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Sample records for survival motor neurons

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Mst-1 deficiency promotes post-traumatic spinal motor neuron survival via enhancement of autophagy flux.

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    Zhang, Mengting; Tao, Wufan; Yuan, Zengqiang; Liu, Yaobo

    2017-10-01

    The mammalian Ste20-like kinase 1 (Mst-1) is a serine-threonine kinase and a component of the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway, which reacts to pathologically relevant stress and regulates cell death. However, little is known about its role in spinal cord injury. Here, we found that p-Mst-1, the activated form of Mst-1, was induced in the post-traumatic spinal motor neurons. In vivo evidence demonstrated that Mst-1 deficiency promoted post-traumatic spinal motor neuron survival, Basso mouse scale scores, and synapse survival. Moreover, we found that autophagosome formation and autolysosome degradation enhanced by Mst-1 deficiency were crucial to attenuate the death of injured spinal motor neurons. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that Mst-1 deficiency promotes post-traumatic spinal motor neuron survival via enhancement of autophagy flux. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  4. Deletions of the survival motor neuron gene in unaffected siblings of patients with spinal muscular atrophy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cobben, J. M.; van der Steege, G.; Grootscholten, P.; de Visser, M.; Scheffer, H.; Buys, C. H.

    1995-01-01

    DNA studies in 103 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients from The Netherlands revealed homozygosity for a survival motor neuron (SMN) deletion in 96 (93%) of 103. Neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein deletions were found in 38 (37%) of 103 and occurred most frequently in SMA type I. SMN deletions

  5. 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.

  6. Edited GluR2, a gatekeeper for motor neurone survival?

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    Buckingham, S D; Kwak, S; Jones, A K; Blackshaw, S E; Sattelle, D B

    2008-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive degenerative disorder of motor neurones. Although the genetic basis of familial forms of ALS has been well explored, the molecular basis of sporadic ALS is less well understood. Recent evidence has linked sporadic ALS with the failure to edit key residues in ionotropic glutamate receptors, resulting in excessive influx of calcium ions into motor neurones which in turn triggers cell death. Here we suggest that edited AMPA glutamate (GluR2) receptor subunits serve as gatekeepers for motor neurone survival.

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

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    Rebecca Borg

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

  8. Congenital cytoplasmic body myopathy with survival motor neuron gene deletion or Werdnig-Hoffmann disease

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    Vajsar, J; Balslev, T; Ray, P N

    1998-01-01

    bodies. However, molecular analysis revealed a homozygous deletion of exons 7 and 8 of the survival motor neuron (SMN) gene, suggesting that the patient had Werdnig-Hoffmann disease. We recommend that every patient with congenital cytoplasmic body myopathy be tested for SMN gene deletion....

  9. 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.

  10. Targeted assessment of lower motor neuron burden is associated with survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Devine, Matthew S; Ballard, Emma; O'Rourke, Peter; Kiernan, Matthew C; Mccombe, Pamela A; Henderson, Robert D

    2016-01-01

    Estimating survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is challenging due to heterogeneity in clinical features of disease and a lack of suitable markers that predict survival. Our aim was to determine whether scoring of upper or lower motor neuron weakness is associated with survival. With this objective, 161 ALS subjects were recruited from two tertiary referral centres. Scoring of upper (UMN) and lower motor neuron (LMN) signs was performed, in addition to a brief questionnaire. Subjects were then followed until the censorship date. Univariate analysis was performed to identify variables associated with survival to either non-invasive ventilation (NIV) or death, which were then further characterized using Cox regression. Results showed that factors associated with reduced survival included older age, bulbar and respiratory involvement and shorter diagnostic delay (all p score was strongly associated with time to NIV or death (p ≤0.001) whereas UMN scores were poorly associated with survival. In conclusion, our results suggest that, early in disease assessment and in the context of other factors (age, bulbar, respiratory status), the burden of LMN weakness provides an accurate estimate of outcome. Such a scoring system could predict prognosis, and thereby aid in selection of patients for clinical trials.

  11. Prolonged Minocycline Treatment Impairs Motor Neuronal Survival and Glial Function in Organotypic Rat Spinal Cord Cultures

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    Pinkernelle, Josephine; Fansa, Hisham; Ebmeyer, Uwe; Keilhoff, Gerburg

    2013-01-01

    Background Minocycline, a second-generation tetracycline antibiotic, exhibits anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in various experimental models of neurological diseases, such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injury. However, conflicting results have prompted a debate regarding the beneficial effects of minocycline. Methods In this study, we analyzed minocycline treatment in organotypic spinal cord cultures of neonatal rats as a model of motor neuron survival and regeneration after injury. Minocycline was administered in 2 different concentrations (10 and 100 µM) at various time points in culture and fixed after 1 week. Results Prolonged minocycline administration decreased the survival of motor neurons in the organotypic cultures. This effect was strongly enhanced with higher concentrations of minocycline. High concentrations of minocycline reduced the number of DAPI-positive cell nuclei in organotypic cultures and simultaneously inhibited microglial activation. Astrocytes, which covered the surface of the control organotypic cultures, revealed a peripheral distribution after early minocycline treatment. Thus, we further analyzed the effects of 100 µM minocycline on the viability and migration ability of dispersed primary glial cell cultures. We found that minocycline reduced cell viability, delayed wound closure in a scratch migration assay and increased connexin 43 protein levels in these cultures. Conclusions The administration of high doses of minocycline was deleterious for motor neuron survival. In addition, it inhibited microglial activation and impaired glial viability and migration. These data suggest that especially high doses of minocycline might have undesired affects in treatment of spinal cord injury. Further experiments are required to determine the conditions for the safe clinical administration of minocycline in spinal cord injured patients. PMID:23967343

  12. DELETIONS OF THE SURVIVAL MOTOR-NEURON GENE IN UNAFFECTED SIBLINGS OF PATIENTS WITH SPINAL MUSCULAR-ATROPHY

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    COBBEN, JM; VANDERSTEEGE, G; GROOTSCHOLTEN, P; DEVISSER, M; SCHEFFER, H; BUYS, CHCM

    1995-01-01

    DNA studies in 103 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients from The Netherlands revealed homozygosity for a survival motor neuron (SMN) deletion in 96 (93%) of 103. Neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein deletions were found in 38 (37%) of 103 and occurred most frequently in SMA type I. SMN deletions

  13. 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

  14. A novel cell immunoassay to measure survival of motor neurons protein in blood cells

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    Fischbeck Kenneth H

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The motor neuron degenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality and is caused by mutations in the survival of motor neurons (SMN gene that reduce the expression levels of the SMN protein. A major goal of current therapeutic approaches is to increase SMN levels in SMA patients. The purpose of this study was to develop a reliable assay to measure SMN protein levels from peripheral blood samples. Methods We developed a novel cell immunoassay to quantitatively measure SMN levels from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs using a single anti-SMN antibody. Results SMN levels determined by the cell immunoassay are comparable to levels determined by Western blot, but in contrast, the immunoassay does not involve cell lysis, requires a small amount of patient material, and can be done on a large number of samples simultaneously. SMN levels from PBMCs are not influenced by cell type heterogeneity. Conclusion SMN levels measured from total PBMCs provide an important snapshot of SMN protein expression, which should be a useful aid in SMA diagnosis, and a surrogate marker of efficacy of treatment in SMA clinical trials.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. Copy Number Variations in the Survival Motor Neuron Genes: Implications for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

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    Matthew E R Butchbach

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, a leading genetic cause of infant death worldwide, is an early-onset, autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of spinal α-motor neurons. This loss of α-motor neurons is associated with muscle weakness and atrophy. SMA can be classified into five clinical grades based on age of onset and severity of the disease. Regardless of clinical grade, proximal SMA results from the loss or mutation of SMN1 (survival motor neuron 1 on chromosome 5q13. In humans a large tandem chromosomal duplication has lead to a second copy of the SMN gene locus known as SMN2. SMN2 is distinguishable from SMN1 by a single nucleotide difference that disrupts an exonic splice enhancer in exon 7. As a result, most of SMN2 mRNAs lack exon 7 (SMNΔ7 and produce a protein that is both unstable and less than fully functional. Although only 10-20% of the SMN2 gene product is fully functional, increased genomic copies of SMN2 inversely correlates with disease severity among individuals with SMA. Because SMN2 copy number influences disease severity in SMA, there is prognostic value in accurate measurement of SMN2 copy number from patients being evaluated for SMA. This prognostic value is especially important given that SMN2 copy number is now being used as an inclusion criterion for SMA clinical trials. In addition to SMA, copy number variations (CNVs in the SMN genes can affect the clinical severity of other neurological disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and progressive muscular atrophy (PMA. This review will discuss how SMN1 and SMN2 CNVs are detected and why accurate measurement of SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers is relevant for SMA and other neurodegenerative diseases.

  2. Phosphatase and tensin homologue/protein kinase B pathway linked to motor neuron survival in human superoxide dismutase 1-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Kirby, Janine; Ning, Ke; Ferraiuolo, Laura; Heath, Paul R; Ismail, Azza; Kuo, Su-Wei; Valori, Chiara F; Cox, Laura; Sharrack, Basil; Wharton, Stephen B; Ince, Paul G; Shaw, Pamela J; Azzouz, Mimoun

    2011-02-01

    Gene expression profiling has been used previously with spinal cord homogenates and laser capture microdissected motor neurons to determine the mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, while cellular and animal model work has focused on superoxide dismutase 1-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the transcriptional profile of human mutant superoxide dismutase 1 motor neurons has remained undiscovered. The aim of this study was to apply gene expression profiling to laser captured motor neurons from human superoxide dismutase 1-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neurologically normal control cases, in order to determine those pathways dysregulated in human superoxide dismutase 1-related neurodegeneration and to establish potential pathways suitable for therapeutic intervention. Identified targets were then validated in cultured cell models using lentiviral vectors to manipulate the expression of key genes. Microarray analysis identified 1170 differentially expressed genes in spinal cord motor neurons from superoxide dismutase 1-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, compared with controls. These genes encoded for proteins in multiple functional categories, including those involved in cell survival and cell death. Further analysis determined that multiple genes involved in the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase signalling cascade were differentially expressed in motor neurons that survived the disease process. Functional experiments in cultured cells and primary motor neurons demonstrate that manipulating this pathway by reducing the expression of a single upstream target, the negative phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase regulator phosphatase and tensin homology, promotes a marked pro-survival effect. Therefore, these data indicate that proteins in the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase pathway could represent a target for therapeutic manipulation in motor neuron degeneration.

  3. 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...

  4. Cognition and behaviour in motor neurone disease.

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    Lillo, Patricia; Hodges, John R

    2010-12-01

    Motor neurone disease has traditionally been considered a pure motor syndrome which spares aspects of cognition and behaviour, although in recent years it has been suggested that up to 50% of patients with motor neurone disease may develop frontal dysfunction which, in some cases, is severe enough to reach criteria for frontotemporal dementia. We review the cognitive and behavioural changes in motor neurone disease emphasizing the recent advances. A major advance in pathology has been the recent discovery of TDP-43 and FUS inclusions as the key components in cases of motor neurone disease, frontotemporal dementia-motor neurone disease and some cases with pure frontotemporal dementia. In addition, mutations in TARDBP and FUS genes have been reported in recent years. Longitudinal studies showed that progression of cognitive impairment over the course of motor neurone disease appears to be mild and occurs only in a proportion of motor neurone disease patients. The presence of cognitive impairment seems to be related to a faster disease and a shorter survival. Motor neurone disease is a multi-system disorder which overlaps with frontotemporal dementia. Behavioural and cognitive changes appear to occur in a subset of patients with motor neurone disease, but the cause of this variability remains unclear.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger D. Madison

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: 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. Background: 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. Methods: 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? Conclusion: 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Large-Scale Production of Adeno-Associated Viral Vector Serotype-9 Carrying the Human Survival Motor Neuron Gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashnonejad, Afrooz; Chermahini, Gholamhossein Amini; Li, Shaoyong; Ozkinay, Ferda; Gao, Guangping

    2016-01-01

    Recombinant AAV (rAAV) vectors are a suitable vector for gene therapy studies because of desired characteristics such as low immunogenicity, transfection of non-dividing and dividing cells, and long-term expression of the transgene. In this study, the large-scale production of single stranded (ss) and self-complementary (sc) AAV9 carrying the human survival motor neuron (SMN) gene (AAV9-SMN) suitable for in vivo gene therapy studies of SMA was described. SMN cDNA has been cloned into pAAV-CB6-PI and pAAVsc-CB6-PI with and without its specific UTRs, respectively. Both plasmids bear CMV enhancer/beta-actin (CB) promoter, CMV IE enhancer, and polyadenylation signal sequences. 2.5 μg of constructed pAAV-CB6-PI-SMN and pAAVsc-CB6-PI-SMN cause to, respectively, 4.853- and 2.321-fold increases in SMN protein levels in transfected cells compared to untransfected cells. Ss and scAAV9-SMN vectors were also produced from these plasmids by transient transfection of HEK293 cells using CaCl2 solution. The silver staining and electron microscopy analysis demonstrated good quality of both isolated vectors, ssAAV9-SMN and scAAV9-SMN, with the titers of 2.00E+13 and 1.00E+13 GC/ml. The results of this study show that, the plasmid containing UTR elements causes to twice more SMN gene expression in transfected cells. The quality control results show that both produced ss and scAAV9-SMN are suitable for in vivo studies.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolas eStifani

    2014-01-01

    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 a...

  10. 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.

  11. Bunina bodies in motor and non-motor neurons revisited: a pathological study of an ALS patient after long-term survival on a respirator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Tadashi; Jiang, Haishan; Konno, Takuya; Seto, Makiko; Iwanaga, Keisuke; Tsujihata, Mitsuhiro; Satoh, Akira; Onodera, Osamu; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi

    2014-08-01

    Bunina bodies (BBs) are small eosinophilic neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs) found in the remaining lower motor neurons (LMNs) of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS), being a specific feature of the cellular pathology. We examined a case of SALS, unassociated with TDP-43 or C9ORF72 mutation, of 12 years duration in a 75-year-old man, who had received artificial respiratory support for 9 years, and showed widespread multisystem degeneration with TDP-43 pathology. Interestingly, in this patient, many NCIs reminiscent of BBs were observed in the oculomotor nucleus, medullary reticular formation and cerebellar dentate nucleus. As BBs in the cerebellar dentate nucleus have not been previously described, we performed ultrastructural and immunohistochemical studies of these NCIs to gain further insight into the nature of BBs. In each region, the ultrastructural features of these NCIs were shown to be identical to those of BBs previously described in LMNs. These three regions and the relatively well preserved sacral anterior horns (S1 and S2) and facial motor nucleus were immunostained with antibodies against cystatin C (CC) and TDP-43. Importantly, it was revealed that BBs exhibiting immunoreactivity for CC were a feature of LMNs, but not of non-motor neurons, and that in the cerebellar dentate nucleus, the ratio of neurons with BBs and TDP-43 inclusions/neurons with BBs was significantly lower than in other regions. These findings suggest that the occurrence of BBs with CC immunoreactivity is intrinsically associated with the particular cellular properties of LMNs, and that the mechanism responsible for the formation of BBs is distinct from that for TDP-43 inclusions. © 2014 Japanese Society of Neuropathology.

  12. HuD and the Survival Motor Neuron Protein Interact in Motoneurons and Are Essential for Motoneuron Development, Function, and mRNA Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao le, Thi; Duy, Phan Q; An, Min; Talbot, Jared; Iyer, Chitra C; Wolman, Marc; Beattie, Christine E

    2017-11-29

    Motoneurons establish a critical link between the CNS and muscles. If motoneurons do not develop correctly, they cannot form the required connections, resulting in movement defects or paralysis. Compromised development can also lead to degeneration because the motoneuron is not set up to function properly. Little is known, however, regarding the mechanisms that control vertebrate motoneuron development, particularly the later stages of axon branch and dendrite formation. The motoneuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by low levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein leading to defects in vertebrate motoneuron development and synapse formation. Here we show using zebrafish as a model system that SMN interacts with the RNA binding protein (RBP) HuD in motoneurons in vivo during formation of axonal branches and dendrites. To determine the function of HuD in motoneurons, we generated zebrafish HuD mutants and found that they exhibited decreased motor axon branches, dramatically fewer dendrites, and movement defects. These same phenotypes are present in animals expressing low levels of SMN, indicating that both proteins function in motoneuron development. HuD binds and transports mRNAs and one of its target mRNAs, Gap43, is involved in axonal outgrowth. We found that Gap43 was decreased in both HuD and SMN mutants. Importantly, transgenic expression of HuD in motoneurons of SMN mutants rescued the motoneuron defects, the movement defects, and Gap43 mRNA levels. These data support that the interaction between SMN and HuD is critical for motoneuron development and point to a role for RBPs in SMA.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In zebrafish models of the motoneuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), motor axons fail to form the normal extent of axonal branches and dendrites leading to decreased motor function. SMA is caused by low levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. We show in motoneurons in vivo that SMN interacts with the RNA binding

  13. 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.

  14. Mouse survival motor neuron alleles that mimic SMN2 splicing and are inducible rescue embryonic lethality early in development but not late.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzan M Hammond

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is caused by low survival motor neuron (SMN levels and patients represent a clinical spectrum due primarily to varying copies of the survival motor neuron-2 (SMN2 gene. Patient and animals studies show that disease severity is abrogated as SMN levels increase. Since therapies currently being pursued target the induction of SMN, it will be important to understand the dosage, timing and cellular requirements of SMN for disease etiology and potential therapeutic intervention. This requires new mouse models that can induce SMN temporally and/or spatially. Here we describe the generation of two hypomorphic Smn alleles, Smn(C-T-Neo and Smn(2B-Neo. These alleles mimic SMN2 exon 7 splicing, titre Smn levels and are inducible. They were specifically designed so that up to three independent lines of mice could be generated, herein we describe two. In a homozygous state each allele results in embryonic lethality. Analysis of these mutants indicates that greater than 5% of Smn protein is required for normal development. The severe hypomorphic nature of these alleles is caused by inclusion of a loxP-flanked neomycin gene selection cassette in Smn intron 7, which can be removed with Cre recombinase. In vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrate these as inducible Smn alleles. When combined with an inducible Cre mouse, embryonic lethality caused by low Smn levels can be rescued early in gestation but not late. This provides direct genetic evidence that a therapeutic window for SMN inductive therapies may exist. Importantly, these lines fill a void for inducible Smn alleles. They also provide a base from which to generate a large repertoire of SMA models of varying disease severities when combined with other Smn alleles or SMN2-containing mice.

  15. Disruption of Axonal Transport in Motor Neuron Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gen Sobue

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons typically have very long axons, and fine-tuning axonal transport is crucial for their survival. The obstruction of axonal transport is gaining attention as a cause of neuronal dysfunction in a variety of neurodegenerative motor neuron diseases. Depletions in dynein and dynactin-1, motor molecules regulating axonal trafficking, disrupt axonal transport in flies, and mutations in their genes cause motor neuron degeneration in humans and rodents. Axonal transport defects are among the early molecular events leading to neurodegeneration in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Gene expression profiles indicate that dynactin-1 mRNA is downregulated in degenerating spinal motor neurons of autopsied patients with sporadic ALS. Dynactin-1 mRNA is also reduced in the affected neurons of a mouse model of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a motor neuron disease caused by triplet CAG repeat expansion in the gene encoding the androgen receptor. Pathogenic androgen receptor proteins also inhibit kinesin-1 microtubule-binding activity and disrupt anterograde axonal transport by activating c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Disruption of axonal transport also underlies the pathogenesis of spinal muscular atrophy and hereditary spastic paraplegias. These observations suggest that the impairment of axonal transport is a key event in the pathological processes of motor neuron degeneration and an important target of therapy development for motor neuron diseases.

  16. 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.

  17. Sleep disordered breathing in motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 compromise. Respiratory complications arise as a result of weakness of upper airway (pharyngeal and laryngeal) muscles and respiratory muscles (diaphragm, intercostal and accessory muscles) leading to respiratory failure. Due to early involvement of respiratory muscles in MND, sleep disordered breathing (SDB) occurs at a higher frequency than compared to the general population. SDB usually precedes daytime respiratory symptoms and chronic respiratory failure. It significantly impacts upon patients' quality of life and survival and its presence may predict prognosis. Managing SDB in MND with non-invasive ventilation (NIV) improves quality of life and survival. Early identification and management of SDB in MND patients is therefore crucial. This update will review assessments of respiratory muscle function, types of SDB and the effects of NIV in patients with MND.

  18. A Drosophila Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Uncouples snRNP Biogenesis Functions of Survival Motor Neuron from Locomotion and Viability Defects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kavita Praveen

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The spinal muscular atrophy (SMA protein, survival motor neuron (SMN, functions in the biogenesis of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs. SMN has also been implicated in tissue-specific functions; however, it remains unclear which of these is important for the etiology of SMA. Smn null mutants display larval lethality and show significant locomotion defects as well as reductions in minor-class spliceosomal snRNAs. Despite these reductions, we found no appreciable defects in the splicing of mRNAs containing minor-class introns. Transgenic expression of low levels of either wild-type or an SMA patient-derived form of SMN rescued the larval lethality and locomotor defects; however, snRNA levels were not restored. Thus, the snRNP biogenesis function of SMN is not a major contributor to the phenotype of Smn null mutants. These findings have major implications for SMA etiology because they show that SMN's role in snRNP biogenesis can be uncoupled from the organismal viability and locomotor defects.

  19. 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

  20. Motor neurone disease - caring for the patient in general practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoing, Margaret; Kiernan, Matthew

    2011-12-01

    Motor neurone disease is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to progressive disability - and eventually death - within 2-3 years. This article describes the role of the general practitioner in caring for patients with motor neurone disease. The diagnosis of motor neurone disease relies on the presence of upper and lower motor neurone features. There is currently no pathognomic test for motor neurone disease and it largely remains a diagnosis of exclusion following an accurate clinical history, combined with basic screening blood investigations and structural imaging of the brain and spinal cord. Neuro-physiological studies may be useful as an ancillary diagnostic tool. Riluzole, an anti-glutamate agent, is the only medication shown to have a survival benefit in motor neurone disease and results in a slowing of disease progression by an estimated 3-6 months. Noninvasive ventilation may relieve symptoms related to respiratory insufficiency and prolong survival by up to 12 months. A multidisciplinary approach to management has been shown to improve the quality of life for patients as well as survival. The GP is often the first point-of contact when medical issues arise regarding management of disease related symptoms including sialorrhoea, dyspnoea, constipation and pain, through to percutaneous gastrostomy feeding tubes and maintenance of noninvasive ventilation. It is important to establish the patient's wishes for future care while they are still able to communicate easily.

  1. 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.

  2. Multidisciplinary Interventions in Motor Neuron Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. E. Williams

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of upper motor neuron in the motor cortex and lower motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord. Death occurs 2–4 years after the onset of the disease. A complex interplay of cellular processes such as mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, and impaired axonal transport are proposed pathogenetic processes underlying neuronal cell loss. Currently evidence exists for the use of riluzole as a disease modifying drug; multidisciplinary team care approach to patient management; noninvasive ventilation for respiratory management; botulinum toxin B for sialorrhoea treatment; palliative care throughout the course of the disease; and Modafinil use for fatigue treatment. Further research is needed in management of dysphagia, bronchial secretion, pseudobulbar affect, spasticity, cramps, insomnia, cognitive impairment, and communication in motor neuron disease.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfisterer, Ulrich Gottfried; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether......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...... a particular neuron will die. To accommodate this signaling, immature neurons in the brain express a number of transmembrane factors as well as intracellular signaling molecules that will regulate the cell survival/death decision, and many of these factors cease being expressed upon neuronal maturation...

  4. 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...... numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether...... a particular neuron will die. To accommodate this signaling, immature neurons in the brain express a number of transmembrane factors as well as intracellular signaling molecules that will regulate the cell survival/death decision, and many of these factors cease being expressed upon neuronal maturation...

  5. 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. PMID:25054590

  6. Glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor-dependent fusimotor neuron survival during development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Jennifer; Keller-Peck, Cynthia; Kucera, Jan; Tourtellotte, Warren G

    2005-01-01

    Glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a potent survival factor for motor neurons. Previous studies have shown that some motor neurons depend upon GDNF during development but this GDNF-dependent motor neuron subpopulation has not been characterized. We examined GDNF expression patterns in muscle and the impact of altered GDNF expression on the development of subtypes of motor neurons. In GDNF hemizygous mice, motor neuron innervation to muscle spindle stretch receptors (fusimotor neuron innervation) was decreased, whereas in transgenic mice that overexpress GDNF in muscle, fusimotor innervation to muscle spindles was increased. Facial motor neurons, which do not contain fusimotor neurons, were not changed in number when GDNF was over expressed by facial muscles during their development. Taken together, these data indicate that fusimotor neurons depend upon GDNF for survival during development. Since the fraction of cervical and lumbar motor neurons lost in GDNF-deficient mice at birth closely approximates the size of the fusimotor neuron pool, these data suggest that motor neuron loss in GDNF-deficient mice may be primarily of fusimotor neuron origin.

  7. 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

  8. Motor neurone disease: progress and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dharmadasa, Thanuja; Henderson, Robert D; Talman, Paul S; Macdonell, Richard Al; Mathers, Susan; Schultz, David W; Needham, Merrillee; Zoing, Margaret; Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2017-05-01

    Major progress has been made over the past decade in the understanding of motor neurone disease (MND), changing the landscape of this complex disease. Through identifying positive prognostic factors, new evidence-based standards of care have been established that improve patient survival, reduce burden of disease for patients and their carers, and enhance quality of life. These factors include early management of respiratory dysfunction with non-invasive ventilation, maintenance of weight and nutritional status, as well as instigation of a multidisciplinary team including neurologists, general practitioners and allied health professionals. Advances in technology have enhanced our understanding of the genetic architecture of MND considerably, with implications for patients, their families and clinicians. Recognition of extra-motor involvement, particularly cognitive dysfunction, has identified a spectrum of disease from MND through to frontotemporal dementia. Although riluzole remains the only disease-modifying medication available in clinical practice in Australia, several new therapies are undergoing clinical trials nationally and globally, representing a shift in treatment paradigms. Successful translation of this clinical research through growth in community funding, awareness and national MND research organisations has laid the foundation for closing the research-practice gap on this debilitating disease. In this review, we highlight these recent developments, which have transformed treatment, augmented novel therapeutic platforms, and established a nexus between research and the MND community. This era of change is of significant relevance to both specialists and general practitioners who remain integral to the care of patients with MND.

  9. MicroNeurotrophins Improve Survival in Motor Neuron-Astrocyte Co-Cultures but Do Not Improve Disease Phenotypes in a Mutant SOD1 Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly E Glajch

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disease caused by loss of motor neurons. ALS patients experience rapid deterioration in muscle function with an average lifespan of 3-5 years after diagnosis. Currently, the most effective therapeutic only extends lifespan by a few months, thus highlighting the need for new and improved therapies. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs are important for neuronal development, maintenance, and survival. NTF treatment has previously shown efficacy in pre-clinical ALS models. However, clinical trials using NTFs produced no major improvements in ALS patients, due in part to the limited blood brain barrier (BBB penetration. In this study we assessed the potential neuroprotective effects of a novel class of compounds known as MicroNeurotrophins (MNTs. MNTs are derivatives of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA, an endogenous neurosteroid that can cross the BBB and bind to tyrosine kinase receptors mimicking the pro-survival effects of NTFs. Here we sought to determine whether MNTs were neuroprotective in two different models of ALS. Our results demonstrate that BNN27 (10 μM attenuated loss of motor neurons co-cultured with astrocytes derived from human ALS patients with SOD1 mutations via the reduction of oxidative stress. Additionally, in the G93A SOD1 mouse, BNN27 (10 mg/kg treatment attenuated motor behavioral impairment in the paw grip endurance and rotarod tasks at postnatal day 95 in female but not male mice. In contrast, BNN27 (10 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg treatment did not alter any other behavioral outcome or neuropathological marker in male or female mice. Lastly, BNN27 was not detected in post-mortem brain or spinal cord tissue of treated mice due to the rapid metabolism of BNN27 by mouse hepatocytes relative to human hepatocytes. Together, these findings demonstrate that BNN27 treatment failed to yield significant neuroprotective effects in the G93A SOD1 model likely due to its rapid rate of metabolism in

  10. 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.

  11. Motor neuron disease after electric injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jafari, H; Couratier, P; Camu, W

    2001-01-01

    The occurrence of motor neuron disease after electrical injury in six patients is reported and compared with patients from the literature. The patients were five men with spinal onset and one woman with bulbar motor neuron disease after electric shock. Two patients were struck by lightning and four by industrial electric shock. For all six of them, the disease started at the site of the electrical trauma. The mean delay for onset of motor neuron disease was 44 months. In four of the spinal patients the disease progressed slowly with mild handicap after several years. For the fifth patient, improvement was noted progressively. The patient with bulbar disease died 26 months after onset. A link between electric shock and motor neuron disease is likely, given the homogenous profile of the patients both in the five spinal cases presented here and in the literature. Bulbar onset has not been reported to date. However, in this patient the long delay between the electrical injury and motor neuron disease, together with the rapid evolution may suggest a chance association.

 PMID:11459909

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppers, Max; Blokhuis, Anna M.; Westeneng, Henk‐Jan; Terpstra, Margo L.; Zundel, Caroline A. C.; Vieira de Sá, Renata; Schellevis, Raymond D.; Waite, Adrian J.; Blake, Derek J.; Veldink, Jan H.; van den Berg, Leonard H.

    2015-01-01

    Objective How hexanucleotide (GGGGCC) repeat expansions in C9ORF72 cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains poorly understood. Both gain‐ and loss‐of‐function mechanisms have been proposed. Evidence supporting these mechanisms in vivo is, however, incomplete. Here we determined the effect of C9orf72 loss‐of‐function in mice. Methods We generated and analyzed a conditional C9orf72 knockout mouse model. C9orf72fl/fl mice were crossed with Nestin‐Cre mice to selectively remove C9orf72 from neurons and glial cells. Immunohistochemistry was performed to study motor neurons and neuromuscular integrity, as well as several pathological hallmarks of ALS, such as gliosis and TDP‐43 mislocalization. In addition, motor function and survival were assessed. Results Neural‐specific ablation of C9orf72 in conditional C9orf72 knockout mice resulted in significantly reduced body weight but did not induce motor neuron degeneration, defects in motor function, or altered survival. Interpretation Our data suggest that C9orf72 loss‐of‐function, by itself, is insufficient to cause motor neuron disease. These results may have important implications for the development of therapeutic strategies for C9orf72‐associated ALS. Ann Neurol 2015;78:426–438 PMID:26044557

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. The Neuronal Network Orchestration behind Motor Behaviors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Peter Christian

    In biological networks, millions of neurons organize themselves from microscopic noisy individuals to robust macroscopic entities. These entities are capable of producing higher functions like sensory processing, decision-making, and elaborate behavioral responses. Every aspect of these behaviors...... is the outcome of an advanced orchestration of the activity of populations of neurons. Through spiking activity, neurons are able to interact; yet we know little about how this interaction occurs in spinal networks. How is the activity distributed across the population? What is the composition of synaptic input...... that is received by the individual neurons and how is the synaptic input processed? This thesis focuses on aspects of these questions for spinal networks involved in the generation of stereotypical motor behaviors. The thesis consists of two studies. In the first study, I investigated the synaptic input...

  17. 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.

  18. Stimulation of motor tracts in motor neuron disease.

    OpenAIRE

    Berardelli, A; Inghilleri, M; Formisano, R.; Accornero, N; Manfredi, M

    1987-01-01

    The muscle responses evoked by cortical and cervical stimulation in 11 patients with motor neuron disease were studied. The muscle potential in the abductor pollicis brevis, evoked by median nerve stimulation and the somatosensory potential evoked by wrist stimulation were also studied. In eight of 11 patients there was absence or increased central delay of the responses evoked by cortical stimulation. In four patients muscle responses on cervical stimulation and muscle action potentials on m...

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharyn L Rossi

    2010-07-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sutedja, N.A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  4. Human axonal survival of motor neuron (a-SMN) protein stimulates axon growth, cell motility, C-C motif ligand 2 (CCL2), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locatelli, Denise; Terao, Mineko; Fratelli, Maddalena; Zanetti, Adriana; Kurosaki, Mami; Lupi, Monica; Barzago, Maria Monica; Uggetti, Andrea; Capra, Silvia; D'Errico, Paolo; Battaglia, Giorgio S; Garattini, Enrico

    2012-07-27

    Spinal muscular atrophy is a fatal genetic disease of motoneurons due to loss of full-length survival of motor neuron protein, the main product of the disease gene SMN1. Axonal SMN (a-SMN) is an alternatively spliced isoform of SMN1, generated by retention of intron 3. To study a-SMN function, we generated cellular clones for the expression of the protein in mouse motoneuron-like NSC34 cells. The model was instrumental in providing evidence that a-SMN decreases cell growth and plays an important role in the processes of axon growth and cellular motility. In our conditions, low levels of a-SMN expression were sufficient to trigger the observed biological effects, which were not modified by further increasing the amounts of the expressed protein. Differential transcriptome analysis led to the identification of novel a-SMN-regulated factors, i.e. the transcripts coding for the two chemokines, C-C motif ligands 2 and 7 (CCL2 and CCL7), as well as the neuronal and myotrophic factor, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1). a-SMN-dependent induction of CCL2 and IGF1 mRNAs resulted in increased intracellular levels and secretion of the respective protein products. Induction of CCL2 contributes to the a-SMN effects, mediating part of the action on axon growth and random cell motility, as indicated by chemokine knockdown and re-addition studies. Our results shed new light on a-SMN function and the underlying molecular mechanisms. The data provide a rational framework to understand the role of a-SMN deficiency in the etiopathogenesis of spinal muscular atrophy.

  5. Distinct Corticostriatal GABAergic Neurons Modulate Striatal Output Neurons and Motor Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Melzer

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The motor cortico-basal ganglion loop is critical for motor planning, execution, and learning. Balanced excitation and inhibition in this loop is crucial for proper motor output. Excitatory neurons have been thought to be the only source of motor cortical input to the striatum. Here, we identify long-range projecting GABAergic neurons in the primary (M1 and secondary (M2 motor cortex that target the dorsal striatum. This population of projecting GABAergic neurons comprises both somatostatin-positive (SOM+ and parvalbumin-positive (PV+ neurons that target direct and indirect pathway striatal output neurons as well as cholinergic interneurons differentially. Notably, optogenetic stimulation of M1 PV+ and M2 SOM+ projecting neurons reduced locomotion, whereas stimulation of M1 SOM+ projecting neurons enhanced locomotion. Thus, corticostriatal GABAergic projections modulate striatal output and motor activity.

  6. 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.

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

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    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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

  11. Vitamin E deficiency and risk of equine motor neuron disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Summers Brian A

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Equine motor neuron disease (EMND is a spontaneous neurologic disorder of adult horses which results from the degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain stem. Clinical manifestations, pathological findings, and epidemiologic attributes resemble those of human motor neuron disease (MND. As in MND the etiology of the disease is not known. We evaluated the predisposition role of vitamin E deficiency on the risk of EMND. Methods Eleven horses at risk of EMND were identified and enrolled in a field trial at different times. The horses were maintained on a diet deficient in vitamin E and monitored periodically for levels of antioxidants – α-tocopherols, vitamins A, C, β-carotene, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px, and erythrocytic superoxide dismutase (SOD1. In addition to the self-control another parallel control group was included. Survival analysis was used to assess the probability of developing EMND past a specific period of time. Results There was large variability in the levels of vitamins A and C, β-carotene, GSH-Px, and SOD1. Plasma vitamin E levels dropped significantly over time. Ten horses developed EMND within 44 months of enrollment. The median time to develop EMND was 38.5 months. None of the controls developed EMND. Conclusion The study elucidated the role of vitamin E deficiency on the risk of EMND. Reproducing this disease in a natural animal model for the first time will enable us to carry out studies to test specific hypotheses regarding the mechanism by which the disease occurs.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The protective effect of growth hormone on Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase-mutant motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Jin-Young; Kim, Hyun-Jung; Kim, Manho

    2015-02-06

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by selective degeneration of motor neurons. The gene encoding Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is responsible for 20% of familial ALS cases. Growth hormone (GH) concentrations are low in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with ALS; however, its association with motoneuronal death is not known. We tested the neuroprotective effects of GH on human SOD-1-expressing cultured motor neurons and SOD1G93A transgenic mice. In cultured motor neurons, cytotoxicity was induced by A23187, GNSO, or homocysteine, and the effects of GH were determined by MTT, bax, PARP cleavage pattern, Hoechst nuclear staining, MAPK, and PI3K assay. In SOD-1 transgenic mice, rotarod motor performance was evaluated. Survival analysis of motoneuronal loss was done using cresyl violet, GFAP, and Bcl-2 staining. GH prevents motorneuronal death caused by GSNO and homocysteine, but not that by A23187. It activates MAPK and PI3K. GH-treated mice showed prolonged survival with improved motor performance and weight loss. GH decreased cresyl violet positive motoneuronal loss with strong Bcl-2 and less GFAP immunoreactivity. Our results demonstrate that GH has a protective effect on mutant SOD-1-expressing motor neurons.

  17. Strength Testing in Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shefner, Jeremy M

    2017-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vesey, Siobhan

    2017-07-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Niche-derived laminin-511 promotes midbrain dopaminergic neuron survival and differentiation through YAP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dawei; Yang, Shanzheng; Toledo, Enrique M; Gyllborg, Daniel; Saltó, Carmen; Carlos Villaescusa, J; Arenas, Ernest

    2017-08-22

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder in which the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain (mDA neurons) causes progressive loss of motor control and function. Using embryonic and mDA neurons, midbrain tissue from mice, and differentiated human neural stem cells, we investigated the mechanisms controlling the survival of mDA neurons. We found that the extracellular matrix protein laminin-511 (LM511) promoted the survival and differentiation of mDA neurons. LM511 bound to integrin α3β1 and activated the transcriptional cofactor YAP. LM511-YAP signaling enhanced cell survival by inducing the expression of the microRNA miR-130a, which suppressed the synthesis of the cell death-associated protein PTEN. In addition, LM511-YAP signaling increased the expression of transcription factors critical for mDA identity, such as LMX1A and PITX3, and prevented the loss of mDA neurons in response to oxidative stress, a finding that warrants further investigation to assess therapeutic potential for PD patients. We propose that by enhancing LM511-YAP signaling, it may be possible to prevent mDA neuron degeneration in PD or enhance the survival of mDA neurons in cell replacement therapies. Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  3. 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

  4. Neuronal communication through coherence in the human motor system

    OpenAIRE

    Schoffelen, J.M.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis explores the concept of neuronal communication through oscillatory synchronization. For most of the described research, we used the human motor system as a model system, in particular the cortico spinal system, in combination with non invasive recording techniques. Oscillatory synchronization is a well known property of neuronal activity in the motor system, both within brain regions, and between brain regions and the spinal cord. We used the coherence measure to quantify oscillat...

  5. Neuron-specific antioxidant OXR1 extends survival of a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kevin X; Edwards, Benjamin; Lee, Sheena; Finelli, Mattéa J; Davies, Ben; Davies, Kay E; Oliver, Peter L

    2015-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive loss of spinal motor neurons. While the aetiological mechanisms underlying the disease remain poorly understood, oxidative stress is a central component of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and contributes to motor neuron injury. Recently, oxidation resistance 1 (OXR1) has emerged as a critical regulator of neuronal survival in response to oxidative stress, and is upregulated in the spinal cord of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we tested the hypothesis that OXR1 is a key neuroprotective factor during amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis by crossing a new transgenic mouse line that overexpresses OXR1 in neurons with the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Interestingly, we report that overexpression of OXR1 significantly extends survival, improves motor deficits, and delays pathology in the spinal cord and in muscles of SOD1(G93A) mice. Furthermore, we find that overexpression of OXR1 in neurons significantly delays non-cell-autonomous neuroinflammatory response, classic complement system activation, and STAT3 activation through transcriptomic analysis of spinal cords of SOD1(G93A) mice. Taken together, these data identify OXR1 as the first neuron-specific antioxidant modulator of pathogenesis and disease progression in SOD1-mediated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and suggest that OXR1 may serve as a novel target for future therapeutic strategies. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain.

  6. associated neuron disease carCInoma Motor with

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1983-02-19

    Feb 19, 1983 ... Paraneoplastic complications are obscure and dif- ficult to understand. The association of motor neu- ron disease and carcinoma may sometimes be more than coincidental, and 2 cases are described. One patient had motor neuron disease, limbic encephali- tis (a recognized paraneoplastic disorder) and ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Thomas H.; Hodges, John R.

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Inherited Paediatric Motor Neuron Disorders: Beyond Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampaio, Hugo; Mowat, David; Roscioli, Tony

    2017-01-01

    Paediatric motor neuron diseases encompass a group of neurodegenerative diseases characterised by the onset of muscle weakness and atrophy before the age of 18 years, attributable to motor neuron loss across various neuronal networks in the brain and spinal cord. While the genetic underpinnings are diverse, advances in next generation sequencing have transformed diagnostic paradigms. This has reinforced the clinical phenotyping and molecular genetic expertise required to navigate the complexities of such diagnoses. In turn, improved genetic technology and subsequent gene identification have enabled further insights into the mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration and how these diseases form part of a neurodegenerative disorder spectrum. Common pathophysiologies include abnormalities in axonal architecture and function, RNA processing, and protein quality control. This review incorporates an overview of the clinical manifestations, genetics, and pathophysiology of inherited paediatric motor neuron disorders beyond classic SMN1-related spinal muscular atrophy and describes recent advances in next generation sequencing and its clinical application. Specific disease-modifying treatment is becoming a clinical reality in some disorders of the motor neuron highlighting the importance of a timely and specific diagnosis. PMID:28634552

  9. 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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Suh Young

    2011-10-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death, is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by the selective loss of particular groups of motor neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord with concomitant muscle weakness. To date, no effective treatment is available, however, there are ongoing clinical trials are in place which promise much for the future. However, there remains an ongoing problem in trying to link a single gene loss to motor neurone degeneration. Fortunately, given successful disease models that have been established and intensive studies on SMN functions in the past ten years, we are fast approaching the stage of identifying the underlying mechanisms of SMA pathogenesis Here we discuss potential disease modifying factors on motor neurone vulnerability, in the belief that these factors give insight into the pathological mechanisms of SMA and therefore possible therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Hashimoto's encephalopathy and motor neuron disease: a common autoimmune pathogenesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harzheim, Michael; Feucht, Jeanine; Pauleit, Dirk; Pöhlau, Dieter

    2006-09-01

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

  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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomonori Takazawa

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

  15. 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

  16. Differential regenerative ability of sensory and motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheah, Menghon; Fawcett, James W; Haenzi, Barbara

    2017-06-23

    After injury, the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) lacks long-distance axon regeneration. This review discusses the similarities and differences of sensory and motor neurons, seeking to understand how to achieve functional sensory and motor regeneration. As these two types of neurons respond differently to axotomy, growth environment and treatment, the future challenge will be on how to achieve full recovery in a way that allows regeneration of both types of fibres simultaneously. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  20. Epigenetic regulation of motor neuron cell death through DNA methylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chestnut, Barry A; Chang, Qing; Price, Ann; Lesuisse, Catherine; Wong, Margaret; Martin, Lee J

    2011-11-16

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism for gene silencing engaged by DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt)-catalyzed methyl group transfer to cytosine residues in gene-regulatory regions. It is unknown whether aberrant DNA methylation can cause neurodegeneration. We tested the hypothesis that Dnmts can mediate neuronal cell death. Enforced expression of Dnmt3a induced degeneration of cultured NSC34 cells. During apoptosis of NSC34 cells induced by camptothecin, levels of Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a increased fivefold and twofold, respectively, and 5-methylcytosine accumulated in nuclei. Truncation mutation of the Dnmt3a catalytic domain and Dnmt3a RNAi blocked apoptosis of cultured neurons. Inhibition of Dnmt catalytic activity with RG108 and procainamide protected cultured neurons from excessive DNA methylation and apoptosis. In vivo, Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a are expressed differentially during mouse brain and spinal cord maturation and in adulthood when Dnmt3a is abundant in synapses and mitochondria. Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a are expressed in motor neurons of adult mouse spinal cord, and, during their apoptosis induced by sciatic nerve avulsion, nuclear and cytoplasmic 5-methylcytosine immunoreactivity, Dnmt3a protein levels and Dnmt enzyme activity increased preapoptotically. Inhibition of Dnmts with RG108 blocked completely the increase in 5-methycytosine and the apoptosis of motor neurons in mice. In human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), motor neurons showed changes in Dnmt1, Dnmt3a, and 5-methylcytosine similar to experimental models. Thus, motor neurons can engage epigenetic mechanisms to drive apoptosis, involving Dnmt upregulation and increased DNA methylation. These cellular mechanisms could be relevant to human ALS pathobiology and disease treatment.

  1. Neuronal Population Activity in Spinal Motor Circuits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rune W.

    2017-01-01

    The core elements of stereotypical movements such as locomotion, scratching and breathing are generated by networks in the lower brainstem and the spinal cord. Ensemble activities in spinal motor networks had until recently been merely a black box, but with the emergence of ultra-thin Silicon mul...

  2. THE ROLE OF THE MIRROR NEURON SYSTEM IN MOTOR LEARNING

    OpenAIRE

    Buccino, Giovanni; Riggio, Lucia

    2006-01-01

    Following a classical perspective, acquiring a new motor skill implies moving from a declarative knowl-edge of the motor task to be learned to a procedural knowledge of it. Some recent research on the motor system challenges this view. In the ventral premotor cortex of a monkey, neurons have been discovered that discharge both when an animal executes a specific goal-directed action (i.e. grasping a piece of food) and when it observes the same or a similar action executed by a conspecific or a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, So Young; Lee, Kang-Woo; Choi, Sun-Mi; Yang, Eun Jin

    2015-09-21

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    So Young Jung

    2015-09-01

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

  5. Motor unit firing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other upper and lower motor neurone disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Carvalho, Mamede; Turkman, Antónia; Swash, Michael

    2012-11-01

    Motor unit recruitment order and firing rate was investigated in healthy subjects, and in small numbers of patients 50years ago. We aimed to investigate firing rate in different disorders, testing the same target muscle with normal strength, to evaluate possible application in diagnosing upper motor neuron (UMN) lesion. We studied motor unit firing in the tibialis anterior muscle in six groups of subjects; normal subjects (n=45), patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (n=36), primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) (n=21), progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) (n=14), various upper motor neurone lesions (n=16) and polyneuropathy (n=42). In all these subjects the tibialis anterior muscle was of normal strength. Motor units were recruited during slight contraction in order to study 2-5 motor units at each recording site, using a standard concentric needle electrode, so that 20-22 motor units were recorded in each muscle. We analysed the coefficient of variation (CV) for amplitude, area, duration and firing rate in these motor units, and the correlation between motor unit potential size and recruitment order. The mean MU firing rate in this task was similar in each group. No recruitment order was disclosed within the limits of the study task. The CV of firing rate was decreased in UMN and PLS groups. ALS patients with marked spasticity showed a lower CV of motor unit firing rate. The CV of amplitude, area and duration was similar between groups. These results in tibialis anterior indicate that physiological modulation of lower motor neuron (LMN) firing rate is decreased in patients with lower limb spasticity. The variability of MU discharges tends to be greater in diseases affecting the LMN. These results suggest that, notwithstanding the simplicity of the task we have used, the physiological variability of motor unit firing may be a useful variable in assessing UMN involvement in motor system disorders. Copyright © 2012 International Federation of Clinical

  6. Neuronal communication through coherence in the human motor system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoffelen, J.M.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis explores the concept of neuronal communication through oscillatory synchronization. For most of the described research, we used the human motor system as a model system, in particular the cortico spinal system, in combination with non invasive recording techniques. Oscillatory

  7. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-07

    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.

  13. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troakes Claire

    2011-03-01

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

  15. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Sensory input can modify voluntary motor function. We examined whether somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) added to motor practice (MP) could augment motor learning, interlimb transfer, and whether physiological changes in neuronal excitability underlie these changes. Methods

  18. 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.

  19. Concentration Dependent Actions of Glucocorticoids on Neuronal Viability and Survival

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ábrahám, István M.; Meerlo, Peter; Luiten, Paul G.M.

    2006-01-01

    A growing body of evidence based on experimental data demonstrates that glucocorticoids (GCs) can play a potent role in the survival and death of neurons. However, these observations reflect paradoxical features of GCs, since these adrenal stress hormones are heavily involved in both

  20. The patient who transformed motor neurone disease care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trueland, Jennifer

    2017-05-31

    In March 2015, Nursing Standard published a feature about a remarkable young man called Gordon Aikman. He had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) the previous year, aged 29, while working as director of research for the Better Together campaign, ahead of the Scottish independence referendum. The Scot, pictured, knew the prognosis wasn't good, and was determined to make the most of the time he had left.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamo, Jonathan P

    2015-05-01

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

  3. Evaluation of Motor Neuron-Like Cell Differentiation of hEnSCs on Biodegradable PLGA Nanofiber Scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrahimi-Barough, Somayeh; Norouzi Javidan, Abbas; Saberi, Hoshangh; Joghataei, Mohammad Tghi; Rahbarghazi, Reza; Mirzaei, Esmaeil; Faghihi, Faezeh; Shirian, Sadegh; Ai, Armin; Ai, Jafar

    2015-12-01

    Human endometrium is a high-dynamic tissue that contains human endometrial stem cells (hEnSCs) which can be differentiated into a number of cell lineages. The differentiation of hEnSCs into many cell lineages such as osteoblast, adipocyte, and neural cells has been investigated previously. However, the differentiation of these stem cells into motor neuron-like cells has not been investigated yet. Different biochemical and topographical cues can affect the differentiation of stem cells into a specific cell. The aim of this study was to investigate the capability of hEnSCs to be differentiated into motor neuron-like cells under biochemical and topographical cues. The biocompatible and biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) electrospun nanofibrous scaffold was used as a topographical cue. Human EnSCs were cultured on the PLGA scaffold and tissue culture polystyrene (TCP), then differentiation of hEnSCs into motor neuron-like cells under induction media including retinoic acid (RA) and sonic hedgehog (Shh) were evaluated for 15 days. The proliferation rate of cells was assayed by using MTT assay. The morphology of cells was studied by scanning electron microscopy imaging, and the expression of motor neuron-specific markers by real-time PCR and immunocytochemistry. Results showed that survival and differentiation of hEnSCs into motor neuron-like cells on the PLGA scaffold were better than those on the TCP group. Taken together, the results suggest that differentiated hEnSCs on PLGA can provide a suitable, three-dimensional situation for neuronal survival and outgrowth for regeneration of the central nervous system, and these cells may be a potential candidate in cellular therapy for motor neuron diseases.

  4. Electrophysiological properties of motor neurons in a mouse model of severe spinal muscular atrophy: in vitro versus in vivo development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongmei Zhang

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available We examined the electrophysiological activity of motor neurons from the mouse model of severe spinal muscular atrophy (SMA using two different methods: whole cell patch clamp of neurons cultured from day 13 embryos; and multi-electrode recording of ventral horns in spinal cord slices from pups on post-natal days 5 and 6. We used the MED64 multi-electrode array to record electrophysiological activity from motor neurons in slices from the lumbar spinal cord of SMA pups and their unaffected littermates. Recording simultaneously from up to 32 sites across the ventral horn, we observed a significant decrease in the number of active neurons in 5-6 day-old SMA pups compared to littermates. Ventral horn activity in control pups is significantly activated by serotonin and depressed by GABA, while these agents had much less effect on SMA slices. In contrast to the large differences observed in spinal cord, neurons cultured from SMA embryos for up to 21 days showed no significant differences in electrophysiological activity compared to littermates. No differences were observed in membrane potential, frequency of spiking and synaptic activity in cells from SMA embryos compared to controls. In addition, we observed no difference in cell survival between cells from SMA embryos and their unaffected littermates. Our results represent the first report on the electrophysiology of SMN-deficient motor neurons, and suggest that motor neuron development in vitro follows a different path than in vivo development, a path in which loss of SMN expression has little effect on motor neuron function and survival.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is largely unknown but hypotheses about disease mechanisms include oxidative stress, defective axonal transport, mitochondrial dysfunction and disrupted RNA processing. Whereas familial ALS is well represented by transgenic mutant SOD1 mouse models, the mouse mutant wobbler (WR) develops progressive motor neuron degeneration due to a point mutation in the Vps54 gene, and provides an animal model for sporadic ALS. VP...

  6. [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.

  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. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saniya Fayzullina

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

  10. Survival of adhering cortical neurons on polyethylenimine micropatterns

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruardij, T.G.; Goedbloed, M.H.; Rutten, Wim

    2001-01-01

    The influence of neuron-adhesive pattern geometry on long-term survival of cortical neural tissue (rat brain) was studied over a time period of 15 days. Microwells (depth 0.5 /spl mu/m) with diameters of 25, 50, 100 and 150 /spl mu/m and inter-microwell distances of 15, 30, 60 and 90 /spl mu/m, were

  11. 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...

  12. 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

    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...

  13. Inverse modulation of motor neuron cellular and synaptic properties can maintain the same motor output.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClelland, Thomas James; Parker, David

    2017-09-30

    Although often examined in isolation, a single neuromodulator typically has multiple cellular and synaptic effects. Here, we have examined the interaction of the cellular and synaptic effects of 5-HT in the lamprey spinal cord. 5-HT reduces the amplitude of glutamatergic synaptic inputs and the slow post-spike afterhyperpolarization (sAHP) in motor neurons. We examined the interaction between these effects using ventral root activity evoked by stimulation of the spinal cord. While 5-HT reduced excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs in motor neurons to approximately 60% of control, ventral root activity was not significantly affected. The reduction of the sAHP by 5-HT increased motor neuron excitability by reducing spike frequency adaptation, an effect that could in principle have opposed the reduction of the excitatory synaptic input. Support for this was sought by reducing the amplitude of the sAHP by applying the toxin apamin before 5-HT application. In these experiments, 5-HT reduced the ventral root response, presumably because the reduction of the synaptic input now dominated. This was supported by computer simulations that showed that the motor output could be maintained over a wide range of synaptic input values if they were matched by changes in postsynaptic excitability. The effects of 5-HT on ventral root responses were altered by spinal cord lesions: 5-HT significantly increased ventral root responses in animals that recovered good locomotor function, consistent with a lesion-induced reduction in the synaptic effects of 5-HT, which thus biases its effects to the increase in motor neuron excitability. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Four cases of equine motor neuron disease in Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT In this study, fasciculation of the limbs and tongue was observed in four horses kept by a riding club. Neurogenic muscle atrophy was also observed in biopsy of pathological tissues. In addition, in two cases that subjected to autopsy, Bunina-like bodies of inclusion in the cell bodies of neurons in the spinal cord ventral horn were confirmed, leading to a diagnosis of equine motor neuron disease (EMND). Serum vitamin E concentrations varied between 0.3 and 0.4µg/ml, which is significantly lower than the levels in normal horses. Although lack of vitamin E is speculated to be a contributory factor for development of EMND, no significant improvement was observed following administration of vitamin E. PMID:27703407

  17. An unusual cause of ventilatory failure in motor neurone disease

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    Epaminondas Markos Valsamis, MB BChir, MA (Cantab, MRCS

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A patient previously diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND and gastrostomy-fed was under surveillance for ventilatory decline via our respiratory centre. At a planned review she was found to be hypercapnic, which would usually prompt an offer of non-invasive ventilation for home use. However, she was alkalotic and not acidotic as we might expect. Her serum potassium was checked urgently and confirmed as low. It was established that the community team had prescribed a feeding regime with insufficient potassium. Correction of hypokalaemia resolved her ventilatory failure. This case demonstrates the importance of co-ordinated care in the management of patients with MND.

  18. Nutritional pathway for people with motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    This paper provides an overview of the nutritional management and care of people living with motor neurone disease (MND) in a specialist nutrition clinic. A specialist pathway of care has been developed to enable people living with MND to undergo a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) procedure in a safe way; the pathway incorporates attendance at a dedicated nutrition clinic, a stratification tool to identify patients with a high periprocedural risk and a PEG insertion team with significant experience in the MND population. Since this pathway has been in place, gastrostomies have been successfully placed in patients with a forced vital capacity (FVC) of less than 50%; previously, this would not have been possible.

  19. An unusual cause of ventilatory failure in motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valsamis, Epaminondas Markos; Smith, Ian; De Sousa, Adri

    2017-01-01

    A patient previously diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) and gastrostomy-fed was under surveillance for ventilatory decline via our respiratory centre. At a planned review she was found to be hypercapnic, which would usually prompt an offer of non-invasive ventilation for home use. However, she was alkalotic and not acidotic as we might expect. Her serum potassium was checked urgently and confirmed as low. It was established that the community team had prescribed a feeding regime with insufficient potassium. Correction of hypokalaemia resolved her ventilatory failure. This case demonstrates the importance of co-ordinated care in the management of patients with MND.

  20. Purified mouse dopamine neurons thrive and function after transplantation into brain but require novel glial factors for survival in culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, A E; Marshall, C E; Yang, Ming; Suon, S; Iacovitti, Lorraine

    2005-12-01

    Cell replacement therapy in Parkinson's disease depends on a reliable source of purified dopamine (DA) neurons (PDN) and the identification of factors relevant to their survival. Our goal was to genetically tag and purify by flow cytometry embryonic midbrain DA neurons from a transgenic mouse line carrying 11 kb of human tyrosine hydroxylase promoter driving expression of the enhanced green fluorescent protein(GFP) for studies in vivo and in vitro. A 99% purification of GFP+ cells was achieved. When transplanted into 6-hydroxydopamine-treated rat striatum, PDN survived, became well-integrated and produced recovery from amphetamine-induced motor behaviors. However, when grown in culture, PDN died within days of plating. No known growth factors prevented PDN death as did incubation with novel factors in glia/glial-conditioned media. We conclude that GFP-tagged DA neurons can be purified to homogeneity and can survive and function when grown with glial factors in vitro or after transplantation in vivo.

  1. The patient experience of fatigue in motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbons, Chris J; Thornton, Everard W; Young, Carolyn A

    2013-01-01

    This paper is a qualitative investigation that aims to investigate the lived experience of fatigue in patients with motor neurone disease-a progressive and fatal neurological condition. Fatigue is a disabling symptom in motor neurone disease (MND) that affects a large number of patients. However, the term "fatigue" is in itself imprecise, as it remains a phenomenon without a widely accepted medical definition. This study sought to investigate the phenomenon of fatigue from the perspective of the MND patient. Ten patients with MND participated in semi-structured recorded interviews at a regional neuroscience center in Liverpool, UK. Transcripts analysis was broadly informed by the principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Fatigue was unanimously explained to be disabling and progressive phenomenon. Participants described two forms of fatigue: whole-body tiredness or use-dependent reversible muscle weakness related to exertion of limb and bulbar muscles. Both weakness and whole-body tiredness could be experienced simultaneously, and patients used the terms "fatigue" and "tiredness" interchangeably. Alongside descriptions of fatigue themes of Adaptation, Motivation, Avoidance, Frustration and Stress were revealed. Fatigue could be defined as "reversible motor weakness and whole-body tiredness that was predominantly brought on by muscular exertion and was partially relieved by rest." The results of this study support a multi-dimensional model of fatigue for patients with MND. Fatigue appears to be experienced and explained in two ways, both as an inability to sustain motor function and as a pervasive tiredness. Fatigue was only partially relieved by rest and tended to worsen throughout the day. It is crucial that MND care practitioners and researchers appreciate the semantic dichotomy within fatigue.

  2. The patient experience of fatigue in motor neurone disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris J Gibbons

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Aims This paper is a qualitative investigation that aims to investigate the lived experience of fatigue in patients with motor neurone disease – a progressive and fatal neurological condition. Background Fatigue is a disabling symptom in motor neurone disease (MND that affects a large number of patients. However, the term ‘fatigue’ is in itself imprecise, as it remains a phenomenon without a widely accepted medical definition. This study sought to investigate the phenomenon of fatigue from the perspective of the MND patient. Methods Ten patients with MND participated in semi-structured recorded interviews at a regional neuroscience centre in Liverpool, U.K. Transcripts analysis was broadly informed by the principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA. Findings Fatigue was unanimously explained to be disabling and progressive phenomenon. Participants described two forms of fatigue: whole-body tiredness, or use-dependent reversible muscle weakness related to exertion of limb and bulbar muscles. Both weakness and whole-body tiredness could be experienced simultaneously, and patients used the terms ‘fatigue’ and ‘tiredness’ interchangeably. Alongside descriptions of fatigue themes of Adaptation, Motivation, Avoidance, Frustration and Stress were revealed. Fatigue could be defined as reversible motor weakness and whole-body tiredness that was predominantly brought on by muscular exertion and was partially relieved by rest.Conclusion The results of this study support a multi-dimensional model of fatigue for patients with MND. Fatigue appears to be experienced and explained in two ways, both as an inability to sustain motor function and as a pervasive tiredness. Fatigue was only partially relieved by rest and tended to worsen throughout the day. It is crucial that MND care practitioners and researchers appreciate the semantic dichotomy within fatigue.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Survival, differentiation, and connectivity of ventral mesencephalic dopamine neurons following transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Lachlan; Björklund, Anders

    2012-01-01

    The reconstruction of midbrain dopamine (DA) circuitry through intracerebral transplantation of new DA neurons contained in embryonic ventral mesencephalon (VM) is a promising therapeutic approach for Parkinson's disease (PD). Although some of the early open-label trials have provided proof-of-principal that VM grafts can provide sustained improvement of motor function in some patients, subsequent trials showed that the functional response can be highly variable. This chapter reviews an extensive body of basic and clinical research on the survival, differentiation, and connectivity of DA neurons in VM grafts, and also looks at how these parameters are affected by certain host- and donor-specific variables. We also review how technical advances in the tools available to study the integration of grafted DA neurons, such as transgenic reporter mice, have made significant contributions to our understanding of the capacity of different DA neuronal subtypes for target-directed growth and innervation of appropriate host brain structures. Our established and on-going understanding of the capacity of grafted DA neurons to structurally and functionally integrate following transplantation forms an important basis for the refinement and optimization of VM grafting procedures, and also the development of new procedures based on the use of stem cells. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. A case of presumptive primary lateral sclerosis with upper and lower motor neurone pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Cathy L; Scott, Grace; Blumbergs, Peter C; Koblar, Simon A

    2005-08-01

    Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is one of the commonest neurodegenerative disorders of adulthood. MND characteristically presents with a combination of both upper and lower motor neurone features. Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS) is thought to be a variant of MND presenting with purely upper motor neurone signs. Debate continues over whether PLS constitutes a distinct pathological entity or whether it is part of the spectrum of motor neurone diseases that present as an upper motor neurone-predominant form of MND. We present a case of MND with purely upper motor neurone features and a prominent pain component. A pre-mortem diagnosis of PLS was made, however autopsy findings demonstrated both upper and lower motor neurone involvement. We believe these findings support the view that PLS is not a discrete pathological entity, but that it is a part of the range of motor neurone diseases that present with predominant but not exclusive upper motor neurone involvement. This case also highlights the feature that pain may be associated with MND even though it is not appreciated to have a sensory pathology.

  7. Gacyclidine improves the survival and reduces motor deficits in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yannick Nicolas Gerber

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder typified by a massive loss of motor neurons with few therapeutic options. The exact cause of neuronal degeneration is unknown but it is now admitted that ALS is a multifactorial disease with several mechanisms involved including glutamate excitotoxicity. More specifically, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA-mediated cell death and impairment of the glutamate-transport has been suggested to play a key role in ALS pathophysiology. Thus, evaluating NMDAR antagonists is of high therapeutic interest. Gacyclidine, also named GK11, is a high affinity non-competitive NMDAR antagonist that may protect against motor neuron death in an ALS context. Moreover, GK11 presents a low intrinsic neurotoxicity and has already been used in two clinical trials for CNS lesions. In the present study, we investigated the influence of chronic administration of two doses of GK11 (0.1 and 1 mg/kg on the survival and the functional motor activity of hSOD1G93A mice, an animal model of ALS. Treatment started at early symptomatic age (60 days and was applied bi-weekly until the end stage of the disease. We first confirmed that functional alteration of locomotor activity was evident in the hSOD1G93A transgenic female mice by 60 days of age. A low dose of GK11 improved the survival of the mice by 4.3% and partially preserved body weight. Improved life span was associated with a delay in locomotor function impairment. Conversely, the high dose treatment worsened motor functions. These findings suggest that chronic administration of GK11beginning at early symptomatic stage may be beneficial for patients with ALS.

  8. 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.

  9. Transcriptome profiling of spinal muscular atrophy motor neurons derived from mouse embryonic stem cells.

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    Miho Maeda

    Full Text Available Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is an early onset, autosomal recessive motor neuron disease caused by loss of or mutation in SMN1 (survival motor neuron 1. Despite understanding the genetic basis underlying this disease, it is still not known why motor neurons (MNs are selectively affected by the loss of the ubiquitously expressed SMN protein. Using a mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC model for severe SMA, the RNA transcript profiles (transcriptomes between control and severe SMA (SMN2+/+;mSmn-/- mESC-derived MNs were compared in this study using massively parallel RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq. The MN differentiation efficiencies between control and severe SMA mESCs were similar. RNA-Seq analysis identified 3,094 upregulated and 6,964 downregulated transcripts in SMA mESC-derived MNs when compared against control cells. Pathway and network analysis of the differentially expressed RNA transcripts showed that pluripotency and cell proliferation transcripts were significantly increased in SMA MNs while transcripts related to neuronal development and activity were reduced. The differential expression of selected transcripts such as Crabp1, Crabp2 and Nkx2.2 was validated in a second mESC model for SMA as well as in the spinal cords of low copy SMN2 severe SMA mice. Furthermore, the levels of these selected transcripts were restored in high copy SMN2 rescue mouse spinal cords when compared against low copy SMN2 severe SMA mice. These findings suggest that SMN deficiency affects processes critical for normal development and maintenance of MNs.

  10. Motor neurons and glia exhibit specific individualized responses to TDP-43 expression in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    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.

  11. Motor neurone disease in the greater Wellington region: an observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dayal, Viswas; Rosemergy, Ian; Turnbull, Janet

    2015-02-20

    This study investigated the demographic and disease characteristics of motor neurone disease (MND), as well as specific aspects of healthcare provision for MND patients in the greater Wellington region. Data was collected from clinical records of all known patients with a diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease MND in the Capital and Coast and Hutt Valley district health board catchment zones over a 12-month period. Survival data was collected at 2-year follow-up. The study population consisted of 40 patients. The mean age at diagnosis was 66.2 years (SD of 13.2). Thirty patients (75%) were New Zealand European. Predominantly limb signs were present in 12 (30%), and 11 (27.5%) had bulbar signs, while 14 (35%) had a mixed pattern and a further 3 (7.5%) had respiratory muscle weakness. At 2-year follow-up, the median survival time following symptom onset in the 32 deceased patients was 29 months (range 6-126 months). The demographics and disease characteristics of MND in this cohort of patients from the Wellington region is similar to those found in overseas studies. The majority of patients received care in accordance with established guidelines, although certain aspects of healthcare delivery could be further improved.

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodall, C J; Graham, D I

    2004-01-01

    Sequences resembling those of human enterovirus type B sequences have been associated with motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In a previous study we detected enteroviral sequences in spinal cord/brain stem from cases of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but not controls. Adjacent tissue sections to two of those strongly positive for these sequences by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction were analyzed by in situ hybridization with digoxigenin-labelled virus-specific antisense riboprobes. In one case, a female aged 83 showing 12 month rapid progressive disease, signal was specifically localized to cells identifiable as motor neurones of the anterior horn. In another case, a male aged 63 with a 60-month history of progressive muscle weakness, dysarthia, dyspnoea and increased tendon reflexes, signal was located to neurones in the gracile/cuneate nuclei of the brain stem tissue block that had been analyzed. This case showed loss of neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord by histopathologic examination which would account for clinical signs of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dysfunction of the gracile/cuneate nuclei might have been masked by the paralytic disease. These structures are adjacent to the hypoglossal nuclei, and suggest either localised dissemination from hypoglossal nuclei or a possible route of dissemination of infection through the brainstem to the hypoglossal nuclei. These findings provide further evidence for the possible involvement of enteroviruses in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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

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    CJ Woodall

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Sequences resembling those of human enterovirus type B sequences have been associated with motor neurone disease/ amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In a previous study we detected enteroviral sequences in spinal cord/brain stem from cases of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but not controls. Adjacent tissue sections to two of those strongly positive for these sequences by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction were analyzed by in situ hybridization with digoxigenin-labelled virus-specific antisense riboprobes. In one case, a female aged 83 showing 12 month rapid progressive disease, signal was specifically localized to cells identifiable as motor neurones of the anterior horn. In another case, a male aged 63 with a 60-month history of progressive muscle weakness, dysarthia, dyspnoea and increased tendon reflexes, signal was located to neurones in the gracile/cuneate nuclei of the brain stem tissue block that had been analyzed. This case showed loss of neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord by histopathologic examination which would account for clinical signs of motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dysfunction of the gracile/cuneate nuclei might have been masked by the paralytic disease. These structures are adjacent to the hypoglossal nuclei, and suggest either localised dissemination from hypoglossal nuclei or a possible route of dissemination of infection through the brainstem to the hypoglossal nuclei. These findings provide further evidence for the possible involvement of enteroviruses in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  16. 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-43Q331K mice develop age- and mutant-dependent motor deficits from degeneration and death of motor neurons. Cre-recombinase-mediated excision of the TDP-43Q331K 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.

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

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    Yongmei Han

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

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

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    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)

  19. Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation possibilities in difficult diagnostic cases upper motor neuron lesions – case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. S. Bakulin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disease characterized with lesions of both upper and lower motor neurons. In accordance with modern diagnostics criteria, only clinical symptoms are used for revealing lesions of the upper motor neuron with the ALS, which often causes serious difficulties. Absence of the pyramidal syndrome does not allow diagnosing ALS, and the diagnosis of progressive muscular atrophy should be set in these cases. We describe a case of an isolated generalized lesion of the lower motor neuron with the signs of cortical motor neurons lesion revealed in the course of navigational transcranial magnetic stimulation. Possible reasons for difficulties in detecting pyramidal syndrome are discussed together with the necessity of working out the criteria of instrumental diagnostics of lesions of the upper motor neuron in ALS.

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

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

    1992-05-01

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

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

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    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.

  2. Understanding psycho-social processes underpinning engagement with services in motor neurone disease: a qualitative study.

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    Foley, Geraldine; Timonen, Virpi; Hardiman, Orla

    2014-04-01

    People with motor neurone disease access healthcare services from disease onset to end-of-life care, but there has been paucity of research on how people with motor neurone disease understand and use healthcare services. To identify key psycho-social processes that underpin how people with motor neurone disease engage with healthcare services. Grounded theory approach comprising in-depth qualitative interviews was used in this study. Data were collected and analysed using open, axial and selective coding procedures. A total of 34 people with motor neurone disease were recruited from the Irish motor neurone disease population-based register. We identified that control, reassurance, resignation and trust are key variables that shape how people with motor neurone disease engage with healthcare services. Participants exerted control in care to cope with loss. Most participants were resigned to death and sought reassurances from healthcare professionals about end-of-life care. Participants questioned the benefit of life-sustaining interventions in motor neurone disease and few of them associated life-sustaining interventions with palliative care. Participants trusted healthcare professionals who reassured them about their care and who were attuned to how they were coming to terms with loss. This study identified new and important aspects of control, trust and reassurance which shed light on how people with motor neurone disease engage with healthcare professionals and approach end-of-life care. People with motor neurone disease exert control in care and meaningful relationships with healthcare professionals are important to them. Some people with motor neurone disease prefer to die without life-sustaining interventions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 candidate gene and genome-wide studies, but the genetic causes remain largely unknown. We have performed two independent parallel studies, both implicating the RNA polymerase II component, ELP3, in axonal biology and neuronal degeneration. In the first, an association study of 1884 microsatellite markers, allelic variants of ELP3 were associated with ALS in three human populations comprising 1483 people (P = 1.96 × 10−9). In the second, an independent mutagenesis screen in Drosophila for genes important in neuronal communication and survival identified two different loss of function mutations, both in ELP3 (R475K and R456K). Furthermore, knock down of ELP3 protein levels using antisense morpholinos in zebrafish embryos resulted in dose-dependent motor axonal abnormalities [Pearson correlation: −0.49, P = 1.83 × 10−12 (start codon morpholino) and −0.46, P = 4.05 × 10−9 (splice-site morpholino), and in humans, risk-associated ELP3 genotypes correlated with reduced brain ELP3 expression (P = 0.01). These findings add to the growing body of evidence implicating the RNA processing pathway in neurodegeneration and suggest a critical role for ELP3 in neuron biology and of ELP3 variants in ALS. PMID:18996918

  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. Neurogenic differentiation of dental pulp stem cells to neuron-like cells in dopaminergic and motor neuronal inductive media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chia-Chieh; Chang, Kai-Chun; Tsai, Shang-Jye; Chang, Hao-Hueng; Lin, Chun-Pin

    2014-12-01

    Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) have been proposed as a promising source of stem cells in nerve regeneration due to their close embryonic origin and ease of harvest. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of dopaminergic and motor neuronal inductive media on transdifferentiation of human DPSCs (hDPSCs) into neuron-like cells. Isolation, cultivation, and identification of hDPSCs were performed with morphological analyses and flow cytometry. The proliferation potential of DPSCs was evaluated with an XTT [(2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide)] assay. Media for the induction of dopaminergic and spinal motor neuronal differentiation were prepared. The efficacy of neural induction was evaluated by detecting the expression of neuron cell-specific cell markers in DPSCs by immunocytochemistry and quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In the XTT assay, there was a 2.6- or 2-fold decrease in DPSCs cultured in dopaminergic or motor neuronal inductive media, respectively. The proportions of βIII-tubulin (βIII-tub), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and oligodendrocyte (O1)-positive cells were significantly higher in DPSCs cultured in both neuronal inductive media compared with those cultured in control media. Furthermore, hDPSC-derived dopaminergic and spinal motor neuron cells after induction expressed a higher density of neuron cell markers than those before induction. These findings suggest that in response to the neuronal inductive stimuli, a greater proportion of DPSCs stop proliferation and acquire a phenotype resembling mature neurons. Such neural crest-derived adult DPSCs may provide an alternative stem cell source for therapy-based treatments of neuronal disorders and injury. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-10

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

  7. Common Synaptic Input to Motor Neurons and Neural Drive to Targeted Reinnervated Muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farina, Dario; Castronovo, Anna Margherita; Vujaklija, Ivan; Sturma, Agnes; Salminger, Stefan; Hofer, Christian; Aszmann, Oskar

    2017-11-15

    We compared the behavior of motor neurons innervating their physiological muscle targets with motor neurons from the same spinal segment whose axons were surgically redirected to remnant muscles (targeted muscle reinnervation). The objective was to assess whether motor neurons with nonphysiological innervation receive similar synaptic input and could be voluntary controlled as motor neurons with natural innervation. For this purpose, we acquired high-density EMG signals from the biceps brachii in 5 male transhumeral amputees who underwent targeted reinnervation of this muscle by the ulnar nerve and from the first dorsal interosseous muscle of 5 healthy individuals to investigate the natural innervation of the ulnar nerve. The same recordings were also performed from the biceps brachii muscle of additional 5 able-bodied individuals. The EMG signals were decomposed into discharges of motor unit action potentials. Motor neurons were progressively recruited for the full range of submaximal muscle activation in all conditions. Moreover, their discharge rate significantly increased from recruitment to target activation level in a similar way across the subject groups. Motor neurons across all subject groups received common synaptic input as identified by coherence analysis of their spike trains. However, the relative strength of common input in both the delta (0.5-5 Hz) and alpha (5-13 Hz) bands was significantly smaller for the surgically reinnervated motor neuron pool with respect to the corresponding physiologically innervated one. The results support the novel approach of motor neuron interfacing for prosthesis control and provide new insights into the role of afferent input on motor neuron activity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Targeted muscle reinnervation surgically redirects nerves that lost their target in the amputation into redundant muscles in the region of the stump. The study of the behavior of motor neurons following this surgery is needed for designing

  8. A rare motor neuron deleterious missense mutation in the DPYSL3 (CRMP4) gene is associated with ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasco, Hélène; Bernard-Marissal, Nathalie; Vourc'h, Patrick; Guettard, Yves Olivier; Sunyach, Claire; Augereau, Olivier; Khederchah, Joelle; Mouzat, Kevin; Antar, Catherine; Gordon, Paul H; Veyrat-Durebex, Charlotte; Besson, Gérard; Andersen, Peter M; Salachas, François; Meininger, Vincent; Camu, William; Pettmann, Brigitte; Andres, Christian R; Corcia, Philippe

    2013-07-01

    The dihydropyrimidinase-like 3 (DPYSL3) or Collapsin Response Mediator Protein 4a (CRMP4a) expression is modified in neurodegeneration and is involved in several ALS-associated pathways including axonal transport, glutamate excitotoxicity, and oxidative stress. The objective of the study was to analyze CRMP4 as a risk factor for ALS. We analyzed the DPYSL3/CRMP4 gene in French ALS patients (n = 468) and matched-controls (n = 394). We subsequently examined a variant in a Swedish population (184 SALS, 186 controls), and evaluated its functional effects on axonal growth and survival in motor neuron cell culture. The rs147541241:A>G missense mutation occurred in higher frequency among French ALS patients (odds ratio = 2.99) but the association was not confirmed in the Swedish population. In vitro expression of mutated DPYSL3 in motor neurons reduced axonal growth and accelerated cell death compared with wild type protein. Thus, the association between the rs147541241 variant and ALS was limited to the French population, highlighting the geographic particularities of genetic influences (risks, contributors). The identified variant appears to shorten motor neuron survival through a detrimental effect on axonal growth and CRMP4 could act as a key unifier in transduction pathways leading to neurodegeneration through effects on early axon development. © 2013 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

    Historical studies of eye movements in motor neurone disease (MND) have been conflicting although current findings suggest that eye movement abnormalities relate to frontal lobe impairment. Numerous case reports, however, describe slow saccades and supranuclear gaze palsies in patients with MND often associated with bulbar-onset disease. We performed a study of saccades and smooth pursuit in a large group of patients with MND to examine for any differences between bulbar-onset and spinal-onset patients. Forty-four patients (14 bulbar-onset and 30 spinal-onset patients) and 45 controls were recruited. Reflexive saccades, antisaccades and smooth pursuit were examined using infra-red oculography and all subjects then underwent neuropsychological evaluation. Reflexive saccades were found to be slower in bulbar-onset compared to spinal-onset patients and controls (p = 0.03, p = 0.05). Antisaccade latency (p = 0.01) and antisaccade type 1 errors (p = 0.03, p = 0.04) were increased in patients compared to controls. 'Proportion of time spent in smooth pursuit' and smooth pursuit 'velocity gain' were reduced in patients compared to controls (p = 0.000, p = 0.001). Antisaccade errors and velocity gain correlated with neuropsychological measures sensitive to lesions of the frontal lobes. This is the first study to highlight the presence of slow saccades in bulbar-onset MND. These findings suggest that slow saccades may be due to increased brainstem pathology in bulbar-onset disease that involves burst cell neurons. Furthermore these observations highlight the potential for overlap between bulbar-onset MND and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) as both can have a bulbar palsy and slowed saccades.

  11. 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.

  12. Supportive & palliative interventions in motor neurone disease: what we know from current literature?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Hon Wai Benjamin; Chan, Kwok Ying; Chung, Yuen Kwan Judy; Choi, Chun Wai; Chan, Chun Hung; Cheng, Shuk Ching; Chan, Wan Hung; Fung, Koon Sim; Wong, Kar Yin; Chan, Oi Man Iman; Man, Ching Wah

    2017-10-31

    Although there is no cure for motor neurone disease (MND), the advent of supportive interventions including multidisciplinary care (MDC) has improved treatment interventions and enhanced quality of life (QOL) for MND patients and their carers. Our integrative review showed evidence-based MDC, respiratory management and disease-modifying therapy that have improved the outcomes of patients diagnosed with MND. Supportive approaches to nutritional maintenance and optimization of symptomatic treatments, including management of communication and neuropsychiatric issues, improve the QOL for MND patients. Notwithstanding improvement to care and QOL, survival benefit has become evident with the advent of a MDC framework, early treatment with non-invasive ventilation (NIV). In addition, weight maintenance remains critical, as weight loss is associated with more rapid disease progression. The endof- life phase is poorly defined in MND patients and treatment remains challenging, yet effective symptom control through palliative care (PC) is achievable and essential.

  13. Axon reaction in hypoglossal and dorsal motor vagal neurons of adult rat: incorporation of (3H)leucine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aldskogius, H.; Barron, K.D.; Regal, R.

    1984-07-01

    Pairs of adult rats received (/sup 3/H)leucine 0.25, 1, and 16 h before killing and zero to 164 days after unilateral cervical vagotomy and hypoglossal neurotomy. Grain counts and morphometric measurements were made on axotomized and uninjured neurons in histoautoradiographs of the medullary nuclei. Axotomized hypoglossal neurons, which largely survive the injury, both enlarged and incorporated increased amounts of tritiated leucine at each labeling interval, 3 through 28 days postoperatively. In the vagal dorsal motor nucleus (DMN), axotomized cells, which frequently die after neurotomy, enlarged slightly through 28 days postoperatively, then atrophied; DMN neurons increased amino acid uptake for a shorter period (days 7 through 14) than hypoglossal neurons. Axotomized DMN neurons did not sustain increased protein synthesis as long as their hypoglossal counterparts and seemed to fail to increase synthesis of structural proteins with long half-lives (16-h labeling interval). The frequently necrobiotic response of axotomized DMN neurons may relate to these phenomena. From these and earlier results, the authors conclude that axon reaction appears to differ fundamentally in peripheral and central neurons. This difference may have significance for research on regeneration in the central nervous system.

  14. Sensory neurons in culture: Changing requirements for survival factors during embryonic development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barde, Y.-A.; Edgar, D.; Thoenen, H.

    1980-01-01

    The effect of nerve growth factor (NGF) and medium conditioned by glioma cells (GCM) on the survival of chicken sensory neurons in culture was investigated. Neurons were isolated from embryos 8 days (E8) to 16 days (E16) old and the proportion of surviving neurons was determined after 2 days in culture. In the absence of NGF or GCM, essentially no neurons survived at any age. In the presence of NGF, survival increased from 25% of the neurons at E8 to 40% between E10 and E12 and then decreased to background level (5%) at E16. In contrast, in the presence of GCM, survival increased continuously from 10% of the neurons at E8 to 75% at E16. At early developmental stages, the effect of NGF and GCM together was greater than the sum of their individual effects: at E8, about 80% of the neurons survived, double the number expected for a simple additive effect. Thus, a significant proportion of chicken neurons from dorsal root ganglia require both NGF and GCM for survival, and this may well include neurons from the ventro-lateral population, which do not respond to NGF alone. As neurons matured, the double requirement progressively decreased and, by E16, NGF no longer increased the number of neurons over that surviving in response to GCM alone. The facts that rat brain extracts mimicked the effect of GCM and that the potency of the brain extracts of rat in the postnatal period increased in parallel with the development of the glial cells suggest that glial cells produce a factor(s) both immunologically and functionally different from NGF which supports the survival of sensory neurons. Images PMID:6928668

  15. 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.

  16. MotomiRs: miRNAs in Motor Neuron Function and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary C. E. Hawley

    2017-05-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. Motor neuron dysfunction in a mouse model of ALS: gender-dependent effect of P2X7 antagonism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervetto, Chiara; Frattaroli, Daniela; Maura, Guido; Marcoli, Manuela

    2013-09-06

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative progressive currently untreatable disease, characterized by selective motor neuron degeneration; the incidence and prevalence of ALS are greater in men than in women. Although some important mechanisms that might contribute to the death of motor neurons have been identified, the mechanisms underlying disease pathophysiology are still uncertain. In particular, the mechanisms underlying the role of gender in ALS and whether treatments should take into account sexual dimorphism remain only partially understood. Recently, the P2X7 receptor for ATP was reported to display neurotoxic potential in motor neuron disorders, and antagonism of the receptor has been suggested to be helpful in these disorders. Studying transgenic mice with superoxide dismutase 1 gene mutations, widely used as model for ALS, may provide a better understanding of pathogenic mechanisms and of toxicity towards motor neurons, also possibly helping to understand whether treatments for ALS should take into account sexual dimorphism. The aim of the work was (1) investigating on gender-dependence of disease progression in the standard model for ALS - the transgenic mouse bearing superoxide dismutase 1 gene mutations - and (2) assessing if a P2X7 receptor antagonist treatment should take into account sexual dimorphism. We evaluated if gender affect the disease course, the motor performance, the weight loss and the lifespan in mice overexpressing mutant superoxide dismutase 1. We measured motor impairment, motor strength and coordination by rotarod and grip strength testing. Further, we assessed if a treatment with the P2X7 receptor antagonist Brilliant Blue G - a dye that can cross the blood-brain barrier, has low toxicity, and has exhibited therapeutic effects in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases - impact on the disease progression, in male and female ALS mice. We found that (1) the onset and the disease progression, and the survival

  19. In vivo analysis of MEF2 transcription factors in synapse regulation and neuronal survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Waseem Akhtar

    Full Text Available MEF2 (A-D transcription factors govern development, differentiation and maintenance of various cell types including neurons. The role of MEF2 isoforms in the brain has been studied using in vitro manipulations with only MEF2C examined in vivo. In order to understand specific as well as redundant roles of the MEF2 isoforms, we generated brain-specific deletion of MEF2A and found that Mef2aKO mice show normal behavior in a range of paradigms including learning and memory. We next generated Mef2a and Mef2d brain-specific double KO (Mef2a/dDKO mice and observed deficits in motor coordination and enhanced hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity, however there were no alterations in learning and memory, Schaffer collateral pathway long-term potentiation, or the number of dendritic spines. Since previous work has established a critical role for MEF2C in hippocampal plasticity, we generated a Mef2a, Mef2c and Mef2d brain-specific triple KO (Mef2a/c/dTKO. Mef2a/c/d TKO mice have early postnatal lethality with increased neuronal apoptosis, indicative of a redundant role for the MEF2 factors in neuronal survival. We examined synaptic plasticity in the intact neurons in the Mef2a/c/d TKO mice and found significant impairments in short-term synaptic plasticity suggesting that MEF2C is the major isoform involved in hippocampal synaptic function. Collectively, these data highlight the key in vivo role of MEF2C isoform in the brain and suggest that MEF2A and MEF2D have only subtle roles in regulating hippocampal synaptic function.

  20. Frontostriatal deficit in Motor Neuron Disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (MND/ALS)

    OpenAIRE

    Buoiano, Dr. G; Bongioanni, Dr. P; Magoni, Dr. M; Carboncini, Dr. MC; Rossi, Dr. B

    2003-01-01

    So far, cognitive derangements in MND/ALS have not been widely studied. Nevertheless, it seems that in subgroups of patients cognitive functions are impaired in different degree, so that often at least two sub-types of the syndrome are reported: Motor Neuron Disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Dementia Syndrome (MND/ALS/DS) and Motor Neuron Disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/ Aphasia Syndrome (MND/ALS/AS. A third subtype showing both symptoms of cognitive impairment may be identified in...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-16

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

  2. The physiological motor patterns produced by neurons in the nucleus retroambiguus in the rat and their modulation by vagal, peripheral chemosensory, and nociceptive stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramanian, Hari H; Huang, Zheng-Gui; Silburn, Peter A; Balnave, Ron J; Holstege, Gert

    2018-02-01

    The nucleus retroambiguus (NRA) is a neuronal cell group in the medullary ventrolateral tegmentum, rostrocaudally between the obex and the first cervical spinal segment. NRA neurons are premotor interneurons with direct projections to the motoneurons of soft palate, pharynx, and larynx in the nucleus ambiguus in the lateral medulla as well as to the motoneurons in the spinal cord innervating diaphragm, abdominal, and pelvic floor muscles and the lumbosacral motoneurons generating sexual posture. These NRA premotor interneurons receive very strong projections from the periaqueductal gray (PAG) in the context of basic survival mechanisms as fight, flight, freezing, sound production, and sexual behavior. In the present study in rat we investigated the physiological motor patterns generated by NRA neurons, as the result of vagal, peripheral chemosensory, and nociceptive stimulation. The results show that the NRA contains phasic respiratory modulated neurons, as well as nonphasic tonically modulated neurons. Stimulation in the various rostrocaudal levels of the NRA generates site-specific laryngeal, respiratory, abdominal, and pelvic floor motor activities. Vagal and peripheral chemosensory stimulation induces both excitatory and inhibitory modulation of phasic NRA-neurons, while peripheral chemosensory and nociceptive stimulation causes excitation and inhibition of nonphasic NRA-neurons. These results are in agreement with the concept that the NRA represents a multifunctional group of neurons involved in the output of the emotional motor system, such as vomiting, vocalization, mating, and changes in respiration. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negro, Francesco; Yavuz, Utku Şükrü

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. LGR5/GPR49 is implicated in motor neuron specification in nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Shao-jun; Mao, Xing-gang; Wang, Chao; Han, An-guo; Yan, Ming; Xue, Xiao-yan

    2015-01-01

    The biological roles of stem cell marker LGR5, the receptor for the Wnt-agonistic R-spondins, for nervous system are poorly known. Bioinformatics analysis in normal human brain tissues revealed that LGR5 is closely related with neuron development and functions. Interestingly, LGR5 and its ligands R-spondins (RSPO2 and RSPO3) are specifically highly expressed in projection motor neurons in the spinal cord, brain stem and cerebral. Inhibition of Notch activity in neural stem cells (NSCs) increased the percentage of neuronal cells and promoted LGR5 expression, while activation of Notch signal decreased neuronal cells and inhibited the LGR5 expression. Furthermore, knockdown of LGR5 inhibited the expression of neuronal markers MAP2, NeuN, GAP43, SYP and CHRM3, and also reduced the expression of genes that program the identity of motor neurons, including Isl1, Lhx3, PHOX2A, TBX20 and NEUROG2. Our data demonstrated that LGR5 is highly expressed in motor neurons in nervous system and is involved in their development by regulating transcription factors that program motor neuron identity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Trophic activity of Rabies G protein-pseudotyped equine infectious anemia viral vector mediated IGF-I motor neuron gene transfer in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Qingshan; Garrity-Moses, Mary; Federici, Thais; Tanase, Diana; Liu, James K; Mazarakis, Nicholas D; Azzouz, Mimoun; Walmsley, Lucy E; Carlton, Erin; Boulis, Nicholas M

    2005-12-01

    The present study examines gene delivery to cultured motor neurons (MNs) with the Rabies G protein (RabG)-pseudotyped lentiviral equine infectious anemia virus (RabG.EIAV) vector. RabG.EIAV-mediated beta-galactosidase (RabG.EIAV-LacZ) gene expression in cultured MNs plateaus 120 h after infection. The rate and percent of gene expression observed are titer-dependent (P vector (RabG.EIAV-IGF-I) and was shown to induce IGF-I expression in HEK 293 cells. MNs infected with RabG.EIAV-IGF-I demonstrate enhanced survival compared to MNs infected with RabG.EIAV-LacZ virus (P control virus (P motor neuron tropism of RabG.EIAV previously demonstrated in vivo, together with the trophic effects of RabG.EIAV-IGF-I MN gene expression may lend this vector to therapeutic application in motor neuron disease.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-04

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

  9. 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

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28616022

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogério Martins Amorim

    1996-03-01

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

  12. Adult neuron addition to the zebra finch song motor pathway correlates with the rate and extent of recovery from botox-induced paralysis of the vocal muscles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pytte, Carolyn; Yu, Yi-Lo; Wildstein, Sara; George, Shanu; Kirn, John

    2011-01-01

    In adult songbirds, neurons are continually incorporated into the telencephalic nucleus HVC, a pre-motor region necessary for the production of learned vocalizations. Previous studies have demonstrated that neuron addition to HVC is highest when song is most variable: in juveniles during song learning, in seasonally singing adults during peaks in plasticity that precede the production of new song components, or during seasonal re-establishment of a previously learned song. These findings suggest that neuron addition provides motor flexibility for the transition from a variable song to a target song. Here we test the association between the quality of song structure and HVC neuron addition by experimentally manipulating syringeal muscle control with botox, which produces a transient partial paralysis. We show that the quality of song structure co-varies with new neuron addition to HVC. Both the magnitude of song distortion and the rate of song recovery following syringeal botox injections were correlated with the number of new neurons incorporated into HVC. We suggest that the quality of song structure is either a cause or consequence of the number of new neurons added to HVC. Birds with naturally high rates of neuron addition may have had the greatest success in recovering song. Alternatively, or in addition, new neuron survival in the song motor pathway may be regulated by the quality of song-generated feedback as song regains its original stereotyped structure. Present results are the first to show a relationship between peripheral muscle control and adult neuron addition to cortical pre-motor circuits. PMID:22114266

  13. Lack of Motor Neuron Differentiation is an Intrinsic Property of the Mouse Secondary Neural Tube

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shum, Alisa S.W.; Tang, Louisa S.C.; Copp, Andrew J.; Roelink, Henk

    2016-01-01

    The cranial part of the amniote neural tube is formed by folding and fusion of the ectoderm-derived neural plate (primary neurulation). After posterior neuropore closure, however, the caudal neural tube is formed by cavitation of tail bud mesenchyme (secondary neurulation). In mouse embryos, the secondary neural tube expresses several genes important in early patterning and induction, in restricted domains similar to the primary neural tube, yet it does not undergo neuronal differentiation, but subsequently degenerates. Although the secondary neural tube, isolated from surrounding tissues, is responsive to exogenous Sonic Hedgehog proteins in vitro, motor neuron differentiation is never observed. This cannot be attributed to the properties of the secondary notochord, since it is able to induce motor neuron differentiation in naïve chick neural plate explants. Taken together, these results support that the lack of motor neuron differentiation is an intrinsic property of the mouse secondary neural tube. PMID:20960561

  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. Injury-Associated PACAP Expression in Rat Sensory and Motor Neurons Is Induced by Endogenous BDNF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettersson, Lina M. E.; Geremia, Nicole M.; Ying, Zhengxin; Verge, Valerie M. K.

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral nerve injury results in dramatic upregulation in pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) expression in adult rat dorsal root ganglia and spinal motor neurons mirroring that described for the neurotrophin brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Thus, we posited that injury-associated alterations in BDNF expression regulate the changes in PACAP expression observed in the injured neurons. The role of endogenous BDNF in induction and/or maintenance of PACAP mRNA expression in injured adult rat motor and sensory neurons was examined by intrathecally infusing or intraperitoneally injecting BDNF-specific antibodies or control IgGs immediately at the time of L4-L6 spinal nerve injury, or in a delayed fashion one week later for 3 days followed by analysis of impact on PACAP expression. PACAP mRNA in injured lumbar sensory and motor neurons was detected using in situ hybridization, allowing quantification of relative changes between experimental groups, with ATF-3 immunofluorescence serving to identify the injured subpopulation of motor neurons. Both the incidence and level of PACAP mRNA expression were dramatically reduced in injured sensory and motor neurons in response to immediate intrathecal anti-BDNF treatment. In contrast, neither intraperitoneal injections nor delayed intrathecal infusions of anti-BDNF had any discernible impact on PACAP expression. This impact on PACAP expression in response to BDNF immunoneutralization in DRG was confirmed using qRT-PCR or by using BDNF selective siRNAs to reduce neuronal BDNF expression. Collectively, our findings support that endogenous injury-associated BDNF expression is critically involved in induction, but not maintenance, of injury-associated PACAP expression in sensory and motor neurons. PMID:24968020

  17. Regulation of tyrosine kinase B activity by the Cyp46/cholesterol loss pathway in mature hippocampal neurons: relevance for neuronal survival under stress and in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sodero, Alejandro O; Trovò, Laura; Iannilli, Francesca; Van Veldhoven, Paul; Dotti, Carlos G; Martin, Mauricio G

    2011-03-01

    It is well established that memory formation and retention involve the coordinated flow of information from the post-synaptic site of particular neuronal populations to the nucleus, where short and long-lasting modifications of gene expression occur. With age, mnemonic, motor and sensorial alterations occur, and it is believed that extra failures in the mechanisms used for memory formation and storage are the cause of neurodegenerative pathologies like Alzheimer's disease. A prime candidate responsible for damage and loss of function during aging is the accumulation of reactive oxygen species, derived from normal oxidative metabolism. However, dysfunction in the aged brain is not paralleled by an increase in neuronal death, indicative that the brain is better suited to fight against the death signals generated from reactive oxygen species than against loss-of-function stimuli. A main aim of this laboratory is to understand how neurons perform and survive in the constitutive stress background represented by aging. In this report, we summarize our recent findings in relation to survival. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  18. Immune clearance of attenuated rabies virus results in neuronal survival with altered gene expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily A Gomme

    Full Text Available Rabies virus (RABV is a highly neurotropic pathogen that typically leads to mortality of infected animals and humans. The precise etiology of rabies neuropathogenesis is unknown, though it is hypothesized to be due either to neuronal death or dysfunction. Analysis of human brains post-mortem reveals surprisingly little tissue damage and neuropathology considering the dramatic clinical symptomology, supporting the neuronal dysfunction model. However, whether or not neurons survive infection and clearance and, provided they do, whether they are functionally restored to their pre-infection phenotype has not been determined in vivo for RABV, or any neurotropic virus. This is due, in part, to the absence of a permanent "mark" on once-infected cells that allow their identification long after viral clearance. Our approach to study the survival and integrity of RABV-infected neurons was to infect Cre reporter mice with recombinant RABV expressing Cre-recombinase (RABV-Cre to switch neurons constitutively expressing tdTomato (red to expression of a Cre-inducible EGFP (green, permanently marking neurons that had been infected in vivo. We used fluorescence microscopy and quantitative real-time PCR to measure the survival of neurons after viral clearance; we found that the vast majority of RABV-infected neurons survive both infection and immunological clearance. We were able to isolate these previously infected neurons by flow cytometry and assay their gene expression profiles compared to uninfected cells. We observed transcriptional changes in these "cured" neurons, predictive of decreased neurite growth and dysregulated microtubule dynamics. This suggests that viral clearance, though allowing for survival of neurons, may not restore them to their pre-infection functionality. Our data provide a proof-of-principle foundation to re-evaluate the etiology of human central nervous system diseases of unknown etiology: viruses may trigger permanent neuronal

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, Teruyuki; Kohsaka, Hiroshi; Nose, Akinao

    2017-02-22

    In this study, we used the peristaltic crawling of Drosophila larvae as a model to study how motor patterns are regulated by central circuits. We built an experimental system that allows simultaneous application of optogenetics and calcium imaging to the isolated ventral nerve cord (VNC). We then investigated the effects of manipulating local activity of motor neurons (MNs) on fictive locomotion observed as waves of MN activity propagating along neuromeres. Optical inhibition of MNs with halorhodopsin3 in a middle segment (A4, A5, or A6), but not other segments, dramatically decreased the frequency of the motor waves. Conversely, local activation of MNs with channelrhodopsin2 in a posterior segment (A6 or A7) increased the frequency of the motor waves. Since peripheral nerves mediating sensory feedback were severed in the VNC preparation, these results indicate that MNs send signals to the central circuits to regulate motor pattern generation. Our results also indicate segmental specificity in the roles of MNs in motor control. The effects of the local MN activity manipulation were lost in shaking-B2 (shakB2 ) or ogre2 , gap-junction mutations in Drosophila, or upon acute application of the gap junction blocker carbenoxolone, implicating electrical synapses in the signaling from MNs. Cell-type-specific RNAi suggested shakB and ogre function in MNs and interneurons, respectively, during the signaling. Our results not only reveal an unexpected role for MNs in motor pattern regulation, but also introduce a powerful experimental system that enables examination of the input-output relationship among the component neurons in this system.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Motor neurons are generally considered passive players in motor pattern generation, simply relaying information from upstream interneuronal circuits to the target muscles. This study shows instead that MNs play active roles in the control of motor generation by conveying information via gap junctions to the central

  20. Motor Unit Number Index (MUNIX) detects motor neuron loss in pre-symptomatic muscles in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuwirth, Christoph; Barkhaus, Paul E; Burkhardt, Christian; Castro, José; Czell, David; de Carvalho, Mamede; Nandedkar, Sanjeev; Stålberg, Erik; Weber, Markus

    2017-03-01

    Motor Unit Number Index (MUNIX) is a quantitative neurophysiological measure that provides an index of the number of lower motor neurons supplying a muscle. It reflects the loss of motor neurons in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). However, it is unclear whether MUNIX also detects motor unit loss in strong, non-wasted muscles. Three centres measured MUNIX in 49 ALS patients every three months in six different muscles (abductor pollicis brevis, abductor digiti minimi, biceps brachii, tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum brevis, abductor hallucis) on the less affected side. The decline of MUNIX in initially non-wasted, clinically strong muscles (manual muscle testing, MMT grade 5) was analysed before and after onset of weakness. In 49 subjects, 151 clinically strong muscles developed weakness and were included for analysis. The average monthly relative loss of MUNIX was 5.0% before and 5.6% after onset of weakness. This rate of change was significantly higher compared to ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) and compound muscle action potential (CMAP) change over 12months prior to the onset of muscle weakness (p=0.024). MUNIX is an electrophysiological marker that detects lower motor neuron loss in ALS, before clinical weakness becomes apparent by manual muscle testing. This makes MUNIX a good biomarker candidate for disease progression and possibly pharmacodynamics responds. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Golgi fragmentation precedes neuromuscular denervation and is associated with endosome abnormalities in SOD1-ALS mouse motor neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dis, Vera; Kuijpers, Marijn; Haasdijk, Elize D; Teuling, Eva; Oakes, Scott A; Hoogenraad, Casper C; Jaarsma, Dick

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Fragmentation of stacked cisterns of the Golgi apparatus into dispersed smaller elements is a feature associated with degeneration of neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and some other neurodegenerative disorders. However, the role of Golgi fragmentation in motor neuron

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Metaphoric language and the articulation of emotions by people affected by motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locock, Louise; Mazanderani, Fadhila; Powell, John

    2012-09-01

    To explore the use of metaphoric language to convey emotion in interviews with people affected by motor neurone disease, a progressive neurological condition that sits between chronic and terminal illness. Secondary analysis of 46 interviews with people affected by motor neurone disease in the United Kingdom (35 individuals with the condition, 11 carers). Metaphor and figurative language was used to communicate the intensely emotional experiences of being diagnosed with and living with motor neurone disease. We focus on three pervasive themes that were threaded throughout the interviews: battling and fighting; the self under attack and journeying through a physical and emotional landscape. This secondary analysis of qualitative research interviews enriches our understanding of the articulation of emotion in motor neurone disease and adds to the literature on metaphor in chronic illness. Of particular interest is how the metaphors used contrasted with other conditions in the relative absence of metaphors of 'fighting' the disease. Furthermore, we analyse the ways in which participants used metaphors to give voice to emotions that are extremely difficult to articulate in 'literal' language, and how, in doing so, they blurred the distinction between 'physical' symptoms and 'emotional' states. Sensitivity to metaphors may help professionals communicate with people affected by motor neurone disease.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manu Jokela

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Adaptive changes in the output of neural circuits underlying rhythmic behaviors are relayed to muscles via motor neuron activity. Presynaptic and postsynaptic properties of neuromuscular junctions can impact the transformation from motor neuron activity to muscle response. Further, synaptic plasticity occurring on the time scale of inter-spike intervals can differ between multiple muscles innervated by the same motor neuron. In rhythmic behaviors, motor neuron bursts can elicit additional synaptic plasticity. However, it is unknown whether plasticity regulated by the longer time scale of inter-burst intervals also differs between synapses from the same neuron, and whether any such distinctions occur across a physiological activity range. To address these issues, we measured electrical responses in muscles innervated by a chewing circuit neuron, the lateral gastric (LG) motor neuron, in a well-characterized small motor system, the stomatogastric nervous system (STNS) of the Jonah crab, Cancer borealisIn vitro and in vivo, sensory, hormonal and modulatory inputs elicit LG bursting consisting of inter-spike intervals of 50-250 ms and inter-burst intervals of 2-24 s. Muscles expressed similar facilitation measured with paired stimuli except at the shortest inter-spike interval. However, distinct decay time constants resulted in differences in temporal summation. In response to bursting activity, augmentation occurred to different extents and saturated at different inter-burst intervals. Further, augmentation interacted with facilitation, resulting in distinct intra-burst facilitation between muscles. Thus, responses of multiple target muscles diverge across a physiological activity range as a result of distinct synaptic properties sensitive to multiple time scales. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Dicer expression is essential for adult midbrain dopaminergic neuron maintenance and survival

    OpenAIRE

    Pang, Xueyan; Hogan, Eric M.; Gao, Guangping; Gardner, Paul D.; Tapper, Andrew R.

    2013-01-01

    The type III RNAse, Dicer, is responsible for the processing of microRNA (miRNA) precursors into functional miRNA molecules, non-coding RNAs that bind to and target messenger RNAs for repression. Dicer expression is essential for mouse midbrain development and dopaminergic (DAergic) neuron maintenance and survival during the early post-natal period. However, the role of Dicer in adult mouse DAergic neuron maintenance and survival is unknown. To bridge this gap in knowledge, we selectively kno...

  14. Knocking down of the KCC2 in rat hippocampal neurons increases intracellular chloride concentration and compromises neuronal survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrino, Christophe; Gubkina, Olena; Schaefer, Michael; Becq, Hélène; Ludwig, Anastasia; Mukhtarov, Marat; Chudotvorova, Ilona; Corby, Severine; Salyha, Yuriy; Salozhin, Sergey; Bregestovski, Piotr; Medina, Igor

    2011-01-01

    Abstract KCC2 is a neuron-specific potassium–chloride co-transporter controlling intracellular chloride homeostasis in mature and developing neurons. It is implicated in the regulation of neuronal migration, dendrites outgrowth and formation of the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connections. The function of KCC2 is suppressed under several pathological conditions including neuronal trauma, different types of epilepsies, axotomy of motoneurons, neuronal inflammations and ischaemic insults. However, it remains unclear how down-regulation of the KCC2 contributes to neuronal survival during and after toxic stress. Here we show that in primary hippocampal neuronal cultures the suppression of the KCC2 function using two different shRNAs, dominant-negative KCC2 mutant C568A or DIOA inhibitor, increased the intracellular chloride concentration [Cl−]i and enhanced the toxicity induced by lipofectamine-dependent oxidative stress or activation of the NMDA receptors. The rescuing of the KCC2 activity using over-expression of the active form of the KCC2, but not its non-active mutant Y1087D, effectively restored [Cl−]i and enhanced neuronal resistance to excitotoxicity. The reparative effects of KCC2 were mimicked by over-expression of the KCC3, a homologue transporter. These data suggest an important role of KCC2-dependent potassium/chloride homeostasis under neurototoxic conditions and reveal a novel role of endogenous KCC2 as a neuroprotective molecule. PMID:21486764

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    2014-11-01

    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).

  17. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    (without phasic afferent feedback). In this study, we compared the activity of DSCT and VSCT neurons during fictive rhythmic motor behaviors. We used decerebrate cat preparations in which fictive motor tasks can be evoked while the animal is paralyzed and there is no rhythmic sensory input from hindlimb......Neurons of the dorsal spinocerebellar tracts (DSCT) have been described to be rhythmically active during walking on a treadmill in decerebrate cats, but this activity ceased following deafferentation of the hindlimb. This observation supported the hypothesis that DSCT neurons primarily relay...... the activity of hindlimb afferents during locomotion, but lack input from the spinal central pattern generator. The ventral spinocerebellar tract (VSCT) neurons, on the other hand, were found to be active during actual locomotion (on a treadmill) even after deafferentation, as well as during fictive locomotion...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajalaxmi Natarajan

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Guo

    2017-06-01

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

  1. The proportion of common synaptic input to motor neurons increases with an increase in net excitatory input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castronovo, Anna Margherita; Negro, Francesco; Conforto, Silvia; Farina, Dario

    2015-12-01

    α-Motor neurons receive synaptic inputs from spinal and supraspinal centers that comprise components either common to the motor neuron pool or independent. The input shared by motor neurons--common input--determines force control. The aim of the study was to investigate the changes in the strength of common synaptic input delivered to motor neurons with changes in force and with fatigue, two conditions that underlie an increase in the net excitatory drive to the motor neurons. High-density surface electromyogram (EMG) signals were recorded from the tibialis anterior muscle during contractions at 20, 50, and 75% of the maximal voluntary contraction force (in 3 sessions separated by at least 2 days), all sustained until task failure. EMG signal decomposition identified the activity of a total of 1,245 motor units. The coherence values between cumulative motor unit spike trains increased with increasing force, especially for low frequencies. This increase in coherence was not observed when comparing two subsets of motor units having different recruitment thresholds, but detected at the same force level. Moreover, the coherence values for frequencies input to motor neurons increases with respect to independent input when the net excitatory drive to motor neurons increases as a consequence of a change in force and fatigue. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  2. Social change affects the survival of new neurons in the forebrain of adult songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipkind, D; Nottebohm, F; Rado, R; Barnea, A

    2002-06-15

    Many new neurons are added to the adult avian brain. Most of them die 3-5 weeks after they are born (Nature (Lond.) 335 (1988) 353; J. Comp. Neurol 411 (1999) 487). Those that survive replace, numerically, older ones that have died (Neuron 25 (2000) 481). It has been suggested that the new neurons enhance the brain's ability to acquire new long-term memories (review in Sci. Am. 260 (1989) 74). If so, perhaps an increase in social complexity affects the survival of new neurons in a social species. To test this hypothesis, we treated adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with [3H]-thymidine immediately before introducing them into one of three different social environments that differed in complexity and killed them 40 days later. There was a significant difference between experimental groups in the number of [3H]-labeled neurons in neostriatum caudale (NC), high vocal center (HVC) and Area X, three forebrain regions that are involved in vocal communication. In these regions, birds placed in a large heterosexual group had more new neurons than birds kept singly or as male-female pairs. Regulation of new neuron survival by extent of circuit use may be a general mechanism for ensuring that neuronal replacement is closely attuned to environmental change.

  3. Mineralocorticoid receptor overexpression facilitates differentiation and promotes survival of embryonic stem cell-derived neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munier, Mathilde; Law, Frédéric; Meduri, Geri; Le Menuet, Damien; Lombès, Marc

    2012-03-01

    Mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), highly expressed in the hippocampus, binds corticosteroid hormones and coordinately participates, with the glucocorticoid receptor, to the control of stress responses, memorization, and behavior. To investigate the impact of MR in neuronal survival, we generated murine embryonic stem (ES) cells that overexpress human MR (hMR) (P1-hMR) and are induced to differentiate into mature neurons. We showed that recombinant MR expression increased throughout differentiation and is 2-fold higher in P1-hMR ES-derived neurons compared with wild-type controls, whereas glucocorticoid receptor expression was unaffected. Although proliferation and early neuronal differentiation were comparable in P1-hMR and wild-type ES cells, MR overexpression was associated with higher late neuronal marker expression (microtubule-associated protein 2 and β-tubulin III). This was accompanied by a shift towards neuron survival with an increased ratio of anti- vs. proapoptotic molecules and 50% decreased caspase 3 activity. Knocking down MR overexpression by small interfering RNA drastically reversed neuroprotective effects with reduced Bcl(2)/Bax ratio and decreased microtubule-associated protein 2 expression. P1-hMR neurons were protected against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis through reduced caspase 3 activation and drastically increased Bcl(2)/Bax ratio and β-tubulin III expression. We demonstrated the involvement of MR in neuronal differentiation and survival and identify MR as an important neuroprotective mediator opening potential pharmacological strategies.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Motor memory consolidation in sleep shapes more effective neuronal representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Stefan; Nitschke, Matthias F; Melchert, Uwe H; Erdmann, Christian; Born, Jan

    2005-12-07

    Learning a motor skill involves a latent process of consolidation that develops after training to enhance the skill in the absence of any practice and crucially depends on sleep. Here, we show that this latent consolidation during sleep changes the brain representation of the motor skill by reducing overall the neocortical contributions to the representation. Functional magnetic resonance brain imaging was performed during initial training and 48 h later, at retesting, on a sequential finger movement task with training followed by either a night of regular sleep or sleep deprivation. An additional night of sleep for all subjects served to rule out unspecific effects of sleep loss at retrieval testing. Posttraining sleep, but not sleep deprivation, led to improved motor skill performance at retrieval. This sleep-dependent improvement was linked to greatly reduced brain activation in prefrontal, premotor, and primary motor cortical areas, along with a stronger involvement of left parietal cortical regions. Our findings indicate that storing a motor skill during sleep reorganizes its brain representation toward enhanced efficacy.

  7. 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

  8. A retrospective review of specialist palliative care involvement in motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, R; Tracey, G; Lawlor, P; O'Siorain, L; Higgins, S

    2012-01-01

    The provision of specialist palliative care to Irish patients suffering from motor neurone disease has not been described in the literature. The purpose of this study was to characterize the care provided at a Dublin hospice. Consecutive referrals between 1st January 1999 and 31st December 2008 (n=72) were reviewed. At the time of data collection, 61 (84.7%) were deceased, 9 (12.5%) were alive and the status of 2 (2.7%) was unknown. At first assessment, 48 (66%) had bulbar symptoms and 35 (49%) had respiratory symptoms, 50 (70%) were receiving Riluzole, 25 (35%) had a feeding tube and 13 (18%) were using non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV). Median survival from the point of referral was 7 months (95% CI 4.5-9.4). Of the 61 deceased patients, 22 (36%) died at home, 22 (36%) died in the inpatient unit, 9 (15%) died in hospital and 8 (13%) died in a nursing home.

  9. Unstable terminality: negotiating the meaning of chronicity and terminality in motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerum, Sverre Vigeland; Solbraekke, Kari Nyheim; Holmøy, Trygve; Frich, Jan C

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores the meaning of chronicity and terminality in motor neurone disease (MND), also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). There is no known cause or cure for MND, and expected survival is 2-5 years, but several interventions may improve or prolong life. This study draws on qualitative interview data with health professionals in hospitals and primary care, and family carers, in Norway. The actors emphasised chronic and terminal aspects in subtly different ways along the entire illness trajectory, also when recounting the trajectory in retrospect. As a consequence of improved health services and medical technology the distinction between chronicity and terminality has become more vague and sometimes ambiguous. We suggest the concept unstable terminality to describe this ambiguity. While MND is a fatal diagnosis; it may be contested, as contingencies and interventions create an indefinite time scope. The instability creates challenges for primary care which is dependent on prognostic information to organise their effort; hospitals tackle the instability by pre-scheduled consultations allowing for avoidance of an explicit prognosis. Some carers experienced what we understand as a disruption within the disruption, living with chronic and terminal illness simultaneously, which made the limbo phase more challenging to overcome. © 2015 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2015 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. (R1441C) LRRK2 induces the degeneration of SN dopaminergic neurons and alters the expression of genes regulating neuronal survival in a transgenic mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Yi-Hsin; Chen, Chu-Yu; Lin, Kun-Jun; Chen, Ying-Ling; Yeh, Tu-Hsueh; Hsiao, Ing-Tsung; Chen, Ing-Jou; Lu, Chin-Song; Wang, Hung-Li

    2016-01-01

    Mutation of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is the most common genetic cause of both familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) cases. Several mutations in LRRK2 gene were reported in PD patients. R1441 is the second most frequent site of LRRK2 mutation. We generated (R1441C) LRRK2 transgenic mice that displayed motor deficits at the age of 16 months. Compared with wild-type mice, 16-month-old (R1441C) LRRK2 mice exhibited a significant reduction in the number of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic neurons. To elucidate molecular pathogenic pathways involved in (R1441C) LRRK2-induced death of SN dopaminergic neurons, we performed microarray analysis to visualize altered mRNA expressions in the SN of (R1441C) LRRK2 mouse. In the SN of (R1441C) LRRK2 transgenic mouse, the mRNA expression of three genes that promote cell death was upregulated, while the mRNA expression of seven genes that contribute to neurogenesis/neuroprotection was significantly downregulated. Our results suggest that altered expression of these genes involved in regulating neuronal survival may contribute to the pathogenesis of (R1441C) LRRK2-induced PD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Adeno-associated viral-mediated insulin-like growth factor delivery protects motor neurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Andrea M; Feldman, Eva L; Song, Debbie K; Jung, Verena; Schild, Andreas; Zhang, Wei; Imperiale, Michael J; Boulis, Nicholas M

    2004-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector-mediated delivery of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) gene through retrograde axonal transport can prolong survival and delay disease onset in the superoxide dismutase mutant mouse model of motor neuron (MN) disease. The present experiment examines IGF-I gene transfer in vitro. Adenoviral and AAV vectors for IGF-I infect neurons triggering expression and secretion of biologically active IGF-I. AAV-mediated IGF-I expression in SH-SY5Y neurons protects both cells expressing the transgene, and bystanders without transgene expression from glutamate-induced apoptosis. Similarly, AAV-mediated IGF-I delivery in primary E15 MN culture provides a titer-dependent neuroprotection from glutamate-induced DNA fragmentation. Both infected and noninfected neurons are equally protected. These observations argue that vector-mediated IGF-I gene transfer induces secretion of active IGF-I that acts through direct effects on spinal cord MNs. This mechanism may explain the therapeutic effects observed in vivo despite relatively low affinity AAV spinal cord uptake.

  13. Morphological and electrophysiological features of motor neurons and putative interneurons in the dorsal vagal complex of rats and mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Hong; Glatzer, Nicholas R.; Williams, Kevin W.; Derbenev, Andrei V.; Liu, Dan; Smith, Bret N.

    2009-01-01

    The dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) contains preganglionic motor neurons that control viscera along the subdiaphragmatic digestive tract, but may also contain neurons that do not project to the viscera. Neurons that expressed EGFP 60-72 h subsequent to PRV-152 inoculation of vagal terminals in the stomach wall were targeted for whole-cell patch-clamp recording and biocytin filling in transverse brainstem slices from rats and their quantitative morphological and electrophysiological characteristics were compared with uninfected cells. Over 90% of PRV-152 labeled neurons were also labeled subsequent to intraperitoneal injection of FluoroGold, indicating most were preganglionic motor neurons. In reconstructed neurons with an identifiable axon trajectory, two cellular subtypes were distinguished. The axon projected ventrolaterally from the DMV in 44 of 49 cells and these were likely to be vagal motor neurons. Axons of other neurons ramified within the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) or DMV. These cells were smaller and otherwise morphologically distinct from putative motor neurons. Transgenic mice with GFP-expressing inhibitory neurons (i.e., GIN mice) were used to identify a GABAergic subset vagal neurons. These neurons had locally-ramifying axons and formed a morphologically distinct subset of DMV cells, which were similar in size and axon trajectory to GABAergic neurons in the NTS. Most neurons in the DMV therefore possess morphological features of motor neurons, but locally projecting cells and inhibitory neurons with distinct morphological features are also found within the DMV. These cells likely contribute to regulation of vagal function. PMID:19619517

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2011-10-01

    Oct 1, 2011 ... verbal communication is no longer possible.7 Dysarthria, a motor speech disorder that results from damage to the peripheral or central nervous system is characterised by the imprecision of the movement of speech musculature, resulting in decreased speech intelligibility.8 Typically, speaking rate is initially ...

  15. Schwann cell-derived factors support serotoninergic neuron survival and promote neurite outgrowth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Pellitteri

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available During embryogenesis and the postnatal period, neurons and glia interact in the development and differentiation of specific populations of nerve cells. Both in the peripheral (PNS and in the central nervous system (CNS, glial cells have been shown in various experimental conditions to constitute a favorable substrate for neural adhesion, neural polarity, shape and axonal extension, while numerous soluble molecules secreted by neurons influence the survival and differentiation of the glial cells themselves. The aim of the present work was to investigate the influence of postnatal Schwann cells (SC on embryonic serotoninergic (5-HT neurons of the raphe, in order to study the possible influence of the peripheral glia on the CNS neurons. Cultures of SC from sciatic nerve of postnatal rats and neurons from rat embryonic rhombencephalon were successfully established and cells were immunocytochemically characterized. The number of 5-HT neurons, and the number and length of their branches were quantified in the cultures of 5-HT neurons, in cultures added with Nerve Growth Factor (NGF and Insulin-like Growth Factor I (IGF-I, in co-cultures with SC and in cultures added with conditioned medium obtained from SC cultures. The results indicated that SC have the capacity to promote the survival and growth of 5-HT neurons in culture, and that this activity is mediated by soluble factors. Although the precise nature and mechanism of action of the growth factor or factors produced by SC in the presence of 5-HT neurons was not identified, our results add more data on the possible activity of the peripheral glia in promoting and enhancing the survival and outgrowth of the CNS neurons.

  16. MND2: A new mouse model of inherited motor neuron disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, J.M.; Albin, R.L.; Feldman, E.L.; Simin, K.; Schuster, T.G.; Dunnick, W.A.; Collins, J.T.; Chrisp, C.E.; Meisler, M.H. (Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)); Taylor, B.A. (Jackson Lab., Bar Harbor, ME (United States))

    1993-06-01

    The autosomal recessive mutation mnd2 results in early onset motor neuron disease with rapidly progressive paralysis, severe muscle wasting, regression of thymus and spleen, and death before 40 days of age. mnd2 has been mapped to mouse chromosome 6 with the gene order: centromere-Tcrb-Ly-2-Sftp-3-D6Mit4-mnd2-D6Mit6, D6Mit9-D6Rck132-Raf-1, D6Mit11-D6Mit12-D6Mit14. mnd2 is located within a conserved linkage group with homologs on human chromosome 2p12-p13. Spinal motor neurons of homozygous affected animals are swollen and stain weakly, and electromyography revealed spontaneous activity characteristic of muscle denervation. Myelin staining was normal throughout the neuraxis. The clinical observations are consistent with a primary abnormality of lower motor neuron function. This new animal model will be of value for identification of a genetic defect responsible for motor neuron disease and for evaluation of new therapies. 36 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  17. 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…

  18. TDP-43 Proteinopathy and Motor Neuron Disease in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Ann C.; Gavett, Brandon E.; Stern, Robert A.; Nowinski, Christopher J.; Cantu, Robert C.; Kowall, Neil W.; Perl, Daniel P.; Hedley-Whyte, E. Tessa; Price, Bruce; Sullivan, Chris; Morin, Peter; Lee, Hyo-Soon; Kubilus, Caroline A.; Daneshvar, Daniel H.; Wulff, Megan; Budson, Andrew E.

    2010-01-01

    Epidemiological evidence suggests that the incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is increased in association with head injury. Repetitive head injury is also associated with the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a tauopathy characterized by neurofibrillary tangles throughout the brain in the relative absence of β-amyloid deposits. We examined 12 cases of CTE and, in 10, found a widespread TAR DNA-binding protein of approximately 43 kd (TDP-43) proteinopathy affecting the frontal and temporal cortices, medial temporal lobe, basal ganglia, diencephalon, and brainstem. Three athletes with CTE also developed a progressive motor neuron disease with profound weakness, atrophy, spasticity, and fasciculations several years before death. In these 3 cases, there were abundant TDP-43–positive inclusions and neurites in the spinal cord in addition to tau neurofibrillary changes, motor neuron loss, and corticospinal tract degeneration. The TDP-43 proteinopathy associated with CTE is similar to that found in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 inclusions, in that widespread regions of the brain are affected. Akin to frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 inclusions, in some individuals with CTE, the TDP-43 proteinopathy extends to involve the spinal cord and is associated with motor neuron disease. This is the first pathological evidence that repetitive head trauma experienced in collision sports might be associated with the development of a motor neuron disease. PMID:20720505

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haase, Georg; Rabouille, Catherine

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todman, J.; Lewins, E.

    1996-01-01

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

  2. New Technologies in the Training of Young People with Severe Motor Neurone Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escoin Homs, Jordi

    1993-01-01

    Reviews the potential use of computer technology for the education, training, and occupational placement of people with severe motor neurone disorders (e.g., cerebral palsy) based on experiences in a program in Spain. Highlights include computer literacy, computer-assisted teaching, quality of output, software development, synthesized speech, and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Louisa; Talman, Paul; Khan, Fary

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Repurposing Reelin: the new role of radial glia, Reelin and Notch in motor neuron migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawthorne, Alicia L

    2014-06-01

    The role of Reelin during cerebral cortical neuron migration has long been studied, but the Reelin signaling pathway and its possible interactions are just beginning to be unraveled. Reelin is not only important in cerebral cortical migration, but has recently been shown to interact with the Notch signaling pathway and to be critical for radial glial cell number and morphology. Lee and Song (2013) show a new Notch- and Reelin-dependent role for radial glia in the mouse spinal cord: to act as a fine filter that allows somatic motor neuron axons but not cell bodies to traverse out of the CNS. Here, the types of neuronal migration are discussed, focusing on motor neurons and cues for proper localization. The interaction of Reelin signaling with the Notch pathway is reviewed, which dictates the proper formation of radial glia in the spinal cord in order to prevent ectopic motor neuron migration (Lee and Song, 2013). Future studies may reveal novel interactions and further insights as to how Reelin functions throughout the developing nervous system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Putamen neurons process both sensory and motor information during a complex task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente, Ana F; Bermudez, Maria A; Romero, Maria Del Carmen; Perez, Rogelio; Gonzalez, Francisco

    2012-07-23

    The putamen has classically been considered to be primarily a motor structure. It is involved in a broad range of roles and its neurons have been postulated to function as pattern classifiers of behaviourally significant events. However, its specific role in motor and sensory processing is still unclear. For the purpose of better categorizing putamen neurons, we trained two rhesus monkeys to perform multisensory operant tasks by using complex stimuli such as short videoclips. Trials involved image or soundtrack or both. Some stimuli required a motor response associated to reward, whereas others did not require response and produced no reward. We found that neurons in the putamen showed pure visual responses, action-related activity, and reward responses. Insofar as action-related activity, preparation of movement, movement execution, and withholding of movement involved three different putamen neuron populations. Moreover, our data suggest an involvement of putamen neurons in processing primary rewards and visual events in a complex task, which may contribute to reinforcement learning through stimulus-reward association. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veldman, M P; Zijdewind, I; Solnik, S; Maffiuletti, N A; Berghuis, K M M; Javet, M; Négyesi, J; Hortobágyi, T

    2015-12-01

    Sensory input can modify voluntary motor function. We examined whether somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) added to motor practice (MP) could augment motor learning, interlimb transfer, and whether physiological changes in neuronal excitability underlie these changes. Participants (18-30 years, n = 31) received MP, SES, MP + SES, or a control intervention. Visuomotor practice included 300 trials for 25 min with the right-dominant wrist and SES consisted of weak electrical stimulation of the radial and median nerves above the elbow. Single- and double-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) metrics were measured in the intervention and non-intervention extensor carpi radialis. There was 27 % motor learning and 9 % (both p Motor practice and SES each can produce motor learning and interlimb transfer and are likely to be mediated by different mechanisms. The results provide insight into the physiological mechanisms underlying the effects of MP and SES on motor learning and cortical plasticity and show that these mechanisms are likely to be different for the trained and stimulated motor cortex and the non-trained and non-stimulated motor cortex.

  11. [Pathophysiological aspects of the use of botulinum toxin dysport in the upper motor neuron lesion].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalialova, Z A

    2014-01-01

    The most frequent causes of disability of patients with neurological diseases are motor disorders in the upper motor neuron lesion caused by the damage of the brain and/or the spinal cord that resulted in the formation of spastic paresis and paralysis. The correct understanding of the pathophysiological basis of clinical presentations of the upper motor neuron lesion will allow to chose the most adequate and prognostically successful methods of treatment. Currently, treatment with botulotoxin can be considered as such a method. This method in the combination with non-pharmacological rehabilitation decreases the activity of phasic and tonic stretching reflexes, associated contractions, synkinesia, spastic dystonia and spasticity that leads to the increase in muscle elasticity, mobility of extremities, reduction of pain, joint stiffness and soft tissue deformation that, in its turn, can increase the independence of the patient from any help.

  12. Motor neurone disease and military service: evidence from the Scottish Veterans Health Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Beverly P; Mackay, Daniel F; Pell, Jill P

    2015-12-01

    In 2003, it was reported that motor neurone disease was linked to military service in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. A large study in the US confirmed an association with military service but found no association with specific conflicts or length of service. Non-veteran studies have suggested an association with physical activity, smoking and other risk factors. We used data from the Scottish Veterans Health Study to investigate the association between motor neurone disease and military service in UK veterans. Retrospective cohort study of 57,000 veterans born 1945-1985, and 173,000 demographically matched civilians, using Cox proportional hazard models to compare the risk of motor neurone disease overall, and by sex, birth cohort, length of service and year of recruitment. We had no data on smoking prevalence. Veterans had an increased risk of motor neurone disease compared with non-veterans (adjusted HR 1.49, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.21, p=0.046). The increase was independent of birth cohort, length or period of service, or year of recruitment. Risk was associated with a history of trauma or road traffic accident in veterans and non-veterans. We confirmed an increased risk of motor neurone disease in military veterans, although the absolute risk is extremely low. We found no evidence that the increased risk was associated with any specific conflict. We could not rule out that smoking (and perhaps other lifestyle factors) may be responsible for our findings. Trauma may play a role in the increased risk but further studies are needed. 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/

  13. 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

    2017-02-03

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    After peripheral nerve injuries, damaged axons can regenerate but functional recovery is limited by the specific reinnervation of targets. In this study we evaluated if motor and sensory neurites have a substrate preference for laminin and fibronectin in postnatal and adult stages. In postnatal dorsal root ganglia (DRG) explants, sensory neurons extended longer neurites on collagen matrices enriched with laminin (~50%) or fibronectin (~35%), whereas motoneurons extended longer neurites (~100%) in organotypic spinal cord slices embedded in fibronectin-enriched matrix. An increased percentage of parvalbumin-positive neurites (presumptive proprioceptive) vs. neurofilament-positive neurites was also found in DRG in fibronectin-enriched matrix. To test if the different preference of neurons for extracellular matrix components was maintained in vivo, these matrices were used to fill a chitosan guide to repair a 6-mm gap in the sciatic nerve of adult rats. However, the number of regenerating motor and sensory neurons after 1 month was similar between groups. Moreover, none of the retrotraced sensory neurons in DRG was positive for parvalbumin, suggesting that presumptive proprioceptive neurons had poor regenerative capabilities compared with other peripheral neurons. Using real-time PCR we evaluated the expression of α5β1 (receptor for fibronectin) and α7β1 integrin (receptor for laminin) in spinal cord and DRG 2 days after injury. Postnatal animals showed a higher increase of α5β1 integrin, whereas both integrins were similarly expressed in adult neurons. Therefore, we conclude that motor and sensory axons have a different substrate preference at early postnatal stages but this difference is lost in the adult. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor protein prevents motor neuron loss of transgenic model mice for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manabe, Y; Nagano, I; Gazi, M S A; Murakami, T; Shiote, M; Shoji, M; Kitagawa, H; Abe, K

    2003-03-01

    Effects of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) were studied in transgenic (Tg) mice model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. GDNF protein or vehicle was injected three times a week from 35 weeks of age into the right gastrocnemius muscle of Tg mice carrying mutant human Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene, and histological analysis was performed at 46 weeks. Clinical data showed a tendency of improvement, but was not significantly different between the two animal groups. In contrast, total number of and phospho-Akt (p-Akt) positive large motor neurons in the treated side was significantly more preserved in GDNF-treated group than in vehicle group (p < 0.05). Immunoreactivity of phospho-ERK and active caspases-3 and -9 showed no difference. These results indicate that the intramuscular injection of GDNF protein prevented motor neuron loss while preserving survival p-Akt signal and without affecting caspase activations, suggesting a future possibility for the therapy of the disease.

  18. Selenium induces cholinergic motor neuron degeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estevez, Annette O; Mueller, Catherine L; Morgan, Kathleen L; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J; Teece, Luke; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Estevez, Miguel

    2012-10-01

    Selenium is an essential micronutrient required for cellular antioxidant systems, yet at higher doses it induces oxidative stress. Additionally, in vertebrates environmental exposures to toxic levels of selenium can cause paralysis and death. Here we show that selenium-induced oxidative stress leads to decreased cholinergic signaling and degeneration of cholinergic neurons required for movement and egg-laying in Caenorhabditis elegans. Exposure to high levels of selenium leads to proteolysis of a soluble muscle protein through mechanisms suppressible by two pharmacological agents, levamisole and aldicarb which enhance cholinergic signaling in muscle. In addition, animals with reduction-of-function mutations in genes encoding post-synaptic levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptor subunits or the vesicular acetylcholine transporter developed impaired forward movement faster during selenium-exposure than normal animals, again confirming that selenium reduces cholinergic signaling. Finally, the antioxidant reduced glutathione, inhibits selenium-induced reductions in egg-laying through a cellular protective mechanism dependent on the C. elegans glutaredoxin, GLRX-21. These studies provide evidence that the environmental toxicant selenium induces neurodegeneration of cholinergic neurons through depletion of glutathione, a mechanism linked to the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  1. Motor neurone disease in Lancashire and South Cumbria in North West England and an 8 year experience with enteral nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chhetri, Suresh Kumar; Bradley, Belinda Fay; Majeed, Tahir; Lea, Robert William

    2016-02-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of unknown aetiology. Malnutrition is a common occurrence and an independent risk factor for worse prognosis. However, it remains unclear whether provision of enteral nutrition (EN) through a gastrostomy tube offers any survival advantage. Our aim was to describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of MND in Lancashire and South Cumbria in North West England and the impact of EN on survival in the 8 year period of 2005-2012. Four hundred and seven patients with MND were identified through the Preston MND care and research centre registry giving a crude incidence rate of 3.15/100,000. Three hundred and forty patients with adequate information were included in the final analysis of whom 53.2% were male. The presentation was limb/spinal in 62.1% and bulbar in 37.9% of patients, bulbar onset being more common in elderly females. Mean age of onset was 67.28 years (standard deviation 11.06; range 22.78-93.06). Median survival was 1.98 years (range 1.18-3.05). Ninety-one patients received EN of whom 67% had bulbar onset disease. EN was not associated with a statistically significant survival advantage except for the subgroup who received EN more than 500 days after symptom onset. In conclusion, the early requirement for EN may indicate a prognostically less favourable subgroup. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Decreased cystatin C immunoreactivity in spinal motor neurons and astrocytes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Fumiaki; Tanji, Kunikazu; Miki, Yasuo; Wakabayashi, Koichi

    2009-11-01

    Cystatin C (CC), a cysteine protease inhibitor involved in protein degradation, is a marker of Bunina bodies in lower motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). TAR-DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43)-immunoreactive inclusions are also histological hallmarks of ALS but whether CC is found in motor neurons with or without TDP-43-positive inclusions in ALS is not known. To determine whether inclusion body formation affects cytoplasmic CC immunoreactivity, we examined spinal cords from 9 ALS patients and 12 control subjects by immunohistochemistry. Most anterior horn cells (AHCs) showed moderate to intense immunoreactivity in controls, whereas CC immunoreactivity was markedly decreased in AHCs in ALS cases. The proportion of CC-immunolabeled AHCs was reduced regardless of whether they contained Bunina bodies. In contrast, the proportion of CC-immunolabeled AHCs was significantly reduced in those with TDP-43 inclusions. Cystatin C immunoreactivity of astrocytes in the spinal gray matter and white matter in ALS was significantly decreased compared with controls. These findings suggest that the formation of TDP-43 inclusions, but not of Bunina bodies, may be linked to the content of CC in spinal motor neurons and that perturbations in endogenous levels of CC in neuronal and glial cells may be part of the neurodegenerative processes in ALS.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favero, Morgana; Cangiano, Alberto; Busetto, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. Oestrogen receptors enhance dopamine neurone survival in rat midbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, M L; Ho, C C; Day, A E; Walker, Q D; Francis, R; Kuhn, C M

    2010-04-01

    Previous findings in our laboratory and elsewhere have shown that ovariectomy of rats in adulthood attenuates cocaine-stimulated locomotor behaviour. Ovarian hormones enhance both cocaine-stimulated behaviour and increase dopamine overflow after psychomotor stimulants. The present study aimed to determine whether ovarian hormones have these effects in part by maintaining dopamine neurone number in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) and to investigate the roles of specific oestrogen receptors (ERs) in the maintenance of mesencephalic dopamine neurones. To accomplish this goal, we used unbiased stereological techniques to estimate the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-IR) cell bodies in midbrain regions of intact, ovariectomised and hormone-replaced female rats and mice. Animals received active or sham gonadectomy on postnatal day 60 and received vehicle, 17beta-oestradiol (E(2)) or selective ER agonists propyl-pyrazole-triol (PPT, ERalpha) or diarylpropionitrile (DPN, ERbeta) for 1 month post-surgery. In both rats and mice, ovariectomy reduced the number of TH-IR cells in the SNpc and VTA. Replacement with E(2), PPT or DPN prevented or attenuated the loss observed with ovariectomy in both rats and mice. An additional study using ER knockout mice revealed that adult female mice lacking ERalpha had fewer TH-IR cells in midbrain regions than wild-type mice, whereas mice lacking ERbeta had TH-IR cell counts comparable to wild-type. These findings suggest that, although both ER subtypes play a role in the maintenance of TH-IR cell number in the SNpc and VTA, ERalpha may play a more significant role.

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

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

    1995-03-01

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

  7. 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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

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    Nissrine Ballout

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Injury to the human central nervous system can lead to devastating consequences due to its poor ability to self-repair. Neural transplantation aimed at replacing lost neurons and restore functional circuitry has proven to be a promising therapeutical avenue. We previously reported in adult rodent animal models with cortical lesions that grafted fetal cortical neurons could effectively re-establish specific patterns of projections and synapses. The current study was designed to provide a detailed characterization of the spatio-temporal in vivo development of fetal cortical transplanted cells within the lesioned adult motor cortex and their corresponding axonal projections. We show here that as early as two weeks after grafting, cortical neuroblasts transplanted into damaged adult motor cortex developed appropriate projections to cortical and subcortical targets. Grafted cells initially exhibited characteristics of immature neurons, which then differentiated into mature neurons with appropriate cortical phenotypes where most were glutamatergic and few were GABAergic. All cortical subtypes identified with the specific markers CTIP2, Cux1, FOXP2 and Tbr1 were generated after grafting as evidenced with BrdU co-labeling.The set of data provided here is of interest as it sets biological standards for future studies aimed at replacing fetal cells with embryonic stem cells as a source of cortical neurons.

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

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    Yu-Ting Zhang

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Androgen decreases dopamine neurone survival in rat midbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, M L; Day, A E; Ho, C C; Walker, Q D; Francis, R; Kuhn, C M

    2010-04-01

    Clinical studies show that men are more likely to develop disorders affecting midbrain dopaminergic pathways, such as drug addiction and Parkinson's disease (PD). Although a great deal of focus has been given to the role of oestrogen in the maintenance of midbrain dopaminergic pathways, little is known about how testosterone influences these pathways. In the present study, we used stereological analysis of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-IR) cell bodies to determine how testosterone influences the dopaminergic cell bodies of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Rats and mice were castrated at postnatal day (PN) 60, and these midbrain cell populations were counted on PN 90. One month after castration, TH-IR cell number had increased in the SNpc and VTA of rats and mice. Replacement with testosterone or the non-aromatisable analogue dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in castrated animals reduced TH-IR cell number in the SNpc and VTA in rats. In mice, the decrease of TH-IR cell number with testosterone or DHT replacement was observed only in the SNpc. The apparent increase in TH-IR neurone number after castration is not explained by an increase in TH expression because the number of nondopaminergic cells (TH-immunonegative, TH-IN) did not decrease proportionally after castration. TH-IN cell number did not change after castration or hormone replacement in rat or mouse SNpc or VTA. These findings suggest that testosterone may play a suppressive role in midbrain dopaminergic pathways.

  15. Identification of genes influencing dendrite morphogenesis in developing peripheral sensory and central motor neurons

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    Chwalla Barbara

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Developing neurons form dendritic trees with cell type-specific patterns of growth, branching and targeting. Dendrites of Drosophila peripheral sensory neurons have emerged as a premier genetic model, though the molecular mechanisms that underlie and regulate their morphogenesis remain incompletely understood. Still less is known about this process in central neurons and the extent to which central and peripheral dendrites share common organisational principles and molecular features. To address these issues, we have carried out two comparable gain-of-function screens for genes that influence dendrite morphologies in peripheral dendritic arborisation (da neurons and central RP2 motor neurons. Results We found 35 unique loci that influenced da neuron dendrites, including five previously shown as required for da dendrite patterning. Several phenotypes were class-specific and many resembled those of known mutants, suggesting that genes identified in this study may converge with and extend known molecular pathways for dendrite development in da neurons. The second screen used a novel technique for cell-autonomous gene misexpression in RP2 motor neurons. We found 51 unique loci affecting RP2 dendrite morphology, 84% expressed in the central nervous system. The phenotypic classes from both screens demonstrate that gene misexpression can affect specific aspects of dendritic development, such as growth, branching and targeting. We demonstrate that these processes are genetically separable. Targeting phenotypes were specific to the RP2 screen, and we propose that dendrites in the central nervous system are targeted to territories defined by Cartesian co-ordinates along the antero-posterior and the medio-lateral axes of the central neuropile. Comparisons between the screens suggest that the dendrites of peripheral da and central RP2 neurons are shaped by regulatory programs that only partially overlap. We focused on one common

  16. Identification of genes influencing dendrite morphogenesis in developing peripheral sensory and central motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Yimiao; Chwalla, Barbara; Landgraf, Matthias; van Meyel, Donald J

    2008-07-10

    Developing neurons form dendritic trees with cell type-specific patterns of growth, branching and targeting. Dendrites of Drosophila peripheral sensory neurons have emerged as a premier genetic model, though the molecular mechanisms that underlie and regulate their morphogenesis remain incompletely understood. Still less is known about this process in central neurons and the extent to which central and peripheral dendrites share common organisational principles and molecular features. To address these issues, we have carried out two comparable gain-of-function screens for genes that influence dendrite morphologies in peripheral dendritic arborisation (da) neurons and central RP2 motor neurons. We found 35 unique loci that influenced da neuron dendrites, including five previously shown as required for da dendrite patterning. Several phenotypes were class-specific and many resembled those of known mutants, suggesting that genes identified in this study may converge with and extend known molecular pathways for dendrite development in da neurons. The second screen used a novel technique for cell-autonomous gene misexpression in RP2 motor neurons. We found 51 unique loci affecting RP2 dendrite morphology, 84% expressed in the central nervous system. The phenotypic classes from both screens demonstrate that gene misexpression can affect specific aspects of dendritic development, such as growth, branching and targeting. We demonstrate that these processes are genetically separable. Targeting phenotypes were specific to the RP2 screen, and we propose that dendrites in the central nervous system are targeted to territories defined by Cartesian co-ordinates along the antero-posterior and the medio-lateral axes of the central neuropile. Comparisons between the screens suggest that the dendrites of peripheral da and central RP2 neurons are shaped by regulatory programs that only partially overlap. We focused on one common candidate pathway controlled by the ecdysone receptor

  17. Risk factors for motor neuron disease: a case-control study based on patients from the Scottish Motor Neuron Disease Register.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chancellor, A M; Slattery, J M; Fraser, H; Warlow, C P

    1993-01-01

    In order to identify risk factors for the subsequent development of motor neuron disease (MND) we have carried out a case-control study of incident patients in Scotland, identified using the Scottish Motor Neuron Disease Register. A standard questionnaire was given to 103 patients and the same number of community controls matched on a one to one basis using the general practitioner's (GP) age and sex register. Recall bias was minimised by using GP records to verify the subject's report. There was an overall lifetime excess of fractures in patients, odds ratio (OR) = 1.3 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.7-2.5) and this was highest in the 5 years before symptom onset (OR = 15, 95% CI, 3.3-654). There was no association with non-fracture trauma but the OR for a manual occupation in patients was 2.6 (95% CI, 1.1-6.3). Both occupational exposure to lead (OR = 5.7, 95% CI, 1.6-30) and solvents/chemicals (OR = 3.3, 95% CI 1.3-10) were significantly more common in patients. No consistent association was found between MND and factors reflecting socioeconomic deprivation in childhood; childhood infections or social class. Our results identify a number of different factors which may contribute to the aetiology of MND. PMID:8229031

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Allosteric modulation by benzodiazepines of GABA-gated chloride channels of an identified insect motor neurone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckingham, Steven D; Higashino, Yoshiaki; Sattelle, David B

    2009-11-01

    The actions of benzodiazepines were studied on the responses to GABA of the fast coxal depressor (D(f)) motor neurone of the cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Ro5-4864, diazepam and clonazepam were investigated. Responses to GABA receptors were enhanced by both Ro5-4864 and diazepam, whereas clonazepam, a potent-positive allosteric modulator of human GABA(A) receptors, was ineffective on the native insect GABA receptors of the D(f) motor neurone. Thus, clear pharmacological differences exist between insect and mammalian native GABA-gated chloride channels with respect to the actions of benzodiazepines. The results enhance our understanding of invertebrate GABA-gated chloride channels which have recently proved important in (a) comparative studies aimed at identifying human allosteric drug-binding sites and (b) understanding the actions of compounds used to control ectoparasites and insect crop pests.

  1. Recommendations to support informal carers of people living with motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergin, Susan; Mockford, Carole

    2016-10-02

    Informal carers are increasingly providing specialist care at home for people living with motor neurone disease. The carers may experience significant deterioration in their quality of life as a result of the physical and psychological burden they undertake. This systematic review seeks to provide evidence-based recommendations to enable healthcare professionals to support carers appropriately to maintain their wellbeing and to continue providing care at home. Inclusion criteria included articles focusing on the experience of informal carers of people with motor neurone disease, particularly when reporting on their perspective of professional services. Twenty-three studies were included and a thematic analysis was undertaken. Four key recommendations were identified: providing support, early access to palliative care, information regarding availability of services, and offering carers training for using specialist equipment. These recommendations offer healthcare professionals practical, cost-effective suggestions to improve existing services.

  2. Factors that Contribute to Neuron Survival and Neuron Growth after Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-02-03

    Feringa et aL, 1987). In many neural systems cell death after axotomy in neonates exceeds that which follows the same injury in adults (Prendergast and... Feringa ER, Pruitt JN, McBride RL, Vahising HL (1987) Changes in number and size of Clarke’s column neurons after cord transection. J. Neuropath...the generation and degeneration of hippocampal neuroarchitecture. J. Neurosci. 93728-3740. McBride RL, Feringa ER, Smith BE (1988) The fate of

  3. Electroconvulsive stimulation results in long-term survival of newly generated hippocampal neurons in rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Mikkel Vestergaard; Wörtwein, Gitta; Folke, Jonas

    2017-01-01

    of the previous work aiming to test the hypothesis that rats subjected to ECS in combination with chronic restraint stress (CRS) display increased formation of new hippocampal neurons, which have a potential for long-term survival. Furthermore, using mediation analysis, we tested if an ECS-induced increase......U-positive neurons showed time-dependent attrition of ∼40% from day 1 to 3 months, with no further decline between 3 and 12 months. ECS did not affect the number of pre-existing dentate granule neurons or the volume of the dentate granule cell layer, suggesting no damaging effect of the treatment. Finally, we found...... that, while ECS increases neurogenesis, this formation of new neurons was not associated to ameliorated immobility in the FST. This implies that other ECS-induced effects than neurogenesis must be part of mediating the antidepressant action of ECS. Taken together, the results of the present study...

  4. 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

  5. Tracheostomy and salivary gland radiotherapy for severe sialorrhoea in motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wills, Adrian J; Colt, Juliet; Selby, Roger

    2017-10-01

    The management of excessive secretions in patients with motor neurone disease can be challenging. In this paper, we highlight the main issues from the perspectives of a patient, specialist nurse and neurologist and the importance of a multidisciplinary approach. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  6. Dementia in motor neuron disease: reviewing the role of MRI in diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio José da Rocha

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The superimposed clinical features of motor neuron disease (MND and frontotemporal dementia (FTD comprise a distinct, yet not fully understood, neurological overlap syndrome whose clinicopathological basis has recently been reviewed. Here, we present a review of the clinical, pathological and genetic basis of MND-FTD and the role of MRI in its diagnosis. In doing so, we discuss current techniques that depict the involvement of the selective corticospinal tract (CST and temporal lobe in MND-FTD.

  7. 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

  8. Brainstem cytokine changes in healthy ageing and Motor Neurone Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennakoon, Anuradha; Katharesan, Viythia; Johnson, Ian P

    2017-10-15

    Neuroinflammation is linked to healthy ageing, but its role in the development of age-related neurodegenerative diseases is unclear. In this pilot study we used a multiplex assay approach to compare 27 cytokines in 6 young adult and 6 ageing control brainstems with those in 6 MND brainstems. We report that healthy ageing is associated with significantly increased brainstem levels of IL-1β, IP-10 and MIP-1β which co-localise immunocytochemically to astrocytes. MND brainstem is also characterised by a general increase in both pro- and anti-cytokine levels, but fails to show the expected age-related increase in MIP-1β and IP-10. This pilot study is the first to show that MND is associated with a failure of specific features of the normal age-related neuroinflammatory process. We suggest that our pilot data indicates that neuroinflammation during healthy ageing may not always be detrimental to motoneuronal survival and that age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as MND, may instead result from defective neuroinflammation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongioanni, P; Reali, C; Sogos, V

    2004-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neuron disease, is a fatal neuromuscular disease characterized by progressive muscle weakness resulting in paralysis, which might be treated with ciliary neurotrophic factor. The objective of this review was to examine the efficacy of ciliary neutrophic factor in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Disease Group trials register (searched June 2003) for randomized trials, MEDLINE (from January 1966 to October 2003) and EMBASE (from January 1980 to October 2003), checked the reference lists of papers identified and contacted the authors of studies identified to get additional unpublished results. We considered the following selection criteria: Types of studies: randomized controlled clinical trials; adults with a diagnosis of either probable or definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis according to the El Escorial criteria; Types of interventions: treatment with ciliary neurotrophic factor for at least six months, in a placebo-controlled randomized format; Types of outcome measures Primary: survival; Secondary: muscle strength, respiratory function, changes in bulbar functions, changes in quality of life, proportion of patients with adverse side effects (such as cough, asthenia, nausea, anorexia, weight loss and increased salivation). We identified two randomized trials. The data were extracted and examined independently by the reviewers. Some missing data were obtained from investigators. Two trials, with a total population of 1,300 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients treated with subcutaneous injections of recombinant human ciliary neurotrophic factor, were examined in this review. The methodological quality of these trials was considered adequate. No significant difference was observed between ciliary neurotrophic factor and placebo groups for survival, the primary outcome measure. The relative risk was 1.07 (95% CI 0.81 to 1.41). No significant differences between the groups were

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  11. Neurodegenerative 'overlap' syndrome: Clinical and pathological features of Parkinson's disease, motor neuron disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uitti, R J; Berry, K; Yasuhara, O; Eisen, A; Feldman, H; McGeer, P L; Calne, D B

    1995-07-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and motor neuron disease (MND) share epidemiological, clinical, and pathological features. Few studies have reported comprehensively on individuals who demonstrate a neurodegenerative 'overlap' syndrome, comprising idiopathic parkinsonism, dementia, and motor neuron dysfunction. We describe clinical, electrophysiological, and pathological features in six patients with neurodegenerative 'overlap' syndrome. All had cardinal features of PD (duration 6-26 years), and any mixture of dementia (slowly advancing), fasciculations, hyperreflexia, Babinski signs and mild atrophy and weakness of distal muscles (slowly progressive). EMG often demonstrated a lack of denervation in conjunction with abnormal MEPs (high thresholds). Patients had either 6FD-PET or pathological studies consistent with PD. Pathological studies also demonstrated moderate numbers of neurofibrillary tangles and plaque formation, typically with sparing of motor neurons in the spinal cord. We conclude that neurodegenerative 'overlap' syndrome may represent forme frustes of traditionally accepted diagnostic categories. Patients with parkinsonism, fasciculations, hyperreflexia and mild atrophy are unlikely to demonstrate active denervation on EMG; their prognosis is better than for classical MND. Neurodegenerative overlap syndrome (clinicopathological mixtures of PD, AD, and MND) may develop in some individuals as a reflection of common etiology, pathogenesis or susceptibility.

  12. 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.

  13. FUS-SMN Protein Interactions Link the Motor Neuron Diseases ALS and SMA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomohiro Yamazaki

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in the RNA binding protein FUS cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a fatal adult motor neuron disease. Decreased expression of SMN causes the fatal childhood motor neuron disorder spinal muscular atrophy (SMA. The SMN complex localizes in both the cytoplasm and nuclear Gems, and loss of Gems is a cellular hallmark of fibroblasts in patients with SMA. Here, we report that FUS associates with the SMN complex, mediated by U1 snRNP and by direct interactions between FUS and SMN. Functionally, we show that FUS is required for Gem formation in HeLa cells, and expression of FUS containing a severe ALS-causing mutation (R495X also results in Gem loss. Strikingly, a reduction in Gems is observed in ALS patient fibroblasts expressing either mutant FUS or TDP-43, another ALS-causing protein that interacts with FUS. The physical and functional interactions among SMN, FUS, TDP-43, and Gems indicate that ALS and SMA share a biochemical pathway, providing strong support for the view that these motor neuron diseases are related.

  14. Spinal motor neuron protein supersaturation patterns are associated with inclusion body formation in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciryam, Prajwal; Lambert-Smith, Isabella A; Bean, Daniel M; Freer, Rosie; Cid, Fernando; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Saunders, Darren N; Wilson, Mark R; Oliver, Stephen G; Morimoto, Richard I; Dobson, Christopher M; Vendruscolo, Michele; Favrin, Giorgio; Yerbury, Justin J

    2017-05-16

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a heterogeneous degenerative motor neuron disease linked to numerous genetic mutations in apparently unrelated proteins. These proteins, including SOD1, TDP-43, and FUS, are highly aggregation-prone and form a variety of intracellular inclusion bodies that are characteristic of different neuropathological subtypes of the disease. Contained within these inclusions are a variety of proteins that do not share obvious characteristics other than coaggregation. However, recent evidence from other neurodegenerative disorders suggests that disease-affected biochemical pathways can be characterized by the presence of proteins that are supersaturated, with cellular concentrations significantly greater than their solubilities. Here, we show that the proteins that form inclusions of mutant SOD1, TDP-43, and FUS are not merely a subset of the native interaction partners of these three proteins, which are themselves supersaturated. To explain the presence of coaggregating proteins in inclusions in the brain and spinal cord, we observe that they have an average supersaturation even greater than the average supersaturation of the native interaction partners in motor neurons, but not when scores are generated from an average of other human tissues. These results suggest that inclusion bodies in various forms of ALS result from a set of proteins that are metastable in motor neurons, and thus prone to aggregation upon a disease-related progressive collapse of protein homeostasis in this specific setting.

  15. 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

    2017-10-20

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Foxp1 and lhx1 coordinate motor neuron migration with axon trajectory choice by gating Reelin signalling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Palmesino

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Topographic neuronal maps arise as a consequence of axon trajectory choice correlated with the localisation of neuronal soma, but the identity of the pathways coordinating these processes is unknown. We addressed this question in the context of the myotopic map formed by limb muscles innervated by spinal lateral motor column (LMC motor axons where the Eph receptor signals specifying growth cone trajectory are restricted by Foxp1 and Lhx1 transcription factors. We show that the localisation of LMC neuron cell bodies can be dissociated from axon trajectory choice by either the loss or gain of function of the Reelin signalling pathway. The response of LMC motor neurons to Reelin is gated by Foxp1- and Lhx1-mediated regulation of expression of the critical Reelin signalling intermediate Dab1. Together, these observations point to identical transcription factors that control motor axon guidance and soma migration and reveal the molecular hierarchy of myotopic organisation.

  18. 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.  

  19. Intraspinal Sensory Neurons Provide Powerful Inhibition to Motor Circuits Ensuring Postural Control during Locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Jeffrey Michael; Böhm, Urs Lucas; Prendergast, Andrew; Tseng, Po-En Brian; Newman, Morgan; Stokes, Caleb; Wyart, Claire

    2016-11-07

    In the vertebrate spinal cord, cerebrospinal fluid-contacting neurons (CSF-cNs) are GABAergic neurons whose functions are only beginning to unfold. Recent evidence indicates that CSF-cNs detect local spinal bending and relay this mechanosensory feedback information to motor circuits, yet many CSF-cN targets remain unknown. Using optogenetics, patterned illumination, and in vivo electrophysiology, we show here that CSF-cNs provide somatic inhibition to fast motor neurons and excitatory sensory interneurons involved in the escape circuit. Ventral CSF-cNs respond to longitudinal spinal contractions and induce large inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) sufficient to silence spiking of their targets. Upon repetitive stimulation, these IPSCs promptly depress, enabling the mechanosensory response to the first bend to be the most effective. When CSF-cNs are silenced, postural control is compromised, resulting in rollovers during escapes. Altogether, our data demonstrate how GABAergic sensory neurons provide powerful inhibitory feedback to the escape circuit to maintain balance during active locomotion. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  3. Differentiation of endometrial stem cells into motor neurons by the use of purmorphamin small molecule

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Homa Mohseni Kouchesfahani

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Small molecule Purmorphamin (PMA is the agonist of smoothened protein in Sonic hedgehog (Shh signaling pathway. Effect of purmorphamin small molecule on differentiation of mesenchymal cells into bone tissue has been studied previously. Use of Shh causes progression of neural differentiation, and the differentiated cells express specific neural markers. Neurofilament (NF and acetylcholine esterase (Chat are specific markers of motor neurons and their expression in differentiated cells indicates their conversion into motor neurons. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of PMA to differentiate the human endometrial stem cells (hEnSCs into motor neurons. Methods: This analytical study was done in Tehran University of Medical Sciences laboratory on September of 2015. In this study hEnSCs were enzymatically extracted from endometrial tissue. After third passages, the flow cytometry was done for mesenchymal stem cells markers. The mesenchymal stem cells were divided into control and differentiated groups. FBS 10%+DMEM/F12 was added to the culture medium of control group and the differentiating group was treated with differentiating medium containing N2, PMA, DMEM/F12, FBS, B27, IBMX, 2ME, FGF2, RA, BDNF. After 21 days immunocytochemistry (ICC test was done for the expression of NF and Chat proteins and Real-time PCR analysis for expression of neural markers such as NF, Chat, Nestin and GFAP (as glial marker at mRNA level. Results: The flow cytometry analysis showed that hEnSCs were positive for mesenchymal markers CD90, CD105 and CD146 and negative for endothelial marker CD31, and hematopoietic marker CD34. The immunocytochemistry and Real time-PCR results showed that the cells treated with PMA expressed motor neuron markers of NF and Chat. Conclusion: According to the results of this study, it can be concluded that small molecule PMA has the potency to induce the differentiation of hEnSCs into neural cells, specifically motor

  4. 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

  5. Force Generation by Molecular-Motor-Powered Microtubule Bundles; Implications for Neuronal Polarization and Growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobs, Maximilian; Franze, Kristian; Zemel, Assaf

    2015-01-01

    The heavily cross-linked microtubule (MT) bundles found in neuronal processes play a central role in the initiation, growth and maturation of axons and dendrites; however, a quantitative understanding of their mechanical function is still lacking. We here developed computer simulations to investigate the dynamics of force generation in 1D bundles of MTs that are cross-linked and powered by molecular motors. The motion of filaments and the forces they exert are investigated as a function of the motor type (unipolar or bipolar), MT density and length, applied load, and motor connectivity. We demonstrate that only unipolar motors (e.g., kinesin-1) can provide the driving force for bundle expansion, while bipolar motors (e.g., kinesin-5) oppose it. The force generation capacity of the bundles is shown to depend sharply on the fraction of unipolar motors due to a percolation transition that must occur in the bundle. Scaling laws between bundle length, force, MT length and motor fraction are presented. In addition, we investigate the dynamics of growth in the presence of a constant influx of MTs. Beyond a short equilibration period, the bundles grow linearly in time. In this growth regime, the bundle extends as one mass forward with most filaments sliding with the growth velocity. The growth velocity is shown to be dictated by the inward flux of MTs, to inversely scale with the load and to be independent of the free velocity of the motors. These findings provide important molecular-level insights into the mechanical function of the MT cytoskeleton in normal axon growth and regeneration after injury.

  6. Motor-Auditory-Visual Integration: The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Communication and Communication Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bel, Ronald M.; Pineda, Jaime A.; Sharma, Anu

    2009-01-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a trimodal system composed of neuronal populations that respond to motor, visual, and auditory stimulation, such as when an action is performed, observed, heard or read about. In humans, the MNS has been identified using neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI and mu suppression in the EEG). It reflects an…

  7. Mutant SOD1 accumulation in sensory neurons does not associate with endoplasmic reticulum stress features: Implications for differential vulnerability of sensory and motor neurons to SOD1 toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taiana, Michela; Sassone, Jenny; Lauria, Giuseppe

    2016-08-03

    Mutations in Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Previous papers showed that mutant SOD1 accumulates and undergoes misfolding in motor neurons and that the specific interaction of mutant SOD1 with derlin-1 leads to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Because evidence shows that mutant SOD1 expression also damages sensory neurons, we hypothesized that, similarly to motor neurons, the sensory neurons of ALS mouse model SOD1(G93A) accumulate mutant/misfolded SOD1 and suffer from ER stress and UPR activation. Our results reveal that SOD1(G93A) sensory neurons accumulate mutant/misfolded SOD1 but, surprisingly, do not suffer from ER stress and UPR activation. Moreover, the sensory neurons do not express detectable levels of the SOD1 interactor derlin-1. These results suggest a potential molecular mechanism underlying the differential vulnerability of motor and sensory neurons to mutant SOD1 toxicity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Patricia J Ward

    Full Text Available Peripheral nerve injuries are common, and functional recovery is very poor. Beyond surgical repair of the nerve, there are currently no treatment options for these patients. In experimental models of nerve injury, interventions (such as exercise and electrical stimulation that increase neuronal activity of the injured neurons effectively enhance axon regeneration. Here, we utilized optogenetics to determine whether increased activity alone is sufficient to promote motor axon regeneration. In thy-1-ChR2/YFP transgenic mice in which a subset of motoneurons express the light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin (ChR2, we activated axons in the sciatic nerve using blue light immediately prior to transection and surgical repair of the sciatic nerve. At four weeks post-injury, direct muscle EMG responses evoked with both optical and electrical stimuli as well as the ratio of these optical/electrical evoked EMG responses were significantly greater in mice that received optical treatment. Thus, significantly more ChR2+ axons successfully re-innervated the gastrocnemius muscle in mice that received optical treatment. Sections of the gastrocnemius muscles were reacted with antibodies to Synaptic Vesicle Protein 2 (SV2 to quantify the number of re-occupied motor endplates. The number of SV2+ endplates was greater in mice that received optical treatment. The number of retrogradely-labeled motoneurons following intramuscular injection of cholera toxin subunit B (conjugated to Alexa Fluor 555 was greater in mice that received optical treatment. Thus, the acute (1 hour, one-time optical treatment resulted in robust, long-lasting effects compared to untreated animals as well as untreated axons (ChR2-. We conclude that neuronal activation is sufficient to promote motor axon regeneration, and this regenerative effect is specific to the activated neurons.

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

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    Elizabeth K Lucas

    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence implicates the transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α in the pathophysiology of Huntington Disease (HD. Adult PGC-1α (-/- mice exhibit striatal neurodegeneration, and reductions in the expression of PGC-1α have been observed in striatum and muscle of HD patients as well as in animal models of the disease. However, it is unknown whether decreased expression of PGC-1α alone is sufficient to lead to the motor phenotype and striatal pathology characteristic of HD. For the first time, we show that young PGC-1α (-/- mice exhibit severe rotarod deficits, decreased rearing behavior, and increased occurrence of tremor in addition to the previously described hindlimb clasping. Motor impairment and striatal vacuolation are apparent in PGC-1α (-/- mice by four weeks of age and do not improve or decline by twelve weeks of age. The behavioral and pathological phenotype of PGC-1α (-/- mice can be completely recapitulated by conditional nervous system deletion of PGC-1α, indicating that peripheral effects are not responsible for the observed abnormalities. Evaluation of the transcriptional profile of PGC-1α (-/- striatal neuron populations and comparison to striatal neuron profiles of R6/2 HD mice revealed that PGC-1α deficiency alone is not sufficient to cause the transcriptional changes observed in this HD mouse model. In contrast to R6/2 HD mice, PGC-1α (-/- mice show increases in the expression of medium spiny neuron (MSN markers with age, suggesting that the observed behavioral and structural abnormalities are not primarily due to MSN loss, the defining pathological feature of HD. These results indicate that PGC-1α is required for the proper development of motor circuitry and transcriptional homeostasis in MSNs and that developmental disruption of PGC-1α leads to long-term alterations in motor functioning.

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

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    Wei Zhao

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

  11. Survival of hippocampal and cortical neurons in a mixture of MEM+ and B27-supplemented neurobasal medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, C; Markesbery, W R; Lovell, M A

    2000-03-01

    Serum-free B-27 supplemented neurobasal (NB) and a 10% fetal bovine serum-supplemented Eagle's minimum essential medium (MEM+) are used to culture rat embryonic hippocampal neurons for different purposes. Although NB medium leads to enhanced cell survival, it contains biological antioxidants and is not suitable for the study of free radical damage and oxidation in cultured neurons. MEM+ without additional antioxidants has been used widely in the study of free radical damage and oxidation, although it does not support optimum neuronal survival in culture. Serum in MEM+ leads to enhanced cell survival but also promotes glial cell proliferation. In this study, we used a new combination medium (NM-2) that consists of both NB and MEM+ for growing primary hippocampal and cortical neuronal cultures. NM-2 enhanced neuronal survival 78.9% for dissociated neurons at a density of 50 cells/mm(2) and 83.1% for 100 cells/mm(2), while decreasing glial cell proliferation to 2-3% and completely inhibiting oligodendrocytes. The NM-2 minimized the effectiveness of antioxidants in the medium to the neurotoxin 4-hydroxynonenal. It also decreased neuronal clumping and provided a more even distribution of neurons. Neurons survived for 4 weeks in NM-2 without changing the original medium. NM-2 provides a good environment for studies of free radical damage and oxidation of neurons. The combination incorporates the best of both NB and MEM+ that results in high neuron survival rate, low glial cell proliferation, reduced antioxidant level, and provides relatively pure cultures of hippocampal and cortical neurons.

  12. Neurotrophins in the ear: their roles in sensory neuron survival and fiber guidance.

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    Fritzsch, Bernd; Tessarollo, Lino; Coppola, Enzo; Reichardt, Louis F

    2004-01-01

    We review the history of neurotrophins in the ear and the current understanding of the function of neurotrophins in ear innervation, development and maintenance. Only two neurotrophins, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and their receptors, tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) and TrkC, appear to provide trophic support for inner ear sensory neuron afferents. Mice lacking either both receptors or both ligands lose essentially all sensory innervation of targets in the vestibular and auditory systems of the ear. Analyzes of single mutants show less complete and differential effects on innervation of the different sensory organs within the ear. BDNF and TrkB are most important for survival of vestibular sensory neurons whereas NT-3 and TrkC are most important for survival of cochlear sensory neurons. The largely complementary roles of BDNF to TrkB and NT-3 to TrkC signaling do not reflect specific requirements for innervation of different classes of hair cells. Most neurons express both receptors. Instead, the losses observed in single mutants are related to the spatio-temporal expression pattern of the two neurotrophins. In an area where only one neurotrophin is expressed at a particular time in development, the other neurotrophin is not present to compensate for this absence, resulting in death of neurons innervating that region. Decisive evidence for this suggestion is provided by transgenic mice in which the BDNF coding region has been inserted into the NT-3 gene, resulting in expression of BDNF instead of NT-3. The expression of BDNF in the spatio-temporal pattern of NT-3 results in survival of almost all neurons that are normally lost in the NT-3 mutant. Thus, BDNF and NT-3 have a high level of functional equivalence for inner ear sensory neuron survival. Further analysis of the patterns of afferent fiber losses in mutations that do not develop differentiated hair cells shows that the expression of neurotrophins is remarkably strong and can

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

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    Asako Otomo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a heterogeneous group of incurable motor neuron diseases (MNDs characterized by a selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Most cases of ALS are sporadic, while approximately 5–10% cases are familial. More than 16 causative genes for ALS/MNDs have been identified and their underlying pathogenesis, including oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, neural inflammation, protein misfolding and accumulation, dysfunctional intracellular trafficking, abnormal RNA processing, and noncell-autonomous damage, has begun to emerge. It is currently believed that a complex interplay of multiple toxicity pathways is implicated in disease onset and progression. Among such mechanisms, ones that are associated with disturbances of protein homeostasis, the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy, have recently been highlighted. Although it remains to be determined whether disease-associated protein aggregates have a toxic or protective role in the pathogenesis, the formation of them results from the imbalance between generation and degradation of misfolded proteins within neuronal cells. In this paper, we focus on the autophagy-lysosomal and endocytic degradation systems and implication of their dysfunction to the pathogenesis of ALS/MNDs. The autophagy-endolysosomal pathway could be a major target for the development of therapeutic agents for ALS/MNDs.

  14. Post-translational Modifications and Protein Quality Control in Motor Neuron and Polyglutamine Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sambataro, Fabio; Pennuto, Maria

    2017-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, including motor neuron and polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases, are a broad class of neurological disorders. These diseases are characterized by neuronal dysfunction and death, and by the accumulation of toxic aggregation-prone proteins in the forms of inclusions and micro-aggregates. Protein quality control is a cellular mechanism to reduce the burden of accumulation of misfolded proteins, a function that results from the coordinated actions of chaperones and degradation systems, such as the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy-lysosomal degradation system. The rate of turnover, aggregation and degradation of the disease-causing proteins is modulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs), such as phosphorylation, arginine methylation, palmitoylation, acetylation, SUMOylation, ubiquitination, and proteolytic cleavage. Here, we describe how PTMs of proteins linked to motor neuron and polyQ diseases can either enhance or suppress protein quality control check and protein aggregation and degradation. The identification of molecular strategies targeting these modifications may offer novel avenues for the treatment of these yet incurable diseases.

  15. A Neuron-Specific Gene Therapy Relieves Motor Deficits in Pompe Disease Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ni-Chung; Hwu, Wuh-Liang; Muramatsu, Shin-Ichi; Falk, Darin J; Byrne, Barry J; Cheng, Chia-Hao; Shih, Nien-Chu; Chang, Kai-Ling; Tsai, Li-Kai; Chien, Yin-Hsiu

    2017-09-11

    In Pompe disease, deficient lysosomal acid α-glucosidase (GAA) activity causes glycogen accumulation in the muscles, which leads to weakness, cardiomyopathy, and respiratory failure. Although glycogen accumulation also occurs in the nervous system, the burden of neurological deficits in Pompe disease remains obscure. In this study, a neuron-specific gene therapy was administered to Pompe mice through intracerebroventricular injection of a viral vector carrying a neuron-specific promoter. The results revealed that gene therapy increased GAA activity and decreased glycogen content in the brain and spinal cord but not in the muscles of Pompe mice. Gene therapy only slightly increased the muscle strength of Pompe mice but substantially improved their performance on the rotarod, a test measuring motor coordination. Gene therapy also decreased astrogliosis and increased myelination in the brain and spinal cord of Pompe mice. Therefore, a neuron-specific treatment improved the motor coordination of Pompe mice by lowering glycogen accumulation, decreasing astrogliosis, and increasing myelination. These findings indicate that neurological deficits are responsible for a significant burden in Pompe disease.

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

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    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.

  17. Molybdenum deprivation, purine ingestion and an astrocyte-associated motor neurone syndrome in sheep: assumed clinical effects of inosine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, Ca

    2015-03-01

    An astrocyte-associated motor neurone syndrome was produced in molybdenum-deprived sheep fed xanthosine. Mo-deprived sheep fed inosine, adenosine or guanosine would be also expected to develop astrocyte-associated motor neurone syndromes, because all these purine nucleosides can act as neuromodulators and all depend on the Mo-associated enzyme xanthine oxidase-dehydrogenase for their catabolism. To investigate the relationship between inosine ingestion and low Mo concentration, eight sheep were fed lucerne chaff with a Mo value neurone syndrome was produced in three sheep 18-27 months later. It was characterised by diaphragmatic, laryngeal, lingual and pharyngeal muscle weakness. The diaphragmatic muscle weakness was the most severe and potentially lethal. These findings suggest that purinergic neuromodulation of respiration, vocalisation and swallowing is different to that of limb movement. The syndrome produced, and assumed to be caused by the treatment given, has not been reported in livestock. A similar syndrome is seen in human motor neurone disease, but not in equine motor neurone disease, and this is consistent with it being an upper, not a lower, motor neurone effect. © 2015 Australian Veterinary Association.

  18. 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.

  19. Molecular Basis for Specific Regulation of Neuronal Kinesin-3 Motors by Doublecortin Family Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Judy S.; Schubert, Christian R.; Fu, Xiaoqin; Fourniol, Franck J.; Jaiswal, Jyoti K.; Houdusse, Anne; Stultz, Collin M.; Moores, Carolyn A.; Walsh, Christopher A.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Doublecortin (Dcx) defines a growing family of microtubule (MT)-associated proteins (MAPs) involved in neuronal migration and process outgrowth. We show that Dcx is essential for the function of Kif1a, a kinesin-3 motor protein that traffics synaptic vesicles. Neurons lacking Dcx and/or its structurally conserved paralogue, doublecortin-like kinase 1 (Dclk1), show impaired Kif1a-mediated transport of Vamp2, a cargo of Kif1a, with decreased run length. Human disease-associated mutations in Dcx's linker sequence (e.g., W146C, K174E) alter Kif1a/Vamp2 transport by disrupting Dcx/Kif1a interactions without affecting Dcx MT binding. Dcx specifically enhances binding of the ADP-bound Kif1a motor domain to MTs. Cryo-electron microscopy and subnanometer-resolution image reconstruction reveal the kinesin-dependent conformational variability of MT-bound Dcx and suggest a model for MAP-motor crosstalk on MTs. Alteration of kinesin run length by MAPs represents a previously undiscovered mode of control of kinesin transport and provides a mechanism for regulation of MT-based transport by local signals. PMID:22857951

  20. 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.

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

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    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

  2. APP regulates NGF receptor trafficking and NGF-mediated neuronal differentiation and survival.

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    Yun-wu Zhang

    Full Text Available β-Amyloid precursor protein (APP is a key factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD but its physiological function is largely undetermined. APP has been found to regulate retrograde transport of nerve growth factor (NGF, which plays a crucial role in mediating neuronal survival and differentiation. Herein, we reveal the mechanism underlying APP-mediated NGF trafficking, by demonstrating a direct interaction between APP and the two NGF receptors, TrkA and p75NTR. Downregulation of APP leads to reduced cell surface levels of TrkA/p75NTR and increased endocytosis of TrkA/p75NTR and NGF. In addition, APP-deficient cells manifest defects in neurite outgrowth and are more susceptible to Aβ-induced neuronal death at physiological levels of NGF. However, APP-deficient cells show better responses to NGF-stimulated differentiation and survival than control cells. This may be attributed to increased receptor endocytosis and enhanced activation of Akt and MAPK upon NGF stimulation in APP-deficient cells. Together, our results suggest that APP mediates endocytosis of NGF receptors through direct interaction, thereby regulating endocytosis of NGF and NGF-induced downstream signaling pathways for neuronal survival and differentiation.

  3. Supportive care needs of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease and their caregivers: A scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Juyeon; Kim, Jung A

    2017-12-01

    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

  4. Identifying who will benefit from non-invasive ventilation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neurone disease in a clinical cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlowitz, David J; Howard, Mark E; Fiore, Julio F; Vander Hoorn, Stephen; O'Donoghue, Fergal J; Westlake, Justine; Smith, Anna; Beer, Fiona; Mathers, Susan; Talman, Paul

    2016-03-01

    Respiratory failure is associated with significant morbidity and is the predominant cause of death in motor neurone disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND/ALS). This study aimed to determine the effect of non-invasive ventilatory (NIV) support on survival and pulmonary function decline across MND/ALS phenotypes. Cohort recruited via a specialist, multidisciplinary clinic. Patients were categorised into four clinical phenotypes (ALS, flail arm, flail leg and primary lateral sclerosis) according to site of presenting symptom and the pattern of upper versus lower motor neurone involvement. NIV was initiated according to current consensus practice guidelines. Between 1991 and 2011, 1198 patients diagnosed with ALS/MND were registered. 929 patients (77.5%) fulfilled the selection criteria and their data were analysed. Median tracheostomy free survival from symptom onset was 28 months in NIV-treated patients compared to 15 months in untreated (Univariate Cox regression HR=0.61 (0.51 to 0.73), p<0.001). The positive survival effect of NIV persisted when the model was adjusted for age, gender, riluzole and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy use (HR=0.72 (0.60 to 0.88, p=0.001). In contrast with the only randomised controlled trial, NIV statistically significantly increased survival by 19 months in those with ALS-bulbar onset (Univariate HR=0.50 (0.36 to 0.70), multivariate HR=0.59 (0.41 to 0.83)). These data confirm that NIV improves survival in MND/ALS. The overall magnitude of benefit is 13 months and was largest in those with ALS-bulbar disease. Future research should explore the optimal timing of NIV initiation within phenotypes in order to optimise respiratory function, quality of life and survival. 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/

  5. PKA controls calcium influx into motor neurons during a rhythmic behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Wang

    Full Text Available Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP has been implicated in the execution of diverse rhythmic behaviors, but how cAMP functions in neurons to generate behavioral outputs remains unclear. During the defecation motor program in C. elegans, a peptide released from the pacemaker (the intestine rhythmically excites the GABAergic neurons that control enteric muscle contractions by activating a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR signaling pathway that is dependent on cAMP. Here, we show that the C. elegans PKA catalytic subunit, KIN-1, is the sole cAMP target in this pathway and that PKA is essential for enteric muscle contractions. Genetic analysis using cell-specific expression of dominant negative or constitutively active PKA transgenes reveals that knockdown of PKA activity in the GABAergic neurons blocks enteric muscle contractions, whereas constitutive PKA activation restores enteric muscle contractions to mutants defective in the peptidergic signaling pathway. Using real-time, in vivo calcium imaging, we find that PKA activity in the GABAergic neurons is essential for the generation of synaptic calcium transients that drive GABA release. In addition, constitutively active PKA increases the duration of calcium transients and causes ectopic calcium transients that can trigger out-of-phase enteric muscle contractions. Finally, we show that the voltage-gated calcium channels UNC-2 and EGL-19, but not CCA-1 function downstream of PKA to promote enteric muscle contractions and rhythmic calcium influx in the GABAergic neurons. Thus, our results suggest that PKA activates neurons during a rhythmic behavior by promoting presynaptic calcium influx through specific voltage-gated calcium channels.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Aging in Sensory and Motor Neurons Results in Learning Failure in Aplysia californica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Expression of K2P channels in sensory and motor neurons of the autonomic nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadaveira-Mosquera, Alba; Pérez, Montse; Reboreda, Antonio; Rivas-Ramírez, Paula; Fernández-Fernández, Diego; Lamas, J Antonio

    2012-09-01

    Several types of neurons within the central and peripheral somatic nervous system express two-pore-domain potassium (K2P) channels, providing them with resting potassium conductances. We demonstrate that these channels are also expressed in the autonomic nervous system where they might be important modulators of neuronal excitability. We observed strong mRNA expression of members of the TRESK and TREK subfamilies in both the mouse superior cervical ganglion (mSCG) and the mouse nodose ganglion (mNG). Motor mSCG neurons strongly expressed mRNA transcripts for TRESK and TREK-2 subunits, whereas TASK-1 and TASK-2 subunits were only moderately expressed, with only few or very few transcripts for TREK-1 and TRAAK (TRESK ≈ TREK-2 > TASK-2 ≈ TASK-1 > TREK-1 > TRAAK). Similarly, the TRESK and TREK-1 subunits were the most strongly expressed in sensorial mNG neurons, while TASK-1 and TASK-2 mRNAs were moderately expressed, and fewer TREK-2 and TRAAK transcripts were detected (TRESK ≈ TREK-1 > TASK-1 ≈ TASK-2 > TREK-2 > TRAAK). Moreover, cell-attached single-channel recordings showed a major contribution of TRESK and TREK-1 channels in mNG. As the level of TRESK mRNA expression was not statistically different between the ganglia analysed, the distinct expression of TREK-1 and TREK-2 subunits was the main difference observed between these structures. Our results strongly suggest that TRESK and TREK channels are important modulators of the sensorial and motor information flowing through the autonomic nervous system, probably exerting a strong influence on vagal reflexes.

  12. Facial Motor Neuron Excitability in Hemifacial Spasm: A Facial MEP Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Marshall F; Kaufmann, Anthony M

    2014-03-01

    Hemifacial spasm (HFS) may be due to peripheral axon ephapsis or central motor neuron hyperexcitability. Low facial motor evoked potential (MEP) thresholds or MEP responses to single pulse stimulation (normally multipulse stimulation is needed) may support the central hypothesis. We retrospectively compared response thresholds for facial MEPs in 65 patients undergoing surgical microvascular decompression (MVD) for HFS and 29 patients undergoing surgery for skull base tumors. Single pulse stimulation elicited facial Mep in up to 87% of HFS patients whereas only 10% of tumor patients responded to single pulse stimulation. When comparing facial MEP thresholds using multi-pulse stimulus trains the voltage required in the HFS group were significantly lower then in skull base tumor patients (p MEP latencies and amplitudes at threshold stimulation were similar between the two groups. these results suggest the facial corticobulbar pathway demonstrates enhanced excitability in HFS.

  13. Lower motor neuron paralysis with extensive cord atrophy in parainfectious acute transverse myelitis

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    Sunil Pradhan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe a young patient of acute transverse myelitis (ATM who developed true lower motor neuron (LMN type flaccid paraplegia as a result of anterior horn cell damage in the region of cord inflammation that extended from conus upwards up to the D4 transverse level. We infer that flaccidity in acute phase of ATM is not always due to spinal shock and may represent true LMN paralysis particularly if the long segment myelits is severe and extending up to last spinal segment.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...... after the beta-domain of MT, EmtinB, induced neurite outgrowth and increased neuronal survival through binding to receptors of the low-density lipoprotein receptor family (LDLR). The present study identified two MT alpha-domain-derived peptide sequences termed EmtinAn and EmtinAc, each consisting of 14...... 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Jeong-Ho; Yu, Tae-Hoon; Ryu, Hyun-Hee; Jun, Mi-Hee; Ban, Byung-Kwan [Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Science and Nanotechnology, Hannam University, Dajeon 305-811 (Korea, Republic of); Jang, Deok-Jin [Department of Applied Biology, College of Ecology and Environment, Kyungpook National University, 386, Gajang-dong, Sangju-si, Kyungbuk 742-711 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Jin-A, E-mail: leeja@hnu.kr [Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Science and Nanotechnology, Hannam University, Dajeon 305-811 (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-08-01

    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.

  18. Expressions of multiple neuronal dynamics during sensorimotor learning in the motor cortex of behaving monkeys.

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    Yael Mandelblat-Cerf

    Full Text Available Previous studies support the notion that sensorimotor learning involves multiple processes. We investigated the neuronal basis of these processes by recording single-unit activity in motor cortex of non-human primates (Macaca fascicularis, during adaptation to force-field perturbations. Perturbed trials (reaching to one direction were practiced along with unperturbed trials (to other directions. The number of perturbed trials relative to the unperturbed ones was either low or high, in two separate practice schedules. Unsurprisingly, practice under high-rate resulted in faster learning with more pronounced generalization, as compared to the low-rate practice. However, generalization and retention of behavioral and neuronal effects following practice in high-rate were less stable; namely, the faster learning was forgotten faster. We examined two subgroups of cells and showed that, during learning, the changes in firing-rate in one subgroup depended on the number of practiced trials, but not on time. In contrast, changes in the second subgroup depended on time and practice; the changes in firing-rate, following the same number of perturbed trials, were larger under high-rate than low-rate learning. After learning, the neuronal changes gradually decayed. In the first subgroup, the decay pace did not depend on the practice rate, whereas in the second subgroup, the decay pace was greater following high-rate practice. This group shows neuronal representation that mirrors the behavioral performance, evolving faster but also decaying faster at learning under high-rate, as compared to low-rate. The results suggest that the stability of a new learned skill and its neuronal representation are affected by the acquisition schedule.

  19. 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.

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

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    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.

  1. The CB1 cannabinoid receptor drives corticospinal motor neuron differentiation through the Ctip2/Satb2 transcriptional regulation axis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Alonso, Javier; Aguado, Tania; Wu, Chia-Shan; Palazuelos, Javier; Hofmann, Clementine; Garcez, Patricia; Guillemot, Francois; Lu, Hui-Chen; Lutz, Beat; Guzmán, Manuel; Galve-Roperh, Ismael

    2012-01-01

    The generation and specification of pyramidal neuron subpopulations during development relies on a complex network of transcription factors. The CB1 cannabinoid receptor is the major molecular target of endocannabinoids and marijuana active compounds. This receptor has been shown to influence neural progenitor proliferation and axonal growth, but its involvement in neuronal differentiation and the functional impact in the adulthood caused by altering its signaling during brain development are not known. Here we show that the CB1 receptor, by preventing Satb2-mediated repression, increased Ctip2 promoter activity and Ctip2+ neuron generation. Unbalanced neurogenic fate determination found in complete CB1−/− mice and in glutamatergic neuron-specific Nex-CB1−/− mice induced overt alterations in corticospinal motor neuron generation and subcerebral connectivity, thereby resulting in an impairment of skilled motor function in adult mice. Likewise, genetic deletion of CB1 receptors in Thy1-YFP-H mice elicited alterations in corticospinal tract development. Altogether, these data demonstrate that the CB1 receptor contributes to the generation of deep-layer cortical neurons, by coupling endocannabinoid signals from the neurogenic niche to the intrinsic proneurogenic Ctip2/Satb2 axis, thus influencing appropriate subcerebral projection neuron specification and corticospinal motor function in the adulthood. PMID:23175820

  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 Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Need for More Population-Based Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Quansah

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron diseases (MNDs are devastating neurological diseases that are characterised by gradual degeneration and death of motor neurons. Major types of MNDs include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA. These diseases are incurable, with limited disease-modifying treatment options. In order to improve MND-based biomedical research, drug development, and clinical care, population-based studies will be important. These studies, especially among less-studied populations, might identify novel factors controlling disease susceptibility and resistance. To evaluate progress in MND research in Africa, we examined the published literature on MNDs in Sub-Saharan Africa to identify disease prevalence, genetic factors, and other risk factors. Our findings indicate that the amount of research evidence on MNDs in Sub-Saharan Africa is scanty; molecular and genetics-based studies are particularly lacking. While only a few genetic studies were identified, these studies strongly suggest that there appear to be population-specific causes of MNDs among Africans. MND genetic underpinnings vary among different African populations and also between African and non-African populations. Further studies, especially molecular, genetic and genomic studies, will be required to advance our understanding of MND biology among African populations. Insights from these studies would help to improve the timeliness and accuracy of clinical diagnosis and treatment.

  4. [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.

  5. Changes in the Neurochemical Composition of Motor Neurons of the Spinal Cord in Mice under Conditions of Space Flight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porseva, V V; Shilkin, V V; Strelkov, A A; Krasnov, I B; Masliukov, P M

    2017-01-01

    Expression of choline acetyltransferase, 200-kDa neurofilament protein, 28-kDa calbindin, neuronal NO synthase, caspase 3, and Ki-67 in the motor neurons of spinal cord segments T3-T5 in male C57Bl/6 mice after 30-day space flight in the Bion-M1 biosatellite was studied by immunohistochemical methods. Under conditions space flight, the size of motoneurons increased, the number of neurons containing choline acetyltransferase and neurofilaments, decreased, and the number of calbindin-positive neurons increased; motoneurons, expressing neuronal NO synthase and caspase 3 appeared, while Ki-67 was not detected. Fragmentation of neurons with the formation structures similar to apoptotic (residual) bodies was observed in individual caspase 3-positive motoneurons.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coughlan, Karen S; Halang, Luise; Woods, Ina; Prehn, Jochen H M

    2016-09-01

    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-43(A315T) mice. Similar to our recent results in SOD1(G93A) mice, TDP-43(A315T) mice fed a standard pellet diet showed increased 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation at postnatal day (P)80, indicating elevated energetic stress during disease progression. We therefore investigated the effects of a high-fat jelly diet on bioenergetic status and lifespan in TDP-43(A315T) 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-43(A315T) 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. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Glial remodeling during metamorphosis influences the stabilization of motor neuron branches in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebbar, Sarita; Fernandes, Joyce J

    2010-04-15

    Motor neurons that innervate the dorsal longitudinal (flight) muscles, DLMs, make multiple points of contact along the length of fibers. The stereotypy of the innervation lies in the number of contact points (CPs) made by each motor neuron and is established as a consequence of pruning that occurs during metamorphosis. Coincident with the onset of pruning is the arrival of glial processes that eventually ensheath persistent branches. To test a possible role for glia during pruning, the development of adult-specific glial ensheathment was disrupted using a targeted expression of dominant negative shibire. Such a manipulation resulted in fewer contact points at the DLM fibers. The development of innervation was examined during metamorphosis, specifically to test if the reduction was a consequence of increased pruning. We quantified the number of branches displaying discontinuities in their membrane, an indicator of the level of pruning. Disrupting the formation of glial ensheathment resulted in a two-fold increase in the discontinuities, indicating that pruning is enhanced. Thus glial-neuronal interactions, specifically during pruning are important for the patterning of adult innervation. Our studies also suggest that FasII plays a role in mediating this communication. At the end of the pruning phase, FasII localizes to glia, which envelops each of the stabilized contact points. When glial FasII levels are increased using the Gal4/UAS system of targeted expression, pruning of secondary branches is enhanced. Our results indicate that glia regulate pruning of secondary branches by influencing the balance between stabilization and pruning. This was confirmed by an observed rescue of the innervation phenotype of FasII hypomorphs by over expressing FasII in glia. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Chromosome 9p-linked families with frontotemporal dementia associated with motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Ber, I; Camuzat, A; Berger, E; Hannequin, D; Laquerrière, A; Golfier, V; Seilhean, D; Viennet, G; Couratier, P; Verpillat, P; Heath, S; Camu, W; Martinaud, O; Lacomblez, L; Vercelletto, M; Salachas, F; Sellal, F; Didic, M; Thomas-Anterion, C; Puel, M; Michel, B-F; Besse, C; Duyckaerts, C; Meininger, V; Campion, D; Dubois, B; Brice, A

    2009-05-12

    Frontotemporal dementia associated with motor neuron disease (FTD-MND) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder that may be inherited by autosomal dominant trait. No major gene has been identified but a locus was mapped on chromosome 9 (9p21.3-p13.3). Ten French families with FTD-MND were tested for linkage to the 9p21.3-p13.3 region. We report extensive mutation screening in 9p-linked families and their clinical characteristics. We identified six new families with evidence for linkage to the chromosome 9p. Cumulative multipoint LOD score values were positive between markers D9S1121 and D9S301, reaching a peak of 8.0 at marker D9S248. Haplotype reconstruction defined the telomeric boundary at marker AFM218xg11, slightly narrowing the candidate interval. We found no disease-causing mutations by sequencing 29 candidate genes including IFT74 and no copy number variations in the 9p region. The mean age at onset was 57.9 +/- 10.3 years (range, 41-84), with wide heterogeneity within and among families suggesting age-dependant penetrance. The patients presented isolated FTD (32%), isolated MND (29%), or both disorders (39%). The general characteristics of the disease did not differ, except for an older age at onset and shorter disease duration in the 9p-linked compared to nonlinked families. TDP-43-positive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions were found in cortex and spinal cord in 3 patients. This study increases the number of 9p-linked families now reported and shows that this locus may have a major effect on frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and motor neuron disease (MND). Considering our results, the causative gene might be implicated in at least 60% of the families with FTD-MND disorder.

  12. Cyclic AMP promotes axon regeneration, lesion repair and neuronal survival in lampreys after spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Billy Y B; Fogerson, Stephanie M; Walsh, Rylie B; Morgan, Jennifer R

    2013-12-01

    Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury in mammals is inadequate to restore function, illustrating the need to design better strategies for improving outcomes. Increasing the levels of the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) after spinal cord injury enhances axon regeneration across a wide variety of species, making it an excellent candidate molecule that has therapeutic potential. However, several important aspects of the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which cAMP enhances axon regeneration are still unclear, such as how cAMP affects axon growth patterns, the molecular components within growing axon tips, the lesion scar, and neuronal survival. To address these points, we took advantage of the large, identified reticulospinal (RS) neurons in lamprey, a vertebrate that exhibits robust axon regeneration after a complete spinal cord transection. Application of a cAMP analog, db-cAMP, at the time of spinal cord transection increased the number of axons that regenerated across the lesion site. Db-cAMP also promoted axons to regenerate in straighter paths, prevented abnormal axonal growth patterns, increased the levels of synaptotagmin within axon tips, and increased the number of axotomized neurons that survived after spinal cord injury, thereby increasing the pool of neurons available for regeneration. There was also a transient increase in the number of microglia/macrophages and improved repair of the lesion site. Taken together, these data reveal several new features of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cAMP-mediated enhancement of axon regeneration, further emphasizing the positive roles for this conserved pathway. © 2013.

  13. Genetic visualization with an improved GCaMP calcium indicator reveals spatiotemporal activation of the spinal motor neurons in zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muto, Akira; Ohkura, Masamichi; Kotani, Tomoya; Higashijima, Shin-ichi; Nakai, Junichi; Kawakami, Koichi

    2011-01-01

    Animal behaviors are generated by well-coordinated activation of neural circuits. In zebrafish, embryos start to show spontaneous muscle contractions at 17 to 19 h postfertilization. To visualize how motor circuits in the spinal cord are activated during this behavior, we developed GCaMP-HS (GCaMP-hyper sensitive), an improved version of the genetically encoded calcium indicator GCaMP, and created transgenic zebrafish carrying the GCaMP-HS gene downstream of the Gal4-recognition sequence, UAS (upstream activation sequence). Then we performed a gene-trap screen and identified the SAIGFF213A transgenic fish that expressed Gal4FF, a modified version of Gal4, in a subset of spinal neurons including the caudal primary (CaP) motor neurons. We conducted calcium imaging using the SAIGFF213A; UAS:GCaMP-HS double transgenic embryos during the spontaneous contractions. We demonstrated periodic and synchronized activation of a set of ipsilateral motor neurons located on the right and left trunk in accordance with actual muscle movements. The synchronized activation of contralateral motor neurons occurred alternately with a regular interval. Furthermore, a detailed analysis revealed rostral-to-caudal propagation of activation of the ipsilateral motor neuron, which is similar to but much slower than the rostrocaudal delay observed during swimming in later stages. Our study thus demonstrated coordinated activities of the motor neurons during the first behavior in a vertebrate. We propose the GCaMP technology combined with the Gal4FF-UAS system is a powerful tool to study functional neural circuits in zebrafish. PMID:21383146

  14. Coordinated Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity at Striatopallidal and Striatonigral Neurons Orchestrates Motor Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Trusel

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The basal ganglia play a critical role in shaping motor behavior. For this function, the activity of medium spiny neurons (MSNs of the striatonigral and striatopallidal pathways must be integrated. It remains unclear whether the activity of the two pathways is primarily coordinated by synaptic plasticity mechanisms. Using a model of Parkinson’s disease, we determined the circuit and behavioral effects of concurrently regulating cell-type-specific forms of corticostriatal long-term synaptic depression (LTD by inhibiting small-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (SKs of the dorsolateral striatum. At striatopallidal synapses, SK channel inhibition rescued the disease-linked deficits in endocannabinoid (eCB-dependent LTD. At striatonigral cells, inhibition of these channels counteracted a form of adenosine-mediated LTD by activating the ERK cascade. Interfering with eCB-, adenosine-, and ERK signaling in vivo alleviated motor abnormalities, which supports that synaptic modulation of striatal pathways affects behavior. Thus, our results establish a central role of coordinated synaptic plasticity at MSN subpopulations in motor control.

  15. 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.

  16. Motor neuron-astrocyte interactions and levels of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly, S A; Roedica, J; Nagy, D; Hallewell, R A; Alderson, K; Marklund, S L; Kuby, J; Kushner, P D

    1995-02-01

    Copper, zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is involved in neutralizing free radicals within cells, and mutant forms of the enzyme have recently been shown to occur in about 20% of familial cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To explore the mechanism of SOD1 involvement in ALS, we have analyzed SOD1 in sporadic ALS using activity assays and immunocyto-chemistry. Analyses of SOD1 activity in washed erythrocytes revealed no difference between 13 ALS cases and 4 controls. Spinal cord sections from 6 ALS cases, 1 primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) case, and 1 control case were stained using three different antibodies to SOD1. Since astrocytes are closely associated with motor neurons, antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin were used as independent monitors of astrocytes. The principal findings from localizations are: (1) normal motor neurons do not have higher levels of SOD1 than other neurons, (2) there was no detectable difference in SOD1 levels in motor neurons of ALS cases and controls, (3) ALS spinal cord displayed a reduction or absence of SOD1-reactive astrocytes compared to the control and PLS cases, and (4) examination of GFAP-stained sections and morphometry showed that the normal close association between astrocytic processes and motor neuron somata was decreased in the ALS and PLS cases. These results indicate the disease mechanism in sporadic ALS may involve alterations in spinal cord astrocytes.

  17. Learning-induced improvement in encoding and decoding of specific movement directions by neurons in the primary motor cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rony Paz

    2004-02-01

    Full Text Available Many recent studies describe learning-related changes in sensory and motor areas, but few have directly probed for improvement in neuronal coding after learning. We used information theory to analyze single-cell activity from the primary motor cortex of monkeys, before and after learning a local rotational visuomotor task. We show that after learning, neurons in the primary motor cortex conveyed more information about the direction of movement and did so with relation to their directional sensitivity. Similar to recent findings in sensory systems, this specific improvement in encoding is correlated with an increase in the slope of the neurons' tuning curve. We further demonstrate that the improved information after learning enables a more accurate reconstruction of movement direction from neuronal populations. Our results suggest that similar mechanisms govern learning in sensory and motor areas and provide further evidence for a tight relationship between the locality of learning and the properties of neurons; namely, cells only show plasticity if their preferred direction is near the training one. The results also suggest that simple learning tasks can enhance the performance of brain-machine interfaces.

  18. Learning-Induced Improvement in Encoding and Decoding of Specific Movement Directions by Neurons in the Primary Motor Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaadia, Eilon

    2004-01-01

    Many recent studies describe learning-related changes in sensory and motor areas, but few have directly probed for improvement in neuronal coding after learning. We used information theory to analyze single-cell activity from the primary motor cortex of monkeys, before and after learning a local rotational visuomotor task. We show that after learning, neurons in the primary motor cortex conveyed more information about the direction of movement and did so with relation to their directional sensitivity. Similar to recent findings in sensory systems, this specific improvement in encoding is correlated with an increase in the slope of the neurons' tuning curve. We further demonstrate that the improved information after learning enables a more accurate reconstruction of movement direction from neuronal populations. Our results suggest that similar mechanisms govern learning in sensory and motor areas and provide further evidence for a tight relationship between the locality of learning and the properties of neurons; namely, cells only show plasticity if their preferred direction is near the training one. The results also suggest that simple learning tasks can enhance the performance of brain–machine interfaces. PMID:14966539

  19. Plasticity in respiratory motor neurons in response to reduced synaptic inputs: A form of homeostatic plasticity in respiratory control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braegelmann, K M; Streeter, K A; Fields, D P; Baker, T L

    2017-01-01

    For most individuals, the respiratory control system produces a remarkably stable and coordinated motor output-recognizable as a breath-from birth until death. Very little is understood regarding the processes by which the respiratory control system maintains network stability in the presence of changing physiological demands and network properties that occur throughout life. An emerging principle of neuroscience is that neural activity is sensed and adjusted locally to assure that neurons continue to operate in an optimal range, yet to date, it is unknown whether such homeostatic plasticity is a feature of the neurons controlling breathing. Here, we review the evidence that local mechanisms sense and respond to perturbations in respiratory neural activity, with a focus on plasticity in respiratory motor neurons. We discuss whether these forms of plasticity represent homeostatic plasticity in respiratory control. We present new analyses demonstrating that reductions in synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit a compensatory enhancement of phrenic inspiratory motor output, a form of plasticity termed inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF), that is proportional to the magnitude of activity deprivation. Although the physiological role of iPMF is not understood, we hypothesize that it has an important role in protecting the drive to breathe during conditions of prolonged or intermittent reductions in respiratory neural activity, such as following spinal cord injury or during central sleep apnea. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. Regulation of neurons in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus by SIRT1

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    Yanyan eJiang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Neurons in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV play a critical role in the regulation of autonomic functions. Previous studies indicated that central activation of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1 has beneficial effects on homeostasis, most likely via modulation of the autonomic output. Sirtuins are NAD+-dependent deacetylases and have been associated with longevity. SIRT1 is one of the best-characterized sirtuins expressed in mammals, and may be involved in the regulation of metabolism. Resveratrol, a SIRT1 activator reduced hyperglycemia likely through activation of vagal output; however, the cellular mechanisms of action have not been determined. In this study, whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology on acute brainstem slices was used to test the hypothesis that activation of SIRT1 with resveratrol enhances neurotransmission in DMV neurons. Application of resveratrol increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSC. This effect was KATP channel-dependent and was prevented with pre-application of SIRT1 inhibitor, EX527. Resveratrol also increased miniature EPSC (mEPSC frequency without change in amplitude. Furthermore, our data demonstrated that resveratrol regulates excitatory neurotransmission in a PI3 kinase-dependent manner, since wortmannin, a PI3K inhibitor prevented the increase of mEPSC frequency caused by resveratrol. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that resveratrol via SIRT1 increases excitatory neurotransmission to DMV neurons. These observations suggest that activation of SIRT1 may regulate the function of subdiaphragmatic organs through controlling the activity of parasympathetic DMV neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Recombinant human erythropoietin increases survival and reduces neuronal apoptosis in a murine model of cerebral malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiese, Lothar; Hempel, Casper; Penkowa, Milena

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Cerebral malaria (CM) is an acute encephalopathy with increased pro-inflammatory cytokines, sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes and localized ischaemia. In children CM induces cognitive impairment in about 10% of the survivors. Erythropoietin (Epo) has - besides of its well known...... with recombinant human Epo (rhEpo; 50-5000 U/kg/OD, i.p.) at different time points. The effect on survival was measured. Brain pathology was investigated by TUNEL (Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP)-digoxigenin nick end labelling), as a marker of apoptosis. Gene...... expression in brain tissue was measured by real time PCR. RESULTS: Treatment with rhEpo increased survival in mice with CM in a dose- and time-dependent manner and reduced apoptotic cell death of neurons as well as the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain. This neuroprotective effect...

  3. Neuron-Glia Crosstalk and Neuropathic Pain: Involvement in the Modulation of Motor Activity in the Orofacial Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Mohammad Zakir; Unno, Shumpei; Ando, Hiroshi; Masuda, Yuji; Kitagawa, Junichi

    2017-09-26

    Neuropathic orofacial pain (NOP) is a debilitating condition. Although the pathophysiology remains unclear, accumulating evidence suggests the involvement of multiple mechanisms in the development of neuropathic pain. Recently, glial cells have been shown to play a key pathogenetic role. Nerve injury leads to an immune response near the site of injury. Satellite glial cells are activated in the peripheral ganglia. Various neural and immune mediators, released at the central terminals of primary afferents, lead to the sensitization of postsynaptic neurons and the activation of glia. The activated glia, in turn, release pro-inflammatory factors, further sensitizing the neurons, and resulting in central sensitization. Recently, we observed the involvement of glia in the alteration of orofacial motor activity in NOP. Microglia and astroglia were activated in the trigeminal sensory and motor nuclei, in parallel with altered motor functions and a decreased pain threshold. A microglial blocker attenuated the reduction in pain threshold, reduced the number of activated microglia, and restored motor activity. We also found an involvement of the astroglial glutamate-glutamine shuttle in the trigeminal motor nucleus in the alteration of the jaw reflex. Neuron-glia crosstalk thus plays an important role in the development of pain and altered motor activity in NOP.

  4. Mutations in CHMP2B in lower motor neuron predominant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura E Cox

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a common late-onset neurodegenerative disease, is associated with fronto-temporal dementia (FTD in 3-10% of patients. A mutation in CHMP2B was recently identified in a Danish pedigree with autosomal dominant FTD. Subsequently, two unrelated patients with familial ALS, one of whom also showed features of FTD, were shown to carry missense mutations in CHMP2B. The initial aim of this study was to determine whether mutations in CHMP2B contribute more broadly to ALS pathogenesis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Sequencing of CHMP2B in 433 ALS cases from the North of England identified 4 cases carrying 3 missense mutations, including one novel mutation, p.Thr104Asn, none of which were present in 500 neurologically normal controls. Analysis of clinical and neuropathological data of these 4 cases showed a phenotype consistent with the lower motor neuron predominant (progressive muscular atrophy (PMA variant of ALS. Only one had a recognised family history of ALS and none had clinically apparent dementia. Microarray analysis of motor neurons from CHMP2B cases, compared to controls, showed a distinct gene expression signature with significant differential expression predicting disassembly of cell structure; increased calcium concentration in the ER lumen; decrease in the availability of ATP; down-regulation of the classical and p38 MAPK signalling pathways, reduction in autophagy initiation and a global repression of translation. Transfection of mutant CHMP2B into HEK-293 and COS-7 cells resulted in the formation of large cytoplasmic vacuoles, aberrant lysosomal localisation demonstrated by CD63 staining and impairment of autophagy indicated by increased levels of LC3-II protein. These changes were absent in control cells transfected with wild-type CHMP2B. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that in a population drawn from North of England pathogenic CHMP2B mutations are found in approximately 1% of cases

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire E. Hall

    2017-05-01

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

  6. Genetic variation in KIFAP3 is associated with an upper motor neuron-predominant phenotype in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsetti, V; Pegoraro, E; Cima, V; D'Ascenzo, C; Palmieri, A; Querin, G; Volpe, M; Ermani, M; Angelini, C; Sorarù, G

    2011-01-01

    Some authors have recently reported that the CC genotype of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1541160 mapping within the kinesin-associated protein 3 (KIFAP3) gene is associated with increased survival in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS). The relationship between the rs1541160 genotype and several clinical features of 228 ALS patients was evaluated with the intent of assessing any association between the ALS phenotype and KIFAP3. The SNP rs1541160 within the KIFAP3 expression profile was investigated using real-time PCR in a group of 6 patients harboring the CC genotype and in 12 patients harboring the TT genotype. Analysis of our patients' clinical features showed that almost half of those with the CC genotype were classified as having upper motor neuron-predominant ALS (UMN-ALS). Conversely, there was an approximately 10% frequency of UMN-ALS in both the TT and the TC patient groups as well as in the entire cohort considered as a whole (p CC patients of this cohort supports the hypothesis that the SNP rs1541160 within the KIFAP3 gene is a potential modifier of the ALS phenotype. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoye, Mariah L; Koval, Erica D; Wegener, Amy J; Hyman, Theodore S; Yang, Chengran; O'Brien, David R; Miller, Rebecca L; Cole, Tracy; Schoch, Kathleen M; Shen, Tao; Kunikata, Tomonori; Richard, Jean-Philippe; Gutmann, David H; Maragakis, Nicholas J; Kordasiewicz, Holly B; Dougherty, Joseph D; Miller, Timothy M

    2017-05-31

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder marked by the loss of motor neurons (MNs) in the brain and spinal cord, leading to fatally debilitating weakness. Because this disease predominantly affects MNs, we aimed to characterize the distinct expression profile of that cell type to elucidate underlying disease mechanisms and to identify novel targets that inform on MN health during ALS disease time course. microRNAs (miRNAs) are short, noncoding RNAs that can shape the expression profile of a cell and thus often exhibit cell-type-enriched expression. To determine MN-enriched miRNA expression, we used Cre recombinase-dependent miRNA tagging and affinity purification in mice. By defining the in vivo miRNA expression of MNs, all neurons, astrocytes, and microglia, we then focused on MN-enriched miRNAs via a comparative analysis and found that they may functionally distinguish MNs postnatally from other spinal neurons. Characterizing the levels of the MN-enriched miRNAs in CSF harvested from ALS models of MN disease demonstrated that one miRNA (miR-218) tracked with MN loss and was responsive to an ALS therapy in rodent models. Therefore, we have used cellular expression profiling tools to define the distinct miRNA expression of MNs, which is likely to enrich future studies of MN disease. This approach enabled the development of a novel, drug-responsive marker of MN disease in ALS rodents.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease in which motor neurons (MNs) in the brain and spinal cord are selectively lost. To develop tools to aid in our understanding of the distinct expression profiles of MNs and, ultimately, to monitor MN disease progression, we identified small regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) that were highly enriched or exclusive in MNs. The signal for one of these MN-enriched miRNAs is detectable in spinal tap biofluid from an ALS rat model, where its levels change as disease

  8. Pedigree with frontotemporal lobar degeneration – motor neuron disease and Tar DNA binding protein-43 positive neuropathology: genetic linkage to chromosome 9

    OpenAIRE

    Loy Clement T; Brooks William S; Blumbergs Peter; Thompson Elizabeth M; Kwok John BJ; Luty Agnes A; Dobson-Stone Carol; Panegyres Peter K; Hecker Jane; Nicholson Garth A; Halliday Glenda M; Schofield Peter R

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Background Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) represents a clinically, pathologically and genetically heterogenous neurodegenerative disorder, often complicated by neurological signs such as motor neuron-related limb weakness, spasticity and paralysis, parkinsonism and gait disturbances. Linkage to chromosome 9p had been reported for pedigrees with the neurodegenerative disorder, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and motor neuron disease (MND). The objective in this stud...

  9. Neurogenic differentiation of dental pulp stem cells to neuron-like cells in dopaminergic and motor neuronal inductive media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Chieh Chang

    2014-12-01

    Conclusion: These findings suggest that in response to the neuronal inductive stimuli, a greater proportion of DPSCs stop proliferation and acquire a phenotype resembling mature neurons. Such neural crest-derived adult DPSCs may provide an alternative stem cell source for therapy-based treatments of neuronal disorders and injury.

  10. Autophagy induction enhances TDP43 turnover and survival in neuronal ALS models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barmada, Sami J.; Serio, Andrea; Arjun, Arpana; Bilican, Bilada; Daub, Aaron; Ando, D. Michael; Tsvetkov, Andrey; Pleiss, Michael; Li, Xingli; Peisach, Daniel; Shaw, Christopher; Chandran, Siddharthan; Finkbeiner, Steven

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) have distinct clinical features but a common pathology—cytoplasmic inclusions rich in TDP43. Rare TDP43 mutations cause ALS or FTD, but abnormal TDP43 levels and localization may cause disease even if TDP43 lacks a mutation. Here we showed that individual neurons vary in their ability to clear TDP43 and are exquisitely sensitive to TDP43 levels. To measure TDP43 clearance, we developed and validated a single-cell optical method that overcomes the confounding effects of aggregation and toxicity, and discovered that pathogenic mutations significantly shorten TDP43 half-life. Novel compounds that stimulate autophagy improved TDP43 clearance and localization, and enhanced survival in primary murine neurons and in human stem cell–derived neurons and astrocytes harboring mutant TDP43. These findings indicate that the levels and localization of TDP43 critically determine neurotoxicity and show that autophagy induction mitigates neurodegeneration by acting directly on TDP43 clearance. PMID:24974230

  11. IMPACTS OF TISSUE-TYPE PLASMINOGEN ACTIVATOR (TPA ON NEURONAL SURVIVAL

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    Arnaud eChevilley

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA a serine protease is constituted of five functional domains through which it interacts with different substrates, binding proteins and receptors. In the last years, great interest has been given to the clinical relevance of targeting tPA in different diseases of the central nervous system, in particular stroke. Among its reported functions in the central nervous system, tPA displays both neurotrophic and neurotoxic effects. How can the protease mediate such opposite functions remain unclear but several hypotheses have been proposed. These include an influence of the degree of maturity and/or the type of neurons, of the level of tPA, of its origin (endogenous or exogenous or of its form (single chain tPA versus two chain tPA. In this review, we will provide a synthetic snapshot of our current knowledge regarding the natural history of tPA and discuss how it sustains its pleiotropic functions with focus on excitotoxic/ischemic neuronal death and neuronal survival.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-05-01

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

  15. Identification of Personal Factors in Motor Neurone Disease: A Pilot Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louisa Ng

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurone disease (MND is a devastating condition. This preliminary study aims to identify relevant personal factors affecting the experience of living with MND from the perspective of persons with MND (pwMND in an Australian cohort. A prospective cross-sectional survey of pwMND (=44 using an open-ended questionnaire identified personal factors that were categorised thematically. Standardised questionnaires assessed disease severity: depression, anxiety, and stress and coping strategies. Personal factors identified included demographic factors (socioeconomic status, emotional states (depression, anxiety, and fear, coping strategies (problem-based coping and denial, personality, beliefs (religious and personal values, attitudes (of the patient, and others (such as perceived support. An understanding of personal factors by treating clinicians is essential in the provision of optimal care in MND. This study may assist in the development of personal factors within the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health for improved consensus of care and communication amongst treating clinicians.

  16. Ferulic acid promotes survival and differentiation of neural stem cells to prevent gentamicin-induced neuronal hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Lintao; Cui, Xinhua; Wei, Wei; Yang, Jia; Li, Xuezhong

    2017-11-15

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) have exhibited promising potential in therapies against neuronal hearing loss. Ferulic acid (FA) has been widely reported to enhance neurogenic differentiation of different stem cells. We investigated the role of FA in promoting NSC transplant therapy to prevent gentamicin-induced neuronal hearing loss. NSCs were isolated from mouse cochlear tissues to establish in vitro culture, which were then treated with FA. The survival and differentiation of NSCs were evaluated. Subsequently, neurite outgrowth and excitability of the in vitro neuronal network were assessed. Gentamicin was used to induce neuronal hearing loss in mice, in the presence and absence of FA, followed by assessments of auditory brainstem response (ABR) and distortion product optoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) amplitude. FA promoted survival, neurosphere formation and differentiation of NSCs, as well as neurite outgrowth and excitability of in vitro neuronal network. Furthermore, FA restored ABR threshold shifts and DPOAE in gentamicin-induced neuronal hearing loss mouse model in vivo. Our data, for the first time, support potential therapeutic efficacy of FA in promoting survival and differentiation of NSCs to prevent gentamicin-induced neuronal hearing loss. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

    2018-01-30

    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.

  18. Motor cortex broadly engages excitatory and inhibitory neurons in somatosensory barrel cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinnischtzke, Amanda K; Simons, Daniel J; Fanselow, Erika E

    2014-08-01

    Anatomical studies have shown that primary somatosensory (S1) and primary motor (M1) cortices are reciprocally connected. The M1 to S1 projection is thought to represent a modulatory signal that conveys motor-related information to S1. Here, we investigated M1 synaptic inputs to S1 by injecting an AAV virus containing channelrhodopsin-2 and a fluorescent tag into M1. Consistent with previous results, we found labeling of M1 axons within S1 that was most robust in the deep layers and in L1. Labeling was sparse in L4 and was concentrated in the interbarrel septa, largely avoiding barrel centers. In S1, we recorded in vitro from regular-spiking excitatory neurons and fast-spiking and somatostatin-expressing inhibitory interneurons. All 3 cell types had a high probability of receiving direct excitatory M1 input. Both excitatory and inhibitory cells within L4 were the least likely to receive such input from M1. Disynaptic inhibition was observed frequently, indicating that M1 recruits substantial inhibition within S1. Additionally, a subpopulation of L6 regular-spiking excitatory neurons received exceptionally strong M1 input. Overall, our results suggest that activation of M1 evokes within S1 a bombardment of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activity that could contribute in a layer-specific manner to state-dependent changes in S1. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. Gene expression of NMDA and AMPA receptors in different facial motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Pei; Song, Jun; Luo, Linghui; Cheng, Qing; Xiao, Hongjun; Gong, Shusheng

    2016-01-01

    Facial motor neurons (FMNs) are involved in the remodeling of the facial nucleus in response to peripheral injury. This study aimed to examine the gene expression of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) and N-methyl-D-aspartate subtype of ionotropic glutamate receptor (NMDAR) in reinnervating dormant FMNs after facial nerve axotomy. Animal study. Rat models of facial-facial anastomosis were set up and raised until the 90th day. By laser capture microdissection (LCM), the reinnervating neurons labeled by Fluoro-Ruby (FR) were first captured, and the remaining (dormant) neurons identified by Nissl staining were captured in the facial nucleus of the operated side. The total RNA of two types of neurons were extracted, and the gene expressions of AMPAR and NMDAR were studied by real-time quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Messenger RNA (mRNA) of AMPAR subunits (GluR1, GluR2, GluR3, and GluR4) and NMDAR subunits (NR1, NR2a, NR2b, NR2c, and NR2d) was detected in reinnervating and dormant neurons. The relative ratios exhibited that the expressions of GluR1, GluR4, NR2a, NR2b, NR2c, and NR2d mRNA were lower, whereas the expressions of GluR2, GluR3, and NR1 mRNA were higher in dormant FMNs than in reinnervating counterparts. LCM in combination with real-time qRT-PCR can be employed for the examination of gene expression of different FMNs in a heterogeneous nucleus. The adaptive changes in AMPAR and NMDAR subunit mRNA might dictate the regenerative fate of FMNs in response to the peripheral axotomy and thereby play a unique role in the pathogenesis of facial nerve injury and regeneration. © 2015 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  1. Orthodenticle is necessary for survival of a cluster of clonally related dopaminergic neurons in the Drosophila larval and adult brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pandey Rahul

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The dopaminergic (DA neurons present in the central brain of the Drosophila larva are spatially arranged in stereotyped groups that define clusters of bilaterally symmetrical neurons. These clusters have been classified according to anatomical criteria (position of the cell bodies within the cortex and/or projection pattern of the axonal tracts. However, information pertaining to the developmental biology, such as lineage relationship of clustered DA neurons and differential cell subtype-specific molecular markers and mechanisms of differentiation and/or survival, is currently not available. Results Using MARCM and twin-spot MARCM techniques together with anti-tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity, we have analyzed the larval central brain DA neurons from a developmental point of view and determined their time of birth, their maturation into a DA neurotransmitter phenotype as well as their lineage relationships. In addition, we have found that the homeodomain containing transcription factor Orthodenticle (Otd is present in a cluster of clonally related DA neurons in both the larval and adult brain. Taking advantage of the otd hypomorphic mutation ocelliless (oc and the oc2-Gal4 reporter line, we have studied the involvement of orthodenticle (otd in the survival and/or cell fate specification of these post-mitotic neurons. Conclusions Our findings provide evidence of the presence of seven neuroblast lineages responsible for the generation of the larval central brain DA neurons during embryogenesis. otd is expressed in a defined group of clonally related DA neurons from first instar larvae to adulthood, making it possible to establish an identity relationship between the larval DL2a and the adult PPL2 DA clusters. This poses otd as a lineage-specific and differential marker of a subset of clonally related DA neurons. Finally, we show that otd is required in those DA neurons for their survival.

  2. Loss of Fig4 in both Schwann cells and motor neurons contributes to CMT4J neuropathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaccari, Ilaria; Carbone, Antonietta; Previtali, Stefano Carlo; Mironova, Yevgeniya A.; Alberizzi, Valeria; Noseda, Roberta; Rivellini, Cristina; Bianchi, Francesca; Del Carro, Ubaldo; D'Antonio, Maurizio; Lenk, Guy M.; Wrabetz, Lawrence; Giger, Roman J.; Meisler, Miriam H.; Bolino, Alessandra

    2015-01-01

    Mutations of FIG4 are responsible for Yunis-Varón syndrome, familial epilepsy with polymicrogyria, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 4J neuropathy (CMT4J). Although loss of the FIG4 phospholipid phosphatase consistently causes decreased PtdIns(3,5)P2 levels, cell-specific sensitivity to partial loss of FIG4 function may differentiate FIG4-associated disorders. CMT4J is an autosomal recessive neuropathy characterized by severe demyelination and axonal loss in human, with both motor and sensory involvement. However, it is unclear whether FIG4 has cell autonomous roles in both motor neurons and Schwann cells, and how loss of FIG4/PtdIns(3,5)P2-mediated functions contribute to the pathogenesis of CMT4J. Here, we report that mice with conditional inactivation of Fig4 in motor neurons display neuronal and axonal degeneration. In contrast, conditional inactivation of Fig4 in Schwann cells causes demyelination and defects in autophagy-mediated degradation. Moreover, Fig4-regulated endolysosomal trafficking in Schwann cells is essential for myelin biogenesis during development and for proper regeneration/remyelination after injury. Our data suggest that impaired endolysosomal trafficking in both motor neurons and Schwann cells contributes to CMT4J neuropathy. PMID:25187576

  3. Golgi fragmentation precedes neuromuscular denervation and is associated with endosome abnormalities in SOD1-ALS mouse motor neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    V. van Dis (Vera); M. Kuijpers (Marijn); E.D. Haasdijk (Elize); E. Teuling (Eva); S.A. Oakes (Scott A.); C.C. Hoogenraad (Casper); D. Jaarsma (Dick)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Fragmentation of stacked cisterns of the Golgi apparatus into dispersed smaller elements is a feature associated with degeneration of neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and some other neurodegenerative disorders. However, the role of Golgi fragmentation in motor

  4. Peripheral nerve injury causes transient expression of MHC class I antigens in rat motor neurons and skeletal muscles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maehlen, J; Nennesmo, I; Olsson, A B

    1989-01-01

    After a peripheral nerve lesion (rat facial and sciatic) an induction of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens class I was detected immunohistochemically in skeletal muscle fibers and motor neurons. This MHC expression was transient after a nerve crush, when regeneration occurred...

  5. Influence of methylene blue on microglia-induced inflammation and motor neuron degeneration in the SOD1(G93A model for ALS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Payam Dibaj

    Full Text Available Mutations in SOD1 cause hereditary variants of the fatal motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Pathophysiology of the disease is non-cell-autonomous, with toxicity deriving also from glia. In particular, microglia contribute to disease progression. Methylene blue (MB inhibits the effect of nitric oxide, which mediates microglial responses to injury. In vivo 2P-LSM imaging was performed in ALS-linked transgenic SOD1(G93A mice to investigate the effect of MB on microglia-mediated inflammation in the spinal cord. Local superfusion of the lateral spinal cord with MB inhibited the microglial reaction directed at a laser-induced axon transection in control and SOD1(G93A mice. In vitro, MB at high concentrations inhibited cytokine and chemokine release from microglia of control and advanced clinical SOD1(G93A mice. Systemic MB-treatment of SOD1(G93A mice at early preclinical stages significantly delayed disease onset and motor dysfunction. However, an increase of MB dose had no additional effect on disease progression; this was unexpected in view of the local anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, in vivo imaging of systemically MB-treated mice also showed no alterations of microglia activity in response to local lesions. Thus although systemic MB treatment had no effect on microgliosis, instead, its use revealed an important influence on motor neuron survival as indicated by an increased number of lumbar anterior horn neurons present at the time of disease onset. Thus, potentially beneficial effects of locally applied MB on inflammatory events contributing to disease progression could not be reproduced in SOD1(G93A mice via systemic administration, whereas systemic MB application delayed disease onset via neuroprotection.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joy A Umbach

    Full Text Available A key objective of stem cell biology is to create physiologically relevant cells suitable for modeling disease pathologies in vitro. Much progress towards this goal has been made in the area of motor neuron (MN disease through the development of methods to direct spinal MN formation from both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Previous studies have characterized these neurons with respect to their molecular and intrinsic functional properties. However, the synaptic activity of stem cell-derived MNs remains less well defined. In this study, we report the development of low-density co-culture conditions that encourage the formation of active neuromuscular synapses between stem cell-derived MNs and muscle cells in vitro. Fluorescence microscopy reveals the expression of numerous synaptic proteins at these contacts, while dual patch clamp recording detects both spontaneous and multi-quantal evoked synaptic responses similar to those observed in vivo. Together, these findings demonstrate that stem cell-derived MNs innervate muscle cells in a functionally relevant manner. This dual recording approach further offers a sensitive and quantitative assay platform to probe disorders of synaptic dysfunction associated with MN disease.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Detecting neuronal dysfunction of hand motor cortex in ALS: A MRSI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuzhou; Li, Xiaodi; Chen, Wenming; Wang, Zhanhang; Xu, Yan; Luo, Jingpan; Lin, Hanbo; Sun, Guijun

    2017-03-01

    Although hand motor cortex (HMC) has been constantly used for identification of primary motor cortex in magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) studies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), neurochemical profiles of HMC have never been assessed independently. As HMC has a constant location and the clinic-anatomic correlation between hand motor function and HMC has been established, we hypothesize that HMC may serve as a promising region of interest in diagnosing ALS. Fourteen ALS patients and 14 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HC) were recruited in this study. An optimized magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) method was developed and for each subject bilateral HMC areas were scanned separately (two-dimensional multi-voxel MRSI, voxel size 0.56 cm(3)). N-acetyl aspartate (NAA)-creatine (Cr) ratio was measured from HMC and the adjacent postcentral gyrus. Compared with HC, NAA/Cr ratios from HMC and the postcentral gyrus were significantly reduced in ALS. However, in each group the difference of NAA/Cr ratios between HMC and the postcentral gyrus was not significant. Limb predominance of HMC was not found in either ALS or HC. In ALS, there was a significant difference in NAA/Cr ratio between the most affected HMC and the less affected HMC. A positive relationship between NAA/Cr ratio of HMC and the severity of hand strength (assessed by finger tapping speed) was demonstrated. Neuronal dysfunction of HMC can differentiate ALS patients from HC when represented as reduced NAA/Cr ratio. Postcentral gyrus could not serve as normal internal reference tissue in diagnosing ALS. Asymmetrical NAA/Cr ratios from bilateral HMC may serve as a promising diagnostic biomarker of ALS at the individual level.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Purified mouse dopamine neurons thrive and function after transplantation into brain but require novel glial factors for survival in culture

    OpenAIRE

    Donaldson, A.E.; Marshall, C.E.; Yang, Ming; Suon, S.; Iacovitti, Lorraine

    2005-01-01

    Cell replacement therapy in Parkinson's disease depends on a reliable source of purified dopamine (DA) neurons (PDN) and the identification of factors relevant to their survival. Our goal was to genetically tag and purify by flow cytometry embryonic midbrain DA neurons from a transgenic mouse line carrying 11 kb of human tyrosine hydroxylase promoter driving expression of the enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP) for studies in vivo and in vitro. A 99% purification of GFP+ cells was achiev...

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

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    Stuck, Ellen D.; Irvine, Karen-Amanda; Bresnahan, Jacqueline C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:26668821

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor prevents motor neuron loss of transgenic model mice for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manabe, Yasuhiro; Nagano, I; Gazi, M S A; Murakami, T; Shiote, M; Shoji, M; Kitagawa, H; Setoguchi, Y; Abe, K

    2002-08-01

    Effects of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) were studied in transgenic (Tg) mice model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Adenoviral vector containing GDNF gene (Ad-GDNF), E. coli lacZ (Ad-LacZ), or vehicle was injected once a week from 35 weeks of age into the right gastrocnemius muscle of Tg mice carrying mutant human Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene, and histological analysis was performed at 46 W. Clinical data showed a tendency of improvement, but was not significantly different among the three animal groups. In contrast, total number of and phospho-Akt (p-Akt) positive large motor neurons in the treated side was significantly preserved in Ad-GDNF-treated group than in vehicle- and Ad-LacZ-treated groups (*p < 0.05). Immunoreactivity of phospho-ERK (p-ERK) and active caspases-3 and -9 showed no difference. These results indicate that the Ad-GDNF treatment prevented motor neuron loss with preserving survival p-Akt signal and without affecting caspase activations, suggesting a future possibility for the therapy of the disease.

  18. 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

  19. Cytotoxicity of Botulinum Neurotoxins Reveals a Direct Role of Syntaxin 1 and SNAP-25 in Neuron Survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Lisheng; Liu, Huisheng; Ruan, Hongyu; Tepp, William H.; Stoothoff, William H.; Brown, Robert H.; Johnson, Eric A.; Yao, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Su-Chun; Dong, Min

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT/A-G) are well-known to act by blocking synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Whether BoNTs disrupt additional neuronal functions has not been addressed. Here we report that cleavage of syntaxin 1 (Syx 1) by BoNT/C and cleavage of SNAP-25 by BoNT/E both induce degeneration of cultured rodent and human neurons. Furthermore, although SNAP-25 cleaved by BoNT/A can still support neuron survival, it has reduced capacity to tolerate additional mutations and also fails to pair with syntaxin isoforms other than Syx 1. Syx 1 and SNAP-25 are well-known for mediating synaptic vesicle exocytosis, but we found that neuronal death is due to blockage of plasma membrane recycling processes that share Syx 1/SNAP-25 for exocytosis, independent of blockage of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. These findings reveal neuronal cytotoxicity for a subset of BoNTs and directly link Syx 1/SNAP-25 to neuron survival as the prevalent SNARE proteins mediating multiple fusion events on neuronal plasma membranes. PMID:23403573

  20. [The expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide in the sensory and motor neurons associated with "Hegu" (LI 4) in the rat].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Li-Juan; Cui, Jing-Jing; Wang, Fu-Chun; Jing, Xiang-Hong; Bai, Wan-Zhu

    2014-04-01

    To investigate the chemical expression of the primary sensory and motor neurons associated with "Hegu" (LI 4) area by using neural tracing and fluorescent immunohistochemical techniques. A total of 4 SD rats were used in the present study. After anesthesia, the rats received microinjection of 5 microL of Alexa Fluor 594 conjugated cholera toxin subunit B (AF 594-CTB) into the right "Hegu" (LI 4) area for observing the distribution of the related primary sensory neurons in dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) and motor neurons in the spinal cord (C 1 - C 5). Three days after the microinjection, the rats were anesthetized and transcardiacally perfused with 4% paraformaldehyde, followed by routine section of the DRGs and spinal cord tissues. The labeled neurons were observed by light microscope and their chemical characteristics determined by calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) fluorescent immunohistochemical method. All the AF 594-CTB labeled neurons in DRGs and spinal cord were located on the side of the tracer injection. The labeled sensory neurons distributed in DRGs of cervical (C) 5 to thoracic (T) 1 segments with a high concentration in C 7 DRG in which 73.5% sensory neurons were shown to be CGRP-positive. The labeled motor neurons were found to be in the dorsolateral region of the spinal anterior horns from C 6 to T 1 segments, with a high concentration at C 8 in which 100% motor neurons were shown to be CGRP-positive. Acupoint LI 4 is innervated by sensory neurons from DRGs of C 5 - T 1 and motor neurons from anterior horns of the same segmental spinal cord in rats. Among them, 73.5% of the sensory neurons and 100% of the motor neurons are CGRP-positive, suggesting an involvement of CGRP in acupuncture stimulation-LI 4 induced therapeutic effects.

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

    KAUST Repository

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. A Review on Locomotor Training after Spinal Cord Injury: Reorganization of Spinal Neuronal Circuits and Recovery of Motor Function

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    Andrew C. Smith

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Locomotor training is a classic rehabilitation approach utilized with the aim of improving sensorimotor function and walking ability in people with spinal cord injury (SCI. Recent studies have provided strong evidence that locomotor training of persons with clinically complete, motor complete, or motor incomplete SCI induces functional reorganization of spinal neuronal networks at multisegmental levels at rest and during assisted stepping. This neuronal reorganization coincides with improvements in motor function and decreased muscle cocontractions. In this review, we will discuss the manner in which spinal neuronal circuits are impaired and the evidence surrounding plasticity of neuronal activity after locomotor training in people with SCI. We conclude that we need to better understand the physiological changes underlying locomotor training, use physiological signals to probe recovery over the course of training, and utilize established and contemporary interventions simultaneously in larger scale research studies. Furthermore, the focus of our research questions needs to change from feasibility and efficacy to the following: what are the physiological mechanisms that make it work and for whom? The aforementioned will enable the scientific and clinical community to develop more effective rehabilitation protocols maximizing sensorimotor function recovery in people with SCI.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallés, Laia; Gironès, Xavier; Lafuente, José Vicente

    2015-01-06

    The basic characteristics of Penfield homunculus (somatotopy and unique representation) have been questioned. The existence of a defined anatomo-functional organization within different segments of the same region is controversial. The presence of multiple motor representations in the primary motor area and in the parietal lobe interconnected by parieto-frontal circuits, which are widely overlapped, form a complex organization. Both features support the recovery of functions after brain injury. Regarding the movement organization, it is possible to yield a relevant impact through the understanding of actions and intentions of others, which is mediated by the activation of mirror-neuron systems. The implementation of cognitive functions (observation, image of the action and imitation) from the acute treatment phase allows the activation of motor representations without having to perform the action and it plays an important role in learning motor patterns. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Pathological tau deposition in Motor Neurone Disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration associated with TDP-43 proteinopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrouzi, Roya; Liu, Xiawei; Wu, Dongyue; Robinson, Andrew C; Tanaguchi-Watanabe, Sayuri; Rollinson, Sara; Shi, Jing; Tian, Jinzhou; Hamdalla, Hisham H M; Ealing, John; Richardson, Anna; Jones, Matthew; Pickering-Brown, Stuart; Davidson, Yvonne S; Strong, Michael J; Hasegawa, Masato; Snowden, Julie S; Mann, David M A

    2016-03-31

    It has been suggested that patients with motor neurone disease (MND) and those with MND combined with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) (ie FTD + MND) or with FTD alone might exist on a continuum based on commonalities of neuropathology and/or genetic risk. Moreover, it has been reported that both a neuronal and a glial cell tauopathy can accompany the TDP-43 proteinopathy in patients with motor neurone disease (MND) with cognitive changes, and that the tauopathy may be fundamental to disease pathogenesis and clinical phenotype. In the present study, we sought to substantiate these latter findings, and test this concept of a pathological continuum, in a consecutive series of 41 patients with MND, 16 with FTD + MND and 23 with FTD without MND. Paraffin sections of frontal, entorhinal, temporal and occipital cortex and hippocampus were immunostained for tau pathology using anti-tau antibodies, AT8, pThr(175) and pThr(217), and for amyloid β protein (Aβ) using 4G8 antibody. Twenty four (59 %) patients with MND, 7 (44 %) patients with FTD + MND and 10 (43 %) patients with FTD showed 'significant' tau pathology (ie more than just an isolated neurofibrillary tangle or a few neuropil threads in one or more brain regions examined). In most instances, this bore the histological characteristics of an Alzheimer's disease process involving entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, temporal cortex, frontal cortex and occipital cortex in decreasing frequency, accompanied by a deposition of Aβ up to Thal phase 3, though 2 patients with MND, and 1 with FTD did show tau pathology beyond Braak stage III. Four other patients with MND showed novel neuronal tau pathology, within the frontal cortex alone, specifically detected by pThr(175) antibody, which was characterised by a fine granular or more clumped aggregation of tau without neurofibrillary tangles or neuropil threads. However, none of these 4 patients had clinically evident cognitive disorder, and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Golgi fragmentation precedes neuromuscular denervation and is associated with endosome abnormalities in SOD1-ALS mouse motor neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Fragmentation of stacked cisterns of the Golgi apparatus into dispersed smaller elements is a feature associated with degeneration of neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and some other neurodegenerative disorders. However, the role of Golgi fragmentation in motor neuron degeneration is not well understood. Results Here we use a SOD1-ALS mouse model (low-copy Gurney G93A-SOD1 mouse) to show that motor neurons with Golgi fragmentation are retrogradely labeled by intramuscularly injected CTB (beta subunit of cholera toxin), indicating that Golgi fragmentation precedes neuromuscular denervation and axon retraction. We further show that Golgi fragmentation may occur in the absence of and precede two other pathological markers, i.e. somatodendritic SOD1 inclusions, and the induction of ATF3 expression. In addition, we show that Golgi fragmentation is associated with an altered dendritic organization of the Golgi apparatus, does not depend on intact apoptotic machinery, and is facilitated in transgenic mice with impaired retrograde dynein-dependent transport (BICD2-N mice). A connection to altered dynein-dependent transport also is suggested by reduced expression of endosomal markers in neurons with Golgi fragmentation, which also occurs in neurons with impaired dynein function. Conclusions Together the data indicate that Golgi fragmentation is a very early event in the pathological cascade in ALS that is associated with altered organization of intracellular trafficking. PMID:24708899

  9. Diffusion tensor MRI as a diagnostic tool of upper motor neuron involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Yoon-Ho; Lee, Kwang-Woo; Sung, Jung-Joon; Chang, Kee-Hyun; Song, In Chan

    2004-12-15

    Clinical identification of upper motor neuron (UMN) dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is often difficult, particularly early in the course of the disease, or when lower motor neuron (LMN) dysfunction is prominent. Diffusion tensor MR imaging (DTI) can provide unique information on axonal organization by measuring diffusion anisotropy and the directionally independent diffusion. The purpose of this study was to assess water diffusion changes along pyramidal tracts of the brainstem in patients with ALS and to investigate possible correlations between changes of diffusion properties and various clinical parameters. We studied 16 patients (M:F=9:7, 50.5+/-12.4 years) with ALS as defined by clinical and electrophysiological examinations. These patients were compared with 11 healthy, age and sex-matched controls (M:F=5:6, 54.5+/-9.9 years). DTI was performed using a single shot SE-EPI with 25 noncollinear diffusion gradient directions (b=1000 s/mm(2)) and with no diffusion gradient on a 3.0-T MR system. By multifactorial ANOVA, the effects of group (patient versus control) and anatomical level on fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were significant (pside (left versus right) and interactions between factors (group by side and group by anatomical level) were not (p>0.05). In all subjects, FA and MD varied greatly depending on the anatomical level, and FA was highly variable even between contiguous slices in the pons and medulla, whereas relatively constant FA values were noted at the level of the midbrain. Cerebral peduncle was the only area that showed significant differences of diffusion properties between patients and controls (p<0.001 for FA, p=0.001 for MD). Correlation analysis revealed a significant inverse relationship between the FA value and the extent of UMN signs (r=-0.81, p<0.001). Alteration of diffusion properties in the cerebral peduncle in ALS may reflect pathological changes in structures rather than regional

  10. Cortical excitability changes distinguish the motor neuron disease phenotypes from hereditary spastic paraplegia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geevasinga, N; Menon, P; Sue, C M; Kumar, K R; Ng, K; Yiannikas, C; Kiernan, M C; Vucic, S

    2015-05-01

    Cortical hyperexcitability has been identified as an important pathogenic mechanism in motor neuron disease (MND). The issue as to whether cortical hyperexcitability is a common process across the MND phenotypes, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), remains unresolved. Separately, the clinical distinction between PLS and 'mimic disorders' such as hereditary spastic paraparesis (HSP) may be difficult, potentially delaying diagnosis. Consequently, the aim of the present study was to determine the nature and spectrum of cortical excitability changes across the MND phenotypes, and to determine whether the presence of cortical dysfunction distinguishes PLS from HSP. Cortical excitability studies were undertaken on a cohort of 14 PLS, 82 ALS and 13 HSP patients with mutations in the spastin gene. Cortical hyperexcitability, as heralded by reduction of short interval intracortical inhibition (PLS 0.26%, -3.8% to 1.4%; ALS -0.15%, -3.6% to 7.0%; P < 0.01) and cortical silent period duration (CSPPLS 172.2 ± 5.4 ms; CSPALS 178.1 ± 5.1 ms; P < 0.001), along with an increase in intracortical facilitation was evident in ALS and PLS phenotypes, although appeared more frequently in ALS. Inexcitability of the motor cortex was more frequent in PLS (PLS 71%, ALS 24%, P < 0.0001). Cortical excitability was preserved in HSP. Cortical dysfunction appears to be an intrinsic process across the MND phenotypes, with cortical inexcitability predominating in PLS and cortical hyperexcitability predominating in ALS. Importantly, cortical excitability was preserved in HSP, thereby suggesting that the presence of cortical dysfunction could help differentiate PLS from HSP in a clinical setting. © 2015 EAN.

  11. Immununochemical markers of the amyloid cascade in the hippocampus in motor neuron diseases

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    Ulises Gomez-Pinedo

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Several findings suggest that the amyloid precursor protein (APP and the amyloid cascade may play a role in motor neuron disease (MND.Objective: Considering that dementia is one of the most frequently non-motor symptoms in ALS and that hippocampus is one of the brain areas with greater presence of amyloid related changes in neurodegenerative diseases, our aim was to analyse the molecular markers of the amyloid cascade of APP in pathology studies of the hippocampus of autopsied patients with ALS and ALS-FTD.Methods: We included 9 patients with MND and 4 controls. Immunohistochemical studies and confocal microscopy were used to analyse the expression of APP, TDP-43, pho-TDP-43, Aβ, AICD peptide, Fe65 protein, and pho-TAU in the hippocampus of 7 patients with ALS, 2 patients with ALS-FTD, and 4 controls. These findings were correlated with clinical data.Results: Patients displayed increased expression of APP and Aβ peptide. The latter was correlated with cytoplasmic pho-TDP-43 expression. We also found decreased Fe65 expression. A parallel increase in AICD expression was not found. Patients showed increased expression of pho-TAU in the hippocampus. Findings were similar in patients with ALS and those with ALS-FTD, though more marked in the latter group.Conclusion: Post-mortem analyses showed that the amyloid cascade is activated in the hippocampus of patients with MND and correlated with cytoplasmic pho-TDP-43 expression. The number of intra- or extracellular aggregates of Aβ peptides was not significant.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Amantadine improves cognitive outcome and increases neuronal survival after fluid percussion traumatic brain injury in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tao; Huang, Xian-Jian; Van, Ken C; Went, Gregory T; Nguyen, Jack T; Lyeth, Bruce G

    2014-02-15

    This study evaluated the effects of clinically relevant concentrations of amantadine (AMT) on cognitive outcome and hippocampal cell survival in adult rats after lateral fluid percussion traumatic brain injury (TBI). AMT is an antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate-type glutamate receptor, increases dopamine release, blocks dopamine reuptake, and has an inhibitory effect on microglial activation and neuroinflammation. Currently, AMT is clinically used as an antiparkinsonian drug. Amantadine or saline control was administered intraperitoneally, starting at 1 h after TBI followed by dosing three times daily for 16 consecutive days at 15, 45, and 135 mg/kg/day. Terminal blood draws were obtained from TBI rats at the time of euthanasia at varying time points after the last amantadine dose. Pharmacokinetics analysis confirmed that the doses of AMT achieved serum concentrations similar to those observed in humans receiving therapeutic doses (100-400 mg/day). Acquisition of spatial learning and memory retention was assessed using the Morris water maze (MWM) on days 12-16 after TBI. Brain tissues were collected and stained with Cresyl-violet for long-term cell survival analysis. Treatment with 135mg/kg/day of AMT improved acquisition of learning and terminal cognitive performance on MWM. The 135-mg/kg/day dosing of AMT increased the numbers of surviving CA2-CA3 pyramidal neurons at day 16 post-TBI. Overall, the data showed that clinically relevant dosing schedules of AMT affords neuroprotection and significantly improves cognitive outcome after experimental TBI, suggesting that it has the potential to be developed as a novel treatment of human TBI.

  16. MRI and SPECT findings in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Demonstration of upper motor neurone involvement by clinical neuroimaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ukada, F.; Sawada, H.; Seriu, N.; Shindou, K.; Nishitani, N.; Kameyama, M. (Sumitomo Hospital, Osaka (Japan). Dept. of Neurology)

    1992-10-01

    MRI was performed in 21 patients and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with N-isopropyl-p-[sup 123]I iodoamphetamine in 16 patients, to visualize upper motor neurone lesions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. T2-weighted MRI revealed high signal along the course of the pyramidal tract in the internal capsule and cerebral peduncle in 4 of 21 patients. SPECT images were normal in 4 patients, but uptake was reduced in the cerebral cortex that includes the motor area in 11. (orig.).

  17. Slowly progressive motor neuron disease with multi-system involvement related to p.E121G SOD1 mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taieb, Guillaume; Polge, Anne; Juntas-Morales, Raul; Pageot, Nicolas; Lumbroso, Serge; Mouzat, Kevin; Camu, William

    2017-05-01

    We report the third case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis related to p.E121G Superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) mutation. Besides a sporadic presentation and a slow progressive course, as described in the 2 previously cases, our patient presented with prominent sensory and cerebellar signs. This case report strengthens that p.E121G should be considered as a causal mutation. Slowly upper and lower motor neuron degeneration, even with non-motor clinical features, should prompt a sequencing of SOD1.

  18. 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

  19. The role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in neural cell adhesion molecule-mediated neuronal differentiation and survival

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ditlevsen, Dorte K; Køhler, Lene B; Pedersen, Martin Volmer

    2003-01-01

    The neural cell adhesion molecule, NCAM, is known to stimulate neurite outgrowth from primary neurones and PC12 cells presumably through signalling pathways involving the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR), protein kinase A (PKA), protein kinase C (PKC), the Ras-mitogen activated protein...... kinase (MAPK) pathway and an increase in intracellular Ca2+ levels. Stimulation of neurones with the synthetic NCAM-ligand, C3, induces neurite outgrowth through signalling pathways similar to the pathways activated through physiological, homophilic NCAM-stimulation. We present here data indicating...... indicating a survival-promoting effect of NCAM-stimulation by C3 on cerebellar and dopaminergic neurones induced to undergo apoptosis. This protective effect of C3 included an inhibition of both DNA-fragmentation and caspase-3 activation. The survival-promoting effect of NCAM-stimulation was also shown...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Retinoids and motor neuron disease: Potential role in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riancho, Javier; Berciano, Maria T; Ruiz-Soto, Maria; Berciano, Jose; Landreth, Gary; Lafarga, Miguel

    2016-01-15

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons (MN). This fatal disease is characterized by progressive muscular atrophy and unfortunately it does not have an effective treatment. Although a small proportion of ALS cases have a familiar origin, the vast majority of them are thought to have a sporadic origin. Although the pathogenesis of ALS has not been fully elucidated, various disorders in different cellular functions such as gene expression, protein metabolism, axonal transport and glial cell disorders have been linked to MN degeneration. Among them, proteostasis is one of the best studied. Retinoids are vitamin A-derived substances that play a crucial role in embryogenesis, development, programmed cell death and other cellular functions. Retinoid agonists behave as transcription factors throughout the activation of the nuclear retinoid receptors. Several reports in the literature suggest that retinoids are involved in proteostasis regulation, by modulating its two major pathways, the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the autophagy-lysosome response. Additionally, there are some evidences for a role of retinoids themselves, in ALS pathogenesis. In this review, we discuss the importance of proteostasis disruption as a trigger for MN degeneration and the capability of retinoids to modulate it, as well as the potential therapeutic role of retinoids as a new therapy in ALS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Disruption of neurovascular unit prior to motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Kazunori; Ohta, Yasuyuki; Nagai, Makiko; Morimoto, Nobutoshi; Kurata, Tomoko; Takehisa, Yasushi; Ikeda, Yoshio; Matsuura, Tohru; Abe, Koji

    2011-05-01

    Recent reports suggest that functional or structural defect of vascular components are implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathology. In the present study, we examined a possible change of the neurovascular unit consisting of endothelium (PCAM-1), tight junction (occludin), and basement membrane (collagen IV) in relation to a possible activation of MMP-9 in ALS patients and ALS model mice. We found that the damage in the neurovascular unit was more prominent in the outer side and preferentially in the anterior horn of ALS model mice. This damage occurred prior to motor neuron degeneration and was accompanied by MMP-9 up-regulation. We also found the dissociation between the PCAM-1-positive endothelium and GFAP-positive astrocyte foot processes in both humans and the animal model of ALS. The present results indicate that perivascular damage precedes the sequential changes of the disease, which are held in common between humans and the animal model of ALS, suggesting that the neurovascular unit is a potential target for therapeutic intervention in ALS. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Repetitive spinal motor neuron discharges following single transcranial magnetic stimulation: relation to dexterity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Z'Graggen, W J; Humm, A M; Oppliger-Bachmann, S; Hosang, M; Rösler, K M

    2008-07-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation allows to study the properties of the human corticospinal tract non-invasively. After a single transcranial magnetic stimulus, spinal motor neurons (MNs) sometimes fire not just once, but repetitively. The biological significance of such repetitive MN discharges (repMNDs) is unknown. To study the relation of repMNDs to other measures of cortico-muscular excitability and to physiological measures of the skill for finely tuned precision movements, we used a previously described quadruple stimulation (QuadS) technique (Z'Graggen et al. 2005) to quantify the amount of repMNDs in abductor digiti minimi muscles (ADMs) on both sides of 20 right-handed healthy subjects. Skillfulness for finger precision movements of both hands was assessed using a finger tapping task. In 16 subjects, a follow-up examination was performed after training of either precision movements (n = 8) or force (n = 8) of the left ADM. The size of the QuadS response (amplitude and area ratios) was greater in the dominant right hand than in the left hand (QuadS amplitude ratio: 47.1 +/- 18.1 versus 37.7 +/- 22.0%, Wilcoxon test: P skills training but not after force training supports the hypothesis of a supraspinal origin of repMNDs.

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

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    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.

  5. Factors to consider for motor neurone disease carer intervention research: A narrative literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gluyas, Cathy; Mathers, Susan; Hennessy Anderson, Nicole; Ugalde, Anna

    2017-10-01

    The experience of caregiving in the context of motor neurone disease (MND) is extremely challenging. Over the past 15 years, quantitative and qualitative studies have delineated the psychosocial aspects of this experience, exploring its impact on caregivers' quality of life, rates of depression, distress, anxiety, and burden. Our paper aimed to provide an overview of the lived experience of MND caregivers, identifying the variables that can influence MND caregiver functioning that are relevant to the development of an intervention. A narrative review was conducted, synthesizing the findings of literature retrieved from 2000 to early 2016. A total of 37 articles were included in the review. The articles varied considerably in terms of methodology and quality. The main influential aspects reported and identified were factors pertaining to the patient, factors intrinsic to the caregiver, relationship factors, and social support factors. There is evidence to support the fact that caregivers have poorer outcomes when they care for patients with a more severe clinical profile, poorer emotional health or neurobehavioral concerns, or when the caregivers themselves struggle with adaptive problem-solving and coping skills. The availability and use of social support are also likely to be important for caregiver psychosocial outcomes. Further investigation is required to clarify the influence of changes in the relationship with the patient. Significant factors affecting the caregiver experience are considered in relation to their amenability to psychosocial intervention. Recommendations are made regarding the optimal features of future psychosocial intervention research.

  6. Oral health and dental treatment needs of people with motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tay, C M; Howe, J; Borromeo, G I

    2014-09-01

    People with motor neurone disease (MND) may present with physical limitations impacting on oral health and access to oral health care. This study aimed to assess the oral health status and treatment needs of people with MND in Victoria, Australia. Patients with advanced MND attending a multidisciplinary MND clinic in Melbourne were recruited. Data collection included self-reporting questionnaires on previous dental experience, current oral hygiene practices and current dietary habits, a medical questionnaire, and a clinical examination charting participants' dentition, restorations, caries and periodontal status, plaque and gingival indices, and assessment of oral health. Thirty-three participants took part in the study with eight self-reporting regular dental visits. No participant exhibited probing depths of more than 3 mm. Ten out of 27 dentate participants required extractions and restorations for retained roots and caries, while three presented with non-carious cavities, lost restorations and fractured cusps. Oral health status was not affected by MND presentation in these participants. The study found that oral health was not affected by advanced MND. Participants' and clinical teams' motivation towards oral health care may have contributed to oral health. The dental profession should be involved as part of the multidisciplinary effort towards ongoing care. © 2014 Australian Dental Association.

  7. Modifying chemotherapeutic management of a patient with Burkitt's lymphoma and pre-existing motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortz, H; Coutsouvelis, J; Corallo, C E; Spencer, A; Patil, S

    2015-08-01

    Intensive chemotherapy for treatment of Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) - a high-grade lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD) - can cause neurotoxicity. An association between motor neurone disease (MND) and LPDs has previously been described, but there is a lack of recommendations available to guide management of such patients. This report aims to describe suitable management of BL in a patient with MND. A 66-year-old woman with a history of MND affecting her limbs was diagnosed with bulky, extranodal, high-risk gastric BL. Standard chemotherapy is with multiple non-cross-resistant cytotoxic agents. To avoid exacerbation of neuropathy, six cycles of a modified regimen was planned, aiming to minimize exposure to the most neurotoxic agents. A PET-FDG-negative remission was obtained at 12 months, without the signs of central neurotoxicity, peripheral neuropathy or muscle weakness. High-intensity chemotherapy, minimizing known neurotoxic agents, was delivered safely and effectively in a patient with BL and pre-existing MND. More case descriptions are required to guide management decisions. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

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    Mark A. S. Laidlaw

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-19

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

  10. Risk factors associated with equine motor neuron disease: a possible model for human MND.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, H O; Cummings, J F; Divers, T J; Valentine, B; de Lahunta, A; Summers, B; Farrow, B R; Trembicki-Graves, K; Mauskopf, A

    1993-05-01

    Equine motor neuron disease (EMND), a newly described neurodegenerative disease, bears a striking resemblance to progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) in humans. We present a comparison of the equine and human diseases and the results of a case-control study conducted to identify intrinsic factors associated with EMND. Cases included all horses with a confirmed diagnosis of EMND diagnosed in the United States since 1985 (32 cases). Controls included horses diagnosed with either cervical stenotic myelopathy, equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy, or protozoan myelitis at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University (153 controls). Logistic regression analysis identified factors associated with the risk of EMND. Risk factors considered were age, sex, and breed of the horse. Most cases of EMND (30 of 32) have been sporadic. There was a breed association with the risk of EMND. Quarter horses were at a high risk for developing EMND (odds ratio [OR] = 12.7; 95% confidence interval, 3.3 to 49.6); thoroughbred horses were at increased risk (OR = 2.9, 0.8 to 10.4). There was also an age association with the risk of EMND. The risk increased with age, peaked at 16 years, and then declined, a pattern similar to that for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in humans. There was no sex association with the disease. Despite the breed association, equine lymphocyte antigen studies have not revealed a systematic pattern, suggesting that genetic factors influencing susceptibility to EMND may be outside the major histocompatibility complex.

  11. Hippo/YAP-mediated rigidity-dependent motor neuron differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yubing; Yong, Koh Meng Aw; Villa-Diaz, Luis G.; Zhang, Xiaoli; Chen, Weiqiang; Philson, Renee; Weng, Shinuo; Xu, Haoxing; Krebsbach, Paul H.; Fu, Jianping

    2014-06-01

    Our understanding of the intrinsic mechanosensitive properties of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), in particular the effects that the physical microenvironment has on their differentiation, remains elusive. Here, we show that neural induction and caudalization of hPSCs can be accelerated by using a synthetic microengineered substrate system consisting of poly(dimethylsiloxane) micropost arrays (PMAs) with tunable mechanical rigidities. The purity and yield of functional motor neurons derived from hPSCs within 23 days of culture using soft PMAs were improved more than fourfold and tenfold, respectively, compared with coverslips or rigid PMAs. Mechanistic studies revealed a multi-targeted mechanotransductive process involving Smad phosphorylation and nucleocytoplasmic shuttling, regulated by rigidity-dependent Hippo/YAP activities and actomyosin cytoskeleton integrity and contractility. Our findings suggest that substrate rigidity is an important biophysical cue influencing neural induction and subtype specification, and that microengineered substrates can thus serve as a promising platform for large-scale culture of hPSCs.

  12. Rasch analysis of the hospital anxiety and depression scale (hads for use in motor neurone disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaw Pamela J

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS is commonly used to assess symptoms of anxiety and depression in motor neurone disease (MND. The measure has never been specifically validated for use within this population, despite questions raised about the scale's validity. This study seeks to analyse the construct validity of the HADS in MND by fitting its data to the Rasch model. Methods The scale was administered to 298 patients with MND. Scale assessment included model fit, differential item functioning (DIF, unidimensionality, local dependency and category threshold analysis. Results Rasch analyses were carried out on the HADS total score as well as depression and anxiety subscales (HADS-T, D and A respectively. After removing one item from both of the seven item scales, it was possible to produce modified HADS-A and HADS-D scales which fit the Rasch model. An 11-item higher-order HADS-T total scale was found to fit the Rasch model following the removal of one further item. Conclusion Our results suggest that a modified HADS-A and HADS-D are unidimensional, free of DIF and have good fit to the Rasch model in this population. As such they are suitable for use in MND clinics or research. The use of the modified HADS-T as a higher-order measure of psychological distress was supported by our data. Revised cut-off points are given for the modified HADS-A and HADS-D subscales.

  13. Withdrawal of invasive ventilation in a patient with motor neurone disease and total locked-in syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleeson, Aoife; Johnson, Faye

    2017-10-01

    Withdrawing invasive ventilation from a person with motor neurone disease who lacks the relevant mental capacity raises ethical issues such as the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and establishing best interests. There is little available information on providing optimal symptom management to these patients during the withdrawal process. We describe a man with motor neurone disease who also had total locked-in syndrome at the time of ventilation withdrawal, and we document the legal, ethical, emotional and symptom control issues encountered in supporting him. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  14. Minocycline mitigates motor impairments and cortical neuronal loss induced by focal ischemia in rats chronically exposed to ethanol during adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Gedeão Batista; Fontes, Enéas de Andrade; de Carvalho, Sabrina; da Silva, Josiane Batista; Fernandes, Luanna Melo Pereira; Oliveira, Maria Cristina Souza Pereira; Prediger, Rui Daniel; Gomes-Leal, Walace; Lima, Rafael Rodrigues; Maia, Cristiane Socorro Ferraz

    2014-05-02

    Ethanol is an important risk factor for the occurrence of cerebral ischemia contributing to poor prognosis and inefficacy of drug treatments for stroke-related symptoms. Females have a higher lifetime risk for stroke than males. Moreover, female gender has been associated with increased ethanol consumption during adolescence. In the present study, we investigated whether chronic ethanol exposure during adolescence may potentiate the motor impairments and cortical damage induced by focal ischemia in female rats. We also addressed whether these effects can be mitigated by minocycline, which has been shown to be neuroprotective against different insults in the CNS. Female rats were treated with distilled water or ethanol (6.5 g/kg/day, 22.5% w/v) for 55 days by gavage. Focal ischemia was induced by microinjections of endothelin-1 (ET-1) into the motor cortex. Animals of both groups were treated daily with minocycline (25-50 mg/kg, i.p.) or sterile saline (i.p.) for 5 days, and motor function was assessed using open field, inclined plane and rotarod tests. Chronic ethanol exposure exacerbated locomotor activity and motor coordination impairments induced by focal ischemia in rats. Moreover, histological analysis revealed that microinjections of ET-1 induced pyramidal neuron loss and microglial activation in the motor cortex. Minocycline reversed the observed motor impairments, microglial activation and pyramidal neuron loss in the motor cortex of ischemic rats even in those exposed to ethanol. These results suggest that minocycline induces neuroprotection and functional recovery in ischemic female rats intoxicated with ethanol during adolescence. Furthermore, the mechanism underlying this protective effect may be related to the modulation of neuroinflammation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  16. Improving the Delivery of SOD1 Antisense Oligonucleotides to Motor Neurons Using Calcium Phosphate-Lipid Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyu Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting the upper and lower motor neurons in the motor cortex and spinal cord. Abnormal accumulation of mutant superoxide dismutase I (SOD1 in motor neurons is a pathological hallmark of some forms of the disease. We have shown that the orderly progression of the disease may be explained by misfolded SOD1 cell-to-cell propagation, which is reliant upon its active endogenous synthesis. Reducing the levels of SOD1 is therefore a promising therapeutic approach. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs can efficiently silence proteins with gain-of-function mutations. However, naked ASOs have a short circulation half-life and are unable to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB warranting the use of a drug carrier for effective delivery. In this study, calcium phosphate lipid coated nanoparticles (CaP-lipid NPs were developed for delivery of SOD1 ASO to motor neurons. The most promising nanoparticle formulation (Ca/P ratio of 100:1, had a uniform spherical core–shell morphology with an average size of 30 nm, and surface charge (ζ-potential of −4.86 mV. The encapsulation efficiency of ASO was 48% and stability studies found the particle to be stable over a period of 20 days. In vitro experiments demonstrated that the negatively charged ASO-loaded CaP-lipid NPs could effectively deliver SOD1-targeted ASO into a mouse motor neuron-like cell line (NSC-34 through endocytosis and significantly down-regulated SOD1 expression in HEK293 cells. The CaP-lipid NPs exhibited a pH-dependant dissociation, suggesting that that the acidification of lysosomes is the likely mechanism responsible for facilitating intracellular ASO release. To demonstrate tissue specific delivery and localization of these NPs we performed in vivo microinjections into zebrafish. Successful delivery of these NPs was confirmed for the zebrafish brain, the blood stream, and the spinal cord. These results suggest that Ca

  17. [Survival analysis for patients with severe motor and intellectual disabilities following tracheotomy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, Koichi; Kurahashi, Hirokazu; Suzuki, Motomasa; Miura, Kiyokuni; Kumagai, Toshiyuki

    2012-01-01

    To investigate the survival rate and causes of death in patients with severe motor and intellectual disabilities (SMIDs) that necessitated tracheotomy, we retrospectively analyzed 90 patients who underwent tracheotomy between 1990 and 2009. Indications for tracheotomy in these patients were upper airway obstruction (44 patients), recurrent aspiration pneumonia (28 patients), retained secretions (23 patients), prolonged mechanical ventilation (18 patients), chronic respiratory failure (9 patients), central respiratory failure (5 patients), and gastroesophageal reflux (8 patients). Most of the patients underwent tracheotomy at the age of 0-5 years or 10-19 years. As of April 1, 2010, 28 patients had died. The survival rate was 0.91 at 1 year, 0.74 at 5 years, 0.59 at 10 years, 0.54 at 15 years, and 0.40 at 19 years after tracheotomy. Massive tracheal bleeding due to development of tracheo-innominate artery fistulas occurred in 5 patients, and 4 of them died. They were thirteen years of age or older when they underwent tracheotomy, and developed fistulas after 2 weeks or later. In contrast, 7 patients at high risk for fistula formation, including those that had developed severe tracheomalacia associated with granulation or warning hemorrhages, underwent preventive resection of the innominate artery, and all of them had survived. It is important to regularly evaluate patients with SMIDs who have undergone tracheotomy by using bronchofiberscopy to identify risk factors for tracheoinnominate artery fistulas, a preventable cause of death.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

    In familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in rodent models of the disease, alterations in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) may be responsible for the accumulation of potentially harmful ubiquitinated proteins, leading to motor neuron death. In the spinal cord of transgenic mice expressing the familial ALS superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene mutation G93A (SOD1G93A), we found a decrease in constitutive proteasome subunits during disease progression, as assessed by re...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. A Multi-step Transcriptional and Chromatin State Cascade Underlies Motor Neuron Programming from Embryonic Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasco, Silvia; Ibrahim, Mahmoud M; Kakumanu, Akshay; Garipler, Görkem; Aydin, Begüm; Al-Sayegh, Mohamed Ahmed; Hirsekorn, Antje; Abdul-Rahman, Farah; Satija, Rahul; Ohler, Uwe; Mahony, Shaun; Mazzoni, Esteban O

    2017-02-02

    Direct cell programming via overexpression of transcription factors (TFs) aims to control cell fate with the degree of precision needed for clinical applications. However, the regulatory steps involved in successful terminal cell fate programming remain obscure. We have investigated the underlying mechanisms by looking at gene expression, chromatin states, and TF binding during the uniquely efficient Ngn2, Isl1, and Lhx3 motor neuron programming pathway. Our analysis reveals a highly dynamic process in which Ngn2 and the Isl1/Lhx3 pair initially engage distinct regulatory regions. Subsequently, Isl1/Lhx3 binding shifts from one set of targets to another, controlling regulatory region activity and gene expression as cell differentiation progresses. Binding of Isl1/Lhx3 to later motor neuron enhancers depends on the Ebf and Onecut TFs, which are induced by Ngn2 during the programming process. Thus, motor neuron programming is the product of two initially independent transcriptional modules that converge with a feedforward transcriptional logic. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-motor neuron disease, monoclonal gammopathy, hyperparathyroidism, and B12 deficiency: case report and review of the literature

    OpenAIRE

    Rison Richard A; Beydoun Said R

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Introduction Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (the most common form of motor neuron disease) is a progressive and devastating disease involving both lower and upper motor neurons, typically following a relentless path towards death. Given the gravity of this diagnosis, all efforts must be made by the clinician to exclude alternative and more treatable entities. Frequent serology testing involves searching for treatable disorders, including vitamin B12 deficiency, parathyroid anomalies, ...

  2. T-type calcium channels cause bursts of spikes in motor but not sensory thalamic neurons during mimicry of natural patterns of synaptic input

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Haram R.; Hong, Su Z.; Fiorillo, Christopher D.

    2015-01-01

    Although neurons within intact nervous systems can be classified as ‘sensory’ or ‘motor,’ it is not known whether there is any general distinction between sensory and motor neurons at the cellular or molecular levels. Here, we extend and test a theory according to which activation of certain subtypes of voltage-gated ion channel (VGC) generate patterns of spikes in neurons of motor systems, whereas VGC are proposed to counteract patterns in sensory neurons. We previously reported experimental evidence for the theory from visual thalamus, where we found that T-type calcium channels (TtCCs) did not cause bursts of spikes but instead served the function of ‘predictive homeostasis’ to maximize the causal and informational link between retinogeniculate excitation and spike output. Here, we have recorded neurons in brain slices from eight sensory and motor regions of rat thalamus while mimicking key features of natural excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic potentials. As predicted by theory, TtCC did cause bursts of spikes in motor thalamus. TtCC-mediated responses in motor thalamus were activated at more hyperpolarized potentials and caused larger depolarizations with more spikes than in visual and auditory thalamus. Somatosensory thalamus is known to be more closely connected to motor regions relative to auditory and visual thalamus, and likewise the strength of its TtCC responses was intermediate between these regions and motor thalamus. We also observed lower input resistance, as well as limited evidence of stronger hyperpolarization-induced (‘H-type’) depolarization, in nuclei closer to motor output. These findings support our theory of a specific difference between sensory and motor neurons at the cellular level. PMID:26582654

  3. T-type calcium channels cause bursts of spikes in motor but not sensory thalamic neurons during mimicry of natural patterns of synaptic input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Haram R; Hong, Su Z; Fiorillo, Christopher D

    2015-01-01

    Although neurons within intact nervous systems can be classified as 'sensory' or 'motor,' it is not known whether there is any general distinction between sensory and motor neurons at the cellular or molecular levels. Here, we extend and test a theory according to which activation of certain subtypes of voltage-gated ion channel (VGC) generate patterns of spikes in neurons of motor systems, whereas VGC are proposed to counteract patterns in sensory neurons. We previously reported experimental evidence for the theory from visual thalamus, where we found that T-type calcium channels (TtCCs) did not cause bursts of spikes but instead served the function of 'predictive homeostasis' to maximize the causal and informational link between retinogeniculate excitation and spike output. Here, we have recorded neurons in brain slices from eight sensory and motor regions of rat thalamus while mimicking key features of natural excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic potentials. As predicted by theory, TtCC did cause bursts of spikes in motor thalamus. TtCC-mediated responses in motor thalamus were activated at more hyperpolarized potentials and caused larger depolarizations with more spikes than in visual and auditory thalamus. Somatosensory thalamus is known to be more closely connected to motor regions relative to auditory and visual thalamus, and likewise the strength of its TtCC responses was intermediate between these regions and motor thalamus. We also observed lower input resistance, as well as limited evidence of stronger hyperpolarization-induced ('H-type') depolarization, in nuclei closer to motor output. These findings support our theory of a specific difference between sensory and motor neurons at the cellular level.

  4. Primary hyperparathyroidism simulating motor neuron disease: case report Hiperparatiroidismo primário simulando doença do neurônio motor: relato de caso

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alzira Alves Siqueira Carvalho

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available We report a case of a 26-year-old man who presented a lower motor neuron syndrome due to hyperparathyroidism. Electromyography showed neurogenic features with normal nerve conduction studies. Hypercalcemia led to the discovery of a primary hyperparathyroidism with gland hyperplasia. Following parathyroid surgery there was recovery of the neurological symptoms.Descrevemos o caso de homem de 26 anos que apresentou síndrome do neurônio motor inferior devido a hiperparatiroidismo. A eletromiografia mostrou aspecto neurogênico com estudos da condução normal. Hipercalcemia levou à descoberta de hiperparatiroidismo primário com hiperplasia da glândula. Após a cirurgia de ressecção da paratiróide, houve regressão dos sintomas neurológicos.

  5. Treatment for spasticity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, Nigel L; Satkunam, L E; Deforge, Dan

    2012-02-15

    Spasticity commonly affects patients with motor neuron disease. It is likely to contribute to worsening muscle dysfunction, increased difficulty with activities of daily living and deteriorating quality of life. This is an update of a review first published in 2003 and previously updated in 2005 and 2008. The objective of this review is to systematically review treatments for spasticity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neuron disease. We searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Disease Group Specialized Register (4 July 2011), CENTRAL (2011, Issue 2), MEDLINE (January 1966 to July 2011), EMBASE (January 1980 to July 2011 ), CINAHL Plus (January 1937 to July 2011), AMED (January 1985 to July 2011) and LILACS (January 1982 to July 2011 ). We reviewed the bibliographies of the randomized controlled trials identified, and contacted authors and experts in the field. We included quasi-randomized or randomized controlled trials of participants with probable or definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis according to the El Escorial diagnostic criteria (or a revised version) or the Airlie House revision. We would have included trials of physical therapy, modalities, prescription medications, non-prescription medications, chemical neurolysis, surgical interventions, and alternative therapies. Our primary outcome measure was reduction in spasticity at three months or greater as measured by the Ashworth (or modified Ashworth) spasticity scale. Our secondary outcome measures were: validated measures based on history, physical examination, physiological measures, measures of function, measures of quality of life, all adverse events, and measures of cost. Two authors independently screened the abstracts of potential trials retrieved from the searches. Two authors extracted the data. We also contacted the author of the paper and obtained information not available in the published article. All three authors assessed the methodological quality of all included trials

  6. Pigment retinopathy in warmblood horses with equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy and equine motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finno, Carrie J; Kaese, Heather J; Miller, Andrew D; Gianino, Giuliana; Divers, Thomas; Valberg, Stephanie J

    2017-07-01

    A pigment retinopathy has been reported in adult horses with equine motor neuron disease (EMND) arising from chronic α-tocopherol (α-TP) deficiency. A pigment retinopathy has not been identified in horses with neuroaxonal dystrophy/equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy (NAD/EDM) that affects genetically susceptible young horses with α-TP deficiency. The objective of this report is to describe, for the first time, a pigment retinopathy in a family of α-TP-deficient Warmbloods (WB) with clinically apparent NAD/EDM or EMND. Twenty-five WB horses from one farm underwent complete neurologic and ophthalmic examinations and serum α-TP concentrations were assessed. Two of the most severely ataxic horses were euthanized and postmortem examinations performed. Alpha-TP deficiency was widespread on this farm (22 of 25 horses). Eleven of 25 horses were clinically normal (age range 2-12 years), one had signs of EMND (6 years of age), 10 had signs of ataxia consistent with NAD/EDM (1-10 years), and two of these were postmortem confirmed concurrent NAD/EDM and EMND. A pigment retinopathy characterized by varying amounts of granular dark pigment in the tapetal retina was observed in four clinically apparent NAD/EDM horses (two postmortem confirmed concurrent NAD/EDM and EMND) and one horse with clinical signs of EMND. A pigment retinopathy can be present in young α-TP-deficient Warmblood horses with clinical signs of EMND as well as those with signs of NAD/EDM. © 2016 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  7. Research on Motor Neuron Diseases Konzo and Neurolathyrism: Trends from 1990 to 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngudi, Delphin Diasolua; Kuo, Yu-Haey; Van Montagu, Marc; Lambein, Fernand

    2012-01-01

    Konzo (caused by consumption of improperly processed cassava, Manihot esculenta) and neurolathyrism (caused by prolonged overconsumption of grass pea, Lathyrus sativus) are two distinct non-infectious upper motor neurone diseases with identical clinical symptoms of spastic paraparesis of the legs. They affect many thousands of people among the poor in the remote rural areas in the central and southern parts of Africa afflicting them with konzo in Ethiopia and in the Indian sub-continent with neurolathyrism. Both diseases are toxico-nutritional problems due to monotonous consumption of starchy cassava roots or protein-rich grass pea seeds as a staple, especially during drought and famine periods. Both foods contain toxic metabolites (cyanogenic glycosides in cassava and the neuro-excitatory amino acid β-ODAP in grass pea) that are blamed for theses diseases. The etiology is also linked to the deficiency in the essential sulfur amino acids that protect against oxidative stress. The two diseases are not considered reportable by the World Health Organization (WHO) and only estimated numbers can be found. This paper analyzes research performance and determines scientific interest in konzo and neurolathyrism. A literature search of over 21 years (from 1990 to 2010) shows that in terms of scientific publications there is little interest in these neglected motorneurone diseases konzo and neurolathyrism that paralyze the legs. Comparison is made with HTLV-1/TSP, an infectious disease occurring mainly in Latin America of which the clinical manifestation is similar to konzo and neurolathyrism and requires a differential diagnosis. Our findings emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of studies on these neglected diseases, which however have not really captured the attention of decision makers and project planners, especially when compared with the infectious HTLV-1/TSP. Konzo and neurolathyrism can be prevented by a balanced diet. PMID:22860149

  8. Congenital lethal motor neuron disease with a novel defect in ribosome biogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, Russell J; Stevenson, Tamara J; Xing, Lingyan; Newcomb, Tara M; Nelson, Benjamin; Zeng, Wenqi; Li, Xiang; Lu, Hsiao-Mei; Lu, Hong; Farwell Gonzalez, Kelly D; Wei, Jia-Perng; Chao, Elizabeth C; Prior, Thomas W; Snyder, Pamela J; Bonkowsky, Joshua L; Swoboda, Kathryn J

    2014-04-15

    We describe a novel congenital motor neuron disease with early demise due to respiratory insufficiency with clinical overlap with spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress (SMARD) type 1 but lacking a mutation in the IGHMBP2 gene. Exome sequencing was used to identify a de novo mutation in the LAS1L gene in the proband. Pathogenicity of the mutation was validated using a zebrafish model by morpholino-mediated knockdown of las1l. We identified a de novo mutation in the X-linked LAS1L gene in the proband (p.S477N). The mutation is in a highly conserved region of the LAS1L gene predicted to be deleterious by bioinformatic analysis. Morpholino-based knockdown of las1l, the orthologous gene in zebrafish, results in early lethality and disruption of muscle and peripheral nerve architecture. Coinjection of wild-type but not mutant human RNA results in partial rescue of the phenotype. We report a patient with a SMARD phenotype due to a mutation in LAS1L, a gene important in coordinating processing of the 45S pre-rRNA and maturation of the large 60S ribosomal subunit. Similarly, the IGHMB2 gene associated with SMARD type 1 has been suggested to have an important role in ribosomal biogenesis from its role in processing the 45S pre-rRNA. We propose that disruption of ribosomal maturation may be a common pathogenic mechanism linking SMARD phenotypes caused by both IGHMBP2 and LAS1L.

  9. Research on motor neuron diseases konzo and neurolathyrism: trends from 1990 to 2010.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delphin Diasolua Ngudi

    Full Text Available Konzo (caused by consumption of improperly processed cassava, Manihot esculenta and neurolathyrism (caused by prolonged overconsumption of grass pea, Lathyrus sativus are two distinct non-infectious upper motor neurone diseases with identical clinical symptoms of spastic paraparesis of the legs. They affect many thousands of people among the poor in the remote rural areas in the central and southern parts of Africa afflicting them with konzo in Ethiopia and in the Indian sub-continent with neurolathyrism. Both diseases are toxico-nutritional problems due to monotonous consumption of starchy cassava roots or protein-rich grass pea seeds as a staple, especially during drought and famine periods. Both foods contain toxic metabolites (cyanogenic glycosides in cassava and the neuro-excitatory amino acid β-ODAP in grass pea that are blamed for theses diseases. The etiology is also linked to the deficiency in the essential sulfur amino acids that protect against oxidative stress. The two diseases are not considered reportable by the World Health Organization (WHO and only estimated numbers can be found. This paper analyzes research performance and determines scientific interest in konzo and neurolathyrism. A literature search of over 21 years (from 1990 to 2010 shows that in terms of scientific publications there is little interest in these neglected motorneurone diseases konzo and neurolathyrism that paralyze the legs. Comparison is made with HTLV-1/TSP, an infectious disease occurring mainly in Latin America of which the clinical manifestation is similar to konzo and neurolathyrism and requires a differential diagnosis. Our findings emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of studies on these neglected diseases, which however have not really captured the attention of decision makers and project planners, especially when compared with the infectious HTLV-1/TSP. Konzo and neurolathyrism can be prevented by a balanced diet.

  10. Assessing social isolation in motor neurone disease: a Rasch analysis of the MND Social Withdrawal Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbons, Chris J; Thornton, Everard W; Ealing, John; Shaw, Pamela J; Talbot, Kevin; Tennant, Alan; Young, Carolyn A

    2013-11-15

    Social withdrawal is described as the condition in which an individual experiences a desire to make social contact, but is unable to satisfy that desire. It is an important issue for patients with motor neurone disease who are likely to experience severe physical impairment. This study aims to reassess the psychometric and scaling properties of the MND Social Withdrawal Scale (MND-SWS) domains and examine the feasibility of a summary scale, by applying scale data to the Rasch model. The MND Social Withdrawal Scale was administered to 298 patients with a diagnosis of MND, alongside the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. The factor structure of the MND Social Withdrawal Scale was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis. Model fit, category threshold analysis, differential item functioning (DIF), dimensionality and local dependency were evaluated. Factor analysis confirmed the suitability of the four-factor solution suggested by the original authors. Mokken scale analysis suggested the removal of item five. Rasch analysis removed a further three items; from the Community (one item) and Emotional (two items) withdrawal subscales. Following item reduction, each scale exhibited excellent fit to the Rasch model. A 14-item Summary scale was shown to fit the Rasch model after subtesting the items into three subtests corresponding to the Community, Family and Emotional subscales, indicating that items from these three subscales could be summed together to create a total measure for social withdrawal. Removal of four items from the Social Withdrawal Scale led to a four factor solution with a 14-item hierarchical Summary scale that were all unidimensional, free for DIF and well fitted to the Rasch model. The scale is reliable and allows clinicians and researchers to measure social withdrawal in MND along a unidimensional construct. © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Feasibility, acceptability, and potential effe