether increasing levels of Sirt1 may serve as a potential therapeutic approach to treat or prevent retinopathy.

  6. Evolution and Development of the Inner Ear Efferent System: Transforming a Motor Neuron Population to Connect to the Most Unusual Motor Protein via Ancient Nicotinic Receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernd Fritzsch

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available All craniate chordates have inner ears with hair cells that receive input from the brain by cholinergic centrifugal fibers, the so-called inner ear efferents (IEEs. Comparative data suggest that IEEs derive from facial branchial motor (FBM neurons that project to the inner ear instead of facial muscles. Developmental data showed that IEEs develop adjacent to FBMs and segregation from IEEs might depend on few transcription factors uniquely associated with IEEs. Like other cholinergic terminals in the peripheral nervous system (PNS, efferent terminals signal on hair cells through nicotinic acetylcholine channels, likely composed out of alpha 9 and alpha 10 units (Chrna9, Chrna10. Consistent with the evolutionary ancestry of IEEs is the even more conserved ancestry of Chrna9 and 10. The evolutionary appearance of IEEs may reflect access of FBMs to a novel target, possibly related to displacement or loss of mesoderm-derived muscle fibers by the ectoderm-derived ear vesicle. Experimental transplantations mimicking this possible aspect of ear evolution showed that different motor neurons of the spinal cord or brainstem form cholinergic synapses on hair cells when ears replace somites or eyes. Transplantation provides experimental evidence in support of the evolutionary switch of FBM neurons to become IEEs. Mammals uniquely evolved a prestin related motor system to cause shape changes in outer hair cells regulated by the IEEs. In summary, an ancient motor neuron population drives in craniates via signaling through highly conserved Chrna receptors a uniquely derived cellular contractility system that is essential for hearing in mammals.

  7. Catalpol ameliorates beta amyloid-induced degeneration of cholinergic neurons by elevating brain-derived neurotrophic factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Z; Liu, Q; Zhang, R; Liu, S; Xia, Z; Hu, Y

    2009-11-10

    The purpose of this work is to study the effect of catalpol, an iridoid from Rehmannia glutinosa on neurodegenerative changes induced by beta-amyloid peptide Abeta(25-35) or Abeta(25-35)+ibotenic acid and the underlying mechanism. Results showed that catalpol significantly improved the memory deficits in the neurodegenerative mouse model produced by injection of Abeta(25-35)+ibotenic acid to the nucleus magnocellularis basalis, yet it is neither a cholinesterase inhibitor nor a muscarinic (M) receptor agonist. Instead, the choline acetyl transferase (ChAT) activity and the M receptor density in brain were significantly decreased in the model mice and catalpol could significantly elevate their levels. Furthermore, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) content in brain was significantly decreased in the model mice and catalpol elevated it to normal level (83%+/-3% and 102%+/-2% of normal respectively). There is a significant positive correlation between BDNF content and memory. Primary culture of forebrain neurons revealed that aggregated Abeta(25-35) induced significant decrease of ChAT positive neuron number, neurite outgrowth length, and M receptor density, while catalpol added to the culture medium 2 h prior to Abeta addition showed significant dose dependent protective effect. Notably, 24 h and 48 h after the addition of Abeta to the cultured cells, the BDNF mRNA level in the neurons decreased to 76%+/-7% and 66%+/-3% of control without catalpol treatment, but became 128%+/-17% and 131%+/-23% of control with catalpol treatment. When the action of BDNF was inhibited by k252a in the cultured neurons, the protective effect of catalpol was completely (neurite outgrowth length) or partially (ChAT positive neuron number and the M receptor density) abolished. Taken together, catalpol improves memory and protects the forebrain neurons from neurodegeneration through increasing BDNF expression. Whether catalpol could reverse the neurodegenerative changes already

  8. Small heat shock proteins mediate cell-autonomous and -nonautonomous protection in a Drosophila model for environmental-stress-induced degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawasaki, Fumiko; Koonce, Noelle L; Guo, Linda; Fatima, Shahroz; Qiu, Catherine; Moon, Mackenzie T; Zheng, Yunzhen; Ordway, Richard W

    2016-09-01

    Cell and tissue degeneration, and the development of degenerative diseases, are influenced by genetic and environmental factors that affect protein misfolding and proteotoxicity. To better understand the role of the environment in degeneration, we developed a genetic model for heat shock (HS)-stress-induced degeneration in Drosophila This model exhibits a unique combination of features that enhance genetic analysis of degeneration and protection mechanisms involving environmental stress. These include cell-type-specific failure of proteostasis and degeneration in response to global stress, cell-nonautonomous interactions within a simple and accessible network of susceptible cell types, and precise temporal control over the induction of degeneration. In wild-type flies, HS stress causes selective loss of the flight ability and degeneration of three susceptible cell types comprising the flight motor: muscle, motor neurons and associated glia. Other motor behaviors persist and, accordingly, the corresponding cell types controlling leg motor function are resistant to degeneration. Flight motor degeneration was preceded by a failure of muscle proteostasis characterized by diffuse ubiquitinated protein aggregates. Moreover, muscle-specific overexpression of a small heat shock protein (HSP), HSP23, promoted proteostasis and protected muscle from HS stress. Notably, neurons and glia were protected as well, indicating that a small HSP can mediate cell-nonautonomous protection. Cell-autonomous protection of muscle was characterized by a distinct distribution of ubiquitinated proteins, including perinuclear localization and clearance of protein aggregates associated with the perinuclear microtubule network. This network was severely disrupted in wild-type preparations prior to degeneration, suggesting that it serves an important role in muscle proteostasis and protection. Finally, studies of resistant leg muscles revealed that they sustain proteostasis and the microtubule

  9. Gastrointestinal-projecting neurones in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus exhibit direct and viscerotopically organized sensitivity to orexin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabauskas, Gintautas; Moises, Hylan C

    2003-01-01

    Orexin (hypocretin)-containing projections from lateral hypothalamus (LH) are thought to play an important role in the regulation of feeding behaviour and energy balance. In rodent studies, central administration of orexin peptides increases food intake, and orexin neurones in the LH are activated by hypoglycaemia during fasting. In addition, administration of orexins into the fourth ventricle or the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) has been shown to stimulate gastric acid secretion and motility, respectively, via vagal efferent pathways. In this study, whole-cell recordings were obtained from DMV neurones in rat brainstem slices to investigate the cellular mechanism(s) by which orexins produce their gastrostimulatory effects. To determine whether responsiveness to orexins might be differentially expressed among distinct populations of preganglionic vagal motor neurones, recordings were made from neurones whose projections to the gastrointestinal tract had been identified by retrograde labelling following apposition of the fluorescent tracer DiI to the gastric fundus, corpus or antrum/pylorus, the duodenum or caecum. Additionally, the responses of neurones to orexins were compared with those produced by oxytocin, which acts within the DMV to stimulate gastric acid secretion, but inhibits gastric motor function. Bath application of orexin-A or orexin-B (30–300 nm) produced a slow depolarization, accompanied by increased firing in 47 of 102 DMV neurones tested, including 70 % (30/43) of those that projected to the gastric fundus or corpus. In contrast, few DMV neurones that supplied the antrum/pylorus (3/13), duodenum (4/18) or caecum (1/13) were responsive to these peptides. The depolarizing responses were concentration dependent and persisted during synaptic isolation of neurones with TTX or Cd2+, indicating they resulted from activation of postsynaptic orexin receptors. They were also associated with a small increase in membrane resistance, and in voltage

  10. [The motor organization of cerebral cortex and the role of the mirror neuron system. Clinical impact for rehabilitation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallés, Laia; Gironès, Xavier; Lafuente, José Vicente

    2015-01-06

    The basic characteristics of Penfield homunculus (somatotopy and unique representation) have been questioned. The existence of a defined anatomo-functional organization within different segments of the same region is controversial. The presence of multiple motor representations in the primary motor area and in the parietal lobe interconnected by parieto-frontal circuits, which are widely overlapped, form a complex organization. Both features support the recovery of functions after brain injury. Regarding the movement organization, it is possible to yield a relevant impact through the understanding of actions and intentions of others, which is mediated by the activation of mirror-neuron systems. The implementation of cognitive functions (observation, image of the action and imitation) from the acute treatment phase allows the activation of motor representations without having to perform the action and it plays an important role in learning motor patterns. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  11. A developmental approach of imitation to study the emergence of mirror neurons in a sensory-motor controller

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaussier Philippe

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons have often been considered as the explanation of how primates can imitate. In this paper, we show that a simple neural network architecture that learns visuo-motor associations can be enough to let low level imitation emerge without a priori mirror neurons. Adding sequence learning mechanisms and action inhibition allows to perform deferred imitation of gestures demonstrated visually or by body manipulation. With the building of a cognitive map giving the capability of learning plans, we can study in our model the emergence of both low level and high level resonances highlighted by Rizzolatti et al.

  12. MRI and SPECT findings in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Demonstration of upper motor neurone involvement by clinical neuroimaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ukada, F.; Sawada, H.; Seriu, N.; Shindou, K.; Nishitani, N.; Kameyama, M. (Sumitomo Hospital, Osaka (Japan). Dept. of Neurology)

    1992-10-01

    MRI was performed in 21 patients and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with N-isopropyl-p-[sup 123]I iodoamphetamine in 16 patients, to visualize upper motor neurone lesions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. T2-weighted MRI revealed high signal along the course of the pyramidal tract in the internal capsule and cerebral peduncle in 4 of 21 patients. SPECT images were normal in 4 patients, but uptake was reduced in the cerebral cortex that includes the motor area in 11. (orig.).

  13. Sialorrhoea: How to Manage a Frequent Complication of Motor Neuron Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Pellegrini

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Sialorrhoea, the unintentional loss of saliva through the mouth, is the frequent complication of neurological disorders affecting strength or coordination of oropharyngeal muscles, such as motor neuron disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND/ALS or Parkinson’s disease. Sialorrhoea might affect up to 42% of ALS patients, with almost half of them having poorly managed symptoms. Sialorrhoea can impair patients’ social life, while dermatological complications, such as skin rashes, may arise due to constant exposure to moisture. Moreover, the excess mouth-retained saliva in ALS patients may lead to serious complications, such as choking, which causes anxiety, and aspiration with the consequent pneumonia. The inclusion of a sialorrhoea-related item in the ALS functional rating scale testifies both the incidence and importance of sialorrhoea during the ALS clinical course. Because of the progressive nature of ALS, presence and severity of sialorrhoea should be assessed at every visit and, when present, active treatment pursued. Available treatments include behavioural therapy, i.e. techniques to enhance periodic swallowing of saliva, systemic or local anticholinergic medications, botulinum toxin injection, electron beam irradiation, and surgical techniques. This review paper briefly describes the available options with related side-effects and current guideline recommendations for managing sialorrhoea in ALS patients.

  14. Cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light concentration in motor neuron disease and frontotemporal dementia predicts survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skillbäck, Tobias; Mattsson, Niklas; Blennow, Kaj; Zetterberg, Henrik

    2017-08-01

    To aid diagnostics, patient stratification and studies seeking to find treatments for the related diseases motor neuron disease (MND) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), there is a need to establish a way to assess disease severity and the amount of ongoing neurodegeneration. Previous studies have suggested that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurofilament light (NFL) may serve this purpose. We cross-referenced the Swedish mortality registry with the laboratory database at Sahlgrenska University Hospital to produce a dataset of CSF NFL concentrations and mortality information for 715 MND patients, 87 FTD patients, and 107 healthy controls. Biomarker concentrations were analysed in relation to recorded cause of death and time of death. MND patients had significantly higher CSF NFL concentrations than FTD patients. Both groups had significantly higher concentrations than the healthy controls (mean 709% increase in MND and 307% increase in FTD). Higher concentrations of CSF NFL were associated with shorter survival in both MND and FTD. The results of this study strengthen the notion of CSF NFL as a useful tool for determining disease intensity in MND and FTD patients. Further studies in patient cohorts with clinically subtyped and genetically classified diagnoses are needed.

  15. Genetic epidemiology of motor neuron disease-associated variants in the Scottish population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Holly A; Leighton, Danielle J; Cleary, Elaine M; Rose, Elaine; Stephenson, Laura; Colville, Shuna; Ross, David; Warner, Jon; Porteous, Mary; Gorrie, George H; Swingler, Robert; Goldstein, David; Harms, Matthew B; Connick, Peter; Pal, Suvankar; Aitman, Timothy J; Chandran, Siddharthan

    2017-03-01

    Genetic understanding of motor neuron disease (MND) has evolved greatly in the past 10 years, including the recent identification of association between MND and variants in TBK1 and NEK1. Our aim was to determine the frequency of pathogenic variants in known MND genes and to assess whether variants in TBK1 and NEK1 contribute to the burden of MND in the Scottish population. SOD1, TARDBP, OPTN, TBK1, and NEK1 were sequenced in 441 cases and 400 controls. In addition to 44 cases known to carry a C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion, we identified 31 cases and 2 controls that carried a loss-of-function or pathogenic variant. Loss-of-function variants were found in TBK1 in 3 cases and no controls and, separately, in NEK1 in 3 cases and no controls. This study provides an accurate description of the genetic epidemiology of MND in Scotland and provides support for the contribution of both TBK1 and NEK1 to MND susceptibility in the Scottish population. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Diaphragm pacing and noninvasive respiratory management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahajan, Kedar R; Bach, John Robert; Saporito, Lou; Perez, Nick

    2012-12-01

    Although it is known that continuous noninvasive ventilation (CNIV) can prolong life in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (ALS/MND), in this study we explore similar claims for diaphragm pacing (DP). NIV and DP users' vital capacities (VCs) over time and duration of NIV and CNIV dependence were analyzed for 354 non-DP and 8 DP ALS/MND patients. Patients had a higher rate of monthly VC decline before NIV use (5.1 ± 7.6%) than during NIV use (2.5 ± 3.6%) (P NIV for 19.9 ± 27.6 months until tracheostomy/death, whereas 113 others used it for 10.9 ± 10.5 months until CNIV dependence for another 12.8 ± 16.2 months. After placement, 7 DP users were CNIV dependent in 8.0 ± 7.0 months, whereas 6 underwent tracheostomy/died in 18.2 ± 13.7 months. CNIV prolonged the survival of 113 of the 354 non-DP and 6 DP ALS/MND patients by 12.8 and 10.2 months, respectively. DP provided no benefit on VC or mechanical ventilation-free survival. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Voltage-Gated Potassium Channel Antibodies in Slow-Progression Motor Neuron Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godani, Massimiliano; Zoccarato, Marco; Beronio, Alessandro; Zuliani, Luigi; Benedetti, Luana; Giometto, Bruno; Del Sette, Massimo; Raggio, Elisa; Baldi, Roberta; Vincent, Angela

    2017-01-01

    The spectrum of autoimmune neurological diseases associated with voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC)-complex antibodies (Abs) ranges from peripheral nerve disorders to limbic encephalitis. Recently, low titers of VGKC-complex Abs have also been reported in neurodegenerative disorders, but their clinical relevance is unknown. The aim of the study was to explore the prevalence of VGKC-complex Abs in slow-progression motor neuron disease (MND). We compared 11 patients affected by slow-progression MND with 9 patients presenting typical progression illness. Sera were tested for VGKC-complex Abs by radioimmunoassay. The distribution of VGKC-complex Abs was analyzed with the Mann-Whitney U test. The statistical analysis showed a significant difference between the mean values in the study and control groups. A case with long-survival MND harboring VGKC-complex Abs and treated with intravenous immunoglobulins is described. Although VGKC-complex Abs are not likely to be pathogenic, these results could reflect the coexistence of an immunological activation in patients with slow disease progression. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. 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.

  19. 5-HT modulation of hyperpolarization-activated inward current and calcium- dependent outward current in a crustacean motor neuron

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiehn, O.; Harris-Warrick, R. M.

    1992-01-01

    1. Serotonergic modulation of a hyperpolarization-activated inward current, I(h), and a calcium-dependent outward current, I(o(Ca)), was examined in the dorsal gastric (DG) motor neuron, with the use of intracellular recording techniques in an isolated preparation of the crab stomatogastric....... The time course of activation of I(h) was well fitted by a single exponential function and strongly voltage dependent. 5-HT increased the rate of activation of I(h). 5- HT also slowed the rate of deactivation of the I(h) tail on repolarization to -50 mV. 6. The activation curve for the conductance (G...... reduced or eliminated the 5-HT response in the depolarizing range, suggesting that 5-HT specifically reduces I(o(Ca)). 11. These results demonstrate that 5-HT has dual effects on the DG motor neuron, in the crab stomatogastric ganglion. We suggest that changes in the two conductances are responsible...

  20. Improving the Delivery of SOD1 Antisense Oligonucleotides to Motor Neurons Using Calcium Phosphate-Lipid Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyu Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting the upper and lower motor neurons in the motor cortex and spinal cord. Abnormal accumulation of mutant superoxide dismutase I (SOD1 in motor neurons is a pathological hallmark of some forms of the disease. We have shown that the orderly progression of the disease may be explained by misfolded SOD1 cell-to-cell propagation, which is reliant upon its active endogenous synthesis. Reducing the levels of SOD1 is therefore a promising therapeutic approach. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs can efficiently silence proteins with gain-of-function mutations. However, naked ASOs have a short circulation half-life and are unable to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB warranting the use of a drug carrier for effective delivery. In this study, calcium phosphate lipid coated nanoparticles (CaP-lipid NPs were developed for delivery of SOD1 ASO to motor neurons. The most promising nanoparticle formulation (Ca/P ratio of 100:1, had a uniform spherical core–shell morphology with an average size of 30 nm, and surface charge (ζ-potential of −4.86 mV. The encapsulation efficiency of ASO was 48% and stability studies found the particle to be stable over a period of 20 days. In vitro experiments demonstrated that the negatively charged ASO-loaded CaP-lipid NPs could effectively deliver SOD1-targeted ASO into a mouse motor neuron-like cell line (NSC-34 through endocytosis and significantly down-regulated SOD1 expression in HEK293 cells. The CaP-lipid NPs exhibited a pH-dependant dissociation, suggesting that that the acidification of lysosomes is the likely mechanism responsible for facilitating intracellular ASO release. To demonstrate tissue specific delivery and localization of these NPs we performed in vivo microinjections into zebrafish. Successful delivery of these NPs was confirmed for the zebrafish brain, the blood stream, and the spinal cord. These results suggest that Ca

  1. Sporadic lower motor neuron disease with a snake eyes appearance on the cervical anterior horns by MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Shoichi

    2015-09-01

    Lower motor neuron disease (LMND) is the term generally used to describe diseases in which only lower motor neuron signs are detected. A snake eyes appearance on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is associated with a wide spectrum of neurological conditions including LMND. The author reports on three unique LMND patients with upper limb muscle weakness and atrophy who show a snake eyes appearance by MRI. The patients were aged 18, 40 and 52 years, respectively, at the onset of the disease and had a longstanding clinical course (more than 10 years for two patients and 8 years for one patient). They were followed up for more than 6 years. Clinical manifestations were characterized by (1) longstanding slow progression or delayed spontaneous arrest of asymmetric lower motor neuron signs localized exclusively in the upper extremities with unilateral predominance and distal or proximal preponderance; (2) the absence of upper motor neuron signs, bulbar signs, sensory disturbances and respiratory involvement; (3) a snake eyes appearance on the anterior horns of the cervical cord over more than 3 vertebrae by axial T2-weighted MRI and a longitudinal linear-shaped T2-signal hyperintensity by sagittal MRI; (4) neurogenic change with fasciculation and denervation potentials (fibrillation and a positive sharp wave) confined to the affected muscles by needle electromyogram; and (5) normal cerebrospinal fluid and a normal creatine kinase level. These cases did not fall into any existing category of LMND, such as progressive muscular atrophy, flail arm syndrome or Hirayama disease. These patients should be classified as sporadic LMND with snake eyes on MRI with a relatively benign prognosis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Protective Effects of Two Constituents of Chinese Herbs on Spinal Motor Neurons from Embryonic Rats with Hypoxia Injury

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Jian-feng; Fan, Jian; Tian, Xiao-wu; Tang, Tian-si

    2011-01-01

    Neuroprotective agents are becoming significant tools in the repair of central nervous system injuries. In this study, we determined whether ginkgolides (Gin, extract of GinkgoBiloba) and Acanthopanax senticosus saponins (ASS, flavonoids extracted from Acanthopanax herbal preparations) have protective effects on rat spinal cords exposed to anoxia and we explored the mechanisms that underlie the protective effects. Spinal motor neurons (SMNs) from rat spinal cords were obtained and divided int...

  3. Peripheral nerve injury causes transient expression of MHC class I antigens in rat motor neurons and skeletal muscles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maehlen, J; Nennesmo, I; Olsson, A B

    1989-01-01

    After a peripheral nerve lesion (rat facial and sciatic) an induction of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens class I was detected immunohistochemically in skeletal muscle fibers and motor neurons. This MHC expression was transient after a nerve crush, when regeneration occurred......, but persisted after a nerve cut, when regeneration was prevented. Since the time course of MHC class I expression correlates to that of regeneration a role for this cell surface molecule in regeneration may be considered....

  4. Neuronal involvement in cisplatin neuropathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krarup-Hansen, A; Helweg-Larsen, Susanne Elisabeth; Schmalbruch, H

    2007-01-01

    of large dorsal root ganglion cells. Motor conduction studies, autonomic function and warm and cold temperature sensation remained unchanged at all doses of cisplatin treatment. The results of these studies are consistent with degeneration of large sensory neurons whereas there was no evidence of distal......Although it is well known that cisplatin causes a sensory neuropathy, the primary site of involvement is not established. The clinical symptoms localized in a stocking-glove distribution may be explained by a length dependent neuronopathy or by a distal axonopathy. To study whether the whole neuron...

  5. Ca2+ toxicity due to reverse Na+/Ca2+ exchange contributes to degeneration of neurites of DRG neurons induced by a neuropathy-associated Nav1.7 mutation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estacion, M.; Vohra, B. P. S; Liu, S.; Hoeijmakers, J.; Faber, C. G.; Merkies, I. S. J.; Lauria, G.; Black, J. A.

    2015-01-01

    Gain-of-function missense mutations in voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7 have been linked to small-fiber neuropathy, which is characterized by burning pain, dysautonomia and a loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers. However, the mechanistic cascades linking Nav1.7 mutations to axonal degeneration are incompletely understood. The G856D mutation in Nav1.7 produces robust changes in channel biophysical properties, including hyperpolarized activation, depolarized inactivation, and enhanced ramp and persistent currents, which contribute to the hyperexcitability exhibited by neurons containing Nav1.8. We report here that cell bodies and neurites of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons transfected with G856D display increased levels of intracellular Na+ concentration ([Na+]) and intracellular [Ca2+] following stimulation with high [K+] compared with wild-type (WT) Nav1.7-expressing neurons. Blockade of reverse mode of the sodium/calcium exchanger (NCX) or of sodium channels attenuates [Ca2+] transients evoked by high [K+] in G856D-expressing DRG cell bodies and neurites. We also show that treatment of W