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Sample records for adult-onset motor neuron

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Adult onset motor neuron disease: worldwide mortality, incidence and distribution since 1950.

    PubMed Central

    Chancellor, A M; Warlow, C P

    1992-01-01

    This review examines the commonly held premise that, apart from the Western Pacific forms, motor neuron disease (MND), has a uniform worldwide distribution in space and time; the methodological problems in studies of MND incidence; and directions for future epidemiological research. MND is more common in men at all ages. Age-specific incidence rises steeply into the seventh decade but the incidence in the very elderly is uncertain. A rise in mortality from MND over recent decades has been demonstrated wherever this has been examined and may be real rather than due to improved case ascertainment. Comparison of incidence studies in different places is complicated by non-standardised methods of case ascertainment and diagnosis but there appear to be differences between well studied populations. In developed countries in the northern hemisphere there is a weak positive correlation between standardised, age-specific incidence and distance from the equator. There is now strong evidence for an environmental factor as the cause of the Western Pacific forms of MND. A number of clusters of sporadic MND have been reported from developed countries, but no single agent identified as responsible. Images PMID:1479386

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

    PubMed

    Arnold, Eveline S; Ling, Shuo-Chien; Huelga, Stephanie C; Lagier-Tourenne, Clotilde; Polymenidou, Magdalini; Ditsworth, Dara; Kordasiewicz, Holly B; McAlonis-Downes, Melissa; Platoshyn, Oleksandr; Parone, Philippe A; Da Cruz, Sandrine; Clutario, Kevin M; Swing, Debbie; Tessarollo, Lino; Marsala, Martin; Shaw, Christopher E; Yeo, Gene W; Cleveland, Don W

    2013-02-19

    Transactivating response region DNA binding protein (TDP-43) is the major protein component of ubiquitinated inclusions found in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with ubiquitinated inclusions. Two ALS-causing mutants (TDP-43(Q331K) and TDP-43(M337V)), but not wild-type human TDP-43, are shown here to provoke age-dependent, mutant-dependent, progressive motor axon degeneration and motor neuron death when expressed in mice at levels and in a cell type-selective pattern similar to endogenous TDP-43. Mutant TDP-43-dependent degeneration of lower motor neurons occurs without: (i) loss of TDP-43 from the corresponding nuclei, (ii) accumulation of TDP-43 aggregates, and (iii) accumulation of insoluble TDP-43. Computational analysis using splicing-sensitive microarrays demonstrates alterations of endogenous TDP-43-dependent alternative splicing events conferred by both human wild-type and mutant TDP-43(Q331K), but with high levels of mutant TDP-43 preferentially enhancing exon exclusion of some target pre-mRNAs affecting genes involved in neurological transmission and function. Comparison with splicing alterations following TDP-43 depletion demonstrates that TDP-43(Q331K) enhances normal TDP-43 splicing function for some RNA targets but loss-of-function for others. Thus, adult-onset motor neuron disease does not require aggregation or loss of nuclear TDP-43, with ALS-linked mutants producing loss and gain of splicing function of selected RNA targets at an early disease stage. PMID:23382207

  4. Cathepsin F mutations cause Type B Kufs disease, an adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Katherine R.; Dahl, Hans-Henrik M.; Canafoglia, Laura; Andermann, Eva; Damiano, John; Morbin, Michela; Bruni, Amalia C.; Giaccone, Giorgio; Cossette, Patrick; Saftig, Paul; Grötzinger, Joachim; Schwake, Michael; Andermann, Frederick; Staropoli, John F.; Sims, Katherine B.; Mole, Sara E.; Franceschetti, Silvana; Alexander, Noreen A.; Cooper, Jonathan D.; Chapman, Harold A.; Carpenter, Stirling; Berkovic, Samuel F.; Bahlo, Melanie

    2013-01-01

    Kufs disease, an adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, is challenging to diagnose and genetically heterogeneous. Mutations in CLN6 were recently identified in recessive Kufs disease presenting as progressive myoclonus epilepsy (Type A), whereas the molecular basis of cases presenting with dementia and motor features (Type B) is unknown. We performed genome-wide linkage mapping of two families with recessive Type B Kufs disease and identified a single region on chromosome 11 to which both families showed linkage. Exome sequencing of five samples from the two families identified homozygous and compound heterozygous missense mutations in CTSF within this linkage region. We subsequently sequenced CTSF in 22 unrelated individuals with suspected recessive Kufs disease, and identified an additional patient with compound heterozygous mutations. CTSF encodes cathepsin F, a lysosomal cysteine protease, dysfunction of which is a highly plausible candidate mechanism for a storage disorder like ceroid lipofuscinosis. In silico modeling suggested the missense mutations would alter protein structure and function. Moreover, re-examination of a previously published mouse knockout of Ctsf shows that it recapitulates the light and electron-microscopic pathological features of Kufs disease. Although CTSF mutations account for a minority of cases of type B Kufs, CTSF screening should be considered in cases with early-onset dementia and may avoid the need for invasive biopsies. PMID:23297359

  5. Motor Neuron Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... Enhancing Diversity Find People About NINDS NINDS Motor Neuron Diseases Information Page Condensed from Motor Neuron Diseases ... and Information Publicaciones en Español What are Motor Neuron Diseases? The motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are a ...

  6. Motor Neuron Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... called upper motor neurons ) are transmitted to nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord (called lower motor neurons ) and from them to particular muscles. Upper motor neurons direct the lower motor neurons ...

  7. Memory Loss and Frontal Cognitive Dysfunction in a Patient with Adult-onset Neuronal Intranuclear Inclusion Disease.

    PubMed

    Araki, Kunihiko; Sone, Jun; Fujioka, Yusuke; Masuda, Michihito; Ohdake, Reiko; Tanaka, Yasuhiro; Nakamura, Tomohiko; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Sobue, Gen

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease (NIID) is an uncommon progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Adult-onset NIID can result in prominent dementia. We herein describe the case of a 74-year-old man who presented with dementia, cerebellar ataxia, neuropathy, and autonomic dysfunction. Diffusion-weighted imaging showed hyperintensity of the corticomedullary junction. Fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images showed frontal-dominant white matter hyperintensity. NIID was diagnosed from the presence of intranuclear inclusions in a skin biopsy sample. Neuropsychological testing revealed memory loss and frontal cognitive dysfunction, especially in relation to language and executive functions. We were therefore able to confirm the association of NIID with cognitive dysfunction. PMID:27523009

  8. Mutations in DNAJC5, Encoding Cysteine-String Protein Alpha, Cause Autosomal-Dominant Adult-Onset Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis

    PubMed Central

    Nosková, Lenka; Stránecký, Viktor; Hartmannová, Hana; Přistoupilová, Anna; Barešová, Veronika; Ivánek, Robert; Hůlková, Helena; Jahnová, Helena; van der Zee, Julie; Staropoli, John F.; Sims, Katherine B.; Tyynelä, Jaana; Van Broeckhoven, Christine; Nijssen, Peter C.G.; Mole, Sara E.; Elleder, Milan; Kmoch, Stanislav

    2011-01-01

    Autosomal-dominant adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (ANCL) is characterized by accumulation of autofluorescent storage material in neural tissues and neurodegeneration and has an age of onset in the third decade of life or later. The genetic and molecular basis of the disease has remained unknown for many years. We carried out linkage mapping, gene-expression analysis, exome sequencing, and candidate-gene sequencing in affected individuals from 20 families and/or individuals with simplex cases; we identified in five individuals one of two disease-causing mutations, c.346_348delCTC and c.344T>G, in DNAJC5 encoding cysteine-string protein alpha (CSPα). These mutations—causing a deletion, p.Leu116del, and an amino acid exchange, p.Leu115Arg, respectively—are located within the cysteine-string domain of the protein and affect both palmitoylation-dependent sorting and the amount of CSPα in neuronal cells. The resulting depletion of functional CSPα might cause in parallel the presynaptic dysfunction and the progressive neurodegeneration observed in affected individuals and lysosomal accumulation of misfolded and proteolysis-resistant proteins in the form of characteristic ceroid deposits in neurons. Our work represents an important step in the genetic dissection of a genetically heterogeneous group of ANCLs. It also confirms a neuroprotective role for CSPα in humans and demonstrates the need for detailed investigation of CSPα in the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses and other neurodegenerative diseases presenting with neuronal protein aggregation. PMID:21820099

  9. Adult neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis with palmitoyl-protein thioesterase deficiency: first adult-onset patients of a childhood disease.

    PubMed

    van Diggelen, O P; Thobois, S; Tilikete, C; Zabot, M T; Keulemans, J L; van Bunderen, P A; Taschner, P E; Losekoot, M; Voznyi, Y V

    2001-08-01

    The fluorogenic enzyme assay for palmitoyl-protein thioesterase (PPT) has greatly facilitated the diagnosis of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (Santavuori-Haltia disease) and the search for possible new variants with atypical clinical presentation. Here, we present the first cases of adult neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis with onset in the fourth decade of life due to a profound deficiency of PPT. The causative mutations in the CLN1 gene were the known, deleterious mutation R151X and the novel missense mutation G108R. Patients presented at onset (31 and 38 years), with psychiatric symptoms only. At present (ages 56 and 54 years), visual, verbal, and cognitive losses have progressed and both patients have cerebellar ataxia and cannot walk without support. PMID:11506414

  10. Adult onset retinoblastoma.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Sabyasachi; Pan, Utsab; Khetan, Vikas

    2016-07-01

    Retinoblastoma (RB) is the most common primary malignant intraocular tumor of childhood presenting usually before 5 years of age. RB in adults older than 20 years is extremely rare. A literature search using PubMed/PubMed Central, Scopus, Google Scholar, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases revealed only 45 cases till date. Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of such reports, indicating heightened level of suspicion among ophthalmologists. Compared to its pediatric counterpart, adult onset RB poses unique challenges in diagnosis and treatment. This article summarizes available literature on adult onset RB and its clinical and pathologic profile, genetics, association with retinocytoma, diagnostics, treatment, and outcomes. PMID:27609158

  11. [Motor neuron disease: metabolic evaluation].

    PubMed

    Godoy, J M; Skacel, M; Balassiano, S L; Neves, J R

    1992-03-01

    The authors studied serum and urinary calcium and phosphorus levels, as well as abnormalities on the spine of 30 patients with motor neuron disease. The authors believe in multifactorial aspects in the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease, calling special attention to toxic and metabolic factors. PMID:1307483

  12. Adult-Onset Hypogonadism.

    PubMed

    Khera, Mohit; Broderick, Gregory A; Carson, Culley C; Dobs, Adrian S; Faraday, Martha M; Goldstein, Irwin; Hakim, Lawrence S; Hellstrom, Wayne J G; Kacker, Ravi; Köhler, Tobias S; Mills, Jesse N; Miner, Martin; Sadeghi-Nejad, Hossein; Seftel, Allen D; Sharlip, Ira D; Winters, Stephen J; Burnett, Arthur L

    2016-07-01

    In August 2015, an expert colloquium commissioned by the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) convened in Washington, DC, to discuss the common clinical scenario of men who present with low testosterone (T) and associated signs and symptoms accompanied by low or normal gonadotropin levels. This syndrome is not classical primary (testicular failure) or secondary (pituitary or hypothalamic failure) hypogonadism because it may have elements of both presentations. The panel designated this syndrome adult-onset hypogonadism (AOH) because it occurs commonly in middle-age and older men. The SMSNA is a not-for-profit society established in 1994 to promote, encourage, and support the highest standards of practice, research, education, and ethics in the study of human sexual function and dysfunction. The panel consisted of 17 experts in men's health, sexual medicine, urology, endocrinology, and methodology. Participants declared potential conflicts of interest and were SMSNA members and nonmembers. The panel deliberated regarding a diagnostic process to document signs and symptoms of AOH, the rationale for T therapy, and a monitoring protocol for T-treated patients. The evaluation and management of hypogonadal syndromes have been addressed in recent publications (ie, the Endocrine Society, the American Urological Association, and the International Society for Sexual Medicine). The primary purpose of this document was to support health care professionals in the development of a deeper understanding of AOH, particularly in how it differs from classical primary and secondary hypogonadism, and to provide a conceptual framework to guide its diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. PMID:27343020

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

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, Florent; Hussain, Ghulam; Dupuis, Luc; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; Henriques, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

    Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are characterized by selective death of motor neurons and include mainly adult-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Neurodegeneration is not the single pathogenic event occurring during disease progression. There are multiple lines of evidence for the existence of defects in lipid metabolism at peripheral level. For instance, hypermetabolism is well characterized in ALS, and dyslipidemia correlates with better prognosis in patients. Lipid metabolism plays also a role in other MNDs. In SMA, misuse of lipids as energetic nutrients is described in patients and in related animal models. The composition of structural lipids in the central nervous system is modified, with repercussion on membrane fluidity and on cell signaling mediated by bioactive lipids. Here, we review the main epidemiologic and mechanistic findings that link alterations of lipid metabolism and motor neuron degeneration, and we discuss the rationale of targeting these modifications for therapeutic management of MNDs. PMID:24600344

  14. Acute lower motor neuron tetraparesis.

    PubMed

    Añor, Sònia

    2014-11-01

    Flaccid nonambulatory tetraparesis or tetraplegia is an infrequent neurologic presentation; it is characteristic of neuromuscular disease (lower motor neuron [LMN] disease) rather than spinal cord disease. Paresis beginning in the pelvic limbs and progressing to the thoracic limbs resulting in flaccid tetraparesis or tetraplegia within 24 to 72 hours is a common presentation of peripheral nerve or neuromuscular junction disease. Complete body flaccidity develops with severe decrease or complete loss of spinal reflexes in pelvic and thoracic limbs. Animals with acute generalized LMN tetraparesis commonly show severe motor dysfunction in all limbs and severe generalized weakness in all muscles. PMID:25441630

  15. Quo vadis motor neuron disease?

    PubMed

    Balendra, Rubika; Patani, Rickie

    2016-03-26

    Motor neuron disease (MND), also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative condition that is invariably fatal, usually within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis. The aetio-pathogenesis of MND remains unresolved and no effective treatments exist. The only Food and Drug Administration approved disease modifying therapy is riluzole, a glutamate antagonist, which prolongs survival by up to 3 mo. Current management is largely symptomatic/supportive. There is therefore a desperate and unmet clinical need for discovery of disease mechanisms to guide novel therapeutic strategy. In this review, we start by introducing the organizational anatomy of the motor system, before providing a clinical overview of its dysfunction specifically in MND. We then summarize insights gained from pathological, genetic and animal models and conclude by speculating on optimal strategies to drive the step change in discovery, which is so desperately needed in this arena. PMID:27019797

  16. Quo vadis motor neuron disease?

    PubMed Central

    Balendra, Rubika; Patani, Rickie

    2016-01-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND), also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative condition that is invariably fatal, usually within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis. The aetio-pathogenesis of MND remains unresolved and no effective treatments exist. The only Food and Drug Administration approved disease modifying therapy is riluzole, a glutamate antagonist, which prolongs survival by up to 3 mo. Current management is largely symptomatic/supportive. There is therefore a desperate and unmet clinical need for discovery of disease mechanisms to guide novel therapeutic strategy. In this review, we start by introducing the organizational anatomy of the motor system, before providing a clinical overview of its dysfunction specifically in MND. We then summarize insights gained from pathological, genetic and animal models and conclude by speculating on optimal strategies to drive the step change in discovery, which is so desperately needed in this arena. PMID:27019797

  17. Caenorhabditis elegans dnj-14, the orthologue of the DNAJC5 gene mutated in adult onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, provides a new platform for neuroprotective drug screening and identifies a SIR-2.1-independent action of resveratrol.

    PubMed

    Kashyap, Sudhanva S; Johnson, James R; McCue, Hannah V; Chen, Xi; Edmonds, Matthew J; Ayala, Mimieveshiofuo; Graham, Margaret E; Jenn, Robert C; Barclay, Jeff W; Burgoyne, Robert D; Morgan, Alan

    2014-11-15

    Adult onset neuronal lipofuscinosis (ANCL) is a human neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive neuronal dysfunction and premature death. Recently, the mutations that cause ANCL were mapped to the DNAJC5 gene, which encodes cysteine string protein alpha. We show here that mutating dnj-14, the Caenorhabditis elegans orthologue of DNAJC5, results in shortened lifespan and a small impairment of locomotion and neurotransmission. Mutant dnj-14 worms also exhibited age-dependent neurodegeneration of sensory neurons, which was preceded by severe progressive chemosensory defects. A focussed chemical screen revealed that resveratrol could ameliorate dnj-14 mutant phenotypes, an effect mimicked by the cAMP phosphodiesterase inhibitor, rolipram. In contrast to other worm neurodegeneration models, activation of the Sirtuin, SIR-2.1, was not required, as sir-2.1; dnj-14 double mutants showed full lifespan rescue by resveratrol. The Sirtuin-independent neuroprotective action of resveratrol revealed here suggests potential therapeutic applications for ANCL and possibly other human neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24947438

  18. A nursing challenge: adult-onset Tay-Sachs disease.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, D

    1991-12-01

    Adult-onset GM2 gangliosidosis (AOG), also labelled Adult-Onset Tay-Sachs disease, is a slowly progressing disease caused by a gradual accumulation of the GM2 ganglioside in neurons due to defective hexosaminidase A. Recent research findings and clinical experiences suggest that AOG may be more widespread than previously believed. Moreover, the diagnosis of AOG is often delayed because patients present with psychotic symptoms that mimic dementia, schizophrenia, mania, and depression. Because AOG patients typically respond poorly to psychiatric drug therapy and the symptomatology is so diverse, nurses must design and implement nursing care that ensures safety, structure, and comfort. PMID:1759864

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. Multidisciplinary Interventions in Motor Neuron Disease

    PubMed Central

    Williams, U. E.; Philip-Ephraim, E. E.; Oparah, S. K.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:26317009

  1. Animal models for motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Green, S L; Tolwani, R J

    1999-10-01

    Motor neuron disease is a general term applied to a broad class of neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by fatally progressive muscular weakness, atrophy, and paralysis attributable to loss of motor neurons. At present, there is no cure for most motor neuron diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common human motor neuron disease--the cause of which remains largely unknown. Animal models of motor neuron disease (MND) have significantly contributed to the remarkable recent progress in understanding the cause, genetic factors, and pathologic mechanisms proposed for this class of human neurodegenerative disorders. Largely driven by ALS research, animal models of MND have proven their usefulness in elucidating potential causes and specific pathogenic mechanisms, and have helped to advance promising new treatments from "benchside to bedside." This review summarizes important features of selected established animal models of MND: genetically engineered mice and inherited or spontaneously occurring MND in the murine, canine, and equine species. PMID:10551448

  2. Motor neurons and the generation of spinal motor neuron diversity

    PubMed Central

    Stifani, Nicolas

    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 MNs (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. PMID:25346659

  3. Trophic Factor Expression in Phrenic Motor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Mantilla, Carlos B.; Sieck, Gary C.

    2008-01-01

    The function of a motor neuron and the muscle fibers it innervates (i.e., a motor unit) determines neuromotor output. Unlike other skeletal muscles, respiratory muscles (e.g., the diaphragm, DIAm) must function from birth onwards in sustaining ventilation. DIAm motor units are capable of both ventilatory and non-ventilatory behaviors, including expulsive behaviors important for airway clearance. There is significant diversity in motor unit properties across different types of motor units in the DIAm. The mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of motor unit diversity in respiratory muscles (including the DIAm) are not well understood. Recent studies suggest that trophic factor influences contribute to this diversity. Remarkably little is known about the expression of trophic factors and their receptors in phrenic motor neurons. This review will focus on the contribution of trophic factors to the establishment and maintenance of motor unit diversity in the DIAm, during development and in response to injury or disease. PMID:18708170

  4. Variable Neuronal Participation in Stereotypic Motor Programs

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Evan S.; Vasireddi, Sunil K.; Bruno, Angela M.; Wang, Jean; Frost, William N.

    2012-01-01

    To what extent are motor networks underlying rhythmic behaviors rigidly hard-wired versus fluid and dynamic entities? Do the members of motor networks change from moment-to-moment or from motor program episode-to-episode? These are questions that can only be addressed in systems where it is possible to monitor the spiking activity of networks of neurons during the production of motor programs. We used large-scale voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging followed by Independent Component Analysis spike-sorting to examine the extent to which the neuronal network underlying the escape swim behavior of Tritonia diomedea is hard-wired versus fluid from a moment-to-moment perspective. We found that while most neurons were dedicated to the swim network, a small but significant proportion of neurons participated in a surprisingly variable manner. These neurons joined the swim motor program late, left early, burst only on some cycles or skipped cycles of the motor program. We confirmed that this variable neuronal participation was not due to effects of the VSD by finding such neurons with intracellular recording in dye-free saline. Further, these neurons markedly varied their level of participation in the network from swim episode-to-episode. The generality of such unreliably bursting neurons was confirmed by their presence in the rhythmic escape networks of two other molluscan species, Tritonia festiva and Aplysia californica. Our observations support a view that neuronal networks, even those underlying rhythmic and stereotyped motor programs, may be more variable in structure than widely appreciated. PMID:22815768

  5. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Genetics Home Reference: adult-onset leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids and pigmented glia

    MedlinePlus

    ... it causes a severe decline in thinking and reasoning abilities (dementia). Over time, motor skills are affected, ... Schmahmann JD. Adult onset leukodystrophy with neuroaxonal spheroids: clinical, neuroimaging and neuropathologic observations. Brain Pathol. 2009 Jan; ...

  7. Lower motor neuron dysfunction in ALS.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, Mamede; Swash, Michael

    2016-07-01

    In the motor system there is a complex interplay between cortical structures and spinal cord lower motor neurons (LMN). In this system both inhibitory and excitatory neurons have relevant roles. LMN loss is a marker of motor neuron disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND/ALS). Conventional needle electromyography (EMG) does not allow LMN loss to be quantified. Measurement of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude or area, and the neurophysiological index, provide a surrogate estimate of the number of functional motor units. Increased motor neuronal excitability is a neurophysiological marker of ALS in the context of a suspected clinical and electrophysiological diagnosis. In the LMN system, fasciculation potentials (FPs) are the earliest changes observed in affected muscles, a feature of LMN hyperexcitability. Reinnervation is best investigated by needle EMG although other methods can be explored. Moreover needle EMG give information about the temporal profile of the reinnervation process, important ancillary data. Quantitative motor unit potential analysis is a valuable method of evaluating reinnervation. The importance of FPs has been recognized in the Awaji criteria for the electrodiagnosis of ALS, criteria that are a sensitive adjunct to the revised El Escorial criteria. Finally, functionality of LMN's, and perhaps excitability studies in motor nerves, aids understanding of the disease process, allowing measurement of potential treatment effects in clinical trials. Other investigational techniques, such as electrical impedance myography, muscle and nerve ultrasound, and spinal cord imaging methods may prove useful in future. PMID:27117334

  8. Lower Motor Neuron Findings after Upper Motor Neuron Injury: Insights from Postoperative Supplementary Motor Area Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Florman, Jeffrey E.; Duffau, Hugues; Rughani, Anand I.

    2013-01-01

    Hypertonia and hyperreflexia 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 hyperreflexia 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 hyporeflexia 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. PMID:23508473

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Motor neurons in ALS die via cell-autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms. Using adult human astrocytes and motor neurons, Re et al (2014) discover that familial and sporadic ALS derived human adult astrocytes secrete neurotoxic factors that selectively kill motor neurons through necroptosis, suggesting a new therapeutic avenue. PMID:24607221

  10. Adult onset xanthogranuloma presenting as laryngeal mass.

    PubMed

    Li, Shawn; Weidenbecher, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Histiocytic disorders can be classified according to the distribution pattern of the lesions and the organs involved. Non-Langerhans-cell histiocytosis is a rare group of diseases that have varied clinical presentations ranging from isolated masses to diffuse systemic eruptions. We discuss a patient who initially presented with a vocal cord lesion and was ultimately diagnosed with adult onset xanthogranuloma. PMID:26954863

  11. The frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease continuum.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-27

    Early reports of cognitive and behavioural deficits in motor neuron disease might have been overlooked initially, but the concept of a frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease continuum has emerged during the past decade. Frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease is now recognised as an important dementia syndrome, which presents substantial challenges for diagnosis and management. Frontotemporal dementia, motor neuron disease, and frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease are characterised by overlapping patterns of TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43) pathology, while the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) repeat expansion is common across the disease spectrum. Indeed, the C9orf72 repeat expansion provides important clues to disease pathogenesis and suggests potential therapeutic targets. Variable diagnostic criteria identify motor, cognitive, and behavioural deficits, but further refinement is needed to define the clinical syndromes encountered in frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease. PMID:26987909

  12. Iterative Role of Notch Signaling in Spinal Motor Neuron Diversification.

    PubMed

    Tan, G Christopher; Mazzoni, Esteban O; Wichterle, Hynek

    2016-07-26

    The motor neuron progenitor domain in the ventral spinal cord gives rise to multiple subtypes of motor neurons and glial cells. Here, we examine whether progenitors found in this domain are multipotent and which signals contribute to their cell-type-specific differentiation. Using an in vitro neural differentiation model, we demonstrate that motor neuron progenitor differentiation is iteratively controlled by Notch signaling. First, Notch controls the timing of motor neuron genesis by repressing Neurogenin 2 (Ngn2) and maintaining Olig2-positive progenitors in a proliferative state. Second, in an Ngn2-independent manner, Notch contributes to the specification of median versus hypaxial motor column identity and lateral versus medial divisional identity of limb-innervating motor neurons. Thus, motor neuron progenitors are multipotent, and their diversification is controlled by Notch signaling that iteratively increases cellular diversity arising from a single neural progenitor domain. PMID:27425621

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Cells make use of molecular motors to transport small molecules, macromolecules and cellular organelles to target region to execute biological functions, which is utmost important for polarized cells, such as neurons. In particular, cytoskeleton motors play fundamental roles in neuron polarization, extension, shape and neurotransmission. Cytoskeleton motors comprise of myosin, kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein. F-actin filaments act as myosin track, while kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein move on microtubules. Cytoskeleton motors work together to build a highly polarized and regulated system in neuronal cells via different molecular mechanisms and functional regulations. This review discusses the structures and working mechanisms of the cytoskeleton motors in neurons. PMID:27570482

  14. An autopsied case of sporadic adult-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS-positive basophilic inclusions.

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Takeshi; Fujii, Naoki; Kondo, Akira; Iwaki, Akiko; Hokonohara, Toshihiro; Honda, Hiroyuki; Sasaki, Kensuke; Suzuki, Satoshi O; Iwaki, Toru

    2011-02-01

    Basophilic inclusions (BIs), which are characterized by their staining properties of being weakly argyrophilic, reactive with Nissl staining, and immunohistochemically negative for tau and transactive response (TAR) DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), have been identified in patients with juvenile-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and adult-onset atypical ALS with ophthalmoplegia, autonomic dysfunction, cerebellar ataxia, or a frontal lobe syndrome. Mutations in the fused in sarcoma gene (FUS) have been reported in cases of familial and sporadic ALS, and FUS immunoreactivity has been demonstrated in basophilic inclusion body disease (BIBD), neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID), and atypical frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive and tau-negative inclusions (aFTLD-U). In the present study, we immunohistochemically and ultrastructurally studied an autopsy case of sporadic adult-onset ALS with numerous BIs. The patient presented with the classical clinical course of ALS since 75 years of age and died at age 79. Postmortem examination revealed that both Betz cells in the motor cortex and motor neurons in the spinal cord were affected. The substantia nigra was spared. Notably, BIs were frequently observed in the motor neurons of the anterior horns, the inferior olivary nuclei, and the basal nuclei of Meynert. BIs were immunopositive for p62, LC3, and FUS, but immunonegative for tau, TDP-43, and neurofilament. Ultrastructurally, BIs consisted of filamentous or granular structures associated with degenerated organelles with no limiting membrane. There were no Bunina bodies, skein-like inclusions, or Lewy-like inclusions. All exons and exon/intron boundaries of the FUS gene were sequenced but no mutations were identified. PMID:20573033

  15. Outputs of radula mechanoafferent neurons in Aplysia are modulated by motor neurons, interneurons, and sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Rosen, S C; Miller, M W; Cropper, E C; Kupfermann, I

    2000-03-01

    The gain of sensory inputs into the nervous system can be modulated so that the nature and intensity of afferent input is variable. Sometimes the variability is a function of other sensory inputs or of the state of motor systems that generate behavior. A form of sensory modulation was investigated in the Aplysia feeding system at the level of a radula mechanoafferent neuron (B21) that provides chemical synaptic input to a group of motor neurons (B8a/b, B15) that control closure and retraction movements of the radula, a food grasping structure. B21 has been shown to receive both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs from a variety of neuron types. The current study investigated the morphological basis of these heterosynaptic inputs, whether the inputs could serve to modulate the chemical synaptic outputs of B21, and whether the neurons producing the heterosynaptic inputs were periodically active during feeding motor programs that might modulate B21 outputs in a phase-specific manner. Four cell types making monosynaptic connections to B21 were found capable of heterosynaptically modulating the chemical synaptic output of B21 to motor neurons B8a and B15. These included the following: 1) other sensory neurons, e.g. , B22; 2) interneurons, e.g., B19; 3) motor neurons, e.g., B82; and 4) multifunction neurons that have sensory, motor, and interneuronal functions, e.g., B4/5. Each cell type was phasically active in one or more feeding motor programs driven by command-like interneurons, including an egestive motor program driven by CBI-1 and an ingestive motor program driven by CBI-2. Moreover, the phase of activity differed for each of the modulator cells. During the motor programs, shifts in B21 membrane potential were related to the activity patterns of some of the modulator cells. Inhibitory chemical synapses mediated the modulation produced by B4/5, whereas excitatory and/or electrical synapses were involved in the other instances. The data indicate that

  16. Mimics and chameleons in motor neurone disease

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Martin R; Talbot, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The progression of motor neurone disease (MND) is currently irreversible, and the grave implications of diagnosis naturally fuels concern among neurologists over missing a potential mimic disorder. There is no diagnostic test for MND but in reality there are few plausible mimics in routine clinical practice. In the presence of a progressive pure motor disorder, signs such as florid fasciculations, bilateral tongue wasting, the ‘split hand’, head drop, emotionality, and cognitive or behavioural impairment carry high positive predictive value. MND is clinically heterogeneous, however, with some important chameleon-like presentations and considerable variation in clinical course. Lack of confidence about the scope of such variation, or an approach to diagnosis emphasising investigations over clinical common sense, has the potential to exacerbate diagnostic delay in MND and impede timely planning of the care which is essential to maximising quality of life. PMID:23616620

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a progressive, adult-onset, multisystem degenerative disease with many features in common with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As with some forms of ALS, DM is associated with mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). Clinical signs include general proprioceptive ataxia and spastic upper motor neuron paresis in pelvic limbs, which progress to flaccid tetraplegia and dysphagia. The purpose of this study was to characterize DM as a potential disease model for ALS. We previously reported that intercostal muscle atrophy develops in dogs with advanced-stage DM. To determine whether other components of the thoracic motor unit (MU) also demonstrated morphological changes consistent with dysfunction, histopathologic and morphometric analyses were conducted on thoracic spinal motor neurons (MNs) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and in motor and sensory nerve root axons from DM-affected boxers and Pembroke Welsh corgis (PWCs). No alterations in MNs or motor root axons were observed in either breed. However, advanced-stage PWCs exhibited significant losses of sensory root axons, and numerous DRG sensory neurons displayed evidence of degeneration. These results indicate that intercostal muscle atrophy in DM is not preceded by physical loss of the motor neurons innervating these muscles, nor of their axons. Axonal loss in thoracic sensory roots and sensory neuron death suggest that sensory involvement may play an important role in DM disease progression. Further analysis of the mechanisms responsible for these morphological findings would aid in the development of therapeutic intervention for DM and some forms of ALS. PMID:24375814

  18. Characterization of Thoracic Motor and Sensory Neurons and Spinal Nerve Roots in Canine Degenerative Myelopathy, a Potential Disease Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a progressive adult-onset multisystem degenerative disease with many features in common with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As with some forms of ALS, DM is associated with mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). Clinical signs include general proprioceptive ataxia and spastic upper motor neuron paresis in pelvic limbs, which progress to flaccid tetraplegia and dysphagia. The purpose of this study was to characterize DM as a potential disease model for ALS. We previously reported that intercostal muscle atrophy develops in dogs with advanced stage DM. To determine if other components of the thoracic motor unit (MU) also demonstrated morphological changes consistent with dysfunction, histopathologic and morphometric analyses were conducted on thoracic spinal motor neurons (MN) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG), and in motor and sensory nerve root axons from DM-affected Boxers and Pembroke Welsh Corgis (PWCs). No alterations in MNs, or motor root axons were observed in either breed. However, advanced stage PWCs exhibited significant losses of sensory root axons, and numerous DRG sensory neurons displayed evidence of degeneration. These results indicate that intercostal muscle atrophy in DM is not preceded by physical loss of the motor neurons innervating these muscles, or of their axons. Axonal loss in thoracic sensory roots and sensory nerve death suggest sensory involvement may play an important role in DM disease progression. Further analysis of the mechanisms responsible for these morphological findings would aid in the development of therapeutic intervention for DM and some forms of ALS. PMID:24375814

  19. Excitation BolsTORs motor neurons in ALS mice.

    PubMed

    Mattson, Mark P

    2013-10-01

    It is unclear why motor neurons selectively degenerate in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Saxena et al. (2013) demonstrate that excitation of motor neurons can prevent their demise in a mouse model of inherited ALS by a mechanism involving the mTOR pathway. PMID:24094096

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Background & Aim 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusion These results provide compelling preclinical evidence indicating that IL-6 does not directly contribute to motor neuron disease caused by SOD1 mutations. PMID:27070121

  1. Adult onset retinoblastoma: A diagnostic dilemma.

    PubMed

    Raj, Amit; Arya, Sudesh Kumar; Punia, Rajpal Singh; Kohli, Piyush

    2016-01-01

    Retinoblastoma is the most common intraocular tumor of childhood. About 95% of retinoblastoma cases are diagnosed before the age of 5 years. Not more than 30 cases of Adult-onset retinoblastoma have been reported in literature. A 32 year old male presented with a painful blind eye. There was sudden loss of vision accompanied by severe pain and redness in right eye about 1 year ago, for which some surgery was done with neither a gain in vision nor any relief from pain. Then he was put on maximum tolerable medical therapy, later cyclocryotherapy was done. Now he presented to us with complains of extreme pain and bleeding from right eye since 2 days. There is no history of any ocular trauma. Right eye had no perception of light & showed anterior staphyloma with perforation. Right eye evisceration was done & material sent for histopathological examination, which revealed an adult-onset retinoblastoma. CECT scan revealed thickening of optic nerve throughout its entire length with contrast enhancement. He was further taken up for enucleation of residual sclera with maximum optic nerve stump removal to reconfirm the diagnosis. Histopathological examination revealed tumor deposits present in orbital soft tissue, resection margins and optic nerve cut end.Retinoblastoma presenting in adult age creates a diagnostic dilemma because of its low frequency and atypical features. We want to highlight the importance of high clinical suspicion and imaging modalities before taking any patient for evisceration with unexplained vision loss. One should send the eviscerated material for histopathological examination. PMID:26709674

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-13

    Mitochondria have been proposed as targets for toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive, fatal adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons. A decrease in the capacity of spinal cord mitochondria to buffer calcium (Ca(2+)) has been observed in mice expressing ALS-linked mutants of SOD1 that develop motor neuron disease with many of the key pathological hallmarks seen in ALS patients. In mice expressing three different ALS-causing SOD1 mutants, we now test the contribution of the loss of mitochondrial Ca(2+)-buffering capacity to disease mechanism(s) by eliminating ubiquitous expression of cyclophilin D, a critical regulator of Ca(2+)-mediated opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore that determines mitochondrial Ca(2+) content. A chronic increase in mitochondrial buffering of Ca(2+) in the absence of cyclophilin D was maintained throughout disease course and was associated with improved mitochondrial ATP synthesis, reduced mitochondrial swelling, and retention of normal morphology. This was accompanied by an attenuation of glial activation, reduction in levels of misfolded SOD1 aggregates in the spinal cord, and a significant suppression of motor neuron death throughout disease. Despite this, muscle denervation, motor axon degeneration, and disease progression and survival were unaffected, thereby eliminating mutant SOD1-mediated loss of mitochondrial Ca(2+) buffering capacity, altered mitochondrial morphology, motor neuron death, and misfolded SOD1 aggregates, as primary contributors to disease mechanism for fatal paralysis in these models of familial ALS. PMID:23486940

  3. Gamma and alpha motor neurons distinguished by expression of transcription factor Err3.

    PubMed

    Friese, Andreas; Kaltschmidt, Julia A; Ladle, David R; Sigrist, Markus; Jessell, Thomas M; Arber, Silvia

    2009-08-11

    Spinal motor neurons are specified to innervate different muscle targets through combinatorial programs of transcription factor expression. Whether transcriptional programs also establish finer aspects of motor neuron subtype identity, notably the prominent functional distinction between alpha and gamma motor neurons, remains unclear. In this study, we identify DNA binding proteins with complementary expression profiles in alpha and gamma motor neurons, providing evidence for molecular distinctions in these two motor neuron subtypes. The transcription factor Err3 is expressed at high levels in gamma but not alpha motor neurons, whereas the neuronal DNA binding protein NeuN marks alpha but not gamma motor neurons. Signals from muscle spindles are needed to support the differentiation of Err3(on)/NeuN(off) presumptive gamma motor neurons, whereas direct proprioceptive sensory input to a motor neuron pool is apparently dispensable. Together, these findings provide evidence that transcriptional programs define functionally distinct motor neuron subpopulations, even within anatomically defined motor pools. PMID:19651609

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

    PubMed

    Oouchida, Yutaka; Izumi, Shinichi

    2014-06-01

    The discovery of the mirror neuron system has dramatically changed the study of motor control in neuroscience. The mirror neuron system provides a conceptual framework covering the aspects of motor as well as sensory functions in motor control. Previous studies of motor control can be classified as studies of motor or sensory functions, and these two classes of studies appear to have advanced independently. In rehabilitation requiring motor learning, such as relearning movement after limb paresis, however, sensory information of feedback for motor output as well as motor command are essential. During rehabilitation from chronic pain, motor exercise is one of the most effective treatments for pain caused by dysfunction in the sensory system. In rehabilitation where total intervention unifying the motor and sensory aspects of motor control is important, learning through imitation, which is associated with the mirror neuron system can be effective and suitable. In this paper, we introduce the clinical applications of imitated movement in rehabilitation from motor impairment after brain damage and phantom limb pain after limb amputation. PMID:24899347

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Reduced endplate currents underlie motor unit dysfunction in canine motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Rich, Mark M; Waldeck, Robert F; Cork, Linda C; Balice-Gordon, Rita J; Fyffe, Robert E W; Wang, Xueyong; Cope, Timothy C; Pinter, Martin J

    2002-12-01

    Hereditary canine spinal muscular atrophy (HCSMA) is an autosomal dominant degenerative disorder of motor neurons. In homozygous animals, motor units produce decreased force output and fail during repetitive activity. Previous studies suggest that decreased efficacy of neuromuscular transmission underlies these abnormalities. To examine this, we recorded muscle fiber endplate currents (EPCs) and found reduced amplitudes and increased failures during nerve stimulation in homozygotes compared with wild-type controls. Comparison of EPC amplitudes with muscle fiber current thresholds indicate that many EPCs from homozygotes fall below threshold for activating muscle fibers but can be raised above threshold following potentiation. To determine whether axonal abnormalities might play a role in causing motor unit dysfunction, we examined the postnatal maturation of axonal conduction velocity in relation to the appearance of tetanic failure. We also examined intracellularly labeled motor neurons for evidence of axonal neurofilament accumulations, which are found in many instances of motor neuron disease including HCSMA. Despite the appearance of tetanic failure between 90 and 120 days, average motor axon conduction velocity increased with age in homozygotes and achieved adult levels. Normal correlations between motor neuron properties (including conduction velocity) and motor unit properties were also observed. Labeled proximal motor axons of several motor neurons that supplied failing motor units exhibited little or no evidence of axonal swellings. We conclude that decreased release of transmitter from motor terminals underlies motor unit dysfunction in HCSMA and that the mechanisms determining the maturation of axonal conduction velocity and the pattern of correlation between motor neuron and motor unit properties do not contribute to the appearance or evolution of motor unit dysfunction. PMID:12466447

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27291884

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

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    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

  9. MSC p43 required for axonal development in motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiaodong; Liu, Yang; Yin, Yanqing; Shao, Aiyun; Zhang, Bo; Kim, Sunghoon; Zhou, Jiawei

    2009-01-01

    Neuron connectivity and correct neural function largely depend on axonal integrity. Neurofilaments (NFs) constitute the main cytoskeletal network maintaining the structural integrity of neurons and exhibit dynamic changes during axonal and dendritic growth. However, the mechanisms underlying axonal development and maintenance remain poorly understood. Here, we identify that multisynthetase complex p43 (MSC p43) is essential for NF assembly and axon maintenance. The MSC p43 protein was predominantly expressed in central neurons and interacted with NF light subunit in vivo. Mice lacking MSC p43 exhibited axon degeneration in motor neurons, defective neuromuscular junctions, muscular atrophy, and motor dysfunction. Furthermore, MSC p43 depletion in mice caused disorganization of the axonal NF network. Mechanistically, MSC p43 is required for maintaining normal phosphorylation levels of NFs. Thus, MSC p43 is indispensable in maintaining axonal integrity. Its dysfunction may underlie the NF disorganization and axon degeneration associated with motor neuron degenerative diseases. PMID:19717447

  10. Motor neuron-immune interactions: the vicious circle of ALS.

    PubMed

    Barbeito, Ana G; Mesci, Pinar; Boillée, Séverine

    2010-08-01

    Because microglial cells, the resident macrophages of the CNS, react to any lesion of the nervous system, they have for long been regarded as potential players in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the most common motor neuron disease in the adult. In recent years, this microglial reaction to motor neuron injury, in particular, and the innate immune response, in general, has been implicated in the progression of the disease, in mouse models of ALS. The mechanisms by which microglial cells influence motor neuron death in ALS are still largely unknown. Microglial activation increases over the course of the disease and is associated with an alteration in the production of toxic factors and also neurotrophic factors. Adding to the microglial/macrophage response to motor neuron degeneration, the adaptive immune system can likewise influence the disease process. Exploring these motor neuron-immune interactions could lead to a better understanding in the physiopathology of ALS to find new pathways to slow down motor neuron degeneration. PMID:20552235

  11. Intrinsic Membrane Hyperexcitability of ALS Patient-Derived Motor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Wainger, Brian J.; Kiskinis, Evangelos; Mellin, Cassidy; Wiskow, Ole; Han, Steve S.W.; Sandoe, Jackson; Perez, Numa P.; Williams, Luis A.; Lee, Seungkyu; Boulting, Gabriella; Berry, James D.; Brown, Robert H.; Cudkowicz, Merit E.; Bean, Bruce P.; Eggan, Kevin; Woolf, Clifford J.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of the motor nervous system. We show using multi-electrode 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. PMID:24703839

  12. Role of skeletal muscle in motor neuron development.

    PubMed

    Baguma-Nibasheka, Mark; Fracassi, Anna; Costain, Willard J; Moreno, Sandra; Kablar, Boris

    2016-07-01

    The current paper is a continuation of our work most recently described in Kablar, 2011. Here, we show lists of up- and down-regulated genes obtained by a cDNA microarray analysis that compared developing mouse MyoD-/- limb musculature (MyoD-dependent, innervated by Lateral Motor Column motor neurons) and Myf5-/- back (epaxial) musculature (Myf5-dependent, innervated by Medial Motor Column motor neurons) to the control and to each other, at embryonic day 13.5 which coincides with the robust programmed cell death of motor neurons and the inability of myogenesis to undergo its normal progression in the absence of Myf5 and MyoD that at this embryonic day cannot substitute for each other. We wanted to see if/how the myogenic program couples with the neurotrophic one, and also to separate Lateral from Medial column trophic requirements, potentially relevant to Motor Neuron Diseases with the predilection for the Lateral column. Several follow-up steps revealed that Kif5c, Stxbp1 and Polb, differentially expressed in the MyoD-/- limb muscle, and Ppargc1a, Glrb and Hoxd10, differentially expressed in the Myf5-/- back muscle, are actually regulators of motor neuron numbers. We propose a series of follow-up experiments and various ways to consider our current data. PMID:26892388

  13. Phenotypes, Risk Factors, and Mechanisms of Adult-Onset Asthma

    PubMed Central

    Ilmarinen, Pinja; Tuomisto, Leena E.; Kankaanranta, Hannu

    2015-01-01

    Asthma is a heterogeneous disease with many phenotypes, and age at disease onset is an important factor in separating the phenotypes. Genetic factors, atopy, and early respiratory tract infections are well-recognized factors predisposing to childhood-onset asthma. Adult-onset asthma is more often associated with obesity, smoking, depression, or other life-style or environmental factors, even though genetic factors and respiratory tract infections may also play a role in adult-onset disease. Adult-onset asthma is characterized by absence of atopy and is often severe requiring treatment with high dose of inhaled and/or oral steroids. Variety of risk factors and nonatopic nature of adult-onset disease suggest that variety of mechanisms is involved in the disease pathogenesis and that these mechanisms differ from the pathobiology of childhood-onset asthma with prevailing Th2 airway inflammation. Recognition of the mechanisms and mediators that drive the adult-onset disease helps to develop novel strategies for the treatment. The aim of this review was to summarize the current knowledge on the pathogenesis of adult-onset asthma and to concentrate on the mechanisms and mediators involved in establishing adult-onset asthma in response to specific risk factors. We also discuss the involvement of these mechanisms in the currently recognized phenotypes of adult-onset asthma. PMID:26538828

  14. Extracellularly Identifying Motor Neurons for a Muscle Motor Pool in Aplysia californica

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Hui; McManus, Jeffrey M.; Chiel, Hillel J.

    2013-01-01

    In animals with large identified neurons (e.g. mollusks), analysis of motor pools is done using intracellular techniques1,2,3,4. Recently, we developed a technique to extracellularly stimulate and record individual neurons in Aplysia californica5. We now describe a protocol for using this technique to uniquely identify and characterize motor neurons within a motor pool. This extracellular technique has advantages. First, extracellular electrodes can stimulate and record neurons through the sheath5, so it does not need to be removed. Thus, neurons will be healthier in extracellular experiments than in intracellular ones. Second, if ganglia are rotated by appropriate pinning of the sheath, extracellular electrodes can access neurons on both sides of the ganglion, which makes it easier and more efficient to identify multiple neurons in the same preparation. Third, extracellular electrodes do not need to penetrate cells, and thus can be easily moved back and forth among neurons, causing less damage to them. This is especially useful when one tries to record multiple neurons during repeating motor patterns that may only persist for minutes. Fourth, extracellular electrodes are more flexible than intracellular ones during muscle movements. Intracellular electrodes may pull out and damage neurons during muscle contractions. In contrast, since extracellular electrodes are gently pressed onto the sheath above neurons, they usually stay above the same neuron during muscle contractions, and thus can be used in more intact preparations. To uniquely identify motor neurons for a motor pool (in particular, the I1/I3 muscle in Aplysia) using extracellular electrodes, one can use features that do not require intracellular measurements as criteria: soma size and location, axonal projection, and muscle innervation4,6,7. For the particular motor pool used to illustrate the technique, we recorded from buccal nerves 2 and 3 to measure axonal projections, and measured the contraction

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  16. Late-adult onset Leigh syndrome.

    PubMed

    McKelvie, Penelope; Infeld, Bernard; Marotta, Rosetta; Chin, Judy; Thorburn, David; Collins, Steven

    2012-02-01

    We report an illustrative case of a 74-year-old man who, in the absence of intercurrent illness, presented with rapid cognitive decline. MRI showed bilateral, symmetrical, high T2-weighted signal in the anterior basal ganglia and medial thalami, extending to the periaqueductal grey matter, basal ganglia and basal frontal lobes. A (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography scan showed widespread reduction of metabolism in the cortex of the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes, posterior cingulate gyrus, precuneus and caudate nuclei, with sparing of the sensorimotor cortex, thalami and lentiform nuclei. A mild vitamin B12 deficiency was found and despite normal thiamine levels, intravenous (IV) thiamine and vitamin B therapy was commenced, with a short course of IV methylprednisolone and tetracycline. Repeat neuropsychological assessment four weeks following treatment revealed increased alertness and interactiveness but significant cognitive decline persisted. Unexpectedly, the patient suffered a transmural anterior myocardial infarction six weeks after presentation and died within 24hours. An a autopsy showed: global reduction in cytochrome oxidase (COX) activity in all skeletal muscles examined; bilateral, symmetrical, hypervascular, focally necrotizing lesions in the substantia nigra, periaqueductal grey matter, superior colliculi, medial thalami anteriorly and posteriorly, as well as in the putamena but the mammillary bodies were not affected. Biochemical analysis of fresh muscle confirmed selective deficiency of complex IV of the oxidative phosphorylation chain. A diagnosis of late-adult onset Leigh syndrome was made. Multiple genetic studies failed to identify the specific underlying mutation. The relevant literature is reviewed. PMID:22273117

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Experience-dependent development of spinal motor neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Inglis, F. M.; Zuckerman, K. E.; Kalb, R. G.; Walton, K. D. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    Locomotor activity in many species undergoes pronounced alterations in early postnatal life, and environmental cues may be responsible for modifying this process. To determine how these events are reflected in the nervous system, we studied rats reared under two different conditions-the presence or absence of gravity-in which the performance of motor operations differed. We found a significant effect of rearing environment on the size and complexity of dendritic architecture of spinal motor neurons, particularly those that are likely to participate in postural control. These results provide evidence that neurons subserving motor function undergo activity-dependent maturation in early postnatal life in a manner analogous to sensory systems.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy results from diminished levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein in spinal motor neurons. Low levels of SMN also occur in models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and genetic reduction of SMN levels exacerbates the phenotype of transgenic SOD1G93A mice. Here, we demonstrate that SMN protein is significantly reduced in the spinal cords of patients with sporadic ALS. To test the potential of SMN as a modifier of ALS, we overexpressed SMN in 2 different strains of SOD1G93A mice. Neuronal overexpression of SMN significantly preserved locomotor function, rescued motor neurons, and attenuated astrogliosis in spinal cords of SOD1G93A mice. Despite this, survival was not prolonged, most likely resulting from SMN mislocalization and depletion of gems in motor neurons of symptomatic mice. Our results reveal that SMN upregulation slows locomotor deficit onset and motor neuron loss in this mouse model of ALS. However, disruption of SMN nuclear complexes by high levels of mutant SOD1, even in the presence of SMN overexpression, might limit its survival promoting effects in this specific mouse model. Studies in emerging mouse models of ALS are therefore warranted to further explore the potential of SMN as a modifier of ALS. PMID:24210254

  20. Hyperactivation of B-type motor neurons results in aberrant synchrony of the C. elegans motor circuit

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Yingchuan B.; Po, Michelle D.; Mac, Patrick; Kawano, Taizo; Jorgensen, Erik M.; Zhen, Mei; Jin, Yishi

    2013-01-01

    Excitatory acetylcholine motor neurons drive C. elegans locomotion. Coordinating the activation states of the backward-driving A and forward-driving B class motor neurons is critical for generating sinusoidal and directional locomotion. Here, we show by in vivo calcium imaging that expression of a hyperactive, somatodendritic ionotropic acetylcholine receptor ACR-2(gf) in A and B class motor neurons induces aberrant synchronous activity in both ventral- and dorsal-innervating B and A class motor neurons. Expression of ACR-2(gf) in either ventral- or dorsal-innervating B neurons is sufficient for triggering the aberrant synchrony that results in arrhythmic convulsions. Silencing of AVB, the pre-motor interneurons that innervate B motor neurons suppresses ACR-2(gf)-dependent convulsion; activating AVB by channelrhodopsin induces the onset of convulsion. These results support that the activity state of B motor neurons plays an instructive role for the coordination of motor circuit. PMID:23516296

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

    PubMed Central

    Bunno, Yoshibumi; Suzuki, Toshiaki; Iwatsuki, Hiroyasu

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in spinal motor neuron excitability and autonomic nervous system activity during motor imagery of isometric thenar muscle activity at 10% and 50% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). [Methods] The F-waves and low frequency/high frequency (LF/HF) ratio were recorded at rest, during motor imagery, and post-trial. For motor imagery trials, subjects were instructed to imagine thenar muscle activity at 10% and 50% MVC while holding the sensor of a pinch meter for 5 min. [Results] The F-waves and LF/HF ratio during motor imagery at 50% MVC were significantly increased compared with those at rest, whereas those during motor imagery at 10% MVC were not significantly different from those at rest. The relative values of the F/M amplitude ratio during motor imagery at 50% MVC were significantly higher than those at 10% MVC. The relative values of persistence and the LF/HF ratio during motor imagery were similar during motor imagery at the two muscle contraction strengths. [Conclusion] Motor imagery can increase the spinal motor neuron excitability and cardiac sympathetic nerve activity. Motor imagery at 50% MVC may be more effective than motor imagery at 10% MVC. PMID:26834354

  2. KIF5C, a novel neuronal kinesin enriched in motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Kanai, Y; Okada, Y; Tanaka, Y; Harada, A; Terada, S; Hirokawa, N

    2000-09-01

    Kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs) are the molecular motors conveying cargos along microtubules. KIF5s, the heavy chains of conventional kinesin (KHC), are originally identified members of KIFs, and neuronal KIF5A and ubiquitous KIF5B have been identified so far. In the present work, we cloned a novel member of KIF5, KIF5C, and generated specific antibodies against three KIF5s to investigate their distribution and functions. KIF5A showed pan-neuronal distribution in the nervous system. KIF5B showed a glial cell distribution pattern in general; however, interestingly, its expression was strongly upregulated in axon-elongating neurons, such as olfactory primary neurons and mossy fibers. KIF5C was also a neuronal KIF5 like KIF5A but was highly expressed in lower motor neurons in 2-week-old or older mice, suggesting its important roles in the maintenance of motor neurons rather than in their formation, such as axonal elongation. Because a large part of KIF5s in adult motor neurons were expected to be KIF5C, we generated mice lacking the kif5C gene to investigate the functions of KIF5C in neurons in living animals. The mutant mice showed smaller brain size but were viable and did not show gross changes in the nervous system. Closer examinations revealed the relative loss of motor neurons to sensory neurons. Because three KIF5s showed high similarity in the amino acid sequence, could rescue the KIF5B mutant cells, and could form heterodimers, we think that there are functional redundancy among the three KIF5s and that KIF5A and KIF5B prevented the KIF5C null mice from the severe phenotype. PMID:10964943

  3. Molecular motors in neuronal development, intracellular transport and diseases.

    PubMed

    Hirokawa, Nobutaka; Takemura, Reiko

    2004-10-01

    Molecular motors such as kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs), dynein superfamily proteins and myosin superfamily proteins have diverse and fundamental roles in many cellular processes, including neuronal development and the pathogenesis of neuronal diseases. During neuronal development, KIFs take significant roles in the regulation of axon-collateral branch extension, which is essential for brain wiring. Cytoplasmic dynein together with LIS1 takes pivotal roles in neocortical layer formation. In axons, anterograde transport is mediated by KIFs, whereas retrograde transport is mediated mainly by cytoplasmic dynein, and dysfunction of motors results in neurodegenerative diseases. In dendrites, the transport of NMDA and AMPA receptors is mediated by KIFs, and the motor has been shown to play a significant part in establishing learning and memory. PMID:15464889

  4. Protracted elevation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase immunoreactivity in axotomised adult pudendal motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    PULLEN, A. H.; HUMPHREYS, P.

    1999-01-01

    Neuronal nitric oxide synthase immunoreactivity (NOS1-ir) in sacral motor neurons of normal adult cats was compared with that in cats surviving 1–10 wk after unilateral transection and ligation of the pudendal nerve. Levels of immunostaining were measured by microdensitometry. In nonoperated cats 60% of motor neurons in the ventrolateral nucleus (VL) and Onuf's nucleus (ON) showed high levels of NOS1-ir with lower NOS1-ir in 40%. Following axotomy, motor neurons in ON on both sides of the cord showed an acute rise in mean level of NOS1-ir at 1 wk, with a further increase at 2 wk. Mean levels of NOS1-ir in the ipsilateral and contralateral ON remained elevated at 10 wk after axotomy. Elevation of NOS1-ir occurred in the VL with a similar time-course to that in ON, implying a wider response in motor nuclei synaptically coupled to ON. Measurements of neuronal size in ON and VL revealed an increase in neuronal size in ON but not VL, indicating increased NOS1-ir in ON was not an artifact of neuronal atrophy. The proportion of motor neurons in ON and VL possessing higher levels of NOS1-ir increased from 60% in controls to 100% at 2–3 wk postaxotomy. The proportion slightly declined by 8 wk due to re-emergence of motor neurons exhibiting low NOS1-ir, but remained greater than normal at 10 wk in both nuclei. Based on evidence from related analyses of synaptology, we argue that acute axotomy induced alterations in presynaptic complement which increased overall Ca2+ influx and thereby stimulated NOS1-ir. PMID:10445823

  5. Adult-onset Satoyoshi syndrome and response to plasmapheresis

    PubMed Central

    Aghoram, Rajeshwari; Srijithesh, P. R.; Kannoth, Sudheeran

    2016-01-01

    Satoyoshi syndrome is a rare disease characterized by alopecia, recurrent muscle spasms, diarrhea, and skeletal abnormalities Adult-onset disease is reported only in five patients. Most of the reports have not characterized the nature of muscle spasm in the disease. In this paper, we report the first case of adult-onset Satoyoshi syndrome from India and the clinical and electrophysiological response to plasmapheresis. PMID:27011647

  6. Motor neuron disease: current management and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Simon, N G; Huynh, W; Vucic, S; Talbot, K; Kiernan, M C

    2015-10-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND) is characterised by progressive neurological deterioration and coexistence of upper and lower motor neuron signs. Over the past decade, evidence has emerged of unique pathophysiological processes, including glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity, which has resulted in the development of novel diagnostic investigations and uncovered potential therapeutic targets. Advances in genetics, including the recently discovered C9orf72 gene, have radically changed the pathological mindset, from MND being classified as a neuromuscular disease to one that MND forms a continuum with other primary neurodegenerative disorders, including frontotemporal dementia. The present review will highlight the improvements that have occurred in clinical care, in conjunction with recent scientific developments. PMID:26429216

  7. Analyzing kinesin motor domain translocation in cultured hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Chung-Fang; Banker, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal microtubules are subject to extensive posttranslational modifications and are bound by MAPs, tip-binding proteins, and other accessory proteins. All of these features, which are difficult to replicate in vitro, are likely to influence the translocation of kinesin motors. Here we describe assays for evaluating the translocation of a population of fluorescently labeled kinesin motor domains, based on their accumulation in regions of the cell enriched in microtubule plus ends. Neurons lend themselves to these experiments because of their microtubule organization. In axons, microtubules are oriented with their plus ends out; dendrites contain a mixed population of microtubules, but those near the tips are also plus end out. The assays involve the expression of constitutively active kinesins that can walk processively, but that lack the autoinhibitory domain in the tail that normally prevents their binding to microtubules until they attach to vesicles. The degree to which such motor domains accumulate at neurite tips serves as a measure of the efficiency of their translocation. Although these assays cannot provide the kind of quantitative kinetic information obtained from in vitro assays, they offer a simple way to examine kinesin translocation in living neurons. They can be used to compare the translocation efficiency of different kinesin motors and to evaluate how mutations or posttranslational modifications within the motor domain influence kinesin translocation. Changes to motor domain accumulation in these assays can also serve as readout for changes in the microtubule cytoskeleton that affect kinesin translocation. PMID:26794516

  8. Motor neuron abiotrophy in a saluki.

    PubMed

    Kent, M; Knowles, K; Glass, E; deLahunta, A; Braund, K; Alroy, J

    1999-01-01

    A nine-week-old saluki puppy was presented to Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine for progressive, generalized weakness and bilateral forelimb deformities. Examination suggested a diffuse neuromuscular lesion. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis showed normal nucleated cell count and protein level; however, many macrophages had vacuolated cytoplasm. Electromyography (EMG) recordings suggested denervation in paraspinal and appendicular muscles. Tibial motor nerve conduction velocity was normal, but direct evoked muscle potential had reduced amplitude. Histopathology revealed diffuse, symmetrical, degenerative motor neuronopathy of the ventral horn of the spinal cord with associated lesions in nerves and muscles. Histopathology was consistent with an abiotrophy that was likely inherited. PMID:10493421

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Iwai, Yuta; Shibuya, Kazumoto; Misawa, Sonoko; Sekiguchi, Yukari; Watanabe, Keisuke; Amino, Hiroshi; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Wide-spread fasciculations are a characteristic feature in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), suggesting motor axonal hyperexcitability. Previous excitability studies have shown increased nodal persistent sodium conductances and decreased potassium currents in motor axons of ALS patients, both of the changes inducing hyperexcitability. Altered axonal excitability potentially contributes to motor neuron death in ALS, but the relationship of the extent of motor neuronal death and abnormal excitability has not been fully elucidated. We performed multiple nerve excitability measurements in the median nerve at the wrist of 140 ALS patients and analyzed the relationship of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude (index of motor neuronal loss) and excitability indices, such as strength-duration time constant, threshold electrotonus, recovery cycle and current-threshold relationships. Compared to age-matched normal controls (n = 44), ALS patients (n = 140) had longer strength-duration time constant (SDTC: a measure of nodal persistent sodium current; p < 0.05), greater threshold changes in depolarizing threshold electrotonus (p < 0.05) and depolarizing current threshold relationship (i.e. less accommodation; (p < 0.05), greater superexcitability (a measure of fast potassium current; p < 0.05) and reduced late subexcitability (a measure of slow potassium current; p < 0.05), suggesting increased persistent sodium currents and decreased potassium currents. The reduced potassium currents were found even in the patient subgroups with normal CMAP (> 5mV). Regression analyses showed that SDTC (R = -0.22) and depolarizing threshold electrotonus (R = -0.22) increased with CMAP decline. These findings suggest that motor nerve hyperexcitability occurs in the early stage of the disease, and precedes motor neuronal loss in ALS. Modulation of altered ion channel function could be a treatment option for ALS. PMID:27383069

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

    PubMed Central

    Iwai, Yuta; Shibuya, Kazumoto; Misawa, Sonoko; Sekiguchi, Yukari; Watanabe, Keisuke; Amino, Hiroshi; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Wide-spread fasciculations are a characteristic feature in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), suggesting motor axonal hyperexcitability. Previous excitability studies have shown increased nodal persistent sodium conductances and decreased potassium currents in motor axons of ALS patients, both of the changes inducing hyperexcitability. Altered axonal excitability potentially contributes to motor neuron death in ALS, but the relationship of the extent of motor neuronal death and abnormal excitability has not been fully elucidated. We performed multiple nerve excitability measurements in the median nerve at the wrist of 140 ALS patients and analyzed the relationship of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude (index of motor neuronal loss) and excitability indices, such as strength-duration time constant, threshold electrotonus, recovery cycle and current-threshold relationships. Compared to age-matched normal controls (n = 44), ALS patients (n = 140) had longer strength-duration time constant (SDTC: a measure of nodal persistent sodium current; p < 0.05), greater threshold changes in depolarizing threshold electrotonus (p < 0.05) and depolarizing current threshold relationship (i.e. less accommodation; (p < 0.05), greater superexcitability (a measure of fast potassium current; p < 0.05) and reduced late subexcitability (a measure of slow potassium current; p < 0.05), suggesting increased persistent sodium currents and decreased potassium currents. The reduced potassium currents were found even in the patient subgroups with normal CMAP (> 5mV). Regression analyses showed that SDTC (R = -0.22) and depolarizing threshold electrotonus (R = -0.22) increased with CMAP decline. These findings suggest that motor nerve hyperexcitability occurs in the early stage of the disease, and precedes motor neuronal loss in ALS. Modulation of altered ion channel function could be a treatment option for ALS. PMID:27383069

  12. Spatial organization of cortical and spinal neurons controlling motor behavior

    PubMed Central

    Levine, Ariel J; Lewallen, Kathryn A; Pfaff, Samuel L

    2013-01-01

    A major task of the central nervous system (CNS) is to control behavioral actions, which necessitates a precise regulation of muscle activity. The final components of the circuitry controlling muscles are the motorneurons, which settle into pools in the ventral horn of the spinal cord in positions that mirror the musculature organization within the body. This ‘musculotopic’ motor-map then becomes the internal CNS reference for the neuronal circuits that control motor commands. This review describes recent progress in defining the neuroanatomical organization of the higher-order motor circuits in the cortex and spinal cord, and our current understanding of the integrative features that contribute to complex motor behaviors. We highlight emerging evidence that cortical and spinal motor command centers are loosely organized with respect to the musculotopic spatial-map, but these centers also incorporate organizational features that associate with the function of different muscle groups during commonly enacted behaviors. PMID:22841417

  13. Activity of motor cortex neurons during backward locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Deliagina, T. G.; Orlovsky, G. N.; Karayannidou, A.; Stout, E. E.; Sirota, M. G.; Beloozerova, I. N.

    2011-01-01

    Forward walking (FW) and backward walking (BW) are two important forms of locomotion in quadrupeds. Participation of the motor cortex in the control of FW has been intensively studied, whereas cortical activity during BW has never been investigated. The aim of this study was to analyze locomotion-related activity of the motor cortex during BW and compare it with that during FW. For this purpose, we recorded activity of individual neurons in the cat during BW and FW. We found that the discharge frequency in almost all neurons was modulated in the rhythm of stepping during both FW and BW. However, the modulation patterns during BW and FW were different in 80% of neurons. To determine the source of modulating influences (forelimb controllers vs. hindlimb controllers), the neurons were recorded not only during quadrupedal locomotion but also during bipedal locomotion (with either forelimbs or hindlimbs walking), and their modulation patterns were compared. We found that during BW (like during FW), modulation in some neurons was determined by inputs from limb controllers of only one girdle, whereas the other neurons received inputs from both girdles. The combinations of inputs could depend on the direction of locomotion. Most often (in 51% of forelimb-related neurons and in 34% of the hindlimb-related neurons), the neurons received inputs only from their own girdle when this girdle was leading and from both girdles when this girdle was trailing. This reconfiguration of inputs suggests flexibility of the functional roles of individual cortical neurons during different forms of locomotion. PMID:21430283

  14. Spinal motor neuron excitability during the cutaneous silent period.

    PubMed

    Leis, A A; Stĕtkárová, I; Berić, A; Stokić, D S

    1995-12-01

    The physiologic mechanisms generating the cutaneous silent period (CSP) remain uncertain. It is not known whether the CSP occurs because of inexcitability of the spinal motor neuron. We therefore, assessed excitability of the motor neuron during the CSP using F-wave responses. H-reflexes were also elicited during the CSP. Electrical stimulation to the fifth digit produced the CSP in the voluntarily contracting abductor pollicis brevis muscle (APB). Median nerve stimulation at the wrist elicited control F or H responses during isometric APB contraction (condition 1) and in resting muscle (condition 2). Control amplitudes were compared to those elicited in the midst of the CSP. In Condition 1, F-wave amplitudes and frequency during the CSP were unchanged compared with controls. However, F-waves were increased in amplitude and frequency during the CSP (P < 0.001) relative to responses elicited in resting muscle (condition 2). H-reflexes during the CSP were suppressed (P < 0.001) compared with controls elicited during contraction (condition 1), but facilitated relative to the resting state (condition 2) in which no H-reflexes were elicitable. We conclude that spinal motor neurons remain excitable to antidromic volleys at the same time that the corticospinal volley is inhibited to produce the CSP. Moreover, motor neuron excitability appears to be increased during the CSP compared to the relaxed state. PMID:7477071

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seikel, J. Anthony; And Others

    1990-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-26

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by depletion of the ubiquitously expressed survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, with 1 in 40 Caucasians being heterozygous for a disease allele. SMN is critical for the assembly of numerous ribonucleoprotein complexes, yet it is still unclear how reduced SMN levels affect motor neuron function. Here, we examined the impact of SMN depletion in Caenorhabditis elegans and found that decreased function of the SMN ortholog SMN-1 perturbed endocytic pathways at motor neuron synapses and in other tissues. Diminished SMN-1 levels caused defects in C. elegans neuromuscular function, and smn-1 genetic interactions were consistent with an endocytic defect. Changes were observed in synaptic endocytic proteins when SMN-1 levels decreased. At the ultrastructural level, defects were observed in endosomal compartments, including significantly fewer docked synaptic vesicles. Finally, endocytosis-dependent infection by JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) was reduced in human cells with decreased SMN levels. Collectively, these results demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that SMN depletion causes defects in endosomal trafficking that impair synaptic function, even in the absence of motor neuron cell death. PMID:27402754

  17. Equine motor neuron disease in 2 horses from Saskatchewan.

    PubMed

    Husulak, Michelle L; Lohmann, Katharina L; Gabadage, Kamal; Wojnarowicz, Chris; Marqués, Fernando J

    2016-07-01

    Two horses from Saskatchewan were presented with signs of sweating, muscle fasciculations, weight loss, and generalized weakness. The horses were diagnosed with equine motor neuron disease (EMND), by histological assessment of a spinal accessory nerve or sacrocaudalis dorsalis medialis muscle biopsy. This is the first report of EMND in western Canada. PMID:27429468

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    It is controversial whether or not old adults are capable of learning new motor skills and consolidate the performance gains into motor memory in the offline period. The underlying neuronal mechanisms are equally unclear. We determined the magnitude of motor learning and motor memory consolidation in healthy old adults and examined if specific metrics of neuronal excitability measured by magnetic brain stimulation mediate the practice and retention effects. Eleven healthy old adults practiced a wrist extension-flexion visuomotor skill for 20 min (MP, 71.3 years), while a second group only watched the templates without movements (attentional control, AC, n = 11, 70.5 years). There was 40 % motor learning in MP but none in AC (interaction, p < 0.001) with the skill retained 24 h later in MP and a 16 % improvement in AC. Corticospinal excitability at rest and during task did not change, but when measured during contraction at 20 % of maximal force, it strongly increased in MP and decreased in AC (interaction, p = 0.002). Intracortical inhibition at rest and during the task decreased and facilitation at rest increased in MP, but these metrics changed in the opposite direction in AC. These neuronal changes were especially profound at retention. Healthy old adults can learn a new motor skill and consolidate the learned skill into motor memory, processes that are most likely mediated by disinhibitory mechanisms. These results are relevant for the increasing number of old adults who need to learn and relearn movements during motor rehabilitation. PMID:25956604

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Globus pallidus deep brain stimulation for adult-onset axial dystonia

    PubMed Central

    Shaikh, Aasef G.; Mewes, Klaus; Jinnah, H.A.; DeLong, Mahlon R.; Gross, Robert E.; Triche, Shirley; Freeman, Alan; Factor, Stewart A.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Generalized dystonia, both primary and secondary forms, and axial dystonias such as tardive dystonia, and idiopathic cervical dystonia are responsive to globus pallidus interna (GPi) DBS. There is a paucity of investigations probing the impact of DBS on adult-onset axial dystonia. We assessed the efficacy of GPi DBS in four patients with rare adult-onset axial dystonia. Methods Primary outcome measure was improvement in the motor component of the Burke-Fahn-Marsden (BFM) rating scale. Secondary outcome measures were quality of life as determined by the SF-36 questionnaire, time to achieve best possible benefit and DBS parameters that accounted for the best response. In patients with prominent concomitant cervical dystonia we also used the Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (TWSTRS). Results GPi DBS improved BFM scores by 87.63 ± 11.46%. Improvement in total severity scale of TWSTRS was 71.5 ± 12.7%. Quality of life also remarkably improved as evidenced by 109.38 ± 82.97 and 7.05 ± 21.48% percent change in psychometrically-based physical component summary (PCS), and a mental component summary (MCS) score respectively. Conclusions GPi DBS is a very effective treatment for adult-onset axial dystonia. Considering its refractoriness to medical therapy and significant impact on quality of life DBS should be considered for this disorder. PMID:25260969

  1. Genetic Deficiency of GABA Differentially Regulates Respiratory and Non-Respiratory Motor Neuron Development

    PubMed Central

    Yanagawa, Yuchio; Obata, Kunihiko; Bellingham, Mark C.; Noakes, Peter G.

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Spinal Muscular Atrophy Patient iPSC-Derived Motor Neurons Have Reduced Expression of Proteins Important in Neuronal Development

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Heidi R.; Mandefro, Berhan; Shirran, Sally L.; Gross, Andrew R.; Kaus, Anjoscha S.; Botting, Catherine H.; Morris, Glenn E.; Sareen, Dhruv

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disease primarily characterized by degeneration of spinal motor neurons, and caused by reduced levels of the SMN protein. Previous studies to understand the proteomic consequences of reduced SMN have mostly utilized patient fibroblasts and animal models. We have derived human motor neurons from type I SMA and healthy controls by creating their induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Quantitative mass spectrometry of these cells revealed increased expression of 63 proteins in control motor neurons compared to respective fibroblasts, whereas 30 proteins were increased in SMA motor neurons vs. their fibroblasts. Notably, UBA1 was significantly decreased in SMA motor neurons, supporting evidence for ubiquitin pathway defects. Subcellular distribution of UBA1 was predominantly cytoplasmic in SMA motor neurons in contrast to nuclear in control motor neurons; suggestive of neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Many of the proteins that were decreased in SMA motor neurons, including beta III-tubulin and UCHL1, were associated with neurodevelopment and differentiation. These neuron-specific consequences of SMN depletion were not evident in fibroblasts, highlighting the importance of iPSC technology. The proteomic profiles identified here provide a useful resource to explore the molecular consequences of reduced SMN in motor neurons, and for the identification of novel biomarker and therapeutic targets for SMA. PMID:26793058

  3. Spinal Muscular Atrophy Patient iPSC-Derived Motor Neurons Have Reduced Expression of Proteins Important in Neuronal Development.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Heidi R; Mandefro, Berhan; Shirran, Sally L; Gross, Andrew R; Kaus, Anjoscha S; Botting, Catherine H; Morris, Glenn E; Sareen, Dhruv

    2015-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disease primarily characterized by degeneration of spinal motor neurons, and caused by reduced levels of the SMN protein. Previous studies to understand the proteomic consequences of reduced SMN have mostly utilized patient fibroblasts and animal models. We have derived human motor neurons from type I SMA and healthy controls by creating their induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Quantitative mass spectrometry of these cells revealed increased expression of 63 proteins in control motor neurons compared to respective fibroblasts, whereas 30 proteins were increased in SMA motor neurons vs. their fibroblasts. Notably, UBA1 was significantly decreased in SMA motor neurons, supporting evidence for ubiquitin pathway defects. Subcellular distribution of UBA1 was predominantly cytoplasmic in SMA motor neurons in contrast to nuclear in control motor neurons; suggestive of neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Many of the proteins that were decreased in SMA motor neurons, including beta III-tubulin and UCHL1, were associated with neurodevelopment and differentiation. These neuron-specific consequences of SMN depletion were not evident in fibroblasts, highlighting the importance of iPSC technology. The proteomic profiles identified here provide a useful resource to explore the molecular consequences of reduced SMN in motor neurons, and for the identification of novel biomarker and therapeutic targets for SMA. PMID:26793058

  4. Evidence of motor neuron involvement in chronic respiratory insufficiency.

    PubMed Central

    Valli, G; Barbieri, S; Sergi, P; Fayoumi, Z; Berardinelli, P

    1984-01-01

    Nineteen patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency, mean age 61.4 +/- 12.2, have been investigated with pulmonary function tests, clinical neurological examination and neurophysiological methods including motor and sensory conduction studies and needle electromyography. None of them had conditions known to affect the peripheral nervous system such as diabetes, alcoholism, or uraemia. The motor and sensory conduction studies showed only a reduced mean amplitude of the ulnar nerve SAP and of the compound muscle action potential of the APB and EDB muscles. The EMG was abnormal in 94.7% of the cases and showed an increased percentage of polyphasic potentials and a reduced recruitment pattern of motor units firing at high frequency. The data seem to support the hypothesis of an involvement of motor neurons in this condition although the evidence for a neuropathy is lacking. PMID:6094730

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-30

    The role of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in disease pathogenesis is unclear. We show that HERV-K is activated in a subpopulation of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and that its envelope (env) protein may contribute to neurodegeneration. The virus was expressed in cortical and spinal neurons of ALS patients, but not in neurons from control healthy individuals. Expression of HERV-K or its env protein in human neurons caused retraction and beading of neurites. Transgenic animals expressing the env gene developed progressive motor dysfunction accompanied by selective loss of volume of the motor cortex, decreased synaptic activity in pyramidal neurons, dendritic spine abnormalities, nucleolar dysfunction, and DNA damage. Injury to anterior horn cells in the spinal cord was manifested by muscle atrophy and pathological changes consistent with nerve fiber denervation and reinnervation. Expression of HERV-K was regulated by TAR (trans-activation responsive) DNA binding protein 43, which binds to the long terminal repeat region of the virus. Thus, HERV-K expression within neurons of patients with ALS may contribute to neurodegeneration and disease pathogenesis. PMID:26424568

  6. Mutant TDP-43 in motor neurons promotes the onset and progression of ALS in rats

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Cao; Tong, Jianbin; Bi, Fangfang; Zhou, Hongxia; Xia, Xu-Gang

    2011-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by progressive motor neuron degeneration, which ultimately leads to paralysis and death. Mutation of TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been linked to the development of an inherited form of ALS. Existing TDP-43 transgenic animals develop a limited loss of motor neurons and therefore do not faithfully reproduce the core phenotype of ALS. Here, we report the creation of multiple lines of transgenic rats in which expression of ALS-associated mutant human TDP-43 is restricted to either motor neurons or other types of neurons and skeletal muscle and can be switched on and off. All of these rats developed progressive paralysis reminiscent of ALS when the transgene was switched on. Rats expressing mutant TDP-43 in motor neurons alone lost more spinal motor neurons than rats expressing the disease gene in varying neurons and muscle cells, although these rats all developed remarkable denervation atrophy of skeletal muscles. Intriguingly, progression of the disease was halted after transgene expression was switched off; in rats with limited loss of motor neurons, we observed a dramatic recovery of motor function, but in rats with profound loss of motor neurons, we only observed a moderate recovery of motor function. Our finding suggests that mutant TDP-43 in motor neurons is sufficient to promote the onset and progression of ALS and that motor neuron degeneration is partially reversible, at least in mutant TDP-43 transgenic rats. PMID:22156203

  7. Spinal muscular atrophy patient-derived motor neurons exhibit hyperexcitability

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Huisheng; Lu, Jianfeng; Chen, Hong; Du, Zhongwei; Li, Xue-Jun; Zhang, Su-Chun

    2015-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) presents severe muscle weakness with limited motor neuron (MN) loss at an early stage, suggesting potential functional alterations in MNs that contribute to SMA symptom presentation. Using SMA induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), we found that SMA MNs displayed hyperexcitability with increased membrane input resistance, hyperpolarized threshold, and larger action potential amplitude, which was mimicked by knocking down full length survival motor neuron (SMN) in non-SMA MNs. We further discovered that SMA MNs exhibit enhanced sodium channel activities with increased current amplitude and facilitated recovery, which was corrected by restoration of SMN1 in SMA MNs. Together we propose that SMN reduction results in MN hyperexcitability and impaired neurotransmission, the latter of which exacerbate each other via a feedback loop, thus contributing to severe symptoms at an early stage of SMA. PMID:26190808

  8. Motor Neuron Diseases Accompanying Spinal Stenosis: A Case Study.

    PubMed

    Shin, HyeonJu; Park, Sun Kyung; HaeJin, Suh; Choi, Yun Suk

    2016-03-01

    A 75-year-old man, who was healthy, visited the hospital because of shooting pain and numbness in both lower limbs (right > left). The patient had an L4/5 moderate right foraminal stenosis and right subarticular disc protrusion and received a lumbar epidural block. The patient experienced severe weakness in the right lower limb after 2 days. Lumbar and cervical magnetic resonance images were taken and electromyography and a nerve conduction study were performed to arrive at the diagnosis of a motor neuron disease. The patient expired 4 months later with respiratory failure due to motor neuron disease. This case suggests that any abnormal neurological symptoms that occur after an epidural block should be examined thoroughly via testing and consultations to identify the cause of the symptoms. PMID:27008301

  9. Adult-onset laryngomalacia: case reports and review of management.

    PubMed

    Hey, Shi Ying; Oozeer, Nashreen Banon; Robertson, Stuart; MacKenzie, Kenneth

    2014-12-01

    Laryngomalacia is a dynamic airway condition characterised by inward collapse of flaccid supraglottic structures during inspiration. Although the most common cause of stridor in the paediatric population, adult-onset laryngomalacia remains a rare entity and its management, challenging. Two cases of adult-onset laryngomalacia are reported. A review of the English literature is performed and additional publications identified by hand-searching relevant papers; 13 case reports/series comprising 28 cases of adult-onset laryngomalacia were identified, divided into two main groups: idiopathic (6/28) and acquired (22/28). The aetiology of the acquired form includes neurological, traumatic and iatrogenic. Reported therapeutic measures used are laser supraglottoplasty, epiglottopexy, partial epiglottidectomy, defunctioning tracheostomy and intubation whilst correcting the underlying cause. The majority of patients only required one therapeutic procedure (follow-up of 2-24 months). A strong index of suspicion is required to diagnose adult-onset laryngomalacia aided by in-office laryngoscopy. The rarity of this condition prevents management-based randomised controlled trials. PMID:24615649

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Streeter, K A; Baker-Herman, T L

    2014-06-01

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

  12. Alcohol-Induced Developmental Origins of Adult-Onset Diseases.

    PubMed

    Lunde, Emilie R; Washburn, Shannon E; Golding, Michael C; Bake, Shameena; Miranda, Rajesh C; Ramadoss, Jayanth

    2016-07-01

    Fetal alcohol exposure may impair growth, development, and function of multiple organ systems and is encompassed by the term fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Research has so far focused on the mechanisms, prevention, and diagnosis of FASD, while the risk for adult-onset chronic diseases in individuals exposed to alcohol in utero is not well explored. David Barker's hypothesis on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) suggests that insults to the milieu of the developing fetus program it for adult development of chronic diseases. In the 25 years since the introduction of this hypothesis, epidemiological and animal model studies have made significant advancements in identifying in utero developmental origins of chronic adult-onset diseases affecting cardiovascular, endocrine, musculoskeletal, and psychobehavioral systems. Teratogen exposure is an established programming agent for adult diseases, and recent studies suggest that prenatal alcohol exposure correlates with adult onset of neurobehavioral deficits, cardiovascular disease, endocrine dysfunction, and nutrient homeostasis instability, warranting additional investigation of alcohol-induced DOHaD, as well as patient follow-up well into adulthood for affected individuals. In utero epigenetic alterations during critical periods of methylation are a key potential mechanism for programming and susceptibility of adult-onset chronic diseases, with imprinted genes affecting metabolism being critical targets. Additional studies in epidemiology, phenotypic characterization in response to timing, dose, and duration of exposure, as well as elucidation of mechanisms underlying FASD-DOHaD inter relation, are thus needed to clinically define chronic disease associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. These studies are critical to establish interventional strategies that decrease incidence of these adult-onset diseases and promote healthier aging among individuals affected with FASD. PMID:27254466

  13. Specific Inhibition of Cyclin-dependent Kinase 5 Activity Induces Motor Neuron Development in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Kanungo, Jyotshnabala; Zheng, Ya-Li; Amin, Niranjana D.; Kaur, Sukhbir; Ramchandran, Ramani; Pant, Harish C.

    2009-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (cdk5) is a ubiquitous protein activated by specific activators, p35 and p39. Cdk5 regulates neuronal migration, differentiation, axonogenesis, synaptic transmission and apoptosis. However, its role in motor neuron development remains unexplored. Here, using gain and loss-of-function analyses in developing zebrafish embryos, we report that cdk5 plays a critical role in spinal and cranial motor neuron development. Cdk5 knockdown results in supernumerary spinal and cranial motor neurons. While a dominant negative, kinase-dead cdk5 promotes the generation of supernumerary motor neurons; over-expression of cdk5 suppresses motor neuron development. Thus, modulating cdk5 activity seems promising in inducing motor neuron development in vivo. PMID:19523926

  14. Biphasic plasticity of dendritic fields in layer V motor neurons in response to motor learning.

    PubMed

    Gloor, C; Luft, A R; Hosp, J A

    2015-11-01

    Motor learning is associated with plastic reorganization of neural networks in primary motor cortex (M1) that advances through stages. An initial increment in spine formation is followed by pruning and maturation one week after training ended. A similar biphasic course was described for the size of the forelimb representation in M1. This study investigates the evolution of the dendritic architecture in response to motor skill training using Golgy-Cox silver impregnation in rat M1. After learning of a unilateral forelimb-reaching task to plateau performance, an increase in dendritic length of layer V pyramidal neurons (i.e. motor neurons) was observed that peaked one month after training ended. This increment in dendritic length reflected an expansion of the distal dendritic compartment. After one month dendritic arborization shrinks even though animals retain task performance. This pattern of evolution was observed for apical and basal dendrites alike - although the increase in dendritic length occurs faster in basal than in apical dendrites. Dendritic plasticity in response to motor training follows a biphasic course with initial expansion and subsequent shrinkage. This evolution takes fourth as long as the biphasic reorganization of spines or motor representations. PMID:26318492

  15. Novel motor phenotypes in patients with VRK1 mutations without pontocerebellar hypoplasia

    PubMed Central

    Stoll, Marion; Teoh, Hooiling; Lee, James; Reddel, Stephen; Zhu, Ying; Buckley, Michael; Sampaio, Hugo; Roscioli, Tony; Farrar, Michelle

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To describe the phenotypes in 2 families with vaccinia-related kinase 1 (VRK1) mutations including one novel VRK1 mutation. Methods: VRK1 mutations were found by whole exome sequencing in patients presenting with motor neuron disorders. Results: We identified pathogenic mutations in the VRK1 gene in the affected members of 2 families. In family 1, compound heterozygous mutations were identified in VRK1, c.356A>G; p.H119R, and c.1072C>T; p.R358*, in 2 siblings with adult onset distal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). In family 2, a novel VRK1 mutation, c.403G>A; p.G135R and c.583T>G; p.L195V, were identified in a child with motor neuron disease. Conclusions: VRK1 mutations can produce adult-onset SMA and motor neuron disease in children without pontocerebellar hypoplasia. PMID:27281532

  16. Targeting Motor End Plates for Delivery of Adenoviruses: An Approach to Maximize Uptake and Transduction of Spinal Cord Motor Neurons.

    PubMed

    Tosolini, Andrew Paul; Morris, Renée

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy can take advantage of the skeletal muscles/motor neurons anatomical relationship to restrict gene expression to the spinal cord ventral horn. Furthermore, recombinant adenoviruses are attractive viral-vectors as they permit spatial and temporal modulation of transgene expression. In the literature, however, several inconsistencies exist with regard to the intramuscular delivery parameters of adenoviruses. The present study is an evaluation of the optimal injection sites on skeletal muscle, time course of expression and mice's age for maximum transgene expression in motor neurons. Targeting motor end plates yielded a 2.5-fold increase in the number of transduced motor neurons compared to injections performed away from this region. Peak adenoviral transgene expression in motor neurons was detected after seven days. Further, greater numbers of transduced motor neurons were found in juvenile (3-7 week old) mice as compared with adults (8+ weeks old). Adenoviral injections produced robust transgene expression in motor neurons and skeletal myofibres. In addition, dendrites of transduced motor neurons were shown to extend well into the white matter where the descending motor pathways are located. These results also provide evidence that intramuscular delivery of adenovirus can be a suitable gene therapy approach to treat spinal cord injury. PMID:27619631

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Motor systems can be functionally organized into effector organs (muscles and glands), the motor neurons, central pattern generators (CPG) and higher control centers of the brain. Using genetic and electrophysiological methods, we have begun to deconstruct the motor system driving Drosophila larval feeding behavior into its component parts. In this paper, we identify distinct clusters of motor neurons that execute head tilting, mouth hook movements, and pharyngeal pumping during larval feeding. This basic anatomical scaffold enabled the use of calcium-imaging to monitor the neural activity of motor neurons within the central nervous system (CNS) that drive food intake. Simultaneous nerve- and muscle-recordings demonstrate that the motor neurons innervate the cibarial dilator musculature (CDM) ipsi- and contra-laterally. By classical lesion experiments we localize a set of CPGs generating the neuronal pattern underlying feeding movements to the subesophageal zone (SEZ). Lesioning of higher brain centers decelerated all feeding-related motor patterns, whereas lesioning of ventral nerve cord (VNC) only affected the motor rhythm underlying pharyngeal pumping. These findings provide a basis for progressing upstream of the motor neurons to identify higher regulatory components of the feeding motor system. PMID:26252658

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Motor systems can be functionally organized into effector organs (muscles and glands), the motor neurons, central pattern generators (CPG) and higher control centers of the brain. Using genetic and electrophysiological methods, we have begun to deconstruct the motor system driving Drosophila larval feeding behavior into its component parts. In this paper, we identify distinct clusters of motor neurons that execute head tilting, mouth hook movements, and pharyngeal pumping during larval feeding. This basic anatomical scaffold enabled the use of calcium-imaging to monitor the neural activity of motor neurons within the central nervous system (CNS) that drive food intake. Simultaneous nerve- and muscle-recordings demonstrate that the motor neurons innervate the cibarial dilator musculature (CDM) ipsi- and contra-laterally. By classical lesion experiments we localize a set of CPGs generating the neuronal pattern underlying feeding movements to the subesophageal zone (SEZ). Lesioning of higher brain centers decelerated all feeding-related motor patterns, whereas lesioning of ventral nerve cord (VNC) only affected the motor rhythm underlying pharyngeal pumping. These findings provide a basis for progressing upstream of the motor neurons to identify higher regulatory components of the feeding motor system. PMID:26252658

  19. Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Christopher A; Petrik, Michael S

    2009-11-01

    Gulf War Syndrome is a multi-system disorder afflicting many veterans of Western armies in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. A number of those afflicted may show neurological deficits including various cognitive dysfunctions and motor neuron disease, the latter expression virtually indistinguishable from classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) except for the age of onset. This ALS "cluster" represents the second such ALS cluster described in the literature to date. Possible causes of GWS include several of the adjuvants in the anthrax vaccine and others. The most likely culprit appears to be aluminum hydroxide. In an initial series of experiments, we examined the potential toxicity of aluminum hydroxide in male, outbred CD-1 mice injected subcutaneously in two equivalent-to-human doses. After sacrifice, spinal cord and motor cortex samples were examined by immunohistochemistry. Aluminum-treated mice showed significantly increased apoptosis of motor neurons and increases in reactive astrocytes and microglial proliferation within the spinal cord and cortex. Morin stain detected the presence of aluminum in the cytoplasm of motor neurons with some neurons also testing positive for the presence of hyper-phosphorylated tau protein, a pathological hallmark of various neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia. A second series of experiments was conducted on mice injected with six doses of aluminum hydroxide. Behavioural analyses in these mice revealed significant impairments in a number of motor functions as well as diminished spatial memory capacity. The demonstrated neurotoxicity of aluminum hydroxide and its relative ubiquity as an adjuvant suggest that greater scrutiny by the scientific community is warranted. PMID:19740540

  20. Motor neuron degeneration in a mouse model of seipinopathy

    PubMed Central

    Guo, J; Qiu, W; Soh, S L Y; Wei, S; Radda, G K; Ong, W-Y; Pang, Z P; Han, W

    2013-01-01

    Heterozygosity for missense mutations (N88S/S90L) in BSCL2 (Berardinelli–Seip congenital lipodystrophy type 2)/Seipin is associated with a broad spectrum of motoneuron diseases. To understand the underlying mechanisms how the mutations lead to motor neuropathy, we generated transgenic mice with neuron-specific expression of wild-type (tgWT) or N88S/S90L mutant (tgMT) human Seipin. Transgenes led to the broad expression of WT or mutant Seipin in the brain and spinal cord. TgMT, but not tgWT, mice exhibited late-onset altered locomotor activities and gait abnormalities that recapitulate symptoms of seipinopathy patients. We found loss of alpha motor neurons in tgMT spinal cord. Mild endoreticular stress was present in both tgMT and tgWT neurons; however, only tgMT mice exhibited protein aggregates and disrupted Golgi apparatus. Furthermore, autophagosomes were significantly increased, along with elevated light chain 3 (LC3)-II level in tgMT spinal cord, consistent with the activation of autophagy pathway in response to mutant Seipin expression and protein aggregation. These results suggest that induction of autophagy pathway is involved in the cellular response to mutant Seipin in seipinopathy and that motoneuron loss is a key pathogenic process underlying the development of locomotor abnormalities. PMID:23470542

  1. Motor neuron degeneration in a mouse model of seipinopathy.

    PubMed

    Guo, J; Qiu, W; Soh, S L Y; Wei, S; Radda, G K; Ong, W-Y; Pang, Z P; Han, W

    2013-01-01

    Heterozygosity for missense mutations (N88S/S90L) in BSCL2 (Berardinelli-Seip congenital lipodystrophy type 2)/Seipin is associated with a broad spectrum of motoneuron diseases. To understand the underlying mechanisms how the mutations lead to motor neuropathy, we generated transgenic mice with neuron-specific expression of wild-type (tgWT) or N88S/S90L mutant (tgMT) human Seipin. Transgenes led to the broad expression of WT or mutant Seipin in the brain and spinal cord. TgMT, but not tgWT, mice exhibited late-onset altered locomotor activities and gait abnormalities that recapitulate symptoms of seipinopathy patients. We found loss of alpha motor neurons in tgMT spinal cord. Mild endoreticular stress was present in both tgMT and tgWT neurons; however, only tgMT mice exhibited protein aggregates and disrupted Golgi apparatus. Furthermore, autophagosomes were significantly increased, along with elevated light chain 3 (LC3)-II level in tgMT spinal cord, consistent with the activation of autophagy pathway in response to mutant Seipin expression and protein aggregation. These results suggest that induction of autophagy pathway is involved in the cellular response to mutant Seipin in seipinopathy and that motoneuron loss is a key pathogenic process underlying the development of locomotor abnormalities. PMID:23470542

  2. Motor neuron disease and frontotemporal dementia: sometimes related, sometimes not.

    PubMed

    Hardy, John; Rogaeva, Ekaterina

    2014-12-01

    Over the last 5 years, several new genes have been described for both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). While it has long been clear that there are many kindreds in which the two diseases co-occur, there are also many in which the diseases segregate alone. In this brief review, we suggest that keeping the loci which lead to both diseases separate from those which lead to just one gives a clearer conclusion about disease mechanisms than lumping them together. The hypothesis that this separation leads to is that loci which cause both ALS and FTD affect the autophagic machinery leading to damaged protein aggregation and those which lead to just ALS are mainly involved in RNA/DNA metabolism. Two of the genes causing FTD alone (CHMP2B and GRN) are associated with damaged autophagy/lysosomal pathway. However, the third FTD gene (MAPT) maps to a different pathway, which perhaps is not surprising, since it is associated with a different (not p62-related) brain pathology characterized by abnormal tau filaments. We conclude that the current state of knowledge points to common mechanisms responsible for susceptibilities specific to neuronal classes. This includes the disruption of RNA metabolism in motor neurons and protein clearance, which is common between cortical and motor neurons. PMID:24246281

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Etiopathogenesis and Therapeutic Approach to Adult Onset Acne

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Sarabjit; Verma, Poonam; Sangwan, Ankita; Dayal, Surabhi; Jain, Vijay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Acne vulgaris is usually considered as a skin disorder that primarily affects adolescents reaching a peak at the age of 14–17 years in females and 16–19 years in males. However, recent epidemiologic studies have shown that a significant number of female patients aged >25 years experience acne. As it is regarded as a disease of teenagers, adults are more apprehensive and experience social anxiety. Hence, adult onset acne has become a matter of concern. PMID:27512185

  5. Etiopathogenesis and Therapeutic Approach to Adult Onset Acne.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Sarabjit; Verma, Poonam; Sangwan, Ankita; Dayal, Surabhi; Jain, Vijay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Acne vulgaris is usually considered as a skin disorder that primarily affects adolescents reaching a peak at the age of 14-17 years in females and 16-19 years in males. However, recent epidemiologic studies have shown that a significant number of female patients aged >25 years experience acne. As it is regarded as a disease of teenagers, adults are more apprehensive and experience social anxiety. Hence, adult onset acne has become a matter of concern. PMID:27512185

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT In adult zebrafish, relatively quiescent progenitor cells show lesion-induced generation of motor neurons. Developmental motor neuron generation from the spinal motor neuron progenitor domain (pMN) sharply declines at 48 hours post-fertilisation (hpf). After that, mostly oligodendrocytes are generated from the same domain. We demonstrate here that within 48 h of a spinal lesion or specific genetic ablation of motor neurons at 72 hpf, the pMN domain reverts to motor neuron generation at the expense of oligodendrogenesis. By contrast, generation of dorsal Pax2-positive interneurons was not altered. Larval motor neuron regeneration can be boosted by dopaminergic drugs, similar to adult regeneration. We use larval lesions to show that pharmacological suppression of the cellular response of the innate immune system inhibits motor neuron regeneration. Hence, we have established a rapid larval regeneration paradigm. Either mechanical lesions or motor neuron ablation is sufficient to reveal a high degree of developmental flexibility of pMN progenitor cells. In addition, we show an important influence of the immune system on motor neuron regeneration from these progenitor cells. PMID:26965370

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    In adult zebrafish, relatively quiescent progenitor cells show lesion-induced generation of motor neurons. Developmental motor neuron generation from the spinal motor neuron progenitor domain (pMN) sharply declines at 48 hours post-fertilisation (hpf). After that, mostly oligodendrocytes are generated from the same domain. We demonstrate here that within 48 h of a spinal lesion or specific genetic ablation of motor neurons at 72 hpf, the pMN domain reverts to motor neuron generation at the expense of oligodendrogenesis. By contrast, generation of dorsal Pax2-positive interneurons was not altered. Larval motor neuron regeneration can be boosted by dopaminergic drugs, similar to adult regeneration. We use larval lesions to show that pharmacological suppression of the cellular response of the innate immune system inhibits motor neuron regeneration. Hence, we have established a rapid larval regeneration paradigm. Either mechanical lesions or motor neuron ablation is sufficient to reveal a high degree of developmental flexibility of pMN progenitor cells. In addition, we show an important influence of the immune system on motor neuron regeneration from these progenitor cells. PMID:26965370

  8. Motor neurons in the escape response circuit of white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus)

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Many decapod crustaceans perform escape tailflips with a neural circuit involving giant interneurons, a specialized fast flexor motor giant (MoG) neuron, populations of larger, less specialized fast flexor motor neurons, and fast extensor motor neurons. These escape-related neurons are well described in crayfish (Reptantia), but not in more basal decapod groups. To clarify the evolution of the escape circuit, I examined the fast flexor and fast extensor motor neurons of white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus; Dendrobranchiata) using backfilling. In crayfish, the MoGs in each abdominal ganglion are a bilateral pair of separate neurons. In L. setiferus, the MoGs have massive, possibly syncytial, cell bodies and fused axons. The non-MoG fast flexor motor neurons and fast extensor motor neurons are generally found in similar locations to where they are found in crayfish, but the number of motor neurons in both the flexor and extensor pools is smaller than in crayfish. The loss of fusion in the MoGs and increased number of fast motor neurons in reptantian decapods may be correlated with an increased reliance on non-giant mediated tailflipping. PMID:26244117

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Defecation allows the body to eliminate waste, an essential step in food processing for animal survival. In contrast to the extensive studies of feeding, its obligate counterpart, defecation, has received much less attention until recently. In this study, we report our characterizations of the defecation behavior of Drosophila larvae and its neural basis. Drosophila larvae display defecation cycles of stereotypic frequency, involving sequential contraction of hindgut and anal sphincter. The defecation behavior requires two groups of motor neurons that innervate hindgut and anal sphincter, respectively, and can excite gut muscles directly. These two groups of motor neurons fire sequentially with the same periodicity as the defecation behavior, as revealed by in vivo Ca2+ imaging. Moreover, we identified a single mechanosensitive sensory neuron that innervates the anal slit and senses the opening of the intestine terminus. This anus sensory neuron relies on the TRP channel NOMPC but not on INACTIVE, NANCHUNG, or PIEZO for mechanotransduction. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03293.001 PMID:25358089

  10. Monitoring tectal neuronal activities and motor behavior in zebrafish larvae.

    PubMed

    Sumbre, Germán; Poo, Mu-Ming

    2013-09-01

    To understand how visuomotor behaviors are controlled by the nervous system, it is necessary to monitor the activity of large populations of neurons with single-cell resolution over a large area of the brain in a relatively simple, behaving organism. The zebrafish larva, a small lower vertebrate with transparent skin, serves as an excellent model for this purpose. Immediately after the larva hatches, it needs to catch prey and avoid predators. This strong evolutionary pressure leads to the rapid development of functional sensory systems, particularly vision. By 5 d postfertilization (dpf), tectal cells show distinct visually evoked patterns of activation, and the larvae are able to perform a variety of visuomotor behaviors. During the early larval stage, zebrafish breathe mainly through the skin and can be restrained under the microscope using a drop of low-melting-point agarose, without the use of anesthetics. Moreover, the transparency of the skin, the small diameter of the neurons (4-5 µm), and the high-neuronal density enable the use of in vivo noninvasive imaging techniques to monitor neuronal activities of up to ∼500 cells within the central nervous system, still with single-cell resolution. This article describes a method for simultaneously monitoring spontaneous and visually evoked activities of large populations of neurons in the optic tectum of the zebrafish larva, using a synthetic calcium dye (Oregon Green BAPTA-1 AM) and a conventional confocal or two-photon scanning fluorescence microscope, together with a method for measuring the tail motor behavior of the head-immobilized zebrafish larva. PMID:24003199

  11. Segmental distribution of the motor neuron columns that supply the rat hindlimb: A muscle/motor neuron tract-tracing analysis targeting the motor end plates.

    PubMed

    Mohan, R; Tosolini, A P; Morris, R

    2015-10-29

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) that disrupts input from higher brain centers to the lumbar region of the spinal cord results in paraplegia, one of the most debilitating conditions affecting locomotion. Non-human primates have long been considered to be the most appropriate animal to model lower limb dysfunction. More recently, however, there has been a wealth of scientific information gathered in the rat regarding the central control of locomotion. Moreover, rodent models of SCI at lumbar levels have been widely used to validate therapeutic scenarios aimed at the restoration of locomotor activities. Despite the growing use of the rat as a model of locomotor dysfunction, knowledge regarding the anatomical relationship between spinal cord motor neurons and the hindlimb muscles that they innervate is incomplete. Previous studies performed in our laboratory have shown the details of the muscle/motor neuron topographical relationship for the mouse forelimb and hindlimb as well as for the rat forelimb. The present analysis aims to characterize the segmental distribution of the motor neuron pools that innervate the muscles of the rat hindlimb, hence completing this series of studies. The location of the motor end plate (MEP) regions on the main muscles of the rat hindlimb was first revealed with acetylcholinesterase histochemistry. For each muscle under scrutiny, injections of Fluoro-Gold were then performed along the length of the MEP region. Targeting the MEPs gave rise to columns of motor neurons that span more spinal cord segments than previously reported. The importance of this study is discussed in terms of its application to gene therapy for SCI. PMID:26304758

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    Motor neuron disorders (MNDs) are a clinically heterogeneous group of neurological diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons, and share some common pathological pathways. Despite remarkable advances in our understanding of these diseases, no curative treatment for MNDs exists. To better understand the pathogenesis of MNDs and to help develop new treatments, the establishment of animal models that can be studied efficiently and thoroughly is paramount. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is increasingly becoming a valuable model for studying human diseases and in screening for potential therapeutics. In this Review, we highlight recent progress in using zebrafish to study the pathology of the most common MNDs: spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). These studies indicate the power of zebrafish as a model to study the consequences of disease-related genes, because zebrafish homologues of human genes have conserved functions with respect to the aetiology of MNDs. Zebrafish also complement other animal models for the study of pathological mechanisms of MNDs and are particularly advantageous for the screening of compounds with therapeutic potential. We present an overview of their potential usefulness in MND drug discovery, which is just beginning and holds much promise for future therapeutic development. PMID:24973750

  13. Fishing for causes and cures of motor neuron disorders

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Motor neuron disorders (MNDs) are a clinically heterogeneous group of neurological diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons, and share some common pathological pathways. Despite remarkable advances in our understanding of these diseases, no curative treatment for MNDs exists. To better understand the pathogenesis of MNDs and to help develop new treatments, the establishment of animal models that can be studied efficiently and thoroughly is paramount. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is increasingly becoming a valuable model for studying human diseases and in screening for potential therapeutics. In this Review, we highlight recent progress in using zebrafish to study the pathology of the most common MNDs: spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). These studies indicate the power of zebrafish as a model to study the consequences of disease-related genes, because zebrafish homologues of human genes have conserved functions with respect to the aetiology of MNDs. Zebrafish also complement other animal models for the study of pathological mechanisms of MNDs and are particularly advantageous for the screening of compounds with therapeutic potential. We present an overview of their potential usefulness in MND drug discovery, which is just beginning and holds much promise for future therapeutic development. PMID:24973750

  14. Electrophysiological characterization of adult-onset Niemann-Pick type C disease.

    PubMed

    Iodice, Rosa; Dubbioso, Raffaele; Topa, Antonietta; Ruggiero, Lucia; Pisciotta, Chiara; Esposito, Marcello; Tozza, Stefano; Santoro, Lucio; Manganelli, Fiore

    2015-01-15

    In infantile and juvenile Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease electrophysiological studies have shown central (CNS) and peripheral (PNS) nervous system abnormalities. However, an extensive electrophysiological evaluation of CNS and PNS in adult form of NPC is still lacking. The aim of the study is to assess in adult-onset NPC disease the involvement of CNS and PNS by a multimodal electrophysiological approach. Three patients affected by adult form of NPC disease underwent electrophysiological evaluation including nerve conduction study (NCS), magnetic motor (MEPs), visual (VEPs), somatosensory (SSEPs) and brainstem auditory (BAEPs) evoked potentials. NCS, MEPs, VEPs and upper limb SSEPs were normal. Lower limb SSEPs were abnormal in all patients and abnormalities were consistent with a length-dependent process affecting the central somatosensory pathway. BAEPs were abnormal in all patients with both peripheral and central impairment of auditory pathway. Our electrophysiological findings suggest that auditory and lower limb somatosensory pathways are constantly affected in adult-onset form of NPC disease. The involvement of PNS, pyramidal, visual and upper limb somatosensory pathways might occur later during the course of disease. PMID:25537619

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    The mechanisms by which sepsis triggers intensive care unit acquired weakness (ICUAW) remain unclear. We previously identified difficulty with motor unit recruitment in patients as a novel contributor to ICUAW. To study the mechanism underlying poor recruitment of motor units we used the rat cecal ligation and puncture model of sepsis. We identified striking dysfunction of alpha motor neurons during repetitive firing. Firing was more erratic, and often intermittent. Our data raised the possibility that reduced excitability of motor neurons was a significant contributor to weakness induced by sepsis. In this study we quantified the contribution of reduced motor neuron excitability and compared its magnitude to the contributions of myopathy, neuropathy and failure of neuromuscular transmission. We injected constant depolarizing current pulses (5s) into the soma of alpha motor neurons in the lumbosacral spinal cord of anesthetized rats to trigger repetitive firing. In response to constant depolarization, motor neurons in untreated control rats fired at steady and continuous firing rates and generated smooth and sustained tetanic motor unit force as expected. In contrast, following induction of sepsis, motor neurons were often unable to sustain firing throughout the 5s current injection such that force production was reduced. Even when firing, motor neurons from septic rats fired erratically and discontinuously, leading to irregular production of motor unit force. Both fast and slow type motor neurons had similar disruption of excitability. We followed rats after recovery from sepsis to determine the time course of resolution of the defect in motor neuron excitability. By one week, rats appeared to have recovered from sepsis as they had no piloerection and appeared to be in no distress. The defects in motor neuron repetitive firing were still striking at 2weeks and, although improved, were present at one month. We infer that rats suffered from weakness due to reduced

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

    PubMed Central

    Boza-Morán, María G; Martínez-Hernández, Rebeca; Bernal, Sara; Wanisch, Klaus; Also-Rallo, Eva; Le Heron, Anita; Alías, Laura; Denis, Cécile; Girard, Mathilde; Yee, Jiing-Kuan; Tizzano, Eduardo F.; Yáñez-Muñoz, Rafael J

    2015-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease caused by mutations in Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1), leading to degeneration of alpha motor neurons (MNs) but also affecting other cell types. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived human MN models from severe SMA patients have shown relevant phenotypes. We have produced and fully characterized iPSCs from members of a discordant consanguineous family with chronic SMA. We differentiated the iPSC clones into ISL-1+/ChAT+ MNs and performed a comparative study during the differentiation process, observing significant differences in neurite length and number between family members. Analyses of samples from wild-type, severe SMA type I and the type IIIa/IV family showed a progressive decay in SMN protein levels during iPSC-MN differentiation, recapitulating previous observations in developmental studies. PLS3 underwent parallel reductions at both the transcriptional and translational levels. The underlying, progressive developmental decay in SMN and PLS3 levels may lead to the increased vulnerability of MNs in SMA disease. Measurements of SMN and PLS3 transcript and protein levels in iPSC-derived MNs show limited value as SMA biomarkers. PMID:26114395

  17. Excitability of spinal motor neurons during motor imagery of thenar muscle activity under maximal voluntary contractions of 50% and 100%

    PubMed Central

    Bunno, Yoshibumi; Onigata, Chieko; Suzuki, Toshiaki

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] We often perform physical therapy using motor imagery of muscle contraction to improve motor function for healthy subjects and central nerve disorders. This study aimed to determine the differences in the excitability of spinal motor neurons during motor imagery of a muscle contraction at different contraction strengths. [Subjects] We recorded the F-wave in 15 healthy subjects. [Methods] In resting trial, the muscle was relaxed during F-wave recording. For motor imagery trial, subjects were instructed to imagine maximal voluntary contractions of 50% and 100% while holding the sensor of a pinch meter, and F-waves were recorded for each contraction. The F-wave was recorded immediately after motor imagery. [Results] Persistence and F/M amplitude ratio during motor imagery under maximal voluntary contractions of 50% and 100% were significantly higher than that at rest. In addition, the relative values of persistence, F/M amplitude ratio, and latency were similar during motor imagery under the two muscle contraction strengths. [Conclusion] Motor imagery under maximal voluntary contractions of 50% and 100% can increase the excitability of spinal motor neurons. Differences in the imagined muscle contraction strengths are not involved in changes in the excitability of spinal motor neurons. PMID:26504291

  18. Office Work Exposures and Adult-Onset Asthma

    PubMed Central

    Jaakkola, Maritta S.; Jaakkola, Jouni J.K.

    2007-01-01

    Background Office exposures have been linked to symptoms of sick building syndrome, but their relation to the development of asthma has not been studied previously. These exposures have increasing importance because an increasing proportion of the workforce is working in office environments. Objectives The aim of this study was to assess the relations of exposure to carbonless copy paper (CCP), paper dust, and fumes from photocopiers and printers to adult-onset asthma. Methods We conducted a population-based incident case–control study of adults 21–63 years of age living in the Pirkanmaa District in South Finland. All new clinically diagnosed cases (n = 521) of asthma were recruited during a 3-year study period. A random sample of the source population formed the controls (n = 1,016). This part focused on 133 cases and 316 controls who were office workers according to their current occupation classified by the 1988 International Standard Classification of Occupations. All participants answered a questionnaire on health, smoking, occupation, and exposures at work and home. Subjects with previous asthma were excluded. Results Exposures to paper dust [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.97; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25–3.10] and CCP (OR = 1.66; 95% CI, 1.03–2.66) were related to significantly increased risk of adult-onset asthma. An exposure–response relation was observed between exposure to paper dust and risk of asthma. Conclusions This study provides new evidence that exposures to paper dust and CCP in office work are related to increased risk of adult-onset asthma. Reduction of these exposures could prevent asthma in office workers. Clinicians seeing asthma patients should be aware of this link to office exposures. PMID:17637914

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

    PubMed Central

    Ravanelli, Andrew M.; Appel, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    During spinal cord development, ventral neural progenitor cells that express the transcription factors Olig1 and Olig2, called pMN progenitors, produce motor neurons and then oligodendrocytes. Whether motor neurons and oligodendrocytes arise from common or distinct progenitors in vivo is not known. Using zebrafish, we found that motor neurons and oligodendrocytes are produced sequentially by distinct progenitors that have distinct origins. When olig2+ cells were tracked during the peak period of motor neuron formation, most differentiated as motor neurons without further cell division. Using time-lapse imaging, we found that, as motor neurons differentiated, more dorsally positioned neuroepithelial progenitors descended to the pMN domain and initiated olig2 expression. Inhibition of Hedgehog signaling during motor neuron differentiation blocked the ventral movement of progenitors, the progressive initiation of olig2 expression, and oligodendrocyte formation. We therefore propose that the motor neuron-to-oligodendrocyte switch results from Hedgehog-mediated recruitment of glial-fated progenitors to the pMN domain subsequent to neurogenesis. PMID:26584621

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-13

    Repetitive acute intermittent hypoxia (rAIH) increases growth/trophic factor expression in respiratory motor neurons, thereby eliciting spinal respiratory motor plasticity and/or neuroprotection. Here we demonstrate that rAIH effects are not unique to respiratory motor neurons, but are also expressed in non-respiratory, spinal alpha motor neurons and upper motor neurons of the motor cortex. In specific, we used immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence to assess growth/trophic factor protein expression in spinal sections from rats exposed to AIH three times per week for 10weeks (3×wAIH). 3×wAIH increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), its high-affinity receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), and phosphorylated TrkB (pTrkB) immunoreactivity in putative alpha motor neurons of spinal cervical 7 (C7) and lumbar 3 (L3) segments, as well as in upper motor neurons of the primary motor cortex (M1). 3×wAIH also increased immunoreactivity of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), the high-affinity VEGFA receptor (VEGFR-2) and an important VEGF gene regulator, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). Thus, rAIH effects on growth/trophic factors are characteristic of non-respiratory as well as respiratory motor neurons. rAIH may be a useful tool in the treatment of disorders causing paralysis, such as spinal injury and motor neuron disease, as a pretreatment to enhance motor neuron survival during disease, or as preconditioning for cell-transplant therapies. PMID:26944605

  1. Season of Birth and Risk for Adult Onset Glioma

    PubMed Central

    Efird, Jimmy T.

    2010-01-01

    Adult onset glioma is a rare cancer which occurs more frequently in Caucasians than African Americans, and in men than women. The etiology of this disease is largely unknown. Exposure to ionizing radiation is the only well established environmental risk factor, and this factor explains only a small percentage of cases. Several recent studies have reported an association between season of birth and glioma risk. This paper reviews the plausibility of evidence focusing on the seasonal interrelation of farming, allergies, viruses, vitamin D, diet, birth weight, and handedness. To date, a convincing explanation for the occurrence of adult gliomas decades after a seasonal exposure at birth remains elusive. PMID:20623001

  2. Motor neuron pathology and behavioral alterations at late stages in a SMA mouse model.

    PubMed

    Fulceri, Federica; Bartalucci, Alessia; Paparelli, Silvio; Pasquali, Livia; Biagioni, Francesca; Ferrucci, Michela; Ruffoli, Riccardo; Fornai, Francesco

    2012-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neurogenetic autosomal recessive disorder characterized by degeneration of lower motor neurons. The validation of appropriate animal models is key in fostering SMA research. Recent studies set up an animal model showing long survival and slow disease progression. This model is knocked out for mouse SMN (Smn(-/-)) gene and carries a human mutation of the SMN1 gene (SMN1A2G), along with human SMN2 gene. In the present study we used this knock out double transgenic mouse model (SMN2(+/+); Smn(-/-); SMN1A2G(+/-)) to characterize the spinal cord pathology along with motor deficit at prolonged survival times. In particular, motor neuron loss was established stereologically (44.77%) after motor deficit reached a steady state. At this stage, spared motor neurons showed significant cell body enlargement. Moreover, similar to what was described in patients affected by SMA we found neuronal heterotopy (almost 4% of total motor neurons) in the anterior white matter. The delayed disease progression was likely to maintain fair motor activity despite a dramatic loss of large motor neurons. This provides a wonderful tool to probe novel drugs finely tuning the survival of motor neurons. In fact, small therapeutic effects protracted over considerable time intervals (even more than a year) are expected to be magnified. PMID:22306031

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Summary In contrast to mammals, zebrafish regenerate spinal motor neurons. During regeneration, developmental signals are re-deployed. Here, we show that, during development, diffuse serotonin promotes spinal motor neuron generation from pMN progenitor cells, leaving interneuron numbers unchanged. Pharmacological manipulations and receptor knockdown indicate that serotonin acts at least in part via 5-HT1A receptors. In adults, serotonin is supplied to the spinal cord mainly (90%) by descending axons from the brain. After a spinal lesion, serotonergic axons degenerate caudal to the lesion but sprout rostral to it. Toxin-mediated ablation of serotonergic axons also rostral to the lesion impaired regeneration of motor neurons only there. Conversely, intraperitoneal serotonin injections doubled numbers of new motor neurons and proliferating pMN-like progenitors caudal to the lesion. Regeneration of spinal-intrinsic serotonergic interneurons was unaltered by these manipulations. Hence, serotonin selectively promotes the development and adult regeneration of motor neurons in zebrafish. PMID:26565906

  4. Acute lower motor neuron syndrome and spinal cord gray matter hyperintensities in HIV infection

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Michael R.; Chad, David A.; Venna, Nagagopal

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To describe a novel manifestation of lower motor neuron disease in patients with well-controlled HIV infection. Methods: A retrospective study was performed to identify HIV-positive individuals with acute, painful lower motor neuron diseases. Results: Six patients were identified with HIV and lower motor neuron disease. Two patients met the inclusion criteria of well-controlled, chronic HIV infection and an acute, painful, unilateral lower motor neuron paralytic syndrome affecting the distal portion of the upper limb. These patients had segmental T2-hyperintense lesions in the central gray matter of the cervical spinal cord on MRI. One patient stabilized and the second patient improved with immunomodulatory therapy. Conclusions: This newly described syndrome expands the clinical spectrum of lower motor neuron diseases in HIV. PMID:26015990

  5. Nutritional pathway for people with motor neurone disease.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27401201

  6. Mitochondrial DNA variations in Madras motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Govindaraj, Periyasamy; Nalini, Atchayaram; Krishna, Nithin; Sharath, Anugula; Khan, Nahid Akhtar; Tamang, Rakesh; Gourie-Devi, M; Brown, Robert H; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy

    2013-11-01

    Although the Madras motor neuron disease (MMND) was found three decades ago, its genetic basis has not been elucidated, so far. The symptom at onset was impaired hearing, upper limb weakness and atrophy. Since some clinical features of MMND overlap with mitochondrial disorders, we analyzed the complete mitochondrial genome of 45 MMND patients and found 396 variations, including 13 disease-associated, 2 mt-tRNA and 33 non-synonymous (16 MT-ND, 10 MT-CO, 3 MT-CYB and 4 MT-ATPase). A rare variant (m.8302A>G) in mt-tRNA(Leu) was found in three patients. We predict that these variation(s) may influence the disease pathogenesis along with some unknown factor(s). PMID:23419391

  7. Mitochondrial DNA variations in Madras motor neuron disease

    PubMed Central

    Govindaraj, Periyasamy; Nalini, Atchayaram; Krishna, Nithin; Sharath, Anugula; Khan, Nahid Akhtar; Tamang, Rakesh; Devi, M. Gourie; Brown, Robert H.; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy

    2013-01-01

    Although the Madras Motor Neuron Disease (MMND) was found three decades ago, its genetic basis has not been elucidated, so far. The symptom at onset was impaired hearing, upper limb weakness and atrophy. Since some clinical features of MMND overlap with mitochondrial disorders, we analyzed the complete mitochondrial genome of 45 MMND patients and found 396 variations, including 13 disease-associated, 2 mt-tRNA and 33 non-synonymous (16 MT-ND, 10 MT-CO, 3 MT-CYB and 4 MT-ATPase). A rare variant (m.8302A>G) in mt-tRNALeu was found in three patients. We predict that these variation(s) may influence the disease pathogenesis along with some unknown factor(s). PMID:23419391

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    A major challenge in neurological gene therapy is safe delivery of transgenes to sufficient cell numbers from the circulation or periphery. This is particularly difficult for diseases involving spinal cord motor neurons such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have examined the feasibility of non-viral gene delivery to spinal motor neurons from intraperitoneal injections of plasmids carried by “immunogene” nanoparticles targeted for axonal retrograde transport using antibodies. PEGylated polyethylenimine (PEI-PEG12) as DNA carrier was conjugated to an antibody (MLR2) to the neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR). We used a plasmid (pVIVO2) designed for in vivo gene delivery that produces minimal immune responses, has improved nuclear entry into post mitotic cells and also expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP). MLR2-PEI-PEG12 carried pVIVO2 and was specific for mouse motor neurons in mixed cultures containing astrocytes. While only 8% of motor neurons expressed GFP 72 h post transfection in vitro, when the immunogene was given intraperitonealy to neonatal C57BL/6J mice, GFP specific motor neuron expression was observed in 25.4% of lumbar, 18.3% of thoracic and 17.0% of cervical motor neurons, 72 h post transfection. PEI-PEG12 carrying pVIVO2 by itself did not transfect motor neurons in vivo, demonstrating the need for specificity via the p75NTR antibody MLR2. This is the first time that specific transfection of spinal motor neurons has been achieved from peripheral delivery of plasmid DNA as part of a non-viral gene delivery agent. These results stress the specificity and feasibility of immunogene delivery targeted for p75NTR expressing motor neurons, but suggests that further improvements are required to increase the transfection efficiency of motor neurons in vivo. PMID:25352776

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

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Namhee; Park, Chungoo; Jeong, Yongsu; Song, Mi-Ryoung

    2015-01-01

    Functional diversification of motor neurons has occurred in order to selectively control the movements of different body parts including head, trunk and limbs. Here we report that transcription of Isl1, a major gene necessary for motor neuron identity, is controlled by two enhancers, CREST1 (E1) and CREST2 (E2) that allow selective gene expression of Isl1 in motor neurons. Introduction of GFP reporters into the chick neural tube revealed that E1 is active in hindbrain motor neurons and spinal cord motor neurons, whereas E2 is active in the lateral motor column (LMC) of the spinal cord, which controls the limb muscles. Genome-wide ChIP-Seq analysis combined with reporter assays showed that Phox2 and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex bind to E1 and drive hindbrain and spinal cord-specific expression of Isl1, respectively. Interestingly, Lhx3 alone was sufficient to activate E1, and this may contribute to the initiation of Isl1 expression when progenitors have just developed into motor neurons. E2 was induced by onecut 1 (OC-1) factor that permits Isl1 expression in LMCm neurons. Interestingly, the core region of E1 has been conserved in evolution, even in the lamprey, a jawless vertebrate with primitive motor neurons. All E1 sequences from lamprey to mouse responded equally well to Phox2a and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex. Conversely, E2, the enhancer for limb-innervating motor neurons, was only found in tetrapod animals. This suggests that evolutionarily-conserved enhancers permit the diversification of motor neurons. PMID:26447474

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Namhee; Park, Chungoo; Jeong, Yongsu; Song, Mi-Ryoung

    2015-10-01

    Functional diversification of motor neurons has occurred in order to selectively control the movements of different body parts including head, trunk and limbs. Here we report that transcription of Isl1, a major gene necessary for motor neuron identity, is controlled by two enhancers, CREST1 (E1) and CREST2 (E2) that allow selective gene expression of Isl1 in motor neurons. Introduction of GFP reporters into the chick neural tube revealed that E1 is active in hindbrain motor neurons and spinal cord motor neurons, whereas E2 is active in the lateral motor column (LMC) of the spinal cord, which controls the limb muscles. Genome-wide ChIP-Seq analysis combined with reporter assays showed that Phox2 and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex bind to E1 and drive hindbrain and spinal cord-specific expression of Isl1, respectively. Interestingly, Lhx3 alone was sufficient to activate E1, and this may contribute to the initiation of Isl1 expression when progenitors have just developed into motor neurons. E2 was induced by onecut 1 (OC-1) factor that permits Isl1 expression in LMCm neurons. Interestingly, the core region of E1 has been conserved in evolution, even in the lamprey, a jawless vertebrate with primitive motor neurons. All E1 sequences from lamprey to mouse responded equally well to Phox2a and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex. Conversely, E2, the enhancer for limb-innervating motor neurons, was only found in tetrapod animals. This suggests that evolutionarily-conserved enhancers permit the diversification of motor neurons. PMID:26447474

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

    Objective. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are attractive for use in peripheral nerve interfaces because of their unique combination of strength, flexibility, electrical conductivity and nanoscale surface texture. Here we investigated the growth of motor neurons on thin films of horizontally aligned CNTs (HACNTs). Approach. We cultured primary embryonic rat motor neurons on HACNTs and performed statistical analysis of the length and orientation of neurites. We next presented motor neurons with substrates of alternating stripes of HACNTs and SiO2. Main results. The neurons survived on HACNT substrates for up to eight days, which was the full duration of our experiments. Statistical analysis of the length and orientation of neurites indicated that the longest neurites on HACNTs tended to align with the CNT direction, although the average neurite length was similar between HACNTs and glass control substrates. We observed that when motor neurons were presented with alternating stripes of HACNTs and SiO2, the proportion of neurons on HACNTs increases over time, suggesting that neurons selectively migrate toward and adhere to the HACNT surface. Significance. The behavior of motor neurons on CNTs has not been previously investigated, and we show that aligned CNTs could provide a viable interface material to motor neurons. Combined with emerging techniques to build complex hierarchical structures of CNTs, our results suggest that organised CNTs could be incorporated into nerve grafts that use physical and electrical cues to guide regenerating axons.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  13. Motor neurones in culture as a model to study ALS.

    PubMed

    Silani, V; Braga, M; Ciammola, A; Cardin, V; Scarlato, G

    2000-03-01

    Defining the basis of the selective cell vulnerability of motor neurones (MN) represents the key issue in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and tissue culture models are the ideal system for the identification of the MN specific features at the single cell level. Neurone-astrocyte metabolic interactions, which have a critical role in MN through glutamatergic toxicity, have been mostly defined in vitro. Ca++ metabolism, which appears to play a critical role in inducing MN loss in ALS, has been successfully studied using in vitro cell models. Furthermore, primary cultures demonstrated that apoptotic or necrotic death of neurones after injury depends upon the cell energetic status. Superoxide dismutase- (SOD-1) mutations were successfully expressed in cultured rodent MNs, providing a critical assay to sequence the molecular processes responsible for MN degeneration due to the identified genetic defect. The recent identification of genes that separate humans from apes further increases the value of the human in vitro models to better understand specific human cellular properties. Purified human MNs and astrocytes can today be obtained from the human embryonic spinal cord anterior horns. Interactions at the single cell level can be dissected using the cDNA amplification techniques. The effects of molecules affecting MN survival, neurite extension, and metabolism can easily be defined in vitro, gaining a critical mass of information of immediate clinical application in the treatment of patients affected by ALS. Understanding the properties of human MNs in vitro represents today a significant and critical tool that can easily be reached after extension of the available knowledge from non-primate to human research. Human MN culture studies can greatly contribute to identifying the primitive critical cellular events responsible for the MN degeneration observed in ALS and to gaining crucial information on new therapeutical agents. PMID:10795884

  14. Dopamine-Dependent Compensation Maintains Motor Behavior in Mice with Developmental Ablation of Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    DeMaro, Joseph A.; Knoten, Amanda; Hoshi, Masato; Pehek, Elizabeth; Johnson, Eugene M.; Gereau, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    The loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and consequent depletion of striatal dopamine are known to underlie the motor deficits observed in Parkinson's disease (PD). Adaptive changes in dopaminergic terminals and in postsynaptic striatal neurons can compensate for significant losses of striatal dopamine, resulting in preservation of motor behavior. In addition, compensatory changes independent of striatal dopamine have been proposed based on PD therapies that modulate nondopaminergic circuits within the basal ganglia. We used a genetic strategy to selectively destroy dopaminergic neurons in mice during development to determine the necessity of these neurons for the maintenance of normal motor behavior in adult and aged mice. We find that loss of 90% of SNc dopaminergic neurons and consequent depletion of >95% of striatal dopamine does not result in changes in motor behavior in young-adult or aged mice as evaluated by an extensive array of motor behavior tests. Treatment of aged mutant mice with the dopamine receptor antagonist haloperidol precipitated motor behavior deficits in aged mutant mice, indicating that <5% of striatal dopamine is sufficient to maintain motor function in these mice. We also found that mutant mice exhibit an exaggerated response to l-DOPA compared with control mice, suggesting that preservation of motor function involves sensitization of striatal dopamine receptors. Our results indicate that congenital loss of dopaminergic neurons induces remarkable adaptions in the nigrostriatal system where limited amounts of dopamine in the dorsal striatum can maintain normal motor function. PMID:24155314

  15. Human neural progenitors differentiate into astrocytes and protect motor neurons in aging rats.

    PubMed

    Das, Melanie M; Avalos, Pablo; Suezaki, Patrick; Godoy, Marlesa; Garcia, Leslie; Chang, Christine D; Vit, Jean-Philippe; Shelley, Brandon; Gowing, Genevieve; Svendsen, Clive N

    2016-06-01

    Age-associated health decline presents a significant challenge to healthcare, although there are few animal models that can be used to test potential treatments. Here, we show that there is a significant reduction in both spinal cord motor neurons and motor function over time in the aging rat. One explanation for this motor neuron loss could be reduced support from surrounding aging astrocytes. Indeed, we have previously shown using in vitro models that aging rat astrocytes are less supportive to rat motor neuron function and survival over time. Here, we test whether rejuvenating the astrocyte niche can improve the survival of motor neurons in an aging spinal cord. We transplanted fetal-derived human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) into the aging rat spinal cord and found that the cells survive and differentiate into astrocytes with a much higher efficiency than when transplanted into younger animals, suggesting that the aging environment stimulates astrocyte maturation. Importantly, the engrafted astrocytes were able to protect against motor neuron loss associated with aging, although this did not result in an increase in motor function based on behavioral assays. We also transplanted hNPCs genetically modified to secrete glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) into the aging rat spinal cord, as this combination of cell and protein delivery can protect motor neurons in animal models of ALS. During aging, GDNF-expressing hNPCs protected motor neurons, though to the same extent as hNPCs alone, and again had no effect on motor function. We conclude that hNPCs can survive well in the aging spinal cord, protect motor neurons and mature faster into astrocytes when compared to transplantation into the young spinal cord. While there was no functional improvement, there were no functional deficits either, further supporting a good safety profile of hNPC transplantation even into the older patient population. PMID:27032721

  16. Sensitivity of transformed (phasic to tonic) motor neurons to the neuromodulator 5-HT.

    PubMed

    Griffis, B; Bonner, P; Cooper, R L

    2000-12-01

    Long-term adaptation resulting in a 'tonic-like' state can be induced in phasic motor neurons of the crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, by daily low-frequency stimulation [Lnenicka, G.A., Atwood, H.L., 1985b. Long-term facilitation and long-term adaptation at synapses of a crayfish phasic motoneuron. J. Neurobiol. 16, 97-110]. To test the hypothesis that motor neurons undergoing adaptation show increased responses to the neuromodulator serotonin (5-HT), phasic motor neurons innervating the deep abdominal extensor muscles of crayfish were stimulated at 2.5 Hz, 2 h/day, for 7 days. One day after cessation of conditioning, contralateral control and conditioned motor neurons of the same segment were stimulated at 1 Hz and the induced excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs) were recorded from DEL(1) muscle fibers innervated by each motor neuron type. Recordings were made in saline without and with 100 nM 5-HT. EPSP amplitudes were increased by 5-HT exposure in all cases. Conditioned muscles exposed to 5-HT showed a 2-fold higher percentage of increase in EPSP amplitude than did control muscles. Thus, the conditioned motor neurons behaved like intrinsically tonic motoneurons in their response to 5-HT. While these results show that long-term adaptation (LTA) extends to 5-HT neuromodulation, no phenotype switch could be detected in the postsynaptic muscle. Protein isoform profiles, including the myosin heavy chains, do not change after 1 week of conditioning their innervating motor neurons. PMID:11154946

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) are devastating diseases characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons. Although the molecular causes underlying these diseases differ, recent findings have highlighted the contribution of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects in motor neuron diseases. The use of cell culture and animal models has led to the important finding that muscle defects occur prior to and independently of motor neuron degeneration in motor neuron diseases. In SMA for instance, the muscle specific requirements of the SMA disease-causing gene have been demonstrated by a series of genetic rescue experiments in SMA models. Conditional ALS mouse models expressing a muscle specific mutant SOD1 gene develop atrophy and muscle degeneration in the absence of motor neuron pathology. Treating SBMA mice by over-expressing IGF-1 in a skeletal muscle-specific manner attenuates disease severity and improves motor neuron pathology. In the present review, we provide an in depth description of muscle intrinsic defects, and discuss how they impact muscle function in these diseases. Furthermore, we discuss muscle-specific therapeutic strategies used to treat animal models of SMA, ALS, and SBMA. The study of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects is crucial for the understanding of the pathophysiology of these diseases and will open new therapeutic options for the treatment of motor neuron diseases. PMID:24391590

  18. Cell-Specific Survival Motor Neuron Gene Expression during Human Development of the Central Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Tizzano, Eduardo F.; Cabot, Carmen; Baiget, Montserrat

    1998-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by the progressive loss or degeneration of the motor neurons. To investigate the expression of survival motor neuron (SMN), the spinal muscular atrophy-determining gene, and its relationship with the pathogenesis of the disease, we analyzed by means of in situ hybridization the location of SMN mRNA in fetal, newborn, infant, and adult human central nervous system tissues. The large motor neurons of the spinal cord are the main cells that express SMN together with the neurons of the medulla oblongata, the pyramidal cells of the cortex, and the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum. Some sensory neurons from the posterior horn and dorsal root ganglia express SMN to a lesser degree. Furthermore, strong SMN expression is detected in the ependymal cells of the central canal. The expression is present in the spinal cord at 8 weeks of fetal life throughout postnatal and adult life. The sharp expression of SMN in the motor neurons of the human spinal cord, the target cells in spinal muscular atrophy, suggests that this gene is implicated in neuronal development and in the pathogenesis of the disease. The location of the SMN gene expression in other neuronal structures not clearly or directly associated with clinical manifestations or pathological findings of spinal muscular atrophy may indicate a varying sensitivity to the absence or dysfunction of the SMN gene in motor neurons. PMID:9708795

  19. Phrenic Long-Term Facilitation Requires PKCθ Activity within Phrenic Motor Neurons

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) induces a form of spinal motor plasticity known as phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF); pLTF is a prolonged increase in phrenic motor output after AIH has ended. In anesthetized rats, we demonstrate that pLTF requires activity of the novel PKC isoform, PKCθ, and that the relevant PKCθ is within phrenic motor neurons. Whereas spinal PKCθ inhibitors block pLTF, inhibitors targeting other PKC isoforms do not. PKCθ is highly expressed in phrenic motor neurons, and PKCθ knockdown with intrapleural siRNAs abolishes pLTF. Intrapleural siRNAs targeting PKCζ, an atypical PKC isoform expressed in phrenic motor neurons that underlies a distinct form of phrenic motor plasticity, does not affect pLTF. Thus, PKCθ plays a critical role in spinal AIH-induced respiratory motor plasticity, and the relevant PKCθ is localized within phrenic motor neurons. Intrapleural siRNA delivery has considerable potential as a therapeutic tool to selectively manipulate plasticity in vital respiratory motor neurons. PMID:26019328

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-27

    Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) induces a form of spinal motor plasticity known as phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF); pLTF is a prolonged increase in phrenic motor output after AIH has ended. In anesthetized rats, we demonstrate that pLTF requires activity of the novel PKC isoform, PKCθ, and that the relevant PKCθ is within phrenic motor neurons. Whereas spinal PKCθ inhibitors block pLTF, inhibitors targeting other PKC isoforms do not. PKCθ is highly expressed in phrenic motor neurons, and PKCθ knockdown with intrapleural siRNAs abolishes pLTF. Intrapleural siRNAs targeting PKCζ, an atypical PKC isoform expressed in phrenic motor neurons that underlies a distinct form of phrenic motor plasticity, does not affect pLTF. Thus, PKCθ plays a critical role in spinal AIH-induced respiratory motor plasticity, and the relevant PKCθ is localized within phrenic motor neurons. Intrapleural siRNA delivery has considerable potential as a therapeutic tool to selectively manipulate plasticity in vital respiratory motor neurons. PMID:26019328

  1. [Macrophage activation syndrome associated with adult-onset Still's disease].

    PubMed

    Iwamoto, Masahiro

    2007-12-01

    Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) is a rare and potentially lethal disease, resulting from uncontrolled activation and proliferation of T lymphocytes and macrophages. Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) is an inflammatory disease. AOSD resemble reactive MAS in its symptoms and laboratory data. Moreover, AOSD per se induces MAS. It is, therefore, quite difficult to differentiate these syndrome and disease. The immunodeficiency state induced by treatment in AOSD could reactivate latent viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus, which could potentially lead to MAS. The therapeutic agents for AOSD, such as sulfasalazine, also could provoke reactive MAS. Because multiple factors are involved in inducing MAS to a different degree, the main cause should be searched for and targeted for the therapy. PMID:18174671

  2. Diagnosis of congenital and adult-onset hypothyroidism in cats.

    PubMed

    Greco, Deborah S

    2006-02-01

    Whereas hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder in the cat, hypothyroidism is the least common feline endocrine disorder. This is a the result of several factors including low index of suspicion, rarity of the naturally occurring hypothyroidism in cats, and a lack of species specific tests for endogenous TSH and antithyroglobulin antibodies. Nonetheless, hypothyroidism does occur in cats, especially in kittens and after radioactive treatment for hyperthyroidism. The clinician should become familiar with the common presentations of congenital and adult-onset hypothyroidism in cats. In addition, some of the tests specific to dogs (such as endogenous canine TSH) may be utilized to diagnose subclinical hypothyroidism in cats. Fortunately, the treatment of feline hypothyroidism with synthetic levothyroxine is both straightforward and effective. PMID:16584030

  3. Refractory Genital HPV Infection and Adult-Onset Still Disease

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xin; Zheng, Heyi

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Adult-onset Still disease (AOSD) is a systemic autoimmune disease (AIID) that can develop after exposure to infectious agents. Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has been reported to induce or exacerbate AIIDs, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). No guidelines are available for the management of genital warts in AOSD. Case report and literature review. We report a patient who was diagnosed AOSD in the setting of refractory and recurrent genital HPV infection, demonstrating a possible link between HPV infection and AOSD. In addition, we also discuss the management of genital warts in patients with AOSD. To the best of our knowledge, no previous cases of AOSD with genital HPV infection have been reported in literature. We then conclude that the patient AOSD may be triggered by primary HPV infection. Larger number of patient samples is needed to confirm whether HPV could trigger AOSD. PMID:27082556

  4. Development of the Motor Neuron Disease Carer Questionnaire.

    PubMed

    Mockford, Carole; Jenkinson, Crispin; Fitzpatrick, Raymond

    2009-01-01

    Our objective was to develop a validated questionnaire that can measure the extent to which dimensions of caring affect the health of carers of patients with motor neuron disease. An initial 190-item questionnaire was developed from in-depth interviews, focus groups and two pilot studies with carers. Factor analysis was applied to the data obtained from a large survey in the UK that identified the underlying dimensions of caring. The newly formed scales were tested for reliability using Cronbach's alpha, and for construct validity. The SF36-v2 was the benchmark instrument on which correlations were made to ascertain the relationship with carers' health. A 34-item instrument was developed which has demonstrated promising evidence of internal reliability and validity for six scales: emotional well-being, physical well-being, self care, disturbed sleep, carers' support needs and statutory services. High correlations were found with the Mental Component Score summary scale of the SF-36v2 (0.40-0.66). The development and testing of the MNDCQ indicates that as the carers' score on the MNDCQ increases, suggesting a higher level of burden, they are more likely to report poor health. Further longitudinal studies are needed to further test the instruments' ability to detect change over time. PMID:19922141

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casile, Antonino

    2015-03-01

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

  6. Moving forward in clinical trials for ALS: motor neurons lead the way please

    PubMed Central

    Genç, Barış; Özdinler, P. Hande

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of the most complex motor neuron diseases. Even though scientific discoveries are accelerating with an unprecedented pace, to date more than 30 clinical trials have ended with failure and staggering frustration. There are too many compounds that increase life span in mice, but too little evidence that they will improve human condition. Increasing the chances of success for future clinical trials requires advancement of preclinical tests. Recent developments, which enable the visualization of diseased motor neurons, have the potential to bring novel insight. As we change our focus from mice to motor neurons, it is possible to foster a new vision that translates into effective and long-term treatment strategies in ALS and related motor neuron disorders (MND). PMID:24171950

  7. Direct lineage reprogramming reveals disease-specific phonotypes of motor neurons from human ALS patients

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY 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. PMID:26725112

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

    PubMed

    Holt, Lori L; Lotto, Andrew J

    2014-04-01

    Speech is commonly claimed to relate to mirror neurons because of the alluring surface analogy of mirror neurons to the Motor Theory of speech perception, which posits that perception and production draw upon common motor-articulatory representations. We argue that the analogy fails and highlight examples of systems-level developmental approaches that have been more fruitful in revealing perception-production associations. PMID:24775161

  9. Chronic motor neuron disease possibly related to intoxication with organochlorine insecticides.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, R G; Resende, L A; Silva, M D; Camargo, A

    1993-07-01

    We report on two patients with a history of chronic exposure to organochlorine insecticides who developed clinical and electromyographic signs and symptoms of chronic motor neuron disease. Measurements of aldrin, lindane and heptachlor confirmed the intoxication. We emphasize the importance of searching for toxic and environmental factors in cases of motor neuron disease especially in Third World countries, where workers usually wear no adequate protective equipment. PMID:7690513

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    The mature cerebral cortex contains a wide diversity of neuron phenotypes. This diversity is specified during development by neuron-specific expression of key transcription factors, some of which are retained for the life of the animal. One of these key developmental transcription factors that is also retained in the adult is Fezf2, but the neuron types expressing it in the mature cortex are unknown. With a validated Fezf2-Gfp reporter mouse, whole-cell electrophysiology with morphology reconstruction, cluster analysis, in vivo retrograde labeling, and immunohistochemistry, we identify a heterogeneous population of Fezf2(+) neurons in both layer 5A and layer 5B of the mature motor cortex. Functional electrophysiology identified two distinct subtypes of Fezf2(+) neurons that resembled pyramidal tract projection neurons (PT-PNs) and intratelencephalic projection neurons (IT-PNs). Retrograde labeling confirmed the former type to include corticospinal projection neurons (CSpPNs) and corticothalamic projection neurons (CThPNs), whereas the latter type included crossed corticostriatal projection neurons (cCStrPNs) and crossed-corticocortical projection neurons (cCCPNs). The two Fezf2(+) subtypes expressed either CTIP2 or SATB2 to distinguish their physiological identity and confirmed that specific expression combinations of key transcription factors persist in the mature motor cortex. Our findings indicate a wider role for Fezf2 within gene expression networks that underpin the diversity of layer 5 cortical projection neurons. PMID:26234885

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neurological disease that causes infant mortality; no effective therapies are currently available. SMA is due to homozygous mutations and/or deletions in the survival motor neuron 1 gene and subsequent reduction of the SMN protein, leading to the death of motor neurons. However, there is increasing evidence that in addition to motor neurons, other cell types are contributing to SMA pathology. In this review, we will discuss the involvement of non-motor neuronal cells, located both inside and outside the central nervous system, in disease onset and progression. Even if SMN restoration in motor neurons is needed, it has been shown that optimal phenotypic amelioration in animal models of SMA requires a more widespread SMN correction. It has been demonstrated that non-motor neuronal cells are also involved in disease pathogenesis and could have important therapeutic implications. For these reasons it will be crucial to take this evidence into account for the clinical translation of the novel therapeutic approaches. PMID:26681261

  12. Intrinsic membrane hyperexcitability of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient-derived motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Wainger, Brian J; Kiskinis, Evangelos; Mellin, Cassidy; Wiskow, Ole; Han, Steve S W; Sandoe, Jackson; Perez, Numa P; Williams, Luis A; Lee, Seungkyu; Boulting, Gabriella; Berry, James D; Brown, Robert H; Cudkowicz, Merit E; Bean, Bruce P; Eggan, Kevin; Woolf, Clifford J

    2014-04-10

    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. SOD1(A4V/+) 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. PMID:24703839

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Pro-NGF secreted by astrocytes promotes motor neuron cell death

    PubMed Central

    Domeniconi, Marco; Hempstead, Barbara L.; Chao, Moses V.

    2007-01-01

    It is well established that motor neurons depend for their survival on many trophic factors. In this study, we show that the precursor form of NGF (proNGF) can induce the death of motor neurons via engagement of the p75 neurotrophin receptor. The pro-apoptotic activity was dependent upon the presence of sortilin, a p75 co-receptor expressed on motor neurons. One potential source of proNGF is reactive astrocytes, which upregulate the levels of proNGF in response to peroxynitrite, an oxidant and producer of free radicals. Indeed, motor neuron viability was sensitive to conditioned media from cultured astrocytes treated with peroxynitrite and this effect could be reversed using a specific antibody against the pro-domain of proNGF. These results are consistent with a role for activated astrocytes and proNGF in the induction of motor neuron death and suggest a possible therapeutic target for the treatment of motor neuron disease. PMID:17188890

  15. The Onecut Transcription Factor HNF-6 Regulates in Motor Neurons the Formation of the Neuromuscular Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Audouard, Emilie; Schakman, Olivier; René, Frédérique; Huettl, Rosa-Eva; Huber, Andrea B.; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; Gailly, Philippe; Clotman, Frédéric

    2012-01-01

    The neuromuscular junctions are the specialized synapses whereby spinal motor neurons control the contraction of skeletal muscles. The formation of the neuromuscular junctions is controlled by a complex interplay of multiple mechanisms coordinately activated in motor nerve terminals and in their target myotubes. However, the transcriptional regulators that control in motor neurons the genetic programs involved in neuromuscular junction development remain unknown. Here, we provide evidence that the Onecut transcription factor HNF-6 regulates in motor neurons the formation of the neuromuscular junctions. Indeed, adult Hnf6 mutant mice exhibit hindlimb muscle weakness and abnormal locomotion. This results from defects of hindlimb neuromuscular junctions characterized by an abnormal morphology and defective localization of the synaptic vesicle protein synaptophysin at the motor nerve terminals. These defects are consequences of altered and delayed formation of the neuromuscular junctions in newborn mutant animals. Furthermore, we show that the expression level of numerous regulators of neuromuscular junction formation, namely agrin, neuregulin-2 and TGF-ß receptor II, is downregulated in the spinal motor neurons of Hnf6 mutant newborn animals. Finally, altered formation of neuromuscular junction-like structures in a co-culture model of wildtype myotubes with mutant embryonic spinal cord slices is rescued by recombinant agrin and neuregulin, indicating that depletion in these factors contributes to defective neuromuscular junction development in the absence of HNF-6. Thus, HNF-6 controls in spinal motor neurons a genetic program that coordinates the formation of hindlimb neuromuscular junctions. PMID:23227180

  16. Comparing illness presentation, treatment and functioning between patients with adolescent- and adult-onset psychosis.

    PubMed

    Hui, Christy Lai-Ming; Li, Adrienne Wing-Yee; Leung, Chung-Ming; Chang, Wing-Chung; Chan, Sherry Kit-Wa; Lee, Edwin Ho-Ming; Chen, Eric Yu-Hai

    2014-12-30

    Studies have shown that early- and adult-onset schizophrenia patients differ in pre-morbid traits, illness presentation, psychopathology, and prognosis. We aimed to compare adult-onset patients (age range 26-55 years) with an adolescent-onset cohort (15-25 years) in demographics, illness presentation and functioning at baseline. Participants were from two territory-wide early intervention services for adolescent-onset (n=671) and adult-onset psychosis patients (n=360) in Hong Kong. The adolescent-onset cohort had their initial psychotic episode from 2001-2003; retrospective data collection was done through systematic case note review. The adult-onset cohort was recruited for a larger interventional study from 2009-2011; information was collected via face-to-face interviews. Adult-onset psychosis was significantly associated with more females, more smokers, more non-local birth, more full-time employment, better functioning, poorer medication adherence, more psychiatric hospitalization and fewer with schizophrenia than adolescent-onset psychosis (mean age: 20.4). The effect sizes were small, except for medication adherence where a robust effect was found. No group difference in DUP was found. The finding that adult-onset patients had better functioning challenges the view that adolescent- and adult-onset psychoses share a similar prognostic trajectory. Implications for adapting intervention processes for adolescent- and adult-onset psychosis are discussed. PMID:25238985

  17. Warming up Improves Speech Production in Patients with Adult Onset Myotonic Dystrophy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Swart, B.J.M.; van Engelen, B.G.M.; Maassen, B.A.M.

    2007-01-01

    This investigation was conducted to study whether warming up decreases myotonia (muscle stiffness) during speech production or causes adverse effects due to fatigue or exhaustion caused by intensive speech activity in patients with adult onset myotonic dystrophy. Thirty patients with adult onset myotonic dystrophy (MD) and ten healthy controls…

  18. Contribution of different limb controllers to modulation of motor cortex neurons during locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Zelenin, P. V.; Deliagina, T. G.; Orlovsky, G. N.; Karayannidou, A.; Dasgupta, N. M.; Sirota, M. G.; Beloozerova, I. N.

    2011-01-01

    During locomotion, neurons in motor cortex exhibit profound step-related frequency modulation. The source of this modulation is unclear. The aim of this study was to reveal the contribution of different limb controllers (locomotor mechanisms of individual limbs) to the periodic modulation of motor cortex neurons during locomotion. Experiments were conducted in chronically instrumented cats. The activity of single neurons was recorded during regular quadrupedal locomotion (control), as well as when only one pair of limbs (fore, hind, right, or left) was walking while another pair was standing. Comparison of the modulation patterns in these neurons (their discharge profile with respect to the step cycle) during control and different bipedal locomotor tasks revealed several groups of neurons that receive distinct combinations of inputs from different limb controllers. In the majority (73%) of neurons from the forelimb area of motor cortex, modulation during control was determined exclusively by forelimb controllers (right, left or both), while in the minority (27%) hindlimb controllers also contributed. By contrast, only in 30% of neurons from the hindlimb area was modulation determined exclusively by hindlimb controllers (right or both), while in 70% of them, the controllers of forelimbs also contributed. We suggest that such organization of inputs allows the motor cortex to contribute to the right-left limbs coordination within each of the girdles during locomotion, and that it also allows hindlimb neurons to participate in coordination of the movements of the hindlimbs with those of the forelimbs. PMID:21430163

  19. A Stem Cell Model of the Motor Circuit Uncouples Motor Neuron Death from Hyperexcitability Induced by SMN Deficiency.

    PubMed

    Simon, Christian M; Janas, Anna M; Lotti, Francesco; Tapia, Juan Carlos; Pellizzoni, Livio; Mentis, George Z

    2016-08-01

    In spinal muscular atrophy, a neurodegenerative disease caused by ubiquitous deficiency in the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, sensory-motor synaptic dysfunction and increased excitability precede motor neuron (MN) loss. Whether central synaptic dysfunction and MN hyperexcitability are cell-autonomous events or they contribute to MN death is unknown. We addressed these issues using a stem-cell-based model of the motor circuit consisting of MNs and both excitatory and inhibitory interneurons (INs) in which SMN protein levels are selectively depleted. We show that SMN deficiency induces selective MN death through cell-autonomous mechanisms, while hyperexcitability is a non-cell-autonomous response of MNs to defects in pre-motor INs, leading to loss of glutamatergic synapses and reduced excitation. Findings from our in vitro model suggest that dysfunction and loss of MNs result from differential effects of SMN deficiency in distinct neurons of the motor circuit and that hyperexcitability does not trigger MN death. PMID:27452470

  20. Health-related quality of life in sporadic adult-onset ataxia.

    PubMed

    Abele, Michael; Klockgether, Thomas

    2007-02-15

    Despite progressive disability in sporadic adult-onset ataxia (SAOA), little is known about patients' assessment of their ataxic disorder and its impact on health-related quality of life (Hr-QoL). This study investigated Hr-QoL by means of the following self-administered scales: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Medical Outcome Study Short Form (SF-36). Twenty-two unselected ataxia patients were included. Sleep-related complaints were found in 9 (41%) of 22 and symptoms of depression in 6 (38%) of 16 patients. Compared to a large german control group, SAOA patients had lower scores in all SF-36 dimensions except for bodily pain. The greatest impairment was found in the domain physical functioning, followed by the domains social functioning and role limitations (emotional problems). There was a significant negative correlation of all nonmotor SF-36 dimensions with the BDI score. Walking aid dependency was significantly correlated with poorer health status perception in several motor and nonmotor domains. In addition, impaired sleep quality was correlated with an impaired general health perception and with bodily pain. The study demonstrates a great impact of SAOA on Hr-QoL. Adequate treatment of depression, motor disability, and impaired sleep quality is essential to improve Hr-QoL in ataxic patients. PMID:17149704

  1. Reach task-associated excitatory overdrive of motor cortical neurons following infusion with ALS-CSF.

    PubMed

    Sankaranarayani, R; Raghavan, Mohan; Nalini, A; Laxmi, T R; Raju, T R

    2014-01-01

    Converging evidence from transgenic animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and human studies suggest alterations in excitability of the motor neurons in ALS. Specifically, in studies on human subjects with ALS the motor cortex was reported to be hyperexcitable. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that infusion of cerebrospinal fluid from patients with sporadic ALS (ALS-CSF) into the rat brain ventricle can induce hyperexcitability and structural changes in the motor cortex leading to motor dysfunction. A robust model of sporadic ALS was developed experimentally by infusing ALS-CSF into the rat ventricle. The effects of ALS-CSF at the single neuron level were examined by recording extracellular single unit activity from the motor cortex while rats were performing a reach to grasp task. We observed an increase in the firing rate of the neurons of the motor cortex in rats infused with ALS-CSF compared to control groups. This was associated with impairment in a specific component of reach with alterations in the morphological characteristics of the motor cortex. It is likely that the increased cortical excitability observed in the present study could be the result of changes in the intrinsic properties of motor cortical neurons, a dysfunctional inhibitory mechanism and/or an underlying structural change culminating in a behavioral deficit. PMID:23900732

  2. Adult-onset foveomacular vitelliform dystrophy: A fresh perspective.

    PubMed

    Chowers, Itay; Tiosano, Liran; Audo, Isabelle; Grunin, Michelle; Boon, Camiel J F

    2015-07-01

    Adult-onset foveomacular vitelliform dystrophy (AFVD) was first described by Gass four decades ago. AFVD is characterized by subretinal vitelliform macular lesions and is usually diagnosed after the age of 40. The lesions gradually increase and then decrease in size over the years, leaving an area of atrophic outer retina and retinal pigment epithelium. This process is accompanied by a loss of visual acuity. Vitelliform lesions are hyperautofluorescent and initially have a dome-shaped appearance on optical coherence tomography. The electro-oculogram and full-field electroretinogram are typically normal, indicating localized retinal pathology. Phenocopies are also associated with other ocular disorders, such as vitreomacular traction, age-related macular degeneration, pseudodrusen, and central serous chorioretinopathy. A minority of AFVD patients have a mutation in the PRPH2, BEST1, IMPG1, or IMPG2 genes. A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the HTRA1 gene has also been associated with this phenotype. Accordingly, the phenotype can arise from alterations in the photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium, and/or interphotoreceptor matrix depending on the underlying gene defect. Excess photoreceptor outer segment production and/or impaired outer segment uptake due to impaired phagocytosis are likely underlying mechanisms. At present, no cure is available for AFVD. Thus, the current challenges in the field include identifying the underlying cause in the majority of AFVD cases and the development of effective therapeutic approaches. PMID:25681578

  3. Motor neurons are rich in non-phosphorylated neurofilaments: cross-species comparison and alterations in ALS.

    PubMed

    Tsang, Y M; Chiong, F; Kuznetsov, D; Kasarskis, E; Geula, C

    2000-04-01

    The localization and distribution of non-phosphorylated neurofilaments (NP-NF) in the upper and lower motor neurons was investigated in the rat, the common marmoset, the rhesus monkey and man using the SMI-32 antibody. Within the spinal cord of all species studied, the most intense NP-NF immunoreactivity was observed within the ventral horn alpha-motor neurons. Concurrent staining for the cholinergic marker choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) demonstrated that virtually all of the ChAT-positive alpha-motor neurons contain NP-NF immunoreactivity. Although NP-NF staining was also observed in other neurons within the ventral and intermediate horns, these neurons were loosely scattered and contained a considerably lower staining intensity. The only other prominent NP-NF staining in the spinal cord occurred within the neurons of the dorsal nucleus of Clark and the intermediolateral cell column. Phosphorylated neurofilament (P-NF) immunoreactivity was found primarily in neuronal processes. Occasionally, a solitary motor neuron contained weak P-NF immunoreactivity. Within the brainstem, neurons in all cranial nerve motor nuclei contained intense NP-NF immunoreactivity. The distribution and apparent density of NP-NF immunoreactive neurons in these nuclei was virtually identical to that observed for neurons immunoreactive for ChAT. NP-NF immunoreactive neurons of relatively lower intensity were found in many other regions of the brainstem. All of the giant Betz cells of layer (L) V in the motor cortex contained dark NP-NF immunoreactivity. Within the spinal cord of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, both Nissl and NP-NF staining demonstrated the dramatic loss of alpha-motor neurons characteristic of this disorder. Some of the remaining motor neurons contained intense P-NF immunoreactivity. These observations suggest that NP-NF immunoreactivity is a good marker for motor neurons in health and disease and may be a useful tool for studies of motor neuron degeneration

  4. Antennal mechanosensory neurons mediate wing motor reflexes in flying Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Mamiya, Akira; Dickinson, Michael H

    2015-05-20

    Although many behavioral studies have shown the importance of antennal mechanosensation in various aspects of insect flight control, the identities of the mechanosensory neurons responsible for these functions are still unknown. One candidate is the Johnston's organ (JO) neurons that are located in the second antennal segment and detect phasic and tonic rotations of the third antennal segment relative to the second segment. To investigate how different classes of JO neurons respond to different types of antennal movement during flight, we combined 2-photon calcium imaging with a machine vision system to simultaneously record JO neuron activity and the antennal movement from tethered flying fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). We found that most classes of JO neurons respond strongly to antennal oscillation at the wing beat frequency, but not to the tonic deflections of the antennae. To study how flies use input from the JO neurons during flight, we genetically ablated specific classes of JO neurons and examined their effect on the wing motion. Tethered flies flying in the dark require JO neurons to generate slow antiphasic oscillation of the left and right wing stroke amplitudes. However, JO neurons are not necessary for this antiphasic oscillation when visual feedback is available, indicating that there are multiple pathways for generating antiphasic movement of the wings. Collectively, our results are consistent with a model in which flying flies use JO neurons to detect increases in the wing-induced airflow and that JO neurons are involved in a response that decreases contralateral wing stoke amplitude. PMID:25995481

  5. Thalamocortical Projections onto Behaviorally Relevant Neurons Exhibit Plasticity during Adult Motor Learning.

    PubMed

    Biane, Jeremy S; Takashima, Yoshio; Scanziani, Massimo; Conner, James M; Tuszynski, Mark H

    2016-03-16

    Layer 5 neurons of the neocortex receive direct and relatively strong input from the thalamus. However, the intralaminar distribution of these inputs and their capacity for plasticity in adult animals are largely unknown. In slices of the primary motor cortex (M1), we simultaneously recorded from pairs of corticospinal neurons associated with control of distinct motor outputs: distal forelimb versus proximal forelimb. Activation of ChR2-expressing thalamocortical afferents in M1 before motor learning produced equivalent responses in monosynaptic excitation of neurons controlling the distal and proximal forelimb, suggesting balanced thalamic input at baseline. Following skilled grasp training, however, thalamocortical input shifted to bias activation of corticospinal neurons associated with control of the distal forelimb. This increase was associated with a cell-specific increase in mEPSC amplitude but not presynaptic release probability. These findings demonstrate distinct and highly segregated plasticity of thalamocortical projections during adult learning. PMID:26948893

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in FUS cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), including some of the most aggressive, juvenile-onset forms of the disease. FUS loss-of-function and toxic gain-of-function mechanisms have been proposed to explain how mutant FUS leads to motor neuron degeneration, but neither has been firmly established in the pathogenesis of ALS. Here we characterize a series of transgenic FUS mouse lines that manifest progressive, mutant-dependent motor neuron degeneration preceded by early, structural and functional abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction. A novel, conditional FUS knockout mutant reveals that postnatal elimination of FUS has no effect on motor neuron survival or function. Moreover, endogenous FUS does not contribute to the onset of the ALS phenotype induced by mutant FUS. These findings demonstrate that FUS-dependent motor degeneration is not due to loss of FUS function, but to the gain of toxic properties conferred by ALS mutations. PMID:26842965

  8. Mitochondrial Dysfunction during the Early Stages of Excitotoxic Spinal Motor Neuron Degeneration in Vivo.

    PubMed

    Santa-Cruz, Luz Diana; Guerrero-Castillo, Sergio; Uribe-Carvajal, Salvador; Tapia, Ricardo

    2016-07-20

    Glutamate excitotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction are involved in motor neuron degeneration process during amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have previously shown that microdialysis perfusion of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA) in the lumbar region of the rat spinal cord produces permanent paralysis of the ipsilateral hindlimb and death of motor neurons by a Ca(2+)-dependent mechanism, in a process that starts 2-3 h after AMPA perfusion. Co-perfusion with different energy metabolic substrates, mainly pyruvate, prevented the paralysis and motor neuron degeneration induced by AMPA, suggesting that mitochondrial energetic deficiencies are involved in this excitotoxic motor neuron death. To test this, in the present work, we studied the functional and ultrastructural characteristics of mitochondria isolated from the ventral horns of lumbar spinal cords of rats, at the beginning of the AMPA-induced degeneration process, when motor neurons are still alive. Animals were divided in four groups: perfused with AMPA, AMPA + pyruvate, and pyruvate alone and Krebs-Ringer medium as controls. Mitochondria from the AMPA-treated group showed decreased oxygen consumption rates, respiratory controls, and transmembrane potentials. Additionally, activities of the respiratory chain complexes I and IV were significantly decreased. Electron microscopy showed that mitochondria from AMPA-treated rats presented swelling, disorganized cristae and disrupted membranes. Remarkably, in the animals co-perfused with AMPA and pyruvate all these abnormalities were prevented. We conclude that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a crucial role in spinal motor neuron degeneration induced by overactivation of AMPA receptors in vivo. These mechanisms could be involved in ALS motor neuron degeneration. PMID:27090876

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. Recording from the same neurons chronically in motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Fraser, George W; Schwartz, Andrew B

    2012-04-01

    Two rhesus monkeys were implanted with silicon arrays of 96 microelectrodes. Neural activity was recorded periodically over a period of weeks to months. We have developed a method to determine whether single units in two separate recording sessions represent the same neuron. Pairwise cross-correlograms, the autocorrelogram, waveform shape, and mean firing rate were used together as identifying features of a neuron. When two units recorded on separate days were compared using these features, their similarity scores tended to be either high, indicating two recordings from the same neuron, or low, indicating different neurons. Although these metrics are individually weak, together they produce a strong classifier. Some neurons were recorded for >100 days. These monkeys performed a center-out reaching task, and we found that the firing properties of chronically recorded neurons were stable over time. PMID:22190623

  11. Effect of light on the activity of motor cortex neurons during locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Armer, Madison C.; Nilaweera, Wijitha U.; Rivers, Trevor J.; Dasgupta, Namrata M.; Beloozerova, Irina N.

    2013-01-01

    The motor cortex plays a critical role in accurate visually guided movements such as reaching and target stepping. However, the manner in which vision influences the movement-related activity of neurons in the motor cortex is not well understood. In this study we have investigated how the locomotion-related activity of neurons in the motor cortex is modified when subjects switch between walking in the darkness and in light. Three adult cats were trained to walk through corridors of an experimental chamber for a food reward. On randomly selected trials, lights were extinguished for approximately four seconds when the cat was in a straight portion of the chamber's corridor. Discharges of 146 neurons from layer V of the motor cortex, including 51 pyramidal tract cells (PTNs), were recorded and compared between light and dark conditions. It was found that while cats’ movements during locomotion in light and darkness were similar (as judged from the analysis of three-dimensional limb kinematics and the activity of limb muscles), the firing behavior of 49% (71/146) of neurons was different between the two walking conditions. This included differences in the mean discharge rate (19%, 28/146 of neurons), depth of stride-related frequency modulation (24%, 32/131), duration of the period of elevated firing ([PEF], 19%, 25/131), and number of PEFs among stride-related neurons (26%, 34/131). 20% of responding neurons exhibited more than one type of change. We conclude that visual input plays a very significant role in determining neuronal activity in the motor cortex during locomotion by altering one, or occasionally multiple, parameters of locomotion-related discharges of its neurons. PMID:23680161

  12. Efficacy of Anakinra in Refractory Adult-Onset Still's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz-Sanjuán, Francisco; Blanco, Ricardo; Riancho-Zarrabeitia, Leyre; Castañeda, Santos; Olivé, Alejandro; Riveros, Anne; Velloso-Feijoo, María.L.; Narváez, Javier; Jiménez-Moleón, Inmaculada; Maiz-Alonso, Olga; Ordóñez, Carmen; Bernal, José A.; Hernández, María V.; Sifuentes-Giraldo, Walter A.; Gómez-Arango, Catalina; Galíndez-Agirregoikoa, Eva; Blanco-Madrigal, Juan; Ortiz-Santamaria, Vera; del Blanco-Barnusell, Jordi; De Dios, Juan R.; Moreno, Mireia; Fiter, Jordi; Riscos, Marina de los; Carreira, Patricia; Rodriguez-Valls, María J.; González-Vela, M. Carmen; Calvo-Río, Vanesa; Loricera, Javier; Palmou-Fontana, Natalia; Pina, Trinitario; Llorca, Javier; González-Gay, Miguel A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) is often refractory to standard therapy. Anakinra (ANK), an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, has demonstrated efficacy in single cases and small series of AOSD. We assessed the efficacy of ANK in a series of AOSD patients. Multicenter retrospective open-label study. ANK was used due to lack of efficacy to standard synthetic immunosuppressive drugs and in some cases also to at least 1 biologic agent. Forty-one patients (26 women/15 men) were recruited. They had a mean age of 34.4 ± 14 years and a median [interquartile range (IQR)] AOSD duration of 3.5 [2–6] years before ANK onset. At that time the most common clinical features were joint manifestations 87.8%, fever 78%, and cutaneous rash 58.5%. ANK yielded rapid and maintained clinical and laboratory improvement. After 1 year of therapy, the frequency of joint and cutaneous manifestations had decreased to 41.5% and to 7.3% respectively, fever from 78% to 14.6%, anemia from 56.1% to 9.8%, and lymphadenopathy from 26.8% to 4.9%. A dramatic improvement of laboratory parameters was also achieved. The median [IQR] prednisone dose was also reduced from 20 [11.3–47.5] mg/day at ANK onset to 5 [0–10] at 12 months. After a median [IQR] follow-up of 16 [5–50] months, the most important side effects were cutaneous manifestations (n = 8), mild leukopenia (n = 3), myopathy (n = 1), and infections (n = 5). ANK is associated with rapid and maintained clinical and laboratory improvement, even in nonresponders to other biologic agents. However, joint manifestations are more refractory than the systemic manifestations. PMID:26426623

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasvoina, Marina V.

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22792255

  16. Hypocretinergic neurons are activated in conjunction with goal-oriented survival-related motor behaviors.

    PubMed

    Torterolo, Pablo; Ramos, Oscar V; Sampogna, Sharon; Chase, Michael H

    2011-10-24

    Hypocretinergic neurons are located in the area of the lateral hypothalamus which is responsible for mediating goal-directed, survival-related behaviors. Consequently, we hypothesize that the hypocretinergic system functions to promote these behaviors including those patterns of somatomotor activation upon which they are based. Further, we hypothesize that the hypocretinergic system is not involved with repetitive motor activities unless they occur in conjunction with the goal-oriented behaviors that are governed by the lateral hypothalamus. In order to determine the veracity of these hypotheses, we examined Fos immunoreactivity (as a marker of neuronal activity) in hypocretinergic neurons in the cat during: a) Exploratory Motor Activity; b) Locomotion without Reward; c) Locomotion with Reward; and d) Wakefulness without Motor Activity. Significantly greater numbers of hypocretinergic neurons expressed c-fos when the animals were exploring an unknown environment during Exploratory Motor Activity compared with all other paradigms. In addition, a larger number of Hcrt+Fos+neurons were activated during Locomotion with Reward than during Wakefulness without Motor Activity. Finally, very few hypocretinergic neurons were activated during Locomotion without Reward and Wakefulness without Motor Activity, wherein there was an absence of goal-directed activities. We conclude that the hypocretinergic system does not promote wakefulness per se or motor activity per se but is responsible for mediating specific goal-oriented behaviors that take place during wakefulness. Accordingly, we suggest that the hypocretinergic system is responsible for controlling the somatomotor system and coordinating its activity with other systems in order to produce successful goal-oriented survival-related behaviors that are controlled by the lateral hypothalamus. PMID:21839102

  17. Comparison of commonly used retrograde tracers in rat spinal motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Yu, You-Lai; Li, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Pei-Xun; Yin, Xiao-Feng; Han, Na; Kou, Yu-Hui; Jiang, Bao-Guo

    2015-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of four fluorescent dyes, True Blue (TB), Fluoro-Gold (FG), Fluoro-Ruby (FR), and 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI), in retrograde tracing of rat spinal motor neurons. We transected the muscle branch of the rat femoral nerve and applied each tracer to the proximal stump in single labeling experiments, or combinations of tracers (FG-DiI and TB-DiI) in double labeling experiments. In the single labeling experiments, significantly fewer labeled motor neurons were observed after FR labeling than after TB, FG, or DiI, 3 days after tracer application. By 1 week, there were no significant differences in the number of labeled neurons between the four groups. In the double-labeling experiment, the number of double-labeled neurons in the FG-DiI group was not significantly different from that in the TB-DiI group 1 week after tracer application. Our findings indicate that TB, FG, and DiI have similar labeling efficacies in the retrograde labeling of spinal motor neurons in the rat femoral nerve when used alone. Furthermore, combinations of DiI and TB or FG are similarly effective. Therefore, of the dyes studied, TB, FG and DiI, and combinations of DiI with TB or FG, are the most suitable for retrograde labeling studies of motor neurons in the rat femoral nerve. PMID:26692873

  18. Astrocytes expressing ALS-linked mutated SOD1 release factors selectively toxic to motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Makiko; Re, Diane B; Nagata, Tetsuya; Chalazonitis, Alcmène; Jessell, Thomas M; Wichterle, Hynek; Przedborski, Serge

    2007-05-01

    Mutations in superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) cause a form of the fatal paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), presumably by a combination of cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous processes. Here, we show that expression of mutated human SOD1 in primary mouse spinal motor neurons does not provoke motor neuron degeneration. Conversely, rodent astrocytes expressing mutated SOD1 kill spinal primary and embryonic mouse stem cell-derived motor neurons. This is triggered by soluble toxic factor(s) through a Bax-dependent mechanism. However, mutant astrocytes do not cause the death of spinal GABAergic or dorsal root ganglion neurons or of embryonic stem cell-derived interneurons. In contrast to astrocytes, fibroblasts, microglia, cortical neurons and myocytes expressing mutated SOD1 do not cause overt neurotoxicity. These findings indicate that astrocytes may play a role in the specific degeneration of spinal motor neurons in ALS. Identification of the astrocyte-derived soluble factor(s) may have far-reaching implications for ALS from both a pathogenic and therapeutic standpoint. PMID:17435755

  19. Astrocytes expressing ALS-linked mutated SOD1 release factors selectively toxic to motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Nagai, Makiko; Re, Diane B; Nagata, Tetsuya; Chalazonitis, Alcmène; Jessell, Thomas M; Wichterle, Hynek; Przedborski, Serge

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) cause a form of the fatal paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), presumably by a combination of cell-autonomous and non–cell-autonomous processes. Here, we show that expression of mutated human SOD1 in primary mouse spinal motor neurons does not provoke motor neuron degeneration. Conversely, rodent astrocytes expressing mutated SOD1 kill spinal primary and embryonic mouse stem cell–derived motor neurons. This is triggered by soluble toxic factor(s) through a Bax-dependent mechanism. However, mutant astrocytes do not cause the death of spinal GABAergic or dorsal root ganglion neurons or of embryonic stem cell–derived interneurons. In contrast to astrocytes, fibroblasts, microglia, cortical neurons and myocytes expressing mutated SOD1 do not cause overt neurotoxicity. These findings indicate that astrocytes may play a role in the specific degeneration of spinal motor neurons in ALS. Identification of the astrocyte-derived soluble factor(s) may have far-reaching implications for ALS from both a pathogenic and therapeutic standpoint. PMID:17435755

  20. Innervation pattern of a pool of nine excitatory motor neurons in the flexor tibiae muscle of a locust hind leg

    PubMed

    Sasaki; Burrows

    1998-05-21

    The flexor tibiae muscle of a locust hind leg consists of 10-11 pairs of fibre bundles in the main body of the muscle and a distal pair of bundles that form the accessory flexor muscle, all of which insert onto a common tendon. It is much smaller than the antagonistic extensor tibiae muscle and yet it is innervated by nine excitatory motor neurons, compared with only two for the extensor. To determine the pattern of innervation within the muscle by individual motor neurons, branches of the nerve (N5B2) that supplies the different muscle bundles were backfilled to reveal somata in the metathoracic ganglion. This showed that different muscle bundles are innervated by different numbers of excitatory motor neurons. Physiological mapping of the innervation was then carried out by intracellular recordings from the somata of flexor motor neurons in the metathoracic ganglion using microelectrodes. Spikes were evoked in these neurons by the injection of current, and matching junctional potentials were sought in fibres throughout the muscle using a second intracellular electrode. Each motor neuron innervates only a restricted array of muscle fibres and, although some innervate a larger array than others, none innervates fibres throughout the muscle. Some motor neurons innervate only proximal fibres and others only more distal fibres, so that the most proximal and most distal bundles of muscle fibres are innervated by non-overlapping sets of motor neurons. More motor neurons innervate proximal bundles than distal ones, and there are some asymmetries in the number of motor neurons innervating corresponding bundles on either side of the tendon. Individual motor neurons cause slow, fast or intermediate movements of the tibia, but their patterns of innervation overlap in the different muscle bundles. Furthermore, individual muscle fibres may also be innervated by motor neurons with different properties. PMID:9600870

  1. Nicotine enhances inhibition of mouse vagal motor neurons by modulating excitability of premotor GABAergic neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarii.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hong; Boychuk, Jeffery A; Boychuk, Carie R; Uteshev, Victor V; Smith, Bret N

    2015-02-15

    The caudal nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) serves as the site of the first synapse for visceral sensory inputs to the central nervous system. The NTS sends functional projections to multiple brain nuclei, with gastric-related projections primarily targeting the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). Previous studies have demonstrated that the majority of caudal NTS neurons that project to the DMV respond robustly to nicotine and express nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). However, the cytochemical identity and relationship with specific viscera of DMV-projecting, nicotine-responsive caudal NTS neurons have not been determined. The present study used transgenic mice that express enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under a GAD67 promoter in a subset of GABAergic neurons, in vivo retrograde pseudorabies viral labeling to identify gastric-related vagal complex neurons, and patch-clamp electrophysiology in acute brain stem slices to test the hypothesis that gastric-related and GABAergic inhibitory synaptic input to the DMV from the caudal NTS is under a robust modulatory control by nAChRs. Our results suggest that activation of nAChRs in the caudal NTS, but not DMV, potentiates GABAergic, but not glutamatergic, input to the DMV. Gastric-related caudal NTS and DMV neurons are directly involved in this nicotine-sensitive circuitry. Understanding the central patterns of nicotinic modulation of visceral sensory-motor circuitry may help develop therapeutic interventions to restore autonomic homeostasis in patients with autonomic impairments. PMID:25429117

  2. Changes in corticospinal facilitation of lower limb spinal motor neurons after spinal cord lesions.

    PubMed Central

    Brouwer, B; Bugaresti, J; Ashby, P

    1992-01-01

    The projections from the cortex to the motor neurons of lower limb muscles were examined in 33 normal subjects and 16 patients with incomplete spinal cord lesions. Corticospinal neurons were excited by transcranial magnetic stimulation and the effects on single spinal motor neurons determined from peristimulus time histograms (PSTHs) of single tibialis anterior (TA) and soleus (SOL) motor units. In normal subjects magnetic stimulation produced a short latency facilitation of TA motor units but had little or no effect on SOL motor units. In the patients with spinal cord lesions magnetic stimulation also produced facilitation of TA but not SOL motor units; however, the mean latency of the TA facilitation was significantly longer (by about 14 ms) in the patient group. The F wave latencies were normal in all patients tested, suggesting that central rather than peripheral conduction was slowed. The duration of the period of increased firing probability (in TA motor units) was also significantly longer in the patients with spinal cord lesions. These changes may reflect the slowing of conduction and dispersal of conduction velocities in the corticospinal pathways as a consequence of the spinal cord lesion. No significant correlations were found between the delay of the TA facilitation and the clinical deficits in this group of patients. Images PMID:1312579

  3. Impaired Autophagy and Defective Mitochondrial Function: Converging Paths on the Road to Motor Neuron Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Edens, Brittany M.; Miller, Nimrod; Ma, Yong-Chao

    2016-01-01

    Selective motor neuron degeneration is a hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Around 10% of all cases present as familial ALS (FALS), while sporadic ALS (SALS) accounts for the remaining 90%. Diverse genetic mutations leading to FALS have been identified, but the underlying causes of SALS remain largely unknown. Despite the heterogeneous and incompletely understood etiology, different types of ALS exhibit overlapping pathology and common phenotypes, including protein aggregation and mitochondrial deficiencies. Here, we review the current understanding of mechanisms leading to motor neuron degeneration in ALS as they pertain to disrupted cellular clearance pathways, ATP biogenesis, calcium buffering and mitochondrial dynamics. Through focusing on impaired autophagic and mitochondrial functions, we highlight how the convergence of diverse cellular processes and pathways contributes to common pathology in motor neuron degeneration. PMID:26973461

  4. Motor Origin of Precise Synaptic Inputs onto Forebrain Neurons Driving a Skilled Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Vallentin, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Sensory feedback is crucial for learning and performing many behaviors, but its role in the execution of complex motor sequences is poorly understood. To address this, we consider the forebrain nucleus HVC in the songbird, which contains the premotor circuitry for song production and receives multiple convergent sensory inputs. During singing, projection neurons within HVC exhibit precisely timed synaptic events that may represent the ongoing motor program or song-related sensory feedback. To distinguish between these possibilities, we recorded the membrane potential from identified HVC projection neurons in singing zebra finches. External auditory perturbations during song production did not affect synaptic inputs in these neurons. Furthermore, the systematic removal of three sensory feedback streams (auditory, proprioceptive, and vagal) did not alter the frequency or temporal precision of synaptic activity observed. These findings support a motor origin for song-related synaptic events and suggest an updated circuit model for generating behavioral sequences. PMID:25568122

  5. Cargo-carrying motor vehicles on the neuronal highway: transport pathways and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Gunawardena, Shermali; Goldstein, Lawrence S B

    2004-02-01

    Within axons vital cargoes must be transported over great distances along microtubule tracks to maintain neuronal viability. Essential to this system are the molecular motors, kinesin and dynein, which transport a variety of neuronal cargoes. Elucidating the transport pathways, the identity of the cargoes transported, and the regulation of motor-cargo complexes are areas of intense investigation. Evidence suggests that essential components, including signaling proteins, neuroprotective and repair molecules, and vesicular and cytoskeletal components are all transported. In addition newly emerging data indicate that defects in axonal transport pathways may contribute to the initiation or progression of chronic neuronal dysfunction. In this review we concentrate on microtubule-based motor proteins, their linkers, and cargoes and discuss how factors in the axonal transport pathway contribute to disease states. As additional cargo complexes and transport pathways are identified, an understanding of the role these pathways play in the development of human disease will hopefully lead to new diagnostic and treatment strategies. PMID:14704957

  6. Arginase 1 Regulation of Nitric Oxide Production Is Key to Survival of Trophic Factor-Deprived Motor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Estévez, Alvaro G.; Sahawneh, Mary Anne; Lange, Philipp S.; Bae, Narae; Egea, Mariela; Ratan, Rajiv R.

    2008-01-01

    When deprived of trophic factors, the majority of cultured motor neurons undergo nitric oxide-dependent apoptosis. However, for reasons that have remained unclear, 30–50% of the motor neurons survive for several days without trophic factors. Here we hypothesize that the resistance of this motor neuron subpopulation to trophic factor deprivation can be attributed to diminished nitric oxide production resulting from the activity of the arginine-degrading enzyme arginase. When incubated with nor-NG-hydroxy-nor-l-arginine (NOHA), the normally resistant trophic factor-deprived motor neurons showed a drop in survival rates, whereas trophic factor-treated neurons did not. NOHA-induced motor neuron death was inhibited by blocking nitric oxide synthesis and the scavenging of superoxide and peroxynitrite, suggesting that peroxynitrite mediates NOHA toxicity. When we transfected arginase 1 into motor neurons to see whether it alone could abrogate trophic factor deprivation-induced death, we found that its forced expression did indeed do so. The protection afforded by arginase 1 expression is reversed when cells are incubated with NOHA or with low concentrations of nitric oxide. These results reveal that arginase acts as a central regulator of trophic factor-deprived motor neuron survival by suppressing nitric oxide production and the consequent peroxynitrite toxicity. They also suggest that the resistance of motor neuron subpopulations to trophic factor deprivation may result from increased arginase activity. PMID:16914676

  7. Stem cell-derived motor neurons from spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy patients.

    PubMed

    Grunseich, Christopher; Zukosky, Kristen; Kats, Ilona R; Ghosh, Laboni; Harmison, George G; Bott, Laura C; Rinaldi, Carlo; Chen, Ke-lian; Chen, Guibin; Boehm, Manfred; Fischbeck, Kenneth H

    2014-10-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA, Kennedy's disease) is a motor neuron disease caused by polyglutamine repeat expansion in the androgen receptor. Although degeneration occurs in the spinal cord and muscle, the exact mechanism is not clear. Induced pluripotent stem cells from spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy patients provide a useful model for understanding the disease mechanism and designing effective therapy. Stem cells were generated from six patients and compared to control lines from three healthy individuals. Motor neurons from four patients were differentiated from stem cells and characterized to understand disease-relevant phenotypes. Stem cells created from patient fibroblasts express less androgen receptor than control cells, but show androgen-dependent stabilization and nuclear translocation. The expanded repeat in several stem cell clones was unstable, with either expansion or contraction. Patient stem cell clones produced a similar number of motor neurons compared to controls, with or without androgen treatment. The stem cell-derived motor neurons had immunoreactivity for HB9, Isl1, ChAT, and SMI-32, and those with the largest repeat expansions were found to have increased acetylated α-tubulin and reduced HDAC6. Reduced HDAC6 was also found in motor neuron cultures from two other patients with shorter repeats. Evaluation of stably transfected mouse cells and SBMA spinal cord showed similar changes in acetylated α-tubulin and HDAC6. Perinuclear lysosomal enrichment, an HDAC6 dependent process, was disrupted in motor neurons from two patients with the longest repeats. SBMA stem cells present new insights into the disease, and the observations of reduced androgen receptor levels, repeat instability, and reduced HDAC6 provide avenues for further investigation of the disease mechanism and development of effective therapy. PMID:24925468

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

    PubMed

    Natarajan, Rajalaxmi; Singal, Vinamrata; Benes, Richard; Gao, Junling; Chan, Hoi; Chen, Haijun; Yu, Yongjia; Zhou, Jia; Wu, Ping

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24945434

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

    The central pattern generator (CPG) for heartbeat in leeches consists of seven identified pairs of segmental heart interneurons and one unidentified pair. Four of the identified pairs and the unidentified pair of interneurons make inhibitory synaptic connections with segmental heart motor neurons. The CPG produces a side-to-side asymmetric pattern of intersegmental coordination among ipsilateral premotor interneurons corresponding to a similarly asymmetric fictive motor pattern in heart motor neurons, and asymmetric constriction pattern of the two tubular hearts: synchronous and peristaltic. Using extracellular techniques, we recorded, in 61 isolated nerve cords, the activity of motor neurons in conjunction with the phase reference premotor heart interneuron, HN(4), and another premotor interneuron that allowed us to assess the coordination mode. These data were then coupled with a previous description of the temporal pattern of premotor interneuron activity in the two coordination modes to synthesize a global phase diagram for the known elements of the CPG and the entire motor neuron ensemble. These average data reveal the stereotypical side-to-side asymmetric patterns of intersegmental coordination among the motor neurons and show how this pattern meshes with the activity pattern of premotor interneurons. Analysis of animal-to-animal variability in this coordination indicates that the intersegmental phase progression of motor neuron activity in the midbody in the peristaltic coordination mode is the most stereotypical feature of the fictive motor pattern. Bilateral recordings from motor neurons corroborate the main features of the asymmetric motor pattern. PMID:17728387

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

    PubMed

    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 <5 Hz increased at task failure with respect to the beginning of the contractions for all force levels. In conclusion, the results indicated that the relative strength of common synaptic 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. PMID:26404614

  11. Bone morphogenetic protein signaling in vertebrate motor neurons and neuromuscular communication

    PubMed Central

    Osses, Nelson; Henríquez, Juan P.

    2015-01-01

    An accurate communication between motor neurons and skeletal muscle fibers is required for the proper assembly, growth and maintenance of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Several signaling and extracellular matrix molecules play stimulatory and inhibitory roles on the assembly of functional synapses. Studies in Drosophila have revealed crucial functions for early morphogens, such as members of the Wnt and Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMP) signaling pathways, during the assembly and maturation of the NMJ. Here, we bring together recent findings that led us to propose that BMPs also work in vertebrate organisms as diffusible cues to communicate motor neurons and skeletal muscles. PMID:25674047

  12. Diffuse cerebrospinal gliomatosis presenting as motor neuron disease for two years.

    PubMed Central

    Schmidbauer, M; Müller, C; Podreka, I; Mamoli, B; Sluga, E; Deecke, L

    1989-01-01

    A patient with symptoms and signs of motor neuron disease for 2 years finally developed sensory disturbances and increased intracranial pressure. MRI and CT showed enlargement of the right side of the cerebellum, the brainstem and parts of the cerebral hemisphere with focal hyperperfusion demonstrated by SPECT. Necropsy revealed a diffuse cerebrospinal gliomatosis with loss of spinal motor neurons in tumour infiltration of the anterior horns. This type of spinal cord involvement is considered responsible for the unusual clinical presentation of the neoplasm. Images PMID:2703845

  13. [Adult onset Still's disease with the initial symptom of pharyngalgia: a case report].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Enhui; Chen, Xiaoping; Zhang, Jingfei

    2015-09-01

    Adult onset Still's disease is a rare inflammatory disease characterized by spiking fevers, arthritis/ arthralgias, typical salmon-colored bumpy rash, pharyngalgia, myalgia and possible involvement of visceral organs. The diagnosis is exclusively based on clinical symptoms, according to the criteria, after the exclusion of well-known infectious, neoplastic, or other autoimmune/autoinflammatory disorders. This report includes one case of adult onset Still's disease with the initial symptom of pharyngalgia. PMID:26647549

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2), which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice. PMID:22003390

  15. Major Histocompatibility Complex I Expression by Motor Neurons and Its Implication in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Nardo, Giovanni; Trolese, Maria Chiara; Bendotti, Caterina

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal expression of major histocompatibility complex I (MHCI)-related molecules in adults and during CNS diseases is involved in the synaptic plasticity and axonal regeneration with mechanisms either dependent or independent of their immune functions. Motor neurons are highly responsive in triggering the expression of MHCI molecules during normal aging or following insults and diseases, and this has implications in the synaptic controls, axonal regeneration, and neuromuscular junction stability of these neurons. We recently reported that MHCI and immunoproteasome are strongly activated in spinal motor neurons and their peripheral motor axon in a mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) during the course of the disease. This response was prominent in ALS mice with slower disease progression in which the axonal structure and function was better preserved than in fast-progressing mice. This review summarizes and discusses our observations in the light of knowledge about the possible role of MHCI in motor neurons providing additional insight into the pathophysiology of ALS. PMID:27379008

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) provide promising therapeutic potential for cell replacement therapy in spinal cord injury (SCI). However, high increases of cell viability and poor control of cell differentiation remain major obstacles. In this study, we have developed a non-woven material made of co-electrospun fibers of poly L-lactic acid and gelatin with a degradation rate and mechanical properties similar to peripheral nerve tissue and investigated their effect on cell survival and differentiation into motor neuronal lineages through the controlled release of retinoic acid (RA) and purmorphamine. Engineered Neural Stem-Like Cells (NSLCs) seeded on these fibers, with and without the instructive cues, differentiated into β-III-tubulin, HB-9, Islet-1, and choactase-positive motor neurons by immunostaining, in response to the release of the biomolecules. In addition, the bioactive material not only enhanced the differentiation into motor neuronal lineages but also promoted neurite outgrowth. This study elucidated that a combination of electrospun fiber scaffolds, neural stem cells, and controlled delivery of instructive cues could lead to the development of a better strategy for peripheral nerve injury repair. PMID:24161168

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. Mitochondrial fission is an acute and adaptive response in injured motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Kiryu-Seo, Sumiko; Tamada, Hiromi; Kato, Yukina; Yasuda, Katsura; Ishihara, Naotada; Nomura, Masatoshi; Mihara, Katsuyoshi; Kiyama, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Successful recovery from neuronal damage requires a huge energy supply, which is provided by mitochondria. However, the physiological relevance of mitochondrial dynamics in damaged neurons in vivo is poorly understood. To address this issue, we established unique bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic (BAC Tg) mice, which develop and function normally, but in which neuronal injury induces labelling of mitochondria with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and expression of cre recombinase. GFP-labelled mitochondria in BAC Tg mice appear shorter in regenerating motor axons soon after nerve injury compared with mitochondria in non-injured axons, suggesting the importance of increased mitochondrial fission during the early phase of nerve regeneration. Crossing the BAC Tg mice with mice carrying a floxed dynamin-related protein 1 gene (Drp1), which is necessary for mitochondrial fission, ablates mitochondrial fission specifically in injured neurons. Injury-induced Drp1-deficient motor neurons show elongated or abnormally gigantic mitochondria, which have impaired membrane potential and axonal transport velocity during the early phase after injury, and eventually promote neuronal death. Our in vivo data suggest that acute and prominent mitochondrial fission during the early stage after nerve injury is an adaptive response and is involved in the maintenance of mitochondrial and neuronal integrity to prevent neurodegeneration. PMID:27319806

  19. Mitochondrial fission is an acute and adaptive response in injured motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kiryu-Seo, Sumiko; Tamada, Hiromi; Kato, Yukina; Yasuda, Katsura; Ishihara, Naotada; Nomura, Masatoshi; Mihara, Katsuyoshi; Kiyama, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Successful recovery from neuronal damage requires a huge energy supply, which is provided by mitochondria. However, the physiological relevance of mitochondrial dynamics in damaged neurons in vivo is poorly understood. To address this issue, we established unique bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic (BAC Tg) mice, which develop and function normally, but in which neuronal injury induces labelling of mitochondria with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and expression of cre recombinase. GFP-labelled mitochondria in BAC Tg mice appear shorter in regenerating motor axons soon after nerve injury compared with mitochondria in non-injured axons, suggesting the importance of increased mitochondrial fission during the early phase of nerve regeneration. Crossing the BAC Tg mice with mice carrying a floxed dynamin-related protein 1 gene (Drp1), which is necessary for mitochondrial fission, ablates mitochondrial fission specifically in injured neurons. Injury-induced Drp1-deficient motor neurons show elongated or abnormally gigantic mitochondria, which have impaired membrane potential and axonal transport velocity during the early phase after injury, and eventually promote neuronal death. Our in vivo data suggest that acute and prominent mitochondrial fission during the early stage after nerve injury is an adaptive response and is involved in the maintenance of mitochondrial and neuronal integrity to prevent neurodegeneration. PMID:27319806

  20. Medullary raphe neurones and baroreceptor modulation of the respiratory motor pattern in the cat

    PubMed Central

    Lindsey, B G; Arata, A; Morris, K F; Hernandez, Y M; Shannon, R

    1998-01-01

    Perturbations of arterial blood pressure change medullary raphe neurone activity and the respiratory motor pattern. This study sought evidence for actions of baroresponsive raphe neurones on the medullary respiratory network.Blood pressure was perturbed by intravenous injection of an α1-adrenergic receptor agonist, unilateral pressure changes in the carotid sinus, or occlusion of the descending aorta in thirty-six Dial-urethane-anaesthetized, vagotomized, paralysed, artificially ventilated cats. Neurones were monitored with microelectrode arrays in two or three of the following domains: nucleus raphe obscurus-nucleus raphe pallidus, nucleus raphe magnus, and rostral and caudal ventrolateral medulla. Data were analysed with cycle-triggered histograms, peristimulus time and cumulative sum histograms, cross-correlograms and spike-triggered averages of efferent phrenic nerve activity.Prolongation of the expiratory phase and decreased peak integrated phrenic amplitude were most frequently observed. Of 707 neurones studied, 310 had altered firing rates during stimulation; changes in opposite directions were monitored simultaneously in fifty-six of eighty-seven data sets with at least two baroresponsive neurones.Short time scale correlations were detected between neurones in 347 of 3388 pairs. Seventeen pairs of baroresponsive raphe neurones exhibited significant offset correlogram features indicative of paucisynaptic interactions. In correlated raphe-ventrolateral medullary neurone pairs with at least one baroresponsive neurone, six of seven ventrolateral medullary decrementing expiratory (E-Decr) neurones increased their firing rate during baroreceptor stimulation. Thirteen of fifteen ventrolateral medullary inspiratory neurones correlated with raphe cells decreased their firing rate during baroreceptor stimulation.The results support the hypothesis that raphe neuronal assemblies transform and transmit information from baroreceptors to neurones in the ventral

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have examined motor impairments using voxel-based lesion symptom mapping, but few are reported regarding the corresponding relationship between cerebral cortex injury and lower limb motor impairment analyzed using this technique. This study correlated neuronal injury in the cerebral cortex of 16 patients with chronic stroke based on a voxel-based lesion symptom mapping analysis. Neuronal injury in the corona radiata, caudate nucleus and putamen of patients with chronic stroke could predict walking speed. The behavioral measure scores were consistent with motor deficits expected after damage to the cortical motor system due to stroke. These findings suggest that voxel-based lesion symptom mapping may provide a more accurate prognosis of motor recovery from chronic stroke according to neuronal injury in cerebral motor cortex. PMID:25206888

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-08-27

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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. ); Taylor, B.A. )

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  5. In vivo labeling of zebrafish motor neurons using an mnx1 enhancer and Gal4/UAS.

    PubMed

    Zelenchuk, Taras A; Brusés, Juan L

    2011-07-01

    The zebrafish spinal cord primary motor neurons are commonly used as an experimental model to study the molecular mechanisms that regulate axonal pathfinding and neuromuscular junction formation, and for the modeling of human neurodegenerative disorders. This study characterized a 125-bp mnx1 enhancer to direct gene expression in spinal cord motor neurons. A promoter containing three copies of the 125-bp mnx1 enhancer was generated in a Tol2 vector and used to drive enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression either directly or in combination with the Gal4/UAS transcriptional activation system. Both methods induced protein expression for up to 5 days after fertilization, allowing the observation of the dendritic tree and axonal arborization of single motor neurons within a somitic segment in fixed and live animals. The use of the 125-bp mnx1 promoter for transient transgenic expression or for the generation of stable transgenic fish lines will facilitate the study of motor neuron development and neurodegenerative processes. PMID:21538811

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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. PMID:26402700

  10. Generating Diverse Spinal Motor Neuron Subtypes from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Patani, Rickie

    2016-01-01

    Resolving the mechanisms underlying human neuronal diversification remains a major challenge in developmental and applied neurobiology. Motor neurons (MNs) represent a diverse pool of neuronal subtypes exhibiting differential vulnerability in different human neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The ability to predictably manipulate MN subtype lineage restriction from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) will form the essential basis to establishing accurate, clinically relevant in vitro disease models. I first overview motor neuron developmental biology to provide some context for reviewing recent studies interrogating pathways that influence the generation of MN diversity. I conclude that motor neurogenesis from PSCs provides a powerful reductionist model system to gain insight into the developmental logic of MN subtype diversification and serves more broadly as a leading exemplar of potential strategies to resolve the molecular basis of neuronal subclass differentiation within the nervous system. These studies will in turn permit greater mechanistic understanding of differential MN subtype vulnerability using in vitro human disease models. PMID:26823667

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26402700

  12. The Relationship of Neuronal Activity within the Sensori-Motor Region of the Subthalamic Nucleus to Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Peter; Montgomery, Erwin B., Jr.

    2006-01-01

    Microelectrode recordings of human sensori-motor subthalamic neuronal activity during spoken sentence and syllable-repetition tasks provided an opportunity to evaluate the relationship between changes in neuronal activities and specific aspects of these vocal behaviors. Observed patterns of neuronal activity included a build up of activity in…

  13. Plastic changes in the spinal cord in motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    A culture system that can recapitulate myelination in vitro will not only help us better understand the mechanism of myelination and demyelination, but also find out possible therapeutic interventions for treating demyelinating diseases. Here, we introduce a simple and reproducible myelination culture system using mouse motor neurons (MNs) and Schwann cells (SCs). Dissociated motor neurons are plated on a feeder layer of SCs, which interact with and wrap around the axons of MNs as they differentiate in culture. In our MN-SC coculture system, MNs survived over 3 weeks and extended long axons. Both viability and axon growth of MNs in the coculture were markedly enhanced as compared to those of MN monoculture. Co-labeling of myelin basic proteins (MBPs) and neuronal microtubules revealed that SC formed myelin sheaths by wrapping around the axons of MNs. Furthermore, using the coculture system we found that treatment of an antioxidant substance coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) markedly facilitated myelination. PMID:26456300

  16. Multiplexing of motor information in the discharge of a collision detecting neuron during escape behaviors.

    PubMed

    Fotowat, Haleh; Harrison, Reid R; Gabbiani, Fabrizio

    2011-01-13

    Locusts possess an identified neuron, the descending contralateral movement detector (DCMD), conveying visual information about impending collision from the brain to thoracic motor centers. We built a telemetry system to simultaneously record, in freely behaving animals, the activity of the DCMD and of motoneurons involved in jump execution. Cocontraction of antagonistic leg muscles, a required preparatory phase, was triggered after the DCMD firing rate crossed a threshold. Thereafter, the number of DCMD spikes predicted precisely motoneuron activity and jump occurrence. Additionally, the time of DCMD peak firing rate predicted that of jump. Ablation experiments suggest that the DCMD, together with a nearly identical ipsilateral descending neuron, is responsible for the timely execution of the escape. Thus, three distinct features that are multiplexed in a single neuron's sensory response to impending collision-firing rate threshold, peak firing time, and spike count-probably control three distinct motor aspects of escape behaviors. PMID:21220105

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Primary motor cortex (M1) activity correlates with many motor variables, making it difficult to demonstrate how it participates in motor control. We developed a two-stage process to separate the process of classifying the motor field of M1 neurons from the process of predicting the spatiotemporal patterns of its motor field during reaching. We tested our approach with a neural network model that controlled a two-joint arm to show the statistical relationship between network connectivity and neural activity across different motor tasks. In rhesus monkeys, M1 neurons classified by this method showed preferred reaching directions similar to their associated muscle groups. Importantly, the neural population signals predicted the spatiotemporal dynamics of their associated muscle groups, although a subgroup of atypical neurons reversed their directional preference, suggesting a selective role in antagonist control. These results highlight that M1 provides important details on the spatiotemporal patterns of muscle activity during motor skills such as reaching. PMID:26843605

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

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Rakesh; Sharma, Avdhesh

    2004-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is recently developing as imaging modality used for mapping hemodynamics of neuronal and motor event related tissue blood oxygen level dependence (BOLD) in terms of brain activation. Image processing is performed by segmentation and registration methods. Segmentation algorithms provide brain surface-based analysis, automated anatomical labeling of cortical fields in magnetic resonance data sets based on oxygen metabolic state. Registration algorithms provide geometric features using two or more imaging modalities to assure clinically useful neuronal and motor information of brain activation. This review article summarizes the physiological basis of fMRI signal, its origin, contrast enhancement, physical factors, anatomical labeling by segmentation, registration approaches with examples of visual and motor activity in brain. Latest developments are reviewed for clinical applications of fMRI along with other different neurophysiological and imaging modalities. PMID:15125779

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-10-01

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

  20. Actions of motor neurons and leg muscles in jumping by planthopper insects (hemiptera, issidae).

    PubMed

    Burrows, Malcolm; Bräunig, Peter

    2010-04-15

    To understand the catapult mechanism that propels jumping in a planthopper insect, the innervation and action of key muscles were analyzed. The large trochanteral depressor muscle, M133b,c, is innervated by two motor neurons and by two dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons, all with axons in N3C. A smaller depressor muscle, M133a, is innervated by two neurons, one with a large-diameter cell body, a large, blind-ending dendrite, and a giant ovoid, axon measuring 50 microm by 30 microm in nerve N5A. The trochanteral levator muscles (M132) and (M131) are innervated by N4 and N3B, respectively. The actions of these muscles in a restrained jump were divisible into a three-phase pattern. First, both hind legs were moved into a cocked position by high-frequency bursts of spikes in the levator muscles lasting about 0.5 seconds. Second, and once both legs were cocked, M133b,c received a long continuous sequence of motor spikes, but the two levators spiked only sporadically. The spikes in the two motor neurons to M133b,c on one side were closely coupled to each other and to the spikes on the other side. If one hind leg was cocked then the spikes only occurred in motor neurons to that side. The final phase was the jump movement itself, which occurred when the depressor spikes ceased and which lasted 1 ms. Muscles 133b,c activated synchronously on both sides, are responsible for generating the power, and M133a and its giant neuron may play a role in triggering the release of a jump. PMID:20151364

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Motor skill training induces structural plasticity at dendritic spines in the primary motor cortex (M1). To further analyze both synaptic and intrinsic plasticity in the layer II/III area of M1, we subjected rats to a rotor rod test and then prepared acute brain slices. Motor skill consistently improved within 2 days of training. Voltage clamp analysis showed significantly higher α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid/N-methyl-d-aspartate (AMPA/NMDA) ratios and miniature EPSC amplitudes in 1-day trained rats compared with untrained rats, suggesting increased postsynaptic AMPA receptors in the early phase of motor learning. Compared with untrained controls, 2-days trained rats showed significantly higher miniature EPSC amplitude and frequency. Paired-pulse analysis further demonstrated lower rates in 2-days trained rats, suggesting increased presynaptic glutamate release during the late phase of learning. One-day trained rats showed decreased miniature IPSC frequency and increased paired-pulse analysis of evoked IPSC, suggesting a transient decrease in presynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release. Moreover, current clamp analysis revealed lower resting membrane potential, higher spike threshold, and deeper afterhyperpolarization in 1-day trained rats—while 2-days trained rats showed higher membrane potential, suggesting dynamic changes in intrinsic properties. Our present results indicate dynamic changes in glutamatergic, GABAergic, and intrinsic plasticity in M1 layer II/III neurons after the motor training. PMID:27193420

  3. Coexpression of neurotrophic growth factors and their receptors in human facial motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Li, J M; Brackmann, D E; Hitselberger, W E; Linthicum, F H; Lim, D J

    1999-09-01

    Neuronal development and maintenance of facial motor neurons is believed to be regulated by neurotrophic growth factors. Using celloidin-embedded sections, we evaluated immunoreactivity of 11 neurotrophic factors and their receptors in facial nuclei of human brain stems (4 normal cases, and 1 from a patient with facial palsy and synkinesis). In the normal subjects, positive immunoreactivity of the growth factor neurotrophin-4 and acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) was observed in facial motor neurons, as was positive immunoreactivity against ret, the receptor shared by glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and neurturin. Immunoreactivity was moderate for the receptor trkB and strong for trkC. In the case of partial facial palsy, surviving cells failed to show immunoreactivity against neurotrophins. However, immunoreactivity of aFGF was up-regulated in both neuronal and non-neuronal cells in this patient. Results suggest that these trophic growth factors and their receptors may protect facial neurons from secondary degeneration and promote regrowth of the facial nerve after axotomy or injury. PMID:10527284

  4. Global gene expression profiling of somatic motor neuron populations with different vulnerability identify molecules and pathways of degeneration and protection

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Martin; Osborn, Teresia; Ludwig, Wesley

    2010-01-01

    Different somatic motor neuron subpopulations show a differential vulnerability to degeneration in diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and spinobulbar muscular atrophy. Studies in mutant superoxide dismutase 1 over-expressing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis model mice indicate that initiation of disease is intrinsic to motor neurons, while progression is promoted by astrocytes and microglia. Therefore, analysis of the normal transcriptional profile of motor neurons displaying differential vulnerability to degeneration in motor neuron disease could give important clues to the mechanisms of relative vulnerability. Global gene expression profiling of motor neurons isolated by laser capture microdissection from three anatomical nuclei of the normal rat, oculomotor/trochlear (cranial nerve 3/4), hypoglossal (cranial nerve 12) and lateral motor column of the cervical spinal cord, displaying differential vulnerability to degeneration in motor neuron disorders, identified enriched transcripts for each neuronal subpopulation. There were striking differences in the regulation of genes involved in endoplasmatic reticulum and mitochondrial function, ubiquitination, apoptosis regulation, nitrogen metabolism, calcium regulation, transport, growth and RNA processing; cellular pathways that have been implicated in motor neuron diseases. Confirmation of genes of immediate biological interest identified differential localization of insulin-like growth factor II, guanine deaminase, peripherin, early growth response 1, soluble guanylate cyclase 1A3 and placental growth factor protein. Furthermore, the cranial nerve 3/4-restricted genes insulin-like growth factor II and guanine deaminase protected spinal motor neurons from glutamate-induced toxicity (P < 0.001, ANOVA), indicating that our approach can identify factors that protect or make neurons more susceptible to degeneration. PMID:20826431

  5. Morphology and Intrinsic Excitability of Regenerating Sensory and Motor Neurons Grown on a Line Micropattern

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25329060

  6. IPLEX Administration Improves Motor Neuron Survival and Ameliorates Motor Functions in a Severe Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder and the first genetic cause of death in childhood. SMA is caused by low levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein that induce selective loss of α-motor neurons (MNs) in the spinal cord, resulting in progressive muscle atrophy and consequent respiratory failure. To date, no effective treatment is available to counteract the course of the disease. Among the different therapeutic strategies with potential clinical applications, the evaluation of trophic and/or protective agents able to antagonize MNs degeneration represents an attractive opportunity to develop valid therapies. Here we investigated the effects of IPLEX (recombinant human insulinlike growth factor 1 [rhIGF-1] complexed with recombinant human IGF-1 binding protein 3 [rhIGFBP-3]) on a severe mouse model of SMA. Interestingly, molecular and biochemical analyses of IGF-1 carried out in SMA mice before drug administration revealed marked reductions of IGF-1 circulating levels and hepatic mRNA expression. In this study, we found that perinatal administration of IPLEX, even if does not influence survival and body weight of mice, results in reduced degeneration of MNs, increased muscle fiber size and in amelioration of motor functions in SMA mice. Additionally, we show that phenotypic changes observed are not SMN-dependent, since no significant SMN modification was addressed in treated mice. Collectively, our data indicate IPLEX as a good therapeutic candidate to hinder the progression of the neurodegenerative process in SMA. PMID:22669476

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

    PubMed

    Spencer, Robert M; Blitz, Dawn M

    2016-06-01

    Modulatory projection neurons alter network neuron synaptic and intrinsic properties to elicit multiple different outputs. Sensory and other inputs elicit a range of modulatory neuron activity that is further shaped by network feedback, yet little is known regarding how the impact of network feedback on modulatory neurons regulates network output across a physiological range of modulatory neuron activity. Identified network neurons, a fully described connectome, and a well-characterized, identified modulatory projection neuron enabled us to address this issue in the crab (Cancer borealis) stomatogastric nervous system. The modulatory neuron modulatory commissural neuron 1 (MCN1) activates and modulates two networks that generate rhythms via different cellular mechanisms and at distinct frequencies. MCN1 is activated at rates of 5-35 Hz in vivo and in vitro. Additionally, network feedback elicits MCN1 activity time-locked to motor activity. We asked how network activation, rhythm speed, and neuron activity levels are regulated by the presence or absence of network feedback across a physiological range of MCN1 activity rates. There were both similarities and differences in responses of the two networks to MCN1 activity. Many parameters in both networks were sensitive to network feedback effects on MCN1 activity. However, for most parameters, MCN1 activity rate did not determine the extent to which network output was altered by the addition of network feedback. These data demonstrate that the influence of network feedback on modulatory neuron activity is an important determinant of network output and feedback can be effective in shaping network output regardless of the extent of network modulation. PMID:27030739

  8. Specification of individual adult motor neuron morphologies by combinatorial transcription factor codes

    PubMed Central

    Enriquez, Jonathan; Venkatasubramanian, Lalanti; Baek, Myungin; Peterson, Meredith; Aghayeva, Ulkar; Mann, Richard S.

    2015-01-01

    Summary How the highly stereotyped morphologies of individual neurons are genetically specified is not well understood. We identify six transcription factors (TFs) expressed in a combinatorial manner in seven post-mitotic adult leg motor neurons (MNs) that are derived from a single neuroblast in Drosophila. Unlike TFs expressed in mitotically active neuroblasts, these TFs do not regulate each other's expression. Removing the activity of a single TF resulted in specific morphological defects, including muscle targeting and dendritic arborization, and in a highly specific walking defect in adult flies. In contrast, when the expression of multiple TFs was modified nearly complete transformations in MN morphologies were generated. These results show that the morphological characteristics of a single neuron are dictated by a combinatorial code of morphology TFs (mTFs). mTFs function at a previously unidentified regulatory tier downstream of factors acting in the NB, but independently of factors that act in terminally differentiated neurons. PMID:25959734

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  10. The effects of 5-HT on sensory, central and motor neurons driving the abdominal superficial flexor muscles in the crayfish.

    PubMed

    Strawn, J R; Neckameyer, W S; Cooper, R L

    2000-12-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) induces a variety of physiological and behavioral effects in crustaceans. However, the mechanisms employed by 5-HT to effect behavioral changes are not fully understood. Among the mechanisms by which these changes might occur are alterations in synaptic drive and efficacy of sensory, interneurons and motor neurons, as well as direct effects on muscles. We investigated these aspects with the use of a defined sensory-motor system, which is entirely contained within a single abdominal segment and consists of a 'cuticular sensory neurons segmental ganglia abdominal superficial flexor motor neurons-muscles' circuit. Our studies address the role of 5-HT in altering (1) the activity of motor neurons induced by sensory stimulation; (2) the inherent excitability of superficial flexor motor neurons; (3) transmitter release properties of the motor nerve terminal and (4) input resistance of the muscle. Using en passant recordings from the motor nerve, with and without sensory stimulation, and intracellular recordings from the muscle, we show that 5-HT enhances sensory drive and output from the ventral nerve cord resulting in an increase in the firing frequency of the motor neurons. Also, 5-HT increases transmitter release at the neuromuscular junction, and alters input resistance of the muscle fibers. PMID:11281271

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

    Mutations in the ALS2 gene result in early-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paraplegia and juvenile primary lateral sclerosis, suggesting prominent upper motor neuron involvement. However, the importance of alsin function for corticospinal motor neuron (CSMN) health and stability remains unknown. To date, four separate alsin knockout (Alsin(KO)) mouse models have been generated, and despite hopes of mimicking human pathology, none displayed profound motor function defects. This, however, does not rule out the possibility of neuronal defects within CSMN, which is not easy to detect in these mice. Detailed cellular analysis of CSMN has been hampered due to their limited numbers and the complex and heterogeneous structure of the cerebral cortex. In an effort to visualize CSMN in vivo and to investigate precise aspects of neuronal abnormalities in the absence of alsin function, we generated Alsin(KO)-UeGFP mice, by crossing Alsin(KO) and UCHL1-eGFP mice, a CSMN reporter line. We find that CSMN display vacuolated apical dendrites with increased autophagy, shrinkage of soma size and axonal pathology even in the pons region. Immunocytochemistry coupled with electron microscopy reveal that alsin is important for maintaining cellular cytoarchitecture and integrity of cellular organelles. In its absence, CSMN displays selective defects both in mitochondria and Golgi apparatus. UCHL1-eGFP mice help understand the underlying cellular factors that lead to CSMN vulnerability in diseases, and our findings reveal unique importance of alsin function for CSMN health and stability. PMID:26755825

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in the ALS2 gene result in early-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paraplegia and juvenile primary lateral sclerosis, suggesting prominent upper motor neuron involvement. However, the importance of alsin function for corticospinal motor neuron (CSMN) health and stability remains unknown. To date, four separate alsin knockout (AlsinKO) mouse models have been generated, and despite hopes of mimicking human pathology, none displayed profound motor function defects. This, however, does not rule out the possibility of neuronal defects within CSMN, which is not easy to detect in these mice. Detailed cellular analysis of CSMN has been hampered due to their limited numbers and the complex and heterogeneous structure of the cerebral cortex. In an effort to visualize CSMN in vivo and to investigate precise aspects of neuronal abnormalities in the absence of alsin function, we generated AlsinKO-UeGFP mice, by crossing AlsinKO and UCHL1-eGFP mice, a CSMN reporter line. We find that CSMN display vacuolated apical dendrites with increased autophagy, shrinkage of soma size and axonal pathology even in the pons region. Immunocytochemistry coupled with electron microscopy reveal that alsin is important for maintaining cellular cytoarchitecture and integrity of cellular organelles. In its absence, CSMN displays selective defects both in mitochondria and Golgi apparatus. UCHL1-eGFP mice help understand the underlying cellular factors that lead to CSMN vulnerability in diseases, and our findings reveal unique importance of alsin function for CSMN health and stability. PMID:26755825

  13. Spontaneous degenerative polioencephalomyelopathy in feeder pigs--a new motor neuron disease?

    PubMed

    Wohlsein, Peter; Brügmann, Michael; Pfeiffer, Ina; Ammer, Hermann; Wolf, Petra; Baumgartner, Wolfgang; Peters, Martin

    2012-01-01

    A central nervous disorder occurred spontaneously in a herd of feeder pigs characterized by muscle fasciculations, convulsions, squealing, and acute death in numerous animals. Histopathology revealed a degenerative poliomyeloencephalopathy of brain stem and spinal cord consisting of neuronal hypertrophy, chromatolysis, neuronophagia, and satellitosis associated with Wallerian degeneration of ventral rootlets and neurogenic muscle atrophy of limb musculature. The sudden onset of clinical signs and the pattern of morphological findings were suggestive of intoxication. Though parathion was found in two animals, serum acetylcholine esterase activity and morphological findings were not compatible with an organophosphate poisoning. A hereditary disorder was excluded by genetic analysis. Summarized findings in the present cases are reminiscent of changes observed in ruminants suffering from patulin poisoning, a neuromycotoxicosis caused by Aspergillus clavatus. However, toxicological and microbiological investigations failed to identify the cause of this unusual and so far not described disease in pigs. Morphologically, lesion distribution and alterations of motor neurons resemble changes observed in equine motor neuron disease, spinal muscular atrophy of certain canine breeds, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) in man. Therefore, the term spontaneous porcine motor neuron disease (SPMND) is proposed for this new and unique entitiy. PMID:23227771

  14. Robust neuronal dynamics in premotor cortex during motor planning.

    PubMed

    Li, Nuo; Daie, Kayvon; Svoboda, Karel; Druckmann, Shaul

    2016-04-28

    Neural activity maintains representations that bridge past and future events, often over many seconds. Network models can produce persistent and ramping activity, but the positive feedback that is critical for these slow dynamics can cause sensitivity to perturbations. Here we use electrophysiology and optogenetic perturbations in the mouse premotor cortex to probe the robustness of persistent neural representations during motor planning. We show that preparatory activity is remarkably robust to large-scale unilateral silencing: detailed neural dynamics that drive specific future movements were quickly and selectively restored by the network. Selectivity did not recover after bilateral silencing of the premotor cortex. Perturbations to one hemisphere are thus corrected by information from the other hemisphere. Corpus callosum bisections demonstrated that premotor cortex hemispheres can maintain preparatory activity independently. Redundancy across selectively coupled modules, as we observed in the premotor cortex, is a hallmark of robust control systems. Network models incorporating these principles show robustness that is consistent with data. PMID:27074502

  15. Corticocortical synaptic influences on morphologically identified pyramidal neurones in the motor cortex of the monkey.

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, S; Porter, R

    1988-01-01

    1. Corticocortical synaptic influences on pyramidal neurones in the precentral motor cortex of monkeys were examined using intracellular recordings. Corticocortical afferents from the postarcuate premotor area and the somatic sensory cortical areas were activated by bifocal stimulation of the cortical surface. Neurones that were found to respond orthodromically to such stimuli were labelled by intracellular ionophoresis of horseradish peroxidase. 2. Almost all neurones that were penetrated satisfactorily and labelled successfully were found to be pyramidal neurones located in lamina III or lamina V. Some labelled neurones in lamina V were also characterized as pyramidal tract neurones (PTNs) by antidromic activation from the cerebral peduncles or medullary pyramids. 3. Pyramidal neurones located in lamina III and lamina V (including PTNs) were excited at short latency by stimulation of the premotor cortex (1.1-4.0 ms) and somatosensory cortex (1.1-6.5 ms). There were no statistical differences in the distributions of latencies of corticocortical EPSPs between those evoked in lamina III neurones and those recorded in lamina V neurones, or between corticocortical EPSPs evoked from the premotor cortex in comparison with those from the somatosensory cortex. Excitatory responses to stimulation of the premotor area were usually more difficult to evoke and smaller in amplitude than those produced by stimulation of the somatosensory areas. 4. Corticocortical EPSPs were often followed by IPSPs. The amplitudes of the EPSPs and IPSPs could be increased by increasing the stimulus intensity. In a few neurones IPSPs that were not preceded by EPSPs were recorded. Images Plate 1 PMID:3418539

  16. Development and Maturation of Embryonic Cortical Neurons Grafted into the Damaged Adult Motor Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ballout, Nissrine; Frappé, Isabelle; Péron, Sophie; Jaber, Mohamed; Zibara, Kazem; Gaillard, Afsaneh

    2016-01-01

    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 2 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. PMID:27536221

  17. F-spondin is a contact-repellent molecule for embryonic motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Tzarfati-Majar, Vered; Burstyn-Cohen, Tal; Klar, Avihu

    2001-01-01

    The floor plate plays a key role in patterning axonal trajectory in the embryonic spinal cord by providing both long-range and local guidance cues that promote or inhibit axonal growth toward and across the ventral midline of the spinal cord, thus acting as an intermediate target for a number of crossing (commissural) and noncrossing (motor) axons. F-spondin, a secreted adhesion molecule expressed in the embryonic floor plate and the caudal somite of birds, plays a dual role in patterning the nervous system. It promotes adhesion and outgrowth of commissural axons and inhibits adhesion of neural crest cells. In the current study, we demonstrate that outgrowth of embryonic motor axons also is inhibited by F-spondin protein in a contact-repulsion fashion. Three independent lines of evidence support our hypothesis: substrate-attached F-spondin inhibits outgrowth of dissociated motor neurons in an outgrowth assay; F-spondin elicits acute growth cone collapse when applied to cultured motor neurons; and challenging ventral spinal cord explants with aggregates of HEK 293 cells expressing F-spondin, causes contact-repulsion of motor neurites. Structural–functional studies demonstrate that the processed carboxyl-half protein that contains the thrombospondin type 1 repeats is more prominent in inhibiting outgrowth, suggesting that the processing of F-spondin is important for enhancing its inhibitory activity. PMID:11287656

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  19. Adult-Onset Still's Disease and Cardiac Tamponade: A Rare Association

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Doroteia; de Jesus Silva, Maria; André, Rui; Varela, Manuel Gato; Diogo, António Nunes

    2015-01-01

    Adult-onset Still's disease is a rare disorder with potentially severe clinical features, including cardiac involvement. This systemic inflammatory disease of unknown origin should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pericarditis, with or without pericardial effusion. Cardiac tamponade is a very rare sequela that requires an invasive approach, such as percutaneous or surgical pericardial drainage, in addition to the usual conservative therapy. The authors describe a case of adult-onset Still's disease rendered more difficult by pericarditis and cardiac tamponade, and they briefly review the literature on this entity. PMID:26175648

  20. Triheptanoin Protects Motor Neurons and Delays the Onset of Motor Symptoms in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Tefera, Tesfaye W; Wong, Yide; Barkl-Luke, Mallory E; Ngo, Shyuan T; Thomas, Nicola K; McDonald, Tanya S; Borges, Karin

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that energy metabolism is disturbed in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients and animal models. Treatment with triheptanoin, the triglyceride of heptanoate, is a promising approach to provide alternative fuel to improve oxidative phosphorylation and aid ATP generation. Heptanoate can be metabolized to propionyl-CoA, which after carboxylation can produce succinyl-CoA and thereby re-fill the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle (anaplerosis). Here we tested the hypothesis that treatment with triheptanoin prevents motor neuron loss and delays the onset of disease symptoms in female mice overexpressing the mutant human SOD1G93A (hSOD1G93A) gene. When oral triheptanoin (35% of caloric content) was initiated at P35, motor neuron loss at 70 days of age was attenuated by 33%. In untreated hSOD1G93A mice, the loss of hind limb grip strength began at 16.7 weeks. Triheptanoin maintained hind limb grip strength for 2.8 weeks longer (p<0.01). Loss of balance on the rotarod and reduction of body weight were delayed by 13 and 11 days respectively (both p<0.01). Improved motor function occurred in parallel with alterations in the expression of genes associated with muscle metabolism. In gastrocnemius muscles, the mRNA levels of pyruvate, 2-oxoglutarate and succinate dehydrogenases and methyl-malonyl mutase were reduced by 24-33% in 10 week old hSOD1G93A mice when compared to wild-type mice, suggesting that TCA cycling in skeletal muscle may be slowed in this ALS mouse model at a stage when muscle strength is still normal. At 25 weeks of age, mRNA levels of succinate dehydrogenases, glutamic pyruvic transaminase 2 and the propionyl carboxylase β subunit were reduced by 69-84% in control, but not in triheptanoin treated hSOD1G93A animals. Taken together, our results suggest that triheptanoin slows motor neuron loss and the onset of motor symptoms in ALS mice by improving TCA cycling. PMID:27564703

  1. Triheptanoin Protects Motor Neurons and Delays the Onset of Motor Symptoms in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Barkl-Luke, Mallory E.; Ngo, Shyuan T.; Thomas, Nicola K.; McDonald, Tanya S.; Borges, Karin

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that energy metabolism is disturbed in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients and animal models. Treatment with triheptanoin, the triglyceride of heptanoate, is a promising approach to provide alternative fuel to improve oxidative phosphorylation and aid ATP generation. Heptanoate can be metabolized to propionyl-CoA, which after carboxylation can produce succinyl-CoA and thereby re-fill the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle (anaplerosis). Here we tested the hypothesis that treatment with triheptanoin prevents motor neuron loss and delays the onset of disease symptoms in female mice overexpressing the mutant human SOD1G93A (hSOD1G93A) gene. When oral triheptanoin (35% of caloric content) was initiated at P35, motor neuron loss at 70 days of age was attenuated by 33%. In untreated hSOD1G93A mice, the loss of hind limb grip strength began at 16.7 weeks. Triheptanoin maintained hind limb grip strength for 2.8 weeks longer (p<0.01). Loss of balance on the rotarod and reduction of body weight were delayed by 13 and 11 days respectively (both p<0.01). Improved motor function occurred in parallel with alterations in the expression of genes associated with muscle metabolism. In gastrocnemius muscles, the mRNA levels of pyruvate, 2-oxoglutarate and succinate dehydrogenases and methyl-malonyl mutase were reduced by 24–33% in 10 week old hSOD1G93A mice when compared to wild-type mice, suggesting that TCA cycling in skeletal muscle may be slowed in this ALS mouse model at a stage when muscle strength is still normal. At 25 weeks of age, mRNA levels of succinate dehydrogenases, glutamic pyruvic transaminase 2 and the propionyl carboxylase β subunit were reduced by 69–84% in control, but not in triheptanoin treated hSOD1G93A animals. Taken together, our results suggest that triheptanoin slows motor neuron loss and the onset of motor symptoms in ALS mice by improving TCA cycling. PMID:27564703

  2. Konzo: a distinct disease entity with selective upper motor neuron damage.

    PubMed Central

    Tylleskär, T; Howlett, W P; Rwiza, H T; Aquilonius, S M; Stålberg, E; Lindén, B; Mandahl, A; Larsen, H C; Brubaker, G R; Rosling, H

    1993-01-01

    Two Tanzanian patients with konzo were severely disabled by a non-progressive spastic paraparesis, since the sudden onset during an epidemic six years earlier. At the time of onset they had a high dietary intake of cyanide from exclusive consumption of insufficiently processed bitter cassava roots. MRI of brain and spinal cord were normal but motor evoked potentials on magnetic brain stimulation were absent, even in the only slightly affected upper limbs. Other neurophysiological investigations were largely normal but the more affected patient had central visual field defects. Konzo is a distinct disease entity with selective type upper motor neuron damage. Images PMID:8509777

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

    The central pattern generator (CPG) for heartbeat in medicinal leeches consists of seven identified pairs of segmental heart interneurons and one unidentified pair. Four of the identified pairs and the unidentified pair of interneurons make inhibitory synaptic connections with segmental heart motor neurons. The CPG produces a side-to-side asymmetric pattern of intersegmental coordination among ipsilateral premotor interneurons corresponding to a similarly asymmetric fictive motor pattern in heart motor neurons, and asymmetric constriction pattern of the two tubular hearts, synchronous and peristaltic. Using extracellular recordings from premotor interneurons and voltage-clamp recordings of ipsilateral segmental motor neurons in 69 isolated nerve cords, we assessed the strength and dynamics of premotor inhibitory synaptic output onto the entire ensemble of heart motor neurons and the associated conduction delays in both coordination modes. We conclude that premotor interneurons establish a stereotypical pattern of intersegmental synaptic connectivity, strengths, and dynamics that is invariant across coordination modes, despite wide variations among preparations. These data coupled with a previous description of the temporal pattern of premotor interneuron activity and relative phasing of motor neuron activity in the two coordination modes enable a direct assessment of how premotor interneurons through their temporal pattern of activity and their spatial pattern of synaptic connectivity, strengths, and dynamics coordinate segmental motor neurons into a functional pattern of activity. PMID:17804574

  5. Motor Neuron Activation in Peripheral Nerves Using Infrared Neural Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, EJ; Tyler, DJ

    2014-01-01

    Objective Localized activation of peripheral axons may improve selectivity of peripheral nerve interfaces. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) employs localized delivery to activate neural tissue. This study investigated INS to determine whether localized delivery limited functionality in larger mammalian nerves. Approach The rabbit sciatic nerve was stimulated extraneurally with 1875 nm-wavelength infrared light, electrical stimulation, or a combination of both. Infrared-sensitive regions (ISR) of the nerve surface and electromyogram (EMG) recruitment of the Medial Gastrocnemius, Lateral Gastrocnemius, Soleus, and Tibialis Anterior were the primary output measures. Stimulation applied included infrared-only, electrical-only, and combined infrared and electrical. Main results 81% of nerves tested were sensitive to INS, with 1.7± 0.5 ISR detected per nerve. INS was selective to a single muscle within 81% of identified ISR. Activation energy threshold did not change significantly with stimulus power, but motor activation decreased significantly when radiant power was decreased. Maximum INS levels typically recruited up to 2–9% of any muscle. Combined infrared and electrical stimulation differed significantly from electrical recruitment in 7% of cases. Significance The observed selectivity of INS indicates it may be useful in augmenting rehabilitation, but significant challenges remain in increasing sensitivity and response magnitude to improve the functionality of INS. PMID:24310923

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

    Objective. Localized activation of peripheral axons may improve selectivity of peripheral nerve interfaces. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) employs localized delivery to activate neural tissue. This study investigated INS to determine whether localized delivery limited functionality in larger mammalian nerves. Approach. The rabbit sciatic nerve was stimulated extraneurally with 1875 nm wavelength infrared light, electrical stimulation, or a combination of both. Infrared-sensitive regions (ISR) of the nerve surface and electromyogram (EMG) recruitment of the Medial Gastrocnemius, Lateral Gastrocnemius, Soleus, and Tibialis Anterior were the primary output measures. Stimulation applied included infrared-only, electrical-only, and combined infrared and electrical. Main results. 81% of nerves tested were sensitive to INS, with 1.7 ± 0.5 ISR detected per nerve. INS was selective to a single muscle within 81% of identified ISR. Activation energy threshold did not change significantly with stimulus power, but motor activation decreased significantly when radiant power was decreased. Maximum INS levels typically recruited up to 2-9% of any muscle. Combined infrared and electrical stimulation differed significantly from electrical recruitment in 7% of cases. Significance. The observed selectivity of INS indicates that it may be useful in augmenting rehabilitation, but significant challenges remain in increasing sensitivity and response magnitude to improve the functionality of INS.

  7. BMP4 Is a Peripherally-Derived Factor for Motor Neurons and Attenuates Glutamate-Induced Excitotoxicity In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Hui-Ju; Lai, Dar-Ming; Huang, Cheng-Wen; McLennan, Ian S.; Wang, Horng-Dar; Wang, Pei-Yu

    2013-01-01

    Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily, have been shown to play important roles in the nervous system, including neuronal survival and synaptogenesis. However, the physiological functions of BMP signaling in the mammalian neuromuscular system are not well understood. In this study, we found that proteins of the type II bone morphogenetic receptors (BMPRII) were detected at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), and one of its ligands, BMP4, was expressed by Schwann cells and skeletal muscle fibers. In double-ligated nerves, BMP4 proteins accumulated at the proximal and distal portions of the axons, suggesting that Schwann cell- and muscle fiber-derived BMP4 proteins were anterogradely and retrogradely transported by motor neurons. Furthermore, BMP4 mRNA was down-regulated in nerves but up-regulated in skeletal muscles following nerve ligation. The motor neuron-muscle interactions were also demonstrated using differentiated C2C12 muscle cells and NG108-15 neurons in vitro. BMP4 mRNA and immunoreactivity were significantly up-regulated in differentiated C2C12 muscle cells when the motor neuron-derived factor, agrin, was present in the culture. Peripherally-derived BMP4, on the other hand, promotes embryonic motor neuron survival and protects NG108-15 neurons from glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Together, these data suggest that BMP4 is a peripherally-derived factor that may regulate the survival of motor neurons. PMID:23472198

  8. Motor neurons in Drosophila flight control: could b1 be the one?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitehead, Samuel; Shirangi, Troy; Cohen, Itai

    Similar to balancing a stick on one's fingertip, flapping flight is inherently unstable; maintaining stability is a delicate balancing act made possible only by near-constant, often-subtle corrective actions. For fruit flies, such corrective responses need not only be robust, but also fast: the Drosophila flight control reflex has a response latency time of ~5 ms, ranking it among the fastest reflexes in the animal kingdom. How is such rapid, robust control implemented physiologically? Here we present an analysis of a putatively crucial component of the Drosophila flight control circuit: the b1 motor neuron. Specifically, we apply mechanical perturbations to freely-flying Drosophila and analyze the differences in kinematics patterns between flies with manipulated and un-manipulated b1 motor neurons. Ultimately, we hope to identify the functional role of b1 in flight stabilization, with the aim of linking it to previously-proposed, reduced-order models for reflexive control.

  9. Multiplexing of Motor Information in the Discharge of a Collision Detecting Neuron during Escape Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Fotowat, Haleh; Harrison, Reid R; Gabbiani, Fabrizio

    2010-01-01

    Locusts possess an identified neuron, the descending contralateral movement detector (DCMD), conveying visual information about impending collision from the brain to thoracic motor centers. We built a telemetry system to simultaneously record, in freely behaving animals, the activity of the DCMD and of motoneurons involved in jump execution. Co-contraction of antagonistic leg muscles, a required preparatory phase, was triggered after the DCMD firing rate crossed a threshold. Thereafter, the number of DCMD spikes predicted precisely motoneuron activity and jump occurrence. Additionally, the time of DCMD peak firing rate predicted that of jump. Ablation experiments suggest that the DCMD, together with a nearly identical ipsilateral descending neuron, is responsible for the timely execution of the escape. Thus, three distinct features that are multiplexed in a single neuron’s sensory response to impending collision – firing rate threshold, peak firing time, and spike count – likely control three distinct motor aspects of escape behaviors. PMID:21220105

  10. Adult-onset hypothyroidism and the cerebral metabolism of (1,2-13C2) acetate as detected by 13C nuclear magnetic resonance.

    PubMed

    Chapa, F; Künnecke, B; Calvo, R; Escobar del Rey, F; Morreale de Escobar, G; Cerdán, S

    1995-01-01

    The effects of adult-onset hypothyroidism on the metabolic compartmentation of the cerebral tricarboxylic acid cycle and the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) shunt have been investigated by 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Rats thyroidectomized as adults and age-matched controls were infused in the right jugular vein with unlabeled or (1,2-13C2) acetate solutions for 60 min. At the end of the infusion, the brains were frozen in situ and perchloric acid extracts were prepared and analyzed by 13C nuclear magnetic resonance and reverse-phase HPLC. Thyroidectomized animals showed a decrease in the incorporation of 13C from (1,2-13C2) acetate in cerebral metabolites and an increase in the concentrations of unlabeled glutamate and GABA. Computer-assisted interpretation of the 13C multiplets observed for the carbons of glutamate, glutamine, and GABA indicated that adult-onset hypothyroidism produced 1) a decrease in the contribution of infused (1,2-13C2) acetate to the glial tricarboxylic acid cycle; 2) an increase in the contribution of unlabeled acetyl-CoA to the neuronal tricarboxylic acid cycle; and 3) impairments in the exchange of glutamate, glutamine, and GABA between the neuronal and glial compartments. Despite the fact that the adult brain has often been considered metabolically unresponsive to thyroid hormone status, present results show metabolic alterations in the neuronal and glial compartments that are reversible with substitution therapy. PMID:7828544

  11. The use of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography for imaging human motor neuronal activation in the brain

    PubMed Central

    PAHK, KISOO; PARK, KUN-WOO; PYUN, SUNG BOM; LEE, JAE SUNG; KIM, SUNGEUN; CHOE, JAE GOL

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed to visualize human motor neuronal activation in the brain using fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), and to develop an FDG-PET procedure for imaging neuronal activation. A male volunteer underwent 20 min periods of rest and motor activation, whilst being assessed using FDG-PET on two consecutive days. The motor task, which involved repetitively grasping and releasing the right hand, was performed during the initial 5 min of the activation period. Subtraction of the rest period signal from the activation PET images was performed using the subtraction ictal single-photon emission computed tomography co-registered to magnetic resonance imaging method. The subtracted image detected activation of the contralateral (left) primary motor cortex, supplementary motor area, and ipsilateral (right) cerebellum. In the present study, FDG-PET detected significantly increased motor-associated activation of the brain in a subject performing a motor task. PMID:26668604

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Although the peripheral nervous system is capable of regeneration, this capability is limited. As a potential means of augmenting nerve regeneration, the effects of cerebrolysin (CL)--a proteolytic peptide fraction--were tested in vitro on the motor-neuron-like NSC-34 cell line and organotypic spinal cord cultures. Therefore, NSC-34 cells were subjected to mechanical stress by changing media and metabolic stress by oxygen glucose deprivation. Afterwards, cell survival/proliferation using MTT and BrdU-labeling (FACS) and neurite sprouting using ImageJ analysis were evaluated. Calpain-1, Src and α-spectrin protein expression were analyzed by Western blot. In organotypic cultures, the effect of CL on motor neuron survival and neurite sprouting was tested by immunohistochemistry. CL had a temporary anti-proliferative but initially neuroprotective effect on OGD-stressed NSC-34 cells. High-dosed or repeatedly applied CL was deleterious for cell survival. CL amplified neurite reconstruction to limited extent, affected calpain-1 protein expression and influenced calpain-mediated spectrin cleavage as a function of Src expression. In organotypic spinal cord slice cultures, CL was not able to support motor neuron survival/neurite sprouting. Moreover, it hampered astroglia and microglia activities. The data suggest that CL may have only isolated positive effects on injured spinal motor neurons. High-dosed or accumulated CL seemed to have adverse effects in treatment of spinal cord injury. Further experiments are required to optimize the conditions for a safe clinical administration of CL in spinal cord injuries. PMID:24997385

  13. Contribution of LFP dynamics to single-neuron spiking variability in motor cortex during movement execution

    PubMed Central

    Rule, Michael E.; Vargas-Irwin, Carlos; Donoghue, John P.; Truccolo, Wilson

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the sources of variability in single-neuron spiking responses is an important open problem for the theory of neural coding. This variability is thought to result primarily from spontaneous collective dynamics in neuronal networks. Here, we investigate how well collective dynamics reflected in motor cortex local field potentials (LFPs) can account for spiking variability during motor behavior. Neural activity was recorded via microelectrode arrays implanted in ventral and dorsal premotor and primary motor cortices of non-human primates performing naturalistic 3-D reaching and grasping actions. Point process models were used to quantify how well LFP features accounted for spiking variability not explained by the measured 3-D reach and grasp kinematics. LFP features included the instantaneous magnitude, phase and analytic-signal components of narrow band-pass filtered (δ,θ,α,β) LFPs, and analytic signal and amplitude envelope features in higher-frequency bands. Multiband LFP features predicted single-neuron spiking (1ms resolution) with substantial accuracy as assessed via ROC analysis. Notably, however, models including both LFP and kinematics features displayed marginal improvement over kinematics-only models. Furthermore, the small predictive information added by LFP features to kinematic models was redundant to information available in fast-timescale (<100 ms) spiking history. Overall, information in multiband LFP features, although predictive of single-neuron spiking during movement execution, was redundant to information available in movement parameters and spiking history. Our findings suggest that, during movement execution, collective dynamics reflected in motor cortex LFPs primarily relate to sensorimotor processes directly controlling movement output, adding little explanatory power to variability not accounted by movement parameters. PMID:26157365

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Purpose To investigate the patterns of cortical thinning and white matter tract damage in patients with lower motor neuron (LMN)-predominant disease compared with healthy control subjects and those with classic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to evaluate the relationship between brain structural changes and clinical and cognitive features in these patients. Materials and Methods This study was approved by the local ethical committee, and written informed consent was obtained from all subjects before enrollment. Twenty-eight patients with LMN-predominant disease were compared with 55 patients with ALS and 56 healthy control subjects. Patients underwent a clinical and neuropsychological assessment and T1-weighted and diffusion-tensor magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Surface-based morphometry was used to assess cortical thickness. Tract-based spatial statistics and tractography were used to study white matter tract damage. Results Patients with LMN-predominant disease did not show differences compared with healthy control subjects in cortical thickness and diffusion-tensor MR imaging metrics. Patients with ALS showed cortical thinning of the motor-related cortices and a distributed involvement of the prefrontal, temporal, and parietal gyri (P < .05, false discovery rate corrected). Patients with ALS also showed white matter damage along motor and extramotor tracts compared with control subjects and patients with LMN-predominant disease (tract-based spatial statistics: P < .05, family-wise error corrected; tractography: P values < .001 to .05, false discovery rate corrected). In patients with LMN-predominant disease, cognitive deficits correlated with alterations in diffusivity in the left cingulum (r = -0.66, P = .01) and superior longitudinal fasciculus (r = -0.65, P = .05). Conclusion Motor and extramotor cortical thinning and diffusion-tensor MR imaging alterations were specific for motor neuron disease phenotypes, with clinically overt upper motor neuron

  15. Involvement of catecholaminergic neurons in motor innervation of striated muscle in the mouse esophagus.

    PubMed

    van der Keylen, Piet; Garreis, Fabian; Steigleder, Ruth; Sommer, Daniel; Neuhuber, Winfried L; Wörl, Jürgen

    2016-05-01

    Enteric co-innervation is a peculiar innervation pattern of striated esophageal musculature. Both anatomical and functional data on enteric co-innervation related to various transmitters have been collected in different species, although its function remains enigmatic. However, it is unclear whether catecholaminergic components are involved in such a co-innervation. Thus, we examined to identify catecholaminergic neuronal elements and clarify their relationship to other innervation components in the esophagus, using immunohistochemistry with antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5), α-bungarotoxin (α-BT) and PCR with primers for amplification of cDNA encoding TH and dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH). TH-positive nerve fibers were abundant throughout the myenteric plexus and localized on about 14% of α-BT-labelled motor endplates differing from VAChT-positive vagal nerve terminals. TH-positive perikarya represented a subpopulation of only about 2.8% of all PGP 9.5-positive myenteric neurons. Analysis of mRNA showed both TH and DBH transcripts in the mouse esophagus. As ChAT-positive neurons in the compact formation of the nucleus ambiguus were negative for TH, the TH-positive nerve varicosities on motor endplates are presumably of enteric origin, although a sympathetic origin cannot be excluded. In the medulla oblongata, the cholinergic ambiguus neurons were densely supplied with TH-positive varicosities. Thus, catecholamines may modulate vagal motor innervation of esophageal-striated muscles not only at the peripheral level via enteric co-innervation but also at the central level via projections to the nucleus ambiguus. As Parkinson's disease, with a loss of central dopaminergic neurons, also affects the enteric nervous system and dysphagia is prevalent in patients with this disease, investigation of intrinsic catecholamines in the esophagus may

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

    PubMed Central

    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 cryptic. In principle, Golgi fragmentation may result from defects in three major classes of proteins: structural Golgi proteins, cytoskeletal proteins and molecular motors, as well as proteins mediating transport to and through the Golgi. Here, we present the different mechanisms that may underlie Golgi fragmentation in animal and cellular models of ALS linked to mutations in SOD1, TARDBP (TDP-43), VAPB, and C9Orf72 and we propose a novel one based on findings in progressive motor neuronopathy (pmn) mice. These mice are mutated in the TBCE gene encoding the cis-Golgi localized tubulin-binding cofactor E, one of five chaperones that assist in tubulin folding and microtubule polymerization. Loss of TBCE leads to alterations in Golgi microtubules, which in turn impedes on the maintenance of the Golgi architecture. This is due to down-regulation of COPI coat components, dispersion of Golgi tethers and strong accumulation of ER-Golgi SNAREs. These effects are partially rescued by the GTPase ARF1 through recruitment of TBCE to the Golgi. We hypothesize that defects in COPI vesicles, microtubules and their interaction may also underlie Golgi fragmentation in human ALS linked to other mutations, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and related motor neuron diseases. We also discuss the functional relevance of pathological Golgi alterations, in particular their potential causative, contributory, or compensatory role in the degeneration of motor neuron cell bodies, axons and synapses. PMID:26696811

  17. Primary motor cortex of the parkinsonian monkey: altered neuronal responses to muscle stretch

    PubMed Central

    Pasquereau, Benjamin; Turner, Robert S.

    2013-01-01

    Exaggeration of the long-latency stretch reflex (LLSR) is a characteristic neurophysiologic feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) that contributes to parkinsonian rigidity. To explore one frequently-hypothesized mechanism, we studied the effects of fast muscle stretches on neuronal activity in the macaque primary motor cortex (M1) before and after the induction of parkinsonism by unilateral administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We compared results from the general population of M1 neurons and two antidromically-identified subpopulations: distant-projecting pyramidal-tract type neurons (PTNs) and intra-telecenphalic-type corticostriatal neurons (CSNs). Rapid rotations of elbow or wrist joints evoked short-latency responses in 62% of arm-related M1 neurons. As in PD, the late electromyographic responses that constitute the LLSR were enhanced following MPTP. This was accompanied by a shortening of M1 neuronal response latencies and a degradation of directional selectivity, but surprisingly, no increase in single unit response magnitudes. The results suggest that parkinsonism alters the timing and specificity of M1 responses to muscle stretch. Observation of an exaggerated LLSR with no change in the magnitude of proprioceptive responses in M1 is consistent with the idea that the increase in LLSR gain that contributes to parkinsonian rigidity is localized to the spinal cord. PMID:24324412

  18. Is Adolescent-Onset First-Episode Psychosis Different from Adult Onset?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ballageer, Trevor; Malla, Ashok; Manchanda, Rahul; Takhar, Jatinder; Haricharan, Raj

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To examine whether first-episode psychosis patients with onset during adolescence (ages 15-18) differ significantly from those with young-adult onset (ages 19-30). Method: Consecutive patients presenting with first-episode psychosis (N = 242) were assessed for demographic and illness characteristics such as duration of untreated…

  19. Adult-Onset Antisocial Behavior Trajectories: Associations with Adolescent Family Processes and Emerging Adulthood Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mata, Andrea D.; van Dulmen, Manfred H. M.

    2012-01-01

    Guided by conceptual and empirical work on emerging adulthood, this study investigated the role of closeness to mother and father and behavioral autonomy during adolescence on the development of adult-onset antisocial behavior. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we identified four aggressive…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  1. Targeting RNA foci in iPSC-derived motor neurons from ALS patients with C9ORF72 repeat expansion

    PubMed Central

    Sareen, D.; O’Rourke, J. G.; Meera, P.; Muhammad, A.K.M.G.; Grant, S.; Simpkinson, M.; Bell, S.; Carmona, S.; Ornelas, L.; Sahabian, A.; Gendron, T.; Petrucelli, L.; Baughn, M.; Ravits, J.; Harms, M. B.; Rigo, F.; Bennett, C. F.; Otis, T. S.; Svendsen, C. N.; Baloh, R. H.

    2014-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative condition characterized by loss of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Expansions of a hexanucleotide repeat (GGGGCC) in the noncoding region of the C9ORF72 gene are the most common cause of the familial form of ALS (C9-ALS), as well as frontotemporal lobar degeneration and other neurological diseases. How the repeat expansion causes disease remains unclear, with both loss of function (haploinsufficiency) and gain of function (either toxic RNA or protein products) proposed. Here, we report a cellular model of C9-ALS with motor neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from ALS patients carrying the C9ORF72 repeat expansion. No significant loss of C9ORF72 expression was observed, and knockdown of the transcript was not toxic to cultured human motor neurons. Transcription of the repeat was increased leading to accumulation of GGGGCC repeat-containing RNA foci selectively in C9-ALS motor neurons. Repeat-containing RNA foci co-localized with hnRNPA1 and Pur-α, suggesting that they may be able to alter RNA metabolism. C9-ALS motor neurons showed altered expression of genes involved in membrane excitability including DPP6, and demonstrated a diminished capacity to fire continuous spikes upon depolarization compared to control motor neurons. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting the C9ORF72 transcript suppressed RNA foci formation and reversed gene expression alterations in C9-ALS motor neurons. These data show that patient-derived motor neurons can be used to delineate pathogenic events in ALS. PMID:24154603

  2. Motor cortex single-neuron and population contributions to compensation for multiple dynamic force fields.

    PubMed

    Addou, Touria; Krouchev, Nedialko I; Kalaska, John F

    2015-01-15

    To elucidate how primary motor cortex (M1) neurons contribute to the performance of a broad range of different and even incompatible motor skills, we trained two monkeys to perform single-degree-of-freedom elbow flexion/extension movements that could be perturbed by a variety of externally generated force fields. Fields were presented in a pseudorandom sequence of trial blocks. Different computer monitor background colors signaled the nature of the force field throughout each block. There were five different force fields: null field without perturbing torque, assistive and resistive viscous fields proportional to velocity, a resistive elastic force field proportional to position and a resistive viscoelastic field that was the linear combination of the resistive viscous and elastic force fields. After the monkeys were extensively trained in the five field conditions, neural recordings were subsequently made in M1 contralateral to the trained arm. Many caudal M1 neurons altered their activity systematically across most or all of the force fields in a manner that was appropriate to contribute to the compensation for each of the fields. The net activity of the entire sample population likewise provided a predictive signal about the differences in the time course of the external forces encountered during the movements across all force conditions. The neurons showed a broad range of sensitivities to the different fields, and there was little evidence of a modular structure by which subsets of M1 neurons were preferentially activated during movements in specific fields or combinations of fields. PMID:25339714

  3. Task-dependent modification of leg motor neuron synaptic input underlying changes in walking direction and walking speed

    PubMed Central

    Rosenbaum, Philipp; Schmitz, Josef; Schmidt, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Animals modify their behavior constantly to perform adequately in their environment. In terrestrial locomotion many forms of adaptation exist. Two tasks are changes of walking direction and walking speed. We investigated these two changes in motor output in the stick insect Cuniculina impigra to see how they are brought about at the level of leg motor neurons. We used a semi-intact preparation in which we can record intracellularly from leg motor neurons during walking. In this single-leg preparation the middle leg of the animal steps in a vertical plane on a treadwheel. Stimulation of either abdomen or head reliably elicits fictive forward or backward motor activity, respectively, in the fixed and otherwise deafferented thorax-coxa joint. With a change of walking direction only thorax-coxa-joint motor neurons protractor and retractor changed their activity. The protractor switched from swing activity during forward to stance activity during backward walking, and the retractor from stance to swing. This phase switch was due to corresponding change of phasic synaptic inputs from inhibitory to excitatory and vice versa at specific phases of the step cycle. In addition to phasic synaptic input a tonic depolarization of the motor neurons was present. Analysis of changes in stepping velocity during stance showed only a significant correlation to flexor motor neuron activity, but not to that of retractor and depressor motor neurons during forward walking. These results show that different tasks in the stick insect walking system are generated by altering synaptic inputs to specific leg joint motor neurons only. PMID:26063769

  4. Task-dependent modification of leg motor neuron synaptic input underlying changes in walking direction and walking speed.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Philipp; Schmitz, Josef; Schmidt, Joachim; Büschges, Ansgar

    2015-08-01

    Animals modify their behavior constantly to perform adequately in their environment. In terrestrial locomotion many forms of adaptation exist. Two tasks are changes of walking direction and walking speed. We investigated these two changes in motor output in the stick insect Cuniculina impigra to see how they are brought about at the level of leg motor neurons. We used a semi-intact preparation in which we can record intracellularly from leg motor neurons during walking. In this single-leg preparation the middle leg of the animal steps in a vertical plane on a treadwheel. Stimulation of either abdomen or head reliably elicits fictive forward or backward motor activity, respectively, in the fixed and otherwise deafferented thorax-coxa joint. With a change of walking direction only thorax-coxa-joint motor neurons protractor and retractor changed their activity. The protractor switched from swing activity during forward to stance activity during backward walking, and the retractor from stance to swing. This phase switch was due to corresponding change of phasic synaptic inputs from inhibitory to excitatory and vice versa at specific phases of the step cycle. In addition to phasic synaptic input a tonic depolarization of the motor neurons was present. Analysis of changes in stepping velocity during stance showed only a significant correlation to flexor motor neuron activity, but not to that of retractor and depressor motor neurons during forward walking. These results show that different tasks in the stick insect walking system are generated by altering synaptic inputs to specific leg joint motor neurons only. PMID:26063769

  5. [Quality of neuronal signal registered in the monkey motor cortex with chronically implanted multiple microwires].

    PubMed

    Bondar', I V; Vasil'eva, L N; Badakva, A M; Miller, N V; Zobova, L N; Roshchin, V Iu

    2014-01-01

    Disconnection of central and peripheral parts of motor system leads to severe forms of disability. However, current research of brain-computer interfaces will solve the problem of rehabilitation of patients with motor disorders in future. Chronic recordings of single-unit activity in specialized areas of cerebral cortex could provide appropriate control signal for effectors with multiple degrees of freedom. In present article we evaluated the quality of chronic single-unit recordings in the primary motor cortex of awake behaving monkeys obtained with bundles of multiple microwires. Action potentials of proper quality were recorded from single units during three months. In some cases up to 7 single units could be extracted on a channel. Recording quality stabilized after 40 days since electrodes were implanted. Ultimately, functionality of multiple electrodes bundle makes it highly usable and reliable instrument for obtaining of control neurophysiologic signal from populations of neurons for brain-computer interfaces. PMID:25710068

  6. High yield extraction of pure spinal motor neurons, astrocytes and microglia from single embryo and adult mouse spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Beaudet, Marie-Josée; Yang, Qiurui; Cadau, Sébastien; Blais, Mathieu; Bellenfant, Sabrina; Gros-Louis, François; Berthod, François

    2015-01-01

    Extraction of mouse spinal motor neurons from transgenic mouse embryos recapitulating some aspects of neurodegenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has met with limited success. Furthermore, extraction and long-term culture of adult mouse spinal motor neurons and glia remain also challenging. We present here a protocol designed to extract and purify high yields of motor neurons and glia from individual spinal cords collected on embryos and adult (5-month-old) normal or transgenic mice. This method is based on mild digestion of tissue followed by gradient density separation allowing to obtain two millions motor neurons over 92% pure from one E14.5 single embryo and more than 30,000 from an adult mouse. These cells can be cultured more than 14 days in vitro at a density of 100,000 cells/cm2 to maintain optimal viability. Functional astrocytes and microglia and small gamma motor neurons can be purified at the same time. This protocol will be a powerful and reliable method to obtain motor neurons and glia to better understand mechanisms underlying spinal cord diseases. PMID:26577180

  7. CuZnSOD and MnSOD immunoreactivity in brain stem motor neurons from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Liu, Y; Brooks, B R; Taniguchi, N; Hartmann, H A

    1998-01-01

    Motor neurons from the brain stems of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and control patients were examined with immunoantibodies to CuZn-superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) and Mn-superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). We found that there was a marked staining for CuZnSOD in all the motor nuclei, the hypoglossus, ambiguus, facialis and trigeminus from the ALS patients, but not in the controls. The same neurons from the ALS patients also stained very intensely for MnSOD, whereas the neurons from the control patients stained weakly or not at all. Loss of neurons was also a very consistent finding and was noted in all the motor nuclei from the ALS patients. There was a proliferation of glial cells which stained strongly both for CuZnSOD and for MnSOD accompanying the loss of the neurons. These results indicated that there was an apparent increase of superoxide dismutase immunoreactivity in motor neurons of ALS patients. We conclude that CuZnSOD and MnSOD immunoreactivity is increased in motor neurons and glia in the brain stems of patients with ALS, specific for the terminal phase of this disease. PMID:9452823

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26617489

  9. Expression of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) gene in primary neurons and increase in SMN levels by activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor.

    PubMed

    Andreassi, Catia; Patrizi, Anna Letizia; Monani, Umrao R; Burghes, A H M; Brahe, Christina; Eboli, Maria Luisa

    2002-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common motor neuron degenerative disease caused by mutations of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) gene. The SMN protein is expressed ubiquitously as part of a 300-kilodalton multi-protein complex, incorporating several proteins critically required in pre-mRNA splicing. Although SMN mutations render SMN defective in this role, the specific alpha-motor neuron degenerative phenotype seen in the disease remains unexplained. During the differentiation process of spinal motor neurons and cerebellar granule cells, the acquisition of mature electrophysiological and molecular properties is linked to the activation of the glutamate receptors of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype. We have used primary cultures of rat cerebellar granules to study SMN expression during neuronal differentiation in vitro and in response to the activation of the NMDA receptor. We report that the expression of gems, the nuclear structures where SMN concentrates, is developmentally regulated. The highest expression is associated with the cell clustering phase and expression of NMDA receptors. Stimulation of the NMDA receptor induces an increase in gem number and in SMN transcription, through activation of its promoter. These results demonstrate that SMN levels are dependent on synaptic activity, implying that SMN may have important neuron-specific functions downstream of synaptic activation. PMID:12030329

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. A tale of two receptors: Dual roles for ionotropic acetylcholine receptors in regulating motor neuron excitation and inhibition.

    PubMed

    Philbrook, Alison; Barbagallo, Belinda; Francis, Michael M

    2013-07-01

    Nicotinic or ionotropic acetylcholine receptors (iAChRs) mediate excitatory signaling throughout the nervous system, and the heterogeneity of these receptors contributes to their multifaceted roles. Our recent work has characterized a single iAChR subunit, ACR-12, which contributes to two distinct iAChR subtypes within the C. elegans motor circuit. These two receptor subtypes regulate the coordinated activity of excitatory (cholinergic) and inhibitory (GABAergic) motor neurons. We have shown that the iAChR subunit ACR-12 is differentially expressed in both cholinergic and GABAergic motor neurons within the motor circuit. In cholinergic motor neurons, ACR-12 is incorporated into the previously characterized ACR-2 heteromeric receptor, which shows non-synaptic localization patterns and plays a modulatory role in controlling circuit function.(1) In contrast, a second population of ACR-12-containing receptors in GABAergic motor neurons, ACR-12GABA, shows synaptic expression and regulates inhibitory signaling.(2) Here, we discuss the two ACR-12-containing receptor subtypes, their distinct expression patterns, and functional roles in the C. elegans motor circuit. We anticipate our continuing studies of iAChRs in the C. elegans motor circuit will lead to novel insights into iAChR function in the nervous system as well as mechanisms for their regulation. PMID:24778941

  12. Motor Neuron-Specific Overexpression of the Presynaptic Choline Transporter: Impact on Motor Endurance and Evoked Muscle Activity

    PubMed Central

    Lund, David; Ruggiero, Alicia M.; Ferguson, Shawn M.; Wright, Jane; English, Brett A.; Reisz, Peter A.; Whitaker, Sarah M.; Peltier, Amanda C.; Blakely, Randy D.

    2010-01-01

    The presynaptic, hemicholinium-3 sensitive, high-affinity choline transporter (CHT) supplies choline for acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis. In mice, a homozygous deletion of CHT (CHT−/−) leads to premature cessation of spontaneous or evoked neuromuscular signaling and is associated with perinatal cyanosis and lethality within 1 hr. Heterozygous (CHT+/−) mice exhibit diminished brain ACh levels and demonstrate an inability to sustain vigorous motor activity. We sought to explore the contribution of CHT gene dosage to motor function in greater detail using transgenic mice where CHT is expressed under control of the motor neuron promoter Hb9 (Hb9:CHT). On a CHT−/− background, the Hb9:CHT transgene conferred mice with the ability to move and breath for a postnatal period of ~24 hrs, thus increasing survival. Conversely, Hb9:CHT expression on a wild-type background (CHT+/+;Hb9:CHT) leads to an increased capacity for treadmill running compared to wild-type littermates. Analysis of the stimulated compound muscle action potential (CMAP) in these animals under basal conditions established that CHT+/+;Hb9:CHT mice display an unexpected, bidirectional change, producing either elevated or reduced CMAP amplitude, relative to CHT+/+ animals. To examine whether these two groups arise from underlying changes in synaptic properties, we used high-frequency stimulation of motor axons to assess CMAP recovery kinetics. Although CHT+/+;Hb9:CHT mice in the two groups display an equivalent, time-dependent reduction in CMAP amplitude, animals with a higher basal CMAP amplitude demonstrate a significantly enhanced rate of recovery. To explain our findings, we propose a model whereby CHT support for neuromuscular signaling involves contributions to ACh synthesis as well as cholinergic synaptic vesicle availability. PMID:20888396

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

    PubMed

    Ward, Patricia J; Jones, Laura N; Mulligan, Amanda; Goolsby, William; Wilhelm, Jennifer C; English, Arthur W

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27152611

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

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Patricia J.; Jones, Laura N.; Mulligan, Amanda; Goolsby, William; Wilhelm, Jennifer C.; English, Arthur W.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27152611

  15. Inducing Chronic Excitotoxicity in the Mouse Spinal Cord to Investigate Lower Motor Neuron Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Blizzard, Catherine A.; Lee, K. M.; Dickson, Tracey C.

    2016-01-01

    We report the methodology for the chronic delivery of an excitotoxin to the mouse spinal cord via surgically implanted osmotic mini-pumps. Previous studies have investigated the effect of chronic application of excitotoxins in the rat, however there has been little translation of this model to the mouse. Using mice that express yellow fluorescent protein (YFP), motor neuron and neuromuscular junction alterations can be investigate following targeted, long-term (28 days) exposure to the α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor excitotoxin, kainic acid. By targeting the L3-4 region of the lumbar spinal cord, with insertion of an intrathecal catheter into the subarachnoid space at L5, chronic application of the kainic acid results in slow excitotoxic death in the anterior ventral horn, with a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in the number of SMI-32 immunopositive neurons present after 28 days infusion. Use of the Thy1-YFP mice provides unrivaled visualization of the neuromuscular junction and enables the resultant distal degeneration in skeletal muscle to be observed. Both neuromuscular junction retraction at the gastrocnemius muscle and axonal fragmentation in the sciatic nerve were observed after chronic infusion of kainic acid for 28 days. Lower motor neuron, and distal neuromuscular junction, degeneration are pathological hallmarks of the devastating neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). This mouse model will be advantageous for increasing our understanding of how the pathophysiological phenomena associated with this disease can lead to lower motor neuron loss and distal pathology, as well as providing a robust in vivo platform to test therapeutic interventions directed at excitotoxic mechanisms. PMID:26973454

  16. Aluminum adjuvant linked to Gulf War illness induces motor neuron death in mice.

    PubMed

    Petrik, Michael S; Wong, Margaret C; Tabata, Rena C; Garry, Robert F; Shaw, Christopher A

    2007-01-01

    Gulf War illness (GWI) affects a significant percentage of veterans of the 1991 conflict, but its origin remains unknown. Associated with some cases of GWI are increased incidences of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neurological disorders. Whereas many environmental factors have been linked to GWI, the role of the anthrax vaccine has come under increasing scrutiny. Among the vaccine's potentially toxic components are the adjuvants aluminum hydroxide and squalene. To examine whether these compounds might contribute to neuronal deficits associated with GWI, an animal model for examining the potential neurological impact of aluminum hydroxide, squalene, or aluminum hydroxide combined with squalene was developed. Young, male colony CD-1 mice were injected with the adjuvants at doses equivalent to those given to US military service personnel. All mice were subjected to a battery of motor and cognitive-behavioral tests over a 6-mo period postinjections. Following sacrifice, central nervous system tissues were examined using immunohistochemistry for evidence of inflammation and cell death. Behavioral testing showed motor deficits in the aluminum treatment group that expressed as a progressive decrease in strength measured by the wire-mesh hang test (final deficit at 24 wk; about 50%). Significant cognitive deficits in water-maze learning were observed in the combined aluminum and squalene group (4.3 errors per trial) compared with the controls (0.2 errors per trial) after 20 wk. Apoptotic neurons were identified in aluminum-injected animals that showed significantly increased activated caspase-3 labeling in lumbar spinal cord (255%) and primary motor cortex (192%) compared with the controls. Aluminum-treated groups also showed significant motor neuron loss (35%) and increased numbers of astrocytes (350%) in the lumbar spinal cord. The findings suggest a possible role for the aluminum adjuvant in some neurological features associated with GWI and possibly an

  17. 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.

    PubMed

    Taiana, Michela; Sassone, Jenny; Lauria, Giuseppe

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27241719

  18. Minocycline prevents neurotoxicity induced by cerebrospinal fluid from patients with motor neurone disease.

    PubMed

    Tikka, Tiina M; Vartiainen, Nina E; Goldsteins, Gundars; Oja, Simo S; Andersen, Peter M; Marklund, Stefan L; Koistinaho, Jari

    2002-04-01

    CSF from patients with motor neurone disease (MND) has been reported to be toxic to cultured primary neurones. We found that CSF from MND patients homozygous for the D90A CuZn-superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD) mutation, patients with sporadic MND and patients with familial MND without CuZn-SOD mutations significantly increased apoptosis and reduced phosphorylation of neurofilaments in cultured spinal cord neurones when compared with the effects of CSF from patients with other neurological diseases. Exposure of spinal cord cultures to MND CSF also triggered microglial activation. The toxicity of MND CSF was independent of the presence of the CuZn-SOD mutation, and it did not correlate with gelatinase activity or the presence of immunoglobulin G autoantibodies in the CSF. The concentrations of glutamate, aspartate and glycine in MND CSF were not elevated. Antagonists of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid/kainate receptors prevented the toxic CSF-induced neuronal death but not microglial activation, whereas minocycline, a tetracycline derivative with anti-inflammatory potential independent of antimicrobial activity, reduced both the apoptotic neuronal death and microglial activation. We conclude that the cytotoxic action of CSF is prevalent in all MND cases and that microglia may mediate the toxicity of CSF by releasing excitotoxicity-enhancing factors. PMID:11912107

  19. Rhythmic Cortical Neurons Increase their Oscillations and Sculpt Basal Ganglia Signaling During Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Day, Nancy F.; Nick, Teresa A.

    2014-01-01

    The function and modulation of neural circuits underlying motor skill may involve rhythmic oscillations (Feller, 1999; Marder and Goaillard, 2006; Churchland et al., 2012). In the proposed pattern generator for birdsong, the cortical nucleus HVC, the frequency and power of oscillatory bursting during singing increases with development (Crandall et al., 2007; Day et al., 2009). We examined the maturation of cellular activity patterns that underlie these changes. Single unit ensemble recording combined with antidromic identification (Day et al., 2011) was used to study network development in anesthetized zebra finches. Autocovariance quantified oscillations within single units. A subset of neurons oscillated in the theta/alpha/mu/beta range (8–20 Hz), with greater power in adults compared to juveniles. Across the network, the normalized oscillatory power in the 8–20 Hz range was greater in adults than juveniles. In addition, the correlated activity between rhythmic neuron pairs increased with development. We next examined the functional impact of the oscillators on the output neurons of HVC. We found that the firing of oscillatory neurons negatively correlated with the activity of cortico-basal ganglia neurons (HVCXs), which project to Area X (the song basal ganglia). If groups of oscillators work together to tonically inhibit and precisely control the spike timing of adult HVCXs with coordinated release from inhibition, then the activity of HVCXs in juveniles should be decreased relative to adults due to uncorrelated, tonic inhibition. Consistent with this hypothesis, HVCXs had lower activity in juveniles. These data reveal network changes that shape cortical-to-basal ganglia signaling during motor learning. PMID:23776169

  20. Chronic uranium contamination alters spinal motor neuron integrity via modulation of SMN1 expression and microglia recruitment.

    PubMed

    Saint-Marc, Brice; Elie, Christelle; Manens, Line; Tack, Karine; Benderitter, Marc; Gueguen, Yann; Ibanez, Chrystelle

    2016-07-01

    Consequences of uranium contamination have been extensively studied in brain as cognitive function impairments were observed in rodents. Locomotor disturbances have also been described in contaminated animals. Epidemiological studies have revealed increased risk of motor neuron diseases in veterans potentially exposed to uranium during their military duties. To our knowledge, biological response of spinal cord to uranium contamination has not been studied even though it has a crucial role in locomotion. Four groups of rats were contaminated with increasing concentrations of uranium in their drinking water compared to a control group to study cellular mechanisms involved in locomotor disorders. Nissl staining of spinal cord sections revealed the presence of chromatolytic neurons in the ventral horn. This observation was correlated with a decreased number of motor neurons in the highly contaminated group and a decrease of SMN1 protein expression (Survival of Motor Neuron 1). While contamination impairs motor neuron integrity, an increasing number of microglial cells indicates the trigger of a neuroinflammation process. Potential overexpression of a microglial recruitment chemokine, MCP-1 (Monocyte Chimioattractant Protein 1), by motor neurons themselves could mediate this process. Studies on spinal cord appear to be relevant for risk assessment of population exposed via contaminated food and water. PMID:27153795

  1. miR-218 is Essential to Establish Motor Neuron Fate as a Downstream Effector of Isl1-Lhx3

    PubMed Central

    Thiebes, Karen P.; Nam, Heejin; Cambronne, Xiaolu A.; Shen, Rongkun; Glasgow, Stacey M.; Cho, Hyong-Ho; Kwon, Ji-sun; Goodman, Richard H.; Lee, Jae W.; Lee, Seunghee; Lee, Soo-Kyung

    2015-01-01

    While microRNAs have emerged as an important component of gene regulatory networks, it remains unclear how microRNAs collaborate with transcription factors in the gene networks that determines neuronal cell fate. Here, we show that in the developing spinal cord, the expression of miR-218 is directly upregulated by the Isl1-Lhx3 complex, which drives motor neuron fate. Inhibition of miR-218 suppresses the generation of motor neurons in both chick neural tube and mouse embryonic stem cells, suggesting that miR-218 plays a crucial role in motor neuron differentiation. Results from unbiased RISC-trap screens, in vivo reporter assays, and overexpression studies indicated that miR-218 directly represses transcripts that promote developmental programs for interneurons. Additionally, we found that miR-218 activity is required for Isl1-Lhx3 to effectively induce motor neurons and suppress interneuron fates. Together, our results reveal an essential role of miR-218 as a downstream effector of the Isl1-Lhx3 complex in establishing motor neuron identity. PMID:26212498

  2. In vivo imaging of axonal transport in murine motor and sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Gibbs, Katherine L.; Kalmar, Bernadett; Sleigh, James N.; Greensmith, Linda; Schiavo, Giampietro

    2016-01-01

    Background Axonal transport is essential for neuronal function and survival. Defects in axonal transport have been identified as an early pathological feature in several disorders of the nervous system. The visualisation and quantitative analysis of axonal transport in vivo in rodent models of neurological disease is therefore crucial to improve our understanding of disease pathogenesis and for the identification of novel therapeutics. New method Here, we describe a method for the in vivo imaging of axonal transport of signalling endosomes in the sciatic nerve of live, anaesthetised mice. Results This method allows the multiparametric, quantitative analysis of in vivo axonal transport in motor and sensory neurons of adult mice in control conditions and during disease progression. Comparison with existing methods Previous in vivo imaging of the axonal transport of signalling endosomes has been limited to studies in nerve explant preparations or non-invasive approaches using magnetic resonance imaging; techniques that are hampered by major drawbacks such as tissue damage and low temporal and spatial resolution. This new method allows live imaging of the axonal transport of single endosomes in the sciatic nerve in situ and a more sensitive analysis of axonal transport kinetics than previous approaches. Conclusions The method described in this paper allows an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of axonal transport in both motor and sensory neurons in vivo. It enables the detailed study of alterations in axonal transport in rodent models of neurological diseases and can be used to identify novel pharmacological modifiers of axonal transport. PMID:26424507

  3. Drosophila Ten-m and Filamin Affect Motor Neuron Growth Cone Guidance

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Lihua; Michelson, Yehudit; Freger, Vita; Avraham, Ziva; Venken, Koen J. T.; Bellen, Hugo J.; Justice, Monica J.; Wides, Ron

    2011-01-01

    The Drosophila Ten-m (also called Tenascin-major, or odd Oz (odz)) gene has been associated with a pair-rule phenotype. We identified and characterized new alleles of Drosophila Ten-m to establish that this gene is not responsible for segmentation defects but rather causes defects in motor neuron axon routing. In Ten-m mutants the inter-segmental nerve (ISN) often crosses segment boundaries and fasciculates with the ISN in the adjacent segment. Ten-m is expressed in the central nervous system and epidermal stripes during the stages when the growth cones of the neurons that form the ISN navigate to their targets. Over-expression of Ten-m in epidermal cells also leads to ISN misrouting. We also found that Filamin, an actin binding protein, physically interacts with the Ten-m protein. Mutations in cheerio, which encodes Filamin, cause defects in motor neuron axon routing like those of Ten-m. During embryonic development, the expression of Filamin and Ten-m partially overlap in ectodermal cells. These results suggest that Ten-m and Filamin in epidermal cells might together influence growth cone progression. PMID:21857973

  4. Dopaminergic modulation of motor neuron activity and neuromuscular function in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Cooper, R L; Neckameyer, W S

    1999-02-01

    Dopamine is found in both neuronal and non-neuronal tissues in the larval stage of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and functions as a signaling molecule in the nervous system. Although dopaminergic neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) were previously thought solely to be interneurons, recent studies suggest that dopamine may also act as a neuromodulator in humoral pathways. We examined both application of dopamine on intact larval CNS-segmental preparations and isolated neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Dopamine rapidly decreased the rhythmicity of the CNS motor activity. Application of dopamine on neuromuscular preparations of the segmental muscles 6 and 7 resulted in a dose-responsive decrease in the excitatory junction potentials (EJPs). With the use of focal, macro-patch synaptic current recordings the quantal evoked transmission showed a depression of vesicular release at concentrations of 10 microM. Higher concentrations (1 mM) produced a rapid decrement in evoked vesicular release. Dopamine did not alter the shape of the spontaneous synaptic currents, suggesting that dopamine does not alter the postsynaptic muscle fiber receptiveness to the glutaminergic motor nerve transmission. The effects are presynaptic in causing a reduction in the number of vesicles that are stimulated to be released due to neural activity. PMID:10327610

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27233597

  6. MHC class I protects motor neurons from astrocyte-induced toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes isolated from individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are toxic towards motor neurons (MNs) and play a non-cell autonomous role in disease pathogenesis. The mechanisms underlying the susceptibility of motor neurons to cell death remains unclear. Here, we report that astrocytes derived from mice bearing ALS mutations and from individuals with ALS reduce expression of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI) on MNs. Reduced MHCI expression makes these MNs susceptible to astrocyte-induced cell death. Increasing MHCI expression on MNs increases survival and motor performance in a mouse model of ALS and protects MN against astrocyte toxicity. A single MHCI molecule, HLA-F, protects MNs from ALS astrocyte-mediated toxicity, while knockdown of its receptor, the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor KIR3DL2, an inhibitory receptor that recognizes MHCI, on astrocytes results in enhanced MN death. These data indicate that in ALS upon loss of MHCI expression MNs become vulnerable to astrocyte-mediated toxicity. PMID:26928464

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-15

    There is limited data on electromyography (EMG) findings in other motor neuron disorders than amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We assessed whether the distribution of active denervation detected by EMG, i.e. fibrillations and fasciculations, differs between ALS and slowly progressive motor neuron disorders. We compared the initial EMG findings of 43 clinically confirmed, consecutive ALS patients with those of 41 genetically confirmed Late-onset Spinal Motor Neuronopathy and 14 Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy patients. Spontaneous activity was more frequently detected in the first dorsal interosseus and deltoid muscles of ALS patients than in patients with the slowly progressive motor neuron diseases. The most important observation was that absent fibrillations in the first dorsal interosseus muscle identified the benign forms with sensitivities of 66%-77% and a specificity of 93%. The distribution of active denervation may help to separate ALS from mimicking disorders at an early stage. PMID:26059445

  8. Sertoli cells improve survival of motor neurons in SOD1 transgenic mice, a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Hemendinger, Richelle; Wang, Jay; Malik, Saafan; Persinski, Rafal; Copeland, Jane; Emerich, Dwaine; Gores, Paul; Halberstadt, Craig; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey

    2005-12-01

    Cell replacement therapy has been widely suggested as a treatment for multiple diseases including motor neuron disease. A variety of donor cells have been tested for treatment including isolated preparations from bone marrow and embryonic spinal cord. Another cell source, Sertoli cells, have been successfully used in models of diabetes, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. The ability of these cells to secrete cytoprotective proteins and their role as 'nurse cells' supporting the function of other cell types in the testes suggest their potential use as neuroprotective cells. The current study examines the ability of Sertoli cells injected into the parenchyma of the spinal cord to protect motor neurons in a mouse model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Seventy transgenic mice expressing the mutant (G93A) human Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) received a unilateral spinal injection of Sertoli-enriched testicular cells into the L4-L5 ventral horn (1 x 10(5) cells total) prior to the onset of clinical symptoms. The animals were euthanized at the end stage of the disease. Histological and morphometric analyses of the transplant site were performed. A significant increase in the number of surviving ChAT positive motor neurons was found ipsilateral to the injection compared with contralateral and uninjected spinal cord. The ipsilateral increase in motor neuron density was dependent upon proximity to the injection site. Sections rostral or caudal to the injection site did not display a similar difference in motor neuron density. Implantation of a Sertoli-cell-enriched preparation has a significant neuroprotective benefit to vulnerable motor neurons in the SOD1 transgenic model. The therapeutic benefit may be the result of secreted neurotrophic factors present at a critical stage of motor neuron degeneration in this model. PMID:16242126

  9. Distinct neuronal organizations of the caudal cingulate motor area and supplementary motor area in monkeys for ipsilateral and contralateral hand movements

    PubMed Central

    Nakayama, Yoshihisa; Yokoyama, Osamu

    2015-01-01

    The caudal cingulate motor area (CMAc) and the supplementary motor area (SMA) play important roles in movement execution. The present study aimed to characterize the functional organization of these regions during movement by investigating laterality representations in the CMAc and SMA of monkeys via an examination of neuronal activity during a button press movement with either the right or left hand. Three types of movement-related neuronal activity were observed: 1) with only the contralateral hand, 2) with only the ipsilateral hand, and 3) with either hand. Neurons in the CMAc represented contralateral and ipsilateral hand movements to the same degree, whereas neuronal representations in the SMA were biased toward contralateral hand movement. Furthermore, recording neuronal activities using a linear-array multicontact electrode with 24 contacts spaced 150 μm apart allowed us to analyze the spatial distribution of neurons exhibiting particular hand preferences at the submillimeter scale. The CMAc and SMA displayed distinct microarchitectural organizations. The contralateral, ipsilateral, and bilateral CMAc neurons were distributed homogeneously, whereas SMA neurons exhibiting identical hand preferences tended to cluster. These findings indicate that the CMAc, which is functionally organized in a less structured manner than the SMA is, controls contralateral and ipsilateral hand movements in a counterbalanced fashion, whereas the SMA, which is more structured, preferentially controls contralateral hand movements. PMID:25717163

  10. Distinct neuronal organizations of the caudal cingulate motor area and supplementary motor area in monkeys for ipsilateral and contralateral hand movements.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Yoshihisa; Yokoyama, Osamu; Hoshi, Eiji

    2015-04-01

    The caudal cingulate motor area (CMAc) and the supplementary motor area (SMA) play important roles in movement execution. The present study aimed to characterize the functional organization of these regions during movement by investigating laterality representations in the CMAc and SMA of monkeys via an examination of neuronal activity during a button press movement with either the right or left hand. Three types of movement-related neuronal activity were observed: 1) with only the contralateral hand, 2) with only the ipsilateral hand, and 3) with either hand. Neurons in the CMAc represented contralateral and ipsilateral hand movements to the same degree, whereas neuronal representations in the SMA were biased toward contralateral hand movement. Furthermore, recording neuronal activities using a linear-array multicontact electrode with 24 contacts spaced 150 μm apart allowed us to analyze the spatial distribution of neurons exhibiting particular hand preferences at the submillimeter scale. The CMAc and SMA displayed distinct microarchitectural organizations. The contralateral, ipsilateral, and bilateral CMAc neurons were distributed homogeneously, whereas SMA neurons exhibiting identical hand preferences tended to cluster. These findings indicate that the CMAc, which is functionally organized in a less structured manner than the SMA is, controls contralateral and ipsilateral hand movements in a counterbalanced fashion, whereas the SMA, which is more structured, preferentially controls contralateral hand movements. PMID:25717163

  11. Adult-onset Still's disease as a mask of Hodgkin lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Pawlak-Buś, Katarzyna; Leszczyński, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    Adult-onset Still's disease is a rare disorder, which creates difficulties in making a proper diagnosis. Ambiguous symptoms and results of auxiliary tests, lack of unequivocal diagnostic tests and the need to exclude other causes of the disease are major problems in clinical practice. A case of a 22-year-old woman with dominated recurrent fever, significantly elevated inflammation markers and arthritis is presented. Based on clinical signs after exclusion of infection, hematological and other reasons, the patient was diagnosed with adult-onset Still's disease. Standard treatment, with high doses of glucocorticoids and a disease-modifying drug, was applied, without the anticipated effects. The diagnostic tests were conducted again due to the lack of clinical improvement, increase of inflammatory markers and unusual response to treatment. A new symptom of significance, i.e. mediastinal lymphadenopathy, was found. After the histopathological examination of lymph nodes, Hodgkin's disease was diagnosed and targeted therapy for hematological malignancy was applied.

  12. The juvenile-onset, adolescent-onset and adult-onset obese.

    PubMed

    Garn, S M; Sullivan, T V; Hawthorne, V M

    1991-02-01

    As shown in more than 8000 proband-parent pairs derived from a total-community sample and followed in longitudinal fashion, the 5-year incidence of obesity (new cases per 5-year period) approximates 8 percent for the juvenile-onset, adolescent-onset and adult-onset obese alike. Parents of juvenile-onset (ages 5-9), adolescent-onset (10-19) and adult-onset obese (20-39) tend to be of above-average fatness level, +0.25Z scores, overall, regardless of the age at onset of obesity in their progeny. Except for the parents of the juvenile-onset obese, educational level of the parents tends to be below average for the sample as a whole. These new data acquired in longitudinal context and explored in retrospective-prospective fashion do not substantiate the notion that different onset ages of obesity indicate separate etiologies and different family constellations. PMID:2040547

  13. Mapping a gene for adult-onset primary open-angle glaucoma to chromosome 3q

    SciTech Connect

    Wirtz, M.K.; Samples, J.R.; Kramer, P.L.

    1997-02-01

    Glaucoma is the third-leading cause of blindness in the world, affecting >13.5 million people. Adult-on-set primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common form of glaucoma in the United States. We present a family in which adult-onset POAG is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Twelve affected family members were identified from 44 at-risk individuals. The disease-causing gene was mapped to chromosome 3q21-24, with analysis of recombinant haplotypes suggesting a total inclusion region of 11.1 cM between markers D3S3637 and D3S1744. This is the first report of mapping of an adult-onset POAG gene to chromosome 3q, gene symbol GLC1C. 57 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  14. Control of ventricular excitability by neurons of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve

    PubMed Central

    Machhada, Asif; Ang, Richard; Ackland, Gareth L.; Ninkina, Natalia; Buchman, Vladimir L.; Lythgoe, Mark F.; Trapp, Stefan; Tinker, Andrew; Marina, Nephtali; Gourine, Alexander V.

    2015-01-01

    Background The central nervous origins of functional parasympathetic innervation of cardiac ventricles remain controversial. Objective This study aimed to identify a population of vagal preganglionic neurons that contribute to the control of ventricular excitability. An animal model of synuclein pathology relevant to Parkinson’s disease was used to determine whether age-related loss of the activity of the identified group of neurons is associated with changes in ventricular electrophysiology. Methods In vivo cardiac electrophysiology was performed in anesthetized rats in conditions of selective inhibition of the dorsal vagal motor nucleus (DVMN) neurons by pharmacogenetic approach and in mice with global genetic deletion of all family members of the synuclein protein. Results In rats anesthetized with urethane (in conditions of systemic beta-adrenoceptor blockade), muscarinic and neuronal nitric oxide synthase blockade confirmed the existence of a tonic parasympathetic control of cardiac excitability mediated by the actions of acetylcholine and nitric oxide. Acute DVMN silencing led to shortening of the ventricular effective refractory period (vERP), a lowering of the threshold for triggered ventricular tachycardia, and prolongation of the corrected QT (QTc) interval. Lower resting activity of the DVMN neurons in aging synuclein-deficient mice was found to be associated with vERP shortening and QTc interval prolongation. Conclusion Activity of the DVMN vagal preganglionic neurons is responsible for tonic parasympathetic control of ventricular excitability, likely to be mediated by nitric oxide. These findings provide the first insight into the central nervous substrate that underlies functional parasympathetic innervation of the ventricles and highlight its vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26051529

  15. PKA Controls Calcium Influx into Motor Neurons during a Rhythmic Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Han; Sieburth, Derek

    2013-01-01

    Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) has been implicated in the execution of diverse rhythmic behaviors, but how cAMP functions in neurons to generate behavioral outputs remains unclear. During the defecation motor program in C. elegans, a peptide released from the pacemaker (the intestine) rhythmically excites the GABAergic neurons that control enteric muscle contractions by activating a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathway that is dependent on cAMP. Here, we show that the C. elegans PKA catalytic subunit, KIN-1, is the sole cAMP target in this pathway and that PKA is essential for enteric muscle contractions. Genetic analysis using cell-specific expression of dominant negative or constitutively active PKA transgenes reveals that knockdown of PKA activity in the GABAergic neurons blocks enteric muscle contractions, whereas constitutive PKA activation restores enteric muscle contractions to mutants defective in the peptidergic signaling pathway. Using real-time, in vivo calcium imaging, we find that PKA activity in the GABAergic neurons is essential for the generation of synaptic calcium transients that drive GABA release. In addition, constitutively active PKA increases the duration of calcium transients and causes ectopic calcium transients that can trigger out-of-phase enteric muscle contractions. Finally, we show that the voltage-gated calcium channels UNC-2 and EGL-19, but not CCA-1 function downstream of PKA to promote enteric muscle contractions and rhythmic calcium influx in the GABAergic neurons. Thus, our results suggest that PKA activates neurons during a rhythmic behavior by promoting presynaptic calcium influx through specific voltage-gated calcium channels. PMID:24086161

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. Connexin 43 in astrocytes contributes to motor neuron toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Almad, Akshata A; Doreswamy, Arpitha; Gross, Sarah K; Richard, Jean-Philippe; Huo, Yuqing; Haughey, Norman; Maragakis, Nicholas J

    2016-07-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of motor neurons in the CNS. Astrocytes play a critical role in disease progression of ALS. Astrocytes are interconnected through a family of gap junction proteins known as connexins (Cx). Cx43 is a major astrocyte connexin conducting crucial homeostatic functions in the CNS. Under pathological conditions, connexin expression and functions are altered. Here we report that an abnormal increase in Cx43 expression serves as one of the mechanisms for astrocyte-mediated toxicity in ALS. We observed a progressive increase in Cx43 expression in the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of ALS during the disease course. Notably, this increase in Cx43 was also detected in the motor cortex and spinal cord of ALS patients. Astrocytes isolated from SOD1(G93A) mice as well as human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived astrocytes showed an increase in Cx43 protein, which was found to be an endogenous phenomenon independent of neuronal co-culture. Increased Cx43 expression led to important functional consequences when tested in SOD1(G93A) astrocytes when compared to control astrocytes over-expressing wild-type SOD1 (SOD1(WT) ). We observed SOD1(G93A) astrocytes exhibited enhanced gap junction coupling, increased hemichannel-mediated activity, and elevated intracellular calcium levels. Finally, we tested the impact of increased expression of Cx43 on MN survival and observed that use of both a pan Cx43 blocker and Cx43 hemichannel blocker conferred neuroprotection to MNs cultured with SOD1(G93A) astrocytes. These novel findings show a previously unrecognized role of Cx43 in ALS-related motor neuron loss. GLIA 2016;64:1154-1169. PMID:27083773

  18. Expression of Sex Steroid Hormone Receptors in Vagal Motor Neurons Innervating the Trachea and Esophagus in Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Mukudai, Shigeyuki; Ichi Matsuda, Ken; Bando, Hideki; Takanami, Keiko; Nishio, Takeshi; Sugiyama, Yoichiro; Hisa, Yasuo; Kawata, Mitsuhiro

    2016-01-01

    The medullary vagal motor nuclei, the nucleus ambiguus (NA) and dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV), innervate the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. We conducted immunohistochemical analysis of expression of the androgen receptor (AR) and estrogen receptor α (ERα), in relation to innervation of the trachea and esophagus via vagal motor nuclei in mice. AR and ERα were expressed in the rostral NA and in part of the DMV. Tracing experiments using cholera toxin B subunit demonstrated that neurons of vagal motor nuclei that innervate the trachea and esophagus express AR and ERα. There was no difference in expression of sex steroid hormone receptors between trachea- and esophagus-innervating neurons. These results suggest that sex steroid hormones may act on vagal motor nuclei via their receptors, thereby regulating functions of the trachea and esophagus. PMID:27006520

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

    PubMed

    Kempsell, Andrew T; Fieber, Lynne A

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25970633

  20. Functional and morphological assessment of diaphragm innervation by phrenic motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Martin, Melanie; Li, Ke; Wright, Megan C; Lepore, Angelo C

    2015-01-01

    This protocol specifically focuses on tools for assessing phrenic motor neuron (PhMN) innervation of the diaphragm at both the electrophysiological and morphological levels. Compound muscle action potential (CMAP) recording following phrenic nerve stimulation can be used to quantitatively assess functional diaphragm innervation by PhMNs of the cervical spinal cord in vivo in anesthetized rats and mice. Because CMAPs represent simultaneous recording of all myofibers of the whole hemi-diaphragm, it is useful to also examine the phenotypes of individual motor axons and myofibers at the diaphragm NMJ in order to track disease- and therapy-relevant morphological changes such as partial and complete denervation, regenerative sprouting and reinnervation. This can be accomplished via whole-mount immunohistochemistry (IHC) of the diaphragm, followed by detailed morphological assessment of individual NMJs throughout the muscle. Combining CMAPs and NMJ analysis provides a powerful approach for quantitatively studying diaphragmatic innervation in rodent models of CNS and PNS disease. PMID:26066371

  1. Urticaria and dermographism in patients with adult-onset Still's disease.

    PubMed

    Criado, Paulo Ricardo; de Carvalho, Jozélio Freire; Ayabe, Liliane Akemi; Brandt, Hebert Roberto Clivati; Romiti, Ricardo; Maruta, Celina W

    2012-08-01

    Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) patients typically present with arthralgia, fever, lymphadenopathy and a transient salmon maculopapular rash. Only approximately 25 cases of AOSD with urticaria were described in the literature. In this article, the authors report three additional cases of AOSD with urticarial and dermographic lesions who had a good clinical response to glucocorticoid and antihistamines. A review of the literature concerning this issue is also herein written. PMID:21785958

  2. Epidemiology of adult-onset hydrocephalus: institutional experience with 2001 patients.

    PubMed

    Bir, Shyamal C; Patra, Devi Prasad; Maiti, Tanmoy K; Sun, Hai; Guthikonda, Bharat; Notarianni, Christina; Nanda, Anil

    2016-09-01

    OBJECTIVE Adult-onset hydrocephalus is not commonly discussed in the literature, especially regarding its demographic distribution. In contrast to pediatric hydrocephalus, which is related to a primary CSF pathway defect, its development in adults is often secondary to other pathologies. In this study, the authors investigated the epidemiology of adult-onset hydrocephalus as it pertains to different etiologies and in reference to age, sex, and race distributions. METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical notes of 2001 patients with adult-onset hydrocephalus who presented to Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center within a 25-year span. Significant differences between the groups were analyzed by a chi-square test; p < 0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS The overall mean (± SEM) incidence of adult hydrocephalus in this population was 77 ± 30 per year, with a significant increase in incidence in the past decade (55 ± 3 [1990-2003] vs 102 ± 6 [2004-2015]; p < 0.0001). Hydrocephalus in a majority of the patients had a vascular etiology (45.5%) or was a result of a tumor (30.2%). The incidence of hydrocephalus in different age groups varied according to various pathologies. The incidence was significantly higher in males with normal-pressure hydrocephalus (p = 0.03) or head injury (p = 0.01) and higher in females with pseudotumor cerebri (p < 0.0001). In addition, the overall incidence of hydrocephalus was significantly higher in Caucasian patients (p = 0.0002) than in those of any other race. CONCLUSIONS Knowledge of the demographic variations in adult-onset hydrocephalus is helpful in achieving better risk stratification and better managing the disease in patients. For general applicability, these results should be validated in a large-scale meta-analysis based on a national population database. PMID:27581317

  3. Adult onset unilateral systematized porokeratotic eccrine ostial and dermal duct nevus: a case report.

    PubMed

    Bandoyopadhyay, Debabrata; Saha, Abanti

    2014-06-01

    Porokeratotic eccrine ostial and dermal duct nevus (PEODDN) is an uncommon, benign dermatosis that is characterized by asymptomatic grouped keratotic papules and plaques with a linear pattern on the extremities with distinct porokeratotic histopathological features. The lesions usually appear at birth or in childhood, although rare cases of late-onset adult PEODDN have been described. Herein we report a case of adult onset PEODDN with unilateral and segmental involvement. PMID:24945650

  4. Niemann-Pick type C: focus on the adolescent/adult onset form.

    PubMed

    Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo; Marano, Massimo; Florio, Lucia; De Santis, Stefano

    2016-11-01

    Niemann-Pick disease type C (NP-C) is an inherited sphingolipidosis characterized by progressive neurological deterioration and early mortality. The symptomatology and disease progression of NP-C are markedly affected by the age at onset of neurological manifestations, and categorization into early-infantile, late-infantile, juvenile, adolescent/adult neurological onset forms can aid evaluation of disease course and responses to therapy. Here, we review current information on the detection, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of NP-C, with a focus on the adolescent/adult-onset form. A recent analysis indicated that the combined incidence of NP-C related to NPC1 gene mutations (NPC1) and NP-C related to NPC2 gene mutations (NPC2) is approximately 1 case in every 89 000 live births. In particular, late-onset phenotypes might well provide a greater contribution to the overall incidence than has previously been reported. Some neuropathological features in NP-C are held in common with other advanced age-onset diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Visceral symptoms such as splenomegaly are frequently asymptomatic in patients with adolescent/adult-onset NP-C, and are only occasionally detected during routine ultrasound assessments. In contrast, most patients with adolescent/adult-onset exhibit some degree of slowly progressive, non-disease-specific movement disorders (e.g. cerebellar ataxia), and/or more pathognomonic neurological signs such as vertical supranuclear gaze palsy. An increasing number of adolescent/adult-onset cases have been reported following initial recognition of cognitive impairment and/or psychiatric signs. The recent development and implementation of new clinical screening tools (e.g. the NP-C suspicion index) and biomarkers (e.g. plasma oxysterols) should help identify patients who warrant further investigation and possible treatment. PMID:26998855

  5. Intra-arterial Chemotherapy for Adult Onset Retinoblastoma in a 32-Year-Old Man.

    PubMed

    Magan, Tejal; Khoo, Chloe T L; Jabbour, Pascal M; Fuller, Dwain G; Shields, Carol L

    2016-01-01

    A 32-year-old man with active unilateral group D retinoblastoma that was recurrent following external beam radiotherapy was treated with intra-arterial chemotherapy, leading to tumor regression. Additional plaque radiotherapy and intravitreal chemotherapy were required for complete control. Final visual acuity was 20/40. In selected cases, adult-onset retinoblastoma can be managed with intra-arterial chemotherapy. [J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 2016;53:e43-e46.]. PMID:27486894

  6. Adult-onset Still's disease revealed by perimyocarditis and a concomitant reactivation of an EBV infection

    PubMed Central

    Meckenstock, Roderich; Therby, Audrey; Gibault-Genty, Geraldine; Khau, David; Monnier, Sebastien; Greder-Belan, Alix

    2012-01-01

    We describe a 17-year-old patient presenting perimyocarditis as the initial manifestation of the adult-onset Still's disease. Corticotherapy was rapidly successful but induced major acute hepatitis in relation with Epstein-Barr virus reactivation. After 1 year, even if the global outcome is favourable, a slightly lowered ejection fraction still persists. Former case reports and differential diagnosis with reactive haemophagocytic syndrome would be discussed. PMID:23166163

  7. Initial Observations of Fruit Fly;s Flight with its b1 Motor Neuron Altered

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z. Jane; Melfi, James, Jr.

    2015-11-01

    Recently we have suggested that one of the fly's 17 steering muscles, the first basalar muscle (b1) is responsible for maintaining flight stability. To test this, we compare the flight behavior of normal flies with genetically modified flies whose motor neuron to the b1 muscle is silenced. We report our initial observation of the difference and similarity between these two lines supplied by Janelia Farm. We also discuss the basic question for quantifying flight, what makes a good flier? Partly supported by the Visiting Scientist program at HHMI-Janelia Farm.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22544515

  10. Pool-specific regulation of motor neuron survival by neurotrophic support.

    PubMed

    Lamballe, Fabienne; Genestine, Matthieu; Caruso, Nathalie; Arce, Vilma; Richelme, Sylvie; Helmbacher, Françoise; Maina, Flavio

    2011-08-01

    The precise control of motor neuron (MN) death and survival following initial innervation of skeletal muscle targets is a key step in sculpting a functional motor system, but how this is regulated at the level of individual motor pools remains unclear. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor Met play key developmental roles in both muscle and MNs. We generated mice (termed "Nes-Met") in which met is inactivated from midembryonic stages onward in the CNS only. Adult animals showed motor behavioral defects suggestive of impaired innervation of pectoral muscles. Correspondingly, in neonatal spinal cords of Nes-Met mutants, we observed death of a discrete population of pea3-expressing MNs at brachial levels. Axonal tracing using pea3 reporter mice revealed a novel target muscle of pea3-expressing MNs: the pectoralis minor muscle. In Nes-Met mice, the pectoralis minor pool initially innervated its target muscle, but required HGF/Met for survival, hence for proper maintenance of muscle innervation. In contrast, HGF/Met was dispensable for the survival of neighboring Met-expressing MN pools, despite its earlier functions for their specification and axon growth. Our results demonstrate the exquisite degree to which outcomes of signaling by receptor tyrosine kinases are regulated on a cell-by-cell basis. They also provide a model for one way in which the multiplicity of neurotrophic factors may allow for regulation of MN numbers in a pool-specific manner. PMID:21813676

  11. Reinforcement Learning of Targeted Movement in a Spiking Neuronal Model of Motor Cortex

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23094042

  12. Clinical Characteristics of Pediatric-Onset and Adult-Onset Multiple Sclerosis in Hispanic Americans.

    PubMed

    Langille, Megan M; Islam, Talat; Burnett, Margaret; Amezcua, Lilyana

    2016-07-01

    Multiple sclerosis can affect pediatric patients. Our aim was to compare characteristics between pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis and adult-onset multiple sclerosis in Hispanic Americans. This was a cross-sectional analysis of 363 Hispanic American multiple scleroses cases; demographic and clinical characteristics were analyzed. A total of 110 Hispanic patients presented with multiple sclerosis before age 18 and 253 as adult multiple sclerosis. The most common presenting symptoms for both was optic neuritis. Polyfocal symptoms, seizures, and cognitive symptoms at presentation were more prevalent in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (P ≤ .001). Transverse myelitis was more frequent in adult-onset multiple sclerosis (P ≤ .001). Using multivariable analysis, pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (adjusted odds ratio, 0.3OR 95% confidence interval 0.16-0.71, P = .004) and being US born (adjusted odds ratio, 0.553, 95% confidence interval 0.3-1.03, P = .006) were less likely to have severe ambulatory disability. Results suggest that pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis and adult-onset multiple sclerosis in Hispanics have differences that could be important for treatment and prognosis. PMID:27021143

  13. Dioxin (TCDD) Induces Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Adult Onset Disease and Sperm Epimutations

    PubMed Central

    Manikkam, Mohan; Tracey, Rebecca; Guerrero-Bosagna, Carlos; Skinner, Michael K.

    2012-01-01

    Environmental compounds can promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult-onset disease in subsequent generations following ancestral exposure during fetal gonadal sex determination. The current study examined the ability of dioxin (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo[p]dioxin, TCDD) to promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and DNA methylation epimutations in sperm. Gestating F0 generation females were exposed to dioxin during fetal day 8 to 14 and adult-onset disease was evaluated in F1 and F3 generation rats. The incidences of total disease and multiple disease increased in F1 and F3 generations. Prostate disease, ovarian primordial follicle loss and polycystic ovary disease were increased in F1 generation dioxin lineage. Kidney disease in males, pubertal abnormalities in females, ovarian primordial follicle loss and polycystic ovary disease were increased in F3 generation dioxin lineage animals. Analysis of the F3 generation sperm epigenome identified 50 differentially DNA methylated regions (DMR) in gene promoters. These DMR provide potential epigenetic biomarkers for transgenerational disease and ancestral environmental exposures. Observations demonstrate dioxin exposure of a gestating female promotes epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease and sperm epimutations. PMID:23049995

  14. Toxic gain of function from mutant FUS protein is crucial to trigger cell autonomous motor neuron loss.

    PubMed

    Scekic-Zahirovic, Jelena; Sendscheid, Oliver; El Oussini, Hajer; Jambeau, Mélanie; Sun, Ying; Mersmann, Sina; Wagner, Marina; Dieterlé, Stéphane; Sinniger, Jérome; Dirrig-Grosch, Sylvie; Drenner, Kevin; Birling, Marie-Christine; Qiu, Jinsong; Zhou, Yu; Li, Hairi; Fu, Xiang-Dong; Rouaux, Caroline; Shelkovnikova, Tatyana; Witting, Anke; Ludolph, Albert C; Kiefer, Friedemann; Storkebaum, Erik; Lagier-Tourenne, Clotilde; Dupuis, Luc

    2016-05-17

    FUS is an RNA-binding protein involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Cytoplasmic FUS-containing aggregates are often associated with concomitant loss of nuclear FUS Whether loss of nuclear FUS function, gain of a cytoplasmic function, or a combination of both lead to neurodegeneration remains elusive. To address this question, we generated knockin mice expressing mislocalized cytoplasmic FUS and complete FUS knockout mice. Both mouse models display similar perinatal lethality with respiratory insufficiency, reduced body weight and length, and largely similar alterations in gene expression and mRNA splicing patterns, indicating that mislocalized FUS results in loss of its normal function. However, FUS knockin mice, but not FUS knockout mice, display reduced motor neuron numbers at birth, associated with enhanced motor neuron apoptosis, which can be rescued by cell-specific CRE-mediated expression of wild-type FUS within motor neurons. Together, our findings indicate that cytoplasmic FUS mislocalization not only leads to nuclear loss of function, but also triggers motor neuron death through a toxic gain of function within motor neurons. PMID:26951610

  15. NSC-34 Motor Neuron-Like Cells Are Unsuitable as Experimental Model for Glutamate-Mediated Excitotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Madji Hounoum, Blandine; Vourc'h, Patrick; Felix, Romain; Corcia, Philippe; Patin, Franck; Guéguinou, Maxime; Potier-Cartereau, Marie; Vandier, Christophe; Raoul, Cédric; Andres, Christian R; Mavel, Sylvie; Blasco, Hélène

    2016-01-01

    Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity is a major contributor to motor neuron degeneration in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The spinal cord × Neuroblastoma hybrid cell line (NSC-34) is often used as a bona fide cellular model to investigate the physiopathological mechanisms of ALS. However, the physiological response of NSC-34 to glutamate remains insufficiently described. In this study, we evaluated the relevance of differentiated NSC-34 (NSC-34D) as an in vitro model for glutamate excitotoxicity studies. NSC-34D showed morphological and physiological properties of motor neuron-like cells and expressed glutamate receptor subunits GluA1-4, GluN1 and GluN2A/D. Despite these diverse characteristics, no specific effect of glutamate was observed on cultured NSC-34D survival and morphology, in contrast to what has been described in primary culture of motor neurons (MN). Moreover, a small non sustained increase in the concentration of intracellular calcium was observed in NSC-34D after exposure to glutamate compared to primary MN. Our findings, together with the inability to obtain cultures containing only differentiated cells, suggest that the motor neuron-like NSC-34 cell line is not a suitable in vitro model to study glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. We suggest that the use of primary cultures of MN is more suitable than NSC-34 cell line to explore the pathogenesis of glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity at the cellular level in ALS and other motor neuron diseases. PMID:27242431

  16. NSC-34 Motor Neuron-Like Cells Are Unsuitable as Experimental Model for Glutamate-Mediated Excitotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Madji Hounoum, Blandine; Vourc’h, Patrick; Felix, Romain; Corcia, Philippe; Patin, Franck; Guéguinou, Maxime; Potier-Cartereau, Marie; Vandier, Christophe; Raoul, Cédric; Andres, Christian R.; Mavel, Sylvie; Blasco, Hélène

    2016-01-01

    Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity is a major contributor to motor neuron degeneration in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The spinal cord × Neuroblastoma hybrid cell line (NSC-34) is often used as a bona fide cellular model to investigate the physiopathological mechanisms of ALS. However, the physiological response of NSC-34 to glutamate remains insufficiently described. In this study, we evaluated the relevance of differentiated NSC-34 (NSC-34D) as an in vitro model for glutamate excitotoxicity studies. NSC-34D showed morphological and physiological properties of motor neuron-like cells and expressed glutamate receptor subunits GluA1–4, GluN1 and GluN2A/D. Despite these diverse characteristics, no specific effect of glutamate was observed on cultured NSC-34D survival and morphology, in contrast to what has been described in primary culture of motor neurons (MN). Moreover, a small non sustained increase in the concentration of intracellular calcium was observed in NSC-34D after exposure to glutamate compared to primary MN. Our findings, together with the inability to obtain cultures containing only differentiated cells, suggest that the motor neuron-like NSC-34 cell line is not a suitable in vitro model to study glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. We suggest that the use of primary cultures of MN is more suitable than NSC-34 cell line to explore the pathogenesis of glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity at the cellular level in ALS and other motor neuron diseases. PMID:27242431

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25377792

  18. Relationship between neuropsychological impairment and grey and white matter changes in adult-onset myotonic dystrophy type 1.

    PubMed

    Baldanzi, Sigrid; Cecchi, Paolo; Fabbri, Serena; Pesaresi, Ilaria; Simoncini, Costanza; Angelini, Corrado; Bonuccelli, Ubaldo; Cosottini, Mirco; Siciliano, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) has a wide phenotypic spectrum and potentially may affect central nervous system with mild to severe involvement. Our aim was to investigate grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) structural alterations in a sample of adult-onset DM1 patients and to evaluate relationship with clinical and cognitive variables. Thirty DM1 patients underwent neuropsychological investigation and 3T-MRI protocol. GM and WM changes were evaluated calculating brain parenchymal fraction (BPF), voxel-based morphometry (VBM), white matter lesion load (LL% and Fazekas scale) and tract based spatial statistical (TBSS). Patients showed main impairment in tests exploring executive and mnesic domains with visuo-spatial involvement, significantly related to BPF. VBM revealed clusters of widespread GM reduction and TBSS revealed areas of decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) and increased radial diffusivity (RD), mean diffusivity (MD) and axial diffusivity (AD) in patients compared to a group of matched healthy controls. Multiple regression analyses showed areas of significant negative relationship between left temporal atrophy and verbal memory, between RD and mnesic and visuo-spatial cognitive domains, and between AD and verbal memory. TBSS results indicate that the involvement of normal appearance WM, beyond the signal changes detected with conventional MR imaging (Fazekas scale and LL%), was associated with neuropsychological deficit. These data suggest that disrupted complex neuronal networks can underlie cognitive-behavioural dysfunctions in DM1. PMID:27437180

  19. Pathways of acetylcholine synthesis, transport and release as targets for treatment of adult-onset cognitive dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Amenta, F; Tayebati, S K

    2008-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) is a neurotransmitter widely diffused in central, peripheral, autonomic and enteric nervous system. This paper has reviewed the main mechanisms of ACh synthesis, storage, and release. Presynaptic choline transport supports ACh production and release, and cholinergic terminals express a unique transporter critical for neurotransmitter release. Neurons cannot synthesize choline, which is ultimately derived from the diet and is delivered through the blood stream. ACh released from cholinergic synapses is hydrolyzed by acetylcholinesterase into choline and acetyl coenzyme A and almost 50% of choline derived from ACh hydrolysis is recovered by a high-affinity choline transporter. Parallel with the development of cholinergic hypothesis of geriatric memory dysfunction, cholinergic precursor loading strategy was tried for treating cognitive impairment occurring in Alzheimer's disease. Controlled clinical studies denied clinical usefulness of choline and lecithin (phosphatidylcholine), whereas for other phospholipids involved in choline biosynthetic pathways such as cytidine 5'-diphosphocholine (CDP-choline) or alpha-glyceryl-phosphorylcholine (choline alphoscerate) a modest improvement of cognitive dysfunction in adult-onset dementia disorders is documented. These inconsistencies have probably a metabolic explanation. Free choline administration increases brain choline availability but it does not increase ACh synthesis/or release. Cholinergic precursors to serve for ACh biosynthesis should be incorporate and stored into phospholipids in brain. It is probable that appropriate ACh precursors and other correlated molecules (natural or synthesized) could represent a tool for developing therapeutic strategies by revisiting and updating treatments/supplementations coming out from this therapeutic stalemate. PMID:18289004

  20. Ethanol withdrawal hyper-responsiveness mediated by NMDA receptors in spinal cord motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hui-Fang; Kendig, Joan J

    2003-01-01

    Following ethanol (EtOH) exposure, population excitatory postsynaptic potentials (pEPSPs) in isolated spinal cord increase to a level above control (withdrawal hyper-responsiveness). The present studies were designed to characterize this phenomenon and in particular to test the hypothesis that protein kinases mediate withdrawal. Patch-clamp studies were carried out in motor neurons in rat spinal cord slices. Currents were evoked by brief pulses of glutamate, alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) or N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA). Of 15 EtOH-sensitive neurons in which currents were evoked by glutamate, four (27%) displayed withdrawal hyper-responsiveness in the washout period. Mean current area after washout was 129.6±5% of control. When currents were evoked by AMPA, two of 10 neurons (20%) displayed withdrawal hyper-responsiveness, with a mean current area 122±8% of control on washout. Of a group of 11 neurons in which currents were evoked by NMDA, nine (82%) displayed withdrawal hyper-responsiveness. Mean increase in current area at the end of the washout period was to 133±6% of control (n=9, P<0.001). When NMDA applications were stopped durithe period of EtOH exposure, mean area of NMDA-evoked responses on washout was only 98.0±5% of control (n=6, P>0.05). The tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein (10–20 μM) blocked withdrawal hyper-responsiveness. Of six EtOH-sensitive neurons, the mean NMDA-evoked current area after washout was 89±6% of control, P>0.05. The protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor Rp-cAMP (20–500 μM) did not block withdrawal hyper-responsiveness. On washout, the mean NMDA-evoked current area was 124±6% of control (n=5, P<0.05). Two broad-spectrum specific protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors, GF-109203X (0.3 μM) and chelerythrine chloride (0.5–2 nM), blocked withdrawal hyper-responsiveness. Responses on washout were 108±7%, n=5 and 88±4%, n=4 of control, respectively, P>0.05. NMDA activation during EtOH exposure

  1. Age-related changes in soma size of neurons in the spinal cord motor column of the cat.

    PubMed

    Liu, R H; Bertolotto, C; Engelhardt, J K; Chase, M H

    1996-06-28

    The present study was undertaken to examine the effect of the aging process on the soma size and number of motoneurons and interneurons in the motor column of the spinal cord of old cats. Neurons in the motor column were divided into small and large populations based on a bimodal distribution of their soma cross-sectional areas. A 17% decrease in the cross-sectional area of small neurons was observed, this decrease was statistically significant (P < 0.0001). The cross-sectional area of large neurons decreased by only 6%, which was statistically significant (P < 0.05). On the other hand, there was no significant difference in the number of large, small or of these combined population of ventral horn neurons in the aged cats compared with the control animals. This data suggest that neurons in the motor column are not uniformly affected by the aging process because morphological changes are proportionally greater in small neurons than in large neurons. PMID:8817566

  2. The CB(1) cannabinoid receptor drives corticospinal motor neuron differentiation through the Ctip2/Satb2 transcriptional regulation axis.

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-21

    The generation and specification of pyramidal neuron subpopulations during development relies on a complex network of transcription factors. The CB(1) 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 CB(1) receptor, by preventing Satb2 (special AT-rich binding protein 2)-mediated repression, increased Ctip2 (COUP-TF interacting protein 2) promoter activity, and Ctip2-positive neuron generation. Unbalanced neurogenic fate determination found in complete CB(1)(-/-) mice and in glutamatergic neuron-specific Nex-CB(1)(-/-) 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 CB(1) receptors in Thy1-YFP-H mice elicited alterations in corticospinal tract development. Altogether, these data demonstrate that the CB(1) 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

  3. Mutant HSPB1 overexpression in neurons is sufficient to cause age-related motor neuronopathy in mice

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, Amit K.; Renusch, Samantha R.; Naiman, Nicole E.; Gu, Shuping; Sneh, Amita; Arnold, W. David; Sahenk, Zarife; Kolb, Stephen J.

    2012-01-01

    The small heat shock protein HSPB1 is a multifunctional, α-crystallin-based protein that has been shown to be neuroprotective in animal models of motor neuron disease and peripheral nerve injury. Missense mutations in HSPB1 result in axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease with minimal sensory involvement (CMT2F) and distal hereditary motor neuropathy type 2 (dHMN-II). These disorders are characterized by a selective loss of motor axons in peripheral nerve resulting in distal muscle weakness and often severe disability. To investigate the pathogenic mechanisms of HSPB1 mutations in motor neurons in vivo, we have developed and characterized transgenic PrP-HSPB1 and PrP-HSPB1(R136W) mice. These mice express the human HSPB1 protein throughout the nervous system including in axons of peripheral nerve. Although both mouse strains lacked obvious motor deficits, the PrP-HSPB1(R136W) mice developed an age-dependent motor axonopathy. Mutant mice showed axonal pathology in spinal cord and peripheral nerve with evidence of impaired neurofilament cytoskeleton, associated with organelle accumulation. Accompanying these findings, increases in the number of Schmidt-Lanterman incisures, as evidence of impaired axon-Schwann cell interactions, were present. These observations suggest that overexpression of HSPB1(R136W) in neurons is sufficient to cause pathological and electrophysiological changes in mice that are seen in patients with hereditary motor neuropathy. PMID:22521462

  4. Myopathic involvement and mitochondrial pathology in Kennedy disease and in other motor neuron diseases.

    PubMed

    Orsucci, D; Rocchi, A; Caldarazzo Ienco, E; Alì, G; LoGerfo, A; Petrozzi, L; Scarpelli, M; Filosto, M; Carlesi, C; Siciliano, G; Bonuccelli, U; Mancuso, M

    2014-01-01

    Kennedy disease (spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, or SBMA) is a motor neuron disease caused by a CAG expansion in the androgen-receptor (AR) gene. Increasing evidence shows that SBMA may have a primary myopathic component and that mitochondrial dysfunction may have some role in the pathogenesis of this disease. In this article, we review the role of mitochondrial dysfunction and of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) in SBMA, and we present the illustrative case of a patient who presented with increased CK levels and exercise intolerance. Molecular analysis led to definitive diagnosis of SBMA, whereas muscle biopsy showed a mixed myopathic and neurogenic process with "mitochondrial features" and multiple mtDNA deletions, supporting some role of mitochondria in the pathogenesis of the myopathic component of Kennedy disease. Furthermore, we briefly review the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in two other motor neuron diseases (namely spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Most likely, in most cases mtDNA does not play a primary role and it is involved subsequently. MtDNA deletions may contribute to the neurodegenerative process, but the exact mechanisms are still unclear. It will be important to develop a better understanding of the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in motoneuron diseases, since it may lead to the development of more effective strategies for the treatment of this devastating disorder. PMID:24894177

  5. Motor neurone responses during a postural reflex in solitarious and gregarious desert locusts.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Laura M; Ott, Swidbert R; Matheson, Tom; Burrows, Malcolm; Rogers, Stephen M

    2010-08-01

    Desert locusts show extreme phenotypic plasticity and can change reversibly between two phases that differ radically in morphology, physiology and behaviour. Solitarious locusts are cryptic in appearance and behaviour, walking slowly with the body held close to the ground. Gregarious locusts are conspicuous in appearance and much more active, walking rapidly with the body held well above the ground. During walking, the excursion of the femoro-tibial (F-T) joint of the hind leg is smaller in solitarious locusts, and the joint is kept more flexed throughout an entire step. Under open loop conditions, the slow extensor tibiae (SETi) motor neurone of solitarious locusts shows strong tonic activity that increases at more extended F-T angles. SETi of gregarious locusts by contrast showed little tonic activity. Simulated flexion of the F-T joint elicits resistance reflexes in SETi in both phases, but regardless of the initial and final position of the leg, the spiking rate of SETi during these reflexes was twice as great in solitarious compared to gregarious locusts. This increased sensory-motor gain in the neuronal networks controlling postural reflexes in solitarious locusts may be linked to the occurrence of pronounced behavioural catalepsy in this phase similar to other cryptic insects such as stick insects. PMID:20416321

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  7. Motor Neuron Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Need for More Population-Based Studies

    PubMed Central

    Quansah, Emmanuel; Karikari, Thomas K.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26347879

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

    PubMed

    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 < 0.05). Whole body LMN 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. PMID:26700804

  9. Generation and Expansion of highly-pure Motor Neuron Progenitors from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Du, Zhong-Wei; Chen, Hong; Liu, Huisheng; Lu, Jianfeng; Qian, Kun; Huang, Cindy Tzu-Ling.; Zhong, Xiaofen; Fan, Frank; Zhang, Su-Chun

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have opened new opportunities for understanding human development, modeling disease processes and developing new therapeutics. However, these applications are hindered by low-efficiency and heterogeneity of target cell types differentiated from hPSCs, such as motor neurons (MNs), as well as our inability to maintain the potency of lineage committed progenitors. Here, by using a combination of small molecules that regulate multiple signaling pathways, we develop a method to guide human embryonic stem cells to a near-pure population (>95%) of motor neuron progenitors (MNPs) in 12 days, and an enriched population (>90%) of functionally mature MNs in an additional 16 days. More importantly, the MNPs can be expanded for at least 5 passages so that a single MNP can be amplified to 1×104. This method is reproducible in human induced pluripotent stem cells and is applied to model MNdegenerative diseases and in proof-of-principle drug screening assays. PMID:25806427

  10. Motor neuron degeneration in spastic paraplegia 11 mimics amyotrophic lateral sclerosis lesions.

    PubMed

    Denora, Paola S; Smets, Katrien; Zolfanelli, Federica; Ceuterick-de Groote, Chantal; Casali, Carlo; Deconinck, Tine; Sieben, Anne; Gonzales, Michael; Zuchner, Stephan; Darios, Frédéric; Peeters, Dirk; Brice, Alexis; Malandrini, Alessandro; De Jonghe, Peter; Santorelli, Filippo M; Stevanin, Giovanni; Martin, Jean-Jacques; El Hachimi, Khalid H

    2016-06-01

    The most common form of autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia is caused by mutations in the SPG11/KIAA1840 gene on chromosome 15q. The nature of the vast majority of SPG11 mutations found to date suggests a loss-of-function mechanism of the encoded protein, spatacsin. The SPG11 phenotype is, in most cases, characterized by a progressive spasticity with neuropathy, cognitive impairment and a thin corpus callosum on brain MRI. Full neuropathological characterization has not been reported to date despite the description of >100 SPG11 mutations. We describe here the clinical and pathological features observed in two unrelated females, members of genetically ascertained SPG11 families originating from Belgium and Italy, respectively. We confirm the presence of lesions of motor tracts in medulla oblongata and spinal cord associated with other lesions of the central nervous system. Interestingly, we report for the first time pathological hallmarks of SPG11 in neurons that include intracytoplasmic granular lysosome-like structures mainly in supratentorial areas, and others in subtentorial areas that are partially reminiscent of those observed in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, such as ubiquitin and p62 aggregates, except that they are never labelled with anti-TDP-43 or anti-cystatin C. The neuropathological overlap with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, associated with some shared clinical manifestations, opens up new fields of investigation in the physiopathological continuum of motor neuron degeneration. PMID:27016404

  11. Predicting the severity of motor neuron disease progression using electronic health record data with a cloud computing Big Data approach

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Kyung Dae; El-Ghazawi, Tarek; Kim, Dongkyu; Morizono, Hiroki

    2014-01-01

    Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are a class of progressive neurological diseases that damage the motor neurons. An accurate diagnosis is important for the treatment of patients with MNDs because there is no standard cure for the MNDs. However, the rates of false positive and false negative diagnoses are still very high in this class of diseases. In the case of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), current estimates indicate 10% of diagnoses are false-positives, while 44% appear to be false negatives. In this study, we developed a new methodology to profile specific medical information from patient medical records for predicting the progression of motor neuron diseases. We implemented a system using Hbase and the Random forest classifier of Apache Mahout to profile medical records provided by the Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials Database (PRO-ACT) site, and we achieved 66% accuracy in the prediction of ALS progress. PMID:25580472

  12. Longitudinal changes in cerebellar and subcortical volumes in adult-onset Niemann-Pick disease type C patients treated with miglustat.

    PubMed

    Bowman, Elizabeth A; Walterfang, Mark; Abel, Larry; Desmond, Patricia; Fahey, Michael; Velakoulis, Dennis

    2015-09-01

    Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a rare neurovisceral disorder resulting in impaired intracellular lipid trafficking. The only disease-modifying treatment available to date is miglustat, an iminosugar inhibiting the accumulation of lipid by-products in neurons. This study explored how changes in cerebellar grey and white matter volumes, and in subcortical volumes, related to patient treatment status and disability and ataxia ratings. Nine adult-onset NPC patients and 17 matched controls underwent T1-weighted MRI. One patient was not receiving miglustat, and pre-treatment data were available for a further patient. Semi-automated cerebellar and subcortical segmentation was undertaken, and the rates of change in putamen, hippocampal, thalamic and caudal volumes, and grey and white matter cerebellar volumes, were compared to rates of change in Iturriaga disability score, Brief Ataxia Rating Scale (BARS), and horizontal saccadic gain. Untreated NPC patients appeared to lose cerebellar grey and white matter, bilateral thalamic volume, and right caudate volume faster than treated patients. Cerebellar grey matter volume loss and volume loss in the left thalamus were significantly correlated with Iturriaga disability scale changes. Change in both cerebellar grey and white matter was correlated with decrease in horizontal saccadic gain, but not with change in BARS. This is the first study to examine longitudinal treatment effects of miglustat on cerebellar and subcortical volumes in patients with adult-onset NPC, and is evidence that miglustat may have a protective effect on cerebellar and subcortical structure and function. PMID:26092521

  13. β-catenin stabilization in skeletal muscles, but not in motor neurons, leads to aberrant motor innervation of the muscle during neuromuscular development in mice

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yun; Sugiura, Yoshie; Wu, Fenfen; Mi, Wentao; Taketo, Makoto M.; Cannon, Steve; Carroll, Thomas; Lin, Weichun

    2012-01-01

    β-catenin, a key component of the Wnt signaling pathway, has been implicated in the development of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in mice, but its precise role in this process remains unclear. Here we use a β-catenin gain-of-function mouse model to stabilize β-catenin selectively in either skeletal muscles or motor neurons. We found that β-catenin stabilization in skeletal muscles resulted in increased motor axon number and excessive intramuscular nerve defasciculation and branching. In contrast, β-catenin stabilization in motor neurons had no adverse effect on motor innervation pattern. Furthermore, stabilization of β-catenin, either in skeletal muscles or in motor neurons, had no adverse effect on the formation and function of the NMJ. Our findings demonstrate that β-catenin levels in developing muscles in mice are crucial for proper muscle innervation, rather than specifically affecting synapse formation at the NMJ, and that the regulation of muscle innervation by β-catenin is mediated by a non-cell autonomous mechanism. PMID:22537499

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25048683

  15. DL-Homocysteic acid application disrupts calcium homeostasis and induces degeneration of spinal motor neurons in vivo.

    PubMed

    Adalbert, Róbert; Engelhardt, József I; Siklós, László

    2002-05-01

    Excitotoxicity, autoimmunity and free radicals have been postulated to play a role in the pathomechanism of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most frequent motor neuron disease. Altered calcium homeostasis has already been demonstrated in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase transgenic animals, suggesting a role for free radicals in the pathogenesis of ALS, and in passive transfer experiments, modeling autoimmunity. These findings also suggested that yet-confined pathogenic insults, associated with ALS, could trigger the disruption of calcium homeostasis of motor neurons. To test the possibility that excitotoxic processes may also be able to increase calcium in motor neurons, we applied the glutamate analogue DL-homocysteic acid to the spinal cord of rats in vivo and analyzed the calcium distribution of the motor neurons over a 24-h survival period by electron microscopy. Initially, an elevated cytoplasmic calcium level, with no morphological sign of degeneration, was noticed. Later, increasing calcium accumulation was seen in different cellular compartments with characteristic features of alteration at different survival times. This calcium accumulation in organelles was paralleled by their progressive degeneration, which culminated in cell death by the end of the observation time. These findings confirm that increased calcium also plays a role in excitotoxic lesion of motor neurons, in line with previous studies documenting the involvement of calcium ions in motor neuronal injury in other models of the disease as well as elevated calcium in biopsy samples from ALS patients. We suggest that intracellular calcium might be responsible for the interplay between the different pathogenic processes resulting in a uniform clinicopathological picture of the disease. PMID:11935257

  16. Chronic Exposure to Dietary Sterol Glucosides is Neurotoxic to Motor Neurons and Induces an ALS-PDC Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Tabata, R. C.; Wilson, J. M. B.; Ly, P.; Zwiegers, P.; Kwok, D.; Van Kampen, J. M.; Cashman, N.; Shaw, C. A.

    2008-01-01

    Epidemiological studies of the Guamanian variants of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and parkinsonism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS-PDC), have shown a positive correlation between consumption of washed cycad seed flour and disease occurrence. Previous in vivo studies by our group have shown that the same seed flour induces ALS and PDC phenotypes in out bred adult male mice. In vitro studies using isolated cycad compounds have also demonstrated that several of these are neurotoxic, specifically, a number of water insoluble phytosterol glucosides of which β-sitosterol β-d-glucoside (BSSG) forms the largest fraction. BSSG is neurotoxic to motor neurons and other neuronal populations in culture. The present study shows that an in vitro hybrid motor neuron (NSC-34) culture treated with BSSG undergoes a dose-dependent cell loss. Surviving cells show increased expression of HSP70, decreased cytosolic heavy neurofilament expression, and have various morphological abnormalities. CD-1 mice fed mouse chow pellets containing BSSG for 15 weeks showed motor deficits and motor neuron loss in the lumbar and thoracic spinal cord, along with decreased glutamate transporter labelling, and increased glial fibrillary acid protein reactivity. Other pathological outcomes included increased caspase-3 labelling in the striatum and decreased tyrosine-hydroxylase labelling in the striatum and substantia nigra. C57BL/6 mice fed BSSG-treated pellets for 10 weeks exhibited progressive loss of motor neurons in the lumbar spinal cord that continued to worsen even after the BSSG exposure ended. These results provide further support implicating sterol glucosides as one potential causal factor in the motor neuron pathology previously associated with cycad consumption and ALS-PDC. PMID:18196479

  17. Neurochemical, morphologic, and laminar characterization of cortical projection neurons in the cingulate motor areas of the macaque monkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nimchinsky, E. A.; Hof, P. R.; Young, W. G.; Morrison, J. H.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    The primate cingulate gyrus contains multiple cortical areas that can be distinguished by several neurochemical features, including the distribution of neurofilament protein-enriched pyramidal neurons. In addition, connectivity and functional properties indicate that there are multiple motor areas in the cortex lining the cingulate sulcus. These motor areas were targeted for analysis of potential interactions among regional specialization, connectivity, and cellular characteristics such as neurochemical profile and morphology. Specifically, intracortical injections of retrogradely transported dyes and intracellular injection were combined with immunocytochemistry to investigate neurons projecting from the cingulate motor areas to the putative forelimb region of the primary motor cortex, area M1. Two separate groups of neurons projecting to area M1 emanated from the cingulate sulcus, one anterior and one posterior, both of which furnished commissural and ipsilateral connections with area M1. The primary difference between the two populations was laminar origin, with the anterior projection originating largely in deep layers, and the posterior projection taking origin equally in superficial and deep layers. With regard to cellular morphology, the anterior projection exhibited more morphologic diversity than the posterior projection. Commissural projections from both anterior and posterior fields originated largely in layer VI. Neurofilament protein distribution was a reliable tool for localizing the two projections and for discriminating between them. Comparable proportions of the two sets of projection neurons contained neurofilament protein, although the density and distribution of the total population of neurofilament protein-enriched neurons was very different in the two subareas of origin. Within a projection, the participating neurons exhibited a high degree of morphologic heterogeneity, and no correlation was observed between somatodendritic morphology and

  18. Fusion protein Isl1–Lhx3 specifies motor neuron fate by inducing motor neuron genes and concomitantly suppressing the interneuron programs

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seunghee; Cuvillier, James M.; Lee, Bora; Shen, Rongkun; Lee, Jae W.; Lee, Soo-Kyung

    2012-01-01

    Combinatorial transcription codes generate the myriad of cell types during development and thus likely provide crucial insights into directed differentiation of stem cells to a specific cell type. The LIM complex composed of Isl1 and Lhx3 directs the specification of spinal motor neurons (MNs) in embryos. Here, we report that Isl1–Lhx3, a LIM-complex mimicking fusion, induces a signature of MN transcriptome and concomitantly suppresses interneuron differentiation programs, thereby serving as a potent and specific inducer of MNs in stem cells. We show that an equimolar ratio of Isl1 and Lhx3 and the LIM domain of Lhx3 are crucial for generating MNs without up-regulating interneuron genes. These led us to design Isl1–Lhx3, which maintains the desirable 1:1 ratio of Isl1 and Lhx3 and the LIM domain of Lhx3. Isl1–Lhx3 drives MN differentiation with high specificity and efficiency in the spinal cord and embryonic stem cells, bypassing the need for sonic hedgehog (Shh). RNA-seq analysis revealed that Isl1–Lhx3 induces the expression of a battery of MN genes that control various functional aspects of MNs, while suppressing key interneuron genes. Our studies uncover a highly efficient method for directed MN generation and MN gene networks. Our results also demonstrate a general strategy of using embryonic transcription complexes for producing specific cell types from stem cells. PMID:22343290

  19. Fusion protein Isl1-Lhx3 specifies motor neuron fate by inducing motor neuron genes and concomitantly suppressing the interneuron programs.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seunghee; Cuvillier, James M; Lee, Bora; Shen, Rongkun; Lee, Jae W; Lee, Soo-Kyung

    2012-02-28

    Combinatorial transcription codes generate the myriad of cell types during development and thus likely provide crucial insights into directed differentiation of stem cells to a specific cell type. The LIM complex composed of Isl1 and Lhx3 directs the specification of spinal motor neurons (MNs) in embryos. Here, we report that Isl1-Lhx3, a LIM-complex mimicking fusion, induces a signature of MN transcriptome and concomitantly suppresses interneuron differentiation programs, thereby serving as a potent and specific inducer of MNs in stem cells. We show that an equimolar ratio of Isl1 and Lhx3 and the LIM domain of Lhx3 are crucial for generating MNs without up-regulating interneuron genes. These led us to design Isl1-Lhx3, which maintains the desirable 1:1 ratio of Isl1 and Lhx3 and the LIM domain of Lhx3. Isl1-Lhx3 drives MN differentiation with high specificity and efficiency in the spinal cord and embryonic stem cells, bypassing the need for sonic hedgehog (Shh). RNA-seq analysis revealed that Isl1-Lhx3 induces the expression of a battery of MN genes that control various functional aspects of MNs, while suppressing key interneuron genes. Our studies uncover a highly efficient method for directed MN generation and MN gene networks. Our results also demonstrate a general strategy of using embryonic transcription complexes for producing specific cell types from stem cells. PMID:22343290

  20. Cocaine Increases Dopaminergic Neuron and Motor Activity via Midbrain α1 Adrenergic Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Goertz, Richard Brandon; Wanat, Matthew J; Gomez, Jorge A; Brown, Zeliene J; Phillips, Paul EM; Paladini, Carlos A

    2015-01-01

    Cocaine reinforcement is mediated by increased extracellular dopamine levels in the forebrain. This neurochemical effect was thought to require inhibition of dopamine reuptake, but cocaine is still reinforcing even in the absence of the dopamine transporter. Here, we demonstrate that the rapid elevation in dopamine levels and motor activity elicited by cocaine involves α1 receptor activation within the ventral midbrain. Activation of α1 receptors increases dopaminergic neuron burst firing by decreasing the calcium-activated potassium channel current (SK), as well as elevates dopaminergic neuron pacemaker firing through modulation of both SK and the hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih). Furthermore, we found that cocaine increases both the pacemaker and burst-firing frequency of rat ventral-midbrain dopaminergic neurons through an α1 adrenergic receptor-dependent mechanism within the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra pars compacta. These results demonstrate the mechanism underlying the critical role of α1 adrenergic receptors in the regulation of dopamine neurotransmission and behavior by cocaine. PMID:25374094

  1. Osteopontin is an alpha motor neuron marker in the mouse spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Misawa, Hidemi; Hara, Mayumi; Tanabe, Shogo; Niikura, Mamiko; Moriwaki, Yasuhiro; Okuda, Takashi

    2012-04-01

    Motor neurons (MNs) are designated as alpha/gamma and fast/slow based on their target sites and the types of muscle fibers innervated; however, few molecular markers that distinguish between these subtypes are available. Here we report that osteopontin (OPN) is a selective marker of alpha MNs in the mouse spinal cord. OPN was detected in approximately 70% of postnatal choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-positive MNs with relatively large somas, but not in those with smaller somas. OPN+/ChAT+ MNs were also positive for NeuN, an alpha MN marker, but were negative for Err3, a gamma MN marker. The size distribution of OPN+/ChAT+ cells was nearly identical to that of NeuN+/ChAT+ alpha MNs. Group Ia proprioceptive terminals immunoreactive for vesicular glutamate transporter-1 were selectively detected on the OPN+/ChAT+ cells. OPN staining was also detected at motor axon terminals at neuromuscular junctions, where the OPN+ terminals were positive or negative for SV2A, a marker distinguishing fast/slow motor endplates. Finally, retrograde labeling following intramuscular injection of fast blue indicated that OPN is expressed in both fast and slow MNs. Collectively, our findings show that OPN is an alpha MN marker present in both the soma and the endplates of alpha MNs in the postnatal mouse spinal cord. PMID:22420030

  2. Failure of lower motor neuron radial outgrowth precedes retrograde degeneration in a feline model of SMA

    PubMed Central

    Wakeling, Erin N.; Joussemet, Béatrice; Costiou, Patrick; Fanuel, Dominique; Moullier, Philippe; Barkats, Martine; Fyfe, John C.

    2012-01-01

    Feline SMA is a fully penetrant, autosomal recessive lower motor neuron disease in domestic cats that clinically resembles human SMA Type III. A whole genome linkage scan identified a ~140 kilobase deletion that abrogates expression of LIX1, a novel SMA candidate gene of unknown function. To characterize the progression of feline SMA, we assessed pathological changes in muscle and spinal cord from 3 days of age to beyond onset of clinical signs. EMG analysis indicating denervation occurred between 10 and 12 weeks, with the first neurological signs occurring at the same time. CMAP amplitudes were significantly reduced in the soleus and extensor carpi radialis muscles at 8 to 11 weeks. Quadriceps femoris muscle fibers from affected cats appeared smaller at 10 weeks; by 12 weeks atrophic fibers were more prevalent than in age-matched controls. In affected cats, significant loss of L5 ventral root axons was observed at 12 weeks. By 21 weeks of age, affected cats had 40% fewer L5 motor axons than normal. There was no significant difference in total L5 soma number, even at 21 weeks; thus degeneration begins distal to the cell body and proceeds retrogradely. Morphometric analysis of L5 ventral roots and horns revealed that 4 weeks prior to axon loss, motor axons in affected cats failed to undergo radial enlargement, suggesting a role for the putative disease gene, LIX1, in radial growth of axons. PMID:22120001

  3. C9ORF72 hexanucleotide repeats in behavioral and motor neuron disease: clinical heterogeneity and pathological diversity

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Jennifer S; Sirkis, Daniel W; Miller, Bruce L

    2014-01-01

    Hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9ORF72 is the most common genetic cause of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a predominantly behavioral disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease of motor neurons. The primary objectives of this review are to highlight the clinical heterogeneity associated with C9ORF72 pathogenic expansion and identify potential molecular mechanisms underlying selective vulnerability of distinct neural populations. The proposed mechanisms by which C9ORF72 expansion causes behavioral and motor neuron disease highlight the emerging role of impaired RNA and protein homeostasis in a spectrum of neurodegeneration and strengthen the biological connection between FTD and ALS. PMID:24753999

  4. Increased cytoplasmic TARDBP mRNA in affected spinal motor neurons in ALS caused by abnormal autoregulation of TDP-43.

    PubMed

    Koyama, Akihide; Sugai, Akihiro; Kato, Taisuke; Ishihara, Tomohiko; Shiga, Atsushi; Toyoshima, Yasuko; Koyama, Misaki; Konno, Takuya; Hirokawa, Sachiko; Yokoseki, Akio; Nishizawa, Masatoyo; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Onodera, Osamu

    2016-07-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disorder. In motor neurons of ALS, TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43), a nuclear protein encoded by TARDBP, is absent from the nucleus and forms cytoplasmic inclusions. TDP-43 auto-regulates the amount by regulating the TARDBP mRNA, which has three polyadenylation signals (PASs) and three additional alternative introns within the last exon. However, it is still unclear how the autoregulatory mechanism works and how the status of autoregulation in ALS motor neurons without nuclear TDP-43 is. Here we show that TDP-43 inhibits the selection of the most proximal PAS and induces splicing of multiple alternative introns in TARDBP mRNA to decrease the amount of cytoplasmic TARDBP mRNA by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. When TDP-43 is depleted, the TARDBP mRNA uses the most proximal PAS and is increased in the cytoplasm. Finally, we have demonstrated that in ALS motor neurons-especially neurons with mislocalized TDP-43-the amount of TARDBP mRNA is increased in the cytoplasm. Our observations indicate that nuclear TDP-43 contributes to the autoregulation and suggests that the absence of nuclear TDP-43 induces an abnormal autoregulation and increases the amount of TARDBP mRNA. The vicious cycle might accelerate the disease progression of ALS. PMID:27257061

  5. Defect in synaptic vesicle precursor transport and neuronal cell death in KIF1A motor protein-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Yonekawa, Y; Harada, A; Okada, Y; Funakoshi, T; Kanai, Y; Takei, Y; Terada, S; Noda, T; Hirokawa, N

    1998-04-20

    The nerve axon is a good model system for studying the molecular mechanism of organelle transport in cells. Recently, the new kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs) have been identified as candidate motor proteins involved in organelle transport. Among them KIF1A, a murine homologue of unc-104 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans, is a unique monomeric neuron- specific microtubule plus end-directed motor and has been proposed as a transporter of synaptic vesicle precursors (Okada, Y., H. Yamazaki, Y. Sekine-Aizawa, and N. Hirokawa. 1995. Cell. 81:769-780). To elucidate the function of KIF1A in vivo, we disrupted the KIF1A gene in mice. KIF1A mutants died mostly within a day after birth showing motor and sensory disturbances. In the nervous systems of these mutants, the transport of synaptic vesicle precursors showed a specific and significant decrease. Consequently, synaptic vesicle density decreased dramatically, and clusters of clear small vesicles accumulated in the cell bodies. Furthermore, marked neuronal degeneration and death occurred both in KIF1A mutant mice and in cultures of mutant neurons. The neuronal death in cultures was blocked by coculture with wild-type neurons or exposure to a low concentration of glutamate. These results in cultures suggested that the mutant neurons might not sufficiently receive afferent stimulation, such as neuronal contacts or neurotransmission, resulting in cell death. Thus, our results demonstrate that KIF1A transports a synaptic vesicle precursor and that KIF1A-mediated axonal transport plays a critical role in viability, maintenance, and function of neurons, particularly mature neurons. PMID:9548721

  6. Pesticide Methoxychlor Promotes the Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Adult-Onset Disease through the Female Germline

    PubMed Central

    Manikkam, Mohan; Haque, M. Muksitul; Guerrero-Bosagna, Carlos; Nilsson, Eric E.; Skinner, Michael K.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental compounds including fungicides, plastics, pesticides, dioxin and hydrocarbons can promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult-onset disease in future generation progeny following ancestral exposure during the critical period of fetal gonadal sex determination. This study examined the actions of the pesticide methoxychlor to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult-onset disease and associated differential DNA methylation regions (i.e. epimutations) in sperm. Gestating F0 generation female rats were transiently exposed to methoxychlor during fetal gonadal development (gestation days 8 to 14) and then adult-onset disease was evaluated in adult F1 and F3 (great-grand offspring) generation progeny for control (vehicle exposed) and methoxychlor lineage offspring. There were increases in the incidence of kidney disease, ovary disease, and obesity in the methoxychlor lineage animals. In females and males the incidence of disease increased in both the F1 and the F3 generations and the incidence of multiple disease increased in the F3 generation. There was increased disease incidence in F4 generation reverse outcross (female) offspring indicating disease transmission was primarily transmitted through the female germline. Analysis of the F3 generation sperm epigenome of the methoxychlor lineage males identified differentially DNA methylated regions (DMR) termed epimutations in a genome-wide gene promoters analysis. These epimutations were found to be methoxychlor exposure specific in comparison with other exposure specific sperm epimutation signatures. Observations indicate that the pesticide methoxychlor has the potential to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and the sperm epimutations appear to provide exposure specific epigenetic biomarkers for transgenerational disease and ancestral environmental exposures. PMID:25057798

  7. The Incidence and Clinical Characteristics of Adult-Onset Convergence Insufficiency

    PubMed Central

    Ghadban, Rafif; Martinez, Jennifer M.; Diehl, Nancy N.; Mohney, Brian G.

    2015-01-01

    Objective The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics and natural history of convergence insufficiency (CI) in a population-based cohort of adults. Design Retrospectively reviewed population-based cohort. Participants Adult (≥19 years of age) residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota. Methods The medical records of all adults diagnosed with CI over a 20-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Main outcome measures Clinical characteristics and outcomes for adult-onset convergence insufficiency. Results A total of 118 adults (annual incidence of 8.44 per 100 000 patients older than 19 years) were diagnosed with CI during the 20-year period, comprising 15.7% of all forms of adult-onset strabismus observed in this population. The median age at diagnosis was 68.5 years (range 21.7 to 97.1 years) and 68 (57.6%) were female. The mean initial exodeviation at near was 14.1 PD (range 1 to 30 PD) and 1.7 PD (range 0 to 10 PD) at distance. The Kaplan-Meier rate of exotropia increasing by 7 prism diopters or more at near over time was 4.2% at 5 years, 13.5% at 10 years, and 24.4% at 20 years. Approximately 88% were managed with prisms while less than 5% underwent surgical correction. Conclusions Adult-onset convergence insufficiency comprised approximately 1 in 6 adults who were newly diagnosed with strabismus in this 20-year cohort. There was a significant increase in incidence with increasing age. Nearly one-fourth had an increase of their near exodeviation of at least 7 PD by 20 years after their diagnosis and most patients were managed conservatively. PMID:25626756

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

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, D.A.; Gross, L.; Wittrock, D.A.; Windebank, A.J.

    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.

  9. Nkx2.2 and Nkx2.9 Are the Key Regulators to Determine Cell Fate of Branchial and Visceral Motor Neurons in Caudal Hindbrain

    PubMed Central

    Jarrar, Wassan; Dias, Jose M.; Ericson, Johan; Arnold, Hans-Henning; Holz, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Cranial motor nerves in vertebrates are comprised of the three principal subtypes of branchial, visceral, and somatic motor neurons, which develop in typical patterns along the anteroposterior and dorsoventral axes of hindbrain. Here we demonstrate that the formation of branchial and visceral motor neurons critically depends on the transcription factors Nkx2.2 and Nkx2.9, which together determine the cell fate of neuronal progenitor cells. Disruption of both genes in mouse embryos results in complete loss of the vagal and spinal accessory motor nerves, and partial loss of the facial and glossopharyngeal motor nerves, while the purely somatic hypoglossal and abducens motor nerves are not diminished. Cell lineage analysis in a genetically marked mouse line reveals that alterations of cranial nerves in Nkx2.2; Nkx2.9 double-deficient mouse embryos result from changes of cell fate in neuronal progenitor cells. As a consequence progenitors of branchiovisceral motor neurons in the ventral p3 domain of hindbrain are transformed to somatic motor neurons, which use ventral exit points to send axon trajectories to their targets. Cell fate transformation is limited to the caudal hindbrain, as the trigeminal nerve is not affected in double-mutant embryos suggesting that Nkx2.2 and Nkx2.9 proteins play no role in the development of branchiovisceral motor neurons in hindbrain rostral to rhombomere 4. PMID:25919494

  10. Bartonella henselae infection presenting with a picture of adult-onset Still's disease.

    PubMed

    Durey, Areum; Kwon, Hea Yoon; Im, Jae-Hyoung; Lee, Sun Myoung; Baek, JiHyeon; Han, Seung Baik; Kang, Jae-Seung; Lee, Jin-Soo

    2016-05-01

    We report a patient with a clinical picture of suggestive for adult-onset Still's Disease (ASOD) due to Bartonella infection. A 42-year-old immunocompetent man was admitted with fever, rash, arthralgia and sore throat. As his clinical picture suggested ASOD except unusual skin manifestation, we treated him on steroid and ibuprofen. His fever and constitutional symptoms responded immediately within 24hrs of commencing therapy, yet rash and leukocytosis remained. Meanwhile, Bartonella infection was proved by culture of bone marrow. Minocyclin treatment started combined with hydroxychloroquine sulfate and the patient discharged with overall improvement. PMID:27000538

  11. Adult Onset Still's Disease: A Review on Diagnostic Workup and Treatment Options

    PubMed Central

    Gopalarathinam, Rajesh; Orlowsky, Eric; Kesavalu, Ramesh; Yelaminchili, Sreeteja

    2016-01-01

    Adult onset Still's disease (AOSD) is a rare systemic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology and pathogenesis that presents in 5 to 10% of patients as fever of unknown origin (FUO) accompanied by systemic manifestations. We report an interesting case of a 33-year-old African-American male who presented with one-month duration of FUO along with skin rash, sore throat, and arthralgia. After extensive workup, potential differential diagnoses were ruled out and the patient was diagnosed with AOSD based on the Yamaguchi criteria. The case history, incidence, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, differential diagnoses, diagnostic workup, treatment modalities, and prognosis of AOSD are discussed in this case report. PMID:27042373

  12. Cord Blood Transplantation Following Reduced-intensity Conditioning for Adult-onset Inherited Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis.

    PubMed

    Kuriyama, Takuro; Kato, Koji; Sakamoto, Keiji; Hayashi, Masayasu; Takashima, Shuichiro; Mori, Yasuo; Takenaka, Katsuto; Iwasaki, Hiromi; Teshima, Takanori; Harada, Naoki; Nagafuji, Koji; Miyamoto, Toshihiro; Akashi, Koichi

    2016-01-01

    Inherited hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a genetic anomaly disorder in which abnormally activated cytotoxic T lymphocytes cannot induce the apoptosis of target cells and antigen-presenting cells, leading to hemophagocytosis, pancytopenia, and a variety of symptoms such as a high fever. The present patient with adult-onset HLH developed refractory disease despite receiving immunosuppressive treatments. He underwent a reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimen that comprised antithymocyte globulin (ATG) followed by cord blood transplantation (RIC-CBT). He achieved and maintained a complete donor type. The incorporation of ATG into RIC-CBT may prevent graft failure and control hemophagocytosis, however, further efforts are necessary to reduce infectious complications. PMID:26984088

  13. Herpes Zoster Meningitis Complicating Combined Tocilizumab and Cyclosporine Therapy for Adult-Onset Still's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Tsurukawa, Shinichiro; Iwanaga, Nozomi; Izumi, Yasumori; Shirakawa, Atsunori; Kawahara, Chieko; Shukuwa, Tetsuo; Inamoto, Miwako; Kawakami, Atsushi; Migita, Kiyoshi

    2016-01-01

    A 56-year-old female with refractory adult-onset Still's disease presented with ocular herpes zoster infection during TCZ treatment. After three days of acyclovir treatment (5 mg/kg), she developed a severe headache and high fever. Viral DNA isolation and cerebral spinal fluid abnormalities led to a herpes zoster meningitis diagnosis. Her meningitis was cured by high doses of intravenous acyclovir (10 mg/kg for 14 days). To our knowledge, this is the first report of meningeal herpes zoster infection in rheumatic diseases under TCZ treatment. PMID:27092286

  14. Herpes Zoster Meningitis Complicating Combined Tocilizumab and Cyclosporine Therapy for Adult-Onset Still's Disease.

    PubMed

    Tsurukawa, Shinichiro; Iwanaga, Nozomi; Izumi, Yasumori; Shirakawa, Atsunori; Kawahara, Chieko; Shukuwa, Tetsuo; Inamoto, Miwako; Kawakami, Atsushi; Migita, Kiyoshi

    2016-01-01

    A 56-year-old female with refractory adult-onset Still's disease presented with ocular herpes zoster infection during TCZ treatment. After three days of acyclovir treatment (5 mg/kg), she developed a severe headache and high fever. Viral DNA isolation and cerebral spinal fluid abnormalities led to a herpes zoster meningitis diagnosis. Her meningitis was cured by high doses of intravenous acyclovir (10 mg/kg for 14 days). To our knowledge, this is the first report of meningeal herpes zoster infection in rheumatic diseases under TCZ treatment. PMID:27092286

  15. Indoprofen Upregulates the Survival Motor Neuron Protein through a Cyclooxygenase-Independent Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Lunn, Mitchell R.; Root, David E.; Martino, Allison M.; Flaherty, Stephen P.; Kelley, Brian P.; Coovert, Daniel D.; Burghes, Arthur H.; Man, Nguyen thi; Morris, Glenn E.; Zhou, Jianhua; Androphy, Elliot J.; Sumner, Charlotte J.; Stockwell, Brent R.

    2011-01-01

    Most patients with the pediatric neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy have a homozygous deletion of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, but retain one or more copies of the closely related SMN2gene. TheSMN2gene encodes the same protein (SMN) but produces it at a low efficiency compared with the SMN1 gene. We performed a high-throughput screen of ~47,000 compounds to identify those that increase production of an SMN2-luciferase reporter protein, but not an SMN1-luciferase reporter protein. Indoprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, selectively increased SMN2-luciferase reporter protein and endogenous SMN protein and caused a 5-fold increase in the number of nuclear gems in fibroblasts from SMA patients. No other NSAIDs or COX inhibitors tested exhibited this activity. PMID:15555999

  16. Juvenile-onset motor neuron disease caused by novel mutations in β-hexosaminidase

    PubMed Central

    Pierson, Tyler Mark; Torres, Paola A.; Zeng, Bei-Jin; Glanzman, Allan M.; Adams, David; Finkel, Richard S.; Mahuran, Don J.; Pastores, Gregory M.; Tennekoon, Gihan I.; Kolodny, Edwin H.

    2013-01-01

    A 12 year-old female presented with a seven-year history of progressive muscle weakness, atrophy, tremor and fasciculations. Cognition was normal. Rectal biopsy revealed intracellular storage material and biochemical testing indicated low hexosaminidase activity consistent with juvenile-onset GM2-gangliosidosis. Genetic evaluation revealed compound heterozygosity with two novel mutations in the hexosaminidase β-subunit (c.512-3 C>A and c.1613+15_1613+18dup). Protein analysis was consistent with biochemical findings and indicated only a small portion of β-subunits were properly processed. These results provide additional insight into juvenile-onset GM2-gangliosidoses and further expand the number of β-hexosaminidase mutations associated with motor neuron disease. PMID:23158871

  17. The application of biomarkers in clinical trials for motor neuron disease

    PubMed Central

    Ganesalingam, Jeban; Bowser, Robert

    2010-01-01

    The interest and research into disease-related biomarkers has greatly accelerated over the last 10 years. The potential clinical benefits for disease-specific biomarkers include a more rapid and accurate disease diagnosis, and potential reduction in size and duration of clinical drug trials, which would speed up drug development. The application of biomarkers into the clinical arena of motor neuron disease should both determine if a drug hits its proposed target and whether the drug alters the course of disease. This article will highlight the progress made in discovering suitable biomarker candidates from a variety of sources, including imaging, neurophysiology and proteomics. For biomarkers to have clinical utility, specific criteria must be satisfied. While there has been tremendous effort to discover biomarkers, very few have been translated to the clinic. The bottlenecks in the biomarker pipeline will be highlighted as well as lessons that can be learned from other disciplines, such as oncology. PMID:20406070

  18. Genetic circuitry of Survival motor neuron, the gene underlying spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Sen, Anindya; Dimlich, Douglas N.; Guruharsha, K. G.; Kankel, Mark W.; Hori, Kazuya; Yokokura, Takakazu; Brachat, Sophie; Richardson, Delwood; Loureiro, Joseph; Sivasankaran, Rajeev; Curtis, Daniel; Davidow, Lance S.; Rubin, Lee L.; Hart, Anne C.; Van Vactor, David; Artavanis-Tsakonas, Spyros

    2013-01-01

    The clinical severity of the neurodegenerative disorder spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is dependent on the levels of functional Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein. Consequently, current strategies for developing treatments for SMA generally focus on augmenting SMN levels. To identify additional potential therapeutic avenues and achieve a greater understanding of SMN, we applied in vivo, in vitro, and in silico approaches to identify genetic and biochemical interactors of the Drosophila SMN homolog. We identified more than 300 candidate genes that alter an Smn-dependent phenotype in vivo. Integrating the results from our genetic screens, large-scale protein interaction studies, and bioinformatic analysis, we define a unique interactome for SMN that provides a knowledge base for a better understanding of SMA. PMID:23757500

  19. In vivo and in vitro studies of glycine- and glutamate-evoked acetylcholinesterase release from spinal motor neurones: implications for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neurone disease pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ithurralde, D; Olivera, S; Vincent, O; Maruri, A

    1997-10-01

    To investigate the spinal cellular structures and molecular mechanisms involved in acetylcholinesterase (AChE) release evoked by both glycine (GLY) and glutamate (GLU)--responses that might play a role in chronic neurotoxicity--we analysed AChE histochemistry and histology upon systemic administration of aspartate (ASP), and conducted in vitro experiments in synaptosomes and slices prepared from mouse spinal ventral horns. Upon superfusion and incubation exposure of these preparations to GLY- and GLU-receptor agonists, we assayed both tissue content and release of AChE, butyrylcholinesterase and lactic dehydrogenase. Histochemical reduction of motor neurone (MN) AChE, calcium dependency, decreases in intracellular AChE and the ratio amongst molecular forms released, suggest that both synaptosomal GLY-evoked AChE release (GLY-EAR) and GLU-receptor-elicited AChE release (GEAR) have release sites located at MN presynaptic terminals. These responses exhibited remarkable postnatal regulation. GEAR seems to be mediated through alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid/kainate receptors after the fourth postnatal week and through both NMDA and non-NMDA receptors at earlier stages. Sustained rises of extracellular AChE might link acute excitotoxic injury with several long-lasting pathways leading to chronic neurotoxicity, since AChE molecular properties include: (1) the ability to block cholinergic mechanisms that protect MN against overactivity; (2) activation of ATP-dependent potassium channels; (3) promotion of neurite and axon outgrowth; and possibly (4) stimulation of brain macrophage migration and activation. PMID:9419055

  20. Increased cytoplasmic TARDBP mRNA in affected spinal motor neurons in ALS caused by abnormal autoregulation of TDP-43

    PubMed Central

    Koyama, Akihide; Sugai, Akihiro; Kato, Taisuke; Ishihara, Tomohiko; Shiga, Atsushi; Toyoshima, Yasuko; Koyama, Misaki; Konno, Takuya; Hirokawa, Sachiko; Yokoseki, Akio; Nishizawa, Masatoyo; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Onodera, Osamu

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disorder. In motor neurons of ALS, TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43), a nuclear protein encoded by TARDBP, is absent from the nucleus and forms cytoplasmic inclusions. TDP-43 auto-regulates the amount by regulating the TARDBP mRNA, which has three polyadenylation signals (PASs) and three additional alternative introns within the last exon. However, it is still unclear how the autoregulatory mechanism works and how the status of autoregulation in ALS motor neurons without nuclear TDP-43 is. Here we show that TDP-43 inhibits the selection of the most proximal PAS and induces splicing of multiple alternative introns in TARDBP mRNA to decrease the amount of cytoplasmic TARDBP mRNA by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. When TDP-43 is depleted, the TARDBP mRNA uses the most proximal PAS and is increased in the cytoplasm. Finally, we have demonstrated that in ALS motor neurons—especially neurons with mislocalized TDP-43—the amount of TARDBP mRNA is increased in the cytoplasm. Our observations indicate that nuclear TDP-43 contributes to the autoregulation and suggests that the absence of nuclear TDP-43 induces an abnormal autoregulation and increases the amount of TARDBP mRNA. The vicious cycle might accelerate the disease progression of ALS. PMID:27257061

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. Targeted axonal import (TAxI) peptide delivers functional proteins into spinal cord motor neurons after peripheral administration.

    PubMed

    Sellers, Drew L; Bergen, Jamie M; Johnson, Russell N; Back, Heidi; Ravits, John M; Horner, Philip J; Pun, Suzie H

    2016-03-01

    A significant unmet need in treating neurodegenerative disease is effective methods for delivery of biologic drugs, such as peptides, proteins, or nucleic acids into the central nervous system (CNS). To date, there are no operative technologies for the delivery of macromolecular drugs to the CNS via peripheral administration routes. Using an in vivo phage-display screen, we identify a peptide, targeted axonal import (TAxI), that enriched recombinant bacteriophage accumulation and delivered protein cargo into spinal cord motor neurons after intramuscular injection. In animals with transected peripheral nerve roots, TAxI delivery into motor neurons after peripheral administration was inhibited, suggesting a retrograde axonal transport mechanism for delivery into the CNS. Notably, TAxI-Cre recombinase fusion proteins induced selective recombination and tdTomato-reporter expression in motor neurons after intramuscular injections. Furthermore, TAxI peptide was shown to label motor neurons in the human tissue. The demonstration of a nonviral-mediated delivery of functional proteins into the spinal cord establishes the clinical potential of this technology for minimally invasive administration of CNS-targeted therapeutics. PMID:26888285

  3. Targeted axonal import (TAxI) peptide delivers functional proteins into spinal cord motor neurons after peripheral administration

    PubMed Central

    Sellers, Drew L.; Bergen, Jamie M.; Johnson, Russell N.; Back, Heidi; Ravits, John M.; Horner, Philip J.; Pun, Suzie H.

    2016-01-01

    A significant unmet need in treating neurodegenerative disease is effective methods for delivery of biologic drugs, such as peptides, proteins, or nucleic acids into the central nervous system (CNS). To date, there are no operative technologies for the delivery of macromolecular drugs to the CNS via peripheral administration routes. Using an in vivo phage-display screen, we identify a peptide, targeted axonal import (TAxI), that enriched recombinant bacteriophage accumulation and delivered protein cargo into spinal cord motor neurons after intramuscular injection. In animals with transected peripheral nerve roots, TAxI delivery into motor neurons after peripheral administration was inhibited, suggesting a retrograde axonal transport mechanism for delivery into the CNS. Notably, TAxI-Cre recombinase fusion proteins induced selective recombination and tdTomato-reporter expression in motor neurons after intramuscular injections. Furthermore, TAxI peptide was shown to label motor neurons in the human tissue. The demonstration of a nonviral-mediated delivery of functional proteins into the spinal cord establishes the clinical potential of this technology for minimally invasive administration of CNS-targeted therapeutics. PMID:26888285

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-01-15

    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

  5. MPV17 Mutations Causing Adult-Onset Multisystemic Disorder With Multiple Mitochondrial DNA Deletions

    PubMed Central

    Garone, Caterina; Rubio, Juan Carlos; Calvo, Sarah E.; Naini, Ali; Tanji, Kurenai; DiMauro, Salvatore; Mootha, Vamsi K.; Hirano, Michio

    2014-01-01

    Objective To identify the cause of an adult-onset multisystemic disease with multiple deletions of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Design Case report. Setting University hospitals. Patient A 65-year-old man with axonal sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy, ptosis, ophthalmoparesis, diabetes mellitus, exercise intolerance, steatohepatopathy, depression, parkinsonism, and gastrointestinal dysmotility. Results Skeletal muscle biopsy revealed ragged-red and cytochrome-c oxidase–deficient fibers, and Southern blot analysis showed multiple mtDNA deletions. No deletions were detected in fibroblasts, and the results of quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed that the amount of mtDNA was normal in both muscle and fibroblasts. Exome sequencing using a mitochondrial library revealed compound heterozygous MPV17 mutations (p.LysMet88-89MetLeu and p.Leu143*), a novel cause of mtDNA multiple deletions. Conclusions In addition to causing juvenile-onset disorders with mtDNA depletion, MPV17 mutations can cause adult-onset multisystemic disease with multiple mtDNA deletions. PMID:22964873

  6. A Unique Case of Pica of Adult Onset with Interesting Psychosexual Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Suddhendu; Sanyal, D.; Bhattacharyya, R.

    2011-01-01

    Pica has been considered as the ingestion of inedible substances or atypical food combinations. Pica has been reported widely in pediatric age group and often found to be co existing with obsessive compulsive or major depressive disorder. Reports of pica in elderly age group are relatively uncommon and rarely does it have an adult onset. In this article we present a case of adult onset pica. A young lady with unusual sensation in her abdomen was found to consume iron nails over years and there was history of dyspareunia since her marriage three months back. On query it was known that the lady is having same sex relationship over years. There unique conglomeration of cultural, psychodynamic and physiological determinants which together is responsible for this unusual habit of this lady. Moreover the onset of the disease at a late age and different psychodynamic issues make the case all the more interesting. Whether the pica is an eating disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder is still controversial. Pica has been mentioned in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV TR. The present case report warrants the need to look into this entity more closely with regards to its occurrence and etiology. PMID:22021963

  7. Compound heterozygote mutations in SPG7 in a family with adult-onset primary lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yi; Lynch, David R.; Lukas, Thomas; Ahmeti, Kreshnik; Sleiman, Patrick M.A.; Ryan, Eanna; Schadt, Kimberly A.; Newman, Jordan H.; Deng, Han-Xiang; Siddique, Nailah

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To identify the genetic defect for adult-onset primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) in a family with 5 patients. Methods: Whole-exome sequencing was performed to identify the shared genetic variants in 3 affected members in a PLS family with 5 affected individuals. Sanger sequencing was used for validation of the variants and for cosegregation analysis. Mitochondrial activity for both patients and unaffected siblings was measured using a SeaHorse metabolic analyzer. Results: Whole-exome sequencing and subsequent cosegregation analysis demonstrated that compound heterozygous missense variants L695P and I743T in SPG7 were the only mutations cosegregating with the disease in an autosomal recessive fashion in this family. The parents and siblings are genetically heterozygous and clinically unaffected. Functional studies suggested that the PLS-associated SPG7 mutants affect mitochondrial function when glucose is reduced. Conclusions: Compound heterozygote mutations in SPG7 are associated with adult-onset PLS, extending the spectrum of SPG7-linked neurologic diseases. Patients with the PLS phenotype should have genetic testing for paraplegin, especially when the condition is familial. PMID:27123479

  8. Adult-Onset Presentations of Genetic Immunodeficiencies: Genes Can Throw Slow Curves

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Katharine S.; Lewis, David B.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose of Review The molecular and genetic mechanisms behind adult presentations of primary immunodeficiency diseases are examined, with particular emphasis on cases where this was heralded by severe, recurrent or opportunistic infection. Recent Findings A detailed analysis over the last two decades of the relationship between genotype and clinical phenotype for a number of genetic immunodeficiencies has revealed multiple mechanisms that can account for the delayed presentation of genetic disorders that typically present in childhood, including hypomorphic gene mutations and X-linked gene mutations with age-related skewing in random X-chromosome inactivation. Adult-onset presentations of chronic granulomatous disease, X-linked agammaglobulinemia, interleukin-12/T helper 1/interferon-gamma and interleukin-23/T helper 17/interleukin-17 pathway defects, and X-linked lymphoproliferative disorder are used to illustrate these mechanisms. Finally, certain genetic types of common variable immunodeficiency are used to illustrate that inherited null mutations can take decades to manifest immunologically. Summary Both genetic mechanisms and environmental factors can account for adult-onset infectious and non-infectious complications as manifestations of disorders that typically present in childhood. This emphasizes the potential complexity in the relationship between genotype and phenotype with natural human mutations. PMID:20581672

  9. Prevalence of adult-onset multifactorial disease among offspring of atomic bomb survivors.

    PubMed

    Fujiwara, S; Suyama, A; Cologne, J B; Akahoshi, M; Yamada, M; Suzuki, G; Koyama, K; Takahashi, N; Kasagi, E; Grant, E J; Lagarde, E; Hsu, W L; Furukawa, K; Ohishi, W; Tatsukawa, Y; Neriishi, K; Takahashi, I; Ashizawa, K; Hida, A; Imaizumi, M; Nagano, J; Cullings, H M; Katayama, H; Ross, N P; Kodama, K; Shore, R E

    2008-10-01

    The first study to examine whether parental radiation exposure leads to increased heritable risk of common adult-onset multifactorial diseases (i.e., hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, ischemic heart disease, and stroke) was conducted among 11,951 participants in the clinical examination program out of a potential of 24,673 mail survey subjects who were offspring of survivors born from May 1946 through December 1984. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated no evidence of an association between the prevalence of multifactorial diseases in the offspring and parental radiation exposure, after adjusting for age, city, gender and various risk factors. The odds ratio (OR) for a paternal dose of 1 Gy was 0.91 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81-1.01, P = 0.08], and that for a maternal dose of 1 Gy was 0.98 (95% CI 0.86-1.10, P = 0.71). There was no apparent effect of parental age at exposure or of elapsed time between parental exposure and birth, but male offspring had a low odds ratio (OR = 0.76 at 1 Gy) for paternal exposure, but cautious interpretation is needed for this finding. The clinical assessment of nearly 12,000 offspring of A-bomb survivors who have reached a median age of about 50 years provided no evidence for an increased prevalence of adult-onset multifactorial diseases in relation to parental radiation exposure. PMID:19024652

  10. Chinese new immigrant mothers' perception about adult-onset non-communicable diseases prevention during childhood.

    PubMed

    Wang, Linda Dong Ling; Lam, Wendy Wing Tak; Wu, Joseph Tsz Kei; Fielding, Richard

    2015-12-01

    Many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are largely preventable via behaviour change and healthy lifestyle, which may be best established during childhood. This study sought insights into Chinese new immigrant mothers' perceptions about adult-onset NCDs prevention during childhood. Twenty-three semi-structured interviews were carried out with new immigrant mothers from mainland China who had at least one child aged 14 years or younger living in Hong Kong. Interviews were audio taped, transcribed and analysed using a Grounded Theory approach. The present study identified three major themes: perceived causes of adult NCDs, beliefs about NCDs prevention and everyday health information practices. Unhealthy lifestyle, contaminated food and environment pollution were perceived as the primary causes of adult NCDs. Less than half of the participants recognized that parents had responsibility for helping children establish healthy behaviours from an early age to prevent diseases in later life. Most participants expressed helplessness about chronic diseases prevention due to lack of knowledge of prevention, being perceived as beyond individual control. Many participants experienced barriers to seeking health information, the most common sources of health information being interpersonal conversation and television. Participants' everyday information practice was passive and generally lacked awareness regarding early prevention of adult-onset NCDs. Updated understanding of this issue has notable implications for future health promotion interventions. PMID:24842077

  11. Discharges of pyramidal tract and other motor cortical neurones during locomotion in the cat.

    PubMed Central

    Armstrong, D M; Drew, T

    1984-01-01

    A method is described for chronically implanting fine flexible microwires into cat motor cortex, which permitted extracellular recordings to be made from 165 single neurones. Most units were recordable for 12 h and some for up to 2 days. Of the neurones tested, 57% were shown to project to the medullary pyramid (pyramidal tract neurones, p.t.n.s). Antidromic latencies corresponded to a range of conduction velocities from 63 to 9 m/s. In the animal at rest neurones discharged at rates from 0.5 to 44 impulses/s. During locomotion at 0.5 m/s (a slow walk) 56% of cells discharged faster than at rest and 80% showed frequency modulations time-locked to the step cycle. Most fired one discrete burst of impulses per step or one peak period superimposed on a maintained discharge. In different cells peak activity occurred at widely different times during the step cycle. A few cells peaked twice per step. Peak rates (averaged over twenty steps) ranged from 10 to over 120 impulses/s, the values for most slow-axon p.t.n.s (conduction velocity less than 21 m/s) being lower than for any of the fast-axon p.t.n.s. For locomotion at speeds between 0.37 and 1.43 m/s a roughly linear relationship existed between discharge rate and speed in 14% of cells. However, the changes were modest and in most cells both mean rate and peak rate were unrelated to speed. In some cells discharge phasing was fixed (relative to the step cycle in the contralateral forelimb); in others there were progressive phase shifts (or more complex changes) as speed increased. During locomotion up a 10 degrees incline discharge phasings were the same as on the flat in all of the twenty-seven neurones studied and most showed no substantial change in mean rate or peak rate (although there were substantial increases in limb muscle electromyogram amplitudes). Images Plate 1 PMID:6699782

  12. Comparative effect of immature neuronal or glial cell transplantation on motor functional recovery following experimental traumatic brain injury in rats

    PubMed Central

    Quan, Fu-Shi; Chen, Jian; Zhong, Yuan; Ren, Wen-Zhi

    2016-01-01

    The present study evaluated the comparative effect of stereotaxically transplanted immature neuronal or glial cells in brain on motor functional recovery and cytokine expression after cold-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) in adult rats. A total of 60 rats were divided into four groups (n=15/group): Sham group; TBI only group; TBI plus neuronal cells-transplanted group (NC-G); and TBI plus glial cells-transplanted group (GC-G). Cortical lesions were induced by a touching metal stamp, frozen with liquid nitrogen, to the dura mater over the motor cortex of adult rats. Neuronal and glial cells were isolated from rat embryonic and newborn cortices, respectively, and cultured in culture flasks. Rats received neurons or glia grafts (~1×106 cells) 5 days after TBI was induced. Motor functional evaluation was performed with the rotarod test prior to and following glial and neural cell grafts. Five rats from each group were sacrificed at 2, 4 and 6 weeks post-cell transplantation. Immunofluorescence staining was performed on brain section to identify the transplanted neuronal or glial cells using neural and astrocytic markers. The expression levels of cytokines, including transforming growth factor-β, glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor and vascular endothelial growth factor, which have key roles in the proliferation, differentiation and survival of neural cells, were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. A localized cortical lesion was evoked in all injured rats, resulting in significant motor deficits. Transplanted cells successfully migrated and survived in the injured brain lesion, and the expression of neuronal and astrocyte markers were detected in the NC-G and GC-G groups, respectively. Rats in the NC-G and GC-G cell-transplanted groups exhibited significant motor functional recovery and reduced histopathologic lesions, as compared with the TBI-G rats that did not receive neural cells (P<0.05, respectively). Furthermore, GC-G treatment

  13. Trophic and proliferative effects of Shh on motor neurons in embryonic spinal cord culture from wildtype and G93A SOD1 mice

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The developmental morphogen sonic hedgehog (Shh) may continue to play a trophic role in the support of terminally-differentiated motor neurons, of potential relevance to motor neuron disease. In addition, it may support the proliferation and differentiation of endogenous stem cells along motor neuronal lineages. As such, we have examined the trophic and proliferative effects of Shh supplementation or Shh antagonism in embryonic spinal cord cell cultures derived from wildtype or G93A SOD1 mice, a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Results Shh supported survival, and stimulated growth of motor neurons, neurite outgrowth, and neurosphere formation in primary culture derived from both G93A SOD1 and WT mice. Shh increased the percentage of ciliated motor neurons, especially in G93A SOD1 culture. Shh-treated cultures showed increased neuronal proliferation compared to controls and especially cyclopamine treated cultures, from G93A SOD1 and WT mice. Moreover, Shh enhanced cell survival and differentiation of motor neuron precursors in WT culture. Conclusions Shh is neurotrophic to motor neurons and has mitogenic effects in WT and mSOD1 G93A culture in vitro. PMID:24119209

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

    PubMed

    Catela, Catarina; Shin, Maggie M; Lee, David H; Liu, Jeh-Ping; Dasen, Jeremy S

    2016-03-01

    The accuracy of neural circuit assembly relies on the precise spatial and temporal control of synaptic specificity determinants during development. Hox transcription factors govern key aspects of motor neuron (MN) differentiation; however, the terminal effectors of their actions are largely unknown. We show that Hox/Hox cofactor interactions coordinate MN subtype diversification and connectivity through Ret/Gfrα receptor genes. Hox and Meis proteins determine the levels of Ret in MNs and define the intrasegmental profiles of Gfrα1 and Gfrα3 expression. Loss of Ret or Gfrα3 leads to MN specification and innervation defects similar to those observed in Hox mutants, while expression of Ret and Gfrα1 can bypass the requirement for Hox genes during MN pool differentiation. These studies indicate that Hox proteins contribute to neuronal fate and muscle connectivity through controlling the levels and pattern of cell surface receptor expression, consequently gating the ability of MNs to respond to limb-derived instructive cues. PMID:26904955

  15. Loss of RAD-23 Protects Against Models of Motor Neuron Disease by Enhancing Mutant Protein Clearance

    PubMed Central

    Jablonski, Angela M.; Lamitina, Todd; Liachko, Nicole F.; Sabatella, Mariangela; Lu, Jiayin; Zhang, Lei; Ostrow, Lyle W.; Gupta, Preetika; Wu, Chia-Yen; Doshi, Shachee; Mojsilovic-Petrovic, Jelena; Lans, Hannes; Wang, Jiou; Kraemer, Brian

    2015-01-01

    Misfolded proteins accumulate and aggregate in neurodegenerative disease. The existence of these deposits reflects a derangement in the protein homeostasis machinery. Using a candidate gene screen, we report that loss of RAD-23 protects against the toxicity of proteins known to aggregate in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Loss of RAD-23 suppresses the locomotor deficit of Caenorhabditis elegans engineered to express mutTDP-43 or mutSOD1 and also protects against aging and proteotoxic insults. Knockdown of RAD-23 is further neuroprotective against the toxicity of SOD1 and TDP-43 expression in mammalian neurons. Biochemical investigation indicates that RAD-23 modifies mutTDP-43 and mutSOD1 abundance, solubility, and turnover in association with altering the ubiquitination status of these substrates. In human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis spinal cord, we find that RAD-23 abundance is increased and RAD-23 is mislocalized within motor neurons. We propose a novel pathophysiological function for RAD-23 in the stabilization of mutated proteins that cause neurodegeneration. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In this work, we identify RAD-23, a component of the protein homeostasis network and nucleotide excision repair pathway, as a modifier of the toxicity of two disease-causing, misfolding-prone proteins, SOD1 and TDP-43. Reducing the abundance of RAD-23 accelerates the degradation of mutant SOD1 and TDP-43 and reduces the cellular content of the toxic species. The existence of endogenous proteins that act as “anti-chaperones” uncovers new and general targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:26490867

  16. Phosphorylation Regulates OLIG2 Cofactor Choice and the Motor Neuron-Oligodendrocyte Fate Switch

    PubMed Central

    Li, Huiliang; Paes de Faria, Joana; Andrew, Paul; Nitarska, Justyna; Richardson, William D.

    2011-01-01

    Summary A fundamental feature of central nervous system development is that neurons are generated before glia. In the embryonic spinal cord, for example, a group of neuroepithelial stem cells (NSCs) generates motor neurons (MNs), before switching abruptly to oligodendrocyte precursors (OLPs). We asked how transcription factor OLIG2 participates in this MN-OLP fate switch. We found that Serine 147 in the helix-loop-helix domain of OLIG2 was phosphorylated during MN production and dephosphorylated at the onset of OLP genesis. Mutating Serine 147 to Alanine (S147A) abolished MN production without preventing OLP production in transgenic mice, chicks, or cultured P19 cells. We conclude that S147 phosphorylation, possibly by protein kinase A, is required for MN but not OLP genesis and propose that dephosphorylation triggers the MN-OLP switch. Wild-type OLIG2 forms stable homodimers, whereas mutant (unphosphorylated) OLIG2S147A prefers to form heterodimers with Neurogenin 2 or other bHLH partners, suggesting a molecular basis for the switch. PMID:21382552

  17. Transgenic Enrichment of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell-derived Progenitor Motor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    McCreedy, Dylan A.; Rieger, Cara R.; Gottlieb, David I.; Sakiyama-Elbert, Shelly E.

    2011-01-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) hold great potential for replacing neurons following injury or disease. The therapeutic and diagnostic potential of ESCs may be hindered by heterogeneity in ESC-derived populations. Drug selection has been used to purify ESC-derived cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells but has not been applied to specific neural lineages. In this study we investigated positive selection of progenitor motor neurons (pMNs) through transgenic expression of the puromycin resistance enzyme, puromycin N-acetyl-transferase (PAC), under the Olig2 promoter. The protein-coding region in one allele of Olig2 was replaced with PAC to generate the P-Olig2 cell line. This cell line provided specific puromycin resistance in cells that express Olig2, while Olig2− cells were killed by puromycin. Positive selection significantly enriched populations of Olig2+ pMNs. Committed motoneurons (MNs) expressing Hb9, a common progeny of pMNs, were also enriched by the end of the selection period. Selected cells remained viable and differentiated into mature cholinergic MNs and oligodendrocyte precursor cells. Drug resistance may provide a scalable and inexpensive method for enriching desired neural cell types for use in research applications. PMID:22297157

  18. Autophagic down-regulation in motor neurons remarkably prolongs the survival of ALS mice.

    PubMed

    Hsueh, Kuo-Wei; Chiou, Tzyy-Wen; Chiang, Shu-Fen; Yamashita, Toru; Abe, Koji; Borlongan, Cesar V; Sanberg, Paul R; Huang, Angela Yu Hsuan; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh

    2016-09-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal degenerating disease, characterized by progressive muscular atrophy without any effective treatment. Here, we demonstrated the efficacy of abrograting autophagy in motor neurons (MN) by treatment with n-butylidenephthalide (n-BP) in ALS transgenic mice (SOD1(G93A)). Pre-symptomatic oral administration of 250 mg/kg/bid n-BP significantly prolonged the survival period (203.9 ± 18.3 days), improved motor function, and attenuated MN loss compared to vehicle control (126.4 ± 7.2 days). This prolonged survival of ALS mice is much more robust than that reported with riluzole (140 days), which is an approved clinical therapy for ALS. The therapeutic mechanism targeted by n-BP involved the autophagic pathway as evidenced by decreased LC3-II expression (a biomarker of autophagy), enhanced mTOR levels, and attenuated autophagic activity, altogether increasing MN survival in a dose-dependent manner. This result was also confirmed by double transgenic mice (SOD1(G93A):LC3-GFP) which showed that oral administration of n-BP reduced GFP density and decreased caspase-3 expression. In addition, electron microscopy revealed that n-BP administration not only decreased autophagosome number but also reduced morphological dysfunction of mitochondria. In summary, these results indicate that down-regulation of autophagy activation via n-BP may pose as a therapeutic regimen for ALS and relevant neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27059126

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26392037

  20. The integrin receptor alpha 8 beta 1 mediates interactions of embryonic chick motor and sensory neurons with tenascin-C.

    PubMed

    Varnum-Finney, B; Venstrom, K; Muller, U; Kypta, R; Backus, C; Chiquet, M; Reichardt, L F

    1995-06-01

    This paper identifies a neuronal receptor for tenascin-C (tenascin/cytotactin), an extracellular matrix protein that has previously been detected in developing sensory and motor neuron pathways and has been shown to regulate cell migration in the developing CNS. Antibodies specific for each subunit of the integrin alpha 8 beta 1 are used to demonstrate that alpha 8 beta 1 mediates neurite outgrowth of embryonic sensory and motor neurons on this extracellular matrix protein. In addition, expression of alpha 8 in K562 cells results in surface expression of alpha 8 beta 1 heterodimers that are shown to promote attachment of this cell line to tenascin. The major domain in tenascin that mediates neurite outgrowth is shown to be localized to fibronectin type III repeats 6-8. PMID:7541634

  1. Selective Modulation of Histaminergic Inputs on Projection Neurons of Cerebellum Rapidly Promotes Motor Coordination via HCN Channels.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jun; Zhuang, Qian-Xing; Li, Bin; Wu, Guan-Yi; Yung, Wing-Ho; Zhu, Jing-Ning; Wang, Jian-Jun

    2016-03-01

    Insights into function of central histaminergic system, a general modulator originating from the hypothalamus for whole brain activity, in motor control are critical for understanding the mechanism underlying somatic-nonsomatic integration. Here, we show a novel selective role of histamine in the cerebellar nuclei, the final integrative center and output of the cerebellum. Histamine depolarizes projection neurons but not interneurons in the cerebellar nuclei via the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels coupled to histamine H2 receptors, which are exclusively expressed on glutamatergic and glycinergic projection neurons. Furthermore, blockage of HCN channels to block endogenous histaminergic afferent inputs in the cerebellar nuclei significantly attenuates motor balance and coordination. Therefore, through directly and quickly modulation on projection neurons but not interneurons in the cerebellar nuclei, central histaminergic system may act as a critical biasing force to not only promptly regulate ongoing movement but also realize a rapid integration of somatic and nonsomatic response. PMID:25633097

  2. Monoubiquitination of survival motor neuron regulates its cellular localization and Cajal body integrity.

    PubMed

    Han, Ke-Jun; Foster, Daniel; Harhaj, Edward W; Dzieciatkowska, Monika; Hansen, Kirk; Liu, Chang-Wei

    2016-04-01

    Low levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein cause spinal muscular atrophy, the leading genetic disorder for infant mortality. SMN is ubiquitously expressed in various cell types and localizes in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus, where it concentrates in two subnuclear structures termed Cajal body (CB) and gems. In addition, SMN can also be detected in the nucleolus of neurons. Mechanisms that control SMN sorting in the cell remain largely unknown. Here, we report that the ubiquitin (Ub) ligase Itch directly interacts with and monoubiquitinates SMN. Monoubiquitination of SMN has a mild effect on promoting proteasomal degradation of SMN. We generated two SMN mutants, SMN(K0), in which all lysines are mutated to arginines and thereby abolishing SMN ubiquitination, and Ub-SMN(K0), in which a single Ub moiety is fused at the N-terminus of SMN(K0) and thereby mimicking SMN monoubiquitination. Immunostaining assays showed that SMN(K0) mainly localizes in the nucleus, whereas Ub-SMN(K0) localizes in both the cytoplasm and the nucleolus in neuronal SH-SY5Y cells. Interestingly, canonical CB foci and coilin/small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) co-localization are significantly impaired in SH-SY5Y cells stably expressing SMN(K0) or Ub-SMN(K0). Thus, our studies discover that Itch monoubiquitinates SMN and monoubiquitination of SMN plays an important role in regulating its cellular localization. Moreover, mislocalization of SMN disrupts CB integrity and likely impairs snRNP maturation. PMID:26908624

  3. Optogenetically induced spatiotemporal gamma oscillations and neuronal spiking activity in primate motor cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yao; Truccolo, Wilson; Wagner, Fabien B.; Vargas-Irwin, Carlos E.; Ozden, Ilker; Zimmermann, Jonas B.; May, Travis; Agha, Naubahar S.; Wang, Jing

    2015-01-01

    Transient gamma-band (40–80 Hz) spatiotemporal patterns are hypothesized to play important roles in cortical function. Here we report the direct observation of gamma oscillations as spatiotemporal waves induced by targeted optogenetic stimulation, recorded by intracortical multichannel extracellular techniques in macaque monkeys during their awake resting states. Microelectrode arrays integrating an optical fiber at their center were chronically implanted in primary motor (M1) and ventral premotor (PMv) cortices of two subjects. Targeted brain tissue was transduced with the red-shifted opsin C1V1(T/T). Constant (1-s square pulses) and ramp stimulation induced narrowband gamma oscillations during awake resting states. Recordings across 95 microelectrodes (4 × 4-mm array) enabled us to track the transient gamma spatiotemporal patterns manifested, e.g., as concentric expanding and spiral waves. Gamma oscillations were induced well beyond the light stimulation volume, via network interactions at distal electrode sites, depending on optical power. Despite stimulation-related modulation in spiking rates, neuronal spiking remained highly asynchronous during induced gamma oscillations. In one subject we examined stimulation effects during preparation and execution of a motor task and observed that movement execution largely attenuated optically induced gamma oscillations. Our findings demonstrate that, beyond previously reported induced gamma activity under periodic drive, a prolonged constant stimulus above a certain threshold may carry primate motor cortex network dynamics into gamma oscillations, likely via a Hopf bifurcation. More broadly, the experimental capability in combining microelectrode array recordings and optogenetic stimulation provides an important approach for probing spatiotemporal dynamics in primate cortical networks during various physiological and behavioral conditions. PMID:25761956

  4. Optogenetically induced spatiotemporal gamma oscillations and neuronal spiking activity in primate motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yao; Truccolo, Wilson; Wagner, Fabien B; Vargas-Irwin, Carlos E; Ozden, Ilker; Zimmermann, Jonas B; May, Travis; Agha, Naubahar S; Wang, Jing; Nurmikko, Arto V

    2015-06-01

    Transient gamma-band (40-80 Hz) spatiotemporal patterns are hypothesized to play important roles in cortical function. Here we report the direct observation of gamma oscillations as spatiotemporal waves induced by targeted optogenetic stimulation, recorded by intracortical multichannel extracellular techniques in macaque monkeys during their awake resting states. Microelectrode arrays integrating an optical fiber at their center were chronically implanted in primary motor (M1) and ventral premotor (PMv) cortices of two subjects. Targeted brain tissue was transduced with the red-shifted opsin C1V1(T/T). Constant (1-s square pulses) and ramp stimulation induced narrowband gamma oscillations during awake resting states. Recordings across 95 microelectrodes (4 × 4-mm array) enabled us to track the transient gamma spatiotemporal patterns manifested, e.g., as concentric expanding and spiral waves. Gamma oscillations were induced well beyond the light stimulation volume, via network interactions at distal electrode sites, depending on optical power. Despite stimulation-related modulation in spiking rates, neuronal spiking remained highly asynchronous during induced gamma oscillations. In one subject we examined stimulation effects during preparation and execution of a motor task and observed that movement execution largely attenuated optically induced gamma oscillations. Our findings demonstrate that, beyond previously reported induced gamma activity under periodic drive, a prolonged constant stimulus above a certain threshold may carry primate motor cortex network dynamics into gamma oscillations, likely via a Hopf bifurcation. More broadly, the experimental capability in combining microelectrode array recordings and optogenetic stimulation provides an important approach for probing spatiotemporal dynamics in primate cortical networks during various physiological and behavioral conditions. PMID:25761956

  5. Inhibition of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor 2 Exacerbates Loss of Lower Motor Neurons and Axons during Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yifeng; Stone, Sarrabeth; Cvetanovic, Marija; Lin, Wensheng

    2016-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) are inflammatory demyelinating and neurodegenerative diseases in the central nervous system (CNS). It is believed that MS and EAE are initiated by autoreactive T lymphocytes that recognize myelin antigens; however, the mechanisms responsible for neurodegeneration in these diseases remain elusive. Data indicate that vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) plays a role in the development of MS and EAE. Interestingly, VEGF-A is regarded as a neurotrophic factor in the CNS that promotes neuron survival and neurogenesis in various neurodegenerative diseases by activating VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2). In this study, we sought to explore the role of the VEGF-A/VEGFR2 signaling in neurodegeneration in MS and EAE. We showed that the expression of VEGF-A was decreased in the spinal cord during EAE and that VEGFR2 was activated in lower motor neurons in the spinal cord of EAE mice. Interestingly, we found that treatment with SU5416, a selective VEGFR2 inhibitor, starting after the onset of EAE clinical symptoms exacerbated lower motor neuron loss and axon loss in the lumbar spinal cord of mice undergoing EAE, but did not alter Purkinje neuron loss in the cerebellum or upper motor neuron loss in the cerebral cortex. Moreover, SU5416 treatment had a minimal effect on EAE clinical symptoms as well as inflammation, demyelination, and oligodendrocyte loss in the lumbar spinal cord. These results imply the protective effects of the VEGF-A/VEGFR2 signaling on lower motor neurons and axons in the spinal cord in MS and EAE. PMID:27466819

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24444375

  7. Neuronal ubiquitinated intranuclear inclusions in familial and non-familial frontotemporal dementia of the motor neuron disease type associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Bigio, Eileen H; Johnson, Nancy A; Rademaker, Alfred W; Fung, Bing B; Mesulam, M-Marsel; Siddique, Nailah; Dellefave, Lisa; Caliendo, Janice; Freeman, Stefanie; Siddique, Teepu

    2004-08-01

    Ubiquitinated cytoplasmic inclusions (Ub-CIs) in superficial frontal cortex and dentate gyrus neurons are the hallmark of frontotemporal degeneration of the motor neuron disease-type (FTD-MND-type). To date, 2 reports have described intranuclear ubiquitinated inclusions (Ub-INIs) in 9 cases of familial FTD-MND-type (without clinical or pathologic motor neuron disease, MND). In the current study we found an additional 11 cases with Ub-INIs. We have identified for the first time among these cases 2 with a negative family history and 3 that have concomitant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The results of the present study i) confirm a previous report of significantly lower average brain weight and longer duration in cases with Ub-INIs, ii) reveal significantly greater striatal neuronal loss and gliosis in cases with intranuclear inclusions, and iii) demonstrate that intranuclear inclusions correlate with cytoplasmic inclusions and dystrophic neurites in frontal cortex and striatum but not in dentate gyrus. In addition, the current study confirms that Ub-INIs are found in familial FTD-MND-type, but also extends the presence of Ub-INIs to familial FTD-MND (with concomitant ALS), and probably also to non-familial FTD-MND-type. PMID:15330335

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    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

  9. Distinguishing adult-onset asthma from COPD: a review and a new approach

    PubMed Central

    Abramson, Michael J; Perret, Jennifer L; Dharmage, Shyamali C; McDonald, Vanessa M; McDonald, Christine F

    2014-01-01

    Adult-onset asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are major public health burdens. This review presents a comprehensive synopsis of their epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical presentations; describes how they can be distinguished; and considers both established and proposed new approaches to their management. Both adult-onset asthma and COPD are complex diseases arising from gene–environment interactions. Early life exposures such as childhood infections, smoke, obesity, and allergy influence adult-onset asthma. While the established environmental risk factors for COPD are adult tobacco and biomass smoke, there is emerging evidence that some childhood exposures such as maternal smoking and infections may cause COPD. Asthma has been characterized predominantly by Type 2 helper T cell (Th2) cytokine-mediated eosinophilic airway inflammation associated with airway hyperresponsiveness. In established COPD, the inflammatory cell infiltrate in small airways comprises predominantly neutrophils and cytotoxic T cells (CD8 positive lymphocytes). Parenchymal destruction (emphysema) in COPD is associated with loss of lung tissue elasticity, and small airways collapse during exhalation. The precise definition of chronic airflow limitation is affected by age; a fixed cut-off of forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity leads to overdiagnosis of COPD in the elderly. Traditional approaches to distinguishing between asthma and COPD have highlighted age of onset, variability of symptoms, reversibility of airflow limitation, and atopy. Each of these is associated with error due to overlap and convergence of clinical characteristics. The management of chronic stable asthma and COPD is similarly convergent. New approaches to the management of obstructive airway diseases in adults have been proposed based on inflammometry and also multidimensional assessment, which focuses on the four domains of the airways, comorbidity, self-management, and

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:24613375

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27293901

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

    PubMed

    Smith, Andrew C; Knikou, Maria

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27293901

  13. Cannabinoid receptor type 1 agonist ACEA improves motor recovery and protects neurons in ischemic stroke in mice.

    PubMed

    Caltana, Laura; Saez, Trinidad Maria; Aronne, María Paula; Brusco, Alicia

    2015-11-01

    Brain ischemia produces neuronal cell death and the recruitment of pro-inflammatory cells. In turn, the search for neuroprotection against this type of insult has rendered results involving a beneficial role of endocannabinoid receptor agonists in the Central Nervous System. In this work, to further elucidate the mechanisms associated to this neuroprotective effect, focal brain ischemia was generated by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) in C57Bl/6 mice. Three, 24 and 48 h after MCAo, animals received CB1R agonist ACEA (1 mg/kg), CB1R antagonist AM251 (1 mg/kg) or vehicle. To assess motor activity, neural deficit scores and motor tests were performed 1 day before and 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after MCAo. At 7 and 28 days post lesion, cytoskeleton structure, astroglial and microglial reaction, and alterations in synapsis were studied in the cerebral cortex. ACEA treatment reduced astrocytic reaction, neuronal death, and dendritic loss. In contrast, AM251 treatment increased these parameters. Motor tests showed a progressive deterioration in motor activity in ischemic animals, which only ACEA treatment was able to counteract. Our results suggest that CB1R may be involved in neuronal survival and in the regulation of neuroprotection during focal cerebral ischemia in mice. PMID:26296704

  14. UNC-4 represses CEH-12/HB9 to specify synaptic inputs to VA motor neurons in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Von Stetina, Stephen E; Fox, Rebecca M; Watkins, Kathie L; Starich, Todd A; Shaw, Jocelyn E; Miller, David M

    2007-02-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, VA and VB motor neurons arise as lineal sisters but synapse with different interneurons to regulate locomotion. VA-specific inputs are defined by the UNC-4 homeoprotein and its transcriptional corepressor, UNC-37/Groucho, which function in the VAs to block the creation of chemical synapses and gap junctions with interneurons normally reserved for VBs. To reveal downstream genes that control this choice, we have employed a cell-specific microarray strategy that has now identified unc-4-regulated transcripts. One of these genes, ceh-12, a member of the HB9 family of homeoproteins, is normally restricted to VBs. We show that expression of CEH-12/HB9 in VA motor neurons in unc-4 mutants imposes VB-type inputs. Thus, this work reveals a developmental switch in which motor neuron input is defined by differential expression of transcription factors that select alternative presynaptic partners. The conservation of UNC-4, HB9, and Groucho expression in the vertebrate motor circuit argues that similar mechanisms may regulate synaptic specificity in the spinal cord. PMID:17289921

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

    PubMed Central

    Yagi, Hideki; Ohkawara, Bisei; Nakashima, Hiroaki; Ito, Kenyu; Tsushima, Mikito; Ishii, Hisao; Noto, Kimitoshi; Ohta, Kyotaro; Masuda, Akio; Imagama, Shiro; Ishiguro, Naoki; Ohno, Kinji

    2015-01-01

    No clinically applicable drug is currently available to enhance neurite elongation after nerve injury. To identify a clinically applicable drug, we screened pre-approved drugs for neurite elongation in the motor neuron-like NSC34 cells. We found that zonisamide, an anti-epileptic and anti-Parkinson’s disease drug, promoted neurite elongation in cultured primary motor neurons and NSC34 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The neurite-scratch assay revealed that zonisamide enhanced neurite regeneration. Zonisamide was also protective against oxidative stress-induced cell death of primary motor neurons. Zonisamide induced mRNA expression of nerve growth factors (BDNF, NGF, and neurotrophin-4/5), and their receptors (tropomyosin receptor kinase A and B). In a mouse model of sciatic nerve autograft, intragastric administration of zonisamide for 1 week increased the size of axons distal to the transected site 3.9-fold. Zonisamide also improved the sciatic function index, a marker for motor function of hindlimbs after sciatic nerve autograft, from 6 weeks after surgery. At 8 weeks after surgery, zonisamide was protective against denervation-induced muscle degeneration in tibialis anterior, and increased gene expression of Chrne, Colq, and Rapsn, which are specifically expressed at the neuromuscular junction. We propose that zonisamide is a potential therapeutic agent for peripheral nerve injuries as well as for neuropathies due to other etiologies. PMID:26571146

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

    PubMed

    Allodi, Ilary; Mecollari, Vasil; González-Pérez, Francisco; Eggers, Ruben; Hoyng, Stefan; Verhaagen, Joost; Navarro, Xavier; Udina, Esther

    2014-10-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) is a trophic factor expressed by glial cells and different neuronal populations. Addition of FGF-2 to spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) explants demonstrated that FGF-2 specifically increases motor neuron axonal growth. To further explore the potential capability of FGF-2 to promote axon regeneration, we produced a lentiviral vector (LV) to overexpress FGF-2 (LV-FGF2) in the injured rat peripheral nerve. Cultured Schwann cells transduced with FGF-2 and added to collagen matrix embedding spinal cord or DRG explants significantly increased motor but not sensory neurite outgrowth. LV-FGF2 was as effective as direct addition of the trophic factor to promote motor axon growth in vitro. Direct injection of LV-FGF2 into the rat sciatic nerve resulted in increased expression of FGF-2, which was localized in the basal lamina of Schwann cells. To investigate the in vivo effect of FGF-2 overexpression on axonal regeneration after nerve injury, Schwann cells transduced with LV-FGF2 were grafted in a silicone tube used to repair the resected rat sciatic nerve. Electrophysiological tests conducted for up to 2 months after injury revealed accelerated and more marked reinnervation of hindlimb muscles in the animals treated with LV-FGF2, with an increase in the number of motor and sensory neurons that reached the distal tibial nerve at the end of follow-up. PMID:24989458

  17. PACAP27 prevents Parkinson-like neuronal loss and motor deficits but not microglia activation induced by prostaglandin J2.

    PubMed

    Shivers, Kai-Yvonne; Nikolopoulou, Anastasia; Machlovi, Saima Ishaq; Vallabhajosula, Shankar; Figueiredo-Pereira, Maria E

    2014-09-01

    Neuroinflammation is a major risk factor in Parkinson's disease (PD). Alternative approaches are needed to treat inflammation, as anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs that inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) can produce devastating side effects, including heart attack and stroke. New therapeutic strategies that target factors downstream of COX-2, such as prostaglandin J2 (PGJ2), hold tremendous promise because they will not alter the homeostatic balance offered by COX-2 derived prostanoids. In the current studies, we report that repeated microinfusion of PGJ2 into the substantia nigra of non-transgenic mice, induces three stages of pathology that mimic the slow-onset cellular and behavioral pathology of PD: mild (one injection) when only motor deficits are detectable, intermediate (two injections) when neuronal and motor deficits as well as microglia activation are detectable, and severe (four injections) when dopaminergic neuronal loss is massive accompanied by microglia activation and motor deficits. Microglia activation was evaluated in vivo by positron emission tomography (PET) with [(11)C](R)PK11195 to provide a regional estimation of brain inflammation. PACAP27 reduced dopaminergic neuronal loss and motor deficits induced by PGJ2, without preventing microglia activation. The latter could be problematic in that persistent microglia activation can exert long-term deleterious effects on neurons and behavior. In conclusion, this PGJ2-induced mouse model that mimics in part chronic inflammation, exhibits slow-onset PD-like pathology and is optimal for testing diagnostic tools such as PET, as well as therapies designed to target the integrated signaling across neurons and microglia, to fully benefit patients with PD. PMID:24970746

  18. Selective occurrence of TDP-43-immunoreactive inclusions in the lower motor neurons in Machado-Joseph disease.

    PubMed

    Tan, Chun-Feng; Yamada, Mitsunori; Toyoshima, Yasuko; Yokoseki, Akio; Miki, Yukari; Hoshi, Yasuhiro; Kaneko, Hiroyuki; Ikeuchi, Takeshi; Onodera, Osamu; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi

    2009-10-01

    Pathological transactivation-responsive DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been identified as a component of ubiquitinated inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron disease, as well as in sporadic and some forms of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. To clarify whether pathological TDP-43 is present in other neurodegenerative diseases involving the motor neuron system, we immunohistochemically examined the brain and spinal cord affected by two CAG repeat (polyglutamine) diseases, Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) and spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), using polyclonal antibody against TDP-43. In all the MJD cases, TDP-43-immunoreactive (ir) neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs), although few in number, were found only in the lower motor neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord. TDP-43-ir NCIs appeared as linear wisp-like, skein-like, or thick, somewhat rod-like bodies. These inclusions were also visualized with antibodies against phosphoserines 409 and 410 of TDP-43, and ubiquitin, but were not recognized by antibody against expanded polyglutamine stretches or ataxin-3. The ultrastructure of the TDP-43-ir NCIs was similar to that of the inclusions seen in sporadic ALS, consisting of bundles of parallel filaments. None of the SBMA cases showed abnormal TDP-43 immunoreactivity in any of the regions examined. Immunoblot analysis failed to recognize hyperphosphorylated TDP-43 at ~23 kDa in two MJD cases examined. However, the immunohistochemical findings strongly suggested that in MJD, in addition to the polyglutamine-dependent disease process, TDP-43-related pathogenesis is associated with degeneration and death of the lower motor neurons. PMID:19526244

  19. PACAP27 prevents Parkinson-like neuronal loss and motor deficits but not microglia activation induced by prostaglandin J2

    PubMed Central

    Shivers, Kai-Yvonne; Nikolopoulou, Anastasia; Machlovi, Saima Ishaq; Vallabhajosula, Shankar; Figueiredo-Pereira, Maria E.

    2014-01-01

    Neuroinflammation is a major risk factor in Parkinson disease (PD). Alternative approaches are needed to treat inflammation, as anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs that inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) can produce devastating side effects, including heart attack and stroke. New therapeutic strategies that target factors downstream of COX-2, such as prostaglandin J2 (PGJ2), hold tremendous promise because they will not alter the homeostatic balance offered by COX-2 derived prostanoids. In the current studies, we report that repeated microinfusion of PGJ2 into the substantia nigra of non-transgenic mice, induces three stages of pathology that mimic the slow-onset cellular and behavioral pathology of PD: mild (one injection) when only motor deficits are detectable, intermediate (two injections) when neuronal and motor deficits as well as microglia activation are detectable, and severe (four injections) when dopaminergic neuronal loss is massive accompanied by microglia activation and motor deficits. Microglia activation was evaluated in vivo by positron emission tomography (PET) with [11C](R)PK11195 to provide a regional estimation of brain inflammation. PACAP27 reduced dopaminergic neuronal loss and motor deficits induced by PGJ2, without preventing microglia activation. The latter could be problematic in that persistent microglia activation can exert long-term deleterious effects on neurons and behavior. In conclusion, this PGJ2-induced mouse model that mimics in part chronic inflammation, exhibits slow-onset PD-like pathology and is optimal for testing diagnostic tools such as PET, as well as therapies designed to target the integrated signaling across neurons and microglia, to fully benefit patients with PD. PMID:24970746

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    A hallmark feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is that symptoms appear to spread along neuroanatomical pathways to engulf the motor nervous system, suggesting a propagative toxic entity could be involved in disease pathogenesis. Evidence for such a propagative entity emerged recently in studies using mice that express G85R-SOD1 mutant protein fused to YFP (G85R-SOD1:YFP). Heterozygous G85R-SOD1:YFP transgenic mice do not develop ALS symptoms out to 20 months of age. However, when newborns are injected with spinal homogenates from paralyzed mutant SOD1 mice, the G85R-SOD1:YFP mice develop paralysis as early as 6 months of age. We now demonstrate that injecting spinal homogenates from paralyzed mutant SOD1 mice into the sciatic nerves of adult G85R-SOD1:YFP mice produces a spreading motor neuron disease within 3.0 ± 0.2 months of injection. The formation of G85R-SOD1:YFP inclusion pathology spreads slowly in this model system; first appearing in the ipsilateral DRG, then lumbar spinal cord, before spreading rostrally up to the cervical cord by the time mice develop paralysis. Reactive astrogliosis mirrors the spread of inclusion pathology and motor neuron loss is most severe in lumbar cord. G85R-SOD1:YFP inclusion pathology quickly spreads to discrete neurons in the brainstem and midbrain that are synaptically connected to spinal neurons, suggesting a trans-synaptic propagation of misfolded protein. Taken together, the data presented here describe the first animal model that recapitulates the spreading phenotype observed in patients with ALS, and implicates the propagation of misfolded protein as a potential mechanism for the spreading of motor neuron disease. PMID:26650262

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Backgound Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of motor function. Several ALS genes have been identified as their mutations can lead to familial ALS, including the recently reported RNA-binding protein fused in sarcoma (Fus). However, it is not clear how mutations of Fus lead to motor neuron degeneration in ALS. In this study, we present a Drosophila model to examine the toxicity of Fus, its Drosophila orthologue Cabeza (Caz), and the ALS-related Fus mutants. Results Our results show that the expression of wild-type Fus/Caz or FusR521G induced progressive toxicity in multiple tissues of the transgenic flies in a dose- and age-dependent manner. The expression of Fus, Caz, or FusR521G in motor neurons significantly impaired the locomotive ability of fly larvae and adults. The presynaptic structures in neuromuscular junctions were disrupted and motor neurons in the ventral nerve cord (VNC) were disorganized and underwent apoptosis. Surprisingly, the interruption of Fus nuclear localization by either deleting its nuclear localization sequence (NLS) or adding a nuclear export signal (NES) blocked Fus toxicity. Moreover, we discovered that the loss of caz in Drosophila led to severe growth defects in the eyes and VNCs, caused locomotive disability and NMJ disruption, but did not induce apoptotic cell death. Conclusions These data demonstrate that the overexpression of Fus/Caz causes in vivo toxicity by disrupting neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and inducing apoptosis in motor neurons. In addition, the nuclear localization of Fus is essential for Fus to induce toxicity. Our findings also suggest that Fus overexpression and gene deletion can cause similar degenerative phenotypes but the underlying mechanisms are likely different. PMID:22443542

  2. Case report: An adult-onset type II citrin deficiency patient in the emergency department

    PubMed Central

    TANG, LUJIA; CHEN, LIANG; WANG, HAIRONG; DAI, LIHUA; PAN, SHUMING

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in the solute carrier family 25 (SLC25A13) gene may result in neonatal intrahepatic cholestasis caused by citrin deficiency and/or adult-onset type II citrullinemia. These conditions are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. The current case report describes a 43-year-old man who presented with sudden delirium and upper limb weakness. Upon admission, the patient was fully conscious and alert but later lost consciousness subsequent to a sudden convulsive seizure. Hyperammonemia was detected and analysis of the SLC25A13 gene identified an 851del4 mutation. Thus, the possibility of genetic disease should be considered as a potential cause of the symptoms of patients with altered states of consciousness, such as delirium and loss of consciousness, in cases where the cause of the disturbance is unknown. PMID:27347070

  3. Adult onset Still's disease accompanied by acute respiratory distress syndrome: A case report

    PubMed Central

    Xi, Xiao-Tu; Wang, Mao-Jie; Huang, Run-Yue; Ding, Bang-Han

    2016-01-01

    Adult onset Still's disease (AOSD) is a systemic inflammatory disorder characterized by rash, leukocytosis, fever and arthralgia/arthritis. The most common pulmonary manifestations associated with AOSD are pulmonary infiltrates and pleural effusion. The present study describes a 40-year-old male with AOSD who developed fever, sore throat and shortness of breath. Difficulty breathing promptly developed, and the patient was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The patient did not respond to antibiotics, including imipenem, vancomycin, fluconazole, moxifloxacin, penicillin, doxycycline and meropenem, but was sensitive to glucocorticoid treatment, including methylprednisolone sodium succinate. ARDS accompanied by AOSD has been rarely reported in the literature. In conclusion, in a patient with ARDS who does not respond to antibiotic treatment, the involvement of AOSD should be considered. PMID:27588099

  4. Hidden in plain sight: macrophage activation syndrome complicating Adult Onset Still's Disease.

    PubMed

    Benitez, Lourdes; Vila, Salvador; Mellado, Robert Hunter

    2010-01-01

    Hemophagocytic Lymphystiocytosis is a rare and fatal complication of rheumatic diseases, particularly Adult Onset Still's Disease (AOSD). It may be precipitated with immunosuppressive drugs and with viral and bacterial infections. A diagnosis depends on a high index of suspicion associated to certain clinical manifestations (fever, rash, Splemomegaly, any cytology blood dyscrasia, hipertrigliceridemia, hiperfibrinogenemia, and others), as well as pathologic evidence of hemophagocitosis from bone marrow biopsy or tissue samples of affected organs. Therapy consists of high dose corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. We present a 42 year old woman with AOSD in remission who developed HLH in spite of receiving therapy with high dose steroids and immunosuppressive drugs. She had 2 negative bone marrow aspirates. Evidence of Hemophagocytosis was detected in both bone marrow biopsies. Timely evaluation and recognition of the signs and symptoms of HLH is crucial for the prompt management and a decrease in the mortality associated with this disease. PMID:23875527

  5. A mouse model of adult-onset anaemia due to erythropoietin deficiency.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Shun; Souma, Tomokazu; Hirano, Ikuo; Pan, Xiaoqing; Minegishi, Naoko; Suzuki, Norio; Yamamoto, Masayuki

    2013-01-01

    Erythropoietin regulates erythropoiesis in a hypoxia-inducible manner. Here we generate inherited super-anaemic mice (ISAM) as a mouse model of adult-onset anaemia caused by erythropoietin deficiency. ISAM express erythropoietin in the liver but lack erythropoietin production in the kidney. Around weaning age, when the major erythropoietin-producing organ switches from the liver to the kidney, ISAM develop anaemia due to erythropoietin deficiency, which is curable by administration of recombinant erythropoietin. In ISAM severe chronic anaemia enhances transgenic green fluorescent protein and Cre expression driven by the complete erythropoietin-gene regulatory regions, which facilitates efficient labelling of renal erythropoietin-producing cells. We show that the majority of cortical and outer medullary fibroblasts have the innate potential to produce erythropoietin, and also reveal a new set of erythropoietin target genes. ISAM are a useful tool for the evaluation of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents and to trace the dynamics of erythropoietin-producing cells. PMID:23727690

  6. Predictive Medicine: Recombinant DNA Technology and Adult-Onset Genetic Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Hayden, Michael

    1988-01-01

    Genetic factors are of great importance in common adult-onset disorders such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and neuro-degenerative diseases. Advances in DNA technology now allow identification of persons at high-risk of developing some of these diseases. This advance is leading to predictive medicine. In some genetic disorders, such as those leading to atherosclerosis and cancer, identification of high-risk individuals allows intervention which alters the natural history of the disorder. In other diseases, for which there is no treatment, such as Huntington's disease, the application of this technology provides information that relieves uncertainty and may affect quality of life, but does not alter the course of the illness. General implementation of predictive testing programs awaits the results of pilot projects, which will demonstrate the needs, appropriate levels of support, and guidelines for delivery of such testing. PMID:21253100

  7. Blepharospasm-oromandibular dystonia syndrome (Brueghel's syndrome). A variant of adult-onset torsion dystonia?

    PubMed Central

    Marsden, C D

    1976-01-01

    Thirty-nine patients with the idiopathic blepharospasm-oromandibular dystonia syndrome are described. All presented in adult life, usually in the sixth decade; women were more commonly affected than men. Thirteen had blepharospasm alone, nine had oromandibular dystonia alone, and 17 had both. Torticollis or dystonic writer's camp preceded the syndrome in two patients. Eight other patients developed toritocollis, dystonic posturing of the arms, or involvement of respiratory muscles. No cause or hereditary basis for the illness were discovered. The evidence to indicate that this syndrome is due to an abnormality of extrapyramidal function, and that it is another example of adult-onset focal dystonia akin to spasmodic torticollis and dystonic writer's cramp, is discussed. Images PMID:1011031

  8. Effect of transgenic human insulin-like growth factor-1 on spinal motor neurons following peripheral nerve injury

    PubMed Central

    GU, JIAXIANG; LIU, HONGJUN; ZHANG, NAICHEN; TIAN, HENG; PAN, JUNBO; ZHANG, WENZHONG; WANG, JINGCHENG

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to observe the protective effect of exogenous human insulin-like growth factor-1 (hIGF-1) on spinal motor neurons, following its local transfection into an area of peripheral nerve injury. A total of 90 male Wistar rats that had been established as sciatic nerve crush injury models were randomly divided into three groups: hIGF-1 treatment, sham-transfected control and blank control groups. The different phases of hIGF-1 expression were observed in the spinal cord via postoperative immunostaining and the apoptosis of motor neurons was observed using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling method. Pathological changes of the motor neurons and Nissl bodies within cell bodies were observed via Marsland and Luxol fast blue double staining, while changes in the neuropil of the spinal cord anterior horn were investigated via ultrastructural observation. It was found that hIGF-1, locally transfected into an area of peripheral nerve injury, was expressed in the spinal anterior horn following axoplasmic transport; the peak hIGF-1 expression occurred approximately a week following transfection. The number of apoptotic spinal cord motor neurons observed in the hIGF-1 treatment group was fewer than that in the sham-transfected and blank control groups at days 7, 14 and 21 following transfection (P<0.01). Furthermore, the quantity of motor neuron cells in the anterior horn of the spinal cord in the hIGF-1 treatment group was higher compared with those in the sham-transfected and blank control groups at days 2, 7, 14 and 28 following transfection (P<0.01). The degenerative changes of Nissl bodies within the cytoplasm of the hIGF-1 treatment group were less severe compared with those of the sham-transfected and blank control groups. At day 56 following transfection, the spinal anterior horn neuropil ultrastructure in the hIGF-1 treatment group was generally normal, while the sham-transfected and blank control

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be accompanied by frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We report a case of glial mixed tau and TDP-43 proteinopathies in a Japanese patient diagnosed clinically as having ALS-D. Autopsy revealed loss of lower motor neurons and degeneration of the pyramidal tracts in the spinal cord and brain stem. The brain showed frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), the most severe neuronal loss and gliosis being evident in the precentral gyrus. Although less severe, such changes were also observed in other brain regions, including the basal ganglia and substantia nigra. AT8 immunostaining revealed that predominant occurrence of astrocytic tau lesions termed globular astrocytic inclusions (GAIs) was a feature of the affected regions. These GAIs were Gallyas-Braak negative. Neuronal and oligodendrocytic tau lesions were comparatively scarce. pS409/410 immunostaining also revealed similar neuronal and glial TDP-43 lesions. Interestingly, occasional co-localization of tau and TDP-43 was evident in the GAIs. Immunoblot analyses revealed band patterns characteristic of a 4-repeat (4R) tauopathy, corticobasal degeneration and a TDP-43 proteinopathy, ALS/FTLD-TDP Type B. No mutations were found in the MAPT or TDP-43 genes. We consider that this patient harbored a distinct, sporadic globular glial mixed 4R tau and TDP-43 proteinopathy associated with motor neuron disease and FTD. PMID:25787090

  12. The Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore in Motor Neurons: Involvement in the Pathobiology of ALS Mice

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lee J.; Gertz, Barry; Pan, Yan; Price, Ann C.; Molkentin, Jeffery D.; Chang, Qing

    2009-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons (MNs) that causes paralysis. Some forms of ALS are inherited, caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) gene. The mechanisms of human mutant SOD1 (mSOD1) toxicity to MNs are unresolved. Mitochondria in MNs might be key sites for ALS pathogenesis, but cause-effect relationships between mSOD1 and mitochrondiopathy need further study. We used transgenic mSOD1 mice to test the hypothesis that the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) is involved in the MN degeneration of ALS. Components of the multi-protein mPTP are expressed highly in mouse MNs, including the voltage-dependent anion channel, adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT), and cyclophilin D (CyPD), and are present in mitochondria marked by manganese SOD. MNs in pre-symptomatic mSOD1-G93A mice form swollen megamitochondria with CyPD immunoreactivity. Early disease is associated with mitochondrial cristae remodeling and matrix vesiculation in ventral horn neuron dendrites. MN cell bodies accumulate mitochondria derived from the distal axons projecting to skeletal muscle. Incipient disease in spinal cord is associated with increased oxidative and nitrative stress, indicated by protein carbonyls and nitration of CyPD and ANT. Reducing the levels of CyPD by genetic ablation significantly delays disease onset and extends the lifespan of G93A-mSOD1 mice expressing high and low levels of mutant protein in a gender-dependent pattern. These results demonstrate that mitochondria have causal roles in the disease mechanisms in MNs in ALS mice. This work defines a new mitochondrial mechanism for MN degeneration in ALS. PMID:19272377

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  14. Transduction of motor neurons and muscle fibers by intramuscular injection of HIV-1-based vectors pseudotyped with select rabies virus glycoproteins.

    PubMed

    Mentis, George Z; Gravell, Maneth; Hamilton, Rebecca; Shneider, Neil A; O'Donovan, Michael J; Schubert, Manfred

    2006-10-30

    For studies of motor neuron function or for therapeutic purposes, novel pseudotype HIV-1-based vectors were developed that are capable of expressing transgenes in motor neurons following injection into mouse hind limb muscles. To specifically target motor neurons, glycoproteins from two rabies virus (RV) isolates, the mouse-brain adapted challenge virus 24 (CVS-24) variants, CVS-N2c and CVS-B2c were evaluated for pseudotype formation with an HIV-1-based vector. Both RV glycoproteins incorporated into vector envelopes, and both pseudotypes yielded high titers with Hek293T and cortical plate neuron cultures. Increased neuronotropism by the CVS-N2c pseudotype was not observed, suggesting that vector tropism is not solely determined by the fusogenic viral glycoprotein. Vector injection into hind limb muscles resulted in EYFP reporter gene expression in the injected muscle fibers and in spinal cord motor neurons innervating the same muscle, indicating retrograde vector transport. Intramuscular vector injections into the soleus and tibialis anterior muscles transduced 26% and 16% of all motor neurons in each motor nucleus, respectively. These transduction efficiencies may allow novel approaches to functional studies of the motor system and the treatment of neuromuscular disease. PMID:16725205

  15. Identification of gangliosides recognized by IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibodies in bovine spinal motor neurons and motor nerves.

    PubMed

    Yoshino, Hiide; Ariga, Toshio; Suzuki, Akemi; Yu, Robert K; Miyatake, Tadashi

    2008-08-28

    The presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG)-type antibodies to the ganglioside, N-acetylgalactosaminyl GD1a (GalNAc-GD1a), is closely associated with the pure motor type of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). In the present study, we isolated disialogangliosides from the motor neurons and motor nerves of bovine spinal cords by DEAE-Sephadex column chromatography. The disialoganglioside fraction contained GD1a, GD2, GD1b, and three gangliosides, designated X1, X2 and X3. Serum from a patient with axonal GBS with IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibody yielded positive immunostaining with X1, X2, and X3. When isolated by preparative thin-layer chromatography (TLC), X1 migrated at the same position as GalNAc-GD1a from Tay-Sachs brain, suggesting that X1 is GalNAc-GD1a containing N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuAc). TLC of isolated X2 revealed that it migrated between GD1a and GD2. On the other hand, X3 had a migratory rate on TLC between and GD1b and GT1b. Since both X2 and X3 were recognized by IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibody, the results suggest that X2 is a GalNAc-GD1a species containing a mixture containing a NeuAc-and an N-glycolylneuraminic acid (NeuGc) species, and X3 is a GalNAc-GD1a species with two NeuGc. This evidence indicating the specific localization of GalNAc-GD1a and its isomers in spinal motor neurons should be useful in elucidating the pathogenic role of IgG anti-GalNAc-GD1a antibody in pure motor-type GBS. PMID:18598683

  16. A TRPV Channel in Drosophila Motor Neurons Regulates Presynaptic Resting Ca2+ Levels, Synapse Growth, and Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Ching-On; Chen, Kuchuan; Lin, Yong Qi; Chao, Yufang; Duraine, Lita; Lu, Zhongmin; Yoon, Wan Hee; Sullivan, Jeremy M.; Broadhead, Geoffrey T.; Sumner, Charlotte J.; Lloyd, Thomas E.; Macleod, Gregory T.; Bellen, Hugo J.; Venkatachalam, Kartik

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Presynaptic resting Ca2+ influences synaptic vesicle (SV) release probability. Here, we report that a TRPV channel, Inactive (Iav), maintains presynaptic resting [Ca2+] by promoting Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum in Drosophila motor neurons, and is required for both synapse development and neurotransmission. We find that Iav activates the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase, calcineurin, which is essential for presynaptic microtubule stabilization at the neuromuscular junction. Thus, loss of Iav induces destabilization of presynaptic microtubules resulting in diminished synaptic growth. Interestingly, expression of human TRPV1 in Iav-deficient motor neurons rescues these defects. We also show that the absence of Iav causes lower SV release probability and diminished synaptic transmission, whereas Iav overexpression elevates these synaptic parameters. Together, our findings indicate that Iav acts as a key regulator of synaptic development and function by influencing presynaptic resting [Ca2+]. PMID:25451193

  17. The rehabilitation programme of an adult phenylketonuria with upper motor neuron involvement.

    PubMed

    Soyupek, Feray; Koyuncuoglu, Hasan; Cindas, Abdullah; Ilgun, Erdem; Tak, Rukiye

    2009-01-01

    Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a disorder characterized by several biochemical mechanisms which may impair the brain functions in PKU, leading to neurological problems. Our case report concerns a 19 year-old man with phenylketonuria who was evaluated with the onset of stiffness following the abandonment of the phenylalanine-restricted diet. He was assessed with grade-4 spasticity according to Modified Aschworth scale. The deep tendon reflexes had increased and the plantar reflexes were positive. Knee extensions were limited due to the shortening of the hamstring muscles. Serum phenylalanine concentration was elevated and plasma vitamin B12 level was low. Cranial magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed demyelinization area in periventricular deep white matter. We administered a phenylalanine-restricted diet and a rehabilitation program. Following the treatment, spasticity was reduced to grade-1 and patient could walk without aid. This case shows that, the combination of diet, medication and a rehabilitation program is an effective treatment model on adult PKU with upper motor neuron involvement. PMID:20023364

  18. Peptide modified polymer poly (glycerol- dodecanedioate co-fumarate) for efficient control of motor neuron differentiation.

    PubMed

    Dai, Xizi; Huang, Yen-Chih; Leichner, Jared; Nair, Madhvan; Lin, Wei-Chiang; Li, Chen-Zhong

    2015-12-01

    Neural tissue engineering is one of the most promising approaches for healing nerve damage, which bypasses the limits of contemporary conventional treatments. In a previous study, we developed a fibrous scaffold via electrospinning poly (glycerol dodecanedioate) (PGD) and gelatin that mimics the structure of a native extracellular matrix (ECM) for soft tissue engineering application. In this study, fumaric acid (FA) was incorporated into the PGD synthesis process, which produced a PGD derivative referred to as poly (glycerol dodecanedioate co-fumarate) (PGDF). This introduced a new functional group, a double bond, into the polymer thus providing new modification possibilities. Arg-Gly-Asp-Cys (RGDC) and laminin peptides were chosen as biomolecules to modify the fiber and facilitate cell attachment and differentiation efficiency. The release of FA into the medium was quantified to investigate the bioreactivity of the derived scaffolds. In combination with UV crosslinking, the developed PGDF fiber mats were able to withstand degradation processes for up to 2 months, which ensures that neural tissue engineering applications are viable. Cell viability and motor neuron differentiation efficiency were demonstrated to be significantly improved with the addition of FA, RGDC and laminin peptides. PMID:26584592

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  20. Developmental nicotine exposure enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission in motor neurons and interneurons critical for normal breathing.

    PubMed

    Jaiswal, Stuti J; Wollman, Lila Buls; Harrison, Caitlyn M; Pilarski, Jason Q; Fregosi, Ralph F

    2016-03-01

    Nicotine exposure in utero negatively affects neuronal growth, differentiation, and synaptogenesis. We used rhythmic brainstems slices and immunohistochemistry to determine how developmental nicotine exposure (DNE) alters inhibitory neurotransmission in two regions essential to normal breathing, the hypoglossal motor nucleus (XIIn), and preBötzinger complex (preBötC). We microinjected glycine or muscimol (GABAA agonist) into the XIIn or preBötC of rhythmic brainstem slices from neonatal rats while recording from XII nerve roots to obtain XII motoneuron population activity. Injection of glycine or muscimol into the XIIn reduced XII nerve burst amplitude, while injection into the preBötC altered nerve burst frequency. These responses were exaggerated in preparations from DNE animals. Quantitative immunohistochemistry revealed a significantly higher GABAA receptor density on XII motoneurons from DNE pups. There were no differences in GABAA receptor density in the preBötC, and there were no differences in glycine receptor expression in either region. Nicotine, in the absence of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, alters normal development of brainstem circuits that are critical for normal breathing. PMID:26097160

  1. Calcium dysregulation links ALS defective proteins and motor neuron selective vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Sónia S.; Gomes, Cláudio M.

    2015-01-01

    More than 20 distinct gene loci have so far been implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive neurodegeneration of motor neurons (MN) and death. Most of this distinct set of ALS-related proteins undergoes toxic deposition specifically in MN for reasons which remain unclear. Here we overview a recent body of evidence indicative that mutations in ALS-related proteins can disrupt fundamental Ca2+ signalling pathways in MN, and that Ca2+ itself impacts both directly or indirectly in many ALS critical proteins and cellular processes that result in MN neurodegeneration. We argue that the inherent vulnerability of MN to dysregulation of intracellular Ca2+ is deeply associated with discriminating pathogenicity and aberrant crosstalk of most of the critical proteins involved in ALS. Overall, Ca2+ deregulation in MN is at the cornerstone of different ALS processes and is likely one of the factors contributing to the selective susceptibility of these cells to this particular neurodegenerative disease. PMID:26136661

  2. Behavioral Symptoms in Motor Neuron Disease and Their Negative Impact on Caregiver Burden

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Bo; Cui, Li-Ying; Liu, Ming-Sheng; Li, Xiao-Guang; Ma, Jun-Fang; Fang, Jia; Ding, Qing-Yun

    2015-01-01

    Background: The spectrum of abnormal behaviors in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (ALS/MND) has been described, but its practical meaning, namely its impact on caregiver burden, has not been clearly documented in Chinese population. This study aimed to assess the distribution of abnormal behaviors in Chinese population, and to analyze the relationship between behavior changes and caregiver burden. Methods: Sixty-five patients with ALS/MND have been consecutively enrolled into registry platform of Peking Union Medical College Hospital. An investigation was performed to these patients and their caregivers using the revised ALS function rating scale, Frontal Behavioral Inventory-ALS version, the Frontal Assessment Battery, and the Caregiver Burden Inventory. Results: Twenty-eight (43.1%) patients displayed abnormal behaviors of varying degrees, with one fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of frontotemporal lobe degeneration. Irritability, logopenia, and inflexibility ranked top 3 of abnormal behavior list. Correlation analysis revealed that the degree of behavioral change and frontal cognitive status were significantly associated with caregiver burden, with more extensive impact from disinhibitive behaviors. Analysis of covariance analysis showed that after associated factors were corrected, caregivers of patients with moderate to severe behavior change reported significantly heavier developmental burden, physical burden, and total burden than those with no behavioral change. Conclusions: Neurobehavioral symptoms could present in around 40% of Chinese patients with ALS/MND, and the distribution of these behaviors was also unique. Besides, abnormal behaviors were highly related to caregivers’ burden. PMID:26315075

  3. Activity-dependent competition regulates motor neuron axon pathfinding via PlexinA3

    PubMed Central

    Plazas, Paola V.; Nicol, Xavier; Spitzer, Nicholas C.

    2013-01-01

    The role of electrical activity in axon guidance has been extensively studied in vitro. To better understand its role in the intact nervous system, we imaged intracellular Ca2+ in zebrafish primary motor neurons (PMN) during axon pathfinding in vivo. We found that PMN generate specific patterns of Ca2+ spikes at different developmental stages. Spikes arose in the distal axon of PMN and were propagated to the cell body. Suppression of Ca2+ spiking activity in single PMN led to stereotyped errors, but silencing all electrical activity had no effect on axon guidance, indicating that an activity-based competition rule regulates this process. This competition was not mediated by synaptic transmission. Combination of PlexinA3 knockdown with suppression of Ca2+ activity in single PMN produced a synergistic increase in the incidence of pathfinding errors. However, expression of PlexinA3 transcripts was not regulated by activity. Our results provide an in vivo demonstration of the intersection of spontaneous electrical activity with the PlexinA3 guidance molecule receptor in regulation of axon pathfinding. PMID:23302694

  4. Inhibition of Cytohesins Protects against Genetic Models of Motor Neuron Disease.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Jinbin; Zhang, Lei; Mojsilovic-Petrovic, Jelena; Jian, Xiaoying; Thomas, Jeffrey; Homma, Kengo; Schmitz, Anton; Famulok, Michael; Ichijo, Hidenori; Argon, Yair; Randazzo, Paul A; Kalb, Robert G

    2015-06-17

    Mutant genes that underlie Mendelian forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and biochemical investigations of genetic disease models point to potential driver pathophysiological events involving endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and autophagy. Several steps in these cell biological processes are known to be controlled physiologically by small ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF) signaling. Here, we investigated the role of ARF guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), cytohesins, in models of ALS. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of cytohesins protects motor neurons in vitro from proteotoxic insults and rescues locomotor defects in a Caenorhabditis elegans model of disease. Cytohesins form a complex with mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), a known cause of familial ALS, but this is not associated with a change in GEF activity or ARF activation. ER stress evoked by mutant SOD1 expression is alleviated by antagonism of cytohesin activity. In the setting of mutant SOD1 toxicity, inhibition of cytohesin activity enhances autophagic flux and reduces the burden of misfolded SOD1. These observations suggest that targeting cytohesins may have potential benefits for the treatment of ALS. PMID:26085633

  5. A microfluidic device to study neuronal and motor responses to acute chemical stimuli in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Candelier, Raphaël; Sriti Murmu, Meena; Alejo Romano, Sebastián; Jouary, Adrien; Debrégeas, Georges; Sumbre, Germán

    2015-01-01

    Zebrafish larva is a unique model for whole-brain functional imaging and to study sensory-motor integration in the vertebrate brain. To take full advantage of this system, one needs to design sensory environments that can mimic the complex spatiotemporal stimulus patterns experienced by the animal in natural conditions. We report on a novel open-ended microfluidic device that delivers pulses of chemical stimuli to agarose-restrained larvae with near-millisecond switching rate and unprecedented spatial and concentration accuracy and reproducibility. In combination with two-photon calcium imaging and recordings of tail movements, we found that stimuli of opposite hedonic values induced different circuit activity patterns. Moreover, by precisely controlling the duration of the stimulus (50–500 ms), we found that the probability of generating a gustatory-induced behavior is encoded by the number of neurons activated. This device may open new ways to dissect the neural-circuit principles underlying chemosensory perception. PMID:26194888

  6. Survival and prognostic factors of motor neuron disease in a multi-ethnic Asian population.

    PubMed

    Goh, Khean-Jin; Tian, Sharen; Shahrizaila, Nortina; Ng, Chiu-Wan; Tan, Chong-Tin

    2011-03-01

    Our objective was to determine the survival and prognostic factors of motor neuron disease (MND) in a multi-ethnic cohort of Malaysian patients. All patients seen at a university medical centre between January 2000 and December 2009 had their case records reviewed for demographic, clinical and follow-up data. Mortality data, if unavailable from records, were obtained by telephone interview of relatives or from the national mortality registry. Of the 73 patients, 64.4% were Chinese, 19.2% Malays and 16.4% Indians. Male: female ratio was 1.43: 1. Mean age at onset was 51.5 + 11.3 years. Onset was spinal in 75.3% and bulbar in 24.7% of the patients; 94.5% were ALS and 5.5% were progressive muscular atrophy (PMA). Overall median survival was 44.9 + 5.8 months. Ethnic Indians had shorter interval from symptom onset to diagnosis and shorter median survival compared to non-Indians. On Cox proportional hazards analysis, poor prognostic factors were bulbar onset, shorter interval from symptom onset to diagnosis and worse functional score at presentation. In conclusion, age of onset and median survival duration are similar to previous reports in Asians. Clinical features and prognostic factors are similar to other populations. In our cohort, ethnic Indians had more rapid disease course accounting for their shorter survival. PMID:21039118

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Necroptosis drives motor neuron death in models of both sporadic and familial ALS

    PubMed Central

    Re, Diane B.; Verche, Virginia Le; Yu, Changhao; Amoroso, Mackenzie W.; Politi, Kristin A.; Phani, Sudarshan; Ikiz, Burcin; Hoffmann, Lucas; Koolen, Martijn; Nagata, Tetsuya; Papadimitriou, Dimitra; Nagy, Peter; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi; Kariya, Shingo; Wichterle, Hynek; Henderson, Christopher E.; Przedborski, Serge

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Most cases of neurodegenerative disease are sporadic, hindering the use of genetic mouse models to analyze disease mechanisms. Focusing on the motor neuron (MN) disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) we therefore devised a fully humanized co-culture model composed of human adult primary sporadic ALS (sALS) astrocytes and human embryonic stem cell-derived MNs. The model reproduces the cardinal features of human ALS: sALS astrocytes, but not those from control patients, trigger selective death of MNs. The mechanisms underlying this non-cell-autonomous toxicity were investigated in both astrocytes and MNs. Although causal in familial ALS (fALS), SOD1 does not contribute to the toxicity of sALS astrocytes. Death of MNs triggered by either sALS or fALS astrocytes occurs through necroptosis, a form of programmed necrosis involving receptor-interacting protein 1 and the mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein. The necroptotic pathway therefore constitutes a novel potential therapeutic target for this incurable disease. PMID:24508385

  9. Misrepresentations about palliative options and prognosis in motor neurone disease: some legal considerations.

    PubMed

    Foster, Charles

    2005-02-01

    If euthanasia were legalized, clinicians would be under a duty to explain to patients requesting euthanasia what the prognosis and palliative options were. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some patients suffering from motor neurone disease may request euthanasia because of a fear of choking to death. The literature indicates that with competent palliative care this is unlikely to occur. It is assumed, for the purposes of argument, that responsible clinicians would accordingly reassure patients that such a fear was unwarranted, and that such a reassurance would cause patients for whom choking was the main concern either to withdraw a request for euthanasia or not to make it in the first place. The legal consequences of both negligent and deliberate failure to represent the true prognostic and palliative situation are discussed. In the case of a deliberate failure, with the intention to induce the patient to consent to euthanasia, it is suggested that a verdict of murder would be ethically right. It is argued that such a failure is best regarded as an omission. The English law currently does not countenance the possibility of murder by omission. It is suggested that the distinction between acts and omissions, while sometimes convenient, can sometimes produce injustice, and that the distinction should not be allowed to prevent conviction for murder where this is clearly appropriate. PMID:15660533

  10. Survival motor neuron (SMN) polymorphism in relation to congenital arthrogryposis in two Piedmont calves (piemontese)

    PubMed Central

    2003-01-01

    The term arthrogryposis refers to a symptom complex that is characterised by congenital limb contractures. Arthrogryposis has been reported in man, in farm animals and in pets. Several forms have been reported to have a genetic origin in man. In Brown Swiss and Holstein Friesian cattle, congenital contractures have been recorded and classified as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The survival motor neuron gene (SMN) has been suggested as a candidate gene for SMA. In the last 20 years, the National Association of Piedmont Cattle have recorded arthrogryposis cases. We cloned and sequenced SMN cDNA extracted from the spinal cord samples of two animals: one Piedmont calf showing a severe clinical form of arthrogryposis and one normal Piedmont calf. In the affected calf, more than 50% of the 5'end clones showed a ATG > TTG single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in exon 1 that should determine a Met > Leu aminoacid change (single point mutation M3L). This mutation is associated with a 9 bp increase length of 5'UTR and to a TTC → TTT silent mutation in exon 1. No single point mutation or 5'end polymorphism was shown in healthy animals and in the remaining 50% of the clones from the affected calf. We hypothesise a possible pathogenic effect of the 5'end-exon 1 polymorphism. PMID:12927089

  11. MRI findings in Hirayama's disease: flexion-induced cervical myelopathy or intrinsic motor neuron disease?

    PubMed

    Schröder, R; Keller, E; Flacke, S; Schmidt, S; Pohl, C; Klockgether, T; Schlegel, U

    1999-11-01

    Hirayama's disease is a benign juvenile form of focal amyotrophy affecting the upper limbs. Previous studies have suggested that the disorder is a neck flexion induced cervical myelopathy. We report clinical and magnetic resonance imaging findings in nine patients with Hirayama's disease. Cervical imaging of seven patients revealed spinal cord changes consisting of focal atrophy and foci of signal alterations. On neck flexion a forward movement and mild reduction in the anteroposterior diameter of the lower cervical cord against the vertebral bodies was noted in affected individuals as well as in five normal controls. In contrast to earlier reports, none of our patients showed complete obliteration of the posterior subarachnoid space. Measurement of the anteroposterior spinal cord diameter in each vertebral segment (C4-C7) revealed no significant differences in the degree of spinal cord flattening between the two groups. Furthermore, two of our patients had significant degenerative changes in the cervical spine (disc herniation, retrospondylosis) contralateral to the clinically affected side. These degenerative changes resulted in a marked cord compression on neck flexion but were not associated with ipsilateral clinical abnormalities or spinal cord alterations. Our results argue against a flexion-induced cervical myelopathy and support the view that Hirayama's disease is an intrinsic motor neuron disease. PMID:10631640

  12. Structure and organization of the human survival motor neurone (SMN) gene

    SciTech Connect

    Buerglen, L.; Lefebvre, S.; Clermont, O.

    1996-03-05

    Spinal muscular atrophies (SMA) are characterized by degeneration of the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord and represent the second most common fatal autosomal-recessive disorder after cystic fibrosis. We have previously identified the survival motor neurone gene (SMN), a SMA-determining gene in the 5q13 region encoding a hitherto unknown protein. In this report, we describe the organization and structure of SMN. The gene is {congruent}20 kb in length and consists of nine exons. Sequence data of the 5{prime} end of the gene show that the dinucleotide repeat C272 is close to several putative binding sites for transcription factors, which will help to characterize the regulation of the SMN and {sup C}BCD541 gene expression. The availability of the human SMN and its highly homologous counterpart ({sup C}BCD541) gene structures and exon-intron boundaries will hopefully speed up the characterization of SMN gene mutations in SMA. 10 refs., 3 figs.

  13. SMN deficiency does not induce oxidative stress in SMA iPSC-derived astrocytes or motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Patitucci, Teresa N; Ebert, Allison D

    2016-02-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disorder characterized by loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord leading to muscle atrophy and death. Although motor neurons (MNs) are the most obviously affected cells in SMA, recent evidence suggest dysfunction in multiple cell types. Astrocytes are a crucial component of the motor circuit and are intimately involved with MN health and maintenance. We have previously shown that SMA astrocytes are altered both morphologically and functionally early in disease progression, though it is unclear what causes astrocytes to become reactive. Oxidative stress is a common feature among neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress can both induce apoptosis in neurons and can cause astrocytes to become reactive, which are features observed in the SMA induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) cultures. Therefore, we asked if oxidative stress contributes to SMA astrocyte pathology. We examined mitochondrial bioenergetics, transcript and protein levels of oxidative and anti-oxidant factors, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and found little evidence of oxidative stress. We did observe a significant increase in endogenous catalase expression in SMA iPSCs. While catalase knockdown in SMA iPSCs increased ROS production above basal levels, levels of ROS remained lower than in controls, further arguing against robust oxidative stress in this system. Viral delivery of survival motor neuron (SMN) reversed astrocyte activation and restored catalase levels to normal, without changing mitochondrial respiration or expression of oxidative stress markers. Taken together, these data indicate that SMN deficiency induces astrocyte reactivity, but does not do so through an oxidative stress-mediated process. PMID:26643950

  14. Calpastatin inhibits motor neuron death and increases survival of hSOD1(G93A) mice.

    PubMed

    Rao, Mala V; Campbell, Jabbar; Palaniappan, Arti; Kumar, Asok; Nixon, Ralph A

    2016-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron disease with a poorly understood cause and no effective treatment. Given that calpains mediate neurodegeneration in other pathological states and are abnormally activated in ALS, we investigated the possible ameliorative effects of inhibiting calpain over-activation in hSOD1(G93A) transgenic (Tg) mice in vivo by neuron-specific over-expression of calpastatin (CAST), the highly selective endogenous inhibitor of calpains. Our data indicate that over-expression of CAST in hSOD1(G93A) mice, which lowered calpain activation to levels comparable to wild-type mice, inhibited the abnormal breakdown of cytoskeletal proteins (spectrin, MAP2 and neurofilaments), and ameliorated motor axon loss. Disease onset in hSOD1(G93A) /CAST mice compared to littermate hSOD1(G93A) mice is delayed, which accounts for their longer time of survival. We also find that neuronal over-expression of CAST in hSOD1(G93A) transgenic mice inhibited production of putative neurotoxic caspase-cleaved tau and activation of Cdk5, which have been implicated in neurodegeneration in ALS models, and also reduced the formation of SOD1 oligomers. Our data indicate that inhibition of calpain with CAST is neuroprotective in an ALS mouse model. CAST (encoding calpastatin) inhibits hyperactivated calpain to prevent motor neuron disease operating through a cascade of events as indicated in the schematic, with relevance to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We propose that over-expression of CAST in motor neurons of hSOD1(G93A) mice inhibits activation of CDK5, breakdown of cytoskeletal proteins (NFs, MAP2 and Tau) and regulatory molecules (Cam Kinase IV, Calcineurin A), and disease-causing proteins (TDP-43, α-Synuclein and Huntingtin) to prevent neuronal loss and delay neurological deficits. In our experiments, CAST could also inhibit cleavage of Bid, Bax, AIF to prevent mitochondrial, ER and lysosome-mediated cell death mechanisms. Similarly

  15. Role of proteasomes in the formation of neurofilamentous inclusions in spinal motor neurons of aluminum-treated rabbits.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Noriyuki; Kumamoto, Toshihide; Ueyama, Hidetsugu; Horinouchi, Hideo; Ohama, Eisaku

    2007-12-01

    We examined the role of the 20S proteasome in pathologic changes, including abnormal aggregation of phosphorylated neurofilaments, of spinal motor nerve cells from aluminum-treated rabbits. Immunohistochemistry for the 20S proteasome revealed that many lumbar spinal motor neurons without intracytoplasmic neurofilamentous inclusions or with small inclusions were more intensely stained in aluminum-treated rabbits than in controls, whereas the immunoreactivity was greatly decreased in some enlarged neurons containing large neurofilamentous inclusions. Proteasome activity in whole spinal cord extracts was significantly increased in aluminum-treated rabbits compared with controls. Furthermore, Western blot analysis indicated that the 20S proteasome degraded non-phosphorylated high molecular weight neurofilament (neurofilament-H) protein in vitro. These results suggest that aluminum does not inhibit 20S proteasome activity, and the 20S proteasome degrades neurofilament-H protein. We propose that abnormal aggregation of phosphorylated neurofilaments is induced directly by aluminum, and is not induced by the proteasome inhibition in the aluminum-treated rabbits. Proteasome activation might be involved in intracellular proteolysis, especially in the earlier stages of motor neuron degeneration in aluminum-treated rabbits. PMID:18021372

  16. Spinal muscular atrophy phenotype is ameliorated in human motor neurons by SMN increase via different novel RNA therapeutic approaches.

    PubMed

    Nizzardo, Monica; Simone, Chiara; Dametti, Sara; Salani, Sabrina; Ulzi, Gianna; Pagliarani, Serena; Rizzo, Federica; Frattini, Emanuele; Pagani, Franco; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo; Corti, Stefania

    2015-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a primary genetic cause of infant mortality due to mutations in the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) 1 gene. No cure is available. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) aimed at increasing SMN levels from the paralogous SMN2 gene represent a possible therapeutic strategy. Here, we tested in SMA human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-differentiated motor neurons, three different RNA approaches based on morpholino antisense targeting of the ISSN-1, exon-specific U1 small nuclear RNA (ExSpeU1), and Transcription Activator-Like Effector-Transcription Factor (TALE-TF). All strategies act modulating SMN2 RNA: ASO affects exon 7 splicing, TALE-TF increase SMN2 RNA acting on the promoter, while ExSpeU1 improves pre-mRNA processing. These approaches induced up-regulation of full-length SMN mRNA and differentially affected the Delta-7 isoform: ASO reduced this isoform, while ExSpeU1 and TALE-TF increased it. All approaches upregulate the SMN protein and significantly improve the in vitro SMA motor neurons survival. Thus, these findings demonstrate that therapeutic tools that act on SMN2 RNA are able to rescue the SMA disease phenotype. Our data confirm the feasibility of SMA iPSCs as in vitro disease models and we propose novel RNA approaches as potential therapeutic strategies for treating SMA and other genetic neurological disorders. PMID:26123042

  17. Exploiting the gain-modulation mechanism in parieto-motor neurons: application to visuomotor transformations and embodied simulation.

    PubMed

    Mahé, Sylvain; Braud, Raphaël; Gaussier, Philippe; Quoy, Mathias; Pitti, Alexandre

    2015-02-01

    The so-called self-other correspondence problem in imitation demands to find the transformation that maps the motor dynamics of one partner to our own. This requires a general purpose sensorimotor mechanism that transforms an external fixation-point (partner's shoulder) reference frame to one's own body-centered reference frame. We propose that the mechanism of gain-modulation observed in parietal neurons may generally serve these types of transformations by binding the sensory signals across the modalities with radial basis functions (tensor products) on the one hand and by permitting the learning of contextual reference frames on the other hand. In a shoulder-elbow robotic experiment, gain-field neurons (GF) intertwine the visuo-motor variables so that their amplitude depends on them all. In situations of modification of the body-centered reference frame, the error detected in the visuo-motor mapping can serve then to learn the transformation between the robot's current sensorimotor space and the new one. These situations occur for instance when we turn the head on its axis (visual transformation), when we use a tool (body modification), or when we interact with a partner (embodied simulation). Our results defend the idea that the biologically-inspired mechanism of gain modulation found in parietal neurons can serve as a basic structure for achieving nonlinear mapping in spatial tasks as well as in cooperative and social functions. PMID:25240580

  18. Inhibition of Pathogenic Mutant SOD1 Aggregation in Cultured Motor Neuronal Cells by Prevention of Its SUMOylation on Lysine 75.

    PubMed

    Dangoumau, Audrey; Marouillat, Sylviane; Burlaud Gaillard, Julien; Uzbekov, Rustem; Veyrat-Durebex, Charlotte; Blasco, Hélène; Arnoult, Christophe; Corcia, Philippe; Andres, Christian R; Vourc'h, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the selective death of motor neurons. Mutations in the SOD1 gene encoding the superoxide dismutase 1 are present in 15% of familial ALS cases and in 2% of sporadic cases. These mutations are associated with the formation of SOD1-positive aggregates. The mechanisms of aggregation remain unknown, but posttranslational modifications of SOD1 may be involved. Here, we report that NSC-34 motor neuronal cells expressing mutant SOD1 contained aggregates positive for small ubiquitin modifier-1 (SUMO-1), and in parallel a reduced level of free SUMO-1. CLEM (correlative light and electron microscopy) analysis showed nonorganized cytosolic aggregates for all mutations tested (SOD1A4V, SOD1V31A, and SOD1G93C). We next show that preventing the SUMOylation of mutant SOD1 by the substitution of lysine 75, the SUMOylation site of SOD1, significantly reduces the number of motor neuronal cells with aggregates. These results support the need for further research on the SUMOylation pathways, which may be a potential therapeutic target in ALS. PMID:26605782

  19. Cell freezing protocol suitable for ATAC-Seq on motor neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Milani, Pamela; Escalante-Chong, Renan; Shelley, Brandon C.; Patel-Murray, Natasha L.; Xin, Xiaofeng; Adam, Miriam; Mandefro, Berhan; Sareen, Dhruv; Svendsen, Clive N.; Fraenkel, Ernest

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, the assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-Seq) has become a fundamental tool of epigenomic research. However, it is difficult to perform this technique on frozen samples because freezing cells before extracting nuclei can impair nuclear integrity and alter chromatin structure, especially in fragile cells such as neurons. Our aim was to develop a protocol for freezing neuronal cells that is compatible with ATAC-Seq; we focused on a disease-relevant cell type, namely motor neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iMNs) from a patient affected by spinal muscular atrophy. We found that while flash-frozen iMNs are not suitable for ATAC-Seq, the assay is successful with slow-cooled cryopreserved cells. Using this method, we were able to isolate high quality, intact nuclei, and we verified that epigenetic results from fresh and cryopreserved iMNs quantitatively agree. PMID:27146274

  20. Cell freezing protocol suitable for ATAC-Seq on motor neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Milani, Pamela; Escalante-Chong, Renan; Shelley, Brandon C; Patel-Murray, Natasha L; Xin, Xiaofeng; Adam, Miriam; Mandefro, Berhan; Sareen, Dhruv; Svendsen, Clive N; Fraenkel, Ernest

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, the assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-Seq) has become a fundamental tool of epigenomic research. However, it is difficult to perform this technique on frozen samples because freezing cells before extracting nuclei can impair nuclear integrity and alter chromatin structure, especially in fragile cells such as neurons. Our aim was to develop a protocol for freezing neuronal cells that is compatible with ATAC-Seq; we focused on a disease-relevant cell type, namely motor neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iMNs) from a patient affected by spinal muscular atrophy. We found that while flash-frozen iMNs are not suitable for ATAC-Seq, the assay is successful with slow-cooled cryopreserved cells. Using this method, we were able to isolate high quality, intact nuclei, and we verified that epigenetic results from fresh and cryopreserved iMNs quantitatively agree. PMID:27146274

  1. Induction of A9 dopaminergic neurons from neural stem cells improves motor function in an animal model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    O'Keeffe, Fiona E; Scott, Sarah A; Tyers, Pam; O'Keeffe, Gerard W; Dalley, Jeffrey W; Zufferey, Romain; Caldwell, Maeve A

    2008-03-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) are widely endorsed as a cell source for replacement strategies in neurodegenerative disease. However, their usefulness is currently limited by the inability to induce specific neurotransmitter phenotypes in these cells. In order to direct dopaminergic neuronal fate, we overexpressed Pitx3 in NSCs that were then exposed to E11 developing ventral mesencephalon (VM) in explant culture. This resulted in a significant potentiation of dopaminergic differentiation of the cells. When transplanted into the 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned Parkinsonian rats, these cografts of VM and Pitx3 overexpressing NSCs resulted in a significant restitution of motor function. In addition, there were greater numbers of Girk2 positive A9 neurons in the periphery of the transplants that were NSC derived. This demonstrates that given the correct signals, NSCs can be induced to become dopaminergic neurons that can differentiate into the correct nigrastriatal phenotype required for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. PMID:18202103

  2. Eight pairs of descending visual neurons in the dragonfly give wing motor centers accurate population vector of prey direction

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Bellido, Paloma T.; Peng, Hanchuan; Yang, Jinzhu; Georgopoulos, Apostolos P.; Olberg, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Intercepting a moving object requires prediction of its future location. This complex task has been solved by dragonflies, who intercept their prey in midair with a 95% success rate. In this study, we show that a group of 16 neurons, called target-selective descending neurons (TSDNs), code a population vector that reflects the direction of the target with high accuracy and reliability across 360°. The TSDN spatial (receptive field) and temporal (latency) properties matched the area of the retina where the prey is focused and the reaction time, respectively, during predatory flights. The directional tuning curves and morphological traits (3D tracings) for each TSDN type were consistent among animals, but spike rates were not. Our results emphasize that a successful neural circuit for target tracking and interception can be achieved with few neurons and that in dragonflies this information is relayed from the brain to the wing motor centers in population vector form. PMID:23213224

  3. Caenorhabditis elegans male sensory-motor neurons and dopaminergic support cells couple ejaculation and post-ejaculatory behaviors.

    PubMed

    LeBoeuf, Brigitte; Correa, Paola; Jee, Changhoon; García, L René

    2014-01-01

    The circuit structure and function underlying post-coital male behaviors remain poorly understood. Using mutant analysis, laser ablation, optogenetics, and Ca2+ imaging, we observed that following C. elegans male copulation, the duration of post-coital lethargy is coupled to cellular events involved in ejaculation. We show that the SPV and SPD spicule-associated sensory neurons and the spicule socket neuronal support cells function with intromission circuit components, including the cholinergic SPC and PCB and the glutamatergic PCA sensory-motor neurons, to coordinate sex muscle contractions with initiation and continuation of sperm movement. Our observations suggest that the SPV and SPD and their associated dopamine-containing socket cells sense the intrauterine environment through cellular endings exposed at the spicule tips and regulate both sperm release into the hermaphrodite and the recovery from post-coital lethargy. PMID:24915976

  4. Targeting RNA foci in iPSC-derived motor neurons from ALS patients with a C9ORF72 repeat expansion.

    PubMed

    Sareen, Dhruv; O'Rourke, Jacqueline G; Meera, Pratap; Muhammad, A K M G; Grant, Sharday; Simpkinson, Megan; Bell, Shaughn; Carmona, Sharon; Ornelas, Loren; Sahabian, Anais; Gendron, Tania; Petrucelli, Leonard; Baughn, Michael; Ravits, John; Harms, Matthew B; Rigo, Frank; Bennett, C Frank; Otis, Thomas S; Svendsen, Clive N; Baloh, Robert H

    2013-10-23

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative condition characterized by loss of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Expansions of a hexanucleotide repeat (GGGGCC) in the noncoding region of the C9ORF72 gene are the most common cause of the familial form of ALS (C9-ALS), as well as frontotemporal lobar degeneration and other neurological diseases. How the repeat expansion causes disease remains unclear, with both loss of function (haploinsufficiency) and gain of function (either toxic RNA or protein products) proposed. We report a cellular model of C9-ALS with motor neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from ALS patients carrying the C9ORF72 repeat expansion. No significant loss of C9ORF72 expression was observed, and knockdown of the transcript was not toxic to cultured human motor neurons. Transcription of the repeat was increased, leading to accumulation of GGGGCC repeat-containing RNA foci selectively in C9-ALS iPSC-derived motor neurons. Repeat-containing RNA foci colocalized with hnRNPA1 and Pur-α, suggesting that they may be able to alter RNA metabolism. C9-ALS motor neurons showed altered expression of genes involved in membrane excitability including DPP6, and demonstrated a diminished capacity to fire continuous spikes upon depolarization compared to control motor neurons. Antisense oligonucleotides targeting the C9ORF72 transcript suppressed RNA foci formation and reversed gene expression alterations in C9-ALS motor neurons. These data show that patient-derived motor neurons can be used to delineate pathogenic events in ALS. PMID:24154603

  5. Colonic Migrating Motor Complexes, High Amplitude Propagating Contractions, Neural Reflexes and the Importance of Neuronal and Mucosal Serotonin

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Terence K; Park, Kyu Joo; Hennig, Grant W

    2014-01-01

    The colonic migrating motor complex (CMMC) is a critical neurally mediated rhythmic propulsive contraction observed in the large intestine of many mammals. It seems to be equivalent to the high amplitude propagating contractions (HAPCs) in humans. This review focuses on the probable neural mechanisms involved in producing the CMMC or HAPC, their likely dependence on mucosal and neuronal serotonin and pacemaker insterstitial cells of Cajal networks and how intrinsic neural reflexes affect them. Discussed is the possibility that myenteric 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) neurons are not only involved in tonic inhibition of the colon, but are also involved in generating the CMMC and modulation of the entire enteric nervous system, including coupling motility to secretion and blood flow. Mucosal 5-HT appears to be important for the initiation and effective propagation of CMMCs, although this mechanism is a longstanding controversy since the 1950s, which we will address. We argue that the slow apparent propagation of the CMMC/HAPC down the colon is unlikely to result from a slowly conducting wave front of neural activity, but more likely because of an interaction between ascending excitatory and descending (serotonergic) inhibitory neural pathways interacting both within the myenteric plexus and at the level of the muscle. That is, CMMC/HAPC propagation appears to be similar to esophageal peristalsis. The suppression of inhibitory (neuronal nitric oxide synthase) motor neurons and mucosal 5-HT release by an upregulation of prostaglandins has important implications in a number of gastrointestinal disorders, especially slow transit constipation. PMID:25273115

  6. The Groucho-like transcription factor UNC-37 functions with the neural specificity gene unc-4 to govern motor neuron identity in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Pflugrad, A; Meir, J Y; Barnes, T M; Miller, D M

    1997-05-01

    Groucho and Tup1 are members of a conserved family of WD repeat proteins that interact with specific transcription factors to repress target genes. Here we show that mutations in WD domains of the Groucho-like protein, UNC-37, affect a motor neuron trait that also depends on UNC-4, a homeodomain protein that controls neuronal specificity in Caenorhabditis elegans. In unc-4 mutants, VA motor neurons assume the pattern of synaptic input normally reserved for their lineal sister cells, the VB motor neurons; the loss of normal input to the VAs produces a distinctive backward movement defect. Substitution of a conserved residue (H to Y) in the fifth WD repeat in unc-37(e262) phenocopies the Unc-4 movement defect. Conversely, an amino acid change (E to K) in the sixth WD repeat of UNC-37 is a strong suppressor of unc-37(e262) and of specific unc-4 missense mutations. We have previously shown that UNC-4 expression in the VA motor neurons specifies the wild-type pattern of presynaptic input. Here we demonstrate that UNC-37 is also expressed in the VAs and that unc-37 activity in these neurons is sufficient to restore normal movement to unc-37(e262) animals. We propose that UNC-37 and UNC-4 function together to prevent expression of genes that define the VB pattern of synaptic inputs and thereby generate connections specific to the VA motor neurons. In addition, we show that the WD repeat domains of UNC-37 and of the human homolog, TLE1, are functionally interchangeable in VA motor neurons which suggests that this highly conserved protein domain may also specify motor neuron identity and synaptic choice in more complex nervous systems. PMID:9165118

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. The relationship of spinal muscular atrophy to motor neuron disease: investigation of SMN and NAIP gene deletions in sporadic and familial ALS.

    PubMed

    Orrell, R W; Habgood, J J; de Belleroche, J S; Lane, R J

    1997-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is found in a familial form in around 5-10% of cases. Of these familial cases around 20% are associated with mutations of SOD-1. The genetic basis of the disease in the remaining familial cases, and genetic risk factors in sporadic cases, are unknown. Recently, the common forms of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) have been associated with mutations of the SMN and NAIP genes on chromosome 5, in the region q11.2-13.3. Some patients with both familial and sporadic motor neuron disease show only lower motor neuron signs, in common with SMA patients, and families containing individuals with phenotypes of both childhood SMA and adult motor neuron disease have been reported. We therefore examined the SMA locus as a candidate for ALS, in 54 patients with sporadic motor neuron disease, and 10 single-generation familial patients (with no evidence of SOD-1 mutations), and in a single patient with Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome. No mutations of the SMN or NAIP genes were detected. The difficulties of classification of lower motor neuron presentations of motor neuron diseases are discussed. The demonstration that mutations diagnostic of SMA are not found in ALS patients helps distinguish these conditions. PMID:9073029

  9. Effects of A Voltage Sensitive Calcium Channel Blocker and A Sodium-Calcium Exchanger Inhibitor on Apoptosis of Motor Neurons in Adult Spinal Cord Slices

    PubMed Central

    Momeni, Hamid Reza; Jarahzadeh, Mahsa

    2012-01-01

    Objective: The apoptosis of motor neurons is a critical phenomenon in spinal cord injuries. Adult spinal cord slices were used to investigate whether voltage sensitive calcium channels and Na+/Ca2+ exchangers play a role in the apoptosis of motor neurons. Materials and Methods: In this experimental research, the thoracic region of the adult mouse spinal cord was sliced using a tissue chopper and the slices were incubated in a culture medium in the presence or absence of N/L type voltage sensitive calcium channels blocker (loperamide, 100 µM) or Na+/Ca2+ exchangers inhibitor(bepridil, 20 µM) for 6 hours. 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5 diphenyl tetrazolium (MTT) staining was used to assess slice viability while morphological features of apoptosis in motor neurons were studied using fluorescent staining. Results: After 6 hours in culture, loperamideand bepridil not only increased slice viability, but also prevented motor neuron apoptosis and significantly increased the percentage of viable motor neurons in the ventral horns of the spinal cord. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that voltage sensitive calcium channels and Na+/Ca2+ exchanger might be involved in the apoptosis of motor neurons in adult spinal cord slices. PMID:23508879

  10. Predominance of Movement Speed Over Direction in Neuronal Population Signals of Motor Cortex: Intracranial EEG Data and A Simple Explanatory Model

    PubMed Central

    Hammer, Jiří; Pistohl, Tobias; Fischer, Jörg; Kršek, Pavel; Tomášek, Martin; Marusič, Petr; Schulze-Bonhage, Andreas; Aertsen, Ad; Ball, Tonio

    2016-01-01

    How neuronal activity of motor cortex is related to movement is a central topic in motor neuroscience. Motor-cortical single neurons are more closely related to hand movement velocity than speed, that is, the magnitude of the (directional) velocity vector. Recently, there is also increasing interest in the representation of movement parameters in neuronal population activity, such as reflected in the intracranial EEG (iEEG). We show that in iEEG, contrasting to what has been previously found on the single neuron level, speed predominates over velocity. The predominant speed representation was present in nearly all iEEG signal features, up to the 600–1000 Hz range. Using a model of motor-cortical signals arising from neuronal populations with realistic single neuron tuning properties, we show how this reversal can be understood as a consequence of increasing population size. Our findings demonstrate that the information profile in large population signals may systematically differ from the single neuron level, a principle that may be helpful in the interpretation of neuronal population signals in general, including, for example, EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Taking advantage of the robust speed population signal may help in developing brain–machine interfaces exploiting population signals. PMID:26984895

  11. Predominance of Movement Speed Over Direction in Neuronal Population Signals of Motor Cortex: Intracranial EEG Data and A Simple Explanatory Model.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Jiří; Pistohl, Tobias; Fischer, Jörg; Kršek, Pavel; Tomášek, Martin; Marusič, Petr; Schulze-Bonhage, Andreas; Aertsen, Ad; Ball, Tonio

    2016-06-01

    How neuronal activity of motor cortex is related to movement is a central topic in motor neuroscience. Motor-cortical single neurons are more closely related to hand movement velocity than speed, that is, the magnitude of the (directional) velocity vector. Recently, there is also increasing interest in the representation of movement parameters in neuronal population activity, such as reflected in the intracranial EEG (iEEG). We show that in iEEG, contrasting to what has been previously found on the single neuron level, speed predominates over velocity. The predominant speed representation was present in nearly all iEEG signal features, up to the 600-1000 Hz range. Using a model of motor-cortical signals arising from neuronal populations with realistic single neuron tuning properties, we show how this reversal can be understood as a consequence of increasing population size. Our findings demonstrate that the information profile in large population signals may systematically differ from the single neuron level, a principle that may be helpful in the interpretation of neuronal population signals in general, including, for example, EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Taking advantage of the robust speed population signal may help in developing brain-machine interfaces exploiting population signals. PMID:26984895

  12. Intranasal insulin protects against substantia nigra dopaminergic neuronal loss and alleviates motor deficits induced by 6-OHDA in rats.

    PubMed

    Pang, Y; Lin, S; Wright, C; Shen, J; Carter, K; Bhatt, A; Fan, L-W

    2016-03-24

    Protection of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic (DA) neurons by neurotrophic factors (NTFs) is one of the promising strategies in Parkinson's disease (PD) therapy. A major clinical challenge for NTF-based therapy is that NTFs need to be delivered into the brain via invasive means, which often shows limited delivery efficiency. The nose to brain pathway is a non-invasive brain drug delivery approach developed in recent years. Of particular interest is the finding that intranasal insulin improves cognitive functions in Alzheimer's patients. In vitro, insulin has been shown to protect neurons against various insults. Therefore, the current study was designed to test whether intranasal insulin could afford neuroprotection in the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-based rat PD model. 6-OHDA was injected into the right side of striatum to induce a progressive DA neuronal lesion in the ipsilateral SN pars compact (SNc). Recombinant human insulin was applied intranasally to rats starting from 24h post lesion, once per day, for 2 weeks. A battery of motor behavioral tests was conducted on day 8 and 15. The number of DA neurons in the SNc was estimated by stereological counting. Our results showed that 6-OHDA injection led to significant motor deficits and 53% of DA neuron loss in the ipsilateral side of injection. Treatment with insulin significantly ameliorated 6-OHDA-induced motor impairments, as shown by improved locomotor activity, tapered/ledged beam-walking performance, vibrissa-elicited forelimb-placing, initial steps, as well as methamphetamine-induced rotational behavior. Consistent with behavioral improvements, insulin treatment provided a potent protection of DA neurons in the SNc against 6-OHDA neurotoxicity, as shown by a 74.8% increase in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons compared to the vehicle group. Intranasal insulin treatment did not affect body weight and blood glucose levels. In conclusion, our study showed that intranasal insulin provided strong

  13. Development of patient decision support tools for motor neuron disease using stakeholder consultation: a study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Hogden, Anne; Greenfield, David; Caga, Jashelle; Cai, Xiongcai

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Motor neuron disease (MND) is a terminal, progressive, multisystem disorder. Well-timed decisions are key to effective symptom management. To date, there are few published decision support tools, also known as decision aids, to guide patients in making ongoing choices for symptom management and quality of life. This protocol is to develop and validate decision support tools for patients and families to use in conjunction with health professionals in MND multidisciplinary care. The tools will inform patients and families of the benefits and risks of each option, as well as the consequences of accepting or declining treatment. Methods and analysis The study is being conducted from June 2015 to May 2016, using a modified Delphi process. A 2-stage, 7-step process will be used to develop the tools, based on existing literature and stakeholder feedback. The first stage will be to develop the decision support tools, while the second stage will be to validate both the tools and the process used to develop them. Participants will form expert panels, to provide feedback on which the development and validation of the tools will be based. Participants will be drawn from patients with MND, family carers and health professionals, support association workers, peak body representatives, and MND and patient decision-making researchers. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval for the study has been granted by Macquarie University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), approval number 5201500658. Knowledge translation will be conducted via publications, seminar and conference presentations to patients and families, health professionals and researchers. PMID:27053272

  14. Early phrenic motor neuron loss and transient respiratory abnormalities after unilateral cervical spinal cord contusion.

    PubMed

    Nicaise, Charles; Frank, David M; Hala, Tamara J; Authelet, Michèle; Pochet, Roland; Adriaens, Dominique; Brion, Jean-Pierre; Wright, Megan C; Lepore, Angelo C

    2013-06-15

    Contusion-type cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most common forms of SCI observed in patients. In particular, injuries targeting the C3-C5 region affect the pool of phrenic motor neurons (PhMNs) that innervates the diaphragm, resulting in significant and often chronic respiratory dysfunction. Using a previously described rat model of unilateral midcervical C4 contusion with the Infinite Horizon Impactor, we have characterized the early time course of PhMN degeneration and consequent respiratory deficits following injury, as this knowledge is important for designing relevant treatment strategies targeting protection and plasticity of PhMN circuitry. PhMN loss (48% of the ipsilateral pool) occurred almost entirely during the first 24 h post-injury, resulting in persistent phrenic nerve axonal degeneration and denervation at the diaphragm neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Reduced diaphragm compound muscle action potential amplitudes following phrenic nerve stimulation were observed as early as the first day post-injury (30% of pre-injury maximum amplitude), with slow functional improvement over time that was associated with partial reinnervation at the diaphragm NMJ. Consistent with ipsilateral diaphragmatic compromise, the injury resulted in rapid, yet only transient, changes in overall ventilatory parameters measured via whole-body plethysmography, including increased respiratory rate, decreased tidal volume, and decreased peak inspiratory flow. Despite significant ipsilateral PhMN loss, the respiratory system has the capacity to quickly compensate for partially impaired hemidiaphragm function, suggesting that C4 hemicontusion in rats is a model of SCI that manifests subacute respiratory abnormalities. Collectively, these findings demonstrate significant and persistent diaphragm compromise in a clinically relevant model of midcervical contusion SCI; however, the therapeutic window for PhMN protection is restricted to early time points post-injury. On

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

    PubMed

    Gale, Caroline

    2015-05-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND), is a progressive terminal illness affecting the central nervous system, causing paralysis of the muscles affecting limb movement, breathing and bulbar function, with an average life expectancy of 2-4 years. Patients are presented with repeated loss and the constant need to make adjustments to their lifestyle and expectations. Within palliative care there has been a move to formalise planning by undertaking advance care planning, giving the patient the opportunity to plan whether they would consider medical interventions and how they would like their care and death to be managed. There are now a multitude of forms and documents to complete if the patient is willing to do so. Advance care planning may not be something all patients wish to embrace, and this poses the question of whether there are cases where the repeated demand to think forward to a time when further losses are experienced is serving the agenda of the health professional at the expense of the patient. Nevertheless, health professionals might be concerned that a delay in decision making could impact on the patient's future care. There is potential for conflict between the wish of the patient--to remain focused on the positive--and the health professional's perception of the benefits of completing an advance care plan or discussing interventions which, if persued, might lead to a breakdown of the therapeutic relationship. A more flexible approach, focusing on the agenda set by the patient, underpinned by a therapeutic and trusting relationship, can avoid distress for the patient, while ensuring good care and the best outcome for the patient. PMID:26107548

  16. Strength and fine dexterity recovery profiles after a primary motor cortex insult and effect of a neuronal cell graft.

    PubMed

    Vaysse, Laurence; Conchou, Fabrice; Demain, Boris; Davoust, Carole; Plas, Benjamin; Ruggieri, Cyrielle; Benkaddour, Mehdi; Simonetta-Moreau, Marion; Loubinoux, Isabelle

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to set up (a) a large primary motor cortex (M1) lesion in rodent and (b) the conditions for evaluating a long-lasting motor deficit in order to propose a valid model to test neuronal replacement therapies aimed at improving motor deficit recovery. A mitochondrial toxin, malonate, was injected to induce extensive destruction of the forelimb M1 cortex. Three key motor functions that are usually evaluated following cerebral lesion in the clinic-strength, target reaching, and fine dexterity-were assessed in rats by 2 tests, a forelimb grip strength test and a skilled reaching task (staircase) for reaching and dexterity. The potential enhancement of postlesion recovery induced by a neuronal cell transplantation was then explored and confirmed by histological analyses. Both tests showed a severe functional impairment 2 days post lesion, however, reaching remained intact. Deficits in forelimb strength were long lasting (up to 3 months) but spontaneously recovered despite the extensive lesion size. This natural grip strength recovery could be enhanced by cell therapy. Histological analyses confirmed the presence of grafted cells 3 months postgraft and showed partial tissue reconstruction with some living neuronal cells in the graft. In contrast, fine dexterity never recovered in the staircase test even after grafting. These results suggest that cell replacement was only partially effective and that the forelimb M1 area may be a node of the sensorimotor network, where compensation from secondary pathways could account for strength recovery but recovery of forelimb fine dexterity requires extensive tissue reconstruction. PMID:26052792

  17. Genes and Pathways Involved in Adult Onset Disorders Featuring Muscle Mitochondrial DNA Instability

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Naghia; Ronchi, Dario; Comi, Giacomo Pietro

    2015-01-01

    Replication and maintenance of mtDNA entirely relies on a set of proteins encoded by the nuclear genome, which include members of the core replicative machinery, proteins involved in the homeostasis of mitochondrial dNTPs pools or deputed to the control of mitochondrial dynamics and morphology. Mutations in their coding genes have been observed in familial and sporadic forms of pediatric and adult-onset clinical phenotypes featuring mtDNA instability. The list of defects involved in these disorders has recently expanded, including mutations in the exo-/endo-nuclease flap-processing proteins MGME1 and DNA2, supporting the notion that an enzymatic DNA repair system actively takes place in mitochondria. The results obtained in the last few years acknowledge the contribution of next-generation sequencing methods in the identification of new disease loci in small groups of patients and even single probands. Although heterogeneous, these genes can be conveniently classified according to the pathway to which they belong. The definition of the molecular and biochemical features of these pathways might be helpful for fundamental knowledge of these disorders, to accelerate genetic diagnosis of patients and the development of rational therapies. In this review, we discuss the molecular findings disclosed in adult patients with muscle pathology hallmarked by mtDNA instability. PMID:26251896

  18. The distinction between juvenile and adult-onset primary open-angle glaucoma

    SciTech Connect

    Wiggs, J.L.; Haines, J.L.; Damji, K.F.

    1996-01-01

    Because of the significant differences between the juvenile and adult forms of open-angle glaucoma, especially with regard to inheritance, prevalence, severity, and age of onset, we read with inte