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Sample records for survival motor neuron

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

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

    2012-06-20

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

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

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    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

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

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    Luis B Tovar-y-Romo

    2014-02-01

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

  4. The critical role of membralin in postnatal motor neuron survival and disease.

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    Yang, Bo; Qu, Mingliang; Wang, Rengang; Chatterton, Jon E; Liu, Xiao-Bo; Zhu, Bing; Narisawa, Sonoko; Millan, Jose Luis; Nakanishi, Nobuki; Swoboda, Kathryn; Lipton, Stuart A; Zhang, Dongxian

    2015-05-15

    Hitherto, membralin has been a protein of unknown function. Here, we show that membralin mutant mice manifest a severe and early-onset motor neuron disease in an autosomal recessive manner, dying by postnatal day 5-6. Selective death of lower motor neurons, including those innervating the limbs, intercostal muscles, and diaphragm, is predominantly responsible for this fatal phenotype. Neural expression of a membralin transgene completely rescues membralin mutant mice. Mechanistically, we show that membralin interacts with Erlin2, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane protein that is located in lipid rafts and known to be important in ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD). Accordingly, the degradation rate of ERAD substrates is attenuated in cells lacking membralin. Membralin mutations or deficiency in mouse models induces ER stress, rendering neurons more vulnerable to cell death. Our study reveals a critical role of membralin in motor neuron survival and suggests a novel mechanism for early-onset motor neuron disease.

  5. Motor Neurons

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    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons translate synaptic input from widely distributed premotor networks into patterns of action potentials that orchestrate motor unit force and motor behavior. Intercalated between the CNS and muscles, motor neurons add to and adjust the final motor command. The identity and functional...... properties of this facility in the path from synaptic sites to the motor axon is reviewed with emphasis on voltage sensitive ion channels and regulatory metabotropic transmitter pathways. The catalog of the intrinsic response properties, their underlying mechanisms, and regulation obtained from motoneurons...... in in vitro preparations is far from complete. Nevertheless, a foundation has been provided for pursuing functional significance of intrinsic response properties in motoneurons in vivo during motor behavior at levels from molecules to systems....

  6. Onset and spreading patterns of lower motor neuron involvements predict survival in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Fujimura-Kiyono, Chieko; Kimura, Fumiharu; Ishida, Simon; Nakajima, Hideto; Hosokawa, Takafumi; Sugino, Masakazu; Hanafusa, Toshiaki

    2011-11-01

    To define patterns of spread through the order of lower motor neuron involvement (first, second or third order), relationships between interval or sites of affected areas from onset to involvement of a second region, and prognosis, including 5 year survival, normal preservation of motor function at onset of respiratory symptoms and cumulative occurrence of each region and direction of spread. 150 patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) underwent follow-up at 3 month intervals until the appearance of respiratory symptoms. Symptom appearances were determined using the revised version of the ALS Functional Rating Scale. Median survival with combined type onset (two regions simultaneously) was shorter (18 months) than with bulbar onset (26 months, p=0.01). The interval from onset to involvement of the second region correlated significantly with survival, independent of particular combinations. 5 year survival rate was 21% for lower limb onset, 18% for upper limb onset and 16% for bulbar onset. No patient with a rapid spread pattern (two regions within 3 months from onset) survived >5 years. Early manifestations of bulbar symptoms within 1 year were associated with worse survival (pspread longitudinally to adjacent regions. Bulbar function remained preserved in 27%, lower limb function in 10% and upper limb function in 2.7%. The interval between onset and involvement of the second region is an important predictor of survival. The data support the contiguous anatomical propagation of lower motor neuron involvement in sporadic ALS.

  7. Dynamics of survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein interaction with the mRNA-binding protein IMP1 facilitates its trafficking into motor neuron axons.

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    Fallini, Claudia; Rouanet, Jeremy P; Donlin-Asp, Paul G; Guo, Peng; Zhang, Honglai; Singer, Robert H; Rossoll, Wilfried; Bassell, Gary J

    2014-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a lethal neurodegenerative disease specifically affecting spinal motor neurons. SMA is caused by the homozygous deletion or mutation of the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The SMN protein plays an essential role in the assembly of spliceosomal ribonucleoproteins. However, it is still unclear how low levels of the ubiquitously expressed SMN protein lead to the selective degeneration of motor neurons. An additional role for SMN in the regulation of the axonal transport of mRNA-binding proteins (mRBPs) and their target mRNAs has been proposed. Indeed, several mRBPs have been shown to interact with SMN, and the axonal levels of few mRNAs, such as the β-actin mRNA, are reduced in SMA motor neurons. In this study we have identified the β-actin mRNA-binding protein IMP1/ZBP1 as a novel SMN-interacting protein. Using a combination of biochemical assays and quantitative imaging techniques in primary motor neurons, we show that IMP1 associates with SMN in individual granules that are actively transported in motor neuron axons. Furthermore, we demonstrate that IMP1 axonal localization depends on SMN levels, and that SMN deficiency in SMA motor neurons leads to a dramatic reduction of IMP1 protein levels. In contrast, no difference in IMP1 protein levels was detected in whole brain lysates from SMA mice, further suggesting neuron specific roles of SMN in IMP1 expression and localization. Taken together, our data support a role for SMN in the regulation of mRNA localization and axonal transport through its interaction with mRBPs such as IMP1. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

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

    2016-03-30

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

  9. 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

  10. Contrasting effects of cerebrospinal fluid from motor neuron disease patients on the survival of primary motor neurons cultured with or without glia.

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    Barber, Siân C; Wood-Allum, Clare A; Sargsyan, Siranush A; Walsh, Theresa; Cox, Laura E; Monk, Peter N; Shaw, Pamela J

    2011-07-01

    Motor neuronal (MN) degeneration in motor neuron disease (MND) often starts focally before spreading to neighbouring MN populations, suggesting soluble factors may contribute to disease propagation. Whether cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from MND patients contains such factors has been difficult to prove. We aimed to determine the effect of glia on the response of MNs to CSF from MND patients. Primary rat spinal MNs grown in mono-culture or cocultured with glia were exposed to CSF from patients (MND-CSF) or controls (Con-CSF) and survival measured by cell counting. In mono-culture both MND-CSF and Con-CSF reduced MN survival with MND-CSF reducing MN survival by less than Con-CSF. In coculture MN survival was unchanged by exposure to MND-CSF while exposure to Con-CSF improved MN survival. In separate experiments, murine MNs grown in mono-culture and stressed by growth factor withdrawal were partially rescued by the application of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), a trophic factor previously found to be elevated in MND-CSF. Our results suggest that MND-CSF may contain factors harmful to MNs as well as factors protective of MNs, the interplay of which is altered by the presence of glial cells. These preliminary results further emphasize the importance of MN environment to MN health.

  11. The Survival of Motor Neuron Protein Acts as a Molecular Chaperone for mRNP Assembly

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    Paul G. Donlin-Asp

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is a motor neuron disease caused by reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN protein. SMN is part of a multiprotein complex that facilitates the assembly of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs. SMN has also been found to associate with mRNA-binding proteins, but the nature of this association was unknown. Here, we have employed a combination of biochemical and advanced imaging methods to demonstrate that SMN promotes the molecular interaction between IMP1 protein and the 3′ UTR zipcode region of β-actin mRNA, leading to assembly of messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP complexes that associate with the cytoskeleton to facilitate trafficking. We have identified defects in mRNP assembly in cells and tissues from SMA disease models and patients that depend on the SMN Tudor domain and explain the observed deficiency in mRNA localization and local translation, providing insight into SMA pathogenesis as a ribonucleoprotein (RNP-assembly disorder.

  12. Mir-17∼92 Governs Motor Neuron Subtype Survival by Mediating Nuclear PTEN

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    Ying-Tsen Tung

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons (MNs are unique because they project their axons outside of the CNS to innervate the peripheral muscles. Limb-innervating lateral motor column MNs (LMC-MNs travel substantially to innervate distal limb mesenchyme. How LMC-MNs fine-tune the balance between survival and apoptosis while wiring the sensorimotor circuit en route remains unclear. Here, we show that the mir-17∼92 cluster is enriched in embryonic stem cell (ESC-derived LMC-MNs and that conditional mir-17∼92 deletion in MNs results in the death of LMC-MNs in vitro and in vivo. mir-17∼92 overexpression rescues MNs from apoptosis, which occurs spontaneously during embryonic development. PTEN is a primary target of mir-17∼92 responsible for LMC-MN degeneration. Additionally, mir-17∼92 directly targets components of E3 ubiquitin ligases, affecting PTEN subcellular localization through monoubiquitination. This miRNA-mediated regulation modulates both target expression and target subcellular localization, providing LMC-MNs with an intricate defensive mechanism that controls their survival.

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

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    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.

  14. Salbutamol inhibits ubiquitin-mediated survival motor neuron protein degradation in spinal muscular atrophy cells.

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    Harahap, Nur Imma Fatimah; Nurputra, Dian Kesumapramudya; Ar Rochmah, Mawaddah; Shima, Ai; Morisada, Naoya; Takarada, Toru; Takeuchi, Atsuko; Tohyama, Yumi; Yanagisawa, Shinichiro; Nishio, Hisahide

    2015-12-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder that is currently incurable. SMA is caused by decreased levels of the survival motor neuron protein (SMN), as a result of loss or mutation of SMN1 . Although the SMN1 homolog SMN2 also produces some SMN protein, it does not fully compensate for the loss or dysfunction of SMN1 . Salbutamol, a β2-adrenergic receptor agonist and well-known bronchodilator used in asthma patients, has recently been shown to ameliorate symptoms in SMA patients. However, the precise mechanism of salbutamol action is unclear. We treated SMA fibroblast cells lacking SMN1 and HeLa cells with salbutamol and analyzed SMN2 mRNA and SMN protein levels in SMA fibroblasts, and changes in SMN protein ubiquitination in HeLa cells. Salbutamol increased SMN protein levels in a dose-dependent manner in SMA fibroblast cells lacking SMN1 , though no significant changes in SMN2 mRNA levels were observed. Notably, the salbutamol-induced increase in SMN was blocked by a protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor and deubiquitinase inhibitor, respectively. Co-immunoprecipitation assay using HeLa cells showed that ubiquitinated SMN levels decreased in the presence of salbutamol, suggesting that salbutamol inhibited ubiquitination. The results of this study suggest that salbutamol may increase SMN protein levels in SMA by inhibiting ubiquitin-mediated SMN degradation via activating β2-adrenergic receptor-PKA pathways.

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular determinants of survival motor neuron (SMN protein cleavage by the calcium-activated protease, calpain.

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    Jennifer L Fuentes

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is a leading genetic cause of childhood mortality, caused by reduced levels of survival motor neuron (SMN protein. SMN functions as part of a large complex in the biogenesis of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs. It is not clear if defects in snRNP biogenesis cause SMA or if loss of some tissue-specific function causes disease. We recently demonstrated that the SMN complex localizes to the Z-discs of skeletal and cardiac muscle sarcomeres, and that SMN is a proteolytic target of calpain. Calpains are implicated in muscle and neurodegenerative disorders, although their relationship to SMA is unclear. Using mass spectrometry, we identified two adjacent calpain cleavage sites in SMN, S192 and F193. Deletion of small motifs in the region surrounding these sites inhibited cleavage. Patient-derived SMA mutations within SMN reduced calpain cleavage. SMN(D44V, reported to impair Gemin2 binding and amino-terminal SMN association, drastically inhibited cleavage, suggesting a role for these interactions in regulating calpain cleavage. Deletion of A188, a residue mutated in SMA type I (A188S, abrogated calpain cleavage, highlighting the importance of this region. Conversely, SMA mutations that interfere with self-oligomerization of SMN, Y272C and SMNΔ7, had no effect on cleavage. Removal of the recently-identified SMN degron (Δ268-294 resulted in increased calpain sensitivity, suggesting that the C-terminus of SMN is important in dictating availability of the cleavage site. Investigation into the spatial determinants of SMN cleavage revealed that endogenous calpains can cleave cytosolic, but not nuclear, SMN. Collectively, the results provide insight into a novel aspect of the post-translation regulation of SMN.

  17. The contribution of ciliary neurotrophic factor receptors to adult motor neuron survival in vivo is specific to insult type and distinct from that for embryonic motor neurons.

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    Lee, Nancy; Rydyznski, Carolyn E; Spearry, Rachel P; Robitz, Rachel; Maclennan, A John

    2013-10-01

    Exogenous ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) promotes motor neuron (MN) survival following trauma and in genetic models of MN disease. Unconditional disruption of the mouse CNTF receptor α (CNTFRα) gene leads to MN loss, demonstrating a developmental role for endogenous CNTF receptor signaling. These data also suggest that CNTF receptors may promote adult MN survival and that appropriately manipulating the receptors could effectively treat adult MN disorders. This effort would greatly benefit from a better understanding of the roles played by CNTF receptors in adult MNs. We have previously found that adult onset disruption of CNTFRα in facial MNs of "floxed CNTFRα" mice by AAV-Cre vector injection leads to significantly more MN loss than in identically treated controls. While indicating that CNTF receptors can promote adult MN survival, the data did not distinguish between potential roles in MN maintenance versus roles in protecting MNs from the injection associated trauma or the toxicity of the chronic Cre recombinase (Cre) produced by the AAV-Cre. Here we used an inducible Cre gene construct to produce adult-onset CNTFRα disruption in facial MNs without the traumatic and toxic effects of the AAV-Cre procedure. The MNs survive without CNTFRα, even when challenged by facial nerve crush or the injection-associated trauma, thereby suggesting, in conjunction with our previous study, that endogenous CNTF receptor signaling can protect MNs against toxic insult, such as that produced by chronic Cre. The data also indicate that in vivo CNTF receptors play very different roles in adult and embryonic MNs. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

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

    2017-02-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), traditionally described as a predominantly childhood form of motor neurone disease, is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. Although motor neurones are undoubtedly the primary affected cell type, the severe infantile form of SMA (Type I SMA) is now widely recognised to represent a multisystem disorder where a variety of organs and systems in the body are also affected. Here, we report that the spleen is disproportionately small in the 'Taiwanese' murine model of severe SMA (Smn -/- ;SMN2 tg/0 ), correlated to low levels of cell proliferation and increased cell death. Spleen lacks its distinctive red appearance and presents with a degenerated capsule and a disorganised fibrotic architecture. Histologically distinct white pulp failed to form and this was reflected in an almost complete absence of B lymphocytes necessary for normal immune function. In addition, megakaryoctyes persisted in the red pulp. However, the vascular density remained unchanged in SMA spleen. Assessment of the spleen in SMA patients with the infantile form of the disease indicated a range of pathologies. We conclude that development of the spleen fails to occur normally in SMA mouse models and human patients. Thus, further analysis of immune function is likely to be required to fully understand the full extent of systemic disease pathology in SMA. © 2016 Anatomical Society.

  19. Study of Survival Motor Neuron protein regulation and the role of autophagy in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

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    Periyakaruppiah, Ambika

    2015-01-01

    L'atròfia muscular espinal (SMA) és un trastorn genètic, causada per la pèrdua o la mutació del gen de la supervivencia de les neurones motores 1 (SMN1), cosa que condueix a una reducció dels nivells de la proteïna SMN i una disfunció selectiva de les MN. S’ha descrit que la reducció d’SMN causa la degeneració de les neurites i la mort cel•lular sense les característiques apoptòtiques clàssiques, però els esdeveniments directes que condueixen a la degeneració de les MN en l’SMA encara són des...

  20. The water extract of Liuwei dihuang possesses multi-protective properties on neurons and muscle tissue against deficiency of survival motor neuron protein.

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    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

  1. Quantification, by solid-phase minisequencing, of the telomeric and centromeric copies of the survival motor neuron gene in families with spinal muscular atrophy

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    Schwartz, M; Sørensen, N; Hansen, F J

    1997-01-01

    In an analysis of 30 families affected by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) we have used the solid-phase minisequencing method to determine the ratio between the number of telomeric and centromeric copies of the survival motor neuron gene (SMN and cBCD541 respectively) on normal and SMA chromosomes...

  2. Survival of motor neuron protein downregulates miR-9 expression in patients with spinal muscular atrophy

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    Li-Ting Wang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is a lethal hereditary disease caused by homozygous absence of the survival of the motor neuron (SMN 1 gene (SMN1, and it is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. The severity of SMA is directly correlated with SMN protein levels in affected patients; however, the cellular regulatory mechanisms for SMN protein expression are not completely understood. In this study, we investigated the regulatory effects between SMN expression and miR-9a, a downstream noncoding small RNA. Using an inducible SMN short hairpin RNA interference (shRNAi system in NSC 34 and human skin fibroblast cells, cellular miR-9 levels and SMN protein repression were time-dependently upregulated. Conversely, cellular miR-9 levels decreased when HeLa cells were transfected with SMN protein fused with green fluorescent protein. In SMA-like mice spinal cords and human primary skin fibroblasts isolated from patients with different degrees of SMA, human SMN exhibited a disease severity-dependent decrease, whereas cellular miR-9 levels increased. These results clearly suggested that cellular SMN proteins regulated miR-9 expression and that miR-9 expression was related to SMA severity. Thus, miR-9 may be a marker for SMA prognosis.

  3. Extracellular vesicles from a muscle cell line (C2C12) enhance cell survival and neurite outgrowth of a motor neuron cell line (NSC-34).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madison, Roger D; McGee, Christopher; Rawson, Renee; Robinson, Grant A

    2014-01-01

    There is renewed interest in extracellular vesicles over the past decade or 2 after initially being thought of as simple cellular garbage cans to rid cells of unwanted components. Although there has been intense research into the role of extracellular vesicles in the fields of tumour and stem cell biology, the possible role of extracellular vesicles in nerve regeneration is just in its infancy. When a peripheral nerve is damaged, the communication between spinal cord motor neurons and their target muscles is disrupted and the result can be the loss of coordinated muscle movement. Despite state-of-the-art surgical procedures only approximately 10% of adults will recover full function after peripheral nerve repair. To improve upon such results will require a better understanding of the basic mechanisms that influence axon outgrowth and the interplay between the parent motor neuron and the distal end organ of muscle. It has previously been shown that extracellular vesicles are immunologically tolerated, display targeting ligands on their surface, and can be delivered in vivo to selected cell populations. All of these characteristics suggest that extracellular vesicles could play a significant role in nerve regeneration. We have carried out studies using 2 very well characterized cell lines, the C2C12 muscle cell line and the motor neuron cell line NSC-34 to ask the question: Do extracellular vesicles from muscle influence cell survival and/or neurite outgrowth of motor neurons? Our results show striking effects of extracellular vesicles derived from the muscle cell line on the motor neuron cell line in terms of neurite outgrowth and survival.

  4. Electrochemical immunosensors for the detection of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein using different carbon nanomaterials-modified electrodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eissa, Shimaa; Alshehri, Nawal; Rahman, Anas M Abdel; Dasouki, Majed; Abu-Salah, Khalid M; Zourob, Mohammed

    2018-03-15

    Spinal muscular atrophy is an untreatable potentially fatal hereditary disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in the survival motor neuron (SMN) 1 gene which encodes the SMN protein. Currently, definitive diagnosis relies on the demonstration of biallelic pathogenic variants in SMN1 gene. Therefore, there is an urgent unmet need to accurately quantify SMN protein levels for screening and therapeutic monitoring of symptomatic newborn and SMA patients, respectively. Here, we developed a voltammetric immunosensor for the sensitive detection of SMN protein based on covalently functionalized carbon nanofiber-modified screen printed electrodes. A comparative study of six different carbon nanomaterial-modified electrodes (carbon, graphene (G), graphene oxide (GO), single wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT), multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT), and carbon nanofiber (CNF)) was performed. 4-carboxyphenyl layers were covalently grafted on the six electrodes by electroreduction of diazonium salt. Then, the terminal carboxylic moieties on the electrodes surfaces were utilized to immobilize the SMN antibody via EDC/NHS chemistry and to fabricate the immunosensors. The electrochemical characterization and analytical performance of the six immunosensors suggest that carbon nanofiber is a better electrode material for the SMN immunosensor. The voltammetric SMN carbon nanofiber-based immunosensor showed high sensitivity (detection limit of 0.75pg/ml) and selectivity against other proteins such as cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and dystrophin (DMD). We suggest that this novel biosensor is superior to other developed assays for SMN detection in terms of lower cost, higher sensitivity, simplicity and capability of high throughput screening. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Motor neuron disease in blacks

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1989-08-19

    Aug 19, 1989 ... 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: (~ motor neuron disease.

  6. Motor neuron disease in blacks

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1989-08-19

    Aug 19, 1989 ... We reported earlier that motor neuron disease occurs more commonly among blacks than Parkinson's disease, which is relatively rare in this race group.! The hypothesis that these conditions, and other neuronal abiotrophies, are the result of previous subclinical neuronal insult and subsequent age-related.

  7. Quantification, by solid-phase minisequencing, of the telomeric and centromeric copies of the survival motor neuron gene in families with spinal muscular atrophy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schwartz, M; Sørensen, N; Hansen, F J

    1997-01-01

    In an analysis of 30 families affected by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) we have used the solid-phase minisequencing method to determine the ratio between the number of telomeric and centromeric copies of the survival motor neuron gene (SMN and cBCD541 respectively) on normal and SMA chromosomes...... the hypothesis that the presence of more copies of cBCD541 is correlated to a less severe course of the disease. The frequencies of haplotypes characterized by having 0, 1, or 2 copies, respectively, of cBCD541 were found to differ significantly between normal and SMA chromosomes. This distribution can...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Does the survival motor neuron copy number variation play a role in the onset and severity of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Malians?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangare, Modibo; Dicko, Ilo; Guinto, Cheick Oumar; Sissoko, Adama; Dembele, Kekouta; Coulibaly, Youlouza; Coulibaly, Siaka Y; Landoure, Guida; Diallo, Abdallah; Dolo, Mamadou; Dolo, Housseini; Maiga, Boubacar; Traore, Moussa; Karembe, Mamadou; Traore, Kadiatou; Toure, Amadou; Sylla, Mariam; Togora, Arouna; Coulibaly, Souleymane; Traore, Sékou Fantamady; Hendrickson, Brant; Bricceno, Katherine; Schindler, Alice B; Kokkinis, Angela; Meilleur, Katherine G; Sangho, Hammadoun Ali; Diakite, Brehima; Kassogue, Yaya; Coulibaly, Yaya Ibrahim; Burnett, Barrington; Maiga, Youssoufa; Doumbia, Seydou; Fischbeck, Kenneth H

    2016-06-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) are both motor neuron disorders. SMA results from the deletion of the survival motor neuron ( SMN ) 1 gene. High or low SMN1 copy number and the absence of SMN2 have been reported as risk factors for the development or severity of SALS. To investigate the role of SMN gene copy number in the onset and severity of SALS in Malians. We determined the SMN1 and SMN2 copy number in genomic DNA samples from 391 Malian adult volunteers, 120 Yoruba from Nigeria, 120 Luyha from Kenya and 74 U.S. Caucasians using a Taqman quantitative PCR assay. We evaluated the SALS risk based on the estimated SMA protein level using the Veldink formula ( SMN1 copy number + 0.2 ∗  SMN2 copy number). We also characterized the disease natural history in 15 ALS patients at the teaching hospital of Point G, Bamako, Mali. We found that 131 of 391 (33.5%) had an estimated SMN protein expression of ≤ 2.2; 60 out of 391 (15.3%) had an estimated SMN protein expression < 2 and would be at risk of ALS and the disease onset was as early as 16 years old. All 15 patients were male and some were physically handicapped within 1-2 years in the disease course. Because of the short survival time of our patients, family histories and sample DNA for testing were not done. However, our results show that sporadic ALS is of earlier onset and shorter survival time as compared to patients elsewhere. We plan to establish a network of neurologists and researchers for early screening of ALS.

  11. The spectrum of lower motor neuron syndromes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Berg-Vos, R. M.; van den Berg, L. H.; Visser, J.; de Visser, M.; Franssen, H.; Wokke, J. H. J.

    2003-01-01

    This review discusses the most important lower motor neuron syndromes. This relatively rare group of syndromes has not been well described clinically. Two subgroups can be distinguished: patients in whom motor neurons (lower motor neuron disease (LMND)) are primarily affected or motor axons and

  12. Riluzole promotes motor and respiratory recovery associated with enhanced neuronal survival and function following high cervical spinal hemisection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satkunendrarajah, K; Nassiri, F; Karadimas, S K; Lip, A; Yao, G; Fehlings, M G

    2016-02-01

    Cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) can result in devastating functional deficits that involve the respiratory and hand function. The mammalian spinal cord has limited ability to regenerate and restore meaningful functional recovery following SCI. Riluzole, 2-amino-6-trifluoromethoxybenzothiazole, an anti-glutamatergic drug has been shown to reduce excitotoxicity and confer neuroprotection at the site of injury following experimental SCI. Based on promising preclinical studies, riluzole is currently under Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of SCI (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01597518). Riluzole's anti-glutamatergic role has the potential to regulate neuronal function and provide neuroprotection and influence glutamatergic connections distal to the initial injury leading to enhanced functional recovery following SCI. In order to investigate this novel role of riluzole we used a high cervical hemisection model of SCI, which interrupts all descending input to motoneurons innervating the ipsilateral forelimb and diaphragm muscles. Following C2 spinal cord hemisection, animals were placed into one of two groups: one group received riluzole (8 mg/kg) 1 h after injury and every 12 h thereafter for 7 days at 6 mg/kg, while the second group of injured rats received vehicle solution for the same duration of time. A third group of sham injured rats underwent a C2 laminectomy without hemisection and served as uninjured control rats. Interestingly, this study reports a significant loss of motoneurons within the cervical spinal cord caudal to C2 hemisection injury. Disruption of descending input led to a decrease in glutamatergic synapses and motoneurons caudal to the injury while riluzole treatment significantly limited this decline. Functionally, Hoffmann reflex recordings revealed an increase in the excitability of the remaining ipsilateral cervical motoneurons and significant improvements in skilled and unskilled forelimb function and respiratory motor function in the

  13. Cognition and behavior in motor neuron disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaphorst, J.

    2015-01-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive motor neuron loss, leading to weakness of the muscles of arms and legs, bulbar and respiratory muscles. Depending on the involvement of the lower and the upper motor neuron, amyotrophic lateral

  14. Differentiating lower motor neuron syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Nidhi; Park, Susanna B; Vucic, Steve; Yiannikas, Con; Spies, Judy; Howells, James; Huynh, William; Matamala, José M; Krishnan, Arun V; Pollard, John D; Cornblath, David R; Reilly, Mary M; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2017-06-01

    Lower motor neuron (LMN) syndromes typically present with muscle wasting and weakness and may arise from pathology affecting the distal motor nerve up to the level of the anterior horn cell. A variety of hereditary causes are recognised, including spinal muscular atrophy, distal hereditary motor neuropathy and LMN variants of familial motor neuron disease. Recent genetic advances have resulted in the identification of a variety of disease-causing mutations. Immune-mediated disorders, including multifocal motor neuropathy and variants of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, account for a proportion of LMN presentations and are important to recognise, as effective treatments are available. The present review will outline the spectrum of LMN syndromes that may develop in adulthood and provide a framework for the clinician assessing a patient presenting with predominantly LMN features. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  15. Neurotrophic requirements of human motor neurons defined using amplified and purified stem cell-derived cultures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuno Jorge Lamas

    Full Text Available Human motor neurons derived from embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (hESCs and hiPSCs are a potentially important tool for studying motor neuron survival and pathological cell death. However, their basic survival requirements remain poorly characterized. Here, we sought to optimize a robust survival assay and characterize their response to different neurotrophic factors. First, to increase motor neuron yield, we screened a small-molecule collection and found that the Rho-associated kinase (ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 enhances motor neuron progenitor proliferation up to 4-fold in hESC and hiPSC cultures. Next, we FACS-purified motor neurons expressing the Hb9::GFP reporter from Y-27632-amplified embryoid bodies and cultured them in the presence of mitotic inhibitors to eliminate dividing progenitors. Survival of these purified motor neurons in the absence of any other cell type was strongly dependent on neurotrophic support. GDNF, BDNF and CNTF all showed potent survival effects (EC(50 1-2 pM. The number of surviving motor neurons was further enhanced in the presence of forskolin and IBMX, agents that increase endogenous cAMP levels. As a demonstration of the ability of the assay to detect novel neurotrophic agents, Y-27632 itself was found to support human motor neuron survival. Thus, purified human stem cell-derived motor neurons show survival requirements similar to those of primary rodent motor neurons and can be used for rigorous cell-based screening.

  16. Dephosphorylation of survival motor neurons (SMN) by PPM1G/PP2Cγ governs Cajal body localization and stability of the SMN complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petri, Sebastian; Grimmler, Matthias; Over, Sabine; Fischer, Utz; Gruss, Oliver J.

    2007-01-01

    The survival motor neuron (SMN) complex functions in maturation of uridine-rich small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particles. SMN mediates the cytoplasmic assembly of Sm proteins onto uridine-rich small RNAs, and then participates in targeting RNPs to nuclear Cajal bodies (CBs). Recent studies have suggested that phosphorylation might control localization and function of the SMN complex. Here, we show that the nuclear phosphatase PPM1G/PP2Cγ interacts with and dephosphorylates the SMN complex. Small interfering RNA knockdown of PPM1G leads to an altered phosphorylation pattern of SMN and Gemin3, loss of SMN from CBs, and reduced stability of SMN. Accumulation in CBs is restored upon overexpression of catalytically active, but not that of inactive, PPM1G. This demonstrates that PPM1G's phosphatase activity is necessary to maintain SMN subcellular distribution. Concomitant knockdown of unr interacting protein (unrip), a component implicated in cytoplasmic retention of the SMN complex, also rescues the localization defects. Our data suggest that an interplay between PPM1G and unrip determine compartment-specific phosphorylation patterns, localization, and function of the SMN complex. PMID:17984321

  17. Motor neurons and the generation of spinal motor neurons diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas eStifani

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons (MNs are neuronal cells located in the central nervous system (CNS controlling a variety of downstream targets. This function infers the existence of MN subtypes matching the identity of the targets they innervate. To illustrate the mechanism involved in the generation of cellular diversity and the acquisition of specific identity, this review will focus on spinal motor neurons (SpMNs that have been the core of significant work and discoveries during the last decades. SpMNs are responsible for the contraction of effector muscles in the periphery. Humans possess more than 500 different skeletal muscles capable to work in a precise time and space coordination to generate complex movements such as walking or grasping. To ensure such refined coordination, SpMNs must retain the identity of the muscle they innervate.Within the last two decades, scientists around the world have produced considerable efforts to elucidate several critical steps of SpMNs differentiation. During development, SpMNs emerge from dividing progenitor cells located in the medial portion of the ventral neural tube. MN identities are established by patterning cues working in cooperation with intrinsic sets of transcription factors. As the embryo develop, MNs further differentiate in a stepwise manner to form compact anatomical groups termed pools connecting to a unique muscle target. MN pools are not homogeneous and comprise subtypes according to the muscle fibers they innervate.This article aims to provide a global view of MN classification as well as an up-to-date review of the molecular mechanisms involved in the generation of SpMN diversity. Remaining conundrums will be discussed since a complete understanding of those mechanisms constitutes the foundation required for the elaboration of prospective MN regeneration therapies.

  18. Neuronal survival in the brain: neuron type-specific mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfisterer, Ulrich Gottfried; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial...... for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various...

  19. Fragile X mental retardation protein recognizes a G quadruplex structure within the survival motor neuron domain containing 1 mRNA 5'-UTR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAninch, Damian S; Heinaman, Ashley M; Lang, Cara N; Moss, Kathryn R; Bassell, Gary J; Rita Mihailescu, Mihaela; Evans, Timothy L

    2017-07-25

    G quadruplex structures have been predicted by bioinformatics to form in the 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions (UTRs) of several thousand mature mRNAs and are believed to play a role in translation regulation. Elucidation of these roles has primarily been focused on the 3'-UTR, with limited focus on characterizing the G quadruplex structures and functions in the 5'-UTR. Investigation of the affinity and specificity of RNA binding proteins for 5'-UTR G quadruplexes and the resulting regulatory effects have also been limited. Among the mRNAs predicted to form a G quadruplex structure within the 5'-UTR is the survival motor neuron domain containing 1 (SMNDC1) mRNA, encoding a protein that is critical to the spliceosome. Additionally, this mRNA has been identified as a potential target of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), whose loss of expression leads to fragile X syndrome. FMRP is an RNA binding protein involved in translation regulation that has been shown to bind mRNA targets that form G quadruplex structures. In this study we have used biophysical methods to investigate G quadruplex formation in the 5'-UTR of SMNDC1 mRNA and analyzed its interactions with FMRP. Our results show that SMNDC1 mRNA 5'-UTR forms an intramolecular, parallel G quadruplex structure comprised of three G quartet planes, which is bound specifically by FMRP both in vitro and in mouse brain lysates. These findings suggest a model by which FMRP might regulate the translation of a subset of its mRNA targets by recognizing the G quadruplex structure present in their 5'-UTR, and affecting their accessibility by the protein synthesis machinery.

  20. The in vivo contribution of motor neuron TrkB receptors to mutant SOD1 motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, Jinbin; Zhou, Weiguo; Li, Jian; Hayworth, Christopher R; Zhang, Lei; Misawa, Hidemi; Klein, Rudiger; Scherer, Steven S; Balice-Gordon, Rita J; Kalb, Robert Gordon

    2011-11-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) are widely expressed in the vertebrate nervous system and play a central role in mature neuronal function. In vitro BDNF/TrkB signaling promotes neuronal survival and can help neurons resist toxic insults. Paradoxically, BDNF/TrkB signaling has also been shown, under certain in vitro circumstances, to render neurons vulnerable to insults. We show here that in vivo conditional deletion of TrkB from mature motor neurons attenuates mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) toxicity. Mutant SOD1 mice lacking motor neuron TrkB live a month longer than controls and retain motor function for a longer period, particularly in the early phase of the disease. These effects are subserved by slowed motor neuron loss, persistence of neuromuscular junction integrity and reduced astrocytic and microglial reactivity within the spinal cord. These results suggest that manipulation of BDNF/TrkB signaling might have therapeutic efficacy in motor neuron diseases.

  1. Sleep disordered breathing in motor neurone disease

    OpenAIRE

    D’Cruz, Rebecca F.; Murphy, Patrick B.; Kaltsakas, Georgios

    2018-01-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND) is a neurodegenerative disease defined by axonal loss and gliosis of upper and lower motor neurones in the motor cortex, lower brainstem nuclei and ventral horn of the spinal cord. MND is currently incurable and has a poor prognosis, with death typically occurring 3 to 5 years after disease onset. The disease is characterised by rapidly progressive weakness leading to paralysis, fasciculations, bulbar symptoms (including dysarthria and dysphagia) and respiratory co...

  2. Motor aging results from cerebellar neuron death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisgontier, Matthieu P

    2015-03-01

    As we age, movements become slower and inconsistent and require more attention. These hallmarks of aging suggest a switch from predictive to reactive motor control. Here I examine evidence supporting the hypothesis that motor aging is primarily determined by the early death of neurons in the cerebellum, a critical structure for predictive motor control. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Autoantibodies to survival of motor neuron complex in patients with polymyositis: immunoprecipitation of D, E, F, and G proteins without other components of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Minoru; Chan, Jason Y F; Ross, Steven J; Ceribelli, Angela; Cavazzana, Ilaria; Franceschini, Franco; Li, Yi; Reeves, Westley H; Sobel, Eric S; Chan, Edward K L

    2011-07-01

    Autoantibodies in the systemic rheumatic diseases are clinically useful biomarkers of the diagnosis or of certain clinical characteristics. An unusual pattern of immunoprecipitation, in which the D, E, F, and G proteins of small nuclear RNPs (snRNP) but without other components of the snRNP, was noticed at the autoantibody screening. The purpose of this study was to examine the target antigens and clinical manifestations associated with this specificity. Autoantibodies in sera from 1,966 American patients (including 434 with systemic lupus erythematosus, 121 with scleroderma, 86 with polymyositis/dermatomyositis [PM/DM]) and 248 Italian patients with autoimmune diseases were screened by immunoprecipitation of (35) S-methionine-labeled cell extracts. Sera with which D, E, F, and G proteins of snRNP was immunoprecipitated, but without the other snRNP proteins, were further examined by analysis of RNA components by immunoprecipitation (silver staining), Western blotting using survival of motor neuron (SMN) complex, and immunofluorescence. Three sera that immunoprecipitated D, E, F, and G proteins without other components (U1-70K, A, B'/B, C) of the snRNP were found. Four additional proteins (130 kd, 120 kd, 38 kd, and 33 kd) were also commonly immunoprecipitated. The target antigen was identified as SMN complex (Gemin 3, Gemin 4, SMN, and Gemin 2, respectively), which plays a critical role in the assembly of snRNP. In immunofluorescence analyses, all 3 sera showed nuclear dots (Cajal bodies) and cytoplasmic staining. Only 1 serum was weakly positive on Western blotting of SMN, suggesting that these sera mainly recognize native molecule or quaternary structure. All 3 patients were white women with PM, an interesting finding, since deletion or mutation of SMN is known to cause spinal muscular atrophy. SMN complex was identified as a new Cajal body autoantigen recognized by sera from white patients with PM. The biologic and clinical significance of anti

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Matthew J; Smallcombe, Karen L; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Obata, Kunihiko; Bellingham, Mark C; Noakes, Peter G

    2013-01-01

    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 that of

  7. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Loss of the survival motor neuron gene (SMN1) is responsible for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most common inherited cause of infant mortality. Even though the SMA phenotype is traditionally considered as related to spinal motor neuron loss, it remains debated whether the specific targeting of motor neurons could represent the best therapeutic option for the disease. We here investigated, using stereological quantification methods, the spinal cord and cerebral motor cortex of ∆7 SMA mice during development, to verify extent and selectivity of motor neuron loss. We found progressive post-natal loss of spinal motor neurons, already at pre-symptomatic stages, and a higher vulnerability of motor neurons innervating proximal and axial muscles. Larger motor neurons decreased in the course of disease, either for selective loss or specific developmental impairment. We also found a selective reduction of layer V pyramidal neurons associated with layer V gliosis in the cerebral motor cortex. Our data indicate that in the ∆7 SMA model SMN loss is critical for the spinal cord, particularly for specific motor neuron pools. Neuronal loss, however, is not selective for lower motor neurons. These data further suggest that SMA pathogenesis is likely more complex than previously anticipated. The better knowledge of SMA models might be instrumental in shaping better therapeutic options for affected patients.

  9. Motors and Adaptors : Transport Regulation within Neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Spronsen, C.S.A.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/337616655

    2012-01-01

    Human thoughts and behavior are the outcome of communication between neurons in our brains. There is an entire world inside each of these neurons where transactions are established and meeting points are set. By using molecular motors to transport proteins and organelles along cytoskeletal tracks,

  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. N-Acetylcysteine Prevents Retrograde Motor Neuron Death after Neonatal Peripheral Nerve Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catapano, Joseph; Zhang, Jennifer; Scholl, David; Chiang, Cameron; Gordon, Tessa; Borschel, Gregory H

    2017-05-01

    Neuronal death may be an overlooked and unaddressed component of disability following neonatal nerve injuries, such as obstetric brachial plexus injury. N-acetylcysteine and acetyl-L-carnitine improve survival of neurons after adult nerve injury, but it is unknown whether they improve survival after neonatal injury, when neurons are most susceptible to retrograde neuronal death. The authors' objective was to examine whether N-acetylcysteine or acetyl-L-carnitine treatment improves survival of neonatal motor or sensory neurons in a rat model of neonatal nerve injury. Rat pups received either a sciatic nerve crush or transection injury at postnatal day 3 and were then randomized to receive either intraperitoneal vehicle (5% dextrose), N-acetylcysteine (750 mg/kg), or acetyl-L-carnitine (300 mg/kg) once or twice daily. Four weeks after injury, surviving neurons were retrograde-labeled with 4% Fluoro-Gold. The lumbar spinal cord and L4/L5 dorsal root ganglia were then harvested and sectioned to count surviving motor and sensory neurons. Transection and crush injuries resulted in significant motor and sensory neuron loss, with transection injury resulting in significantly less neuron survival. High-dose N-acetylcysteine (750 mg/kg twice daily) significantly increased motor neuron survival after neonatal sciatic nerve crush and transection injury. Neither N-acetylcysteine nor acetyl-L-carnitine treatment improved sensory neuron survival. Proximal neonatal nerve injuries, such as obstetric brachial plexus injury, produce significant retrograde neuronal death after injury. High-dose N-acetylcysteine significantly increases motor neuron survival, which may improve functional outcomes after obstetrical brachial plexus injury.

  13. Increased motor neuron resilience by small molecule compounds that regulate IGF-II expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborn, Teresia M; Beagan, Jonathan; Isacson, Ole

    2018-02-01

    The selective vulnerability of motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is evident by sparing of a few subpopulations during this fast progressing and debilitating degenerative disease. By studying the gene expression profile of resilient vs. vulnerable motor neuron populations we can gain insight in what biomolecules and pathways may contribute to the resilience and vulnerability. Several genes have been found to be differentially expressed in the vulnerable motor neurons of the cervical spinal cord as compared to the spared motor neurons in CNIII/IV. One gene that is differentially expressed and present at higher levels in less vulnerable motor neurons is insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II). The motor neuron protective effect of IGF-II has been demonstrated both in vitro and in SOD1 transgenic mice. Here, we have screened a library of small molecule compounds and identified inducers of IGF-II mRNA and protein expression. Several identified compounds significantly protected motor neurons from glutamate excitotoxicity in vitro. One of the compounds, vardenafil, resulted in a complete motor neuron protection, an effect that was reversed by blocking receptors of IGF-II. When administered to naïve rats vardenafil was present in the cerebrospinal fluid and increased IGF-II mRNA expression in the spinal cord. When administered to SOD1 transgenic mice, there was a significant delay in motor symptom onset and prolonged survival. Vardenafil also increased IGF-II mRNA and protein levels in motor neurons derived from healthy subject and ALS patient iPSCs, activated a human IGF-II promoter and improved survival of ALS-patient derived motor neurons in culture. Our findings suggest that modulation of genes differentially expressed in vulnerable and resilient motor neurons may be a useful therapeutic approach for motor neuron disease. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Diagnosis and management of motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrell, Richard W

    2016-09-01

    Motor neurone disease is a rapidly progressive and fatal neurodegenerative condition which causes progressive weakness, with normal sensation. It can occur at any age but is more frequent with increasing age. Key clinical presentations include bulbar (slurred or difficult speech, problems swallowing, tongue fasciculation), limb (typically in one limb with weakness and muscle wasting), respiratory (breathlessness, chest muscle fasciculation) and cognitive features (behavioural change, emotional lability, features of frontotemporal dementia). Although survival is typically three to five years from symptom onset, there is significant individual variation. Rarely, survival may be 20 years or longer. Favourable features include a limb rather than a bulbar presentation, preserved weight and respiratory function, younger age of onset and longer time from fist symptom to diagnosis. The patient should be linked to a multidisciplinary team able to provide support from the start with a designated individual as the point of contact, with regular, coordinated assessments, as the patient's needs change and their condition progresses. Gastrostomy is an important supportive intervention which maximizes nutrition, and minimizes aspiration and chest infection. Adequate nutrition and hydration is key to maximizing health and survival. It is possible for a patient to control a computer and speech by eye. movement alone. An important consideration is voice banking where the patient may store their voice before there is difficulty with speech so that it can be used at a later stage if they need a communication aid. Impaired cough and retention of respiratory secretions is frequent in the later stages, and may be managed with physiotherapy. The patient should be referred for expert respiratory assessment if needed.

  15. Apoptosis of Limb Innervating Motor Neurons and Erosion of Motor Pool Identity Upon Lineage Specific Dicer Inactivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jun-An; Wichterle, Hynek

    2012-01-01

    Diversification of mammalian spinal motor neurons into hundreds of subtypes is critical for the maintenance of body posture and coordination of complex movements. Motor neuron differentiation is controlled by extrinsic signals that regulate intrinsic genetic programs specifying and consolidating motor neuron subtype identity. While transcription factors have been recognized as principal regulators of the intrinsic program, the role of posttranscriptional regulations has not been systematically tested. MicroRNAs produced by Dicer mediated cleavage of RNA hairpins contribute to gene regulation by posttranscriptional silencing. Here we used Olig2-cre conditional deletion of Dicer gene in motor neuron progenitors to examine effects of miRNA biogenesis disruption on postmitotic spinal motor neurons. We report that despite the initial increase in the number of motor neuron progenitors, disruption of Dicer function results in a loss of many limb- and sympathetic ganglia-innervating spinal motor neurons. Furthermore, it leads to defects in motor pool identity specification. Thus, our results indicate that miRNAs are an integral part of the genetic program controlling motor neuron survival and acquisition of subtype specific properties. PMID:22629237

  16. Disorders of motor neurons manifested by hyperactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grapperon, A M; Attarian, S

    2017-05-01

    Neuronal and/or axonal hyperactivity and hyperexcitability is an important feature of motor neuron diseases. It results clinically in cramps and fasciculations. It is not specific to motor neuron diseases, and can occur in healthy subjects, as well as in various pathologies of the peripheral nervous system, including nerve hyperexcitability syndromes. Hyperexcitability plays an important and debated role in the pathophysiology of motor neuron diseases, especially in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The mechanisms causing hyperexcitability are not yet clearly identified. While most studies favor a distal axonal origin site of fasciculations, some of the fasciculations could be of cortical origin. The consequences of hyperexcitability are also discussed, whether it is rather protective or deleterious in the disease course. Fasciculations are depicted both clinically and using electromyogram, and more recently the interest of ultrasound has been highlighted. The importance of fasciculation potentials in the diagnosis of ALS led to changes in electrophysiological criteria at Awaji consensus conference. The contribution of these modifications to ALS diagnosis has been the subject of several studies. In clinical practice, it is necessary to distinguish fasciculations potentials of motor neuron disease from benign fasciculations. In most studies of fasciculation potentials in ALS, the presence of complex fasciculation potentials appears to be relevant for the diagnosis and the prognosis of the disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Lower motor neuron findings after upper motor neuron injury: Insights from postoperative supplementary motor area syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey E Florman

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Hypertonia and hypereflexia are classically described responses to upper motor neuron injury. However, acute hypotonia and areflexia with motor deficit are hallmark findings after many central nervous system insults such as acute stroke and spinal shock. Historic theories to explain these contradictory findings have implicated a number of potential mechanisms mostly relying on the loss of descending corticospinal input as the underlying etiology. Unfortunately, these simple descriptions consistently fail to adequately explain the pathophysiology and connectivity leading to acute hyporeflexia and delayed hypereflexia that result from such insult. This article highlights the common observation of acute hyporeflexia after central nervous system insults and explores the underlying anatomy and physiology. Further, evidence for the underlying connectivity is presented and implicates the dominant role of supraspinal inhibitory influence originating in the supplementary motor area descending through the corticospinal tracts. Unlike traditional explanations, this theory more adequately explains the findings of postoperative supplementary motor area syndrome in which hyporeflexive motor deficit is observed acutely in the face of intact primary motor cortex connections to the spinal cord. Further, the proposed connectivity can be generalized to help explain other insults including stroke, atonic seizures, and spinal shock.

  18. Primary Motor Neuron Culture to Promote Cellular Viability and Myelination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suh, Jun-Kyo Francis; Hyung, Sujin

    2018-01-01

    A culture system that can recapitulate myelination in vitro will not only help us to better understand the mechanism of myelination and demyelination but also identify possible therapeutic interventions for treating demyelinating diseases. Here, we introduce a simple and reproducible myelination culture system using mouse motor neurons (MNs) and Schwann cells (SCs). Dissociated motor neurons are plated on a feeder layer of SCs, which interact with and wrap around the axons of MNs as they differentiate in culture. In our MN-SC co-culture system, MNs survive over 3 weeks and extend long axons. Both viability and axon growth of MNs in the co-culture are markedly enhanced as compared to those of MN monocultures. Co-labeling of myelin basic proteins and neuronal cell microtubules reveals that SCs form myelin sheaths by wrapping around the axons of MNs.

  19. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26400084

  20. 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.

  1. 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; pmotor nucleus, indicating microglial activation; 2) decreased breathing during maximal chemoreceptor stimulation; and 3) diminished phrenic motor output in anesthetized rats (7days post-25μg, 0.3±0.07V; CTB+SAP: 1.5±0.3; n=9; pmotor neuron death and provides an opportunity to study compensation for respiratory motor neuron loss. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Muscle and motor neuron ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor α together maintain adult motor neuron axons in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Nancy; Serbinski, Carolyn R; Braunlin, Makayla R; Rasch, Matthew S; Rydyznski, Carolyn E; MacLennan, A John

    2016-12-01

    The molecular mechanisms maintaining adult motor innervation are comparatively unexplored relative to those involved during development. In addition to the fundamental neuroscience question, this area has important clinical ramifications given that loss of neuromuscular contact is thought to underlie several adult onset human neuromuscular diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Indirect evidence suggests that ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) receptors may contribute to adult motor neuron axon maintenance. To directly address this in vivo, we used adult onset mouse genetic disruption techniques to deplete motor neuron and muscle CNTF receptor α (CNTFRα), the essential ligand binding subunit of the receptor, and incorporated reporters labelling affected motor neuron axons and terminals. The combined depletion of motor neuron and muscle CNTFRα produced a large loss of motor neuron terminals and retrograde labelling of motor neurons with FluoroGold indicated axon die-back well beyond muscle, together revealing an essential role for CNTFRα in adult motor axon maintenance. In contrast, selective depletion of motor neuron CNTFRα did not affect motor innervation. These data, along with our previous work indicating no effect of muscle specific CNTFRα depletion on motor innervation, suggest that motor neuron and muscle CNTFRα function in concert to maintain motor neuron axons. The data also raise the possibility of motor neuron and/or muscle CNTFRα as therapeutic targets for adult neuromuscular denervating diseases. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. The Neuronal Network Orchestration behind Motor Behaviors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Peter Christian

    studies. In the second study, we looked into the distribution of firing rates during different motor programs and the mechanisms that give rise to the distribution. We implanted high-density silicon probes in the spinal cord and recorded parallel single unit activity while inducing different scratch......, and it remains skewed in different behaviors. Our findings support that the neuronal activity, which is involved in motor behavior, is governed by synaptic fluctuations and as a result thereof is irregular. Similar lognormal- like distributions of firing rates have also been observed in other brain areas...

  7. Peripheral Neuron Survival and Outgrowth on Graphene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domenica Convertino

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Graphene displays properties that make it appealing for neuroregenerative medicine, yet its interaction with peripheral neurons has been scarcely investigated. Here, we culture on graphene two established models for peripheral neurons: PC12 cells and DRG primary neurons. We perform a nano-resolved analysis of polymeric coatings on graphene and combine optical microscopy and viability assays to assess the material cytocompatibility and influence on differentiation. We find that differentiated PC12 cells display a remarkably increased neurite length on graphene (up to 27% with respect to controls. Notably, DRG primary neurons survive both on bare and coated graphene. They present dense axonal networks on coated graphene, while they form cell islets characterized by dense axonal bundles on uncoated graphene. These findings indicate that graphene holds potential for nerve tissue regeneration and might pave the road to novel concepts of active nerve conduits.

  8. Orofacial Apraxia in Motor Neuron Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Patrícia Pita Lobo; Susana Pinto; Luz Rocha; Sofia Reimão; Mamede de Carvalho

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: Cognitive and behavioral impairments are considered to occur frequently in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (MND). Rarely, apraxia has been reported in MND. Orofacial, or buccofacial, apraxia is characterized by a loss of voluntary control of facial, lingual, pharyngeal and masticatory muscles in the presence of preserved reflexive and automatic functions of the same muscles. Methods: We report a patient with MND who presented with spastic dysarthria and asymme...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Penelope J; Tu, Wen-Yo; Shorrock, Hannah K; Groen, Ewout J N; Carter, Roderick N; Powis, Rachael A; Thomson, Sophie R; Thomson, Derek; Graham, Laura C; Motyl, Anna A L; Wishart, Thomas M; Highley, J Robin; Morton, Nicholas M; Becker, Thomas; Becker, Catherina G; Heath, Paul R; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2017-04-01

    Degeneration and loss of lower motor neurons is the major pathological hallmark of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), resulting from low levels of ubiquitously-expressed survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. One remarkable, yet unresolved, feature of SMA is that not all motor neurons are equally affected, with some populations displaying a robust resistance to the disease. Here, we demonstrate that selective vulnerability of distinct motor neuron pools arises from fundamental modifications to their basal molecular profiles. Comparative gene expression profiling of motor neurons innervating the extensor digitorum longus (disease-resistant), gastrocnemius (intermediate vulnerability), and tibialis anterior (vulnerable) muscles in mice revealed that disease susceptibility correlates strongly with a modified bioenergetic profile. Targeting of identified bioenergetic pathways by enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis rescued motor axon defects in SMA zebrafish. Moreover, targeting of a single bioenergetic protein, phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (Pgk1), was found to modulate motor neuron vulnerability in vivo. Knockdown of pgk1 alone was sufficient to partially mimic the SMA phenotype in wild-type zebrafish. Conversely, Pgk1 overexpression, or treatment with terazosin (an FDA-approved small molecule that binds and activates Pgk1), rescued motor axon phenotypes in SMA zebrafish. We conclude that global bioenergetics pathways can be therapeutically manipulated to ameliorate SMA motor neuron phenotypes in vivo.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Penelope J Boyd

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Degeneration and loss of lower motor neurons is the major pathological hallmark of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, resulting from low levels of ubiquitously-expressed survival motor neuron (SMN protein. One remarkable, yet unresolved, feature of SMA is that not all motor neurons are equally affected, with some populations displaying a robust resistance to the disease. Here, we demonstrate that selective vulnerability of distinct motor neuron pools arises from fundamental modifications to their basal molecular profiles. Comparative gene expression profiling of motor neurons innervating the extensor digitorum longus (disease-resistant, gastrocnemius (intermediate vulnerability, and tibialis anterior (vulnerable muscles in mice revealed that disease susceptibility correlates strongly with a modified bioenergetic profile. Targeting of identified bioenergetic pathways by enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis rescued motor axon defects in SMA zebrafish. Moreover, targeting of a single bioenergetic protein, phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (Pgk1, was found to modulate motor neuron vulnerability in vivo. Knockdown of pgk1 alone was sufficient to partially mimic the SMA phenotype in wild-type zebrafish. Conversely, Pgk1 overexpression, or treatment with terazosin (an FDA-approved small molecule that binds and activates Pgk1, rescued motor axon phenotypes in SMA zebrafish. We conclude that global bioenergetics pathways can be therapeutically manipulated to ameliorate SMA motor neuron phenotypes in vivo.

  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. The frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease continuum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrell, James R; Halliday, Glenda M; Kril, Jillian J; Ittner, Lars M; Götz, Jürgen; Kiernan, Matthew C; Hodges, John R

    2016-08-27

    Early reports of cognitive and behavioural deficits in motor neuron disease might have been overlooked initially, but the concept of a frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease continuum has emerged during the past decade. Frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease is now recognised as an important dementia syndrome, which presents substantial challenges for diagnosis and management. Frontotemporal dementia, motor neuron disease, and frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease are characterised by overlapping patterns of TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43) pathology, while the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) repeat expansion is common across the disease spectrum. Indeed, the C9orf72 repeat expansion provides important clues to disease pathogenesis and suggests potential therapeutic targets. Variable diagnostic criteria identify motor, cognitive, and behavioural deficits, but further refinement is needed to define the clinical syndromes encountered in frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Does the survival motor neuron copy number variation play a role in the onset and severity of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Malians?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Modibo Sangare

    2016-06-01

    Conclusion: Because of the short survival time of our patients, family histories and sample DNA for testing were not done. However, our results show that sporadic ALS is of earlier onset and shorter survival time as compared to patients elsewhere. We plan to establish a network of neurologists and researchers for early screening of ALS.

  15. Stress exacerbates neuron loss and microglia proliferation in a rat model of excitotoxic lower motor neuron injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puga, Denise A; Tovar, C Amy; Guan, Zhen; Gensel, John C; Lyman, Matthew S; McTigue, Dana M; Popovich, Phillip G

    2015-10-01

    All individuals experience stress and hormones (e.g., glucocorticoids/GCs) released during stressful events can affect the structure and function of neurons. These effects of stress are best characterized for brain neurons; however, the mechanisms controlling the expression and binding affinity of glucocorticoid receptors in the spinal cord are different than those in the brain. Accordingly, whether stress exerts unique effects on spinal cord neurons, especially in the context of pathology, is unknown. Using a controlled model of focal excitotoxic lower motor neuron injury in rats, we examined the effects of acute or chronic variable stress on spinal cord motor neuron survival and glial activation. New data indicate that stress exacerbates excitotoxic spinal cord motor neuron loss and associated activation of microglia. In contrast, hypertrophy and hyperplasia of astrocytes and NG2+ glia were unaffected or were modestly suppressed by stress. Although excitotoxic lesions cause significant motor neuron loss and stress exacerbates this pathology, overt functional impairment did not develop in the relevant forelimb up to one week post-lesion. These data indicate that stress is a disease-modifying factor capable of altering neuron and glial responses to pathological challenges in the spinal cord. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Inhibition of motor neuron death in vitro and in vivo by a p75 neurotrophin receptor intracellular domain fragment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matusica, Dusan; Alfonsi, Fabienne; Turner, Bradley J; Butler, Tim J; Shepheard, Stephanie R; Rogers, Mary-Louise; Skeldal, Sune; Underwood, Clare K; Mangelsdorf, Marie; Coulson, Elizabeth J

    2016-02-01

    The p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR); also known as NGFR) can mediate neuronal apoptosis in disease or following trauma, and facilitate survival through interactions with Trk receptors. Here we tested the ability of a p75(NTR)-derived trophic cell-permeable peptide, c29, to inhibit p75(NTR)-mediated motor neuron death. Acute c29 application to axotomized motor neuron axons decreased cell death, and systemic c29 treatment of SOD1(G93A) mice, a common model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, resulted in increased spinal motor neuron survival mid-disease as well as delayed disease onset. Coincident with this, c29 treatment of these mice reduced the production of p75(NTR) cleavage products. Although c29 treatment inhibited mature- and pro-nerve-growth-factor-induced death of cultured motor neurons, and these ligands induced the cleavage of p75(NTR) in motor-neuron-like NSC-34 cells, there was no direct effect of c29 on p75(NTR) cleavage. Rather, c29 promoted motor neuron survival in vitro by enhancing the activation of TrkB-dependent signaling pathways, provided that low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were present, an effect that was replicated in vivo in SOD1(G93A) mice. We conclude that the c29 peptide facilitates BDNF-dependent survival of motor neurons in vitro and in vivo. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Lu Liu

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. associated neuron disease carCInoma Motor with

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1983-02-19

    Feb 19, 1983 ... re\\'ealed wasting of the temporalis muscle, upper motor neuron weakness of the ... left, there was bilateral wasting ofthe small muscles of the hands, .... disease with associated rectal adenocarcinoma and benign pros- tatic hypertrophy. Discussion. Motor neuron disease occurs in all parts of the world, with a.

  1. 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. A...... synchronization described here might be involved in activity-dependent processes during development or in the coordination of individual motor neurons into a functional population underlying behavior.......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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Motor neuron disease in blacks. JE Cosnett, PLA Bill, AI Bhigjee. Abstract. 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 ...

  3. 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 ...

  4. Orofacial Apraxia in Motor Neuron Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobo, Patrícia Pita; Pinto, Susana; Rocha, Luz; Reimão, Sofia; de Carvalho, Mamede

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Cognitive and behavioral impairments are considered to occur frequently in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (MND). Rarely, apraxia has been reported in MND. Orofacial, or buccofacial, apraxia is characterized by a loss of voluntary control of facial, lingual, pharyngeal and masticatory muscles in the presence of preserved reflexive and automatic functions of the same muscles. Methods We report a patient with MND who presented with spastic dysarthria and asymmetric orofacial apraxia. She progressed to frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Results Clinical and neurophysiological examinations were suggestive of bulbar-onset MND-FTD. Tractography showed a reduction of fractional anisotropy in the centrum semiovale, corona radiata, corticomedullary pathway and inferior aspect of the medulla; the changes were more severe on the left side. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an asymmetric presentation of an apraxic syndrome in MND-FTD. PMID:23569452

  5. Orofacial Apraxia in Motor Neuron Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrícia Pita Lobo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Cognitive and behavioral impairments are considered to occur frequently in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (MND. Rarely, apraxia has been reported in MND. Orofacial, or buccofacial, apraxia is characterized by a loss of voluntary control of facial, lingual, pharyngeal and masticatory muscles in the presence of preserved reflexive and automatic functions of the same muscles. Methods: We report a patient with MND who presented with spastic dysarthria and asymmetric orofacial apraxia. She progressed to frontotemporal dementia (FTD. Results: Clinical and neurophysiological examinations were suggestive of bulbar-onset MND-FTD. Tractography showed a reduction of fractional anisotropy in the centrum semiovale, corona radiata, corticomedullary pathway and inferior aspect of the medulla; the changes were more severe on the left side. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an asymmetric presentation of an apraxic syndrome in MND-FTD.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. A Role for SMN Exon 7 Splicing in the Selective Vulnerability of Motor Neurons in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggiu, Matteo; McGovern, Vicki L.; Lotti, Francesco; Saieva, Luciano; Li, Darrick K.; Kariya, Shingo; Monani, Umrao R.; Burghes, Arthur H. M.

    2012-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited motor neuron disease caused by homozygous loss of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. In the absence of SMN1, inefficient inclusion of exon 7 in transcripts from the nearly identical SMN2 gene results in ubiquitous SMN decrease but selective motor neuron degeneration. Here we investigated whether cell type-specific differences in the efficiency of exon 7 splicing contribute to the vulnerability of SMA motor neurons. We show that normal motor neurons express markedly lower levels of full-length SMN mRNA from SMN2 than do other cells in the spinal cord. This is due to inefficient exon 7 splicing that is intrinsic to motor neurons under normal conditions. We also find that SMN depletion in mammalian cells decreases exon 7 inclusion through a negative feedback loop affecting the splicing of its own mRNA. This mechanism is active in vivo and further decreases the efficiency of exon 7 inclusion specifically in motor neurons of severe-SMA mice. Consistent with expression of lower levels of full-length SMN, we find that SMN-dependent downstream molecular defects are exacerbated in SMA motor neurons. These findings suggest a mechanism to explain the selective vulnerability of motor neurons to loss of SMN1. PMID:22037760

  9. Adult ciliary neurotrophic factor receptors help maintain facial motor neuron choline acetyltransferase expression in vivo following nerve crush.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Nancy; Rydyznski, Carolyn E; Rasch, Matthew S; Trinh, Dennis S; MacLennan, A John

    2017-04-01

    Exogenous ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) administration promotes the survival of motor neurons in a wide range of models. It also increases the expression of the critical neurotransmitter enzyme choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) by in vitro motor neurons, likely independent of its effects on their survival. We have used the adult mouse facial nerve crush model and adult-onset conditional disruption of the CNTF receptor α (CNTFRα) gene to directly examine the in vivo roles played by endogenous CNTF receptors in adult motor neuron survival and ChAT maintenance, independent of developmental functions. We have previously shown that adult activation of the CreER gene construct in floxed CNTFRα mice depletes this essential receptor subunit in a large subset of motor neurons (and all skeletal muscle, as shown in this study) but has no effect on the survival of intact or lesioned motor neurons, indicating that these adult CNTF receptors play no essential survival role in this model, in contrast to their essential role during embryonic development. Here we show that this same CNTFRα depletion does not affect ChAT labeling in nonlesioned motor neurons, but it significantly increases the loss of ChAT following nerve crush. The data suggest that, although neither motor neuron nor muscle CNTF receptors play a significant, nonredundant role in the maintenance of ChAT in intact adult motor neurons, the receptors become essential for ChAT maintenance when the motor neurons are challenged by nerve crush. Therefore, the data suggest that the receptors act as a critical component of an endogenous neuroprotective mechanism. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1206-1215, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. [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.

  15. Insm1a Regulates Motor Neuron Development in Zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Gong

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Insulinoma-associated1a (insm1a is a zinc-finger transcription factor playing a series of functions in cell formation and differentiation of vertebrate central and peripheral nervous systems and neuroendocrine system. However, its roles on the development of motor neuron have still remained uncovered. Here, we provided evidences that insm1a was a vital regulator of motor neuron development, and provided a mechanistic understanding of how it contributes to this process. Firstly, we showed the localization of insm1a in spinal cord, and primary motor neurons (PMNs of zebrafish embryos by in situ hybridization, and imaging analysis of transgenic reporter line Tg(insm1a: mCherryntu805. Then we demonstrated that the deficiency of insm1a in zebrafish larvae lead to the defects of PMNs development, including the reduction of caudal primary motor neurons (CaP, and middle primary motor neurons (MiP, the excessive branching of motor axons, and the disorganized distance between adjacent CaPs. Additionally, knockout of insm1 impaired motor neuron differentiation in the spinal cord. Locomotion analysis showed that swimming activity was significantly reduced in the insm1a-null zebrafish. Furthermore, we showed that the insm1a loss of function significantly decreased the transcript levels of both olig2 and nkx6.1. Microinjection of olig2 and nkx6.1 mRNA rescued the motor neuron defects in insm1a deficient embryos. Taken together, these data indicated that insm1a regulated the motor neuron development, at least in part, through modulation of the expressions of olig2 and nkx6.1.

  16. Motor neuron degeneration correlates with respiratory dysfunction in SCA1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orengo, James P; van der Heijden, Meike E; Hao, Shuang; Tang, Jianrong; Orr, Harry T; Zoghbi, Huda Y

    2018-01-29

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is characterized by adult-onset cerebellar degeneration with attendant loss of motor coordination. Bulbar function is eventually impaired, and patients tend to die from inability to clear the airway. We asked whether motor neuron degeneration is at the root of bulbar dysfunction by studying SCA1 knock-in mice. We analyzed spinal cord and brainstem motor neurons in SCA1 knock-in (Atxn1 154Q ) mice at 1, 3, and 6 months of age. Specifically, we assessed breathing physiology, diaphragm histology and electromyography, and motor neuron histology and immunohistochemistry. Atxn1 154Q mice show progressive neuromuscular respiratory abnormalities, neurogenic changes in diaphragm, and motor neuron degeneration in the spinal cord and brainstem. The latter is accompanied by reactive astrocytosis and accumulation of Atxn1 aggregates in the motor neuron nuclei. This dovetails with previous observations in SCA1 patient tissue. Atxn1 154Q mice develop bulbar dysfunction because of motor neuron degeneration. These findings confirm the Atxn1 154Q line as a SCA1 model with face and construct validity for this understudied disease feature. Furthermore, this model is suitable to study the pathogenic mechanism driving motor neuron degeneration in SCA1 and perhaps other degenerative motor neuron diseases. From a clinical standpoint, the data indicate that pulmonary function testing and employment of non-invasive ventilator support could be beneficial in SCA1 patients. The physiological tests used in this study may serve as valuable biomarkers for future therapeutic interventions and clinical trials. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. 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; Baker, Mark R

    2012-09-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  2. Spinal muscular atrophy: a motor neuron disorder or a multi-organ disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shababi, Monir; Lorson, Christian L; Rudnik-Schöneborn, Sabine S

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder that is the leading genetic cause of infantile death. SMA is characterized by loss of motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord, leading to weakness and muscle atrophy. SMA occurs as a result of homozygous deletion or mutations in Survival Motor Neuron-1 (SMN1). Loss of SMN1 leads to a dramatic reduction in SMN protein, which is essential for motor neuron survival. SMA disease severity ranges from extremely severe to a relatively mild adult onset form of proximal muscle atrophy. Severe SMA patients typically die mostly within months or a few years as a consequence of respiratory insufficiency and bulbar paralysis. SMA is widely known as a motor neuron disease; however, there are numerous clinical reports indicating the involvement of additional peripheral organs contributing to the complete picture of the disease in severe cases. In this review, we have compiled clinical and experimental reports that demonstrate the association between the loss of SMN and peripheral organ deficiency and malfunction. Whether defective peripheral organs are a consequence of neuronal damage/muscle atrophy or a direct result of SMN loss will be discussed. © 2013 Anatomical Society.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

    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-Δ7 (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 SMN-FL led to excessive mitochondrial oxidative stress in human motor neuron progenitors. The involvement of oxidative stress in the degeneration of spinal motor neurons in the SMA cell model was further confirmed by the administration of N-acetylcysteine, a potent antioxidant, which prevented disease-related apoptosis and subsequent motor neuron death. Thus, we report here the successful establishment of an hESC-based SMA model, which exhibits disease gene isoform specificity, cell type specificity, and phenotype reversibility. Our model provides a unique paradigm for studying how motor neurons specifically degenerate and highlights the potential importance of antioxidants for the treatment of SMA.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powis, Rachael A; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2016-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterised primarily by loss of lower motor neurons from the ventral grey horn of the spinal cord and proximal muscle atrophy. Recent experiments utilising mouse models of SMA have demonstrated that not all motor neurons are equally susceptible to the disease, revealing that other populations of neurons can also be affected. Here, we have extended investigations of selective vulnerability of neuronal populations in the spinal cord of SMA mice to include comparative assessments of alpha motor neuron (α-MN) and gamma motor neuron (γ-MN) pools, as well as other populations of cholinergic neurons. Immunohistochemical analyses of late-symptomatic SMA mouse spinal cord revealed that numbers of α-MNs were significantly reduced at all levels of the spinal cord compared with controls, whereas numbers of γ-MNs remained stable. Likewise, the average size of α-MN cell somata was decreased in SMA mice with no change occurring in γ-MNs. Evaluation of other pools of spinal cord cholinergic neurons revealed that pre-ganglionic sympathetic neurons, central canal cluster interneurons, partition interneurons and preganglionic autonomic dorsal commissural nucleus neuron numbers all remained unaffected in SMA mice. Taken together, these findings indicate that α-MNs are uniquely vulnerable among cholinergic neuron populations in the SMA mouse spinal cord, with γ-MNs and other cholinergic neuronal populations being largely spared. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  7. A Schwann cell mitogen accompanying regeneration of motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livesey, F J; O'Brien, J A; Li, M; Smith, A G; Murphy, L J; Hunt, S P

    1997-12-11

    Motor neurons are the only adult mammalian neurons of the central nervous system to regenerate following injury. This ability is dependent on the environment of the peripheral nerve and an intrinsic capacity of motor neurons for regrowth. We report here the identification, using a technique known as messenger RNA differential display, of an extracellular signalling molecule, previously described as the pancreatic secreted protein Reg-2, that is expressed solely in regenerating and developing rat motor and sensory neurons. Axon-stimulated Schwann cell proliferation is necessary for successful regeneration, and we show that Reg-2 is a potent Schwann cell mitogen in vitro. In vivo, Reg-2 protein is transported along regrowing axons and inhibition of Reg-2 signalling significantly retards the regeneration of Reg-2-containing axons. During development, Reg-2 production by motor and sensory neurons is regulated by contact with peripheral targets. Strong candidates for peripheral factors regulating Reg-2 production are cytokines of the LIF/CNTF family, because Reg-2 is not expressed in developing motor or sensory neurons of mice carrying a targeted disruption of the LIF receptor gene, a common component of the receptor complexes for all of the LIF/CNTF family.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Survival in Parkinson's disease. Relation with motor and non-motor features

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Lau, Lonneke M. L.; Verbaan, Dagmar; Marinus, Johan; van Hilten, Jacobus J.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Survival in patients with Parkinson's disease is reduced as compared to the general population. We aimed to identify motor and non-motor features that predict mortality in Parkinson's disease. Methods: A broad range of motor and non-motor features were assessed in a hospital-based cohort

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Maturation of Spinal Motor Neurons Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takazawa, Tomonori; Croft, Gist F.; Amoroso, Mackenzie W.; Studer, Lorenz; Wichterle, Hynek; MacDermott, Amy B.

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of motor neuron biology in humans is derived mainly from investigation of human postmortem tissue and more indirectly from live animal models such as rodents. Thus generation of motor neurons from human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells is an important new approach to model motor neuron function. To be useful models of human motor neuron function, cells generated in vitro should develop mature properties that are the hallmarks of motor neurons in vivo such as elaborated neuronal processes and mature electrophysiological characteristics. Here we have investigated changes in morphological and electrophysiological properties associated with maturation of neurons differentiated from human embryonic stem cells expressing GFP driven by a motor neuron specific reporter (Hb9::GFP) in culture. We observed maturation in cellular morphology seen as more complex neurite outgrowth and increased soma area over time. Electrophysiological changes included decreasing input resistance and increasing action potential firing frequency over 13 days in vitro. Furthermore, these human embryonic stem cell derived motor neurons acquired two physiological characteristics that are thought to underpin motor neuron integrated function in motor circuits; spike frequency adaptation and rebound action potential firing. These findings show that human embryonic stem cell derived motor neurons develop functional characteristics typical of spinal motor neurons in vivo and suggest that they are a relevant and useful platform for studying motor neuron development and function and for modeling motor neuron diseases. PMID:22802953

  15. Neuronal Survival, Morphology and Outgrowth of Spiral Ganglion Neurons Using a Defined Growth Factor Combination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Schwieger

    Full Text Available The functionality of cochlear implants (CI depends, among others, on the number and excitability of surviving spiral ganglion neurons (SGN. The spatial separation between the SGN, located in the bony axis of the inner ear, and the CI, which is inserted in the scala tympani, results in suboptimal performance of CI patients and may be decreased by attracting the SGN neurites towards the electrode contacts. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs can support neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth.Since brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF is well known for its neuroprotective effect and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF increases neurite outgrowth, we evaluated if the combination of BDNF and CNTF leads to an enhanced neuronal survival with extended neurite outgrowth. Both NTFs were added in effective high concentrations (BDNF 50 ng/ml, CNTF 100 ng/ml, alone and in combination, to cultured dissociated SGN of neonatal rats for 48 hours.The neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth were significantly higher in SGN treated with the combination of the two NTFs compared to treatment with each factor alone. Additionally, with respect to the morphology, the combination of BDNF and CNTF leads to a significantly higher number of bipolar neurons and a decreased number of neurons without neurites in culture.The combination of BDNF and CNTF shows a great potential to increase the neuronal survival and the number of bipolar neurons in vitro and to regenerate retracted nerve fibers.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Background 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. Objective 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-24

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

  20. Brainstem neurons survive the identical ischemic stress that kills higher neurons: insight to the persistent vegetative state.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Devin Brisson

    Full Text Available Global ischemia caused by heart attack, pulmonary failure, near-drowning or traumatic brain injury often damages the higher brain but not the brainstem, leading to a 'persistent vegetative state' where the patient is awake but not aware. Approximately 30,000 U.S. patients are held captive in this condition but not a single research study has addressed how the lower brain is preferentially protected in these people. In the higher brain, ischemia elicits a profound anoxic depolarization (AD causing neuronal dysfunction and vasoconstriction within minutes. Might brainstem nuclei generate less damaging AD and so be more resilient? Here we compared resistance to acute injury induced from simulated ischemia by 'higher' hippocampal and striatal neurons versus brainstem neurons in live slices from rat and mouse. Light transmittance (LT imaging in response to 10 minutes of oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD revealed immediate and acutely damaging AD propagating through gray matter of neocortex, hippocampus, striatum, thalamus and cerebellar cortex. In adjacent brainstem nuclei, OGD-evoked AD caused little tissue injury. Whole-cell patch recordings from hippocampal and striatal neurons under OGD revealed sudden membrane potential loss that did not recover. In contrast brainstem neurons from locus ceruleus and mesencephalic nucleus as well as from sensory and motor nuclei only slowly depolarized and then repolarized post-OGD. Two-photon microscopy confirmed non-recoverable swelling and dendritic beading of hippocampal neurons during OGD, while mesencephalic neurons in midbrain appeared uninjured. All of the above responses were mimicked by bath exposure to 100 µM ouabain which inhibits the Na+/K+ pump or to 1-10 nM palytoxin which converts the pump into an open cationic channel. Therefore during ischemia the Na+/K+ pump of higher neurons fails quickly and extensively compared to naturally resilient hypothalamic and brainstem neurons. The selective survival

  1. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conclusions: The frequency of motor neuron disease appears to have declined considerably. While the onset remains in the younger age group, the male predominance has remarkably increased. The proportion of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has increased from 80 to 100% of cases. Trauma, previously reported to be an ...

  3. Mirror neurons: reflecting on the motor cortex and spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schieber, Marc H

    2013-02-18

    Neurons in the monkey motor cortex that project to the spinal cord to control particular muscle contractions and movements have been found to discharge again while the monkey simply watches another primate make similar movements: monkey see; monkey not do. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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)

  5. Bilateral lower motor neuron facial nerve palsy due to HIV ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A 34-year-old-woman presented with acute onset of headache and bilateral facial nerve paralysis. On examination bilateral lower motor neuron 7th cranial nerve palsy in keeping with bilateral Bell's palsy was apparent. Investigations showed aseptic meningitis, with a low CD4 count of 352 cells/μl and an elevated viral load ...

  6. 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

    2018-02-07

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Neuronal survival induced by neurotrophins requires calmodulin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egea, Joaquim; Espinet, Carme; Soler, Rosa M.; Dolcet, Xavier; Yuste, Víctor J.; Encinas, Mario; Iglesias, Montserrat; Rocamora, Nativitat; Comella, Joan X.

    2001-01-01

    It has been reported that phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) and its downstream target, protein kinase B (PKB), play a central role in the signaling of cell survival triggered by neurotrophins (NTs). In this report, we have analyzed the involvement of Ca2+ and calmodulin (CaM) in the activation of the PKB induced by NTs. We have found that reduction of intracellular Ca2+ concentration or functional blockade of CaM abolished NGF-induced activation of PKB in PC12 cells. Similar results were obtained in cultures of chicken spinal cord motoneurons treated with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Moreover, CaM inhibition prevented the cell survival triggered by NGF or BDNF. This effect was counteracted by the transient expression of constitutive active forms of the PKB, indicating that CaM regulates NT-induced cell survival through the activation of the PKB. We have investigated the mechanisms whereby CaM regulates the activation of the PKB, and we have found that CaM was necessary for the proper generation and/or accumulation of the products of the PI 3-kinase in intact cells. PMID:11489918

  10. The Neuronal Network Orchestration behind Motor Behaviors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Peter Christian

    behaviors from a premotor network with recurrent connections, which is operating in the irregular regime. Our experimental findings are in agreement with studies from the cortex and the balanced model. It is therefore relevant to study the population activity in the spinal cord for traits from cortex...... (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......In biological networks, millions of neurons organize themselves from microscopic noisy individuals to robust macroscopic entities. These entities are capable of producing higher functions like sensory processing, decision-making, and elaborate behavioral responses. Every aspect of these behaviors...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmisano, Ralf; Golfi, Panagiota; Heimann, Peter; Shaw, Christopher; Troakes, Claire; Schmitt-John, Thomas; Bartsch, Jörg W

    2011-03-07

    The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is largely unknown but hypotheses about disease mechanisms include oxidative stress, defective axonal transport, mitochondrial dysfunction and disrupted RNA processing. Whereas familial ALS is well represented by transgenic mutant SOD1 mouse models, the mouse mutant wobbler (WR) develops progressive motor neuron degeneration due to a point mutation in the Vps54 gene, and provides an animal model for sporadic ALS. VPS54 protein as a component of a protein complex is involved in vesicular Golgi trafficking; impaired vesicle trafficking might also be mechanistic in the pathogenesis of human ALS. In motor neurons of homozygous symptomatic WR mice, a massive number of endosomal vesicles significantly enlarged (up to 3 μm in diameter) were subjected to ultrastructural analysis and immunohistochemistry for the endosome-specific small GTPase protein Rab7 and for amyloid precursor protein (APP). Enlarged vesicles were neither detected in heterozygous WR nor in transgenic SOD1(G93A) mice; in WR motor neurons, numerous APP/Rab7-positive vesicles were observed which were mostly LC3-negative, suggesting they are not autophagosomes. We conclude that endosomal APP/Rab7 staining reflects impaired vesicle trafficking in WR mouse motor neurons. Based on these findings human ALS tissues were analysed for APP in enlarged vesicles and were detected in spinal cord motor neurons in six out of fourteen sporadic ALS cases. These enlarged vesicles were not detected in any of the familial ALS cases. Thus our study provides the first evidence for wobbler-like aetiologies in human ALS and suggests that the genes encoding proteins involved in vesicle trafficking should be screened for pathogenic mutations.

  13. Astrocyte-produced miR-146a as a mediator of motor neuron loss in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sison, Samantha L; Patitucci, Teresa N; Seminary, Emily R; Villalon, Eric; Lorson, Christian L; Ebert, Allison D

    2017-09-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of infant mortality, is caused by the loss of the survival motor neuron-1 (SMN1) gene, which leads to motor neuron loss, muscle atrophy, respiratory distress, and death. Motor neurons exhibit the most profound loss, but the mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis are not fully understood. Recent evidence suggests that motor neuron extrinsic influences, such as those arising from astrocytes, contribute to motor neuron malfunction and loss. Here we investigated both loss-of-function and toxic gain-of-function astrocyte mechanisms that could play a role in SMA pathology. We had previously found that glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is reduced in SMA astrocytes. However, reduced GDNF expression does not play a major role in SMA pathology as viral-mediated GDNF re-expression did not improve astrocyte function or motor neuron loss. In contrast, we found that SMA astrocytes increased microRNA (miR) production and secretion compared to control astrocytes, suggesting potential toxic gain-of-function properties. Specifically, we found that miR-146a was significantly upregulated in SMA induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived astrocytes and SMNΔ7 mouse spinal cord. Moreover, increased miR-146a was sufficient to induce motor neuron loss in vitro, whereas miR-146a inhibition prevented SMA astrocyte-induced motor neuron loss. Together, these data indicate that altered astrocyte production of miR-146a may be a contributing factor in astrocyte-mediated SMA pathology. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. 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

    showing that the neonatal rat spinal cord can produce a stable motor rhythm in the absence of spike activity in premotor interneuronal networks. These coordinated motor neuron oscillations are dependent on NMDA-evoked pacemaker properties, which are synchronized across gap junctions. We discuss...... the functional relevance for such coordinated oscillations in immature and mature spinal motor systems.......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...

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murinson Beth B

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hmg-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins are widely used to prevent disease associated with vascular disease and hyperlipidemia. Although side effects are uncommon, clinical observations suggest statin exposure may exacerbate neuromuscular diseases, including peripheral neuropathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Although some have postulated class-effects, prior studies of hepatocytes and myocytes indicate that the statins may exhibit differential effects. Studies of neuronal cells have been limited. Methods We examined the effects of statins on cultured neurons and Schwann cells. Cultured spinal motor neurons were grown on transwell inserts and assessed for viability using immunochemical staining for SMI-32. Cultured cortical neurons and Schwann cells were assessed using dynamic viability markers. Results 7 days of exposure to fluvastatin depleted spinal motor neurons in a dose-dependent manner with a KD of  Conclusions It is known from pharmacokinetic studies that daily treatment of young adults with fluvastatin can produce serum levels in the single micromolar range. We conclude that specific mechanisms may explain neuromuscular disease worsening with statins and further study is needed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wenxue; Lee, Myoung-Hwa; Henderson, Lisa; Tyagi, Richa; Bachani, Muzna; Steiner, Joseph; Campanac, Emilie; Hoffman, Dax A; von Geldern, Gloria; Johnson, Kory; Maric, Dragan; Morris, H Douglas; Lentz, Margaret; Pak, Katherine; Mammen, Andrew; Ostrow, Lyle; Rothstein, Jeffrey; Nath, Avindra

    2015-09-30

    The role of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in disease pathogenesis is unclear. We show that HERV-K is activated in a subpopulation of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and that its envelope (env) protein may contribute to neurodegeneration. The virus was expressed in cortical and spinal neurons of ALS patients, but not in neurons from control healthy individuals. Expression of HERV-K or its env protein in human neurons caused retraction and beading of neurites. Transgenic animals expressing the env gene developed progressive motor dysfunction accompanied by selective loss of volume of the motor cortex, decreased synaptic activity in pyramidal neurons, dendritic spine abnormalities, nucleolar dysfunction, and DNA damage. Injury to anterior horn cells in the spinal cord was manifested by muscle atrophy and pathological changes consistent with nerve fiber denervation and reinnervation. Expression of HERV-K was regulated by TAR (trans-activation responsive) DNA binding protein 43, which binds to the long terminal repeat region of the virus. Thus, HERV-K expression within neurons of patients with ALS may contribute to neurodegeneration and disease pathogenesis. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. 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

  19. Neuronal Cell Sheets of Cortical Motor Neuron Phenotype Derived from Human iPSCs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Noboru; Arimitsu, Nagisa; Shimizu, Jun; Takai, Kenji; Hirotsu, Chieko; Ueda, Yuji; Wakisaka, Sueshige; Fujiwara, Naruyoshi; Suzuki, Tomoko

    2017-08-01

    Transplantation of stem cells that differentiate into more mature neural cells brings about functional improvement in preclinical studies of stroke. Previous transplant approaches in the diseased brain utilized injection of the cells in a cell suspension. In addition, neural stem cells were preferentially used for grafting. However, these cells had no specific relationship to the damaged tissue of stroke and brain injury patients. The injection of cells in a suspension destroyed the cell-cell interactions that are suggested to be important for promoting functional integrity of cortical motor neurons. In order to obtain suitable cell types for grafting in patients with stroke and brain damage, a protocol was modified for differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells from cells phenotypically related to cortical motor neurons. Moreover, cell sheet technology was applied to neural cell transplantation, as maintaining the cell-cell communications is regarded important for the repair of host brain architecture. Accordingly, neuronal cell sheets that were positive Forebrain Embryonic Zinc Finger (Fez) family zinc finger 2 (FEZF2), COUP-TF-interacting protein 2, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 4 (IGFBP4), cysteine-rich motor neuron 1 protein precursor (CRIM1), and forkhead box p2 (FOXP2) were developed. These markers are associated with cortical motoneurons that are appropriate for the transplant location in the lesions. The sheets allowed preservation of cell-cell interactions shown by synapsin1 staining after transplantation to damaged mouse brains. The sheet transplantation brought about partial structural restoration and the improvement of motor functions in hemiplegic mice. Collectively, the novel neuronal cell sheets were transplanted into damaged motor cortices; the cell sheets maintained cell-cell interactions and improved the motor functions in the hemiplegic model mice. The motoneuron cell sheets are possibly applicable for stroke patients and

  20. Vasoactive intestinal peptide and electrical activity influence neuronal survival

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brenneman, D.E.; Eiden, L.E.

    1986-01-01

    Blockage of electrical activity in dissociated spinal cord cultures results in a significant loss of neurons during a critical period in development. Decreases in neuronal cell numbers and 125 I-labeled tetanus toxin fixation produced by electrical blockage with tetrodotoxin (TTX) were prevented by addition of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) to the nutrient medium. The most effective concentration of VIP was 0.1 nM. At higher concentrations, the survival-enhancing effect of VIP on TTX-treated cultures was attenuated. Addition of the peptide alone had no significant effect on neuronal cell counts or tetanus toxin fixation. With the same experimental conditions, two closely related peptides, PHI-27 (peptide, histidyl-isoleucine amide) and secretin, were found not to increase the number of neurons in TTX-treated cultures. Interference with VIP action by VIP antiserum resulted in neuronal losses that were not significantly different from those observed after TTX treatment. These data indicate that under conditions of electrical blockade a neurotrophic action of VIP on neuronal survival can be demonstrated

  1. 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.

  2. In vivo NMDA receptor activation accelerates motor unit maturation, protects spinal motor neurons, and enhances SMN2 gene expression in severe spinal muscular atrophy mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biondi, Olivier; Branchu, Julien; Sanchez, Gabriel; Lancelin, Camille; Deforges, Séverine; Lopes, Philippe; Pariset, Claude; Lécolle, Sylvie; Côté, Jocelyn; Chanoine, Christophe; Charbonnier, Frédéric

    2010-08-25

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a lethal neurodegenerative disease that occurs in childhood, is caused by the misexpression of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein in motor neurons. It is still unclear whether activating motor units in SMA corrects the delay in the postnatal maturation of the motor unit resulting in an enhanced neuroprotection. In the present work, we demonstrate that an adequate NMDA receptor activation in a type 2 SMA mouse model significantly accelerated motor unit postnatal maturation, counteracted apoptosis in the spinal cord, and induced a marked increase of SMN expression resulting from a modification of SMN2 gene transcription pattern. These beneficial effects were dependent on the level of NMDA receptor activation since a treatment with high doses of NMDA led to an acceleration of the motor unit maturation but favored the apoptotic process and decreased SMN expression. In addition, these results suggest that the NMDA-induced acceleration of motor unit postnatal maturation occurred independently of SMN. The NMDA receptor activating treatment strongly extended the life span in two different mouse models of severe SMA. The analysis of the intracellular signaling cascade that lay downstream the activated NMDA receptor revealed an unexpected reactivation of the CaMKII/AKT/CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein) pathway that induced an enhanced SMN expression. Therefore, pharmacological activation of spinal NMDA receptors could constitute a useful strategy for both increasing SMN expression and limiting motor neuron death in SMA spinal cord.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. [Experimental approach to the gene therapy of motor neuron disease with the use of genes hypoxia-inducible factors].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismailov, Sh M; Barykova, Iu A; Shmarov, M M; Tarantul, V Z; Barskov, I V; Kucherianu, V G; Brylev, L V; Logunov, D Iu; Tutykhina, I L; Bocharov, E V; Zakharova, M N; Naroditskiĭ, B S; Illarioshkin, S N

    2014-05-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brain. Several angiogenic and neurogenic growth factors, such as the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiogenin (ANG), insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and others, have been shown to promote survival of the spinal motor neurons during ischemia. We constructed recombinant vectors using human adenovirus 5 (Ad5) carrying the VEGF, ANG or IGF genes under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter. As a model for MND, we employed a transgenic mice strain, B6SJL-Tg (SOD1*G93A)d11 Gur/J that develops a progressive degeneration of the spinal motor neurons caused by the expression of a mutated Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene SOD1. Delivery of the therapeutic genes to the spinal motor neurons was done using the effect of the retrograde axonal transport after multiple injections of the Ad5-VEGF, Ad5-ANG and Ad5-IGF vectors and their combinations into the limbs and back muscles of the SOD1(G93A) mice. Viral transgene expression in the spinal cord motor neurons was confirmed by immunocytochemistry and RT-RCR. We assessed the neurological status, motor activity and lifespan of experimental and control animal groups. We discovered that SOD1(G93A) mice injected with the Ad5-VEGF + Ad5-ANG combination showed a 2-3 week delay in manifestation of the disease, higher motor activity at the advanced stages of the disease, and at least a 10% increase in the lifespan compared to the control and other experimental groups. These results support the safety and therapeutic efficacy of the tested recombinant treatment. We propose that the developed experimental MND treatment based on viral delivery of VEGF + ANG can be used as a basis for gene therapy drug development and testing in the preclinical and clinical trials of the MND.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barış Genç

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Histone deacetylases and their role in motor neuron degeneration

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    Rafael eLazo-Gómez

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. The cause of this selective neuronal death is unknown, but transcriptional dysregulation is recently emerging as an important factor. The physical substrate for the regulation of the transcriptional process is chromatin, a complex assembly of histones and DNA. Histones are subject to several post-translational modifications, like acetylation, that are a component of the transcriptional regulation process. Histone acetylation and deacetylation is performed by a group of enzymes (histone acetyltransferases and deacetylases, respectively whose modulation can alter the transcriptional state of many regions of the genome, and thus may be an important target in diseases that share this pathogenic process, as is the case for ALS. This review will discuss the present evidence of transcriptional dysregulation in ALS, the role of histone deacetylases in disease pathogenesis, and the novel pharmacologic strategies that are being comprehensively studied to prevent motor neuron death, with focus on sirtuins and their effectors.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

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    Naaman Kam

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Injury to nerve axons induces diverse responses in neuronal cell bodies, some of which are influenced by the distance from the site of injury. This suggests that neurons have the capacity to estimate the distance of the injury site from their cell body. Recent work has shown that the molecular motor dynein transports importin-mediated retrograde signaling complexes from axonal lesion sites to cell bodies, raising the question whether dynein-based mechanisms enable axonal distance estimations in injured neurons? We used computer simulations to examine mechanisms that may provide nerve cells with dynein-dependent distance assessment capabilities. A multiple-signals model was postulated based on the time delay between the arrival of two or more signals produced at the site of injury-a rapid signal carried by action potentials or similar mechanisms and slower signals carried by dynein. The time delay between the arrivals of these two types of signals should reflect the distance traversed, and simulations of this model show that it can indeed provide a basis for distance measurements in the context of nerve injuries. The analyses indicate that the suggested mechanism can allow nerve cells to discriminate between distances differing by 10% or more of their total axon length, and suggest that dynein-based retrograde signaling in neurons can be utilized for this purpose over different scales of nerves and organisms. Moreover, such a mechanism might also function in synapse to nucleus signaling in uninjured neurons. This could potentially allow a neuron to dynamically sense the relative lengths of its processes on an ongoing basis, enabling appropriate metabolic output from cell body to processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kam, Naaman; Pilpel, Yitzhak; Fainzilber, Mike

    2009-08-01

    Injury to nerve axons induces diverse responses in neuronal cell bodies, some of which are influenced by the distance from the site of injury. This suggests that neurons have the capacity to estimate the distance of the injury site from their cell body. Recent work has shown that the molecular motor dynein transports importin-mediated retrograde signaling complexes from axonal lesion sites to cell bodies, raising the question whether dynein-based mechanisms enable axonal distance estimations in injured neurons? We used computer simulations to examine mechanisms that may provide nerve cells with dynein-dependent distance assessment capabilities. A multiple-signals model was postulated based on the time delay between the arrival of two or more signals produced at the site of injury-a rapid signal carried by action potentials or similar mechanisms and slower signals carried by dynein. The time delay between the arrivals of these two types of signals should reflect the distance traversed, and simulations of this model show that it can indeed provide a basis for distance measurements in the context of nerve injuries. The analyses indicate that the suggested mechanism can allow nerve cells to discriminate between distances differing by 10% or more of their total axon length, and suggest that dynein-based retrograde signaling in neurons can be utilized for this purpose over different scales of nerves and organisms. Moreover, such a mechanism might also function in synapse to nucleus signaling in uninjured neurons. This could potentially allow a neuron to dynamically sense the relative lengths of its processes on an ongoing basis, enabling appropriate metabolic output from cell body to processes.

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

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    Ikenaka, Kensuke; Kawai, Kaori; Katsuno, Masahisa; Huang, Zhe; Jiang, Yue-Mei; Iguchi, Yohei; Kobayashi, Kyogo; Kimata, Tsubasa; Waza, Masahiro; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Mori, Ikue; Sobue, Gen

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. We previously showed that the expression of dynactin 1, an axon motor protein regulating retrograde transport, is markedly reduced in spinal motor neurons of sporadic ALS patients, although the mechanisms by which decreased dynactin 1 levels cause neurodegeneration have yet to be elucidated. The accumulation of autophagosomes in degenerated motor neurons is another key pathological feature of sporadic ALS. Since autophagosomes are cargo of dynein/dynactin complexes and play a crucial role in the turnover of several organelles and proteins, we hypothesized that the quantitative loss of dynactin 1 disrupts the transport of autophagosomes and induces the degeneration of motor neuron. In the present study, we generated a Caenorhabditis elegans model in which the expression of DNC-1, the homolog of dynactin 1, is specifically knocked down in motor neurons. This model exhibited severe motor defects together with axonal and neuronal degeneration. We also observed impaired movement and increased number of autophagosomes in the degenerated neurons. Furthermore, the combination of rapamycin, an activator of autophagy, and trichostatin which facilitates axonal transport dramatically ameliorated the motor phenotype and axonal degeneration of this model. Thus, our results suggest that decreased expression of dynactin 1 induces motor neuron degeneration and that the transport of autophagosomes is a novel and substantial therapeutic target for motor neuron degeneration.

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

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    Kensuke Ikenaka

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. We previously showed that the expression of dynactin 1, an axon motor protein regulating retrograde transport, is markedly reduced in spinal motor neurons of sporadic ALS patients, although the mechanisms by which decreased dynactin 1 levels cause neurodegeneration have yet to be elucidated. The accumulation of autophagosomes in degenerated motor neurons is another key pathological feature of sporadic ALS. Since autophagosomes are cargo of dynein/dynactin complexes and play a crucial role in the turnover of several organelles and proteins, we hypothesized that the quantitative loss of dynactin 1 disrupts the transport of autophagosomes and induces the degeneration of motor neuron. In the present study, we generated a Caenorhabditis elegans model in which the expression of DNC-1, the homolog of dynactin 1, is specifically knocked down in motor neurons. This model exhibited severe motor defects together with axonal and neuronal degeneration. We also observed impaired movement and increased number of autophagosomes in the degenerated neurons. Furthermore, the combination of rapamycin, an activator of autophagy, and trichostatin which facilitates axonal transport dramatically ameliorated the motor phenotype and axonal degeneration of this model. Thus, our results suggest that decreased expression of dynactin 1 induces motor neuron degeneration and that the transport of autophagosomes is a novel and substantial therapeutic target for motor neuron degeneration.

  15. Patterns of symptom development in patients with motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walhout, Renée; Verstraete, Esther; van den Heuvel, Martijn P; Veldink, Jan H; van den Berg, Leonard H

    2018-02-01

    To investigate whether symptom development in motor neuron disease (MND) is a random or organized process. Six hundred patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), upper motor neuron (UMN) or lower motor neuron (LMN) phenotypes were invited for a questionnaire concerning symptom development. A binomial test was used to examine distribution of symptoms from site of onset. Development of symptoms over time was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. There were 470 respondents (ALS = 254; LMN = 100; UMN = 116). Subsequent symptoms were more often in the contralateral limb following unilateral limb onset (ALS: arms p = 1.05 × 10 -8 , legs p < 2.86 × 10 -15 ; LMN phenotype: arms p = 6.74 × 10 -9 , legs p = 6.26 × 10 -6 ; UMN phenotype: legs p = 4.07 × 10 -14 ). In patients with limb onset, symptoms occurred significantly faster in the contralateral limb, followed by the other limbs and lastly by the bulbar region. Patterns of non-contiguous symptom development were also reported: leg symptoms followed bulbar onset in 30%, and bulbar symptoms followed leg onset in 11% of ALS patients. Preferred spread of symptoms from one limb to the contralateral limb, and to adjacent sites appears to be a characteristic of MND phenotypes, suggesting that symptom spread is organized, possibly involving axonal connectivity. Non-contiguous symptom development, however, is not uncommon, and may involve other factors.

  16. Differential activity patterns of putaminal neurons with inputs from the primary motor cortex and supplementary motor area in behaving monkeys.

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    Takara, Sayuki; Hatanaka, Nobuhiko; Takada, Masahiko; Nambu, Atsushi

    2011-09-01

    Activity patterns of projection neurons in the putamen were investigated in behaving monkeys. Stimulating electrodes were implanted chronically into the proximal (MI(proximal)) and distal (MI(distal)) forelimb regions of the primary motor cortex (MI) and the forelimb region of the supplementary motor area (SMA). Cortical inputs to putaminal neurons were identified by excitatory orthodromic responses to stimulation of these motor cortices. Then, neuronal activity was recorded during the performance of a goal-directed reaching task with delay. Putaminal neurons with inputs from the MI and SMA showed different activity patterns, i.e., movement- and delay-related activity, during task performance. MI-recipient neurons increased activity in response to arm-reach movements, whereas SMA-recipient neurons increased activity during delay periods, as well as during movements. The activity pattern of MI + SMA-recipient neurons was of an intermediate type between those of MI- and SMA-recipient neurons. Approximately one-half of MI(proximal)-, SMA-, and MI + SMA-recipient neurons changed activities before the onset of movements, whereas a smaller number of MI(distal)- and MI(proximal + distal)-recipient neurons did. Movement-related activity of MI-recipient neurons was modulated by target directions, whereas SMA- and MI + SMA-recipient neurons had a lower directional selectivity. MI-recipient neurons were located mainly in the ventrolateral part of the caudal aspect of the putamen, whereas SMA-recipient neurons were located in the dorsomedial part. MI + SMA-recipient neurons were found in between. The present results suggest that a subpopulation of putaminal neurons displays specific activity patterns depending on motor cortical inputs. Each subpopulation receives convergent or nonconvergent inputs from the MI and SMA, retains specific motor information, and sends it to the globus pallidus and the substantia nigra through the direct and indirect pathways of the basal ganglia.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    The control of motor behavior in animals and humans requires constant adaptation of neuronal networks to signals of various types and strengths. We found that microRNA-128 (miR-128), which is expressed in adult neurons, regulates motor behavior by modulating neuronal signaling networks...... and excitability. miR-128 governs motor activity by suppressing the expression of various ion channels and signaling components of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase ERK2 network that regulate neuronal excitability. In mice, a reduction of miR-128 expression in postnatal neurons causes increased motor...... activity and fatal epilepsy. Overexpression of miR-128 attenuates neuronal responsiveness, suppresses motor activity, and alleviates motor abnormalities associated with Parkinson's-like disease and seizures in mice. These data suggest a therapeutic potential for miR-128 in the treatment of epilepsy...

  18. Neuromuscular ultrasound in polyneuropathies and motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson-Webb, Lisa D

    2013-06-01

    Current standards for diagnosing polyneuropathies (PN) and motor neuron disease (MND) sometimes lack early sensitivity and result in delayed diagnosis and treatment. Neuromuscular ultrasound (NMUS), already established in the diagnosis of entrapment neuropathies, may offer another means of diagnosis and monitoring response to therapy. This review of current evidence discusses diffuse nerve hypertrophy in hereditary demyelinating neuropathies, multifocal nerve enlargement in acquired demyelinating PN and the lack of readily apparent structural change in axonal neuropathies. NMUS detection of fasciculations and muscular change in MND is also reviewed, along with the need for further research to better define the role of nerve imaging in patients with PN. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Transcranial magnetic stimulation in lower motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

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    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.

  1. Nonmotor symptoms in patients suffering from motor neuron diseases

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    Rene Günther

    2016-07-01

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

  2. Compromised Survival of Cerebellar Molecular Layer Interneurons Lacking GDNF Receptors GFRα1 or RET Impairs Normal Cerebellar Motor Learning

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    Maria Christina Sergaki

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The role of neurotrophic factors as endogenous survival proteins for brain neurons remains contentious. In the cerebellum, the signals controlling survival of molecular layer interneurons (MLIs are unknown, and direct evidence for the requirement of a full complement of MLIs for normal cerebellar function and motor learning has been lacking. Here, we show that Purkinje cells (PCs, the target of MLIs, express the neurotrophic factor GDNF during MLI development and survival of MLIs depends on GDNF receptors GFRα1 and RET. Conditional mutant mice lacking either receptor lose a quarter of their MLIs, resulting in compromised synaptic inhibition of PCs, increased PC firing frequency, and abnormal acquisition of eyeblink conditioning and vestibulo-ocular reflex performance, but not overall motor activity or coordination. These results identify an endogenous survival mechanism for MLIs and reveal the unexpected vulnerability and selective requirement of MLIs in the control of cerebellar-dependent motor learning.

  3. Fishing for causes and cures of motor neuron disorders

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    Shunmoogum A. Patten

    2014-07-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Mitochondrial dynamics and bioenergetic dysfunction is associated with synaptic alterations in mutant SOD1 motor neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magrané, Jordi; Sahawneh, Mary Anne; Przedborski, Serge; Estévez, Álvaro G.; Manfredi, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    Mutations in Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), a rapidly fatal motor neuron disease. Mutant SOD1 has pleiotropic toxic effects on motor neurons, among which mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed as one of the contributing factors in motor neuron demise. Mitochondria are highly dynamic in neurons; they are constantly reshaped by fusion and move along neurites to localize at sites of high-energy utilization, such as synapses. The finding of abnormal mitochondria accumulation in neuromuscular junctions, where the SOD1-FALS degenerative process is though to initiate, suggests that impaired mitochondrial dynamics in motor neurons may be involved in pathogenesis. We addressed this hypothesis by live imaging microscopy of photo-switchable fluorescent mitoDendra in transgenic rat motor neurons expressing mutant or wild type human SOD1. We demonstrate that mutant SOD1 motor neurons have impaired mitochondrial fusion in axons and cell bodies. Mitochondria also display selective impairment of retrograde axonal transport, with reduced frequency and velocity of movements. Fusion and transport defects are associated with smaller mitochondrial size, decreased mitochondrial density, and defective mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, mislocalization of mitochondria at synapses among motor neurons, in vitro, correlates with abnormal synaptic number, structure, and function. Dynamics abnormalities are specific to mutant SOD1 motor neuron mitochondria, since they are absent in wild type SOD1 motor neurons, they do not involve other organelles, and they are not found in cortical neurons. Taken together, these results suggest that impaired mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of motor neurons in SOD1-FALS. PMID:22219285

  7. Vasoactive intestinal peptide and nitric oxide promote survival of adult rat myenteric neurons in culture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandgren, Katarina; Lin, Zhong; Svenningsen, Åsa Fex

    2003-01-01

    Several motility disorders originate in the enteric nervous system (ENS). Our knowledge of factors governing survival of the ENS is poor. Changes in the expression of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in enteric neurons occur after neuronal injury and in intestinal...... adaptation. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether VIP and nitric oxide (NO) influence survival of cultured, dissociated myenteric neurons. Neuronal survival was evaluated after 0, 4, and 8 days in culture. Influence of VIP and NO on neuronal survival was examined after culturing in the presence...

  8. Novel peripheral motor neurons in the posterior tentacles of the snail responsible for local tentacle movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernádi, László; Kiss, Tibor; Krajcs, Nóra; Teyke, Thomas

    2014-09-01

    Three flexor muscles of the posterior tentacles of the snail Helix pomatia have recently been described. Here, we identify their local motor neurons by following the retrograde transport of neurobiotin injected into these muscles. The mostly unipolar motor neurons (15-35 µm) are confined to the tentacle digits and send motor axons to the M2 and M3 muscles. Electron microscopy revealed small dark neurons (5-7 µm diameter) and light neurons with 12-18 (T1 type) and 18-30 µm diameters (T2 type) in the digits. The diameters of the neurobiotin-labeled neurons corresponded to the T1 type light neurons. The neuronal processes of T1 type motor neurons arborize extensively in the neuropil area of the digits and receive synaptic inputs from local neuronal elements involved in peripheral olfactory information processing. These findings support the existence of a peripheral stimulus-response pathway, consisting of olfactory stimulus-local motor neuron-motor response components, to generate local lateral movements of the tentacle tip ("quiver"). In addition, physiological results showed that each flexor muscle receives distinct central motor commands via different peritentacular nerves and common central motor commands via tentacle digits, respectively. The distal axonal segments of the common pathway can receive inputs from local interneurons in the digits modulating the motor axon activity peripherally without soma excitation. These elements constitute a local microcircuit consisting of olfactory stimulus-distal segments of central motor axons-motor response components, to induce patterned contraction movements of the tentacle. The two local microcircuits described above provide a comprehensive neuroanatomical basis of tentacle movements without the involvement of the CNS.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krarup, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Objective The diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) includes demonstration of lower motor neuron (LMN) and upper motor neuron (UMN) involvement of bulbar and spinal muscles. Electromyography (EMG) is essential to confirm LMN affection in weak muscles, and to demonstrate changes...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Lori L; Lotto, Andrew J

    2014-04-01

    Speech is commonly claimed to relate to mirror neurons because of the alluring surface analogy of mirror neurons to the Motor Theory of speech perception, which posits that perception and production draw upon common motor-articulatory representations. We argue that the analogy fails and highlight examples of systems-level developmental approaches that have been more fruitful in revealing perception-production associations.

  11. Cognitive dysfunction in lower motor neuron disease: executive and memory deficits in progressive muscular atrophy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaphorst, J.; de Visser, M.; van Tol, M.-J.; Linssen, W.H.J.P.; van der Kooi, A.J.; de Haan, R.J.; van den Berg, L.H.; Schmand, B.

    2011-01-01

    Aim In contrast with findings in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cognitive impairments have as yet not been shown in the lower motor neuron variant of motor neuron disease, progressive spinal muscular atrophy (PMA). The objective of this study was to investigate cognitive function in PMA and to

  12. 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.

  13. A case of cervical radiation radiculopathy resembling motor neuron disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitsunaga, Yoshihiro; Yoshimura, Takeo; Hara, Hideo; Yamada, Takeshi; Kira, Jun-ichi; Kobayashi, Takuro

    1998-01-01

    A 67-year-old man developed slowly progressive muscular weakness in the bilateral upper extremities (C5-7 regions) without signs of sensory deficit following the cervical radiation therapy (70.5 Gy) for right laryngeal cancer 4 years before. These clinical signs resembled those of lower motor neuron disease. MRI with gadolinium-DTPA, however, showed enhancement in the bilateral C5 and C6 anterior roots, suggesting the cervical radiculopathy due to radiotherapy. It is known that radiation to the spinal cord can lead to ''selective anterior horn cell injury''. This is the first case report of the cervical radiation radiculopathy, which, if without MRI, might be classified into selective anterior horn cell injury. Suggestion is made for the hypothesis that the spinal motoneuron loss in radiation myelopathy would be caused by retrograde degeneration due to anterior root damages. (author)

  14. A case of cervical radiation radiculopathy resembling motor neuron disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitsunaga, Yoshihiro; Yoshimura, Takeo; Hara, Hideo; Yamada, Takeshi; Kira, Jun-ichi; Kobayashi, Takuro [Kyushu Univ., Fukuoka (Japan). Faculty of Medicine

    1998-05-01

    A 67-year-old man developed slowly progressive muscular weakness in the bilateral upper extremities (C5-7 regions) without signs of sensory deficit following the cervical radiation therapy (70.5 Gy) for right laryngeal cancer 4 years before. These clinical signs resembled those of lower motor neuron disease. MRI with gadolinium-DTPA, however, showed enhancement in the bilateral C5 and C6 anterior roots, suggesting the cervical radiculopathy due to radiotherapy. It is known that radiation to the spinal cord can lead to ``selective anterior horn cell injury``. This is the first case report of the cervical radiation radiculopathy, which, if without MRI, might be classified into selective anterior horn cell injury. Suggestion is made for the hypothesis that the spinal motoneuron loss in radiation myelopathy would be caused by retrograde degeneration due to anterior root damages. (author)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. Quantitative analysis of motor neurons of the levator ani muscle in fetal rats with spina bifida occulta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yong; Hou, Xiang-Yu; Yuan, Zheng-Wei; Wang, Wei-Lin

    2009-12-01

    With the combination of microsurgery and microinjection techniques, we investigated the development of motor neurons in the spinal cord of fetal rats with spina bifida occulta by injecting the retrograde trace FG into the levator ani muscle. The fetal rats were divided into 3 groups. On the day 9 of gestation, 6 mature Wistar rats (weighing 250-300 g) in the control group (group 1) were subcutaneously injected with 0.5 mL of normal saline at their hind limbs at 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. At these 2 time points, 15 rats in the treatment group (group 2 and group 3) were subcutaneously injected with 20% sodium valproate solution (400 mg/kg of body weight) at their hind limbs, too. On the day 20 of gestation, pregnant rats were anesthetized with 10% chloral hydrate (300 mg/kg of body weight) intraperitoneally, and then fetal microsurgery and microinjection were performed to expose the levator ani muscle, whereas 5% FG was administered with microinjector. Twenty-four hours later, transcardial perfusion of 4% paraformaldehyde in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) was given to the operated fetus. After the spine sample was stained with Alcian blue GX, the image of stained spine was measured using a computer system for the distance of the 2 cartilaginous ends of the vertebra arch. Then, the lumbosacral spinal cord was cryopreserved in 20% sucrose in PBS for a later serial transverse cryosection after 24 hours. The FG-labeled motor neurons were visualized with a wide-band ultraviolet-fluorescent filter, and the number of the FG-labeled motor neurons was recorded. Nine fetal rats survived in group 1. Eighteen fetal rats survived in the treatment group, including 7 (with no malformation) of 18 fetuses in group 2 and 11 fetuses with spina bifida occulta in group 3. The FG-labeled motor neurons in the ventral horn of normal spinal cord clustered at the dorsolateral and dorsomedial corner of the ventral horn. The FG-labeled motor neurons in the ventral horn of deformed spinal cord were

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Mary-Louise; Smith, Kevin S.; Matusica, Dusan; Fenech, Matthew; Hoffman, Lee; Rush, Robert A.; Voelcker, Nicolas H.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25352776

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary-Louise eRogers

    2014-10-01

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

  1. 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

    2018-02-17

    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. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning are age dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    There is controversy whether age-related neuroanatomical and neurophysiological changes in the central nervous system affect healthy old adults' abilities to acquire and retain motor skills. We examined the effects of age on motor skill acquisition and retention and potential underlying mechanisms by measuring corticospinal and intracortical excitability, using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Healthy young (n = 24, 22 years) and old (n = 22, 71 years) adults practiced a wrist flexion-extention visuomotor task or only watched the templates as an attentional control for 20 minutes. Old compared with young adults performed less well at baseline. Although the absolute magnitude of skill acquisition and retention was similar in the 2 age groups (age × intervention × time, p = 0.425), a comparison of baseline-similar age sub-groups revealed impaired skill acquisition but not retention in old versus young. Furthermore, the neuronal mechanisms differed as revealed by an opposite direction of associations in the age-groups between relative skill acquisition and intracortical facilitation during the task, and opposite changes during skill retention in corticospinal excitability at rest and during the task and intracortical inhibition during the task. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The Edible Red Alga Porphyra yezoensis Promotes Neuronal Survival and Cytoarchitecture in Primary Hippocampal Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohibbullah, Md; Bhuiyan, Mohammad Maqueshudul Haque; Hannan, Md Abdul; Getachew, Paulos; Hong, Yong-Ki; Choi, Jae-Suk; Choi, In Soon; Moon, Il Soo

    2016-07-01

    The edible red alga Porphyra yezoensis is among the most popular marine algae and is of economic and medicinal importance. In the present study, the neurotrophic and neuroprotective activities of the ethanol extract of P. yezoensis (PYE) were investigated in primary cultures of hippocampal neurons. Results revealed that PYE significantly increased neurite outgrowth at an optimal concentration of 15 µg/mL. PYE dose-dependently increased viable cells, significantly accelerated the rate of neuronal differentiation in cultures, promoted axodendritic arborization, and eventually induced synaptogenesis. In addition to morphological development, PYE also promoted functional maturation as indicated by the staining of live cultures with FM 1-43. Moreover, PYE increased neuronal survivability, which was attributed to reduced apoptosis and its ROS scavenging activity. Taurine, a major organic acid in PYE (2.584/100 mg of dry PYE) promoted neurite outgrowth in a dose-dependent manner, and this promotion was suppressed by the taurine antagonist isethionic acid. The study indicates that PYE and its active component, taurine, facilitate neuronal development and maturation and have a neuroprotective effect.

  4. Accelerated high-yield generation of limb-innervating motor neurons from human stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoroso, Mackenzie W.; Croft, Gist F.; Williams, Damian J.; O’Keeffe, Sean; Carrasco, Monica A.; Davis, Anne R.; Roybon, Laurent; Oakley, Derek H.; Maniatis, Tom; Henderson, Christopher E.; Wichterle, Hynek

    2013-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells are a promising source of differentiated cells for developmental studies, cell transplantation, disease modeling, and drug testing. However, their widespread use even for intensely studied cell types like spinal motor neurons is hindered by the long duration and low yields of existing protocols for in vitro differentiation and by the molecular heterogeneity of the populations generated. We report a combination of small molecules that within 3 weeks induce motor neurons at up to 50% abundance and with defined subtype identities of relevance to neurodegenerative disease. Despite their accelerated differentiation, motor neurons expressed combinations of HB9, ISL1 and column-specific markers that mirror those observed in vivo in human fetal spinal cord. They also exhibited spontaneous and induced activity, and projected axons towards muscles when grafted into developing chick spinal cord. Strikingly, this novel protocol preferentially generates motor neurons expressing markers of limb-innervating lateral motor column motor neurons (FOXP1+/LHX3−). Access to high-yield cultures of human limb-innervating motor neuron subtypes will facilitate in-depth study of motor neuron subtype-specific properties, disease modeling, and development of large-scale cell-based screening assays. PMID:23303937

  5. Rapid, efficient, and simple motor neuron differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimojo, Daisuke; Onodera, Kazunari; Doi-Torii, Yukiko; Ishihara, Yasuharu; Hattori, Chinatsu; Miwa, Yukino; Tanaka, Satoshi; Okada, Rina; Ohyama, Manabu; Shoji, Masanobu; Nakanishi, Atsushi; Doyu, Manabu; Okano, Hideyuki; Okada, Yohei

    2015-12-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are being applied in regenerative medicine and for the in vitro modeling of human intractable disorders. In particular, neural cells derived from disease-specific human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) established from patients with neurological disorders have been used as in vitro disease models to recapitulate in vivo pathogenesis because neural cells cannot be usually obtained from patients themselves. In this study, we established a rapid, efficient, and simple method for efficiently deriving motor neurons from hPSCs that is useful for pathophysiological analysis and the development of drugs to treat motor neuron diseases. Treatment with GSK3β inhibitors during the initial phase of differentiation in combination with dual SMAD inhibition was sufficient to induce PAX6 (+) and SOX1 (+) neural progenitors within 1 week, and subsequent treatment with retinoic acid (RA) and purmorphamine, which activates sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling, resulted in the highly efficient induction of HB9(+) and ISL-1(+) motor neurons within 2 weeks. After 4 weeks of monolayer differentiation in motor neuron maturation medium, hPSC-derived motor neurons were shown to mature, displaying larger somas and clearer staining for the mature motor neuron marker choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Moreover, hPSC-derived motor neurons were able to form neuromuscular junctions with human myotubes in vitro and induced acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clustering, as detected by Alexa 555-conjugated α-Bungarotoxin (α-BTX), suggesting that these hPSC-derived motor neurons formed functional contacts with skeletal muscles. This differentiation system is simple and is reproducible in several hiPSC clones, thereby minimizing clonal variation among hPSC clones. We also established a system for visualizing motor neurons with a lentiviral reporter for HB9 (HB9 (e438) ::Venus). The specificity of this reporter was confirmed through immunocytochemistry and

  6. SMN control of RNP assembly: from post-transcriptional gene regulation to motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Darrick K; Tisdale, Sarah; Lotti, Francesco; Pellizzoni, Livio

    2014-08-01

    At the post-transcriptional level, expression of protein-coding genes is controlled by a series of RNA regulatory events including nuclear processing of primary transcripts, transport of mature mRNAs to specific cellular compartments, translation and ultimately, turnover. These processes are orchestrated through the dynamic association of mRNAs with RNA binding proteins and ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes. Accurate formation of RNPs in vivo is fundamentally important to cellular development and function, and its impairment often leads to human disease. The survival motor neuron (SMN) protein is key to this biological paradigm: SMN is essential for the biogenesis of various RNPs that function in mRNA processing, and genetic mutations leading to SMN deficiency cause the neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy. Here we review the expanding role of SMN in the regulation of gene expression through its multiple functions in RNP assembly. We discuss advances in our understanding of SMN activity as a chaperone of RNPs and how disruption of SMN-dependent RNA pathways can cause motor neuron disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Healthy and diseased corticospinal motor neurons are selectively transduced upon direct AAV2-2 injection into the motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jara, J H; Stanford, M J; Zhu, Y; Tu, M; Hauswirth, W W; Bohn, M C; DeVries, S H; Özdinler, P H

    2016-03-01

    Direct gene delivery to the neurons of interest, without affecting other neuron populations in the cerebral cortex, represent a challenge owing to the heterogeneity and cellular complexity of the brain. Genetic modulation of corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) is required for developing effective and long-term treatment strategies for motor neuron diseases, in which voluntary movement is impaired. Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) have been widely used for neuronal transduction studies owing to long-term and stable gene expression as well as low immunoreactivity in humans. Here we report that AAV2-2 transduces CSMN with high efficiency upon direct cortex injection and that transduction efficiencies are similar during presymptomatic and symptomatic stages in hSOD1(G93A) transgenic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mice. Our findings reveal that choice of promoter improves selectivity as AAV2-2 chicken β-actin promoter injection results in about 70% CSMN transduction, the highest percentage reported to date. CSMN transduction in both wild-type and transgenic ALS mice allows detailed analysis of single axon fibers within the corticospinal tract in both cervical and lumbar spinal cord and reveals circuitry defects, which mainly occur between CSMN and spinal motor neurons in hSOD1(G93A) transgenic ALS mice. Our findings set the stage for CSMN gene therapy in ALS and related motor neuron diseases.

  8. 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.

  9. Motor neuron derivation from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells: experimental approaches and clinical perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faravelli, Irene; Bucchia, Monica; Rinchetti, Paola; Nizzardo, Monica; Simone, Chiara; Frattini, Emanuele; Corti, Stefania

    2014-07-14

    Motor neurons are cells located in specific areas of the central nervous system, such as brain cortex (upper motor neurons), brain stem, and spinal cord (lower motor neurons), which maintain control over voluntary actions. Motor neurons are affected primarily by a wide spectrum of neurological disorders, generally indicated as motor neuron diseases (MNDs): these disorders share symptoms related to muscular atrophy and paralysis leading to death. No effective treatments are currently available. Stem cell-derived motor neurons represent a promising research tool in disease modeling, drug screening, and development of therapeutic approaches for MNDs and spinal cord injuries. Directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells - human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) - toward specific lineages is the first crucial step in order to extensively employ these cells in early human development investigation and potential clinical applications. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be generated from patients' own somatic cells (for example, fibroblasts) by reprogramming them with specific factors. They can be considered embryonic stem cell-like cells, which express stem cell markers and have the ability to give rise to all three germ layers, bypassing the ethical concerns. Thus, hiPSCs constitute an appealing alternative source of motor neurons. These motor neurons might be a great research tool, creating a model for investigating the cellular and molecular interactions underlying early human brain development and pathologies during neurodegeneration. Patient-specific iPSCs may also provide the premises for autologous cell replacement therapies without related risks of immune rejection. Here, we review the most recent reported methods by which hESCs or iPSCs can be differentiated toward functional motor neurons with an overview on the potential clinical applications.

  10. 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.

  11. Non-motor function of the midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Cunha, Claudio; Wietzikoski, Evellyn Claudia; Bortolanza, Mariza; Dombrowski, Patricia Andréia; dos Santos, Lucélia Mendes; Boschen, Suelen Lúcio; Miyoshi, Edmar; Vital, Maria Aparecida Barbato Frazão; Boerngen-Lacerda, Roseli; Andreatini, Roberto

    2009-01-01

    The roles of the nigrostriatal pathway are far beyond the simple control of motor functions. The tonic release of dopamine in the dorsal and ventral striatum controls the choice of proper actions toward a given environmental situation. In the striatum, a specific action is triggered by a specific stimulus associated with it. When the subject faces a novel and salient stimulus, the phasic release of dopamine allows synaptic plasticity in the cortico-striatal synapses. Neurons of different regions of cortical areas make synapses that converge to the same medium spine neurons of the striatum. The convergent associations form functional units encoding body parts, objects, locations, and symbolic representations of the subject's world. Such units emerge in the striatum in a repetitive manner, like a mosaic of broken mirrors. The phasic release of dopamine allows the association of units to encode an action of the subject directed to an object or location with the outcome of this action. Reinforced stimulus-action-outcome associations will affect future decision making when the same stimulus (object, location, idea) is presented to the subject in the future. In the absence of a minimal amount of striatal dopamine, no action is initiated as seen in Parkinson's disease subjects. The abnormal and improper association of these units leads to the initiation of unpurposeful and sometimes repetitive actions, as those observed in dyskinetic patients. The association of an excessive reinforcement of some actions, like drug consumption, leads to drug addiction. Improper associations of ideas and unpleasant outcomes may be related to traumatic and depressive symptoms common in many diseases, including Parkinson's disease. The same can be said about the learning and memory impairments observed in demented and nondemented Parkinson's disease patients.

  12. Differential effects of synthetic progestagens on neuron survival and estrogen neuroprotection in cultured neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayaraman, Anusha; Pike, Christian J

    2014-03-25

    Progesterone and other progestagens are used in combination with estrogens for clinical purposes, including contraception and postmenopausal hormone therapy. Progesterone and estrogens have interactive effects in brain, however interactions between synthetic progestagens and 17β-estradiol (E2) in neurons are not well understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of seven clinically relevant progestagens on estrogen receptor (ER) mRNA expression, E2-induced neuroprotection, and E2-induced BDNF mRNA expression. We found that medroxyprogesterone acetate decreased both ERα and ERβ expression and blocked E2-mediated neuroprotection and BDNF expression. Conversely, levonorgestrel and nesterone increased ERα and or ERβ expression, were neuroprotective, and failed to attenuate E2-mediated increases in neuron survival and BDNF expression. Other progestagens tested, including norethindrone, norethindrone acetate, norethynodrel, and norgestimate, had variable effects on the measured endpoints. Our results demonstrate a range of qualitatively different actions of progestagens in cultured neurons, suggesting significant variability in the neural effects of clinically utilized progestagens. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND) is a devastating condition which greatly diminishes patients' quality of life and limits life expectancy. Health technology appraisals of future interventions in MND need robust data on costs and utilities. Existing economic evaluations have been noted to be limited and fraught with challenges. The aim of this study was to identify and critique methodological aspects of all published economic evaluations, cost studies, and utility studies in MND. We systematically reviewed all relevant published studies in English from 1946 until January 2016, searching the databases of Medline, EMBASE, Econlit, NHS Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED) and the Health Economics Evaluation Database (HEED). Key data were extracted and synthesised narratively. A total of 1830 articles were identified, of which 15 economic evaluations, 23 cost and 3 utility studies were included. Most economic studies focused on riluzole (n = 9). Six studies modelled the progressive decline in motor function using a Markov design but did not include mutually exclusive health states. Cost estimates for a number of evaluations were based on expert opinion and were hampered by high variability and location-specific characteristics. Few cost studies reported disease-stage-specific costs (n = 3) or fully captured indirect costs. Utilities in three studies of MND patients used the EuroQol EQ-5D questionnaire or standard gamble, but included potentially unrepresentative cohorts and did not consider any health impacts on caregivers. Economic evaluations in MND suffer from significant methodological issues such as a lack of data, uncertainty with the disease course and use of inappropriate modelling framework. Limitations may be addressed through the collection of detailed and representative data from large cohorts of patients.

  14. Expression of ALS-linked TDP-43 mutant in astrocytes causes non-cell-autonomous motor neuron death in rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Jianbin; Huang, Cao; Bi, Fangfang; Wu, Qinxue; Huang, Bo; Liu, Xionghao; Li, Fang; Zhou, Hongxia; Xia, Xu-Gang

    2013-01-01

    Mutation of Tar DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Although astrocytes have important roles in neuron function and survival, their potential contribution to TDP-43 pathogenesis is unclear. Here, we created novel lines of transgenic rats that express a mutant form of human TDP-43 (M337V substitution) restricted to astrocytes. Selective expression of mutant TDP-43 in astrocytes caused a progressive loss of motor neurons and the denervation atrophy of skeletal muscles, resulting in progressive paralysis. The spinal cord of transgenic rats also exhibited a progressive depletion of the astroglial glutamate transporters GLT-1 and GLAST. Astrocytic expression of mutant TDP-43 led to activation of astrocytes and microglia, with an induction of the neurotoxic factor Lcn2 in reactive astrocytes that was independent of TDP-43 expression. These results indicate that mutant TDP-43 in astrocytes is sufficient to cause non-cell-autonomous death of motor neurons. This motor neuron death likely involves deficiency in neuroprotective genes and induction of neurotoxic genes in astrocytes. PMID:23714777

  15. 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

  16. Muscle expression of mutant androgen receptor accounts for systemic and motor neuron disease phenotypes in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortes, Constanza J; Ling, Shuo-Chien; Guo, Ling T; Hung, Gene; Tsunemi, Taiji; Ly, Linda; Tokunaga, Seiya; Lopez, Edith; Sopher, Bryce L; Bennett, C Frank; Shelton, G Diane; Cleveland, Don W; La Spada, Albert R

    2014-04-16

    X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is characterized by adult-onset muscle weakness and lower motor neuron degeneration. SBMA is caused by CAG-polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat expansions in the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Pathological findings include motor neuron loss, with polyQ-AR accumulation in intranuclear inclusions. SBMA patients exhibit myopathic features, suggesting a role for muscle in disease pathogenesis. To determine the contribution of muscle, we developed a BAC mouse model featuring a floxed first exon to permit cell-type-specific excision of human AR121Q. BAC fxAR121 mice develop systemic and neuromuscular phenotypes, including shortened survival. After validating termination of AR121 expression and full rescue with ubiquitous Cre, we crossed BAC fxAR121 mice with Human Skeletal Actin-Cre mice. Muscle-specific excision prevented weight loss, motor phenotypes, muscle pathology, and motor neuronopathy and dramatically extended survival. Our results reveal a crucial role for muscle expression of polyQ-AR in SBMA and suggest muscle-directed therapies as effective treatments. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. MotomiRs: miRNAs in Motor Neuron Function and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, Zachary C E; Campos-Melo, Danae; Droppelmann, Cristian A; Strong, Michael J

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casile, Antonino

    2015-03-01

    Several consistent and compelling experimental findings suggest that in primates the observation of actions or movements activates the observer's motor cortex (for a recent and very thorough review see [1]). One important piece of evidence was the discovery of mirror neurons, that are neurons in the macaque ventral pre-motor (area F5), motor and parietal cortices (area PFG) that respond both when the monkey executes a goal-directed motor act (e.g. breaking a peanut) or when it sees a similar action executed by others [2-5]. A similar system has been later reported also in humans ([6-8] but see also [9,10] for negative results).

  20. [Ventilatory dysfunction in motor neuron disease: when and how to act?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, J Afonso; Miranda, M J

    2007-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a devastating progressive neurodegenerative disorder, involving motor neurons in the cerebral cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. Mean duration of survival from the time of diagnosis is around 15 months, being pulmonary complications and respiratory failure responsible for more than 85% of deaths. Albeit the inevitability of respiratory failure and short-term death, standardized intervention protocols have been shown to significantly delay the need for invasive ventilatory support, thus prolonging survival and enhancing quality of life. The authors present an intervention protocol based on clinical progression and respiratory parameters. Decisions regarding initiation of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) and mechanically assisted coughing, depend on development of symptoms of hypoventilation and on objective deterioration of respiratory parameters especially in what concerns bulbar muscle function. These include maximum inspiratory capacity (MIC), difference between MIC and vital capacity (MIC-VC), and assisted peak cough flow (PCF). These standardized protocols along with patient and caregivers education, allow for improved quality of life, prolonged survival and delay or eventually prevent the need for tracheotomy and invasive ventilatory support. Supplemental oxygen should be avoided in these patients, since it precludes use of oxymetry as feedback for titrating NIPPV and MAC, and is associated with decreased ventilatory drive and aggravated hypercapnia.

  1. Modeling Protein Aggregation and the Heat Shock Response in ALS iPSC-Derived Motor Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seminary, Emily R; Sison, Samantha L; Ebert, Allison D

    2018-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder caused by the selective loss of the upper and lower motor neurons. Only 10% of all cases are caused by a mutation in one of the two dozen different identified genes, while the remaining 90% are likely caused by a combination of as yet unidentified genetic and environmental factors. Mutations in C9orf72, SOD1 , or TDP-43 are the most common causes of familial ALS, together responsible for at least 60% of these cases. Remarkably, despite the large degree of heterogeneity, all cases of ALS have protein aggregates in the brain and spinal cord that are immunopositive for SOD1, TDP-43, OPTN, and/or p62. These inclusions are normally prevented and cleared by heat shock proteins (Hsps), suggesting that ALS motor neurons have an impaired ability to induce the heat shock response (HSR). Accordingly, there is evidence of decreased induction of Hsps in ALS mouse models and in human post-mortem samples compared to unaffected controls. However, the role of Hsps in protein accumulation in human motor neurons has not been fully elucidated. Here, we generated motor neuron cultures from human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines carrying mutations in SOD1, TDP-43 , or C9orf72 . In this study, we provide evidence that despite a lack of overt motor neuron loss, there is an accumulation of insoluble, aggregation-prone proteins in iPSC-derived motor neuron cultures but that content and levels vary with genetic background. Additionally, although iPSC-derived motor neurons are generally capable of inducing the HSR when exposed to a heat stress, protein aggregation itself is not sufficient to induce the HSR or stress granule formation. We therefore conclude that ALS iPSC-derived motor neurons recapitulate key early pathological features of the disease and fail to endogenously upregulate the HSR in response to increased protein burden.

  2. 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; p0.05). 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.

  3. 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

    Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder of the upper and lower motor neurons, characterized by rapid progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, dysarthria, dysphagia, and dyspnea. Whereas the exact cause of ALS remains uncertain, the wobbler mouse (phenotype...... WR; genotype wr/wr) equally develops a progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord and motor cortex with striking similarities to sporadic human ALS, suggesting the possibility of a common pathway to cell death. Methods With the aid of immunohistochemistry, confocal laser scanning...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Christian M; Dai, Ya; Van Alstyne, Meaghan; Koutsioumpa, Charalampia; Pagiazitis, John G; Chalif, Joshua I; Wang, Xiaojian; Rabinowitz, Joseph E; Henderson, Christopher E; Pellizzoni, Livio; Mentis, George Z

    2017-12-26

    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. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Farming and incidence of motor neuron disease: French nationwide study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kab, S; Moisan, F; Elbaz, A

    2017-09-01

    The association of farming with motor neuron disease (MND) is unclear, with conflicting studies. We performed a French nationwide study of the association of farming with MND incidence, and compared findings with those for Parkinson's disease (PD), which has been shown to be more frequent in farmers. We used the French national health insurance and hospital discharge databases to identify MND/PD incident cases. The Mutualité Sociale Agricole (MSA) guarantees health insurance for farmers and agricultural workers. We compared the incidence of MND (2010-2014) and PD (2011-2012) in MSA farmers, MSA workers and non-MSA affiliates, and estimated relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Probabilistic sensitivity analyses were used for external smoking adjustment. Analyses relied on 8931 MND (MSA, 9%) and 45 409 PD (MSA,11%) cases. There was a trend towards higher MND incidence in MSA farmers compared with non-MSA affiliates (RR,1.08; 95% CI,0.99-1.18) and MSA workers (RR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.97-1.31) that strengthened after smoking adjustment (if associated with MND). PD incidence was higher in MSA farmers than non-MSA affiliates (RR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.08-1.17) and MSA workers (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.02-1.18); this association remained after smoking adjustment (RR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.05-1.14). This French nationwide study suggested an association between farming and MND, and confirmed higher PD incidence in farmers in France, a country with high pesticide use. © 2017 EAN.

  7. Single photon emission computed tomography in motor neuron disease with dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawada, H; Udaka, F; Kishi, Y; Seriu, N; Mezaki, T; Kameyama, M; Honda, M; Tomonobu, M

    1988-01-01

    Single photon emission computed tomography with [123 I] isopropylamphetamine was carried out on a patient with motor neuron disease with dementia. [123 I] uptake was decreased in the frontal lobes. This would reflect the histopathological findings such as neuronal loss and gliosis in the frontal lobes.

  8. Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Parkinson’s Disease: Impact on Neuronal Survival and Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Regensburger

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In Parkinson’s disease (PD and other synucleinopathies, chronic neurodegeneration occurs within different areas of the central nervous system leading to progressive motor and nonmotor symptoms. The symptomatic treatment options that are currently available do not slow or halt disease progression. This highlights the need of a better understanding of disease mechanisms and disease models. The generation of newborn neurons in the adult hippocampus and in the subventricular zone/olfactory bulb system is affected by many different regulators and possibly involved in memory processing, depression, and olfaction, symptoms which commonly occur in PD. The pathology of the adult neurogenic niches in human PD patients is still mostly elusive, but different preclinical models have shown profound alterations of adult neurogenesis. Alterations in stem cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival as well as neurite outgrowth and spine formation have been related to different aspects in PD pathogenesis. Therefore, neurogenesis in the adult brain provides an ideal model to study disease mechanisms and compounds. In addition, adult newborn neurons have been proposed as a source of endogenous repair. Herein, we review current knowledge about the adult neurogenic niches in PD and highlight areas of future research.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manoj Kumar Jaiswal

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 thefirst 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. Motor Nerve Arborization Requires Proteolytic Domain of Damage-Induced Neuronal Endopeptidase (DINE) during Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Sakiko; Kiryu-Seo, Sumiko; Kiyama, Hiroshi

    2016-04-27

    Damage-induced neuronal endopeptidase (DINE)/endothelin-converting enzyme-like 1 (ECEL1) is a membrane-bound metalloprotease, which we originally identified as a nerve regeneration-associated molecule. Abundant expression of DINE is observed in regenerating neurons, as well as in developing spinal motor neurons. In line with this, DINE-deficient (DINE KO) embryos fail to arborize phrenic motor nerves in the diaphragm and to form proper neuromuscular junctions (NMJ), which lead to death shortly after birth. However, it is unclear whether protease activity of DINE is involved in motor nerve terminal arborization and how DINE participates in the process. To address these issues, we performed an in vivo rescue experiment in which three types of motor-neuron specific DINE transgenic mice were crossed with DINE KO mice. The DINE KO mice, which overexpressed wild-type DINE in motor neurons, succeeded in rescuing the aberrant nerve terminal arborization and lethality after birth, while those overexpressing two types of protease domain-mutated DINE failed. Further histochemical analysis showed abnormal behavior of immature Schwann cells along the DINE-deficient axons. Coculture experiments of motor neurons and Schwann cells ensured that the protease domain of neuronal DINE was required for proper alignment of immature Schwann cells along the axon. These findings suggest that protease activity of DINE is crucial for intramuscular innervation of motor nerves and subsequent NMJ formation, as well as proper control of interactions between axons and immature Schwann cells. Damage-induced neuronal endopeptidase (DINE) is a membrane-bound metalloprotease; expression is abundant in developing spinal motor neurons, as well as in nerve-injured neurons. DINE-deficient (KO) embryos fail to arborize phrenic motor nerves in the diaphragm and to form a neuromuscular junction, leading to death immediately after birth. To address whether proteolytic activity of DINE is involved in this

  13. 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.

  14. Maintenance of motor neuron progenitors in Xenopus requires a novel localized cyclin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jun-An; Chu, Sin-Tak; Amaya, Enrique

    2007-03-01

    The ventral spinal cord contains a pool of motor neuron progenitors (pMNs), which sequentially generate motor neurons and oligodendrocytes in the embryo. The mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of pMNs are not clearly understood. We have identified a novel cyclin, cyclin Dx (ccndx), which is specifically expressed in pMNs in Xenopus. Here, we show that inhibition of ccndx causes paralysis in embryos. Furthermore, we show that maintenance of pMNs requires ccndx function. In addition, inhibition of ccndx results in the specific loss of differentiated motor neurons. However, the expression of interneuron or sensory neuron markers is unaffected in these embryos, suggesting that the role of ccndx is specifically to maintain pMNs. Thus, we have identified, for the first time, a tissue-specific cell-cycle regulator that is essential for the maintenance of a pool of neural progenitors in the vertebrate spinal cord.

  15. 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 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...

  16. Survival of corticostriatal neurons by Rho/Rho-kinase signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Kenta; Sano, Hiromi; Kato, Shigeki; Kuroda, Keisuke; Nakamuta, Shinichi; Isa, Tadashi; Nambu, Atsushi; Kaibuchi, Kozo; Kobayashi, Kazuto

    2016-09-06

    Developing cortical neurons undergo a number of sequential developmental events including neuronal survival/apoptosis, and the molecular mechanism underlying each characteristic process has been studied in detail. However, the survival pathway of cortical neurons at mature stages remains largely uninvestigated. We herein focused on mature corticostriatal neurons because of their important roles in various higher brain functions and the spectrum of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. The small GTPase Rho is known to control diverse and essential cellular functions through some effector molecules, including Rho-kinase, during neural development. In the present study, we investigated the role of Rho signaling through Rho-kinase in the survival of corticostriatal neurons. We performed the conditional expression of Clostridium botulinum C3 ADP-ribosyltransferase (C3 transferase) or dominant-negative form for Rho-kinase (Rho-K DN), a well-known inhibitor of Rho or Rho-kinase, respectively, in corticostriatal neurons using a dual viral vector approach combining a neuron-specific retrograde gene transfer lentiviral vector and an adeno-associated virus vector. C3 transferase markedly decreased the number of corticostriatal neurons, which was attributed to caspase-3-dependent enhanced apoptosis. In addition, Rho-K DN produced phenotypic defects similar to those caused by C3 transferase. These results indicate that the Rho/Rho-kinase signaling pathway plays a crucial role in the survival of corticostriatal neurons. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasvoina, Marina V.

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

  18. 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

  19. Agonists of fibroblast growth factor receptor induce neurite outgrowth and survival of cerebellar granule neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Shizhong; Christensen, Claus; Køhler, Lene B

    2009-01-01

    Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) signaling is pivotal in the regulation of neurogenesis, neuronal differentiation and survival, and synaptic plasticity both during development and in adulthood. In order to develop low molecular weight agonists of FGFR, seven peptides, termed hexafins...

  20. Dopamine neurons implanted into people with Parkinson's disease survive without pathology for 14 years

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mendez, Ivar; Viñuela, Angel; Astradsson, Arnar

    2008-01-01

    Postmortem analysis of five subjects with Parkinson's disease 9-14 years after transplantation of fetal midbrain cell suspensions revealed surviving grafts that included dopamine and serotonin neurons without pathology. These findings are important for the understanding of the etiopathogenesis...

  1. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning are age dependent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Evidence for cell autonomous AP1 function in regulation of Drosophila motor-neuron plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Consoulas Christos

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transcription factor AP1 mediates long-term plasticity in vertebrate and invertebrate central nervous systems. Recent studies of activity-induced synaptic change indicate that AP1 can function upstream of CREB to regulate both CREB-dependent enhancement of synaptic strength as well as CREB-independent increase in bouton number at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ. However, it is not clear from this study if AP1 functions autonomously in motor neurons to directly modulate plasticity. Results Here, we show that Fos and Jun, the two components of AP1, are abundantly expressed in motor neurons. We further combine immunohistochemical and electrophysiological analyses with use of a collection of enhancers that tightly restrict AP1 transgene expression within the nervous system to show that AP1 induction or inhibition in, but not outside of, motor neurons is necessary and sufficient for its modulation of NMJ size and strength. Conclusion By arguing against the possibility that AP1 effects at the NMJ occur via a polysynaptic mechanism, these observations support a model in which AP1 directly modulates NMJ plasticity processes through a cell autonomous pathway in the motor neuron. The approach described here may serve as a useful experimental paradigm for analyzing cell autonomy of genes found to influence structure and function of Drosophila motor neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-03

    In contrast to mammals, zebrafish regenerate spinal motor neurons. During regeneration, developmental signals are re-deployed. Here, we show that, during development, diffuse serotonin promotes spinal motor neuron generation from pMN progenitor cells, leaving interneuron numbers unchanged. Pharmacological manipulations and receptor knockdown indicate that serotonin acts at least in part via 5-HT1A receptors. In adults, serotonin is supplied to the spinal cord mainly (90%) by descending axons from the brain. After a spinal lesion, serotonergic axons degenerate caudal to the lesion but sprout rostral to it. Toxin-mediated ablation of serotonergic axons also rostral to the lesion impaired regeneration of motor neurons only there. Conversely, intraperitoneal serotonin injections doubled numbers of new motor neurons and proliferating pMN-like progenitors caudal to the lesion. Regeneration of spinal-intrinsic serotonergic interneurons was unaltered by these manipulations. Hence, serotonin selectively promotes the development and adult regeneration of motor neurons in zebrafish. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Neonatal exposure to monosodium glutamate results in dysmorphology of orofacial lower motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foran, Lindsey; Kupelian, Chloe; Laroia, Swati; Esper, Jeffrey; Kulesza, Randy Joseph

    2017-06-14

    Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and is stored and released by both neurons and astrocytes. Despite the important role of glutamate as a neurotransmitter, high levels of extracellular glutamate can result in excitotoxicity and apoptosis. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a naturally occurring sodium salt of glutamic acid that is used as a flavor enhancer in many processed foods. Neonatal exposure to MSG has been shown to result in neurodegeneration in several forebrain regions, characterized by neuronal loss and neuroendocrine abnormalities. However, the brainstem effects of neonatal monosodium glutamate exposure have not been investigated. It is therefore hypothesized that MSG exposure during the early postnatal period would impact brainstem lower motor neurons involved in feeding behavior. The effect of neonatal MSG exposure on brainstem lower motor neurons was investigated by exposing rat pups to either 4mg/g MSG or saline from postnatal day (P) 4 through 10. On P28, brains were preserved by vascular perfusion with fixative, frozen sectioned and stained for Nïssl substance. The number, size and shape of brainstem motor neurons were compared between MSG and saline-exposed animals. MSG exposure had no impact on the total number of neurons in the nuclei examined. However, MSG exposure was associated with a significant increase in the number of round somata in both the trigeminal and facial nuclei. Furthermore, MSG exposure resulted in significantly smaller neurons in all motor nuclei examined. These results suggest that neonatal exposure to MSG impacts the development of brainstem lower motor neurons which may impact feeding and swallowing behaviors in young animals.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The effect of fluorescent nanodiamonds on neuronal survival and morphogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yung-An; Kao, Chun-Wei; Liu, Kuang-Kai; Huang, Hou-Syun; Chiang, Ming-Han; Soo, Ching-Ren; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Chiu, Tzai-Wen; Chao, Jui-I; Hwang, Eric

    2014-11-05

    Nanodiamond (ND) has emerged as a promising carbon nanomaterial for therapeutic applications. In previous studies, ND has been reported to have outstanding biocompatibility and high uptake rate in various cell types. ND containing nitrogen-vacancy centers exhibit fluorescence property is called fluorescent nanodiamond (FND), and has been applied for bio-labeling agent. However, the influence and application of FND on the nervous system remain elusive. In order to study the compatibility of FND on the nervous system, neurons treated with FNDs in vitro and in vivo were examined. FND did not induce cytotoxicity in primary neurons from either central (CNS) or peripheral nervous system (PNS); neither did intracranial injection of FND affect animal behavior. The neuronal uptake of FNDs was confirmed using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. However, FND caused a concentration-dependent decrease in neurite length in both CNS and PNS neurons. Time-lapse live cell imaging showed that the reduction of neurite length was due to the spatial hindrance of FND on advancing axonal growth cone. These findings demonstrate that FNDs exhibit low neuronal toxicity but interfere with neuronal morphogenesis, and should be taken into consideration when applications involve actively growing neurites (e.g. nerve regeneration).

  9. 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.

  10. Onset and spreading patterns of upper and lower motor neuron symptoms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Körner, Sonja; Kollewe, Katja; Fahlbusch, Marion; Zapf, Antonia; Dengler, Reinhard; Krampfl, Klaus; Petri, Susanne

    2011-05-01

    The potential linkage between upper (UMN) and lower motor neuron (LMN) involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has not yet been fully elucidated. There is ongoing discussion as to whether ALS is primarily a disease of UMNs or LMNs. We performed a retrospective analysis of 189 ALS patients from our ALS outpatient database to investigate the different spreading patterns of UMN and LMN affection in disease progression in relation to the onset region. The body region with the highest UMN involvement at onset in general also had the highest frequency of LMN signs and vice versa. This is in line with the hypothesis of a focal onset of disease, which then spreads to adjacent areas. However, there was a great variation between ALS phenotypes. These observations support the hypothesis of focal damage of a localized group of motor neurons, which then spreads to adjacent motor neurons. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    The T-box transcription factor mab-9 has been shown to be required for the correct fate of the male-specific blast cells B and F, normal posterior hypodermal morphogenesis, and for the correct axon migration of motor neurons that project circumferential commissures to dorsal muscles. In this study......, 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......-shock promoter has the opposite effect, causing repression of mab-9 in various cells. We find that mab-9 expression in unc-37 mutants is also elevated in DA motor neurons, consistent with known roles for UNC-37 as a co-repressor with UNC-4. These results identify mab-9 as a novel target of the UNC-4/UNC-37...

  12. Motor neurone targeting of IGF-1 prevents specific force decline in ageing mouse muscle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Anthony M; Zheng, Zhenlin; Messi, María Laura; Milligan, Carol E; González, Estela; Delbono, Osvaldo

    2006-01-01

    IGF-1 is a potent growth factor for both motor neurones and skeletal muscle. Muscle IGF-1 is known to provide target-derived trophic effects on motor neurones. Therefore, IGF-1 overexpression in muscle is effective in delaying or preventing deleterious effects of ageing in both tissues. Since age-related decline in muscle function stems partly from motor neurone loss, a tetanus toxin fragment-C (TTC) fusion protein was created to target IGF-1 to motor neurones. IGF-1–TTC retains IGF-1 activity as indicated by [3H]thymidine incorporation into L6 myoblasts. Spinal cord motor neurones effectively bound and internalized the IGF-1–TTC in vitro. Similarly, IGF-1–TTC injected into skeletal muscles was taken up and retrogradely transported to the spinal cord in vivo, a process prevented by denervation of injected muscles. Three monthly IGF-1–TTC injections into muscles of ageing mice did not increase muscle weight or muscle fibre size, but significantly increased single fibre specific force over aged controls injected with saline, IGF-1, or TTC. None of the injections changed muscle fibre type composition, but neuromuscular junction post-terminals were larger and more complex in muscle fibres injected with IGF-1–TTC, compared to the other groups, suggesting preservation of muscle fibre innervation. This work demonstrates that induced overexpression of IGF-1 in spinal cord motor neurones of ageing mice prevents muscle fibre specific force decline, a hallmark of ageing skeletal muscle. PMID:16293644

  13. ALS-related misfolded protein management in motor neurons and muscle cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbiati, Mariarita; Crippa, Valeria; Rusmini, Paola; Cristofani, Riccardo; Cicardi, Maria Elena; Giorgetti, Elisa; Onesto, Elisa; Messi, Elio; Poletti, Angelo

    2014-12-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form of adult-onset motor neuron disease. It is now considered a multi-factorial and multi-systemic disorder in which alterations of the crosstalk between neuronal and non-neuronal cell types might influence the course of the disease. In this review, we will provide evidence that dysfunctions of affected muscle cells are not only a marginal consequence of denervation associated to motor neurons loss, but a direct consequence of cell muscle toxicity of mutant SOD1. In muscle, the misfolded state of mutant SOD1 protein, unlike in motor neurons, does not appear to have direct effects on protein aggregation and mitochondrial functionality. Muscle cells are, in fact, more capable than motor neurons to handle misfolded proteins, suggesting that mutant SOD1 toxicity in muscle is not mediated by classical mechanisms of intracellular misfolded proteins accumulation. Several recent works indicate that a higher activation of molecular chaperones and degradative systems is present in muscle cells, which for this reason are possibly able to better manage misfolded mutant SOD1. However, several alterations in gene expression and regenerative potential of skeletal muscles have also been reported as a consequence of the expression of mutant SOD1 in muscle. Whether these changes in muscle cells are causative of ALS or a consequence of motor neuron alterations is not yet clear, but their elucidation is very important, since the understanding of the mechanisms involved in mutant SOD1 toxicity in muscle may facilitate the design of treatments directed toward this specific tissue to treat ALS or at least to delay disease progression. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Arctigenin protects against neuronal hearing loss by promoting neural stem cell survival and differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xinghua; Chen, Mo; Ding, Yan; Wang, Qin

    2017-03-01

    Neuronal hearing loss has become a prevalent health problem. This study focused on the function of arctigenin (ARC) in promoting survival and neuronal differentiation of mouse cochlear neural stem cells (NSCs), and its protection against gentamicin (GMC) induced neuronal hearing loss. Mouse cochlea was used to isolate NSCs, which were subsequently cultured in vitro. The effects of ARC on NSC survival, neurosphere formation, differentiation of NSCs, neurite outgrowth, and neural excitability in neuronal network in vitro were examined. Mechanotransduction ability demonstrated by intact cochlea, auditory brainstem response (ABR), and distortion product optoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) amplitude in mice were measured to evaluate effects of ARC on GMC-induced neuronal hearing loss. ARC increased survival, neurosphere formation, neuron differentiation of NSCs in mouse cochlear in vitro. ARC also promoted the outgrowth of neurites, as well as neural excitability of the NSC-differentiated neuron culture. Additionally, ARC rescued mechanotransduction capacity, restored the threshold shifts of ABR and DPOAE in our GMC ototoxicity murine model. This study supports the potential therapeutic role of ARC in promoting both NSCs proliferation and differentiation in vitro to functional neurons, thus supporting its protective function in the therapeutic treatment of neuropathic hearing loss in vivo. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. α-Motor neurons are spared from aging while their synaptic inputs degenerate in monkeys and mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Nicholas; Castro, Ryan W; Sutherland, Natalia M; Vaughan, Kelli L; Szarowicz, Mark D; de Cabo, Rafael; Mattison, Julie A; Valdez, Gregorio

    2018-02-04

    Motor function deteriorates with advancing age, increasing the risk of adverse health outcomes. While it is well established that skeletal muscles and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) degenerate with increasing age, the effect of aging on α-motor neurons and their innervating synaptic inputs remains largely unknown. In this study, we examined the soma of α-motor neurons and innervating synaptic inputs in the spinal cord of aged rhesus monkeys and mice, two species with vastly different lifespans. We found that, in both species, α-motor neurons retain their soma size despite an accumulation of large amounts of cellular waste or lipofuscin. Interestingly, the lipofuscin profile varied considerably, indicating that α-motor neurons age at different rates. Although the rate of aging varies, α-motor neurons do not atrophy in old age. In fact, there is no difference in the number of motor axons populating ventral roots in old mice compared to adult mice. Moreover, the transcripts and proteins associated with α-motor neurons do not decrease in the spinal cord of old mice. However, in aged rhesus monkeys and mice, there were fewer cholinergic and glutamatergic synaptic inputs directly abutting α-motor neurons, evidence that aging causes α-motor neurons to shed synaptic inputs. Thus, the loss of synaptic inputs may contribute to age-related dysfunction of α-motor neurons. These findings broaden our understanding of the degeneration of the somatic motor system that precipitates motor dysfunction with advancing age. © 2018 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Activation of nuclear factor-kappa B via endogenous tumor necrosis factor alpha regulates survival of axotomized adult sensory neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fernyhough, P; Smith, DR; Schapansky, J; Van Der Ploeg, R; Gardiner, NJ; Tweed, CW; Kontos, A; Freeman, L; Purves-Tyson, TD; Glazner, GW

    2005-01-01

    Embryonic dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons die after axonal damage in vivo, and cultured embryonic DRG neurons require exogenous neurotrophic factors that activate the neuroprotective transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB(NF-kappaB) for survival. In contrast, adult DRG neurons survive

  18. 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

  19. Dying with motor neurone disease, what can we learn from family caregivers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Robin A; Brown, Janice; Street, Annette F

    2014-08-01

    Increasingly, people with neurodegenerative illness are cared for at home until close to death. Yet, discussing the reality of dying remains a social taboo. To examine the ways, family caregivers of people living with motor neurone disease (MND) experienced the dying of their relative and to identify how health practitioners can better prepare families for end-of-life care. Secondary analysis was undertaken on data sets generated from two longitudinal qualitative studies employing similar data collection and analysis methods. Combining data sets increased participant numbers in a low incidence disease group. Primary studies were undertaken with family caregivers in England and Australia. Interview and observational data were collected mostly in home. Participants who discussed dying and death formed the sample for secondary analysis. Combined data revealed four major themes: planning for end of life, unexpected dying, dignity in the dying body and positive end to MND. Despite short survival predictions, discussions among family members about dying were often sporadic and linked to loss of hope. Effective planning for death assisted caregivers to manage the final degenerative processes of dying. When plans were not effectively communicated or enacted, capacity to preserve personhood was reduced. Returning death and dying to social discourse will raise the level of community awareness and normalize conversations about end-of-life care. Strategies for on-going, effective communication that facilitates advance care planning among patients, their families and practitioners are essential to improve dying and death for people with MND and their family caregivers. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Neuronal nicotinic receptor agonists ameliorate spontaneous motor asymmetries and motor discoordination in a unilateral mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucinski, Aaron; Wersinger, Scott; Stachowiak, Ewa K; Corso, Thomas D; Parry, Matthew J; Zhang, Jenny; Jordan, Kristen; Letchworth, Sharon; Bencherif, Merouane; Stachowiak, Michal K

    2013-10-01

    The degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) system underlies the motor deficits in Parkinson's disease (PD). In recent years, epidemiological reports that smokers have lower incidences of PD have brought attention to the nicotinic acetylcholine system as a potential target for novel therapeutics. Nicotine, an agonist of neuronal nicotinic receptors (NNRs), modulates functions relevant to PD via stimulation of dopaminergic transmission in the nigrostriatal pathway, particularly via activation of α6β2* and α4β2* NNRs. Recently, reduced support of DA neurons by neurotrophic growth factors has been described in PD. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) is critical for the development and protection of adult DA neurons. In FGF-2 knockout mice and the related th-fgfr1(tk-) mouse model there is heightened sensitivity to DA neuronal oxidative neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). In the present study, FGF-deficient transgenic mice th-fgfr1(tk-) were used to analyze the effects of novel full (TC-8831) and partial (TC-8581) agonists of β2-containing nicotinic receptors on impaired motor behavior following unilateral 6-OHDA lesions. The lesions generated spontaneous (drug-naïve) turning asymmetries that correlated exponentially with the depletion of DA biomarkers in the lesioned striata. These mice also exhibited a reduced capacity to remain on the accelerating rotarod. Oral administration of TC-8831, an NNR agonist with high specificity for β2 subunits and a full agonist at producing DA release from striatal synaptosomes, attenuated unidirectional turning and improved motor coordination. In contrast, partial β2 NNR agonist TC-8581 had no effect on behaviors in this model. This study demonstrates the potential of NNR targeting-compounds to facilitate motor function in PD. © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianing Yu

    2008-12-01

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

  2. Late onset GM2 gangliosidosis presenting with motor neuron disease: an autopsy case.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoyama, Teruo; Nakamura, Seigo; Horiuchi, Emiko; Ishiyama, Miyako; Kawashima, Rei; Nakamura, Kazuo; Hasegawa, Kazuko; Yagishita, Saburo

    2014-06-01

    Adult-onset GM2 gangliosidosis is very rare and only three autopsy cases have been reported up to now. We report herein an autopsy case of adult-onset GM2 gangliosidosis. The patient developed slowly progressive motor neuron disease-like symptoms after longstanding mood disorder and cognitive dysfunction. He developed gait disturbance and weakness of lower limbs at age 52 years. Because of progressive muscle weakness and atrophy, he became bed-ridden at age 65. At age of 68, he died. His neurological findings presented slight cognitive disturbance, slight manic state, severe muscle weakness, atrophy of four limbs and no extrapyramidal signs and symptoms, and cerebellar ataxia. Neuropathologically, mild neuronal loss and abundant lipid deposits were noted in the neuronal cytoplasm throughout the nervous system, including peripheral autonomic neurons. The most outstanding findings were marked neuronal loss and distended neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord, which supports his clinical symptomatology of lower motor neuron disease in this case. The presence of lipofuscin, zebra bodies and membranous cytoplasmic bodies (MCB) and the increase of GM2 ganglioside by biochemistry led to diagnosis of GM2 gangliosidosis. © 2013 Japanese Society of Neuropathology.

  3. 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.

  4. Unique nuclear vacuoles in the motor neurons of conditional ADAR2-knockout mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Shoichi; Takenari Yamashita; Hideyama, Takuto; Kwak, Shin

    2014-03-06

    A reduction in adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 2 (ADAR2) activity causes the death of spinal motor neurons specifically via the GluA2 Q/R site-RNA editing failure in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We studied, over time, the spinal cords of ADAR2-knockout mice, which are the mechanistic model mice for sporadic ALS, using homozygous ADAR2(flox/flox)/VAChT-Cre.Fast (AR2), homozygous ADAR2(flox/flox)/VAChT-Cre.Slow (AR2Slow), and heterozygous ADAR2(flox/+)/VAChT-Cre.Fast (AR2H) mice. The conditional ADAR2-knockout mice were divided into 3 groups by stage: presymptomatic (AR2H mice), early symptomatic (AR2 mice, AR2H mice) and late symptomatic (AR2Slow mice). Light-microscopically, some motor neurons in AR2 and AR2H mice (presymptomatic) showed simple neuronal atrophy and astrogliosis, and AR2H (early symptomatic) and AR2Slow mice often showed vacuoles predominantly in motor neurons. The number of vacuole-bearing anterior horn neurons decreased with the loss of anterior horn neurons in AR2H mice after 40 weeks of age. Electron-microscopically, in AR2 mice, while the cytoplasm of normal-looking motor neurons was almost always normal-appearing, the interior of dendrites was frequently loose and disorganized. In AR2H and AR2Slow mice, large vacuoles without a limiting membrane were observed in the anterior horns, preferentially in the nuclei of motor neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Nuclear vacuoles were not observed in AR2res (ADAR2(flox/flox)/VAChT-Cre.Fast/GluR-B(R/R)) mice, in which motor neurons express edited GluA2 in the absence of ADAR2. These findings suggest that ADAR2-reduction is associated with progressive deterioration of nuclear architecture, resulting in vacuolated nuclei due to a Ca(2+)-permeable AMPA receptor-mediated mechanism. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. The kinesin light chain gene: its mapping and exclusion in mouse and human forms of inherited motor neuron degeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hafezparast, M.; Witherden, A.; Nicholson, S.; Bermingham, N.; Mackin, J.; ten Asbroek, A.; Ball, S.; Peters, J.; Baas, F.; Martin, J. E.; Fisher, E. M.

    1999-01-01

    The underlying genetic cause is known for only 10-20% of familial motor neuron disease (MND). Thus the genes involved in the aetiology of 80-90% of familial MND remain to be determined, and animal models are powerful tools for undertaking this task. We have mapped a heritable form of motor neuron

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroshi Nango

    2017-10-01

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

  9. Human-induced pluripotent stem cells pave the road for a better understanding of motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winner, Beate; Marchetto, Maria C; Winkler, Jürgen; Gage, Fred H

    2014-09-15

    While motor neuron diseases are currently incurable, induced pluripotent stem cell research has uncovered some disease-relevant phenotypes. We will discuss strategies to model different aspects of motor neuron disease and the specific neurons involved in the disease. We will then describe recent progress to investigate common forms of motor neuron disease: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, hereditary spastic paraplegia and spinal muscular atrophy. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Clinical profile of motor neuron disease patients with lower urinary tract symptoms and neurogenic bladder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-Costa, Juan Francisco; Arlandis, Salvador; Hervas, David; Martínez-Cuenca, Esther; Cardona, Fernando; Pérez-Tur, Jordi; Broseta, Enrique; Sevilla, Teresa

    2017-07-15

    Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are frequent in motor neuron disease (MND) patients, but clinical factors related to them are unknown. We describe differences in LUTS among MND phenotypes and their relationship with other clinical characteristics, including prognosis. For this study, we collected clinical data of a previously published cohort of patients diagnosed with classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (cALS), progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) or primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) with and without LUTS. Familial history was recorded and the C9ORF72 expansion was analysed in the entire cohort. Patients were followed-up for survival until August 2016. Fifty-five ALS patients (37 cALS, 10 PMA and 8 PLS) were recruited. Twenty-four reported LUTS and neurogenic bladder (NB) could be demonstrated in nine of them. LUTS were not influenced by age, phenotype, disability, cognitive or behavioural impairment, or disease progression, but female sex appeared to be a protective factor (OR=0.39, p=0.06). Neither family history nor the C9ORF72 expansion was linked to LUTS or NB. In the multivariate analysis, patients reporting LUTS early in the disease course tended to show poorer survival. In this study, LUTS appear to be more frequent in male MND patients, but are not related to age, clinical or genetic characteristics. When reported early, LUTS could be a sign of rapid disease spread and poor prognosis. Further prospective longitudinal and neuroimaging studies are warranted to confirm this hypothesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. Inflammatory cells in the peripheral nervous system in motor neuron disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kerkhoff, H.; Troost, D.; Louwerse, E. S.; van Dijk, M.; Veldman, H.; Jennekens, F. G.

    1993-01-01

    We examined post-mortem material of the peripheral nervous system of 26 cases of motor neuron disease (MND) for the presence of lymphocyte subsets and macrophages. Findings were quantified and compared with those in control nerves. Lymphocytes in chronic and acute axonal degeneration were studied in

  13. 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…

  14. 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,…

  15. Single photon emission computed tomography in motor neuron disease with dementia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sawada, H.; Udaka, F.; Kishi, Y.; Seriu, N.; Ohtani, S.; Abe, K.; Mezaki, T.; Kameyama, M.; Honda, M.; Tomonobu, M.

    1988-12-01

    Single photon emission computed tomography with (123 I) isopropylamphetamine was carried out on a patient with motor neutron disease with dementia. (123 I) uptake was decreased in the frontal lobes. This would reflect the histopathological findings such as neuronal loss and gliosis in the frontal lobes.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Endothelin-1 is over-expressed in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and induces motor neuron cell death

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ranno, Eugenia; D'Antoni, Simona; Spatuzza, Michela; Berretta, Antonio; Laureanti, Floriana; Bonaccorso, Carmela M.; Pellitteri, Rosalia; Longone, Patrizia; Spalloni, Alida; Iyer, Anand M.; Aronica, Eleonora; Catania, Maria Vincenza

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive loss of motor neurons (MNs) and astrogliosis. Recent evidence suggests that factors secreted by activated astrocytes might contribute to degeneration of MNs. We focused on endothelin-1 (ET-1), a peptide

  18. Glutamatergic neurotransmission between the C1 neurons and the parasympathetic preganglionic neurons of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus

    Science.gov (United States)

    DePuy, Seth D.; Stornetta, Ruth L.; Bochorishvili, Genrieta; Deisseroth, Karl; Witten, Ilana; Coates, Melissa; Guyenet, Patrice G.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The C1 neurons are a nodal point for blood pressure control and other autonomic responses. Here we test whether these rostral ventrolateral medullary catecholaminergic (RVLM-CA) neurons use glutamate as a transmitter in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). After injecting Cre-dependent AAV2 DIO-Ef1α-channelrhodopsin2(ChR2)-mCherry (AAV2) into the RVLM of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase Cre transgenic mice (DβHCre/0), mCherry was detected exclusively in RVLM-CA neurons. Within the DMV >95% mCherry-immunoreactive (-ir) axonal varicosities were tyrosine hydroxylase-ir and the same proportion were vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2)-ir. VGLUT2-mCherry co-localization was virtually absent when AAV2 was injected into the RVLM of DβHCre/0;VGLUT2flox/flox mice, into the caudal VLM (A1 noradrenergic neuron-rich region) of DβHCre/0 mice or into the raphe of ePetCre/0 mice. Following injection of AAV2 into RVLM of TH-Cre rats, phenylethanolamine N-methyl transferase (PNMT) and VGLUT2 immunoreactivities were highly co-localized in DMV within EYFP-positive or EYFP-negative axonal varicosities. Ultrastructurally, mCherry terminals from RVLM-CA neurons in DβHCre/0 mice made predominantly asymmetric synapses with ChAT-ir DMV neurons. Photostimulation of ChR2-positive axons in DβHCre/0 mouse brain slices produced EPSCs in 71% of tested DMV preganglionic neurons (PGNs) but no IPSCs. Photostimulation (20 Hz) activated PGNs up to 8 spikes/sec (current clamp). EPSCs were eliminated by tetrodotoxin, reinstated by 4-aminopyridine and blocked by ionotropic glutamate receptor blockers. In conclusion, VGLUT2 is expressed by RVLM-CA (C1) neurons in rats and mice regardless of the presence of AAV2, the C1 neurons activate DMV parasympathetic preganglionic neurons monosynaptically and this connection uses glutamate as an ionotropic transmitter. PMID:23345223

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benzina, Ouafa; Cloitre, Thierry; Martin, Marta; Raoul, Cédric; Gergely, Csilla; Scamps, Frédérique

    2014-01-01

    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.

  5. Morphological Characteristics of Motor Neurons Do Not Determine Their Relative Susceptibility to Degeneration in a Mouse Model of Severe Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutsaers, Chantal A.; Thomson, Derek; Hamilton, Gillian; Parson, Simon H.; Gillingwater, Thomas H.

    2012-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a leading genetic cause of infant mortality, resulting primarily from the degeneration and loss of lower motor neurons. Studies using mouse models of SMA have revealed widespread heterogeneity in the susceptibility of individual motor neurons to neurodegeneration, but the underlying reasons remain unclear. Data from related motor neuron diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), suggest that morphological properties of motor neurons may regulate susceptibility: in ALS larger motor units innervating fast-twitch muscles degenerate first. We therefore set out to determine whether intrinsic morphological characteristics of motor neurons influenced their relative vulnerability to SMA. Motor neuron vulnerability was mapped across 10 muscle groups in SMA mice. Neither the position of the muscle in the body, nor the fibre type of the muscle innervated, influenced susceptibility. Morphological properties of vulnerable and disease-resistant motor neurons were then determined from single motor units reconstructed in Thy.1-YFP-H mice. None of the parameters we investigated in healthy young adult mice – including motor unit size, motor unit arbor length, branching patterns, motor endplate size, developmental pruning and numbers of terminal Schwann cells at neuromuscular junctions - correlated with vulnerability. We conclude that morphological characteristics of motor neurons are not a major determinant of disease-susceptibility in SMA, in stark contrast to related forms of motor neuron disease such as ALS. This suggests that subtle molecular differences between motor neurons, or extrinsic factors arising from other cell types, are more likely to determine relative susceptibility in SMA. PMID:23285108

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Min Kim

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-31

    Motor neurons innervating antagonist muscles receive reciprocal inhibitory afferent inputs in order 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 in order 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 plantar-flexion. 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 in order 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 a 4-fold 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 non-reciprocal inhibitory pathways.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

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    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.

  12. 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.

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

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    Morgana Favero

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

  14. 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)

  15. Combined Exposure to Simulated Microgravity and Acute or Chronic Radiation Reduces Neuronal Network Integrity and Survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pani, Giuseppe; Verslegers, Mieke; Quintens, Roel; Samari, Nada; de Saint-Georges, Louis; van Oostveldt, Patrick; Baatout, Sarah; Benotmane, Mohammed Abderrafi

    2016-01-01

    During orbital or interplanetary space flights, astronauts are exposed to cosmic radiations and microgravity. However, most earth-based studies on the potential health risks of space conditions have investigated the effects of these two conditions separately. This study aimed at assessing the combined effect of radiation exposure and microgravity on neuronal morphology and survival in vitro. In particular, we investigated the effects of simulated microgravity after acute (X-rays) or during chronic (Californium-252) exposure to ionizing radiation using mouse mature neuron cultures. Acute exposure to low (0.1 Gy) doses of X-rays caused a delay in neurite outgrowth and a reduction in soma size, while only the high dose impaired neuronal survival. Of interest, the strongest effect on neuronal morphology and survival was evident in cells exposed to microgravity and in particular in cells exposed to both microgravity and radiation. Removal of neurons from simulated microgravity for a period of 24 h was not sufficient to recover neurite length, whereas the soma size showed a clear re-adaptation to normal ground conditions. Genome-wide gene expression analysis confirmed a modulation of genes involved in neurite extension, cell survival and synaptic communication, suggesting that these changes might be responsible for the observed morphological effects. In general, the observed synergistic changes in neuronal network integrity and cell survival induced by simulated space conditions might help to better evaluate the astronaut's health risks and underline the importance of investigating the central nervous system and long-term cognition during and after a space flight.

  16. Combined Exposure to Simulated Microgravity and Acute or Chronic Radiation Reduces Neuronal Network Integrity and Survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Pani

    Full Text Available During orbital or interplanetary space flights, astronauts are exposed to cosmic radiations and microgravity. However, most earth-based studies on the potential health risks of space conditions have investigated the effects of these two conditions separately. This study aimed at assessing the combined effect of radiation exposure and microgravity on neuronal morphology and survival in vitro. In particular, we investigated the effects of simulated microgravity after acute (X-rays or during chronic (Californium-252 exposure to ionizing radiation using mouse mature neuron cultures. Acute exposure to low (0.1 Gy doses of X-rays caused a delay in neurite outgrowth and a reduction in soma size, while only the high dose impaired neuronal survival. Of interest, the strongest effect on neuronal morphology and survival was evident in cells exposed to microgravity and in particular in cells exposed to both microgravity and radiation. Removal of neurons from simulated microgravity for a period of 24 h was not sufficient to recover neurite length, whereas the soma size showed a clear re-adaptation to normal ground conditions. Genome-wide gene expression analysis confirmed a modulation of genes involved in neurite extension, cell survival and synaptic communication, suggesting that these changes might be responsible for the observed morphological effects. In general, the observed synergistic changes in neuronal network integrity and cell survival induced by simulated space conditions might help to better evaluate the astronaut's health risks and underline the importance of investigating the central nervous system and long-term cognition during and after a space flight.

  17. Beadex Function in the Motor Neurons Is Essential for Female Reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kairamkonda, Subhash; Nongthomba, Upendra

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster has served as an excellent model system for understanding the neuronal circuits and molecular mechanisms regulating complex behaviors. The Drosophila female reproductive circuits, in particular, are well studied and can be used as a tool to understand the role of novel genes in neuronal function in general and female reproduction in particular. In the present study, the role of Beadex, a transcription co-activator, in Drosophila female reproduction was assessed by generation of mutant and knock down studies. Null allele of Beadex was generated by transposase induced excision of P-element present within an intron of Beadex gene. The mutant showed highly compromised reproductive abilities as evaluated by reduced fecundity and fertility, abnormal oviposition and more importantly, the failure of sperm release from storage organs. However, no defect was found in the overall ovariole development. Tissue specific, targeted knock down of Beadex indicated that its function in neurons is important for efficient female reproduction, since its neuronal knock down led to compromised female reproductive abilities, similar to Beadex null females. Further, different neuronal class specific knock down studies revealed that Beadex function is required in motor neurons for normal fecundity and fertility of females. Thus, the present study attributes a novel and essential role for Beadex in female reproduction through neurons. PMID:25396431

  18. Spinal cord-specific deletion of the glutamate transporter GLT1 causes motor neuron death in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Kaori; Tanaka, Kohichi

    2018-03-04

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons. The precise mechanisms that cause the selective death of motor neurons remain unclear, but a growing body of evidence suggests that glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity has been considered to play an important role in the mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration in ALS. Reductions in glutamate transporter GLT1 have been reported in animal models of ALS and the motor cortex and spinal cord of ALS patients. However, it remains unknown whether the reduction in GLT1 has a primary role in the induction of motor neuron degeneration in ALS. Here, we generated conditional knockout mice that lacked GLT1 specifically in the spinal cord by crossing floxed-GLT1 mice and Hoxb8-Cre mice. Hoxb8-Cre/GLT1 flox/flox mice showed motor deficits and motor neuron loss. Thus, loss of the glial glutamate transporter GLT1 is sufficient to cause motor neuron death in mice. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Motor cortex-periaqueductal gray-spinal cord neuronal circuitry may involve in modulation of nociception: a virally mediated transsynaptic tracing study in spinally transected transgenic mouse model.

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    Da-Wei Ye

    Full Text Available Several studies have shown that motor cortex stimulation provided pain relief by motor cortex plasticity and activating descending inhibitory pain control systems. Recent evidence indicated that the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R in the periaqueductal gray played an important role in neuropathic pain. This study was designed to assess whether MC4R signaling existed in motor cortex-periaqueductal gray-spinal cord neuronal circuitry modulated the activity of sympathetic pathway by a virally mediated transsynaptic tracing study. Pseudorabies virus (PRV-614 was injected into the left gastrocnemius muscle in adult male MC4R-green fluorescent protein (GFP transgenic mice (n = 15. After a survival time of 4-6 days, the mice (n = 5 were randomly assigned to humanely sacrifice, and spinal cords and brains were removed and sectioned, and processed for PRV-614 visualization. Neurons involved in the efferent control of the left gastrocnemius muscle were identified following visualization of PRV-614 retrograde tracing. The neurochemical phenotype of MC4R-GFP-positive neurons was identified using fluorescence immunocytochemical labeling. PRV-614/MC4R-GFP dual labeled neurons were detected in spinal IML, periaqueductal gray and motor cortex. Our findings support the hypothesis that MC4R signaling in motor cortex-periaqueductal gray-spinal cord neural pathway may participate in the modulation of the melanocortin-sympathetic signaling and contribute to the descending modulation of nociceptive transmission, suggesting that MC4R signaling in motor cortex-periaqueductal gray-spinal cord neural pathway may modulate the activity of sympathetic outflow sensitive to nociceptive signals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-15

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading inherited cause of infant mortality, remain largely unknown. Many studies have established the importance of hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. However, tau phosphorylation in SMA pathogenesis has yet to be investigated. Here we show that tau phosphorylation on serine 202 (S202) and threonine 205 (T205) is increased significantly in SMA motor neurons using two SMA mouse models and human SMA patient spinal cord samples. Interestingly, phosphorylated tau does not form aggregates in motor neurons or neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), even at late stages of SMA disease, distinguishing it from other tauopathies. Hyperphosphorylation of tau on S202 and T205 is mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in SMA disease condition, because tau phosphorylation at these sites is significantly reduced in Cdk5 knock-out mice; genetic knock-out of Cdk5 activating subunit p35 in an SMA mouse model also leads to reduced tau phosphorylation on S202 and T205 in the SMA;p35(-/-) compound mutant mice. In addition, expression of the phosphorylation-deficient tauS202A,T205A mutant alleviates motor neuron defects in a zebrafish SMA model in vivo and mouse motor neuron degeneration in culture, whereas expression of phosphorylation-mimetic tauS202E,T205E promotes motor neuron defects. More importantly, genetic knock-out of tau in SMA mice rescues synapse stripping on motor neurons, NMJ denervation, and motor neuron degeneration in vivo. Altogether, our findings suggest a novel mechanism for SMA pathogenesis in which hyperphosphorylation of non-aggregating tau by Cdk5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356038-13$15.00/0.

  1. Dysfunctional mitochondrial Ca2+ handling in mutant SOD1 mouse models of fALS: integration of findings from motor neuron somata and motor terminals

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    Ellen F Barrett

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Abundant evidence indicates that mitochondrial dysfunction and Ca2+ dysregulation contribute to the muscle denervation and motor neuron death that occur in mouse models of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS. This perspective considers measurements of mitochondrial function and Ca2+ handling made in both motor neuron somata and motor nerve terminals of SOD1-G93A mice at different disease stages. These complementary studies are integrated into a model of how mitochondrial dysfunction disrupts handling of stimulation-induced Ca2+ loads in presymptomatic and end-stages of this disease. Also considered are possible mechanisms underlying the findings that some treatments that preserve motor neuron somata fail to postpone degeneration of motor axons and terminals.

  2. Luteolin inhibits microglial inflammation and improves neuron survival against inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Li-Hong; Bi, Wei; Qi, Ren-bin; Wang, Hua-dong; Lu, Da-xiang

    2011-06-01

    Microglia activation is one of the causative factors for neuroinflammation, which results in brain damage during neurodegenerative disease. Accumulating evidence has shown that the flavonoid luteolin (Lut) possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties; however, its effect on microglia inhibition is currently unknown. Moreover, it is not clear whether Lut also has indirect neuroprotective effects by reducing inflammatory mediators and suppressing microglia activation. In this study, we examined the effects of Lut on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced proinflammatory mediator production and signaling pathways in murine BV2 microglia. In addition, we cocultured microglia and neurons to observe the indirect neuroprotective effects of Lut. Lut inhibited the LPS-stimulated expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) as well as the production of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)). Moreover, Lut blocked LPS-induced nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation. Preincubation of microglia with Lut diminished the neurotoxic effects, owing to the direct anti-inflammatory effects of the compound. Taken together, our findings suggest that Lut may have a potential therapeutic application in the treatment of neuroinflammatory disorders. Copyright © 2011 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

  3. Techniques for studying protein trafficking and molecular motors in neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Shanxi; Arnold, Don B

    2016-09-01

    This review focused on techniques that facilitated the visualization of protein trafficking. In the mid-1990s the cloning of GFP allowed fluorescently tagged proteins to be expressed in cells and then visualized in real time. This advance allowed a glimpse, for the first time, of the complex system within cells for distributing proteins. It quickly became apparent, however, that time-lapse sequences of exogenously expressed GFP-labeled proteins can be difficult to interpret. Reasons for this include the relatively low signal that comes from moving proteins and high background rates from stationary proteins and other sources, as well as the difficulty of identifying the origins and destinations of specific vesicular carriers. In this review a range of techniques that have overcome these issues to varying degrees was reviewed and the insights into protein trafficking that they have enabled were discussed. Concentration will be on neurons, as they are highly polarized and, thus, their trafficking systems tend to be accessible for study. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Risk factors for respiratory failure of motor neuron disease in a multiracial Asian population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Xiao; Hao, Ying; Xiao, Bin; Tan, Eng-King; Lo, Yew-Long

    2017-05-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND) is a devastating degenerative disorder. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is the most common and severe form of MND. Respiratory failure arising from ventilator musculature atrophy is the most common cause of death for ALS patients. Exploring the factors correlated with respiratory failure can contribute to disease management. To characterize the clinical features of MND and determine the factors that may affect respiratory failure of MND patients. The case records of all MND patients seen in Singapore General Hospital (SGH) between January 2004 and December 2014 were examined. Demographic, clinical information were collected by reviewing case records. Mortality data, if not available from records, were obtained via phone call interview of family members. Demographic data and clinical treatments were compared between Respiratory support group and Non-respiratory support group. There were 73 patients included in our study. 49 (67.1%) patients died during follow-up. The mean age of onset was 58±11.1years. With regard to treatment, 63% needed feeding support, and 42.5% required ventilation aid. The median overall survival was 36months from symptom onset. Chi-square tests showed there was significantly higher percentage of respiratory support needed in Chinese than in other races (P=0.016). Compared with non-feeding support patients, patients with feeding support were more likely to require assisted ventilation (P=0.001). We report for the first time that the need of feeding support is significantly associated with assisted ventilation. Chinese MND patients may be more inclined to require respiratory support. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone, protects spinal motor neurons in a murine model of alphavirus encephalomyelitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prow, Natalie A.; Irani, David N.

    2007-01-01

    Spread of neuroadapted Sindbis virus (NSV) to motor neurons (MN) of the spinal cord (SC) causes severe hind limb weakness in C57BL/6 mice and models the paralysis that can accompany alphavirus and flavivirus encephalomyelitis in humans. The fate of spinal MN dictates the severity of NSV-induced paralysis, and recent data suggest that MN damage can occur indirectly via the actions of activated microglial cells. Because the opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone (NAL), blocks microglial-mediated neurodegeneration in other models, we examined its effects during NSV infection. Drug treatment prevented paralysis and enhanced the survival of MN without altering NSV tropism, replication, or clearance from SC tissue. Further studies showed that NAL most effectively inhibited paralysis in a 72-hour window after NSV challenge, suggesting that the drug inhibits an early event in SC pathogenesis. Histochemical studies demonstrated that NAL blocked early microglial activation in SC tissue sections, and protein assays showed that the early induction of pathogenic IL-1β was blunted in SC homogenates. Finally, loss of glutamate transporter-1 (GLT-1) expression in SC, an astrocyte glutamate reuptake protein responsible for lowering toxic extracellular levels of glutamate and preventing MN damage, was reversed by NAL treatment. This GLT-1 loss proved to be highly IL-1β-dependent. Taken together, these data suggest that NAL is neuroprotective in the SC by inhibiting microglial activation that, in turn, maintains normal astrocyte glutamate homeostasis. We propose that drugs targeting such microglial responses may have therapeutic benefit in humans with related viral infections. PMID:17459376

  6. Effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on masseter motor-neuron pool excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Huang; Liu, Wei Cai; Song, Yu Han

    2017-01-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been widely used to modulate the excitability of the cortical control of limbs muscles, but rarely in the cortical control of human masseter muscles. This study aims to investigate the effects of rTMS on masseter motor-neuron pool excitability in humans. A total of 20 healthy participants were selected and received a total of three rTMS sessions involving stimulation of the right masseter-motor complex: one session of 10-Hz rTMS, one session of 1-Hz rTMS and one session of sham rTMS at an intensity of 80% of the active motor threshold (AMT). The masseter AMT, motor-evoked potentials (MEPs), cortical-silent period (CSP), and short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) were measured before and after each rTMS session. The masseter SICI was significantly decreased following 10-Hz rTMS, with no significant changes in AMT, MEPs or CSP. No significant differences in masseter AMT, MEPs, CSP or SICI were observed in either the 1-Hz, or sham rTMS groups. The present findings demonstrate that high-frequency rTMS increases masseter motor-neuron pool excitability. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, Daniel Devaud

    This thesis focuses on studying the extension of motor axons through synthetic poly(ethylene glycol) PEG hydrogels that have been modified with biochemical functionalities to render them more biologically relevant. Specifically, the research strategy is to encapsulate embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons (ESMNs) in synthetic PEG hydrogels crosslinked through three different chemistries providing three mechanisms for dynamically tuning material properties. First, a covalently crosslinked, enzymatically degradable hydrogel is developed and exploited to study the biophysical dynamics of axon extension and matrix remodeling. It is demonstrated that dispersed motor neurons require a battery of adhesive peptides and growth factors to maintain viability and extend axons while those in contact with supportive neuroglial cells do not. Additionally, cell-degradable crosslinker peptides and a soft modulus mimicking that of the spinal cord are requirements for axon extension. However, because local degradation of the hydrogel results in a cellular environment significantly different than that of the bulk, enzymatically degradable peptide crosslinkers were replaced with reversible covalent hydrazone bonds to study the effect of hydrogel modulus on axon extension. This material is characterized in detail and used to measure forces involved in axon extension. Finally, a hydrogel with photocleavable linkers incorporated into the network structure is exploited to explore motor axon response to physical channels. This system is used to direct the growth of motor axons towards co-cultured myotubes, resulting in the formation of an in vitro neural circuit.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clément eVitrac

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The primary motor cortex (M1 is involved in fine voluntary movements control. Previous studies have shown the existence of a dopamine (DA innervation in M1 of rats and monkeys that could directly modulate M1 neuronal activity. However, none of these studies have described the precise distribution of DA terminals within M1 functional region nor have quantified the density of this innervation. Moreover, the precise role of DA on pyramidal neuron activity still remains unclear due to conflicting results from previous studies regarding D2 effects on M1 pyramidal neurons.In this study we assessed in mice the neuroanatomical characteristics of DA innervation in M1 using unbiased stereological quantification of dopamine transporter-immunostained fibers. We demonstrated for the first time in mice that DA innervates the deep layers of M1 targeting preferentially the forelimb representation area of M1. To address the functional role of the DA innervation on M1 neuronal activity, we performed electrophysiological recordings of single neurons activity in vivo and pharmacologically modulated D2 receptors activity. Local D2 receptors activation by quinpirole enhanced pyramidal neurons spike firing rate without changes in spike firing pattern. Altogether, these results indicate that DA innervation in M1 can increase neuronal activity through D2 receptors activation and suggest a potential contribution to the modulation of fine forelimb movement. Given the demonstrated role for DA in fine motor skill learning in M1, our results suggest that altered D2 modulation of M1 activity may be involved in the pathophysiology of movement disorders associated with disturbed DA homeostasis.

  9. Motor neuronal repletion of the NMJ organizer, Agrin, modulates the severity of the spinal muscular atrophy disease phenotype in model mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jeong-Ki; Caine, Charlotte; Awano, Tomoyuki; Herbst, Ruth; Monani, Umrao R

    2017-07-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common and often fatal neuromuscular disorder caused by low levels of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein. Amongst the earliest detectable consequences of SMN deficiency are profound defects of the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). In model mice these synapses appear disorganized, fail to mature and are characterized by poorly arborized nerve terminals. Given one role of the SMN protein in orchestrating the assembly of spliceosomal snRNP particles and subsequently regulating the alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs, a plausible link between SMN function and the distal neuromuscular SMA phenotype is an incorrectly spliced transcript or transcripts involved in establishing or maintaining NMJ structure. In this study, we explore the effects of one such transcript-Z+Agrin-known to be a critical organizer of the NMJ. We confirm that low SMN protein reduces motor neuronal levels of Z+Agrin. Repletion of this isoform of Agrin in the motor neurons of SMA model mice increases muscle fiber size, enhances the post-synaptic NMJ area, reduces the abnormal accumulation of intermediate filaments in nerve terminals of the neuromuscular synapse and improves the innervation of muscles. While these effects are independent of changes in SMN levels or increases in motor neuron numbers they nevertheless have a significant effect on the overall disease phenotype, enhancing mean survival in severely affected SMA model mice by ∼40%. We conclude that Agrin is an important target of the SMN protein and that mitigating NMJ defects may be one strategy in treating human spinal muscular atrophy. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Song

    2013-03-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Motor neuron intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms contribute to the pathogenesis of FUS-associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scekic-Zahirovic, Jelena; Oussini, Hajer El; Mersmann, Sina; Drenner, Kevin; Wagner, Marina; Sun, Ying; Allmeroth, Kira; Dieterlé, Stéphane; Sinniger, Jérôme; Dirrig-Grosch, Sylvie; René, Frédérique; Dormann, Dorothee; Haass, Christian; Ludolph, Albert C; Lagier-Tourenne, Clotilde; Storkebaum, Erik; Dupuis, Luc

    2017-06-01

    Motor neuron-extrinsic mechanisms have been shown to participate in the pathogenesis of ALS-SOD1, one familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It remains unclear whether such mechanisms contribute to other familial forms, such as TDP-43 and FUS-associated ALS. Here, we characterize a single-copy mouse model of ALS-FUS that conditionally expresses a disease-relevant truncating FUS mutant from the endogenous murine Fus gene. We show that these mice, but not mice heterozygous for a Fus null allele, develop similar pathology as ALS-FUS patients and a mild motor neuron phenotype. Most importantly, CRE-mediated rescue of the Fus mutation within motor neurons prevented degeneration of motor neuron cell bodies, but only delayed appearance of motor symptoms. Indeed, we observed downregulation of multiple myelin-related genes, and increased numbers of oligodendrocytes in the spinal cord supporting their contribution to behavioral deficits. In all, we show that mutant FUS triggers toxic events in both motor neurons and neighboring cells to elicit motor neuron disease.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    To perform crucial and extensive pre-clinical studies to enable an investigational new drug (IND) application with the Food and Drug Administration...investigational new drug (IND) application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the approval to move the use of intramuscular GDNF delivery...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

  15. Caregiver bodywork: family members' experiences of caring for a person with motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Robin A; Street, Annette F

    2006-10-01

    This paper reports a study of how family members caring for people living with motor neurone disease managed the deteriorating body, their own bodywork and the associated emotional labour. People living with the neurodegenerative condition of motor neurone disease face the prospect of dying in 3-5 years from progressive loss of voluntary muscle mass and function, culminating in respiratory failure. Theories concerning the body in illness have been used to illustrate patient perspectives; however, family caregivers' experiences of the body have been neglected. An ethnographic case study was undertaken with 18 primary family caregivers and six peripheral caregivers. Primary caregivers participated over 10 months in three face-to-face, semi-structured interviews which included mapping their support networks using ecomaps. Observational data were also recorded as field notes. Peripheral caregivers were interviewed once during the same time period. The data were generated between 2003 and 2004. Informal caregiving requires engagement in various aspects of bodywork. Three body concepts were identified: the visible body--how the disease affected the patient and caregivers; the dependent body--the resulting care requirements; and the social body--how living with motor neurone disease affected their social support networks. The visible body is a continual reminder of the ravages of the disease, while the dependent body demands physical and emotional care. Social interactions decline over time, depriving family caregivers of the much needed support for sustaining their commitment to the bodywork required in caregiving. The demands of bodywork for family caregivers are increased by the continual presence of emotional labour as they seek to implement the best way to support their relative with motor neurone disease. Nurses and allied healthcare workers need to assess each family situation, asking appropriate questions to establish the most appropriate interventions to

  16. Is activation of the Na+K+ pump necessary for NGF-mediated neuronal survival

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sendtner, M.; Gnahn, H.; Wakade, A.; Thoenen, H.

    1988-01-01

    The ability of nerve growth factor to cause rapid activation of the Na+K+ pump of its responsive cells was examined by measuring the uptake of 86 Rb+. A significant increase in 86 Rb+ uptake in E8 chick dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons after NGF treatment was seen only if the cells had been damaged during the preparation procedure. Such damaged cells could not survive in culture in the presence of NGF, and undamaged cells that did survive in response to NGF exhibited no increased 86 Rb+ uptake rate. Furthermore, cultured calf adrenal medullary cells did not show an increase in 86 Rb+ uptake after treatment with NGF, although these cells respond to NGF with an increased synthesis of catecholaminergic enzymes. These results are incompatible with the hypothesis that the mechanism of action of NGF that promotes neuronal survival and enzyme induction results from an initial stimulation of the Na+K+ pump

  17. Brain MR Imaging in Patients with Lower Motor Neuron-Predominant Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinelli, Edoardo G; Agosta, Federica; Ferraro, Pilar M; Riva, Nilo; Lunetta, Christian; Falzone, Yuri M; Comi, Giancarlo; Falini, Andrea; Filippi, Massimo

    2016-08-01

    Purpose To investigate the patterns of cortical thinning and white matter tract damage in patients with lower motor neuron (LMN)-predominant disease compared with healthy control subjects and those with classic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to evaluate the relationship between brain structural changes and clinical and cognitive features in these patients. Materials and Methods This study was approved by the local ethical committee, and written informed consent was obtained from all subjects before enrollment. Twenty-eight patients with LMN-predominant disease were compared with 55 patients with ALS and 56 healthy control subjects. Patients underwent a clinical and neuropsychological assessment and T1-weighted and diffusion-tensor magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Surface-based morphometry was used to assess cortical thickness. Tract-based spatial statistics and tractography were used to study white matter tract damage. Results Patients with LMN-predominant disease did not show differences compared with healthy control subjects in cortical thickness and diffusion-tensor MR imaging metrics. Patients with ALS showed cortical thinning of the motor-related cortices and a distributed involvement of the prefrontal, temporal, and parietal gyri (P motor and extramotor tracts compared with control subjects and patients with LMN-predominant disease (tract-based spatial statistics: P disease, cognitive deficits correlated with alterations in diffusivity in the left cingulum (r = -0.66, P = .01) and superior longitudinal fasciculus (r = -0.65, P = .05). Conclusion Motor and extramotor cortical thinning and diffusion-tensor MR imaging alterations were specific for motor neuron disease phenotypes, with clinically overt upper motor neuron involvement. However, the lack of significant differences in cortical thickness between subjects with LMN-predominant disease and those with ALS and cognitive deficits associated with alterations in diffusivity in patients with LMN

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Faravelli

    2014-10-01

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

  1. Loss of autophagy in dopaminergic neurons causes Lewy pathology and motor dysfunction in aged mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Shigeto; Uchihara, Toshiki; Fukuda, Takahiro; Noda, Sachiko; Kondo, Hiromi; Saiki, Shinji; Komatsu, Masaaki; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Tanaka, Keiji; Hattori, Nobutaka

    2018-02-12

    Inactivation of constitutive autophagy results in the formation of cytoplasmic inclusions in neurons, but the relationship between impaired autophagy and Lewy bodies (LBs) as well as the in vivo process of formation remains unknown. Synuclein, a component of LBs, is the defining characteristic of Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we characterize dopamine (DA) neuron-specific autophagy-deficient mice and provide in vivo evidence for LB formation. Synuclein deposition is preceded by p62 and resulted in the formation of inclusions containing synuclein and p62. The number and size of these inclusions were gradually increased in neurites rather than soma with aging. These inclusions may facilitate peripheral failures. As a result, DA neuron loss and motor dysfunction including the hindlimb defect were observed in 120-week-old mice. P62 aggregates derived from an autophagic defect might serve as "seeds" and can potentially be cause of LB formation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.  

  3. 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.

  4. Neuroprotective effects of the Sigma-1 receptor (S1R) agonist PRE-084, in a mouse model of motor neuron disease not linked to SOD1 mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peviani, Marco; Salvaneschi, Eleonora; Bontempi, Leonardo; Petese, Alessandro; Manzo, Antonio; Rossi, Daniela; Salmona, Mario; Collina, Simona; Bigini, Paolo; Curti, Daniela

    2014-02-01

    The identification of novel molecular targets crucially involved in motor neuron degeneration/survival is a necessary step for the development of hopefully more effective therapeutic strategies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. In this view, S1R, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident receptor with chaperone-like activity, has recently attracted great interest. S1R is involved in several processes leading to acute and chronic neurodegeneration, including ALS pathology. Treatment with the S1R agonist PRE-084 improves locomotor function and motor neuron survival in presymptomatic and early symptomatic mutant SOD1-G93A ALS mice. Here, we tested the efficacy of PRE-084 in a model of spontaneous motor neuron degeneration, the wobbler mouse (wr) as a proof of concept that S1R may be regarded as a key therapeutic target also for ALS cases not linked to SOD1 mutation. Increased staining for S1R was detectable in morphologically spared cervical spinal cord motor neurons of wr mice both at early (6th week) and late (12th week) phases of clinical progression. S1R signal was also detectable in hypertrophic astrocytes and reactive microglia of wr mice. Chronic treatment with PRE-084 (three times a week, for 8weeks), starting at symptom onset, significantly increased the levels of BDNF in the gray matter, improved motor neuron survival and ameliorated paw abnormality and grip strength performance. In addition, the treatment significantly reduced the number of reactive astrocytes whereas, that of CD11b+ microglial cells was increased. A deeper evaluation of microglial markers revealed significant increased number of cells positive for the pan-macrophage marker CD68 and of CD206+ cells, involved in tissue restoration, in the white matter of PRE-084-treated mice. The mRNA levels of TNF-α and IL-1β were not affected by PRE-084 treatment. Thus, our results support pharmacological manipulation of S1R as a promising strategy to cure ALS and point to increased

  5. The motor neuron response to SMN1 deficiency in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Peter B; Gooch, Clifton L; McDermott, Michael P; Darras, Basil T; Finkel, Richard S; Yang, Michele L; Sproule, Douglas M; Chung, Wendy K; Kaufmann, Petra; de Vivo, Darryl C

    2014-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to measure and analyze motor unit number estimation (MUNE) values longitudinally in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Sixty-two children with SMA types 2 and 3 were observed prospectively for up to 42 months. Longitudinal electrophysiological data were collected, including compound motor action potential (CMAP), single motor unit action potential (SMUP), and MUNE. Significant motor neuron loss and compensatory collateral reinnervation were noted at baseline. Over time, there was a significant mean increase in MUNE (4.92 units/year, P = 0.009), a mean decrease in SMUP amplitude (-6.32 μV/year, P = 0.10), and stable CMAP amplitude. The unexpected longitudinal results differ from findings in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis studies, perhaps indicating that compensatory processes in SMA involve new motor unit development. A better understanding of the mechanisms of motor unit decline and compensation in SMA is important for assessing novel therapeutic strategies and for providing key insights into disease pathophysiology. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons revived interest in motor theories of perception, fostering a number of new studies as well as controversies. In particular, the degree of motor specificity with which others' actions are simulated is highly debated. Human corticospinal excitability studies support the conjecture that a mirror mechanism encodes object-directed goals or low-level kinematic features of others' reaching and grasping actions. These interpretations lead to different experimental predictions and implications for the functional role of the simulation of others' actions. We propose that the representational granularity of the mirror mechanism cannot be any different from that of the motor system during action execution. Hence, drawing from motor control models, we propose that the building blocks of the mirror mechanism are the relatively few motor synergies explaining the variety of hand functions. The recognition of these synergies, from action observation, can be potentially very robust to visual noise and thus demonstrate a clear advantage of using motor knowledge for classifying others' action.

  7. Motor-auditory-visual integration: The role of the human mirror neuron system in communication and communication disorders

    OpenAIRE

    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 neuro-imaging techniques (such as fMRI and mu suppression in the EEG). It reflects an integration of motor-auditory-visual information processing related to aspects of language learning including action understanding and recognition. Such int...

  8. Schwann Cells Transduced with a Lentiviral Vector Encoding Fgf-2 Promote Motor Neuron Regeneration Following Sciatic Nerve Injury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Allodi, I.; Mecollari, V.; Gonzalez-Perez, F.; Eggers, R.; Hoyng, S.; Verhaagen, J.; Navarro, X.; Udina, E.

    2014-01-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) is a trophic factor expressed by glial cells and different neuronal populations. Addition of FGF-2 to spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) explants demonstrated that FGF-2 specifically increases motor neuron axonal growth. To further explore the potential

  9. Schwann cells transduced with a lentiviral vector encoding Fgf-2 promote motor neuron regeneration following sciatic nerve injury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Allodi, Ilary; Mecollari, Vasil; González-Pérez, Francisco; Eggers, R.; Hoyng, S.; Verhaagen, J.; Navarro, Xavier; Udina, Esther

    2014-01-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) is a trophic factor expressed by glial cells and different neuronal populations. Addition of FGF-2 to spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) explants demonstrated that FGF-2 specifically increases motor neuron axonal growth. To further explore the potential

  10. 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…

  11. Reduced activity of AMP-activated protein kinase protects against genetic models of motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, M A; Selak, M A; Xiang, Z; Krainc, D; Neve, R L; Kraemer, B C; Watts, J L; Kalb, R G

    2012-01-18

    A growing body of research indicates that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and mouse models of ALS exhibit metabolic dysfunction. A subpopulation of ALS patients possesses higher levels of resting energy expenditure and lower fat-free mass compared to healthy controls. Similarly, two mutant copper zinc superoxide dismutase 1 (mSOD1) mouse models of familial ALS possess a hypermetabolic phenotype. The pathophysiological relevance of the bioenergetic defects observed in ALS remains largely elusive. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a key sensor of cellular energy status and thus might be activated in various models of ALS. Here, we report that AMPK activity is increased in spinal cord cultures expressing mSOD1, as well as in spinal cord lysates from mSOD1 mice. Reducing AMPK activity either pharmacologically or genetically prevents mSOD1-induced motor neuron death in vitro. To investigate the role of AMPK in vivo, we used Caenorhabditis elegans models of motor neuron disease. C. elegans engineered to express human mSOD1 (G85R) in neurons develops locomotor dysfunction and severe fecundity defects when compared to transgenic worms expressing human wild-type SOD1. Genetic reduction of aak-2, the ortholog of the AMPK α2 catalytic subunit in nematodes, improved locomotor behavior and fecundity in G85R animals. Similar observations were made with nematodes engineered to express mutant tat-activating regulatory (TAR) DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa molecular weight. Altogether, these data suggest that bioenergetic abnormalities are likely to be pathophysiologically relevant to motor neuron disease.

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Diagnostic accuracy of electrically elicited multiplet discharges in patients with motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleutjes, Boudewijn T H M; Montfoort, Inger; van Doorn, Pieter A; Visser, Gerhard H; Blok, Joleen H

    2015-11-01

    To determine and compare the diagnostic accuracy of electrically elicited multiplet discharges (MDs) and fasciculation potentials (FPs) in motor neuron disease (MND). Patients were eligible when they had MND in their differential diagnosis and were referred for electromyogram (EMG). Stimulated high-density surface EMG of the thenar muscles was performed on the same day as standard EMG examination. High-density recordings were analysed for presence of MDs and needle EMG of any muscle investigated in the cervical region for presence of FPs. Of the 61 patients enrolled in this diagnostic study, 24 patients were clinically diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 11 patients with progressive muscular atrophy (PMA). Another diagnosis was made in 26 patients. Sixteen patients in whom MDs were detected were diagnosed with either ALS (n = 11) or PMA (n = 5; sensitivity = 47.1%, PPV = 94.1%). MDs were detected in only one patient initially diagnosed with PMA, but in whom later on, multifocal motor neuropathy could not be excluded (specificity = 96.2%). Electrically elicited MDs had a higher specificity than FPs (96.2% vs 53.9%, p motor neuron involvement of ≥ 1 EMG region increased from 50% to 73.5% (p = 0.008, n = 34). Electrically evoked MDs are highly specific for ALS and PMA and are an early sign of lower motor neuron dysfunction. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  15. Developmental alterations in motor coordination and medium spiny neuron markers in mice lacking pgc-1α.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. SMN is required for sensory-motor circuit function in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imlach, Wendy L.; Beck, Erin S.; Choi, Ben Jiwon; Lotti, Francesco; Pellizzoni, Livio; McCabe, Brian D.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a lethal human disease characterized by motor neuron dysfunction and muscle deterioration due to depletion of the ubiquitous Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein. Drosophila SMN mutants have reduced muscle size and defective locomotion, motor rhythm and motor neuron neurotransmission. Unexpectedly, restoration of SMN in either muscles or motor neurons did not alter these phenotypes. Instead, SMN must be expressed in proprioceptive neurons and interneurons in the motor circuit to non-autonomously correct defects in motor neurons and muscles. SMN depletion disrupts the motor system subsequent to circuit development and can be mimicked by the inhibition of motor network function. Furthermore, increasing motor circuit excitability by genetic or pharmacological inhibition of K+ channels can correct SMN-dependent phenotypes. These results establish sensory-motor circuit dysfunction as the origin of motor system deficits in this SMA model and suggest that enhancement of motor neural network activity could ameliorate the disease. PMID:23063130

  17. Axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease patient-derived motor neurons demonstrate disease-specific phenotypes including abnormal electrophysiological properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saporta, Mario A; Dang, Vu; Volfson, Dmitri; Zou, Bende; Xie, Xinmin Simon; Adebola, Adijat; Liem, Ronald K; Shy, Michael; Dimos, John T

    2015-01-01

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a group of inherited peripheral neuropathies associated with mutations or copy number variations in over 70 genes encoding proteins with fundamental roles in the development and function of Schwann cells and peripheral axons. Here, we used iPSC-derived cells to identify common pathophysiological mechanisms in axonal CMT. iPSC lines from patients with two distinct forms of axonal CMT (CMT2A and CMT2E) were differentiated into spinal cord motor neurons and used to study axonal structure and function and electrophysiological properties in vitro. iPSC-derived motor neurons exhibited gene and protein expression, ultrastructural and electrophysiological features of mature primary spinal cord motor neurons. Cytoskeletal abnormalities were found in neurons from a CMT2E (NEFL) patient and corroborated by a mouse model of the same NEFL point mutation. Abnormalities in mitochondrial trafficking were found in neurons derived from this patient, but were only mildly present in neurons from a CMT2A (MFN2) patient. Novel electrophysiological abnormalities, including reduced action potential threshold and abnormal channel current properties were observed in motor neurons derived from both of these patients. Human iPSC-derived motor neurons from axonal CMT patients replicated key pathophysiological features observed in other models of MFN2 and NEFL mutations, including abnormal cytoskeletal and mitochondrial dynamics. Electrophysiological abnormalities found in axonal CMT iPSC-derived human motor neurons suggest that these cells are hyperexcitable and have altered sodium and calcium channel kinetics. These findings may provide a new therapeutic target for this group of heterogeneous inherited neuropathies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. WES in a family trio suggests involvement of TECPR2 in a complex form of progressive motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covone, A E; Fiorillo, C; Acquaviva, M; Trucco, F; Morana, G; Ravazzolo, R; Minetti, C

    2016-08-01

    We have performed whole-exome sequencing in a family trio with a 16-year-old girl suffering of progressive motor neuron disease. There was no family history of the disease and no parental consanguinity. Our exome analysis indicated the proband as a compound heterozygote for two missense variants in the TECPR2 gene according to a recessive mode of inheritance. The TECPR2 gene has been reported as a positive regulator of autophagy which is an essential mechanism for maintaining neuron homeostasis and survival and plays a key role in major adult and pediatric neurodegenerative diseases. Variants in this gene have been found responsible for a recently described form of hereditary spastic paraplegia called SPG49 in two previous reports. We propose that both variants causing amino acid substitution, p.Leu684Val and p.Thr903Met, inherited in trans-phase compound heterozygote form, can be responsible for the phenotype observed in our patient. We also consider the possible contribution of a heterozygous variant in the SPG7 gene. Sanger sequencing confirmed the segregation of variants within the family tree including the patient's unaffected brother. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Multiple intracerebroventricular injections of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells delay motor neurons loss but not disease progression of SOD1G93A mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sironi, Francesca; Vallarola, Antonio; Violatto, Martina Bruna; Talamini, Laura; Freschi, Mattia; De Gioia, Roberta; Capelli, Chiara; Agostini, Azzurra; Moscatelli, Davide; Tortarolo, Massimo; Bigini, Paolo; Introna, Martino; Bendotti, Caterina

    2017-12-01

    Stem cell therapy is considered a promising approach in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) seem to be the most effective in ALS animal models. The umbilical cord (UC) is a source of highly proliferating fetal MSCs, more easily collectable than other MSCs. Recently we demonstrated that human (h) UC-MSCs, double labeled with fluorescent nanoparticles and Hoechst-33258 and transplanted intracerebroventricularly (ICV) into SOD1G93A transgenic mice, partially migrated into the spinal cord after a single injection. This prompted us to assess the effect of repeated ICV injections of hUC-MSCs on disease progression in SOD1G93A mice. Although no transplanted cells migrated to the spinal cord, a partial but significant protection of motor neurons (MNs) was found in the lumbar spinal cord of hUC-MSCs-treated SOD1G93A mice, accompanied by a shift from a pro-inflammatory (IL-6, IL-1β) to anti-inflammatory (IL-4, IL-10) and neuroprotective (IGF-1) environment in the lumbar spinal cord, probably linked to the activation of p-Akt survival pathway in both motor neurons and reactive astrocytes. However, this treatment neither prevented the muscle denervation nor delayed the disease progression of mice, emphasizing the growing evidence that protecting the motor neuron perikarya is not sufficient to delay the ALS progression. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Caprylic triglyceride as a novel therapeutic approach to effectively improve the performance and attenuate the symptoms due to the motor neuron loss in ALS disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zhao

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons causing progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and finally death. ALS patients suffer from asthenia and their progressive weakness negatively impacts quality of life, limiting their daily activities. They have impaired energy balance linked to lower activity of mitochondrial electron transport chain enzymes in ALS spinal cord, suggesting that improving mitochondrial function may present a therapeutic approach for ALS. When fed a ketogenic diet, the G93A ALS mouse shows a significant increase in serum ketones as well as a significantly slower progression of weakness and lower mortality rate. In this study, we treated SOD1-G93A mice with caprylic triglyceride, a medium chain triglyceride that is metabolized into ketone bodies and can serve as an alternate energy substrate for neuronal metabolism. Treatment with caprylic triglyceride attenuated progression of weakness and protected spinal cord motor neuron loss in SOD1-G93A transgenic animals, significantly improving their performance even though there was no significant benefit regarding the survival of the ALS transgenic animals. We found that caprylic triglyceride significantly promoted the mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate in vivo. Our results demonstrated that caprylic triglyceride alleviates ALS-type motor impairment through restoration of energy metabolism in SOD1-G93A ALS mice, especially during the overt stage of the disease. These data indicate the feasibility of using caprylic acid as an easily administered treatment with a high impact on the quality of life of ALS patients.

  2. 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.

  3. An investigation into the inter-relationships of sulphur xeno-biotransformation pathways in Parkinson's and motor neurone diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steventon, Glyn B; Waring, Rosemary H; Williams, Adrian C

    2003-01-01

    The role of defective 'sulphur xenobiotic' biotransformations in the aetiology of Parkinson's and motor neurone diseases has been in the literature for over a decade. Problems in the S-oxidation of aliphatic thioethers, sulphation of phenolic compounds and the S-methylation of aliphatic sulphydryl groups have all been reported. These reports have also been consistent in observing that only a 'significant minority' of patients express these problems in sulphur biotransformation pathways. However, no investigation has yet reported on the incidence of these three defective pathways in control invididuals and in patients with Parkinson's and motor neurone disease. This investigation has found that: 1. Forty percent of patients with Parkinson's and motor neurone disease have a defect in the S-oxidation of S-carboxymethyl-L-cysteine compared to 4% of controls. 2. 35-40% of patients with Parkinson's and motor neurone disease have a defect in the sulphation of paracetamol compared to 4% of controls. 3. 60% of patients with motor neurone disease have a high capacity for the S-methylation of 2-mercaptoethanol compared to 4% of controls. 4. 38% of patients with Parkinson's disease have a low capacity for the S-methylation of 2-mercaptoethanol compared to 4% of controls. 5. There is no correlation between the S-oxidation phenotype, low paracetamol sulphation phenotype and low or high S-methylation phenotype in controls or patients with Parkinson's or motor neurone disease. 6. The number of controls that expressed one of the aberrant phenotypes was 4% compared to 38% of the patients with Parkinson's disease and 47% of the patients with motor neurone disease. 7. The number of controls that expressed two of the aberrant phenotypes was 0% compared to 18% of the patients with Parkinson's disease and 19% of those with motor neurone disease. 8. No controls or patients with Parkinson's disease or motor neurone disease expressed all three of the aberrant phenotypes. The results

  4. Oxidative DNA Damage in Neurons: Implication of Ku in Neuronal Homeostasis and Survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela De Zio

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxidative DNA damage is produced by reactive oxygen species (ROS which are generated by exogenous and endogenous sources and continuously challenge the cell. One of the most severe DNA lesions is the double-strand break (DSB, which is mainly repaired by nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ pathway in mammals. NHEJ directly joins the broken ends, without using the homologous template. Ku70/86 heterodimer, also known as Ku, is the first component of NHEJ as it directly binds DNA and recruits other NHEJ factors to promote the repair of the broken ends. Neurons are particularly metabolically active, displaying high rates of transcription and translation, which are associated with high metabolic and mitochondrial activity as well as oxygen consumption. In such a way, excessive oxygen radicals can be generated and constantly attack DNA, thereby producing several lesions. This condition, together with defective DNA repair systems, can lead to a high accumulation of DNA damage resulting in neurodegenerative processes and defects in neurodevelopment. In light of recent findings, in this paper, we will discuss the possible implication of Ku in neurodevelopment and in mediating the DNA repair dysfunction observed in certain neurodegenerations.

  5. Dysregulation of the Autophagy-Endolysosomal System in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Related Motor Neuron Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Induction of human umbilical Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells toward motor neuron-like cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagher, Zohreh; Ebrahimi-Barough, Somayeh; Azami, Mahmoud; Mirzadeh, Hamid; Soleimani, Mansooreh; Ai, Jafar; Nourani, Mohammad Reza; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi

    2015-10-01

    The most important property of stem cells from different sources is the capacity to differentiate into various cells and tissue types. However, problems including contamination, normal karyotype, and ethical issues cause many limitations in obtaining and using these cells from different sources. The cells in Wharton's jelly region of umbilical cord represent a pool source of primitive cells with properties of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The aim of this study was to determine the potential of human Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJMSCs) for differentiation to motor neuron cells. WJMSCs were induced to differentiate into motor neuron-like cells by using different signaling molecules and neurotrophic factors in vitro. Differentiated neurons were then characterized for expression of motor neuron markers including nestin, PAX6, NF-H, Islet 1, HB9, and choline acetyl transferase (ChAT) by quantitative reverse transcription PCR and immunocytochemistry. Our results showed that differentiated WJMSCs could significantly express motor neuron biomarkers in RNA and protein levels 15 d post induction. These results suggested that WJMSCs can differentiate to motor neuron-like cells and might provide a potential source in cell therapy for neurodegenerative disease.

  7. Upper Extremity Assessment in Tetraplegia: The Importance of Differentiating Between Upper and Lower Motor Neuron Paralysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryden, Anne M; Hoyen, Harry A; Keith, Michael W; Mejia, Melvin; Kilgore, Kevin L; Nemunaitis, Gregory A

    2016-06-01

    Scientific advances are increasing the options for improved upper limb function in people with cervical level spinal cord injury (SCI). Some of these interventions rely on identifying an aspect of paralysis that is not uniformly assessed in SCI: the integrity of the lower motor neuron (LMN). SCI can damage both the upper motor neuron and LMN causing muscle paralysis. Differentiation between these causes of paralysis is not typically believed to be important during SCI rehabilitation because, regardless of the cause, the muscles are no longer under voluntary control by the patient. Emerging treatments designed to restore upper extremity function (eg, rescue microsurgical nerve transfers, motor learning-based interventions, functional electrical stimulation) all require knowledge of LMN status. The LMN is easily evaluated using surface electrical stimulation and does not add significant time to the standard clinical assessment of SCI. This noninvasive evaluation yields information that contributes to the development of a lifetime upper extremity care plan for maximizing function and quality of life. Given the relative simplicity of this assessment and the far-reaching implications for treatment and function, we propose that this assessment should be adopted as standard practice for acute cervical SCI. Copyright © 2016 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The development of neurology palliative care service for motor neuron disease (MND) patients: Hong Kong experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Hon Wai Benjamin; Chen, Wai Tsan Tracy; Chu, Chun Kwok Angus; Lee, Savio; Lee, Joo Shium; Hong, Yeuk Fai; Chung, Yuen Kwan Judy

    2017-09-15

    Motor neuron disease (MND) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord, brainstem and motor cortex. Clinically it is manifested as progressive decline in physical, respiratory, swallowing and communication function and ultimately death. Traditional model of care was fragmented and did not match with patients and carers multi-facet needs. A special workgroup for MND patients that includes neurologist, respiratory physician, rehabilitation specialist and palliative care (PC) physician was formed in Hong Kong since year 2013. In various disease phase, each specialty team play a leading role in coordinated care of MND patients. From Apr 2013 to Mar 2015, 41 patients newly diagnosed with MND were cared in our model. 96.4% agreed to participate in the ACP discussion. Seventy-five percent of them opted for do-not-attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) and no intubation/mechanical ventilation. There were 16 (51.6%) of patients passed away within the review period. All of them succumbed with no CPR performed which was honoring their wish. The average duration under PC was 118 days. Strategies toward standardizing care delivery for MND patients and carers may help to address the physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs of MND patients. The experience shared from this article conceptualizes the roles of various multi-disciplinary team members, with emphasis paid on PC team position in taking care of advanced MND patients.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  10. SNV, a lipophilic superactive VIP analog, acts through cGMP to promote neuronal survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashur-Fabian, O; Perl, O; Lilling, G; Fridkin, M; Gozes, I

    1999-01-01

    The current study explored whether the neuroprotective effects of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and its analog Stearyl-Nle17-VIP (SNV) were mediated through cGMP. SNV, was previously found to be 100-fold more potent than VIP in providing neuroprotection. Neuronal survival was assessed in rat cerebral cortical cultures. A cGMP antagonist (RP-8-pCPT-cGMPS, 10(-12)-10(-9) M) reduced the number of surviving neurons (40-60%), this decline was spared in the presence of SNV (10(-13)M). A cGMP agonist (Sp-8-pCPT-cGMPS, 10(-14)-10(-8)M) and SNV (10(-16)-10(-8)M) both provided significant neuroprotection against 10(-12) M of the cGMP antagonist. Immunoassays indicated that SNV induced increases in cGMP (two-threefold) in these cultures, whereas VIP was 1000-fold less potent. These results implicate cGMP as a second messenger for VIP/SNV-mediated effects on neuronal survival.

  11. Peptides modeled after the alpha-domain of metallothionein induce neurite outgrowth and promote survival of cerebellar granule neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Asmussen, Johanne Wirenfeldt; Ambjørn, Malene; Bock, Elisabeth

    2009-01-01

    Metallothionein (MT) is a metal-binding protein capable of preventing oxidative stress and apoptotic cell death in the central nervous system of mammals, and hence is of putative therapeutic value in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Recently, we demonstrated that a peptide modeled...... amino acids, as potent stimulators of neuronal differentiation and survival of primary neurons. In addition, we show that a peptide derived from the N-terminus of the MT beta-domain, EmtinBn, promotes neuronal survival. The neuritogenic and survival promoting effects of EmtinAc, similar to MT and Emtin...

  12. Nutritional support teams increase percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy uptake in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lin; Sanders, Leanne; Fraser, Robert J L

    2012-11-28

    To examine factors influencing percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) uptake and outcomes in motor neuron disease (MND) in a tertiary care centre. Case notes from all patients with a confirmed diagnosis of MND who had attended the clinic at the Repatriation General Hospital between January 2007 and January 2011 and who had since died, were audited. Data were extracted for demographics (age and gender), disease characteristics (date of onset, bulbar or peripheral predominance, complications), date and nature of discussion of gastrostomy insertion, nutritional status [weight measurements, body mass index (BMI)], date of gastrostomy insertion and subsequent progress (duration of survival) and quality of life (QoL) [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R)]. In addition, the type of clinician initiating the discussion regarding gastrostomy was recorded as Nutritional Support Team (involved in providing nutrition input viz Gastroenterologist, Speech Pathologist, Dietitian) and other (involved in non-nutritional aspects of patient care). Factors affecting placement and outcomes including length of survival, change in weight and QoL were determined. Case records were available for all 86 patients (49 men, mean age at diagnosis 66.4 years). Thirty-eight patients had bulbar symptoms and 48 had peripheral disease as their presenting feature. Sixty-six patients reported dysphagia. Thirty-one patients had undergone gastrostomy insertion. The major indications for PEG placement were dysphagia and weight loss. Nine patients required immediate full feeding, whereas 17 patients initially used the gastrostomy to supplement oral intake, 4 for medication administration and 1 for hydration. Initially the PEG regime met 73% ± 31% of the estimated total energy requirements, increasing to 87% ± 32% prior to death. There was stabilization of weight in patients undergoing gastrostomy [BMI at 3 mo (22.6 ± 2.2 kg/m(2)) and 6 mo (22.5 ± 2.0 kg/m(2

  13. Muscle pathology in lower motor neuron paraplegia and h-b FES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ugo Carraro

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available After complete Spinal Cord Injury (SCI, causing complete disconnection between the muscle fibers and the nervous system, the denervated muscles become unexcitable with commercial electrical stimulators within several months and undergo severe atrophy and disorganization of contractile apparatus after 1-3 years. Years after the injury the surviving and regenerated myofibers are substituted with adipocytes and collagen. To counteract the progressive changes transforming muscle into an unexcitable tissue, we developed a novel therapy concept for paraplegic patients with complete lower motor neuron (LMN denervation of the lower extremities. The new stimulators for home-based functional electrical stimulation (h-b FES have been designed to reverse longstanding and severe atrophy of LMN denervated muscles by delivering high-intensity (up to 2,4 J and long-duration impulses (up to 150 ms able to elicit contractions of denervated skeletal muscle fibers in absence of nerve. Concurrent to the development of the stimulation equipment, specific clinical assessments and training strategies were developed at the Wilhelminenspital Wien, Austria. Main results of our clinical study on 20 patients, which completed a 2 years h-b FES program are: 1. significant +33% increase of muscle size and +75% of the mean diameter of muscle fibers, with striking improvements of the ultra-structural organization of contractile material; 2. recovery of the tetanic contractility with significant increase in muscle force output during electrical stimulation; 3. five subjects performed FES-assisted stand-up and stepping-in-place exercises;. 4. data from ultrastructural analyses indicating that the shorter the time span between SCI and the beginning of h-b FES, the larger were the number and the size of recovered fibers. The study demonstrates that h-b FES of permanent LMN denervated muscle is an effective home therapy that results in rescue of muscle mass, function and perfusion

  14. Spontaneous activity in electromyography may differentiate certain benign lower motor neuron disease forms from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokela, Manu E; Jääskeläinen, Satu K; Sandell, Satu; Palmio, Johanna; Penttilä, Sini; Saukkonen, Annamaija; Soikkeli, Raija; Udd, Bjarne

    2015-08-15

    There is limited data on electromyography (EMG) findings in other motor neuron disorders than amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We assessed whether the distribution of active denervation detected by EMG, i.e. fibrillations and fasciculations, differs between ALS and slowly progressive motor neuron disorders. We compared the initial EMG findings of 43 clinically confirmed, consecutive ALS patients with those of 41 genetically confirmed Late-onset Spinal Motor Neuronopathy and 14 Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy patients. Spontaneous activity was more frequently detected in the first dorsal interosseus and deltoid muscles of ALS patients than in patients with the slowly progressive motor neuron diseases. The most important observation was that absent fibrillations in the first dorsal interosseus muscle identified the benign forms with sensitivities of 66%-77% and a specificity of 93%. The distribution of active denervation may help to separate ALS from mimicking disorders at an early stage. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. Adaptive equipment use by people with motor neuron disease in Australia: a prospective, observational consecutive cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connors, Karol A; Mahony, Lisa M; Morgan, Prue

    2017-10-28

    People with motor neuron sisease require adaptive equipment to enhance life quality. This study aimed to examine total and concurrent equipment items prescribed with phenotype consideration. A prospective, observational consecutive cohort study was undertaken. Data regarding Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised, phenotype, symptom onset and Functional Independence Measure (inpatients only) was recorded. Equipment utilized was coded by therapist as: speech devices; transfer devices; mobility devices (including power wheelchairs); orthoses; activities of daily living equipment; assisted technology and home modification equipment. Two hundred and seventy-three people with motor neuron disease participated, mean age 67 years, mean amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised score 32, a moderate level of disability. Equipment items per participant ranged from 0 to 20, median 5. The electric lift recliner chair was the most commonly used equipment item, used by 51.2% of the cohort. There was a statistically significant difference in equipment use between flail leg and bulbar (Md 11, 3 items, respectively; p = .005), and flail leg and cervical phenotypes (Md 11, 3.5 items respectively; p = .009). People with motor neuron disease have high equipment needs to optimize quality of life. Information regarding phenotype relative to equipment requirement, and most frequently prescribed equipment items can assist health-care providers anticipate equipment needs, burden and intensity for those with motor neuron disease. Implications for rehabilitation People with motor neuron disease have high concurrent equipment needs. Electric recliner lift chairs are the most frequently prescribed equipment item by those with motor neuron disease. There is variation in concurrent equipment needs relative to motor neuron disease phenotype.

  17. Moringa oleifera with promising neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth promoting potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannan, Md Abdul; Kang, Ji-Young; Mohibbullah, Md; Hong, Yong-Ki; Lee, Hyunsook; Choi, Jae-Suk; Choi, In Soon; Moon, Il Soo

    2014-02-27

    Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) by virtue of its high nutritional as well as ethnomedical values has been gaining profound interest both in nutrition and medicinal research. The leaf of this plant is used in ayurvedic medicine to treat paralysis, nervous debility and other nerve disorders. In addition, research evidence also suggests the nootropic as well as neuroprotective roles of Moringa oleifera leaf in animal models. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of Moringa oleifera leaf in the primary hippocampal neurons regarding its neurotrophic and neuroprotective properties. The primary culture of embryonic hippocampal neurons was incubated with the ethanol extract of Moringa oleifera leaf (MOE). After an indicated time, cultures were either stained directly with a lipophilic dye, DiO, or fixed and immunolabeled to visualize the neuronal morphology. Morphometric analyses for neurite maturation and synaptogenesis were performed using Image J software. Neuronal viability was evaluated using trypan blue exclusion and lactate dehydrogenase assays. MOE promoted neurite outgrowth in a concentration-dependent manner with an optimal concentration of 30 μg/mL. As a very initial effect, MOE significantly promoted the earlier stages of neuronal differentiation. Subsequently, MOE significantly increased the number and length of dendrites, the length of axon, and the number and length of both dendrite and axonal branches, and eventually facilitated synaptogenesis. The β-carotene, one major compound of MOE, promoted neuritogensis, but the increase was not comparable with the effect of MOE. In addition, MOE supported neuronal survival by protecting neurons from naturally occurring cell death in vitro. Our findings indicate that MOE promotes axodendritic maturation as well as provides neuroprotection suggesting a promising pharmacological importance of this nutritionally and ethnomedically important plant for the well-being of nervous system. Copyright

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. A Wnt1 regulated Frizzled-1/β-Catenin signaling pathway as a candidate regulatory circuit controlling mesencephalic dopaminergic neuron-astrocyte crosstalk: Therapeutical relevance for neuron survival and neuroprotection

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    Pluchino Stefano

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dopamine-synthesizing (dopaminergic, DA neurons in the ventral midbrain (VM constitute a pivotal neuronal population controlling motor behaviors, cognitive and affective brain functions, which generation critically relies on the activation of Wingless-type MMTV integration site (Wnt/β-catenin pathway in their progenitors. In Parkinson's disease, DA cell bodies within the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc progressively degenerate, with causes and mechanisms poorly understood. Emerging evidence suggests that Wnt signaling via Frizzled (Fzd receptors may play a role in different degenerative states, but little is known about Wnt signaling in the adult midbrain. Using in vitro and in vivo model systems of DA degeneration, along with functional studies in both intact and SN lesioned mice, we herein highlight an intrinsic Wnt1/Fzd-1/β-catenin tone critically contributing to the survival and protection of adult midbrain DA neurons. Results In vitro experiments identifie Fzd-1 receptor expression at a mRNA and protein levels in dopamine transporter (DAT expressing neurons, and demonstrate the ability of exogenous Wnt1 to exert robust neuroprotective effects against Caspase-3 activation, the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH+ neurons and [3H] dopamine uptake induced by different DA-specific insults, including serum and growth factor deprivation, 6-hydroxydopamine and MPTP/MPP+. Co-culture of DA neurons with midbrain astrocytes phenocopies Wnt1 neuroprotective effects, whereas RNA interference-mediated knockdown of Wnt1 in midbrain astrocytes markedly reduces astrocyte-induced TH+ neuroprotection. Likewise, silencing β-catenin mRNA or knocking down Fzd-1 receptor expression in mesencephalic neurons counteract astrocyte-induced TH+ neuroprotection. In vivo experiments document Fzd-1 co-localization with TH+ neurons within the intact SNpc and blockade of Fzd/β-catenin signaling by unilateral infusion of a Fzd

  1. Effects of substance P on identified neurons of the rat dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, M W; Travagli, R A

    2001-07-01

    Previous evidence suggests that substance P (SP) activates subpopulations of neurons within the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). In this study we aimed at identifying these subpopulations in relation to their gastrointestinal projection organs or vagal branches and characterizing pharmacologically the SP response. Using whole cell patch-clamp recordings from identified gastrointestinal-projecting vagal motoneurons, we found that SP induced an inward current in all neuronal groups except for cecum-projecting cells. The lowest percentage of SP-responding neurons was found in fundus-projecting cells, where SP also had a concentration-response curve that was shifted to the left (P < 0.05). Independently from the projections, the SP response was reduced by sendide and MEN 10,376 and mimicked by a combination of [Sar(9)-Met(O(2))(11)]SP and alpha-neurokinin. SP and alpha-neurokinin also increased the frequency, but not the amplitude, of postsynaptic currents. In conclusion, we demonstrated that SP induces both pre- and postsynaptic effects on DMV neurons via activation of neurokinin NK(1) and NK(2) receptors. The magnitude of the SP response was correlated to the peripheral target organ.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

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    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.

  5. Soldier-specific modification of the mandibular motor neurons in termites.

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    Yuki Ishikawa

    Full Text Available Social insects exhibit a variety of caste-specific behavioral tendencies that constitute the basis of division of labor within the colony. In termites, the soldier caste display distinctive defense behaviors, such as aggressively attacking enemies with well-developed mandibles, while the other castes retreat into the colony without exhibiting any aggressive response. It is thus likely that some form of soldier-specific neuronal modification exists in termites. In this study, the authors compared the brain (cerebral ganglion and the suboesophageal ganglion (SOG of soldiers and pseudergates (workers in the damp-wood termite, Hodotermopsis sjostedti. The size of the SOG was significantly larger in soldiers than in pseudergates, but no difference in brain size was apparent between castes. Furthermore, mandibular nerves were thicker in soldiers than in pseudergates. Retrograde staining revealed that the somata sizes of the mandibular motor neurons (MdMNs in soldiers were more than twice as large as those of pseudergates. The enlargement of MdMNs was also observed in individuals treated with a juvenile hormone analogue (JHA, indicating that MdMNs become enlarged in response to juvenile hormone (JH action during soldier differentiation. This enlargement is likely to have two functions: a behavioral function in which soldier termites will be able to defend more effectively through relatively faster and stronger mandibular movements, and a developmental function that associates with the development of soldier-specific mandibular muscle morphogenesis in termite head. The soldier-specific enlargement of mandibular motor neurons was observed in all examined species in five termite families that have different mechanisms of defense, suggesting that such neuronal modification was already present in the common ancestor of termites and is significant for soldier function.

  6. Neural androgen receptors affect the number of surviving new neurones in the adult dentate gyrus of male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swift-Gallant, A; Duarte-Guterman, P; Hamson, D K; Ibrahim, M; Monks, D A; Galea, L A M

    2018-04-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis occurs in many mammalian species. In rats, the survival of new neurones within the hippocampus is modulated by the action of androgen via the androgen receptor (AR); however, it is not known whether this holds true in mice. Furthermore, the evidence is mixed regarding whether androgens act in neural tissue or via peripheral non-neural targets to promote new neurone survival in the hippocampus. We evaluated whether the action of androgen via AR underlies the survival of new neurones in mice, and investigated whether increasing AR selectively in neural tissue would increase new neurone survival in the hippocampus. We used the cre-loxP system to overexpress AR only in neural tissues (Nestin-AR). These males were compared with wild-type males, as well as control males with 1 of the 2 mutations required for overexpression. Mice were gonadectomised and injected with the DNA synthesis marker, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and for 37 days (following BrdU injection), mice were treated with oil or dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Using immunohistochemistry, proliferation (Ki67) and survival (BrdU) of new neurones were both evaluated in the dorsal and ventral dentate gyrus. Dihydrotestosterone treatment increased the survival of new neurones in the entire hippocampus in wild-type mice and control mice that only have 1 of 2 necessary mutations for transgenic expression. However, DHT treatment did not increase the survival of new neurones in mice that overexpressed AR in neural tissue. Cell proliferation (Ki67) and cell death (pyknotic cells) were not affected by DHT treatment in wild-type or transgenic males. These results suggest that androgens act via neural AR to affect hippocampal neurogenesis by promoting cell survival; however, the relationship between androgen dose and new neurone survival is nonlinear. © 2018 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  7. 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...

  8. Pulsed electromagnetic fields promote survival and neuronal differentiation of human BM-MSCs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urnukhsaikhan, Enerelt; Cho, Hyunjin; Mishig-Ochir, Tsogbadrakh; Seo, Young-Kwon; Park, Jung-Kueg

    2016-04-15

    Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) are known to affect biological properties such as differentiation, regulation of transcription factor and cell proliferation. However, the cell-protective effect of PEMF exposure is largely unknown. The aim of this study is to understand the mechanisms underlying PEMF-mediated suppression of apoptosis and promotion of survival, including PEMF-induced neuronal differentiation. Treatment of induced human BM-MSCs with PEMF increased the expression of neural markers such as NF-L, NeuroD1 and Tau. Moreover, treatment of induced human BM-MSCs with PEMF greatly decreased cell death in a dose- and time-dependent manner. There is evidence that Akt and Ras are involved in neuronal survival and protection. Activation of Akt and Ras results in the regulation of survival proteins such as Bad and Bcl-xL. Thus, the Akt/Ras signaling pathway may be a desirable target for enhancing cell survival and treatment of neurological disease. Our analyses indicated that PEMF exposure dramatically increased the activity of Akt, Rsk, Creb, Erk, Bcl-xL and Bad via phosphorylation. PEMF-dependent cell protection was reversed by pretreatment with LY294002, a specific inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Our data suggest that the PI3K/Akt/Bad signaling pathway may be a possible mechanism for the cell-protective effects of PEMF. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Diagnostic contribution of magnetic resonance imaging in an atypical presentation of motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugga, Lorenzo; Coppola, Cinzia; Cocozza, Sirio; Saracino, Dario; Caranci, Ferdinando; Tuccillo, Francesco; Signoriello, Elisabetta; Casertano, Sara; Di Iorio, Giuseppe; Tedeschi, Enrico

    2017-12-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND) is a neurodegenerative disease determining progressive and relentless motor deterioration involving both upper and lower motor neurons (UMN and LMN); several variants at onset are described. Here we describe a case of MND presenting as pure spastic monoparesis in which magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) gave a substantial contribution in confirming the diagnosis and assessing the severity of UMN involvement. An isolated pyramidal syndrome, with complete absence of LMN signs, is a rare phenotype in the context of MND (less than 4% of total cases), especially if restricted to only one limb. Several other elements made this case an unusual presentation of MND: the late age of onset (8 th decade), the subacute evolution of symptoms (raising the suspicion of an ischemic or inflammatory, rather than degenerative, etiology), the patient's past medical history (achalasia, erythema nodosum), the increase of inflammatory indices. Conventional MRI showed no focal lesions that could explain the clinical features; therefore, we used advanced MR sequences. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) evaluation evidenced bilateral impairment of corticospinal tract (CST) diffusion metrics, with clear right-left asymmetry, pointing to a neurodegenerative etiology, which clinically appeared less likely at that time. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) showed a significant reduction of NAA/Cho + Cr ratio in the motor cortex (MC), further supporting the hypothesis of UMN degeneration. In conclusion, in this particular case of MND, whose nosographic framing has not been fully defined, advanced MRI techniques with DTI and MRS proved to be of great usefulness in confirming a diffuse UMN involvement, possibly at a more advanced stage than its clinical expression.

  10. 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.

  11. Reinforcement learning of targeted movement in a spiking neuronal model of motor cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase is Dynamically Expressed on Subsets of Motor Neurons and in the Peripheral Nervous System

    OpenAIRE

    Hurley, Shawn P.; Clary, Douglas O.; Copié, Valérie; Lefcort, Frances

    2006-01-01

    During embryonic development, complex events such as cellular proliferation, differentiation, survival, and guidance of axons are orchestrated and regulated by a variety of extracellular signals. Receptor tyrosine kinases mediate many of these events with several playing critical roles in neuronal survival and axonal guidance. It is evident that not all the receptor tyrosine kinases that play key roles in regulating neuronal development have been identified. In this study, we have characteriz...

  15. ALS/FTLD-linked TDP-43 regulates neurite morphology and cell survival in differentiated neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han, Jeong-Ho; Yu, Tae-Hoon; Ryu, Hyun-Hee; Jun, Mi-Hee; Ban, Byung-Kwan; Jang, Deok-Jin; Lee, Jin-A

    2013-01-01

    Tar-DNA binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) has been characterized as a major component of protein aggregates in brains with neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, physiological roles of TDP-43 and early cellular pathogenic effects caused by disease associated mutations in differentiated neurons are still largely unknown. Here, we investigated the physiological roles of TDP-43 and the effects of missense mutations associated with diseases in differentiated cortical neurons. The reduction of TDP-43 by siRNA increased abnormal neurites and decreased cell viability. ALS/FTLD-associated missense mutant proteins (A315T, Q331K, and M337V) were partially mislocalized to the cytosol and neurites when compared to wild-type and showed abnormal neurites similar to those observed in cases of loss of TDP-43. Interestingly, cytosolic expression of wild-type TDP-43 with mutated nuclear localization signals also induced abnormal neurtie morphology and reduction of cell viability. However, there was no significant difference in the effects of cytosolic expression in neuronal morphology and cell toxicity between wild-type and missense mutant proteins. Thus, our results suggest that mislocalization of missense mutant TDP-43 may contribute to loss of TDP-43 function and affect neuronal morphology, probably via dominant negative action before severe neurodegeneration in differentiated cortical neurons. Highlights: • The function of nuclear TDP-43 in neurite morphology in mature neurons. • Partial mislocalization of TDP-43 missense mutants into cytosol from nucleus. • Abnormal neurite morphology caused by missense mutants of TDP-43. • The effect of cytosolic expression of TDP-43 in neurite morphology and in cell survival

  16. The Neuropsychiatric Disease-Associated Gene cacna1c Mediates Survival of Young Hippocampal Neurons123

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Anni S.; Kabir, Zeeba D.; Knobbe, Whitney; Orr, Madeline; Burgdorf, Caitlin; Huntington, Paula; McDaniel, Latisha; Britt, Jeremiah K.; Hoffmann, Franz; Brat, Daniel J.; Rajadhyaksha, Anjali M.

    2016-01-01

    Genetic variations in CACNA1C, which encodes the Cav1.2 subunit of L-type calcium channels (LTCCs), are associated with multiple forms of neuropsychiatric disease that manifest high anxiety in patients. In parallel, mice harboring forebrain-specific conditional knockout of cacna1c (forebrain-Cav1.2 cKO) display unusually high anxiety-like behavior. LTCCs in general, including the Cav1.3 subunit, have been shown to mediate differentiation of neural precursor cells (NPCs). However, it has not previously been determined whether Cav1.2 affects postnatal hippocampal neurogenesis in vivo. Here, we show that forebrain-Cav1.2 cKO mice exhibit enhanced cell death of young hippocampal neurons, with no change in NPC proliferation, hippocampal size, dentate gyrus thickness, or corticosterone levels compared with wild-type littermates. These mice also exhibit deficits in brain levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and Cre recombinase-mediated knockdown of adult hippocampal Cav1.2 recapitulates the deficit in young hippocampal neurons survival. Treatment of forebrain-Cav1.2 cKO mice with the neuroprotective agent P7C3-A20 restored the net magnitude of postnatal hippocampal neurogenesis to wild-type levels without ameliorating their deficit in BDNF expression. The role of Cav1.2 in young hippocampal neurons survival may provide new approaches for understanding and treating neuropsychiatric disease associated with aberrations in CACNA1C. Visual Abstract PMID:27066530

  17. PINK1 Primes Parkin-Mediated Ubiquitination of PARIS in Dopaminergic Neuronal Survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunjong Lee

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1 and parkin cause autosomal-recessive Parkinson’s disease through a common pathway involving mitochondrial quality control. Parkin inactivation leads to accumulation of the parkin interacting substrate (PARIS, ZNF746 that plays an important role in dopamine cell loss through repression of proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1-alpha (PGC-1α promoter activity. Here, we show that PARIS links PINK1 and parkin in a common pathway that regulates dopaminergic neuron survival. PINK1 interacts with and phosphorylates serines 322 and 613 of PARIS to control its ubiquitination and clearance by parkin. PINK1 phosphorylation of PARIS alleviates PARIS toxicity, as well as repression of PGC-1α promoter activity. Conditional knockdown of PINK1 in adult mouse brains leads to a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra that is dependent on PARIS. Altogether, these results uncover a function of PINK1 to direct parkin-PARIS-regulated PGC-1α expression and dopaminergic neuronal survival.

  18. Survival of adult generated hippocampal neurons is altered in circadian arrhythmic mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooke D Rakai

    Full Text Available The subgranular zone of the hippocampal formation gives rise to new neurons that populate the dentate gyrus throughout life. Cells in the hippocampus exhibit rhythmic clock gene expression and the circadian clock is known to regulate the cycle of cell division in other areas of the body. These facts suggest that the circadian clock may regulate adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus as well. In the present study, neurogenesis in the hippocampal subgranular zone was examined in arrhythmic Bmal1 knockout (-KO mice and their rhythmic heterozygous and wildtype littermates. Proliferation and survival of newly generated subgranular zone cells were examined using bromodeoxyuridine labelling, while pyknosis (a measure of cell death and hippocampal volume were examined in cresyl violet stained sections. There was no significant difference in cellular proliferation between any of the groups, yet survival of proliferating cells, 6 weeks after the bromodeoxyuridine injection, was significantly greater in the BMAL1-KO animals. The number of pyknotic cells was significantly decreased in Bmal1-KO animals, yet hippocampal volume remained the same across genotypes. These findings suggest that while a functional circadian clock is not necessary for normal proliferation of neuronal precursor cells, the normal pruning of newly generated neurons in the hippocampus may require a functional circadian clock.

  19. 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.

  20. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Facilitates Functional Recovery from ALS-Cerebral Spinal Fluid-Induced Neurodegenerative Changes in the NSC-34 Motor Neuron Cell Line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shruthi, Shanmukha; Sumitha, R; Varghese, Anu Mary; Ashok, S; Chandrasekhar Sagar, B K; Sathyaprabha, T N; Nalini, A; Kramer, Boris W; Raju, Trichur R; Vijayalakshmi, K; Alladi, Phalguni Anand

    2017-01-01

    The survival of motor neurons is dependent upon neurotrophic factors both during childhood and adolescence and during adult life. In disease conditions, such as in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the mRNA levels of trophic factors like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), and vascular endothelial growth factor are downregulated. This was replicated in our in vivo experimental system following the injection of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) of sporadic ALS (ALS-CSF) patients. To evaluate the protective role of BDNF in a model of sporadic ALS patients. The expressions of endogenous BDNF, its receptor TrkB, the enzyme choline acetyl transferase (ChAT), and phosphorylated neurofilaments were studied in NSC-34 cells. The calcium-buffering and proapoptotic effects were assessed by calbindin-D28K and caspase-3 expression, respectively. ALS-CSF considerably depleted the endogenous BDNF protein, while its effect on IGF-1 and FGF-2 was inconsequential; this indirectly indicates a key role for BDNF in supporting motor neuronal survival. The exogenous supplementation of BDNF reversed autocrine expression; however, it may not be completely receptor mediated, as the TrkB levels were not restored. BDNF completely revived ChAT expression. It may inhibit apoptosis by restoring Ca2+ homeostasis, since caspase-3 and calbindin-D28K expression was back to normal. The organellar ultrastructural changes were only partially reversed. Our study provides evidence that BDNF supplementation ameliorates most but not all degenerative changes. The incomplete revival at the ultrastructural level signifies the requirement of factors other than BDNF for near-total protection of motor neurons, and, to an extent, it explains why only a partial success is achieved in clinical trials with BDNF in ALS patients. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. Microglia-mediated BAFF-BAFFR ligation promotes neuronal survival in brain ischemia injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kai; Yu, Wei; Cao, Rangjuan; Zhu, Zhihua; Zhao, Guoqing

    2017-11-05

    The innate immune responses of brain to vascular occlusion are primarily orchestrated by activated microglia. However, the roles of microglia in inflammatory responses to brain ischemic injuries are controversial. Here, we report a new mechanism by which microglia confer protective effects on ischemic neuronal cells. We found that under ischemic condition, the B-cell-activating factor (BAFF) was vastly upregulated in microglia and this upregulation could at least be attributed to JAK-STAT signaling pathway activated by IFN-γ and IL-10, which were spatio-temporally enriched in I/R-injured brain as well. Meanwhile, the expression of BAFFR, one member of BAFF receptors, was also upregulated on neurons after I/R injury. More importantly, recombinant BAFF treatment not only promoted neuronal survival under ischemic stresses in vitro but also attenuated infarct volume and neural deficit caused by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in vivo. Furthermore, blocking BAFF-BAFFR ligation with TACI-Ig abrogated these therapeutic benefits. Taken together, these results indicate that the BAFF-BAFFR ligation bridged between microglia and neurons could play a critical neuroprotective role in I/R injury. Thus, augmenting BAFF-BAFFR signaling might represent a potential target for clinical stroke therapy. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Influence of respiratory motor neurone activity on human autonomic and haemodynamic rhythms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonschorek, A. S.; Lu, L. L.; Halliwill, J. R.; Beightol, L. A.; Taylor, J. A.; Painter, J. A.; Warzel, H.; Eckberg, D. L.

    2001-01-01

    Although humans hold great advantages over other species as subjects for biomedical research, they also bring major disadvantages. One is that among the many rhythmic physiological signals that can be recorded, there is no sure way to know which individual change precedes another, or which change represents cause and which represents effect. In an attempt to deal with the inherent complexity of research conducted in intact human subjects, we developed and used a structural equation model to analyse responses of healthy young men to pharmacological changes of arterial pressure and graded inspiratory resistance, before and after vagomimetic atropine. Our model yielded a good fit of the experimental data, with a system weighted R2 of 0.77, and suggested that our treatments exerted both direct and indirect influences on the variables we measured. Thus, infusions of nitroprusside and phenylephrine exerted all of their direct effects by lowering and raising arterial pressure; the changes of R-R intervals, respiratory sinus arrhythmia and arterial pressure fluctuations that these drugs provoked, were indirect consequences of arterial pressure changes. The only direct effect of increased inspiratory resistance was augmentation of arterial pressure fluctuations. These results may provide a new way to disentangle and understand responses of intact human subjects to experimental forcings. The principal new insight we derived from our modelling is that respiratory gating of vagal-cardiac motor neurone firing is nearly maximal at usual levels of arterial pressure and inspiratory motor neurone activity.

  3. Motor Neuron Gene Therapy: Lessons from Spinal Muscular Atrophy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosolini, Andrew P; Sleigh, James N

    2017-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are severe nervous system diseases characterized by the degeneration of lower motor neurons. They share a number of additional pathological, cellular, and genetic parallels suggesting that mechanistic and clinical insights into one disorder may have value for the other. While there are currently no clinical ALS gene therapies, the splice-switching antisense oligonucleotide, nusinersen, was recently approved for SMA. This milestone was achieved through extensive pre-clinical research and patient trials, which together have spawned fundamental insights into motor neuron gene therapy. We have thus tried to distil key information garnered from SMA research, in the hope that it may stimulate a more directed approach to ALS gene therapy. Not only must the type of therapeutic (e.g., antisense oligonucleotide vs. viral vector) be sensibly selected, but considerable thought must be applied to the where , which , what , and when in order to enhance treatment benefit: to where (cell types and tissues) must the drug be delivered and how can this be best achieved? Which perturbed pathways must be corrected and can they be concurrently targeted? What dosing regime and concentration should be used? When should medication be administered? These questions are intuitive, but central to identifying and optimizing a successful gene therapy. Providing definitive solutions to these quandaries will be difficult, but clear thinking about therapeutic testing is necessary if we are to have the best chance of developing viable ALS gene therapies and improving upon early generation SMA treatments.

  4. Motor Neuron Gene Therapy: Lessons from Spinal Muscular Atrophy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew P. Tosolini

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS are severe nervous system diseases characterized by the degeneration of lower motor neurons. They share a number of additional pathological, cellular, and genetic parallels suggesting that mechanistic and clinical insights into one disorder may have value for the other. While there are currently no clinical ALS gene therapies, the splice-switching antisense oligonucleotide, nusinersen, was recently approved for SMA. This milestone was achieved through extensive pre-clinical research and patient trials, which together have spawned fundamental insights into motor neuron gene therapy. We have thus tried to distil key information garnered from SMA research, in the hope that it may stimulate a more directed approach to ALS gene therapy. Not only must the type of therapeutic (e.g., antisense oligonucleotide vs. viral vector be sensibly selected, but considerable thought must be applied to the where, which, what, and when in order to enhance treatment benefit: to where (cell types and tissues must the drug be delivered and how can this be best achieved? Which perturbed pathways must be corrected and can they be concurrently targeted? What dosing regime and concentration should be used? When should medication be administered? These questions are intuitive, but central to identifying and optimizing a successful gene therapy. Providing definitive solutions to these quandaries will be difficult, but clear thinking about therapeutic testing is necessary if we are to have the best chance of developing viable ALS gene therapies and improving upon early generation SMA treatments.

  5. [The pathological TDP-43 protein expression in the central nervous system of motor neuron disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Mingwei; Liu, Jia; Wang, Luning; Gui, Qiuping

    2015-01-01

    To understand pathological TDP-43 features in the central nervous systems of patients with clinically and autopsy confirmed motor neuron disease (MND). The clinical and histopathological features of 4 cases with MND confirmed by autopsy were summarized; anti-ubiquitin (Ub) and anti-TDP-43 immunohistochemical staining were carried out on tissue of brains and spinal cords from 4 cases with MND and 3 control cases without history of neurological disorders. These 4 cases presented with typical clinical and histologic features of MND. Ub-positive inclusions were observed in brain and spinal cord from 3 cases with the Ub-positive inclusions of skein- round- and lewy body- like structures. Strong TDP-43 pathological staining in brain and spinal cord was identified in 2 cases with MND presented as neuronal and glial cytoplasmic inclusions with various shapes. The TDP-43 positive inclusions were widely distributed in the motor cortex of brain and the anterior horn of spinal cord. TDP-43 weak staining in the spinal cord tissue was observed in 1 case with MND. No Ub- and TDP-43 positive inclusions were found in 3 control cases. There is widespread pathological TDP-43 expression in the central nervous system of MND. TDP-43 positive inclusions in MND have relatively high specificity. It is worth further study on their formation mechanism.

  6. Calpain-Dependent Degradation of Nucleoporins Contributes to Motor Neuron Death in a Mouse Model of Chronic Excitotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Kaori; Aida, Tomomi; Nomura, Masatoshi; Takayanagi, Ryoichi; Zeilhofer, Hanns U; Tanaka, Kohichi

    2017-09-06

    Glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity induces neuronal death by altering various intracellular signaling pathways and is implicated as a common pathogenic pathway in many neurodegenerative diseases. In the case of motor neuron disease, there is significant evidence to suggest that the overactivation of AMPA receptors due to deficiencies in the expression and function of glial glutamate transporters GLT1 and GLAST plays an important role in the mechanisms of neuronal death. However, a causal role for glial glutamate transporter dysfunction in motor neuron death remains unknown. Here, we developed a new animal model of excitotoxicity by conditionally deleting astroglial glutamate transporters GLT1 and GLAST in the spinal cords of mice (GLAST +/- /GLT1-cKO). GLAST +/- /GLT1-cKO mice (both sexes) exhibited nuclear irregularity and calpain-mediated degradation of nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), which are responsible for nucleocytoplasmic transport. These abnormalities were associated with progressive motor neuron loss, severe paralysis, and shortened lifespan. The nuclear export inhibitor KPT-350 slowed but did not prevent motor neuron death, whereas long-term treatment of the AMPA receptor antagonist perampanel and the calpain inhibitor SNJ-1945 had more persistent beneficial effects. Thus, NPC degradation contributes to AMPA receptor-mediated excitotoxic motor neuronal death, and preventing NPC degradation has robust protective effects. Normalization of NPC function could be a novel therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative disorders in which AMPA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity is a contributory factor. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Despite glial glutamate transporter dysfunction leading to excitotoxicity has been documented in many neurological diseases, it remains unclear whether its dysfunction is a primary cause or secondary outcome of neuronal death at disease state. Here we show the combined loss of glial glutamate transporters GLT1 and GLAST in spinal cord caused motor

  7. Nitration and Glycation Turn Mature NGF into a Toxic Factor for Motor Neurons: A Role for p75NTRand RAGE Signaling in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-26

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

  8. The neocortex of cetartiodactyls. II. Neuronal morphology of the visual and motor cortices in the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Bob; Harland, Tessa; Kennedy, Deborah; Schall, Matthew; Wicinski, Bridget; Butti, Camilla; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C; Manger, Paul R

    2015-09-01

    The present quantitative study extends our investigation of cetartiodactyls by exploring the neuronal morphology in the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) neocortex. Here, we investigate giraffe primary visual and motor cortices from perfusion-fixed brains of three subadults stained with a modified rapid Golgi technique. Neurons (n = 244) were quantified on a computer-assisted microscopy system. Qualitatively, the giraffe neocortex contained an array of complex spiny neurons that included both "typical" pyramidal neuron morphology and "atypical" spiny neurons in terms of morphology and/or orientation. In general, the neocortex exhibited a vertical columnar organization of apical dendrites. Although there was no significant quantitative difference in dendritic complexity for pyramidal neurons between primary visual (n = 78) and motor cortices (n = 65), there was a significant difference in dendritic spine density (motor cortex > visual cortex). The morphology of aspiny neurons in giraffes appeared to be similar to that of other eutherian mammals. For cross-species comparison of neuron morphology, giraffe pyramidal neurons were compared to those quantified with the same methodology in African elephants and some cetaceans (e.g., bottlenose dolphin, minke whale, humpback whale). Across species, the giraffe (and cetaceans) exhibited less widely bifurcating apical dendrites compared to elephants. Quantitative dendritic measures revealed that the elephant and humpback whale had more extensive dendrites than giraffes, whereas the minke whale and bottlenose dolphin had less extensive dendritic arbors. Spine measures were highest in the giraffe, perhaps due to the high quality, perfusion fixation. The neuronal morphology in giraffe neocortex is thus generally consistent with what is known about other cetartiodactyls.

  9. A high-fat jelly diet restores bioenergetic balance and extends lifespan in the presence of motor dysfunction and lumbar spinal cord motor neuron loss in TDP-43A315T mutant C57BL6/J mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen S. Coughlan

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Transgenic transactivation response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43 mice expressing the A315T mutation under control of the murine prion promoter progressively develop motor function deficits and are considered a new model for the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; however, premature sudden death resulting from intestinal obstruction halts disease phenotype progression in 100% of C57BL6/J congenic TDP-43A315T mice. Similar to our recent results in SOD1G93A mice, TDP-43A315T mice fed a standard pellet diet showed increased 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK activation at postnatal day (P80, indicating elevated energetic stress during disease progression. We therefore investigated the effects of a high-fat jelly diet on bioenergetic status and lifespan in TDP-43A315T mice. In contrast to standard pellet-fed mice, mice fed high-fat jelly showed no difference in AMPK activation up to P120 and decreased phosphorylation of acetly-CoA carboxylase (ACC at early-stage time points. Exposure to a high-fat jelly diet prevented sudden death and extended survival, allowing development of a motor neuron disease phenotype with significantly decreased body weight from P80 onward that was characterised by deficits in Rotarod abilities and stride length measurements. Development of this phenotype was associated with a significant motor neuron loss as assessed by Nissl staining in the lumbar spinal cord. Our work suggests that a high-fat jelly diet improves the pre-clinical utility of the TDP-43A315T model by extending lifespan and allowing the motor neuron disease phenotype to progress, and indicates the potential benefit of this diet in TDP-43-associated ALS.

  10. Neurobiology of axonal transport defects in motor neuron diseases: Opportunities for translational research?

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vos, Kurt J; Hafezparast, Majid

    2017-09-01

    Intracellular trafficking of cargoes is an essential process to maintain the structure and function of all mammalian cell types, but especially of neurons because of their extreme axon/dendrite polarisation. Axonal transport mediates the movement of cargoes such as proteins, mRNA, lipids, membrane-bound vesicles and organelles that are mostly synthesised in the cell body and in doing so is responsible for their correct spatiotemporal distribution in the axon, for example at specialised sites such as nodes of Ranvier and synaptic terminals. In addition, axonal transport maintains the essential long-distance communication between the cell body and synaptic terminals that allows neurons to react to their surroundings via trafficking of for example signalling endosomes. Axonal transport defects are a common observation in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, and mutations in components of the axonal transport machinery have unequivocally shown that impaired axonal transport can cause neurodegeneration (reviewed in El-Kadi et al., 2007, De Vos et al., 2008; Millecamps and Julien, 2013). Here we review our current understanding of axonal transport defects and the role they play in motor neuron diseases (MNDs) with a specific focus on the most common form of MND, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Transcriptional profiling of differentially vulnerable motor neurons at pre-symptomatic stage in the Smn (2b/-) mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Lyndsay M; Beauvais, Ariane; Gibeault, Sabrina; Courtney, Natalie L; Kothary, Rashmi

    2015-09-15

    The term motor neuron disease encompasses a spectrum of disorders in which motor neurons are the lost. Importantly, while some motor neurons are lost early in disease and others remain intact at disease end-stage. This creates a valuable experimental paradigm to investigate the factors that regulate motor neuron vulnerability. Spinal muscular atrophy is a childhood motor neuron disease caused by mutations or deletions in the SMN1 gene. Here, we have performed transcriptional analysis on differentially vulnerable motor neurons from an intermediate mouse model of Spinal muscular atrophy at a presymptomatic time point. We have characterised two differentially vulnerable populations, differing in the level neuromuscular junction loss. Transcriptional analysis on motor neuron cell bodies revealed that reduced Smn levels correlate with a reduction of transcripts associated with the ribosome, rRNA binding, ubiquitination and oxidative phosphorylation. Furthermore, P53 pathway activation precedes neuromuscular junction loss, suggesting that denervation may be a consequence, rather than a cause of motor neuron death in Spinal muscular atrophy. Finally, increased vulnerability correlates with a decrease in the positive regulation of DNA repair. This study identifies pathways related to the function of Smn and associated with differential motor unit vulnerability, thus presenting a number of exciting targets for future therapeutic development.

  13. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the funtional MRI investigation of motor neuron disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongchao eShen

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: To assess the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI in motor neuron disease (MND, a systematic review and voxelwise meta-analysis of studies comparing brain activity in patients with MND and in healthy controls (HCs was conducted to identify common findings across studies.Methods: A search for related papers published in English and Chinese was performed in Ovid Medline, Pubmed and Embase database. Voxelwise meta-analysis was performed using signed differential mapping.Results: The findings from 55 fMRI studies on MND were tabulated, and some common findings were discussed in further details. Conclusions: These findings are preliminary, sometimes even contradictory, and do not allow a complete understanding of the functional alterations in MND. However, we documented reliable findings that MND is not confined to the motor system, but is a multisystem disorder involving extra-motor cortex areas, causing cognitive dysfunction and deficits in socioemotional and sensory processing pathways.

  14. 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.

  15. The advantage of flexible neuronal tunings in neural network models for motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Plasmalogens rescue neuronal cell death through an activation of AKT and ERK survival signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md Shamim Hossain

    Full Text Available Neuronal cells are susceptible to many stresses, which will cause the apoptosis and neurodegenerative diseases. The precise molecular mechanism behind the neuronal protection against these apoptotic stimuli is necessary for drug discovery. In the present study, we have found that plasmalogens (Pls, which are glycerophospholipids containing vinyl ether linkage at sn-1 position, can protect the neuronal cell death upon serum deprivation. Interestingly, caspse-9, but not caspase-8 and caspase-12, was cleaved upon the serum starvation in Neuro-2A cells. Pls treatments effectively reduced the activation of caspase-9. Furthermore, cellular signaling experiments showed that Pls enhanced phosphorylation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K-dependent serine/threonine-specific protein kinase AKT and extracellular-signal-regulated kinases ERK1/2. PI3K/AKT inhibitor LY294002 and MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK inhibitor U0126 treatments study clearly indicated that Pls-mediated cell survival was dependent on the activation of these kinases. In addition, Pls also inhibited primary mouse hippocampal neuronal cell death induced by nutrient deprivation, which was associated with the inhibition of caspase-9 and caspase-3 cleavages. It was reported that Pls content decreased in the brain of the Alzheimer's patients, which indicated that the reduction of Pls content could endanger neurons. The present findings, taken together, suggest that Pls have an anti-apoptotic action in the brain. Further studies on precise mechanisms of Pls-mediated protection against cell death may lead us to establish a novel therapeutic approach to cure neurodegenerative disorders.

  17. TGF-betas and their roles in the regulation of neuron survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsicker, Klaus; Krieglstein, Kerstin

    2002-01-01

    Transforming growth factor-betas (TGF-betas) are a still growing superfamily of cytokines with widespread distribution and diverse biological functions. They fall into several subfamilies including the TGF-betas 1, 2, and 3, the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), the growth/differentiation factors (GDFs), activins and inhibins, and the members of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family. Following a brief description of their general roles and signaling in development, maintenance of homeostasis, and disease, we shall focus on their distribution in the CNS and their involvement in regulating neuron survival and death.

  18. Motor neuron disease, TDP-43 pathology, and memory deficits in mice expressing ALS-FTD-linked UBQLN2 mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Nhat T T; Chang, Lydia; Kovlyagina, Irina; Georgiou, Polymnia; Safren, Nathaniel; Braunstein, Kerstin E; Kvarta, Mark D; Van Dyke, Adam M; LeGates, Tara A; Philips, Thomas; Morrison, Brett M; Thompson, Scott M; Puche, Adam C; Gould, Todd D; Rothstein, Jeffrey D; Wong, Philip C; Monteiro, Mervyn J

    2016-11-22

    Missense mutations in ubiquilin 2 (UBQLN2) cause ALS with frontotemporal dementia (ALS-FTD). Animal models of ALS are useful for understanding the mechanisms of pathogenesis and for preclinical investigations. However, previous rodent models carrying UBQLN2 mutations failed to manifest any sign of motor neuron disease. Here, we show that lines of mice expressing either the ALS-FTD-linked P497S or P506T UBQLN2 mutations have cognitive deficits, shortened lifespans, and develop motor neuron disease, mimicking the human disease. Neuropathologic analysis of the mice with end-stage disease revealed the accumulation of ubiquitinated inclusions in the brain and spinal cord, astrocytosis, a reduction in the number of hippocampal neurons, and reduced staining of TAR-DNA binding protein 43 in the nucleus, with concomitant formation of ubiquitin + inclusions in the cytoplasm of spinal motor neurons. Moreover, both lines displayed denervation muscle atrophy and age-dependent loss of motor neurons that correlated with a reduction in the number of large-caliber axons. By contrast, two mouse lines expressing WT UBQLN2 were mostly devoid of clinical and pathological signs of disease. These UBQLN2 mouse models provide valuable tools for identifying the mechanisms underlying ALS-FTD pathogenesis and for investigating therapeutic strategies to halt disease.

  19. Neuroglobin-deficiency exacerbates Hif1A and c-FOS response, but does not affect neuronal survival during severe hypoxia in vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hundahl, Christian Ansgar; Luuk, Hendrik; Ilmjärv, Sten

    2011-01-01

    Neuroglobin (Ngb), a neuron-specific globin that binds oxygen in vitro, has been proposed to play a key role in neuronal survival following hypoxic and ischemic insults in the brain. Here we address whether Ngb is required for neuronal survival following acute and prolonged hypoxia in mice...

  20. Treatment for cramps in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldinger, Reto; Katzberg, Hans Dieter; Weber, Markus

    2012-04-18

    Cramps are painful, involuntary muscle contractions. They commonly affect people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (ALS/MND) at all stages of the disease. To date, the treatment of muscle cramps in ALS has been largely empirical without any evidence from randomised controlled trials. To systematically assess the effect of interventions on muscle cramps as a primary or secondary endpoint or adverse event in people with ALS/MND. We searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Disease Group Specialized Register (14 February 2011), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Issue 1, 2011 in The Cochrane Library), MEDLINE (January 1966 to January 2011) and EMBASE (January 1980 to January 2011) and reference lists of articles searched using the terms motor neuron disease, motor neurone disease, motoneuron disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We contacted authors of trials for further information. We included all randomised and quasi-randomised trials of oral medications in people with ALS which assessed cramps as a primary or secondary outcome measure or as an adverse event. We also included trials using subcutaneous or intravenous medications or physical therapy. All authors applied the selection criteria and assessed study quality independently, and all authors performed independent data extraction. Twenty studies including 4789 participants were identified. Only one trial, of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), assessed cramps as the primary endpoint. Thirteen studies assessed cramps as a secondary endpoint. The medications comprised vitamin E, baclofen, riluzole, L-threonine, xaliproden, indinavir, and memantine. Six studies assessed cramps as an adverse event. The medications comprised creatine, gabapentin, dextromethorphan, quinidine, and lithium. In all 20 studies no favourable effect for the treatment of cramps in ALS/MND could be demonstrated, but many studies were underpowered to draw a definite conclusion. A meta-analysis of two small

  1. Spinal motor neuron neuroaxonal spheroids in chronic aluminum neurotoxicity contain phosphatase-resistant high molecular weight neurofilament (NFH).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaytan-Garcia, S; Kim, H; Strong, M J

    1996-04-15

    It has previously been shown that a single intracisternal inoculum of AlCl3 in young adult New Zealand white rabbits will induce a dose-dependent phosphatase resistance of high molecular weight neurofilament protein (NFH) that is proportionate to the extent of neurofilamentous inclusion formation (Strong and Jakowec, 1994). To determine if the potential for dissolution of aluminum-induced neurofilamentous inclusions was dependent on the degree of NFH phosphatase resistance, we have examined NFH phosphatase sensitivity in a reversible chronic model of aluminum neurotoxicity. Rabbits receiving repeated intracisternal inoculums of 100 microgram AlCl3 at 28 day intervals until day 267 develop spinal motor neuron perikaryal and neuroaxonal neurofilamentous aggregates in a stereotypic, dose-dependent fashion. In the rabbits receiving inoculums until day 156 with survival until day 267 without further aluminum exposure, neuroaxonal spheroids remained prominent while perikaryal inclusions largely resolved. Immunoreactivity to a monoclonal antibody recognizing phosphorylated NFH (SMI 31) was abolished in perikaryal aggregates at each time interval by dephosphorylation with bovine alkaline phosphatase. However, neuroaxonal spheroids maintained their immunoreactivity. Using time-course dephosphorylation studies of spinal cord homogenates, we observed a significant reduction in the rate of dephosphorylation of NFH following 267 days of AlCl3 exposure (P < 0.05). These observations suggest that neuroaxonal spheroids contain phosphatase-resistant NFH isoforms and that the potential for resolution of intraneuronal neurofilamentous inclusions correlates with the susceptibility of NF within these inclusions to enzymatic dephosphorylation.

  2. Progressive Motor Neuron Pathology and the Role of Astrocytes in a Human Stem Cell Model of VCP-Related ALS

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    Claire E. Hall

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons (MNs and astrocytes (ACs are implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, but their interaction and the sequence of molecular events leading to MN death remain unresolved. Here, we optimized directed differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs into highly enriched (> 85% functional populations of spinal cord MNs and ACs. We identify significantly increased cytoplasmic TDP-43 and ER stress as primary pathogenic events in patient-specific valosin-containing protein (VCP-mutant MNs, with secondary mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Cumulatively, these cellular stresses result in synaptic pathology and cell death in VCP-mutant MNs. We additionally identify a cell-autonomous VCP-mutant AC survival phenotype, which is not attributable to the same molecular pathology occurring in VCP-mutant MNs. Finally, through iterative co-culture experiments, we uncover non-cell-autonomous effects of VCP-mutant ACs on both control and mutant MNs. This work elucidates molecular events and cellular interplay that could guide future therapeutic strategies in ALS.

  3. MicroRNA Profiling Reveals Marker of Motor Neuron Disease in ALS Models.

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    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

  4. Survival End Points for Huntington Disease Trials Prior to a Motor Diagnosis.

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    Long, Jeffrey D; Mills, James A; Leavitt, Blair R; Durr, Alexandra; Roos, Raymund A; Stout, Julie C; Reilmann, Ralf; Landwehrmeyer, Bernhard; Gregory, Sarah; Scahill, Rachael I; Langbehn, Douglas R; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2017-11-01

    Predictive genetic testing in Huntington disease (HD) enables therapeutic trials in HTT gene expansion mutation carriers prior to a motor diagnosis. Progression-free survival (PFS) is the composite of a motor diagnosis or a progression event, whichever comes first. To determine if PFS provides feasible sample sizes for trials with mutation carriers who have not yet received a motor diagnosis. This study uses data from the 2-phase, longitudinal cohort studies called Track and from a longitudinal cohort study called the Cooperative Huntington Observational Research Trial (COHORT). Track had 167 prediagnosis mutation carriers and 156 noncarriers, whereas COHORT had 366 prediagnosis mutation carriers and noncarriers. Track studies were conducted at 4 sites in 4 countries (Canada, France, England, and the Netherlands) from which data were collected from January 17, 2008, through November 17, 2014. The COHORT was conducted at 38 sites in 3 countries (Australia, Canada, and the United States) from which data were collected from February 14, 2006, through December 31, 2009. Results from the Track data were externally validated with data from the COHORT. The required sample size was estimated for a 2-arm prediagnosis clinical trial. Data analysis took place from May 1, 2016, to June 10, 2017. The primary end point is PFS. Huntington disease progression events are defined for the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale total motor score, total functional capacity, symbol digit modalities test, and Stroop word test. Of Track's 167 prediagnosis mutation carriers, 93 (55.6%) were women, and the mean (SD) age was 40.06 (8.92) years; of the 156 noncarriers, 87 (55.7%) were women, and the mean (SD) age was 45.58 (10.30) years. Of the 366 COHORT participants, 229 (62.5%) were women and the mean (SD) age was 42.21 (12.48) years. The PFS curves of the Track mutation carriers showed good external validity with the COHORT mutation carriers after adjusting for initial progression. For

  5. 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

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

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    Ji-Yon Kim

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Pro-survival role for Parkinson's associated gene DJ-1 revealed in trophically impaired dopaminergic neurons.

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    Liviu Aron

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The mechanisms underlying the selective death of substantia nigra (SN neurons in Parkinson disease (PD remain elusive. While inactivation of DJ-1, an oxidative stress suppressor, causes PD, animal models lacking DJ-1 show no overt dopaminergic (DA neuron degeneration in the SN. Here, we show that aging mice lacking DJ-1 and the GDNF-receptor Ret in the DA system display an accelerated loss of SN cell bodies, but not axons, compared to mice that only lack Ret signaling. The survival requirement for DJ-1 is specific for the GIRK2-positive subpopulation in the SN which projects exclusively to the striatum and is more vulnerable in PD. Using Drosophila genetics, we show that constitutively active Ret and associated Ras/ERK, but not PI3K/Akt, signaling components interact genetically with DJ-1. Double loss-of-function experiments indicate that DJ-1 interacts with ERK signaling to control eye and wing development. Our study uncovers a conserved interaction between DJ-1 and Ret-mediated signaling and a novel cell survival role for DJ-1 in the mouse. A better understanding of the molecular connections between trophic signaling, cellular stress and aging could uncover new targets for drug development in PD.

  8. 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.

  9. Localization and expression of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) in postmortem sciatic nerve from patients with motor neuron disease and diabetic neuropathy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, D.A. [Univ. Medical Center, New Orleans, LA (United States); Gross, L.; Wittrock, D.A.; Windebank, A.J. [Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (United States)

    1996-08-01

    Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is thought to play an important role in the maintenance of the mature motor system. The factor is found most abundantly in myelinating Schwann cells in the adult sciatic nerve. Lack of neuronal growth factors has been proposed as one possible etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Growth factor replacement therapies are currently being evaluated as a treatment for motor neuron disease. In this report we determined whether the expression of CNTF in sciatic nerve differed in patients with motor neuron disease compared to controls or patients with another form of axonopathy. We identified 8 patients (7 with ALS and 1 with SMA) with motor neuron disease and 6 patients with diabetic motor neuropathy who had autopsy material available. Immunoperoxidase staining showed reduced CNTF expression in nerves of patients with motor neuron disease but not in patients with diabetic motor neuropathy. Decreased CNTF appears be associated with primary motor neuron disease rather than a generalized process of axon loss. This result supports suggestions that CNTF deficiency may be an important factor in the development of motor neuron disease. 20 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

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

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    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.

  11. Type I vs type II spiral ganglion neurons exhibit differential survival and neuritogenesis during cochlear development

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    Housley Gary D

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The mechanisms that consolidate neural circuitry are a major focus of neuroscience. In the mammalian cochlea, the refinement of spiral ganglion neuron (SGN innervation to the inner hair cells (by type I SGNs and the outer hair cells (by type II SGNs is accompanied by a 25% loss of SGNs. Results We investigated the segregation of neuronal loss in the mouse cochlea using β-tubulin and peripherin antisera to immunolabel all SGNs and selectively type II SGNs, respectively, and discovered that it is the type II SGN population that is predominately lost within the first postnatal week. Developmental neuronal loss has been attributed to the decline in neurotrophin expression by the target hair cells during this period, so we next examined survival of SGN sub-populations using tissue culture of the mid apex-mid turn region of neonatal mouse cochleae. In organotypic culture for 48 hours from postnatal day 1, endogenous trophic support from the organ of Corti proved sufficient to maintain all type II SGNs; however, a large proportion of type I SGNs were lost. Culture of the spiral ganglion as an explant, with removal of the organ of Corti, led to loss of the majority of both SGN sub-types. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF added as a supplement to the media rescued a significant proportion of the SGNs, particularly the type II SGNs, which also showed increased neuritogenesis. The known decline in BDNF production by the rodent sensory epithelium after birth is therefore a likely mediator of type II neuron apoptosis. Conclusion Our study thus indicates that BDNF supply from the organ of Corti supports consolidation of type II innervation in the neonatal mouse cochlea. In contrast, type I SGNs likely rely on additional sources for trophic support.

  12. Motor neuron disease mortality rates in New Zealand 1992-2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Maize C; Chancellor, Andrew; Charleston, Alison; Dragunow, Mike; Scotter, Emma L

    2018-05-01

    We determined the mortality rates of motor neuron disease (MND) in New Zealand over 22 years from 1992 to 2013. Previous studies have found an unusually high and/or increasing incidence of MND in certain regions of New Zealand; however, no studies have examined MND rates nationwide to corroborate this. Death certificate data coded G12.2 by International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 coding, or 335.2 by ICD-9 coding were obtained. These codes specify amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, progressive bulbar palsy, or other motor neuron diseases as the underlying cause of death. Mortality rates for MND deaths in New Zealand were age-standardized to the European Standard Population and compared with rates from international studies that also examined death certificate data and were age-standardized to the same standard population. The age-standardized mortality from MND in New Zealand was 2.3 per 100,000 per year from 1992-2007 and 2.8 per 100,000 per year from 2008-2013. These rates were 3.3 and 4.0 per 100,000 per year, respectively, for the population 20 years and older. The increase in rate between these two time periods was likely due to changes in MND death coding from 2008. Contrary to a previous regional study of MND incidence, nationwide mortality rates did not increase steadily over this time period once aging was accounted for. However, New Zealand MND mortality rate was higher than comparable studies we examined internationally (mean 1.67 per 100,000 per year), suggesting that further analysis of MND burden in New Zealand is warranted.

  13. Combined exposure to simulated microgravity and acute or chronic radiation reduces neuronal network integrity and cell survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benotmane, Rafi

    During orbital or interplanetary space flights, astronauts are exposed to cosmic radiations and microgravity. This study aimed at assessing the effect of these combined conditions on neuronal network density, cell morphology and survival, using well-connected mouse cortical neuron cultures. To this end, neurons were exposed to acute low and high doses of low LET (X-rays) radiation or to chronic low dose-rate of high LET neutron irradiation (Californium-252), under the simulated microgravity generated by the Random Positioning Machine (RPM, Dutch space). High content image analysis of cortical neurons positive for the neuronal marker βIII-tubulin unveiled a reduced neuronal network integrity and connectivity, and an altered cell morphology after exposure to acute/chronic radiation or to simulated microgravity. Additionally, in both conditions, a defect in DNA-repair efficiency was revealed by an increased number of γH2AX-positive foci, as well as an increased number of Annexin V-positive apoptotic neurons. Of interest, when combining both simulated space conditions, we noted a synergistic effect on neuronal network density, neuronal morphology, cell survival and DNA repair. Furthermore, these observations are in agreement with preliminary gene expression data, revealing modulations in cytoskeletal and apoptosis-related genes after exposure to simulated microgravity. In conclusion, the observed in vitro changes in neuronal network integrity and cell survival induced by space simulated conditions provide us with mechanistic understanding to evaluate health risks and the development of countermeasures to prevent neurological disorders in astronauts over long-term space travels. Acknowledgements: This work is supported partly by the EU-FP7 projects CEREBRAD (n° 295552)

  14. Convergent Transcriptional Programs Regulate cAMP Levels in C. elegans GABAergic Motor Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Bin; Wang, Xiaolin; Wei, Shuai; Fu, Tao; Dzakah, Emmanuel Enoch; Waqas, Ahmed; Walthall, Walter W; Shan, Ge

    2017-10-23

    Both transcriptional regulation and signaling pathways play crucial roles in neuronal differentiation and plasticity. Caenorhabditis elegans possesses 19 GABAergic motor neurons (MNs) called D MNs, which are divided into two subgroups: DD and VD. DD, but not VD, MNs reverse their cellular polarity in a developmental process called respecification. UNC-30 and UNC-55 are two critical transcription factors in D MNs. By using chromatin immunoprecipitation with CRISPR/Cas9 knockin of GFP fusion, we uncovered the global targets of UNC-30 and UNC-55. UNC-30 and UNC-55 are largely converged to regulate over 1,300 noncoding and coding genes, and genes in multiple biological processes, including cAMP metabolism, are co-regulated. Increase in cAMP levels may serve as a timing signal for respecification, whereas UNC-55 regulates genes such as pde-4 to keep the cAMP levels low in VD. Other genes modulating DD respecification such as lin-14, irx-1, and oig-1 are also found to affect cAMP levels. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Hox Proteins Coordinate Motor Neuron Differentiation and Connectivity Programs through Ret/Gfrα Genes

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    Catarina Catela

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The accuracy of neural circuit assembly relies on the precise spatial and temporal control of synaptic specificity determinants during development. Hox transcription factors govern key aspects of motor neuron (MN differentiation; however, the terminal effectors of their actions are largely unknown. We show that Hox/Hox cofactor interactions coordinate MN subtype diversification and connectivity through Ret/Gfrα receptor genes. Hox and Meis proteins determine the levels of Ret in MNs and define the intrasegmental profiles of Gfrα1 and Gfrα3 expression. Loss of Ret or Gfrα3 leads to MN specification and innervation defects similar to those observed in Hox mutants, while expression of Ret and Gfrα1 can bypass the requirement for Hox genes during MN pool differentiation. These studies indicate that Hox proteins contribute to neuronal fate and muscle connectivity through controlling the levels and pattern of cell surface receptor expression, consequently gating the ability of MNs to respond to limb-derived instructive cues.

  16. Directed induction of functional motor neuron-like cells from genetically engineered human mesenchymal stem cells.

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    Hwan-Woo Park

    Full Text Available Cell replacement using stem cells is a promising therapeutic approach to treat degenerative motor neuron (MN disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injury. Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs are a desirable cell source for autologous cell replacement therapy to treat nervous system injury due to their plasticity, low immunogenicity, and a lower risk of tumor formation than embryonic stem cells. However, hMSCs are inefficient with regards to differentiating into MN-like cells. To solve this limitation, we genetically engineered hMSCs to express MN-associated transcription factors, Olig2 and Hb9, and then treat the hMSCs expressing Olig2 and Hb9 with optimal MN induction medium (MNIM. This method of induction led to higher expression (>30% of total cells of MN markers. Electrophysiological data revealed that the induced hMSCs had the excitable properties of neurons and were able to form functional connections with muscle fibers in vitro. Furthermore, when the induced hMSCs were transplanted into an injured organotypic rat spinal cord slice culture, an ex vivo model of spinal cord injury, they exhibited characteristics of MNs. The data strongly suggest that induced Olig2/Hb9-expressing hMSCs were clearly reprogrammed and directed toward a MN-like lineage. We propose that methods to induce Olig2 and Hb9, followed by further induction with MNIM have therapeutic potential for autologous cell replacement therapy to treat degenerative MN disorders.

  17. Functional neuromuscular junctions formed by embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.

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    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.

  18. Exploring psychotic symptoms: a comparison of motor related neuronal activation during and after acute psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rains, Luke Sheridan; Fallica, Gregory; O'Daly, Owen; Gilleen, James; Giampetro, Vincent; Morley, Lucy; Shergill, Sukhi

    2012-08-07

    Delusions and hallucinations are classic positive symptoms of schizophrenia. A contemporary cognitive theory called the 'forward output model' suggests that the misattribution of self-generated actions may underlie some of these types of symptoms, such as delusions of control - the experience of self-generated action being controlled by an external agency. In order to examine the validity of this suggestion, we performed a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study examining neuronal activation associated with motor movement during acute psychosis. We studied brain activation using fMRI during a motor task in 11 patients with schizophrenia and 9 healthy controls. The patient group was tested at two time points separated by 6-8 weeks. At initial testing, the patient group had a mean Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale score of 56.3, and showed significantly increased activation within the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL) compared to controls. Patients reported significantly decreased positive symptoms at 6-8 week followup and IPL activation had returned to normal. Our results demonstrate that first-rank positive symptoms are associated with hyperactivation in the secondary somatosensory cortex (IPL). These findings lend further credence to the theory that a dysfunction in the sensory feedback system located in the IPL, and which is thought to underlie our sense of agency, may contribute to the aetiology of delusions of control.

  19. Exploring psychotic symptoms: a comparison of motor related neuronal activation during and after acute psychosis

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    Sheridan Rains Luke

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Delusions and hallucinations are classic positive symptoms of schizophrenia. A contemporary cognitive theory called the ‘forward output model’ suggests that the misattribution of self-generated actions may underlie some of these types of symptoms, such as delusions of control – the experience of self-generated action being controlled by an external agency. In order to examine the validity of this suggestion, we performed a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study examining neuronal activation associated with motor movement during acute psychosis. Methods We studied brain activation using fMRI during a motor task in 11 patients with schizophrenia and 9 healthy controls. The patient group was tested at two time points separated by 6–8 weeks. Results At initial testing, the patient group had a mean Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale score of 56.3, and showed significantly increased activation within the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL compared to controls. Patients reported significantly decreased positive symptoms at 6–8 week followup and IPL activation had returned to normal. Our results demonstrate that first-rank positive symptoms are associated with hyperactivation in the secondary somatosensory cortex (IPL. Conclusions These findings lend further credence to the theory that a dysfunction in the sensory feedback system located in the IPL, and which is thought to underlie our sense of agency, may contribute to the aetiology of delusions of control.

  20. The beneficial effects of berries on cognition, motor behaviour and neuronal function in ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Bielinski, Donna F; Lau, Francis C; Willis, Lauren M; Carey, Amanda N; Joseph, James A

    2015-11-28

    Previously, it has been shown that strawberry (SB) or blueberry (BB) supplementations, when fed to rats from 19 to 21 months of age, reverse age-related decrements in motor and cognitive performance. We have postulated that these effects may be the result of a number of positive benefits of the berry polyphenols, including decreased stress signalling, increased neurogenesis, and increased signals involved in learning and memory. Thus, the present study was carried out to examine these mechanisms in aged animals by administering a control, 2 % SB- or 2 % BB-supplemented diet to aged Fischer 344 rats for 8 weeks to ascertain their effectiveness in reversing age-related deficits in behavioural and neuronal function. The results showed that rats consuming the berry diets exhibited enhanced motor performance and improved cognition, specifically working memory. In addition, the rats supplemented with BB and SB diets showed increased hippocampal neurogenesis and expression of insulin-like growth factor 1, although the improvements in working memory performance could not solely be explained by these increases. The diverse polyphenolics in these berry fruits may have additional mechanisms of action that could account for their relative differences in efficacy.

  1. High Content Analysis of Hippocampal Neuron-Astrocyte Co-cultures Shows a Positive Effect of Fortasyn Connect on Neuronal Survival and Postsynaptic Maturation

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    Anne-Lieke F. van Deijk

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal and synaptic membranes are composed of a phospholipid bilayer. Supplementation with dietary precursors for phospholipid synthesis –docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, uridine and choline– has been shown to increase neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis both in vivo and in vitro. A role for multi-nutrient intervention with specific precursors and cofactors has recently emerged in early Alzheimer's disease, which is characterized by decreased synapse numbers in the hippocampus. Moreover, the medical food Souvenaid, containing the specific nutrient combination Fortasyn Connect (FC, improves memory performance in early Alzheimer's disease patients, possibly via maintaining brain connectivity. This suggests an effect of FC on synapses, but the underlying cellular mechanism is not fully understood. Therefore, we investigated the effect of FC (consisting of DHA, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, uridine, choline, phospholipids, folic acid, vitamins B12, B6, C and E, and selenium, on synaptogenesis by supplementing it to primary neuron-astrocyte co-cultures, a cellular model that mimics metabolic dependencies in the brain. We measured neuronal developmental processes using high content screening in an automated manner, including neuronal survival, neurite morphology, as well as the formation and maturation of synapses. Here, we show that FC supplementation resulted in increased numbers of neurons without affecting astrocyte number. Furthermore, FC increased postsynaptic PSD95 levels in both immature and mature synapses. These findings suggest that supplementation with FC to neuron-astrocyte co-cultures increased both neuronal survival and the maturation of postsynaptic terminals, which might aid the functional interpretation of FC-based intervention strategies in neurological diseases characterized by neuronal loss and impaired synaptic functioning.

  2. Doublecortin (DCX is not essential for survival and differentiation of newborn neurons in the adult mouse dentate gyrus

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    Jagroop eDhaliwal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the adult brain, expression of the microtubule-associated protein Doublecortin (DCX is associated with neural progenitor cells (NPCs that give rise to new neurons in the dentate gyrus. Many studies quantify the number of DCX-expressing cells as a proxy for the level of adult neurogenesis, yet no study has determined the effect of removing DCX from adult hippocampal NPCs. Here, we use a retroviral and inducible mouse transgenic approach to either knockdown or knockout DCX from adult NPCs in the dentate gyrus and examine how this affects cell survival and neuronal maturation. Our results demonstrate that shRNA-mediated knockdown of DCX or Cre-mediated recombination in floxed DCX mice does not alter hippocampal neurogenesis and does not change the neuronal fate of the NPCs. Together these findings show that the survival and maturation of adult-generated hippocampal neurons does not require DCX.

  3. Unravelling the differential functions and regulation of striatal neuron sub-populations in motor control, reward and motivational processes

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    Sabrina eEna

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The striatum, the major input structure of the basal ganglia, is critically involved in motor control and learning of habits and skills, and is also involved in motivational and reward processes. The dorsal striatum, caudate-putamen, is primarily implicated in motor functions whereas the ventral striatum, the nucleus accumbens, is essential for motivation and drug reinforcement. Severe basal ganglia dysfunction occurs in movement disorders as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, and in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and drug addiction. The striatum is essentially composed of GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs that are output neurons giving rise to the so-called direct and indirect pathways and are targets of the cerebral cortex and mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons. Although the involvement of striatal sub-areas in motor control and motivation has been thoroughly characterized, major issues remained concerning the specific and respective functions of the two MSNs sub-populations, D2R-striatopallidal (dopamine D2 receptor-positive and D1R-striatonigral (dopamine D1 receptor-positive neurons, as well as their specific regulation. Here, we review recent advances that gave new insight in the understanding of the differential roles of striatopallidal and striatonigral neurons in the basal ganglia circuit. We discuss innovative techniques developed in the last decade which allowed a much precise evaluation of molecular pathways implicated in motivational processes and functional roles of striatopallidal and striatonigral neurons in motor control and in the establishment of reward-associated behaviour.

  4. ApoSOD1 lacking dismutase activity neuroprotects motor neurons exposed to beta-methylamino-L-alanine through the Ca2+/Akt/ERK1/2 prosurvival pathway

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    Petrozziello, Tiziana; Secondo, Agnese; Tedeschi, Valentina; Esposito, Alba; Sisalli, MariaJosè; Scorziello, Antonella; Di Renzo, Gianfranco; Annunziato, Lucio

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe human adult-onset neurodegenerative disease affecting lower and upper motor neurons. In >20% of cases, the familial form of ALS is caused by mutations in the gene encoding Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Interestingly, administration of wild-type SOD1 to SOD1G93A transgenic rats ameliorates motor symptoms through an unknown mechanism. Here we investigated whether the neuroprotective effects of SOD1 are due to the Ca2+-dependent activation of such prosurvival signaling pathway and not to its catalytic activity. To this aim, we also examined the mechanism of neuroprotective action of ApoSOD1, the metal-depleted state of SOD1 that lacks dismutase activity, in differentiated motor neuron-like NSC-34 cells and in primary motor neurons exposed to the cycad neurotoxin beta-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA). Preincubation of ApoSOD1 and SOD1, but not of human recombinant SOD1G93A, prevented cell death in motor neurons exposed to L-BMAA. Moreover, ApoSOD1 elicited ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation in motor neurons through an early increase of intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). Accordingly, inhibition of ERK1/2 by siMEK1 and PD98059 counteracted ApoSOD1- and SOD1-induced neuroprotection. Similarly, transfection of the dominant-negative form of Akt in NSC-34 motor neurons and treatment with the selective PI3K inhibitor LY294002 prevented ApoSOD1- and SOD1-mediated neuroprotective effects in L-BMAA-treated motor neurons. Furthermore, ApoSOD1 and SOD1 prevented the expression of the two markers of L-BMAA-induced ER stress GRP78 and caspase-12. Collectively, our data indicate that ApoSOD1, which is devoid of any catalytic dismutase activity, exerts a neuroprotective effect through an early activation of Ca2+/Akt/ERK1/2 pro-survival pathway that, in turn, prevents ER stress in a neurotoxic model of ALS. PMID:28085149

  5. 5-HT2A receptor-mediated excitation on cerebellar fastigial nucleus neurons and promotion of motor behaviors in rats.

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    Zhang, Chang-Zheng; Zhuang, Qian-Xing; He, Ye-Cheng; Li, Guang-Ying; Zhu, Jing-Ning; Wang, Jian-Jun

    2014-07-01

    It has long been known that serotonergic afferent inputs are the third largest afferent population in the cerebellum after mossy fibers and climbing fibers. However, the role of serotonergic inputs in cerebellar-mediated motor behaviors is still largely unknown. Here, we show that only 5-HT2A receptors among the 5-HT2 receptor subfamily are expressed and localized in the rat cerebellar fastigial nucleus (FN), one of the ultimate outputs of the spinocerebellum precisely regulating trunk and limb movements. Remarkably, selective activation of 5-HT2A receptors evokes a postsynaptic excitatory effect on FN neurons in a concentration-dependent manner in vitro, which is in accord with the 5-HT-elicited excitation on the same tested neurons. Furthermore, selective 5-HT2A receptor antagonist M100907 concentration-dependently blocks the excitatory effects of 5-HT and TCB-2, a 5-HT2A receptor agonist, on FN neurons. Consequently, microinjection of 5-HT into bilateral FNs significantly promotes rat motor performances on accelerating rota-rod and balance beam and narrows stride width rather than stride length in locomotion gait. All these motor behavioral effects are highly consistent with those of selective activation of 5-HT2A receptors in FNs, and blockage of the component of 5-HT2A receptor-mediated endogenous serotonergic inputs in FNs markedly attenuates these motor performances. All these results demonstrate that postsynaptic 5-HT2A receptors greatly contribute to the 5-HT-mediated excitatory effect on cerebellar FN neurons and promotion of the FN-related motor behaviors, suggesting that serotonergic afferent inputs may actively participate in cerebellar motor control through their direct modulation on the final output of the spinocerebellum.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

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    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.

  8. Control of mitochondrial pH by uncoupling protein 4 in astrocytes promotes neuronal survival

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    Lambert, Hélène Perreten

    2014-09-18

    Brain activity is energetically costly and requires a steady and highly regulated flow of energy equivalents between neural cells. It is believed that a substantial share of cerebral glucose, the major source of energy of the brain, will preferentially be metabolized in astrocytes via aerobic glycolysis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether uncoupling proteins (UCPs), located in the inner membrane of mitochondria, play a role in setting up the metabolic response pattern of astrocytes. UCPs are believed to mediate the transmembrane transfer of protons, resulting in the uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation from ATP production. UCPs are therefore potentially important regulators of energy fluxes. The main UCP isoforms expressed in the brain are UCP2, UCP4, and UCP5. We examined in particular the role of UCP4 in neuron-astrocyte metabolic coupling and measured a range of functional metabolic parameters including mitochondrial electrical potential and pH, reactive oxygen species production, NAD/NADH ratio, ATP/ADP ratio, CO2 and lactate production, and oxygen consumption rate. In brief, we found that UCP4 regulates the intramitochondrial pH of astrocytes, which acidifies as a consequence of glutamate uptake, with the main consequence of reducing efficiency of mitochondrial ATP production. The diminished ATP production is effectively compensated by enhancement of glycolysis. This nonoxidative production of energy is not associated with deleterious H2O2 production. We show that astrocytes expressing more UCP4 produced more lactate, which is used as an energy source by neurons, and had the ability to enhance neuronal survival.

  9. Retinoblastoma protein controls growth, survival and neuronal migration in human cerebral organoids.

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    Matsui, Takeshi; Nieto-Estévez, Vanesa; Kyrychenko, Sergii; Schneider, Jay W; Hsieh, Jenny

    2017-03-15

    The tumor suppressor retinoblastoma protein (RB) regulates S-phase cell cycle entry via E2F transcription factors. Knockout (KO) mice have shown that RB plays roles in cell migration, differentiation and apoptosis, in developing and adult brain. In addition, the RB family is required for self-renewal and survival of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Since little is known about the role of RB in human brain development, we investigated its function in cerebral organoids differentiated from gene-edited hESCs lacking RB. We show that RB is abundantly expressed in neural stem and progenitor cells in organoids at 15 and 28 days of culture. RB loss promoted S-phase entry in DCX + cells and increased apoptosis in Sox2 + neural stem and progenitor cells, and in DCX + and Tuj1 + neurons. Associated with these cell cycle and pro-apoptotic effects, we observed increased CCNA2 and BAX gene expression, respectively. Moreover, we observed aberrant Tuj1 + neuronal migration in RB-KO organoids and upregulation of the gene encoding VLDLR, a receptor important in reelin signaling. Corroborating the results in RB-KO organoids in vitro , we observed ectopically localized Tuj1 + cells in RB-KO teratomas grown in vivo Taken together, these results identify crucial functions for RB in the cerebral organoid model of human brain development. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. Selected Coordination Motor Abilities of Students of the University of Physical Education During Survival Training

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    Tomczak Andrzej

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Taking up emergency actions when fighting various types of natural disasters requires appropriate psychophysical preparation. Thanks to the development of technique, coordination motor abilities have gained greater importance than physical strength and endurance in such activities. The purpose of the present work was to assess the impact of 36 hours of survival activities and sleep deprivation on selected coordination motor abilities in students of the University of Physical Education. Material and methods. The study involved 12 male students of the University of Physical Education in Warsaw, specialising in “Physical Education in Uniformed Services”. The age of the participants was 21.0 ± 0.74 years, their body height was 179.5 ± 5.6 cm, and their body mass was 74.6 ± 8.0 kg. The assessment was performed based on the following coordination motor ability tests: a test measuring the differentiation of the use of forearm muscle strength, a running motor adjustment test, and a measurement of divided attention. A test involving shooting from a pneumatic gun and a measurement of the maximal force of the forearm were also carried out. Tests and trials were conducted before training (P1, after 24 hours of training (P2, after completing the training - that is after 36 hours of training (P3, and after 12 hours of rest (P4. During the training, the participants completed 12 km on foot, paddled for approximately 6 hours, rowed kayaks for about 4 hours, and performed survival tasks. Results. The analysis of the results of the study of maximal force and the ability to differentiate forearm muscle strength showed that the forearm muscle strength remained at the same level during the entire training. The ability to differentiate forearm muscle strength deteriorated after night training. There were no statistically significant differences in the results of the running motor adjustment tests and in shooting performance between individual

  11. Zonisamide Enhances Neurite Elongation of Primary Motor Neurons and Facilitates Peripheral Nerve Regeneration In Vitro and in a Mouse Model.

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    Hideki Yagi

    Full Text Available No clinically applicable drug is currently available to enhance neurite elongation after nerve injury. To identify a clinically applicable drug, we screened pre-approved drugs for neurite elongation in the motor neuron-like NSC34 cells. We found that zonisamide, an anti-epileptic and anti-Parkinson's disease drug, promoted neurite elongation in cultured primary motor neurons and NSC34 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The neurite-scratch assay revealed that zonisamide enhanced neurite regeneration. Zonisamide was also protective against oxidative stress-induced cell death of primary motor neurons. Zonisamide induced mRNA expression of nerve growth factors (BDNF, NGF, and neurotrophin-4/5, and their receptors (tropomyosin receptor kinase A and B. In a mouse model of sciatic nerve autograft, intragastric administration of zonisamide for 1 week increased the size of axons distal to the transected site 3.9-fold. Zonisamide also improved the sciatic function index, a marker for motor function of hindlimbs after sciatic nerve autograft, from 6 weeks after surgery. At 8 weeks after surgery, zonisamide was protective against denervation-induced muscle degeneration in tibialis anterior, and increased gene expression of Chrne, Colq, and Rapsn, which are specifically expressed at the neuromuscular junction. We propose that zonisamide is a potential therapeutic agent for peripheral nerve injuries as well as for neuropathies due to other etiologies.

  12. Gastrointestinal-projecting neurones in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus exhibit direct and viscerotopically organized sensitivity to orexin

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    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

  13. Prion-like propagation of mutant SOD1 misfolding and motor neuron disease spread along neuroanatomical pathways.

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    Ayers, Jacob I; Fromholt, Susan E; O'Neal, Veronica M; Diamond, Jeffrey H; Borchelt, David R

    2016-01-01

    A hallmark feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is that symptoms appear to spread along neuroanatomical pathways to engulf the motor nervous system, suggesting a propagative toxic entity could be involved in disease pathogenesis. Evidence for such a propagative entity emerged recently in studies using mice that express G85R-SOD1 mutant protein fused to YFP (G85R-SOD1:YFP). Heterozygous G85R-SOD1:YFP transgenic mice do not develop ALS symptoms out to 20 months of age. However, when newborns are injected with spinal homogenates from paralyzed mutant SOD1 mice, the G85R-SOD1:YFP mice develop paralysis as early as 6 months of age. We now demonstrate that injecting spinal homogenates from paralyzed mutant SOD1 mice into the sciatic nerves of adult G85R-SOD1:YFP mice produces a spreading motor neuron disease within 3.0 ± 0.2 months of injection. The formation of G85R-SOD1:YFP inclusion pathology spreads slowly in this model system; first appearing in the ipsilateral DRG, then lumbar spinal cord, before spreading rostrally up to the cervical cord by the time mice develop paralysis. Reactive astrogliosis mirrors the spread of inclusion pathology and motor neuron loss is most severe in lumbar cord. G85R-SOD1:YFP inclusion pathology quickly spreads to discrete neurons in the brainstem and midbrain that are synaptically connected to spinal neurons, suggesting a trans-synaptic propagation of misfolded protein. Taken together, the data presented here describe the first animal model that recapitulates the spreading phenotype observed in patients with ALS, and implicates the propagation of misfolded protein as a potential mechanism for the spreading of motor neuron disease.

  14. [The motor organization of cerebral cortex and the role of the mirror neuron system. Clinical impact for rehabilitation].

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    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.

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

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    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.

  16. X-linked spinal muscular atrophy in mice caused by autonomous loss of ATP7A in the motor neuron.

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    Hodgkinson, Victoria L; Dale, Jeffery M; Garcia, Michael L; Weisman, Gary A; Lee, Jaekwon; Gitlin, Jonathan D; Petris, Michael J

    2015-06-01

    ATP7A is a copper-transporting P-type ATPase that is essential for cellular copper homeostasis. Loss-of-function mutations in the ATP7A gene result in Menkes disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder resulting in seizures, hypotonia and failure to thrive, due to systemic copper deficiency. Most recently, rare missense mutations in ATP7A that do not impact systemic copper homeostasis have been shown to cause X-linked spinal muscular atrophy type 3 (SMAX3), a distal hereditary motor neuropathy. An understanding of the mechanistic and pathophysiological basis of SMAX3 is currently lacking, in part because the disease-causing mutations have been shown to confer both loss- and gain-of-function properties to ATP7A, and because there is currently no animal model of the disease. In this study, the Atp7a gene was specifically deleted in the motor neurons of mice, resulting in a degenerative phenotype consistent with the clinical features in affected patients with SMAX3, including the progressive deterioration of gait, age-dependent muscle atrophy, denervation of neuromuscular junctions and a loss of motor neuron cell bodies. Taken together, these data reveal autonomous requirements for ATP7A that reveal essential roles for copper in the maintenance and function of the motor neuron, and suggest that SMAX3 is caused by a loss of ATP7A function that specifically impacts the spinal motor neuron. Copyright © 2015 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. [Assessment of upper motor neuron dysfunction by triple stimulation technique in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease].

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    Xu, Y S; Zhang, S; Liu, X X; Sun, A P; Fan, D S

    2016-06-07

    To investigate the presence of upper motor neuron dysfunction in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) by triple stimulation technique (TST) to provide evidence for gene diagnosis. A total of 65 CMT patients confirmed by genetic testing from Peking University Third Hospital between August 2013 and August 2015, underwent physical examination and routine electrophysiological tests and triple stimulation technique. The TST combined transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex with peripheral collision studies. The results were expressed by the TST amplitude ratio (TST test/ TST control). Based on the result of physical examination and the ratio of TST, the function of upper motor neuron was assessed. All of the CMT patients had typical presentations and were confirmed genetically. Hyperreflexia, Babinski sign and muscular hypertonia were discovered in lower limbs in 7 CMT patients, while 2 patients complicated with hyperreflexia and Hoffmann sign in upper limbs. TST amplitude ratio was significantly altered in 10 patients, including 5 patients with pyramid sign: hyperreflexia, Babinski sign and muscular hypertonia was discovered in lower limbs while 2 patients complicated with hyperreflexia and Hoffmann sign in upper limbs. The disease-causing mutations were: MFN2 mutations in 5 patients, 1 patient with BSCL2 mutation, 3 patients with GJB1 mutations and 1 patient with GDAP mutation. In summary, 18.5% (12 patients) of the 65 CMT patients had upper motor neuron dysfunction based on the result of physical examination and the ratio of TST. Upper motor neuron dysfunction may be found in CMT patients, which may provide clues for the testing of disease-causing mutations.

  18. 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.

  19. Globular Glial Mixed Four Repeat Tau and TDP-43 Proteinopathy with Motor Neuron Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia.

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    Takeuchi, Ryoko; Toyoshima, Yasuko; Tada, Mari; Tanaka, Hidetomo; Shimizu, Hiroshi; Shiga, Atsushi; Miura, Takeshi; Aoki, Kenju; Aikawa, Akane; Ishizawa, Shin; Ikeuchi, Takeshi; Nishizawa, Masatoyo; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be accompanied by frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We report a case of glial mixed tau and TDP-43 proteinopathies in a Japanese patient diagnosed clinically as having ALS-D. Autopsy revealed loss of lower motor neurons and degeneration of the pyramidal tracts in the spinal cord and brain stem. The brain showed frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), the most severe neuronal loss and gliosis being evident in the precentral gyrus. Although less severe, such changes were also observed in other brain regions, including the basal ganglia and substantia nigra. AT8 immunostaining revealed that predominant occurrence of astrocytic tau lesions termed globular astrocytic inclusions (GAIs) was a feature of the affected regions. These GAIs were Gallyas-Braak negative. Neuronal and oligodendrocytic tau lesions were comparatively scarce. pS409/410 immunostaining also revealed similar neuronal and glial TDP-43 lesions. Interestingly, occasional co-localization of tau and TDP-43 was evident in the GAIs. Immunoblot analyses revealed band patterns characteristic of a 4-repeat (4R) tauopathy, corticobasal degeneration and a TDP-43 proteinopathy, ALS/FTLD-TDP Type B. No mutations were found in the MAPT or TDP-43 genes. We consider that this patient harbored a distinct, sporadic globular glial mixed 4R tau and TDP-43 proteinopathy associated with motor neuron disease and FTD. © 2015 International Society of Neuropathology.

  20. Erythropoietin attenuates motor neuron programmed cell death in a burn animal model.

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    Sheng-Hua Wu

    Full Text Available Burn-induced neuromuscular dysfunction may contribute to long-term morbidity; therefore, it is imperative to develop novel treatments. The present study investigated whether erythropoietin (EPO administration attenuates burn-induced motor neuron apoptosis and neuroinflammatory response. To validate our hypothesis, a third-degree hind paw burn rat model was developed by bringing the paw into contact with a metal surface at 75°C for 10 s. A total of 24 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to four groups: Group A, sham-control; Group B, burn-induced; Group C, burn + single EPO dose (5000 IU/kg i.p. at D0; and Group D, burn + daily EPO dosage (3000 IU/kg/day i.p. at D0-D6. Two treatment regimens were used to evaluate single versus multiple doses treatment effects. Before sacrifice, blood samples were collected for hematological parameter examination. The histological analyses of microglia activation, iNOS, and COX-2 in the spinal cord ventral horn were performed at week 1 post-burn. In addition, we examined autophagy changes by biomarkers of LC3B and ATG5. The expression of BCL-2, BAX, cleaved caspase-3, phospho-AKT, and mTOR was assessed simultaneously through Western blotting. EPO administration after burn injury attenuated neuroinflammation through various mechanisms, including the reduction of microglia activity as well as iNOS and COX-2 expression in the spinal cord ventral horn. In addition, the expression of phospho-AKT, mTOR and apoptotic indicators, such as BAX, BCL-2, and cleaved caspase-3, was modulated. Furthermore, the activity of burn-induced autophagy in the spinal cord ventral horn characterized by the expression of autophagic biomarkers, LC3B and ATG5, was reduced after EPO administration. The present results indicate that EPO inhibits the AKT-mTOR pathway to attenuate burn-induced motor neuron programmed cell death and microglia activation. EPO can modulate neuroinflammation and programmed cell death and may be a

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia-Jie Teoh

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

  2. Neural circuit mediating tentacle withdrawal in Helix aspersa, with specific reference to the competence of the motor neuron C3.

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    Prescott, S A; Gill, N; Chase, R

    1997-12-01

    The tentacle withdrawal reflex in the terrestrial snail Helix aspersa involves bending and retraction of the tentacles. When elicited by mechanical stimulation of the tentacle, the reflex is mediated by the conjoint action of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The neural circuit underlying the stimulus-response pathways was studied in vitro using a combination of morphological and physiological techniques. Sensory input caused by stimulation of the nose (situated at the superior tentacle's tip) first passes into the tentacle ganglion. Motor fibers are likely excited in the tentacle ganglion to form a peripheral stimulus-response pathway. While still in the tentacle ganglion, the excitation caused by a brief stimulus is transformed into a prolonged neuronal discharge. This modified signal travels, via the olfactory nerve, to the cerebral ganglion where it excites the giant motor neuron C3 along with numerous smaller motor neurons. Afferent input to C3 also arrives from several other sources. The afferent convergence is followed by a marked divergence of C3's output. C3 innervates the muscles mediating both tentacle retraction and tentacle bending through multiple cerebral nerves. Thus C3's pattern of effector innervation allows this single cell to elicit and coordinate both components of the tentacle withdrawal reflex. Lesion experiments indicate that C3 is responsible for 85% of the central contribution to tentacle retraction, though C3 is actually sufficient to mediate maximal muscle contraction as evidenced by intracellular stimulation. In addition to C3, three groups of putative central motor neurons were identified through nerve backfills and nerve recordings. The additional motor neurons mediating tentacle retraction are important for maximizing the rate of muscle contraction, whereas those mediating tentacle bending are likely more important for nondefensive behaviors. These neurons are arranged in parallel with C3, but unlike C3, each of these

  3. A developmental approach of imitation to study the emergence of mirror neurons in a sensory-motor controller

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    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.

  4. Coconut oil protects cortical neurons from amyloid beta toxicity by enhancing signaling of cell survival pathways.

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    Nafar, F; Clarke, J P; Mearow, K M

    2017-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that has links with other conditions that can often be modified by dietary and life-style interventions. In particular, coconut oil has received attention as having potentially having benefits in lessening the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease. In a recent report, we showed that neuron survival in cultures co-treated with coconut oil and Aβ was rescued compared to cultures exposed only to Aβ. Here we investigated treatment with Aβ for 1, 6 or 24 h followed by addition of coconut oil for a further 24 h, or treatment with coconut oil for 24 h followed by Aβ exposure for various periods. Neuronal survival and several cellular parameters (cleaved caspase 3, synaptophysin labeling and ROS) were assessed. In addition, the influence of these treatments on relevant signaling pathways was investigated with Western blotting. In terms of the treatment timing, our data indicated that coconut oil rescues cells pre-exposed to Aβ for 1 or 6 h, but is less effective when the pre-exposure has been 24 h. However, pretreatment with coconut oil prior to Aβ exposure showed the best outcomes. Treatment with octanoic or lauric acid also provided protection against Aβ, but was not as effective as the complete oil. The coconut oil treatment reduced the number of cells with cleaved caspase and ROS labeling, as well as rescuing the loss of synaptophysin labeling observed with Aβ treatment. Treatment with coconut oil, as well as octanoic, decanoic and lauric acids, resulted in a modest increase in ketone bodies compared to controls. The biochemical data suggest that Akt and ERK activation may contribute to the survival promoting influence of coconut oil. This was supported by observations that a PI3-Kinase inhibitor blocked the rescue effect of CoOil on Aβ amyloid toxicity. Further studies into the mechanisms of action of coconut oil and its constituent medium chain fatty acids are warranted

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

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    Ken Ikeda

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

  6. Selective mitochondrial depletion, apoptosis resistance, and increased mitophagy in human Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2A motor neurons.

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    Rizzo, Federica; Ronchi, Dario; Salani, Sabrina; Nizzardo, Monica; Fortunato, Francesco; Bordoni, Andreina; Stuppia, Giulia; Del Bo, Roberto; Piga, Daniela; Fato, Romana; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo P; Corti, Stefania

    2016-10-01

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2A (CMT2A) is an inherited peripheral neuropathy caused by mutations in MFN2, which encodes a mitochondrial membrane protein involved in mitochondrial network homeostasis. Because MFN2 is expressed ubiquitously, the reason for selective motor neuron (MN) involvement in CMT2A is unclear. To address this question, we generated MNs from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) obtained from the patients with CMT2A as an in vitro disease model. CMT2A iPSC-derived MNs (CMT2A-MNs) exhibited a global reduction in mitochondrial content and altered mitochondrial positioning without significant differences in survival and axon elongation. RNA sequencing profiles and protein studies of key components of the apoptotic executioner program (i.e. p53, BAX, caspase 8, cleaved caspase 3, and the anti-apoptotic marker Bcl2) demonstrated that CMT2A-MNs are more resistant to apoptosis than wild-type MNs. Exploring the balance between mitochondrial biogenesis and the regulation of autophagy-lysosome transcription, we observed an increased autophagic flux in CMT2A-MNs that was associated with increased expression of PINK1, PARK2, BNIP3, and a splice variant of BECN1 that was recently demonstrated to be a trigger for mitochondrial autophagic removal. Taken together, these data suggest that the striking reduction in mitochondria in MNs expressing mutant MFN2 is not the result of impaired biogenesis, but more likely the consequence of enhanced mitophagy. Thus, these pathways represent possible novel molecular therapeutic targets for the development of an effective cure for this disease. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Immunoglobulin Fc gamma receptor promotes immunoglobulin uptake, immunoglobulin-mediated calcium increase, and neurotransmitter release in motor neurons

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    Mohamed, Habib A.; Mosier, Dennis R.; Zou, Ling L.; Siklos, Laszlo; Alexianu, Maria E.; Engelhardt, Jozsef I.; Beers, David R.; Le, Wei-dong; Appel, Stanley H.

    2002-01-01

    Receptors for the Fc portion of immunoglobulin G (IgG; FcgammaRs) facilitate IgG uptake by effector cells as well as cellular responses initiated by IgG binding. In earlier studies, we demonstrated that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient IgG can be taken up by motor neuron terminals and transported retrogradely to the cell body and can alter the function of neuromuscular synapses, such as increasing intracellular calcium and spontaneous transmitter release from motor axon terminals after passive transfer. In the present study, we examined whether FcgammaR-mediated processes can contribute to these effects of ALS patient immunoglobulins. F(ab')(2) fragments (which lack the Fc portion) of ALS patient IgG were not taken up by motor axon terminals and were not retrogradely transported. Furthermore, in a genetically modified mouse lacking the gamma subunit of the FcR, the uptake of whole ALS IgG and its ability to enhance intracellular calcium and acetylcholine release were markedly attenuated. These data suggest that FcgammaRs appear to participate in IgG uptake into motor neurons as well as IgG-mediated increases in intracellular calcium and acetylcholine release from motor axon terminals. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. Endotoxin induces a delayed loss of TH-IR neurons in substantia nigra and motor behavioral deficits.

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    Liu, Yuxin; Qin, Liya; Wilson, Belinda; Wu, Xuefei; Qian, Li; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte; Crews, Fulton T; Hong, Jau-Shyong

    2008-09-01

    We have previously reported that a single injection of endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 5mg/kg, i.p.), causes a delayed and progressive loss of TH-IR neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) in C57BL/six male mice. In this study, we determined sex differences and behavioral deficits accompanying the loss of TH-IR neurons in response to peripheral LPS injection. A single injection of LPS (5mg/kg, i.p.) failed to produce any loss of TH-IR neurons in the SN of female mice over a 12-month period. To determine if multiple-injections were required, female mice received five injections of LPS (5mg/kg, i.p.) at either weekly or monthly intervals. Behavioral motor ability and TH-IR neuronal loss were determined after the first injection of LPS. We found significant differences in both behavioral activities and neuronal loss between these two injection paradigms. Between 7 and 20 months after the first injection of LPS, progressive behavioral changes, measured by rotor-rod and open-field activities, and neuronal loss in SN were observed in monthly injected, but not in weekly injected mice. In addition, reduced rotor-rod ability in monthly injected mice were restored following treatment of l-dopa/carbidopa (30 mg/3mg/kg), i.p.). Approximately 40 and 50% loss of TH-IR neurons at 9 and 20 months, respectively, was observed after exposure to LPS, suggesting that the behavioral deficit is related to loss of dopamine function in the nigra-striatal pathway. More intense immuno-staining of alpha-synuclein and inflammatory markers were detected in brain sections exposed to LPS. In conclusion, these results show that multi-LPS monthly injections can induce a delayed and progressive loss of TH-IR neurons and motor deficits which resemble the progressive nature of Parkinson's disease. Further, the present study reveals a clear sex difference: female mice are more resistant to LPS than male mice. Repeated monthly LPS injections are required to cause both motor behavioral deficits and DA

  9. 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.

  10. Concentrations of trace minerals in the spinal cord of horses with equine motor neuron disease.

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    Polack, E W; King, J M; Cummings, J F; Mohammed, H O; Birch, M; Cronin, T

    2000-06-01

    To compare concentrations of trace minerals in the spinal cord of horses with equine motor neuron disease (EMND) with those of horses without neurologic disease (control horses). 24 horses with EMND and 22 control horses. Spinal cord trace mineral concentrations in horses with EMND and control horses were analyzed by use of inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, zinc, aluminum, cobalt, and chromium), atomic absorption spectrophotometry (lead and cadmium), flameless atomic absorption (mercury), and fluorometry (selenium). Copper concentration was significantly higher in the spinal cord of horses with EMND, compared with control horses; spinal cord concentrations of all other trace minerals were similar between groups. Among spinal cord trace minerals investigated in the study, only copper concentrations were significantly different between horses with EMND and horses without neurologic disease, which suggests that copper may be involved in the pathogenesis of EMND. An hypothesis of oxidative injury in this disease is supported by the finding of increased copper concentrations in the spinal cord and by low vitamin E concentrations reported by other researchers.

  11. The preferred priorities for care document in motor neurone disease: views of bereaved relatives and carers.

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    Preston, Harriet; Fineberg, Iris Cohen; Callagher, Pauline; Mitchell, Douglas J

    2012-03-01

    Increasing emphasis is being placed on the need for advanced care planning (ACP) at the end of life. The Preferred Priorities for Care (PPC) document is a patient-held record promoted by the End of Life Care Strategy as an ACP tool to promote discussion and communication amongst patients, family and health care providers. However, little research exists into evaluating its effectiveness or exploring patient and carer views, particularly in non-malignant disease. Because the majority of patients with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) lose verbal communication, early discussion of patients' wishes and preferences, a central aspect of ACP, is vital. This study examined MND patients' bereaved relatives' experiences of using the PPC document and their perceptions about its impact on end-of-life care using qualitative methods. Key findings adding to existing literature were that the PPC document was felt to have little impact on end-of-life care amongst this patient group and that there was a perceived lack of awareness of the document amongst health care professionals (HCPs), in particular hospital staff. This was felt to limit the effectiveness of the document. This has obvious implications for practice, looking at awareness amongst HCPs and ways to improve this situation, particularly in light of the current pressures to meet patient preferences at the end of life.

  12. Touching moments: phenomenological sociology and the haptic dimension in the lived experience of motor neurone disease.

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    Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn; Pavey, Amanda

    2014-07-01

    Currently, there is a relative research lacuna in phenomenological research into the lived experience of motor neurone disease. Based on a sociological research project in the UK, involving 42 participants diagnosed with MND, this article explores the potential of a phenomenological sociology for analysing experiences of this drastically life-limiting neurological disorder. Calls have been made for sociological researchers to analyse more fully and deeply the sensory dimension of the lived body, and this article also contributes to this newly developing body of literature. While the social sciences have been accused of a high degree of ocularcentrism, here we take forward the literature by specifically focusing upon the haptic dimension, given that touch - and particularly the loss of key elements of the haptic dimension- emerged as salient in MND patients' accounts. To illustrate the potential of our phenomenologically inspired theoretical perspective, we consider two specific haptic themes: (i) being out of touch: the loss of certain forms of touch within MND and (ii) unwelcome touch by medical staff. © 2013 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2013 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. The zebrafish mutation m865 affects formation of dopaminergic neurons and neuronal survival, and maps to a genetic interval containing the sepiapterin reductase locus.

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    Ettl, Anne-Kathrin; Holzschuh, Jochen; Driever, Wolfgang

    2006-12-01

    The zebrafish mutation m865 was isolated during a large-scale mutagenesis screen aimed at identifying genes involved in the development and maintenance of subgroups of neurons in the zebrafish central nervous system. The phenotype of m865 mutant embryos shows defects in the development of dopaminergic neurons in the pretectum and of retinal amacrine cells, as well as abnormal caudal dopaminergic cluster in the diencephalon. The effects of the mutation appear not to be restricted to dopaminergic neurons, as development of other neurotransmitter systems (serotonergic and cholinergic) is impaired as well. Furthermore, increased apoptosis is localized to the m865 mutant retina and in the optic tectum starting at 24hpf, and may lead to the observed reduced size of the mutant head and eye. Early patterning is not affected in m865 mutant embryos, and expression of genes known to play a role in dopaminergic cell differentiation is normal except for reduced expression of nurr1 in the mutant retina. Thus the m865 mutation does not specifically affect dopaminergic neuron development. m865 was genetically mapped to linkage group 5, and the critical genomic interval could be narrowed down to a region of 110 kb, containing four candidate genes. For one of these candidate genes, sepiapterin reductase (spr), a requirement for neuronal survival has previously been implicated, including dopaminergic neurons. Identification of the mutated gene should lead to a more detailed understanding of the defects observed in m865 mutant embryos, and potentially could enhance the understanding of the development and maintenance of specific dopaminergic neuronal populations.

  14. Ebi/AP-1 suppresses pro-apoptotic genes expression and permits long-term survival of Drosophila sensory neurons.

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    Young-Mi Lim

    Full Text Available Sensory organs are constantly exposed to physical and chemical stresses that collectively threaten the survival of sensory neurons. Failure to protect stressed neurons leads to age-related loss of neurons and sensory dysfunction in organs in which the supply of new sensory neurons is limited, such as the human auditory system. Transducin β-like protein 1 (TBL1 is a candidate gene for ocular albinism with late-onset sensorineural deafness, a form of X-linked age-related hearing loss. TBL1 encodes an evolutionarily conserved F-box-like and WD40 repeats-containing subunit of the nuclear receptor co-repressor/silencing mediator for retinoid and thyroid hormone receptor and other transcriptional co-repressor complexes. Here we report that a Drosophila homologue of TBL1, Ebi, is required for maintenance of photoreceptor neurons. Loss of ebi function caused late-onset neuronal apoptosis in the retina and increased sensitivity to oxidative stress. Ebi formed a complex with activator protein 1 (AP-1 and was required for repression of Drosophila pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic genes expression. These results suggest that Ebi/AP-1 suppresses basal transcription levels of apoptotic genes and thereby protects sensory neurons from degeneration.